Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Trip to Illinois

I am up in Sycamore,IL. If you do not know where that is, just think of where Northern Illinois University is located and you can get a general idea where Sycamore is. My dad and Betty live here in a very nice home. I even have my own room. They call it a spare room but actually it is my room.

We went to visit my grandparents today. This is my dad's dad and his wife of 26 years, Helen. I wanted to watch part of the Bears game with my grandfather today. I really would of thought the Bears would of had more heart in them. If they would of won, they would of been in the playoffs. They faltered in the 2nd half. It was just really nice sitting with my grandfather watching a football team that I grew up with.

Dad and Betty soon came by and Helen came back from her visiting. I was very happy to see Helen not in the apartment today. She hates just sitting in her recliner, she loves to talk. She does not have all of her hearing but she can talk. She tries to follow most of the conversations, but they are too fast for her. I was glad to hear that after lunch she went walking.

Then after we took my grandparents to their dinner we headed to our dinner. I love the local pizza place in Homewood. We meet my brother and his family and had a Christmas celebration with them. His daughters are getting so big and mature. Amanda is on the second book in the Twlight series...... I guess I will need to pick this book up so I can have some intelligent conversations with her about this author. She thinks this author is the JK Rowlings of her time. It does help when a movie comes out to help promote the series of books. Please excuse me if I do not spell all the names right.......

Malorie loved the fact that she had the biggest bag of "Stuff". She is really into art so I was able to find her a cool art set with a black sketch pad. She also got two hand held games that she wanted. I was also very impressed with the fact that she was very good at sharing her games with her sister and her sister's friend.

I did kid Amanda about the scarf that she was suppose to knit me....... I was looking for it in her present to me....... I will keep bugging her about it........ :) Well it is getting late and I want to read my new John Grishman book. I will post some pictures when I get back home from my trip. See ya all soon, if not please have a great New Year's Eve and go into 2009 with a bang.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Goodbye Grandpa Backer

Do me a favor. If you choose to read this post, please give yourself enough time to really absorb what I am trying to express.

I learned of my grandfather's passing Thursday Dec. 11th. I had a call from my dad and when I called him back we talked about his dad for a while and then I was told about my mother's father. Roman Reece Backer was 88 when he died. He was a man of many talents. He was a pilot, an electrician, he tried to build his own plane and he built an wind boat.

I was not initially planning on traveling to Florida for the services. You see this man taught me a lesson even with his death. I was holding a grudge against him for 10 years or so. It was a stupid comment he made to me and I let it fester. The lesson I learned is there is no reason to hold a grudge because the person who is holding it is the only one that is hurting.

I was very surprised with myself and how I was genuinely upset by his passing. My brothers and my dad have visited him in the last 10 years and I had not. It bothered me that he was gone. It bothered me that I missed some time with him. I really don't know how close I would of gotten to him, we, as grandchildren, weren't that close to him. Mainly because of the distance between Florida and Chicago.

Flash Back to Monday Dec. 15th:

So this is the day I go to say goodbye to my grandfather. My brothers and I were reminiscing last night at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Restaurant in the City Walk of Universal Studios. Orlando has grown so much since I was last there. Ok back to subject. We would tell stories of what we remembered. My brother, Mark, has a lot of fond memories of trips to Florida. He is also the oldest. Scott, my other brother who is 11 months older than I am, remembers riding on a wind boat that my grandfather actually built. Mark also remembers a time when Grandpa took the family flying in his plane. These memories are not mine, I was too young to remember these visits.

This visit accomplished different agendas. We all went to Florida to say good bye to our grandfather but we also went to spend quality time with each other. We have not had quality time with each other with out wives, children or a parent around us. Yes we saw each other in August and spent some time together but it was not like this. It was comfortable, the way your favorite pajama's feel coming out of the dryer. Well it was like that. I really, really enjoyed the time spent with them. The other cool part about this is; it was not just me thinking this, they both expressed this as well.

OK here is a story I remember with my grandfather. Picture it: It was Christmas in Chicago, cold, snowy and stuck inside because it was just too cold to go out and play in the wonderful snow. Well Grandpa and Nanny came to visit. I think I was about 11 or so. I was at the kitchen table playing solitaire. You know the actual solitaire game with actual cards..... well apparently I missed some move on the board. I started to turn over my 3 cards and I got a SMACK on my arm. I don't know if this was how Grandpa wanted to spend quality time with his ONLY granddaughter.... I looked at him and said, "What was that for?" His reply, "You missed a move." I then looked back at the table and still did not see what he was talking about. So, I once again tried to throw my cards down and I get ANOTHER SMACK. I just looked at him and he then pointed out the move I did not see. I quickly lost that game and got up from the table. Quality time MY ASS.

There were many attributes about my grandfather that came up during the service. The pastor wanted us to think of one word that would describe him. Well one came to mind immediately but I would not say it. It was STUBBORN. It kind of came out later with bull headed. But once he got his point across, he would slap the table or arm chair three time and then just bellow in laughter. He had a GREAT laugh, one of those that are contagious. We learned many things about him just sitting around talking to the different people that came back to the house after the service.

We heard from his wife of 40 years, that the last few weeks were very difficult. He refused to get up off his recliner... even when the doctor wanted to just get him to walk to the mailbox. He refused. Avis, we called her Nanny, told him that he was slowly killing himself. And you know what his response was...... "I DON'T CARE" We all know that is bullshit because he loved life. He was tired of the fight. The fight to keep weight off, the fight to only eat certain foods and the fight to not have happy hour 7 days a week.

I am going to share several stories from what we were told while we sat around and listened to his "family" in Florida.

A story that was told about when he was in the hospital. His legs were really hurting. He was retaining a lot of water and the stool he had to put his feet up was just a little too high to get them elevated. So Nanny asked if she could get him a recliner. Now you have to understand that after 4 p.m. not much happens in the hospital for the rest of the day. It was going to be a long shot if he could get the recliner that day. Well by some miracle, a nurse found a recliner and brought it in the room. She was a brave soul because from what we heard, the nurses barely stuck their heads in his room because of all his uproars. I am sure in that person's mind, she thought she would be looked like a hero or a saint. Well this is my grandfather we are talking about. He took one look at that chair and yelled, " GET THAT SHIT THING OUT OF HERE!" No one knows why he did not like the looks of the chair but it could be for many reasons.

Another story Nanny told us was grandpa telling her to not give him a hard time. She wasn't giving him a hard time, he was just being, oh what word came to my mind at the service? Oh yea, STUBBORN.
Well Nanny soon left the hospital and went home. She was frazzled but his high demands. Well the next day, she was came into his room and he immediately, said to her, "Uh yesterday, you were right about....." I asked Nanny, well did he apologize? She laughed..... he did not ever say he was sorry. Well at least I know I have some of his blood in me too, it is hard for me to say those words as well.

Grandpa needed to have the perfect garage for all of his toys. He has one of the older full sized motor homes and he has a 2001 T- Bird. RED. HARD TOP. Guess how many miles he has on this car..... Just guess. ONLY 2,077 miles. This car is in mint condition. There is another story about this car as well. He wanted this car... so he bought it. A person refused the color of the car so Grandpa said, OK I'll take it. He asked the sale person if he could sit in the car. He said no, if you buy it you can sit in it. So he pulled out his check book and wrote the check for the car and then opened the driver's door and got in. He wanted to pull it out of the showroom but the dealership did not have another car to display so my grandfather was asked to give them a week or so to get another car there before he takes it home. For some reason, my grandfather agreed to that, which I really don't think is in his character, but he agreed to the arrangement. Then a few days later a friend of his came to visit and my grandfather wanted to show him his car. SO they went to the dealership and it is in the showroom all roped off so no one can touch the car. People were all standing around looking at the car, he just moved the ropes out of his way and got in the car and told his friend to get in the passenger seat. He then said to John, "They won't let me start her up in the showroom!" People were standing around looking amazed that some man just got into the most amazing car in the showroom.

He had to have a pole barn type of garage to fit these toys in as well as his plane that he was trying to build, his scooters and numerous other projects that he started. The amazing thing about his garage.. no matter how messy it looked.... he knew were everything was. A neighbor needed a washer for a sink faucet. He would say to her.... OK KID let's go out to the garage. Well she knew it would be a 45 minute endeavor just because they were going into the garage. She might have to get up on the ladder and go to this container, the third drawer to the right but it was ALWAYS were he said it would be.

At the memorial service, we learned many things about the man we called Grandpa. He was a WWII Fighter pilot and when normally the pilots went on 15-20 missions, my grandfather went on 34. He was responsible for getting the dead and wounded back to base. Maybe that is why we never knew that about him.

There was a picture of him, in his uniform, with my mom, who could not of been more than 3 years old. I have never seen that picture before. I asked Nanny, that is what we have always called her, if I could borrow that picture with some others so I can make copies of them for me and my brothers.

He was married to Avis or Nanny for 40 years. Right after they married, he took the savings they both had and bought land for his vision of developing an Industrial Park. They lived on very little after they bought land by Fort Lauderdale, FL. They developed the property to be very successful and sold it about 8 years ago. They did very well for themselves. They went and bought a house on a little canal in Stuart, FL. I can see why he loved that property. It was on a cul-de-sac and it had two different views of the canal. After lunch, I went and sat out on the swing that is aligned perfectly to see the most beautiful sunset.

Nanny has a lot of wonderful people in her life. Her niece has been a God send. Her fiends John and Jeff have been her rocks and her neighbors have been her stable companions. Nanny will be fine; she might shake a fist at Roman and say why didn't you listen to me and walk a little bit but she will know that he is free from his pain.

As the preacher said, "It is always too soon for the ones left behind..."

Good bye Grandpa. I love you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

News Highlights for Friday Dec. 5th

This is a true case of excellent networking: Follow the link for how Obama is reaching out to his college buddies.

OJ Simpson just does not seem to get it.

When will the Illinois Governor's Learn?

We know the global economy is getting bad when....


I stopped by Luvy Duvy's yesterday after shopping for the Christmas Party. I needed a liquid refreshment, if you know what I mean.

We started talking about the ecomomy and how Prop 8 is losing a bunch of money by not letting "US" get married.

Check out this link:

Carrie Underwood you should be scared with your stop in St. Louis. We have been waiting for you with baited breathe. I actually saw her tour buses coming into Chaivitz Area this morning. I was so excited.... I just had to call my Brother and yell BOOTIE BOOTIE BOOTIE.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas from Years Past

My mom was a fanatic about Christmas much the same way Terri is. Christmas preparations were actually a family event. We all pitched in, even my brothers. My dad got the decorations down from the unfinished upper level and my mom bossed us all around to get things out. When we left for school she would put the items exactly were she wanted them. She also infused some of her homemade ceramics into the decor. She was very talented, in many ways, she was just very subtle about it.

Christmas traditions were as follows:

Christmas Eve was opening one present before we went to dinner. Then we would meet my grandpa and Helen, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Alice and Cousin Jennifer. We started off going to restaurants, then to my Grandpa's house then to Uncle Jerry's. After my mom passed away we actually had people over to the Flossmoor house, oh what a hassle that was. The last time we all got together was at my cousin Jennifer's house. I miss those times when we got together for dinner and sit around and talk about what was going on with each of us.

My Uncle Jerry can be very funny and it was a rare year when we witnessed my dad and my uncle actually getting along and laughing together. They have lived close to each other all of their years but they have never been close.

Then on Christmas we would load up the car and head either to my grandparents house when my grandmother was still alive or head to Aunt Bev's. Aunt Bev was my mom's aunt and what a cool woman she is. She had 6 kids and they all had kids of their own. SO it was a house that had a lot of activity. I enjoyed going out there because it was like going to your best friend's house instead of a relatives house. It was very informal and comfortable.

It does seem the older I get the more I miss those times and those connections. I do think that the connections I have made with my extended family is what I miss the most. We have a huge family and it just seems that I do not see them enough anymore. It is not that I never make it back to Chicago because I do. I just don't make it back for the weddings and unfortuntally the funnerals.

I would like to continue a tradition my Uncle Carl started many years ago. He had an Open House Christmas Eve. This is where the long lost cousins could gather and chew the fat with each other for a few hours. As I got older, I really looked forward to the gathering. This was the opportunity to see the cousins that we would not be able to see all year. Uncle Carl and Aunt Mary were gracious hosts and provided wonderful food and drink. Many times, my brother Scott and I would be there until 3 am.

I want to continue the tradition. So if you are around town this Christmas Eve, please come by the house for some holiday cheer and breakfast.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I must admit that I was one of the crazy people out on Black Friday and I spent some money. I wanted a 32" plasma tv and I got one. I actually had a nice time for the most part. I did get a little crazied in the mall parking lot. I drove around to look for a parking spot but never found one and never got out of the car at the mall. I did my shopping at Wal-Mart, Target, Michael's and Walgreens. You all should be scared if you are lucky enough to get a present from me. HAHA!

I was listening to Y98 this morning and they were talking about gift cards, the pros and cons to the cards and then they mentioned the different stores that are closing around the US. See the link to view the different stores.

I am mentioning this because I am one of the lucky few that will not need to worry about layoffs and cut backs. I am very secure in my profession and in my job. The recession has to hit pretty bad for my paycheck to be affected.

But what about my friends that are not in my same field? The shit has not totally hit the fan yet, we, as a society, do not really understand how much we are behind the 8 ball, so to speak. When is it going to hit? My dad and Betty have lost thousands during the Wall Street Collapse. They are fortunate to not have to depend on their investments to live day to day. How many of you need that to live on in 20 years?

What is the answer to this problem? How do we keep our friends and relatives working?

I have several friends that are struggling to make ends meat in their own business. They need all of us!!!!! If you are able, please support Luvy Duvy's at the corner of Arsenal and Jefferson and Tip Top which is located in Soulard at 9th and Victor.
Both places are very dear to me and they would love to spoil you with their good eats.

This crisis we are in will take all of us to get through this. But, isn't that what we are suppose to do? Aren't we told as a little oneS that we are supposeD to look out for our friends?

Let's look out for each other. If someone needs a helping hand and you can help, do so.

Hope to see you all at Luvy Duvy's or Tip Top.


Monday, November 24, 2008

The Holidays

I know, I know, I have not written for a while and I have had a bunch of things roll through my head. I did attend the Show No Hate Rally a few weeks ago and since it was bitter cold outside I think I caught the crap that is working its way through the schools. I am feeling somewhat better now. I wanted to catch up and let you all know what the holidays are going to bring to me.

This season is usually very festive....... all the decorations that go up in my house is frightening. Let's just say, I get very familiar with the basement steps. I would say there are at least 10 tubs of Christmas decorations that come up stairs. This will be our second Christmas in our new house and since we have some new furniture, the living room should be more open this year.

This season is also bitter, my partner's mom has been in a hospital or nursing home since Jan. of this year. She had a good day yesterday but has not had good days leading up to yesterday. Please, if you pray, please pray for Betty. She is a wonderful woman and does not need to suffer like this. So that puts a big strain on my partner and once again her family is AWOL or however you spell that word. We have spent the last week if not two going through all of her medical bills. If you can get long-term care insurance now, do so. Trust me we will all need it later.

My grandfather also went into the hospital 2 weeks ago. Now he is 97. He has lived a great life and he is still fighting. His wife Helen is 98 and she is at the facility by herself right now. So once again, if you are the praying type, please pray for John and Helen Small. They need GOD's strength now.

As you can see, my heart is heavy this holiday season. I plan on cooking Thanksgiving Dinner and sure hope it is better than the dinner that I tried to cook last night, boy did that suck. I plan on going shopping the day after Thanksgiving. It is always wonderful when the school district gives us our paychecks early so we can go out and spend a few more bucks. I also plan on getting most of my shopping finished before Dec. 24th. But we will have to see.

I am not going to shop for my Dad and Betty until I get to Chicago after Christmas, the deals at Kohl's are too grand to pass up the days after Christmas.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Try to do what the day is intended to do, sit and relax and be with the people you love.

For all you bitches that will be in town for Thanksgiving, come by the house after 8 for some holiday cheer.

Love ya all,


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Historic Election

It was a historic election from how much money was spent to how many people voted to the wait time at the polls. I opted out of the wait time at the polls and vote by absentee vote last Friday.

My observation and only my observation: I have noticed this country sliding backwards on many fundamental issues. I have noticed an increase in racism. I have noticed an increase in losing human rights.

I can't understand why Arkansas would even think of not allowing people in same sex relationships to lose the right to foster or adopt children. THIS IS 2008 RIGHT?

So Arkansas wants the kids, that could have loving homes, stay in situations that seems to breed more and more unstable kids because they are in homes that really don't want them but the people that run these homes want the governments money?

That is what it all boils down to. People want the governments money. Why else would a state decide that people who love each other and have committed to each other can not raise children that have been given away. Why not? Why would the people vote for this? I hope it is not a national trend. If it becomes one, like the gay marriage amendments, we, as a people as a nation are in trouble. Also, why have I not heard about this before it was over? Where was the news coverage on that?

The news can cover how ridiculous Sarah Palin is but we can't hear about states taking away rights of their people?

I have witnessed a part of our history but it is not all rosey as it seems.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It is amazing what a little vision will do when it comes to decorating for a party. Joe, you did a fantastic job putting those lights together. Dougie and Rodney, you did a wonderful job with the front of the house. I will post a few pics so those of you that missed this wonderful party you can share with the rest of us. Rodger, I will need to get the pics from you, I am especially wanting are the pictures of the front.

Saturday was a wonderful party and I just don't know how that will be topped in January. Start thinking boys............

The next party is Brian's but it won't be in my backyard. It will be someplace warm since it is in December.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lightening Things Up A Bit

What is it that I have to do this weekend? I know I have to be somewhere for something but I just can't, for the life of me, remember. Can anyone help me?





Well the food has been ordered, the beer has been ordered, the decorations are all over my house ready to be put up........ I so do not have a vision for this decorating session that is going to happen Friday afternoon. I have also conned Brian to come over to help because I will be on no assistance to the boys. I guess when my mom dropped me on my head as a baby, that part of my brain was permanently damaged.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Younger Generation- What are we doing to them?

Here is my next topic. When has the schools had the responsibility for everything? How old do you think a student should be to start being responsible for their own work? Classwork and homework?

This is my main issue. I had a writing assignment due yesterday and only 40% of my students had it completed to turn in. This is something I have talked about and devoted a class period and a half to work on it and they had a 3 day weekend to work on it. So, needless to say, I was very frustrated yesterday. So I sent out an email to my parents to inform them how frustrated I was and I was also suggesting to each parent to ask their child for their school planner. This is where the students write down their assignments, but I guess that is really only theory. Because if only 40% turned in my writing, that means that 60% don't use the planner.

I received 2 emails from parents before I left school yesterday. One asked if her child turned in the assignment and I said yes and other email thanked me.

Now, this morning when I got to school, I was told about another email. The email was mainly asking why, as a school system or a building, do we not have a place that teachers post the homework. I understand that theory. But I understand my stance better. When do the students get any consequences for doing what they are suppose to do for 6 hours a day? When does it become the students responsibility to complete the classwork or homework?

We can not BABY this generation anymore. We will lose out in the long run if we continue this practice. This goes back to one of my earlier posts about 20 something year olds. The younger generation seems to depend on the older generation more so then I have ever witnessed.

Please do me a favor........ make the young people in your life accountable for what they must accomplish. If you always pick up after them, and I mean that global not literally, they will never learn to learn.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So What Do You Think?

So what do you think of Mizzou losing on Saturday? What do you think about the Rams winning on Sunday? Yea you read that right!!! The Rams actually won!!!!! But they also almost lost it on a stupid unsportsmanlike penalty. But you know what? I was not able to watch that game or any early game on Sunday because I had to help my partner clean out her mother's condo.

If you know me at all, I am the type of person that will help out whenever I can. BUT, I have had my fill with my partner's family and their lack of being a "FAMILY". I grew up with knowing that if my grandparents needed anything we would help anyway we could. SHIT my grandfather lived with us for several months after my grandmother passed away. I have that memory in my head because he and I shared a room and man could he SNORE.

My partner's kids have done some things to help out but the oldest one who is well in his 30's has done nothing to help his grandmother out or his mom out. My partner's sister keeps calling to find out what is happening but not showing up to help unless it is to her benefit. How can you call them your family? You should be able to call on your family when you need them the most. Your family should not be calling the person, who now has sole responsibility for financial and medical care of the mother, to find out when things are going to be sold. It seems as if her sister and her sister's family always have a hand out. I have learned their TRUE COLORS through this whole process.

I feel for my partner, I really do. I had my father act like this after my mom died. My mom had a small business with our neighbor. They did not make a bunch of money but it kept them going. So after my mom died, the business was dissolved and the money was to go to her three kids. That did not happen, immediately. My father had his hand out, so the assets were split 4 ways. I went to my mom's partner and asked her about this and she told me that my mom did this for the three kids not my dad. So I went to my brother's with this information and they said, well just leave it the way it is, we don't want to make any waves. FUCK THAT!!!! I made waves. I had my father give up his portion and we split the assets 3 ways. Yes that caused waves between my father and I but I did what I thought was best. I have had to stand up to my brothers and my father many times but I did it because that is what he and my mom taught me to do.

I know my partner's parents did not teach her sister to act like this. I hope, in time, her sister will see all that my partner has done for her and her family and thank her sometime. I hope I am around to hear that because my partner at least is OWED that.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Classroom Behavior

Classroom management is probably the most important aspect of teaching that is hardly ever touched in undergraduate degree programs. I remember when I was going to college and believe it or not, my graduation date will be 20 years in May. That is crazy to me. Anyhow back to my topic, we had one semester on classroom management. ONLY ONE SEMESTER!!!!! That is crazy for me to even fathom at the present time. I really wonder what the program calls for now. I would not be shocked if it has not changed.

My classroom management has never been an issue. My students learned that I was stern but at the same time fair. For some reason, that is not happening this year. And I don't know why. It is not that I am not trying to make adaptations to my management. I am hearing what the kids are asking for and I am doing my part but it does not seem to be working. Yes, I know, give it time. See where I am in a week from now or two weeks from now and then try to tweak the system. It just seems that when I think it is moving smoothly, it falls apart right in front of my face.

I will try even harder tomorrow to make sure all my students are on task and respectful but I must say, it is starting to be more about controling behaviors then it is about teaching and that is unfortunate.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Check out this site if you are still undecided on who to vote for.

ABC has a test at the below address to see
> who's
> > campaign statements,
> > >
> > > McCain's or Obama's, you agree with most.
> They
> > don't tell you who made
> > > The statements, of course, but a statement made
> by
> > each candidate on
> > > The same topic (economy, immigration, judiciary,
> etc.)
> > will be side by
> > > Side. You just pick which statement you agree
> with
> > and, after
> > > selecting all 13,
> > > You'll find out which candidate's
> philosophy
> > you support.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > >

The things that race in my head

So my brother called me yesterday and asked me what was going on with me that I was not saying. Well I totally unloaded on him. I understand the need to get things moving in the right directions whatever topic is being refered to. My problem comes in with everything needs to be done ASAP. Or at least that is how my mind works.

I know I have so much that I have to get done in a course of a school day and it never fails that when all of those tasks are completed, 10 more come to you in the last hour of the day. Anyone else feel that way?

Then there are the items that are on the "Honey Do" list that is always growing. It just seems as though there are not enough hours in the day to get this all completed.

Does anyone feel that life gets in the way of our relationships? And they suffer? How can it be avoided? I am trying to learn to say NO to some requests and invitations. But it never fails that I seem as though I over book myself.

I so want to sit on my deck and read a book or lay in the sunshine and read a book. But I can't seem to find the time or ease my mind away from everything else I need to do. I started thinking about this entry this morning when I woke up. I guess I need to get this out.

I don't want to be 5th in line of things that need to be dealt with. I need to take care of ME first and then see where everyone else fits in.

I don't want to try and fit in my 6th year anniversy into my partners secondary work schedule.

I want to spend as much time at lunch on Saturday with my father and Betty because I have not seen them in a few months.

I am starting to learn patience...... I am at least trying....... I sometimes have the philosophy, I want it now and I need it now. I am trying to slow down but it is difficult.

I am off to yet another meeting.......... I hope to see all of you this weekend. "I'm coming out.... " and you all better watch out.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Funny Link check out this link, it is FUNNY.

Economic Bail Out Program

One thing I know I am not good at is following economic news. I have the opinion the only 2 things that matter to me is if I have money in my pocket and in my checking account.

Now since I have been trying to follow the economic depression that no one wants to say we are in for fear that it might stir the American People to be concerned. Folks, we should be concerned.

I just read an article that we are closing in on 10 trillion in debt!!!!! Did you read that right? 10 TRILLION in DEBT. My question to all of you is who do you think owns us at the present time?
If you said China you are right. NO only are we outsourcing our labor to them but we are in debt to them.

So, I was given advice today from one of my girls at Luvy Duvy's, let your congress representative know how you feel about the bail out program. So I did. I found out who my senator is, my state rep is, my us rep is and also emailed Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill. Then I emailed them all and told them that I do not agree with the bail out plan and they should not vote for it.

I am only one voice but if we all do that, they might start listening.

So I emailed: Senator Maida Coleman, House District 063 Robin Wright Jones, US House 03 Russ Carnahan, Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill.

I believe, we the people, need to be more vocal. The Wall Street people that created this mess should not be bailed out by tax payers.

Check out this link.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Where do I start? Should I start with the fact that I planned my week out in my lesson plans and nothing went right in the classroom? Should I start with taking the day off on Tuesday to go and enjoy myself on the golf course? Should I start with I was awoken Tuesday morning to take someone to work, and this is getting REAL OLD by the way? Should I start with I had to run errands that weren't my responsibility on Tuesday before I could enjoy myself? Should I start with hitting the ball 230 yards on one hole and not getting a birdie? Should I start with coming back to school on Wednesday and 4 administrators walking into my classroom to evaluate me without any prior notice? Should I start with my 6th period sucks?

With that being said, and if you noticed, I did not get past Wednesday, because I don't want to be the cause of anyone elses breakdown. This was not a good week and I am happy September is coming to a close and I know someone else who is as well. It is just starting to be fall. I love fall. I love the change of the leaves. I love that we get some vacations at school. I love the fact that I can wear sweats and not be looked at as if I am strange.

I love the feel of Saturday mornings on my back deck. I love the feel of a hot cup of coffee going down my thoat. I love the fact that you can smell bonfires. I love the fact that little kids look forward to dressing up in their costumes up for a day out in the neighborhood.

I love college football, I love watching it with Friends screaming at the TV.

I need to put this week where it belongs..... in the past. It is over and I have learned from my mistakes this week, that is all we can do when things get a little mucky. We need to move on and learn the lessons that are being taught to us. I need everyone to take a deep breath and HOLD IT>>>>HOLD IT>>>>> HOLD IT ok, let it out. I hope you all feel better. I do.
See ya this weekend and if I don't have a great time. Most of you are free for 2 days, use it to your advantage. If you don't, no one will do it for you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

18-25 Generation

I am tapping into my brother's blog. He mentioned going back to college and how the younger generation is SCARRY. Well I really have to agree with him. Here is why. I see the youth of today and the future leaders in my classroom every day. I am scared a lot of the time but there are those times they really do surprise me and do some problem solving.

That is the topic for today: How to Problem Solve.

Problem solving is a higher level thinking skill. I have first hand experience in my classroom and at home how that does not always work. I have been guilty of being caught up in solving the problems of others and not letting them think through it on their own. That is really how I got the name Dr. Small. I problem solve for my students, at times, and I have problem solved for a 22 and 20 year old. I have also problem solved for my partner, who is older. Does that make me part of the problem? Or do I help the situation by giving a new perspective on the dilemna? I really don't know. But I do know that if make a suggestion on how to solve the problem and the person does not act on it, it pisses me off.

Why does it piss me off? Mainly because I feel as though I really come up with some great solutions and if they are not used then I feel as though my time was wasted. I have no idea if that is logical. Probably not because, even though I might like to think I am always right, I am not.

A group of us talked about this issue last night. Here is what I suggested, when someone asks you what they should do, ask them back, "Well if you were asking me to give you advice about the same situation, what would you tell me?" Flip it around so they think about it and don't give into the tempation of solving their problem.

That is just my two cents for a Friday. Have a great weekend. We all deserve it.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I am looking forward to this weekend. I really don't have anything planned. I have several invitations to attend various activities but I have not taken the time out to actually plan the weekend. I think I like it that way. Too many times, I have planned the whole weekend and it seems like I don't give my body the time to really rest. I "run" too much. If you know me at all, I certaintly don't choose to actually run. HAHAHAHA.

I am looking forward to the Taste of St. Louis at the end of the month. I love to listen to live, music and it is really nice when it is FREE. They have some really good bands playing this year.
The link is Let's get a group together to go and listen to some music.
Of course there will be good food and of course liquid refreshment.

OK, it is Friday afternoon and I am losing my train of thought. I will try to get on this weekend and write about something important....... who knows........


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gangs in North St. Louis City/ Public Assistance

This was a topic at a pool party a week or so ago and I took it a step further and asked a class of my students what they think about the gangs taking over the neighborhoods in North St. Louis and this was their responses.

I posed the question: How do the residents in the neighborhoods where gang activity is becoming the common place, take back their neighborhoods.

Have a curfew for all residents.

Have more police presence.

Have the community "get togethers" so they can know each other.

Make a neighborhood association.

Try to get the gang members interested in something else.

Try to find them a good home or a good paying job.

Get the schools to work with the gang members.

Show them the importance of education.

The students hit all the important topics and they saved the best for last.

We need to help all of our young people to understand the importance of education, not street smarts, but how getting out of the rut is more important than trying to stay in the rut.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Memphis Pictures

I did not know that Elvis was a duck fan. This is right outside the Peabody Hotel.

The ducks are leaving for the day.

The Peabody Hotel was beautiful but I was not about to spend $350.00 to spend the night there.

This couple was nice enough to share a table with us. The live music on Beale Street is AMAZING!

Memphis Here we come. It was a hot and steamy weekend in Memphis so we had to keep ourselves cooled down in the evenings on Beale Street.

I am a HUGE Elvis fan, so of course I was going to take "The Three Hour Tour" of Graceland for the second time in 3 months.
I hope you enjoyed my pictures of Memphis. I will work on the ones from South Carolina later this week.

Memphis Here we come. It was a hot and steamy weekend in Memphis so we had to keep ourselves cooled down in the evenings on Beale Street.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It was a Good Saturday except for......

Yesterday was a great day, except for from 7 PM to 9 PM but I will get to that later. It started off at our wonderful breakfast spot with our great friends. And let me tell you 5 of the 6 of us ATE!!!!!! Then after we had our bellies full, two other friends of ours came in with their newborn. She is SO CUTE. I know all babies are cute but she is the exception to all. After we gooed and ahhed at her; her mom finally took her out of the car seat so we could hold her. My partner held her first, this is the first time she has seen her. I have seen and held her already. I was trying to be NICE, dammit.
So we stayed there for longer than we intended because we both had to have this little angel in our arms for awhile. We had to say good bye and continue on our day. The next stop was Soulard Market. Well that is a ZOO, I tell you. But we got what we needed and headed out. Then back home to do some over do cleaning.
So the day went like that until I got a call to go SWIMMING. It was a hot one yesterday, so I gathered my suit and towel and waited for my ride. It was a nice day at the pool, not too many people and some intelligent conversation as well. I will be posting later about the topic because I want to know other people's point of view.
I went home ate something, took a nap and then tried to get into the shower to go out with the boys. Well I guess my body had other plans for my evening because I can't remember the last time I got sick like that. I was miserable for 2 hours last night. But waking up this morning, I am feeling fine. I am glad my body took control of my night last night, I really needed a down time night but DAMM, it didn't have to have me be miserable for 2 hours.
OK, I need to get breakfast going, off to the Cardinal game this afternoon, 100 level tickets, I am NOT passing that up.
Look for my blog titled PUBLIC ASSISTANCE coming soon.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Back at the old Grind

Blog Entry: 8/22/08

SO here I am back at school. I have not had the opportunity to really write this summer. I was too busy with summer school, playing in Joe’s pool and taking small vacations to sit down at the computer to write. There has been a lot going on the last few months. I now remember how dark I used to be when I did not have to work during the summer and all I had to do was play in the sun. I have that color back and I LOVE IT. I was given numerous complements on returning to school on how good I looked. That always makes you feel better. I have maintained my weight, if not losing some more and that is a great feeling.

I had to get some organization into my life before school started. So I decided to clean out my dresser drawers, move some things around to make it easier for me to find, half asleep at 6:30 in the morning. After that “little job” I had to move to the closet. All summer I was just piling clothes up and not really putting them where I needed to, so it was getting a little overwhelming. But what I did find was more pants for me to wear. I have lost enough weight that I have multiple pairs of pants in a variety of colors to wear this year. Now I need to work on finding shirts and shoes to work with the pants. Darn, I will have to go shopping. And if you know me at all, those words would normally NOT come out of my mouth. I hated to shop, I was too large for most things and I did not want to spend the money on clothes when I was so unhappy with my size. Well things are changing. I am moving in the right direction and I plan on continuing that.

I am looking forward to this year at school. At the present time, I only have one class that is a little challenging for me and it is NOT MY FIRST PERIOD CLASS like it was last year. That starts my morning off so much better.

I hope you enjoy the pictures of my summer trips. I sure did. Chat with you all later. I will get the pictures add this weekend.

Have a great Friday everyone.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pride 2008 was a blast. I really can't believe that we pulled off a pirate ship in two days. It is amazing what creative minds can do with scrap wood. The only thing we really bought was the paneling. I was thinking plywood and then painting the plywood but a wise woman suggested paneling. It totally looked like a pirate ship. I will attempt to add pictures to show you what I am talking about.

Look at these cuties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One day, I was at one of my local places that I frequent and I asked the owners, what about a float for Pride? Wouldn't that be fun? The owner said, that would be great but we have no time to put that together. Well I had a few rum drinks so I volunteered to put this whole thing together. Terri was in for it as well. So we started planning and within two weeks we had a pirate ship. As you can see, we have a cannon, we have pirates and we had BEADS!!!! Here are some of the other pictures.

All in all the pirate ship was a success. On our first attempt, we not only made the best pirate ship but we also won First Place for BEST FLOAT!!!!. I want to say thanks for all of the people that took time out of their lives to help us all have some fun.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Found the Money

Just wanted to put a quick note on here that I found the money that I thought I lost. I now know a great hiding place for myself. HA HA

I am teaching summer school and there is not much time in my day to post, but I will try to get a real one out there this week.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Frustration/ Anger

Man was I ever a mess yesterday. I got up Friday knowing it was going to be a different day at school but I would never of thought that I would have the day that I had. It started off in a panic. My team decided to use out PTO money to treat our kids to a lunch. I contacted the person I needed to, he gave me the money and I put it in a safe place. Well it was a safe place because I could not find the money Friday morning. I am sure age has something to do with this but I am not going to blame it on age just yet.

So I frantically searched my car, twice, went back inside to check my pants pockets, looked in the safe place, could not find it. I had to get to work, I had to figure something out by 11 am.

The first period was fine, believe it or not, my first hour really did not bother me much. I explained that we were waiting until 9:15 to practice the 8th grade promotion, they were cool with just hanging out and talking. I was satified with that as well, I had some last minute work to get completed.

So we went to the cafeteria to get the kids lined up, chaos at its best. We were not handed our lists of where the students were to sit until 5 minutes before we were to go downstairs. You will notice that through this post, organization was NOT our friend. So the teachers do what we do the best, get it done in a pinch. We all worked together and got the students to sit at their appropriate table, I don't know why that is needed because they are not called up on any stage, so who gives a fuck where they sit and how they come into the gym.

We, my team of teachers, tried to explain this to the person that was "organizing" the event earlier in the week but we were not listened to. OK, that sets up Friday.

So, the students line up, walk up the stairs, sit down, IT WAS ONLY THEN DID THE ORGANIZER REALIZE THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH SEATS FOR THE STUDENTS TO SIT!!!!!!!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME, she then said, well we can't practice correctly so send them to 3rd hour. Well that would be great for me and my team, our kids go to ancillary 3rd and 4th hour. But NO, our team leader does not have the balls to go against the tide, so instead of sending them off team for our break, he says, go back to homeroom. WHAT? Remember me saying we were going to have a lunch for the students... yea. I had to split my kids up in order to go and get the lunch.

My battery is going to die on my lap top.... so you will have to come back later for the rest of my Friday June 6th story.


Friday, May 30, 2008

8th Graders

8th graders, 8th graders, 8th graders...... there is so much to say about this age. There is so much that people say about this age. I usually defend them, say that they really aren't that bad. Well I am not defending them today. We are 7 days away from summer vacation. They know it, I know it. It is 87 degrees and sunny outside. It is the last period of the day. If I hear my name one more time this class period followed with "Can I go......." I am going to scream.

I am almost looking past next week. We have to finish up a novel we are reading and get the writing portfolio's ready for the high school and yea, they have to take their last reading test. Do you, or better yet, does this school district actually think they are going to take this test seriously? I know, in order for them to put forth some effort, I will need to come up with something to bribe them with. ( I am accepting any donations to help me fund the bribery)!!!!!!

Six Flags day in June 9th. WOW, I can't wait. I can't wait to get out of this building for a day. The kids that are eligible to go are going to be a breeze to handle. The best part of it is that they only have to check in a few times during the day and they can go and enjoy themselves and I can too.
I can enjoy the funnel cakes, the turkey legs, the hand dipped ice cream cone and of course a loan before I go. HA HA HA.

Ok, I am better, I will be able to get through the last 38 minutes of class now. Thanks for listening.

Busch Stadium

Do you remember the time that you were able to take your family to a game and spend only $40.00? Well it is not like that anymore. I accept the fact that beer is going to be expensive, even though the brewery is literally 1 mile away. But anywho...... I was asked to go to the game last night by a friend of mine. He was given the tickets by one of the umpires working the series. Who knows where the seats might be but lets take the roll of the dice and see where we land. Well the seats were GREAT to say the least!!! They were in section 154 row 16!!!! I have never seen a game from that close before, legally that is........ HA HA HA.

So the group of 4 went to the game, bought beers and some great tasting nachos. I saw a new stand, it was an Asian Stand.

I went up and saw the price for fried rice and asked the lady working there, how much do you get for that price. She told me a HALF order of chicken or beef fried rice. So I did some research on the Internet today. How much is half order of meat fried rice outside of Busch Stadium? Well, one place I looked up was $5.55 for a FULL order. Another place was $6.50 for a FULL order.

So you all are wondering what the price was, aren't you? It was, are you sitting down? It was $9.25 for a HALF ORDER OF DAMM RICE. You know the meat in there was not going to be anything. Have they all lost their minds? I was thinking there is no way that people would pay that for FU****** Fried Rice. Until I came back from the bathroom and saw the people sitting in front of me, carrying those containers in their hands. You know what? They are the crazy ones not me. I will be starting to bring my snacks into the park now on. I am also thinking about how to hide my liquid refreshments so Busch Stadium does not get any more richer off of me.

Hey Cardinal players, thanks for a great evening at the ball park. You managed to sweep the Astros and teach me a valuable lesson all at the same time.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Young Adults part 2

Ok, I posted about young adults about a month ago and I have kind of gotten off my high horse since then but I have to get back on today. I had to go and run some errands today at lunch. Thank God I get a long lunch because no one could of done what I did today in only 45 minutes.

I am going to bitch about is the licensing office off of Olive Road. That place was extremely slow. It did not help that one of the people that work there would rather read his texts then click the stupid buttons on the computer. I watched him do this to three other people in front of me and no one said anything. Well I could not keep my mouth shut, but I did it professionally.

He started my paper work, then sat down, then looked down and was either reading or sending a text. It did not matter to me. I leaned in closer and said, " I don't mean to be rude but could you please get through this and do your texting later?" He responded after a minute or so, "I am sorry about that, you were not being rude, I was." We I was somewhat satisified with that statement.

But then I went to Hardees. Wow, the Hardees off of Olive is not quick at all. It was not because of young adults, it had to do with the working environment. Management was down grading employees. So it was not a great day in our fair city. That is really too bad because it is a BEAUTIFUL DAY!

GO CARDS TONIGHT. I can't wait to get out and enjoy a baseball game.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Helen

For those of you that do not know this amazing woman, her name is Helen Small and she turned 98 yesterday!!!!! She is married to my grandfather for 27 years now. Yes, that means that she is his second wife. My grandmother passed away when I was in the 6th grade. What a great woman Isabelle was. She was your typical grandmother; she could cook like it was no ones business. But this post is about Helen.

Helen was one of my grandmothers friends. Helen's husband died and they did not have any children. After my grandmother passed away, she and my grandfather started spending time together. She is/was an amazing person. I do remember like it was yesterday when Grandpa and Helen came over to our house to tell us the "News". They were getting married, they were going to marry each other when they were both 70. How cool is that? Well at the time I did not think it was cool at all. I hated my grandfather for marrying someone else. I was very, very close to both my grandparents, so grandma's death hit me pretty hard. So I did what any adolescent would do, go screaming out of the room, yelling, no grandpa you can't marry her.

Helen came to my door and talked to me. She is a soft spoken lady and she is very good with her words. She told me that she would never want to replace my grandmother, she just wanted to share in my grandfather's life. I did not have to call her grandmother, I could call her by her name, Helen.

What an amazing wedding! Besides my brother Scott getting drunk, it was a pretty good time.
They have lived in harmony since then. They are now both in an assisted living facility, living by themselves in their own apartment. Helen reminds me every time I talk to her what it is like to live life. Yes, she has challenges, she uses a walker, has hearing aids and no longer can see but you would not know any of that if you just sat next to her and had a conversation with her.

Helen, here is to you and your 98th Birthday. Keep on kicking so you can keep my grandfather in line!!!!!!!

Gay Men

Today's blog is in relation to yesterday's (Sunday's) activities. "I went to a party at the county jail" just kidding but I warned you all that I love Elvis. Gay men are interesting. They can be equated to teenage girls. No really, think about it..... Gay men are the only people that I know that can break up with their boyfriend Friday morning, hang out with him Friday evening and then go to a party together Sunday afternoon. And when your at the party, sit next to your ex like nothing happened. Then one of them sees another very CUTE boy and say Damm, he's cute!!! WHAT?!?!?!

The activities at the local watering hole were interesting yesterday. There was a strange vibe running through Sunday School. I could not really put my finger on why this was feeling so strange but it was. I was a social butterfly, I talked to people I really have not talked to in a while. And you know what, I am glad I did. I also tried to get one of my friends out of his funk by snapping a few pics........ I don't know how much my friends will enjoy the pic but I thought it was FUNNY, but please do not post it on UTUBE!!!!.

I sometimes take people for granted. I usually call when I want to vent but do I call just to see how they are doing..... no not always. I am glad I came to that realization. I found out that there are other people in my extended circle of friends that care about me deeply. So why is that unique, maybe because I have always known that I can hang out with the boys and party but to actually have a real conversation with them, that was the coolest part. I needed to know that I am not just another pretty face in the sea of men.

Thanks boys, you helped a girl out!!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Safety Inspection/ Emmission Test

What a crock of SHIT!!!!!. You know, if I am fine with the way my car is driving why should the state of Missouri feel the need to get into my business!!!!! How many times have you been driving and you hear the car next to you make some noise? They have a sticker on their license plates. Do you ever wonder how that is? I sure do. I just took my Kia in and it will cost me a bunch of money to get the shit fixed!!!! I know brakes are important but my third light on my back window. That is what two, working brake lights are suppose to be for. So what is the deal? No matter how hard I try to get everything paid, it just does not work. I am tired of feeling like I am living in a poor house. I am tired of having a few extra dollars in my pocket and then some new bill comes up and takes it away.

I was excited to see that gas is down to 3.58 a gallon today. I better fill up my tank now because in a few weeks, when my car bill gets to me, I am going to be poor again. Maybe tomorrow I can rant about a different issue but I have a feeling that I am going to be pissed about this one for a while. Don't even start me on personal property taxes...........

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jerry Springer Weekend

It was one of those weekend's that you want to forget but you just can't. On Friday, I had a full day. I went to work, physical therapy, dinner with friends and then out for a few beers. My body was exhausted by 9 P.M. so I decided to go home and go to bed. I was all alone in the house. No tv to bother me, no young adults walking in their bedroom that happens to be above my head and I turned off my phone. I was ready for much needed deep sleep. And then it happened, I was just about asleep and then I get jolted awake by "SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET YOUR ASS IN THE CAR, I AM NOT PLAYING WITH YOU". Well I tried to ignore it, but then it kept going. So I was curious, who the hell was making this type of noise at 10 p.m. on a Friday night? So I got up, looked out the window and saw my next door neighbor's argueing with what appeared to be a relative to one of them. Well as I listened and watched because there was no sleep happening right then, I figured out that something happened inside of the house to what I assumed was to the lady's son. I have no idea what it was but apparently one sister hit the other sister in the mouth. The boyfriend of the sister was trying to get her into the car and had her in a head lock several times. She was actually in the car at one point and he got in and I was hoping it would be over BUT NO. HOOSIER ASS GOT OUT OF THE CAR AND WAS BEGGING HER SISTER TO COME OUT OF THE HOUSE TO FIGHT HER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET.
Neighbor's came over to try to calm them all down, but next time the police will be called. I was tired of watching the Jerry Springer show outside my bedroom window, so I put ear plugs in and went to sleep. I slept like a rock.

Then Sunday night, we hear a loud truck in the street. So we opened the front door and saw a fire truck. Someone lit a mattress on fire in the back alley, across the street. Well welcome to the neighborhood, this should be an interesting summer.

That was my Jerry Springer weekend. I hope you all had a more interesting one.

Friday, May 16, 2008


It is finally Friday and it is actually sunny outside. I am so tired of the rain. I really don't remember a spring like this. We have had so many days of rain and when you look at the weeks forecast; it is still coming. I know I am going to want some rain in July but it really needs to stop for the time being. The weather sometimes dictates peoples moods. I must say, with all of this rain, I have not been a pleasant person to be around.

The kids at school are also getting fed up with it. Their engery level yesterday was every high. They need to get outside and feel the warmth of the sun. It is suppose to be nice this weekend so hopefully they all can spend sometime outside instead of inside playing their video games.

15 more days left of school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK that is all for today. Not too heavy for a Friday.

Have a great weekend and go outside and enjoy the weather.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day came and went and I think I did a pretty good job with it this year. I actually wished friends of mine happy mother’s day and even got flowers for my partner. I actually thought of positive years and moments that I had with my mom. I was not filled with anger all day; anger because of the fact that my mom left us at such a young age. When I go back home and I see friends and their mothers I try to look at them to see what my mom would like now, in 2008. She died in 1990. That is 18 years? Can it be that long ago? Time does move on and if we don’t sit back and do a silent reflection of our time with someone they will be forgotten. I have not forgotten you mom. I look and act like you more and more every day. Thank you for being my mom.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Saturday in Memphis

Well let me just say I am not normally a morning person. Especially after I have consumed enough beer to float a small boat. With that being said, I was in a hotel room with 4 other people and three of the four are morning people. (They actually work out in the morning before work for God's sake) So one of them woke up at 5:45 A.M.!!!!!! and he opened the curtain and said, "Good we have a blue sky". Well that was it, the light poured in and the room was up within 20 minutes. I soon got out of bed, did my morning duties and commented, " I don't normally get up before I have to folks". They all replied, you can go back to bed. YEA RIGHT. People were up, moving around, even showering! There are only 2 things to do then. Get some water and some Excedrin migraine medicine for my hang over headache. I also knew I would have to eat soon. So I was the next in the bathroom, showered and waited for others to get ready so I can soak up some of the beer I drank last night. We eventually found a buffet and ate. I felt much better after breakfast.

The Peabody Hotel is very impressive. We did not see the ducks do their thing but I will do that on my next visit. It was now off to GRACELAND. How cool is that? I could not wait to get there. I LOVE ELVIS. I have grown up with the King. But to let you all know, the Graceland tour is not cheap. We went on the basic walking tour with audio for $27.00. But the pictures I took was worth the money to me. The best part of the tour was the transformed racquetball court. Within the court was all of his awards, gold records and many of his outfits he wore on stage. You could also just stand in there and watch one of his last concerts. That was pretty awesome. We did not get to see the upstairs bedrooms. They are to remain private, maybe because he is still using them. At the conclusion of the tour, you walked by the grave site of him and his parents. Did you know that Elvis was a twin? His brother died at an early age. You might want to google info. on that.

It was now back to the hotel, and prepare for the all day and night music fest. BUT we had to hit Beale Street before the music fest. We need to eat some BBQ and drink some cold Big Ass Beers.
I do know now that the next time I go to Memphis, I will spend more time on Beale Street. It has such a diverse atmosphere. The BBQ was quite tasty too.

The music fest was something everyone should be exposed to at least once in a lifetime. Just make sure that you have rain gear and you can stand for long periods at a time. The Blues tent was pretty cool. The lead singer of the band we were listening to was awesome. He even knew a member of the Temptations and he got up on the stage and sang for the crowd. Then we moved to another stage to listen to Buddy Guy. Now he can put on a show and the energy he had on that stage was amazing. The next group SUCKED but Santana made up for how horrible the earlier act was. I love the was Santana brought in so much percussion into their music.

The concert ended at 1 A. M. Remember this day started at 5:45. We started our trek back to the hotel and we all needed the walk and get our bodies moving. All of our legs and lower back were in pain. Is that a sign of old age? Well I was the youngest one in this group, if that tells you anything. We had a few beers at the hotel and I made an announcement to the room, if anyone thinks they are getting up before 7, they will get physically hurt by me. The room finally went silent at 2:15 A.M. We all reawoke at 8. It was a great weekend! Despite all the rain and wind I drove through, it was worth the time and money. I will be back next year.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Memphis was a blast. It started with the worst car ride I have ever been on. I should of listened to my dad, yea I said that outloud. I was white knuckled driving through 4 different mini-tornado's. That is the only way I can describe it. When you see the signs on the road become wind vanes, you know what I mean. But when I got to Memphis the sun was shining. But it did not last long. We were able to make it to Beale Street for some "fruit juices". We also were able to see Joan Jet and the Blackhearts. That was a great show. I also love to people watch and I love for people to notice me as well. There was a lot of "family" at the music fest and some made references to me that I have it going on. It is nice to hear that. Then the sky opened and it rained for almost 3 hours.

My friend and I had enough to drink and we decided to start making the trek back to the hotel. I heard about this walk but to experience it with someone that is not able to fully hold themselves up is a different story all together. In order to get to the hotel you need to get to highway 55. You need to cross two different ON RAMPS. It can be challenging if you have had too much to drink and not judging your speed vs the speed of the cars correctly. Well, I had to pull my friend back a few times because he thought he could beat the car...... NOT. So we waited for the all clear and then crossed. Remember it is still POURING RAIN. We finally made it to the hotel and I was in the hot shower in 2 minutes flat. Then the pizza was ordered and we drank more beer and then the rest of the crew made it back to the room. To see the look in their eyes, I then realized how we must of looked when we finally made it back. The rain did not cause them to return to home base early, it was the excessive lighting. I really don't know if Sheryl Crow ended up playing or not.

The next day started at 6 AM with one of the crew looking outside and seeing a blue sky.... stay tuned for Saturday's events later.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I need a vacation. I want a vacation. I am going on a short weekend vacation. I am finally going to go to Memphis. One of my friends from work is retiring this year and I told him the year he retires I will join him and the rest of the "crew" in Memphis for Memphis in May. Well it has finally come and I am leaving tomorrow. I am very excited about getting out of town for the weekend and hanging with people I don't normally associate with outside of my work week. Is it bad that I want to take this trip by myself? Is it bad that I wish I was leaving tonight? I was on Spring Break last week and did not go anywhere. I need to get away from the mundane run around we call our daily lives.

I am going to go and see Graceland. I love Elvis and I am going to be a tourist Saturday morning before the afternoon juices. I would love to see the Civil Rights Museum but I don't think I will have time to do both. Then there is Tunica. But my time is very limited and I am sure I will have to go back to be a true tourist.

Thank you President Bush for the extra money in my pocket this month so I am able to fill up my gas tank twice.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Going Away to College vs Staying Home and Attending College

Just to let you all know, and some of you will laugh and say NO WAY! I was such a baby when I first left home and went away to college. After I first thought of this topic, I reflected back on why I was so homesick. This was my first time away from home. This was my first time away from my parents and this was the first time away from my best friend. My best friend, Robyn, was a total nut. She wants to claim that all the things we did together were my idea. I would have to agree with her on some of them but not all of them. Maybe the one where we skipped school, went back to my house, smoked some stuff and then went to play a basketball game. I was fine but Robyn actually scored a lay-up for the OTHER TEAM.

I remember my RA Debbie coming into my room after about a week of totally crying because I missed everyone so much and tried to guide me on how to live away from home. I had a bunch of high school pictures up, my class picture, all 660 of us, and a bunch of pictures of my friends. Well we took those down, just for now, I was told. They never went back up though. That helped for about a day and then I called home and I remember the conversation I had with my dad as if it happened yesterday.

Here is how it went: Hi, honey, hi dad, What is wrong? I just miss everyone so much. Well, I know but softball will be starting soon and that will keep you busy. Yea but..... and that is when he became the man I had known all of my life. He then went on to say, if you want to come home and go to school at Prairie State Community School, I am sure we can arrange for that to happen. Well that stopped me fast in my tracks!!!!!
I did not want to go to Prairie State. I did not want to live at home and listen to my parent argue. I did not want to give up my scholarship that meant so much to me. I was finally proud of myself for getting into a college and being able to get a softball scholarship. Just to let you all know, my high school years were not the best, by any means. I struggled in school ALOT.
This also meant a lot to my parents. I was the last one to go to college and we were all very fortunate to be able to have some scholarship to help us pay for our schooling.

Back to topic, I ended up sucking it up, started practicing with the team and learning how to really study. Another amazing feat for me was to finish my first semester with a 3.8 out of 4.0. That was incredible!!!! I couldn't wait to get home for winter break and show EVERYONE how well I had done first semester. Let me give you a little back ground on this subject. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia when I was in the 5th grade. What did this mean to me? It showed me that I was not stupid. It showed me why I was struggling so much in school. It allowed me to understand why I was reading 3 grade levels behind my class. There is no wonder with that, if you skip whole paragraphs, it is a little hard to comprehend the material. So when I went back home for the first break, I went to my high school and thanked the special education teachers that took the time to teach me to believe in myself. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of LONG days and even LONGER nights with my parents that helped me get back up to speed.

What was the turn around from high school to college? I truly believe it was because I was 8 hours away from home and I could not get in a car and drive home, whenever I felt like it. It made me study, work hard and enjoy the time away from home.

Playing college softball was a huge motivator for me, no doubt. I don't think I would of been able to handle 4 years of college without that as my outlet. Thanks Columbia College, you helped me be the person I am today.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Communication is the Key to EVERYTHING

Communication is the key to everything. That is something I have known for awhile but I was not practicing it in my relationship. We sometimes get too caught up in the daily routine to actually sit down and have a real conversation. I don't mean when we vent at each other because they have compassion for our situations. I mean when we actually talk about what is in our deepest parts of our hearts.

My partner and I finally had one of those conversations. We took the time to find out that we were not communicating with each other. We both knew that but a lot of what was happening the last few weeks was because we were not listening to each other. Miscommunication seem to be the downfall of many relationships. But at the same time, we were both able to express what we need from each other. It is not all peachy keen but it was a step in the right direction.

Have a great day... enjoy the sunshine while we have it.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Trials of being a step parent in the gay world

OK, this is a very personal issue for me. I have debated all day whether to put it out for the whole world to see. I finally came to the conclusion that who ever reads this might help me deal with my situation. And I am really wanting honest comments to this post.

Here goes.......

There is so much to write about on this topic because there is not much out there to read for guidance. Sure there are "Parenting" books but those books do not address many of the issues in the gay world. Now there are two different ways to look at this issue. 1 If you and your partner decide to bring a little one into this world, then you both have made the commitment necessary to travel down that road. That is not perspective I will be discussing in this posting.

I am going to be speaking from the perspective of meeting someone with kids and falling in love with them and thus having an instant family. I use the term, "family" very loosely here. I entered my partners life when 2 of her children were teenagers. Yes, TEENAGERS. Being a middle school teacher, I should of expected a lot of what happened the last 6 years.

Ok, picture it, Sicily, Golden Girls reference sorry, I met this person and we started to get to know each other and she was from the "straight world". So now you can really picture the situation. To get to the chase, her husband and her divorced and her kids were very hurt and pissed. They were pissed at their mom but mostly, totally pissed at me. They are not bad kids, nor have they ever been. They were teenagers when all of this transpired and of course they rebelled some.

Now, my background makes me try to be the disciplinarian and I did try that approach with them but of course it backed fired because I was not their mom and I had no say it what they did, so on and so on. So it was very tense for a while but it seemed to let up some. I am going to get to the chase of this posting. I was told many times by my partner that she did not want to be put in the middle between me and her kids and if I had problems with them, I should tell them. Well I did and I normally got the response that I stated earlier. They would listen, somewhat, and then go on about their business. I am a big follow up person. If I tell someone that I am going to check up on something that I have asked them to do, I do just that. I am also the type of person that when I have had enough, I blow. I have blown many times being the unwanted step parent. Sure, when they wanted something, they had no problem asking but when I wanted them to do something, how dare I.

That is where I am right now. I have convied my thoughts and feelings to my partner and it does not always sink in. She is the type of person that thinks things through and I am the type of person that wants something changed right away. That is how I was brought up.... that is one of my issues. How I was brought up is not the same way my partner has brought up her kids. Our two philosophies are conflicting. I am tired of watching her kids think everything must be handed to them. The two teenagers are growing up and are both in college.

I need advice here, both young ladies are being given an opportunity that not many single parents can give their children. They have been given the opportunity to go to college without the burden of student loans hanging over their heads when they graduate. My partner works two jobs to make that possible for them. But when something is asked of them, there is a roll of the eyes or sorry I can't because it would be too much gas money to do that for you mom. I don't know how many times, she has asked either one of them to do her a favor and they pretty much tell her no because of one thing or another. HOW DARE THEM. If my mom was working two jobs and she needed me to go to my grandmother's house to pick up something for her and deliever it to her, I would do it because I understand what my MOTHER is doing for me. I have put my two cents in on any and all issues that pertain to these two young ladies. I have had to put my foot down to my partner about something I see is going on and it needs to stop. I am tired of being the bad guy, I am tired to pointing out things I know their mom sees. I am tired of having 20 year olds being so disrespectful at times.

How do I get past being totally pissed when I see them manipulating their mother for their own benefit? I really am having a hard time having any conversation with the one that lives with us. We bought a new home last July and we both decided that as long as the two were in college, they would have a place to live. With that said about the new house, I no longer live in their house. This house is just as much mine as it is their moms and I will make my voice heard here.

We have talked about the one living here full time, helping out with some grocery money, she has a job so I am not totally off my rocker. We got $35 in September of 2007. That was it. I am putting my foot down again. She will be paying money starting in May. She has a tendency to open the refrig up to see what is in there to eat and not even bother to thank anyone for going to the store. I am tired of this shit. I have told my partner this and she agrees with me. My biggest bitch is WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE TO COME FROM ME.... why can't it be addressed without me saying something. Supposedly things like I have described are going to be addressed asap and I will be watching to see how things change or if they change at all.

It is very disheartening to be in a relationship with someone and have a wedge thrown into the relationship that you have no control over. I do not have control over how my partner deals with her children and I can not continue to allow any one of them to get my blood pressure up like it has the last two weeks or so. I feel taken advantage of on many fronts and that is going to stop as well. I need to focus on me and my career and hopefully all of what I have vented about today will be a distant memory soon.

I am serious when I said at the beginning of my post, I would like any and all honest comments.



Friday, April 18, 2008

St. Louis

This entry is going to be all about St. Louis today. It has been a weird 24 hours here. I will copy some news stories and then comment on each one. I am taking a lighter approach today. I am on vacation as of 3 pm today and it is so much needed.

5.2 Earthquake Shakes Parts of Midwest

WEST SALEM, Ill. (AP) -- A 5.2 earthquake centered in southern Illinois rocked people awake throughout the Midwest this morning.
The earthquake surprised residents unaccustomed to such a large Midwest temblor.
It happened just before 4:37 a.m. and was centered near West Salem.Minor damage reports are coming in from around the region including Jefferson County, Soulard, Albion, IL. Kingshighway is closed between Vandeventer and Shaw while crews inspect an overpass.
The quake was clearly felt in Chicago, which is about 230 miles away. And residents in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky also reported feeling it.
West Salem is in Edwards County, and dispatcher Lucas Griswold says the county sheriff's department received several calls about the earthquake but only reports of minor damage.

An earthquake was not something I really expected in St. Louis. I know, I know; we are on a fault line and we should expect them. This is the first one I have ever felt. I woke up and said, what is that, the furniture in the bedroom was shaking. So we got everyone down on the main level and by then it was over. It was 4:30 in the morning. So much for rem sleep. It will be all over the news today and I am anxious to read or watch the news coverage of it. I know, I can be a dork sometimes.

Murder In The Downtown Loft District

St. Louis police are investigating a homicide in a luxury loft building on Washington Avenue downtown.
The victim was white male, who appeared to be in his 40's or 50's.
He knew one of the residents of the Ventanna Loft Building, which explains why he was inside, but it's still unclear who killed him and how they got in the building.
To get in to the structure, to activate the elevator or to get into the parking area you have to use a key.
A female resident found the victim's body around 5:30 pm Wednesday and called police.
Investigators have already conducted several interviews but say they will be back Friday reviewing surveillance video and talking to even more people.
Residents in the area were shocked to hear the news.
Police are not releasing any suspect information and they describe it as a possible shooting, but a local security guard claims he heard a single shot fired right around 5:30 while walking by the parking lot entrance.
Anyone with information about this shooting is urged to contact the St. Louis Police Department immediately.
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Ok, I got a call from a friend of mine that works right by where this happened last night. That is a little unnerving. I also work there a few times a week. Apparently, it was someone the person knew but that does not make it any better. You need to know about the loft district if you are not from St. Louis. This is a part of downtown that has made a huge transformation. The lofts used to be warehouses, and then abandoned warehouses and now high priced lofts. It has changed the whole area. It is amazing to see people walking, running, taking their dogs for a walk someplace that no one would go after dark two years ago. What will the reaction be to this incident? Who knows? I know I will be looking over my shoulder and making sure I am "aware of my surroundings" ( that is my dad's favorite comment to us kids) Just be careful out there everyone.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 3, 10 innings.

Prince Fielder hit his first home run of the season, a two-run drive off Brad Thompson in the 10th inning that gave the Milwaukee Brewers a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
Fielder, who led the NL with 50 homers last year, needed 54 at-bats to connect for the first time this year. He also tied the score with a bloop RBI double that capped a three-run, eighth-inning rally against Kyle Lohse and two relievers.

I was not able to take the day off to go the game but I was able to see the 10th inning. I have to say, I used to play softball and coach softball. I am no Tony Larussa but DAMM! Why would you give Prince Fielder a chance to hit the ball out of the park. Why thrown him either a change up or curve ball inside. That is nuts!!!!! I have noticed that the Cardinals would rather pitch the inside pitch to a pull hitter then put the ball on the outside of the plate and make the hitter take a good swing to get on base. But why to you give the best hitter on the Brewers the opportunity to hit the ball out of the park in his wheel well?

Ok that is all for now. I wanted to do something different today and if I have any creative thoughts of my own, I will post again later.