Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's Raining Bullets!

And now for something completely bullets:

* My mother is celebrating her 60th birthday this weekend. I don't think my mother even knows what a blog is, but if she's somehow managed to find my blog: Mom -- Happy Birthday! I love you bunches!

A little you should know about my mom -- she's not your typical 60 year old. She rides a Harley. She asked me to buy her leather chaps one year for her birthday, so she could wear them while she rides. Do you all know how freaky-weird it is to try and buy leather chaps for your mother?!?!? Trust me. It's like living inside a Picasso painting. My mother likes to go get rip-snorting drunk on the weekends and sing karaoke. She's more a force of nature than the typical idea of a Mom. It's never dull with her around.

*Mom's having a theme birthday party this weekend. The theme is "Cowboys and Indians." Offspring and JF have elected to go as cowboys, and I'll be the Indian Contingent. I will have to get pictures. Not that we'll be home at a decent hour, but I figure if I get any good shots, I can post them eventually, whenever my contact-hangover goes away. Theme or not, Mom usually throws pretty good parties. There's always lots of noise around my mother. Granted, she's usually the one making all the noise, but that's really beside the point. It's lively, is what I'm saying.

*Since I posted the Praline Cookie recipe, one of the commenters suggested that we do a cookie swap. I like this idea. I suggested that if anyone really has the hots to organize this, they are quite welcome to do so. If not, I will be very glad to organize it. I am envisioning an exchange, much like Andrea's Winter Holiday Gift Extravaganza, but I was thinking that we might want to go with a time other than Christmas. That time of year is so packed already. Maybe right before, like around the time of the American Thanksgiving? In addition, I'll think up a questionnaire, so that participants can record likes and dislikes, and any allergies that might be a problem. If you are interested, drop me an email (, and I'll get a list of people wanting to take part together.

*We are getting lots of nasty weather from Ernesto, but I have hopes that nasty weather is the most that we'll see from him. Lots of rain, and a few gusts, but that's about the end of it. Just the way I like it. At least it'll cool off the heat wave. It was so hot today, the asphalt was bubbling as I left school.

*Offspring came home with a note from her teacher that she did so well in a class discussion the other day that he awarded her a no-homework pass. Yay, Offspring! Mr. Teacher also sent home a rather long letter to parents about teaching the children self-suffiency and the importance of goal-setting. His plan is that each student has to outline a goal that they want to attain this year, and then DO it, and provide proof along the way. For example, Student A wants to read 50 books during the year. Student A will keep a log of the books read, and will take Accelerated Reader tests on the books s/he reads (if there are tests available.) Student A will also hand in a report on his/her favorite book. Offspring came up with what I consider to be a pretty unique goal all on her own: she wants to build (and demonstrate to her class) a working scale model of a catapult. So, at some point, I'm sure you'll see pictures posted here.

*Why am I almost 36 years old, and still breaking out in pimples? Wasn't I promised that this would all end when I reached adulthood? Or is this going to be like the retirement age -- by the time I reach it, they keep pushing it further and further back? I don't like "them." "They" lie. These were also the people who swore that childbirth didn't hurt.

*I lost a student already. This sweet little girl was in my class for two weeks and then moved. I understand the need (on the one hand) for the parent to make sure the child gets as much out of her education as possible, but isn't that a LOT of paperwork? As sad as I am to see her go, she was a distraction. She was a hummer, meaning that she unconsciously hummed all. day. long! No matter how many times I told her to stop, she hummed. After like the fifth time in an hour one day, she looked me deep into the eyes and said, "I'm annoying." I did not disagree with her. I hope she does well at her new school, and I'm sorry I only had two weeks with her, humming and all.

*I hate washing dishes. Unfortunately, I have no dishwasher, and it's time for me to cook dinner, so I must go do this now. Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Infamous Praline Cookies

I have mentioned this recipe in several places recently, and was exhorted by a new commenter, St. Inuksuk (welcome, by the way!) to fork over the recipe forthwith.

Because I always, *always* have to provide you with the backstory, I will tell you the origin of the Praline Cookies. (Hush all the griping, and just listen!)

I spent a year at another school, not the place where I work now. It was a very fish-out-of-water year for me. The one saving grace was some of the great people I worked with. One of my coworkers passed out little Ziploc baggies of these yummy cookies as a Christmas gift that year, and when I had eaten the whole baggie in less than ten minutes and was clamoring for more, I knew I'd have to beg, borrow, or steal to get the recipe. Fortunately, the wonderful lady was as nice as she could be and provided the recipe without my having to resort to violence. I made about 12 batches of these cookies that Christmas, eating probably half of those batches by myself over the course of the holidays.

I got sent back to my home school (my current school) the next year, and since no one there had tried the cookies, I decided give those away as my gifts to the staff that year. (I have given, in past years: homemade holiday pins (Christmas Trees, menorahs, reindeer...); chocolate cakes baked into Mason jars; and Christmas CDs.) They proved so popular, our school secretary had me sit down at her computer and type out the recipe right then and there! She dubbed them "Christmas Crack" because they were so lethally addictive. However, there is one caveat: you have to like pecans. (And here in the the South, that would be pronounced "pee-can", *not* "pee-cahn". Just so you know.)

Praline Cookies
1 box graham crackers (regular flavor, NOT cinnamon)
2 sticks margarine
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
4 cups pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet (or two smaller ones) completely with tinfoil. Break graham crackers into individual "fingers" and arrange in bottom of lined pan. Completely cover pan, breaking crackers into smaller pieces to fit all the way up to the edges. Spread pecans over top of crackers, taking care to distribute evenly. Set pan aside. On stovetop, in a nonstick saucepan, combine butter and margaine over medium high heat. Once mostly melted, add in sugar and whisk together. Bring to a low boil. Boil for 3 minutes, and remove from heat. This will make a thick syrup. Ladle syrup over pecan-covered crackers, distributing evenly. Try to cover as much as possible.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. (Check once around ten minutes to make sure cookies aren't burning.) Remove from oven, set aside for 1 hour to cool. When cool to the touch, remove from pan. You will have one giant sheet-cookie. Peel tinfoil off of back and discard. Break into individual cookies and box or bag as you wish. Refrigerate. Cookies taste best when refrigerated overnight.

I hope everyone enjoys. I usually only make these for Christmas because I bankrupt myself buying pecans to make them. Make and consume at your own risk. I will not be held accountable if any of you wind up with an addiction. You were warned.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Note to Self

If you're going to go to an overnight Girl Scout Leader event, you're probably going to have fun. If you're probably going to have fun, you'll probably be too jazzed up to go to sleep. If you're too jazzed up to go to bed at a decent hour, you'll probably end up staying awake all night with the other troublemakers. If you stay awake all night with all of the other troublemakers, you'll probably bottom out early on the next morning, and be VERY cranky and sleepy.

It's sort of a "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie" kind of prophetic, isn't it? A self-fulfilling prophecy that shouts, "Hello, Captain Obvious!" at the world.

I'm going to bed. Wake me up tomorrow.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The 2,996 Project

On a visit to Marni's place today, I was very moved by the post she had up. She joined the 2,996 Project. This is a blogger push to have every victim of 9/11 remembered on the anniversary. You can go to the website, located here if you are interested in signing up. I can think of nothing better to mark the day than many previously unconnected people celebrating the lives that were so cruelly snuffed out. Thanks to Marni for letting me know that this was out there.

I was given the honor of remembering Louis S. Inghilterra. Please check back on 9/11 to read his tribute.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The No-Good, Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day

As some of you may have read over at Phantom's Wednesday Whine, I am. not. having. a. good. day. I mean, I've always viewed my life as a sort of Comedy Of Errors sort of deal, but today takes the cake.

I started off my day by getting bitten all over my right foot by fire ants. This was a really spectacular start to the day. Then, my students were completely out of their minds, testing every boundary that we've ever established. I have one little miscreant who has taught my three other miscreants how to flip birdies, and they think this is the coolest thing since sliced bread. I am. going. to. kill. them. So, we had to spend our (sadly needed) outside time going over the school rules instead of playing. I made the miscreants sit on their hands while I wrote notes to their mothers.

A little later in the day, I was called into my assistant principal's office where I sort of got in trouble. It wasn't anything major, but enough to make the day that much more enjoyable. And, to make the day that much more special, my tendonitis in my wrist has been acting up. I wore my wrist brace to work to help alleviate the pain, and took my prescription pain meds for it as well. On my way back to the classroom, I was stung by wasps that appeared from nowhere. One flies down into my brace and stings me on my hand. Two others sting me on the butt where the gluteus join the leg. I now have to trot myself off to bare my bottom to the school nurse. What fun. Never having been stung by a wasp before, the nurse makes me hang around for a while to make sure I don't have a reaction. I look like I've been slapped hard on the butt *and* punctured with a large-bore hypodermic.

I had had plans to go grocery shopping after work, but the wasps stings are making my leg hurt, and walking around is not making me a happy camper. As I leave the store, the entrance is clogged with people because it's now *raining.* Of course it is. And not just raining. It's Noah's flood out there!

I'm wearing sandals (yay, open toed shoes that let the ants right in!) and they immediately get soaked in the splashing. So, now I'm soaked, my shoes are all slippery and squishy, and the Very Thin Shirt that I had chosen to wear to work was plastered to my body like I was a waif-thin model on a runway. The rain is cold. Cold rain + plastery thin shirt on fat lady = wet t-shirt contest for rednecks.

To wind the day up, I get a call from my Girl Scout co-leader who tells me an interesting story. Apparently, the mother that had all the Issues with me and is not letting her daughter return to my troop in the fall is telling all of our other parents that I did something to her daughter, and *that's* the reason she's not returning. Never mind that a) I never did anything but love that child; b) my co-leader was present at EVERY meeting and does not remember any incident where I offended or hurt said child; and c) I have seen that child three times so far this year in the school setting, and she's hugged me every time. Does this sound like a child I've hurt? This woman is going down.

I'm going to finish my Kool-aid and go to bed before some other awful thing can happen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yo Ho Ho, and a Bottle of What?!?

JF has been in a piratical mood lately, even going so far as to make a Puzzle Pirates account. This may not seem newsworthy to you, dear readers, but as a game purist, games like PP are not nearly "intense" enough for him. He plays things like "Mech Warrior" and "Star Wars Galaxies." Not fun fluff like Puzzle Pirates. However, Offspring and I have played so much PP lately that JF is slowly coming over to the Dark Side.

Love of pirates is nothing new to my husband. He made his mother dress him up as a pirate more years than not during his childhood for Halloween. When we went to St. Augustine when we were still dating, we had to take one of those old-timey photos as a pirate and his wench. (Trust me, it's scary.)

He's been on a rum kick lately, in keeping with the pirate theme. When we went to my Mom's not long ago, Mom made him a rum and Coke, and when he realized that that drink contained less calories than a beer (his drink of choice), he decided to stop drinking beer and drink rum instead. (I'm amazed that he has yet to lose any appendages by asking me, his wench, to bring him some rum. This qualifies as a Good Thing, in case anyone's keeping track.) The brand he's been drinking is called "Barbarossa", and it's made by White Rock Distilleries. Earlier tonight, JF looked up their website, and began laughing hysterically.

I poked my head in from the kitchen to see what all his hooping and hollering was about. He asked, "Do you remember that billboard that we once saw on the way to Orlando? The one about the rum?" The only one I could really remember was the one that made me pity some poor editor somewhere: Cabana Boy Flavored Rums. I don't know about you all, but I'm not drinking *anything* flavored by a Cabana Boy. I don't care HOW appealing their website tries to make it sound.

Anyway, it turns out that the same company that makes Barbarossa (which they've misspelled on their own website) also makes the Cabana Boy Rums. The bottles of Cabana Boy, if you all care to go look at them, to behold.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What Were They Thinking?

My city has only recently decided to move out of the Stone Age and construct a parkway that would quickly shunt travelers from one end of town to another. The construction on this monstrosity began, if I recall correctly, back in 1990 or thereabouts. It was supposed to be finished by 1996, but that deadline is 10 years past and counting.

JF and I have long joked that it should be called the "partway" because it is only partially completed, and looks to stay that way indefinitely. Construction on the phase near our neck of the woods was completed about a year ago, and using it makes travelling to outlying areas much easier for us. We take the partway often when we head out to my parents' house at the beach, since we bypass all of that pesky stop-go traffic in town.

The on-ramp where we begin such journeys is marked by a large retention pond. As the workers constructed the overpass so the new road would not impede traffic on the current road, a small pit was created, and this became the retention pond. This particular on-ramp is only yards away from a city park that features, among other amenities, a lake. Due to the profusion of ducks that inhabit the city lake, we've always called this park the Duckie Park, from when Offspring was small and liked to go watch the commando ducks. (These ducks bum-rush you for bread as soon as you get out of your car. It's akin to what I imagine a mugging in a rough part of New York looks like, only with ducks.) So, the Duckie Park is *right across the street.* It has a lake, complete with fish and sailboats and even a small dock. I wouldn't actually *eat* the fish you caught there, as they'd probably be of the three-eyed variety like on the Simpsons, but they're there if you're the adventurous type.

We have often marveled, mouths agape, at the many idiots who while away a hot summer's day with fishing poles, trying to catch something in the retention pond. We often yell at them as we speed by on our way to El Diablo WalMarto or to the beach. If they have yet to figure out that they're never going to catch anything there, who am I to burst their bubble of optimistic gastronomy?

We thought we'd seen everything, what with the retention pond fishers. We'd even ceased to be amazed at the fact that catching nothing for days on end hadn't dimmed their childlike hope. If they'd actually *caught* something, it would probably be a lead story on the evening news, because that would mean that fish have evolved legs and migrated from the Duckie Park across the street, and I'm pretty sure that would be news-worthy. I can see the headlines now: "Small Southern Hamlet Home to Walking Fish! Flying Spaghetti Monster, Eat Your Heart Out!"

Just imagine, dear readers, if you will, the looks of utter astonishment we had on our faces today as we pass by the retention pond to see four young-ish looking men with a yellow inflatable dinghy, going down the path to the water. I can only pray it was a fraternity initiation of some sort. That scenario at least gives me some hope that the men were not really going to take a pleasure cruise around the 15-foot-square deep puddle with a rubber raft.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Counting Down the Numbers

I've been tagged by the wonderful Marni for a meme! Always happy to oblige!


The Numbers Meme

Ten Years Ago
I had been married for almost four years, and I was probably at home, sleeping or nursing a six-month old Offspring.

Five Years Ago
Offspring was starting kindergarten and I was working as a substitute teacher. I took a long term PreK assignment, and ended up teaching PreK students for about 10 weeks. It was a blast, and Offspring was right across the hall, so I got to see her all the time.

One Year Ago
I had just been transferred back to my school after an awful year spent at a preppy, country-clubby school. I was so happy to be home, I just couldn’t tell you.

Five Songs I Know All the Words to
1. “American Pie” by Don MacLean
2. “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
3. “Grendel” by Marillion (it’s an 18 minute-long song!)
4. “New Religion” by Duran Duran
5. “The Saga Begins” by Weird Al Yankovic (the Star Wars-themed parody of “American Pie.”)

(Speaking of Weird Al, I found this little video of an original song he did about horoscopes. The song’s absolutely hilarious, and the video here makes me smile.)

Five Snacks I Love and Wish I Could Eat
1. biscuits from Popeye’s.
2. the stuffed French Toast at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom
3. oven roasted carrots with butter.
4. the Yankee Pot Roast at the Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom
5. the praline cookies that I got from a coworker one year. I made them as gifts for people the next Christmas, and they were so popular and addictive, we termed them “Christmas Crack.”

Five Places I’d Run Away to
1. London
2. Disney World
3. Germany
4. Australia
5. My own private Hawaiian island (for the lush vegetation and crystal-clear water.)

Five Favorite TV Shows (current or vintage)
1. “Homicide: Life on the Street”
2. “Crossing Jordan
3. “Monk”
4. “Eureka
5. “Ballykissangel”

Five Things I’d Never Wear
1. a thong! I spend all day trying to get my undies *out* of there!
2. leg warmers (What were we thinking?)
3. Daisy Duke shorts. These only look good on broom handles.
4. midriff-baring shirts. Too much flab for that.
5. Madras plaid.

Five Favorite Toys
1. my computers. All six of them.
2. my husband. (Insert your own innuendo here.)
3. TiVo Couldn’t live without it!
4. Puzzle Pirates. (I’m hopelessly addicted.)
5. my sewing kit

Friday, August 18, 2006

No Go

Got the word today (finally!) that I didn't get either of the roles that I read in the farce I had auditioned for. I'm slightly bummed, but the director did say I did a great read, and that he was sorry he couldn't use me for the show, but he would definintely ask me to audition again. I suppose that's something.

He also told me that the older lady who sat in the back of the hall and observed the auditions was very impressed with my audition, and wanted him to keep me in mind for future productions. Apparently, she's the founder of this troupe of players, and her voice carries some weight. It was nice to hear, even if it's just sweet talk because I wasn't cast. (Directors will often try to soften the blow by complimenting your reading.)

Mr. Director said that he was trying to match people in pairs, and I have the sneaking suspicion that the man he planned to cast as my potential husband was the man who was about 7 inches shorter than me. It would look awfully strange (to an audience) to have a six foot tall wife with a 5 foot, 5 inch husband. Oh, well. I probably shouldn't have devoted all that time to rehearsals right now anyway. It's most likely a sign from above that I didn't need to be doing this show. And this way, I'll still be able to go to that Girl Scout event in October that I wanted to attend that was going to conflict with the performance dates.

(Can you tell I'm trying to talk myself out of being disappointed?)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ruminations on Race

One of my jobs, both as a teacher and a Girl Scout Leader, is to encourage and promote racial diversity. We have to try and plan our classrooms with as varied a racial mix as possible. Now, since my school is what qualifies in our smaller burg as "inner city", the main body of our school population is black. We have a fair number of Hispanics, too. Our Asian population is not as large as some of the other schools in our district, however. In the past, I've had students who were American Indians, of Arabic descent, and one year, I had both an Aleutian Islander (basically what we'd term an 'Eskimo') and a Japanese student who spoke no English at all.

It helps that we have a military installation here that brings in lots of other cultures. As far as black and white go, I don't really "get" all the hostility. I've grown up going to school in a racially mixed society, and I've had friends of all colors and creeds. I have never really felt like I lived in the stereotypical idea of what the South is to most people. I don't tend to think about a person's skin foremost when talking about them. It's never really mattered. At least, not to me.

Yes, I encounter racism, though. I do hear people saying hateful things to each other, so don't think that I'm trying to say it doesn't exsist. I know it does. I just would prefer a world where people are just plain people, and race wasn't a factor. I know it won't come about overnight. Hate is a learned behavior. If we teach love from a very early age, then that's what the kids remember.

As a white person, I am fairly sure that I will never fully understand. I'm sure that if I had lived under the specter of being a second-class citizen for so long, it would skew the way I view things. As I tried to explain to my Girl Scouts -- blacks aren't the only people who have experienced racism, they're just the ones who've managed to claw their way out from under it so well in "recent" memory. I told the girls that Jews have also been persecuted for centuries, and one girl actually told me that it wasn't the same because the Jews had never been enslaved. I asked her if she'd read the Bible lately -- that whole "let my people go"? What was that? And dying by the millions in death camps was so much better?

I've had kids tell me that black people can't be racist. I told them that anyone who takes hate to their breast and embraces it can be a racist. Anyone who would rather hate based on something so superficial as skin is a sad person indeed. If you never bother to get to know a person, who know what you could be missing out?

Looking at all the shining faces at school today made me think that I'm happy to have grown up with the opportunity to be exposed to different kinds of people. I'm sure that all-white communities in the wilds of, say -- Montana -- *think* they're progressive, but add a black family into the community and you start to hear rumblings of how the town's going to hell in a handbasket. I've known people who moved to Colorado specfically because it was a "mainly white" state. I just don't get that at all. The more you demonize something, the more power you give it over yourself! They see blacks as the enemy, and they treat them with disdain. Pretty soon, black people are on the defensive, rightly so, and suddenly it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hate begets hate, and it only snowballs from there.

My school, being a "ghetto" school, was not expected to perform well on standardized tests. I'm proud to say that we not only did better than expected, but our "poor little inner-city kids" blew the test out of the water, making more than a 50% improvement in some categories. We have a dedicated administration, and a staff who truly cares about these kids, and skin color hasn't got a damn thing to do with it. So, to all of those who felt so bad for me because I'm southern and work in a "ghetto" school -- you can kiss my test-acing, inner city grits!

Monday, August 14, 2006

This Year's Crew

My students this year seem like a good bunch. They were all very excited to begin school, and they all came into the classroom without a fuss. I was lucky that we didn't get any screamers or criers. I can deal with screamers and criers, but it usually sets others off, and a lot of kids learn that very first day that they can control the direction that the class goes in, just by their behavior alone.

I have a class full of talkers. Surprisingly, the talkers are all boys. I normally have to split up the girls because they're so social -- they sit and chat, rather than doing whatever I've asked them to do. This year, it was the boys. I have four very gregarious boys already that have managed to have to be split up at different tables due to their overwhelming desire to yak on about anything and everything.

A lot of the parents mentioned how excited the kids were to get up and report to school today, and I always smile when I hear that. I hope that we foster their love of learning, and give them plenty of reasons to make them anticipate school each day. It's the start of a new year, and a start down the educational road for each of these children, and it is our mission to make it an enjoyable journey. I hope we live up to their expectations, and they fulfill all of mine. I think we're going to have a great year.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

And So It Begins

Another school year is upon me. I am delaying going into the kitchen to pack lunches and bookbags for the morning. Sigh. I guess I should just bite the bullet and get to it. We've spent the weekend (who'm I kidding? *JF* spent the weekend) cleaning and doing the laundry in preparation for the busy work-and-school week ahead. Offspring is currently ensconsed in the tub, getting ready for the first day of 5th grade.

I also had my audition today. I think it went fairly well, since I went into the reading cold, never having seen the show or the script before. I don't really like cold reading, but I think I did fairly well. The director laughed at my readings in several spots, and had me read for every female character in the script. The only ominous note is that as I was leaving, he said, "If for some reason you don't get cast, I'll certainly keep you in mind for other things." Hm. That doesn't bode well. Oh, well. I'll hope for the best. The performances are scheduled for one of the same weekends as a Girl Scout training, so if I don't make it, I can still go to the training.

I suppose I should go pack those lunches and bookbags now.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Trip, Trap, Trolling?

It has been pointed out to me by my lovely husband that my last post smacked mightily of trolling for compliments. Or, at the very least, he had a great time teasing me that this was the case. I swear it wasn't so, I really just didn't like the hat picture. So, this being my blog, I chose to post a more flattering picture. If I had wanted to troll for compliments, I would have posted either the Glamour Shots I had done 15 years ago (even with Big 80's hair, I still like those) or my wedding portrait. Those are truly the only pictures of me that I think, "You know, I look really nice in that one."

Or, I could have gone the more humorous route and posted the picture Offspring drew of the family back in her toddler/preschool days where she and Daddy are tiny little child-people, and I am skyscraper sized. Or, I could have *really* gone for the AW! factor and posted a childhood picture of myself, complete with a head full of platinum curls. I may have to do that anyway, for a Monday Memories post.

When it all comes down to it, I wasn't fishing for compliments. I get enough sympathy and good-natured consolation from participating in Phantom's Wednesday Whine. Catharsis may be good for the soul, but hideous pictures aren't.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I Hate That Picture Down There

You know -- the asshat one? I look like a sunburnt chipmunk. All red cheeks and hat. So, I'm posting one I like much more. I hope that, to others, I look more like this one. This was taken the day I got my hair cut. And, yes, I went for the short 'do. Wonder if I should break out my shoes, too?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Speaking of Asshattery

I'm not sure that this was what you degenerates had in mind, but there you go.

This belongs to JF. He's a Donald Duck fan, and bought this 'asshat' in the Magic Kingdom in 2005. Yes, he wore it, even in the heat. Yes, he *does* march to his own internal theme music -- thanks for noticing.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Not-So-Random Bullets

I'm now back in town, recuperating from staying up late with my Girl Scout cronies all night playing dice and cards. And I'm tired.

*I woke up at about 6:30 this morning (which is practically *unheard* of!) because I had a very vivid dream and a migraine at the same time. The dream was that I was in a long hallway that was (somehow) connected to Phantom Scribbler's house. I was sobbing my heart out in a corner, and Phantom and LG came out to comfort me. I had just been informed that my brother had been shot down over Iraq and had been killed. LG hugged me, and this was a Major Step for LG because he didn't interact very much with strangers. Okay. Let's dissect this dream, shall we?

I live nowhere near Phantom. There are about ten states between us. How would I unerringly know where to go to even GET to Phantom's house? And my brother has never been in the military, and does not fly. He's a landscape architect. Phantom looked just like her cartoon in her profile. While she had lovely pixels, I somehow doubt that she's very pixellated in life. LG, as we all know, is a total rock star. While he might be shy upon meeting strangers, I doubt that I would be the Annie Sullivan to break him out of his Helen Keller shell, a la my dream. Score one to the weirdo dreams.

*During my doctor's appointment Friday, I was told that I have tendonitis in my wrist and epicondylitis in my elbow. I got a prescription for higher milligram naproxen sodium to help with the inflammation, and a wrist brace to help with the tendonitis. I was also told that I do have hearing loss, but I had to be referred to an ENT for a further examination, since my GP doesn't have the equipment to pinpoint how severe the loss might be. They will set up a referral with the ENT and get back to me.

*Monday, I have to go pick up Offspring's new glasses. At her appointment last week, she'd had some changes in her prescription. not much, but enough to warrant new glasses. And, since her old ones were getting too small for her head, it's a good thing that we took the time to get them now. I really liked the optometrist that she saw. He was very personable, and put some of my fears to rest. (The first optometrist that Offspring saw had said that he was worried about "such degeneration" in a child as young as Offspring -- the new guy pooh-poohed that attitude, and said that her eyesight was not all that bad. Yes, having glasses would help her focus in her schoolwork more, but there was no reason to be so alarmist about it. It made me feel better.)

*Got a haircut last Thursday. Really short. It's so much easier to take care of, but I need to re-blonde it. I don't like my hair dark. I have a picture of said haircut to post, if anyone's interested.

*Work starts back on Wednesday. I love my students, I really do. But, it's really hard to go back to work after 10 weeks off. So, we're celebrating our last weekend of summer with a trip to our local Ben and Jerry's Scoop shop. JF will come close to the point of overdosing on Buzzachillos.

*My Girl Scout Unit has a leader's retreat coming up at the end of August. We are planning to scrapbook all night, and do fun activities. I'm very excited. The new Stampin' Up! catalog is out, and we're all planning our Wish Lists. I really want one of the hostess sets, so I will have to just plan myself a party. We're all very addicted to Stampin' Up!, and we have a lovely stamp lady on call. We love her, and she feeds our scrapbook and stamp habits in a very unhealthy, but very profitable for her, way. You could say that she's our dealer.

*JF had never heard the phrase "asshat" before the Gibson thread the other day. I had heard it plenty of times, and was therefore very surprised that he hadn't. So, he's been manufacturing reasons to use it in any and every conversation. Thank you all for teaching him that one.

*The faithful and trusty suitcase that I've had since the early days of my marriage has bitten the dust. This last overnighter was the straw that broke the camel's back. Or handle, to be more precise. I could go the really Southern route of repairing it with duct tape and continuing to use it, but I think I'll just give it a dignified death.

I'm about bulletted out. I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend, and will have a lovely week to come.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Away Message

I will be out of town overnight for a Girl Scout function. I plan to enjoy the classes planned for us, and just cut up with my buddies. I hope you all have a great Friday, and I will see you tomorrow night!

No wild parties while I'm gone!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And Hate Spills Forth

I'm sure that by now, you've all heard about Mel Gibson and his arrest for DUI last Friday in Los Angeles. If you haven't, here's a CNN story. Gibson made an utter ass of himself by asking the deputy who stopped him if he was Jewish, and then going on to say, reportedly, "Fucking Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

Nice. Really nice. Especially for someone who is in the public eye. Never mind how wrong that statement is.... Gibson later had "his people" (who *must* not be Jews) release a statement where he apologized for his comments, and tried to make amends to the Jewish community by saying that "Hatred of any kind goes against my faith." Yeah, riiiiiight. Doesn't look that way from here, buddy. Gibson's statement goes on to say that he wants to meet with Jewish religious leaders so that they can help him "discern the appropriate path for healing."

I'll give you a big hint here, Mel -- don't think hate. Don't think hatefully, and hate won't continue to spill from your lips like bile.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

So Many Things to Do, and SO Little Time in Which to Do Them

Okay, so school (for me) begins in just a few short days. I have a whole list of things that I was supposed to accomplish before school began and very few of them have been checked off my list. It's actually quite sad what a slug I've been this summer.

*I promised JF back at the beginning of the summer that I'd get my hearing checked. He swears that I'm stone deaf because every summer, we have the same argument: When we sit in our living room, I take the couch that's closest to the A/C unit, and he mumbles. So, I have a lot of difficulty hearing him, and he's taken to shouting at me. Neither of us is enjoying the situation very much. If there's ambient noise, I often have trouble hearing quieter noises. I do need to have it checked out, but I think I've been delaying because I really don't want to know if sonething is really wrong. At any rate, I now have an appointment for Friday afternoon.

*Also on Friday, I'm leaving for a Girl Scout overnighter. The trip should be fun, and I'm looking forward to spending a day and night in the company of my Girl Scout buddies.

*Offspring has been complaining that she needs new glasses. I discovered that her head has grown, and she's right. Her current glasses are way too small for her head. She has an appointment at the optometrist today at 2:30. Hopefully, her eyes haven't degenerated too much. (And please, Glasses Gods, don't charge me the Gross National Prodouct of a Small European Nation to get new ones!)

*We have tremendously overdue books at the Local Library. I really should take these back today while we're out.

*I still haven't done all the laundry from the last trip we went on. Have I mentioned how much I HATE doing laundry?

*I still have yet to get our digital prints from this year's Disney Trip printed out, much less even actually scrapbooked them. So much for all those cool new Disney scrapbook items that I bought at the beginning of the summer. They lie on my desk, forlorn.

*I should be planning my upcoming Girl Scout year, instead of playing endlessly on the computer.

*I need to go find Offspring's school supply list, and make sure that I have all of her supplies ready for the first day. Her meet-the-teacher day is VERY soon, and I don't want to be crashing Wal-Mart with all the other people who didn't get what they were supposed to the day before school begins. You *all* know my history with Wal-Mart.

*I was actually supposed to exercise this summer. That went absolutely nowhere, thanks to my slug-like nature. I even bought a pedometer to help jolt me into getting out there to exercise even more. It really helped. (Riiiight.)

*I probably didn't get dressed enough days of this summer. Scary thought, no?

I'm a sad, lazy individual. Instead of getting all my slated chores done this summer, I've sat in front of this computer. You people are a bad influence! (See my level of deniability? You are all now accomplices. And maybe enablers, too.)