8 is the magical number (for this list)

1. I never created my teacher de-stress tips that I was going to rip off from that Corporate World person who gets to take hour + long lunches and 15 minute breaks every 45 seconds. Sorry. I'll keep trying. It's on my Do When Less Stressed List.

2. Tonight we were eating at an Italian restaurant and saw the ex-girlfriend of a friend of ours eating at the table across ours. Her new girlfriend was with her. They are pregnant (not both of them, just the new girlfriend--Lesbians! Don't DO it! Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Talk about stress). C walked M over so the ex-girlfriend/ex-friend could meet her. It was sort of surreal--eight years ago, we spent so many good times with her: holidays, vacations, birthdays, weekend cook outs, she was a big part of our wedding...and now. Nada. Like we never even knew each other. But she's happy, and her girlfriend is lovely and sweet.

Friendships ending are sad. Sometimes unavoidable, usually necessary, and always hard. And very, very wistful. I'm glad when everybody turns out okay, even though the relationship couldn't go on for whatever reason.

3a. What IS this, Blogger? What is this crap I'm looking at on my "write a new blog entry" page and dashboard?? I see ten cats of varying colors winking and meowing at me. Seriously? Really, Blogger?? Can we get a "write a new blog entry" option for bloggers over 40?

3b. I don't understand people who do things online like this:

U R so cute!!!!! C U L8TR!!!!!!!!!!!! 

And such. I mean, if you're under 21, yes. I get it--you're still learning to spell, watch cartoons on Saturday mornings, and you like cutesy. But if you're a grown up who pays taxes and a mortgage, and you have a 401K and all that? Holy Jesus on a popsicle stick. This is why we can't have nice things, Planet Earth. First they took letters out of words, then they added numbers. Now we have rows of inexplicable flashing gifs underlining our communication. I think it's safe to declare it official: we're devolving as a species.

(This also may be why truly serious writers all have wordpress accounts.)

4. I have a lot of talkers in my class. Which is one thing. But I also discovered I have some individuals with some serious problems regarding the following of classroom rules. We've been in school for NINE days, friends, and I've already had 50 Come To Jesus meetings (that's Southern for Y'all Got Some Serious Re-thinking To Do). This afternoon, after two 7 year olds informed me, "I'm done. I'm bored. I'm not going to learn this anymore." I let THEM know: "Uuuuh, yes you are going to learn some more about this." I also learned them that, starting next week, 2nd grade was about to get REAL. No more little happy faces on those weekly behavior cards, unless there was a real reason for them to be there. Yes, sir. Yes, m'am. Second grade's going to get really real on Monday, the eighteenth of August, twenty fourteen, at oh-eight-twenty in the morning.

5. Fortunately for them, they are cute. And they have big imaginations. (I do like to give some of them the benefit of the doubt--like, maybe, in their big, creative brains, they've imagined they have teaching degrees and are in charge?) Plus (and more important), I suspect at least 4 of them may have potential as budding storytellers/writers, and this excites me beyond explanation. So we'll work with it. But lands, it's putting me in bed by 9:30 every night, Internet. I have no idea how I'm functioning right now, as a matter of fact.

6. I got to go to Curriculum Night on the OTHER side of the fence this past Thursday. Another surreal experience. First of all, I'm in the system so I know too much. Like, I didn't even go to the Title 1 part of the meeting because I've only ever worked in Title 1 schools with Title 1 kids; I can recite Title 1 acronyms blindfolded and gagged, which I think is pretty much how the US government prefers you do that anyway. (Title 1 = government code for "poor kids") (Miss M and I are not poor; we are blessed, but if you have a certain percentage of disadvantaged children in your school, you get extra money from the USA as Title 1 funding.) Second of all, Thursday night I realized: I'm going to have to find a way to be just another mom at Melissa's school and not a teacher. Because I'm in the system so I know too much. My inclination is to be all laid back and "hey, fellow teacher! High five!" However, I think the teacher is (a) overwhelmed by beginning of the year information (because I know I am) and (b) reluctant to get too chummy too quick (because I know I am). (I mean, could be one of the crazy parents.) (At least 6 days out of every month, I actually am. Thanks, hormones!)

7. Hey. Have I promoted DIG on USA lately? Said Hello to Jason Isaacs? I don't think so. I did promise him I would promote the crap out of this TV show. Which airs this fall (we don't know when). They've had to move production to Croatia and New Mexico. Jerusalem was in an unexpected war (O Jerusalem! I am sad for you. I wish everyone would stop having wars there. You'd think after two millenia people would have worked out their control issues. Thank God they didn't have cat winkies 2,000 years ago. I can only imagine what would be going on in the Middle East right now.)

8. At any rate: Hello to Jason Isaacs. And thank you, DIG on USA (and Jason Isaacs) for introducing me to A Fine Frenzy and lovely human being Alison Sudol. I listen to Alison Sudol's beautiful music and voice on my meditative drives into work now. And I plan on showing her lovely short film to my wayward 2nd grade chargers when we get to plant life cycles (after we've mastered school expectations).

Do you have about 15 minutes? If so, you should watch this. Especially if you've had a long, exhausting week like I have. This will make your heart happy and relax you:

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