The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Fun

I'm feeling rather lazy today, so I think we'll both benefit from me keeping this post short and in bulleted order.
  • Yesterday at lunch I pulled out my chocolate yogurt, which I eat as dessert and pretend it's chocolate pudding, and stirred it up really well to avoid another mishap. It looked a little funny, more of an orange color than the normal rich dark chocolate "sauce". But it was a different brand than I normally buy so I figured, hey, maybe their chocolate is orange-ish? Uhhh, no. One spoonful proved me wrong- it was peach! With actual bits of peaches! In a chocolate container! I'm no peach hater, but if they managed to get the entirely wrong flavor into a container what else could they have gotten wrong with this batch? Some of my more litigious co-workers thought I should fake a peach allergy and call the company for a lifetime supply of chocolate yogurt. The thought made me a little ill- both the idea of suing an organic yogurt company and the thought of a lifetime of chocolate yogurt sitting in my fridge.
  • One of my parent volunteers offered me her extra set of Genesis tickets at the Garden for the fall. So. Awesome. I'll be able to actually see the sweat glistening off Phil Collins forehead. And hello? Peter Gabriel? If you're reading this, I just want you to know that I always dreamed of Lloyd Dobler standing outside my bedroom with a boombox playing In Your Eyes.
  • Last night my mother called me to tell me that I must turn on the Animal Planet channel immediately. No explanations. When I finally found the channel I was enthralled: it was the World's Ugliest Dog competition! If those damn dogs didn't live in the lap of luxury I would have felt extremely sorry for them for being so exploited. My personal favorite was Munchkin, but despite her little tiara she still lost out to Archie, the toothless Chinese crested. Anyway, Chris and I both decided that the real competition would have been the World's Ugliest Dog Owner- we saw some stuff going on with those people that was just wrong.
  • Spelling madness to ensue this evening. Last year I complained that my school had no cheering section. I thought I was complaining just to hear myself complain- usually my whining falls on deaf ears. It didn't occur to me that anyone would take me seriously enough to show up at this event, but now I have a section of about 10 people coming with full-on signs and body paint. As long as they don't blare "We Will Rock You" from the audience and throw water balloons while I'm trying to spell I think it'll be fun to have some cheerleaders. I've been staring at the word eleemosynary for about 25 minutes now, trying to think of a way to remember it. Does that spell trouble?
Wish me luck, peeps. I'm out. See you fools in April.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dangerously Irrelevant

Early this morning in the library, before the school bell rang, with a hundred kids surrounding me just begging me to confiscate their hot chocolates, iPods, and PSPs, I had this conversation:

Student: "Ms. NPW, do you know about that website that rates teachers?"
NPW: (warily) "I've heard of it, Sam. Why do you ask?"
Student: "You're on there! Wanna know your score?"
NPW: "Not interested, Sam. It's not a popularity contest here in the library."
Student: "Oh don't worry. It's not bad! I mean, it's not good. But it's not bad!"
NPW: "Thanks for that info, Sam. Now step away from the computers."

Counter to my normally curious nature, I actually couldn't care less what my score is. But is it wrong that I want to know how the kids rate everyone else? I think it could be very interesting to compare my professional assessment of my co-workers with the kids reviews. Must... resist...

The internet: turning teaching into a popularity contest, one survey at a time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's Bee Season

Interestingly, no one seems to mind that I look like Carol Brady and David Bowie had an illegitimate love child; in fact, I've received more compliments in the past two days on my hair than I have all year long. Perhaps people really like me with the emo hipster wannabe hair (emobe? emoster?)? Or maybe people just like to see others change it up because they're glad they didn't have to do any of the changing themselves and they don't have to spend 45 minutes blowdrying and styling their new hair. Whatevs. All I know is, it's one thing for me to rock out to My Chemical Romance in the privacy of my own car, it's another thing entirely for me to look the part at 28 years old.

Moving on, things here in the library have been steadily improving. Testing is over for the most part. The children have resumed normal levels of screaming and shoving. Teachers have stopped rolling their eyes and audibly sighing every time the word "test" is mentioned. Schedules are back in full swing. We're through with you, MCAS! Until we meet again... in May.

Also, I've been so busy whining the past few weeks that I've neglected to give full props to this Friday night's main event: the annual town Spelling Bee! Picture, if you will, a scene of the utmost nerdliness. Businesspeople and town officials alike gather for a test of rote memorization skills. Who will come out on top? It'll be a regular American Gladiator up in this piece. Minus the physical part. Hopefully this year I can lead my team to victory- I chose my teammates well. And by that, I mean I conned two new teachers into it and recruited one other due to the fact that she had a spelling bee trophy in her office. It wasn't until much later that I found out she didn't actually attend the spelling bee for which she has a trophy, but her team won, so she got one too. Kind of like getting a Super Bowl ring even if you were injured and didn't play, I guess. Whatever- she has Bee experience.

I was mildly disappointed this year, Scripps has stopped producing the little 30 page books they printed to list all the words they use in their Bees. Instead, their website directed me to an intimidating 350 page PDF document and I am so not printing that out. But for once my packrat tendencies have paid off- I kept my booklet from last year and I decided to just re-study.

Now all that's left is to actually take a look at the list of words and I'll be good to go. How hard can it be?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

NPW Stardust

It seems like haircuts have been a popular topic 'round the blog block of late, and it's pretty easy to see why. I mean, a girl's hair is the source of her power. Good hair can be a valuable asset, bad hair is a girl's kryptonite. But rather than collect data from an informal blog survey on what my readers think, this time I decided to opt out of asking for advice from the internets- only because it seems like every time I ask for advice I just get even more worried and worked up. And then things turn out fine in the end and I realize I caused myself a good deal of anxiety over nothing. Well my friends, I know now that I should have reached out to you: I had the worst haircut of my life yesterday. No joke. I've been lamenting my poor chopped off hair for 24 hours and I think I've finally moved on from the denial phase to the anger phase.

When I called my regular Aveda salon yesterday afternoon there was no answer. No machine, no friendly receptionist, no little beep like they're on the other line, please try back. Nothing. I should've taken that as a sign. Life doesn't throw you unanswered telephone calls willy-nilly. Life was trying to tell me something. And being the impatient fool that I am, I didn't listen. Well, you know what they say about hindsight being all Lasik and I've learned my lesson. Still, that doesn't help my current situation.

After I didn't get any answer at my regular salon, I called the fall-back salon in the hopes they'd have an impromptu appointment available. I'd been there a couple of times and my memories of the place were hazy but not entirely bad. As luck had it, they did have an appointment available. At 3:30, I asked? Oh, whenever. "No worries, someone will be free when you show up," they trilled. They weren't kidding. There were at least 8 people having a food fight with pieces of lettuce and discussing all the times they caught their parents "doing it" when I showed up. My stylist came to scoop me up out of the mess of salad dressing smears and I noticed right away that I was scared of her hair. My gut was wrenching itself into a knot telling me to RUN! Run away! You do not want a hipster mullet! Get out now!

Then the second major sign that things were about to go horribly awry occured as I sat down in the stylist's chair and she popped the dreaded question: "So... what were you thinking for your hair?"

First off, I hate that question. For two reasons: 1. very rarely do I know what I want to "do" with my hair, and 2. even if I have some vague notion, I have no idea how to describe what I'm after. Apparently I never learned the crucial hair lingo required to survive a trip to the salon. I've always sheepishly depended on stylists to assess my hair and do their best with it. Hey, I never went to Blaine School of Hair Design. So I ventured a guess: "Oh, I was thinking some longer layers with longer, kind of side-swoopy bangs?" She wrinkled her nose in disgust (actually wrinkled it!) and exhaled loudly. "Long layers? Really? I'm not doing long layers. You need to take some of this hair off." This did not bode well with me, but I hadn't prepared myself to be ballsy enough to just stand up and walk out of there. Also, if I tried to escape I'm pretty sure this girl with her giant Elvis tattoos would have bitch slapped me back into the chair.

And then the slow torture began. Because once she started razoring the shit out of the sides, I knew it was all over. There's no salvaging the razored hair. I simply resigned myself to months and months of awkwardness, and promised myself some mini Cadbury eggs and a good cry when I got home.

At one point during the shearing I commented, "Umm, my hair looks like David Bowie." She kind of giggled and then said, "Wait, that's a good thing, right?"

Oh, you want to see a picture of the new 'do? Fine. Here you go:

When I got home and called Chris to cry about my hair he was only mildly sympathetic. He seemed to think I should have stopped her midway if I didn't like how she was cutting it. Like I have the power to stop someone holding scissors right up against my neck?

"Wait, so are you saying you think your hair looks like Ziggy Stardust David Bowie, or I'm Afraid of Americans David Bowie?"

"Does it matter?! You're supposed to tell me I'll look beautiful no matter what my hair looks like," I groaned.

"Oh, yeah. That."

"Mmm hmm. Too late now."

"What can I do to make you feel better? I'll do anything. You want me to smash every mirror in the house for you? Duct tape your eyes closed? I would do that for you."

I guess I deserve this for going to get my hair cut at a place named after a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Just Say No

I don't believe that I've ever blogged about television before because, frankly, it's boring as hell to read someone else's opinion on something you may or may not watch.

But let me tell you something, people.

When that show Heroes came out? I watched the season premiere and thought, "Meh". I wasn't keen on the idea of adding another show to my (admittedly scanty) list of Must See television. I already had Lost, and DVDs of Alias, and occasionally some Forensic Files if I was home at that time of day. Granted, in that one episode I realized that the deep characters and the cool plot lines and the fast-paced storyboard scenes were intensely gratifying after the monotony of Lost and it's ridiculous back stories week after week. But I staunchly refused to get sucked in.

Then everyone kept talking about it! If everyone had just kept their traps shut on the subject, I never would have felt the urge to download the entire season (eighteen episodes, for those who're counting), and Chris and I never would have watched 18 hours of television, almost back to back, in a period of two weeks. How is every episode is a cliff-hanger? One episode is twenty times better than the season finale of Lost. And speaking of, are we the last people left still watching Lost?

If I had consulted my doctor before I began watching, I'm sure she would have kindly reminded me of my family's history of heart disease and discouraged me from speeding up the process by giving myself a mini-heart attack roughly every 45 minutes. But seriously with that "To Be Continued..." at the end of every episode. It gets me every time.

Last night as we settled in to watch the final two episodes I braced myself for the inevitable disappointment of a season ending. I knew there was no way they could make their final episode any more awesome than every one previous. But then they DID! I think I actually screamed, gasped, and cried during those final 45 minutes. Thank you, NBC, for creating characters I actually like.

And people, when you so blithely decided to get me interested in the show? You might also have mentioned that Heroes is like crack; I might then have been able to avoid it. But now I'm doomed to lay awake nights, fitfully tossing and sweating in the throes of Heroes withdrawal, with only the glimmer of hope that is April 23rd keeping me sane.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Day In The Life Of

When my alarm goes off at 5:30, most times I mumble incoherently into my pillow and thrash around in the dark, usually managing to smash the snooze button a couple of times, and promptly fall back to sleep. I don't know why I do this, since I never feel any better about being awake ten minutes later. It's still dark. It's still cold. And Chris still gets to sleep for another hour or three. Once I do manage to claw my way out of the blanets and stumble into the kitchen, I flail around a bit until I'm sure that I've turned the coffee on, and I peer out the window to check the weather. Because I am too cheap to buy one of those $10 outdoor digital thermometers, I guesstimate a bit and think up a suitable outfit.

Once everything outside starts to turn shades of gray- like it's too early yet for even the colors to be up- I know I have to bust a move or risk screaming my little Civic into the parking lot two minutes after the late bell has rung.

Actually, that has never happened to me. But I'm still petrified that someday it will.

And then I go about my day. Once I've had some coffee in me and my body has readjusted to not slumbering I'm almost always right on top of my librarying. Until this week. Dreaded, dreadful testing week. I knew it would be bad. It was bad last year. It's always bad. It has made that morning bit harder than usual and my days seem forever long.

I'm working hard not to be a Molly McBitter about having to sit on my ass all day watching children take tests. I've tried looking on the bright side of things. I've thought (extensively) about how much worse things could be. I've even contemplated a foray into Not Whining About Things mode for a whole day. But... it's just really very hard. Especially when I have SPRING FEVER and I want to get outside where there's actual air and sunlight that hasn't been filtered through layers of mold, asbestos, and ancient drop-ceiling tiles, not biting my tongue to keep from screaming at the plodding, slow-poke children pondering main ideas and topic sentences to just HURRY UP ALREADY. I mean, it's not really their fault my day sucks.

No one is happier that it's Friday than me. Except maybe every other teacher in the state of Massachusetts, and who cares about them?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Extreme Entertainment

Watching children nervously rock back and forth, hands shaking as their pencils scribble across standardized test booklets is not my idea of a good time, but it does allow me to get a good bit of reading done. I thought I'd start in on some of the kitschy-looking 1970's fiction I've located in my library (not all that hard to come by) and I've found a couple of real winners in the collection. But after four days of that, I had reached the saturation point.

This morning was so boring that I could actually feel my brain atrophying inside my skull. My eyelids were begging to be propped open Tom and Jerry style, toothpicks straining to keep me from slumbering. Please, Baby Jesus, just let me sleep away a bit of the boredom.

What could I do to entertain myself? There had to be something so exciting that I would no longer be in danger of embarassing myself by having my Principal shake me awake by the shoulders, sprawled out on a desk with a little puddle of drool pooled under my cheek. I quickly ruled out my idea of "borrowing" some of the band instruments to "test out", as well as my half-formed plan of building a fort made of books. I didn't have enough Krazy Glue to do anything that would hold my attention for very long and I wasn't desperate enough to try out the new hot glue gun. But then, as my eyes fell on my mini-fridge, I had an idea: I'd eat my fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt without mixing it up.


It kept me entertained for all of 4 minutes and nauseous for 4 hours. Who knew that the fruit on the bottom was actually just super-sweetened fruit product? It always tastes so real when it's mixed in with the yogurt. Then I started wondering about whether I had consumed the live cultures in the yogurt part or the fruit part, and I started to actually feel ill. It also made me very sad that all I had for the rest of my lunch was a salad and a Clif Bar.

Screw testing. Tomorrow I'm bringing a deck of cards and some Girl Scout cookies.

This might help pass some time too. Holy addictiveness.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NPW: Hotter Than Anne Ramsey

I was having a pleasant chat the other day with a friend when I mentioned that I had seen one of my all-time favorite movies, Goonies, in the theater at Harvard last weekend. I was elucidating all of the reasons why it has stood the test of time and why it's the perfect young adult movie when I realized suddenly I couldn't remember the woman's name that played Mama Fratelli.

"Anne Ramsey", came his immediate reply- too fast to even have IMDB'd it.
"How the hell did you know that?"
"Huh, no idea. Six years clerking in a video store?"
"Well, yeah, anyway, so Anne Ramsey. She is one ugly lady. If I only had one wish, it would be that I never ended up looking like her."
"Too late."

With the threat of bodily harm he eventually rescinded his statement with a "obviously you're hotter than Anne Ramsey", but still the thought remained: what would I do if I looked like Anne Ramsey? I mean, she's worse even than Kathy Bates, and that's saying something. At least Kathy Bates never wore a beret (that I know of), and never starred in Throw Momma From A Train. But if I were Ms. Ramsey I think I'd try to steal One-Eyed Willie's gold, too. Just to fix those jowls.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I Sure Do Post A Lot

NPW here; just perusing my past entries and I realized I'm well over the 300 posts mark. That gave me pause for a moment. How, I pondered, is it that I have no problem updating this here forum of farce almost every day, and yet sitting down to actually work on some writing that might make me some money proves nearly impossible for me to accomplish?

I didn't have to ponder long before the answer came to me: I'm lazy. No, really, it's as simple as that. Here I can just freestyle, I can wing it, I can pontificate on the most inane, ridiculous, or amusing thing I can think of and then ramble on for a full five paragraph essay. But when I'm working on something with direction? Not so into it. Ok, so good- at least I have that much figured out: sheer laziness.

Then I started to wonder at my complete inability to ever keep a journal or a diary in the past. It's obvious I enjoy writing, why wouldn't I have wanted to fill page after page about my angst-y, drama filled days? Well, duh- journals and diaries are meant to be kept secret, hidden. Why would I want to write hilarious and often apt entries about my life if only I get to read them? Seriously. I don't have to go far to amuse myself, I do it all the time. And if I wanted to keep a secret diary, I don't think I'd choose to do it on the world wide web. This is no livejournal, folks. This here is the real deal.

Second conclusion: I want to amuse the masses.

So basically what it comes down to is that I'm a lazy ass, but if I can make people laugh in my own lazy ass way then at least I can feel I am contributing somewhat to life in general. Here's to all you other lazy asses out there. I tip my hat to you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Thanking My Lucky Clovers I Made It Out of Southie Alive Sober

For a city that prides itself on it's Irish heritage, the Southie parade sure did suck. Thousands of people crushed into the train, alighting in the dangerously over-crowded Broadway station to gusts of bitterly strong wind and equally bitter gusts of beer breath. But even with the tumult, I was absurdly excited. I turned giddily to Chris; "This is going to be so awesome- I didn't know so many people came down here for the parade! Why have I never done this before?"

We quickly discovered the answer to that question.

While I've always vaguely understood that when people call themselves "Irish" they may as well just say "Alcoholic" (i.e.: "Oh, my family? Well I'm German and Italian on my mother's side, Alcoholic and Dutch on my father's), the euphemism became much more clear in my mind once we got above ground and saw the festivities that were going down. It quickly killed my naive excitement from the train station: what amounted to gas station attendants hocking $5.00 Southie t-shirts, high school kids in gothwear with hair dyed electric green drinking lime flavored Mad Dog 20/20 straight out of the bottle, college girls who used the holiday as an excuse to dress slutty and then loosely interpret their idea of St. Patrick with a green boa, a woman who tried to lay a blanket out on the street so she could get a good view (subsequently sitting in a large puddle of melting snow), authentic old Irish dudes dozing in rockers with blankets and pipes, and a sea of Red Sox hats covering frat boy and construction worker heads alike. We also saw lots and lots of puke.

That's not to say we didn't have fun! Fortunately for us, my friend Kelli hosted a party at her Southie digs and we had a third floor view of the parade, which was close enough to see that we were very lucky not to be down on the street. Right before it started I asked one of the girls what her favorite part of the parade was. She kind of made a face, adding: "Well, I personally like when the Unions come through. At least they have banners."

Ha ha, I laughed! What about the giant balloons and the floats and the brass bands? She just kind of snickered and went back to eating lime Jell-O shots like Bill Cosby himself had bought them for her. Oh, if only I had heeded those early warning signs and got myself smashed before everything went wrong the parade started!

And then, without fanfare, it began. I won't mince words here. The "parade" consisted of clusters of children walking with clover antennae, a few ragtag baton twirlers, a couple of men in kilts, one large Elmo, and a horde of Storm Troopers. Oh yes, and the Unions. All kinds of Unions, huddled in the back old pickup trucks waving frozen banners.

All in all, much of the party consisted of making fun of the parade and drinking a few token bottles of Guinness, which was A-OK by me. Thanks to Kelli, our trip to Southie did not end in getting puked on or screamed at and was, in fact, a great time. Her place is lovely, her friends were fun, and bonus: we have video footage of a couple of Boston dudes doing the ATM Dance.

I'd also like to thank Southie for showing me that all it takes to have a party in Boston that everyone is sure to attend is Bud Light in Solo cups and the promise of girls wearing green.

Friday, March 16, 2007

All Things Green

I am severely lacking in motivation today. I know last night I said I wasn't counting on a snow day, but I lied. Deep in my heart I truly thought I would spend today lying comfortably on the couch watching marathon episodes of Heroes season one and occasionally lifting my arm to feebly bring a mug of coffee to my lips. Instead, I found myself trudging off to work, in the dark, with roughly zero snow on the ground and zero snow in the sky. All I have to say to that is, WTF weatherpeople? Where's my final winter hurrah? I'm supposed to be in pjs right now, fools!

Moving on, my plans for this weekend were big, big, big until the proclamation of a Nor'easter; suddenly it's looking like I'll have a lot of free time. While I have tentative plans to attend a very large Charlestown party this evening, replete with green beer and lime jello shots, C is still very flu-like and I don't know that I can stomach a party full of strangers and Guinness without him. So, everyone please send some well-wishes his way- maybe your collective psychic energy will amp him up enough for a night of beer pong.

Saturday may also be a bust if we end up getting snowed in. Last year St. Patty's Day fell on a weekday and we still managed to get out to a show in Cambridge, this year it has been kind enough to land on a Saturday and I have no plans. I'd bitch about that some more but honestly, there's no shortage of Irish bars in the city of Boston and I'm certain some plans will crop up out of the blue. They always do.

Sunday is supposed to be fair weather and we're heading down to Southie (Matt Damon, if you're reading this, I'll be on the lookout for you) for the giant Irish parade and some mad cap fun at my friend's new pad. How many green beers does it take to start yelling obscenities at the men in kilts? I'll be sure to report in on Monday.

Happy luck day, clover lovers!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Who Says I Don't Work Out Enough?

Man, I am flat out busy today. Sixth grade science projects coming up and I'm actually, physically sweating trying to find books on catapults and the human brain and citrus fruits. Damn you, smart children!

So not to be completely boring, but what's up with the nasty weather? New England hates my ass. It's pouring, and the weatherpeeps are promising a foot of snow tonight.

So. That's awesome.

Oh, and speaking of nasty, I will leave you today with this image. Premium, indeed. Happy lunch time!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This Body Will Self Destruct in 3... 2... 1...

Dear NPW:

I don't understand why you insist on punishing yourself so. Do you really think you can survive on 4 hours of sleep a night? Maybe you could have pulled that off in college, but if you think back to good old 2000 you might recall that even then you had ample afternoon hours during which you could nap away your Tuesday night hangover. Now? Not so much. Because I don't think schools encourage you to nap during the day, unless of course you're teaching Kindergarten, and even then I'm pretty sure you're just supposed to watch them sleep, not curl up onto a cot yourself.

Your feeble attempts at staying healthy are not fooling us. One run a week? A salad followed by Girl Scout cookies? We're not stupid. A girl can't live on lettuce and Samoas anymore than she can live with 12 hours of sleep a week. And don't even get us started on how little H2O you've been consuming lately. One look at your dry skin and you're not keeping that secret from anyone.

I think we'll agree that the Aloha show last night was great. And yes, Harpoon Munich Dark is delicious. And yes, Central Square is quite the scene, even on a random Tuesday. But seriously: we can't take much more of this. So consider this your fair warning. Anymore of these brazen attempts to undermine our authority and we will shut this shit down.

Your Body

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Post In Which I Ramble About Burritos and Maple Sugar

Yesterday's bitchfest aside, last weekend was actually pretty fantastic. For once we finally managed to actually do all the things we planned on doing, plus some. Friday night we had tickets to see 300 at the IMAX, so we decided to do a quick dinner in our hood before driving all the way to Reading in rush hour traffic. What culinary delight did we choose to bless our palates with? The newly opened Boloco for some "inspired" burritos.

While there's no shortage of places to acquire cheap and tasty burritos (C and I counted no fewer than 6 places in a two-mile radius from our house), Boloco seemed to promise a more upscale atmosphere than some of the other local joints. By which I mean all the patrons would be wearing clothing and the place wouldn't stink of cigarettes being smoked at the kitchen doors. True, I was a little skeptical- I mean, did I really need to add another burrito joint to my repetoire? And the place was a bit more pricey than, say, Anna's, or Qdoba. But damn, that wrap was delicious. Then came the best part: every Friday they give out coupons for $1 burritos! Redeemable any time! Shit, yo, I'm going there every Friday to get a $1 burrito and then get a coupon for another for the next week. They also had big signs up for three upcoming dates of FREE burritos, all night long. For real. I am so going to every one of those nights. God, I love living in a college city. Oh, and P.S.: their smoothies are also quite delish.

How did this post turn into a burrito festival?

Anyway, we braved the traffic on 95 and made it to the IMAX with an hour to spare. Except... what is that huge line forming outside the theater? That can't be our movie. It doesn't start for an hour! WTF? Apparently the IMAX holds 500 people, and about 100 of them were already in line for a sold-out show. We barely had time to appreciate the glory and wonder that is Jordan's before we found ourselves standing in a snaking queue. Good thing I have my v-cast phone and C had his Nintendo DS on him to keep ourselves entertained. Ha! Oh, date night.

The movie itself was pretty good- loved the way it looked visually, even if the story itself lacked any kind of depth. It was pretty much exactly what the commercials promised: 300 Spartans violently killing millions of Persians. It was bloody and gory and exciting, but didn't require me to use my brain overly much. Perfect for a Friday evening.

Saturday was spent doing random errands in a leisurely fashion. The nice weather held and it was very pleasant to see all of Boston wandering around in spring jackets. You could tell the college girls were itching to break out the tank tops and mini skirts as I saw a number of sandals and short sleeves. Too early, people! Do you not know New England? You could be up to your chin in snow an hour from now! Later that evening my lovely cousin showed up with her husband and we hit up Tir na nOg for some crazy music/drinking action. It was a little bittersweet since they'll be closing at the end of this month, but we enjoyed the hell out of ourselves anyway.

On our way home we realized we were starving and decided to stop at one of the only late night places we could find: Pizza Days. Two words: not good. Oh, and one more: expensive. Ok, a few more: stomach ache.

Brilliantly, we had made plans to meet my parents for breakfast on Sunday morning at a place up in NH, about an hour away. I diligently set the alarm when we finally got to bed around 2:30 and surprised myself by actually getting up when it went off. As I was getting ready, proudly extolling on how awesome I was for rousing myself on time, Chris looked at me and said, "You sprang ahead, right?"

I stared at him dumbly for a few seconds, then ran for my phone to call my mother (who is not just punctual, but always, always early for everything). They were already in Mason. C and I decided to brave the trip up there anyway, and arrived as they were finishing their breakfast. We sat down with them (probably pissing off about 90 people that were waiting for tables), and had a pleasant breakfast of pancakes. C topped the meal off with a maple donut and we headed on over to the Sugar Shack to learn all about their maple-making methods. The tour was surprisingly interesting, mostly because when they say Sugar Shack they certainly mean it. Pretty much a lean-to, it was like something out of a Native American story- one that involved garden hoses to pour the sap and a giant coffee urn to bottle it up, yes, but still.

We spent the rest of the day lazing about as my mother toiled in the kitchen for our dinner fare. All together, a most lovely weekend.

Then yesterday happened and all memories of pleasantness vanished in a thin wisp of stale smoke. But now I'm back on track, my library is back to normal, and we've got tickets to see Aloha tonight at the Middle East. I'm a happy librarian. See the smile?

Monday, March 12, 2007

No Rest For The Weary

Ugh. What a ridiculous day. Apparently I've become a glorified babysitter, an in-school suspension proctor, and a substitute teacher over the course of the weekend. I really wish someone had informed me of this before I showed up to work today. I've gone from mildly put out to increasingly irritated to downright angry in just five short hours. A new record!

Maybe it's some kind of perverse formula; my work weeks are as terrible as my weekends are great. If my weekend is mediocre, my work week is roughly the same. Like some kind of balancing mechanism with the universe. Plus, I'm surprisingly messed up from the time change. Not only is it once again dark as pitch when I wake up, but all the computer clocks in the school remain an hour behind. We teachers are not allowed to change the time on our computers as we are idiots and we might accidently erase the entire operating system while attempting such a difficult operation.


At least I can go home, put myself into a maple sugar coma and take a long, long nap to rid myself of this tetchiness. Oh wait, just kidding- I have a staff meeting that wasn't announced until this morning. Burn. Remind me again what I pay union dues for?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Shelvin' Books Like It Ain't No Thang

What's goin' down in the hizzouse, homeslices? This is NPDubya, rappin' at ya from the big bad liberry in da hood. I'ze about to tell youze about some mad playa hatin' goin' down this very p.m. at the hip hop happy hour- 2:30, sharp as a shark toof. We'ze about to tippity tap that bar Biggie styles.

Wow, spell check did not like that. Not one bit.

Anyway, as straight gangsta as my weekend is going to be, I still have to make it through the work day and that it going to take some... well, work. Plans include an excursion to the mythical IMAX to see some Spartans kick ass in 300. And bonus: Chris has never been to Jordan's Furniture. Wait, what? Your local furniture stores don't have an IMAX in them? What about a trapeze? Or Jelly Belly Land? A liquid fireworks show? They must at least have Dippin' Dots. No? You poor souls. How do you keep entertained when you go to buy furniture?

We might also take a drive up to scenic southern NH because they've started tapping the maple trees for syrup and this place provides both a tour and an amazing breakfast. Umm, banana pecan pancakes? Yes, please! And of course, the Sunday parent dinner- because how else will I get my leftovers to eat for lunch all week?

I'm also going to spend some time this end of week looking for viable summer employment, preferably something involving neither education nor children. I think barista NPW sounds about right. So- if you hear of any amazing summer opportunities, be sure to not send in your resume, and hook me up instead.

Annnnd.... I'm out.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lame Ass School Humor

Actual conversation I had this morning:

Co-worker: What about if I offer an origami enrichment class?
NPW: I don't know. A whole year of origami? I don't think kids would sign up for that. Why don't you just do an arts and crafts enrichment instead?
Co-worker: But... then I couldn't call the class "Origami Masters".
NPW: You totally thought of the title first, didn't you?
Co-worker: (nods sadly)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Power of Pinstripe

Some days I feel kind of like a poseur. And not in a hipster, techie, punk, stereotypical niche-type way. I feel like an adult poseur.

I show up to work every day like a responsible adult does. I do my job, and I do it well. I have a car and a home and the bills to prove it. I actually pay for things like heat and electricity. Secretly though, I'm always wishing I could be home in jeans and a sweatshirt watching cartoons and letting my mom make me grilled cheese. I miss the days when my greatest worry was getting my Bio homework done and wondering whether any of my friends would still be talking to each other by the time I made it to school the next day. Sometimes my 28 year old brain doesn't seem to like that I've had to evolve past that stage into something else. But what? Pseudo-adulthood?

This little secret (and please keep it to yourself, internet, thank you very much!) appears to manifest itself at school every once in a while. Like today, when I overheard a student making completely inappropriate yet hilariously funny remarks about a substitute teacher. Rather than admonish them, as an adult who is responsible for student's minds probably should, I let it slide. Was it because I can remember so vividly what it's like to be young and stupid, or was it because my mean streak thought their comments were apt and amusing? I just don't know.

The worst days for this type of problem seem to be Dress Down Fridays. Nothing screams "don't take me seriously, kids!" more than low-rise jeans, a Roxy thermal, and Steve Madden wellie boots with little skulls on them.

But honestly, how am I supposed to get the quality gossip when I'm wearing pinstripes and Polo?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Popsicle Toes

I've just been staring at this stupid blank blogger screen for about 25 minutes. Not a good sign. Most times, I have something of utmost importance upon which I would extol, or at the very least my OCD kicks in and I manically start filling in that blank, empty post space. But then I realized: I could either just shrug and admit I have nothing to discuss, or I could shrug, admit I have nothing to discuss, and then write an entire post about how I've got nothing to post. Oh, the irony!

Or... maybe not. Because that might be boring.

So instead, for your personal edification, just a few of the reasons for the March Slump of 2007:

Chance of freezing to death in the night: 50%
Temperature: teeth chattering
Hours of sleep last night: 4
Number of groundhogs I plan on killing, if I ever get the chance: 1
Number of internet servers situated directly behind my desk that sound like they're about to blow up, complete with a high-pitched whining noise that stabs into my brain like a rusty knife: 1
Irritability factor: high

I don't think I can take much more of my own bitching without being pushed over the proverbial edge into the not-so proverbial Crazy Town.

One shining ray of hope to save an otherwise frostbitten day: California Guitar Trio is playing the Regattabar tonight and if C can drag himself out of that sorry-ass place he calls work at a reasonable hour I think I might manage to once again be graced by their melodic tunes. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm out.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Middle Grade

One of the eighth graders has a crush on me.

Actually, I don't know that it's a crush so much as a "gee whiz, I don't think I've ever looked at a librarian's cleavage so much in my whole entire life and isn't it great? I think I'll come up with 300 questions to ask her so that I can keep wandering into her office and then talk directly to her chest because I don't think she'll really notice, even when I ask inane things like 'where's the pencil sharpener?' even though I've been going to this school for three years now and I'm in the library about 12 times a day and I definitely know that there are at least three pencil sharpeners in a 20 square foot radius; but hey- boobs!".

With spring quickly approaching I don't want to encourage a repeat of the April '06 debacle, but really, how do you call out a kid who barely even realizes he should use deodorant every day for trying to catch a glimpse of something so impressive?

Middle schoolers in one word: clueless.

In one of my friend's classes on Friday she had them go around and say their name and one unique thing about themselves as a little ice breaker game. She got more than halfway through the sixth graders until one boy said, "Hi, my name is Eric, I'm 13, and my mustache is real".

Ok, so one more word: hilarious.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Bedazzled Friday

Yes, I had school today. Boo. To cheer myself up, I ordered this (among other things):

How much do I love mail-order, handmade, and vintage jewelry? Apparently $89.00 worth. In case you, too, are a jewelry fanatic, here are some of my favorite etsy artists I've discovered.


Have I paid my rent yet? Nope. Have I gone food shopping? Oh, ho ho. Who needs food when there are cute things to be had at the push of a button?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

This Post Brought To You By The Letter T And The Number 13

Thirteen Thursday-Themed Things about N to the P to the W

1. Well hello there. Did you know that it's March? Because I sure forgot, right up until about 10 minutes ago. This fact is important for a number of reasons: my rent is due, I get paid today (with my 2.5% pay increase- sweet, sweet 93rd day of school), St. Patty's Day is coming up, and most importantly: Spring! Yes, March brings Spring, and if that fool of a groundhog has any bearing on the actual weather the warmth should be showing up right about... now.

2. Speaking of the ever-fascinating weather, we may have a snow day on Friday. They're calling it a "wintry mix": doesn't that just give you a warm feeling inside? Oh, ice and sleet and snowy rain? Why, thanks for the big F you, March.

3. I am back at school today, feeling much better, thank you. Sure, my throat still feels like fire ants are coating the inside of it, my brain feels like it's pulsing against the back of my eyeballs, and all my muscles have a strange flu-like achiness, but still, it's a definite improvement over yesterday.

4. I've been eating these things for a long while now, but I thought it worth mentioning that I am still in love with Clif's Z Bars.

Delicious, nutritious, and a mere 49 cents at Trader Joes. I don't care if they're meant for kids, that just means they're probably packed full of extra vitamins and smaller than the regular Clif Bars. Bless you, Z Bar.

5. I spent the majority of this morning researching articles on autogenic relaxation. Sounds naughty, yes? I had to suppress a giggle when a teacher requested it. It's actually more boring than it sounds, apparently it has something to do with teaching autistic kids to self-hypnotize when they get to feeling anxious. BOoooring.

6. The other half of this morning I spent watching Back to the Future with my brilliant little group of Tech & Media kids. I mean really, what can I teach them that they can't learn from Doctor Emmett Brown?

7. Due to my week long vacation and an added sick day, I've watched quite a few movies in the past couple of weeks. I'm sure you're all dying to hear my reviews. Let's see if I can remember them all:
Marie Antoinette: loved the costumes, loved Kirsten Dunst even though I normally think she's kind of a widget, loved the soundtrack.
Wimbledon: curse of the Netflix strikes again, apparently this time I was on a KiKi bent. Cute movie, though.
Babel: Amazing. How did this not win an Oscar? V. depressing, though. Felt vaguely sad at the state of humanity, in much the same way as I did with Crash and A History of Violence.
The Science of Sleep: An adult version of Pee-Wee's Playhouse. C and I didn't even finish it.

On deck: The Departed and Cocaine Cowboys.

8. I showed up to work to find a random book on my desk that had been donated by Raytheon, famous builder of bombs for our lovely government, called Medal Of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. It even has a foreword by our great Commander in Chief. So... I guess it's never too early for me to start recruiting these kids for the Army? Seriously, am I supposed to put this out?

9. I've slowly been trying to make our apartment more homey, it looks a little better after each weekend I can spend hanging things and/or buying things. I am now on the hunt for a writing desk for my bedroom. Something like this:

I'd also like a long bench or ottoman for the foot of the bed and a new dresser or wardrobe, but even with that whopping 2.5% raise there are still some budgetary constraints. I'm wary of buying furniture on eBay, but I have been scouring good old CL for a while now. So far, zilch- but I maintain hope.

10. Being the sneaky librarian that I am, I have managed (through a combination of sheer charm and lying through my teeth) to convince four other people to do the spelling bee with me. At least if I'm forced to make a fool of myself on local access television I can drag others down with me. Besides, telling people that the spelling bee is "so awesome" is subjective, right?

11. One of my senior volunteers brought in a liverwurst sandwich and Earl Grey tea for lunch today. Ha! I couldn't make this stuff up.

12. I'm thinking of an April vacation trip. Denver? A repeat of last year's Florida trip? As much as I love New England, I need out. Just for a bit.

13. It's almost Friday! Friday is date night. Date night is fun night. Maybe I will stun the world (or at least the people walking through the park in downtown Boston) with my mad skating skillz at the Frog Pond. Or maybe we'll take a ride to the beach- it is supposed to be in the 50's, after all. And who doesn't love beach pizza in March?

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