Saturday, January 29, 2011

the week that wuz

Boy, this last week went by fast. I've got that new job, which I'm enjoying. We've been doing plenty of organizing and administrative ducks-in-a-row type stuff so I will get to work with kids more as time goes on. The organizing and administrative type stuff isn't so fun, but everyone there is really friendly and welcoming.

Then I got a call from my dad on Wednesday. He hardly ever calls, so when he does I almost don't want to answer. Sure enough, my mom had collapsed and was in the hospital.

Well, she is 83. Turns out it was an infection that weakened her. She's in the hospital about an hour's drive away from me. The hospital in my hometown thought it was an issue with her heart, so they shuffled her off. Yes, my little bodunk hometown does have a working hospital - being sex change capitol and all.

Anyways, she's still there, hopefully on the mend, but needing to get her strength back. And I'm also a bit worried about my dad, being left to his own devices. Mom being out of town only adds to the difficulty. My 86-year-old dad doesn't drive outside the little bodunk town, so they are only talking on the phone with one another.

At least this isn't a financial hardship for them as they've always been very responsible in insuring themselves and such. But I guess this is a taste of "the sandwich generation", wanting to do more for them, but needing to also meet the needs of my family here at home.



Hello and happy Illustration Friday Saturday! This week's prompt is a thought-provoking "surrender"

I thought of those babies. You see them sometimes - in shopping carts, in high chairs, etc.. Their bodies SO want to fall asleep, but they fight it, usually in futility. I want to tell them, "Don't fight it, little dude. Just surrender"

Monday, January 24, 2011


I mentioned a bit about my weekend of consumerism, which included purchasing a new pair of running shoes. We can tell that Agg79 is a fellow runner since he curiously commented as to how many pairs I go through in a year.

I provide the scientific answer of, "Gee, I dunno".

BUT the question made me curious too, so I did a little calculating. I typically replace them after 300 to 400 miles (yes, I keep track). Last year, I ran just over 1600 miles (YES, I DO keep track), so that nets me about 5 pairs a year. Sounds about right, I'm going with 5 pairs. Gosh, that's like a new pair of shoes every two and a half months! Mom should be proud.

In somewhat-related-but-kinda-not-really news, Jack Lalanne died over the weekend at the ripe age of 96. I for one can remember turning on the old black and white TV from my childhood to find Jack Lalanne getting fit and motivating the viewers to get off their butts. Yes, there was life before "Biggest Loser". Nice guy, that Jack Lalanne.

May he rest in peace.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

What about now? WHAT ABOUT TODAY?!?

Oh, actually, I'm not feeling stressed or any of that, it's just I couldn't think of a title and that song was on the radio so....

But it's been a while, feels like anyways. Well, this WAS first week on that new job, so I was adjusting to the new schedule. I think I've adjusted. So far, I'm liking the job and anxious to be done being a newbie. I'm also liking having evenings and weekends off. Happy saturday!

Today, we got some shopping done. Wolfgang wanted a light table for a school project, which caused the light to go off in MY head --> ART TOY! We got one.

Another stop was to get a video game store gift card, purchased from a girl who clearly has a tattoo addiction.

Image of tattoo guy using a light box --->
I'm nothing if not a consolidator of imagery!

Chaco was with us, and while we were out, I needed some new running shoes, so we stopped to get me some. I was making my decision when Wolfgang appeared, asking if I was ready yet. "Not yet", I told him. "First I have to lace these up and totally embarrass you by running around the store".

"No, I'll just walk away and act like I don't know you", he pragmatically replied.

Party pooper.

<-- Image of the shoes I got. Not my feet/legs.
I'm nothing if not an adept user of googled images.

I did demo a burst of speed along the back wall of the store, wherein Chaco attempted a body block. Apparently, he's all for public familial embarrassment. Good times.

Now I know what I've been missing all those saturdays when I was at work.


This Illustration Friday post comes on a Saturday - this week's prompt being "dusty".

Growing up in "the west", I've seen plenty of dust out in the boonies. The cowboys are out in it for hours on end. Just another day at the office.

Monday, January 17, 2011

day one

So the first day of my new job was...

a day off. Government holiday, hmm.

Okay, I don't think I messed up too much. Took care of some general housewifery, kept the noise level of my own kids and various neighborhood urchins down to a gentle roar, did a sketch, and talked on the phone to Mom - who would not approve of the sketch girl's posture...

but I felt a lazy streak going. Might as well stick to it.

The weekend was pretty nice and relaxed too. We went out to eat on Saturday for Chaco's birthday. Did I tell you he turned 17 last week? Seven - freaking - teen?? We had Asian food. My fortune cookie said I "will be showered with good luck". SHOWERED.

Then, once again, we totally lost on the weekend NFL pool picks. Let the showering begin.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Okay, I had no intention of posting yet another crossing guard-ish blog post, but when I saw that today's Illustration Friday prompt was "chicken", I just couldn't resist.

Why DID the chicken cross the road?

It's not in my job description to know.

nice to feel wanted

Yeeks, Friday! Once again, the week has sort of sped on by. Aren't I supposed to be winding down after the holidays? Still waiting for the wind down...

The week started with a big honkin' snowstorm that provided a snow day for the school kids. With that, I feel like I've been a day behind all week. Tuesday, they all went back, including me at my crossing guard gig in 6 degrees F. Good test of the outerwear!

And speaking of the crossing guard job, no sooner had I acquired my lovely bright vest that the vice principal at the school was inquiring my interest about another open position they had at the school. Would I apply? That day??

Anyway, long story short, I went ahead and submitted the necessary paperwork. Cleaned up out of the orange vest for an interview, and now I have that job too. I think I'll like it - working with the title 1 students.

So, for now anyway, my desire to transfer my working hours from evenings and weekends to school time hours has been satisfied. I start next week. This is good timing as I'm between classes with my other job. I'm not sure if I'll stay on for that with a teeny amount of assignments, or do an inactive period, or just say good-bye.

I definitely like the idea of leaving the evening and weekend classes behind, but to be honest, I'm feeling a little wary of going from teaching adult students to teaching the 1st through 5th grade crowd. At least I know the school and staff pretty well, and they're a good bunch.

Either way, this is my last weekday "off" for a while...

... unless I get fired.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

crossing the void

"Greetings, citizen! Do you require assistance to cross the street?"

"Uhh.... no?"

(hmm, perhaps he didn't understand me)

"Saludos, ciudadano! ¿Necesita ayuda para cruzar la calle?"

"Okay, Mom, whatever."

Well, nice for Wolfgang to stop by, anyways.

My new office:

It was a rather busy week, this last one. Kids went back to school. I finished that GRE class I was teaching over the break, graduated from crossing guard school, and literally hit the road.

It's actually quite fun - this crossing guard thing. I've learned that drivers are typically very friendly to an elementary school crossing guard - certainly moreso than they generally are to a bicycle commuter.

Okay, so Wolfgang didn't feel like using my services. He just stopped by on his way home to tell me he needed a ride somewhere later. But the elementary kids are cute and appreciative. Many recognize me, probably from Run with Lumber fame and more probably from "you know, Meego's mom".

"Are you the crossing guard today?", one asked excitedly.


"Will you be here tomorrow too!?", with expectation.

"Nope. Tomorrow's Saturday".

.... well, I know what he meant.


Friday, January 7, 2011

deja vu

Happy first Illustration Friday of 2011! This week's prompt is "deja vu" oooOOOOooooh!

I love coffee
I love tea
Every cup
Is sweet deja vu to me

(Okay, so that was pretty bad and wouldn't hold up on the playground...)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

a January list

Okay, so I've been thinking it over and have come up with a few resolutions for 2011:

I will gain weight.
Well, perhaps not "gain", but I'm just trying to rearrange things a bit. A couple three years ago or so, I started doing strength training to do something about my lack of upper body strength and noodle arms. I think maybe they're a little less noodly, but still...

I will drink more.
Remember when Magnum and I started drinking red wine every day? Remember? Again, this was a couple three years ago or so. Supposedly drinking red wine, in moderation, is good for you. Something about antioxidants I think. Anyways, we became winos and were doing quite well with it, but somewhere along the way, we fell onto the wagon. Really, I just got lazy and didn't always make it to the liquor store to keep us regularly stocked. A few weeks ago, I discovered 3 bottles of wine in our stash, so we're back off the wagon, but we've been clearly failing as alcoholics. As I type this, I realize we forgot our daily wine imbibe yesterday (that beer doesn't count).

I will work harder, not smarter.
I've already discussed this recently and don't want to rehash it all again, but I'm cutting back on the night-class teaching. That 10-hour-a-week crossing guard job will help to alleviate my urge to accept every class and tutoring opportunity that pops up on my radar.

I will volunteer less.
This is Meego's last year of elementary school, and I really want to offload my volunteer responsibilities there. I've got a wonderful woman who has naively signed on to co-chair Run With Lumber with me this year, and then insanely take it over next year! She's got the right personality for it, and her kids are young, so she's in it for the long haul. It's nice to know that it will be in good hands. She's a military wife, though. They BETTER not move! As far as PTO treasurer goes - anyone who can balance a checkbook can be a PTO treasurer. Not losing sleep over that one.

Allrighty then, let's go with it.

celebración de frío

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are all safe and warm and not having (too many) regrets over anything that transpired last night.

Our New Year's eve was pretty low-key. Just the family, and it was pretty cold out, so we stayed in for most of the evening...

Except for, of course, Midnight Mile 2011! Yes the first mile of the year has been logged

It was a cold one - temperatures were around 2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit - I'm just gonna say 5 and call it good. There was fresh snow and a bit of drifting here and there, but an invigorating New Year's welcome all around with no frostbite that I know of or twisted ankles, chipped teeth, etc.

There were noticably less revelers out at midnight this year compared to years past, but still a few fireworks going off all around.

I only got one photo from "the midst" of it. I think the camera wasn't liking the cold. We did manage to get some shots after the completion. Note that Chaco did NOT run in a mere t-shirt, but he'd already stripped down by the time all the stragglers were in.

On a bit of a regretful note, our local AdAmAn climbers did not make it to the top of Pikes Peak for the midnight fireworks show. This has been a tradition since 1922, and no one could remember it ever being called off. Apparently, though, while we low-landers were tolerating the cold and snow, the conditions above tree line were dangerous enough to halt the climb and the show within a mile of the top.

There's always next year! Now back to my resolution making....