Thursday, October 30, 2008

Family Matters

I was released from Parent/Teacher Conferences last night at 8:30.  There was no negotiating on this matter.  The fact that I had but two conferences and that they were both scheduled for the afternoon did not affect the situation one little bit.  Rules are rules and, if I want the extra time off at Thanksgiving, then I'd better just suck it up.

Note:  This sort of sounds like I tried to negotiate and that I was all forceful and self-advocating about everything.  I wasn't.  I just sat in my office and grumbled...

As I made my weary way to my car, I suddenly realized that things had gotten a bit nippy outside.  Downright freezing, if you want the truth.  And the fact that a colleague suddenly found the need to stop and chat with me from the comfort of her nice, warm car helped to make that point even more clear.  By the time I got to my own chariot, I was shivering to the point of convulsions.  

Yup.  It was cold.  This could only mean one thing:  It was time for The Talk.

I arrived home and took off my less-than-helpful-in-arctic-conditions jacket.  I greeted the kitties and informed them that we would be having a discussion once I'd fed myself and warmed up to the point where I could feel my feet.  

The Big, Fluffy Kitty, having heard this speech for years now, took little of my time.  She nodded vaguely as I spoke and it was clear that half her attention was really on her favorite television program.  That's OK.  She knows what to do.  Directions are really superfluous at this point in our relationship.

The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty, however, is new around here.  He was going to require the full speech.  This is somewhat time-consuming and I was awfully tired.  But I knew that it would be worth the investment in the long run.  These are serious days and it is time for everyone to pull together if we are going to make it.

I scooped him up, staggered a bit under the strain of the weight, and lurched to the couch.  I sat him on my knee and looked into his eyes in order that he might see the importance of my coming words.  

Then my legs started to go all tingly and numb because the average human frame is not meant to bear such gi-normousness.  Coincidentally, it was right around this time that the AGK remembered that he isn't much of a lap cat and began to make his opinion on this state of affairs known to me.  We all agreed that it might be better if we had individual seats and things progressed more smoothly from this point.

I took a deep breath and began my Winter Is A-Comin' Survival Speech:

My Dear AGK, it is time that we speak on a matter most serious.  The chilly days are upon us and we must all do our parts to make these circumstances bearable.  I am the human.  It is my job to fill the bowls, scoop out the litter box and earn money in order that we might have funds for life's necessities.

You, my handsome boy, are a cat.  You are fluffy.  You are also blessed with prodigious girth.  I have asked little of you up 'til now.  I have simply enjoyed your company and been grateful for your entertaining ways.  Now you must step up.  I know that you have not had a family for a while and that you are maybe unfamiliar with how families work.  But we are now a family and you must use your gifts to help our happy home function smoothly.

I therefor must ask that you lend me your fluffy, flabby gi-normousness.  Come bedtime, it is the responsibility of all household felines to repair to the bed and provide me with extra body heat.  I realize that this is a lot to ask and that it is going to require some negotiating with a certain BFK who has gotten used to being the only fluff ball in the bed.  But it has to be done.  I shall surely freeze to death should I not have a little extra insulation during the nighttime hours.  

Perhaps if I had been a better, more industrious knitter over the summer months, I might have been able to crafty myself enough warm and woolly accessories to avoid this sad state of affairs.  But there is no sense in finger-pointing at this juncture.  The situation is what it is.  Besides, I am but one person and I don't see how I could have really knit enough to cocoon myself adequately anyway.

I'll make it worth your while.  I have an electric blanket.  Between that, the BFK and your gi-normous ability to radiate body heat, I think we can all sleep comfortably through to the spring.  

I thank you for your time and attention.  I trust that you understand the situation and that I can count on your support in this matter.

I'm pretty sure that I made an impression.  I could tell by his expression.  He was very focused.




(......)


I had a good feeling about it.  He'd ventured onto the bed once or twice over the weekend and I thought he might be considering sleeping there as a regular part of the routine.  Sure enough, he was game!  He was late.  But, sometime around midnight, I felt the bed shift sharply to the left as if a bowling ball had been dropped on it from some great height.

Sadly, he didn't stick the landing and invaded the personal space of the BFK.  She was less than accommodating about this and we had a slight "incident" over this social gaffe.  Happily, he was undeterred by this little setback. I awoke in the very wee hours to find myself quite securely hemmed in by my personal assistants. I so warm and cozy I almost couldn't stand it.

Seriously.  I almost couldn't stand it.  I was kind of hot.  And really claustrophobic.  But any good plan needs a little "tweaking" at the outset so I have great hopes for this strategy helping us in managing the winter months.

What a team I have over here!  I'm truly blessed.  I should have known I could count on them to come through in the crunch.  And it is a good team leader who trusts in her chosen ones.

I actually feel sort of guilty about turning on the heat just in case...

SA

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weird Wednesday...

I know it is Wednesday night.  I can see the date clearly on my pencil holder.  My pencil holder also tells me the temperature and the time.  I have a very high tech pencil holder.  Who wouldn't trust such a fine example of modern engineering?  Yup.  It is Wednesday night.

So why am I sitting in my office at school and typing the Wednesday Night Bullet Post on my crappy school laptop?  Why am I wearing shoes?  Why am I not swaddled in flannel and chucking merrily away at the antics of the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty?

Parent Conferences, that's why.  I have to be at school tonight no matter how few appointments I actually have on my calendar.  Fortunately, the filters here at the middle school are friendly buggers and don't seem to have a problem with my posting from here.  Let the Bullet Post commence!  (it's not like I have anything else to do....")

*My pencil  holder is also telling me that it is 67 degrees in here.  I'm sort of surprised by that since it feels much colder.  

*But why would my pencil holder lie to me?

*School got out at 11:00 today.  I had one parent conference at 2:30.  I had another at 3:00.

*It is now 6:00.  

*Somebody please send over some clowns or a nice puzzle.

*Anything to break up the boredom...

*I have watched TV on the computer.  That killed an hour.

*I have knit a bit on the "dishcloth."  Now it has a sleeve...

*I swept all the crumbs off the table in the main classroom because the kids had lunch in there today rather than the cafeteria (half-day protocol) and they are slobs.  

*I wandered around downstairs to see if there was anyone to play with, but they were all doing conferences.  So I came back up here.

*That brings you up to date.

*I still have another couple hours to go.

*Seriously.  Send in the clowns.  I'm dying here.

*I did not go to the parent-sponsored dinner.  It was so nice of the parents to bring home cooked dinners.  I know this.

*But where others see a kind gesture and a free meal, I see the opportunity for disgruntled students to poison my food.  

*Just kidding.  I don't really worry about poison.

*I just worry about food that was made by "others."  I have no idea what their kitchens are like.  They are held to no standards that I know of.  They might use dirty knives.  Or sneak vegetables into their recipes.

*I brought some apples and cheese with me in a nice insulated lunch box.  I'm good right where I am.

*"Good" might be overstating things a bit.  I'm sort of hungry if you want the truth.  And cold.  And bored.  And not really all that interested in starting another sleeve for the dishcloth.

*I wonder if the kitties miss me?  

*I wonder if the AGK has figured out a way to bust into the food bag?  Poor thing is probably starving to death by now what with only having those two bowls of food left out for the day.  I would imagine that he is wasting away to nothing without me there to tend to him.

*I should call him...

*Today was one of those days where I deeply regret not wearing a winter coat.  It is freeeeeezing!  I did, however, remember to wear my Maine Morning Mitts.  

*It is now 6:10.  Is that all?

*I am beginning to suspect that my pencil holder is lying to me.  It is trying to tell me that mere minutes have passed when I know it has been six days and that the temperature in here is bearable.  

*Stupid lying pencil holder with the digital display!  You lie!  Just like all digital displays!!!!!  You should just be a plain pencil holder without all the gadgetry!  Then you'd be humble and know the meaning of the simple truths!!

*Seriously.  I need those clowns people.  And the puzzle.  And maybe a nice piece of toast with extra butter.  Things seem to be going downhill fast...


I'm going to stop the madness now.  I think it best that I return to going quietly insane rather than dragging you all along for the ride.  I'm sure that things will start to look up soon.  If nothing else, 8:00 will arrive and I will be released from my prison to fly free like the Sheep was meant to fly!

Or I will sneak out the window to the roof and repel down the side of the building to my waiting car.  Whichever...

SA

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

They Will Remember This

I don't know what exactly caused the problem.  Maybe it was the rain.  Maybe it was the fact that they've finally turned on the heat in my classroom and that we are being slowly cured in the dry air like big 'ol hams.  Maybe it's just our having to get up and go to work every day...

Whatever the reason, the kids in my classroom were witness to the most pathetic display of adult ineptitude ever to play out in a school setting.  Ever.  In the history of education.  And it wasn't just me.  My Less-Than-Cheerful Teaching Assistants were no better.

One of them wandered into my teaching space to ask me if "simpleton" was a character in a book.  I helpfully defined the word for her, but she was insistent regarding her belief that this was a name.  She even described the character:  You know...that rat from Charlotte's Web.  Simpleton...the rat.  You know?

I didn't even laugh when I told her that I thought the critter to whom she was referring might actually be named, "Templeton."  I couldn't afford to.

It had only been an hour since I'd accused a student of losing the rough draft of his short story that was due.  The same Teaching Assistant who couldn't remember the name of a character from one of the most beloved of childhood books was the same one who calmly thumbed through my folder of Very Important Stuff and easily located the missing draft.  This might not have been so bad had I not been handing out papers from that folder not thirty seconds before.

She was also the one who witnessed my insisting that it was time for Social Studies when it was not time for Social Studies.  It was time for something completely different.  Not Social Studies.  She kindly sat there and went along with me for ten minutes of Social Studies instruction and didn't snicker when I finally noticed that I was hopelessly off-schedule.

Then the poor children had to sit through a rousing debate between myself and the other Teaching Assistant regarding whether or not the appropriate word to use in a story was "ensure" or "insure."  Her argument was that "ensure" was not a real word, rather that it is the name of a drink for frail people.  And, while I knew that this was really not the case, I still can't be certain just which word we were supposed to be recommending that the student use.

I'll probably know tomorrow.  But today, that is just beyond me.  I still think I was right, though.

The children were not impressed.  Just before dismissal, one of them went around helpfully closing the windows for me.  As he put it:  I think this might be the safest thing to do for you.  This one doesn't have a screen on it..."

I left school shortly after 3:00.  I still had work left to do, but it seemed best to not try and do anything requiring higher order thinking skills until I'd had some rest.  In my present state, I reasoned, I'd probably end up giving some kid enough credits to graduate and get into medical school.  Since I teach 7th and 8th grade, that would probably be a bad idea.  Especially for anyone who might need surgery in the near future.

I came home, knit a bit and rode the little exercise bike for an hour.  Hopefully, I can get to bed early enough tonight to recharge a few brain cells.  Tomorrow is a long day for Sheepie.  A check of the Parent/Teacher Conference schedule revealed to me that I will actually be at school until at least 8:00 tomorrow night, not 7:00 as I'd previously thought.  With only two actual conferences on my plate (and both of those in the afternoon) I'm going to need to pull myself together.  I have a bad feeling that I will be utterly mad with boredom by the dinner hour and heaven only knows what trouble I'll get into.  I need to see if I can't get my thoughts in order.

I'll pack up the little "dishcloth" that I'm working on and maybe even remember to toss the pattern into the bag before I go.  That'll keep me occupied.  Maybe it will even inspire me to think rationally once or twice while the minutes drag by.

I should probably ask that kid to check the windows before he leaves, though.  You know...just in case.

SA

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Great Escape?

With great stealth and crafty distraction, I was able to sneak out to the car today before the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty remembered that he was supposed to be blocking the door.  This was something of a feat as it was 6:00 in the God-forsaken morning and I don't normally have my full faculties about me, let alone the ability to maneuver around like a gazelle.

I hate to admit this, but I think the cat may have been right about the whole "stay at home with me you silly, silly woman" thing.  I took a sick day last Friday in order that I might make my dentist appointment.  It seemed crazy to drive back and forth for forty minutes each way several times just to be in two places at once.  So I spent hours making arrangements for the day and even agreed that the little darlings could watch a DVD in the afternoon if they could be good little boys.  Some were.  Others...not so much.  

I like to think that it was because they missed me so much.  We don't like to believe that the Little Gifts From Heaven might be taking advantage of the situation or anything.  That might be disheartening.  And I have a long way to go until retirement if I stick with the Maine State Guidelines for such things.  I need to stay positive.

I kept my chin up.  I dealt with all the stuff that went on in my absence as well as the new stuff that comes up on any given Monday.  Fortunately, some of that stuff was taken out of my hands.  The Future Research Scientist who wanted to see "what would happen" if he dropped a full carton of chocolate milk off the second floor landing learned the hard way that this is a bad idea.  It is an even worse idea if the person who happens to be on the first floor landing is the Assistant Principal...

Fortunately, this is one of those weeks with a built-in reprieve.  On Wednesday, the kiddies will be sent home at the half-day mark so that the teachers can work through the first part of Parent/Teacher Conferences.  On the surface that doesn't sound like a positive thing.  It sounds very much like a full day.  However, I happen to have a really small caseload and, even if every parent were to show up, I'd still have a whole bunch of down time.  And, thus far, I've only got one conference scheduled for the day.  

Of course, I also need to remember that this involves staying at school until 7:00 in the evening.  By 5:00, I'm usually pretty stir crazy, if you want the truth.  But, if I bring along some knitting, I should be OK.  I also have better Internet access at the Middle School than I did at my old school so I can sneak in a little bit of the blog-play during those moments where things start to get boring and I begin to consider tossing milk from the stairwell.  

I'd try it, but it is my understanding that teachers don't get suspended from school so I just can't see the point.  Plus, they'd probably make me clean it up...

We are not going to be telling the AGK about this little event, though.  If he has issues with my making a trip to the convenience store on a Sunday morning, I shudder to even think what he might do if he believed that I was heading off for a twelve hour school day.  I'll just use some of my newly acquired covert skills to pack up some knitting and dinner items while he's not looking.  It'll be fine.  Until I get home, that is...






He's kind of mastered that whole "reproachful look" thing...


SA

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I Can Take A Hint

I guess maybe I've been out and about a bit more than usual these days.  I hadn't really given it much thought.  However, it seems that the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty has been giving the matter a great deal of consideration.  After I returned home this morning from a quick trip to The Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey And Sweetie And You Sort Of Like That, he parked himself in front of the door.  

In fact, he stretched himself out to his full length, looking for all the world like the most Gi-normous Draft Catcher ever invented.  I've seen those things in catalogues, but never dreamed I'd be privileged enough to own one.  Certainly not one of such magnificent girth, at any rate.

I took the hint.  I had no choice.  He lay there for an hour or so.  I'm nothing if not observant and able to pick up on the subtle nuances of feline behavior...

Besides, I had stuff to do anyway.  In spite of taking Friday off from school, I found myself woefully behind in getting ready for the upcoming work week.  Now, with Sunday evening upon me, I find myself only slightly behind.  That is an improvement.  If nothing else, I will have one or two things upon which to nosh come mealtimes and the thermos which transports my daily coffee rations has been washed out.

I probably would have done more had I not found so many other diversions over the weekend.  On the recommendation of a student of mine, I picked up a copy of Twilight last Thursday.  Good stuff.  And I'm as surprised as the rest of you that I hadn't read it yet.  I guess it takes the nagging influence of an 8th grade boy to make me realize that I need to keep up with the reading list...

October is also the time when a girl in search of cheap DVDs for her viewing pleasure can strike gold.  I'd hoped that the copy of Zombie Nation I dug out of the Halloween promotions bin might be just such a find.  It was not.  Not by a long shot.

I can't be certain just what the point of the whole thing was.  The best I could come up with after an hour of meandering set-up, the introduction of random characters with little to do with the overall plot and a soundtrack that hearkened back to the 80's in the worst possible way was this:

If you are dispatched by a crazy cop then brought back from the grave by voodoo priestesses, you get to emerge from the earth free from dirt, bugs or anything else that might get in your way as you claw to the surface.  You will have naught to show for the experience save a shambling gait (which will disappear quickly in order that you might slink about seductively) and severely blackened eyes.  And, even in this state, guys will give you a ride.

The ever-alert writers handily explained the whole fresh-as-a-daisy-right-out-of-the-grave situation by letting the viewers know that this was merely an illusion and that a quick look in the mirror would reveal the true nature of the dead.  They proved it with two fleeting mirror shots.  I'm guessing that this pretty much slashed the special effects budget by half.  Why they didn't put this windfall to use in set design is anybody's guess at this point.  I suppose they liked the idea of using the same warehouse for each and every scene...

Bad movie.  Very bad.  By now, I'm certain that most of you are aware of my less than mainstream taste in movies.  I'm a fan of the "B" genre.  Heck, if I can find a "C" that is good, too.  But there is a limit to what I will tolerate!  A low budget is no excuse for laziness.  B movies have to try harder.  That's the rule.  

Putting zombies in mirror shades and fashionable footwear is lazy.  Giving them jobs in law enforcement at the end of the movie is just wrong.  Telling them that they should be eating cheeseburgers instead of human flesh is bordering on heresy.  And having the zombies agree to this?  I don't even want to talk about it...

Nor will I apologize for the spoilers.  I'm saving you time and money here.  

Any movie, however bad, is good for sitting and knitting, though.  Plus it keeps you from having to look at the screen.  



The Big, Fluffy Kitty thoroughly inspected my work and seemed pleased.  She was less pleased when I had to remove her from what she thought might be a good napping spot...


Parts and pieces.  Of a "dishcloth."  Not a sweater.  We don't say the "s" word around here until the final underarm seam is grafted and even then we whisper it.  The Blog Sweater Curse could rear its ugly head at any moment!

And the AGK?  Once satisfied that I would not be making any further ill-advised escape attempts, he retreated to the safety of The Giant Tunnel Connector Thing That I Bought By Accident.  He snoozed the day away in what appeared to be perfect contentment.


Iz still watchin'.  You jus' stay put.  I gots cat-like reflexes.  They just takes a minute iz all...


I hope he has a working understanding of the schedule around here.  Otherwise, I may be forced to call the school tomorrow to report my absence.  I wonder if they will accept "trapped by needy cat" as a valid excuse for a sick day?

SA

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tis' The Season To Be Scary...

"Hello, Dear.  Now come right over here and stand nice and straight for me.  Good girl!  And did we bring all three pieces for steaming today?"

I was perplexed.  And it showed.  I was also maybe a little bit scared.  This was silly because the nice lady asking the question was naught but a humble seamstress.  She was the embodiment of kindness and obviously gentle of heart.  And yet, all I could think in that moment was:  It seems to me that I am spending more time in the bridal shop than is good for the average middle aged, commitment-phobic Sheepie these days..."

But, it had to be done.  With my brother's wedding but a week away, the only other option for dealing with my too-long bridesmaid skirt was to staple the thing up to a manageable walking length and I didn't see Future SIL Sheep going along with that plan.  It was venture into Bridal Territory or risk tripping down the aisle.  And not in a good way.  I needed to overcome my fear of all things wedding-related and face my demons head on.  

It was something of an education.  For example, I did not know that when a bride walks into the alteration room, appointments mean nothing.  It does not matter that she only wanted to set up a time to come in and have her dress altered.  The bride takes precedence and civilians who happen to be sitting there in satin skirts, borrowed shoes and colorful, striped socks need to get out of the way.  

When my turn finally arrived, I explained that I only needed a simple hem.  You can imagine my surprise when it turned out that this meant I needed to be measured at all angles.  This, I am told, is procedure.  Had I been aware that waist measurements were needed, I would have been a bit more careful with the doughnuts yesterday.  

I had no real answer for why I didn't bring along the entire bridesmaid outfit except to say that the wedding is a week away and that we have entered into the "what can go wrong will go wrong" phase of the process.  I had felt it best to hang onto the top of the dress and the coordinating shrug.  You never know when one of the brides might go over the edge with the stress of it all and start setting fire to the place.  At least this way, I'd still have my top.  Although what good this would do me come wedding day, I don't know.  But it seemed to make sense to me at the time.

Besides, I noted, I have a perfectly good steamer at home.  I can steam the dress myself should it need it.  This caused the seamstress to gasp so heartily and with such horror that I feared she was going to suck all the oxygen out of the small space.  I thought it best to change the subject and quickly directed her attention back to my hemline.

Then she said, in tones so serious that you'd have thought we were discussing her performing surgery on me rather than my dress, that we needed to consider the "sweep."  I didn't even know I had a sweep, much less that I needed to consider it for any length of time.  I began quickly scanning my person for something that might be vaguely sweep-like.  I guessed it might be somewhere around my backside...

With obviously straining patience, she explained that the dress has a bit of a train.  She wondered if I wanted to keep that.  Again, I honestly didn't know that I had a choice in the matter.  Frankly, it seemed best to show up at the wedding in the style of dress that the bride selected for the event.  I don't know as she would have noticed given that she is going to have a few other things going on that day, but why take the chance?  I don't want to be the one they point to in the family album and refer to as That Rebel Bridesmaid Who Ruined Everything With Her Lack Of Sweep.  

By now, I think we'd finally started to understand one another a little bit better.  The Seamstress realized that I am The Hopelessly Undereducated In The Ways Of Bridal Wear Bridesmaid.  I caught onto the fact that she is The Seamstress Who Really Loves Her Job And Wants Every Wedding To Be Perfect.  With this bit of business behind us, we were able to chat pleasantly for the remainder of the turning and pinning.  

Finally, I turned over my skirt and arranged for a pick up date.  I was then led to the counter where I learned that it costs almost fifty dollars to hem a skirt.  No.  Let me clarify that.  Fifty dollars is what they charge for hemming a skirt.  It does not cost fifty dollars to hem a skirt.  It only costs that much if you wait until the last possible minute to get your alterations done and have no other options save trying to do it yourself.  

Given my basic sewing skills, I don't know as I'd be able to maintain my sweep.  I handed over my debit card without comment.  Then I went out and bought chocolate chip cookies for lunch.  Then I bought an industrial strength "shaping" garment to go under the dress because there is no way I'm going to lose the cookie weight by next week.  Then I took a nap.

You'd think that an hour spent standing in front of multiple mirrors whilst confessing to my utter ignorance regarding fashion might be a bad thing.  But, I must tell you that it was not.  Not at all.  I learned a lot and will never again be at a loss for words when someone wants to steam me or discuss my sweep.  More importantly, though, I did something I've never done before:  I wore a sweater out in public that had been knit by my own hands.  Yup.  The Blog Buster Sweater made its debut today.  And, as I had no other top to wear during this fitting, it stood with me in front of those multiple mirrors.  And you know what?  The flaws that I see in it were not really as visible as they seemed to be at home.  In fact, it looked pretty good to me.  Not perfect.  Not by a long shot.  But pretty darned good.  And it's brown just like my skirt so I was all matchy-matchy.  Not that I'd wear it to the wedding or anything.  But I could if the need ever arose.  

That's not going to be the issue, though.  I have the dress top here at home and will guard it with my life.  The skirt is on its own until Friday.  We are crossing our fingers that none of the brides go into flamethrower mode during the next week. 

Meanwhile back at the manse, the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty was using his unsupervised time to work on his Halloween costume.  He thinks he's come up with a good one.  If you wouldn't mind, could you pretend that he is very scary?  I think it would mean a lot to him..



(Lots of spaces.  Big Picture.  Can't make smaller.  Must get past Flickr thingie to see it...)









funny pictures
moar funny pictures



SA

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ups 'n Downs

There is a certain symmetry to life, I guess.  Yin and Yang.  Fore and Aft.  Positive and Negative.  Everything is of two distinct tones and it's really all in how you look at it.  For example:

On the Up Side, taking Friday off because you have a dentist appointment, live an hour or so from the school where you teach and don't feel like driving five million miles back and forth for such nonsense means that you get a three day weekend.

On the Down Side, you have a dentist appointment.

On the Up Side, you get to have a dentist appointment on a day when the dentist isn't actually present because even dentists deserve a three day weekend every now and again.  This means no x-rays, no vicious poking with sharp instruments and no harshly rendered judgements regarding the state of your ivories from Dr. DeSade, DMD.

On the Down Side, you may learn that your favorite Perky, Quirky Hygienist Who Lets You Hold And Manage The Spit Sucker All By Yourself is now taking Fridays off and that you will be left with just the Perky Hygienist.  She will, however, let you take charge of the spit sucker after you start to choke on the stupid thing.  

On the Up Side, you then have a whole day off to do whatever makes your little heart sing.

On the Down Side, you may be so overwhelmed by all the possible cardio-melody-producing options that you sort of don't get as much done as you thought you might.

On the Up Side, you get the grocery shopping done early and before everyone else mobs the store.

On the Down Side, the Dollar Store is right next door and you will soon find yourself suckered into purchasing all sorts of things you really don't need because you went in to see if they had any more of those Collapsible Cat Cave Thingies that you really knew they weren't going to have.  

On the Up Side, you get to take a nap once you finally realize that you aren't going to suddenly morph into that Productive Member Of Society that you had hoped to be today.

On the Down Side, you will realize that you are merely a rank amateur when it comes to napping.  Others are ever so much better at it:


Some nap with their fluffy heads held high


Others adopt a more circular approach to the whole thing.  (Frankly, I think he's hinting that it is time to turn on the heat.  He doesn't pay the bills, you see...)


On the Up Side, you actually find the will to knit and don't even care that you now have exactly three thousand WIPs going on at the moment.  You learn the fine art of rationalization and determine that there is really no other reason to have a gigantic bag full of circular needles if you aren't going to have a project dangling from each.


Another "dishcloth."  Let's all remember the rules here.  Sheepie has Sweater Issues.  The Evil Powers don't like it when she knits sweaters.  They get all smite-y.  Hence, she only knits dishcloths.  With ribbing.  And sleeves...


See what I mean?  There are two sides to every story.  Either way, I got myself a three day weekend.  As such, it seemed only fitting that I toss out a rare Friday post and share the happiness.  

This is also something of a "guilt post" as I have a feeling next weekend will be spotty blogging at best.  I have something to do.  It involves wearing a strapless, two piece ensemble with matching shoes and the application of Sheep Shaping Undergarments.  It is my understanding that several family members will also be present and that, when all the I-Do's are said and done, I will finally get that sister that Mommy and Daddy Sheep never got around to giving me.  I hear tell that there will also be cake involved and for that I will risk standing perilously close to that most scary of things:  A Wedding.

  I figure the least I can do is write up a little something on my blogging day off...

Happy Friday to all and here's hoping that the Up Side was the one facing you all today!

SA

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Things Happen For A Reason

Beeeeeeep!

Hi Sheepie!  This is Ethel From Dr. DeSade DMD's office calling to remind you of your 10:00 appointment this Friday.  We also want to make sure that you know there will be no dentists in the office that day so this will just be a cleaning.  No exam.  Hope that works for you and we'll see you on Friday!

Beeeeeeep!


This was the message waiting for me yesterday when I got home from work.  It is high time I went to the dentist.  I've now cancelled two other appointments.  If it's not one thing, it's another.  Either I have to go prancing off to some Safety Procedures Training course or my Less Than Cheerful Teaching Assistants needed the day to go to appointments of their own.  This was my last chance.  I was of two minds on the matter, though.  Sure, I was frustrated to keep having to change the appointments.  But I don't exactly love going to the dentist...

  If you've been wandering by the blog for a while, then you are surely already aware of my Dentist Issues.  If you are new or have only been reading since I rededicated myself to the fine art of flossing, then you may not be up to date on my DIs.  

I have, without a doubt, the meanest dentist on the face of this planet.  He has hurt me.  Hurt me bad.  Hurt me as in "wouldn't listen when I told him that Novocaine doesn't always work for me and then proceeded to give me a root canal."  Hurt me as in "dislocated my jaw a little bit putting in a crown."  And that's just the physical kind of hurt.

He has also criticized my career choice, talked about the utter absurdity of a woman being president and began a sentence with the words, "at your age..."  Evil.  The man is pure evil.

Now, you may be wondering just why a gal might continue seeing a mean dentist.  It's not like you are required by law to see a certain dentist.  You can choose any dentist you want.  There is no reason to keep visiting the mean dentist when there are plenty of others from which to choose.

But I really love my hygienist.  She's cute and quirky and highly entertaining.  Even when she doesn't mean to be....  I would miss her.  Besides, there is nothing quite so effective as a mean dentist.  Suddenly, I floss.  My teeth are so clean, I could eat off 'em!  Frankly, he's the best thing to ever happen for my oral hygiene.  I'll do anything to avoid him.

But that doesn't mean that I didn't snag the appointment they offered me after I called the second time to reschedule.  It isn't every day you get to go to the dentist and not have to see the dentist.  Sometimes these things just work out the way they were meant to happen...

As a bonus, I get to take Friday off from school!  Yes, we are now in Weekend Mode over here at the manse.  It is Thursday and yet it is Friday all at once!  If you leave out the part where I have to go to the dentist to not see the dentist, it is really quite wonderful!  

To celebrate this most joyous of times, I stopped off and picked up a little bit of yarn on the way home.  Nothing special.  Just a nice, washable acrylic.  In bright red.  Not much, mind you.  Maybe just enough for a wee, little sweater of some sort.  We'll see how the fates come down on this issue.  We all know how the fates sometimes feel about my knitting sweaters, after all...

And, if that doesn't come to pass, I also managed to pick up a movie and a new book.  I should be all set for whatever the weekend brings my way.  

The kitties were also quite pleased to see Mommy make her way home this afternoon.  I sat each of them down and explained that the schedule might be just a bit off track tomorrow.  I don't want them to be surprised or anything.  I felt that they should know.  The Big, Fluffy Kitty took the news pretty calmly.  She's used to Mommy sometimes staying home on days that are usually for working.  The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty, however, was a bit confused.  I think he might have thought it was all some trick and that I was really going to leave him behind as usual come tomorrow morning.


Can it really be truuuuuuue?  Mama home all day to feeds me the yummy foods whenever I wants?????

I suppose he'll be disappointed on that front.  But I still think he'll appreciate the early start to the weekend.


SA

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

When Wednesday Wanders In...

...then it's time for the Wednesday Night Bullet Post!  Sheepie gets to stand up all loud and proud and proclaim her love of random thought projection!  Whoo-hoo!  I also like it because Wednesday is right around the time that I'm starting to think of the workweek as something less shiny and new than it was on Monday.  Here's your bullet points for the week:

*I still can't seem to get a handle on the morning routine.  This morning, I found that I had failed to start the coffee maker thingie.

*My coffee maker has two redeeming features:  it takes up very little space and can be set to start the coffee whenever I want it to.  

*Since I failed to do that, I was left with just the space-saving feature.  I would much prefer consistent coffee production.

*Today, it decided to make lightly tinged, brownish water for me.  

*I didn't even bother filling the thermos.  I just took some light brown water with me in the travel mug and called it "good."  I was running late and didn't really have time for coffee-related foolishness.

*Two people commented on my felted school bag today.  I made that thing years ago from some of the first handspun I'd ever whirled on the wheel.  They were most impressed.

*I felt sort of like a fraud since I haven't really spun much since July.  But I got over it.  

*Obligatory Kitty Picture:




The Big, Fluffy Kitty likes it when she can find an Absurdly Gi-normous Shady spot in which to nap.


*When the kids in my class behave themselves for more than five minutes, they get to earn some free time.  Today, three of them managed to do this and I led that merry band of do-gooders down to the gym where they proceeded to throw balls around with wild abandon.  Among this group were The Husky Redheaded Kid Who Reminds Me Of My Cat and The Cute Little Sixth Grader (who is in my program by default and is the only sixth grader in the whole school)  Here is a snippet of the conversation:

Ms. Sheep:  Hey!  Be careful with those balls!  Hey!  Guys!  The balls!  Be careful!  Hellloooooo!  Are you listening to me?  Can you hear me?  Can you see me?  Do I exist in your world?  Am I little more than theory to you?  Do I take up actual space or am I merely vibrating at some subatomic level?  HEY!!!!!

Husky Redheaded Kid Who Reminds Me Of My Cat:  Awww...lookit that.  We threw that tennis ball too hard.  Now it's stuck up there near the ceiling.  Anyone got a ladder?

MS:  No!  No ladders!  Stop looking for ladders.  And don't you dare try to climb up there!  Hey!!  

Cute Little Sixth Grader:  Look, it's Ms. Sheep!  When did you get here?

MS:  (takes a deep breath)  Oh, you know.  A while ago.  It's not important...  Now listen carefully.  Go over to the gym teacher and tell him you need some help getting that ball down.

CLSG: 'Kay!  (scampers off, followed by the HRKWRMOMC)

MS:  No, HRKWRMOMC!  You stay here.  Trust me.  When these sorts of things happen you always send in the cute little kid.  We'll just wait over here and pretend to be deep in conversation.  At all costs, we avoid the eyes of the gym teacher.  Just go with me on this one.  
HRKWRMOMC:  Wow.  That's brilliant.  You're really smart, Ms. Sheep!

MS:  Kind of makes you wish I was more than just theory, doesn't it?

HRKWRMOMC:  Huh?

*When I left school, I decided to stop off at a local convenience store and get a big Mountain Dew.  I needed caffeine.

*It then occurred to me that they sell coffee there and that this was more along the lines of what I needed.

*I found the coffee, but couldn't find the cups.  (they were right in front of me)

*I put coffee in the cup, but couldn't find the lids.  (they were just to my right and highly visible.)

*I then spent more time than I care to admit pulling on the cream dispenser and not getting any cream.  (it was clearly labeled with the word push)

*Did I mention that I really needed coffee at that point?

*I did manage to locate my Maine Morning Mitts before heading to work, though.  Good thing.  It was wicked cold this morning!  

*Hot coffee would have been better.  


Here's to another Wednesday falling into the "done" column.  Lessons were both learned and taught.  There is an eighth grade boy who will never again try to get his ball back when there is a cute little sixth grader around to do it for him and a certain Sheep who has already gotten the coffee maker set to go for tomorrow.

It's all good.  But would have been better with coffee...

SA

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So Totally Not Fair!!!

Back in August, a happy time when I was still on summer vacation and could knit at my leisure or nap as I saw fit, I happened to wander into school for a bit.  I was just a tad behind schedule in getting the classroom set up for the year and thought it might be a nice idea if I put a few books on the shelves or something.  It seemed like the responsible thing to do.

I arrived at my new school (the one where they have The Bad Job At The Middle School That They Tricked Me Into Taking Because No One Else Would Take It And They Knew I Could Be Coerced Through Flattery) to find some of my stuff in the lobby.  More specifically, I found my coffee maker and mini fridge.  Apparently, the insurance company had banned them from all classrooms due to their tendency to suddenly burst into flame.  This, of course, is not all that unreasonable since I have been known to forget about shutting off coffee pots in the past.  But I'm pretty sure that the whole thing wasn't actually directed at me personally or anything...

Had I really read the email that went out on the matter last spring, I would have known this.  I did not read that email.  I was too busy trying to get my head around the whole Bad Job At The Middle School thing, I suppose.  I also would have read about how microwaves were on the "Forbidden Fruit" list.  I don't have a microwave, though.  I probably wouldn't have cared too much about that.

Fast Forward To October:  My new classroom comes with its own bathroom.  I generally don't frequent it as the boys use it and they are, shall we say, "less than hygienic" at times.  However, I did venture in last Friday when one of them came out and asked me what it meant when the sink started spraying water all over the floor.

For the record, this means that Ms. Sheep needs to go into the boys' bathroom and shut off the water.  It then means that a custodian has to come in and wrap the whole sink in a trash bag so that no one will use it.  Trash bags are known for their ability to repel teen aged boys.

Now the boys can't wash their hands after using the restroom.  They have to go down the hall to do that. I don't honestly believe that anyone of them ever had any real interest in hand washing prior to being able to wander the halls, but I'm not going to stop them.  I just want them to wash their hands.  

Today, however, I found cause to wonder why it takes a healthy teen twenty minutes to wash his hands.  I came up with no reason short of his needing to perform impromptu surgery in the hallway and that just seemed unlikely.  I headed down to the boy's room to investigate.  

As I did so, I happened to pass the custodians' room.  The room belonging to the same custodians who left my fridge and coffee maker in the lobby last summer.  And what do you think I saw in there?  Any guesses?

A microwave!!!  Right out in the open for all to see!  How totally unfair is that?  They spurn my mini fridge, make it feel unwanted and unloved...but can have a microwave????  For a brief moment, I thought to stage a protest right there in the hallway outside the boys' room.

Then I remembered why I was out in the hallway in the first place.  I honestly don't have the time to go searching for boys who are out washing their hands for twenty minutes.  I decided to take the high road.  I'm sure you've all heard that old saying:  The Sheep who stages a protest outside the custodians' room shall never get her sink fixed.

Truer words were never spoken...

I don't want to think about it.  Instead, let's all enjoy the view from Sheepie's hearth and home, the place where the sinks still work and handwashing takes mere minutes:


Here we have an Absurdly Gi-normous Tushy being sported by a cat who still won't acknowledge that he is "husky."



And here we have a Big, Fluffy Kitty.  She is not fat.  Just fluffy.  And she wishes to be fed.  Now.


SA

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Truth Hurts

If you had asked me last night before I crept beneath the sheets for sleepy-time if I had done everything that needs doing in order that I might be ready for work in the morning, the answer would have been a resounding, "YES!"  

I probably also would have questioned why you were in my bedroom and interrogating me in such a fashion, but that is neither here nor there, I suppose...

You can only imagine my surprise this morning when I discovered that there were any number of things left undone and that I'd frittered away the whole evening secure in the belief that I was prepared.  The result, of course, was a frantic dash about the manse trying to prepare myself for the day.  There was much arm-flapping and tripping over kitties who really don't care if I go to work or not so long as the bowls are filled before I do whatever it is I plan on doing.

Still, I felt that I was managing pretty well time-wise.  This only made the sting of looking at the clock while I was putting together my lunch all the more painful.  6:15 had arrived and this is the absolute last second I can consider leaving the house if I am going to be on time for work.  And that's only if there are no major traffic flow issues or invasions from outer space.

With the exception of a brief stay in New Hampshire, I have lived in Maine my whole life.  And the out-of-state experience was really only due to the fact that the closest hospital happened to be there and Mommy Sheep thought it might be nice to have me in a place with doctors and lots of nice anesthetics.  You'd think that, by now, I'd have caught on to the fact that it sometimes gets a little chilly here or that I might need to occasionally scrape a bit of ice off the windshield in the morning if I want to see whilst driving.  Apparently this bit of knowledge has yet to sink in, though.  I had not factored this into the morning's routine any more than I'd factored in anything else.  Precious time was lost, but I like to think that lives were saved what with my being able to see the road and all...

I made it to school on time, but just barely.  And I didn't get to use the ladies' room before the kids came which is something of an issue for someone of my advanced years.  But there were a whole bunch of kids absent today so it all worked out for the best.  There was a free moment early enough in the day so that no dignity was lost.

I honestly and truly believed that I had dealt with that pesky matter involving my staff and the discrepancies in their time sheets a couple of weeks ago.  There was a huge miscommunication and I did everything in my power to make the administration see that cutting their hours on that one day should not have happened.  I fought the good fight.  But today that all fell apart.  There is really nothing more I can do for them.  Policy is policy and the fact that we were not made aware of the scheduling issues that day means nothing.  On the plus side, I did come across as a hero in this matter so I can bask a bit in all that glory for a second or two.  

For that matter, I also thought that I'd made myself rather clear regarding how much I would appreciate it if I were involved when any of the students on my caseload were being dealt with from a disciplinary perspective.  I am not asking for input.  I simply need to know what is happening lest I find myself wandering around the building looking for missing students who are really just detained in the office or other such places of Purgatory.  I have other stuff I could be doing, you know.  Lots of stuff.  Some of it rather important and impressive.  (Other stuff...not so much.  But it's still stuff I could be doing that doesn't involve hunting down kids who aren't even in school because they have been sent home.)

Who knew that I had so woefully underestimated the extent of my knowledge base?  I am clearly delusional because I could have sworn that I'd managed to pick up a thing or two over the past four decades.  I guess I should be paying more attention.  I'm going to put that on a sticky note and stick it somewhere where I'll be sure to see it.  "Pay attention.  You know nothing.  Love, Sheepie."  That should do the trick...

Meanwhile, there are a few things of which I am certain.  For example, I know that the work day will end and that there will probably be more positive moments than negative.  I know that, once home, I can ride my little exercise bike, watch downloaded television programs that didn't get watched over the weekend and knit on my Never-Ending Scarf.


I'm OK with the "never-ending" part.  It's nice, mindless knitting.  I know that I can do this.  Mostly.


Let's face it:  Things could be worse.  I could, for example, have to deal with the denial and level of delusion experienced by the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty.  Several of you commented on his gi-normousness, maybe even thought that he was bigger than he used to was.  When I told you that he was on a diet, I was not kidding, people!  I'll admit that yesterday's photo wasn't the most flattering angle and all.  But he is really gi-normous!  Sometimes he just tips over and rolls a bit when performing actions that kitties have been performing since the dawn of time.  

He is still not getting it, though.  The AGK is a master of denial.  He has healthy self-esteem.  Just not such a healthy girth.


Fat?  Who calls me fat???  I is beautiful!  I knows I is beautiful!!!



I strikes a pose.  I'm gorgeous!  They alllll wants to be like me!  It's the jealousness that makes them say I's fat!


That is a level of truth avoidance to which I can only aspire...

SA

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunny With A Chance Of Shower

Sunday is normally a pretty good knitting day for me.  I get the shopping done for the week at some ungodly early hour and then I'm free to settle in with all manner of digitized entertainment.  I usually can crank out at least a couple of rows before the overpowering urge to nap kicks in.

Today, however, there was much to do.  In spite of the sunny and crisp Autumnal conditions, I predicted showers.  Or at least a shower.  It was to be of the "bridal" variety and, once again, I had left a few things undone.  There was cheese to be sliced and arranged artfully on a platter.  There were crackers which, while not requiring slicing, did deserve the same artsy treatment as their cheesy brethren.  

Plus it seems that I am physically incapable of just putting cheese on a platter and leaving it at that.  I am compelled to find a way to attach ribbons and bows all festive-like.  My inner crafter cannot be denied even if I've managed to leave myself little to no time to bedeck a plate or two.

I also needed to pick up the coffee as well as that most necessary ingredient for a successful bridal shower:  The Bride.  A more organized bridesmaid would have set up something of a schedule for all this stuff.  I am not that bridesmaid.  I'm the one with the dress that still needs altering and the undyed shoes.  The fact that I have gotten as far as I have in this process is nothing short of a miracle and mostly due to the gentle prodding of Future SIL when things need to be done.

Even with my somewhat frantic rushing about, all was well.  The gift was wrapped. (Shrink-wrapped, actually.  I have something of a fetish about shrink-wrapping.  I think of it as kind of a modern day miracle that I can make plastic bend to my will...)  The cheese was sliced and the crackers were arranged.  We will not discuss what happened to the crackers during transport.  I don't like to think about it.  The bows distracted everyone handily so it was all right in the end.

In short, we were able to shower the bride in the time honored manner and much as our foremothers did:  With punch in paper cups, the creation of a "bouquet" for use at the rehearsal using naught but bows, ribbon and a paper plate and the playing of the "What Do You Have In Your Purse?" game for prizes.

Note:  Everyone thought I'd win the purse game since I carry a bag so huge that it does not meet airline standards for carry-on.  I did not.  I carry very weird stuff in my bag.  I have rubber gloves and antiseptics.  I have ten pens, three of which actually work.  I have a notebook for jotting down interesting thoughts as they occur to me.  I have a whistle and a flashlight.  And, for reasons that escape me entirely, I have a thing called a Zipper Buddy in the shape of a flower.  I guess it is supposed to go on my jacket as a zipper pull but I don't recall when I got it or why I felt it was necessary to have it.  I also have knitting in there and that's the only thing I'd admit to when people questioned how I could have possibly lost at this game.

It was a fun way to spend the day.  There was also cake involved so I don't suppose that there was any way it could have gone badly.  Cake is pretty much the defining factor in a successful gathering in my book.  It did make for a long afternoon, though.  I was pretty tired when I made my way back home.  This, of course, could be due to my lugging around the giant (but not useful from a gaming perspective) purse...

In case you are wondering (and I know that many of you are) the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty had some thoughts on the the events of the day.  He would like to make the following statement:






Mama should not go out.  Ever.  She should stay home wiv' me.  Don' care if there's cake.  


We are not telling him that the B-A-B-Y was there.  Let's all just keep that to ourselves.  He does not think that my infatuation with Great Nephew Sheep is healthy nor does he believe that I should be fraternizing with any other beings of cuteness.

I'll just shower him with the loving tonight.  He'll be none the wiser.  

SA

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Like Minded...

I've been driving my undyed bridesmaid shoes around for several days now.  I figured that, if they were right there in the car, I'd probably be a little more motivated to get them delivered to Future SIL Sheep sometime before her first anniversary.  This, of course, did not exactly go as planned and I ended up bringing them to her on Friday after school.  What can I say?  I enjoy pushing the limits sometimes...

I pulled into a space at her home to find the soon-to-be-bride lugging in all manner of garment bags and boxes.  Assisting her in this endeavor was Niece Sheep.  As the door was open, I could clearly see inside the house.  I observed a very teeny, tiny, brownish blob rocketing about the place which I easily identified as Sarge The Very Scary Teacup Terrier.  (We call him this not so much because he is actually scary but because I worry about his tiny, little self-esteem.)  I also could discern another little blob.  This one was moving a little more slowly but with no less determination.  I am an intelligent girl.  I can put things together.  I know stuff.  I can add up and interpret the meaning of certain people and blobs all being in one place.  All this could only mean one thing:

BABY!!!!

Those who know me are fully aware of my Baby Issues.  I tend to not do very well with them.  I don't think they really "get" me and it is obvious to me that they have no appreciation whatsoever for my rapier like wit.  In return, I find their unwillingness to go get me a Mountain Dew from the fridge to be a little selfish on their part.  However, this was Great Nephew Sheep!  I was determined to make the effort here.  I figured that, as family, he has to at least tolerate me.  I may be a future source of birthday cards containing money.  Plus, I tend to do a little better with boys than with girls.  I put on my best Baby Face and headed in.  There would be bonding of some sort or my name wasn't Auntie Sheepie!!!

And you know, this did not go badly at all, if I do say so myself.  Nephew Sheep is a happy sort of kid.  Observational humor didn't seem to impress him all that much, but I gotta say that my brilliant renditions of Peek-a-boo and Shake The Thing That Rattles were met with great approval.  In fact, I don't think I would be overstating matters if I were to say that I tore the roof off the suckah with that last one.  

Still... you can never really be sure about these sorts of things.  It is possible he was just being polite.  I needed more of a sign.  Something to really lock things down for me.  How could I be sure that we'd really connected?  

And then it happened.

Niece Sheep and Future SIL Sheep began to demonstrate various modes of play that can be used with this particular child.  During a spirited game with Baby, the rules of which seemed a little complicated and involved the use of the word "Whooooooooooooo" a great deal, Baby suddenly emitted a rather piercing cry.  Mama and Memere responded in the appropriate fashion with much cuddling and cooing.  Baby was nuzzled and comforted with great enthusiasm.  His distress eased immediately, but snuffly sounds could still be heard.  Future SIL Sheep rested his poor little head upon her shoulder.  He snuggled close then turned to face me.  And that's when I saw it.  He smiled.  No.  That's not quite right.  Maybe it was a grin...no.  That's not it either.  Wait!  I've got it!

He smirked.

I quickly ran though my Internal Baby Knowledge Database to see if I had any references for Self-Satisfied Baby Smirks and came up blank.  I don't know if this is the sort of thing one should be prepared for with babies.  Frankly, my Internal Baby Knowledge Database is woefully limited.  I only know this:  my heart soared.

I may not know from babies.  I may not know just when to say, "Whooooooo!"  But I know a fellow attention seeker when I see one.  I have long practiced the art of making my needs known and getting them met and can tell you that I was in the presence of greatness.  I looked into those little eyes, so filled with the pleasure of a job well done, and connected on the deepest of levels.  I get him.  I really, really get him.  And I think he knew it.  I actually applauded.  I told him that I couldn't have been prouder had he been my very own and, upon leaving, I shook his hand.  

Love this kid.  Love him!

I shared this new found appreciation for the diaper set with the kitties upon arriving home.  I was pleased, after all.  The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty responded by spending this morning dragging his less-than-hygienic tushy all around the carpet then took to his bed.





I later heard him muttering something about calling his therapist.  Words like "abandonment issues," and "potential for attachment disorder" were also bandied about.

I gave him an extra helping of crunchies and opted to not make an issue of the stains on the carpet that I only just shampooed on Monday.  He got over it.

But, I've been thinking.  Niece Sheep is a very good mother.  Very good, indeed.  I witnessed her skills firsthand and on several fronts yesterday.  Yet, I still can't help but think that that Baby looked cold.  Not freezing cold, but maybe a little chilled.  He's not long out of California after all.  He's probably not really comfortable wandering around during Autumn in Maine.

I think he needs a sweater...

SA

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Feel...Tired

Today was one of those days where it would probably have been in my best interest to not have experienced trouble sleeping the night before.  The rains were a-pitter-patterin' and the skies were dark.  It was the perfect day to take a nap.  Or two.  I like naps even when I've had my full 7 hours of slumber.  Napping on a rainy day is even better in my book.  You can only imagine how much I longed for the comfort of my couch, a warm blankie and a snuggly kitty around 1:00...

But it wasn't meant to be.  Those progress reports that I only just learned had to be uploaded by end of business today weren't going to type themselves up.  For that matter, it was highly unlikely that any of my students were going to show up, see that I was absent and say, "Gosh, Ms. Sheep must be home napping.  We should probably just get out our books and study quietly until she comes back.  We might even schedule in a spirited discussion over that last social studies chapter while we're at it!  Education is such fun, you know!"

In fact, if that last one happened, I'd be out of a job faster than you can say, "Wishful Thinking."

I guess it's just as well I went.  I may have been tired, but I can still appreciate witty conversation from the kiddies.  Here's a gem from this afternoon:

Husky Redheaded Student Who Reminds Me Of My Cat:  (hands me his pass from the school counselor following his visit to her office)  Hey, Ms. Sheep, you're a counselor too, right?

Ms. Sheep:  (blearily) Huh?  Oh...yeah.  

Other Student Who Sometimes Surprises Me With His Wit:  You are?  Wait.  You aren't one of those people who just say they are a counselor.  You have to have a piece of paper that says you are a counselor or you can't go around telling people that.

MS:  (resigned to the fact that the world has become a distrustful kind of place and that credentials might be required at any given moment)  I have a Master's Degree from the University of Southern Maine in Counseling with a specialty in School Counseling.  It's hanging on my wall at home.  Sometimes I dust it.

OSWSSMWHW:  That explains a lot.  I was wondering why you spent so much time talking about our feelings during math class...


I guess I should watch that.  But, to be fair, math class does seem to generate a great deal of angst.  It is only natural that I would want to mine that vein.  It's right there, for crying out loud.  And it's not like anyone is doing their math while they are complaining about it anyway...

I suspect that I will sleep rather well tonight.  The rains continue to fall and I managed to get in a pretty decent workout with the weights this afternoon.  I was too tired to really process the fact that I was lifting heavy objects until it was all over.  

And the weekend is almost upon me!  The scarf-in-progress will get some attention and I'm hoping to find a black and white cookie or a brownie somewhere in between Saturday and Sunday.  It doesn't look like the rain will be with us anymore, though.  

But I still think I may be able to force myself to squeeze in a bit of a nap.  It's just a feeling...

SA

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Middle Of The Week? Already?

It is sad when a three day weekend ends.  But it is a happy moment indeed when you realize that it is a short work week.  Suddenly, Wednesday is upon me and it is time for the Wednesday Night Bullet Post!  This doesn't make up for the vast amount of stupidity that was heaped upon me yesterday.  But it makes a bit of a dent.  Let's see what I can come up with for you this evening:

*I am almost done with those progress reports that I learned I had to do in a mere two days.  

*At least I think I am.  We'll see if I've done them right.  There is always a chance that I've gone and made a mess of things since I don't normally use this particular program for progress reports.

*But, as I said to a colleague today, I've done enough that they can't say I didn't try.  They can't fire me if I try.

*The colleague noted that I have been transferred to The Bad Job At The Middle School That No One Else Would Take And Which I Am Beginning To Suspect Was A Mean Trick Played On Me By The Administration.

*It is unlikely that I will be fired.  A more fitting punishment would be Extra Strength Tenure...

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty is still not pleased with his diet.  He does not see the need.

*He tells me that he is not fat.  He is "husky."

*Big boned.

*Full figured.

*That there is more of him to love...

*I still have a sore throat.  But I am ignoring it.  

*Correction:  I am ignoring it during the times when I am not complaining about it.



When the AGK feels that he is being underfed, he will drag his bowl around the kitchen and stare at it hopefully.


*I've recently downloaded a bunch more TV to the computer.  I'm hoping that I can get in some good knitting time this weekend.  

*Scarves take a long time to knit and much TV is needed.


When the bowl dragging thing doesn't work, the AGK will then rush the resident photographer.  It's kind of hard to tell if it's encouragement or outright intimidation...


*I had to spend time today with the assistant principal engaged in one of those, "help me to help you" discussions.  Two of my students made some rather poor choices.  Telling me when these things happen instead of leaving me to wonder where they are during their upcoming and lengthy suspensions would be useful.  Plus I have information and stuff that he could use when dealing with these kids.

*He seemed confused.  I'm not sure if anyone has ever offered to help him with these sorts of things before.  

*I am good at this stuff.  I can be very helpful.  I have all kinds of knowledge.  I know stuff about the law and the mental health issues involved.  I'm a regular fountain of information.

*When I'm not complaining about my sore throat, at any rate...


When all else fails and yummy foods are not provided, the AGK will resort to taking matters into his own hands.


*I intervened.  Any cat who is gaining weight whilst on a low cal/low carb diet needs help.  

*He has issues.  

*Among these issues, we include an extremely distorted image of his own body.  I'm not sure he understands that he is gi-normous...


The Big, Fluffy Kitty claimed no responsibility for this blatant display of food pilfering and assumed a horrified expression.


*I'm 99% sure that she told him to do it, though.  The BFK is the type to get baby brother into trouble.  

*I told you I'm a fountain of information regarding behavioral issues.  


There's your Wednesday Bullets!  How nice to have midweek behind me so early!   Now that I have successfully blogged the day's events, I will prepare for an evening of sore throat tending, progress report writing and television viewing.  

And cat feeding.  Dinner time is almost upon us and I don't think the AGK is going to accept anything other than a prompt serving time.

SA