Thursday, October 28, 2010

The last to know

Fellow Blogger bloggers:  Am I the only one who didn't know the posting editor has been UPDATED?  Oh my Lord.  I could scream from frustration and elation all at the same time.  Good grief.

Under my skin

Had a particularly interesting confrontation with a parent yesterday. I'd have to say that so far in my short career, this would rank as one of the more potentially hostile run-ins. It started with an ugly note from a rather large mom who likes to throw her weight around in the literal and figurative sense. Long story short - I confronted her, let her know what I thought of her note, and we moved on.

It's not that I'm not apprehensive about these confrontations. I was nervous and had no idea how she was going to react. Sort of wish I could have reined in the "bring it, bitch" look I had on my face, but I was so mad that I was almost anxious to see what would happen. That's kind of weird I guess, but honestly this mom pushed my buttons to the limit. Alan has this fear that I'm going to get myself hurt someday, because I feel really strongly about speaking up when someone's being a jackass. Sometimes too strongly I suppose.

It's the part of my job I hate, and with 65 or more sets of parents each year, there's just no getting away from it. Most parents are awesome - supportive, helpful, and willing to work as a team. Others just don't stop to think.

I think the issue with this parent is resolved, but I should probably watch those dark alleys for a while. ;-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Old Haunts

I love Fall and love the fun of Halloween. I love scary movies and being scared, or at least a little. But on the way to work this morning while listening to the radio, they played a little snippet of the The Exorcist theme music. I know it sends chills up many a spine, but I feel especially affected by that music. I have this vivid memory of being traumatized by the TV trailers when I was a child and being scared at bedtime for what seemed like months. Or was my memory so vivid?

I would have placed my age at around 8 or 9 years old, but after googling facts about the movie I discover it was released in 1973. That means I was 6. That also means we were still living on Roosevelt and not at the house on Humble, where my memory of the movie occurs. So it appears that what really scared me was when The Exorcist II came out in 1977. As soon as the commercials would come on the screen, I would run out of the room - that much I do remember. We didn't have remote controls in those days where you could quickly change the channel. And as if the commercials weren't haunting enough, they also played the full version of the theme music on the radio regularly. There was just no getting away from it.

There were plenty of other horror films during this time - The Omen series, Amityville Horror, and Carrie are ones that come to mind. But they just didn't affect me like The Exorcist. I even remember when SNL did a skit where Loraine Newman played Regan, complete with demonic voice and greenish-white vomit. Even that scared me!

So I've always been fascinated with the movie yet have kept my distance. I'm thinking of changing that this Halloween season. I think I want to break down and make myself watch it. The idea is to watch it in a group setting, however; maybe invite some friends over to make it more "fun" than scary. Maybe then I'll be able to get past it and laugh about it.

When Alan surprised me with the trip to D.C. over spring break, one of my must-sees was visiting Georgetown to take pictures of the actual exorcism site. Ashley knew exactly where it was and took us to the famous steps. I took this photo:

(You'll see almost the same photo on Wikipedia, minus the graffiti.)

I guess everyone has something from their childhood that really spooked them. Addison had a boogieman she called "The Ballin." At 4 years old, she described it as a black shapeless thing that came down from the ceiling in her bedroom. That's friggin creepy. And Bailey had night tremors at around the same age, which if you've ever witnessed someone having, you'll understand when I say it's a whole new level of disturbing.

Anyone else have a childhood haunt that sort of creeps you out to this day? I don't want to be alone...literally. :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In case I need a second job...

I have an idea for a children's book. I say this with great hesitation because I'm careful not to sound presumptuous. It's as if saying that I want to write a children's book means I'm claiming to be capable or talented enough to write. That's not it at all. It's just something I've thought about recently but have no idea how to go about it. I've already chosen an illustrator, too - Addison.

This is the third book idea that has come to me in the past few weeks, and I don't aspire to be OR have a life-long dream to be an author. What is going on? Even the titles popped into my head almost immediately. I took one idea and started a secret, unpublicized blog on the same topic to see if I could write enough material. I was unimpressed with myself and stopped. The other book idea would take too much research, and that sounds like no fun at all.

But the children's book wouldn't be that difficult to write. It's my story after all - a true story I told my students in an effort to reach the ones who hate to read.

So now what? I'm guessing what will happen is a lot of grading and lesson planning and sitting on my bum and not a lot of writing anything. But it's kind of fun to daydream about.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Teams

Alan got me a kindle for my birthday. Funny how I can make time to read now that I have a fun little electronic to do it with.

But in case you don't think of Alan as the type who can be frivolous or spontaneous, get a load of what he was trying to arrange for my birthday. The Braves have made it to the playoffs, and their first series started in San Francisco. Since SF is one of my favorite places, he was trying to plan a weekend out west to watch the Braves play the Giants. How cool would that have been? But they weren't playing on Saturday and having to take off on Friday would have been bad timing for me with that whole teaching thing.

Still, what a cool thought. At least we can say we've gone to a Braves game in Atlanta before Bobby Cox retired. So that makes two sports-related items I can scratch off my to-do list: saw the Chicago Bulls when Michael Jordan was still playing, and saw the Braves a couple years ago. Now it's time to see a Cowboys game. Hard to believe I've lived this close all these years and have never gone. Okay, so I've talked myself into it - I'm adding that to my list.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Two-score and three years ago...

Today's my birthday. I've always liked birthdays, including my own. How can you not be in a good mood on your birthday? The girls' birthdays were always the best. I learned from my friend Sara that you should always make a big deal about birthdays - balloons, streamers, confetti, flowers, and just lots of color in general. It didn't matter whose birthday it was, whether her daughter's or some coworker's at the office. She was great at making people feel special, and although we only stay in touch via Facebook, I'm sure she still does this today.

So I tried this for several years and sometimes succeeded. As the girls have gotten older, I haven't stuck with it and well, there's been a year or two when a big celebration wasn't really appropriate. Life steps in rather rudely at times and interrupts the mood.

I've found myself lately beginning to worry just a little about the aging thing. I look at pictures of myself from just a few years ago and compare those to today, and I'm definitely seeing something different. I can't tell what it is - my skin, my eyes, more pronounced lines, the pounds? Or is it just aging from stress? It hasn't been the easiest couple of years, but do people really age that much from tough times? I think about how the presidents always look significantly older and more gray after four years in office. Personally I'm finding my root touch-ups are happening more frequently than before!

I pay more attention to beauty product commercials and find it disconcerting that I listen closely to the ones about how to fade dark spots and "fix" other skin imperfections due to aging. I think about how Alan rolls his eyes at those commercials, while I'm wondering how soon I should start using the products before our age difference starts to show.

I suppose on the plus side, I do like the mental maturity that comes with each passing year. At least I hope I'm getting a little more mature, developing a bit more perspective, etc. I don't want to wear grandma jeans or get my hair done once a week, but there's something to be said for knowledge that comes from time.

But all in all, it's been a good birthday. And I got to go with Bailey to get her senior portraits taken - by the same photographer and in the same studio where I sat many, many years ago. Still remember it like it was yesterday. :-)