Saturday, January 31, 2009

What the Duck?!

This is about the cutest thing I've seen all week--possibly rivaling the kitten feed!

Octopus, Octagon...Octuplets

If this article by the Associated Press is to be believed, the mother who gave birth to octuplets earlier this week is "obsessed" with having children.

All I can say is, I want my tax money going to improved infrastructure and education--not to some woman who possibly had eight embryos implated all at once, and who now has fourteen mouths to feed, all under the age of eight. I'm all for helping people out, but this woman needs far more than just financial help.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I have a "Week in Pictures" post to do...tomorrow. Tonight, I've got singing to do, and sleep to catch up on.

Oh, and kittens to watch (on the computer and in the living room).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Feelin' Crabby

Who says Sebastian the crab has to be sung by a guy?

Certainly not me, and not anyone in the pops choir--turns out Yours Truly will be singing the solo. : )

The solo is for "Kiss the Girl," which I've always loved. I had a few compliments. The director said my voice is sexy (but don't worry, it's not too sexy for my shoes or anything like that).

That said, I'm off to Bedfordshire. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!

Still Tuned In... the Kitten Feed. They're in the middle of a long nap, but I imagine soon they'll be getting their dinner and having their evening toot. Kittens do that. I should know!

In other news, I'm enjoying the Pops Choir. The first night I had the misfortune to sit in front of two women who talked the whole evening. It was maddening. They kept making rhythm and note errors because all they could do was sit there and chat and giggle like ninnies.

Last night, I got there early to snag a spot in the front row, and that was much better.

After rehearsal, I asked if the solos in "Disney Dazzle" had been claimed yet. The director said, "No...want one?"


So I might be singing the solo at the beginning of "Kiss the Girl." I know, I know, Sebastian the crab was a male character. Oh well, I love the song and want the solo!

It's been fun, but I will be glad to get back to normal, which is having most of my evenings to be at home with my fur-babies. I have to tape Grey's tonight, but I should be home in time to catch America's Best Dance Crew.

I have a couple of hours 'til rehearsal, so I'm sitting here listening to MSNBC, with a little dude in my hoodie (he needs to cuddle and this is the easiest way to cuddle him and type/surf the Internet).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Have Nothing

to blog about tonight.

Well, I do, but I'm too tired. Three nights of singing down, two to go. It's fun, but I'll be soooo happy to sleep in on Saturday morning! And, of course, to rest my voice.

In the mean time, hot chocolate after a hot shower is just the thing. I'll crawl into bed soon. Tomorrow is a crazy-busy day. I've got two preschool sessions, one kindergarten, one first grade, one K-3 Special Ed., and, as usual, my two middle school periods. A couple of conferences after school, and two more hours of choir rehearsal from 7:30 to 9:30.

My days fly by, seriously.

Brother and Sister

Some pics of my babies. They get along pretty well, though from time to time, there are epic wrestling matches with a lot of growling and hissing on Millie's part.

And one pic of the little dude. I only got up for a moment, but that's all it takes for a cat to steal the warmed-up spot you've left behind.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuna Time! *Squee!!*

Oh, brother. It's Tuna Time for the itty bitty kitty committee on the live kitten feed (click here).

One baby is running around the room, while the rest cluster around two bowls of soft food, chowing down. When the guy came in with the bowls, some of them started climbing up the sides of the play pen. They're sort of fuzzy, with short little baby tails and all that kitten purrrsonality.

So freakin' cute!!!

Art Buddies

On Friday, my 6th period class got together with their kindergarten art buddies to make dragon puppets. I put the finished products up on my wall, and will add the pictures I took to the bulletin board when they arrive in a day or two.

Aren't they cute?

Your Daily Dose of Cute Overload

A live feed of a litter of baby kittens!

All kinds of cuteness here.

I just watched a wrestling match (complete with the brilliant back-foot-claws-to-opponents-chinnie-chin-chin move) and now I'm watching a little fuzzball sitting on top of the scratching post.

Enjoy. Try not to waste too much time. ; )

The Purrrvert Strikes Again

What can I say? Something about my dirty laundry must be appealing.

Monday, January 26, 2009

In the "Good News" Category

As I was leaving tonight for Chorale rehearsal, I noticed a truck was parked behind mine. Grr! I did an inward eyeroll as my upstairs neighbor came down the stairs bearing a small piece of furniture.

"Oh, I'll move for you!"

"Thanks!" I replied. "...Are you moving?"


I gave some polite kind of "ahhh" reply and went on my way, but inside, I was really thinking, "Hurrah!! The stampeding wildebeest herd is leaving!!!"

I swear, I don't know what they get up to up there, but sometimes it sounds like they're having some sort of WWE Smackdown in the master bedroom--often at 11:00 at night, or 5:30 in the morning. I know the floors aren't that thin. Normal walking around doesn't bother me, but the cacophony I hear from upstairs is insane!

So, while they seem like perfectly nice people, I won't be too sad to see them go. Here's hoping I get some nice, quiet, 100-pound person who likes to tiptoe moving in. Though, with my luck, I'll get an adorable set of three-year-old triplet boys who like to jump off of furniture and do ceremonial hakas at four in the morning.

I'm so over this apartment thing. If things go as I hope they will (namely, my job isn't lost to budget woes and I'm able to stay in Stockton), I'd like to look into getting a teacher-friendly home loan. There are deals available for teachers who work in low-performing districts, and I believe mine qualifies. At the very least, I wouldn't mind renting a small house or duplex. It's something to think about, and there'd be less likelihood of some asshole booming his stereo at 2:00 in the morning (happened this morning, as a matter of fact), or people thinking its perfectly okay to shine their headlights in my bedroom window while I'm most likely sleeping.

Food for the mean time, I'm just happy that the friendly neighborhood buffalo herd is moving on to greener pastures.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is Chinese New Year, and 2009 is the year of the Ox. I have pretty much finished the Chinese New Year lessons. On Thursday and Friday, we made dragon puppets, and they turned out really cute.

And yes, my room was a mess!

The Curious Case of the Kitteh in the Sweater

He's all warm and purry and cute. Who can resist?

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Compliments of The Kitty City Gazette.

Warning: Busy Week Ahead

Here's how it looks...


I'll have a normal day at work, a few hours at home, and then my normal two-and-a-half hour Chorale rehearsal. I'll get home around 9:45, and hop into bed.


I have another normal day at work, a parent conference at 3:00, and then, from 7:30-9:30, a rehearsal for a Pops Choir that is performing Saturday night for the St. John's Chamber Orchestra Festival. It's completely voluntary, sounds like fun, and is a way for me to branch out in my new town.


Yet another normal work day...except I'm tacking three parent conferences on in the afternoon. The last one is at 4:00. That evening, another two-hour Pops rehearsal.


Thursday will be the start of my daily preschool sessions. This means I'll be working each day after school (overtime pay = Yay!!). I have three more parent conferences, and then another two-hour Pops rehearsal.


A normal day at work. No conferences! It's also Pay Day, which is always nice. The Pops concert is Friday evening.


Sleep in.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Called It!

Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger received a hero's welcome in Danville, California today, and, as I predicted in a previous blog, he said he was just doing his job.

"Circumstance determined that it was this experienced crew that was scheduled to fly that particular flight on that particular day," he told the crowd.

"But I know I can speak for the entire crew when I tell you we were simply doing the job we were trained to do."

Yes, you were, Sully, but what a hell of a job you did!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quote(s) of the Day

Rod Blagojevich, Governor of Illinois and Stupidest Man of the Year:

Now, I like old movies and I like old cowboy movies, and I want to explain how these rules work in a more understandable way. There was an old saying in the Old West: There was a cowboy who was charged with stealing a horse in town and some of the other cowboys, especially the guy whose horse was stolen, were very unhappy with that guy. 1 of the cowboys said "Let's hang him." And the other cowboys said, "Hold on. Before we hang him, let's first give him a fair trial, then we'll hang him."

Under these rules, I'm not even getting a fair trial; they're just hanging me. And when they hang me under these rules that prevent due process, they're hanging the 12 million people of Illinois who twice have elected a governor.

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States and Cool Dude:

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

Blagojevich sounded downright crazy when giving his statement. He broke the freakin' law, and now is backpeddling like crazy to get out of the hole he's dug himself. What an idiot.


A few weeks ago, I had to buy a new Sweet Spot lamp because I broke the other one.

Tonight, my sweet furbabies broke the new one by having a rip-roaring wrestling match on the back of the sofa and knocking it over in their frenzy.

They're just going to have to do without a Sweet Spot until pay day.

What I Love About Friday

...besides the obvious.

I love that getting dressed this morning was a piece of cake. I just pulled on my uniform of jeans, school sweatshirt and boots. Awesome! No need to be a fashion plate--just wear my "Lion Pride" sweater and run out the door.

Of course, the minute I got home, it was out of my (damp) Friday uniform and into my warm, dry pajamas. Life is good!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Simple Pleasures

I have to post this video of the gorgeous arrangement by John Williams at the inauguration of Barack Obama on Tuesday. It is absolutely gorgeous, but what really got me was the look of total joy on Yo Yo Ma's face. And, of course, the perfect tone of clarinetist Anthony McGill. The clarinetist in me about crumpled from envy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I am on the Do Not Call List. On the rare occasion that I get an unsolicited call, I don't answer my phone.

However, for a while now, I've been getting calls pretty much every day from 1-877-740-3336. My Caller ID lists it as "877 Services." Needless to say, I don't answer. The one time I did, they said they were calling on behalf of Wells Fargo (I call bullsheet).

They never leave a message, they call at all times of day and evening, and so, I've taken a new tack: being as rude as possible.

The first time I answered one of these annoying calls, I made use of my soprano pipes by blowing the loudest, highest "yiyiyiyiyiyiyi" I could muster into the phone. The second time I answered a call from 877 Services, I said "F*** you" over and over before hanging up. The third time, I whooped like a car alarm. The fourth time, I chanted "F*** this S***"

It is almost 8:30 in the evening, and they just called for the 2nd time this evening. I decided to speak like a human being. The man asked for me by name. I retorted, "Who is this?"

"This is so-and-so calling on behalf of Wells Fargo--"

"You know, I Googled this number and you are NOT with Wells Fargo."

"We're calling on behalf of Wells Fargo."

"Well, guess what? I get calls from this number every day and I am not interested, so take me off your list, okay? Thanks, goodbye."

Then I hung up.

Well, honestly!

The Good Napkins

Sent to me in an email from Katie. : )

Ahhhhh...The joys of having girls!

My mother taught me to read when I was four years old (her first mistake).

One day I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar. I read the box in the cabinet. I then asked my mother why she was keeping 'napkins' in the bathroom. Didn't they belong in the kitchen? Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she told me that those were for 'special occasions' (her second mistake).

Now fast forward a few months.... It's Thanksgiving Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for dinner. Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone. Mine was to set the table.

When they returned, my uncle came in first and immediately burst into laughter.

Next came his wife who gasped, then began giggling. Next came my father, who roared with laughter. Then came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a 'special occasion' Kotex napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had even tucked the little tail in so they didn't hang off the edge!!

My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter. 'But, Mom, you said they were for special occasions!!!'

Pass this on to your girlfriends who need a good laugh or anyone who has a daughter!

Life is too short for drama and petty things, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly, and forgive quickly.... and for heavens sake, use the good napkins whenever you can!


That being what I said when I got into my pajamas after a day at work, which included some parent conferences after school, and a traffic-filled drive home from work.

The rain is coming down, but I am warm and comfy, surrounded by sweet kitties, and listening to Rachel Maddow on the TV. There's so much I could say about some of the first executive orders being made by Mr. President--but I'll wait. Suffice it to say, so far, so good.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

I wish you all the best as you take on the presidency of our nation. I have great hope for the future of our country, and I believe in you. The eyes of the world are on you, and a nation is backing you.



Yes, we can.

All the best,

Meg of the Little Pink Blog

Gung Hay Fat Choy (Part Two)

Today, I had my students make paper lanterns, using an idea I found online. We started with a piece of construction paper, which I had the kids decorate. Then they folded it in half and cut slits in it. When they opened it up, they could bring the ends together to make a lantern. Add a string handle, and voila! A lantern.

RIP Spike

I'm sad to report that Spike the Donkey (scroll down) passed away this morning. He had colic, and wasn't savable.

My condolences to everyone at A Chance For Bliss--Spike will not be forgotten. I'm only glad I had a chance to give him lots of love yesterday. He left this life knowing he was loved.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Cats

'Nuff said.

Donkey Kisses

If you read my blog with any regularity, you know about my occasional visits to A Chance For Bliss, an animal sanctuary in Penryn, CA. (They also have a blog.) Mom visits every other Monday, and I tag along when I'm in town. Today being a holiday, I was happy to visit our friends at ACFB.

But there's bad news! One of my favorite residents, Spike the donkey, was down this morning. He would get up, but his back legs are a bit wobbly and he's not eating. Mom and I went to love him up and he wouldn't eat any carrots or apples. As we left the pasture, he went back down. Deanna was going to check on him, and she is worried that it could be a stomach ailment.

Spike is an older gentleman of 27 years, so he's certainly not a baby, but still, I can't stand the thought of them losing him now. He's the first donkey I've ever gotten to know, and he is the cutest thing.

Anyway, I'm blogging a shout-out to Spike, and sending him donkey kisses this afternoon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An Officer and a Gentleman

Much is being made of the "Miracle on the Hudson" in the news, and I have been following with rapt interest.

I am the daughter of a retired Air Force man, a man who loves flying and airplanes, who respects the men and women who fly. I have never been afraid of flying--I have a very healthy respect for the science involved in it, and heavy turbulence isn't my favorite thing, but I've never been afraid of it.

When I got home from work on Thursday and saw the headlines on Yahoo about a plane crashing in the Hudson, I was immediately intruigued--especially when I read that all 155 souls on board had survived. I didn't need to read the article to know that we had a terrific pilot and co-pilot on our hands.

What a lot of people don't realize, however, is that someone like Chelsey "Sully" Sullivan probably won't hold himself up as a hero. He was simply doing his job, and on Thursday, his job entailed ditching a disabled plane as quickly and safely as possible, doing everything in his power to minimize casualties to all on board. His job has made him spend hundreds of hours in a state-of-the-art flight simulator, learning how to successfuly land a plane in less-than-ideal situations. Flying is a science--it is about weight ratios and angles, altitude and speed. Consider that the 3-page checklist for an emergency landing is usually started at 30,000 feet. Flight 1549 barely reached 1/10th of that altitude.

And yet, he landed it. He got the angles exactly right, so the tail of the plane would touch before the nose (just as on a regular runway landing). He had some help from God and Mother Nature--the Hudson was relatively calm that day, which helped keep the plane from breaking up. But the fact that this Airbus didn't start doing cartwheels down the Hudson is due to one factor: it's well-trained, level-headed pilot.

To turn the aircraft and then to land it without it breaking apart was "something that can't be taught," said Barry Schiff, a retired airline pilot and aviation safety consultant. "If the plane's nose was a little higher or lower, it could have been a disaster." He said if either wing tipped to one side and hit the water the plane would have done cartwheels down the river.

But just three minutes after take off from La Guardia, with little time to consult checklists dictating how to prepare the aircraft for a water landing, and with warning lights and aural warnings likely sounding, Sullenberger managed a perfect shot into the water.
From Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Impressive as hell.

But beyond being a damn good pilot when sitting in the cockpit, he proved to be a gentleman pilot as well. As Captain, he was the last to leave the ship, walking the aisles--twice--to make sure no one had been left behind. His co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, also showed true class and gallantry, giving his dry shirt to a passenger who had gotten wet in the freezing water of the Hudson.

The word "hero" is being thrown around a lot, but if I know anything about retired Air Force guys (or any military branch, for that matter), the term will be greeted with a shake of the head and some embarassment. I can already pretty much play Sullenberger's first interview in my head. He'll most likely give his account of what happened, followed by a modest, "I was just doing my job."

Also deserving mention are the ferry boat captains who immediately headed for the downed airplane to help passengers to safety.

From The Jersey Journal, photo by Reena Rose Sibyan

One of these captains was Brittany Catanzaro, the youngest New York ferry boat captain ever, and the first woman to have the job.

So many things just came together on Thursday afternoon. Everyone did what needed to be done, and a crew of five kept 150 passengers calm in a scary situation.

I believe, of course, that God and Mother Nature played some part in this, but ultimately, a lot of credit goes to a group of well-trained individuals who came together to pull off an amazing event.

Are they heroes? Perhaps. But I have higher praise to offer. Simply put, they are damned good and getting their jobs done.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

One of my favorite lessons to do when teaching K-8 music is Chinese New Year. This year, it falls on January 26, so I'm starting the lessons for it ahead of time.

On Thursday, I dragged a box of stuff I had at home to school and got some red bulletin board paper from the staff room. Then I started decorating.

I printed various Chinese characters that I found on the Internet, and made a sample "scroll" using red construction paper (red is the color of luck in China).

I had my kids make their own scrolls, then mounted them on black construction paper so I could display them. I'm not finished hanging them up yet (and didn't feel like staying after school on Friday to do it!).

That's just one class' worth of scrolls. I'll have a lot more when I see my other two classes next week.

Next week we will make paper lanterns, dragon puppets, and lucky red envelopes. Good times!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

War and Peace

Who needs the novel, when you've got Millie and Harley living together?

This is the perfect illustration of how, in a minute-and-a-half, my cats can go from cuddling to fighting. You'll notice, though, that their ears aren't back, so I suppose that's a good sign.

Do enjoy!

P.S. While waiting for the video to upload, I ran to the loo--to find that Harley has discovered what fun it is to unroll the toilet paper. *sigh*

Cat Photography

Tonight's blogging subject is Cat Photography. It sounds so simple, and's not. Cats are only so willing to work with you in your quest for photographic glory, before the lure of the food dish or the litter box tear them away from that truly awesome Kodak moment.

Take Millie, for example.

The first picture was just okay, so I called her name in a sing-song voice, thinking it would be super-cute to have her looking at the camera while backed by a daffodil wreath. Millie thought it would be even better to leave the shot entirely.

And then there's Harley. Faster than a speeding bullet, with a tendency to be washed out by the flash.

Then there are those moments that are truly adorable...trouble is, it's hard to get a great shot when the subject is sprawled on your arm. So you experiment with camera angles. Thing is, this particular subject doesn't, er, mind showing off his...bits. (My apologies--I just thought it was cute how he was sprawled out and hope no one is offended by such blatant kitty-porn. Hey, at least he's neutered, right?)

In other words, it's difficult to photograph cats...but every once in a while, they give you a great moment. Like this morning, when I found that a certain little purrvert had invaded my supply of feminine hygeine products.

(Sorry Mom, I had to post it!)

I am finding that the best way to catch the funny things my cats do is to use the video option on my camera...which is how I got a hysterical video of Millie and Harley last night, which will be put in a seperate post...if it ever finishes loading on YouTube. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Kinder Workout

I was halfway through a kindergarten music lesson this morning when it hit me that I was targeting most of my core muscles.

One of the songs we did has the following lyrics:

I'm stretching very tall
And now I'm very small
Now tall
Now small
Now I'm a tiny ball

I've been teaching my teenies about opposites in music (reinforcing what they are learning about opposites in their regular kindergarten curriculum) of late, and really, it's quite a workout. When I'm not stretching tall or a tiny ball (it was hell on my legs, HELL, I tell you!) I'm meandering through the Land of Slow Motion, followed by a sprint through the Land of Fast Motion. Or you might find me singing "Mikey the Monkey" while pretending to swing from branches. And let's not forget "Animal Actions," in which we pretend to be a bird, a rabbit, a fish, a frog, ants, worms, a peacock, a jellyfish, a monkey, a lion, an eagle, a person, a penguin, a kangaroo, a mouse, and a camel.

Who needs the gym? : P

Wake Up Call

Two mornings in a row now have found me waking up to a purring ball of orange fuzz, cuddling up next to my chest as I lie on my side. I pull the covers up over him, and he doesn't seem to mind that at all.

Millie will then perch on the side of me that is facing the ceiling, so I find myself warm and toasty and surrounded by soft purring.

Is it any wonder I don't want to get up in the mornings?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So...I'm Calm Now

Obviously, last night's encounter with my very own jailbird was disconcerting and, well, it pissed me off. I thought about calling Mom and Dad before they had a chance to see my blog (Mom faithfully checks for updates every day) but didn't get to it. When Dad called me later, he responded to my cheery, "Good morning!" with, "What were you doing out so late alone?!?"

I talked him through what happened and he agreed that I had done the right thing. Mom had taken it in stride. Obviously, if I can blog about it, I must be okay, right?

So that is over, thankfully, and I spent the day happily locked in my apartment. Yesterday was a day of discovering, running errands, and moving furniture. Today was a day to sleep in, relax, and make potato soup.

I promised Mom some pics of my new arrangement:

While I'm at it, I thought I'd post an adorable pic I took today of my Sweet Spot Sweeties Shining in the Sunshine (in other words, they had the Sweet Spot lamp on above them, and the sun shining in the living room window).

My kids. [heart]

So today has been delightfully lazy. I did get up long enough to make some potato-leek soup, but other than that I've been on my bottom most of the day. I was up late reading, so I slept in 'til about 11:00 (after a brief get-up-and-go-potty-and-take-the-morning-meds at about 8:00). I woke up to a purring little boy on my shoulder, and a warm Millie on my legs. Bliss!

Speaking of Harley, I now have his backstory. I went to PetCo yesterday to get some more food, and while there, I dropped off a bag of Iam's to the shelter ladies. I told them I had adopted one of their charges a month ago, a little buff orange named Kahn. One lady's eyes lit up.

"His foster mom is my neighbor!"

I let her know how delighted I am by my little dude, and she promised to pass the update on to the foster mom.

Apparently, Harley's mama abandoned him on a boat! Poor little guy. His cat mama just didn't know what to do with him. He was quite young, not old enough to be weaned. He was rescued and taken to his foster home, where he was bottle-fed and hand-raised (hence his lack of fear around people). Now, he is a healthy, happy 4-month-old in his "furrever" home. All around, a lucky little dude.

The ladies were so happy to hear a success story, and I was happy to share it!

So now it's off to another busy week. I'm going to Mom and Dad's on the weekend to give them a Harley fix, and to go to A Chance for Bliss on Monday.

I'll close with the latest Kideo (kitty video). It's not much, just a quiet moment in the Sweet Spot.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dear Random Stupid Asshole in the Barnes and Noble Parking Lot,

Approaching a single woman near her car in a parking lot at night is usually considered somewhat threatening. To then open a conversation with, "Excuse me, miss, I just got out of jail..." is another strike. Expecting the afore-mentioned woman (*ahem* ME) to have ANY INTEREST whatsoever in talking to you, even BEFORE that conversational gem, is beyond stupid and into "Commit This Man" territory.

Whatever you've been smoking, well, take it somewhere else.

You scared the shit out of me. You do NOT have the right to roll your eyes when I jump into my car and lock the doors. You do NOT have the right to be put out that I got nervous being approached by a strange man in a parking lot--a man who then told me he's recently been in JAIL! I don't care if you were in jail for not paying your taxes or stealing a car or WHATEVER. I. Do. Not. Care.

The bottom line is, you scared me. Thank God the parking lot was busy, and that people were still pouring in and out of Barnes and Noble. Thank God I'm savvy enough to keep my eyes open while approaching my car. Thank God you didn't have a weapon, though if you did, we were surrounded by witnesses.

You know what I did, asshole? I drove straight home. I was on Pacific Avenue for a whole two or three minutes before I realized I didn't have my damn headlights on. When I got home, I did not pass go, did not go to the bathroom, but grabbed my phone and the Stockton phone book to call the police. The nice lady in dispatch seemed very interested in my complaint--she asked what you were wearing, what you looked like, and exactly where you approached me. She didn't say it, but I think she agreed with me that you have NO BUSINESS doing what you're doing. She told me she'd get an officer out there to check things out.

I am not in a position to be polite--I am a woman who is taking care of herself and who felt every inch of her vulnerabilities exposed tonight. But I am not going to cower in a corner and sleep with the lights on. Beyond scaring me, you PISSED ME OFF, jerk. How dare you?


Meg of the LPB

To my friends and family--I'm fine. Writing this actually helped me to stop shaking. Sorry for the bad language.

My Week in Cartoons


So, I got my Internet fixed last night...only to have it not working again this morning!

I made the decision (I've been mulling it over) to switch my hutch with the computer table, so the computer is now in the kitchen, and I am giving up on wireless Internet for a while. I plugged the modem back into the phone jack, and immediately got online. Life is good, and I didn't have to a) wait on hold with AT&T for an hour, or b) go a whole week without Internet while waiting for someone to come fix it.

Now, I have to put Grandma's china back in the hutch, hook up my printer, and finish a few chores.

Stay tuned--I took some pics of downtown Stockton this morning and they turned out pretty good. Will post soon!

Friday, January 09, 2009

My Week

...and what a week!

A week ago this time, I was happily playing around on the Internet, and having a somewhat normal Friday night. I went to bed that night, and got up early-ish on Saturday to go to a five-hour "singers retreat" for Chorale. We got a big head-start on Brahms' German Requiem, which is fabulous, by the way. Brahms was a Romantic composer. In other words, big, sweeping, epic-type music. Beethoven's later work and Chopins piano pieces were also Romantic. Basically, they took all the rules set up by the Classical musicians (Mozart, early Beethoven) and broke them, big-time. The results are incredible.

Anyway, we spent five hours working hard. I wasn't hitting my high notes, as I had residual phlegm from a small post-Christmas cold. But I was soaking in the text and the notes. I had lunch with a lovely lady named Pat, who I previously spent a few hours chatting with while wrapping packages at Barnes and Noble to raise money for Chorale. Pat is a very nice lady, and we had a lovely lunch at Boudin (which...oh, bliss...has a store within a few miles of my apartment).

After the retreat, I went home, intending to go to a party later at our conductor's house...only to find I couldn't get the directions (stored in my email inbox) because I had no Internet.


I tried this, I tried that. I called AT&T, and grumpily waited on hold. A man named Victor told me that the problem was "external," and would be fixed "remotely" and "within an hour, you'll receive a call, and you should have your service back."

Needless to say, an hour came and went...and no Internet.

The next day, Summer came over for a day of scrapbooking and catching up. She arrived at 10:00 to find me with the phone to my ear. "I'm on hold. I have no Internet!"

Summer put up with my moodiness over the complete lack of customer service at AT&T, and also my jittery Internet withdrawls. It was well over 24 hours since I'd been online at this point. I didn't quite know what to do. I set up an appointment to get an AT&T person here to help me...and the earliest slot they had was Friday. A whole week without Internet?!

Nonetheless, I had a lovely day with Summer (as ever!) and we were both quite productive. I love scrapbooking when I have the time, but it's even more fun when Summer can join me.

That evening, I readied for going back to work the next morning. I was actually ready to get back into my routine. I took a picture of Harley being...well, Harley.

Monday morning I was up bright and early, wearing a black long-sleeved top, black skirt, black tights, black shoes, black scarf--and, to avoid the inevitable "are you going to a funeral?" questions from my middle school students, a bright blue sweater vest Mom got me for Christmas.

Shortly after I arrived at school, I walked up to the office to check my mailbox and pick up my attendance sheets. I found two teachers crying. Our assistant principal, T, looked a little teary. I immediately knew that the worst had happened. An email from our principal, G, confirmed it: a 6th grade student at our school died over the break. He had a horrible accident at home, and broke his neck. It happened on Christmas Eve.

I did not know him (I don't work with the 6th graders) but there was definitely shock and grief for all of us that day. Our district has a crisis team, and they were immediately dispatched to our school to assist. We have one counselor, an awesome lady, but this job was way too big for one counselor. T had the awful job of telling the 6th grade classes the bad news. G had to compose a letter to send home to all of the parents. I stopped by her office to ask her about another topic, and she looked so tired. I said, "How are you holding up?" She just shook her head and said, "It's so...senseless." The death of a student was a first for her, and while she handled everything as she should, I know it was very difficult for her to know what to do.

Mostly, my students were unaffected. The middle school students knew it happened, and rumors flew, but were quickly shot down by the middle school teachers. One of my 7th graders was good friends with the boy, so she missed a lot of class that day to talk to the counselors. They allowed her to join the 6th graders in the afternoon in a writing/drawing exercise.

So Monday was a sad day. The 6th grade teachers were in the staff room during my lunchtime, and they were red-eyed. One burst into tears while they sat there, and it was all I could do not to bawl along with her in sympathy.

Monday night found me at the first Chorale rehearsal for this semester, and feeling very excited about things to come. Our Pops concert with Stockton Symphony was great, and I very much look forward to performing the Requiem with them in April.

On Tuesday, I was calling one of my students on something he'd done. He was stealing a girl's pencil and throwing it to another table...trying, unsuccessfully, to flirt, but succeeding only in annoying her. Ahh, middle school hormones!

Anyway, the kid responded, "I didn't do it!" I just laughed out loud and said, "I see we're blaming the invisible guy in the room!"

I got inspired. While my kids worked on their assignment for the day, I went to my desk and made the following:

Hey, I laughed, anyway.

Wednesday found me oohing and ahhing over my most recent eBay splurge--the most gorgeous little tea set and cup and saucer. I put them with my London shrine, and I think they look darling there.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have Tea for One with my new set.

Also on Wednesday, I dragged my bottom to the gym for the first time in 2009. That night, I admired Harley's six-pack abs. He's got the cutest little kitten tummy, but his markings make it look like he's got a six-pack. The picture isn't the best, but you get the idea.

Speaking of Harley, he's doing very well, as is Millie. They're getting along pretty well. He ambushes her, she pins him to the ground in a headlock, growling. An hour later, they're side-by-side in the Sweet Spot. At night, he sleeps in his donut bed next to me, and Millie sleeps on me, inches away from him. I give them equal love and affection (though Harley gets slightly more attention at times because he's into everything).

The week pretty much flew by. Harley had a follow-up vet appointment for a booster shot. The vet is very pleased with Harley's overall health, and seemed charmed by Harley's inquisitive and friendly nature.

I only made it to the gym once (bad Meg!) but ate salad for lunch once, too (good Meg!) and avoided overeating (good Meg)...except for that huge pasta dinner a few nights ago (bad Meg!).

I have been playing my piano more, practicing some Czerny finger exercises and a few easy sonatinas. I want to get my technique back. My scales are pretty good after two years of playing them every day while warming up various choirs. I've also been putting some effort into my choir music...which reminds me, I need to purchase the Requiem on iTunes so I can listen to it in the car and learn the soprano line...not to mention getting some help with the German pronunciation! It's not as hard as French, but let's just say I'm a Latin/Spanish/Italian kinda singer. Gimme pure vowels any day!

The really cool thing is that I'm just enjoying making music, whether it's hitting high Bb in Chorale rehearsal or playing an easy little tune on my piano. After the debacle that was my time in Antiyuck, it's so NICE to enjoy making music again!

I finally found myself facing a busy Friday. I had planned with one of the kindergarten teachers to have my 6th period class help her class with a project they were going to do. They've been learning about the sun, moon and stars in science, so she wanted them to make cute mobiles. Trouble is, stars are hard for kindergartners to cut out, and tieing them to the moons would be difficult, too. Enter my middle school kids. It so happened that my most difficult class fell on Friday this week, and I was a teensy bit nervous about how they'd act.

They did me proud. I am still smiling. I took pictures, most of which I can't post here because they have faces. I can post this one, though. The big kid is one of my most frequent behavior problems. He really can have attitude when he wants to. In this picture, he's reading to his Art Buddy after they finished the project.

Too cute.

I was happy to finally arrive tonight, after the huge ordeal of braving traffic to get across town to Kaiser to pick up a prescription. I barely made it back by 4:00, which was the start of my four-hour waiting period for the AT&T guy. While I chatted with Mom, he called and said he was about 20 minutes out. By 5:30, I had my Internet back (yay!!!) and pizza in the oven.

I've found a new way of doing veggie pizza. I bought some cheap cheese pizzas from the Safeway deli. I used my awesome Vidalia Slice Wizard to slice onion, green pepper, zuchini and tomato. I added chopped mushroom, spinach and olives. I ended up with a slice of heaven.

Millie watched me.

So here I am, relaxing and loving that the weekend is here. I'll head to bed soon. From 6 to 10 tomorrow morning, there's an Asian market in downtown Stockton that I want to check out. It happens every Saturday. I won't be there at 6:00 (it is, after all, Saturday), but I'd like to see the sights and sounds. Apparently it's got foods and goods from all over Asia, including India and the Phillipines. I look forward to seeing it.

After the market, I have to stop by PetCo. My fur-babies are eating me out of house and home, and both the cat and kitten chow are in low supply. Then I need to do some laundry, but the rest of the weekend is all about relaxing. Next weekend I'm going to Mom and Dad's, so I might do a spot of cleaning, too.

And I'll enjoy having my Internet back!