Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A quick question

How does everyone get those fun backgrounds on their blog? I haven't had time yet to sit down and figure it out. So I thought someone might be generous and just tell me how. I want a cute/sophisticated blog too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why We Have Cheap Rent

Last Wednesday I decided to give Ben a break from doing dishes (he nearly always does them because I don't like to and I usually cook dinner), and do them myself. Halfway through the pile, the sink just stopped draining. I knew that I hadn't rinsed down any food, but I tried plunging it to no avail. We bought some Drano and let it sit overnight. We came home from school Thursday afternoon and it was still plugged. I tried plunging it again, and only managed to make lots of little black flecks come up from the pipe, turning the water a murky gray. We called the plumber contracted to our apartment four-plex and he said because it was after 4 he couldn't come until the next day. What plumber only works till 4! Unfortunately, we don't get home from school until about 4:30, so he made a special arrangement to have someone be there at 4:30 on Friday. Well, that guy came and couldn't do anything. This is what our sink looked like after he was done.Apparently our plumbing is so old that the snake doesn't follow the pipes like it's supposed to and it couldn't get to the problem, which was just a general build of gunk from over the years (cause it's ancient). So now some of the gunk was in our sink instead of in our pipes, but it still didn't drain. And the guy that specialized in kitchen sinks (or something like that), was out of town for the weekend and couldn't come until Monday (when we'd be on Spring Break and be home). Buy now it had been quite a while since we had done dishes and we had nothing left to cook or eat with. So we got creative.

Here is Ben on his knees doing our dishes in our tub. The advantage of the tub over the sink is that it is; 1) Huge! Everything fits in it, 2) it has way better water pressure that our sink, which has notoriously terrible pressure, and 3) the water heats up really fast (our sink takes about 5 minutes to heat as opposed to the 5 seconds it takes in the tub). The disadvantage is that you have to kneel the whole time. This is just another example as to why Ben is the greatest husband.
Well, the extra-special plumber came on Monday, cut away part of the wall in our cupboard, cut up the pipe, cleaned it out, and installed and special piece that will make it easier to access if this happens again (assuming it will since our plumbing is practically antediluvian). But we figure we have cheapest rent of anyone we know and we are willing to put up with the minor inconveniences if it means we spend $200 less a month on rent. Plus, after this apartment, anything will seem bigger, nicer, and newer.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Need a Sign

I think I'm going to have a shirt made that I can wear to the junior high I substitute teach at. It will read "Yes, I'm pregnant. I'm due in July. It's a girl. I'm not naming it after you."
I have at least three or four students every period ask me this. Even for me to name my child after them. Crazy self-absorbed middle schoolers, I love them.

That's all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Crying Substitute

First, it must be said that I do cry pretty easily when I really get into a story. I hear it gets worse when your pregnant. But even if I hadn't been pregnant, I probably still would have cried.

I substituted for an English class today and in the 8th grade English class I was to read aloud the last few pages of a condensed (and cleaned up) version of "Flowers For Algernon." Now, surprisingly, I've never read this book before, and though I had heard of it, I didn't know anything about it. So I started reading, out loud to 30-odd 8th graders, right at the climax of the story and we finish it. It's a "science fiction" story that really is about humanity. It's about a man named Charlie who is mentally disabled and recruited to take part in a neuroscience experiment that will triple his IQ. The entire story is his journal entries pre and post-operation. It is wonderfully written. He is a very motivated and hard working, loving man who wants to desperately to be smart. But a few weeks after the operation, and after he has achieved genius level IQ's, he discovers that the operation has actually ruined his brain and it will begin deteriorating as quickly as it has advanced. The experiment was also done on a mouse named Algernon, who becomes his pet. When Algernon dies, he faithfully puts flowers on his grave once a week. His last request is that someone else continue doing.
So I began reading the story from his discovery and continue with his descent back into mental retardation and it is painful to read and so touching. So much so, that by the second to last page I have to pause so I don't break down. that only prompted a student to ask, "Are you crying?" Which caused me to lose it. I finished the story, weeping, and them gave them their assignment. I went to lunch and joked/complained to the other teachers that that was not a very nice thing for Alissa (the absent teacher) to do to a sub. Then I went back for third period. Which was 8th grade English, and did it all over again. Now I have a headache.