Friday, August 28, 2009

Moses & Spiders

I feel so happy right now and for no logical reason! I cuddled with my big dopey dog earlier which is impossible to do and not feel happy. Moses is the most unconditionally loving creature on the planet. He wraps his furry arms around me and hugs me like a person. He is so big though and growing so fast that he doesn't know how to keep up with his own size. He clumsily lumbers around, plowing into things, tripping over his own legs and hitting his head and tail on the furniture. He has absolutely no concept of personal space or boundaries. The main reason we chose Moses was because I wanted a large breed dog, but both Clint and I wanted to make sure that we didn't choose a dog that was too hyper and energetic. We don't do very well with bouncy dogs, especially big ones. So we researched the various large breeds, and according to the Dog Encyclopedia, Newfoundlands have an energy level of two out of five (one being the lowest). But they have an affection level of five out of five, get along great with kids, etc. So we thought, this dog is perfect for us! Little did we know how challenging he would be. He's one giant fur ball, so every time I let him in the house he's a big muddy mess. He LOVES water and will find ways to use even the smallest water dish (not to mention toilets) as a personal swimming pool. He's a sloppy drinker, he sheds a ton, he eats a mountain of food a day, he sneaks into your shower, he steals packs of gum, there's nothing he can't reach, and that energy level of two? My ass! This dog is hyper ALL the time. But he is absolutely irresistible so I put up with all of his nuances just to have him look at me with those adorable, lovable, eager-to-please puppy brown eyes.

I cleaned the house tonight and it was so exhilarating, but only because I listened to my i-Pod while cleaning. It's been so long since I have had good music to listen to (long, boring story), so I sort of forgot how much music lifts my spirits. Ever since I finished cleaning tonight, I have been in such a good mood.

My classroom was full of baby spiders two days ago. Not just a few...hundreds. Apparently a nest of them hatched in my room. They were so tiny (and I have to say it, kinda cute), it was like junior arachnophobia. So campus assistants took care of them while I took my class to the library. Later I thought the problem had been resolved when suddenly one of my students got upset because there were baby spiders on the pencil sharpener. So now those ones are gone too, other than an occasional straggler. On the same day a dying roach also appeared next to my desk. It was upside down wriggling its legs. This left me frozen in place because for some reason I'm freakishly scared of cockroaches (I'll take spiders any day of the week, but keep the roaches), so one of my students had to save the day and discard the roach in a trash can located practically in Siberia. Then later that same day a bee flew into my room. I never find this to be a big deal except for the fact that there is always at least one kid who is allergic. But this isn't the first time I've had a bee fly into my classroom and I'm really fast at catching them now. So I just caught him really quick in a sugar jar and had my T.A take the bee away from nearby classrooms. Only problem was the bee didn't want to leave the jar because, come on, it was full of sugar.

I stayed after school today for the school dance. Trinity and Elijah were with me the last hour, and we had so much fun dancing. Elijah was the life of the party. I don't know when that kid decided to emerge from his shell, but he went crazy dancing for nearly an hour. He was the center of attention and the junior-highers kept surrounding him and clapping and cheering him on. He was so darn cute.

Second wind officially just left and I'm exhausted. Off to bed!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wipe Out

Right now Carey is over and we're watching Wipe Out...well, I'm half-watching it and half-typing this, doing neither one very well. Clint's family was over for dinner a couple of hours ago, but Carey stayed over to watch the kids so Clint and I could go on a quick jog, and now he's sitting on the couch cuddling with the kids and watching contestants clobber themselves on the Big Balls. It's actually really pleasant. I'm currently experiencing one of those rare moments of contentment, but give it about five minutes and I'm sure I'll be back to my healthily- stressed self.

Today I spent almost the entire day grading. It was very boring. I wish there was a way to be a teacher and never have to grade. But we did manage to clean the house at the superficial level today, and that makes me feel good because I always find my home very cute when it's clean. Then I pretty much hate it when its dirty and want to move. It's a very complex relationship. We also had a good lunch today (Ono Barbeque--my favorite). Followed by more grading, dinner and jogging. For dinner Clinton prepared a very fancy meal of hot dogs and little baggies of chips. I made sure to use my good dishes and set up the table in true-entertaining style to go with our very eloquent meal. We only have to fix dinner for Clint's family once every three weeks now (all three families alternate Sundays), so it's important to put a lot of thought into what we prepare. =)

Jogging was grueling like it was last Sunday, but a world better because this time I had music. Clint downloaded a whole bunch of awesome music for me on this bulky, archaic i-Pod that I swear looks like one of those life-alert contraptions that senior citizens where if they've "fallen and can't get up." Nonetheless, it works great, and running to "Aajkiratt" from Slum Dog Millionaire is a hell of a lot better than running to the slapping of my shoes against the uneven asphalt and the heavy panting of my breath because I'm dying (or so it feels), not to mention the incessant yapping of dogs who feel offense toward these clumsy human bodies jogging past their yard.

Shannon called from Vegas today. She fractured her foot on her way to Vegas and has been hobbling around since then. Apparently it happened when she was getting out of her car--she tripped or stumbled in a bad way (she had her own little "wipe out"--hee hee). She won't go to the doctor because she has no insurance. I think I should feel something here like compassion or sympathy, but for some reason I find the whole thing really funny. I think it's just because it is so typical-Shannon.

Time for me to negate my jogging now by eating something unhealthy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Movie Night Interruption

I'm supposed to be watching "Knowing" with Clint, but his dad called (right at a good part of the movie, too) and now their rambling on and on about kickboxing, so I'm killing time typing up a new post when really I have nothing to talk about. Hmmm...I think I'll go hunt down Kristyn's blog and read a post or two. She is an old friend of mine from high school who at some point in her life made the decision to be "child free," and now she likes to dredge up all of the "mommy propaganda" in the world (articles that assume moms are the bomb and anyone without kids is barely human) and angrily discuss it and point out all of the discriminate misconceptions.  Her posts are very interesting to read...I might even start officially following her blog if I ever get more free time.  

Karate Tournament

Today Trinity and Elijah had their first karate tournament. The whole event lasted nearly four hours--thank goodness for the food and beverages to keep the spectators happy! Elijah participated in three Little Ninja events, in which the first and second place participants won trophies, while the rest of the participants received medals. Elijah was so cute. He wound up winning second place and was beaming from ear-to-ear when they handed him his trophy. My favorite was the wood-breaking event. Five and six year olds don't actually punch a wood block (ouch!); instead they punch a piece of card-stock paper in half. For this event, Elijah had to jog in place with his knees coming up to his chest, drop down to his stomach, pop back up and punch the "block." He did his moves very smooth and fast...that paper never saw him coming. =) I think this event is what bumped Elijah up in the competition.

Trinity participated in the beginning staff-bow competition, and from my perspective (which I'll admit is biased) she was amazing. She was the only white-belt to participate, so she was up against orange and green belts. It was so impressive watching her twirl that big stick around (okay, I know it's not called a "big stick" and she would probably be offended if she overheard me calling it that, but I'm struggling with the terminology here). Before she began, she had to approach the judges and give a formal introduction of herself and her martial arts school, and she spoke loudly with confidence. I love it that she's such a secure little kid. Hopefully that self-confidence doesn't get trampled out of her by the time she enters the snottyness and shallowness of middle school. I still remember entering 7th grade as a confident, happy kid, but soon after almost completely withdrawing into shyness and insecurity under the cruel scrutiny of middle school girls.

Anyway, Trinity also wound up winning second place. There was one very tall boy who displayed quite a mastery of the bow, and he took the trophy. He was so sweet though...he walked up to Trin and told her that she did a great job and he thought she should have won. And that's when my very outgoing girl suddenly became shy and just smiled at him, speechless.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Why is it that whatever the "husband" loves somehow absorbs the whole family? For example, a friend of mine who I went to H.S. with--we'll call her Sabrina--she was NEVER interested in sports and wouldn't so much as cast a glance at a game on t.v. In fact, from my best recollection, she was addicted to all things Disney-related. But then she married her husband, who is a baseball fanatic, and they now spend half of their lives watching baseball games. What's worse is that she acts like baseball is her if she has always been a fan. I hear this same story over and over again; the whole family will be sports fanatics or off-roading fanatics or whatever fanatics, all because it is the husband's/dad's passion. Paradoxically, it doesn't work the other way. If Sabrina was intersted in scrapbooking or photography or writing, you'd never see the guy coming over to her side. Female pastimes are regarded as more of a whimsical thing. It just seems that the girl is the one who ultimately compromises her interests to do what the guy wants to do. But who can blame her? If she actually attempts to retain some visage of her actual self (if there is a such thing as a "self," which I have my doubts), then she starts to experiencing a disconnect with her husband. And even if he's an awesome hubby, she can't shake off the feeling that he geniunely just doesn't give a crap about her life and interests.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just Stuff

It is way past my bedtime, but I have to write a quick post so that Shan isn't bummed when she checks my blog and discovers nothing new. =) Today was the usual: evil alarm, work, kickboxing, and down time (an emphasis on the former and not enough of the latter). As usual, I loved my class tonight. Brandon is so talented and amazing (and let's not forget mildly sadistic and evil), and it still baffles me that he patiently devotes so much of his time to us pitiful pinions. And as I alluded to in my last post, I'm beginning to feel so close to the students in the class, guys and girls alike. Females who kickbox are awesome; they're friendly and down-to-earth without a snotty bone in their body. They aren't the drama queens that I come across in other arenas of my life. And the guys are just sweet, humble, and helpful. Today I noticed that my legs feel harder and stronger. Too bad they're peeling from a nasty sunburn--they'd probably look hot if it weren't for that little issue. As it stands these curls of skin shedding from my legs look like white hairs from a distance. Imagine a seventy-year-old who hasn't shaved in a year, and you've got me.

Last night was Back to School Night, and I can't explain why, but the whole evening left me feeling completely energized. I guess I'm still a child at heart, because there's just something enchanting about being at school at night. But beyond that, my presentation went great and the feedback I got from the students and parents was very positive.  When I came home last night, I was so amped up over the evening that it took me hours to fall asleep. And then, when I finally did, I had nightmares that it was Back to School Night all over again, but this time everything was going terribly wrong. Isn't that weird? I would think I'd have those kind of dreams before the event, not after. But it was okay, because when I woke up I reminded myself that it actually went well and then drifted back to sleep feeling very pleasant. Enter: Evil alarm.

Tomorrow is Friday and I can't wait! Not for Friday--Friday's suck (students too hyper, teacher too weary, etc.), but I can't wait until I can sleep in on Saturday. Eight hours sounds so damn appealing right now that I can practically taste it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Perky Kickboxing

I just got home from my kickboxing class tonight, and I am feeling so good! I love this class. And it's not that kind of enthusiasm you muster up just because you're trying to motivate yourself to do something that you don't really care to do--I genuinely LOVE this class! The instructor, Brandon, pushes me to my absolute limits. He has a no-nonsense, no-excuses attitude, and he sure the hell doesn't care about your personal issues. His mantra for life can basically be summed up in three words: "suck it up." Now I, being the kind of no-nonsense ultra right-wing conservative Christian republican (can I say that using any more words?) that I am, find this black and white approach very appealing. I wish I could use it on my own students. I wish I could just say "I ain't your mama so quit thinking I care whether you "find yourselves" and quit waiting around for me to spoon feed you and wipe your little tushies when I'm done. Suck it up!"

Another thing I love about the class is the people. They are friendly and motivated and quirky. They're not the normal shallow type of people that you come across at work (not that everyone is shallow at work, but you get the point). They are pushing themselves as hard as I'm pushing myself, so there's this natural bond that forms...this camaraderie born from the fact that we're all going through the same torture.

Too bad I still suck at kickboxing. I'm clumsy, inflexible, and way too perky. The "perky" part comes from Brandon. Every time I'm throwing my punches, he comes over and tells me that I need to be "less perky." I don't hunch over and cover my face enough. Some of the other students in the class joke around that I'm the "drill team kickboxer." It's just that it's hard for me to switch over to a cranky hunchback during kickboxing, when my profession practically requires me to stand straight and alert (i.e. "perky") all day long. But today I think I made good progress...I even scowled a little. Of course that's because my partner Jessica kept trash-talking me to get me to punch and kick harder (she went through boot camp training, so she knows her stuff). She was awesome. What a great antagonizer. Hey, unrelated, but I taught my students the word "antagonist" today in class. Maybe tomorrow I'll bring up Jessica as an example of an antagonist. Of course, the definition I taught my students was that an antagonist is the "villain." Hmmm...that may not work.

Time for me to have a bowl of Lucky Charms and get my sore bootie in bed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Big Blob

Clinton just highlighted my hair tonight and there is a bright white blob on the top of my head!  And of course I have to go to work tomorrow, and we're out of time to try to fix it.  We tried slapping on some more bleach right before he left for work, but I'm really confused how adding more bleach is going to fix the problem.  Clint seemed pretty confident, but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have an even bigger blob.  And lucky him, he doesn't have to be home to hear me shriek in dismay as soon as I rinse this crap off and see my lovely new hair.  Can't wait to showcase my makeover to my students tomorrow...I'm sure 7th graders are polite enough to be discreet in their comments (or gawking stares) toward my hair.  Ha!


Clint and I just got back from jogging--still trying to catch my breath.  We both claim that we're going to make jogging a regular thing, but "regular" in our dictionary tends to translate to "once or twice" before we move on to the next so-called "regular" thing.  =)

Getting Started

I just started a blog, which I find a bit intimidating, since I'm used to writing thoughts down on actual pages with those little stick thingies full of ink that apparently are becoming obsolete.  I also find it a little cliche to start a blog, because now I'm officially one of those egocentrical people working under the assumption that my life is fascinating enough for other people to want to read about it.  Since I don't really know how all of this works, I think I'm going to keep this to myself for awhile.  I do have to admit that the thought of keeping an online journal is appealing.