Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cookie Wars

As I get ready for school in the morning, I usually take a quick minute to look up CNN and see what's in the news while I have my breakfast. This morning, this item was in the "iReport" column on CNN.

Basically, what the news item said was should people in the workplace sell Girl Scout cookies for their daughters? The hypothetical situation is that your "boss" basically demands that you buy cookies so that his/her daughter can "stomp" all of the others in her troop. I have quite a few problems with this scenario AND with a lot of the comments from random people about this issue on the site as well.

First of all, we certainly do NOT teach the girls that they need to "stomp" each other. I always told my girls that you are under NO obligation to sell *anything*, but because the cookie sale funds almost all of a troop's extra activities, that translates into "the more we sell, the more we can do". I never stressed a certain number of boxes, but instead encouraged the girls to set their own goals. If they do more than that, great. If not, well, that's okay, too. If one of their parents acts like an idiot, we have no control over that, but we HAVE taught the daughters better.

Secondly, a lot of comments were made that people don't think the office is an appropriate place for cookie sales -- my thought on that is "why not?" I never bother anyone about buying cookies. I asked my boss before the sale started if it was all right if I asked people if they wanted to participate; I sent out an email to all of my coworkers and said that they could see me if they were interested; and if someone said "no", I thanked them, and didn't bother them again. I never force cookies on anyone, and don't encourage anyone else to have aggressive sales practices.

Lastly, the Girl Scouts are a non-profit organization. The way we do most of our field trips and to buy supplies we need are paid mainly out of profits made from cookies sales. That's our bread and butter, basically. Fewer and fewer people are purchasing cookies, and even fewer companies allow Girl Scouts on their property anymore for public sales. Since when has having a Girl Scout standing in front of your establishment, selling cookies, been a BAD thing?

I have plenty of other thoughts about this swirling around in my head, but I am still a little too miffed to get them out of my head and onto the computer. It would probably also have language included that does not belong in the same post as the words "Girl Scouting" as well. Just get a grip, people! Really!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Bucket List

I got an email from a school friend not long ago, and in it was her "bucket list." I thought it might make good blog fodder, so I'm passing it along to you. Here are the rules:

Copy and Paste to new email and place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not, and send it to your friends (including me). (Or, in this case, steal it for your own blog...)

This is for your entire life!

) Gone on a blind date
( ) Skipped school.
(X) Watched someone die
( ) Been to Canada
( ) Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been lost
( ) Been on the opposite side of the country
(X) Gone to Washington, DC
(X) Peed in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons
(X) Sang karaoke
(X) Paid for a meal with only coins
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't?
(X) Made prank phone calls
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere.
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Danced in the rain
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Been skinny dipping outdoors
( ) Gone to the movies alone.

1. Any nickname? the shortened version of my real name. JF also calls me "Boo."

2. Mother's name? Lynn

3. Favorite drink? Cherry Limeade

4. Favorite car? Honda Element

5. How much do you love your job? A lot

6. Birthplace? CityOfMyBirth

7. Favorite vacation spot? Places that I've *actually* been: Germany; places I WANT to go: London.

8. Ever been to Africa? No

9. Ever eaten just cookies for dinner? No, but I HAVE eaten just pie.

10. Ever been on TV? Yes

11. EVER steal any traffic signs? Yes

12. Ever been in a car accident? Yes

13. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? 4-Door

14. Can you drive a standard (Manual shift)car? Yes

15. Favorite pie? Chocolate Silk

16. Favorite number? 12

17. Favorite movie? "Twilight" is the most recent one I've seen, but one of my all-time faves is "Better Off Dead."

18. Favorite holiday? Christmas

19. Favorite dessert? Chocolate, in all its forms...

20. Favorite food? fried chicken

21. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

22. Favorite brand of body soap? Ivory "Pure Clean" Body Wash

23. Favorite toothpaste? Colgate Total with mouthwash beads.

24. Favorite smell? roses and rose perfume, especially Victorian and Tea Roses

25. How do you relax? Craft, read a book, take naps.

26. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully, I will be happy and healthy.

27. Furthest place you will send this message to? Maybe Jeni in Scotland will reply!

28. Who will respond to this the fastest? Hm - maybe Marni?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And Once Again, All Is Right With The World

Offspring, who displays very little emotion lately except disdain and "I'm too cool for all of this" came up to me a little while ago, almost in tears. Her beloved iPod, which she got for Christmas, was somehow stuck.

My mother gave her an iHome dock, and we set it up last night because her cheapie CD player was no longer spinning with any regularity. I told her the iHome would not only play her iPod selections, but that it was also an alarm clock. Being that it's fericously hard to get her up at five-thirty in the morning, I forsee this coming in handy.

As she stumbles towards me in her haste, she says, with a note of panic in her voice: "Mom? Was there a certain way to remove the iPod from the dock?" I told her, "Yes -- remember? I showed you how to do it last night." And, I demonstrated the angle at which she was to remove the iPod.

She thrusts it at me, quivering with angst. "But, it' or something! I took it off the right way, and now it won't do anything!" Listening to the earphones, I could hear that it did seem stuck in the middle of a song, and it was making this buzzy sort of noise.

I tried turning it off and on, and that did nothing, so I googled "troubleshooting stuck iPod" and came up with a list of several things to try. Apple's support page said to turn the "hold" switch off and on and then hold down two button simultaneously until the Apple logo appeared. It worked.

Offspring sighed a huge sigh and said, "Whoof! I'm glad -- I thought it was broken! Thanks, Mom."

See? I am still good for stuff!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Not long ago, JF came home with a "WalMart Bingo" card that he found online. We laughed about it, because a trip to El Diablo WalMarto usually involves about every slice of the demographic pie out there. Some of the categories on his card (the one linked above) were:

-- child without shoes
-- a visibly pregnant woman with a "tramp stamp" tattoo
-- frozen food item left to thaw in a random aisle
-- someone oblivious to the fact that they are in your way

Today, we ran into a few categories that weren't even ON the card, and one that we often wish would happen, but never seems to.

I did see a child with no shoes, but to be fair, it was a baby in a stroller, and most likely wouldn't have been wearing shoes anyway. The baby DID have on socks, at least.

There was a woman in slippers, but no hair curlers. She must have gotten a rude awakening when she left the store to find out that the heavens had opened and we were now about ankle deep in water.

There are *always* people who block an entire aisle while they try to decide: "BBQ chips, or Ranch?", and today was no exception. I think most of them know damn well that they're gumming up the flow of traffic, and they just don't care. Anything that puts the other guy out is a Good Thing in their eyes.

There was the kid trifecta -- one throwing a tantrum because Mama wouldn't buy her something; the trio of kids riding the cart by hanging off whatever space was available; and the siblings having a fight. JF espied one little girl pulling another (possibly her little sister) across the floor by her ankles.

There was the local-to-our-area freebie middle square -- the wildly dressed/wild hair art college student wandering around, complete with vacant stare and iPod turned up WAY too loud.

The one category that we sometimes long to see (but not nearly often enough) are the kids who TOTALLY DESERVE IT getting their butts whipped. We often see the mamas who will smack their beloved progeny for no reason -- Mama whaps Junior upside the head and says, "No, I TOLE you we wasn't gettin' no Pop Tarts today!" -- but I mean the really obnoxious kid who tells his parent to "shut up, stupid!" and who richly deserves a beating that never seems to come.

We hate going to WalMart, but it's a necessary evil. At least playing Bingo keeps us occupied.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tales From the Schoolyard

Our little city is well-known for its sub-tropical climate, and lately has been no different. The temperature was 75 on Christmas. Really puts you in the holiday spirit, right?

It was unseasonably warm here. Until about three days ago. Then the cold and dreary, wet weather blew in, and we've had kids bundled up like the Michelin Man roaming the grounds for the last few days. (The sad thing is that it STILL isn't that cold yet, but it's on the way. the weather men say...I no longer trust the local ones. They're not even *trying* anymore! Their forecasts are: "It will be between 63 and 68." Huh? *I* can do that much, and I didn't go to meteorological school!)

At any rate, dismissal this afternoon, the kids were pulling on jackets as they left the main building. Most made comments about the cold. Two fifth graders walked by, and this is the little snippet of conversation I caught before they were out of range:

Big Boy: "Man, it's COLD out here!"
Other Big Boy: "Yeah, it's colder than a witch's....."
BB: "A witch's what?"
OBB: "I dunno, I forget the rest. But, it's colder than the coldest part of that witch!"

Sheer genius. And, no - they weren't modifiying the conversation because I was near -- fifth graders just don't care that much. They obviously have heard the "colder than a witch's teat" saw somewhere before, but probably didn't know what "teat" meant, so therefore forgot it. Ah, the joys of kids!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Maybe There's Something To Triskadecaphobia

Offspring twisted an ankle at some point during the weekend, and begged to stay home from school today. I let her, mainly because she's only missed one school day so far this year, but also because I didn't sleep well last night and it was a chance for me to make up some of that deficit. Does that make me a horrible mother? I'm sure it probably does, but I doubt I was in the running to win "Mother of the Year" before this, so it's a moot question, really.

On one hand, I did tell her that a condition of staying home was a trip to the doctor's office. And, in her favor, she didn't whine about having to see said doctor. (Offspring *hates* the doctor, and can work herself into a death spiral if there's even a hint of "injection" on the horizon, so this is a major step towards "I'm not faking.")

And, on the other hand, I have twisted and sprained enough ankles in my lifetime to know how miserable your existence can be with one. So, I opted to let her go back to bed, call into to work, and doze until 9, when the doctor's office opened. The doc's office said that they'd take her this afternoon, but that if we think she'll need x-rays, we'd have to traipse over to the ortho's as well. I told them that I didn't think it was that serious, but that I was thinking it was serious enough to require more than an Ace bandage and whatever comfort I could provide at home. Now, we just have to see what the doc says.

13 isn't treating her so well just yet.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Teenager At Last!

My baby turns 13 at 10:31 tomorrow morning. It seems hard to fathom that 13 years have flown by in what seems like just a blink of an eye. It seems like yesterday that she was a newborn. How fast it has gone!

I've always said that Offspring seems to be ahead of the curve -- she met a lot of milestones early, and she's been early with most things since -- and we started the teen years, attitude-wise, at about 11 and a half. But, now it's really here. 13. Wow.

She's not a baby anymore, and hasn't been for quite some time. We tease her about stuff she used to do back when she "was cute" or back when she "used to love us", but the truth is we still think she's pretty darn cute, and even if she doesn't like us much every now and then, I'm pretty sure she still loves us. Of course, this picture shows that sullen, "WHAT?!?" side of her, but you know what I mean. I chose this picture because it's the most recent that isn't from so far away.

She's changed a lot from the clingy toddler that she used to be. I no longer have to pry myself away from her; instead, I have to beg her to tell me something, ANYTHING, about her life. I have to wheedle more than the standard "nothin' much" out of her when I ask what happened at school. Much like most parents of teenagers, I would assume.

I often bug her, and embarrass her endlessly when I act in a way that is not Offspring-approved in front of her friends. In fact, just to bedevil her, when she says "Don't touch me.", that sparks off a furious round of me touching her as many times as I can before she goes all Norman Bates on me. Usually while I say, "Touch, touch, touch...." in a monotone voice, which irritates the ears as well as all the places I've poked.

She may be moody and tempermental, but she's all mine. Happy birthday, baby! Now go out and get a job before you nickel-and-dime me to death!

Seriously, though -- I love you. Happy Birthday.

Monday, January 05, 2009

You Be The Judge

We went back to school today, and it was HARD. I really got used to being a total slug who got paid for not working. Going back to work after the winter break is a slice of heaven compared with coming back after summer break, though.

One of my good friends called my classroom and asked if I could pop down to her room while she went out to the bathroom. I was happy to oblige, and started talking to her first graders. Some asked how my break was, and said "Happy New Year." One little girl raised her hand, and asked a question that gave me a moment's pause....

Student: "Mrs. KLee, do you know that song "Beat It" by Michael Jackson, back when he was black?

Mrs. KLee: "Yes, I know that song -- it came out when I was young. Back when he was black, huh? He's not black now?"

Student: "No, he's white now."

That's pretty bad if the six year olds, who weren't even BORN when he had his heyday know of his efforts to become Diana Ross. Needless to say, it was an interesting way to start off a new year.