Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WNBP: Flashback

When last I checked in on this blog, I was on Spring Break. That, I must say, was a rather delightful state of affairs and one I think I kind of miss now that it is a week later and there isn't anything remotely vacationish going on around here.

Upon arriving back at school, I was greeted with the usual queries regarding how my vacation went and I responded pretty positively.  In fact, I may have even gushed just a bit because it was a fantastic week off.  However, when asked what I did I was a little bit stumped.  What the heck did I do all week?  Other people came back tan.  I was not tan.  I didn't have any souvenirs to show off nor any secret trysts that I wouldn't speak of directly (but would hint at until everyone got the point).

It just wasn't "that kind of vacation."  It was the kind where you get up early just because you feel like starting the day knowing that you can put everything on "pause" and take a nap any time you want.  That, while making for a great vacation by my standards, doesn't do much for storytelling.  Frankly, I had to struggle to come up with one or two details that might indicate I was awake for at least half the time school was closed.

I've managed to recall one or two things.  Let's flash back to vacation week and see what Sheepie did all that time she was blissfully puttering through the days without really doing much of anything important.

*First of all, I should mention that my Blogger homepage didn't look anything like this when last I saw it.

*Blogger is different now.  Blogger was telling me about this for weeks, but I guess I didn't take Blogger very seriously and now I'm kind of flustered.

*That isn't Blogger's fault.  Blogger did its best to keep me in the loop...

*Remember my new office chair?  I bought that during vacation.  And I put it together all by myself.

*The feline occupation of my chair continues, but with a new and disturbing twist.

It's a danged party in my chair and I'm not even invited!!!

*I was able to sneak in some Sittin' Time, but not nearly as much as I think I deserve considering that I paid for the stupid chair.

*Why I thought I could make plum sauce, I honestly cannot tell you.

*There isn't anything in my personal history that would indicate I should be making spicy, Asian-style condiments.

But it turns out that I actually make a pretty darned good plum sauce when all is said and done.

*What can I say?  One's ability to make plum sauce has little to do with logic.

*No one really cared that I bought a new steam cleaner.

*Or that I used it to scald the heck out of the bathroom sink where I swear to God I was culturing a cure for penicillin.

*You'd think people would be more excited about that, but it seems that my fellow teachers are not.

*Best Thing About Going Back To School Besides The Fact That We Know We Are Now Closer To The End Of The School Year:

Ms. Sheep:  Hey, Cheerful Teaching Assistant!  You found a fan!  It's hot in here and we can really use that.  Where did you get it?

Cheerful Teaching Assistant:  I have my sources. You don't need to know.

MS:  I can respect that. Why don't you just set it down right here so we can all enjoy a nice, cool breeze?

CTA:  Well, there is a little problem with that...

MS:  Oh. My. God. Is that fan...

CTA: Stuck on my finger?  Yes.  Yes it is.

MS:  Don't you have a meeting in ten minutes?

CTA:  Yes.  Yes, I do.  And I will apparently be going with a table fan stuck to my finger.

*I have worked with the CTA for a long time and she gets herself into a lot of "situations."

*But her finger stuck in the base of a fan is a new one.

*And I mean seriously stuck.  As in "we had to grease her finger up in order to get her out in time for her meeting.

*I'm not too proud to admit that I told everyone I saw that the CTA was stuck in a fan.

*I read a lot over vacation.

*Mostly because a 7th grade girl decided to get me all excited about reading the House Of Night series.

*I don't remember where I told you I left off with that and I'm too lazy to go back and check it.

*I'll just tell you where I think I left off.  So far, I've read:

Chosen (House of Night, Book 3)

Untamed (House of Night, Book 4)

Hunted (House of Night)

*And now I'm working on Tempted (House of Night).

*It sounds like more than it really is, word-wise.  These are short books.

*And yes.  I remain fully enmeshed in my shame over reading my way so furiously through this YA series that maybe kinda, sorta isn't exactly all about the female empowerment.

*Well...maybe it is.  I just wish the main character could make friends with a guy.  She really doesn't have to date everyone she meets.

*But maybe that's just me...

*That said, there must be something about this series because I can't seem to stop buying them!

See, I really did do some stuff over vacation.  I admit that I napped a lot and maybe watched more television than is really good for a person, but it was vacation.  I couldn't help myself.  Maybe I could have done more, perhaps even interacted with the rest of the human race on a daily basis.  Frankly, that might have been more healthy but what's done is done.

And I don't really care.  My vacation flashbacks make me pretty happy.  So much so that I think I'm going to start dreaming about the next one coming up:



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WNBP: Deep Down...I Knew.

At last!  School vacation week has arrived and it is time for Sheepie to get going on the many, many projects she planned to finish!

Sheepie likes to think she is a productive person.  The reality is that Sheepie is something of a lazy bones whose intentions don't always match her energy level.  And you know what?  Deep down, Sheepie knew that going in.

Furthermore, Sheepie doesn't really  have the energy to care.  Let's take a look at what little is going on around here in bullet point format.  At least Sheepie had the energy to glance at the calendar before dozing off for the night...

*In my defense, the weeks leading up to this vacation were particularly stressful over at the Learn-a-matorium.  I am tired.

*On the plus side, my fears regarding getting sick were unfounded.  The second sneeze, (the one that always forecasts my doom) came and went, but I remained relatively healthy.

*Which is nice since the weather this week has been crazy-nice.  Warm...breezy...summery!

*Too bad I'm more about napping than getting out and enjoying it.

*Good news.  I finally got around to getting a new office chair so I can sit and type my Wednesday Night Bullet Post in comfort.

*I invested two weeks of my life researching the kind I wanted and where I might get it for the best price.

*I spent an hour in the store obtaining it.  (and all the other stuff I suddenly felt I needed to purchase...)

*It took me only half an hour to put it together but there was cursing involved and a manicure was lost to the endeavor.

*Then I went to the bathroom.  Which couldn't have taken me more than five minutes.

And that was all it took

*This is the first time I've sat in my comfy new chair since I finished assembly seven hours ago.

*I am sad that Dick Clark passed away. And yet, it seemed to me that the last few years weren't up to the quality of life he enjoyed before.

*What do I know?  I never met the man...but I like to think of him as the energetic guy ringing in the New Year.

*My most-used line these days seems to be, "And this is why we can't have nice things!!!"

Or drapes

Or spider plants...

*I also don't get a full night's sleep anymore what with the constant swinging from the widow coverings.

*And, for the record, it is a sad commentary on my life that I had time to flap my arms, say things that make me sound EXACTLY like my mother, get the camera, take a picture, then maneuver to a spot with better lighting so I could take another...

*And STILL have the cat hanging from the curtains when all that was done!

*Deep down, I think I know who runs this show.  I just don't like admitting it.

*I shampooed the carpets on Monday. I am telling you this so you will be impressed with how much I got done.

*Don't be fooled.  It the same minimal-effort-don't-move-a-stick-of-furniture kind of carpet cleaning I always do.

*But the rugs smell really nice.

*Early last week, The Siren (one of only two girls in my 7th grade class) and I decided that we must read The House Of Night Books or die.

*Yes.  That's right.  Die.  Right there in front of everybody. This was no exaggeration.

*We spent a great deal of time discussing this.  She was a step ahead of me, though.  Her mom already has them.

*Me?  I have to buy them.  Being a grown up is like so, totally unfair sometimes.

*But, I'm making gains.  I made short work of Marked: A House of Night Novel.

*Betrayed: A House of Night Novel (House of Night Novels) soon followed.

*Chosen: A House of Night Novel is going a bit more slowly, though.

*I started watching Red Dwarf VIII and I think that is distracting me.

*I'm not sure which activity marks me more firmly as a grade A geek.

*Is it the giddy joy of reading YA girly novels?

*Or watching a comedic space series where people talk about eating a lot of Indian take-away?

*I have never eaten Indian take-away.

*I think we have a winner.

*On some deep level, I know that my concern over not eating enough Indian take-away to be cool is the real issue.

*I would prefer to not discuss my plan to lord it over The Siren that I read more of the HON books than she did over vacation.

*Unless she read more and then I will not be reduced to playing this childish game.

*I gotta tell ya...I can see why the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty spent all day in this chair.  It is a delight for my tushie!!

*I'm enjoying it while I can.

*I have a feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that I will soon be losing it again...

I'm signing off now.  I am late for lolling on the couch and I fear I might need to turn the heat back on sometime soon.  Summery temperatures and vacation days don't last forever, you know.

And I have a feeling I should enjoy my break while I can.  Happy Wednesday To All And To All A Good Night!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WNBP: Waiting On The Second Sneeze

Well, here we are.  It is Wednesday once again and another school vacation week is so close I can almost touch it.  This, of course, is the time when every virus in the free world (and some from lands rather restrictive in nature) suddenly feels the need to converge on my air space.

It is a dangerous time for those of us in the teaching profession.  We are tired.  We are weak.  We have been beaten down by parent conferences, the weather and a marked increase in noncompliant classroom behavior.  We are a fertile field for that which seeks to infect us.

Pretty much every teacher in my school is cowering under their desks whilst wielding a can of disinfectant.  Those who aren't have already given up because they have been tagged by whatever mutant strain of The Dreaded Gloop is on the market and nothing really matters anymore.

I am currently between categories.  I ache all over.  My throat is sore and I sneezed yesterday.  Since I always sneeze in even numbers, I am assuming that the second one isn't far behind.  If it comes, then I know I am done for.  If I can avoid it, then there might just be a chance.

Let's take a look at this week's Wednesday Night Bullet Points very quietly.  I don't want to attract any undue attention...

*Last week was, quite literally, the worst week I think I have ever experienced as a professional type educator.

*Any job which requires a police presence is one I'm not sure I really think I can justify in my life.

*A job that requires it twice in one week is just some sort of Karmic slap in the face...

*This week seems a little quieter, but it might just be that I am so distracted by the whole Coming Of The Second Sneeze thing that I am not picking up on other stuff quite so well.

*I will not be sad to get my shiny new job next year.  It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

*But my perspective has changed with regard to "perfection" lately...

*Mr. Principal gifted me with a stuffed pony not long ago in an attempt to keep me at the middle school next year.

*I decided to try introducing Mr. Pony to Da Boyz so they could see how awesome I am and how far people are willing to go to keep me around.

But then it just got awkward...

*We have agreed not to speak of it again and the pony now lives in his stable full time.

*Stable=Propped on the love seat between some sheep.

*I have reached a decision.

*I need a better chair for computing purposes.  This rickety old thing I'm using isn't good for my aging back.

*Rickety=Antique Dining Chair That I Loved Up Until I Had To Actually Sit On It For Any Length Of Time.

*I am starting to think that I might really need to get started on my taxes.

*Don't want to put it off until the last minute like I did last year.

*I haven't sneezed yet.  In case you were wondering.

*I've snuffled.  And coughed.  And rubbed my aching sinuses.

*But I have not sneezed.

*I'll keep you posted.

*Strangest Conversation Of The Week Courtesy Of Little Einstein:

Little Einstein:  Ms. Sheep?

Ms. Sheep:  (snuffling but not sneezing)  Yes, my little lamb?

LE:  Can I call you BC?

MS:  Why?  That isn't anywhere close to my actual initials.

LE:  I know.  But I thought it would be cool to have code names.

MS:  You know what?  I think we will just stick with "Ms. Sheep" for now.  Maybe when you get out of 6th grade, finish high school, graduate and we join forces as the newest super spy team...then it might be more appropriate for us to have cool code names.

LE:  That's too bad.  BC was a great name.  It shows how old you are...

*I didn't even have the strength to beat him to death with his own spiral notebook.

*I have discovered the joys of stick-on nail polish.  You just stick it on!!!

*And then you have paisley nails!!

*Which is awesome and gives everyone in every meeting you go to something to talk about.

*I thought I had a sneeze coming there for a second, but it went away.

*I'm still taking NyQuil tonight, though.  Just on general principle.

*I had a half box of frosted Cheerios for dinner then chased it with a hearty helping of raspberry sorbet.

*I am a person who needs raspberry sorbet right now.

*Massive raspberry sorbet craving gripped me on the way home so I know I must need it.

*My bleary eyes have managed to read a bit lately.

* I finally to around to Doubletake: A Cal Leandros Novel (Cal and Niko)

*This is one of my all-time favorite series of novels.

*Apparently, I never outgrew my affection for angsty bad boys...

*I had to go back to revisit the last one I read to make sure I had everything straight.

*Now I'm re-reading Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Three

*Got to do the prep work before I pick up Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Four)

*I like to do my homework. And remember what the heck was going on the last time I followed the antics of a snarky druid.

*Magic Street continues to entertain me in audio version while I slog through the daily commute.

*There are points where the story seems to drag a bit, but it still keeps me highly engrossed.

*Plus, it's not like I can put the book down.  I have to stick with it.  I'm in the car.  Fiddling with the iPod whilst driving is a very bad idea, especially when one may or may not have a cold.

*I just coughed.  That is not a sneeze.  

*I am assuming that I do not have to tell you that last night was the premier of Deadliest Catch.

*If you did not already know that, then there is no hope for you.  Just nod and smile at me while I giggle madly over my crab fishermen.

*Dear God, I need a new chair.  This one is not working at all!!!!!

I think that might just be the sign that I need to wrap this up for tonight.  If you are squirming around and trying to get comfy in a chair that once held our forefathers back in the days of yore, there really isn't anything left to do but head back to the couch.  I wish you all a pleasant Wednesday and ask only that you send your good thoughts for my ongoing sneeze-free state.

Or that I just sneeze and get it over with.  The waiting isn't really any better...


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

WNBP: Gee, Let's Make This Week Even Longer!

The post title is meant to be read sarcastically.  Very sarcastically.  It has not been a particularly stellar week at the Learn-a-matorium and I think that if someone were to tell me that the government recently decided to make the week longer I might actually break down and do something drastic.  Like eat broccoli or watch educational television.

I think that I'm going to go after the bullet points hard this week. I know for a fact that some happy things have happened and the next two days depend upon me recalling and reflecting upon them.

*I know this has been a bad week because the police officer who provides security for our school pats my shoulder encouragingly every time he sees me now.  He makes that "I's OK" scrunchy face at me, too.

*Furthermore, he didn't shoot me when I asked which was probably very kind of him given that I was indirectly involved in the scenario that led to the radar equipment being damaged in his cruiser.

*If that wasn't enough to make me understand the gravity of this week, Mr. Assistant Principal found me slumped on the front desk this afternoon and ordered the secretary to make reservations at the finest restaurant in town in order that he might treat me to an all expense paid dinner.

*I didn't fall for it.  I know that it was code for "I am going to get her into my truck then lull her into a false sense of security so she won't struggle when I boot her out for curbside pick up at the Local Loony Bin.

*The school social worker keeps asking me "how I am feeling today" and everyone else is giving me those cautious glances you cast towards people who look like they are going to start eating the light fixtures.

*I am also hearing a lot of, "I couldn't do what you do...I just don't know how you manage to keep going day after day after day after day..."

*School vacation is less than two weeks away.  I am going to hold on until then or die trying.

*Last Thursday, I was only a day away from having to make a decision regarding where I want to work next year.

*I told Mr. Principal about my dilemma and he asked me to stay.

*Actually, he sang it, but you get the idea.

*He sings a lot.  It's his "thing."  He knows a song for everything.

*I told him I would stay if he got me a pony.  I was raised to believe that the acquisition of a pony is the highest level of Getting Stuff so it seemed like a logical request.

*On Friday morning, I was summoned to the main office and made to wait.  Every administrator in a six mile radius was called in and I was sure I'd gone too far.  I was being fired.

*Not so.

Mr.  Principal got me a pony.

*I'm staying at the middle school.  I'd actually already accepted the position.

*The job they are offering me will, in all likelihood, result in less of the police involvement.

*I look forward to that...

*Plus there was also a giant chocolate pony head in the bag from a local purveyor of fine candies.

*I've been known to put out more for less...

*I have a gigantic crack in my windshield.  And it is growing.

*Probably should get that taken care of.

*I'll add it to my to-do list.

*Best student line of the week, courtesy of Little Einstein:

Actually, yes.  It IS hard being right all the time.  I have to spend hours every night telling my family everything they are doing and saying wrong and that takes a lot of talking.  My throat gets really dry.

*The funniest part is that he wasn't actually trying to be funny.  He really does spend an inordinate amount of time sharing his incredibly correct opinions on any and all subjects.  I would imagine that he needs to drink a lot of water.

*Da Boyz have decided that 4:30 is the new Best Time To Awaken.  They are embracing this new philosophy with enthusiasm.

*I do not care for that level of feline enthusiasm at 4:30 in the morning.  I steadfastly ignore them.

*Today, they started the bed jumping and yowling at 4:15 just to ensure that I got the point.

*I have tried to explain to them that I am having a Very Bad Week, but I don't see any evidence of them taking that into consideration.

*Yesterday, I took a couple of the boys in my class down to the pond near our school to watch the tadpoles.

*Huge, mutant tadpoles.  Swimming about in the spring sunshine while the breezes blew gently upon our wondering faces.

*Very peaceful...

*Both boys almost missed their bus and The Cheerful Teaching Assistant thought I'd been kidnapped.

*There was a bit of a ruckus until everyone got on the right bus and the CTA was assured that I hadn't taken off for parts unknown, leaving her to hold down the fort.

*She knows I wouldn't come back from my kidnapping at this point.  I'd hide the ransom money and offer to provide light housekeeping services if only my captors would consider keeping me on for a little while longer.

*Hey!  I found a new book!  A very promising beginning to a new series!

*Fated (An Alex Verus Novel)

*Yes.  There is something of the New Author Immaturity in evidence.

*Breaking the fourth wall is a no-no, I think.  A bit more aggressive editing might have helped.

*But the premise is really quite brilliant and the overall effect of the prose is good.

*Looking forward to more stories featuring Alex Verus!

*Also finished the audio version of Dreamcatcher.

*Not Mr. King's best, but a pretty good listen overall.

*Now I'm listening to Magic Street.

*I'm less than an hour in so I can't really offer up an opinion yet.

*But a very promising start, that's for certain!

*And a long enough novel to get me through the daily commute until school vacation.

*If I last that long.  It's still kind of a toss up there...

You know what?  Talking about the pony, my new position for next year and a couple of new books kind of helped.  Sure, this week isn't playing out well and I see no real hope for brighter times before Friday rolls around, but I think I can hang in there.  It's only a couple more days, right?

Unless that whole Longer Work Week thing suddenly comes to pass...