31 December 2009


At a time when many people are waxing nostalgic, writing blogs about the past year, or creating top ten lists and resolutions, I feel kinda silly writing the obligatory New Year's Eve post.

I could easily write about what a wonderful year it has been, but I feel I've already done that.  If you want to read about all the great things that have happened in my life over the last year, you could easily go back through my archives and read any of the things I have posted.  Yet, somehow, as I sit here with my cup of coffee watching a Three Stooges marathon with CSB on the final morning of 2009, I feel compelled to create one last post for the year.

I feel so very fortunate for the family and friends that I have.  The people in my life are a huge part of what has made it such a fantastic journey.  Living my day to day life with CSB has been nothing short of spectacular and there has been more than one instance when I stopped, looked around, and thought, "I don't know what kind of crazy magic this is, but I have exactly what I've always said I wanted."  Somehow, I got exactly what I wished for... and it came out right.

The ShortBus grows ever more intelligent and charming by the day.  He is growing up quickly, and I love having the ability to experience life all over again through his eyes.  Living so close to my parents has been great for all of us, I feel quite lucky to have such amazing family so near. 

As my "winter break" draws to an end, my brain is starting to switch back on and my "to do" list is beginning to come back to life.  Although my mind is a constantly humming hive of upcoming events, I am ever living in the present and enjoying the now as much as all the prospects for the future ahead.

Happy new year everyone.  Remember:  the future is now, all we have is this moment.  Live well, live right, but most importantly, live.

24 December 2009

'Tis The Season

Stuck somewhere between my heart and my head is a Christmas post.  It has been bouncing back and forth, working itself out, attempting to form coherent ideas and sentences for the last week or so.

I feel a bit like the Grinch this year... not the beginning of the movie grumpy Grinch, but the end of the movie Grinch after his heart has grown three times its original size.  It feels like it has been so long since I have really, truly enjoyed the holiday season.

As I sit here this Christmas eve, listening to the ShortBus helping CSB wrap presents and asking a million questions about Santa and Rudolph, I can't help but grin.  I can't imagine a more perfect end to a wonderful year. 

Now that the Fair/e season is finally over and we can finally sit back and take a break (pretty much the first full weekend off since sometime in August), I can truly reflect on all that has contributed to my happiness and what a truly amazing year it has been.  I don't even have the words to express how fortunate I feel and how thankful I am.  My Christmas wish is for you all to have serenity, peace, balance, freedom, joy, and love in your lives.  May it not only exist in your world tomorrow... but each and every day. 

Happy Christmas everyone.

18 December 2009

Zombie Love

I know it sounds silly, but having the opportunity to be a zombie last Sunday night was one of the highlights of my life.

Having heard a "rumor" early Sunday morning about a zombie flash mob happening after close at Dickens, I quickly filed it away under "amusing notes for the day," and didn't really think much of it.  Throughout the day I really didn't hear anything else, and for the most part completely forgot about the whole victorian zombie concept.

Around 4pm, we figured it was about time to take TheGlen to the airport, and said our goodbyes, not planning to return to the Cow Palace that evening.  But, once we left the airport and realized how early it was, we decided a couple more hours of Dickensian fun couldn't hurt and returned to the Dickens Fair.  It was later that evening one of the guys approached me and asked, "so, are you going to be a zombie?"

The thought hadn't even occurred to me.  The first thing out of my mouth was, "Can I?  Yes, please!"

We wandered over to the right place at the right time but when the call for "background zombies" came, I hesitated.... for about half a second before tugging on CSB's sleeve, and dragging him into position.  We waited eagerly for make-up to come by and dust us with black accents then giggled our way through the first rehearsal.

It was great fun.

I think it was near the middle of the whole thing when I realized just how nice it is to have a "partner" in life.  A person who enjoys many of the same things you do and who is right there by your side when acting silly is the order of the day is just as important as someone who has your back if things go wrong.

Before I get any more schmoopy.... I am proud to present for your viewing pleasure, our bit parts in: Victorian Thriller

(at about 21 seconds in, mid-screen there is a very large man in a light colored top hat about center screen behind the dancers, CSB and I are on either side of him.  If you can find that guy throughout the video, you can find us.)

04 December 2009

CSB to the Rescue

It is Friday.
I came home to all kinds of amazing and wonderful...
But just now, I noticed the above... even though I've been sitting next to it for a couple of hours now.
It is the best laugh I've had all day.

02 December 2009

Gone Again

I always assumed that my brother and I, if either one of us were to have kids, would raise our kids together. 

Some years ago, Janet showed up, and was instantly a part of our family.  She was a younger, more cynical, more evil version of me... someone I definitely wanted to be friends with.  Who else can say that about their sister in law?! 

She stuck around for a while, and eventually she and my brother got married.  Three years ago I got to perform the ceremony... yes, I get to say I married my brother.  And, if that wasn't great enough, a month later, my very first (and so far, one and only) nephew was born.  About 2 1/2 years younger than The ShortBus, it has been a long wait for him to be old enough for the two of them to be the right age to begin to play together.

Right about the time the SlobberBeast started to get old enough that he could run around and play with the ShortBus, my brother and his wife decided that financially, the best choice to make was to move back to Indiana, where Janet is from.

Two weeks ago, my brother brought the SlobberBeast out for a visit.  Janet had to stay behind to work (retail at the holidays... sucks), but the boys were able to come and spend two weeks visiting.  It was great to see them, but reminded me about how quickly toddlers grow.  SlobberBeast left a barely walking, barely talking, munchkin, and returned a running, active, chatterbox with a personality all his own.  He and the ShortBus had tons of fun.

When I said good bye last night I couldn't help but think about the fact that they weren't going to be here for Christmas.  Although I shoved the thought aside then, it has been occurring to me all day... they aren't going to be here for Christmas... and that thought leads me to all sorts of other thoughts about times they won't be here.  All those day to day moments and little bits of growing up the kids aren't going to have together... all those family memories the ShortBus and SlobberBeast are going to have that don't include one another.

When the SlobberBeast was born, I had all kinds of thoughts about what great friends he and the ShortBus would have, and what great memories they would have growing up together.  Now I just hope they have the chance to get to know one another a little, and maybe have some fun together every once in a while when they get to visit.

30 November 2009

Crossing the Finish Line

 The last day of November.
The last day of Thanksgiving break.

Somehow I managed to do *most* of the "extra" work I planned to do over the break today.  I can't say that I'm entirely thrilled with my November posts, but I can say that I posted something every day for 30 days in a row... for the third year in a row.  Not so shabby.  Next year, I'll do better... or, when I realize that I'm not happy with the quality of my writing, I'll stop.

Right now, it is one more goal that I set for myself that I have successfully completed.  That may just be the bump I need to make it through to the end of the year.

Happy December Everyone.

29 November 2009


I have spent all day sitting in this chair... in front of the computer... surrounded by books... writing a paper ... wondering if I have what it takes to make it through this program.

Each month as a new class starts, I think, "okay, if I can just make it through this one, next month will be easier.  I'll have less going on, and it will be easier to focus... so just get through this one."  Although I am getting closer to my goal every day, I still feel like I am getting closer and closer to burning out.

Thankfully, when I have my mental meltdowns, and figure it would be easier to just go get a job at Taco Bell, CSB seems to always be right there to give me a hug and a pep talk.  I don't know how I got so lucky, he is amazing.

Three weeks until Winter Break.  Thirteen days with the students.  So much to do between now and then.  I have a feeling I'll be doing my Christmas shopping on December 23rd.

No matter what, it will all get done.  In a year (or so) from now,  I'll be looking back at this time and thinking about how important it was that I made it through.  Everything I'm doing right now is not just for my security, or even 'family' security, it's not just for the students who are looking to me for guidance and knowledge, but mostly for the ShortBus who will be able to look up to his mom who worked hard for a stable and secure future.  His mom the teacher.  His mom who has a "higher education."  His mom, is a strong, smart, hard-working woman who will power through this moment of yuck because she knows that on the other side is a lifetime of worth-it.

28 November 2009


Great day, although it somehow managed to get hot inside the Cow Palace.  A warm day in San Francisco at the end of November.  I never thought I'd see so many hot sweaty people in the streets of downtown London... in the winter.  It was kind of amusing.

Tomorrow I do homework.

And, maybe write a decent blog. 

27 November 2009

Playing Dress-Up

There is something about dressing up in Victorian era clothing that seems to bring out the chivalrous side of the guys.  Give him a hat, vest, some gloves, cloak, or cane (and in some cases all of it together), and the gentleman who is in there year-round comes to the surface.

I really do love the Dickens Fair.  I have several blogs about it bubbling around in my brain.  But, tonight I am tired, and I'm getting up early tomorrow to do it all again.  It is definitely time for sleep.

26 November 2009

PSA: Fire Safety (or: How Giddy Tried to Ruin Thanksgiving)

I just wanted to watch survivor and finish my glass of wine!  Honestly I did.... that was the plan.  That and to start the lovely fire that CSB left ready to go in the fireplace.

Dinner was wonderful, dessert was lovely, dishes were all washed, and the leftovers tucked away for tomorrow.  CSB decided to run one more errand for the night, tying up a loose end for Dickens Fair this weekend, and I thought, "oh!  one more glass of wine, and I'll watch Survivor... and maybe a lovely fire in the fireplace all warm and cozy for when he gets back."

What I didn't know was that he closed the flue.  So here I am happily lighting newspaper and sticks on fire, and wait... shouldn't that smoke be going up instead of into the house?

Suddenly I'm finding that smoke is quickly pouring into the house, there is a raging fire, and my smoke detector is blaring.  Crap.  Within 15 seconds of that thing starting to go off, I was imagining how hard the fire department is going to laugh when they show up to open the chimney flue.  Then I start to cough, and I am shocked at how quickly all this is happening... my brain is saying "but wait, the house isn't on fire, it's just a little smoke."  At the same time, my body is doing what it needs to do to get fresh air into the house, and I remember the whole house fan.  I open the window in ShortBus's room, open the garage door, and pull the cord for the fan.  Within 15 seconds the smoke detector stops screeching at me... but, as I walk into the front part of the house I start coughing again.  I open the back door and the front door to pull fresh air in that way, and then head for the fireplace to open the flue.

Luckily, CSB is on speed dial and my phone was in my pocket.  With his help, the flue is open within seconds, and the smoke that was once filling the house, is now safely flowing the right direction.

Yes, I feel like a moron.

On the other hand, this was my first experience with this amount of smoke, and I never realized how quickly it could build up.  I knew the house was filling with smoke almost immediately, reacted quickly, and still ended up coughing and breathing in more smoke than was safe.  But, because I knew the fire was contained and it was "just smoke", I didn't react as quickly as I could have.

As "they" say, hindsight is 20/20.  Of course, now as I'm sitting here and everything is fine (aside from my scratchy throat and the smell of smoke in the house), I can think about what might have happened, how easily and quickly the smoke could have affected me, and how my five year old son was only two rooms away.

Like I said, yes, I feel like a moron.  But maybe, if I share this story with you, I can help to prevent someone else doing the same thing.  And definitely, if I can feel like a moron, and share that feeling, and someone out there remembers to check the flue (even if you've had fires this season, and all the logs are piled up pretty, and everything seems SET for a fire...) before they strike the match... well then, the fact that I'm a dumbass might help someone else.  And, that is the whole point of sharing the fact that I feel like an idiot with the whole wide interwebz.

Thankful... yes.  Oh so thankful that things didn't end up worse.
Be safe this season...

25 November 2009

My First Thanksgiving

Tomorrow will be the very first time I have ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner in my home.  I am looking forward to it so much more than I ever thought I would.

Not that the thought had never crossed my mind.  I knew that someday it would be my turn,  I just figured that it would be once my parents were quite a bit older.  But, this year, CSB came up with the idea of having dinner here, with my family, in our home.  Our first major holiday since moving in together, and we are hosting dinner.

Long gone are the days of the housewife slaving over the stove all day in her heels, dress, and apron.  Everyone is pitching in: dad is grilling the turkey (yes, you heard me!), mom is making the stuffing, yams, and pumpkin pie, CSB is doing the potatoes and veggies, I am in charge of a salad, cheesecake, and wine (muahahaha!).  In the end it will all come together as one fabulous meal.

Most importantly, I will be surrounded with people that I am so very thankful for, every day.

24 November 2009

How Did That Happen?

I nearly forgot about posting today.  I don't know if that is a good sign or a bad sign.  I didn't spend all day with that little buzz in the back of my head harassing me about posting, yet, if one of the goals here was to create a "habit" of posting (they say it takes 21 days to create a "habit"... not sure who "they" are, but I'm sure they are important, and probably smart), one would think that 24 days later I would just sit down and do it.

I have found that I am oddly disappointed in myself this year.  Yes, I have managed to post each day, but for the most part my posts have lacked substance.  I realize that I have been more busy and tired than I usually am at this time of year, but since we are our own harshest critics, I am wholly unimpressed with what I've come up with over the last month.  I have found that I am definitely a quality over quantity type of person, and I don't know if NaBloPoMo is such a great idea while I am so busy.

The rest of the month just continues to become more busy, and I will continue to type away, and hope for the best.  All the while, feeling guilty that I am not putting my best foot forward.  Forgive me interwebz, I promise to try harder in the future.

23 November 2009


I started my Christmas shopping today.... this may be a record.  I don't think I've ever started this early.

Every year I plan to start my shopping before Thanksgiving.  Between work and Dickens Fair, I end up so busy that I am running around at the last minute doing all my shopping.  This year won't be much different, but I did buy a couple of things today, and I feel slightly better for having done so.

22 November 2009

Lazy Sunday

When I was young, I didn't really think I was much of a "family" person.  I was somewhat solitary, hiding away in my bedroom, burying myself in books and music, avoiding all things social and interactive.

This morning, I woke up to my brother and nephew (who are visiting from Indiana) already up and lounging on the couch, CSB in the kitchen making coffee, and not long after my first sip the ShortBus stumbling out bleary eyed to join us.  Throughout the day, the boys have spent much time playing, and the adults have spent much time relaxing in front of a roaring fire with our laptops.

I deliberately chose to move into a home which is two miles away from my parents' house.  Even though I don't get to spend quite as much time with them as I would like, I get to see them quite often, and just having them nearby is comforting.

This afternoon I walked through the room, stepping over kids and toys, listening to the sound of the fire, tv, familliar voices, and laughter.   A thought occurred to me, "it's like Christmas, only better."  Everyone is happy and healthy, we are all together (well, missing one... she couldn't get the time off work to be here), and for the moment it feels as if time has paused for the briefest second.... allowing me a quick respite from the stress of the "real world" to enjoy a few days with my family.

The list of things I am thankful for is long.  Today, is at the top of that list.

21 November 2009

At The Beginning

Here I am, first day of Thanksgiving break... ShortBus and his cousin destroying playing in ShortBus's room, my brother watching football on the couch, me puttering around the house putting away faire stuff that has been sitting out, cutting up random veggies for the boys to snack on, and cooking up some hot dogs for lunch (I knew those dogs would come in handy at some point). 

Savoring the first day of my staycation.  Thrilled that there are only nine more posts left in November.  Entirely blissed-out on the fact that I only have thirteen work days until I get another staycation. Yes, life is good... very good.

20 November 2009

About the Sex (Sorry Mom)

Yesterday, I went to the salon for my usual cut and color.  I have been going to the same place for several years and Heather always does a brilliant job. 

As I was sitting in the chair, waiting for the color to set and filling in a crossword puzzle on my iTouch, I happened to overhear a conversation between the stylist and her client in the chair next to me.  They were discussing the fact that they were always too tired for sex with their husbands.

It didn't seem to be a lack of desire, just a lack of energy.  One of them actually said, "I always enjoy it, and am glad I did it, but I just don't want to do it very often."  That would be the same one who was saying that she would be laying in bed watching TV and her husband would 'make a pass' at her and she would turn him down, and then he would sit there and pout (that's gotta be sexy).  The other one agreed with her, then went on to talk about how she hated it when her husband would wake her up wanting to have sex, and how that annoyed her.

Wait.  You get annoyed by, and continually turn down, the man you love who is turned on by the sight of you?  Then you giggle with your hairstylist about it?   

I honestly thought I was listening to a conversation between two women who were much older than their voices sounded.  Then I glanced up.  One of them couldn't have been any older than me (mid-thirties), the other was probably in her mid-forties.  I was shocked.  How could two relatively young women be so anti-sex?

What is it about women and marriage that eventually turns them off to sex?  So many theories, so little time.  All I know is that every time I hear a story with statistics about people in their 70s or 80s still having satisfying sex I get excited.  Sex doesn't have to stop because you've been married for X number of years, or because you are X number of years old. 

Enjoy life, don't take anything for granted.

19 November 2009

High School Drama

"One day I feel I'm on top of the world
And the next it's falling in on me
I can get back on
I can get back on
One day I feel I'm ahead of the wheel,
And the next it's rolling over me
I can get back on
I can get back on"

                                                     (from "Far Cry" by Rush)
A couple of weeks ago I was told that I needed to change the textbooks for my classes.  At the beginning of the school year, I had been told to use the "special ed" textbooks.... now, I'm to be using the general ed textbooks.  I finally was able to come up with a time that worked with my classes and the textbook room, and today went down and switched out our textbooks.

When I went in to find the teachers editions, I found a goldmine.  Supplemental materials galore.  Even a supplemental guide for alternative assignments and activities for special education classes.  On top of all that, a daily lesson plan that goes with all the material.  Every day of the year, already outlined, all I have to do is get the stuff together and present it.

Say what?
All this has been sitting here since the beginning of the school year?
All the materials I have been asking for?  All the curriculum and lesson plans I could possibly want?
Overheads, worksheets, videos, CDs, OH MY!

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  I have spent hours upon hours scouring the internet for lessons, in essence trying to re-invent the wheel.  I have asked no less than six people for some kind of outline, syllabus, or overview of how the general ed. English classes were supposed to go.  No one seemed to have any idea.  I have told people over and over and over and OVER again that I feel like I am starting from scratch, I have asked for help so many times I was starting to feel like a broken record.... that no one was hearing.

To know that the things I have been begging for over the last several months have just been sitting on a shelf collecting dust... I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

My life just became infinitely easier.... laugh.
All the wasted weeks floundering and wondering if I was doing it right... cry. 
Getting exactly what I wanted... laugh.
That no one remembered that everything I needed to be an English teacher was sitting right there in plain view... cry.
From this point forward, my students will most definitely be learning exactly what they are supposed to be learning, without my questioning my every lesson plan.... laugh.

I plan to spend the next six weeks organizing everything I have found into one cohesive program... modified for special ed. students.  In between homework and blog posts.... I might even work a little Dickens Fair in there.

18 November 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Guess who's home for the holiday?!?
Hooray!  Can't wait to see my brother & nephew!

17 November 2009

Another Year

Today is CSB's birthday.  (and once again, I say Happy Birthday!)

So, yes, I made a nice dinner, we had yummy chocolate birthday cake, and enjoyed a bottle of wine.  And, as I reflect on another year racing by, I realize that each year we have spent together has been better than the last.  Every day we have the opportunity to spend together is better than the the one before.  I feel so fortunate to be a part of his life and so thankful that life has conspired to bring us together in the way that it has.

As much as he has enjoyed all the little birthday surprises I had planned for him, I have enjoyed his happiness and his enjoyment ten times more.  Over this last weekend I realized that I prefer to plan and watch other people have their birthdays so much more than I enjoy any other holiday.  I absolutely love seeing the people I love happy... and I love being part of the reason for that happiness.  And that, that is what matters.

Happy birthday.

16 November 2009

The Things That Matter

We had a wonderful weekend and I promise to write glowing reviews very soon.

It amazes me every year how the plans for CSB's birthday (which is actually tomorrow) seem to come together, then work out even better than I ever could have imagined.

This year the surprise twist:  wine tasting in a Master Sommelier's personal wine cellar.

I have so much to say about how spectacular our weekend was. 
But, right now, all I can think of is a shower and bed....

15 November 2009

Leave a Message

Giddy can't come to the computer right now... she's busy enjoying a day at the ocean with CSB.

Please leave a message after the post...

14 November 2009

A Dickensian Christmas

If you haven't done this you should.  It is amazing and wonderful and magical... and exactly what getting in the christmas spirit is all about.

I'll be there.. in all my Victorian finery.  Make time for it...  I promise, it will be worth your while.

13 November 2009

A Night Out

Very much looking forward to this performance tonight:

Schick Machine

Happy Friday everyone!

12 November 2009

His Two-Cents

Those of you who know CSB are fully aware that he has some ideas and opinions on things. If you've ever asked for his input, you likely received quite a bit of information. It is one of the (many) things I love about him... he knows things about stuff, and if you ask he isn't afraid to tell you.

This morning, I opted to wear my leather jacket to work. On my way to pick up my attendance sheets, I put my hand into my pocket and was pleasantly surprised to find two pennies tucked into the bottom. Although I am always fully aware those pennies are there awaiting rediscovery, I usually find myself surprised to encounter them for a split second. I rubbed the coins together, and spent just a moment noticing their texture.

During the same space in time, a memory stirs from my subconscious. We were walking from Disney's California Adventure back to Disneyland and CSB quietly turned to offer me a penny. Knowing it was for my thoughts I demurely smirked and shrugged my shoulders, "oh... I don't know... but I'm keeping the penny." A few seconds of silence, a few steps more, then another penny was silently offered to me. This time I smiled, giggled, "is this one because now you want my two cents?" And the penny was tucked into my pocket next to the other.

For nearly a year those pennies have stayed in the same pocket. Any time I tuck my hand in that pocket, they are a small reminder that someone out there truly cares what I'm thinking. They remind me that my silence speaks volumes. They remind me that communication can happen with only a look and a gesture. They remind me that any time I want it, I always have his two cents.

Even in these harsh economic times, two pennies may not have much value to others. But, for me, those two pennies are priceless.

11 November 2009

Where The Wild Things Are (possible spoilers ahead)

We just returned home from seeing Where The Wild Things Are, and I am feeling quite deflated about the whole thing.

I know, a book with only 339 words leaves a lot of room for interpretation over the space of an hour and a half. I expected it to be a little dark, but also a little more lighthearted... ya know, like a kid's movie about "Wild Things" ought to be.

I didn't expect it to be so dark and deep. I really don't know how they got away with billing this as a children's movie. Just putting "puppets" in a movie does not qualify it as a children's movie (as with Coraline, once again, I'm VERY glad I went to see it before taking the ShortBus).

Honestly, I am disappointed in the interpretation of the book. I realize that Maurice Sendak had a hand in the development of the movie, he completely intended for it to be a commentary about the psychology of early childhood development. The post-toddler/pre-teen dealing with the struggles of the growing desire for independence versus the need to have continued dependence upon one's parents. But did it have to be so textbook? I'm pretty sure I had a professor or two in college who could have taught a whole class based around this movie.

I really would have loved for this to be a movie for younger children. Something geared a little more toward a literal interpretation of the book (at least the literal interpretation as I see it). A little boy, behaving in such a way that he gets sent to bed without his supper, and his room actually becoming another world that he escapes to. He has some fun with the "Wild Things," but as the story progresses he realizes he misses his family, and life being all "fun and games" isn't as great as it sounds in theory... so he goes home to the one place in the world where there is always someone who will "love you best of all." When he "returns" home, his actions are not reinforced with chocolate cake, but his dinner is sitting in his room, a warm meal which reminds him that even though he misbehaves, his family still loves him and will always be there to take care of him.

Sometimes, less is more. This is one of those times when much less could have made it so much more.

10 November 2009

Veterans Day

I, for one, like the mid-week day off. In fact, if it ever comes to a vote I would definitely vote for a Wednesday off twice a month. Yes, I brought home paperwork, and yes, I actually plan to do work work and homework tomorrow. But, I'm going to do it at home in my jammies... it's almost like a free day. It isn't a weekend so I don't feel the need to cram in a bunch of fun. I feel the need to relax a bit and get some 'extra' work done.

I actually made myself a to-do list. It is twice as long as it needs to be, but I've given myself permission to pick and choose the couple of things that I WANT to do from it. I don't plan to complete it, but I plan to cross off a couple of things... things that I feel like doing.

But tonight... tonight I'm going to fully enjoy the fact that I have tomorrow off. Curled up on the couch with hot apple cider (spiked with rum), CSB busy in the kitchen (yes, I should be helping), Sinatra on the radio, and nothing better to do than enjoy the evening.

By the way: a hearty thank you to all the vets out there. Not just for the day off, but for the commitment they have made. Many times, those who are under-appreciated are the ones that do the most difficult jobs. One of my all time favorite Futurama quotes comes to mind: "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."

09 November 2009

Caution: Schmoopy Ahead

You'll have to forgive me...

It must be the weather, the season, the scent of fall in the air. All those cozy fireplaces burning and the dampness in the air.

I have been feeling so schmoopy and romantical lately.

I don't know why this time of year does it to me. For some people it is valentine's day, for others it is an anniversary... for me it seems to be Autumn. It doesn't hurt that I'm in such a great place in my life... a home which is warm and happy, with a man who is kind and caring, a job which is secure, a family who is loving and close, and friends who are open and big-hearted.

Yes, I am definitely lucky... and thankful for all that I have.

08 November 2009


I know it has been over seven months, but I just have to say it again. I love our "new" place. It is the first time I have felt "home" for many, many years.

Life is good.

07 November 2009

My Promise To You (and you, and you, and you...)

If only it were as easy as Dumbledore makes it look.

Writing this blog allows me to take thoughts out of my head, like so many swirling, screaming banshees, and download them to the computer. Much like Dumbledore's Pensieve, I am able to remove these fine, filament-like strands of thought and put them away for safe keeping. Some I share, some I do not.

As we find ourselves a week into NaBloPoMo, I have noticed some interesting trends in blog posting and what people are writing about. I have started to think about the unwritten rules which ought to be proposed throughout the blogosphere. Most importantly, people should be reminded before they hit the "publish" button that what they write is actually being posted on the World Wide Interwebs... for anyone to read.

In the interest of holding myself accountable for what I write for you, my dear interwebs, let me make you several promises:

1- I will never, ever, use my blog as a place to slander or defame the character of another human being.

2- I will keep myself firmly grounded in reality, and within the parameters of what is acceptable behavior... whether online or in "the real world."

3- I will hold myself to only the highest standards for grace, intelligence, honesty, and integrity.

4- I will never use my blog as a venue to air personal problems I have with other people. Private matters within my family and community of friends will always remain private.

As with any other set of words strung together in an effort at communication, these promises are just words. Only you can assign power to them, only you can decide how you feel about the tone and implications. Actions speak volumes, and although I plan to continue writing and posting, I have faith in that my actions can only affirm my words and thus my character. I can only hope that who I am as a person will lend strength and conviction to my words.

06 November 2009

Happy Friday

I do not feel like writing.
I feel like melting into, and becoming one with, the couch.

Also, I will be allowing my brain to turn into goo and run out my ear... but, I'm planning to catch it all in a small bucket so I can use it in a couple of days.

If you see me walking down the street with a bucket, please be careful not to spill it. I have a feeling I might need the contents at some point in the future. But, not tonight.

05 November 2009

Home at Last

Some days... there is nothing nicer than coming home.

Miles Davis on Pandora, glass of wine, and my lappy.
CSB will be home soon.

Please tell me I don't have to stand up again until it is time for bed.
Because I swear, the next person who asks me to "do" something is going to hear a scream which will curdle the blood of the dead.

I have officially reached the point where my calendar is so full that I have multiple double booked meetings between now and christmas... and I have more to schedule. It's not that I want to stop, I just can't do any more. Not won't, not don't want to... physically can not.

But, right at this moment, I am becoming great friends with an expensive bottle of wine.


04 November 2009

Shameless Plug

And people say I'm a bad influence...

Just in time for NaBloPoMo, may I introduce the newest in a long line of lovely blogs: Buckets & Trucks.

I happen to personally know the author and he has had bloggy thoughts brewing for a long while now. I highly recommend reading his stuff. He is funny, intelligent, witty, very charming... and a damn good cook.

Go. Read. Enjoy.

03 November 2009

Wanted: One Starfish

Two years ago I posted this blog: The Star Thrower

Last year, I started teaching and posted the story of The Star Thrower on the wall in my classroom.

One of my coworkers and I both decided we had students that were our "starfish."

This year, I am looking for my starfish (and I'm happy to take on more than one if the opportunity presents itself). After a day like today - five students expelled, two of them mine - I need a reminder.

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man,
do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach
and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly
make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish,
and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made
a difference for that one."

Indeed, I WILL make a difference. Even if for just one.
Click the link, read the story, find your own starfish... we can all do some good in the world.

02 November 2009


Off and on throughout the day I have been thinking about what I was going to write tonight. Waiting for something interesting or exciting to happen... looking for blog fodder stolen from everyday experience. Unfortunately, I've been too busy to see things at my naturally skewed angle. I've had too much Serious Business to take care of to put my own silly twist on life, to take the mundane and spruce it up with the funny.

But wait... there is a daily occurrence in my life that most people would find quite odd. First period PE.

No, I do not participate. As a matter of fact, one of my prep periods is first period. Which is quite nice. I show up to work "on time" and have that early hour to get things accomplished, and prepare for my day. Typically, one of the first things I do is go for a nice little walk to the front office to gather any waiting goodies from my mailbox. On my way, I pass the first period PE class running their laps around the quad. Why they run around the quad instead of the basketball court or football field I have no idea, but they do, and I am glad they do.

You see, that particular class is also an "A-PE" class... Adapted PE... for the mentally and physically disabled students. It is a mainstream class for the disabled students who can handle it. There are two students, that I have noticed, in this class who run with all the other kids, but have their own special flair. Flailing arms, laughter, and one even makes racecar sounds while he's running. It makes me giggle every time.

Some people might find my laughter inappropriate. Some might even find it mean. But, before you judge me, know where my laughter comes from. This is not malicious laughter. I am not laughing at these students, and I am most definitely not laughing at their disabilities. I am laughing at their sheer delight in running. I am laughing at the fact that these teenage kids run with abandon, they yield to the delight of the freedom they are experiencing. These students do not worry about what anyone else is thinking, it doesn't matter to them if they are "doing it right" because just doing it gives them enough pleasure.

I love to watch people do the things they enjoy with passion. It is the joy and the pure innocence in that joy that I appreciate, every morning. I highly recommend that everyone find someone that they can look at at least once a day, and appreciate their passion.

I suppose that is one of the things I love about faire. To wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and watch people practice their craft, with passion and with joy, fills me with a lust for life that can't be matched. Somehow, I've managed to surround myself with people who are passionate and live with that type of joy all the time. Cami's writing, Amber's improv, Newcastle's musicians, Glen's quest for the funny, CSB's cooking (among MANY other things), and so many others in my life remind me that life is about having a passion, and enjoying that passion freely.

Today I remind you. Find your passion, and enjoy it with abandon.

01 November 2009

Through the Buttonhole

Perception is everything. How a person perceives the world around them is entirely based upon the filters they are looking through. How a person chooses to react to that perception of the world tells you everything about who they are, where they've been, and where they are headed.

In my never ending quest to balance classy with creepy (in fabulous shoes), I decided that I would be Coraline's Other Mother for Halloween. I also knew that the whole costume would fully depend upon whether or not I could pull off the button eyes. After much experimenting, I finally decided that using spirit gum to attach buttons directly to my face was the only way I could properly do it.

I was very happy with the way the costume turned out, and could actually see more through the buttonholes than I had anticipated. Unfortunately, my depth perception and peripheral vision were severely compromised. Simply put, I had a very narrow view of the world. I was fascinated.

What a grand social experiment, to view the world through the holes of a button, to see how my perception of the world changed based on how I was seeing things. Indeed, the world around me went through some interesting changes.

I moved a little more slowly yet with more purpose. My actions were more thought out and a bit more planned. Mentally, I felt somewhat stunted. Without my peripheral vision, I couldn't tell if someone who wasn't in my direct line of vision was talking to me or someone behind me. There were several times I responded to questions that were being posed to someone else. I was a little dizzy and a little confused. My perception of the world around me had changed because my circumstances had changed.

Dorothy may have gone to Oz, and Alice may have gone through the looking glass, but last night, I went through the buttonhole. I had the opportunity to shift my perception, have the experience, then remove the buttons, and return to my normal viewpoint. I actually felt fortunate to have the ability to take away the buttons and see my world as I had only a few hours prior. It was a relief to remove the filter I had been looking through and find Tank Girl, Everett, a sexy kitten, a ghostbuster, and my "crazy" boyfriend all standing there chatting and laughing... exactly as my memory was waiting to find them.

In short, perception is a tenuous thing. Even the most minor changes in one's mental or physical setting can severely distort one's perception of reality. Many times, if we were able to take a step back, stop pointing fingers and casting blame, and instead question our own perceptions, we might be able to avoid some of the dizziness and confusion in our lives. We cling to a perceived reality as if there is no possible alternative, without realizing that sometimes all we need to do is remove the buttons.

26 October 2009


Ladies and Gents, it is upon us again! Welcome to November and National Blog Posting Month (also, National Novel Writing Month... but I'm not that committed). It is that time of year where many of us sit down for a bit of time every day and write something.

Do I have the time to do this? No.
Do I have the desire to do it for the third year in a row? Yes.

It may not be every day, but I promise it will be as much as I can.

So, raise a glass and toast November... here's to biting off more than you can chew... and enjoying every minute of it.

15 October 2009

Fluffy Jo Thefish

I have sad news.

My good friend Fluffy Jo Thefish has gone to that great puddle in the sky. Yes my friends, Good'ol Fluffy has passed from our world, and into whatever world is next for little fighting fishies.

Okay, honestly, he was a fish. Not a bad fish as far as pet fish go, but it isn't like he cuddled with me at night, or tickled my heartstrings with his flippers... he was a fish. He sat on my desk at work for a couple of months, and was regularly tormented by my students. So much so that when I brought him home over spring break, he actually changed color, and became a much more friendly creature. Thus, he became a new household pet. He seemed much happier on the shelf in the kitchen and Teh ShortBus thought it was cool to have a fish, so Fluffy became part of the family.

Fluffy had not been looking at all well in the days leading up to last weekend; slightly pale, not very active or interested in food, pouting. I had a feeling he was on his way out, and when we arrived home Sunday night indeed he was afloat, belly up. Of course, I grieved in my own way: texting his namesake, and letting her know that little tiny sushi was on the menu for the night. Fluffy would have wanted it that way. I thought briefly of the ShortBus, and figured if he noticed, then I would explain it to him.

Apparently, he noticed. I would love to say I was there, that I was the one with him to talk with him about it, that I explained it to him and he understood. I would love to say that I am the one with the story about how he asked if he could say good bye, and when told yes he went outside and yelled toward the sky, "Good-bye Fluffy! I love you!"

Alas... it was not me. Once again, I was not there for one of the Very Important moments in my child's life. CSB did a fabulous job discussing it with him and explaining it to him, and I'm happy he did. In fact, I can not thank him enough for the care and concern he showed the ShortBus, he really is a kind and brilliant man. The problem is, he isn't me. Those moments which are so important in the moment, I am missing out on more and more of them.

Not only with the divorce, and my having to go back to work, and having to go back to school so I can continue to work, but also just by virtue of a child growing up. More and more of those times begin to happen outside of our home.

As a stay at home mom, I was lucky enough to experience hundreds of firsts. I savored each one, cherished it as my own before sharing it with everyone else. I knew that I wouldn't always get every single first, I would have to share those moments. It seems like forever ago that my parents called to tell me they had given ShortBus his very first taste of ice cream. I had the opportunity to experience that first through their eyes, and I was thrilled that they were able to have a first of their own. At the same time though, I was sad that I hadn't been there to see it. As the firsts get fewer and further between, they seem to carry a bit more weight and importance. I know I will still get to be there on occasion when they happen, but as our children grow older they begin to start experiencing those firsts on their own.

It is scary to look at a five-year old and think, "I hope I have done my job well enough that he can begin to make the right choices on his own." But, if we've done it right, as parents, we start to pull away and let our little fishies venture out of the puddle... little by little. They test those waters on their own, and have those first experiences with the other important people in their lives, and maybe... just maybe... a mother's heart will survive the trauma of her baby growing up.

28 July 2009

Boy Cave

Since moving into our new place, I've been wanting to do a major overhaul in ShortBus' bedroom. Finally time to get rid of the "baby" furniture (which really did grow with him well), and move up to "little boy" furniture.

Having discussed with CSB the virtues of the "Man Cave" (for some guys this is the garage, for others the bathroom), I decided ShortBus needed a space that is all his own. Somewhere he can go for privacy or time away from the adult world, a space dedicated to fantasy and imagination, a space where a little boy can go to be a little boy... the only intruders: the ones he invites.

I remember being a kid (vaguely). Wanting a quiet, dark, cool place where I could hide with my music and my books. A place where the outside world could only invade if I would let it. When I saw this bed at Ikea, I knew exactly what I was going to do.

After a long day of shopping, CSB and I had a truck full of boxes and a plan.

I am proud to say our relationship is strong enough to survive a day of Ikea furniture building. There was no yelling, no blood, and the only crying involved me whacking my head while building the bed (which left me with a lump I affectionately referred to as “the headband of unhappiness”).

And now, the boy who tells me at least three times a day that his favorite color is red, has a room which is mostly red:

The “universe” curtains are almost complete (thanks mom!), and the curtains for the area under his bed will give him some privacy (not to mention, a true cave to hide in).

He has been on vacation with his dad for the last two weeks, and I can’t wait for him to come home and see the transformation.

09 July 2009

Ozzie & Harriet Take a Trip

For those who don't know, I have never flown further than Los Angeles (and boy were my arms tired!), so a cross-country flight, to meet CSB's family, was intimidating in more than just one or two ways. But, adventure is adventure, and as anxious as I was, it was brilliant, and I was very excited.

If you didn’t hear the whining (via Twitter or Facebook), I started off this trip by tossing a mirror into my suitcase, and breaking it. I’m really not all that superstitious, but sometimes omens reach out and smack you in the face. CSB even said it was a “SIGN!” …ok, he actually said it was a,“sign you need to pay attention to what you are doing.” (complete with eye roll at my over-dramatic “ooohhhhh we’re all dooooooooooomed!”)

But, I have news for you fate…. All of your obstacles and inconveniences so far… bah… pish-posh…

Wednesday morning my alarm didn’t go off, and I woke up an hour late (apparently they work better if you actually turn them on after setting them… who knew?)… no matter, our flight wasn’t until 11:20, I just wanted to get there a bit early so we could sit down and have breakfast. Jet Blue doesn’t serve meals on their flights… so I thought we’d have a nice big breakfast, and bring some snacks. So, over sleeping means I got a Starbucks muffin instead of an omelette… no big. And, we ended up leaving only about 30 minutes behind schedule, not too shabby.

We had a problem printing our boarding passes on Tuesday night because the website was screaming about canceled and delayed flights due to weather systems on the east coast, but when CSB called Jet Blue, they said both our flights were fine so far, no worries. And, we had no problem finally printing the boarding passes in the morning before we left for the airport. So, we hurry along, arrive at the airport, check in, and the woman who checks our bags tells us that our flight is delayed about an hour. All I really heard was, “now you have time for that bloody mary.”

Because of the inclement weather, the flight delays were back and forth. First an hour delay, then no delay, then an hour and a half, then 45 minutes, then two hours, then the pilot is saying, “we’re hoping we’ll be able to leave by 1:00, why don’t we get on the plane, and sit on the runway and hope for the best…maybe they’ll let us go earlier!” And the terminal rejoices… and I think, “Really? You people would rather sit on the plane than in here? Really?” At least there was WiFi in the terminal.

So yes, long boring story short, we go sit on the plane around 12:15 or so, and they finally clear us for take off and let us get moving at 2:25. Let me say that again… 2:25. If we had left on time, we would have been over half way there… instead, well… we were still in Oakland.

We were quite late arriving in Boston, and missed our connecting flight to Buffalo. The next flight available ended up being on Friday morning, and so we decided a day playing tourist in Boston wasn't so bad.

Here's where I give mad props to Jet Blue: The weather was not their fault, the delays, not their fault... they didn't have to do anything for us... but they did. Not only did they provide free movies and libations on the flight from Oakland to Boston, but once we got there, rescheduled our flight from Boston to Buffalo without any extra charge, and even put us up in the Hyatt for a night.

We had a great day in Boston, I'm pretty sure we saw the whole city. We bought day passes for the subway ($9... BART could learn something), and traveled throughout the town seeing the sights. It was a great day, and a nice break from the anxiety and anticipation.

Finally, we board an on-time flight, and actually make it to our final destination, where CSB's parents were waiting to pick us up. They were kind, warm, and very accommodating.

Even though I knew that CSB and I would be sleeping in separate beds while staying in their home, I felt fortunate that he had somehow worked it out so that we would be able to share the same room. I was still slightly shocked when I was shown our room and saw the two twin beds... with three feet of space and a night stand between them (see above photo).

Sometimes, even when you expect something, you aren't really prepared for the reality of it. And, honestly, it was rough spending all day with family, on my very best behavior, on that slightly uncomfortable edge where you watch and analyze everything you say and do... only to fall into bed every night wanting to curl up with the man I love and relax in the comfort of his arms, missing his smell and his warmth. Even the sound of his breathing was too far away.

Even with all that, there were other moments which never would have happened without the Ozzie and Harriet beds. Holding hands from three feet apart as we were falling asleep; the lingering good night kisses; the drive-in movie date we escaped to on Sunday night, mostly so we could have some quality cuddle time; the sleepy gazes and 'good morning' smiles across the distance first thing in the morning.

I think CSB summed it up in the best and sweetest way once we were home, falling asleep in our own bed, "it was like having a sleep-over... with my best friend."

12 June 2009

Frickin' Magical

There is a darn good reason my full nickname includes "Frickin' Magical." For those who don't know, I am: Frickin' Magical Giddy Chicken Pickles... but you can call me "Giddy". Actually, the last time I checked, there were several other things added, but for the life of me, I can't remember what they were.

The "Frickin' Magical" part was added (I believe by Mr. Nanning) during the first "Formal Drew Day at Disneyland." All I really remember is standing in line for some ride, and Mr. Nanning asking something along the lines of, "but how is that possible?" (yes, it must have been a great comment, to have a rocket scientist ask how something is possible), and my response was, "because I'm frickin' magical... duh." And, lo it came to pass... Frickin' Magical Giddy was born.

Don't ask me about the Chicken, or Pickles parts... some stories aren't worth the telling. Suffice it to say, they are there... whether I like it or not. I do know that at some point, "we" decided it would be Teh Funny to forever add words to my nickname, and maybe in the future, after I retire, I can submit it to Guinness as the longest nickname ever. No really, I have witnesses.

So yes, the Frickin' Magical part...

I have recently realized that my life really is "frickin' magical." Yes, part of it may be the way I look at life, and my tendency to take things in stride. But, I really feel like I am so very fortunate... not only now, but time and time again I seem to manage to pull a rabbit out of whatever hat is presented to me.

I didn't want to teach, yet, teaching was the best opportunity, and closest match to my degree and experience, so I took the job. Suddenly, a million opportunities opened up, and a path that seemed vastly overwhelming at first is presenting itself as a thousand tiny (relatively easy) steps. Opportunity abounds, and seems to be throwing itself at my very feet. Literally, I got an email yesterday regarding a grant for my education. Yes, I have to go back to school to earn a credential, and yes, the program I have decided on is accelerated thus costs more, but the state and the feds are willing to help me pay for the education that is going to get me that credential.

All the sudden, I'm on a path to have a teaching credential and Master's Degree in Special Education by next fall. Not that it's going to be easy, but suddenly it is the opportunity that is in front of me now. It is the path I am on, and I'm not quite sure how I got here. I never expected to go to a 4-year college, let alone go beyond an undergraduate degree. Hell, I figure it was mere luck and personality that got me through high school.

And, here I am... luck, personality, frickin' magical-ness... whatever it is that has brought me to this point. I have exactly what it is that I told the universe I wanted. I live in a house near my parents. With old growth trees and squirrels. With a man that I am more in love with than I ever thought possible. With a child that is smarter and sweeter than I could have imagined. With friends who are amazing and generous. With a future that is brighter than I could have dreamed.

Teh Happies.
I haz them.

04 June 2009

aaaaaaaaaand ...... scene.

I'm actually writing Wednesday night, but have this post scheduled for 1:14 tomorrow afternoon. The exact time the final bell will ring for my last class of my first school year as a teacher.

I'm sure some of you were expecting this. The final summary, the wrap up, the commentary all about what my experience was like. Some kind of insightful, interesting post that might make all the 'not writing' I've (not) done recently worth the wait. I can't promise anything spectacular, but I do have a few things to say.

As much as I started this school year off in shock, scared, and quite confused, I must say that I've really come through the whole thing quite well. I am much less scared of the whole "being a teacher" thing, and my confusion has given way to frustration and a sort of... not apathy... but... you know that feeling where you stop being stressed, and start doing the best you can and let the chips fall where they may? I don't know the word for it, but its pretty much that. Not quite 'meh' not quite 'ZOMG!'

In short, I have impressed myself with what I have accomplished. Not only that, but I enjoyed myself in doing it. Putting it mildly, these last couple of years have been an adventure of immense proportions, and I've learned so much about myself. I am happy with where I am, and who I am, and how I've managed to get here.

From the outside, it may just look like a life. Someone who is living, and doing, and being. But, on the inside, it is quite gratifying to see that I can live outside of the comfort zone I had previously set up, and know for a fact that I am becoming the person I always dreamed I could be. I have set goals, I have achieved them, I have new goals ahead... I will achieve those.

I have a lot of people to thank... and they all know who they are, I hope that I let them know I appreciate them often enough. At the moment though, I think it is time to sit back, take a breath, and appreciate myself. *pat pat pat*

21 May 2009

Life is Good

I came home today to find this in the freezer.

Honestly, because I trust CSB, I wasn't going to question it... but I was going to make one guess. Bacon Vodka... version 1. I asked if he was at least keeping a photo diary... only because it looks that gross, and I totally plan to drink that grossness. Eventually. When it doesn't look quite that gross. And, when it is mixed with tomato juice... and maybe horseradish and worcestershire. I promise to let you know how that works out.

I hope to be back to posting regularly in a couple of weeks. This month has been so busy I have barely had enough time to come up with 140 characters for twitter... let alone type them up and post them.

I considered going into the "list" of stuff that has been sucking up my time, but suffice it to say that I definitely got to a point where I thought I couldn't take more, then "more" happened, and I survived. I am ten school days from summer break, and nine days from the end of my first two credential courses (yes, two... they told me one a month, somehow I ended up with two this month).

I have been told that the first two weeks of summer break are "detox" weeks... it takes that long to unwind, and then you relax for a second before getting into a routine. Once you find that routine, you go back to work, and get right back into a different routine. I'm okay with that.

One of the biggest things I've learned this school year (and yes, a "I survived my first school year" post is definitely in the works), is that teachers earn every single second of their summer breaks. I've never met such a hard working group of people. Teachers amaze and impress me, and now, having been immersed in their ranks for a school year, I have only gained more respect for them. I am honored to have joined this group, and am already looking forward to the fall semester.

Oh wait... I suppose I should survive this one first...

17 April 2009

Oooooh! Shiny!

As my great friend Cami has recently written about, I too have been going over recent posts that have never quite made it to the interwebz.... trying to see if there is something I've started in the last month that is worth finishing.

I've been so busy with the move, I just haven't had time to sit down and write anything... at least that's what I've been telling myself.

Could it be that I have to get used to a new situation?

Could it be that I'm sitting on the couch updating my blog... with someone sitting next to me?

Could it be that I'm not on my desktop?

Yes, a whole new situation to get used to.

Honestly, I've never actually written anything at all of value with someone else in the room (remember: "of value" is a subjective term). So, to be sitting here, CSB watching TV next to me, laptop in front of me.... well, it's just different.

Bear with me. My situation is new. I'm going to have to find the writing vibe in the new house. It's here... I feel it... I just have to take the time to fine tune it.

BTW: New house is great... CSB and I are loving it... The ShortBus is thoroughly enjoying his new house and back yard (although pushing his limits in a new situation). We are settling in, and attempting to meld two lives into one... I like it.

(photo is our kitchen window & a partial view of the back yard... ignore the clutter, we're still unpacking...)

24 March 2009

Notes to Self (re: packing/moving)

1- Packing with a 4 1/2 year old who is very interested in EVERYTHING you take off the bookshelf or out of a drawer is not as easy as one might think. Nor does it move as quickly as one would like.

2- One can accumulate a TON of stuff in the space of two years. Even when one thinks she has been really good about throwing away the "unnecessary things."

3- "Airplane" size bottles of booze are really only good for when you are on an airplane. Unless the bottle is actually the size of an airplane...

4- If one looks at something and thinks, "this should go in the garbage," one really ought to throw it in the bin immediately.

5- The amount of beer a person drinks while packing is directly proportional to the number of boxes packed, however, the amount of work accomplished, is inversely proportional.

6- Blogging is also not conducive to box-packing.

7- I may need a "shoe whores anonymous" group... if not for the shoes, then for the books.

8- Mentally planning barbecues and dinner parties is NOT packing, nor is it any kind of actual moving preparation. It is, however, great for procrastination.

9- Packing 10 half-full bottles of booze is less fun than drinking 10 half-full bottles of booze... although, I'm sure the hangover is nearly the same.

10- Things WILL be chaotic and messy. Get over it. You are moving!! Yay!!

17 March 2009

My Boyfriend

...wants to get chickens.


Seriously... you have no idea how excited I am. I love animals... even more, I love animals that are "odd."

Yes, please, can we have chickens?!?

BTW, have I mentioned that I've always wanted a feinting goat?

I love goats. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to own a goat... and at some point after that, I heard about the feinting goat, and there is no question, if I ever have the opportunity, I WILL have one of these:

Isn't he cute? Yes indeed, if I'm going to have a goat... I'll probably have this little guy. And then I'll run up and yell at him, and he'll fall over stiff, and I'll die laughing...

Is that wrong?

16 March 2009

Listen to Your Mother

When I graduated from elementary school to junior high, I was very excited. A new school, my friends and I joined together with multiple elementary schools, the opportunity to come together with other people my age... to get to know some new people, and maybe make some new friends. Definitely new opportunities.

After about two weeks at my new school, I remember laying in bed one night, crying. My mom came in, and asked me what was wrong ... keep in mind at this point, the school was 7th through 9th grades. I remember feeling lonely and awful... that my friends had moved on to other friends, and I was suddenly left in the dust. I didn't understand what was wrong with me. Why was I so different? Why did I suddenly not have any friends, and holy crap, why was school so much harder? I felt lost and alone (which, interestingly, describes most of my jr. high and high school career).

My mom offered me a piece of advice that still comforts me to this day... of course, then, I was too young to appreciate its importance, but it didn't take long before I understood.

"When you started out in elementary school, you were a small fish, in a big pond... then as you advanced to 6th grade, you turned into a big fish in a small pond. Now, you've moved up to a new pond, and you will start out as a small fish... but, with time, you'll move up, and be a big fish again. That is how life is, as soon as you learn how to do something well, you've mastered it, and it is time to start something new... from the beginning. We are continually learning, once you've learned something, and how to do it well, it is time to move on and learn something new..."

At the time, this concept was VERY frustrating to me. What is the point of learning something, and getting good at it if it is just going to end, and you have to move on to something else... it seems ridiculous. Now, there is still a small part of me that gets annoyed, but the bigger part is ready to go on to learn something new... once I figure out the thing I've been working to learn. As soon as I seem to have things under control, I wait for that curve ball, and when it comes, I do my best to aim, and fire away. Because, it all seems to be a natural part of the learning process... getting to that mastery point, and starting over with a new concept.

Sometimes I even get impatient... I've learned something, I'm good at it... what the heck is next, and why is it taking so long!?
(yes, I'm part of the 'instant gratification' generation... it's all about me, and it needs to be NOW.)

Sometimes it seems those moments come in quick succession. I think I have a handle on something, it seems to be working out ok... lets give it a twist... and a tweak... and oh hey, we'll turn this part wonky... just for fun.

Bring it on.

As my first school year as a teacher comes to a close (yeah, right... only 2 1/2 months until summer vacation), I'm finding that I very quickly mastered this new situation... and although I still have a TON to learn, I somehow managed to learn to keep my head above water, and even swim when the water got deep. Now, I start my credential program (yes, I should have done it months ago, but I was busy)... I am doing a dual credential (special ed/regular ed - mild to moderate disability) and a masters degree in special education at the same time. If you think that sounds insane, you are very likely right... it sounds pretty nutty to me... but what do I know?

I'm just a little fish in a HUGE pond... once again.

15 March 2009

Building Blocks & Jigsaw Puzzles

As much as I tend to prefer expressing myself in writing, sometimes it isn't always the best medium.

I suppose that has been a big part of the problem lately. Along with a severe case of writer's block, a ton of paperwork at work, and the distraction of a very active 4 1/2 year old, it seems that what I've been wanting to write about so very badly, just hasn't wanted to come across very well in blog form.

So, every day I think about the words that I want to share... some days I even sit here with my hands on the keyboard, and my brain flitting about, unable to focus on one thing at a time. I miss the words (practically) effortlessly flowing from my fingertips... my thoughts communicating complete ideas, instead of a million partial ideas, and a thousand questions interspersing themselves between those thoughts.

Life is very good, thank you for asking.

I am really enjoying my job, and, although I didn't receive a pink slip on Friday (for those who don't know: I'm a teacher), I'm still not 100% convinced I'll be working next year. I won't be entirely comfortable until I've signed my name to a contract. However, I do believe I've finally found the right job, and am happy to feel like I have settled into the career I was "meant" to have.

I am lucky enough to have found a man that I've fallen head over heels in love with. We seem to fit together as only two oddly shaped puzzle pieces can, we complement one another in so many important ways, sometimes I am still pleasantly surprised at the way we fit.

We've decided to move in together. I couldn't be happier. I don't even know how to articulate it properly... the excitement, the fear, the anticipation, the thrill... all of these emotions happening all the time in quick succession. Although, the fear has started to lessen, and the excited anticipation is taking its place.

As we get closer to moving day (two weeks and counting), I have done a little reflecting... but mostly, I'm looking forward. And, as excited as I am about the future, I am concentrating on the now. I am happy and excited, and that is a wonderful feeling to enjoy in the moment.

Now, who wants to help us move?

10 March 2009


I got up this morning, and followed the usual routine. Shower, wake the ShortBus, hair, makeup, clothes, make sure the Boy is dressed, comb his hair, give him food, get coffee, out the door...

Except today there was a minor hiccup.

When I got the the "Comb His Hair" part I noticed a little black dot. Thinking it was dirt, I flick at it with my finger.... only... that doesn't feel like dirt... and it didn't come out. So, I investigate a little more closely... comb the hair aside only to reveal a tick. A flippin' tick! So, I gasp, ShortBus says, "What mommy?"

I respond, "oh.. uh... nothing."

And, proceed to try to use the comb to coax the little bugger out of his hair. Only, it's not in his hair... it's in his scalp. Yes, my sweet little child has a parasite burrowing into his brain.

Obviously, I'm not a big fan of ticks.

As a matter of fact, they are in my top three "creatures I hate with a burning passion." Right along with potato bugs and centipedes (or milipedes... all those legs... freaky).

So, being the rational, calm person that I am, I send the ShortBus out to watch TV with a banana, and go into his room, close the door, and do the dance. You know the dance.... "omg omg omg! ew ew ew ew!" *shudder shudder* Hands flapping, eyes squinched shut, jumping up and down... the whole nine.

Now. What to do about this creature? I have never removed a tick from any living thing... I've never had one even on me, let alone IN me... I haven't even been able to watch as they've been removed from various pets I've had. I just. Can't. Handle. It.

The one person I know, who is local, and can for a fact remove said pest from my child is my ex-husband (at the moment, he still lives a block away). Of course, it is 7:15, and I know he's already at work... but, I'll give it a shot anyway.

Now, as the phone is ringing, I'm thinking, "This is YOUR child too, and it is very likely YOUR fault he has a tick in his BRAIN, you absolutely have to take care of this right now." Of course, when he answers, I say, "Hey... how's it goin'?"

ex: "fine. what's up?"
me: "you don't happen to be home still?"
ex: "no, I'm on my way to work."
me: "ah well, ya know, no big deal, but our son has a tick IN HIS HEAD!"
ex: "a tick? hahahaha!"
me: "dude."
ex: "so take it out."
me: "you know how I feel about those things... and it is IN HIS HEAD!"

You can see where this is going.

He tells me exactly how to go about taking it out, and says,"so let me know how that goes. Later."

At this point, I go to my computer, and call in sick for the first two hours of school. There is no way this is going to be resolved in less than two hours.... mommy has issues.

This whole time I'm thinking about CSB and how he's NOT here, and even if he couldn't take it out (hm.. another thing I need to learn about him), he would at least provide rational thought in my moment of crazy. He's definitely good at that. I don't think I have many moments of crazy (no crazy person does), but he's a great balance to my brand of crazy, and has this really wonderful way of bringing me back to 'rational' after allowing me to have a moment of ... not so rational.

But, he's in Oakland... and Vacaville is closer... yes, time to call my mommy and daddy. I know they are sleeping (it is barely 7:20 am), but this is an emergency! There is a creature burrowing ever closer to their grandson's brain... and it is sucking his blood... his life force! That blood has half my DNA! The Boy needs it!!!

So, I wake up my poor parents, leaving a message on their answering machine that goes something like this: "Good Morning! I'm sorry to call so early, and I'm sure I'm waking you up, but we are having a minor issue this morning, and I could use your advice. So... um... if you get a chance... sometime kinda soon, could you call me back. kthxbye."

They call back and advise me to take him to Kaiser. Yes, Kaiser! $25 to get a tick removed! Sounds silly, but at that point, I probably would have paid $125.

So, we go to Kaiser, the doctor asks the ShortBus why we were there, SB says "because I have a bug in my hair." Which is exactly the story I told him, "BTW: we're stopping at the doctor's office on the way to school because you have a bug in your hair, and I'd like the doctor to take it out."

His response: "Ok. Is it going to hurt?"
My response: "It won't hurt you, the doctor is going to use tweezers to grab the bug, but not you. You won't even notice."
His response: "Ok."

And, that was that. The doctor took about 4 seconds to remove the thing (I couldn't look), he went to school, and told all his friends he "had a bug in his hair." I went to Starbucks, and got a coffee and a muffin, and sat and tried to relax before going in to work.

Yeah, parenting. It's gross.