graceaplenty

Grace should be my middle name.

Name:
Location: United States

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Halloween Weekend 2004

While babysitting for The Absolutely Adorable Family, I put some mad sculpture skills to work with an 11 year old carving a pumpkin. Now, I grew up having and loving a lot of babysitters when I was little. And I never, ever remember my parents being confident in any of our abilities with knives enough to even touch the pumpkin while carving was going on. Much less allow it to occur while they were out for the evening. Hell, I'm not even sure I trust my abilities with a knife on a regular basis!

We used a pattern of a witch on a broom, which was not easy. But the 4 and 6 year olds were really impressed, so I think we did alright.

Not only did we manage to carve a huge ass pumpkin, but I also was able to refresh my skills at hopping from one couch cushion to another without falling onto the tile floor...er, I mean, boiling lava. We showed off our sommersault, hand-stand, and cartwheel talents to each other, played hospital with Smarties candy as the medicine to EVERYTHING, had a big game of "Don't-let-the-balloon-touch-the-floor", and watched Monsters, Inc. Unfortunately, there was one casualty when someone ran into a wall and bumped their nose while playing the balloon game, and we were all out of Smarties. Don't you hate it when that happens?

The parents were due back very late, so I slept over. We all (and in all I mean me and 3 kids) crashed on the couch immediately after Monsters, Inc. I woke up and thought it wouldn't look good if the parents got home and everyone was racked out on the couch, so I tried to get them up and to their rooms. I ended up carrying the 6 year old. Then I went out to my car, to get my toothbrush, while the others were still asleep on the couch. I had a slight heart attack when I realized that their front door automatically locks when you leave. So there I am, outside at 11pm, with 3 children asleep in various places of the house, having absolutely NO idea what to do. Luckily, they leave their back door open...good people. *whew*

I woke up this morning to a very Halloween-ish voice saying, "Waaaake up...waaaake up!" I was pretty sure it was the 6 year old and I was pretty sure that the best way to get rid of a 6 year old at 7 in the morning is to ignore it, which I did very well, until she recruited her little brother. I'm not sure there's anyway to not laugh when two kids are jumping up and down on your bed singing the Wake Up Song.

It's fun hanging out with nice kids like that. Especially 24 hours before such an important event as Halloween, which is also the same night as the ninth-grade daughter's first Homecoming Dance experience. You sort of say to yourself, "Man, it would be fun to be 14 and be young enough to Trick or Treat and get excited about a Homecoming Dance. But the next morning, when the details of the big dance are discussed, you realize that while Trick or Treating is undoubtedly a plus to being 14, the getting dolled up and curling your hair, getting to the dance with your 2 best friends, having your dates not show up, and the school not let you in because you aren't on the "list" just wouldn't be all it was cracked up to be.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Things

Happy List of the Week:
extra hour of sleep
waking up without alarm clocks
the fact that when my mom calls, the picture that shows up has her sticking her finger up her nose - her idea
my first quarter students not wanting to leave me when time was up
my new students
my new ring-tone
renewed love of crossword puzzles
candy corn
Nice friday evening phone calls - 3 to be EXACT!
the OC starts in 5 days




Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Here's to You, A.C.!

I have this cousin. Actually, I have a lot of cousins, but this one in particular is just GRAND. We met back when I was in high school on a youth group trip. My mother told me before leaving that I would have many distant cousins to meet. So, on the bus on the way to Ohio, I mosied up to the front and said, "Ahh...I think we're related."

That was the beginning of what would become an indoctrination into the cult of anti-chrysler-ism. But it was also the beginning of some important friendships.

'Duning on the sands of the Treasure Coast, mini-golfing, rollerblading, and ripping K's from innocent Reliants and Aries, long IM conversations and creative uses of country song...that's what we have. From my travels to TX and Tallahassee and back, they were the first people to ever get me to stop and stay in Gainesville. This one particular cousin is the best guy I know, and is pretty far up there as far as people-in-general too. Though we differ on football team preference, he makes me laugh and also gives some really good advice. It's also really fun to go over and talk politics with him and his wife, you should try it some time...seriously. And Cinderella, my beloved high school vehicle, remains in his immediate family, which will forever leave him a space in my heart. He also is one of the only people who can get me to look up a word in the dictionary just by using it in an email. Go figure.

If it wasn't for him, I'd be even more clueless about boys. Yeah - imagine THAT! He, his brother and another cousin I sort of consider my adoptive older brothers. If it wasn't for him, I would probably also never have found my way to the interview for the job I know have and love. Hence, I would maybe not be working and doing what I love. How, you ask? Well, he knew of my big interview in a city that I did not know well, but that he worked in, so that morning when he happened see me and pick my car out of mornign traffic, going inthe wrong direction, he called me on his cell and said, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" And then went on to set me straight. Obviously I am about as inept with directions as I am with spelling words. He knows this as well as anyone. But I guess I sort of owe him one for that because I really may never have found my way to that interview.

I wasn't planning on doing a special on him today. I wasn't even planning on blogging. But when I got an email of his, I just had to laugh. A few weeks ago, I told him about my blog. But since i know him pretty darn well, figured he'd never even read it. But you never know...first TS comments and now this cousin reads it?! What is this world coming to? I can only say that his better manners, friendly disposition and less procrastinating-self could only be the influence of his wonderful wife. I'm glad he found someone to keep his ass in gear. But I guess stranger things have happened. We will refer to him, from now on as AC (Anti-Chrysler).

Grace-

I never knew you had a blog. Perhaps you mentioned it and it made no impression upon me because I didn't think it was this involved.

Damn your log is esoteric... However, I loved the Chrysler reference. That's right C-H-R-Y-S-L-E-R, with a freaking "H"... it is really not that hard to spell so I don't want to see that mistake again.

Anyway I didn't read it all, but I read a lot. I almost stopped reading entirely and removed the blog from my favorites list when I read the "clean your kitty cat" comment, but I bit my lip and progressed.

I must say, I really enjoyed your writing. The Perfect 10 post was great and very entertaining. Wow... I learned a lot about you on this one, it was interesting stuff though and I hope you find someone who is at least a 9.5 as you deserve it... even though you are being called a prude of sorts... which is total jealousy on their part because you have moral dignity and I think that is awesome.

- AC

So again, I am chastised for my spelling. Deal with it, guys, it's not getting any better! HOPES I find a Pefect 10...pashaw...if COURSE I will...and none of that 9.5 crap..PLEASE. But that definitely made me think about what would knock someone from a 10 to a 9.5. I started to think how much the WRONG vehicle would cost a guy in Gracie-land. I started to think about extra credit for being tall...someone should definitely come up with some scientific equation.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Breakthrough!

I know I said I might be gone a week, and it's only been two days but THIS is blogworthy!

If you heard an exclaimatory noise coming from southern Florida on Sunday morning, it was probably the sound of me discovering Shiner Boch at a local grocery store. If you heard that same sound coming from the same general direction earlier this evening, it was really just me discovering that at the same local grocery store, they also sell Ritter Sport, of course, not in my favorite variety, but Ritter Sport non the less. Shiner, Ritter Sport and Cafe Dumond coffee, ALL at the same store?!?!?! I am officially in love with that store.

I tried to tell myself that chocolate and beer were not Ok to have for dinner, especially when my glands are swollen. But I wouldn't listen.

Dude, maybe they have Tuborg there! I'm totally going back tomorrow!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Random

So far this weekend I have:
Taken my little sister to a sex talk
Picked up my little sister from playing the violin at church
Eaten Miami Subs with little sister in between playing the violin at church and her violin lesson
Sat and read and wrote during violin lesson
Took at nap at my parents house with the best dog ever
Took littlest sister and old lady #2 to basketball game
Watched littlest sister's team win basketball game
Caught the tail end of a somewhat scary FSU game - I wasn't worried though.
Went out to eat for $1 chilli dogs and $1 drafts with littlest sister, parents and old ladies #1 and #! where my father decided to play one of his favorite games: Suggest that when Bobby Bowden retires, FSU should hire Steve Spurrier...a suggestion that always sets my grandmother off to where she will ALWAYS say, "That man always looks like he just chewed up nails and spit them out." ALWAYS. I promise. Trust me. But don't try it, or you'll deal with a rolled eyes from everyone else at the dinner table.
Rented 2 movies, one an old standard (definitely in top five favorite movies) and one I've never seen.
Watched the old standard, Pollock.
Went to Mass
Bought coffee since I was out
Discovered a Shiner Boch distributer here in Martin County

Random perhaps? Oh most certainly. And I still have pretty much a whole day to be random with again. I'm thinking about taking a little break from blogging. No more than a week. I just need to refresh and regroup. So until we meet again, here is some other blogs for you to enjoy (in no particular order)

www.queserasera.org
smitten.typepad.com
www.thisfish.com
www.jbrealist.com
www.greghoward.net/weblog.php
www.earnestinlaw.blogspot.com
www.elementsix.blogspot.com
www.littleblkbk.blogspot.com

Needed some more randomness? Great, because I think the CDs in my car case might scream random:

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Greatest Hits
The Shins
Ben Harper: Fight for Your Mind
Cat Stevens: Greatest Hits
James Taylor: Greatest Hits
Random Mix CD: Including Macy Grey, The Thong Song, Stuck in the Middle with You, and I Like Texas by Pat Green
Morcheeba
The Sound of Music
Ibrahim Ferrer: The Buena Vista Social Club Presents
Jimmy Buffett Mix
Tom Waits: The Early Years
Belle and Sebastian: Tiger Milk
Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces
Harry Connick Jr.: Come By Me

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Quality Vs. Quantity

Quality Comes Before Quantity When it Comes to...

1) Seeing movies in the theater - I'm all about being choosy there. There's nothing that irritates me more than seeing a less than par movie. The last six months I've been discerning in that and have to say that I can't think of a sub par movie I've seen.

2) Time spent with family - Love it! But let me just say hurricanes, weeks without power, long games of monopoly. That is all.

3) Beer - Not in college anymore. I don't do Bud Light. That should be addressed to my father.

4) Blogs - Sometimes short and sweet is the best way to go.

5) Toothcare - My birthday money was well spent on my Sonicare Toothbrush, baby.

6) Ice cream - It's only worth getting fat off the good stuff.

7) Games of catergories

8) Boys

9) Razors - Though I gasp when I pay $16.99 for refill cartridges.

10) Friendships - Awww!

11) Mexican food - due to time I spent in Texas. I don't do Taco Bell. But Taco Cabana, my heart is yours.

12) Wine - One early and bad experience with Carlo Rosi was all it took to convince me.

When Quality Isn't Necessary...

1) T-shirts - Target and the misfit sale rack at Gap is sufficient for me.

2) Shoes - Sometimes I'm totally Ok with Target and Payless. Except right now, I'm concerned that my new sandals from Target may have made my right foot swell up into one gigantuar hive. Gross, I know. Or, as a student said, "UHHG!", when he saw it this morning.

3) Towells and wash cloths

4) Reading material: Dude, sometimes I think US Weekly is some high quality stuff. Sometimes? Dude, that is always good to read.

5) Underwear - Gratuitous, perhaps, but I feel strongly that the semi-annual sale at Victoria's Secret where underwear is $0.60 is totally sufficient for me.

6) Pillows and blankets - I'm more on the side of quantity on that one.

7) Make-up - As evidenced by the fact that this summer, El went through my make up and said, "Hey Grace, do you own any make up that wasn't free?"

8) Seats at a concert - Just as long as I'm there!

9) Loaves of bread - Just as long as it's wheat.

10) Microwaves - Well, until my $5 garage sale find crapped out on me yesterday.

Please add your own!

Miss Grace is Older Than YOU and That's ALL That Matters

One of the perks of being a relatively young teacher of sixth graders hearing how old they think you are. Now, I am a professional. I don't talk about my age and when the kids ask, as they repeatedly do, how old I am, I just say, "Definitely OLDER than YOU!" Which always makes for a boisterous session of guesses of how old Miss Grace is.

27! 32! 16! 22! 46!

Then you'll always have the student who's like, "No, seriously, Miss G, how old are you?" As if it were just between me and her. Riiiight...like I'm going to tell you how young I am so you can take my class less seriously.

I've had the classroom gentleman shame the class and tell everyone that "It's not polite to ask how old someone is!"

Other favorites of mine are, "My mom said you're probably 22" and "My mom said you're probably 25."

Are you having family discussions about my age?! I mean, I know, I'm young. But seriously.

By far the best answer given so far this year is, "Well, you're WAAAAAY younger than the other teachers!" That kid's totally getting an A.

Speaking of kids taking me seriously, last year when I was student teaching in a poor school in the ghetto, I had to do some serious convincing for those kids to take me seriously. I thought it was a good idea to tell them they could call me Miss G, instead of my real last name. You know, abreviate things a bit. They were little and I was new, I figured it would be good.

Yeah, I thought that until I told my second graders that and a kid in the front didn't miss a beat, raised his hand and said, "I kin jes call you G?"

Oooops.

Its amazing how fast credibility can go down the tubes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

You Know It's a Good Day When...

you're headed out to work in the morning and the friendly leasing agents to your apartment complex are passing out free bagged breakfasts. And then there's a special luncheon-thing at school where you eat home-made lasagna, salad and publix chocolate chip cookies instead of the hot pocket and jello you packed yourself for lunch. That's two meals out of two so far today. What will dinner bring?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Wake Up!

You know you're either a) really tired or b) have an excellent hair removal specialist when you dose off during an eyebrow waxing.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Prepared

This weekend I got myself prepared for a wide variety of things. First and foremost I got prepared for work. Tomorrow's a big day for me. Normally I would be excessively nervous. But I have decided to just be prepared and embrace it as an opportunity to show how great I am at what I do. You know, for someone who does infinitely better on the tennis court when there's an audience there to show off for, you'd think I should be a little more confident in my academic/professional abilities. I don't know why it took me this long to realize that. But I have a feeling that this is the beginning of only good things. So yeah, I'm prepared.

Also, due to unneccessary purchases at my favorite store (that should be a link right there, but for some reason you can'd to links on blogger with a Mac - BOOO), I am now extremely well-prepared for Mr. 10 to ask me to go and do things where I can wear really cute clothes. Or at the very least, well-prepared too look smashing for my students.

Finally, when grocery shopping, I made sure I was prepared to make margaritas. They are in no way on my radar of happening soon. But you know, you have to be prepared! You never know when a spontaneous party may bust out.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Just a Few Things Again

1. My blog from Thursday seems to have completetly wiped me out of being creative. You'll just have to wait for more quality. It might be a while.

2. I suppose it's just as well, because we need to start the commenting on a new post.

3. I went to my little sister's basketball game tonight where she played her "old" school, which is also a school the rest of us went to, including my mother. Anyway, the new school's team kicked some old school butt 20-8 and it was awesome. My littlest sister is a Badass...fighting for the ball, on the ground, louder than any other fifth or sixth grader. Awesome.

4. The parking situation at my apartment complex is interesting. There are always massive amounts of parking. But the last few weekends, I've noticed that it's hard to find a place on Friday and Saturday nights. When, at any other time, on any other day, I never have to park farther than right in front of my door. The amount of cars in weekend nights seems to multiply exponentially. I can only make two conclusions: there are some really good parties or some really good booty.

5. May we all be able to make our ex-crushes feel remorse at missing out on us!

6. Thumbs up for my sister for GOING to the party this weekend. She may not have carried on the tradition of getting a sophomore year alcohol violation, but she's livin' on the edge.

7. I don't think I'm dressing up for Halloween this year. Which is a pity, because I'm in the mood for a good costume. Actually, I'm really in the mood to wear my afro. If only I had side kicks with sparkly dresses to sing Stop In the Name of Love. Maybe I just want to lip sink. Who knows.

8. Halloween is on a Sunday this year and it happens to be on the day that Daylight Savings Time ends. Dude, that means an extra hour of trick or treating. Congratulations, kids, this couldn't be something that happens a lot.

9. I teach CCD on Sunday nights from 6-7. I can't remember when exactly prime time for trick or treating is, but I'm fairly certain that 6-7 must be then. Shouldn't they like cancel CCD that night? When I asked my mom, she said, "No, those kids should not be trick or treating, they should be in CCD!" I ended that conversation right then and there.

10. I think that Beatrix is next as far as blog start-ups go. I can tell by her comments that she's itching to. Incidently, she used to have a fabulous blog that was my introduction to the phenomenon of blogging. I think if she makes strides in starting one up, she might be next for a feature. Don't worry, You will all get one in good time.

11. Al seems to think that her blog is going to be boring because she says her life is boring. She says I can blog fun and exciting things about work and family and stuff. I call bull shit on that. And I also call bull shit on my sister who says she's boring and thus doesn't update as often as she should. Dude, there's ALWAYS something. I'm not hearing that.

12. There aren't much better feelings in the world than waking up with all the windows open, the sunlight coming in and 67 degree weather outside. Not much could make me feel as content as that. Well, unless you consider Olympic swimmers or my new Margarita flavored shampoo.

13. Mmmmm, with that, I'm going to open up all my windows and enjoy the way my hair and clean sheets smell. Goodnight!

Friday, October 15, 2004

If You Though You Heard Something Freezing in Hell...

it was really just the sound of me buying pink cordoroy pants tonight.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Pefect 10

Normally I shy away from talking about dating at all on this site. Maybe it's this nice October weather, or maybe it's wishful thinking. But it's probably the fact that my other blogger buddies keep talking about it this week, so I'm going to join in.

I'm thinking about designing a date. If I were to design an absolutely perfect date, it would be like this...not a FIRST date, mind you, because seriously, what do those really mean? You do dinner, you talk, you see if each other have some ragingly horrible factor. You're also on perfect behavior. You use manners and please and thank you. You're pleasant. You're witty. You open the car door for the girl or you unlock the drivers' side door for him. It's all so calculated and formulaic. Sure, a first date counts for something for screening purposes and it's always nice to have a little something unique. But a first date is a first date...it's what comes after that that counts.

So I would like to take this opportunity to design a tenth date. Because, let's face it, by date ten, that's when things are getting really fun. You don't stick around for 10 dates if the other person is questionable or really gross or something. I mean, theoretically we don't. Well, I mean, most people don't. Not that I should be speaking on that subject, I guess. I know what you're thinking! Dude, sometimes it TAKES getting engaged to realize how horrible something or someone is! But I digress...

The Perfect 10 Guy On My Perfect 10 Date:

Since you're perfect, and we're perfect, you of course live precisely 20 minutes away. I want you close, but not too close. You love where you live, the weather, the sun, the fun, since, of course I love it too. And I'm not moving, oh hell no, I'm not moving. There are only 2 people I'd move for in this world and neither of them is you. You are of COURSE, either exactly my age or no more than 4 years older than me...closer to my age the better, I think. No questions, no discussion. You have a job, a good job, a job you love. But it's also a job that's not too time consuming. Because we're going to have some fun weekends and evenings. No interfering in that.

Of course, you have to have at LEAST a bachelors degree, preferably obtained in 4 years, but I might understand 5 years if you were at Division I swimmer or something and spent one year preparing for the Olympics - but that's the only excuse I'm accepting. You like sports: watching and playing. You also like games, and you think that MY drinking games are the best - especially Nell's Dog.

Oh! You're a practicing Catholic and you love JPII and everything he says...EVERYTHING. You're also really fun to drink with because you're all about good clean fun with alcohol. You also appreciate good art...none of that Thomas Kinkaid shit...and good music and good books and good movies. You think Amelie is the most stunning example of film you have ever seen. The part where she washes away into a puddle of water makes you tear up inside and the gnome makes you laugh. You also have opinions about postmodernism and think that even though Andy Warhol was a super freak, he had some pretty good ideas. We'll talk for hours about this, of course, but we're getting ahead of ourselves.

The Perfect 10 Me:

I'm running every day and playing tennis at least once a week so I'm looking pretty tan and in shape. But not too in shape because I like Cheese-Its and chocolate chip cookies from Publix a lot. So of course, I'm looking stunning in my beautiful white and black skirt that I am DYING to wear and that I try on at least once a week because I've owned it for 2 months and haven't gotten to wear it yet.

Anyways! That's what I'm wearing, along with my tallest pair of black strappy shoes. I'm wearing those shoes no matter WHAT, I don't care what Al or TS says. I don't give a rat's ass, guys, I have boundaries now. I'm wearing my big and pretty black beaded necklace and my bangs are about .5 inches longer than they are now and the swoop is spectacular.

I have told Mr. 10 enough about what I believe in to make him think I'm a really nice girl, but I've also told him enough stories about hurricanes and plastic chickens and spring formals and water balloons to make him wonder, "Am I a nice enough guy for this girl...am I fun enough for this girl...I can't figure her out, but I'm dying to!"

The Dirt:

So pre date 10, yes, we've kissed a couple times. Neither of us are puritans, Ok? But there's been no muggin' down, as yet. The anticipation is killing both of us. Just wait though, it'll be GOOD.

The Perfect 10 Night:

It's a Thursday night either in the spring or the fall. Those, in my opinion, are my best seasons. But I could be open to changing that. Anyway, it's Thursday night and since I've been out with Mr. Olympic-Swimmer-Perfect-10 nine times before, I'm not that upset about missing the OC. But don't worry, I'll have the tapes going.

I'll have already delighted him with stories about Rome so on Monday, he suggests that he take me to that little Italian Bistro right near the bridge. He picks me up about 5-10 minutes late, just enough so that I'm sort of worried and sort of freaking out, because that just adds to the drama of the situation. Also, he thinks I'm sort of cute when I'm flustered. He tells me I look pretty. Not beautiful. This isn't date 25, ok? He wouldn't want to be too forward and embarrass me or make me feel self-conscious. It happens easily. But he brings me flowers for the first time tonight. And they're TOTALLY NOT just the picked up kind from Publix. But they're not overdone either. After all, this is date 10 and it's not my birthday or anything.

We step into his non-Crysler-vehicle, and of COURSE he has opened the door. He might have the radio on an oldies station or you might have a CD in, but it's just background to the delightful conversation we're having. The restaurant is small and very authentic and he orders a spectacular bottle of red wine. I'm a little concerned about this beautiful white knee length skirt with black trim getting red wine spilled on it, but since this is a perfect 10 date, there will be none of that. The conversation is light and funny.

After dinner, he drives me back to my apartment, but it's only like 9 pm and though I'm desperately wanting to make-out, I'm a lady and a little nervous, AND you're a gentleman, so I make some suggestions. I suggest that we feed the ducks in the lake while on a stroll over to the neighborhood bar since I LOVE feeding ducks and since I've been DYING to take the .4 mile walk to that neighborhood bar down the street that looks so happening, but that I haven't gotten to do it yet because when I suggested it to my parents last weekend, they thought that 8 pm was too late and they needed to go home. Boring. But I digress.

He thinks a .4 mile stroll to the bar is a spectacular idea and so we go. We have a few beers and then because it's a Thursday night and I have to be bright-eyed for my sixth graders tomorrow, I say, "Well, I really need to be getting my beauty sleep." He, of course, catches this Meet Me In St. Louis reference because he is my Mr. Perfect 10. If he says, "Oh, Miss Grace, I don't think you need any beauty sleep, if you don't mind me saying so," It will be cute and witty and charming and not make-you-want-to-puke-it's-so-sweet. Inside, I might swoon, but I'll keep that to myself. He is utterly disappointed to be peeled away from my company, but he keeps this all to himself and we walk back to my apartment in sweet silence.

The silence is sweet because we've had such a nice evening. But also, because we've shared an open-mouthed kiss or two and really liked it. AND both of us are hoping for more than your average open-mouth-kiss. He walks me to the door, says he'll call me tomorrow. And then neither of us are disappointed by the more-than-open-mouth-kiss we share outside my door.

When I go inside, I almost completely loose my shit because I KNOW this was a perfect 10 date...and I might, I just might, call up both Al and El on 3-way and tell them all about it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Playing the Game

TS: You gotta play a little hard to get.

Grace: Ha...yeah...i do that pretty well, i think...or at least i can.

TS: Yeah right!

Grace: are you saying "yeah right" in that i CAN'T play the game?

TS: Yeah.

Grace: Hey, the hard-to-get worked on YOU!

TS: Blah.

Grace: Maybe I played the cluelessly-and-obliviously-hard-to-get-thing.

TS: You don't know how to play any games except for prub and tennis.

Grace: You're probably right.

TS: Well..maybe some good drinking games too.


When Miss G Realizes That She May Get Too Excited About Art

Miss G writes on the board "Is the person who designed the MacDonald's golden arches an artist? Explain why or why not in a paragraph."

Miss G: There's no right or wrong answer. You just have to have good reasons why. Eighth period had some strong opinions about it. You should have some strong opinions. You should want to stand by your opinions and die for them!

Student: Man, art is HARD!

Monday, October 11, 2004

I Love You, Period Eight!

I wanted to jump up and down and hug each and every member of my eighth period class today. It was THAT good!

Eighth period is one of my most challenging parts of the day. I have a feeling it's that way for most teachers. Those kids just want to jump up and bust out the door. They talk. They butt in. They talk. They stand up. They talk. When I tell them to stop talking and get to work, they look at me like, "Dude, I wasn't talking!" Did I mention that they talk a lot? There aren't any real behavior problems. It's just the dang noise.

They're also one of the more fun classes usually. They sort of remind me of the core group of kids that I had most of my classes with back in the day. I have a feeling that they may be too smart for their own good. I try to keep them as busy as possible and make sure I run the class pretty militantly. Sometimes, it's exhausting. Eighth period can make or break the way I feel about my day.

Well, today we started a project where wax paper is the most important part. It has to be wax paper. Has to. Well, I had a whole box of it and I was trying to ration it out, but it seemed like there was a lot in there so when 7th period rolled around, I was just tearing it out and all of a sudden, I ran out of wax paper. I knew I had enough for 7th period, but all I could think was, "WTF?! What am I going to do with eighth period?!?!?!"

I decided that I'd do something pretty lame. Like have them do a sketch or a design for the project that they would eventually be doing. But I knew that it would be trouble. They'd finish it in 10 minutes and be like, "Miss G, what am I supposed to do NOW?" And if there's one question I hate more than anything, that's it! However, I had no wax paper substitute and no alternate plans. So I prepared myself for a wild and woolly end of the day.

I did my introduction to Pop Art and Andy Warhol and somewhere along the way things got exciting, things got interesting. I was leading a profound discussion on postmodernism and contemporary art and those kids didn't even KNOW it! Some classes you have to pull out discussions. Sometimes they will not, for anything, give an opinion. They want to know the "right" answer and if they're doing it "right". They're afraid to take a chance because all day every day, they're trying to find that one answer to that one problem. Multiple solutions and creativity is not always their cup of tea. But this class - man, did they have opinions today!

We started talking about appropriation. About tomato soup cans. About the moustache on the Mona Lisa. Then we got into the question, "Is the guy who made up the MacDonald's golden arches an artist?" Then we talked about elephants painting. And dadaists pieces. Minimalism. Ceramics. It was all high art vs. low art. Authorship. Ownership. And finally back to the question, "Is the guy who created the MacDonald's arches an artists?" I don't really care which side of the argument they're on. Just as long as they have a good reason. I had a pretty even split and everyone had an argument why!

After a while, I looked at the clock and there was only 3 minutes left. Operation improvisation in eighth period: SUCCESS!

If that's not postmodern art education and a discussion about "art for life", I don't know what else is. It totally made my day. I'm such a nerd!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Perpetual Planner

Earlier in the week, I was offered a chance to go see The Boss in O-town, but had to decline because of plans with mom. Yes, horrible, I know. It made me feel horrible too. Maybe that's why I didn't post anything about it. However, this weekend has actually turned out to be pretty good, even though it started out with no plans. Plans can really freak me out.

I'm a big planner. My planner is a huge part of my life. Whenever I have time, I'll bust out the planner and start planning. Planning, planning, planning. Of course, I'm not really that organized and I'm also not one to always stick with plans. But I like having those days filled in of what I will be doing. I like making lists of things I need to do. Things like clean the bathroom, paint my toenails, finish that painting seem to have been reoccuring items on those lists in my planner. It doesn't help them get finished. It just makes me feel good. I guess it's a sense of control. So this week, I was a little out of sorts, getting back from the hurricane and all...but also because I have nothing in the planner until November 6th! I think that just drove me crazy.

But this weekend, I lived by the seat of my pants and I got to do things that I had no intention of doing. Things I never would have thought to plan. Things like mini golf, pizza with my cousin, movies, dinner and beer. I also have plans for the last weekend in October, that was making me sad because that's Halloween and Halloween should always be fun.

Now it's Sunday afternoon and I have work-things I have to do, plus teach CCD. Somewhere along the way things got busy. Things got full. And I didn't even have any plans.

Lucky You!

To that kid in my 4th period art class, who is also in my CCD class. You're getting a big dose of Miss G this year!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Just So You Know...

If I were going to do Kareokee tonight, I would totally do Son of Preacher Man, all by myself. Too bad none of you are going to be in the area tonight because this feeling might not happen again.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Part III: Character Flaws, Post-College, Protection

G: How about character flaws?

A: Sometimes you need to be confrontational. You let people walk all over you and you gotta take a stand for yourself. You don't need to be as agressive or confrontational as I am, but you need to be more challenging. If something legitimate was bothering you about me, you wouldn't always come talk about it. Ellie and I had more confrontations than you and I did.

G: I think lots of times you and I would just sort of disappear from each other for a little bit. We were never like siamese twins. Ellie too. I mean, we did our own stuff. You did physics. Ellie made dating powerpoint presentations. You know, all that. But we did the important things together and we partied and talked a lot.

A: You used to leave the dishes out a lot.

G: Good thing I don't have a roommate now. I can leave my dishes out as long as I want without feeling guilty.

A: Post college has been good too. It's sucky though to be so many states away. We used to write these epic long emails. I would be in the office and everyone there would be like, "OH MY GOD!" They'd make fun of me. We really had some good conversations...and still do...life got challenging after college. Life outside the bubble. Establish yourself in a new place. Horrible decisions like getting bangs and getting engaged.

G: !!!

A: LOL!

G: That's good, let me make sure I got that down...getting bangs and getting engaged...

A: You're actually typing this.

G: Oh yeah, this is an official interview.

A: Well, we've seen each other through a lot. I mean, all of the shit.

G: Thank goodness for cell phones!

A: I remember one of your break ups. He'd better thank God that I don't live in that state because I would make a quick drive...I still feel that way...he's one lucky dude that I don't live closer. I think, during that whole period, I was so scared that you weren't going to be strong enough to say no. when it was obvious that you wanted to. I was like, you don't need a break. You need it over! It was hard to see.

G: Remember when you got on the phone with him when we first stated dating?

A: Hell yeah! I said, "If you f-ing break her heart, I'll kill you!" I'd gladly be behind bars to kill that bastard! He should be glad we live 4 states away! And that you've so graciously forgiven him and whatever. I do remember saying that and I'm glad that I did. Even though I was a little drunk. I told El that I was going to say it.

G: Well, even if he had turned out to be a fabulous guy, I appreciated you saying it.

A: Dude, you and El are the best things that have ever happened to me. I want to make sure!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Part II: Head-butt, Breakdown, Alarm Clocks, Toilet Paper

G: So tell me about some fun things.

A: Well, wrestling with you was always fun.

G: Remember the time I gave you a head-butt in front of a room rull of people?

A: Ha! Of course They all lost their shit! I always knew I could always beat you. But in that instance, I questioned my strength. I miss the great parties and the pillow talk. Also, those Friday afternoons, before things got rolling, I liked just hanging out and shooting the shit. You're a nice girl. A good listener. A nice Catholic girl. But damn, you're fun. You have good boundaries like that. Not with boys, but you know, in general.

G: LOL!

A: I mean, you're improving with boys.

G: What about the famous newspaper break down? (happened in Fall 2001 after Grace put out her first of 4 newspapers as editor and chief...ended up throwing in the towel

A: OH! I seriously thought you were super tough. I had never seen you cry before. You'd seen me cry all the time and I always wanted to see you cry and to konw that you were like the rest of us. It was the night of your first paper's deadline. You had been working on it all week, all weekend, all day and night solid. It was 5am and you come into the room. I was dead alseep. You were crying...no SOBBING...you woke me up with your sobbing and I remember being hesitant because I didn't know what to do. I know what to do when Eleanor cries. I don't know, it all came out though. You were like, "I can't do this anymore!" I'm sure the whole conversation didn't make a lot of sense...jumping from topic to topic. From art to tennis to newspaper. You really had a melt down. It was great. I think I finally just said, "You gotta quit the damn paper."

G: I don't remember much about the conversation either. But I slept about 1.5 hours and then got up for class. But I called my parents first, and sobbed the whole 7 minutes. I had been away from home for over 3 years and through a lot and they had never gotten a phone call like that. I guess I was due. If I hadn't eventually quit, they would have made me quit...just like you and El.

A: Hell, yeah, we would have. I remember talking to her and deciding that we were going to sit you down and make you quit. I told El, "I can't deal with this anymore. I saw her cry! This is too stressful, we need to make her quit!"

G: Ah yes, and I did and things got 1,000% better.

A: One thing I remember about living with you were ALARM CLOCK ISSUES!

G: Oh man, that was near the end of my senior show. Yes, I was probably horrible to live with at that point. You really took one for the team with that.

A: YES! You were sleeping these insane hours or barely at all. You're alarm would go off in the AM and you wouldn't hear it. I would hit you and try to make you turn it off. I did something stupid once and got up and turned it off myself, and after that, I had to everymorning. Once, I was hitting you and telling you to turn your damn alarm clock off and you said, "Al...it's not mine...I promise...I promise it's not mine, Al!"

G: I remember you telling me about that. HA! The funny thing is that I have absolutely no recollection of any of those morning conversations about the alarm clock. Man, that was some unhealthy sleeping patterns, or lack of sleeping patterns.

A: What about you and not knowing that boys don't use toilet paper when they go #1?

G: LOL!

A: 21 years of your life and you didn't know about the toilet paper. I don't care if you don't have any brothers. How many movies have you seen? You came upstairs and Eleanor and I were already in bed. You opened both of our doors and I thought, "This is going to be good." You were like, "Guys, you will never believe THIS! TS does not use toilet paper!" I remember being like, "WHAT?!"

G: The whole thing is so embarassing. I knew that we had no toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom. So when TS said he had to go, I was like, "Hold on!" I ran and got a couple napkins and gave them to him and he looked at me like I was from Mars. But I totally made him take them. Then when I told you guys, you were like, "Dude, boys don't need to use toilet paper when they go #1." I really had no idea. You guys ended up drawing diagrams and everything, for me, I think.

A: Yeah, you weren't quite sure about balls.

G: The worst part was finding all this out and then replaying the scene with TS and thinking, "Dude, he thought that I thought that he was going #2!" Oh man. That is funny!

A: By the way, my bangs are horrifying!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Part 1: Meeting, Roommates, SYRD

This is the first installment of my spotlight on Al. At the time of this interview, she had just gotten her bangs cut, inspired by yours truly. She was rather upset about the new do.

G: Tell me about the circumstances of our meeting.

A: Well, we were visiting the college we would one day attend in February of 1998. We were in the auditorium and you looked like a lost puppy. "Mouseman" (who was an admission counceller) introduced us because you got there late. The whole weekend you seemed really lost and disoriented.

G: I was! I didn't know I was going until 4am that morning when my mom woke me up! Then a few hours later, I was in TEXAS! You were really helpful and really nice.

A: I'm such a nice person. I'm looking at myself in the mirror with bangs - it's horrifying. I look like a carpet took over my head! LISTEN, I will terminate this conversation if you include shit like that!

G: Ok, Ok...let's get back to the story. Do you remember a certain phone call?

A: I remember, you were like, "Uh...Hi..Um...I'm Grace" and I totally knew who you were because I had your phone number.

G: I don't think you had my phone number.

A: No, I totally had your phone number.

G: I don't think so, because I called up Mouseman to get yours. I could only remember you were from South Carolina and I actually thought you name was Charlotte. I guess it's a good thing that you were like the only one in our class from South Carolina. And that those admissions councellors give out phone numbers.

A: Yeah, you had just decided that you were going to go to school out there and so you were calling to see if I wanted to room with you. You totally decided to go there because of me.

G: Ah, no, Al...I made that joke up first. Once I called you, you were totally sold on the idea of going to that school. I mean, to have the honor of being MY roommate? Who would turn THAT down?!

A: Just because you called me first?! Now you're twisting the story!

G: Well, we're not going to get to the bottom of thise here. So let's move on. Tell me some things about being Grace's roommate.

A: I remember being completely shocked the first day when you let out a huge burp. You were in general a pretty nice girl. It was a lot of fun. There are a lot of good stories, especially from freshman year. There's the crawfish story. OH! But my favorite is the blueberry costume! It was pouring raining outside and we were getting ready for class. It was pretty early and we were going to walk up together. I had an umbrella and you probably couldn't find yours or something. So you pulled out this rain poncho and took it out of the case. It was BRIGHT blue. Then you put it on and it was larger than life and the bluest thing I've ever seen. You put it on and looked at me.

G: I believe you're exact words were, "You've GOT to be kidding me!"

A: And I think you're response was, "But my dad bought it for me." Thankfully, you took it off and I loaned you an umbrella. You didn't wear it.

G: The best thing about that story is that I actually took that poncho to Rome with me a year later. I'm not sure why. But I did. And it ended up being the inspiration for the best Halloween costume I've ever had, at least in the creative sense. I stuffed myself, wore it and painted my face blue with eye shadow. I was Violet Bauregard from Willie Wonka. Only, like only 2 people figured out who I was. And then only like 2 others actually thought it was funny. Dude, that was a GREAT costume. "Violet, you're turning violet, Violet!" Come on, that's GREAT! My humor was lost on those people. I should have won an award. But I'm digressing. Let's move on to junior year and the Screw Your Roommate Dance.

A: Oh! That is a really DAMN good story! I guess I can sort of take credit for setting you and TS Elliot up. You know, even though it didn't work out in the long run. So, a certain someone had a crush on another newspaper editor. He was shorter than her, therefore, in my opinion - off limits! But you continued in your childish, lustful and rash crush. I think you must have instigated the whole thing because you had a crush on him and thought it wouldn't be a bad idea for the SYRD. So I went and talked to his roommate to set the whole thing up. At first it was totally on. But then, his roommate got back to me and said TS was going out of town that weekend. So I had to let you down. I think El and I actually had someone else in mind for you to go with after that. But I can't remember.

G: I remember all of the roommates agreeing that we were going to NOT set each other up after that. Everything had sort of fallen through and we were going to make other plans.

A: Yes, but then the roommate approached me and said that TS wasn't going out of town anymore and that you could procede in the set up. I was pumped because I had totally wanted to surprise you and you would have NO idea that you were actually going to get set up with him. All day, I was all bubbly and excited. I thought, "I'm going to screw her!" I wanted to torture you because it would be fun to see you squirm. And damn, you got really nervous. I think you almost had a breakdown!

G: Yeah, I was pretty unglued about the whole thing.

A: I walked into the apartment and told you that you were going with somebody and you started whining as usual. And I said, "You have to...it's a set up...you'll thank me."

G: All I remember you saying is, "Well, Grace, it's not the best situation. But it's good. You'll have a nice time. And you have to LOOK GOOD!" I thought that was strange: "It's not the best situation"...however I was instructed to "look GOOD." Something seemed fishy, but I never caught on.

A: Yeah, well, it got really annoying because you were asking me constantly that entire week.

G: Yeah, I even went through the yearbook, I couldn't imagine WHO you would set me up with and it freaked the hell out of me.

A: You were the most annoying roommate I ever had at that point.

G: Thanks. I was probably just as annoying to the others. I bugged everyone! I was sort of wierded out because it was a Halloween Dance and you said he didn't want to dress up. I was like, "That's stupid, what a bore." And then I said I was OK with the whole thing, as long as we just went to the dance and I didn't have to sit through dinner, which I was positive would be weird and awkward. But the day of the dance, you were like, "Guess what, Grace, you're going to dinner!"

A: Yeah, baby, that was great. You were SO tortured! That night you got all ready and took our advice and looked damn good. We made sure. We're sitting on the couch...waiting...and you were fidgeting. You fidget a lot...but this was like 12 times more than normal. You were like, "Just tell me please!"

G: Oh, I was whining up until the last minute. I remember saying, "OH PLEASE! I'll know in 10 minutes, just tell me NOW!!!"

A: Yes, then there was a knock at the door...but it wasn't him...then there was another knock and we all screamed and you GROANED and slouched into the couch. I couldn't wait to see your reaction. You were so nervous. I wonder why we didn't get you any alcohol.

G: Yes, I remember that GROAN coming forth from my body...it was agony. I wonder about the alcohol...hmmm...

A: But that second knock was my sister. But the third time was the charm. I opened the door, but I looked at you because I wanted to see the look on your face. You looked and you were like, "Is this my date?" Ah yeah! It was totally worth you bugging me all week long about it. You seemed really confused.

G: Yes, again, confused and disoriented. It was a nice time and not awkward. It was fun and I guess it was start of sorts to that relationship, even though it didn't totally spark things up.

A: I'm glad about it. I ended up getting Krispy Kreame doughnuts out of him for the next 2 years. Dude, he brought them every week. He understood how to pay his dues for dating my roommate. He learned well. I deserved those doughnuts for being the 3rd wheel all the time. Our college experience wouldn't have been the same without him.

G: True that.





Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Spotlight on Al!

Tonight I'm starting the introduction that will begin my installments from an interview I conducted with Albert Einstein. Yes, I'm putting that journalism minor and experience on the college newspaper to work!

Al is one of my best friends and we hit it off pretty much immediately. She, Eleanor and I are sort of like a trio. A barrell of monkeys, if you will. Al and I lived together our freshman year of college, and every year following that, minus the year we spent apart, due to different semesters abroad. If you ever want to know anything about measuring protons, I would direct you to Al. I'm not sure why one would want to do that, but I'm certain it's important in the field of medical physics, of which she is obtaining her masters. She's one tough girl. She used to get up really early on Saturday mornings, get dressed up in camo, and go play paintball in the woods with boys. Al is up for bleaching her hair on a moment's notice. She can curse like a sailor and pray like a saint, which is a damn good combination, especially if you're one of her friends. She'll get your new boyfriend on the phone and tell him, "If you break her heart, I'll f-ing kill you!" - and she'll mean it for sure. It's always good to have a friend like that. It's also always good to have a friend like that because when you want to throw a party, she'll have no qualms about being the bouncer and keeping out underaged drinkers and unwanted guests. She also has no qualms about talking to the police when one of those parties is being busted. So for the next couple days, I present to you an interview with The Albert Einstein....

Ben, You Hurt Me

I have confessed my love for Pee Wee, for the Garden State and for Amelie various times on this site. Now, I will confess my deep love and affection for Ben Harper. But I am most unhappy with him at this moment.

I was introduced to Ben back in 2000 when my good sculpture friend loaned me a CD. My interested was again sparked when a boy I had a crush on ended up being into Ben. And then a painting friend was all about Ben. Suddenly Ben was everywhere and I had 10 of his CDs. He's perfectly poetic, cool, chill and fun. Ben can do no wrong.

Now, my sculpture friend who introduced Ben and I is always raving about his concerts and his double-live CD definitely makes me yearn for that experience. I missed out on his concert in Dallas...barely. I also barely missed out when Ben was in Florida 2 summers ago.

So can someone tell me , "WTF is Ben Harper going to be playing on Friday for in a city I have visited 3 times in 3 weeks already? I mean, why didn't someone tell me or something?" It's cruel and unusual punishment. I'm not going, I've made my decision. Besides, I'm pretty sure it's sold out. But I seriously almost cried last night when I realized the news I had heard was indeed true.

Ben, I'll be there some day. You better not go flaking out and becoming a monk or something like Cat Stevens. And you'd better come back to the Sunshine State soon.

The Not So Complimentary Compliments I Received Today

From a 12 year-old in my eighth period:

"Miss Grace, your hair looks much better today than it did yesterday."

Gee, thanks...you're really hoping for that A, huh?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Surprise Ending!

I feel pretty confident in my art teaching skills these days. Even though some like to say I've been OFF of school more than I've been IN school. I feel like things have been going decently. I think I'm a pretty fair, no-nonsense, sort of teacher. I like things to go fast and stop problems before they happen. My advisor for my internship told me I ran a very just and task oriented classroom and so I sort of embrace that. I'm also totally a softy, especially since the 12-year-olds are pretty much nice kids. I feel good about the combination of being very demanding as far as procedures go, while being soft in other areas. I'm figuring things out. It will take a while. But I feel good about it.

Wanna know one way to freak me out and cause my mind to talk myself into the fact that I'm a horrible teacher? Wanna know a way to start making me think about how horrified I would be if for some reason I didn't get this job back next year? Wanna know a way to make me feel tired and overwhelmed and afraid about EVERYTHING?

Bring in a note from your mom that says, "Call me at your earliest convenience to schedule a conference."

Yeah, I'll totally flip out. Especially if you are a pain in the ass kid who will NOT stop talking or or rolling your eyes at me during last period. Yeah, you're also the kid I've moved to about 10 different seats to see if there is at least someone you won't talk to. And when I have you stand up next to me during clean up so that I can focus on getting 28 kids neat and tidy and out the door without a lot of razamataz, you end up talking to ME! I totally thought I had things under control when I moved you to the "Isolation Table" and not just until the end of class, but FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. But then you go and bring this note in and yes, that's a sure way to put Miss Grace in freak-out-mode.

Everyone in internet land will appreciate that this story has a surprise ending. I was so shocked that I could kick myself for the thought process that ran through my mind between 3:15 and 5:15 this evening.

I called the mother back and she ended up just wanting to know how bad her son is and to make sure he stays in line and behaves. I was all prepared for the, "Junior said that he hasn't done anything wrong, so it must be YOUR FAULT" - ringamorole that gets handed to teachers all the time. But instead, she was a concerned parent, just wanting to her son to behave in class.

What did I do to deserve THAT?


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Satisfied

This evening I have just returned from a very satisfying weekend away. It was a gorgeous drive and even though my ditsy detour on the ride home made it longer, it was a gorgeous day to drive down A1A, over bridges and right next to the beach. If I hadn't been on a time schedule, I would have stopped, put on my bathing suit and jumped in. It was that nice.

I guess the nice ride made me feel inspired to jump in the pool where I live and enjoy this Sunday's dusk. Next up, dinner, cleaning, shower, unpacking, American Dreams and getting my act together. Because kids, we're going back to school tomorrow!

Friday, October 01, 2004

Happy Birthday, Happy Feast Day, Happy TGIF

Happy birthday to my mom, who is NOT reading this blog. I baked her a cake and broght it to her as a surprise this morning and she was really excited. "Wow, I don't have to bake my own cake this year!"

My mom is cool like that. She takes care of 5 children (even though 3 of us are out of the house), my dad, and 3 (count them) 3 OLD LADIES who now live with us. She's great at cooking and computers and fun stuff like that. And, I can show up unannounced at any time and say, "Hey, you think we (we meaning YOU) fix this purse that needs to be sewn up?" She'll do it right there and then. Awesome.

It is also a happy freast day for St. Therese...I need to see your movie...soon!

I wish my birthday was on a super cool feast day like St. Therese. I would really like that. I think my birthday has something to do with the Immaculate Conceltion...exactly 9 months before Christmas...which is moderately cool, I suppose.

Well, I'm on my way out of town for the weekend. Hopefully I will be much inspired to write good stuff.

I'm thinking of getting an interview with Al, which should be HIGHLY entertaining.