Saturday, November 29, 2008

When In Doubt: Meme!

Saw this meme on travels across the Internets, so I have appropriated it. Here you go!


* Name: KLee
* Birthday: October 15th
* Birthplace: CityOfMyBirth
* Current location: HumidityLikeABrickWall
* Eye color: blue
* Hair color: mostly blonde
* Height: 6 foot
* Righty or lefty: righty-tighty!
* Zodiac sign: Libra

* Your heritage: English, Irish, Scots, German, and some assorted Scandinavian thrown in for good measure.
* The shoes you wore today: my black-and-red Disney Crocs.
* Your weakness: books, chocolate, crafting supplies
* Your fears: guns, my spouse or child becoming ill, car accidents.
* Your perfect pizza: Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza’s with double sausage.
* Goals you’d like to achieve: go back to college; travel to Europe again.

* Your most overused phrase on AIM: I don’t use it. It’s INFESTED with spyware!
* Your first waking thoughts: “Just another hour, please!”
* Your best physical feature: eyes
* Your most missed memory: holding my daughter when she was a baby and breathing in the wonderful baby smell.

* Pepsi or Coke: I’m a Southerner. It’s ALL Coke down here, though I prefer Cherry Coke.
* McDonald’s or Burger King: lately, Burger King. Offspring’s addicted to Whoppers.
* Single or group dates: I haven’t dated in about 20 years, so I abstain.
* Adidas or Nike: Nike. They’ve got good arch support.
* Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Out of those two choices, I prefer Lipton, though it’s basically six of one, one half dozen of another.
* Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate, baby!
* Cappuccino or coffee: Cappuccino.

* Smoke: Nope – I’m allergic to cigarette smoke.
* Cuss: Far more than I should!
* Sing: every chance I get!
* Take a shower everyday: Yep – I’m rather finicky about personal odor.
* Do you think you’ve been in love: Yes, a few times, but I’ve found my great love, and we’re still together today!
* Want to go to college: I’d love to go back!
* Liked high school: Yeah, once I got to public school. Private school was akin to torture.
* Want to get married: Already am!
* Believe in yourself: sometimes. Sometimes, not often enough.
* Get motion sickness: Even while standing still. Or by looking at a glass of water.
* Think you’re attractive: No.
* Think you’re a health freak: Definitely not, but I need to be healthier.
* Get along with your parent(s): Most of the time. My dad’s a bit pissed at me at the mo, but he’ll get over it, I hope.
* Like thunderstorms: As long as I don’t have to go out in them.
* Play an instrument: No, but I sure wish I could.

LAYER SIX: In the past month…
* Drank alcohol: eh – I had a small sip of wine at Thanksgiving.
* Smoked: no
* Done a drug: nothing illegal – otherwise, plenty of Excedrin Migraine.
* Made out: Is it still considered “making out” if it’s with your husband?!
* Gone on a date: not really. It doesn’t count if you two take your teenager to dinner, right?
* Gone to the mall: yes
* Eaten an entire box of Oreos: No. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a whole box of Oreos.
* Eaten sushi: Nope. Allergic to seafood.
* Been on stage: not in the last month, though I’m working on it!
* Been dumped: no
* Gone skating: no
* Made homemade cookies: yes. LOVE cookies!
* Gone skinny dipping: No. I wouldn’t subject people to the sight on my nude flesh. Yeesh!
* Dyed your hair: just missed it – about six weeks ago.
* Stolen Anything: no

* Played a game that required removal of clothing: yes -- we played a lot of Strip Twister in college....
* Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: yes
* Been caught “doing something”: yes
* Been called a tease: yeah, but he was a jerk.
* Gotten beaten up: yes, but I gave as good as I got, and probably better.
* Shoplifted: yes, and my Grandmother caught me, made me apologize, write a letter, AND I got my butt beaten for it by her and THEN my father.
* Changed who you were to fit in: Yes, though it didn’t help in the end.

* Age you hope to be married: Well, I was married at 22, so I’ll go with that.
* Numbers and names of children: We have just the one, whom you all know as “Offspring.”.
* Describe your dream wedding: My wedding was held on November 28th in a local park's gazebo. It was beautiful.
* How do you want to die: Painlessly, and when I’m old and ready to go.
* Where you want to go to college: I’d love to go to college in London, but that’s a pipe dream.
* What do you want to be when you grow up: An archaeologist.

* What country would you most like to visit: England, specifically, but anywhere in Europe will do, really.

* Number of drugs taken illegally: None. I’m rather a prude about drugs.
* Number of people I could trust with my life: about six, maybe.
* Number of CDs that I own: Lots. Too many to count.
* Number of piercings: two. One in each ear. They used to be double-pierced, but they grew over LONG ago.
* Number of tattoos: none, though I want a specific one. I once had it priced out, and it was going to be about $600. I’m not white-trash enough to finance a tattoo.
* Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: Maybe twenty? Twenty-five? Marriage announcement, Offspring’s birth announcement, play reviews…
* Number of scars on my body: Big Scars – one on my right arm where I had a basal cell carcinoma cut off, one on my left knee where I cut my leg open to the bone, and my right thumb, which was cut off in a car accident when I was 12. Lots of small ones....
* Number of things in my past that I regret: Plenty!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give Thanks

I am thankful for so many things, among them all the friends I've made through blogging. I hope all of you have a marvelous Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Which I Am A Twittery Teenage Girl

My friend (I'll call her "Small, But Sassy") and I have both long been sucked into the world of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight." I had read books one and two back in the early summer, and had loaned them to S,BS shortly after. We were both hooked but good.

We both loved the storylines and characters, and quickly read and reread books one through three. (S,BS has read book four, which I have not yet done, but she plans to let me borrow her copy tomorrow.) So, when we heard a movie was coming out, we flapped out hands, said "Ohmigawd!" about ten times, and made plans to go.

We went to an afternoon showing today, and mingled with the hordes of Goths who actually braved the sunlight enough to venture out of their dank cubbyholes. We felt a little weirded out that we were probably the oldest people in the theater, but we settled back with popcorn and Cherry Cokes to drool over watch Edward. And everyone else.

I'd seen a lot of reviews that stated that the effects were not all that good, and the cast was full of "nobodies." S,BS and I both enjoyed it, and we plan to stay up late and talk about it on the phone while we paint our nails and trash what everyone in school is wearing. And then we'll look forward to the sequels we're sure are to follow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is That Ethical?

I had to stay late after school today to attend an Ethics Seminar. Now, being educators, we have to adhere to certain rules about revealing/not revealing student information, and we are obligated BY LAW to report suspected abuse. These were things I already knew. Imagine our surprise when the presenters started putting up Power Point slides of things that have actually happened (either in our state or our district) as a "What NOT to Do" sort of lesson.

Apparently, it is unethical to:

*...have a Blood Alcohol Level of .314 while at work.

*...say you are doing a jewelry fundraiser for the school, but keep the money for yourself.

*...invite students to disrobe at the hotel pool while on a school trip.

*...quit in the middle of the day, leaving your keys and resignation letter taped to your classroom door.

*...refuse to come to work because you are in jail.

*... call a student and her mother derogatory names.

* cocktails for students at the neighborhood bar-n-grill, even if it is after-hours.

Now, who in their right mind could have EVER thought any of this was a good idea? People, get a grip on reality!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

To most normal people, when they are unexpectedly given a gift, they ask for the whys and the wherefores. Not me! To the unexpected gift that I was given today, I will just say THANK YOU! My prayers have been answered, and I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

This will be a MAJOR anti-whine this week!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Should I?

Or, alternately titled: "My Husband Reserves the Right To Say 'I Told You So.'"

I got an interesting proposition that I want to share with you, and in turn, pick your collective brains about. Most of you who've been reading my blog for a while know that I spent 6 years as a Girl Scout Leader. For anyone other than those three loyal, longtime readers, I spent 6 years as a Girl Scout Leader. My troop went kaflooey in a rather spectacular manner two years ago. It was all a lot of histrionic, middle-school bull that got drawn WAAAY out of proportion, with my family cast as the villains. This was, in no way, close to actual fact. My troop folded, and I've continued volunteering as an adult with my local area, and as a parent in the troop I asked for my daughter to be placed in.

At our adult meeting Tuesday evening, I was approached by someone at our local office who told me that there is tremendous interest for a Daisy troop at my school. Daisies are the youngest level of Scouting, the kindergarten (and now, since the big age-level reorganization) first grade girls. Since, this is the age I teach, and at the very school where most of the interest lies, I was approached as possible leadership for this troop.

Now, there are plenty of pros and cons.

*I could ease back into leadership this way.
*I already have a possible co-leader lined up.
*It would be very convenient for me, personally, to meet at my workplace.
*It's an age that I'm VERY familiar with, and so is my potential co-leader.
*There are a lot less "woes" working with the younger girls -- pretty much everyone is happy to be part of the program, and there's not the middle-school attitude to contend with.
*My Girl Scouting mentor did Daisy leadership for YEARS, so I have a good source of ideas and tips at the ready.
*I've been a leader for years, so it's not like it would be ALL new to me.
*Daisies is a two-year program, and I have the option to stay where I am, and have the girls move on without me. This would mean new blood every two years at the most.
*Daisies is a more hands-on, crafting, having fun version of Scouting than some of the other levels, where it's go-go-go all the time.
*My principal has given permission to have meetings in our school buildings. (You would not believe how many schools/principals *don't* allow this!) This is already one dilemma off my back.
*Offspring could help me out occasionally, and could even earn her Program Aide status this way.

*Parents. You can never predict if you're gonna get the good ones, or the bad ones.
*Still a possibility for not-so-likeable girls, but possibilities for those are lower the younger the girls are.
*Taking over a leadership role would mean more time away from my family, and more training classes.
*Paperwork out the wazoo, on top of the paperwork that I already keep track of for my local area.
*Cookies. It's a hassle when it's my own daughter, but they're letting Daisies sell cookies this year.
*If I decide to do it, can I get it up and rolling before the new year? If I can't, should we still sell cookies? The order-taking starts in January, so it would be cutting it close.
*It's a lot of work, and can be physically exhausting.
*If I don't do it, these girls probably won't get placed until late spring, at the earliest. A more realistic expectation would be that we lose them entirely, because we have no one willing to step up into the leadership role. I would hate for that to happen.
*Little to no parental help is a distinct possibility. Since we work in an economically disadvantaged school, we are more likely to have parents who either cannot afford to help, or just plain don't want to help. This may mean more personal, out-of-pocket expenses for me. Though, I do not mind doing that AT ALL if the girls benefit.

So, what do you think? Should I take the plunge?I had a lot of heartache with my old troop, but they were much older, and all awash with tween angst and hormones galore. There's no guarantees that there would be a repeat of last time, but there's also nothing to indicate that they'll be angels, either. Anytime you undertake a venture like this, you run the risk of having it all not turn out anything like you planned. But, I think with a good friend who has my back as co-leader; and with girls I'm most likely familiar with already -- maybe it wouldn't be a total disaster.

Am I mental for even considering it? I liked being a leader. I liked teaching girls all about the program, and watching them grow stronger within themselves with the good foundation that Scouting gives them. I like watching them learn, and knowing that I helped them. I did not like all the drama and hurt feelings with my last troop. I really disliked having my daughter exposed to all that: drama, hurt feelings, and maligned and slandered parents. It was almost worse for her, because she not only lost her troop, but she lost her innocence with Scouting as well. She saw people for the manipulative sneaks that they were, and at the cost of her parents' reputations. And it was not pretty.

Should I expose myself, and my family, to all of that again? Is it worth it?

Friday, November 07, 2008

So It Begins

You know, I knew there was always going to be a section of the populace that was going to be unhappy, no matter which way the election turned out. Obama supporters would have been outraged at the thought that America was still stuck in the Dark Ages where a black man wasn't fit to run the nation, and subject to four more years of George Bush-style foreign policy and tanking economy; and McCain supporters are all up in arms, declaring that America is now headed by a "terrorist" and that we're all going to hell in a Muslim handbasket.

I live in a red state. And, not just a *red* red state -- my state is so red that it makes scarlet look like pink. Most of the counties in my state went for McCain. Here and there, there were pockets of seditious blue, but McCain carried my state quite handily. I never really thought Obama would actually WIN the state, but I thought he might do fairly well in large metropolitan areas. This proved so in a few cases, and not everyone was happy about it.

Two guys planned to go on a spree, killing African Americans and culminating in an Obama assassination attempt, all while wearing white tuxedos and top hats? Yeah, this is a real *sensible* way to state that you're a mite unhappy with a black president. Instead of discussing ways to get involved with your community and help make a difference, we'll just kill the guy we don't like because he's different. When has it become an option that *murder* is a viable means of expressing your discontent?

There's also a story that's been circulating, not only in this part of the country, but I happened to see it mentioned on the Daily Kos as well. It seems that a small town pediatrician sent an email to her staff -- she was very unhappy with what she saw as their lack of a proper work ethic -- but in it, she calls Obama "evil incarnate." Man, I didn't know he was THAT powerful as to be the living embodiment of the forces of darkness.

What in hell is *WRONG* with people?!? I mean, I'll admit I wasn't all totally gung-ho about some of Obama's policies and past associations, but I would have not been happy with a McCain assassination plan, either. Marni had a great philosophy that she told her daughter: "I told Bug that we may/may not like who was elected, but we have to look at the bigger picture. He IS our President and we should support him no matter what. We may/may not agree with what he wants to do, but we are all Americans and he is now the leader of this country."

That's the kind of stuff we need. We need people who are willing to go on, and accept change, even though it may not be what you want, and even though it may not have been what you would have chosen for yourself. I'm not saying that you have to become a fan overnight, but at least give the man a chance.

Monday, November 03, 2008

As Promised

Here is Offspring, sporting her Halloween costume. With her fascination with anything Japanese lately, she demanded a kimono. The ones we saw in stores were all skanky-looking -- too short in length, and made of very flimsy material.

I told Offspring that I could *make* a better costume than what we could find in stores, and she took that bet. She found a lovely black satin fabric for the actual kimono -- you may not be able to tell, but it's embroidered all over with silver butterflies. We chose the scarlet satin fabric for the obi as a splash of color.

My only complaint about the whole construction process was that this lovely fabric unraveled like a son-of-a-gun. I used an entire tube of fray block on all the seams to cut down on so much "shedding", but I still found strands of it all over the place.

It was rather heavy fabric, and I thought that Offspring might regret her choice once Halloween arrived. Living where we do, I can count on one hand the number of times that it's been cold for Trick or Treating. This was one of them, however, and the heavy fabric helped insulate her. I'm glad she was warm, because I was fricking freezing my noonies off.

Bonus conversation:

Me: Do you want to go the whole geisha route, and do the makeup and everything?

O: No. Makeup makes me look like a whore, Mom.

Yeah. Classy. When I asked her why she thought she looked "like a whore" in makeup, she just quirked an eyebrow at me, and I cunningly deduced that some experimentation had been going on behind closed doors.