Sunday, February 28, 2010

technology strikes again!

so today . . . i am once again stunned by technology.

yesterday i updated my new phone--my beloved palm pre. i don't mean replaced--i mean through the magic of technology, improved the way it works! apparently palm is continually tweaking their operating system, which is new, and so as they make improvements, they make those improvements available to all of us who already own their phone. for free!

i appreciate this. so often when we buy the newest, fastest, coolest electronic gadget, three months later they release something even newer, faster, and cooler. which of course immediately makes us unhappy with the now older, slower, dorkier gadget that we already own. this is called marketing :) but palm just keeps releasing updates to their system, so you don't have to buy a new one. i think this is wonderful!

usually the updates just tweak the existing features so that the phone runs more smoothly and efficiently. but today was THE DAY WE HAD BEEN WAITING FOR! today was the day they released the update that added a video camera to our phone! and they did this totally through software--we didn't have to take our phone into a store to have anything added.

i cannot imagine how this works. the phone does have a 3.1 megapixel camera and flash already on board, but suddenly it is also a video camera. i can't quite wrap my brain around how the software now tells the camera to take video rather than still shots. of course, i haven't actually used it yet--maybe it is terrible. maybe the quality is awful. maybe there is no sound. so maybe i shouldn't be raving about how wonderful it is just yet . . .

i will try it out at school tomorrow. maybe i can get my kids to sing a song or something. although, if there is no sound, that will be less than riveting video. and then, i will have to figure out how to get the video from my phone onto my blog. and you know what mad computer skills i possess ;)

but, if i am successful at 1-capturing video with my phone, 2-saving it, 3-figuring out where it is stored on my phone (because sometimes it seems as though the pictures i take run and hide,) and 4-managing to download it onto my computer (which of course means more searching . . . ) then i will post something so you can see if it was worth all that excitement.

assuming i can remember how to post video onto my blog . . .

Saturday, February 27, 2010

brilliance--it's a curse . . .

so today . . . i did the most clueless thing i have ever done. ever.

i blame my sickness. i am convinced that my mind and body are working so hard to get well (i hope,) that they don't have enough resources left for the mundane things i have to do. like thinking . . .

you may remember the fight that my brain and my body have been having over if i can be mildly productive while being sick. well today i felt a little bit better, so i thought i could side with my brain and tackle some minor computer tasks. i had this pile of little pieces of paper with notes scribbled on them that required computer attention.

this never used to happen to me. i used to be much more efficient at this sort of thing, but for the last several months my internet access at school has been out of commission. so now, when i remember a small task that i need to do or a fact i need to check, i can't take care of it during the day. and by the time i get home, i do not remember what it was i needed to do. so i scribble short notes on whatever paper is at hand all day long, and then occasionally i sit down with my computer and take care of them all.

today i decided to do that.

so there i was, sitting on the couch in the family room, computer in my lap, surrounded by my little slips of paper. i was settled in front of the fire, watching the rain occasionally fall (see, aren't you glad i didn't write a whiny california rain blog today? because i could have . . . ) and i started working my way through the stack. some tasks required the internet, some required my phone, and some just required my computer and more time than i had to give them during a regular school day.

i was also waiting for rollie to call me. he was at church this morning teaching a class, and i knew that he would probably finish up around lunch time. which meant my chances for eating lunch somewhere other than my kitchen were very, very good, but only if he could reach me. so every time i had to leave my little work nest, i put my phone in my pocket, just in case he called. and when i came back i would put it on the arm of the couch, nice and handy, just in case he called.

and then it happened--my moment of panic. i happened to look at the arm of the couch and noticed that my phone was not there. i checked my pocket--not there either. where could it be? i just had it a minute ago . . . it was just here . . . i reached toward the end table to rustle through all my little notes, and there it was . . . IN MY HAND!!!! i am not kidding you.

i could not believe it. sheesh! i mean i was looking right at it, entering some information when i first missed it. how could i miss it?!?!? i was holding it!!!! i was using it!!! I WAS LOOKING RIGHT AT IT!!!!

maybe i need new glasses.

my only defense is that i hadn't been using it like a phone all morning--i was using it like a computer! i had been accessing the internet, storing information, checking email--all the things you do on your computer--and i guess i had subconsciously stopped thinking of it as a telephone . . .

and then i remembered a professor rollie had when he was in seminary. this professor was a brilliant, brilliant scholar, but he was a bit forgetful. he would routinely push his eyeglasses up on his head, and then forget they were there. he would put his tie on in the morning, and then when he went to brush his teeth, he would flip it to the back to keep from splashing toothpaste on it. then, on his way out the door he would notice he didn't have a tie on and go put another one on. really. rollie said he showed up at school more than once with two ties on--one in the front and one in the back.

but the funniest and most horrifying thing he ever did, was the night he stopped by a friend's house for a few minutes to drop something off. when the friend asked if he wanted to stay and play a game of chess, he eagerly agreed. forty five minutes later the friend's wife looked out the window of their house and said, "um, i think there is someone in your car!" and there was. it was his wife. he had completely forgotten she was out there!

so maybe it isn't because i am sick, and my brain is preoccupied with trying to get well. or because my short term memory occasionally takes a vacation without me. maybe, just maybe it is because i am brilliant! so brilliant that i forget the mundane things, because my mind is so busy with, you know, other stuff.

yeah, let's go with that . . .

Friday, February 26, 2010

spread the love . . .

so today . . . i woke up in the recliner. again. miraculously i was breathing, and i hadn't even snorted my afrin yet! also miraculously, diandra soon appeared and plopped her body down in the other recliner. as we sat there talking and simultaneously texting and emailing on our cool phones, suddenly i screamed!

"mary marantz left a comment on my blog!"

people, i have arrived.

i clearly remember the day i got a text from diandra several months ago--ok, maybe not clearly, but it said something like this--"mary marantz commented on my blog today! i'm so excited! she's amazing!! i'm so excited!!" (i know that is a lot of exclamation points, but as she said, she was excited!!)

two years ago i had no idea about the world of wedding photographers, but now that diandra has become one of them, the vortex has pulled me in as well--i stalk wedding photographer blogs, i watch wedding photographer "how to" videos, i read wedding photographer faqs posts--even though i take my pictures with a point and shoot camera. some days i click and click and click again until i am lost in the online world of wedding photographers . . .

mary and her husband justin are two of my favorite people in that world. i admit it--i've stalked their blog. i just think they take beautiful pictures, and i enjoy looking at them. and today, mary left a comment on my blog!

i know some of you are thinking, "seriously, julie, you need to get a LIFE!" but this is a part of my life, and i really enjoy it. i love to write, which is why it takes me so long to finish a blog! and i love it when people comment for the first time--and every time after that. it is always fun to discover someone new who has given up a few minutes in their day to see what strange turns my brain has taken this time.

i think that no matter what you do, it is nice to know other people enjoy your efforts. people who cook (which would not be me,) love it when someone asks for seconds. or thirds. people who sing or play an instrument love it when they are asked to perform. people who garden love it when someone compliments their beautiful flowers. whether you scrapbook or play basketball or take pictures or knit--it doesn't matter what you do--we all do those things because we love doing them. but if you also love sharing what you do, then it is nice to know that others are enjoying it too.

i teach kindergarten. and most of the time i like it, but this has been an especially tough year. during this last year, one of the moms has written me several notes. she is always telling me how much she appreciates me and the job i do, and how it is making a difference in her son's life. and those notes have made a difference in my life. they encourage me, they challenge me to continue to be a good teacher, and i admit it--they make me feel good.

and that's not a bad thing, making other people feel good. that's a great thing! it's one of the reasons i blog--even if you've had a crummy day, i want you to laugh, at least once! but it isn't always easy to 'spread the love.' sometimes it takes a little effort. or thought. or time.

so, if you read a blog, don't stalk--leave a comment. you will make the blogger's day, just like mary made mine today!! and really, anytime you enjoy the efforts of someone else, let them know--write a note, send a text, tell them they are doing a great job! we could all use the kudos.

and as for my interest in photography? well, i think i'm on the right track--my point and shoot camera is a canon!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

ah, technology . . .

so today . . . i am home sick.

i hate being home sick. every morning when my alarm goes off, i think to myself, "i wish i didn't have to go to school today." but i never think, "i wish i was sick so i didn't have to go to school today." because being home sick creates conflict between my body and my brain.

not that this is unfamiliar territory. my body and my brain disagree all the time. my brain says eat vegetables. they are good for you! my body says ice cream, brownies, croissants! my brain says get out there and exercise! my body says but i'm already sitting here with the computer in my lap! and when i am home from school, sick, my brain says yippee! a whole unexpected day at home! think of all the things we can get done!! but my body says, sleep, crash on the couch, sleep some more . . .

it makes for a stressful day. because although i know my body is making the right choice, my brain won't leave me alone. ok, it says, i know you don't think you have the energy to do anything, but maybe you could just . . . and it's list of small things i could be doing is never ending! so while my body usually wins, and i do spend my day on the couch, it has to spend what little energy it has fighting off my brain to stay there.

the compromise they reached today was that i would sit on the couch and read some magazines. i have a stack of magazines that i haven't had time to read. and they just keep coming and coming and coming. i could just throw them away. i didn't order any of them--well, not specifically. i got them as bonuses when i ordered certain items from shopping tv. i meant to return the cards that would cancel the subscriptions and kick back a few bucks to me. but did i get it done in the allotted time? of course not! so all these magazines come to my house every month, and i feel obligated to read them. because you just never know . . . if i were to throw them out unread, i am certain that the information i might need someday to save my life would be in one of them. so yes, i read them out of fear . . .

but in all the reading i did, i discovered something very interesting. at the end of some of the articles there would be these little telephone icons. and it appeared to me that if you took a picture of that icon (which are called "tags") with your cell phone, then it would connect to a web page that would give you more information--more recipes, more health tips, etc. cool, i thought. so i tried it. i took a picture of the tag. i looked at the screen on my phone for a few minutes, but nothing happened. ok, i must have done something wrong, so i tried it again. still nothing. so i flipped through the magazine trying to find directions as to how to make this wonderful new technology work, but there was no explanation. finally i read the fine print and saw that you had to go to a web page and download a tag reader first. ooooh. ok. so i turned on my computer and went to the web page. but it said it couldn't identify my phone, which meant it didn't know which tag reader to download. after another ten minutes of clicking around the site, i realized that i needed to go to the web page from my phone. ooooh. ok. so i connected to the web page from my phone, only to find out that the operating system used on my phone is too new to have it's own tag reader. so i downloaded the generic "it will work with most phones" tag reader, went back to the magazine, took another picture, and it still didn't work. i was starting to get frustrated. apparently i cannot access this new technology with my new technology just yet.

but i love the idea of it! with so many people using their cell phones to access web content, this is perfect! instead of having to remember urls (not to mention typing them in accurately on a phone's teeny tiny keyboard,) you just point your phone at one of these tags, click a button, and it takes you right to a website. i am pretty sure there must be a way diandra can use this in her business--i just haven't figured it out yet. and according to the website, anyone can make tags of their own. maybe i can even make one for my blog. oh, the possibilities! i am a fan already . . .

. . . even though it won't work on my phone. yet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

my nose, my nose . . .

so today . . . i've decided my school kids are trying to kill me.

they come into my room in the morning coughing, their little eyes red rimmed and runny. but they don't have a temperature! so there they are. sick. at school.

it isn't their fault. they just go where their parents take them. and their parents need to go to work. i get that. really, i do. but what parents don't understand is that if everyone sends their sick kids to school, then their kids are more likely to get sick again. and again. and again.

the rule at our school is that the kids can stay unless they have a temperature of 100 degrees or more. but sometimes i think their crafty parents fill them up with cough medicine and tylenol and bring them to school anyway. which means i have to keep them in my teeny tiny room until the tylenol wears off and their temperature shows itself. and by then, they have coughed on me, touched my stuff, and filled my room with germs.

which then attack me--no matter how careful i am. i try to keep my distance, especially if they look like a cough is brewing. but sometimes i get no warning--a cough just explodes from their little face! i clean surfaces all day. i use anti-bacterial hand cleaner. i don't let them read my books or hold my hand. and still i get sick. again. and again.

i have been sick for most of this school year, and i have to say i am getting a little bit tired of it. if i am going to be fair, my kids have been sick all year too. i don't know what is going on.

but it is their fault. they are the ones who keep coming to school sick and unable to control their germs. and so, i have an idea--i think i should be put on disability pay.

if i was able to stay home from school for the next six months, maybe i would finally get well and STAY well. because that is the problem. staying healthy with all those germs around . . .

but until that happens, i guess i will just keep blowing my nose. and blowing. and blowing. and blowing . . .

(rollie thinks this picture is gross. but i think it is a good visual of how much nose blowing i have done just today. and i've already emptied it once! clearly it needs to be emptied again, but it is at the edge of the couch where i can't see it--i just drop my tissues over the arm of the couch, and they go in. or at least they did until it became full.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


so today . . . it once again became clear to me that five year olds have a very tenuous grasp on reality.

it was calendar time. this is something i try to do every day, but some days we get to it a little late and have to hurry. this was one of those days.

we came back to our class from music, i grabbed my pointer and said, "ok, let's say the months of the year." and so we all chanted the months of the year. then i said, "and what month are we in?" and they all answered "february." i was ready to move onto the days of the week, but megan was not.

"wait," she said. "what is that holiday in the next month?"

"next month?" i said. really??? we are going to talk about next month right now, this morning?? although megan is a very smart girl, sometimes her train of thought can be a little tricky to follow. and i didn't really think we had time for me to figure out what she was talking about. so instead of being the awesome teacher who would say, "why, i don't know megan--why don't you explain what you mean, and then i will try and answer your very clever question in words you can understand . . . " yeah. instead of that, i said, "i don't know. we will talk about it later." and proceeded to sing a song about the days of the week.

but megan would not be dissuaded. once she gets an idea in her head, she needs an answer. and clearly i had not given that to her.

"no," she continued, "in march. is that a real holiday?"

i knew she must be talking about st. patrick's day. and while you could probably make a pretty good argument against it being a real holiday, it is on the calendar and we will wear green. so, giving up, i said, "do you mean st. patrick's day?"

her face lit up. "yes," she said. "is it a real person?"

wait. is who a real person? i thought we were talking about the holiday. isn't st. patrick's day the day we do green activities? and eat green eggs and ham? and paint rainbows with leprechaun gold at the ends? who is she talking about?

i realized she must be talking about st. patrick. and the truth is, i know almost nothing about him. ok, i know nothing about him, except he was apparently a saint. usually i don't need to know about him. my kindergarteners usually have their hands full wrapping their brains around george washington and abraham lincoln. but, as i said, megan is smart, and i think she must have heard something about it on tv. so i give her what i've got.

"yes," i say. "st. patrick was a real person. but i'm not sure why there is a holiday about him. i will have to find out."

"ok," she said. "but you are saying he is real. like sponge bob and patrick . . . "

wait a minute.

you mean, sponge bob and patrick are real?!?!?!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

it could happen . . .

so today . . . somebody new read my blog! i'm so excited!!

rollie and i were sitting in rubio's tonight, after a very busy sunday, waiting for our food to arrive. i pulled out my phone to check my texts and emails. (i love my phone!) i love it when i check my email and see that someone has commented on my blog! i had already received comments from my mom and diandra on yesterday's blog, so i wasn't really expecting any more comments today. because while several of you are nice enough to leave me comments, many of you don't seem to read on the weekends. but you never know, so i continued on down the list of new emails.

and then, there it was . . . a comment from a name i did not recognize.

"i have a new blog reader!" i excitedly announced to rollie.

i opened the email and read the comment and immediately posted it--from my phone! (again, i love my phone.) i went back to my email, and there was another comment from my new reader. more excitement!!

who was this new person? i wondered. so i did the only thing i could do--i went to her blog. and here is what i learned--

1. she lives in north carolina.
2. she is a careful blogger--much more careful than i am! there are no pictures on her blog. she uses cryptic names for those she writes about. but since you can't blog without revealing something of yourself, i also learned . . .
3. she is a newlywed.
4. she teaches small children.
5. she loves her parents (who were missionaries.)
6. and her husband.
7. she has a sense of humor.

woohoo! she is a real person!

i say this, because sometimes the people who comment on my blog are not real people. once i even got a comment in chinese. since my school is in a chinese church, i asked the pastor if he could read it. he said, "well, it looks to me like it is an advertisement for a whole list of internet sites for comics with 'adult' content." yikes!! i quickly deleted that comment.

i know my excitement may seem out of proportion, considering it is just one new reader. but she apparently found me randomly. and if she found me randomly, maybe others will too . . .

i'm going to have to be careful, or i might become famous . . .

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"wait, are my bangs ok?"

so today . . . i realized if i die, my possible future grandchildren will not know what i looked like.

all i wanted to do was post a new profile picture on facebook. that didn't seem like such an insurmountable task--but it was.

i started going through my photo files and found that there are very few pictures of me. i suppose it is because usually i am the one taking the pictures, so i am not in them. and when we are out doing stuff, rollie and diandra don't seem to think of taking my picture--they are just enjoying whatever we are out doing. so i feel sort of self-absorbed handing them my camera and saying, "here, take a picture of me."

i have tons of photos of diandra--of course, she is my precious, darling daughter who never, ever takes a bad picture, which means i have to keep them all! i have lots of pictures of diandra and rollie together--because when the two of them get together, they do goofy, funny, crazy photo-worthy stuff. i have some pictures of just rollie--but he gets tired of hearing me say, "stand there. just a minute. shoot! oh wait, do it again. let me take one more. now move just a step to the right . . ." and then there are those lovely self-portraits taken at arm's length with one or the other of them, where they look fine and i look weird. because sadly, my arms aren't long enough to take my own picture.

several months ago, i went with diandra to santa barbara for a photo shoot. we got there really early and it was a beautiful day, so we decided she should take some pictures of me--that way she could scout locations and play with her camera settings before she met up with her bride and groom. and i might finally have some photos of myself that i would love!

diandra is an awesome photographer, so the pictures came out pretty good--considering i was in them! but i couldn't wear my glasses since they were tinted, so i think i look all squinty-eyed. and i had dressed for comfort, not photos, so i wasn't all that happy with my wardrobe choices (except for my boots--they rocked!) and my bangs wouldn't stay in place--the wind kept blowing them and exposing my forehead!

and there is part of the problem . . .

i don't think i am very photogenic. i see all the flaws--not the least of which is always my bangs, which refuse to lay properly! several years ago, someone took a picture of diandra and me on a whale watching trip. obviously, we were on a boat in the ocean. and it is a cute picture--except the wind is blowing my bangs off my forehead. but i really liked the picture. so we decided to photoshop bangs onto my forehead--you know, technology can fix anything, right? so we tried. but photoshop was not all that sophisticated then, and diandra wasn't into photography yet . . . and the result was less than satisfying. in fact, it was kind of scary! it looked like some brown, furry tentacle was taking over my forehead!

we did not save the edited version.

but i need profile pics for facebook. i refuse to be a "ghost person." and i get tired of looking at the same picture all the time. so what to do, what to do . . .

according to facebook, i can take a picture with my webcam to use. but have you seen webcam photos?!? they are frightening! they make a person look like a criminal holed up in a basement somewhere, looking for recruits on the internet.

(and sometimes i think maybe i am suited for a life of crime. there aren't very many pictures of me. i know how to create a new identity. my brain thinks in larcenous ways--it's all those mystery books i read--and i hardly ever get stopped for traffic violations . . . )

i find that my best pictures seem to be those that are taken from far away--which makes it hard to see my face. which is maybe why i like them! or the ones taken with diandra, because her "shine" sort of reflects onto me. which helps. or the ones taken with rollie, because his eyes are always smiling. which is why i fell in love with him.

i don't know. maybe it isn't that important. maybe photographs will never show who i really am--because it is hard to be myself in front of a camera. so maybe i just need to give it up. maybe i won't even have possible future grandchildren, so it won't matter. maybe i just need to go do fun things and leave my camera at home . . .

i'm sure my facebook friends won't mind if my profile picture is a mug shot from my possible future life of crime . . .

Friday, February 19, 2010

if no one knows your name, does it matter?

so today . . . i was watching the olympics and they started talking about apollo ohno. hey, i thought, i recognize that name. but i couldn't remember why or what sport he competed in. and then it hit me . . .

dancing with the stars. he competed on dancing with the stars a couple of years ago. and won.

when i was growing up, i was familiar with all the winter sports athletes--skiers, ice skaters, (i would also say snow boarders, but it hadn't been invented yet!) and speed skaters. we would come in after a full day of skiing and collapse in front of the fire and watch "wide world of sports" on tv. because after a full day of skiing, and walking all the way back to the cabin from the ski resort, in our ski boots, carrying our skis and poles (except for my mom, because my dad would always carry her skis,) that is all we would have the energy to do. well, that and eating chili or bean soup.

but now i rarely watch wide world of sports. i don't even know if it is on every saturday afternoon any more or not. i don't remember ever consciously deciding not to watch it--i think i just associate it with a day of skiing. and since i don't ski much anymore . . .

thankfully, in this olympic year, dancing with the stars seems to be filling that void left by my lack of wide world of sports. a couple of days ago when i was watching snowboarders jump and flip on the half pipe, i saw a familiar face--louis vito. when i tuned in he was in fourth place, but i immediately started cheering for him to win. sadly he did not win an olympic medal--or dancing with the stars. perhaps competing in both was just too much . . .

i find that i enjoy watching sports a lot more if i feel like i "know" someone who is competing. i'm probably not the only one who feels this way, which may explain why all those athletes agree to possibly look ridiculous on dancing with the stars. and if name recognition and popularity is important (which it is if you want nike to ask you to make a commercial,) there may be no better way to do it than to learn to dance. on tv. with an awesomely cute and talented partner. and three mouthy, opinionated judges. and millions of viewers, hopefully cheering you on.

apparently it works. because during the super bowl when they were tossing the coin or something, i recognized two more sports figures. (actually, i'm not really sure what they were doing. i don't really watch the super bowl--i hang out, eat snacks, and pause to watch the commercials or listen to the music at half time . . . the game is just sort of an excuse to go to a party . . . ) there were some guys standing in the middle of the field, and two of them were jerry rice and emmitt smith--neither of whom i had heard of before dancing with the stars. but now i know that they played football, and apparently were rivals, and emmitt can dance, while jerry? not so much . . .

which is why i am sitting up at 11:30 on a saturday night, when i have to get up early for band rehearsal in the morning. because i need to know if apollo is going to win a medal in speed skating.

yeah, i call him by his first name--i "know" him. i cheered him on to his win on dancing with the stars. and i'm sure he appreciated it . . .

Thursday, February 18, 2010

30 second blog

so today . . . i'm going to bed. without blogging.

well, ok, i guess i am blogging, but it is going to be short. we had a staff meeting at school tonight, and then when i got home i started working on burning cds for diandra. and now here i am, shortly after midnight, blogless.

but the good news is, i have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head. and there is a gem show at the o.c. fairgrounds this weekend. so, new blogs are in the pipeline. (i've always wanted to say that!)

but not tonight. tonight i am going to bed. without blogging.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

the influence of a guinea pig spy

so today . . . my school kids were on a roll. some days their conversation centers on toys and characters that i have no idea how to spell--bakugon? i'm sure that isn't right, but whatever it is, their tiny little lives seem to revolve around it and it's exploits. maybe i need cable tv.

but today they seemed to have guinea pigs on their mind--super spy guinea pigs.

if you haven't seen "g-force," go to your nearest video store and rent it some night when you just want some cute, fun entertainment. we saw it in 3-d, which is what i recommend (although i don't know if the dvd comes in 3-d.)

anyway, at one point in the movie one of the guinea pigs says, "we may be small, but we're mighty!" and my kindergarteners find this line fascinating. they will sit around their table repeating it over and over to each other in tiny little guinea pig voices. it drives me crazy!

but today there was a new twist. i don't know who started it, but this is what i heard . . .

"we may be teachers, but we're kids!"
"we may be carrots, but we burp a lot!"
"we may be small, but we're elvis!" (ok, i know i said i was going to change the names of the kids when i blogged this year, but i can't change this one. this name belongs to one of the nicest, happiest, most pleasant little boys i have ever had in any of my classes. i love him!!)

"we may be green broccoli, but we're polka dots!" (this is starting to remind me of when diandra's sense of humor was developing at this very same age. her humor form of choice was knock knock jokes. they would go something like this--knock knock-who's there?-car-car who?-our car is in the garage! and then she would laugh hysterically. we, of course, would laugh too, because even though the joke was totally meaningless, she was so funny laughing at her own joke!)

"we may be groundhogs, but we are groundhog kids."
"we may be princesses, but we are kings."

does any of this make sense to any of you? does it make you laugh?? me either. but let me tell you, they were cracking each other up!

and then in the midst of all the laughter, one of the boys said, "we may be carrots, but we're mighty carrots." and all the kids laughed except for one little girl, who stopped, looked at him and said, "no, that doesn't make sense."

are you kidding me?!? that doesn't make sense?!?!?!? this is where she draws the line????? none of it made any sense! and she happened to be the one whose contribution to the conversation was "we may be princesses, but we're kings!" tell me that makes sense! sheesh!

while the kindergarteners were having this riveting conversation, the pre-k kids were talking about their dads. since i was busy listening and writing down what the kindergarteners were saying, (on the back of this paper i found . . . i'm sure this isn't a picture of me!) i wasn't paying that much attention to the other conversation. until i heard one little boy say, "yeah? well, my dad can take off his head and juggle it!"

after i got done laughing, i thought, "yesss! i have my blog for today!"

and then at the end of the day as we were cleaning up our last activity, i was making sure their names were on the three-cornered hats we had made. michelle said, "can i put my last name on mine? because there are two michelles in after school care, and the other one might take my hat."

i said, "sure, put your last name on it, because someone might take it--it is pretty cool."

"yeah, and she might kiss it." michelle said.

"oh, i don't think she will kiss it," i said.

"she might," michelle insisted. "i saw her kiss a book once."

Monday, February 15, 2010

an ulta birthday activity

so today . . . is my birthday.

i had plans for the day, sort of, in my head. i hadn't shared my plans with the rest of my family, because i wasn't absolutely positive that i wouldn't change my mind. sometimes something sounds like a good idea to me while i am planning it, but then when it is actually time to go, my enthusiasm wanes.

but this year my birthday fell on president's day--a free day off work! so i thought i should do something out of the ordinary. my first thought was disneyland--when you live 20 minutes from the happiest place on earth, how could it not be??? and on your birthday, you can get in free! unfortunately, the rest of your family cannot. we got on the computer and checked out ticket prices, and i thought yikes! one of us will have to sell a kidney to pay for an entrance ticket, parking, food (because, of course i would want to eat all day!) and souveniers. i decided maybe we should all keep both of our kidneys and do something else . . .

so i settled on going to the beach. i love the beach, and yet i rarely go. i don't know why . . .but i didn't tell anyone that is what i wanted to do, because i wasn't sure i would still feel like it when my big day rolled around. i decided i would just spring it on them--we are so spontaneous, i knew they would jump up and down and say "yay!" (that was sarcasm--i am about the least spontaneous person i know. if i had done that, rollie and diandra would probably think i'd been abducted by aliens, and my body was now being remotely controlled by the mother ship!)

then this morning i woke up, and i felt like i had been drugged! i could not get my eyes to open. but i could tell by the amount of light shining through my closed eyelids that it was after 8:00--way after. i thought i should check the time, so i worked one eye open and looked at the clock. it was 10:50!! and i was still in bed sleeping! i rolled over to get up and felt a horrible pounding in my head, and instantly i knew i wasn't going to the beach today . . .

and it turned out to be a beautiful day!! my only consolation at having to stay indoors where it was dark, was that the beach was probably crowded anyway. it is, after all, a holiday. the beach was probably packed with obnoxious kids. at least that is what i told myself. all day. i briefly considered driving down there for dinner but instead went another direction.

we went to rubio's. i know, i know, we eat there all the time. but i had an ulterior motive--ulta is right around the corner. and they have a new "benefit brow bar" there. and on your birthday they will do your eyebrows for free. and today is my birthday.

i had spent the whole day at home, doing nothing, and i wanted to do something special. or at least out of the ordinary. so we ate dinner, and then i left rollie at rubio's with his kindle and soda, and i walked to ulta.

there was no one at the eyebrow bar. i thought that was a good sign--i wouldn't have to wait! i found the technician, who was very cute and looked like she was about 12, and we got started. the very first thing she did was clip my bangs up off my forehead.

did i mention that this eyebrow bar is at the very front of the store? right in front of the entrance?? well it is. and there was my great big forehead, visible to the world--at least the portion of the world that came through ulta's doors while i was there. i'm kind of protective of my forehead. i have bangs for a reason. and having them pulled up off my face in a public place is way outside my comfort zone. but i guess it was out of the ordinary . . .

i have had my eyebrows waxed before (and btw, with my bangs intact!) i am blessed with pretty thick eyebrows, but they tend to get out of control if i don't wrangle them into submission occasionally. usually i go to the salon where diandra gets her nails done. it is a very quick process there. they slap wax above each eyebrow and yank it off, and then they slap wax underneath the eyebrow and yank it off. they tweeze a few strays and then say, "ok, you are done." it takes about 5 minutes. and when i leave, the skin is kind of red and traumatized for a few hours. so i am not unfamiliar with the process.

but at the "benefit eyebrow bar" the experience is somewhat different. the first thing the technician said to me was, "how long has it been since you had your eyebrows done?" it has been quite a while--i've been sick, and busy, and the nail salon moved out of the mall. i think maybe she thought i had never had it done before--that's how bad it was. so she explained everything. she drew the shape she was going to create for my approval. she waxed very small sections at a time. she trimmed. she tweezed. she applied soothing, cooling gel. she brushed. it took about 30 minutes. but i have to say, when she was done my eyebrows looked awfully good. for eyebrows. of course it costs about twice as much as at the nail salon, but it is a much nicer experience.

and then she said, "now to maintain your brows, you should probably come in every three weeks." yes, well, i probably should, but that is not going to happen. not at those prices. at least not until my ship comes in . . .

and for a birthday activity, it doesn't quite compete with mickey mouse. or ocean air. but oddly, it was kind of fun and did make me feel good! which is important when it is your birthday!!and lest you all think, "well that was kind of an awful birthday!" really, it wasn't. rollie took care of me all afternoon and said we will go do something nice for my birthday next weekend, when hopefully we will both be feeling better.

maybe i will even post a birthday picture with me and my newly shaped eyebrows in it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy valentine's day

so today . . . i am having one of those difficult blogging days. i know what i want to say, but i keep going off on tangents and getting bogged down in trivia. so i am going to start again, for the fourth time, and try to simplify. (i know, i know . . . you are all thinking, "well, that will be a first!")

today is valentine's day--a day set aside to make sure we tell the people in our lives that we love them.

this is not something i am really good at. for someone who can take 20 minutes to recount an incident that actually took only ten, you would think i would be prolific at expressing my feelings. but i'm not. some words are just hard for me to say out loud. like "i love you." i'm not one of those gooey, emotional women. i'm a thinker. i'm rational. i'm logical--well usually.

so today rollie and i went to lunch and then to a movie. since we were really early for the movie, we sat outside in the lovely sunshine, drinking our sodas, waiting to go in. and then he looked at me and said, "i love you!"

well, it is valentine's day after all!

for most people the correct response here would be, "i love you, too!" but is that what i said? no. because i had already said it several times today. sheesh!

so i said, "do you realize you have said that to me about eight times today?" and he got this confused look on his face and said, "well, i only say it when i think about it."

oh gosh. i am an idiot.

the truth is, he does tell me he loves me a lot. and usually i respond appropriately. but sometimes my response is almost automatic--i don't even think about it. and maybe that is ok. maybe i shouldn't have to think about it. but it has kind of been bothering me, that i just say "i love you" without thinking about it--not really in a conscious way. but apparently today it became conscious.

those are important words. i don't ever want them to lose their meaning. i don't want to say "i love you, too" just out of habit, or because it is the expected response. i don't want them to become the words we use to fill the silence or to get our way. the problem is, rollie says them to me all. the. time! and i have to respond! i mean, what else am i going to say?!? i have to fill the otherwise awkward silence with something . . .

we went in and watched the movie. it was a cute movie. but predictably, in the end the girl went off with the new and exciting guy who she thought loved her--not the stable, reliable guy at home who said he loved her. she was an idiot.

ok, well maybe not, according to the plot of the movie . . . but my life isn't a movie. it is real. i have been blessed with a stable, reliable husband, who is also funny and generous and loves me--so much that he has to say it several times a day, but "only when he thinks about it." he is not just saying words--he is telling me that he is glad we are together, that he thinks i am wonderful, and smart, and beautiful (ok, you don't have to agree with him--but he is entitled to his opinion, don't you think?) he is letting me know that even after all these years he still chooses me.

and i kicked sand in his face. i am an idiot.

so i am taking this opportunity to say, "rollie, i love you too. and on this day that celebrates love, i want you to know that. because i am not always good at communicating it to you. but i do, you know, always and forever. until one of us is a diamond" ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

another saturday . . .

so today . . . was saturday.

i say "was" because it is mostly over, and i don't know what happened to it . . .

i woke up earlier than normal, but it was disorienting because rollie was still asleep. rollie never sleeps later than me. never. ever. but today he is sick, and there was no basketball at the church. (i mention this, because it took both of those events to keep him in bed past 6:00 a.m.) i hated to get up, because i was afraid i would disturb him and he really needed to sleep. but milo decided it was time for everyone to wake up. i could tell this because he tried to cuddle up to rollie's face and lick it. i saw him maneuvering for position, so i grabbed him and rolled him closer to me so he couldn't reach rollie's face. "oh!" milo thought, "you want me to lick your face!!" finally, in self defense (and in the interests of breathing,) i decided there was less risk of waking rollie if i got out of bed and took milo with me.

we headed downstairs where i spent the next 15 minutes doing all the stuff my pulmonary doctor says i have to do every morning and night in order to stay healthy. although, since i am showing signs of getting sick again, i am not so sure how much difference it is making.

then milo and i went into the family room and settled on the couch with my laptop so i could take care of my facebook games. i grumbled a bit about the new format, until i played around with it and made some changes that mollified me, at least temporarily. yes, milo was the only one there to hear me grumble, but i did it anyway. he is one of the few people who are not put off by my grumbling. in fact, it seems to compel him to try to lick my face off. i think he is trying to make me feel better, although that pretty much seems to be his response to everything . . .

once rollie was up and around, we discussed what to do. it was a beautiful day today--warm and sunny--a perfect day to get out of the house and go somewhere. but with both of us battling bugs, we decided it was not a very good day for us to be out and about. so we opened up all the windows (so that we could at least enjoy the warm air,) settled in front of our tivo, and caught up on our favorite shows. and snacked. and then napped.

well, actually rollie napped. i cleaned out my t-shirt drawer. and i was ruthless! the truth is, i don't wear a lot of long sleeved t-shirts, and yet i find myself with a whole drawerful--so most of them didn't make the cut. but then i started wondering why i hang up my short sleeved t-shirts in the closet, but fold the long sleeved ones and put them in a drawer. and why do i hang up some of my sweaters but put others in the drawer. really. apparently i have some sort of system, but i can't explain it. i know which sweaters and t-shirts go where, but if i tried to tell you how i know the difference, i couldn't do it. and now it is bothering me . . .

i did laundry. i checked out more blog designs. i kept watching island paradise on fb, because there was thieving to be done. (i used to be nice, but i got tired of my island being pillaged. so now, i am a pillager too!) i watched shopping tv (tucson gem show weekend! yay!!) and then we went to dinner.

and now the day is over, and i don't know what happened to it! i guess i should be glad i made it through the day without feeling the need to go to urgent care. but i would have much rather spent the day at the beach . . . with my tissues . . . and my cough drops . . . and my blanket . . .


maybe not. i'm exhausted just thinking about it . . .

Thursday, February 11, 2010

another night on the internet

so today . . . i spent the evening reading blogs. again.

i started out just checking out new design scheme ideas for my blog, but i kept getting sucked into reading the posts instead of just looking at the layouts, design elements, and color combinations. i read a lot of blogs.

it is actually kind of interesting what people will post for the whole world to read. i am always conscious of that when i am blogging. sometimes i start to write something, but then i hear my mom saying, "i can't believe she is writing that on the internet," and i stop. usually. but let me tell you, the stuff i write is mild in comparison to some of what is out there! i know way more about some people's personal lives, who i don't even know, than i want to know about my own friends and families lives! and yet, i can't stop reading. thank goodness they can only fit a few blogs onto the page before it has to reset--otherwise who knows when i would stop . . .

tonight i seemed to mostly run across blogs written by moms--about their kids. really, you can only read so much of that about people you don't know before your eyes start to roll into the back of your head. yes, they are all cute--or at least their moms think they are. yes, they all say funny things--or at least their moms think they do. and i'm sure their friends and families anxiously await each new post, but since i am around little kids all day long, this kind of reading is not so entertaining for me. however, i am glad to see so many moms blogging about their kids. i feel like i have forgotten so many of the random, miscellaneous cute things that diandra said or did when she was small, that i wish blogging had been an option then. even now, sometimes when i am reading my old blogs, i will think, "oh yeah, i forgot about that." so blogging isn't just for fun--it is also a memory aid!

but in all of that reading, i did find one blog that i may start following. sometimes the blogger sounds kind of like me. she has three dogs (i know, i only have two, but still . . . ) who plot against her, and she is a good storyteller. the blog that hooked me was about when she got trapped in a car wash and the result of trying to get out--it sounded like something that could have happened to me! i'm not sure i am hooked enough to follow her yet--i am not one of those people who says, "oh yeah, i want to follow your blog . . . " and then abandons it in a few weeks when it doesn't interest me any more. so i am going to check in on it for a month or so. if i decide to follow it, i'll let you know. because you might like it too.

but that is the reason i'm not blogging tonight. i spent too much time running around blogspot, and now i am tired. and tomorrow is valentine's day at school, which means a room full of excited kids further hyped up by "fruit" juice and cupcakes. so i'm headed for bed. i need my rest . . .

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

maybe i should leave my brain to science.

so today . . . my m&m's are gone. i am bereft.

i eat a ridiculous amount of dark chocolate m&ms. i am afraid to look at my receipts and add up how much i spend every month on them. i buy the big bags, several at a time. then i hide them around the house. i have to.

i used to hide them all in a drawer in the china cabinet. but then one day i temporarily lost my mind, and went to get a new bag out while diandra was in the room. so now she knows where i keep them. which would be fine if i was good at sharing, but i'm not. i will share, but only if i have to. and if she doesn't know if i have any, then i don't have to share.

so . . . i have to have several different hiding places. of course, now she know that, since she reads my blog . . .

but the main advantage of multiple hiding places is that i always have hope that i am not completely out of dark chocolate m&ms, because i have a system.

i keep the current bag in my desk. this is a good place, as i don't really use my desk--i just keep stuff in it. it is a lovely desk, and i would probably be more productive when working on paperwork if i did it there instead of in front of the tv. but then i couldn't keep my m&ms in it. i also keep a small supply of 3 oz. dixie cups there as well--my container of choice. if i scarf down 3 oz. of dark chocolate m&ms, it is usually enough to satisfy me--at least for a while. sometimes it takes a second cup to get the job done, but 6 oz. is almost always enough. for a while.

when i finish off a bag, i go get the next bag, which is usually in the china cabinet, and i move it to the desk where it is convenient for snacking. (it is at this point that i should get in my car and go to target for more m&ms. but many times i don't.)

the problem begins when i finish off the second bag. if i have not made the trip to target for more m&m's (which takes all of 20 minutes from the time i leave until the time i am back on the couch, so i really have no excuse,) then i have to start thinking about where i hid the other bags. sometimes i find them quickly, sometimes i don't. and sometimes, by the time i find them, i don't really want them all that much anymore--so i put the bag in the desk, ready for the next time, and try to remember to go to target.

but sometimes i don't go looking for more, especially if i kind of think there aren't any more. and here is where the twisted logical reasoning comes in . . .

if i kept all the extra m&ms in one place (like the china cabinet) i would always know exactly how many i had. and when i ate the last m&m out of the last bag, i would know that they were gone. and if i wasn't sure that they were gone, i would just go and look in the china cabinet. then i would know. they are all gone. and i would be sad.

BUT, if i hide them multiple places around the house, then there is always hope that there are more m&ms somewhere, even if i can't find them. so when i finish my "last" bag, i go and look in all the places i usually keep the extras, and even if i don't find any, i still have hope. because maybe, just maybe, i hid a bag in a new place and i just can't remember where. which means that there are still m&ms somewhere in the house. and someday i will find them. and i will be so happy!

maybe not as happy as if i had found the bag and was busily scarfing down m&ms. but happier than knowing my house was m&mless . . .

so maybe i am not bereft. i did buy several bags on sale after christmas. i thought i had eaten all of those, but maybe not. maybe there is a bag of dark chocolate m&ms lurking somewhere just waiting for me to find them. if only they could call out "you are getting warmer (or colder)" i might have a chance. then again, if i don't look, i won't know for certain that i am out. is it worth the risk? do i want to know?

maybe i will just go to target.

if only it wasn't raining . . .

Monday, February 8, 2010

all that effort, and no result


so today . . . i have tried to write two different blogs. one was about using dry erase markers at school, and one was about trying to find a ups drop off site. at the time they occurred, both incidents struck me as something i could blog about. the marker story was just kind of cute, and the ups story was extremely frustrating (but i knew you would love to hear about me driving in circles for hours, following gps directions that took me to the wrong places, and finally finding a drop off box only to discover that my package was too large to drop in.)

so i wrote the marker story. and when i read it, it was boring--and that is not a word i use very often. but it wasn't that funny or interesting. so i deleted it. then i wrote the ups story, but it was so complicated that even i got confused, and i was there!!! so i knew there was no way you would be able to follow it, and i was getting frustrated trying to write it. so i deleted it too.

so now, i have wasted over an hour trying to write something funny and entertaining, and i still have nothing! and it is almost 11:00 and i need to get into bed and get some rest or i will never be able to fight off whatever bug is trying to get me. and so . . .


you see, this is the problem with trying to write almost every day. some days it is just not happening. but i tried. and i will try again tomorrow--hopefully with more success.

just because i love you guys ;)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

a day of triumph . . . and failure . . .

so today . . . i watched the super bowl--like most of america. we watched it at our church on the huge projector screen. there was a chili cook-off in which i participated . . . no, i did not enter a pot of chili--they said no cans. but i did taste each entry and voted for my favorite. it is kind of amazing to me what people can to do chili . . .

since i'm not familiar with either team that was playing today, i randomly picked the saints as my team. i needed to root for somebody! i am kind of a peyton manning fan, but i just thought the team from new orleans should win, after the hurricane and all . . . so i sat in my lawn chair in the gym with my bowl of what turned out to be the winning chili, and watched my team go down by ten points in the first quarter.

the commentators then proceeded to announce to all of america that the most points a team was ever behind and still able to come back and win, was ten--way to kill the game for all the saints fans! sheesh! it was like they were saying it was all over in the first quarter. why even watch the rest of the game?!?!

but we did, because it was a church activity, and it probably wouldn't look too good if the pastor left before half time.

ah yes, and then there was half time . . .

we always try to do something during half time that gets people up out of their chairs and moving around a bit. this year it was a football throwing contest. the object was to throw three small nerf footballs from different distances into a round target about the size of a hoola hoop. actually, it probably was a hoola hoop.

i stayed in my chair. games of physical skill are not my forte. the only "c" i ever got on a report card (well until i dozed my way through western civilization when i was in college) was in sixth grade p.e. and i was horrified! i mean really, who gets a "c" in p.e.?!?! i thought all i had to do was dress down, show up, and try in order to get a decent grade. and i did that. the problem was, even when i tried i had no skills--except when we played hockey in the gym with those plastic sticks. i rocked at that! i don't know why, but i could smack that plastic puck clear across the room with that stick!

but that was the exception when it came to my sports prowess. when i was in elementary school, i pretended to be sick more than once in order to avoid a p.e. class, especially if i had heard that we were playing any sort of game where teams had to be picked--because i was always last to be chosen. or if we had to climb that crazy rope. and why on earth did we have to do that anyway?? is that a life-skill?? i don't think so. i've never once been asked to climb a rope since i stopped taking p.e. classes, which was when i was a sophomore in high school. the minute that p.e. became an elective instead of a requirement, i was done! give me a class that takes some intellectual ability--i have that. but please don't ask me to pole vault or catch a fly ball or serve a volleyball overhand. or throw a football.

which is why i stayed in my seat when the half-time competition began.

but then i heard the word "prize" thrown out there, and you know how i feel about rewards . . . so diandra and i got up and went over and stood in line.

i'm sure it was totally random, but we ended up in line right behind the one little boy and two little girls who wanted to play. awwww, how cute! i thought so too, until the little boy rifled that ball through the hoop. twice.

ok, well he is a boy--they have natural ball throwing abilities. the first little girl took her three tries and missed them all. i could feel her pain. but everyone clapped for her anyway, and she went off to play. the second girl was her little sister. she made one. you should have seen the look on her face. i would say it was sheer joy, but it wasn't. it was joy mixed with little sisterly evil. she took off at lightning speed to find her big sister and brag that she had made one in! now i could really feel the big sister's pain . . .

by some random aligning of the planets, diandra and i were next in line. she said, "i want to go first." ok, no problem. go right ahead . . . and then guess what happened? yep, she made one in.

now diandra does have some physical skills. clearly. she played lots of sports growing up, and never got a "c" in p.e. she even thought about becoming a p.e. teacher for a while. (it's a good thing she didn't though--i have issues with p.e. teachers.) so i wasn't totally surprised that she was able to throw one of those stupid little balls through that dumb hoop! but now it was my turn, and i thought, "please, let me get one in. just one. i don't need to win the whole competition (insert hysterical laughter here, because even with divine intervention that was not going to happen,) but if i could just get one in . . . "

they handed me the first ball. i didn't know which hand to throw it with--another of my issues. my dad is left-handed and i seem to be left handed for some sports. i bowl left handed. i shoot a gun left handed. but i "play" baseball right handed. usually when i pick up a piece of sports equipment--once every two or three years--i just know which hand to use. one hand feels right and the other one feels wrong. but as i stood there holding that little nerf football, neither hand felt right. so i went with the left hand and threw. the ball fell short and hit the floor. which wouldn't have been so bad, except i realized i was standing on one foot with the other leg extended out behind me and my left arm still hanging there in mid air. i looked like i was doing ballet, not throwing a football!

they handed me the second ball. i threw it quickly. i just wanted it out of my hands and for this whole miserable ordeal to be over. i can't even tell you where it landed, because i knew with certainty and without looking that it had not gone through the hoop. i was already looking at the third ball and wishing there was a way out that did not require me to throw that last ball. but there wasn't. there was a whole line of people behind me, watching and waiting for their turn.

i threw the ball. it did not go near the hoop.

suddenly i was in elementary school again--the one nobody wanted on their team.

it was not my favorite moment of the afternoon . . .

i pretended it was funny. i made a joke. everyone laughed along with me, and the competition continued.

i went back to my chair. i couldn't watch anymore. i totally missed diandra's next attempts, but i did finally glance over occasionally when i realized rollie was still in it. and as it turns out, he can throw a football. he came in second place and won a prize!

we watched the rest of the ball game. and the saints did accomplish the nearly impossible--they came back from ten points down to not just win the game, but to win it by a lot. it was like after half time, they calmed down, got the adrenaline under control, and played football. oh yeah, and that interception that they ran back for a touchdown helped too . . .

next year there will probably be another super bowl party at our church, and we will go. we will watch the game with our friends and eat good food and probably cheer for a team that i know nothing about. i will choose a team based on their location or who else likes them, or the color of their uniforms. i will eat cookies and chips that are bad for me and try again to choose the winning chili.

but next year, during half time, i will keep my body in my chair. even if there is a prize.

Friday, February 5, 2010

it's trying to get me again!!

so today . . . it is raining and i am getting sick again.

it is not a good day. well, maybe that isn't completely true--i do have a fire, and a warm puppy curled up next to me.

i can't do anything about the rain. i guess we are just going to have some. but the sickness . . . if sick kids would just stay home! on monday i noticed that almost all my students were suddenly coughing again. i've tried to stay out of the "line of fire," and i am using hand sanitizer almost constantly. and yet i can feel it coming on . . .

i wrote an email to one of my staff of doctors to see what i should do. i should hear back from her soon, although with the weekend, it may take until monday. i guess until then i will just take the mega-strength sudafed she gave me last time and keep rinsing those sinuses . . .

and since it is raining, maybe i should just spend the weekend on the couch, in front of the fire, with my book and my blanket and my warm puppies.

if this keeps up, i might have to get a snuggie . . .

Thursday, February 4, 2010

caution! girly, shoe shopping blog ahead!!

so today . . . i was once again ambushed by sparkly things.

i can't seem to help myself. this evening i went to burlington coat factory, a nice practical store. i went all by myself, because my usual shopping compadre (diandra) is a bad influence on me when i am shoe shopping--or really any shopping at all, and i had a mission: buy black or gray boots--flat ones.

without going into all the reasons why i need them (you can thank me later,) i was hopeful i would find something at burlington coat factory. usually when i go there, i find my arms full of wonderful things that i must then narrow down to what i really "need." but tonight my mission was not to be completed.

i was saboutaged. by sparkly things.

here's the problem--i need the flat boots, but i want fancy dress-up ones with impossibly high heels. and when i go to look for the practical, comfortable boots i need, i have to go into the section of the store that they share with the fancy, girly, high-heeled boots. this is further complicated by the fact that i cannot find the type of boots i am looking for, so i am forced, forced i say, to try on the "yeah, i am just that cool" boots.

burlington coat factory was not the first store i tried. last week i went to ross. i looked through the terribly messy shoe section for flat boots, but had no luck. well, depending on how you define luck. i did find a pair of shoes, and a pair of those fancy, girly, high-heeled boots i mentioned before--neither of which i needed. but they were so cute! and they were so affordable! and the boots even have this little metal detail on the bottom!! i was in love . . .

i confess. i bought them.
i put the boots on as soon as i got home, and suddenly realized there was a tiny little problem. while they were surprisingly comfortable, i couldn't really walk in them. well, i could, but it was with that awkward gait that i mock in all the prom girls. the heels were so high that it was hard to pick my feet up enough to set them down smoothly, so i walked with these little mincing, flat-footed steps. i took them off and decided they had to go back. but i kept thinking about how cute they were . . . and about the silver bow on the sole of the boot (which, btw, is an actual silver metal bow that is attached to the sole--not just stamped on!). . . and thought, maybe i could learn to walk in them . . .

but i still needed flat gray or black boots--and so, the trip to burlington coat factory.

as soon as i walked in the door, i knew i was in t.r.o.u.b.l.e. there was a display of shiny, sparkly, beaded evening bags right inside the door. there were the usual black, silver, and gold bags, but mixed in were a red one and a brown one and a steel blue one and several white ones--and they all sparkled!!

i don't need a sparkly evening bag. or perhaps i should say, i don't need another sparkly evening bag. the truth is, i have several. i even have one my mom gave me that is completely constructed out of sparkles!! and yet those bags called to me . . . i stood there for 20 minutes admiring them, holding them, opening them, and comparing them as if i was going to buy one. but i wasn't--at least i didn't think i was going to . . .

flat boots. flat boots. flat boots. put down the sparkly bags and go the the shoe department.

to get to the shoe department, i had to walk past the handbags and the racks and racks of women's clothes. i guess i could have gone the long way around, through the men's department, but i didn't. by then the mantra was strong in my head--flat boots. flat boots. flat boots.

i got to the shoe department only to discover that the boots were all gone, replaced by lovely spring shoes :) ooooohh, yippee!!

NOOOO!!! flat boots. flat boots. flat boots.

i went to the clearance rack, thinking that must be where all the boot remants from "winter" had gone. once again i was disappointed. the only flat boots i found were a lovely shade of purple--which i loved, but that was not why i was there!! flat black boots. flat gray boots. and then i saw these . . .again, not why i was there. "but look how cute they are! and they are black AND brown--ok, gold-- which means i can wear them with anything. and they open and close with a zipper, so no buckles or ties to deal with. and i could wear them with dresses or pants or skinny jeans . . . " and so it goes, in my head. i decided to try them on. "they're not really my size, so they probably won't fit," i thought. but they did. and they were comfortable.

and had those really high heels and a not so affordable price.

you will be pleased to know that i showed some self control and left the store empty handed. although not without playing with the sparkly evening bags one more time. the brown one almost wrestled me to the floor and demanded to come home with me. after all, i don't have a brown evening bag . . .

but really, where would i even use an evening bag? it isn't like i am getting an invitation to walk the red carpet. i'm not even standing in line outside the studio to get into a dr. phil taping! i have absolutely no use for a sparkly evening bag! and if the occasion does arise, i already own four!

but i dream of dressing up in sparkly shoes and a sparkly dress and carrying a sparkling evening bag and going . . . i have no idea where.

this is my problem. i teach kindergarten during the week. on the weekends i do laundry and go to the movies and clean out my closet. on sundays i go to church in our alternative service where jeans are the clothing of choice. i would never spend the kind of money for dinner that one would have to spend to wear party clothes, and would be horrified if rollie did it (don't do it rollie--i'm serious!! i would be totally uncomfortable!) and yet i confess that i do own a few party dresses, and more than one pair of sparkly shoes, and those evening bags.

maybe rollie should run for president. i could be the first lady and wear pearls all the time and go to fancy dress-up balls. i could blind heads of state all over the world with my sparkly attire. my agenda could be "make everything shine!"

i think i might need that brown evening bag after all!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"mr demille? i'm ready for my close-up now."

so today . . . i am debating the merits of becoming famous.

i've been blogging for over a year now. i think i am beyond the phase of "i would blog even if nobody read it." seriously over it. because, as i've mentioned more than once, it takes a lot of time and thought to write a really good blog--at least it does for me! so i am at a crossroads . . . should i become famous or continue to write in relative anonymity?

i do have 15 followers already. although the truth is, for some reason rollie is listed twice and so is diandra--so i really only have 13 followers. and i am not so sure that they all still read my blog, since i do not regularly get comments (or even reactions) from 13 people. i think some of them must have found me linked from somewhere else (probably diandra's blog, because she IS becoming kind of famous,) read a blog that made them laugh and decided to follow it, but then read one of my whiny blogs and decided they had better things to do with their time. so realistically probably only five or six people regularly read right now.

but i think that could change. there are all kinds of ways to boost readership. i could join a group like blogher, which is a community of women who blog. if i joined, probably some of those women would start reading my blog, which would boost readership. but then, i would have to read their blogs too, because it would be the nice thing to do. and then they would comment on my blog and i would comment on their blogs, and before you know it, i would have all these new friends! and friends take time and effort--even internet friends. i don't think i have the time and energy for more friends . . .

or i could start commenting on random blogs. this only works though, if my comments are interesting enough that when people read them they think, "hey, she is funny. i should go check out her blog." and so not only do i have to craft a comment that will grab people's attention, but the pressure is also on to write an exceptionally good blog before i go scattering comments around. because when they come to my blog, i want them to come back. and you know, some days i am cranky, and it shows . . .

or i could volunteer to guest blog for bloggers who are going on vacation or into the hospital or whose electricity goes out because of an ice storm. there has to be a demand for this! blog readers are a fickle bunch and tend to lose interest quickly. it is not a good idea to leave your blog unattended for very many days or your loyal followers will go find someone else to follow. i think i can pretty much blog about anything, so it wouldn't matter if it was a photography blog, or a new mom's blog, or a car collector's blog. (although, if it was a computer nerd's blog, i would have to say no--my computer knowledge could fit on the head of a pin.) but i don't know how many people would accept my generous offer . . .

then again, becoming famous might create some problems. like, for example, if hundreds (or, dare i say it--thousands) of people are reading my blog, it might be hard not to offend anyone. because you know, i do have snarky thoughts sometimes--i just try to keep them out of my blogs. but it isn't always easy. like today--i was sitting in chick-fil-a eating my lunch, and a woman walked in. and when i looked at her, a blog almost wrote itself in my head right then and there--but the snarky rating was high. she was wearing a cute skirt and sweater and flat shoes and bare legs! now, i get the whole bare leg thing in the summer (and see, here i am offending my own mother, who i know reads my blog. sorry mom!) but in february?!?! even in southern california with the sun shining warmly enough that i can drive my car with the top down, she still needed tights! (there were other extenuating factors that screamed out for tights as well, but in the interests of not offending anyone else, i will not mention them. i could, if i was sure that just the six or seven people that know and love me were the only ones reading. i am pretty sure that they would think my observations were funny. but with more readers, who knows . . . )

also, if i became famous i would probably have to change the names of everyone i wrote about, just in case there were stalkers. i am already trying to do this when i talk about kids at school this year, and it is making me crazy! i have a system for choosing the fake names, but i can't tell you--just in case you know any of the kids at my school, then you could figure out which little dumplings are saying what.

here's the truth. i want people to read my blog--lots and lots of people. i want them to laugh. i want them to eagerly await my next post. i want them to decide that they don't want to miss a single one and become a follower. i want people to think it is so great that they will recommend it to their friends. and post a link on their facebook page. and then people they haven't seen or talked to in 30 years, but who are their friends on facebook, will come and read it and tell their friends. and post it on their facebook page. and so on and so on and so on--just like the shampoo commercial.

then i will be famous. but don't worry--i'm sure fame won't change me. unless i can figure out a way to get PAID for it . . .

Monday, February 1, 2010

"but that's not what i meant . . . "

so today . . . finally one of the kids at school learned the lesson i was trying to teach him. of course, he applied it in a totally inappropriate way, but still . . .

this year we have quite a crop of rowdy, unruly little boys. generally i am drawn to the difficult children, but these boys are about to drive me to drink!! thankfully, most of them are not in my class. but during music and recess, those combinations that we worked so hard to separate when making classroom assignments are drawn to each other like magnets! they hit. they shove. they wrestle. they tattle. they retaliate. they drive me crazy!!!!!

but, part of my job is to try to teach them social skills, so i can't just hide in the corner hoping a wine cooler will fall out of the sky (not that i would drink it, i'm just saying . . . )

today was a typical monday, and by 8:40 i had a room full of children who are not my students. these are the early arrivals and today this included four of the rowdy boys. my room is small, which makes it hard to hit, shove, wrestle, or retaliate without being seen and consequently, ending up in trouble. so they are pretty well behaved when they are in my room. but then at 9:00 we go next door for music, which is where things started going south . . .

for some reason, when we go into that room those boys seem to think they have to immediately jump on each other and roll around on the rug. almost every day! and today was no exception. i walked in just in time to see adam shove mitchell. of course i went over to sort it out, and this is what ensued--

me: "what is going on here?"
silence. i looked at adam and said, "adam, i saw you shove mitchell."

you all know what adam said. "well, he shoved me first!"

yes, that is their answer for everything. it isn't my fault. he started it. but he (fill in the blank.) for some unexplainable reason they seem to think that the no hitting, shoving, wrestling rule applies only if they are the first one to do it. actually, i don't think any of them actually think the rule applies to them at all! i don't even think they think about the rule. it is like their bodies are not even connected to their brains. or else their brains are already thinking about lunch while their bodies are getting them into trouble . . .

so i gave adam my standard speech. "so, does that make it ok for you to shove him back?" and they always reply with a no, but i think that is just because they know that is what i want to hear. even while their mouth is saying no, their brain is screaming, "YES, OF COURSE IT DOES!! WHAT DO YOU THINK?? I AM JUST GOING TO STAND HERE AND LET HIM GET AWAY WITH THAT?!?! NO WAY! HE IS GOING TO PAY!! OH YES, WHEN I GET DONE HE IS NEVER EVEN GOING TO THINK ABOUT SHOVING ME AGAIN!!!"

but he said no, and so i continued, "when someone is mean to you, just walk away."

(this is my standard response this year, because the tattling is getting out of control! so we are trying to teach them that instead of engaging and escalating a situation, they can just turn around, walk away, and play with someone else.)

i sent adam to the other side of the room turned to mitchell. mitchell had already heard my interaction with adam. sadly, this is not the first time mitchell has heard my little speech--he is often on one side or the other of the hitting, shoving, wrestling continuum. so when i turned to him to address his role in the scuffle, he didn't get the "just walk away" speech, because he had apparently started it. he got the "shoving is not ok. ever. no matter what" speech.

i was hoping this would be the end of it. after all, i had stopped them, talked to them, and sent them to opposite sides of the room. surely peace would ensue.

yeah. not in the middle east, and not during music time either. i walked to the back of the room and turned around just in time to see mitchell shove john. i couldn't believe it! it hadn't even been 30 seconds!! hadn't he heard anything i had said?!?!

i started toward the boys when i saw mitchell put both his hands on john's shoulders, look him straight in the eyes, and in his high pitched four year old voice say, "just walk away. just walk away."

i guess he had heard me--at least when i was talking to adam . . .