Friday, June 30, 2006

First Ever Ice Cream Headache!!

Yes, it's true- I had never had one before. Ever. In my 33 years of existence. I got the 'cold throat with cough' thing, but never the ice cream headache. Today, after yoga, I hit the Dunkin' Donuts drive through for an orange coolatta, which is basically orange juice, probably a bunch of sugar, and blended with ice. Lots of ice. Blammo! Ice cream headache. It was just as I had imagined, but now I need imagine no longer. I am part of the crowd and am so pleased.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Finished Object Alert!
Ugh, this photo turned out terribly. Um, much like most of my pictures of jewelry. Sigh. As usual, I will make the excuse that it looks prettier in real life!

It rained AGAIN today. I really hope that July decides to be nice and sunny and not too humid- this is getting extremely tiresome.

HOWEVER, despite the weather, today was a work-free Wednesday, which rules! I went down and had lunch with Heather, and wished her well for her trip to Switzerland for the Ironman.

Well, back to beading for me!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another Chapter Ends

Well, today was my last day at my current job. I managed to avoid most of the stupid tasks that my boss 'assigned' to me by beating her at her own game- I distracted her by talking about former students and asking her about her siblings (she has eight of them!!!) She beat me to the punch and invited me out to lunch, so that gobbled up a good amount of time, too! So, the hours zipped by and neither of us got much done, which is FINE with me- it's better than covering desks with contact paper! Wheee!

I am spending my first evening of freedom vegging out big time. I'm not even beading. The more immobile I am, the better! Tomorrow, I'm heading down to see my friend Heather, to help her pack to head off for yet another Ironman triathlon. She rocks.

Hello, summer off!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sparkly Warkly!

I found a pattern I liked in a beading magazine this weekend, and away I went! Seriously, these are even prettier in real life. My fave is the dark pink and green one, but that's just me.

I had my 'sit down' meeting with the principal and assistant principal at my new job today. It went pretty well, but I think they are still disappointed that they can't keep the social worker they had for part of this past year. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to make them happy by kicking some ASS!

Tomorrow is my last day of work for the school year. To my credit, I have managed to do ALL of the end of the year work I need to do, in addition to all of the end of the year work that the clerk would usually do (she was out the past 4 days). Now, I am going to be at the mercy of my boss for the last day. Here is the beginning of the list of stupid stuff she has come up for me to do... Put these keyboards in the storage room. Put these deflated playgroud balls in the downstairs closet. Collect all of the clothes the kids left here and throw them away. Perhaps in a garbage bag. Cover the desks outside the office with black tape so the kids can't write on them.
Oh, and it took her 45 minutes to come up with that list of things that will take me 30 minutes to do tomorrow.

It is going to be a long day. I'm hoping to distract her by taking her out to lunch, by saying it's a 'thank you' for all she's done for me. You know, like assigning me such meaningful work. I'm so glad I got that Masters degree. Otherwise, I might bring the keyboards down to the boiler room instead of the storage room- what a disaster THAT would be!

Wish me luck.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Shopping Spreeeeeee!

I had held off buying any new spring/ summer clothes because I was initially under the impression that I was soon to be incomeless. It's somewhat fortuitous, though, because I had to wait until the fabulous sales! So, when I left work today, I hit a few stores to try and find some sassy new gauchos, cropped pants, and bermuda length shorts... and naturally some espadrille-like shoes... I am determined not to feel like a schlub if I can avoid it. All of my shorts from last year are too big, and I can't find where I 'safely stored' my smaller shorts from the year before.

So, my best store of the day was New York & Company. All of the size 12's fit the same, and yes, they FIT. Plus, they weren't super expensive to begin with, AND they were running a special: buy one pair, get 2nd pair for $10. Miss Amanda left with six pairs- three 'just above the knee' length shorts, and three longer croppy ones. Wheeeee! Old Navy was good for another pair, which was missing a button and therefore was an extra 30% off... and of course, I had a button that worked out perfectly in my sewing box at home. I also found a cheap pair of espadrilles there. I wound my way around the mall and found some good stuff. Everything was on super sale, and I am tickled pink with my finds. I especially love finding pants that fit- it is a rare occurrence!

Now, I can show my face in public without feeling like a slob. Slob is generally not my idea of a good time. So, the next time you see me, you might be, like, "Whoa. Who is that snazzily dressed vision in espadrilles?" Okay, you might also be, like, "Hey, Amanda. What's up!" But whatever. As long as you don't punch me in the face and steal my new duds, I don't really care how you greet me. Really.

I just had this memory of what I used to do after my mom took me school clothes shopping- I'd do a 'fashion show' for her and my dad... my brother and sister might also have watched, but they probably got bored and left... unlike my dad, who probably got bored but stayed. I'd come out in my new outfits one after another, twirl around, and mom and dad would ooh and aah. It was enjoyable. I have always been a bit of an 'enjoyer of the spotlight'. I wish I had a roomie to take pics- I'd do an internet fashion show for my numerous readers! Whoooo!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mojito Time!

See? Now that I'm not stupendously unemployed, I am posting with much vim and vigor. Lucky everyone.

So, today's tip is how to make a mojito, which is a delicious beverage hailing from the 'you are American and therefore must be more sneaky than average to go visit it' country of Cuba. It is a deliciously refreshing drink appropriate for Cuba-like hot weather, and can be made without the alcohol- it is still tasty, and you can still drive after several of them... although you might STILL need to stop to use the ladies room afterwards. (Side note: the word 'ladies' does not appear to follow general possessive or plural rules. Interesting that I never noticed that before.)

So, without further ado, here is the recipe that I use, which I have stolen from Salvatore Calabrese's book entitled "complete home bartender's guide". And don't get persnickety with ME about the noncapitalization in the title; Salvatore himself left it uncapitalized. So there.

1 2/3 oz white rum (don't use another kind. Seriously.)
1 teaspoon superfine (caster) sugar (this melts right away rather than remaining grainy)
2/3 oz fresh lime juice
bunch fresh mint on the stem
sparkling water
crushed ice (it really is better with crushed- sadly, I only have cubes today. Boo hoo)

Put sugar and lime juice in the bottom of a highball with a thick base. Add the mint leaves and muddle (read: beat the crap out of) with the end of a barspoon or a wooden muddler. (read: chopstick or spoon) This releases the essence of the mint. Add the rum (omit if you are afraid of becoming a rummy) and fill the glass with crushed ice. Top up with sparkling water. Stir. Serve with a stirrer. (Again, read chopstick or spoon)

Okay, in typing that out, I realize why my mojito tastes a little 'off' tonight. It's the first one I've made of the season, and it just wasn't quite right. I bought the ingredients from memory, and got seltzer instead of sparkling water. Seriously, this appears to make a difference! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Okay, now the lesson has ended. Now, go make yourself a yummy mojito! Yesssss!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Busy Days, Sleepless Nights

Okay, so as mentioned, I am feeling a little anxious about making that initial contact to my new job, particularly because one would think that THEY would want to call ME. But whatever. So last night, I literally tossed and turned until about 4:30 in the morning, thinking about that and about other things. It probably didn't help that I had taken cold medicine for the three nights prior, and didn't take any last night... I don't like to take medicine when I don't really NEED to. SO, 3 hours later, I had to get up for work. BLAUGH. I literally sat in front of my computer all day working on end of the year discharge summaries for kids... except when my boss interrupted me to sit in on a job interview for a teaching assistant position- thanks for the warning, there, Cathy! Oh, and the custodian interrupted me about every 15 minutes until I told him he HAD to leave me alone because I had 37 2 page reports to write. Then, he only bothered me every 30 minutes. Jerk. I got a lot done, at least. I didn't even eat lunch.
So after work, I went to the bead store to see Liz. We hung out and discussed how hungry we were. She hadn't really managed to eat lunch, either. Then, she remembered that she was invited to a free barbecue for members of some local businessperson's association, so I became her employee and we ate awesome barbecued foods. MMM. I was very happy about the whole thing.
So, we all know that I like to talk about things that annoy me: I published a post yesterday, and clearly people can see it because I got a comment, but when I go to view my blog, the post does not show up! What's that all about? It drives me bonkers, stupid stuff like that.
Tomorrow brings more paperwork, and possibly packing up my office and putting together materials for the woman who's taking over my job. And, my boss won't be around tomorrow, so that's one less person to distract me. Now, if only I could get the custodian to leave me alone... I would lock my door, but there's no air conditioning, and I need to leave the door open so that I don't suffocate.
Four more work days and then... SUMMER TIME STARTS FOR MEEEE!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

YAYYYYYYY! With a But.....

Okay, so the good news was delivered by mail today: I will be reassigned to a new school next year. It is another middle school in Lowell, but it is a regular school with 675 kids, rather than an alternative school with like 50 kids. I know some of the people who work there, and I like them, so that is good. BUT..... there are two things that concern me:
1. I am 'bumping' a part time worker out of the position. The administrators at that school hired her. They liked her. They did not get to pick me. I am replacing someone they LIKE. That sets me up for an initially lousy intro to a new place.
2. The letter appointing me to the new position stated that I have been placed there for the 2006-2007 school year. This differs from the letter that appointed me to my current job, which simply stated that I would be working there starting August 23, 2004, and gave no ending date. I fear that this is a legal loophole which they have inserted in there so that they can bite me in the BUTT if they need to later on down the road. And YES, I will be nagging the personnel director about this post haste. Okay, I MIGHT let the dust settle a LITTLE first, but only a little. Promise!

So, at least, I am not unemployed for at least another year. Yay! I am now somewhat less depressed and am more excited about the other parts of my life. We shall gloss over the fact that I have ANOTHER cold, which was probably brought on by a month of not sleeping well due to 'not having a job in the fall' anxiety. Oh, another aside... I'm very curious as to whether I'll get called by any of the other school systems I applied to while in crisis mode.

OKAY. Now back to what this blog is supposed to be about: beads and fibers! WOOOOO!
Now, first for the disappointing news: I just spent 10 minutes trying to get my camera to take a timed picture of me in the argyle vest that fits more like a minidress, but to no avail. I even had it set up on the counter near the dish drain, where I discovered I could see the reflection of what the camera would take a picture of in the metal bowl drying in the dish drain. SO COOL! But the stupid camera would not do what I wanted to, and at the moment I am too lazy to pull out the instruction manual, even though I am so impressively organized that there are only one of two places that it could be. Whoa.
Now, for the better news. I have another picture of my feet! Now, aside from the fact that I think you can spot a toe hair, this is not a scary picture. I got a pedicure and got flowers on my toes, and I think it's just dandy and adorable:

AWWWWWW. Now let's just ignore how dirty those damn sandals are... Reef has changed the squishiness content of their soles, and as we all know, my feet are tres sensitive, so I haven't been able to replace these bad boys. It's a good thing I'm so tall, so that my nose is FAR FAR AWAY from them. They are my only malodorous pair of shoes, and they are the only sandals I can reliably wear for long periods of time without blistering. EWW. We all know what THAT looks like.

Okay, wait, I promised to return to beads and fiber. Well, throughout my anxiety, I have been finding bead crochet to be quite therapeutic. Cece and Tarsha, I have managed to complete your custom orders, but I'll let you two be the first to see the finished product. Tarsha, I might need to modify yours a tad, but am perfectly happy to do so as needed. That's just how I roll. for the rest of you, here are the beautiful creations- I think these have all been made in, like, the last week. Yes, I'm obsessed. There are two pics- one is bright, one is dark. Just to please all tastes.
I guess the detail doesn't necessarily show all that well, but you get the point. Crocheting has been taking place. In a serious way.

Okay, now that the crisis has been passed, I can hopefully find the time to update on here in a more regular and cheerful way. Ooh, did I mention that today was the last day of school for the kids? Now, I have 5 days left of work, during which massive amounts of paperwork must take place. Joy. Anyone want to place bets on whether or not I can complete 37 discharge summaries in one day? (said summaries are 2 pages long each) I am not so sure, but I'm thinking I can get a good chunk done. Better bring coffee to work...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sour Mood

Well, I am officially in a hard-to-shake SOUR MOOD. This sour mood is directly related to losing my job, surprisingly enough. It has cast a shadow on my waking and sleeping hours. I have been provided respite from said mood by friends who distract me via tacos and margaritas, but I tell ya, that sour mood returns as soon as the tequila glow wears off.
I don't mean to spend my time complaining. I am in good health. I have good friends. I have good job skills and will be able to land another job somewhere. However, I do not WANT to lose my job, start all over with my seniority and professional status somewhere else. I don't want to have to break in a new set of coworkers, slowly letting them get to know me until they're 'cool' with my wacky sense of humor and offbeat ways. Even if I were to get another job within the school system, enough people know me that I'd be a bit ahead of the game!
Another big way that this sour mood has affected me is that, while I HAVE been doing SOME jewelry making, I am TOTALLY not in the mood to take ANY pictures, and certainly would not FEEL like posting the pictures if I actually managed to take them! My latest projects have been to re-make some of my 'stock' items, as well as to do some experimentation with bead crochet. I still totally dig the bead crochet, which was what I first started doing when I started the jewelry thing. Figures I'd start with the MOST complicated and work down, eh? That sounds just like me.
ANYWAY, I am sincerely hoping that good news will be along soon, and that this sour mood will dissipate. At that point, I'm sure I'll manage to be a bit more productive in the 'interesting blog that people actually want to read' arena...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Things that have been Bothering Me

Okay, admittedly, these things are not unusually important in the grand scheme of things. But still, they warrant a moment of my time every once in a while.

Item one: Horsepower. I find this to be a stupid concept. I don't care how many horses it would take to win a tug of war against my car... that is the closest comparison I can think of, and it is LAME! Can we please come up with something better? PLEASE?

Item two: I hate that time is divided so awkwardly. I mean, if you run 5 miles in 43 minutes, you can't simply divide 43 by five and come up with your pace... you must do a little fancy footwork to get things right. I hate that!

Item three: Not using the metric system. Yeah, it would take all of us a little time to get used to, but it would make more sense. Let's face it: most of us are NOT smart enough to remember how many pints there are in a quart or a gallon, or how many tablespoons there are in a cup, or whatever.

But really, the one that bothered me the most today was the horsepower thing. I mean, what a dumb concept. Really, now. (insert disapproving glower here) (does anyone ever use the word 'glower' any more? did they ever?)

I am also possibly annoyed that there is not a secret ice cream machine compartment in my house... you know, like behind a hidden panel that I never knew was there, until the day I went to go hang a painting and boink! it just popped open... That would be awesome.