Is that an end, in sight, that I see?

Aye, it could very well be that this massive amount of work I have is coming to an end. Granted, I have to grade 18 papers this week and 22 first drafts of research essays BUT I meet with the writer of this manuscript today so that’s one item checked off the list. But of course, the list keep getting longer and longer and things sort of pop up along the way. Not necessarily for ME, but in general. For one, Ash had a relatively new pair of pants tear when he bent down to pick up a computer. Penny’s discontinued his favorite style so that was one of those interesting days when he was annoyed and could not find any pants.  Then Sunday morning, Ell was having a meltdown about finding a lost shoe and when he tapped (ok, banged on out of frustration) the garage door window to get our attention as we were loading the car pre-beach, the glass insert in the door shattered. Yup, just fell right apart. To his credit, the thing is old and it gets banged opened and closed A LOT , so it was just the straw meeting camel’s back. But STILL, he is not getting to play video games any time soon. That kind of behaviour ain’t gonna fly. It’s a shoe for God’s sake. SO, we went to the beach and had a really nice time. I mean it; it was gorgeous weather and everyone was happy. But at the very end, the boys were trusted to be good and, well, things happened. Ash’s glasses are broken beyond what we can fix so he’s all blurry-eyed. He’s more blind than I am so life is bit tough right now. Thankfully he has an appointment today and they’ll find a solution, be it contacts now and new glasses later in the week or something like that.

So that’s how our weekend was: I mean, Ash and I had a nice Friday. We worked out then had beer and Mexican food before seeing Lucy, which was not very good but we had ice cream and that IS good. And he didn’t go out that night so we all had a nice evening, though it was pretty hot this weekend. The mornings last week had been noticeably cooler. There’s about a one to two minute time I get to myself on hectic mornings when I pull my car from the street to the driveway, for ease of loading it up. Each day last week I reveled in the low 70s/low humidity weather that we were graced with. My weather app SAYS it is still only 78 right now but the Feels Like is 91. 91 at 8 AM!

I promise to be a better blogger this week but for now, work is demanding my attention. Have a great week everyone!

Writer’s Workshop – I’d rather…

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1.) 9 things you’d rather be doing today.

Though I think this is rather negative thinking, I’m in a dreaming mood today so why not?

#1: I would much rather be at the beach. But you know, I don’t know if I’d want the family there. As much as I love going with the kids, it’s also not as relaxing. I’d either rather be there alone or with just Ash or my mom.469ded129eca17259945a4c9f67f8be3

 

#2: I would rather be at home, either reading or cleaning, crazy as that sounds. If you’re like me and have a lot of work and a family, etc, you find that there’s little time to really clean. Sure, I make sure things get done and tidied up but really clean takes time and an empty house.

#3: I’d rather be walking around in the woods. I know North Florida isn’t exactly Hike America, U.S.A. here but we have some great trails you might not really know about. If we’re talking a little more logistically unreasonable, I’ll take exploring the mountainous region around my family’s home in Western New York: the beaver pond, Little Rock City, down Hale Road. These are places I explored as a kid and a leisurely stroll in the quiet, cool woods might help reboot my frazzled brain.

#4: I’d rather be spending the day at Disney. Sure it’s hot, but I don’t mind that so much. i had a whole heck of a lot of fun at Epcot last month and I could use a Magic Kingdom day.ff93b5bffee3f14b0595efae32493a6b

 

#5: I actually feel kind of crafty lately so I’d rather – if I had money to burn – be shopping at Michael’s and figuring out some kind of project to do. Something artsy.

#6: If we’re talking unrealistically, I would LOVE to go back to the Mandara spa in the Hilton Hawaiian Village, where we stayed for our honeymoon. I got a massage there and only briefly explored the rest of it, though I had a half day pass to use all the facilities. I guess I felt guilty for leaving Ash on our honeymoon so I didn’t stay there too long.e00088dc3ca444e3be7202a4c5eafe7b

 

#7: On that note, I’d rather be back in Hawaii! I don’t know if you can truly understand the magic of that place; it was, well, perfect. I want a little cabana by the ocean, endless drinks, yummy food, and the best tan in the world.

#8:  Hmm, these last two are proving difficult. let’s see… I would definitely rather I DIDN’T have any work to do, though that’s in my dream world. I have another 20 pages of this manuscript to edit and a few journals to grade and a few outlines, too. I also have to make some labels, shore up some documents, and email some folks too.

#9: In essence, I’d rather be somewhere relaxing but have the sense that I accomplished something to earn that time off. I’m actually kind of bad at just sitting around unless I know that there’s nothing else I need to be doing. Otherwise, those thoughts will ruin my good time.fe0e0c8935b2f9a5b3ead0d062c361c3

Drink one for me

My friend Carrie and I decided our co-authored memoir would be titled “Drinking on a Tuesday”, because life and kids are stressful. I DID drink last night, in fact – sake. I am not a huge sake fan but it was pretty good. I paired it with a volcano roll (that was actually on fire, like so:)mKsqg26ABHCLWa

which made the stuff on top all hot and melty. I also had a spicy tuna roll and a couple pieces of unagi and then my night was capped off by picking up birth control. LOL. Actually, the best part was driving across town at 9 pm. It is rare that I’m out at night or at least, near downtown, so it was kind of nice. I always liked driving at night, seeing everything lit up, and it was a moment for myself as I approached the intersection of Tennessee and Monroe, looked up at the folks on the 8th floor of the Hotel Duval, and on the distant horizon, the sky was just a wee bit still illuminated a cerulean blue – because it’s high summer.

Our summer hasn’t been exceedingly hot, I noted, which makes it easier to get out and mow the lawn, walk the dogs, and enjoy outdoor activities. Tonight is Family Night at Ell’s camp so we’ll be attending that. I’m assuming it’s outside, as it is at a local park. On Saturday we have a birthday party for Ell’s friend, Lucas (my boss’s grandson) and I want to enjoy this weekend. Last weekend was kind of, well, crappy. It rained all Saturday. I normally wake up on weekends and make breakfast, drink a cup or two of coffee, then start on tasks. I usually feel motivated to do so and energized by accomplishment but this past Saturday? Nope. I didn’t feel like doing ANYthing. I read in bed actually, and it was hard for me to get going at all. I opted out of the birthday party so Ash took just the boys, in the rain, to a pool party. I stayed home with a cranky teething baby and forelornly stared out the window at the driving rain. Sunday wasn’t much better. Though the sun came out in the late afternoon, it was still a long day inside, watching movies.

I desperately need a beach day.

I’m ready for the summer term to be over.

I want more coffee, always.

I want the motivation to do more fun things with the kids.

I need something awesome, random, and unexpected to happen.

But as they say, a watched pot…

Random Tuesday – Cars, ski abs, back pain, etc

Stacy

 

 

  • Sorry for my lack of blogging yesterday. I got the kids all packed up, got in the car, and drove to daycare. Got back in my car and well, it didn’t start. A silent turn, which of course indicates starter. Sigh. Had I not had student conferences all day, I would have stayed with it until I could get a tow truck out there. But no, so I had Ash come pick us up. I walked into my office five minutes before conferences began and then the day got crazier and crazier. I met the tow truck around 4;30 and he toted it off to Honda.
  • Got a call from them this morning and it IS the starter but it costs about 2-300 less than I anticipated. So that’s a pretty nice thing. I mean, it’ll still set me back but hey, cars have issues. It happens. It only needs to last me another 3 or so years.
  • Because yesterday felt exceedingly challenging. I decided I was going to treat myself to Chinese for dinner. The kids and Ash wanted homemade mac and cheese so I made that and then once Baby D was in bed, I went to Bamboo Wok. I ordered my food, got a can of Coke, then went into Publix for a few things while my food cooked. The little drink fridge they have at the Chinese place runs super cold and when I cracked that Coke – OMG – it was kind of slushie and just perfect. I don’t really drink soda anymore so THAT was an excellent treat.
  • I think I pinched a nerve in my back doing the “ski abs” portion of T25 last night. The girl in this gif looks lke she is dying and um, well, those  re just ski abs!tumblr_m6lifnpzky1qz97dv
  • And THAT is how something went all wonky in my back. Ugh.
  • I don’t remember which workout we do today but god help me if there are any burpees.
  • I’m going out for Japanese tonight and I am pumped. You know, I’d eat sushi every day if I could. Not kidding.
  • So much to do, so little time. I’m out. Enjoy your Tuesday!

Friday Confessions

 

I confess… I sent fun links to both my husband and my mother with husband/wife and mother/daughter tattoo ideas. Both of them emphatically rejected me. I just thought it might be fun. I give Ash time; I told him that even five years ago I never would have thought he’d be eating chicken on a regular basis. He admitted I was right and maybe some day. I hold out hope; I think it would be a really nice sentiment. As for my mother, I thought it would be cool if she and my sister and I all went in together. Oh well.

I confess… I’m a bit behind on one of my projects and it is stressing me out. The one thing motivating me to get it done is thinking about it BEING done and then in two weeks, summer school will end. I will have a couple weeks to chill before Fall when things will get INSANE.

I confess… I think I’m single-handedly keeping the new campus Dunkin Donuts in business. Ok, I didn’t spend THAT much there but a big old iced latte in the afternoon has become my saving grace. Imagine: it’s almost 3 PM and you’re feeling kind of burned out, a little sleepy. You walk about half a block in 90 degree + temps and there it is: coffee. It’s a wonderful treat.

I confess… I am overwhelmed by the end of our summer. Everything seems to be hurtling to a close in the next month, especially when I realized today that public schools go back on the 18th, not the 25th as I assumed. OMG, how can I not keep track of these things?

I confess… I was a little miffed when I was informed that I’d been nominated to watch the front office today when everyone went home. I don’t mind doing it but it seemed that everyone knew it was my task but of course no one actually told ME. The person doing the job KINDA needs to know, you know?

I confess… it’s noon and I am just now finishing this post. See? Super busy.

Writer’s Workshop – Book Review!

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Recently, I downloaded Ready Player One, after my friend told me about it and in a lull between books, this seemed promising.

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This book surprised me in a lot of ways. It opens up in the future (2040s, I believe) in a post energy-crisis America. The entire country is in a state of chaos save for large cities. Small town are reduced to rubbish where everyone is poor, huddling in RVs stacked on scaffolding. Our “hero”, Wade, is a high schooler who has been plugged into the OASIS, the virtual reality world created by James Halliday, since he was a young boy. In fact, most of the world spends their time plugged in to escape. But what turns everything on its end is when the creator of this virtual world dies and tells everyone that there will be a hunt for his fortune. It involves three keys to three doors and if you find it, you inherit it all. So players everywhere, known as Gunters, go on the search.

What we quickly learn is that Halliday was a huge fan of the 1980s, so the entire Oasis has little homages to aspects of 80s pop culture and nerd culture and the clues to find the keys are all hidden within the things Halliday himself liked most. There are entire planets built as replicas of his favorite movie scenes and even his pizza place hangout and his home and room.

We follow Wade as he starts deciphering the clues from his special hideout. Though he lives with his aunt, he found an abandoned van (from when people started deserting their vehicles when gas prices rose too high) and made it his safe spot from which he could access the OASIS. He gets close to the first clue and we’re introduced to his best friend, Aech (pronounced “H”) and then he meets Art3mis, Daito, and Shoto, who – though they are in competition with him – are still in league with him and his avatar, Parzival, because they fight for good. On the other side of this are the Sixers who are basically corporate gunters, hired by a huge conglomerate that represents all that is evil in the world. If they find the keys and the treasure, they’d use it for personal gain and then raise prices on the OASIS and take away the one last thing most people have.

To me, the best parts of this book lay in the ways Wade connects pieces together from the 1908s tidbits of information. That was fun for me. I also felt a connection to him when he fell in love with Art3mis, especially seeing as how so many young people today are used to a world in which we carry on relationships online without ever having met the person.

This book took an interesting turn about 3/4 of the way through so even though it is in first person, something I don’t typically enjoy, it works and kept me on edge. I wanted to read this book every day and yet, I dragged out the last few chapters so it wouldn’t end. If you know about “nerdy” things, computer things, 1980s culture, etc, you’d probably like this. If you’re pretty mainstream, some of the stuff might be lost on you (i.e. the place where he bought some items is the L33t HaXorz; this means something to me.) It didn’t receive the highest reviews on Amazon but to me, it was a really fun read.

From DeviantArt:ready_player_one_by_alexiel1910-d6evwf3

 

Whiny Wednesday – Revival!

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I think I could probably come up with some garbage today so let’s delve in!

I want to go to the beach but it looks like rain for, like, the next two weeks. In fact, it’s raining right now; today looks downright gloomy. Blah.

I have a TON of work to do and I go sucked into this site I have looked at time and again that showcases photos of Tallahassee then and now. I find it fascinating how much our city has changed. I recently posted a photo of something looking awfully modern and big-city-like and the Democrat’s Twitter person replied that more big city amenities are on their way. This makes me both happy and sad.

Today’s T25 workout is Speed 3.0 I HATE the Speed workout. Here’s a clip someone recorded off their TV and look how hard that is! Maybe it doesn’t look hard but I challenge you to do just what is shown there. Now, try it for 25 minutes.

 

may have had too much coffee this morning. See, I found something magical at Target:d10f2265b7c14e06ba3f50490fcb7af5

I had maybe 3/4 of a cup this morning with breakfast (around 6:45) then I brewed a cup and took it to work. I’m just about done and I am a wee bit jittery. you’d think by my age I’d have learned how to temper myself but you know, not so much. Not when it comes to coffee.

Time is passing too quickly today; make it stop! I’m editing this manuscript and I’m on a deadline. I do a few pages then get sidetracked by my regular job or a phone call or a wandering thought. Today, my brain keeps flashing me images of the mall Somewhere, my subconscious wants me to go shopping, though I rarely go to the mall.

My finger nails are a hot mess. I never get manicures because I chip the paint but I am considering getting them all to a certain length and then at least having them tended to. My hands look terrible!

And now, I am hungry, thirsty, and exasperated with people so I’m going to shut my office door and do work. Do work, son!

 

 

 

Random Tuesday – What do you know about trouble?

Stacy

 

  • Here’s a list I found on Pinterest that accurately describes me on a daily basis: 
  • More than anything, Pinterest spawns nostalgia in me. It makes me yearn for things too, like beer and beaches and these yummy recipes people always post, but I want someone to cook it for me.
  • I have a plan today: blog/net for an hour, edit for an hour, grade for an hour, take a break. Grade for an hour, eat for half an hour, prep for class, edit for 30 mins, teach. Then I am out because Ell and I go to the dentist.
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  • Funny because it’s true
  • I was frazzled this morning because the kids weren’t listening. I gave Elliot a task to do (put his lunch and water into his bag) and left for a minute. Came back and he was still just sitting, staring off into space. Um… kid, get with it.
  • I did a bad thing yesterday: I was feeling kind of down and crampy so I went and got my earned free medium drink at Dunkin’ but then I also ate two donuts. Blame it on hormones or whatever but I regretted them immediately. My workout was not very enjoyable and I felt all fat and gross. Bad decision making, I guess.
  • I’m feeling a beach day again soon but we have a bday party this Saturday and another next Saturday and before I know it, it’ll be August, won’t it? In about three weeks, Baby Girl is going to be one! Time… I’m telling you. Drives me crazy.
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  • True, right? I mean, I complain but I’ll keep my issues and sort them out.
  • One of said problems is that I want to move. I mean, we’ve talked about it for a few years – moving farther out of town to a newer neighborhood with more kids. We visited a friend of mine this weekend and she lives in that kind of place. And she is always trying to convince me that we can afford it and it’s SO much better. The funny part is that it’s not that we CAN’T afford it. It’s that we want to make sure we can keep affording everything else. I don’t want to be house poor. I don’t want all my money to go to my mortgage. But man, I just keep thinking about a house with newer things and a safe road to ride bikes on and neighbor kids. It’s a dream that will need to wait, for a little while.
  • For you see, I have a plan. My office manager retires in May and I’m gunning for it. I already talked to her, but I need to start discussing it with the powers that be. I realize they’ll have to interview other people but if I start now, I might just have  a chance. This could be the one job I have been looking for!
  • That’s all for now; I am at my time limit and there is much work to be done.

MMMM + Ain’t nobody got time for that

Seriously, I feel like there’s just not enough time! BUT, we had a pretty good weekend all in all.

On Friday, I met Ash at home for our half day, but of course we did T25 first. It’s a good feeling to get that over with. Our plan was to go to Ray’s Steel City, which is right across from the mall, and drink beer with our food and walk over to the movie. Well, we got there and they were closed! It didn’t say Shut Down or anything, just something about “circumstances beyond their control” and also to follow their facebook page. There, the last post is something about their last menu “at that location”. So maybe they’re moving? Either way, kind of disappointing. At a loss, we drove across town to Texas Roadhouse but decided not to go in because it was packed. SO, we actually ended up at Outback, where we had not been in probably 3-4 years. That used to be our place; before kids, we went there, like, twice a week! But the quality had started to decline and the prices rose while portion sizes shrank. Well, we gave it a shot. It wasn’t bad: I had a crab stack appetizer that was lump crab meat on a layer of avocado with tomatoes and a lemon aioli sauce on top. Ash had the steak and he said while it was good, it just wasn’t what it used to be. Also, with a couple beers, we spent near 40 bucks – for lunch!

At that point, we’d missed a movie so we just went ahead on to Costco where we got frozen yogurt and new pillows. LOL. It was actually kind of nice to just hang out that day. We napped and then got the kids. Elliot’s friend came home with us and we had pizza then watched a movie as a family once his friend left.

Saturday morning began bright and early, with Baby Girl waking around 6. And at 8, the Lowes delivery guys called to say our fridge was on its way! Yay! The guys had to take the doors off to get it through the kitchen entry but it worked out fine. Sure, we had to remove some of our ugly wall paneling where the door opens on the left but hey, it’s an amazing new refrigerator! I took the kids to Chik-fil-a for lunch because Ash went out, then the afternoon was spent moving food into the new fridge and also, cleaning the playroom up so we could move Isaac in there. He and Ell were sharing a room and it’s gotten to the point where it’s best they have separate spaces. Isaac needs to learn how to cope on his own sometimes. The boys fought a lot when they were working but when it mattered – like at lunch and when I was making dinner and requesting they take baths, etc – they were surprisingly good.

On Sunday, I was kind of annoyed by everyone and their lack of help. I was washing dishes and the  boys wanted a snack. Well, you want to help me do dishes, you get a snack faster. Otherwise, you have to wait. I know Ash hates when I get like that, when I keep saying how “I do everything”. Which is not entirely true but sometimes it feels like it. I was just in a bad mood and then Elliot’s ear problem flared up again so I finally called the doc, got him an urgent care appointment by 3, which was when we were supposed to BE at my friend’s house. It all worked out though: took him, got out by 3:45 then drove out to their place to watch soccer/eat/hang out. Ell has really bad swimmer’s ear, as it turns out. The otc drops weren’t working because it had progressed beyond the “you have excess water in your ear” phase. Sigh. Always something!

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This week’s theme is favorite country and/or rock n roll male singers. Easy!

That’s all I have for today because I cannot think of any rock stars  like right now AND I have a ton of work to do!

 

The intangibility of memories

Not long ago, I began a new board on Pinterest when I was feeling particularly nostalgic for my childhood. Specifically, I was remembering the McDonald’s near I-95, down Hollywood boulevard. That was the one with the indoor playground. I remember it had a green floor in that area that was slightly spongier than normal tiling. There were two Filet-o-fish bouncers that sprung back and forth, a slide, and a little climbing type house. But not much else. I was not able to find any photos of pre-plastic monstrosity indoor playplaces but it was one of my favorite places to go.

This led me down a wormhole of things I remember as a kid: Teddy Ruxpin, Lite Brite, telephones with long curly cords(!), Oregon trail, Muppet Babies, Picture Pages, smelly stickers! The list goes on and on and all these faded images made me feel young again – made me relive the feeling of being that kid again. There are few things  today than can replicate how wonderful it is to think back on these memories. And every time I get into one of these reveries, I feel as if I can’t *quite* reach the true feeling I want to. I can’t touch them; they’re just fuzzy images in my head but oh, for that brief moment, I am a carefree little girl who likes to ride her scooter over the hump of grass out front and catch a slight bit of air before landing in the street. I am the girl who runs around the perimeter of my huge yard because I love the speed and the feeling of being fast. I am the girl who builds Lego houses and names all the little Lego men. I’m a good student who puts everything into her work and I seem to have balance in my life: school, homework, play, tv, family.

These days I struggle to make sure everyone gets their respective lunches; did all children get a towel for water day? Did I pull out cash for various activities? Is it laundry day? Bottles have to get washed and clean laundry sits in baskets for far too long. I have these grand delusions of you know, reading a book or getting other work done once kids go to bed. But I am always exhausted.

When something triggers a childhood memory though, boy, that’s a magical little moment in my day. Instantly transported back to jelly bracelets and velcro shoes. Riding on the back of my dad’s bike, getting slushies from a trailer parked by the beach. I’m the kid my dad took to McDonald’s for his favorite filet-o-fish sandwich and who he graciously watching  play on the plastic toys, the slide, the swings. In that moment, I am free.

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