Friday, June 29, 2007

Your Daily Showcase

#1 (bid $35,000) - OVER
-Exciting Vegas Trip
-Exotic Egypt Trip
-Poorly-made Sailboat

#2 (bid $19,240) - OVER
-Beautiful Living Room Group
-Hawaiian flowers for a year
-Pair of Yamaha "classic" motorcycles


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Your daily showcases

Showcase #1:

- A lovely brass bedroom set
- with new mattress
- A lovely gemstone necklace
- Greece trip

Showcase #2:

- St. Lucia trip
- $1000 cash
- Corvette(!)

I always feel bad for the guy who gets the terrible showcase. He almost always wins, and it's usually stuff that you'd just be happy to take in cash equivalency. I haven't seen any grand prize Espresso machines, baby grand pianos, and party boats lately, but woe be it for the fools who win personal hovercrafts, electric golf-cart vehicles, or bad Chevys.

On the road again

I seem to be driving more than usual latey. Went down to Bawlmore last night at around 5:30 (yay rush hour! actually, there was next to no traffic) to grab a nice dinner at Gertrude's with Justin (and Graham as your bartender - he made me an extremely nice gin and tonic, then handed back my credit card when I attempted to pay). It's been a long few weeks with no people around, so to have Justin, Gram-bot, and Ian hanging out with me for a couple hours... well, it's more fun than I've had in a long while. I do adore my boys, and I actually have time now to go see all of them - woo!

In addition, yesterday, I did a sample run of teaching GED language arts. Wrote up a brief lesson in a couple hours, sat in on a class, then taught for the final twenty minutes. I apparently looked pretty comfortable and confident, because I've been picked up for a few more future dates this summer... man, $15/hour. That's some money right there.

Monday, June 25, 2007


You know what sucks?

Not having a single friend in town for a goodly portion of the summer.

I mean, I'd probably be bored in New York, too, but at least at my old crappy job, I'd be around some of my buddies. As well as too many stupid high school students who also decided to be counselors. Never mind. At least now I have a little green planty material to keep myself a little amused.

Though counseling is more fun than excel spreadsheets, which I'm only doing because the folks at the Learning Center can't do anything with me. Volunteering is kind of lame sometimes. Especially the "no pay" part.

Saw the Mets play an amazing game on satuday night, though. Thank dog, I only bought three concessions (Dippin' Dots in spiffy souvenir helnet cup, bringing my total collection to 4 - $5.50; pretzel - $4; Brooklyn Ale - $7.25 I will be damned if I'm going to pay $6.75 for a Bud Lite when good beer is available at an even more ridiculous price) because I think the prices are getting even more outrageous than usual.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Listening to: Yes - Big Generator

To an unnamed someone I sort of know:

When someone mentions something even remotely mainstream in any sort of enjoyment context, shooting them down by saying how crappy it must be is a really obnoxious thing to do. Especially if you've just said "well, I don't know anything about it, but..."

It's the rough equivalent of telling someone that their pants make them look like a blimp while YOUR SPECIAL PANTS make you (and any other person as special as you who happens to have said pants) look just wonderful. Whenever you do it, I want to take you aside and tell you that you're a horrible person who should have her human decency card revoked.


Sorry to my four loyal readers. I'm just very mad at this aforementioned person and do not possess the cojones to tell her what I think, mostly because that sort of ventilation, even in private, tends to piss people off.

This is no way to live life - it just makes you look like a bitch.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Je reviens

Listening to: Genesis - Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea

Well, back from an extended mini-vacation.

Went to Charlotte's end-of-school festivities. Got to ride up to the Cape with mom, which doesn't happen often, since she usually goes out first with dad and I to follow. The drive felt shorter than usual, maybe 4 hours, many of which were spent attempting to get into a comfortable position to rest my eyes. Plus, I got a donut.

This is where I make note of an excellent meal I had whilst in Hyannis at a place called Spanky's Clam Shack (apparently, it's owned by one of Charlotte's classmates' mothers). Fried clams are generally delicious no matter what, but really fresh fried clams, with a lemon chunk to squeeze over both them and the fries... well, that's just somethin' else. The real icing on the cake was a glass of Cape Cod Red to wash it all down. Fried shellfish and beer - you honestly CAN'T get much of a better combination.

Better still, that night was the school's benefit dinner - I ended up winning a cute oil painting of a green pear for my kitchen in one of the silent auctions (alas, I didn't win the raffle for the plane tickets... I would've loved to convert my $20 entry into tickets to California). The dinner was a little less... busy than last year's (4 courses instead of something like seven), but it was very tasty. Particularly the scallops tartare. Cape Cod has the market cornered on amazing shellfish... Twice in one day!

The next morning, Charlotte and some of her classmates put on a play they'd been working on for a while, something about the school. As it turns out, Charlotte's been taking voice lessons, and she's got a hell of an instrument. I knew she liked to sing, but I'd never actually see her do it, and she impressed me a lot.

Spent the rest of the weekend at Steve's. A low-key visit, definitely enjoyable... Except for the toilet, which decided to explode about 15 minutes after Steve left for work on sunday. I got to formally introduce myself to his landlords while bailing all the floor-toilet-water out of the bathroom with the few towels Steve owns.

Word of wisdom: Never, ever drive to Long Island ever again. The "ride" through Brooklyn yesterday to get back to Philadelphia took approximately an hour and 15 minutes in which I went maybe 15 miles. And the gas light was on the entire time. When I finally got over the Verazanno and coasted across Staten Island and over the Goethal's and finally into Jersey, I pulled into the first road-stop I could find, as I was both ravenous and terrified that my car was running on fumes. Discovered that the chicken strips at Popeye's are almost as good as their biscuits... makes me glad that I don't know where the nearest Popeye's is, because I'd find some excuse to eat that garbage.

As it turned out, I filled my car up ($2.85 a gallon! AMAZING! I LOVE JERSEY!) and paid for a little over 14 gallons. I was in shock. My car has a 15 gallon tank. I'd never gotten it so close to empty in my life. ::shudder:: My poor car could've died!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Curse. Hate. Destroy.

Listening to: Depeche Mode - People Are People

I am in a horrible mood. I think it had something to do with not falling asleep until about 4, a dream full of disgusting bugs (roaches, giant daddy-longlegs, etc) which kept jolting me awake in fits of leg-kicking and "no no no stop!," and the qats being bad. Mort pooped on the floor for the sixth consecutive day, and if he weren't cute, I'd kick him.

So, with my terrible grumpiness having been established, today's post shall be an angry rant.

Rant #1: I do not care about your sex life. This is directed at nobody in particular, but has been something that has pissed me off since college. I do NOT fucking care how good the sex is, how frequent it is, where you have it, all the various positions/accesories involved, et cetera. The only reason I ever mention mine is in response, because I am a self-conscious idiot who feels the need to "compete" whenever someone tells me how wonderful a particular aspect of their life is.

This has nothing to do with bitterness generated by rarely seeing Steve, and everything to do with me not giving a shit about your genitalia.

Rant #2: This is directed at someone. Some people. In power of a certain program. When a kid is trying to explain himself when a fight happens, and he has the entire excuse for his misbehavior clearly laid out, and it's ALMOST a perfectly sound reason for a childish response, it's really unkind to keep interrupting him to tell him what a bad kid he is, and that he's ridiculous for responding how he did. The kid is eleven years old. He is not an adult. He's not likely to handle anything in an adult fashion.

The argument in question: The boy took off his belt because, in his words, "it was cutting off my circulation." He put said belt by his backpack, and the girl next to him snatched it and hid it. He got mad and frustrated, and told her to give it back. She threatened him, so he threatened back. They both got in trouble, but not before the powers that be called him out for the fight, in front of a silent room full of other kids. I felt really bad for him, even if he was part of the argument. I wished I could've taken him aside and talked about it quietly.

Rant #3: I realize that I probably shouldn't prop a foot on the edge of the table to balance my drawing book when there are kids present, but come on, other-lady-power-that-be, don't tell me that I'm being unprofessional. It really hurts. Just tell me that I should probably sit straight.

She really took the wind out of my sails yesterday. I was in a great mood until she chastised me, although it was quietly enough so nobody else heard, and I ended up slipping into a depression-divot for a few hours. I almost cried three times in front of the kids, and had to slip off into the bathroom each time so I could let out a few tears and then get back to work like there was absolutely nothing wrong. I know it's my responsibility to keep my emotional problems to myself, and I'm really, really trying my hardest, but it makes my heart hurt so much sometimes. I actually had a pain in my chest and my head all night because I felt so crappy.

It was the first time I had felt down since I reduced my medication a couple weeks ago. I'm off the antidepressants in a couple days, and I really hope I can keep it together.

So now I've vented a little. I still feel like shit, and the drive to New York tonight isn't going to make me feel any better. I think I just need a good night's sleep.

Followed by a trip to the dentist tomorrow morning.

Oh, and it's that particular week of the month.

Oh, and the Mets are sucking in a terrible way.

I need a hug.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Professor is in.

Listening to: Genesis - A Trick of the Tail

Hand me a fucking apple, because I had a teacherly moment today.

Today, whilst watching the kiddies as they played Reader Rabbit, or Reading Blaster, or whatever, I noticed one girl struggling with one of the minigames. It involved navigating a climber from word to word to climb a mountain, following a common thread between each word. In some cases, the guidelines were obvious, like "find words that are like grape" and the idea was to pick the words that began with gr-. In the girl's case, it was identifying the words with the short vowel noise.

This is a six-year-old girl we're talking about, so it seems fair to say she had absolutely no idea what a short vowel was.

So I pulled up a little-bitty chair next to the girl and had a chat with her. First, I had her identify the vowels, which she was able to do, albeit a little out of order. Then, I laid out what a LONG vowel noise is.

"Those are the ones that SOUND like how you say the letter - like boat, or smile."

She nodded.

"Alright, so a short vowel's when it DOESN'T sound like how you say the letter - like bob, or cat. You understand?"

She nodded again. I told her to try the game again - and she did it without a single mistake. I felt so damn good.

And better still? She then proceeded to help explain to the boy sitting next to her what short vowels were, so that he could play the game, too. And he did it without a single mistake.

I've never been so certain in my life that I want to teach. It sounds cheesy, but it's so damn rewarding to not only watch a kid learn something, but be able to explain that learned information to someone else - that shows that what I taught her really stuck. I feel... important.

Working at the daycamp in Westchester, I never felt so appreciated. Those spoiled kids... they're not interested in doing anything other than what they want. This is different. These kids really want to achieve, and I'm glad I'm part of it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Listening to: The Doobie Brothers - Eyes of Silver

::hack hack hack::

Nothin' like horking up goo all day, unless you're also simultaneously mopping up a leaky nose and re-popping your ears. Fuck this awful upper-respiratory illness. Fuck it in whatever orifice it has.

Missed work today, due to goo-hacking. Probably better that I didn't get the kidlets sick.

Read the unfortunate news today that Bob Barker filmed his last show. After explaining to my mom that the show wouldn't be aired until September, she said-

Julia, what the hell are you going to do every morning?

Granted, it couldn't possibly be that hard to hand out PLiNKO chips, or botch peoples' bids, or remind folks to give their pets the snip-snip, but I'm genuinely gonna miss Bob. I'm not as obsessed as some of the screamier contestants, but Bob's been a fixture in my life since I was a wee child who subsisted entirely off of milk, Chips Ahoy, and Campbell's meatball soup. Besides, I doubt anyone else would be as good at sinking those putts in Hole in One (Or Two).

Being the sensible girl I am, though, I reminded my mom that Art Fleming had been the host of Jeopardy for YEARS before Alex took over (I think I might be more obsessed with Jeopardy than TPiR). I really shouldn't know this, since Mr. Trebek started his hosting job September 10th, 1984. Less than 2 months after my birth. I really need to do something more productive with my brain. Still Jeopardy related - I haven't gotten the Final Jeopardy question wrong for THREE STRAIGHT WEEKS.

I'm a damned genius.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Listening to: Bob Barker

Uggh... I definitely have something nasty going on with my immune system. My throat's practically swollen shut, I can't breathe from my nose, and my eyes are all itchy and watery. Off to the student clinic... great. I get to wait for something like an hour to see a doc for five minutes.

I need a hug. From someone wearing a facemask.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Hot stuff, baby.

Listening to: The Alan Parsons Project - I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You

The job started. Yay!

Basically, I roll in at 2:30, arrange snacks, napkins/straws, and placemats. The kiddies (k-6) come in around 3, and munch away until 4. I've apparently developed a fanclub for my ability to raise a single eyebrow (somewhat interesting sidenote: back in high school, Dr. Lipnick always said with a sarcastic smile that I was supercilious. I looked up the word... sure enough, it translates directly from latin. "One who raises an eyebrow"). At 4, the kidlets file off into their class groups. I tag around with 210, the kindergartners and some first graders. All very cute, albeit with some incomprehensible first names involved.

Some of the kids are very well behaved. Others, not. What I love about this place, though, is that unlike the constant coddling atmosphere of Breezemont, where even the most snot-nosed punk of a kid, who shoves people, whines, and never listens to anyone is still "an angel," here, the kids get ignored if they're bad, yelled at if they're really bad, and "in serious trouble" if they hit, curse, or anything like that. Not just "now, sweetie, we don't hit." No, here it's "DON'T YOU DARE HIT HIM."

Plus... it looks like I might have a nice (holycrappaying!) job in the fall, teaching language arts to GED students. I really hope I can make this work. A real teaching job... wow.