Friday, March 26, 2010

SXSW Film Festival Midnight Bumper

SXSW Midnight Bumper from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Teachers have fears.

Some are little. Being late to school. Forgetting your lunch. Locking your keys INSIDE the filing cabinet. Forgetting a parent's name.

Some are HUGE. Car/bus accidents on a field trip. Losing your temper with a student. Illness in the classroom. Weapons. Disease. Injury. Abuse. Intruders. Abduction.

Today I lived out one of my worst fears.

This morning I took attendance with all students present and accounted for. Good. I began the morning routine of checking assignment notebooks, collecting homework, posting lunch count, and because this is our standardized testing week...I distributed test booklets and answer documents personally to each of my students.

As I began to quiet the class and go through morning announcements, I notice that one student has not returned to his desk. I assume that he is at his locker and continue on with announcements. When that task is completed I begin to go down the lengthy, scripted directions of the mandated test, irritation at his lengthy delay mounting.

I continue reciting my script while walking towards the door to hurry this young man out of the hallway. Glancing around I see that the hall is empty. He must be in the bathroom. I am annoyed that he did not ask for permission to go to the bathroom but I know that the strictness of the testing this week has confused more than one student into breaking our established routines. Still, it is odd that THIS particular student went without asking. He is the type of student who waits to say goodbye to me everyday so that I will personally dismiss him. I shrug off his behavior for a minute, complete the directions, and my class begins the first test of the morning.

I glance at the clock. It took five minutes to get the test started. He really should be back from the bathroom by now. I figure if I go down there now to check on him I will be able to get back before my fifth graders come to a question that they need my help with. So I rush to the restroom. No one is there.

I check the other bathroom. Empty.

I check the bathroom that the primary students are never supposed to use. Nope.

I go to the office, the book fair, the Library, computer lab, lunch room, and the talent show coordinator's room. No one has seen my student.

I run back to my classroom. Every head is bent dutifully over their desk. But there is still one desk empty. My principal is out of the building today. I speak with the secretary she continues to look and calls his parents. No answer.

I ask his friends if they know where he went. I check his assignment notebook, yep, there is my signature right next to his, so he was here this morning...I didn't just dream that up, or THINK that I saw him. He was just right here. And now no one can find him.

I tried to dream up explanations that would make sense. I checked my e-mail. No note from parents. I checked his file, no appointments scheduled. Is he hurt? Is he sick? Did he leave? Was he taken? Is he hiding?

I wrung my hands and prayed. Mostly just pleaded, "Please, God, help him be ok. Please. Please.Please.Please.Please" I didn't know what else to say.

Time crawled on. I answered trivial questions about word meanings and grammar rules. The office said wait and started to search the building room by room. Just as the police were called, my missing student returned...from a dental appointment.

You see, he is staying with his grandparents while his mom and dad are out of town (that's why they didn't answer their phones). No one thought to tell the school. They came to school this morning to drop off his sibling and he came into the classroom to unpack is book bag. That is when I checked for attendance, signed his notebook and gave him his test booklet. Then he left with his grandparent for the appointment. They didn't think to tell me, because they didn't think the day had officially started yet.

*HUGE sigh of relief*

I'm not even mad. I am just so glad that he is fine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Little Privacy

There is a window in my bathroom. IN my shower to be more exact. Now at first, I must admit, I thought that this was the stupidest feature of my new home. I mean, obviously, a little privacy is expected when it comes to the bathroom.

Plus, the previous owner had installed inexpensive plastic mini-blinds in this window. Now, I don't know if you have ever had the pleasure of cleaning mini blinds but I consider it a major hassle. And as soon as I saw them in the shower I thought, "Mold, mildew, and shampoo/conditioner residue." This spelled disaster. So I immediately set out on the hunt for other privacy options.

I headed out the the local Lowes/Menards/Do It Best/Home Depot looking for peel and stick window covering. I had it in my head that there was a product out there similar to contact paper but with a little more of a translucent quality so that I could still enjoy the benefits of some natural light in my bathroom (a HUGE newly discovered treat!). But all I could find was some window cling that had to be applied with a special paste and cost upwards of $16 per roll. All I needed were two little rectangles to cover ONE SMALL window. I purchased some begrudgingly, and hoped that I would find my dream product else where. The search continued.

My dad finally found some at an Ace Hardware...and just as I hoped, it was easy, peel and stick! It is from the "Frosty" line of Con-Tact Brand and was only about $2 per roll. Of course, I quickly returned the expensive and complicated-pasty-window-cling!

I love finding just exactly what I want. Now I have a little privacy. Plenty of natural light. And I am thinking that putting a window in the shower wasn't such a dumb move after all.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I used my oven for the first time.

And what did I choose for the christening meal?

A frozen pizza.

How typical.

How sad.

I promise to use my oven for good in the future!

BTW this is the first oven that I have had that has a window and a light! I find both of these features absolutely fascinating. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


...Of the washer/dryer variety.

My dad forgot to bring the hoses for my washer on moving day. This is entirely understandable because he brought me a dryer, a spare gas can, extra indoor garbage cans, two outdoor garbage cans, 4 door stoppers, a 5-gallon bucket, an entire van full of tools that he put to use all day helping me to get settled.

He assured me that hooking up a washing machine is very easy. He took me down to the basement and we had a little show-and-tell as he explained, "Attach a hose here and here...cold to cold and hot to hot." Sounds easy enough. In fact it sounds a lot like jumping a car. Positive to positive...negative to negative. As I verbally make that connection my father looks at me with a sudden doubt crossing his face... I haven't had the best of luck with jump starting my car (I've melted jumper cables twice in fact.). He tells me this it is not that difficult. We shall see.

That same night he gives me the hoses.

A few days later I brave my way down to the basement for my first DIY project as a homeowner (can I technically call myself a homeowner if I have as yet to make my first house payment?). The hoses are a little difficult to attach (here and here) because the previous owner clearly had stock in some paint company and painted everything...including the spickets in the basement. So I proudly busted out some tools that the previous owner had abandoned and found some "tightener thing" and proceeded to attach the hose as my dad had instructed.

I figured that I should test it out before I go through all the hassle of threading it onto the washer. So i turn on the water. And water sprays EVERYWHERE! Luckily the floor drain is in close proximity because I am drenched from head to toe. I keep working with my "tightener thing" but it just doesn't seem like it could get any tighter. I try the water again. More water pouring out of the spout, out of the threads, out of nearly every spot but the end of the hose where I WANT there to be water coming out. I have to just stop and laugh at this point because it really is just amazing HOW MUCH water I have on me and on the floor with just two little turns of the knob.

I try a couple more tightening turns, more water on me and the floor and decide that doing more of the same thing isn't going to give me any different results. So I sweep the excess water down the floor drain. Ring out my sopping clothes. And wait for a consult on this situation.

I told my story repeatedly at work. It got lots of laughs but few suggestions. Finally, Sue offered her husband to help (my heroes!). They were the first people that I got to show my house off to. And Steve had my washer working just fine in no time flat. I guess I was doing all the right things...just not tight enough. So in this case more of the same actually would have been a good thing, but that is a separate issue.

So now my washer works. Thanks to my dad. And Sue. And Steve. And really I didn't do much except bring all these lovely people together. :) Good times. And the adventures of home ownership continue...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I bought a house!

I have moved seven times in the last seven years. Not counting the mini-moves into and out of friend's and family's basements, spare bedrooms, and storage spaces during any gaps between my "old lease" and "new lease." I can only hope that those nomadic days are behind me now.

This house is move-in ready! The seller bought the house to flip... so the appliances are all new, it has new carpet, fresh paint, and most importantly my father (who is in the construction bussiness) has declared it structurally sound.

I am going to try to move over the three day weekend, during a very busy time for me at work (report card grades are due and parent/teacher conferences are right around the corner!). I am seriously stressing that I will not have time to get everything moved, settled, and cleaned in the time allotment.
At first, I declared that I wasn't going to clean anything at the new house before I moved. But my friend Katy talked some sense into me and convinced me that I had to vaccuum and wash the windows of any space before it can be deemed accaptable. She was absolutely right! I felt so much better after I had that chore accomplished. :)
I was incredibly pleased to discover that my new house has amazing windows that easily fold in to be cleaned. Life is good and much brighter with sparkling windows. :)

I can already tell that this is going to be an adventure. I'll keep it posted here. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Breaking Dawn

This is the best book of the series! I re-read it as soon as I finished it!