Sunday, May 31, 2009

Silver Lining S-day, part XLI

Greetings, oh readers! Time for yet another silver lined installment on the bloggie.

It's been a busy and productive week. Sometimes a bit too busy and not productive enough, but all good.

As mentioned, the kids had their last days of school on Wednesday, and they've spent most days since, falling back into their slothful ways of summer. A little sloth is warranted, so it's good... for NOW.

Yesterday morning seemed like the first saturday morning in months where it wasn't chilly/drizzly/rainy/foggy/messy, and so marked the first saturday morning in quite some time that I enjoyed a dry, relatively warm, early morning bike ride. It was lovely, really. So Tessa the roade bike is the SLS photo of the week. Isn't she sweet? Facing the front door? Always at the ready?

This week I've noticed a break in the melancholy that had plagued me ever since we lost Ulysses. Last weekend, Meego and I went by his house and left a little something, including a note, at the memorial. I felt a peace almost immediately afterward.

I'm busy with teaching a good class of aspiring lawyers. They are a fun bunch. Our class wraps up this week, and I almost hate to see them grow up and leave the nest. I also started tutoring a psychology grad student this week who is very personable. Tutoring is tutoring, but it certainly helps when I actually like the tutee.

Magnum and I watched the movie Australia on DVD yesterday. I found it quite sappy and overdone... and too long. So why is it included in Silver Lining S-day, you ask? Hugh Jackman. That's why.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

off we go!

POOF! School is out for the summer! How/when did that happen??

It seems to always sneak up on me like that. Yes, I have the date in the back of my head. Yes, I start to be aware of the countdown. But then WHAMMO, it still gets me like walking into a wall.

And so it was with yesterday. I scrambled around to get an end-of-year gift for Meego's teacher. THANK YOU!

In the afternoon, I went to Meego's party. It was Hawaiian themed. Nothing like giving a bunch of third graders copious amounts of sugar and then letting them loose with a limbo stick. Meego has a good facial rug burn. Don't ask...

Just prior to that, however, my Thunderbirds paid a final visit. Chaco was home early as I guess the high school couldn't wait until the usual end of the day to get rid of those students. He and I went out back to watch the festivities from the cheap seats and I got a few pics. I... uhm... *ahem*... purposely took bad quality pictures just so you'd know I took them and didn't just scarf them from the internet...

It was a beautiful day for their visit. All of the senior Air Force cadets along with what's-his-face Joe Biden have me to thank for the show.

Please pass the barf bag... or two...

So it was a good day. Busy, but fun. Now we've got the whole summer ahead of us. We'll maybe probably do something festive to celebrate (per Brandy's suggestion regarding my missing Wolfgang's continuation thing...).

I think we'll pass on the limbo stick, though.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

cool the engines

I've got a case of the guilties this morning.

Remember last year? When Chaco "Continuated" from 8th grade to 9th grade and I blogged about the silly bloated ceremony? I'm not saying they shouldn't have some sort of shindig to wish the 8th graders well on their exit from middle school to high school, but that ceremony was such and exhibition of pomposity, I felt surely they couldn't be serious.

So, I braced myself, knowing that this year it would be Wolfgang's turn, and I would be sitting there giggling inwardly while behaving myself outwardly. But no. I won't be. It's tonight.

I'm a teacher. I teach night classes mostly. I teach tonight. I won't make the bloated ceremony of continuation pomposity, and I'm actually sorry to be missing it. I mean, c'mon, I wouldn't be going to listen to the principal drone on boringly or to sit through other such muffled orations of windiness or cringe as the readers demonstrate that they were too lazy to learn the proper pronunciations of some of the students' names. I would be going to see Wolfgang. I would be going so that he knew I was there.

But I won't be there. Darned if you do, darned if you don't.

And those Thunderbirds are rattling my windows again as I type this. Trying to get me to go outside, trying to get me away from my lesson planning. "Come and look! Come and look!", they say with their afterburners.

And I hear Wolfgang saying it too, "Come and see!"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

same time this year

The Air Force Thunderbirds are buzzing my house.

They pay us a visit every year about this time.

Isn't it a nice coincidence for the Air Force Academy? That the Thunderbirds' visit to me coincides with the same week as graduation?

I know they're really here for me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Silver Lining Saturday, part XL

<--- Makeshift memorial on Ulysses' porch, it's at least 4 times this big now...

XL = 40. It also equals Extra Large. Is this an XL Silver Lining Saturday? In some ways, yes.

It's been a dark week, but maybe the darker the week, the more shiny the silver lining.

Ulysses' death and the manner in which he died was a shock to everyone in the neighborhood and school. The whole community has really come together, though, to support the school kids and each other.

I'm thankful for the genuine caring of the school staff and district and how they really rallied to help the kids cope with the situation. Meego's class got a little extra attention since it was Ulysses' class. I know that many of the teachers are torn up over it themselves, but they've really put the needs of the kids first.

Last week, I was questioning my decision to stay on another year with the PTO board. Now I'm glad I decided to stay. Now I remember why I joined in the first place.

It's scary and confusing as well as sad to all of us. As a result, I noticed a little more patience with each other among Chaco, Wolfgang, and Meego. A little more cooperation, a little more sensitivity. A little more appreciation for family.

This week, I was reminded that I am human. It's not always easy, but it's all part of the web of joy and pain that comes with it. I'm thankful for my life.

And while I wish he were still here, I'm thankful that Ulysses was my friend, if for just a short time.

And, as always, I'm thankful for my blog friends. You guys are the best!

Friday, May 22, 2009

tee gee eye eff?

It's been a rather roller coaster week, what with the whole Ulysses thing and all. It's still pretty raw with me, and let me say that I really appreciate the kind and sympathetic comments left on my last post.

I think Meego is doing "as well as could be expected". He had one good opening-of-the-floodgates episode which I'm actually glad of. If he would've just gotten all withdrawn or something, I'd be more concerned. I'm sure this is something that will stay with him though. Like several years from now, if he's sitting on some therapist's couch describing his childhood, the scar of one of his best friends being shot and killed by his older brother in third grade will most likely come up.

So we're coping, getting through those grief stages. I forget all of them, but I think it starts with denial (been there done that. Still go back now and then) and ends with acceptance (nope, not yet).

There's a makeshift memorial at Ulysses' house. A big pile of gifts and cards and notes and such. Meego and I will go and leave something.

I'm thinking Dip 'n sticks.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

missing Ulysses

I miss him. Who would've thought he'd be "gone". I say "gone" because I can't quite bring myself to say that other word.

Meego's friend and classmate - and my good buddy too - Ulysses, is gone.

I think of the last time I talked to him. We were walking home from school last Friday, a day like any other day. Ulysses was eating a dip'n stick candy thing. Those things are nasty gross, and I gave him a hard time about it, all in fun. We joked around like that all the time because it was typical for Ulysses to be eating something gross while we walked home. Ulysses' little sister walked with us.

Now he's gone, at the hand of his own brother.

His mom was shot and stabbed and is now recovering. I can't even imagine what she's going through. I know her, but just a little. A nice, quiet woman.

There're police cars at the school, keeping the press at bay. There are bunch of unfamiliar faces - grief counselors and such. Too much drama for an elementary school.

I miss Ulysses.

The walking path was a sad place today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

the one where Abby surprises the P.E. teacher

Note to self:
Always knock. Al-Ways.

Even if the door is typically open when the office is occupied.
Even if the office is not occupied very often.
Even if the door is locked and there is no sound coming from the other side.
Even if the door is locked and there is no light streaming from underneath.
Even if you're with the lady custodian who has a key.


You never know when someone might be in there.
You never know when someone might be sitting in there with the lights off.
You never know when someone might be sitting in there with the lights off in order to alleviate a migraine.
You never know when someone might be sitting in there with the lights off and with clothing loosened in order to alleviate a migraine.
You never know when someone might be sitting in there with the lights off and with clothing loosened in order to alleviate a migraine and that someone is a male...

...and you're with the lady custodian
who has a key
who goes in first.

Yes, at least SHE went in first.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Silver Lining Saturday, part XXXIX

Remember that movie? "Weekend at Bernies"? Neither do I.

But it is the weekend, so time for another episode of SLS.

For one thing, I'm busy. It's good to be busy I suppose. Kicked off a fresh class this morning. It's a relatively larger group than usual, but the pay's the same. They all seem like nice future lawyers, so far. Stay tuned.

The weird neighbors have a "For Rent" sign in front of their house. Now, these are the neighbors whose kid lit the house on fire a few weeks ago. The neighbors for whom it was not a big surprise that their kid lit the house on fire. Anyway, I've always felt a little wary of them, particularly said pyrotechnic kid. Living next door to a rental property does have its adventures, so I'm not sure that their moving will be a good thing or a not so good thing. Stay tuned.

I committed myself to another year as PTO treasurer at the elementary school. I was kind of set on hanging up my spreadsheets after this year. The president was having similar thoughts, and I told her I would only stay on if she stayed on (actually hoping she wouldn't). She decided to stay on. I'm not sure if my staying is a good thing or a not so good thing, but it's nice to feel wanted. Stay tuned.

<---I sold this lovely child-sized Kelty sleeping bag on craigslist to a friendly stay-at-home mom this week. Craigslist comes through for me once again. Just stay away from that "other" category...

Speaking of child-sized, the sleeping bag used to be Meego's camping bag, but alas, he's grown out of it. He did have that birthday on Thursday. He needs a bigger sleeping bag to go with. *sniff*.

I'm off to go shopping for, among other things, a new sleeping bag for Meego.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

to the nines

Nine years ago today, I was slowly making re-entry back into the world of the sane. Well... the nearly sane anyways.

Meego was born that morning. FINALLY! Crazy kid was 2 weeks past due - biggest fattest baby in the nursery. By that time, I had nearly lost my grip on reality. Funny things happen to a woman's mind when she goes past her due date. Crazy strange things.

But he was well worth the wait. And true to his beginnings, he takes his time getting things done. No rush. No type A.

Meego is the baby of the brood, the "caboose". Maybe I treat him a little differently than I did his brothers when they were his age. I walk him to school for instance. Wolfgang likes to remind me that I allowed him to walk to school without me in third grade. Yeah, well.... if I remember, it was Wolfgang's idea...

Anyway, Meego - my fat happy baby - is nine today. Such a big number.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

what's a girl to do

So we found ourselves at IT'Z last weekend. A good place to kill a few hours of "family entertainment fun". At some point, I decided to use the facilities.

Sorry if this sounds like it's getting to be a bit TMI, but trust me, this is essential to the story. (Gosh, I'm becoming like Jerry)

So anyway, I entered the lovely restroom area and chose a stall. But, AHA! Ever-so-alert me noticed that there was no TP in the particular stall I'd chosen. No, the public bathroom gods would not have the last laugh this time!

I adeptly switched to a well stocked stall, thinking myself so in-the-know. But I learned something at that point. I learned that some of the IT'Z bathroom stalls are furnished with these itty bitty potty training sized toilets plumbed right in with the regular sized versions. Yes, I had chosen such a stall.

Now, I'm not saying that this toilet was a bit smaller, like it was for petite women or something. No no no no. This was a teeny tiny potty-training-sized toilet, giving new meaning to the term "little girls' room".

I contemplated a moment. There were others entering the bathroom. I had already changed stalls once. What were the odds of me finding a stall that was both stocked with supplies AND adult sized? Not very good, I deduced.

So I just sighed and went for it. As I took care of things while resting my teeth on my knees, I couldn't help but notice that my little playhouse bathroom stall was equipped with a handy little "sanitary products" disposal unit, like those of regular bathroom stalls. How ironic. What was THAT doing in there?

Anyway, let this serve as a public service. I can't vouch for the "little boys' room", but ladies, just be aware.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Silver Lining Saturday, part XXXVIII

Happy Saturday, friends and readers of the blog, and people who just stumbled upon this after doing a search on "tobacco spit bowl" or "back bridge rugburn" or "threesome talk". (note: these are all actual keyword searches that have led here. The first two I can see, but I'm kinda racking my brain on that third one...)

I've had a busy and productive week. The spring cleaning bug had me doing much purging. Gave 4 bagfulls to the VVA thrift store, plus another largish donation to the local landfill. I even got rid of a bunch of dog hair, thus making China this weeks SLS photo of the week:

No one knows for sure just what kind of dog she is. She's black, she's furry, she's affectionate, she's slightly mental. We got her from the humane society.

All that thick black fur gets hot in the warm months, so it seemed time for the spring shearing of the hound.

So she's been all sleekened by a friendly groomer at Wag 'n' Wash. To think that I used to shave her myself. What a job. So she's cooler and revealed to be a bit on the chubby side, now that her "fat clothes" are off.

In other Silver Lined news, we went to that middle school art show that I mentioned in the previous post. Not a biggie biggie deal, but it's an honor to be chosen to exhibit. Wolfgang made a star shaped pendant out of turquois and 4 types of metal that was picked for the show's jewelry category. It was fun to look at the different entries, and they'd put the jewelry exhibits in these high falutin' glass cases, like they were the Hope diamond or something.

And I was kept busy collecting Run With Lumber pledges from the school kids (I hear you: "will it ever end?!?!"). I'm glad to see some very generous donations despite the tough economy. My toil and mild sunburn were not in vain.

Some reshuffling of management has occurred at work, and I have a new boss. The previous boss was okay, but seemed a bit overwhelmed at times. I liked her though, but alas, she's moving to a different position. The new boss is a good guy I've known since I've worked there. Now he's my boss, and I think he'll do a bang up job of it.

Lovely bicycle ride this morning, simply lovely.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Public Displays of Acrimony, that is.

It's springtime. Love is in the air.

Or is it?

Just the other day, I witnessed two quite lengthy PD's of Acrimony without even looking for them.

I happened upon the first one while I was returning home from somewhere on my bicycle. There I was just going down the road and enjoying my little ride. Up ahead, about two or three blocks away, I saw a couple standing on the sidewalk engaged in discussion. As I got closer, I saw that it wasn't really a discussion they were having, it was a highly emotive monologue.

The female half of the couple, a rather diminutive person, was spitting mad and gesticulating accordingly while the proportionately larger male half just stood there, looking at her, but otherwise not doing much of anything else. She was speaking. She was finger pointing - west, east, north, south - no direction was spared her finger pointing.

I really wanted to know what she was saying, but I figured I couldn't just stop my bicycle and listen, so I just zipped on by pretending to not care, hoping to hear a glimpse. This is what I heard amidst the finger pointing: "... making love to you!...." Seriously, that's what she spewed as I went by.

Later in the evening of that same day, we were at a mall. Wolfgang was an exhibitor at a middle school art show there, so we went to play pretend art snobs.

I was loitering and people watching with Magnum at one point, because the kids wanted to go inside the video game store before we left. I don't go inside video game stores unless somehow forced to, thus the loitering.

We were on the upper level, and I just happened to look down to the lower level and caught yet another couple arguing in public.

They were a youngish, cute looking couple. He wore baggy shorts, a football jersey and matching cap. Her clothing was tighter. They kind of looked like candidates for a Who's-the-Daddy episode of the Maury show...... not that I ever, uhm, watch that *ahem*...... She was chewing him out for something, and he was more responsive than the male from PDA couple #1.

I guess they got it straightened out as I saw them later enjoying make up Panda Express together.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I needed to defrost the freezer, which meant
I needed to take everything out of the freezer, which meant
I found some things in the freezer I'd forgotten, which meant
It was like a treasure hunt, which meant
I found some treasures.

I found some frozen shrimp.
I found some corn tortillas.
I found some coffee.

A big can of coffee.
From my experimental coffee abstinence program.
I'd put it in the freezer.
To save for after the experiment.
Except the experiment went on for so long,
I forgot about the big can of coffee,
Until I needed to defrost the freezer.

I needed to defrost the freezer, which meant
I made coffee in my coffee press, which meant
It was much better coffee than the occassional cup of instant, which meant
I vacuumed,
I dusted,
I biked to the post office,
I did laundry,
I got groceries,
I made a hair appointment for the dog,
I bagged stuff for thrift store pickup,
I planned a lesson,
I balanced the checkbook,
I paid the bills,
I collected fundraiser money,

And I defrosted the freezer. And it was good.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I really don't follow sports much. There are a few things I enjoy watching just for the spectacle of them. I will say that pro beach volleyball is NOT one of them.

Anyway, so I like to watch horse racing. All that grace, power, beauty, strength, and mud. And it's over quickly too so as to not use up much of my precious time.

On Saturday, I turned on the Kentucky Derby coverage. I was ironing. Yes, I iron.

TWO HOURS of Kentucky Derby coverage for a TWO MINUTE horse race. It was nauseating. The final straw was when they went hat shopping with Paris Hilton. That did it. I shut it off and never saw the actual race. Not until Youtubing it the next day anyway. Thank goodness for Youtube.

Mine That Bird blew them away. I so don't understand that name, but so it goes with racehorses. That was a sweet move on the homestretch. "He's" a gelding too.

Which makes me wonder. What becomes of gelding racehorses upon retirement?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Silver Lining Saturday, part XXXVII

Welcome to another episode of Silver Lining Saturday. This past week was Run With Lumber in case no one noticed.

First of all, I'm thankful that the weather literally shined down on us. The two days before the event were crappy rainy cancel-Run-With-Lumber type weather. The day after was crappy windy blow-away-all-of-the-root-beer-floats weather. Yesterday was (and so far, today is) a repeat of crappy rainy. But Wednesday, THE day, was BEA-U-tiful party-outside weather!

So for my SLS photo of the week, I must throw in another Run With Lumber photo. Besides, that was the only time I used the camera this week. There's some runners and some volunteer lap counters (not to be confused with volunteer lap dancers).

And I am thankful for all those volunteers. I had lots of help from volunteer friends and made a couple of new volunteer friends. I was pretty much able to just walk around with my clipboards and look important (not to be confused with actual importance).

In other news, I went for a lovely bicycle ride this morning in the fog. It's almost eerie outside, all this moisture. It's like that misty place where Merlin lived in that last King Arthur movie. Not typical Colorado weather, but it happens occassionally. I rode Bella as her fat tires grip the wet roads better than skinny Tessa's. I'm thankful I have two bicycles to choose from - how pampered is that?

Also this week, I sat in on a class of one of my fellow teachers. Just to observe and get some tips from one of the "masters". Guy's a hoot. And I learned stuff too.