Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm shweepy....

Last night, I was at my brother's bar until nearly 2:30 this morning. In the time I was there working, I managed to drink 3 HUGE 32oz cups of Diet Coke, and the caffeine was working overtime! I could NOT fall asleep when I got home. After hours of watching infomercials and just general crap on TV, I finally turned the TV off at 4:30 am, knowing full well my alarm was set to go off at 6:00. I don't think I really slept at all, I just kind of floated in that in-between stage - not really sleeping, but not fully awake. Anyway, after spending the evening doing my sister's taxes, then my own, I'm far too exhausted to really write about school today. So, instead, I've stolen some stuff from Dori's blog. Thank you, Dori!! The second one nearly made me wet myself!!!

On a side note...the bar should be open by this weekend, God willing!!! We're having a wine tasting tomorrow night, the liquor should be arriving Wednesday, and we should be ready to open by Thursday or Friday. FINALLY!!!!
Tired, very tired, still have to take a long trip. ---Kaspar Hauser

Friday, March 28, 2008

I have the BEST friends!!!

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Upstairs Neighbor!!!

U.N. took the time to write up a few details of the staff meeting Wednesday morning. I sat here rolling my eyes all over again as I read, and then remembered, what happened!! Here's what U.N. had to say:

So I almost posted a recap weds. and now I wish I had because I'm starting to forget a bit of what was said. But here are the highlights (lowlights) I can remember. Feel free to put them in your regular blog space. I don't care, because even though I checked the option "I plan on coming back next year" I am not. So first of all, the meeting was supposed to be brief, but instead lasted thirty entire minutes, making us late to meet the students who were already screaming in the halls.Second, when mentioning the impending walk through- He mentioned how he didn't understand how authentic student work wasn't up on bulletin boards. So he posed the question to all of us, and was met with total absolute silence. Then he tried to say that he doesn't have time to come into our rooms anymore because if we notice, "the administrative team was cut to two people, well, and my literacy teachers, and math and science specialist" (WHICH IF YOU'RE COUNTING MEANS THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM IS ACTUALLY FIVE ENTIRE PEOPLE) and because "we are sending kids down to mr. h. all day long so he can't be freed up." I would like to point out that he has NEVER EVER EVER EVER come into our rooms, no matter how many people have been on the administrative team. Furthermore the person who left, Ms. B. , I'm pretty sure that in the four years, no wait, three years? (I don't even know when she was there)... I spoke to her ONE TIME. Thirdly, the other three people have also NEVER EVER EVER come into my room, and I can't tell you what they do all day. But I can tell you that if there are on average two classes in each grade then that means there are less than twenty classrooms... five members of the administrative team... and 180 days. I'm pretty sure you could swing by. He also mentioned that we should accept this school retooling proposal because we need a shot in the arm, some of us just need some new ideas, and some of us don't know what we are doing at all. I'm pretty sure if you are a principal and a few of your teachers quote "don't know what they're doing at all", then perhaps it would behoove you to try to help those teachers, visit their rooms maybe? Or mention it before....... march? Instead, at 8:50 AM, while hundreds of children were screaming around our meeting building, ten minutes before the day was about to begin and these screaming children were going to enter our classes, he informs us that some of us, but he won't say who, literally are completely incapable of doing the job we are about to do. Lastly, as previously mentioned, he spoke about the problems with teacher attendance and coming on time. As chitowngirl said, he gave this speech to the people who were both present at school and on time. I have lost two preps this week, including first period back from break (WELCOME EFFING BACK), so I agree, 8 people out is INSANE. However, this was a case of literally wanting to shoot the messenger. I have missed ONE day this year. (September, I had to fly to a wedding). I get to school between 7 and 7:45 each day. The Big Cheese has missed MANY days, including leaving early every single day the week before spring break. He also gets to school everyday at roughly 8:30. I am like the Cal Ripken of Hellhole school. And you sir Big Cheese, are no Cal Ripken.

Holy crap! He's SUCH an idiot!!! I forgot all about the comments he made about the "administrative team!" Ass!!! He had the balls to complain that, now that we've lost one assistant principal (hello! that was TWO years ago already!! get over it!) and "because y'all keep sending yo kids down to Mr. H. all day, he's tied up, so it's just me!" that basically we're making his life too hard. Oh, boo hoo!! That's why you make 6 figures, you fucking moron!!! Get a grip!

AND, thanks, U.N. for reminding me about the prep crap. I lost ANOTHER prep today, so that's three in one damn week!! And, he can't be bothered to try and make those up. Basically, it's our problem. Yesterday, we had 4 grades out on field trips. FOUR! There would have been more than enough freed up periods for the prep teachers to give preps to those teachers who missed them earlier in the week. Besides, why should the prep teachers be given half the day with free periods? They already get more preps than we do!!! But, I digress... When I asked Big Cheese about perhaps making up those preps, and how it would do wonders to boost teacher morale, etc., he basically said, no way, it would be too much work to figure it all out. Yeah, you're right, wouldn't want you to actually have to THINK!!!! Ugh!!! Asshole!

I love that U.N. mentioned his cushy schedule, since I haven't complained about that yet. Yes, he generally gets to school around 8:30, which used to be long after most of the teachers. However, with teacher morale so low, many of them are now coming just as late as he does. And there's still that handful that walk in with the damn kids, but again, I digress... Not only did he leave early every single day the week before break, he went home the week before because he wasn't feeling well, then stayed home the next day. WTF!?!? I literally worked the week before that with a damn FEVER!!! And, it certainly wasn't the first time. I've come to work while suffering from colds, sore throats, bronchitis, and even with migraines. What a wuss!!

Wow, it's been a while since I've let myself get that worked up over the Big Cheese. I think I need to stop, as I feel a headache coming on. Thank you though, U.N., for giving another person's opinion of His Royal High-Nee (how do you spell that?), so others can see I'm not really just a whiney little complainer. At least not ALL the time! Love you!!!
Idiots and lunatics see only their own wit.---François de la Rochefoucauld

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I need to put these in a book...

My Upstairs Neighbor was bothered by the fact that I didn't give up the scoop on our ridiculous staff meeting yesterday. Given my Alzheimer's, I can't really remember everything, but I'll share what I can remember.

First of all, I HAVE to share the survey we were handed when we walked in to the meeting. My table was having uncontrollable fits of giggles over this ludicrous document. (Be sure to click on it so it enlarges, and you can read it!)

As a group, we wanted to scratch out the word "different" in the last choice, and write in "some" or "any." One of our teachers was told a while back by our LLT something to the effect of "maybe you'll be happier at your next school." So, naturally, she was looking for the option that said, "Mrs. C. told me to look for a new school."

Another topic brought up in this meeting was teacher attendance. Big Cheese started to talk about it, and immediately says, "Well, I guess I'm preachin' to the wrong group." DUH!!! WE are all here! But, did that stop him from going on and on? Um...NO! He proceeds to waste 10 minutes talking about how we "muss be here everyday, teachers!" (no, that's NOT a typo!) Monday we had 8 teachers out. Far be it from me to agree with anything Big Cheese says, but that is irritating! Dori and I both missed preps this week because so many teachers were out. That sucks! I have yet to miss one single day in the Hell-Hole this year (outside of days that we are scheduled for professional development). Shocking, I know! I seriously think that's a major contributing factor to my unbelievably high stress level this year. In the 18 years I've been teaching, last year was the first year I had any sick days left at the end of the year to carry over to the next year. This year, like I said, I haven't taken ANY days off. I think I feel a sick day coming, though, cuz we don't have another day off until freakin' Memorial Day!!! (OK, all you non-teachers out there can stop rolling your eyes now!) And, just for the record, the main reason I never had any sick days left was because I'm a mom, and when my baby was sick, I had to stay home to take care of him, obviously. But, believe me, there were "mental health days" mixed in there, too.

We do have a teacher institute day coming up on April 11. Dori and I are scheduled to attend some in-service meeting somewhere, but I/we plan to sign and in leave immediately (I know, hard to believe, huh?) so I/we can enjoy the day with my daddy. April 11 will be his 65th birthday. He's officially going to become a senior citizen. Haha! I'm planning to drive up to his office with a cake, and maybe some balloons, just to irritate him. tee hee! We did that on his 60th, and all his employees were so excited. I actually got these giant number balloons, a 6 and a 0, and parked them in the breakroom along with a cake and assorted pastries. This year, his birthday falls on a Friday, so maybe we can make it an all-out party.

I'm sure there were many other things from the meeting that would make for interesting reading, but they escape me right now. If U.N., or anyone else, remembers any of them, PLEASE feel free to share! I'm just too tired to think anymore about it right now, and I still have tons to do for the big fundraiser I'm having Saturday night. I hope to see some of you there!

The man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. ~Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My score was 59

My GreenIQ is 59

I lifted this from Jen's blog, and thought I'd share it. I'm not sure what I think of my score. I like to think I'm pretty environmentally conscience. I recycle everything, I bring my own bags to the store, etc., so I guess I think my score should have been higher. This is what it said about my score:
Despite the fact that you scored just under or just over 50%, you have a relatively high GreenIQ. This means that you are very aware of your lifestyle and how it affects the planet, you also are working on reducing your carbon emissions through your transportation choices and home environment. But that doesn't mean that you are even close to perfect or carbon neutral. You still have room for improvement. Our product suggestions and tips can help you increase your GreenIQ and even further reduce your carbon emissions.
If you take the quiz, let me know what you scored.

Can you tell there's not much to say about school today? I was all set to bitch about Big Cheese, but I just don't have the strength. Plus, quite frankly, I don't want to dedicate any more energy to being pissed about work today. I need to conserve it for the laundry I need to go tackle right now. Too bad it's not warm enough to hang my clothes might have raised my score :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Just a glimpse...

...of how creative and imaginative my babies are.

P.M. used our cubes from math centers to make me! I know it's hard to see (I should have put something behind it) but click on it to enlarge the photo. I told you, he REALLY missed me over break!

I asked K.C. what she was making, because it was really neat, and she very matter-of-factly answered, "It's the universe!" Love it!
I just realized how small these photos are, even when you enlarge them, and I'm sure it's because of the way I saved them. Sorry. I guess I won't bother to post any more tonight. Maybe I'll post more from school tomorrow.
What is now proved was once only imagined. ---William Blake

Monday, March 24, 2008

It could have been worse...

Well, the first day back after a break is always rough, but today wasn't really that bad. First of all, it helped that I had 5 babies absent! And, the outpouring of absolutely unconditional love is enough to make any one's day. My babies really missed me, as I did them, and they REALLY showed it this morning. I got squeezes galore! My little buddy, P.M. literally jumped on me, and had me in a never-ending bear hug. Later he gave me a plastic Easter egg that looked like a soccer ball. Awww!

I'm going to poke my own eyes out if I don't start writing down all the cute little things the babies say!! I bought a damn journal specifically for recording these things, but do you think I even ever take it out of my school bag?! Ugh! I'm pissing myself off! I spend a good part of the day cracking up at the things they say, but by the time I get home, it's lost. Ah, growing sucks!!

I did remember this, though - this morning, we were making literacy games during our reading block (don't tell the Big Cheese!) that involved cutting, which always means lots of scraps. One of the babies came up and asked, "Mrs. L., can I dunk your garbage?" She wanted to take the little can and "dump" it out in the big can in the hall. Too funny!
Children make you want to start life over. ~Muhammad Ali

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Good Friday!

It is tradition in our family to color Easter eggs on Good Friday. Usually, my nieces join us, as they did today. It worked out well this year, since my sister had to work, and needed someone to watch the girls.

It was very strange to watch a snow storm happening outside my window while preparing for Easter. They've been warning us for two days about this storm. The northern suburbs are expected to get up to 8 inches. So far, we have about 2 inches. I don't think we're going to get much more. I took a little video to share, but when I watched it just now, I was amused/embarrassed to hear The People's Court as the (loud!) soundtrack. Enjoy!

While the kids were decorating their eggs (a dozen each!) I whipped up 3 cakes for Easter. I sent one to my awesome neighbors, John & Jean. Another is for my mother-in-law, and the third is for our Easter dinner. They're not fancy, but I think they look cute, nonetheless. I found this edible Easter grass at Sam's Club a couple of weeks ago, and instantly thought of this cake. I had intented to also add jelly beans and/or chocolate eggs, but I didn't remember to buy them. If I get some before Sunday, I'll add them to the cake later. (Especially since I'd like to cover up the white sides of the Peeps!) But, in the meantime, the Peeps will have to do. The cake I created in my head at Sam's Club was way cuter than this, I swear!

The kids spent hours decorating their eggs. I actually took pictures this year for the first time of each egg. The little one wasn't ready to present hers, but here are my older niece and son's favorites:

My son made the scary face, my niece made the bunny. (I wish the picture hadn't turned out so blurry.) I won't bore you by posting all 24 of their eggs! But, they are really cute.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I came across this on Melissa's webpage today, and I thought I'd share it with you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hi, what's your name?

This little darling joined our family a little over a month ago. My son had some goofy science project where he had to bring in 3 living and 3 non-living things that exist together. (Of course, when he received the assignment, it was described with all the "scientific" words, but I like to put things at a kindergarten level!) We bought this little betta fish at the pet store, as well as a container for her, some type of fern for the bowl, and a snail to keep the bowl clean. His 3 living things were the fish, snail and plant, and his 3 non-living things were the bowl, the rocks and the little plastic plant that came with the bowl.

Isn't she pretty? I wanted my son to pick out a male betta fish, since they're the ones with the large, ornate fins. For some reason, my son insisted on the smaller female. But, we picked this one because she is the prettiest electric blue. The pictures don't do her justice.

Her other side. She really is pretty, isn't she? She loves swimming in and out of her fern.

I really like this container we bought. I don't know if you can even see it in this picture, but there are heart-shaped windows on both sides of the container. I didn't realize it until I got it home and took it out of the box to put the fish in it. The lid has a handle so you can transport your fish (the big selling point on the box) and there is a built-in light, which looks really pretty at night. If you look at the bottom of the bowl, you'll see the snail.

Here are the two little buddies together. They get along so well! The container came with this neon orange plastic gravel, but there wasn't enough to hold down the fern, so we added the glass stones, which used to be in the bowl of our last betta fish. Now that I look at these pictures, I realize it doesn't look so hot, but the fish and snail like it!

Well, part of the point of this post is to ask for some input from my friends. Despite being in our home for well over a month, neither of these little critters has a name. Sad, right? Although, if you consider that 90% of the time I call Buster simply "Dog," I guess it's not so bad. (Laura and KBL, stop cringing!!) Now we have Dog, Fish and Snail. However, there are those rare moments when I'm feeling "soft" and I think they should have names I can call them by. Any suggestions?

I little side story...this afternoon, while at our freakin' bi-weekly vet appointment, I bought my niece a betta fish of her own. Let me back up a minute and tell you that last summer, she had the wonderful opportunity to spend 5 weeks with my parents at their villa. The second day she was there, my parents bought her a betta fish at the market. She named him Armani. Originally, she wanted to get two fish and call them Dolce & Gabana, but the man at the market explained that you can't put two male bettas together because they will fight to the death. So, she settled for one, and took care of him for 5 weeks. Then she cried all the way home because she couldn't take him home with her. When my mom came home in the fall, she passed Armani on to friends of the family to take care of until my mother returns at the end of spring. They email pictures of Armani to my niece so she can see how well he's doing.

Ok, back to today. We picked out a fish that looked just like Armani, and she promptly named him Giorgio. His full name is Giorgio Armani Franco Curatolo Garritano. Now do you see why I feel bad for my little fishy?


Well, my other niece, the little sister of the one I bought the fish for, is VERY upset with me, which I knew was going to happen once she saw that damn fish. I originally intended to buy one fish for the girls to share, but that older one, boy, she can be controlling! Now the little one is upset, so I told her that I wanted her to pick out her own fish, and that's why I didn't buy her one yet. Now I have to go back to the pet store tomorrow with the little one and let her pick out a fish. Kids!!! My sister wants to kill me, by the way! Ah, what are aunts for?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The last few...

All of these silly Easter cartoons were courtesy of my sister, who sent them to me in an email. Thanks, Sissy!!

A few more....

A little Easter fun...

Monday, March 17, 2008

It figures....

last week, it was in the high 50s, low 60s for the better part of the week. I was happy as a clam, walking around with my short-sleeved shirts and no jacket! As I'm typing this, I'm watching a blizzard going on outside my kitchen window. That makes perfect sense, cuz after all, I'm on spring break!!!!! Oh well, Happy (Snowy) St. Patrick's Day!
Showing Shamrock

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Have you tried this stuff?

In an attempt to deal with some major PMS, I ran to the store the other night to make Laura's famous concoction. However, in the course of looking for the necessary ingredients, I came across a new scoop of heaven from Edy's. (At least I think it's new, as we haven't had ice cream in this house in nearly a year.) Get a load of this....
Holy mother of God, this stuff is da bomb! There are pieces of cone, chocolate covered nuts, and that fudgy goodness that coats the inside of the cone and then collects in the point of the cone in one big chocolate-y hunk of yum. I didn't even bother to mix up Laura's recipe, cuz this stuff is perfect just the way it is. OK, I think I need to go have a bowl for lunch.

The Ultimate Peep Show

I've been meaning to lift this from Jen's blog for over a week now, and share it with all of you, but I wasn't sure if it was appropriate for the blog of a kindergarten teacher*. But, now that I'm on spring break, I'm throwing caution to the wind!

The Ultimate Peep Show

* Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking....a kindergarten teacher who swears like a sailor, has some major anger issues, and is usually as cranky as a grizzly bear caught in a trap. BUT, that's only when school is in session, I swear!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Very interesting....

My brother just emailed this to me, and I had to share it. I'll be back later with a "real" post. And....


Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'm oh so tired....

It's midnight, I just got home from my hair appointment (had to get those grays covered!!) so all I want to say (for the gazillionth time!) is...


Ok, enough, I have to go to bed

Definition of Stress: That confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole who desperately needs it. - Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thank You, Jeanine!!

Last night, we had an executive board meeting for the Parents' Club. We usually meet at a Borders not too far from my house (and luckily, right next to my favorite Chipotle!!) As soon as we sat down, my eyes were immediately drawn to the wall of clearance books across from me, and the PENGUIN book right there at eye level!
I looked at it for the nearly 3 hours we were sitting there. I know, I'm pathetic. Anyway, as we were wrapping up the meeting, my dear friend, Jeanine, said, "Hey, did you see that over there?" and pointed to the book. Well, is the Pope Catholic?! Of course I saw it!! She said, "I'm gonna buy it for you!" I have no idea why, she kept saying, "Just because."

She grabbed the book and headed to the register. A few minutes later she came back with not only the book, but the most adorable bookmark!

The inscription on the book mark says, "It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry." -Joe Moore
I have no idea who the hell Joe Moore is, but I love him!! We may have been separated at birth!
The point of this post --- I have great friends!! Thank you, Jeanine!

Oo, I just remembered, I can post a link to my photo albums, so I can actually show you what a pathetic loser I am.... This is my upstairs bathroom. It looks like this all year, by the way, not just in the winter. Yeah, like I said, loser!

****I fixed the link, it works now! Sorry...

In a nutshell... was an "ehh" kind of day. I missed Dori. No one to sit around and bitch with! That's so not true, cuz everyone that works there (and I mean actually WORKS!) hates it as much as we do!

I'm so overwhelmed right now with this fundraiser that I'm running for my son's school, I shouldn't even have taken the time to check in today. On that note...
Sweat plus sacrifice equals success. ---Charles O. Finley

Well, if that's true, then this fundraiser will be a hell of a success!! I'll be putting some info about it here soon, for those of you who live here and can help us out by attending the event. Hell, even if you don't live nearby, feel free to help out with a donation. Tongue Out

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tired Tuesday

I'm far too tired to say anything coherent right now. Fill ya in tomorrow. Say a prayer for Dori please (or send some good thoughts, if you're not a "pray-er"). Her freakin' car died AGAIN!!!! She just had it in the shop last week, and it cost her a fortune, and tonight it screwed her again. She had to just abandon it at school. Not the Hell-Hole, her university, where she's in grad school. Needless to say, I have to suffer through another day without her tomorrow. Yes, I know, how selfish of me. But, I don't have many more days with her before she leaves me for greener pastures. Lucky duck!!! Man, I'm gonna miss her....

Monday, March 10, 2008

Funny Monday

So, I'm helping C.B. do his weaving project at my desk, while the rest of the little darlings were working on a literacy activity, and suddenly I overhear P.M. saying to someone at his table, "My mama gave me a barf cup to barf in, and it filled all the way up!" Lovely!

Two different times today P.M. said to me, "Mrs. L., you always say funny stuff!" Both times, it was immediately after I was, quite frankly, rude to one of the babies. The first time, we were in the hall hanging up the lions and lambs the babies made today for our March bulletin board. When I took the first group out into the hall, I had asked J.H. to bring me a chair so I could reach the wall over the board. I then sent the first group in, and had the second group come out. Suddenly, J.H. comes tearing out of the room, screaming, "SOMEBODY TOOK MY CHAIR!" at the top of his lungs. I was annoyed that he was screaming in the hallway, and in a completely inappropriate manner, I said, "You just brought it out to me, Fool!" Of course, by the time the whole sentence popped out of my mouth, I realized what I was about to say, so I was almost laughing, which made J.H. laugh, as well as the other babies who were out in the hall with me. P.M. was belly laughing, though, and that's the first time he said, "Mrs. L., you always say funny stuff!"

The second time I acted inappropriately today was later in the afternoon, when we were on the carpet practicing our sight words. When it was time to go back to our seats, I started to call the babies by tables to go and sit. I called Table 5, and J.H. decided to call the next table for me. So I said, "I didn't call another table, Big Mouth!" Now, truth be told, this is not the first time I've called J.H. Big Mouth, cuz quite frankly, he's got a big mouth!! The funniest thing is, every time it happens, he laughs and laughs, like I'm calling him some kind of pet name. Again, P.M., through his giggles, said, "Mrs. L., you always say funny stuff!!" Glad I can amuse you, P.!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Big Cheese strikes again...

This memo was delivered to my classroom this afternoon. I edited out any identifying info, but the rest is exactly as I received it. Actually, it's one of the better composed memos from The Big Cheese. I think if you click on it, it will enlarge.

What a guy!! At "lease" he knows how to run a school into the ground! AND when "these kids is OFF the CHAIN!" He's also sent out memos about how "in the pass, we did...."
  • For the past two days, we've been working on a weaving project (photos to come next week). Today, little Miss S.M. was working with me, and after showing her how to do the first few strips, she finally got the hang of it, and was feeling quite proud of herself. When she finished, she asked if she could go help someone else. Well, of course!! Seeing how I was having to work one-on-one with the babies on this project, and was gonna take any help I could get! Well S.M. called S.P. over to the table I was sitting at the help her. I wish I had a tape recorder running to record the conversation they were having. I just sat there chuckling to myself the whole time. "Mrs. L. showed me, and now I can do it by myself, so I'm going to help you, OK?" "OK, now watch me!" After the girls got the first few strips in, S.M. says to me, "Mrs. L.? Can you do the scoots and we'll do the weaves?" I almost lost it. "The scoots" meant that after each strip was woven, I 'scooted' it down to the end, to keep the strips close to each other. But, they couldn't do it, so they wanted me to do the "scoots!" Too cute!
Little D.S. is one of my absolute FAVORITE babies!! I'd steal him if I thought I could get away with it! He can NOT be anywhere near me without touching me. God forbid I stop near him, he immediately grabs my hand. He's so cute!! Whenever he does that, I always give him a squeeze, of course, and maybe even touch his cheek/nose/forehead etc. Today, for the third or fourth time, I heard, "Mrs. L, I like it when you touch me!" Awwww....I LOVE THAT KID!!! You may remember he was the one that wanted 100 "shmarshmallows" and loves "vanana" ice cream!
  • I remembered something one of the babies said last Friday. When we do the calendar, we play the "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Game." They have to tell me what all those are, days and dates. So, they told me yesterday was Thursday, today is Friday, tomorrow will be Saturday. Yesterday was twenty-eight, today is twenty-nine and tomorrow will be "twenty-ten." Aren't they funny?
Car Update -- They replaced both of the front tires, did an alignment and changed the oil. Oh, and fixed the lighter. Apparently, the shaking I was experiencing had to do with the fact that there was "a HUGE bubble" in my tire. Hopefully, the bill won't be as big as I thought it would be. Actually, I'm waiting for them to call me with the total.

The temperature has dropped this afternoon, and there have been flurries on and off for a few hours now. They say we're going to get from 2-4 inches of snow tonight. But, next week they're predicting 40s all week. Yay! I can't wait! That's one of the things I love about living in Chicago. You can have all four seasons in one day, IF you're lucky :)
  • Today is my grandma's birthday. Sadly, she passed away about 4 1/2 years ago, but I want to celebrate her birthday anyway. I think I'll be having dinner with my parents, then we're going to pick up my car, and head over to the bar to work for a while. My brother is thisclose to opening now. I'm getting excited!! I can almost taste the chocolate martini now....
Have a great weekend everyone!
If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.
~Italian Proverb
What the hell!!!? I was checking this over for mistakes (Hello, Big Cheese, that's what you're supposed to do!!) and for some reason, the space between the paragraphs keeps disappearing when I publish. It's totally pissing me off!!! Does that happen to anyone else ever? Ugh!! OK, now I'm totally irritated!! I'm going to bullet the paragraphs!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse....

First, let me bore you with the details of yesterday's day from hell...

Tuesday morning, my assistant principal let me know that my tire was going flat. I've had a slow leak for, gee, I don't know, 2 years maybe, so I just figured that's what he was talking about. Well, when I left for the night at 5:00, the tire was nearly flat. I drove slowly to the closest gas station and filled it, then went home and didn't give it another thought.

The next morning, my son and I got in the car (running late as usual!) and I started rolling down the driveway. Immediately, I knew something wasn't right. I had my son get out and look at the tire, and it was flat as a pancake. My first thought was "Shit!! My son is going to be really late now!" Normally, that wouldn't really be a big deal, however this week all CPS students are taking the ISAT, which is our annual standardized test. It's kind of a big deal to miss it. After a series of phone calls, my mother-in-law was on her way to pick him up and drive him to school.

In the meantime, I managed to get my dad on the phone, and he was going to come pick me up, and drive me back to his house so I could take my mother's car. She wasn't thrilled about that, but it was the plan,nonetheless. Now, my dad was going to be late for work, as was I. I really wasn't that worried about it, though, because every moment away from the Hell-Hole is a moment of peace. I walked in about 5 minutes before the babies.

Now, regular readers know that we have a standing appointment every two weeks at the vet's office for my mutt. Yesterday happened to be our day, so I had already decided to walk out the door with the babies when the bell rang. Besides having a vet appointment, I also had a Parents' Club meeting at my son's school. The vet is a 30-45 minutes drive each way, depending on traffic, so I wanted to get home as quickly as possible, in order to get to the vet as quickly as possible.

So, there I was, cruising on down 63rd Street, when I noticed a white car driving erratically down the street. He was darting in and out of traffic, switching lanes constantly and speeding. At one point, he was driving to the right of me, which was actually the parking lane. He was driving parallel to me, but then was about to come up to some parked cars, so he darted into my lane and promptly hit me! At first it seemed like he was going to just keep going, so I started laying on the horn, and screaming for my son to get his phone out and take a picture of the car and license plate. Well, to my surprise, the guy pulled over and I pulled behind him. Because of the neighborhood we were in, I expected a young punk, either Black or Latino, to step out of the car. Imagine my surprise when a blond-haired white kid got out.

The first thing he did was check his own car for damage. Surprise, surprise! Then he walked over to me and says, "Totally my fault." So I respond, "Gee! Ya THINK?!" We walk around to the passenger side of my MOTHER'S car, and at first all I saw was white paint rubbed all down the quarter panel. Then, I saw it. Not just a dent, but a big crease across the quarter panel, right above the tire. Shit!!!

Blondie asks, "Do you want to just go to the police station to file the report."
"Ah, yeah!"
"Do you know where it is?"
"Yes. I'll meet you there."

The police station was only about 5 blocks away from where we were. I got in my car, while he jumped into his, and took off, driving just as erratically as he was before. Asshole! My first thought-he's taking off! I made sure my son took plenty of pictures of the car and license plate while I was out of the car talking to Blondie, so I wasn't too worried about it, just pissed. I figured I would file the report even if he didn't show up. Well, as I approached the station, I saw that he had parked on the street, and was already jumping out of the car. That's when I finally took a good look at him, and the first thing I noticed was that he was wearing uniform pants. (Did I ever mention my ex was a Chicago cop?) That's when it hit me. This asshole is a cop, and seeing how it's now 3:00, he's late for role call. That would explain the shitty driving.

Well, he proceeds to enter through the employee door on the side of the building while I was parking. My son and I walked the half a block to the main entrance, and went in the building. Blondie was already at the counter talking to the officer at the desk. This story is already too long, so let me just say, we filled out the report, I watched the rest of the guys at role call laugh and point at Blondie through the window of the role call room, we exchanged numbers (he would prefer to just pay for the damage, rather than file a claim with his insurance) and I was finally on my merry way.

Obviously, now I'm late for the vet. The vet took longer than usual, which meant I was going to be late for Parents' Club. I tried to make several phone calls while driving there, and while sitting and waiting, to try to get someone else to run the meeting, but I struck out. I ended up getting to school about 5 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start, with no agenda, no treasurer's report, no fund raiser report, no nuthin'. Luckily, one of the other parents was able to talk about Teacher Appreciation week, which she is organizing for us. OK, enough boring details, suffice it to say, I didn't get home from the meeting until 9:30, which is when I posted the highlights last night.

That brings us to today. As I was driving to school this morning, after picking up my friend's son, I turned a corner, and heard a scraping noise all of a sudden. It sounded like I was dragging something under the car. I didn't think I ran anything over, but I pulled over and had my "chocolate son" get out and look. [wait - I need to add a side note here. I call S my "chocolate son," and my friend (his dad) calls my son his "vanilla son." It's actually kinda cute. OK, I just wanted to explain, lest I offend someone.] Well, S didn't see anything in back, but when he looked in front, he said it looked like there was garbage under my car. I asked him if he thought he could pull it out, and he said no. In the meantime, I started backing the car up, hoping to dislodge whatever the hell was under there.

Suddenly, I see a couple of construction workers up on a scaffold on a building across the street. The one was waving for me to roll my window down, so I did. He yells to me that some shield under my car fell down, and I should just pull it off. Oh, just freakin' great!! My mother is going to KILL me!! I drove a little ways down the street so I could pull into a lot, and S and I tried to pull the thing off. It didn't budge, so we tried to tuck it back in place instead. I was able to get a tab up under what felt like the frame for this thing (mind you, it was all by feel, since I couldn't crawl under the car and look!) and we started driving again. Well, that held for about 100 feet, and the damn thing fell again! Ugh!!! I pull onto the next side street, and this time we tucked every single tab we could into the frame. As of 9:00 PM, it was still holding! I'll have to get that looked at, as soon as I get my car back. Which leads me to the rest of the afternoon...

By this time, my car had been sitting in my driveway for two days on a tire that was completely flat. I don't know anything about cars, but I was worried that this was going to be bad for the rim, or the axle, or something. I decided to stop on the way home to get a can of the stuff you can use to seal a flat. I get the can, go home, follow the directions and start to fill me tire. Hey, it's working!! Everything seems to be going well, right up until the can emptied, and the tire was only half full. Damn it!!! The directions said that after you fill the tire, you're supposed to drive slowly for 3-5 miles to evenly distribute the "goo" in the tire. Well, it didn't have enough air to drive on, so I got out my air pump. I have this nifty little pump that plugs into your lighter, which I'd been using for these two years to deal with my slow leak. Unfortunately, my lighter stopped working last summer (of course!) but I was in luck because now I had my mom's car. I pulled the car as close to mine as possible, plugged the pump into her lighter and started to fill my tire. It seemed to be taking forever, and the tire never really looked full. Finally, I figured it had enough air to drive on, especially since I was only going to drive around the block few times.

I pulled my mother's car out and parked it on the street, then went back to my car. I started it, and shifted into drive. I didn't even get my foot completely off the brake when there was an EXPLOSION! Seriously, a freaking EXPLOSION!!! The tire basically popped. My son got out to look, and was quite amused. It literally shredded. The car landed hard on the rim, which I figure can't be good. I held off on the nervous breakdown long enough to call my brother's friend who owns a garage, and works on my car for me. We wound up making arrangements for my car to be towed to his garage, which is actually where I was trying to drive to this afternoon anyway, after I filled the damn tire. I've been having some front-end trouble for a while now (which I'm hoping is just the alignment) so he's been waiting for my car anyway. Actually, my first thought yesterday, when Blondie hit me, was "why didn't you hit me yesterday, when I was in my own car, cuz it's needs some front-end work anyway!!"

I'll be anxiously awaiting Billy's call from the garage tomorrow to tell me how much money I'm going to have to dump into this damn car. I spent a couple of hours tonight at my son's high school (God, I can't get used to that - high school!!!) so all I can think about right now is tuition and how the hell I'm going to be able to pay it. That's the very reason I can't get a new car right now. There's NO way on God's green Earth I can swing $400 a month for tuition PLUS a car payment right now. Thank God I only have to pay 1/2 of his tuition. His father will be paying the other half, under protest it seems.

Good God, is anybody still out there? I think the only people who have actually read this far are those of you who truly love me, and for that I thank you! :) I think I'd better get my behind to bed. I think tomorrow's gonna be a loonngg day. Indulge me a moment longer...Yesterday, while I was getting rammed by Blondie, Dori was out in the parking lot of the Hell-Hole with a car that wouldn't start. After trying several times, she finally had to go in and ask for help. Much to her dismay, Big Cheese came outside to help her, and tee hee hee, when she tried it again, it started!! Hahaha! But, sadly, it didn't start today, so she had an unplanned day away from us, and she'll be out tomorrow as well, while her car is being fixed. I just hope she gets the same sub as today, since there didn't seem to be any problems. I didn't go in her room, though, so let's hope the sub didn't let the babies destroy anything. Although, I don't think, at this point, Dori even cares. I'm pretty sure she's staying focused on the fact that she won't be back next year. Lucky her....

One last little "story," but I promise to keep it short. I went to the Parents' Night at the high school with my friend (my son's best friend's mom, the one who is president to my vice president of Parents' Club) and she told me that this morning on the way to work, she hit a kid with her car!! What the hell is going on with the universe?! The kid is fine, but her side mirror is completely ripped off her car, and hanging by a wire. Sheesh! Between Dori, she and I, we need to go have a couple of drinks somewhere. Although, with the way our weeks are going, one or all of us would be picked up for DUI, so we'd better just keep our asses home!! On that note, I'm going to bed. Good night!
Calvin: You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help. ---Bill Watterson

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mrs. L. and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Since it's now a quarter to 11, and WAY past my bedtime, let me give you highlights now, and the details tomorrow.

The day started with my coming out of my house to leave for school, only to find my tire completely flat. My mother-in-law came to my house to drive my son to school, but he was obviously very late, missing some important testing. My father came and picked me up to bring me back to my parents' house so I could take my mother's car, thus making him late for work. I arrived late for work myself. Day #2 of no preps for me and Dori (however, we handled it differently today, details tomorrow). Left school right at the bell with the babies because it was Vet Day, and promptly got hit by another car. In my MOTHER'S car!!! Naturally, this made me late for the vet, which then made me late for Parents' Club at my son's school. Got home at about 9:30, tried to scrounge up something to eat, since I literally had nothing in my belly today other than my morning Dunkin Donuts (large hazelnut, extra cream and four splenda.) Spent an hour doing work for Parents' Club, now here I am. I just want to go to sleep so I can wake up and this day from hell will be over!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Look at my beautiful babies!

I just this afternoon figured out how to add a link to some photo albums I've created with pictures from school of my babies! Yay! When the link opens, click on the yellow button that says "view slideshow."

Here are some from the our trip to the Shedd Aquarium, the 100th Day of School, and last Friday's Dr. Seuss celebration. You can see our icky lunchroom in the Dr. Seuss photos. In the 100th Day photos, the babies are making necklaces with 100 Cheerios. I had posted some of the Shedd photos already, but they're still nice to look at.

Here are some old ones of the penguin puppets we made last month

I had some funny stories to share from our Dr. Seuss party last Friday, but I was so ill when I got home, I didn't write about them, and now my ancient brain has forgotten them :( Oh well, enjoy the pictures!
You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. ---Franklin P. Jones


Ok, I just checked to make sure the links worked, and I must apologize for the less-than-perfect quality of these pictures. I keep a crappy digital camera at school (my dad got if for free when he test-drove some car) so I can take pictures whenever. It doesn't even have a display screen. I have to download the photos to my computer to even look at them. Obviously, the picture quality isn't the greatest. But, hey, it gets the job done! Actually, now that I've looked at them again, the crappy quality almost scrambles the babies' faces, thus keeping their identity private. haha! I also noticed that in the first set of photos from Dr. Seuss' birthday, you can see living proof of a couple of the adults sitting on their asses, EATING, instead of supervising the children. Nice!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ah, I love living here...

Yesterday, the temperature hit nearly 60 balmy degrees. It was wonderful. All weekend, though, the weatherpeople all warned that despite the warm weather over the weekend, the temperature was going to take a drastic turn for the worse today. I actually heard a predicted temp of 20. Yikes! It's nearly noon, and it's not that cold yet, but it's been drizzling/raining most of the morning. They say snow's-a-comin'! Whatever! We have had over 50 inches fall this winter so far. They say it's one of the top 9 winters in history for snowfall here. So, imagine my delight when I checked my email just now, and found this little tidbit. It made me laugh out loud! (The language is a little "salty" at times, almost as if I had written it myself! haha!)

Beautiful Illinois........

  • Aug 12 - Moved to our new home in Illinois. It is so beautiful here. The fields and the woods are so pretty. Can hardly wait to see snow covering them.
  • Oct 14 - Illinois is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have turned all shades of red, orange and yellow. Went through the hills and saw some deer. They are so graceful; certainly they are the most wonderful animals on earth. This must be paradise. I Love it Here !
  • Nov 11 - Deer season will start soon. I can't imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it snows soon. I Love it Here!
  • DEC 2 - It snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed in white. It looks like a postcard. We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight! ( I won! ), then when the snow plow came by, we shoveled the driveway again. What a beautiful place, I just love Illinois!
  • DEC 12 - More snow last night. It is really pretty. The snowplow did his trick on the driveway again. I love it here.
  • Dec 19 - Snowed last night, again, couldn't get out of the driveway to get to work. I am exhausted from shoveling. Fucking snowplow!
  • Dec 22 - More white shit came down last night. I've got blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snowplow hides around the curve and waits until I'm done shoveling the driveway, Asshole!
  • Dec 25 - Merry Fucking Christmas. More frigging snow. If ever get my hands on the son of a bitch who drives the snowplow, I swear I will kill the bastard. Don't know why they don't use more salt on the roads to melt the fucking ice.
  • Dec 27 - More of the white shit. Been inside for three fucking days except to shovel the driveway every time the snowplow goes through. Can't go anywher e, the car is stuck in a mountain of white shit. The weatherman says to expect another ten inches of the shit again tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 10 inches is?
  • Dec 28 - The fucking weatherman was wrong! We got FOURTEEN INCHES of the white shit, not ten. At this rate it won't melt before summer. The snowplow got stuck up the road and the bastard had the balls to come to our door asking to borrow my shovel. After I told him I've broken six shovels already moving all the shit he pushed onto my driveway, I broke the last one over his fucking head.
  • Jan 4 - Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back a damn deer ran in front of the car and I hit it. Did about $3000 in damage to the car. The fucking beasts should be killed. I wish the hunters had killed them last November.
  • May 8 - Finally got the car into the body shop to get fixed. Would you believe the thing is rusting out from all the fucking salt they put on the roads?
  • May 10 - Sold the house, moved to Florida. I can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever live in that God Forsaken state of Illinois!

Tee hee!! Even though every bit of the above is dead-on accurate, I still would NEVER leave!