Monday, October 31, 2005

Party Guilt

What a weekend! About a gallon and a half of red wine and a pound of cheese later, here I am, just getting through Monday. Tomorrow is Zander's real birthday, so I'm trying to figure out a fun place to go to dinner. As many of you already know, we had people over to celebrate yesterday and Zander REALLY had a great time. I had a great time too, but I'm suffering from day-after guilt. I keep thinking that I didn't get to talk to everyone I wanted to enough AND that maybe people felt weird just pouring themselves a drink and I should have been more hostesserly. So, if I didn't sit down and chat or pour you a drink, please don't think I'm a jerk... Just a little ADD in a big group, and then sorry for it the next day.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


What do these crazy characters have in common? Well, F, R and D! Frodo and Frida had a lovely time at Rob and Amy's reception. Lots of red wine, good pizzas, exceptional dancing, enticing conversations, and an all around fun time. Now, so sweepy. Must go to bed. Zander is putting the meat in the crockpot as I type. Tomorrow's gonna' be fun...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wowza. It's been quite a day! First hour one of my students came up and said, "Look at my hand." I need to preface this. Usually this type of statement means that the above mentioned student has learned some kind of trick to make their hand LOOK mangled. Like putting a bunch of glue on their hand and then sticking a pin through the glue... Unfortunately that was not the deal this morning. It was a clay needle tool and it went all the way through the "webbing" between his thumb and index finger. It didn't bleed because there was too much flesh. He went into shock. He went to the ER where they made sure it didn't splinter a bone or hit an artery. This needed to happen before they could remove the needle. Oh, and had he taken it out in class, it would have sprayed us all. I'm not going to get into how or why it happened, but needless to say, I'm planning where I'd like to stop and get a bloodymary tonight. Whew.

Last night we made it over to see Minnesota Pro-Wrestling at First Ave. Usually we have to drive all the way out to Maple Grove, but now at long last, we have some true culture in our very own downtown. What a blast! The next show is on November 30th, at 8pm. Put it on your calendars people!

In other news, I need to put up a picture of my newly sewn kimono shirt. It's really pretty cute, but might teeter on the edge of looking a bit pajama-ish. I'll wear it to the next CC meeting and get some opinions. I've also been experimenting with the quilting foot on my new machine. I cut up an old flannel shirt and a pair of sweats and cut them up into skinny, long strips. So now I've been quilting the flannel and sweats into a long and skinny scarf, leaving the edges unfinished. Not exactly high fashion, but a good experiment for me.

Alright folks, I just found out that my insurance will give me $20 off at the YMCA if I go 8 times a month. I'm going there right now to check out their class schedule and see if there are a plethora of classes that will be uber convenient AND so interesting that I'll be eternally enticed into working out all the time.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I'm trying to cram lots of good stuff into my couple o' days off. This morning I had a leisurely coffee and egg, gave Boo and Juno some extra love, did a bit of reading, and then headed out to the new H&M. There was LOTS of interesting stuff there. I really held back so I'll be able to justifly making a return trip out some other time with girlfriends. I did "splurge" (come on, it was under $30) on a cute little sundress that I'll wear with a turtleneck and jeans. Sounds a bit awful, but really looks cute. I also got a cheap pair of dangly earrings to wear to a fancy wedding reception this weekend.

I also met my mom for lunch over on Como Ave. I love it down there right now. The leaves are beautiful, the air is crisp, and I used to wait tables at Muffuletta, so it's filled with some fond memories and funny stories. Next I headed down to the Boy Scout Garage sale in Roseville. Total Boringsville. Eagle scouts keep lots of crap that even I don't want. Next stop, JoAnn Fabric. While it's not my favorite fabric store, I do like their sale bins and 40% off patterns. I got something really simple that I'm hoping to embellish, but really who needs to embellish when you're working with a skunk/squirrel print with a polka dot contrast? I'm pre-washing the fabric as I type. Oh, and keeping an eye on Oprah and how irritating she is. Why isn't Ellen on at 4? She's got ALL the dance moves as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's my last day of school for the week and I'm just giddy happy. Happy to have a few extra days off, happy to have eaten a delicious dinner with good friends last night, happy to have hogged (held) just the cutest, fattest little 12 week girl for the whole dinner, happy to blow off a home improvement project tonight and go see the Wallace and Grommit movie with our very favorite five year old, and happy that Zander doesn't have any stupid conventions this weekend so we can play! Alright, sorry if that rant made you want to puke. Dinner last night was at Rice Paper. It's in the adorable Linden Hills and I guess that it's a fusion of Vietnamese and Thai food. The food was delicious. I had the lettuce cups filled with marinated chicken and toasted coconut. The wine was good and I especially liked that their wine glasses were the traditional shape, but stem-free. We were even lucky enough to be served by the lovely Reuben's cousin.

Our basement sanding project needs to wait a little bit longer than I'd planned. I'll explain why later. Maybe. Other than that, I'm planning on hitting a few thrift stores tomorrow morning and then settling in for some hard-core sewing in the afternoon!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Well, it's the Monday of a three day work week for me, and I must say that I'm pretty psyched for a four day weekend! I hope, hope, hope that the weather stays nice. Normally fall gives me this doom-like feeling that we're all going to be frozen solid on the side of the road waiting for AAA to come by and give us a jump. Strangely enough I don't really feel that way this year. I'm not sure if it's the weather, LOVE, or job happiness, or what... I'm going to ride this good fall feeling as long as I can. Oh yeah, school is great. No more bomb threats lately. The kids are great and I'm especially enjoying my art club. They're funny and smart and especially proud of themselves for thinking up things to shock me. I'm not as easily shocked as I used to be (after being married to Zander for four years), so I do my best to indulge them and ACT shocked. So yeah, I'm still enjoying working with these high school people, yes, even the somewhat LOUD Irondale lovies that read this blog regularly.

On Wednesday night Zander and I are planning on renting a sander to get all of the paint off of our basement floor. What kind of wine goes with home improvement? Maybe some Grateful Red? Anyway, the paint has been peeling like crazy and it's so disgusting to take a shower down there and then have to clean the paint chips off my feet before I can put my socks on. Paint chips stuck in the toe of my tights on regular basis is no way to live. I think it's going to be a really hard and dirty job getting underneath all of the stuff that's accumulated down there already, but hopefully well worth it.

In other news, I'm injured. Somehow (I don't remember falling or anything else that I'd associate with this kind of pain) I hurt my tailbone and now my whole body is paying the price. It sounds like an exaggeration, but seriously, tailbone stuff sucks. It hurts to sit almost as much as it does it stand up, and that hurts almost as much as it does to cough or sneeze. I've been trying to cure myself by doing some yoga stretching, but I'm almost to the point where I'm going to call the doctor. Poor me and poor Zander for having to hear about the status of my butt every time he turns around.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Woah There!

Today was an exciting and historic day for Mounds View Public Schools. At a press conference held at Edgewood Middle School, Governor Tim Pawlenty officially announced that our district was approved to participate in the State's new Q Comp program.

Q Comp supports districts that establish alternative compensation plans for teachers. Mounds View's version of Q Comp is called Mounds View Teacher Professional Pay System (MVTPPS). To date, Mounds View is the largest suburban district and among only four districts in the state to be approved to participate in this innovative program.

As Governor Pawlenty said today, "Mounds View has a chance to be a very large leader," and clearly, this unique achievement demonstrates that our district has a progressive spirit. It also represents a shared commitment to doing what's best for students by aligning teacher compensation with teacher performance and student achievement goals.

Wow. This seems like good news, doesn't it? (Insert stressed out maniacal sarcasm here) I mean, don't get me wrong, I want to get paid for my outstanding work with student achievement. I work hard and I really like my job. I'm really quite good at it. But, in order to get paid, I will now have to give my art students tests that can ONLY be answered by marking letters A-E with a good old #2 pencil. Student achievement must now be measured by a very precise little machine that scores these little A-E beauties and then barfs out the data for us. Data is very important you know. Data is the wave of the future is what I'm told. OH, and will ONE of these tests per semester truly measure my job performance and my students abilities? Probably not. So, I'll just test some more and gather more data, and many of my students will shrivel up right before my very eyes. Then I'll truly deserve the pitiful check that I live month to month for. I CALL BULLSHIT. Thank you Mr. Pawlenty for allowing me, my art students, and my entire school district the unique opportunity to become your own unique opportunity to put something (data) in your file set aside for education. Why don't you pick on the elderly next time???

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This is yummy ya'll!

Tomorrow I've got double duty in the potluck area. At school the art dept is in charge of this month's "Wednesday is Treat Day," and it's also the second Thursday of the month, so that means it's time for the Minnesota Mosaic Guild meeting. I usually just buy something for the guild, but since I'm already cookin', I thought I'd make a double batch.

Cheryl's Pumpkin Bars that She's Been Making for Thirty-Three Years

4 eggs
2 C sugar
1 C oil
2 1/2 C flour
1 can pumpkin guts
1 TBL cinnamon
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

bake at 350 in a cookie sheet, when it's cool frost it with...

The Best Frosting Ever that Cheryl has Been Frosting the Pumpkin Bars with for Thirty-Three Years

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 stick of butter
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz cream cheese

Tonight Zander and I are baking Mom's pumpkin bars, listening to Death Cab for Cutie, and I even talked him into doing some T-shirt stenciling with me.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Mike Joyce is officially titled, "Da Bomb."

After a VERY productive day inside yesterday, I'm ready to get outside and enjoy this sunshine. How productive was yesterday, you ask? Well, my Mom and Mike came over and bailed me out BIG TIME. We had maintenance on our furnace last week, only to wake up yesterday to a brisk 58 degrees inside. After trying to get through to Centerpoint Energy for 30 minutes straight, I found out that we couldn't get a service call until Thursday! The woman on the other end eventually realized that was shite and pulled some strings to get someone out to us on Monday. Well Mike to the rescue! He fixed it by pulling a DEAD BIRD out of the blower and replacing the old one. How does a bird get inside the furnace? How did the maintenance guy miss the dead bird last week? Why do you have to read about it now? Anyway, 68 degrees feels perfectly balmy now. I appreciate his work so much, I mean, all I could do was hide in the stairway, afraid that something was going to blow up. (While I was watching in fear, I did plan out how I'd save everyone involved.) Oh, he also drilled a hole behind my beloved fridge and connected a pipe to our cold water pipe downstairs. This is a project that the Home Depot guy told me that I could totally do all by myself if I only bought a fridge from him. I believed him at the time. Luckily I didn't run with that belief. I've now learned that copper tubing is a sensitive little beyotch, and our hammer and phillips screwdriver set are no match for these kinds of projects. Thanks again to Mike, we've now hatched our first litter of adorable little ice cubes AND we can drink cold filtered water from the little thingy inside the door.

Today Zander and the boys are at the show, so I'm thinking that I'll stop in for a FEW minutes and see what's up. My motivation for going to the show isn't really based on my souls love for comics, but to see the BTA guys all dressed up in their work outfits/costumes/uniforms. Or whatever you want to call them. They're jumpsuits with a shirt and tie. They look cute. I want Zander to wear his to parties or at least around the house, but he's still refusing at this point.

I love looking for cutsie t-shirts at these comic conventions, but mercy me, we made some pretty cute ones ourselves at the last CC meeting.

Oh and really, the night is not over until the three grouchy owls fly in and break up the party.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Zander's Mom, Betsy, just sent me the new magazine called Cloth, Paper, Scissors. It's so awesome. This issue shows how to transfer photo images onto metal (even from the inside of a pop can), and I'm completely psyched to try it out. I'm kind of on project-wanna-do-overload. Especially because I re-discovered the Public Library recently. Browsing through the stacks of sewing books just gets me excited to make, make, make. I totally want to make these culots (can I make them even if I can't spell them?) from a pattern that Messica is letting me borrow. I'm working on a pottie humored mosaic entrance to our bathroom. It's all pieced, but needs to get glued and grouted. I also have about 3 other mosaic things that need to get grouted. And hello, Christmas is coming and I want to make people stuff. Like maybe a quilt sewn together from felted sweaters, or a dirty cross-stitch...

I'm a bit obsessed this week about if our Gnome has had her own little Gnome yet. I'm checking my email about every forty seconds!

Water in our basement again this morning! Rain, rain go AWAY! Poor Zander got stuck hearing me bitching about it AND having to clean it up. Henceforth, he's way into our wet/dry shop vac right now! I called the CEE about it and they suggested an energy evaluation. They're coming in with lazers and fake smoke on the 21st to check where our warm air escapes to and where the nasty rain water comes in. The audit takes three hours and then they need another hour to discuss the results and prioritize what needs to be done. While the possibilty of hearing that our house is broken and can't be fixed and we got hosed on buying it in the first place doesn't really thrill me, I am proud of myself for taking care of business instead of just trying to forget about it, which is what I normally do. Wow, run-on-sentence-o-rama.

Zander and the guys at BTA seem to be loving their new studio. Since my house is full and I love shopping the thrifty way, I'm on the lookout for cute chairs or couches for their place. I'm back on Craigslist with a vengence now. If you run across something cool at a sale, give them (or me) a call!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I'll spare you the details, but this weekend has put me into a bit of a funk. But luckily, how can I look at these faces and not feel all squishy and happy and... better?

This is Juno our new cat. Some friends gave him to us and I'm still thinking of how to really thank them. He's cute and sweet and still pretty scared of us. He mostly likes hanging out in the basement where he can hide. But when he's brave enough to snuggle, he's a purr machine, especially when you scratch right behind his ears. Oh, and he LOVES Boo. Boo is used to ALL the attention, so naturally when I'm dancing in the livingroom with Juno, he gets a little bit jealous. But mostly the two of them chase each other around, bite each other, and then have a lick fest. I'm starting to think that they're gay for each other.

Despite the funk, I'm disturbingly thrilled about getting a new fridge. I'm thrifty. I buy used. I shop alley ways. I could buy a couple more trucks for Zander if I hadn't bought this little Maytag, but gosh darn it, it's so nice. It fits right in its spot instead of sticking out a foot too far, which in turn allows us to open the basement door all of the way. Until now, the basement door has NEVER opened all the way. It also has a freezer on the bottom, which I think is pretty nifty. It's also pretty. I didn't really want to put food inside, because I know my jelly jar is sticky and I just hated to mess it up.