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Apartment living definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. I like that I don't have to do any yardwork. I also like that when something breaks all I have to do is make a phone call and someone will come and fix said broken item. Even better is that I don't have to pay a repairman or even be at home for those repairs to be done.
Or so I thought.
Recently I asked for several repairs to be done at my apartment. I had a drawer that was broken, my tub drain wasn't working because the tub wouldn't hold water, and the plastic strip that runs along the bottom of the bathtub on the outside was coming off. By the way, what the hell is that strip called? This is what is should look like:
After waiting several weeks, (Yes, I said several WEEKS!) the apartment handyman was set to come and fix the items needing repair in my apartment. I admit it is really kind of fun to come home and find things fixed and set right after being gone. It makes things feel new. So on the day the work was scheduled to be done I came home, set my things down and walked into the kitchen. I saw an empty countertop where my drawer had been sitting for so long. Oh it was so exciting to have all this counter space! And I had a working drawer again. Hooray! 
Until I walked into the bathroom and saw this: 
Yeah, that's blue painters tape you're seeing. Yep. Uh huh. I guess this is "fixed." Shit, if all that was going to be done was to slap some fucking tape over it so that it stuck to the tub I could have done that weeks and weeks ago. This is where that apartment living advantage becomes a disadvantage. I don't get to control who comes in to my apartment to do any repairs. And though the handyman did an awesome job fixing the drawer apparently this was too much of a challenge for him.
It also sucks that I'm such an anti-handyman that I wouldn't even attempt to fix this myself. Even worse, I'm such a cheap bastard that I wasn't going to go to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy a giant tube of whatever would fix this. I wouldn't spend $2.99 or whatever to have that crap sitting around my house forever and ever because I probably wouldn't ever use it again.
Now there are several possibilities. Maybe he ran out of time and just put this on as a temporary fix and he's going to come back and fix it for real. Or maybe he did actually fix it and the tape was just put in place to hold the strip in place until the adhesive bonded completely or whatever. Those are totally valid possibilities except there was no note about that. I haven't yet received a phone call saying that he was coming back or that I can take the tape off now.
Oh, and while I was cleaning the tub the other day I noticed that the stopper on my tub has not been repaired at all. It is still the same exact one that won't hold water in the tub. I'm about ready to send the apartment manager an email with the above photo attached and just say something like, "Really? THIS is fixed?!" I guess I'll have to call again and see if I can't get it all fixed now.


Ban Divorce


I saw a great movie today.
It was Mike Leigh's Happy Go Lucky.

It is the story of primary school teacher, Poppy, and the things that happen in her life. She is an incredibly optimistic, happy person. She is really, really satisfied with her life. She has a great job, great friends, a great place to live with a great roommate. There isn't a whole lot that happens in the movie. It really just concerns the daily activities of Poppy and those who interact with her. It was really funny, light, and cute. I left the theater feeling good. I also left feeling that I would LOVE to be more optimistic. I have many things to be happy about in my life and I'd like to remember that. I have a great job. I have great friends and a great place to live, too.
One of the things that I liked about the movie was the bubbly spirit of Poppy. Sure, things happen in her life that aren't the most pleasant. She gets her bike stolen, deals with her family and challenges in her job. But she takes it all as the way things are. Life has its ups and downs and that's ok with her. She just tries to be happy and tries to bring happiness to those around her. She's funny, silly, quirky and she lives life for herself and no one else! She lives in a world where things are mostly good and she sees the good in the world around her. It would be nice if everyone could live that way. It becomes really obvious when others in her world are negative and unhappy with their lives. It makes a striking contrast to Poppy.
I was so pleased with this film. IT just left me with such a good feeling. I had read a couple reviews of it before seeing it and that was one of the things that was said by all. It is just a very positive and upbeat movie. It doesn't try to teach major lessons. It is not heavy-handed. It is just the story of this girl and her life. It's one of those smaller independent films, so it may not be in many theaters. But if you can find it, go see it! 

Some excitement in my day

Ok... first off, I know I haven't been posting very often. I have been so busy with work and so uninspired and I just haven't had the energy to write much of anything. For that, I apologize. I'm going to try to be a bit better about posting now.
Now on to today's post.

Living in southern California, especially in the Los Angeles area it is very easy to get used to the sound of helicopters flying around. The sky is filled with them during the morning and evening commutes, keeping drivers updated on the status of the miles and miles of freeway that cover the city. The police also use helicopters to aid in the pursuit of suspected bad guys. So it really doesn't surprise me to hear the noise of a helicopter above me at any time of day.
However, the other day I got an exciting little surprise while I was working. It was about 11:20 AM on a sunny Santa Clarita day. I was just opening the door to take my class to lunch and I heard the sound of a helicopter. But this was different than any other time. It was very, very loud. In fact it sounded as though it was hovering right above the building! I couldn't see anything because of where I was standing in relation to the buildings around me. I wasn't entirely sure if I should even take my class outside. My thought was that the sheriff's department was looking in the riverbed below the school for someone. It wouldn't be too far out of question because my school is not in the best part of town. But I decided that we could just go to lunch quickly so we did.
As soon as I got my kids into the lunchroom and eating their lunches I went outside to see what was going on. I had seen several different people from the office walking out towards the field so I was VERY curious. Well you can imagine my shock when I saw a very large helicopter belonging to the LA County Sheriff right on our field! Of course, because I am a total Flickr addict I sprinted to my room to grab my camera saying to myself, "This is why you ALWAYS have a camera with you!" 
I went out toward the field and snapped a few photos from a distance. I didn't want to get in trouble for taking pictures of it or anything like that.

The principal and several of the office staff were outside at this point so I went to find out what was happening. Apparently the helicopter pilots smelled something burning. The Sheriff's department has a policy that if the helicopter has ANY problems they find the first open space and land. On this day that open space happened to be the field on our playground. The pilots were already out and working on their own helicopter almost immediately. They not only know how to fly, but they know how to repair most things too! That's impressive! After a few minutes they started the helicopter up and let it run for a minute or two and then shut it down again. It seems that there was a problem with a belt that they were able to repair quite easily. They started up the helicopter again and lifted off. It was all over within about 20 minutes.

It may have been a small event but it certainly caused quite a buzz at school that day. The local paper even showed up (a bit too late) to do a story on it. They don't care that our test scores went up dramatically this year, but a helicopter on the field is HUGE news! As the helicopter flew away I snapped a few more photos and was happy that I got to see this and take pictures to show all my friends! 

Couric / Palin Open

Yet another great SNL opening. And just too scarily close to the real thing.

Palin / Hillary Open

Funniest TV moment of recent history!


I haven't posted a whole lot lately. Yes, being sick was part of it. But on a larger scale I haven't really been feeling all that creative or clever. Nor have I really been in the mood to write anything. I have a few things I can write about. I never finished writing about my summer vacation and I have some other childhood memories cropping up that would be fun to write about. But I just don't want to write. I am lacking inspiration overall. I don't feel like writing, taking pictures or much of anything. I'm not depressed. I just don't have much inspiration right now. I'm pretty sure that everyone goes through times like this. Maybe it is due to the fact that I've gone back to work and the school year is off to a crazy start. With a month of school under my belt I still feel like every day teeters on the brink of chaos. I don't feel settled into my classroom. I don't feel I have any control over the class that I was given. It has been frustrating, to say the least. I know that part of it is due to the hectic circumstances that put me in my current position, but I would love to see some signs of it settling down soon. I am also feeling totally overwhelmed. I feel like I could stay at work 18 hours a day and still not be getting everything done that I need to get done. I leave each day feeling guilty that I am leaving with so many things left undone. I know this is part of teaching because there is always something that could be done. I have enough years of experience now to know that at times it's necessary to just leave. But this year feels different for some reason. This year I feel like I am behind and I don't know what to do to catch up. Maybe that's the problem. I am not seeing many solutions, just more problems. HAHA! It's a good thing my hair is so short or I'd probably be pulling it out.
I hope I can get this week off to a good start and keep a positive attitude about it all. I am really, really trying to do that! 
Maybe something exciting will happen to inspire me! 

Still sick

I am still sick.
I have strep throat.
Leave me alone.
I feel yucky.
I'll update this blog when I feel better. I haven't been in the mood to write much lately.


I am sick. 
I HATE being sick. 
I especially hate that I just started a new school year and got sick so quickly. You'd think that after all these years of teaching I'd have an immune system of steel. Apparently that is not the case. UGH! 

I will readily admit to being a HUGE baby when I'm sick. I don't want to do anything except lay around. I want someone to take care of me. I want someone to make me tea and soup and tuck me into bed. I loved that about my mom. She always took good care of me when I was sick. 
Now, being single and living alone I don't have anyone to take care of me and I hate it. I just need someone to whine at who will then do what they can to make me feel better. I want someone to make it better. 

Today I woke up and felt like crap. I was all achy and just exhausted. I had that annoying sore throat from congestion. There was absolutely nothing I could do. I had to go to work, which is REALLY horrid. I had to spend the entire morning trying desperately to put on a happy face. I made it through the day and came home as soon as my kids left. I have spent the afternoon sleeping and taking it easy. I am drinking tea and doing all those things. But I need to whine! I need someone to bring me soup and make me tea. 
Oh well.
Right now I can't even imagine going to work tomorrow, but I'll do my best. I hope this is one of those colds that goes away quickly. 
Or else you might hear me do even more whining about it!

A Me Mosaic

This is a fun thing to do! Yes, I've seen this before, but I finally decided to do one today. 

A Me Mosaic

The concept:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? Michael
2. What is your favorite food? Burrito
3. What school did you go to? Armijo High School
4. What is your favorite color? Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? George Clooney
6. Favorite drink? Diet Coke
7. Dream vacation? Paris
8. Favorite dessert? Chocolate Chip Cookies
9. What you want to be when you grow up? A Rock Star
10. What do you love most in life? Music
11. One Word to describe you: Curious
12. Your flickr name: parkithere (thanks to

and thanks to
donnjmck for today's inspiration. Yeah, I've seen this before, but seeing his made me want to do it right NOW!

Photo Credits:
St. Michael's tower. Glastonbury Tor, 2. burrito carnitas @ wahoo's, 3. Armijo High School, 4. Meeting the pregnant princess of the forest, 5. George Clooney, 6. Diet., 7. Paris City Hall by a Cloudy Night HDR*, 8. Chocolate Chip Cookies., 9. .rock.star., 10. Bokeh Melody, 11. Cute cat alert!, 12. and here it sits

Created with fd's Flickr Toys. 

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