The Boy Returnth

It’s a well known fact that The Boy is home from Nigeria. Hooray!   So how did The Dog and I get ready?

The Dog and I made signs

And chased them down as they blew into the neighborhood (4 times)

Once he dodged the signs, then he stumbled upon….

A trail of Mt. Dew, straight into the house

As he followed his favorite pop  soda, he entered the kitchen to find…

that The Dog had blown up balloons!

Then, he eyed a trail of….

Lil' Debbie Valentine's cakes leading straight to the bedroom door...

Upon opening our bedroom door he found me… well…

He found me…

He found me on our bed, reading a book.

What did you expect? C’mon! It’s not that type of blog.

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Juicy Couture

So after Saturday School (ugh, don’t get me started…), I had to go to my optometrist.

For the record, I haven’t been to the eye doc since 2003.  My poor eyeballs have become bored with my glasses, and I don’t even want to explain how I managed to still have contacts hanging around from my 1 year supply.   Know the story of the Hanukkah lamp?  Same deal, just with contacts… and less heavenly assistance. Okay, my contact situation isn’t like Hanukkah at all. I’ve just never gotten the opportunity to show my understanding of the Jewish faith. 

In any case, I went through the normal eye doc stuff, including that darn air puffer machine thing. I don’t think it does a frackin’ thing but make the technicians giggle.

Them's my eyeballs!

After the exam, I had the daunting task of choosing new glasses. Ugh. I’ve had my ‘dirty librarian’ glasses since 2003, so my brain has long since forgotten what frames look good on me.  But have no fear!  Bubbly Optometrist Technician came to my rescue!!

She bounced over and began telling me all about the brands.  “Oh here, try these on. They’re :pause for dramatic effect: Juicy Couture.”  I nodded.

“Oooo, try these! They’re :reverent pause:  Dolce and Gabbana (by the way, I just looked up how to spell that.)” I stopped and looked at her. I swear it, she had a glow about her as she held those frames. 

“Now, there’s always Aaaarmani.”

“Armani?”

“Yes, Aaaaarmani,” she says with a loving sigh.

Twenty agonizing minutes later. I had my frames and was thankfully getting away from her.

P.S- I went with the Banana Republic frames. Errr…grammatically, would that be Banana Republican?

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Peanut Butter Jelly Time

There are days when  I get to teach and do some awesome stuff.  Today, 7th period was one of those awesome times. Awesome.

If you would please…. take a moment and think of the detailed steps necessary to make a peanut butter & jelly sammich. 

Mmm sammich

Okay, did you do it?  Did you remember to tell me to open the bag of bread? Open the pb jar? What about spreading the yums- did you tell me to use a knife??

This was the task my kiddos faced today. Of course, I didn’t tell them that I brought the supplies to make the sammich.  I cannot tell you the satisfaction I had when they told me to put peanut butter on the bread. 

I looked up at them. Then smashed the bread into the jar of peanut butter and grinned internally as I heard exclaims of, “MISSS!!!  Use the knife!”  I reminded them that they didn’t tell me to use the knife. (heeheehee)

The other key factor that they tended to miss was to detail that the slices of bread should have the pb and j facing each other when the sammich is put together.  Because each time I made the snack, I was able to put the sammich together with the peanut butter facing out.  And internally, I just giggled and giggled.

In truth, if you’ve never had the satisfaction of smooshing bread into a jar of peanut butter and innocently inverting a pb&j sammich for a know-it-all GT class…well, you’ve never really lived :)

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Hall pass hell

It was just another amazingly frustrating day at work! 

Want to know how to make a teacher’s day suck?

1. Have a power outtage on the main road on the way to the highway.  Allow us to sit there for 45 minutes until we could finally get to the highway. In addition, have another car crash happen in front of my car, because both people were hoping to “sneak” around the traffic by using the turning lanes. It made me even more late, but it was karmic revenge.  In the end, I was on time to work with one whole minute to spare….instead of my normal 35.  Really threw my whole day off.

2. Have a kid feel sick.  Usually not a big deal…send him to the clinic.  I sent him, then he was sent back. Okay, that sometimes happens.  Then the kid starts throwing up in my class. Eeeww!  Send him back to the nurse, with a pass that says he was vomitting.  Kid was sent back to class…with a pass that said he was not getting sick.  At this point, I’m wondering if I should render proof. I certainly could.  I had to leave the class to sort this whole thing out.  Apparently his pops said that without a fever, the kid was not going home. Neat. Give me the flu.

3. Run into an issue with another teacher over bathroom passes.  Here’s what I sent out:

Hello,

Thank you for correcting my procedure with the restroom passes. I know that other teachers use things like Frisbees or other generalized bathroom passes. I was doing the same. If that’s against the rules, then I will correct my procedure.  Of course, you know that the general bathroom pass is done for ease of the teacher and a lack of disruption.  It certainly takes less time to give them a pass like mine, then to write out an individual pass. But again, if it’s not okay, then I will stop.
 
Next time though, please let me know in private. I was very embarrassed to have you walk into my silent classroom and rebuke me like a child. I feel that was terribly unprofessional. My students began laughing and were surprised at your actions.

I then received an email that stated that she was simply stating a fact and not rebuking me. This is the part where someone should say, “Oh geez! Sorry!” and the issue would have been dropped. So I responded with a:

Ma’am, the fact of the matter is you came into my silent classroom, told me exactly what to do and left. I felt like you were very disrespectful with it. Had you talked to me in private, I would be absolutely fine. Because you are correct. I was wrong with my use of passes and I have changed my procedure. But with you walking in and telling me about the hall passes, my students began laughing and talking about this interaction. Despite your intentions, I was very embarassed by it. 

I didn’t receive any response.  My frustration was pretty overwhelming.  Our school looks at her actions as a, “oh well. That’s how she is.”  Somehow that doesn’t excuse it.  My students, in reality, were pissed.  The teacher stomped out and they all turned to me and started with the, “Miss! You better get her!  She can’t do that”  etc, etc.  It was nice to see that I had their support, of course I calmed them and tried to explain how sometimes we only know part of what someone is going through and also that it’s always better to remain respectful.  Heh, I’m not sure they listened though. They saw my red face and I kept hearing whispers of, “ooo Miss is angry!”  Oh well, I certainly tried to teach them right.

The day just continued on with little irritations throughout the rest of the day. I had three commitments after school, so I bounced back and forth for the time. Uck!  Ultimately I ended up eating 5 snickerdoodle cookies, 1 1/2 blueberry donuts and nachos.  I made itall the way home before I had a good cry and readied myself to face another glorious day.

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Hectic Hair

There is an element in my life that makes my breathing tighten and raises hives on my neck. I know it has to happen. I understand it. But it’s never gone well for me. More often than not, tears fall and my emotions are left in shambles. It takes me weeks to pull myself together again.

I hate getting my haircut.

No matter where I go, who I talk to or which picture I bring, I am never happy.  The last time I went to the saloon, she kept saying how pretty my hair was, but the haircut just kept going on and on. She snipped, combed, flat ironed, gelled, and called in colleagues. Ultimately she stopped fussing with a, “Wow, your hair just won’t look good, will it?” :gulp:

The time before, my hairdresser started cutting before I mentioned what I wanted.  I was trying to say that I want my swoopy bangs short enough that I can’t tuck them behind my ear, because that’s what I’ll do and it looks goofy.  She says, “Ah ok, get them behind the ear.”  I explained over and over, but it wasn’t going through.  That one ended with a haircut that never did anything but stay in a ponytail.

So many tramatic experiences have left me gun shy.  I try and small talk with the hairdresser, but they must be able to see the anxiety coming through my follicles.  They soon stop talking and get to work screwing up my hair.

It’s not only the element of getting a haircut…it’s finding my  hairstyle . I keep looking for the one that will work with my hair. Does it exist?  Before my birth, my father said that he feels bad for me since that kid was going to be cursed with the combination of their hair.  My father had super fine, wispy hair.  My ma has curly hair. I have wispy, wavy hair with a cowlick directly in the middle of my widow’s peak. 

If you looked at my computer’s history….you’ll see days and days worth of research. I look at pictures to figure out what hairstyle to go with. And then I’m left with pictures like this:

I'm distracted

I…um… ugh. How long until I can keep my hair permed like the little old ladies?

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Traffic Aw-C’mon!

It rained yesterday.

For anyone in Houston, you know that they means at least an extra 30 minutes on an average commute.  Since my commute averages 50 minutes each way, I spent about an hour and a half getting in to work that morning.

On a Monday.

In the rain.

Monday. Uck.

It seemed that no matter what I did, I became stuck behind ridiculously slow vehicles. I got cut off by a semi hauling tree trunks, then miraculously found myself behind a cement truck. Neat.

There was the Impala of Fear, that was going a steady 24 in 50 mph and the Jalopy Truck of Landscaping that was hauling at least 12 bodies through the rain.

Cut off by this truck, then a BMW comes up the shoulder. Really?

“Hey get your rickshaw the hell out of the fast lane! I’m trying to get to work. I have to teach the Future of America!!!”

I zoom past a horse and buggy and settle in to my Monday morning karaoke.

“So be true to your school now
Just like you would to your girl or guy
Be true to your school now
And let your colors fly
Be true to your school

Rah rah rah Be true to your school
Rah rah rah Be true to your school
Rah rah rah Be true to your school
Rah rah rah Be true to your school”

As the tears stream down my face.

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There goes the neighborhood

I really want you to know about a guy who lives in our neighborhood.  Usually I try not to judge…but this guy. Wowza!

Alright, I want you to visualize this guy. Close your eyes.

Did you really close your eyes? Eeesh.

So the last time I saw him, he was wearing pleather M. C. Hammer pants and a bright yellow polka dot shirt.

Make these pants pleather
And use this for a button down shirt

You guys remember Hammer pants, right?  Think back to that dismal part of the 90s. You’ve probably blocked it from your mind. Perhaps your idiot son had the pajama-like pants. My brother did.  Perhaps your child wanted to get that buzz mark in the side of his head; that line that looked like the barber sneezed while cutting hair.  Triggering memories?  Sorry.

Okay, getting back to our neighbor.  He was wearing that outfit and was hunched over scrubbing the curb with a toothbrush.  As he mumbled to himself, he scrubbed clean the curb by his house, then began clipping the grass with safety scissors.

His house is covered with signs that says it’s under surveillance, which is fine and dandy… but nine signs is overkill. 

He also has a hoard of alley cats that hang about his house.  Now, since I believe that cats tend to be the embodiment of evil, surrounded in fur…. I’m not surprised that there’s a clan of them surrounding his land.  They hang out in the sewers and pop out when the cars drive past.  That’s not unnerving at all. 

My favorite part? When you drive by, he stands up and watches you go.  Anyone ever see The Burbs?  Of course, I know he can’t be keeping bodies in the basement.  Texas doesn’t have ’em. But I certainly won’t be climbing into his attic anytime soon.

 

On a side note, I came home to find a large orange & white creature of evil  cat curled up on our doorstep. Obviously it was sent as a signal from Creepo down the street.  As I walked closer, the cat stood up, stared me down and posted itself near the garage.  I would say that’s an ominous sign. Horsehead anyone?

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Hot Saturday Night

At 25, I am the prime of my life.  Apparently it all goes downhill after this.  So last night found me with a plethora of options.  What to do, what to do…

1.  Dig out those high heels from the back of our (newly cleaned) closet, find that hottie-tottie black skirt, get that stunning top and call up my gal pals.  Our plan is to find ourselves in a hip, new restaurant.  We’ll dine, sips on libations and gossip the night away!  Amid the sparkles and glam, I’ll take a step back and recognize the deliciously scandalous life I lead.

2. Spend the night at the black tie event being held downtown.  The new art gallery opening has left people scrambling to get there in time.  As the champagne pours, the intellectuals gather around a piece that they find truly riveting.  We chat; there are cheese cubes.  Life is good.

In reality, I ate warm brownies tofu squares and watched various shows on Lifetime, BET, and A&E.  In between that, I read a fluffy, fun book (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan) and thought about how much easier my life is than the effort to be a socialite. My #1 fear has been eraticated (mostly), for the chances of me dying alone in my house and having my pug eat my cold body are fairly slim, so I’m satisfied.

Besides, I can’t beat the satisfaction of having watched folks way screwy than me. If you ever feel down about yourself- watch My Strange Addiction.  No matter how self-depricating and depressed I feel, I can always feel better that I am not the Laundry Detergant Eater,  Real Doll Lover, or Couch Cushion Consumer.

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Three Letter Acronyms

Saturday morning meant I got up at my normal time and went to an in-service about a test I need to take. Yea.

Our district is pushing folks to get ESL (English as a Second Language) certified.  It makes sense. The majority of the district is Hispanic and a majority of those kids have been or are considered ESL (or one of the 27 versions of ESL, but you get the idea).  In the end my resume looks like Scrabble threw up on it.  “I’m an ESL certified teacher with GT/ACC experience teaching ELA  ….”blah blah blah. Oh TLA! (Three Letter Acronyms)

I won’t bore you with the details of the inservice, but I will tell you that I had to turn around to the “kid” sitting behind me, (ok, he was probably 23) who spent the last hour talking to his neighbor, and did my teacher smile at him. My teacher smile is comprised of a tight lipped smile with my eyebrows high and knitted together.  Very clearly it is a, “WTF are you doing?” face.  They stopped talking.

Some of my favorite moments with teaching is because of inadvertent humor.  Students are funny, especially when they aren’t trying to be.  An ESL student was reading a book out loud: 

 “This is a friggin’ elephant.”

“Could you say that again please?”

“This is a friggin’ elephant,” the child said while pointing to the picture.

African Elephant

Like he said. A friggin’ elephant

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Just wait until your father gets home!

This dog!  She certainly knows that The Boy isn’t here, because she’s really pushing her boundaries. 

In the mornings, I wake her up… and try to get her outside.  When The Boy does it, he has  to call her a few times and then out the door she trots.  I call her.  I call her again.  When I go to get her, she rolls on her back for a belly rub. I cave and rub her belly. Then I tell her to go outside. Then I say it again. After being ignored, I physically pick her up and put her on her legs.( I can understand wanting to sleep in the morning, after all.)

This week though, The Dog has learned a new trick.  I get her on her feet, then she’s suppose to follow me to the door.  So the last few days, I turn around,walk toward the door… and no dog.  I call her name.  I call her name louder. I curse at her.  I tell her how I’m going to be late to work (She really couldn’t care less). And then I go into the bedroom and find her on my pillow, having dragged up my blankets.  She doesn’t even have opposable thumbs, but she somehow manages.

So I glare, pick her up and carry her to the door.  So I learned a new  trick this week too. I use the gate to corral her over to the door. She tries to turn back and escape to my warm bed, but I win!  I’m a Texas gal now.  It’s like our own version of the rodeo.

Fine. So we settled the morning issues.  Last night, she decided to evolve even more.

I call her to go night night.  She was in the back of the house and ran to the bedroom.  I assume she is just too inbred to figure out where my voice was coming from.  As I scoff, she turns, looks at me, and disappears into the spare room.  I mock her stupidity and call again. And again.  And again.  Now who’s feeling stupid?

I go to get her and she’s not in the room.  Knowing that my dog is not one that has the ability vaporate, she had to be somewhere. So I wait a quarter second until she breathed (the pug breed doesn’t lend itself well to silent escapes) and find her under the bed. I reach for her; she shimmies back. I curse and wiggle under the bed more; she wiggles more. Ultimately nothing but her puggy head is able to be seen behind the storage under the bed.

A classic case of a child acting out.

Yeah, she’s real cute.

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