Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mid June

Well this is the second week of summer school and I have 3 more weeks to go. It is going to be a long 3 weeks. :( I have given the students an opportunity to work in groups today and I think that seems to help a little bit. Them staying focused on the assignment is the tough part.

My personal life has had it ups and downs. I am struggling to remain calm in my living situation. I am tired of being treated like I am one of Terri's kids and she seems to think she has the final say as to what happens at the house. I am going to live my life and if that makes her uncomfortable there are places she can go. I know that might sound harsh and hateful but I am at my wits ends. We have had several discusssions on how the living arrangements can change and I am sure there will be a change in my address in the next few months.

Now to the ups. Kadee is a blessing. I am not a church-going person but I also believe that there is a reason for people to meet. I met Kadee back in September of 08 and we met again this spring. I am enjoying my time with her and she is certaintly a calming influence in my life. And she is FUN. She is OUTGOING. She is well READ. Did I say she is FUN?

I am looking forward to Friday at the pool with friends. It is starting to get hot in St. Louis and a nice cool pool is perfect. This Sunday is Father's day and I will not be in Chicago with my dad, grandfather and brother but they will be in my thoughts for sure. I hope you they have a great day.

I am working on my Master's degree through Ashford University in Iowa. It is an online program and I love it. I have completed one class and I am on my second class. I am enjoying the new technology I am learning to help with my teaching.

OK back to work,

Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another School Year Finished

The date is June 4th and another school year is over. This year had some major ups and downs for me. We lost, yet again, another principal and yet again we have presented a contract to another eager beaver. But we have not heard if she has accepted the contract. I guess we will know something in August.

I am not really sad to see this class of students leave the building. I am not very eager to have the 7th graders come upstairs either. I had that group for summer school last year and I have heard many horror stories with them this year. I sure hope they mature some during the summer.

I have decided to teach another year of summer school. It is too easy not to. We only go to school Monday- Thursday from 8:15- 12:15. That is not a difficult day. I am teaching the 8th graders that did not pass this year. I know most of the students that will be in my class, which makes it so much easier.

I completed my first class for my Master's. I learned a whole bunch when it comes to different technologies that I did not even know exsisted. I am now working with my learning styles vs my teaching styles. That should be interesting because I found out today that the two different categories do not go hand in hand. I do not teach like I learn. I want to explore that more and I will have an opportunity this week when I complete my next assignment.

I went to the Cardinal's game last night and sat in a suite right behind home plate. I took total advantage of being in the suite. Free food, free beer and sitting right behind the catcher and actually seeing the strike zone. It was pretty cool. Thanks Jenny and Emily.

Here's to a sunny and warm weekend in St. Louis. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Off on Yet Another Trip

You know, I feel as if I am always traveling. It has been nice to get out of town for some fun. This time I am going to Chicago to see my family and I am looking forward to the visit. I will get to see my grandparents, my dad and Betty and my brother and his family. I am also going to my niece's play on Saturday. That should be fun to watch. My best friend from highschool finally responded to an email, so I will get to see her as well. Her life has taken a few turns as well. Totally looking forward to sitting around and catching up.

School is just about out. In fact we have 9 more instructional days left. And I am one of those mean teachers that will have something due right up to the last day. That is the only way to keep ones sanity.

I am also halfway through my first master's class. I have learned so much about technology the last 4 weeks. BUT, I am not looking forward to writing a paper for my final assignment. I have some reading to catch up on!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, this is all for now. I will post after my weekend. Oh yea, I almost forgot. Brian and I are going to the Cubs game Sunday afternoon. The tickets are 11 rows from the field!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am sure we will have a great time.

Have a great weekend everyone,


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ok OK Mary here you go

I walked in to get my hair cut last Friday and got hit in the arm by my friend Mary. Her comment was, I like you blog, smack, when are you going to update it. So here you go Mary.

My life has been a little crazy lately. I have spent the last two weekends out of town. One trip was for my 20 year college reunion. I really can't believe it has been 20 years since I graduated. But there were only 3 from my class there, that sucked. I would of liked to see more of my college companions. I was able to spend the weekend with a few people I don't get to see very often. Siobhan who is living in Denver and Doris who lives in Valley Park. I also was able to hang out with Bear. That was much needed. We had a great time hanging out and laughing.

Last weekend was the annual trek to Memphis for Memphis in May. Kelly was able to go this time and it does what it always does that weekend. It RAINED. It rained from Friday about midnight to Sunday morning. So we made an executive decision to skip the music at the park and go to Beale Street instead. That was a good call. Kelly took a much needed nap after our "Fruit Juices" and lunch at Central BBQ. Then I watched a 50 -1 horse win the derby and then it was off to Beale Street and Wet Willies. I love me some frozen drinks. We had dinner at The Kings Palace, very good food and then off to a bar to listen to a blues band. We left around noon on Sunday to start back to St. Louis. The best musical groups were playing Sunday night but I did not want to get home at 2 am. I needed to be at school on Monday. Next year, I will try to save 2 personal days for this trip.

My next trip will be next weekend to Chicago to see my family. I have not been up there since Christmas. My grandparents want to see this adorable face. I also fell into some pretty good Cubs tickets. My friend Brian bought some tickets to the Cubs games this summer to take his mom to Wrigley Field. She is having some issues with her knee so she can not make the game in May. So I get to go instead. Apparently, the tickets are 11 rows from the field. I will have to cheer for the Cubs because they are playing the Astro's. I really don't like the Astro's.

What else has been occupying my time.... well I finally fulfilled a promise to myself. I am working on my Master's Degree. I am doing it on line through Ashford University and I am really getting a lot out of it already. This is week 3 of the 6 week class. I have already learned about much more technology to help me in the classroom. Pretty cool huh?

The home situation is not the best..... I will continue to work on my self-control and my patience.
Enough said on that issue.

I hope you all are doing well and take care of yourself and the ones you love.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Was Fooling Myself

Today has been very frustrating for many reasons. The main reason is how the students that I service are not wanting to be accountable for their education. It really is a shame. If they only knew what other children in other parts of the United States and other countries go through just so they could have an education. These kids take so much for granted. I was just recounting my own frustrations I had in middle school just the other day. I wanted an education, it just did not come easy for me. I had to work to just understand the basics' in many areas. Most of these students don't even attempt any effort. They want to use anyone or anything as their scapegoat.
7 more weeks left and then summer vacation. That is the light at the end of the tunnel.

I passed out grade sheets today for a shock factor. I service 67 students, which really is not that many. A few years ago, I was responsible for 110 students. At this time, 29 students are failing and 8 students have D's. So that means that half of my students are not making the grade. AND, I heard from several students how I LOST THEIR WORK. Are you serious?! What EVER!!!!!!!.

Then I tried to email Terri to get the lines of communication open and that did not go well either. I have set up a time to sit and talk to her and I will do my best to keep my blood pressure down.
But I have to say, I am very frustrated with the "conversations". It is like beating a dead horse.

This is not a decision that I made on the fly, this is not a decision that I have not thought about for a while.
I am sorry our relationship did not last forever.

It is time to make a transition. Yes, I have made the transition faster because I was the one not happy. But, I also expressed that many times to her and she did not stop to reflect or stop and change anything. SO why do I have to be "punished" because I made a decision and I am choosing to move on.

I am not going to feel as though I did something wrong. I am not going to feel as though I did not "try" hard enough to save the relationship. All of you know me, you have listened to me when I have vented about this exact thing. How long have you patiently listened to me? It has been at least 8 months if not more. She is not going to take her anger and frustration out on me. That is not happening.

Why am I even entertaining the idea of sitting down and talking? Mainly because of the pattern I have discovered in my life. I normally run and then come back later and try to talk things out. I am not RUNNING FROM ANYTHING!!!!!! If she wants to ask questions, she better be ready for the answers.

Ok I feel a little bit better. Remember, comments are always welcome. I can take anything with a grain of salt.



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Discovered a Pattern in my Life

So here it is again, 3 AM, Wednesday morning. I have been tossing and turning in bed for an hour now. I finally realized why. I cleaned out my nightstand last night from the room I shared with Terri. I did not realize it would really affect me to do something like that. Well it did. Not so much the whole cleaning it out and organizing the contents of the nightstand; it was how the room looked. It was no longer my room. And that is ok; don't get me wrong. I AM NOT REGRETTING FOR A SECOND MY DECISION. It is the fact that she has the larger room and I have the room that still has a lot of "our shit" in it. I need to make my room MY ROOM and I am doing something to help make that possible every chance I get.

In my room, I don't have a lot of space and I think I got resentful. Not of Terri but of the situation. I have a third floor and by all rights that should be now mine. But why should I displace her daughter because I want more space. Also, all of Terri's scrapbooking stuff went upstairs so if I did take that space I would still be sharing it with her and that is not what I want or need in my bedroom. So I came to the conclusion that I will make my room, which is a very nice room, especially with a deck attached, the best room I can. It is only a bedroom for God's Sake.

So the pattern that I figured out......... it goes back to when I left Columbia in 1990. I was headed to Denver, CO to be with the love of my life, or I thought. (Sorry Siobhan) When I went out there for Spring Break to look for apartments, I was told that we would not be living together. I can move out to Denver, rent an apartment, get a teaching job, but no guarantees? What the FUCK!. So when I went back to Columbia, I had to come up with another plan. I had already resigned my teaching job, so I was unemployed as of June. I needed a plan. So, my plan was to pack all of my things up and move to St. Louis. Why St. Louis? Well how many school districts do we have in St. Louis? A bunch! That was my thought too. I would surely land a job in a district and find a nice apartment and go on with my life. Well, it did not work out like that. I had to place all my things in storage, stay with friends in Belleville for a few months before I found a job, any job.

So here is the pattern, I box my shit up, live out of boxes for awhile before I land on my feet again. For some people that works. But I had to ponder the question why did I keep doing that? I must have repeated that process 5 or 6 times now in my life. So the pattern, as I see it is, I am happy for awhile in a relationship and then I run by packing all my shit in boxes.

Am I punishing myself for failing? That is my question. Is that how my subconscious works? I must suffer in order to find my happiness again?

This time, I am finding my happiness within myself. I have noticed a change in me, personally. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I am a much happier person because of it. That does not mean that I am not going to have set backs. I just thought it was interesting how I reflected on all the moves I have made in my life and why those moves were necessary.

My dad did just told me recently, change is something that is good and that is what life is about. I know most of you know my dad or at least know what my dad is like, I totally looked into the phone like he had a third head.

Change is good. I will be looking at my life and start to make positive changes. I hope you all will support me on this journey.

I love you all and thanks for being my friend.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So this is going to be a different blog. It will be about several different topics. Here goes:
The last month and a half have been a whirlwind for me. I have learned a lot about myself in that time. I have also become somewhat selfish. But I have answered all questions asked to me.

I know all of my friends are concerned about my well-being. I know that and I appreciate everyone of you. But I must say, what ever Terri and I decide to do about the house is our discussion and decision. We have decided to attempt to live under the same roof until the market gets better and then sell the house and move our separate ways. I don't know how long that will last but we are both making steps to make the living arrangements more manageable for both of us. Once again, that's for your concern for my well-being. I love all of you.

When I broke up with Terri, I told her and everyone else around me, I am not looking to date, hang out, move in with someone or anything like that. I am not interested in doing the "whole U-Haul thing". You all know what I am talking about. Well I have met someone that is intelligent, witty, a great dresser and very beautiful. I am still all about not wanting forever, not wanting to move in, not asking for forever. I want to get to know this person as much as I can and whatever it brings it brings. If it does not work out, I just hope I can have a good friend out of it.

I noticed a pattern I had in my past relationships. I would get "with them" after I have been friends with them for awhile. What is exciting about this person is I did not really know her at all. We are asking each other our likes, dislikes and spending time talking and listening to each other. That is so very exciting and incredibly fun.

So it was 3:33 am when I wrote this blog originally. (Bear you should of made a wish). Do I know where this is going to go? No and I love that. I am not analyzing this at all. I am sitting back and enjoying my time with her and my friends. I am enjoying learning more about me. I woke up with a smile on my face this morning (get your minds out of the gutter, I slept alone) I am a happier person since I made my decision. I am enjoying my work more and my life more. I hope you all can say the same thing.

Got to go and get some more work done.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Vote for Tip Top's Chicken

Hey all,

If you would like to help George and Ro out from Tip Top and you love their fried chicken, vote for them in this contest.

If you have not had the chicken at Tip Top, get over there and try it out. It is pretty awesome. Tip Top is located at 9th and Victor in Soulard.


Also send this on to people that you know

Friday, March 6, 2009

Grandpa and Helen

Great news to share with all of you. Grandpa was doing 200% better yesterday and he was released from the hospital. Helen was happy that he was coming home. They will be nice to each other for a few days and then probably back to squabbling, but they are here and I will take it.

Thanks for all your prayers, they worked.

Have a great weekend and get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sad News

This will be very difficult for me to write but I have to get it out of my head. I received a phone call from my dad last night and it was not good news. He was not bragging about the weather in Naples, FL or the great shot he made on the golf course. He called to give me an update about Grandpa and Helen. They both fell. This is the 5 or 6th time my grandfather has fallen in a year. But most importantly, this is the 3 time he has fallen in 2 months. But this was Helen's first fall. The doctors have run their tests.

Background information: My grandfather and Helen are both 98 years old. That is amazing. They both have their mind, or at least most of it. They live in an assisted living apartment and just recently, they moved to the 4th floor because they needed more care. Yes we all know the end is near.... it is the end that is the topic of this blog.

My grandfather has been a major player in my life. He would put a baseball glove in my crib, my grandmother would take the glove out and put in a doll. They would go back and forth with this until my grandfather finally insisted for the glove to stay in the crib. Well thank goodness for that because I can not see me playing with Barbies.

My grandparents lived in Ceder Lake, IL right before my grandfather retired from the steel mill. They had a wonderful garden and a lot of room for us to play. There was a vacant lot next door to them that we made into a baseball diamond and a place to have bon fires. The whole extended family came over for the bon fires. It was like a national holiday with all the people, food and fun.
I can list my best memories from that house and the time we spent with my grandparents and it would go on for pages!!!! I am not kidding.

I learned to drive a riding lawn mower in Ceder Lake, much to my grandmother's dismay. After the grass was cut I would put that lawn mower in 4th gear and run it like it was a race car around my own track.

My grandmother died when I was in 6th grade. What a wonderful woman she was. I have a lot of her in me. A few years passed and my grandfather married my grandmother's best friend, Helen. I was pissed when they told us.... no one was going to replace my grandmother. But she was very sweet after I was visibly upset. She came to my room and told me that she was not trying to replace my grandmother because she was an amazing woman. She just wanted to be part of our family. Helen fell and hit her head pretty hard but as far as we know she is ok. She has been ready for the lord to take her for a while now. She has lost her sight and most of her hearing and that is a shame. She was awesome to talk to and she was a avid reader. I wish her peace.

My grandfather was one of my faithful supporters during my sports activities. He loved it that I took up softball. He used to play 16 inch softball in Chicago. He has one crooked finger to prove it. In fact he loved to watch all three of us play baseball/softball. It was a great day for him when he could be at the baseball fields watching all three of us play baseball. Yes I did say baseball. I played in a boys baseball league for 2 years because my mom was pissed with the politics of the softball league. Anyway, he would give us a dollar if we hit a home run. My brother Scott almost bankrupted him one year because he was the leading home run hitter.

I played softball in college. During my last home game as a senior, I finally hit it out of the park. So during my graduation, I was called back up to the stage to get my home run ball, (I went to a small college.) And there was my grandfather with my dollar bill!!!!!!!!!

John R Small is the oldest of 12. He was born on 1-11-11. We call him the 5 aces because of his birth date. He changed his name from Smolinski to Small because in order for him to get a good paying job in the steel mill he could not have a Polish name.

I love them both and I wish them the peace they so dearly deserve.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Loving Life

The past few days have really made me think.
I have had fun.
I am smiling again, genuinely.
People have commented on how I am smiling again.
I have meet different people.
I strive to meet more.
I planned a mini-vacation with friends.
I am looking forward to the weekend.
I can't wait to sit a Luvy Duvy's on Saturday and enjoy a meal and time with friends.
I am looking forward to seeing Kayla.

I am coming out of my fog....... I am starting to see how beautiful the stars can be again.
I am making my own life for ME. Not anyone else.

What a great feeling.

Hope to see you all at Rehab this weekend. I work from 7 pm to close.


Friday, February 27, 2009

The Weekend

Today is Friday and it seemed like today would never come this week. I don't know if it is because I was so busy last week and weekend that this week seemed to drag on and on. Also there is not a lot planned this weekend which I am fine with. But I do find myself looking forward to Spring Break. I really was not planning on going anywhere but that has all changed.

Now I am going to Columbia to visit my best friend for a few days and then off to Tunica, MS.

I love Tunica. I love to gamble. I love to go to different casinos. I also love the fact that they still offer free drinks if you are playing. THAT IS TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!!! I might also make it to Memphis and go to the Civil Rights Museum. I missed that the last few times down there. But then again, I can always visit it while I am down there in May for the Music Fest.

We are getting to the point of the school year that vacations get planned with a day or two off from school. Us teachers need to revive ourselves someway. We plan long weekends.

There is not much else to say today. I plan on getting my new room more organized this weekend and I will hopefully be in my new bed by the following weekend. I am anxious to get myself organized because I can feel myself getting kind of crazed because of it.

Have a good weekend everyone.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Being Busy

You know there is much to say for being busy. If you are busy, you don't really have to reflect. If you are busy, you are usually surrounded by people. If you are busy, you can tell yourself you do not have time to .......... do whatever it is you are avoiding.

I took a step yesterday to slow down and think about what I want. I want my own room, my own space. I want it organized the way I want and need it, not what is convient for others. I took the first step yesterday and bought some plastic containers to organize some of my clothes. Then I went home and and worked on getting something accomplished. And within an hour it was amazing how much I did. Terri even worked on getting her scrapbook stuff out of the room that is going to be mine for now on.

This was not easy for either one of us. We saw our dream diminish. So I had to sit and reflect on that for a few minutes. Terri offered to do more in the room and I told her that we have done enough for one night. I just wanted to close the door and reflect. She left and I sat and looked around. Yea I could of gotten really depressed because I could of felt as if I was being reduced to one room but that is not reality. I have a house, a nice house. It will become a house sharing instead of a partnership but that is ok. It will be ok. I know it all takes time.

I will work to get the bedroom the way I will be the most comfortable in and then I will finally purchase a bed and get off the damm air mattress. Once again, it takes time. I have time. But I do want to get to the point that I feel COMFORTABLE in the house and not feel as though I can't say what is on my mind or do what I would like. If I want to stay up until 5 am I can and will and if I want to be in bed by 7 pm I can and will.

These are my thoughts from the last few days.



Monday, February 23, 2009

Yes I am Finally Updating My Blog

Hello everyone,

Well the last month or two have been crazy for me. I came back to school the first of January and it just does not feel like I have stopped running since. I celebrated my 42nd birthday with a great group of people and had a wonderful dinner at Sidney Street Cafe. The service was excellent and the steak melted in my mouth. Then it was on to Hummels for Karaoke. NO, no of us did any drunk singing.
The highlight of my evening was seeing my best friend, Bear, show up with Uncle Doug from Columbia. That literally brought tears to my eyes. I miss that Bear so much. But we are going to catch up in Columbia in a few weeks, can't wait for that.

NOW on to the shocking news for most of you. If you know me, you know I have been in a relationship for 6 years with Terri. Well, I had to do what I had to do and I ended that relationship. I have not been single for 15 years!!!!!! Yea I am one of those that have gone from one relationship to the next most of my life. I am going to savor the fact that I only have to account for myself. The living arrangements are the same, it can get tense at times but we will work it out. Not much can happen with the housing market the way it is.

Next up in my crazy life is my part time job. I have started to bartend at a new bar in "the grove" called Rehab. Here is the link.

My brother Rodney works very hard at updating all the fun times we have there. So please check out the link and come in for a drink. I work on Saturday's from 11 am to 7 pm. I make killer bloody mary's!!!!!

OK that is enough for now.... I hope to see you out and about.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year Everyone

As I sit on my very comfortable recliner I am going to attempt to write this blog. New Year's Eve was fun. Terri and I went to dinner and then went to a party. It was a small group but it was fun. I enjoyed being able to sit and talk, play Wii and just hang out. I did get booed off the stage during Guitar Hero at least 4 times. Ha Ha. Kelly, I need to practice more at your house so I don't embarrass myself anymore.

We rang in the New Year and hung out for a little bit. We did not hear any gun shots until we got home and it sounded like it come from across the street.... great huh? Then we slept in. It was wonderful to sleep in.

We eventually got up and I went to watch the Hockey game that was being played at Wrigley Field. It was cool to hear how much the players of the Blackhawks and Red Wings loved playing on a outdoor "pond". Then Terri made me feel guilty with just sitting as she was working on cleaning up the living room, so I started to make some moves to clean the kitchen. Well that only lasted for a short lived 20 minutes or so and I retreated back to my recliner where I still sit.

These are the days that I miss. Just hanging out and watching college football and both of us on are respective laptops. She is playing a game and I am writing......... I love it.

I am starting to get hungry though and I certainly don't want to cook so we might venture to Lafayette Square to see if Square One Brewery is open....... I am craving their beer cheese soup.

Ok everyone, I hope you all had a nice and safe New Year's Eve. Here's to a wonderful 2009.