I Checked Out O.K.

Still gotta stay away from popcorn and nuts, though. *sigh* But no sign of Crohn's which runs in my extended family.

P.S. Thursday night was indeed spent this way (by me, not The Cat). Oh, well, got some magazines read.

P.P.S. Apparently I was rather talkative when I woke up from the anesthesia--the nurse said I kept asking what her name was. Weird. But everyone was very nice.


Pool Party Minus the L

One of the instructions handed to me at the time the hospital turned me loose was that I had to have a certain procedure done about 6-8 weeks from then.

After I made the appointment, I got a packet in the mail that explained to me that this procedure requires certain preparation the night before. After both my co-librarian and the library aide shared their experiences, I stocked up on good TP and magazines in the powder room.

Before I get into the evening's festivities, I get to spend the day consuming only what they call "clear liquids." Which seems odd to me, because coffee (sans creamer) is on the list. If coffee's made right, it's a bit hard to see through.

Vodka, on the other hand, is
nice and clear. I mean, the packet said as long as things aren't colored red or blue, they're all right.

I think they made a mistake.

The least they could do before subjecting me to this procedure is let me relax a little with a real cocktail.

Alas, the only cocktail I'm having involves lemon-lime Gatorade.


Now I Can't Sleep

Scary person in Elmo costume in New York.

There was a freaky dude in an Elmo costume on Hollywood Boulevard when my cousins & I were out there. We went to McDonald's so my one cousin could get a soda to take some medicine, and the Elmo impersonator came in shortly thereafter. It was sooooo creepy because he didn't take the head off his costume the whole time he stood in line, ordered food, and went to the soda fountain.

At least the Sylvester the Cat impersonator did.

In an Attempt to Cultivate Positivity. . .

-- I am glad my dad came home from the hospital last night.

-- My great-uncle has been released from suffering with a long illness. (And my mom picked out beautiful flowers to send up to New England.)

-- It was worth it to be the stand-in for my cousin (who was headed to New England to represent the Philly contingent at the funeral) at the anniversary dinner for the parish where my parents and my grandparents were married. Not just because my mom bought drinks for me and Younger Sister--who was standing in for Hospitalized Dad who was being released after dinner--but also because I wound up sitting next to the grandmother of my music teacher friend from my old job (I can't believe it's been just over a year since we met at orientation). I saw her, too, because she was working her part time job at the caterers.

-- I may have spilled water all over my library book (long story how that happened) but it's still a pretty good read. Only one dangling participle so far. The characters are cool.

-- It has been a gruesome listen at times--and I wasn't much for getting walloped with a ton of exposition at the beginning--but I am hooked on the audio of The Hunger Games (read by Dr. Olivet) and it makes driving to school interesting. I can see why there's so much love for it, but it's incredibly brutal. (And NO I AM NOT DONE YET so no spoilers in the comments, please!)

-- If I can learn how to work the registers for the book fair, maybe spending all day and all night at school tomorrow won't seem like such a long day. Maybe.

I'm on the faculty dinner committee for the night, so that's kind of a positive perk. And I'm just going to laugh my butt off at being told I didn't buy enough candy and cookies for the dinner. I was told to buy for 40 people.

I'm so silly for thinking it was for 40 normal people.


Sorry So Quiet

Every night this week has been busy so far. Last night was The Cat's annual shots visit to the vet. She tried to do her disappearing act into the cabinet under the sink like last time (go down to Wednesday), and the vet we saw this time--who owns cats himself--was highly amused as she kept attempting to pull the cabinet door open even while he was holding it shut with his foot!

Vet: [to me] So it's a test we might [*tap, tap, tap* as Cat starts pulling at cabinet] want to-
[looks down at Cat] Hey! I'm trying to talk here! You're not supposed to go in there.

Because she couldn't hide in the cabinet, after the
vet left the exam room she tried to wedge herself in between the cabinet and the trash can, pressed as close to the wall as possible. . . thinking she'd vanish from the sight of anybody who wanted to take her temperature or vaccinate her or other awful things. I snapped a pic with my phone while we were waiting.

There's no way your big hooman hands can pry me outta here.

The vet did think her thyroid test results from August were slightly high, and she has lost a little weight since her visit in August, so there might be a hyperthyroidism concern--especially with that whole waking me up in the middle of the night thing. She'd need a better test and it's just money I don't have right now--I am thinking that if I have another wedding (or God forbid a funeral) to cantor next month that would cover it, so here's hoping a wedding comes my way.

The other big thing going on is that I submitted grades for the very first time today. It's not report card time, but this is the point in the trimester where the students get a progress report just ahead of parent-teacher conferences. (In my day, progress reports came up only if you were close to failing something.) I don't have conferences but I do have to give grades to my sixth graders. We've done only in-class assignments (no quizzes or tests) and the last one was major and extended over a few classes as they worked in teams to assemble a small research presentation.

Most students did fine with it, but one team had a major meltdown yesterday. This afternoon I went to talk to the curriculum supervisor (who is sort of mentoring me with the whole lesson-planning/grading stuff) about it because I wasn't sure what to do with these guys. Instead of working together, two members zoned out, another kept insisting she didn't know what she had to do (I tried directing all three of them but they just would not get going), and the remaining two were getting resentful and throwing little hissy fits as they attempted to complete the project. Which didn't end up completed properly.

I didn't want to give them all a bad grade, and so after discussion with the curriculum supervisor the three "lost" members wound up with the low end of a decent letter grade, and the entire team will be meeting with me next class to find out what the heck happened.

Grades and attitude problems. My least favorite parts of teaching.

On top of that, all the book fair shipments arrived this morning, and by the end of the week we won't be able to walk (or, you know, teach) in the library because there's all this junk for sale set up in front of our bookshelves and all over our tables. Don't get me wrong, it's a real moneymaker for the school, but for some unknown reason (a) the library is stuck running it, (b) there's no other place it can be held, and (c) it's 2010 and yet all transactions are still done on paper--no web-based or spreadsheet-based sales tools? Are you kidding me?

And now I have to get some sleep because I have to meet with my sixth grade mentees-of-sorts during Special Meeting Thursday. (Did I mention every Thursday is Special Meeting Thursday? A different kind of meeting each week. I'm not used to it yet.)

Don't get me wrong. For the most part, the students are great. My co-workers are nice. I like having a job. But I think this is the week I get to have a cocktail (for the first time since August) once I get to Friday night. I'll have earned it.


Age and Perspective

This past week was a bit of a crazy week--my grandfather (my only living grandparent) was visiting from NJ for his high school reunion. He and his classmates get together to celebrate the fact that they're still here, I think. Not bad for people who are almost 90!

He had a pretty good time. I got to visit with him one night at my parents' and had dinner with them as well as my aunt and a couple of uncles.

This morning after church, I was at my parents' house. We were in the middle of making brunch and my mom had to step outside for something. The kitchen phone rang, so I answered it.

It was my Pop-Pop. Some people have told me I sound like my mom on the phone, so I identified myself, loudly, by my childhood name, so he wouldn't be confused.

He was delighted to discover his #2 granddaughter was on the phone, but immediately he said he missed me and wanted to know when I was coming to visit.

I don't think he remembered seeing me last week.

Man, it's hard to watch people you love grow old. Heck, it's my birthday this week and I'm not too crazy about seeing myself get old. But I figure if I have some of Pop-Pop's genes there's a chance I'll live several more decades, so what's old? Old is always way older than what you are right now, right?

I guess there's a reason I am the age I am right now. Might as well try to enjoy it.


The Love/Hate of the DMV Continues

I don't know how it is in other states, but a few years back Pennsylvania decided to make driver's licenses expire the day after one's birthday. Even though I had sent away for the renewal in August, I kept forgetting to go get my picture done. It also doesn't help that the DMV is not open past 4 p.m. every day but Thursday. I needed to scramble, and today was the day to do it.

Today was my second day as a solo librarian because the lower school librarian had to go out of town unexpectedly starting Wednesday. I did O.K. except for the point where I got trapped at the laminator (yes, part of my job requires me to laminate people's stuff every Thursday--ugh) during the Open House, so there were no librarians to meet the prospective parents. I don't think it mattered that much, because most prospective parents are thinking about sending children below Grade 4, and that's not my area.

Anyway, Thursday is also Meeting Day, so it's a long day in any event. Add to it a ton of rain and you'll understand that 35 minutes to the DMV felt like two hours. At least I got some audio reading time logged for this book. It's an O.K. story; I don't think I would have suffered through reading it in print. I'm in the middle of Chapter 9 and have a feeling the worst is yet to come.

The rain made my hair poufy, and on my license it looks like an odd color. On top of that, I blinked the first time the DMV lady (who I later realized tended to rest her ample front porch on her desk) snapped my picture and then she didn't give me enough time to get a more genuine smile in place before the second one was taken. So I've got poufy hair and a lopsided smile in my driver's license photo. I had worse hair last time, but I think my face looks a little puffy. Still, it's fairly decent as far as license photos go, I guess.

Unless something happens, I'm stuck with that photo for four years.

Anybody else's license photo that bad, too?


Consider This an Early Friday Five

1. Three days of rain can wreak havoc on an elementary school. (Read: no outdoor recess.)

2. While the side job I started in the Spring has brought in virtually no money since the beginning of Summer, I made $20 selling two items in the last six weeks on Half.com. Go figure.

3. The Stompy-Barkingtons' animal cruelty/noise level hit record highs in both volume and duration--twice--this past week. The community manager has received complaints from more than just me this time, I think, but we'll see if anything comes of it. I'm just tired of being the one to complain, but I don't think I should have to listen to 20-40 minutes of carrying on. . . be it a dog with separation anxiety and possibly crated improperly or idiot brothers bodyslamming each other and shrieking while I'm trying to eat my dinner without having to wonder if the ceiling's gonna fall on my head.

4. This book looks like a funny story just from the title alone, even if I'm not 10 or 11 years old.

5. I get to wear a Phillies t-shirt to school tomorrow because they did an awesome job last night. (Did I watch? Nooooo! Too nervous.)

5-1/2. Words can't express how good it is to be at the end of this week.

Even if it means I have to get up on Saturday and "clean all the things" before I get to have some fun.


I Guess It's the Age. . .

I stuck around for a bit after post-church scrambled eggs with Mom so I could see the Niece, Middle Nephew, and Youngest Nephew, who were getting dropped off for the afternoon because Older Brother had football tickets and SIL had something to do as well. The kids were building with Duplos (some of which are the originals owned by Younger Sister as a tot, the others a massive eBay win) while waiting to eat scrambled eggs with Pop-Pop (a.k.a. my dad) who had just gotten back from playing for a second Mass.

Middle Nephew, age 4-1/2: We're building a hotel and we're gonna knock it down with all the people and kids in it!

Niece, age 6: [laughs somewhat maniacally]

Me: [fairly horrified at the macabre pronouncement] Um, don't you want the fire engine to come rescue the people first?

Middle Nephew: Nope! [laughs with Niece]

That sense of humor totally comes from their mom's side of the family.


Famished Friday

I drank ginger ale for breakfast while sitting in traffic in an attempt to find a road not closed due to flooding. It took me 1 hour 20 minutes to get to school. On a good day it usually takes me less than 25 minutes! Stupid hurricane leftovers. Lousy flooded creek.

Worked on lesson plans from the time I got in to the time I took a break to scarf down some chicken broth (and more ginger ale) before handling indoor recess (more rain!!!) and lunch duty with the 4th and 5th graders. One of the 4th graders loves talking to me, but for the life of him he can't remember my name. He calls me "Mrs. Librarian." It's kinda cute.* (When the high schoolers would try that, it would tick me off. Especially when they were right near my desk which had my name taped to it.)

I'm nearly deaf from the very loud but enthusiastic pep rally held in honor of Homecoming Weekend. I'm not big on sports or homecoming for that matter, but it was tolerable and took my mind off the growls coming from my stomach.

Dinner was more chicken broth and apple juice, and dessert was aloe vera juice (see Thing #2; ick). I still feel the occasional twinge on my right side--although admittedly I was getting stressed out from the traffic and finding out my air conditioner still leaks rainwater onto the carpet--but I'm hopeful things will be better tomorrow.

I'm meeting up with former co-workers from my old corporate job (both of whom were laid off before I quit) for movies & dinner tomorrow, and if I can't drink I sure do want to be able to eat!

*Oh no! I might like working with 4th graders!