May 31, 2009

Four Score and Seven Poops Ago...

Lincoln (6 pounds, 8 ounces - 18 1/2 inches long) was born May 28th, 2009 at 3:30am. He's pretty cute for an ugly baby. Amanda is recoving well and transitioning into the motherly role quite well, while Linc (the only sanctioned and approved nickname) is doing great at crying, soiling himself, and sometimes eating - all at unholy hours of the night. Thanks for all the support out there in the blogosphere...
See the cut above his left eye - that's right - but you should see the other baby, and that kid was born on the 27th. (Just kidding, just a run in with some surgical instruments).

May 21, 2009

My Last Day; or The One Without Closure

I may be one of the few, but I'm always interested in the names of each TV show's episode. Typically, the name provides a bit of an inside joke, insight, or pattern. For example, all episodes of Scrubs are "My Something-or-other-that-relates-to-the episode," while all episodes of Friends are "The One-With-Something."

So, I've incorporated both of those into my title for today's post. It is my last day of teaching here, and while I've taught roughly 150 kids this year, today I saw about 30. If you're done with your finals, which most kids finished yesterday, you don't have to be here today. We have no field day, no BBQ, no big closing assembly where we celebrate 2008-2009 and look forward to the start of 2009-2010. This bums me out. I feel like there should be a wrap-up, some sense of closure. Without that, the end of the year, especially the end of my last year, feels like the final exhalation of the whoopee cushion.

I'm having a hard time reflecting, as I look around my stripped bare, empty, trash-filled classroom. Well, it's not literally trash filled, I just have two very full trash cans. I'm ready to leave, but I still have a half-hour. I feel nostalgic, joyous, exhausted, and ready for something new. When Sista Cool was helping me inventory books last week, she asked if I was going to read Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey next year for fun. I laughed, responding that I needed a bit of a break. But now I think I just might read them for fun. You never know.

As a side note--if you did not catch Fox's special premiere of Glee, and you have any love in your heart for show choir, musicals, high school, Amy Winehouse, Journey, Jane Lynch, or Indian principals, please check it out. And watch in the fall.

May 19, 2009

Red bark mulch is crap.

You heard me - Oh, sure – it looks great when you put it in, but after the elements give their effort (rain, wind, squirrels, the mailman walking through) it starts looking horrible. Thankfully, I wasn’t the one who put it in, that joy was left to the previous owner of the house. At first it wasn’t bad, but it faded in the sun and the squirrels tore at the ground fabric and the bark was always winding up in the grass.

It was time to take action. I would have liked to pour a patio, but the budget didn’t cooperate. The goal was three fold: low maintenance, keep the rocks out of the grass, and to not look like crap.


112 retaining wall blocks and some pavers for walking:

9,750 lbs. of Western River Rock:

My back hurts, my hands are rough as a man’s hands should be, and hopefully some value was added to the house. It shouldn’t take much upkeep, the retaining wall blocks should keep the rocks out of the grass, and I think it looks pretty good. It only took about 20 man hours, 9 trips to Lowes, came in under budget, and was finished before the baby came. Judge for yourself...

May 16, 2009

37 Week Musings

In a long story I'm not really dwelling on, I'm on a bit of modified bed rest. The ol' blood pressure has been rising, so I'm lying on my side in a newly created couch nest and checking my blood pressure regularly. "Like an old person!" said Sista Cool. Y-e-s, I suppose. Or a pregnant person. Stuff it, little sister.

So, I've had some time to think, relax, read, play games, and watch TV. And muse a little.

Couch Teaching
So, I missed a bit of school last week, during the second to last week of school, but on Thursday, and all next week, I am cleared to teach, as long as I recline elegantly and luxuriously on a couch. 9th graders do not get this. "Why do you get a couch? Can I have a couch? Can I sit on the couch with you?" It was a long day. Luckily, next week I'm just giving finals and grading, which should be easily accomplished on a couch. I did feel like my legs were cut off--it is incredibly hard to discipline from a supine position.

GameStop/Nintendo DS Thoughts
Last Friday, prior to my poor pressure visit, I went on a game store odyssey. Inspired by the fact that I wanted some new games for my DS, and perhaps by the realization that my normal search every place and conquer shopping strategy will be more difficult with the small fry, I decided to take my list of carefully researched games and hit the road. I visited 7 stores in the Greeley area that sell video games, including 4 (!) GameStop stores. Why does any town need that many GameStop stores?! It's sick and wrong. However, it did take me three stores to find the games I wanted, and I have been happily playing them while lying on my side. If you ever have to spend a great deal of time lying on your side, the DS is the perfect game to play, because with the stylus, you only need one hand to play a lot of my favorite games, specifically word puzzle games. I even got a "B" grade on a New York Times crossword puzzle yesterday. Granted, it was just a Monday puzzle, but I have high hopes that I will improve.

The Final Countdown
I feel two things--I will be pregnant forever, and this is never going to result in a baby. This is all just an illusion, as I have around 3-ish weeks left. Crazy. My life is going to totally change here--and soon. Perhaps this knowledge is making it easier to lie on the couch playing games, reading, and watching trashy TV. My time is running out--soon my life will not be about entertaining myself, but about entertaining someone else. This is exciting, scary, and REAL.

Star Trek
So, Mr. Cool and I watched this movie this summer--it was good. I'm not one of the people going nutso over the re-imagining, but it was a wonderful popcorn movie. I'm sure if I say anything about it, someone will slam me for the spoilers, but I must add that my favorite part was Spock getting tail Kirk wanted. I'd go for the logical Vulcan myself.

Thanks for letting the lonely couch-mama type out some musings. Mr. Cool will be back this week with some thoughts on landscaping, and I have a baby knit to share.

May 08, 2009

Not in America

Through my haze of sleep this morning, I heard an NPR report on this story--the quandary facing the new South African president, Jacob Zuma. This woke me up, although I thought perhaps it was a dream. See, Zuma is a polygamist, which is apparently cool in South Africa, but for official purposes, he needs to decide which of his wives should be the first lady. The wife with seniority, or the popular young wife? It's a tough choice. This is one of those rare stories that I just can't quite imagine happening in the United States. If I did try to imagine it though, I don't know quite what Americans would favor, which wife they would back.

May 06, 2009

Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken:

In the normal course of my duties at work, it my responsibility to read the current documentation on the "at risk" inmates under my supervision. "At risk" means gang snitch who has a "green light" out on him, suicidal inmates, special needs inmate, medical watches, etc. In the course of my reading, I've come across a phrase that speaks volumes about the body of information available on these subjects"

"Inmate is an unreliable historian."

This always makes me laugh, as I don't expect much of the truth from those I supervise, but this particular phraseology adds a little punch of humor and sarcasm - intentional or not. The type of unreliable historian were talking about here is not the Stephen Ambrose type who regularly failed to cite sources and dabbled in some mild plagiarism, but that kind that screams fibber, fibber, laderhosen ablaze!

"Inmate is an unreliable historian...anything he/she says is to be consider as factual and honest as an episode of Greys Anatomy...words and pleas that pour from their mouth could easily be molded into the back story of Ghost Whisperer and should be considered as total and complete bull."

So, next time someone is giving you a line of total bollocks, just reply in a clinical tone: Sir, I believe you to be an unreliable historian...

May 04, 2009