Always the first star that I find

Posted by Cory , Thursday, April 30, 2009 7:03 PM

"A long time ago I went to a concert with my friend Rebecca. Rebecca can sing better than anybody I've ever heard sing. I heard this folksinger was coming to town, and I thought she might like to see him because she was a singer too. The tickets were twenty bucks, which is a lot to pay if you're not on a date. Between songs, though, he told a story that helped me resolve some things about God. The story was about his friend who is a Navy SEAL. He told it like it was true, so I guess it was true, although it could have been a lie.

"The folksinger said his friend was performing a covert operation, freeing hostages from a building in some dark part of the world. His friend's team flew in by helicopter, made their way to the compound and stormed into the room where the hostages had been imprisoned for months. The room, the folksinger said, was filthy and dark. The hostages were curled up in a corner, terrified. When the SEALS entered the room, they heard the gasps of the hostages. They stood at the door and called to the prisoners, telling them that they were Americans. The SEALS asked the hostages to follow them, but the hostages wouldn't. They sat there on the floor and hid their eyes in fear. They were not of healthy mind and didn't believe their rescuers were really Americans.

"The SEALS stood there, not knowing what to do. They couldn't possibly carry everybody out. One of the SEALS, the folksinger's friend, got an idea. He put down his weapon, took off his helmet, and curled up tightly next to the other hostages, getting so close that his body was touching some of theirs. He softened the look on his face and put his arms around them. He was trying to show that he was one of them. None of the prison guards would have done this. He stayed there for a little while until some of the hostages started to look at him, finally meeting his eyes. The Navy SEAL whispered that they were Americans and were there to rescue them. Will you follow us? he said. The hero stood to his feet and one of the hostages did the same, then another, until all of them were willing to go. The story ends with all the hostages safe on an American aircraft carrier.

"I never liked it when the preachers said we had to follow Jesus. Sometimes they would make Him sound angry. But I liked the story the folksinger told. I liked the idea of Jesus becoming man, so that we would be able to trust Him, and I liked that He healed people and loved them and cared deeply about how people were feeling."
-Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Oh, California in the summer, and my hair is growing long

Posted by Cory 4:44 PM

Many sleeps ago, I had planned on doing Bloomsday this year. That's definitely not happening. Also, won't be doing the run in the RC that same weekend (seriously, who plans a fun run on the same weekend as freaking Bloomsday?? Someone didn't think that one through).

I think I finally discovered just how far my technology-geekdom reaches: I saw a commercial (or something, I don't even remember now) for the Kindle last night, and Handsy sighed about how badly she wanted one. I have to say, I don't quite understand the point of them, not to mention the appeal. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer an actual book. You know, with pages. I know, right? Who knew I was such a snob?

9 days till Ireland. I may pass out.

I had vague plans to clean this afternoon.

The devil's in the details; he's got your gold watch and chain

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, April 28, 2009 7:43 PM

I have no idea what Fail (AKA Sassbucket and/or Schmoopy) and I were thinking when we decided to go to Ireland. We're leaving in 12 days (12 days!) and I am living in a constant state of panic attack. I've never been very skilled at packing lightly, but I'm trying my damnedest to scale back and (I hope, I hope) I'll be able to throw everything into the backpack I borrowed from my brother. I'm afraid of both over-packing and under-packing. It's a tough life for the Europe-bound.

Spent the evening after work making what will forever be known as Sunshine's Vegetable Soup. The nice thing about the frigid weather we've been having this week is I don't feel too weird about making soup for dinner; come August, no way. There's something about using herbs you grew yourself and organic vegetables that's so much more satisfying than cooking any other way. I like. Tomorrow, I'm baking bread to replenish our supply. LOOK AT ME BEING DOMESTIC.

(Apologies for the all-caps look. I've been reading the archives on a little too much)

Work developments:
1. Finally told middle school staff exactly what I think about their stupid split-schedule idea. Did not mention that I won't be back next year for them to jerk around. Satisfaction: +1.
2. Last day with J is a week from today. Pardon me while I do a cartwheel, followed by a happy dance.
3. Spent an hour and a half after staffing yesterday going over my poor, defeated little project with M, Boss Lady and KJ. Then I came home and wept. I feel a little better about it now. I have until June 4 to correct the mistakes and resubmit. And if I don't pass yet again? Time to look for a new job! Woo!

Something is not right with me

Posted by Cory , Sunday, April 26, 2009 3:49 PM

Friday's show was fantastic. I didn't bring my camera because I was unsure as to what seating, etc. was going to be like, and I knew I wasn't going to take my purse in, so I was left with iPhone's teeny camera.

So, Ra Ra Riot? Meh. I appreciated the addition of a cello and violin immensely, but they just didn't do it for me. Also, the cellist was wearing a romper. A ROMPER. I tried to like it, I really did, because it was a pretty color and she belted it nicely and her shoes were adorable, but the woman was wearing a ONESIE. Thumbs down.

Let me just stop right now and explain my love for Cold War Kids. I first heard of them as part of a podcast, and I bought their album my senior year of college. It's unique and weird and completely unlike much of the music I listen to, but there's something about Nathan Willet's voice that gives me shivers and a warm fuzzy feeling all at the same time. They played my two favorite songs from "Robbers and Cowards": "Hospital Beds" and "Rubidoux". Also, I bought their new album after the show, and it's even better than the first. They put on a kick-ass show, second only to Mute Math's live performances.

Death Cab played a lot of songs that pop up on my Pandora stations a lot, so that was nice. I have to admit that I don't actually own any of their albums, though I have some individual songs, but now I'm excited to download some more of their stuff (in my defense, I've been trying for a long time to decide which album to download first; I'm just indecisive like that). Good show all around, though I wish our side of the venue hadn't felt the need to stand the entire time.

We had six people in our house Friday night, and five still the next night. It was great to see Melissa again and awesome to meet her friends, and we had so much fun, but I'm definitely not the suzy homemaker entertaining type. I was tense and anxious most of Saturday because I felt compelled to constantly occupy my guests' attentions. When they left this morning, I finally felt like I could breathe again. Wow, I sound like a horrible person.


Posted by Cory , Wednesday, April 22, 2009 7:25 PM

Too worn out from this insane day to form paragraphs. Tonight's blog post will be bullet-pointed for my own convenience.

*DEATH CAB AND COLD WAR KIDS ON FRIDAY. I might be feeling a slight twinge of excitement. Also exciting: hanging out with Mel again.
*Got my score back for my project, and guess who tanked 6 of the 9 activities? OOH, PICK ME!
*Have recently learned that the life skills teachers at the middle school are afraid of me. It's weird having this much power. It's also reaffirming my decision to ask to be reassigned in the fall.
*Ireland is in 17 days. HOLY CRAP MUCH? Planning to enjoy the Irish countryside as far as my moral sensibilities will allow me.
*The Crazies are moving to Moscow at the end of May, which means that I most DEFINITELY will not have to deal with another summer of phone calls from Boss Lady that always start with "So, the [name]s called me just now and...". Added bonus: decreases possibility that I will have to share a caseload with Annoying Coworker Who Offers Unsolicited Financial Advice And Calls To Ask About Houses For You To Rent That Are Located Directly Next To His.

That makes it possible for all white boys to dance

Posted by Cory , Thursday, April 16, 2009 4:48 PM

I'm about to write a blog post about poop.

You've been warned.

Let me take a moment to describe T (Not because half the people that read this blog don't already know him, but for the sake of the big picture. Bear with me. Okay? Okay): A 14-year-old boy. Appears to be about 6, thanks to his severe autism. Has decent fine motor skills, can walk and run EXTREMEMLY well (oy, the running). Can approximate 1-2 3 word sentences ("huppa, pease?"). Is NOT, repeat, is NOT toilet trained. Wears a pull-up and tends to pretty much just dribble all day long, making potty training quite the endeavor. FORGET about pooping on the potty. He poops pretty much daily, and lately it's come right before R gets there to take over with him, so who gets to clean his bottom? ME. It's no good, no good at all.

Most recently, the poop schedule has been after lunch, IMMEDIATELY AFTER HE PUTS ON A CLEAN PULL-UP. It is positively maddening. Every time, I would ask him why, WHY he couldn't just sit on the toilet and poop like the rest of us. Oh, right, autism. Anyway, yesterday I peeked in the bathroom during the post-lunch potty trip to make sure he wasn't dipping his shoes in the toilet. He looked at me, pointed to his bare bottom, and said "ow" (his standard indication for "hey, I just dropped a load in my pull-up and guess who gets to wipe my butt while I jump up and down and stim?!?!?!!111?"). Sighing, I walked to the cupboard and gathered gloves, wipes and a plastic bag, then directed him to the bar around the toilet so I could begin the process and ponder ending my life (I'm really not a fan of poop).

I happened to glance in the toilet.

Is that... HOLY CRAP, IT IS (see what I did there?).


I freaked out. I practically threw the kid a parade right there in the bathroom. Oh, the high-fives that followed.

R walked in as he was washing his hands. I practically screamed the good news at her. She relayed the message to anyone who would listen. I walked home, texting anyone who would even remotely care (or just Mo and Sunshine).

Okay, that story up there? NOT EVEN THE BEST PART OF THIS WHOLE POST.

Are you ready for it?

Are you sure?



I asked him this morning if he was going to sit on the toilet again when he had to poop, and he giggled and said yes.

It was rather precious.

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, April 14, 2009 4:21 PM

To add to the list of places I'm contemplating moving to if things don't improve at the middle school: Yakima.

Moving on.

Warning: Shop talk to follow

Posted by Cory , Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:34 PM

I spent most of the morning thinking about this mushy, corny blog post that I was going write when I got home, all about how things are going well at work and my job is so rewarding, etc., etc. And then T decided to stick his shoe in the toilet. The magic was kind of gone after that. But I came home and had a snack and now I feel like writing a mushy post again. So woo!

I've been feeling a little overpaid these days (but only a little). It sounds cliche, but sometimes IBI is really rewarding. I've known T for a year and a half now and have been working with him every day (with the exception of school breaks), and I spent a lot of today thinking about how much progress he's made, just by having a consistent schedule and therapists who actually communicate with each other. He's in such a good groove right now that I feel comfortable giving him a little more space and independence (but oh, did we have a battle when he was trying to earn that independence). The child bathrooms himself now, for crying out loud! When I first started at the middle school, the paras were doing everything for him. EVERYTHING. They unbuttoned his freaking pants for him, which he is so capable of doing. It's amazing. And then sometimes, he stims with his shoes and dips them in the toilet, because who the hell doesn't just love doing that? Serious.

K, on the other hand, is a different story. She's regressed a lot. BUT! We've started saving her lunch for her, because she eats about two bites and then tries to throw her food and then she's hungry and pissy the rest of the day and it's a big headache for all involved. Anyway, saving her lunch. When she gets her work done with me in the afternoons, she gets to have a snack, but starting today, she either eats the rest of her lunch or she gets nothing at all until she gets home, which is another place that she's stopped eating. When snack time rolled around today (another battle just getting there), she said 'no' to her leftover lunch, walked to the cupboards and reached out her hand for help opening the door. I told her what the new deal was, and she walked over to her tray AND SIGNED 'YES'. AND THEN SHE ATE HER LUNCH. She mostly turned up her nose at the chicken sandwich (not that I blame her; the meat was GRAY), but she ate her fries, cookies and pineapple AND WAS HAPPY ABOUT IT.

You have to savor the small victories with this job.

In other news, a few random thoughts:

*Yay for babies! Both Nelly and Will and Lindsey and Louis are having boys!
*What does it say about my relationship with our DVR that I forgot a certain TV show had a freaking THEME SONG?

The happy! Oh, the happy!

Posted by Cory , Monday, April 6, 2009 2:12 PM

Reasons I am currently extra joyful:

*It's 62 degrees right now. And sunny.
*I'm wearing flip-flops to staffing, yes I am.
*Kiddo #1 was fascinated by my new shoes, but did not, repeat, did NOT kick my ankles because I was wearing new shoes.
*Kiddo #2 got on the bus without fighting me or throwing a tantrum.
*Did I mention 62 degrees? And sunny?
*I bought the "Slumdog Millionaire" soundtrack and it's fantastic.
*I found a shortcut for my walk to and from work that shaves a good 6 minutes off the commute. I don't have to leave the house until 7:20 now!
*Ireland is in 34 days.
*I got a letter from Schmoopy in the mail today.
*I didn't feel like strangling anyone today! Not even the rude middle schoolers!
*62! Degrees! And! Sunny!