Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Rant, Sort of About Fat

My school system, like most, went on a crusade not too long ago about finding ways to combat childhood obesity. The nutrition program did away totally with white bread -- all the rolls they serve are wheat, and even the crust on pizza is wheat. They stopped serving "junk" food as often, like pizza and hot dogs, and started branching out with more spices and flavorings. So far the change has been positive, for the most part.

Quite a lot of our students get school lunch, but since a lot of them are economically disadvantaged, we have a fair number who get their meals either at a greatly reduced rate, or for free altogether. We also have a breakfast program that makes sure the kids have a hot breakfast in the morning to get their systems going. Most of our students eat everything you put in front of them. Grits, eggs, toast, pizza, vegetables, salisbury steak, whatever.

My one gripe is that the cafeteria has these little frozen dessert cups, kind of like Italian ices. They SELL these on the side. This is the one thing that they really make money on, so they push them pretty hard. At fifty cents each, they don't sound like much, but when a "discounted lunch" student can get an entire lunch for less than that, that's pretty hefty.

We have kids who'll go through the lunch line and get a slice of pizza (or whatever that day's entree is) and nothing else, and two of these stupid icee cups. They then proceed to eat nothing but the icee, and leave the pizza untouched. Now, you and I both know that these icees no nutritional value whatsoever, but these kids don't care about that. They want the sweet stuff, and they don't care if they're supposed to eat their lunch first or not.

What burns me up the most about it is not that the kid is eating sweets -- they're KIDS! They're going to do that! What really frosts my noonies is that if you were to take it away from them, you'd have a parent in your face so fast that your head would spin! I actually had a parent tell me one time that he didn't care if his kid ate only ice cream, because he'd be getting *some* nutrition. My thought was, "That's what the LUNCH you're getting for ***FREE*** is for!" Explain that to me! Explain why you think that the balanced lunch that you get for free (which is subsidized by our local taxes, by the way) is not nearly as healthful as a cup of lime sherbet?

Another kick in the pants is that our cafeteria knows that students only eating ice cups instead of lunch is a problem, yet they won't stop selling them because it makes them money. Yeah, that's really helping prevent childhood obesity.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Seriously Bummed

I just found out that my favorite singer, Fish, has some US gig dates planned. This is big news because the cost of touring in the US is astronomical for a small, independent artist like him, and the travels to this side of the world are few and far between.

The *bad* news is that he won't be coming any nearer to my location than Washington, DC. He has gigs planned this June for San Francisco; LA; Boulder; Milwaukee; Chicago; Cleveland; NYC; Bethlehem, PA; Philadelphia; DC; New Haven, CT; and Boston. Nothing even *remotely* in the South.

The one and only time that I've been lucky enough to see him perform was in Atlanta in 2000. I was hoping that he'd come up with an Atlanta show this go-round, but so far, no. I truly wish I'd be able to make it to the DC show, but it doesn't look promising. The ticket price will probably be nominal, but I can't justify the hellacious drive for only a concert. And, then you'd have to throw in hotel costs and fuel.... Oy.

I can only urge all my bloggy friends to listen to his music, and go see him live if you can. He truly has a great stage presence, and is a hell of a nice guy to boot. You can visit his MySpace page here and listen to clips from the newest album, 13th Star, or you can follow the link above to his official site and peruse there.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Still Winner And Champeen!


22? Psh! That's *breakfast!* I take on five year olds every day! Now, my number might go down if we were talking fifth graders -- those kids can get pretty darn big!

I had to laugh when I saw this at Amy's site, and knew that I'd rock this quiz. I also laughed further when one of the questions asked if I would feel bad were I to use a child as a weapon -- heck, no! The ankle biters are out for blood, don't you know? Get your licks in where you can, people! If they smell blood, you're toast!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quite Possibly The Weirdest Thing I've Said All Month

Offspring wanted to go to the toy store the other night, so we planned to head to the local Toys Ain't Cheap to find the item that she wanted.  I warned her that we weren't going to stay all night.

KLee: "We can't stay all night."

Offspring: "Yes, ma'am."

KLee: "We have to get home.  I promised your father that I'd shave his back."

Porpoise Man lives!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I read a book recently that dealt with some issues that made me think quite a bit. In the story, a young woman is trying very had to get pregnant, and is not succeeding. She and her husband have gone through several rounds of fertility drugs and IUI, but still no baby. One night, her husband gets a phone call that his high school/early college girlfriend has died, leaving behind a ten year old son whom he never even knew about. The child is in the care of Child Services, and there's all kinds of testing to be done to make sure that child is his, and then easing himself into the boy's life slowly.

First off, the infertility. I was blessed to become pregnant with Offspring very quickly. We had decided that we wanted a child, and I had discontinued any kind of contraception in hopes that we'd become pregnant within a short time span. I was actually surprised when barely three months after starting, I discovered that I was 5 weeks pregnant. (Killer heartburn was the tipoff. A friend who'd recently delivered urged me to do a home pregnancy test based on HER heartburn during her pregnancy. Turns out that she was right.) I know how lucky I was to get pregnant, right off the bat. I, thank God, did not have to endure all kinds of probings and testings and medical indignities in order to have my baby. I feel a lot of empathy for those who DO have to go this route. My best friend endured years of infertility treatments, and suffered several miscarriages in the process.

The woman in the story felt very inadequate because she felt that her body could not do what it was designed to do -- that women for centuries had been getting pregnant at the drop of a hat, and she couldn't. While I don't have that particular experience, I do often feel betrayed by my own body when I can't get it to do what I want it to do. So, I do feel a sort of empathy, though I obviously do not know the pain of infertility. I can also imagine a woman wanting so desperately to be pregnant that she has a deep, visceral longing for a baby every time she sees one in public. I remember feeling so envious of every pregnant woman I saw when I was contemplating quitting my birth control, so I can only imagine how torturous it would be for a woman who is unable to conceive.

I'm also very grateful that I was disgustingly healthy while pregnant. I lost weight, for the first time in my life; I ate better, and I got more rest and exercise; and I didn't even need to take the prenatal vitamins that the doctor prescribed.

As for the child, I have a hard time thinking that someone would not tell the other parent of the existence of a child. To just not tell someone that they have created a life? I know that there are lots of men out there who propagate with abandon, and who would have no intention of taking care of any child that they sired, but to just NOT tell someone at all? It's one thing if you don't make an effort to stay in contact with a deadbeat parent, or if they want nothing to do with the child at all to begin with, but to never notify them that you're pregnant? I have a hard time with this. Of course, I would like to think that I have ethics. Not all people are saddled with them.

Once the wife discovers the existence of the child, she withdraws both emotionally and physically from the husband. She puts her husband and his son on the back burner, as well as her hopes for a child of her own, and goes back to work. Once there, she meets a colleague that she becomes very attracted to, very quickly. She begins spending a lot of time with the man, and begins investing all of her pent-up emotions into this man, and very nearly has an affair with him before she comes to her senses.

So, infidelity. That's one of my personal cardinal rule-breakers. JF and I discussed this while we were dating, and we both felt that making vows was a forever thing. The vows we made were to cleave only unto each other, and we felt that if we could get up in front of God and promise that, we should bloody well keep that promise. Now, I try not to judge other people, and while I wouldn't condemn anyone who was unfaithful to their spouse or partner, it's not for me. Granted, I can understand how people can turn to other partners when they're married to an awful person -- I have a friend in this situation. I just would feel betrayed.

Sorry for the long, rambling post, but these were things that were on my mind today. What about you all? How do you feel about the three issues here: infertility, infidelity, and telling the other party involved when becoming pregnant?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Juggling Freak: 38 Special

Dear Juggling Freak:

Happy Birthday! You turn 38 today, and I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how much I love you, and how glad I am that you belong to Offspring and me. That you are special, and funny, and a good husband and father.

A few days ago, you did a favor for a friend, and then that person told you that you truly are "a nice guy -- everyone thinks so!" I don't *think* so, I KNOW so. I hope you take heed of those words, because they ring true. You ARE a good guy. You are your own worst critic (as most of us are) and you often do not give yourself credit where you deserve it. I think you do deserve it, and you are too harsh in your judgment of yourself. Don't sell yourself short.

I hope your birthday was a good one. I'm sorry that there wasn't more fuss made over you, but you are worth a whole lot of fuss, in our opinion.

I love you.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Random iTunes

Since I'm one of those people who are right there on top of all those trends (*snort*), I thought I'd post a selection of my recent iTunes purchases.

This is what's really keeping me from more thoughtful and incisive posting -- well, that and the 36 pounds worth of craft stuff that came in last weekend's mail. (Whoever in the back was that muttered, "And because you're boring, and have no life...", you can bloody well stuff it.) Now, before you all freak right out, over half of that 36 pounds was for other people. So, I'm only HALF as obsessed as you originally thought. I'll post pics later of all the new craft projects, btw. Eventually. Some day.

Anyway, I listen to the iTunes stuff while I work in the craft room. These are my recent faves:

1.) Give Myself To You -- Train
2.) Crystal Ball -- Keane
3.) Lovesong -- Cure
4.) Get Back Together -- Everything But The Girl
5.) Pain -- Three Days Grace
6.) Time Stood Still -- Bad English
7.) The Downeaster "Alexa" -- Billy Joel
8.) Fix You -- Coldplay
9.) Breathe Me -- Sia
10.) Sunrise -- Simply Red

Yes, it's a rather odd mixture, but those of you who actually listen to me prattle on about my music selections will be relieved to see that there are no tracks by Marillion, Fish, or u2. Life may cease to exist as we know it.

Mad props (and curmudgeonly curses) to Karyn for turning me onto Coldplay. You'd think those Limeys were onto something, huh?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Good News/Bad News

Part of the bad news is that I can't seem to find the time for blogging lately. All of the cookie booths, meetings, and other assorted things are getting in the way of quality blog time! :)

The rest of the bad news is that I guess I didn't get a part in the musical. I say, "I guess" because I hear through the grapevine that it's been cast, yet I've gotten no kind of notification about a part one way or the other, so I assume that means I wasn't on the short list. The most frustrating part about this was not the actual fact of not getting the part, but the endless waiting, only to hear about the end result through a non-involved third party.

The good news is that the conference that I'm going to in April looks like a go, if I can only find a decent flight to DC for a reasonable amount. Also, given the fact that I haven't been on a plane since 1989, I'm not looking forward to a long flight, or one with lots of delays and/or transfers. The transfer part seems pretty unavoidable though, considering that hardly anyone flies on the East Cost without being routed through Atlanta at least once.

The district is going to pay all costs for the conference and hotel up front, and reimburse us for the flight, and give us a per diem eating allowance. Pretty cool. My principal has also authorized me to take professional leave for it, so I don't have to use my remaining "vacation" day. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

Any bloggers in the near-enough vicinity of the DC Hyatt Regency in late April -- we on for dinner, or something?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Bullets of Random Stuff

I've been scarce around here lately, but there's so much going on.  All I have time for right now is bullets.  So, here you go!

* I still owe you all a post about last weekend's fun meetup with Marni.  It's on deck, as soon as I download the pics from my digital camera.  I haven't even had time to do that yet.

* Got a whole shipment of new crafty stuff in, so most of this weekend is devoted to getting that all put away, and sneaking in a little craft time.  

* Offspring took a school trip to Atlanta yesterday complete with a visit to the zoo and the aquarium.  She had a great time, but it wasn't so great that JF had to roll out of bed at 4am to get her up and ready to be at school at 5:45 for the hellaciously long bus trip.  Needless to say, we all bottomed out fairly early last night.

* I've been sick this week, even staying home from school on Wednesday.  I did nothing at all but sleep all day.  I got up to go to the bathroom twice, but otherwise didn't leave the bed.  You know you're feeling bad when your sinuses are so clogged with goo that it feels like your brain is spasming.  Odd, disconcerting feeling.

* I may have a chance to be up in the Washington, DC area for a school conference at the end of April.  It all depends on how much the trip will cost, and how much the district might kick in towards the fees and plane fares.  If it comes to fruition, I'd love to meet up with anyone in the area who's close enough for a lunch or dinner.  I'll keep you all posted.

* That musical I auditioned for back at the beginning of February?  Still no notification.  I got another email from the director back about 10 days ago, saying there were still a few people trying to audition, but that they would be finished by Feb 25th.  No word since then.  A look at the theater's website shows that he's decided to flip-flop the run dates of this show with the one that was supposed to be the next on the playbill.  Instead, THAT show will premiere first, and rehearsals for the show *I* auditioned for won't begin until the end of March.  

* I'm so tired of Girl Scout cookies.  Yes, they're yummy, but I'm tired of seeing them, tired of selling them, and tired of being responsible for all of the money that it encompasses.  Offspring has another cookie sale out in the public tomorrow, and hopefully that means she's done for the year.  Then, we'll have another year before we have to worry about it again.

Sorry for the silence here.... I hope to get back into the swing of things now that I'm not coughing up my lungs every other minute.  Until next time!