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.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Always something to clean

I continued the cleaning and organization kick this weekend.  I finally got the loft area and my craft closet finished.  Much of the stuff that didn't have any place to go is in the office/workout room.  I guess I'll get to that some day.  Tonight I cleaned the kitchen and living room though I still need to mop and do dishes.

I finally got my speeding ticket issue resolved.  I was going to mail it in but Matt said he would take it to the courthouse for me today.  He took it but was told that I had to give them a copy of my insurance as well.  There's nothing in the paperwork I received that I would have to resubmit my insurance as I already submitted it online.  He brought me lunch today and shelved books and then went back with the copy of my insurance.  He is playing Scrabble and watching football at a friend's house tonight.  Perhaps that's why I was somewhat productive this evening.

Well it's bed time for me.  My cat is curled up on the bed next to me and the dogs are somewhat sleeping in their beds on the floor.

Friday, January 09, 2015

It's Damn Cold

I really shouldn't complain after having lived in the Texas Panhandle for 41 years and suffering through many brittle, cold winters.  It hasn't even hit freezing yet - it started around 43 degrees this morning and was 36 when I left school.  I guess I've become acclimated to a warmer climate because it feels miserably cold to me.  At least it shouldn't last too long.  It's supposed to get back in the 50's next week and possibly the 60's the following week.

Tomorrow I may just stay in bed all day.  Matt wanted to go to church at 5:30, but I may just let him go on his own and I'll go sometime on Sunday when it starts to warm up.  I have a lot to work on this weekend.  I still have house cleaning/organization to work on as well as the online book club project.
I got more new books for the library today.  I love it when I get to have the first look and some of the books I ordered.  I just wish I had more time to actually read some of them.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Back to the Grind

It's difficult to go back to work after a long break.  My sleeping habits get out of whack so mornings can be difficult.  Thankfully, coffee helps a little.  I didn't get a chance to have coffee this morning though.  We are doing practice tests.  Thankfully my group was pretty good which was somewhat surprising.  I feel behind in work, but I'm trying to catch up as best I can.  Losing 2 1/2 hours of the day for testing takes it toll.  We are doing this for the next four days and I'll probably be called to do make-ups on the 5th day as well.  I have to start planning some special teacher training soon and I have to get an online book club started.

The weather is turning cold here.  We have a front coming through and a potential winter weather advisory for Friday and Saturday.  Matt was supposed to have this program at the library about the big snow storm of 1985 and ironically it might get cancelled because of the weather.  I don't think we'll get 10 inches like it snowed back then, but any freezing substance that falls from the sky basically shuts the city down and we go to almost 24 hour news coverage of the event.

 So I get home tonight and I'm chilled, but then I remember the Christmas present Josh got me!

They are USB hand warmers.  I'm wearing them as I'm typing this blog.  They work pretty well.  Tomorrow I'll have to wear a sweater.  Luckily winters down here don't last too long.  This is usually the coldest spell.  I hope it warms up before we go to New Orleans next weekend.  

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Cleaning as a form of Procrastination

I've been on a cleaning and organizing binge for the last few days.  I'm really doing it because I don't want to be doing other things I should be doing - like stuff for school.  I've been needing to clean out closets and sort through stuff ever since I moved in two years ago and especially since Matt moved in over a year ago.  The house is still a mess - it always gets worse before it gets better.  There's piles of stuff all over the place - especially the loft area right now.  That will be the last room I tackle - I hope I get to it tomorrow.  My bedroom, the master bath, and my closet are clean.  The laundry room is clean and I've organized the storage under the stairs.  The kitchen is still a mess, but not as bad as it was yesterday.  I've discovered I have a bunch of blankets and am running out of room to store them.  I've been gathering a lot of ideas on pinterest and some of them I've already implemented.  The storage under bathroom and kitchen sinks is much better now.

I spent most of the day today at defensive driving.  I got a ticket back in October and I was getting down to the last minute to get it done.  I could have done it online, but I didn't think I would be disciplined enough to do it.  I signed up for the comedy course thinking it would be really funny, but it wasn't that great.  I didn't really learn anything other than I live in the city with the highest traffic fatalities in the state.  At least I got a decent meal out of it.

I can't believe there's only one more day of vacation left.  I guess I need to make the most of it - which means sleeping in until as late as possible tomorrow.  We'll probably go to church at 1:00 and then I'll get back to cleaning and organizing.  I probably won't finish tomorrow, but I'll work in the evenings as much as I can.  We won't start band up again until the following week.

Matt I and are going to New Orleans during MLK weekend for a Scrabble tournament.  We are going to be able to stay with some friends of his which certainly helps with the travel expenses.  I haven't been to New Orleans since I was 19 so I think it will be a fun trip.