…It’s something else.

•October 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We all know that my world is in no way sanitary.  I work in a kindergarten classroom.  I get sneezed on multiple times a day.  I watch children (and when possible instruct them NOT to) eat their own boogers as casually as lemon pez.  I once watched as a child coughed up (previously digested) lasagna onto her elbow, and then without hesitation, like a little baby bird, ate it off again.  I try my best to wash my hands multiple times a day.  I drink lots of water.  I take chinese herbs to help with my immune system.  I am trying to make myself into a germ fighting robot (preferably with laser beam eyes, because that would be cooler).

Yesterday, I came face to face with another surprise hands on sanitary issue.

The preschool teacher has procured a new pet for her classroom.  A miniature turtle, about the size of a pencil sharpener.  Originally she brought in kittens for her class, without asking anyone if that would be a good idea.  It wasn’t.  She had to take those home.  She then got a bird.  The bird is still there.  Maybe next week she will bring in a goat.  I am not sure.  A small zoo seems to be forming in her hands over there.  Anywho, after school I got a chance to see the new little turtle.  She asked if I wanted to hold it.  I said sure… why not.   I picked him up.  He was cute.  I asked her if the children were allowed to hold the turtle.  I was wondering how three year olds would handle a fragile turtle his size.  She answered “Oh, no.  I cannot allow them to hold him.  He is technically illegal.  You know, because they carry salmonella.”

Speechless.

This little turtle is already in a wet, little, possibly infectious puddle in my hands.  Classic.  I try not to be rude about it.  Finish my “visit” with this nausea inducing host, and then scutter over to the sink to wash my hands three times.  I didn’t just wash my hands, I scrubbed.  For dramatic effect, I would go so far as to say I scrubbed the living shit out of them.  Once with hand soap.  Once with palmolive.  Once with  a combo.  I tried to think back to all of those episodes of Grey’s I had watched, and imitated that deep surgical clean that comes before you are allowed to slice someone open.

On my way home from work that day, I took my normal route.  I have considered changing this route home on many occasions… however, just haven’t really gotten around to it yet.  It’s the easiest way home.  And call me lazy, but who wants to mess with easy?  Granted, I have witnessed a daylight mugging on this street, a possibly gang related beat-down, and a man with no legs riding in a wheelchair with his chubby cat whom he dresses in American Flag sweaters (note: this man is no reason to change route. he is a show stopper.) It just seems to be kind of a strange part of the valley… and very active street.  Anyway, I am on my way home and I have to make a sudden stop because there is a slightly disheveled man hobbling into the street sans shoes while on crutches. I am concerned immediately.  Does he need help?  He picks something up in the gutter, that I later come to identify as a ceramic mug, and throws it at a docile hobo sitting near the bus stop.  Oh shit.  I was taken aback by this.  Working in kindy, I know that throwing is pretty much unacceptable.  This is all happening a few feet from my car.  I am getting nervous.  The light is red.  No one is moving.  The hobo becomes agitated, and then throws his Smirnoff bottle at the man on crutches.  Uh oh.  They begin to argue.  The light turns green.  Thank you, Jesus.  I was concerned that I was going to have a full out hobo-war broken out on the hood of my Honda.  Perhaps I should have been more concerned about crutches guy and agitated hobo… I am sure they are fine.  They seemed resilient… the way cats are.  In that Nine Lives sort of way.

After surviving a masterful evening of potential salmonella poisoning via turtle flesh, and a hobo street fight… I was feeling lucky.  I went to hula, danced my heart out, came home, ate dinner, went to sleep.

Flash-forward to today.  1:15pm.  Naptime.  I reach into my purse to pull out my glasses, so that I might read the children a story accurately.  I feel something sticky.

Gum.

Gum has seemed to adhere itself to my glasses case.  Not just any gum, mind you… unidentified A.B.C. (already been chewed) gum, in a flourecent wad… that was NOT MINE.  How, I ask… did stranger gum manage to make its way inside my purse?  Is someone out to get me.  Am I involved in a germ war that I don’t even know about?  Do I currently have herpes on my hand? Hep C?  ACK.

And, so began my second surgical scrub in with the palmolive.

You know what they say:  If it’s not Salmonella…it’s something else.

Everything Is Coming Up Carpets

•September 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Photo 2094

Excuse the wonky eye on the right... Most likely a side effect of deadly carpet mold.

Slosh. Slosh. Squish. Slosh: The audible noises that can be experienced by my studio carpet. It’s flooding. The carpet is saturated, much like a sponge.

I am telling myself not to freak or go into some sort of rage blackout.

I am trying not to get stressed out by the known fact that my apartment has sprung a leak, and we may be slowly sinking into the LA river, or whatever body of water is near. I do not have a life vest, or a raft for this occasion. I could maybe fashion a paddle of sorts out of my mop or broom and just wait patiently somewhere starboard–accepting my inevitable nautical doom. A pirates life for me.

Due to the heat, I am tempted to drag in the community hose kept near the laundry room and run a slip n’ slide through my hallway into my flooded studio. It might be the only chance I have to slip n’ slide indoors and get away with the carpet damage being not my fault. With my luck, the plumber will arrive while I am mid slide. It is really hard to deny and stash a slip n’ slide in under 5 minutes…especially after answering the door in a swimsuit and goggles.

Now, since I have started to pen this here entry… a few things have changed.  I can no longer slip n’ slide without potential blame for the great lake forming on my floor.  Four buckets of water were wet vac-ed up out of there.  This morning, the smell coming from that room was something awful.  A combination of wet dog food and ass.  There are now holes in the walls and ceilings of my kitchen, bedroom and living room.  This leaves a total of two rooms in the house without holes… one of which is the aforementioned smelly room.  All the apartment furniture seems to be living in the living room.  Cozy.  It looks like I am a hoarder.  it makes me nervous sitting in my apartment… itchy.  Like I am going to be forced into a life of collecting beanie babies and feeding my 20 pet cats straight from my crowded carpet floors.  Uncomfortable.

supposedly someone is coming to work on the carpet tomorrow. I am nervous what they are going to find under there.  A functioning society of Eels?  The sequel to The Ring?  Nessie?  Deadly mold?  A new, rare and stinky cheese?

At least I could charge admission to see half of those options and make some  extra side cabbage.  I could even sell my new form of cheese to the Dutch.  I know lots of Dutch people.  They really like cheese.  I think i have an in there.

The possibilities are endless.

My hypothetical wet vac bucket, is definitely more than half full.  Everything is coming up carpets.

Net Terrors

•August 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

the%20netDue to my lack of general employment this summer, I have been able to catch up on classy TV shows like “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “Charm School”.  You know, things I am not super proud of.  Free time leads to weakness as far as my ability to refuse trashy or available programming.

This week, my guilty TV hour led me to a film from the mid 90’s starring Sandra F’ing Bullock.  “The Net.”

Now, I am not sure how this film was received in the 90’s.  For all I know it was an epic flop.  But, for what it’s worth, I found it to be terrifying.  Sure there is something slightly archaic about dial up, and large girthy car phones, perchance even the extremely slowed down special effects for dramatic purposes were a bit passe…but the whole cyber terrorism theme: TERRIFYING.

It just made me think… if they were worried about this in 1995…and there is this whole film where Bullock is running away from creeps stripped of her identity due to her dealings on the Internet and her hacking talents…what would happen now?  what could happen now?  Maybe they should remake this poignant piece of filmy art as a movie called “The Net 2: I Found You On Facebook. Now Run.”  Someone who preys on the status updates of others, causing nightmarish terror and car chases.   I’d watch that.  I’d watch that clutching my pillow so tight my knuckles would whiten in sheer terror.

Uh oh.  Do I smell a pitch meeting?

Genius.

Full Moon

•May 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

-1 I woke up this morning to my bathtub drain vomiting up some sort of gooey sludge and excess water. It backed itself up. Surely this is the start to a glorious Thursday. I am thinking that it may or may not have something to do with the raised floor in my office, and the sound of rushing water that can be heard when you put your head to the floor. We have put in several work orders for this problem to be fixed, but our landlady does not seem to be getting on the job.
Since the weather is heating up, maybe I will be able to catch her attention while she does her creepy, topless, cougarific, tanning in the pool. Her skin is like aged leather. It resembles one of those dried pig’s ears that one might purchase for their K-9. Nast.
I was starting to plan on how to shower in my galoshes, when Pete was able to get the water and sludge to go down. Thanks to Peter, I was able to shower this morning without boots, or fear of unknown gooey substances touching my bare flesh. Things were looking up.

Work seemed to be going normally. As normal as can be expected, when you work with a bunch of kindergartners. There was no more nose picking than usual, and everyone seemed like they were able to use their “inside voices”. I went outside with the kids while Sarah stayed inside to form an exciting new nap-time configuration. All of the sudden, I see one of the children chasing his classmates with a lemon from the lemon tree, trying to squirt the juice from the lemon in their faces. I put an end to that immediately, and confiscated said lemon. Literally a minute later, the same child was galloping around trying to knock down bird-feeders, stealing things that belonged the the other children, and trying to hit one child with a stick. I went to go and break up the madness, and inform the young hood-rat that he was going to need to spend some time sitting on the bench next to me, since he was not able to play with the other children. Before I could get out a full sentence, the child had thrown himself on the ground in a full on tantrum.

Excellent.

I was able to get him to sit on the bench. He spent the rest of outdoor play fake crying, and throwing himself on the ground. He started to tense up every muscle in his body and grunt. I believe he even growled at me at one point. And of course, in true kindergarten fashion, every time the child bent forward in one of his rage pouts, his pants would literally be absent from his ass, allowing me to see a full moon. I suggested that he should pull his pants up. He did. He also threw himself forward once again. Full Moon.

At this point I started to fantasize about what it might be like to have an office job. A cubicle of my very own. A place where it’s not the norm to have a foreign, bare backside three feet from your face. Sigh….

I look over at the benched child. He is picking his nose, and eating it. Over and over again. I mention to him that his fingers do not belong in his nose. He growls.

I think I’m getting through to him.

Later in the day, during nap… Sarah went to go check on this same child since he was taking an awful long time in the restroom. Apparently, what she found was a surprising sight. The child had taken a ribbon off of one of the play-stands and was now using this ribbon to leisurely “tie it around his junk”…Awkward…

Seriously?

After she urged the child to stop gift-wrapping his penis, and to throw the ribbon in the trash….I am sure she too was fantasizing about her very own cubicle somewhere.

While cleaning up from nap, I went to go and put one of the cots away…. and my hand landed in an unidentified moist substance. My money is on drool. I washed my hands. Twice.

Just another day at the office, my friends. Just another day.

Swine Time

•May 8, 2009 • 1 Comment

I have been home sick for THREE days.  Something about the whole swine flu pandemic and parents not wanting their kids to be around teachers who are running fevers. Whatever.  Unfortunately I am running a fever…therefore I have been quarentined to my apartment.

In this time I have:

Crocheted 3.5 hats, mostly of the animal variety… although one of them is a cupcake.

Watched a disgusting amount of reality tv, including lowly MTV smut like “College Life”.  I also recently discovered some show about people who didn’t know they were pregnant, and then all of the sudden end up giving birth in public restrooms or in the mountains on a hike.  These instances are expertly reenacted by a team of overly emoting actors with bad fake bellies.  Of course, being the hypochondriac that I am… whenever I am bloated,  have gas, or have what one would refer to as a “food baby”, I start to freak out that maybe I am in the third trimester of my unexplained , symptom-free  pregnancy, and I will deliver a slimy newborn in the first grade bathroom at my place of work.  Thank you, Discovery Health…

Created an Etsy store in which one might be able to purchase one or many of my various hat creations.

Decided I should maybe give up cheese, since I am probably lactose intolerant.  I then went and ate some cheese.

Slept.  Woke up in feverish sweaty puddles.  It is over 95 degrees outside with makes me want to vomit and then punch someone real hard in the face.  Not only do I have a fever, but I have to deal with uncomfortable situations… like sweating in the backs of my knees..HATE IT.

Tried to do some yoga in order to hypothetically “sweat out” my sickness.  Instead I almost passed out within the first five minutes, started to sweat profusely (in an embarrassing fashion.  The type of sweating I would possibly mock someone else for.) and still ended up with a fever. A higher fever.

Done an inappropriate amount of facebooking.  Changed my status far too frequently.  I am bordering on “tool” status.

Born many ideas for brilliant screenplays… all of which are basically rip offs of other screenplays or pre-existing shows, but told through the eyes of the person’s cat.  A cat perspective script.  My favorite pitch being:

“So…I am writing a script about this bounty hunter.  His name is Cat.  Cat the Bounty Hunter.  He is excellent at bounty hunting.  He also has a cat.  A pet cat.  Oh, did I mention that this story will be from the Cat’s perspective?  Yeah.  Well…The cat is actually a criminal.  So, Cat has to bounty hunt his own pet cat after he cat-burgles someone and then breaks his parole.  It will be called “Cat Me If You Can”.  Sell it.”

I need to go back to work.

Skillz, Sounds, and Sexcapades.

•April 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

2528199617_8c4bf0d5bcDear People Of Los Angeles,

Currently I am listening to one of you belt out show tunes from what I can only assume is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical due to it’s general awfulness. Congrats on that projection you are working on. It is surely effective, being as how you are, I believe, two BUILDINGS down from me. If by chance you are one of the five people that read my blog, or you somehow stumble upon this posting…can I be so bold as to make a request? How about anything other than Andrew Lloyd? Thank you. I know that almost the entire population seems to be enchanted by the musical Cats and others like it, but the melody of the song Memory makes me want to claw my ears off. Not to mention there is something distinctly uncharming and creepy about a bunch of adult humans dressed up as cats, prancing around in unitards and licking their fake fur. If you are currently wearing one of said unitards, I am sorry… I am sure it is dashing on you.

Now, earlier today, I was doing a bit of facebook patrol. Answering some messages, which then of course leads to a little light stalking. I came across a “friend’s” page and decided to click the link to their website. Of course it is a website dedicated wholly to themselves (complete with resume, links, headshots, and all the obvious forms of self promotion) …which I see is a growing trend…I decided to click on the resume. It was a typical acting resume. I myself haven’t had to make one in a while, and was intrigued as to what this person had been up to, so I read on. Then of course I came across it… the “Special Skills” section. Now, People, honestly this section is getting so ridiculous in most acting resumes…just a bunch of nonsensical masturbatory ego strokery for oneself, that “Skills” might as well be spelled “Skillz.” It’s silly. I read on in hopes of learning more about this persons very special skill set, only to find out that they are capable of doing such things as, Running, and are in fact a Licenced Driver. I guess I am pretty fucking skilled as well. Watch out, Hollywood. Seriously, though… I have seen such basic human functions listed in this section before, such as: Crying, Laughing, Walking, Talking on Phone, Reading, Telling A Joke, Yelling, and Praying.

Um, now I am not a betting woman, but those seem like everyday happenings….some involuntary bodily functions even.

I am truly just kind of sick of the whole Actor thing going on here. I know it is slightly hypocritical of me to say, since I did go to college for none other than Acting. I am just not down with the vibe that L.A. seems to supply for this art. Everyone is so out for themselves. So into being unique and authentically themselves, but in the most pretentious way possible. It’s just not me.

I really have no reason to be so disgruntled today. I am not entirely sure where all of this pent up frustration with L.A. is coming from directly. I am on vacation, in fact. Spring break of sorts. I have two weeks off, away from children, where the only boogers I have to deal with directly are my own. I know this seems like a small and maybe insignificant point… but honestly there are more foreign boogs in my daily life than most of you desk job workers likely have to deal with in a year. I see them picked, consumed, and placed onto inappropriate surfaces daily.

In an attempt to unwind, I took a yoga class yesterday. It was excellent. I ran into a neighbor of mine. She works the front desk there. She actually gave me a free class, which was super neighborly of her. It was actually kind of an awkward interaction (more so in my head) since I realized midway through our conversation that I somehow had lived here for three years, never seemed to catch her name… yet, I knew her dog and her dogs name. Ugh. When I told Pete about this experience later, he asked me… “Oh, that neighbor there? Isn’t she the one who has extremely loud lesbian sex?” Hmmm… My mind started to backtrack. Perchance. Yes. I think so. It’s hard to be 100% sure about facts like that… apartment life has proved to have paper thin walls, as I can hear most everyones sexual escapades (even in other buildings…) The sex that Peter was referring to as “loud”, is an understatement. It is screaming, scary, maybe someone is being hurt loud! I remember walking out to get my laundry one night and being alarmed… having to pause and make sure those were screams of passion between two women, and not a crime of passion. We came to the conclusion that it was consensual lady lovin’, and did not need to call the cops.

I don’t think I have ever lived in an apartment while being in L.A. that did not have some really awkward sexual thing going on within earshot. My first apartment in college was kinda shady, but I loved it. I lived alone with my cat. Nearly all of my neighbors were Mexican. The mariachi music would start around 7:00am. Occasionally the old woman across the way would bring me a homemade tamale or something cool like that. Anywho, I am not sure exactly who lived right next to me, but it got weird. Their bedroom wall was also my bedroom wall. Almost every night there would be the distinct sound of porno soundtrack…you know, with the bow chicka bow wow… then leading into unmistakable porno narrative and moans. This would be followed by the sound of a woman moaning in the next room. The weirdest part, was that there was also a very loud snoring coming from the same room. Gunther, Peter and I would try to get to sleep, slightly on the mortified side. I occasionally broke out my discman (that’s right…i didn’t have a fucking ipod, so what.) in order to try and escape the awkward porno slumber party on the other side of the wall.

Currently, I can hear two people arguing in a neighboring apartment building…. over… wait for it… Peeps. I guess “they are bad for the baby.” Who is feeding their baby Peeps?! Sugary marshmallow figurines shaped into classy little Easter shapes? I am a grown up human and I don’t even touch that shit. People, you be crazies.

I can only imagine what you all have seen or heard of me over my three years of living in this place. Yes, sometimes I dance around in a robot costume… but, I think that is pretty legit.  Hell, maybe I will even file that under my Special Skillz!

There Is A Hobo In The Shed: Theories, Exclamations and Tales of Triumph.

•April 3, 2009 • 1 Comment

lavenderspring Happy Spring, everyone!

I would have updated sooner, but I got mauled by the hypothetical craft bug, which then infected my spirit and urged me to spend my extra time knitting and crocheting tails for the kindy kids to wear.  I also, in my craft fury, managed to knit two hats, a scarf… and  have begun crocheting what will become stuffed cats.  Maybe it is a slightly new addition to my already highly quirky personality…but the mention of going to a store to pick out yarn fills me with glee.  I cannot help this.  It was bound to happen.  Look at my mother.  Her nick name is “Martha”, as in for the previously incarcerated craft matriarch Martha Stuart.  Anywho, that is neither here nor there… lets get to some happenings of the past few weeks shall we?

I firmly believe that these are words a teacher never really wishes to hear:  “Miss Gina, I think I am gonna
throw up.” Oh dear.  Needless to say I sashayed that child over to the bathroom quicker than you could say Easter Sunday. It  made me immediately flash back to my childhood and the times in which I had managed to mutter those fateful words.  I never made it to the bathroom.  Those words always happened about five seconds before the actual splatter of vomit hitting carpet.  Luckily for me, Sarah, the carpet, and the child, he did not end up throwing up.  Huzzah.  However, for preventative measures he was sent home early.

There is a highly suspicious smell emanating from the games shed.  It is the smell of damp death and old Chinese takeout. I noticed it upon stationing myself close to the shed in order to be able to keep checks on all potential Aftercare gang activity.  My first thoughts were that it was the hobo that had been found making camp in the child’s playhouse that morning.  Clearly someone isn’t doing such thorough ground checks in the mornings.  Perhaps it is just a possum, or a sack of old discarded Chinese takeout molding next to the jump-ropes somewhere in there… but the thought of it being an actual body put some sort of adult Nancy Drew mystery back into my day.

One day earlier this week, I was spending my break in the sun chatting with a fellow teacher and peacefully eating some dried mango.  Lovely.  Then all of the sudden a child emerges with blood running down his arm.  Sure he had just scraped off an intense scab, but he looked a little freaked out about it so it was probably best to tend to said missing scab now and not later. I know that my breaks are supposed to be uninterrupted…but when a child approaches me bleeding, I just don’t have it in me to tell them they have to wait an additional twenty minutes for assistance while I finish my dried mango.  Anywho, I took the kid into the faculty kitchen and cleaned up his arm and put a band-aid on it…. when all of the sudden there is another child who emerges in the doorway–bleeding.  His finger got mauled by a palm frond.  I clean it up.  Band-aids were applied.  I go to walk back outside to perchance finish my mango with my remaining seven minutes of break left.  I then see a scuffle and hear a scream.  A child was struck in the head with a rock!  His head is bleeding.  There is matted hair and blood… and although once cleaned up it was not as bad as it originally looked, I have to say never underestimate the gruesome effectiveness of blood in matted up hair.

Speaking of gruesome… here are another set of words that a teacher never really wants to hear: “Miss Gina!  The toilet is clogged, the water is about to overflow and it smells really bad!!”  Seriously?  Well… fantastic.  I put on my metaphorical big girl panties, rolled up my sleeves and winced as I entered the bathroom to survey the damage.  Immediately my instinct was I needed air.  I opened the window, and fumbled around trying to find some sort of air freshener.  What I did find was some bullshit all natural watered down version of what I believe air freshener should actually be.  Fifty or so sprays later I was ready to approach the toilet and defeat the turd.  Not to get too descriptive here, because really you all just don’t deserve it, but I will say that I am not sure how what lay in that toilet was created by any seven year old child.  MY GOD. I reached for the plunger said a little prayer, and went to work.  Luckily the clog went down without too much of a fight.  Great success!!  Perchance the children need more fiber in their diet?  I dunno… but something crazy is going on there.

In other news, Satan’s Baby has once again risen…and this time out of a snapdragon in the kindy yard!  He is full grown and evil as ever.  Seriously disturbing.  I have been skirting the snapdragons all week.  I’m not getting too close to that insect’s diabolical lair.

I am sure I have many more glorious tales and tidbits, but they will have to wait.  I have to get ready for work.  It is our last day of school before spring break!  I think I’ll do a little dance…