Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Felis Cattus Domesticus

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
"Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

--Terry Pratchett
, Sourcery
My mother once told me you can always tell when young adults are childless when they start talking about their animals as if they're children. Honey, I am so totally there it's not even funny.  But while I'm here, just indulge me . . . and let me post a picture, slightly blurry as it may be . . . of my "children." 
I was just so proud that I actually got a picture because cats are less than agreeable models. Every now and again, a lovebug sneaks inside, mesmerizing the cats into a statuesque, inquisitive stupor. Sadly, it hardly lasts long enough for more than one picture, if even that. They may never sit still again . . . unless they're unconscious. The little orange and white one in front is Pipkin, and the gray and black in the back is Navi. And that poor, green plant is my bamboo . . . that they love to chew on . . . and occasionally knock over -_- Oh well. Cats will be cats. 


Monday, September 27, 2010

Down on the Street Where You Live . . .

 A good home must be made, not bought.
-Joyce Maynard

Apparently, a high-traffic mom blog (Kelly's Korner) started a "Show Us Your Home Friday" where we show a room each Friday . . . considering that my apartment is really only two and a half rooms . . . I thought I might as well do the whole kit and caboodle. :) That and it's not Friday, so I'm going to guess I'm kind of exempt from the rules.

 Living Room:
 The photographs on the wall were taken by Chris's cousin, Amy, of Chris and Joe, Amy's bro and Chris's best bud, being all musical and such. Not only are they awesome pictures, but they definitely help balance out that big empty wall. 
The painting is one of my originals. I made it before the wedding, and, in the process, got acrylic paint all over my parents' driveway. Oops ;) 
The awesome paper lantern lamp is from World Market Place, and the couch and coffee table are Ikea. end table and papasan were pieces Chris and I each brought from our old bedrooms, not really sure where either came from. Bird pillows (love them ^_^) are from JCPenny, and the round pillow is a Target piece.

Just a different view . . . Entertainment set is another Ikea piece. The star above is another one of Chris's from before we were married. The rug is World Market Place. Ottoman is from Target (are you sensing a theme in where we shop? haha), and the gaming chair was a hand-me-down from Chris's aunt. The speakers didn't work, so her boys didn't want it, and we did. Ah-HA! ^_^
And, yes, Boba Fett is hiding in the corner next to the TV . . .


 There is very little interesting about my kitchen . . . but here it is haha. It's a good place, and it lets me make food. That's the point, right?

 Dining Nook:
 The table and chairs were on sale from World Market Place, which is where we also found the place settings, as well. The wall hanging is an oil piece Chris bought during his trip to Africa, and the little red fish is something we picked up during our honeymoon in the Bahamas. The tea pot and cups are more little nick knacks from Chris's old place -- he has a wonderfully eclectic assortment of odds and ends. 

 Picture wall in the hallway. We found the frames at Old Time Pottery and Walgreens, oddly enough.

Game Room/Bat Cave . . . and now cat room, as well:

 Chris stained the bookshelf and desk on the right.
The second desk was a steal from the Salvation army. 
The massive papasan was a Christmas gift to Chris a couple of years back . . . I think it's a World Marketplace item as well.

 My Gamer ^_^


 Ok, so you have to admit that this IS the most important room anywhere.
Picture frames were a Christmas gift from Chris's sister, Julie, from Urban Outfitters. Towels are from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and the bathroom rugs are from Chris's old place, once again.

 My favorite part of the bathroom: our epic curtain from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Master (Only) Bedroom:

Bed frame, bedside tables, and lamp to the right are from Ikea.
Bed spread and pillows are a set from JCPenny.
Curtains are from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. 
The little lamp on the right is one of mine from before we were married--not sure where it came from, but I love it.
The picture frames were from Michael's, I believe, and were all used on our guestbook table at the wedding featuring some of our favorite engagement pictures. The large picture frame in the center is the actual guestbook. I love that we can use our guestbook as decoration. ^_^
 Oh and the rifle by the bed is something Chris has yet to put away . . . no it's not loaded haha. The man is oh so proud of his gun and knife collection, all safely locked away. 

 Second view. ^_^
The dresser is from Ikea (again), and the round mirrors (love!) and corner lamp are from Target. The clock was a gift from Chris's friend, Asher, who, I believe, found it at Urban Outfitters. Everything else consist of random odds and ends Chris and I each collected over time.
The picture frame next to the TV is a collage I made for Chris for our first Christmas as a couple; it's an assortment of random images relating to inside jokes and date nights, scraps of the AIM conversation where Chris asked me out, all centered around our first "couple picture."
My cat ate the roses hanging on the wall so they no longer exist -_-

Chris says he's not a talented artist, but I say this sculpture hanging in the bedroom is living proof that he so completely IS. He made this for a sculpting class when he was at the community college roughly seven years ago. I remember coming over to his house for a sleepover with Julie and seeing it set out on his family's dining room table. I was in awe. As if he could not get any cooler, my best friend's super cute, smart, and musically awesome brother was an artist, too. Yep, I'm a lucky woman ^_^

How about you? What does your favorite space look like? Favorite room? Dream room? 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Random . . .

This is where we've been finding Navi the past couple of nights  . . . with Pipkin running in circles, loudly protesting that she can't reach the cool new hangout spot.  I had no idea a fridge could be so much fun . . . hmm . . .

Friday, September 24, 2010

Memory Lane

Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?
--Francois de La Rochefoucauld
 I just found out that "The Help" is filming in the Fondren District of Jackson, MS. I read The Help because my mother so ardently recommended it, and, though I'm not usually one for "those kinds" of books, I found it was surprisingly AWESOME. Wonderfully constructed, narrated, with fleshed-out, relate-able, believable characters (which is my favorite thing to find in a story), and it was really fun to read about a place I knew well. I spent three years in Mississippi for my college education. I loved my college years, loved my college buddies to death, but it would take the power of God to move me back (no offense). I did, however, adore the Fondren district. old-fashioned and artistic, just fabulous. Once a month it hosted the most fabulous art show--vendors and performers from all over the city filled the streets and shops. I sadly was only able to go once--a couple of my girl pals and I went to hunt down a super cute, super talented indie band we discovered at the school's "Battle of the Bands." Unfortunately, for the rest of my college career, I worked on festival evenings, and it hurt every month when I locked myself to that library desk knowing that outside beauty had come to life. Poop. Anyways, all that to say, if you see "The Help" movie, you'll be looking at where I went to school . . . but reconstructed to look about forty years younger. Speaking of college, I finally added my old log playlist from my college years--it continues to be one of my all-time favorite mixes. Oldies but goodies.

Yesterday, I went to school feeling pretty rotten--plugged sinuses, foggy-brained, achy, and exhausted . . . and the first graders could sense it, could feel that I would have no strength to fight their childish chaos. Oh dear. They weren't monsters, just overly chatty and distracting, taking up waaaaaay too much class time ignoring my directions and requests, raising their hands to talk about anything BUT our materials, demanding oh-so-frequent bathroom breaks, arguing with me . . . . I went to bed at 7:30. Enough said. They're all sweet, great kids, but GOLLY. Could have been worse yes . . . but oh my, oh my. The sweet thing was they were worried about me this morning -- I was just barely on time for my assisting position in the extracurricular day (I don't teach Fridays, just help out in first grade's "fun" classes . . . which means near-chaos and even more bathroom breaks--seriously, I'm basically paid to watch the bathroom all day), and it was enough for them to express their concern to the teacher, afraid "Mrs. Bocchino" wasn't going to be there to make sure they stay in line. I love my kids.

During my lunch break, a parent of a former high school classmate popped into the office. Good grief--you would have thought he was a celebrity. It was so sweet and hysterical to watch all the office ladies appear out of nowhere to say hello and ask him how his kids were doing. That's just the kind of school I work for :). As cool as it was, my stomach goes into knots whenever I see anyone connected to my high school. I feel like I'm as big a dork now as I was then. I get incredibly nervous and shut down around my peer group. Older, younger, and I'm fine and dandy. I meet hip people my own age, and I can't look them in the eye or find anything to say because I'm afraid I'll come off as an awkward idiot. Maybe I will because, well, maybe I am, but it's all good, right? :) We are exactly who God intended us to be, and there's confidence in that.

I am currently overcrowded by two adorable kitties needing a snuggle-fest so I'm calling it a night.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can't Sleep . . . Let the Ranting Begin . . .

It's back.
My cold.
The aches, the pains, the self-suffocation on mucus/cement walls in my nostrils.
I have turned into a mouth breather. Gaaaaaah.

And I can't go to sleep. I'm sitting here, knowing I should be exhausted . . . and I'm not. And I'm up at the crack of dawn to educate over-energized six-year-olds of epicly adorable proportions. To quote one of my students, "Mrs. Bocchino, my brain hurts."
Yes, mine does, too.

The miracle is that Chris doesn't seem even remotely affected by my germs. Not even a teeny tiny bit.He just babies me while I fake near-death-experiences in a mountain of tissues. Such a wonderful man to put up with my theatrics.

Oh and the cats are finally healthy. They've been to the vet at least once a month for the past three months thanks to kitty viruses. No, it doesn't sound serious . . . if Navi's eye had not swelled shut, I probably would not have noticed. Poor kitty . . . we called her "Squints."  I don't know if they'll ever forgive me for the eye and ear drops. Oi. I'm just glad I get to keep money in the bank for a while instead of dishing it out to the animal medical field (even though I loooove our vet, really and truly :) Great peeps).
Now we get to start dishing out money to the car repair shop . . . just an oil change, though . . . Lord willing.

Grace Fellowship (now Grace Orlando . . . for some reason I'm not in on), is starting a series on Genesis, my favorite book of the Bible. Love our pastor. I'm also signed up for a monthly women's Bible study starting in October.

First anniversary is a week from Sunday. Woooooow, can't believe it. It's been pretty awesome. Chris and I have planned a romantic weekend away on Sanibel Island. Turns out, the hotel we're staying in is the one my mom used to stay in every summer when she was growing up. Chris used to spend all of his childhood summers in Sanibel, as well, and has told me fantastic stories about fishing and fireworks, the classic summertime fun of beached childhoods. I love places with history :)
I've never been to Sanibel, and have wanted to go for years but never got the chance. The one year I was supposed to go, I woke up a couple of days before the trip with the WORST pink eye EVER. I looked like Quasimodo plus pus. You see, I had just come back from a missions trip in Managua, Nicaragua, where there had been a city-wide epidemic of pink eye. Most (if not all) the boys and men in our group were contaminated, but I was uber fastidious with hand washing and sanitizer like a good little hypochondriac and made it the entire trip without infection. Flying home, I was sitting in an aisle seat beside an infected, and another infected (my current bro-in-law, actually lol) across the aisle asked me to pass the eye drops. It was the ONE TIME I didn't remember my sanitizer. The next day, I was a deformed, pus-y mess. So I called my friend (my now sis-in-law  . . . wow, we were all connected even then haha) in tears telling her I couldn't go with her to Sanibel because I was sick and I didn't want her to get "Nicaraguan Pink-Eye." I don't know if it was ever really classified by that name, but I've called it that ever since. If you find especially disgusting pinkeye, I'd venture to say it's the Nicaraguan strain. Trust me. All that to say . . . I'm going to Sanibel next weekend with my hubby, our last getaway as newlyweds. Whoot!

Ok, now I'm really going to try to get some sleep to fight this vile cold. BLECH!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Dentist, n.: A Prestidigitator who, putting metal in one's mouth, pulls coins out of one's pockets.
--Ambrose Bierce
First off, I don't know if I had mentioned this, but I LOVE my classroom parents. These people have all been shockingly helpful and supportive and such blessings as I continue to figure out the classroom. School is great, the kids are wonderful, and by golly, by only the grace and strength of God, I think we're making this work. Thank you, Lord!
Secondly, to go along with the quote . . . I went to the dentist today for the first time in nearly two years. If you know me, you know I'm paranoid about my teeth. I think it came from loving the dentist as a child (BIZARRE?! YES!! But I did!) because they always told me how well I was doing, how great my teeth were (and they should have been after two years of braces and all the involved shenanigans!), how good. The day they found my first cavity at age 18, you would have thought they had told my cat had been run over. Then, I started working in the library. Oh my, I had never seen so many missing, blackened, worn out, plaque-infested, rotting teeth in all my life. This only increased my dental hygienic fervor.  So, I FINALLY make an appointment with a dentist, scared to death he will announce my mouth is rotting. Do you know what that man found after xrays and poking around?? NOTHING. I was brushing my teeth too hard, in fact, and needed to ease up a little.
Oh yeah, and maybe we'll put some enamel on your molars . . . just because. It will cost you an arm and a leg, but hey it might be a good idea. Oh, and remember how you were expecting a cleaning today? Yeah, no, not going to do that. Nope, not a bit. We'll x-ray, peek, poke, and send you on your merry way, missing a big ole chunk of mula (seriously, it was a huge rip off).  Did you want to schedule a cleaning and that useless procedure for tomorrow? You can leave your limbs at the door.
Thank you. NO. Bloody Mother NO!!!!
So guess who's not going back to that office? Uh-huh. Live and learn, live and learn. 
But if anyone has any dentist they recommend, do let me know. You know, for when I go next year for my next "cleaning" and financial amputation.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Off to School We Go . . .

Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.
--R. Buckminster Fuller
Yes, school is becoming less and less obvious.
No one's killed me, yet. In fact, I'm enjoying myself. Drowning in paperwork, but hey, I'm having fun, and I'm getting caught up.

The kids all seem to love class, and, even more amazing, some of them seem to love me. One little girl threw her arms around my waist, yesterday, and exclaimed "I LOVE YOU, MRS. BOCCHINO!" Melt my heart? Just a little bit.

We've been reading The Phantom Tollbooth during snacktime in class, and, even though they only get some of the humor, the kids adore it. To be perfectly honest, I hadn't read it before this, but had heard so many high recommendations that I picked it up for class, and I'm falling in love with it. Adorable, brilliant, hysterical, and, actually, pleasantly educational. People don't write books like this anymore. It takes someone really special and gifted to weave a story like this together; Lemony Snickett is the only one I think of who comes close (and I love me some Lemony Snickett ^-^).

Parent e-mails are diminishing. Not vanished completely, but fading as time goes on. I'm also slightly less terrified of them, which may be an even greater accomplishment.

I really do love the new job, I adore the kids, and I have fun helping people learn. Yesterday, we read a book about King Alfred of the Saxons vs the North Men. Guess who got her history nerd on? Yup.

I'm not the only one with homework . . . The mood of the Bocchino household shoots down several degrees when dear Christopher has homework for his online classes. I am so proud of him for working on that degree, but, bless his heart, he just hates hates HATES it.

And that's all that's going on here.
So this is the Bocchinos, over and out.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hi, Ho Silver! Awaaaaay!

Vacation used to be a luxury, however, in today's world, it has become a necessity.
As I type this, my husband is two hours away, and, I'll bet money, he's sitting on his computer, his fingers twitching at lightning speed, demolishing some vile undead monster, winning his pixelated gnome a nice new pair of boots . . . or something World of Warcraft-ish. I, on the other hand, am sitting in a lovely hotel villa, fresh from the pool and sun, avoiding the television because the Disney and Nick shows my little sibs are playing will rot my brain. I keep thinking my childhood cartoons were better, but maybe they were this hormone-filled and brainless. Oh dear. Then again, i'm the person who keeps trying to change it back to Animal Planet's "River Monsters" to watch people catch big, man-eating fish. Nerd, I know.

Yes, I'm on vacation with my family. It's lovely.

Matt and Catherine came over to the apartment Friday night, and we left on our two hour drive of Saturday Morning Cartoon metal mixes and Japanese rock down to St. Lucie, Florida. Yup, that's how we roll.

I brought school work to grade and record. Davie took it upon herself to help me correct my math tests. She wants me to bring over more because she likes math. She's also decided who has the best handwriting. Too cute.

Ah, vacation. Aaaah, family. Lovely lovely.