Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowed In

I have been snowed in for almost three days now.  There was that traumatic venture onto the roads yesterday but that's it.  I have watched every Christmas movie I own and have had plenty of time to get my Christmas presents wrapped and ready for action.  

Today was my birthday.  I was snowed in once before on my birthday when I was 8 or 9.  I was supposed to have a birthday party but one-by-one my friends called to say they couldn't make it.  I was so bummed and spent the evening watching Frosty the  Snowman alone.  I thought today would be a bummer too.  

But it wasn't.

I got plenty of phone calls and messages from the people  I love.  I had an excuse to hang out in my PJs all day and I enjoyed the peace of a winter's day from my balcony while sipping eggnog.  I thought about my age and some of my more prominent successes and failures.  I thought about the person I've become and about the events and people from my past and current life that has shaped the present me.  It turns out that I'm okay with who I am and found myself immensely grateful for what I have and who I have in my life.

There are people who read this blog.  Some of you have been an audience since I started this thing almost six years ago.  And since it's not all that entertaining or creative and since it doesn't provide anything intellectual or mind boggling you must read this crap because you for some reason or another are curious about what I'm doing and thinking.

So thanks.  Thanks for caring.  You're the people that have helped shape who I am and since I like me it's just more proof that you're good people.  I'm surrounded by good people.  What a great birthday present!  Happy birthday to me!!  :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow and Ice and Some Guy That's Nice

It snowed on Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Not a lot.  But enough to cause problems.  Church was cancelled and everybody was advised to stay home.  The news was full of comical (and some not so comical) reports and video of people thinking driving around the hilly Seattle area on ice was a fine Sunday activity.  It's times like these that I really wish I had a camera crew following me around for your viewing pleasure because this morning I was the idiot and I really don't think words will serve the tale. 
This morning we had a 2 hour delay.  I used those two hours to sleep and have a weird dream about showing up to work still in my pajamas and horrifically unshowered and my boss at the book store was the principal and the loonies from the book store were teachers and since it was a snow day hardly any kids showed up and we spent the day playing games and watching movies.  As I slept the snow thawed to create a safer driving situation.  Wait... no.  It didn't.
But time was up so I slid and cursed my way to the car armed with my purse, my keys and a water bottle filled with warm water.  I attacked my iced over windshield with the warm water and scraper then sat in my car while it warmed up.  Finally, I put the car in reverse, took a deep breath and started to back up.  So far so good.  My car was now facing up the hill.  I took my foot off the brake... and all hell broke loose.  I started to slide.  I slowly added gas.  Not enough.  I gassed it some more.  Still sliding.  I gave it its all.  I could see the smoke from my burning rubber in my rearview mirror.  I stopped.  Put the emergency brake on and started to think about my options. 
That's when the nice guy came over to me and said he was going to help.  I liked him right away because he didn't ask if I needed help.  That was obvious.  He just jumped into action.  He tried pushing my car at first while I tried gassing it again.  That didn't work so he went and got sand and put it in front of and behind all of my tires.  That worked for the few feet he had put sand down and then my car wheels spun again.  But, it did get me far enough up the hill that I could safely back down the rest of the hill and go out the other way.  I was going the wrong way on a one-way street but the guy I almost had a head-on collision with was cool about it. 
I slowly made my way down the other side of the hill and to the freeway which was all clear.  I almost had another sliding incident on a hill in the neighborhood of the school but with very few tears and only some minor heart convulsions I made it to work safely.  I turned on my computer and checked my email.  My principal had sent us a message letting us know that we were expected to be at work as close to the regular starting time as possible.  Delays didn't apply to us.  Well, you know what?  They apply to me!  If it's safe enough for me then it's safe enough for buses.  If a bus can't make it then I'm not going to risk it either.  That's the way I roll.  Also, I put in nearly ten extra unpaid hours last week alone making sure my students get the services they need.  I don't think they want to start playing the time counting game.  Also, I'm leaving as soon as the kids are gone.  So there.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Eye!

My eye is big and red and nasty.  Actually, not the eyeball.  Just the eyelid.  And just my left one.  It had been getting gradually worse and worse over the past few weeks and I eventually relented and went to the doctor when I woke up yesterday morning and couldn't open it at all.  I went into Urgent Care because I didn't want to wait until after Christmas for an appointment.  I kind of wanted my eye back right away.  I'm picky about that kind of thing.

The doctor looked at the thing and had a disgusted look on his face as he said, "Well, it could be a lot of things.  I don't know."  He then wrote me a prescription for some cream, told me to slab it on there twice a day and if the monster gets any bigger to see my regular physician.  Or not.  Maybe a dermatologist.  Or something.

So I went to the pharmacy and they didn't have the stuff and they asked me if I wanted to wait two days to have it shipped in.  I looked at the lady with my one eye and asked her to call around.  Somebody must have this crap.  Somebody did have that crap.  I went to the pharmacy next door, picked the junk up and bolted to the car.  It was only 11am and if I was lucky I could be back to work by 11:30.  

On the road, going 35mph while heading down a windy hill I decided now would be a good time for my first application.  I opened the tube, put a dab on my finger and gently touched it to the mountain that used to be my eye.  And it stung!!!  I mean... STUNG!  I screamed, my car swerved and through the tears in my one eye I did my best to realign my car back between the white and yellow lines.

By noon, I could open my eye a little bit.  I went to work and had a crap of a day.  Seriously.  It was pretty bad.  I almost threw my little teaching notebook down and walked out of there.  Who do they think they are, anyway??

I tried the cream again that night for my second daily application.  It didn't go much better than the first.  The only thing more disturbing than the searing pain that went through the back of my eye, into my head and down my spine was the fact that my matching screams didn't attract a single neighbor to check up on me.  Comforting.

Good news, though.  I can open my eye.  It's ugly.  But it's open.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Drinking Party

I haven't been to a party where alcohol was the main guest since... never.  I've heard about those parties.  Seen pictures of those parties.  Cleaned up after those parties.  Drove some of those partiers home and put them to bed.  But I've never actually been to one of those parties.  I wasn't in the cool crowd in high school and my college years were spent on a dry campus.
But I went to one of those parties on Saturday night.  With people twice my age.  On the false pretense that it was a "work" party.  They didn't intend to mislead me.  But they did.  It started at 6pm.  We were asked to bring cookies, appetizers and a white elephant gift and were told to be prepared for some karaoke madness.  We were told to bring our own alcohol if desired but that soda would be provided.  I had to work until 7 and the lady's house was 45 min away so I told them I'd be late.  I brought cookies and a white elephant gift just in case but I figured I'd probably miss the cookie and gift exchange.  But I'd still get to see some old friends before everybody headed out for the night.  So the trip would be worth it.
It was.  It was really worth it. 
When I walked in, I recognized only one face... the face of our hostess.  She said the others would be coming in a bit.  I waited.  And waited.  The 6 or 7 guests drank and drank and the karaoke performances got more and more entertaining.  Still I waited.  Finally one face I knew showed up.  Then hours later 3 more.  By this time people were falling down, story lines sounded like something out of Alice's Wonderland and the beverages were running low.
We finally exchanged gifts and cookies which I had to heavily help facilitate because they couldn't remember the rules but were adament about playing.  The neighbor was half carried home and put in bed only to pop back in ten minutes later forgetting why she had gone home.  One guy outed his buddy to his fiance about his allegid marijuana use which turned out to be the highlight of my night besides the times the same guy shoved a mic in my face saying, "Wanna sing?  Sing!  Come on!  No?!  Alright then!" and then, before I could respond, went on to sing a song from The King and I.
Getting to know you... gettig to know all about you...