Sunday, August 31, 2008

A ME WEEKEND

I've decided that I've not spent enough pampering me. So, Friday, I rented three movies (cut me some slack, I had a coupon!), and I've spent the weekend being a total slug and watching movies.

Here's my movie marathon run down:

27 DRESSES ... This is your typical chic flick, but I was soooo in the mood for a chic flick. So, the predictable plot of boy meets girl, boy gets girl, worked for me. I give it an B + in it's cheesy, predictability!

ELIZABETHTOWN ... hated the first hour and a half. Found it completely pointless. LOVED the last half hour and wished I'd been able to see a whole movie based upon that last half hour. I give it a C-.

JUNO ... I have mixed feelings about this film. For all the hype it received, I felt, I don't know, sort of let down. I loved the story line, but I felt like there really aren't teenagers around that are that witty, snarky, are there? Most of the teens I've had encounters over use the word LIKE waaaaay too much. I do give kudos to the smart writing, it just felt too "adult" and not "teen" enough. But then again, that may be why all the adults of the world fell completely in love with this film to begin with. I give it a B+.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to finish the book THE SHACK. More to come on that one later ....


Thursday, August 28, 2008

A HELPFUL LIFE TIP

Might I make a small suggestion?

I do not, absolutely do not, suggest eating a bowl of chili one night, eating a second bowl of chili the following day for lunch, and then decide to have Mexican for dinner.

This series of unfortunate events does not end well ...

CHICKEN NUGGET DANCE

It was CHICKEN NUGGET DAY in the school cafeteria, and I am nuts about chicken nuggets!!

I did the Chicken Nugget Dance in the lunch line, and my kids all looked at me like I'd lost my mind. While I sort of don't blame them given my lack of any dance talent whatsoever, I can't help it. I LOVE our chicken nuggets!

[insert sing-songy voice here] It's chicken nugget day ... It's chicken nugget day ... oh yeah, it's chicken nugget day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

GETTING A VISIT FROM THE GOVERNATOR

Okay, so we didn't get a visit from the real GOVERNATOR -- the guy from California. However, our governor, Gov. Steve Beshear, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, did stop by our school today to announce that he was granting $89,159 federal dollars to the city for the federal initiative,SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL,
http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/.


As far as my fourth graders were concerned, Gov. Beshear is as close to a president or any other famous person that they will get to see. It warmed my heart to see them clap their hands in gleeful anticipation of his entrance into our gym, with hushed choruses of, "OHHHH! I see him. There he is!"

And while I was trying to help them keep their excitement at a normal level, I couldn't help but be struck by this idea.

When I was growing up, the governor was some man in a nebulous office in a place called Lansing, MI, and as far as I was concerned, he never left his office, unless it had something to do with Detroit or Lansing or one of the BIG THREE. As a teacher, you want to make the students' understanding of government real-world for them, but how can you when the guy or girl that runs the show never really meets them at their level?

Despite the inordinate number of "suits" in the room and despite the sickening display of "let me see how far I can get my nose up your rear" displays, it was still so neat to see my kids be front and center for government and politics at work. I find it exceedingly fortunate that I teach in a capitol city, and despite any political misgivings I may have, I find it so thrilling to know that I can bring politics to my students' laps in a short 6-city block walk.

I think we're all super lucky!


So, here's to democracy and fourth graders and learning!




Saturday, August 23, 2008

THE GOOD NEWS AND THE BAD NEWS

Well, the good news is that I do not have to have surgery on my knee. There is no meniscal tear.

There, however, is apparently very little lining left around the cartilage in my knee. Due to the lack of good lining, at 36 years of age, way too young, according to Dr. S., I've got arthritis.

My body is staging a coupe ... it hates me.

My parents pointed out to me last night, when I called to tell them, that things could be worse. I could be dealing with the fact that I've just been told I have cancer. They're right, of course. I should be happy that all I have to deal with is arthritis, but at 36?!?!

I'm getting ready to begin a massive search of homeopathic remedies for arthritis. It's not going to slow me down!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

THE KID IS ON TO SOMETHING

Today, during Reading Workshop, I asked my kids to write a letter to me, in their Reader's Notebook, telling me about their greatest adventure (we'd been reading about Lewis and Clark and their great adventure to the West). I told them it could be a dream they've had of some cool adventure or they could make up something or they could tell me about something they've actually done.

One of my sweet babies, we'll call him Riley, brought me his letter, detailing how his fantasy adventure was becoming Indiana Jones. Many of you know my love affair with Indy, and so I squealed, "Indiana Jones! Riley, I love Indiana Jones! That's awesome! Why do you want to be Indiana Jones?"

"Well," he answered. "For all the reasons in my letter, plus ..."

And Riley smirked, as he slyly lowered his head, "plus, he gets to kiss all the girls!"

Please! He's killing me! Who wouldn't want to eat this child up with a spoon?!?!?



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WORD TO THE LIFE GUARD

Dude,

I realize that your job is sort of on the boring side, and that, really, you sort of like it that way. Cuz, well, if it's exciting, that means someone is drowning, and well, that's not cool. So, I totally get that you're bored, way up there on that high chair. But, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, STOP PICKING YOUR FEET, and then dropping whatever it is into the pool! Cuz, see, occasionally, I end up swallowing the water, cuz, well, it gets in my mouth. Honestly, I don't really want to swallow whatever it was on your feet. I mean, I have enough issues of my own to deal with, without having to develop some sort of weird funk on the inside of my body. That's all I'm sayin'.

Signed,

A concerned swimmer



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A WORD ABOUT MRIs

Not a big fan.

Nope.

Not. at. all.

I've seen plenty of MRI tubey deals on TV, and I've always thought it was a bit silly that so many people got freaked out about them. My theory was, just close your eyes and breathe deeply.

Yeah, well, that was until I actually had to have my body inserted into one. I'm not sure you are aware of it, but the tube thingy? Well, they widen it for TV purposes!

This thing is actually very, very narrow, and whether you have claustrophobia or not, it makes you want to crawl right out of your skin! And I didn't even have to go all the way in! Just up to my chest. Still, it was horrible.

I tried my hardest not to move, which, for someone like me, is an almost impossibility, but the idea of having to do an MRI retake, made me want to crawl out of my skin more. So, hopefully, Dr. S. has some nifty, cool photos of the crap knee ... otherwise, I'm limping for the rest of my life.

Monday, August 18, 2008

HOW'D YA LIKE ME NOW?

Occasionally, my ADHD brain actually focuses on one thing, and it's at those times I become almost obnoxious with my tunnel vision of focus. Such was the case on Saturday.

My brain had one mission when I stepped into Kohl's, and that was to pay my bill. So, I was slightly annoyed by the man in front of me that kept walking in my way in his attempt to figure out which lane to get into. He changed his mind numerous times, by the way.


And here is where the story gets all self-aggrandizing and grossly over-rated of me ... as I almost ran into "CAN'T MAKE UP MY MIND" guy, I realized that this was the same guy who'd asked for my phone number last year, but then, inexplicably, never called.

He made a very obvious triple take as I tried to side-step him, and I smiled, flipped my hair, and sashayed my way to customer service with the Toby Keith tune HOW'D YA LIKE MY ME NOW playing in my head!

I'm pretty sure he's wishing he'd called now ...


Saturday, August 16, 2008

UNDERWEAR SHORTAGES

If ever there is an underwear manufacturing strike ... or a natural disaster that ceases the production of underwear, rest assured, I will be okay.

I had a coupon ... two coupons, in fact.

I went to Kohl's today, and I was able to use two coupons to purchase a bra and 3 pairs of underwear ... nice pairs ... pairs I wouldn't normally buy because they don't come in bulk amounts and/or their price tag shows 2-digit numbers, and who pays 2-digit numbers for underwear? Certainly not me!

However, today, I had those blessed coupons. So, I purchased the bra (what I really was desperate for), and those three pairs of underwear (which I wasn't so desperate for).

While I was folding everything up and putting them into my lingerie drawer, such as it is, I realized, that I have enough underwear to clothe the bottom halves of at least three women, with leftovers!

I think it's safe to assume that I can weather any storm, my underwear and I can. I may even be able to save some water by NOT washing underwear for a good long time!


Friday, August 15, 2008

SCREWS, SNOT, and OTHER MISCELLANEOUS NONSENSE

I just finished talking to Carrie. I swear, the girl cracks me up! I wish she would just pick up and move down here already, but I think Tom is concerned we don't know how to run Excel spreadsheets down here in the south. Since he is the King of spreadsheets, the move just wouldn't work.

"So, I'm going down to meet Christy's new guy," I said to Carrie.

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. Funny story. He and Christy were on his boat with friends of his, and his friend's daughter sees his nipple piercing and asked him, 'hey, why'da got a screw in your boobie'?"

Of course, Carrie is in stitches as was I when Christy told me.

"That's how I refer to him now ... as the guy with the screw in his boobie. I even told Christy I was bloggin' about it. I mean, come on, you can't tell me a story like that and NOT let me blog about it. I'm just sayin' ..."

"Screw Boobie. That should be his new name!"

"That should totally be his new name! I love it! That is what I'm calling him from now on."

Okay, and it's at this point, it becomes evident ... very, very, very evident, that Carrie and I have spent waaaaaay too much time teaching fourth graders. I mean, why else would I log SNOT as an acceptable example of a liquid form of matter today in science class -- right behind the HUMAN GAS in the gas form of matter entry?




Thursday, August 14, 2008

WHAT DOES CRAP FEEL LIKE?

I feel sort of like crap, which brings me to a very important question. What, exactly, does crap feel like when it's sick? Does it feel like its throat has been rubbed absolutely raw? Does it feel its nose itch and twitch and run incessantly? Does it feel lethargic ... bone-weary? If so, then I feel just like crap!

A friend of mine recently said it's the CLASSROOM AS A PETRI DISH syndrome. Couldn't have said it better myself! My colleagues teased me all spring, but I drowned my classroom in Lysol spray. It comes out of hiding tomorrow!

I'm so dang sick of being sneezed on ... I love my kiddos, but we've got to learn some good personal hygiene, and I mean post-haste!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM A RANDOM BRAIN

I'm fighting the creeping crud. That took all of nine days to occur. At this point in the blog, and really, it doesn't take him very long at all, my father stops reading, shakes his head, and mutters, "she's burning the candle at both ends..."

Well, I'm sure this creeping crud has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I've been getting an average of 5 hours of sleep. I'm sure it also has nothing to do with the fact that I've been sneezed on no less than three times this week.



Well, I've never before had an MRI. Next, Monday, I will no longer be able to say that. That's right. Dr. S has ordered an MRI. I almost cried when he said it. I've been so cavalier about the possibility of surgery up to this point. Now, with the possibility becoming more of a reality, I'm beginning to feel very uneasy ... actually, downright sick to my stomach. Yes, I'm being a sissy ... I'm pretty nervous about the idea of going under the knife ... that apparently is really a scope ... May I point out that this would be a possible downside to being single ... no one to hold my hand when I become an all-out crybaby!

As I sat waiting for the doctor to come into the room, I kept thinking, "Well, my knee has hardly bothered me at all the last few days. It's fine. I should just tell him it's fine."

As though in reply, my knee has been a GIGANTIC pain in my ... well, my knee today! I think it's a sign ... crap!



I came to a realization tonight that someone I had trusted, more than I really should have, lied to me ... BIG TIME!!!! I spent a great deal of time ... no, I can speak plainer than that ... I wasted a butt load of time with my head in my rear because of this person's lies, and when I discovered that all of the entreaties and well-constructed explanations were just a load of crap, I really wanted to get all "vengeful wench bag" on him, but Zen Megan took over. I took a deep breath, smelled the bouquet of daisies I'd plucked in my perfect world, where the butterflies and sunshine are, and I realized, I am a better, stronger person than I was when I had the unfortunate displeasure of slipping in the pile that was his "line" he was slinging. I've gotten better with age ... I know, cuz I've looked at the photos ... the archival time line of my life then, and my life now. I am in a better place both physically and mentally (despite the bum knee), and this idiot is still slinging bull. I have to feel thoroughly sorry for him.

Nope ... no vengeful wench bag tonight. I'm going to just let it all go ... take a big ole' whiff of my daisies, and pretend I didn't act like such a fool where this particular ding-a-ling is concerned ... and enjoy the fact that his life isn't any rosier than it was a few years back.



There apparently is no garbage fairy. That would explain why everyone else's garbage is out, and mine still sits here in the house. Crap! I'm going to be forced to do it myself.







Monday, August 11, 2008

THE BEHINDER I GET

It's as if I have some freakish radar sending out continuous beeps all day long ... some sort of code for "Megan is trying to be productive in her life ... throw as many wrenches in that clock's works as you possibly can!"

Today, I decided I would work at school until 5 p.m. and then not take one single bag home. Well, the network went down (why must we take the network servers down WHEN ALL THE TEACHERS ARE TRYING TO GET THINGS READY FOR THE NEXT DAY!?!??!?!? I DO NOT GET THIS!!!). Two people stopped by to talk about very important education stuff, and I spent the better portion of 20 minutes sifting through emails.

When it was all said and done, I left school at 5 p.m. with TWO bags and nothing accomplished!

I absolutely LOVE days like these!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

GIVING HIM A 7.675

Okay, so, it's my own fault. If I'd only gone to bed when normal people do, I might have slept through it. Instead, I decided to stay up waaaay past my bedtime and read an incredible book. So, as I said, it's my own darn fault.

It's my own darn fault that I had to be privy to the weird "entertaining" that my male neighbor, three doors down, chose to undertake last night with his newest flavor of the ... whatever she is ... flavor of the month ... year ... week ...

It started out just talking and giggling. Okay, yes, loud talking considering I think they were pretty close together, if you get my meaning. Then came the manical laughter, culminating in raucous whistling from my neighbor with, "Oh yeah, baby!" This, of course, occurred at 1:35 a.m.

I laid in bed for a bit trying to decide if I should yell something equally obnoxious as the "pre-game" show that was occurring just down the way continued or if I should rain on his performance parade by inviting our local law enforcement to the party or if I should just shout out a grade on said pre-game performance. I was close to giving them a 7.675, when they decided to begin regular game play indoors ... thank the Lord in heaven!

Seriously, we all don't want to know what you do in your bedroom. So please, just keep it in the bedroom!




WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

Last night, I finished the book WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sarah Gruen. Actually, more accurately, I finished the book this morning ... about 1:15 a.m.

It is a magnificent book in its simplicity of story and in its beautiful prose. I was entranced by the story of a traveling circus struggling to stay afloat during the Depression Era ... I was fascinated and horrified by the class struggles within the microcosm of the circus world ... I was completely invested in Jacob Jankowski's, the main character in Gruen's story, life as a loner in a foreign world, right smack dab in America.

Within this simple story, is a multifaceted plot about mental illness, social class mores, racism, animal rights, and undeniable, unconditional love.

Pick this book up today! I loved it!

I'm giving it an A.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

WHAT A LOVELY SATURDAY

I had such big plans for my morning. I was going to get up early, run errands, and then hit the 127 Garage Sales with Christy.

Only, I slept in ... late. At the point I did finally get up, I rendered myself brain dead and completely forgot all about yard saling. The only thing on my mind was going to the bank, hitting the farmer's market, running errands around town, and relaxing with a book for a couple of hours.

It's a lovely, beautifully sunny Central Kentucky day, and I've just finished two wonderfully yummy peaches I picked up at market ... golden sunshiny deliciousness in my mouth.

I went for an amazing drive north of town, through winding roads (the only kind of roads around here) that traveled along an awesome creek. The photo opportunities were abounding, and I kicked myself for not bringing my camera.

I've breathed deeply, smiled often, and walked leisurely. I love today!

My getting up late was a thoroughly happy mistake, and I am so glad it occurred. I've been able to enjoy just being in the moment and soaking it all in.

Ahhhh! I love Megan's Perfect World ...


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

WHERE IT RAINS SKITTLES ALL DAY LONG

I have made it one of my personal goals NOT to let the small stuff steal my joy this year. To steal a well over-used phrase, my plan is to NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. In fact, I plan to live in "Megan's Perfect World," where butterflies and sunshine live in harmony, and it rains skittles all day long. Doesn't that sound fun? I thought so.

I've not been home since 6 a.m., and as I walk through the door this evening ... at 8:50 p.m., to be exact, and dodge the manic cat running full speed towards me, I see I've got a message on the old answering machine.

So, I happily press PLAY. "Hi, this is Dr. S's office, and we just wanted to let you know that he won't be in on the 11th, the day you scheduled your appointment a month and one week ahead of time. Why it's just occurred to us now to call you, we're not sure. I mean, I know you've already had a sub lined up, and shoot, it is only the second full week of school, a time when your kids are still a bit shaky on rules and procedures, and, in all likelihood, they're going to act like goobers for the sub anyway, but hey. Come on in the following morning. We've got morning appointments."

By the way, having morning appointments isn't a selling point when those that have morning appointments must sit there for an hour and half, attempting to keep the woman that's sitting next to you, hopped on some sort of drug concoction, off of your lap, which is where she leans toward every time her eyelids shut tight.

After I punch erase, I stop, take a deep breath, close my eyes, and pretend to open my mouth wide. I bet I could catch a lot of skittles that way ...


Monday, August 04, 2008

A WORD ABOUT PIT STAINS

Pit stains ... now there's a topic you want to spend hours chatting about, right?

It's the second day of school, and as is the unspoken tradition at my school, the air conditioning, the same air conditioning that has worked all summer, has staged a coup and has refused to work, just when the heat index has reached temperatures far beyond my ability to count or tolerate ... well, not really count, but you can see where I'm headed with this particular line of exaggeration. It's been beastly hot!

Add to the crazy temperatures the fact that my classroom resides on the second floor that faces the morning sun, and where said classroom windows do not open ... humanly impossible to open them ... well, let's just say, that by 7 a.m., I had some lovely pit stains on the new cutie dress that I picked up at Target the other night.

It's an adorable baby doll style in the best, softest, lightweight fabric I've ever worn, and it's really flattering ... all except the pit stains.

I'm going to be seriously upset if those stains actually don't come out in the wash ... considering it was my first time wearing the cutie dress.




Saturday, August 02, 2008

BRAIN DUMP ... RANDOM RAMBLINGS ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERY THING

For me and for my students, school started yesterday.

With out a doubt, it was the BEST opening day I've ever experienced ... ever! This year will mark my seventh year teaching, and again, I must emphasize that this year was the best, most well-organized start to the academic year I've ever experienced. I'm going to put the majority of the success on the shoulders of our new principal. He's awesome, and I just love him so far. This is an article that ran in our paper about our district's first day of school and our new administrators. That photo in the article is of our new principal.
http://www.state-journal.com/news/article/4175882

The only downer to my day yesterday was my footwear. I bought these sandals back in April when Carrie was here. I got bad, bad blisters then, but after they healed, my feet were fine. I wore those cute sandals ALL summer long ... walked four blocks in them while going to class in Lexington a couple of days. Fine, completely fine.

Fast-forward to yesterday, blisters! Not just one ... not just on the top of my foot. Nope, numerous blisters ... tops AND bottoms of feet were affected. Oh, my feet hurt so badly. What is up with that!?!?

Today, I spent more money than should be allowed at Office Depot. They were having Teacher Appreciation Day at the store. They had free give aways, free breakfast for us, and lots of discounts. I went before I had my morning coffee. Not recommended. I tried to slide my debit card through a spot that was merely a space in the construction of the machine NOT THE SLIDE SLOT THINGY. Then I couldn't form a complete sentence THE ENTIRE TIME I stood at the counter. Yeah, I was a resounding, ringing example of SUPER TEACHER.

Good grief!

I collapsed on my sofa last night after leaving school, where, due to it being the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, our AC died ... oh, and it was like 98 degrees or something inhumane like that (still doesn't feel like it's been resurrected). When I awoke, two hours later, a magazine was stuck to my leg ... and not just a little bit. I mean, it was REALLY stuck, like, "tore the first layer of skin off" stuck! That is how exhausted I was after school yesterday.

The GRANDE CARAMEL LIGHT FRAPPUCINO I purchased this morning isn't doing it for my yawning. May need to go home and take another nap!

The Lettuce Lady at the Farmers Market said she plans to be selling her AWESOME lettuce until at least Thanksgiving. I was so happy, I almost did the Happy Lettuce Dance right in the middle of the Farmer's Market. She didn't seem all that impressed, but she doesn't realize how much I LOVE her organic lettuce mixes.