Wednesday, March 31, 2010

remember, don't judge a book . . .

so today . . . an innocent trip to the pharmacy almost went bad.

all i wanted was the really strong sudafed. in case everyone has forgotten, it is an over the counter medicine. and my sinuses are once again trying to keep me from breathing.

i woke up feeling congested and with a voice like a troll. i quickly called in sick and went back to bed. when i woke up later, i still felt awful and couldn't breathe. i needed sudafed. the good stuff! and of course i didn't have any. i had been carrying the empty box around in my car for the last few weeks, because my sinuses hate me and i knew we were going to need it again. but i just hadn't found my way to the pharmacy yet . . .

i threw on clothes, put my hair in a ponytail, filled my pockets with tissues and headed for the pharmacy. and it was quite a trip! when you drive a car with a manual transmission, all you can do is drive, because it takes both hands. so in order to drive AND blow one's nose requires both concentration and dexterity--or two additional hands, none of which i had! but i made it to the pharmacy safely and went in, prepared to wait for at least 45 minutes. our pharmacy is the busiest place on earth!

to my surprise, it was deserted. i have never been in the pharmacy when it wasn't packed with people! i went right up to the counter, put my empty sudafed box on the counter and said, "i need some more of these! can i get them here??" the pharmacist said, "yes, i can get those for you--you'll need to fill out this form." i had to do that the last time too. i guess they are keeping track of anyone who feels the need for sudafed. right now, that is me.

as the pharmacist disappeared into the racks and racks of drugs, i impulsively said, "can i just get two?"

this seemed like a reasonable request. i know i am going to need more. i will get sick, or rollie will get sick, and we will need more. it is inevitable. and i just figured why make another trip? i'm here now, just give me two!

the pharmacist immediately stopped, backed up, and peered at me from behind the rack. "no," she said, "i can only give you one."

i know she was memorizing my face in case she was ever asked to identify me in a police line-up.

(did i mention that sudafed is not a prescription drug?)

i now knew that she considered me to be a possible illegal drug manufacturer. but i'm not! and it was suddenly very important for me to show her how really normal i was, and how i just needed all that sudafed because the devil lives in my sinuses and uses them to torment me. so i started prattling on and on (because that is the only word that adequately describes it,) about how i've been sick since last fall and how my doctor is the one who said i should use the sudafed and how i work with small children so you know, i will get sick again and i just thought for convenience if i could get two . . .

and all the time, she is surreptitiously looking at me and memorizing my face.

finally our transaction was complete. i grabbed my little white bag and headed for the elevators--the elevators that have a mirror finish on the doors. and that's when i saw myself--wearing my faded "just to wear at home" jeans, my black leather boots, and my motorcycle jacket. and my hair?? let's just say it wasn't having a good day. of course i was also without the help of make-up, had a low grade fever, AND I WAS SICK! wild-eyed and unstable doesn't even come close to describing my overall "look."

of course, i immediately felt the need to go back into the pharmacy and explain again that i was sick and had stayed home from work today and that i just wanted to go back to bed but i needed the sudafed in order to breathe, and THAT'S why i looked like a crazed drug addict. really.

i'm not sure she would have believed me. and since there was a security guard by the door, i thought it might be best to just take my drugs and go.

i think the next time i need sudafed, i might try a different pharmacy . . .

or send rollie, the boy scout. maybe they would give him two . . .

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

my brain is full of numbers . . .

so today . . . i am buried in tax receipts. i have no brain for blogging. i do have a really funny tax story to tell you, but i don't have the brain power to do it tonight. just wait, though . . . :) tax day is coming . . .

Monday, March 29, 2010

of dead fish and therapy . . .

so today . . . i had to flush a fish.

don't panic! it wasn't my fish. it was ms. martha's fish . . . (i would typically post a picture here, but, you know, the fish is dead. and i didn't think you would really enjoy looking at a picture of a dead fish.)

we got our fish at the same time from a very generous parent. we have had them about three weeks. my fish has been doing fine, but martha has been worried about hers. she says he lays on the bottom of the bowl a lot and puffs out his gills. i guess the puffing of the gills is a sign of stress.

maybe the stress killed him.

i don't know, but this worries me. i am not a fish, but right now i am a quivering mass of stress--it is everywhere i turn--even when i sleep! last night rollie woke me up, because i was kicking him. of course i was kicking him! he was trying to steal my handbag! wait, no, someone else was trying to steal my handbag . . . and i was yelling for rollie to help me and i was kicking the thief while trying to at least retrieve my phone and ipod before my purse was wrenched from my grip . . . and then i woke up. you see, even in my dreams there is stress.

this afternoon ms. martha came in to check on my fish. her fish seemed ok this morning, but after lunch she noticed he was kind of hanging out on the bottom of his bowl and his little fins were not moving. when she gently swirled the water, he kind of went with the flow and then sort of listed to one side . . . yeah, he was dead. she left my room to go "take care of it," but was soon standing in my doorway again.

"i have a little problem," she said.
"oh?" i said.
"yes," she said, "i can't flush him."

what? the fish is dead. dead fish get flushed. so what is the problem?

"i just can't do it," she said.

ok, i love animals. my first question about a movie with a dog in it is, "does the dog die?" because if it does, i am not watching the movie! i just can't! but a fish? and yet, martha was standing in my doorway looking like she was either going to cry or be sick, and the kids would be up from their naps soon, and she couldn't really have them spending their afternoon with a dead fish, now could she???

no, of course not. "would you like me to take care of the fish for you?" i asked. "yes, please," she said. so she watched my class while i went into her room to deal with tito miguel.

and there is the problem. the fish had a name. when you give something a name, you start to think of it like it is a person. and that makes it hard to deal with it's tiny dead body.

it did look pretty sad. and it made me think of my own seemingly healthy fish, serenely (i think) floating around in his bowl. i would miss my fish if he died. he is beautiful, and it is sort of calming to watch him just float around and fan out his beautiful fins. and i know he watches me. i'm sure he just wants food, but i sort of feel this silent communication when he is looking at me. "hello fish," i think, "i'm just sitting here working at my desk. thanks for keeping me company and not whining or arguing or asking me for anything. well, except food."

(yes, i mentally talk to my fish, ok? did you not hear me say that i have lots of stress right now?!?! and if talking to the fish on my desk gives me a few moments of peaceful calm during my crazy day, then that's what i am going to do!! it is certainly cheaper than therapy!)

i thought kind thoughts about tito miguel, and then i flushed him. i felt like the terminator. but it made martha's day a little easier. and since she doesn't have a fish to talk to anymore (at least until tomorrow when tito miguel's twin takes his place,) it was the least i could do.

but believe me, i told my fish all about it . . .

Friday, March 26, 2010

:)

so today . . . i am not writing a blog. diandra is home for the evening. and i am hanging out with her :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

insanity? or persistance . . .

so today . . . the twitter saga continues . . .

rollie is winning. he tweets more often than i do, he is funnier than i am, AND after less than 24 hours, he has more followers than i do. i do not like this.

i had a rough morning at school and could hardly wait until lunch. i had chick-fil-a leftovers, but i needed soda. aaaaand just maybe a brownie. so you know where i had to go. on my way out to my car, i checked my messages and there was a text from rollie--"eating lunch at my favorite restaurant--rubio's. they have a killer quesadilla."

and i was headed to 7-11.

i could just picture him at rubios with his kindle and his soda and his quesadilla, having a lovely lunch under the palm trees . . .

. . . while i was driving to 7-11 and then eating at my desk.

you see, this is the problem with only having half an hour for lunch. that isn't enough time to go anywhere to relax and eat. which got me to thinking . . .

some days i wish for a corporate job. i wish for a job with a cubby and a computer. but today i was wishing for a job with an office and a computer. because i kind of think an office and a computer might also come with extended lunch hours and an expense account. which i kind of think i might enjoy.

and then i thought i needed to tweet that, because rollie tweeted about his lunch, and i thought mine might be more amusing. AND if i added a picture of the 7-11 sign, i would win! because he didn't tweet a picture.

hehehe . . .

so i pulled up to 7-11, wrote the tweet, and got out of my car to take the picture. and the screen on my phone was black--nothing. that was weird. so i closed that program and just opened the camera program. still, the screen was black. uh oh . . . i went in and got my soda (and 3 brownies--hey, the weekend is coming,) came back out and tried it again. still black. i tried two more times, pointed it up and down and at my face, and still got nothing.

albert einstein has said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. call me crazy, but i kept thinking, "surely this time it will work . . . " of course, it didn't.

i finally gave it up and went back to school. i ate my leftovers and finished out the afternoon.

then tonight rollie was teaching his class, and i was sitting here doing stuff on my computer and eating the frosting off of my leftover chocolate cake. i decided to tweet that, and as i looked at the remains of the cake i thought, "that would make an interesting picture to go along with my tweet." so i pulled up my camera again, but guess what? it still didn't work.

now i am thinking that i am really, really glad i have insurance on my phone, because i foresee a trip to the sprint store tomorrow for a replacement. i really, really need a phone camera that works--especially now that i am tweeting :) when rollie came home, i was telling him my tale of woe, and he said, "let me look at it."

(you know what this means, don't you--he was going to do exactly the same thing i had done, but the camera was going to suddenly, magically work.)

i handed him the phone, and a few minutes later he handed it back. and sure enough, now the camera worked. i don't know why, but i was stunned. i shouldn't be, because this happens. all. the. time.

"what did you do?" i ask.

"i just turned it off and then turned it on again," he said.

could it really be that simple? and why didn't i think of doing that? and now i have missed two photo-taking opportunities!! and what if it happens again?

i think it is admirable that rollie helped me. he could have just left me camera-less, but he is a nice guy. he knows i am electronically challenged, so he helps me out when he can. he probably should have just left my phone camera alone though, because you know, with my picture taking abilities i am probably going to win the twitter war. eventually.

unless he starts posting pictures too . . .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

is it starting to get cold in hell?!?

so today . . . i tweeted. and now rollie tweets too.

rollie is not a big fan of social media. he has resisted it all. he finally started reading my blog recently, but he has no interest in interacting on the web. until today.

i'm not sure why he has decided to tweet, except maybe he wants to keep track of me. he said it was just so he could follow me and see what i am thinking. he says he thinks i am funny. that's what he says. ok . . .

i discovered this was happening when i walked into his office tonight to find diandra explaining twitter to him. she was showing him how to follow people, how to send a tweet, how to send a direct tweet "in case you want to tweet something only to mom or me."

i said, "if he wants to send either one of us a message, he could just text. he doesn't need to tweet." "well," she said, "but what if he wanted to."

huh? i mean i understand tweeting instead of texting if you are one of those people with 843 followers and you don't want them all to have your phone number, but rollie follows two people--diandra and me. and he has our phone numbers.

but whatever. anyway, when he got home tonight, i did something and he said, "i am going to tweet that!" almost like it was a threat. i said it didn't matter, because i was the only one who was following him. and i already knew what i had done because i was the one who did it. he made the "oh *&*^%$#%!!" face. and then he did it! he tweeted what i had done!

i'm not so sure i like rollie tweeting. i am not used to running into him electronically. i am used to having the last word in cyberspace. i am the one who talks about him to the rest of the world--he is not supposed to be talking about me. my world is starting to tilt dangerously again . . .

my only consolation is that i think he will not continue to tweet. he has too much to do! he is not going to sit around typing tiny little thoughts and sending them out electronically for the rest of us to retrieve. his brain is way too busy for that.

unless it becomes necessary. you know, as a "threat" :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a techie savant moment

so today . . . i have been experimenting with twitter.

as with most things social media related, diandra got me started.

last summer when she and i were visiting my parents, she helped to convince my mom to switch to sprint and buy a palm pre. we spent the rest of the week acclimating her to the new phone. well, technically diandra did the acclimating--for two reasons. first, she already had a palm pre, so she knew how it worked and what it could do. second, i did not. my palm pre did not appear until christmas . . .

but my treo would still do quite a lot. so she got both of us set up with twitter accounts. i used mine while we were on vacation, and diandra was around to help me. then i came home, never to tweet again.

until today.

i've been thinking about it for a few days though. lately, i've been having these random, kind of funny thoughts. but they are short. however, i am pretty good at embellishing, so maybe some of them could have been expanded into blogs--but by the time i sat down to blog them, i couldn't remember what they were . . .

the brain--it is a terrible thing to waste.

i was telling rollie this, and he said, "maybe you should just make a note in your phone. that way when you got ready to blog, you could remember what you were going to write." i thought that was a pretty good idea, so i pulled out my phone and prepared to make a note--only to realize i already had a file on my phone for these random ideas. i had just forgotten.

the brain--you know.

my next thought was that instead of writing it down, i should just record it vocally. my phone will do that, won't it? hmmmm? i am pretty sure it will--i'm just not quite sure how to do it . . . so i shelved the whole idea and decided that if i couldn't remember a thought from the time i had it until i blogged, it probably wasn't worthy of my attention anyway!

and then today while i was sitting at my desk, my fish kept staring at me. i've been worried about my fish on the weekends. every monday i expect that he will be dead from lack of food. i have repeatedly been assured that he will be fine, but still i think he will be belly-up on monday morning. the school secretary feeds him a little extra on friday night, and apparently he will also nibble on the plant roots that share his water, but the weekend seems like such a long time to be without food . . .

yesterday he kept looking at me. i finally fed him a tiny bit more. today he kept looking at me. i thought, "what if he is starving to death? what if i kill my fish because i don't want to feed him enough?" (which is purely selfish, because i just don't want to have to clean his habitat--but that is a story for another blog . . . ) and then i thought "i should tweet this!"

i don't know why i thought about tweeting. maybe i thought someone would read it and give me some insight into fishy thinking. diandra is probably the only one who follows me on twitter though, and she would probably die of shock if i actually tweeted something. but i decided to risk it. i was actually hoping it would show up on facebook. other people's tweets show up on facebook. (why didn't i just post it on facebook, you ask? because i wanted to include a picture to prove the fish was staring at me, and i couldn't figure out how to get the picture onto facebook from my phone. there! are you happy now?!?) i guess i was hoping it might just magically appear, and i needed some answers, so i gave it a try . . .

. . . and i not only tweeted, i tweeted WITH A PICTURE! yes indeed! i figured out how to tweet a picture. i was pretty darn proud of myself! i rarely accomplish any electronic or internet milestone without the help of someone more tech savvy than me. but today i did!

as i thought about it throughout the day (because i did, you know--i thought about it all day and about how smart i was and about what else i could possibly do . . . ) i decided that a tweet is just a tiny blog in 140 characters. the truth is, some thoughts just aren't big enough for a blog, but that doesn't mean that they might not be amusing or entertaining. so i am going to be tweeting more often. i think.

and since you may not all have twitter accounts, i spent some time figuring out how to post my tweets onto my blog. so you don't even have to sign up on twitter to follow me--you can just catch up when you read the blog! isn't that clever? at least, it will be clever if it works like i think it will.

now if i can just figure out how to get my tweets to post on facebook . . .

Monday, March 22, 2010

tax time. again. sigh.

so today . . . i'm doing our taxes.

well, technically i guess i am blogging. but i am thinking about doing our taxes.

and technically, i guess i don't do our taxes--someone from h&r block does them. but i make it possible. i collect all the data--you know, all those pesky receipts--and organize them so that the tax lady can fill out the forms. it's a big job! and every year i plan to do it early, but that never happens. so here i am, in the middle of march, tracking down deductions.

i am all about getting back as much as we can from the government. i don't mind paying some taxes. i appreciate having police and fire protection. and i guess we need some sort of decision-making hierarchy, and no one is going to do that for free! but i don't want to have to contribute anymore than i have to. i would rather get to spend my own money!

so . . . that requires some work--keeping track of all those medical expenses we have had, adding up all the sales tax receipts, and listing each item we have donated to charity. yeah, you can see why i am avoiding it by blogging . . .

medical expenses aren't too bad. all the receipts are in a folder, and i just take them out and add them up.

but the charity donations are more daunting. i've always made lists of what was donated, because that's what my mom said to do--and she is pretty smart! and that wasn't too bad--i just listed things as i popped them into bags. then a few years ago my sister-in-law (who is also pretty smart,) said the irs was getting tougher on those types of contributions, and she suggested taking digital photos of stuff. i can see why a list in itself might not be enough--i could say i donated anything! but this whole photo thing complicates my process, because i have to take pictures and make a list. if i didn't get rid of so much stuff, i wouldn't do it! of course, if i didn't get rid of so much stuff, it would be easier.

which brings us to the sales tax receipts.

we have a folder for sales tax receipts, just like the medical receipts. the difference is, the sales tax folder is bulging by the end of the year. bulging. we pay sales tax on everything!! so by the end of the year, it is daunting. every january i vow to deal with these receipts at the end of each month, so that it isn't such a big job. but it never happens. so here i am, trying to read the faded ink on year-old receipts, sorting them by month (because i need some sort of system here,) and circling the tax amount (so i can see it when i start adding up the numbers.)

the first year i did this, i used a yellow highligher instead of circling the amounts. i found it oddly satisfying, and it didn't take too long to highlight all the tax amounts. but a few days later when i got around to adding them up, i found that the ink on some of the receipts had reacted with the highlighter and disappeared! so that brilliant idea backfired . . .

i am always amazed at how much we spend in sales tax every year. actually, it is a fairly painless way to pay taxes, even at nearly 10%, but when i see the total i am always shocked! and also glad, because we can deduct it all somewhere on our tax forms. so you see, shopping is actually saving us money. without shopping and eating out, we would have to pay way more in income tax--but only if the receipts make it into the receipt folder.

every year when i deal with the mountain of paper, i always find a few receipts from the year before. "oh no!" i think. "we could have deducted this $3.48! why, oh why weren't these receipts in the folder last year!" i don't know how this happens, but it always does. so, to offset "the lost ones," i am not above picking up receipts carelessly abandoned by others.

i mean, those sales taxes deserve to be part of someone's returns. it isn't their fault that someone dropped them. or left them on the table. or threw them away.

no wait--i don't go diving for receipts. really.

that would just be weird.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

newer is not always better!

so today . . . i went to mcdonald's for breakfast. all by myself.

i used to do that a lot. rollie plays basketball every saturday morning, and diandra usually tries to sleep in. and while i don't get up all that early, i am usually up and about before her. so i would collect my book and my car keys and head to mcdonald's . . .

my breakfast of choice was originally a sausage egg mcmuffin and a diet coke. and then they changed the pricing, so that you could get TWO sausage egg mcmuffins for just slightly more than one. so, of course i had to order two. but i could only eat one. this posed a problem since i was going to breakfast alone . . . i tried taking the extra one home and warming it up, but it just wasn't the same. and i just couldn't bring myself to only order one, when, you know, i could get two . . .

so then i decided to order the meal. it came with only one mcmuffin, but also with a drink and hash browns--crispy, golden, hot hash browns. YUM! they tasted just like perfectly fried tater tots! and were probably killing me slowly. but then . . .

. . . cinnamon melts made their appearance--delicious little balls of bread dough swimming in cinnamon sugar goo and topped with melty frosting--and all for about $1.25! this, i decided, was my new favorite food. i would eat cinnamon melts any time of the day or night. i would drive to mcdonald's just to get cinnamon melts. (the joy of living in a metropolis--mcdonald's is only about a mile and a half from my house. in fact, i could walk there--and probably should have considering how many cinnamon melts i was ingesting!) i would buy two or three at a time, because unlike the sausage egg mcmuffin, they were really good heated up. and i could get three for less than $5!!

and then we went on the south beach diet.

no more sausage egg mcmuffins (because the pesky mcmuffin would stick to the sausage egg part,) and no more cinnamon melts (do i really need to explain why?!?!?)

but i have recently decided that moderation is better than totally excluding certain foods from my system. so today i went once again to mcdonald's for saturday morning breakfast--just me and my book--planning to order cinnamon melts. i had to stand in line for a few minutes, so i perused the menu. and then i saw it. under the dessert heading. cinnamon melts.

wait, no. cinnamon melts aren't dessert--they are breakfast. you know, they are like cinnamon rolls which are clearly a breakfast food. desserts contain chocolate, and there isn't any chocolate in cinnamon melts. and i would never, EVER eat a dessert food for breakfast--well, except maybe for the occasional brownie. clearly, someone made a big mistake when updating that menu. sheesh. dessert.

then it was my turn to order. what to do, what to do . . . should i go back to the sausage egg mcmuffin? should i order two? or get the meal?? because obviously i could not eat dessert for breakfast.

BUT . . . what if someone had mistakenly put the cinnamon melts on the dessert menu? what if the menu person was on a diet and was taking their restrictions out on everybody? what if cinnamon melts were really still a breakfast food and no one knew?????

being the rebel that i am, i decided to take a stand. so i stepped up to the cash register and ordered cinnamon melts and soda. for my breakfast!

ok, that's a lie--i actually ordered two cinnamon melts, but only because when i ordered them, the cashier said, "just one cinnamon melt?" and it sounded so pathetic (just one?) that i said, "ok, give me two."

but i only ate one. see, moderation.

i'll have the other one tomorrow.

or maybe later tonight . . .

Friday, March 19, 2010

let's just not forget who we are here . . .

so today . . . was not a typical friday. we planned to detour from our usual schedule of going to the movies as soon as i escaped from school, because of a scheduling conflict. so our new plan was to meet for lunch, and then come home and spend the afternoon catching up on all our favorite shows that tivo had thoughtfully recorded for us. we needed a low energy afternoon.

but trouble loomed. i texted rollie on my way out of the school parking lot to tell him i was on my way, and he should go ahead and order food. his return text informed me that rubio's was really busy, so he couldn't order the food--if he left the table he had managed to score, we would lose it. and while it was a really nice day, i was pretty sure i didn't want to sit on the concrete in the middle of the town center to eat my burrito.

rubio's is CRAZY on fridays at lunch time. we didn't know this, because as i said, we are always on our way to the cheap movie theater at that time. but we learned our lesson today . . . after guarding a table, standing in a long line, braving the crowded soda machines, and finally getting our food, we found ourselves practically sharing our table with another couple. they seemed like perfectly nice people, but their voices were LOUD. everyone's voices were loud! and we were trapped next to the window with no easy way of escape, surrounded by a sea of people.

this is my idea of hell.

i know, we live in a metropolis and you think we should expect this. but usually there is enough room for everybody. usually we don't have to share our table with people we don't know. usually i can put my handbag next to me instead of having it crowd my lap. usually i don't have to plan my trip to the soda machine like i'm trying to cross the freeway in a game of frogger.

but not today. today it was, well, you know what . . .

i couldn't eat. i just wanted to flee! i spotted a table outside and said to rollie, "do you mind if we move outside to eat?" normally he is up for that, and it was a beautiful, perfect day. but here's the thing--he had just spent the last 45 minutes fighting to hold onto our table while waiting for me to get there, and i thought he might have formed an attachment to it. but he was ready to move out into the wide open spaces too, so i made a break for it. because when changing tables, there is always the risk that you will end up without one. so rollie stayed where he was, i took my food and dashed outside to the empty table, only knocking down two little old ladies (not really--but only because none got in my way,) while rollie stayed in possession of the indoor table. then, when he could see that i had laid claim to the outdoor table, he picked up his food and joined me.

and there we sat. in the warm sunshine, in our tshirts, under the palm trees, eating mexican food. in march. this is why i love california!

finally we could talk to each other without having to yell. we were catching up on what our mornings had been like, and what we needed to do this weekend. and rollie said, "there is so much to do, and i don't want to do any of it!"

wait a minute. huh? this is a very un-rollie-like statement. rollie is king of the work-first-then-play-later philosophy of life. and i am really glad he is, because that allows me to be the queen of do-whatever-i-feel-like-doing-until-a-deadline-must-be-met philosophy. and then he said, "i guess you are rubbing off on me."

oh nonononononono!!! this is not ok! i am the one who goofs off and waits until the last minute to get things done. rollie is the one who plans ahead and makes sure the important stuff is taken care of. he cannot start putting things off until the last minute! nononono! my world will tilt off it's axis!

i was sitting there trying to think of what i could say to get the planets back in line, when he said, "you are the . . . " and i just knew he was going to say "wind beneath my wings." i don't know why i thought that--he doesn't usually talk in cliche's. so to head him off, before he could finish i said, "anchor beneath your bow?" because apparently i am taking him under with me. he just looked at me and said, "no, i was going to say, the 'i'll-do-it-later goddess.'"

oh. what, he doesn't think i am the wind beneath his wings?? i could be the wind. in fact, i think i am. i am the one who makes it possible for him to be the responsible one, since i am the goofing off one. really. he is the wonderful, thoughtful, organized, get-it-done, be prepared boy scout that he is, because of me.

i know. it is so unselfish of me to be the disorganized, where did i put it, i'll never get it done, you need it when? one. but that's just how i roll . . .

;)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

where, oh where . . .

so today . . . i received the scholastic books i ordered as 'end of the year' gifts for my students. yes, today. i'm now accepting bets on whether or not i will be able to find those books at the end of the year. and if you are betting against me, the odds will definitely be in your favor!

last year i bought books to give out, and then totally forgot i had them. until i ran across them in july . . .

i lose stuff--well, actually i don't lose stuff, i just can't always remember where i put it. i started thinking about why that is, and decided to write a TOP TEN LIST OF WHY I CAN'T FIND WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR.

10. i have a lot of stuff, which means there aren't a lot of unused spaces to put new things that come into the house. i try to rotate older, unused things out of the house to create space, but you know how i am about letting go of stuff.
9. i am constantly moving things around. i am always trying to think, "is there a better way to organize this stuff? is there a more logical place to put these things?" and then i move them. but my mind doesn't always agree with itself about the logic used, so even though i can remember that i moved something, i can't always remember to where . . .
8. i don't always put things away. i admit it. sometimes i just toss things onto the nearest horizontal surface. this mostly happens during the week when i am busy and tired. then on the weekend i try to return things back to their assigned places. but if i need something between the tossing and the putting away, i am not always successful at retrieving it.
7. some things don't actually have a place where they belong. this gets tricky. because what happens if something doesn't have a place, is that i keep moving it out of the way, which results in never really knowing where it is.
6. some things have more than one place where they belong, like my car keys. they can belong in my handbag. or they can belong on the end table. or they can belong on the end of the keyboard. or they can belong on the kitchen table. or they can belong in my pocket. or they can even belong on the front seat of my car. all of those are acceptable places for my keys to hang out. which is why sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to find them . . .
5. some things get stashed. another confession here--there are times when we are in crisis mode, and everything must be whisked out of sight. this usually means tossed into a bag or box and "temporarily" stacked in the garage. that stack of "i'll just put it here for now" stuff just keeps growing.
4. someone moves things. i am sure of it! i'm not making any acusations here, but there are times when i know that something is not where i left it. i don't know how it happens. maybe i sleep walk . . .
3. things get put in the wrong place. remember the orange silk blouse? yeah. enough said.
2. someone borrows something and doesn't return it. yes, you know who you are!

and the number one reason i can't find what i am looking for . . .
1. sometimes i just forget. my brain fails me. they say there is an epidemic of forgetfulness, and not only in the elderly. it is a result of information overload. i mean, think about all the things you have to remember just to run your computer, and your cell phone, and your ipod (i'm still carrying around the "ipods for dummies" book, because my ipod hates me and refuses to do what i want it to do!)

so i am thinking of putting the new books in the trunk of my car. i always eventually look there. even though my trunk is usually just home to my reusable shopping bags and car duster, for some reason i think that is where my stuff goes to hide from me . . . and since my car will be at school with me, on the last day of school when i am sitting at my desk thinking, "didn't i buy books to give to the kids today?" i can go check in the trunk of my car. and the books will be there! and i can be proud of myself, because for once, i remembered where i put something.

well, sort of . . .

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

did YOU wear green today?

so today . . . is st. patrick's day, and i am all decked out in green. ok, well maybe not all decked out . . . mostly i have on brown today, but i'm wearing mojave green turquoise jewelry. that counts, doesn't it?

for me, st. patrick's day is a throwaway holiday. i'm not irish (i don't think,) i don't drink, and if i didn't work at a school, i would probably just ignore the whole thing . . .

but i do work at a school. and when you work at a school, you wear green or die. the funny thing is that since most of the children at my school are asian, they don't really get the whole wearing green thing. and they always ask me "who is st. patrick?" (which means i finally had to get on the internet and find out!) but there are always those few people--sometimes other teachers--that insist on bringing the whole thing up. so here we are.

since today is wednesday (usually a non-blogging day,) i decided to respost the blog i wrote on myspace a couple of years ago about st. patrick's day. and i am posting it early instead of my usual late night time, so that you can read it today while it is still st. patrick's day. it was originally posted on monday, march 17, 2008.

today i get to school and the first words i hear are, "so, do you want to get pinched today?" since this comes from another teacher, i think that what she is saying should make sense, but it doesn’t--i just don’t get it. i apparently give her the blank stare that says "huh?" but instead of explaining this random sentence, she just repeats it--"do you WANT to get pinched today?" i look around the room for a clue, but nothing. she finally reads my blank stare for what it is and has pity on me--"you’re not wearing green!" my first thought is "so?" but the quarter finally drops, and i realize it is st. patrick’s day. and there i am in my brown top and navy sweater (i do not mention the color of my pants because i assume you all have the sense to know i would NEVER wear green pants, unless they were olive green and i’m not sure that counts on st. patrick’s day--although i do have green shorts, but it is waaay too early in the year to let my bare legs out of tights) so to avoid the inevitable pinching (who thinks these things up anyway!) i am forced to wear a green shamrock sticker on my shirt all day long. now if i worked with ADULTS i could ignore this whole green wearing thing and just act like like "oh yeah, i guess it is st. patrick’s day, oh well, maybe i’ll wear green next year," eat a cupcake with green frosting that someone would have brought into the break room (oh, to work someplace with a break room!) and it wouldn’t be any big deal. but if you work at a school, you had better be wearing green or you will be in for a very annoying and painful day of being pinched by tiny people--no, not leprechauns--children! so i wear my green shamrock sticker (at least it is shiny!) and just smile whenever anyone shows the insensitivity to say "hey, you forgot to wear green today" and remember we all forget things sometimes. and then i set an alarm on my phone so that next year i will be wearing green right along with everyone else!

now that i have had time to think about it, i blame my lack of green clothing on the fact that st. patrick's day fell on a monday. on mondays, i'm just glad to make it to school with shoes that match--my brain is completely on autopilot.

besides, i don't like to be told what to do . . . or what to wear . . . even if it is st. patrick's day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

i feel the earth. move. under my feet.

so today . . . we had an earthquake. i think.

it happened around 4:00 a.m. i was sound asleep, and probably would have remained that way, except rollie woke me up with these words: "WE'RE HAVING AN EARTHQUAKE!!" at least, that is how it sounded to me . . .

rollie, along with many others, is expecting that "the big one" is going to hit LA any day now, and so, being the boy scout that he is, he is always on alert.

i am not. on alert, that is. i woke up just long enough to hear the windows rattling and think, " i'm glad the curtains are closed, so that when the windows break the glass won't fall on me." and then i went back to sleep.

rollie did not. i'm sure as soon as he felt the shaking begin, survival plans started forming in his mind. and it was probably a little bit hard to go back to sleep after that . . .

i wish i had awakened a bit more or that the earthquake had lasted a little longer, because i don't really remember how it felt. i do remember thinking, "i need to wake up! i am finally here for an earthquake and i need to experience it!" don't misunderstand--i am not a fan of earthquakes, because i have seen the damage they can do. but i admit i am a little bit fascinated by solid ground MOVING!

when we moved to california nine years ago, i was not thrilled. i loved the pacific northwest--all the green, the mountains, the ocean, the wide open spaces, the clean air . . . and i pictured southern california as clogged, congested, cramped, and brown, with air that was barely breathable. i expected traffic, concrete, sales tax, and earthquakes. i did not expect to like it. at all.

but i do. i love the sunshine and moderate temperatures. i love the palm trees and exotic flowers. i love the energy that comes from the people, and yes, even the traffic. (ok, that's a lie. i don't love the traffic, but i have learned to deal with it.) although we have lived in different parts of the country, we have always found something to love about wherever we were. and there are many things to love about southern california. although, earthquakes may not be one of them.

i think i remember being in an earthquake as a little girl. we lived in vancouver, washington at the time, and i was walking home from school. and the earth moved. it only lasted a few seconds, but i still remember that feeling of the earth shifting under my feet. i think. or maybe i just dreamed it, because it was a very loooong time ago, and vancouver, washington is not the earthquake capitol of the country.

california is--at least it seems that way to me. but they never occur when i am here to feel them. there have been a few small quakes here in the last nine years, but always when i am out of town! i joke about my presence being the only thing keeping southern california safe from earthquake disaster. but apparently my earthquake repellant tendancies are only effective when i am awake. which i clearly was not at 4 a.m.

before rollie went to work this morning, he came in to talk to me for a few minutes. i knew we were going to talk about the earthquake. this is the conversation that i envisioned.

"do you remember that we had an earthquake last night?"
"of course i do! you woke me up to tell me about it!!"
"well, you weren't moving! do you even know what to do if there is an earthquake?!"
"yes, i know. but it is a little hard to move to safety if one is asleep!"
"THAT'S WHY I WOKE YOU UP!!!"

i'm kind of cranky in the morning, so the conversations in my head tend to be a little snarky. of course, in real life we never talk to each other like that. the actual conversation went something like this.

"did you feel the earthquake last night?"
"no, but i heard the windows rattling. i just thought it was the wind."
"nope--it was an earthquake."
"you know, if 'the big one' hits at night when i am asleep, you may have to just push me off the bed and onto the floor. because i might not wake up."

we are much nicer in real life than in my head . . .

later i asked him about diandra, because i didn't know if she had been awakened by the shaking or not. i would have expected her to come flying out of her room. but of course since i was asleep . . . he said she did wake up, but when she came out into the hallway and saw that mia wasn't going berserk, she figured that everything was ok. considering that rain reduces mia to a shivering mass of white fur, diandra said, "i guess mia thinks that rain is more dangerous than an earthquake." yes, mia is a california dog.

of course, it was only a 4.4 quake. rollie emailed his mom to let her know that we were all ok, and she hadn't even heard about it! i guess a 4.4 quake in socal is not all that newsworthy.

there are predictions that last night's quake was an indicator of more to come. my prediction is that my weekend is now going to be different than before the earthquake. i predict that rollie is going to spend saturday securing the tvs to the walls, stashing bottled water all over the house, and maybe even installing latches on all the cabinets. because he is a boy scout and must always be prepared!

at lunch time i was teasing him about the look on his face when it happened. "you couldn't even see my face! it was dark! and you were asleep!" he said. "i know," i replied, "but i know what your face looked like--it had that 'on alert' look that you have." "you are mocking me!" he said. "yeah, i am. i just think it is so funny how we react to a crisis. you immediately react and start making a plan, and i just sleep through it." "you can sleep through it," he said, "because you know i will take care of you."

which is true. i have absolute confidence that if "the big one" hits in the middle of the night, rollie will push me off the bed . . . to safety, of course :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

hmmm . . .

so today . . . i am soooo tired! i hate springing forward . . .

i really need sleep, and yet i also want to blog. so my solution is to write a short blog. at least that is my plan, but you never know . . . sometimes my fingers don't know when to stop!

it was hot here today--80 degrees! just a few days ago it was down into the high 60s and i was freezing, so this felt really good. i decided it was a good day to break out something just a little bit springy, so i wore a short-sleeved black dress with tiny white polka dots. i don't remember where i got this dress--i've had it a long time--but the fabric is wonderful! it is some sort of jersey knit but with enough weight that it hangs really nicely and is soooo comfortable. it is one of those dresses that feels so good when you are wearing it, it is almost like wearing pajamas all day.

anyway, this morning when kenneth came in and noticed my dress, he said, "hey, my mom has a dress just like that. except hers are pajamas. and the spots are all different colors."

uh huh . . . so the 'just like that' part would be the color black??

it is so funny how kid's minds work. last week christopher was looking at the dinosaur cards--again. he seems almost obsessed with these cards. each one has a picture of a dinosaur on the front and lots of information on the back. i've taught him how to decode the pronounciation spelling, so he can read all the names and much of the information. he sorts these cards in many different ways--by the size of the dinosaur, by the era in which it lived, by where it lived. one day he was sorting them into two groups--plant eaters and meat eaters. we were discussing how the meat eating dinosaurs were different physically from the plant eating ones, and why. then we moved into what the meat eaters ate. and then all of a sudden, michelle said, "wait a minute! we're meat!!"

i guess it is a good thing that dinosaurs are extinct . . .

Sunday, March 14, 2010

and God gets the last laugh . . .

so today . . . was sunday. sundays at our house are pretty busy, which is why many times i don't get a blog posted. by sunday night, i am tired. but a couple of funny things happened today, so i am blogging. it's your lucky day!

yesterday i went out to do some errands, and while i was at wal-mart, i saw cadbury eggs. diandra looooves cadbury eggs, but they seem to be a seasonal treat. usually i buy several and give them to her on easter. so i bought some yesterday, and when i was unpacking my shopping bags, i decided to just give them to her now. i'm not even sure exactly when easter is yet, and the risk of the pups finding and eating them was just too great. so i put the cadbury eggs on her pillow so she would find them when she got home last night.

this morning she came into my room to thank me for the treat. and then she said, "when i got home last night and found the eggs, i thought, 'wait. is today easter?'"

you see, this is what happens when a holiday moves around like easter does--it is hard to keep track of it. but not for diandra--she knows it is easter when the cadbury eggs show up. well, usually . . .

but today was not easter. it was, however, the first day of daylight savings time--you know, the day we are all tired because we had to move our clocks forward one hour? which really just means one less hour of sleep, because nobody i know goes to bed an hour earlier . . .

this always complicates church on sunday morning. even though i had reminded the band about the time change yesterday, i didn't hold out much hope that they would be on the stage and ready to play by 9:00. but i was pleasantly surprised to see that they weren't any later than usual . . .

we started running through the music when suddenly we lost the drums! i looked back, and realized that the drummer had broken a stick. this is not a totally uncommon occurance, but it is a little hard to play the drums without sticks. (i was just glad it had happened during rehearsal and not during church--which has happened more than once or twice.) we continued on, and then i heard the guitar player say, "oh no!" i just knew he had broken a string--we have a terrible track record with guitar strings, and this morning we didn't have time to run to target for more. i turned to look and was relieved to see that all six strings were still intact.

and then i did it--i said, "you know, i don't know what is the matter with you guys! i have NEVER broken a string or a drum stick!" i turned back to the keyboard and began playing the next song. or at least, i tried to play. i hit the keys, and no sound came out. none at all. i quickly noticed that all the lights were off on both the keyboard and it's monitor. the power switch was on, and i had just been playing it! but now the keyboard was dead, dead, dead.

i could not believe it. the timing could not have been more perfect. you can't play a keyboard without power--just like you cannot play the drums without sticks or the guitar without strings. i thought i was the one making a joke, but the joke was on me! i immediately accused the sound guys of saboutage, but they turned out to be innocent.

i'm sure it was God. i can just see him watching us, and thinking, "oh, the perfect set-up! i can't pass this opportunity up. this is going to be fun . . ." right before he jostled that cable loose. i mean, why have supernatural power if you can't have a little fun with it?

you may not think God is like that, and that's ok. but i know that when God is watching me, most of the time he is either shaking his head in despair, or laughing. because really, when you look at me and my life, what other choices does he have?!?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the life cycle of . . . refrigerators.

so today . . . for a short time, we were in possession of three refrigerators. yes, three.

for as long as i can remember, we have had either an extra refrigerator or freezer in the garage. i can hear you all asking, "why?" it does seem superfluous for a family who doesn't really cook all that much to have so much cold storage. but we need it. really. trust me.

i like to have a freezer full of food. and when you shop at costco and are only feeding a few people, you had better have a freezer, because all of the food comes in BIG bags. so i fill up my freezer and promptly forget what is in there . . .

this is easy to do, because the extra appliance is always kept in the garage, so i am not looking in it every day. and besides, i sort of think of that as "emergency food," which means i am sort of "not allowed" to eat that food unless there is an emergency. and so far, we haven't had an emergency. but as you all know, food does not last forever in the freezer. and yet, in my brain, it does . . . until i have to defrost the freezer, at which point i realize the truth and have to throw stuff out. and then replace it, with every intent of remembering what i put in there. and then i don't, and the cycle continues . . .

i have learned that, for me, it is much better to have an extra refrigerator. we all know that food doesn't last forever in the refrigerator, so it has a much better chance of actually being eaten. but the extra room allows me to stock up on tillamook cheddar cheese, whole grain tortillas, yogurt, and eggs, which means fewer trips to costco. and since refrigerators have small freezers, i can also stock up on frozen meatballs . . . and fudgesicles!

but the extra refrigerator in our garage stopped working a few months ago, so decisions had to be made. what to do, what to do . . . it was finally decided that maybe the kitchen should get a new refrigerator, and so today was the day--the great refrigerator rotation.

our delivery time was set for 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. everyone who has ever waited for a repairman or delivery knows that 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. means that they will arrive at 3:55p.m. everyone. so my plan was to race home at 1:00 and empty the current refrigerator during my lunch half hour, and then race back to school leaving rollie to wait for the delivery. i thought most of the food would stay cool enough until the new refrigerator arrived.

but my plan was thwarted when the delivery guys pulled up in front of the house at 12:35 p.m.--just before rollie got there . . .

when he arrived, rollie apparently raced into the house and started tossing food from the refrigerator onto the kitchen counters, while distracting the delivery guys by having them move the old, dead refrigerator out of the garage. then he had them move the now empty refrigerator from the kitchen into the garage, which had to be done anyway before they could move the new one in. by the time i made it home at 1:00, the rotation was complete, and the new one was in place in the kitchen, plugged in, and hooked up to the water--because this new refrigerator has water and ice in the door. (i know that is not a new feature any more, but it is new to us!)

our delivery and installation guys were awesome!

so my new plan became putting the food back into the new refrigerator during my lunch half hour. which was a challenge, because we went from a refrigerator with the freezer on the top to a side by side unit, so i had to think about how to put stuff into those tall, skinny, deep spaces. i was trying to make logical choices about where everything should go, but it wouldn't all fit in! as i was standing there looking at the pile of fast food packets (you know, ketchup, hot sauce, ranch dressing . . . yeah, i know you are thinking, "just throw them out!" but if there was an emergency . . . ) when rollie came into the kitchen and said, "is there anything you want me to put in the refrigerator out in the garage?"

:)

oh yes, i had forgotten. now we have a refrigerator in the garage. i quickly filled his arms with cheese, whole grain tortillas, and yogurt. and fast food condiments.

i can hardly wait for my next trip to costco . . .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

surprises

so today . . . i was greeted with a lovely surprise when i walked back into the germ incubator everyone else calls my classroom. a gift from a student--for no particular reason . . .

i'm not really a fan of surprises, because i like to be prepared. when diandra was a baby, rollie decided to surprise me for my birthday. he had arranged for my parents to come (which required a seven hour drive) to watch diandra while we had a weekend away. he packed for me and did a great job, but he didn't tell me any of this. he just said, "don't plan anything for this weekend." (he didn't actually need to tell me that, because we lived in a very small town, and i had a tiny baby to take care of--what kind of plans was i going to make?!?!) my parents arrived, and i was so excited! and then he said, "come on, let's go!" and i said, "what?!?!?!?!" and off we went.

i would like to say we had a great time, but we didn't. and even now when i think about it, it makes me sad. because my wonderful husband was trying to do something nice for me, to give me a break, and i couldn't relax and enjoy it. because i was mentally unprepared. (ok, i was also young and a new mom leaving my baby for the first time, so there were extenuating circumstances . . . )

i admit it--i am not the most spontaneous flower in the bunch. i'm not crazy about being surprised. i like to be prepared.

but surprise presents are a whole different story! i love presents, especially surprise presents that aren't "required" by any special holiday. so when i walked in today after spending yesterday dealing with second-hand germs and saw this lovely gift, i smiled.

the kids i start out with in the early morning are not the kids in my class, and so they had not seen it yet either, and they were enthralled! thank goodness there were only four of them to begin with, because otherwise i'm afraid a fight might have broken out. they all wanted the best view of the fish, and the fish kept moving! it was funny to listen to them. because the fish lives in a curved vase full of water, it looks bigger when it is further away, and they kept saying, "oh look! it got bigger! no, now it is small again!!" i thought about explaining the science of it, but decided to go with the magic . . .

then we had this conversation:
"are you going to take him home?"
"i'll take him home for the summer."
"why?"
"well, i don't come to school in the summer, so who would take care of him?"
"Jesus will take care of him."
"no he won't," said another child.
"yes. Jesus is real, but you can't see his body--only his face."

i'm kind of wondering how Jesus is going to take care of this fish with just his face . . .
and as for my thoughtful husband . . . he has never again attempted to whisk me off without giving me time to mentally prepare. i think i would handle it better now--being older and no longer responsible for our precious only child--but it is still probably better that i know . . .

he has, however, become a master at the surprise, for no reason at all gift. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

the drama of daytime tv

so today . . . i was home sick. yes, again. it came on suddenly last night, and i still had a temperature this morning, so there was no way i could go to school. i woke up long enough to realize that, and call my school's director to tell her that i was not going to make it to school because i was sick. yes, again.

i've been sick a lot this year, as you all know. and you also know that i blame my students who come to school sick. even today, apparently one of my little dumplings came to school and told the substitute he had already thrown up four times! "then why are you at school?" she reasonably asked. "because my mom has to go to work," was his answer.

see, i am not kidding you--this is why i keep getting sick.

but this time was different. this time i spent the day in bed. i did not get up and eat breakfast (i could not even imagine ingesting food!) i did not get up and plop myself on the couch with my puppies and my computer (although my loyal pooch did keep me company--the chubby one chose to ignore us . . . ) i stayed in bed and tried not to move for fear of irritating my upset stomach or my aching head. i slept as much as i could, but there came a point where i couldn't sleep, i couldn't get up, i couldn't read, so my only other option was--duh, duh, duuuhhhh--daytime tv.

yes, daytime tv.

i don't watch daytime tv much anymore. usually i am at work during the day, but even in the summer i find that if i have free time, i either watch shopping tv or stuff i have tivoed or i read a book. and today i realized why.

daytime tv is a desert.

i haven't watched soap operas since i was in college--i have plenty of drama in my own life without getting involved in the fictional drama of fictional people who inhabit a fictional town. and who, btw, ALWAYS make the wrong choice. always. every decision they make makes their lives more complicated. maybe if they had to go to the grocery store or the post office or balance a checkbook or do laundry or punch a time clock or put a toddler to bed, they wouldn't have so many problems. of course, then no one would probably watch . . .

so my choices were daytime talk shows (more drama and bad choices,) news (real life drama and unsolved mysteries,) or court shows (real people and ridiculous problems.) i chose news and judges. i decided it didn't make that much difference since i wasn't really watching anyway--i planned to doze. the tv was just on for white noise to distract the pooches so that they wouldn't bark everytime they heard a noise outside. so i chose a channel, turned the volume low, and settled in to sleep.

but i didn't sleep--not much anyway. i kept getting sucked in. to the commercials. i heard the same commercials over and over and over again. there were commercials for technical and trade schools, commercials for debt relief, commercials for weight loss systems, commercials for personal injury lawyers, and commercials for depression studies. over and over and over again. apparently advertisers think that if you are home watching tv during the day you must be unemployed, in debt, over weight, and depressed. and if i was home watching this programming every day, i don't know about the rest of it, but i would certainly be depressed!

so i guess even though i HATE getting up in the mornings, and my students are trying to slowly kill me with germs, and i never seem to have enough time to do everything i need to do, i am glad that i have a job. because daytime tv would turn me into a jelly donut.

if i ever lose my job, i will have to get cable . . .

Thursday, March 4, 2010

sleep trumps blogging

so today . . . i think i might get into bed before midnight. if i don't blog.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

a trip to costco

so today . . . i went to costco after school.

i just wanted to go home and crawl into bed, but we were out of tillamook cheddar cheese and eggs. and without tillamook cheddar cheese and eggs, we die. seriously. you can eat tillamook cheddar cheese and eggs in many different ways that require little or no cooking--well, except for the eggs. of course you have to cook the eggs. but if you don't happen to have bread or english muffins or tortillas or pasta in the cupboard, it is ok--you can just scramble the eggs and put the cheese on top and voila! dinner :) so yeah, you could live on tillamook cheddar cheese and eggs . . .

and the best place to get them is at costco. the savings on those two foods alone make the trip worthwhile, but if you add in a whole bunch of bananas for $1.33, it is almost like going to the bank. well, not really, because it is a challenge to go to costco and spend less than $100, but still . . .

i live right between two costcos, but the newer one is a little further away. so the first question that always has to be settled is, which costco? today i chose the newer one, because i know where they keep the dried mangoes. i know they have dried mangoes at the other costco, but i've never actually been able to find them. and when i ask, they always seem to be out. and rollie needs dried mangoes like i need dark chocolate m&ms. we won't discuss whose addiction is healthier, but they say dark chocolate is good for you . . .

i always have to fight snack food battles when i go to costco. have you ever been in a store with so many snacking choices?!? and i am not just talking about the candy aisles. since we don't really eat candy anymore (except for you know what,) i don't even walk through that part of the store. but the bakery section just kills me! i can't even go back there!! the chocolate muffins call to me. the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies call to me. the croissants call to me. the squishy white dinner rolls call to me. it is a cacophony of evils! thankfully it is in the back corner of the store next to the automotive stuff, so i am usually able to avoid it.

and then there are the clothes . . . a trip to costco is never complete unless i walk through the clothes. i don't know why i do it. i don't think their clothing prices are exceptionally good, and they rarely carry anything in my size. but every once in a while i am rewarded . . . like the time i found these great fur lined hoodies. they were in the kid's section, but i found that the XXL fit me just fine. and there was a brown one with leopard print fur lining. so of course it had to come home with me, and now it is my favorite coat! (and it doesn't even bother me one little bit that one of my former students who is now in the third grade has the same coat. because i am sure hers is not XXL!)

i really only needed a few things today. i thought. until i started walking through the store. before i knew it, my cart was starting to fill up. of course, it doesn't take much to fill a cart, because everything comes in super enormous sizes! thankfully, costco has also supersized their carts, so you don't realize just how much stuff you have until you try to put it in the tiny little trunk of a convertible! i finally had to buy their big reusable shopping bags, because they would put my food in cardboard boxes, and then i couldn't get them into my trunk! which meant i had to take all the food out of the boxes. which meant that when i got home, getting the food from my trunk into the house took many, many trips . . .

today i used the self-checkout line for the first time. there was no waiting, so i thought i would give it a try--it had to be faster if there was no line, right? um, apparently not necessarily. the machine wouldn't recognize my costco card, so i had to have help before i even got started! and then the bananas wouldn't scan through, and i had to have help again! i'm not sure you can really call it a self-checkout line when the costco employee is standing right there watching your every move. but the machine finally totaled up my purchases, sucked funds from my bank account, and sent me on my way, reminding me to keep my receipt handy so that it could be checked on my way out . . .

i got to the exit with my two giant bags of mostly groceries, only to be stopped by the girl at the door. she took my receipt, gave it a glance and handed it back to me.

and then she said, "oooo, i like your necklace."

costco. they have it all--tillamook cheese, eggs, dried mangoes. and compliments!

Monday, March 1, 2010

buried by paper, sick kids, and a video

so today . . . i went back to school after being out sick for three days.

i found myself buried under papers--papers the kids had completed while i was gone, homework folders from last week, evaluations that needed to be completed this week, the attendance sheets, lesson plans to finish up . . . buried. i was seriously wishing i was still home in bed. but i made it to lunch and when i got back from my lunch break, i met ms. jessica in the parking lot. she covers my classroom for lunch time on mondays.

"you always miss all the fun," she said.

"fun" is teacher code for a mess. it is sarcasm. it is one of the reasons i teach kindergarten instead of preschool. there is a lot less "fun" in kindergarten. my students can make it to the bathroom in time. they recognize that sick feeling that means they are about to lose their lunch. they rarely spill. but for some reason, this year we have had a little more "fun" than usual. fortunately for me, it always happens when i am either at lunch, gone for the day, or home sick myself. today it happened while i was at lunch--projectile vomit. it seems that one of the little girls wasn't eating her lunch and wasn't really acting like herself. so ms. jessica sent her to the office where they found that she had a temperature of 101! her mother came to take her home, and on their way down the hall, it happened. and she wasn't even being sent home for throwing up--she was being sent home for having a temperature of 101! the throwing up was just an added bonus.

after the "fun" as they were leaving, her mom said, "well, she did throw up last night . . . "

SEE?!?!?! no wonder i can't get well! i'm surrounded by children harboring germs!!

i came back from lunch and tackled the paper monster that was taking over every available horizontal surface, while the kids played. when i could finally see the desk top again, we cleaned up their toys, and i took a video with my phone (minus one very sick little girl.) they decided to sing their favorite song--the song that feels like needles poking behind my eyes, because they sing it ALL THE TIME!!

but they like it. and they had fun. the good news is, there is sound! (well, maybe that is good news--it is a chipmunk song!) the bad news is, you are seeing the first take, because we only had a few minutes to spare today. actually, it is the second take. the recording didn't start the first time, so when i tried to stop it, it started recording instead. don't laugh--i know that has happened to every single one of you at least once! thankfully the performance could be repeated for the benefit of digitizing it for posterity.

the video is about a minute and a half long. nothing exciting happens at the end--they just get sillier and sillier. and you have my mother to thank for the chance to see the whole video, unedited. because it seems that i can only email 17 seconds of video, which means i would have had to edit. or i could have posted the whole thing on youtube and then linked to it, but i didn't really want to do that either. and then my mom (who has the same phone as i do) said, "try connecting it to your computer with the usb cord."

oh. there's an idea . . .

so here it is--part of my class singing a chipmunk christmas song . . .

video

they would have gone on all day if i hadn't stopped them. and if you are going to leave a comment about the kids, be nice or i won't post it!

mostly i wanted you to see that the new video update to my phone really works! i think it is amazing--although i did notice that the sound wasn't synced very well . . .

. . . but i'll bet the next update will fix that!