Monday, July 23, 2012

My week in learning

I'm exhausted. I've been in Orlando at the Jostens Adviser University since Thursday. The classes are LONG. The average length is 3 hours. I'm in the final class of the workshop and it is FOUR HOURS LONG. Do you have an idea of how hard it is to sit still for that long? Really, really hard. In fact, this experience is causing me to look back at my college years and contemplate how in the holy hell I survived my classes back then let alone graduated!! The more I think about it, the more amazed I am.

I'll admit I've had to bail a couple of times to go get some sun. I mean these classrooms are freezing, and the sun calls to me. I'm the world's biggest critic at things like this, I admit it. So if it wasn't working for me then I faded out.

I did manage to sit outside the first afternoon long enough to burn the crap out of my face...everywhere except where my big fat sunglasses sit on my nose. Did I mention I agreed to be filmed answering questions for a video Jostens wanted to make? Hahaha. Yeah, those are some good looking images. Can't wait to see that video.

In the meantime, I met a girl that might have been separated from me at birth. Other than the fact she is a total yankee (Boston) ...we amused the hell out of each other all week. It was a lot of fun. She has a wicked sense of humor, she isn't all sensitive and blowing sunshine around. She is fabulous!! Of course, we spent some quality time at the pool bar. Bonding and such.

One night we met up with a girl from the Dallas area that I have known for a while. It was all well and good until we started drinking. I can't go all that fast cause well, I like my drink, but we all know I am a lightweight. Boston, on the other hand, can hold her liquor. Local girl, can't hold her liquor. In fact, the more she drank, the louder she got, and the worse her fake-ass highly annoying southern accent got. It was horrifying. She also started dictating what was and wasn't appropriate to call people. i.e. "girl you have to call other girls Heffers" what?????

Back to classes. I probably should have gotten more intel before I signed up. I think if I had chosen more wisely this week would have gone better. I think I was misplaced several times. For instance, I was in a class that was more geared to beginners than I am. It was a great class, just not for me, ya know? Next year I'll know better. Although I'm still hoping it is someplace that I can get some sun when they fail to impress me.

I have spent a little bit of time on the internet scrolling for dogs. I have the fever, and I have it bad. I can hardly stand it. I get back in town Saturday....updates to follow on the pooch front. With any luck, I'll be able to find someone that Buddy loves.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Yard work, back pain and shovels

Some of you may recall, when I bought my little palace, the area behind the driveway was a hot mess. I can't find a picture that shows how utterly horrid it was in the beginning, but covered in bramble etc it was. I wasn't certain of what I was going to do with this particular part of my job.  Fairly quickly I realized that I have no cell reception in this house. So, I decided that I wanted to have a place to sit and talk on the phone. 

As I might have mentioned, I have been working like the very devil in the yard. This means that I have gotten disgustingly dirty multiple days in a row, multiple times a day. I would take a picture of my shower, but it is so gross I couldn't bear it. Trust me when I tell you that I am sweating like a pig multiple times a day. (Another side note, my house has a layer of dirt courtesy of all of this work, but I haven't done a single thing to clean up. I'm going with the theory that it is better to just get all the work done, THEN clean the place up.

I usually come in after a couple of hours, clean up, rest and then head back out again.
My socks? They are always that disgusting, and I usually can only do the hard sharp shooter work in the morning because by the afternoon I am too exhausted to dig. Sad, really. As you can tell, I am not the only one exhausted from all of this work and labor in the hot, hot sun. Buddy can barely get through the day. Poor thing.

I'm also funding most of Home Depots stock dividends.

 I managed to clean up the area (note that includes digging up the volunteer trees that keep popping up all over the place. You can barely see the orange cord courtesy of DISH network in the second picture, I'm working to cover that up too. I originally wanted to plant stuff that would grow tall and hide the neighbors, but apparently this year I'm just going for pretty.

I've mulched around the flowers and set up my glider, so it is on its way to looking beautiful. A lovely place to sit and chat, since I can't actually do that in my home. So annoying.

In fact, I'm working so hard that I broke one of my shovels...while digging up one of 5 dead bushes before I then planted some in their place. I broke a shovel. I am pretty sure if nothing else, that alone makes me a bad ass, and I'll not be thinking any differently any time soon!!

Although I have to confess, I'm pretty certain my chronic back pain and utter misery is probably courtesy of manual labor which I am currently doing. Because the dirt, the dirt that I need to get to fill in the area so it is as high as the driveway because I want people to be able to pack there, I can't afford to buy that much dirt, so I'm getting it from the holes I'm digging, and all of the dirt I'm digging up from around the house where the ivy was, and the front planter which I am emptying out but haven't figured out what I'm doing with it net.

I have to say the backyard looks really good from this angle. I hope the bushes planted to replace the bad ones are happy and content and choose to grow tall and strong cause the idea of having to dig anything else up makes me want to weep. Mind you, I have an incredible amount of work still to go, but I am finally starting to see progress being made!  (Oh, and as a side note, I'm on a lovely regiment of hydrocodone (for the pain), Benadryl (for the allergy to the hydrocodone), and Trazadone (so I can sleep through the itchy and weird feelings from the hydrocodone.))

Saturday, July 14, 2012

So much to do...yet sitting on a couch

Technically, I started this post when I was dog sitting. I did have a lot to do, but I was in Allen laying out by my friend's pool, playing with her dogs and mine and drinking her liquor. It was only four days, but they were four lovely days.

Now, I find myself sitting on the couch again. I got back in town last night. I'm here for less than 48 hours, then I'm dropping Buddy off at the Doggie Den and heading to Denton to teach a workshop. I get back Wednesday, when I will repack and head to my friends in Keller so she can take me to the airport Thursday morning. I will be going to Orlando, Florida to take a workshop on how to be a better adviser. I'll let you know how that goes.

I would like to point out I did get up this morning and started working on the yard. I planted a crape myrtle that I got from a friend. I got a ton of FREE mulch from a place down the street and started the process of laying it down in the bed by the fence line.

I also couldn't stop myself from buying some shrubs to plant in the back area which, if I do say so myself, is looking better and better.

I found a toilet that I have not purchased yet that I will be getting to replace the non functioning toilet in my guest bathroom.

And, I am very tired at this moment, so I am sitting on the couch, contemplating everything else I need to be doing, and not actually doing any of it.

A trip to the printing plant

For the last 10 years or so, the yearbook has been printed out of the Jostens printing plant in Topeka, Kansas. Two years ago they bought a HUGE space in Clarksville, Tennessee. They are closing the Topeka plant, so the printing of the book will be moving.

It was decided I would check out the new plant. So, Mrs. Jostens (a friend and the wife of my yrbk rep) and I headed out. (I have to confess I use the term friend loosely. I've always thought friendship is a two way street, back and forth, give and take. I'm afraid I've finally accepted we aren't actually friends.) Courtesy of my parents being quite grouchy about Buddy, he got to stay at Dee's Doggie Den. (Did I mention he had to interview there to make sure he played with others well? Which he did cause he's a sweetie.)

At any rate, I see Mrs. J at the airport and mention that I'm in angst over a ridiculous fight of sorts with the BFF. She then proceeded to talk about daughter 1, daughter 2, husband and Jostens, the entire time. Literally  from that point forward this was the rotation. I tried to bring up said angst a couple more times, but she clearly wasn't interested in my sob story. In fact, in 3 days, I'm pretty sure we didn't talk about any part of my silly little life at all.  Ironically on the plane home as the plane was landing, she said, "Oh, we never talked about your bff." I was like, "yeah, that's true, but there's no time now." At which point she went into a story about Mr. J and something that happened with his friend. I'm losing friends at an astounding rate these days. I'll save that for another post though.

I don't know why I expect her to be any different from how she is, because she absolutely holds that conversation rotation every time I see her. I think she is a great person, but I don't think she is a very good friend at all.

I was very happy to see my plant rep Ms. V. there. I like getting to talk to her. So that part was great. I got the tour of the plant on Thursday. It is very impressive. After the tour, we went back to the hotel and I had a massage and facial courtesy of Mrs. J. It was very nice and very much appreciated, although an ear for listening might have been nicer.

Afterwards we met up with one of her daughters who happened to be in Nashville for workshop of her own. While in the mall, I got a call from one of my favorite people ever, and one of my assistant principals who told me he had accepted a middle school principal's job in Crandall. I wept right there in the middle of the Coach store. So embarrassing. Yes, I am completely sad for myself, and yes, I am happy for him, but I'm more sad for myself at the moment.

Of course, the plant tour gave me a few concerns about the book. (We are changing how we are submitting the book to online instead of through a desktop publishing program.) I'm not sure changing to the online system with no proofs is the right way to go, but I'm trying to work through that. Ug.

Thank heavens the other two full size books I'll be producing this year (the HPISD centennial book and the Real Estate Book) will be printed the traditional way, and through the plant in California.

The flight back wasn't until 3:30, so I was slightly neurotic that we wouldn't get back in time to get Buddy. I was lucky and made it to get Buddy right before they closed. At which point, I got him home, and he has pretty much slept since then. Poor thing. All that playing is quite exhausting!! I feel horribly guilty that he has to go back tomorrow, and I won't see him again for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Magic Mike....oh my

Well, I went for a different type of religious experience this Sunday morning...I met up with my friend Blondie for a little movie about a male stripper. It was a posse of hotties. The movie actually got decent reviews, but I have to admit, I couldn't tell you the storyline if you paid me. 

I've always felt the difference between how guys and girls behave in strip clubs is reflective of the difference between men and women in general, although I'm not positive of how. And no I won't be explaining how I've been to both types of clubs. 

First, I've always found it interesting that women behave BADLY in strip clubs. Walking into a strip club is like walking into a wall of sound. Not only is the music loud, but women are screaming all over the place. If nothing else, if you think about it, women tend to get louder and louder as they drink anyway. The girls are all over the dancers. God bless those boys, girls have no shame about touching whatever they want.

Personally, I'd prefer to watch the boys dance with their clothes on. It's just weird to see a guy w/ his privates circling around. Let's be honest, guys may like to SEND pictures of their privates to girls, doesn't mean girls like to get those pictures.

So, boys dancing, music loud, girls louder, dollars being thrown at the guys like rice at a wedding. Mad chaos.

To walk into a "Men's Club" is to walk into a club with music blaring...and no other noise. The club is full of men, but there is little to no movement. All the guys are leaned back looking as if they couldn't be less interested. There is a firm no touching policy in these clubs.

The girls are usually beautiful with great...rhythm. But there is zero expression on each and every guys face. They are actually very polite and well-behaved.

So, if you have ideas of how that is reflective of society...throw them at me. Otherwise, let the stripping continue.