Saturday, November 27, 2010

Food Memories 2

Today I bought some Darjeeling tea. Normally I'm a Lady Grey drinker, but in honor of Chris, I'm going back to the purple Twinnings box.

Back Home

After most of the week with Grandparents, it's nice to be back home again. Yesterday I made an effort to clean up the piles of teaching debris that had collected in every room in the house.

My bedroom still looks like it's been ransacked, but the rest of the house looks much better.

I've spent a lot of the week trying to just get things done.

There's a freelance project that has only 33 more days until time runs out to finish. But it's ending. That will be one big thing taken off my plate.

I'm trying to get ready for the onslaught of school for the next weeks until winter break. I'm trying to not shut away my grief from Chris' death, but to let it wash over me when it needs to.

I'm trying to set things up to find the balance I'm so hopeless at maintaining.

And I'm totally ok with not having posted every day in November. It feels kind of good to not care that I couldn't do it. Freeing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Food Memories

I'm in McDonald's in rural Pennsylvania, using the free wifi to get some work done. I'm here to visit my grandparents.

I'm feeling a lot more at peace now than I have all week. Friends and family have been very comforting. Yesterday we passed by a Trader Joe's in Pittsburgh and stopped in to get groceries. I bought a box of Boursin to eat in memory of Chris. When we spent Christmas in Cambodia a number of years ago, we found a little store that was stocked with Boursin. He was so excited, but I'd never tasted it before.

It rocked my world. Baguettes and Boursin were all we ate for days.

The next food memorial event will be an attempt to make a traditional Swiss fondue.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Favorite Photo

Querido Jean- Christophe,

I hope you have found peace and an eternity of great books.

Love always, Jennifer

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Letting Go

Took the day off today to have a good cry.

Monday, November 15, 2010


You cannot erase yourselves,
you people who try.

You think you can quietly quit this earth,
but sound from those who cry in your absence
fills the emptiness you leave behind.

You cannot erase yourselves,
from our memories, from our lives.

Our lives don't stop, can't stop,
though sometimes the grief is too much.

You are not erased.

We remember you.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13

Oh, it's Saturday? What happened to Friday and Thursday?

According to this blog, they didn't happen. National Blog Posting Month - post everyday, what?

Today's goal is to get a break tag inspection sticker for my car. I was supposed to get one last month but but that never happened. Every time I see a police car I start to sweat. I don't want to pay the fine.

What happened yesterday? I made a child sob. Progress reports went home. Someone hadn't done any assignments. There was sadness.

Thursday, I don't remember. Short term memory retention seems to top out at about 36 hours. By tomorrow, I won't remember Friday anymore.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Oprah

Today was a day of gossip and rumor-mongering amongst the children. I knew something was up when I overheard this on the playground, "You might as well tell Ms. Jennifer. She's going to find out anyway."

The truth started to come out in class. Rumors. Gossip-mongering. Arranged marriages amongst the 4th graders. That kind of thing.

We spent time talking it out. When things turned contentious amongst a few of the interested parties, I suggested we arrange to meet with a social worker for some conflict resolution. They refused. "Nooooooo! Ms. Jennifer, you're our Oprah!"

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I've been up since 1:30 am. Got up that early to do a load of work before working all day. Now it's time for the nightly news and I'm going to bed. And I'm not grading or preparing a single thing. Rebellion!

Monday, November 08, 2010


I didn't like today. Can it be over now?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Karaoke Surprise

Yesterday I went out to dinner with a bunch of people who have lived in Japan at one point or another. Some people are like me and haven't been in Japan in 5 or more years. Other just got back three or four months ago.

I ate food that seemed vegetarian (grilled tofu, seaweed salad, sweet potato fries). It wasn't. One of those three things contained fish. Accidental fish product consumption is something that happened to me pretty much every time I went out to eat in Japan. Wouldn't be so bad except that my body seems to be unable to tolerate the smallest amount of fish.

Last night I discovered that the restaurant has Japanese-style karaoke boxes. Now it's not necessary to go all the way to New York to belt out Queen's "Bicycle Race." That bit of information is 100% worth the fish poisoning.

Friday, November 05, 2010

It's Always Something

Today I got a call from the bank. They had some questions for me about some purchases made during the day.

It seems someone in Stuart, Florida, went shopping with my credit card number this afternoon. This lovely human being ought some groceries and must have filled a Hummer's tank with gas at a Chevron Station.

The bank says not to worry, I'll be refunded all the money.

So now that that's all worked out, I can go back to worrying about being assaulted with pie tomorrow.

Zonked Out

I fell asleep in a chair last night, I think before the last few seconds of The Office played out on TV. I woke up enough to go to bed and it was all unconsciousness after that.

No post yesterday. It's much less disappointing to miss a post at the beginning of November than to be diligent everyday and then mess up in the last week. The pressure's off now.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Diaper Dave

Today in class I shared the election results with my students. They wanted to know who won the Louisiana Senate race. I told them.

Their reaction:

"What?! No! He's a bad man!"

And the adult in the room had to bite her tongue.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fundraising 101

Today, in a moment of weakness, I signed up to be a part of a school fundraiser. Soon students are going to be able to throw whipped-cream pies at my face. For an hour.

If I fake being really angry at specific children for the next several days and give everyone recess detention, will that maximize the fundraising potential of my participation in the pie-throwing booth?

Monday, November 01, 2010


It's 8:34 pm and already four minutes past my bedtime.

I started teaching in August and I tend to work until it's time to go to sleep (at 8:30). And then I get up at three in the morning to do more work until it's time to leave for school. Every day feels like it needs about 20 more hours in it.

Six minutes past bedtime...