March 5th, 2004


Friday Five: School Days

What was...

1. ...your first grade teacher's name?
Mrs. Crowley. I don't remember her too well, but I do know that this woman must have been something else to have put up with me!

In order to keep a handle on my bad behavior, Mrs. Crowley came up with a system:

1) On the far side of the blackboard, she kept a running tally (of "smiley," "neutral," or "frowny" faces) of my behavior during each class period. This was right out in the open so I -- and everybody else in the room -- could see it. I think the idea was the shame me by having my badness revealed but since everybody knew I was being bad anyway, it didn't really matter to me if it was made "official."

2) At the end of the day, Mrs. Crowley would give me a card (written on manilla paper, I remember) with my behavior "average" for the day, expressed in the same faces as on the board. She'd also write a few notes. I was to give this to my mother. This actually worried me more than the thing on the board because being held accountable to my mother... Well, that mattered more to me.

Mrs. Crowley had other ways of trying to lessen my disruptive impact on the classroom, like sending me across the hall to teach the other first grade class how to draw (I was a good artist) and sending me way down the hall to read out loud to the kids in Readiness and kindergarten class. I think this was mainly something she did to get me the heck out the classroom :)

2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?

The other day I did an LJ post about Kidd Video and really that was just about my favorite Saturday morning show ever, unless you count PeeWee's Playhouse which naturally I adored :)

3. ...the name of your very first best friend?

Daniel Crane. He lived two houses over from me. We used to play together all the time. Most of the time we either played outside (doing things like collecting all the birch "caterpillars" or playing in the treehouse) or we played in his family den. (We never played much at my house because it was way too messy and there were like 7 people living in the house, too crowded.) Our friendship suffered when I was sent across town for special schooling while he went to the regular kindergarten at the school right in our neighborhood. Then his family moved to Rhode Island, if I remember correctly.

4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal?

Cheerios. (Not Honey Nut, only plain, with sugar dumped on top.) I still love them.

5. ...your favorite thing to do after school?

If we're talking elementary school, among other things, probably playing with my dog Taffy.

I also read a lot but I tended to do this late at night, after I'd been tucked in to bed and it as like 10. I'd pretend I was scared of the dark so Mom would let me keep the closet light on. (Jeez, think never change!)
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Odd Jobs

Working on these industrial matting pages reminded me of a temp job I once had at an German industrial flooring company, which in turn got me thinking on some of the odd jobs I've done. Most of these were either before or during college since web designer doesn't quality as too odd.

Anyway, what odd jobs have people done? Or just... what jobs?

Here's my list of paid jobs I've held, pretty much in order:
1. Library page (3 years).
2. Newspaper reporter (college).
3. Janitor (summer).
4. Chemistry dept. admin (had to type up freshman chem tests, ugh).
5. Temp work (CO2 supplier, industrial matting, piping)
6. Editorial intern @ Entertainment Weekly (summer).
7. Caferia worker (various positions, 1 year).
8. Webmaster (3 years).
9. Webmaster and interface designer (3 years).
10. Web consultant(4 years).

Worst job was the janitor job, not just for the work (summer cleaning of entire school building) but for the incredibly bad attitudes (homophobia, racism, xenophobia, etc.) of my coworkers. About the only thing that made it doable is my coworkers never expressed sexism towards me (else I would've kicked their hairy asses).

Best jobs (aside from last 3) were library page and caf worker. Although I certainly had some suck jobs at the cafeteria (working the "trough" for a while) eventually Caleb and I got the super "soft" jobs because somehow the management liked us. We worked together for a while doing nothing but wiping tables and keeping the trays stocked! Then I had a great job which was doing salad bar, working under this saucy little black lady who listened to booty rap the whole time, dancing as she chopped the vegies :) That was a fun job and came with free food so hey, couldn't complain!
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Tax Relief

Well, just got back from my CPA, who prepared my 2003 taxes, and was shocked/surprised/relieved to find out that I basically don't owe anything. I owed a little for federal and then got a refund for state, so the balance I owe is like $200. Considering I had been fearing maybe I owed thousands or something, this was a big "Phew!" for me. Now I just have to hope that this year's taxes work out as well...

Oh! And special thanks to Caleb for finding $2000 in additional business expenses I'd forgotten to tell the CPA about, like expenses from my home office and business travel. Doh!
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Not like I haven't made this comment ad infinitum already, but my guinea pigs are SO cute! I feed them their breakfast every morning almost as soon as I get up and they're cute enough I like to pull out a chair and watch them eat. I also take them out numerous times a day to sit with me while I watch TV or read the paper. Yesterday I kept putting Abbie on the kitchen table while I read Kushiel's Dart; this worked well except a couple of times when she tried to chew on the book. YinYang can't really just be put on the table because she'll run around, but Abbie is like a furry paperweight. I was looking at her today, eating a carrot, and decided she has the equivalent cuteness of a one-year-old curly-haired kid licking a dripping ice cream cone while singing a song and playing with a dog -- that "Awwwww..." factor is large. YinYang looks a lot more like a rodent than Abbie, who honestly looks like a Muppet or stuffed animal come to life.
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Bus 16 to Hell and Back

Loathe as I am to paint public transit in a bad light, occasionally I'll have "one of those days" on MARTA and think, "Ugh, who needs it?"

Tonight around 6 Caleb called me up and wanted to meet me in a gourmet supermarket so we could get some wine for a party we're going to. He was going on one bus, I was going on another. OK, right? Well, normally it is, but...

First of all, my bus was like 20 minutes late, and then, way worse, when I did get on it, it reeeeked of pee. I mean, not an odor, a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek. The source of the odor was this old wreck of a man up near the front. Several people were left standing because even though there were like 3 seats free next to the man, nobody could bear to get that close. I think there might have been other pee somewhere else on the bus. Everybody was noticing it and squiriming, trying to get away from the smell. There was also a weird burnt wood smell but maybe that was just somebody's tobacco chew :(

Turns out Caleb and I met up just fine, did our shopping. We had to wait around 15 minutes for the bus to go back. Things were fine, the bus didn't smell, but about half way back...

A black guy got on, in real bad shape, like on drugs or something. This is pretty normal, we didn't really react. (I regularly ride buses with people who are homeless, in recovery, drug addicts, living in half-way houses, newly discharged from hospital, mentally disturbed, etc. There are "normal" folks too aplenty but there are lots of people in bad, not-normal shape.)

Anyway, his whole sweatshirt was all ripped up and stuff. Well, slowly I notice that he keeps wiping his hand on his shirt and it's all red. First I'm thinking he had red paint left over from a construction job or something (soooooooo wanting to deny reality!) but then I realize it's blood. I can't figure out where the blood is coming from though. Then I notice him leaning over and (as far as I can tell) biting his hand. Then there all this blood on his hand, and he wipes it on the shirt. I am totally mortified at this point, as is this guy sitting immediatley across from him, who has a much better view. Finally Caleb and I get off and Caleb tells me it's not that the guy was biting his hand, it's that the guy must have had a cut or something on his head. So we get off the bus and I'm thinking "Does that guy have a HEAD WOUND?" It must have been on the other side of his head.

WTF? I swear, all I can say is, as Storm does, it's all grist for the mill when it comes to writing, huh?!

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