Wednesday, December 30, 2009

LB

video

This is LB, my sister and B's new little rodent, er, puppy. When he's not biting your face or pissing all over your floor, he's actually somewhat adorable.

This is his first reaction to the crazy ball Suzanne gifted to him (can't imagine why she'd want to get rid of it...) We'd never heard him growl or bark before. Guess when you're 3 pounds, a talking golfball would be intimidating.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010

this year i realized that instead of fighting against it
i might just need to see it from a different angle
for it to make any sense.



we all find a way :)



Monday, December 28, 2009

Aeronautics

Can't believe it's that time AGAIN! Ever diligent, I am sitting down to write my New Year's resolutions. I have to say I did fairly good on last year's....graduated from my master's program top of my class (yeah, I'm bragging) while managing to not get fired from my daytime job, thankfully received several counseling job offers, accepted a job at an amazing elementary school in the county I wanted, ran in a 5k, got a (slight) suntan, and, generally speaking, complained less than usual. It was a good/lucky year! I did not, however, even attempt to kick my caffeine addiction (coffee is my soulmate), locate my abdominal muscles, or manage to stop cursing. Well shit, who's perfect? Rollover resolutions...

Next up, goals for 2010!
Here goes:

Buy a house
Put down the donuts
Stop cursing
Expand my school's counseling program
Run another race
Cook a meal
Make (or pay someone to be) a friend
Find a new volunteering opportunity
Grow a backbone
Buy or steal a bicycle
Write more poetry
Learn to clean or at least better hide dirt

Well, that oughtta do it. It's a tall order, but I'm up to the challenge. For the first time in quite a while, I felt productive and accomplished in 2009.

By the way, you are all welcome to come to visit us in our new house (when and if such plans come to fruition). Keep in mind you will likely be asked to paint a room, supply and install a sleek new lighting fixture, build us a deck, or landscape our property should you pop by the new abode......you know, the type of small, not atypical requests made of houseguests. In exchange, you will be offered private use of the entire ground floor for your comfort and leisure. Please note, however, that as we are all aware, the cost of heating a home is considerably high these days, and quite frankly this just doesn't fit into our budget. Please dress accordingly (and bring food--I don't cook). I'm expecting an outpouring of visitors, so you are advised to schedule with me in advance.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How Can We Be?

Now that my pretty little carpet has once again been urinated upon, I'm reminded that I haven't updated in a while. Last week I received my first holiday gift: a mug that says "Dentist." This gem was lovingly bestowed upon me by an adorable seven-year-old, who smiled sheepishly and proclaimed that she'd picked it out especially for me. How fitting. By the way, I'm closing the office for the holidays, so if you find yourself in need of an emergency root canal, it's not my problem.

Today I received a handmade card that said, "Happy Hanukkah," with a picture of Santa Claus beneath it.

I kid, but the mug and card are proudly displayed in my office--I truly appreciate both and love, love, love the children in my school. I have picked out more than a dozen I'd take home with me in a second.

Ok, I need to get back to pondering "how we all got here" so that I can get back to an anxious six-year-old with some sort of intelligible (or cop-out) answer.

Bye.

P.S. A young child walked out of my office a few weeks ago declaring that the hallway was "moist." How to respond?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Going Going Gone

I am truly a model of dedication to serving the little people. Yesterday I spent over 30 minutes combing the hallway for a lost tooth. The poor girl had quite literally lost her tooth. Somehow while being closely examined by another six-year-old friend (eww) on the way to the nurse, the tooth slipped out of her hand and skid across the floor. Feeling mighty guilty, the friend was found doing quite an impressive split while frantically searching for the lost enamel gem. Of course the hallways have been cleverly designed to disguise dirt and any sort of small object with their multicolored speckled tiles. I ran to the custodian to borrow a broom so that I could try to sweep it up. Despite a valiant search with the giant broom, several minutes of crawling around on hands and knees, recruitment of kindergarten teachers, second grade students, and the assistant principal, the tooth was not found. Devastated, the first grader slumped back to her classroom sans the necessary evidence to present to the Toothfairy. I decided to write a quick note to her parents, explaining the situation, including, "I suspect that the Toothfairy will understand." I tossed and turned all night wondering if indeed the Toothfairy had graciously left a monetary gift despite the lack of usual exchange. Or perhaps my little friend awoke to find merely a note scribbled, "No deal."

You never know....in my experience the Toothfairy was rather unpredictable. I once received a fake coin (in exchange for the fake tooth my sister and I hid). Often I received an admonishing note indicating that my tooth was not up to cleanliness standards. You just never knew.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fear Factor

Ok I'm here to complain, something I do quite well if I do say so myself. I have been sick for six days, and my only souvenir from going to the doctor for advice is a pin cushion of an arm that is sure to turn a lovely shade of yellowish brown by morning. Why is getting blood work such a big ordeal for me? Those shy veins of mine get me every time. I even warned the lady that my veins are tiny and that I get worked up when people talk to me about how difficult it is to draw my blood. I believe my exact words were, "Please don't talk to me." Well, that fell on deaf ears. She took 10 minutes pinching and examining both arms. Then she stuck one arm, complained about what a slow draw it was, pulled the needle out, and waved the half filled vial in my face, saying in an accusatory manner, saying "Well! This just won't be enough!" Meanwhile, I'm trying feverishly to stop my legs from shaking so that the entire bed will stop rattling. Three needle sticks later, she finally gets what she needs out of me. My husband, who has been hiding on the other side of the curtain for fearing of passing out at the sight of my blood, finally pokes his head in nervously to see if the ordeal is over. Some help he is. He too has a intense fear of getting blood taken. What a pair. If I felt weak from not eating for days walking in there, I felt much worse walking out! On the positive side, this virus has done wonders for my figure.

Hoping things look up tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do as I Do

A church in our town had the following message on its outdoor display board:
"Be gracious. You might be the only sermon someone reads."

I usually don't pay too much attention to these posted messages, but this one resonated for some reason. Every day I remind myself that for some kids, coming to school is the best part of their day. It's predictable, safe, orderly, inviting, and most importantly, there are adults there who truly care about them and their well being. For them, no matter what else happens at home, what they witness, what they live with or live without, school is a place where they are taught good character traits and encouraged to incorporate these into their self-reflections and interactions with others. It's easy to forget that kids are always watching us--if we don't model self-respect, honesty, and compassion for them, who will? One thing I promise to always do is to admit my mistakes to children. The only way I know to be gracious is to embrace my humanity and fallibility.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

There's even a little rug for the bathroom!

I had a ten year old student tell me yesterday, "No offense, but I want to see a professional counselor." Ha! Well excuse me and the entirely free and convenient services that I provide during the school day. Fine, bye.

These kids crack me up. I've now had my pretty new yellow chairs loudly farted upon, my checkered carpet peed on, and all the contents of my little fish tank dumped all over the counter and floor (thank goodness my little fishies are battery operated--they would've been goners). My room has officially been broken in (well, christened if you will) by many cute, germy, and somewhat nosy little children. I also have them to thank for my current illness.

Many kids come in and stare, and I mean stare at my dollhouse. Wide eyed, they ask, "What is that?" Um, it's a little house for dolls, not hard to figure out. I think they ask as a way of drawing my attention to their attention to it--letting me know that they would really, really, really like to be invited to play with it. I admit that some kids have even caught me playing with it when I'm alone in my office. I much enjoyed watching my husband assemble it a few weeks ago. Once it was completed and we were unpacking the furniture, he toggled between looking painfully bored and put out by having to help with such a project and excitedly picking up items and proclaiming, "Look at this! The lid to the grill opens! And look! Here's a little ladder for the bunk beds! Wow!" The novelty of it to a grown man who did not grow up with any sisters greatly amused me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fit

I Love, Love, Love my new job. It is such a great fit for me.

This has been hopefully one of the hardest weeks emotionally that I will have to face this year (I have trouble imagining it getting worse), but despite this, I know when I lie down at night that I have tried my hardest to help the children in my school feel safe.

The giggles and hugs are priceless, and these help me get through the day with smile still planted on my face. I'm where I'm supposed to be.

I'm super appreciative of all the staff who have gone out of their way to welcome me and make me feel more at home. And it is indeed starting to feel a bit like home. Yay!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Care Bears and Booger Books

Apparently my husband was none too pleased with the meticulous grocery list I left for him tonight:


milk
lunch stuff
fruit
dinner stuff


What? It encompasses everything we need. He feels strongly, however, that he is unable to enter a supermarket in earnest unless I have crafted him a detailed list of desired merchandise. Tonight my list wasn't cutting it.


I must remove my head from my butt and focus on something other than work. Like eating, and housework, and heaven forbid, fun activity. I seem to expel all my energy at school, getting to school, staying after school, and then thinking about school when I get home. Healthy, I know. It's that whole building the plane while you're already flying it thing....I'm trying to set up my office, figure out what I'm doing, plan my program, and meet the needs of all the kids. And I'm overwhelmed.


BUT...the kids are so darn adorable and loving that it truly puts a big ole goofy grin on my face every day :)


P.S. Thanks loyal reader, for sticking with me despite the hiatus and uber boring posts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

bye bye summer

Let the craziness begin. We were all wandering around the "teacher" store today like zombies, shopping for our rooms. I could hear multiple people mumbling to themselves, everyone exhausted from a long day at work and what we knew would also be long nights planning. Ah, the good life. I admit that I'm incredibly overwhelmed and nervous, but at least I'm doing something that excites me :) More to come when I'm running on more sleep and have a minute to collect my thoughts.

Monday, August 3, 2009

When do we begin?


I guess it really is tiny, incredibly ordinary events that can bring us back to the richest moments of our lives.

This weekend I happened to pass over Crum Creek, which we found purely by accident while driving through southeastern PA. We'd never been to this part of the state before and decided to find a park to explore and hike. I hadn't planned what would become my tiny, humble way of paying homage to my dear, remarkable friend, Dave, on the day after the anniversary of his death. Wandering carelessly hand-in-hand, poking around the ruins of 18th century buildings, appreciating the graceful bending of the trees, and admiring the adventurousness of a mother and child as they navigated their way across the slippery stones in the creek, we found something we hadn't experienced in a long time: tranquility. A few hours of repose amidst what had been a very unsettling week for us, it felt like being gently held in the palm of something so much greater than us. Something that whispered that not knowing the future is the only thing we really can know about the future. And somehow this was comforting.

This is my last week of what has been an incredible four-year journey of learning, both professional and personal in nature, camaraderie, and of course child-like goofiness. Although I couldn't be more excited and ready to embark on my new career, I know that I'm closing the door on something irreplaceable all the same.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Star Struck

So the whole way home today I was craving, and I mean craving, pickles and oranges. Bizarre, right? And no, I’m not, to my knowledge anyway, pregnant. NEway…

Thanks to our awesome friends who shared their tickets with us, this past weekend we went to the national golf tournament hosted by Tiger Woods. It was a beautiful day and a lovely golf course. We were so excited to see Tiger Woods in action and to greet him up close. As he walked right past us at the 10th hole, however, I promptly leaned over and threw up.

We're sitting right up against the roped off course watching him tee off. I'm chugging a red Gatorade because it is so darn hot outside, but I get overzealous and accidentally dump half the bottle down my throat. Trigger gag reflex. My husband, blissfully oblivious to the fact that I'm barfing Gatorade all over my new white pants, starts smacking my shoulder, telling me to pay attention because Tiger is about to walk right in front of us. I am distracted, however, by the current yakking and subsequent ruining of my pants that I’m not at all aware, nor do I particularly care, that Tiger stands within 5 feet of us. Yep.

Does this story surprise you or seem out of character for me? Sadly, it seems to be par for the course of my life (ha!)

I recounted this at work today, and my coworker Rebecca quickly sympathized, saying something along the lines of "I found myself in a similar situation a few years back. When I saw Tiger Woods in person, I had poo squished between my toes." How unfortunate. Cue the obvious questions on my part (Poo? Whose poo?).

Well, that about covers it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

hired

and
    i
      am
          coming
       into
     my
own.

and waiting for it begin.


it's a calling, i think, in it's own way....at least that is how it seems. a career in which i believe i might find true satisfaction.

we'll see :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I knew that the lights of the city were too heavy for me.

Sometimes I feel really disheartened by the way some people treat one another in DC, particularly those with whom I come in contact using public transportation.  Today a woman came out of the metro and starting yelling, "Tell them to hold the bus! Hold the bus!" as she hurried as fast as she could toward it. Yes, it was loud and a tad annoying for those of us around her, but she was clearly in a hurry. She seemed to have some sort of physical disability because her legs didn't bend much as she walked. She was trying to run, without much luck, toward the bus. The man walking in front of me, who weighed 400+ pounds and was using a cane to steady himself as he hobbled along, yelled at her, "Geez, get steppin, lady. For someone who wants to get that bus, you're sure not trying!" 

Was that really necessary? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. If the tables were turned, I doubt anyone would yell at him if he were trying his best to get somewhere quickly. Or, sadly, maybe they would. 

I think that is what happens when people turn their own dissatisfaction and misery outward, or maybe when we're conditioned to treat one another like objects to be maneuvered or manipulated on our way to and from work, instead of as people with lives, families, feelings. I'm honestly no different (except the rude part, which I am not). I avoid conversation because I'm so, so tired all the time, and it's just easier to shut myself off and read or listen to music or just think. The stimulation in the metro system is overwhelming. So I retreat into myself. It's just easier.

Goodnight.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Challah Back Y'all

Today is the anniversary of the day I was expelled from my mother's womb, according to the heartfelt birthday card Tyler sent me. I'll be ringing in another glorious year of newfound stretch marks and wrinkles by attending a Kenny Chesney concert. Yes, despite popular belief, some Jews do like country music. And do wear plaid (all right, maybe that one's all me). And tonight we will be representing Jewish country fans across America (the other five are busy breaking bread with their ma and pa over Shabbat dinner).  Can't wait.

Oh and I graduated last weekend. Woo! Here is my favorite photo from the glorious weekend of events. This was taken, supposedly of me, during the ceremony's processional. But what I want to know is who is THAT guy? And why is he posing? Oh boy. 



Sunday, May 3, 2009

Blame it on the A-A-A-A-A-Alcohol

What a weekend! It began last night with drinks with, get this, Ben Stein and Karl Rove (what an odd pairing!) All right, I'm lying about the drinking part, but we did run right into them while buying gelato down in DC, and Pug got photos with them (I was, of course, too shy). He found them both quite nice and approachable. Oh, and Larry Summers was there too. 

Then this morning we ran our first 5k in the pouring rain! I'm so proud of us--I admit I didn't think I could do it without walking, but it turns out that I can and did! Success! Hmmm, now on to a 10k? Nah. 

First week back to work full time. Woohoo. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oregano

Bec has sent out the weekend itinerary. Each day begins promptly at 0600. I was even generously allotted three short bathroom breaks a day amidst all the scheduled activities. I am brimming with excitement and anticipation.

Yes, it is that time again....down to Virginia.  Can't wait to celebrate Bec's birthday and see their new pad! Yay! It's wonderful to not have to shlep (I'm Jewish) all my schoolwork down with me and pretend to find time to work on it. I can just have fun with everyone without feeling guilty about neglecting other obligations. We get to see the ship Bec'll be stationed on for the next two years! Hopefully she gets a room with a view. HA. 

Ok, gonna go eat a sandwich, bye.  


Friday, April 17, 2009

complicated world


A bird does not sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song.
                                             --Maya Angelou

sometimes the connections we make with people are instantaneous and unexplainable and more powerful than we could have thought possible. how fortunate we are to make these unexpected but somehow cosmic collisions with others while we're moving along our individual paths, leading to who knows where...but our lives are suddenly infinitely brighter for having been there.  

i'll miss everyone at my internship school.



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ovaltine

elated

our love is even better than chocolate

happy second anniversary to us

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Botany

So I was walking across the parking lot yesterday coming from the craft store, and I noticed that a guy driving by seemed to be petting something in the front seat next to him. Being nosy of course, I scooted closer so that I could peer inside. Expecting to find an adorable puppy or a small child, I was surprised to discover that it was instead a case of beer that he was lovingly stroking beside him. Wow, somebody was antsy to go home and get happy on a Friday afternoon! I started to laugh but then looked down and realized I was hugging the new pastel set that I'd just bought. Guess we share an affinity for PDA with inanimate objects. I went home and attempted to create a masterpiece. According to Pug, I fell asleep with purple pastel smeared all over my forehead. 

Yay April! It means grad school ends, wedding anniversary arrives, and weather turns warmer. We took a long drive through the country today and visited some pretty gardens. I feel happy. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I am my own parade

Final push, only two months to go and I'm through with school. I'm so incredibly tired and ready for the next step, but sad nonetheless that this period of my life is ending....it's been an incredible journey for me both professionally and personally, and I'm coming out on the other end more self-aware and confident, although I still have a long way to go....

Matthew, my dear friend and faithful reader, has asked if my blog will continue, and I answer with a resounding "YES!" It might even get less boring, imagine that. An added bonus. As requested, I will continue to post the photo results of my husband daring me to squeeze into small, not-meant-for-humans spaces, much like last year's dryer picture. I don't think I posted the one of me in the poster display carrying case at work. That was a real delightful feat. I'm going to break a rib one day.

Ok, bye.  


Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Half Worchester

I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
-David Sedaris

Juuust kidding. I like you all quite well just as you are. 

I'm taking a break from attempting to do country line dancing in my living room to play with the squishy green calculator Ray gave me. Pug has retreated to another room in fear. But he bought Kenny Chesney tickets for my birthday, yippee!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The snozberries taste like snozberries

Oh Lord. My sister, dainty as a flower. 

Here we have Bec in her new uniform (seemingly doing some sort of a Russian folk dance). Whooo boy did I laugh when she walked out wearing that ridiculous getup. We instantly nicknamed her Violet (from Willy Wonka, of course). This photo just does not do justice to the true massiveness of the uniform. It's gigantic, and about as FAR from form-fitting as it gets. But I particularly like the steel toed boots. Those are big time. Don't mess with her.  

I'm glad she can laugh at herself, because she'll have the pleasure of wearing this daily for at least the next two years. Don't get me wrong--I have nothing but respect for our armed forces, but put a tiny girl in a big ole blue uniform, and who can help but bust a button laughing? 


Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's a long way down

when we chip away at the surface, can we stand to look at what's beneath? the truth about ourselves is put right in our face, but we'll try to look in every other direction.  i think it's about letting go and looking in, but i'm still figuring it all out. but keep telling it to me straight-- i need it. 

happy almost weekend :)


Saturday, January 31, 2009

How the Ford Flex Saved Detroit

During a professional development seminar today I accidentally dropped my shoe into the toilet. There was no toilet paper left in the stall or paper towels in the bathroom, so I couldn't dry it off. So I squished back into the meeting, squirting toilet water out the sides of my shoe onto my nice dress pants with each step.  Then my toes went numb from the cold, wet shoe.  Then I ate lunch.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Priorities

My first thought when I woke up today was not about school or work or personal safety out on the roads.  It was "Oh crap, will they cancel the dance class?"  I've looked forward to it for days, and I had to get there!  Neither our walkways nor the roads in our apartment complex have been plowed, so skating to my car was the only option.  The parking lot was literally sheets of layered ice.  But I was called by a greater force to pick, jab, carve, and scrape until my car was unearthed from its icy lair.  I thought I might die as I slid around the road trying to get out of the neighborhood, but I assured myself that the risk was well worth the reward.  Arriving at the gym to see a full parking lot was like a beacon of white light amidst this gray, monstrous weather. All the other shopping center parking lots were nearly empty, but no, not the gym.  Oh no, we will persevere! We will get those rock hard abs, come hell or . . . icy weather?  I'm an idiot. (but the dance class was awesome)

I know the minute I get into the shower, the cable guy will finally arrive.  Isn't that how it works?  You give up waiting, move on with your day, and then there he is at the door, and well, there you are, dressed in your birthday best.  Oh well. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's Okay

I spent so much time trying to be Right, that I was dead wrong . . . 

I am growing.  But I think I've come a long way. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blue and Yellow Like Sprite

Today my internship supervisor taught me the art of eating M&Ms in the proper order. Leave at least one color of each for last.  Eat two at a time, and only consume color combinations that feel "right" at the time. I'm clearly learning a lot. 

Haha, nah, things are grand. It is fun to be placed with someone with a similar sense of humor who loves his job but who, like me, doesn't take himself too seriously.  I'm learning a ton every day, getting un-shy, and having fun. It's hard to be observed every day, but I'm getting used to it.  But having to wake up and function at 5:30 in the morning is causing my precious few brain cells to fizzle out prematurely, I'm convinced. I'm worthless past 8 o'clock at night and consequently just sit here and write blog entries instead of being productive. Oh lord. 

I am so so so antsy to go to the beach. No shoes, no shirt, no problems.  Can't wait! Poor ghostly pale skin. I'll have to get a spray tan while I'm down there so that when I get back everyone can be jealous.  And I'll of course casually act like I didn't notice I'd gotten any color. It's gotta look like the real deal. 

So my invitation to the inaugural ball must have gotten lost in the mail. All dressed up and nowhere to go.  Geez, Obama, is that how you repay me for all my brilliant strategic advice on improving U.S.'s delicate foreign relation policy with Laos? You can forget about your promised invite to our next Big Lebowski costume party. 

Ok, that's all. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

That Time Again

New Year's Resolutions

(well, what I can come up with on the fly)

* Graduate and start a new job!
* Learn how to use my rice cooker 
* Get my first suntan 
* Develop a new hobby (other than keeping hourly tabs on www.people.com activity) 
* Locate my abdominal muscles and coax them out of dormancy 
* Kick my caffeine addiction
* Run some sort (any sort) of a race. Even a 5K will do.
* Stop swearing as much
* Love more, complain less 
* Be more earnest

Happy 2009!