31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

To all my most favorite ghouls, goblins, witches, freaks and everyone in between: have a most wonderful holiday. May you enjoy going wherever the spirit moves you.

20 October 2008

The Break

Friday: I leave work for the day and head to a local brew pub/restaurant for after work drinks with a select few coworkers. Wonderful idea. Honestly, if you ever get the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with special ed teachers when they are not working, do it. There is something special about this group of people, and the only way to find out exactly how special they are is to have a drink with them. I promise, it'll be the best laugh you have all week.

I left with a smile on my face (and not just from the beer), and made my way to Oakland for a much anticipated weekend "off" with CSB. Once there, we decided on Sushi for dinner, and spent a nice evening at Kansai sitting at the bar. I can't tell you how great it is to know everyone who works there, and be able to do silly things like bring the chopstick training wheels we found at a shop on the Embarcadero (yes, the pink thing in the picture above). They really got a kick out of them, and I'm looking forward to making another trip down to pick up a few more for the chefs and waitresses.

Saturday: After working for somewhere in the arena of 9 weeks straight, my brain was beginning to melt. Even those last couple of weekends of faire didn't shine so brightly... I was done. To sleep in until 8:30 Saturday morning was a beautiful thing. We slept, there was coffee, an amazing omelet, then after laying around all day in our jammies watching TV, he mentioned something about Dark Knight... which I STILL haven't seen (but, I'm not bitter at all).

That got me thinking about movies I wanted to see, but haven't... I realized I hadn't seen Burn After Reading yet, and after all, I am a huge Coen Brothers fan. So I mention that I really wanted to see it in the theater if it's still playing... next thing I know we're talking about the 5:30 show at Bay Street. Quick shower and we're out the door. Yes, fish tacos from Rubio's, a movie, then down to the little bakery for chocolate cupcakes to go with the Domaine Chandon Sparkling Red I brought to celebrate the end of faire.

Needless to say, the night ended well... I mean really... any night that ends with champagne and cupcakes has got to be good.

Sunday: I woke up thinking "oooohhhhh... I don't wanna go to... wait... I don't have to... I have ONE MORE DAY OFF!" So, I rolled over, curled up with CSB and went back to sleep. *sigh*

When we finally made our way out of bed we had left over cupcakes (yes, I bought one for breakfast too) and coffee... then layed around watching tv... all morning. At some point mid-afternoon we decided we were hungry, and maybe ought to leave the apartment to eat.

After a nice lunch at Cato's in Piedmont (highly recommended), we wandered around window shopping and snooping through used book stores. Laughing and enjoying the remaining daylight, it was really nice not to have anywhere to be, or anything to do. Simply existing and living in the moment. Seems like its been so long since I had the chance to do that.

It was the perfect post-faire weekend.
The perfect recharge.
Exactly what I needed.

Maybe next blog I'll have the energy to revisit faire, and tell you about my super awesome Saturday, and how closing weekend this year included one of the greatest days I had at faire this year.

For now, you can most definitely look forward to posts about my adventures in house hunting... I'm planning to call a random agent tomorrow, and get the ball rolling. I'll bring the camera so you all can be a part of the process.

By the by... if anyone knows a real estate agent, or has one they love and trust, I'm looking for someone great... please feel free to send me a message and let me know!

16 October 2008

Blogging is...

Putting fingers to keyboard is pretty nearly the last thing I want to do at the end of a busy day, yet, it is possibly the most important thing I do for myself. Writing has always been one of the most important bits of my day to day life.

Mostly I do it to entertain myself. I started blogging so I could chronicle my pregnancy, partially for myself, partially for The ShortBus, partially for the bunch of people that would call me every day asking how I was feeling. After The ShortBus was born, I wanted a place of my own to write about things other than mommy-ness. I started a few different blogs, but nothing was coming out in the right voice... until one day I decided to just relax and use my own voice. Let the words fall onto the screen the same way they fell out of my brain.

Now I see how the traffic to my blog changes when I don't write for a couple of weeks. I see how the few of you who used to check in regularly don't ... because I'm not here. I do the same thing with bloggers who don't post, I forget to read after a while. So, nine months out of the year I watch the number of readers grow... then for three months I watch it dwindle to nothing. November and NaBloPoMo are coming, and I will see the numbers grow again as I start to post more.

The question is, is that really "for me"? Yes, posting daily for a month is good practice... faire is over, time to start getting back into the habit again. So, a month of random stream of consciousness posting isn't a bad thing for me... but really, how many of you want to read that kind of stuff? Shouldn't posts be substantial in some way... have something to contribute to the conversation?

I'd like to start posting a little more about work, maybe even include some more personal details about my (awesome!) love life (with permission, of course), and I'm planning to start house hunting soon... that should definitely bring The Funny™.

But, with my weekends already basically full until mid-January, I'm not sure how I'm going to fit in anything other than posts that are very similar to my last month or so. I will do my best... mostly for me, but partially for those who read... and a little for The ShortBus, who some day will read, and know just how crazy his mom was as he was growing up.

*photo by Glen... Kathi had just fallen into the barrel... serious comedy right there people.. and one of my all time favorite pictures*

02 October 2008

Tonight's Champagne....

...brought to you by the letter "D" and the number 19.

Tuesday afternoon after work, I had a voice mail from my attorney. Simply, "call us when you get a chance"... I've been a bit busy, so I figured I'd call Wednesday. As Wednesday came and went, I totally forgot. Today, I glance down at my calendar, and see the number sitting there, so I called during my second period break.

Her (paralegal): "did you get it yet?"
Me: "I haven't received any mail from you..."
Her: "oh.. well the final judgement is in the mail, you should get it today or tomorrow."
Me: "well, thank you, but that is somewhat anticlimactic."
Her: "usually people are really excited."
Me: "don't get me wrong, it's just that I was expecting champagne & confetti."

Once I got off the phone I cried some tears of relief... after a year an a half (at least the legal part...), it is finally at an end. I am finally, "officially" divorced. And really, it's funny, as I sat there getting rid of a bit of emotional congestion, I thought, "nothing is technically different than it was yesterday... I don't plan to get married right now, so what does all this actually mean?"

It means I am finally, technically "free." One of the biggest differences between my life right now, and my life two years ago is that NOW I have someone I want to share things with. Someone I WANT to share everything with... then... it was someone I HAD to explain myself to.

I was driving to faire opening weekend, and thinking (as one will do during a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive), and realized: it is so nice to be driving toward something wonderful, versus driving away from something I want to escape. I've always loved faire, and I've always seen it as coming "home" after a year away... yet, it has always been an escape for me. Not anymore. Faire is a destination, it is driving TO a person and a place I love, versus AWAY from a life I hate.

A lot of you said, "I've seen the married Giddy at faire, I'm fully afraid of the Single Giddy at faire." I knew... from the first time I heard that sentiment, that you were wrong. Who you see now, is much closer to who I am... the person who is real inside of me. The Giddy I was before... well, she was the one avoiding and escaping reality, and she was a character. I'm still me, I'm still fun, I'm oh so much happier than I ever have been... I'm also more true to reality.

Come by Stromboli/Toad this weekend (I'm not on the counter this year, I'm in the kitchen, but ask for me), I'm bringing a bunch of champagne, I want to do a toast with each and every one of you. It's celebration champagne... meet Giddy... she has a boyfriend she loves dearly (and who is getting to toast with the "special" champagne), she wants you to meet a person who isn't uncomfortable with life anymore. Come meet someone who is fully happy with herself, and is well on the way to being the person I always knew was inside.

Here is to being happy with who you are,
comfortable in your own skin,
and finding others who love you for who you are...
no matter how goofy the person you are may be.

01 October 2008

Chances Are What You Make of Them

I suppose it's nice not being the "last stop" in some kid's life. Knowing that they get another chance if, for some reason they get thrown out of my school, should make it easier somehow. But, when you lose two of the "good ones" in one day, it's tough.

One is fairly quiet and unassuming (in the classroom). He has a speech impediment, and because of it tends to be somewhat introverted. He is looking at expulsion for his second fight in three weeks, he's done at a regular public high school (at least for this school year). Ninth grade, and headed to continuation high school... yes, the system has failed him. In fact, most of the kids I work with have been failed in one way or another.

The other, also not a kid that would stand out in a crowd. He is intelligent when he does come to class (in my Biology class even), and seems to know his shit. But, in the last 20 days that he's been enrolled in my class, has been absent 15 times, he hasn't even been in class enough for me to give him an actual grade. He seems to be a good kid, will talk with me one on one, seems to be pretty honest about his troubled past, but said he wants to do better. The email I got today said that he is withdrawing from my high school because he's in juvenile hall.

I sat down with one of my students today and said, "do you plan on coming back after your birthday in November?"

He said, "Of course I do, just because I'm 18 doesn't mean I don't want to graduate."

So, I said to him, in these words, "then what the hell are you doing? You come to my classes every day, and do nothing... you are wasting your time. You are here, you might as well do some work and pass so you can actually graduate. Seriously, you are wasting your time and you are distracting your classmates from passing this class."

I give these kids every chance, and yet, some of them seem to just choose to fail. But, if you ask them, they will tell you they don't want to fail. Yet, they don't bother to even try... I ask you... what do you do for a 16 year old who won't bother to do anything for themselves? What do I do with a kid who wants to learn, but says the work is too difficult, and he sits at his desk crying telling me he doesn't understand? But, when I tell him I need him to try his best, so I can see exactly what it is he isn't getting (math), he just sits there refusing to do anything... I can't help someone who isn't willing to participate.

It is insanely frustrating. Sometimes I think it was easier when they wanted to kill me and I could just pin them to the ground until they calmed down. I really think there was something about that physical contact.. that dominance.. that made a kid respect you a little more.

It's amazing how many times a day a student will ask me a question, I will answer, and they will say, "no..." and contradict me. Its amazing how many times a day I either want to slap someone or bang my head on the wall. And, really it's not about "stupid" it's about rude and disrespectful. So many of these kids are so far out of line, I can't believe they've lasted this long. How have adults allowed them to behave this way for so many years?

Teh ShortBus is more well behaved at four than most of these kids are at 15-17. His teacher told me today that he is "a gentleman." Damn straight... that's my boy. In 20 years from now his wife will be thanking me for raising such a wonderful person.

I've been a wife, I know how important good manners are. I've been a girlfriend, I know that there are times I want to call CSB's mom and say, "hey, thank you for raising such an aware, intelligent, generous, kind, and chivalrous person. I really appreciate that effort."

Yes, part of it is inherent in the person, and the genetic code... but so much of it is in how you are raised. So much depends on what happens around you in those formative years.

I'm trying so hard not to take any of it to heart. But, dammit, I care. Isn't that the point?