Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bullets of Tired

I was trying to think of something funny and/or pithy to post today, but I got nuthin'. I'm tired, and the weekends only seem long enough to catch me up on sleep before I have to start all over again. So the three of you still reading this blog get bullets.

*I have a semi-unbloggable thing going on at work. I'll just say that my work has gotten notice by my peers. In a good way.

*Went to our five-year old nephew's birthday party yesterday morning. He had a pirate-themed party, and Offspring went dressed as a pirate wench. It was cute. I made a little pirate treasure chest in lieu of a card that I filled with chocolate coins. It was a hit, but only because the coins were chocolate. I did take a picture of it, though I haven't uploaded it yet.

*Have been asked by my school's secretary to make up a few Christmas cards designs so she can present them to the principal. They're thinking about commissioning about 100 cards from me to present to staff this year. If they choose one of my designs, I'll have to get cracking pretty soon here.

*Have also been approached by a parent that's seen my work to make about 10 "teacher" themed cards that she can present to her children's teachers. That will be a nice way to make a little money, too.

*I've gone through the box of clothes, and need to take pictures. There's some stuff in there that's bad, but not truly cringe-worthy. The one thing I notice is that she was very fond of lime green. Needless to say, I look hideous in lime green. And, she really likes linen. I doubt if I've ever seen so much linen in my life.

*Speaking of lime green and linen -- anyone know how to home-dye some of this lime green stuff? Or should I just call around and see how much an alterations shop would charge me to dye some of this? Never having worked with linen before, I don't know much about its properties. Is it prone to shrinking? Should it be dry-cleaned, or washed by hand?

*I have a birthday coming up. I'm looking forward to the gift part, but not the idea of aging another year. Why is it that the actual *number* bothers me so much? It's not like 37 is old. I still feel young and vital -- why is it that 37 makes me feel so ancient? Am I mental? (Pipe down with the snarky comments, I am *not* all that odd...)

Well, I should go. I have bills to pay, clothes to wash, and miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Some News, and a Blast From the Past

There's a teacher at my school who was searching for someone willing to take in a rabbit. It seems that one of her friends or neighbors has this bunny that they can no longer care for (owners are older, and all the children are now gone off to college) and wanted to place with someone who'd care for it. My class was anxious to be the recipients of the bunny, so we let the teacher involved know that we wanted to take him. The go-between told us that she planned on taking the bunny to the vet for a full check-up and a nail clipping before bringing him in to us. The kids are waiting, not quite so patiently.

Offspring has been asked to bunny-sit over the long holidays, and agreed with alacrity. She has asked me daily if the bunny has arrived or not. I'm sorry to report each time to her that so far, the answer is "no." Hopefully, we'll see the rabbit soon, or she'll implode.

Her anxiousness over when the bunny will arrive reminds me of a story from when she was small. Offspring's PreK teacher had two bunnies in her classroom, and the kids were totally enamored with them. Offspring used to regale me with stories of what the bunnies were up to. She was especially fond of BlackBunny, who had been purchased on a class trip to a farm. BlackBunny was a teeny little thing when she was acquired, and the kids delighted in holding her. Everyone fought for the privilege of feeding cute little BlackBunny.

In the late fall of that school year, we took a trip to Disney World. Normally, we wouldn't pull Offspring out of school for such a trip, but we'd made the reservations a year in advance, and well before she was accepted into the PreK program, and we could not cancel at that late stage of the game. When we got down to Disney World, we had a great time, and Offspring forgot all about school. We went merrily on our way through our vacation, until we came to the Magic Kingdom, and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride. As we're setting off in the boat, Offspring's expression turns dark, and she turns to us with tears shimmering in her eyes.

"Mama," she says, "will BlackBunny be okay?" I wondered why she'd bring up BlackBunny at that particular moment, so I told her that I was sure she was fine. Dealing with the odd connections and leaps from the train-of-thought that was a then four-year-old Offspring, I was used to non sequiturs, but the tears bothered me. I looked down at her, and said, "Why are you worried about BlackBunny?" She looked back up at me, those big blue eyes just swimming in unshed tears, and said, "The pirates."

Pirates? Like pirates on this ride? "Honey, what about the pirates?" She looked very solemn as she said, "The song says 'we kidnap the rabbits and don't give a hoot.' I don't WANT them to kidnap Black Bunny!"

I had to stifle a laugh, because it was so stinking cute, but we assured her that BlackBunny was okay, safe at home. Now, every time I hear "Yo, Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me", I can't help but think of bloodthirsty pirates, making off with chests full of gold and bunnies.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Box

Remember back a few months ago, when I told you all of the odd story where a lady approached me at a crafts class with an offer of free clothes? Well, I got a call from her this weekend. She sorted out her closet, and was looking to get rid of quite a few winter clothes. She wanted to know if I was interested. She said she had "a box of clothes" for me.

I took the drive out to her house to find that she had THREE boxes of clothes. There were some nice things, including several nice dresses, but there were also the hilarious things. Amy got such a kick out of the plaid vest-and-shorts combo in the last batch that I'll have to be on the lookout to see if there's anything that compares in this allotment.

I have yet to really wade through all of the items, but I'll keep the camera handy, just in case.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ammunition for the Clue Stick Brigade

If you're a fan of the illustrious Wednesday Whine (and how could you NOT be?), you may have heard that the denizens there prefer our justice served with a healthy serving of freshly sawn lumber. This is mainly for those in *serious need* of the judicious application of a good two-by-four upside the head, so don't let me scare any interested parties off. Wednesday Whine has typically been a place where we go to let off some steam, and have a forum in which we can gripe, knowing that there are people there who support us, and who do not mind listening to all of the things, great and small, which are plaguing our everyday lives.

One of the products of the weekly WW has been our claim that there are many, many people who are in dire need of the clue-by-four whomping. This week's column involved a suggestion that we form a precision drill team to administer our smackdowns. Said suggestion was met with much agreement all around.

I have a select group of (unfortunately nameless) people that I would like to offer up as fodder for the Clue Stick Brigade: the dad-blamed idjits who thought up using *METAL* as an effective material for the making of colanders. A colander, as we all know, is a straining device, mostly used (in this household, at least) for draining pasta. Which, you know, boils?! Therefore, the pasta is going to be HOT at the point of draining, and said colander will become too hot to pick up for any reasonable amount of time. Yes, you can use oven mitts, and your can rinse the pasta, but that's not the point. Metal is what the pot you likely *just cooked* the pasta in was made out of, and you're going to transfer all of that boiling hot, napalm-sticky pasta to ANOTHER metal container? Not a smooth move for those of us who have already established ourselves as clumsy.

Not that this has happened to me, you know. I'm far too graceful to burn myself with pasta, right? (Hush all that snickering!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stop Me Before I Steal Again!

I stole this meme from Marni, who, in turn, stole it from CCW.

Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?
Uh, no. I teach kindergarten, remember? I already have my lifetime allotment of germs.

What's the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated? Seven years. My first love was seven years older than me, and it was a long-distance relationship. You can see how it was doomed from the start.

Ever been in a car wreck? Yeah. Most have been fender-benders, but the worst was when a drunk guy ran a red light and hit me so hard that we did a complete 180, and the impact bent the entire car frame. The insurance company totaled the car out. The guy got out of the truck at first, but was acting oddly, so I had the foresight to get the plate number. After about 5 minutes of him lurching and weaving around, he hopped back into the truck and hauled tail. The police later found the truck in the KMart parking lot, and the dude called it in as stolen. They didn't buy his story, either. I ended up having to go down and identify him in a mug shot array.

Were you popular in high school? So far from popular, it was laughable. I was one of a group of about five misfits who lived on the fringe of Shoebox School. When I transferred to Gigantic High in the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I went from Nobody to Just Another Face In The Crowd. My graduating class had 222 seniors, so it was hard to NOT find a group in which you fit there. I still wasn't what you'd call "popular", but I was also no longer totally miserable.

Have you ever been on a blind date? A couple. Most of them ended with the guy telling me that I was too fat for him to be interested.

Are looks important? Not if you already have them. If you don't, it's another kettle of fish altogether. I'd like to say they don't matter, but as someone who has been judged on the basis of my physical appearance all my life, I know better. I didn't look for a mate based on looks, though I think my husband is very attractive. I looked for him based on who he is inside. And, I got a pretty sweet deal, if I say so myself.

Do you have any friends that you've known for 10 years or more? Yes -- my friend OzChick. We've been friends for about 12 years now. And my husband, who is my best friend. We've been together a little more than 16 years. We are nearing our 15th wedding anniversary this November.

By what age would you like to be married? I got married at 22, and I think it worked well for both of us. We were always considered "more mature" than a lot of people our age, and we were both ready to be married. We had had serious discussions about marriage, fidelity, children, and other issues while we were still dating, and we had decided that we ready to put all those plans and ideals to action. I'd like my daughter to be a little older than we were, when and if she decides to marry.

Does the number of people a person's slept with affect your view of them? It depends. As a friend, no. I don't care who or how many. As a potential partner, it does in the sense that I must protect myself in this day and age. I don't care if you've sowed your wild oats -- I did some sowing of my own in my time -- but I need to know whether you are a high risk. (Of course, this is all moot, since I'm married, but this is my train of thought behind this issue.)

Are you a good tipper? If the service merits it. I don't undertip to be cheap, but I do both reward good service, and withhold from crappy service.

What's the most you have spent for a haircut? Fifty bucks, I think. That was back in high school, though. I go to a place around the corner now, and I pay $12.95, and I get every sixth haircut for free. Hey -- why pay more when this place gives me what I want for cheap?

Have you ever had a crush on a teacher? I did -- on my English teacher in middle school (who was also my drama club advisor.) When I grew up, I did some theater work with both him and his wife, and I could not, for the life of me, see why I'd crushed on him so hard as a tween. He's a nice guy, sure -- but not THAT nice. Odd circumstance -- Offspring had him as one of her Gifted instructors for a couple of years.

Have you ever peed in public? Not that I can remember. I can't imagine a situation in which I would feel comfortable dropping trou in public.

What song do you want played at your funeral? I don't have a particular one in mind, but I'll leave that up to the ones who are left behind. I hope it's something that makes people remember me fondly.

What would your last meal be before getting executed? There used to be a Mexican restaurant here that served the most delicious dish called "Pollo Fundido." It was shredded chicken with sour cream, wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried, and served with a queso blanco on the top. SO GOOD! Unfortunately, that place burned down 20 years ago, and the owners went out of business. If I can't have that, a meal from my favorite Japanese place.

Beatles or Stones? Beatles, no question.

If you had to pick one person on earth to die, who would it be? I, personally, don't feel comfortable playing judge, jury, and executioner.

Beer, wine or hard liquor? Liquor -- but only in fruity, girly drinks with paper umbrellas. Other than that, I don't drink alcohol. And, I only have that once in a blue moon.

Do you have any phobias? Phobias, no. I do have fears, though. Fears of dying in a car accident, fear of guns, fears of being attacked, and a fear of dying by violence.

What are your plans for the future? Immediate future? I'm going to finish this post and get something to eat. Long term, I'd like to go back to school, but I'd need more disposable income.

Do you walk around the house naked? No, but we, as a family, do tend to eschew the wearing of pants in the house. JF calls us the Peter Pantsless family. It's too darn hot here for most of the year to wear superfluous clothing.

If you were an animal what would you be? I think I'd like to be a bird, so I can soar free.

What do you do as soon as you walk in the house? Put down my stuff and take off my pants. (See? I told you we were pantsless!)

Do you like horror or comedy? Comedy. Horror holds no appeal for me anymore. I used to like it somewhat when I was a teenager, but I don't care for it now.

Are you missing anyone? Yes. My cousin, who died when I was 17. There was so much living that he didn't get to do. Also, friends that I never see anymore. People who are no longer with us.

Where do you want to live when you are old? Somewhere close to the water.

Who is the person you can count on the most? My husband. I have no fear that he won't always be there for me.

If you could date any celebrity past or present, who would it be? Sean Connery. Yum!

What did you dream last night? I dreamed that I was in the hospital, having some tests run.

What is your favorite sport to watch? Figure skating. I don't really care for sports, so if I have to watch it, it has to be something highly visual.

Are you named after anyone? There's a story that I'm named after a character in "Gone With the Wind", but I'm not sure how much of that is true.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink? A Pina Colada. Heavy on the coconut!

Non alcoholic drink? Sonic's Cherry Limeade. And lately, Crystal Light Raspberry Ice.

Have you ever been in love? Yes. Still am.

Do you sing in the shower? No. It's usually so early in the morning now, that I'm lucky to be walking upright and functioning at all.

Have you ever been arrested? Nope. I'm a goody-goody.

What is your favorite Holiday? Christmas.

Would you ever get plastic surgery? Probably not. Not unless I had some sort of disfiguring accident. Just for kicks, no. I can't see spending that large amount of money on stuff like that. Though I don't condemn those who do. It's just not for me.

Have you ever caught a fish? Yes, when I was small. Fishing isn't a priority these days.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Fundamental Difference

Juggling Freak and I have very differing tastes, especially when it comes to music. As you all know, I'm fond of the 80's music and British "New Wave" of the same era. Juggling Freak is into Heavy Metal. And never the twain shall meet.

A few years ago, we got a Sirius satellite radio system as a Christmas gift, and we keep it in my car, although we have a home dock for it as well. The system has a number of buttons along the front, where you can preset your favorite stations. Offspring immediately claimed preset number one in the name of Radio Disney. The next two are my favorites -- First Wave (which plays the New Wave and alternative songs, mostly from the 80s era) and the Big 80s (which is pretty self-explanatory). Juggling Freak set all the other presets up with a mixture of other stations, mainly the ones that he likes, but some that we both tolerate fairly well.

As we headed for dinner the other day, Juggling Freak was surfing through the selections, much the same way that he channel surfs on TV. (May I point out here that stopping on each station for approximately 3 seconds does not really give you a good grasp as to whether what's on that channel is really worth watching/listening to? Are all men like this?) It's slightly better with the satellite radio because at least the display screen lets us know the song title and the artist's name. JF usually makes unilateral decisions based on artist: "Tears For Fears: Hell, no!" Or, "Ugh -- not more U2!"

As he blazed through the channels, he was finding nothing that he really wanted to listen to. He finally settled on a station, but the song that was listed was going off, and a Madonna song came on next. Now, I'm no big Madonna fan, but neither do my eyeballs bleed upon mere mentions of her name. JF starts mock-gagging, and blindly punches buttons as if his life depended on it. I try to tell him that some of Madonna's early stuff isn't bad -- it's much less objectionable than her later, I-believe-in-my-own-hype, self-absorbed work, but he's not buying.

Me: "Now, her early work isn't all that bad."

Him: "Says you. I say it sucks ass."

Me: "Sure, it was pure bubblegum, but at least it wasn't as bad as some of her later stuff."

Him: "Maybe ass-flavored bubblegum."

Needless to say, the radio didn't remain long on Madonna, early hit or no.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Can't Seem To Find The Time

I can't seem to find the time to post anymore. I seem to go, go, go from the moment I fall out of bed in the morning until I drop into it each night.

Can I tell you that middle school is KILLING me? Offspring is having a great time, but seeing her off to the bus at 6:42 am is *really* cramping my style. I used to be one of those people that rolled out of bed about 20 minutes before I had to be at work, eking out every possible second of sleep that I could. Gone are those days. LONG gone.

She seems to be adjusting well to middle school life -- has fun riding the bus with her friends, and is overjoyed that her best buddy is in her homeroom (and same "block" schedule) so they get to see each other all day.

She's already had several info packets about upcoming papers and projects sent home, and even turned in an "All About Me" project this morning. The work load is heavier, but it's not too much just yet -- as the year gets fully under way, I expect there to be more work.

The one thing she was bummed at: her school does not have lockers. She REALLY wanted a locker. And, judging by how freaking heavy that backpack is, they really need to get them lockers. That thing weighs a ton!

Friday, September 07, 2007

They May Be Clueless, But At Least They Got Religion

My class is shaping up, slowly but surely. Each year, I forget how little they came to us knowing, and what a hard task those first few weeks are, teaching them all the little quirks and rules. I guess it's because at the end of the year, they're well-trained, and it's underscored by how far they get by the end of the year. Simple things, like knowing their own last names, or what their mama's names are.

I misplaced the little slip of paper that I keep with me that tells me how all my babies get home: these two to daycare vans, this one to the on-site afterschool care service, these three or four walk home with big brothers or sisters, and so on. One child, I could not, for the life of me, remember how she got home. So, I called her up to my desk to question her on the matter.

Mrs. KLee: "Sweetie, are you a bus rider?"

Cute Little Girl: "Huh?"

Mrs. KLee: "Are you a bus rider, a car rider, or a walker?"

*blank stare*

Mrs. KLee: "How do you get home? Are you a car rider, a walker, or do you ride the bus?"

Cute Little Girl: "No, I'm a Baptist!"

Monday, September 03, 2007

Summer's End

The rain has kept the sun worshippers from their daily rituals for the better part of this past week. The touristy shops along the beach roads begin to close earlier and earlier, and the seasonal ice cream shop sports new winter shutters.

The intermittent rain brings needed relief for the parched earth. The lower temperatures allow the pale denizens to finally emerge from their cool, shady homes. Their faces upturned to the roiling sky, the cloistered ones breathe air not cooled and recirculated by machine for the first time in weeks.

The stores are full of parents stocking up on supplies for school. Two young, first grade-age girls argue the various merits of the lunch boxes: Hannah Montana, High School Musical, or Bratz? The shoppers move through the aisles, denuding the shelves as a high wind would strip leaves from the trees. Like a plague of locusts they come, laying bare the store's metal skeleton.

The large tan SUV moves swiftly into traffic, a pair of lurid fuchsia flip-flops miraculously clinging to the rear bumper with the tenacity of barnacles. The streets are surprisingly empty for a holiday. The city hunkers back down for more rain.

As night blankets the wet city, lights wink out earlier than normal in preparation for the morning's new beginning.