January 26th, 2007


The Saga of the Cinnamon Roll, a Continuation

The secretaries, aides and some of the female teachers avoid the noise level and "stuff it" culture of the main lunchroom by eating at two banquet style folding tables in the Teacher's Work Room, which frequently has brought-from-home goodies with cute little sticky notes saying things like "Eat Me", or "Take Me; I'm FREE", or "One good bite deserves another"... (I have NO IDEA how they decide what is TOO SUGGESTIVE. NOBODY tells ribald jokes, much less BLUE ones down there at lunch, so the notes are a real revelation, and quite a surprise, as although *I* may not know who provided the various things, THEY all do.)

But I digress. Tonight when I went down to pick up a sheet from the colored printer, THERE WAS A CAFETERIA TRAY with the extra wide aluminum foil wrap lifted. One third of the OUTER RING of one of those cinnamon rolls was sitting there, totally exposed. It had been three hours since lunch, but I snatched it up anyway and walked out eating it -- right into the superintendent.

(Great Juxtapositions is another one of my talents.)

I'd just been down to his office and talked the business manager into an out-of-cycle expenditure of less than $10 for clear plastic holders with three ring binder holes off to the side that he'd okayed by voice from his office, so I showed him the colored creation I was going to put in the holders (once my mouth was empty, of course.)

I have NO excuse. The lovely aroma that permeated the entire building the day they were fresh was only a figment of our collective memories; I'd finally lost that last half pound to be at a target I set the first day of the new school year (it's official -- right BEFORE I ate that partial outer layer of cinnamon bun, I'd weighed in at 15 pounds less than I'd started the school year -- even though I still can't tell it on my clothes! ;-(

I guess the DEVIL MADE ME DO IT! The silly thing hadn't even had the good grace to DRY OUT on the exposed surfaces in the hours since lunch!


Another Gem of a WORD OF THE DAY from Dictionary.com:

inscrutable \in-SKROO-tuh-buhl\, adjective:
Difficult to fathom or understand; difficult to be explained or accounted for satisfactorily; obscure; incomprehensible; impenetrable.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recalled the inscrutable comment of a French diplomat about the interaction of the various European organisations: "It will work in practice, yes. But will it work in theory?"
    -- Jonathan Fenby, France on the Brink

(Well, if it is an European post, I can hardly correct spelling to US standard, so ORGANIZATION will not prevail. Bet Jonathan's a perfectly well-educated Brit or some such.)

He delighted in keeping people guessing. His thought processes were eclectic, inscrutable and unpredictable.
    -- "Martin Mogridge", Times (London), March 17, 2000

A page of John Lennon's enigmatic lyrics for "I Am [the] Walrus," one of the Beatles' most inscrutable songs, was sold for £78,500 at auction in London yesterday.
    -- John Shaw, "Lennon lyric sells for £78,500", Times (London), October 1, 1999

Stressed to the Max (Edit into two posts -- car and school)

We're now officially two weeks into the second semester. Our school, in an effort at transparency in grading, has posted both the lesson plans and the student's grades on line.

Most people can do that from home, but I live so rural that the old phone line is too slow. The connection times out before it gets down, even in the middle of the night, when general use ought to really drop off. (So should I, but that's another problem entirely.)

Since the notes on who is passing/not passing have to be posted by 9 am Monday... EVERYTHING must be graded, right now. I've been running a half day to a day and a half behind all week. The two reading classes both had deadlines for the end of their projects. I have been encouraging EARLY submission = more support = higher grades, and have had a few takers. But, the pile of procrastinators is 2' deep on my desk by the end of the day. All the stuff I generally grade before school, over the noon hour, and on my prep period DID NOT HAPPEN, as I was busy working one-on-one with our most troubled non-participants. (With a small bit of success, which may be too little, too late, but at least they are getting HELP.)

I brought home a 2' pile of stuff from my desk as I needed to be here in the 55+ degree weather to get the little car out of the snowbank, as it drops tomorrow, and she'll be there until thaw if I can't get her out now...

So it ALL must be graded and put in the book (which is on line so parents can see it from home). This is a day and a half worth of material, but it includes two classes' final hand ins on a two week long project. All I did today was work one on one with kids who were in danger, trying to help them get whatever they needed to do understood enough that they would be successful. Of course, just SAYING to them LAST FRIDAY that they needed to do it NOW, not wait until the last minute, did nearly NO good... the last two days, 95% of the stuff hit all at once.

I sure did need this weekend. Today's weather was just divine, and the horses got their hay hauled, the little car is where even if we DO get more as predicted, I can get her out, and the phone has been ringing off the hook.

I never get home on a Friday night before 10-12 pm, as I try to stay and put stuff in the computer and post it all, each time it rang, I'd ask, "Why are you calling me at this time on a Friday night when you KNOW I'm never home?"

So, they'd laugh and say they didn't know, but just "felt like" calling me, or something similar.


Last weekend, we got a "real" snow. All northern dwellers have experienced snow like this -- big, moist flakes that fluff up to unbelievable depths in 30 minutes or less...

Last Friday, I came home just in time to wade through 2" worth that hit in just over a half hour. I swept the walkway and the car every hour or two until I went to bed all day Saturday. At least there was NO wind. By Monday, I had both the car and the truck cleaned off, facing down hill.

I walked part way down the hill, never getting over the tops of my shoes, so I decided the car could make it. Off I went, but on the lower part of the drive, we DRUG BOTTOM. Oops! That's like standing in the only dry place as it pours all around you... evidently the hilltop clouds were a bit more unproductive that those above the bottom of the hill.

When I got done Monday, it was 6-8" deep, depending on the source of the news. I was thinking about leaving the car at the bottom of the hill and walking up, but as I got the mail, I got stuck. When I made it back to the road, I decided to pull into the drive, back up a bit so I was facing out, but I got stuck with about 25% of the car ON THE ROAD.

Poor visibility, poor traction, AND an unexpected obstacle is just tempting fate a bit too much, so I shoveled and wiggled, rocked and shifted until I was totally back on the road. The entire 10-15 minute job, not a single car passed!

Using the master tracks laid by the mailman when he turned around in the drive, I lined myself up the the hill and took as much of a running start as space and conditions allowed. We spun and spurted nearly, ah, nearly to the top of the hill, ending up sideways to the drive a bit, just enough to be SURE another vehicle could NOT enter the drive.

The drag bottom marks ran along three fourths of the hill... the lower part. After digging to soreness, I gave up and came inside to answer emails and go to bed... The little car would still be waiting for my TLC in the morning. :-(

Lice Vs. Ice: Byfocal Blunders on the Rampage

Mom takes my admonition to IGNORE SPELLING AND WRITE TO US ANYWAY as real, and generally, we treat her errors kindly, but sometimes, Oh, sometimes, the temptation is JUST TOO GOOD TO PASS UP...

Take, for instance, her classic title from a Jan. 17 email: We did not get the iice on the bridges.--good.

Since she lives just blocks from the Gulf of Mexico, I agree whole-heartedly: GOOD. But when I first glanced at it, I had my glasses OFF.

Reading WITHOUT my glasses, I came up with "We did not get the LICE on the bridges.-- Good.

Now, the bridge I remember didn't survive the hurricane, but in my imagination, it did... so, I emailed back: I have to tell you, though, I THINK those pesky things live on HUMAN BLOOD, and other animal's blood. Now, I KNOW that ol' hurricane did a lot of damage, but surely they've cleaned up better than that by now???

I cc'd my sister the ANSWER LADY and another aunt or two... everyone enjoys a good laugh, right? Historically, when mom leaves me in her spelling/word omission dust, THE ANSWER LADY understands the communication PERFECTLY! How does she DO that?

She did it again with this headline, according to HER response: It gets better! When I read this without MY glasses I read, "We did not get the ice on the bridges." Good! (See what I mean? 100% instant comprehension of Mom's message.)

She continues: So, did Pandemo get her car out of her driveway's tenacious snow drift??? Now that there's no ice on the bridges, she may be able to get to school without risking her life....

Then I put on my glasses and started laughing at the visual of millions of lice on the bridge hopping up and down with little balloons above them saying, "Here comes a dog! Here doggy!!" I made myself stop when I began to wonder what kept the lice on the bridge, The Three Billy Goats Gruff???