Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Connections to the Man Upstairs...

I got a call from my sister-in-law, Ellen yesterday afternoon. Apparently my niece, Jessica (Ellen's stepdaughter) had a pretty big scare yesterday. Dacodah-- my new grand-niece, Ellen's grand daughter, Jessica's daughter--stopped breathing twice yesterday. The kind of stopped where her little face was blue, and her body went limp. Scary. Jess was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center, and the doctors ran a gauntlet of tests to see what the deal was. At the end of it, they couldn't find anything really wrong, and Jess and Dacodah went home yesterday evening. So my request is for those of you with connections to the Powers That Be, if you wouldn't mind throwing in an extra prayer or two to make sure that Dacodah is okay, that would be great. Two week old babies shouldn't have to worry about whether or not their breathing apparatus is working correctly. That should be a part of the warranty, you know?

The phone call got me to thinking though. On a completely selfish level, Jess' experience made me concerned about my own future. Tony and I are not all that far away from starting our own family. When I think about having kids, I always think about the good stuff. I remember the moments of absolute sublime sweetness of holding one of my little cousins, or one of my friends' kids and rocking them to sleep, smelling their head, their little hands and feet. My heart melts, my uterus contracts, and I can barely stay inside of my skin thinking about how badly I want to be a mom. What I don't usually think about is all the scary stuff. The things that can keep a girl up a night, drenched in a cold sweat from the fear and horror of something (anything) going incalculably wrong. S&@t happens, and while I'd like to think that I am a 'roll with the punches' kind of gal, I'm usually not. What is more, is that I COULDN'T be if something as terrible as what might have, could have, happened to baby Dacodah. I've been a spectator into my friend, Andrea's life with her son, and she's SO calm and collected most of the time that you would hardly know that Drew has any problems at all. She is the kind of mom I would like to be some day.

I'm not really sure where I am going with this one, to be honest. Just some general musings that have been swirling around upstairs that I needed to expunge. I am thinking that this has turned into my new journal, a sort of virtual catharsis, and so in keeping with tradition, I needed to make my entry for the day. Keep Dacodah in your thoughts, as well as her mommy. While you're at it, send a shout-out for Drew and Andrea as well (he's on day 21 of his hospital stay....its starting to be REALLY not fun anymore). Happy Friday to everyone, and I will talk to you next time around.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Norma Rae Moment

So its Friday, 8:30 in the morning. I am sitting in my classroom feeling a little bit like poo BECAUSE I am sitting in my classroom while some of my fellow teachers (the good ones) are outside with picket signs and sandwich boards, donning their union red, and informing the general population of Schwarzenegger's latest brain trust moment.

Let me back up a bit. For those of you who aren't in the loop, or don't live in California, or don't give a crap (I tend not to, don't feel too bad...), our Governor has proposed a $4.8 billion (that's right, BILLION) cut to the education budget. This means TONS of teachers are at risk for losing their jobs, our benefits are being threatened, there will be no new books, this list becomes more depressing the longer it gets. Just think 'sucky ad nauseum'. In an effort to protest these potential cuts, LA Unified teachers across the board instituted a one hour job action for this morning. We will sign in one hour late as a way of letting the district and the State know what these cuts would bring about. New strikes, higher teacher turnover (who wants to stay when we hardly get paid decently as it is???), less effective instruction, blah blah blah. Its pretty bleak.

I'm not normally a go-getter social activist. I have plenty of friends who are, and while they are more than inspiring, I never really found my moment were I was inspired to stand up on the table and cry "union!". And quite honestly, I am still not sure that I agree with the action that is going on right now. I'm not sure I see how a one hour walk out, which ultimately puts a few million dollars back in the district's bank account (all the teachers not being paid right now and all...), is going to solve this problem. I do know, however, that I would much rather be walking today than standing in a strike line next year. And like I said, I feel like poo because at the moment of crisis, I was informed that due to my part-time status last semester, my contract would be in jeopardy for walking today (how anti-climactic).

What I do know is that it is going to take MANY voices if there is going to be any resolution to this. I've put my two cents in (here and to the state), even my students are writing letters of protest to Schwarzenegger, and now I am hoping that a few of you might feel inspired as well. Consider taking a moment to either email or post your own letter protesting these detrimental cuts to the education budget. This is not about me, in the end. Its not really about any one of the teachers, quite honestly. This is about what is right for the future of our kids, effective and meaningful education, and lazy/rash decision making at the state level. If anything, thank you for taking a moment to listen to my rant.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

525,600 Minutes...

Ok, I know. Totally cheesy. In my defense, that is my favorite song from one of my favorite musicals, so I figure that I am entitled to a bit of cheese every once in awhile, as long as its Tony-winning.

So what year would I be referencing, you may be asking yourselves???? What could have possibly happened one year ago today (well, yesterday, if we're being precise)? One year ago yesterday, I was eating breakfast with Tony in a Starbucks on the corner of Manchester and Chapman, right near the Ayers Hotel. About an hour from now, one year ago yesterday, I was heading up to Downey with Amy and my good friend Kirsten to have our hair done together. One year ago yesterday, I got married to my best friend.

I can't BELIEVE how quickly this year has gone. All of my fellow smug marrieds have all told me how quickly the first year goes. They were also the ones to tell me that your wedding passes in a blur (I didn't believe them about that either). So much has happened in this past year! Tony and I were reflecting on it, and assessing our first year together. To make a not very interesting conversation for any of you short, we decided that we've got a pretty amazing thing going here, and that we pretty much rocked our first year together.

Tony and I both took a looooong weekend to celebrate our momentous occasion. There were other circumstances involved in our weekend plans, however. Tony's good friend, Brian, got married on Saturday (52 weeks from our day!), and Tony was a groomsman in the wedding. Between bachelor parties and rehearsal dinners, we managed to celebrate our friends kicking off their new life together. After the wedding-ness died down, Tony and I headed back to the Ayers hotel and stayed there on Sunday night. We had champagne delivered to our room, and we went out for a yummy sushi dinner to celebrate our first year of marriage. It was all very nostalgic, and I had more than one moment where I got a little teary eyed thinking about the events from a year before (ie. playing poker in the lobby until all hours, certain of my nearest and dearest breaking into the pool area at 2 a.m. and breaking toes, signing my marriage certificate in the lobby the next morning...). SO MANY memories from that weekend, and so many more that we have shared in this past year.

Thank you all for all of your love and support this past year. Thank you for being a part of our wedding last year as well (although I think I might have already thanked you for that...), and thank you for being the amazing friends and family that you are. Stay tuned for what year two will bring!