Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm NOT Making this Up

Heaven forbid I mention the name of the university where I teach (I already got in trouble for that one last year!), but today is my final day of classes.  We still have finals and all that jazz, but this is it for official classes. I was here on a nine month position, and after this week I'm likely going to be the most overqualified barista at Starbucks in the local Pittsburgh area.  However, I have to tell you this. 

There are many reasons I don't teach preschool  One of my top reasons: puke.  That's right, I will clean up my pet's puke and, heck, even my family or friend's puke, but I refuse to clean up random kid puke.  Today I learned that even avoiding preschool can't help you stay away from this problem.  At freakin' 7:30 a.m., I had a student enter my office.  She hiccupped and gagged a few words out before barfing all over my office.  How many people do you think throw up at Starbucks in any given year?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Drinking Pina Coladas Straight from the Bucket (or Sam's Club is an Evil Evil Place)

Here are some things I wanted to say to people today.  Thankfully, my filter is functioning fine, and I restrained myself.

1.  To the employee at Petco:  Yes, I'm wearing a dress and heels.  No, I do not need your scrawny butt to carry my twenty pound bag of dog food.  I could bench press you and my dog together.

2.  To my high school graduating class:  Thank goodness you invited everyone to a class reunion except the two top students!  You have again proven your stupidity as a group, and I can continue to hope for a giant meteor to crash through your town leaving behind no one.

3.  To the man I volunteered with today:  One, do not use the table cloth for your hairy, ham sandwich and mayonnaise covered hands.  Two, yes blue and orange do go together.  For goodness sakes, it's a Dooney and Bourke bag.  It would go with the table cloth if I was wearing it!  Three, no, I do not want to shake your hand at the end of the day.

4.  To Sam's Club: Please stop sending me emails to remind me that my boyfriend twice removed needs to pick up his contact lenses.  I hope said boyfriend is blind and withering away in a cave somewhere.  I love your buckets of pina coladas for four dollars, but I don't need a history lesson of how my life has changed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Does Anyone Know How to Keep Busy WITHOUT Working?

Today was kind of a tough day.  Nothing terrible, just a few minor things that threaten to throw off the delicate balance that is my sanity.  I got an invitation to my younger cousin's wedding today.  I am happy for her!  But I couldn't help but think I was planning on being married next month, and we were going to go to her wedding together.  Can I really go alone?  The bread I made didn't rise.  Running hurt like hell.  I have no job in three weeks.  I'm frustrated with not being able to get my manuscript published, my students are just at that point when all they do is yell at me and hate me, and I definitely got to the point that all I wanted to do was drink soda and eat doughnuts.  That's my low point.

So, when I'm stressed, I work.  Most of you know I teach at Slippery Rock, I teach online courses, I grade SATs, I work for Smarthinking tutoring, I work for another grading company, and so on.  And yes, I do all of these things almost every day.  I also work out 1-2 hours a day, have taken on volunteering at the history center museum, ride horses, cook, go to hockey games, take care of the house with new projects (it's spring and the garden needs planted...), etc. etc. etc.  The truth is that this is the first time I've sat down all day.  This is what I do.  I work until I can work no more.  So, being busy is my way of coping, but I pay for it by exhausting my body and mind.

But what's the alternative?  I could sit on my butt and watch t.v.  Even that I can't do, because I want to be working on my course online, reading, grading, or otherwise multitasking when watching television.   Someone please tell me.  What am I supposed to do that's relaxing and yet still "doing something." What do you do to relax!?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Recommendation

Ok, I found a fantastic book this week.  It's called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A DayBasically, the idea is that you spend five minutes mixing up dough, and you can keep this for about two weeks in the refrigerator.  I mixed my first bread dough yesterday, and I made the first loaf tonight.  It was awesome!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yinz Aren't Going to Believe This One

Guess what I did today?  I went to church.  Okay, most of you probably don't realize how big of a deal that is, but I haven't ever willingly gone to a church in my life.  Some of my hatred of organized religion is based on early experiences, and I admit that they're my own personal prejudices.  However, I found my way this morning to the UU Church in South Hills: Sunnyhill.  I almost turned around in the parking lot and drove home, but I made it in.  I met many welcoming and wonderful people, and I think I'm going to try visiting the UU church on the North Side that supposedly is focused on social justice before I make any commitments, but it was an adventure for me today!  Also, I submitted my deposit to attend Writing Between the Lines in Kenya next December.  That's right, Kenya!  I received a fellowship to the Summer Lit. Seminar programs, and I'm just so excited for the safari portion of the trip.  Is is awful that I'd rather take pictures than write poetry?!

Final Regular Season Game at Mellon Arena

I can't even put into words how amazing the Penguins' 7-3 win over the Islanders was last Thursday night.  This was the final regular season game at Mellon Arena, and I attended with my dad.  The best thing I can do is post the pictures.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Somewhere in Pittsburgh...

the Stanley Cup is safe tonight.  How do I  know?  Well, for the last five hours it was (partially) my responsibility!

I have been looking for a perfect volunteer opportunity in Pittsburgh for a while.  In the past I've worked in animal shelters, reading programs, environmental programs....  but a few weeks ago I signed up to volunteer at the Heinz History Center, an amazing place including a sports museum in the 'burgh.  And wouldn't you know, the Stanley Cup along with 10 other trophies has been in the museum the last few days.

They needed volunteers to help watch the Cup, take pictures, etc. and if there's a more perfect volunteer opportunity in the world for me I can't imagine it!  How cool that I just spent the evening from seven until midnight hanging out with Penguins and hockey nuts talking and sharing Cup stories.

No, I don't have pictures.  But I don't care.  Standing next to the Hart Trophy and the Lady Byng was so worth it.  The Prince of Wales trophy was outstanding!  And at the end of the night they rushed the Cup off to some "safe" place for hockey fans to enjoy another day.