Friday, August 29, 2008


John McCain just elevated himself about a gajillion spots in my book.

What a gutsy, unpredictable, bold and fantastic move he made by choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

God, I'm so thrilled. As a woman, a conservative, and yes, a feminist, I'm feeling hope for the first time during this campaign season. She's a hunter, a fisher, a member of the NRA, a mother, a sports fan, and someone who has spent her political energy and influence taking on corruption. It doesn't get much better for me!

Radio talk show host Tammy Bruce had a great take on things ...

I have to confess, I didn’t give him enough credit. I have come to support McCain grudgingly, only after Giuliani and then Romney. And when the VP stakes began both on my Web site and radio show Palin had been a consistent favorite of readers and listeners. As disappointment and even hostility with Washington has grown, McCain has done something so many of us were hoping for–he made a daring, maverick and ultimately the right choice for his running mate.

A choice reflective of real change, but change based in principle and true progress....

There were many other predictable, perhaps safer, choices McCain could have made which would have satiated the conservative based. Yet, he chose someone who has the qualifications and has a history of also walking the maverick walk, but does not necessarily have the traditional resume, and that’s exactly what we want in a day when trust in government has never been lower.

Sarah Palin is a perfect choice and moves me from grudging support to full, invigorated advocacy for his campaign.
You go, girl!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

first week

Back to school -- three simple words that inspire so much pain in the lives of kids all over the world, yet so much happiness in the lives of their parents.

Teachers are stuck somewhere in between. :)

This was our first week back to school with our new students. So far, it appears that I lucked out -- I have a great class, and that's a huge chunk of what can make or break your year. Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself by saying (or typing) it "out loud."

Anyway, I thought I'd throw out some of the best things about the year so far, even though I'm only 3 days into it ...
  • I have a student in my class named Johnny Walker. Seriously. And he's adorable.
  • The new "coffee bar" in the lounge that the parents are putting together for us every day. Yeah the coffee is weak, and it's not that great, but still. It's the thought that counts.
  • My snazzy new ACTIVboard set up in my classroom, along with the document cam. I can't for the life of me figure out how to set it up, and there appears to be no one else around me who does either ... but we'll get there. And the potential is totally amazing.
  • The fact that I don't have to commute 2 hours every day (even though I'd do it again in a heartbeat if it meant having Ty home!). It's changed my life and is keeping sane, despite the fact that I actually seem to be going insane.
  • My girlfriends
  • The fact that I'm now productively "on the clock" / calendar

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a really bad day

It's far too late for me to be up, yet here I sit. Mainly because I need to purge the nastiness of my day.

A dear (and very smart) friend told me today that "being happy is about finding peace in your every day, no matter what that every day is."

So true.

I think I may print that out and tape it up behind my desk at work ... along with my satellite picture of the Christmas Eve snow we received in Houston a few years back, and Ty and Aidan strolling together at the Astros game (right after Aidan learned to walk). Those are my "happy place" things.

Today SUCKED. No two ways about it. Some of it was petty and insignificant. Some of it a little bit heavier. But regardless, I felt like the world was out to get me. Which is a pretty pathetic outlook, and one I don't usually have.

To make it short and sour (it wasn't sweet):
  • The school district I know and love -- the one I grew up in (K-12), did my student teaching with, and have spent the past 12 years teaching in is really starting to piss me off. I don't know if it's public education as a whole, or what. But I'm so f'ing sick of the standardization of everything. Whether it be state tests, lesson plans, gradebooks, teachers, or whatever. It just goes against everything I stand for. Part of the greatness of education is experiencing differences in personalities and the way things are done from year to year, depending on which teacher you have. We're slowly but surely losing that ... purposefully and deliberately weeding the individualism out of our teachers. And it's a crime.
  • In the only spare 20 or so minutes I had available, I went to pick up my contact lenses today (had the Dr.'s appt. last week). I rushed over to Eye Masters to grab them, only to be told by a bitchy emo girl with attitude that I had to see the doctor again to get them "fitted." HUH? Isn't that what you originally measured my eyes for last week at my appointment? So even though I'd already paid for my contacts, they wouldn't give them to me. On top of that, they had no appointment times today or tomorrow (just for me to stick the freakin' contacts in my eyes and the doctor to confirm that they're "ok" ??), so I now have to wait 'til Thursday to go back. It was horrible, and it got ugly. I asked to see this policy in writing, and they couldn't show it to me. I asked for a refund, and they wouldn't give it to me. If I had more time and energy, I'd make it my mission to bring them some major trouble. And the emo bitch didn't help. I could go on and on ... but I'm getting sick just thinking about it. And an entire waiting room full of eye patients got to witness this altercation. Ugh. I'm going to go pop a few TUMS.
  • I had to go to the Hallmark store to grab a Baptism card for my nephew (the occasion is this Saturday). I'd just picked up Aidan, so he was with me. Like all Hallmark stores, this particular establishment had racks upon racks of Ty Beanie Baby-type animals. Aidan found a Blue (a la Blue's Clues), and began to make small, 2-year-old barking noises. The woman at the cash register looked at him and said, "Oh, please don't touch that, honey," (in a really abrasive tone). So I took the toy from Aidan. She then looked at me and said, "You really need to control your child." No joke. Yep. That's what she said. I walked out without my card. It was horrible. I was pissed off, humiliated, and exhausted.
Now for my pity party ... it's really hard being a "single" mom (which I currently am since hubby is deployed for the next 20 months). And it's equally hard being a single mom with a full-time job. Plus, I just miss Ty. Very, very much. I fear that my emotions are starting to get the best of me, and that's unacceptable.

Thank goodness for cold glasses of gin and tonic ... and good friends with equally good listening ears and strong shoulders.

Tomorrow WILL be a better day.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Twilight coming earlier

November, not December!

The object of my obsession will be arriving in theaters a few weeks earlier than previously expected. Twilight, the movie based on one of the greatest series of books EVER (written by Stephenie Meyer) will be released on November 21 rather than December 12. Yippee! Thanksgiving will be that much more festive!

Here's the explanation from Stephenie's website:

So, many of you have heard that the release of the sixth Harry Potter
movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has been moved from this
Thanksgiving to next summer. First and foremost, please know that this schedule
change has absolutely nothing to do with Twilight, me, or Summit Films (so
enough with the imdb death wishes, okay?). This is Warner Bros. decision, and it
was not motivated by anything Twilight-related.

Now for the good news! Though we're all sad
to have to wait for Harry Potter, this open spot at the theater creates a cool
opportunity. The good people at Summit were thrilled to let me know that now
Twilight fans are going to get their movie three weeks earlier than scheduled.
That's right—Twilight will be released in theaters November 21st! Let the
merry-making commence!


WORKS FOR ME! Crazy and coincidentally enough, I may actually be arriving in Forks, WA that night to stay with Ty for Thanksgiving (haven't decided yet). How wild and crazy would that be to get to see the movie in the actual location of the book? My heart is pitter-pattering just thinking about it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

an Olympic "Why?"

File this under totally inconsequential and petty ...

... but why do some of the female gymnasts (thank goodness, not the Americans, it appears) plaster their head with those [white] bendy metal hair clips? I understand wanting to keep the little wisps of stray hairs out of their faces. But why not use the more inconspicuous bobby pins?

So annoying.

Go, USA!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

music suggestion, du jour

First off, I can't believe I haven't blogged since TS Edouard! Yikes!

I've actually thoroughly been attempting to soak up my last few days of summer before returning back to work, which I officially did today ... so painful. I'm trying to be positive and energetic about the upcoming school year, but my heart just isn't into it right now. To be fair, I'm not much into anything at the moment, other than good wine (or cold beer), sitting out by the pool, and hanging out with Aidan. But I've got a classroom full of young minds that need me, regardless of my emotional state, so I need to step up.

I'm digressing ... supposed to be talking about music. Focus.

I was listening to my usual "in the car" music the other day (XM Flight 26) and the DJ was introducing a song. She described seeing the artist at a live performance in NYC and said he was remarkably talented, so I was really anxious to hear the song. I immediately loved it -- Come On Get Higher by Matt Nathanson. It's awesome. The crazy thing is, he's just released his sixth (yes, SIXTH!) album. Where the hell has this guy been? Or where the hell have I been??!! Apparently he's got a pretty big following. I need to get out more, I guess. He's incredible -- his acoustic sounds go straight to the soul.

I love what he has to say at the end of the bio on his website ...

"In some ways, I think this is a really mature record, but I don't think it's necessarily one that says 'okay, I'm an adult now," he says. "A lot of times when artists 'mature' in a certain way, they lose the stuff that drew you in and actually blew your mind in the first place. I don't think you need to stay stuck in perpetual adolescence, but you do need to keep part of you frozen -- so you don't lose touch with the wonderment of seeing the world the way you did at 17. I want to hang onto that."

Word, Matt. You've got a new fan down in Texas.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

rain-maker Edouard

A fun way to spend a Tuesday ... sleeping in with my little guy (the 2-year-old, not the 37-year-old), leisurely drinking my coffee, enjoying the dark skies and rain outside, and having absolutely nowhere in the world to be. It's a pretty great way to start the day.

Aidan is thrilled with the "just in case" flashlights we've got on hand. He keeps insisting that I turn off all the lights so he can get the full effect of things. It's a hoot ... mainly because I remember being a little kid myself and getting a huge kick out of the flashlights and storms -- that's big-time fun.

Tropical Storm Edouard is currently pushing his way on land and through the Houston area right now, but it looks like we've dodged another potential bullet. Some of the talking heads on the news were just commenting that if this storm had made landfall at Kemah rather than where it did, we could've been looking at an 8-10 foot wall of water ... and this was only a tropical storm, not a hurricane.

All of these little "test drives" will hopefully prepare us for the big one. Yeah, most of Houston is shut-down today for basically just a really good thunderstorm system, but it never hurts to be safe ... rather than sorry.

Monday, August 04, 2008

the calm before the storm

Looks like we're about to get hit by our first storm of the season tomorrow. Tropical Storm Edouard is churning in the Gulf, right off the coast of the Louisiana. And current indications have the dude pointing squarely in our direction, as far as landfall. So the Houston/Galveston area is currently scrambling to prepare (this one really snuck up on us).

I headed out to Kroger and Costco this morning to stock up on the essentials, which I hate to admit, I hadn't done yet this hurricane season. Costco was a mad scene, of course. I dreaded even going inside, but surprisingly, people seemed to be much more friendly and helpful than usual. People were patient, helpful with one another, and smiling.

Times like this always make me proud of my neighbors, and proud to be a Houstonian and a Texan. Tough times seem to bring out the best in us.

Anyway, it doesn't look to be too fierce a storm. But a hurricane is a hurricane. You just don't mess with 'em. Hopefully we won't even need our batteries, flashlights, and bottled water. But as those of us who've been born and raised on the Gulf Coast always remember, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


I don't know if anyone who is reading this is as much of a Stephenie Meyer fan as I am (except for B, whose devotion to all things Meyer-related eclipses [haha] my addiction). This sounds far too dramatic, but I've almost breathlessly been awaiting the release of Breaking Dawn, Meyer's fourth (and supposedly final) book in her Twilight series. August 2nd has kind of been a beacon on the horizon during an otherwise tough summer -- in a nutshell, yesterday was a big day for this reader.

So I started reading ... and reading ... and reading ... and reading (I didn't turn off the lights 'til well after midnight). The first few chapters were captivating. For those of us who have been following Bella and Edward's love story, it was exactly the dream that we'd been waiting for -- pure bliss.

Then (insert dramatic music), things took a decidedly unexpected turn -- something began to unfold that I did not see coming, which is usually the mark of a great plot, right? Well, I'll be honest: reading through it was agonizing. So much so that I had this queasy, sick feeling throughout the 300 or so pages that it took to get through the "event". It reminded me of how I felt throughout most of Meyer's Host -- "This is disturbing. How did her mind come up with this?" To put it mildly, I was heartbroken.

But ... because of my 'In Stephenie I Trust' outlook, I kept reading. But I've got to be honest ... it was HARD. The more I read, the more I shook my head. What was she thinking?! How could she do this to me?! All of my favorite characters were there, but it was all wrong! Had Stephenie fallen and hurt her head while writing? Had she encountered a rebellious stage in her own personal career that she was now purging through Breaking Dawn? I don't know what to say, other than I was sort of mindlessly following the book along last night, not really grasping what I was reading...

... until page 387. And, coincidentally, the title of that chapter is New. Just when I thought I couldn't make it through the second half of the book, it was like an oasis in the desert.

I've now entered the second half of the book, and although things aren't perfect, and I still don't really see where Steph is heading with all of this madness, I'm starting to smile again. Things are starting to feel sort of right again in the world of Forks, Washington.

So, onward I now read. What a wild ride it's been so far. It's only 9:00 a.m., and I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. Wish me luck. I'm goin' in ....

Friday, August 01, 2008

we're officially ON THE CLOCK!

Ty's first day of work at his new unit is today. Yippee! The countdown can now begin! I know it's never a good thing to wish time away, so I'm not going to do that. But I am going to hope that it flies by ... rapidly. How's that for rationalization?

And to close the whole circle of my Twilight synchronicity journey, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Breaking Dawn will be in my happy little hands tomorrow! When I first heard several months ago when the release date of Breaking Dawn was (exactly one day after Ty's arrival in Forks/La Push), I attributed it once again to that weird, crazy, meant-to-be energy that has surrounded me since we received his orders to Quillayute River, and I began reading my favorite series ever. I'm not losing my marbles ... only continuously trying to get through this whole wild ride with some understanding of why it's happening -- with faith and hope.

As my sister says, there's no such thing as a coincidence!