Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It's been almost six months since my last post here. Wow, time flies. And stays extraordinarily still at the same time.

So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Raise a glass to my mom, if you're so inclined. I think she'd like that. Maybe have a smoke too, just to taunt the gods, and then say "fuck" to make it a Kate's mom trifecta.

It was hard to not talk about her today, but harder still to say more than "Here's to Mom." I am however, grateful to all the friends and family who've supported me/us in the last six months. It would have been so much harder without you, and I love you all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My Mother

My mother died two weeks ago. She had a heart condition, and at the end of June she went into the hospital for valve replacement surgery and didn't come out.
These are the words that I spoke at her memorial.

My Mother

Not everyone loved my mother.
The cashier at Wal-Mart didn’t.
She bought a magazine, then remembered something else she wanted and went right back to the front of the line.

The nurse at her doctor’s office asked my mother's doctor a question when my mother left. “Why was that woman mad at you?”

My mother got mad at me once for putting a supermarket cart back in the rack.
“What are you doing that for?” She said.
“Because my mother taught me to put things back.” I replied.
“No, she didn’t.” She said.

My mother gave me a tip about dating, that she said she got from her mother.
“Go out with anyone who asks you, because you never know who their friends are.”

My mother took us to get library cards the moment we moved into our house.
She went to the library every week and would get at least a dozen books.
She'd have to take at least four of them back because she’d already read them.

My mother grew up on a farm, and she hated home-made things.
Books were the best gifts, so we got her a club card from Barnes and Noble.

We loved her. Anyone who spent time with her remembered her, and they appreciated her. Some of the things people have told us over the past few days have included these words: wonderful, infectious laughter, voracious reading, quick wit, proud of her family,
interesting subject for a biography.

My mother loved Judge Judy, and Solitaire and Free Cell. She loved pictures of flowers, yellow roses, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

She loved her family, and raised us in a way that helped us to be who we are, independent and self-sufficient.

One day as we watched Oprah talking to a mother and daughter having problems, my mother said she didn’t understand why the mother would spend all of her time obsessing about and interfering in her daughter’s life.

I told her, “Well, you could be like that mother, but then you’d have to put down your book and get up off the couch.”
Then my mother laughed, her loud laugh, and admitted that I was probably right.

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Carolina told me a story today. She's 15, and she was born in Mexico. She had an argument with her history teacher about whether or not she's an American. She says she's not, she's proud to be from Mexico and to have lived there until she was ten.

One day, right after her fourth birthday, Carolina and her cousins felt eyes watching them while playing on the patio of her house in Mexico. Something watched them from the trees. Her cousins got frightened and started to run away. They yelled at Carolina to run away too, but she wasn't fast enough. A bruja flew down from a tree and swooped her up.

The bruja flew Carolina to a cave, put her down and made her sing and dance and tell stories to the other witches there. Carolina did what they told her, and after a while she lay down to sleep. She woke in the grass of her backyard near the patio of her family's house. She had been with the brujas all night.

Carolina went indoors to see her mama and papa. They said, "Which cousin took you home?" Carolina told them what had happened, that she'd been gone all night. She asked her cousins why they didn't tell her parents about the bruja. The cousins all said that they were afraid they'd get beaten if they told what happened.

Then Carolina looked at me and said, "No one believes me when I tell that story, but it really did happen to me."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tales of Teenage Trouble

I got invited to prom today. One of my male students told me he doesn't have a date. Then he said, "Miss, will you go to prom with me?"

I said, "No offense, but ewww. I'm way too old for you, and I'm your teacher."

The girls at the table closest to me started to giggle, and said, "Miss, that was mean!"

I didn't think so, but when I told my mom she said, "You didn't say 'eww' to his face, did you?"

My students seem awfully concerned with my personal life. Who am I dating, and if not, why don't I have a boyfriend? Do I go to the clubs? How do I dance? Do I like cheese?* Do I think the principal's hot? Would I date the principal if he wasn't married? Would I date the principal and break up his marriage if I knew he was the love of my life?

Perhaps their next step will be to set me up with their relatives.

*For those of you that don't know, cheese is a drug combination of heroin and Tylenol PM. They were trying to trick me into saying that I do drugs.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fun with Hot Glue

Did you know that high school students will take the opportunity to glue anything to anything else? There are my two self-proclaimed "geniuses" who insist on making Elmer's glue hands every chance they get, and the rest of them seem about as mature.

So far I've had a chair and some quarters hot-glued to the floor, a surge protector and another quarter glued to the table, and just the other day another two mental giants decided to put hot glue on themselves at exactly the same time and see who made a face or made a noise first. 'Cuz the name didn't warn them.

According to one of them, "It didn't turn out like I thought it would."

So, to sum up, they all appear to be of superior intelligence. And, on Tuesday, the little darlings take the state assessment.

Thankfully I'm not responsible for the remediation after the test. Though I did need to remind them that hot things MIGHT burn. Guess what project I'm not doing next year?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's My Birthday

It's my birthday. I'm old. I'm almost forty, and not in the When Harry Met Sally "I'm almost forty," "Yeah, in eight years," kind of way.

I didn't even get carded yesterday when I bought a case of Shiner and some Oreos at the grocery store yesterday. The checkout guy said, "Did you find everything?" and I said, "What else would I need?"

Brad, Chloe, Jenny and I had some friends over at Jenny's house last night for beer and pizza. After discovering that Macaroni Grill couldn't seat a party of eight for at least an hour and a half, though they don't take reservations.

It was nice to see them, and we had a good time. We ate and drank and then played tennis on the Wii. They bowled and I watched. If any of them are reading, thanks for the birthday wishes. I love you guys.

Today I'm going to enjoy living in my own place, and later go have some cake and ice cream over at Mom and Dad's. When I get back, I expect to see that the rest of you have tidied up some. Or there won't be cake for you.

Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures

Boston police and government officials are now officially stupider than other police and government officials across the country. They responded to a marketing ploy as a terrorist plot. All of you have heard about that, no doubt, but I just read this on Yahoo! News.

Now Cartoon Network and TNT all share in the stupidity. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Artist Plan

The spider monkey's let up a bit, so I'm feeling a little relaxed. Until both my co-teachers didn't come to work today. It's rough trying to make sure my stuff gets done and other people's does too. At least I got to use my planning period for my stuff instead of covering classes.

I've been contemplating several types of goals, and knowing myself, short term seems to work better. I had earlier thought that I could do the Photo 365 thing like on Photojojo but apparently I suck at long term commitments like that. I think that I got 5 consecutive days and then screwed it all up.

I still plan on posting those photos that I did take somewhere though. So, here's the unbaked cookies.

Draw daily (or just more).
Have a monthly focus.
Edit National Novel Writing Month novel from 2004.
Use and become familiar with my digital camera.

Got some goals for yourself?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm Back

My new job's like a ravenous spider monkey, taking all my energy and using all its limbs to hold me down. But I'm breaking free, and it can't stop me.

I've missed blogging, and I've been thinking about restarting for at least a month, but it just didn't happen. Why is a question for years of analysis, that would probably say I didn't have a good relationship with my mother as a child. My mother, with a book in one hand and a cigarette in the other, who's burned almost everything she owns yet never started a fire, done me wrong. Okay, not really. She's actually pretty cool for a loud, rude New York Protestant.

I'm going to make some goals. Some pretty cool people have done that resolution thing, and as I am a follower, I ask: Where's the bandwagon?

I'm a bit late, first of February and all, but as with my every day life, better late than never.

Stay tuned for more in the continuing saga of Kate's Developmental Disorder, or How to Make Plans that Never Come to Fruition, Part II.