Thursday, March 19, 2009

Goings On...

Well, I've had a crazy week. I am working on a post for the camping trip, unfortunately, I am unable to sit at the computer for long periods of time right now, so it might take me until the weekend to get it together. It might also come in more that one post, because a lot happened at camp and I'm going through the pictures, too.

I have been going through so major tooth pain. As many know, I have genetically inferior teeth and made some bad choices about tooth care (like not telling Mom that my wisdom teeth were coming in). And now, I am facing multiple extractions. I've put off the surgery for just about as long as I could because of my dental phobia.

Anyway, I've finally scheduled my appointment, so instead of camping with the girls over spring break I'll be nursing puffy chipmunk cheeks and ingesting nothing but liquid foods...which for some reason reminds me of Kirsten and her lost tooth and Mom putting her dinner in a blender...meat and all.

Me? I'm planning ahead! I know I'll not be able to eat solid food, so next weekend, before my surgery, I plan on making a batch of both Sweet Potato Soup ( orangey and delightful) and a batch of Strawberry Soup (tangy and oh so cheery red). That way I'll have a hot food and a cold food both full of nutrients and comfort. Will I want to eat? My buddies at work tell me no.

Speaking of them, they have been trying to freak me out about the surgery. I keep telling them, it isn't the surgery that scares me, it is the thought of the sound of the crunch as my teeth are ripped out. I'll be completely put under - otherwise I would just suffer with the pain of bad teeth - because I cannot fathom making it through that "craackkk" and "crunnccchh." And as I need at least six taken out, I know I wouldn't be able to sit through that!

Cyra, of course, wants to know if I'll be bringing the teeth home so the Tooth Fairy will visit me after the surgery. She is such the sweet innocent! I told her that the Tooth Fairy does not reward those who neglect their teeth and have to have a dentist take them out. She nodded sagely as only a six year old can do, and said, "Oh, that makes sense."

Well, that's it for now. I'm off back to my couch and my Oragel.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Sara says that February is the single suckiest month there is. I have to agree. With a weeks distance between me and February, I feel I can now safely comment on this stupid month.

For some reason, mayhap because of the shortness of it, February always finds me short on funds. No matter what. Ever since I can remember…well since I started paying taxes and bills, I am always in a position of trying to figure out which bill I am going to short in February. And simply because it is a bad economic environment does not explain this away. February is only short by two days, but those two days seem to have great pull. I can’t explain it at all. Now, I won’t claim that money is flowing from the money tree every other month; it is often that we are tight, but February is unique in its short change. It isn’t Christmas effects, because I am pretty good about not buying stuff I don’t have money for (at Christmas time anyway). In addition to the short fall for bills stupid stuff always seems to happen in February that requires a large amount of cash to fix. This year? It was the computer (see my previous post about what Scott did).

Since becoming a teacher February also brings about the hated and despised FCAT writing test, truly the worst judge of an 8th grader’s writing ability. Nothing like massive amounts of pressure to make a 13 year old spew out a brilliant 5-paragraph essay in 45 minutes or less. Not only does it suck for the students, but it sucks for the teachers because the admins start fussing, mussing and micro-managing what we do in the classroom. Apparently, we teachers are not doing our jobs at all even though we get good reviews on observation days and maintain lesson plans and portfolios and diligently repeat repeat repeat lessons and do grade recovery and oh man the list goes on. Come February, everyone from academic coaches to district cluster chiefs feel we don’t teach enough. It would probably help the system if we went back to actually teaching information rather than teaching strategies to understand information (you know like memorize the multiplication table, instead of a multiplication strategy).

Next, of course is my least favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day. I hate this stupid commercial day of forced love! I can not remember liking Valentine’s Day since I was in elementary school. It has nothing to do with love…maybe once it did, but now it has to do with “how much do you love?” And really, I love Scott everyday (yes even when I want to kill him) and he loves me everyday. I don’t need one day out the whole year to show love. I show him everyday, in a thousand little ways, making him lunch, ironing his shirt, kissing him goodbye and telling him, “Be safe.” These might seem like “domestic” or “trivial” acts of love, but love is a daily commitment and affirmation. It is work and flexibility, compromise and determination. Relationships take work. And yes it is nice to have a “romantic” evening out, giving a flower and all that, but I refuse to be told to do it, to make it a commercial event. One day a year to make a show of love is a ridiculous expectation. People get too wrapped up in “romantic” love and don’t pay attention to real love. (By the way, I feel the same way about Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and all those other days. Ridiculous!)

Let’s talk about the weather. February in Florida is like dealing with an emo, manic-depressive angst-ridden teenager. One day it is freezing the next it is in the high 70s. It gets rainy, foggy, yucky, and can’t ever make up its mind about what it really wants to do. And on top of that: Groundhog’s Day!! What is the point? Six more weeks of winter? Early Spring? It doesn’t matter!! Spring starts March 21st each year anyway and February 2nd is roughly six weeks before it. Why doesn’t anyone see this connection? It’s like trying to play mind games with us so we don’t all get Jack Nickolas crazy-like in The Shining because we are miserable in winter blues. And people get miserable sick in February. It’s the height of Flu and cold season and for first time someone in my family got the Flu and when did it happen? February! Cyra was hit the last week. Thankfully, it was the head and ache flu and not the stomach puking flu!

Finally, (and this is going to sound politically incorrect and prejudiced at first but bear with it, because I do have a point) February is Black History Month. Now, what have I got against African Americans? Nothing. I just think it is ridiculous to have history “months” in general. My problem is that history should be taken as a whole, not chunks separated out by people, but chunks separated by time. All history should be explored because it is in our history that we figure out who we are. Race and ethnicity should not be a factor in studying history. It should not be, “Oh, it’s February, let’s study black history.” Or “Oh, it’s March, let’s study women’s history.” History does not happen in isolation, therefore, we can not study isolated pockets and hope to understand.

Now, that being said, I also have a problem with the term “African-American.” We are in a day and age when we need to look at our race as “human.” And our nationality? Well, where were you born? Poland? Guess what? You’re Polish regardless of skin color. South Africa? You’re South African. American?? Guess what? You are AMERICAN regardless of skin color. The only people who should be referred to as African-Americans are those who immigrated to America and became citizens (even then, I have issues because if they became citizens then they are American). How silly would it be for me to walk around saying I’m Irish-English-Scandinavian-American even though it was three or more generations ago that my ancestors immigrated here? I might have Irish ancestry, but I am American. I might have Scandinavian relatives, but I am an American. Yes, the history of slavery is tragic, inexcusable and devastating, however, we cannot change history; we can only study it and learn from it. And one month isn’t going to accomplish that!

The only good things to ever come out of February: my mom’s birthday (which I didn’t even get to celebrate with her yet because Cyra was sick with the flu!) and my niece’s birthday. Everything else? I’d just as soon hibernate through the month. Now that March is here and Spring is on its way, things are looking up!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Zombie Haiku and Early Morning Ramblings

Zombie Haiku

Zombies are moaning
Outside of my locked window
Calling for my brains.

Why do I fear them?
Rotting away. Shambling.
Piles of grey flesh.

They will never stop
In their quest for squishy brains.
Mine must be tasty.

Lock all of the doors.
Board up the first floor windows.
Prepare for the worst.

Grey flesh sloughing off,
Organs and gore oozing out,
Black, soulless, empty.

Contingency plans
Should have contingency plans.
Plan A never works.

Scream all through the night,
No help will be there for you.
Stare into the night.

Alone in the house,
Bloody fingernails scratching,
Ripping at the door.

The dead are walking.
Humankind is at an end.
The dead will consume.

Two thousand and twelve
The Mayans knew what we don’t:
Dead will walk again.

Why worry about
The Nasdaq and the Dow Jones?
Zombies on Wall Street.

I really need to stop reading Zombie stories before I go to bed!

Early Morning Ramblings

If the Borg tried conversion rather than assimilation, I think people would be more willing to be Borg. Here’s why: we claim we want to be unique individuals, yet we exhibit our individuality by following all the latest trends and fads. One of our fears is not fitting in, not being “normal.” Think about it. The Borg allow all people to follow the same trends…that of the Hive Queen. All people fit in whether they are Human, Ferengi, or Klingon. Race doesn’t matter. Gender doesn’t matter. The Borg work together for a united front. Isn’t that what we all claim we want? Peace? The Borg want it too and actually work together to achieve it.

Teenagers are the worst form of humanity on the face of the planet. Hormonal, awkward and gangly, they look to fit in by being nasty and mean. I will accept the claim that all humans are selfish (even those that appear selfless) however, I would claim that teenagers are the epitome of this ideal. It is the teenager mind that wraps around itself and refuses to acknowledge the existence of anything else but themselves. It is a very rare occurrence that teenagers at selflessly. And yes, I realize that this is a huge generalization.

Arthur is really the best cartoon on television today. The new cartoons cater to trends and fads. They offer fluff and cotton. Arthur has substance. By no means am I making the claim that the cartoons I grew up with were any different. Fluff, cotton and catering to a mass market and consumerism, the cartoons I grew up with are no better that that of Dragon Ball Z, SpongeBob, and Mickey Mouse (the new adventures). It is just that Arthur is funny, moral, and real. Kids can relate to it. Hell, I can relate to it! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking today’s cartoons. I’ve learned to like SpongeBob. I enjoy others as well – I can’t think of any right now, but I’m sure there are some out there.

What have I learned today through my early morning ramblings? Fear Zombies and Teenagers. The Borg aren’t all that bad. Arthur rocks!! And I probably shouldn’t philosophize first thing in the morning.