Tuesday, June 30, 2009

need reinforcements

Okay, so back when my friends with young daughters were having to go off to see Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus or whoever she is... Back when I teased about the High School Musical marathons and then even High School Musical on Ice....

Payback time today.

Today, I functioned as the requisite Parental Guidance for Meego at a showing of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.

Was it any good, you ask? Heck if I know.

I just know that I SO need a chick flick now! Maybe I can get some sort of quick fix over at YouTube!


Monday, June 29, 2009

another's treasure

I'm not sure how I did it, but somehow I managed to convince the kids to clean up their Man Cave. If I'm not mistaken, it had something to do with a powerful vacuum cleaner and threats to suck up anything that wasn't either too big or bolted down.

During the ensuing excavation, we discovered a zoo.

Not just any zoo, but a Playmobil DeLUXE zoo! We're talkin' vultures! We're talkin' tiger family! We're talkin' extra fencing! We're even talkin' zoo technician, complete with shovel and wheel barrow!

Have you any idea how ridiculously priced this stuff is?!?! (Note: We did not purchase this. It was a gift to Meego several years ago from my I-can-buy-love father-in-law).

Anyway, so the tote housing the zoo was unearthed from beneath layers of other misfit toys. I can't remember the last time the thing was even out in the fresh air. I told Meego that he could probably get a lot of cash for it. I could see the "CHA-CHING!" gears a-grinding in his brain.

But first, he'd have to set it up all pretty like so I could take a photo of it. That was the downfall

It's still there. Not wanting to sell Just Yet, on second thought...

What's in your closet?


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Silver Lining Saturday, part XLV

Here I sit on a beautiful Saturday morning. The birds are appropriately chirping... hear them?

Had an absolutely lovely bike ride this morning, and my legs are feeling a bit noodly at the moment, so polishing the silver linings seemed like a worthwhile thing to do.

Yesterday, Wolfgang and I were puttering about the house as Meego was playing out front with his communist friend. Suddenly, we heard much excitement from the two of them. A moment later, a UPS truck drove up, no doubt to deliver the lego set Meego had recently ordered. I'm thankful it arrived and I'm no longer dealing with the incessant anticipation of him waiting. Geesh, it was only about 4 days or so. UPS drivers are like Santa Claus around here. Only real. Personally, I have a beef with UPS regarding a package that "absolutely positively needed to be there overnight" but wasn't. This is silver lining saturday, however, so we won't go there.

Also in the "new stuff" category, I'm awaiting a call from the vision center. I needed a backup pair of glasses and ordered some a few days ago. They will have transition lenses. *emits restrained squeals of delight*

On that note, I also had an eye exam since my previous prescription was expired. (I still need to schedule that pap smear, but I went with the eye exam as the much lesser of two evils). I'm happy to say that at the ripe age of 44, I am still not in need of -yikes!- bifocals. Oh, the mere thought of them....

Yesterday, we had an exciting thunderstorm wreak havoc on our fair city and neighborhood. So exciting that it roused Meego, Wolfgang, and Chaco outside to experience nature's wrath.

I snapped this photo of them after the thing had passed. They're doing their you-call-this-a-storm?! walk back to the house after venturing out into the prior violence. I mainly took it because I had no picture of the week for this post, so lame as it is, it's all I've got. I think Wolfgang is saying, "Don't post that on facebook!" He never said anything about the blog. tee hee.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


First, I remember wanting to be Cher. Later on came the try-to-emulate-Brooke-Sheilds years.

But really, deep down, what girl growing up in the 70's didn't want to be a Charlie's Angel?

They were smart and tough, yet hot and feminine at the same time. Yeah, when I grow up, I want to be a Charlie's Angel.

Okay, maybe not. But maybe I could at least be, maybe like a watergirl for Charlie's Angels?

Or no. Maybe if I tried reeeaaallly hard to clean myself up and do the hair right, maybe... just maybe....

Not Farrah, though. No way. She was waaaay out of my league. Not an option.

May she rest in peace.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

maybe it's just shy?

I've consulted my records, and my suspicions are true.

I'm overdue for the dreaded pap smear.

Okay, fellas. In case little red flags went off in your heads, signalling that things are about to go all TMI, you're absolutely right! Feel free to beat a hasty exit NOW!

Now, the "dreaded" pap smear hasn't always been the "dreaded" pap smear. It used to just be the pap smear. But it seems that somewhere between Chaco and Meego, my faithful uterus decided to get all tippy or "retroverted".

I would never have known of this shift had I not been informed of it the first time a doctor went looking.... and looking.... and looking.... and looking for my pap smear target cervix. Apparently the thing is quite elusive now.

So the "routine" pap smear has since become the "dreaded" pap smear. Oh, yes, they eventually DO find the thing and take the "dreaded" swab. But I've had these doctors make interesting comments as they spelunk around in search of treasure.

"Hmmmm.... I know those babies came out of SOMEwhere"

"Sorry if this feels like I'm trying to remove your teeth via this route"

"Really, I do these pap smears all the time!...heh"

(Just pick a spot on the ceiling and ride it out)

In her defense, my current doctor probably dreads my pap smear as much as I do. Makes me wonder. Other people rehash things at the end of the day. Lawyers talk about messy cases. Engineers ponder design problems. Moms fret over obnoxious behavior. Etc. I can see my doctor, sitting at her dinner table.

"Bitch of a pap smear today..."

Monday, June 22, 2009

this one time?......

So yeah, I really DID do band camp one summer. Except it wasn't technically BAND camp. I was a flag girl in our high school marching band, so I actually did FLAG camp, which is probably a lot like band camp, but way cooler.

The band director signed four of us guinea pigs up for this camp in the big city. The idea being that we four would bring back our new flag camp skillz and disperse them to the rest of the team. A first for the band, a first for us.

There were two total rookies. Nice girls who could not keep a beat to save their lives. The other girl - whom I will call Nancy, since that's her name - and I were not close friends, but friends enough. Looking back, we were probably only friends since we were on the flag team together. Other than that, she actually kinda got on my nerves.

I figured the two hapless rookies would go off with their group, and that Nancy and I would go off with the more experienced group and that would be our Flag Camp. On the trip up I learned that Nancy would be with the Intermediate flags and that I would be with the Advanced.

Advanced? What was this "Advanced"? This news left me feeling honored and queasy at the same time.

We were just a little sex-change town high school marching band. There I was on my way to the big city to be twirling flags with these big-city-marching-band-advanced flag girls. Four days of humiliation.

But ya know? It wasn't that bad. Our instructor was this fun and dynamic flag chick with the Blue Devils drum and bugle corps - whoever that is. And I learned that I could throw down with the best of them. Plus, I didn't have to hang out with Nancy all day.

But one of my main memories of flag camp - the thing that has me remembering that it was four days long - was the separation between my then-boyfriend and me.

In the days leading up to my departure for camp, he would stare off into space and monotonely mourn, "four days.... four.... four days....."

Ah yes, the dysfunction of adolescent codependence. By the time I'd embarked on the journey to big city flag camp, the boyfriend had also worked me into a mournful stupor, wondering how I would survive a whopping four days without him.

So my days were spent with hours of drills and routines from the commander from the Blue Devils. Evenings were spent on the phone in the phone booth in our dorm with the boyfriend. I did manage to do a bit of socializing in those free time hours, or go on adventures with my podunk-town cohorts with the band director. He'd take us to adventurous places we didn't have at home - like malls and stuff.

But mostly I remember the phone booth.

Oh, and I got a t-shirt.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Silver Lining S-day, part XLIV

Greetings, people of the civilized world!

Well, we did go camping this weekend, and now we're back. Our first trip of this summer back to the stone age was a filthy success.

I'm thankful that we had a nice weekend for it. Not too hot, not too stormy. Not too crowded. Not too buggy. Not too carnivorous-wildlife-encroaching-on-the-campsitey.

The kids all had a good time. I'd gotten on them last season about helping out a little more rather than just relying on Mag and me to be their personal Camp Slaves. They did good with that.

The weekend included good times around the fire and a somewhat successful "quest for beverages" hike with Chaco, Wolfgang and me.

And there was the usual camp fare of getting lost in the woods and spotting of strange things. We did not come across any carnage as in previous explorations. I did come into contact with many helpful black squirrels, which I hadn't even known existed before. I'm very thankful that they weren't skunks - my first impression. WHEW!

So all in all, a good wild weekend. Now that we're home, I'm thankful for Biz and Shout.

And let me just say Happy Father's Day to all you good dads out there! Hallmark holiday that it is, I for one, am thankful for my own strange but loving father!

Friday, June 19, 2009


I'm off to go tutor in a little while. Math is fun, really it is! It's our friend. I think I'm starting to convince this student of just that.

But I felt the need to stop by here and blather on a bit. It looks like we'll be leaving the shackles of civilization for our first feral fix of the season. Camping, people. I think we're going to go camping.

I remember campouts with friends in high school. I never went to any organized "summer camp" thing as a kid, but really, no one in my hometown that I know of did. We didn't even think of it as an option, really. But it was a little podunk town surrounded by lots of boonies, so we took advantage of all those boonies, often heading out after our jobs of catering to obnoxious tourists, to go out and drown our sorrows around a fire.

True close relationships are formed from a recipe of beer and campfire.

And, don't fret (I know many are!). I WILL write of my exciting summer at band camp. Promise.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the visit

Long ago, I adapted to the FACT that once one has children, one can forget about privacy in the bathroom.

Living in a house full of males, I try to maintain at least a modicum of privacy both for my sake and for theirs, particularly now that the kids are getting older. Still, it's not uncommon for any of them to just go willy nilly (pun intended) about their business without bothering to shut the door... shutting it would just be for my sake anyway. At least they're content to wait until I've left the area and no longer just whip it out while I'm, say, brushing or flossing. So that's a start.

At least the days of them following my every move about the house are in the past, but I too can be a bit negligent.

Today, I was innocently shaving my legs. Something I do a couple of times per week to keep the Bigfoot conspirators at bay. I've done this forever - since about the time I realized that women in this country aren't culturally hairy. So it's safe to say that my kids have witnessed me shaving my legs nearly as often as they've witnessed Magnum shaving his face.

So I'm in the bathroom, one foot in the sink, scraping away on a leg, when in walks Meego.

And a friend.

Granted, I was wearing a pair of shorts (just shaving LEGS here folks!), but it was just the act... the intimacy... of leg shaving that made this feel *ahem* AWKWARD.

This friend is at our house quite often and is a bit of a communist. I don't necessarily mean that he has communist political views per se, but rather that he lives the communist lifestyle of "what's yours is mine", and often just wanders about the house like a 6th resident. I'm pretty okay with that as long as he remembers to remove his shoes (it's a Filipino thing).

He's 11 years old. He's seen me exercising, he's seen me getting ready for work, he's seen me folding laundry - including the unmentionables....

He's never been in the bathroom at the same time as me, however.

I just stopped what I was doing, wiped off the leg and took the foot out of the sink. For some reason, it seemed more appropriate to have both feet on the floor. Meego was totally indifferent to the whole thing, and from what I could tell, the same was true for the communist friend. They had come in to assess the size of the bathtub in regards to a Lego boat they had just built.

At least I wasn't in the tub. That may have caused a stir.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This one time? At band camp?

I went to band camp one summer. Quite memorable. But don't worry, I'm not about to blog about it... just yet.

In the meantime, I will confess to my own childrens' summer fates.

I make them solve problems in order to play video games. Not major problems like the national deficit or healthcare or border security. No, just your run of the mill math problem or two with perhaps a grammar topic thrown in for good measure.

We can't let things get rusty over the slothful days of summer, can we? They'll thank me someday, I'm sure.

Exhibit A

In exhibit A, we see Chaco adeptly solving a basic geometry problem to pre-pay for 20 whole minutes of XBox. I strive to give each of them problems that are within their reach, yet not so easy as to just be a "stupid exercise". That way, their brains get stretched a little, but not so much as to leave them throwing things in frustration of being kept away from their precious video games on account of not being able to, say, figure out the cost to tile a stupid floor.

And yes, he was able to get to the correct answer to this problem quite readily, and is now happily blowing things up on the XBox.

Should we tell him that he put his shirt on backwards?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Silver Lining Saturday, part XLIII

Happy Saturday the 13th! And a glorious day it is.

First of all, I'm happy just to be sitting here. I'm currently between classes, and since by their nature, I typically teach on evenings and weekends. I do enjoy my job, but it's nice to have a Saturday morning off, sitting here barefoot and with hair going in all directions.

All of the kids' report cards have come in at this point, and I'm very pleased with their grades. We'd experienced some "slacker" periods with both Chaco and Wolfgang in the past, so it's good to see them taking things a bit more seriously. Meego, having just finished 3rd grade, has yet to develop his own slacker style.

And with summer break being in full swing, what better thing to do than move to the great outdoors? Camp Caveman has officially begun with the setting up of the tent in the backyard. Yes, it's about 10 feet from the back door, but just visualize, people! (Quick! Distract them while I change the locks!)

And speaking of the back yard, note the non-jungle look. Yes, I did manage to find an agreeable weed whacker that sent Wolfgang a-whacking like a wild one! It did the job, he got a power tool fix, and we can now navigate through to the back gate. I am, however, still searching for Tarzan. I know he's back there somewhere.

Wolfgang sold two airsoft guns recently. I could hardly believe the price of those things when he bought them. Now that he's sold them, I can hardly believe the price that people are willing to pay for used airsoft guns. He's managing his money wisely, decided that he wasn't that much into airsoft, and sold these for a decent wad of cash.

I had an absolutely lovely bike ride this morning, without the morbidly large number of dead birds that I experienced last saturday morning. That's nice...


Thursday, June 11, 2009

birth.... riiiight

Meego wants me to have a baby.

Well, not in so many words. In so many words, he said "I wanna be a big brother" which sort of led to my conclusion.

Two of his friends from school are about to become big brothers any day, and I also happen to know of a third friend that is due to become a big brother next fall. It seems that big brothers are popping up all over.

So I think it's mainly a case of peer pressure. All of his friends are doing it, so he thinks he should be doing it too. I can imagine the conversations:

"Hey, I'm gonna be a big brother."

"Really? How do you know?"

"Oh, I KNOW!"

"Wow. So what's it like?"

"Dude, you're going to be 10 years old soon. Don't you think it's time you found out for yourself?"

He says he's looking ahead to the future. He's thinking of where he wants to be in five, ten years.

"When Chaco and Wolfgang leave for college, I'll be the only one left", he ponders.

Well, it's good to have goals.

Can we change the subject?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

it's driving me mad, it's making me crazy crazy

Okay, this isn't an actual photo of my backyard, but it might as well be.

Normally, the place looks like a beach volleyball pit, and actually, parts of it still do - the parts where I'd like there to be grass. But everywhere else, the parts where I'd like there not to be greenery, is a certifiable jungle!

All that moisture we've been getting lately has just made the backyard flora giddy with growth!

And of course you all remember and know how we sold the 6.0 hp Briggs and Stratton engine lawnmower at last summer's neighborhood garage sale and replaced it with one of those motorless pushmowers, right? Of course you do. That mower is great. I love it. So cute. So lightweight. Even Meego can mow now.

But it doesn't cut for crap anything taller than, say, three inches. Translation: It won't cut for crap anything I want to cut in the backyard jungle.

I'm seriously going weed whacker shopping today. We did have a weed whacker, but it was a worthless piece of junk. I don't want to lambaste here on the blog, so I'll just say "DO NOT BUY ANY HOMELITE PRODUCTS - THEY ARE CRAP!" Oops, that would probably count as lambasting....

Before the worthless piece of junk, we had a Poulan that I liked very much. Yes, we were good friends. Good friends until I abused it with a yucca plant. It never forgave me (the Poulan, that is. The yucca plant forgave me).

So today, one of my many missions: to procure the perfect weed whacker, perchance to make the backyard look civilized again.

... and to discover Tarzan and live happily ever after.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Silver Lining Saturday on a Sunday, part XLII

Well now, been a busy week! I haven't been around the blog much, but I can't let a weekend go by without pointing out some silver liningness!

First of all, it's the first full week of summer break for the school kids. Last week just sort of felt like a couple of "teacher workday" days or something, but this week felt more like the real thing. And I'm happy to report that Chaco, Wolfgang and Meego have all been playing OUTSIDE for, like, HOURS at a time with their friends. Shooting hoops and kick-the-can and stuff. No whining that they're bored, no attempts to camp out in front of video games and/or TV, just a little complaining when we tell them it's time to come in. Has Norman Rockwell taken over the neighborhood, or what?

And today? Today we went FISHING. Meego's idea. Beautiful day to just sit by the lake and fish and people watch.... I realized that the whole time we were there, I didn't see any cell phones or bratty kids or snooty snobs. So today's fishing adventure makes the SLS photo of the week:

Well, I couldn't go breaking out the electronics and spoil it for everyone else now, could I?

And speaking of blogging, I don't spend a whole lot of time on facebook either, but doncha just love when you get a friend request from some long lost chum? Granted, I get some friend requests that I can take or leave (present company excepted OF COURSE), but today I got a COOL one from an old high school friend I just lost track of over the years.

Work's been busy but fun. Best wishes to all my students taking the LSAT tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

wait.... what?

It's starting to settle in that it's officially summer break. DESPITE the fact that it's freakin' 41 degrees and cloudy outside!

The crappy weather is my fault, I know it. On Monday, I took my winter sweaters, folded them up all nice like, and transported them to their summer storage quarters deep in the bowels of the house. Shortly afterwards, the weather went to pot.

But enough small talk... I mentioned last week how the end of the school year sort of hits me like a wall I wasn't paying attention to. This year seems moreso than others.

First we had that whole Ulysses tragedy which made the last week of school a sort of weird, scary, confusing, foreign thing. Then there was the awards ceremony at which I was a non-attendee. Granted, this is an elementary school end-of-year ritual thing - a very small blip on the radar. For the past few years, ever since I started chairing that Run With Lumber , I've been in charge of giving out prizes for said event at the end-of-year awards assembly. We give out prizes to the top money earners and the top runners per grade.

So wouldn't you know it, Meego ended up staying home sick that day, which meant that I ended up staying home with sick Meego that day, which meant that I had to scramble for a substitute to give out Run With Lumber awards, which meant I decided that the most appropriate choice was probably the P.E. teacher whom I'd walked in on, just a few days prior, while he was alledgedly "alleviating a migraine".

Anyway, bottom line, I never gave out the awards, unless you count handing the big bag of them over to the P.E. teacher, along with the list of winners, as giving them out. I don't count that.

And even though Meego got all better, and I did attend that crazy 3rd grade luau, I had this "unfinished business" feeling. I tallied the laps, I collected the money, I compiled the winners. ....It's how most of the kids at the school know me - that Run With Lumber lady.... and I didn't give out prizes.

Did anyone even miss me? Because, y'know, it IS all about ME.