Friday, June 27, 2008

Summertime and the Living is Easy

As you may have guessed, the school year did end without incident. I got all my boxes checked on my exit ticket, and the principal sort-of-kind-of-but-not-really apologized for what a tough year it was. Then he checked my final box, and I was free. My teaching partner and I immediately went for lunch and drinks to celebrate. Ever since then I've been wandering around in a happy fog. What day is it? What time? Who knows? Who cares?

I won't go into the nitty gritty details because I don't want to make anyone too jealous. Let's just say that I don't get up at 6am any more. I'm getting some (but not too much) housework done. I'm getting some (but probably not enough) wedding stuff done. I move slowly, and no one cares. I can go a whole day without talking to ANYONE. I'm no longer falling asleep at 8pm, so I can actually go out in the evening and still be reasonably social. May summer last forever.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

To-Do List

Completed Items:

about 700,000

Outstanding Items:

about 7

Hours remaining until freedom:

about 22

Patience left:

about 2%

Friday, June 13, 2008


This is the last Friday of the 07/08 school year. Only four more get-ups before we are done, done, done! I am personally very happy to the see end coming so close. I am sick, sick sick, of all the papers, all the book inventories, all the grumpy co-workers, all the stuff that needs stowing, all the computers that need breaking down, all the icky nasty parents, and all the manic kids.

A few nights ago, I had a dream that I was trying to crawl through a tight cave/tunnel full of jagged rocks. Every time I tried to move forward, rocks would catch on my clothes and hair and sometimes skin. I kept having to stop and untangle myself, and it ended up being one of those really frustrating dreams where a lot of time seems to pass but nothing really happens. I could see the light up ahead, but I just couldn't manage to get there. Don't need much deep analysis to understand from where that came.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vegas Baby

Okay I have to admit that M and my friend C were right, Vegas can be fun. Recently, while M was away on his bachelor weekend, C took me to Vegas for the first time since I was nine. I have vague memories of playing "bop the mole" at Circus/Circus, but that was about it. Thus, this trip was a whole new experience.

We left on Saturday morning which turned out to be a great choice since we breezed through check-in and security. The flight was on-time and without incident, and we even got the luxury of a first class up-grade! It seems as though the airlines are having much more trouble selling full-price first class tickets because they were offering $50 upgrades on all three of our flights going and coming back. With such a short flight, it didn't make that much difference, but I can really see why it's so nice for a longer trip.

We arrived in Vegas in the early afternoon, collected our bags, and caught a cab to our hotel. Did I mention that our hotel was the huge black pyramid that you can see from the airport? Yep, we stayed at the Luxor for our first night. It was thick with kitsch, but absolutely perfect for a first Vegas experience. Once we'd dropped off our bags, we went off in search of food. What we found was a casual lunch place on the strip with the best Mexican food I've had in a very long time.

After a few hours of goggling at all there is to see on the strip, we made our way back to the hotel for spa treatments. It turns out that good spa treatments are wonderful no matter where you find them. Completely relaxed, we headed out to dinner and a survey of some of the more interesting hotels. The Bellagio is quite impressive with its fabulous gardens in the middle, and, while we were leaving, we happened to have our one and only celebrity spotting of the trip. Mini-Me (aka Vern Troyer) was there with a group of average-sized body guards. We were too amazed to snap any pictures, but there can be no doubt that it was him.

Caesar’s Palace went on for miles, but eventually we did come out sort of close to The Venetian. Now this was the place that M stayed last time, and he raved about its more dramatic touches. I have to say, the fake Italian neighborhoods complete with "blue skies" were quite something. We had dinner at a "sidewalk" cafe, and then began the trip back to our hotel. I'm afraid that I cramped C's usual Vegas style with my wimpy internal clock. We were in bed by 1am.

The rest of our trip followed in a similar mold. We relaxed by the pool, had an amazing dinner at Red Square, and C even got hit on by a perfectly nice drunken Californian. We lost about $7 each a nickel slot machines, and our entire gambling session lasted about half an hour. I now believe people who say that Vegas can be fun for those who don't gamble. On the whole, this trip was a great way to forget about everything stressful in life. Next time I want to go with M, and I want to make it to a few of the millions of things we just didn't have time to do on this visit. Thanks very much to C for the opportunity!

Friday, June 06, 2008

The W Word

Several months ago M and I checked with a local restaurant about hosting our rehearsal dinner. They quoted us a nice, reasonable number for 30-40 people. I breathed a sigh of relief. However, a few weeks ago, M called to confirm the number and hash out the details. All of a sudden the dinner would be SIX times more expensive than the original quote! Why so much? I think it was because M used the "wedding" word to describe the event.

The restaurant claims that they have to charge so much because it's a Friday night, and their restaurant would be full without our party. However, I've done the math, and this place would need to turn over these tables at least five times in one evening to make anywhere near as much as they would like to charge us. Given that their dinner service starts at 5:00 and ends at 9:00, that would be quite an impressive feat. The old adage about never using the word "wedding" with vendors really is true. It causes them to get dollar signs for eyes. We will be taking our large party elsewhere.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Unusual Genetic Traits

A health teacher at our school was doing a short unit on genetics with her students. Part of the unit was a survey of the more obvious physical traits that are inherited. This survey asked students to go around the room and look for peers who had certain traits, and then ask them if their mother, father, or grandparents had the traits as well. A grid was provided for students to record the collected information. Some of the traits included dimples, curly hair, blue eyes, a cleft chin, and the "Hitchhikers' Thumb."

Another trait that teacher meant to mention was the "Vulcan Signal" from Star Trek. You know this one, it's the "live long and prosper" hand sign. However, the teacher must have been in a big hurry because when she typed up the paper she made a slight error. She swapped a second v for the c in the word "Vulcan" to create the heretofore unknown "Vulvan Signal" from Star Trek. This may help to explain why Captain Kirk was always so distracted by all those alien ladies! Luckily, this was a 6th grade class, so not that many students noticed. However, if any 8th-graders happen to get hold of that paper...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Businesses of the Future

Last week my class was studying economics. We always have fun discussing the who, where, and why of money, goods, and services. One of the projects we tried out for this year was the build-a-business plan. Kids were asked to fill out a business proposal, present it to their peers, and then try to solicit "investments" in the form of votes. Here are a few of the more amusing/creative ideas:

---Jewelry that changes color according to your outfit

---A flavored French fry restaurant where the food has no fat or calories

---Sunglasses that play music

---A chore-doing service for kids (can you tell we're in an affluent area? Ugh!)

---Hovercars that run on "organic" fuel

but the best one by far:

---A genetic mutation company in which you can order plants, animals, or even people with special genetic mutations. Paris Hilton is the spokes model because she loves her new wings.