Sam In The City

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Balancing Act

I've attempted to blog twice since yesterday evening, but until now, all attempts have failed. Dan and I had a great weekend full of Texas Hold'em, Scrabble, Blockbuster and the Olympics, which I really wanted to write about. I even took pictures of the Scrabble boards, after receiving a royal @ss kicking from Dan in game two.

Game 1
Final Score: Sambo 294 Dan 304 What a close call!

Game 2
Final Score: Sambo 247 Dan 418 I got the Scrabble smack down!

Well, anywho, there's my elaborate fun weekend in a nutshell. Today I came home with a headache after school and thought it'd be relaxing to blog before doing anything, so I got the computer all set up and ready to go. Then I decided I should open the mail first to see if there was anything important. After discarding the usual junk mail, I came across an unexpected letter from the bank. The letter stated that Dan and I had accumulated over one-hundred dollars in overdraft fees! My initial reaction was anger because Dan and I are very careful with our check book and recording transactions. I'm so meticulous with it that I used to balance our transactions before even leaving the actual store when using the debit card. After giving into the realization that it wasn't the safest thing to do, not to mention a tad neurotic, I broke that habit. After reading the brief bank notice umpteen times, I finally called the customer relations service who basically just spat out numbers and was not really any help.

Dan called me on his way home from work very cheery...until I gave him the bank news. Dun, dun, dun!! No longer was he so eager to get home from work and really, I couldn't blame him. We both knew a trip to our local bank branch, which is past the railroad tracks, in traffic was necessary. So we hopped in the car and made it to the bank without getting stopped by a train! Whoooppeee!!! ;) To make a long story short, the very sweet young banker woman told us we had to go back to our bank statements and check the banks balance with our own. Simple task, right? WRONG!!! Although Dan and I were complimented today for keeping such great track of our bank statements and a chronologically correct check book, we were not given an A+ for checking which checks have cleared on our monthly bank statements. This has never been a problem for us before because we always just deduct any check amounts/debits immediately from our running balance after funds are used. To find where the numerical error occurred, Dan and I have been going over bank statements since about 6:00p.m.!! It is now almost 11:00p.m. and we quit doing it about a forty-five minutes ago. We started with February 2006 and stopped for the night when we hit June 17, 2005!! Although it this has been a very aggravating process, we're both glad it happened because we are finding little mistakes here and there that we miscalculated. Those damn ATM fees a were popping up left and right! Even though we recorded the fee from using another bank's ATM, there was another fee that didn't come up when using the ATM, and only showed up on the bank statement. Those snakey ATM slime balls!
I must admit though, it's been kinda fun looking back to see what we've spent our money on.

Anywho, it's getting late and I'm sooooooo tired. I feel like all Dan and I did today was crunch numbers and read bank statements. Little by little we are discovering that our check book is more of a B than A+. Unfortunately when I come home from work tomorrow I have to start balancing again from June 2005...Dan's teaching night school-that lucky man! It felt good to vent a little bit, thanks for reading. I'll keep you updated on our progress. Buenos noches! ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Nightmare On Mason Avenue

Yesterday evening was so great! A few friends came over to play Texas Hold'em, we got a sugar rush from eating the GINORMOUS bowl of Valentine's Day candy from our students, and Dan and I just watched t.v. for a bit. By 11:00p.m. we were ready for a good night's sleep. We did not have work this past Friday or Monday, which meant that last night our very long weekend came to a raging halt.

Anywho, don't you just love those those nights when you're just so tired that you know you're going to pass right out when you crawl underneath your covers? I don't seem to have many of those nights, but Dan does. Well last night, I thought both of us would be snoozin' in no time at all...but no, not me. As we're laying in bed, all of the sudden I can't stop thinking about the movie "Final Destination 3". Dan and I recently saw parts 1& 2, and went to the movies to see the third one this past weekend. Anywho, I told Dan that I was really creeped out because I started thinking about the movie. He told me to think of our wedding, which is always his way of trying to comfort his infantile wife when she gets scared at night. Fifteen minutes later, Dan was out like a light. Well, fifteen minutes of wishful sleeping isn't so bad, right? A half hour later I'm still scared and by this time have imagined my death and dozens of other unpleasant images a million times. I got out of bed to use the bathroom and ran back to our bedroom whispering, "Dan, Dan, are you awake?". Clearly he was not up, but I was hoping for a response anyway. I just crawled back into bed and eventually ended up dozing off. However, I definitely did not sleep through the night, and felt as if I never really slept.

The only reason I know that I fell asleep for periods of time last night is because I had awful nightmares. Although "Final Destination 3" is what triggered my sleep deprivation, I did not dream of that movie. Often when I have bad dreams, the devil/some kind of demonic figure or ghost is the source of my terror. Maybe that's because my grandmother used to tell my siblings and I stories of how the devil appeared to children in Mexico when they were bad boys and girls. Last night in a dream, I saw a shadow of the Blessed Virgin praying, and it started to bleed all around the silhouette, with evil noises mimicking in the background. I remember going to touch the silhouette of Mary and then pulling myself back...that's all. I'm sure it doesn't sound too scary to you, but believe me, it was. I had a few nightmares last night, but can only really remember that one.

A few months ago my nightmares used to get so bad that I would actually wake Dan up in the middle of the night on the verge of tears. He would hold me for a while and I would fall asleep saying prayers in my head. That folks, is the reason why I try to stray away from scary movies. After I saw the movie. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", I was also very much freaked out. (And that is a religious movie, so imagine those dreams.) I'm twenty-four years old, but whenever I watch a scary movie to this day, the blinders come out. The blinders are my hands and I still watch scary movies through the separation of my fingers. Even though scary movies have negative sleep effects on me afterward, a part of me still likes watching some of them.

Needless to say, when the alarm clock sounded at 6:10a.m. this morning I was already half-awake. A whoping forty-five minutes earlier, I had to use the bathroom, and before that it was broken sleep almost every hour of the night. Oh how I longed to hit snooze and snuggle under the blankets and try the whole sleeping thing one more time...but no such luck. I looked over at Dan, as I did all of last night, and wished I was sleeping as peaceful as him. Tonight I'm hoping to pass right out, since I didn't get much sleep yesterday. Wish me luck and a good night's sleep. ;) Hopefully these scary thoughts and nightmares don't follow me into my dreams tonight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Love Story

Flashing back to October 1997
(Circa sophomore year of high school)

The first time I ever saw Dan was when my friend Seamus, (who I met through high school Theater) and I were talking on the platform of the good old Orange Line on the 35th/Archer train stop in Chicago. I just happened to catch Seamus as I was getting off the train and he was getting on. We quickly said hi to one another and that's when I saw Dan in the background, not thinking too much of it at the time. I was beginning to develop a little crush on Seamus, and so were a ton of other girls at my high school. (It wasn't 'til later on in life I would learn that Jim wasn't interested in female companionship.) Did I mention I went to an all girls high school? Well, anyway I did and anytime a cutie was in sight, you better believe that one of us teenage girls were drooling over him. Anywho, after getting to know Seamus for a few weeks through Theater, I found out we had a lot in common and we quickly became friends. My parents were always very strict when it came to dating, meaning I was not allowed to have a steady boyfriend until I was sixteen. Come to think of it, I wasn't even allowed to go on actual dates (except dances and that did not include the after dance festivities). Nevertheless, at the time I was dating a smart and very dull guy named Brady. We met back in grammar school through little league. Brady lived fairly close to my family, but I only rode my bike sneaking to see him a few times throughout the duration of our two month relationship. There were no sparks in our courtship or my boring teenage love life.

At the time, my high school was putting on the production "Anne of Green Gables". After hearing from our friend Seamus that our school production of "Anne of Green Gables" needed another guy for the role of a priest, Dan tried out and got the role. Dan and Seamus also went to the same single sex high school and were very good friends. They were also very active in their high school's Theater program. You can only imagine the excitement they must of felt being in the presence of so many girls! The first time Dan and I officially met we were standing behind a convenience store with some friends smoking cigarettes before play practice began. I thought he was really cute, but that I'd never stand a chance with him. Besides that fact that I had already had a boyfriend, Dan was/is quite the looker and caught the attention of several other girls. day at play practice I was wearing a t-shirt that he said he liked and Dan kept hugging me over and over again. I thought it was kind of unusual, but hell I liked him, so what did I care? After that Dan and I began talking a lot more.

My high school's annual Homecoming dance was just around the corner, and I took my very nice, but dull boyfriend Brady. Dan went with a girl that he graduated grammar school with and I was so jealous. When I saw him that night he gave me a warm hug and told me that I looked beautiful. My own date didn't even comment on how I looked. Anywho, the whole night we exchanged glances, even while we were slow dancing with our dates. Shortly after that dance, Dan and I talked about the possibility of us going out and it made me want to dump I did. One night I called Brady and told him that we never really see each other or spend time together and that it would be better if we were just friends. I ended our two month high school fling in a record breaking three to five minute phone conversation. Needless to say, we didn't remain friends. The next day I was ecstatic to see Dan and tell him that I broke it off with Brady. The very same day he asked me to be his girlfriend outside of my high school on a bench next to the softball field. I tried not to appear too excited, but I was and of course I said yes. ;)

Our 1st picture together a few weeks after we began dating, November 1997

To make an even longer story short, Dan and I began our journey as boyfriend and girlfriend without the permission of our parents. We did a lot of sneaking around to see eachother, and shortly after the Valentine's Day of 1998, we were busted for sneaking him over to my house when my parents weren't home. It was such a clever plan and we never would have gotten caught if my grandmother didn't have super power ears and hear Dan leave from our upstairs apartment that night. Anywho, after my parents found out that Dan snuck over, my mom raided my room and found some not-so-parent-friendly notes. My poor little sister Ryan, who I shared a room with at the time knew the raid was coming and tried to hide all my notes and important information for me. Anywho, out of all the notes she gathered, she missed one...and boy oh boy was it the wrong note to miss. After my parents read it, I was basically on jail watch. I'm telling you though, Dan and I were so crazy for eachother we still found ways to sneak and see eachother. I ended up getting a D in Driver's Ed because I'd ditch class to meet Dan at the Orange Line to exchange kisses and notebooks that we wrote for one another. Some may think that was stupid, but when you love someone that much, the risk is worth it.

In the late Spring of 1998 I was spending the night at an old friend's house when I used her phone to sneak and call Dan. His sister answered, said he wasn't home and dropped a bomb on me that I was anything but ready for. She told me that they had just found out Dan had cancer, in particular Hodgkins Disease. I was in total disbelief and couldn't believe it. When I got home that night, Dan and I told my parents the awful news and begged them to let me see Dan. After crying for what seemed like forever, they said okay. From then on, they very slowly started letting Dan come around more and more. Dan began Chemo and radiation, and thankfully, by the end of that summer he was in remission!

The above picture was taken in June of 1998 at my parent's house for Frema's college going away party

He still goes for yearly checkups to make sure that everything is okay with him, and thank God it is. When Dan had cancer, he never complained or questioned why this was happening to him.

Junior Year of H.S. Homecoming 1999

In fact, he actually said it was cool because he was exempt from a few finals due to chemo treatments! ;) Talk about an optimist. Dan's told me on several occasions that he's glad he had cancer, because that was what allowed us to see eachother. Back when we were fifteen I was completely head over heels for him, and now as a grown woman, I love him even more than I ever thought possible.

The below picture is from our junior year of college, 2002

We began dating our sophomore year of highschool, and continued throughout four years of college, where he went to the University of Illinois and I went to St. Joseph's in Indiana. Through the years we've definitely had our share of "on and off time", but always found our way back to eachother. This post was originally intended for Valentine's Day, to reminisce our relationship throughout the years. Once I started writing though, all of these memories and feelings started flooding me. I feel so blessed to have such true happiness and love with Dan. We're only twenty-four years old and will have been together for nine years this October 16th. I thank God everyday for the many blessing he has bestowed on me...and Dan will always be on the top of that list.

San Diego, California October 2005

Thursday, February 09, 2006

B is for but!

I wish I had enough time to blog everytime one of my students did something funny. Today a student did something that I just have to share with you.

Everyday the students have Center Time, in which they are split up into small groups and work on different activities. One of the Center assignments today was for the children to walk around the classroom and find words that begin with the letter B. After they wrote their B words, they had to draw a picture next to the word describing it. Even though I've gone over the two different meanings/spellings of the word "but" a million times, kids will be kids. The below picture is an a child's attempt to illustrate the word "but". (refer to the 4th picture)

I tried as best as I could to scan the picture accurately. Notice how the "but" looks kind of like a very large tooth. When I saw that picture I couldn't help but give a giggle/good job to the child. When I asked the child if the picture was of a butt, s/he proudly smiled and said, "YES!" Maybe you don't find this as cute as I do, but I had to share it! ;)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Soccer Mom

For the last couple of weeks, a few students in my class who play soccer have been asking me to go to one of their games. Jack told me that their game was at 7:00p.m., but that I should leave about 6:30p.m. to get a parking spot. I told the students that unless my car wasn't working, I'd be there.

Yesterday was a very busy day for me. After work I was on the prowl looking for Wedding Shower invitations for Breain and Luke. There wasn't much of a variety at the two places I checked, so I'm going to look at couple of other places. As of now, my mother and I plan on hand writing the invitations, because she believes it adds more of a personal touch. ;) After the invitation search, I picked up Dan's Valentine's Day gift and headed home. When I got home, I had to fill out a social security name change form and call the social security office to ask a few questions. By the time that dreaded task was completed, it was nearing close to the time of my student's soccer game and I was not in the mood to go. I thought about ditching it and then telling them that my car was not working. Even my students know how ghetto fabulous my Buick is, so of course they would have bought it. Then I started thinking about how disappointed they would be if I didn't show, so I decided to go.

I left early, just as little Jack suggested so I could get a good parking spot. In fact, I left so early that I even had time to stop and get coffee and a big fat blueberry muffin from Dunkin Donuts. Thanks to Jack, I had a great spot and was still about twenty minutes early for their 1/2 hour soccer game. I sat in the gym waiting for the students in my class to arrive for their big game. When Luis, my little Mexican Simon Birch entered the gym and saw me, he sprinted toward me with the cutest, cheesiest smile I'd ever seen him wear. ;) That alone was worth coming to their game. When the two other students in my class arrived they were really excited and a little shy about me being there. I cheered and yelled for the mini-soccer players like I was at a Sox game. It was hysterical watching Luis play. He is a very tiny child, with a large head and little glasses that really magnify his eyes. Everytime the ball came at him, he either backed away from it, wasn't paying attention or was talking to his dad, complaining about how hot he was. Nevertheless, the team did well and the students really did try their best. Unfortunately, they still lost and did not score one goal. When I told Luis that I was proud of how the team played and I would share the exciting soccer news with the class, he was beaming! ;)

This morning I bragged about how well the students played and their smiling faces were priceless. Today alone I've been invited to at least three other student's games. It does feel good to be wanted though and I'm glad my students like me enough to want to see me when the school day is over. I tell ya, I'm going to be one busy soccer mom and I don't even have any kids. ;)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On Strike

Dearest Bloggers,

The messed up sidebar on my blog pains me friends. I'm on strike from blogging until I can figure out this technical glitch. Just looking at the uglified template discourages me from writing. Frema, if you're reading this, I need your help! :( Holler back sister.

Have a groovy evening everyone.