Choices, Choices

Hello.   I’m still getting use to my new schedule so I have about ten blog posts in the back of my mind but I don’t know when I will be able to post them.  This morning John had to go into work early so we were up at 5:30.  Well, as up one can be at 5:30.

Funny note: I had to take my pulse as soon as I woke up this morning for a resting heart rate worksheet…it took my four minutes to find the damn thing, when it usually takes me a few seconds.  I now have concrete proof that I am zombie before my morning tea.

I entered an interesting internal debate when I returned a call to my sister on Monday.  She called me to ask what school she should go to for high school, please note she asked me the same thing last last year.  My sister is still in the same school district as I was but in the eleven years that it has been since I was in high school, the options of where she can go has opened significantly.  Last year she couldn’t decide if she wanted to go to my old high school or a newer more art driven academy.  I told her to put her name on the list for the Academy so she would at least have an option.  If she didn’t get in then worst case scenario she would go to one of the best high schools in the nation and she would know if the Academy was ever really a choice. She ended up on the list for the Academy.  I believe that the students that go there were chosen through a type of “lottery” thing…cough…bull shit… Anyway, a year has gone by and though she is doing well she is not happy.  It is social issues with other girls plus a very interesting quarter system scholastically that wares on her.  So she comes to me and asks if she should go to my old school this year that has a less strenuous scheduling and her friends, or stay at the Academy.

Let me first explain, the high school I went to is a very good high school, one of the best public schools in the nation.  But here’s the thing, while there are a lot of super smart and talented people that go there-there are also a whole lotta assholes that think their parents successes translate to their own.  They believe that they require the same respect and ass kissing that their parents get.  I have no doubt that the same type of assholes also attend my sister’s current school, in fact I have proof.

I told her the things I felt: that if she changed schools she would have to start over socially again (though apparently a lot of her friends go there).  That she should not look at the school change as a magical fix to all of her problems, even if her current problems go away new ones will show up there.  That if she decides to leave the academy there is a possibility that if she hates her new high school, she can never go back to there.  And to chose what she can live with.

As I stood in the parking lot of my community college listening to my sister and trying to give advice and I noticed my conversation was leaning towards her going to my old high school.  That was a very odd turn of events.  I don’t hate my old high school, I had problems (like we all do) socially at that school and I have mixed feelings about the place.  There is an obvious big line in the sand between the students who have and those who have not.  Mommy’s hand-me-down two year old BMW to my ’85 Buick Skylark was one of the more obvious ones.  Getting lost in the mansion of one my group project members was just embarrassing.

But I remembered having that high school on your  transcript brings a certain amount of notice.  You got a 3.4 there? That’s like a 4.0 anywhere else.  I want my sister to go to college, I want her to have that experience that I unfortunately did not know at the time, was not a possibility for me (another post for another time).  She will have to get scholarships, and maybe going there will help bring those scholarships to her.  When I realized my leaning to my old high school, I made up an excuse that I had to go and hung up.  I want her to make the decision.  The thing is I have no idea what school would be better for her.  I know where my mom and dad’s votes are, which ironically are the complete opposite of the votes they had for me when I was faced with a similar option when I was young.

I did some research online of both schools- my alma mater seems about the same, my sister’s school seem to have really happy people.  But my sister is not happy.  So I called her last night and told her she had to make the decision, I was not going to tell her what she should do.  I told her to not listen to Mom or Dad, do what will make you happy, because then with what she chooses it will be her decision and she can’t blame anyone else (like I often do).  My sister and I have the same personality flaw: we are people pleasers.  We try to make everyone else happy, usually at the expense of our own happiness.  We both are in tears if anyone gets mad at us, yells, or if we just make a mistake.  This has been very interesting in the real world for me.  I would love to say this is a genetic flaw, but it is more than likely environmental.

Like I mentioned before the decision to quit my job was probably one of the first decisions I had made in a while, I mostly just reacted rather than said this is what I want.  I want my sister to start making decisions now so she will get in the habit and look at her life as hers rather than the aftermath of what others wanted for her. I hope she has the courage to choose her bliss.

“5:30… Jazzercise”

Yesterday was my first day back at school. I had my first two classes (Early Western Civilization and Modern American History) and then I had to kill time until my  5pm PE class.  The gap between my History classes and PE classes was unavoidable, I theorize that as the semester wares on I can go home between these classes and get lunch, play with the animals, maybe do some prep for dinner; but as the parking situation was highly competitive there is no way I am giving up the parking space that took me 50 minutes of waiting to get.

I did right about 800 words of creative writing while I chilled out in the library.  It was for a short story, not the novel.

Having day classes is interesting, there were so many people there that it felt claustrophobic even in the quad.  I am use to night school where there is a max of 50 people walking around the school at any given time.  My PE classes will be interesting I have Dance Aerobics (or as I say with a Jim Carrey’s Grinch Voice: Jazzercise) from 5pm to 5:50pm, then I walk up a staircase to Aerobic Fitness/ Weight Training from 6pm to 7:15pm.  Do you think I am going to be tired those days?  I think so.  I also have to log an extra day of workout for the Aerobic Fitness class, so it looks like I now have a scholastic reason to keep walking with Birdie.  I hope to loose another 20 lbs by the end of the semester if I keep dropping and I can ask for smaller clothes for Christmas.

As for the History classes, one teacher I have a feeling will be one of those perky yet demonic teachers and the other, well he reminds me of a teacher I had in high school.  He spent the first class calling off role and asking people to say something about themselves.  For some he would say a little something, for some he would ask questions (like what they want to use their degree for), and others (the 16 football players) he eloquently let them all know he was not going to “socially promote” them.  I had a few things I could have said but in the end I just said I like to cook, take photos, and work on my yard.  He said those are all therapeutic things, so I got off easy.  It was probably because I would make direct eye contact with him and not shy away like I saw a few others doing.

I’m sure I’ll have more stories tomorrow.  Hopefully it will only take 40 minutes for parking.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Due to some positive feedback I got off of a batch of cookies I made last week I am going to post up the recipe.  Yet again it comes from Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1  1/8 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 of a 12 oz bag of chocolate chips (I use Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsels) also note I put more chocolate chips in there than the recipe says to, they said only half (what fools) =)

You will need:

mixing bowl (I use a Kitchen Aid Bowl)

cookie sheet & spatula (Duh)

and a small mixing bowl

1. In a small pan, melt the butter.  When it’s hot add both sugars, stir and then let it cool down a bit.

2.While the butter mixture is cooling, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt into the MIXING BOWL.

3.In the SMALL MIXING BOWL, beat the egg lightly with a fork (I beat it just short of scrambled egg color-if that makes sense), then add the egg and vanilla to butter mixture. Stir.

4. Now add the butter, egg, and vanilla mixture to the MIXING BOWL.  Stir again, and then add chocolate chips.  If you are using a electric mixer only stir in the chocolate chips for a few seconds, enough so it is mixed but not enough to beat the chocolate chips to death.

5. Now the hard part: put the bowl in the fridge to cool for about an hour.

6. ten minutes before you take the mixing bowl out pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Don’t grease the cookie sheet.  Roll the dough into walnut size balls, put them on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven.

Enjoy Everyone!

Early to Bed, Early to Rise…

Lately we have adopted a new sleeping schedule during the week.  We head to bed at 9 pm then read (or something) until 10 pm.  Our dueling alarms sound off at 6 am, and Bailey chimes in with yowling or repeated head-butting around 6:04 am if we have not stirred to his liking.  It use to be that if the alarms did not go off, for example on the weekend, the cats would give us me a little extra time to sleep, say until 7 am.  Not anymore.  Bailey demands his breakfast at 6am, no matter the day, weather conditions, or nationally observed holiday status.  Hence why I am awake now.  Now that he is the only cat, less food gets put into the bowl, and now it is the weight control kind.  He is not pleased.

It’s funny that the writer of another blog I follow just recently reviewed Goodfellas, because with the way Bailey gets in the morning a certain movie scene popped in my head a few weeks back. For those that have not seen the movie our main character wakes up to a huge ass revolver in his face, held by his wife.  That is how I feel when Bailey angrily meows at me when I wake up, because until he loses some pounds he could still hut us.  He’s threatened to break my ribs a few times by stepping on them. Aw, our little gangster.

Besides Bailey’s hunger issues I have enjoyed getting to bed earlier and having a set time to read.  John had been blazing through my Stieg Larsson books while I have been trotting away on Neil Giaman’s American Gods on his Kindle.  I am still not use to that thing.  I like the concept of this space saving electronic device but I don’t like the the intangible nature of it.  For example I am 90% done with the book and I put it down last night!  I am not getting that feeling of the 10-15 pages pinched between the fingers of my right hand enticing me to to keep on going.  It is just a number at the bottom of the page, a percentage at that-not even a whole number.   I am already 30% along the way to adapting. =P