Monday, June 30, 2008

PROCRASTINATION

Why do today, what I can put off for tomorrow.

That's been my motto for a while now. It's sad, really. I say that I work best under pressure, and to a certain extent, that is true. However, I put off quite a bit of work, just because I'm being lazy.

This past weekend, for instance, is a great example. As it stands right now, when my parents come down on Wednesday, they will need to hurtle themselves over all the crap that lies between them and the bed in which they are going to sleep just to get into the room. I had two days ... two WHOLE days to get that room cleaned and organized. Did I do it? NO!

What did I do with my time?

Well, besides the amazingly large and somewhat unnecessary pity party I had for myself, I managed to watch at least 2 hours worth of BLACK GOLD, a reality TV show about roughnecks in Texas. Please explain to me how that solves world peace, cleans my house, or helps me get a handle on the growing amount of crap that will soon overtake me? IT DOESN'T!!

However, today, when I got to class, I realized the mountain of work that I have to accomplish, for both home and work, and the short amount of time I've got to do it, and I suddenly needed a paper bag to hyperventilate in.

As an added bonus, I could also hear my mother's voice, ringing loudly in my ears, "Well, if you hadn't left it to the last minute ..."

You know that if she starts a sentence off with WELL, you're in
a.) big trouble
b.) line for a lengthy lecture, or
c.) all of the above.

Of course, after my hyperventilating had calmed, I immediately started in on an internal whining fit that went something like this:

"I don't have time for all of this. It's too much. How am I going to get it all done? I won't sleep for the next three days, and then I'll get sick and won't be able to play with my family when they come down, and that will piss me off, and I will be grumpy and upset and then feel badly that I was grumpy and upset, and ...."

And then I hear it ... again. Her words, peeling loudly. "Oh for heaven's sake. Stop whining and crying about it, and just get it done!"

At this point in the blog, my mother is sitting, somewhere in Michigan, bouncing up and down in her chair, squealing, "THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT!!! FINALLY, SOMETHING I SAID, SHE REMEMBERS!"

There are very few times in this life where I admit the woman was right, because, honestly, that would be admitting defeat where all of those many, many arguments we had over the years are concerned, but I suppose, at this point in my life, I must admit a small amount of defeat, and say, "Alright, mother, you were right."

There ... are you happy?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

QUESTIONS YOU JUST NEVER WANT TO ASK

All I've got to say is thank goodness for those morning shows! They keep me awake and alert while I drive to Lexington. If not for them, I'm certain I would have piled Little Red against a tree long before now.

One particular station does a love and sex segment that often times can be pretty racy, but is always funny. The other day, they read off a list of 5 questions that girls should NEVER ask a guy they've only dated a few times. They were as follows:
  1. Where do we stand?
  2. Do you ever think about your ex?
  3. Do you want to have kids?
  4. Am I fat?
  5. Does your mom like me?
Now, here's what I don't get. Do girls actually ask these questions after just a few dates? I don't know, because I can't seem to get past "Hello."

This brings me to another point, I think there is some slimy, green booger than hides in my nose. It never shows its ugly face until the "trigger" is uttered out loud. That trigger? When I'm standing in front of a man, an eligible-ish man, and I say, "Hello."

That is the only thing I can think of that makes them turn, running from me ...

Maybe I stink and my friends and family have just never told me ... it's a possibility, I suppose.

So, anyway, I'm just wondering, what the heck is wrong with the girl that decides to ask these questions after finally nabbing the elusive male???

I have a better chance of bagging a gazelle, I think ...




WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES ... MAYBE

Well, yes, yesterday's post was a departure from the usual frolicking crap I typically write. I will admit it, but I was having a bad weekend. And sometimes, even the happiest of people need a moment to break down. My moment was this weekend. It started Friday night, I won't go into the details, but the fog, I feel, might finally have lifted, if ever so much. Of course, it's gray and miserable outside this morning, which doesn't do a whole lot for one's mood, but I will do my best.

Perhaps I will gain inspiration and blog about my love for coffee ... that might turn the mood around!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A NEW LOOK ...

Not sure this is what I'm diggin' as far as a new look goes, but since I've wasted an entire morning on it, it will stay as is for a while ...

SINGLENESS

This morning, I've said exactly five words ... out loud. That's it. In the past 3 and a half hours that I've been awake, all I've said is five words.

For many people, this is perfectly normal. But for someone that craves human contact (and let's face it, we all do in some form or fashion), five words in 3 and a half hour is excruciating. I've never made this public before, but I relate so much to the elderly lady whose friends have all died, and she's left alone. Okay, yes, this sounds a bit melodramatic, but it's really true. When you are a single, and the great majority of your friends are younger than you or are married with children, life is often very isolating. I begin to look forward to the teeny, tiny interaction I get with the store clerk ringing up my groceries, sad as that sounds.

Mine can be a solitary life. The older I get, it seems the more solitary life becomes. I've recently become aware of a thought process that, now that I examine it, was probably there all along, but I just didn't realize it to the extent that it exists. The thought process is this, that if you've managed to travel through your adult life without a significant relationship, there must be something wrong with you ... that there is some sort of fatal flaw that lives deep inside that causes people to not want to commit to you for the long haul -- or even for a short haul. When you're not living within the confines of a society's expectations, no matter how ridiculous those might be, then the logical conclusion seems to be "there's something wrong with that non-conformist."

I love my life. I have a good life ... I have sought out adventures ... they aren't others' adventures, but they are mine... I own them. I've traveled the road less traveled, and I've become a better person for it.

However, I've come to the conclusion that I need to be honest with myself. I don't like my solitary singleness ... not one bit. Hear me when I say this: it doesn't mean that I feel the need to find someone to complete me. Wrong! I am, in fact, complete. No, what I'm saying is that I absolutely do not like the isolation that is a single life. For me, it's not fun. For me, it's pushed me, unknowingly, toward ways to find comfort.

I am publicly calling myself out by saying that I turned to food to help ease the empty feeling that solitariness caused. Before I knew what was happening, I was powerless to stop the addiction that was filling my feelings of loneliness. What I turned to had made me even more of a social outcast, because being fat separates you that much further from the accepted social norms of our world. I created another reason for someone to overlook me. Being overlooked is painful. Everyone wants to know that they are important in some little way.

I turned to humor to deflect the negative thoughts that were constantly bubbling just below the surface. Unfortunately, the butt of much of my jokes was, in fact, myself. That did nothing for my self-worth other than to spiral me further down the path of a solitary life. It was all spinning out of control.

So, why am I using such a public forum to put such private feelings down on "pen and paper?" I'm not sure. Other than maybe there are others out there fighting the same fight. Maybe knowing they aren't alone will help somehow.

I do know that bottling these feeling up serves only to poison your insides, further mangling the self-identity that is already dangling by tiny, little threads. Getting them out releases the beast and strips it of power.




Friday, June 27, 2008

PLANETS MUST BE BACK IN ALIGNMENT

Well, the period where the orbits of our solar system were all askew must be over ... I was back to being ignored today while working out my quads, hips and core.

But, while it lasted, it was nice not to be overlooked for the skinnier girl, if only for a brief moment ...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

MY OWN PERSONAL MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL

I talked to one of my best friends in all the world, Thomas, the other night. We were having a conversation about dating, flirting, the single life, and he made some comment about the beautiful people of the world.

I replied, "Well, hopefully, I fall into the SORT OF CUTE category."

"What! Are you kidding me? You're hot!"

I tell you what, if I hadn't watched him pick his nose all the way through elementary school, I think I'd consider marrying him!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THE POWER OF THE FLIRT

I am amazed ... I am in awe ... I reverently bow down to the power ... I can't believe that the "power of the flirt" is this ... well, so powerful!

Today is a perfect example. The number of staff in the PT gym has suddenly inflated, and today, I found myself working with a really sweet lady -- let's call her Amy -- someone that I'd worked with in the past. Ummm ... I swear, I'm not even kidding, Caleb kept coming over and grabbing my chart from where ever she'd set it down last, and GOING OUT OF HIS WAY TO HELP SET UP MY EXERCISES, including, ladies and gentlemen, those exercises I can totally set up on my own. The same ones he snapped at me for not doing on my own a week and a half earlier. Poor Amy, she kept running all over the gym looking for my chart, and Caleb would actually be holding it in his hands.

Ummm ... I'm not completely stupid ... coincidental? I think not!

Because I was trained in science pedagogy, I present to you a few observations for data collection:


Observation #1: I finished my 4-ways, and I was getting ready to head over to Amy because she'd said she wanted to get me started on something else. I turned to head that way, and Caleb came up to me, and softly (I SWEAR IT!) says, "Hey Megan, would you like to do some step work?"
Ummmmm ... I'm sorry. Have a died and gone to "she's living her dream" heaven?
"Sure, Caleb, whatever you say," and I gave him a thumbs up as I smiled sweetly, then blew a bubble with my gum (that was unintentional, the bubble was. I momentarily lost my mind).
He got all smiles and chuckles on me, and set the step up, I swear to you, right in front of him. I could have reached out and grabbed my chart that he clutched in his big paw or squeezed his pectoral muscles ... gave them just a little tweak ... had I momentarily lost my mind again.
Apparently, he's quite the music trivia buff, as I've heard him ask people before, "hey, you know who sings this?"
So, he turned to the kid that was exercising with us, as Caleb had us in a little exercising trinity or something.
The kid, obviously too young to know, floundered, so Caleb said, "I'll give you a hint," and he meowed.
Well, my head was screaming, I KNOW THIS ANSWER! I SOOOO KNOW THIS ANSWER!
The kid finally said, "Dude, I give. No clue."
"Cat Stevens," Caleb replied.
"That was such an easy hint, too!" I blurted.
Caleb winked at me and said to the kid, "See. She knows."


Observation #2: "Megan, I'm going to get the lats machine all set up for you, okay, when you're done. Now, we've got to get those bridges in too [which, by the way, he barked I could do at home a week earlier]."
"So, will I be able to take someone down after I'm done with all these exercises?" I'm getting bold, people!
He smiled and gave me a lingering up and down (that's a look, for those unsure), and said, "Can't you take someone down now?"
"Yeah, but I mean, keep 'em down."
"Heck yeah!"

Observation #3: He came over to see if I was okay with the IT Band Stretch. He NEVER CARED A FLYING FLIP ABOUT MY IT BAND STRETCH PRIOR TO THIS.


The boy has either lost his mind, or he's fallen under the spell of the skills Carrie says I've had all along, but never realized until this point. Either way, I'm entertaining the crap out of myself while doing those horrible strength-training exercises.


Carrie has unleashed the beast ... she's awakened the monster ... random drive-by flirtings could soon be reported in Kentucky!




Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SORRY FOR THE MESS

Okay, I tried to be all creative and change my blog backgrounds. This is the gross thing I ended up with ... minus all my cool links. GRRR!

UNDER CONSTRUCTION ... PARDON MY MESS!

SO IT'S OFFICIAL ... PLEASE PASS THE GOLD STARS

So, apparently, it's official. The three experts that responded seem to think I flirted.

Well, what do you know?! I can flirt! Who knew? Certainly not me.

You can commence to passing the gold stars now ...


Monday, June 23, 2008

NEED SOME CLARIFICATION ... SOME CONFIRMATION

Dear Readers,

I need clarification, as Carrie has told me countless times, I'm just clueless when it comes to matters of men.

Today, I did every single exercise I could, without the help of a gym tech person ... until I was left with only the Lat Machine, the Total Gym, and the hip extension exercise meant to torture the person forced into doing the exercise. Yes, this meant, I would have to approach Caleb the Gym Guy and have him set those machines up for me.

GULP

Was Friday just a fluke?

Would he be back to his normal, crabby self?

I stood and waited for Caleb to get a free moment, making sure my arms weren't crossed over my body, as I was told that sends a very negative vibe via your body language (my friends Dwayne and Lori Powell have informed me that I must smile more and compliment more -- it sets a better vibe... although, I'm not sure I will use any of Dwayne's lines, which consisted of "I LOVE your calves" ... but Dwayne, you can't see his calves ... then tell him, "I'd love to see your calves.").

Caleb looked up from his charts, and for a split second, I thought he was going to snap at me, so I quickly blurted, "LATSTOTALGYMANDTHATTORTUROUSEXERCISEYOUMADEMEDOONFRIDAY." Translation: "lats, total gym, and that torturous exercise you made me do on Friday."

He smiled (yes, he smiled again), and said, "Torturous? But it was good for me."

"HA! Well, I'm glad it was good for someone."

And he walked off ... chuckling. Yes, that's right! Chuckling.

Okay, so would the average American human being consider that exchange flirting? If so, I think I was successful at it, relatively speaking ...

Carrie, you may need to make a phone call and let me know. Neenee, you might have to do the same. You know how dense I am at these things ...

Either way, I believe I'm stroking his ego. However, according to Dwayne, that's what you've got to do with men any way. Plus, there's this added bonus ... my ego is growing ever so much! How cool is that?

Friday, June 20, 2008

BEWARE OF FLYING DUMB BELLS

Each time I walk through the doorway of the gym at PT, I hold out hope ... hope that Caleb the Gym Guy has somehow entangled himself in the traction machine, thus rendering himself incapable of barking orders at me like I'm some animal to be trained and then, generally, ignoring me rudely.

"Just get started on something you know how to do ... don't wait for me," he snapped at me the other day as he walked past me, my chart in his hand. I fought the desire to trip him with the leg band and instead tried to smile sweetly at him. I've been trying for the entire four weeks I've been going to physical therapy to get him to smile. He refuses!

Oh, he's willing to yuck it up with the high school jocks that come in droves. He has loads of time for these prepubescent walking pimples that don't even dress well! However, me and the guy with the hip replacement need a bit of TLC too ... at the very least, a smile in our general direction -- and I smell good most days. But all we really get are grunts, growls, and general grousing.

Wednesday, Caleb had used his last "pissy" chip. If he growled one more time at me, I decided I was going to lob a 5 pound dumb bell at his head and then plead "didn't know my own strength" later when he came to. I feel fairly certain I could have taken him down.

He'd walked by and said impatiently, "have you done your quarter lunges yet?"

My body wanted to scream, "Not yet, but could we talk about the fact that you need to reconsider pleated khakis?"

Instead, I just shook my head and relished in the loud crack the dumb bell would make against his hateful head. I thought to myself, "oh cut the poor guy some slack. It's got to be murder staring at yourself in the mirror all day and replaying some athletic prowess from the glory days over and over in your head. Perhaps if you just compliment a muscle group????"

On my drive back from Lexington today, I talked to my Michigan buddy, Carrie. Her solution was to tell him he was acting like a ... well, like a part of the male anatomy that generally most men think with anyway.

"I'm not sure I should lead off with that, Carrie. Sure wish you were there with me, though. You could do my dirty work."

"Listen, Meg. You're paying good money for this service. Let him know he's being a jerk, and if that doesn't help, talk to his supervisor."

She was right, of course, so as I made my way down the hallway to the gym, I decided I'd let him know how I felt. I was going to lead off with, "You know, Caleb, it wouldn't hurt you to smile every now and again." If that didn't work, then I would use Carrie's first suggestion as a backup plan.

So, following his barked instructions of Wednesday, I busied myself doing the exercises I already knew how to do ... my Four-Ways. I stuck my foot through the hole in the leg band and commenced to doing the exercise ... wrong.

Caleb came by and said, gently, mind you, "Okay, you need to move that right foot out in front of the band."

The snarky comment was on the tip of my tongue, and then ABORT, ABORT, ABORT. Something told me to be slightly flirty with him.

"Would it be considered cheating to do it my way?"

And then something happened, ladies and gentlemen, something remarkable. Caleb smiled ... and not just that. He laughed. "Well, yeah, it's cheating just a little bit."

Hmm ... as he walked away, I thought to myself, "this is a new tactic. I need to test this further."

"I need to do my lats and the total gym," I mentioned this to Caleb as he jotted some notes on another person's charts later one.

"Umm, no. First I want to teach you this new thing."

He walked me over to the other side the gym, grabbed a leg band, and proceeded to tie my legs together so I could do some hip extensions. "See, now you can't run away from me."

"Like this was ever an option?" And I actually batted some eyelashes ... that only works on my dad!

But guess what? He laughed again!

I'm not entirely sure, but I think Gym Guy might just have redeemed himself.

I'm not completely abandoning the dumb bell idea, but I'm setting them down for the moment.



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

BLOGGIN' FOR SCHOOL

In my writing class, each night, someone is responsible for writing a reflection on our blog. I volunteered for tonight's blog. I thought I'd post it as most of you won't want to zoom over to the Bluegrass Writing Project's blog to read it. We're required to read it to the class the following morning. This should be loads of fun, as I was weepy writing it tonight (darn PMS). I'm crossing my fingers that I can maintain my composure tomorrow. Otherwise, this could be the most ridiculous READING OF THE JOURNAL in the history of the Bluegrass Writing Project! Without further adieu ... the writing piece ... oh, just as a note of explanation, the bit about an Airhead? We did a sensory exercise ... it's a big, long description, but Carrie, this is a totally cool idea to use in the classroom. Call me, and I'll fill you in!! This class is changing me as a writer and a teacher! AWESOME!!!!!
Again ...
without further adieu ... the writing piece ...

I hate scrubbing the shower. I will seek out other chores to do before I will scrub that blasted tub … and by searching out other chores, I mean, I will rid my entire refrigerator of every fuzzy, slimy, unidentifiable item, cheerfully, before tackling the shower. That’s just how much I hate the job.

It hurts my back … it’s messy … I get water all over the place … I must beat Maddie the Cat back every other second because caustic shower cleaner is something she’s obsessed with (along with a lengthy list of other abnormal, slightly psychotic feline behaviors she displays).

Don’t get me wrong. I love a clean shower. I like the fresh smell … the sparkling walls … the secure feeling of knowing that I’m not exposing myself to untold bacteria. But for whatever reason, it takes an internal struggle for many days before I finally break down and break out the scratchy sponge.

The same thing could be said of my relationship to poetry. I certainly enjoy reading it, and I love to teach countless reading strategies with poetry. However, ask me to write one, and I start whining about the task … it’s too hard … it’s too confining … it’s not what I like to do … it makes my head hurt to think about similes and metaphors and lyrical language … and … but … waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa …..

However, today, I decided to be a good sport about it. I determined to grit my teeth and make something out of the jumble of words that dribbled from my whiny brain.

The smell of the Airhead reminded me of Karmel Korn Alice’s, a sweets shop in Mackinaw City, that has the best caramel corn IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. An earlier conversation with Ricki swirled together with my scent memory, and, all of a sudden, I was transported back to the countless summers I spent with my family at my grandparents’ cottage Up North (that’s northern Michigan for those unversed in Michigan-speak) . I was reminded of the evenings spent watching the sunset over Carp Lake- because no two are ever alike — and before I knew it, words were pouring out on my paper, and I was writing poetry. It wasn’t good, but it was poetry, and it was a precious memory of my grandmother and mosquitoes and bonfires and the scent of sun block mixed with a distant call of a loon. My heart ached to be back there and to have just one more moment to hear her grandma-isms …

Today, I finally scrubbed the proverbial shower, and it wasn’t too bad. It’s not the best household job I do. But, as my grandfather always said, “a man on a fast-trotting horse won’t notice.”

So, here’s to poetry and trying it on for size and for fast-trotting horses …

Oranges, yellows, purples, blues … wait, burnt sienna? spreading

across an endless horizon of soft ripples.

Smack! Another mosquito gone.

Crackling embers …

Sticky s’mores …

One, two, three,

“Listen

girls.

Can

you

hear

it

sizzle?”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TRUCK UPDATE

Turns out the hissing noise was coming from a broken hose. More specifically, my vacuum hose had broken.

Now, here's what I want to know, if my truck is equipped with a vacuum, why is the inside of the truck such a disastrous mess?? What is the use of the vacuum, if it's not going to rid my truck of the dirt and stuff?

WHAT'S THE STORY ON THE HALF-NAKED GUY?

Tonight was my church small group.

I walked into the place and announced to Lori, one half of the couple that hosts our group at their house, "hey, so your single neighbor guy is standing out there shirtless, his hairy chest all out there for everyone to view. Should I go up and check out the situation, seeing as he's half naked?"

Then and only then did I realize we had a new couple visiting tonight ... a new couple NOT AT ALL accustomed to my mouth. The wife gave me a look that, honestly, I was having difficulty interpreting, but I picked up on a small amount of "horrified wonder." Just a teeny amount ...

Oops!

Would that be misconstrued as a bad first impression?


Monday, June 16, 2008

DAD ... WHAT DO YOU THINK I SHOULD DO ...

"Hello," my mother answers the phone.

"Hey, mom, is dad right there? I need to ask him a car question."

"Hang on," as she puts me on speaker phone. "Okay, go ahead."

"Hey dad, I've got this hissing noise coming from my engine. What should I do?"

My mom, "GO TO THE MECHANIC!"

"What do you mean a hissing noise?" Dad is automatically annoyed that I'm asking him this, I can tell.

"A hissing noise ... like this ..." and then I imitate it over the phone.

"Where's it coming from?"

"The engine."

"Where in the engine?"

"The middle part."

"Take it to the mechanic, Meg. How should I know! I'm 600 miles away; what can I do?"

I thought about taking the phone out to the truck and letting him listen to it, but I figured that would be icing on top of the Annoyed Cake.

"This is the down side of you being 600 miles away." I lament.

"Yeah, and this would be the only reason I could see for NOT moving down there!"

See, he knows he'd be that much closer to being rehired as the plumber/car mechanic/handy man again, and I think he'd rather hang upside down by his toe nails ... naked.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

SUN-KISSED

Today, after church, I was talking to a girl I know. Suddenly, in the middle of our conversation, she looks at my hair, smiles, and says, "You're hair's lighter, right? Did you ...?"

"No, I didn't color it. This happens every summer. I get out in the sun, and my hair just naturally streaks and lightens in spots."

"Wow!" She said, really examining the highlights. "You are so lucky. It's amazing how your hair does that. I wish mine did that."

"Yeah, it's done that ever since I was a little kid. My sister's hair does the same thing."

She shakes her head. "Man, you're lucky."

"Yeah, well, I'm pretty lucky until sometime around October or November. Then I look I am seriously overdue for a root job! So there's a downside to all this fun hair color. It's all sun-kissed and gorgeous now. Come November, it'll look like I should be the queen of a double-wide some where, sipping RC Cola and eating a Moon pie!"


WAXING POETIC ON FATHER'S DAY

So, I'm waxing poetic, on this Father's Day, about the miracle of life ... a subject I really have no experience with whatsoever, other than I found myself, yesterday, holding a swaddled little bundle of squirms and snorts and squeaks, and I was memorized by it all.

Ben was a little over 24 hours old, and he was already smiling at my witty banter, and let's face it, the kid knows good material when he hears it. Plus, I was bucking for every little laugh I could get.

But as I sat there watching this little guy smiling at me, I couldn't help but be in awe at the whole process of life. There's the fun, recreational part that gets the whole ball rolling, yes, but then there's nine months of gestation, which really equates to the culmination of all your worries, fears, hopes, and dreams, and then, finally, the big day arrives, usually with much fanfare, a bit of drama, and hopefully, some good drugs.

Laying eyes on the center of all your dreams for the future must be breath-taking. From an observers point of view, it certainly is overwhelming. I kept thinking, "what is this little life I'm holding in a mound of tightly wrapped blankets going to be? What impact will it have on this spinning planet we call Earth?"

And then, I suppose, the tough part begins. The worries and fears you had during the first nine months, I'm sure can not compare to the worries and fears that are staggering each time the kid steps out of the door. First words, first steps, first school day, first driver's license, first girlfriend, first day at college ... the firsts are exponentially bigger and bigger and, to a certain extent, scarier and scarier.

I think about my dad. I'm not necessarily sure we've fulfilled all of his dreams for us, but never the less, I believe he did a pretty good job getting us to where we are today. Being a parent is not an easy job, and sticking with it for the long haul takes a lot of work, more prayer than is humanly conceivable, and a lot of hopes and dreams.

So, on this Father's Day, I honor my Papa, for sticking with all those hopes and dreams ... for being a strong father figure in a world of weak ones, and for just being there and being Dad.

I love you! Happy Father's Day.


Friday, June 13, 2008

WELCOME BENJAMIN BRADLEY

My dear friends Joe and Erin have just welcomed the newest addition to their family. Little Benjamin Bradley made his appearance in our world today, and I can't wait to see him.

And Erin thought pregnancy was an adventure. Now the real fun begins!

Congratulations guys!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WELL, CRAP!

I've known for a while now that something just wasn't quite right with The Knee, aside from the stuff I already knew was wrong. Lately, it's been locking and popping a lot more, and I've noticed a lot more pain in the back of my knee. With all the stuff I've been doing for the other problems (yes, that would be plural, and there have been a lot), those seem to be getting better. The other popping/locking/pain issue has not.

"At the risk of sounding like a whiny butt, Michael, what is the deal?"

His assessment? A tear in the meniscus.

"Yeah, but, the doc. never saw that in the x-rays."

Point well taken, but Michael says that if the tear is on the back, where there seems to be a bulge/swelling, the X-rays wouldn't have shown this. Only an MRI sees this type of tear.

So, how do we fix this?

According to Michael, scoping.

That sounds painful and extremely frustrating.

So, in the meantime, we're going to continue my exercises. No weight bearing ANYTHING of ANY KIND for me. Hopefully, crossing my fingers, this will heal on it's own (but, as Michael says, these don't heal very well on their own). If it does, great. If not, well, I just don't even want to think about it.

I guess, from here on out, I will be taking the elevator ...

Well, crap!



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

BLUEGRASS WRITING PROJECT -- DAY 2 -- I SEEM TO HAVE LOST MY MOJO

Yesterday, they had us interview each other for two reasons:
1.) So we could get to know each other better,

and

2.) So, we could see how this strategy might work in our own classrooms.

I interviewed Erin, a girl I know from the summer class I took last year. After the interview was complete, we were asked to write a first draft of the interview that would be used on a poster to decorate the room.

Erin had a mandatory PD that she had to attend at her school. So, this morning, she dropped off her part of the poster. My heart sank the minute I saw it. She had done it in my favorite color, pink, but it was the most adorable scrap booked poster I'd ever seen. Meanwhile, I've tried my hand at scrap booking, and I've failed miserably. I knew this wouldn't end well. And it didn't. The finished project is currently sitting at my spot at the Carnegie Center, drying, with the pretty pink side cheerfully sending beams of sunshine hither and yon, and the Jolly Jack Was Drunk side living inharmoniously (is this even a word??) with any other artistic object in the room.

I swear! Enough with the art. I suck at it.

Meanwhile, we were also asked to walk the streets of downtown Lexington on a WRITER'S WALKABOUT, and spend some time journaling in our WRITER'S NOTEBOOK about the things we experienced. I love to people. I love to observe from afar. I figured this would be the perfect exercise for me as I garner lots and lots of cool ideas by just sitting back and watching.

Dude with the caricature drawing from yesterday reads an amazing piece of self-discovery from the depths of drug addiction during share time.

Mercifully and thankfully, I chose not to raise my hand to volunteer a reading.

Why? What did I write about?

How I was all weirded out by the two toilets in the same stall at the Cheapside Bar and Grill! Yeah, now that's some riveting material right there ... toilets ... yep!

It's official. I've spent entirely too much time in a fourth grader's world.

I've lost my mojo!


Monday, June 09, 2008

MOVIE REVIEWS

SEX AND THE CITY
It's nothing but fluff, people. I will be honest with you. It had a relatively predictable plot; what I thought would happen, did, in fact, happen, EXACTLY as I imagined it would. The clothes were glamorous and over the top, just as one would expect them to be -- I mean, it was the Sex and the City girls. In fact, I'm stepping out on a limb here and suggesting that the fashion was a main character, a beast really, all unto its own.

There was plenty of that S word through out the film, and this is where I was left slightly troubled, because a couple of times, I actually thought I should be hearing sleazy porno soundtracks in the background. That's how raw some of the scenes were. I realize that the series was groundbreaking and all that, charting new territory among the censored and censors. However, I wasn't really looking to watch porn when I went into the show, and, as I said, I felt, at times, that is exactly what it was. Thankfully, that was only at certain points in the movie and not throughout!

Overall, I would give it a B-. It was a great flick to see with some good girl friends. Not with a boyfriend/husband, unless, of course, you plan to torture him for close to two hours.

THE STRANGERS
I didn't go to see this movie. I'm getting this movie review from Michael the PT who went with his wife over the weekend.

"Was it scary, freaky, insanely frightening?" I asked Michael the PT.

His reply, with big wide eyes? "OH. MY. LORD!"

"That scary?"

"That scary," he replied.

"So, I have this freakishly insane imagination that tends to run a bit wild. Is this something I should stay away from?"

"Yes! I wouldn't go see it all!" He swallowed hard. "Some things were a bit over the top, but you were really left with the feeling that 'this could really happen,' and you didn't leave the movie theater feeling all that great about it."

Well, sign me up for that!

Movie grade: A BIG "I'll never go see that movie!" Thanks to Michael the PT for heads up on that one!


JUST CALL ME PICASSO

I know my limitations, and those limitations pretty much begin when I pick up a colored writing implement and attempt to create something along the lines of ART. It rarely ends up as ART.

Today, I began what will be a four-week course called the Bluegrass Writing Project. It's under the auspices of the National Writing Project, for those that care, but I'm guessing most of you won't. Most of you are asking what sort of drug I was smoking the day that I decided to take four weeks out of the six or seven weeks I actually get of vacation to do "more school."

So, most of the attendees have had, at the very minimum, 7 days to relax ... to recoup ... to sleep in ... to sit and drool. Me? I've had none! I had to hit the ground running on Saturday due to an appointment and a few MUST DO errands. Sunday was spent reading for the class today. I've not had any time to decompress, debrief, and, more to the point, decompose.

Today, my brain literally buzzed the entire day. It was almost like being directly under a very large bee hive ... static ... nothing but a bunch of static.

One of the last exercises of the day was, as the facilitator explained, a vehicle to put down on paper, a visual representation of what this day was like for us. She placed construction paper and crayons down in front of us and gave us time to create.

I created this piece. It's done on my new favorite color, pink, and it's basically a colorful depiction of what is going on in my brain, STATIC. In the center are the letters B G W P, which stands for the Bluegrass Writing Project. You'll notice it's amidst my static.

Okay, so as art goes, this isn't finding it's way into a gallery any time soon. Still, I thought it was a relatively good rendition of Megan's Brain On No Break. That was until the first person got up to share. Thank God in Heaven that I was too tired to raise my hand to volunteer to show my piece, as the first volunteer showed his amazingcartoon drawing. Dude could have a job as a caricature artist should the teaching gig get old! It was amazing.

Then the next volunteer raised her hand, and it was at this point, as I got a good look at her rendering, that I quickly flipped my pink paper over, and commenced to looking inconspicuous. She drew an oasis for heaven's sake, only to be rivaled by the beach scene of the woman next to her.

OH. MY. GOSH. I swear if they make me draw again, I'm throwing myself off of the top of the very historic building we're meeting in!



Sunday, June 08, 2008

PUTTING A RAZOR TO MY HEAD

Kentucky goes pretty much from winter to HOT and HUMID. There doesn't seem to be much in between in the weather department. My head doesn't do well with HOT and HUMID. In fact, as soon as the humidity moves in, my usually flat hair, gets all crazy, frizzy and lays on my head like a limp helmet. It's not a good look.

So, yesterday, I asked my stylist, Susan, if she could use a razor to cut my hair. I wanted depth and texture and lots of movement. If it's going to hang on my head like a limp helmet, it might as well do it with texture, right?!


Other than the back, near my neck, where, due to the type of cut I have, she had to do more precision cutting with a pair of scissors, she cut the rest of my hair with a razor.

I LOVE it! This morning, I just blew it dry with my fingers and the hair dryer (minus the stuff in the back, which I used a round brush on), and left. I didn't fight the crazy, frizzy wave stuff. I just let it do it's own thing ...


I think it turned out pretty good, considering!




Friday, June 06, 2008

LOVE NOTES FROM FOURTH GRADERS

In honor of the last day of school, here are three notes I received today. You just have to love fourth grade love notes! By the way, I left the spelling as is, because, honestly, it's just too cute.

Dear Miss Murray,
I will miss you a whole lot, and I will come and see you and hug you when i do see you. I got knew sandals yesterday. Did you seem them?
Love M.



The day I live you is the day that I will be sad. I will miss you no mater what. You are the best teacher ever. You are beater than Mr. T. This is the fact. You are the best sicience teacher too. Miss Murray, I don't want to move out of your room. Pleasse don't make me move from your room.
PS Your the best!
Yes, we did go over the difference between your and you're ... apparently it didn't stick with this one!


Dear Miss Murray,
Thank you for being my teacher for so long! I wish I didn't have to go. I learned some stuff I didn't know. But in fifth grade I'll learne some new things I don't know.
Love T.
It's always good when you can learn stuff you didn't know!
And so ends another year of teaching ... can it be that I've been at this for six years? Seems like just yesterday ... time flies when you're having fun!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE ... A MUSCLE!

While shaving my legs this morning, I think I discovered a muscle. Like the Mayan ruins, I thought these fleshy tissues were all but lost!

Could it be that exercise actually works?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

LUXURY AND LEISURE

"Well, Megan, how's the knee today?" Michael the PT looked down at my still swollen knee.

"I had pain today, but I was also up and down stairs and bleachers all day. I'm telling you, Michael, when I live the life of luxury and leisure, I don't have that much pain."

"So, what do we have to do in order to get you living the life of luxury and leisure?"

"I don't know, Michael. Marry well?"

He started laughing.

Now, please explain to me what is funny about that?


WELL, THEREIN LIES YOUR PROBLEM

So, because I spend my entire day with fourth graders, I've come to realize that I suffer from similar issues as many stay-at-home moms. Stay-at-home moms have, for years, expressed frustration over spending their days talking with kids. While they love their children and love spending time with them, they crave the adult interaction.

I've come to a realization that due to my entire day of interacting with individuals that love everything that has to do with farts, I am almost entirely incapable of carrying on any sort of conversation that doesn't deviate from boogers or other bodily excrement. If an adult male were to walk up to me right now, I am not convinced a could make it much past, "Hey, did you know I know a kid that can belch his ABCs?"

It's sad really. I feel a stay-at-home mom's pain. I really do.

Today, at PT, I decided to break out of the booger zone, and actually try to have a real conversation ... an honest to goodness adult to adult interaction ... with a real boy! A boy that shaves ... and not just peach fuzz.

The cutie tech guy that came into give me my knee ultrasound was my guinea pig. Now, by the looks of him, he wasn't much past the age where the fascination with farting sounds has ended. However, I decided he was as good a test subject as any.

"So, what did you do to your knee?" said Tech Boy.

"Well, that is an interesting story." And then I proceeded to give him a rather disjointed dissertation of all the things I could have possibly done to said knee from present back to about circa 1998.

"Hmmm ..." He says thoughtfully, rubbing the ultrasound wand around the knee cap.

I looked thoughtfully out the window.

"Man, those bugs are loud."

"Yes," I say, thankful I don't have to show him the newest booger trick I learned from my fourth graders. "I bet that sound drives you crazy."

"Well, I only hear them on this side of the building, but when you go out the back door, it's awful."

"I bet."

More awkward silence.

"So, you know those are cicadas, right?" OH MY GOSH! I SOUND LIKE THE KID FROM JERRY McGUIRE ... Did you know the human head weighs 8 lbs?!?!?

"Huh. Didn't know what the bugs were called."

"Yep, cicadas. Read that in the newspaper." Ladies and gentlemen, she reads ... the newspaper. And that screams, 80 year old spinster.

"Huh," rub, rub, rub with the wand.

"So, what do they do?"

"Not sure," I shrug my shoulders.

"Huh," rub, rub, rub.

"Yeeeep." This is a riveting conversation, is it not?

Do you see my issue now?

I think I should have pulled out the booger trick ...

A CONVERSATION WITH A PARENT

Today I had the following conversation with a parent. I should say, I attempted, rather unsuccessfully, to steer away from the conversation.

Names have been changed to conceal the identity of the innocent and the nasty!

ME: Well, Mr. C said he'd be right up with the paper work. The door is locked. So, I guess we can just stand out here and wait.

MR. M: My kid is ruining my sex life.

ME: [feeling bile begin to back up as I wonder where in the heck this has come from] Wow, the weather has been crazy lately, hasn't it?

MR. M: I mean, I bring these women home, and I hope something happens. I say, 'if it happens, it happens, but he's really playing sheriff with my love life'.

ME: [feeling the all sick to my stomach and cold-sweaty] You know, Ben was so excited to hold the plaque we gave to the principal today for his BIG SURPRISE SEND OFF PARTY.

MR. M: Yeah, Ben likes him, but I'm saying he's killing my sex life.

ME: [fighting the urge to say EEEEWWWWW!] Wow! You know what? I'm just going to go next door to Mrs. Quincy's room and see if she has a key to let us in.

I begged Mrs. Quincy to stay with me until our principal got there. Later on, as the kids were heading to the buses, I stopped to thank my principal for the wonderful time spent with this kid's disgusting father.

ME: I wanted to thank you for leaving me alone with that disgusting guy.

MY PRINCIPAL: What do you mean?

ME: Ummm ... he was telling me all about his sexual prowess.

MY PRINCIPAL: [laughing] Well, I noticed he was checking you out when you got up to leave. Could of had yourself a date!

That's just great! The only chance at a real date in this town is the lecherous father of one of my students! Just great!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

WORKING MYSELF INTO A LATHER

I tend to be a teeny, tiny bit of an over-reactor ... just a bit of one ... ever so slightly ...

Now, before I move on with this blog, I must give voice to a few people that, at this very moment, are writhing in agony because what is screaming from their mouths can not be heard by the rest of the blogosphere ... heck, by the world!

First of all, I must give voice to my mother, who right now, is glaring, wide-eyed at her computer monitor and is muttering, "A teeny, tiny bit of an over-reactor?? She can speak more clearly than that! She's Over-Reaction Royalty!"

I also must give voice to my sister, who is rolling her eyes, and uttering, "WHATEVER!" at her computer screen.

Finally, I believe Carrie would have this to say, "Dude, if over-reacting were a sport, you'd be an Olympic athlete!"

Okay, so from time to time, I do a bit of over-reacting.

Let's rewind, if you will allow me to do so, back to last Friday. I was speeding down THE HILL (those of you from Frankfort know what HILL I'm talking about) toward school, and I glanced down at my dashboard. FRICK-FRACK! The stupid check engine light lit up like a freakin' Christmas tree!

At this point, I'm using language I doubt a drunken sailor would use, because, seriously, I don't have time for this sort of thing. I'm going to physical therapy every freakin' single day of the week and those days I'm not going, I've got about 18 million things going on for school, and does no one realize how insanely crazy my life is right now???????

I think you can see where my head was on Friday ...

After school, I made a bee-line to my team mate Paul's room to assess the situation because, after all, he's a male, and males somehow have this inane intuition about check engine lights, right?

"Dude," Paul says. "As long as the thing isn't flashing, you can drive on it for two weeks. Dude, I totally did that."

The amount of "dudes" he used in that sentence didn't exactly give me a complete feeling of ease. So, I called my Papa. Amazingly enough, he agreed with Paul, with one small caveat. " Call your mechanic as soon as you can, just to make sure."

In the meantime, I worked up, in my head, where all the really creative stuff is at, the worst case scenario of what could be wrong. Here's how I had it all laid out ... my transmission was failing slowly, and very soon, belts would start popping off various locations until finally, when I limped the poor truck into the auto mechanic's parking lot, he'd assess the situation, loop his thumbs through his belt buckle, and grunt, "That's going to be $3,000 ... give or take a thousand."

You can imagine my fear and trepidation as I watched him walk toward the waiting room door, computer thingy-ma-gig in his hand.

"Well," he said.

Oh my gosh!!! He's going to tell me to start looking for a new car. I can just tell it! He's got that look! I can't afford a new car! I'm not even done paying for this one!!!!

"Well, it was a loose gas cap."

I stopped in mid-profuse sweat. "I'm sorry. Come again?"

"Loose gas cap."

"How much does that cost?"

"Nothing," he says with a slight smile. "Just make sure it's tight next time."

Oops ...

You don't think I was a bit over the top, do you??




Monday, June 02, 2008

LOSING MY MIND

I'm relatively sure that I'm losing my mind ... really! It's been so insanely busy in my life, that I've now taken to forgetting large portions of "stuff" that need to be done both here at school as well as at home.

Today, it got so bad, that I was forced to write a TO DO list on the white board.

"What are you doing, Miss Murray?"


"Writing a TO DO list on the board."

"Why? You've never done that before."

"Because my brain has never been so boggled before."



"Huh ..."

Yeah, huh, is exactly right. And if it's not enough that I can't keep this week straight ... the last week of the academic year, I keep getting email messages about meetings that are planned for NEXT academic year!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

People! Please! I barely remembered to brush my teeth this morning. I do not have the capability to log NEXT YEAR'S activities in my already jumbled head. It will not work. There will be a hardware crash, and it will end with me wearing some sort of undergarment on my head, I guarantee it!


Sunday, June 01, 2008

JUST THE SHOT IN THE ARM I NEEDED

I stopped at a gas station today to get some gas. As I walked to the door of the gas station, two men eagerly jockeyed to the door to open it. Since the gentlemen arrived at the doors at the same time, I got BOTH doors opened for me!

Wowwweeee! I smiled at both of them and thanked them sweetly.

Now, THAT is what a girl just loves!


BAND OF BROTHERS

I've spent my entire day, with a few interruptions here and there, watching the BAND OF BROTHERS marathon on the History Channel. For many, this would be considered a colossal waste of a GORGEOUS day. Not me.

This series is a moving, heart-wrenching, stomach-churning portrayal of what life for the men of Easy Company was like as they battled through Europe during World War II. Growing up, I'd heard very few stories from my grandfather about the war. I believe his coping mechanism was to try not to think about it or dwell on it. However, as he got older, and I became an adult with a sponge-like air about me, he opened up ever so slightly about the horror that was war. I know, for him, it was so painful, he made my grandmother burn all his letters when he got back state-side. As a writer, while I wish there was still some tangible link to my grandparents' life during that time, after viewing these episodes, I somehow understand, if just a tiny bit, why he insisted on destroying any pieces that still linked him to that past.

I'm sad that those stories are dying with the brave men and women that lived them ... not because of any romanticized view of those tales. But because to let those stories die, means someone will forget. The episode that haunts me, even as I write this, is the one entitled WHY WE FIGHT. The Easy Company stumbles on the Landsberg Prison and finds imprisoned Jews abandoned by the Germans, left to die. It was horrifying to watch -- I can't imagine what it was like to live it. To see, first hand, the cruelty one human being can impart upon another ... disgusting as it was see it, I don't believe we should ever forget how close we are all to stepping over the line into evil.

If you've never had the opportunity to read the book BAND OF BROTHERS by Steven Ambrose, or watch the HBO series, I highly recommend it, if for no other reason than so that dark period of history is never lost in the recesses of memory ...