Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Feline Hostility

About 2 months ago my sister brought home a new addition to our family - Jorge, pronounced with Spanish sounds. He is a very cute black kitten, pictured above. He has lead me to discover that I don't like kittens. My dislike for kittens teeters on the verge of hatred actually. He is destructive, careless, mean, and stupid as all get out!

My greatest sadness stems from the alienation of Kitty (the original cat of the house picture in the sink below). She despises him so much that she won't stay in the house for more than just a few minutes to eat. On more than one occasion I have woken up to Jorge intentionally taunting her while she tries to slumber. She growls at the sight of him, hisses, paws, and does her best to defend her territory. I know that she would have put him in his place, but she has no claws. She was intended to be an inside cat so I had her declawed years ago. Now she would rather brave the creatures of the night with minimal defenses instead of facing her arch nemesis within the confines of her home. Am I the worst mother in the world? How long will it take for her to adjust? I am so sad.

To my few readers: I hope that you are not judging me for writing about my cat instead of the monumental election yesterday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Over the past three days I have been guiding my students through their first real writing assignment, a poem of sorts. It is essentially a fill-in-the-blank worksheet that I didn't view as a complex assignment, certainly not insightful. While giving examples to the students of ways that they could fill in the blanks, I began to realize that, when taken seriously, this assignment can really make a person think about her self definition. When one is limited to three words/phrases to define large ideas like happiness, the task becomes somewhat more challenging. So, I am not sure if the world would pick the same words and phrases to fill in the blanks about me, but here are some of my self-perceptions in the form of the 5th Grade AutoBioPoem:

Loud laugh, short, animated, funny
Daughter of Julie and Kenny
Lover of lazy days, the feeling of success, making to do lists that may or may not get completed
Who feels strong, determined, jubilant (thank you thesaurus)
Who finds happiness in a clean house (though it seldom happens), singing familiar hymns in church, shopping sprees that are free from buyer's remorse
Who needs understanding, honesty, to laugh
Who gives advice whether or not you want it, money even when I don't have it, friendship
Who fears envy, materialism, other people's judgement of me
Who would like to see heaven if it exists, someone who has it all figured out, friends and family rejoice in my life after it is over
Who enjoys touching someone's leg with mine while I fall asleep, visiting when I should be working, the feeling of exhaustion after a jog/walk
Who likes to wear short shorts, high heels, low-cut shirts
Resident of Waco, (street address here, not safe to post on the Internet!)

I feel like this would be an interesting thing to write again in a year or five years to see how my perception of me has changed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Giving the People What They Want

After many requests and near estrangement from friends for not blogging, I'm going to try to get back in the groove...not just writing, but also keeping up with my important blogging friends.

Well, not much has happened since March. Okay, that's a lie! I closed on a house in Waco in March and moved in April. My sister lives with me, and I love having her as a roommate and one of my best friends now! I got a job at Midway and started the new school year more prepared than I ever was last year. I love my team at school and my kiddos. Although I'm super rushed, I am LOVING 45 minute class periods! I have an excellent schedule and am basically done teaching at 1:10. I would put an exclamation point at the end of each of these sentences if I thought that was okay. The best part is that I feel proud, content, and lucky to be in the place that I am. At times I feel almost manic!

Over the summer I worked at Lake Brazos Steakhouse waiting tables. I have managed to make some young friends there since most women in my age group are married with children. I enjoy sharing that part of my friends' lives when I can. Small fries are awesome! I love taking mental notes about what I will and will not do if and when I am a parent based on what I see them do.

I hope that this year really brings my teaching abilities and organization together. Now that I have blogged the abridged version of the past six months, I will forge on with more specific, entertaining or enlightening tales.

Thank you all for your patience while I was on hiatus. You will hear from me again soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wheels That Don't Roll

I'm pretty sure that when the ancient Egyptians, cavemen, or whoever invented the wheel, for all intents and purposes, it was supposed to make life easier. So why, oh why, do the wheels on IV poles not roll?

For about 6-7 hours in a hospitalized day, I am attached to my IV pole due to the multiple medications that I am taking. The pole, I'm certain, was manufactured somewhere in China, possibly with lead, about the same time that I was also born...27 years ago. In that time, for whatever reason, the five wheels that "mobilize" my trusty companion have locked up, be it from dirt, old age, poor maintenance. I'm not sure.

However, this impacts my ability to do ANYTHING while I'm one with the pole. I have approximately a five feet radius (thank goodness that's as big as my hopital room is!) around which I can manuveur. How hard can it be to perform simple maintenance on these plastic components? Or god forbid that the hopital use the tens of thousands of dollars that I am paying (via insurance) while in here to replace these malfunctioning pieces!

As I am forced to scoot my IV pole instead of rolling it, I would venture to say that the purpose of the wheel, or five wheels, has been entirely overlooked. I will take the time to thank the inventor of lanolium, though. Thank you for allowing me a smooth surface on which I can SCOOT my IV pole!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Am I a Grown-up Yet?

All signs point to "yes." Aside from marriage and children, I am now as grown-up as one could be. I am nearing the closing date on my very first home! It was quite a simple, suprisingly simple search. I knew that I could not afford the suburbs yet, and quite frankly, since I'm kid-free, there's really no reason for me to be a suburbian.

My mother, on the other hand, has a major issue with me moving into WACO! I understand the complex about WACO, and am not the biggest fan myself. I mean, when you think about all the social opportunities in Dallas, Austin, etc., Waco is a sad little place.
That being said, I can't express how much I appreciate being near my family. Since I am now teaching, there really aren't any financial advantages to living in a big city. So I am sadly accepting my role as a Wacoan, but proudly and excitedly emerging as a bona fide adult!

Although my house isn't as big as what I was in the market for, I absolutely fell in love with it as soon as I walked in. The feature that reeled me in: this huge window in the front. This will be my view from the living room. The opposite wall also has three not-quite-as-big windows, so the house just lights up.

Other features I loved were the remodeled kithchen and refinished original hardwood floors. Once I have closed, I will post a picture of me pulling out that "For Sale" sign! I absolutely cannot wait!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

One Student at a Time

One of my 4th graders, I joke, is as tall as me and probably has 20 lbs on me! He has failed 3rd grade once and 4th grade once, which explains his size and cynical attitude. I have, as many of the teachers have, made an effort to ignite an interest in being successful. He enjoys drawing and comics, so while I was in Taiwan, I bought a Chinese comic book with this student in mind. I make copies of the pages for him to write stories about what he thinks is going on or white out the Chinese characters for him to write in his own dialogue.

On Tuesday, after class I sat down at my desk and saw a small note that read "Thank you. You have been nice to me." Under the note was a very cute black and silver bracelet. My heart sank and a smile crept upon my face. This is exactly why I decided to become a teacher! Unfortunately, immediately after that, I was out sick with the flu and unable to see how I could further nurture this child. But I can't wait to get back to school tomorrow and hopefully ignite the self-belief in another child.

On a funny note, I wonder if the bracelet was legitimately purchased, i.e. a teacher walking down the hall is going to say to me, "I lost a bracelet just like that about a week ago!" :o)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I will try to show you some of the highlights of my trip on this blog...keep in mind that I have posted only about 10 out of 150 pics!We got bumped up to Business Class on our way to Taipei! It was so luxurious compared to coach. I slept 6 of the 13 hours thanks to a fully reclining seat and free wine!When we visited Ning's uncle in Taichung (don't know if that's spelled correctly), his uncle put us up in the nicest hotel there. We were far from roughing it. In addition to the personalized welcome on the TV when we turned it on, we had surround sound, DVD player, cell phone to which room was forwarded, bath/shower with view out the window, laser printer in the room, and other thoughtful amenities! This was the view of Taichung from our room on the 36th floor of Hotel 1.
I wish that I had the video of this one-man band. I was very impressed, but after an hour or so of shopping in that market, I became less appreciative of his artistic ability. I didn't feel bad though because true artists are only appreciated after they are dead.
In this concrete pool were tons of shrimp. We had tiny bait and spent several hours shrimping. Although my skills would not have aided Bubba Gump Shrimp, I was very proud of the three that I caught. I'm certain I caught the biggest shrimp of all that night...sorry you can't see the little fella better. He wouldn't hold still.

This is a night market we visited in the mountain so there was a lot of climbing to visit the various stores, many of which were closed due to the rain that night.
When we took a break from climbing, Ning's cousin served us tea very traditionally. I enjoyed the simplicity of entertainment while I was there. We would sit and play card games and other things. No kids sitting at the dinner table playing with their iPod or Nintendo DS. Ning's uncle took us into the mountains to an "English" castle. It was much like a park...many families...beautiful view.
While in Taichung (sorry these pics aren't in order) I got to go to Maggie's school (the cousin on the left). They were having a sort of carnival/fund raiser. I played games with the kids. Their English was excellent. I even got to dump water on two of Maggie's classmates. I wish I had that video too!
Ning and I with four of his cousins.

Karaoke is very different when it's Asian style. We sat in a room only with our friends and got to pick the songs from a computer. It was very fancy. I rapped all the words to TLC's "Waterfalls." I was so thankful that I had spent hours with my nose in the cassette jacket learning the words in 1994!

We watched fireworks explode off the 101 - the tallest building in the WORLD! It was impressive.

I had a very sweet farewell breakfast the morning I left. Ning's grandma is the one to the farthest right.