Friday, October 30, 2009

Update on costumes

Costume contest at school:

Winner for individual:
- The girl who dressed up like Roz from Monsters, Inc AND did the voice perfectly.

Winner for group costume:
1st place: three girls who dressed as "God's gift": They wore wrapped gift boxes and had their heads sticking out
2nd place: An amazing Alice in Wonderland group
3rd place: Four guys who dressed in full regalia as KISS.

I'm so sorry I don't have pictures of the real thing, but I wanted to point out that these students all made their costumes and worked hard, so I thought the blogosphere should know about it.

Halloween Friday Musings (or What I couldn't post on Facebook or Twitter because I left my phone at home)

I also forgot my camera because I am a sillyhead, so no pictures! :-(

- The teachers all dressed up as clowns today. I have a parent conference at 2:00, so my make-up is minimal. Not sure what it would mean to a parent if I came to a conference dressed in full make-up and rainbow wig.

- As usual, students push the boundaries of proper school costumes. I saw two students dressed as the gentlemen from the "dick in a box" video. I nailed both of them and said they had to remove the boxes. One kid said, "But Mr. L [vice-principal] saw it and didn't say anything...." to which I replied that he might not have gotten the reference, but I did. I even told the kid: funny but inappropriate. We also always have a few sexy something-or-others and two boys dressed as Teletubbies. I've seen some other fun ones as well; this is the best day of the year for some students.

- We found a tick on Penny this morning. I had to remove it and felt like Bad Mommy because I KNEW we were late with her flea-and-tick treatment but this neverhappenedbeforeofcourseshe'llbefinemypoorfuzzylittlegirlnoooooooooooo. She seemed fine. The vet said to keep an eye on it and keep it clean. Crisis averted.

- It is hard (or just lunacy) to give a test on Halloween Friday when teachers down the hall are playing "Thriller". Everyone's either giving tests or throwing a party.

- Tonight I think we're going to build a fire--our first of the season! It's going to be one of those hideously rainy fall evenings, perfect for bad movie and crackling warmth and Southwestern Mac and Cheese. Yum!

- I can't stand Bella Swan...yet I can't stop reading Eclipse. Damn you, Stephenie Meyer, and your Harlequin teen trash. You suckered me right in. Does anyone else feel Edward's a totally static character and kind of wish Jacob would get a falling in love with someone who's worthy of him who isn't the hot mess that Bella is? Am I getting too into this? Probably.

- How is Monday already November 2? When did that happen? And don't forget to turn your clocks back!

Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Odds and Ends

There's not a lot to report, really. I'm enjoying the fall colors--one benefit of our cold, wet summer is a riot of gorgeousness right now. This has always ranked as my favorite time of year, perhaps because it's so fleeting, perhaps because I love the crisp, briskly cold, sunny days and the sharply nippy nights that make you want to snuggle in a warm bed (and a sweet, cuddly dog on your feet doesn't hurt), perhaps because I get to break out my courderoys and my leather jacket. And there's just something about a fall sky with the clouds on one side and the sinking sun on the other that just sings to me. I can't quite explain it. Do you know what I mean? Mind you, having a fire drill occur on Monday during one of those 45 degree mornings didn't suit quite so well with me, but the state requires us to perform a certain number, etc.

Anyway. Rambling, sorry. I'm just moving along, business as usual. The faculty this year have decided to dress as clowns for Halloween. How fitting. Just kidding. Maybe. I thought about dressing up as a famous politician but figured I'd keep that sort of humor for when I get tenure. In addition, in my freshman classes we were talking about our biggest fears and more than one student named clowns as the biggie. Considering it's tradition not to tell the kids what we're dressing up as, this year could potentially send numerous kids into therapy. (I'm thinking of The Simpsons: "Can't sleep...clown'll eat me. Can't sleep...clown'll eat me....") I'll let you know. We do have a party to go to and I'm dressing up as something different, but I won't tell you what. It's nothing that amazing; I just thought I'd give you all something to look forward to.

In the meantime, as I wrote before, the flu has begun sweeping through our school. I had one girl take a test today who'd missed two days, saying, "Yeah, I was sick but my mom made me come in." GET WITH IT, MOM. WE SENT LETTERS HOME ASKING THAT YOU DO THE OPPOSITE OF THAT. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, KEEP YOUR LITTLE SICKIE AWAY. We're at 10% right now out, and if it keeps going up, they'll close school for a few days. That happened when I was in high school--some 36 hour virus spread through and they closed school for a day. Mind, I was in a boarding school in a smallish environment and a quarter of the population meant 125 kids out of 500.

One final point in this odd post and then I'll end it (HAH! Get it? Look at the title! I am so witty.) If you plan to take your kids to see Where the Wild Things Are, reconsider it. It had gorgeous sets and monsters, but the underlying added psychological elements made it a bit dark for kids...and adults, frankly.

So have a good day and wash your hands!


The absentee rate is due to illness. Colds and FLU. Yes, FLU. I think most of it is regular flu. I'm getting my shot on Monday (regular as well) and I just sprayed my entire work area down with Lysol. Now I'm going to go home and gargle with bleach. When you work in a building with 1300 teenagers, you don't take chances.

OK, maybe not bleach. At the least, I'm going to stock up on Airborne. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I had SEVEN kids out in one of my classes yesterday. You understand.

30 second post

Doing fine. Absentee rate at school is at 10% and climbing. We're watching To Kill a Mockingbird in 10th grade and reading about Greek gods in 9th. I've started to kick my own butt because none of my pants fit (more later on that gem). It's Wednesday.

That is all.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another quick one

We had a surprise birthday party for DH two weekends ago: I told him we'd invite his parents over for a nice, quiet dinner and then had everyone else show up about half an hour later. It helps that I live next to a parking lot, so the cars would be hidden. I don't know how I pulled it off, since he's so sneaky, but it certainly helped that Mom and R came over to assist, transforming our house into an oasis of party-readiness and comfort. I couldn't have done it without them! Everyone had a great time and it was just very chill and fun and a good Saturday night. It was just about fifteen people or so, and they brought food as well in lieu of gifts. This also saved me from having to explain to T why I was making food for 20 for just three people. Oh, and I made my friend H's mother's mushroom and onion soup:

- lots of different kinds of mushrooms (portobello, white, shitake, cremini, etc.)
- lots of different kinds of onions (red, white, scallions, shallots, Vidalia, even garlic, etc.)
- a thickener of flour, milk, salt and pepper, and melted butter (can't remember the proportions--ask and I'll find out)

- Cut up and saute the onions and mushrooms until onions are translucent and mushrooms are cooked through
- Throw all into a huge pot and puree
- Add milk to thin

It's T's favorite!

Anyway, for our main course, we did pizzas. I'm telling you, this is the way to go. Even if you have small kids, they can help by putting toppings on. We had a few with pepperoni, a few without, and my new fave is to combine mozzarella with ricotta and basil and just add sauce. YUM. Do it! Go now! Oh, and another I just missed the season on: Goat cheese, basil, and plums on a pizza. How's that for gourmet, chickadees? Finally, and my friend M. made this amazing cake--I'll have to get a picture. She experimented with fondant and created this beautiful Masonic symbol:
...and it came out great and tasty!

OK, gotta go--two more periods to teach, one hour of alternative ed, and then off to the hockey game. I need the distraction!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Still here

Just been sick, pretending to call it "allergies" so I wouldn't succumb. Got lots of grading and stuff to do, but Penny's still cute, T's still a great husband, and I adore and want to throttle my students sometimes within the same five minutes. Mostly the former.

Right now it's an incredibly blustery fall day, and I need to read two chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird, so I think I'll jump on the exercise bike and, to make a bit of a joke, kill two birds. Promise more soon!