Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I THOUGHT I Was Getting A Cat

Y'all know I have a kitten now. But she's showing traits that are decidedly un-kitten-like. Oh, she does the tearing around the house at 3 AM for no good reason thing. She regularly attacks my feet and hands - I constantly look like I've been digging through a thorn bush right now. But her favorite thing to do? Play fetch.

This is her returning the ball to me for the, oh, 1000th time.

She'll jump off the bed, get the ball, bring it back, repeat. Of course, if I don't throw the ball fast enough, I get this look:

I call it, "throw the ball, you idiot".

Needless to say, I put down the camera and threw the ball.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Love Teaching, I Love Teaching, I Love...

Maybe if I say it often enough, I'll convince myself.

Ok, actually, I do love teaching. At least, I love it more than any other job I've ever had (and that's A LOT) and sometimes I just plain love it. But.

This year I started teaching an SAT Prep class. It's exactly what it sounds like - a class which helps kids prepare to get better scores on the SAT. I don't know how many people who aren't in education (or who don't have kids in high school) know this, but the SAT changed formats a couple years ago and now includes an essay. The students have 25 minutes to write a persuasive essay on a given question. Part of my job is to try to get them to know the difference between there/their/they're and our/are, etc, but part of it is also to give them better strategies for writing. To that end, I assigned a poster project two weeks ago (TWO WEEKS. This will be an important point.) on which different pairs were to work together to create a poster detailing things that the graders were looking for or tips on time management, etc.

Here are some things that happened yesterday: One student e-mailed me, included a digital picture of her poster to prove she had been working on it, and told me she'd be sick the next day and could she please turn it in Monday. One student brought me a note from her mother saying that her cell phone had been stolen the day before and so she was "too upset" to finish the poster. One pair of boys were quite unhappy because *25 minutes* before the end of the period in which the poster was due my printer was out of ink so they could not print the pictures they wanted to put on the poster. At that point, their poster was A BLANK PIECE OF POSTER BOARD.

Two weeks, people. This is a class in which I don't lecture and the kids don't have specific things they must accomplish every day. They have a list of items they are to work on each week and they are to learn to budget their time (this, in theory, will help them prepare to budget their own time in college). In two weeks, these darling children could not - or would not - finish a *poster*. Now, in fairness, the vast majority of the dear children did finish, and some of the posters are quite good with a lot of effort put into them. But oy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Safety Goggles and Other Dating Hazards

Remember when I swore off dating? I knew it wouldn't last. It should have.

Last Friday, I went out with a guy I'd met online. We'd met once before for coffee and a walk in the park and had a perfectly pleasant time, although no fireworks or immediate chemistry were evident. He did invite me out again, and offered to make reservations at a restaurant he liked. Since I couldn't remember the last time a male-type person took me to a restaurant that actually took reservations and since a friend was encouraging me to break my habit of only being attracted to bad-boy types, I went out.

I drove up to the close-in suburb he lives in and we went to the restaurant. It was a lovely dinner, nice conversation, and I was beginning to think that even without fireworks he might be nice to hang out with. Then we headed to his car.

We got in, he started the engine and began to pull away from the curb but then stopped and said, "Oh, my glasses." I thought nothing of the comment until I glanced at him and saw he was putting on "glasses" that looked suspiciously like "goggles" See: equipment for high school science lab. I just had time to think, "hmmm...." when he explained the following: When he switched from wearing glasses to wearing contacts, he had an experience while driving on the highway. He watched a piece of cardboard come over the median and hit his windshield. This apparently convinced him that if something big hit the windshield, it would shatter and blind him and therefore he needed to wear safty glasses whenever he drove. Silly me. I'd always assumed that car makers had, you know, taken things like this into account and installed such things as, oh, safety glass in cars. Guess I'm just a wild and crazy type of girl who takes chances with my vision.

It was at this point in the evening that my brain said, "ding! Thanks for playing. Buh-bye." I talked for a little while longer, made my excuses and then got in my car and hustled home. I mean really. What does a guy like this do when having sex? Surround the bed with pillows in case you fall off? Wear safety goggles in case...well, I'll just leave the rest unsaid.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Join the Rebellion

This weekend, DragonCon is in town. It's (I think) the largest sci-fi/gaming convention in the world. It's certainly the largest in the Southeast. And it's going on now in downtown Atlanta. My friend got a pass for the weekend since he is, ah, shall we say a HUGE Star Wars fan? That might be an understatement. Anyway, I headed downtown today to keep him company for a little bit, and it turns out that the hotels are so crowded with people that they won't let you in even to look around unless you have a DragonCon pass or are staying at the hotel. Can you imagine the poor people that booked rooms there not knowing about this convention? But I digress.

Turns out, all that sneaking around I did in high school paid off. We were stopped going in one entrance, so when we tried another we timed it so that we could slip past security while he was stopping some other poor soul with no pass. So I went in and got to behold the wonder that is DragonCon.

Here's a partial list of what I saw: Superheroes (from classic to obscure), a man dressed as a LEGO person, tons of Storm Troopers and Jedis and several Princess-Leia-in-a-bikinis (several of whom should have SERIOUSLY reconsidered that costume), one really good Lara Croft, Wallace and Grommit, catholic school girls in various states of undress, mother and daughter bondage outfits, pirates, sexy interpretations of all sorts of characters from stories like The Wizard of Oz and Little Red Riding Hood, and many other costumes that were so obscure I had no idea what they referenced.

It was geeky and filled with strange people and I am so buying a ticket so that I can go next year without sneaking around.