Friday, April 3, 2009

Challenging Tasks

Finding a celebration today was a tough task! I was in an in-service all day long learning how to be a member of "Critical Incident Response" teams. In order to understand this it is of "Critical Importance" one understands what I do for a living. I am a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology. That is a very, very, very long title essentially meaning I test children for special education services. I am employed by one of the largest public school systems in Texas. As a result, and most unfortunately, critical incidents come up more often than I care to consider. Today the people in my department, as well as many of the school counselors, were learning how to respond when a student passes, a teachers passes, the community suffers great tragedy, etc. By the end of the day the presenter had choked up twice, several of my colleagues were teary eyed and most of the group members were dealing with personal grief and loss they had thought were long ago dealt with. By 4pm I wanted to go home, climb into bed and take a nap. I turned on the TV in the hopes the noise would lull me to sleep. Imagine the shock when I heard a small community in New York was dealing with a massive tragedy of a deadly shooting rampage. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all involved. We often focus on the families and loved ones of the victims; but the family and loved ones of the individual who commits such a heinous offense must suffer a debilitating, inexplicable degree of sadness, grief, confusion, guilt...the list is infinite.

As I mentioned finding celebrations was tough today. Driving home I realized it was a PERFECT spring day in Texas. These days remind me of college. I don't know why...but I think that was the first opportunity I had to enjoy "the daytime hours." Prior to that I was in school all day in the spring. Summers in Texas can be insufferable so we stay inside. When I got to college and had a class here and there, the rest of the time was spent at baseball games, sprawled out on the academic mall, studying at the park on the banks of the river or driving the back roads of central Texas sipping on a large Dr. Pepper from the Mobil Station. I really began to appreciate the crisp days we are graced with in October and April! (My two favorite months of the year!)

Additionally, I received a lovely email from my oldest friend on earth! We have known each other since we were three years old. She is more like a sister than anything else. Her words were so gentle, kind and appropriate. It was as if she was staring straight into my soul and speaking to the very situation I currently find myself in. You know who you are, friend! Thank you and I love you very much. We may be in different places in our lives but I will always seek you out! Never question that!

I wanted to share photos of my children with you! They aren't children in the traditional sense...they are more like the four-legged, furry, purr-y kind! And no, I am not ashamed of being the crazy cat lady. There is nothing anyone can throw at me that I haven't heard before! I love my kitties and would own more if I had the space and the city wouldn't cite me for violating some ordinance.

This is Lola Jean (aka "Lotion" "Lotion Joanie"). She has NEVER grown out of her kitten stage despite the fact she is five years old! I found her in the parking lot of my grocery store. She was a starving little adolescent and I couldn't say no. My life has never been the same since! She is my little shadow. I very often trip on her. Her favorite thing to do is NOT sleep during the night and chew on mom's fingers. She does not cuddle and does not like to be held. But she is always up for any game and the phrase "curiosity killed the cat" was invented for her. As many times as she has eaten through electrical cords she still hasn't kicked! She is a walking miracle. Whatever Lola wants, indeed she gets.

This is Tessie Marie (aka "Rossie" "Tester" "Testarosa" "Vinnie Testaverde"). She is a lover! I found her at a pet store through a rescue organization. I originally went to pick up another black cat they were holding for me. But I passed by her cage and she reached her paw out and gently touched my arm, tugged a little and I said, "Okay, so you're the one!" She has been curling up on my lap and giving me kisses ever since. She rarely makes a sound, doesn't like to eat and loses chunks of hair from time to time. I have nicknamed her "The Hairless Wonder." She likes to walk in between my face and anything I happen to be reading. She also loves to lay in the sun.

This is my Gracie Janie (aka "Grace Jane" "Gertsy" "Gertrude Stein"). She was my first pet as an adult. She was laying around my old apartment complex one day in August. She looked "spent." I opened my door, she walked in and has never left my side. She had just delivered and nursed kittens. When she moved in she slept on my bed for three days straight! For three years we just inhabited the same space. There was mutual respect, but nothing more. It took her three years to trust me which leads me to believe she suffered greatly before she found me. She is very independent and loves to be left alone. She can sleep in the same location for 8-10 hours. She is very lazy but damn photogenic despite the extra weight from the lazy lifestyle. She sleeps next to my head every night and she lets me rub her big belly! We've come a long way.

"What I am loving today" is Hyperbubble! Ten weeks ago I registered for a drawing class at Southwest School of Art and Craft. My teacher was a very gentle spirit. She seemed soft spoken, very happy, proud of her husband and her life. That was my initial impression. Approximately four weeks later I was at a large art celebration downtown. The festival spotlighted local artists, musicians, etc. Imagine my surprise when I passed by my art teacher dressed in a jumpsuit out of the 80's playing her synthensizer next to her husband who was behind all sort of gadgets singing her heart out! This was certainly a very different version of my art teacher! I thought, "This must be her alter ego and I love it!" I was transfixed. I couldn't move. Their music is intoxicating and nostalgic! Please, please, please find them somewhere on the web. Buy this WILL be happy, you WILL be movin' and you WILL be wishin' you were still wearing your jelly shoes, playing your atari, gettin' pissed off at your rubic's cube and looking for your Tiger Beat magazine with Rob Lowe on the cover! Thanks Jessica! You have been such a positive force in my life the last few weeks. For that I will ever be appreciative.
Gilmore Girl quote time......
Lorelai: Lorelai Gilmore....disappointing mothers since 1967.
Goodnight. We are leaving for Round Top in 8 hours! Need to pack and sleep and all sorts of other things. I am going with "Spacey," "Crystal," and "Anais." We are creating a new memory for 2009. The one from 2008 needs to be replaced!
PS....This is my has tons of songs. You can minimize this screen and just leave the music on. I will try to shuffle it around as much as I can. I hope you enjoy it!

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