Saturday, January 17, 2009

C'est Bien
I just re-watched "To Be and To Have" again, a documentary about a one-room schoolhouse in France. I love it. It's quiet, and slow, and safe and comforting and it highlights the talents of an excellent teacher. He's calm, and reassuring, and caring and is my idea of how the ideal teacher should conduct himself. I really, really adore this movie so I highly recommend it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Holy Jeebus it's cold outside. Today it was a high of -5 degrees, with a windchill that was even lower. It was -10 when I left the house this morning. That is ABSURD.

One of the special ed teachers I work with told me that, interestingly, more kids are absent during really cold weather than during snowstorms. None of the kids I service have been absent these last couple of days, so I didn't really observe this trend. This bit me in the ass today. I didn't call ahead to a school where I scheduled an afternoon evaluation to even check to see if the targeted kid was there. I rushed all of my usual Thursday kids into a condensed period of time so I could take off and head to this other school at the end of the day. Struggle, struggle, struggle: putting on layers, getting out of the parking lot, driving, finding parking and getting to the other school, stripping off layers. Come to find out that the one kid I was scheduled to evaluate was absent. I was annoyed. I then crankily hauled myself back to my regular school so I could use the time to do paperwork and get stuff done.

The extreme cold weather is really interesting in that it's kind of exhausting. First of all, all of the snow makes driving around the city and parking more of a challenge (this is the first city I've seen where people place chairs in the spots that they shoveled out...street parking spots). So, a normal trip to the grocery store or work or the gym is a real challenge. You have to layer up lots and then hope to find a spot.

Speaking of the gym, lately it's been a bear as well. It's that post New Year effect, but it's packed all the time! Pre-holidays, I arrived at 3 and it was relatively empty. Now, there are people lined up for the treadmills at 3:30. I book it to the gym when work ends so I don't have to wait for a machine. I love getting home at 4:30, feeding the cats, and collapsing fully on the couch.

So, yeah, I still love Chicago. This weather, though? Not so much.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's snowing and snowing and snowing outside today. I haven't changed out of my pajamas, although I have managed to change sheets, put away clothes and have a shower. We might venture out to the grocery store at some point soon, here, but it looks like the snow's all piled up and getting to where you want to go with take a while.

This is my Hef. When he first arrived in April, he might clamber onto your lap for a minute or so before taking off to greener pastures. Now he is a tried and true lap cat, and climbs into your lap at first opportunity and is there to stay. He's so pliable too: when you pick him up, there's no tension in his body and he lets you huggle and snuggle him as much as you want while emitting a low-grade purr.

I love Todd's face in this picture. Detective allows us to pick him up for about 10 seconds before he begins squirming now. When we got him back in June, he wouldn't even let us put our hands around him belly.

Look at Detective! He's such a fatty.

Madeline and Patrick's first dance

Christie and me

Robin holding Emmet. This was before he scared him and made him cry.

I got to see Christie, Stefan, and one of my favorite babies, Emmet, again.

Madeline and Pauline

Madeline, just after getting changed into her dress.
Madeline's Wedding was last weekend on January 3 in Charlottesville. They had their ceremony at the UVA Chapel and their reception at the alumni hall. It was another sunny and lovely day, and an excellent time. Madeline had her dress made and it was pretty amazing and she was a beaming and radiant bride.

We stayed in a cheapo room at the Red Roof Inn which had ideal location (pretty much on campus and walking distance to everything), but was lacking in other areas. On Friday night the fire alarm went off twice at two in the morning. After working in schools, I pretty much threw on a coat and shoes and hustled out the door. Totally a false alarm, though, and the woman at the front desk wouldn't even get off her phone call to tell all the people gathered in the lobby (in various states of disarrary)so. Lame.

The day after the wedding, Robin, Todd and I walked over to this awesome little sandwich place for lunch. Robin and Todd had already tried food at this place called the White Spot where Robin had eaten a grilled-wich, or something like that. It was a dessert made of 2 buttered and fried Krispie Kreems and vanilla ice cream. This was after they had dined on double burgers with fried eggs on top. Pretty impressive.

Anne celebrating being newly wed with some of her favorite champers

The bride and groom!
First things, first: My Anne's Wedding
Lots to catch up on: two weddings, winter vacation, the holidays and now back at work.
Anne’s wedding was on December 13th in Virginia. I flew into the area on Thursday night and met Anne Friday morning for manis and pedis (as you do). It was a real treat, actually, since I had Anne to myself most of the day, so we puttered and ran errands, had lunch, and checked into the hotel before the rehearsal. The day of the wedding was crisp, sunny, and lovely. We hustled out of the hotel early in the morning for hair and the rest of the day was a blur. Anne looked stunning and Nathaniel looked regal. I am so happy for them, and couldn’t think of a better match. I did a shite job of taking pictures, and wish that I remembered to pull out my camera more.