The Homeland Security Warning

This is what happens if you don’t put away your iPad when you have houseguests, even if your houseguests are family!












Also, if you leave out your iPad, you may want to ensure you LOG OUT of Facebook where various status updates may be uploaded such as…

* “I have stinky feet y’all”
* “I have a PhD in dumbassery”
* “People on Facebook are boring”
* “i love kobe and hot dogs”
* “I love”
* and other such nonsense

I should be thankful though. The posts could have been much worse. I am very thankful my friends and family have a sense of humor!

Have you been hacked before? What did you do about it? Has someone written a false Tweet or Facebook status for you? What did it say?

Day 5: Face-bucks and a sad goodbye

I ended my week-long hiatus of Facebook and Starbucks… at the same time. I had coffee with my daughter L and two moms from the kids’ gymnastics studio while the older two were at gymnastics. I’m sure the moms laughed at the glazed look in my eyes, sipping frappuccino while updating my status. I was giddy…

And a bit bummed. After being without those two time-and-money wasters for a week, I thought I’d feel renewed and energized from using both. AT THE SAME TIME.

Then I realized that I didn’t miss Face-bucks exactly. I like the way they make me feel. Connecting to friends I haven’t seen or talked to in years, even if it’s a quick hello. Reading about funny, silly, or even sad experiences. Staying up-to-date on a friend’s health. The resignation of admitting that a break is needed and treated with caffeine.

So thank you, Face-bucks. We had a great run together all of these years and while I’m not breaking up with you forever, let’s be friends with benefits. How about a weekly rendez-vous? No more, no less. Face-bucks Fridays, it is.

Another goodbye I said today was without humor.

Walking into any bookstore brings me so much joy. I love being surrounded by the written word, the smell of expresso wafting in the air. My teacher ego is satisfied with wandering people in search of entertainment and learning through books and magazines.

But today was different. Today L and I walked into Borders.

Though we have only lived in this city for three years, my family and I were frequent visitors to Borders. We got to know the staff quite well, including one barista who made the best goddamned mocha in the world and shared pictures of her growing newborn son. One of the employees even recognized my husband with whom she went to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey twelve years ago!

We walked into the store this morning and everything was different. While no one was rude, it just didn’t feel the same. I hung my head in sadness like everyone in the store.

I know there are those who feel, like in that Tom Hanks movie “You’ve Got Mail”, that these giant superstores like Borders are shutting down independent bookstores just as book series like Goosebumps or the Babysitters Club are detrimental to children. But people need to start where they feel comfortable. Borders, giant superstores, Babysitters Club… they grow readers who will shop anywhere and everywhere for a good book.

I never felt like our Borders was a chain bookstore. On the contrary, it couldn’t feel more personal. Many employees knew me by name, asked how my husband was doing, and when I showed up without my little ducklings in tow, they smiled and told me to enjoy my time alone.

And that’s how I felt in there today. Alone.

I held L’s hand just as I did every time we went to the preschool storytime and stood in the building where I spent so many hours getting lost in a mocha and a book. Where M found the first in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and voraciously read each one in forty-eight hours or less, begging to go to Borders to get the next one. Where A practiced being in school, listening and following my directions, learned to sit quietly for storytime, and found new friends. Where L packed her huge backpack that was bigger than her each week so she could carry her snack of string cheese. Where my husband and I would spend part of our alone time, looking for new authors and books that our friends were reading.

Where our family of readers and thousands of other families have been nurtured for years.

There you have it: the beginning of Face-bucks Fridays and the sad ending of our time at Borders.

NOT dedicated to the new owners of Borders who chose to liquidate everything. May you get an itchy rash that is only curable by finding jobs for all Borders employees and filling Borders-less communities with huge library grants.

7 days of everything

Oh, alright. I admit it. I’m a slacker. I’ll do day-to-day stuff as far as emptying the garbage and doing the dishes but hate hate hate getting down and dirty for big jobs. I was hoping to marry someone who liked getting down and dirty and also for big jobs.

And I did. Problem is: he doesn’t live with me!

I’m obsessive. My habit has gotten pretty bad. First thing in the morning. Several times a day. Sometimes right before bed. Easy access is no more to blame than myself.

I’m talking about Facebook. Facebook mobile. It is sucking me of my free time that I used to use to… I don’t know, read? Blog? Time away from cleaning? What? Did I just say that?

I’m a hoarder. I don’t have dead cats in my living room. I don’t think. I go through hobby phases like knitting, scrapbooking, and painting.

Then I abandon them faster than I can check my Facebook status.

I used to be a teacher of a bazillion grades. Okay, just kindergarten, first, fourth, and fifth grades. Teachers steal ideas and file (or not) a copy of a colleague’s lesson or activity for later use, just in case. We keep books, lessons, and study aids because you never know what grade you’re going to be teaching next fall.

But it is time for me to come to terms with something very difficult. It could be years before I’m able to go back into the classroom as a teacher. I’m subbing, yes. I quite enjoy it also. However, the state of education and the state of the state are in trouble. Jobs are few and far between. Even if you find a job, you may not have it next year.

I don’t need all of my stuff. I don’t plan on getting rid of all of it but if it isn’t relevant or won’t benefit my kids NOW, I need to be rid of it.

So there you have it my plan for the next week. I need to hurry up and hit the “Publish” button before I wimp out.

1. I will not check my Facebook account for a week. This includes updating my Facebook status but does not include uploading pictures.
2. I will do one big chore every day.
3. I will declutter one bag of toys and/or teaching aids a day.
4. Here’s a bonus one: I WILL NOT GO TO STARBUCKS THIS WEEK.

Stay tuned for my challenge. Maybe I’ll put it on my Facebook status.