Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cabin Fever

One tends to catch up on neglected things when snowed in for three days: laundry, ironing, going through mail, catching up on emails and oh yeah...blogging! I haven't gotten out of my pajamas since Friday. I've watched way too much TV, so much so that the DVR is now completely empty. If I drink one more cup of hot cocoa I may turn brown. There's only one thing left to do....must save Rudolph.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Things I Bet You Didn't Know

While at the market the other day, I for no particular reason picked up one of those freebie magazines that are always in the front foyer. I then actually flipped through it and found a list of useless information I felt the need to share...
1. The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
2. Men can read smaller print then women can; women can hear better.
3. It is impossible to lick your elbow. (Go ahead, try it!)
4. A crocodile can't stick its tongue out.
5. A shrimp's heart is in its head.
6. It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
7. More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.
8. A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
9. Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.
10. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Little Things In Life

Sometimes it's the little things in life that can pick you up from a bad day. For me it can be hearing a favorite song, indulging in chocolate or getting a message from my nieces. Yesterday it was just simply seeing this scene at a shopping plaza near my house. Be sure to appreciate the little things my friends!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shall I Fluff Your Pillow?

We all have our favorite sleeping position. There's sleeping on your stomach, side or back. Then there's the left side of the bed, right side or smack dab in the middle. And then there are those of us who do this:

Come on...can this REALLY be comfortable???

Meet Turbo. He joined Lissfull's family this summer. He has some rather odd sleeping positions, all of which seem remarkably comfortable to him! When I became witness to this particular one I thought perhaps there was something medically wrong. But no worries, Lissfull assures me he is resting comfortably. Sweet dreams!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Things I Heard At School Today

Here's a sampling of a few random things said to me today by either a student or adult:

* "I'm a vampire and you can't take that away from me."

* "I think she's a flight risk."

* "Should I start reading now?"

* "The paper might be stuck in my nose."

* "Can I eat the cheese off of everyone's pizza because I just like the cheese."

* "My pencil has left the building."

* "Is there more than Coca-Cola in that can?"

Thank goodness it's Friday....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Can You Write A Complete Sentence?

This week I returned to the fine educational institution that I work at. On day three, I got my first entry for The Superfreak Experiences of Room 208 notebook that a co-worker and I keep. You see, I was doing a writing lesson with my third graders that focused on writing complete sentences. We talked about how all sentences need a verb and a subject. We then moved on to adding when, where and how words to our sentences. The writing program my district uses required me to use the following picture while teaching the lesson.

Here's the first sentence one of the boys offered up......The man is making love to the woman on the bench.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trying Something New

I started this summer with the thought that I would make myself try some new things. Not life altering things, just little things that I had never done before. So it began with kayaking...

Loved it and have been again since the start of summer. I might have to buy a kayak just so I can say I own a boat! Then I moved on to tennis...
Short lived experience with only one lesson under my belt. Then there was this...
Yes, this is me holding a real live starfish. To most this may not seem like a big deal. But you see, I'm not a fan of the unexpected. And me, holding any kind of live animal brings on a whole lot of unexpectedness. Thanks to E Squared #2 for taking this last photo. He shot three pictures and missed my head in all of them! Nonetheless, I still know it's me holding that slimy creature. :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Do You Believe In Signs?

A friend of mine is a firm believer in signs. You know the kind where if one thing happens it's believed to mean something specific or it's possibly related to a thought you've had. I myself need something a little more concrete...something I can hold or touch. That's why when I saw this sign I was able to throw all my faith behind it. It was hanging on the door of a shop located on my favorite island.Now I don't have a husband. But I can tell you that if I ever do I'll be going back to buy this sign, because it's one I can definitely believe in!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Leave Your Shoes At The Door

This week Mamasita and I decided to go on a little roadtrip with E Squared. We ended up in a quaint little seaside town out on Cape Cod. While exploring we happened upon a magnificant beach and decided we had to check it out. There were many stairs to face before reaching the sand, but we happily began the trek down. Here's what faced us at the bottom:
Shoes all over the place! All kinds, sizes and colors. I myself was quite perplexed, having never seen anything quite like this. Wouldn't you just leave them by your blanket? Immediately I began questioning why there were hundreds of pairs of shoes just lying at the bottom of the stairs. Mamasita's response was, "I guess you can't wear shoes on the beach. We better leave ours." Oh no sista....I've seen the episode of Sex and The City where Carrie leaves her shoes at the door, and they weren't there when she went to leave! So this beachgoer happily carried hers so she could feel the sand beneath her toes...

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Scene Out Of Baywatch

Okay kids, you need to listen when the beach manager is making announcements that request you swim only ankle or waist deep. I assure you, he's doing it for a legitimate reason! When you don't listen, I can't relax and enjoy the sand beneath my toes at my favorite beach. I keep getting interrupted by the sound of the 3 shrill whistle blows from the lifeguard at chair #7.(Three whistle blows signals swimmer in distress.) Today it happened FOUR times within a half hour. Know your limits and respect the ocean...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Life Lessons From Mayer

Who knew I'd leave a John Mayer concert with a new perspective on things.....

You see, I dread Sundays with an anxiety that begins somewhere around mid-afternoon on Saturday. I just don't like that day before Monday. That day that I feel like is consumed with uncomfortable anticipation of all that goes on in a work week. Even during the summer, when I don't have to work, I occasionally get those pangs of uneasiness. So when Mr. Mayer made specific mention of Sundays while bantering between songs, my ears perked up. I don't remember what his exact words were, but it went something like this: You need to live life to the fullest every day. Living moment to moment and getting joy out of even the smallest things should be a priority. And that can be enough. If you're always trying to find happiness in the infinite there's a pretty good chance it won't happen. The infinite is just too big.

So here I to embrace a Sunday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Island Religion

Lissfull recently did a blog about having the perfect thing to say at the perfect time, and then actually saying it. I agree that this does not happen very often, but when it does there can be some doozies! I've got one to share and unfortunately I can't take credit for saying it. It happened yesterday while enjoying a fabulous day on Block Island. The group I was with got invited back to a rental house for dinner, which is a very rare occurrence in itself. Our hostess brought out some treats for us to snack on. Here is just some of what appeared.

At the smell of food, Mamasita's 10 year old son appears on the porch and very matter of factly spits out "Holy hummus." It may just be the catholic school upbringing in me, but I thought that was classic. And in case you are wondering, that's 30 ounces of hummus in that tub...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sea Vultures

Meet Bird. He shall just be called Bird simply because we never got around to appropriately naming him. He was the extra houseguest while vacationing with Mamasita and family in Jamestown. We met him upon waking up our first morning there. We sat on the couch and watched in astonishment as he suddenly appeared on the table out on the deck. He would look at us through the sliding glass door and he kept flexing his beak. It also appeared that he was staking something out. It wasn't until we went out on the deck that we noticed the evidence of Bird's wrath. You see, Mamasita had brought with her the Hibiscus plant she had purchased before leaving. It was full of blooms and she didn't want to miss seeing the blossoming of flowers. Apparantly Bird didn't want her to see them either, because out on the deck we found the aftermath of a Hibiscus feast! Mamasita was devastated. She brought the plant inside, but Bird never went away. He hung out on the deck, the railings, and most nights perched on our chimney.

It wasn't until maybe the second day that we caught on to why Bird was sticking around. The cityslicker two decks away was feeding Bird! It became painfully obvious that this man did not know the golden rule about these birds I refer to as sea vultures....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Embrace The Venus

I don't want to sound like a commercial or anything, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Ladies, I have found the goddess of all razors! It is Gillette's Venus Embrace and you must run out right now and purchase it. I got it after reading about it in a magazine. An editor who had tried it out claimed that she didn't have to shave her legs for three days after using it. That right there had me jetting off to Target in search of it. I ended up getting the promotional package Target was featuring - it came with lotion, shaving cream, razor, replacement blade and a pod like thing to house it in the shower. All for a little over $9. While the replacement blades do seem a little pricey, I will attest that I think it will be worth every penny. My legs are sparkling with smoothness in the sunshine!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

RSVP Please....

Respondez s'il vous plait translated in English is "Reply, if you please." I've always understood it to be customary to reply to an RSVP request whether you are confirming or declining an invite. It simply means that the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party. It doesn't mean to respond only if you're coming, and it doesn't mean to respond only if you're not coming - it would say "regrets only" for that. It means the host needs a definite head count for the planned event, and it needs to be by the date specified on the invitation!
So, what do I do with these 60+ family members who have not done this simple task a week after the specified date?? Planning a family reunion that involves 96 people is no small task, and this is the part that I thought would be the easiest! What else is in store?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Member Of The Geek Squad

It is safe to say that electronics and I just do not get along. I won't admit to the length of time or how many trips to Radio Shack it took to get my DVR working properly....I'm telling you, anything involving electronics usually ends with me completely pissed off, beat red, swearing like a truck driver and most likely crying. But today, there was success!
The blessed iPod broke a little over three weeks ago. Mind you, it was just before I had to spend close to 20 hours on a train. Oh joy! I got the replacement iPod last Thursday and have been since dreading the next step - getting all my music from the old iPod onto the new one. The box has been sitting on my desk for 6 days just staring at me. Today I took a deep breath, a few sips of Jose Cuervo, and dove in. Sweet mother of pearl, the little machine did everything all by itself in less than three minutes!!!!!!!!! Why can't everything be this easy???

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tribute To E Squared

Earlier this month I had the privilege of watching my friend's two children for five days while she and her hubby went to the sunshine state for a little R&R. I did my fair share of babysitting throughout high school and college, so I volunteered to do this without a second thought. Surprisingly though, there were a few people out there who were quite taken aback and questioned my ability to take on the task. Apparently being 38, single and without children doesn't make me qualified to be around kids...someone better tell my principal!
I'm here now to report that the three of us survived without a scratch! No one cried or had to be carted off to the ER. We ended each day fed, clean and with homework done. I'm not saying it was easy because I've never been one to say that parenthood is a piece of cake. I see what my friends go through, it's a job and it's hard! It was a learning experience for me and I definitely came away from it with a better appreciation for all parents out there.
Here's just a few of the lessons learned:

* You are exhausted at the end of the day! I thought I'd have trouble sleeping at night because I'd be worried about not hearing someone getting up, etc. That went right out the window after the first night. Sleep was definitely not a problem. In fact, I think those 5 nights were the best sleep I've had in quite awhile....
* Kid's clothes have the ability to multiply right before your eyes. No matter how many times you put something in the hamper, you can turn around and there will be three more shirts on the floor. I don't know how it happened because they only wore one outfit a day, but the clothes seemed to be taking over the house....
* Peanut butter jars are recycable, but a bitch to clean out before you can put it in the blue bin....
* Kids will do the sweetest things - like make your bed for you while you're in the shower....
* Kids sleepwalk! They'll come downstairs and have an entire conversation with you and not remember it the next morning....
* Apparently standing in the shower causes children to have to poop....
* The drop-off line at school is one-way for a reason and everyone should follow that rule! Now rest assured, I was not the one that went in the wrong way. Some other lady did and she got some pretty hefty glares thrown her way by the people trying to go the right way....
* Kids can learn the words to a song faster than you can blink and will sing it incessantly for days....
* Going for a scooter ride and a walk on the bike path is a great idea. Just keep in mind that you have to double back the distance you go in one direction in order to get back to the car. Little legs get tired....

Thanks to E Squared for being the awesome kids that they are. I think of you every time I hear a certain song on the radio. Thanks also to their parents for trusting me enough to leave them in my care. I had a blast and would do it again anytime! :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Jose Cuervo Take Me Away.....

On my drive into work this morning, I mentally reviewed the list of things I needed to do this afternoon once being freed from the confines of the circus. I had thought about writing a list last night before going to bed, but decided instead that I had it all under control. It really wasn't much: 1. stop and pick up curtains at Ann & Hope before the sale ends 2. swing by Linens-n-Things to use the 25% off entire purchase coupon I found in my mailbox at work yesterday, and 3. rent some movies. My weekend glee was quickly crushed as I walked to my car after all my 3rd graders were in the clutches of their guardians. One of my kids was yelling at me that I had my vest on backwards. Indeed I did, and that probably explains why I was having such difficulty finding my car keys. A bit later, while walking by the curtain area of Linens-n-Things, it hit me that I had completely forgotten to make stop #1 at Ann & Hope. Oh I'm off to a good start! Some not so nice words were muttered under my breath, because that stop was now 20 minutes in the opposite direction. I proceeded to a LNT register with my assortment of things I really don't need - but hey, I have a coupon! The cashier politely informs me that my special Manager's coupon can't be used until next Friday. Yup, the coupon does say March 13-16. It is at this point that I begin to question the possibility that I just may be losing it. I quietly walked away from the counter and left all my things there.....I head back towards Ann & Hope where (fill in more unpleasant words) the curtains are not on sale anymore! I buy them anyway and head to the movie store before coming in for a landing at home. I don't dare hang the curtains tonight for fear of what could happen. As soon as this is posted I will be getting in my pajamas and pouring a glass of Jose Cuervo. I'll heat up last night's leftovers because I probably shouldn't be operating heavy machinery at this point....

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Yes, it may have snowed two nights ago and there are still piles of it out there on the ground. But alas, I have signs of spring in my basement!
This is a hydrangea plan my parents bought me the first summer I had my condo. I've never planted it in the ground due to too many deer, rabbits and chipmunks that could wreak havoc with it. Instead it lives on my deck from about May until the end of October. Once the leaves drop, I lug it to the basement and leave it by the sliding doors. I throw some water at it a few times over the winter and pretty much just let it be. Usually by mid-February it starts to go crazy with new green shoots and by the end of this month it will have flowers starting! Spring is on its way...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Morning Without MY Coffee

I don't drink coffee. I have in fact never even tried it! So how do I jumpstart my day? It's with music. I have it going pretty much all the time. There's even a little radio in my bathroom that I play while showering! However, it's especially important in the car. I need it to psych myself up for the circus act I perform each day in Room 208.
This morning I was racing up Interstate 95 towards the innards of the ghetto where I teach. Imagine my despair when all of sudden a horrifying sound came out of the passenger door speaker. It actually resembled the sound of nails on a chalkboard, and yes - I shivered. The car is just over a year old, this should not be happening! I quickly turned the radio off praying that when I turned it back on the sound would miraculously have fixed itself. I'm panicking because I don't know how I will ever be able to counsel, teach and referee without my daily fix of John Mayer. Power back on...same horrific sound, possibly even worse. I am forced to shut the damn thing off and gulp, leave it off. Do you know how excruciating the sound of silence is in the car? Needless to say, today's circus act was not one of my best. I'm toying with the idea of signing up for Dunkin Donuts coffee club....

Thursday, January 31, 2008

We All Scream For Ice Cream

A co-worker and I have always said that we should collaborate and write a book together that chronicles the absolute madness that occurs in the fine educational institution we work at. (It shall have to remain un-named.) Neither of us seems to have the time for it though, so instead we started a notebook about 4 years ago where we just quickly jot down the best of the best so that we shall never forget! It is entitled: The Superfreak Experiences of Room 208. Yesterday's entry will definitely make this year's Top 10 List....

My 3rd grade class was lining up at the end of the day.

Student: There seems to be a leak on the floor.

Me: Could someone get some paper towel then and please clean it up because the bell is going to ring.

Student: It's not water. It's orange.

Me: Orange? What do you mean orange? (I move toward the line to investigate and note that several girls are now standing in something that is indeed somewhat orange.)

Students: Ew! Look at *Ari's pants!!!!!

Me: Ari come here. (I'm completely panicked now because not too long ago Ari had asked to go to the bathroom and I said no. Did she crap her pants? She is covered in something of an orange/brown hue.) Ari what is that??

Ari: (Holding her bookbag up in front of her which I note is now oozing something orange.) Oh no, my icecream!

Me: I'm sorry, your WHAT??????????????

Ari: My icecream. I bought it on the way to school today.

Me: (The panic has subsided. She didn't crap her pants, but WTF, this icecream has been in my closet all day!!!) Ari, might you want to now throw it away because it seems to be leaking out of your backpack.

Ari: No, I'll just hold my hand over this spot on my bag so it won't leak anymore. I'm going to take it home.

Me: Okey dokey then...Room 208, pass to the end of the hall.

*Student's name has been changed to protect her lack of intelligence.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

52 New York City Blocks And 5 TV Appearances

January 17, 2008

6:30 a.m.
My friend and I got to The Big Apple two hours ahead of our 8:30 a.m. expected arrival at Martha Stewart's studio. So much for New York traffic....We drove in on 12th Ave./Henry Hudson Pkwy. with maybe eight other cars. Isn't this the city that never sleeps? Where the hell was everyone?? Gave a wave across the Hudson to those in Jersey probably just crawling out of bed. It was still pitch black out and neither of us was too crazy about walking around lower Manhattan in the dark, so we continued down 12th Avenue toward Battery Park. Saw the glow of Lady Liberty's torch, a few boats/ferries and Ground Zero.
7:10 a.m.
The sun is almost up so it's time to park the car! Oh joy...We head down 26th Street and find a garage a block from Martha's studio. It's $16.00 +tax for the whole day, what a bargain! We hand the keys over to the attendant praying to god that the car will still be there when we come back later in the day!
7:22 a.m.
We arrive at Martha's studio! We get the guy at the front desk to buzz us in. Since we are so early he suggests we go around the corner to Dunkin Donuts. Buddy, we're in New York City!! We can go to Dunkin Donuts at home. Point us in the direction of Rockefeller Center please. He chuckles and comments on what a hike that will be, he doubts we would make it back for the 8:30 a.m. line-up outside Martha's studio. My friend and I look at one another and smile. He obviously doesn't know who he's talking to, two all time speed walkers! We bid our new friend adios and assure him we will be back in an hour.

7:25 a.m.
We step back out onto 26th St. and we're off! We walk over two blocks to 5th Ave., and then start the trek up towards 50th St. We plow ahead at full speed.
7:58 a.m.
We arrive quite out of breath at Rockefeller Center and stay long enough to snap a picture. We leave abruptly due to screams from across the street. The Today Show!
8:02 a.m. (1st TV appearance of the day)
Matt, Meredith and Al! We end up on The Today Show as they talk about some upcoming segment with monkeys. When they are done taping they all graciously turn around and talk to the crowd. Unfortunately we don't have time to chat, Martha is waiting! We psych ourselves up for the 2 blocks back over and 24 blocks back down towards lower Manhattan.
8:30 a.m. (on the dot)
We make it back to Martha's despite a little detour through Times Square! We are incredibly winded and each of us has a blister on the back of one of our feet. We find the friendly desk guy from earlier when we get inside the building and tell him of our adventure over the past hour. He doesn't believe us so we have to show him the pictures to prove it!
After having my bag searched, being wanded (What the heck does Martha think her audience is going to smuggle in?), and coat checked we were allowed further into the land of Martha Stewart. Let me tell you it's quite nice. Muffins and juice were served while we waited for her warm-up guy Joey Kola to prep us for the show. He's quite a riot and must regularly visit the Dunkin Donuts previously mentioned because he ran around all day like he was on speed.
10:00 a.m. (2nd TV appearance of the day)
Live on Martha from the front row! We got prime seating because we were chosen to possibly ask a question during the Ask Martha segment. Do you know the difference between flat-leaf and curly-leafed parsley? The studio is beautiful and the crew/staff and producers were all a lot of fun. Martha herself didn't seem quite as friendly. I can see why she has been referred to as the Ice Queen, and it's not just because her studio is oh mylanta FREEZING! It's just not right when your employees have to wear scarfs and mittens while they film you!

11:00 a.m. (3rd TV appearance of the day)
The live show ends and we are asked to stay to tape 2 more segments with Katherine Heigl from Grey's Anatomy that will air on January 24th. I have just a minute to stand up and unlock my frozen knee-caps. Martha and Katherine make some tomato soup together. I'm not a big fan of tomato soup, but by now I am so cold I would have eaten it just to get my blood flowing again!
Katherine Heigl was very bubbly and even danced in between segments! Martha...still a little icy. After the two segments were done she took the microphone to say a very quick "thanks for coming."

11:35 a.m.
Joey Kola, the warm-up guy, announces they have extra tickets for the 1:00 p.m. taping. We get ourselves on that list and head out for a quick lunch. We don't have a lot of time so we run around the corner to a little cafe for some hot soup. (I'm hoping the crew got the tomato soup for lunch.) We sit there for 1/2 hour to defrost and then head back.
12:20 p.m.
We have to submit to being searched and wanded again before we can get in. We are told that Miss Martha has a late afternoon flight to Germany, so we must all move quickly and get to our seats. This time we end up in the last row and get a different perspective of the mechanics of everything. We wait anxiously with this audience for taping to begin.
1:40 p.m.
Still waiting...We are told that Martha is "taking a meeting." I wonder if she expects the plane to Germany to wait for her too? Everyone's teeth are chattering and I am pretty much sitting there asleep with my eyes open. This morning's 52 block walk has caught up with me....
1:55 p.m. (4th TV appearance of the day)
Finally! Taping begins for the 2nd show. It has a mish-mash of topics: cooking duck, going green light bulbs and good animals for pets. She has some people from her Sirius radio station to answer questions about pets. My friend and I appear a lot on this episode. Unfortuately we are so slap happy by this point that we look like goons moving our head back and forth trying to get on camera...

2:50 p.m. (5th TV appearance of the day)
Taping ends and Martha flees the studio, I'm assuming to catch her plane. Joey Kola tells us we need to stay to tape one more extra segment with the Sirius radio people which will air sometime in the future. It's a question and answer segment about animals. It's okay because I'm a frozen block of ice and wouldn't be able to get up and leave anyhow....My friend gets chosen to ask a question about hermit crabs. Do you know what the best environment for them is?
3:20 p.m.
We are done and go to collect our parting gifts for the day. From the live taping in the morning we got a pound of Organic National Wildlife coffee and a package of sponges and soaps from Tarpon Springs, FL. The afternoon taping's gift was a copy of... The Cat Bible. Agh!!!!! Those of you who know me are well aware of the fact that I hate cats. I realize hate is a strong word, but I am deathly afraid of them and will have no use for this bible. I thought about taking a match to it out on 26th St. so that I could warm up before the drive home, but then my friend suggested we each try and return it to Borders along with The Guide to Dogs and Cats book that we also received.
3:30 p.m.
We retrieve the car (yes, it was still there!) and begin the trek home. Now everyone is up and out driving on the streets of New York....It takes us 3 hours to get to my friend's house in CT. Add another hour drive for me to get to my house and I am home by...
7:45 p.m.
I was in my pajamas and under the flannel sheets still trying to warm up after sitting all day in the frigid studio. I instantly fell asleep. Making so many TV appearances in one day can be quite a workout. Two days later I am still trying to recover!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snow Day

I've been mulling over for days a title for this little adventure. I knew I couldn't start until I had the "perfect" title, because you see....that's just how I am. I wanted it to fit me, and then last night I had the aha! moment. I think what I have chosen is appropriate. I'm happiest when near the ocean and some have questioned whether I perhaps have salt water running through my veins. Who knows, maybe I do.
So I went to bed content that I had the title all worked out, but plagued by the question of what on earth will I write about. Then I woke up this morning to a:
Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy the occasional snow day. You can stay in your pajamas all day, drink hot cocoa and catch up on daytime tv. But do you also know what this means? I am delayed a day in June before I can feel the sand beneath my toes.....