Friday, August 28, 2009

Alone Again

Josh is officially off to college. We left after school on Wednesday. I dropped my car off at the airport parking (since I'd be flying back.) Josh drove to Decatur and we got in around 10:30 p.m. On Thursday we left around 8:30 and got to the dorm around 1:30. Of course he was assigned to the 4th floor. We made five trips up and down the stairs to get all his stuff moved in. It was exhausting. After that we got his parking permit and then went to the business office to check on his financial aid. Luckily his final bill only came to $331. I paid the amount but told him he'd need to start saving money he earns in workstudy so he'll be able to pay the the bill next semester. We found out that they credited all the scholarship money he received from local scholarships on this semester rather than splitting it between the two. So after that we went to get his textbooks. Of course being late in getting them meant that he was pretty much stuck with new books which were more expensive. Josh spent $500 on just his books and we had to go to three different bookstores to get all of them.

After that we picked up my friend Kirsten and went to dinner at Chili's. From there we went to Walmart to get a few more things for his dorm room. Josh dropped us back at Kirsten's and he headed back to campus. He picked me up this morning at 7:30 and took me to the airport in Tyler. I flew home and got in around 3:00. I picked up my contacts, stopped at Target for a few things and then took a very brief nap.

So now I'm home and really alone for the first time in almost 19 years. I'm doing fine. I didn't cry after leaving him. He's already called me twice now. I'm waiting for him to add me on facebook (he promised once he left for college.) I'm sure it will seem quiet from time to time, but I'm glad he's in school and excited about where he is. I know he'll do fine.

Tonight I've got to work on a presentation for tomorrow. I'm presenting a technology session for an area speech meeting. I have to leave at 6:30 tomorrow morning. One of these days I really need to stop putting things off and waiting to get things done at the last minute. I suppose I thrive under pressure.

Well, I better quit blogging and get to work.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Empty Nest is coming

Tomorrow Josh and I head to his school far, far away. We'll leave after I get out of school and drive about half-way. I have to drop my car off at the airport parking on the way out since I'm getting back on Friday mid-afternoon and I don't have anyone to pick me up. He'll check into the dorm on Thursday and I'll stay with my friend Kirsten. Josh will have to drive me to the airport on Friday morning and I'll fly home. Not sure what I'm going to do in such a quiet house. It won't last though. Saturday morning I have to drive to Lubbock for a speech meeting. Sunday will be church and then the week starts over for me. I'm going to have to get my house clean at some point. But I'm going to go to bed early tonight. I'm not liking getting up early in the mornings.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day Back

And I'm exhausted. I'm not used to being up all day. And I really didn't "teach." I don't go over all the bullsh*t rules and procedures the first day because it's pointless. The classes do not stabilize for a few weeks. So we did a small project where I can get to know my students better (which is another requirement this year). Tomorrow we're going to start using the computers (all new iMacs) and since I'll be gone on Thursday and Friday, they will watch a movie.

So far my classes are fine. Second period was a little talkative, but not too much of a problem. I have a really good schedule this year. I actually have three conference periods but I don't tell many people that. But even with three conference periods, I still work completely through them. I set up moodle accounts for my students today and set up their moodle projects for tomorrow. I still have no idea how I'm going to teach English, but for a while, my classes will be doing the same projects until I can get the lesson plans down. (The lesson plans from hell that is.)

I'm really, really liking Thomas. We talk ALL the time - which I love. I'm still holding out for actually meeting in person, but based on what I already know, I'm pretty sure that it will be great when that happens. Though we thought about meeting this coming weekend, it turns out he might have some time off during the Labor day weekend so he may come down here. Kind of have to play it by ear right now since his boss is out of town. I'm almost a little disconcerted by the fact that this relationship began online - because I've never had luck in that respect - but maybe this time it will work out. I hope so at least.

Tonight I need to pay bills and work on an upcoming workshop I'm doing this weekend. I really need to stop volunteering for things like this.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Car Shopping Done

Ugh, I hate car shopping. We headed out to the used car corner in Amarillo where there's a number of used car dealerships all in the same area. The only thing we found close to our price range was an 02 Mitsubishi Lancer that smelled of cigarette smoke. It had an engine light issue and a broken knob on the air conditioner. But it drove fine and so it was a consideration. I called my brother and he was at the Toyota dealership getting a new truck so he checked to see if they had anything in stock there. They had a 98 Toyota Avalon for $6000. It was $1000 over my budget, but we headed over there to test drive it. It was a really nice car with leather seats and it ran well. When we got back I told the salesman that I could pay $6000 all inclusive meaning tax, title, and license were included. So we went inside to see if they would do that. He came back at $6472. I told him no. I said I'm already going $1000 over my budget and that was too high. He asked if I could go over at all like $100 and I said no. So he said he'd check again. Josh then said that if was $100 or so over that he'd pay for it. But the guy came back and said they would do the $6000 even. So I wrote a check for it and now Josh has a new car. Of course that was the money for my flooring in my house so I hope I get some of it back when the insurance company settles with me.

I started dishes today so far, but haven't done much else. I'm going to do laundry tonight and a little cleaning. Tomorrow I'm playing at mass and then I might go up to the school for a little bit.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Still much to be done

Today was a work day at school for me. I got my room clean (except don't look in the closet or the storage room). I don't really have my plans for next week, but general ideas. I'll work on some of that this weekend. I was already pretty exhausted by lunch time today. I need to start going to bed earlier. I keep talking to Thomas in the evenings and go to bed later than I probably should. I know that will have to change once school starts. We are discussing meeting next weekend though. It would be a quick day trip meeting halfway for lunch. I think it would be good though and am excited about the possibility. Though I'm still very interested in him, I really need that actual, physical moment of contact before I can commit to the idea of a relationship with him. For, him, he's already there. As long as there are no surprises, I think there is a great potential for something to happen between us.

The insurance company has decided to total the car, but no word on how much we'll get out of it. Regardless, we have to find another car for Josh this weekend. We just don't have any more time. He's decided he wants to get something locally so we don't have to make a long trip to Dallas or somewhere. So I'm going to start looking at other options this evening and we'll probably head out tomorrow in search of something.

I need to clean the house this weekend. I want to start the year with a clean house. Though I still didn't get everything done that I wanted to at school, I'm starting off better than I did last year. I love having all new Mac computers in my room. It's quite impressive. Even my principal is jealous.

Well, I still haven't eaten anything for dinner so I'm going to go scrounge around for something.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School

School started for me last Thursday. I thought perhaps I'd be further along than I am right now, but I'll probably start this year perpetually behind like I did last year. I am thrilled, however, that I'll get to stay in my room for the second year in a row this year. That is a first since I've been at this school. I had to unpack and install 22 new computers. I've been doing a little painting on a few things. There's still lots of cleaning to be done. Not to mention that I have to create complex lesson plans for my three subjects that I'm teaching - including English this year. Ugh!!! I mean, I can write. I understand the rules of grammar. I'm just not sure I can or want to teach it to others. But I just have to stick it out two more years. Our librarian is retiring then and I'll be finished with my degree by then. (If teaching English doesn't kill me first.)

So I guess I should give you news on the dating front. I'm still talking to Thomas. (The guy from eharmony that lives in Colorado.) He seems quite interested in me. He calls me often and we talk on the phone or online daily. It's really nice to feel pursued. The only issue is that we won't be able to meet in person for another month because of our schedules. I do like him a lot. He's intelligent and honest which seems to be a rare find these days. I like the fact that he is the one calling me and I'm not necessarily doing all the chasing. I just wish we would have the opportunity to meet in person sooner.

In other news, Josh wrecked his car again. He's o.k. but there's some good damage to the front corner. Luckily it was still fully insured. I was going to cancel the full coverage because I just paid off the second loan I had on it, but hadn't gotten to it. I doubt we'll get much out of it but we'll see. We're still waiting to hear from the claim company to see if they'll pay for the repair or total it. If that's the case I have this weekend only to get him a new car. Talk about perfect timing. There goes the new counter for the kitchen.

Well, it's late and I need to go to bed. Will try to post more often this year. Maybe I'll get a few readers back.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The New York Experience

This is for Abbagirl (and my two other readers) that wanted to know specifically what I did in New York.

Here's what I did in New York. It started out with a real New York experience with the shuttle ride from the airport. Not only did we have to deal with traffic, at our first hotel stop, the driver and a passenger got into a fight. The police were called and we waited there for 45 minutes for the situation to get resolved. The driver asked the passenger how he was going to pay for the ride and the passenger said he prepaid with a credit card. The driver then asked for his confirmation number and the passenger said he didn't have it. The driver wouldn't let him leave with all of his luggage until he got the number and the guy tried to take off. They scuffled and the passenger started yelling that he was being attacked. He called the police and a report was taken. So a trip that should have taken about an hour took 2 1/2 hours. We were starving by then so after checking into the hotel, we walked down to Little Italy and had dinner.

On Saturday we bought metro tickets for the subway and headed to the meatpacking district to visit the Ground Zero museum. We got there early so we wandered over to the Hudson river to walk around a bit and it turns out that we were in the area where the recent helicopter/plane crash happened just an hour later. (We were in the museum at the time.) The museum was really mostly a photo gallery with audio stories but it was truly amazing. I highly recommend it. Then we had lunch at a local pizza place (our cheapest meal at $12), then we took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, then walked over to the WTC site (which was really just construction that we couldn't really see), then we attempted Mexican food in NYC (not quite real Tex-Mex).
On Sunday I went to Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, then we went to the Museum of Modern Art (which was o.k. but I'm not artsy in that sense), we then went to see a Broadway Show (Mary Poppins - which was amazing), and had dinner at Planet Hollywood in Times Square and then went to Madam Tusseaud's.
Monday was spent at the American Museum of Natural History, then a brief jaunt to Central Park to view Strawberry Fields (John Lennon memorial). Afterward we went to the NY Public Library, Grand Central Station, and then to the Empire State Building. We had dinner then went to a large used bookstore called The Strand. Josh found two music books he really wanted so I got them for him. It was then I discovered my bank put a hold on my card.

Tuesday we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge then took a long subway ride to Coney Island so we could ride the Cyclone. I bought the picture taken on it because it was a great one of me and Josh with our hands up in the air. Then we went to Prospect Park and Greenwood cemetery (since Josh just read 1776 and wanted to go there). Then we headed back towards the hotel. We stopped in Little Italy again for dinner and gelato and did a little bit of souvenir shopping. By then we were thoroughly exhausted. I made arrangements for a car service to pick us up the next morning to take us to the airport. (Had enough of the shuttle experience) We flew back to Albuquerque, had dinner with my aunt and uncle, and then drove back home.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Observations about NYC

It’s not as scary as I thought it would be.

Tall buildings are really cool.

NYC streets are filthy.

The subway system is easy to navigate and use. Must have unlimited Metro Pass. Well worth it.

I would not do NY without an iPhone. Hopstop program is essential. (But it’s not always accurate – but it’s more right than wrong.) A compass would have come in handy.

Some women wear very tight clothing (that shouldn’t be wearing it.)

Bras are optional.

Comfortable shoes are an absolute must. No exceptions. Girls that walk in high heels in this city are crazy.

Traffic lights, lanes, and signs that say “No Honking” are merely suggestions as are the “Don’t Walk” pedestrian lights.

It might be worth it to stay in a less crowded area that isn’t very noisy (but has no shopping and very few restaurants.)

There’s way too much to do in NY than can be done in just four days.

Ground Zero museum is well worth it. Very moving. Amazing pictures.

A Broadway Show is an absolute must and worth every penny.

Times square is very crowded and people that walk slow are annoying.

Smoking should be banned altogether in the city.

Don’t expect great service at restaurants. You’ll be lucky to see your server once after food is delivered. Forget refills if you only have water to drink. I only tipped about 16%. I’d tip the full 20% or more if I got better service at restaurants.

Food is way overpriced. Mexican food in NYC is laughable.

Airport shuttles are cheap – but you get what you pay for. It took three hours to get from Newark to our hotel. (But did have that real New York experience where a passenger and the driver got into an argument.)

It was worth the price to pay double for a private car service on the return trip to the airport. Car was waiting outside our hotel right on time and we got to the airport in 20 minutes.

There’s no guilt of overeating because you walk it all off.

Wish I would have gotten tickets to the Mostly Mozart festival. Live and Learn.

It’s hot in subway stations. Subway trains in Brooklyn are slower than in Manhattan.

New Yorkers get their sleep, listen to music and read on the subway. (And sometimes break dance.)

NYC is completely full of diversity. Numerous languages were spoken here.

There really are people that talk to themselves and act crazy on the streets.

The top of the Empire State Building isn’t as big as I thought it would be (or as it seems in the movie Sleepless in Seattle)

A long subway ride after walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a great way to rejuvenate.

Grand Central Station has the thinnest toilet paper I’ve ever used.

It's not good to have a local bank card that gets a hold put on it during the weekend. (Even though they tried to call me, I never heard the phone because it is so loud there.) Thankfully I had enough cash until I could call them myself.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Moving along

I have been totally lazy for the last week. I think I'm trying to make up a summer's worth of laziness all at once. I have a workshop to teach tomorrow and I've been putting off the work I need to do for it for days now. I finally went through my materials today and put together an agenda of sorts. I have all the powerpoints I need. I went through the ones that I'm unfamiliar with. I decided which pages I wanted to copy for handouts. I'm going to try to leave by 7:30 in the morning to pick up candy as prizes and to get to Kinko's for the copies I need.

But that's not what you wanted me to write about is it? No, my three readers are all probably wondering what the deal with the new guy is, right? O.k. His name is Thomas. We've continued to chat online and on Friday we chatted for about 5 hours until 2 a.m. He wanted to call but was too shy and was working up the courage. He was gone Saturday and Sunday helping a friend move. I didn't hear from him by Sunday evening so I texted him to let him know that I was going to bed soon. Then he called me. We talked for about 30 minutes on the phone. He has a nice voice. He liked my voice with my Texas twang. He asked more questions about the annulment process. Then we mostly chit-chatted about general things. I only briefly chatted with him online yesterday as he was really exhausted after his weekend. (Imagine that after staying up until 2 a.m.) Today he called me at lunch time during his break and we talked for about 20 minutes. Then he called again this evening on his way home from work and we talked for about an hour.

I still like him and I'm still interested in him. We're talking about meeting at some point, but it may be September before that happens.

Well, I better head to bed so I'll be somewhat functional for the workshop tomorrow.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Hope yet?

We're still talking. Spent about 5 hours chatting online last night. I told him he could call me but he said he was shy and working up the courage. (He is an introvert like me.) We had a good long conversation last night and I think there's some hope. I won't go into details right now, but things might not be as bleak as they seemed. So we'll see what happens. I'm certainly not giving up. I'd really like to see if something might develop here.

I've been a total bum the last few days. I really need to push myself to get some work done. The most exciting thing I've done today is go get a coke. I was up chatting until 2:30 this morning so I slept in until 9:30 or so. Then I fell asleep again around noon. My dad called and his on his way back from the cruise that he and his new wife were on. I'm going to meet him in Amarillo later this evening so he can sign a check over to me. I received a check for the escrow account that was in his name. But since I've been the one making the payments on the house for the past five years, he's allowing me to keep the money. In return, I'm calling it even on the Maxima. That money should pay for the rest of our NYC trip - which happens in less than a week!

We have tickets to Broadway. The hotel is booked and paid for. I need to reserve a shuttle from the airport. I should starting thinking about what I'm going to pack, but I'll probably do that at the last minute as always.

Well, I'm going to go start some laundry and consider some other work - but won't get my hopes up too high - well at least in terms of getting work done. I still have the other hope.