Thursday, May 31, 2007

Comedy of Errors

Today was the annual seventh grade trip to Mackinac Island. It's the first year I've been able to go, so I was actually looking forward to it. And, ultimately, I had a pretty good trip, but I'm sure that is not how some will remember it.
  • The ride north (three and a half hours) was pretty uneventful. There was a snag in that the rest area where we stopped after two hours on the road had half its restrooms closed due to cleaning. But even at that we still managed to limit our stop to about fifteen minutes. Not bad for about 180 people on four charter busses.
  • Bus one did have an issue in that their DVD player didn't work, so they couldn't play movies to keep the masses pacified.
  • After crossing the Straits of Mackinac on the "Mighty" Mackinac Bridge, our busses were picked for random inspection by the state police. Luckily, they allowed our drivers to take us to the ferry dock, drop us off, and return for the inspection. Our driver was relieved because this gave him a chance to update his log book before the inspection.
  • The ferry ride to the island and our time there went well. I spent way too much money on a pair of pink Birkenstocks. We laughed until we cried at funny gadgets in one of the island shops. We visited the Butterfly House and relaxed over a long lunch. The weather started out cool (low 60s) and warmed steadily throughout the day. By the time we gathered back at the ferry dock, a haze had settled over the water and it was incredibly humid. Hard to tell for certain, but I would estimate a temperature in the high 70s or low 80s.
  • All of our kids were accounted for and loaded onto the ferry, but, unfortunately, another school group traveling on the same boat was not as careful. We pulled away from the dock and started out, only to turn around and return to the dock. Our principal (who accompanied us on the trip) looked as if he could spit nails when the other school group applauded their tardy participants. Our principal told us later than this particular father and son had gone golfing despite being told that they didn't have enough time before departure time. Oh, and they also felt they had time to stop for ice cream cones.
  • About an hour after returning to the lower peninsula we made our dinner stop. But bus four missed the exit. They continued on to the next exit and stopped at a Burger King, but not before the bus began overheating and losing power. For awhile, we weren't sure if we were going to have to stop and pack about fifteen more bodies on each of the other three busses, but luckily they ventured on.
  • In fact, bus four managed to return home quite some time before the rest of us because we had stopped at the world's slowest McDonalds. Our principal had called this McDonalds last week to let them know that we would be stopping with four busses on this date at this time. He called again yesterday to remind them. He called again about a half hour before our arrival to let them know we were about 15-20 minutes behind schedule. On this last call, the manager had no idea what he was talking about. And so they were understaffed and very slow, putting us even further behind schedule.
  • Sometime during the final two hours of the trip, bus one's air conditioning quit working. And their bathroom was full (which was a mystery since no more than five or six people used it all day).
  • Also during the last two hours, a rumor started circulating that all our cars had been ticketed in our absence. Due to a lack of parking space at our schools, large group trips like this one leave from the outlet mall in our town. It's always been this way and we've never had an issue. The other teacher on my bus and I thought it was all a rumor because of the longstanding relationship between the mall and the school, but when we arrived back at the mall... sure enough, nearly every car had something on the windshield. As it turned out, they weren't tickets, but simply warnings for "unauthorized parking," but our principal collected them nonetheless and will be discussing the issue with the mall manager tomorrow. The matter really needs to be settled since we have both the sixth and eighth grade trips coming up next week!

But as I said, I had a great time. I got to share a lot of laughs with my co-workers and had some fun with the kids. I started a book on the way north this morning and am nearly half done with it already. If only the next six days could be as pleasant!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Where to Begin?

Yeah, yeah, I know it's been a while. On one hand, things are happening. The days are just packed. But on the other, I feel it's just the mundane stuff that happens in everyone's life and no one would be interested in reading about it.

So I started to question whether or not I want to continue blogging. Lord knows it's caused more than enough grief in my life (well, that and MySpace). And if I'm not excited about doing it, then why should I?

But then, why did I start blogging in the first place? I certainly didn't do it for the fame and notoriety. I think I had been writing for months before I even got my first regular readers, and I think that may have only been because I started commenting on the blogs of others. And now I think I've even lost most of those readers due to my lack of posting as of late. So it's almost like I'm back to square one. I could kind of start fresh. And I've thought of doing just that, actually. New blog, new name, perhaps more of a fiction format. And I might still do that.

But I also want to keep my "real" blog. Even though things have changed in my life. While I'm still mainly the same person I was two and a half years ago when I started blogging, some things that have happened have also left me changed. Sure, I've always been a sarcastic little wench, but I feel like I used to have a more positive outlook on things. I used to be able to laugh more at the inane situations that life sent my way. I feel a lot more cynical now. I was just having a conversation with a co-worker today about how I feel like I question everything. Sure, it's mainly at work that I do this, and I'm sure it's primarily an after-effect of what happened to me last year about this time, but I fear it's clouded who I am as a whole as well.

So, what to do? There are no clear answers, at least not as far as blogging goes. But there are some universal truths to my life that I'm starting to accept, such as:
  • It's going to be a long time before I feel comfortable in my job again. And perhaps I never will as long at I am with my current employer. In some ways things are better, and maybe I'll feel different when I've completed this full year following "the incident," but particularly as long as certain people are in positions of authority I am going to be uncomfortable.
  • I'm still in Love with B. I hate that he got me to fall all over again after I had gotten over him the first time and now I just can't seem to do it again. It should have been easier because he actually hurt me (albeit unintentionally) this time, but my heart still races and I get short of breath when I see him. It's been a year and it's not any easier.
  • And on a related note, I don't see myself ever finding real Love again. My relationships are few and far between, and more often than not turn into some sort of friends-with-benefits arrangement.
  • I'm really lousy with money. Every time I think I might start making some headway, I make some poor choices and dig myself further into the hole. I'm not looking at bankruptcy or anything, but, for what I make, I should be living a much more comfortable lifestyle than I am.

So that's where things stand. Now that I have all that out maybe I can get back to posting regularly. And even if it's the mundane that I'm writing about, at least I'm writing, and at least I'm writing for me.

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