Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WNBP: The Best Laid Plans

At long is here!  The holiday break from school is the first "big" vacation and one that comes with oodles and oodles of awesomeness.  I have learned through the years that it is best to keep one's Christmas expectations reasonable.  It is a little too easy to let those visions of sugar plums grow into gargantuan monsters named Gotta Do and Shoulda Done and that always leads to a let down after the fact.  I'm pretty good these days about keeping my promises of holiday perfection to a level I might reasonably achieve.

The vacation part, however, is always a little bit dicey.  Somehow, I think that I have way more time than I actually possess.  I forget that there is the whole "holiday" thing plonked down right at the beginning of it all and that there will be one or two "reasonable achievements" I need to get finished.  Or that I might be a wee bit wiped out after all that reasonable achieving and need a day of down time.

Then there's the after holiday sales.  Those trip me up every time.  I can't be home remodeling the bathroom if I'm doing battle at the clearance table.

Still...a vacation isn't anything to sneeze at.  Vacations rock the house, remodeled bathroom or not.  They make remembering getting in a Wednesday Night Bullet Post on the right day a little tricky, but I usually manage it.  And tonight is no exception!

Here's your Christmas Vacation Version of the weekly highlights:

*I managed to survive the two days of teacher workshops scheduled right before break.

*We used to do these before Thanksgiving.  It was still Fall and we were all still rather excited to be educating the future of our great land.  Hence, we were pretty darned invested.

*Now they do it right before the holidays.  When everyone can only think about the unwrapped presents and unbaked snickerdoodles.

*We lack investment.

*Usually, I'm late signing up for workshops and have to take the leftovers.

*This year, I caught a break.  The registration system went down right after opening and kicked all the early birds out.

*I logged in seconds after everything went "live" again and the world was my oyster!!

*The goal of workshops is to "take away."

*As in "stuff you can use with kids."

*I scored big.  My first session ended with me connecting to a program that educates kids about the stereotyping of the elderly and has some pretty neat opportunities for community service.

*My "making paper beads" workshop with The Cheerful Teaching Assistant was great.  There are several math lessons in there and I made a whole bunch of beads.

*All of which looked exactly like little festive joints.

*My paper was too small.

*However, I achieved a perfectly tight roll.

*Had I only mastered this skill back in college, I'd have been the belle of the ball.

*At least with that group who always hung out in the dorm basement...

*The mandatory sessions and keynotes were a letdown.

*One of them made a grown man cry.  And I'm not talking figuratively, here.

*We were tired.  And the Mayans were having some sort of temper tantrum over the world not ending so it was raining sideways by 10:00.

* I'm really only surprised we didn't lose more to the Weepies.

*My last "choice" session was so amazing that it made up for the tears, raindrops and mind-numbing keynotes.

*I can't really use this one with the kids.  It's too complicated.  But I don't care.

*I now have the most amazing thing ever in the history of stuff!

It's a bag crafted from recycled coffee bags and duct tape!!!!

*My apologies for the bad photo.  I had to do a quick and very last minute upload from my phone since I forgot to take a better one earlier.

*Totally couldn't wait to show you the awesomeness of my most couture of coffee bag bags!

*When I got home I added interior pockets.  Now it is more perfect!

*With workshops out of the way, holiday prep could begin in earnest.

*I baked cheesy bread.

*I baked challah.

*I made my first attempt at my Aunt Marge's cardamom braided Christmas bread.

*And I wrapped.

*And I wrapped.

*And I wrapped some more.

*Note to self:  Do not leave wrapping until Christmas Eve.

*Second note to self:  Do not leave notes to self that you have no intention of reading.  You do this every year and have learned nothing from your late-night paper wrangling.

*OK.  So perhaps I did set myself up a bit with the expectations.

*I think it might have been more of a procrastination issue, but still...

*There were a few moments of quiet desperation.

*Short-lived, thankfully!

*Breakfast at the Sheepish Parental Household was scheduled for 8:00 a.m.  Sharp.

*I was right on time.  8:30.

*That is within the acceptable parameters.

*My acceptable parameters.

*I had wrapped presents so no one commented.

*And, you know what?  Christmas came whether I was late or not and Santa left all my presents at Mommy and Daddy's house just like he always does.

*And we still had our annual Orange Juice With Pulp Or Without Pulp debate, right on schedule.  It all worked out.

*I was well-gifted.

*My parents were each short a gift, though.

*I ordered late and knew it might be tight.  I even accepted it when parcel tracking told me they wouldn't arrive until December 26th.

*My ordered items were at a facility 20 minutes from my home on Christmas Eve.

*Then they got the wanderlust.

*And went to a post office in Dover NH.

*Which is NOT 20 minutes from my home.

*The shipper optimistically predicted no change in the arrival date, though.

*As of this morning, my package was somewhere in New Jersey and I can't for the life of me figure out what I did to offend it enough that it would make the trek back to the mid-west.

*There is a major storm scheduled for tomorrow.  The shipper has put a disclaimer up in red lettering, although they don't seem to think it makes sense to change the arrival date of my package in any way.

*I like to think of this as a story I will tell later and find ever so entertaining.

*This is how I get by...

*Today, the after Christmas sales started.  I was excited because this year I was gifted with the means to participate in this time-honored tradition with wild abandon.

*Translation:  Mommy and Daddy Sheep tucked cash in various gifts under the tree and I have no plans whatsoever to be "sensible" with it.

*I knew which store I wanted to hit today because there was a great sale on and I also had a 20% off coupon.

*I was so excited that I could barely sleep.  So I went back to the website to peruse their goods a little longer.

*And discovered that they were opening at 5:00 this morning.

*I did not go to the store at 5:00 this morning.  That is just crazy.

*I went at 7:00 this morning.  Which is ever so much more sensible on a vacation day...

*The Early Bird sales were kind to me.  Very kind.

*Of course, I put a much bigger dent in the shopping budget than I planned so early in the game, but there is a storm coming so I was losing a day anyway.

*Justification.  That is also how I get by...

*Since I've been waiting for the next paycheck to pick up the new books I want to read, I've been accessing the digital download library as a stop gap measure.

*Figured I'd try The Furies Of Calderon series just for the heck of it.

*Started with Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1).

*It is quite good, but I am not really a fan of epic fantasy.  I lean more towards the "urban" variety of the genre.

*Still, it is well-written and engaging and very different from Jim Butcher's other works.  

*It's tiding me over until I can get some of the titles I really want.

*It wasn't how I planned to get the reading in this vacation, but what can you do?

*If nothing else, this season should prove to us that plans are really only there to get in in the way of what's actually going to happen.

So here I am on a Wednesday, once again realizing that I forgot to eat dinner and wondering if I can get away with leftover Christmas cookies as a food group.  That's another plan that went awry.  I honestly thought I'd be a bit more on track with meal planning now that there's no work to get in the way.

Of course, I also thought I'd get the wrapping done before darkness fell on Christmas Eve, that my parents might get their gifts only a little bit after the actual holiday and that I'd be able to sleep late during vacation.

But the gifts were delivered in festive paper and all baked goods were appreciated.  I even had something for my parents, if not exactly everything.  I've got enough leftovers from Christmas dinner and a whole bunch of cool stuff to keep me happy and entertained while I ride out the storm.  It's all good.

It's vacation.  How can it NOT be????


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WNBP: Not Quite, But Close

It's not really the last day of school before the holiday break.  I mean, it was...except not.  The kids are done.  Ms. Sheep isn't.

Ms. Sheep has to return for two days of mostly mind-numbing workshops before the powers that be will allow her to finally collapse in a giant heap of sugar coma.  This, the aforementioned powers seem to think, will make me a better person and a more dedicated educator.

We'll see about that.  I like to think the powers know stuff I don't because the alternative is kind of disturbing.

Meanwhile, I'm going to take what I can get.  It's two days without kids and a slightly later start to the work day.  If I don't focus on all the stuff I need to get done before the holidays, perhaps I can stay on task until the end of teacher workshops.

Or at least remain upright and semi-conscious...

Here's your Weekly Wednesday Night Bullet Post:

*Jolly Boy's mother likes to bake.

*She particularly likes to bake for Christmas.

*She is also an involved mother who enjoys including all her children in the process.

*She is quite creative, too!

*Which is why Jolly Boy showed up yesterday with homemade fudge wreaths for his teachers.

She puts a can in the middle of the cake tin and pours the fudge around it.  Seriously brilliant...

*I was prepared to be depressed that Jolly Boy didn't bring his mother's amazing cherry cookies again this year.

*But I got over it.


*I was going to have just fudge for dinner last night but that seemed wrong.

*So I had some leftover Christmas cookies that didn't fit into the goodie trays I was making up for staff gifts and that seemed to round things out nicely.

*Or round me out nicely...

*The Christmas tree remains upright, against all odds.

*And by, "against all odds," I mean "in spite of feline interference."

*They chew on it and steal the ornaments.

No.  This isn't cute at all.

*Almost took my darned arm off when I tried to get it back.

*OK.  It was one of the Decoy Ornaments I use on the bottom of the tree to distract Da Boyz from their more fragile counterparts, but still.  It's the principle of the thing.

*He Who...PROJECTS came to school today fully prepared (and a little resigned) to class participation.

*Then he learned that today was a Fun Day for those students on his academic team who had finished all their work.

*At which point, he invented the I Don't Have Any Work Today song.

*Followed quickly by the I Won't Have Any Homework Either song.

*There was a little dance involved as well.

*All done to the tune of Jingle Bells.

*I'd give you the lyrics, but we were all laughing so hard I managed to miss most of them.

*For the record, recent media reports are misleading to the point of making me furious.

*Not all persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder are prone to violent outbursts.

*They are individuals with unique temperaments and life experiences just like everyone else currently wandering the planet. They should not be classified according to the actions of one disturbed person who happens to have a similar diagnosis.

*Sometimes folks with ASD are prone to bursting into spontaneous song.

*But that is only if they don't have homework for Christmas vacation so I don't think the general public has to worry about it too much.

*The powers that be allow us to sign up for a couple of wellness sessions during the teacher workshops and I signed up early this year so I had my choice.

*I decided to try my hand at paper bead making.  I didn't look too closely at the description.  I just thought that might be fun and certainly something I could later do with my class.

*Today, I went back to check on what I needed to bring for the session.  And I was giddy to see who was teaching it.


*I like The New Teaching Assistant, but I miss my CTA.

*And tomorrow I get to make paper beads with her.

*If I remember to bring some paper with me since that is a class requirement.

*Unlike HW....P, I have homework.

*It is still school time for Ms. Sheep.

*I finished reading The Business of Death: The Death Works Trilogy.

*Really a bargain for all three books and a unique read.

*I'm not sure how I feel about the ending of the third book, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that it simply cannot end there.

*I'll keep you posted.

*After checking the budget, I decided that I should go with library downloads until after the holidays.

*It took some searching, but I managed to find a good one that no one else had snapped up.


*Because you really can't have enough versions of the coming apocalypse.

*And because blue zombies seem kind of festive...

I have checked the clock upon the wall and suddenly realized that I haven't eaten dinner yet.  And I promised myself I would start remembering dinner before 7:00 from now on and the fact that it is actually 7:07 isn't going to deter me.  I also need to get a handle on the fact that it is only "almost" vacation and that I need to get up for school (sort of) tomorrow.

It isn't quite time for the No Homework song, I guess.  Almost, though!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WNBP: The Tree Should Have Been A Clue...

Well, I am the very picture of befuddlement!  I've been hearing rumors for a while now about the holidays.  People kept telling me that they drew nigh, but I somehow found that hard to believe.

"Why, I have weeks and weeks to go," I said in an annoyingly lofty tone.  "I refuse to be one of those people who start panicking at the first sign of tinsel or cry when silver bells toll!"

So now here I am.  The last Sheep standing.  At least the last one standing in the very-picked-over Christmas card aisle.  It is nothing if not humbling and somewhat panicking.

I'm going to take a quick minute to knock out a Wednesday Night Bullet Post but let's not get carried away.  It seems I have quite a bit to do and far less time that I originally thought.

*The last full week of school before the holiday break is...interesting.

*Half the kids don't even seem aware of the impending wave of holiday cheer.

*The other half were done several days ago and are only showing up to keep their parents from returning all their gifts.

*I have a very small class on the best of school years.  Sometimes I only have one or two kids working in the room at a time, particularly during study halls.

*Today, two girls from one of the 7th grade teams came around to ask if they could come in.

*They seemed like the purposeful type of 7th graders who were on a mission and I know better than to deny that particular animal.  I welcomed them in.

*"Hello," they intoned, reading from their prepared script.  "We would like to ask for a moment of your time so that we could speak with looking around somewhat helplessly)...student?

*I guess they were used to a bigger audience.  

*But they persevered and delivered their plea for donations to the local animal shelter with aplomb.

*Then they asked if anyone had any questions.

*Which was a mistake because the only ones in the room were me and He Who...PROJECTS.

*HW...P always has questions.  They might not always be relevant, but I can assure you he has questions.

*Lots of them.

*About the time he got to asking the poor girls if he could donate his Lincoln Logs to the cats and dogs, I decided I probably should intervene.

*It's too bad.  We don't really get all that much company.  I kind of thought we were heading for more sociable days...

*I am going to the pet store tomorrow and will purchase a suitable toy for the little doggies/kitties/other critters in order to spare them the large bag of leftover Legos and mismatched action figure torsos I suspect might be coming in later this week.

*It's all good. HW...PROJECTS is having a hard time with the whole "it's not vacation yet so please sit down and stop projecting your displeasure with the time/space continuum in the middle of math class" concept.

*I put up the Christmas Tree this weekend.  It's a coin flip every year.

*I don't really need a tree.  It's just a big thing taking up space in the living room and inciting the cats to new and exciting levels of poor behavior.

*But, I dunno.  I guess I just sort of like thinking I'm still a "tree person."

*Not putting up a tree kind of crosses the line between "active, involved individual" and "grumpy old person who throws shoes at people on her lawn."

*I realize that isn't true, but I can't help getting that shoe image in my head come December...

*Putting up a Christmas tree is usually a hint, the kind that urges people to recognize the dire situation the holidays present.

*It took me a while.  Longer than it should have, frankly.

*I finally got around to reading  Trapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Five)

*And now I can't imagine why on earth I waited so darned long!

*What a great addition to the series!

*Then, with holiday shopping in mind, I went with a less expensive read.

*I found an omnibus edition of a series I'd been considering and shelled out the eight bucks for it.  

The Business of Death: The Death Works Trilogy

*Less expensive, yes, but quite fun.  

*And a really interesting take on the concept of the psychopomp.

*I love the way some people in this novel are Pomps.  Who Pomp other people.

*Because saying, "pomp" is fun even if actually being pomped is kind of a downer.

*Cuz you're dead.  Well...most people who die get pomped.

*A few are unpompable.

*Like I said...interesting!

 *Having suddenly realized the 25th draws nigh, I spent some time reviewing the finances.  

*Then I spent some time reviewing the contents of my baking supply cupboard because homemade treats are probably my only hope for gifting a few of the people on the periphery of my shopping list.

*So I started baking Christmas cookies on Saturday.

*When you bake Christmas cookies, you say, "cookie" a lot.

*As in, "Who the heck stole all the vanilla I need for my cookies?"

*Or, "What's that I smell?  Is it my cookies burning????"

*And the ever popular, "I really should stop eating these cookies or I won't have any to give as gifts."

*That's fine.  Even if you live alone, you are aloud to vocalize and it's nice to stay on topic.

*Except that, in this house, the resident felines have come to know their nighttime treat as, "cookies."

*Which means that I pretty much upset the entire social order for two straight days and didn't figure it out until Sunday night.

*Every time I babbled on about my cookies, everyone got a really hopeful look in their eyes and started scampering around the kitchen.

*Every time I returned to the living room to watch TV and wait out the timer signaling the next batch, there was a general sense of betrayal.

*I'd feel bad except for the part where a certain Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty took it upon himself to relieve me of some raw cookie dough.  

*I think that evens the score.

*Should cats eat raw cookie dough?  I'm fairly certain they shouldn't but if I pushed the panic button every time the AGK decided to start sampling in the kitchen I wouldn't have time for anything else.

*And no.  I didn't bake up that batch.  

*And yes.  I did consider it.

And, speaking of cookies, I probably need to get back to the gingerbread I've planned to knock out tonight.  When you leave it all until the last minute, you kind of have to plow through the baking even if it is a school night and you really don't feel like doing anything except collapsing on the couch and trying to forget that you still have five more days with kids before they are Santa's problem.  Next year, I'm going to be more on top of things.

And I don't mean like how I said it last year and then forgot all about it.  For real this time.  I'm sure of it...


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

WNBP: The Ultimate In Random

I'd rather hoped that I'd have something in the way of a theme for tonight's post by now.  Even when penning the Wednesday Night Bullet Post I like to have a at least a tenuous tether between one thought and the next.

Sadly, it is not to be.  Last night was another fun-filled round of Let's See How Long I Can Fight It Before The Insomnia Wins and I didn't fare well.  Better than most nights when the ol' eyeballs won't remain shut, but still not good.

Long story short...I couldn't string together a coherent bunch of thoughts if my life depended upon it.  I guess we'll just have to see where this leads.

*In case you were wondering, my hair is rather fantastic these days.

*I know this because a lot of people have told me so.

*I'm serious.  I really nailed the color this time.  Even several male teachers with whom I work have commented.  And I'm talking about the old and stuffy kind of teachers not the cool hipster types who wear slim cut jeans and wicked snazzy scarves.

*The kind secure enough in their gender to discuss hair color.

*I'd like to take a moment to enjoy this follicular triumph, but I can't.

*I seriously couldn't remember what color I used this time if someone put a gun to my perfectly highlighted tresses.  I just know it was on sale.

*Which is pretty much how I make all my color decisions...

*I have a vague memory of the picture on the box.  Maybe it will go on the sale rack again.

*Let's hope it wasn't the clearance rack.  Discontinued hair color could be a disaster here.

*I bought some wheat grass seeds for The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty.

*I'm at the point where I'll do just about anything to stop this business with him dangling from the drapes whilst nibbling on the hanging pots of flora.

*Now I have to clean up little bits of grass and dirt from the floor and try to locate the little plastic planter that holds the grass.

*Because the AGK likes to drag it hither and yon as he yanks out the blades in clumps.

*Still preferable to a cat hanging from the drapes...

*Greatest words spoken unto me this week courtesy of The New And Amazingly Efficient Teaching Assistant.

"You know, I learn something new and weird about you every, single day."

*I think that was when I was telling her about how I can't remember to eat or go to bed without television to prompt me.

*Three days without cable sort of left me all turned around...

*On the other hand, I got a stupid amount of stuff done around here without TV to distract me.

*The cable company and I reached an agreement on Friday morning, thus ending our standoff.

*It went something like this:

*I agreed to pay them all the money they wanted plus a five dollar fee to push the "restore" button.

*They, in turn, consented to make the big glass rectangle glow again.

*I think it all worked out.  Don't you?

*It was the weekend.  They had me right where they wanted me.  I am never going to be the leader of any great social movement.

*But for those three days without cable to guide my waking and sleeping life, I was like Norma Rae over here!

*I have developed a sudden and overwhelming urge to make cranberry chutney.

*I have never made cranberry chutney in my life.

*I have never eaten cranberry chutney.

*I'm not saying it's a rational urge.

*We had a staff meeting after school today.  I was tired from all the not sleeping and then teaching of the children.

*A major point of discussion was the rescheduling of various duties.

*Mostly lunch duty and recess duty.

*If you say, "duty" enough times, it sounds like, "doody."

*And if you are very, very tired, it starts sounding like doody a lot sooner.

*We discussed what would happen if you haven't had a doody for the past three months.

*Or if you've had ongoing doodies for the past three months.

*We are, apparently, not allowed to trade doodies.

*Overall, we are being urged to be much more conscientious about our doodies.

*Did I mention I was tired?  It is not my fault that these things are funny enough to double me over mid-meeting even if no one else understands quite why.

*As I type this, I am coming to realize that the word, "duty" isn't really all that funny and that I might lack the maturity necessary to educate young people.

*I finally got around to reading Devil Said Bang: A Sandman Slim Novel.

*Fair Warning:  The ol' Sandman isn't exactly a good guy.  In fact, reading the series is really pretty dependent upon your ability to see concepts like "good" and "evil with a little flexibility.

*If you can do that, he's a pretty darned likable fellow.

*I burned through it fairly quickly.  I'd missed my favorite anti-hero of the underworld.

*Then I figured I'd better take a walk on the more angelic side so I downloaded a copy of Where Angels Fear to Tread: A Remy Chandler Novel.

*Remy is a good guy.  Mostly.  Not so much when he goes full-on warrior angel but you kind of have to forgive him that.

*If you will recall, Heaven got a little dicey for a while there what with all the Lucifer-instigated rebellion going on.

*Angels had to hang up their harps for a bit during the whole hullabaloo so you will have to forgive a certain amount of post traumatic stress disorder.

*I like these books.  But I can't help but think they should have been written in the first person rather than the third.

*Or maybe I've just read too many first person perspective novels lately...

*Still just seems kind of "off" for this book.

*Not enough to make it worth putting it down, though!

*And in Audiobooks For Commuters News?

*We're killing the morning drive time with Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, Book 4).

*Just good fun and the miles whiz by like inches!

*It even keeps me awake which is good after a night of insomnia...

OK.  That does it for tonight.  I need to go dry my hair before bed lest it be less than magnificent come the morn.  I don't know how much longer I can ride out this good color thing and I'd hate to waste a minute of it.

Hey!  I made a connection there!  Beginning and ending with my hair.  That's awesome!  Maybe I'm not so loopy with the tiredness as I thought!

Or maybe I'm just so tired that even the nonsensical seems somehow highly logical...


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WNBP: Fighting The Grump

Greetings, All!  It is Wednesday and I give you fair warning: I am grumpy.  Very grumpy.  Grumpy on a level where I might actually be considered a weapon of mass destruction if only the right government sees fit to offer me the right price.  I could quite easily nag, whine, rage and complain an entire country into submission, given half a chance.

Or even a quarter chance.  Grumpy folk have a way of spreading their misery without actually being invited to do so.

But, it is Wednesday and, while I might be extraordinarily grumpy, this could be a chance to revisit some of the happier things in life.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll be a veritable angel of light and joy when this week's bullet post draws to a close!

I wouldn't put my money on it, but what the heck?  We can dream big if we so choose.

*I am grumpy and have been grumpy since yesterday.

*I am grumpy for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being something I learned at work yesterday.

*I used to teach the Safety Procedures class for my school district.  I won't say that I loved the job, but it was a little extra money and teaching it meant I didn't have to listen to someone else while they taught it.

*Control is a good thing.

*Sadly, I wasn't able to teach enough classes to keep up my certification requirements.  I couldn't just recertify with a single refresher course.  I needed the two day training.

*A fact I pointed out many times over the past two years.

*In emails I still have.

*And in person to my director at the beginning of this very month.

*I was told I could take the two day class next month.

*I didn't teach enough classes because I had to stay behind to cover for a fellow employee who has some difficulty understanding the meaning of a five day work week.

*Yesterday said colleague emailed me to let me know she would be out for two days to take the Safety Procedures class so she could become a trainer.

*She is, apparently, replacing me in that position because no one has any memory of the emails that I still have or the direct conversation less than a month ago.

*My colleague is giddy over the extra cash she will be making.

*My director is frantic because I am beyond ticked off with her right now and barely speaking to her.

*Oh, and the colleague who emailed me?

*Yeah...I'm currently covering for her this week because she allegedly injured her foot too badly to work.

*But it seems she will be up and about just fine next week and ready to do the physical portions of the SP class.

*Rage.  Boiling, searing rage spilling out of me in waves of grumpiness....

*To recap: I lost my certification and approximately a grand in extra cash over the last few years to cover for the person that didn't come to work so she could take over the position that I couldn't do while I covered for her.

*Red hot rage...

*Here's a cool thing.

*I found these nifty pillow cases at the dollar store and, while I have no real need for pillow cases, I couldn't resist the pretty colors for a buck a 2 pack.

*And I saw a kinda neat idea on Pinterest a while back so I got me some Styrofoam and...voila!

Pillow case art!!!

*The larger one rather neatly covers the go-normous hole left behind from when I removed the crazy-ugly and highly-not-state-of-the-art sound system console that came with my condo.

*Haven't decided whether I'm going to patch that hole or make it bigger and let it become some sort of functional space yet so Styrofoam art is just the ticket right now.

And some pillow cases have become table coverings so no one can see how marked up this particular surface has become...

*Please ignore the plethora of wires charging all my various thingies.

*And the fact that I haven't changed the little manual calendar since October 30th.

*Just focus on the pretty pillow case covering...

*The cable company has come up with a new way to express their "concern" regarding my tendency to forget to pay them every so often.

*They thought it might be nice if I tried life without cable for a while.  You know, just to see how I liked them apples.

*In return, I am "punishing" the cable company by not paying the bill until the end of this week just to see how they like life without my money.

*I may have to reevaluate this strategy.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  But I'm grumpy so what do I know?

*Grumpy isn't good for solid decision making.

*Also not great for avoiding childish behavior that really doesn't affect much in the way of change.

*The sixth grade is studying the digestive system in science.

*He Who...PROJECTS was in my room for study hall today trying to finish up some of the work that was due for that class.

*There is really no other way to say this other than to put it  exactly as he did...

"I think I have to go to the bathroom. I  haven't moved any of my Thanksgiving dinner yet..."

*When he emerged from the restroom, we congratulated him on his most excellent demonstration of the digestive system in action.

*HW...P doesn't possess a sense of irony nor would he ever see that as sarcastic.  He is just a straightforward kind of guy.

*So he was pretty pleased with himself, accepted the praise and gave a little bow, complete with a flourish towards the restroom.

*Kind of like he was giving credit...

*That is what we in the business like to call "a teachable moment."

*It is also what we like to call "making the best of it when a kid forgets to turn the fan on in the class bathroom."

*We have been having little snow flurries lately.

*Normally, I am not a fan of snow.  I also have recess duty now so I expected to be miserable.

*Not so.  I actually rather like getting outside to breathe the fresh air for a few minutes each day.

*Ask me again if I still have this love of nature and all things fresh come February...

*Since I didn't have any pesky television to distract me last night, I made biscuits.

*I don't know exactly what ended up distracting me, but I burned my biscuits.

*Probably for the best since I honestly didn't need biscuits but you can only imagine how that affected my mood.

*Batch number two came out just fine.

*Thank heavens for that.  I'd probably be blogging from the state funny farm (if not the closest penal institution) had I burned another round of biscuits!

*I came to the end of Beautiful Redemption (Beautiful Creatures) yesterday.

*Not just the end of the audiobook, but also the series.

*Made me a little sad.  I enjoyed this one.

*I also finally came to the end of Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings (Today Show Book Club #25).

*Probably my least favorite Christopher Moore book ever.  I stuck with it, but never really found the love.

*Thankfully, it was a library download so it cost me nothing to read.  Just time and I have a bit of that to spare these days.

*I also borrowed the audio version of Death's Daughter (A Calliope Reaper-Jones Novel).

*A well-written, if not well-read book.

*Amber Benson (of Buffy The Vampire Slayer fame) chose to read her own work and I won't say she's the worst I've ever heard.

*But there is a difference between your "acting voice" and your "reading voice."  

*Once you learn to keep up with the fast pace and up 'n down voice pitch, it is really quite enjoyable.

*I'll probably continue with the series since I believe my library carries a few of the other titles.

*Or they don't.  Or they do right now but will delete them just as I decide to check them out because someone at the library thinks I might not be grumpy enough...

No.  I'm not going to go there.  Tonight's blog has served some purpose.  I honestly don't feel quite so squash-all-who-would-dare-cross-me and I think I might even be able to answer one or two of the emails my director has sent without coming completely unhinged.  (partially unhinged is just what people at work expect of me so that's fine...)

Yes.  I think it might be time to call it a blog and sign off before the spiral starts again.  I wish for you all a very Merry Wednesday and that you are making a healthy comeback from any Thanksgiving dinners you might have wolfed down with wild abandon last week.

Me?  I miss the pie.  Maybe I'd be less grumpy if there was still pie...


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WNBP: I'm Managing. How About You?

Lots of people tell me how lucky I am to have the day before Thanksgiving off.  They suggest that I am spending my day lazing about in my jammies and noshing on low-fat bonbons, resting up before the big day.

Well...OK.  I did a little bit of that.  Maybe more than a little, if the truth be told.  But I also got a lot done today, thank you very much!  We all have our part to play in the Thanksgiving revelry and mine is carb based.

In short, I've been baking bread.  Lots and lots of bread.  Probably more than we need, but I'd hate to think we were stuck with just vegetables or something horrifying like that.  Better to be prepared, I always say!

Since I'm still up to my elbows in flour, eggs and undissolved yeast, I'm thankful I have the Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  I can usually type that up with a minimum of fuss and still have time to punch down the dough and clean the keyboard.

*Yesterday, I bade a fond farewell to my students as they departed for the long holiday weekend.

*This is the first year in a very long time I've gotten a "Happy Thanksgiving" in response to my having said it and actually believed they meant it.

*Have I mentioned the bread?  I came home from school and baked bread.

*I cranked out about a dozen rolls last night.

*Then got kinda tense about the yeast situation.

*Master bread bakers do not run out of yeast.

*So I woke up at 3:00 this morning all stressed out about the yeast and couldn't get back to sleep.

*So then I was up at 3:00 in the morning cutting the cheese.

*For cheesy bread.  Not what you were thinking.


*Cheesy bread is my "thing."  I make it for lots of family gatherings.

*I've been told many times I can't come if I don't bring it and I'm pretty sure they're kidding.

*Except for that little part of me that isn't quite sure so I make it.

*I made six loaves of it today.  My oven is coated with blackened cheese.

*So there you have it.  I have five loaves of cheesy bread to bring to Thanksgiving dinner!

*Yeah.  You heard me.  Five.

*I am so totally not going to be without bread for my turkey sandwiches this weekend!!!

*Since I finished the cheesy bread before darkfall, I decided I had time to make a challah.

*So that is rising now and I figure I'll be able to call it done sometime before 3:00 tomorrow morning...

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty is not happy with me for taking his favorite spider plant to live at school.

*It was a rescue mission, pure and simple.  That plant was down to little spidery nubs.

*He is now trying to find a new plant to eat.

*Which means I suddenly  remember why my place isn't exactly well decorated.

*Every design decision I've made for the past twenty years has been based on what cat likes to destroy what object and how high I can hang things before I'm just putting everything on the ceiling.

*I took a nice relaxing bath Monday evening.  With all that baking in my future and one more day of teaching to go, I felt I deserved it.

*I emerged from the tub in a cloud of lavender scented steam, fully relaxed and at peace with the world.

*There was half a chewed up bamboo plant horked up on the living room carpet.

*Oh, and then there was this:

That would be the cord that charges my iPad.

*Not only is it the cord that charges my iPad.  It is the cord that WAS charging my iPad.

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty does not chew cords.

*That would be the other one.  The Very Complicated Kitty.

*Who actually seems a little smarter since Monday.  I wonder if that jolt he possibly took to the brain actually sped up the synapses...

*Baths no longer seem quite so relaxing.  I'm actually more tense, what with all the wondering about the goings on in my living room.

*And you don't even want to know how close it was with the rolls last night.

*Rising.  Cooling.  It didn't matter to the AGK.  He just wanted a taste.

*AGK is more of a carb fiend than even I.

*The VCK likes carbs too, but he isn't a fan of jumping.  He relies on his big brother to do the heavy lifting and get the food to floor level.

*The rolls were fine.  I kept an eagle eye.

*Thanksgiving prep is rolling along in spite of it all.

*I finished reading The Minority Council (Matthew Swift).

*I really do love this series.  Funny with a twist of YIKES!

*Sadly, I'm all out of them now.

*So I looked around the ol' digital bookstore and was pleased to find the a sequel to a book I enjoyed a while back.

*Blood and Silver (Deacon Chalk Occult Bounty Hunter) is on the short side, but it's a wild ride.

*Because who doesn't love a former tattoo artist turned occult bounty hunter who funds his operation through his lucrative strip club?

*That is just cool.

*It's been a couple of weeks now, so I feel comfortable in my assumption that everyone who DVRed it has seen it by this time.

*So I just have to ask...


*Did. Not. See. That. Coming.


*Carl: But she's my mom...


*A show like that is on my Official List Of Stuff I'm Thankful For.

Well, I do believe it's time to punch some challah.  I'd best go tend to that and make sure there aren't any lurking felines while I'm at it.  I'll leave you with thoughts for a very Happy Thanksgiving if you are among those of you gearing up for that delightful feast o' plenty.

May your loaves be well risen and free of paw prints.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'm still having a great deal of difficulty getting back on schedule.  It seems like, just when the week days start to make sense, something comes along to smash the order into smithereens and I'm right back where I started.

At least this week I'm not alone.  Everyone at the Learn-a-matorium seems to be suffering from Long Weekend Syndrome or, as the professionals call it, LWS.  We are all in agreement that the long weekend was nothing short of awesome.  We are further in accord when we say that it will probably be March before we manage to get our darling students back on track.

Fortunately, I have a rather delightful group of kidlets this year and they keep me entertained.  Of course, they aren't exactly the edgy types that I had in years past and they lack that certain challenge that comes from having to find something to love in a kid who wants nothing more than to key your car...

But one adjusts.

Here's your midweek bullet points.  The very fact that they exist proves that I can't be too far off the mark even with the long weekend!

*I had Monday off.

*And today I figured out that I have to take tomorrow off because I have a doctor's appointment.

*Which isn't going to help the LWS situation one little bit, but I don't much care.  I figure I can work in a little holiday shopping and perhaps an early nap as well.

*The New Teaching Assistant pointed out that the Thanksgiving break is just around the corner.  We spent the better part of first period dreamily discussing the first through tenth courses of the meal that comes with that holiday.

*I am starving.  And there is no pie in this house.  Not so much as a slice.

*Which is why one shouldn't be discussing Thanksgiving dinner a week in advance.

*Speaking of which, next week will consist of two days.  We have Wednesday off as well as the regular holiday break.

*That will do nothing to improve the LWS.

*I kind of don't care.  I just want pie.

*I finally had to break down and bring my poor little spider plant in to school.

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty views it as his own personal salad bar and can find it no matter where I hide it.

*I showed the kids a picture of him eating the plant to explain why we have to make room for it in our classroom.

*It was a tiny photo.  The Boy With The Cutest Lithp EVER asked me to use the zoom feature on my computer.

Ms. Sheep:  Oh, that's horrible!  Look.  It got all pixelated!  You can't even see the AGK's face while he hangs from the curtains and chomps away on my lovely spider plant...

TBWTCLE: Ha! He lookth juth like the cwiminalth on TV!!!

*He sort of did what with him committing an actual crime and all...

*My staff and I shared a lot of "holiday" stories today.  It's that time of the year, I guess.  They had some truly lovely tales to tell, full to the brim with family, happy children tearing into stockings and hot chocolate by the fire.

*I told about the one and only time I cooked a turkey and how I had no idea that those things come with little baggies of innards stuffed both fore and aft.

*And how that turkey was part of a school celebration of the first Thanksgiving where I was dressed in a full-on pilgrim outfit.

*Which is exactly what you want to be wearing when your authentic-if-not-exactly-what-the-pilgrims-ate turkey poops out a paper bag of guts...

*I also told about the time I lost hold of the fresh, ice coated Christmas tree and was trapped for what felt like hours in the middle of my living room while the Smaller, Less Fluffy Kitty licked my face and looked more and more like a wild animal preparing to feast with every passing minute.

*And how it was a Friday and I knew I wouldn't be missed before Monday which is why that darned cat was making me so nervous.

*That, I declared, was the year I decided an artificial tree was a perfectly acceptable holiday choice.

*I had lots of good stories.

*But I barely got to the part where I decided that the stuffing from inside the turkey (where the bag of guts used to be) will probably kill us all before my staff was laughing so hard I couldn't be heard no matter how loud I shouted.

*I am shocked by their callous disregard for salmonella based stuffing...

*Little Einstein has gym this quarter.  That's good.  He likes gym.  He specifically requested it.

*I like it because he burns off some energy.

*But he can't remember to bring gym clothes to save his soul and has to borrow shorts from the nurse four out of five days.

*The odds of him remembering decrease with each and every shortened school week.

*Sometimes he forgets to change out of the shorts and then I have his discarded pants all over the classroom.

*Today, he realized he was running out of jeans and that he needed to take a pair home.  I gave him a plastic shopping bag in which to transport them because he also forgets his backpack on a regular basis.

*He stood there, staring at the plastic bag in his hand.  Finally he wandered off shaking his head and muttering...

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure everyone's gonna think I pissed my pants..."

*I don't know why that struck me so funny, but I darned near needed to go visit the nurse myself.

*And I didn't have any more plastic bags.

*He Who...PROJECTS, a 6th grader, was working rather quietly this morning.  Then he interrupted the fiftieth holiday food/memories/trauma discussion of the day.

HW...P: Do you have any friendship bracelets?

Ms. Sheep:, not on me.  But I remember those.  Do you remember those Mrs. New Teaching Assistant?

NTA:  Oh yeah!  I used to wear them pinned to my jeans.  And do you remember how long it took to make them while you were pretending to do actual work in study hall...

(HW...P waited patiently for this round of geriatric reminiscences to wind down before turning the conversation back his way.)

HW...P: Can you check your desk? I need friendship bracelets.

MS:  Well, I could check.  But I'm 99% sure I'd know if I had friendship bracelets in there.

HW...P: Oh.  But I need them.  Where can we get them?

MS:  Why exactly do you need friendship bracelets so badly?  I can try to get some for you, but I think I need a little more information.

HW...P:  See this book?  It's on World War II.  I think WWII was terrible and I don't want it to happen again.  I want to start giving friendship bracelets to the Axis and Allied powers now before it gets out of hand.

*OK.  You just try to tell me that isn't a-freaking-dorable.  I dare you.  Just try.

*I hate to get ahead in my reading what with all the time off coming up.  What will be left for those long lazy days???

*I finished The Neon Court (Matthew Swift).

*And I just couldn't wait to start The Minority Council (Matthew Swift).

*What can I say?  I'm weak.  I'll just have to come up with a plan B for the Thanksgiving break and other assorted long weekends.

*Hoping to finish the audio version of Beautiful Redemption (Beautiful Creatures).  I'm barely commuting at all these days and I fear I might forget everything that happens in between long drives to work.

*I don't know if that's going to pan out, but I'm going to give it the ol' college try.

*Missing out on a really good Car Book is one of the drawbacks to LWS.

*But I'm going to try and find a way to live with that.

OK.  That should just about do it.  I'm running out of steam and I think I'm due for my evening snack.  Which will probably be something that I normally only eat on a weekend because I don't have to go to school tomorrow and that's kind of like a weekend.

If you stretch it.  Which I am because I am suffering from LWS and no one can hold me really accountable anymore.


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

WNBP: The Swngi Of Things

Oh, I give up.  I just give up.  Last week was the most crazily "off" week in the history of seven day sequences and I don't think I'm going to ever find my groove before this week hits the finish line.  I can't get out of my own way.  Worse, I honestly don't believe the alarm when it goes off and there is every reason to believe I'm going to think every day is Saturday from now until the third of March.

I am not exactly getting into the swing of things here.

Wednesday seems to make some sense to me, though.  I might have almost missed work today due to my schedule confusion, but it all seems to be a little clearer now.  I know I have to do a Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  Maybe performing that simple, routine bit of business will help me figure all this out before Thursday rolls around.

*I think I've talked about the election enough to keep me going for a while.  I'm exhausted from it all.  I want to talk about something else.

*But I probably should mention that Maine made me awfully proud yesterday on any number of issues.

*We are The State That Said Yes.

*And, as I mentioned on Twitter this morning, I am now heading out to purchase lots of gravy boats because I anticipate a few weddings in my near future.

*I survived my Autism Conference.  In case you didn't catch the subtle whiff of discomfort coming from my general direction, I wasn't looking forward to two days away from home.

*The ride up was pleasant (if ungodly early) and I discovered that I'd scored a single hotel room once we got to talking about roommate assignments.

*Considering the horrible insomnia that plagued me even after the walking pneumonia started to stroll away and the occasional bout of late night coughing that sometimes sneaks up on me, that was a good thing.

*It has been my experience that people do not care to share their sleeping space with wide awake coughing roomies.

*With that bit of stress out of the way, I was able to focus more on the content of the conference and learned a lot.

*And then we got a dog to bring back.

*What?  You don't go to Autism Conferences and bring back rescued border collies?

*You don't spend three hours in the backseat of a car with said canine in your lap and periodically being bestowed with puppy kisses?

*Clearly, you aren't doing your Autism Conferences right...

*The dog threw up on me but it was just the once and she clearly felt kind of ashamed of it.

*I didn't care.  I was too busy trying to figure out how to sneak the dog into my car when we got back to the Park 'n Ride and then explain her to Da Boyz.

*Which probably wouldn't have gone over too well with the lady who was adopting her but I am partial to dogs who sit in my lap, lick my face and gaze at me adoringly for three hours.

*I have a standing invitation to visit the dog any time I want.

*Our next Autism Conference is scheduled for March.

*I'm asking for a pony.

*Last week, I worked half a day on Monday, had a storm day on Tuesday, wandered back in to school on Wednesday and then took two days off for an Autism Conference/Dog Rescue Operation.

*Then we changed the clocks to Fall Back Time.

*At which point my insomnia disappeared and every day became Sleep In Saturday.

*This week, we have Parent/Teacher Conferences and they are scattered throughout the workdays rather than plonked down in the middle for one long day like they usually are.

*And there is a storm coming, but probably not the kind that will result in another day off.

*But it still adds another layer of confusion to the whole business.

*Tomorrow, I have to stay at work until 7:00.  Which will probably make me think it is two days or something.

*Wait.  What time is it?  Oh, for crying out loud!

*Just realized I forgot about dinner.

*I had to schedule a late afternoon conference today and got home an hour late and now I am all confused.  I've lost an hour and I can't find it!!!

*Speaking of time and the confusing aspects thereof, is it really November?

*Should I be concerned about the fact that I have given no thought whatsoever to the upcoming holidays?

*Or that I can't find where I stored my winter sweaters during last summer's cleaning binge?

*It is cold out there.  I can't be wandering around in t-shirts and capris anymore!!

*I'm currently reading The Midnight Mayor (Matthew Swift).

*Since getting my online library loan capability, I've not purchase too many books.  But this series is really rather good and worth the cash layout.

*But that didn't stop me from putting a hold on the audio version of Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, Book 3) so that I could check that out once it became available.

*Don't want to abandon my library all together!

*And my nice, single hotel room afforded me the opportunity to power through Mister B. Gone, also a purchased tome.

*If the library found out, they might think I was favoring the bought books over their freebies.  We can't have that.

*There is a problem with my computer monitor.  It appears to have morphed into a gigantic cat butt.

*Which means that either my computer is possessed or the resident felines are still not finding their Time Change Groove.  

*I'd move him but he looks kind of ornery.  

*And I've already done it twice to no effect.

*Which probably indicates a need to wrap up this week's WNBP if only because looking at a cat butt does nothing for my keyboarding skills.

I need to go get some dinner, I think.  It occurs to me that I probably should also locate something to wear tomorrow's Parent/Teacher Conferences since my whole Every Day Is Saturday thing hasn't exactly panned out.  Apparently my beliefs around calendar progression are not shared by all involved in my working life.

Just wait until Monday, though.  Once they get around to realizing it's a three day weekend, they'll understand.  By Tuesday, everyone will be as confused as I.

Of course, by then I'll be back on track which will still have me out of sync with everyone else...


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WNBP: Heebie-Jeebies With A Side Of Angst

Oh, I'm just about done now.  If I've ever complained to you about not knowing what day it is, then I apologize.  I had no idea.  This is Weekday Confusion.  If I had a nickel for every time I screwed up where I was supposed to be today or what I needed to accomplish I could afford a guy to just follow me around and smack me on the head periodically.

I'd probably have to invest a lot of time introducing this guy and explaining why calling the authorities is unnecessary, but I'd still consider it money well spent.

It's going to be an abbreviated Wednesday Night Bullet Post tonight, I fear.  I seem to have left a number of things to the last minute and now find myself in something of a pinch time-wise.  I really do need that head-smackin' guy...

*What was it I was going to mention?  There was something.  Something kind of important going on...

*Oh yeah.  I remember!

*Giant freakin' hurricane!!!

*Now, to be clear:  We here in Maine did not experience Sandy's full fury.  What we got was kind of like a tiny, ladylike burp following her otherwise hearty meal.

*I am not going to even try and compare what happened here to what others further south went through.

*But it was enough to close school early on Monday and keep us home again on Tuesday.

*The power is still out in several areas and one of the towns that make up our district had to keep the kiddies home for an extra day on top of that.

*I, of course, was fully prepared for whatever came my way because that is sort of what I do.

*I fretted over it for days.  I counted batteries.  I tallied canned food.  I located every single candle in the manse and placed them around strategically lest the lights go out and I not be in a position to provide illumination.

*My power never so much as flickered.  I was a tiny pinpoint of light in an otherwise darkened state.

*I was awake all night waiting for the lights to go out.

*Had school not been cancelled, I probably would have had to call in crazy.

*I also needed the day off because it took, like, ten hours to put away all my unneeded disaster supplies.

*I would evacuate if I was told to.  I might be grumpy about it, but I'd go eventually because that is the sensible thing to do.

*But I don't like being places that aren't my own.

*I further don't like being around lots of people because they will probably be touching everything and wanting to talk to me about stuff while I'm busy worrying about them maybe touching my food.

*I would be a lot of fun at the shelter...

*I have to get some training in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

*Mostly because I haven't had any in a while and that is kind of becoming my job now.

*I was told not to worry about that becoming my new job because I would get some updated training, something beyond the basic stuff I've already done.

*What I was not told was that this "training" would involve getting in a car that isn't mine and riding in it for three hours so I could check into a hotel with my roomie.

*Hotels are places where everyone there is "People."  "Other People."  "People Who, By The Very Nature Of Our Forced Cohabitation Will Be In My Space."

*Also not mentioned was the fact that this training would occur not once, not twice, but three times during this school year.

*In addition to the four to five required on-site meetings that will be held by our team of professionals in district.

*There was mention of graduate credit which I don't really need and will probably have to pay for.

*And did I mention the people?  Or the hotel with beds that other people have slept in?

*I have to leave the house at 5:15 tomorrow.  So I can get in the car that isn't my own and travel for three hours ...well, you know how it goes by now.

*I'd rather have the hurricane.  It was rather soothing by comparison.

*I have to pack tonight because I didn't get anything done earlier.

*Which isn't my fault because I was in denial about going and then there was this whole hurricane thing which led to school cancellations and my not knowing what day it is.

*Best Conversation Of The Week:

(Sheepie is getting ready to leave for the day, but stops in the office to speak with Mr. Principal and Mr. Assistant Principal.  She wants to follow up on the two emails and request for a substitute teacher that outlined in excruciating detail her upcoming absence.  Mr. Principal seems on board and ready to offer whatever assistance the classroom might need in Ms. Sheep's stead.  Now it is Mr. Assistant Principal's turn.)

Ms. Sheep: that should cover it.  If you have any questions, just refer to the emails and sub request and you'll be fine.  You can reach me at the conference, but it probably won't do you much good.  By the time I get back here, you'll have forgotten why you called in the first place.

Mr. Assistant Principal:  Er...what?  Oh, yes.  Thank you, Ms. Sheep.  You've certainly been most thorough.

MS:  And with that, I guess it's good bye.  I have to go get ready to get up at an ungodly hour and get into a car that isn't my own so I can share a room with someone who might not understand why I'm wrapping myself in sheets of plastic.

MAP:  OK.  Good luck with that.

MS:  (walks down the hall towards the door, calling over her shoulder) I'll see you on Monday!

MAP:  Yup, see you...wait.  WHAT???

*No.  I'm not making that up.  You'd think I am, but I'm not.

*I have some reading material for my trip.  I used some up during the dire hours where Sandy didn't really take up as much of my time as I thought she might, but there was some left.

*I finished  Wyrd Sisters.

*And now I'm reading Pyramids (Discworld Book 7).

*Truly, I am as dedicated as a person can be to getting through that Discworld series in some semblance of order.

*But I'm not rereading anything.  That just seems crazy given the number of books I have to get through.  I'm just catching up with the new ones.

*Also picked up a copy of Mister B. Gone, but that isn't a library book so I'm saving it.

*There's some audiobooks I'd like to mention, but I just realized that my short post isn't exactly that.  And I still have to pack stuff.

*Because I didn't do it before and can't seem to get a handle on how little time I have left...

I'm a mess.  But I managed to grab some packages of candy while I was stocking up on cat food and trying to find an automatic dispenser that was within my budget.  I'll be fine.  Just a few more Snickers and I'm sure it will all come together.

I should probably pack some candy, now that I think of it.  I might need them to bribe my roommate into not telling everyone about the plastic wrap...


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WNBP: Back To "Normal"

Last week was something of an anomaly.  I had sickness, a classroom break-in, assorted tragedies and an honest-to-God earthquake to report on.  I don't know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing that all is back to some semblance of normalcy now.  I suppose it's good for the nerves.  No.  That's wrong.  I don't "suppose" anything.  It is definitely good for the nerves when all is quiet.

It's maybe not so good for the blog, though.  I'm just going to forge ahead and see how it goes.  Maybe I can take the same old same old and turn it into something kinda-sorta interesting...

*I am pleased to report that I slept lying down last night.

*That is probably not all that interesting to the average person.

*But, to me, it was a little slice of heaven.

*I've been sleeping sitting up for almost two weeks now.

*This requires a plethora of pillows and a true commitment to remaining upright.

*Sitting up in order to sleep is counter intuitive.

*But it is preferable to coughing so hard that it wakes the neighbors and I'm so totally not kidding when I say that.

*The pneumonia and I were at a stalemate for quite a while there, but I think I'm getting the upper hand now.

*I only use the inhaler once a day or so now and I believe I've already mentioned the whole "lying down like a civilized being" thing.

*I'm so giddy about all this that I'm gonna try lying down again tonight!

*It's all I've thought about most of the day!

*And you thought I was kidding when I said that my regular life might not be all that interesting...

*We've had a real problem at school with kids running willy nilly through the double doors with no thought whatsoever towards who might be trying to come the other way.

*So some brilliant individual thought to put green circles over the "in" side and red circles over the "not so much with in" side.

*Keep to the right.  That's what we're shooting for here.

*Kids can do it.  Adults forget.

*The Boy With The Cutest Lithp EVER was shocked by my doorway behavior as I was taking him down to breakfast the other day.

*I waltzed through the "red" door like it was my right to do so as decreed by the superintendent of schools himself.

*He made me go back and do it right.  He chuckled.

*He made me do it again when I forgot at the next door. He chuckled again as I dutifully did as he instructed.

*By the time we hit the third door and I STILL couldn't seem to get the hang of it, he wasn't as amused.

*And I was a little ashamed of myself as I trudged back to repeat the correct procedure yet again.

*After we'd procured his morning meal, we headed back towards the classroom.  And then...

Ms. Sheep:  Wait.  We just went through a door.  I did it wrong again didn't I?  Just say it.  I can take it...

The Boy With The Cutest Lithp EVER: (disgustedly) I don't know.  I thtopped trying after the fourth door.

*I don't remember the fourth door.

*Or why the heck we have so many danged doors in that school to begin with!!!

*But I think I can pinpoint exactly when I had to start working harder to earn the respect of a certain cutie with an adorable speech impediment.

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty isn't handling the need to close off certain rooms now that the cold weather is upon us.

*Or perhaps he is.

*He is almost able to turn a doorknob now.

*Which is about fifty kinds of disturbing when I happen to be in the shower...



*It's only a matter of time before I wake up and find my car keys gone and a note saying, "Went out for catnip.  Back in an hour."

*There was a time when only the major publishers could decide what we got to read.  Independent publishing was something only done for vanity's sake and not anything a "real" author would consider.

*But now, thanks to the digital revolution, we have more options.

*When I was asked to read Generation Z: Birth of the Zompire I was happy to do it.

*Not only do I get to read about zombies, but I get to support an indie author and that's all good no matter how you slice it.

*Be forewarned:  These are lighthearted zombies that chat amongst themselves and engage in what can almost be deemed high jinx.

*While they eat your face off...

*They are not the zombies we will face come the apocalypse.  Do not try to engage them in lighthearted banter while they eat your face off.  You'll just feel rejected.

*But I think it is perfectly OK to play with the genre a bit.  We will all need to learn a little flexibility when the dark days dawn and life as we know it comes to an end.

*And pizza delivery costs, like, a billion dollars because only trained ninjas or mercenaries will be able to get anything to you in under thirty minutes or less...

*Oh, and don't try to tell me you never wondered what might happen if an unlucky vampire ever got bitten by a zombie.  You know you have.

*I'm not going to tell you, though.  You can either keep wondering or read the book yourself.

*Now I'm reading Mort because I've never really read the DiscWorld books in any sort of order and lots of the early ones got past me.

*And also because everything else good was already checked out from the library.

*The commute is being pleasantly passed as I listen to Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson Novels).

*I know I keep saying I'm so totally over the vampires and werewolves, but somehow I keep getting sucked back in.

*Sucked back in..heh-heh.

*You know.  It's funny.  Because of the vampires.

*Maybe I'm not quite as far past the effects of the pneumonia as I thought...

*Or perhaps the abundance of "normal" in my life has gotten the better of me.

OK.  So that maybe wasn't the festival of awesome it might have been, but I did my best.  And no matter what anyone says, the part where I sleep lying down now is possibly enough to keep me awake just from the sheer joy of it.

I guess if "normal" is wrong then I don't wanna be right.  At least for a little while.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WNBP: This Time I Have Something To Say!!

Sometimes it's hard to come up with things for the Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  Yes, even with my glamorous, high profile existence it can be a trial to put something together for my weekly nod to The Blog.

This week, however, I honestly don't think I can even find enough space on the web to report out the strange goings on around here!  I'm not even going to waste time blathering as part of some rambling intro.  I'm just gonna charge right ahead because, if I don't, I might just explode from holding it all in.

*When last we left our intrepid Sheepie, she was hacking, coughing, choking and wheezing.

*By Thursday, I'd had enough and called the doc's office in order that I might beg for something to relieve my drippy symptoms.

*Thankfully, she was open to the idea of calling in an antibiotic and some of that sweet, sweet cough syrup with the codeine in it.

*Bless her little heart and that of all her descendants from now until the end of time because I was at the point where, if I didn't get some sleep, I was going to start chatting with the purple monkeys swinging merrily from the ceiling.

*She also suggested that I come in.  Just as a precaution, she said, given how quickly I've succumbed to pneumonia in years past.

*I managed to snag an afternoon appointment, one that would let me stay at school until the last block of the day.

*The kids have gym and whatnot during that block so I wouldn't be missing much.

*Little Einstein's sad story was playing itself out in the worst possible way in spite of my hopes for better outcomes.

*I don't claim to know much about the inner workings of the universe and why bad things happen, but I did know two things at that point.

*First, he was going to come to school.  It's just what he does.

*And second, I was going to be there with him.  Tissues, cough drops and all.

*The doctor was double booked all day, mostly so she could see people who looked and sounded just like me.

*Now is not the time for a Maine vacation.  We are currently under quarantine.  Just daub some lamb's blood on the border, make the sign of the cross and run back to the place from whence you came.

*My visit with the doc went something like this:

Doctor Judy:  Well, let's see what we have going on here...

Sheepish Annie:  Okey-dokey.  Here's my face!

(Sheepie leans forward expectantly, pushing her blotchy, pale visage within inches of Doctor Judy.  To her credit, the doctor does not recoil in horror. )

DJ:  Um...I was thinking maybe I could listen to your chest first.  See?  I have this nice stethoscope and everything.

SA:  No.  You are supposed to do that thing where you tap on my face and watch me wince in agony when you hit that spot where all the snot clots live.  So, let's go.  Here's my face!

DJ:  Sure.  We can do that.  But how about I just get a little listen to the ol' lungs first?  Just to get it out of the way so I can concentrate on the face tapping.

SA:  Well, if it makes you happy...

*We never actually got around to the face tapping.

*We spent more time debating whether or not it made sense to get the chest x-ray or not.

*We finally agreed that it didn't make sense.  The treatment is the same either way and the doctor was leaving Monday morning for a week's worth of conferences.

*In my defense, viral pneumonia is not at all like the bacterial version with which I have such a long and not-so-happy history.

*And the sneezing kind of distracted me from the wheezing.  I somehow missed the pneumonia symptoms.

*I had to promise to use the stupid inhaler she prescribed even though I thought that was a little bit of overkill.

*The sinus problems cleared up within days of taking the antibiotic.

*The wheezing did not.

*And now I have to publicly apologize for all the mean stuff I said about the stupid inhaler because it is right and I am wrong.

*Breathing during the day is really rather nice.

*I still cough a lot at night.

*Which is why I was kind of on the stupid side come Monday morning.  Three hours of sleep will do that to a girl.

*And being stupid is not conducive to realizing that your classroom has been broken into as you are getting ready for your Monday classes.

*Seriously.  Took me almost fifteen minutes before I caught on.

*There was a doorknob ripped off and sitting in the middle of the floor.

*I picked it up and put it on the table in another room.

*Again, in my defense, they are re-keying and replacing a lot of knobs around the school.

*But failing to notice the jagged shards of metal sticking out of it was probably something of an error on my part...

*My students and I had to vacate the classroom for the day while the police processed all the evidence I'd spent fifteen minutes thoroughly contaminating.

*When I arrived at school yesterday morning, I discovered a little frog happily hopping his way up the stairs.

*This cause me to drop my teacher stuff, throw up my hands and cry, "First Little Einstein, next the plague befalls me, then miscreants invade my teaching space...and now it's raining frogs!!!  If I were a less rational person, I'd be pretty darned worried!!"

*Should have kept my stupid, codeine befuddled mouth shut...

*Last night, just as the narcotics kicked in, I heard a rumbling in the distance.

*Then it got closer.

*Then the building began to shake and sway.

*And the neighbors began yelling things like, "Whoa!" and "Holy sh**, dude!!"

*And the cats fled.

*Apparently the last item on the Armageddon Special menu is an earthquake.

*We don't get earthquakes in Maine.  At least not ones that ring in somewhere around a 4 on the magnitude scale.

*We don't handle that well.  We get all excited and start posting on Facebook before the last quiver of the tortured earth.  We make lots of phone calls.

*We talk about it for days.

*It's kind of like a snowstorm in Florida.

*Plus I had that whole Plague/Frog/Other Horrible Stuff going on so I might have been attaching a little more meaning to the event than others.

*Actually, I was kind of loopy when the thing went down and it took me a while to realize that it wasn't just me falling off the couch.

*Everything is fine.  The worst part was trying to figure out what that plastic cap sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor went with.

*Eventually narrowed it down to the pepper grinder that fell from its perch over the stove.

*That took over an hour.  Blame the cough medicine.

*Kitties got extra treats for surviving the horror that was The Kind Of Great Quake Of 2012.

*The library patron who snagged Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War ahead of me finally relinquished his/her hold on it and I was able to secure it for myself.

*Since I was already at the virtual library anyway, I figured I might as well download the audio version of  Moon Called (Mercy Thompson) again.

*I never finished it when I had it over the summer and was wondering what was going to happen.

*Only have one day left on the loan, though.  Might not make it this time either.

*But checking it out again is free so I suppose that's not going to be a big issue.

*Reading has been slow since the plague came into my life.  I'm either too miserable to concentrate or too stoned from the medication to focus.

*But I'm persevering.  I'm nothing if not dedicated.

*Besides, I'm thinking the end of the world is nigh and that zombies will soon be strolling the streets so I might as well get in as much of the reading and listening as possible before civilization crumbles utterly...

Yes, it's been busy over here.  And I mean busy in the weirdest possible way as opposed to the kind of busy where you have to go shoe shopping, eat bonbons and juggle simultaneous dates with male supermodels on the same Friday night.

Of course, if simultaneously appearing male supermodels suddenly showed up at my door looking for dates that might also signal the end of the world but I think I could live with that...

SA (who now has the hiccups and is also blaming that on the Armageddon Syndrome)