Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's on your mind? My FB statuses in review.

About Me Part III

Here's the last installment of my three part post about moi. 

16.  When someone hurts me or thinks badly of me it bothers me for days. I internalize even the slightest rejection, always wondering what I could have done to offend or anger. My worst character flaw is probably pursuing people until I have my questions answered or I've found some resolution to a matter. It's very hard for me to intentionally hurt another person. Unless I believe they just won't be responsive, I'll always seek a truce. On the other hand, once I am convinced that my efforts are fruitless I can pretty much forget someone exists and not give them another thought. It's both a gift and a curse.
17.  I collect white ironstone pitchers and Starbucks travel mugs. I used to have a huge collection of dragons, they were gorgeous, crystal, pewter, resin, ceramic, all colors and sizes. I had to destroy them because hyperspiritual legalistic jerk thought they were a source of evil and made me take a hammer to the entire collection.  I'm still really mad at myself for agreeing to do that.
18. I am not a very chatty or vocal person. I don't believe in expending energy on things of no value to me, my family, loved ones or the work that I do. I can remain silent for long periods of time, but that is no indication of my interest level. If I don't have anything pertinent to say, I won't. I'm not adept at small talk, never learned how to fashion a perfect comeback line and I don't feel the need to engage conversation most of the time. I like being around conversations though, and I'm attracted to chatty people who don't feel uncomfortable being around silent folk like me. I can't stand self-aggrandizing, cocky people with an exxagerated sense of self-worth.
19.  I have a great fear of flying. I am already thinking about what it will be like tomorrow morning when I get on that plane to Rota. While I'm in the air all I can think about is how little steel separates me from the atmosphere. I listen for noises, smells and I have to look out the window all the time, especially during take off and landing. Sometimes I get so scared that on short flights I actually count the seconds from take off the landing. On long flights I only use one earphone so that I can listen for strange engine sounds.
20. I love my job and the people I work with. I've been at my school for 16 school years and have been a teacher's aide, teacher, counselor, vice principal and principal. If I had it to do over again I would have stayed in the classroom. 
21. How I eat my kit kat : I bite the edges off first, starting with the two shortest then the two long ones. Then I eat the top and bottom chocolate edges and finally the wafers, one by one. I eat my Reese's Peanut Butter Cups the same way. I eat carrots from the outside in, biting off chunks of the outside parts until I have the inside root in tact, then I eat that slowly because it's the sweetest part of the carrot.
22.  I want to believe in the goodness of people so badly that sometimes I convince myself of things that are completely ridiculous. If I love you, it can be real easy to make me believe anything, sigh.  Don't lie to me because it tortures me when I realize I've been took. I don't consider myself a good liar, but I think I can be convincing if I really wanted to be. The only problem is that I will no be able to stand it for too long and the truth will come hurling out eventually.
23.  I am not afraid to say I love you. It's always been a very easy thing for me to love people unconditionally and to express my affection. I am a loyal friend, but an honest one who will risk hurting you if it will do some good. Don't ask for my opinion if you are not ready to be introspective because I don't have a talent for sugar coating my words. I expect the same from my real friends.
24.  My favorite colors: deep chocolate and grayish blue. My favorite flower: big fat roses. My favorite dessert: tiramisu. My most frivolous indulgences: a nice purse and watch. My guiltiest pleasure: Rocky Road Ice Cream. My favorite sandwich: a BLT. Beverage of choice: a margarita, frozen. Most loved album of all time: 10,000 Maniacs, In My Tribe. My favorite time of day: dusk.
25.  Even though it takes a lot of time and elbow grease, I thoroughly enjoy making things for people. It makes me happy to see people receive something that I've made with my own hands. A simple basket of goodies or even a lei may take about half an hour to make, and it requires more time to think up a design that satisfies, but it's nothing compared to the few golden seconds of joy when it's given to a friend or loved one who cherishes it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Out Damn Gallbladder!

I've never been so mad at any part of my body before.  I mean, yeah there are plenty of times when I'm not particularly fond of my thighs, but they're still invited to dinner and all.  But, last night or early this morning, on my second trip to the ER I reached for my phone so I could log on to FB and become a fan of "If I could reach my gallbladder I'd punch it in the face."  Eight more days and it'll be lying helpless in a specimen pan begging me to let it live while I laugh a vengeful morphine induced laugh and eerily whisper, "that's what you get for pissing me off!"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

About me two/too

continued from What About Me
11.  I'm a boring, chicken of a driver. I've been in four car accidents in my life. The first one was with my grandfather's brand new 280Z in high school. He brought it home from the dealer's in the morning and I begged to take it to school until he gave in. So, without a license I drove it the Mt. Carmel parking lot, picked up some girlfriends then while driving across the street to Diego's Mart, I didn't stop to look and got sideswiped in front of all my friends. The most recent was last year on my way home from work. I was nearing the Kagman Mobil station when a truck fishtailed right into my lane. I had two of my daughters with me, but thankfully no one was hurt. Everytime my 16 year son gets behind the wheel I get a little dizzy and I feel like I want to hurl because I'm so scared. This morning before he left for school, he looked out his window and said, "Yes mom, drive slow, put on my seatbelt, stop at red lights, turn the music down...anything else?" Yes son. Be careful, I love you.
12.   I can't do any work if the papers on my desk are not stacked in perfect piles. Everything on my desk has it's own place. When I start to work, it's ok for everything to be askew, but as soon as I'm done or before the next task, things must be rearranged. At meetings, my handouts must be properly stacked and placed in just the right setting. I put the agenda to the left of me and other paperwork in a neat pile on the upper right hand corner. Computer directly in front, drink to the right or left corner only, phones on my right by the pile of paperwork or out of the way. It's ok to have them askew if they are part of the agenda being discussed, but as soon as we're done, they need to be stacked again.
13.  Sometimes I feel bad that I'm not so warm and fuzzy. I don't cry at sappy chic flicks. Yes, that was me giggling in the theater as Mr. Right walked away in the rain forever, while Ms. Right stood drenched, deciding if she should tell him how much she really does love him or spare him a life of agony watching her waste away from some terminal disease. I like to look at the needle piercing my skin when I'm getting shots. I'm the family mid-wife because I don't get weirded out by pain and screaming. "Here comes another BIG contraction, it's gonna hurt like heck honey, but I know you can do it. Now lift those knees and P-U-S-H!!" Don't get me wrong, I feel all the mushy emotions, but for some reason my tear ducts don't always reciprocate.
14. (How weird is it that I wrote this a year ago on Valentine's Day?) Since it is Valentine's Day, today's random thing is about sappy stuff. The first song I ever slow danced to was "Making love out of nothing at all" by Air Supply. I had my first boyfriend in the 8th grade and my first serious relationship in the 11th grade. The first time I got dumped my father put me on his lap and told me to go to school the next day and pretend like nothing happened, "Don't give him the satisfaction of knowing he hurt you" he said.  After that I never dated anyone twice.  I am a one man woman and I got a second chance at forever. 
15.  I never fail to overextend myself even though I have a to-do list as long as my arm and regularly fill out a pretty detailed calendar. This week I have professional development, a meeting to complete a federal report, a court hearing, a child's birthday, a dinner to host, three off island trips and a concert to plan. I stay pretty calm throughout schedules like this until something unexpected happens and I've left with no room for adjustment. I suppose I should learn to plan better. Perhaps if I pencil in "mishap" and "calamity" I'll avoid them.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 8

Love is patient and kind.
Like the time I complained I nothing to wear and without me asking, you took my shirt to the tailor's 15 minutes before our dinner just so it could be hemmed up a couple of inches and  I could be comfortable.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Like when you say you like Scarlet Johansen and I have to sit through all her movies with you :)
It does not demand its own way.
Like when I want to have sushi for lunch and you're sick of sushi but you take me there anyways :)
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Like when we've both had a rough day, but you still stay up with me to watch a funny video.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 
Like when you tell me the gossip doesn't bother you because you're happy and to let people think what they want because the truth speaks for itself.  
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. 
Like last Valentine's Day when I sent you a text that read, "Don't let the arrow go" and you texted me back,"it's organ deep, pull it out and I die."
Love never fails.
I can't argue with that.  Thank you honey, for being you and for giving me this life full of  love.
 Happy Valentine's Day Wayne.  I love you!

I've got some gall!

I remember waking up, not falling asleep, but as soon as I heard the doctor say, "give her as much morphine as she wants" it all came back to me.  The way I was feeling, I expected to see House standing over me trying to pry an 8 inch needle from Cameron who was trying to prevent him from sticking it through my heart saying, "if she lives I'm right, if she dies you're right."  I'd been getting attacks for almost two years now, but never knew why.  Lesson #1: when someone says they want to take you to the hospital, you should let them.  The first time I felt the pain I thought I was having a heart attack.  I was doubled over for about an hour before Wayne came to drive me to the hospital, but on the way there the pain miraculously disappeared.  No pain, no hospital.  The second time was right before a staff meeting, my only daytime attack.   I got stuck in the nurse's room trying to wait out my "acid reflux".  Again, the pain left in almost an instant after about 30 minutes of breathless contractions.  The attacks happened every few months since then and lasted around 30 minutes to about 4 hours.  I blamed them on everything from heartburn to anxiety, but early Friday morning we finally found out who the real culprit was.
I woke up at midnight with moderate pain around my chest and back.  Wayne and I drove to the store to get some antacids, but they didn't work at all.  In two hours the pain became what's the word, excruciating!  I was doubled over, sweaty, cursing and once the tears started rolling down my cheeks that was indication this was bad.  We were in the car on the way to the ER, no excuses.  One ultrasound later and I had an IV in my arm with morphine on its way to my brain, diagnosis gall stones.  Two more doses of morphine and a shot of something I can't pronounce and I was in and out of lala land.  This is the prettiest picture of a gallbladder I could find, google it if you don't believe me.  It is now my enemy and after some medical consultation it shall be eradicated.  Gall, kidney and sometimes liver stone attacks have been likened to child birthing pains.  The sucker hurt like a motherflower, but after having gone through about ten attacks in the last couple of years and four natural childbirths, I can tell you that I'd rather have a gallstone attack than go through labor again any day. That's not to say I don't tremble with fear thinking of the next time I get one.  There's a reason why you can have as much morphine as you want.  For those of you who are curious, I've prepared a very short FAQ on gallstones.  You know, just in case you're foolish like me and rely on your limited medical knowledge to self-diagnose instead of getting real medical help.  
Who gets gallstones? Women are more prone, but it can also run in your family.  A high salt diet helps create the stones, a high fat diet helps cause an attack.  Being overweight or going through rapid weight loss can trigger an attack.  There are many other factors such as ethnicity and pregnancy.  I haven't quite figured out mine yet, but I've pretty much figured out I won't be enjoying mangoes and salt this season.  Sigh.
What does an attack feel like?  Everything I've read tells you it feels like intense pain in your right side, near your ribs and your back side under your right shoulder blade.  In my own vast experience I can tell you the sensation rates anywhere from extreme heartburn (like once I actually said outloud "why the hell does acid reflux hurt so freaking badly??) to feeling like you're getting shot by a semi-automatic in your chest.  My most recent attack lasted four hours and by the second hour I was begging for the pain to knock me out.  That's about the time when Wayne put me in the car. 

 What the heck is a gallbladder anyway? Your gallbladder sits right below your liver.  Your liver makes bile and then stores it in your gallbladder.  Bile helps your body digest fat.  Stones form from bile in your gallbladder too, when they contain too much cholesterol and other yucky stuff.  When you eat something high in fat, your gallbladder goes to work sending the bile to do it's job. My gallbladder has enough stones to make a friendship bracelet.   If there are stones in your gallbladder, they block the bile from going to work and get stuck in the bile duct, thus creating a sensation akin to getting stabbed with a kitchen knife over and over again except you don't die, you just keep getting stabbed.  Fun stuff.
How does one get rid of gallstones? These are not like kidney stones, you don't just wait for them to pass.  They stick around and make your life hell.  There are some non-invasive treatments like dissolution and shock wave therapy to get the stones to dissolve, but usually if you're having frequent painful attacks you need to get your whole gallbladder removed.  That means surgery.  Who needs a gallbladder anyway? Surprisingly, your body can do without one, but there have been cases of people experiencing attacks even after a cholecystectomy.  Those people are just glutton for punishment. 
In the meantime and after surgery, what? Well, that's pretty easy.  Unless you want to relive another episode of that dream where you're walking through a minefield with your guts hanging out your side screaming, "help me, help me!" you need to make a total lifestyle change.  Eliminate the enemy: salt, fat, high cholesterol foods.  Not a lot of vegetarians get gallstones, but you don't have to go that far.  Eat whole foods and for me this means no more carb free diet.  Exercise and eating right will pretty much cure anything and this is no exception.  
Well, thanks for joining me through this journey through my digestive system.  I hadn''t been to CHC in several years.  As a matter of fact, I was just telling someone how I never want to go there forever, but I have to hand it to the nurses and doctor on call that morning because they were awesome.  They were so gentle and kind that I was ashamed to curse out loud even though I was hanging on to Wayne for dear life.  I usually get the roll of the eyes when checking in at the ER, but I guess the I'm gonna pass out any minute now look did the trick.  Despite the fact that it was coooold and they had to play hide and seek with my vein for the IV, everyone had good bedside manners and hey, what can I say, I had as much morphine as I wanted.  "Nurse! Another round for this table please!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What about me

I'm resurrecting this from my FB because I didn't want it to get lost in cyberspace.  It was an original tag post that took a month to complete on FB but will take only a couple of posts here.

Introduction (as it was):  So I"m supposed to write 25 random things about me, but if you know me, you know I do not like to be rushed. So I am giving you 1 random thing a day for 25 days, like it or not. This gives me something to do during mental lulls and while sitting through meetings. This gives you time to digest it all and decide if you want to unfriend me on FB or buy me a really awesome birthday present on the 25th cause you love me so much. I must do the rudimentary thing and explain the rules of this crazy game though, so hold on to your spectacles.

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I either want to know more about you or I like seeing you suffer.

I was originally tagged by Hee Jae Lee and then like the angels at the manger, a host of other FB-BFFs and for some odd reason I feel obliged.

1. My real name is Yvonne, I do not have a second name and NO ONE ever calls me Yvonne. EVER. My nickname is really spelled Bonnie. I was named after some pony-tailed girl in a Girl Scout promotional. I changed the spelling to Boni in high school because I wanted to reinvent myself but I didn't have the guts to go with Sloan or Mallory or the $700 to make it legal.
2. I don't like my food to fall on the table when I eat. I don't even like condensation on my glass to drip on the table when I drink and I almost never touch my food. If I do touch my food, I use a napkin and wipe the condensation off my glass to clean my fingers.
3.  I'm infinitely wittier, friendlier and more clever online than I am in person. In person, I lose all mental function associated with coolness and resort to phrases like, "hey" and "oh hi...ha ha" while diverting my eyes downward and fidgeting with my blouse. People think I'm matapang (snotty, snooty, snobby or stuck up), when in reality I am just thinking to myself, "Isn't that Mike? No, that's not Mike. It looks like Mike. I should say hi. No, what if it's not?" By that time, Mike's driving out the parking lot thinking, "Damn Boni is a b!+ch!"
4. I have a few friends, fewer good friends and only a handful of close friends. I have two expectations of my friends: be true to yourself and honest with me. I can smell a liar and a fake faster than they can think up a scam. I prefer to be confronted about my shortcomings and if I hurt you I will seek you out and attempt to fix it. I believe a bruised ego is easier to mend than broken trust. Oh, and I don't let people rent space in my head.
5. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE to get my toes wet! I've learned to walk on the heels of my shoes (opposite of tippy-toeing) to avoid getting water on my toes. If I do, I can't concentrate until I wipe off my shoes and each toe. I shave my legs maybe once every six months and I've worn a toe ring on my left foot for over 14 years. I've never taken it off, not even in pregnancy or delivery.
6. I love to read, but my passion is writing. I've written a ton of poetry and published a few under pen names for which I will probably never be recognized or ever disclose. I wrote one play in high school that was produced. Galvin Deleon Guerrero played the leading role, Rose Cuizon Villazor was in it too (FB folk). Ed gave me the honor of writing for MP, a magazine I love. I have many children's books just waiting to be published, but I can never find the nerve to do it. My dream fulfilled would be to write a novel.
7. I cannot stand plastic bags. Soon as I get whatever is inside of them out, they get twisted, tied and put away where I cannot see them until I have to use them again. I don't like how they feel, look, or the noise they make (that crinkling noise). Plastic bags look like wads of tissue to me, messy and irritating. I am allergic to cardboard. I get big fat welts and they make me itchy.
8. I was once obsessed with Menudo the band, not the food. I can still sing some of their English and Spanish songs by heart. I called Puerto Rico to talk to Ricky and got grounded for a month when my father got the $80 phone bill, and I didn't even get past the secretary. Yes, I did go to their concert in Guam. Si tu no estas, con tu ami, no puede bailar, no soy feliz...
9.  I am the oldest child of the eldest child in a blended family of ten. I have 10 siblings and I'm the oldest of 35 cousins. I was raised by a single father, my grandparents and my dad's brothers and sisters. I got into tons of trouble when I was little, broke my leg, arm, foot and cracked my skull. The worst thing I ever did was burn my Uncle Brian's room down with a match. The second the flames started lapping the curtains I ran into my grandparent's garage, got down on my knees, folded my hands and prayed the Hail Mary out loud until my father and the firefighters came home. I am truly sorry for having done that.
10. Things I cannot do: swim, sing, or whistle with my fingers in my mouth. What I can do: twist my left arm almost 360 degrees, cross one eye at a time, understand a fair deal of Tagalog and Kapangpangan (sorry bout the spelling) and spell out loud pretty quickly because I see the letters in my head (sort of like having a photographic memory?). The weirdest thing I can do is pause and rewind my dreams.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Simply Equity

The last part of my post, the one I couldn't finish all the way, has to do with equity.  I got assigned to a Pacific Equity Academy Cadre last May.  The purpose for the cadre, made up of members from Hawaii, Guam, the CNMI, Chuuk, Republic of the Marshalls, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Palau is to share the message of Educational Equity among entities.  It's roots come from the Civil Rights Movement, ensuring that people are treated fairly regardless of age, race, religion and (although not protected by the civil rights act) sexual orientation. 
The key components of Educational Equity are Access, Attitudes, Materials, Assessment, Interactions, Language, and Instruction.  The goal is to provide equal opportunity for all children to succeed in school by making sure each child is offered all the components available.  The first step is understanding where each of us comes from.  The civil rights act, FERPA, FAPE, IDEA, school policies, board policies, local laws are all foundations for childrens' rights.  It's easy to enforce these laws because there are severe legal penalties for breaking them.  That's the stick.  No one likes the stick.  But, let's say for a minute we don't focus on the stick. We focus on the carrot, the children.  Although these laws are here to protect them, the spirit of the law, at least to me, is the most important part.
Understanding 1) that all children can be successful and 2) the Pacific child is the key to creating and maintaining schools that are student centered.  Whether you measure success by school climate,organizational effectiveness, achievement scores or the amount of awards in the trophy case, we cannot move towards that without first recognizing and valuing the children that walk through our school gates.
In January we met for the second time, not only to plan the implementation of training, but to share our unique stories.  I would also say to debunk pre-conceived notions about the non-English speaking, economically disadvantaged, provincial children who transfer from region to region and school to school.  We spent two days sharing our cultural snapshots embedded with equity components and the needs of our particular entities.  We learned that when children do not come to school for long periods of time it is not because their parents do not value education.  We learned that the auntie who comes to report card day has the same right to be there as mom. We learned that you cannot assess a child's intelligence by the clothes he wears or predict a child's future by the language she doesn't speak. 
The next step is to form a local cadre and build an understanding of each key component and the implications for our region, so that we can strengthen our schools while appreciating the things that make us unique. It's not an easy task, but nothing of great worth is.  On a personal note, we spend so much time in meetings talking about policies and procedures, curriculum and assessment, all things crucial to a well run school district.  It was nice for once, to take so much time discussing the real stakeholders, the kids and refocus on interactions and attitudes, the thing that drives a truly healthy, safe, sustainable and thriving school system.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Punting tomorrow, bundting tonight

The beach was a bust today because it was too cold for the girls and the surf was a bit dangerous.  It turned out ok, we lounged and got some much needed rest.  I've Still got to run to the office tonight and get the bulletins copied and placed in boxes, but for a few sweet minutes tonight mini bundts came out of the oven and filled the kitchen with the aroma of blueberries.  Making sweets with my little sweets, what could be better?  Absolutely nothing.


Last night Wayne and I took Sommer and Peyton to the movies to see Avatar.  Both girls were mesmerized by the special effects and stayed focused during the 3 hour show.  At one point though, when Jake is getting painted for his coming of age ceremony, Sommer turned to me and whispered, "I think he looks kinda ridiculous."    
Tomorrow is Superbowl Monday.  
Where are you going to be?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

You know how sometimes you just miss some people...

This was created in Forks, WA during our great adventure with my handsome brother in love, my bestest friend in the whole wide world and his most beautifullest wife in the universe.  We all went to school together and though years have passed and time has tested each of our lives, our friendships remain strong.  It was so awesome for me to have Wayne meet them and to go on the best road trip, just to be silly.  We drove from Bellevue WA to Forks just to be tourists in Twilight town.  It was such an important couple of days for me, the anticipation of the first impression was almost too much to bear, but I knew as soon as we had all been properly introduced and the goofiness set in all comfy and warm, like a familiar tickle that it was kismet. Happy Valentine's Day C&J, we miss you.