Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fish Barbeque

Yesterday, I subbed in a kind of class I haven't subbed in before. It was a mentally-challenged elementary class. I have often subbed in an emotionally-challenged class, but never mentally-challenged. I was unprepared for the differences. I guess I had never thought that the challenge for the emotionally-challenged kids is NOT their ability, it is their will to conform to your direction. Often, the emotionally-challenged kids are very bright. They simply don't want to do what you want them to do. Period. Makes it tough to get anything done, admittedly.

A mentally-challenged kid is perfectly willing to do what you want them to do, however, they often do not know how to do it. Several of the kids had Downs Syndrome, one had severe Cerebral Palsy (the always-smiling and adorable Angelica), and the others had various and sundry disorders not visible to the untrained eye.

One little boy, whose name was Logan, LOVED Star Wars. He also absolutely could not remember my name. He asked me no fewer than 9,347 times what my name was. (And, let's be clear. My name is easy. 4 letters. One syllable. Household item. Seriously.) So, finally I asked him what we could do to help him remember my name. He said he could probably remember it if I would call him Luke Skywalker when he remembered it. I thought that was brilliant. He (mostly) remembered my name for the rest of the day and said it every single time I walked by him, and then I would grin and mutter... "Hi Luke Skywalker." He would flash me the biggest smile when I did that. I promise you, he said my name 10,000 times after that, and every time, I answered him "Yes, Luke Skywalker," or "Hi Luke Skywalker," or "Good job, Luke Skywalker." He was adorable, and I hope he's up for adoption soon...

There was another little girl who had an interesting "style," shall we say. Let's call her T. T was about 10, but looked like she was 6. Her eyes were completely crossed, to the point that I'm not sure she could actually see very much. T loves pink, Hello Kitty, taking off her shoes and purses of any sort. T says very little - she mostly parrots what she hears. While many members of the class actually showed evidence of learning, T really seemed oblivious to everything going on. When T was left alone for any period of time, she would jump out of her seat and go hit someone. Just cause she wanted to.

Towards the middle of the day, T began to get out of control. She had her own aide, which helped tremendously, but even with her own aide, it was hard to control T. It was very hard to understand what she said, which by the end of the day, we were quite thankful for.

By the end of the day, T had degenerated to the point where she was sitting in the rocking chair muttering to herself and shouting two things in the teachers' general direction:




NOW, as I said, she has a severe speech impediment. She was ticked off because we wouldn't let her continue to run around and hit everyone like she wanted to and that we had taken her purse away due to her behavior. So, she was mad. Consequently, what she was actually saying was VERY different from Fish...and Barbeque. And actually Barbeque isn't sounded like Barfaque. Say that out loud once (but not near your kids, please) and see if you can catch the swear word hidden in an innocuous-sounding word. I bet she said both words 500 times during the day. Mostly within the last hour of class. It was sad, because she was simply parroting what she hears. In order for that to be nearly the only thing she says, she would have to hear those two things A LOT in her life. The aide told me she lives with her grandmother because her mom is in jail. For prostitution. Again. Sounds to me like T has had it rough in her young life.

Poor little T. That's the tough part of teaching special ed. Sometimes you see the kids that simply have no chance whatsoever in life. I think T is one of those kids. I don't see her ever having a life of her own, nor having anyone who cares enough to give her any kind of life. I really wonder what will happen to T. It's really one of the things that makes subbing hard. You get thrown into these kids' lives for a short period and often you never see them again. Say a prayer for little T, Logan, Angelica and all of their friends. It's a tough world out there for them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hey, I get points for tryin.

I, as a good environmentally-minded citizen, purchased those cool reusable grocery bags a year ago or so. I do, occasionally remember to actually bring them into the store, and then I pat myself on the back! Today was one such momentous day.

So, I proudly handed my cloth bags to the bagger at my grocery store to have them filled with my goodies.

I paid very little attention to the bagging process - frankly, I was wondering if the budget (or the waistline) would allow for a teeny tiny Reese's cup...

When I got out to the car and unloaded the bags into my trunk, I noticed that they were full of plastic bags. The bagger had loaded all of my groceries into plastic bags, then very helpfully transferred said plastic bags full 'o groceries into my environmentally-friendly cloth bags. So I made it home with 8 environmentally-friendly bags with a total of 23 environmentally-polluting plastic bags inside them.

Sigh. But you gotta give me credit for trying, right? And I didn't get the Reese's cups! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

He loves me...

It is 9:00pm here in Sin City. I realized that I had neglected to retrieve the mail, so I went across the street to our mailbox to get said mail. Upon arrival, I noticed that there was a set of keys left in the mailbox immediately to the left of our mailbox. That keyring had a house key and a car key on it along with the mailbox key.

Now, our next-door neighbor is an elderly single man named Chuck. Whom I love dearly. And who can talk the paint off of the wall...

I figured the keys MIGHT be Chuck's. So I went to his house and knocked on his door. They weren't his keys, but he wanted to discuss whose they might be. So he invited me in for a chat.

I was in his house maybe 3 minutes.

During that time, divine hubby and Chase decided that I'd been gone entirely too long and came out looking for me. Apparently they yelled and screamed my name. I guess it's a testimony to the insulation in Chuck's house because I never heard a thing.

So, deciding I had been abducted by aliens, divine hubby called 9-1-1. And reported me missing.

Luckily, I came home before the police showed up to drag the river for my dead body...

So, if anyone asks you if divine hubby loves his little STQ, the answer is a resounding YES!!! I feel loved.

Divine hubby, on the other hand, is a little peeved at me, but he'll get over it. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

11 yr old boy free to a good home

First, please let me tell you. I am 40. I have a college degree from an excellent school. I am well-traveled and consider myself to be well-versed in many different subjects. I am pretty good at Jeopardy, excellent at Wheel of Fortune and kick butt in Scrabble.

Scene: aforementioned ADULT mother and 11-yr-old son playing Scrabble.
Chase: Mom? Is alined a word?
Mom: Yep. (I looked it up AFTER THE FACT to make sure, and alined is another way to spell aligned, just FYI. I tried to get through that loophole, but alas)
Chase: Ok. (grinning slightly)

Please take a look at the top row in this picture and observe the word alined crossed with the word EQUATOR. Observe the triple word score under the T in said word.

Now look at the score sheet. An obscure rule that we follow here in the STQ household is that if you use all 7 of your letters in one turn, you get a bonus of 35 points. Let me help you with the math. Equator netted the little darling 17 points. Times 3, that is 51. Then you add the 7 points from alined to get 58. Then you add the 35 bonus points, and we are, my friends, at 93. For. one. stinkin. word. What was the final result you ask??

You will see that one side says 201 points. That side is MY score. The other side says 253 points. That, my friends is my ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD SON'S score.
This is what a cheeky little 11-yr-old looks like when he spanks his mama at Scrabble.
Feel free to come collect him at any time. He is currently sitting on the curb with all of his worldly belongings in a trash bag. We do not tolerate such disrespect in the STQ household. :)

Da Wind! Da Wind!

I feel like Tattoo from Fantasy Island pointing out the obvious to Mr. Rourke! It's windy here in Lost Wages today, um, I mean, this week, um, I mean this month, um, well, it's just really freakin' windy here a LOT! Honestly, I'm surprised there is a single palm frond or leaf left on a tree anywhere here in Southern Nevada. And our pool pump has gotten all plugged up for the umpteen billionth time, so the handy dandy pool vacuum simply sits in one spot on the bottom, being useless. Our landlords COULD have some doodah installed so that wouldn't happen, but they refuse, so we are manually scooping plant life out of the pool on a regular basis (the horror!!).

Loved the pool last summer, but I don't think I'll miss it much when we move.

Yes, I said the M word.

Hide the children's eyes.

I guess I should have warned you that this blog had adult content today. Sorry to be so graphic in my language. My apologies if I offended anyone.

Cause MOVE is a 4-letter word, don'tcha know. At least, it is to me. Thankfully, this MOVE is simply across town. To another house that doesn't have a pool. I think we will miss the hot tub the most - with the nice cool evenings, you can often find me and Divine Hubby soaking in the tub with a glass of merlot. We have actually put "hot tub" as a budget item, in that we are saving to purchase one so hopefully by next Winter/Spring, we may actually have one of our own.

So, the point of this blog entry is just to say hi.




Nothing earth-shattering (thank goodness), no big moves or life changes (and for this, I will thank GOD) to report. We here in Las Vegas are enjoying the beautiful 75-80 degree weather, no 'midty, crystal-clear blue skies and oh, yeah, the WIND. Hold on tight Chase, we're going outside!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

So no one got arrested.

A rolicking good time was had by all and no one was arrested.

Well, maybe this one prostitute we saw, but that's a WHOLE other story!

Five of my college sorority sisters came in for the weekend and we had SO much fun! It's funny - a couple of these women I had neither seen nor talked to for nearly 20 years. But, when we all got together, it was like no time had passed at all. We sat up talking until 3am, we ate at least one meal entirely off of the appetizer and dessert menu at a swanky restaurant, we drank multiple fruity, girly martinis, we laughed and laughed, and we enjoyed being together. We told stories about people and events most of us had forgotten about, we reminisced about the good and bad times we went through together, we recited our pledge class order multiple times, we saw a TERRIBLE Vegas show that made us all deathly afraid of bunnies, and did I mention we laughed?

Friends are a very important part of any woman's life. I love my friends, and due to my constantly relocating lifestyle, I have friends scattered throughout the US. (And one in Singapore - hi Deirdre!!) The fun part is that although your lives take different paths, and even if you don't see each other for years, or even decades - when you live WITH other people and share your life with them, you take right up where you left off. That, to me, is the importance of friends. Sharing your life and your experiences with other people - notably women!

So, cheers to Valerie, Debby, Cathy, Dea and Serena. Let's make it an annual event and include even more of our sisters and friends. Thanks for coming here and making it a memorable weekend for me!! I love you guys.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Girls' weekend

I am really looking forward to tomorrow. Five of my college friends are coming in for the weekend! I had to snort a laugh when my dad asked if they were all staying at my house. Um. NO! I'm not even staying at my house! I live in Vegas, baby, so we're all staying on the Strip.

Did you know that people who live in Vegas don't live in the Strip hotels? I didn't until I moved here!!! There are actually houses here...and schools...and churches...and grocery stores! Shocking news, I am aware. Although I wouldn't mind living at the Bellagio...or the Wynn. Hmmmm. Again, I digress. (Happens a lot, have you noticed??)

So my two college roommates and three other sorority sisters (yes, I was in a sorority, and you can stop laughing and making fun of me RIGHT NOW...) are showing up between 9am and 1pm tomorrow for a weekend of fun, frivolity, martinis, buffets and lots and lots of laughs. Maybe even a Cirque show or a massage but NO kids (well, one is pregnant, so we'll have to let Cathy bring her kid, I guess), NO husbands (ex or otherwise) and NO STRESS most of all. This is going to be a no-stress, no-pressure, no-responsibility weekend.

So, my friends, I'm off until next week. If I call you, will you post my bail??? Divine hubby has already said I'm on my own if I get arrested. And the way I remember some of these wild sisters of mine, it's a distinct possibility. (Just kidding, mom...)