Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I spent the day carving a small pale pumpkin (which, very oddly, smelled like watermelon!) and counting the seeds with my class. That very small watermelon-pumpkin produced a whopping 617 seeds! Several of them had already started splitting apart and sprouting leaves of their own inside the pumpkin itself.

Later, for snack, we made Worms in Dirt*. There was something very cathartic about pounding whole Oreo cookies into fine dust at my desk this morning. The kids remarked: "Mrs. K, you sure liked THAT part!"

We watched the Disney Halloween Sing-Along, and ate Worms in Dirt. After that, we gave out spider rings, plastic bats, and salamanders.

Ah -- the simplicity of kindergarten.

Offspring's school has a Book Parade every Halloween. You get to dress up as your favorite book character, and march around the school, showing off your costume. Offspring and I put together a horribly mis-matched outfit; she messed up her hair, and she went as Junie B. Jones.

She also got a mite ticked that I didn't save her any Worms in Dirt.

We plan to go trick-or-treating tonight with OzChick and her family. OzChick has triplets that are 2 years older than Offspring, and the kids always have a ball with each other. We will have lots of fun. (I plan on snagging all the mini-Snickers I can get hold of before Offspring notices.)

I won't be wearing a costume this year. I ran out of time. JF is going as a juggler. (Shocking!) and Offspring is a Gothic Princess. Will try to remember to post pictures later. (Note to self -- take camera trick-or-treating!)

Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone!

*Worms in Dirt (for those of you not hip to the palate of the average 5 year old) is chocolate pudding with crushed Oreos on top. You add in a couple of gummy worms, and presto! Worms in Dirt. Also known as "Graveyard Dirt."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

If That Ain't a Fine How-Do-You-Do

I guess it shouldn't surprise me anymore about how nasty people can be to each other, but my optimistic streak tends to make me a little less suspecting of people than I guess I should be. What I mean to say is that sometimes, my sunny outlook on life doesn't serve me so well.

In my profession, there is a place for everyone. Everyone contributes to the education of a child, from administrators all the way down to janitorial staff. I think no one is beneath me, and I think we all have bearing on each child we come in contact with, no matter if we're the school counselor or the school lunch lady or the classroom teacher. Sort of the "it takes a village" mentality.

That's why it galls me, and even more than that, angers me, when I am faced with people who are just downright rude and ugly when I have the rare occasion to run into them in my work environment. It's a very rude awakening, because when I'm at work, I'm focused on the job at hand. In my home life, I'm very disorganized. Not so at work. At home, I am not winning any contests *ever* for the cleanliness of my area. At school, I can't stand a cluttered classroom. This dichotomy is frustrating to my beloved spouse, but I digress.

Even more galling is to be called on the carpet for *doing my job.* I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing, and I got fussed at in front of children and adults for doing so. And, what makes it even more ire-inducing, I was taken to task by someone who is not even in my department, and who has no right to tell me what to do in any case.

I know some of you Bloggy Buddies out there have dealt with similar instances -- it happens countless times a day out there. It's an old story. I shouldn't be surprised at the way people can live their lives so full of hate, but here's where the "silver lining" really eludes me. How toxic are these people, that they have nothing better to do in their lives than make trouble -- invent trouble -- for others?

I should develop a thicker skin. It would be much nicer if people chose to focus on the positive, rather than the negative, but that's a rather simplistic way to view the world.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Finally! Fall Weather!

Woke up this morning after a busy weekend to find that the weather finally had turned cool. Now, since we live in the South, you would think that most people would have good reason to welcome a bit of cooler weather. Instead, we had children arriving for school this morning, all bundled up like the Michelin Man. Now, when I say "cooler weather," the high today is supposed to be 65. It was probably 54 this morning. Some of these kids arrived with heavy parkas and mittens on. It snows, on average, once every seven years here. If these people ever actually had COLD weather, they would all turn into popsicles.

On the lighter side, we won't have to sweat through our Halloween costumes if this weather holds out.

Hope all of you are having a good Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

loss and pain

Forgive me, everyone, while I indulge myself in some poetry. I have a friend who is hurting pretty badly right now, and I can't think of any other way to express myself without making the situation worse.

For one with so much
to be proud of
you often just scoff

your pain is immeasurable
and I bleed with you
I see the way you destroy yourself
and I die a little inside

no longer the one you call
the one you trust enough to talk to
I wish I could help

there are no words to let you know
how much I want to be there for you
please stop punishing yourself!
it's not all your fault

it's not my place to lecture --
you already have a mother
I try not to judge
but I hate to see you do such self-destructive things
so, I just listen and try to be a friend

my heart is open
I wait for you
take care of yourself
if not for you, for them


Monday, October 17, 2005

Who wants their teeth done by the Marquis de Sade?

While reading Peripatetic Polar Bear's recent dental woe, I was reminded of a story about my Dental Nightmare a few years ago that I just had to relate.

Most of you know the pitfalls of the HMO and "Preferred Provider" plans. I shouldn't have to say any more, right? :) Well, of course, the only dentist within a decent-sized radius of our home was Dr. A. Dr, A, being first on the list, naturally was the one that our insurance plan would prefer we go to. And by "prefer", we mean that you have to mortgage your home and give up your firstborn child in order to see anyone else.

Of course, this meant that Dr. A was a colossal jerk. I, however, didn't find out this nugget of gold information until midway through my first exam. Great time, right? Well, being a serious weenie about dental pain, I sit there as Dr. de Sade drills my teeth. Yes, I've had novocaine, and yes, I'm numb, but he must be hitting nerve anyway, because I. Feel. It. I'm clawing half-moon shapes into the leatherette of the dental chair. Dr. A sees this, and has the utter gall to say to me...

"Oh, come now! You're not afraid of a little pain, are you?"

Now, remember that I'm mostly immobilized in the Leatherette Iron Maiden, *and* with a spinning drill still in my mouth. I nod, almost imperceptibly, and grunt in the affirmative. As in, "Yes, I am a total weenus about pain, and this bothers me immensely."

The esteemed doctor says, "Well....I can see by the size of your hips that you've had at least ONE child. Surely, this isn't any worse than childbirth."

You have never seen a fat woman move so fast. I ripped all of the dental accoutrement off of me, and spat out -- "There's this new thing, doctor! It's called "bedside manner." You might want to try it sometime!" I stalked out of his office. When I got the bill for his services, I went to pay it in person so I could let them know that, if I had my way, no one would ever patronize this man again. When the receptionist asked why we wouldn't be returning, I told her "I've seen baboons in the zoo display more tact than that man."

My husband had had to see the same dentist, and was actually referred to a maxillofacial dentist by Dr. A, and even the maxillofacial dentist thought he was a putz. You've got to be a humongous idjit if people *to whom you send business* don't want to deal with you.

Thankfully, the dentist we see now is a great guy, and really makes you feel at ease. I related the Dental Drama to him, and he did his very best to make sure that I was comfortable at all times.

So, to all the other dental weenies out there -- you are not alone. My hips and I are with you.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's not the age, it's the mileage....

...and today, my odometer rolled over again. I got that early-morning wake up rendition of "Happy Birthday" from my mother (which was on my answering machine, because there was no way on God's green Earth that I was gonna answer the phone at 7:28 this morning!)

I turned 35 today. I'm slightly freaked out about it. I am less freaked than when I hit 30, though. I guess I just feel like there was so much more I should have gotten done by the ripe old age of 35. I am quite happy with what I've got -- don't get me wrong -- but I felt like I should have left a more lasting mark.

So, I shall have dinner with my husband, daughter, mother, and stepfather tonight, and I will enjoy the wonderful gifts my family has given me, both literally and figuratively, and be at peace with my mileage.

Friday, October 14, 2005

What You Want -- Baby, I Got It...

As seen at all the other cool kids' sites: The "KLee Needs:" and "KLee is:" Meme!

KLee needs:
info on the Roman Colosseum. (How on earth did they know?)
to DIE!!! (Apparently, I make this person's ears bleed.)
makeup lessons. (You mean I'm NOT actually making a pithy social statement with the clown makeup?)
to be put out of business NOW! (Wow, I'm starting to get a complex!)
YOUR help to get my latest video played on "Total Request Live!"
more fansites on the web. (Like there are *already* some? All I see is hate mail!)
to have an edge.
to use humor to repair my damaged image. (And here I thought that's what the clown makeup was for!!! )
to wake up and face the music.
to disappear.

KLee is:
about to release her new album. (Now out on Ronco records! Just in time for the holidays!)
not #1 at the moment. (But, shoulda been here *last* week!)
one talented girl. (Aw! *blush!*)
a human being! (Score one point for Team Obvious!)
even smarter than Jessica Simpson! (So are orangutans, but you don't hear them shrieking about it!)
planning a much larger tour. (Of *what*, pray tell?)
majoring in Community Development. ( Don't think so.)
a bright person. (You'd never know it from these comments!)
in magazines all around the world! (Yes, it's such a hassle to have all this fame. The paparazzi follow me everywhere.)
my role model. (Hon, if I'm your role model, we must be in Bizarro World.)

Well...that's how things stand in my little corner of the world. :>) Now, I'm gonna go take off the clown makeup and eat some cake!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Home again, home again

....and boy, is it nice to be home again! The Convention was amazing. It was awe-inspiring, and wonderful -- a true test as to how Girl Scouts has changed over the years.

There were 13,000 Girl Scouts (both adults and girl delegates) in downtown Atlanta this past week. It was so overwhelming to see a sea of Girl Scout green no matter where you looked. To know that there were thousands of like-minded people out there, all striving to make Girl Scouting the world's preeminent organization for girls and young women.

I met a lot of great people, and I had a fabulous time seeing the democratic process in action. It was kind of monumental to know that I had the power of vote -- that my voice mattered. We delegates were charged with the responsibility of making sure that we not only voted our consciences, but also that we were truly representative of the whole of our communities, and their voices.

There was a country music singer there named Teresa, who had written a song entitled "Being a Girl Scout." She played it for us at one of the last meeting sessions, and it has instantly become a Girl Scout anthem. She related to us how she'd always wanted to be a Girl Scout when she was young, but her mother had to work, and couldn't take her to meetings. She thought that she had just missed out on the whole experience, but was astonished to find out that she could join as an adult. She said she'd signed up that day, and was now a lifetime member! :) When I got a chance to speak with her a moment while she signed my CD and t-shirt, I showed her the Girl Scout handshake, and I offered her my membership pin. She said that she couldn't take my pin -- how could I just give it away? I told her simply, "You're one of us now. We're sisters. Girl Scouts do that for each other." I have a great picture of the two of us, arm-in-arm, with her proudly pointing to her new membership pin. That event sort of encapsulated the whole convention for me -- complete strangers, united by a common bond, passing on the torch of Girl Scouting. A return to civility. Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other's gold.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hello to all from the Convention!

Hi, everyone! Here I am, at the 2005 National Girl Scout Convention! IBM has a workstation set up for us, so we can check our emails. I just wanted to drop you a quick post and let you all know that I'm having a wonderful time, meeting Girl Scouts from all over the world!

I will return home on Tuesday, October 12th, so I will be able to post more then! Hope all of you are well!

I'm probably not going to get a chance to check email or comments until Tuesday, so bear with me if I don't respond quickly!

See you then!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Get 'em off!

I once responded in a thread on someone else's blog about germs and such with a verse from a classic "Weird Al" Yankovic song :

"They're all over me...
they're inside of me...
can't get 'em offa me...
I'm crawling with....microscopic bacteria!"

I feel this is the case with me today.

I know I often blog about funny things that happen at school, and I like to relate how my students are progressing. I keep things fairly low-key because I have no wish to be dooced. Many of you have the same feeling. Sometimes, I post things about school with trepidation, simply because while I love what I do and most of the people I work with, there are exceptions to every rule, and nothing is perfect, everywhere.

In class yesterday, we had an amusing, yet alarming, happening.

The maintenance workers were out and about, cleaning out all of the air conditioner filters. We use our A/Cs rigorously here in the summer, otherwise, we would spontaneously burst into flames. Over the course of a year, the filters get all gunked up with all sorts of crud. Once they had completed washing out of the filters, they replaced said washed filters in the units and moved on to the next class.

After a minute or two, my A/C kicks on, and huge froths of bubbles start blowing across this room. This was the amusing part. At least, it was amusing for the children, who immediately acted like God gave them no sense at all, and strted standing on chairs in order to pop the bubbles. I was less amused.

The horriffic part was that my desk is *directly under* the main A/C vent, and bubbles were spewing ALL over my desk and everything on it. I quick ran to shut off the air, leaving our room about the approximate temperature as your average sauna, and tried to bravely soldier on. My whole desk was sopping wet. My chair was wet. All my sticky notes were ruined piles of goo. I *cannot* function without sticky notes!

We could not leave the air off any longer, as we were beginning to all get heat rash, so I had to end up covering my desk with a layer of trash bags. My desk had standing puddles of water on it. I used an entire roll of paper towels trying to clean the mess up.

You would think that would be bad enough, right? No! Of course not! I, trying to be a "good teacher" cleaned the vent, hoping to stop, or at least STALL, the flow of bubbles down my classroom wall. The towels came away *black* from all the mold in the vent. The next time the vent kicked on, I got bubbles *and* mold bits in my hair.

Is it any wonder that my throat is now sore?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Baby Got Back!

Now that I think I've recovered from the Day From Hell (patent pending), I just wanted to check in and tell you all thank you for the words of support. I've been very busy gearing up for a big trip this coming week, so I will probably missing in action until about October 12th or so.

I just wanted to mention how helpful and supportive most people here in BlogLand have been. I've had a core group of people visiting my blog since it was merely a twinkling in my eye (and suggestions from people at the lovely Phantom Scribbler's.) I have seen people here be a shoulder to lean on; people to vent all your frustration to; people who encourage you to be who you are, and not conform to some ideal standard arbitrarily set; people who just plain care and take the time to stop and listen. You commenters (pixies, hippos, whatever we call you...) rarely get the accolades you deserve. You help someone, each and every time you listen. I don't know about anyone else's experiences but the people I've encountered here have only enhanced my life. My life was pretty great to start with, but having blog mates who are there -- who've got your back and who are fully in your camp -- are pretty special people. So, thank you! Thank you for listening. Thank you for reading. Thank you for all the things you do and say to help make my life that much better. Thank you for continuing to come to my little slice of the Blogosphere, and not only reading whatever I'm nattering on about, but for continuing to comment and NOT run away screaming in droves.

I'm not all tech-savvy like some of the Bloggy Buddies out there -- I don't know how to check who's reading, or from what blog you linked to me, or what people searched for on Google that led them to here. What's more, I don't really care. Those people who *are* here are the cream of the crop, in my opinion, and if it's just us, passing around the chocolate-covered pretzels and the fishbowl margaritas, I'm content with that.

If anyone wants any chocolate-covered pretzels, I'll be over here.