"Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't work." -Calvin & Hobbes

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bake Sales for Teacher Ammo

I love my job. Some may say that I am obsessed with my job. I have worked since I was 14 years old and teaching is the most exhausting by far, but I can't imagine doing anything else. We are on break and I am excited to go back to work on Monday (ok, minus the waking up early part). I am frequently found telling stories of my students' hilarity, showing pictures of the projects that we have done, and thinking about how to make the next units and lessons even better and more exciting than the last.

Last week there was another school shooting. This is too much. Killing sprees have become far too prevalent in our country. You can't help but wonder where it will happen next.

"...I would probably go into tech, where I would make a ton more money and wouldn't have to carry a gun to work."

I have been reading, watching, and listening to ideas and arguments. One thing that I feel confident in saying is that arming more people with guns is not the answer. Having teachers, admin, custodians, etc. carry firearms with them is absolutely the wrong thing to do. If I were required to have a gun with me at school, I would 100% quit my job.  There is no amount of training that would make me stay under those conditions. The job that I work so hard at, love so much, and can't imagine doing anything but, I would walk away from. Then I would probably go into tech, where I would make a ton more money and wouldn't have to carry a gun to work.*

Plus, if it a viable option to scrounge up enough money from the budget to arm and train teachers to carry weapons, why the hell am I working so hard, out of my regular, paid work hours, to raise money for actual school supplies? Where would this money come from? Would teachers be required to hold bake sales for guns? I collect a lot of Box Tops, but not nearly enough to purchase firearms. Stop it.  Stop. This is not a rational solution.

We need more gun control. This does not mean that the government is going to "take away your guns" so just shut up about that. This country will never ban guns completely, and I don't think that it is truly necessary. "Gun control" is not "abolishing all fire arms."

We need better mental health care. Life is really hard! Why aren't rational ways of dealing with life more easily accessible? Why isn't everyone granted a general practitioner and a psychologist with their health care? Why are my students qualifying to meet with a school psychologist but having to wait months until one has time to fit the student in his/her schedule?

"...please, please stop talking about arming teachers."

If you take only one thing away from this, please, please stop talking about arming teachers. Take all of the money needed for arming and training schools and staffs with guns and put it towards pencils, art supplies, music, smaller class sizes, and more resources for kids.

*If I had the option of ninja star training, I might consider staying.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

#iamapreexistingcondition



With the recent GOP vote to repeal "Obamacare," I feel that it is necessary to tell my story, if not only for my own sanity. If it travels farther than that, wonderful. Please feel free to share my story.
After I graduated from college, I had a little over a year when I was still eligible to be on my mom's health insurance. At 25, I had no idea about insurance. I was also a dumb kid. I was working a bunch of odd jobs, mostly nannying, and loving every minute of my life. I had recently come out of a horrific health experience where I was unable to get out of bed and no one knew what was wrong with me. Coming out of it was the best time of my life. I have never enjoyed my time on Earth more that the couple years after that terrifying time.
Anyway, I was no longer able to be on my mom's insurance, so I looked in to getting my own. Turns out Type 1 Diabetes is one of those "pre-existing" conditions that I had been hearing so much about. My only other option was to go on a medical "discount" program. I put "discount" in quotation marks because I did not notice much discounting in the pricing of my medical care. Every penny counts, I suppose.
I had to pay for my medications out of pocket. The discount program gave me a lower rate on doctor visits, with certain doctors. Specialists were a lesser rate as well, but not in the range that a middle class individual can easily afford. If my memory serves me correctly, I had to pay around $100 for a primary care doctor visit and over $200 for any specialists appointments. Well, after paying around $1,000 per month solely on medications, there was really no money left for any doctor visits. So I saved all of my receipts and I hoped for the best on my tax returns. For three years in a row, I paid over $15,000 a year, purely on medical expenses. If you don't feel like doing the math as you read, that is over $45,000. In three years. As a 20-something adult. Its a down payment on a house. Its more than any brand new car that I could ever think of affording. Its SO MUCH MONEY. I understand that it is gone, and I need to just move on, but I still get bitter about it. I didn't ask for diabetes. There is nothing that I did in my life to aquire this horrible disease. Now, not only do I have to live every day of my life dealing with this disease, but I have to pay more money for it than other healthier people.
For three years in a row, I paid over $15,000 a year, purely on medical expenses.
So excuse my french, but what the fuck? Why is there even the term "pre-existing condition"? If you draw the short straw in life, you have enough to deal with. You work hard enough and take enough time out of your life to deal with whatever your health issues involve. Why are you required to pay more, in addition to all of the necessary garbage that consumes your life? 
I realize that some people may be thinking that I should be looking on the bright side or being more positive about what is good in my life. Please don't get me wrong, I do that. But I think that people with chronic health conditions, even minor health conditions, need to be able to say, "This fucking sucks." Yes, then you get up and you push yourself to do it all again the next day. And to do it with a smile on your face, and enjoy life overall, but you have to be able to allow yourself to be upset sometimes because that is how change is made. 
There is something fundamentally wrong with our society when the two biggest crowd funding fundraising fields are for medical bills and public schools.Get cancer? Go bankrupt! Survive cancer? Have fun paying medical bills for the rest of your life! How is this OK?

There is something fundamentally wrong with our society when the two biggest crowd funding fields are for medical bills and public schools.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Point for Sal

With all of the laughs that I get from making fun of my mother, I have to give credit where credit is due. I mean, how do you think I got like this? I lived with this woman for the first 18 years of my life. Let's just say that I can't claim that my sarcasm "just came to me." 
From my past blog posts regarding the FOL-famous Sally, one can see that the woman is ridiculous. However, from every other FOL blog post, you can see that her only daughter has become ridiculous x10. Or x 1,000, it's relative, I suppose.

I have been storing boxes of crap at Sal's house for well over a year now. Yeah, yeah, whine whine whine. Whatever, I am her daughter and her only child, she signed up for annoyances such as this. Anyway, last time I was in town I noticed that she was using some of the stuff that I have been storing there. "What the heck, Sal!?" I exclaimed. "You're just going to rob me blind?"
"Well, Lindsay" she told me, "Possession is nine tenths of the law."
Well played, Mommy Dearest. Well played.

And here is where Sally really had some blackmail on me. A couple weeks ago, I had just gotten home from Sunday Family Dinner at my aunt's house. I parked my car and turned the key, but the key would not come out. For some reason beyond my understanding, the lights and the radio were still on, but the key was stuck firmly in place. What would make the most sense for me to do? Call my mother, who lives over four hours away from me, in a teary panic. 
"...I can't leave the keys in the car overnight, and the battery is going to die and I don't have the money to get my car fixed again and I'm just...so...tired and I need to get some freaking sleep!..." I sobbed.
Sal listened patiently while I whined and freaked out, and then calmly asked, "Well...did you check to make sure you turned the key all the way?"
Silence.
"....thanks Mom."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lust, Actually

CRACK!
My eyes shot open from my deep sleep, so fast that I couldn't figure out where I was. The room was so dark that it took a second for me to figure out which direction I was facing. The "crack" had sounded like my window breaking, so I focused towards the light of the street lamp to make sure that the window was still in tact. Seeing that it was, I assumed that the noise was nothing serious and closed my eyes to fall back asleep.
Then I heard it again, less loud this time. "What the..." I thought. And then, coming out of my stupor, "You have GOT to be kidding me..."
Without turning the light on, I put on my glasses and looked out my second story bedroom window. Sure enough, standing outside on the lawn below was Ex Boyfriend. The boy who I have not seen or heard from in almost four months. We parted ways in late July, and it is now November. It seemed that I had fallen asleep in my time machine and somehow woken up in a 1980's romantic comedy.
I checked the time on my phone. 1:16am. Grudgingly, I rolled out of bed, turned on my light and went downstairs. As I hobbled down the stairs in my Ninja Turtle T-shirt, make-up smeared down my face and half of my hair barely clutching the hairband in my lopsided bed-headed bun, I barely remembered to turn off the house alarm before I opened the front door to glare at the idiot standing outside.
Obviously, this guy knows nothing about me.
1. I LOVE MY SLEEP. Why are you shocking me awake at this ungodly hour, making me think that my window has shattered into a million pieces? You had better be holding a sandwich out there.
2. I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of "romantic gestures" which this ridiculous act hardly even resembles. You are not John Cusack. This isn't 1989, and if you are holding something in the air towards my window, again, it had better be a sandwich (I really love sandwiches, but not nearly as much as sleeping).    
As I closed the door behind me, the first thing out of my mouth was, "Are you drunk?!"
"What?! No, I'm not drunk!" exclaimed Ex-Boyfriend, as if this were a ridiculous thing for me to be thinking. Then, "You are a difficult woman to find."
No. No, I am not.
"What do you want?" I asked, unamused, unwoo-ed, unawake.
He stepped backwards and, making wild gestures, pointed to the windshield of my car. "Read this."
I guess I slept through more pebbles to the window than I had thought. He was giving up, and left a note. Or maybe the rock throwing was a second thought, like, maybe I should do something more than leaving a note on the back of a business card for someone that I haven't seen in months. Either way, I took the note and read it...

I was pleasantly surprised by the decent use of grammar on the note. His texts used to be a puzzle within themselves, of broken English and texting shortcuts, back when we were seeing each other. "Maybe he has been taking intense English classes over the last few months!" I laughingly thought to myself as I read.
Upon finishing reading the two sentenced note, I looked up at him with my still skeptical look. "And?" my face said, without moving my lips.
"I have been driving around your neighborhood for months, looking for your car! I couldn't remember what your house looked like, but I knew that I could recognize your car if I saw it. I got a new phone and lost your number!" He basically repeated his note to me.  Thanks. Because I'm the one who is an English learner.

I thought to myself, You have been to my house multiple times. Are you seriously that dumb that it takes you months to locate the house again?
Out loud I questioned, "Ok...?"
"Hmsienfhsai" He said in his thickly accented voice.
"Huh?" I asked. So much for my English classes theory.
"Did you miss me?" He repeated.
This time, I understood the words, but asked incredulously, "What?!"
"Have you missed me a little bit?" He repeated again.
"I understand what you asked, but you do realize that we haven't seen or spoken to each other in four months, right?" Does he really think that I have been pining over him for the last quarter of a year? Is this what goes through boys' heads?
...the last four months I have been unable to do anything. I sit around sobbing over what was left of our photo-less, pseudo-relationship. Nightly, my shoulders heave, as my tears run down my cell phone, lit up to your last text. "Lol" it says to me, reminding me of our happy times. The irony of my tears paired with your last laughing words, uttered by your soft fingertips against your cracked, touch screen telephone was simply too much for one girl to handle. I have been inconsolable...
Sorry boys. Lindsay pines for no man. My students frequently ask me, "Ms. A, why aren't your married?" Well kids, it's because I am not like this. I have cried over exactly two men in my life, and one of them is my father. You can not change people, and there is no use crying over people who do not truly love you and are willing to show you that they do. Huh, I guess my dad did teach me something in life. But I digress.
"Sure." I told Ex-Boyfriend. I mean, it was after 1:00am. I am not going to argue or crush a man's vision of me being tormented by the loss of our mutually-ended relationship.
"Well, I am not going to keep you, because I know that you have to work in the morning..." I didn't, but again, I was trying to find the fastest way to get back to a deep sleep until about 10:00am the next day, so I wasn't going to correct him.
"...Will you text me tomorrow?" He asked.
"Sure." I said.
"Nope." I thought.
Some of you, at this point, might be thinking that I am a heartless B, but you have to understand two things:
1. I LOVE MY SLEEP and,
2. Ex-Boyfriend's story has more holes in it than the laciest of Swiss cheese, and,
C. Our relationship was never anything in the realm of "long term." He was fascinating and fun, exotic and interesting, but lacked consistency and stability. Maybe he thought differently, but I can't imagine that.
We hugged and I went back in to my house, still baffled by what had just happened. When I got up to my room, I quickly glanced out the window. His car had gone, leaving the street dark and empty as it had been, my car resting alone on the curb in its place. It has now been four days and I have not heard from him, proving my Swiss cheese theory. Our relationship was one of excitement, and just as unpredictably as it began, it was over.   

Monday, August 25, 2014

Adventures in "Motherhood"

Motherhood is in quotes for this one because, yes, I realize that I was not actually experiencing what it is actually like to be a mother. I got the kids at 8am, and got to leave at 3pm. I got to go home and eat dinner in peace and then sleep throughout the night. But alas, I have made the life choice to currently choose sleep over creating life. I love kids but I REALLY love sleep. Sally is pissed.
The past week, my cousin's kids (ages 3 and 1) have been on their summer break from preschool. I was stoked to get the chance to volunteer my time to hang out with these two balls of adorableness. Here are the highlights.
On Monday, we walked to the park. Man, am I out of shape. Pushing two kids in a stroller up hill is exhausting (by "up hill" I miiiight mean a slight incline). We get to the park and Parker (age 3 years) is immediately running laps through and around the play structure while Carson (age 1) is bear crawling around, trying to keep up with his big brother. As Carson and I finally get to the slide, Parker hops up to me with both hands behind his back. "Cousin Liiiindsay! I have a surpriiiiise for you!"
I trust no man, even if they are only 3 years old. Skeptically, I look at him with a sideways glance and and cautiously ask, "What is it?'
Parker immediately throws his hands in front of him and, holding two yellow dandelions, shouts, "Flowers!"
Oh my goodness. Let me introduce my new favorite person...

When we got home, we made peanut butter and jelly "swandwiches" and then took a nap on the couch together. Flowers, PB&J, and couch cuddling? This is all I have ever wanted in a relationship.


I had let him make his own swandwich (sometimes "squandwich"). It consisted of a glob of peanut butter, flattened, near-ish to the center, and a large glob of jelly thoroughly smeared all the way across the bread and dripping over the edge. Immediately upon finishing his swanwich, Parker says, "Cousin Lindsay, I'm going to give you a hug."
"Oh my gosh! Did you know that hugs are my favorite?!"
Me saying this made him extremely excited, and he hopped down from his chair and ran over to me to smear jelly across the back of my shoulders, i.e. give me a big bear hug. After he figured out that I love hugs, about every ten minutes he would say, "Hug time!" and leap into my arms. I haven't been reaching my daily hug quota since I have been away from students during summer vacation, and let me tell you, the many many hugs that I received that day revived me. Not to mention, Carson wants to do everything that his big brother does, so whenever I got a hug from Parker, Carson was not far behind with another.   

Day two:
There is no amount of caffeine that can prepare me for raising children. How is there so much energy inside such tiny humans? On this day we went on an adventure to...my house. We piled into their "mom car" (the Mercedes ML class- the classiest of mom cars) and drove the 9 minutes to mi casa. Parker picked any and all of the oranges that he could reach. Then I lifted him up to pick some lemons from the taller of the two citrus trees. He chose his favorite zucchini from my garden, all while I lugged Carson around on my hip. Here is a picture of our catch of the day. Also, this is what happens when you let a 3 year old dress himself...
The rest of our days were filled with good times, but I think that I am too exhausted to actually remember many more details. On day 4, Nana took Parker and I was left with just Carson, who turned 1 year old that day. His other Nana, "Nana Glasses" was there helping prepare for his first birthday party that was to be held at the other Nana's house that weekend.
Man, kids are gross. You think they eat so much, but I'm pretty sure about 75% of the food you give them ends up on their face or in their pants. Now, I don't know if this is a well known tactic in parenting, or if I'm just a freaking genius, but after day one, when I would feed Carson, I would strip him down to his diaper and let him go at it. After he had consumed however much food he could get in his mouth and filled up his little baby belly, I would stick him in the sink and hose him down. Call CPS if you want, but I'm pretty sure they would give me a childcare genius award. Here is the big, bad one year old, "eating" his birthday lunch.
After lunch Nana Glasses was blowing up beach balls for C's birthday party, and holy guacamole, did we have fun...
Aaaaaand break time...
While exciting, playing with beach balls is exhausting! C kept trying to use them as a pillow, only to have them roll out from under his head. Good try though, buddy. Beach balls are probably the cheapest, most exciting toy you can get your kids. That's all that my kids are going to have, beach balls and cardboard boxes. Have fun kids. Plus, you can bounce the balls off of their heads and it doesn't hurt! He loved it and I cracked up. Don't tell his parents.

Saturday, the day of the birthday party, I was on my way to my aunt's house, also known as "Nana," and looked down at my watch. There was dried peanut butter on the band. Again, gross.While I was there, Parker noticed the burn on my foot (yes, I burned my foot- my good foot- and there were some nasty scars on it). He exclaimed, " Cousin Lindsay, what happened to your foot?!"
"I burned it." I said.
"It looks like a dinosaur bite!"
Yessssss.
The day was filled with parents and their children and the choice for me to either mingle with the parents or hang out with the kids. Option B will always win. Kids are gross and exhausting, but adults are boring. Here is me, Parker, Carson, and Ty in the ball pool. Good times.



   

Monday, June 3, 2013

he said, she said, I said...

Note: I don't use people's real names in my blog unless I know it's ok with that person or if I really don't care and/or want to embarrass that person. If you are featured in this blog, you know who you are, and thanks for the laugh!

Boy, "You look really nice without crutches." I'm not really sure how to respond to that one....thank you?

After a doctor's appointment, I went to coffee with a friend and was whining about how my foot/ankle is permanently messed up and that no one is ever going to love me. Knowing that I can't stand when people tell me, "It could be worse," my friend says, "Well, at least you have a nice face!"
I'm still laughing about that one. Thanks buddy.

Back in college, two friends were having a heated drunken debate about whether it is better to shave your face before or after you wash it...
Boy #1, in a slight* drunken yell/slur, "Well my germatologist says...!"
Boy #2, "Your germatologist?! What are you, German?!!!"
Shout out. Miss you guys!

On a second date with a boy, he starts to talk about movies.
Me, "I don't really watch movies that much. It's too much of a time commitment for me."
Inner Monologue, "Stop talking. Stop. Talking."
Out loud me, "I mean, 2 hours to sit and stare at a t.v. screen? I have a hard time with it."
Inner monologue/voice of reason that I never seem to listen to, "Ohhhhmygod...stoptalkingstoptalkingstoptalkingstoptalking"
"I'm kind of a commitmentphobe in a lot of aspects of my life."
Face, palm. "You're done. Just stand up and walk away. There is nothing left to do here. There is literally no way to make this any more awkward than you have so just up and leave."
I found out later that he ended things because of that exact moment. Whoops. Obviously he doesn't read my blog and realize that I say stupid things all the time without thinking. Duh. 


*not slight.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Speech! Speech!

I had a difficult time trying to decide on a title for this blog. My alternate title was "My Friends are Assholes" which is a much better fit, but less appropriate for posting. But let's be honest, my friends are assholes. Keep in mind, however, that this is coming from a girl who has actually said to her grandmother, "When you croak, can I have that?" So I guess that is why we make such good friends. A bunch of hilarious assholes.

I recently went down to my friends' house to have a Game Night/Celebration after I graduated from my teacher credentialing program. The program had been extremely intense and I was finally going to get the chance to hang out with my friends after far too long. Mike and Ashley, the hosts, even had champagne for me. How sweet! We all hung out around the house for awhile, drinking, eating, and making fun of each other. After awhile Mike got out the champagne and began pouring a glass for everyone. He said that he wanted to say something. A speech? For me?!

Now, I would like you all to know that I have this all on video, but I know that my friends would kill me if I posted it on the internet, so here is a transcription of what happened. I will NOT, however, be changing any names. This is all much funnier on video, but I will do my best to get the point across.

Me, "A speech, for me?!"
Mike, "Uh huh."
Raises glass. "So here's to denote a lot of really hard work and a lot of long hours..."
This is when I start to question what is going on...this speech is far too sentimental.
"...to finally attain a goal..." Ok, what's the catch?
"...of me and Joe mounting the new TV!" 
Vinnie, Joe, and Ryan erupt in cheers, I start cracking up, and Ashley says above all of this commotion, "Waaait a second, wait a second."
Ryan, "That really is a hell of a television."
Joe, "You know, I didn't come down here and help you with that just for this, but it really means something to be acknowledged like this."
Mike, "Cheers!" All the boys clink their glasses.
Vinnie, "Hey, I came in in the clutch though."
Joe, "Yeah, yeah, we couldn't have finished it without Vinnie coming in at the end there."
Ashley, "Wait, wait. Can I just say something about Lindsay, our friend, and the reason we are here, as opposed to our television (laughs). Lindsay...."
Vinnie interrupts, "She's not in 3D though."
Ashley continues, "Lindsay, my best friend, and your guy's good friend, but not as good of a friend as she is to me...(nice speech, nice speech, joke about East Palo Alto, etc.)...and she is a fantastic person who is going to be shaping young minds, and I couldn't be happier." Awwwww.
Boys, "To the TV!"  
Well played, gentlemen. Cheers.