Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Kids

Some tough moments at the worksite this week.  At one point I went on a rant and as always I wish I had just stayed quiet.  On the good side....So happy to have the kids in the house.  Today we're going to hike for one million miles.  And we're going off to search for some pie.  I introduced 20 Something to the peeps in the lunchroom this week.  They were delighted to meet her.
How old is she?  A kid yelled out.
She's 22 years old.
GASPS and CHEERS!
How old are you??? Another kid yelled out.
I'm 52!  Mostly just GASPS. That's okay.  It is a bit mind-blowing, when you decompose and recompose it.
Now it's time for the pie.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Steak

Lunch lines were long and slow today on account of the Salisbury Steak and the 5 questions:  Salisbury Steak or Peanut Butter?  Mashed potatoes?  Gravy on the mashed potatoes?  Green beans?  Roll?

I mean, come on.  Just ask the first question.  When they say Salisbury steak just give them everything else.  If they cry about the gravy on the potatoes, give them a new tray. Skip the green beans. Easy peasy lemon squeezy people.  I spent a significant amount of time squatting down next to kids ripping through these 5 questions at top speed and then shouting them to the lunch ladies with a pleasant, THANK YOU! at the end of each order.

After that I walked around with Jack, the Jack Russell terrier puppet.  Jack's hyper and we've got to keep him calm. That's his backstory.  All the kids hugged or patted Jack and told me their own dog stories.  I can't really hear in the lunchroom so I just nod and smile as they tell their tales. They're fine with it.

I'm pretty good at lunchroom duty, but sometimes I wonder if I've gotten too good at it.  HunterMan Colleague who helps in there said to me today, "Some people get to live out their calling.  You're one of those people.  You were born to do this lunchroom gig."

Flip.  I guess I wanted so much more.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Bugles

I wish I had some Bugles right now.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Storm

#1 Son played for a big crowd last night, as the back up band for a kind of GLEE club group that's been around for half a century.  Lots of history in this group, so first things first.  Respect.
BUT, moving on now to the cold hard facts---this glee club music is pretty abysmal.  Extreme gestures, inappropriate facial expressions, dumb medleys, goofy choreography. At one point, the conductor turned to the crowd and yelled out, "Positive Messages!"  20 Something Daughter burst out in a loud cackle.  #1 Son doesn't like this kind of music, but he handled the job like a champ, rehearsing for a gazillion hours with the group this semester and it was fun to watch him play in the auditorium to so many happy peeps. I don't understand why people like Glee Club music, but a crowd in the thousands last night showed me that a lot of people truly do.

Storm's a brewin'. May see quite a bit of snow tonight.  Not thrilled, ttytt, but what can you do?  If we get a snow day tomorrow, I can work on filling out the forms I didn't fill out yet today.  But we also will have to go to school for an extra day, which I can't handle right now.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Cutting

Fourth Grader RC's FROG

Heard a scuffle in the hallway today.  An awesome student teacher was walking his crew of kinders to PE but the line had turned into a huddled chaos.  "How can I help?" I asked AST.
"These 2 need to go to the office.  They are hurting each other."
One of the dears ran about six feet away and started bawling.  "I want to go to gym!" He wailed.
I quickly sat on the floor next to him and Former Office Mate brought the other dear over while AST walked the proper liners to gym.
"Look pal," I told the dear.  "Don't cry.  We're going to talk this out.  First off though, let's fix your shoes.  They're on the wrong feet.  That can be uncomfortable."  So I started taking the dear's shoes off while he sobbed sadly.  As I dealt with the shoes, I asked the dears, "So you were hitting each other?  Is that what I heard?"
Dear #2 said, "No, we weren't hitting.  We were kicking."
I gasped audibly, for effect.
"And shoving."
"Okay.  Kicking and shoving.  That can be a real problem, guys. How'd this get started?"  Come to find out, Dear #1 tried to cut in line.  Cutting in line is one of the worst transgressions ever committed. This was the second cutting in line event that resulted in blows that I dealt with today. "Dear #1 cut in line, but he was supposed to be way in the back because he starts with R," said Dear #2.
"I was confused.  I made a mistake," said Dear #1.
So FOM and I walked the 2 to gym, in proper line order.  They did great.  No office.  Plenty of time for gym.  And Awesome Student Teacher even came by later and thanked me for the help.  Win, win people. But seriously, if you have a child, please teach that child not to cut in line. If you can.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Whales?

FirstieTeacher got to live out her dream by going to Hawaii for spring break.  This too has been my dream for quite a long time.  Come to find out, while in Hawaii, she went skydiving.  Again, one of my long time dreams:  skydiving. Today I asked her about her dive.  She told me it was scary to jump out of the plane, as I expected.  Then she described how it was kind of neat to see the whales jumping out of the ocean as she was falling down to the ground.  "You saw whales jumping out of the water while you were sky diving in Hawaii?" I asked her.  She laughed and nodded.  GEEZLOUISE. I restrained from giving her a kick because I love her a lot, but seriously,  the whales were the last straw. I loved my spring break, but mostly I sat on the couch drinking wine and watching Hoarders.  So FirstieTeacher's trip does rankle me up a bit, I'm not going to lie.  But, in the end, we both had top notch breaks, so I'm going to move on.  Going to do my best, and forget the rest.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Earrings

Remember those scissor earrings I told you about?  I bought them in Berkeley, California.  Well yesterday a little kinder asked if she could touch them and I said yes and then she basically broke one right off, trying to get them to use them as actual scissors.  I wanted to say, "Look I know you're just 5 years old, but these are clearly made from a solid piece of balsa wood and are not actual scissors.  Use common sense."  Instead I said, "No big deal. Things break all the time."

I probably should not have let her touch them, but who would think something that looks like this could  function as scissors? Think it through, kinder.

Other than the earring debacle, the re-entry's been pretty good.  I'm already exhausted, but that's par for the course.  This week involves a ton of data nonsense.  Last night I watched some more Hoarder episodes while I typed in #'s, and I think I've hit the wall with hoarders.  That show can bring me down.  I've switched over to Dog Whisperer, for the time being.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Review

Introducing a new blog feature.  It's called Husbandman and I watch an independent film.  This week's film is called Happy People:  A Year in the Taiga.  We just watched it.  Now we'll talk about it.

Me:  How'd you like it?
HM:  I thought it was very good.  How did you like it?
Me:  I liked it.  I know I don't want to live in the Taiga now.  So that's good.
HM:  Yeah, too rough.
Me:  But was there any part of living in the Taiga that you would like?
HM:  Yeah, the dog.  I definitely want the dog.  And I like eating all the fish.  How about you?
Me:  I liked the winter season because you didn't have to do much.  Just walk around and check your traps.
HM:  Looked like they were working pretty hard.
Me:  But the other seasons looked harder.
HM:  Mosquitos in the summer?  Not pleasant.
Me:  I wish they could have some Deet.
HM:  Yeah.
Me:  As a movie, what's your rating.  Fist of 5.
HM:  3.5 Yours?
Me:  4.5.  That movie rocked because now I know for sure I don't want to live in the Taiga. One other question.  Herzog's narration.  What did you think of that?
HM: Good.  His enunciation was so precise.  Cracked me up.
Me:  Any critique?
HM: 2 things.  They didn't explain why the dogs were so indispensable. And they made no effort to explain why the native group of people basically collapsed as a culture.  One of the drunk guys said it was the Russians' fault.  Was there any truth to that?
Me;  My critique was that the women hunters were not featured at all.
HM:  There were none.  Let's make that clear. There were no women hunters.

Okay, so that's a wrap.  If you want to see Happy People, you should go ahead and see it.  No harm done either way.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Trek

Yesterday we took a trek through Turkey Run.  Turkey Run is fantastic.  Huge Rocks, gulches, canyons, trees, water, covered bridge. What's not to like?  We saw a few wild things:  6 turkey vultures sitting in a tree, a ground hog scurrying along the river, a bald eagle idling in a field, some red bellied woodpeckers eating at the feeders near the nature center. In the nature center, someone wrote on the wildlife whiteboard that they saw a pack of coyotes the day before.  I kept my eyes peeled for them but alas, I saw them not. Today is shoe shopping with #1 Son. Aside from the rancid weather, this staycation's been top notch.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Deadline

I've been stumbling along with this thing I'm trying to write.  Not making much progress, but still, putting in the time.  Come to find out, Husbandman's decided that the end of today should be my deadline.  Not sure I can honor this fake deadline, but I'm going to give it a try.  I acknowledge that I'm making too big a deal out of this task.  If I can get it done, I can stop thinking about something that I've been thinking about 28 times a day since November.  So that would be a plus.

 I won't add links to this post, in the spirit of meeting the deadline.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Pope

There's a new pope in town, Peeps.  Problematically, I was working steadily in Husbandman's quiet collegial office when the tweet about the white smoke arrived.  So then I couldn't work because I was waiting to hear the name of the new pope.  Finally after an hour or so, the name was tweeted.  That's when I decided to amble over to Starby's for a latte.  2 baristas stood idly by while one made the latte.  "Have you all heard about the new pope?"
    "We heard there's white smoke.  Is there a name yet?"
    "Yes, he's from Argentina."
     "WHAT?  OMG!  I didn't even know Argentina was in the running! GREGORY!  GREGORY!"  they all started screaming for a 4th barrista to come on over.  Then they told Gregory about the new South American pope.
     Gregory was stoked. "OMG," he yelled, "Argentina!  Not Brazil???? What's his name????" Gregory shouted, as if in a panic.
     "He'll be called Francis," I answered, duly impressed with myself and my knowledge.
    "OMG!" Gregory screamed again.  "Is this the first Francis?  I think it's the first Francis.  Is it?"
     "Look, I don't know.  I'm operating on one tweet right now.  That's all I've got."  Then I left, but I left them all screaming and fist pumping.
     It really felt good to break the news to these baristas.  I texted several in my contact list about the new pope, but got not much reaction.  In fact, 20 something daughter simply replied, "Meet the new pope. Same as the old pope." I told her he was the first Francis and she perked up a bit, textwise.  Being the bearer of new news is fairly fun.  Habemus Papum.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Swans

Saw this egret in Berkeley 2 weekends ago.  Yesterday I saw 6 Tundra Swans at Stillwater Marsh. I like to think about these swans traveling back up to their home in Canada after a vacation in the southland.  Fare thee well, Tundra Swans.  Thanks for stopping by.

I had a massage today and it was the best thing I could have possibly done.  I'm feeling happy and healthy.  I'm now working at Runcible Spoon with Husbandman.  Well, he's working more than I am.  I'm trying to get a packet of stuff together for an editor.  It's hard getting started on this.  The editor wants me to give her my thoughts about education, teaching, writing.  Why is this difficult?  I have a million thoughts on this stuff. Once I get into gear, it will happen.  Or I'll just waste away the afternoon acting like a freak.  It could go either way really.

The Bachelor ended last night.  Just the way I wanted it to, which is rare.  I wish I could visit with Sean and Catherine for an afternoon, just to get a sense of how they're doing now that the show is over, see how they interact away from the cameras.  If I could do this, my mind would be at ease.  And I could probably get some stuff done.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Reviews

2 good movies:  Searching for Sugarman and 56 UP.  No point in really summarizing them here since you could easily use the internets to search for either one.  If you want to see them, I really think you should.  Let's just leave it at that.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Hoarders

I've been on a Hoarders kick this weekend. Have watched about 6 episodes. I like watching Hoarders because after I watch it I throw a bunch of stuff away. If you tend to be a hoarder, get some help.  Hoarding is like burying yourself alive. I'm considering going back to school to get a degree in psychology, specializing in OCD and hoarding.  I think I could help hoarders, if they would only let me.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Convo


Yesterday I walked around the lunchroom for 90 minutes with Marvell the Mild Mannered Moose puppet.  His backstory:  Kind of a mild mannered guy, doesn't get too hyper, likes things to stay calm.  The wildcats loved Marvell.  When kids were in line I told them they could give him a pat.  Dozens of them threw their arms around him and hugged him tight.  It was sweet to have these little faces, eyes squeezed shut, hugging the heck out of my arm over and over again.  Still, I was tired after all the puppetry.

Then at the end of the day we had a Dr. Seuss Birthday convocation.  I invented a Stump the Teacher with Seuss game that we played in front of the 400 Wildcats. I played the role of game show host.  9 Sixers read passages from various Seuss books and a terrific team of teachers huddled up dramatically and tried to guess the title of each book.  They got 8 out of 9 titles right.  Yeah teachers.  After the exciting game, kids spread out all over the gym and read their new RIF books to each other.  V. sweet.  And did I mention it was Pajama Day?  It was a raucous uproarious fun prequel to spring break.

On the down side my first day of spring break has seen me sleeping, reading, and watching Hoarders quite a bit. Husbandman and I did take a hike on Scarce O'Fat trail this morning.  But other than that, I've been on the down low.  I hope I have more energy tomorrow.  We shall see said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer, and saw.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Lunchroom Mouse

I've been getting a little uptight in the lunchroom of late, so I decided to lighten it up with a cool mouse puppet today.  I introduced him as Mousey, the Lunchroom Mouse.  Huge hit.  Kids loved Mousey.  They fed him cheese, gave him kisses, and asked, "Is he real?" many times.  When the kids got a little loud, I'd put Mousey up to their face and say, "Look at Mousey.  He's sad.  You're hurting his sensitive ears."
"Sorry Mousey," Kids would whisper, giving him a friendly pat.  The whole lunchroom was pretty much crazy about Mousey so I decided to push my luck and carry him around while lining up the Sixers.  I walked up to one table and held Mousey aloft.  "Mousey says you're ready to line up. He's happy about how quiet this table is."
A SixerGal brushed past me rolling her eyes, "Oh my sweet Jesus," she said under her breath. Not everyone can be a Mousey fan.  I get that, so I wasn't at all offended.  And with just one more day til spring break, I'm not getting too bent out of shape about anything right now.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Trip

20 Something at her Cool Co-op
Back from Berkeley. It was like a mini-spring break.  Full of love and fun.
Today I'm having a snow day and I'm heading in to Artful School to get some stuff done.
Yesterday I wore my new scissor earrings.  Kids loved them.
Tonight I'll see #1 son play at Cafe Django.
Long story short, things are going well.

I witnessed, and later learned about, California newt balls on my journey west.  You should too.  If you want.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Recap #10: Happy times

We are in Berkeley with 20 Something.  We have eaten at restaurants.  We have walked along the marina and we have sighted the mysterious burrowing owl.  We have found art on campus. We have lost a lens cap near the Campanile.   We have visited the newts in the botanical garden.  We have hiked along the live oaks on the fire trail.  And today we will breakfast with 20 Something and some of her dear friends.  After that, we'll head to a get together at Cynthia's house.  Where we will see some cherished friends we've known for lo these 3 plus decades.  Happy times.