Friday, April 30, 2010

Overly Cautious.....

Ooops..... Didn't mean to be absent last night. Damn this one-hour time difference. We went to bed before midnight, but it was after midnight at home, so I said "screw it" and went to bed. I had worked all day, traveled 6 hours, listened to same 6 hours of constant chatter from the wife of Hubby's best friend, kicked arse on the poker table, and I was tired.

Side note: Next time you have the choice of driving your own vehicle for the 6-hour trip, thus making it possible to bring your bicycle, which will take you away from both the casino and the chatterbox for several hours, take it. Even if it means you have to drive most of the way out here and all of the way home. Which it will. Take it anyway.

Hubby's friend and his wife have been married over 40 years, which has almost nothing to do with this story. Unless it's the fact that they have become so alike over the years. Or maybe they were that way to begin with.

They are both .... as we say in our part of the world .... curious.

That's a Southern phrase and is fraught with hidden meaning, just like "Bless her heart...."

"Bless her heart...." means "she's dumb as a stump but sweet and besides my mama taught me to be nice to the downtrodden and the dumb as stumps."

"Curious" means crazy as a damn bedbug and certifiable, but we have to put up with them anyway.

In addition to being "curious," Hubby's friend (we'll call him JT) is also tight as a tick. I'm not sure where that expression came from, but he will strain a gut to save a dollar. Or a quarter. Dimes aren't out of the question.

I have no idea what they are doing in a casino in the first place.

The first time we were here together, I won $250 on a slot machine. Modern-day slot machines print out a bar-coded ticket (but it makes NOISES like coins dropping into the metal tray, just in case that's why you gamble in the first place), which you can then put into ANOTHER slot machine (tricking it into thinking you haven't won elsewhere, I suppose) or into an ATM-like machine that spits out real money.

JT's wife nearly had a stroke when I approached the machine with my ticket.

"You're not going to put that in there!" she shrieked. "You better go make a copy of it first."

Because clearly in a casino there are copy machines everywhere.

When the machine spit out my money in the correct amount, she just gave me a sidelong glance that said, "Well obviously you just got lucky this time." And she didn't mean the $250.

She and I went into a jewelry store today so I could buy a screw-on back for one of my diamond earrings. (I washed them in the laundry, and I found both earrings and the back to one of them. Luck doesn't just involve money.) Because I don't like to carry a purse, particularly in the casino, I was carrying my money folded up in my jeans pocket. I took it out of my pocket so I could get to the earring, and I laid the money on the glass countertop.

Mrs. JT almost THREW herself on top of my money (and it wasn't all of it, just a couple hundred bucks), darting her eyes left and right and guarding it with her life.

"I can't believe you did that," she said. "What if someone runs into this store and grabs this money and runs off?"

I think she's been watching too much television or something. I know I could be accused of not being cautious enough, but I REFUSE to go around afraid of everything. And suspicious of everyone.

JT is a freak about locking doors in hotel rooms too. Even if he is on the 18th floor, he's going to lock and double-lock the BALCONY doors, just on the off chance that some Spiderman-gone-wild character scales the side of the building and comes into their room. We have even made his name into a verb. On the rare occasion that we REMEMBER to lock our own door, we say we are "JTing the door." Only we use his full name.

Hubby and I thought about playing a mean joke on them today. They came to our room on our way to dinner, and I told Hubby we ought to have the door propped wide open when they came. Hubby agreed and said we should scatter our money all over the bed and the floor, throw our credit cards out on the table in plain view, put the laptop and cell phones near the door, and then say, "Okay, we're ready to go." It would have sent the poor man into apoplexy. And then he would have had to go to the hospital and everything, so I guess it's a good thing we didn't do it.

I'm just not the overly cautious type. It takes too much energy.

Speaking of energy, it's time for bed. I currently have more money than I came with. I hope that trend continues tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

She Is Her Mother's Daughter.....Mostly......

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but Sweet Girl recently enrolled in college again, in addition to her job with the Navy and her chores being Daisy's "mom".

She is taking a course in rhetoric, and I commend her simply for sitting through class every Tuesday night without her eyes glazing over.

She had a mid-term paper due last week, so she emailed it to me for critique/editing. It was all about Aristotle and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz..................................

Seriously, how does anyone really study Aristotle and all those other Totles?

I did what I could to help her with grammar and mechanics and overall structure, but I am completely unfamiliar with the subject matter.

She emailed me during class last night to tell me she made a 90 on her paper, and she currently has a 97 in the course. She rocks!

I had to laugh, though.

Her last message said, "Who would have thought I would have an A in a english class?"

Sweet Girl is at this moment saying, "Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmm!"

But she knows it's funny.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Time I Almost Got Arrested.....

I know, I know....

You're thinking: "What? There was only ONE?"

There were probably many times in college when I SHOULD have been arrested. Like the time my BFF Jason (whose birthday is today) went into Sanford Stadium at around midnight. They were doing construction on the stadium, so we had easy access. It was a spooky place at night. We thought about going down on the field so we could truly say we had been "Between the Hedges," but we thought better of it. Good thing too -- apparently those hedges and that field have alarms on them.

But no, the time I almost got arrested I didn't INTENTIONALLY break the law. It was just a couple of years ago when I took my mother to the airport.

You would have to know my mother to appreciate this story fully, but I'll try to convey it anyway. Mom does things .... her way. At her time. Whether or not it's the proper time. And God help anyone who gets in her way.

I was only dropping her at the airport (this is the Atlanta airport, you know, the one that is proclaimed the busiest airport in the WORLD?), so I didn't have to worry about parking. What I did have to worry about, apparently, was my mother following the rules.

As soon as the building came into sight, she was already scrambling for the door handle so she could just -- what, leap out? -- and I wouldn't have to park. Never mind the NICE (insert sarcasm here) Atlanta police officer who was standing in the lanes of traffic motioning for cars to keep moving.

But there were three lanes. And I was in the one closest to the curb. I really, really thought he was motioning -- and screaming -- for the OTHER two lanes to keep moving. Besides, if I had kept moving, I would have dragged my mother down the sidewalk, because she was BY GOD getting out of that car with her suitcase. She melted into the crowd, intent upon catching her flight, oblivious of the fact that I was in big trouble.

The NICE police officer rapped violently on my window and motioned for me to let the window down.


With hands shaking, I handed him the plastic container I keep my license and all my credit cards in.

"TAKE IT OUT!!!" he barked. I told you he was nice.


I weakly apologized, "I'm sorry, sir, I didn't know you meant for ME to keep moving." What I wanted to say was, "Hey jackass, do YOU KNOW WHAT THE PENALTY IS FOR NOT DOING WHAT MY MOTHER SAYS?"

"The fine for disobeying a police officer is $250!" he screamed.

At which point I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "Hey jackass, I've GOT $250, okay?"

He took my license and went to the back of the car, scanned my insurance card (which we are NOT required to carry in Georgia anymore, by the way), looked at my license plate, and I think he took a mental picture of Every. Single. Decal. On. The. Back. Of. My. Car. Meanwhile I was about to hyperventilate.

He finally came back to my window and said something else snotty about disobeying a police officer, and I continued trying to explain that I hadn't intentionally disobeyed him, I had just misunderstood. Meanwhile, while he is berating me, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE DOING WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT TO IN THE DROP-OFF LINE. I saw at least a dozen terrorists go by and snicker while the police officer was busy with me.

After what seemed like several days, he gave my license back (and I was shaking so badly I dropped my little plastic thingie and my credit cards scattered all over the floorboard) and sent me on my way. I was still trembling and gasping for air. I wanted to cry and I wanted my mommy...... No wait, SHE was the one who got me IN this mess! It wouldn't have done for me to get my hands on her at that point.

As soon as I got off the airport property and headed home on the interstate, my cell phone rang. It was my mother.

"My God," she said, "this place is a madhouse."

Woman, you have no idea.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not What I Wanted to Write.....

I had the best blog post planned for tonight. It was a string of text messages between Hubby and me during the four days I was gone last week. Nothing bad, not even R-rated, just funny.

But I don't know when to keep my mouth shut. When I stopped for the third time to comment on something he had texted to me, he said, "What are you doing?"

Stupid me. I told the truth.

"I'm putting our text messages in my blog."

"That's stupid," he said. "You don't need to be telling everything I write to you."

And I realized he was right. It really was an invasion of his privacy to repeat everything we had exchanged by text message, even if it WAS (mostly) innocent. I'm not sure I understand what the big deal is. If I had been with my sisters, I probably would have read every single message to them, especially the funny ones. I read most of them to Sweet Girl. But he has a right not to have everything he writes to me published on the internet. He may never send me another text message.

Is there a rule about sharing text messages? Has Emily Post addressed this issue?

So I told him I would not put our messages in my blog, and I put my phone away. Darn it, I was almost finished.

I saved them in a draft. I didn't say "Never."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Whine Alert.....Whine Alert.......


In this post, I will complain about my part-time online teaching job AGAIN, the job that I don't really need but keep signing up for again and again.

Disclaimer disclaimer:

I'm NOT teaching summer school this year, though, so thank you to those readers who stepped in to remind me just like I asked.

The complaint:

This will come as a shock to some of you, but I am for the most part a rule follower. Even when I don't agree with an edict, I try to follow it. It helps if I get an explanation of WHY we do something a particular way, but nevertheless I try to follow the rules.

We have experienced a great deal of turnover in the last year, which only complicates matters. I think the changes are for the better, but still, change is change.

One thing we have heard ad nauseum is that we cannot be away from our online classes more than 24 hours, excluding weekends. I don't disagree with this policy, although I'm pretty sure some people push the envelope sometimes. Really, if I'm going to be on a bike ride on a Friday and don't log in all day, I feel pretty confident that I can catch up over the weekend and not have my students suffer. If something urgent comes up, I always have my cell phone with me, and I have stopped my bicycle before to resolve a student's problem.

This policy even worked to my benefit this semester, as I served as a substitute teacher while one of my co-workers had knee replacement surgery. It wasn't very stressful, and I didn't really have to do a whole lot of work. I'm sure it gave my co-worker a sense of relief that she didn't have to worry about grading papers while under the influence of painkillers. Although her students might have appreciated it. Comma splices aren't nearly so egregious to an English teacher when she's on morphine.

I promise I'm getting to the part that DOES bother me.

One day I was "impersonating" one of my online students to see if he had done any work in his other course, because he hadn't turned in anything at all for me. I promise this isn't snooping; we are actually required to impersonate our students every two weeks to make sure they aren't using the online tools for socializing or, in some cases, semi-stalking one another.

The first thing that comes up on any of our course homepages is a news announcement. When I opened this student's science class, the first thing I saw was an announcement saying something along the lines of "I am on spring break this week. I will not be grading assignments, and I will not be answering emails."

What the hell? On what level does he consider this proper? The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. I even reached the spiteful point, when I went back into the student's course with the intention of taking a screen shot of that announcement and passing it along to someone in administration.

It was gone. Smart man that he is, he had deleted the news announcement after his week off.

But that isn't even what irks me most of all.

This week we get a congratulatory news announcement welcoming that very teacher to one of the few, coveted, precious, ADMINISTRATIVE, full-time online positions.

I'm going to have a hard time following any instructions from him. I'm just sayin'.......

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Individual Event Finalzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........

I darn near dozed off during the NCAA gymnastics individual event finals tonight. It could possibly be due to the fact that we only had one dog in the fight this year instead of an entire team, but still. I thought the vault competition would neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr drag to an end.

There were some highlights, one especially wicked one and one especially touching one. For the wicked, a hot-shot sophomore from a team in the state directly to our west whom I would love to hate but she's just so darn good, mounts the beam with a very simple step up from the spring board to the beam. Only this time either she stepped wrong or the beam moved, because it just wasn't there when she stepped. I really can't describe how it looked, but as Katydid described it, "I missed her mount, but when I looked she was just sort of dangling off the beam." Awkward! She came in last on balance beam, and I would feel sorry for her except for the fact that she kicked our collected arses at the SEC competition.

The touching moment came from a vaulter from some western school who also only had one dog in the fight. For her second vault (yes, the competition wasn't already interminably long enough, but they require each vaulter to do two DIFFERENT vaults in the individual event finals, judged by six judges, dropping the high and low scores and averaging the remaining four, and the FOOLS that hosted this event didn't even have the decency to have electronic scoring), this girl ran down the runway, leaped onto the springboard, and planted herself squarely in the middle of the vaulting table. I swear I think she had those little birds tweeting around her head. But she gamely saluted the judges and ran back to the corral, probably wishing she were somewhere else. At the very end of the competition, however, they allowed her to come back and do her second vault again, I'm guessing because her misstep was due to an equipment malfunction. That's the only time I know if that you get do-overs in gymnastics.

Our girl tied for second on balance beam, so that's our only consolation prize from nationals this year. I can now consider the season officially over, and perhaps I can find something else to obsess think about. Home tomorrow and back to school Monday for the home stretch, the last 4 weeks of school. Twenty days. I can do this.......

Friday, April 23, 2010

My First Job.....

Sweet Girl and I just back from the local DQ, a five-minute trip that turned into half an hour. Apparently we weren't the only ones who thought a Friday-night ice cream treat would be nice.

It reminded me of my first job, which was at our local DQ. You would have to know how small my hometown was. We didn't even actually live in a TOWN; we sort of lived in the county. Our county had one high school, one fast-food restaurant, zero other restaurants, and zero traffic lights. It was a major controversy when the first traffic light went up; people in the county enjoyed the "quaint" fact that we had no big-city problems. Or conveniences.

The DQ was at the four-way stop just below the high school's football field. It was a hopping place on football Friday nights, since there was no where else to go. My friend "Heidi," the one I wrote about last week, worked there. There weren't a lot of places for teens to work in our county.

One Friday night, after a home football game, one of the other teen employees quit and walked out. Heidi called and asked if I wanted a job. I hadn't been looking for a job; I was only 15. Mom worked and couldn't haul me back and forth to work, so I hadn't applied for a job anywhere.

I took the job, making $1.50 an hour, which I believe was the minimum wage at that time. I got training on-the-spot during the Friday night rush. We had to wear white, so Mom and I drummed up some white double-knit pants (or were they polyester?) and a white blouse that I'm sure was hers. After that weekend, we went and bought some nurses' uniform pieces that I could wear to work.

I was so proud of having a job. I don't remember how many hours per week I worked; it couldn't have been many. I was smug when I learned how to do that little curlicue on top of the ice cream cones. (It isn't that difficult, as it turned out.) It was a tough job, particularly after football games. My manager, who was thrilled with my performance the night I was hired, wasn't always so easy to please. And I'm sure I was a typical teenager, often more concerned with my social life (such as it were) than doing the best job I could.

I also don't remember how long I worked there. I think it was about 8 months. I started during football season, and I got fired the following summer. I didn't get fired for something I did, but for something my mother did. But that's a story for another day.

It's probably a good thing I don't work at the DQ anymore. I would be as big as a house, I'm sure.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NFL Draft......

I don't follow the NFL draft much, possibly because I don't understand it at all. I don't understand picks and rounds and trades and all that stuff at all.

Because I'm watching a Florida television station, however, news just came across the crawler that Sir/Lord/His Highness/The Almighty Tim Elbow has been drafted by the Denver Broncos.

I find that particularly ironic, since Georgia's big-dog (pun intended) running back from a couple of years ago, Knowshon Moreno, has kept up his awesomeness since joining the Broncos.

I'm going to have a heck of a time deciding whether or not to continue liking the Broncos. Depends on how much playing time Elbow gets, I suppose.

I wish life weren't so full of these tough decisions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's Only Money......

Flying to Florida from my home in North Georgia takes approximately the same amount of time, all told, as driving to Florida. But there's no first class (excuse me....BUSINESS class) when I drive, and no one brings me a free beer. Or two. It didn't HAVE to take that long. I just tend to leave home a whole lot earlier than I need to when I fly out of Atlanta. You never know what's going to come up.

What sort of almost came up this time was a learning experience for me. Apparently if you fly with a CPAP machine, they want you to take it out and put it in the bins with your cell phone, change, keys, belt, shoes, and laptop. What they do NOT want you to do is pack it on the bottom of your bookbag and pack four days' worth of clothes on top of it for padding. It was quite embarrassing to see the grumpy security worker unpack all of my clothes ... underwear included ... to get to the CPAP machine. And then he had to take the machine over and CHECK THE MOTOR on it. Because clearly, any terrorist worth his salt will choose a 49-minute flight from Atlanta to Jacksonville to blow up, and he will use a CPAP machine to accomplish his pernicious act. It's embarrassing enough for everyone in the security line to know I have to sleep with the aid of a machine. There shouldn't be any shame in it, but still....

I know you don't get jet lag from a 49-minute flight, but I'm tired. Time for bed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Randomness.......

  • One thing I like about baseball season is that it ends in the same year it starts. Not true with basketball or football.
  • Some authors need to write faster. Anne Rivers Siddons, Pat Conroy, Terry Kay to name a few. No coincidence that all of those are Southern authors.
  • I can tell it's the end of the semester for my online job. I just taught my weekly one-hour lesson in about 21 minutes.
  • Remember the story about the stick-on states that came with our RV and how I peeled off and threw away the states we hadn't been to yet, knowing that we are eventually going to go to those states? Yeah, they don't make that kind anymore.
  • I keep buying cookbooks. But they don't really make me want to cook.
  • I'm flying to Florida tomorrow. And if it won't fit in my bookbag, it ain't going. Seriously, I'm going to pack for four days in a bookbag. That includes my breathing machine. It does not include my laptop, which will be my other carry-on item.
  • When we camp in the motorhome, I get all giddy about cooking, washing the dishes, drying the dishes, and putting things in their proper places. Why can't that carry over to my house?
  • I have a former co-worker who lives in Florida now. When he found out I was coming to Florida this weekend, he invited me to a Jimmy Buffett concert. I thought "Cool" and asked how much tickets were. His response? "Oh, we don't have tickets. We're just tailgating all day. We're staying at the hotel next to the....." Seriously? You tailgate for a concert you're not going to? Man, I've been out of the loop too long.
  • The kid who was in the best position to be UGA's starting quarterback next fall has been dismissed from the team, presumably for his arrest on an alcohol-related offense during Spring Break. His mother works in the athletic office. Ouch. I'm rather proud of our coach.
  • As long as I am employed by a school system, I will feel obligated to capitalize Spring Break.
  • I feel guilty when I stop at the bank and take money out of my own savings account. I imagine this little person inside the ATM saying, "Hey! Hey!!! Didn't you just put that money IN HERE? You're killing me here!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Where Did My Fearlessness Go?.........

I used to be quite fearless.

I learned to swim very early and couldn't understand why my mom had this stupid rule about not swimming alone in the pool at our trailer park when I was 5 years old. I couldn't help it if none of the BORING grown-ups around there wanted to swim at 7:00 AM. And why did she have them rat me out EVERY SINGLE TIME?

When I was 10 I had one of those cool bicycles that were popular at the time, with the high-rise handlebars and a "banana" seat. Just flying down the road wasn't enough for me. No, I had to stand on the seat with one foot and put the other foot on the handlebars. Only one time I got it backward and put my weight on the handlebars first, and a pretty nasty crash ensued. I'm positive it didn't deter me, though.

I climbed trees. I climbed buildings. There was a Boy Scout hut across the street from where we lived once, and it had a marvelous rock chimney that was better than a ladder. I could easily scale that chimney and sit on the roof of the building, which was where I was happier than anywhere else. One time I was sitting up there alone when two older boys climbed the chimney too. I didn't know them, but apparently they were fine-tuning their bullying skills. They perched themselves on either side of the chimney, the only way down, and said something about "that little girl." So I just calmly walked to the edge of the roof, jumped off, and ran home.

Another bullying episode was in the swimming pool at the trailer park. I was sitting in an inflated inner tube in the pool when this particularly mean boy decided he wanted it. He proceeded to come over and turn the tube over, with me clinging to it. I refused to let go, even underwater. He flipped it back upright; I was still hanging on. He turned it over again; I held on tight. No matter how long he left me underwater, I still held on to that tube. I think he finally got disgusted and gave up.

Of course then there was the period of my life when I jumped out of airplanes. Sixty-six times I jumped out of airplanes. Some were good jumps; many were not. I finally decided that if I couldn't be good at skydiving, perhaps I should just give it up while the odds weren't stacked COMPLETELY against me.

Somewhere along the way, though, I lost my fearlessness. Today, in celebration of my first day of Spring Break and a triumphant return from a weekend of bicycle riding, Hubby decided we should clean out the gutters. Our house is a split-level, which means that parts of it are really, really tall. We have a really, really tall ladder to reach the gutters on those parts.

I don't like the idea of Hubby on a ladder, not since he fell off one in 2001 while cleaning the gutters at his mother's house. I still have nightmares of that fall, especially since I really should have been holding the ladder. He might bear some responsibility in that he was A) wearing flipflops on a ladder; and B) coming down backward.

But the only other option besides Hubby getting on the ladder is for ME to get up there. And I bravely did so. Briefly. I climbed to the top and cleaned some of the debris out of the gutters, but Hubby grew impatient with my snail's pace and took my spot. I even climbed on top of the house to walk to the other side and clean those gutters, but I froze. Being on top of the house used to be my favorite thing in the world. What has happened to me? I'm sure it could have something to do with the fact that we now have a metal roof that is covered in pollen. I was never afraid of sliding off the shingles, but that metal roof is quite literally a slippery slope. And a slopery slip.

While I was on top of the house, our neighbor saw me, and he yelled over here. "Tell your husband I'm going to kick his ass!" That was rather touching and a little bit comical, since this neighbor is a bit ..... diminutive. I'd buy tickets to watch him try to beat Hubby's anything.

I'm not at all bothered by the fact that Hubby had to wind up doing all the cleaning himself. I don't think he blinks an eye when I do all of the cooking, dish-washing, laundry, and minimal housekeeping that gets done around here. I did hold the ladder this time, though, while he threw crap from the gutters on my head. And I made sure he had on sensible shoes.

It just bothers me that I'm not fearless anymore.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Couple of Firsts on a Bike Ride.....

Today Katydid and I had a couple of "firsts" on our bike ride.

We were camping in a state park about 10 miles from where the weekend's rides started, and yesterday we drove out there to start. Our camping location, however, was about 3 miles from rest stop #3 on today's route, so we decided to start there. We rode from the park to rest stop #3 and then rode the route backward to rest stop #2. That was quite a challenge, since at the beginning it was too early to look for oncoming cyclists. We had to look for turn symbols and signs on the OTHER side of the road at every intersection. Eventually, however, we started seeing a steady stream of cyclists on the regular route. I'm not a big fan of riding the route backward, particularly when there are large numbers of riders. (This weekend we had over 900, so it was larger than usual for a weekend ride.) When there is traffic, drivers have to watch out for cyclists coming in both directions, so they're doubly pissed off about that. This weekend, however, we were on mostly low-traffic roads, so it didn't pose too much of a problem. Particularly not on a Sunday morning. Riding the route this way gave us a nice round 40 miles for the day, and it meant we didn't have to drive to the beginning and then back to the motorhome when we were finished.

The other "first" involved this farm.

I've posted about them before. It's because they have cows that look like this.

They're not officially called Oreo cows, and I'm sure they have a real name. This farm has been on our Spring Tune-Up route for several years, and cyclists started stopping and taking pictures. The owner got wind of it, and he decided he would be an "unofficial" rest stop.

Three years ago, we came to a screeching halt at his farm when we saw that he had posted two signs. "Free Oreos" and "Free Beer." Those two don't really go together, so Katydid opted for the Oreo, and I felt obligated to take a beer. I mean, after all, the man had driven his golf cart all the way down his driveway with a cooler full of beer. Free beer. I didn't want to let him down.

This morning, because we were riding the backward route, his farm was only about 4.5 miles into our ride. And it was about 9:00 AM. As we went past, he shouted, "This is the booze cart!" And I replied, "We'll be back!"

He wasn't lying. When we came back a couple of hours later, we saw that he had once again provided free beer and free Oreos to passing cyclists.

But this year he had added something new.

Bloody Marys.

The picture above is of the farm owner, happily pouring free Bloody Marys for cyclists curious/adventurous enough to stop.

They said we could see the cows if we walked down the driveway.

I've seen cows before. But Bloody Marys on a bicycle ride?

That was a first.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Complaints..........

Katydid and I rode 58 miles on the tandem today, and I can't find a single negative thing to say about it. The scenery was beautiful, the routes were excellent, there weren't too many killer hills, and we couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. We hit a maximum of 42 mph. Gotta love the tandem on the downhills. "Roughing" it in the motorhome is way better than sleeping in a tent. Electricity, cable tv, our own shower. Haven't decided how far we will ride tomorrow. Early to bed tonight for sure.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Great Plans.........

I had such great plans today. I knew there wouldn't be many kids at school because it was the last day before Spring Break. I planned to keep up with my online grading so I could start the weekend with an empty dropbox. (Why does that sound a little obscene?) I didn't count on two of our kids being in a terrible wreck this morning. (They are fine.). They were on a school-sanctioned activity. For which we did not require permission slips. They are brother and sister, both under 18. I didn't count on my boss thinking it would be better for me to acccompany our services coordinator to the hospital instead of her going herself. I also didn't count on the Internet connect card I bought for the laptop being useless because we are in a no-service area. I didn't count on blogging with my thumbs. That's so 2009.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


If we can just get through tomorrow, we will reach Spring Break AT LAST, and we'll only have four weeks of school left when we get back. I am so ready for the break.

Katydid and I are taking the motorhome on a bicycle ride this weekend. We'll camp with full hook-ups, which is a heck of a lot better than sleeping in a tent and a whole bunch cheaper than staying in a motel. We'll even have internet, if I am successful at setting up the connect card that I bought for the laptop tonight. I never said we were roughing it.

Monday Hubby and I are planning to take a day-trip on the motorcycles. We probably won't ride more than 100 miles; just somewhere out in the country to enjoy the scenery. We'll probably have lunch somewhere and then Hubby will be hell-bent on getting back home.

Tuesday Gus has an appointment with his new hairdresser. I hope we like her, because it's harder to find a new dog groomer than a new people hairdresser. And he's getting quite shaggy, since our former groomer had the audacity to get married and move to Texas. Tuesday is also the day I play to tackle the "computer room," better known as a junk room. I'm going to be ruthless. I may take before and after pictures, if I'm not too embarrassed.

Wednesday I will fly to Florida to see Sweet Girl. I got a sweet deal on a round-trip ticket for about a hundred bucks each way. Gas would cost almost that much, never mind the twelve hours out of my life it would take to drive round-trip.

Thursday I have tickets to the NCAA gymnastics championships. I will NEVER buy national championship tickets in advance again - I think it's bad karma. Even though our team isn't in the competition, we do have an individual competitor in two events, beam and floor, and she has more than a decent shot at a national title.

Friday night's competition is for the team national championship, and we will probably go just to see who wins. It'll be weird, though, not having a team to cheer for. Like the time Hubby and I went to the SEC football championship game because someone gave him the tickets. Auburn and Florida were playing, and Hubby and I sort of sat in our seats with our arms crossed. We wanted them both to lose.

Saturday night will be the individual event championships, and we'll go to that only if our girl reaches the finals. Which she should. But our team SHOULD have made it to nationals too, so I'm not going to jinx her.

Sunday morning I'll fly home and begin the decompression process for returning to school after break.

But in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the time off. Happy spring!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Hate it When He's Right......

It's that time of year when I want to ride my motorcycle to school because the weather is so gorgeous in the afternoons. The mornings....not so much.

This morning I decided to ride the Harley. The temperatures were pleasant enough, so I was willing to go through the extra trouble.

Riding the motorcycle means I have to transfer my calendar, phone cord, school keys, cell phone, driver's license holder, and wallet from my regular school bag to a bookbag that I wear on the motorcycle. It also means I have to take shoes, shirt, hair thingies (theoretically, and not after tomorrow), and lunch in the same bookbag.

Today I was wearing a blouse with a tank top under it, so I put on the tank and a t-shirt over it. When I ride the motorcycle I leave my hair wet and ATTEMPT to fix it when I get to school. I have hair gel, hairspray, hair dryer, curling iron, and brush at school, along with a vast array of other toiletry items.

Hubby glanced at me and said, "You're going to need a jacket."

I resist wearing jackets most of the time, particularly the leather one because it makes me feel like a trussed-up hog, and particularly on days when I won't need the jacket in the afternoon. I'm willing to suffer a little (I SAID A LITTLE) in the morning for a nice ride in the afternoon.

I reluctantly put on a sweatshirt over the t-shirt and tank top that I was already wearing. I had on capris and sneakers, but my legs don't get cold.

I nearly froze on the 8-mile ride to school. It's so hard to predict how it's going to feel on the bike compared to how it feels standing in the yard.

I hate it when he's right.

But it surely was nice coming home this afternoon. With three shirts stuffed in my bookbag.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


For all that's holy, will this week EVER end? And it's only Tuesday!

I am so brain-dead that counting down the days to some significant dates is all I can come up with tonight. I taught my one-hour online lesson in 34 minutes tonight. And most of that was going over procedures for upcoming final exams. I hope they got SOMETHING out of the lesson; I have no idea what it was about.

Countdown to:

Spring Break - 3 days

The next Sisters' Saturday - 32 days

Leaving for a 5-night cruise - 46 days

Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) - 53 days

Kickoff for the 2010 football season - 144 days

Retirement - 779 days

Monday, April 12, 2010

High School Friendships.....

I used to be one of those people like my aunt who feel they should stay connected with anyone and everyone they've ever met. I swear, my aunt still goes to spend weekends with people I think she went to elementary school with.

I have a couple of close friends from high school with whom I've maintained contact over the years. Four of us went to Charleston for a weekend and had a blast, but then one of us died suddenly four months later, so we've been a little reluctant to get together after that.

One of my friends from high school was a girl we will call "Heidi." She was the prettiest, most talented, most popular girl in middle school (only it was called intermediate school when we were there). The first time she called and wanted ME to spend the night at her house, my mother asked me if I had misunderstood. (Example #98155641 of my mother's sensitivity. Ranks right up there with buying me a bathroom scale for my birthday one year.)

But Heidi was a mess. She turned to drugs, stole money from the school (uhhh.....she was the student body treasurer), ran away, got sent to a boarding school for a while, was just generally a mess.

I ran for her student body office (and won), played in the band, was in the Beta club, honor graduate, went to college. I'm not saying I was sweet and innocent, because I was neither, but I just couldn't follow Heidi down that path.

She came to one of my bridal showers. She was married with a daughter, and when I opened her gift, there was no card attached. She claimed it, we all laughed, and then whoever was helping me with my gifts said, "Oh, here's the card" and pulled it out. Heidi ran across the room and grabbed the card, and there was an awkward moment as everyone realized she had regifted something, probably from when she got married herself. My heart hurt for her to think that she wanted to come to my shower so badly, but she probably didn't have money to buy a gift. I wasn't at all bothered by the regifting; I was embarrassed for HER. Hell, the casserole dish was new to me, so what did I care?

Heidi had a strong personality, and it still amazes me that I didn't follow in her footsteps. I wanted her approval, I wanted her looks, I wanted her singing voice. One year for my birthday when we were in about the eighth grade, we went shopping. She told me to sit outside while she went and bought my gifts. I never questioned her. I sat dutifully outside on the bench while she visited several stores.

My mother knew. She had an incredible insight about people and their behaviors, probably as the result of having raised my two brothers. Or perhaps she knew Heidi's kind. Or perhaps she automatically believed the worst of anyone. At any rate, it was years before I realized, or at least acknowledged to myself, that everything Heidi gave me for my birthday had been shoplifted.

We reestablished contact when Sweet Girl was 10. Heidi's girls were 8 and 12, and when we contacted one another we discovered that we lived about a mile and a half apart. Heidi had just gotten her girls back from her ex-husband, and she was at a loss as to what to do with them while they were out of school for the summer. You guessed it, since I was a teacher, I wound up babysitting them every day for the rest of the summer. Putting three prepubescent girls together was disastrous, and my Sweet Girl was right in the middle.

The next time I heard from Heidi was after Hubby and I married. First she made some judgmental comment about my having married Hubby, then she asked if I would take her to see her eldest daughter at the Regional Youth Detention Center. Do you detect a pattern here? A couple of patterns?

I didn't hear from her anymore until a little more than a year ago, when she tracked me down online. She had divorced and remarried, and we made arrangements for me to go see her.

She was/is still a mess. She is a trained surgical technician/nurse, but I think she lost her hospital job due to drug issues. I don't think she's been able to hold down a job since then. She mentioned getting a job in a doctor's office, but she left after only a day or so because they sprayed the building for insects, and she just couldn't take that.

Excuse me?

She called last week the day after my birthday, but we were at the baseball game so I didn't answer. She didn't have the day wrong, she had just been too busy moving the day before to call me. I called her back on Friday, and just carrying on a brief conversation with her exhausted me. She started telling me a story about the autistic son of a friend of her older sister's, and she was hysterical with laughter while she was trying to tell it. I never did understand what it was about. I don't know if it's still drugs, or if she just has mental issues now on TOP of the drugs. She has two grandchildren, and she was trying to tell me about them, but it was just too hard to follow her train of thought. When we started to hang up, she said "I love you" and I said "I love you too," but I felt guilty saying it. I don't even KNOW her to love her.

It feels a little ugly to me, but I simply cannot allow that friendship's embers to rekindle. It needs to die a peaceful death. She is needy even at the age of 50, and she has never been able to take care of herself. Oh, and it's never been her fault either. She is also a user, something it has taken me years to acknowledge. I don't like the fact that I allowed myself to be used by her. Again and again.

Do some people not have that external lens to view themselves as others see them? Or do they make it okay in their minds not ever to grow up, not ever to become responsible, not ever to take responsibility for their lives?

I think in some cases drifting apart is the best thing that can happen.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Pictures Would Have Made You Gasp......

I wish I had pictures to document this post, because it's pretty hard for me to describe it adequately.

A few years ago, I joined the YMCA in the town where I was working at the time. Our school didn't start until 10:00, so I could go to the "Y" and swim laps before school.

One weekend after I joined the "Y", Hubby and I did some yard work. For some reason, the push mowing part of the yard work always falls to me. If I'm not here ... it doesn't get done. These two things are connected, just trust me.

During the day at school one day, my eye started itching. Not my eyeball, but the eyelid. It had a couple of little bubbles on it. I'm horribly allergic to poison ivy/poison oak, and I figured I had encountered something while mowing the weeds under the fig tree in our back yard. I immediately went to the doctor, considering my past experiences with poison ivy/poison oak, and he muttered something like, "Well it MIGHT be poison ivy...." as he wrote me a prescription for blasted steroids. I hate steroids.

Stupid doctor. Don't I know when I have poison ivy/poison oak?

Fast forward four months down the road, at the end of summer as school has started back. I decide to jump right back in the routine of swimming before school in the mornings before I can think of excuses not to.

This time I start feeling a little itchy on my back and face, but no big deal. I wake Hubby up in the middle of the night to put some anti-itch lotion on my back. The next morning, we are sitting at breakfast when Hubby says,

"OH. MY. GOD."

And he's staring at my face.

My eyelids had blisters on them, I had welts on my face and neck, my back and arms were broken out, and naturally I felt like crap. Back to the doctor.

Sitting in the waiting room, I have an epiphany. I get out my checkbook to see the date I wrote the last check for my co-pay when I thought I had poison ivy/poison oak.

It was four days after I joined the "Y".

I'm a little puzzled, because one of the reasons I joined that particular "Y" is that they advertised using a salt system in their pool instead of chlorine. I had developed an allergy to chlorine bleach when I was pregnant, and I had a feeling that pool chlorine had the same effect. I broke out after swimming in our home pool only sometimes, and only mildly. It was pretty easy to keep our chlorine regulated.

This wasn't mild.

I called the "Y" and explained the situation. I assured them that I wasn't blaming anyone for my plight, but I needed to satisfy my own curiosity. The aquatics director put me on hold while she went to check the date of my visit. Her explanation didn't make me feel much better.

"I know what happened," she said. "The day before you came to swim, we had a 'fecal incident' in the pool. I had dumped 25 pounds of chlorine in the pool. I was coming in at 8:00 to neutralize it."

By 8:00 AM, of course, I had already been swimming in the pool of death.

Apparently they did have a salt system, but after a "fecal incident" they had to shock the pool the old-fashioned way.

"Next time," she said, "check with the lifeguard to see if we've had to shock the pool."

That won't be necessary, lady. I'll just stick with my own pool, where we don't have "fecal incidents."

Eventually we switched to a salt system in our own pool, and the results have been amazing. No more break-outs, and the cost of salt for the summer is about $6.00 versus around $200.00 for chlorine.

I still wish I had pictures.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Knew it Could Happen but I Didn't Really Believe It.....

For the first time in .... I think forever .... the UGA gymnastics team won't be going to nationals. With the season we've had, it isn't a HUGE surprise .... but it is. I'm trying not to be horribly disappointed, despite the fact that I ALREADY HAVE STINKIN' TICKETS TO NATIONALS. It won't be a wasted trip, though, since I will get to spend time with my Sweet Girl. But still....

Even if we HAD made it to the preliminaries, there's no guarantee we would have been one of the top three in our session, unlike years past when we were a shoo-in. I can count at least 6 other teams that we would have had a hard time beating ... if we had been able to get there. I guess that's pretty obvious, since there were two in our REGION that we couldn't beat tonight.

It was unbelievably close. The top two teams from each regional competition advance to nationals. We tied for second, and since you can't take three teams, the tiebreaker was to count ALL the scores, not just the top 5 from each event. We had a fall on bars; Oregon State didn't have a fall on anything. Our fall was from a senior, who was competing for the first time in her home state of Missouri. My heart breaks for her; I'm sure at the time she had no idea it would be her last collegiate bars routine. She came back with a huge score on balance beam, but the damage was unfortunately done.

It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world.

I'll just keep telling myself that.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tracing Our Roots.....

Sweet Girl has become interested in tracing her ancestry through an online website, and she has already found some cool facts about her family, particularly her dad's side. I think it's remarkable that she's interested, because it seems unusual for young people to care about their roots. It may be that both grandparents on her dad's side are deceased, and she didn't get to learn a lot about them while they were alive. She doesn't have a lot of contact with that side of the family, and her biological father is NO HELP at all, so she is wise to go the online route, where a lot of the work has already been done. For a fee, of course.

She didn't get this curiosity from me, because I have never been interested at all in tracing my family roots. First of all, with our family, I figure it's wise to let sleeping (and dead) dogs lie and not go digging too deep in the dung heap. Secondly, I've just never seen the point. So what if we can trace our roots back to the Mayflower or the Salem Witch Trials or some random serial killer? The only kind of ancestor I would really be interested in finding is one who unbeknown to me left me and my descendants a million dollars a day for life.

This is not to say that Sweet Girl (and others) SHOULDN'T be interested. I think it's fascinating that they want to dig into family histories. It's just not for me. Probably years down the road when I don't have anything else to do, I may regret not going to a little more trouble to find out about my ancestors. I'll have to take that chance, though.

If they had just been considerate enough to blog about their lives, it would be so much easier. See what a favor I'm doing Sweet Girl and all her descendants?

You're welcome.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baseball Overdose.....

There is really no such thing as baseball overdose, but it's past my bedtime and that's the best I could come up with.

We went to a minor league baseball game tonight, a first for me. I had heard several people say there isn't a bad seat in the house in this new stadium, and I have to agree with them. It was a small, intimate, fun environment.

Thank goodness for the torrential rains we had this afternoon, or I would never have been able to sit outside in the pollen clouds. But everything was fresh and cleansed by the rain, and it was very pleasant.

We didn't get to stay for the whole game -- do we EVER when Hubby is along?

So now I'm home, watching the animated version of the game we just left to see the conclusion (the home team won 8-6).

I'm also watching the end of the real Braves' game on television, where there is one out in the ninth and the end may not be so good for the home team unless something positive happens in a hurry. Our phenom batter just went down on three pitches, so I am a little less confident.

Tomorrow night I'm going to a high school baseball game between the two schools in our county. Lawanda the Warrior Princess's son plays catcher for one of the teams.

Then I'm going to come home and watch highlights of the Masters. Saturday I will ride the tandem with Katydid, watch more Masters coverage, watch highlights of the G-Day football game, and catch the gymnastics regionals online.

I need to go buy some Cracker Jacks.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me.......

Ten reasons I'm glad my birthday occurs when it does:

  1. April has the coolest birthstone. Really, how did the powers that be decide that WE deserved the diamond? Clearly it was a correct assumption, but how did they KNOW?
  2. My birthday means that baseball season is officially underway. My gift from Hubby this year is tickets to the minor league Braves team, who relocated nearby just last year. They (there "they" go again) say there isn't a bad seat in the whole stadium.
  3. It also usually coincides in some way with the Masters golf tournament. I will gorge myself on Masters coverage starting tomorrow. Hubby will be gone this weekend, so I will have complete and total control of the remote. Seriously, the deciding factor of whether or not to go to Missouri for gymnastics this Saturday was the fact that I would miss all of Saturday and a large chunk of Sunday coverage of the Masters, and I can always watch the gymnastics meet online.
  4. My birthday USUALLY occurs during Spring Break. Thank you, board of education, once again for our retarded, exhausting, homicide-inducing schedule this year. Oh, and thank you in advance for your wise, insightful decision to have the same schedule again NEXT YEAR.
  5. The annual G-Day football game occurs this week as well. Although it isn't an official game, it reminds me that we get to start all over this year in a mere 150 days.
  6. My birthday means that the Spring Tune-Up ride is just a week and a half away. It's the first multi-day ride of the year, and this year Katydid and I are taking the motorhome. No more sleeping in a tent for us!
  7. I can officially put away the sweaters, turtlenecks, socks, and closed-toe shoes. We MIGHT just have another mini-cold snap (shhhhhhhhhhhhh), but if we do I will just suffer through it. Once the toe ring goes on, it's sandals for the next 6 months.
  8. Opening the pool cannot be too far away.
  9. Yellow is my favorite color, and everything around here is such a lovely shade of yellow. Oh, that's not such a good thing.
  10. Yellow roses are so much cheaper on my birthday than they are on Valentine's Day, and Hubby surprised me with a dozen of them today. They were on the table when I got home from school, and he was only slightly insulted that I failed to notice them. My only defense is that I have felt like crap all day, and my mind isn't where it should be.

It has been a terrific birthday, the last one in my 40's.

Okay, it was terrific up until THAT.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

From the "Is This Really Necessary?" Department....

Perhaps you have seen this ad for a website where only the truly talented ($100K) get only the jobs truly worthy of them ($100K). It apparently appeared during the Super Bowl in 2009.

If you don't want to watch it, let me summarize it for you. This is a direct quote from some random website where I found the commercial in its entirety: "A majestic herd of office chairs races across the African plains as a team of determined hunters attempts to capture the one giant executive chair in their midst."

It's a clever enough twist on the job search theme, particularly in these days of a crappy economy. I get that you want to capture the really big, plush, leather office chair instead of one of the many plain old rolly chairs you find on the plains of Africa.

What this clip doesn't show is the disclaimer that appears at the end of the ad when it airs on HLN in the mornings.

I am aware that disclaimers are necessary due to the stupidity of the American public as a whole, because you know if they have to say it, that means that SOMEWHERE, SOMEBODY has tried it.

This disclaimer, however, appears as a herd of runaway office chairs scoots across the safari-type landscape:




I had just thought about booking me a trip to Africa to see if I could land me one of them there chairs.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Yellow Dust......

It's that time of year here in North Georgia.

The time of the yellow dust.

I wanted to take a picture of my car, which is supposed to be red, now yellow, but it's almost dark now. The car (and every other one in these here parts) is covered with a thick layer of yellow pollen.

They say (who is this "they", and why do they talk so much?) that the pollen we see on our cars isn't the pollen that aggravates our sinuses. I'm not usually bothered by pollen, since I have vasomotor rhinitis and suffer allergy-like symptoms every freakin' day of the freakin' year, but boy am I suffering today.

I foolishly opened my window-door in my classroom today so we could enjoy the nice weather. Bad move. In no time my eyes were watering, my nose was running, and I could taste the grit of pollen in my mouth.

I know I'm prone to exaggeration, but this is NOT one of those times. You can actually see yellow clouds of pollen drift across the road. I have a feeling it's going to be a Benadryl night. Please, please, please, please let me have some Benadryl in the cabinet.....

It reminds me of a funny story of one of my favorite teachers from high school. I loved him dearly and would work harder for him than any other teacher. It wasn't a crush kind of adoration, either. He wasn't cute, he was just smart. And funny. And he wouldn't let me get away with crap, so I respected him for that.

He went out to get in his car one day after school and became infuriated that someone had sprinkled yellow chalk dust all over his car. And the other teachers' cars too. This was, obviously, back in the day when teachers still used chalkboards, and someone had discovered that yellow chalk was easier on the eyes than white. Or perhaps it was cheaper, I don't know. Or maybe it was just trendy.

The poor man stormed up to the principal's office to report this act of vandalism.

Apparently he wasn't from around here. I thought they would never let the poor man live it down. Someone sent him an envelope full of chalk dust the next week and asked him to analyze it.

You see, the poor man was a science teacher.

I wonder what he's doing now.....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaack...........

Just in case you noticed I was gone.....

It is a rare event that I miss a day of blogging, and I don't think I have EVER missed two days in a row.

I didn't know there were parts of the world where there was no internet AND no cell service.

We took the motorhome to South Carolina this weekend. We had planned the trip for a while, but then we had some minor mechanical problems late last week, and I didn't think we would get to go. Therefore I didn't plan ahead and write a couple of blog entries to post while we were gone.

I found out literally at 3:00 Friday that we were indeed going out of town. I had to pack the food, clothes, dog, gear, breathing machine, crocheting, computer (useless, as it turned out) all in a matter of about 30 minutes.

I left out some really important things. Like my toiletries case. I reached for it, but it never made it to the RV. You know you've been married almost 13 years when you can share a toothbrush for a weekend. I didn't think I had a hairbrush either, and I was going to cut my hair with a butcher knife in that case. Luckily I found one in the bottom of purse, largely unused. The brush, not the purse.

The campground had wireless internet, but only at the main building and in the guest rooms. That was about a 3 mile walk around the lake from where we were camped. It was a very short row in a kayak, but we didn't take that either. It was a very doable bicycle ride, but we didn't take those either. I wasn't about to lug my laptop on a 3-mile walk.

I remember now that the last time we were in this state park, the cell coverage was spotty. But in the campground itself, it was nonexistent. We were completely incommunicado all weekend. And you know what? It wasn't totally bad. I think it might do us good every now and then to be without those amenities.

I used to be a tent camper, and I didn't mind it at all. Then. I could cook on a campstove, "go" in the woods, wash dishes in a creek, and be entertained by a campfire.

Nowadays, my idea of "roughing it" is what we did this weekend. A campground without internet.

I enjoyed having a microwave, shower (theoretically - we also had an issue with the hot water heater), coffee maker, air conditioner (yes, really!).

Oh, and I actually drove the RV. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. Of course, I mostly went straight.

This is the view out our "bedroom" window. Yes, I make my bed every day, even in the RV.

Last night we grilled steaks and some of the most awesome corn-on-the-cob that I've ever had. I think it was completely accidental that I cooked it the PERFECT amount of time. We also had a salad, which means we officially ate better at the campground than we do at home. Hubby says we're going again next week.

Not really.

I was able to add another state sticker to the map on the inside of the door.

Those of you who are my OCD friends will totally be able to relate to the state sticker thing. Hubby thinks I'm nuts. Our RV was a used one, and this map was already on the door. Apparently that's just something you DO when you have an RV. The folks who owned it before us had put stickers for Florida, Alabama, and possibly Mississippi on the map. I'm guessing they had actually camped in those places. They left the remaining state stickers in the RV.

I tore off the stickers of places we haven't been yet. That means that when we DO go there, I won't have those states to put on the map. But it didn't seem right to have them on the door when we haven't been there ourselves. So when we take the RV to Florida (I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope), I will have to buy a new set of stickers.

Yes, I need therapy.

But I felt really terrible about not blogging. I felt worse about that than I do when I don't exercise.

Which I didn't do today. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride, but I spent the day inside, catching up on my virtual school grading that I couldn't do over the weekend.

Oh, and Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another Sign of the Apocalypse.......

Or perhaps just another sign that our students are losing their collective mind.

(If it's collective, is it one mind? Or should it be plural?) Hmmmmm.....

This incident is from one of the students from whom we never hear a peep. Sometimes literally, because he can't seem to come to school all that often. When he is there, he works steadily, behind his curtain of hair, and rarely says a word. He's not a problem student.

Today I saw him when he checked in around 10:00 or so. I knew he was there.

When 11:00 came and it was time for him to be in my class, he wasn't there. I gave it a few minutes, because sometimes students are finishing up things in other classes and neglect to come tell me they'll be a couple of minutes late. It's no biggie.

He didn't come to class, and he didn't come to class, so finally I emailed my co-workers.

"He was just in my 2nd period," came the reply.

"Not here now," I emailed back.

About 30 minutes later, he walked in my room.

Here is the conversation that ensued:

Me: Billy Bob? [That's not his real name. Names have been changed to protect the stupid.] Where were you?

Billy Bob: I was going to play hooky, but I changed my mind. [This would be perfectly normal coming from some of our students. Billy Bob, however, is not one to joke around. He wouldn't waste the energy.]

Me: No, really.

Billy Bob: Really. I was all the way at the BP station on 211, but I turned around and came back.

I can't decide whether it was an April Fools' joke or not.