Friday, December 26, 2008


Yes, I've finally posted some pics of Vegas. However if you want to see London and Paris you're going to have to see them here because my files are so huge!!! I just don't have time to resize them all. However I think these are a good representation of the trip! It's been crazy since I returned and I haven't had a lot of time to reflect on the trip other than it was great, I enjoyed London immensely and would love to go back - it was such a cool city with so much to see and do - and that I think I fell in love with Paris...unfortunately not IN love IN Paris *sigh* oh

But here's Las Vegas! I really enjoyed the city. I wasn't sure what I expected, but it wasn't the class I saw. The town is well put together and is quite beautiful! I could have stared all day at the architecture and attention to detail in each casino and hotel. The art alone was awesome and on top of it all everything was decorated for Christmas!!!

Christmas was wonderful and I actually ended the night at the theatre with a boy (totally random and unexpected 'date') and playing Wii bowling with him and fam until 1am. It was fun!!! Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas! Right now it's sleeting out which has ruined my breakfast plans with a good girlfriend of mine, but we're going to try for lunch instead. Tonight's the Motor City Bowl!!! Go Central!!! I'll fly back to CO tomorrow so I hope everyone has a great New Year's!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Red Wings 4; Blues 1

Have I ever explained how much I love the Wings? Ever? I LOVE them! I'm not sure if it has to do growing up surrounded by hockey, or practically living on the ice since I was 5, or a combination, but I just LOVE them! Actually I really love Hockey and the Wings embody everything I love about it.

Anywho - Lesley and I met up with Kim, Yeimy and Jenni for dinner at the Brewery and then headed to the game against the St. Loius Blues. It was a great game, with early scoring and pretty decent opposition despite the other team having quite a few injuries. We then headed back to Royal Oak to meet a few more people at O'Tooles. Sometimes I wish I lived a lot closer for nights like last night. I do miss my friends and the social aspects of living close to them.

Michigan DOES need to the get that no smoking bit in effect. I SO DO NOT miss the smell of smoke on my clothes after a night at the bar.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has a blessed few days with their family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hola From Detroit

I'm in town! I'm only here until the afternoon of the 27th and I have a lot of plans with my family, but I'd love to get together for lunch or whatever with people! Give me a call!

I think the plans tonight are to go to Royal Oak after the Wing's game too. This will probably be my one night out since I'm going to the Bowl game Friday night.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Check out the Toffee link I have above! I'm in love with toffee and brought home tons with me from London! This stuff rocks!

Garden Gnomes 5 / Me 0

I would write about Vegas (and Europe) but my 'gremlins' have struck again. If I could stop dealing with all their crap I might be able to detail my trips.

While in Vegas my furnace pilot light blew out and nobody could get in light for a day and a half. Now: no problem. Huh?

The faucet on the shower in the spare bathroom cracked and was running when I got home yesterday resulting in having to turn off the water to the house. No shower for me before school today. No problems with the pipes or fittings. Just the random faucet in a bathroom I've never used.

All my houseplants died. They were alive when I left and black and gooeyish when I got home. WTF? What the hell causes that? I've had them FOREVER. I'm trying to re-start them from the roots. Very strange. Actually downright worrisome.

The hose to the water tanks were left running (purposely) because running water doesn't freeze. It did last night and it wasn't THAT cold. Again, something I've never had happen before...

Vegas recap: I LOVED IT. For starters I was expecting fake and fancy. It was class. I loved the architecture and attention to details in the different hotels and casinos. I could have walked around all day looking at the different places. I loved seeing my friends and I think I've convinced Bolte to 'cross-over to the other side'. 'Cause afterall, everything's more fun with a little country in it!

It's a very expensive town however, and I wish I could have enjoyed a bit more of the's just all so pricey. I don't live on that kind of budget...ever.

The HOTEL was cool, but I think a bit over-rated and expensive overall compaired to other places. I did enjoy the HUGE bathtub that you could practically swim in!

What can I say about the NFR? It rocked? It was awesome? It was inspiring? It was SO COOL seeing the best of the best in person? All of the above? I may need to try and do this yearly it was so great to see!

OK - more details to come. I'll slide show both Europe and Vegas and give more details. Let me just get a grip on the Gnome problem...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Snow Day!

We're having a snow day today, though I'm not really too sure why. It snowed all of about 4 inches and the roads were cleared by midnight last night. Hmmmm...Oh well. I'm in school anyway getting a bunch of grading done before I leave for Vegas. Might as well even though it's a beautiful day and I should have gone skiing...except I don't have money for that sort of stuff anymore.

Ok - the haunting bit:

I really didn't buy a whole lot in London since I'm broke. I was really conservative and spent more money on gifts than anything. One of those gifts was a few bottles of really good Scottish Blend Whiskey. Small bottles...the stuff was extremely expensive. My bag only weighed 16 kg when checking in in Denver. My rooms were on the TOP floor of the hotel with no lift. So I lugged that puppy up 5 flights of stairs. When leaving I could barely lift the stupid thing. All I had added was the 2 bottles of Whiskey. So I took them out and still could barely lift it. This is when the jokes of 'having brought SOMETHING back from the English countryside' began. Whatever it was was stowing away in my bags...
After hauling the bag back down I re-packed the bottles and didn't think much of it again. I lugged in onto the train at Kings Cross station, set it up on a rack and then couldn't get it down when we got to Paris!!! So my stowaway got friends in the station I guess...because the stupid thing weighed 23 kg (almost 16 pounds more!) than when I came home. Those two bottles only weighed about 4 pounds together. What the hell was in my bags!!!

It gets better though. Strange things are happening at the new house. My packed international phone with it's battery out rings in the box. My phone is moved during the night to the kitchen counter and the ringer set to silent. My alarm is set but doesn't go off. My alarm goes off while I'm in the bathroom and puts itself on snooze...I can't find the hammer I just used and find it outside on the hammer work going on out there...I light candles and watch as match after match seems to be 'blown' out as I try to light the wick. Huh? The dogs bark at nothing. The cats stare at things that move that I can't see...

And no, I don't sleep walk. I already thought of that. As long it's not scary and just mischievous...I can't find answers it's just too strange...

My guess is Garden Gnomes. Sort of fits but maybe I need to read my Harry Potter again...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Installment 5

So I've been warned to watch out for the 'parent's' "friends" supposedly because they're SOOOO influential. Kiss my patootie. I'm looking at this all in a good light - namely this is going to make a lot more parents PAY ATTENTION to what their child is doing in my class..."oh parents, yes, have you noticed that my grading policy and classroom management is posted on my web well as a blog of WHAT YOUR CHILD IS DOING IN MY CLASS WEEKLY?"

Also - my house is haunted suddenly...or I brought something back from England. I think whatever it is hitched a ride from King's Crossing (really is a train station in London) when I left for Paris...the 9 3/4 platform DOES exist. Really. I'll give more detail later and actually write about the trip too.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Installment 4

Granted these last two posts have been off the original beaten track...however if some ignorant people want to attack me, the war is on. AND I WON! I'm here to teach. Not argue whether someone should or should not be playing ball. Honestly, I think that should be left up to the coach. Maybe there should actaully be some standards?

The child in question was considered ineligible to play at the tournament this weekend. This was after his father told the coach last night, "see, I said I'd take care of her..." huh? Then why isn't your son eligible to play yet? I truly feel for his wife. I could see it on her face through it all. I think there was a bit of embarrassment going on.

I love it. Though he now does actually have a passing grade in my class (which he squarely, fairly earned...kudos kiddo), our AD reviewed the grades and said he still wasn't eligible from previously. THANK YOU! I love when somebody has my back. Why weren't they worried about his grades BEFORE b-ball started? He was held oout of a scrimmage and now he can play. So he learned a lesson. And he's been bringing his grade up on his own.

This has done some damage to my self-esteem. I was very verbally abused, but I guess what goes around, comes around. I kept my cool, was professional and stayed above it all...and have a note from the administration commending me on how I handled the situation.

I still feel it sets me up for future abuse...and makes me question everything I do for ounces of truth in what they said...but perhaps that is what makes me a good teacher...anal retentiveness.

No, my sense of humor hasn't improved. I've crossed over into slight insanity through this all.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Installment 3

Heard it through the grapevine...

Sole reason your child couldn't play ball last week? Maybe you shouldn't have voiced how you were going to take care of that "McLeod" teacher to the world...or complained that I gave your son a 50% on his paper and then admit your wife wrote it. How stupid can you get? Just shows money can't buy brains.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Installment 2

Alright, lets start with 8pm November 11th as I sit in front of the woodstove grading papers and chatting with my landlord. Out of the blue he tells me I must find a new place to live as he is bringing in calves daily to be branded and shipped out and needs a full time worker. I'm not enough since I have to 'go to work' as he puts it. He's moving in somebody new that weekend. I don't have to move quite yet but it will be crowded for awhile. I'm dumbfounded, and then later hysterical.

Fast forward to the next evening after staying up all night compiling a list of people to e-mail, call and any other contacts I may need. I have a key in hand to look at a house only a mile from the ranch where I can keep horses. If nothing else I can work through a crisis and am efficient.

I can't afford a rent as I have not budgeted for it. I am a wreak, but bite the bullet and sign a lease as it's a good deal, great location and I'm not finding anything else. I take two and a half days off school in total. Just want I want to waste my vacation time on. By Friday night my house is completely moved. By Sunday evening all the horses, dogs and chickens have new homes and fences (with me at the new house).

The reality of the situation still has not sunk in as I have a house full of boxes thrown together in my haste to move before the trip to Europe. And this all on top of everything else in my life; namely people I thought I could count on are still confused by the concept of integrity.

I have lost 15 pounds in the last month. My skin is a wreck. I don't sleep a night through. I'm freaked out about money. I'm considering selling my truck despite having only 9 more payments on it, and selling the horses. I feel like everything I have worked hard for is going to disappear. I'm 30 and don't have an ounce of security.

Turns out the rumors are my former landlord is most likely going under, he's shipping off hundreds of calves a week to pay his note at the auctions and he mortgaged his home in Pagosa without letting his wife know. Maybe this is safer deal for me, but why did he have to go about doing it like this? Why not just be honest and give me some breathing room? It makes me look bad and it makes me feel like I did something wrong despite his apologies for the whole situation.

This whole thing on top of everything else has been almost too much. I'm really not sure what keeps me going from day to day. Europe was surreal and though I enjoyed it, everything was overlayed with this horrible feeling of panic.

On top of it all to start off school this week I was accused of being the sole reason why a child was ineligible to play basketball by his parents. Excuse me, why is this my problem? Why can't anyone actually take responsibility for themselves? Try doing your work you little jerk and maybe you'd actually have a passing grade.

I will write about the trip though soon. Just give me time to find the rest of my life buried in some strange house I now call 'home'.

Installment 1

I will eventually get to what passes as life right now. But first, let me set the stage: