Category Archives: Observations

Where Izzybella Catches Ya’ll Up

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Yeah, it’s been a while.  I had stuff to do, see, work stuff and other stuff.  This excuse is lame, is it not?  But it’s true.  Truthy.

So, let me break it down into two parts because I feel like doing that way.

Work: This is my busy season (this and December/January).  For some reason the fall start date kicks my butt.  I think it might be that we tend to accept so many more students in the fall, but we also had some new start-up sites, which I realize means nothing to you, but let me assure you it’s a lot of work.  I also travel with the lead teachers and a few administrators to our distance sites to do new student orientation, which I love, mostly because it’s fantastic to meet the students who have been emailing me for so many months.  Right when they first start the program, they’re so excited and happy to be here.  You have to cherish that because in less than a year, they’ll be bitter, unhappy, exhausted seniors who will hate every single one of us up until the day they graduate from the program.  They usually lighten up again by then!  The prospect of no more classes will do that to a student.  My SR2 students started courses today, but the rest of them start next Monday.  Lots to do between now and then.

Friends/Family/Everything else: My friend R got married this last weekend.  This is fabulous because weddings are always terrific, but mostly because she’s marrying a really nice guy.  I think he might actually be the last nice guy, which means I’m dead out of luck, but I couldn’t wish her more joy than I already do.  We did the bachelorette party two weekends ago.  I won nothing from the various contests.  I think I might have had a chance with some nekkid man artwork, had Chauceriangirl not played her hand at the last minute.  Her nekkid man art revealed nothing, yet everything.  It was genius.  She deserved the win, trust me.  Also, I had no idea my sister could be that filthy.

Wedding was last Friday, followed by reception on Sunday.  Here’s a good reception story for you and by good I mean embarrassing for me, personally, hence my goofy-ass need to immediately post it on the internet.  I wore heels to R’s reception.  Back about 100 lbs ago, this wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, but I stopped wearing heels years ago because of heel spurs and ouchie feet.  As a result I am out of practice and no longer walk very well in heels.  But I promised R I would so I did.  Enter the Electric Slide.  Enter me trying to dance the Electric Slide.  It was badness and I decided to beat a hasty retreat, at which point I fell hard on my ass.  It was awesome.  Also it was caught on video by a co-worker who is now emailing me to tell me she accepts payment in twizzlers and oreos.  She keeps threatening to You Tube it, but I have decided to hold a hard stance on negotiating with You Tube terrorists.  After all, there are already a million You Tube videos depicting fat women falling on their asses as they attempt to dance.  I don’t think mine would add anything special to the genre.  But if she does post it, I’ll be sure and link you.  I’m a masochist that way.

My parents watched the RNC last weekend.  My parents are hard-core, ya’ll.  My stepmother loves, loves, loves Paul Ryan.  She doesn’t love Mitt Romney exactly but since she thinks Obama is the anti-Christ, he already has her vote.  I also witnessed the Clint Eastwood debacle since, you know, every single television in the house was turned on to the RNC.  I still love you, Clint Eastwood, even if you’d have been better off keeping your opinions to yourself.  This is my new philosophy this election season, starting now.  Unless you are one of the select few individuals who will love me no matter who I vote for, I have political views and I’m officially keeping them to myself.  Feel free to discuss with me, but don’t expect an agreement, disagreement or any other response.  The only caveat:  I am all for differing opinions but stop with all the hatin’.  You can think Obama’s policies are detrimental to the national economy without attacking him as a person, husband or father.  You can think Mitt Romney’s policies are antiquated and out-of-touch without throwing down about him being a filthy rich douche-canoe.  I’m willing to listen to anyone’s point-of-view if they have the intelligence and maturity to express it thoughtfully and in an educated manner.  This means that, yes, when my stepmother called Obama “lazy” over the weekend, we might have possibly had a small screaming match.  A teensy one.  Seriously?  Stop the hate, ya’ll!!  It just makes you look stupid.  Also?  People who hate have bad skin and smelly feet.  It’s a proven fact.

Finally, I saw Bourne Legacy this weekend.  Jeremy Renner?  Is awesome and wears the hell out of a suit.  That is all.

Bright, Bright Sunshiney Day…

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Don’t laugh.  I totally have that song earworming it’s way through my head right now, but it fits.  It feels like my view on everything has shifted, righting itself for the first time in years.

Those of you who follow my blog are already aware that I lost my little sister to violence some years back.  It rocked my world.  I couldn’t make myself do anything beyond just getting out of bed and it was a chore doing even that most days.  After about three weeks of this, I visited my doctor and obtained a prescription for anti-depressants.  I won’t lie; they helped immensely.  They numbed me enough to enable me to function.  Gradually, I started living again, but as a calmer, quieter, different version of myself.  But the anti-depressants had numerous side-effects: sleeplessness, weight-gain, blood pressure spikes, etc., so my doctor prescribed other pills to offset those side-effects.  Each new pill had yet another side-effect and my doctor continued to prescribe in an effort to keep me stable.  By last March, I was taking almost as many medications as my diabetic 69-year-old father. At my last visit, my doctor wanted to prescribe yet another medication.  I couldn’t bring myself to fill it.  I was done.  And so I weaned off gradually.  Today I am on my 11th day free of meds and for the first day in a long time, I feel like me.  Here are few things about myself I totally forgot.

I am a crier.  Okay, I was never exactly proud of this trait.  Who wants to be known as the girl who cries over Hallmark commercials?  Or, as I told Faith this morning, that one VISA commercial where the woman flies all the way from Australia to be with her pregnant sister as she delivers her first child?  I believe my reaction consisted of copious tears and me proclaming that, “I would totally fly from Australia to be with Faith like that!!!!”  It’s actually a relief to cry over sad scenes in movies or in books; or because a friend gives you an unbelievably considerate and generous gift; or because the sky is a perfect shade of blue and the wind is blowing your hair all around and the knockout roses in the backyard smell divine and this moment in this particular day couldn’t be any more beautiful or wonderful.  It’s a relief.

I am passionate about my opinions and beliefs.  This has recently led to trouble as medicated me was more likely to avoid discussions about touchy subjects such as politics and religion.  Non-medicated me strongly wants to defend my beliefs, agrees with whomever said that the status is not quo, and has utterly no problem stating her positions on life and calling a spade a spade.  Or as in the most recent case, a fucking idiot, a fucking idiot.  I’m looking at you, Rush Limbaugh.  I was forced to apologize for the four letter expletive, but I stand my ground on the sentiment.  Just saying.

I like being physically active.  No, I really do.  Stairs work just as well as elevators.  Navigating the hilly tree-lined streets around my house makes me exhausted, but the good kind of exhausted.  The blisters on my heels hurt, but they’re fantastic because they mean I’m alive.  My heart and lungs ache from my body’s inactivity, but they’re working, pumping oxygen through me, allowing me to breathe deeply and to continue moving.  I am literally excited to go home tonight, change clothes and head outside for a while.

Theatre ROCKS!  All this pent-up energy and passion that has had nowhere to go for ages is completely psyched about the arts again.  I want to see shows, work on my play again; dude, I wanna go to the museum.  I want to see plays that make me uncomfortable-I want my world views to be proven wrong as much as I want to be proven right.  I want to engage again.  It’s been too long.

I still love pretty men.  I’m not saying I was brain-dead all those years-I mean I still got pleasure out of looking at a fantastically gorgeous guy.  It’s just the meds sort of numb all the responses down so I really only looked once, appreciated and moved on.  I’m just saying you get so much more out of it when you look two or three times before moving on.  🙂  I think I might even be willing to date again.  At least after a little more of remembering who I am first…

…because, I am a little bit of a mess trying to figure all this out.  But still, I feel like myself again.  I like who I am without the meds weighing me down.  I’m probably more exasperating to my friends and family, and I admit this is all taking some getting used to.  But I’m back.  Heh.  I’d apologize for unleashing myself on the world, but I’m not actually all that sorry.

Teachers Know Best

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My friend Yalayla is all kinds of smart, witty and fun.  I always love it when she comes to see a show I am in because I can pick out her unique contagious laughter from the crowd.  It makes me thrilled to have a friend there who supports me and doesn’t judge.  She can be serious when that’s called for, but she also has an excellent sense of play.  She likes what she likes, but she’s not afraid of trying new things, either.  All of these traits of Yalayla’s combine to form a compelling instructor.  She is an amazing teacher because she loves what she teaches and she has a genuine passion for sharing that with others.  She can take a difficult topic and break it down so it’s easy to understand.  She has the creative ability to approach a topic from many different angles, allowing many different types of learners the opportunity to understand the concepts she’s teaching.  She is humble and takes pride in continuing her journey as a life-long learner.  She knows she doesn’t know everything and that makes her open to so many ideas.  She is patient, wise and has fantastic taste in music.  No lie.  Between her and Elle, if there is anything worth listening to on my iPod it’s because my friend shared it with me.  I am lucky to have her for a friend.

Recently, she vented on her blog.  I like what she had to say.  It’s easy to villify others and point fingers about our educational system, but beating down the front line does no one any favors.  I hope every student has a Yalayla for a teacher at least once.  The world would be a better place.

Checking In…

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December has been a mixed bag.  How is this you may ask?  Well let me explicate.  🙂

BAD: I was deathly ill the first two weeks.  I had the raging fever, chills, nausea, coughing (snot fun!), the whole nine yards.  Wasn’t flu-which THANK YOU, OH GREAT HIGHER POWER, because after relentlessly nagging my nursing students to turn in their flu shots, they would have never let me forget this.  Wasn’t pneumonia.  It was just a nasty mean little bug which required two rounds of antibiotics and some codeine, followed by hydrocodone-based coughing syrup just to get through it.

GOOD: The tech guy at my office taught me how to VPN from home and my boss allowed me to work from home almost the entire two weeks so I didn’t have to take so much sick time.  Most days were half-days and if I disappeared offline for hours at a time to rest, no one raised an eyebrow.  My office-peeps rock!!!!!

BAD: I ran out of money, like December 4th.

GOOD: The professors pitched in and gave every single secretary in the office a cash bonus out of their own pockets.  It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to get me through the month without having to borrow money from my parents or my sister.

BAD: I was sick when my parents bought my birthday lemon pie and I couldn’t even really taste it before it went bad.

GOOD: My former boss (from social work) stopped by my office the other day and gave me a plate of her homemade lemon bars, which DUDE, those babies are awesome.  Graham cracker crust, cream cheese and lemon.  That first bite of mannah did not taste as good.  Just saying.

BAD: I am officially out of room for books.  Like literally-in my closet where the clothes should live, I have stacks and stacks of books.  There is NO MORE ROOM IN THE INN.  Which for a total book-whore like myself is sadness.

GOOD: My sister and my friends pitched in and gave me a Nook for Christmas.  And my work-group of friends who were in on the secret gave me a pretty little cover for my Nook.  What?  You want to see it?  Okay.

Tupper Quote Cover in Leaf by Barnes & Noble: Product Image

So, although, being broke and being sick on my birthday sucked dirty socks, I’m going to say that the good outweighed the bad by like A LOT.

Aside from that, there are all kinds of things going on in the lives of my family and friends that I’m truly invested in.  I have an Arizona friend I need to feel better ASAP.  I have a family member in Utah that I’m sending all my happy-this-will-totally-work vibes out to.  I have a sister who is making huge life changes and is brave and badass.  In short, with all the other stuff all the other people in my life are dealing with, I’m just feeling blessed that I get to be in their lives.

A Real Actual Blupdate or Randomness 11/17/2010 Edition

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Okay, so Glee has taken over my blog.  Not my life, just my blog, which you’d never know from how many Glee reviews there are v. how many life-for-izzybella blupdates there are not.  I thought I’d give the bullet version of the last month.  I had a longer description in me, but it went out in letter form to jehara and I’m all typed out.   (That’s not a tease, jehara, the envelope is sealed and stamped – Homer Simpson, thank you very much – and all that remains is for me to drop it off at the post office, which I will do right after work.)  So:

  • Went on a cruise to Cozumel.  My cruise ship did not have a fire in the engine room, which is such a relief!  Seriously that other Carnival cruise drama happened the week after I got back and about 20 different people gave me some variation of “wow, that could have been you!!”  The cruise was a lot of fun.  I spent the majority of the time reading, sleeping, eating, reading, sleeping, reading, eating, drinking alcoholic drinks out of a coconut, reading, eating, eating dessert after the eating, reading and sleeping.  Also I laid out in a deck chair and got an actual tan.  It was very taxing as you can see.  Cozumel is beautiful.  It’s astounding how blue and clear non-oil-slicked ocean water is.  Cozumel was a definite high point as was the reading, sleeping, and eating.  Plus Victor Krum, one of our dining room waiters from Bulgaria.  His name isn’t really Victor Krum.  You’re astonished, right?
  • Work.  I don’t know what to add to that.  I’ve gotten used to the cycles here-we’re about to hit a busy season and I’m currently in the calm before the storm.  They’re sending out acceptance letters right now and once those go out, my workload increases drastically.  So I’m enjoying the breathing room while I have it.
  • The Texas Rangers did not win the World Series.  Okay, that didn’t happen to me personally, but I’ve been mightily interested.  I did not expect them to actually win; in fact, I didn’t really expect them to even make it as far as they did.  Just winning our division was so entirely awesome-getting to play the World Series was like tasty buttercream icing on top of the cake.  I think what made it so awesome was that it happened the same season that Nolan Ryan and partners purchased the team.  There’s something just RIGHT about Nolan Ryan owning the Rangers.  It makes me happy.  I was at the stadium (the old one) the night Nolan Right pitched his sixth no-hitter.  That was pretty awesome.  I mean not as awesome as it would have to have been there this night:
  •   Image from http://mlbfansite.com (You could buy an autographed copy there if you want…)
  •  L2 is lucky she made it off the ship alive.  She made a comment in passing about how the Rangers were going to lose and almost got her head ripped off by card carrying tee-shirt wearing Ranger’s fan.  I may slightly exaggerate, but not much.  I diffused though and L2 still lives.  🙂
  • I will be watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I tomorrow night.  Midnight.  Okay, lets face it.  I’m not a night person.  If it weren’t Harry Potter there is no way on the Lord’s lovely green earth that I would be staying up late to watch a movie.  With teenagers.  Lots of them.  Oh, crap, is too late to change my mind???  No?  Okay, then.  I have Friday off, which I will be using to sleep.  I have my priorities.

So that’s my bullet blupdate for now.  Hope your month has been just as good or better!

Saturday Blues

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…as in everyone I know seems to have them today.  The theatre I work at got a less than stellar review for the current show in this morning’s paper.  The critic’s major issue was with the script, not the staging, and he had some nice things to say about our actors, but the headline was something like “Dead in the Water.”  Not exactly the preferred headline for any show review.  It’s the first time in quite a while (I’ve worked here for four years and I can’t remember the last time) we’ve had a not great review.  Aside from that, one of the actors had a death in her immediate family this morning and they’re still debating whether or not to cancel tonight’s show.  Don’t know yet what will happen.  Kind of difficult all around.  Either way tonight will be a tough night for her. 

I was awake really early this morning.  Why is it that on the weekends I can get myself up at 5:45 or 6:00 AM, but on weekdays, I could easily sleep till 9:00 or 9:30?  I blame the job.  I just don’t always enjoy this one.  I love the part where I get to work with students.  They’re really awesome and I honestly thrill at watching them succeed.  I just hate all the administrative B.S.  B.S abounds in education, I’m telling you.  It breeds and has little baby b.s.’s.  Higher education administration isn’t any better than elementary and secondary education administration.  It’s still about numbers-retention and graduation rates, standardized testing scores/licensure testing scores, blah-bliddy-blah.  Elementary and secondary education needs the numbers so they can have more state funds to operate and higher education needs the numbers so they can receive more grants and government funding.  

And now that I’ve stepped upon the soapbox, why is the state’s solution to an under-performing school to give them less money and less resources?  I get the whole philosophy of not throwing good money after bad, but it seems to me that punishing schools like that makes a bad situation worse.  Not to mention there are more evaluation methods than standardized one size fits all testing. 

Bah.  Now I’m crabby.  I’ma stop this blupdate now before I get any worse…

Paradigm Shifts

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So I’m cruising the Weight Watchers message boards (yeah, I’m back on that) and I found a blog called “Losing One Pound-200 Times.”  It cracked me up, but it also kind of put a new perspective on weight loss for me.  I get hung up on the big goals-the ultimate can’t-wait-to-get-back-into-the-Lucky-jeans-Alicia-talked-me-into-buying goal and it sometimes seems overwhelming.  It’s that stereotypical “how do you eat an elephant” conundrum (and by the by, who the hell really wants to eat an elephant…sort of a disgusting phrase).  But losing one pound (200 times) seems kinda doable. 

Think about it in terms of your job-the one they hopefully pay you really good money for.  In my job (well, at least in my last one-I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing in this one) I do repetitive tasks.  These are daily to-do’s that are just a part of every business day.  You do it.  You get it done.  Then you move on to more interesting tasks.  I did my last job for 10 1/2 years, and about 90% of the time, I even enjoyed it.  Those small tasks weren’t any big thing.  Neither is ONE STINKING POUND.  It’s nothin’ at all.  So I’m not focusing on one big massive goal.  I’m just focusing on **** teeny little goals.  (Yeah, I’m not putting my weight on the interweb…)

So that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.