Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prepare for your productivity to come to a screeching halt


Some of my favorites in just the first few minutes of surfing:

(603): Dude I got a text from you at 1:30 last night and you didn't use any vowels
(1-603) Haha, I didn't want to buy any... we're in a recession you know

(405): I just broke up with Liz. I feel awful so I put two free rentals on her Blockbuster account.

(913): very cute, but more "I wanna put you in my pocket and keep you as a pet" and less "please bang me" type of cute.

(206): Fun fact: when I ripped off my wristband, I punched myself in the face. Rad
Pass the crack

1) I ripped out my own uterus today. Okay, not really, but I totally wanted to. This whole week (all 2 days, LOL) with them has been HORRIBLE. Last week, too. In fact, Friday was my worst day with them ALL YEAR. I never want kids. Ever. EVER.

And no, I don't care if it's "different when they're your own." I can barely handle kids from 8-3, September-June. I'm not kidding, if I had to deal with them all night, all weekend and all summer TOO...well, there's not a medication strong enough, my friends.


1.5) A middle schooler was suspended (maybe even expelled) for bringing alcohol to school. And drinking it. In the middle of the school day (science class, to be exact). And then PASSING IT AROUND TO OTHER STUDENTS. I say, screw that. If *I* have to endure the day sober, then so do they.

2) (My funny part today--cuz like I said, there's always at least one): One student, while reading a letter being sent home from the nurse, looks up and asks: "Miss K, what's the sweeney flu?"

Me: "That's 'swine,' C."

Ah, yes. The low reading class at its finest, LOL.

3) The one shining beacon of hope in all of this? Paperbackswap, my friends. Nothing makes my day like coming home to an email that a book I sent has been received and I now have one credit waiting for ME to use, on any book of my choice. Oooh, the gloriousness of it. And if I find a 2-for-1 or a 3-for-1 in the Book Bazaar, with books I actually LIKE (because a lot of times, they're offering those deals cuz their books suck ass)...well, then I'm just giddy. And I have a credit waiting for me RIGHT NOW.

I know that only Lisa and Renee will be able to relate to this post right now, but if you're a reader, and you have old books that you want to trade for brand new ones, I am telling you AGAIN to go to paperbookswap.com.

And Lisa, you should be getting that Undead book soon, maybe even this week.

4) I watched Seven Pounds last night. It was a really good movie--but I must warn you, I CRIED at the last 15 minutes or so. The kind of crying that leaves you hiccuping and taking great gulps of air. (Of course, I also slept really good, too--nothing like a good cry every now and then.) But don't say I didn't warn you--cuz *I* wasn't expecting that emotional bitch-slap.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Justify *this*

I saw this on Nik's blog. It's another fun-with-iTunes kind of thing, but this one could get interesting...

*Using the shuffle feature on your iPod, write down the first 10 songs that play.

*Obviously, you have to use the for-real first 10; no picking, choosing or editing!

*Justify, depend or explain why THAT particular song is on your iPod.

LOL. Have you SEEN my play list on previous exercises? I have the gayest songs EVER. I'll have to justify the hell out of my songs.

1. Lynard Skynard - Sweet Home Alabama. And she starts out strong! This is, clearly, a classic rock staple. You're hooked from the second you hear that gee-tar kick in. Does anyone NOT shout "hell, yeah!" and hold up their beer bottle/cup/what-have-you when this one comes on?

2. Billy Joel - Tell Her About It. Okay, harder to explain. I've loved him since I was 10 and I stole this tape out of my dad's car. I was the only 5th grader who had Uptown Girl memorized. But you really DO need to give her every reason to accept that you're fo' real.

3. Kenny Wayne Shephard - I Found Love (When I Found You). I can thank Cam for this bluesy entry--it was actually our song. He went to the bar after our first fight, heard it, said it made him realize how much he loved me, and he came right back home, all apologetic and practically teary-eyed and shit. How do you beat THAT? Especially after his accident and everything that went down, this song means the world to me. I remember, even if he doesn't.

4. Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi. I have to say, I'm quite impressed with my list thus far. YOU LIVE FOR THE FIGHT WHEN IT'S ALL THAT YOU GOT--and then, the best part, singing balls-out, OOOOOH, WE'RE HALFWAY THE-ERE! Dude. Seriously.

5. Go-Gos - We've Got the Beat. Hmm. Okay, my track record took a bit of a hit on this one, but you KNOW you drum on the steering wheel when this one comes on in the car. Don't front.

6. She Goes Down - Motley Crue. Shut up, bitches. I know what you guys are going to say. Let's move on.

7. God Gave Rock n Roll To You - KISS. I saw them in concert and this song gave me chills. It was truly amazing live. This was their last song, and confetti came down....it was magical. Truly.

**Interlude. Is anyone else pleasantly surprised by the non-gayness of my songs?**

8. For Crying Out Loud - Meatloaf. This song reminds me of (Lisa G, you're gonna love this) Chris Cagle. Ah, junior high romances. The drama, the heartbreak, the cheating...damn, kind of like my LAST relationship.

9. The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss) - Cher. Crap. Well, I can still finish strong. I think I must have been a gay man in a former life because Cher is all OVER my iPod. Listen, she's got a lot of "strong women" anthems...but this one is just fun. And another great walking song.

So much for finishing strong and dignified...

10. Falco - Rock Me Amadeus. Okay, pure 80s cheese, but it always makes me smile and puts me in a good mood. Have you ever tried to be sad and mopey whilst listening to this song? Try it. It's IMPOSSIBLE. Play it at my funeral. You'll see what I mean.

And the next one is so awesome that I had to add it:

The Dan Band, Total Eclipse of the Heart. LOLOL. First introduced in Old School, during their first dance, this song takes a classic heart-wrenching, eat-ice-cream-and-cry 80s breakup ballad and turns it in to the most hysterical song EVER. In fact, I can't listen to the original anymore without hearing their version. (Basically, they sing it all fake-tenderhearted but drop the F bomb during all the sensitive parts, as in "I fuckin' need you now tonight, I fucking need you more than ever" --and my favorite part, "Forever's going to start tonight....for-fuckin-ever's gonna start tonight.") It's like Total Eclipse: Special Tourette's Edition.

Bonus video: while searching for Total Eclipse of the Heart, I found this one. And I'll tell you something--those white boys can DANCE.

OMG!! And then here they do Wilson Phillips. (Did I ever tell you guys that LCB LOVES Wilson Phillips? It's true. He's got their songs on a CD in his car and listens to it ALL THE TIME.) If you're in a hurry, you can skip the intro (although it's funny, if you have time); they start the actual song around 1:55. I giggled really hard when they started the chorus about 2:20. (Has anyone else noticed how crazily off track I've gotten? LOL)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Old hood/ new hood

Two news stories out today:

1) Detroit is, yet again, the most violent major U.S. city.

2) Ft. Myers has the 3rd highest foreclosure rate in the nation. (Hey, we're getting better; we WERE #1 as of just a few months ago.)

Can I pick 'em or what? (LOL--my choice of living environments is almost as crappy as my taste in men.)

Now, I need to go ice my neck; I hurt it tonight at the 5th grade social, doing The Worm.

Shut up.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I just saw this on TV, and I loved it so much that I tracked it down on YouTube so I could share it with all of you. Enjoy.


Today was not a good day. The sub I had yesterday is the worst in the school, so the kids were absolutely wild today. It will take me 2 days just to get them normal again. Plus, I had to go back and reteach everything that she "taught." I'm not kidding, today was like their naughtiest day all year.

The funniest part (see? that's why I love my job. Even on the worst day of the year, I still have a funny story) was at the end of the day. We're doing this play in social studies, and we were reading through it today. P. (my big, slow guy) is playing a French explorer, and he insists on saying the words "Britain" or "British" in a French accent (but only those 2 words, which makes the whole thing even funnier. He reads everything else in his normal voice). But what kills me is that his "French" accent is some weird combination of Spanish and Indian, as far as I can tell. Seriously, it's freakin' hysterical. You can't listen to it with a straight face (trust me, I've tried). And just when we've composed ourselves, he gets to the word "Britain" again and sets us off all over again. You know how some things are only funny the first couple of times and then they get kind of old? Yeah, not this. =-) This continues to be hysterical, every single time.

But the rest of the day was arse.

And I'm just stressed out in general, namely due to:

1) planning this Busch Gardens trip. Planning a trip for 80 5th graders, my friends, is not easy. And running the candy sale to FUND said trip is not a piece of cake either, not to mention reserving the buses, creating all the groups for the trip, assigning chaperones to each group...ugh.

2) our 5th grade social tomorrow night

3) the spelling bee on Saturday during the day (I actually don't have a whole lot to do for this one, other than making sure our 4 finalists show up and then rooting them on. Between the elementary bee and the middle school bee, though, I'll be there most of the day).

4) my March of Dimes walk on Saturday evening (yeah, the one who currently can't breathe)

Those are the major things on my plate. The good news is that after Saturday, I'll only have #1 left.

What a time to quit smoking (and frankly, if I made it through TODAY without smoking, I think I'm in pretty good shape).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Anna had her baby!!! Mark David O. arrived at 4 am. 8 lbs, 5 ounces (day-um! Here's hopin' she had that epidural, LOL), 21.5 inches. Just got the text.

After what we saw on the baby registry, I KNEW it was a boy. LOL.

Congrats, Anna and Tim!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Hottest Loser

And lest I get too sappy or whiny or "woe is me" or whatever...change of topic.

I am in love with THIS guy.

And yes, I'm serious.

He's on The Biggest Loser. This is his "before," obviously. He is starting to look HOT, though. And his personality is just ADORABLE. I mean, yeah, he's only 18, but as we discovered on Sunday, I like 'em young.

(Was that icky? Too far over the line? LOL. Sorry.)

Anyway, the season finale is in 2 weeks and I can't WAIT to see what he looks like. I bet he'll be all chiseled and shit.

If you've ever seen the show, his Big Reveal is going to be JAW-DROPPING. Cuz that's how they roll.


There's something that really, really, REALLY bothers me: people who get into relationships and blow off their friends.

I'm not talking about when you first meet someone and you're caught up in that initial new-love buzz. Hell, I think we've ALL been guilty of that at one point or another. But eventually, you need to return to reality--to your LIFE. You know, the one you had before that person came along. Because, you know, you DID have one. Complete with friends and everything. (Unless you were a major loser or something.)

But I have this friend, and we used to be pretty close. But she's been dating this person for a while now, and it's like I don't even recognize her anymore. I hate to say it, but I don't like the person she's becoming. She used to be really independent. But just last week, I asked her if she wanted to hang out on Thursday (mind you, this was on Monday). She said she had to check with this other person. "Oh, do you guys have plans?" I asked. You you know what? They didn't have PLANS yet. But she had to check with him before she made plans with me. Just in case he wanted to see her.

????? WTF?

She can't make plans with one of her best friends until she checks in with him? What, to make sure she's allowed? To make sure that this other person hasn't already made plans FOR her for the night?

And here's the bitch of it: she seems him like 3 times during the week AND spends almost entire weekends with him. And meanwhile, I'M asking for a night every week or two.

It just kills me. It truly pains me to see people like that--who replace their friends, especially their BEST friends, with their significant other once they're in a relationship.

I KNOW that when you've been dating someone for a while, they become an important part of your life. A REGULAR part of your life. And I am fully aware that I can't expect to hang out wth her as often as I did when she was single (or just dating someone casually.) I'm not totally unrealistic. But you know, my friends mean so much to me. Down here, my friends ARE my family. They're all I have. And god knows that I wouldn't have gotten through a lot of the stuff in my life without my Girl Tribunal. (Holla!) And although I can't claim to be a perfect friend, and I've certainly messed up pretty badly...I also know that your signicant other can't be everything to you. They can't be your WHOLE life. Shit, even when you're married, when you've sworn before God that you will hold this person above all others, you still need your friends. Your marriage would crumble if you expected them to be everything to you, if they were the sole component of your social life.

It just bothers me. I'm very, very hurt. This post comes across as angry but it's mostly the hurt speaking. (Although, make no mistake about it, I'm pissed off, too.) I hope this person realizes what they're doing before it's too late. I hope they see that there's still a place for our friendship in their new life. I hope they understand that they have to MAKE that time, that they have to set aside time to spend with their friends--when THEY want to, not when their new boyfriend says it's okay. They have to actively make their friendships a priority. They have to be able to say, "I'm going to see Jen on Thursday. I'll see him Monday, Wednesday, and Friday-Sunday." Oh and MIND YOU, I'm asking to meet up for drinks or something. During the week, we rarely meet up past 8 or so. She can go hang out with him AFTER that, for fuck's sake.

I will always be here for her. She's definitely been there for ME (in the past. Not lately. But I digress). When her relationship breaks up (and trust me, it will), I'll still be here. And maybe she knows that and that's why she feels like it's "okay" to blow me off now. But at the same time--she's also showing me where our friendship fits into her life and her priorities. And unfortunately for us both of us: right now, our friendship isn't even on her radar (unless it's a few minutes on IM at night or a few emails during work. We used to hang out and talk ALL THE TIME. And now, I can't even get a night a week or shit, every TWO weeks. And when we DO hang out, it's after she's made all her plans with him. I'm not important enough for her to set aside a night for me--to make specific plans AHEAD OF TIME. The last few times we've hung out, it's been on the fly, at the last minute, because her significant other HAD OTHER PLANS or their original plans fell through.)

I'm very, very, very sad. I feel like I'm losing the friendship, and either this person doesn't see it or (even worse) right now, they just don't care.

Because they're dating someone new.

(PS--this is one of the people here who knows about my crazy. And I think that's why I'm so sad. She KNOWS me, better than a lot of people down here--better than MOST people down here. We were THAT close.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Freefallin'--and other stuff

First: A., the kid who a) broke his thumb while taking a test and, more recently, b) the kid of "tournament/tournaquet" fame, showed up today with a cast on his arm. AGAIN. Now as I said previously, this is a kid who, literally, can trip over nothing while walking across the room. This time, he was playing with a friend over the weekend, and they did something really stupid and male-like, and "I could tell I had really hurt my thumb, Miss K, but seriously, we were having so much fun and stuff that we kept going." (Pause.) "Maybe we shouldn't have done that." It was THEN that he actually broke his thumb. AGAIN. (This is ordinarily the kind of situation where you might begin to suspect some kind of abuse at home--if I didn't witness his clumsiness EVERY DAMN DAY.)


Another hysterical kid story: after school on Mondays, I teach a creative writing class for 3rd-5th graders. Today, we were working on diamante poems. I'm not going to get into all the components of this type of poem, but suffice it to say that to begin with, you either need opposite nouns (like "summer" and "winter") or contrasting nouns like "TV" and "movies", "animals" and "people"); this is the foundation for your whole poem.

So the kids are trying to come up with their own "opposites" (I told them that they needed to run them by me BEFORE they started, to prevent them from getting halfway through and realizing that, shit, their starting nouns were not going to work). "So," I said, "give me two opposite things--2 things you can contrast."

And one kid shouted out, without hesitation:

"Cats and propane!!"

(Insert WTF look here.)

"Cats," I said slowly, "and PROPANE?"

"Yeah!!" he said. "Those are 2 things that don't go together, right?"

What is this kid DOING on the weekends?

And last:

It was made official today: I'm going skydiving on May 15. For work. It's a long story, but basically it was a school-wide incentive to make sure that the students were using their full time during our big FCATs last month; rather than getting done early and just sitting there, that they were taking their time, going back, checking their work, etc. Fifth grade and middle school were the big winners, so Hot Teacher (the middle school rep) and I are jumping. We have an official PR company and shit, so there's a chance this could end up in papers or on the news ("2 teachers skydive to help boost students' performance" or something along those lines. I'll keep you updated. After the winners were announced, Mr. R, our office manager, ran into me in the hallway. "Hey," he said. "Make sure your next of kin and life insurance info is updated before you guys do that jump." We both laughed, and then he stopped laughing and said, "Yeah, but seriously."

And that's all for now!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Random stuff

I went to visit my friends at the ER again early Saturday morning. I was actually there a good part of the day. (Before you even say it, Mom, I hadn't had a cigarette in 4 days--not a HUGELY long time, but every day is a small victory--and like I told you, a lot of times my asthma actually gets worse at first when I quit.) Anyway, it was one of those things where they were giving me treatments but weren't having a lot of luck. I'm fine now, after the traditional steroid shots/breathing treatments/oxygen tube combo. I'm still wheezing a little and I've got a cough that makes me sound like I should be in an iron lung, but I feel okay--tired, but fine. (Oddly, I've been sweating my ass off all weekend. I'm not sure why. I was running a low fever yesterday, but I am DYING here.)

And yes, I'm that much more determined to quit--cuz I felt HORRIBLE, and I don't want to go through life like that anymore. Although it IS a bit frustrating, to be honest, when I'm trying to quit and I STILL end up in the freakin' hospital. WTF?

I felt good enough, however, to drive to the library today and drop off some books. On the way there, I saw this guy walking down the road. From a distance, he looked HOT--tank top, muscled arms, narrow waist, etc. I whistled to myself in the car--and then, as I got closer, I almost drove off the road. IT WAS ONE OF THE EIGHTH GRADERS AT MY SCHOOl. Yes, my friends, apparently I'm "THAT" teacher. (I *STILL* feel dirty.)

My time with BBBS is done, so I'm looking for my next volunteer project. I have it narrowed down to the Salvation Army soup kitchen or becoming a guardian ad litem--basically an advocate for a child who is struggling with family and custody issues. Go to http://www.gal.fl.gov/documents/GALlayvolbrochure.pdf to read more.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Anna's due date is coming up!! I just emailed her and said that hopefully someone will call or email me once Baby O gets here, so I can spread the word. I know her due date is somewhere around now, but I always forget if it's the middle or end of April. (Seriously, she's told me like 7 times.)

Anyway, good luck Anna!! And remember: you know how they say that childbirth is horrible, but once you hold your baby in your arms for the first time, suddenly the pain just kind of fades away?

Yeah, that's all bullshit. It's CHILDBIRTH, for fuck's sake. However, it IS worth it. So be tough, have an epidural on behalf of your girls (and Fred) from Broken Road, and make sure to keep us updated!!

Let's post some positive and loving commments for our knocked-up friend!

We love you!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another injury reported in Miss K's class

I stapled my finger today (I was putting some tests up on the bulletin board--and continued my stapling when I turned my head to talk to a student. I thought I was coordinated enough to do both at the same time. I was wrong).

I let out a sound that was similar, I would imagine, to a moose being hit in the neck by a tranquilizer dart. I pulled the staple out of my finger (it was totally IN there, guys--it was kind of gross) and watched the 2 microscopic holes fill with pinprick-sized drops of blood.

"Oh my goodness, Miss K!!!" A., my "Drama King," jumped up at the first sight of blood. "STAY CALM!!"

He mock-frantically looked around the room.

"Get me a tournament, STAT!"

This one threw me for a minute. I gave him the "WTF" look that I give to at least one of my kids every single day before I quizzically ventured, "Um...you mean TOURNIQUET?"

"Yeah, that! Hold on, Miss K!! DON'T! LEAVE! US!"

I gave him a leveled teacher-stare (I was laughing my ass off on the inside, but I've learned that you can't encourage him too much or he'll become even more impossible than he already is) while applying a Band-aid to my almost-invisible (but still surprisingly painful) injury.



"Siddown. Unless, of course, you want to continue your first-aid treatment in detention today."

"Oooh! Burn!" (This was interjected by one of A's friends. I told him that he'd be joining his buddy if he didn't mind his business, but frankly, I was kind of excited to hear someone use the word "Burn!" correctly. Quick side story: my students, especially the boys, are always saying "Burn!" to each other, but they haven't quite gotten a hang of it yet. For example: "Miss K, do you have a pencil I can borrow?" "S., since this is school, shouldn't you have brought one with you?" "Oooh, burn!!" "No, L, that wasn't a 'burn'. That was a question. Mind your business." or "Miss K, I don't get this question." "Well, it's asking for the perimeter, so you add up all the sides. You wrote down the area." "Oooh, burn!!" "No, P., that wasn't a 'burn.' Mind your business." And so on. It's actually pretty freakin' funny, and their inability to "burn" each other correctly is now a running joke with my friends. But I digress.)

I guess Spring Break is over.

I *AM* my mother's daughter

This video is from Britain's version of America's Got Talent.

You NEED to watch it.

The first 2 minutes or so is all intro and back story. She's 47, unemployed, lives with her cats--and let's face it, she doesn't look like your classic star.

And then, at 1:55 or so, she starts singing.

I became a little misty-eyed at 2:12, when the audience was already giving her a standing ovation.

I started actually crying around 3:15, which turned into sobbing by 3:30.

And when the judges "voted" at 5:50, I was full-on, in-need-of-heavy-sedation hysterical.

Seriously, you NEED to watch it, at least till 6:20 or so. (You can skip through the first 2 minutes if you want, although it REALLY does help to set the stage for what comes next..and you can fast forward through parts of the song although truly, the whole damn thing is so beautiful--but DEFINITELY make sure you start watching again by 3:30.

I can't embed this one, but here's the link.(Thanks, Mom.)

Get the Kleenex ready.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh hell yeah!!

Vince the Sham Wow Guy is back--this time with the Slap Chop. The best line ever: "You're going to love my nuts."


OMG, it's already a classic.

Second best line: "We're going to make America skinny again, one slap at a time."

And last (while demonstrating the variety of foods you will now effortlessly be able to chop and the endless food combinations that will now be possible): "You're going to have an exciting life now."

But don't take MY word for it. Enjoy it in all of its full glory here:

Speaking of dolphins...

This is the kind of story that gives you chills...

"BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday.

The Chinese merchant ships escorted by a China's fleet sailed on the Gulf of Aden when they met some suspected pirate ships. Thousands of dolphins suddenly leaped out of water between pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the China's."

Read more at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/14/content_11184581.htm
Dolphins, dolphins and more dolphins

You can't tell from these pics--but the dolphins were SO close to our boat. It was soooo cool; I was driving the boat, doing my typical lead-foot thing (even on water, LOL), when we noticed a dolphin just ahead of us. I cut the motor--and then we looked around and realized we were SURROUNDED by them. It was truly breathtaking--a really, really awesome moment, the kind that will stay with you forever. Anyway, here are some shots from Easter Dolphin Day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hypothetical question

If one of the flowers on a plant--say, an Easter lily--started to become kind of brown and withered because maybe someone forgot that because it was now a lot warmer, the water in the dirt would dry up a lot more quickly than when it was, say, 15 degrees cooler....if that happened, and someone started to water them more often, will the brown part on the flowers disappear and will the flower become "healthy" again, or is that flower screwed?
No, seriously--Happy Easter

If you've never thought of Easter as a "drinking holiday," then you've never spent it with a bunch of teachers on Spring Break.

OMG, I just had the best Easter EVER. To start with, I spent the day on the Gulf, SURROUNDED by dolphins (for realz--I steered us smack dab in the middle of a school of dolphins--they were EVERYWHERE. It was truly breathtaking)...and then I went to my friends' house for dinner.

Holy crap.

First, let me say that I ate LAMB. Yes, me. ME. And it was actually pretty good. I had a smallish piece, but I ate it all. AND I ate broccoli casserole. Since I am the world's pickiest eater, both of these events were quite noteworthy in and of themselves.

And THEN, my friends, the drinking games began.

(What? YOUR Easters didn't involve drinking games? Then shit, you're hanging out with the wrong crowd, bitches.)

The best game of the night was called Left-Right-Center, a dice game that is impossible to explain but, rest assured, many of you will be learning at Girls' Weekend in July. =-) The "winner" has to take a shot (in this case, whiskey). However, a special rule (hereby known as "The Gang Bang rule") was officially implemented tonight--if you miss the table ENTIRELY with your dice (and, in my case, actually hit yourself in the HEAD with them), then you have to take a special, just-for-being-a-dumbass shot. Yes, the rule was named after me (although I was certainly not the last)--and yes, the guys in the group STILL insist on calling me Gang Bang. In fact, after tonight, FOUR of them now have me in their phones as "Gang Bang" (including one of the guys in from North Carolina: "dude, I can't wait to go home and tell them I know a chick named Gang Bang").

All in all, it was a very happy Easter.

And I have some AMAZING friends. I am truly blessed.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

Whether the day holds any religious significance for you or not, I want to wish you all a great day. I hope the Easter Bunny is very good to you all. I'll be going to church and then to an Easter gathering with some friends.

I'm approaching the end of my Spring Break. (Well, sort of--I don't go back till Wednesday.) It's funny: I didn't do anything BIG with my time off, but I did a whole bunch of little things that needed to get done. So, all in all, I feel like it was a productive week or so (even though I had to go to the dentist and get my temporary crown replaced with a permanent one on the day that all my friends went to Sea World.)

I've lost 5 lbs now since the official start of Spring Break 8 days ago. It is, undoubtedly, due to the fact that I (being the freak of nature that I am) actually drank LESS on SB than I do during the average, typical work week. Significantly less, in fact. Damn....you cut out your thrice-weekly "meetings" at Shoeless Joe's and the weight just drops off. =-)

I guess that's about all...I hope you're all doing well. Happy Easter!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Whoo hoo!!!
I won't tell you how crazy-excited I got just now when I went onto my lanai...but it was pretty sad.

Lily, age 3 days

What'd I tell you? Early bloomer.

In other news, I'm spending my Spring Break working on ME. I'm following up on some New Years' resolutions and taking other steps to declutter my life, both figuratively and literally. Here's what I accomplished during my first 2 days of my vacation:

1) Began cleaning my apartment. And I mean for-real cleaning, with ACTUAL cleaning products and sponges and not just water and a paper towel. I've done the living room, dining room and kitchen so far (to be fair, the first 2 were pretty easy). I'm reserving a whole day each for the bathroom and my bedroom. I've alreay thrown out like 2 bags of garbage. Included in this will be taking a lot of my "winter" clothes from my closet and putting them into storage (ie, a garbage bag behind my couch) for the season--although I hear nighttime temps are going to drop to the 40s this week (which, in Florida in April, is almost unheard of). I'm also clearing out a lot of my paperback books via http://www.paperbackswap.com/, which is my new obsession. However, this doesn't really count as "cleaning," since I receive a new (new-to-me) book for every one I get rid of. But still, it's fun.

2) I went to church. This is helping to unclutter my mind.

3) I've been walking regularly AND I've even been running for parts of it. (Damn, it hurts my boobs, I'm not playin'. Even with sports bras, running is unpleasant. Then again, I was also PMSing.)

4) Taking another attempt at quitting. I HAVE to. Prices went up $2 a pack just in the last month alone. They're still only $4-5 a pack down here (I say "only", because I know Michigan must be seeing some crazy numbers), but come on. It's just STUPID at this point. WHY AM I STILL SMOKING? Not to mention all of the health and beauty issues associated with smoking, it will also help with my next area of self-improvement...

5) Getting my debt under control. I got so behind on bills that, as of November or December, my money-management system has been to throw my bills (and, lately, debt collection notices) into a big pile, never to be opened or looked at again. Why bother? I thought. I can't pay them anyway, and looking at them will just stress me out more. Well, let me share a little somethin' with ya: that shit don't just go away. =-) So, I spent like 3 hours last night going through that pile and actually FACING my debt. And it wasn't as bad as I thought--I mean, it's BAD, but so many of those notices were repeats of each other, so once I got down to the meat of it, I had a list of about 5 (pissed off) creditors. So I went online and filled out one of those credit consolidation apps (as you'll recall, that was one of my resoluations). I'm going to fill out a 2nd one today, just to compare rates/programs/etc (as in, what each will say my total monthly payment will be and what the estimated time frame will be for paying off my debt). And I'll tell you--I slept GOOD last night. This has been hanging over my head somethin' fierce the last few months. I'm still in the hole, of course--but at least I finally took the first few steps to getting my damn self out of it.

So...yeah. Those are the first few steps I've taken to Operation: Get Jen's Life Freakin' Together Since She's 30-Freakin-2-And-It's-About-Damn-Time-She-Got-Her-Shiznit-Straight. (Which we'll just refer to as Operation Shiznit, because that's what I'll be by the time this is all done.) ;)

I'd say it's been a pretty successful 48 hours so far.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

It's a girl!

No, Anna didn't have her baby. I would, however, like you to welcome the newest addition to MY family--Lily. She's an Easter Lily I bought at the store today, and like her mom, she's dirty and will probably blossom early.

(Are you groaning yet? That was pretty bad. LOL)

Anyway, I usually kill plants off pretty quickly, so we'll see how long she survives. Wish us both luck.

Lily, age 1 day

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Back home

I'm home, unpacked and chillaxin' after a short yet very busy and eventful trip. Here's the quick version:

1) It was a very successful trip in terms of my job/career. I was able to get onto the radar of the director of the education team (for the whole company--she's WAAAYYYY up there). I was totally prepared to bluff my way through the observations--but I was a bit surprised to realize that I DIDN'T NEED TO. I got into that first classroom (I walked in with a stone-serious face to intimidate the teacher AND to draw attention away from the fact that on the inside I was shaking like a leaf), sat down with the forms we had to complete--and just like that, it hit me that I COULD do this. I actually DID know what I as doing. It was a pretty cool moment for me, actually. And the rest of the day was a piece of cake. I was hit with another round of nerves right before I had to sit down for first "evaluation" (going over the form with each teacher and giving them the results of your report/observation); these can be especially tough when it's a teacher who didn't perform very well. Luckily, I mostly had pretty good teachers and only had to make small suggestions and deduct points for some of the more minor "offenses". My last teacher today actually performed pretty badly (5 year olds + musical instruments + NO classroom management = trainwreck), but I feel like I provided CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and was able to boost her up rather than knock her down. It was really a pretty positive meeting.

At the end of each day, we compile all of our data, create some final reports and give a closing presentation to the entire staff with our overall observations and how they seem to be performing as a school. Today, the education director asked ME to present a section--it was a smaller one, but she seemed to be kind of feeling me out. Aterwards (while I was doing some sesrious corporate brown nosing--hell, I ain't dumb--I NEVER get face time with someone as high up as she is), she said that I had done very well and that I'd made a great addition to the team. She also said that I was "just the kind of person they need" to go into the schools like this. Holla!

Has anyone else noticed that this was all under point #1? LOL. Clearly, point #2 (namely, all the hell we raised last night) will have to wait for another post. I need to take a shower and get to bed. I'm running on about 2 hours of sleep (we ALL are--and we STILL kicked some evaluating ass today...but that's for another time, another place and another post...).