Tuesday, September 30, 2008

moving my cheese and other stuff

Something's screwy.

It was a Monday like any other. I was going about some business - the usual Monday morning errand cycle. First stop was the post office. I was inside readying my package when I decided to check our P.O. box since I'm there. Except... I can't find my keys *dread music*.

What the...? I know I have them, I'd just used them to lock my bicycle. I start digging around my backpack, pockets, lifting stuff up, looking all around, all to no avail. Lastly, I decide to go back outside to check. There they are in the crotch, or whatever it's called, of my bicycle. I'm relieved to have found them, but still razzem frazzeming about them being misplaced in the first place.

Next I go to mail the stuff. I'm paying with my credit card, but WAIT! The postal person asks for my ID, and my driver's licence is gone *more dread music* What the...? I keep it in the same pocket of my wallet that I keep my credit card, for just such occassions, and it's just. not. there. I pay with the debit card instead, but I'm perplexed. Need to find that driver's license.

I dig through my backpack, maybe it somehow fell out of the walllet. Nothing. I dig through the other pockets in my wallet. AHA! There it is, in a different slot! I'm relieved to have found it, but still razzem frazzeming about it being misplaced in the first place.

I'm starting to get a bit of the heebie jeebies at this point, but nothing too serious. I approach my bicycle to head out onto the next destination. I'd had my hair in a ponytail when I'd ridden over and I go to tie it back up again, but WAIT! My ponytail holder is gone *"No, not the ponytail holder!" music*. What the...? I'd slid it off and put it in my front pocket like I've done a bazillion times before.

Again, it's the digging through the backpack, the pockets, lifting stuff up, looking all around. Nothing. Okay, now THIS is starting to get annoying. For lack of another plan, I retrace my steps into and around the post office. There's my ponytail holder. Lying on the ground between the entrance and the P.O. boxes. Razzem Frazzem!

After that, my day progressed without much incident of note. Clearly, the trouble lies within the post office. This. The same post office that I was singing the praises of not too long ago. Well NO
MORE! It shall now be known henceforth as...

The Poltergeist Office...

Monday, September 29, 2008

sharing the lurve

I've seen this award floating around. I think I've actually received it a time or two, I just received it again from Linda over at A Trucker's Wife, and it's about time I pay it forward!

I remember when I first started blogging. It was over 4 years ago now. We had just moved to a new house in a new city and I didn't know anyone here. I was a stay-at-home-mom, Chaco and Wolfgang were elementary schoolers, and Meego was my 3-year-old constant companion.

Out of sheer boredom and loneliness, my blog was born. I wasn't looking to blog 'round the clock. I wasn't looking to amass large numbers of hits on my site. It was just something to do from home. It was just something that I could call mine and mine only. I could write whatever I wanted, I could put up whatever decorations I wanted, I could change it whenever I wanted. Enough about YOU, let's talk about ME!

Then people started to visit. And comment. Not very many at first, but enough for me to realize yet another reason to have a blog: friendship.

Now, I've got a high schooler, a middle schooler, an elementary schooler, and a part-time job. We're in a different house, and I have managed to make enough local friendships to at least have some numbers to list in the "emergency contact" box for school, and to have been suckered into a number of volunteer jobs.

And through all the transitions, the blog has remained. I consider my blog friendships to be just as real and important as the real-life squishy kind. A little different in context maybe, but still important to me.

And now I'm suppose to share the Love of the "Love Your Blog" award. I give it to all the blog friends who "know who you are". You do know who you are don't you? But I thought I'd spell out some blogs I've just recently discovered, and whose authors aren't as well known around here.

First, I throw it right back to A Trucker's Wife whose blog is always positive and upbeat and just a darn friendly place to visit.

Next up, Anna over at Knitting and Randomness. I stumbled upon her one day while searching for a way to dye a yucky colored, but otherwise nice sweater. I still don't have a strategy for dying the sweater, but I enjoy her blog and I don't even knit! (not counting that horrendous scarf I made in 7th grade home ec. that I hope was never worn in public).

I did recently mention Large Fella on a Bike, but he gets the award too. Not only is his weight loss story impressive, but his entries on just the every day life of a dad, husband, bike rider, human, etc. are always a pleasure to read.

And I think I'll also include Child Wrangler Jen who stops by here sometimes. Jen is a nanny, and while I wonder about parents who hire someone to be "mom' to their kids, I certainly have no gripes with the nannies themselves. Jen's charges are lucky to have her.

So thanks to everyone who takes time out of their day to visit "me". Feel the LOOOOOVE!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

silver lining Saturday part VI

Part VI? Really?

Another week and it's all good. Here just some:

I'm thankful Chaco's wrist is not broken. Been there, done that. By the way, know how to really bug a geeky kid? Mess up his Rubik's cube when he's got a sprained wrist. MUA HA HA HA HA HA! HA! (wasn't me, I swear).

Finished up with the LSAT class this morning. They were a nice bunch of students, but I'm thankful to have that 4 1/2 hours on Saturday back.

I'm thankful for Biz. When you spend as much time as I do doing laundry, Biz can make the thankfulness post.

I'm thankful for that new bike bell. Now if I could just come upon someone to use it on. Well, I guess I could be thankful for non-congested bike paths too.

I'm thankful the kids like their schools. I hear stories now and then from parents whose kids just don't want to go sometimes for whatever reasons. Although he homework doesn't seem quite as appealing....

I'm thankful for the library. I battled with some greasy guy who was checking out like 20 DVD's in one pop, and managed to get a fun movie after a Netflix mishap involving Chaco rearranging our queue... Oh, I hear they have books there too.

I'm thankful for that milkman. Probably don't say it enough.

Friday, September 26, 2008

if it ain't broke

There I was. Happily making some tuna melts -- I know! Real food! -- Anyway, there I was when Chaco enters the house all moaning and groaning like. He'd just gone out a few minutes earlier to rollerblade. Dang rollerblades again.

Anyway, he's all, "Aaaauugh!! My wriiiiiiiist!! I can't move my fingerrrrrrrz!! It's swellinnnnnng!!" So I told him, once he stopped freaking out, I'd take a look at it. I don't think he believed me at first as the wailing and gnashing of teeth continued. Well, I got the tuna melts loaded up anyway. I guess I've been through these traumas enough to have become a bit desensitized.

In the meantime, I got some ice. This was the same wrist he'd broken about 3 1/2 years ago. We iced it. We wrapped it. We ate tuna. After dinner, there was discussion. Should I take him to the urgent care center? Should we just wait and see how it feels in the morning?

Wolfgang, Mr. Pragmatic, said, "He should go tonight. That way, if it's not broken, he won't have to miss school." I had to admit, that made sense, so off we went for a lovely evening of waiting around the urgent care center, occassionally looking out at the nice view of the parking lot from our cell.

In about 2 hours, we had our verdict. Not broken, just strained/sprained. He needs to wear this lovely brace for about a week. Had him braced and back home in time to catch the season premier of "The Office". Off to school he would go.

After having been at school for about an hour, Chaco calls. "I can't write, so my teacher suggested I just go home". What's this? He can't just sit there and absorb knowledge through other means?? I figured he wasn't faking because he actually likes going to school. That's how boring I keep it around here when someone misses a school day.

So he stayed home. Bored. With his non-broken but non-writing wrist. A day in the life of Mom.

I'm sure he'll be chomping to go back on Monday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

*bling bling*

Got some bling for Bella today. Bella is my bicycle, in case anyone is wondering, because bicycles should be anthropomorphized lest they become moody.

Anyway, I went to REI to get a 50-cent (not the rapper) clip for Chaco's sandals because he'd broken the original. How DOES he do it? I went in to get the clip and came out with the clip and the bling. See it?

It's sort of hard to see in this grainy, poor-backgrounded photo, but it's there all right. Anyone? Let's play I SPY!

I SPY Bella's new bike bling. More specifically, I SPY Bella's new ring-a-ding-ding bike bling.

Yeah, I got one of those nerdy bells. A bell for Bella.

Here's an enlargement:

See? Really, though, I'd been wanting to get one of these for a while. They are quite functional, and I was tired of coming up behind people on the paths and having to say, "ON YER LEFT!"

And, recently, I was the recipient of one of these dingle-lings. I must've been out walking the dog when I heard this cheerful little mechanical chirp. I turned around to see a large man on a burly bicycle headed right for us. That cheerful little mechanical chirp was so much nicer than an "ON YER LEFT!" or a "MOVE OVER!" or a "COMIN' THROUGH" or, worse, nothing, only to be startled silly when the large man on the burly bike went cruising on by.

So I wanted one too.

The big box store didn't have them, although they had two different models of those obnoxious ah-OOOO-gah horns. Seriously, who uses those?? Good old REI.

So I tried it out this afternoon. Beautiful sunny day, I was bound to come upon someone to dingle, right? No. No one. Not a soul. Party poopers. I did meet up with one woman out walking her dogs, but she was facing in my direction and pulled herself and the dogs over in plenty of time. I almost wanted to pull a U-ie and pass her from behind just so I could do my ring-a-ding-ding thing.

Well, I'll be patient and sleep, perchance to ding.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

not just a fantasy

Since Beej asked:

I only saw him once.

And it was dark. He was in silhouette, and I'm pretty sure he didn't see me. He must've been running late that morning because he usually arrives around 1 a.m. I know. I sometimes hear him.

I hear his manly milk truck coming up the street. I hear him bumping and grinding around the cooler I've placed just so. Then, he's back in the truck to satisfy his other customers in the night.

Yes, though, I did actually see him once. The house was dark, but I was up and spied the event through the window right near the front door.

The truck sat mysteriously in front of the house, but soon enough, a stealth figure emerged. He was dressed all in black.... then again, it was dark out. Okay, I have no idea what he was wearing. Clothes.

Anyway, a stealth figure emerged. Well... stealth except he was in this noisy truck and was wearing a big light on his forehead. Okay, he wasn't very stealth as he approached the house, kind of jogging, his headlight beam bouncing.

He bent nurturingly toward the special cooler. I heard him remove the empties, and ever so carefully, replace them with fresh milk and eggs. Okay, it wasn't done that carefully, rather thuddingly, but he got 'er done. Yes, he brings me eggs too.

And just like that, he was gone. Gone back into his manly truck, back into the night. I reached out and grasped the fresh jug, still sweating with condensation, knowing that the milk man would return to me yet again.

Yes, Beej, there is a milkman (but not for Jerry).

Monday, September 22, 2008

baby steps

I went to Whole Foods today. I was unaware that it was Cute Baby Day there. Sheesh, I was like the only female shopper there without a cute baby!

Anyone else ever notice that, sometimes, there seems to be a theme at the grocery store? Sometimes it's White Trash Family night. Other times it's Gay Couples Day (not that there's anything wrong with that). Then there's Screaming Children Afternoon. Emo Evening, whoooooh, I don't like Emo Evening.

But today was definitely Cute Baby Day. It started out in produce, then the bakery, then onto dairy - specifically the yogurt shelf. They were everywhere!

And it's nice to see cute babies during the normal course of the day. Nice to see them with their moms out getting healthy foods like from Whole Foods. I don't shop there on a regular regular basis, but there are some things I get there that I just won't settle for from some place else.

Today it was milk, mainly. Shhhhhh! Don't tell the milkman I'm cheating on him! Don't get me wrong, his milk is still goooood, it's just not enough to satisfy me for a whole week until his next visit. So I was at Whole Foods getting some.

And then I saw all these cute babies with their health conscious mothers, and I thought, gee, I should fix something healthy and wholesome for dinner tonight. So I bought one of those cute mini rustic Italian bread loaves, to go along with the Cute Baby Day theme. It's to go with our ravioli dinner.

Okay, so the ravioli is from cans that I got, like, 10 cans for 10 dollars from some other store. But our weird kids LOVE that stuff *gag*. But now we've got the healthy milk and the mini rustic Italian loaf to cancel out the garbage-food-in-a-can.

I really, really intend to get better at this meal planning stuff. This is just a baby step.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Silver Lining Saturday, part V

Okay, I know I know. Today is really Sunday, but I'm kind of set on this "Silver Lining Saturday" thing, so deal with it! At least it's still technically the weekend, still time to get in my thankfulness post.

So, as Shaggy would say, on with the countdown:

I'm thankful for my family and my upbringing. My in-laws are just too weird, they put the "fun" in dysfunction. And sometimes we need to experience that dysfunction to appreciate the function. Thanks Mom! Dad! Gramma! Wombat! Hagrid! All y'all!

On that note, I'm thankful for my husband's Black Sheepness.

I'm thankful that my latest tutor student is a kid I actually like. You just never know with these tutor kids. Some can be rather bratty, or elitist, or rebellious, or high-maintenance, or [fill in the blank]. I try to develop rapport with all of them, and with some, that's more work than with others, especially with the one-on-one nature of tutoring. This latest kid's an easy one. I hope he kicks some serious entrance exam butt.

I'm thankful for the great weather we've been having. I'm not quite ready for all-cold-all-the-time just yet. Field Day at the elementary school was loads of fun in the sun (even though I was bitten several times by some sort of vampire bug, but that's for later, not for the thankfulness post).

I'm thankful that the Broncos won today. It was close. I really don't have that much of a direct interest in their record, but when they lose, the aforementioned hubby gets grumpy.

I'm thankful, once again, for my bicycle and my enjoyment in riding it. I did our monthy finances this week, we spent a whopping $40 on gas for the whole month of August.

And, I don't mean to be redundant, but I'm (once again) thankful for my blog friends. Such inspiration! Such intelligence! Such colorfulness! Thank you, Al Gore, for the internet *with sarcasm*.

Remember kids! "Keep your feet on the ground, and reach for the stars!" Uh.... That's Casey Kasem. A.k.a Shaggy? Anyone??

Friday, September 19, 2008


It is done. Field Day 2008 is now a done deal. As expected, the weather held nicely. Yes, there were some tears, but I've gotten used to that by now. They get over it. Hopefully.

Meego made out with three first place ribbons and three third place ribbons. We seem to be into odd numbers. Takes one to know one.

Now, about those sack-races-without-sacks. I know people have been losing sleep over not knowing the story there. It would be easier to just provide a picture of these sackless sack-race contraptions. As it was, to be a responsible undistracted sack race official, I didn't bring my camera to field day. I figured what I would do is just find a picture from Wolfgang's Yearbook that he got when he "continuated" out of the elementary school after 5th grade.

I couldn't find it. More on that to come.

Anyway, the PE teacher found there were inherent problems with the gunnie sacks. They get beat up, they're hard to replace, kids get all tangled up in them and fall on their faces, blah, blah, blah... So a few years ago, he contrapted a different set of gear. Here's the recipe:

Take a 12" diameter inner tube and cut it along it's length so it essentially makes a big rubber band.
Bind the kids' ankles with the rubber band.
Cinch a small length of rope around the rubber band and run the end of the rope up to provide a "handle".
Kids now have bound ankles and something to grasp with the hands. Line them up. Say, "On your mark, get set, go". It's a sackless sack race.

Okay? Picturing it? What??

Now, here's why I don't have a picture. Firstly, let me provide Exhibit A: My workspace -

- for contrast.

I went into the boys' room to get Wolfgang's 5th grade yearbook. I now give you Exhibit B: Their workspace, or whatever we should refer to it as -

Yes, the room is much bigger, but the rest of the decor pretty much follows this motif of Contemporary American Eviction Notice.

I did search for a while, but no yearbook has yet been uncovered. You'll have to use your imagination.

And don't go in there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

the arrival

We're gonna give it a go today. Field Day, that was rained out last week, should be happening today. So far, the weather looks absolutely lovely for a day of cutthroat elementary school athletic competition.

There will be tears, you can bet on it.

So, before I head out to officially officiate the alway raucous sack-races-without-sacks (again, I don't feel like getting into that just yet - explanation to come), I thought I'd just lazily refer readers to a someone else's blog.

No, I'm not going all Oprah here, but I'm just very impressed and inspired by what this guy's done over the last nearly 3 years. He set out to accomplish a goal and, except to occassionally verify just how far he'd gone, never looked back.

Reading his entries, it's obviously been more than just a physical journey. So, it seemed an appropriate reference for this day of physical and emotional highs and lows to come. I think he might need to change his blog monicker though.

Anyways, time to go kick some ass.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

out of the suburbs

So I'm sitting in the laundry-folding station, in full housewife mode, when my manager from work calls.

"You know that LSAT class you're proctoring? [The Instructor] is really sick and can't teach tonight, can you go down there and let the class know that it's cancelled? We don't have time to get another instructor there to sub." There's a slight frantic edge to her voice.

"Uh... mmm... er... wha... ?", I spring into action.

"Oh... uh, okay. What time does the class start?" It was like in a half an hour. This class is down at this private liberal arts college downtown, which is easy enough to get to, but parking is a BI... parking is really scarce during the week. I've got to hit the road, stat!

So, I get our kids all in responsibility mode to hold down the fort until Dad gets home and head down. It's kind of in this Student Union type building, and a bunch of college kids are milling around or studying or having club meetings or whatnot. I'm hanging out keeping a lookout for our LSAT students, all the while taking in this whole college scene.

They talk in all drawn out final syllabuuuuuuuls? and upspeeeeeeaaaaaak? Nice kids all I'm sure, with bright futures, they just talk funny. I head off a couple of our students and am putting the message about the cancelled class up on the whiteboard. This girl peeks in. "Are you like using this rooooooom?", she asks. "No, come on in", I tell her.

I wait a few more minutes and none of our other students show up. Guess they got the message, so I think it's safe for me to leave. I return to the classroom and ask the girl if she wouldn't mind erasing the white board for me before she leaves, I'd just like to leave the message up there a little while longer just in case someone comes late.

"Oh, yeah, like, fer suuuuuuure", she generously replies while bobbing her upper body. I leave, mission accomplished, and slowly manage re-entry into housewife mode.

Except I now have this strong unshakable craving for a frat party.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a latter day walk

I was out being taken for a walk by the dog when I saw them. Out of the corner of my eye. "Look away! Do NOT make eye contact, that will only provoke them into attacking. Don't even look in that direction!", I told myself. I focused my eyes straight ahead. They were about a block and a half away from me, if I just kept moving forward, they'd go off in the direction of another scent.

"Hello, ma'am. Just out taking a walk?"


"Yeah, just walking m'dog". *Sigh*, here it comes. The pitch from this young 20's Mormon "elder". I knew it from the telltale signs: the bicycles, the black pants and shoes, the white shirts, the dark ties, short helmeted hair, no tattoos, no facial hair, no piercings: LDS missionaries.

"We're just going around telling people a little about our church", okay, it was clear now that they weren't going to just go pedalling off. I turned and did the eye contact thing, then I looked at his name tag with the etched "church of JESUS CHRIST of latter day saints".

"Oh. Right, okay, LDS, yeah. We used to live in Utah. We did the 6 or 7 lessons when we were there", I told him, hoping that would encourage him to seek someone else to missionize. He stayed next to me, though, with his cohort right behind. Asked me what I'd thought of the lessons, asked me how long ago it was, asked me where in Utah we'd lived.

We lived in Utah for about 3 years. Although I'm not swayed by the teachings and practices of their church and I'm not impressed by the prophet Joseph Smith and his "revelations", I will say that Mormons in general make for pretty good neighbors. Sure, they had this communal lifestyle that kinda said, "your stuff is our stuff" and "our kids are your responsibility too", but it was tolerable. For about three years.

And one thing that bothered me about living there was that the non-Mormons, the Gentiles, did a fair amount of Mormon bashing. When I'd ask what they knew about the Mormon church, it was mostly gossipy stuff, not actual teachings. They'd always sent the missionaries a-packing.

So when they came to our door, we let them in. We were honest with them up front. We weren't interested in converting, we just wanted to know a little more about what made our neighbors tick. At first, I think they saw us as a challenge, but by the end of the lessons, they knew we weren't to be swayed.

So I told this new guy. No thanks, I wasn't interested in a refresher course. No thanks, I don't need any help around the house. No thanks, fortunately, I don't know of anyone at this particular time in need of spiritual guidance. Thanks, but no.

Lots of good camping there, though... Utah.

Monday, September 15, 2008

the boys' room

I have fond memories of college. Kind of like other dead relationships, I mainly remember the good parts.

Sure, I have vague memories of the stress and the homework and the exams and the lack of social life because of the above and the lack of money... But for the most part, I had a good time in college and made some good friends.

And none of those things was the real intimidating part for me. The intimidating part was probably when I walked into that first classroom and didn't see hardly any other girls.

Now, I realize that that may sound quite enticing, but I ask you girls out there to think about it for a moment. A room full of guys. A room FULL of guys, and you ask yourself, "okay, where are the girls?" And maybe you spot one. Or two. A room of 100 students and approximately 5 of them are girls, and one of those 5 is you.

In the end, it wasn't that bad. It was just that initial shock. I'm recalling those memories because I was perusing our local newspaper over the weekend and saw that Sally Ride was in town encouraging girls to enter science and engineering fields. I come across articles like this now and again and I've heard that the male to female ratio in engineering programs hasn't changed much since I was there. I'd bet that some girls may start out there, but the outnumberedness (Shush! This is just a blog, so I can use made up words if I want!) drives them to other more gender balanced majors.

And I say to those girls, "Stick it out!" with the engineering. It's really not that bad. Like I said, I made lots of good friends, many of them male types. Heck! It's where I met Magnum. And I loved my engineering jobs... until I had babies that I loved more.

I came across the photo above recently. It was taken while I was in college. That would be me with the 80's big hair and fashion. The older guy was a professor of mine recognized in the field of manufacturing. It was mainly through him that the department had received all that spanking new equipment featured in that photo. Check out that "state-of-the-art" PC. What is it? A 286??

Anyway, I remember that I just happened to be walking by, minding my own business when some trade magazine photographers and writers were there doing a story. They asked me, yes ME, to be in the photo. They wanted a TRUE aspiring engineer! They wanted one of Mr. Famous Professor's protege's in the story! I remember! I heard him suggest it as I walked by:

"Hey! Ya wanna GIRL in the picture?"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Silver Lining Saturday IV

Another week gone, time to look at the good stuff:

I was out running this morning, early. I came around a corner and saw this.... this.... this... thing. It was either a big fox or a short coyote. It hightailed it out of there, never to be seen (by me) again. Apparently, it was more afraid of me than I was of it, and for that I'm thankful!

I gave more LSAT tests this morning. The instructor and I have this tag team thing going. I give them painful tests, she helps them learn stuff, I give them more painful tests. I'm thankful that, despite my evil role, the students seem to like me.

Mag's garden is happily producing. He seems to get a greener thumb with each progressive season. He's the gardener. He enjoys it. I'm thankful that I can just sponge the harvest (the zuchinnis can take a break, though).

Speaking of the husband, I sent him an e-mail at work yesterday. Y'know, a sweet-little-nothing-from-the-wifey e-mail. Actually it was just this political joke I figured he'd appreciate. I received this sweet little nothing in return a short time later:

I will be out of the office starting 09/12/2008 and will not return until

I will respond to your message when I return.

The information contained in this message is privileged and intended
only for the recipients named. If the reader is not a representative of
the intended recipient, any review, dissemination or copying of this

message or the information it contains is prohibited. If you have received
this message in error, please immediately notify the sender, and delete
the original message and attachments.

I'm a privileged recipient! I'm so thankful. Okay, in all seriousness...

Yes it rained all night Thursday and into Friday thus cancelling Meego's Field Day, but we needed the rain, and once it stopped, the weather was beautiful again - and really, the rain was beautiful too, China and I had a very pleasurable walk in it. That's Colorado and I'm thankful for the variety.

I'm thankful for this weekly thankfulness exercise and, of course, my blog friends. *sniff* enough for now...

Friday, September 12, 2008

having a field day... NOT

The elementary school's Field Day, as reported earlier as being scheduled for today, was a wash. A washOUT. The rain started last night around 7 PM and hung around and hung around and hung around, finally clearing out around noonish today.
Sack races would've been Soak Races. 40-yard dash would've been 40-yard Splash. Cross Country? Splosh Country. Tennis Ball Throw? Wettest Slog Throw. Anyway, yeah, enough of that.

Jerry asks: "is field day the same as the lubmer with lumber or what ever that day is?" Lubmer with lumber? That's okay, Jerry. I know what you mean and so do enjoy solving your spelling challenges.

Field Day and *ahem* Run With Lumber are two different things, two different seasons. Field Day is just a fun fall event. A day where the kids go out and partake of various athletic contests in a friendly, non hostile (yeah, right) environment.

Every kid gets a ribbon for each event, 1st place through 6th, although they're all pretty much onto the fact that a 6th place is a LAST place. The whole thing culminates with a lovely picnic lunch of school cafeteria corn dogs and stuff the lunch ladies want to clear out from the kitchen. Then the students go back to their classrooms and, I dunno, watch movies or something until the end of the school day.

Run With Lumber is our spring fundraiser! (emphasis mine). Yes, I chair this event for some reason I can't recall that must be similar to post-natal amnesia. The kids come out, one grade level at a time, and do as many laps around the field as they can in 25 minutes. Eight laps to a mile.

They get sponsors ahead of time to pay money per laps run, that kind of thing. Our inspiring mascot, Lumber* hangs around all day to offer much motivation while trying desperately not to pass out from heat and a poorly ventilated full-body synthetic fur costume. Whoever's still standing at the end of the 25 minutes gets a root beer float. How fun is that?!

And actually, it is a lot of fun - the day itself. There's a lot of behind the scenes work and paperwork and record keeping and money collection and root beer and ice cream mooching that goes on to pull it off, but all in all, I actually do enjoy chairing the thing. As most who visit here know, I enjoy running just for fun, and I enjoy kids, so maybe that's why I said yes when they came a-lookin' for a chair.

So Field Day is re-scheduled for next week, and I don't have to do a DARN thing other than show up at the sack race station. That's nice.

*name changed to protect the innocent

Thursday, September 11, 2008

*acting natural*

I've been mopping.

I've been mopping like a madwoman. I've been mopping like someone with a perpetual sense of longing to mop with no release until now. Nothing like a long luxuriously satisfying mop session. Or several.

Well... actually.... no. But I did mop the hardwoods. They look and smell nice. One could eat off of them. In fact, I'm sure one will soon if one hasn't already.

In other news, tomorrow is Field Day at the elementary school. I'm a sack race official. Sack races with no actual sacks, but that's another story that I don't feel like going into right now. And today was a PTO meeting.

See what happens when you have an elementary school practically in your back yard? Sack race meeting yesterday. PTO meeting today. Field Day tomorrow. I was walking the dog earlier today and we walked past the school while some kids were out having recess. I heard one of them say to one of his friends, "I think that's a teacher walking her dog". See how much I'm there?! Some kids think I work there.

But that's okay. It's a luxury, really, to have time to volunteer. And on that note, I got Meego's school pics today. On school picture day, the photographers told us volunteers that we would receive a free package - the very basic package - but free. Turns out, that was the package I'd ordered anyway.

Well, another volunteer started whining. That wasn't the package she wanted. She wanted a more elaborate package. I said nothing out loud but in loud (is that a phrase?) I said, "They don't have to give us anything. We're volunteers. Be glad for the basic package, then add on the additional stuff". But no. She was all in a huff and the photographers appeased her with a free whatever-she-wanted.

So I get Meego's pics and it's way more than the basic package. Apparently, they gave all of us volunteers the package that the whiner whined for and got. Among other things, I've got this huge (8 x 10) of Meego looking like he's trying not to look like he's posing and failing miserably.

That's why I order the basic package and only the basic package.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the call of the wild

It's getting colder and crisper out, and I feel in need of an adventure. We didn't have nearly enough adventure this past summer and now there's all this business of going to school and working. Can't we do that later? When we're old and sickly and can't do anything else?

We went camping once. Had a good enough time, but it was just once and just for one weekend. Plus, it was a bit of a probationary camp as in, "I don't wanna go camping with you guys if you're just gonna bicker about who does the work!" So we went. The bickering was at a minimum, but then *poof* summer was over.

So now I try to appease myself by reading about adventure or looking at pretty pictures of other people's adventures or setting adventurous wallpaper on the computer.... but it's not really working is it? No.

In the meantime, I did a little shopping today. I needed a new iron. The old one has become a hypocrit. It says "cotton", but it really means "delicate". Or it says "perma press", but it really means "wool". I can't stand hypocrits. I got a new iron. Got a new mop while I was at it. I look forward to using them both.

That scares me.

Monday, September 8, 2008

quieter than a library

Kids have been back to school for... what... 3 or 4 weeks. I'm still not used to how QUIET it is around here.

I had errands to run this morning. It's chilly, I had to wear the fleece (bicycling of course). First stop was the Post Office. The Post Office just freaks me out. I mean, everyone there is just so eerily NICE. What is up with that? And I don't mean the other patrons waiting in line, I mean the actual Postal employees.

Not only are they NOT grumpy, NOT apathetic, NOT robotic, but they are just downright pleasant and helpful and weirdly friendly. I would almost think it was a private for-profit biz rather than a government funded entity. No, it's not that government funded entities are just better here. I've been to the local DMV, and that's just as insensible as anywhere else.

Next stop was the library. I was picking up a couple of books from the hold shelf for a couple of my local slavedrivers. As I was doing so, there's a mom there with her young son. I'd say he was about 5 or 6. Mom is gabbing on her cell phone while doing something on one of the library computers. Meanwhile, Junior is rearranging the precisely alphabetized books on the hold shelf.

Then, THEN he takes the big letter things - those big lettered tabs that show where the books are as far as the alphabetizing goes - and starts pulling them out and sticking them in at random spots on the shelves.

Is it me or is that just wrong? Sure, there are worse things he could be doing while mom is choosing to be oblivious. Sure, there are worse things she could be ignoring while talking on a cell phone. Anyway, it bothered me.

Think I'll go back to the post office to feel better.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Silver Lining LSATurday part III

I spent the morning administering practice LSAT tests to some prospective law schoolers. I'm not qualified (yet) to teach preparation for LSAT, but I can proctor as good as the next proctologist!

Anyway, the mother ship knows this, so likes to save trips for my cohorts in Denver down here to podunk Colorado Springs on occassion. I mainly agreed to do it to save the real teacher trips from Denver on Saturdays. Proctors earn about as much money as lunch ladies. And I'm not dissing lunch ladies. I was one, remember?!

But I didn't want to break my stride with the thankfulness-of-the-week posts, so here goes!

Firstly, that virus or whatever, in case anyone is wondering about any dead bunnies around here. I'm thankful that I'm feeling better and we're pretty sure that Mag is now sterile as a mule. Still wanting some eggs though... Don't get me wrong, I love babies and all, but SHEESH, I'm 43, have old eggs (speaking of which), and have teenagers in the house. We're not going there.

We watched an awful movie today. "Dan in Real Life". It was just bad bad in my opinion. Sure, some people have liked it, so don't not see it just on my account, but really. Don't see it. BUT, it just made me thankful for some good movies we've seen lately. "Knocked Up" was a surprise winner, "In Bruges" which I'd never heard of, is grisly, but oddly enjoyable. "Best in Show", recommended by my step-mother-in-law of all people, was also good fun.

I'm thankful that I got a new tutor student this week. Between him and the law schoolers, that should make for a comfortable work schedule for the time being.

I'm thankful that it's September. Fall is my favorite time of year. No longer unbearably hot, and not yet all consumingly cold.

I'm thankful that my (sterile) husband cleans up the dinner dishes so I can blog this entry.

And always, I'm thankful for my blog friends. Way better than spam.

Friday, September 5, 2008

normally, I enjoy trash day

Trash day.
Trash truck comes.
Dumps trash.
Spills fluorescent light bulbs from truck onto street.
Drives away.

Neighbor Flanders calls.
"Broken fluorescent light bulbs in front of house."
I look.
She's right.

Call trash people.
"We'll send truck"
Good. Bye.

Wednesday evening.
Broken fluorescent light bulbs still in front of house.
Autistic neighbor boy who likes to eat things from street riding bike.
Stops by pile of broken fluorescent light bulbs.
"Please don't eat broken fluorescent light bulbs."
He doesn't.
I sweep into neat pile.

Thursday morning.
Neat pile of broken fluorescent light bulb shrapnel still in front of house.
I call trash people.
"We'll send truck".
I won't hold breath.

Pile of broken fluorescent light bulb shrapnel still in front of house.
I sweep.
I dump into dumpster.
I sweep some more.
I dump into dumpster some more.
I sweep some more.
I dump into dumpster some more.

Friday afternoon.
No more broken fluorescent light bulb shrapnel in front of house.

It's like a bad song.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm sure it's a virus

I've been in a bit of a fog for the last 24 hours or so. For most of yesterday, I lazed around on the futon feeling not quite myself and watching cooking shows. For some reason, when I don't feel like doing much of anything, I enjoy watching other people cook on TV. I did manage to get the bare minimum done around here, but I hardly remember even leaving the house.

Today feels a little more energetic. I had a little jog, took a shower, watched Rachel Ray make some beanie weenies, then fixed myself a delectable lunch of two soft boiled eggs on buttered toast swimming in Tabasco sauce. Mmmmmmm! One of my fave comfort foods.

Nothing else in the house seemed the least bit appealing, but that definitely hit the spot. This behavior - wanting to watch cooking shows and eat sloppy spicy eggs - hasn't hit me in quite a while. But I'm not worried. Because I know. I know for a FACT that I am NOT pregnant.

I googled all over about the chances of THAT very thing this morning, so I KNOW, OKAY!? I'm NOT!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

goodbye summer!

Years ago, as a high school kid, the one event that clearly marked the end of summer was the state fair. Slightly bigger and roudier than the county fair, the state fair was our last hurrah before the carefree days of summer turned into the irresponsible days of high school.

Our marching band would compete in the annual state fair parade, so summers were spent practicing for this anticipated event. Then, we would load up the school busses and travel to the hottest place in the state at the hottest time of year to march in the parade in full-body synthetic band uniform glory. As a flag girl, I don't think I had it as bad as those instrument players, but eventually a point is reached where there's not a whole lot of contrast.

But we were young and tough, those of us that didn't pass out from heat exhaustion anyway, and it was all fun. Besides, once the parade was finished and we'd all rehydrated, there was a mass coed clothing change in the school buses (not as juicy as it sounds - band geeks, remember?), and we were let loose on the state fair!

The rides! The booths! The food! The cowboys! We'd meet back at the busses hours later with our sourvenirs and grime, ready to settle into the school year.

I hadn't been to the Colorado state fair in a while, but yesterday with everyone having the day off, we decided to head on down. We had a great time. Yeah, it was hot. Keeps out the riff-raff.... or not. (Note to Terri: There was not a deep fried cheese curd to be found, believe me, I looked!)

The Grand Champion Dove (?). Yeah, he's a STUD!

I call this one: "Pondering Chickens by the Men's Room"

Meego pans for gold.... don't quit your day job.

Six year old mutton bustin' champion. C'mon guys, you know you want to try this!

All Betty Crocker by the prize winning breads and jellies and stuff.

I call this guy "Hellboy". Nice Hellboy... uh man... bull.... sir. Please stop? Uh... whoa? WHOA!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

out with one punch

On Saturday, I went with Chaco to the used sporting goods stuff store. He wanted some football cleats. NO, he doesn't play for school or any other league. A bunch of neighbor kids just play at a nearby field, so he's gotta have actual football cleats, right?

Now, I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys and no other girls, so I played my share of pick-up sports. It was either that or play with my dollhouse all by myself, which I did do with relish when I needed some "me" time. And yes, I played some football and some football related stuff like "smear the alternative lifestyle guy" and such.

But I don't recall anyone playing in football cleats. We just wore whatever pair of sneakers we owned at the time. But with these kids here, they like to have the proper gear, even for just pick-up. They've got cleats and pants and receiver gloves... gosh, it's a wonder we all survived our childhoods without these things! Chaco gave me the argument that I'd bought him stuff for playing neighborhood roller hockey and that this was the same thing. Uhm... not really, but I figured since the football games were good clean active fun, we'd go see what the store had.

And we did find him a pair at a good price, so I agreed to get them along with a pair of must-have football pants. All up and in, I was looking at about $50. It so happens that I have a frequent player card, or whatever it's called, for this particular store. Every time I make a purchase of more than $20, my card gets punched. After 5 punches, I get a $10 store credit.

So... if I purchase over $40, shouldn't I get 2 punches? But I only got one punch. I thought of bringing it up to the clerk, but I just let it slide. I never even requested the card, they just gave it to me on a previous visit.

The card says I receive a punch for "purchases over $20". Technically, this was one purchase. Couldn't I buy one thing and then walk around and come back up to buy the next thing? Except that wouldn't work either. The pants were under $20. The cleats were over $20. Could I buy the pants and one cleat? Then come back and buy the second cleat?

Except if we split the cost of the cleats down the middle, the cost of one cleat is less than $20. What if I remove the lace of one cleat and throw it in with the second cleat? Now, that's just stupid.

Obviously, the clerk had thought this all through during the split second amount of time it took him to punch my card only once. He just did it so fast, I didn't notice.

I'm glad we had this chat.