Thursday, August 28, 2008

What an Ass!

This weekend there are going to be 13 people staying in one cabin ( only this cabin has Granite countertops and flat screens and an in-door water park) . It's a celebration. For my parent's 60th anniversary and all they wanted was to spend time with the family. And since I really actually like my family, I think it's a great gift and I am looking forward to it. To prepare I went to Sam's club. To get liquor, mostly.
I was third in line. Meaning the girl checking out and then a guy and then me. The girl checking out had two carts. One cart contained a baby, a very young baby, in car seat- like weeks old, and some bottled waters. The OTHER cart contained what looked like the ingredients to maintain a small bomb shelter supplied for like.. a year. I noticed that the girl was struggling-which made me feel bad because she was still wearing her maternity pants and I thought she must be like... feeling exasperated already. She didn't really know how to load up one cart without smashing her baby. So the cute, friendly check out girl said, "Screw it, I will help ya." And off they went. In a small act of heroism she left her station un-attended and marched that girl's second cart out to the lot for her. I was touched. And even though I really did want my turn to come, I thought it was a nice gesture. Plus, I was stuffed from the free samples and all I really could ask for was one of my beers but figured wanting one that bad would suggest something on the side of needy so overlooked myself long enough to appreciate what was going on.
Then the guy goes up, with his protein bars and fruit snacks and beer and starts bitching at the check out girl . Like really bitching about HIS time and not FAIR and she was RUDE and she was just supposed to ring people up.
And as he bitched I could see the friendly check out girl start to bring it. I could see her wheels turnin' and her thinking what an ASS... She gave it right back and the guy tried to be imploring but really, what's he going to do? Slap her? He walked off in a tirade. A serious tirade.
Then quickly it became MY turn and I wanted the cute friendly check out girl to feel good for her graciousness. And I told her that guy was a jerk. To get on her good side because I could see clearly that she needed it and also because I didn't like her bad side. It was kind of scary.
She left me with the comment, " Yeah, well, ya know... working here you gotta deal with people like that all the time. And I aint' gonna let nobody go and ruin my day when I got my kids to get home to. They don't deserve for him to ruin MY day."
And I told her from now on I would wait in her line no matter how long because I liked her. And she smiled.
And that makes me feel good because last Spring I ROYALLY messed up my relationship with my Dominick's check out lady and I have been needing a replacement. And also because I could see how she made her check out job at Sam's something more than just a crappy job at Sam's.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is That a Bulge in Your Back or Are You Just Happy to See Me ?

When I are hear the word bulging I think of fat butt in tight pants. Or a huge man in a little car. Or at the very least a muffin top.
When I hear the word herniated I automatically zoom into thinking of shaved balls. Because once in elementary school a dude had a herni-A and I "heard through the grape vine" that when he woke up in recovery his pubic hair was gone. And lack of care/concern/proximity to such things even 25 years later, has left me in the dark and thinking the same thing.
And lastly, when I hear disc I think of a frisbee.
Yesterday, I waited for over an hour reading May's issue of Star. In a stiff chair in a "back specialist's" office. I figured the chairs would at least be... I don't know... ergonomic or something due to the clientele and all. I told myself that even though I MIGHT piss off some friend's for missing thier very special thrity-something dinner party birthday, and even though my back was now KILLING me, and even though it was the first day of school and my head was pounding, that it would all be worth it.
I figured he, the doctor, that is, would tell me in hushed tones that it was not the cancer I feared ( which was completely irrational on my part ) and that it was a minor muscle spasm. For the last six or so years. And that a weekly massage ( again, irrational and at least here slightly hopeful ) would fix me up in no time!
And so when he announced with a smile it was a bulging hernianted disc, I had to retract my normal word association and really think. Because my initial thought was a fat-pubic-haired-circle thing. In my back? That just didn't make any sense to me.
And strangely enough, the textbook definition is not so off from that- minus the pubic hair part.
The good news is... no exercise! The bad news is... no exercise!
I like to have an excuse now and again to avoid the gym. But this could be for the rest of my life! My mom said yoga.
I just want to keep myself as well-oiled as possible so I don't have to use a wheel chair by the time I am 40.
Although I have some some rather spiffy canes out there.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School

I thought today was going to be BLOG worthy city because it was my first day back to school. Not so much.
It was so predictable and lame. Even losing my keys and not having a single thing planned for tomorrow has me off my game. And I could get in some big trouble for losing those keys that can gain you access to anything in the public high school. But the dean said they installed like... eighteen new cameras that actually work. So, go right ahead, Chachi. Use my keys. See if I care. Your ass will get thrown in the slam because you still think all the cameras are fakes. Like I did a week ago when in the building. So, hopefully there is not currently some YouTube out there of me doing something grotesque.
Even the free lunch for teachers was pretty good.
And even now, I am bored. I had "saved" tonight for staying late at school, running errands, printing and photocopying loads of crap. But, I came home and made dinner. Like usual.
And even now, I ask myself, what the heck was I doing last year that made me so busy all the time.
I was most likely depressed and therefore felt like walking to the flippin restroom was taxing, so everything felt cumbersome.
Tomorrow the students come. I am non-plussed. Come, I say. Come in droves. .. Like you will. Ready to show off your new sneakers from Big Lots. Your matching jams, also from Big Lots. And your choke chain marijuana necklaces from Hot Topic. Come ready to tell me that you have no school supplies because your parents can't afford it and then text your friend on your new Blackberry about coming over later to play on your new 360. While I loan you my last pencil charged yesterday to my credit card. Come to me so I can teach you.
Because I have been doing this for 12 years now and I know what to expect.
Bring it. Because I am bored already and I can't wait.

And This Little Piggy Said NOTHING

I like my feet. They are not bunion-y or mis-shapen. They are not foot model material. But, when you compare them with the rest of my body they are ranking up there as one of my finer attributes.
The thing I like about my feet is that they are bony. Consistently. Like my wrists. I cannot count on other areas of my body to boast skinniness like my feet can. And they take me places. So the fact that they are skinny and that they work really says a lot.
But something happened.
When I was cleaning my classroom, my five foot four aide and I decided to go ahead and move a desk that is larger than a refrigerator and weighs more than, well, me.
Because we were in a hurry and the desk was actually too heavy for us to move, she heaved the desk with her butt resulting in the desk slamming against my big toe. And the toe nail cracked. Across the middle of it.
And I am terrified to do anything about it. So it's just sitting there, painted with an extra 7 dollar French.
It's disgusting. I stare at it all of the time. I wonder what is going to happen to it. And no matter what I am doing I feel my thoughts somehow go wondering back to it.
Eating a sandwich... mmmm, this is good. My toe isn't though, it's cracked.
Laying in bed.... mmm, this feels great. I hope my toe crack doesn't snag on something and come tearing off. My toe is gross.
Watching TV. mmmm, I love Big Brother. Keesha has big ears. I bet her toe isn't cracked though.
I stare at it and wait for it to talk or fall off or at least hurt. But nada.
So now all I can do is pray that it stays intact long enough to make it to closed-toe shoe season.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

*SAD STORY ALERT*..... The "Incident"

Almost a year ago I found out I was pregnant. We had been married less than one year. We had moved, me twice. Having a baby seemed like the next good thing to keep the momentum going. I experienced everything that I assume most women experience in some variation or another.
I was tired. Really tired. I slept all the time. My house got messy. I gained weight, like about ten pounds almost immediately. I was craving onion rings. All the time. I felt sick and couldn't eat the onion rings I just ordered. My boobs... well, let's just say someone needed to get thee to a department store and make that stat. My mom came and helped me and so did my husband. Bra shopping at 34 with your mother and your husband? I don't know. I still don't get why I did that. I left with a bag of over two hundred dollars worth of underwear and crocodile tears streaming down my face. The sizes were bigger than I was used to.
I bought some books and borrowed others. We began plotting and planning the next year. We made peace with the fact we were not going to be able to afford the fold-out couch I wanted for overnight guests ( namely my parents ) or the SUV my husband feels I need so if and when I get in an accident, the insides or our armored beast would be safe.
My due date was the last day of school for me, June 7th, so child care was a worriless year away.
We planned on telling everyone at the twelve week mark. Well, I meanwe hadn't told, which included my family. And some work friends. And Billy's family and some of his friends. Heck, we were excited, we basically even told the check out girl at Dominicks. But, we were going to "make it public" on Thanksgiving. We started planning some special dates with special friends we really did want to tell in person.
Those dates never happened. Well, they happened on the calendar and all, but I never met up with those people to tell them my news. Because by the time the dates were there, the news was different. And I was most likely laying in bed. Under a blanket.
Around the beginning of November something changed in me. I didn't feel pregnant anymore. I felt fine. I recall now researching miscarriage on the internet. Not once, but like... all the time. I hid the pregnancy books from view. Like under the table in a fashion reminiscent of my five year old self hiding dirty clothes underneath the bed.
My ten week ultrasound was scheduled the night after my husband started his new job. The night I had parent-teacher conferences. He rushed to the Dr.'s office after work. I told my principal that I had an appoinment during the dinner hour break, and if I was back later than the normally rigid 6 PM that would be the reason why.
We met there and after a short wait went on in. The lady gave me an "exam" right in front of my husband. I couldn't believe that! I thought the "overexposure" crap would come much, much later. Anyway- she did an ultrasound and could not get a hearbeat. ( It was the kind with no picture- just noise). She said we should go to the ER and she immediately ordered up a real ultrsound, just to be safe. "Yeah right", I told my husband. "I am carrying a dead baby and I know it. " Just like that, because that's harsh and cold and my sick sense of humor in a very bad situation. Needless to say, he didn't laugh at my joke.
They made me drink a lot of water beforehand and told me I couldn't pee. I had to hold it. It hurt. We played pencil games in my puzzle book to stay busy. The nurse called us in and then stuck an object I didn't believe would fit right into me. I have since learned this is called the internal ultrasound. It made me want to punch her. Humiliating me like that when I was feeling so devastated. straight away she noticed on the ultrasound that my bladder was ridiculously full. I said it hurt! She let me go and pee out a little.
Then I watched her take a bazillion pictures of this tiny lifeless dot on the screen and I knew. I was strong but didn't hear myself make any more jokes. She didn't seem to be in a good mood either.
Then we sat and waited for the x-ray guy to call our doctor to then call us, sitting and waiting like two anxious puppies. My phone rang and it was a co-worker. I had forgotten about work. I told them things weren't looking too good and could someone please let the boss lady know I wasn't going to be back in tonight? Like at all?
We then got the call we were waiting for. She said that the baby died at six weeks. I crumpled in sadness. The saddest moment of my whole life.
We drove home in stunned silence. We ate McDonald's for dinner. I do believe, aside from car trips, that is the ONLY McDonald's my husband and I have ever eaten together. We don't eat like that much around here. I took the morning off from work and idiotically actually thought, despite the inability to stop crying and my resistance to taking a shower, that I could make it in by noon. I called around ten saying I would be out all day. And all week for that matter.
The Dr. told me I needed to make a decision. To either let "it" pass naturally ( wait around for the thing to fall out-? ) wait and see if "it" absorbs back into my body ( ummm... gross ) or to have "it" surgically removed. I opted for door number three and asked when was the absolute soonest I could schedule what will henceforth be referred to as the "procedure"... ( mostly because it's actually a D&C and that sounds like abortion to me, and that didn't seem fair! ).
So the next day it was. My Mom came with my sister-in-law in tow. My husband also came after some serious discussion. I mean, it was like day FOUR of his new job! I thought he should just go to work. His boss disagreed. Later, I would admit it was better he was by my side.*
Before the "procedure", they brought me a funeral packet. They asked me if I wanted to make a funeral for the little guy. I kept thinking that it would be weird. "It" just needed to go away to the place where they put that kind of stuff. Wherever and whatever that grody place is.
I remember very little about it because I was put under. They put me in these huge nasty white depends underwear which as a precaution it should be mandatory you are told about before hand. They are too scary to just wake up in. I thought maybe they removed my whole ass or something.
We came home. I slept. And slept. And cried. Basically my daily journal for the next month would have looked like this:
Work. Home. Cry. Eat. A lot. Sleep.
I went to the library to try and find some "recovery" books on miscarriage, becuase I am that kind of girl that believes in mental health and positive thinking and well... I picked out the cutest books. Because as a rule of thumb I like books that have pink or purple colors. I tried to read them but they were devastatingly mundane and boring. I FELT the sorrow of the written word creeping off the page. I think they were actually making me sadder. But yet happier, because I thought I finally found a subject for the book I have always wanted to write. A funny miscarriage book. Or at least a book that when you opened the front page you didn't think you were hearing pipe organs. But then and again I realize that my dark dark humor( which I am even resisting here ) would not be appreciated en masse.
It was right around this time that my husband's hours at his new job cranked up. He was working sometimes 70 hours a week. And they were random and sporadic. He was never home. It was not his fault. But I became lonely. Very lonely. I was depressed. And who wouldn't be? I barely remember anything about last school year at all. It's a blur.
And there is so much more to tell. But that is the basic story of the "incident"...

Taco Pig

All overweight foodies have snuck food. ALL OF THEM. I know. I am one of them. I believe it's a learned trait, but at the same time, if you have ANY self-consciousness at all, there are times it's just darn inappropriate to reach for another snack. And really, life cannot go ON unless you have a bite of the forbidden food, usually in the form of some kind of chocolate tower or bag of crunchy whatsits. Some of my best friends are food sneakers. And I know it even if they haven't told me.
Once while living in a second floor apartment in Chicago, one of my girlfriends ( Stacy*) was over. Mindy* called from her car and mentioned she would come by, too. And since three makes a party let's just go ahead and get Taco Bell and make a fiesta!
She took our orders and then we waited. And waited. We called... no answer. With worrisome, yet empty - no seriously, we cared more about the food, stomachs, we sat on the radiator and peered out the window like anxious little piggies. It was then, in the darkness of the night, I spotted, due to the inexplicably placed street lamp, motion in a nearby car. I motioned Mindy to come and look as well. It was then Mindy exclaimed, "Is that Stacy? In the car? Wait, what is she doing?" Me..." It looks like she is doing something... wait, is she EATING?" We started to roll with laughter. We took this as an oppourtunity to make a joke on her. To be funny, but mostly because we were hungry and we were angry she wouldn't come in and share.
So Stacy came in, nonchalant. She began passing out the delicious Mexican-American dishes when I noticed my order was not right, the sour cream was missing. Mysteriously. And Stacy only gave herself one item while Mindy and I had piles of three. With suppressed giggles, we asked her why she wasn't hungry. Ambivalance.
We asked her why our orders were wrong. Again, ambivalence.
We ate and chomped in silence and then I finally asked her, "That's weird, you have sour cream on your lip, I thought you didn't like sour cream."
She reached for her mouth so quickly I was worried about self-injury.
Mindy could take it no longer and we busted her out... "We were watching you eat Lori's taco from the window, you pig."
When she finally got over the LIE as well as saw the humor we all had a good laugh.
Even now. Poor girl.
She has grown up now, like me... It was over ten years ago. But there will always be a part of me that thinks of her as the girl who ate my taco in secret.

*Names have been changed to protect the piggishness.

Call the Fashion Police

One of my biggest fears, aside from rodents, is to be a fashion DON'T. I don't need to be a fashion DO, just NOT a DON'T.
I don't want my ass plastered all over the back page of Glamour with my eyes blacked out.
I don't want Perez Hilton drawing glasses on my face.
And I don't want my friends to whisper as I walk away from the table that I must have gotten a gift card to Chico's. Or something.
And I will tell you, it's been difficult. Turning 30 and gracefully caring can be a dangerous road.
There seems to be a fine line between giving up and trying to hard. I am not interested in either. But turning 30, let alone 35, can really put a spin on the 'ole closet.
I threw out the miniskirts and tube tops years ago. But what about some of the other fashions? What about cute layered muscle tees? What about plaid shorts and bubble skirts? What about HORIZONTAL stripes that have overtaken every super store out there?
The frustating thing is, I am not interested at this juncture to really make a statement about who I am through my clothing. It's more about having fun shopping... and playing in my closet and buying shoes for five bucks that I can make look great because I like to be creative.
And then I go and get older and find myself in this fix.
The easiest solution would be to buy age appropriate clothing, but I gotta tell you, Micheal Kors is not on my affordabe list. And the "women's" section at Target is all loose black cotton and tiny prints of flowers and yachts and cats... and I am just not there yet.
So, I am still, like I have been for the past 15 years, stuck in the Jr's clearance section... just waiting for the perfect black turtlenecks and grey pin-striped trouser slacks. Old school style with young and "flirty" cuts.
I am guessing turning 40 will be even harder. And something tells me that shopping at Forever 21 will be way out of the question by then.


I have been found out. By my super tech savvy sis-in-law. I thought I was all alone in blog-world. I thought I was composing "practice" posts. I thought I would invite her to it when I finally felt like I wrote something worthwhile.
I mean, so far the only person, aside from one of my own alter-egos, to read any of this garbage is my poor husband. Whom, I might add, is asked to read my own posts out loud to me sometimes. And he does it every time. No matter what is on TV. I *heart* him... sigh.
Anyway- years ago I had a blog. A whole blog team if you will. I was a sister blogger to a series of three. It was fun. I had fun. I was religious about writing and in order to one day get a big fat book deal was trying to find my voice.... and a target audience.
Then I sobered up.
I have about as much "talent and patience for composing perfect prose" as a country singer and the only material I have to write about is my Special Education students ( which is illegal ), my husband, ( which is immoral ) and myself. Which is where I have settled. And I have come to find that my thoughts are not nearly as interesting as I like to think they might be.
I have also come to realize that writing my thoughts down on paper ( ie THE INTERNET- because a real life journal made out of paper just allows me way too many swear words and angry thoughts) is cathartic sometimes and helps me to view the world in a comic way. At times. I still am pissed off a lot and irrational frequently. But at least "when blogging" I can laugh about it.
This is probably my fifth blog. I wrote the one I spoke of earlier for a few years. I was into it. Life changed. At each new venture, I started up a new anonymous blog. I wrote about stuff I will write about in later posts... like getting married, finding God, and an unfortunate miscarriage. But none of those blogs seemed like the kinds of things I would want to really remember all that well. Seriously. Not with that intensity anyway.
But now life is slower. Calmer. I am in the slow lane of a four lane highway. A good place. Hence the title. I intend for THIS blog to have some staying power. Especially now that I have been discovered. JEN. ;) ( seriously, you called it a track wheel? I feel like I am cave woman ) But it's time.
So for any of you new viewers, I realize the writing is choppy- I know my words are not poetic, and I for sure realize there is no book deal on the horizon. BUT, I guess it's time for me to open up again. Share with my small world ( sorry Disney, but it works ) my fears, thoughts, giggles, and incredibly ridiculous knack for finding the hardest route to get anywhere, ALL of the time. With a twist of illogical thinking skills and flair for drama.
Anyway. Welcome.

Four Sticks

So if you are "in" Weight Watchers you have to go and get weighed every single week. Or not, but I would say it's a huge part of success. Or not.
My first couple of months I was all over it. I counted points for everything and was religious about writing it all down. Then mid-summer hit and between camping and camping again and a visit to the parents I became more and more aloof about the structure.
I wasn't too concerned, however, because while I was wondering about the number of points my delicious juicy cheeseburger held mid-bite ( as opposed to knowing in advance, which generally works out better ) I continued to lose weight. Not as rapidly, but to be expected. My tiny little .2 and .4 weight losses resulted in many the comment of, " at least you didn't GAIN". Which is a huge catch-all phrase in the Weight Watcher world. But then I had THIS week.
THIS week is the week before school starts as well as my birthday. Oh, and did I mention my biggest hurdle? PMS. Between the stress and the celebrating and the out of control cravings for salt and chocolate, HIDE your candy people, Lori is coming in!, you could say that the points were as obvious to me as a meteor in the sky at two AM. In other words, NON-existent.
And it's funny how it works, becuase now, just six days later, I cannot even recall the crap I fed myself. These morsels that in the moment seemed so... important! I think I remember fried potatoes and breaded chicken at the wedding. I definetely recall the Mexican that I am still belching up. I KNOW the pizza was absolutely FANTABULOUS.
But now, here I am, right after weigh in, and digesting the biggest mistake of all. I GAINED A POUND.
A WHOLE POUND. Which, according to the Weight Watchers home page is equivalent to about four sticks of butter.
It's my first GAIN since being on a weight-LOSS program.
What will I hear now? At least you didn't get MORE??
I should have seen it coming. Every week I get major weigh in anxiety and pee about 367 times( which is my bodies response to stress) right before I step on the scale. I breathily mutter to anyone who will listen, " I know I gained this week". But I don't, and I walk away smiling, laughing at my stupid body for letting me trick it yet again!
As I was walking out the door this morning, after the requisite 5 trips to the ladies' room, my husband mentioned that I shouldn't be upset this week if I gained weight. He is nothing but supportive of the process and doesn't complain when I fix meals that seem a little thick on the fiber and a little light on the red meat. He also never says a word when I am inhaling my fourth piece of deep dish topped with blueberry pie. But this should have been my green light that THIS time the anxiety was legitimate.
I suppose this is where I admit to myself that I am normal and that I should use it as a motivator and that I should try harder. In reality, this is normally about the time where I would quit. Say to myself this is bull****, when I know better. But, with the Olympics and all, I am feeling a little like aiming to be a champion. Go for the gold.
So I will forge ahead. It's gonna be Point -city around here for the next couple of weeks. Ladies and gentlemen, bust out your fiber-filled bread, because I am American, and I watch the Olympics! And perhaps I might even consider particpating in an athletic event instead of laying down in my bed while making fun of the outfits?

Friday, August 22, 2008

The 2008 Olympics

Okay, so I can no longer resist.

Last night- while watching the Olympics with my husband, I exclaimed to him that the male runners outfits were distracting and I was having a difficult time of not focusing on the frank and beans. I feel the same way about women's volleyball. BEACH volleyball. Are we not all just waiting for one of the "girls" to pop out? There are some other sports too, that I am not sure I really "get" the outfit and how it actually contributes to the execution of the game. But basically, some of these lycra stretchy type things are distracting to me. My mind drifts into what I might look like in such an outfit. That would be a hilarious sight. I envision something similar to Horton. The Who-hearing elephant.

Regardless, I just clicked on the medal count. Looks like business as usual. We are thrashing the other countries. Which, if you have ever been in a less developed foreign country during the Olympics, I am sure you noted that while we pride ourselves on licking the medal bowl clean, they have far fewer goals and lower expectations. They are happy to win in one of the sports they CHOSE to send representation to compete in- not every single one. It's a more focused effort for sure. They, for Americans who are not aware of this fact, could care less that we insist on creaming in the overall. They don't LOOK UP TO YOU. Or US. They are still proud. And we ususally still win.

I digress. Seems to me that somebody must have had something to do with the way we represent our wins on the internet chart. It's tilted to represent the US as on top. NOT TRUE!
China is killing us in the Golds- our measly 30 is nothing to thier 47. Granted we have more Bronze, but who cares?

I don't care who wins the most medals. I like the Olympics and I like the pride I get for cheering on our athletes. And while I hope we compete well, I also hope we don't do whatever it is to cheat ourselves into thinking we are the best when we are clearly not. It takes the fun out of it.

Neicey? Are You Out There?

I love me some Niecy Nash. I watch Clean House all of the time. And Reno 911. Mostly because of her. I like how she is able to confront these scary freaks, oops, I mean folks with compassion and forward goal- oriented thinking about gutting all of the crap out of thier lives. And that stuff goes deep. Real deep.
Recently I saw an episode of the show about the messiest house in America. It was horrific. Worse than a Salvation Army after surviving a hurricane.
It was scarier than scary.
Now... let's talk about these folks. A mother and two daughters. They looked normal on the outside, but when they spoke it was like listening to a three year old when confronted with another child's bite marks. NOT ME! If I had been Niecy, I would not have been near as compassionate and patient. I would have blown a gasket and would have had to resist from gently placing my palms around the necks and shaking hysterically until I got some sense. Ot at least an admission.
Eventually, this family, after many, many, tears allowed eight trash dumpsters of pure SHIT to be hauled away. There was the requisite yard sale and what not... and even still the basement had to be stripped of it's intended design in order to house over 50 more bins worth of valuables. Sorry Mark, I know you tried!
In the end, mom seemed okay about the new relaxing home she could actually navigate and USE. But what got me was the reluctance to admit they liked anything. The one daughter, age 24, was a little bitch about her bedroom, which had been coated in Grateful Dead posters upon a layer of pink Holly Hobby wallpaper. The older daughter said she was going to move out and take all of her new bedroom furntiture WITH her. The mom nonchalantly said thanks at the end as if these people just didn't make it reasonably possible for her to FUNCTION. ( One guy said he found food in the fridge that expired in 2005 ). She did manage to hang onto some horrible PINK window treatments as she loved them. I might have to if it was still 1977.
I am left days later still thinking about it, actually traumautized by the whole experience.
I think it goes without saying that part of the reason I watch this show, and most reality shows for that matter, is to feel better about myself. It's obvious that while I am laying on the couch doing absolutely nothing and feeling guilty that I can easily say at least my house is not like that! Key word being house.
That is until yesterday. And I almost had a nervous breakdown.
I thought I would just stop by my classroom for a little bit and organize some of my things.
I needed a dumpster. And Niecy. It was out of control in there.
A co-worker stopped by and asked why I had so many stuffed animals. I couldn't think of a reasonable answer, I just asked him to please throw all the plush toys away because I didn't know if I would be capable of doing it.
I was there for over three hours. Luckily my friend and co-worker was helping me. Or I think I would have thrown myself onto one of TWO mounting piles of junk in a big blubbery mess. I was horrified by my collection and came home and drank three beers one after the other to cope.
I have to admit, I didn't realize it had gotten so bad. If I were watching myself on TV I would have chuckled to myself and thought- yeah right! You are lazy and depressed you fool!
I am humbled.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sit DOWN Horseshack

SO.... typically in the week before school I opt to help ( get paid ) with the "book line". As in, all of the students file in one by one and hand you thier schedule and then you run around the stacks finding Algebra 2 by Houghton-Mifflin and a Writer's Inc. workbook. I generally like it because it is A) a drastic wake up call that school starts in less than a week. B) it gets me into the actual SCHOOL which by this point every summer I have completely avoided C) I begin to reacquaint myself with some of the personalities at work.
The personalites one might find are more diverse than one might typically venture to guess. There are cops, maintenance, cafeteria, teaching staff ( which, in a high school, general personality characteristics are defined by subject like Math, or English, unless you are a coach, which supersedes all and defines you as just that.. a coach ), suppport staff, social workers, admin., etc.
It's all very exciting for about two, three minutes, when the smiles and jokes are ripe, and then baselines back to hum drum. At best. But yet also comfortable and familiar in a good way.
My classroom was pretty predictable. I mean, on the last day of school last Spring I was informed that since summer school would be taking place in my classroom I would need to secure my belongings. Meaning: Me, shoving every ounce of ten years of teaching crap into a small back closet in a hustled mess and without any thought more intellectual other than I can't wait to get OUT of here. And while I dreaded my former actions when I walked into my basement-with-flourescent-lights-classroom, it was kind of a good thing in the end because I actually am going though it all organizing it. Annoying, but at least productive and results-oriented.
Most surprising to me was my student interactions. I heard myself talk a few times and wondered when I had gotten so impatient. I mean did I really need to bark at the kid for going through the book line with a hicky on his neck? Did I need to retort to the kid who obviously had failed English for so many years in a row ( due to his mile high stack of Enligh books ) that he might want to try doing his English homework this year? And lastly, could I not have at least feigned interest when the girl told me about her summer? I just brushed her off and was like.. great! with that faux-smile that is so irriating to receive.
Maybe I am PMS'ing. But most likely I am thinking ahead to the long year in which I am sucked dry emotionally every day by stupid student crap. You know.. like seriously, it's the third quarter and you don't even have a pencil yet? You are EIGHTEEN! Or, NO! It's not the janitor's job to pick up your lunch trash! And I don't mind getting sucked dry when it's an isloated incident. I mean, Sally can't help her parent's fought last night and didn't even think to sign her permission slip. But I am sort of sick of that crap that most high school teachers are faced with now... Higher expecations, longer hours, better scores, and with a population that is so self-absorbed and blameless and eager to self-satisfy. Like I don't have to justify to you DAILY whey you cannot text DURING the TEST!
And it's not the average kid that is like that, but it just seems that more and more we are forced to focus on the kids who are "slipping" ( i.e., crap parenting and no money and no respect for themselves or otherwise ) . And perhaps it's time to face the fact that while some kids can be saved from themselves, others cannot.
I think my goal for this year will be to focus on student achievement. No matter how small. It's time that the average and superior students get some attention as well.

35th Birthday

I turned 35 yesterday. If you had asked me five years ago what I would want that day to look like I would have certainly guessed with a lot more razzle dazzle, a few more people, and way less sitting around. As it stood, I didn't even sleep in. Because I am old, and I coudn't.
Instead, I actually cleaned my house, as a gift to myself. I didn't HAVE to and that made a lot of difference in me wanting to. Plus, school starts next week and with all the meetings I have this week I might as well have already started, and the crunch has started and I am feeling busier by the second.
I spent the afternoon with my identical twin friends. We had massages, manicures and pedicures. It was only 90 bucks. And minus the bonus amenities, like lighted candles, lemon water, thick carpet, the actual services were pretty good and we all agreed we would go back. ( Heavenly Massage, 383 E. North Ave, Lombard, IL. )
And please... hurry to make your appointments because the place was really dead and I am afraid that I found this cheap gem and it's going to go under. It did have a steam shower and that was nice. Really nice. They actually had to knock on the door to tell me to get out to get to my nail appointment.
There was one glitch ( which is true to form for me... like every time I do anything), the woman who administered my massage seemed to have a fascination with my big butt cheeks. Is that normal that my butt felt like kneaded dough under a gigantic wooden rolling pin? I tried to ignore it and figured it was some Eastern European thing. Either that or she felt like baking bredad and was stuck at her massasge job. It didn't feel bad, it was just.... weird.
Anyway- my friends came over, and we had a couple glasses of wine. My husband came home and we ordered a pizza. I got delicious and fun little presents from all of them. Yeah for birthdays!
And despite the fact that my body gifted me* the following for our 35th: A) a beard B) a pimple line on my upper lip where apparently the at home wax kit did a number on my skin C) my monthly "bill" and D) a UTI, I feel like I still had a very nice day.
Happy Birthday to me!

*A future (LONG ASS) post will most certainly be a letter shaming my ( RUDE ASS) body for having some kind of nerve, but today I didn't want to be angry.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Black Wedding

We went to a wedding last night. I hadn't been to someting like that all summer and was looking forward to it. To get dressed up and do the Chicken Dance and stuff like that. Since I didn't really know the bride or groom I didn't even buy anything new to wear, just sort of pulled something old, black and trustworthy out of the closet. I was pleased with the overall end result. Sort of a cross between "blends into the wall" and "okay". Of course, no one blended into these walls becuase they were a giant mural of some kind of European beach scene.

The vibe weird when we got there. Really weird. I noticed that everyone was wearing black. In August. And I didn't feel any of that excited "just married" chemistry in the air. The best man speech was short and awful. Like as in nothing prepared and he actually said the word jag-off into the microphone and no one clapped and it was just awkward. The bride kept rolling her eyes and a girl at my table said she overheard the wedding party placing bets on how long the marriage would last. Ouch.

But, I was intent on having a good time. And when the emcee put a sombrero on my head and had me lead the congo line I accepted with unbridled ( and slightly tipsy ) enthusiasm. I had a friend once and she used to always say, when in doubt... Conga Line. And I have to admit, a Conga line really is a pretty good time.

They handed out mini- champagne bottles for party favors. Another plus in my book. Better than a cheap frame or candle. Something I will actually use. I mean, what are some of these brides thinking? No offense, but as excited as you are to tie the knot- most of us out there, besides your mother and your weird cousin, don't really need, or want, a memento to immortalize your plunge into wife-hood. It's not the best day of OUR life it's the best day of yours. Supposedly.

It was a pretty good time, for me anyway. I feel bad for the folks who care about the couple and don't have any hope they will last or can't reach deep and find even a smidgen of support for thier union. It can't be good to start off a marriage with so much doubt around you.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I just pulled my dirty camo shorts and pink polo out of the dirty clothes and put them on, to wear again today. I wore that outfit yesterday. And it's dirty. And the flip flops I chose are so near to thier death that I have to put a spare pair in the car in case they snap apart.
What is happening around here?
I used to envision myself being that woman with the very severe blunt bob ( which is totally stupid because my hair is as curly as the day is long ) and those black-framed square glasses. I envisioned ordering 10 word long Starbucks drinks and learning to like shrimp and other fish as well as knowing all the wines I like instead of just asking for a color. And why do they call it white anyway? It's YELLOW and the grapes are GREEN. I am so not sophisticated.
We have hot dogs at least once a week and I still can't pronounce Nicoise even though I have heard it 80 times. I have no idea what the hell is happening in Iraq and when I read an article to get educated my eyes glaze over and I begin to drool. But it's all balloons and confetti when I hear that Jessica Simpson is back ON with Tony.
I am not sure when I became so... immune.
But I am like... totally okay with it. That's the sick part. I look forward to my US Weekly and buying shiny new five dollar earrings from Wal-mart. Yes... Wal-mart! I still shop there! And I know better! I even recently got the suburban requisite Sam's Club card. And I love that too.
I used to wear almost all black. Not goth, but ya know.. urban. And now it's like my closet was raided by a rainbow. I even own a coral t-shirt. CORAL!
Is it just me or am I turning into my worst nightmare? I guess I don't care. These shorts are really comfortable and my earrings are the bomb.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wonder Woman or Hearing Sucks

I thought it was sort of weird this morning when my co-worker/friend's mother called me. I was in the shower and the message, in somewhat broken English, seemed to say she would like me to go and visit her daughter in the hospital. She had a ten pound six ounce baby girl the day before, and I figured maybe her mom just wanted a break to run some errands and didn't want to leave her daughter alone. Or something like that.
I called her mother back and confirmed that I would leave within the hour.
I organized driving directions to the hospital a few suburbs North and back.
I stopped at Dominick's and bought food, mags, gifts to take in.
I canceled my original plans to go and clean my classroom.... not that I minded too much.
I took off and while driving began to surmise what this was all about. Was my friend okay? Did she really reach out for me in a time of need? I felt reliable. Good. Helpful. A great friend.
When I got to the hospital ( by the way, since when do suburban hospitals have the nerve to charge parking rates??) I found her room and lugging my bag of goodies rapped lightly on the door before pushing it in.
The look of shock and awe on my friend's face led me to believe right away that something had literally been lost in translation.
When she spoke I just about DIED.
"OH! My Mom is not with you? She is waiting for you at home to pick her up. It's okay, I will call her and let her know you didn't understand her message."
Despite that fact that it's a thirty minute drive I immediately offered to go and pick her up and drop her off ( she doesn't drive ) . But, after a short discussion, we realized schedule conflicts would have made it impossible. So... I sat and held the baby and stayed- feeling slightly stupid for having thought what I had been thinking. I kind of wanted to crawl under a rock. Or at least one of those big x-ray machine thingys.
As I walked back to my car I ingested the full reality of what had just happened. My friend was expecting her mother and instead she got me... a co-worker. A friend, but nothing at all like her mother. And her own siblings hadn't even seen her yet! Not even her close friends!
As my face reddened with embarassment and I paid my two dollar parking fee, I vowed to ask clarifying questions the next time I think I am being summoned for my SuperFriend powers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Strangers in the Night

A while back Billy and I were laying in bed, sleeping I assume. I woke to a loud noise and my immediate reaction was to A) make sure my husband was as awake as me and B) to try and guess what the heck the loud metal-ly noise was.
I thought it was a racoon outside our bedroom window doing something awful to our down spout, like riding a ten speed into it. At the time, this was fair considering there were three huge metal cages to catch said animal(s) by our annoying condo association. I was frantically brainstorming a list of all of the possibilites,but felt pretty confident I was bang on. Billy, growing increasingly awake and agitated with my surmising, and being a former cop, told me to be quiet. He grabbed a weapon and a flashlight and began the manly task of patrolling our condo.
I saw him peering through our blinds like a detective on TV. As I layed there quietly and stiffly in bed, I tried to be patient yet couldn't stop my brain from playing out the scenario of shots being fired and in crawls my blood spattered husband and I heroically grab a gun and go after the heroin/meth addict and shoot him down and come back and call 911 and then give my husband CPR and it then momentarily pause because I see him signing I-love-you to me over and over.
Needless to say, he came back to bed unharmed and said he didn't know what "it" was, but "it" seemed to not be in the house or near it for the time being. It sort of lacked the romatice vibe I was going for but bed sounded good. We tried to go back to sleep as if none of this happened.
In the morning, while Billy was getting ready for work and I was halfway between unconscious and alive, I heard him sarcastically exclaim, after opening our closet door... " Well, I think I found your ten speed riding raccoon".
I jumped out of bed and saw my entire walk-in closet wire rack system had fallen to the floor into one hugantic heep of hangers, dress slacks and wool sweaters.
The next day, Billy shored it up with some sturdy reinforcements. Things have been pretty quiet around here since.

Swimsuit Season

I haven't needed to wear my swimming suit all year yet and thoughts of an upcoming weekend at a water park is giving me some anxiety. Well, some is like, not even close to being true. More like major anxiety and that is being cautious. Think about how you feel right after you trip and you are midway between the ground and standing in your upright position, feet firmly planted.

I have been doing Weight Watchers since June. I really like what it does for me.... but counting points get OLD. I have lost at least 12 pounds, and don't have to do any back to school shopping because all the pants I had "outgrown" last year fit this year and look as good as new. So, a fully covered ass isn't really the issue here.

The big question is the clearly-out-there-for-the-world-to-see uncovered ass. The swimming suit.

I mean, at this point, I am 12 more pounds away from my normal weight. And when I say normal I am talking about a weight that I have been at many times in my life and keeps me a solid size 10. It's a reasonable an attainable goal to aim for. But I have tasted the sweetness of some success and was sort of thinking, heck, why not GO for it? How about a size 8? Or a 6 even? It would be nice if people forced sandwiches on me. That NEVER happens now. I tell people I am on Weight Watchers and they say... Oh that's good. WTF? Screw you! I am not THAT fat, am I?

Anyway- I am obsessed and have drifted off to sleep many a night envisioning pulling myself out of a swimming pool in a cute bikini with hips jutting out and butt cheeks like two 16 inch softballs - and in a suit I just picked up off the rack because I LIKE it vs. considering the way the side straps will create bulges like pinched water ballons on my sides.

It would also be nice to have enough confidence so when people look at me I don't automatically assume they are wondering why that fat ass is trying to look good in a suit that is way too small... and unflattering. I mean, and then there is the eating. I don't dare even nibble on a salad while "in suit"... I mean, I have seen some rather large chicks eating right out of a Doritios bag while "in suit", and we are all thinking the same thing. She has just given up. And who knows? She could also be on Weight Watchers and has just lost 80 pounds and feels great and has earned that snack, but swimsuit season is tough- and mercy is hard to find.

Anyway- there is nothing I can do to speed up the weight loss process so I will just have to go on, business as usual. Make sure I place my sarong as close to the pool steps as possible. Eat a decent size meal before I go to avoid snack bar anxiety. And make sure that when I am standing waiting in line for a water slide that I am never next to a 20 year old with taut skin, making me, in comparison, huge.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Re- A Drop of Golden Sun

I love show tunes. And musicals. And I am not sure what this says about me. I DO know that I can hardly ever find a single person to attend a musical with me.
Once when I lived in the city I found a "club" on Craig's list seeking such girls to attend shows together. With trepidation, I went once but felt like the leader was a controlling freak and was therefore "busy" the rest of the season. I had season tickets to the Steppenwolf for years. But by the last season my friends, all deeply involved with marriages and babies, chose to skip the shows in order to partake in a few too many cocktails. Leaving me quivering on my barstool as the curtains were drawing, and I would pretend like I "got it" and joylessly ordered another Miller Lite. We didn't renew our tickets.
Any which way, my best bet is my mother. The last show I saw with her was Jersey Boys. I won't bother to talk about how great it is because I learned long ago that singing the praises of a musical to non-fans is like talking about the 7th inning of the Cubs game to me. Dull, pointless, and annoying.
When I last saw my mother she gave me a burned copy of the Jersy Boys soundtrack. And today, I am totally excited, because I will have a good uninterrupted 45 minutes in my car, sans husband, who also does NOT share my penchant for musical scores, to listen and jam out to my hearts content.
I am not sure about the hills, but for sure my car will be alive with the sound of music. Yee haw!