Friday, November 09, 2007

Dear Internet,

For the first time in three years, I'm wearing jeans to work. We're trying out "casual Friday", and assuming no one comes to work looking like a complete schlub, we're going to keep it. I came in feeling like I was doing something wrong...probably residual feelings from an insane boss that made me feel horrible for wearing jeans once. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't work for crazy people anymore. Kind of. The Superintendent and Directors have asked me to plan a Festivus gathering in lieu of a Christmas party. Yes, Festivus. I have been instructed to acquire a pole. Apparently Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle loves them.

I've been spending more time in the classroom lately, as I'm doing observations to get a better feel for special education and what area I've like to emphasize. I really like the LD and EBD rooms, but I have to deal with the fact that EBD classes consist of about 90% redirection and 10% instruction. I need to put my idealism aside a little and accept that a lot of kids are extremely averse to learning, regardless of how enthusiastic you may be. But I am not deterred!

Russ and I were out last night and a bearded, extremely dirty man came up to me and said "Amanda?!" I said yes, and it turns out he was someone I went to elementary school with. He was completely crazy in fourth grade, and completely crazy as an adult. He explained that he had just been released from prison, showed us a gaping wound in his leg, repeatedly mentioned his "third degree black belts" and said something about snake fighting and cellphone kiosks. I kept squeezing Russ's hand to prevent myself from exploding, but I think I let some laughs slip. I don't think he noticed. Maybe he did, and he's planning his revenge right now. This looks good.

Anyone catch The Office last night? It was the best new episode I've seen. Wilderness pants-fashioning, A. Knife, cobbler...and that last exchange between Michael and Jim was really funny and touching. I love the absurdity of most of the show, but those genuine moments are my favorite.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's a slow day around here, and thank god, because Queens of the Stone Age drained me last night. I say this pretty often, but really, it was one of the best shows I've seen in years. They opened up with "Regular John" and I had hopes that they would play their entire catalog start to finish (not likely), but they played a great variety of stuff. They're one of the tightest and well-rehearsed bands I've seen, and they make it look so effortless. Plus they had five huge spider-looking chandeliers and a black backdrop with orange lights poking through, so it definitely felt like a Halloween show. I was so excited to see a band I've loved for years and have them exceed all my expectations. :) And even though they didn't play it, the show reminded me that this will always be one of my favorite songs and videos ever.

I randomly caught this documentary after Frontline the other day, and the parallels to our elections were scary. And the 8-year-old aspect made it simultaneously adorable and disturbing.

Ooooo a cool interview with the Mythbusters guys....I like the audophile episode idea.

I hope everyone has an awesome pre-Halloween weekend

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I finally got around to watching The Lives of Others, and I couldn't recommend it more. Based on the previews I thought it would be a pretty straightforward (and drab) political thriller, but like all really wonderful movies, it was more about what makes us human. I loved it. I was even more touched to learn that the idea for the movie came from music...specifically this Lenin quote:

"I know of nothing better than the Appassionata and could listen to it every day. What astonishing, superhuman music! It always makes me proud, perhaps naively so, to think that people can work such miracles!" Wrinkling up his eyes, Lenin smiled rather sadly, adding: "But I can't listen to music very often. It affects my nerves. I want to say sweet, silly things and pat the heads of people who, living in a filthy hell, can create such beauty. One can't pat anyone on the head nowadays, they might bite your hand off. They ought to be beaten on the head, beaten mercilessly, although ideally we are against doing any violence to people. Hm — what a hellishly difficult job!"

Poor Lenin should have been listening to more music and patting more heads.

Is it weird that I'm at my desk, working on my "virtual desk" for Dunder Mifflin Infinity? Either this is a huge waste of time or I just doubled my productivity.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

That thing is goooood.

Well, since this has been the least productive workday in the history of life, I might as well continute it and write a little! I was lucky enough to see Rush, Katatonia, and Aesop Rock within a week or so of each other, and if that happened regularly, I would be the gayest person alive. Rush was great of course, but it was definitely the "Snakes and Arrows" tour. It's hard when a band has 30+ years of material and you want to hear everything. But they played "Circumstances" and "Between the Wheels" back to back (WHOA), so that made up for the abundance of new stuff. I was a little aprehensive about seeing Katatonia last weekend. They're a really special band to me, and when I saw them at Metalfest in 2000, they suuuucked. Bad. On their website Jonas lists that show as his "worst Katatonia moment", and it's justified. But thankfully they sounded great in Chicago and I wanted them to play forever! We were a little surprised at Jonas's liberal use of the words "wonderful", "fantastic", and "amazing", which were decidedly un-bleak, but their new stuff is a lot more rocking, so maybe he's doing less moping these days. The show reminded me how much I love them, and I've been jamming the hell out of their whole catalogue lately. And it was wonderful to share it with someone who was just as into it as I was.

I'm trying not to get too excited about this, but I already am!

I can't believe this show wins Emmys, or even gets watched at all...except for Barbara's awesome mention of "internets" and "sperms".

Here's a goldmine of ridiculous Tyra-isms to keep you entertained. I missed the ANTM premier, but I heard there's a model named Spontaniouse, so it must have been great.


It really, really needs to be the weekend. Hope you guys have an awesome one. :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ok. I was driving home from work on Wednesday afternoon, happy as a clam and looking forward to going out for a friend’s birthday that night. I was headed northbound down 84th and came up to Oklahoma, but I had a green light, so I continued on. I saw a man in the left turn lane coming southbound toward me, but I assumed he would stop, because that’s what normal, law-abiding humans do. By the time I realized he wasn’t going to stop, I slammed on the brakes, but he continued with his left turn like I wasn’t even there, and hit me head on. HARD. I slammed my head on the steering wheel and immediately felt blood pouring down my face. I looked in the rearview mirror and it was just gushing from my forehead…I was scared, but I knew I had to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. I grabbed a sweatshirt from my back seat and held it on the wound, and called 911 with my other hand (like there weren’t 1000 people around calling 911!). A few very kind people came up to help, including one man who gave me his phone number and said, “I saw the whole thing”. The older man in the other car never got out or said a word to me, which was weird, but I think he was freaked out and realized that this was clearly his fault. The ambulance came and took me to the hospital, where they gave me an IV, a CT scan to make sure I didn’t have back/neck problems or internal bleeding, and cleaned the gash on my head.

I’m actually bummed that I didn’t get a photo of the pre-stitched wound, because it was huuuge (at least an inch open) and just gaping. My mom and her weak stomach had to leave the room as soon as they revealed it. My dad said I looked like "a cracked watermelon". Nurses were coming in like crazy just to look at it...”and here’s the tissue that connects everything to the skull...” I requested a mirror, so at least I got to see the inside of my own head for a while. I felt crazy and a little disconnected, like "this can't be my head I'm looking at". Really weird. The nurses were young and nice, so we hung out, and they were surprised at how relaxed I was about the whole thing. But what was done was done, and you kind of have to have to make a joke of it at that point.

So the ER doctor came in, and I thought he was going to suture me up, but he said, “You’re 25. You’re an attractive woman. If you were my wife I’d want you to have this done by a plastic surgeon”. Good idea. I don’t mind little ones, but I don’t want to have a huge frankenscar on my head for the rest of my life. The plastic surgeon came about a half hour later, and she was just wonderful. I immediately felt complete trust in her. She was very methodical and precise and it took a while, but that was just fine. She put three levels of stitches in: the muscle, the hypodermis (I think), and the epidermis. Beside shoving a large needle in the wound to numb it up, I didn’t feel a thing. The sutures under the skin will dissolve, but I have the get the outer stitches taken out on Monday. Also, one of the two main nerves running through my forehead was severed, so I have some loss of feeling, but hopefully that will come back over time.

For now I have a row of stitches right under my hairline, and throbbing head. Based on what the open wound looked like, I can't believe it looks as good as it does. It’s been visitors, vicodin, and movies for the past two nights, which is fine, but I'm trying not to get too bummed. Worse case scenario: I’m going to have a scar, and hopefully enough settlement money to pay for grad school. I’m really not looking forward to all the lengthy bureaucratic bullshit that is going to go along with this, but ah well.

I can always cut bangs...