Sunday, April 30, 2006

First Day and thoughts from Chicago

Ok – I made it to Chicago – took off at 6am got in 7am chicago time (crossing them time zones always messes with me) – I actually slept a lot on the plane tho – nice two hour nap (which was needed because of all the non-sleeping I have been doing)

Manage to get this airport express shuttle (it is rainy and kinda blech) and they drop me at the wrong hyatt – I figure that out and luckily they help me get to the right one and I get to check in early – yay

Then going to the room - I find out half the elevators go to one set of floors and the other the othr set, so after riding up and down – lol – I get to my room – yay

I hit the Field Museum (the other teachers coming in later) – that museum is awesome – it is mainly Natural History and culture and wow and man my feet and brain are tired – lol

I was going all over the place – I got the ticket for the shrink to 1/100 size and walk through soil even tho' they said recommended for kids age 6 – hey that's me and seeing an animated pincher bug – which was sneaky and set to come alive only if you touched the rail which the sign said do not touch – so it looks like a display statue and you lean in and it bangs loud and raises up and pinches its pinchers – no I did not scream – too loud – luckily no one was around at the time

The crayfish and ants moved too and the display was cool.

Plus I got to see Sue which for a geologist is a neat thing (and the evolving Earth was a good display) especially considering the comments I heard about evolution and such as I wandered. I was good and did not interject or but in to any conversation…..

And damn the cool thing is I got to make these mold-a-rama wax dinosaur figures in this machine – I was like a little kid doing the different ones and watching – then about halfway through the museum it occurs to me I gotta get these things home and hope I do not end up with a bunch of pieces or melted wax ball :-P

The cultural exhibits were cools too – I liked the different large structures they had of different cultures as well as a photo album exhibit - The Auschwitz Album: The Story of a Transport– that was the last thing I saw and the photos – makes you think about people and ideas and concepts and how people make decisions and carry out certain actions and the like

Then got my registration stuff and now chilling in hotel waiting for others and to see what to explore next. I took some pictures and should have those up soon.

SO much to explore – so little time – and tomorrow the brain really gets a work out at the conference!

a concert and motivation

Attended a concert saturday at The Music Box in the Borgata in Atlantic City - first i really like the venue - it was easy to see and nice seats with cupholders - a major plus.

The group was Sound Tribe Sector 9 - my fist time and after the ass-kickingly awesome concert, I hope not my last - the place only filled about half way and people immediatly began seat hopping. In fact everyone started up on their feet from the getgo and let me tell you - this was the first concert I have been to that turned an auditorium type venue into a major dance club. I am not talking about the kind of minimal dancing and swying people do at concerts - this was full out people funk swaying and dancing totally loose (listen to STS9 music and you will see why ). I enjoyed it a lot and danced the whole time.

Now on to the reading conference in Chicago I have a 6am flight and then spend a week in the area (conference half the week and just little old me all alone exploring the Windy City and surrounding area the other half). I've been really having some bad unmotivational issues - I hope maybe I can reset whatever I need to and get my self back on track.

I am still enjoying life, do not get me wrong there is soo much awesomness in the world, but i find myself not enjoying the awesomeness so much lately and that really is a bummer because it means I am missing so much... which of course is one reason I am mopey, because I am missing something(one)... ah well I shall continue to search for that missing something... and mayhaps find a lot of other neat things as I explore....

Friday, April 28, 2006

Meeting Accomplished

Made it through a major meeting today – had a regional rep for the NAF academies coming down and managed to get just about everyone there (save a few which caused minor nerves and attacks) and everything else set. Actually had some good things come from the meeting (although it means lots more work for me – hurray for paperwork… NOT)

Now it is on to the conference presentation next week. Then finishing the grades and such for the two college classes and as always curriculum in the background. But really after about May 15th I think things might settle down (depending as always on the status of work and jobs and my future which is another topic for another day)

Of course then I will be looking around going what do I do now? What will keep my attention? Hmmm maybes I can look into actually taking a class for the summer or such. Or maybe actually get out there and connect and meet some people – that would be good… course not quite sure how to go about that – but hey something to think about (while dodging summer traffic and tourists – lol)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

wishing away the lonely blahs

guess this kinda fits the way things seem to be going right now - especially one set of lines - a wish to see someone's face I know I'll never get to - dreams sometimes are good and sometimes just make your heart ache because you know you can never have her - ah well - tomorrow is another day

Artist/Band: Allan Gary
Lyrics for Song: Life Ain't Always Beautiful

Life ain't always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart

Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day

But the struggle makes you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' it sweet time

No,life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Life aint always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin' all these lonely miles

And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life dont work that way

But the struggles makes me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' its sweet time

No, life aint always beautiful
But I know I'll be fine
Hey, life aint always beautiful
But its a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride

Monday, April 24, 2006

Innocence, Immaturity and I Wanna Be A Kid

Had a flat tire Sunday morning and had to find a place to fix it - ended up at a nearby Pep Boys (love those plug into lighter air compressors - it got me to the place, hurray).

Luckily they were not too busy and it was only replacing the one tire. So put in my name and get pointed to the waiting room - which for a car place is interesting and neat as it is adjacent to the car bays and all glass, so you can easily see and watch them working on your cars (I got to see how they do the tire as well as a few other jobs too).

But the interesting thing to watch and ponder was how the kids who were in the waiting room interacted - and made me realize how sometimes I wish I could and really how sometimes I really do act like a kid...

The adults are all sitting in the chairs, looking bored, not really talking... the kids go up to one another and start introducing themselves, start playing and oh the creativity - they made their girls go to the fungus school and were captured and were all over that waiting room and talking about all sorts of things (they were about 3 - 8 in age). And one asked another how she was hurt and so on....

Plus they were all over the room - one mother was laughing but telling her daughter to get off the floor as she was sliding around and such during the play.

But I wonder -where do we change from the kids in the auto shop to the adults and is it a good thing?

Ah, to not care or worry about things like getting messy and such - although I do admit - I am the type of person who will do the silly things, make up the stories and like to play and yes I stomp through mud puddles and the like - I also am like a little kid in many places and will play on the playground or at Disney or such - sigh - guess my maturity level are not always where others might like them - ah well.... and warning if you hang around me I am more likely than not to drag you into a highly silly and immature experience : ) any takers?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Rainy days

Wow, I am glad I have my ark parked out back… just kidding but it started late Friday and has been heavy most of today and will be raining some tomorrow too. We needed the rain and I love the sound – especially in this house.

The woman who owned it before me had the porch enclosed to make this sun room like thing, but you go in there and it is a big glass sliding door and the other wall al windows too and even if I open it a window in the roof, so basically I can go in there and really hear the rain – the room is not heated or cooled but it is a nice place. Plus she had built in benches (they are cool cause they are storage space too) but they are along one and a half walls so I can sit in the corner and just listen to the rain which helps me get to sleep or at least not think about tumultuous thoughts.

Grocery shopping was interesting – the woman ahead of me bought this 24 pack of water bottles but got up to the register and the cashier tells her this is not the one on sale. So the woman goes off and lugs back another set (does not take her cart leaves it in the line and carries the water) this was wrong too and went back a third time (again leaving the cart in the line). She finally found the right ones and ended up trundling off (although she left her coffee at the register – lol I have those days sometimes too)

Watching Scooby doo 2 and then rented a few other movies like ice harvest and some action flicks. Gotta work on some stuff around the house tomorrow as well as grading a ton of labs – also gotta review kid pixs software… ahhh chores around the house – so funnnnnnnnn nottttttttttt

Friday, April 21, 2006

Wading Through the week

Well today was an awesome spring day weather wise, but work was so-so. Found out one of like only three friends I have here in NJ accepted a position at another school kinda far away and will start there in sept – I am major major bummed. I keep losing friends and people.

Had talkings with my Boss and most likely will end up staying at the school for another year but past that and in what capacity – everyday (like today) I hear someone else is leaving or moving or a job shift or…. I do not know what is going to happen but I am working like hell to hang on – anybody in the neighborhood have a spare arm I can hang onto?

Going to try and work on some more curriculum tomorrow and also working on the Bridging Program for the summer (I am the Director for that program). Thinking about trying to catch some music at The Stone Pony tomorrow.

Rented "Breakfast on Pluto" and watched it tonight – and I found I really liked it. It was a different type of movie but I understood more of the main character and his/her story than I should admit and… and damn there were a lot of things associated with this movie I just liked or laughed about and such – I'm going to have to watch it again

So watching a good movie meant I did an okay thing in a week of wading.

Been wading a lot through a lot of topics both mine, those around me and family… head is still above water (hence the wading analogy) but I've been getting deeper and deeper towards the unmotivational end of the pool – sigh – eh – hopefully things will snap and like the crocuses in my front yard that sprung into life a bit ago – the drab will have some purple or whatever soon.

Some quotes and things from "Breakfast on Pluto" that I really liked

"Figgly boogles"

"Fuck me pink with a hairy arse" (this one still has me laughing)

Robin 1: She doesn't look anything like Mitzi Gaynor!
Robin 2: What do you know about Mitzi Gaynor?
Robin 1: Nothing. But as Oscar Wilde said, "I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about."

Hooker (Janet Moran): Oi. You doing business, do it somewhere else, love. This pavement's got my name on it.
Patrick "Kitten" Braden: Well praise your name. Concrete.
Hooker (Janet Moran): Heh. My name is scratch your eyes out, and bite your bleed'n nose off. Which is what I'll do if you don't get off my patch.
Mr. Silky String: She giving you trouble, sir?
Patrick "Kitten" Braden: Oh, no trouble at all. We were just exchanging names.

Part of "The Womble Song" (damn watching a guy dressed as a Womble go schizoid on his boss was a classic scene – but below are the lyrics)
The Wombles

Underground, Overground, Wombling Free,
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we.
Making good use of the things that we find,
Things that the everyday folks leave behind.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Is it worth it

Today ended up getting shittier and shittier as the day wore on and in true Julie fashion I have taken one bad thing and managed to somehow use it to pull up a myriad of bad and depressing thoughts about many topics and thus the day is firmly buried now under stinky, depressing things and the forecast for tomorrow predicts much the same.

And the initial spark and reason for the downward spiral leaving me with a pounding headache and a pounding heart, said emotional heart that feels like it will explode and at least for tonight I almost wish it would because then I would not be so emotional and could be noncaring and not let things get to me so bad I have to pull over on the way home until I can stop crying like a fool and stop thinking the really bad, how worthless things are and all those emotionally charged thoughts.

But ah yes the spark

Have you ever cheated on a test, or paper or assignment or even on something outside of the school setting?
If so, or next time you stand at the ready – ask your self something, Is it Worth it?

Is it worth the fact the lie you are turning in (or creating through a cheat) is breaking a trust given to you by the teacher?

Is it worth the fact you are telling the teacher you do not care if he/she believes in you as you do not believe in them.

Is it worth the fact you might as well be tossing insults or punches (those hurt a lot shorter time then this) because you are showing you do not respect the teacher?

That you think in some form the teacher is an idiot or a joke or not serious or insert other term that means your value/respect for said person is nonexistent.

When a student walks into a classroom they are given three things (well by most of the profession – sure there are those who slack, every profession is like that) but I trust the student, I believe in the student and I respect the student as both an individual and as wearing the mantle of student.

And I had that trust, belief and especially respect trashed by a set of tests. Some of the students did not even both to do the 15% rearrange thing and try to use slightly different verbs or… or I guess I am that big of a fucking joke and idiot that they don’t even care to do that. Again just slap away and shred the mantle of seriousness I believe in.

And don't, don't try to justify the worth of this action with things like
"Well it is just one assignment."

One assignment that I was serious enough to think about and prepare and still shreds that respect as easily as if it were 100 assignments

"This assignment really does not mean much or impact things in the grand scheme of things."

Yes what is my job and what I see as important is nothing but a big fat joke and means nothing. Content aside it also means I am wasting my time and should not even care as well and not just about content but about the student's success. That what I do as a teacher does not matter

"I really do not want to be here and I had to take this. And I had to get this done."

The importance of what I believe in is nothing and this is useless. What I am trying to do as a teacher is a waste. There is nothing in this class content or otherwise that means anything so it does not matter if I care about this

"Everyone does it."

Okay everyone thinks I am a joke and that my job and what I believe in is something that matters so little it, and I, do not need to be believed in or respected.

(Am I really that blind of an idiot that they would not even attempt to try and understand the material or why I asked them to prepare the test instead they thought nothing of cheating and blatantly disregarded what I think the assignment was worth. Oh f*ing geezus they just handed duplicate shit in...)

and it was more than a couple of students it was a few groups... I am such a failure no wonder I am where I am and not finding anyone – I am such a joke/pushover whatever that I am always cheated on – again the exploding heart would do wonders here so then I could be cavalier and blasé about the whole thing and not care - I do care though I respect and believe even if they don't

So next time ask yourself... Is it worth it?

And then when you answer take the next, honest step… is the type of person who would answer that way really the kind of person I want to be….

Monday, April 17, 2006

Work was odd today – it is spring break at the school so only 12 month employees (such as yours truly) have to go into work. And a lot of the 12 month take vacations – so it is pretty empty – which is odd but nice. It means this week I may actually get a number of projects completed and even catch up. Like today I finished typing up and writing the Diesel Engine technology curriculum (yes I have become an expert on Fuel injection systems, hydraulic breaks, dyno testing and a lot more). I spent a lot of time at – you know I never realized how much there is that goes on under the hood of a car. I am still reading through the stuff.

But back to projects – the down side to finishing projects is then I get to a place I do not know what to do with myself – and that is good and bad.

Keeping my mind and self busy means less thinking about how quiet the house is so much of the time or trying to figure out what to do and not just sit around feeling like I am alone sitting around.

But for now lots of projects – I have major mounds of grading – I need to finish up Historical Geology test grading and lab grading plus about to go put together another lab – Ah the glorious world of Vertebrates and Plants and the wonderful tour of Reefs through the ages – that's ecologic reefs not another association with the word reef(er) – lol

I still have lots of curriculum to work on and also the National Academy Foundation stuff – major paper projects to push off my overflowing desk regarding that.

Then there is the presentation in Chicago coming up at the end of the month – that is not bad just need to coordinate – I took the weekend at the end of the conference so I can explore the area – will need the break.

Easter was well almost another day. Took a walk around the neighborhood though. It is partially rural with some back bay creek systems not too far. Saw a few bunnies, fish in the stream, a fox (yup) birds and then had a bulldog puppy playing at my feet and following me for a bit – and I so do not need to fall in love with a puppy but damn that fast I did – sigh, now I am thinking about dogs and pets and companions and all that….

No puppy, look away from the puppies : ) I have my kitty for now and that works – but he was sooooooooo cute

Still working on the yard – I will finish it one day – like many many days in the future – but one day…. I need to trick someone into helping me… any takers?

Still playing with my new phone I got over the weekend – I had to get the music program and will play with that – of course it had to do music J been too busy to open that, but that is a project I will get to soon enough – oh yeah I love to play with new technology

I feel in a music mode – I think watching Rent and my video DVD are in order – you know that is one thing I would love if I got digital cable (which I am not planning on but still) I miss music videos. The basic MTV and VH1 channels are all funkola talk shows and expose shows – I want my videos damnit – gotta stay up and watch Insomniac theater or the rap funk only with occassional jackass show MTV2 to see any these days…

but anyhoos I think music is on the plate for tonight.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Catching Up

Whoosh – felt bad (physically and motivationally) so just stuck in bed after coming home from teaching my class. We finished up the Paleozoic and started the Mesozoic – I think adding the words (drum roll please) to my official class notes as I introduced the major development in the Paleozoic, the aminote egg, was not too dorky – I even ended up with a drum roll - ok reading back over that last – no wonder I just stuck in bed last night…. I do need a bit of a life and to get out more I think…

Braces appointment today – I think they may be coming off soon – I hope because they always hurt after an adjustment (geez wonder why – lol)

Almost caught up at work with projects – I have about four big projects to try and clear my desk and have today to do it. Tomorrow I am up North in Hudson County all day touring a high school that has a more advanced online learning program in place for its students – we are bringing online learning to the high school – I will be teaching next year for Virtual High School (web page design)

Then Friday we are off – although I am not off as I have to hang around with a five year old – we are going to go see that new movie coming out – the one she has seen previews for and has been quoting the damn squirrel from the movie previews for like 2 months "I am going to kick you in the Buh-hookey – yes a new word for a certain body part…. Ah these hip youngsters…"

I still have my two college classes I am teaching to catch up – I have a test to grade in the one – a test to deliver in the other and labs, labs lotsa labs to grade – guess what I am doing tonight….

My workshop for NAF was accepted so it is on to Detroit for July – I need to get my passport so if I want to jaunt (jaunt I like that word – I am jaunting to a joust :-P ) anyways I might try to visit Canada while at the conference.

Looked at Madonna tickets Monday cause I really like her Confessions CD – but shit – 350.00 and not even those are front row? 100 for nose bleed sections – sorry Madonna – you just became an elitist – ah well I have Aretha Franklin tickets and Sound Tribe Section 9 tickets to look forward too, plus going to Chicago for conference in May and will see what I can find there.

Trying to get over the feeling of empty that happened when I came back from my trip – from constant 24/7 being around 6 adults and 11 kids to not being around peoples much outside of work and even there have been pretty secluded this week (my co worker is even on vacation). Next week is ghost town too – the high school students and teachers are off for spring break – 12 month employees such as myself are not – so the halls will be empty as are the halls of my house – I shall go play Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence – hmmm I wonder if anyone has remade that… that and the song I am a Rock… I need to go research that.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

How a movie makes me think

Ok – I will post lots about the trip and family and all that next time, I promise, but for now I have to comment on a movie I just watched…. "Prime"

It is so weird and it really, really hit me hard. It is half like me and even worse – the other half is what I secretly wish would happen to me

See it is about – and oh if you do not want spoilers skip this

But it is about Uma (Ralphie) who is 37 falling in love with a 23 year old (Dave) – and see that is the secret part/wish – that a relationship with that age difference could work for me as I kinda like a couple of people that would fit that description but anyhoos

Uma is just recently divorced after a 9 year marriage and is going through things basically I am or have gone through and so that hit me really close too.

But the scene where Uma finds out how old he is and the difference was very good – I liked it and it made me happy to see that sometimes those things you think can't work, really can.

And then when Dave is describing how he feels about her after just a few dates and how you can feel strongly about a person even though you seem not to know a lot about the person again hit home and made me think about what makes you like a person and how things go from like to LIKE – made me think of the movie "You've Got Mail" and how that relationship blossomed in a total electronic medium….

And the way the movie subtly points out the differences between their worlds was done very well as well

But regardless of the age difference – it was just nice to see the relationship grow and made me again think about wishes and dreams and someday maybes not coming home to an empty house all the time….


Of course the romantic sap in me hated the way the movie ends – I happen to think it could work and in my dreams tonight – damn it, it will – ahhhh well such is life…

I leave with a bit of a romantic poem (and then the realist in me must also include the cold, yet true response to said thoughts)

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
By Christopher Marlowe (1599)

COME live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair linèd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.

The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd
by Sir Walter Raleigh (1600)

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complain of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy bed of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs,
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last and love still breed,
Had joys no date nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

In middle of disney trip

Whew - trip is incredibly wild -

it is especially so considering trying to get 4 sisters and their families togetehr when two of the sisters do not talk at all (I can not believe my one sister is not inviting my one sister to her wedding - harsh) But yes lots of history there although they played semi nice since I came out for the trip

well got sunburned the first 2 days
now it is raining today and tomorrow so I can get a cold - awesome I am doing it all LMAO

ok lots more to tell and cover but we are going to go and get resoaked

at least I got checked out by our server at Joe's Crab Shack - she was very nice :-D