Thursday, June 12, 2008

wine country

For Christmas, Michael gave me a trip to Santa Barbara, a wine tour and a full body massage. It was fabulous. Currently, life is craptastic, so in lieu of writing damning information about school systems in California, and lying liars and the lies they tell that screw with the education of incredibly cute children with special needs. I will let you know about a stellar couple Michael ran into in the hotel lobby while I was receiving my very first massage. I am 31.
Michael and I meet up and he mentions that he ran into a couple in our hotel lobby. While waiting to check in he overheard this couple asking questions of the hotel staff. The questions?
In the beautiful tiny little Scandinavian, quilt store and wine room town of Solvang.
They ask the staff where is the nearest El Pollo Loco telling the hotel receptionist that the only thing they miss about soCal is El Pollo Loco. Yeah I am sure Brad misses it too.
Then the couple want to know where is the nearest Starbucks.
The staff say there is a coffee shop they can walk to, but this is unacceptable to bland chain restaurant couple who only drink Starbucks. The poor hotel staff say that they know there is a Starbucks in Santa Barbara, and maybe one in another town nearby .

Why do people like this travel?

5 more days of heinous school left

Cross your fingers that I can avoid conflict and find a position with a less insane school system before July. That would feel really good. The parents are arriving for their first visit on Thursday. Having a new job and a clean apartment then would also be a good move. One out of two will be acceptable.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

pre turkey madness

Tonight Michael and I went to the grocery store for our last minute list (which qualifies differently than tomorrows last minute list, which includes all of the things I realize I needed when I got home from the first trip).
We walked into the store and headed to the spice aisle. As we neared the turkeys the grocery store traffic started looking like the freeway traffic (see look at that east coast people I just used the word freeway, in a sentence). There was a pile up of turkeys on the 10 and 3 carts idly maneuvering around as they rubbernecked the turkey carcasses. Michael and I were cartless. Soon we were stuck with 3-5 carts in front at interlocking angles. A meat/turkey guy unloading carcasses into the freezer and 3 interlocking angled carts behind us. Michael with his newly cut mohawk threw up his hands when I denied his escape path and tried to continue maneuvering towards spices. Onlookers tilted their heads and creased their eyebrows to try to understand the AH AH AH noises he emanated as he u-turned towards ethnic foods. I took Michael's first escape route back towards red meat and sausage. We both spent about 10 minutes shopping at opposite ends of the store with out looking for one another. Then we met spontaneously up front by an empty register. Michael had held the list. The damage? NONE. I got poultry seasoning, thyme, fresh parsley, replacement fake swiffer dust clothes, and 3 bottles of white wine
Michael got milk, seltzer, 4 gatorades, and 1 bottle of white, 2 bottles of red
Well hmmm 3 extra bottles of wine as our only double purchase. I don't think that is a mistake I think it is a blessing.

Now. stuffing is made and baking, green bean casserole is made. We are ready to go.

the little things

me kids colds tea
I have a cold and I cannot explain how good it feels to go to bed at 9pm and just sleep. I never do that and last night was the second day in a row. Added to that is the feeling I had yesterday and today when I know I don't need to greet eleven 5 and 6 year olds in an hour and a half. 5 and 6 year olds that may be feeling tantrummy, or bitey, or runny nosed, or just plain runny. And I may be the only person greeting them while I wait to see if my district has deemed me worthy of a substitute classroom assistant for the day. Wait, stop I am not supposed to be whining about work here. Its not professional. Instead I was going to proclaim my happiness of this morning and last while I enjoyed my hot tea and buttery toast knowing that if I don't leave my house at 7am I am still good, no running around or crazy phone calls to make.
Last night it dawned on me that I have been assigned the turkey in our potluck style Thanksgiving feast. Well that is not entirely accurate. I said fine, sounds good, last Wednesday when RT said "You've made turkey before, it was good, how about making the turkey" then I said "sure" and we commenced stuffing ourselves with wontons and fried tofu. Then on Saturday I bought two turkeys. One big one for now and a little one for later. But I didn't actually think about it until last night. At which time I had a brief moment of holy hell, I am making the main ingredient and I better not screw it up. Then my gnat sized brain started thinking about something else. Or as Mir would say I saw something shiny and was immediately distracted. I did call Jerome who saved me last Spring when the water department decided to turn off my water just when my guests were arriving for dinner. When I had not yet made gravy. And I ran into the bathroom to see if the kitchen sink was broken or if I could get bathroom sink water only to discover that the water was turned off and have the bathroom light burn out. Keep in mind I have 10 foot ceilings. I have no ladder, I have no replacement fluorescent bulb. I have friends calling my phone to say they have arrived and did I know there was a water main break in front of my house. Oh yes the water department folk I called told me this when I called to tell them to come help. There was already a crew outside. There is a strong chance this story has already been told on this site. Well it is 7am. And the point is, it can't be that bad. Jerome made the gravy with the vitamin rich potato water I had the beautiful mom habit of setting aside. It was good. I'll let you know about Thursday. I hope the turkey is defrosted. I keep my refrigerator way too cold.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

no shoe

A record day in my second year of teaching special education, today I sent home my youngest student, my only Kindergartner, with only one shoe. Yes, you read that correctly. He came to school with two and I sent him home with one. Lucky for me the Mom seemed amused when we called to tell her that this occurred about 10 minutes before the end of the school day. I hope she can continue to laugh because I have no idea where the other shoe is. This is not my first lost shoe of the year. Another child had lost shoes during a fire drill earlier in the year. Those shoes however, where inside my classroom and had to be somewhere inside my classroom and where eventually located. This new missing shoe is possibly somewhere in the ivy covered hill on the other side of the fence from our playground.
While I was in the school office to make some copies to go home and I warned the office manager that I had lost a shoe and apologized in advance for any parent phone calls she needed to field in this vein. Another office staff member told me excitedly that the head custodian had found a shoe. "Really!" I exclaimed as I briefly felt relief from our Kindergarten APB on the shoe search. "Yes" she said, "He found it on the lower playground around 9:00 this morning" I said "Wait a minute I may be negligent on the shoe matter but I'm not that bad, he had his shoes until 2:30pm"
In my defense this kid loves to take his shoes off, and though I have been told differently when I commented about playground observation on another blog, it is damn near impossible to see every child every minute on the playground. The consensus is my shoe taker offer, walked out of his shoes in typical fashion and another group of 5 year olds found a shoe to play with, a shoe that may have or may not have gone over the fence. The other little ones that play with my special needs boy spend some time after recess digging in the playground sand and tracking shoe prints to try to locate the little guys shoes. They are the best.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

and I quote

chris from Notes from the Trenches
"...even though Monday was a holiday this has been a L-O-N-G week, all two days of it so far."

I celebrated the 2nd day of the work week with dinner out, with Ryland and surprisingly Michael. I am so full. Dinner was very nice, Ryland and I compared our opposite food weirdness while Michael looked on in amusement. Michael's only food weirdness is no food with tentacles. I don't understand what compels him to draw the line there, because nothing else seems to bother him but I guess it is the same thing that keeps him away from the surgeries on television or horror that I enjoy.
I won't detail Ryland's weird because I don't have permission and Jake is making a list of this that may be an interesting read in the future. Did I ever introduce the boys to you? I certainly talk about them enough. When Michael started the USC program last year he met the guys in his program. They are a cool group of guys and I have made friends with several of them, Hey Michael even started up a business with them, but the actual boys are Jake and Ryland. When we first met we clicked and in a seemingly instantaneous fashion we have bonded in coupledom with the boys as our alter egos. Sometimes our similarities and fast friendship are frightening sometimes when Ryland calls to tell me he is watching Celine Dion on Oprah in a non-ironic fashion I think "Do I know you?"
But anyway, here after that long winded empty intro is a view into my food weirdness. Which in my opinion is not hugely weird, because I will eat most things I just won't enjoy them.
Things I do not enjoy that the world at large seems to like a whole lot:
  • cake!
  • mashed potatoes
  • sweet potatoes in most forms
  • cooked carrots
  • most gooey desserts that are very rich and sweet/puddings/mousse
  • most meat (and yet I did Korean BBQ, see I can eat these things I just mostly choose not to)
  • oatmeal, cream of wheat or any other product of questionable texture like tapioca pudding --see mashed potatoes
Things I enjoy that people tend to not like so much:
  • raw veggies-spinach, carrots, peppers, broccoli, most greens some need blanching and some acidity
  • candy you liked as a little kid, now'n'laters, tangy taffy, sweet tarts etc.
  • seltzer water
  • vanilla or plain yogurt with granola and fresh fruits
  • nuts, unsalted almost anything except peanuts which should probably be added to the first list
  • practically anything with garlic and/or ginger
That's all I can think of now. I am sure that if Michael was not still working all the time (2-5 hours of sleep crazy composer guy) he could add something. He would definitely add a list of junk that I eat, but I don't need to detail that. I talk enough about my wine and chips habit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I am a burrito

Had burritos last night for dinner, this afternoon for lunch and now as I sit in my house and think about what I could eat for dinner, I have come to the conclusion that the only fast thing is a burrito. At least I know that tomorrow I am going out for Thai with Ryland. Until then I need to think of something non-burrito like for lunch tomorrow. Any suggestions are appreciated keeping in mind that my refrigerator only contains burrito fixings, spinach, lettuce, and condiments. I think I see a spinach salad in my future.
While I was finishing up at work today I thought of something from work that could have become a blog post. Unfortunately for you as you read about burritos you will recognize that if it is not written down immediately it leaves my brain. Maybe if the burrito aids my brain in the thinking I will write about it later.

Oh and this is my brain on burritos or actually some of me practicing with the pencil/brush tool in illustrator with my touch pad.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Today I had off. I have been looking forward to this Monday all week. I slept in late, I painted a wall in my bedroom. I finished that crappy book I have been reading. I played with Illustrator because I was inspired by this post of SAJ and this match. In typical fashion I have nothing to show for it but I am definitely starting to feel like maybe someday I could create something I liked enough to show. Well, I will keep going and see if something comes of it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Korean barbeque

Last night Michael finally had the opportunity to go out for Korean barbeque with Bart, Ben and me. Finally because he has been dying to eat this barbeque since we moved in the apartment in Koreatown last July. You can't walk to the end of the block without passing 3 bbq restaurants (well that and 3 Salvadorean restuarants and 2 taco trucks, but the point is meat.) Michael has been desperate to spend an evening cooking and eating all you can eat meat. This is not my idea of a great time at a restaurant with the just the two of us. So it was perfect to go with the boys to help plow through the platter of meat, and then the unfortunate second platter of meat. For the second platter, I actually had enough soju and an overly full stomach so I did the cooking, yay me! The service was all in Korean and we had Ben who knew to order the A platter sans tongue, thus we avoided the tripe and other intestinal goodies. Except then we met Susan the Korean mommy type from the table next to us. She adopted us for the evening and made sure the waiter kept our barbeque clean so we weren't completely smoked out. Then she ordered us an even tastier bottle of soju. Then she ordered us soup (that I know was full of questionable meat products and yet with a belly of other meat, kimchi and soju I ate the spicy yummy soup and tried not to think about questionable meat content.) Susan was incredibly sweet and told us about her daughter's English husband and ordered more and more food for us "I pay, I pay!". All around a good evening. We went, we ate, we came home and some of us showered to remove the meat smell from our clothes and hair. Others sat and basked in the continued smell of meat. A bunch of the other boys came over for beer and Back to the Future watching. It was a great Saturday.