Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cash for Crickets (or how I learned NOTHING from the fish experience)

Here's how it all went down: About 9 years ago, I was 32ish and I'd been attending college my entire adult life. They'd given me the last piece of paper it seemed like they were going to give me unless I really shifted interests, and it was time to get a real job. Real jobs suck, so I decided to have a kid instead.

Fast forward to last week when Mrs. Bassett's 3rd grade class ended their science unit on anoles (you may know them as North American chameleons). There was to be a drawing to see which kids would "win" the anoles, and in a moment of weakness and stupidity B and I signed the permission slip to get H entered in the drawing. Well, duh! Only 6 parents were stupid enough to sign the slips, so everyone who was willing got an anole.

Fast forward to this afternoon when B went with a cardboard box to get H and her anole from school. Mrs. Bassett said, "I think you need two." And apparently neither B nor H was able to think anything but, "Mom will freak, . . . but OKAY!"

Rewind to yesterday afternoon when I spent $65 at Petco buying a tank, a rock with a heater in it, and . . . wait for it . . . 3 live crickets. . . . I BOUGHT crickets. Yep. Paid cash!

I should have gotten a real job.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dear Red Neon Fish--Please Die

The orange and yellow fishes we bought at the same time we bought you died about 3 weeks after purchase. That was about how long I was really interested in having any of you.

H was the one who begged for all of you. She did extra chores for a month to get you. She named your yellow and orange companions Alfalfa and something else, I can't remember, but she had already completely lost interest by the time you got your name. Your name was LeTour for the first 3 weeks we had you, and then when Alberto Contador won, you became Alli, even though we all wanted you to be Lance. But that's not why I don't love you.

I don't love you because you shit in the water, and it drifts down into the neon colored rocks, and eventually the water becomes murky and stinky, and I have to fish you out of the muck and put you in a sandwich bag while I clean your stinky shit out of your pretty rocks. And your stink water invariably splashes onto clean dishes on the other side of the sink, and then I have a moral dilemma about whether I should reclean those dishes or just hope B and H end up eating out of them.

I don't love you because I feel guilty when I realize I haven't fed you for two days, and when I do feed you, the food smells disgusting. And I don't love you because I feel guilty when I realize you've been swimming in your own filth for your whole sad, sick existence. And I don't love you because you won't die and I can't flush you alive.

Red Neon (I've never really thought of you as Alli), I'm just not that into you. Please die.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Least Gay Showtunes Night EVER!

A few days ago my friend D sent me a link announcing that there would be a Broadway Showtunes event in the park last night. It sounded fun to me, so I said we'd go. On Friday afternoon I texted my brother-in-law (the one married to my brother) to tell him we were doing showtunes in the park, because they live in Boston and we live in Oklahoma and it's not that often that we have weekend plans that sound like the kind of thing Max & Justin would be interested in.

So when B, H, and I got to the park, the crowd seemed REALLY white, and there were LOTS of kids there. I mean, we brought our kid, and if D had come (which she did not) she would have brought her three kids, so we had it pictured as a kid-friendly event, but I'm saying there were LOTS of kids there. I was getting a little bit of a weird vibe from the crowd, and we'd been there for about 5 minutes when I got a text from D apologizing for inviting us to an event put on by the Mormons.

What followed was, as the title of this post indicates, the least gay showtunes night EVER. When they did the song from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers my mind kind of boggled. There were LOTS of numbers that were about getting a girlfriend and then marrying her and having babies with her. I mean they were all from musicals I know, and they were mostly songs I'd heard before but when you hear them in the park with, like, a thousand mormons (especially when you thought you were going to a rainbow pride-type event), things take on a more ominous tone.

When 10 or so guys got up and did a number from South Pacific, I thought this has got to be the straightest cast that ever did this number. I was vaguely uneasy for the entire hour and a half that the event lasted, but nowhere near as uneasy as I would have been if we had done as we usually do when we go to live music events in the park and stopped for a 6-pack of beer.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My First Mom Fight--Super Exciting!!

I am peripherally involved in a mom fight over the sale of Girl Scout Cookies, and I'm super excited about it.

Since I'm kind of anti-social, I don't usually hang out in a "mom crowd." When H was a baby, I got into a couple little mom groups and very quickly decided that it wasn't for me (like I don't want to discuss where you're getting portraits taken of your kid, what you did at your last Junior League meeting, what's on sale at Pottery Barn, or what nipple balm is working best for you). Additionally, H is decidedly non-athletic (she's only 7 and already she's quit basketball, gymnastics, and karate--yes, we let her quit because it was embarrassing when the other parents would say, "which one is your kid?" and we had to reply, "the one crying at the half-court line" or "the one crying under the balance beam" or "the one crying in the improperly tied white belt"), so we haven't been in any of the soccer-mom-type fights that seem so fun when my friend K talks about them.

Anyway, I was thrilled yesterday when my friend C (even the initials have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty) emailed me and I discovered that unbeknownst to myself, I had gotten involved in Cookie Fight 2009!

Here's what happened in December--I went to pick up H from her idiotic Brownie meeting, and there was an ambush! Before you could sign your kid out, you had to sit down and attend the cookie sale meeting. Now, I HATE meetings, and I'm not kidding. I REALLY hate meetings--they make my head explode--fo' real. I especially do not enjoy being ambushed into attending a meeting that I would have absolutely sent my husband (who is a MUCH better Brownie mom that I am) to attend had I known it was going to occur, so I wasn't planning to be particularly nice in the meeting anyway. Then my friend C sits down beside me, and we were being a little bit (and, really, only a little bit) rowdy during the meeting.

The meeting was being run by J, and I will tell you in no uncertain terms that I do not like J. She is tacky, obnoxious, kind of stupid, and potentially violent (she seems like she might take a punch if you look at her wrong). Additionally, J has absolutely NO idea how to run a meeting. She rambles, gives unnecessary examples of things that are obvious, skims over the stuff that is crucial, and refuses to clarify things when people ask her questions.

So C and I kind of tuned out at one point and were talking about our plans to meet at the Christmas Open House at the Public Library. Then, and I am NOT making this up, J kicked C on the foot and told her to pay attention. Kicked her! It was really weird, and kind of shocked us into silence.

ANYWAY, that meeting finally ended, and I figured that would be the end of it until February when I'd have to haul my ass all over town selling Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, and Simoas (p.s. email me if you're interested).

Then yesterday I got an email from C that forwarded me an email from J (I have to say, that J THINKS I'm on her email list, and it LOOKS like I'm on her email list, but she somehow doesn't do it right--go figure--so I never get her emails--which may explain why I was the only one complaining of ambush at the December meeting). Her email announced that there would be a mandatory meeting at the library this Saturday to discuss cookie sales because "at the previous meeting some parents were unable to hear due to talking and other interference." WTF!?!?!?

Anyway, my first reaction is to laugh, but the more I think about it the more pissed off I get because

1. that meeting was insanely unorganized.
2. not one single thing was made more clear by anything J said in that meeting, and it was NOT because we were talking.
3. it was held, like, more than a month before we're even eligible to sell the cookies so why have it then?
4. AND I hate Girl Scouts anyway, esp. going to meetings and selling cookies.


*** I LIKE mom fights--it's exciting!!! Stay tuned for more!!! ***

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why I Don't Really Care that I Suck as a Blogger

1. Because it isn't really that surprising. You know the concept of "straight edge punk"? This is like a punk that doesn't do drugs, right? Well, I'm kind of a straight edge pothead. I like to loaf around about 99% of the time watching tv, playing lame computer games, reading romance novels and funny memoirs by gay men, eating nachos, and talking ad nauseum about stuff that doesn't matter but seems REALLY important. I don't get high to do these things--but it's really because I'm too lazy to figure out how to buy weed.

2. I've got a lot going on. Believe me. A lot.

3. Because I DON'T suck as a blogger! I may not be as prolific as some. But what's here is pure gold, baby!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lice and Crabs are Funny (when you don't have them)

My dear friend M's kid has lice. The idea of her kid having lice tickles me. He's in 3rd grade, and this is the first year that he's gone to public school. He used to go to this incredibly overpriced private school (his dad taught there) with a bunch of kids whose dads spend all their time working to make scads of money so the moms can drive their suv's to PotteryBarn, the botox shop, the pharmacy/liquor store, and soccer practice. Now that my friend's kid goes to school with the great, unwashed masses, he's got lice. I think that's funny.

On the other hand, a friend of a friend's kids gave lice to the governor's kids a couple years ago. (Let me say that I do NOT run in the governor's circle or any of the circle's adjacent to the governor's circle; in fact, I think I may run in a shape that's much less complex than a circle. I think I run in a line fragment.) I can't remember all the details, but the friend's kids went to a sleepover at the governor's house. They got lice before the sleepover but didn't discover it until after the sleepover, so the next day the mom had to call the governor's wife and tell her to check her kid for lice. As I remember it, there was a little lice epidemic among the pre-teen socialites for a few weeks. I think that's funny, too.

When M emailed me to tell me about her kid having lice, she said that she had been to Walgreen's 3 times to buy various de-lousing products. She said that the last time she shopped in that aisle she had crabs. I remember that guy. It's damn lucky crabs is all she got.

Once I got crabs at Kinko's. People don't believe me, but it's true. It was the first day of school back when I was a graduate assistant and had only been teaching for a couple of semesters. I was nervous because my first class was about to start, and I was at Kinko's picking up some documents that I was going to pass out in the class, but since I was nervous, I had to pee. I went to the bathroom at Kinko's and it was really gross. Then I walked across the street to the building I was teaching in and went to the bathroom again (I pee a lot when I'm nervous), and there it was, a crab on my panties. I really did get crabs at Kinko's--and for the record that's the only time I've ever had crabs--and I only had one. So I guess I got a crab at Kinko's.

I did have lice in 2nd grade, though. All the V's and W's had it. This one girl, whose last name was Vonda, if I remember correctly gave them to me and Dick Whittle (I shit you not, that was his name). Vonda (maybe that was her first name, and her last name also started with a V?) had to have her head shaved she got them so bad. I went home and gave them to my brother, so Mom had to wash everything a million times and comb the nits out of our hair for days.

This post is making my head itch.

When I told my daughter H that M's son has lice, she said, "Oh! Victor has lice, too!" I was, like, WHAT?!?! Shouldn't we have been given some kind of notice that a kid in her class has lice? So I said, "Is he going to school? How do they keep the rest of you kids from getting it?" She replied, "Well, we just don't touch his head." Problem solved.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Uncomfortable Moment!

So, I'm a teacher, right? I teach business communications to college sophomores. And here's what happened today.

My class requires a lot of intensive group work--the students had a small group writing project at the beginning of the semester, and now we're moving in to the major final report project which requires students to work together as a group for the rest of the semester. They write their papers individually, but they have to choose topics and present their findings as a group. It's kind of high stakes, and because of that I told my students that they could switch groups for this major assignment, and that their group members could have a pretty major impact on their lives for the next 6 weeks, so to choose wisely.

Well, today I told them to group up in their final project groups and get ready to do this activity I had planned. As soon as I said it, students started shuffling around. When the shuffling stopped there was one kid all by himself. Nobody wanted him. It was clear. It was painful. It happened on my watch. What could I do? What did I do?

I don't really even know what I did. I kind of turned my back on the class for a while. I think I may have actually said, I can't watch. No, I know I said it. I'm sorry I said it, but I said it. I'm sorry I did it, for crying out loud! I orchestrated the situation, and then when the thing that was likely to happen happened, I actually said, I can't watch. What did I think? I was watching a movie? That this was some uncomfortable scene that I could go get a snack during?

The great news is that I have 2 more classes to go to today, so it could easily happen again! and again!