Sunday, October 14, 2018

body mousse and the bionic girl

We had our P.E.O. fundraiser shindig last night.  By the end of the night, all of the wine and food was gone, and we'd sold all of the auction items.  Success!

I don't know the total headcount yet or how much moolah we made, but either way, it was a fun night.  Mag and I brought a white wine that supposedly pairs well with cheddar cheese, so I made some vegetarian quesadillas from a recipe I made up on the fly that included cheddar cheese.

I wanted to bring something vegetarian since I'm trying to not eat things that once had a face, and to have something to offer others in the group that don't eat things with faces.  The quesadillas were actually quite good, I'd say.  Maybe I should try making recipes up on the fly more often.  Or maybe it was the wine talking...

Anyway, it was a good time.  This was our second annual wine fundraiser.  I missed it last year because, well, this is high school marching band season, and that was Meego's thing.  We used to do Oktoberfest which had been successful too, but was more work to throw - all those brats!  Wine and potluck works better.

I also "won" some body mousse from the silent auction.  I really wasn't interested in buying anything, but, all proceeds go to the philanthropies.  One of my P.E.O. sisters teaches engineering at a local high school, and she's quite interesting and  knowledgeable about geeky things and also makes a crappy salary.  As such, she sells Mary Kay on the side.

Among the auction items were a few Mary Kay things, from whom we all knew.  Anyone who knows me knows I'm not in the target audience for Mary Kay items, but I saw a canister of  "body mousse" and was all, "What the heck is 'body mousse'?", and nobody really knew.  So I asked the Mary Kay Teacher Sister, "What the heck is 'body mousse'?"

She said it's like lotion, but thicker, "more like 'body butter'".

...which left me wondering what "body butter" is, but at that point, I decided to just bid on the darn stuff.  And now I own it.

Another highlight of the evening was the bionic girl.

See, the couple who hosted have three adopted Chinese daughters in addition to their four biological kids.  The youngest daughter was born with an incomplete arm - it ends just above where her elbow would have been.

Daughter had recently gotten this cool new prosthetic arm, and we all knew about it because her mom/our sister has been working on getting the arm, and there were several hurdles to clear, etc.  Daughter recently got it and began using it, just in time for homecoming, no less (she's 16).

I and others wanted to see it, of course, but didn't want to be all, "Hey Sis, bring daughter out and make her do stuff with her arm!"

But, without us needing to be obnoxious about it, Mom and Dad had her mingle with us while they talked about how cool the thing was, and Daughter did a few demo moves.  This isn't her arm/hand, but close enough:

 Anyway, it's pretty cool what these things can do.  And hers isn't even the most advanced.  I was impressed at how dexterous she was with the prosthetic, considering she just started using it after being one-armed her whole life.

Friendship, wine, faceless food, charity, body mousse, bionic Chinese adopted girl.  Three hours well spent.

*and I've fallen behind on Inktober, but so bet it...*

Saturday, October 13, 2018

baring arms

"You're the first person to come in wearing short sleeves today"

This from Geej, the girl who gives my weekly allergy shots.

And I was all, "Well... yeah, I'm here for shots"

In fact I told her that I'd changed before going because it wasn't a day to be wearing short sleeves - the reason why everyone else who'd come in had to figure out ways to bare their upper arm(s).  I like to keep it simple and skip the disrobing.  Plus I'm strangely obedient when a medical person tells me to do something like, "wear short sleeves when you come in for shots".

But yeah, it's been cold and drizzly here all week.  We got snowed upon.  It's early for that stuff, so people are confused, and I got a gold star from the allergist's.

And speaking of prizes, looky what I won from Ann over at Annster's Domain!

Yup, Ann had a blog door prize of sorts to celebrate her 1000th blog post, and I won the Starbuck's Gift card!  What a treat!

For those who don't know Ann and her blog, it's always a fun place to visit with upbeat posts and good times.  Take a break from the &%*!^# news headlines and visit Annster's!

In other diversion news, I'm managing to keep my head above water for Inktober.  Here are thumbnails of the latest submissions:

I ordered some new pens and expect them to come in the mail today.  The ones I've been using for Inktober are on their last legs, I think, but I'm keeping the drive alive πŸ’ͺand trying to put some ink on paper every day as I excitedly watch for the mailman.  Yeah, simple pleasures...

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday speaking of

Happy Sunday, blogworld.  I'm currently enjoying a cup o' tea, getting ready for a pleasant tutee and thought I'd do a Silver Lining Sunday post.

Speaking of tutees, my schedule is full of 'em, and for that I'm grateful - all nice kids/young adults.  I'll give a shout out again to high speed internet finally finding our neighborhood.  And I do have a handful of local students because it's nice to get outta the house too.

Speaking of getting outta the house,  I went for a bike ride this morning, and fall is definitely here.  Two words for this morning:  FOG GEE.  It was noticeably chilly too - I had to break out gloves and stuff.  I snapped this pic after a good portion of the fog had cleared out and I could actually see across the street.  I'm grateful for my bike lights!

Speaking of recreation, I'm having fun riding the Inktober bandwagon.  I've managed to keep up for this first week.  I'm finding it nicely therapeutic, but I'm not sure just what the therapy is for?  I'm following a few others on Instagram in addition to seeing what Wolfgang's got to offer.  Here are my days one thru six:

Speaking of social media, my P.E.O. chapter is having a fundraiser coming up next weekend.  Wine and Cheese and silent auction social - actual face-to-face socializing and nice way to bring in some cash.  I'm also glad I'm not Prez this year 😊.

Onward to the tuting, and then exhaustion!  (That's today's Inktober prompt: exhausted)
Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

pigs and hazmat gnomes

3. Roasted

Happy day 3 of Inktober!  I'm managing to keep up... so far.  Three down, twenty-eight to go.
Today's prompt is "Roasted", so thought I'd draw some sunflowers... and an uneaten pig.

I used to be quite a carnivore, but more and more, I find myself eating meat less and less.  Especially mammal meat.  I've caught glimpses of slaughterhouse videos, and they make me think twice.  I know that my abstaining from meat eating isn't going to save many pigs or cows, but oh well.  And I'm considering the appeal of "Moo Shoo Tofu"?

So Inktober is a fun diversion.  I've fallen off the artplay wagon, and this is a good thing to get me back on it.  I even cleaned up Meego's old gaming area and took it over as my "drawing studio" a.k.a. "little desk in the corner with some pens and stuff".

Inktober is something Wolfgang got me into last year when he got into his Copic®️ marker hobby.  He likes to ink fun cartoony things as opposed to my purist black-and-white things.  He sent this image he did for Day 1:  Poisonous

1. Poisonous

Well, now, I do eat mushrooms.  But what would Inktober be without some Hazmat Gnomes?

Sunday, September 30, 2018

cats gone wild

"You might want to go get your stuff and bring it in here"

"mmf... it's fine.. *snorf*

"Last I checked, she had your bra and was messing with it on the couch"

"mmf... sh*t, okay..."

Magnum and I spent the night at Wolfgang's last night.  The two of us with Wolfgang's cat, Maisey.  She's adorable...

... mostly.

See, Wolfgang came down for the weekend to do volunteer trail bike at a HS cross-country meet.  Meego told me he was thinking of coming home this weekend too as he wanted to do some guitar buying/selling.  So that worked out since  Wolfgang could bring Meego down, and we could give Meego a ride back up to school, which we did last night.

Wolfgang, in the meantime, is mountain biking today, so when Meego asked for a ride back to school, we worked it out that Magnum and I would stay the night at Wolfgang's and check on Maisey.

She's a young and very playful cat.  She's also quite large.  Wolfgang got her from a shelter only after she'd been in quarantine for being too rough. 

We brought our sleeping bags so as to just crash in Wolfgang's apartment.  I took the coveted position on the couch and was drifting off when I was punched in the face.  By Maisey. I opened my eyes to see her staring at me, intently.  I tried to go back to sleep only to have her punch me some more and also pounce on me. 

I thought, "Okay, maybe SHE wants the couch.  Fine".  So I moved down to the floor near Magnum, and Maisey commenced to having a loud one-cat wrestling match on the couch.  But she eventually tired of that and came back to us - her newly found enrichment toys. 

The punching and pouncing recommenced.  I realized that (1) she was not about to let us sleep, and (2) even if she decreased the punching and pouncing, I couldn't sleep anyway because I'd be wondering when she was going to punch me or pounce on me next.

Plan B:
Move to Wolfgang's bedroom and close the door.

That's where I was happily drifting off to sleep when Magnum gave me the bra report after going back out to save his stuff.

So I went back out, saved my stuff, the night progressed with no further attacks, and I had a bra to put on in the morning. 

After we got up, Maisey was waiting outside the bedroom door.  She was all lovey dovey.  Clearly, she'd missed us.  She was not at all apologetic, however.  More like, "sorry you guys had to leave so soon from the party".

All in all, it was a nice weekend.  Nice to have both Wolfgang and Meego home for a while, and to get to know Wolfgang's weird cat. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

good-bye, summer

Happy fall!  I'm not sad to see summer in the rear view mirror, but a little pensive about winter up ahead.  It's been unseasonably hot here lately, we broke a few high temp records.  But it's all relative, as many of us reminded ourselves, "at least it's not a hurricane".

Living in Colorado for most of my life, I have no direct experience with hurricanes.  Sounds awful - not just the storm itself, but all that mess of aftermath and ripple effects on the economy.  My mom grew up in the Philippines and used to tell me that my room "looks like a typhoon hit!".  Sorry, Mom.

We dogsat the grandpooch - Chaco's dog, Ella - for a short time this weekend.  She is just too cute and fun.  We're still working on getting her and the cat to be buddies, but we've made good progress.  I still don't trust the two of them alone together, so there's a bit of pet juggling whenever she's here.

And Wolfgang was home for a bit last weekend.  He has some mountain biking friends who live here, so he graces us with his presence once in a while when he's done with them.  Nice thing is, he also took most of his remaining crap that was still stored at our house.

He reminded me that Inktober 2018 is about to start.  I plan to do 'em all again this year!  That exclamation point was to psyche myself up.  I managed to get it done last year, but not without spilling into November.

I have not been doing much art play, however.  I've noticed that it can sometimes be difficult for me to switch brain hemispheres.  Since much of my tuting is left-brain stuff, that's where I've been mostly hanging out recently.  Inktober will be a good challenge and put some balance back into my brain.  I hope.

Speaking of the tuting, a good chunk of my students come to me for help with college entrance exams:  SAT, ACT, and GRE.  Test prep was how I got into tutoring in the first place.  Sometimes I hear back from students when they get their score reports - hopefully happy news.

In all this time, I've had a handful of kids who've gotten close to perfect scores - a very rare thing - but never the golden 36 ACT or 1600 SAT or 170 GRE.  Earlier this week, I got this message from "Joe Kool":

Never mind that his "I got 36 ACT this time!" is grammatically incomplete.

He gets a pass.

Friday, September 21, 2018

recommendations, robots, randomness

I rarely use facebook, but keep an account.  Like I told Magnum, because of the nature of my work, prospective students and/or parents are more likely to spy facebook over Linkedin to check for any dirt. So I keep it for the purpose of nothing-to-see-here, and to avoid any hmmm-why-doesn't-she-have-a-facebook-what's-wrong-with-her?

I do follow a couple of groups, mainly P.E.O. and the bicycle commuter group, both of which are usually positive and helpful, unlike seemingly the entire rest of fbook.  But even they have their moments.

Recently, one of the bicycle commuters, who lives somewhere in Europe, said he was coming to the US for a temporary work assignment.  He was bringing his bicycle and wanted recommendations for a good bullet-proof vest to wear while commuting.


Was he joking?  He was joking, right?

Some assumed he was joking, others told him he was much more likely to get hit by a car than by a bullet. I, for one, ignored him (he's posted attention-drama-queen stuff before).  He claimed to not be joking.

So that went on to spark a conversation thread about some notions people from other countries had about the US that they felt seemed strange, but turned out to be true.  One person thought it was strange the way the national anthem is played/sung before sporting events.

That sparked an even more animated discussion about American school children pledging allegiance to the flag every morning of public school.

Admittedly, I find that kinda weird.  Last year, when I was working at that local public high school, I was a bit surprised to learn that schools still did that.  And it seemed strange that high school kids, stereotypically known for rebellion, robotically stood up each morning on cue and mumbled the Pledge of Allegiance.  As I dutifully stood and sometimes mumbled along, I couldn't help but feel I had a part in some dystopian novel.

I do however like the anthem before sporting events, but I'm not really big into watching sporting events.  My appreciation stems more from races I've done where the anthem is performed just before the start.  For one, it gets everyone to shut up so we can all hear the "Go!".

One local race I've enjoyed is the Rescue Run that happens "Rain, Snow, or 20 Below!" on New Years day each year, with proceeds going to the county search and rescue team.  That race is run partially in some boonies with the start at a different location than the finish, and there is no PA system at the start.  Instead of having some talented person sing the anthem, one of the race officials starts us off and all us race participants belt it out.  I strangely enjoy that part.

This past year, after I'd finished the race, I was hanging around because I'd won a medal and had to wait for the big presentation to receive what I'm sure is pure solid gold 😝.  It wasn't quite 20 below, but it was chilly, so I went to the snack area to get some warm beverage.

They were serving up animal crackers and hot Gatorade®️.  Believe me, it tastes better than it sounds, at least to me it did.  It was so surprisingly good that I've thought about it off and on for the past nine and a half months - every time I go to Costco and see those big jugs of animal crackers.

I broke down and bought one today - a big jug of animal crackers.

That's really what this whole post is about.  I bought a jug of animal crackers today at Costco.  But if I just said that, it would've been pretty dumb.

But I WOULD like to know others' thoughts on the playing of the national anthem before sporting events and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in US public schools... or animal crackers.

Monday, September 17, 2018

gamer appreciation

I don't game.  Despite having various gaming platforms living in my household at various times, I wouldn't know the first thing to do if I ever found myself in the middle of a modern video game.  In fact, I vaguely remember, many years ago, picking up one of the controllers as my then elementary-school-aged kids were playing some PS2 game.  I was dead within seconds and never picked up a controller again.  I still don't even know how I died.

But I've got a new appreciation for the gaming community.

Y'all know I tutor online.  Most of my tutees are in high school or college.  I now admittedly smile inwardly whenever I go into the online classroom and see something similar to this at the other end:

Okay, he'd have to lose the VR headset, but otherwise, I'm a happy tutor.  It's because gamers got game!

Well... obviously.  But I mean, they've got all the best gear!

Sometimes the student is at the kitchen table or such, with no earbuds or headphones, so I'm catching all the echo.  And/or Mom or Dad is in the background loading up the dishwasher or something, and I'm getting all the clanging and banging. And/or they're on an old decrepit laptop with blurry, laggy audio and video, sounding like they're speaking from an aluminum can...

But not the gamers.  Oh no.  They're in some dedicated lair.  Their video is clear and smooth.  Their audio... OMG, their audio!  Words can't describe.

I still have no desire to become a gamer myself, but I want to give a shout out to those who take such care of their online streaming lives.

In other entertainment news, we've watched three movies recently, of which I will give a short synopsis.

The Little Hours:  I'm not gonna lie.  I thought this was pretty funny.  It's silly and raunchy, but that's what I expected, so I wasn''t disappointed.  It actually did have a bit of a plot, which I hadn't expected, so - win.

Hello, My Name is Doris:  This one had its moments.  I was expecting mostly comedy, which was present.  But it was also rather serious and sad and downright uncomfortable to watch at times.  Plus the main character is a hoarder, among other things, and the clutterphobe in me had to look away.

Zoe:  I could NOT get into this movie at all, despite the decent cast.  I found it slow and boring and containing too many plot holes for me.  I did nod off a few times only to awaken and see that the darn thing was still going.  Maybe it's got some good scenes that I slept through.

Anything entertaining to share?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

throwin' it back

I vaguely remember much about freshman year of high school other than I thought I had arrived.  High School, omg!

We were in high school!  Learning, like, ALGEBRA and BIOLOGY and stuff!  School dances happened on Saturday NIGHTS instead of Friday afternoons!  The seniors seemed so big and grown up.  They had cars and some of the senior boys actually shaved!

How weird were we?

I can only speak for myself, but it's sometimes cringey to look back.  I have very fond memories of high school, but would I want to "go back"?  Oh, HECK no.

Mama Kat's prompts this week include "when I was younger" as well as "old class photos", so I guess I'm hitting upon both those themes.  I found my high school freshman and senior class photos.

Stupid Freshman
Maybe a little smarter
Despite it being so long ago, I remember lots about the freshman photo.  It was taken early in the year, possibly the very first week of school, when I was still so agog at being a high schooler.  My hair was growing out of a - little did I realize it at the time - bad perm.  But everybody seemed to have a bad perm back then, so no biggie.

I remember the shirt I was wearing too.  It was teal and a fave in my closet.  Betcha I was wearing a pair of white painter pants that day.  Because white painter pants = way cool.

By senior year much had changed.  For one, color photos became more mainstream for class pictures *ahem*, but maybe not the idea of having a background that doesn't perfectly match the skin tone?  The wonders of technology.

But I can honestly say I felt like a much different person on the inside when I was a senior compared to when I was a freshman.  I read somewhere that, even though high school only lasts 4 years, those years are laden with lasting memories that really shape who we are as adults.  The article claimed that the big shift in a short time is because of all the big changes we go through in those 4 years - emotional changes as well as physical changes.  We have experiences that take us out of adolescence and into adulthood, whether we like it or not.

I know some people who are thrilled their high school years are behind them.  I know others who seem to want to just keep reliving their glory days of high school.   

I enjoyed high school.  Thems were good years, but still.  Put  me in with those thrilled to be done.  

Would YOU go back?  For twenty bucks?

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
1. Throwback time! Share an old class photo of yourself.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

plumbing appreciation day

As expected, the call of the wild took hold on Friday with the pooch.

It was a lovely day out, so it was easy to give in to Ella's suggestion to go out for a proper hike.  She and I headed out to a fave spot of the locals that is a bit off the beaten path from the touristy types - no offense to the touristy types, but... well... y'know...

I am a bit wary at this particular area because of rattlesnakes.  We've seen them on a few occasions, and a woman was recently bitten and had to be airlifted out.  BUT what's an adventure without a little danger?

It was nice to be out with such a youthful, agile companion.  We've only recently had our old lady dog, China, before she went to dog heaven, and she hadn't been up for all this scampering in a long time.  Ella was eating it up.

We traipsed around for quite a while, and thusly satisfied, headed home.  

I was looking forward to getting cleaned up before a couple of tutoring appointments, and I went to the sink to fill a bowl of water for Ella before heading to the showers.  


No water.  

Just that eerie sucking sound the faucet makes when there's no water.

I'd passed a crew working on our street.  They had a big chunk of road torn up from where water had been seeping the day before.  Water main break.  Oh goody.

Thankfully, we've got a bit of prepper mentality in our household (who goes by the name of Magnum) since ya never know when the zombies will take over!  I went down to our crawl space to bring up one of our several jugs of water.  They hold 5 or 7 gallons.  Here's your question of the day:  how much does 5 to 7 gallons of water weigh?

It's about 40 to 60 pounds, but I got it lugged upstairs to the kitchen so I could pretend we had a sink.  And it wasn't so bad.  Like camping, except in a house.  

Bottom line, I did not get a proper shower after our avid hiking and before the tuting.  I'll just say it's a good thing that both tutees were online and not in person!  I managed to make myself appear presentable enough.  I think.

It's rare that we lose our running water, so this little episode was a good reminder of how much I appreciate it.  I was also glad to have those filled jugs sitting in our crawl space, regardless of how cumbersome they are to heft around.  

The water was back up and running by the early evening.  Have you hugged your pipes today?

Friday, September 7, 2018

furry times

Another busy week it's been.  Testing season - I'm grateful.  This morning is nicely quiet.  First fall ACT is tomorrow, and I told my ACTers that today is a rest day (for me?)

And it's just as well because we're also pooch-sitting Chaco's Ella this weekend with Chaco being out of town.  I was in my "office" getting some paperwork done when I heard Ella whining because she was all alone upstairs.  I couldn't really bring her down, because that is the current safe zone for the cat, who was snuggled up next to me.

The cat often sabotages productivity, but seems to know designated work areas.  If I try to get comfy on the futon and do anything resembling work, this is what happens:

Fine, I set up the laptop upstairs and thought I would be all productive.  But it's such a nice morning... and Ella kept looking out the windows all longingly. 

Fine, we'll go for a walk, THEN I'll be all productive. 

So we had our walk, and Ella was right.  Beautiful morning, much better to be outside.  It got me thinking that we should go for a proper hike later, so I'm planning that now.  And blogging.  And not doing anything particularly work related. 

AFTER the hike, though.  For serious...

Sunday, September 2, 2018

football, snow, and sad

Happy unofficial end of summer.  Labor Day weekend is upon us

This was a good and busy week, so it's nice to be at the weekend.  I did tute for a few hours over the weekend, but it's all good.  Nice students.

Friday evening was the Rocky Mountain Showdown that pits the football teams from Colorado's two largest public universities against each other.  Magnum and I went to CU-Boulder - one side of the rivalry.  But honestly, I've not really been too concerned about the "big showdown" since much longer after leaving college.

But this  year, Meego is now a student at that OTHER university *gasp*, so I found myself being interested again.  B..b..b..ut, I don't know which team I was for.  Both?  Neither?


CU-Boulder came away with the win, and I was all, "YAY! / aaawwwww".  I guess I still feel nostalgic about the alma matre, even though it was so long ago.  Really, I just love Ralphie.  Everyone loves Ralphie...whom I have featured here before because she's a badass.

College football isn't really about football, it's about the mascots!

"Ralphie Running" is actually a varsity sport at CU, and those who make the cut really earn their letter, I tellya.  Not for the weak.

In other end-of-summer news, we have snow!  Well, up in yonder altitudes anyway.  I went out for a bike ride this morning and had this lovely view:


I know it's just a dusting, but kind of exciting for us boring people around here.  In fact, this isn't even my photo.  I was going to take one, but then figured there would be plenty on the internets.  yup.

On a sad note, I lost a classmate from high school.  It was all over fb because he was such a likable guy.  Really, I can't think of any bad traits whatsoever.  He was well-liked and quiet and introspective and musically gifted.  In my world, that's the makings of a *SWOON*, and I did have a bit of a crush on him back in those olden days.

So I'm saddened, not so much because a former crush has passed away, but for all the reasons why he was a crush. Gone too soon πŸ’”

Thursday, August 30, 2018

I miss lunch, not much else

Frank:  So how many days a week do you work as a sub?

Alice:  Oh, I dunno.  I could probably work every day if I wanted to

Frank:  I'm thinking I might be a sub as my "retirement job"

Alice:  Well... some would call teaching a "retirement job"

I don't think Frank was amused.  This was a conversation I witnessed in the teacher's lounge last year when I had that ultra boring job at the nice high school.  Lunch was the best part of the day, always a good conversation in the teacher's lounge. 

Frank was one of the regulars in the teacher's lounge.  He taught English.  Alice was a sub who was also often in the teacher's lounge.  In fact, it was usually English teachers, the piano accompanist, the substitutes, and us study hallers.  I heard the math department had really nice digs, so they never hung out in the teacher's lounge.

I've hashed my tale of woe of how I took a job at the high school last year as a gateway into being a licensed teacher.  It was actually  a good thing because I learned quite quickly that I had no desire to work in a public high school - even a nice one- without spending a bunch of money on getting a license the old fashioned way:  college.

Teaching would not be my retirement job.

Thing is, I liked the kids.  Maybe that's one of the main reasons I realized I didn't want to teach there.  I don't know if the kids had no freedoms because they abused the privileges they did have, or if they abused the privileges they did have because they had no freedoms. 

Anyway, I won't whine, and I really am grateful I came to the I-don't-wanna-be-a-schoolteacher epiphany in a relatively painless way. 

But it makes me think about those who do teach.  Year in and year out.  I guess we're just cut from different cloth, march to different drummers, etc.  There are the good ones, who make lasting impressions.

I also know some teachers who, I honestly think, became teachers because they don't like kids.  They like the dominance of it.   They relish in being the oppressors.  They just made me want to abet in the kids getting away with stuff, which was not actually in my job description.

So if I had to be a schoolteacher, what subject would I teach and why?  Ugh.

Maybe community college math?  Less oppressive the K-12, plus the students are paying to be there rather than forced?  But with less pressure (and requirements) than a university?  This is my retirement job, after all.

But really because I wonder if math teachers really have a better lounge. 

Linking up with Mama Kat for the prompt:
5. If you had to be a school teacher, what age and/or subject would you choose to teach and why?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

what's in a headshot?

Magnum and I went to a movie.  We went to see "Alpha".  I saw the trailer and thought it would either be really cheesy or pretty good.  After watching it, I'd say... it was a little bit of both.  There were definitely some plot holes, and I'm not one who can easily turn a blind eye to plot holes.  But I think it's getting decent reviews.  I'd characterize it as "'Ice Age' for a slightly older crowd".  But it was an okay way to kill a couple of hours on an overcast afternoon, especially since I wasn't really expecting much.  Escape-movie day.

It was a busy week for me, which is nice, but I was glad to have a day with no appointments.  I'm sure everyone reading this knows that today was August SAT test day.  Right?

I've been thinking that I should change my profile pic on the tutor website.  My hair is different now than what's in the photo.  I wondered how much of a role the profile pic plays when someone goes there to seek a suitable tutor.  I've honestly looked at a few in the mix and thought, "that tutor needs to upload a better photo!"

As for me, I mainly try to look like a "normal" person.  Knowledgeable but approachable, y'know?  And I'll make a slight confession here.  When I was deciding on a profile pic, I was looking at a couple of contenders and picked the one where I thought I looked the most Asian.

There, I said it.  It's because of the stereotype of Asians being smart and disciplined - I thought I might make that work in my favor.

Let the world know that  I've never set foot on Asian ground and am as 'merican as they come.  And besides, my Asianness is Filipino, which I don't think counts on the high achiever stereotype scale.  But thanks for the genes, Mom.

But I do sometimes wonder what factors and how much weight tutees put into their searches.  Especially with the online thing going, zip code no longer matters.  I got my answer this week... well, one answer.

A mom texted me to set up a second session with her daughter.  She said her daughter liked me and asked the mom what made her choose me.

"You look a lot like her piano teacher, whom we love!"

Piano teacher, whoever you are, thanks for the face.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

besides, it's not like I can cook

The house feels huge and quiet and strangely clean now that it's just Magnum and me.  I suppose we'll get used to it eventually. 

It's always felt a bit this way when school starts up again, but this is a little more permanent with no one coming home at the end of the day.  But yes, school is back in session in our neck of the woods.  I don't feel that connection anymore, though, now that we don't have any kids in the school system.  Plus...

I'm no longer a lunch lady.  Can't say that I miss it that much.

Last semester, I took a job with the school lunch provider in our district with the end goal of working in the front office.  A few positions were open to me at the end of my "front line" stint, but I made the decision over the summer to hang up the chef coat.  With online tutoring becoming more mainstream and us *finally* getting high speed internet, I decided to focus my efforts there.  So far, so good.  In fact, this is a busy time with HS seniors hoping to rock their college entrance exams.

Besides, it's not like lunch ladies will ever go away.  Will they?  The bosses told me I can go back whenever I want.

It's not like I don't have fond memories.  I miss my fellow lunch ladies - Gayle, Rita, Young Mitch -  and their shenanigans.  I recently dreamed I was back in the kitchen with all of them.  I felt strangely nostalgic when I woke up.

Maybe I'll stop in for a surprise visit.  I'll go around Halloween, disguised as a health inspector.

...because that happens.

Friday, August 17, 2018

day 1

Overheard yesterday at College Town Walfarts:

EMPLOYEEToday was going pretty good until about 10 o'clock...

Yup.  Yesterday was move-in day at the university for Meego and a squizillion other dorm rats.  We managed to fit all of Meego's worldly possessions plus our three selves into one vehicle to make the haul.  That was partially aided by the fact that he, unsurprisingly, forgot a few things, but all-in-all, the day went smoothly.

The university is a couple of hours up the road, and as we made the trek, I was noticing other similarly loaded vehicles, complete with young people.  I was mainly taking stock of the bicycles I saw.  Some nicer than Meego's, others not.  That was good.  You don't want to have the best bike in the bike rack, but you don't want a piece o' crap either.

At the bike registration tent

It was a good day.  Classes begin on Monday, so he should be settled in time to hit the books.  His roommate seems like a nice guy, and the two of them have things in common.  They met through a university app that's "kind of like Tinder" to pair up roommates.

A friend of mine posted pics on fb of her daughter's move-in at the same university.  Her daughter's room looks like something out of Good Housekeeping magazine.  Meego's room does... not.

I've heard that, as far as dorm housing typically goes, guys are slobs and girls create much drama.  The guys should have the slob part down anyways.

After we got him settled and made two separate runs to the aforementioned Walfarts, we met up with Wolfgang who, coincidentally, lives and works in College Town.  So we got in a nice visit with him and met his new roommate

That's okay, I didn't want to use the sink anyway...

So, our house seems strangely huge and quiet today.  My first order of business is to tidy up and see what's left in the wake of yesterday's move out / in.  Then I'll figure out what to do with the extra time in my life now.  This showed up in my instagram today:

Okay.  I'm on it.  😬

Thursday, August 16, 2018

do you want to see?

I'm a blogger of few words today.  This appeared on my FB feed this morning and left me a bit unable to speak...

Know that it's all consensual.

Linking up today with Mama Kat for the prompt:
2. Share something that entertained you this week, can be an article you read, video you watched, someone’s FB share…whatever!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I guess I'll give him the credit

Here I sit.  Teary eyed and sniffly.

No, I'm not being sad and dramatic.  I'm being allergic.

I've blogged about how I began getting allergy shots about a year ago at my ripe old age of 50+.  I blogged about the initially smug doctor who didn't seem to believe that such an old lady would be getting tested for the first time.  I blogged about his changed demeanor after I'd failed his tests miserably.  I blogged about how I go to get shots and sit among a bunch of sugared up little kids who take copious amounts of candy bribes to deal with their allergy shots.

About a month or so ago, I had a follow-up with Dr. Jekyll (so nicknamed because of  his smug/friendly personality).  He gave me a once-over and asked the typical follow-up things.

During the appointment, I realized:

  • I had not snorted any Flonase®️ in quite some time
  • I can walk around like a sober person
  • I don't have what feel like marshmallows for eyelids
  • I can breathe

He also asked if I'd had any troublesome insect stings, and I reported that my don't-look-like-a-flower strategy seems to be holding.  No stings since the timely one that landed me in his office in the first place.  

I concluded with, "I think the shots are working".

To which he responded, "Oh, they're working!" with that touch of smug I've learned to know and love tolerate.  I was all, look at him taking all the credit. What about my lifestyle changes?  Don't I get a gold star too?  

I went in last week for my weekly injections.  I get two:  one for molds and the other for weeds, grasses, trees, and just about every other kind of plant on the planet.  

Geej, my shot giver, showed me a nearly empty vial of the weed etc. antigen.  

"We ran out of this one and need to make up another batch", she said apologetically.  "Sorry I didn't notice it ahead of time to have it ready for today".

I looked around at the manymanymany vials of antigen in the room - each one specifically formulated for its individual patient.  I didn't fault her for not noticing that one of mine was low.  I took my mold shot and left without raiding the candy basket.

So yesterday, I was working in the yard.  I ended up sniffly and a bit puffy.  I'm still sniffly and a bit puffy.

REALLY, allergies?!  ONE missed hit of antigen?!

Okay, Dr. Jekyll.  I concede

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

first impressions

She didn't like me.  I wasn't expecting that, but it soon became quite apparent.  I didn't know why she didn't like me.  Truth is, I didn't even know her that well.  We were classmates in a small town, so I knew who she was and vice versa, but not a whole lot more.

It was our sophomore year of high school and my first year in marching band.  I'd really wanted to be in marching band, but I didn't play a band instrument as a freshman and didn't get on board to try out for the flag team in time.

The stars shined upon me, however, when our band director decided he wanted some "banner girls".  You know those people that walk in front of the band during parades carrying the banner with the school's name?  Well, our band director decided to dress that idea up a bit and have banner girls that did stuff.  As such, each of us girls had our own letter sign that spelled out the school name on one side and the name of our school mascot on the other.  Clearly, it was good prep for my illustrious career as a crossing guard.
I'm the one with the nice "A" πŸ˜‰.  We were The Miners, hence the hard hats...

So I was in the marching band.  I was a banner girl.  We did some things, marched around, flipped our signs, kicked our feet, even twirled some streamers now and then, whatevs.  It was like flag preschool... which it actually ended up being in my case.

Because the stars shined upon me again when our band was invited to the Portland Rose Festival in Portland, OR that would take place in the spring.  In the interim between marching season and the Portland trip, a certain flag girl became "with child".  Actually, a couple of them did!

With those sperms burrowing into those eggs, another banner girl and I were promoted to the flag line!  My dream!  Yay!  Except...

I needed to learn how to BE a flag girl, and I needed to learn quickly.  A minor detail.

Our band director assigned Paula to be my flag tutor.  I'm not sure why he chose Paula, she wasn't a captain or even a senior.  I assume it was because she was also a sophomore, and she'd been in flag since we were freshmen.  She and I arranged for my first session of flag girl crash course.

I was excited to get started and played clumsily with my practice flag until Paula showed up.  When she did, it was all business.

She showed me several compulsory moves and had me repeat them all until I had them down.  All the while, her face was a stone.  She almost seemed bored, but at the same time, she seemed happy  that I didn't know a darn thing.  I knew she liked being a flag girl and was good at it, and it was me she didn't like.

But I was motivated, and Paula was a great coach.  I soon had the moves down, so she started to teach me a whole routine for a song.  I was having fun despite her coldness, and somewhere during that first session, she couldn't help herself from having fun too.

I don't know how many more one-to-one sessions we had, but we soon became good friends.  We went to Portland with the band and rocked the house.  By the time we were seniors, Paula and I were co-captains of the flag team, and our school's band was kickass.

But Paula and I became more than just teammates.  She eventually confessed that she did not like me before she knew me - chyaah, I already knew that!

I actually had a diverse set of friends during high school, and as such, I didn't really belong to any specific clique.  You could say I was popular in a big-fish-in-a-small-pond kind of way.  I was a rah-rah, joining every sport and club and holding every office.  Paula was not in that crowd.  But she was an excellent flag girl and student editor of the yearbook, another thing in which she and I were in cahoots.

She told me she didn't like me at first because she'd assumed I was conceited from being such a rah-rah and didn't care for "her kind".  But when she showed up to teach me flag, I was... not.  Well, crap.  I wondered if I gave off some conceited vibe?  Either way, I'm thankful to our band director for sparking such a close friendship.

Like I said, I had several good friends in high school, but I think I can  honestly say that Paula was a friend with whom I was most intimate - and I don't mean THAT!  Get your minds out of the gutter.  We just shared a lot of things that we didn't share with other people.  I was also very close with  Ingrid, but I've already written about good ol' Ingrid.

I remember one night after my boyfriend went a little off the deep end, and I found myself sitting in an ER while he was being attended to (a whole 'nother story I might blog someday, but don't hold your breath).  It was late at night, and I was pondering my options for getting my sorry self home.

The automatic door to the ER slid open, and there was Paula.  A sight for sore eyes... but not necessarily a surprise.

Hooking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:
1. Tell us about the moment you met your high school best friend.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

missed mountain and moving millennials

We'd planned a little weekend getaway for last weekend.  Go up to Winter Park, do some mountain biking and hiking and whatever.  As it happened, we ended up not going.  The stars just didn't align.  Nothing bad, but a casualty of getting various schedules and other obligations to match up.  And I think everybody made the most of their weekends either way.

Here is NOT a photo of any of US at Winter Park, but let's pretend...


For me, I went to P.E.O. on Saturday and met with a student on Sunday, so it sort of feels like the weekend didn't really happen.  What day is it?

As I type this, there's activity going on at the Millennial House next door.  I capitalize it because that's the name I've given the "estate".  We have no idea how many people actually live there, but there are lots of vehicles, and the residents' average age works out to about 20.  That value is kept quite low because of the fact that there's now a baby in the mix.  Apparently, it's not just the bunnies in the neighborhood that have been gettin' busy.

We're pretty sure that mom and dad of one or more of the habitants owns the house and rents to the pack.  I've met the owners and they are quite friendly, but it's rare for them to visit.  Despite their ages and demographic stereotype, the kids are okay as neighbors *knock on wood*. In fact, I rarely see them during the day, which makes notable the current activity.

My main dislikes are the late-night (more like early-morning) bonfire gatherings they like to occasionally have in their backyard.

Most of the guys drive full-size pickups, which fill up the street and driveway, but also attest to the fact that they all have jobs.  This morning, I see that three of the pickups have furniture and boxes loaded into them.  Someone's moving?

I hope it's not the baby.  He's cute, and he seems to have mellowed the household, from my external perspective anyway.

But maybe for the baby's sake, I hope it is the baby.

Friday, August 3, 2018

terror on the doorstep

A pleasant bug man came a-knocking a few nights ago.  He gave me the old, "Hi, I'm here in the neighborhood killing bugs over at Vic's house, and I can give you a deal to kill your bugs too since I'm already here 😁" bit.

And I was thinking, "What makes him think we have bugs?"

Actually.  No.  I did not think that.  It's obvious, especially from where he was standing.  Our front porch...

Let's get a close-up, shall we?  Of one of the many spiderwebs full of bounty that adorn the front door.

I spray them. With water.  I spray them goooooood.  I spray them because they are so strong, a broom doesn't really hack it.  I spray them on full hose pressure with the nozzle set on JET.

The spiders laugh at me and rebuild within a day or so.

No, I didn't take the bugman up on his offer, mainly because I don't give in to sales people who come a-knocking.  But... should I have pest control come?  What all do their materials do, anyway?  Bugman says he can kill existing bugs and repel future wannabes.

I've pondered this before, when my spraying can't match the spidery zeal.  Wolfgang was my voice of reason last summer.

"They're doing you a favor."

"How's that?"

"See all the bugs they catch in their webs?  If it weren't for the spiderwebs, those bugs would be inside the house."  

So that can be my excuse.  Our front porch spiderwebs are not unsightly, unwelcoming, creepy things.  

They are the moat to our castle.  


Linking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:
2. Write a blog post inspired by the word: dirty

Sunday, July 29, 2018

rain, algebra, cats and dogs

Went and had brunch with the mother-in-law and step-father-in-law today.  It was nice, and we got into a bit of a "spiritual" discussion.  We didn't come up with any answers, but a nice discussion nonetheless.

July is coming to a close, and it's been a good month, I'd say.  Most of the fires in our state are out or under control, and we're getting blessed rains.  Certain burn bans have been lifted, which means our millennial neighbors will probably start up again with their late night bonfires, but I'm liking the rain and afternoon cool downs. 

I was just looking over my tutor stats for the month, and I'm happy with them, considering it's mid-summer.  Summer is typically the off-season as far as tutordom goes, but I've managed to keep somewhat busy despite the slack-off. 

My college student confessed that this is the second time he's taken this particular math class.  He's had other tutors before, but he thinks it's actually going in this time. 

"I think it's helping me because you like math, but... you also have a personality!", he says.


We dogsat last weekend with Chaco's new dog, Ella.  Chaco was going camping and didn't want to take her because she was still recovering from her spay surgery.  She's really a great pooch, smart, energetic, and inquisitive.  Made herself right at home.

She was also quite interested in our cat, and not in a good way.  I know her instinct to chase the cat can be trained out of her.  I suggested dog school to Chaco, and he's thinking about it.  It's his dog, but our problem, and only when she comes over, so we'll see.  Advice is welcome. 

The cat loves a good fight, but I don't think he's up for this one.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

hi, don't mind me :)

I bought a new webcam last week.  My webcam is working fine, but I like to have a backup.  Meego uses my old webcam/backup, mainly for the microphone, when he's online gaming with his friends.  He needed to take an online test last week in order to test out of a certain math class for college.  That's when we discovered that the video on his/my backup webcam was on the fritz.

Take an online test to place out of a math class, and someone is watching. If your webcam doesn't work, you can't take the test.

Well, we just swapped out the fritzed webcam with my working one, and all was good.  Meego passed his test, and we wondered what it's like to be a proctor for an online test.  Do they really watch the whole time?  Are they looking at multiple screens/test takers?  What would they do if they see someone cheating?

I only connect my webcam when I need it for online tutoring.  For those with built-in webcams, do you cover it up to prevent the government from spying on you?

I have a student I've been helping with a college math class he's taking online this summer.  We were at the library yesterday, and he'd brought his laptop so we could work on his homework assignment.

As he was airing his frustrations with me, I was communicating my empathy:

"Yes, they could have explained that better"
"You're right, that's not a very accurate graph"
"blah, blah, blah"

At several points, we noticed the cursor on his laptop screen was spinning.

"They're checking on me", he says.

"Oh, they monitor when your logged in?", I says

"Yeah, we had to sign something that says we know and don't care when we enrolled in the class", he says.

I noticed the band-aid he had covering his webcam.

"Is that why you have a band-aid over your webcam?", I says.

"Yep, but they can still hear us", he says.

We continued to work through his homework and came across another poorly represented graph.  I made robotic note of it.

"Ugh, you'd think they would do these better, otherwise it's confusing", he expressed.

"I'm just your tutor.  I have no opinion".

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
5. Write about the last lie you told.

Friday, July 20, 2018

blogging for idiots

A friend of mine, who is a nurse, told me that she recently read about a study that concluded that heat makes us stupid.  The results were partially based on comparing test scores of students at colleges with air conditioning vs. test scores of students at colleges with no air conditioning.  Yup, air conditioned students score higher on tests.

And I'm thinking, that's a pretty big jump to conclusion. 

Maybe smarter kids get scholarships so they're able to afford air conditioned colleges?  Maybe low scoring students focus more on partying than studying, so the college says "screw 'em!".  There's gotta be more to it.

But then we thought, it's been so hot and yes, I feel more stupid.  It's too hot to think.

It's been hot here this week, and I feel I got behind on my blogging.  I was going to blog for Mama Kat's Thursday link  up, and *poof*, it's Friday. 

I'm going to catch up, though, by DOING ALL THE PROMPTS!

1. Book Review! Share your latest favorite reads!

I'm currently reading this one, as recommended to me.  It started out feeling quite YA, but it's just starting to get better!  OA?

Speaking of which, I got a friend request on goodreads from the daughter of a friend of mine who just graduated with Meego.  I've known her since they were in 2nd grade.  I thought, well, okay.  Maybe I'll check out what she's read.

"50 Shades of Grey" = 5 stars. This feels awkward.

2. Share some recipes you enjoy or would like to try that contain: Pineapple

I have to go with Wolfgang's award winning chili on this one.  I don't have the actual recipe, but I'm quite capable of eating it. 

3. What five images paint a perfect picture of summer to you? Put those five images together in a piece of writing.

Did I mention watermelon?

4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: drive

I went to get my hair cut today, and it was hot out (see prompt 1.).  I could have ridden my bike, it's not very far, but I decided to be nice to the stylist thinking, who wants to work on a sweaty head atop a sweaty person?  I was just getting a cut, no shampoo, so I dusted the cobwebs off the car and drove. 

I showed up all unsweated, and this guy pulls up on his bicycle and comes in for HIS appointment.  No, he did not get a shampoo.  I checked.

5. Write a blog post in exactly 11 lines.

Too late for that.
Already way over.
Why 11, anyway?
Maybe I should try.
I'm not even halfway with this.
Gosh it's hot.
It's making me stupid.
We don't have air conditioning.
Should I accept that friend request?
Today is Wolfgang's birthday.
Who wants watermelon?

6. List your top 7 favorite summer moments so far.

  • That time we went mountain biking and nobody crashed.
  • Getting rid of a bunch of clutter.
  • Visiting Meego's college, which I think has air conditioning.
  • When our scholarship recipient visited P.E.O. and gave us all roses.
  • Any moment involving air conditioning.
  • Going with Chaco to adopt a dog.
  • Watermelon 

Okay, enough.  Do high temperatures make you stupid?