Monday, April 30, 2012

Terrorist Furballs

I don't really have anything to write about, I'm just eager to see MY post on top again.  ;-) 

Today was an awesome day, except for the fact that I woke up with a full-fledged cold.  Or allergies.  I can't really tell the difference.  I just know that my throat is sore, my eyes are watery, and I can't breathe through my nose.  We're talking real sexy stuff going on here. 

Speaking of allergies, have I mentioned yet that these kittens are TAKING OVER my house?  I know there's only five of them, but somehow it feels like thirty.  I have scratches all over my arms from the little bastards trying to use my appendages as their personal ladders.  There's a kitten at this very second attacking my fingers as I type. 

See?  Our poor goldfish.  He's going to live up to his name (Wasabi) pretty soon if these little furry terrorists continue to bully him..

Our spelling bee went great last week!  It was SO close this year.  Our finals went on way longer than they normally do, and the final two contestants (my student and Niecy's student) were neck-to-neck for quite awhile.  My student finally took the first place medal, which was pretty cool because it was her birthday that day.  She told me that she would definitely remember this birthday forever.  The first day of the bee, the fire alarm went off, and we had to usher an entire gymnasium of students out the door.  It turned out to be a false alarm, but the whole thing was pretty amusing.

I had that job interview today (rescheduled from Thursday).  I feel like the interview went well, so now I just have to wait and see.  I'll post as soon as I hear one way or the other.

My sister has made it clear that she's going to publicly make fun of my posts whenever the urge strikes her, but I think I did a pretty good job not providing her any ammunition this time around.

Oh yeah, the cat's in heat again.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's me....Shannon!

Here is my first post! I kinda just want to get it over with because I feel some pressure to make it special or meaningful or...SOMETHING when it....just isn't. As Jo said, we will be sharing a blog now. I am delighted with this. If I start to slack off, Jodi will still be posting, so I don't have to feel guilty for blog neglect (knowing Jo, she will probably start texting me telling me to get my ass back on this thing as well). If I forget my username/password or get kicked out of my blog (all which has happened recently), Jodi can help me get back on, since I am retarded when it comes to computers. And Jodi's eloquent, entertaining posts will hopefully make up for my lazy, half-assed posts. I think my favorite part of it though is just that sharing this blog helps to keep my sis and I more engaged in each other's life, since we both get pretty busy sometimes. By the way Jo, how MUCH profanities can I use on this? And am I allowed to post inappropriate pictures? Can I bash mutual acquaintances? And when are you going to change this terrible blogger template?!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Huge, Major Change! know how my sister is a hopeless lop when it comes to her blog?  This morning I came up with this crazy idea:  Why not SHARE a blog?

Here are the benefits:
  1. Shan can no longer get delete-happy with her blog, because it's actually MINE, too
  2. If one of us doesn't post for awhile, the other can compensate
  3. We'll never have to worry about the other's blog looking prettier
  4. One-Stop Shop--those who enjoy both of our blogs can now find us in one spot
  5. Now my sis has no choice but to keep up with my life, since it will be all tangled up with hers
  6. We're already used to sharing everything anyway (clothes, birthday cakes, womb, etc.)...we might as well share a blog
  7. It just sounds like fun
Over the next week or two, there will be a few minor changes on the layout of this blog in order to squeeze in my new roommate.  Shan and I will be sure to sign each entry clearly at the bottom, so you will know who authored it. 

I don't know what am I'm getting myself into here (that sis of mine is pretty damn onery), so wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rodent Escapees & Staple-ectomies

Somehow this beautiful, open week got all crowded and busy.  Dang it.  I keep getting teased by a light at the end of an insanely long tunnel.

It's already getting late, so I'm just going to list a few quick updates.
  1. Just participated in 7th grade orientation tonight.  It was fun meeting some of my future 7th graders...and having Trin enter my classroom as part of the orientation!  I don't know if I will ever get used to the idea of having my own child on campus (let alone in my classroom). 
  2. I have a job interview this Thursday for a summer teaching position at the local community college.  It's for a high school program called Gear Up.  That stands for: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.  Yeah, it's a bit of a mouthful.  Do you ever wonder if people make up the acronym first, because it sounds catchy, but then they're stuck scrambling around to find words to fit the letters they chose?  No, you've probably never wondered that, because I'm sure you have a life.  Anyway, I found out about this position through Becky.  We met on Saturday for some much-needed girl time (lunch at a cozy Mexican grill, followed by wine), and she let me know that her program was hiring two language arts teachers.  She will actually be the one interviewing me this Thursday, which is sort of amusing to me.  How do you turn off the silly and turn up the professional when it's your girlfriend?  Guess I'll have the answer to that after Thursday.
  3. I've been nominated for Teacher of the Year at my work.  This does NOT mean that I am Teacher of the Year, it just means that I'm in the final running.   I've known for almost two weeks now, but I didn't want to post it on my blog because it hardly seemed newsworthy (since it's merely a nomination).  But ultimately I decided that I still felt honored to be one of the final nominees.  Even if I don't get the final vote, I'd still like to remember that feeling of seeing my name on that sheet saying "Congratulations Jodi!"  That felt pretty good.
  4. My pet rats escaped last night.  One of them I found right away (Ms. Frisbee).  She came crawling out of her little hole as soon as I turned on my radio.  But Ms. Whatsit pulled a disappearing act well into first period.  I actually had to walk down to the office and report to the V.P. that there was a rodent running around the school somewhere.  He nearly cried with laughter.  He said I had made his week.  Ultimately we found her (she was taking a nap in the students' file folders), and all was well with the world again.  Their little escape hatch has been safety-wired shut now, so there should be no more prison breakouts.
  5. I had to perform a staple-ectomy on one of my students yesterday.  He stapled his finger.  I mean, really stapled his finger, to the point where the staple was completely embedded into his flesh.  I just applied lots of pressure, counted to three, and pulled that sucker out.  If you yourself have any surgery requirements, I'd be glad to assist.
  6. Class pets made me think of home pets--we have five kittens and they are EVERY where in my house.  I haven't been able to breathe through my nose in two months.
  7. Still pluggin' away at my manuscript.  In my next scene, I have to  gruesomely kill off a sweet rabbit, so I'm not looking forward to that.
  8. I finally got around to posting the commissioned piece on my Glazey blog (I still love how that rhymes with "lazy" blog, since it pretty much is).
  9. Spelling Bee starts tomorrow, and I'm the Master of Ceremonies person again.  I'm excited because I love the break from the classroom, hanging out with the judges, and eating chocolate (there's always chocolate). 
That's not everything, but I need to dig up some clothes for tomorrow and drag my weary arse to bed.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Streaks and Blurs

Remember a long time ago in a land far, far away I decided I was going to write a novel?  And then I was making fun of myself because everyone says they're writing a novel?  Okay, probably not.  But at the time, I felt confident about the story, and I estimated it would take about a year to complete the manuscript.  That was back in those days of yore where I was an idealistic moron.  Why-oh-why would I think that I could write a manuscript in a year? 

Needless to say, my manuscript is still bleakly incomplete.

The good news is, I am still plugging away at it.  And I really love this story.  I read chapter three and four to Trinity last night, and when I reached the end of chapter four, she gasped and said "Wait--you can't stop there!  What happens next?"  I told her, "I haven't written the next chapter yet, honey."  She was so bummed. She kept saying, "That's so mean Mom!"  The truth is, I did have part of chapter five written.  It's just that it was a first draft, and I wasn't ready to share it yet.  On some level I feel the same dissatisfaction that she does, because I want to see the story propel itself forward, and it's just not happening fast enough.    

For awhile now I've wanted to share out pieces of my manuscript, but Shan has advised against my doing so more than once.  She's worried that my ideas might get stolen by another writer.  So I'm just going to share my favorite paragraph from chapter three.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't give anything away (if it does Shan, let me know and I'll delete it). 

            “No!  It’s happening again…!” I heard Stryder cry out before his words became lost in a spinning vortex.  Searing waves of pain pulsed through my entire body.  My fingers and toes vibrated with scorching currents.  It hurt…oh God how it hurt.  The ground seemed to rip itself from my feet, and the wind was knocked out of me.  I can’t breathe!   Terror constricted my throat.  My ears pounded.  Colors smeared wildly around me like an abstract artist on a drug-induced painting rampage, with previously concrete images colliding angrily with one another into incomprehensible streaks and blurs.

 Suddenly, with a violent thrust and a gasp, I found myself in a new place.  I glanced around in bewilderment.  The store room was gone.  The shelves, the cabinets, the falling bottle of solvent…gone.

That was actually two paragraphs, but I couldn't resist including that last part. This excerpt was the very end of chapter three.  Now I'm really wanting to copy and paste the first paragraph of chapter four.  There's no harm in that, right?  Anything I post on my blog is immediately copyrighted.  I'll think about it more and maybe post it tomorrow. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Midnight City & Storybook Love

I've been in a writing frenzy today (I'll explain another time), so I'm officially out of steam as far as writing a decent entry is concerned.  But I'm going to cheat like I always do when I'm suffering a blog-inspiration drought and post a song (maybe two.  Yeah, let's go with two). 

This first one came from my sis.  She periodically messages me with songs to download that she thinks I'll like, and I love this one.  I don't know why I love it so much.  It's pretty bizarre.  Plus it probably doesn't help that the video features creepy little kids with super-powers and glowing eyes. 

Anyone else wondering what the hell is wrong with those kids?*  Anyway, this next one is the opposite of creepy.  I adore the movie The Princess Bride, and the end-credits song (Storybook Love) is so darn precious.

I almost followed this with "Damn I Wish I was Your Lover", until I realized how obscene those lyrics are (Damn I wish you were a slightly cleaner song).  That would have been like following a Shirley Temple with a tequila-chaser.

(*After I published this post, I watched the Midnight City video again, and I have to admit, I really like it--minus the glowing eyes at the end.  The video plays out like a miniature movie, complete with interesting plot).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

5K, Easter, & Club Stuff

I'm trying not to laugh right now.  S.P. is teaching my 6th period class, and she barely started them on a journal entry when you could already hear cries of:  "What do we do again?' and "I don't have a pencil!" reverberating through the room.  Welcome to my world.  I guess it's only amusing to me because I'm currently not the one who has to deal with it.

This week has been agonizingly busy, even though it's barely begun.  After work on Friday, Clint's grandpa was visiting from Arizona, so we met him and the rest of the family for dinner at good ole' La Casita-------

Got interrupted for awhile.  Now I'm subbing for a few minutes in my friend's classroom.  Anyway, on Saturday morning I-------

Okay, now it's the next day.  Maybe I should take the hint and give up on this entry?  It's tricky writing a post when you're limited to the little snippets of time available at work.  Oh well, I'll try plucking away at it for a little while longer and see how far I get.  S.P. is leading the class in a spelling bee right now, so that should buy me some time.

Anyway, on Saturday I ran the 5K.  It was such an awesome experience and I will definitely sign up for another one in the future.  I ran the entire thing with Moo, and neither one of us stopped during the duration of the event.  This was odd to me, because every time I ran the track at my work, the furthest I could run without stopping was a little less than two miles.  The 5K was 3.1 miles, yet we never stopped.  I'm not sure what was different or what exactly changed...maybe the fact that we were surrounded by others gave us that extra push; I don't know.  I do remember that exact moment when I realized I was going to run the whole thing.  Amanda and I had just started, and she set a pace that I was incredibly comfortable with.  We had been running for about half a mile when I realized that I was breathing heavily, but I wasn't even close to being winded.  At that point, I felt this surge of excitement, because I realized I could keep going indefinitely.  I grabbed Amanda's arm and said "Moo, we've got this!" and she nodded happily.  The rest of the 5k was tiring, of course, but also exhilarating.  It definitely wasn't the torture I had been expecting.  The weather was gorgeous, and I remember while I was running and listening to my music, I had that feeling for a few seconds that there was nothing else in the world I'd rather be doing at that moment.  I know that's incredibly corny, but I don't care.  :)  At the end of the 5K, we were greeted with cheers, water, and sliced oranges.  A tiny bit of paradise.      

After the 5K we went to Teri's house for brunch.  Later that night my parents came over for dinner.  My parents rarely come to my house, so it was a lot of fun having them over.  My mom and I talked each other's ears off, and she showed me how to play "Draw Something" and "Family Feud" on my iPhone.  "Draw Something" is my favorite--such a simple, addictive little game, even though I'm really bad at drawing with my finger on a tiny screen.  Now I'm playing the game with my mom, Shan, Clint, my friend Lauren from work, and my friend James from high school.

Sunday was Easter, of course, and we did our normal Easter stuff.  This year it was at Moo's house, and she did a great job hosting.  Everything was very cute, from the food to the decorations to the elaborate treasure hunt she provided for the kids (complete with paper clues).  Next year Easter is at my house.  I already warned everyone to not expect the same quality as this year's.  My version of an Easter egg hunt pretty much consists of throwing eggs in the backyard amongst the weeds and dirt, and crossing my fingers that the dogs don't gulp too many of them down before the kids find them.

Last night, my Builders Club joined forces with three other clubs and made blankets for kids in homeless and domestic-violence shelters.  For the first hour we all ate dinner (spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, and cake), but after that we got to work.  In about an hour's time, we had completed thirty blankets (we were divided into groups, and each group completed three to five blankets).  We did this same project last year, and like then, it was a lot of fun.

Today is Trin's birthday, so we're taking her out to dinner tonight.  Friday night she's having a slumber party, which is always sheer insanity.  I thought it would be nice to have it on Friday instead of Saturday, that way I could still have the rest of my weekend free.  But when I made her invitations, I completely forgot that  I have Community Clean-Up Day (CCD) with Builders Club on Saturday morning.  In October, I did CCD the morning after the dojo's Halloween party, so I had the wonderful experience of picking up trash in a desert with a hangover.  This year, I don't plan on being hung over (although a little bit of happy juice probably wouldn't hurt), but I know I'll probably be completely thrashed from having to monitor half a dozen girls all night.

It just now occurred to me that I'm living the same life, year-after-year.  I just now wrote about three different events that I wrote entries about last year (slumber party, blanket making, and CCD).  It's like being stuck in a time loop, except for by some ironic twist of fate, I'm still aging.

Okay, well this next thing is different.  Me and "A" met in Ontario on Monday night so that I could deliver her painting.  She offered to drive to my house to pick it up, but she lives all the way down in Hollywood, so I thought it was only fair to meet her half-way.  When I gave A her painting, she over-paid by $70.  I told her that she had given me too much money, but she refused to take it back and told me to keep it as a tip.  How great is that?!  I'll post a picture of the final painting on my art blog, but I probably won't get to it until next week.


Now it's 7:24 p.m.  Guess I should publish this entry before it ends up spanning for an entire week.


Yikes, now it's 8:15.  I was getting ready to post entry when one of my student's parents came knocking on my door.  It's a long story.  Okay, I'm clicking the publish button NOW.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Paperclip Fashion

I have to wake up at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow to run a 5K.  6:00 a.m. on a Saturday.  Can there be a crueler punishment?  Well, I guess 5:00 a.m would be more cruel. 

Today I had these random, unsolicited surges of happiness.  Does that ever happen to you; where you wake up in the morning and just feel nothing but pure unadulterated joy?  Or is it just the manic in me?  At any rate, it was pretty ridiculous.  The lunch lady gave me a tiny Easter basket with chocolates, and I practically jumped over the counter to hug her, and of course I told her how much I loved her (it's okay though, she's used to it and loves me too).  Then when Mr. A. got in line behind me, I warned him that I was in one of my "happy" moods and he might want to keep his distance before I smothered him with affection too.  His response was to inquire what drug I was using, because he wanted in on it. 

Two other anecdotes from this week.  First, one of the class pets escaped and was running loose in my classroom all night.  I didn't know this until the next morning.  I was sitting at my desk, going through my e-mails, when I felt something tickling my foot.  I ignored it for a few minutes, thinking it was just the bottom of my pant leg tickling my ankle (it was Pajama Day), but then the tickling turned into a tugging.  That's when I realized there was a critter down there on my foot, but for a few suspenseful seconds I didn't know what kind of critter.  I slowly pushed my chair back, and there she was, Ms. Frisbee, trying to get my attention.  I'm just hoping she didn't chew anything during her overnight adventure.  For the most part it looks like she just ran around on the floor, but I'm still waiting for my microwave to explode.

The other thing is much smaller.  Today during fourth period I discovered something in my hair (don't worry, it was nothing alive).  A beautiful ring of colorful paperclips was wrapped perfectly around the very top of my pony tail.  They even had a pretty pattern to them.  The only problem is....I didn't put them there.  When I made this discovery, I immediately jumped up from my desk, pulled the clips out of my hair (I had to carefully unclasp the circle first), and shouted "What the hell is this?!"  Some students in the class started cracking up, and one student in particular (one of my favorites) was having a hard time making eye-contact with me.  I'm pretty sure he was responsible.  I'm just trying to decide whether I should feel impressed or disturbed.  How does a student manage to clip an entire circle of paperclips almost decoratively into his teacher's hair without being caught?  That's ninja right there. 

Going to try to get to bed early tonight so I'll be fresh for tomorrow's break-of-dawn torture.  Quick shout-out to my follower from Germany--welcome back to the states (again)!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ocean Reaching for Burning Sky

I don't have time to write a post.  I'm only on here because it's been too long and I'm sick of seeing the acronym "BFF" at the top of my screen.  I'm trying to think of a picture or something I can plaster on here to take up a bunch of space.  Oh, here we go:

So pretty.  I'd love to paint this someday.