Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010, 2011

Accomplishments of Varying Import and Gravitas

  1. Survived Snowpacolypse '10.
  2. Integrated into a new and crazy elementary school.
  3. Um, planned a wedding.  A phenomenal one, if I do say so myself.
  4. Finished my first year of teaching!
  5. Got married to the love of my life; celebrated with many of those nearest and dearest to us.
  6. Rode horses!
  7. Climbed the Billy Goat Trail!
  8. Had my name thoroughly misunderstood the same way by several completely independent people (get this -- "Tambal").
  10. Sent our first batch of homemade, married couple Christmas cards!
  11. Hugged, a lot.

Resolutions.  Goals, more like.  You know the drill.
  1. Greenhouse.  Duh.  (UPDATE:  Talked to Frank at Janco Greenhouses today!  He is very nice and wants me to send pictures to avoid the estimate fee!  That is the first thing I will do when I set foot back at school!  I am MORE EXCITED THAN I CAN SAY)
  2. Moisturize.  I hear that's kind of a big deal.  Especially in winter.  Justin doesn't understand why I just spent $9 (with a coupon!) on a bottle of moisturizer with SPF 15 -- and it's not even the face-only kind that I probably should have gotten! -- but he'll be fine.
  3. Dude.  (Try to) buy more organic.  Or at least, grass-fed/reasonable conditions type of food.  I always made fun of those hoity-toity types but we just watched Food Inc. and it was pretty ridiculous.  Something simple but profound that they said (at the end, which attempted to be uplifting) was that every time an item is scanned at the grocery store, it's a vote to keep that item on the shelves.  Hm.  Yes.  Yes it is.  I remain blown away by this silly fact.  There was this whole thing about corn being subsidized by the government, and some form of corn is in 2/3 of all items ever, and that's why junk food is so cheap and healthy food is so expensive and it was super dumb.  What a dumb idea.  Also it turns out everyone in the FDA used to work for the very corporations they're supposed to regulate.  Again, crazy dumb.  They are so dumb, they are really dumb, for real.  Sigh.  Anyway!  All that to say, not to be a health freak, but try to buy more organic.  Also, warn Mint that we're about to buy more organic.  Oops.
2011: Bring it.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010


    So remember that fateful snow-likely morning where there was supposed to be a greenhouse meeting?  WELL.  Just as we all feared, there was a two-hour delay and definitely no meeting.  The counselor and the principal decided it would be rescheduled.  MEGA SIGH.

    Then.  I got sick and tired of it all and started Googling greenhouse companies in the area.  I found a couple, the most comprehensive-looking one being "Janco Greenhouses."  They are based in the northern parts of PGC.  Oo, say I, this could be useful.  At school the next day, I peer out the cafeteria windows to see any signs or hints.  I just barely make out the label above the door -- "[something blurry] Greenhouses."  !!!  I sneakily checked all around me -- the coast was clear.  The door to this blessed courtyard, perfectly enough, was not shut tight but resting against its latch.  Gently, gently! opening the door; gently, gently! watching it close so it neither slammed nor locked me out; I tiptoed outside.  I crept up close.  Wouldn't you know it.  Janco Greenhouses.  Triumph! I recognized it!  This is all so positive!  I debated what to do for the next 36 hours.  Take matters into my own hands, contact the company?  Would that be betraying this well-meaning but molasses-slow "committee" I supposedly had?  Would counselor or principal see this as going behind their backs?  Could I pass it off as a productive, efficient step that got us that much closer?  I thought.  I wrote.  I asked Justin.  I asked Andy.  And when I had gathered up confidence and the right moment, I asked the guidance counselor.

    SHE FLIPPED OUT WITH JOY.  "Oh I am so impressed!  Wow!  Look at that!  That is so wonderful!  Go ahead, tell them our situation, tell them we have these orthopedic students and this autism program, maybe they have a community service project!  Oh I am so excited!  We'll get this up and running for the spring!..."  I have her blessing!  I cannot believe my luck!  Now things can happen.  Their site's contact form has been filled out and submitted.  I called, but didn't leave a message, at 4 pm on Christmas Eve Eve.  They exist!  And they made our greenhouse!  And certainly they can give us glass and installation at a greatly reduced rate and we will put that reduced rate up on Donors Choose and THEN everyone will donate like a dollar AND WE WILL HAVE A GREENHOUSE AGAIN.  One fine day.

    But re: my paranoia -- spotlight effect, really.  I just want to do this really cool, big thing!  And for some reason I'm always ready for people to be like REALLY MAD at me.  In retrospect, it's awfully silly that I was that nervous to ask about this step.  Here is another metaphor for life.  Calm down, self.  Do your thing.  Your efficient, productive, eco-friendly thing, and let go of your worry for others' supposedly volatile reactions.  Ain't got no time for no haters.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Three rhetorical questions!

    You know what I took in to my own hands, again?  Shortly after that last post, I waltzed up to the guidance counselor and said, "Greenhouse meeting!  Friday morning!"  And she dutifully emailed the principal to get her approval and eventually that all happened and then she sent out an email to our trusty team of like twelve teachers (neglecting to mention the location of this meeting, which in our enormous building is actually somewhat of a concern, but you know what, A HIDDEN MEETING IS BETTER THAN NO MEETING), and after all that, it is more than likely we'll open late tomorrow.  For roughly an inch of snow.  I hope I'm wrong!  The one day, the ONE day that sorry greenhouse stood a chance at its journey toward repair, might be taken away due to Maryland's inability to understand snow.  Cross your fingers, everyone, for A REGULAR DAY OF SCHOOL TOMORROW.  

    You know what I love?  When the seatbelt catches you when the car stops or turns suddenly or at a great deceleration.  Basically, when the car thinks an accident is afoot, even when you know it's clearly not.  That precaution!  That comforting hug restraining you!  It's so... safe!  Soothing!  Helpful!  By the same token, somehow I always innately understood that if the seatbelt isn't coming when you pull it to first put it on, it means you're pulling too hard, and the car thinks you're in an accident.  Go easy!, I have gently chided many a carmate.

    You know what I never understood?  The frequent, regularly spaced doors in the walls next to highways.  Now, I think I understand the walls next to highways.  They keep the deer out?  But the doors!  There is never anyone maintaining these slim margins.  Who goes through there?  When?  And why exactly?  Speaking of which, having moved to Lanham, MD, we have seen people walking the highway.  Yes, walking the highway.  We call them, appropriately, "highway walkers."  What are they doing?  Where are they going?  Where are they coming from?  We will never know, but we certainly ask.  It's not often, like daily; it's just happened more than a few times.  Are the doors in the highway walls for highway walkers?

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Like House, I have created a position which I fit perfectly

    Now I just need the public school system to fund it.

    You guys, is this me or is this me: Elementary Special Projects Manager.  Picture it!  I'll oversee greenhouse repairs, be sponsor of bus patrol, manage the school store.  Right now, for those of you keeping track at home, only one of those things is happening.  The one I'm in charge of.  Greenhouse repair seems to have mysteriously fallen to our counselor, no further comment on my opinion about any aspect of that.

    I could literally sit here and spend my days thinking of Special Projects I would Manage as Elementary Special Projects Manager.  SIGH.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Tell them I've skipped town, looking for flash mobs

    So I had mostly written this whole big rant about how we're absurdly cautious to offend (so much so, that it offends me) in our society but then I got distracted and went on to my facebook tab and Mama Nicol had posted this and now tears won't stop streaming down my face and I can't possibly write about dumb things after watching it on repeat.  I basically just died.