Well, we've arrived at that time of the year I refer to as The End Of Summer Vacation Proper. Sure, I'm still technically off the clock. But it's ticking down and the time has come to face facts.
I actually do work for a living and soon it will be time to go do that again.
It's a rather confusing time. I can go to bed whenever I want and do not fear the alarm clock. I get as many cups of coffee in the morning as I can reasonably ingest and start my day whenever I think best. But August means that at least part of each day should involved preparations for returning to school. It takes a lot to get a classroom ready to go, even for a seasoned veteran such as myself. If you don't start in August, you won't hit your stride until November and that's right about the time that all the holiday-themed vacations start. Not ideal...
I don't even know what happened to May, let alone June and July. We seem to have fast forwarded to right back where I started and I am at a loss as to how to explain how it happened.
In addition to school looming on the horizon, I now feel pressure to finish all the stuff I said I was thinking about doing back when I had all the time in the world and manual labor seemed like a much better idea than it does at the moment.
But it's Wednesday evening right now so I think I'll put all that worksheet prepping and closet cleaning aside for a bit. It's time for this week's edition of The Wednesday Night Bullet Post!
*Today was the second time all summer that I've stepped out the door, paused for a moment and said, Now that's what I'm talking about!"
*Sunny. Warm. No humidity. No asphalt melting beneath my sandaled feet. No raindrops threatening my stylish summer coiffure.
*And by "stylish summer coiffure" I mean "hair haphazardly pulled back in a clip because I can't be bothered to do much more than that..."
*I think part of my issue with the summer vacation schedule has been allergy related.
*I lost the first two weeks to snuffling, sneezing and chills and then a cough that wouldn't quit.
*Seriously. I was expecting a letter calling me before the homeowner's association to explain why I was keeping a pack of asthmatic wolves in the manse.
*Allergies have been making random appearances ever since and I don't think I should be held accountable for time spent feeling crappy when it comes to vacation days.
*By my estimation I am owed about three weeks.
*My car has been nagging me about getting an oil change for a while now.
*Longer than I care to admit. Let's just say that the reset button on the vehicle's info center got a serious workout.
*The car can complain all it wants. In the end, I control what I look at on my dashboard.
*But I can only take a stand for so long. I brought the car in yesterday for the requested service.
*Oil changes are boring. You sit and sit and it's not like other maintenance when it makes sense to just take the shuttle service home where you can wait in peace and with control over the television remote.
*Of course I forgot to bring anything to do so I ended up wandering around the internet on my phone.
*My 30th high school reunion is coming up.
*No. I am not going.
*I went to the 5th. I also went to the 10th.
*I feel that my remaining years should be spent doing something fun.
*Not looking at pictures of people's kids.
*Or, as the case is now, grandkids.
*But someone thoughtfully put me in the FaceBook group to discuss the matter on so now I am inundated with notifications regarding the event that I have no intention of attending.
*This, however, is a good way to kill some time during an oil change when the dealership is busy, though.
*Stalking former members of my high school class.
*Not too much going on, surprisingly. I found one name that rang a bell, though.
*"That rings a bell," I said to myself, "I'll bet nothing good happened there!"
*I can be a little judgmental in my own head sometimes. To be fair, it wasn't like I was criticizing a future statesman or anything.
*This is the kid that my older-than-God first grade teacher made sit in the back of the room behind the piano because he couldn't seem to get a grip.
*That, it turned out, wasn't the most effective strategy because she eventually ended up having to storm back there and shake him until his head banged off the piano a few times.
*Note: this was back in the days when, if a teacher bounced your head off a piano, your parents were more concerned about what you did to instigate the head trauma than the appropriateness of the discipline choice.
*He settled down after that, though.
*Nothing like having a ancient powerhouse in a floral print dress come stalking down the aisle at you to bring about an epiphany, even if you are only six...
*I later recall him leaving his jean jacket behind in sophomore anthropology class. It was easily recognizable when the teacher found it on the floor and picked it up.
*You kind of couldn't miss the lopsided pot leaf inked on the back.
*And, if that wasn't enough, the giant bag of weed he extracted from the pocket kind of sealed the deal.
*I was strolling down the hallway on the main floor one day, feeling pretty good about myself. I'd done some self-improvement over the summer.
*Lost some weight, got a few new outfits, and had a corkscrew curly perm to end all perms.
*Shut up. It was the early 80's. We didn't know any better.
*Suddenly, I realized that the bleary eyed denim wearing, former resident from behind the piano was matching my pace. And then he spoke.
"You know, you're looking really good. Let's face it. Last year, you looked like you didn't know your ass from your elbow, but now...(waved his arm to indicate my new state of fabulousness) you look gooood!"
*I do not recall what I said in response to this. What can one say in response to this, really?
*He didn't have much of an active social life from what I could tell...
*It wasn't too many clicks on the ol' iPhone before I found his sadly brief obituary. Survived by siblings, predeceased by parents, no services.
*Also no cause of death which is generally not a good sign when it comes to obituaries.
*It's a cautionary tale, people. If you have kids, don't let them take drugs and perhaps talk with them about how to deliver a compliment effectively.
*And you probably shouldn't bounce their heads off the piano no matter how many times you've had to tell them to simmer down.
*And how did I get to the point where I'm not going to my 30th reunion anyway??????
*And how did the little girl I taught when she was in 7th grade get to be a service associate at the dealership? With a husband and kids?????
*For the record, having a former student who liked you as a teacher working at the service center is awesome.
*If you can get past the whole part where she grew up and can drive and have babies and all that.
*It was a real emotional roller coaster over at the dealership yesterday. Frankly, I was thrilled to get my keys and leave.
*Yesterday was my parent's anniversary. I forgot to call them.
*Happy Anniversary, Mommy and Daddy Sheep!
*I'm sorry I forgot to call you. I remembered, but by then it was midnight and I didn't think you'd appreciate a shout-out at that point.
*I blame the oil change. It got kind of real in the waiting area.
*Also, I was making mint jelly and that kind of took up more of the day than I planned on.
*Part of that time was spent admiring my glistening green jars and saying, "Would you look at that? I made mint jelly!!!"
*My allergies were really bothering me last night.
*I didn't sleep well.
*Which is why I was really glad I was meeting The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach for lunch.
*The restaurant was close to home and even better...it was a Thai place!!!
*TWGSALC, being Chinese by birth, is very well acquainted with the concept of "spicy." We both tend to kick it up a notch when we go Thai.
*And these here sinuses were in need of some heat today!
*Sinuses cleared nicely, thank you very much. And I got the leftovers so I'm all set for tonight's potential clogging.
*If you happen to be in the area and are a fan of Thai food (spicy or otherwise), I'd highly recommend you check this place out.
*It's small, but good. I've been meaning to try it for years now. But time got away from me and I never did.
*I was hoping they didn't have takeout, but they do.
*I hope the teacher's association has worked out our contract this year because I think I am going to need a raise.
*Have to fund my mango curry habit...
*I finally started cleaning out the closet in the spare bedroom.
*Now I know where all those Christmas lights I knew I had but suddenly couldn't find ended up.
*Not to mention six bridesmaid dresses, all the paintbrushes I really needed when I started the living room project and a myriad of cords that don't seem to go to anything but do seem kind of important all the same.
*I also apparently thought it was a good idea to store candy canes in there, perhaps in the event of a massive candy cane shortage during the Apocalyptic Holiday Season Of The Future.
*Note: Candy canes left in a closet for years will not be usable. Even during the apocalypse.
*What they will become is permanently melted to various bridesmaid dresses.
*And, as we professional bridesmaids know, this is a tragedy because any taffeta pink garment can be tailored to cocktail length and worn again.
*Or so I've been told by many an earnest bride...
*Rule number one: Brides lie. They will tell you anything to ensure you match the cake and cummerbunds.
*Rule number two: Becoming a bridesmaid does something to your brain. Suddenly, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, you will believe that you go to cocktail parties all the time.
*Wearing pink taffeta.
*I am past bridesmaid age now. I know this because my 30th reunion is coming up. Also, I'm going back to start the school year and get my t-shirt for being in the district for ten years.
*And that ten years represents less than half of my teaching career.
*Ten years in the district means you get a long sleeved t-shirt. That's way better than my regular t-shirt I got after five years.
*I'm nowhere near the sweatshirt level, though. And I doubt I'll see the fleece vest in my lifetime. That's something like 30 years.
*Although, if time continues to blast past as it has lately, perhaps I have a shot!
Speaking of time, I have somehow managed to lose an hour blathering on and now the cats are cranky. I think it is feeding time for all of us if my rumbling tummy and the screeching coming from the kitchen are any indication.
So I'll wrap this up here and call it a night. May your downward slide towards the weekend be a good one and may time treat you kindly.
Or, at the very least, have the decency to move at a reasonable rate...
The Story of the Sweatshop
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