Sunday, December 31, 2006

The end of the inner monologue

La Princesa's rejoicing on Saturday was quickly put to an end on Sunday evening. The pair had been invited for Christmas Eve dinner at the home of a friend of La Reina. It was a pity that the only person present that La Reina liked was the hostess. La Princesa spent the rest of the evening making sure that the wine in her glass did not drop below a certain level. This was because she knew if the glass ever emptied and then she tried to refill it, she would have to hear, "You're having another drink?" La Princesa made this decision after La Reina pulled her aside to inform her that she was rattling. Now La Princesa can be quite garrulous in party situations. Even more so if she is surrounded by strangers. But this time she was not suffering from the diarrhea of the mouth. It probably did not help La Princesa's case when all the dinner guests proclaimed her beauty and youthful look. (She had conceded to some of La Reina's rants by choosing to wear earrings and lipstick for the evening.) Over the years, La Princesa decided that this really irritates La Reina -- hearing how beautiful and/or charming others find La Princesa. It's all kind of like the stepmother in Snow White. When others are complimetary, it is more likely that La Reina will be critical.

So La Princesa contented herself with the beauty of the home. As she looked around, she thought, "This is a home worthy of the Empress of the Universe." Oh, and the views!

Finally the wretched evening came to an end. The next thing to deal with would be Christmas day.

They were visited by La Reina's nietos. Then three friends of La Reina showed up. They were all younger than La Princesa. La Reina knew them from salsa dancing in the main square on Sunday evenings. It was agreed that all were starving. So it was off to Fajita Republic. (I told you that we might hear about this place again.) This time La Princesa remembered that she was armed with a camera.

After the meal, it was back into town to walk the malecon. There was also another brief stop at La Bodeguita, but no one could stay awake long enough to stay for the band.

Tuesday La Princesa quickly packed her bags. She was going home. But she had learned a couple of things along the way. She now understood why La Reina loved the place so much. She also knew that it would probably be another ten years before she returned there. At least as long as La Reina was present.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

How did they know?

You Are Likely an Only Child

At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.
At work and school, you do best when you're organizing.
When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.

In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.
Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.
You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.

At least now I have a little insight as to how to make all that money...

Friday, December 29, 2006

More of the inner monologue

La Princesa finally was feeling somewhat normal by Saturday. This was after being awakened numerous times over the previous days to hear La Reina saying, "You've slept enough already. It's your vacation. You should be doing things." La Princesa was doing things. To be exact, she was getting some much needed sleep.

So Saturday La Princesa arose from her slumber. Unfortunately there was not a handsome prince involved in this process. She then consented to go into town.

They strolled the malecon, including the new one. It was the same as La Princesa remembered but different. The malecon had had to be rebuilt after the city was hit by a hurricane a few years ago. There were new sculptures along the way as well.

Oh, and there were the industrious men creating sand sculptures on the beach for the holiday season.

What saddened La Princesa the most was the destruction of the old for the modern. Old squares are being torn down to make room for parking garages. One hopes that this will never happen to the main plaza.

And then there was this stately building. It will be replaced with a highrise.

Along their walk, the two agreed to go out to dinner later in the evening. They made reservations at Daquiri Dick's. La Reina chided La Princesa for taking photos of the food during their meal. La Princesa simply stated that she had friends who would like to see the food. Thankfully the manager -- who knows La Reina -- agreed with La Princesa. The daquiris consumed with the meal also helped matters.

Now we all know that La Reina likes to call the shots. This meant that after dinner, the two had to head to La Bodeguita del Medio, a Cuban restaurant that features a Cuban band. And of course, the band knew La Reina as well.

La Princesa sat sipping on her mojito and thinking, "This is the kind of place that I could grow to love. Well, in other company perhaps." Because mojitos can make all things look good.

By the end of the evening, La Princesa started to believe that there would be hope for this trip. Would she be right?

To be continued...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Inner monologue

This is a fave phrase of my cousin in the DC area. You'll say something to him because you could have sworn that he just said something to you. He'll nod his head and say, "Ummm. No. That was your inner monologue."

So I thought of this all because this is how I maintained my sanity in Mexico. Well, I mostly maintained it. I spent days telling myself stories about La Princesa -- who knew that one day she would be Empress of the Universe -- and the evil Reina -- who many years ago was known as La Puta.

In the tale the La Princesa traveled to Mexico to visit La Reina because La Reina had commanded it. One thing La Princesa knew about La Reina is that she is one of the most self-centered women on this planet. In fact, in La Reina's mind she was like the Sun; the rest of us orbit around her as she wills. But La Princesa had been to see these great magicians over the years, known as therapists, and while La Reina demanded that all dance to her song, La Princesa did not let it bother her -- as much -- anymore.

Before going to the resort, they had to stop at the prison. This place is otherwise known as La Reina's home. Not only did one need keys to enter but to exit as well. La Princesa thought, "What have I gotten myself into? I will be trapped in this place at this woman's beck and call. And what about when I need a nicotine fix? Because La Reina does not allow nicotine in her home."

Luckily La Princesa quickly learned where the spare keys were hidden that would allow her to escape to her smoking lounge.

Then it was off to the resort so that they could get ready for dinner with La Reina's friend. You know. The one who owns a winery in Sonoma. There were cocktails with dinner and wonderful conversation. At least, this is what La Princesa would like to think but things were kind of hazy for her. She had been up since 3:30 a.m. and was fighting a sinus infection as well as hemorrhaging. This never makes for a pleasant combination. This would also be why La Princesa did not think of taking pictures at dinner with her snazzy new camera in this most wondrous of places -- The Fajita Republic. (You ask why this name is mentioned? Perhaps because we will return to this lovely place latter in our tale.)

The next day, La Reina proclaimed that they should go to the beach. Never mind that it was overcast. But before heading to the beach, they saw the magnificent creatures contained at the resort. And during this time, La Princesa thought of Daniel.

La Princesa left La Reina on the beach while she retired to the balcony to continue reading her books -- Echo Park and The Kite Runner. Because this was what La Princesa thought was a perfect vacation -- reading and napping. When La Reina returned, La Princesa refused to go out. This may have had something to do with the pain behind her eyes caused by the sinuses that contained way too much fluid.

The next day they had to leave the resort. La Princesa's stay there had been cheated by the evil airline. It is hard to say which is more evil -- the airline or La Reina.

Upon returning to the prison, La Princesa once more refused to go out. There was still that throbbing pain behind her eyes. La Princesa bemoaned her fate. What could be worse than to have a sinus infection than to have one in a dust-filled city? She prayed for the mercy of the powers that be.

In the prison, she discovered the joy of cable TV. There was TNT and even better -- there was E!. La Princesa learned about the feud between Rosie and the Donald. She learned of the improprieties of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Nevada. She saw the blurred photo of Brit Brit, once more, that had helped to name "junk" as the number one thing on the 2006 edition of "Best Week Ever" on VH1 the previous week. While watching the various shows, she found herself muttering things like, "Besa mi culo," and "Te chinga," everytime La Reina bellowed her name.

And then La Princesa discovered something else -- her knitting project that she had set aside when the school year started. La Princesa was thrilled that TSA now did not think of knitting needles as a threat. She spent endless hours knitting so that she could get the back of the cardigan off of the #2 needles she desperately needed to start the dress for her cousin's little girl. Her hands continue to fly even though she was wracked with pain. She would make progress. Despite La Reina's attempts to interfere with her efforts and to ruin La Princesa's first "vacation" in two years.

Another consolation for poor little La Princesa was that it would all be hers one day. There is this funny thing in property transactions in Mexico. When one acquires new property, one must name a beneficiary for said property. And La Princesa knew that she was the beneficiary of the prison.

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thank goodness I've already done therapy

"Didn't I tell you to take that thing out of your nose before you got here?"

"Why aren't you wearing any makeup?"

"Don't you think you should put some earrings on?"

"You know. You are quite pretty. It just seems like you could put a little more effort into your appearance."

"Your hair is frizzing. Did you know that? It really doesn't look good."

"Oh my. Why would you put that hideous color on your toes?"

I think I may have used up all of my good karma in trying my best to not kill my mother during the past week. Then again maybe I have some left still. I just called the jury hotline and apparently I have fulfilled my duty for the year.

Well, I'm off to get some rest, get reacquainted with the cats, and sort through the gazillion photos I took.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

How is this going to happen on a teacher's salary?

Your Chances of Being a Multimillionaire: 84%

It's almost certain you'll be a multimillionaire. Just keep doing what you're doing.
You are good with money, a creative thinker, and an ethical person. You might be the next Donald Trump!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A new dislike

So right now I should be on a plane on my way to Mexico. Instead, I am sitting at home. Why? Because I received a call from the airline around 4:30 a.m. stating that my flight had been cancelled. They put me on their next available flight -- tomorrow morning.

That means one less day somewhere warmer. It also means that I will be on BART during the wee morning hours tomorrow. Because Queenie can't drive me to the airport tomorrow as she is leaving town today. And the thought of paying $90 for an airport shuttle? Uhhh. Nope. Here's the best part. If I catch the first BART train, I won't arrive at the airport until 6:30 a.m. The airline says that I need to be there around 6:00 a.m. to check-in and will not guarantee my ability to do so at a later time. I'll tell you this much. If they don't let me check in, it will not be a pretty sight. Oh, and have I mentioned that I am PMSing currently? I'm telling you. A really pretty sight. So now I've added the airline to the list of companies that irk me.

Monday, December 18, 2006


So today was the first day of my winter break. Can I just say how wonderful it is? A little hectic, but still wonderful.

Friday night I went out with my fellow teachers to celebrate some birthdays and the start of break. Queenie and I ended up meeting a guy who knows a couple of our co-workers. He seemed to take a real shine to her. Too bad he's 12 years older than she. But she's going to email him. Because he wants to fix me up with one of his friends. Something about former NFL player. We'll see.

Saturday I headed up to Sack a Tomatoes so that I could claim my Christmas gifts. Well, apparently not all of them. My stepmother called earlier today to say that she had forgotten to give me my gift. That's OK though. I got the important ones -- the ones from dad. I am now the proud owner of a Canon SD600. That means when I leave tomorrow, I will be able to take lots of fab photos. All I know is that I'll be glad to be in a place where the temperatures are above 50. Did I mention that Sunday morning it was 34 in my dad's backyard? And the sun was already out? So wrong.

Well, speaking of leaving, I guess I'd better finish my packing since Queenie is picking me up at the butt crack of dawn tomorrow.

Have a great holiday all! I'll be back next week.

Afterthought I totally forgot to mention the thrill of shopping with dad. I got to help pick out the stepmonster's -- oops stepmother's -- gift. Let's just say it involved gold and diamonds. My father blanched when the salesperson told him the sale price on my first choice. My reaction? "No one ever said that I had cheap taste." I can't wait to talk to her after Christmas to find out if she actually liked it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


You Have Good Karma

In general, you like to do the right thing when it comes to others.
Your caring personality really shines through.
Sure, you have your moments of weakness - and occasionally act out.
But, all in all, you're karma is good... even with those few dark spots.

Hopefully it will still be good after my visit with my mother.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The end is near

Today is the last day of school before the winter break. Can you feel my excitement?

The past week has had some stress. One normally expects the kids to go wild right before a break. That's why you plan the hell out of the time for the week. Part of these plans has been completing the cookbook. (I meant to take a photo of the finished products for you but I forgot in my stupor.) I stayed at work until 5 last night finishing those books. Why did I feel that they needed to be spiral-bound? Do you know how tiring that is on your arm when you have to complete 40 or so books? Thankfully two-buck-Chuck can get rid of that pain.

And I am looking forward to not seeing rain. Rain sucks in an elementary school. It means that the kids are stuck with you at recess. And my kids? They need to run free a few times a day. Wednesday morning started as the most perfect day I have ever seen from the kids. Honestly. Then I had my prep period at the end of the day. My kids were supposed to be at PE but it was raining. This meant that PE was heald in my classroom. The PE teacher found them to be trying but no one could have expected the end. (Well, maybe I could have because I know my kids.) She dismissed them as a class -- something I never would have done in my most brain-dead states. I dismiss them individually. Complete havoc ensued. I have heard tales of chairs flying and overturned desks. Think drunken rock band trashing a hotel room. Somewhere along the line the principal showed up and made them clean it all up. By the time I saw my room, there were no signs left. Today the students turned in statements about what they had witnessed per the principal's instructions. Four of my kids ended up suspended as a result of the statements. I will not be seeing them again until January. I would be completely stressed out if this had all happened under my watch but it didn't. Therefore, I am feeling OK. Especially since others had reported how perfect the kids were in the morning.

So today is the last day before break. A break that I think is well deserved. Three teachers have birthdays within a week or so of each other. Today after school we are heading out to celebrate. By contract we have to stay at school until 3:09 pm. (The kids leave at 3:00 pm.) One of the teachers wrote on the invite that the festivities start at 3:11 pm. Show's you where all our minds are. The plan is that we will be out the entire night at various spots along College. I cannot wait. Just as long as I can wake up for my hair appointment tomorrow.

Oh. Here's a bonus, thanks to Tami. A day early. But there will still be another quiz tomorrow.

So I will keep this in mind as I am out tonight. Because I need to keep my thoughts light today so that I can stop crying. My dad called last night. My aunt's cancer is back and she is starting chemo again today. This time it's on her liver.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

5 things few people know about me

So I was tagged by BWB. This one is a little tricky. I mean what can I tell you folks that I haven't already shared?

1. My great grandfather had six fingers. This was not of much concern until one of my cousins had a son who also had this lovely trait. It had not shown up in the family since my grandmother's generation. We all thought that we were safely past that. I guess not. Even if it were not for my little cousin, I would be reminded of this trait every time I watch Gattaca.

2. I am a butter addict. As a child, I would often go to the fridge just so I could slice of a chunk of butter. No, I did not eat it with anything. My Southern relatives only buy butter for baking purposes. They use margerine everyday. Ick!

3. When I was young, I frequently suffered from nose bleeds. My father had the same affliction. Doctors had told my grandmother that they were like asthma in some children. I only had them when I was really upset. Like that time in third grade when I threw a ruler at another girl's head. Of course, she told the teacher. The teacher took me into the hallway to have a little chat. Before she could say anything, my nose started gushing and she sent me to the office. I never did get that lecture. Sometimes I wish that I had not outgrown the nosebleeds. They certainly came in handy.

4. I cannot stand absolute quiet. That's why the TV runs all night long. I have tried using the sleep timer. The problem is that as soon as the TV clicks off, I am wide awake.

5. I hate the sound of my alarm clock. Actually, any alarm clock. If I set the alarm, I tend to wake up five minutes before the alarm is due to go off just so I can shut it off. If I have the misfortune of having to room with someone who hits the snooze a great deal -- like my college roommate -- I want to rip the clock to shreds. When I stay with her now, I can hear her alarm in the guest room down the hall. That's how sensitive I am.

I'm not really up for tagging anyone. If you really want to, go for it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

An empathetic soul

Last week I was able to confirm something that I have always known -- that I am empathetic. Part of the reason why I have always been guarded around people is that I know that I have the ability "to soak up the emotions of others." This can be a dangerous place to be.

In those days when I thought that I wanted to be a lawyer, I was told that my greatest strength was my empathy. I had the ability to put a potential client at ease because I could understand how they were feeling and could communicate this. I also had passion, due to this, that made me fight for them to the fullest of my abilities. This is part of the reason why I left law school. I felt too much. I was starting to feel like Danny Elfman and crew.

And then somewhere down the road, I found myself in education. Talk about soaking up pain. I have been able to mask my emotions but I cannot turn them off completely.

Last Tuesday, I checked in with the science coach. My students go to science on Tuesday but last Tuesday I was at the vocabulary skills workshop. When I told the science coach that I would not be around, she was reticent to have my kids in the lab. As it turns out, partially due to the preparation work I had done with them in class, my kids were near perfect in lab. They had ideas to share and were able to complete the work.

The science coach told me on Wednesday when I asked about the student behavior that she had been worried about me. She was the one who had hired me for summer school. and she said that the reason for hiring me had been because of my motivation to teach -- my heart. She shared with me that over the last few weeks, what she had seen was someone who hated her students. This seemed contrary to the person who she had interviewed. I explained to her that I was feeling frustrated but after following the changes suggested by my mentor I was feeling better. When I spoke to my aunt, a veteran educator, she said that she had noticed the same thing. My aunt then mentioned that once I started making the recommended changes in my classroom that I seemed to return to my former self.

I have learned from this process that I cannot disconnect completely emotionally. I have learned the hardest lesson for a natural pessimist -- to see the positives in all things. My mother has tried to make me see this for many years but now I finally understand. It's not just a question of other people. It directly feeds into my energy.

Part of the reason why I left law school was that I knew I felt too much. I learned to shut off my emotions on some level to protect myself but not enough. When my students became truly frustrating, I became afraid of being sucked into something from which I could not extricate myself. Many thanks to the mentor teacher for showing me ways in which I can feel "normal" again.

And I did head out over the weekend. Well, at least on Friday night. It was the district holiday party. I was about to bail but my aunts told me that I had to show up. I ended up in a long conversation with one of the members of the school board. No, I did not approach him. He stopped me. If I didn't know better, I would think that it was my silver silk pants. Because of course I looked hella cute. (For those of you elsewhere in the country, "hella" is a completely Bay word to use. As in, "That calculus test? Hella hard." In college, this is what sold me out as a native of the Bay. Not sporting silver and black like the Nation. And crap. On Friday that's exactly what I was wearing. I also realized that the district art teacher is married to the high school principal. We had never put together the fact that they have the same last name until we saw them dancing together at the party. And they are so cute, you just can't hate.

Queenie and I headed over to Kitty's after the party. Lots of fun there. Although it took some time for the DJ to start spinning. Eh. Just meant time for me to have a Persephone's Bees before the dancing started. My one regret is that I blew off this really nice 42-year-old for some boy toy. Back in the day, I would have said that he was cool enough to hang with me. I'm not sure what made me not recognize my own kind. Wel, actually I do but I don't want to go into it now. One day I will learn.

Oh yeah. Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. I switched over to Blogger Beta yesterday and then procrastinated by tweaking the template some so that it would look closer to what it used to be. And there was quite a bit of tweaking and research involved. It is perfectly hellish trying to bring Haloscan over to Blogger Beta. Luckily I found a link to someone else's blog who had already solved the problem. I would not commit to the new features, which entail a change in template, until I could solve this problem. I guess that's the joy of beta though. You get to be the guinea pig who works out all the kinks.

Thanks to Hilly, I have added a new toy in the sidebar. It's a message recorder from Snapvine -- listed under "Talk to Me." All you have to do is call 1-641-985-7800 and enter the code *2483138 to leave me a message. (This same information can be obtained by hitting the "Record by Phone" button.) The things I do when I am procrastinating about finishing my work.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Just in case I change my mind about teaching

Your Career Personality: Independent, Insightful, and Ingenious

Your Ideal Careers:

Business strategist
College professor
Computer programmer
Video game developer

Friday, December 8, 2006

Seeing the world

This week's story in our anthology got the kids talking about places that they'd like to see. OK. So maybe it wasn't the story but me. I made a connection by saying that I understood the story because of a friend. The kids then asked, "Is there somewhere in the world from which you have not met a person?" I then started getting quizzed on various U.S. states and countries. My answer was either, "Been there," or "Have relatives who live there," or "Know someone from there." They were shocked. This is how we got to places in the world that we would like to see. Well, not until after we finished reading the story. Their list was fascinating -- Syria, Australia, Spain, Brazil, and Japan just to name a few.

Some of their list overlapped with my personal one. I did not add the places that I would like to see that they had not named. So now I'm thinking of a whole new research project. "How did people from the country you named come to the United States?" Because I'm teaching U.S. history and all. Always got to link stuff to the standards. The more, the better.

Right now I'm trying to plan a trip to Monterey in January. I also know that I have to go to D.C. next summer. I figure that while I'm there, I may as well visit relatives in Virginia and Georgia.

Now I also have a week off in February. I think I should head somewhere then but where? New Orleans? I mean it will be Mardi Gras. Rio? Also, if I teach summer school I will have plenty of money to go on an additional trip next summer. And I've completely forgotten spring break in April. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Putting the guard back up

So if you're reading this and have been reading for sometime, you were not scared off by the last post. I hate taking photos and rarely do so. But Queenie twisted my arm. So we each took a photo with our cellphones. (The only digital camera I own is a video camera. Fantastic stills but a little bulky. And I haven't heard any of you complain about the photos I have posted from my phone. And if you did, we'd just throw you into the dungeon.) And then we sent the photos to each other so that we would have comparison/choice. I went with my photo because of the looks on our faces even though in my photo I have serious waddle action going on. But other than that it looks like me. Because I only wear make-up when I go out. I stopped wearing make-up daily when I left college. I've been told that this action has helped in the anti-aging as well. I am sure that taking care of myself (physically) after a night out also helps. I am more likely to cook after a night out than any other time. Because one must ensure that one receives the proper balance of salt, grease, and carbs.

By the way, I tend to write posts in advance. It gives me time to contemplate whether I actually want to post. Kind of like the last post. I probably would have posted a photo sooner but I tend to run from cameras. But once I told Queenie the URL, I suddenly felt a little less anonymous. Even more so than when I told Grasshopper the URL. (By the way, Grasshopper has told me that she will watch the "kids" while I head off to Mexico to see my mom.) So I took the chance and posted a photo with which I was not completely happy. Because I have never really photographed well. In younger days, when I talked to agents, they mentioned runway. I was 15 to 20 pounds lighter than what you saw. And I like to think that I look much better in person.

I think that what made me change my mind about posting a photo that included myself was my decision to "jump bad." OK. So I had had several drinks when I made this decision. As is always the case. Basically Saturday night at the conference a coworker decided to video me and another coworker on her cellphone. She then threatened to send it to the assistant superintendant. I basically dared her to. OK. I may have done more than dare her. I figured that if she actually did, I would be able to talk my way out of it all. It's not like I said anything disparaging about him or the district. Lesson learned? Watch that woman. (Remind me to talk to Queenie about further sign language. You'd probably be surpised about the number of curse word phrases we can sign to each other while leaving everyone else around us perfectly clueless.) And my mentor also hinted that I should watch that woman. But another veteran teacher assured us that I did not say anything but in her defense. Basically we just got a little too ethnic. Possibly made some folks a little uncomfortable as a result. Stuff about Michael Richards, Jesse Jackson, and Mel Gibson. Ummm. What's the common denominator here?

Monday I spoke to my new mentor -- and a few other teachers. She chastised me for drinking over the weekend and then asked if I had not shared anything too personal. It seems that now that I have finally learned how to drop my guard, I need to put it back up. Thankfully the veteran teacher came through for me. She explained how she opened up the can of worms. I then explained that it was only natural that I have her back on everything. Apparently we were the only ones laughing at our statements. Her take is that we made everyone else a little uncomfortable. And that's why we were able to laugh while no one else could.

I was going to say something else but then I censored myself. I have always figured that someone who knew me well could find me. There would be some question if it was really me but without a photo it could not be confirmed. And so now the photo has been removed. Sorry. If you missed the photo, then email me and I will send the one I removed. Just had to do it for my piece of mind. As long as I am anonymous, I can truly speak my truth.

It all goes back to that tenure thing. In two years I will have tenure in this district. I have already starting to plan the tattoo that I will get to mark this event. And screw how much my mother screams about it. I mean some of the cooler folks on my dad's side of the family have approved of the whole idea. And these are the folks who usually have a stick stuck deep up somewhere.

Then again, on my dad's side of the family I have been branded the wild child. Kind of the "Paris" of the family. I can get away with a lot as a result.

And I have another reason to get excited about Christmas. It seems that my mom's friend, who owns a winery in Sonoma (You can buy their stuff at BevMo. Email me if you're interested.), will also be in Mexico along with her family at the same time that I am there. Her daughters are younger than I but we get along really well. (Notice my pronoun choice. This is the correct choice and is one of my pet peeves. When using "than," always use the nominative case for the personal pronoun.) I expect to have a great time for the holidays at this point.

Oh, and that workshop yesterday? Totally rocked. I am so going in today and trying out some of the things I learned yesterday.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Geek central

I spent the weekend at a conference on teaching math. Guess what? There were actually some hot guys there. It didn't hurt that the conference was held at Asilomar either. At lunch on Saturday, Queenie and I hit the beach for a stroll.

Oh, and the food? Friday night had a great dinner at Jose's Bar and Grill in Monterey near Cannery Row. Jose was not present as he is currently in Mexico. Instead we were served by his brother.

Saturday night we hit Fandango. There was wine and conversation. I also had a pretty good cassoulet. Two of the other teachers had the same. One said that she found it to be a bit salty.

On Sunday, Queenie and I had every intention of going to the speakers for the closing of the conference. We kept getting sidetracked in leaving though, and instead decided to hit Cannery Row so that she could find this silver shop that she loves.

Then on the way home, we decided that we also just had to hit the outlet shops in Gilroy. Around this time we realized that we were very hungry. This meant a stop at In 'n' Out.

I always get the #1 (double double) animal style.

Upon returning to the Bay Area, we then headed on over to the TJ's in El Cerrito. Why? Because there are a lot of cute guys shopping and working there. And then we had to hit the Albertson's because Queenie was in need of a restroom. In both stores we were able to see local firefighters shopping. I am still trying to stop drooling.

Well, now it's back to reality. Like making a sub plan for tomorrow. Because I'm going to be at a workshop for the day. This time on building vocabulary skills. And I know that you will be eagerly waiting to hear about it on Wednesday.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Big pimpin'

Your Pimp Name Is...

Silky Big Spenda

Friday, December 1, 2006

Hitting the road

There will be no quiz on Saturday. That's because I'll be in lovely Pacific Grove at a conference this weekend. Leaving out after school today.

Yesterday was a pretty good day at school. The opera performance? Fantastic! Now the kids want to do a play. We'll see.

For your entertainment pleasure, I swiped this meme from Heidi.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? "My eyes look like I haven't gotten enough sleep."
2. How much cash do you have on you? $10? $15? I usually don't carry much cash.
3. What's a word that rhymes with "DOOR?" soar
4. Favorite planet? Not really sure.
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? Probably my dad.
6. What is your favorite ring tone? Kashmir
7. What shirt are you wearing? Blue.
8. Do you "label" yourself? Nope.
9. Name the brand of the shoes you're currently wearing? None. I have time before I walk out the door before I actually need to put those on.
10. Bright or dark room? It depends.
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? You've gotta like that Heidi.
12. What does your watch look like? I can't remember. It's been sitting in the jewelry box for years.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping.
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? A message from Cingular telling me that the rate for calls to mobile phones in Mexico will be going up from $0.09 a minute to $0.26 a minute!
15. Where is your nearest 7-11? I haven't seen one of those in a long time. I think there's one on University though.
16. What's a word that you say a lot? Anyway...
17. Who told you he/she loved you last? My aunt
18. Last furry thing you touched? Natasha
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? None.
20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? One.
21. Favorite age you have been so far? 25 or 30. Both were great years.
22. Your worst enemy? Me.
23. What is your current desktop picture? Pinky and the Brain.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "Change that to 10 orders of shui mai."
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? The money. Duh.
26. Do you like someone? Nope.
27. The last song you listened to?
28. What time of day were you born? 5:01 am
29. What's your favorite number? 3
30. Where did you live in 1987? San Diego
31. Are you jealous of anyone? Not currently.
32. Is anyone jealous of you? Of course they are. I mean I am the Empress.
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? About to get into a rental car to head to National Airport in DC for my flight home.
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Hit it and curse.
35. Do you consider yourself kind? Some days.
36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Wrist or ankle.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Portuguese.
38. Would you move for the person you loved? Perhaps.
39. Are you touchy feely? Some days.
40. What's your life motto? Not really sure. It used to be, "You're not really living unless you're living on the edge."
41. Name three things that you have on you at all times? Cell phone,
42. What's your favorite town/city? London or San Francisco.
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? Lunch on Thursday. Japanese. Mmmm.
44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? Too long ago to remember.
45. Can you change the oil on a car? I haven't actually tried it but my uncle insisted that I watch and learn.
46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? That was eons ago. I ran into him a couple of years after we broke up. He just gotten back from six months at sea. I was deliberately cold because he had this way of sucking me back in and I wanted off the roller coaster.
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? Great great grandparents??
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? I think it may have been my birthday this year. I believe I wore the silk chiffon dress, but I could be mistaken. I know I was carrying the Kate Spade bag.
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Nope.
50. Have you been burned by love? Am I breathing?

I'll post the quiz when I return on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The rainbow

After the storm has cleared, the rainbow appears. Such is my life.

So the other teacher seemed evil. She wasn't evil, just blunt. Yesterday I followed exactly what she said and everything was better. I taught the lesson that she modeled. Her feedback? There were some things that I needed to work on (She gave me specifics and how to deal with them.) but overall I did a great job. Feel my Ninja power as I kick ass!

On Monday night I think that Natasha felt my pain. When I woke up in the middle of the night (as I am prone to do when I am stressed), I discovered that Natasha was sleeping next to me. Then again it could be the weather and her search for heat. Nah. I'm going to go with the first explanation -- her need to comfort me.

So I have a game plan for the weeks leading up to break. This would also be known as the weeks leading up to my trip to Mexico. And did I share? Apparently I will not have to spend the entire trip with my mother. Family friends have hooked me up with a hotel room. Gotta love having friends with money. Now to solidify plans for the cats while I am gone.

Back to the kids. I know. You thought that we had escaped those brats. Thursday the Opera is coming to the school for a performance. Some of the kids will be participating. Rehearsal on Tuesday? Fantastic!!! Seriously.

The next step in motivating the rugrats is a project. I had an idea in mind -- a classroom cookbook. My aunt, a retired educator, helped me to solidify this with a timeline. She is well worth the minutes I spend talking to her daily on the cell.

So now I'm smiling. I've never needed drugs for my bouts of depression. I've only needed a sounding board. Although I have also come up with a plan to improve my social life. First, I am going to become involved in the local knitting/spinning guild. Second, I will return to studying Portuguese in January. And I'll make sure there is some dancing in all of this.

All I know is that I am glad that I did not truly hit bottom. That's where I thought I was on Monday evening. Because I'm a Cancer. And I always think the worst. So yeah, things are shaky jobwise but after Tuesday, I believe that I can climb out of the hole. And see the rainbow that appears after the storm. This last line was for those of you who have difficuly making inferences. Which is our focus in reading in my class this week.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Opening up a vein

Just when I started thinking that life could not possibly suck anymore, it is. I returned to work on Monday and discovered that one of the other new teachers had not returned. Instead she had been replaced. Why? Something about classroom management.

One of the veteran teachers insisted that I meet with her after school on Monday. It seems that the perception is that I have similar problems. She is trying to ensure that I still have a job next year. And here it was, I thought that things were getting better. Just shows what happens when I try to think. I felt like someone had pulled the rug out from under my feet. So I spent nearly two hours with her mapping out the changes that I would make starting tomorrow.

Oh, and to top it all off, there was discussion about my wardrobe not being professional enough. I explained that when the temperature dropped, I suddenly had a lot fewer wardrobe options. I told her that I could have more options if I could actually afford to dryclean some stuff. She is going to show me the bulk place that she uses. I mean it's not like I purposefully go to school thinking, "Hmmm. I think I should have a little gap between the waistband of my pants and my shirt." I am sorry that I am thin and long-waisted. First time I've ever been smacked down on a job for my wardrobe. Makes me want to start to reconsider my neighbor's idea for a business. The B&B&B. That would be bed and breakfast and bordello. I tried to tell her the idea would only be legal in certain parts of Nevada.

So right now I feel like I've been kicked while I was already down. I'm not sure how I'm going to crawl out of this hole. I did spend most of Monday night crying. Because that's what I do when I'm feeling exceptionally hormonal and life keeps throwing out more crap. Reminds me of something that my friends in high school and I used to say. "Life's a shit sandwich and each day you have to take a bite. The only difference is how big a bite you have to take." I feel like I've eaten half the sandwich in one sitting. And then I called Queenie because she saw me walking to my car after the meeting and knew that something was amiss. Well, actually she knew that something was amiss when I kept shooing the kids away for opera practice. (Remind me to tell you about that one day.) She assured me that I am a great teacher. That doesn't mean that I still won't be canned at the end of the year though.

So where do I stand? No friends that I count on except Queenie, no love interest, and possibly no job come June. Do I feel calm, relaxed, and all that other stuff? Hell no. I am at my neurotic best, waiting for someone to pull me in from that tree limb.

With that said, I think it may be in my best interest to not go out this week. Because I'm pretty sure they don't let you blog from the psych ward. And now I'm going to resume my pre-school crying. Because the asshats that control stuff have also decided that today is tree trimming day. And not in the festive way. Which means that all cars must be moved by 7 a.m. This would be the perfect time for one of those asshole men I have met over the last few months to call, just to say how wonderful I am. In the meantime, I think I'm going to email the Belgian. He did just send me wonderful vacation pix from Tunisia. There's one of him in a bathing suit. If you ask nicely, perhaps I'll send it along.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Making choices

For those of you who come here for the food, let me get some things out of the way.

Turkey hash with poached eggs

Yep. That's what I had on Saturday -- and Sunday -- after a quick trip to the grocery store. I had onions but what I really wanted was scallions. And I needed bell pepper. And eggs. I cannot believe that I only had one egg in the fridge. Something seems so wrong about that.

Oh, and I had a whole wheat English muffin with it as well. Toasted with butter. And with the Bartlett Pear Jam I bought in Pt. Reyes. The jam? Tasted like a pear spread on the muffin. I may have found a new addiction to replace the honey addiction that replaced the crack cheese addiction.

Now onto other stuff, non-food related. Saturday night I did head out. However, it ended up being just me and Queenie. Since it was just us, we headed to SF. We could have done the salsa place but then I remembered that the Peruvian guys we met a couple of weeks ago in SF wanted us to go there with them on this particular Saturday. Why tempt fate? So it was off to SF and my continuing introduction to Irish bars that have dance floors. Now I must admit that I have been to our usual spot many times before meeting Queenie. Saturday night's stop was Kell's. I like to think of it as being in that borderland between North Beach and the Financial District since it is around the corner from The Bubble Lounge.

So the choice was to go there. Instead of all the other places we could have gone. Like my home away from home in North Beach. Because I decided that dancing was more important than meeting guys. Queenie? She meets guys wherever we go. Because she's 25. I love her dearly but she is also a constant reminder of my age. My home away from home? We both meet guys. (That's where I met UG.) There's just not really any dancing there. So this was a hard choice to make before I told her it was OK to go to Kell's. Because I had just spent several days at home with the cats. My sex life? Vague memories. Maybe I shouldn't have been so quick to tell the kids that I don't need their help in getting a date a week ago.

I know part of this is hormonal. The hormone swings always seem to magnify the fact that I am well on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady. Ah. Crap. Now I've actually written it. Excuse me while I take my depressed ass off to a corner and cry. By the way, this is a major improvement. In the old days, pre-therapy, I would have said "off to a corner to slit my wrists." At least I have not gone off and posted an ad on CL. I did read some though. I also thought of dialing a few numbers in my phone but then I decided that there were reasons why I have not dialed those numbers in months. I'm not sure how much longer the self-restraint will work though.

Maybe I should go out on Wednesday night. I need some worshipping in my life about now. Of course, I am going to a conference over the weekend. Maybe there will be some hot, single male teachers there. OK. I just made myself laugh hysterically with that one. Because in case you have not noticed, there aren't a lot of men in education. But the conference is for math and that happens to be one of the few areas in education that is heavily populated by men. At the very least it's somewhere scenic.

Eh. I'm going to Mexico for Christmas. That will be the ego boost. Sort of. If only men were taller. Although I've never met a short guy from New Zealand. Hmmmm.

*sigh* I hate it when the weather turns gloomy. Seems to do the same to my mood.