Sunday, December 31, 2006

My little sister

I asked my sister to pose for the camera.
She asked me what her motivation was.

I told her to act like a "special monkey."

She did it well.

Things I hate about airplanes.

1. Talkative guy

You sit in you seat, pull out your book o laptop and start to fall into you pre-planned entertainment. Then, without warning, the person next to you asks, “So where are you heading?” You look at them slowly, and state you destination with a final sort of tone and quickly turn your attention back to your work.
Then you hear, “going for business or pleasure?”

That’s when you realize it, you are sitting next to Loquacious Larry.

Loquacious Larry is that happy soul who seems to forget that people cannot read and talk at the same time.

I sat next to Loquacious Larry during my first flight of the day. And though he was an interesting fellow, I was not interested in his life story. I wanted to read my book.
It’s a very good book and I am very near to the end.

But Loquacious Larry wanted to chat.

At the first pause in the conversation I donned my head-phones. Hoping that the shiny white plugs in my ears would be enough to deter even the most persistent annoyances.

No such luck. After a few moments of pleasant reading there was a tap tap tap on my shoulder.
Loquacious Larry.

“Your just want to read, don’t you? I bet you want me to just shut up. I know that feeling, I was on a flight to Atlanta a few weeks ago and the woman next to me just wouldn’t stop talking. All I wanted to do is just read my Maxium. You ever read Maxium? It’s a good read. Lots a hot women in it…”

He kept going.
And going.
And going.

I nodded. I smiled.
I banged my head on the tray table.

2. Little Ones.

I know this is an obvious point to make. Anyone who has ever been on an airplane knows the suffering brought on by crying children. They also know what it is like to have a child kicking the back of their seat.

Imagine, if you will, those two being one in the same.

I currently have a baby behind me.

A constantly screaming,
Ear piercingly loud,
Kicking and punching,
Baby on board.

3. Poopy.

I am lucky enough to have an exit row seat. You know that row in the front of some planes right where you board, with nothing but a large space before you.

It is fairly wonderful.
I have plenty of leg room and the ability to stand up and dance at any given moment.

In fact, I think I will dance now.
Disco is back, baby!

* Standing up and doing a great Friday Night Fever impersonation. *

Ok, better now, all danced out.

My disco dance floor is an excellent place. It’s a large and empty and, well, mine.

The baby behind me made a stinky. A normal thing for babies to do. They poop and, I have no argument with that.

I do have a problem with the changing of said dirty diaper in my happy clean disco dance floor.

I diverted my attention, avoiding the sight of baby poop.
When something hit me.

A smell that only my sister would dare to replicate.

Not only was my disco dance floor degraded but my nasal cavity was attacked.
Grrr, Babies.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bare foot

This week has been a whirlwind of fun and suffering.

One of the best things about my family is how full of energy and life they are.
One of the worst things about my family is how full of energy and life they are.

They don’t stop.
Like the energizer bunny, they just keep going and going and going and going.
And going.

Up at crazy early hours and to bed long after midnight.

I once had a vague notion that vacation had something to do with relaxation. Recuperating from “real life” with a few days of restful rest.

Then I realized that I was born into the “you can sleep when you die” kind of family.

We have shopped, we have eaten, we have fought, and we have giggled.

My sister even danced around in a towel.
And only a towel.

Speaking of dancing.
I tried to rope me a cowboy.

This being Texas I saw many of them.
I saw pretty boys in hats. There was a sea flannel shirts before me.
But, as it turns out, cowboys are rather difficult to rope when surrounded by your mother, sister, aunt, and granny.

Speaking of family.
It has finally happened. I have been dreading this for a good portion of my life, I have avoided it. I have slipped under the radar for so very long.
And yet, the moment still came.

The “when are you going to settle down and give me grandkids” moment.
Every few hours this holiday season someone in my immediate family made a suggestion regarding my uterus and what wonderful things it can do.

I love my homeless life style.
Not to mention my luck with keeping things alive.
Just last year I bought a cactus. It died within weeks. Causes still unknown. *

All week conversations went something like this:

Mom - “When are you planning to settle down and give me grandchildren?”
Me – “Babies are not allowed in Alaska.”

Sister - “I can’t wait to have nieces and nephews!”
Me – “Maybe I could adopt a 14 year old Ethiopian”

Granny – “When will you move somewhere normal?’
Me – “Where is my martini?”

I think I deflected the issues quite well.

Moving on.
I just a day and have I will once again board a plane and head out to Anchorage where I will spend several days.
Including New Years Eve.
I love to fly!

If there is anyone in the big city that have fun and exciting New Years plans, due feel free to drop me a line. I am in desperate need of some groovy plans!

And I would still like to rope a cowboy.

* Yes I realize that I currently have a garden that is flourishing. It is possible that I am growing as a person. But this is the first time things have stayed in the land of the living under my care.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wire This

Because I enjoy a good rant I would like to raise my voice against a particular industry in this great nation.
A specific group of evil individuals that are dead set on making my life miserable.

These bastards attempt to make a buck off the suffering of others.

The pains-in-the-tushy I am referring too are none other than the airport internet services that insist on charging poor travelers $9.95 a day when most land for less than two bloody hours.

We silly travelers. We pay hundreds of dollars to transverse from one side of the country to the other. We spend extra on inflated food prices, high parking rates, and 3 dollar water. And then fork over extras for internet.
Next they will have us paying for toilet paper squares while stranded on the john.

I write, knowing full well there is no way it will be posted in the near future.
Knowing that though I sit with full bars of happy internet service it is inaccessible to me. I can’t bring myself to actually spend 10 smack-a-roos on two short hours.
Call me cheap if you want to.

I look around at so many holiday travelers staring woefully at their laptop screens. Some are sadly pulling out credit cards. Others just stare and click, pretending to have to capability to surf.

Rant-ity Rant Rant Rant.

Alright, rant time is over. I am traveling again, layovers and lack of legroom. This time to Austin, Tx for Christmas with the family.

I’ll be here for a week with long horns and the salsa. Maybe I will have the opportunity to rope myself a cowboy.
Or a pair of chaps…

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Snot My Problem Now

This post is about a rather unpleasant matter. You are advised to stop reading at this point if you suffer from extreme squeamishness or an irrational fear of snot.

Since I have made my cross county journey from the farthest north west to the farthest south east I have had the chance to really compare the incredible differences in this great country.
From sea to shining sea you can find a vast variety of, well, everything.

Here is the most recent of observations I have made.

If one were to compare Vero Beach, Florida and Barrow, Alaska they would likely find significantly more differences than they would similarities

After racking my brain for several long seconds I found that their similarities are limited to:
1. Both reside on an ocean
2. Both are within the confides of the United States
3.Both are cities.

Not a soul in their right mind could confuse the two.

I then spent a few more intense seconds thinking of differences and the list grew quite a bit longer.
I lost count at difference number 8.

After spending a few days on the sunny beaches of warm Vero Beach I can announce the greatest difference between these two largely contrasting locals.

I haven’t felt compelled to pick my nose once since I’ve been here.

That’s right, my nostrils have been free of finger invasion since I landed in this humidly wonderful state.

Allow me to explain.
When you step outside in a subzero desert and take that first breath of bone-chilling air something funny happens. Your boogers freeze. They freeze and grow larger with every breath you take. Collecting the moisture from your lungs and mixing it with booger juice.

It makes gargantuan goobers.
Bigger and bigger.
Until you are forced, against your will to reach up high and dig them out.

Just the presence of all that bitter dry air consolidates snot into hard little lumps just screaming to be freed.

Since I have been here in the heavenly humidity I have not had the need to search for nose gold.
My nasal cavity it clear and clean.

It has been quite an amazing experience. I have been free of the need to find a corner to scratching my brain.

My nose would like to take this moment to thank the great state of Florida for giving it this vacation from hostile mucus and the fingers it comes with.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

How Many Hours Can You Play in the Airport?

Due to technical difficulties I am forced to post all my recent adventures in list form.

Observation from Barrow.

1. The gentlemen from Pruhdoe Bay are drunks. Well, maybe not drunks but after 3-5 weeks in a dry oil plant without the company of any women they tend to get a bit over excited about booze
And boobies.

2. Planes are stupid.

3. A 3 hour flight can easily take over 5 hours if you spend enough time sitting on the ground.

Observations from Anchorage.

4. 29 hours in Anchorage due to delays, cancellations, and incompetence.

5. My ass is numb from all the sitting.

6. I have met many interesting and strange people. I even got cookies from the desk agents. And I do love cookies.

Observations from Houston.

7. It’s fairly hot in the airport and I am not dressed for anything above 5 degrees.

8. This is the first time I have really seen the sun in about 3 weeks. It’s brighter than I remembered. I am going to have to buy sunglasses. Soon.

9. All the over-head announcements are made in both English and Spanish. But I have yet to hear an actual person speak Spanish.

Observations from a plane.

10. I can pass out anywhere and everywhere. In a matter of moments. (I don’t even remember taking off on this flight, I was fully unconscious within 8 minutes of boarding the plane, only waking up when I was hit in the elbow with the drink cart.
11. I remember a time when flight attendants had to be under a specific weight. I miss those days. Every time our stewardess walks past her rather large thighs slams into my shoulder.

12. Babies suck.

I think next time I travel it will be in a much more reasonable fashion. Like dog-sledding, po-go-sticking, or walking on hot coals with little bitty shards of glass mixed in.
It would be much less stressful.
And possibly faster.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Shocking classroom behavior

Pre-teens love attention.
The love to be looked at, laughed at, emulated.
They love to be stars.

However, many of them are still growing a sense of humor. They sometimes remind me of infants just learning how to hold things.

And what does that funny little infant do with everything in arms reach?
They put in their mouth.

I have a student.
He gets and holds the attention of the entire class by shoving things in every orifice of his head.
Typically, he stores his pencil in his nose.
Sometimes two pencils.
Sometime they end up in his ear.

One time he tried to hold it in his eye. That was fairly unsuccessful.

He finds great joy in picking his nose with his writing utensils and then lending them out to his friends.

Once he got a tiny jingle bell stuck in his ear.

Needless to say, he is a fascinating young boy.

Today he took his little game a step further. He found something far more exciting to stick in his mouth than a tiresome pencil eraser.

He found the power cord to his laptop.

He started shaking like an earthquake and fell off his seat.
I jumped from my chair, my job flashing before my eyes.
His eyes rolled back in his head, body still tense and twitching.

Then he started laughing.

The cord still in his mouth.

My life is never dull enough.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Snow Flakes Keep Falling


I am in Alaska. The land of all the snow you could ever want.
And then some.

There is snow covering every surface.
We have a eight foot pile outside my window.
Hell, it snowed about a foot this weekend.

The snow starts falling in late August and doesn’t melt until May. It just keeps piling up.

With all this snow, all this fluffy white stuff, do you realize that not one of my students had ever made snow ice cream.
In fact they were shocked at the idea that a person would collect and eat a bowl full of snow. They looked at me with quizzical stares.

How the hell could they have never eaten snow ice cream?
Or snow slushies.

Or snow martinis.

Ok, maybe that one is not shocking. But let me tell you, when ice is unavailable there is nothing better than a scope of snow in your glass.

Today in class we made snow ice cream. Milk and sugar covered the desks,
And the floor.
And all those little faces.

The mess aside, it was a successful day.
Though the a few of my angels decided it would be better with four times the daily recommended dose of pure refined sugar.
It made for hyper small ones and a very hectic end to the day.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Green things

Once again I am here to amaze you with my exciting life.
The following are pictures of the "garden" growing in my classroom.

I tried to take some creative pictures. But I am not sure if they turned out creative or just strange.

These are peas. Saddly there are only about 5 at the moment. Not enough for a meal, but they sure do look cool.

In the agriculturally challanged city of Barrow there are not alot of supplies for a garden. So I make do with what I have.

This little pot of fun has an assortment of herbs. Unfortunatly, I forgot to lable them and my seriously non-green thumb is still having trouble identifing what they really are.
But, they're green. And still alive.
And that is all that's important.

I also have tomato plants and hot pepper plants, but they are a bit camera shy at the moment.
Aka: they are a bit wilty and small.

Sorry for the lack of anything interesting to post.
Maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Decorating for the holidays

There have been no events to note this week.
Mostly I have just been watching the clock, waiting for it to turn Friday the 15th at 6.
(That’s when my flight to Florida takes off.)

I have thought good and hard about something, anything, to write. Something exciting, something profound, something interesting.

Nothing came to mind.

So, with a lack of anything else I will tell you the saga of a paper cut.
Feel free to stop reading at any point now.

Yesterday my classroom was filled with giggling preteens with nothing to do. They were hanging out after school waiting for open gym to start.

Unfortunately, they were my good students. Meaning that though they giggled often, they had their homework done and no make-up work to worry about.
Which meant I had to entertain them.
Or risk them reeking havoc on my “nearly clean” classroom.

After casting out for ideas, inspiration struck.
They could make Christmas decorations!
They loved the idea and quickly were rummaging for markers, paper, and the dreaded glitter.

I was just sitting down to grade a treacherous pile of papers, the end of the quarter in fast approaching, and the papers to be graded just keeps on building up, when they asked for something else.

“Do you have any green construction paper?”

“Sure,” I said as I rose again from the comfort of my desk. The green construction paper was still in its plastic wrapping and was resting on the top shelf.

I pulled it down and, using my fingernail, began to slice the packaging open.

That’s when I felt a strange resistance. A slowly growing dull pain radiated from my finger. Then it became a sharp pain.
Then it became a bloody mess.

I had sliced my finger with thick construction paper right under the nail.

It bled for hours. Or at least 5 minutes.

Through all the tingling ouchyness I had only one thought. “Blood on green construction paper makes for festive decoration.”

Now, don’t you regret reading this?
Do you know understand the dullness of my week?

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