Thursday, June 25, 2009

Winding down again....

Winding down again....

Its that time of year again. Today was the last day of school. In a way I am so glad that it is over. But I will miss the kids.

This morning was like any other morning. I dreaded going to work because of being up half the night with my daughter. Its not that she was actually up but that Im up on watch duty. Its a habit now. Today they are celebrating summer birthdays with one big party. I went in with a giant cookie that was decorated like a cake with the whole Happy Birthday Cami thing on it. Lets sugar them up for the last day.

I had to take half days for these two last days. They are half days for the kiddies but not for the staff. I find that to be pretty raw. Like what will we be doing anyways? Apparently we are to move everything from room to room for those teachers that are trading places. I would have stayed to help but there was no way that I could. I had to leave to go get Cami and there was no way that I was going to bring her back to the other school. Plus this would give me some time to hang out with my friends at her school. I miss them terribly. Its like I lost my family.

I parked the car out back and went inside. A feeling of sadness went over me. It was so good that people were welcoming to me and gave me hugs and that they missed me. We all exchanged email addresses and phone numbers. I will get together with them over the summer. That is for sure. I need Ami Jo to model stuff for me.

Leaving was very sad to me though. They were having a luncheon and I just couldnt sit there. The kids werent allowed and I didnt think it was appropriate for them to just hang out in the hall while the adults had fun. There was a meeting and all the new staff would be introduced. It wouldnt matter to me or not if I met them because I wont be working there next year. That alone is depressing enough.

I did receive my notice to return for next year. I will be working at the new school. More than likely in the special ed room. I dont mind working with the kids there but when I started there I was met with great hostility. I dont belong with them. At least that is the impression that I get. Im exclude out of everything. But the good thing is that I am included with the rest of the staff. Believe me, I didnt choose to be there and Im not there to steal anyones thunder. Everyone knows that I hate being in the spotlight. I guess they just need to get that point. Maybe next year they will be more welcoming. I dont know. Somehow I highly doubt that though.

After school we went to see grandpa and went out to lunch. We went to the mall and then we came home. It was a decent afternoon. My father wants to go to the park tomorrow. The one where I go hiking at. I have no idea what he wants to do there. He cant walk the trails. There really isnt much else to do there for him except hang out in the hot sun at the lookout. A picnic maybe. But there is alot of walking. From the bathrooms to the playground and all that stuff. I know he wont do that and I dont want to do that when it is hot and humid. Im a cold weather person.

We shall see what happens in the morning when he calls. The weather man is also calling for some storms so maybe that will deter him from wanting to go up there. It wouldnt be pleasant to be in such a high place with lightning. I could take him to the nature center and hang out there for a little while. We shall see.

Saturday I have a copper wire class with Juan. Then Sunday will be at the camp. I hope it will be a good weekend for that. I know right now my mom is getting some serious storms there. I was tempted to call her tonight but Im sure she wouldnt be able to hear me. I will call tomorrow.

Til then, Im going to chill out and relax.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


This is a video made from people with way too much time on their hands.

Very cool though.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not By The Hair Of My....

Not By The Hair On My.....

Neck. I dont have chin hair.

I wish that I could have saved a video of the weather that was here yesterday. Holy Moly. It wasnt pleasant at all.

During the afternoon, I was in the room upstairs at the school when suddenly, out of the blue, the lightning flashed and the thunder cracked. I was sitting on the window sill with the window open when it happened. Scared the living daylights out of me. I really dont like thunderstorms and when they make the sharp cracking sound, that scares me even more. A few of the kids were a little shaken. Not stirred. But they had a good laugh because they said that I jumped. All the hair on the back of my neck was standing on edge though.

Later that evening, I was home chillin' out with the cat and the pooch. Cami was watching tv and everything was relaxed. I had the shades closed and everything was closed up because I had the ACs on and cooling the house down. I didnt have a chance to prepare as I didnt see the flash of lightning. The crack of the thunder was so loud and so forceful, I jumped out of my skin and the cat tried to get under the matress. Im sure that if someone saw me, they would have called me an Xray.

A city near by was reporting hail the size of golfballs and I wasnt looking forward to that. The booms were loud, the lightning was bright and the rain was coming down in buckets. I checked the severe weather stations and there wasnt any reports of tornadoes around. Im thankful for that. The sky sure as hell looked it though. I was watching the clouds change directions a few times before the storm finally settled down. Yeah, dummy me, watching the storm from the windows. I was watching for signs that we would have to hit the basement. Like that would happen anyways because we would have to go outside to get to the basement door.

The only time I like a thunderstorm is when I am at the camp. The camp is located at the base of a mountain so when the thunder hits, it echoes through the mountain range. One roll of thunder can last a long time and it does sound really cool. I dont like thunderstorms at night. Im always afraid of a power outage and that just fuels my fear of the dark. Im not ashamed to say that I am scared. I have my reasons. But I always have a flashlight nearby.

Friday, June 05, 2009

40 is the new...40...

40 is the new...40....

Im using that quote from Tony. I prefer not to accept it though. Im not ready for. Sounds depressing doesnt it?

I think what Im trying to get at is that I really didnt want to be 40. I didnt want to be 30 either. I dreaded 30. This year is no different.

I think back on my brothers words to me. On my 30th birthday he said to me, "I know Im getting old when my baby sister turns 30." Im wondering what he is thinking now?

I really dont know why it bothers me so much. Im just not ready to accept it. I know I dont look 40. But its just one of those things where I think I have a fear of getting old too fast. I havent done all the things that I wanted to do yet. Maybe thats it.

I know in past blogs, I have told stories about past birthdays. I really dont actually have them. I dont really celebrate them. To me its not a big deal to be excited about them. This year it is no exception.

My morning started out like any other. My daughter was being a pain in the rear as always that early in the morning. Getting her to school is a challenge. Once shes there though, she is usuallyfairly good because her medication has kicked in. Now that I am in another school, I dont see that child. I only see the one that her meds are worn off.

But today she wasnt all that good. She had good intentions but that just lead to trouble. She was trying to stop her friends from fighting and ended up in the middle of it. So she spent the day in the Time Out room. I got the email from Mary telling me to call her about it. But at least she didnt start it. She ended it though. Not sure if I should be proud of that or not.

I went on to my school this morning thinking that I wasnt really in the mood to deal with crap. I felt that I should just adapt a mellow attitude and it will all go smooth. It pretty much did. Some of the kids remembered me talking about it being my birthday. But that was mentioned last week. Good thing they can remember that but they cant remember the school rules. Go figure. Selective memory.

The morning went pretty smooth. My one on one was doing a great job and he is adapting to me very well. He knows he will be rewarded for good behavior. He likes the computer so he knows he has to get his morning work done to get some play time til mom comes to get him. Hes getting used to this.

My afternoon was a little different though. Just before school ended, one of the kids was in flip out mode and I somehow got the brunt of it. He started to kick me and I had to restrain him for a little while. Its not all that fun when they are full of anger, adrenaline and sweaty. Oh the joy of holding down a sweating kid. To make matters worse, after I was able to calm him down, he sat there and peed his pants. Im glad I have that sort of impact on him. He wasnt scared of me. He was being defiant and then ended up going home with wet pants. Dont worry, I wasnt mean and put him on the bus that way. His mom came in to get him and she took him home that way. Not my problem when mom comes in the door.

So I decided that I was going to brush that off my back and get on with my day. I headed to Cami's school to pick her up and I was told to come to the break room with Kim to see the new goodies she bought. She had some really cool beads. That is the thing with us. We are both bead addicts. Of course she blames me for it. He he he. Moi? I know not of what you speak.

I was going to get some chicken at the BBQ but I realized that I didnt bring any money with me. So I figured I would go cash my pay check and come back to get some. I ended up hanging out at the school with my friends though. I spent too much time there and wasnt able to cash my check. But she also came out with some hand made birthday cards that brightened my day. She had the kids from my former class make them. I miss them really bad. I will have to make an appearance to see them before school ends.

I decided to just go straight home though. It was being to wear thin on me. My day was getting more and more exhausting and I wanted nothing more than to just take a shower and wash that sweat off me. It was gross. I got home and then thought about getting the plans ready for some yard sales for tomorrow. Kim is going with me and we will have some fun. I hate doing it alone and she finally has some time off. I like hanging with her. We have a good time.

So I ate some dinner and planned out the day. I will be getting up early tomorrow to go. I have some that I particualrly want to go to. Yep, Im pretty anal when it comes to yard sales. I get out the street maps and the note pad. I mark all the ones I want in the paper and then on the note pad I map them out in order of location. Its a mad dash to hit all the good ones before noon. Kim has to be home because she has to work and I have an appointment with a lady abotu a trunk at 2pm.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I have an addiction to antiques. Wait, I know I mentioned that before. I use them though. I like the look and the feel of something that has been around and worn in. Things were made so much better and the quality is great. The new stuff today just doesnt last. Think about it. I can get a new bedroom set now and in about 10 years it will be pretty much shot. The bedroom set that I have now is over 100 years old and its still strong and sturdy. It makes a big difference. But I also like the story the piece has to tell. Not so much in words but the history itself. I like to know where it came from and how it got here. Yeah, Im weird like that. I like history.

So tonight I will be turning in a little early to get some extra sleep so that I can be fresh in the morning. Of course a trip to get coffee will be in order though.

So thats how I spent my 40th birthday. Just a normal day.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lets Rock The House....

Lets Rock The House....

Yeah, I know I havent put up the other posts yet that I have been working on but this one was more important.

As you all know, my daughter is nine years old. Last year she decided that she wanted to play the violin. Actually she wanted the drums but that wasnt happening. Even though my mom indulged me in my musical whims, we dont have a garage here. Trust me, a drumset in the livingroom is not going to happen any time soon.

Originally she wanted a guitar too. I picked one up for her for Christmas and she seemed to take right to it. She got the book and a little CD thing but she prefered to play on her own. Im the type that can usually figure out how to play an instrument and I have played quite a few. Guitar was not one of them. I took lessons in various instruments wen I was in school but I always had this one thing that held be back on it. I cant read music. I have tried and tried with various teachers to show me, but I just couldnt do it. I could play by ear very well though.

So when my kid tells me that she wants to play an instrument, Im all for it. But Im going to makie sure that she has the best teachers I can afford so that she will be able to read music. Not that I didnt have great teachers. I just couldnt read it. Anywho, last year, the strings teacher announced to the school that she applied for a grant for more string instruments and it was granted. She received 20 new violins for the school. That was so awesome.

After the assembly was over, I saw my kid go up to her and ask if she could play one of them. At this time, she was 8 and in 3rd grade. This was not allowed because instruments are to only be played from 4th grade and up. But Colleen, being the sweetheart that she is, let Cami play one and said that since she was ADHD, this would be a great tool for her to use as a structure for learning. But we cant let the principal know. Not that it wouldnt really be allowed but for the fact that she might have a problem with a 3rd grader doing this.

Well she picked up that violin and started to play somethign random on it and she was good. She really liked it and it was set in stone that she would be taking lessons. This was a little late in the year for anything serious but she would try. And try she did. She was able to play in the Spring concert last year and she did very well. She only knew one song but that was enough. I was proud. But then came the big one. All City. Would she be able to play for All City? You bet she did. My mom came up from Florida early so that she could see her little baby play at one of the most beautiful places here. I myself have never played here and to see my child on that stage was just wonderful. I cried through the whole thing.

But remember that last year was not a serious thing regarding her learning to play. But she was playing and she ended up with the older kids. The violin seems to be a true talent for her. But then there was also the issue of the guitar. Colleen also teaches guitar at her house. So every Thursday after school, Cami went to her house to learn to play the guitar. We stopped those lessons when Colleen had her daughter. I figured that it might be too much on Colleen to do alot at the time so we decided to resume the lessons in the Fall.

I am sorry to say that we havent picked up on the guitar lessons but we focused more on the violin. Grandpa bought her a violin. I got a great deal on a very very nice one for her. One that was slightly used. Actually it was used three times when the previous owner discovered that he needed a larger size. So it was traded in. We bought it for Cami for a much less price that it should have gone for. A couple hundred less to be exact. So she became the proud owner of a Palatino.

Now comes the Fall of this year and she started back up with lessons at school. She was placed again with the older kids because she was able to keep up with them and she was learning very quickly. She is now in 4th grade and she really started to advance more and more. Then I got the notice for NYSSMA. This is the New York State School Music Association. This is a big deal for kids that are serious in their performance. It may sound geeky but really, this is a big deal.

Cami told me that she wanted to go to this and I asked Colleen if she was ready. She said that she was more than ready but kids that tend to go to this are more older and have done this for a few years. But she said that she knows that Cami will do a great job and thats when I signed the papers and paid for the regristration for her to go. But it was only three months away and I was hoping she could handle it.

Cami was given the piece that she needed to learn to play. Within a week she had the first half of the song pretty much down pat. I give her credit for this because I would not have been able to do so. Especially in such a short period of time. But each week, she had her normal lesson and then a private lesson to prepare for this event. I was a little shocked that she was the only one that was going from her school. Colleen said that she had some other kids from other schools that would be going but Cami was the only one from her school. Not that there werent any kids there that couldnt do this, just none that didnt want to.

As the time ticked on, I was a little worried that she would change her mind. But she told me that she was determined to get this song done. Yesterday (Sat the 30th) was the big day. Im not sure who was more nervous, me or her. But we traveled to the location of the festival and we went inside to get the papers she needed. Mind you that we are abouat an hour from home.

We made it there at about noonish and her scheduled time to perform was at about 230pm. Its always wise to get there early to get parking and find the room. Plus time to warm up and make sure everything is ready. Like I said before, to a muscian, this is a serious thing.

We went up to the room and signed in there. I called Colleen to tell her that we were there and that we found the room. She was not in the building as she was getting coffee somewhere else. The judge said that we could have gone in then and there but Cami wanted her teacher there with her. So we opted to just stick with the original time. We then went down to the gym to practice and all that good stuff.

While in there, it was overwhelming with about a hundred others playing various instruments and songs all at once. Cami watched some of the others and then said to me that she didnt think she was as good as they were and that she wanted to go home. I told her not to go by that because those kids have been playing alot longer and that some day, she would be playing just like them and some little girl would say the same thing about her.

That sort of boosted her confidence and she picked up her violin and started to practice. Colleen came in with a few other kids that she teaches and they all sat down to warm up as well. There was another girl that sat next to Cami that was playing the same song. Cami leaned over to tell me that the girl didnt know how to play it right. I told her that she was just learning as well and that everyone doesnt play the same. So Cami continued to play and the girl said that she wasnt sure she was good enough to be there because Cami was better. I told the girl the same thing that I told Cami. This isnt a competition with other kids. Its something that you do for yourself. That boosted her up and she continued to play.

The noise was getting to be too much so we decided to go get a snack and walk around outside for a while. We had another hour to kill before we had to be back upstairs. We watched kids come and go with all their instruments and one was even carting in a full size harp. I would hate to see how that thing was getting down stairs to a gym or even upstairs to a performance room.

The hour ticked by and it was time for Cami to go upstairs to the room. We are both very nervous now and I called Colleen to meet us there. There were two kids ahead of us so we waited out in the hall for our turn. It seemed like hours went by. Actually it was only about 20 minutes. Colleen waited with us and then it was time to go in. I waited out in the hall with her dad and we were both pretty quiet so that we could try to hear through the door. Of course, we couldnt hear anything.

It seemed like an hour went by and then Colleen came out. She had a big smile on her face and said that she was doing awesome. She was amazed at how well she performed. She had a couple of little minor things that she did wrong but nothing thathad to do with the music itself. She just paused a couple of times and her bow slipped once. But she said that she did great. No one could be in the room for the sight reading part though. This is where the judge gives her a random scale to play to see that she knows how to read the music and that she is not just playing something from memory.

Cami came out of the room and said that it was too easy. She said that she was all worried for nothing and that sort of relieved me but not enough. We needed to hear what the judge had to say. Apparently he was quite pleased that a 9 year old performed the way she did as a Level 1. Being that this is the first year of her lessons, she probably couple have done a Level 2 or higher. He said she played beautifully and perfectly and he was thrilled to have heard her.

Colleen told us that she would call us to let us know about her final score. It could take a half hour to at least 4 hours before she gets the paper. She said to go on home and she would call later. So we drove all the way home and we waited. Very nervously, I might add. I called her at about 4:30 and left a message. She called back at about 5:30 with the result. They judge on a series of items. Posture, bow handling, tone, you name it. For a level one, they can get an Outstanding at 26, 27, and 28 points. Excellent are the numbers just below that. It goes down so forth. Good, Fair, Poor. You get the idea.

She said that she was amazed that Cami did so very well and that she was proud of her and knew she could do it. I knew she could as well but I wanted to hear that magic number. She scored a 24 out of 28 points!!! I was blown away. I honestly thought it would be lower considering that this was her first time. Talk about confidence. The best part was that she lost points for things like posture and pausing. Her music performance was near perfect.

I am extremely proud of her. She is extremely proud of herself. This just renews her confidence in herself. Basically that is what this is. It is a competition within yourself. Not with others. It shows you where you stand in your own performance. As you go up the levels, the judging gets tougher. Im sure she can handle this.

Swimsuit Hell....

Its the only way to describe it.

This is one of the blogs that I started one night but I didnt finish. I have a few of them so bear with me. I want to get all these thoughts out of my head so I can be somewhat normal minded again. As if.

You have got to be kidding. Those were my words all day today. It was so friggin hot today. My brain is fried. I think I left it somewhere on a hot sidewalk. It was like an egg sizzling on a hot pan. I dont remember any butter being involved though. I know there are some of you that will know that reference. I only wish that was the case but sadly its not. It was just really really hot.

The morning went really well. The only issue I had was with myself. Scary huh? But my alarm went off and I woke up to hit the snooze. I then realized that my bladder was quite full. You know I cant just shut the alarm off and snooze a little more because that body organ is the control center for keeping me awake. So I got up and went to the bathroom but then went back to bed. It seemed like a good solution at the time. I then hit the snooze two more times before I crawled back out of bed and hit the shower. I was exhausted. It was like I hadnt slept at all.

I managed to make it through the morning routine and got to school on time. There was no time to stop off to get a coffee though. So I had to settle for a diet pepsi because the machine at school was sold out of everything that was fully sugared and exploding with caffine. Which is what I truely needed.

My one on one didnt show up today. Technically that meant that I should have gone upstairs to the containment room. But I decided to play it safe and stay in the morning room to see if he came in late. He didnt. Oh well, that made my morning a little easier. I went through everything in there with the other kids and then I took them to the cafeteria for lunch. We went outside for recess and I played with them for a little while before I had to take my own lunch.

After my lunch time, I went upstairs. It was like walking into a heated sauna. There is a ceiling fan and a floor fan in the room but that wasnt cutting it. Being on the top floor in the direct heat was killer. One of the other teachers from down in the basement offered her fan for us to use. The basement is always cool enough to where she has a sweater on in her room. Lucky her. We got through the afternoon without too much crap. The kids were hot and it showed. We were all miserable in the heat. Even with three fans blowing at us.

After school, I picked Cami up and we headed home to let the dog out before going to grandpas. I washed up and Cami changed her clothes. She was wearing shorts but she was all sweaty and I knew she would feel better in clean dry clothes. We then picked grandpa up and went to the buffet for dinner. From there we went to the mall. This is where the fun starts.

I decided that she needed a new bathing suit. The one she had last year was big enough to fit her around her body but the top was a little too low. She grew taller and the suit went shorter. Im not sure if you have ever had to go clothing shoping for a preteen that shoots up like a weed. You buy something now and in a month it no longer fits. Can be quite frustrating.

Im sure you will all agree that bathing suit shopping is a bitch. For some reason, they are all made for the same person who is the same size for every damn one of them. The makers obviously dont realize that people come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you weigh 300lbs or 100lbs, that suit was made for someone that was either taller or shorter than you. They just never fit right. Pisses everyone off. Its one of the reason I dont bother buying one.

Well add that shape and height thing to someone that is picky with colors. She must have tried on about 40 different suits. They all fit her in some sort of strange way, but she hated all the colors. I was running out of suits and patience. She finally settled on two that were acceptable for her to be seen in public. But I should also add that it only took three hours to do this.

But I will guarentee that she wont wear them without a shirt to cover herself up. *smacks forehead* Hers.