Tag Archives: Slice Of Life Story Challenge

True confessions of a car stalker

11 Jul

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I’ve designated myself the parking police.

I park on the street and it has suddenly become hard to get a parking spot. So, I have become a parking detective – and snitch.During the school year, I became anxious if traffic was bad, worried these new (and unknown) interlopers would hog a space.

City laws say that you have to move your car every 24 hours, so I began noting which cars didn’t move.   I looked a little further into parking regs and learned that the city has a parking hotline. Suddenly, I had a tool to handle my concerns.

I confess, I have only called on two cars. There are criteria that have to be met.

A vehicle that remains in violation for more than 24 hours and one or more of the following conditions exist:

A.    The vehicle does not have an unexpired registration plate, fails to display current registration, or does not have them lawfully affixed to the vehicle.

As an example a vehicle with a temporary registration or a TRIP permit counts as having current registration while the temporary registration or TRIP permit is valid and visible.

B.     The vehicle appears to be inoperative or disabled.

As an example a vehicle with a flat tire is inoperative, but a vehicle that might have an impairment that is not visible is not an Abandoned Vehicle.

C.    The vehicle appears to be wrecked, partially dismantled or junked.

As an example a vehicle with a missing windshield would be considered partially dismantled. A vehicle with a missing or damaged door window would not be considered wrecked, partially dismantled, or junked as it could still be legally operated on public highways.

In both cases where I called, bright green tow warnings appeared. In the first case, the vehicle was moved. In the second case, it was towed on July 1st, almost a month after I called. Apparently Portland also has a problem with abandoned vehicles and has a backlog.

There are a couple of other vehicles I am watching. Two have been moved twice since the tow happened. One has been sitting for over a month. It’s plates are good through August. I am also vigilant about my own car and, make sure that if I don’t go anywhere, I move my car so no one thinks I’ve abandoned it.

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A tough weekend – #SOL17

30 May

I live in Portland, Oregon.

It was a tough weekend.

Bad news Friday night about racist comments and death on the Max.

Sunday, I woke up to the neighborhood next to me cordoned off because of police activity. Residents were to shelter in place and had to be escorted to and from their homes most of the day.

Monday dawned grey and gloomy, but, by late afternoon, the clouds had burned off and the sun was shining giving us perfect Memorial Day weather.

It is as though we hit bottom and were on the way up again.

Over the last few weeks, my team and I have had a series of meeting with a couple of families. One kid in particular had me very worried. He hit bottom about two weeks ago. Fortunately, school and family noticed and we have put some things in place to help him and he has seemed happier.

We’ve been having some troubles at school too, and each grade has had a presentation about empathy. As a follow-up, instead of doing what I’m supposed to do in my Enrichment class, I am teaching lessons from  The Educator Collaborative’s Global Kind Project.

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I will be honest and say that Enrichment is not my favorite part of my week. I teach it every other day and it is a mix of 6th graders from all halls and teams. And yet, doing the activities and reflective practices the project talks about has made it so that I am enjoying this class far more than I have over the last two years. I am now planning how I will use these activities to start Enrichment next year.

 

Both the student and my city have some work to do, but I think we are up to the challenge.

 

 

Not counting down

16 May

I’m not counting down to the end of the year yet.

Really.

There are six weeks of school left. It would be absurd to start counting down now.

But my brain can’t help it. It looks for patterns and makes connections. When my last morning traffic direction duty ended two weeks ago, my brain noted that I could check it  off my list of things that I finished for the year. And so it began.

Here, then, are the end of the year stats I have been thinking about lately, looking down from 10,000 feet.

Six weeks of school left

Only one five day week of school to go

Four more Mondays

Two more Fridays

One more staff meeting

Three more PLT meetings

Two SBAC tests

12 more Enrichment classes to teach

25 more days of school

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Life’s little ironies

9 May

I placed my groceries on the conveyor belt and sighed. After a long day at work, I was almost home.

The cashier finished checking the people in front of me, but, as I pushed forward she said, “Give me a minute. I have a mess to clean.”

I looked to where she went, under the end of the conveyor, where you stashes the basket you carry by hand. The basket that had been stowed there was oozing eggs. The cashier made three trips to and fro, getting more paper towels and spray cleaner. She grumbled a little about people who don’t mention problems and leave messes for other people to clean and I commiserated.

I didn’t have many items, and I was checked out quickly, with two paper bags in the shopping cart. Portland is plastic bag free. I parked the cart and carried my bags to my car, looking back to make sure I hadn’t left anything behind. Nope. I was good to go.

When I got home, I quickly tossed the frozen berries into the freezer and the yogurt into the fridge, then took Lucy for our afternoon constitutional. I would unpack the rest of the groceries when we got home.

I fed Lucy when we got home, then started unpacking the rest. It went a little faster that I expected, then poured myself a glass of mineral water. It had reached 72ºF in Portland!

I don;t know what caused the niggle in my brain. But something called me back to the fridge. Hey, where were my lemons?  I pulled out my receipt and sure enough they were on there, but they weren’t in my fridge. Weird. I looked over the receipt once more. Holy cow!  Two other items on the receipt were missing: celery and carrots.

The grand total was just over five dollars worth of veggies, but the pain in my life was huge. I was in no mood to run back to the store (though I did check the car, just in case.) So, I took the only action I could – I sent an email using the comments form on the store’s website. A feeble effort, but I let them know that it wasn’t the value of the items, it was the value of my time that was the bigger loss.

In the aftermath, I thought about the fact that, driving home, I’d been thinking over the fact that I didn’t really have a good Slice of Life story.  Ha! I thought, too, about the cashier, who had complained about people not doing the right thing. Ha! Ha! Life sure is full of irony, isn’t it.

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Dandelion Wishes

31 Mar

The last day of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge coincides with Crayola’s announcement that it is retiring Dandelion.

The thing about dandelions is that no one loves them until, as Nabokov says, they have  “changed from suns into moons”. Once the dandelion has transformed from golden sun to soft moon, it has the power to grant wishes to anyone willing to blow on the seed head and disperse the seeds.

So, here are my seeds for the writers of #SOLSC17…a little concrete poetry to drift through the air like a dandelion seed.

 

I wish you inspiration

and the words to say what needs to be said,

the pleasure of tasting life twice,

the determination,

discipline,

 courage,

patience,

promise,

vision,

faith,

heart,

time

to

w          e          d

r              v              a

i                  e                 y

t                             r                       !

            e                                y                                  !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jumping on the Juice Bandwagon

30 Mar

For a while now, I have been concerned about my consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, I usually do a healthy meal on Sundays that I can eat during the week. It is evenings, when my energy is low, where I eat most poorly.

For a while too, I’ve been thinking about getting a juicer. I wasn’t planning on becoming a new age raw food aficionado. I just wanted to eat fresh fruits and vegetables with the minimum prep time.

I did my research and, on my way home from my mammogram on Tuesday, I bought the one I thought would best suit me.

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I also stopped at a grocery store on the way home armed with a fruit & vegetable list, to begin making my own juices.

As excited as I was, I waited until the next morning to begin. I reorganized my counter and set up the juicer.

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I got out the fruit and vegetables my first recipe called for.

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I was a little nervous about starting with a beet recipe, but I figured in for a penny, in for a pound.  Besides, there was enough fruit there to balance out the earthiness of the beet. I chopped the ingredients into pieces that would fit through the feed chute and started the juicer.

My first juice was very red, but rather delicious!

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I am going to keep to fruity juices for a while, but I am interested in trying more savory, vegetable juices, too. After all, this is supposed to be a way for me to get more vegetables into my diet.

Biennially or Bust!

29 Mar

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Has it really  been two years already? I asked myself after receiving a follow-up letter to the previous week’s phone message.

I checked my health records and, indeed, my last mammogram was March 5, 2015. As much as I didn’t want to, I made my appointment.

When I checked in at the clinic, a laminated pink card was attached to my HMO card and I was sent back to the x-ray/mammography area. After handing in my card, I took a seat, and pulled out the book I’d brought to pass the time. The clinic was rather empty this Tuesday morning and I didn’t have to wait long before being called back.

I was shown to the change are and handed a gown that I was reminded to tie in the front. “Just open the curtain when you’re ready,” the pleasant mammographer told me. I assumed I’d be out in an instant, but I had trouble with the ties. I could see here the top tied, but not the waist. Weird. I looked in the mirror and couldn’t see another tie. Maybe I am only supposed to tie the top, I thought.

Just then the mammographer asked if I was ready. I pulled aside the curtain and said I;d had a little trouble with the ties. She laughed and said that happened a lot. Once we were in the room, she Untied the gown, showing me that I’d tied the top left to the bottom right. The top right tie had been way up by my neck.

And then the fun began.

I pretended it wasn’t happening. She kept up a stream of conversation. And, voilà, it was over.

As I tied the gown the right way, she told me I’d hear from the doctor within two days of the results.

As I checked out of x-ray, they offered me a reminder sticker for the back of my insurance card. Although I was hoping to put it all out of my mind, I said yes. The two years will pass before I know it.

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