Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Playing Catch-up

Since our last chat, I've been up to, well, about 5 feet, 5 1/2 inches. Yeah, if my dear colleague answers with his height one more time when I ask him what he's been up to, I'll... I'll... I just don't know what I'll do.

Here's a random recap of what I really have been up to. After reading it, you may wish I'd just stuck with my vital statistics:

1. Reading spiritual memoirs. I'm in LOVE with authors Don Miller and Anne Lamott. I know I'm about a zillion years late falling in love with these two, of Blue Like Jazz and Traveling Mercies, fame, but I just gobbled up Miller's new book:



and an older one by Anne Lamott:

Love, love, love the way they write and the way they make me think about my life and my story. They remind me of one of my favorite bloggers, Glennon.

2. Homeschooling and negotiating. Okay, not really. My poor daughter has only been out of school 3 days and we've already lost her summer math packet. We also haven't decided where to send her to school next year. So much for stability.

We are, however, reading a book about Women's Suffrage from the Dear America historical book series. She's loving it and I guess has taken some lessons to heart, because after a huge blow-up with her dad last night (over stuffed zucchini), she marched down the stairs carrying her "picket" as they say in the book.


Fortunately, I intercepted her and used my crack negotiating skills to talk her back up to her bedroom banishment. Somehow a hate note on the very same white board he took her to buy at Michael's earlier that day didn't seem like it would further her case for justice.

3. Buying ill-filling pants at the thrift store. Yep, in an effort to save money, I've made the brilliant move of buying used pants. Without a dressing room. The question is, is it really a bargain when I suddenly look like I have BIFF--"butt in front?"

4. Watching movies! Grand Torino was awesome! Acting? Meh. Story? Stellar. Tom and I discovered after an electrical storm that for some reason we now have Cinemax and Showtime. I hope to watch a few more movies before it goes back wherever it came from.

5. Avoiding my bathing suit. Yep, we canceled our pool membership this summer to save a little money. Happily, that means no bathing suit for me. Sadly, it means no fun for the kids, who have been hanging out in our driveway wearing suits and goggles hoping neighbors with a pool with have pity on them.

6. Sending kids to 9 hour a day church camp without sun or insect protection. Crap. I hope to remedy this tomorrow. Tick check will be tonight at 9.

7. Watching TV! The four of us are hooked on "America's Got Talent." An early contestant who billed himself as a "Genital Daredevil" and put his privates in a bucket with a firecracker really grabbed our attention AND expanded our vocabulary. It was a real teachable moment. The other acts have either horrified or inspired us, too.

8. Admiring my hair. To the average person, my hair is not doing anything that special. But after my hairdresser gave me a straightening treatment, I look less like this:


and more like, well, a normal person.


A normal person who just smelled something icky, but still.

So I guess that's about it in my little kingdom-- apart from doing laundry, going to work and trying to discover my hidden talent-- definitely not genital daredevil-dom--What about you?

Do I dare ask?

What have YOU been up to?




Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Showers?

So if someone pees her pants just a little bit, 3 times in one week, does that constitute a problem?

Just wondering.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Inconvenience or Act of God?

The cleaning lady came yesterday (yay!) and now for some reason our oven door is locked, from the inside. No amount of tugging will open it.

Believe me, I am not complaining. To summer and Taco Bell!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Leave a Teachable Moment Alone

Jake had been complaining that he'd heard a lot of cussing from boys his age lately.

He said, "I'm afraid I'm going to begin thinking all those words are just normal parts of conversation."

Seizing on the teachable moment, I said, "Well, this is a good life lesson for you. The same thing will happen when you are a teenager with smoking and sex, but you need to be different."

"What? Are you saying teenagers have sex with their girlfriends?!?"

Uh...

Crud.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Musings


I decided I was well overdue for a little blogging. So I turned on my computer and the screen was completely black. Lifeless. I tried to fix it by pushing and pulling on all sorts of plugs but that yielded no results and just seemed so…tiring...so I gave up.

I tried to jot down some blog ideas on a piece of paper for later and all I could find at my desk was a stubby green colored pencil which was about as much fun to write with as a cheese stick.

And then I started wondering why, if there are probably 500 pens and pencils in this house, the only ones ever on or around my desk are highlighters, crappy colored pencils, or pencils that look normal, but basically have an outrageously long point with half wood, half lead. I mean, who wants to have to swivel her pencil around to find the lead, or more importantly, to avoid trying to scratch something out with a sharpened, squeaky piece of wood? Obviously not me. Is a little flowing ink too much to ask for?

I decided that while these thoughts were scintillating, instead of blogging today, perhaps I was really meant to pay more attention to my children.

But then I started talking to my 55 lb 11 year old (!) and he told me he wanted to start eating healthy foods so he wouldn’t “get fat.” No more cookies, no more ice cream, no more snacks. This totally stressed me out and made me project that in a year or so we would have enough new traumatic material to be the subject of yet another After School Special, so I decided to turn my attention to the other child.

She was trying to kill time before her soccer tryout, in which 65 girls were vying for 44 slots. And I mood-swung (?) between feeling foolish for letting an 8 year old (!) get all wrapped up in this travel soccer thing, and hoping that at least 21 of the other girls would come down with a little something before 6 pm. And then I spent a little time wondering if I'd done that math right on that.

Then I did what anyone would do-- started thinking about my hair, which I had chemically straightened on Friday! I spent the weekend swinging and flipping my very flat, silky, lustrous mane around (in June, in the South!)

Sure, it smelled like an Ogilvie Home Perm, but those 3 days were totally worth it! Now I've washed it and look pretty much like my old self again.

I contemplated putting a picture of my fancy hair on here, but in the ones Molly took my nose is so incredibly long and pointy I was afraid it might protrude through your computer screen and alarm you as it does me most mornings when I look in the mirror. So I decided to post a pic of my adorable daughter instead. You know, the one who said, "The pictures don't make your nose look big, Mom. It's always been big."

Sooooo, not sure where I’m going with this, but am thinking perhaps I was not meant to blog, or parent, or preen or post photos at all today.

Perhaps this Monday is a day best spent with a girl enjoying other people's blogs, a cold Mike's Hard Lemonade in her hand.
xo

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Style Key West

Guess what? I'm guest posting over at Style Key West today! The topic? Color and decorating, with a little Sue Sylvester thrown in for fun. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Problem Solved

One of the benefits we anticipated in moving our daughter from a small private school to a public one this year was increased diversity. We expected her to be exposed to a wider variety of cultures and experiences than she would have at the Christian school, and that has, indeed, been the case.

The diversity reminded me of my teaching days when I would spend the day before school started practicing saying unfamiliar names so I wouldn't mess them up at our first roll call.

Still, I was a bit surprised to see this problem on her most recent math test:

"Jihad had 233 marbles.
He gave Mark 27 marbles.
How many marbles did Jihad have left?"

Huh?

Well, there is a large Hispanic population at the school too, and at least they didn't have Jihad giving his marbles to "Jesus."

Happy Friday!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Game On

Dear Dick's Sporting Goods,

When your shop opened in our area a few years ago, I never made fun of your name. I realized that you must have been founded by someone named Richard, and I respected that. I did not giggle or snort when I told people where I'd be purchasing sporting goods for my family because that wouldn't have been polite, and I'm also known to be quite mature about such things.

In addition, I am very sensitive to people's plights with difficult names. I had a friend growing up whose surname was the same name as your store's. I also had a best friend in elementary school named Camille Peed. So, I'm sensitive that way.

When this rather large object came home in the box with my daughter's cleats this week, however, I was taken aback. When she grabbed it, and started singing into it like a microphone, I was further astounded. When she said she'd like to put it in her soccer bag and take it to practice to show the girls, well, I wasn't quite sure what to do. While I am (still) too mature to stoop to the level of joking about your name, or about what I think this object may resemble a teensy bit, I am not too mature to put a picture of it on my blog.

And please don't worry that you'll lose our business over this. In fact, we'll be in next week. We need balls.

Sincerely,
Anna See


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Random Musings of a Lame-o Luddite

I am feeling scattered. I keep thinking I'll write a coherent post, but a couple of times lately I haven't even been able to successfully put my user name and password in to access my blog. Seriously. I keep screwing up.

I have so many passwords for so many things, all with slight variations, that I'm feeling overwhelmed and irritated by the whole concept. 2 work emails, 3 work programs with passwords, blog, blog email, personal email, craigslist, PTA, Lands End, and numerous on-line shopping sites.

I'll say "numerous" rather than "countless" because by golly they CAN be counted, I just don't care to. Have I told you how much I hate it when people say "countless" when it is not true? "We took COUNTLESS trips to Disney when I was a kid." Really? Well, maybe your Dad was Mr. Drummond or something (RIP Gary C.), but if you grew up in my house you would have been able to count how many times. Geez.

Yes, I'm irritable.

Tom and I tried to register for YouTube so we'd have more parental control of content, especially comments. It kept saying we already had an account associated with our email. By the time I'd tried the 10th configuration of my name, my emails, and other info, I couldn't even remember who I was anymore. We gave up. Sheesh. Now the kids are going to be able to read Nas-ty comments about that Justin Bieber guy because their mom can't figure out how to turn them off.

When my friend Kate emailed today to ask if I was excited about attending this huge blogging conference, BlogHer, in NYC in August, I was feeling more frustrated and intimidated than anything else. One of the registration emails (yes I needed a password to register) said to make sure to bring all the right power cords for your "many" electronic devices.

Eeek.

I'll pretty much have myself, my camera (good news on that front!*) and a cell phone. I'm afraid I'll be so out of the loop with all the texting and twittering and goodness knows what else going on that I won't know how to hook up with anyone. And by "hook up," I mean connect, not what we meant in college circa 1990, which had a lot of latitude in meaning anyway, at least on my campus. Seriously, if you are going to BlogHer, I am not looking for more than friendship-- promise!

But really, what are my blogging friends going to do? CALL ME? I don't even know if that's "done" anymore. And my phone has been stuck on silent for a few weeks, so I'll probably miss out even if I'm deemed worthy of a call. Maybe silent mode isn't the end of the world at BlogHer, but it did kind of suck a few weeks ago when my kids were at school with projectile diarrhea and I didn't hear about it in time to be of any help.

And to make matters worse, I pulled out my phone at a game the other day and my friend Amy said, "Oh my gosh! My MOM has that same phone." She seemed pretty amused so I said, trying to be funny, "How old is she, like EIGHTY?" "No, Eighty-Eight." Sheesh. Turns out she finds the phone helpful in her ASSISTED LIVING HOME because it's so basic.

At BlogHer, I pretty much pictured myself going to a few key-note addresses, tuning out all the techie and advertising info, meeting blogging friends in real life, and eating a lot. Maybe even reading a book. But now I'm guessing that's not how things go down with it being a BLOGGING convention and all.

Speaking of books, I bought the book "The Thirteenth Tale" at the thrift shop and started reading it last night. By page three it was seeming mighty familiar. Yep. I've read it before, and I don't mean back in 10th grade, more like last year. I'm not sure which is worse, that I couldn't remember having read it, or once I realized it, not really minding reading it twice because I don't remember what happened anyway.

So, I know I had too much iced tea today, and perhaps (cough cough) I'm rambling, so I'll just take my ranting, un-cool-phone-using, lame-o self off your hands now and say see you in a few!



An Inch of Gray News of Note:
The curse of the point and shoot camera has lifted. I went to Jake's baseball game last night and cockily threw the camera in my bag. I know, I know; this was a risky decision. Well, let me just say that a certain kid hit an awesome double that brought in 3 runs, effectively sealing a victory for his team. It was a glorious moment. I didn't actually take any pictures; I'm not that crazy.

There are just 4 days left on our second Well Raising Project! The website is all askew with weird fonts today, not sure why, but if you are considering making a donation to help us meet our goal, please check it out.