Friday, August 30, 2013

Cute Bunny with a cart full of carrots EEEEEE!

I've been really busy lately working at my new job, getting ready for the students to start next week.  It's a lot of work, you guys.  It is a LOT of work, so I don't know how good I am going to be about updating for awhile.  Just know this:  My new job is fantastic so far, but just when I thought it was too good to be true, I found out the school is haunted.  I wrote that as a status update on Facebook and one of my friends wrote, "Always new challenges, right?"  I LOLed.  So since I don't plan on being a very good blogger, I've put a cute picture for you to see when you click over to see if I've updated.  No, I haven't updated, but hey, there's a cute bunny to look at, right?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Red Flags

I got a new job.  I told you last week about my dilemma with the job I accepted at the middle school, which is different than the middle school I worked at last year, but in the same district.  I was offered the position of teaching what I did last year with the addition of one class to get me up to full time.  I was a little nervous because I've heard terrible, TERRIBLE things about this particular school.  Apparently they had an awful principal for years and staff moral was as low as low can be.  But this year they got a new principal!  The school is in a gorgeous new building!  Things will be fine!  Right?

One of the first red flags was before I even went to the school.  I printed out the staff list.  It lists who works there, what they do, and their phone numbers.  About half the staff is for special needs students; like special education teachers, emotional and behavioral specialists, social workers, psychologists etc etc. Normally in any public school situation, at most 20% of the students have special needs. What is with this one?   Red flag.

Another red flag is when I went there the first few times.  I did not have a classroom, or even a desk, and I was not scheduled to teach the two classes I agreed to.  I was scheduled to teach four classes, one of which included a class teaching kids who have managed to get to middle school and are still functionally illiterate.
Some people are good at teaching that.  I am not.  I would never have agreed to teach that.

The class I had agreed to teach, Read 180, is a program that the district bought several years ago that cost tens of thousands of dollars.  It is highly researched, intense reading program that is proven to work at getting readers who are a little bit behind up to grade level.  The most important part of the program is that the classes are taught in two hour blocks because if someone needs to acquire and make up skills they didn't get before, it's going to take more time than one 50 minute class a day.  I was signed up to teach that, but because of scheduling conflicts, they cut it down to one period blocks, which totally dismantles the program and dooms it to fail.  They spent lots of time and money training me to do this program.  I know how it works and I know that it isn't going to work in one period blocks.

Aside from teaching remedial reading, and reading to non-readers, I was scheduled to teach one section of English for seventh grade, and one section of English for eighth grade.  These classes with "normal" kids are jam-packed.  Last year there were 40+ kids in one class on average.  That is overwhelming.  Can you imagine the amount of correcting?  Yikes.

Also, one day I stopped by the school to drop my stuff off and as I was between loads, I discovered that the building automatically locks down at 3:15.  Why?  I don't know.  But it's like a prison.  I had to have a custodian escort me in and up to my room, unlocking doors all along the way.  Why does a school need to be locked down like a maximum security prison?  Red flag.

In the midst of freaking out about all the red flags and feeling like a trapped animal, the college prep charter school called me again and asked if there was anything they could do to lure me away from the public school.  Yes.  Yes there was.  They offered me a little more money than they had previously.  I took their offer.  Now I will be teaching small classes of 9th and 10th graders.  I'll be teaching World Literature and English Fundamentals.  I also get to teach an elective of my own choosing, which will of course be The Biography in which we will begin the course by reading a biography of George Washington.  Duh.

I'm a little overwhelmed right now trying to figure out a new system, and meeting new people etc. etc. but I have not seen any glaring red flags as of yet.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Full Grown Lady

I've been feeling pretty good about myself lately.  I got a new job*, I am getting in shape, I got a new purse, I finally got a cute haircut; anyway, I think I might have been getting a little too big for my britches because I really got taken down a peg or two today.  First of all, it is hotter than hell.  I did not want to cook so I offered to go get KFC for the family.  That also made me feel like hot stuff because I never let my family eat that shit, so they were pretty excited.

So I'm driving along with my arm out the window, letting the wind blow through my new cute haircut, and something hit my arm.  No biggy.  It happens.  I'm breezy.  I don't care.  So I continued to wave my arm in the air, singing along with the radio, and feeling like I'm a lady with her shit together.  Then I noticed something moving around by my legs.  It was a bee.  At least I think it was a bee.  It was big and flying, but to be honest, I was freaking out so badly I couldn't exactly make out what kind of bug it was.   That was obviously what hit my arm and then ricocheted into the car and was stunned for a few seconds.  Because it was stunned, it was flying slowly and bumping into my legs.  Needless to say I started screaming and kicking, which isn't the best thing to be doing when you're driving 60 miles per hour on a busy highway.  So, being the safety conscious full-grow-lady-with-her-shit-together that I am, I pulled over, jumped out of the car and screamed and writhed around like an idiot for all the people also driving on the busy highway to see.  Even while I was doing it, I thought to myself, "Why am I doing this?  I'm making a fool of myself.  It's just a stupid bee.  Calm down and get back in the car.  The bee is gone."  So I checked the car and couldn't spot the bee.

I got back in and got back on the road and admonished myself for acting like such a spaz.  I'm a full grown lady with her shit together.  I can't act like that.  I decided to just keep my arm in the car.  To stop living so wild and crazy, on the edge; to reduce some risk.  Just when I was sure I was away from any other drivers or any homeowners that saw me acting like such a moron, I saw the bee again.  It was flying around by my waist, slow and menacing.  Why do they do that?  It's so scary.  Just when I thought I would have to go through the entire, embarrassing, exhausting pull-over-and-spaz-out routine again, the bee flew out the open window.  Whew.  

After I got the KFC, I decided to stop and get some beer too because I deserve it.  1) because I'm a lady with her shit together, and 2) because that ordeal I endured with the bee made me crave something to soften what seem to be some pretty sharp edges.  I got the food out to the appreciation and delight of my family, and then I opened a beer and promptly spilled half of it in the open silverware drawer, managing to hit every single utensil.

Now, two-hours later, after sweating over cleaning the millions of utensils that fit into a seemingly small drawer,  I'm a full-grown lady with her shit together with a sparkly clean silverware drawer.

Now THAT's impressive.

*story to follow

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

School needs to start now UPDATED

Kira's August art project. She said she got a headache blowing the egg out of the shell and almost lost the will to stuff the tiny rubber chicken in it.  (For more of Kira's art go here.)

UPDATED:  It now has wings.  And we discovered that Kira has a "feather jar."

Friday, August 16, 2013


In the midst of my job-choosing stress, I nagged Kira to clean her room up because it is a dump.  She pretended to be busy in there for a while and then came out to the living room and sat down.  I said, "You CAN'T be done already.  Go finish."  She said, "I AM done, it's clean!"  So I got up to go check.  She jumped out of her chair and was on my heels as I walked into her room to see a slightly less disgusting mess.  I turned around to yell at her and she rubbed two wadded up one-dollar bills across my mouth and said, "Shhhhhhhhh.... you don't see anything," and then she pressed the two dollars into my palm and pushed me out of the room and shut the door quietly behind me.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Oh my god, what an EPICALLY shitty week this has been.  It actually started out pretty good.  Last week I had two job offers for the fall.  One was for a college prep charter high school and one was for the district I worked in last year doing the same thing I did last year for a hell of a lot more money than the college prep school.  So I turned down the high school job, (when I would LOVE to get back to teaching high school) for continuity, pay and benefits.  Oh well.  It's at a different school than the one I loved last year and I negotiated my way to full time by taking an additional class.  Pretty good huh?  Well, I've been to my new building twice and both times I left feeling like shit.  The first time was because rooms still weren't assigned (what?) so I couldn't start setting up, and because one of the custodians yelled at me and told me not to go in any rooms with wet wax!  Like I would.  Then I think he felt bad because he came back and asked who I was and to chit chat.  I told him I was new to the building this year and he actually said the words, "Welcome to hell."  I said, "THAAAAANKS!!!"

Then yesterday I called to see if rooms had been assigned yet and the secretary told me they had.  She said I would be in two rooms, and I'd be sharing both rooms.  Not ideal, but doable.  So I said I would stop by to drop some stuff off.  I looked at the room I thought I would mainly be in (four class periods a day out of six), and it isn't as gorgeous as my room last year, but it is certainly functional and will be fine, although someone else is totally moved in.  Her stuff is in the desk, her stuff is all over the place.  What about me?  I dropped off a load and went to get another.  When I tried to get back in the building, it was locked down.  I knocked on the door because my purse and car keys were still up in the room.  The crabby custodian opened the door and said, "The building locks down at three fifteen!"  Like I'm just supposed to know that.  What the fuck?  So I told him I was just dropping my stuff off.  He said, "You have to be out by three thirty!"  Whatever.  So I went up to drop off another load and I met another custodian.  I must have looked freaked out because he was very nice to me and chatted me up for a few minutes.  Then he said, "You want a piece of candy?"  and I almost cried.  Yes, I wanted a piece of candy.  He said, "You look like you could use it."  THEN I went into the office to talk to the secretaries and one of them let me look at the tentative schedule.  They have me scheduled to teach English 7, English 8, Reading, and Trans Reading.  Four preps.  I negotiated for two.  I can't do four preps.  I would do a shitty job and be stressed and crabby every single day.  So I left.  And then I freaked.  Apparently the schedule isn't "set in stone" but still.  I am totally stressed out.

And I gained two pounds last week.

And we let two of the three bunnies go this week and the third one died in my hands last night.  Don't know why.  He was fine, and then a few hours later was listless and weak and then died.

Then today I went to work, then I went to the beach with a couple of friends, and I got a call from the college prep school telling me that they want to try to counter the Duluth offer if I haven't signed any contract yet or anything.  I haven't.  They gave me a new offer which is still less money and the benefits package isn't as sweet, but I would be doing what I like, at a place I could have some ownership in (own room, teacher-governed school), I would have small classes, and when I go there I leave feeling inspired and not like total shit.

So now I have to make this decision all over again.  I talked to the principal at the middle school to see if she could give me any guarantees about what I would be teaching and where I would be teaching it.  She made no promises.  She said she would get back to me tomorrow.  I told the charter school people I would get back to them tomorrow.  Shit shit shit.

Now I'm going out to drink with some friends and then we are going to a play.  Hopefully after my first margarita my mind will slow down and I will be able to think without wanting to cry.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I saw this online last night:

It is a prescription drug for ladies who lose eyelash thickness as they age.  I am not even kidding.  Just one more way women are DISGUSTING as they get older; thin eyelashes, YUCK!  Go back in the house, you old hags!  The best part of it is the side effects:

1.  Effects on intraocular pressure.
2. Iris pigmentation (Turns your blue eyes brown)
3. Lid pigmentation
5.  Intraocular inflammation
6.  Macular edema

Does that sound worth it, or would you just rather use mascara which is cheaper, easier and safer; or just say fuck it, who cares about eyelashes?  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bunny Drunk

We have had these little baby bunnies for a week now.  They are off formula and totally on plants now and they are getting chubby.  I CANNOT STAND HOW CUTE THEY ARE.  It almost kills me.  They are generally pretty mean and feisty, but every so often they like to be snuggled and I hold them in my two hands up next to my face and rub their fur across my face and get completely intoxicated.  Bunny drunk. Sometimes I can even get bunny drunk just watching them eat and groom themselves.  They do that thing where they lick their paws and then clean their heads.  Jesus.

We have been letting them run around the yard to get used to outside lately.  We want to get them to be able to successfully run away and hide.  One of them succeeded tonight.  He got away from Kira and hid in the woods and she couldn't find him.  She crawled out of the brush full of scrapes with twigs in her hair and no bunny.  I hope he lives a long and productive life and I see a million of his babies hopping around here for years to come.

I took one of them outside today and tried to get him to hop away.  He wouldn't.  I laid down on the grass next to him and he just kept hopping up to me and eating grass right next to me.  Uh oh.  So then I stood up and tried to spook him a little.  I nudged him with my foot and he reared up and bared his teeth like he was going to fight with my foot. Crap.  I said, "You are a FLIGHT animal, not a FIGHT animal!  Hop away in an evasive manner!  Zig!  Zag!"  He didn't.  He just braced himself for a fight so I picked him up and brought him back in the house.  He was biting me the whole time. That one is as mean as a little snake.  No, I've had little snakes and they weren't nearly this aggressive and mean.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Delegator

This morning before I got up and went to work (I'm teaching summer school. And no, I am NOT crazy, why do you ask?) I woke Kira up and told her to scrub the shower because her miles-long hair clogs the drain, and her gallons of conditioner make a layer of slippery scuz on the floor.

When I got home the shower was clean.  I was happy.

Then Sam wandered up to me and asked, "Hey Mom, did you tell Kira to tell me to clean the shower this morning?"  I said, "NO, WHY?!"  He said, "Oh.  Well, I cleaned the shower."

I was immediately irritated with Kira.  That little turd, I thought.  I give her one thing to do and she pawns it off.  Ugh!  So I said to her, "I told YOU to clean the shower, not Sam.  Why did you tell him to do it?"  She could see I was annoyed and said, "Hey, the shower is clean, right?  What difference does it make who did what?"

She had a point.  Then I was irritated with Sam and said, "WHY on earth would I wake Kira up to tell her to tell you to do something?  Why would you even believe that?  Come ON!"

And then Sam felt like an idiot.

It was a win-win day for Kira.

She doesn't look like an evil genius.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Babies!

Mitch mowed under some stuff yesterday that hasn't been mowed under for quite a while and he found a wild rabbit nest.  I won't go into the details about that except we now have three baby bunnies!  Yay!

Normally I would be nervous about raising wild baby animals, but there is something you probably don't know about me: I am a rabbit whisperer.  I don't like to brag.  I raised a wild baby bunny several years ago and it was way smaller than these babies are.  He grew up and went off into the wild and I am sure fathered several generations of rabbits.  These bunnies are probably his great great great great great great great great (ad infinitum) grandbunnies.  I bet he is still hopping around out there somewhere remembering fondly his time with his human mother.

These babies are at least three weeks old, and would probably be fine out in the wild by themselves but there has to be some transition between being all snug in a nest to traumatically not being all snug in a nest, right?  I'm going to keep them for a while, feed them some kitten formula and freshly picked dandelion greens and let them grow a little and then set them free.  Maybe.

I was reading some stuff on the internet about caring for baby bunnies and one of the sites said I should let nature take its course and leave them alone because they would be better off without my interference. Maybe their mother would meet up with them again and they would be fine???  That's supposedly better than having me for a mom?  Please.  I might not be the greatest parent in the world but I am a way better mother than a rabbit.  Has a rabbit ever successfully raised two human babies?  No, but I have. And I have a dwelling free (mostly) of parasites and mosquitoes not made (primarily) with my own body hair.  If a rabbit has a question about raising a rabbit, can it Google it?  No.  They can't even read. Can a rabbit offer these babies protection from predators (and lawnmowers)? Obviously not.  Would their bio mom sit and cuddle with them while watching several episodes of Orange Is The New Black?  No.  Rabbits don't get Netflix.  Can you imagine: No Netflix??? Jesus.

So these babies are going to hang out with me for while, burrowing deeply into my robe sleeves, eating, and growing.  Then we'll see about transitioning them to the next stage in their lives which hopefully won't include getting eaten by raccoons.

Oh also, in the middle of the night I heard something on the deck so I got up to look and it was three baby raccoons eating dog food out of Maisy's dish.  They were cute but fiendish.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Luxury

No kid is ever going to tell their parent, "Wow.  You are doing everything right.  I have no complaints whatsoever!"  There is always something to complain about.  The latest around our house is that the toilet paper I buy isn't up to Kira's standards.  She claims she is so deprived of good toilet paper that she probably doesn't even know what the good stuff is really like. (She doesn't)  She says that the stuff they have at school is nicer than the stuff we have at home. 

A while back we went to the movies and she came out of the bathroom with a wad of toilet paper and proclaimed very loudly in the lobby, "Mom!  They have the good stuff!  Feel the luxury!"  and then rubbed the wad on my cheek.  It wasn't that nice, but it was two ply.  I buy one ply.  She brought the wad home with us and had big plans to ration it out to herself over the next several bathroom breaks.  She offered to share "the luxury" with me but I told her I didn't care about the quality of the toilet paper I use to dab my pee drips and then immediately flush.  She didn't believe me and left about a foot of it on my pillow in case I changed my mind.  Mitch says I should buy Quilted Northern sometime just to show her what real luxury is like. 

Lately road crews have been patching up our road.  They put some kind of sticky tar on the cracks and then go over it with toilet paper. 

Kira examined some of the road toilet paper and proclaimed that even that is nicer than the toilet paper I buy for my family.  She said it is at least two ply.  She is considering collecting some of the road luxury to add to her stash at home. 
Poor baby.