Saturday, March 21, 2015

End of March already?

Where does the time go?  School will be out in just a little over two months from now.  I have so much to get done before then.  I guess it will either get done or it won't.  It's been difficult to get stuff done in my library this week.  The temperatures are slightly rising outside which means the district shuts the heat off and pumps cold air into our building for unknown reasons.  It might be 70 degrees outside, but it's 64 degrees in my library.  I stay huddled at my desk with my electric blanket plugged in.

So my students did well at the Scrabble tournament.  There were 27 teams total.  One of my students didn't show up the morning of, but thankfully one of the other student's mother brought some of his cousins along so he partnered with a cousin.  They placed 6th, 9th, and 11th in the tournament.  I thought that was a success coming from an inner-city school competing against mostly private school students.  They were nervous before they started playing but after they all won their first games, they realized they were better than they thought.

Matt's birthday was on Wednesday.  I took him out to dinner at a steak restaurant.  I feel bad that I didn't get him a real present.  My bank account was suffering this month after buying his Valentine's present and then hit with a subscription renewal for Lumosity that I hadn't planned for.  It would have been ok had I gotten my reimbursement for the trip I took for work in February.  I asked about it last week and was told that the lady who takes care of that has been out on jury duty for two weeks and I wouldn't get it until next Friday.  I even had to borrow money from our tax refund to pay all of the bills this month.  I'll pay it back when I get reimbursed, but it's been frustrating.  So Matt's birthday present was the Lumosity renewal since he had mentioned he wanted to start using it again.

So I've been completely lazy today.  It's almost 3 and I haven't showered or changed out of pajamas.  I'm looking pretty grim at the moment.  I did start dinner in the crockpot though.  I'm trying a recipe for pepper steak. I've been finding all sorts of interesting recipes on Pinterest.  The crockpot lasagna I made turned out good, but it was too much food for two people.  I should start cutting the recipes in half which is what I did with the pepper steak recipe.  I think I'll even make a cake for dessert - a belated birthday cake for Matt.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time for some Scrabble

I can't believe that my spring break is already gone.  I didn't get much of anything done though I did read two books.  I rested a lot.  I made shirts for our Scrabble tournament that we are going to this weekend.  I got my hair cut.  I did some shopping but didn't buy anything significant - just stuff I needed for the trip.  I went to Scrabble club tonight.  I had a good night.  I averaged over 400 points a game.  I was losing the last game by about 40 points until I bingoed out with the word "WINNABLE."  I tried playing "BEANINGS" first, but it was challenged off.  I finally found winnable and wasn't positive it was good, but was fairly certain.  I also played a 104 point bingo in my second game.  I couldn't believe that my opponent forgot the D-hook for the word "JINN"  (DJINN).  He played off two other D's before I was able to play my word "TRAGEDY" for 104 points.

I need to go to bed, but I'm waiting for the last shirt in the dryer.  I realized I had the wrong size for one of my students so I picked up another shirt tonight before Scrabble practice but I couldn't wash it until after I got home.  I have the iron on ready to go - just need the shirt.  If it's not going to be dry in the next few minutes, I'm going to go to bed and will finish it in the morning.  Most everything else is packed and ready to go.  We have to leave by 8:30 to go pick up the suburban that I am renting.  We pick up students at 9;45 and hit the road by 10:00 a.m.  I think it will be a fun trip.  I hope my kids do ok.  If they draw well, they should have some good games.

Well, I'm going to go check on the shirt and call it a night.  I'll try to post the results this weekend.  We will be getting back late Saturday night.  Here's some pictures of our stuff and the T-shirts I made.





Sunday, March 08, 2015

Spring Break and Losing an Hour

I can't decide if it's better to lose the hour the week of spring break or not.  Perhaps it means I'll ease into the loss a little better as I slowly get used to going to bed an hour earlier.  But then again, spring break means I get to sleep late every day, so it will still be a shock to my system when work starts up again.  I will have to get used to it a little earlier than normal since I'll be taking my students to their first major Scrabble tournament on Friday.

Yesterday I helped out my library facilitator at her house - packing stuff up to be moved into storage.  She has had a rough time lately.  Her partner of many years passed away a few weeks ago.  She wasn't able to take much time off to spend with her before she died and is dealing with that at work.  Now she has sold her house and is moving her stuff into storage.  She is going to move in with her mom.  I can't believe the amount of stuff she has in her tiny house.  I was glad to help her out - I understand how daunting it can be to move everything without much help.  I started months before I moved down here to San Antonio.  Matt and I went back over this afternoon to help out for a few more hours.  I'll probably go back later in the week.  My back is sore now though.  Packing is tough work!

I'm not sure how I'm going to spend this week of spring break, but I plan to get some reading done.  I've already finished one book that I got at the book store the other night.  I'm in the process of reading The Princess Bride for the first time.  Yes, I can quote the movie, but I'd never actually read the book.  The book I just finished was written by Cary Elwes that was all about the filming of the movie and it was very interesting.  I also need to finish the cleaning and sorting that I left behind over Christmas break.  I can't make any promises that I'll get up the same motivation that I had then.

I need to get my hair cut as well.  It's growing out a bit too much for me.  I guess all of this should keep me pretty busy this week.  But I'm going to be a bit of a lazy bum as well.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Just stuff

Things are still busy but thankfully spring break is next week.  I spent most of today writing a grant that I have to submit by tomorrow.  I had to go pick up a check for student meals for our upcoming tirip since I wasn't sure what would happen with the weather tomorrow.  We are scheduled to get a cold blast of icy, wintry mix.  That might freak the city out and shut everything down.  I hope not.  I don't want to have to make up the day later.

I broke my chromebook the other day.  I dropped it carrying it to the kitchen to use it for a recipe I found online.  It still works, but one of the hinges is messed up.  I'll see if I can take it someplace to get it fixed next week.

I was trying to come up with an idea for Scrabble shirts for my students that are going to the state Scrabble tournament.  I looked online, but it was going to cost me $150 for just 8 shirts.  Last night I went to Michael's and got stuff to make my own.  Shirts were on sale for $2.50 and I spent less that $10 for iron on transfer paper.  I spent only $28 to make 8 shirts.  I think they turned out pretty well.  I'll try to post a picture of them later.

So I'm taking six kids to Dallas next week on Friday (the 13th no less).  They are playing in a Scrabble tournament.  I hope they do well.  It will be tough, but hopefully they will do ok.  I hope I've prepared them enough.  They are at a disadvantage in general because they have limited vocabularies already.  But we've worked on some word lists so hopefully, they will be able to make some good plays.  Their strategy is pretty good, but they need to work on not shutting the board down.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Busy as a bee

I actually started a post last week but I found it to be too whiny about the Ash Wednesday service I attended so I didn't finish it.  Let's see if I can catch you up on stuff.

I came up with a great idea for Matt's Valentine present just in the nick of time.  I bought him tickets to the Doobie Brothers concert coming up in April.  He had emailed a couple of days before asking if I would want to go so I just went ahead and got the tickets.  He did send me flowers and some chocolate, but the delivery came after I had already left school for the day so I didn't get the flowers until Saturday morning after I texted the custodian to see if he could let me in the school.  Matt sends me flowers in a box which are usually ok, but after sitting overnight, they didn't fair well.  At least it's the thought that counts and the chocolate was pretty good.

School is has been busy with practice testing before the actual testing.  It seems all we do any more is test, test, test.  No wonder kids are failing - they don't have time to learn anything because we are always testing.  I had to test Monday and Tuesday in another teacher's room which is not fun.  I had a student that refused to actually try on the test and wouldn't cooperate most of the time.  Thankfully he stayed quiet most of the time - because he was sleeping.  Sometimes you have to pick your battles.

Today was great because they were still testing 8th grades, but I didn't have to help.  The library was closed so I spent time working on getting stuff ready for my UIL Academic sponsors.  I had to make copies of materials and put them in folders.  I am also working on writing a grant to get some chromebooks for the library.

I've been doing quite a bit of designing in Photoshop and inDesign lately.  I had to create a flyer for the upcoming Fiesta concert and create the program for the next band concert.  I've become the official graphic designer for the band.  I can't say that I do amazing work, but I have fun with it and have come up with some creative ideas.  I love when I learn how to do something new.  The thing about the Internet is that EVERYTHING is online.  So I need to know how to manually curve a line in Illustrator?  Google it!  What I have discovered, however, is that I really want a new computer now.  I'm using my laptop which is ok - but it still has fits every now and then where things slow down and stops for a few minutes.  Then all of a sudden it's ok.  Then again, sometimes chrome crashes for no discernible reason as well.  I need something with more RAM and a larger screen.  A touch screen would also be nice.  I'm thinking of looking into an All-in-one computer.  I just can't afford it at the moment.  But I'm looking.

Hopefully tomorrow will be another glorious day of actually working in the library.  I have so much stuff I just need to sort through and clean.  I also have to get as much of the grant written as I can.  I need a clever title for it.  Hmm... maybe it will hit me at 4:00 in the morning.  Well, I'm going to call it a night - it's already past my bed time.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Too Old for Romance?

I don't know if it's an age thing or a comfort thing.  When I dated almost everyone else before Matt, I often tried to go above and beyond in the romance department on special occasions like Valentine's day or birthdays.  I once sent a boyfriend on a scavenger hunt to find me on Valentine's day.  For Richard, I once baked and decorated a heart shaped cake with frosted roses that I made.  I've done creative music compilations and a myriad of other things for the men of my heart.  I did do a music thing for Matt on our first Valentine's day, but since then I haven't gone over the top like I've done in the past.  We usually go out for a nice dinner and Matt sends me flowers but that's about it.  Last year I think I bought him the Lumosity subscription.  I keep trying to figure out something to do this year and I couldn't think of anything.  Matt emailed me at work the other day asking if I wanted to go to an upcoming concert and I finally figured that I could just get him the tickets to the concert.  So that's what I did.  I no longer feel the need to go above and beyond with really creative ideas.  I try to be thoughtful and that's all I need to do.  I think that in the past, I felt the need to be creative to keep the other person interested.  I finally realize that a good relationship shouldn't require that much work.  It's not to say that you can't spice things up every now and then, but it shouldn't be required to keep your partner's attention.  So our Valentine's day will be fairly simple.  I'm sure that Matt will love the tickets.  I'm fairly certain that he'll be sending me flowers at school tomorrow.  But we're both happy with the way things are and that's the way it should be.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Too Much Information

No... not that kind of TMI, just a lot of technology talk last week.  I spent five days in Austin at a technology conference.  By the end of each day, my brain was full.  There's only so much information that I can take in in one day.  Matt came up with me on Sunday evening.  I registered for the conference and then checked into the hotel.  When I went to my room, the door was open and the bed was stripped.  I had to go back downstairs and inform the desk clerk.  Thankfully she moved me to another room, but unfortunately it was right next to the highway.  Since I usually sleep with earplugs in, it didn't bother me too much.

Matt and I invaded a friend's house on Sunday evening for a Super Bowl party.  On Monday evening we went to the Austin Scrabble club because it was one of our Scrabble friend's last time to play.  He is moving to Iowa tomorrow to be closer to his girlfriend who lives just two hours away now.  I wasn't going to play, but they talked me into staying for a game.  I'm glad I did because I had a really good game scoring 486 points with three bingos.

The conference was good overall, but I had an issue with the registration.  I didn't get it resolved until Wednesday so I missed out on some sessions that I should have been able to go to.  I went to other ones instead, but it was frustrating not to get an immediate response about it.  I tried going to the registration desk twice and both times the answer was "we're sorry - that's happening to several others too."

It would have been more fun had there been other people I knew there, but I only saw a couple of other people from our district.  I had lunch and dinner on my own every day.  On Thursday I started feeling a pain in my shoulder.  I wasn't sure what I did to it.  I'm guessing I must have slept weird or something.  The hotel bed was not very comfortable.  On Friday morning, I took two aleve and it didn't really help.  I was contemplating going to the medical clinic, but I decided to stick it out until Saturday.  It turns out that Tequila is very good at relaxing muscles.  Matt and I went out to dinner on Friday night and after two margaritas, the pain had subsided.  Now that I've been home a few days it seems to slowly be getting better.  I'm guessing sleeping in my own bed helps.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ahhh... to sleep in finally

It's been an exhausting week.  I had coffee three days this week which almost unheard of for me.  I scanned my library inventory this week and had to get ready to be gone all next week.  I'm looking forward to my trip to Austin, but it's tiring trying to get ready for it.  I was so tired this morning, I never even heard Matt get up and get ready.  He had to shake me awake to kiss me good-bye.  I had a very strange, but interesting dream about a weird roller coaster bike thing.  It's hard to explain, but it was a really fun ride in my dream.

I'm trying to decide what to do today.  I could be productive and start tackling the mess I've left in the office that I haven't touched in weeks now.  I do need to do some laundry and pack for my trip.  I still have a Kohl's gift card and some cash to spend so maybe I'll go shopping.  Or maybe I'll be lazy and sit in my bed all day and goof off online.  I do like my Chromebook that I got for Christmas.  It is so fast.  I'll probably take it with me to Austin for the conference.  I can take notes using Google docs and the battery lasts a long time.


Monday, January 26, 2015

A Late Apology

So I had an interesting conversation with Marty last night.  Yes, I said Marty.  You know - the high school sweetheart that I had the on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again relationship with.  For the record - we've stayed friends.  We comment on facebook.  We get together in groups with other friends from high school and hang out.  Matt has met him and thinks he is a nice guy.

So I find out last week that I'm going to get to go to a technology conference in Austin the first week in February.  I'll have a hotel there starting Sunday night so I told Matt that he could come up and stay on Sunday, then he could play Scrabble on Monday in Austin before heading home.  Matt really wanted to be able to watch the Super Bowl, however, so I checked with Marty and Brent (my other high school friend) to see if they were having a party we could crash.  Well it turns out that Brent just needed an excuse to have a party and Marty, me, and Matt will be going.  So we are texting back and forth making arrangements.  Marty then said that it was funny that I sent him a message because he was just thinking about me so I asked him why that was.  He said that he had just found out that his ex-wife had cheated even more so than he originally thought when they were still together.  He was obviously reeling from the news and he told me, "I made some bad decisions when it came to you and me based on my loyalty to her and now I find out that it wasn't deserved and for you that sucks and I apologize."  I told him that an apology wasn't necessary but I appreciated it.  He also said that it worked out for me because I found Matt and that was a better relationship for me.  I would have to agree with that.  I'm still fond of Marty and will always care about him, but Matt is a great partner.  There's no drama with him.  There's no jealousy.  I can be myself and he still loves me sometimes in spite of me being myself.  It took a long time for me to let Marty go, but in hindsight, it never would have worked for us.  I'm glad that we're still friends, but I'm happier that I found Matt.  I do wish him happiness though.  I hope that now he is finally able to let go of his residual feelings for his ex-wife and move on.

So, yeah, I'm going to be in Austin for a whole week at a technology conference.  I think it will be interesting, but it will be kind of lonely.  Matt will have to work all week so I'll only see him on Sunday and Monday.  But it will also be kind of nice to just get away from work for a bit.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Big Easy

Matt and I headed to New Orleans on Friday.  We drove so I was able to do some reading on the trip.  Of course I forgot my book light so I couldn't read on the way down after it got dark.  I did pick one up before we headed back so I could read.  We also ended up giving a ride to a player that needed to be dropped off in Houston.  The tournament started off fairly lousy with me losing the first four rounds in a row.  I rallied a bit in the afternoon and won three games.  I was only expected to win about 6 games and I ended up winning 9 out of 20 overall.  My rating increased by 32 points because of this.  I even beat the number one rated player in my division and had my first 500 point game during a tournament.  Matt had a bad streak of losing 7 games in a row, but made a comeback and ended up winning half his games.  We didn't get out to do much there because it was pretty much playing in the tournament most of the day.  On the way out, we got stuck in traffic in Houston and that delayed us.  We were heading to meet Josh for lunch and he had to wait over an hour for us.

We got back around midnight on Monday/Tuesday and I had to work the next day.  It was a very long day as I had to get a million things done.  I ended up staying at school until 8:45 p.m.  That was more than a 12 hour day for me.  I got to school early today hoping that I'd have a bunch of students come for the launch of the book of the month club.  A whopping two students showed up and neither one could check out the book because they had other books that were way overdue.  Maybe some of the teachers will send more students down tomorrow.  I received a grant to start the club and I ordered 12 copies of 6 different books to promote during the year.  The first book is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.