Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

That ship has sailed...

Yeah, so, apparently, I already let this cat out of the bag. I'm a big dork!!!

How'd I miss this?!?

Did any of you catch Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home For Christmas? I can NOT believe I didn't watch it until just now. Oh holy hell, you have GOT to watch this!!! After spending the day downtown with 8741, Stud Muffin and his friends, this was the perfect thing to watch tonight. It so beautifully spotlights my gorgeous city, that I swear I got teary eyed a few times. Not to mention, I love me some Jennifer Hudson!

OK, I've avoided posting anything about this, because it seriously jeopardizes the anonymity I try to maintain here, but I think just this once, it'll be alright. I've always had a special place in my heart for Jennifer (even though I have never, to this day, seen a single episode of American Idol!) because....oh, should I do it? I don't know....ok, her uncle is our assistant principal. (There, I said it!) You know, the one I'm always saying how much I LOVE? The reason I'm still at the damn Hell-Hole? Yeah, remember him? Anyway, he's Jennifer's uncle. (In my opinion, she looks exactly like him!!) Back during that season on AI, you can imagine the support she had at the Hell-Hole. One of my former colleagues (Former Upstairs Neighbor. Heeyyy, Girl!! Giving you a shout out!) really had her class showing major support for "JHud," as they so affectionately called her. My love for her grew out of my love for her uncle. Every time something exciting happened, like she was on a talk show or something, or she appeared in a magazine, he and I would always talk about it at school. It happens so frequently now, that we don't talk about it as much. He's so very proud of his niece. (He is in all the church scenes, sitting third pew from the front, on the right side of the church. I wish he had invited his favorite teacher along for the performance!)

One of the coolest things for the people I worked with was that most of them knew Jennifer her whole life. They watched her grow up. A huge surprise for me while watching this special was when they showed the segment with her cousins. Her cousin, Krista, was our music teacher for the first 3 or 4 years that I was at the Hell-Hole. (I'm not sure how long she was there before I came, but I know it was a while.) This was the first time I've seen her since she left. She actually left the year that Jennifer was on AI to pursue her own music career. I know she's released at least one gospel CD since she left.

One other thing I wanted to share with you, that really was kinda cool. The segment of the show where she goes to Evergreen Plaza (a local mall) and performs was really neat. I did a show of my own on the very stage she performed on, although it was nothing like hers. When I was about 4 or 5, I went to Charm School (yes, really, you can stop laughing any time now!!) at The Plaza, and the culminating activity was a fashion show, performed on the stage in the center of The Plaza. Watching her sing brought up all these memories of my own show, and quite frankly, what a disaster it was! I got a sudden case of stage fright, and refused to walk out on the runway. If I remember correctly, my mom had to hold my hand from down on the floor and lead me through my walk. Ah, I guess I was never cut out to be a super model!

If you find yourself with about 45 minutes of free time, you really should click on the link and watch this special. If for nothing else, to see my incredible city being showcased!! There are some really incredible shots of the city, both during the day and at night. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times - I live in the most incredible city in the world!!

(Oh, and if any information here helps you figure out just which school I work at, do me a favor and keep it to yourself!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Better late than never...

Well, it's only taken me 18 days to finally share these little tidbits with you. Needless to say, I'm thoroughly enjoying my vacation!!! I can NOT believe I already have to go back on Monday. Poop!

OK, so you may remember that my damn camera kept dying while I was videotaping the show, so I only got the first 30 seconds or so of each number. And, the camera didn't start filming as soon as I pressed "record" which means the first few seconds of each number wasn't recorded, either. But, nonetheless, here's what I got:

This was the opening of the show...

video

This number came in the middle of the show...

video

And this is how they closed the show. I'm really pissed that the camera took so long to start recording! After the final scene, Stud and his Best Friend come out and Stud says, "Best Friend, why are you so sad?" And Best Friend says, "Cuz the show is over." "Well, don't be sad! In this life, all you have to do is..."

video

I love that all the kids came down and joined them for this last number.

Stud is wearing a Christmas T-shirt that I bought him a couple of days before the show. It's hard to see with the poor quality of the video, but the picture is a bunch of mistletoe, with a tag sign that says "Official Mistletoe Tester." He got a kick out of it.

The camera wouldn't even turn on during the skit he was in, so nothing to share there.

I had planned to post more, but Blogger takes forever to post videos, and now it's way past my bedtime. I'm getting up early in the morning because (yay!!) I'm meeting csm8741 again! This time, Stud and his friends are coming, and she's bringing her youngest son. We're meeting at the Lego Store on Michigan Avenue, then going to lunch. The Lego Store is so cool! So cool, in fact, Stud and his friends are actually psyched about going. Um, hello...they're teenagers!! I'm really excited about getting together with 8741 again. I just hope the temperature isn't so brutal tomorrow. It's currently about 19 here right now. Just a little nippy, don't you think?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Email of the Day

Have you ever wondered what the difference between Grandmothers and Grandfathers is? Well here it is:

A friend, who worked away from home all week, always made a special effort with his family on the weekends. Every Sunday morning he would take his 7-year old granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some bonding time - just him and his granddaughter. One particular Sunday however, he had a bad cold and really didn't feel like being up at all. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter out.

When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see her Grandfather.

'Well, did you enjoy your ride with grandma?'

'Oh yes, Papa' the girl replied, 'and do you know what?

We didn't see a single asshole, dumb bastard, dipshit or horse's ass anywhere we went today!'


Almost brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I think I need an intervention...

When I did the last post, I only googled SNC to get a picture to post, but then, obviously, I found their website. Now, I made the mistake of searching them on YouTube, and suddenly, it's dark outside, and it's time to pick up Stud Muffin!!! I can't stop watching these guys. Somebody, help!!!!



This was Dan Ponce's farewell from Channel 7 here in Chicago.

Yay! I found the code to embed this one!!




This one's just for fun...

Christmas Music

I bought myself several new CDs over the past few weeks, and my current OBSESSION is Straight, No Chaser - Christmas Cheer. (You have GOT to click on the video of Christmas Can-Can. It's awesome!) I love these guys, and have from the moment I discovered them some time last year. If you aren't familiar with them, they are an a cappella group, made up of 10 smokin' hot guys, who can actually sing!! I'm pretty sure you can hear some of their music if you clink on the link above. Dan Ponce, the founder of the band, is from Chicago, so you KNOW I gotta love 'em! If you're interested in their story, go here.

I also bought myself Andrea Bocelli's new Christmas CD, My Christmas, plus his newest CD, Incanto. The Christmas CD has some interesting duets, including one with Mary J. Blige. The other one I especially like because it's the old Italian songs that I grew up listening to my family sing. I can't help but smile when I listen to it. One song in particular, Mamma, was always one of my grandma's favorite songs, and the first time I heard that track on the CD, I didn't even hear Andrea. It was purely my Grammy, singing her heart out. It was awesome!

My other guilty splurge was (ok, now brace yourself, I'm pretty sure I've warned you guys before that I'm a straight-up geek!) glee - the music (Season 1, Volumes 1&2) I LOVE this show!! And, even though it was a total impulse purchase, I'm glad I bought them.

One of the ways I rationalized buying myself (gasp!) 5 new CDs is that I decided, as I was buying each one, that I would burn copies of them for my family as part of their Christmas gifts. (And, please don't leave me any nasty comments about copying and sharing the CDs. There was no way I could buy 20+ CDs, plus I actually BOUGHT a copy of each one, instead of downloading the songs for free from the internet. So, I don't want to hear it.) Obviously, my parents and siblings love Andrea Bocelli as much as I do, and I'm excited to introduce them all the Straight, No Chaser. I made glee CDs for my nieces, mom and bestest friend. (Oh, shoot!! Bestest Friend, that was supposed to be a surprise! I made you a SNC CD, too. Enjoy!)

It's been snowing today, pretty steadily, and it looks just gorgeous outside. I actually took some video for you guys of our first day of snow, but I obviously haven't gotten around to posting it yet. Maybe today, while I'm waiting to pick up Stud. The boy suddenly has a very busy social life. I took him to a friend's about an hour ago, to hang out with the friend and his extended family, who are in from Michigan. (Stud met the family when his friend took him to Michigan for a weekend this past summer.) I have to go back and get him in a few hours to then drive him over to another friend's house for a party. Oh, yeah! I forgot, I promised to make a snack for him to bring. Shoot! Guess I'd better get off this computer and get to work, huh?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Breakfast

I just came home from the most delightful breakfast. I FINALLY got to meet my Bloggy Buddy, csm8741, in person today! Yay!!! And, the hour+ drive each way was totally worth it!! ;-)

Isn't it funny how you can think of and refer to people as your "friends" when you've never really met? I said I was meeting "my friend 8741 for breakfast Thursday" many times this week, and every time I said it, I thought, how weird to say "my friend." You've never even met each other! But, I feel like I've known her for ages! In a nutshell, she is a friend (in real life!) of my friend Smileygirl. When Smileygirl first started blogging, 8741 and I would comment on her posts, often agreeing on things or playing off each other's comments. Then it seemed we were sometimes commenting to each other. When Smileygirl finally convinced me to start this blog, 8741 was one of my very first readers (I think they were the ONLY two readers!) and she always left me the greatest comments. Fast forward a bit, and we began emailing each other, and have been trying to plan a meeting for nearly two years now! And, this morning, it finally happened. I just wish we had about 6 more hours to chat. (Sorry, 8741, for not letting you get a word in edgewise!) I loved her just as much in person as I thought I would. And, she's gorgeous, to top it all off! It's just too bad we live so far from each other, despite BOTH of us living in Chicago. This is one hell of a big city! Thanks to our delightful traffic issues here in ChiTown, I spent more time in my car than we spent visiting. But, like I said, it was well worth it. We made a tentative date to meet up again while I'm on break, and I'm hoping it works out. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

OK, off to do some Christmas shopping. I just may be able to finish it all today.

Thanks again, 8741, I had a great time!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weekend Treats

This past Saturday, my cousin had a surprise 50th birthday party for his boyfriend. It was very nice, and we had a great time, despite the fact that we had to drive to INDIANA! We started hearing dueling banjos as soon as we crossed the border!! (ok, I'm just kidding, so if you're from Indiana, please know I mean no offense!!)
-
I made a few desserts for the party. The first one is one of my favorite holiday party cookie. It's so easy! I actually adapted it from one of my favorite Pampered Chef recipes, and anyone who knows anything about Pampered Chef knows that most of their recipes are "cheater" recipes that start with lots of ready-made things. The original recipe calls for you to take a tube of ready-made sugar cookie dough that you then roll out onto a PC round stone (so you're making a cookie pizza). As soon as you pull it out of the oven, you pour a bag of white chocolate chips over the cookie and let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until the chips are soft and melted. While you wait for the chips to melt, you take some starlight mints and crush them up with your PC chopper (and you don't have one of those, put them in a big ziplock bag, and beat them with a rolling pin or meat mallet) When the chocolate is melted, spread it evenly over the cookie, like frosting, and sprinkle the crushed mints over the chocolate. You can let the chocolate set up on the counter, or put in the fridge for a few minutes, but we can never wait long enough for that! We usually eat it immediately, while the chocolate is still melty and gooey. YUM!

Anyway, this season, instead of making one big cookie, I've been making regular cookies, "frosted" with the melted chips, then sprinkled with the mints. I make the sugar cookie dough, but it would work just as well with the pre-made stuff.

I love that the cookies are all exactly the same size and shape. That's thanks to my PC cookie scoop!! And, yes, those are PC cooling racks. (Hmmm, are you starting to realize that this is one big Pampered Chef commercial? I'm sorry, I can't help it, I LOVE THIS STUFF!
I used my chopper to crush up the mints,

I melted some white chocolate chips, and used my small spreader to spread the chocolate on the cookies.
And, there they are! Oh, so good!
I also made some of my nieces' favorite cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms. The funniest thing about these is that the one only likes the cookie, and other only wants the Hershey kiss, so it works out beautifully!


I also made some of my legendary fudge. I only make it at Christmas time, and all the people I love receive some for Christmas. (I usually make it with walnuts, but I made this batch nut-free because a) my brother doesn't like it with nuts and b) one of my cousins has a daughter with a nut allergy.)

fudge

I planned to also post Stud Muffin's show, but freakin' Blogger is driving me crazy!!!! I guess I'll have to make it a separate post. Good thing................ I'M ON VACATION, BITCHES!!! Boo yah!

(Suz- I've been trying to use Live Writer, but it wouldn't let me insert video. Any suggestions/tips? Then, after I posted it to Blogger, I tried to edit it on Blogger, and when I hit 'spell check' it took all the freakin' pictures out, and put in links instead! Help!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus....

...I am officially on Christmas vacation!! Woo-to-the-freakin'-hoo!!! If I had to show up at that cluster fucked Hell-Hole one more day, I'd 'officially' be unemployed!! The past couple of weeks have sucked some major donkey ass, and this week nearly pushed me over the edge! As I type, our Christmas party is going on at some bar/restaurant, and I'm, obviously, not there. I don't want to see, hear, or think about anything or anyone remotely associated with the Hell-Hole for the next 3 weeks. I just can NOT deal with it. I don't want to start a full-on rant right now, especially since I have to drive Stud Muffin to see a friend's Christmas show in a few minutes. His show was gloriously wonderful, by the way. I'll be back to share later.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What the...

I just noticed that, for some reason, all my posts are now showing up in italics. WTF? I'm going to have to look into that. Maybe some weird setting was changed?

I almost did a quick post this morning, but I just didn't have time. I wanted to share with you all that when I was leaving my house, the current temperature was 1. Yeah...and the windchill factor was between -10 and -20, depending where in the Chicagoland area you were. When I signed on just now, at a little after 4:30 pm, my widget said 8. Mmmm, toasty!

The one nice thing about the bitter cold today was that 11, count 'em 11, of the babies stayed home today! Wooooo hooooo!!! I haven't gotten around to the bitching post I promised yet, but let me just tell you, I got THREE new kids yesterday!!! So having 11 out today still left me with 20.

OK, I don't have time to start ranting right now cuz Stud is in a show tonight, and I have to drive him to school in about 2 minutes. I'm hoping to get some video that I can share with you later. My shy, introverted little boy has blossomed into this creature who will be acting in an IMPROV skit (seriously!?) and singing not one, not two, but THREE songs, a cappella!!! I'm still floored. I hope I can get decent video to share.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Too much...

...going on this week to even write out a proper post (hence all the "Email of the Day" posts!) I promise I'll be back soon to bitch about, I mean share, what's been going on this week. God, give me the strength to get through these next two days!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Email of the Day

I don't know if this is true, but it's funny, nonetheless!

AN ACTUAL CRAIG'S LIST PERSONALS AD
To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah night before last.
Date: 2009-05-27, 1:43 a.m. E.S.T.


I was the guy wearing the blackBurberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message .

First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason. My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... isn't it?!

I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. [That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again].

After I called your mother or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as those of four other people in the gas station, -- on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful!

I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!]

I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ... after I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.

Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. Ma Bell just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what 's going on with that? Earlier, I managed to get in twothreatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target.

The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc.).

In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... but I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider, the career path you've chosen to pursue in life. Remember, next time you might not be so lucky. Have a good day!

Thoughtfully yours,
Alex
P.S. Remember this motto ... An armed society makes for a more civil society!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Email of the Day

You have to watch this video from Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. It was created to generate breast cancer awareness. Very cute and heartwarming at the same time!!
(Most of us know someone who has had breast cancer....think of them while watching.)


IT'LL MAKE YOU SMILE FOR SURE!!
Mayo Clinic Piano
An elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years and he just turned 90 this year. Check out this impromptu performance... It's all attitude. Enjoy!!


Thanks, Bestest Friend, for sending these, and giving me my daily dose of tears!! (Happy tears, of course!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I really didn't want to do it...

...but thanks to some assbag who keeps spamming my comment section, I've added word verification to my blog. I hate that!! Why do people have to be such assbags?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Huh?

I was working with one of my small groups today, using some of the same books I used yesterday. AM was doing well with her sounds, and once again, we found ourselves on the "nap" page with the picture of the cute baby. This is what I heard today: "nnnn...aaaa...p....SLEEP!"

As we were walking out of our staff meeting this morning (10 minutes AFTER the kids were supposed to be picked up!!) New Principal drops this little bombshell on us - we are expected to put on a Christmas Assembly next Friday. She claims she told us, but everyone jumped up to say, "No, you didn't!" WTF?! As I was walking out last night, I was told that I have to attend a professional development meeting Thursday, which means I'm now down to 6 days with the babies. What the hell am I going to teach them for this show?! AND, preparing for the show can't take away from any of our instructional time. Yeah, ok, how 'bout I take all 28 of them (yeah, I got a new kid this morning!!) home with me for the next two weeks, and we can work on it every night from now til the show? Ugh!

We're having a walk-through tomorrow by the state, so everyone has been scrambling to get ready for that. Then, literally 20 minutes before dismissal, she sends a notice around to the teachers telling us what we're missing in our rooms for tomorrow, with a note saying we needed to fix it by the end of the day. Is she out of her fucking mind??! I'm not going to stress about it, it is what it is. My room is not changing one bit before tomorrow morning, sorry. One of the things that she had listed for my room was that I didn't have enough words on my word wall. Well, I have 15 words up there, and there have only been 9 words introduced so far in our reading series. The words on the word wall are supposed to be words that the kids know, not just random words. The last time the word wall issue was addressed, I was told I had TOO MANY words up. WTF? Make up my mind, will ya?

As much as it pisses me off that I have to go to this PD Thursday, I'm just glad to not have to be at school. Unfortunately, there are a couple of staff members who are going who I think are going to make it almost impossible to ditch this thing. Mrs. J., my neighbor/friend, and Mrs. M., my friend in the room across the hall, will both be there, and we were trying to figure out how to ditch and go see Mrs. F. and the baby. Mrs. M. hasn't met The Princess yet. But, like I said, the other two people attending aren't staff members we're very familiar with, and I think they would rat us out if we left. Damn... Well, at least when we come back on Friday, there won't be any kids since it's a staff development day. Then, we only have the 5 days next week, and we're ON BREAK! Woo hoo!

I need to get out of this grumpy mood, now that I've been venting, so I think I'll go put up some Christmas lights or something. Or, maybe I'll just go curl up with a magazine. Ah, who am I kidding? I have about 10 loads of laundry calling my name. Poop....

Email of the Day