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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in review...

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Went to West Palm Beach and started classes at USC.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any last year. This year I'm making two -- seeing more baseball and keeping in better touch with old friends.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, one of the gals at work

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, one of my parents' friends, who was always around when I was a child.

5. What countries did you visit?

England and France -- ooh la la!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

I can't say I lacked anything this year...

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Election Day.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Moving on from a horrible boss and the residual from that.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Hanging on to bad feelings too long (mainly due to that horrible boss).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, I fell in May and hurt my knee. It's been a nightmare trying to get it 'right' -- here we are at the end of the year and it's still not right.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Has to be my car. Love my car. Love.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My daughter, at times...last night she told me her life's work will be to ensure "everyone in the world has adequate housing." She's 10.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My daughter, at times...she's 10 and wow, I'm not looking forward to the teenage years!

14. Where did most of your money go?

My gorgeous car and TRAVEL!!!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Paris in April. London in November. Watching my daughter decide to take piano lessons and synchronized swimming, but not play volleyball.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Something by the Ting Tings -- reminding me of West Palm Beach this summer...

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?

Happier. Same. Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reveling in the moment. Sleeping in. Just being with my daughter.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stressing about things I have no control over.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas was spent with my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Oh yeah, with places!

22. How many one-night stands?

Not a one.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

The Office. Cardinals baseball games. USC football games.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, but I have a strong dislike for someone who has hurt one of my friends.

25. What was the best book you read?

The First Hour I Believed

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The alternative music station on Sirius.

27. What did you want and get?

That gorgeous car!

28. What did you want and not get?

Can't think of a thing, unless a trip to Morocco...hmm, maybe in 2009!

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

Sex and the City

30. What did you do on your birthday?

I went to dinner with friends, spent a weekend in NYC...all the fun things!

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not falling and hurting my knee.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

A lot less casual than in the past.

33. What kept you sane?

A new boss. Lots of long walks. Good friends.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Hands down, Obama.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

The presidential election.

36. Who did you miss?

I missed Carol, not working with her every day. And I missed Heather, for a while.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

I met Cara, at work. And re-met some people from my past. Very cool.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Bad situations aren't forever.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I can't think of a single one right now!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holidays


Just cannot shake the holiday blues...there's really no reason to be blue. Had a lovely Christmas, surrounded by my family. I'm not sick, my daughter isn't sick. I'm off work for another week. Have tickets to the Rose Bowl to see my favorite team. But for whatever reason, I'm....blah. Down in the dumps. Curled up in a ball with a book, not wanting to do much. Is it the season? Maybe. Is it the weather? Maybe, it's colder at my parents' house than at my house in Southern California.

Madison had a nice Christmas, got just about everything on her list. Santa found her even though we were away from home (whew!). My parents hosted our annual Christmas Eve party and the food was fabulous, the holiday nog (complete with brandy) flowed, and there was plenty of laughter. Christmas itself was nice, surrounded by more family.

Still not back at home...maybe we'll hit the road tomorrow. We need to be back in Southern California by Wednesday, in time for the Rose Bowl -- that's the only time frame.

Hope you all had a lovely and peaceful holiday!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

England!

Back from a week in England...glorious! My daughter and I had the best time -- good mother/daughter bonding time (I'm hoping it will help come those teenage years!). We left last Saturday on a non-stop flight from LAX on Air New Zealand (side note, the best airline I've flown, by far, customer service-wise). Landed at Heathrow and had a car waiting. The car dropped us at our hotel in Kensington, close to Kensington Palace. It was so.cold.and.rainy -- so different than California! We loved it! Our room wasn't ready so we dropped our bags and did a very English thing -- went to TEA! We have a special tea room we love, the Muffin Man. By the time our trip was over, we had eaten at the Muffin Man EVERY DAY in London! A pot of tea for two and cucumber sandwiches fortified us for some shopping on Kensington High Street.


Then back to the hotel for a short nap (for me) and some TV watching (for Madison) before taking a cab over to the London Eye. There was a Christmas fair going on and we got some hot chocolate and crepes made before our eyes (like on the streets in Paris) to munch on while we wandered the booths. We crashed the first night and slept until noon....

....and then more shopping! Can you tell I love, love, love shopping in London?! Took a cab to Oxford Street, a great shopping street, and spent about three hours shopping (with another tea break). In the cab on the way over we passed something called the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and Madison really wanted to go, so that evening we went. Super cool -- she went ice skating (I watched, since I fell in May that kind of thing is out for me) and rode all kinds of rides. It was like a carnival. So fun for her. Then we went to dinner at a nice restaurant, didn't get back to the room until after ten. We had an early train to catch so we went straight to bed.

The next morning the hotel called us a car to Euston Station, where we caught a Virgin Train to the Midlands. London is wonderful but the English countryside is something special...we were met at the station by friends, who took us around Rugby (the town where the game was created). Went to a museum, a few shops, and a great little tea shop. Our friends, feeling sorry for us being out of America for Thanksgiving, cooked a turkey with all the British trimmings -- stuffing, roasted potatoes, parsnips, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower with cheese sauce. For dessert (or pudding, as they say) we had a Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, a throughly British dessert. Very sweet gesture!


Coventry was the best day out, I think. Madison was fascinated by the story of Lady Godiva (Coventry was where she rode her horse naked through the street) and bought a tiny statue. We went to a parish church where a 'doom painting' has just been unveiled. The painting was painted in 1435 (the folks thought the end of the world was coming because there had been an earthquake) and depicts what the end of the world will be like. The Puritans, for some reason, didn't destroy the painting but merely whitewashed over it. It was forgotten for years but recently found. There is only one other painting like it in England but it has been repainted; this one has not. It was gorgeous! We visited the cathedral that was bombed by the Germans in November, 1940, and not rebuilt -- there is a new cathedral adjacent. Powerful is all I can say. And there is a fabulous museum in Coventry that was so kid-friendly; Madison was able to interact with all the exhibits. She had a really fun day!

The next day we took the train back to London and did some shopping for my mom (she sent me with a list). And then....THE LION KING!! What an amazing show! What a gorgeous theatre! WOW! and WOW again! Superb.


A bit more shopping and eating and then a flight back to Los Angeles...it was a marvelous trip that went by all too fast! If I didn't know myself so well, I'd be sad it was over, but I have a feeling I'll be back in England before too terribly long...and back to work tomorrow....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things I have done...

Stolen from Heather...things I have done (the things I have done are in blue):

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Old Friends...

The past week or so I have reconnected with several old friends. Well, that's not exactly true. Last weekend I went to Vegas and yes, I connected with my cousin (who is my closest friend) but since we talk every day, is it really a reconnection. I guess it is since she lives in Alabama and I rarely see her -- so yes, I reconnected with her! We went out to dinner and dancing (she danced, I didn't because my knee still isn't right) with another cousin -- that is a reconnection. I haven't seen her in well over a year.

Today I went to a jewelry show hosted by an old friend I haven't seen in....at least two years. That's a crying shame considering she lives super close. But we both lead busy lives, time slips away, and before you know it, we are saying "Why don't we see each other more often?" -- it was great to see her today. I invited another friend to go with me to the show. This friend has been not as close recently as we've been in the past, but today was nice. (I don't like the word nice, by the way, it seems so base, and I don't know why I used it). The jewelry was by Park Lane, I had never heard of it but I liked it. I ended up paying full price for three pieces, paying $12 each for three pieces (one of which was priced at $49) and getting a $68 necklace free. I could only find a couple of pictures on the Park Lane website, but I bought this set. It looked retro to me, and I love retro jewelry! Plus I wear a lot of brown, and it will look nice (there's that word again).




















So overall, I'm pleased with my reconnections! It feels good to have seen these people again, and I wonder why I let the relationships slide a bit (all except the cousin I talk to every day...)...I need to work harder to keep my girlfriends close!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Woke up this morning (after a fitful sleep, so excited about the Obama victory!) ready to get on with the next chapter in this country's history. Ready for Obama's transition office to open (today! He's not wasting a moment of time) and ready for the wounds created by this campaign to start healing. And taking a moment to realize that some older, deeper wounds are healing too. Just reading the stories of people who fought in the Civil Rights Movement who never thought they'd see the day that a black man would be elected President of the United States made me tear up. Savor this victory for them and for all the people who never thought they'd see this happen, not in their lifetimes. This victory was by the people, for the people. Or as John McCain said, "The people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly."

I truly believe we have a chance for change in this country. We need it, we have to have it. The past eight years we have seen our civil rights diminish and the rights of the office of President increase (while the role of the courts and Congress have decreased). I travel overseas several times a year, and the way Americans are regarded has changed much during the past several years. I think that will change. I hope it will. We elected our best chance.

Kudos to the youth vote, for getting out there! And to all the first time voters, good for you!! I went this morning to buy a paper and talked to a 48 year old man who voted yesterday for the first time. He said it was the first time he felt like it mattered to him personally who won (he was an Obama supporter).

On a side note: my school held a mock election yesterday; all 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students were allowed to vote at their recesses. 340 students voted -- 86% of them voted for Obama. Wow!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Can!


Change we can believe in...

VOTE!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mrs. Muzingo

I saw this idea on Emily's blog, to write about an important person. I don't think I can write about a new person every day, but maybe every once and away…and no way I could get this down to 40 words, but I tried!

Mrs. Muzingo taught 4th grade. She was tough, she expected my best. I remember math packets instead of math lessons, we worked at our own pace on independent work while she gave individual lessons. Loved that! And class plays. That, to this day, is what I draw on when I get nervous speaking – my fourth grade 'drama' experience. I loved Mrs. Muzingo!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jackie and Me

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Jackie!

mm.jackie_.jpg


You are a Jackie. "I do everything the right way."


Jackies are realistic, conscientious, and principled. They strive to live up to their high ideals.



How to Get Along with Me


* Take your share of the responsibility so I don't end up with all the work.


* Acknowledge my achievements.


* I'm hard on myself. Reassure me that I'm fine the way I am.


* Tell me that you value my advice.


* Be fair and considerate, as I am.


* Apologize if you have been unthoughtful. It will help me to forgive.


* Gently encourage me to lighten up and to laugh at myself when I get uptight, but hear my worries first.



What I Like About Being a Jackie


* Being self-disciplined and able to accomplish a great deal


* Working hard to make the world a better place


* Having high standards and ethics; not compromising myself


* Being reasonable, responsible, and dedicated in everything I do


* Being able to put facts together, coming to good understandings, and figuring out wise solutions


* Being the best I can be and bringing out the best in other people



What's Hard About Being a Jackie


* Being disappointed with myself or others when my expectations are not met


* Feeling burdened by too much responsibility


* Thinking that what I do is never good enough


* Not being appreciated for what I do for people


* Being upset because others aren't trying as hard as I am


* Obsessing about what I did or what I should do


* Being tense, anxious, and taking things too seriously



Jackies as Children Often


* Criticize themselves in anticipation of criticism from others


* Refrain from doing things that they think might not come out perfect


* Focus on living up to the expectations of their parents and teachers


* Are very responsible; may assume the role of parent


* Hold back negative emotions ("good children aren't angry")



Jackies as Parents


* Teach their children responsibility and strong moral values


* Are consistent and fair


* Discipline firmly

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Six Things

Heather tagged me, so here goes:

Six things that make me happy, in no particular order:

1. Interacting with my daughter Madison. That girl is something else! Last night we bought tickets to see The Lion King while we are in London, and she lobbied HARD for the primo seats. We ended up center stage, row 8. Can't wait!

2. Settling in with a good book on a rainy (or cloudy or fallish-feeling or really ANY) day. Right now I'm reading Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian and I'm enjoying it. Couldn't put it down last night to get to bed, in fact!

3. Going to a live sporting event. It can be my beloved St. Louis Cardinals or my favorite college football team, the USC Trojans (boo, on the road AGAIN this weekend), or even a Lakers preseason game like I'm going to tonight, but put me at a live sporting event and I am happy!

4. Traveling. Anywhere. Madison and I are going to London the end of November and we are super excited. I have the "travel bug" for sure. Put me on a plane and I'm happy.

5. Learning. The classes I'm taking right now, at USC, are amazing. That doesn't even begin to describe them; this is fast becoming the best academic experience of my career.

6. Finding a new treasure. That book I've been wanting to complete my collection. Or the saucer I've been missing from my 1940's collection of Homer Laughlin dishes. The internet has certainly changed my collecting habits, but wandering around shops -- that makes me happy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Travel...

Let's see...since the last time I posted I've been to New York City for a long weekend. It was FABULOUS, as always. There's something about walking in the city that I love. I always stay in Midtown Manhattan and this time I was lucky enough to get a room at the Michelangelo on 51st and 7th. Great hotel! Did some shopping on 5th Avenue (especially at Takashimaya) and ate some fabulous food.

Over Veteran's Day weekend I'm meeting my cousin in Vegas. We are from Vegas so it will be old home weekend for us. We have plans to see the Lance Burton show and more plans to eat fantastic meals. We always have a girl's night out that involves dressing up, dancing, clubs, and this time, maybe a lounge show. Looking forward to it!

But my big travel news is a week in London the end of November. Whoop! Booked my plane tickets -- Air New Zealand from LA to London. My daughter and I are all set! We're excited, it's been a year since we've been to London so it's high time to get back. November is a great time to go, the shopping will be phenomenal (can't wait) and the weather will be great for walking, as well. We're going to spend a few days of our week with friends in the Midlands. If you've never been to the middle of England, that's a 'must see' place. It's gorgeous! We go to Stratford every single time we go to England (my 10 year old daughter has been known to quote Shakespeare) and I can't wait to go back.

So now all I have to do is get through October....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Football



Finally recovered after a GREAT football game Saturday. Went to the USC vs Ohio State game in LA. I have been a USC fan since...well, since I can remember. I've been going to USC games since I was 7 years old and we had season tickets. When I grew up and moved to So Cal, one of the first things I did was get a set of season tickets. There were some lean years in the 80's and 90's as a Trojan fan, but the last 8 years under Pete Carroll have been FABULOUS!

The game Saturday was between my #1 ranked USC Trojans (and I can say *my* because I am taking graduate classes at USC and I have a legacy, my grandfather went to USC on a baseball scholarship in the 30's) and the #5 ranked OSU Buckeyes. I have 3 season tickets, and my dad and uncle drove down from Vegas to go to the game with me. They got to my house around 10:30 and we headed up to LA. Because it was a night game, we decided to stay overnight in downtown LA, so the first thing we did was stop by the Biltmore Hotel (super Art Deco hotel) and drop off our bags, then catch a cab over to campus. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE CAMPUS LIKE IT WAS ON SATURDAY. So many people, such a festive atmosphere! I have been to bowl games and a National Championship Game and I can honestly say that Saturday's game rivaled any of those experiences. In fact, it might have been better because it was a home game.

My dad wanted my uncle to see Heritage Hall, the place on campus where USC keeps all the athletic awards won. Seven Heisman trophies. A crystal football. The history is amazing in Heritage Hall. We saw Tommy Trojan and then headed across the street to settle in and wait for kick off. We were able to see the USC players enter the Coliseum, walking down the steps into the stadium. That was a great moment. And such a great game, from a USC standpoint! After the game, we stayed to hear the band concert (love that!) and then we caught a cab back to the hotel. The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel and drove back home.

Fight On Trojans!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lovin' Me Some Custom Jeans!

About four weeks ago I ordered a pair of jeans from Indi Jeans. Not just any jeans. A pair of CUSTOM MADE JEANS! Just for me, made to my body's size and shape, and made according to what I wanted -- what type of pockets, hem, stitching, etc...

It's been a LOOOONG four weeks waiting for my jeans. Would they measure up to my expectations? I have very high expectations when it comes to my jeans. I usually buy my jeans at high end department stores and pay close to $200 a pair because I want the fit, comfort, and style afforded by those type of jeans. Indi jeans were close to that in price ($165 all told) which is why I went ahead with the purchase, the price wasn't outrageous and the concept intrigued me. If the process worked, I'd be back for more. If not, there's a full refund guarantee.

Finally today my jeans arrived. They are PERFECT! The cut fits me exactly, even better than I hoped. Each item I picked out is exactly like I wanted. The weight of the fabric isn't too heavy or too light, it's a nice jeans weight. I'm so going to order another pair! LOVE THEM!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Difference between a community organizer and a governor?

Saw this on Debbie's blog and traced it back to Terry Carroll:

The difference between a community organizer and a governor? Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor.

There you have it! Can I get it on a t-shirt?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Omnivore's One Hundred

I’ve seen this on several blogs, and since I have some time on my hands, here’s my list.

These are the instructions:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison (it was an accident, in a sausage)
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea (one of my favorite things in the world!)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette(accidently ordered it in France, the smell alone made me ill)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill

76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tagged

1. Where is your cell phone? next to me
2. Where is your significant other? not sure
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? Vegas baby!
5. Your father? also in Vegas
6. Your favorite thing? hmmm, reading and teaching
7. Your dream last night? forgotten
8. Your dream/goal? keep teaching and traveling
9. The room you're in? living room
10. Your hobby? travel
11. Your fear? pain
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? with a doctorate
13. Where were you last night? at home
14. What you're not? stressed
15. One of your wish-list items? more travel
16. Where you grew up? Vegas baby!
17. The last thing you did? went to work
18. What are you wearing? jeans and a tank top
19. Your TV? off
20. Your pet? fat
21. Your computer? laptop
22. Your mood? happy
23. Missing someone? yes
24. Your car? platinum BMW
25. Something you're not wearing? makeup
26. Favorite store? Monsoon in London
27. Your summer? too short
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? can't remember
32. Who do you want to tag?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Productive

With only two days left until I'm officially back to school, today was VERY PRODUCTIVE. Went to the grocery store (my cupboard was bare!), did several loads of laundry, made a cake -- from scratch -- for Madison to take to her end-of-summer party at day camp, took Madison shopping for her new school uniforms, and made spaghetti for dinner. AND sat in traffic on the freeway for an hour (that darn uniform shop is not close, and somebody rolled his car while we were shopping). In between, I did some schoolwork -- put paper in folders and printed out some of the things I've created for the new school year. Not a bad day's work!

Still have some schoolwork I want to get done tonight. When I went to the gifted education conference in June, I learned about independent research projects and I want to get some material ready for the kids. I've made a Staples run and have everything I need, just need to put it all together. The Cardinals are on TV and Madison has promised to help me...

Tomorrow is my first day of physical therapy for my knee. My doctor wants to try therapy instead of surgery. I'm all for that. I think tomorrow is more of an evaluation at the therapy place, it's in the same center as the doctor, a sports clinic. I just want to not have any more pain.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend Getaway

Went up to Santa Barbara for the weekend. Just to get away...it was nice. I had never been up there. The downtown was cute, kinda reminded me of Miami, not as vibrant or hip, but it definitely had a 'feel' to it. Quite expensive, shopping-wise. Took Madison to see the mission she did her 4th grade report on -- La Purisima Concepcion. It was about an hour outside of Santa Barbara, near Lompoc. It's the only mission that is a California State Park. I was pleasantly surprised by how clean and nice the mission was. The volunteers all dress in period clothes (early 1800's) and answered all our questions, and gave us a bit of history.


Bought a pair of custom made jeans. Lori mentioned the site on her blog, and I decided to jump in and give it a try. The process seemed very thorough and there is a guarantee on the jeans -- if I don't like them, I can have another pair made or get my money back. The downside will be waiting 4 to 6 weeks for the jeans to arrive. That makes sense, given that they are being made just for me. But still, I'd like them sooner!

Tomorrow I have a one day training on an Intervention Program I volunteered to teach. My district, in an effort to save money, did away with summer school. Instead, we're asking kids to stay after school an hour two days a week for this program, from September until Thanksgiving. No one wanted to teach the program, and I do mean no one. I finally volunteered because I figured there was no way my school year could be any harder than last year, and I know I will do a good job with the kids. Did I just jinx myself by saying my year won't be harder? I hope not!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dude, you aren't that important

So I'm at this training with a room full of teachers. Most of them are cool. One of them is -- well, full of himself. California went "hands free" with cell phones in cars July 1st. This guy comes into the training wearing his hands free ear piece on his ear. And he keeps it on ALL DAY. He hasn't received one call but that doesn't matter -- the ear piece stays on...

I can see wearing an ear piece if a person's job requires them to be on the phone. Or if an important call is expected. But to keep it on all day? And never get a call? Come on. Get over yourself. You aren't that important. Really. If you are expecting a call, put your cell phone on vibrate, like the rest of us.

We're sitting by grade level and my grade level happens to be in the back so I have a view of the back of this guy's head. ALL DAY LONG. Yesterday, the guy sitting next to me asked, "Is he wearing his Bluetooth? Are you kidding me?" so I'm not the only one annoyed. Can you tell I'm about done with the training? It's only day 4...I have the rest of today and all day tomorrow to go...SIGH!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Training

I'm attending a week long reading training this week with my friend Carol. Carol was my first friend at work, 15 years ago, and we have continued to be good friends both in and out of work. The training is at a local university and goes all day, Monday through Friday. Breakfast and lunch is included, and Carol and I have been meeting for breakfast each day. It's been nice to catch up with Carol -- she has a terrific sense of humor and is just plain FUN. This morning I decided to 'do' my hair and make-up -- the whole nine yards. Carol said, "You look great! Are you sure you aren't going on a date instead of here?" Ha! She made me feel good. I used my new Too Faced eye shadow insurance, Laura Gellar eye shadow, Too Faced mascara, Michael Marcus Prime and powder, Michael Marcus blush, and Michael Marcus lip gloss. The Michael Marcus items I bought at Takashimaya in New York City and the rest is from Sephora.

Other than that, the training is -- well, draining. I've taught the reading program for several years and most of the material is review. There have been several nuggets of information I can take back, but they are few and far between. The best part is meeting new people. There are 26 people in my session (Carol is in a different session, she teaches a different grade level), none of whom teach at my school, so everyone is new to me.

My "welcome back to work" letter came in the mail today. I officially report back to school next Thursday. WHERE DID THE SUMMER GO?? After this LOOONG week, I have a single day training Monday (on an after-school intervention program I volunteered to teach) and then Tuesday and Wednesday off...then back to work....fall is coming!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In Vegas and an Award...

I'm in Vegas for the weekend. It's been pretty uneventful except for my sixteen year old niece acting up. Is that typical teenage angst? Who knows. She has never been typical and this time she posted things on her MySpace page that, really -- she should not be posting. And if the things she put out there are true? Wow.

Are you watching the Olympics? I'm loving them, even the events I don't usually like.

Thank you to Heather at Chasing Butterflies for the award! Love it! So much that I put it on the side bar -- it might be the only award this blog ever wins! I'm supposed to nominate other blogs, but I don't like to do that (sorry Heather!). The buck stops here, I guess.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Eight Things


Saw this on Mindy's blog...eight things I want to accomplish before I die:

1. Raise Madison, my beautiful 10 year old daughter.

2. That doctorate degree...it's calling my name, I just need to step up and get to it. The program at USC seems like a perfect fit. My entire life, I've wanted to get a doctorate degree. This academic year, I'm taking a series of four courses (also at USC) on teaching gifted students -- that would give me time to take the GRE, get my portfolio together, gather references -- and be ready to START the doctorate program next fall. I can do it!

3. Own an apartment in New York City. Just a small one. A studio would be fine. I love New York City. Just love it. And I'd love to have a place there, some place of my own.

4. Visit Morocco. For some reason, this seems so exotic and far-fetched. I've been to Europe so many times, but Morocco? Hmmm....definitely on my list of "I want to, someday..."

5. Attend a World Series game that the St. Louis Cardinals are playing in. I've been to regular season games. Division Series games. League Championship games. But never the Big Dance.

6. Spend each summer doing things I love. Last summer was Paris and London (with a bit of New York City thrown in). This summer? West Palm Beach. Next summer? Already talking about Eastern Europe and winding back through Paris. One of the joys of teaching is long stretches of summer off -- and I need to commit to taking advantage of that.

7. Visit the College Football Hall of Fame. I can only do that if I attend a USC Trojans football game at the University of Notre Dame, because for sure I won't be in South Bend for any other reason! I went to the 2005 game in South Bend, a whopper of a game, and I don't know if any experience could top that -- but I'd love to go back. For sure on my list.

8. Go to Greece, to visit the land of my ancestors. Catina Nicolopous (my great-grandmother) came to this country in 1914, at the age of 22, from Greece. I have the records from Ellis Island, but I'd love to stand at the port in Greece and see the ocean from that side of the world.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wondering

What is it with people? People who change plans, who call you up and say "Oops, sorry, know that thing we were supposed to do? Can't make it. Let's reschedule." Uh huh. And then, after a time or two of not making the rescheduling, when you are finally DONE with the whole thing -- said person gets annoyed with YOU for being over it. Yeah. What's with those people?

To make myself feel better, I made the ultimate comfort food lunch (for me). Growing up in Las Vegas, the best lunch/dinner/breakfast/whatever was a toasted cheese tortilla. Just cheddar cheese on a flour tortilla, in the broiler. Today I fancied it up with a sliced avocado after it came out. Oh yeah!

And to make myself feel EVEN BETTER, I think I'm going to take a weekend in September (I have two from which to choose) and fly to St. Louis to see my beloved Cardinals. I can fly out Saturday morning, catch an evening game, stay the night, see a Sunday afternoon game, and fly home Sunday night. Doesn't that sound perfect for me?!

Went to work today for three hours and put paper on the walls. One thing I hate about changing classrooms is how the room doesn't feel like me. After today, it's starting to...I'm planning on another visit this week. Maybe two more. Next week I have training and the week after that (on Thursday) it's back to work...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

West Palm Beach

Hello from West Palm Beach! It's gorgeous here -- not too hot or humid (like everyone warned me it would be, they were all WRONG) and simply put, BEAUTIFUL. I'm staying at my cousin Vicki's father-in-law's house (he's not here, he only comes a few months out of the year). It's in a gated community, on a golf course, next to a lake. Can it get more perfect? I don't think so!

South Florida is a dream. The beach Vicki and I have been going to is Jupiter Beach and, compared to the beaches in Southern California, there is NOBODY THERE. We drive right up and park the car right on the street. Parking is free. What is that? That doesn't happen where I live. Then there is a little wooden area to walk through (there is a path) and it opens up to the beach. Literally, there are wide open spaces to set up our chairs and towels. Nobody behind us or in front of us, or even next to us for several feet. Unheard of where I live. The water is about 85 degrees and crystal clear. We take the boogie boards and float. My knee feels so good in the water! Great therapy! The only bad thing I have to say is that even with sunscreen my back got so much sun that it's starting to peel :(

There's also a pool in this community, and we bought a frozen Bellini mix and took that down to the pool one night. There was nobody there but we still had a blast. It was raining (in July? For a West Coast girl, that was a novelty!) and we put the lawn chairs under the eaves and drank our frozen Bellinis and watched the rain hit the pool. It was fun!

Yesterday we drove down to Miami, to South Beach. What a different feel that town has! Hip, vibrant, young. Very fun. We ate at the Front Porch Cafe overlooking Ocean Drive and then did some shopping along Collins Avenue. It was super H O T in Miami though, much more so than in West Palm Beach.

We've been to the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach. After going to the finest museums in the world, the one here just doesn't compare. They have one Monet (it actually had palm branches, I had no idea he painted one of those) and one Picasso. And the City Place shopping area in West Palm is nice, too -- we also took a tour of the area, by land and sea. The tour guide said there are three types of money there -- old money, new money, and your money. She pointed out the house the owners of QVC are renovating and said that was an example of 'your money.'

Still have three more days before going home. I'm super relaxed, which is what I needed from this vacation. And when I get home, I have New York City to look forward to -- I love summer!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

*the dress*


This is the Diane von Furstenberg dress I bought. It is gorgeous, 100% silk with no buttons or snaps, just the wrap to tie it shut. I took this picture off her website, I haven't worn it yet...it will be going with me to New York City the beginning of August!!

Sparklers


My goodness, I have a lot to catch up on!

Got to Vegas on the 3rd to find my parents had no air conditioning. In Vegas. Ummm...yeah. We scattered to various places until the repair guy could come out and get it fixed. Luckily my dad didn't ruin the compressor by not running the unit even after it stopped working and it was a fairly easy fix.

On the 4th of July my uncle hosted the entire family for a BBQ. So much fun! His girlfriend makes a frozen drink concoction with frozen lemonade, half and half, and vodka -- yum-o! Eventually we moved on to shots of tequila, that was exciting...and I heard old family stories I had never heard before. Love when that happens. The fireworks were fantastic, and Madison finally, finally got to hold her very own sparklers. She LOVED them!! We also bought some poppers. Probably our best 4th of July yet.

Went to Diane von Furstenberg (her shop) while in Vegas. I have been wanting a wrap dress for forever -- or so it seems -- and I finally bit the bullet. On the DvF website, I saw a red and white wrap dress that I loved. When I went into the shop, I told the salesperson which dress I wanted and what size (because they only display one of each dress, the other sizes are kept in the back). She went in the back and found my size. She brought it out and said it was the last one, that the entire company only had three left in my size. It fit perfectly! AND it was on sale for 40% off! So now I own the dress I have been wanting :)

Came back home Monday because I had an appointment to see what was wrong with my knee. I fell the end of May when I was roller skating and it just isn't feeling any better. Went to an ortho specialist on the advice of my regular doctor. Turns out I tore my meniscus (What? Didn't even know I had those!), cartilage between the femur and tibia. The bad news there is it doesn't repair itself because there is no blood flow. I need arthroscopic surgery to repair it. The good news is, because of the insurance company authorizations and how long those take, I'll still be able to go to Florida and New York City before the surgery in about three weeks. WHEW!

...and now I'm getting ready for my Florida trip...I leave next week for 10 days in West Palm Beach!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Home

My house is coming together. In the past six months I've painted the exterior, installed new carpet in the living room/dining room, bought and installed blinds/Roman shades in the kitchen and living room/dining room, and bought a brand new central air conditioner. For a 1950's ranch house, these are some major improvements! I still have some things on my 'to do' list -- the fence from the driveway to the backyard needs to be shored up, the sprinklers in the front yard need to be redone, and the carpet in the master bedroom needs to be ripped up and wood floors installed. I've also done some purging of things inside the house, remember those bags of things from my closet?

Tomorrow I'm going HOME for the 4th of July weekend. My daughter has never seen fireworks like they have in Las Vegas -- each family lighting them off in the street, in front of their own house. In Riverside, where I live, individual fireworks are illegal. Not in Vegas. Madison has never seen a sparkler. She's 10. It's time. I'm picking her up from summer school at 11:30 and we're hitting the road. If traffic is good, we'll be there by 3:00ish. My uncle is having a BBQ and the entire family will be there. Good times, good times!

We'll be in Vegas until Monday morning. Madison has summer school Monday and I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist about my knee. School starts at 8:00am so we'll leave Vegas by 4:30am and I'll drop Madison off at school. We've done this many times and it works well. She sleeps in the car while I drive. I'll nap once I get back from the ortho doctor. I'm hoping to find out exactly what is going on with my knee -- it's been four weeks since I fell roller skating and I am still in pain. Today I picked up my x-rays so I'm all set.

Took Madison to see the American Girl movie today. It's set during the Depression, and while it presents an idealized view of soup kitchens and hobo camps, it's still worth seeing.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Recap

The conference I went to (for teaching gifted students) was AMAZING. The researchers at USC affirmed my teaching and gave me next steps. I can't wait for the new school year to begin! And I had already signed up for a series of four courses with the professor who led the conference. I'm super excited now -- the courses were described as an extension of the conference. Yay! Professional development can be hit or miss. This was a definite HIT!

Yesterday I drove about an hour to Laguna Niguel to see a girlfriend I went to high school with. She was my best friend through those years and we don't see each other as often as I'd like, even though we don't really live that far away...it was a nice day. She has a pool, and we sat outside for a bit. Had a nice dinner, chatted some (so nice to just be able to talk about everyone in my family since she knows them all) and then came home. I told her, "If I hadn't known you so long, I would never be this honest with you, I'd think you'd think I was a freak!" -- by the time I was done telling her about my sister, my niece, my parents -- luckily she has a family like mine! Do we all have families with those people? And we just don't talk about them as openly as we do with people who have known us a long time?

I'm in the midst of a purge at home. My closets were out of control. So far I've taken out 15 bags of stuff. FIFTEEN bags! And I'm not done! That's from my closet and Madison's closet. I have to do the linen closet and the front hall closet still...It feels good to have the stuff out of the house, though. My house feels bigger somehow...and after seeing how organized Melissa's closets were yesterday, I'm really motivated now!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feelings

I'm so tired.

  • Of people taking their attitudes and trying to push them on me.
  • Of mean people.
  • Of rudeness. What happened to manners? To being nice?
  • I'm tired of my knee hurting. When did falling down on roller skates mean a month (or more) of pain?

I'm sad.
  • That my trip to New York City was canceled.
  • That friends aren't always what I think they are.
  • Or that friends can't be what I want them to be.

I'm happy.
  • Going to Vegas this weekend!
  • New York City was rescheduled and the weekend is probably better anyway.
  • Meeting the 'girls' for coffee this morning.
  • Ten days in West Palm Beach is not that far away!

I'm relaxing.
  • In the middle of the new Elizabeth George book, and I love it.
  • Bought the Sex and the City movie book.
  • Have a movie about Paris (the city) to watch.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trust

There is an email going around that starts "I believe..." and one of the things listed is "I believe...we can do something in an instant that will change our lives forever." -- isn't that true? Isn't that the very essence of trust? We trust people with ourselves, our true selves, and they make decisions, in an instant, that change things.

It's hard for me to make friends. I don't trust easily. But when I do finally make a friend, I feel like it's a good, true friendship. Not shallow. Not superficial. Maybe that's my downfall. Maybe I shouldn't value friendship so much. Because when a friend betrays my trust, I feel as if my entire world has been turned upside down.

Am I the only one who feels like this? When a friend does something hurtful, is it the end of the friendship? I have difficulty recovering from betrayal. I know it's a character flaw. And yet...I still cannot get past the feeling of being let down. Of being hurt. Of trust being broken. Of wondering when it will happen again.

There are very few people that I let know the 'real' me. And when those people let me down I become so disappointed...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Contemplating

Why is it that there are certain people (and we all have them in our lives) that can make us doubt ourselves? These people can reduce us to questioning ourselves, to shriveling balls of tears, to masses of self-doubt? Yesterday, my first *official* day of summer, I had two phone calls from two self-sufficient, confident women. They both had encounters with the someones in their lives who made them doubt themselves.

Sunday, Madison was an altar server at church. As she was on the altar, being precious, and I was in the congregation, listening to the service, I was struck by a single comment the priest made. He asked for prayers for "the physically, mentally, and spiritually sick." That single phrase has stuck with me -- how many of us know someone who is spiritually sick, who takes that sickness and brings it to us? Who pushes it on us? Who forces us to become someone we don't want to be in their presence?

And yes, I know -- no one can make you anyone but who you are. No one can change you but yourself. I understand all that. BUT. When faced with that certain someone -- be it your mother or your grandmother or your boss or whomever it is in your life that can push your buttons in exactly the right way -- we shrivel a bit in their presence. Change. Wilt. Become less of who we are. Spiritually melt away.

Thank God for girlfriends. For phone calls to friends. For people to listen. To say, "I know, it's not right...it's horrible...I know..." I know when I have had one of those self-doubt encounters, I want to feel cocooned, wrapped up and loved. That's what my best, closest girlfriends do for me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summertime and the Livin's Easy....

Image hosted @ bighugelabs.com

From Heather's blog, my five favorite things about summertime:

1. lounging by the pool, feeling the sun on my skin

2. summer trips to very fun locations -- last year it was London and Paris, this year it's West Palm Beach and Martha's Vineyard

3. roasting marshmallows once the sun has gone down

4. evening baseball games

5. being with friends, not being rushed to get up early the next day to go to work (one of the perks of being a teacher)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sex and the City

Run. Run right now, grab a girlfriend, and see this movie. You have to! It's one of those "I need to see it again and again and own it and watch it over and over" type movies. It's the TV show, continued. And oh, how I've missed Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. Not to mention Mr. Big, Stanford, and the rest of the crew. They are all back, exactly as they left us. I cried. And cried some more. Tears of sadness, joy, relief, pain -- every emotion possible packed into the movie.

What Sex and the City does for me is take my life and put it on the screen. Not that I'm running around Midtown Manhattan in designer labels, looking for love (love me the Fergie song "Labels or Love"). But the friendships, the nurturing, the insecurity and neediness that each one of us has -- it's all there. When Miranda calls Carrie, or Carrie calls Samantha, or Charlotte cries that she's worried it's her turn for misfortune -- those are all moments every woman has had. We've been the one calling, or the one receiving the calls from our closest friends. And the four women are there for each other, through ups and downs. Over six seasons and then when the movie opens, three years later...

Run right now and go see it!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Father's Day and Presents



Sigh. I'm in a quandary. I arranged for a professional photographer (with access to the field at Dodger Stadium) to take pictures of a Cardinals player, one my dad really likes, when the St. Louis Cardinals were in town last week to play the Dodgers. My plan was to have the pictures professionally matted and framed as a Father's Day present to my dad.

Well. The best laid plans and all that...

My dad has not been nice to me (or my daughter) since last weekend. He left for Las Vegas without saying goodbye in person. Yes, he called my cell phone to say he was checking out of the hotel and see ya later. His room was on the same floor as mine and he couldn't be bothered to walk down to say goodbye to his granddaughter? And then when he got home, he was snippy on the phone with me. Very snippy. As in I wanted to hang up the phone snippy. I haven't heard from him since.

I have six pictures professionally taken -- BEAUTIFUL pictures. At this point, I'm not willing to go to a framers. I did stop by Target and pick up a black frame with a cream colored mat. The frame has space for two 4x6 pictures. What do you think?

Part of me wants to send a card and nothing else. Another part thinks two small pictures in a Target frame is fine. The rest of me wants my dad to know that I was planning something he would have loved, until he started acting like this. Don't ask me why he's acting like he is because I don't know...all I know is, he doesn't get all six pictures. But I do!

Monday, May 26, 2008

A New Car!



NOW I've had the BEST WEEKEND EVER! Went and got a new car. Not just any car....the car I've been wanting and wanting for, oh, MY WHOLE LIFE! Yep, a 2008 BMW 528i. She's beautiful! Silver with black leather interior. Navigation system. Satellite radio. An iPod hookup (I love that feature). Trixie (my car already has a name -- she feels like a Trixie, sassy with a little attitude) and I have been driving around town, getting to know each other. And I'm in love!

Say hello to Trixie!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Let's go Cardinals, Let's go!

I have had the BEST weekend so far...

Friday after work, I scurried down to Los Angeles and checked into the Biltmore. It's a fabulous art deco hotel and I love staying there. After I settled myself into my room, I caught a cab to Dodger Stadium where *my* St. Louis Cardinals were playing. Had great seats on the field level, above the Cardinals dugout on the first base side. The Cardinals won the game 2-1 on a homerun by Ryan Ludwick. Ryan (we're not really on a first name basis) knows my dad's doctor, and it's kind of exciting to "know someone who knows a Cardinals player," if you know what I mean!

Saturday morning I meandered down to the USC bookstore. Since I'm officially signed up for a series of education courses and will be receiving a gifted education certificate, I didn't feel at all guilty buying myself a cap that says "USC Rossier School of Education" because I will be taking classes there. Right? Right! Then I went to The Grove for a bit before hitting Dodger Stadium once again. Had even better seats for Saturday night's game. One of my friends is a photographer for the Dodgers, and she came over to chat. She took some photos for me (of me, of Ryan Ludwick) and those arrived by email this morning. Cardinals won again!

Drove back home this morning...the Cardinals/Dodgers game is on television and I'm camped on the couch. And since it's a three day weekend....AAHHH! I still have the rest of today and tomorrow off from work. What could be better?!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Drama, Tears, and One Tired Teacher

Walked in this morning to find my student teacher in tears. She was in tears again at lunch. And again at the end of the day. My day was framed with her tears. Agreeing to have a student teacher sounded like such a good idea -- let me just say, NEVER AGAIN. N E V E R.

Yesterday the students misbehaved during her math lesson. And C (the student teacher) didn't fully review the math concept, forgetting the final step of simplifying the answer when working with fractions. OK. Then, in the afternoon, I left the room as C was teaching a lesson on natural resources. The principal saw me leave and decided to step into classroom. After three minutes, the principal asked C to take a slooooow walk to the office and a slooooow walk back. Not good. C was crying this morning because, "No one ever tells me anything, the kids said I'm going to be fired!"

C's perception of the lesson was that the kids were behaving, were on-task, and participating. I said, "That's not what the principal saw. She saw four kids paying attention and the rest not. You have no engagement strategies and the students were giving you silly answers. They were being rude and disrespectful." Not a good start to the day.

At math time today, I left the room. (I'm leaving because next week -- GULP -- I'm supposed to turn the classroom over to her completely and I want her to get used to it.) One student called C a fat ass. Several more flat out refused to do their work. C started crying in class and didn't stop. At lunch I asked her if she wanted me to stay in the room the rest of the day and she nodded YES.

After school the principal called her up. C was gone a loooong time and was crying when she came back. Who knows what was said, except that it can't have been good. C's trying, she really is. I've tried everything I know to do -- I started talking to her University supervisor the first week, when I realized there was a problem. I've modeled every behavior management strategy I know, as well as different student engagement strategies. The principal and assistant principal have talked to her (and the students), trying to offer support. This is C's third student teaching placement; how can she have been allowed to get this far with this much of a problem?

Part of the problem is a lack of personality. Maybe it's shyness. C doesn't talk to other teachers, or me. At lunch, she sits next to me but doesn't say A SINGLE WORD. She's been with me since the end of March and will not even say HELLO when she passes someone in the hallway. My team leader said today that she's starting to feel anger toward C because of it -- that's not good.

AARGH! Thirteen more days. I can get through this. Really, I can....but can the students?