Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What had happened was...

That's what my students always say when they are about to explain why they just did the incredibly stupid thing they just did, so since I recently did something pretty dumb I'll start my story that way too...
I participate in a little thing called "Short Skirt Thursday". This is a lovely tradition that was begun by one of the library ladies at the school where I teach and since I love libraries and librarians, and since I want to be their little groupie in every possible way I can I am now a weekly participant in "Short Skirt Thursday". The problem is that I'm white. Really, REALLY white. So white that even other teachers make fun of the blinding brightness of my bare, white legs - not to mention all the crap I get from my students.
So I decided to rectify the situation by employing the use of some tanning lotion. I'm not what you'd call fashion savvy (by ANY stretch of the imagination) but I read what I could find and bought one that seemed mild and simple. The instructions were quite clear - after application I was to THOROUGHLY wash my hands. And I did. I washed my hands THOROUGHLY...just not IMMEDIATELY after application...
So now I have orange hands. Yep, orange hands. Almost the exact color of the text in this post now that I think about it. I look ridiculous. But it's OK. I can totally still teach a lesson with my hands in my pockets.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Feeling pretty bleah right now.
Got nothing brilliant to say; my day kinda sucked; and I'm less than happy with a certain someone right now.
Sorry - I hope I'm not spreading my meh mood to you.
Maybe tomorrow will be better - heck, it's GOTTA be better, it's Friday.
So I supposes that's my silver lining for now...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rock Wall Epiphany

I had to do team building exercises today after work. My football coach of a principal thinks it's good for all of us teachers to occasionally come together and do things like three-legged races and water balloon tosses. Because 50 year-old science teachers love obstacle courses and the like. (Mind you, I am NOT a 50 year-old science teacher, I am a 31 year-old theatre teacher, but this did not appeal to me in the slightest so I'm assuming most of the other folks I teach with - who are middle-aged or older and very conservative; it being the south and all - weren't too keen on it either) I got out of it last year some crafty and clever way but I didn't figure out a good excuse in time this time around so I had to go participate.
Well, this year one of the team-building events was a rock-climbing wall - the type that they use to train military peeps. So I'm sitting there on the ground watching my fellow teachers try to tackle this humongous wall. Some of them made it look really easy, scaling to the summit in what seemed to be mere seconds while looking like spider monkeys wearing pants. Some of them made it look really hard, complaining about the pain, the fear, and never getting more than 2 feet off the ground. After a while I realized that I really wanted to try it. It looked scary, heck, it looked downright terrifying. But I wanted to see if I could do it. So I asked for a harness and got in line to wait for my turn. When my moment finally came I made a mistake - I looked out at the crowd of teachers - a hundred or so dignified individuals whom I respected and whose approval I sought - squinting up into the sunlight to keep tabs on who was making it to the top of the rock wall. I realized I couldn't do it, not with everyone watching me. (I'm a flipping THEATRE teacher here people - do see the irony for Pete's sake???) All I could think of was what if I fell? Or slipped? Or smacked into the wall and knocked myself unconscious? I thought of a million ways I could make a fool of myself in front of everyone and then I HAD AN EPIPHANY!
That was EXACTLY what I was asking of each one of my students to do every day.
Do this thing (we teachers say) - for some it's easy, for others it's hard but you have to do it, and you've never done it before, and you have to do it in front of everyone else.
So I climbed that rock wall all the way to the top and rang the bell as loud as I could. Because I sure as shit ain't gonna ask my students to do something if I ain't got the guts to go for it too!
(It was SO FREAKING COOL!!!!!)
P.S. In case you're wondering yesterday's bake sale raised $1600 to help pay for the surgery :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

True Love

We had a bake sale at school today to help raise money for true love.
It goes like this: years ago at the little high school where I teach there was a girl who was a cheerleader and the prom queen and so sweet she gave you a toothache. She met and fell in love with a boy who also went to the school and he played sports and was prom king and was just about the nicest guy you could ever hope to meet. They got married as soon as they graduated and had a bushel of kids and then a super-bushel of grand-kids. The girl works at the school to this very day and everyone who meets her loves her because she's STILL so sweet she gives you a toothache. In conclusion, the boy and girl have been ridiculously happy for a hefty chunk of their lives together.
But last year something bad happened. The boy got cancer, and it was really serious. No one thought he would make it. He lost an entire lung, but he stayed with the girl because he loves her. And eventually he got better and the cancer went into remission. We all thought it was gone for good.
But two weeks ago we found out it had come back - this time in his brain, and he would have to have a surgery to remove it all. He did, and the doctors think it's really all gone this time, but the girl and the boy can't pay for the surgery and don't know what to do.
So we had a GIANT bake sale for them today. All the teachers and secretaries and principals and staff brought something in to sell. I brought in French Breakfast Puffs. They are these decadent little nutmeg flavored muffins rolled in melted butter and cinnamon & sugar. They're very sweet. But not as sweet as the picture of the girl & boy together which had been set up on the table with all the goodies. And not as sweet as true love.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today I'm green with envy.
Some people just make it look so damn easy. They stay positive all the time, and make good choices, and don't tangle the lines of communication, and wish wellness to all they encounter, and cook delicious new, healthful meals each and every night, and don't take things personally or turn every little thing into a huge drama. Those people are so with it. Sometimes it kind of makes me sick. I know I'm a mess but at least I'm interesting! (That's such a weak argument - those other, more perfect type people are super interesting too - way more so than me in fact because they have time to develop and realize their creativity more fully...)
But I'm not that - and I don't know if I ever will be. I fall victim to negative thought patterns all the fricking time, I mis-communicate with those closest to me on almost a daily basis, I mentally curse people who cross my path and piss me off just about every time it happens, I make box dinners all the time because I am too tired to make something from scratch or we are too poor to afford better food, AND I become offended and hurt WAY too easily.
So what I want to know is - how do I get to be like them? Balanced. Peaceful. Happy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I have to go back to work tomorrow.
I am NOT looking forward to this. I have done so much and enjoyed it all this past week:
I went to the beach with Wendy & Jenny
I cleaned, reorganized, and donated the junk in my house
I took steps towards moving into a new house
I caught up with my finances
I bought much needed new glasses & contacts
I did lots of pages in Wendy's baby scrapbook
I watched fun movies
I started working out again
I read a lot of blogs on here, and wrote a fair share too
I just hope I'll still be able to keep up with this whole blog thing once I'm back to work full time...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I took a silly facebook quiz today and while I place no real stock in things like this I'd like to believe that this has me pretty much pegged - even the "bad" stuff...

It was titled "What Color is Your Energy?"



Idealistic and full of spiritual power, you have one of the strongest and most influential energies. With a strong intuitive and psychic ability (though you may not know it), you have an effortless influence over those around you without them - and most likely you - even noticing. Every little change about you, be it emotionally or atmospherically will affect those around or closest to you. Few notice it - when people do start to notice, however, it makes them feel unsettled and unsure of you, so make sure to be careful with just how many things you change!

You have a very protective nature and often put others before you without thinking twice. Sometimes however you’ll find yourself questioning your actions and will try to change it - don’t. Not only are you selfless (to an extent), you’re most likely to be extremely empathic - maybe one of your friends is feeling low and they haven’t mentioned it? Doesn’t matter - something inside of you will click and tell you that something isn’t right. No matter what emotion they’re feeling, chances are you’ll feel it too and be able to carefully slip it out of them as to what’s going on.

You’re also creative to the extreme; often you let yourself escape reality and create new thoughts, worlds and ideals for you to live by and start to hate what’s real and long for what you created yourself. You’re a very passionate person who loves to feel inspired but when deprived of the things you love, you become difficult to handle, depressive and often self-abusive. Remember: you’re full of intensity, and although a lot of the time it’s something that people gravitate towards, it can also push people away and make them not want to get any closer. Take care to limit how extreme your feelings and actions are, otherwise you may end up feeling quite alone.

Positive Qualities: Intuitive; empathic; open-minded; creative; somewhat selfless; compelling; mystifying; impulsive.

Negative Qualities: Tend to go to extremes; unbalanced; difficult; secretive; you can be quite manipulative though not always with cruel intentions; impulsive (not always a good thing!).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I freaking love elephants

Earlier this evening I was watching some Planet Earth while munching on some dinner. Wendy (who had finished her dinner and was mooching off of me) was also mildly engaged in the pretty birds and fish and mammals - but her attention was equally divided between the TV animals and our three cats, whom she kept trying (unsuccessfully) to hug.
At one point in the movie the narrator was teaching us all about elephants and their long trek for fresh water in the drought season. I was rapt. I ADORE elephants. I think I may have been one in a past a life. They are such incredible creatures and one of my animal sisters who I truly try to emulate. This fascination began early on when I first saw Dumbo (laugh if you will but that freaking movie STILL makes me cry...) and fuel was added to the flames when I watched a documentary about elephant graveyards a few years later. All in all I'm pretty much in love with elephants. Anyway, back to the story -
So the narrator is going on about how as they are traveling they get caught up in dust storms and families can sometimes get separated, especially young ones becasue they become temporarily blinded by the dust. As I'm watching, the camera focuses on one lone baby elephant who wandered away from the rest during one of the aforementioned dust storms. He was industriuosly following his mother's footprints in an attempt to rejoing the group, BUT he was going the wrong direction.
My heart broke. I started weeping uncontrollably for this baby elephant lost and alone in the world. Wendy stopped trying to bag a cat, turned to me and stared at my tear-stained face. I tried to calm down and smile, as past experience has taught me that Wendy becomes DEEPLY troubled by my tears. Then all of a sudden my 19-month old baby girl wrapped her arms around my neck, squeezed her little cheek next to mine and said, "It's OK, mama."
I love elephants, and I LOVE my daughter. She is a good, good soul.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What I know

Ok, so I don't really know anything about politics. I don't know which guys are for or against which issues. I don't know who had an affair on his wife or who is a secret member of what shocking religious group or underground organization. I don't know what church group is protesting what, or why. I don't know which restaurants serve only earth-friendly organic food. I don't know which businesses are green and cruelty-free. I don't know who has it right, and who has it wrong, or even what the criteria are for making that decision in the first place.
Here's what I know:
I know everyone everywhere deserves a second chance because people are always making mistakes, and everyone needs more opportunities to get better.
I know that it is possible to learn from your mistakes and grow becasue of our bad choices.
I know that hurting others is never the best way to solve the times when we don't see eye to eye - issues may be worth fighting for but I'm pretty sure there's a point where you have to step back and realize that we were all created to be different...and that maybe the one who did the creating had a very good reason for that.
I know that every time I eat any type of meal I am grateful for the bounty of the earth that sustains me and which allows me to keep caring for my family and doing work I love.
I know that I could always be doing better, be doing more, but having good intentions, the willingness to help, and a positive outlook can be powerful in and of itself.
I know that I am open to learning more everyday, and I hope I will never disregard wisdom or enlightenment from any source.
I know I love deep and true, and that as long as I open my eyes tomorrow I have another chance. And another. And another.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Things About Today

10. Had chocolate malts for dinner (not JUST chocolate malts of course)

9. Wore my awesome new beatles tee shirt today - it looks like this:

8. Bought a kitchen scale today so I could make a super yummy vegetable soup for dinner later this week.

7. Used the magic of spring cleaning to attack Wendy's room and the front closet (will do more tomorrow)

6. Donated a hefty portion of Wendy's outgrown clothes to friend who has friend who is about to have baby and can't afford much for her. (Did you follow that convoluted sentence?)

5. Downloaded a bunch of new music onto my MP3 player (all by myself!)

4. Started re-reading one of my favorite books (this may not sound like much to you, but I ADORE reading comfortable, familiar stories over & over again - even more so now that Wendy is in my life and uninterrupted reading time is really hard to come by)

3. Made plans with Jenny to go to the beach tomorrow afternoon. (first beach trip now that the weather is turning warmer - yay!)

2. Enjoyed Wendy's THREE HOUR NAP (yes, you read that right...)

1. Found time to post another blog - even if it is a kind of mindless one.

With warm hugs; thanks for listening...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Picture this...

This evening Wendy's dad went to his weekly guy's-night-out shindig, leaving us two gals at home alone with each other. Close your eyes, if you will, and imagine the following:
First we tried to watch movies together, but I just wasn't feeling The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and she's not so much for 80's flicks like Dream a Little Dream so we moved on to the next event: bubble-blowing.
Wendy had gotten a plastic bubble-maker in the shape of a butterfly from Nana for Easter so we took it out onto the front porch (her without her pants on because it was hot, me with mine on because they lock you up for that sort of thing at my age) and commenced the bubbling. She was utterly delighted, and was squealing with unconstrained joy until the bubble fluid ran out - then it was back to the drawing board...
She played a couple rounds of her current favorite game "Shoes Off, Shoes On" but it was obvious that just wasn't satisfying her. She was bored. She was restless. It was time for some drastic measures on my part.
So I grabbed a book light, flicked it on, and showed her how to wave it around. While she was getting the hang of that I killed the lights and cranked the music. We spent the rest of the evening dancing around like dervishes with fairy lights to Jason Mraz music (On Love, In Sadness was a particularly big hit with her) and then she went to bed and I came in here to share it all with you.
Goodnight. Sleep loose.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Letting Go

Letting go is NOT easy for me. I have a hard time trusting others the way I trust myself. All others. Yeah, that's right, including you!
I don't mean to be that way, but somehow I am. I try to take little steps to improve upon this disadvantage within myself, and I took a great big one this year with the spring Drama Club production.
I had already decided the show would be the Moliere comedy Tartuffe, but suddenly one morning I woke up and thought, "I should pick a student director this time around!" So I did.
It was hard, and scary, and stressful. I often expected him to know things that he didn't (and couldn't, given his level of maturity and inexperience) and then I got frustrated - more with myself for not having been a better teacher to him, or for expecting too much from the poor kid and stressing HIM out (he was a novice first-timer after all) or for even having the effing idea in the first place.
But we made it through alive - all of us - and I think it was quite delightful in the end. It felt good to have shared one of my most rewarding experiences with someone else who revels in the joy and thrill that comes with creation. It's a precedence I may well decide to continue with...
... or maybe I'll return to where I am comfortable, being in full control of my shows, but either way I learned things - about myself, about how to do it better, and about the satisfaction that comes with a good solid collaboration.
So in that spirit please enjoy these photos from my latest show:

P.S. Please don't judge me based on the photo quality - I'm a phenomenal director, but a pretty pathetic photographer...