Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silver Liningness Sunday

Well it was Thanksgiving week after all, double thankfulness!

We all had the week off, and no nutty in-laws visitors scheduled to come out, and no schedules to meet. This was nice. We just sort of played.

Earlier in the week, we decided to go visit a small nearby zoo since it was a nice day out. Despite the lovely weather, the zoo was not crowded at all, so we could embarrass ourselves with mostly just the animals being aware of it.

The kids and some birds, not to be mistaken with the dead bird we ate on Thanksgiving.

We also got in a fair amount of hiking and general playing-outside time, foregoing the coochie-coochie-in-the-car time.

Watched a coupla DVD's: Coraline, which is pretty weird and The Big White ,which was fun and better than I expected it would be.

And, in light of the headlines that won't go away, I am thankful to just be a boring wife and mom on a budget, in contrast to being a supermodel married to a golf legend. Not that I ever came close to being either...

Friday, November 27, 2009

karma, I hope

Friday has arrived and it's been an extra-sleeping, extra-eating, extra-time-wasting, rip roaring good time of a week!

Really, we all had the entire week off - no work, no school for anybody here. We declined spending Thanksgiving with Magnum's sister and the other in-laws don't usually come out here in the colder months (thank GOD), so we've just been enjoying a lo-stress Thanksgiving week.

I'm not a regular "black Friday" participant, but I did get out into the fray earlier. Seems a little [censored] stole Chaco's winter jacket last week at school. I do believe in Karma, so there's comfort in that. Anyways, Chaco and I had planned to go jacket hunting today.

At about 10:45 this morning, I went into his room to roust him out of bed. You've seen those cartoons with teenagers sleeping into the middle of the day under piles of clothes and stuff? Those are real!!

Anyway, I jostled him about, told him I was going to walk the dog and that he should be ready to go jacket shopping when I got back in about 30 minutes.

"Mmmmmmrrrrrrrrrrrr..." was the reply, which I'm sure translates to, "of course, sweet mother of mine".

The dog and I went out and enjoyed a lovely walk and I returned to find Chaco laying there in about the same position I'd left him in.

"DUDE! Gedddupareddy!", I sweetly reminded. To which he responded by laughing and emerging from the bed, fully showered, fully dressed and apparently fed.

Ha Ha. Very funny.

Anyway, we headed to Big 5. Found a nice winter jacket to replace the perfect-but-stolen winter jacket (karma... karma.... breathe... breathe...).

Note: There aren't any good Black Friday deals on winter jackets in late November in Colorado.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my blog friends. I'm truly thankful for all of you all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

trail mix

We pulled into the parking lot at the trailhead and got out for a short afternoon hike. Just the two of us.

I says, "Sheesh, just go to the trailhead and make out in the car..."

He says, " okay?"

I says, "No, I'm talkin' about that couple in the car parked next to us!" *whispering kind of loud*

"OH!", he says, "I didn't see them". *whispering kind of loud now too*

I figured he'd seen them when he got out of the car. I had driven, and the make out car was to our passenger side. I just happened to look over and catch a glimpse of the festivities.

I really don't think they'd planned on going to a popular trailhead to make out in the car in the middle of a sunny afternoon. We figured they just got so caught up in the whole splendor-of-nature moment.

Or they just like doing that sort of thing.

Well, we hiked. See ^ ? Got some photos.

I wonder if the make out car couple got photos.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

music for the season

I got up this morning and looked outside. It was dark and rather unappealing. I could make out some stars and patches of ice and crusty snow. The thermometer said 18.3 Fahrenheit.

So I thought a bit. Go out and freeze my face off before biting it on a crusty chunk of ice and laying broken and immobilized while dying a slow hypothermic death? Or treadmill?

As much as I love a good adventure, I chose the treadmill.

A treadmill can be drudgery to some, and yes, it's not the same experience as running outside. Not at all. When I'm outside, I can enjoy the fresh air and the scenery and whatnot. Inside on the treadmill, I compensate. I listen to tunes.

We all have different tastes in music. Sometimes people will ask for music recommendations for the treadmill. Some good high-energy music to pass the miles. My preferences might not match yours. Let me just say, though, after this morning. Here's one I recommend.

I want your ugly
I want your disease...
I want Lady Gaga to come to my house for Thanksgiving, please

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Silver Liningness Sunday

The week started off with heavy, dense snow, and a lot of that snow is still here. Lots to evaporate! Aren't we all thankful for the hydrologic cycle?!

Onto other thankfulness, it was another good week, after all.

Firstly, we are all officially on Fall Break at the moment. An entire 9 days of no work, no school. I'm looking forward to that... I think.

The Thanksgiving Feast at the elementary school was fun and nourishing. Yes, I obediently complied and wore my white shirt/black pants casino outfit. I had stuffing duty, which is quite taxing on the forarm. Luckily, I later rotated to gravy.

No, we did not go camping this week. We would've likely frozen our patooties off had we gone, but since I made it a point to include a photo in the silver liningness entries, I just went and found one to my liking from a camping trip last summer. I'm thankful for technology... and memory.

Remember last week, I was all Laura Ingalls and made banana bread while the snow flew outside? Well Judy subsequently sent me one of her banana bread recipes, which includes crushed pineapple - oh she's a saucy one that Judy! I made two loaves of it this week. Num num num num... (no photo on account of the feeding frenzy that ensued).

We watched G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra this weekend. Clearly, I am not a member of the target audience for this movie. But it did provide a nice little nap opportunity for me.

Oh, and I'm a year older. Beats the alternative.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

eleven twenty-one sixty-four

I came across this photo of my brother and me several several years ago, I was probably about 13 years old or so.

Being a 13-years-old-or-so girl, my initial reaction was, "GAWD, Mom, I look terrible!" Yeah, Mom was in the room with me as I poured through a box of old photos.

"I look like I'm on my deathbed!", I continued in annoying adolescent girl fashion.

"Yes", she replied. "I think you're saying that Wombat killed you" (noting my index finger clearly identifying the villain) after which she commenced to laughing hysterically. Really. I think she may have peed a little.

So, what brought back this memory? Well, today is my birthday, so naturally I'm thinking of my death.

Just kidding, that would be morbid. A little.

Actually, that memory came back because I was thinking *a little bit* about my death and I got a birthday greeting from the villain brother. He wished me a happy birthday in tagalog - Filipino language. Mom's Filipina, Dad's not, so we kids are half. We really don't know the language other than a few words like terms for body parts taught to us during bath times and not typically shared in mixed company.

Being born on the cusp of Scorpio, my birthday has always fallen near Thanksgiving. So I'm thankful to be seeing another birthday. I'm thankful for Mom. And Dad. And brothers. Even Wombat, who was and is, clearly, the favorite child. Bad hair and all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

oh em gee

It's a day off today, and I've got a to-do list sitting here in front of me. There is no item that says "blog", but since I can't decide what to do next, here I am.

I just got back from Friday morning VoMo duty in Meego's classroom, so maybe I can scratch that off of the TD list to make me feel somewhat productive. Of course, I'll have to write it on the TD list first... then scratch.





Update: It's later now.

See, as I was sitting here procrastinating, I looked at what I needed to do and saw "alignment for the subaru", and thought, "well, there's something fun I can do". Okay, not really. But I wanted to get that done and it looked better than dog kennel duty so....

I've vented here before about my mistrust of our automotive service place. Seemed that every time I took a vehicle there for something minor like an oil change, they'd find a bunch of $$$tuff that needed fixing. But I reluctantly continued to go there because of their convenient location.

Today, I rebelled. I found another shop that's a little further away, but not by much, for the alignment. After a short wait, this is what they said (paraphrasing).

"The alignment's not that bad, the pulling is mainly caused by a tire issue. Your tire tread is still okay, but if you're going to get tires in the next few months, you should just do the alignment then. You don't really need to do anything now".

Then she printed out a "receipt" for ZERO dollars.

It's Friday, I'm in love.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

spooning, missionary style

Got a call yesterday. A not-too-frantic call from a mom friend from the elementary school. Seems she had gotten a slightly more frantic call from another mom friend a bit earlier.

Me: Hello?
MF: Hey Abby, it's Mom Friend
Me: Hey
MF: I just got a call from Other Mom Friend who just got a call from School Secretary
Me: Yeah hmmmm.
MF: School Secretary's in a panic because they NEEEED servers for the feast. Other Mom Friend has to go to work today, so she asked me to round up a few servers. Neighbor Mom Friend and I're going, you wanna go?
Me: Yeah, I can sling some hash on Wednesday.
MF: Cool, that's 4 of us so far...

So yes, today's the annual Thanksgiving Feast at the elementary school, also known as Let's-Get-High-Off-Sterno day.

Each year, the school goes all out, setting up a couple of buffet lines, cooking up a bunch of turkeys and fixings, inviting parents to eat with their kids, and getting all tryptophaned out. This endeavor takes a bit of help, mainly in the form of slave labor to carve the turkeys and dish out the food. That's where we come in.

I've done this before and it's actually quite fun and festive. And did I mention the sterno high?

So our phone conversation wrapped up

MF: School Secretary says to be there about 10:45.
Me: No problem.
MF: She says to wear black pants and white shirt.
Me: What?
MF: Yeah, they're imposing a dress code on us this year.
Me: Right, first they're begging for help, then they wanna tell us how to dress?
MF: Yeah....
Me: Okay fine.

Black pants and white shirt. Sounds a bit like "casino night at the elementary school" or perhaps a gathering of Mormon missionaries.

Anything for Let's-Get-High-Off-Sterno day, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

putting the fun in dysfunction

Magnum's sister invited us over for Thanksgiving.

We're not sure if it was just a token invitation or if she actually wants us to show up, but we're thinking token.

See, Magnum and the sister aren't all that close. In fact, we have pretty much attained Black Sheep status with most of the family - a position I actually hold in high regard. They're all quite crazy in their own technical psychological issues sense. I won't go into details, but nearly 20 years of marriage have educated me in just about all things "dysfunctional family".

So we got the invite. This despite the fact that the last time she and Magnum spoke, it was a while ago, and the conversation ended with a rather abrupt, drama-queenish slamming of the phone. Her phone.

The whole family is notorious for sweeping things under the rug and pretending that the big lumps they make are not really there. Bring up a lump and you'll likely have a phone slammed.

So we were out walking the other day.

Me: Your sister invited us over for Thanksgiving.
Mag: *silence*
Mag: *silence"
Mag: Over the phone? (probably remembering that last conversation...)
Me: No, e-mail.
Mag: I wonder why.
Me: She's probably hoping we say no.
Mag: So how should we say no? Just "No thanks"? "No thanks, we'd rather not"?
Me: I dunno, she's your (mental) sister. *parentheses used to illustrate word spoken in my mind only*
Me: We could say we have other plans. (We really don't yet, but it's not technically a lie is it?)
Mag: Yeah, we have plans not to spend it with them.
Me: See, so that works?

At times this bums me out. I sometimes wish I had married into a family I actually liked. And anyone who reads here regularly should know that I don't necessarily have a problem with "crazy" per se.... It's just this family's particular brand of crazy that doesn't mix well with me. Seriously, it's a wonder Magnum survived childhood.

In fact, this particular sister - I used to really like her. Then she got all weird and did a total flip-flop thing. It's like a whole 'nother person in a Mag's-sister suit.

But, it is what it is. And now I know what we're not doing for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Silver Liningness Sunday

Got snow? We Do!!

Woke up to White World this morning. It's pretty. I probably won't like it so much come March, but for now it's good.

Another week down, another batch of things to be thankful for. For starters, I'm thankful for my industrial strength snow shovel, but onto other matters...

Well, it was Veteran's Day on Wednesday, and I'm certainly thankful for all of our veterans. The elementary school sold wristbands (those rubbery kind) for a dollar apiece - all proceeds going to a local VA hospital. It was a feeding frenzy! I managed to buy one of each color before they were all gone. Great idea.

I learned that my neice is getting hitched in January! My oldest brother's daughter. The only girl spawn from my brothers and me. I'm happy for her. Marriage is a nice thing.

When life gives you squishy bananas, what should you do? Make banana bread! I did this last night while it was cold and snowy outside.

And I'm thankful for my students. One of my classes is coming to an end in a couple of days. I gave them their last practice test yesterday. They've worked hard (most of 'em *ahem*) and I really want to see them (most of 'em *ahem*) go on to successful lawyerdom.

Remember how we got new neighbors next door? They seem nice. This week we got new neighbors at the other next door... Stay tuned.

Chaco just said, "I'm going to go shovel the driveway". WHAT?! I'll take it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

pay no attention to the woman behind the bedsheet

Ah, Friday. It's a day off, but it's also my school VoMo day. I just got back from Meego's class. There was a bit of rowdiness going on.

See, there's a sub today. Teacher's out of town, so bring in the sub and let the hellions at her!

The sub happens to be a friend of mine, who also has kids at that school, who also is a familiar face to many of the kids. Still, she is not immune to substitute teacher abuse. I'm actually a bit glad to be out of there right now...

And it makes me appreciate my own job. Growing up, I didn't plan on being a teacher, it's just where I find myself now in this season of my life. Don't know how long I'll stay with it, assuming it's entirely up to me, but it's good for now.

Had both live-in-the-flesh class sessions this week and a couple of live online class sessions. The live online thing is really growing on me. It's a bit weird because we can't read our students' body language. Also, we're told in our training, that it's different for them too, because they mainly just see a small head-and-shoulders shot of us rather than having a full sized 3-dimensional teacher. So everyone's adjusting.

We get all these tips about making the most of our little head-and-shoulders box in the "classroom". Tips about what color to wear, about what color to use for our background, etc. I remember a trainer saying, "you don't want it to look like you've just got a bedsheet hanging behind you".

Well, newsflash: I DO just have a bedsheet hanging behind me.

Works for me. In fact, it's appearance is very similar to the background that particular trainer had. I wonder, does SHE also just have a bedsheet hanging behind HER?? (Pay no attention to the bedsheet hem there, just under the right armpit...)

Last night's online class was going nicely. I was just TAing with another teacher, so I was completely offscreen anyway. We were discussing stress management - strategies to get their minds off of test anxiety - when one student suggested Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2!!!

Oh, the excitement that brought about in the chatbox! In fact, looking back, it was very similar to the just barely controlled chaos going on in Meego's classroom this morning.

This was for a GMAT class - future MBA's. Is there no escape?

Maybe Chaco has a future in management.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

call of duty

Duu-huuude, get ur copy of Modern Warfare 2?

Yeah, that's where I was yesterday... at the local GameStop store. Apparently, this was a big deal release

And I actually knew it was coming. I don't play video games, but they live in my home. I knew this was coming because Chaco purchased his "ticket" for the game several weeks ago.

And then he marked it on the calendar.

And then he programmed his calculator to countdown to the moment it would be available.

He forgets to turn in homework and yet, he marks the release of a video game on the calendar and writes a program regarding it? *sigh*

He reminded me several times in the days leading up to The Event that we would be going to the store right after school on Tuesday. See, it's rated "M", so for someone under 17 to get it, they have to have an accompanying parental type person there to say, "okay". Now, like I said, I don't play video games, but Magnum does and he says it's okay, so I get GameStop store parental duty.

On the way down there, I'm all, "So what's this game again? 'Mech Wars 2' or something?" and Chaco's all, "*sigh* callofdutymodernwarfare2!" and then I'm all "Wait... what's it called?" Geez, such a mom sometimes.

So we got there and it wasn't that bad. A short line was all, and no one dressed like the kid in the photo above. The true zealots were there at midnight, no doubt.

Luckily, Wolfgang had come along, because after we exited the mall, Chaco said "Okay, see ya!" and took off at a sprint towards home (we walked there). Now, our house is under a mile away from the mall, but it's all uphill. It was actually quite an impressive display of physicality. So, I say it was lucky that Wolfgang had accompanied us, because then I had someone to walk with.

I remember runner friend Ben recommending that I tie a video game to a string and run with it as a way to get the kids to run distances with me. I think that could actually work!

Monday, November 9, 2009

rounding second

Went shopping this morning to replenish all that was pilfered over the weekend. This is actually a pretty typical Monday event. What wasn't typical about my shopping today was the purchase of bras.

(okay, yes, possible TMI to follow)

I have long since resigned myself to the fact that I am not of the well-endowed. I'll actually confess to attempting some recommended exercises and even some herbal tea concoctions.

The exercises probably made me somewhat stronger, but didn't do much for the boob size. The tea? I dunno, I think "something" went on in there, they "felt" a little different, but the measuring tape read the same as before.

Okay fine.

They've served their purpose. Three babies somehow managed to fatten up from them, so I'm not really complaining.

But, recently I'd noticed that my current underthings had gotten pretty weathered. I can't even remember the last time I had new. So, it was off to the intimates department.

Omigosh, the selection. There seemed to be as many types and styles of bras as there are breasts to put in them. One of the benefits of being not of the well-endowed is I don't need all those extra supportive, separative, over-the-river-and-through-the-wood-ive accoutrements. Just enough to cover basic liability, thanks.

I searched rack after aisle after rack and finally, FINALLY, found some.

They were in the next department over. The "girls" section. Next to "women". I've got one on now, and admit that I'm quite satisfied with my purchase.

I think Miley Cyrus gets a cut.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Silver Liningness, part XII

As I look outside my window, I think, yes, it looks like November. Mostly cloudy. There's snow on the peak. A few rebellious leaves futilly cling to the trees.

I like it. I like this time of year.

After last week's epic snowstorm, the meteorological pendulum swung to the other extreme, and we had sunny and 70's this week. Nice for a change, but it's November. Today is a November kind of day. I like to use words like "brisk" and "nippy" and get to wear stuff like sweaters and leggings. Wearing both now...

It was a busy week, and busy hopefully yielded productivity. Work schedule is full with two separate classes going on, but they both come to an abrupt end in a couple of weeks. My next class, as of now, isn't scheduled until January, so I'm perusing the schedule for other openings. But I'm thankful that I'm not desperate for work and may just get a month off.

And speaking of those aforementioned leaves? I think I finally got all the raking and bagging done for the season. I count 17 bagfulls of yard vomit in the compost queue! And that's not counting the stuff that's already gone into the bins. Let's just call it an even 20 for the season! I win!!

On that note, I got Chaco to clean the gutters. He's started getting into parkour, so any excuse to climb and jump and stuff is fair game. In fact, it was HIS idea to clean the gutters. WHAT?! I knew I loved the French!

So happy November everyone! Don the leggings, your knee-high "ho" boots! Find disgusting treasures in your gutters!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Okay, so I got this e-mail. It was highly personal. I know that because it started out:

"Dear Colleague:"

It's from a group at the national level of the place I work. Apparently they are revamping the website and "online center"and want to include biographies of us teachers on there. The e-mail was asking me to click a link to fill out the survey for my info to be included in this sleek new "online center". The results of the survey are for "professionally-crafted profiles for perusal by prospective and current students"

Okay fine.

So I clicked the link, filled in a couple of rudimentary questions and then scanned some of the other questions. There were forward and backward buttons so I figured I could move around before submitting my survey.

Well, turns out I couldn't.

I clicked the forward button and got that "THANKS FOR COMPLETING OUR SURVEY. YOUR ANSWERS HAVE BEEN RECORDED" page. No going back, no reset button, just pretty much "thanks, goodbye, dear colleague".

Perhaps it will elicit my coming across as one of the more mysterious teachers. The intrigue my sparse profile will bring about will have prospective students signing up for classes left and right! What a great marketing ploy!

Or not.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Oh poor poor blog! I've neglected you so this week!

*fluffs the bedding* *freshens water* *removes droppings*

It's been a busy and productive week, and the Friday arrived in a hurry. You do realize that Thanksgiving is now less than 3 weeks away for us United Statesians? So... who are you spending it with?

Or better yet, who you LIKE to spend it with? I started thinking about this when I visited Beej (who has been neglecting her blog even worse than I have) over at facebook (the "blog affair"?) and decided I'd like Christopher Walken to come on over. Shall we brainstorm a few others? Others who I've never spent any time with IRL, but am willing to give a whirl?

Maybe Drowning Pool? That might liven things up a bit. Then again, they'd probably really trash the place...

How about Eric Balfour? I mean, since we're just harmlessly brainstorming and stuff... heh... *ahem*

How about that Progressive Insurance girl?
She's so friendly. I bet she'd help to clean up too.

This guy, since Chaco seems to have taken an interest in Parkour, of all things. But mainly because he's French. We should have someone French over for Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Silver Liningness, part XI

Happy November everyone! We've survived Halloween, and I am thankful for that extra hour - as silly as I think this whole thing of flipping clocks is, I'll take it.

Quite the tempestuous week it was! Had a minor snowstorm come through Sunday, delaying school on Monday. Then had an adult snowstorm come through on Tuesday which closed school on Wednesday and Thursday and delayed Friday. Kids in our district had just one real day - and even that is questionable - of school last week.

This made me thankful for the new furnace we got last fall.

It also made me thankful for those Live Online classes - not one missed class on account of weather.

And the party must still go on! Friday was Meego's school party. Good thing school was open. And speaking of Halloween...

Here we have an out-of-luck NASCAR driver; a Nearly Dead - it's apparently from a video game, so I'm told...; an Edward Cullen. [They get bigger if you click the pic].

The Nearly Dead took the crashed NASCAR driver out to trick-or-treat, along with a large M&M friend. The M&M friend was actually quite frightening because said friend is positiviely allergic to M&M's.

Edward Cullen went to a party and has yet to return.

As for me, I had to work in the morning. I thought I would dress up as a geeky professor type, but then worried that my students might not realize that I was in costume, so...

And the afternoon was absolutely beautiful, weather-wise. We went to a local popular park and play play PLAYED!

Oh, and those tracks in the snow? Remember? I think I have a positive identification. The M&M kid, before he transformed into the allergen, was wearing an animal tracks t-shirt. I found Red Fox prints near the kid's spleen.

Sly thing... probably after my eggs.