Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When Opportunity Knocks...

You know that feeling when you have a decision to make, and you want to make the easy, safe decision, but you know you should make the other decision? I'm there.

First let me start by saying this: Two years ago when I applied to be a para-educator in my district, I was hoping to become a library para. My mom is a library para, and she loves it. I pretty much know what that job entails and I think I'd really like it. It's a good mix of technology, teachers, students, and office work. As it was, there were no jobs like that available when I applied. But there was a special education para job available.

Out of desperation to get out of my accounting job, I accepted a position as a special education para at an adolescent treatment facility with an in-house school. It turned out to be a very good job for me - one that I liked very much.

At the end of the 2008-2009 school year, the teacher that I worked with, Mr. E, informed  me that he had accepted a position as an interventions teacher at a local middle school and would not be back next year. I was terrified! Terrified that I would get along with the next teacher. Terrified that he/she wouldn't know what to do and I'd be running the place (which they don't pay me enough to do). Terrified that they would dissolve the program entirely and leave me, pregnant at the time, without a job.

Then Mrs. G, the summer school teacher came along and, due to a crappy principal at her last school, got reassigned. Although she didn't seem too thrilled about it at first, I was. It turns out I got along with her even better than I did with Mr. E, and my year ended up being rather enjoyable, despite a few snafu's brought on by the students (which is pretty normal where I work).

Fast-forward to yesterday. I looked on the school website and saw a job posting for a library para position at an alternative high school for at-risk students.

I was so very torn. I had gotten comfortable at my job. I know how to do everything, I know all the rules, I know what's expected of me, and I like it. But this library position is what I had wanted since day one. Besides, Mrs. G only had to work there for at least two years, so that would mean after this year we might be getting another teacher. Another teacher whom I might not work well with. And who knows how long that teacher will stay. I don't want to be in a position where I have to adjust to a new teacher every other year. But my mom knows the librarian at this potential school, and doesn't seem to think much of her. But she'd only be there once a week on Tuesdays, so it would pretty much be MY library. But what if someone asked me something I didn't know? There would be no one to help me. But once I got comfortable, it could be a very good change. And the pay is better.

But, but, but...

Those are the scattered thoughts that went through my head last night as I filled out the online application. Then, sometime around 11pm, I finally gathered up the courage to hit the "submit" button.

So, there you have it. I applied for a new position. And I do hope I get it, but it makes me nervous because if I get an interview, and if they want to hire me, all these thoughts are going to run through my head again and I'll have to decide if it's really what I want. Then again, I may not get it, so all of this could be totally pointless.

Such is life, I guess.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mad World

Looking at my list of posts, I am realizing that I haven't been posting much about coupons/deals or cooking, which is originally what I planned for my blog to be about. As it is, I am still coming into my own with this whole blog thing, and it's turned out to be more about my life in general, which still includes coupons/deals and cooking, but other stuff too. I guess my blog will go through phases, as do my interests.

Anyway, back to the subject I was originally going to post about...

Lately, I've found myself having a lot of experiences where, after it's over, I leave the situation shaking my head thinking, "Wow, that was weird."

Here's what I'm talking about...

Last Thursday, James, Isaac and I were walking from L&M Meats (to get some jerky for the lake) to our bank to meet with the loan lady. We went about a block out of our way so we could walk in the residential area rather than on the main road. Along the way, we saw a garage sale. I love garage sales, so we stopped. As we approached the house, the lady in charge hops out of her car with a cigarette in hand and, as we walked up the driveway, ambushes us with WAY more information than is really necessary for any garage sale. She said it was a moving sale through the end of July. Then she started rambling about how everything on the right side of the driveway is $5 and everything on the left side of the driveway is $10 and everything on the right side of the garage is $15, and the stuff on the left side of the garage is not for sale, and she had some furniture in the house so we should come back later when she has it outside. I smiled and nodded, despite the fact that I couldn't see anything that I would pay more than $.50 for. (That's right, I ended my sentence with a preposition. Whatcha gonna do about it?) She proceeded to tell us how she sells things by the box and if you see something that you like in the $10 section, you can just put it in one of the $5 boxes and have it all for $5. James and I were both a little foggy on the rest of the details, because at this point we were both trying to think up an exit strategy. As we walked away, she hollered to us "If you come back again I'll give you $5 off of your purchase!"


Monday (or Tuesday, my days all run together), I was in the restroom at (where else?) Target. I was cranking out a paper towel to dry my hands, and there was a very old, white haired, fragile looking lady at the sink next to me. As I was standing there drying my hands, she leaned over and started talking to me. This was our convo. And when you form the little old lady voice in your head while you read this, keep in mind that it was actually much like you might think a little old lady voice would be - very soft, sweet, and frail.

Old Lady: "Are you going to listen to The Bachelorette tonight?"
Me: [a little surprised] "Huh?"
Old Lady: "Do you listen to that program? The Bachelorette?"
Me: "Oh... no I don't watch that one."
Old Lady: "I'm going to listen to that program tonight and see who she chooses!"
Me: [politely smiling] "Oh, sounds like fun."


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Isaac!

My baby is 1 today! I can't believe how fast the past year has gone!

James has the day off, so we're going to take him to the water park at the CanadInn. Then we're going to go out for supper with Grandma and Grandpa (and probably Uncle Derek).

Here's a picture of Isaac when he was born:

And here's a picture of Isaac last week:

What a difference a year makes!

Oh, and I bet nobody would notice this if I didn't mention it, but I set this blog to post at the exact time that Isaac was born one year ago. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fuck You, Minnesota!

I apologize for the explicit language in the title.

No I don't. I'm pissed. And here's why.

James, Isaac and I headed to the lake on Thursday. We waited for my brother, Derek, to get off work so he could ride with us and wouldn't have to take a separate car. So we were getting into Cass Lake somewhere around 8:30 or 9:00 PM because we didn't end up leaving until 6:30 PM. We passed the town of Cass Lake and were so very close to Norway Beach, where my parents had been camping since Tuesday, when I saw flashing lights behind me. I checked the speedometer. I was going 60 mph. I then realized that I had no clue what the speed limit was. It was 65 mph on the highway that we'd been on for the past hour and a half. Evidently it changed, because I was getting pulled over.

The officer was so kind to inform me that the speed limit changes for about a mile right by the town of Cass lake. It goes from 65 to 45 (for literally like, a mile) and then goes back up to 60. I had been caught in a speed trap. The cop tells me he clocked me in at 70 mph. Bullshit! I instinctively checked my speed as soon as I saw his car. I was going 60. Whatever. It wasn't going to do any good arguing with him. I'd probably just get myself into more trouble. Besides, I was speeding.

So then Officer Dipshit writes me up a ticket and tells me that he "bumped my speed down as much as he could." He wrote that I was going 55. Then wrote a phone number on it, which I was supposed to call in order to get my fine amount. I know Minnesota has some steep fines. I remember hearing something like $80. Dang. That sucks big time.

We got to the camp and I grabbed my cell phone (which took about 15 minutes to find because it had fallen out of the cupholder in my car) and called the number. I wanted to see what the damage was going to be.

Here's what greeted me on the other end of the line:

"The number you are trying to call has been changed or disconnected."

You've got to be kidding me. Deputy Duchebag gave me the wrong number. What the hell am I supposed to do now? So I went online and found the number for the police department. I called it first thing Friday morning. The person I talked to gave me a different number to try. I tried it. They gave me another number. Ugh. So I dialed that number and got a series of automated options. I pressed 4 to find out my fine amount. Then it asked me for some info off my ticket. I put it in. Then it said that their computer was down at the moment. So I did it all again and pressed 0 for assistance. Guess what? "Sorry, but there is no one available to assist you at this time. Please try again later."

All damn weekend I was trying to get my stupid fine amount. Of course, no luck.

So today I tried it again. I pressed 4. It gave me a busy signal. I tried again. It rang, and then said "all circuits are busy."

So I called the PD back. They told me to call the number that I'd been calling since Friday. I told him that it didn't do me any good. He said "Well, I don't know the amounts (yeah right) so I can't help you."


I called the number back and pressed 2 this time, even though it wasn't even remotely close to what I needed. I just didn't know what else to do! It rang, and an actual person answered. Now maybe we're getting somewhere! I explained to her what I'd been going through for the last four days. She asked me what my speed was and what the limit was and informed me that my fine would be $125.

I want to cry.

Thank you, Minnesota, for wasting four days of my life and taking a giant bite out of my budget. I hate you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What a Difference a Little Color Makes!

As you may know, I've been dipping my pinkey toe into the photography pool lately. Last week, I borrowed my mom's Photoshop Elements and have been tinkering with it ever since. I just wanted to share a few photos that I edited. The main thing that I've done with all of these is mess with the color saturation, and WOW! It really makes a difference. The 'before' photos look so dull and gray, even the ones I thought looked great before! See for yourself...

I took this photo with my trusty ol' point-and-shoot this weekend (because I forgot my DSLR, oops). If you look at the second one for a while, then look back at the first one you'll think "How did I even think this one looked good before? It's so drab!" At least, that's what I thought. I also softened their faces a little with a gaussian blur, but you can't really tell because their faces are so soft to begin with.

I liked this photo to begin with, but then I played with the color saturation and now I LOVE this photo.

I wanted to share this one because I over-did it a little. I pushed the saturation and hue past what I normally would set it at, and I like it. It gives it a little bit of an artsy feel. Well, I think so anyway.

With this photo, the difference is a little more subtle, but I still like it.

I think I've created a monster... I can't stop!