Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sick Saturday

Those creepy zombies got me sick!

All week I've been dealing with an little annoying cough. No big thing, just annoying. But Friday night it turned into something much uglier.

By Saturday morning my head felt like it was a stuffed with cotton and there was a brick on my chest. I was running a little fever as well. But I had to get up to get The Girl on her bus for her cross country meet. After I saw her off, I went back home to wake The Boy so we could go to the meet. He woke up as sick as me. It was going to be a good day.

So the two of us headed 0ff down the back roads of Ohio maneuvering around Amish buggies sneezing, sniffling and coughing all the way. At the meet it was cold and raining. We huddled under our umbrellas, shivering as we cheered The Girl on.

She ran well. Despite the weather she came in with a time of 26:36. That's her second best time of the season and not too shabby to boot. Last year she had her best time during a meet that was driving rain in bitter cold, so that must be what works for her.

The race wore her out and she slept all the way home. Then the three of us took a nap later in the afternoon. I was supposed to go out to lunch with old friends. I was supposed to go on a movie date with The Man. None of that was going to happen. Every time I closed my eyes, I felt myself starting to fall asleep. In between naps we watched mindless television and passed the tissue box back and forth. The Man, who was the only fully functioning human in the house, went out and rented movies and brought home Subway. He was the hero of the day.

Back to my zombies tomorrow. I'm taking hand sanitizer.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Too much too soon

Usually this time of year my zombie sitting duties are few and far between. I start getting busy around mid October. So on Monday when I got called into the favorite school for a three day gig I jumped at it. But right away things started going wrong.

First there were no plans. The teachers in the next room were tossing ideas back and forth on how to fill the day. It was all sounding stinko. I was saved from all of that when another teacher brought my teacher's plan book all filled out. Seems that they are neighbors and she sent it in. Crisis one averted.

Now here comes the principal. He wants to know how long I've been called in for. When I say it's three days he tells me it's probably going to be more like three weeks. My teacher has done something serious to her back and she won't be returning any time soon. Crisis two identified- Job with no foreseeable end.

Hmmm. That's a lot of work for early fall. But it should be okay.

Now the other teachers come in to check on me and that's when they drop the bomb. It seems I have just inherited the roughest group of kids that this school has seen....ever. They say things like "You know those sixth graders from two years ago? These guys are worse."

Hmmmmmmm. More stinko. Tres stinko.

In my head though I thought, Pah. What do these teachers know sitting in their ivory tower? I've seen rough. Bring it on.


These kids are rough. If you didn't have the view out of the window, you could easily forget which school you were working in kind of rough. It's such a shame. There's only a hand full of them but they have pretty much destroyed the education process for everyone in the room. The rest of them are all a bunch of sweetie-pies too. I've known most of them since kindergarten and they are great zombies. But I can hardly see them. And favorite school has a shocking lack of policy when it comes to discipline. They are just not prepared for this kind of behavior.

It's been such a long week. I'm just dead tired physically and emotionally. It's hard not to bring that kind of frustration home. I'm snapping at everyone around here, so I think I'm just going to go hide in the bathtub.

I'm scheduled in the same room through next week. When they ask me to extend it, I'm going to politely refuse. Feeling like this is not worth it. I want to be me again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Class Reunion

Yes, I went to my high school class reunion over the weekend. The more I tell people this, the more I find that going to your reunion is not what most people would consider a good time. Most usually have an all over body shiver and say something along the lines of, "I didn't like those people when I was forced to be around them. Why would I want to see them now?".

I did like who I went to high school with. Well, some of them. When you graduate with 500 people it's not really possible to know all of them. I wasn't involved in a lot of activities in school either, just choir and drama, so that really limits the pool of kids you're exposed to as well. But of the classmates I did know ultimately know, I did like quite a few them. So of course I wanted to go to my reunion.

My reunion was planned through Facebook for the most part. That's how we found out about it, were invited to it, RSVP'd for it, the whole works. Now that's it over that's where all the pictures from it are being posted. It didn't take me long to see a pattern going on with all the picture taking. I would be standing with a group of five or six, smiling and posing for one camera after another. A picture would snap and someone would shout, "I'll put it on Facebook!". Everyone would smile and nod and then someone else would say, "Take our picture with my camera too!".

Because of this through coverage in picture taking by everyone else, I only took seven pictures all night. Why should I bother taking pictures when every angle of every moment was being captured by twenty different cameras? Once they were all posted all of the pictures belonged to all of us. Makes sense to me and going through Facebook today I see that I played the night exactly right. There are MORE than enough pictures of me with my eye doing that wonky thing it does when I smile and my mouth wide open like a happy Muppet.

But here's one picture that I took for Mom and Pop. The Man with one of his oldest friends. What a couple of cuties!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cross Country- Meet 3

The Girl took a minute and a half off her time this week from last week. That's huge! Lots of stars were in aligned to make this happen. It was much cooler today and the grass wasn't wet. The course was hilly but the stretch to the finish was all downhill. She finished in a sprint! It was mighty impressive.

The meet was an hour away this morning. She had to be at the school this morning 6:15, which meant getting up at 5:30. This is inhuman in my opinion. While she's doing fine, I am still dragging and have taken two cat naps this afternoon.

It's still weird for me to have a kid involved in a sport. The Man and I were both thoroughly inactive in school and liked it that way. When the kids were little we put them in T-Ball because we thought that's what you were supposed to do. Neither of them liked it very much. The Boy did karate for awhile and The Girl, of course, still dances. But that was the extent of athletics for us.

I dream of running you know. Not the longing and wishing kind of way but in the actually asleep at night type of dreaming. I dream of running through parks and woods. I dream of running down paths and roads. I'm fast in my dreams and the running is effortless (dream-like you could say). I have a running dream a couple of times a week.

When I wake up from one of these dreams the only thing I want to do is put on my shoes and go for an actual run. But it doesn't take long to realize that dream running and real running are extremely different things. I usually just end up taking a long walk. Much more me.

Five more meets to go!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Am I a plant or a zombie?

I've been meaning to write.

I wanted to write about taking the kids to Taste of Cleveland. I would have gone on in detail about the prizes we won (and didn't win). I would have described all the different food we ate: What was good and what was disappointing. I would have raved about seeing Cowboy Mouth rock the house right down to the ground and how we all danced.

But I'm not going to write any of that.

I have a post-it that I've been collecting all the things we did, big and small, over the summer. Some of the things you know about like the camping, NYC and Marco's skunk attack. But some of it I never mentioned like the agony we went through over getting a new lawnmower and watching all five seasons of Alias. The post-it is just crammed with stuff and I was going to list it all out on Labor Day as a salute to the end of summer.

Yeah, you're not getting that either.

I'm not going to write about any of that because of this...

Plants vs. Zombies has taken over my life. It's all I want to do. I think about it all the time. And it's not just me. It's all four of us. We are all possessed by this game. I loaded it on the laptop as well as the desktop so two of us can play at the same time while the other two linger around the edges waiting for our turn. It's pathetic.

The road that led us all here started when I broke my foot two years ago. While I was laid up, Weaver sent me some websites links to cheer me up. One of them was Cakewrecks which still cracks me up everyday. One day it featured an amazing Lost cake that was made to celebrate the 100th episode of the show. That post was linked to Jorge Garcia's blog, who plays Hurley. Jorge does quite a bit of world travelling when he's not filming and puts up lots of pictures and little movies. Last week Jorge was in despair because he had discovered Plants vs. Zombies and couldn't do anything else.

I went to check it out. Found it on Pogo. The rest is history.

I would love to write more but I've got zombies to smash.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Cross Country Has Begun

For the next two months every Saturday will consist of the following:

  • Waking up early while it's cold, wet and not-quite-yet daylight

  • Driving to some far away town

  • Milling around giant fields

Oh wait. That's just for me. For The Girl please add:

  • Running a 5K

After that, we will be returning home where we will absolutely nothing for the rest of the day except nap, eat and watch movies. Well, maybe I'll get some laundry done. But that's about it.

The Girl ran two 5Ks this week, Wednesday and Saturday. She did them both in less than 30 minutes which was her goal. Goodness knows I couldn't do anything even close to that. Not ever!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A subscription in begging

(It's that time of year again...sorry.)

You know all those magazines you get? And you know how each magazine bombards you bi-monthly with their friendly reminders about your subscription expiring in seven months? Please just throw those letters in your paper recycling bin as soon as it hits your hands and instead renew your subscriptions with The Girl.

For the past three years Girl Scouting as taken on magazine sales to go along with the silly nut sale. This sale ends just in time to dovetail nicely with the cookie sale starting and for me overlaps Boy Scout popcorn. Fun, fun, fun!

Adding magazine sales to the mix has been a bumpy road for Girl Scouting. I didn't get to attend the Kick-Off this year, but I'll never forget the screaming voices bouncing off the rafters from last year. Many leaders I've personally met have told me that they just don't do the magazine part of the fall sale and focus only on the nuts. But those nuts are a rip off, I tell them. Just go after magazine renewals instead of new subscriptions. It's so much easier, I plead.

No, they say. Not going to happen.

Come to find out that I personally love the magazine sale because a giant pile of product doesn't end up stacked my dining room waiting to be delivered. If I have to be stuck in the non-stop world of fundraising (which I am), then at the very least I would like to support the one product that inconveniences me the least.

So if you have any magazines that you are considering for renewal anytime over the next two months, you know your hook-up!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Back to the Zombie Ranch

Yesterday was the second day of school for the majority of the zombies in the city. The second day of school and I got called in.

Now I will confess that being a zombie sitter for so long I am very quick to judge. Very quick and unforgiving. I've seen way too many teachers having an out-of-town wedding the day of the Halloween party. And dentist appointments? How is it that they always land on Field Day? Not that I blame them. These zombie wear you out. If you can figure out a way to skip the Valentine's Party with the nightmare of the one little girl who gets something mean written in her Transformer valentine, why wouldn't you?

But missing the second day of school? Really?

Truly, I don't know where this teacher was and no one offered me an explanation. I'm sure it was for a very important and legitimate reason because why would any teacher want to throw little zombies into that much confusion right off the bat. But come on! It's the second day of school! Did you forget it was coming? Did you think school was only going to last one day this year? (See there. More quick judgement. I warned you I was harsh.)

I doesn't help that I'm not particularly fond of this teacher. Doesn't help at all.

The only part of the day that I really enjoyed was kicking around in my favorite school and visiting with everyone. There are lots of new faces there since the demographic of the school has shifted to being kindergarten heavy with four classrooms of the tiny ones. The whole place feels different and...shorter.

Since two of the elementary schools in the city were closed last year, my fav school also picked up some new teachers in the shuffle. Some are unfortunate additions to the school. When I saw the staff roster, I could only sigh and think, "Oh. That's a shame".

Yes, more judging. But I feel qualified in this one. I've been in every elementary classroom in this city. I've seen all the lesson plans, classroom layouts, special projects, poster placement, schedule juggling, classroom management techniques and homework philosophies. I know a sub-par teacher when I see one. You want to know the scoop on a teacher, ask a sub. They know all!

Today is the third day of school and no call. This is not a surprise. My phone doesn't usually start ringing until around the second week of school. That's when the waiting rooms of every gynecologist in the city is standing room only with elementary school teachers.