Sunday, September 28, 2008

It Takes Two To Tango

I am a good dancer. I started taking dance lessons when I was about 6 and continued taking them until I was in high school. I took ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance. In high school, I was on a dance team modeled after the Kilgore Rangerettes. They do high kick line routines. I loved it. Interestingly enough, I don't really enjoy dancing shows. I've never been a fan of the shows, "So You Think You Can Dance" or "Dancing With The Stars." I don't know why, they just don't appeal to me.

I haven't done any formal dancing since my dance team days, but like most college students, I did my share of going out and dancing. I really enjoyed this, mostly because I just danced with my friends. No guy ever asked me to dance...really. It must have been the vibe that I wasn't putting out. Anyway, I'm not sad that no one asked me.

After college, I did go out with some friends every now and then and went dancing. Like my college days, no one asked me to dance and I was totally okay with that. So as you can see, my dancing abilities are limited to performance dancing and shaking my groove thing with my friends. I've never had lessons on how to do couples dancing.

My husband doesn't really like to dance. We did dance at our wedding. But since he and I never dated and we're not drinkers, we've never really danced. I'd really like to, but haven't. There are two types of dancing that I'd like to learn: the tango and two-stepping. All that keeps coming to my mind are the tango scenes from "The Scent of A Woman" and "True Lies.' As for two-stepping, there's quite a bit of that in the movie "Hope Floats." It just looks fun.

Well, I should scoot out and finish the work that I have so diligently put off for most of the weekend. I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a wonderful work week!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fears Uncovered

Hello world! Today is Saturday. It's a busy day in the life of Tassie. I woke up early to see David off (he went to his dad's house about an hour away to help him cut firewood), and now I have to budget my time today. Of course, blogging ranked up there with things I gotta do. I just checked I can check that off. Now to blog, then off to Wal-Mart, school, back home, and then to a bridal shower. This is huge for me. (Not the Wal-Mart or school thing, just the bridal shower.) Let me elaborate.

First, for those of you that know me and probably those of you that don't know me, this may be somewhat of a surprise. I don't feel comfortable in large groups of people. I really think I have some sort of social disorder. I read one time about something called General Anxiety Disorder and it sounded a lot like me. All I know is, Donny Osmond has this disorder and he does okay. At least I think he does, I haven't seem him on TV these days. Who knows? He may be locked up in his house somewhere, afraid to come out. But I digress......

When I say that I don't do well in large groups of people, that isn't entirely true. I think I do okay at school functions, but I think that's because I feel that school is my "turf" and everyone already knows me and is crazy about me--hopefully! The situations that I feel uncomfortable with people are church and most things like showers or parties where I don't know everyone. Weird, I know. So imagine my apprehensiveness at going to a BRIDAL SHOWER for a girl at my CHURCH! Talk about double whammy. Add to this that I need to bring a dish to the shower, and you've got a panic attack in the making. I don't really cook so well. Not because I don't have the ability, but mostly because I don't have the time to learn and since my mom is the best cook ever, I never saw a need to learn. So, now on top of being nervous, I have to make something too. I never do those things right. Everyone's dish or present always looks more put together than mine. Maybe I'm over analyzing wouldn't be my first time.

New stresses at work also add to my mounting anxiety. I won't go into details, since it's probably boring to those of you who don't know me and those of you who do, already know what I'm talking about. It seems that my already limited time will now be spent at work. I'm thinking of getting an air mattress that I can deflate for the times I spend the night. I have to go into school (again) this weekend to get some things together for a deadline that I have on Monday. I also need to get some creativity flowing as I do some other stuff too. Again, no gory details, let's just say the twitching in my eye has started and now it's also in my bottom lip. When I did National Boards (talk about very stressful) my eye muscle twitched for over three months straight. I'm so not kidding. When I started to feel it happen again, I was worried, because the school year is long from being over.

On a positive note (and I'm sure you were hoping there would be one), I'm happy with my latest haircut. I'm not able to post pictures for a multitude of reasons: 1) There's no one here to take the picture, 2) I'm not crazy about taking pictures in general, and 3) I have STUPID DIAL-UP and it literally takes FOREVER to post anything from my own camera. However, if you want to take a picture of me, post it to Facebook and tag me, then I can easily download that image to my computer and post it to my blog. I think it would be easier if I just moved homes to one in town where hi speed Internet was available. Anyone looking for three new boarders, please contact me. The little one is good at sweeping and can answer the phone.

Well, enough time spent. I gotta get up and do my thing. I hope everyone sends me positive thoughts today as I try to conquer multiple fears. In the meantime, I'm going to swing my hair and walk around in circles with one foot nailed to the floor. Or at least that's what it feels like. Ciao!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Giraffe print? Are you serious?

Okay, so what's the deal with all the giraffe print purses? Maybe other people in the "real" parts of the country have already had this fad and have moved on to bigger and better things, but here in Mississippi, this type of purse is a hot commodity. It seems every other woman has one slung over her shoulder. What I don't understand is, why?

Now, if you have one of these purses, I'm not judging. I'm simply asking--what's the draw? I don't get it! I think that leopard and zebra print is interesting, but for the most part, I'm not partial to animal prints. For some reason, when I see purses in this pattern, all I can picture is the giraffe and it makes me sad. Of course, people, I do realize that it isn't real giraffe pelts, but that doesn't diminish my sadness any. I just don't get it....I don't find this print attractive at all. I'm figuring that someone, somewhere, who's famous or good-looking or both, bought one and it's trickled down from there. Either way, I still don't get it. Most of the purses that I've seen in the print are nice size and shape, just not attractive.

I've been guilty of falling victim to fads in the past. Someday I'm hoping to be the leader of some trend, but I definitely don't think I'll follow this trend. Nothing personal, it just isn't my "bag." And we all know how I'm always looking for the perfect bag......

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Blog Isn't ADD...Ohhhh...Look At That Spider!

The lack of comments on my last couple of posts has caused the creative blog juices to dry up. A sure remedy is to comment!

Really Random Thoughts:

* I went Sonic today and the carhop was wearing in-line skates. I asked her about it and she informed me that you have to be able to skate to work there. They are required to wear the skates. Apparently they have these mystery people who randomly check on different Sonics and they check for things like that. Why couldn't those people teach food service workers to get off the phone and be pleasant?

* I'm very excited about getting my hair done tomorrow. I really like how my hair feels and smells for a couple days after I get it done. If you see me and I'm smelling my hair, don't ask.

* The season premeire of The Office is Thursday night. I can't wait!

* When I came home from class tonight, my husband had strung white Christmas lights in our new carport. I love the glow of Christmas lights. All year round, no less.

* Cooler weather has set in and it makes being outside very nice. On the other hand, my AC at school stopped working so now it is actually cooler outside than it is in my classroom. Have I mentioned that I don't like to sweat?

* I have a couple of occasions in the next couple of weeks where I have to bring food to an event. I don't cook so well and don't have a large recipe collection. Any easy and tasty recipes you have are welcome!

* I randomly break into song and dance in various places.

* I'm ready for fall break. How many more days?

* A woman at my church told me that she's had someone steal gas from her car twice in one week recently. What's up with that? We aren't in a shortage here! Wouldn't that leave a really nasty taste in your mouth? Wouldn't it be better to steal some Scope or something? Granted, your car won't run as well on it as gas, but at least you'd have nice breath.

* My students found a huge spider at school today. It was very pretty. They told me that it was a wolf spider. I don't know if this is true, but if it was true, I feel bad that my kids know more about that than I do. Spiders don't scare me, by the way.

* I found a very small slug climbing the wall in my hallway this morning. David got it off (I wasn't scared, merely grossed out--slugs look weird) and I poured salt on it to watch it shrivel up. Please don't send hate comments to me about this....I don't like slugs and since most other things I don't like (rats, scorpions, rats) move pretty fast, this is the only creature I "play" with.

* I've been thinking about this really cool belt that I got when I was fifteen. It was a clear tube that had sequins free floating inside and it buckled. I've tried everywhere to find another belt like this but I guess I'm out of luck. I wonder what I did with this belt. Even when it went out of style, I still liked it so I can't imagine that I threw it away. It's really sad. If you could see the best, you'd think it was cool too.

Okay, so this post is really rambling...I hope to gain more creative juices from the wonderful (or maybe not so wonderful) comments you'll leave for me. In the meantime, I'm going to go think about spiders, belts, and Christmas lights. Have a nice day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Been There, Done That, Got The T-Shirt....Literally

If my life had a uniform, it would be shorts, a t-shirt, and my trusty Teva sandals. I think most people have a plethora of shirts, but most people have more sense that to wear them as much as I do. I have "dressy" t-shirts that I save for work, but my screen printed tees are the subject of this post.

My belief tends to be that you can't really prove you've been somewhere unless you have a shirt to prove it. That's the excuse I give for spending lots of time shopping for shirts when I go on vacation. Having the shirt makes me feel just a little closer to the trip I took to get it than the situation in which I find myself. Most of my shirts have writing or designs reflecting my travels on the front. There are a select few shirts that is designed both front and back. I say that's more for your money, folks! People in all directions know where you've been.

I have lots of different shirts in lots of different colors. I think my all time favorite shirt is one I bought long ago (and sadly no longer have) to a trip through Booger Hallow, Arkansas. My shirt proudly displayed the town name with the interesting fact that the "population is 7, counting the coon dog." I thought this shirt was so cool.

I have shirts for work and even shirts from David's work. David is very particular about the shirts he wears and he's not much of a t-shirt wearer advertising stuff. That explains why I have two shirts from his school. Not only did I get his work shirt, I also took his shirt that advertises his orthodontist. Supposedly, if he wears the shirt to his appointments, he'll earn more "bucks" which he can later spend. He could care less about this incentive, but I may try to sneak in and see if I can get them for myself. His green shirt advertises that they improve the world, one smile at a time. It's not really his thing, so I wear it for him. Don't worry, after my long bought with braces, my teeth look good so I'm not misrepresenting.

I also inherited a shirt from my mom that she got when her knee worked on. Yes, her orthopedic clinic gives out shirts. When did advertising dentists and doctors start? Those shirts should say, "I got a new ________ (knee/smile) but you can't tell. All you can see is this dumb t-shirt." Another memorable shirt was the one that was given to me when I bought my first Saturn. I think it was an initiation to the Saturn "cult." I think in fine print it should say, "This is the most expensive shirt I own. The car was free."

The kids these days wear some pretty funny shirts too. I see shirts all day that advertise the selling of a sibling, the protest of homework, and the support for playing video games. I think the funniest shirt I saw a kid wearing at school said, "Enough with the learning already." I wished I had one of those in my size.

Raelynn has had her share of cute shirts. One says "Girls Rule" and she enjoys wearing that one. The one I like best (for obvious reasons) says, "My mom is a rock star." When she outgrows it I may frame it and hang it in my house. After all, how can I prove that I've had a child unless I have a shirt that declares it?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fun With Yearbook Pictures

I just couldn't resist posting these pictures. Thanks and a shout out to Laura T. who posted about this site a million years ago and I'm just now trying it out. For those of you who are interested in getting your own "cool" yearbook pictures, go here. Here are some other pictures I came up with.
It's a little spooky looking at yourself (with mighty big teeth I might add) in this manner. But I really did have a good laugh, and after today, I totally deserve it.

What's really scary is that I've had some of these hairstyles. And sadly, they didn't look this good on me.
All right, I'm gonna try posting this but I apologize if the pictures are placed all weird in the post. I still haven't really gotten the hang of putting multiple pictures in a post. I'm learning and it's slow going. Have a great weekend ya'll. I'm gonna go tease my hair so I can have "condo" hair. Please comment if you know what this is....I'd love to walk down memory lane with you. I promise I'll have great hair.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Very Tired Teacher!

So I feel that tomorrow will the be the day that my superhero costume comes out of mothballs. School has been really busy with Fridays the busiest of all. I will have no break from the kids tomorrow, since the specials teacher will be at a meeting. Did I mention that Friday is a busy day? Graded papers go home, STAR notebooks need to be stuffed, newsletter (that I haven't written yet), the homework sheet needs to be prepared....the list goes on and on.

I guess I should be thankful that I look good in tights.

So, I must go and write my newsletter, grade some papers, and file papers for tomorrow. It promises to be a long night (did I mention that I have family in town too?) and with no break.......well, the my bladder will get a workout tomorrow. It's a good thing I'm a superhero, otherwise I'd be in trouble.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

They've Tried To Brainwash Me, But It Just Didn't Take

So everyone has fanatical groups they belong to. Admit've got something you're nuts about and you can't help getting caught up in it all. I belong to several. Let me lay them out for you.

My first "cult" is Weight Watchers. Several years ago, I joined Weight Watchers along with several people that I worked with. I was very successful and lost over 50 pounds in just under 3 months. My basic style is total overkill, so I was exercising like a crazy person in addition to curbing my caloric intake. Once you meet your weight goal in WW and maintain it for 6 weeks, you become a lifetime member. I am proud to say that I achieved that honor. I have the key chain to prove it (I'm totally serious.) When you're a WW lifetime member and you meet other people who are on WW, you start talking the lingo....."How many points is that?" "Do you have any good recipes?" "Can I see your very cool lifetime member key chain?" It's nice to know that if I ever want to become fanatical again about losing weight, I'll have lots of people obsessing with me.

Which brings me to "cult" number two. Several years ago, David and I bought a Saturn. We were in Orlando evacuating for Hurricane Georges and we ended up buying a new Saturn car. Back then, the Saturn Company was cutting edge in its method of no pressure purchasing. Basically this means that you can wander the lot as long as you want and no one will bother you until you ask for help. When you get a salesman (or woman) working with you, they cannot negotiate on the price. You either want it at that price or you don't. We liked our car for the most much so that we traded that car in and purchased a second Saturn. The second purchase wasn't as great as our first. Back then, when you finally purchased the car, everyone in the dealership would stop what they were doing and clap for you as you drove away. They took a picture of you in your new car and gave it to you free of charge. I also got a credit card sized photo stating I was Saturn owner. Like I would show that as a form of identification. They also gave us Saturn t-shirts and a Frisbee. The one thing that will keep me from getting a third Saturn is that they are so "exclusive" in their "cult" that you can only go to a Saturn dealership to get your car serviced. This sucks so bad when you live over 2 hours away from the closest dealership. Yeah...this is one "cult" I'll be glad to get out of.

Another group of overly fanatical people that I'm associated with is the Le Leche League. I'm not a member of this group, but I was counseled by a friend that was a part of this group when I came home from the hospital. I contacted them since I was having problems nursing Raelynn. For those of you that don't know, my daughter was born 8 weeks early and weighed 3 pounds when she was born. I was determined to do everything I could to give her the fighting chance she'd need to get caught up. My friend proved to be most helpful and put me in contact with another LLL member that had a health food store. I'm not knocking it, but if you find someone that is a member of LLL and also the owner of a health food store, watch out, because you have quite a double dose of "cult" right in front of you. This nice lady suggested some herbal teas that really helped. Let me just say that these ladies are adamant that bottles are evil and only breast is best. I don't quite subscribe to this theory, but I can see why they are so passionate.

The last enthusiastic group that I belong to is the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In layman's terms, I'm a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. This means that I went through the mental and emotional wringer to achieve this. It was a very reflective process and I learned so much about how I teach. It doesn't seem possible that you could learn about yourself without going to a meeting, reading a book, or other things we always do to better ourselves as teachers. I've continued to mentor candidates that are going through the process. It's nothing short of a year long mental marathon. Whenever you meet someone who's also a NBCT, you feel an instant kinship because you understand what that person had to go through to certify. It was a great experience and I'm proud to be an active part of this group.
While I'm sure there are other groups that I belong to that also have their share of enthusiasts, these are the ones that occurred to me first when starting this topic. I invite you to share a comment with any groups you are associated with that may be over-the-top and slightly fanatical. Me? I'm going to sit here with my carrot sticks (zero Weight Watcher points) and think of a day when I start my own enthusiastic group. But wait......isn't that why you're reading this????? You know you love me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This Wasn't Supposed To Be My Blog Topic Today

Oh my frustration level is pretty high right now. I've tried several times to upload a picture to this blog and have not been able to. I think it's a combination of my STUPID DIAL-UP and the fact that everyone and their mother is online right now. (I truly mean that....even MY mother is online---probably right now.) It makes for slow moving on the Internet freeway. Instead of being on the Internet freeway, I feel like I'm on some country back road that's not paved. Living in Mississippi, I know lots about these roads. You get where you're going, but at times it seems to take FOREVER.

More frustrations-tonight was the season premiere of Biggest Loser. I won't be able to watch it because of my grad class this semester. It's a sad thing to admit that not watching "my shows" makes me frustrated. The last person I knew that talked like that was my grandmother. She used to tell us about the characters on her shows like they were real people we knew.

Me: Hey are you today?

Grandma: Oh, honey....thanks for asking. My back's been hurting and my arthritis is giving me fits.

Me: I'm sorry to hear that.

Grandma: Did I tell you about Linda?


Grandma: Well. Linda is married to that nice man, Bolt. They've been trying to have children for some time now. Anyway, Linda came home to find Bolt sleeping with Susan, her best friend! I just couldn't believe it!

Me: Uhhhhh...Grandma....who are you talking about?

Grandma: Linda and Bolt. From my shows.

Anyway, she wasn't the kind of grandmother that bakes cookies and knits. She sat in her Lazy-Boy recliner and made me watch her soap operas every day. She would bore me to tears telling me every story line and who was who and how they were a part of the story line. All I wanted to do was watch cartoons. No dice.

Frustrating politics: I'm not going to get political here, because everyone has their own views and most defend them with passion. I'm just frustrated that all I see is negative coverage of both candidates. Enough with the negative ads already! Just give us your side of how you'll fix things and let the American public decide! Really, I think that my husband would be a better candidate. I'm considering writing his name on the ballot in November. I could totally see myself as being first lady in the white house.

Frustrating traffic: I hate traffic. I don't really like to drive. There's one particular place where I live where the traffic light is frustrating. We have a strip mall with a Blockbuster, a Chinese restaurant, and a tax place next to a gas station that also has a McDonald's inside. There is a traffic light at this intersection. Since I don't turn left well into traffic, I often use this light to turn left without killing myself. I swear I have sat through several cycles of light changes and there is never a turn signal, let alone a green light on this side. Very frustrating. I think part of the frustrating part is the fact that it isn't like this all the time. Anyone that lives in Starkville knows what I'm talking about!

Dollar coins frustrate me. I'm not used to using them and they are too close in size to the quarter. Also, how many versions of this thing do we need to figure out it won't work? First the Susan B. Anthony, followed by the Pocahontas coin, now there's the gold Washington dollar coin. They need to stop reinventing the dollar coin. Americans hate change. That's why we don't use the metric system.

Okay, I think that blogging may have helped get over some frustrations. I'll try again tomorrow to be witty. I've been having trouble coming up with blog topics. If you have any ideas, throw them my way! I'll be sitting on my couch....keeping up with the latest happenings of the folks on "my shows."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sleeping and Beds

When I was younger, I wasn't very fond of sleeping. I never really fought going to bed and have always gone to sleep relatively quickly after laying down. I guess I just thought that sleeping was overrated. Then adolescence happened. Like most teenagers, I stayed up too late but never had the luxury of sleeping in. My parents believed (and still do) that if you sleep past 8 o'clock then the whole day is wasted. My father would start hollering to wake up long before he actually made it to my room. It was one of those things that you couldn't ignore if you were trying to sleep. So I would get up, and go about whatever chore I was assigned that day.

When I went to college, I made all my classes early in the morning. My feeling is that if you get them over with early, you've got the rest of the day to play. I never had roommates that shared this view. So basically, sleeping in during college didn't happen either. After I got out of college and started living on my own, the only day I could sleep in was Saturday. For me, sleeping in meant 9 o'clock. Once I woke up, there was no lounging around in the bed. Once awake, I was ready to get up.

David and I have been married for almost 13 years. He tends to be more of a night owl and has difficulty sleeping. When he's not busy (and I can't remember the last time that was) he'll sleep in till about 11 or 12. Not so with me. Now that Raelynn is a part of our family, I try to get up with her and monitor her activities. When I don't, there tends to be walls that get "painted" and stickers that find their way to the tabletops. Did I mention Raelynn gets up on Saturday and Sunday at around 6 in the morning? That's when she wakes up during the week, but I have to drag her out of bed each weekday morning. She stopped taking naps once she got in kindergarten-I guess she no longer sees a need.

Me? I have some serious nap needs. The older I get, the more I love to sleep. I love going to bed, sleeping while in my bed, and lounging around my bed once I've woken up. When we moved to Starkville, David and I upgraded from a queen to a king and I've not regretted it. We also got a nice mattress, one with a thick pillow top. When you add the fact that we have high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, we're talking some serious sleeping here. I think I'd add sleeping to my hobby list except that most people don't usually list that as something they do in their spare time. It sorta gives off a "hobo-like" air. The fact is, I really love my bed and sleeping. I think that it's something I should do more often.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Whole Lot Of Somethin' About A Whole Lot Of Nothin'

What a sad day it is today. I've been thinking about blogging all day and have yet to come up with a worthy topic. I guess I could write about the daily happenings in my life, but if you don't know me personally, it's not really interesting. If you do know me, then chances are that I've already told you all about my daily life and hearing it again won't make it any more interesting. Basically what I'm saying head is empty.

My only recourse is to post about a myriad of topics that will most certainly jump around and have no fluidity to it. It will be a type of potpourri of thoughts. On a side note, I never did get the whole idea of potpourri. Dried up flowers and bark and stuff to make your house smell good? Come on people, have you not heard of Febreeze Plug Ins? (hmmm...perhaps this is a subject I can explore later.)

Things on the home front-

1) My sister-in-law Melissa (she's married to my brother and I'm married to HER brother----a brother/sister married a brother/sister) is here with her daughter,my double niece, named Sable and Sable's new son, Jayden. They are staying at my mother's house which is about a half-mile down the same road as mine. I think that's a better place mother is a great cook and her house is neater than mine. Raelynn met Jayden tonight (he's three months old and totally cute) and I do believe it was love at first sight. They'll be here for a week visiting different folks. I like having them around because they laugh at all my lame stories and I feel incredibly funny around them.

2) The roof is up on the very large carport. David and I have been able to park under it and not get wet for a couple of weeks now. David says he's still not done with it yet.....I just nod because I don't really have the spatial sense to understand something he's "going to do." I really only get what "has been done." Either way, my husband is extremely talented.

3) I have developed some weird condition that I call, "Creepy Shoulder." I carry my purse (quite heavy) and my school bag (even heavier) on my left shoulder. I find that I hold my shoulder up when carrying things to prevent them from falling off. When I'm not carrying anything, my shoulder seems to creep up on its own. One time, I had carried so much stuff on that arm that I threw my back out of whack and had to go to a chiropractor and masseuse to get it all worked out. I'd get a massage now if it wasn't so expensive.

Things on the work front:

1) My job is still hard. I've not yet found that place where I can "coast." I think that if I did find it, I'd be afraid to go there. My entire life has been about why start coasting now? My basic theory is "Why worry later, when you can start worrying now?"

2) This is the first weekend since school started this year that I haven't gone into school on the weekend to get things done. It's not that I didn't have things to do there, it's just that I couldn't find a stopping place in all the stuff I brought home with me to go to school. I don't normally go into school on the weekends, which is why this is so significant.

3) I'm hoping that the weather (thanks to stupid Hurricane Ike) gets better. A week or even a day without recess is tough for all of us...teachers and students.

4) I really don't want to go to work tomorrow. How much longer till we get a break?

Other odds and ends:

1) Biggest Loser starts on Tuesday. I started watching this show back in the spring and I loved it!!! Now if I could only find my own motivation.....

2) I've heard that the season premiere of The Office starts in another week. What will happen? Will Dwight and Angela come clean with what they were caught doing? Will Angela get married to Andy? Will Jim ever propose to Pam? And what's going to happen with Michael and Jan? Will he go out with the new office HR worker, Holly? I hope so, I like her and Michael needs a romance. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I suggest you rent...nay, buy the first four seasons on DVD and get caught up on the best show ever.

3) It's time to get my hair cut again. I'm so hating the way it's looking now.

4) Two different friends have sent messages that the Halloween stuff is out on the shelves now at different stores. It's time to start the hovering around the aisles. I love looking at the Halloween and Christmas stuff the stores put out.

5) I'm looking forward to seeing "Nights in Rodanthe" which comes out at the end of this month. I read the book by Nicholas Sparks and always like the movies, even though they are sad.

Okay, I've looked back over this post and I think it's the most boring one ever. Hopefully, I can think of some interesting topics to share.

If you read all of this, please leave a comment. You don't know how much I like reading them! See ya'll tomorrow!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Observations From The Lunch Table

Teachers are the easiest people to please. Don't believe me? Tell a group of teachers that you are giving out Post-It notes or reams of paper, and they start drooling. I know, because I'm one of the main droolers. Teachers love school supplies. I told my students once (while trying to explain my protectiveness over my industrial stapler that staples 60 sheets with one finger) that teachers in Office Max are like kids in Toys R Us. I think they understood that analogy.

If you really want to see a teacher get excited, tell them that you are going to watch their class during lunch. Most professions have a lunch break. You can go somewhere or sit in your car and eat your sandwich. You could go and get some lunch somewhere with your co-workers at a nice restaurant. Teachers----not so much. Not only do teachers have one place to eat (and it's either bring your own lunch or eat cafeteria food) they have to eat with their students. Every once and while, they get a chance to eat just with each other while some saintly folks offer to supervise their classes. Sweet!! Don't get me wrong, I really like my kids. But watching them eat at lunch makes me feel like I don't even know them. It also makes me wonder how their meals go at home.

Case in point....this week, I was eating lunch with my students and about 300 other kids in a cafeteria that was not built for sound absorption. As I'm holding my sandwich in hand (I brought mine from home that day) I look down the table to check on my kids. One student has his hand inside his jello cup and he's manually mixing the blue jello and the dollop of whipped cream that came with it. He's really working hard at pulverizing his jello so he can get it the consistency of soup. I called the student's name to get his attention and proceeded to tell him that wasn't appropriate and his response.....wait for it........ " Well I wasn't going to eat it!" After I stopped laughing (you gotta find humor in these things) I had the kid get up, and come over to me so we could talk--again, very loud cafeteria. I asked if at his house everyone mixes the mashed potatoes with gravy the same way he was treating his jello. His response, of course, was no. That's what kills do have some manners concerning eating, but when they get together in large groups, they seem to forget them. It would have made me ecstatic if I had been offered a duty-free lunch that day. It didn't happen.

You'd think that I'd have lost my appetite after that. Didn't happen. I was so busy scarfing (literally) down my food that I didn't have a chance to think about what I had just seen. I also tried not to think about how many of my kids didn't wash their hands after our recent bathroom break. You just can't go there if you teach....if you do, you may never recover.

Perhaps I'll keep notes of what I experience during my lunch on the new Post-It notes I got. I'm so excited! (Really, I am!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

But Enough About Me....Let's Talk About What You Think Of Me...

I love this picture. That's me on the left. The girl on the right was a friend I met in college named Jenny Lee. I'm feeling a little low, so I think I'll make this post dedicated to me. Since I crave your acceptance, if you would leave a comment, I'd be so appreciative!
Little known facts about Tassie:
1) I feel this incredibly strong need to post on my blog everyday. I spend more time than I care to discuss thinking of ideas to write about.
2) I check my email frequently to see if anyone has left a comment. I feel real special when someone takes the time to leave a comment...hint, hint :-)
3) My best physical feature is my feet. My toes are cute and none of them stick out looking weird. My big toe is the largest and the rest get gradually smaller in even increments.
4) I believe in Bigfoot but not the Loch Ness monster or aliens from space.
5) I am allergic to cockroach dander. (This was found during an extensive allergy test done by my doctor. Who knew that roaches had dander?)
6) I could not swim to save my life. This is sad since I lived on a tropical island for most of my life and was 2 blocks from the beach.
7) I get seasick easily. Once, I got sick while riding on the Staten Island Ferry. I threw up everywhere.
8) Twice I have chaperoned a group of students that were performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and both times I went back to my hotel to watch the parade from there.
9) Some day I hope to visit Paris, France and several places in Italy.
10) I could eat at Taco Bell everyday for the rest of my life.
11) When I was 9 years old I was contracted Cat Scratch Fever. (This is a real disease not just a song by Ted Nuggent.) I had to go to Miami Children's Hospital because no one knew what it was. I was quarantined until a diagnosis was made. I have a large scar on my neck where my fist sized lymph node was removed.
12) That same year, I was also in a car accident while riding my bike. I was hurt pretty badly and to this day am leery of riding a bike.
13) I hate hate hate to wash dishes.
14) I have been a victim of identity theft. Not fun.
15) A favorite snack of mine is Fritos and buttermilk. Really- I'm serious.
16) When I was little, I would wrap my neck in the bedsheets while I slept because I thought a vampire might bite me on the neck while I was sleeping.
17) I had a very bad recurring nightmare for many years when I was younger. I can no longer remember that dream.
18) I wake up every night at 3:00 A.M.
19) I get addicted to watching footage of tragedies. I watched continue footage of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. I couldn't tear myself away. When Hurricane Gustav threatened to hit New Orleans, I watched the Weather Channel all weekend.
20) I hate when people write on their hands.
21) Loose teeth give me the willies.
22) I am a good dancer. I took tap, ballet, and jazz dance lessons all through childhood. In high school I was on a dance drill team.
23) I love to drink fancy coffee that I can't spell the name of and costs way too much.
24) I have been to 49 out of 50 states. I won't go to Alaska because I hate the outdoors.
25) I am distantly related to Abraham Lincoln.
26) I do not iron clothes. I'm not good at it and I don't see the point. That's why they make Febreeze Wrinkle Releaser.
27) I dress up in some type of costume or "get up" each Friday at work. It's how I celebrate the end of the week.
28) As a kid, I loved cafeteria food. Now that I'm a teacher, I find that I still love it.
29) I think there would be no wars if everyone woke up and listened to "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.
30) On my second wedding anniversary, I made David go to a Barry Manilow concert with me. I have a great husband.
31) My favorite candy is Reese Peanut Butter Cups.
32) I have no spatial sense and often get lost.
33) I want to visit an active volcano one day. From a safe distance.
34) There is only one flavor of Crystal Light that I like: Classic Orange.
35) Pears are my favorite fruit.
36) I enjoy watching time period movies. I just watched "Mrs. Brown" about Queen Victoria from the 19th century and liked it.
37) I get upset when I watch movies on DVD and I can't have English subtitles. Once you start watching movies with subtitles, you'll never go back.
38) I never met a cheese I didn't like.
39) I have a college degree and can't set the timer on the DVD/VCR player.
40) I couldn't accurately tell time (with 100% mastery) on an analog clock until I was 12 years old.
41) I love the smell of brand new plastic shower curtains when they come out of the package.
42) I've had the same email address for over 13 years.
44) I've never waited tables before and think I would be terrible at it.
45) When I write with a wooden pencil, I have to sharpen it like 20 times. I have to have the point be very sharp.
Well, that's all for now. Please feel free to leave comments with any other interesting Tassie facts you may have. Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Smelly Days Of My Youth

From previous postings, you may already know that I love school supplies. I always have. For fun, I've made multiple rubber band balls. I've made many fine pieces of jewelry with silver paperclips. And as for markers, well, my students have shown me that if you take the innards
out of a Crayola marker and add it to your glue bottle, you can make an interesting new color of glue. I will honestly admit that when I was six, I tasted paste. I think I may have liked it. The smell of school supplies is nothing short of bliss for me. When you inhale the scent of Pink Pearl bar erasers, many memories of my youth return. Even more engrained in my memory is the variety of scents found in the Mr. Sketch marker box. Nowhere else could I visit the pine forest (dark green marker), a citrus orchard (yellow lemon marker and orange scented marker), but there were always the exotic smells of the brown (cinnamon) and black (licorice) markers. If I was feeling a little down, a whiff of the mint scented marker (light green) would awaken my senses. I'll state here for the record that I also used them for coloring. I'm not sure who Mr. Sketch is or was, but I know that his markers are the best. I mean really- outside of my favorite Frebreeze Plug In scent, these markers make me happy. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should pick up a box. (They come in a neat stryofoam case with a grooved out place for each marker.) My OCD skills came in handy because I would always organize them EXACTLY like the picture on the front. These markers take me back. The only other scented school supply I like are "Stinky Stickers." If you don't know what these are, I could never explain the complexities of comparing the realistic scents of the pizza sticker to the pickle ones.
Looking back at this post I realize that probably no one has analyzed this subject quite like I have. That's okay though...if you need to smell some of these markers to understand, you can use mine....I'm currently using the Crayola ones to make purple-colored glue.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning, On That September Day....

So today's post will definitely have a different tone. As the anniversary of 9-11 approaches, I've been thinking about that day. My parents always talk about where they were when they heard that Kennedy had been shot and how shocked they were. Of course, I'm too young to remember that and until 9-11 happened I don't think there was ever a huge event that happened that I could remember my exact place when I experienced it. Well, they may not be true....I do remember when the space shuttle crashed back in the 80's but I was too wrapped in my own little world to notice how it may or may not have effected me. But 9-11 is a completely different story.

I don't really have a story to tell. I didn't know anyone personally that died that day in New York, Pennsylvania, or Washington DC. I vaguely remember someone telling me that a person from my hometown was working at the restaurant that was located near the top of one of the towers in New York, but I don't remember who it was (this is because I didn't know the person) and whether that person died or survived. I do remember when it happened...I was teaching third grade at Sugarloaf School. My daughter had been born in January of that year and my mother was watching her while I went back to work. My mother called me that morning in my classroom (yes, every teacher in the school district I came from had a telephone on their about nice) and I got nervous that something was wrong with Raelynn. When I spoke to her I could have sworn she said that an airplane had crashed into our house. Of course I couldn't understand why she was being so calm about it. She told me to turn on the TV and I would understand.

I turned on the TV. At this point the first tower had been struck and was smoking. I was watching the live coverage when the second tower was hit. It took me awhile to figure out that they weren't showing an instant replay. I think I may have spoken to my students about it but was very sketchy about it so as not to scare them. (I turned on the TV and watched the second plane hit when I was on my planning period-no kids in the room.)

I can remember walking through school and all of the teachers looking at each other in shock and disbelief. I don't remember the ride home but I do recall for the next few weeks I checked the sky every few minutes while I was driving to see if another plane would drop out of the sky. I also recall that for the next week or two I was totally hooked on the constant coverage. This has happened to me before...I did the same thing during Hurricane Katrina. I became very sad watching all the death and carnage.

I showed my support like lots of other Key Westers and drove around with an American flag that hooks to the car window. In my small way I felt I was helping the cause. the anniversary approaches I think about the events of that day. The students that I now teach were only 2 years old when it happened. In their lifetime they've never known what it was like to not live in the shadow of terrorism.

I think a good thing to do on Thursday, September 11, 2008, would be to remember those that died that day and for all the soldiers that have died defending our freedoms. Being more loving and reflective about our daily lives is one way we can make something good come from this horrible experience.

Thanks for reading! See ya tomorrow!

Monday, September 8, 2008

You're Ugly And Your Mother Dresses You Funny

First and foremost, YAY!!! My phone got fixed and I'm now able to access my STUPID DIAL-UP and post again!!! I know you were all so sad that you've not been able to read my posts....I've missed you too.

Today's dribble is on the fine art of accessorizing. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I celebrate Fridays by wearing a variety of glitter eyeliners and costumes. Basically, if it looks tacky and sparkles, I'm really digging it! When I lived in Key West, I wasn't really that concerned with accessories. My idea of jewelry that matches was to wear my over sized gold ID bracelet with my personalized name chain. When I moved to Mississippi, I quickly learned that the type of jewelry I have loved my whole life is not a part of the culture here. At least the culture I identify with. I have broken out my large gold initial ring, my bangle bracelets up to my elbows, and my very large gold hoop earrings slowly but surely since my arrival in this part of the country....perhaps you can get a mental image. I have a bracelet just like this one except mine has my name and not Toni's. Basically what I'm trying to say here is that I don't have a well put together look that is polished. I've really tried to be more classy with my accessories but I really struggle. For the record, until recently I carried a Spongebob purse. It was my favorite. When it wore out, I bought another one. It's almost as if I look like a Claire's threw up all over me. I need some serious help.

It doesn't help that I work with people that wear jewelry to match their outfits. You know the type, you have some nice brown slacks and a turquoise shirt and they have the perfect necklace, earrings, and bracelet with brown and turquoise stones to match. I've seen some of these nice matching sets but I never can envision how it would look on me. I'm beginning to think's because it's just not my look. I never evolved past the age of 12 when it came to dressing and accessorizing. I have the purple bob wig and matching fake eyelashes to prove my point.

But when I think about it, it does start to make some sense. We can't ALL be the nice conservative types with the matching purse, shoes, belt, and jewelry. If I did, who would we get a chuckle from on Fridays?

P.S. The photo at the top of this post is me last Friday at school :-)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I spoke too soon

Okay...the first frustration I'll share with you all is that my phone is still dead. Apparently for just a few minutes on Saturday my phone did a Christian Science miracle and temporarily healed itself and I was able to post. I'm not sure if the miracle didn't take or perhaps I broke it but all I know is that I'm not able to call out, let alone get online, and I can't receive any calls either. Talk about frustrating.

I have been able to watch coverage of the impending doom slated for the Florida Keys with Hurricane Ike on the Weather Channel. There was talk of mandatory evacuations.....I hope everyone takes heed of that warning. I'm praying for all my dear friends in the Keys!

Well, gotta go and do more work. I'll post more when my stupid phone is fixed and I'm able to hook up to the Internet by STUPID DIAL-UP. I mean really....what century is this???? Can't a phone get fixed pretty quickly????Don't get me started.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Don't Be Paranoid....I Wasn't Ignoring You

Okay, so I know it's been a few days since I posted. Let me tell you why....stupid Hurricane Gustav and Dial-up. If you've followed my posts before, you've probably heard me state, "I have STUPID DIAL-UP." It's very frustrating. I literally click on a button, go build a small shed outside, then come in to see if the page has loaded yet. This is not a good thing if you've become addicted to blogging like I have. Thanks, LT. Another addiction to add to my growing list- (currently they include: Netflix, The Office, Facebook, blogging, Diet Coke-fountain style-with lots of ice, and french onion Sunchips.)

So the hurricane destroyed my phone. For a few days this week I was able to call out and post, just not receive calls. I was wondering why things were so quiet here. The phone issue got worse when I became unable to phone out OR receive calls. Great. I don't know if they have fixed my phone or not, but as you can see, I'm posting again. Not that it really matters.....but I'd like to think you care. Side note--a good boost for my blogging self-esteem would be if you would kindly leave a comment. Even if you don't normally do so. I check my email many times to see if anyone has a comment. It's a sickness, I know....I'm currently looking for a 12 step program.

This post isn't going to be profound like my others and focus on one random topic. I think I'll just get everyone updated on things at my "crib."

-David and his dad got the main structure and roof up on the carport (which is bigger than my house.) I've been parking under it all week. It keeps the rain off my head.
-I have enjoyed dragging a large and strong magnet attached to a string around the carport to pick up any stray screws so my car tires don't find them later. I'm serious about it being fun.
-I just picked up the fourth season of The Office on DVD this weekend. I'll be watching it and laughing all weekend as I grade papers.
-My sister-in-law, niece, and nephew will be here this week. My house is a mess. I need some serious cleaning time. I like to clean, but only when in the mood. I haven't been in the mood for awhile now.
-My friend Vicki has gotten her adopted daughter in China. She is currently finishing a two-week stay there. I read her blog each day and enjoy it so much.
-I am anxiously awaiting the Halloween and Christmas stuff to be put out at Wal-Mart. I need to purchase some more Christmas lights for my classroom.
-Hurricane Ike looks like he may hit the Florida Keys sometime next week. I'm still glad I don't live there.
-The weather has been pleasant this week. I'm really looking forward to fall and some cooler weather. It's too hot.
-I am so excited to have found my all time favorite Febreeze Plug-In scent refills at Wal-Mart. I've been looking for it everywhere for a long time now. They just started carrying this item and I bought all they had in stock. It makes my classroom smell amazing. I'd tell you thename of the scent but then you might go and buy some and there wouldn't be any for me when I go there next. :-)
-I'm currently feeling better. I didn't end up with strep throat. My unknown illness finally settled in my chest and became bronchitis. It's starting to ease up and soon I'll sound like myself again.

Well, I'm going to go now and watch some more of The Office as I grade papers and write lesson plans. I hope you'll leave a comment for me and help feed my addiction to blogging.....I'd like to think that I make the world just a little brighter with my random thoughts.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

'Shrooms Just Aren't My Thing

So today's post was a toss-up. It was either Bunco or mushrooms. Obviously mushrooms won out. Don't ask me how I came upon these two totally unrelated topics....I get inspiration from many people and places. This post's inspiration has been around for awhile, but it really came to a head last night. As per my usual M.O., I'll give you background to get you caught up.

There are not many things that I'm afraid of. I often kid people and tell them that my occupation is "Superhero." Anyone that is a teacher knows this is more true than not. As we all know, each superhero has some type of weakness. Superman's was kryptonite. Mine is mushrooms. Let me tell you why.....

I grew up in Key West. This basically means that there is no topsoil, hence no pastures, therefore no livestock. Key West does have some vegetation, just most of it is not native to the area. There aren't many wide open spaces. Well, when I was growing up, my family and I always came to Mississippi for vacations so we could visit my grandparents. My mom's parents lived on a hundred acre farm and had cows. For fun, I'd walk through the pastures and forest, enjoying the non-tropical scenery. (It's not that I don't like the tropics, I was just anxious to see something different at the time.) I'd be walking along, of course looking for any "cow pies" and every once in awhile I'd notice a cluster of mushrooms. It seems I had been there the day before and they weren't there. So, I did what was only natural and kicked them over. Good riddance. I just don't trust anything that appears to grow that quickly. It just doesn't seem right.

I've never developed a taste for mushrooms either. Even the fancy portobello kind that taste like steak. Or so they say. I say...if you want steak, eat a steak. Leave the fungus out it. There's something I just don't like about eating a fungus. I mean, really....if you "had" a fungus, you'd go to the doctor or take some sort of medicine, right? And to top that off, apparently when you cook with mushrooms you shouldn't wash them because it makes them tough. Just wiping them off with a paper towel should do. (This is according to Rachael Ray.) I like my produce washed and cleaned, thank you. I worked at a grocery store during college and I know what workers do in the back part of the store where there are no customers, let alone supervisors. So, in a nutshell, mushrooms and I don't get along.

As I have mentioned in previous postings, my husband and I own three horses. We also have a little land. Livestock + pasture = mushrooms. Great. More crazy fungi growing in my yard. Whenever I see them, I kick them over and hope they will not grow back. So I understand why I have mushrooms at my place, but when I was on campus yesterday (I'm in grad school) I noticed a large crop of mushrooms in a walkway that hadn't been there previously. You'll be happy to note that I didn't kick these over. As I drove away though, it did make me wonder what had been going on there that I didn't know about......maybe on second thought, I don't want to know.

Anyway, I hate mushrooms. Please keep them far from me. I'd hate to lose all my superhero powers because "a fungus is among-us."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fine Dining Does Not Equal An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

So I admit that I like Chinese food as much as the next person. Heck, I like food in general. As a matter of fact, when I was about 14 years old, I listed eating sleeping as two of my hobbies. But that's a different story for a different time. For those of you just joining us on this blog, I live in Mississippi. I'm not a native. I was born and raised in Key West, Florida. Growing up there can alter your view on what is "normal."
If you haven't listened to the news, you may not know that Mississippi is the nation's fattest state. Big shock. I think I've figured out one of the reasons why this is true. Every town/city/community has a Chinese restaurant. Now you might be asking yourself, how does Chinese food in particular add to the growing waistlines of Mississippians? It's simple....all the Chinese restaurants in this neck of the woods are strictly buffet.
As I said, I grew up in Key West. It's this huge tourist destination, so there's lots of eating establishments. Apparently the only group of people like to eat more than tourists are college students and overweight folks. The city I live in is home to the state's largest public university and the population is about the same as my island home. Key West is much smaller, coming in at 3 miles by 5 miles. We had a nice Chinese restaurant, China Garden. They were so successful, they eventually opened another restaurant in the downtown area and one on Big Pine Key about 40 minutes north. It was a nice restaurant, and everything was a la carte. David and I would go often, him for the sesame chicken, me for the curry. Years later, I discovered crab rangoon and I made more frequent take out trips. They are totally delish.
When I moved to Starkville, I learned that our fair town had not one, but three Chinese restaurants. Three. And all of them are buffet. What's up with that? Can I just say here people, that the germ issue is a huge one for me. I know, because I've seen my own child trying to help her plate (with parental assistance of course.) And the sneeze guard? It's not much of a guard if you ask me. Short people sneeze all the time and it doesn't guard them. I should know, I've been accused of being vertically challenged...but for the record, I don't sneeze at a buffet.
The main Chinese restaurant is located in a strip mall next door to Blockbuster video. It was so successful, that they expanded to the business next door to them. They also expanded their buffet. They now carry pizza, beef wellington, spare ribs, stuffed shrimp, salad bar, ice cream bar....the list goes on and on. Another menu item of interest is the "frog legs." I've never been a fan. I've never tried them.....don't care to. One particular visit to this restaurant, also ironically named China Garden, I was helping my plate and looking at the cards posted at the top of the buffet that list what each item is. I swear to you that I read a sign that said "Flog Legs." I cracked up right then and there. I went back to the table and shared this with David, who also got up to check it out. We both had a good laugh.
The food is fair, if you overlook all the obvious germ issues that I've already stated. None of these restaurants have curry chicken or beef and their crab rangoon is not real crabby. Please note here that I don't usually ask to go to this restaurant, I usually want to go to a Mexican restaurant. Now that I think about it...Key West had one Mexican restaurant that was pretty nice and Starkville has three. Three. I think I see a pattern here.