Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WNBP: The Plague Days

We here at the Sheepish House Of Snotty Tissues And Whimpering are eternally grateful for your patience as I stagger my way through this horrific cold.  Perhaps I went a little too far last time, comparing my trials to that of the poor souls in that Contagion movie.  But, in my defense, it really is a wicked nasty cold.

On the plus side, it seems to be letting go just a bit and I truly do believe I can find my way clear to do a Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  I've hardly had to blow my nose at all today and, at one point, my voice came back almost like it used to was before the froggy croak took over.  I should be fine with typing.

Let's see how it goes.  I can always throw myself to the floor and quickly nap if things go badly...

*I've mentioned the cold, right?

*It's sort of been the topic of choice since I woke up with it on Saturday morning.  

*The speed with which this thing took hold is beyond anything you can imagine.

*Crappy weekend.

*On Monday, I went back to work hoping for sympathy.  Got none.

*On Tuesday, I lost my voice and figured someone would notice that.  Then the sympathy would fairly crash down upon me in great gooey waves of sweetness.

*Not so much with that.

*I had a voice today, but it was still that of an ancient toad with a three pack a day habit.

*Still not so much with the gooey sweetness and sympathy.

*I was up most of the night coughing so I was too tired to really care anyway.

*In spite of my husky speaking voice, I actually feel much better than I have in days.

*Now I can focus on the back muscles I locked up after I took the NyQuil and fell asleep in the most awkward of positions for the night.

*Sort of between sitting, lying down and something that might be along the lines of cow milking.

*I told you it was a weird position for sleeping...

*I ate a lot of chicken soup this week.

*When I bought that pressure canner, I really hadn't planned on canning meat.  That just seemed odd.  Not to mention a tad bit deadly.

*I have been truly grateful to that hunk of metal this week.  Grab some chicken and carrots from the pantry and peas from the freezer, then season and heat it up with a little bit of broth that the grocery store makes...and there is soup!

*Frozen peas are better than even home canned.  I hate canned peas.

*I also think I hate carrots but I love them if I spent hours over a hot stove getting them into jars.

*And you don't wanna know how awful my own broth is.  The stuff from the grocery store is my best bet.

*I made the mistake of reading about cantaloupes riddled with listeria today.

*I'm usually not allowed on science or news sites during school hours.

*The Cheerful Teaching Assistant greatly enjoyed my half hour rant on how we were all going to die because of tainted fruit and that I always knew it would be the fruit that gets us!!!

*A few of the kids overheard and thus was spawned The Best Conversation Of The Week:

Little Mr. Spock: (looking perplexed and a little bit condescending)  What are you talking about?  There are no cantaloupes in Maine.

Ms. Sheep:  Yes there are.  They are right at the grocery store waiting to kill us with their infected rinds!!!  Oh...wait.  I think you might be thinking of antelopes.

LMS:  Huh?

MS:  Antelope.  They're like deer and they jump around.  Cantaloupes are round melons that never jump and apparently spell our doom.

(the lad who is) Too Cute For Words And Knows How To Work It:  Yeah!  Cantaloupes!  Those things are hard.  You have to hit them with a really big knife!

MS:  NO!  Those are  COCONUTS!!!  Sheesh....what the heck do you people eat around here????

(The Cheerful Teaching Assistant tries to say something at this point, but we will never know what it is because she is too overcome with laughter.  Several attempts are made throughout the day to find out what she wanted to add, but each ends with the same wheezing gasps.  I'll bet it was pretty funny, though...)

*Blogger doesn't want to save this.  It keeps telling me that there is an error.

*Blogger also still doesn't want me to link to Amazon with anything remotely resembling ease so I have to navigate back and forth.

*Which doesn't work if you can't save, right?

*I finished reading Roadkill.

*I'd already saved that link.  

*I want to tell you about Blackout but I can't because I don't want to lose everything when I go back to Amazon to get the link.

*It's a conundrum, I tellya!

*I'm almost done with the Cal Leandros saga.

*At least the parts that are already written.  I'm sure there will be more someday.

*Fun stuff and it all gets better as the series rolls along.

*Even Cal refers to himself as angsty by the time we get to the last few books.

*Let's see...nope.  Still not saving.

*I guess Blogger has the plague, too.

*I don't feel badly for Blogger.  It isn't exactly making this easier.

*I went to work and taught children the difference between melons and mammals today.  I did my job even though I felt crappy.

*Hence, you can see how I might be less than sympathetic.

So ends another fun-filled WNBP and I hardly mentioned the cold symptoms at all!  Only like...three hundred times or so!  Which is good since I have been living with it for days and days and it has consumed my life.  I'm now going to head over to the HTML tab so I can save a copy of this post before Blogger loses it entirely.  Perhaps someday I'll even be able to put it up so all the world can appreciate how well I did whilst living through the plague.

By then,  I'll be fully recovered and ready to start suffering from the killer melons...


Monday, September 26, 2011


I have not seen Contagion.  I hadn't planned on it, frankly.  Even if I did, I doubt I'd make it as far as the concession stand, much less the ticket booth.  Every time I mention it, people I didn't think were paying much attention will suddenly focus upon me intently.  Some will gently explain to me why this is not a very good idea given my tendency to overreact to things like world-wide plagues.  Others will yell at me because they think that anything spoken loudly enough will be taken seriously.  They know this because they have heard me yelling about plagues off and on over the years.

There is a third group who will whip out their car keys and jingle them at me in order that the shiny/sparkly might divert my attention long enough for someone to block the doors.  That only works about a quarter of the time, but bless their little hearts for trying...

They are all wasting their time.  Like I said, I wasn't planning on going.  I know it's a bad idea and that I'll probably be barricaded in my house for six months, existing only on the Junior Mints and stale popcorn I brought home from the theater.  Besides, I don't really need to go.  I can probably come up with a similar plot line if I try hard enough.

Since I can't really think in terms of "sweeping epic" and "world-wide stage," I'd probably just do the whole thing on a smaller scale.  Say, for example, a school.  That is familiar to me what with being a teacher since before the beginning of time and all.  Schools are pretty good microcosms, I think.

I'm guessing that my mini version would have everything going smoothly at first.  The viewers would be lulled into a false sense of security.  There would be rampant reading in the library and all sorts of mathing down in algebra class.  The cafeteria would be running at peak efficiency since it's the beginning of the year and the kids haven't stuffed leftover pickles into all the vents yet.  Life would be good.

When the first sniffles start, no one would really react much.  Fall is, after all, allergy season for some. In fact, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to see several kids sneezing.  For all the reassuring sense of normalcy, the audience probably won't be able to resist that little shudder of impending doom.  Things are about to go badly for our little school-based mini-movie world residents.

Everyone on screen will still be happily ensconced in denial, though.  Everyone, that is, except for one astute observer.  There is always one astute observer in these films.  It's usually The Discredited Scientist In The Basement Lab.  This is the one who will see The Pattern Emerging.  That, as we all know is key to the plot development.  We need to have someone who can do that in our mini-movie.

 Let's see...who could it be?  I know!  How about that quirky teacher they put in the out of the way classroom and sometimes forget about because she and her students aren't exactly like all the others who go to this school.  She sounds like the type to start babbling about plagues once the sniffles start.

And, much like The Discredited Scientist frantically making calls from down in the basement, she will be ignored.

Before you know it, the plague will have descended upon our little school.  The student absence list will be miles long and kids will be sent home.  Teachers will be calling out sick in spite of it being only the third week of classes but there is really nothing else to be done for it.  Had they listened to the quirky teacher up in the ignored classroom, things might have been different.  But they didn't and now they have naught but their own selves to blame!

(This isn't really one can stop the plague, but the quirky teacher doesn't have much to cling to so let's just let her have this one, 'kay?)

Now, here's the good part.  You'll love this!  You know how movies sometimes have a twist at the end? It's all going along one way and then it suddenly surprises you?  Well, how about if our little drama doesn't follow the predicted story arc?  Usually the Discredited Scientist gets to avoid the plague because he is so much smarter than everyone else and remembered to wear his gas mask while everyone else romped playfully about in the rain of bacteria.

Well, it's not going that way in OUR movie!  Not at all.  In our version, the quirky teacher doesn't avoid the plague.  She might think she did.  She might have even thrown out an "I told you so" or two over the course of the Plague Week.  But she will, in fact, be as infected as everyone else.  She will wake up on Saturday morning sicker than anyone else (at least by her own estimation) and spend her entire weekend snuffling, snorting and shoving tissues up her nose fetchingly.  By Monday, she will be feeling a little bit better and won't even have a day off to show for her suffering.  She will have to drag her sore throat and red nose off to the House Of Book Learning And Infection so she can be sickly with everyone else.

I know it's not exactly the same as the big screen version of Contagion.  It's probably not even close.  But I like to think I got one or two points right.  And if I didn't, they'll have to stand for now.

It's time for my next dose of decongestant...


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WNBP: Settling In

We are finding our rhythm here at the Sheepish House Of Wayward Felines And Public Education.  That's not to say that I didn't think it was Saturday when I woke up on Tuesday, but I think we will eventually get past those morning mishaps.  At least I hope I do.  It is a bitter thing indeed to face the reality of a workday at quarter to five when a part of you thinks it is the weekend.

Let's take a look at this week's Wednesday Night Bullet Post and marvel at my new found school year scheduling skills:

*No.  Seriously.  Hearing that alarm go off in the darkness of the early morning hours is painful enough without that two seconds of thinking it can be ignored.

*I don't recommend it.  Not at all...

*I have managed to get myself to school on time every single day so far.

*I suggested that this might be enough to earn a day off, but they said they'd have to get back to me.

*The Latest Interaction With My Betters That Really Should Have Resulted In My Firing:


Ms. Sheep:  (stomping to the phone and muttering) Oh, for crying out loud!  What now?  (she checks the caller i.d. and picks up the phone as it is not someone she can ignore)  Yes, O Fearless Leader?  Do you have something good to tell me?  I would like for someone to tell me something good today.

Mr. Assistant Principal:  Hello Ms. Sheep.   Is Mr. Newest Teaching Assistant there by any chance?

MS:  Not at the moment.  He is in class with a student.  Is this about me?  Is it good?  You haven't mentioned the part involving me and good things yet.

MAP:  It isn't good.  Nor is it really bad.  I just need to talk to Mr. NTA about a scheduling thing is all.  For you, I guess it's...nothing.

MS:  If it isn't about me, I am not interested.  I am hanging up now.  You can talk to your new best friend Mr. NTA.  For future reference, make a note:  Good.  And about me.  Otherwise, not interested.

MAP:  (chuckling)  Duly noted.

*Hand to God, I cannot get these people to take my firing seriously!  What the heck does a girl have to do?  Set fire to her hair????

*Best Joke I've Heard In Forever Courtesy of Li'l Einstein (who is crazy smart and really doesn't seem like the humorous type...):

A guy walks into a bar.  And says, "ouch."

*Sit with it for a minute.

*You'll get there.

*It's even funnier if you are trying desperately to get some work done and are only half-paying attention and Li'l Einstein knows it.

*I told it to the CTA at the end of the day and it killed!!!

*Best Line Of The Week courtesy of The Siren (she who is going to lead the male members of the class into serious trouble and they will smile with each step they take towards their doom):

I love it when you just sit there blinking really fast at us.  It's like you're trying to say, "Oh my God I cannot believe this is my life."  It's really funny how you do that!

*Yeah.  It's a riot.  And it's not blinking.  It's probably a seizure of some sort brought on by witnessing three kids argue for fourteen minutes straight over a pen cap.

*Did I mention the kid who showed up on the third day of school with two full-sized bowling balls in his bag?

*I can't recall.  I probably didn't tell you about that.  I haven't come up with a blog name for him yet because everything I think of has the word "balls" in it and I can't make it come across right.

*I signed up for Amazon Associates so I could use the convenient widget.

*Great way to quickly link to books I'm reading.

*Some people, however, are actually doing to generate income and I would imagine they are freaking out a bit over the lack of widget workability these days.

*For me, it just means it is going to be very time consuming to recommend books to you.

*I am still going to try, though!

*Anything for you, Dear Readers!!!

*I finished Madhouse.

*And I very quickly purchased Deathwish.

*This is teen angst at its most poignant and powerful.

*I normally get a little irritated by teen angst, but I think that Cal has a right to be snarky.

*My only complaint is that, in the current installment, the author is really switching up the character perspective.

*I like the grumpy teen.  Keep the spotlight on the grumpy teen.

*And I don't say that very often given my line of work!!

*Still like the books even if there's less with the grump.

*You cannot even begin to imagine the stress involved in getting those two links in place.  

*Blogger...please get over your issues with Amazon.  

*It's not for me.  It's for the grumpy teen whose plight I wish to make known to the world.

*Plus I don't really have time for this now that I am back to work and trying to get to school on time.

*Right now I should be finding clean clothes to wear tomorrow.  

*And shoes.  I need shoes to accommodate my feet which are swelling up like melons in response to standing all day and blinking a lot.

*That isn't exactly something I planned for and hardly in keeping with my schedule.

*Frankly, I think that there are many forces out there working against my staying on schedule this year.

*But I can't seem to get fired so it will have to work out and settle down soon.

So Wednesday happened and then it was over and now I'm just cruising my way through the new prime time television schedule.  Fall does have it's benefits.  I get some new jokes and a super new TV schedule to work with.  Plus I get to practice blinking.

Yes.  We are truly settling in.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Toasting The New Year

I don't normally spend a lot of time discussing my dislike for my job.  It's not the sort of thing a perky, happy gal such as myself dwells upon.  It also often leads to genuinely helpful people suggesting things that I might do to resolve the situation, all of which are kind of obvious and most of which I have tried to no avail.

No, it is not in keeping with my happy, perky reputation to snap at genuinely helpful people.  Saying things like, "Gosh, I never thought of that!  Wherever would I be without your insight into this matter?  Why, I could've solved this problem years ago had I simply thought to ask for your sage words of wisdom!" is enough to get you kicked out of the Happy Perky Club.

And they have a heck of a convention for members in good standing so I just avoid the topic whenever I can.   And, all kidding aside, people really are just trying to be helpful.  I know that and don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

Hence, I have accepted the fact that for now (and the foreseeable future) I will get up every morning and drive to a job that I spent a lot of grad school time and money to not have to do anymore.  There are a couple of ways a person might handle this situation.  The first involves raising one's fists to the heavens and ranting loudly at an unjust universe.

Now, I like a good rant as much as the next person.  In fact, I think I've raised the whole thing to a genuine art form.  But a true rant is actually kind of hard to maintain for any real length of time.  Furthermore, no one wants to sit next to you at the movies because ranting is noisy and all that shaking of fists causes the popcorn to fly everywhere.

I prefer the second path, the one where I remember that life is short and how important it is to find the happy.  It is up to me to figure out how to get some joy out of my daily life.  Rants may sneak in every now and again, but they don't have to define me.  I look for what works in my current job and celebrate that.

And if that doesn't keep me in the Happy Perky Club, I don't know what will.

That said,  I reserve the right to not like the Back To School advertising which marks the end of summer vacation.  In fact, I mourn just a little bit when I see those ads.  It takes a while for the Happy/Perky to kick in, I guess.

This year, however, might just represent a marked departure from the norm.  Yes, I avoided the Back To School sales just like I do every year.  But I am a bargain shopper and I could hardly avoid the 50% Off School Stuff No One Got Around To Buying table at the grocery store on Saturday.  As the owner of a rapidly dying toaster oven, I was even less able to ignore the sight of box containing that exact same appliance huddled on the back of the shelf.  Frankly, I think it is my right to not suffer with half-browned English muffins each morning as I start my teaching day.  I deserve a well-toasted breakfast, by God!!!

I am not even going to question why my local grocery store had a lone toaster oven.  They don't normally carry that sort of thing.  I don't know why they suddenly decided to adopt a single appliance or what prompted the college student for whom it was surely meant to cast it aside.  I only know this:  It was there, it was half price and it was going in my cart.

Maybe it is sad to not be living the happy-go-lucky dorm life, but it will get over it.  Life with Sheepie can be fun, too.

Yup.  It's Back To School Time and I didn't even have to work all that hard to find the Happy/Perky.  Who knows, next year I might even run across something even better in the half-priced pile!  It could be the trend that sees me through to retirement...


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Surprise Bullets!!!

I suppose that being surprised by bullets is kind of a bad thing, but I think you know what I meant.  I missed the Wednesday Night Bullet Post due to a fit of Oh-My-God-I-Cannot-Even-Function-At-This-Point.  When one is struck by the OMGICEFATP, there isn't much else to be done.  I think you will understand once you get a sense of the situation.

Let's take advantage of some complimentary Thursday Night Bullet Points and explore how it all went down...

*Last night was Open House at my school.

*Long time readers will know that I don't bother driving all the way home and back again.  I just hang out, get some work done and wait for the end.

*I don't get many visitors.

*Yesterday's work day ran from 6:45 am to 7:05 pm.  Not counting the commute.

*Which is long, but I have wi-fi and could have posted at some point.

*But I didn't because I kind of got behind. I had a lot to do and time got away from me. Before I knew it, parents were filtering in and I had to look professional and caring even if no one ever actually saw it.

*But that wasn't the worst of it.

*It was really hot yesterday and my room was stifling.

*Sheepie lacks anything remotely resembling Self-Regulating Internal Temperature Control these days.

*Hot classroom=rising internal temps and rampant perspiration.

*No control.  None.  Even when I explain to my brain that it can't do this on Open House Night because I don't have a change of clothes or the strength to look like a nurturing professional whilst melting, there is nothing that will stop it.

*Force of freakin' nature!

*All one can do in this situation is stagger down to the classroom of a female colleague and gasp out the basics of the story.

*She will then race to the windows, fling them open and start directing fans.  A little distracting conversation, a few sympathetic murmurs and the worst will pass.

*If you don't happen to have a middle aged colleague capable of understanding the horrors involved in the Beautiful Circle Of Life, then I feel sorry for you.  You are on your own with no one to locate ice chips.

*I had one parent visit me around 6:30 and that was all.

* Which was good because I was a little bedraggled by then.

*I was trying to describe my Horrific Crazy Humidity Hair situation to Mrs. Secretary Who Sits At The Back Desk when Mr. Principal walked by.

*He only saw my wild gesticulations and offered assistance with whatever might be plaguing me.

*I didn't think he could really do much with my rapidly corkscrewing locks, so I thanked him kindly and declined.

*He was not the one to whom I turned when the hot flashes hit either.

*He likes to be helpful and supportive, but I'm thinking that might put him off his feed for a week or so...

*My class is very needy this year.

*I don't have any prep time during the day.

*I also need to watch them almost constantly in order that they don't set things alight, doodle on the walls or procreate in the closets.

* recap.

*I worked a twelve hour day with needy children, didn't finish all my paperwork, required assistance to survive my middle aged bodily breakdown and had really, really bad hair going on.

*I came home and took a bath.  Then I went to bed.

*Frankly, we all benefited from that decision.

*Today, I feel really good and I'm hardly melting at all!

*The Very Complicated Kitty took his pill this morning.

*This is a good thing because I was beginning to despair.  I've been getting up fifteen minutes earlier just to deal with his poor behavioral choices.

*I think he has accepted that mornings are no longer the leisurely things we enjoyed during the summer months.

*Speaking of cats, I think I need to clean the carpets again.

*Just noticed the horror that is my floor space.

*Might need to put that on the weekend To-Do list.

*I picked up a copy of Autumn a week or so ago.

*It wasn't bad and something one should read if one is trying to stay current with the walking dead genre.

*It just wasn't my favorite, was all.

*And then to discover that I already had it as an audio book added insult to injury.

*Hate buying what I already own!!!

*Less of the distress with Nightlife, though.

*Here's a story that will put any parental issues one might have into perspective!

*It's hard to stay mad at a mom who wouldn't let you wear a backless dress to prom when compared to poor Cal's family memories...

*That said, there is a little issue when the author changes character perspective halfway through the novel.

*Normally, I like the switch-up and he didn't really have much choice under the circumstances, but I started to get a little stressed after a fashion.  

*Strong characters and a unique story line here.  

*And it's a series so this will keep me occupied while I wait for a few new releases.

*I keep track of what's coming out and when with a computer generated sticky note.

*I like sticky notes.  The ones on the computer are not the same, but they don't fall off the edge of the coffee table like the "real" ones I use to remind myself of very important stuff.

*Cats are often sporting a few sticky notes as they gambol about the manse.

*Stress makes me a little red in the face.

*Which causes heat.

*And then...SURPRISE!!!

I hope that these Thursday Bullet Points will help to make up for my utter lack of posting ability on Wednesday.  Sometimes it just isn't meant to be and one has to go along with what the universe is suggesting.  I think there is a bright side, though.  Now I'm all convinced it's Wednesday and that will make tomorrow seem like Thursday and it won't be!  It will be Friday!

And that is a very nice sort of surprise.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gotta Love A Good Portent

It's been a while since I've done a Portent Post.  The good old fashioned Oh My Goodness There Are Signs All About Us If We'd Only Take Heed kind of thing...  I think I should do another one.  There have been one or two little nudges in that direction if today is any indication.  I think it is time to start obeying the universe now.  And so, without further ado, I give you:

Sheepish Annie's List Of The Most Important Portents.  (subject to change as circumstances dictate because, let's face it, the universe is a bit on the capricious side these days)

Portent #1:  When you wake up at 4:45 on a Tuesday morning and are confronted with a brown, dotted line winding its way from your bedroom door and all about the manse, you can be assured this is not a good start to the day.  Furthermore, it should be noted that just because something strongly resembles the dotted line on a treasure map doesn't mean you are going to find something of great value at the other end.

Good thing he's cute.  Because he is not what I found at the other end, but there was a definite and recent connection.

Portent #2:  When the start of school suddenly triggers a medication battle on the home front, you are just being naive if you think it isn't going to affect things elsewhere.  It doesn't matter that you fully comprehend the difference between your cats and your students, you are bound to slip at some point.  You are going to be very tired from arguing with an Very Complicated Kitty over the need to take his morning happy pill and you'll probably miss the signs of impending disaster.

That is exactly when a student in your class will refuse to take his medication and instead of telling him you are going to call the "nurse," you will threaten him with the "vet."

No.  I am not kidding.  And yes.  That little Freudian Feline Slip is quite enough to cause an entire classroom to stop functioning and engage in open-mouthed goggling for a full minute.

Portent #3:  I think we all know this, but just to be on the safe side I'll run it by you again.  When you walk into a room full of 7th graders and they all suddenly stop talking in order that they might begin industriously working on their assignments, there is nothing good going on.

Silent and industrious 7th graders are a sign of the apocalypse.  Or worse, by classroom standards.  Take heed and start counting the scissors.

Portent # 4:  Anyone who says they are getting their fall clothes out in September is just asking for trouble.  The minute those words are spoken aloud, the universe will start to churn and gurgle alarmingly.  Then it will suddenly get hot and humid and Ms. Sheep (who may or may not have been the one to voice the stupid thought) will be stuck in a room full of very stinky middle schoolers.

Never talk wardrobe in front of the universe.  Ever.  Or at least remember to check the weather before choosing your outfit.

Portent #5:  There is nothing that bodes disaster like welcoming the Cheerful Teaching Assistant back with cheers and happy little hand waves as she returns from her recent absence.  It sounds like a nice thing to do since she was very sick for a while there and deserves a happy little hand wave.  I miss the CTA when she can't come to school.  I miss her level head in a crisis and her ability to take children away from me when I start to look a little homicidal around lunchtime.

But that kind of welcome is a portent.  It doesn't seem like it, but it really is.  It is an instant one, too.  You won't even have a half a hand flap worked up before her backpack will catch on the mini blinds and she will be stuck at the window for ten minutes while we figure out a way to extricate her and still save the blinds from being dragged to the floor.

I wouldn't care about the blinds so much but she was going to have to go home sometime and I wasn't sure they'd fit in her car.

Language Arts class sort of didn't go as planned today.  I had to pull together a meeting of the minds since I couldn't get the poor girl loose by myself.  Class was cancelled while we all grappled with the dilemma.  The CTA was almost able to look everyone in the eye by dismissal time...

Portent # 6:  If, by now, you haven't realized that things are rapidly devolving, then there is really very little help for you.  It is highly likely that you are going to walk up to the literacy specialist and make a joke about her not testing the 6th graders like she was supposed to today.  You won't mean anything by it but I promise you that there will be ten witnesses there to hear her announce that she is pregnant and miserable and that this is why she failed to follow through with the testing schedule.  She will find the whole thing kind of funny because she is that kind of person, but you will still look like a jerk in front of all the people who fail to understand the sense of humor you share with the poor pregnant literacy specialist.

And you deserve it because it is 3:30 and you've been getting signs all day but failed to heed them.  I mean, seriously!  You got an email from the tech person that was in all caps and began with the words, "THE SERVER IS DYING!!  SAVE YOURSELF AND YOUR DATA NOW FOR THE END IS NIGH!!!"  If you didn't get the message about this day even after that happened, there is nothing to be done for you.

This is your just desserts, I fear.

Yes...portents.  You gotta watch 'em.  If you don't, you will have a series of events on a Tuesday that defy logic not to mention one's ability to seriously educated the future keepers of this great nation.  And if you fail to see the pattern by 3:30 then you aren't alone.  You have Sheepie to keep you company.

Half the decorative tins stored on the Very High Shelves In The Kitchen somehow found their way onto the floor during the day today...


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

WNBP: A Tired Sort Of Mish-Mash

When I think back to my earlier blogging efforts and how I managed to somehow come up with a post every day, I marvel at my fortitude.  Now that I've scaled back on the internet investment, you'd think I'd have more energy for the whole thing.  I get rest in between posts, for heaven's sake!

Tonight, I am tired.  Sure, it probably has something to do with the fact that today was the second day of school and that I am finally starting to understand that this is for real.  However, I still feel like kind of a wimp as I face the blank blogging screen.

One can only imagine how I am going to ramble on and on...and on.  Good thing it's the Wednesday Night Bullet Post where continuity doesn't really matter all that much!

*I probably already mentioned that today was the second day of school but I think that fact bears repeating.

*Yesterday, I revealed my reasons for believing that the first day of school never really lives up to the hype.

*Today, I shall tell you that the second day generally goes rather predictably.  We are tired and it is less acceptable to go outside for half the day to play trust-building games.

*Plus it was raining so we couldn't go outside anyway.

*And everyone has to use the bathroom more frequently.

*Best Student Line Of The Week (thus far anyway) comes to us courtesy of The Future Farmer:  

I brought cake.  My dad says to tell you that it has three eggs in it.

*I do not know why those three eggs were so noteworthy, but I can tell you they make for a darned find cake.

*Second best line of the week.  In an amazing twist of irony, it also is credited to TFF:

"It is a chocolate cake with rainbow sprinkles."

*That boy is someday going to make a lucky lady very happy.  He can rebuild a car, tell a joke with the best of 'em and now....he BAKES!!!

*He also brought instant coffee packs for the teachers because he thought we looked like we needed it.

*His future wife should call and thank me for the training I have provided.

*I met briefly with my director today.  It went like this:

Ms. Sheep:  You know all those emails I sent you about stuff that I knew nothing about and was mad because no one told me?

Ms. Person Who Is So Totally The Boss Of Me:  Yes.  Vividly.

MS:  Well, you can just disregard that.  I went back over the old emails from last spring and it turns out I knew all about it.  I even had some rather insightful things to say about it all at the time.

MPWISTTBOM:  Consider it disregarded.  Oh, and by the know that problem we were discussing that I had no memory of dealing with last June?  Well, judging from my notes, I did deal with it and I guess I gave several official decisions to quite a few people.  No idea what those were though...

MS:  I used to be really smart, you know.  Not a genius or anything, mind you.  But I was smart.  People used to talk all the time about my razor sharp wit.

MPWISTTBOM:  Me too.  Mind like a steel trap...that's what I had.  I was the envy of all the other directors.

MS:  I asked my doctor about it.  She says there is nothing to be done.

MPWISTTBOM:  Mine too.  Is it hot in here?  I suddenly feel like I'm melting.

MS:  No.  Ask me again in an hour, though.

*I found my camera cord.

*Which, if you consider the Middle Age Crisis And Random Hot Flashes situation going on here, is kind of amazing.

*Now I can show you pictures of the wicked cool collapsible ten liter water jugs I picked up a couple of years ago for five bucks on clearance.

*Busted these bad boys out during Tropical Storm Irene!

Glad it wasn't a hurricane when it got here, but was kind of sad that my Clearance Crisis Water didn't get a chance to save my life...

*I was going to show a picture of how I heated up coffee with just a can of Sterno and the will to caffeinate myself but it kind of revealed how dirty my stove top is so I opted out of that one.

*The reading pace has, as predicted, slowed markedly.  Still have a few things to tell you about, though!

*I'm carrying on with the Connor Grey series.

*I can't recall if I told you about Unquiet Dreams (Connor Grey, Book 2).

*Too lazy to look back to last week's post so I'll just mention it again.

*Told you I was tired.  I did not lie about that...

*Then I read Unfallen Dead (Connor Grey, Book 3).

*Again, might have already mentioned it.

*Next up: Unperfect Souls (Connor Grey, Book 4)

*I am now rounding out the whole experience with Uncertain Allies (Connor Grey, Book 5).

*Should have it finished tonight.

*Assuming I remember to charge the ereader...

*I'm not sure where I'm heading next on the reading road, but I have a few ideas.  I'll get back to you once I decide.

*Too tired right now to really put the thought into it that I should.

*Oh!  I just remembered!  I wanted to tell you about Shadowmagic.  I had a chance to listen to the audio version a while back as an unpublished freebie but wasn't sure if it would ever see print.

*Which was kind of tragic to me because it is excellent!

*Print version available and yay for John Lenahan!!!

*I'm kind of impressed that I remembered that what with the tiredness and crazy old lady moments I seem to be having.

*I really should go.  I need to check my notes for the day and figure out what I promised people I would do even though I have no memory of even talking to them.

*Hopefully they are as tired as I and don't recall either.

Yeah...wrapping this up seems like the best possible option right now.  I have no idea what I'm wearing tomorrow and I can only imagine how showing up in my jammies will go over with my colleagues.  They might consider it par for the course after my recent bout of the stoopidz, but I don't think I want to chance it.

I'm also thinking that tonight will involve an early bedtime.  That seems like a good plan...


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Over...So Over!

I've been doing this since before forever and have had ample time to think about the situation.  Let me assure you that I am not speaking rashly or tossing about opinions all willy-nilly.  I have given the matter deep and serious consideration.  I have, in fact, pondered.  That is some serious stuff, pondering.  You have to listen when someone ponders before opining.  It is even fair to say that I cogitated, but it was mostly pondering.  After all that mental exercise, I have come to the following conclusion:

The first day of school is overrated.  Seriously.

I have many reasons for stating this, more than any one blog can contain.  However, I will share a few of them just to give you the general idea.

1.  Everyone is all giddy about their new school clothes up until the point where we realize that we are totally overdressed.  It is still roughly a billion degrees outside and we are all stuck in a classroom with kids in new fleece hoodies and gigantic sneakers.

Furthermore, the fashion show doesn't last nearly long enough.  We've seen and assessed all the new outfits by 10:00 and then what is there to do?  Take bets on who has the biggest pit stains after a day of posing in the new duds while the still-summery sun blazes through the windows?

2.  The first day of school never lives up to the commercial hype.  After two months of seeing all those peppy, happy kids bouncing onto shiny buses in order that they might experience The Best Day Ever And One Where Everyone Will Probably Burst Into Song, even I get sucked in.

The first day of school is nothing like in the commercials.  Never.  Schedules are screwed up. A mile long line snakes out of the office because no one knows which bus they are supposed to take home and the secretaries start whimpering before the end of the first period. There aren't enough math books and half the kids were so focused on practicing for that first sing-along that they neglected to bring a pencil.

Kids start to get surly once they realize it isn't like what they were promised by the media.  They aren't suddenly popular and magically gifted with the ability to do calculus.  Worse, they can't even sing!  They are just a bunch of non-musical kids who look like taller versions of the ones in the mirror last year and wearing sweaty, soggy new hoodies.

They soon begin to turn on us and understandably so.  This brings me to my next point, one more from the teacher's perspective.

3. There are both teachers and kids in a school.  The kids outnumber the teachers greatly.  When they decide that things have gone far enough, they have the numbers to back up their opinion.  For example, when Ms. Sheep says it is time for everyone to sit down so she can can read with them they can giggle and throw things at each other for thirty minutes straight because they know that the line of confused bus-riders in the office means that there is no room for miscreants.  The fact they have lost their afternoon free time will register later but this isn't going to help matters during the reading time.

Kids can really suck the fun out of the first day of school if they put their minds to it.  Not always...but sometimes.  And their hoodies smell kind of funky, too.

4.  And then there is the reaction from the home front.  Sure, it's the teaching gig that keeps everyone in crunchy kibble and pays for visits to the Cat Whisperer.  However, much like students who can't think beyond the need to avoid reading at the expense of free time, the kitties do not like it when Mama tells them it is time to go back to work.  They like Mama at home so where she can give belly rubs, open cans and be available when they need to tell her something very, very important.

There is drama involved.  Doors are blocked and medicine spat out in an effort to keep Mama where she belongs.  It is sometimes enough to make Ms. Sheep late on a day when she really, really needs to be at school early.

Alas!  Alack!  And a-woe is me!!

Sometimes, in addition to "overrated," we also have "over-acted" and "overly dramatic."