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Sep. 10th, 2015

When Good Sons Smell Bad...

So... the Impossible Son is now a freshman in high school.

*pause for motherly whimpering*

In our small town, the freshman campus is separate from the high school. It's also on the other side of town from where we live. Not a big deal, because this is a small town. I am lucky, though, that his first period class, athletics, is at the high school, and so is his last class of the day, because this means he can walk to school in the morning and walk home in the afternoon, since the high school is just down the street from us. Which means... no more sitting in long slow lines of cars to drop off/pick up my student, HUZZAH!!!!

*dance of joy, dance of joy*

Since Impossible is also on the high school cross country team, this also means that every other morning, he has to be at the high school at 6:30 a.m. for running practice. The Husbandly One drops him off on his way to work, and if I wait long enough, I can go out on the back deck and see the whole team go running by. They get back to the school in time for the team to shower and get ready for their first period class. Which, for my son, is athletics, as I mentioned earlier.

The next thing I need to mention is that my son, at 14, is the tallest person in our house. He is all long arms and legs, and the basketball coach pretty much started drooling the moment the Impossible Son loped into the gym. So... the Impossible Son spends first period playing basketball pretty much nonstop. All. Period. Long.

All freshman who have their first and last periods at the high school are required to ride a bus to go back and forth. This bus leaves at a very specific time, and if a student isn't there at that time... too bad, so sad. There is only ONE bus for this. I totally get that.

However, what this means for athletic students is... depending on the coach, there is NO TIME FOR A SHOWER.

This... is NOT a good thing.

So, Tuesday morning of the second week of school, I was sitting and staring at the story I'm presently working on and wondering if I needed to do little tweaking of my outline when the Dropkick Murphys start screaming, "I'm a sailor peg, and I lost my leg! Climbing up the topsails, I lost my leeeeegggg!!"

It's my phone, and I think, "I turned in the athletic forms, he has all his school supplies, omg, what has he done now?"

"Hey, Mom."

I frown at look at the clock, thinking, did he miss the bus?

"I need to come home and take a shower."

Blink. Blink.

"Wait a minute, didn't you take a shower after class?"

"There was no time," he said a little sheepishly. "I mean, I barely have time after practice to throw on my clothes! I have to get out to the bus as fast as I can, no time for a shower!"

Okay, I know that's true, it was true when my daughter was a freshman, and will probably be true until the construction at the high school is finished.

"Impossible, you'll just have to suffer through it," I begin, knowing the school won't just let him come home. Then I realize, the ringtone was the Dropkick Murphys, not the Legend of Zelda. He was calling from the school office, not his own phone.

"Mom, everyone in my class says I reek! I stink, Mom, even the teacher says so! I need a shower!" he insisted.

It doesn't normally take me this long to catch on. "Wait a minute, are you just calling me on your own, or did the teacher send you to the office to actually go home and take a shower?"

"Yes, Mom, my teacher insisted!"

"Okay, I'll be there in a few minutes."

I was sort of stunned, but, having been around the Impossible Son when he was sweaty, I could sort of see it. Thing is, he didn't have that much of a body odor problem, really. It was mostly his feet that would get us during soccer season, where we would beg him to keep his shoes on until we were out of the car. But that's soccer pong, and just means keeping his gear clean. So, I got in the car and drove over to the freshman campus to sign him out.

The freshman campus was built in 1923 and has all the problems you'd associate with a building that old. It's small (the current class of freshmen are practically bursting out of the seams), it smells, and it's hard to air condition. In fact, only the classrooms and offices are air conditioned, while the halls are NOT. It's like walking into a sauna when you enter the building, and you want to hold your breath until you get into the office, where it's nice and cool. At least for a few minutes. Air conditioning at the freshman campus really means not as hot as the hall way.

So, I wade through the sauna to the relative comfort of the office to sign my son out. He arrives and keeps a careful distance from me, and when we get outside, immediately moves downwind of me.

"It's bad, isn't it?" he asks, eying me as we walk to the car.

"Not really." I take a careful sniff, but I don't smell much because... he's downwind.

"Just wait," he says ominously.

Amused, I unlock the car, we get in, I pull the window shade off the dash, start the car and get the AC going... and immediately my eyes start watering, my gag reflex leaps up and punches me in the throat, and my nose and lungs start rebelling and trying to escape.

"Oh... my... God..." I gag, turning to stare at my son in horror. "Did you roll in something dead??"

He's grinning at me. "I know, right?" The Impossible Son's cheeks are red with embarrassment, but there's an odd sort of pride in his eyes, too. "It's awful, isn't it? I told you! You didn't believe me!"

Frantically opening all the windows in my car, including the sun roof, with the AC going full blast in the faint hope of getting the... the... STANK out of my car, eyes watering and leaning away from my child, all I can say is, "Holy crap... how the fuck did this happen??"

"Mom," the Impossible Son says as leans helpfully away from me, "we ran four miles this morning in cross country, and then I had to go straight to basketball practice! No time for a shower! And then we barely have time to dress before we have to catch the bus! We all reek!"

I think all my nose hair was gone by the time we got home. My eyes are watering just remembering this. It was horrible. Like... old cheddar cheese that's been sitting in a bowl of water in direct sunlight for three days, and moldy soccer socks in a hot car, with a little muddy dog and three weeks unchanged cat litter box. During a hundred degree summer. With... sweat.

*is still horrified*

I never thought I'd ever say that about one of my children, but omg, he reeked. It made soccer pong look... pleasant.

So, after he'd decontaminated and changed clothes, he told me the story.

He was in his second period biology class, and the teacher had broken them up into smaller groups to work on their assignment. First, the kids in his group had started moving away from him with, "God, Impossible, WTF?" and "Dude, did you even take a shower??" Then some of the groups that were close to them started complaining and became vocal about insisting he go home to take a shower. The teacher, noticing the increasingly vocal protests, called him over to find out what was going on. At this point, Mr. Impossible had had enough. "Miss Biology Teacher, I really need to go home and take a shower," he said apologetically.

She said humorously, "So you're a little sweaty, you're fine, stop messing around and get back to work."

"No, I really, really stink, that's why they're all complaining," he insisted.

At that moment, the AC came on, and the vent was apparently behind him and blew air directly toward her. He said she was opening her mouth to probably tell him to go back to his table when his personal cloud of stench was blown into her face.

She froze. Her eyes went wide and her nostrils flared. Her eyes bulged as she stared up at him with horror, then they reddened and started to water. Her nose looked like it was trying to pinch itself shut. Her hands gripped the desk so hard, her knuckles went white. And her mouth snapped shut.

He said, "I seriously started to worry about her, because it was like... she stopped breathing!"

Of course, she stopped breathing! She was trying not to smell him.

After a moment, she started frantically pointing at the door. "You," she said, scooting hastily away from him after thrusting a hall pass at him. "You! Home! Now! SHOWER!!!"

"Well," I said, leaning toward him, "you smell much better now."

"I should," he said as we got in the car to go back to the freshman campus. "I used almost half my body wash cleaning myself off! Do they make industrial strength body wash?"

"No, and before you ask, Axe Body spray is not shower in a can," I said firmly. "If you had used it you would not have smelled better. You would still have the Stench, it just would have been... the Stench WITH Axe Body spray. And that would have been much worse."

"How do you know?" he asked as we pulled up to the school and I parked.

"Because the pot smokers at my high school used to try to disguise the smell of what they'd been doing before school started with this mint breath spray called Binaca. And it never worked." I grinned at him. "They never understood why they kept getting caught, but you know, it was because instead of smelling like pot smokers, they now smelled like Fresh MINTY Pot Smokers™!"

He laughed. "I'll pass that on!"

"Good. Because we're all kind of tired of smelling sweaty teen pong with Axe Body spray!"

You know, I'm still working on getting the smell out of my car!

Jul. 30th, 2015

1000 People and One Song...

Folks, today this wins the internet...

Jul. 19th, 2015

Because the wind is moving softly through the trees and stars...

It's been a while since I could sit out on the back deck at night, thanks to the giant pterodactyl skeeters we've been having lately. No, seriously, those suckers hurt when they bite (no pun intended), and since I've been having allergic reactions to mosquito repellant lately, it was easier to just stay inside.

But tonight, there was a lovely breeze, and it was just cool enough to be pleasantly warm, instead of overbearingly hot, and there was no moon, so the sky was bright with stars. I went out barefoot and sat in one of the chairs, pushing another chair around so I could rest my feet on the seat cushion, and tilted my head back to look up at the sky.

When we first moved out to Central Texas, we lived way out in the middle of nowhere on a two lane highway between San Marcos and Bastrop. There were hardly any houses out there, just lots of cattle, coyotes, and Nubian sheep. And at night?

I had never seen the Milky Way, except when I was in a drum and bugle corps and we were stalled at night out in the middle of nowhere and I just happened to look up. But when we went outside the first night after moving to the 21 house, I remember frowning at the big giant smear splitting the sky in two and asking my husband, "What the heck is that? Incandescent smoke??"

The Husbandly One laughed at me and said, "That's the Milky Way."

I was floored. And I was hooked. I spent a lot of time outside at night after that!

It's one of the few things I regret about moving into town, though by the time we left the 21 house, the population in that area had grown to the point where it was getting hard to see the Milky Way at night. Still, when I sit on the back deck and look up at the night sky, though it's more full of stars than the sky I grew up with in Houston, still... something is missing.

There was this lovely breeze, though, and it was enough to lift my hair from my sweaty neck, and I listened to the night chirps of insects and frogs, the soft twitter of birds, and the occasional owl. There was distant laughter from a house down the block, the smell of hay from a far off field, and somewhere nearby, night-blooming flowers were opening just enough to lightly perfume the air. It was so calm and peaceful, and it made me remember why we bought this house.

The Husbandly One coiled solar LED fairy lights around the porch columns with the help of some friends earlier this summer, and they gave just enough light to see by without overwhelming the night sky. He came out to see what I was up to and sat down to chat, and I looked up just in time to see a meteor streak across the sky overhead.

Yeah, a lovely night to sit, listen, and just be...

Mar. 2nd, 2015

Mind the Memory Gap...

Most of the time, I deal pretty well with my mother having Alzheimer's. If dealing pretty well means living 150 some odd miles away and not having to deal with it every day, and avoiding calling sometimes because we have the same conversation every single time.

Some times, I feel like the worst daughter on the planet, and the worst sister.

Other times, I'm realistic about it. My sisters' kids are all grown up and mostly married with kids of their own, or at least independent. I still have teenagers at home, and though one will be starting college soon, the other still needs a lot of time and attention. I remember very well what it was like to have my mother caring for an elderly relative and babysitting a grandchild. Something had to give, and a lot of times, that thing was me. I won't do that to my son.

Every once in a while, though, it'll hit me, and hit me hard. Talking with my mom is an exercise in patience, because her short term memory is non-existent, so she forgets what she's talking about in the middle of a sentence sometimes. Her memories are compressed, so now, instead of my sisters growing up in the fifties and being teenagers when I was arrived as a surprise, now, we all grew up together and are only a few years apart. Then she sees my kids and corrects, but I can tell it bothers her and she can't reconcile it in her mind. That frustrates her and makes her unreasonably angry.

Well, actually, she does have a reason. She knows something is wrong with her memory, but she's not sure what it is. It frustrates her. And it scares her.

Flaky Sister has told me about times that Mom has attacked her or acted out with her, and I've tried to point out that it isn't personal, because it isn't. Mom will be furious with her and sulk... and three minutes later, she's completely forgotten about it. But Flaky Sister, who still has not dealt with her childhood the way the Blonde Sister and I have, can only see Mom through the lens of those years. So everything Mom does is deliberate and personal.

This worries me.

For now, though, there is nothing we can do about it.

This can't go on, though. We're going to have to put Mom in a home. She is already starting to exceed the Flaky Sister's abilities to take care of her. At first, Flaky wanted me to take Mom and put her in a home here, but I find the fact that our doctor refused to give me any kind of clues about what the home was like to be... ominous, and further research convinced me it wasn't exactly the best place for her. Plus, they don't handle Alzheimer's patients. This fact was confirmed for me when pleas went up on our local discussion board for places that do handle Alz. patients when the local home refused to deal with several patients who had reached the combative stage of their illness and wanted them placed elsewhere.

I have taken Mom for weekends, and I've told my sisters that three days is about my limit (they always want four or five). Three days is my limit, because I can't deal with the demand of taking care of my mom and my kids, and deal with my own issues.

Which my sisters conveniently forget, mostly because they don't see me all that much anymore.

I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease, and while at first, it just made me really tired all the time, now if I get a little virus or infection, it's like getting slammed with a brick wall. Seriously. Christmas 2013, we got the flu. My husband was up and about in two to three weeks. Me? I was down for nearly six months! I got over it and started getting better, and thought, well, I'm back to normal now, okay, yay, life!

Then I got a flu shot. And had an infection in my gums.

I'm still recovering.

It's like my immune system has turned into this hyper overprotective mother who has to completely overdo things and then turns around and punches my thyroid for reasons.

Where my mom is concerned, you have to be completely on your game. Seriously, her memory may be spotty, but that woman was sharp in her prime, and she still has her moments. The only difference is now, when she's angrily laying down the law or ranting about something, I can nod, and then say, "Look, Mom, DUCKS!" and it completely derails her.

It helps that we actually have ducks.

I once sat and watched I Was A Male War Bride on Netflix with her four times in a row. Why? Because every time the movie ended and the screen returned to the title page, she'd get excited and say, "Oh, let's watch this one! I've never seen this one before!"

The first two times, I tried to remind her we'd just watched it, but she had no memory of it, and I'd gamely start it back up again. After the fourth time, my daughter took pity on me and distracted Grandma with her art.

Oh, and I can't leave her sight. She'll look for me, so this makes going to the bathroom tricky. She's a fall risk now, and my sisters would absolutely kill me if Mom fell while in my custody and broke herself.

So my limit is three days. Three days on a weekend, because let's face it, we have to tag-team Mom. So that means two adults and two teenagers, plus three cats and three ducks, to manage one little old frail 87 year old woman who may not have her memory, but still has no trouble getting in trouble.

I still, however, am determined to find a group of willing bikers for a prank photo op. I want to take a photo of my mom astride a Harley, or some similar huge machine, with a big burly biker sitting behind her, grinning, and the rest of the gang around them, grinning. I want her hands on the handlebars, and maybe a bandanna around her forehead. Maybe a leather jacket on, too. And I'll send it to the Flaky Sister. And wait for the incipient heart attack.

That should pay her back for the four and a half days she left Mom with me nicely!

No, I'm not vindictive at all!

Jun. 2nd, 2014

Pomp and Circumstance...

So, last Friday night, this happened...

Yes, after twelve years of alphabets, numbers, packages and packages of lined paper and crayons, dodgy math education and questionable science, hoping that this year she gets a good teacher, hoping that the district keepsthe good teacher, crying when the district lost a good teacher, two bouts of mono, freezing in the stands and cheering for her while watching her play soccer, then holding her when the coach turned out to be a major asshole, endless teacher conferences and meetings with the principal to argue against stupidity in administration, doing the happy-happy-joy-joy dance with her teachers when something went right, many, many MANY bento lunches, and lots of hugs, love, and encouragement... the Impertinent Daughter has graduated from high school.

Even through the many obstacles that were thrown up at the end, like having to have a stupid orange paper signed by teachers that my daughter NEVER HAD and pay any fees that were owing OR SHE WOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO WALK ACROSS THE STAGE TO GET HER DIPLOMA, my daughter graduated.

And it was a wonderful, joyous ceremony, too! I have to share!

There was a brouhaha because of the threat of rain, and we weren't sure whether we'd be able to hold it at the high school stadium or not, but the weather remained clear. As parents, the Husbandly One and I were seated on the football field (the ceremony was held on the field, with everyone else sitting in the stands), and we got to watch our daughter file in with her classmates, that million megawatt smile in full evidence when she spotted us. The Tall Blonde told me later that past graduations were much more solemn and controlled than this one, but this one? Well, let's just say the Impertinent Daughter's influence on her classmates was most clearly seen in this ceremony.

And, I will also say it was because Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere has been the grade-level principal for this particular group of seniors since they were in sixth grade. Well, actually, she was placed on administrative leave for a year after 8th grade because of the howling protest all of us parents put up. Unfortunately, she turned up at the high school when they got there for 10th grade. So, when I say Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere had an influence on how this group handled their graduation, I don't mean it as a compliment.

Let me put it this way, when the valedictorian gave her speech, she directly contradicted what Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere said in her speech to the kids earlier, her "Your years in high school are the best years of your life," or some such nonsense. Valedictorian said, "Guys, don't make high school the best years of your life. Those are yet to come. If high school is the best time of your life, then your life is going to suck." Or something to that effect. But the best part of her speech was the end, when she said, "Okay, remember what we discussed? On the count of three, one... two... three..." and the seniors shouted, "DOBBY IS FREEEEEEE!!"

Oh, yeah. Awesome. And boy, didn't Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere looked puzzled?

The other funny thing? The beach balls. OMG, y'all, the moment that woman started speaking, the beach balls bounced up from everywhere among the seniors. And silly string!! Streamers!! CONFETTI CANNONS!!! It was EPIC!!


Adding insult to injury? In previous years, when administrators and security caught the balls, they'd pop them with knives and dispose of them. This year? THEY THREW THEM BACK TO THE KIDS AND EVEN JOINED IN ON THE FUN!!


I noticed all the kids were hugging Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere and thought that was weird, but I also noticed they were draping something around her neck. I found out later the hug was REQUIRED (by guess who?), but I was vastly entertained when I found out that what the kids were giving her and draping around her neck were their school ID's and lanyards.

If that isn't the biggest "fuck you, bitch!" I don't know what is!!

Oh, yes, the kids got their hits back in on Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere, and did it with humor, class, and the full participation of the rest of the staff! In fact, the entire ceremony pretty much fell apart when it was time for her to give the closing speech. No one knows what it was, because everyone was pretty much up and moving to take photos with their kids, or leaving the stadium.

If that doesn't give a clear impression of "No one in this district respects you," then I have little hope of anything getting the message across to her.

But I care not. Do you know why? Because my beautiful, wonderful, brilliant, talented, artistic, and just plain epically awesome daughter graduated from high school, and did it her way.


The first photograph is mine, but credit for the gifs go to [info]krystiegoddess, who was much calmer than me and took more photos than I did. I fully expect to return the favor in a few years when it's her turn!

May. 4th, 2014

"To everything, turn, turn, turn..."

I somehow never envisioned this day.

Well, I did, but far off in some misty, distant future, nebulous and untouchable in the land of Someday. Because in my mind's eye, last week, my daughter was two and lurching around the living room with a very large dog and three attendant cats, chocolate smeared around her mouth from the chocolate chip cookie she was hanging onto with fierce determination as she headed for her goal; the front door.

Three days ago, she was pushing her baby brother in a giant Tonka truck across the kitchen floor while he squealed with glee, making "Vroom! Vroom!" noises while the Triplicats scattered out of the way.

Two days ago, she was waving impatiently at me to leave as I hovered outside her first grade classroom, her brother in a backpack on my back, hoping she was going to be okay, and that she would make friends.

Yesterday, she was playing in her first soccer game, stunning us both as she displayed a determination and ferocity that has gotten her through every hurdle that has been placed in her way. I still remember having to hold onto the Husbandly One when a kid who seemed like a veritable giant loomed over her and looked like he was going to plonk a massive fist on top of her head and crush her as he stole the ball from her. She looked up at him, sniffed derisively, then plowed him over as she took the ball back, and passed it to one of the forwards, who immediately took it and made a goal. She then turned to face the boy and flounced past him to show how beneath her contempt he was and ignored him for the rest of the game.

It was very demoralizing for him.

Last night, I hugged my seventeen year old daughter for the last time, and this morning, I hugged my eighteen year old daughter for the first time.

The night the Impertinent Daughter was born was one of the most... ridiculous and yet wonderful nights of my life. My water broke three fourths of the way through an episode of the X-Files, an episode I still to this day have never seen through to the end, and then we were rushing to the hospital, feeling woefully unprepared. I mean, we decided on her name on the way to the hospital!! Seriously!!

I had a C-section, because she was a breech baby, and I remember when I heard that first cry thinking, "Oh, my God... what have I done? What have I done?? I can't be a mother!! I'm too immature!! I'm not stable enough! I'm gonna fuck her up, and she'll be lying on a couch by the time she's 25, spilling her guts to a therapist about her whacko mom and how she totally fucked her up and... and... I CAN'T DO THIS!!"

Meanwhile, they were cleaning her up, and the Husbandly One was looking at her and cutting the cord and all that, and then they laid her in my arms, wrapped up like a little burrito. I looked into her tired little scrunched up face, her centuries old eyes looking up into mine, and felt my breath catch. She wriggled a tiny hand free of the burrito wrap, then reached up to touch my face, stroking my chin, and suddenly, I was calm.

I could do this.

We could do this. We would grow and learn together, and we could totally do this.

And now, here we are, eighteen years later. She's got a driver's license. She'll be graduating from high school in a few weeks. And there's a part of me that's screaming, "No, no, I can't do this! I can't let go of my little girl, my baby, my firstborn, I can't let her go out into the wild, crazy world, because she's not ready! I'M not ready!!"

Today, she hugged me, and touched my face, and I thought, "Maybe... maybe I can do this."

Nah, not really, but you know... I'll give it a really good try.

Happy Birthday, Impertinent Daughter. You have given the roller coaster of my life some really wild twists and turns, some of them utterly terrifying, but I hung on and I've enjoyed the ride. And I can't wait to see where it'll take us next!!


Mar. 25th, 2014

On the subject of excuse notes...

The Impertinent Daughter is a senior and will be graduating this year. That's twelve years worth of excuse notes that I've written for her alone (because I home-schooled her for kindergarten), and I am so done with this school district. Seriously.

In fact, you could say I've gotten rather jaded, and after last year's experiences of having to go toe-to-toe with administration just to get the Impossible Son moved to a class where he wasn't being bullied by his teacher, and then this year, well... I finally just... let go and gave them the full benefit of my biting sarcasm and dry wit when I had to write excuse notes. Or when I have to check the kids out of school.

Once, when I had to pull out the Impertinent Daughter to go with us to one of the Impossible Son's orthodontic appointments, I wrote in the check out slot, "orthodontic torture" for the reason. When she started her period and was cramping so badly she couldn't stand up straight, I wrote, "uterine vengeance and gore."

Why not?

So one morning, when I was sitting there, trying to cudgel my not really awake brain into composing yet another bland and professional excuse note, I just... gave in to my inner demons and wrote this:

"Please excuse the Impertinent Daughter's absences on Monday, February 3rd, and Tuesday, February 4th. We shall blame her grandfather for this one, because he was the one who decided to pass down the completely unnecessary and totally un-fun Migraine Gene. He could have passed down any gene but this one. Did he give her his green eyes? No. Did he give her the ability to imitate any bird call she hears? No. He gave her migraines.

We have both decided this is totally unfair and wish to complain to the management. Management seems to be ignoring us at the moment, and so, she’s had a migraine the last two days, and while she isn’t really over it, she’s attempting school today anyway."

I figured, what the hell? What are they going to do, yell at me? I'll just smile evilly and ask them what precisely is wrong with the excuse note? It gives the salient facts in an entertaining and light-hearted manner, and if they don't agree, too bad. Besides, I'm working on the supposition that these things are just as boring for them to read as they are for me to write. Why not entertain everyone? I figure it's a win all the way around. I get to practice my creative writing skills, and they get to spew coffee all over their office! WIN!!

Here's another one:

"Please excuse the Impertinent Daughter’s absences on Tuesday, February 11th, Wednesday, February12th, and Thursday, February 13th.

There was an epic battle with a virus that turned into a secondary sinus infection. Fortunately, the valiant Sir Zithromax came to her rescue, and destroyed the bacterium that tried to invade her sinuses. This enabled her trusty White Knights to defeat the despicable virus that had brought her down in the first place. Thus, she is able to return to school today. Do not be startled by the barking. It is not a werewolf. It is merely Miss Impertinent coughing."

Or this one:

"Please excuse the Impertinent Daughter’s absence from school on Friday, January 11th, and Monday, January 13th. We were having adventures with possible mono, which most fortunately, did not come to pass. The doctor did not want Miss Impertinent to return to school until the blood work came back, due to Miss Impertinent’s unfortunate habit of biting people and trying to turn them into werewolves. We’ve had the werewolf discussion with Miss Impertinent. I don’t think she’s listening. Still, the blood work came back and showed no mono, just an opportunistic virus that had nothing to do with werewolves, and everything to do with making her queasy and tired. She should be fine for most activities, but definitely not werewolf hunting."

This is one of my favorites:

"Please excuse the Impertinent Daughter’s absence on Wednesday, January 8th. There was nausea. There was cramping. There was fatigue. And even worse, there came the Dreaded Noises We Shall Not Speak Of. Because of this, I, in my role of “She Who Must Be Obeyed,” decreed that the Impertinent Daughter should stay home and not inflict herself, nor her possible projectile vomiting (which thankfully did not occur) on the innocent populace of the high school.

She is still pale, wobbly, and vaguely nauseous, but determined not to miss classes. Should she become horizontal and immovable, I shall arrive forthwith to whisk her away to the doctor."

On that last line, I ALMOST said, "I shall arrive forthwith to whisk her away to the voodoo practitioner of our choice, there to have beads rattled over her, and then to be suspended by one leg until the evil spirits be exorcised or fall out forthwith..." but I figured that would have been a bit much. Besides, l like to keep the excuse notes to one page, if possible. It's best I limit myself, you know?

Lest you think I left the Impossible Son out, here's the only excuse note I could find (I think two others are either on the iMac, which is unavailable right now, or simply lost):

"Please excuse the Impossible Son’s absences on Tuesday, March 4th, and Wednesday, March 5th. First he turned green. Then he got the bulging eyes. There may have been excessive salivation. Thankfully, there was no projectile vomiting, though there were prodigious amounts of mucus.

Did I mention tonsils the size of ping pong balls?

Thankfully, it wasn’t some strange tropical disease, though that might have been quite exciting. And the doctor tested him for strep and mono (which seems to be going around), both of which turned out to be negative. So he should be good to go. However, should he start sprouting excessive hair, well, it could be puberty, or he could be turning into a werewolf. Please refrain from the use of silver bullets until I can come pick him up."

Fortunately, the staff at both the junior high and the high school have been getting a big kick out of these excuse notes. I had the principal at the junior high run me down one morning to tell me how much she enjoyed reading a note I had written when the Impossible Son got his first migraine (ugh). It reminded her of her mother writing a similar excuse note for her when she was in high school, so she thought it was pretty hilarious. And the normally dour attendance clerk at the high school is cheerful and greets me by name when I call in now. So... WIN!!!

And just think, they have at least five more years of this, until the Impossible Son graduates!

*evil smirk*

Oct. 17th, 2013

Shining through...

Every once in a while, little glimpses of the woman my mom used to be comes peeking through...

So, I was talking to her today, and while we were talking, Flaky Sister walks in to show her something. The first I hear of it is Mom saying, "What's that?"

"It's broccoli, Mom," I hear my sister say.

"Huh," says Mom thoughtfully. "Okay." Then after a long pause, she says, "Is it supposed to be brown???"

I nearly fell out of my chair, but managed not to laugh out loud, because I was dying to know the answer, you know?

"It's dehydrated," I heard Flaky Sister say with exasperation in her voice.

"I see," Mom said politely. "That's... interesting."

"I'm gonna take it back to the kitchen and put it on a plate so you can eat it after you get off the phone," my sister said.

"Okay," Mom said. "That's fine." And then, after a moment, when she was sure the Flaky Sister was gone, she leaned close to the phone and said, quite emphatically, "I'm not gonna eat that."

Yeah, I completely lost it at that point. And I don't blame her one bit!! Brown broccoli??? WTF?????

Sep. 26th, 2013

Half a Century? Really??

So, tomorrow, I will be fifty.

I'm still trying to decide how I feel about that. It is, after all, half of a century. And I have known the Husbandly One for half of my life, which seems really weird, because I feel like I've known him forever.

When I turned thirty, I barely noticed it. I was a little busy, so it just sort of... passed by. And when I turned forty, well... aside from some black balloons from a few friends, it wasn't that big of a deal, either. In fact, I found forty rather freeing. It was sort of the equivalent of being forced to stand up straight and at attention for 39 years, and then suddenly realizing it was okay, I could relax and take a nice, deep breath and have a bit of a rest now, thanks.

Not only that, but I was able to let go of a few things that had been weighing me down, realizing how utterly ridiculous they were, and boy, was it a relief! They were mostly things my mother had pre-programmed into me, and I was very happy to let them go.

Now, I'm looking at fifty and wondering where that's going to take me. I don't think I look fifty, though I'm not sure I know what fifty is supposed to look like, exactly. The Tall Blonde still insists on looking at my driver's license from time to time because she doesn't entirely believe me, and if she wasn't such a polite person, she'd probably demand to see my birth certificate as well. Still, I feel better than I have in a long time, and as a result, I'm more active than before. It's pretty awesome, so... I guess I'll call my fifties my "awesome decade."

Hey, whatever works!!

Sep. 10th, 2013

Happy Inbox...

So when I got back from picking up my son from school this afternoon, I pulled my phone out of my pocket to check for messages and noticed new emails, so I thumbed them open as I headed into the kitchen and saw one was a comment for the last chapter I'd uploaded on AO3. Cool, I thought, and opened it.

I read it and started laughing immediately and had to show the kids. Because seriously? Best. Comment. EVER.

"Gah! What a place to leave us, O Great Evil Author!"

I've had a big grin on my face for most of the day.

I love AO3!

Jul. 26th, 2013

Impertinent Fan-Art

I've been sitting on this for a while, and kept meaning to post it, but life and stuff, you know? Gets in the way.

Anyhow, this came about because of a conversation the Impertinent Daughter and I had after one of the "turning the Wraith human" episodes on Stargate Atlantis. Because we wondered how much of their human characteristics would they retain, how much of the behavior they'd witnessed among the guards would they remember and try to imitate...

What would happen if two Wraith tried to... high five each other?


I don't know what I like most... the verbally challenged drone, or the "Oh, crap!" moment, followed by flailing.

Jul. 12th, 2013


The Husbandly One surprised me yesterday with a brand new MacBook Air!!!

I was not expecting a new laptop this soon at all. I mean, I was hoping for one, since my Vaio died such an ignominious death (and I'm still hoping I can recover the hard drive), but not expecting one at any time before my birthday... maybe. So... I'm really happy!

Writing while out and about has been difficult since losing the Vaio. In fact, the last two times at the library while the kids were at their summer Animanga Club meetings was... frustrating. Trying to use THO's netbook sucked, because... one, it's Windows, and two, THO spilled liquid in the keyboard and thus, some of the keys are sticky, plus it's only got a partial version of Windows 7 (it came that way, if you want the actual full OS... you have to buy it. Extra. Yeah.) so it runs a little slow and it doesn't like using Word. I mean, it will run it, but it considers Word a bit dodgy and thinks less of you for using it.

I admire the Husbandly One's fortitude in using the damn thing.

The second time we were at the library, I borrowed the Impertinent Daughter's MacBook, and realized only after getting to the library that while I had installed Word for Mac on it (at her request, since her school uses Windows), I had not yet installed Pages... and the files on my USB drive were for Pages. I managed a work-around and did fine after that, but that should be one of my goals today, to install iWork on her Mac.

I finally asked THO about taking the Vaio somewhere to get it fixed, because, dammit, I need something to write on, something portable!! Dammit!!

And it wasn't like yesterday wasn't surreal on its own, you know? The Impertinent Daughter finished up the classroom instruction part of the driving course offered at the high school (by an independent driving school) and came home much earlier than I expected, and hit her own version of the Wall of Fatigue. So I left her at home to take a nap, with a guardian little brother, and went for a blissfully peaceful grocery shopping trip. And I'm glad, too, because that's where the surreal part of my day started.

It started with an unexpectedly deep voice behind me saying, "Can I get that for you, Mrs. J?" when I was on my tiptoes trying to get to a package well out of my reach. And I turned around, fully expecting to see my usual Helpful Tall Shop Assistant... and discovered one of my daughter's friends standing there. And I realized three things.

1. He was VERY tall.

2. His voice has gotten deeper since I last spoke to him five weeks ago.

3. He's old enough to work at the grocery store.


Two weeks ago, he was in first grade, shyly introducing himself to the Impertinent Daughter, with pale blond hair and apple red cheeks. Last week, he was sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game, tears streaming down his cheeks as I cleaned and bandaged his bloody knee while his mom was gone on a snacks run for half-time because the parent who was supposed to have brought snacks forgot. Yesterday, he was in fifth grade and excitedly telling me how he was going to be in marching band when he started junior high.

There is no way he's old enough to be working at the grocery store!!! NO!!!

Later, I was grabbing a bag of sugar, and heard, "Hi, Mrs. J!!" And there was a girl my daughter has known since... third grade. And... no. Just... no.

I found yet another teenager that my daughter played youth soccer with in the paper aisle. And it just went on and on, all these kids that in my head are still... little... and they're not. And then, when I was checking out, again, a girl from my daughter's class at the cash register, and a boy sacking my groceries, and saying, "Hey, Mrs. J, let me get the ice for you so you don't forget it."



It was bad enough when I realized three years ago that I could no longer perv on the high school boy's cross country track team, because... it was now half populated with boys I had known since they were four and five. But now, they're... turning into people!!

Totally skewed my world view, man!!

My daughter pretty much laughed at me when I got home and related all of this to her, and I had to confront the fact that my daughter is a senior and will be graduating next MAY!!!

*more hyperventilating*

Then, I went to get my hair cut, and she went along with me, and as my uber-awesome stylist was cutting my hair, she started saying, "Oh... my God." She'd cut more, huff, then go, "Oh. My. God." Then a grimace, another huff, and, "Omigod." Then, "Oh, my fucking GOD."

After the seventh repetition of this, I finally said, "Uh... what's going on?" Because the last time I heard that, I was 18 and the lady who had been cutting my hair since I was 11 was ready to kill my hair.

Ms. Stylist grimaced and said, "Your hair is frustrating me. It's never frustrated me before! I've been cutting your hair a long time, Auntie, and I've never seen it do this."

"Do what?" I asked, stunned.

"Well... it's... baby fine, and so... thick... and it's just... every time I cut a section and start to move on, something pops out and I realized I missed something, and I have to go back and cut it, and then something else pops out, and... it's kinda making me nuts here," she said grimly.

And that's when it dawned on me. My hair was coming back. The endocrinologist changed me off the Synthroid/Cytomel combo he had me on and put me on Armour Thyroid, because the S/C combo just wasn't helping. My hair was still falling out, I was still very fatigued, and just not getting better.

I knew my hair was coming back, and I was getting it cut because it was like wearing a wool mop on my head. And I knew it was getting thicker, because I was having to use heavier pony tail holders to pull it back. But... I didn't realize it had come back to the original texture of being baby fine and deceptively thick.

Ms. Stylist kept cutting and cutting, and fluffing and fluffing, and cutting more, and finally, she said, "Next hair cut, we're thinning this shit out!"

*dies laughing*

After we got home, the Impertinent One and I settled in for a "Bones" marathon while the Impossible Son went off to do boy things with his friend across the street, and the Husbandly One texted that he was going to have to work late.

Yeah, he was totally off buying my new SHINY!!!

*dance of joy, dance of joy*

Coolest. Husband. EVER.

Jun. 26th, 2013

Ding Dong, DOMA is DEAD!!

Ahem... to quote an article on Yahoo News today..."In a major victory for gay rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California."

Thank you, Supreme Court. You screwed us over with denying us our right to remain silent as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment, and you did it again by invalidating a key part of the Voting Rights Act. But... you did the right thing by granting equal marriage rights to everyone. And I totally appreciate that.

So... equal parts horror and joy, right?

And hey, Wendy Davis, YOU GO, GIRL!!! Thank you for donning those pink Nikes and standing up to the Good Ol' Boys for my rights! I am so damn tired of the Good Ol' Boys in Texas running things. Thank you for giving them a well deserved poke in the eye!

And now, you may return to your regularly scheduled lives...

Mar. 17th, 2013

Centrifugal Force Strikes Again...

Do y'all remember the Centrifugal Ketchup Incident? You know, when the Impertinent Daughter was trying to get the ketchup from the bottom of the ketchup bottle so she could pour it out... and ended up splattering it across the ceiling, the floor, and the cat?

She did it again last night.

The Ketchup Incident, Part 2

That's her, laughing herself silly (and being a little embarrassed, too) after splattering the kitchen and the dining room with ketchup. She was, once again, trying to get the ketchup from the bottom of the bottle to use on the Husbandly One's grilled burgers. She swears up and down that she sealed the top of the bottle. SWEARS!!

As you can see, it clearly wasn't.

Across the Ceiling...

Once again, it's across the ceiling, and now makes an X with the splatter from 2010, which, while it was cleaned up, took off the popcorn ceiling in those spots.


Even on the paper towels...

She hit the paper towels...

In the Cabinet

And inside the cabinet. It's across the counter, across the dining room table, and in the far corner of the dining room, too. I'd show you those photos, but... they came out blurry, so... you'll just have to imagine it. At least she didn't get one of the cats this time!


Mar. 4th, 2013

Because... because... GAAAAAAHHH!!!!

Can I just... vent my spleen here? I mean, seriously, the people at the middle school... the stupid, oh, my gods, the stupid...

That steady thumping you hear? It's me, banging my head over and over again into the desk.

You know, seriously, I really thought it was Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere, but apparently, getting assigned to the middle school causes some sort of... brain damage. Or maybe Sees-Plots-Everywhere cursed the school, sort of like how Voldemort cursed the DADA position at Hogwarts. I dunno, but the last two weeks have been... horrible, and today was just the capper.


Okay, so... last Monday... no wait, let me start over. It all started with a phone call. The Impossible Son had been playing a "game,", one of those stupid games 6th grade kids play that are so stupid and you think, "Surely my child is too smart to play that sort of stupid game," But, my son isn't immune from Stupidity, so... he took a pencil, turned it over and rubbed the eraser into his skin until... he literally rubbed a hole into his skin. Not only that... he did it three more times! All on the back of his hand!!

The principal of the school, who was the Impertinent Daughter's vice principal last year and thus knows me, called me to tell me that Mr. Impossible wasn't in trouble, but if it happened again, it would be an automatic suspension. Okay, fine. I can handle that. And the Husbandly One and I had the "any game that involve bodily injury, or harm, to yourself or others, is a game you are not going to play because it is stupid and people who encourage you to play these games are not your friends, they are stupid people you do not need to be around" talk with him. And that was that.

I thought.

I had been told to keep the eraser burns on his hand covered until they were healed, so I went and bought some vet wrap at the local feed store because, let me tell you something: Band-Aids aren't going to stay stuck to my kid's skin. His papa is the same way, I don't know if it's skin oils or what. The only band-aids that have any hope of staying on his skin more than ten minutes at a pop (and that's a generous estimate) are the waterproof kind made by 3M. So vet-wrap and gauze it was.

So, by the following Monday, I was almost out of vet wrap and didn't have enough to wrap between his thumb and forefinger to make sure the dang thing would stay put. Needless to say, it slid off by first period.

His first period teacher, a language arts teacher I will most generously call "Mrs. Picky" instead of what I want to call her (which is Mrs. Bitch), sent him to the nurse, who threw something together with band-aids and... get this... scotch tape. Yes, you read that right, scotch tape, the tape you use on wrapping paper when wrapping a present. Yes. That lasted... not at all. And when he got into band and started playing his trombone, it became painful, so he pulled it off. In the meantime, he had a friction burn from gym on his forearm so that had a band-aid, too, that Mrs. B... Picky put on his arm. That was stayed in place, until it fell off, unnoticed.

About this time, Mrs. Picky shows up to pull my son out of band class. Apparently, this is something she's been doing quite frequently, and no one has been informing me of this. Nor have I authorized her to pull Mr. Impossible out of classes. Period.

So, Mrs. Picky pulls him, notices the missing bandage and immediately decides to write him up and haul him to the office, where he is put in In School Suspension. Which basically means he's suspended and can't attend classes, but... within the school instead of sending him home. Talking to the 6th grade Assistant Principal (hereforth to be called the AP), it sounds like he was put in I.S.S. to separate him from Mrs. Picky.


So, the Impossible Son is very upset when I pick him up and informs me of what happened, and that he will be serving in I.S.S. the next day as well. When I asked why, it turned out he had participated in another Stupid Game, this one called Nut Check Thursday This game involves going up to other boys and striking them lightly in the crotch with a hand and saying, "NUT CHECK THURSDAY!!" Except it was Friday.

Shoot me now. My son has testosterone poisoning.

He was caught, and assigned I.S.S. for the following Tuesday. And that one, I will freely admit, was wholly deserved. Because stupidity fully deserves punishment, right?

Now, while he was in I.S.S., his teachers were supposed to send his work to the I.S.S. room so he didn't fall behind. And they mostly did... except Mrs. Picky. And she waited until FRIDAY to decide he hadn't done his work, and she pulled him from P.E. and sent him to the library... not to work on the written part of his assignment, but to color a picture.

Yes. This woman pulled my son from his physical education class to have him color a picture. I am not kidding. I wish I were. Really.

And the only reason I found out about this was because my son lost a baby tooth in the library, and was sent to the nurse, who called me immediately. Because he had a second loose tooth he was in danger of losing, and it was causing him a great deal of pain, so they wanted me to come pick him up.

It wasn't until after we got in the car that I found out what had happened, and... I pretty much hit my limit of patience with Mrs. Picky at that moment. She rides him constantly, calls me and tells me things like, "Maybe you should move Mr. Impossible to another class, because he has such a hard time staying awake in mine. He's always half asleep, he never has a pencil, and he's always forgetting his I.D." Then she turns right around and says, "I love having your son in my class because he's so smart, and he's always reading, and he's so funny, and I just love him!!"

Talk about mixed messages!!

Okay, so I looked at him and said, "You want me to transfer you out of her class while we're here?"

He looked massively relieved and said, "Oh, thank you, Mom!!"

We go in to see the counselor, and I smiled pleasantly and said, "I would like to have my son switched out of his first period language arts class and into another first period language arts class. There's a personality conflict with his current teacher and it just isn't getting better, so I think it would be best for everyone all around if he's removed from her class and put in another one."

The counselor smiled at me and said, "Well, Mrs. J., I will speak to the AP and see if we can do that. It's late in the year, and we may not be able to do it, but I'll do my best."

Yeah, that's pretty much when my patience went out the door. I kept my smile, but raised an eyebrow and said, "Let me rephrase that. I'm not asking you to switch him out of that class. I'm telling you to switch him out of that class. It's not a request. He will be pulled."

"Mrs. J., it may not be possible..."

"Oh, it will be possible," I said, keeping a firm rein on my temper. "Because you put him in I.S.S. to get him away from her, you put him in I.S.S. because he pulled off a band-aid that SHE had put on him, you have allowed her to pull him out of classes at least twice a week with what sounds like very little justification, because this is a class he happens to be doing very well in, and he spends more time in lunch detention because of her than he does actually eating his lunch. So, yes, this is going to get done. Because you and I both know there is much more than just a personality conflict going on here, and I have completely lost my patience with it. I am done, are you understanding me?"

She looked at me gravely for a moment and then said, "Yes, Mrs. J. I am understanding you. If you would please write a note with your request and the reason for it, emphasizing personality conflict, then sign it and date it, I will give it to the AP and tell her that this is urgent. His schedule should be changed by Monday."

"Thank you, Mrs. C," I said, and I accepted paper and pen, writing the note right there. I dated it, signed it, and then I looked at her and said, "And this will be done by Monday, won't it?"

"I'll do my best, Mrs. J." she said.

"No," I said. "This will be done by Monday."

"Yes, Mrs. J, it will be done by Monday," she said.

I took my son and left, and went home.

So... today came, and... I got a phone call this morning. From Mrs. Picky. She informed me that she was writing up the Impossible Son for a referral, because he didn't do his journal assignment in class, and didn't finish his worksheet by the end of class. "I wasn't in class today," she gushed over the phone, "I was supervising some testing, so there was a substitute in my class, and she told me that your son said he was on restrictions and couldn't write. So I went to find him during his band class and there he was, playing his trombone just fine, so I decided to write him up for a referral. Would you like to speak to him?"

Which made me realize he had been standing there listening to all of this. And that when I talked to him, she would be standing there, listening.

Yeah, I was at the school within the hour. I went to see the counselor, and she looked up at me and said, "Oh, Mrs. J! I'm so sorry, but I haven't had time to get to Mr. Impossible's schedule!"

I smiled grimly and said, "Okay, so, this is what I'm going to do. I'm pulling Mr. Impossible out of school today. When you get his schedule redone, you call me and let me know. Because he's not coming back to school until he's out of that class. He and Mrs. Picky have gone way past personality conflict and mutual antagonism and that class has become a hostile environment. I won't have it. So, you change his schedule. The only thing I ask is that you keep him with his math teacher, because he's actually doing pretty well in her class. Other than that, do what you want."

Her mouth fell open during this "But, Mrs. J, these things take time!"

"No. They don't," I said angrily, not bothering to try to control it any more, because I was just so done. "If you can't do this, then I won't be bringing him back. My husband and I will pull him from this school and put him in another district. And since it wouldn't be fair to put our son in a better school district and leave his sister here, we'll pull her, too, and put her in the same district with him."

She actually went kind of green with that one and said, "I'll work on it right now."

"Thank you," I said, and turned to sign my son out. And on the line where it said "reason to check student out," I wrote "Rescue Mission."

I took him to San Marcos, because I had an errand at the library, and within the hour, my phone rang. It was the counselor. "I gave the information to the AP, and she approved it. Mr. Impossible will have his new schedule in the morning."

"Thank you," I said and let the Impossible Son know.

And you know, I am SO TIRED of having to spend so much time in front offices, trying to get this district to do right by my kids. It's ridiculous. It's so unnecessary. It's like clearing one hurdle only to find out there's another one to jump, and it's so frustrating. If we could move tomorrow and find a better school district, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But we can't. So we try to make the best of it that we can and hope that what we do to supplement our kids' education is enough.

Tomorrow, I will most likely be bearding the principal in her den to see if we can (1) get that damn referral shredded, and (2) find out just how many times that woman pulled my son out of classes. Because that? No. Just no. Because it seems like that was more harassment than for actual education purposes. And I am definitely not putting up with that!

Dec. 6th, 2012

Because I have to say it!! I HAVE TO!!!

Okay, so... dunno if this counts as a spoiler for Star Trek: Into Darkness because it's JUST A THEORY, but... just in case you don't want to read it, I'm putting it behind a cut, okay? So... you've been warned...

This is what I'm thinking... )

And that's all I have to say about that!!

Because I KNOW!!!


Okay, so... Pizza Hut has come out with a new perfume that smells like... fresh baked pizza. Yes, you can spritz yourself with the essence of eau de pepperoni et bacon canadienne!

And Washington and Colorado have legalized pot.

SO... just picture it... a group of college students gathered together for pizza and movies, and to make the mood a little mellow, they're passing around a toke. And maybe a couple of the gals have spritzed on Le Pizza Hut or whatever it's called. And the guys are like, "Oh, baby, you smell so good, I could just eat you up!"

And they do.



Oct. 19th, 2012

Auntie sets you straight...

Okay, I have to address this.

"This," of course, is the story about the cheerleaders in Kountze, Texas who want to display biblically themed banners at pep rallies and football games.


They're claiming it is "free speech" and they should be allowed to do it. And, of course, it is free speech... but they cannot be allowed to do this.

"But why, Auntie?" you ask.

I will tell you why. If these cheerleaders were acting as private citizens, or as regular students, holding up their banners from the stands like the legendary "John 3:16" Guy, there would be no problem. I, personally, would have no problem with this. It would be great, they could do it all they wanted. They might offend some people, but as they say, it's free speech, and they're allowed.

However... they're not acting as private citizens. They're cheerleaders, and they are acting at a school sanctioned event, as representatives of the school. A PUBLIC school. That's when those banners stop being free speech. If the school allows them to use those banners, the school is then allowing these cheerleaders to "proselytize" to every person in the audience, including their fellow students.

What's wrong with this?

Nothing, if you assume that every person in that audience is a Christian, and goes to their church, or follows their particular brand of Christianity.

The problem is, and it seems to be a concept that a lot of Christians can't grasp, not everyone is Christian. Not everyone sitting in those bleachers at the pep rally, or in the stands at the football game, are Christians. Or belong to the same church, or denomination, as those cheerleaders. Let's face it, some denominations are very particular about how they worship and express their religion.

Now, as you know, the Constitution of the United States has a Bill of Rights, allowing us all equal protections under the law. However, another concept that most Christians seem to be unable to grasp is... the Bill of Rights does not protect the rights of the majority.

Let me state that again.


It protects everyone. That means non-Christians as well as Christians.

That means non-Christians, be they Atheists, Agnostics, Pagans, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Viking, you name it, have the right to attend a public event and not be proselytized within an inch of their lives.

It also means that if those Christian cheerleaders get to use biblically inspired banners at the football games, then Wiccan students can bring out Wiccan themed banners to the game. So can Buddhists. And Muslims. Yes, if they want to paint a banner that says, "Allah Hu Akbar! Go Team!!" then they can. And the Texas State Attorney General can't say diddly squat, because HE SUPPORTED THOSE CHEERLEADERS.

If you're going to allow it for one group, then you have to allow it for ALL OF THEM.

Because public schools are government funded entities, and therefore cannot support one religion over another. And a football game/pep rally are events sponsored by that publicly funded entity, and those cheerleaders are representatives of that publicly funded entity.

Do you understand now?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

If you're going to allow one to pass out religious materials in a school, or have meetings, or have religiously inspired banners, or to pray at meetings, games, etc... then you have to allow them ALL to do it. ALL OF THEM.

Get that through your heads. This is not a Christian nation. It is a nation made up of people from many countries, and of many different religions (or lack of them). It always has been.

And that, my friends, is the way it is.

Oct. 5th, 2012

Grand-Daddy's Smart Ass Gene™: It's Genetic

The Impossible Son has one class period that at one time might have been called "study hall." However, this one is more interactive, as it's basically a tutoring period because our district fell way behind on math and reading scores ("hmmmm, wonder how that happened?" Auntie asks sarcastically). So... he's getting extra help in math and in language arts.

So, a couple of days ago, they were working on "correcting sentence fragments," basically changing fragments and making them into whole sentences. And the example given was "at the station," which had a finished example of "I can meet you at the station tomorrow morning."

Then the teacher made the mistake of saying, "But that's boring, I'm sure y'all can do better than that!"


So... these are the sentences my SON came up with. His "corrections" will be in italics. You might want to put any liquids far from the computer, and don't drink anything while reading, because some of them are surprisingly hysterical.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

1. Before the dance I killed a vampire.

2. While we worked on the experiment my friends turned into zombies.

3. Once the baseball season begins, THEY WILL COME!!

4. Ahead of me, he watched me with a bat.

5. After the summer vacation, vampires came.

6. Without a pen or pencil I can't kill Bigfoot.

7. Opposite the park he still watched me, but with Bigfoot.

8. When she began to speak a bear came, wielding a sword.

9. Even though the temperature was warm, the bears took over.

10. From my seat, I could see the orcs coming.

11. Next to the library, they were still watching me.

12. How the rumor spread was because of the duck.

13. On top of my dresser was a honey badger.

14. Past the principal's office, they continued to watch me.

15. When they are found, we take them to NARNIA!!

I think my personal favorite is #6. I laughed so hard when he read that one out to me that I nearly drove us into a ditch. Though... a bear wielding a sword is pretty funny, and so is a honey badger on a dresser. I wonder if it cares?

For eleven years old and having virtually no writing instruction beyond what I cram down his throat during those times he's willing to sit still for it, that's not a bad fledgling effort at letting his wonderfully weird sense of humor show through. What kind of bothers me, though, is the teacher had laughed and said, "This is weird. It's crazy, what's up with this??"

And then I remembered, "Oh, wait, that's right, they don't have things like irony, humor, and creativity here." Because, you know, this sort of thing, well... it's normal at my house!

Yes, yes, I'm getting sarcastic again.

Still, I'm proud of what he's done, and happy to see his creativity developing. I can't wait to see what he does next!

Sep. 20th, 2012

The State of Auntie...

Yes, yes, haven't updated in forever, I know, I know. Life has been busy, and plenty to do and all that stuff. As usual.

So, how have things been? Well, let's see. After weeks and weeks of annoying low-level headaches thanks to being reduced to taking Prilosec while waiting to find out what exactly is going on with our medical insurance, I am now back on the Dexilant, and today is the first headache free day I've had in what feels like forever.

Second... I've been hesitant to proclaim this, but seeing as I'm back on the Dexilant, why not?

I haven't taken my asthma meds in over three months. I haven't needed my asthma meds in over three months. This isn't to say I don't have asthma, because I do, but at the moment, I'd say it's relatively mild, almost to non-existent. Why? Because... I don't think I have asthma. I have acid reflux. Which is being taken care of by the Dexilant.

And I have to say, it is the weirdest thing, to realize that I have been taking asthma medications for some twenty years now that... I probably didn't need. Except I did, because twenty years ago, they didn't have any of the medications that they have now for acid reflux. I remember actually getting medication for acid reflux twenty years ago that didn't even come close to making a dent in my asthma... and I wasn't being treated for acid reflux! I was being treated for a gall bladder flare up that had me throwing up almost constantly, and my doctor was trying to protect my esophagus. So... it's extremely weird to think that my problem all this time has been acid reflux, and when I told my gastro that, he said, "Actually, it's quite common," and he explained why, which I am not going to share because... EWWWWWW!!!

Still, I have to say, the Dexilant has changed my life, and I'm grateful. It's worth the hassle I've been through over the last two months. Seriously.

And I have some... pretty incredible news. Yesterday, for the very first time ever. EVER. The Impossible Son got a 100 on a math quiz.

*pauses to let you all absorb that*

Yes, you read that right. He got a 100 on a MATH QUIZ!!! HUZZAH!!!!!! *does cartwheels*

First, he has a pretty awesome math teacher. Second, because our district has not met "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP) in math and reading (among other requirements that haven't been met) my son's class is required to take an extra class that is basically a tutorial class in math and reading. Which is awesome because Mr. Impossible is finally getting the instruction in all the stuff he was supposed to have learned in elementary, and they've finally stopped teaching the stupid "strategies" that were actually hampering his ability to learn math. I'm sorry, but teaching kids the "shortcuts" in how to do certain math functions before you teach them to do it the "long way" is... well... STUPID.

And over at the high school, the district has all of a sudden come to the horrifying realization that, "OMG, our students have no clue when it comes to writing! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???"

*makes a rude noise*

I'll tell you how it happened, you idiots. It happened because you were teaching the kids how to take a stupid standardized test for the last ten years, and you skipped over some very vital bits of instruction, and gave them the bare minimum it took for them to be able to write a little essay for the test. Woopie. Ding. Dong. And now, now that things have changed, that when you realized, hey, wait a minute... they don't know anything.

The Impertinent Daughter's class is the last who will take the TAKS, and only now is the district changing the curriculum and actually requiring them to know how to write. So over the last two weeks, Miss Impertinent has been literally sitting at the table, staring at her notes, her head spinning as she contemplates complex sentences and structure, compound words, predicate nominatives, superlatives, and all those wonderful parts of speech that my generation was learning in second grade, and that hasn't been taught in our schools in, what... fifteen years??? And all of a sudden, they're supposed to know it? Heh... I know my kid isn't the only one sitting in her chair, looking hopelessly lost while swathed in a paper cocoon of notes!!

So far, that's all I got. But... that's enough, don't you think?

Oh... and I'm contemplating the arrival of... 49. And gave the Blonde Sister heart failure when I pointed out that next year, I'll be contemplating 50.


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