Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thanks, Beth!

Beth got us some nice presents for Christmas, but in every box she gave us, she stuffed a few of these dollar store tuna and chicken salad combos. Why would she do this, you ask? Read this blog post of hers to find out. Notice that the blog post was written in March of 2009, nine months ago. Nice. Next year she's getting Kira's nutcracker:

Stuff I've been doing while not writing on the blog

We have been on the GO for days and days and I have been so busy. My parents came for a visit the other day and I made them a meatloaf in a bundt cake pan. It was delicious but not exactly pretty. Looks like something from a bloody colon. (mmmmmmm.. bloody colon...)

I also made a couple of blankets or my nieces. This is one of them.

Other than that it's been drive drive drive, shop shop shop, make Chex mix, eat Chex mix etc. etc. etc. I have eaten so much Chex mix I think I might be dealing with an electrolyte problem caused by the salt and Worcestershire sauce; symptoms: weight gain, ankle swelling, lethargy, and constant debilitating thirst. I hear there is a cure; stop eating Chex mix.

Yeah, like I'm going to do that.

Sam is a teenager now

Yesterday was Sam's thirteenth birthday. He told me his birthday wish is for me to stop making him shave his perv-stache and let him grow it "long," (ew) along with also growing his chinchilla-thick head hair. I suppose I will have to let him be in charge of his own hair growth now don't I? I think he pictures himself looking like this:


I'm just afraid he will be this guy:

and then when he turns 16 he'll start driving a brown van and parents will hide their small children from him.

Anyhoo, Happy birthday to my sweet little boy who is growing up too fast. I hope you have a great year being 13.

AVATAR!


Sorry I've been AWOL for a while. I've been so busy! I saw Avatar yesterday and LOVED IT! I thought it would be boring, but it was so good. I didn't think I'd like it because I'm not the biggest fan of James Cameron (the director) because I saw him on TMZ and he was kind of a jerk.

Mitch and I went with the kids, in-laws and a bunch of cousins. The kids thought it was okay, but I was actually weeping through about a third of it partly because it was so good, and partly because it was so beautiful. I love how the Na'vi people look (the blue people). I love them so much that I put a picture of one of their faces as my iPod wallpaper. I think I will be on the cutting edge of learning their language too. Hey, people can speak Klingon (dorks), I think people will start speaking Na'vi and I will be one of the first.

I heard before I saw the movie that the story was weak, but I didn't think it was that weak. I liked it. The military general was way over the top though. I could have written better dialogue for him. Writers should permanently eliminate "You're not in Kansas anymore!" from any dialogue they write.

So, in the tradition of my usual very informational movie reviews, this movie is a don't miss. Why? Because it's good and made me cry. And I'm a hard nut to crack.

Kiyevame! (goodbye in Na'vi)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Presents


Well? Did you have a good Christmas? We did, even though the BLIZZARD kept us from traveling anywhere. I was smart enough to go to the grocery store on Wednesday evening and get staples like cookies, chex mix mixin's, pie, pop and beer.

The kids got fantastic presents. Kira got Heelies (shoes with wheels in the heels) and she is so excited because she grew out of her old ones and has been dying to be the most obnoxious person in places like Home Depot and the skywalk again. With her old ones I would take her on errands with me and she'd say she wanted to go look at something and then I'd see her zip by the aisle going about thirty. I just pretend I don't know her when she does that.

What? By the time I realize it's her she's 100 yards away and wouldn't hear me yelling anyway and then we'd both look like assholes. I just have to be patient and wait for her to go by me and then grab her hood and watch her feet fly up in the air, and then when she's flat on her back in the aisle and I have her full attention I quietly say, "Give me your wheels. NOW."

Sam got an iPod Touch. Before Christmas I told him the present his grandparents were giving him was so good that when he opened it he'd poop his pants. When he got his presents, he opened the biggest present first. It was a van transformer, which is good, but not pants-pooping good. He thought that had to be the pants-pooper because it was the biggest. Then he opened some socks, and then in a tiny little gift bag he opened the iPod. He didn't poop but he did almost faint. He is beyond thrilled. Kira is a little jealous, even though she got his old iPod that she has been coveting. She got hold of his new iPod today and wrote him a little note with the notes app. Here it is:

Wash your hair when you take a shower even the back of your head. Stop chewing your finger. You look better with long hair. You chew vary loudly. Your.poops rely stink. You shoud rely shave your mustash. Your hair is stiking up in the back. Where is your stoking.

Sam found it more hilarious than offensive to him personally, so I'm wondering if this is part of an ongoing inside joke about naggy things I tell them. Is that paranoid?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's been so great this month to get all the cards and letters from people I generally don't stay in touch with well enough. But I'm sad to say I only got a few Christmas Letters, the ones where people summarize the entire year in a one page letter. I love those letters, but one time I got one from a friend I have since lost touch with, in which she confessed to an "almost" affair she had with a co-worker.

Awkward!

But the more I thought about it the more I like the idea of an annual Christmas confessional/too-much-information letter. I think I could easily tell enough about myself and my family to keep people from looking me in the eye until at least Thanksgiving, the hard part is paring it down to a single page. I'd have to pick a theme like "lies I've told this year" or "bathroom incidents." But even that might be a little long considering the millions of lies I've told, and that 2009 is the year I learned that it's very important to take bathroom breaks at work when I can, and not to try to hold it too long. (lesson learned the hard way)

That all sounds too hard when I really just want to wish you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year. I'm happy to say that my biggest problem these days is the ever-present Chex Mix crumbs in my bra (itchy). I hope Chex Mix in your bra (or something of equal seriousness) is the biggest problem you encounter in 2010. I'll work on my theme for next year's letter. You work on yours too.

Love,
Sarah

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blackhead


Today Kira told us all that she thought it was weird that Charlie Brown's friends call him a "blackhead." I had to tell her that he is really called a "blockhead" and she looked at me like, "Ohhhhhhhh...." I wonder if she's been calling kids at school blackheads.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I can talk, read, and use the toilet


Sam and I drove to Forest Lake for a hockey tournament this weekend. While on the drive down, we noticed tons of billboards that had pictures of cute babies on them that said things like, "I had finger prints before I was born," and "I could smile before I was born," and "I have Down's Syndrome."

(Why would you think I was lying about this?)

Well, so what? What's with all the bragging? Why take out a billboard advertisement to tell me that?

I can talk and read and use the toilet (suck on that, babies) but I don't have enough money to advertise it on a million billboards. Those babies must be rich. (However, I am impressed with the down syndrome-baby's ability to write "I have Down Syndrome" in huge letters on a billboard.  I bet that would be hard.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Program #2

When Sam was getting ready for his school holiday program and tried on his new pants that he just got in September, he discovered that they were a little tight. I tried to primp him a little and he would have none of it. He wouldn't let me comb his hair, or tie his tie, or see how many fingers I could fit in the waistband of his pants to see how tight they were. He came out of his bedroom with me following close behind and Kira looked at his pants and said, "Holy... You look like Michael Knight." (of Knight Rider fame) I thought I was going to pee my pants laughing.

He wouldn't let me take a picture of his pants so I had to sneak one when we got to the school and he walked ten feet ahead of me pretending I didn't exist.

The concert was very good and the kids did a great job. The gym got boiling hot, but I loved every second of it because I haven't been warm for three months.

watermelon watermelon watermelon

Sam puts the "awk" in awkward

I said, "Okay Sam, let's get a good close-up picture of your face."


"Um, .. a little freaky, let's try again."

"Okay, it wasn't that funny... again."

"Bless you... let's try one more time."

"Finally."

Why intelligent design is such a stupid theory

In a word; teenagers. Sam is fast approaching teenagehood, his birthday is at the end of the month and he will be thirteen. He's a very nice boy and I'm not expecting any horrific behavior from him but even if he does act like an asshole from time to time in the next ten years I will probably have to write it off as teenager-induced mental illness.

Already there is evidence of the hormones racing through his veins - a creepy little mustache (that he is ridiculously proud of); growing like the incredible hulk, (if the hulk only grew tall and didn't put on any muscle mass); and fits of emotional overload. I can't really blame the guy because his brain is being marinated in new hormones and chemicals at a rate that his little synapses have never experienced. And coupled with the newly marinated brain, his frontal lobe, the part of the brain that is responsible for judgement, reasoning, and emotions, is going to be taking a developmental break for the next several years, in the middle of which he is going to be DYING to drive a car and have sex. Sounds like a mean joke, doesn't it?

Teenagers are as stupid and helpless as toddlers when it comes to navigating the real world, but unlike toddlers, they resent their parents and don't talk a fraction as much as toddlers, so you never know what's really going on in their heads. When they do occasionally tell you what they're really thinking about, the adult instinct is to say, "That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard," because what they said is probably the stupidest thing you ever heard. But, of course, if you say that they won't tell you anything anymore, so you have to bite your tongue and listen to the ridiculous theory about how having a huge snowplow attached to the front of your compact car is a good idea.

I've been thinking about getting full-time work again, but with this teenage thing looming, maybe now is not the best time. Sam will be easy compared to Kira (I hate to even think about that), so perhaps now is not the best time to leave them to their own devices. We've been lulled into complacence while they were in elementary school, but soon the ultimate-parenting starts up again. I hope we are ready.

That, among many other reasons, is why I think intelligent design is such a stupid theory. Another is the fact that the prostate gland, which ALWAYS gets enlarged later in life, goes around the urethra. How dumb is that?

If I was going to intelligently design a human, the control center (brain) wouldn't be teetering on the top of a skinny neck, just begging to be hacked off or cracked open, it would be in the center of the body. And eyes would be on stalks and would be able to regenerate. I could write a book on how I would design a human, but I won't bore you with any more details because I don't want you to be thinking "that is the stupidest thing I ever heard."

How would you design a human?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Program #1

Kira's big Christmas concert was today. It was pretty good. It was crowded, as usual. I had to get there an hour and a half early to get a seat in the third row. I forgot my iPod too so I just had to sit there and talk to people to pass the time. Oh, the humanity. (just kidding) But the concert wasn't too long and the kids were SUPER cute. I absolutely love boys in little tiny ties. One second grader was wearing a short sleeve dress shirt and a tie and he looked totally natural and comfortable, like a tiny pharmacist.

Kira was cute too, as usual. Here she is by the tree this morning:

And here she is singing her solo, Oh Holy Night. She really belted it out and if you closed your eyes you'd think it was Barbara Streisand.

Just kidding. She wasn't singing. She had to say one line about Kwanzaa and she did it perfectly, however as her mother, I could hear the almost unnoticeable pause in the middle of her line and saw the split second look on her face that was sheer panic. But she pulled it off. Good girl! After that she went up to her spot on the risers. Here's the best picture I could get of her up there:

The kid with the Santa hat wouldn't get her gigantic head out of the way so I could get a good picture. Thanks a lot, kid.

One last thing; we had a who-can-make-the-ugliest-face contest this morning in front of the computer. Who do you think won?

Good Times

Remember going to see Santa when you were little? That was so fun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Blogmas

It's been one year since I started this blog. I remember it because my very first post was about Kira's holiday concert at school, and tomorrow is this year's holiday concert at school. She tells me that this year she is going to be standing in the back, in the corner, sort of behind the curtain. Fantastic. I can't wait. I bought her a dress a month ago and I have to go exchange it tonite because in the last 30 days she has managed to grow enough to not fit into the dress any more.

That is so obnoxious.

Sam is doing the same thing except he's just getting taller. He's a stick figure and keeps growing too tall for his pants. There were a few pair that I had hemmed and then he took it upon himself to unhem them when they started getting short and now they have big white seams. He's so cool.

I told Julie, my MIL, that he was growing like a weed and she offered to crochet a few inches of colorful yarn onto the bottoms of all of his pants like she used to do for her kids in the seventies. (She can ram a crochet hook into anything.) Either that or she could sew some bandana bells on the ends.

Anyway, the blog is a year old so I looked through a few of my posts and I'd have to say that I like the ones about the kids the most because they are my kids, obviously. This one is my fave. Or maybe this one because it was so much fun to write.

Thanks so much for reading my blog. I really like writing it, and it's nice that there are some people out there that like to read it too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jingle jingle

Whenever the kids and I are riding in the car together we listen to Lite FM because they are playing all Christmas music all the time until Christmas. I can't tell you how sick I am of that stupid Paul McCartney "Wonderful Christmas Time" song. It seems it is playing every single time I turn on the car.

I've been really listening to the songs this year and there are so many. There's a Christmas carol for everything. I heard "Santa Baby," a carol for gold diggers; "Baby It's Cold Outside," a carol for date rapists; and "The Christmas Shoes," a carol for con artists teaching their kids to be con artists by telling strangers to buy designer shoes for their mother because she is dying on Christmas Eve and really wants a pair of nice pumps to get her through DEATH.

I think my favorite this year is "Let it Snow" by Harry Connick Jr. because he's dreamy, but I also like the duet between David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing "The Little Drummer Boy" but mostly because the video is so weird. "Jingle Bells" by the Crashtest Dummies is pretty good too. Beth turned me on to that one. Thanks, Beth.

What's your favorite Christmas song?

Fact: Sam finds Kira annoying

Tonite on the way to hockey practice, Sam was telling Kira and I about how he thinks Dwight from The Office is so funny when he prefaces things his says with "Question:..." or "Fact:..." Kira caught on to it and would not stop. Every utterance (and there were many) she had was prefaced. Here is just a short sample of her rambling:


Kira - "Fact: It is now 6:30. Question: Sam, what time does your practice start?"
Sam- "6:35"
Kira - "Fact: You are going to be late."
Sam - "Kira, I was kidding, it's not til 7:00. And would you stop doing that, it's getting annoying."
Kira - "Opinion: it was not very nice of you to lie to me. Threat: I am going to punch you in the face."

(merciful silence, driving along, eventually driving past the clinic)

Kira - "Fact: I've been there before. Fact: I choked on a lollipop that the doctor gave me. Fact: it hurt a lot. Fact: you had to give me a popsicle when we got home to make my throat feel better."

This went on and on for about an hour until she eventually said, "Fact: I'm getting very tired of talking like this but I don't think I can stop."

And she hasn't.

Snow art, Texas, the Holy Virgin and vaginas

Kira was outside working very busily on something yesterday and then she came in the house to get the camera and take a picture of her creation which was this:

A giant paw print. You can't really tell in the picture, but it has terrifying claws. I think her plan is to make a bunch of them in the yard and scare any planes that happen to fly over and look down.

I also had to take a picture of this water stain on my stove today before I wiped it up.


Doesn't it look like Texas? I think it looks incredibly like Texas. It looks way more like Texas than any Virgin Mary stains look like the Virgin Mary. Too bad it couldn't be a Virgin Mary stain. If it was I might get a little attention for it, but I doubt anyone will care about my Texas stain.

I looked up Virgin Mary stain on google images and found a bunch. My favorite was this one:



The Virgin on grilled cheese. Or is it Jesus. I can't really tell because IT'S GRILLED CHEESE. I love that the woman is proudly displaying her sandwich in a plastic box surrounded by cotton balls.

When I googled "Virgin Mary Stain" I found quite a few water stains like this one:


And when I look at them I honestly can't see the Virgin Mary. If it looks like anything to me, it looks like a gigantic vagina. So then I googled "gigantic vagina" to see if what people think look like gigantic vaginas also look like the Virgin Mary. First of all let me tell you: DO NOT GOOGLE "GIGANTIC VAGINA." You will be sorry. There are many many artistic representations of vaginas and most of them are gross. This is the nicest one I found:

It could be a flower, it could be a vagina. The only question I have is why is this lady crawling into it? Then I thought, would I go into it? And the answer was, of course I would.

This is the worst one I found. Brace yourself before scrolling down....



It's a vagina bike taxi. Do you think it looks like the Virgin Mary?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What I love about substitute teaching

My workweek this week:

4 days of work
4 different grades
4 different buildings

1 outfit

Jealous?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Proof

Remember in my last post when I said that I was retaining water because of all the Chex Mix with triple salt I've eaten the last few days?

I wasn't kidding. It's weird though because it's mostly on the left side. Don't believe me? Look at this picture of my feet. I don't get it. Huh. Oh well.




(that's not really my feet. Both of my actual feet look like the left one.)

So pretty.

Ramble ramble ramble

I made some Chex mix yesterday because Chex was on sale at the grocery store. OMG I love that stuff so much. I used the original recipe and didn't add any extras like bagel chips or Cheerios (gag), but I did make one inadvertent change to the recipe. I put about three times too much seasoned salt in it because it sort of spilled but I didn't care because I really like that stuff.

What I've learned today is that it really is SALT. I ate a ton of the Chex mix yesterday and now I'm retaining water like a pregnant woman in her tenth month. SO pretty.

Mitch likes to mix a little chocolate in with his Chex mix. I don't know what is wrong with him. I say keep your savory savory and your sweet sweet. There's no need to mix them up.

I think when I make it again, today, after school, I will make sure to put in no more salt than the recipe calls for and I might skip the wheat Chex. They have the regular delicious Chex pattern, but inside is an additional panel of cereal and that tends to soak up the butter and get chewy and then stick to my teeth. Maybe I'll get some Crispix to add in there too. That would be good.

Oh, you don't care about my Chex mix, you say? Well, too bad. I didn't have internet for three days because our service was down. I didn't get to blog or anything and so today while I'm at school I'm taking full advantage of the high speed internet to write about my Chex mix adventures, provide emergency medical care to the fish in my digital aquarium (don't worry, they're fine), and fix up my Facebook farm. Aren't you glad?

I hate not having internet because I have become extremely dependent on it. I had to go to my in-laws the other night to get online to check my work schedule because I never write it down, why would I? It's on the internet! The kid's schedules are on the internet too. How did anyone ever manage without going online to find stuff out? I didn't know where this school where I'm working is and I would usually look it up on Mapquest. I actually had to look in the PHONE BOOK and find a MAP and figure it out myself. And then I got lost on my way here! The internet makes me feel smarter, but I think it's actually making me dumber.

Tis the season

Do you know why the Salvation Army is called the Salvation Army? I bet you think it's because they collect people's old stuff (or salvage it) and then sell it in their stores and give the money to poor people.

That's what I thought, and if you think that too, you're wrong.

I recently learned the real story. What they are really salvaging is souls. It was started by a guy named William Booth in the 1860s. He preached to the poor and tried to feed and clothe them because it's easier to win over souls for the lord if you take care of them first. Then he and his top men, or command, as they are now called, decided to call themselves an army.

So it is a pseudo-military institution with ranks and they are harvesting souls one bell ring at a time. And much like the real military, they discriminate against homosexuals, (because as everyone knows, there are no gay people in heaven anyway so why bother, am I right?) In 2001 they sought a legal exemption from the anti-discrimination laws when it comes to hiring gay people. Because they are a church. Jesus would be so proud of his army, don't you think?

Creepy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas decorating

I put up the Christmas decorations today and, OMG, guess what I found:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's Kira's nutcracker that she made in second grade.

I HATE IT.

It scares me. I accidentally ripped out the big pink boa feather that was stuck in its hat when I found it today. I think it's the menacing smile/grimace that really creeps me out. Or maybe it's the dirty cotton ball it has for hair. How long do I have to keep it? I put it on the window sill behind the tree so hopefully it won't startle me too many times over the next month.

That's my least favorite decoration, which brings me now to my favorite:

This is a rock that my MIL painted for me several years ago. The Johnson's all love rocks and I make fun of them for it so Julie thought it would be funny to paint a rock for me. I make fun of them because they are all crazy for rocks. Whenever I do laundry I find pockets full of rocks from both the kids AND from Mitch. When Julie and Rich moved here I think they actually moved about 200 pounds of cool rocks they've found over the years that they couldn't bear to part with. When we first moved here Mitch told me that this area was geologically rich with agates, which is a precious and rare stone. That's what he told me. Agates aren't all that rare. Kira finds about 50 every day. I had to convert my cookie jar to an agate jar just to accommodate the rocks that Kira and Mitch find.

So anyway, Julie made me that rock and I love it. I usually take it out a little early so I can look at it. It's very detailed.

I had a good idea about 6 or 7 years ago and I'm still really pleased with myself about it. I usually send out Christmas cards with a picture of my kids on it and I also make myself an ornament with that year's picture. I make one for my parents and in-laws too. I think that was pretty clever of me.

Now that I look at this picture I wonder who the hell put that stupid stuffed bear on the tree. That's a back-of-the-tree filler. I'll have to move it.

Kira is happy because I took out the Playmobil Santa and sleigh and reindeer. I usually also put out a Playmobil hazmat scene with it because it inspires more imaginative play, I think.

We also have a Playmobil advent calendar but I looked at it today and last year I meticulously packed all the little pieces back in their boxes perfectly, and it would really be a shame to ruin that good work, so unless Kira asks, I'm not taking it out. Is that Scroogy?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ouchie

I couldn't sleep at all last night because I've got the worst sore throat in the history of sore throats. I tried my old sore throat trick of having a banana by the bed and taking a bite when I start to feel drowsy. Usually the banana goo coats my throat long enough for me to go to sleep but last night the banana didn't even touch it. I got up to play on my new computer and check on my facebook farm. My throat was still really bothering me so I had an idea. I tried to look at it with my new webcam and discovered the problem:

The DEVIL is having a party in my THROAT! No wonder.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fatherly Advice

Today I heard Kira and Sam arguing whether or not Elvis died on the toilet. They went to Mitch to settle their argument. Mitch said, "It's not nice to make fun of people, and it's tasteless and really not nice to make fun of people who are dead. ...... Unless it's very very funny."

I think I heard that exact same conversation on an episode of Father Knows Best.

They are just like us! There's Mitch in the middle in the tie, Sam on the lower left, Kira on the upper left, me on the upper right in my house dress and pearls, and on the bottom left is our future oh-shit-I'm-in-my-forties-and-I'm-accidentally-pregnant! child.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What are you thankful for today? I'm thankful that I'm happy and healthy and loved and have a wonderful family. Sam is thankful for his family and for hockey. Kira is thankful she isn't the turkey.

Speaking of turkey, I found a great recipe for turkey at wendiaarons.com the other day. (Along with other wonderful recipes) Here it is:

BANG!
Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dental Diatribe

My jaw started hurting on the left side the other day. The pain starts at the joint and then radiates down through both the upper and the lower jaw on the right side. I think I finally figured out what it is.

Only three of my wisdom teeth came in. The two bottoms, which are still impacted but seem to have stopped growing and hurting after about ten years of growing and hurting, and the top right. I had the top right tooth removed because it grew in far enough so that I couldn't shut my mouth all the way. That was a big deal because my old dentist is a total sadistic bastard. I was fretting over it. I mean worried sick, because I really really really hate having my teeth worked on. (I would rather have a baby every single day than have a check up every six months.) I asked the old bastard to give me a valium or something and he laughed mockingly and wouldn't even give me the courtesy of an answer! My friend's mom gave me one of her valium, and on the day I had the tooth taken out, he shot me full of novocaine and then, like usual, went immediately to work, not giving the novocaine time to take effect. This caused intense trauma and pain, and it was topped off with my entire head turning numb a half hour after I left his office.

He actually propped a leg on the dental chair and hoisted himself up over me so he'd have more leverage and then had his assistant hold my head down while he yanked. And this person is called "doctor?"

I thought maybe he was just a bad dentist (he is), so I have spent all of my adult life looking for a decent dentist and have met some very nice people, but it is not exactly a profession that lends itself to gentleness. So I stopped going.

The funny thing is, it seems that the number of cavities and dental problems I have has a direct relation to how often I go to the dentist. For a while when I was a kid I was averaging a couple cavities a visit, so that's three or four a year. My parents were diligent about taking care of our dental needs so we went every six months. We'd go for a check up, he'd find some cavities, and then we'd have to come back for another visit (or usually two visits) to fix the cavities.

Hmmm, "Doctor," commit fraud much? Of course, I have no proof. Just a feeling.

Since I have stopped going for regular checkups (about 12 years), I have had one cavity. Of course, how could I possibly get any more cavities when my mouth is already totally filled with metal? The only other dental problems I've had is a broken tooth caused by eating rock hard frozen chocolate chips when I was 7 months pregnant, wisdom teeth pain, and a deep pocket in my gums.

The tooth broke because what was left of the actual tooth chipped off the filling that was there. The dentist I went to for that was a very nice man, but by the time I was finished with the visit where he drilled my tooth down to a nub of nerves and fitted a metal crown over it, I was laying in a pool of my own sweat. I'm not even kidding. The chair was dripping wet from my neck to my ankles (embarrassing!) and my hands were sore the next day from clutching the arm rest.

I got the pocket in my gums from some other idiot who fitted a metal sheath over my tooth so he could drill out the old metal filling that broke and put in a new filling. He shoved that sheath down so far, my gums have never recovered in that area, and now after I eat anything, I have to have floss on hand to dig nauseatingly deep down into that pocket to get out the food that gets lodged in there.

That was the last straw. That was about 8 years ago and I have only had one checkup/cleaning since. That's when I had the x-ray to see what was going on with my wisdom teeth. It turns out that the upper left wisdom tooth is stuck behind the last molar on that side. I think it is finally starting to come in and it's moving all the teeth on that side over. I should go and get it looked at but now that I think I know what it is I figure, why bother. Can they do anything but make it worse?

The last time I went to the dentist to have this looked at he explained the situation and said, "You know what I think we should do?" and I said, "Is it drilling a hole in my head? Is it going deep into my mouth and digging out part of my skull? Because if it is either one of those things, then no."

Has dentistry come any further than drilling and digging since I last went? If it has, then maybe I'll go, but I don't think it has.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon Review: Attempt two (hey, that rhymes too!)

Sorry about the rambling nonsense that I wrote last night. Like I said, I was tired.

Okay, here we go: I went to see New Moon last night with my mother-in-law who also read (and loved) all the books. I'm glad she went with me because it's fun to see a movie with someone who is going to love it as much as you are. We have that in common I guess. We went to Lord of the Rings together too and we didn't get there early enough to get a good seat so we ended up having to sit in the very front row.

I had a bit of a stomach ache when we went to LOTR and so I let a little teeny tiny fart hoping it would relieve some of the discomfort. I would normally NEVER do that (shut up, Mitch), but it was LOTR, and I had to fight for my seat, I wasn't going anywhere. So, like I said, this fart was minuscule, like this: *pst* and no bigger. I swear. About 30 seconds later I discovered that it was the definitive "silent but deadly." It smelled like someone dropped a hog farm on a perm factory. I was mortified but at the same time a little bit worried about myself, thinking maybe I was horribly ill, because a human body shouldn't be able to make that smell. I was waiting for everyone to start coughing and yelling and leaving, but nobody did, so I figured it was a heavy one that only I could smell. And then I saw Julie, my MIL, out of the corner of my eye; she zipped her winter coat up all the way and scrunched down into it so it covered her face up to her eyeballs. Did I mention I was mortified? But now I was mortified and trying not to laugh. Every so often she would stick her face out of the coat and test the air, and then hunker back down into it.

After the movie she said, "That weird guy next to us farted and it really stunk! Did you smell it?"

I said, "Really? Oh for gross!" and I've never admitted to her that it was me, and I never will. She still talks about the guy who farted during LOTR. I'm still ashamed, but I still love the mental picture of her buried in her coat to avoid my stench.

Anyhoo. I did it again. I got off on a tangent and neglected my main job here, which was to review New Moon! Long story short: it was good. I have no major complaints. I especially loved that most of the main characters have gigantic front teeth. I love big front teeth. If I could choose my front teeth, they would be actual Chiclet sized.

I'm a terrible movie reviewer.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm "loony" for New Moon (get it?)

It's because loony refers to lunar? Lunar as in the moon? New MOON? Get it now?

Anyway, in case you're reading this and wondering what the hell I'm talking about, I'm talking about the newest Twilight movie, New Moon.

"But Sarah," you say, "You're almost 40, and aren't those movies for teenagers?" To which I say, SHUT UP.

Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, here's my review of New Moon:

Totally awesome! But if you didn't read the books (and like them) you probably wouldn't enjoy the movie all that much. I only say that because I made Mitch watch Twilight with me a few weeks ago and he almost died of boredom when he wasn't laughing (rude, obnoxious, mocking laughter).

The movie follows the book almost exactly, which I like a lot. It also looked exactly like it looked in my mind when I read the books. Even Rachel's muffins looked exactly like I imagined they looked. (If you're not a follower of the books and you're wondering who Rachel is, I'll tell you here in this parenthesised aside: She's the girlfriend of the alpha-werewolf, Sam, who became a werewolf because their town of Forks, Washington had vampires, and everyone knows that when you have some vampires move in, a few of the locals who have the latent werewolf gene will be able to morph into enormous werewolves (which look like regular wolves, just bigger). Anyway, Rachel and Sam are engaged and she's beautiful despite the fact that half her face is ripped to shreds because she got too close to Sam once when he morphed into his wolf-self and in that split second, he scarred her for life and he will never forgive himself. But she forgives him which begs the question: wtf is wrong with Rachel? These aren't even main characters in the movie. I don't know why I'm going into all this. Get it back on track!)

I liked New Moon much better than Twilight. Not that I didn't enjoy Twilight, mind you, I just had a hard time getting past Edward throwing Bella on his back and running up hills extremely fast and jumping from tree to tree. I'd be super pissed if Mitch did that to me. For one thing, Edward was never really holding on to Bella when he did that. He'd just sort of toss her on his back like a mama chimp tosses her baby on her back, and then he'd take off running or jumping. I would have fallen off and then all of Edward's luster would have been lost, because a guy who drops you on the ground is not a guy you want to have around. (hey, that rhymes!)

This review sucks ass. I'm not even touching the good parts of the movie yet and I've already written about ten boring chapters worth of boring rambling. I'll try again tomorrow. I'm tired.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why do we do the things we do?

After my last post Anne commented and said,

"Sarah, someday I want you to blog about what drew you to teaching. I'm not trying to sound like a jerk here...seriously what makes people want to go into that profession. It's not something that I think I could handle, but maybe it's really not all that bad?? And what's worse, the disrespectful kid or that kid's parents? I'm trying to have a good relationship with Corine's teacher; I just hope that she doesn't think that I'm trying to be a suck up."

Here's my answer:

A total lack of imagination.

When I went into college I had no idea what I wanted to do. First semester I tried to just figure out which classes to register for and then how to find them on a daily basis. The second semester I learned from my bad grades that I needed to take more classes that I could reasonably expect to get a good grade in. After that, I chose reading and writing courses because those were my favorite and I'm not one to delve into anything new or difficult if I don't have to, so I stuck with those kinds of classes.

Around the second semester of my second year I figured out that I was on an English major track, which was fine with me but what does a person do with an English degree? It's not the most practical degree a person can get and it's not something a person goes into if they want to have any money, because it turns out people don't want to pay other people for reading literature or writing poems. So I had to decide what I was going to DO with this worthless degree, so in my third year I decided that I could be a teacher. They have jobs that pay money, right? Sure, why not. I've had teachers, my parents were teachers. This wasn't something I was going into totally blind. I figured I could do it.

I got into the secondary education program and had a great time taking the classes. I made some good friends and we mercilessly made fun of the other kids in all our classes. (Pete, remember the "withering?") Then I finished and had to student teach.

I HATED student teaching. I taught under two teachers. One was a matronly woman who saw me as her assistant/slave and herself as my taskmaster. The other one was a big, grumpy man who wanted me to teach his classes following his lesson plans EXACTLY, which worked for him because he was old and loud and intimidating, but not so well for me who was young and quiet and infectiously beautiful and charming. It was a total trainwreck. When I wasn't slaving away for the lady I was having meetings with the man, all of which started with him taking off his glasses and rubbing his face like he was totally exasperated and out of ideas when it came to making me a good teacher.

I was in big trouble. I hated teaching. I hated the teachers, the administrators, the parents, and many of the kids.

One day during the man's class which I was teaching, there was one girl named Crystal who came into class, sat down and buried her face in her arms. When I told the kids to open their books to the story we were reading, she didn't. Mr. Grumpy told me to go make her do it. I went up to her and quietly asked her to open her book. From under her arms she said "Please don't." Okay. I let it go. Mr. G. was super pissed that she wasn't following directions, but I had a feeling that this was a battle not to be fought at that time. I was right. Later on that semester, that girl started to open up to me and told me that the day she wouldn't open her book was the day her step-dad showed up in the lunch room and made a big scene and she said she couldn't really pull herself together enough to read a story with the class. I was right! Mr. G. was wrong! That was the point at which I thought that maybe I had some talent for this job.

After I finished with college I applied all over the place for jobs and didn't get anything. Then at the last minute I got a part-time job in the Falls teaching English at the new alternative school. I loved it! I loved having my own classroom and being able to run it the way I wanted. I loved the kids too. But I was SO naive back then. I remember one day a kid came into my room after class and told me that if he didn't pass his classes, he was going to have to go to "juvie" and he really didn't want to go to juvie. I realize now that it was a not-so-veiled threat (he was playing with a pocket-knife at the time) and I didn't even realize it! He kept creeping closer to me telling me how important it was for him to pass and I said, "You won't pass unless you come to class and do your work! And put that knife away, you're going to cut yourself!" He was at a loss and just left. He didn't pass. I had him in class again several years later when I worked at the jail.

So in answer to your question, Anne, I sort of fell into it and have grown to like it more every year. I like kids more every year, anyway. That helps a lot.

And I'm a total masochist.

If I could go back and do it over I'd be a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld. Or a park ranger. Or a mailman. (I love to sort)

Okay internet friends, if you've gotten to the bottom of this overly-long post I want to know what made you choose the path you've taken in life? If you could go back and do it all over, what would you do differently? Can't wait to read your answers!

p.s. And Anne, Corine's teacher totally thinks you are trying to suck up. Just kidding! She probably doesn't!

(yes she does)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

THAT'S why it was so quiet...

It's cold and rainy and miserable today and the kids are bored and restless and driving me nuts. A while ago Kira disappeared and it was mercifully quiet and peaceful for about ten minutes. Then she came out of the laundry room and said, "I got my tongue stuck on my ice ball."

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Professional!

After ten years of being a stay-at-home mother I am ready to get back into the workforce. It's been pretty hard to do. I learned today that it's a common practice for school districts to hire a teacher for two years and then lay them off. Then, after a semester or two of being unemployed or under-employed, the district hires them back and the teachers starts back again at square one with beginning pay and at the bottom of the seniority list.

Nice huh?

This is the profession I chose though, and I love teaching, it's just that there is so much more to teaching than actually being in the classroom and working with the kids. I love being with the kids, but I am not looking forward to administrative politics, arbitrary state and federal laws, and of course, all the dumb students. (Just kidding.)

But, I have decided to re-commit myself to my career (bwahahahahahaha!), no seriously, I am; even though I am completely starting over now because I took ten years off to take care of my stupid kids. (Just kidding.) You know how you thought teaching, of all things, is a parent-friendly career choice? Well, you were wrong.

So I have made myself a website to use as a resume to prove to places that I will apply to that I am current and totally awesome. I put a picture of myself on it which I think might be a little over the top, but whatev. If you care about any of this (and why would you?) check out my website and criticize it for me. Pretend you are a principal and you have 300 applicants for one job, and that I'm not old and ten years out of date and tell me what I should do to improve it. I would really appreciate any input! Thanks!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kira's Latest Art Project

Kira is known around here for her craftiness. Yesterday she came up to me with these in her hand and said, "Look what I made, Three Blind Mice." I looked and saw what is in the picture above; two pistachio shells with scraps of paper glued to them. She must have sensed my confusion because she explained, "You know, because they don't have eyes, and the paper is their tails." I said, "But there are only two," and she said, "Yeah, but you get the idea."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Current Events

I was so preoccupied yesterday by seeing the man in the blue mini-van *abusing the usual suspect* that I forgot what I had on my mind that I thought was so funny previous to witnessing the mini-van guy *detoxifying the puppy*.

I was listening to NPR and I heard a story about people in Washington who were protesting the health care bill that passed in the house over the weekend. The reporter was in the crowd talking to people and she interviewed a lady who was protesting the bill because she thinks that the government will be paying for everyone and their brother to get an abortion if the health care bill passes. The reporter said, "Explain what you're wearing," which I thought was weird, but then the lady proudly said,

"Well, I'm dressed as Nancy Pelosi burning in hell."

I started laughing. How does one dress like that? The lady went on to explain in great detail.

"My clothes are singed at the edges to represent the hell fire, and I'm wrapped in chains, and these here are dead babies hanging all over me."

Okay...

Singed clothes; easy, but probably smelly. Chains; pretty easy to get your hands on, just take the chains from your kid's swing set and wrap them around, but they might get a little uncomfortable standing in a crowd for a long time. I bet they fall off and drag and people step on them. Huge pain in the ass. What really interests me is the decorative dead babies. Where can you buy decorative dead babies? Is it a string of baby Jesus Christmas lights that she gored up a little? Are the babies home-made? What are they made of? Cloth? Wood? Plastic?

And how did she dress so we would know she was specifically Nancy Pelosi burning in hell draped in dead babies, and not just some regular Jane Doe burning in hell draped in dead babies? Did she have a sign that said, "I'm Nancy Pelosi and I'm burning in hell and I'm draped in chains and dead babies"? because if she did, she could have skipped the costume and just worn the sign. That's what I would have done.

I looked online for a little while and tried to find a picture of this creative lady, but couldn't find one. All I found was this picture of a sign with Nancy Pelosi and she's thinking "Nazis..."

and then there's a word underneath her that I think might say "astroturd" but probably says "astroturf." Either way, the sign makes no sense, unless it really does say astroturd. Then it's funny.

Monday, November 9, 2009

You will not believe what I saw today...

I was driving to Sam's Club, in a bad mood because I hate Sam's Club and also because I wish I was working instead of grocery shopping, and I stopped at a stoplight. I happened to glance over at the car next to me and I noticed the driver. He was a fat, middle aged man and he was moving in jerky movements. I thought maybe he was having a seizure, but then I looked a little closer and I realized that he was masturbating. This man was *fisting his mister* (I looked up euphemisms specifically for this blog post to "spice it up" a little, and I found an entire glossary that is making me crack up), and I was so shocked:

that I was seeing someone *cuff the governor* in his car, in traffic, in the bright sunshiny morning, that when the light turned green neither one of us went. Someone behind us honked and I wanted to tell them that I had a perfectly good reason not to go, as an unassuming-looking man in the blue mini-van next to us was *juggling the javelin* for heaven's sake!

Upon closer inspection I saw that he had a picture or something on a piece of paper smashed against his steering wheel that he was staring at intently while he *interrogated the witness*. I couldn't see what was on the paper, but it sure looked like it must have been interesting, interesting enough to *groom his junior* right there, right then.

Finally, I gave in to the peer pressure of the honkers behind us and went, leaving Mr. Blue Mini-van to *take a core sample* and hold up a lane of traffic. What I don't understand, and what still baffles me: is that the urge to *thread the needle* couldn't wait until he at least got into a parking lot. And this must have taken some planning, because he had materials. Or maybe he got the materials and couldn't wait. I don't really want to know.

Anyhoo, That's my story for today. If I was working, I would have never even known it happened. Thank goodness I had the day off, I mean: *had the day off*! (see, anything can be a euphemism) Enjoy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How I almost died when I was eight

Today I was trying to help Kira tighten her hockey equipment. I was having trouble and she looked at me in disgust and said, "Dad is so much stronger than you." Well, no shit. That's the understatement of the year. He is so strong that it is disturbing. It is way beyond something to brag about, it is just plain freaky.

I discovered the extent of his freakish strength shortly after we first got married when I bought him an antique outboard motor for Christmas. It took two men to heave it into my trunk and they talked about how it might be too heavy for the car and to make sure I didn't drive around with it for too long or I'd ruin my suspension. On Christmas Eve I told Mitch his present was in the trunk and he and his brother would have to get it out together. He saw it (loved it, btw, I'm an awesome wife) and immediately picked it up by himself and brought it into the house. He just picked it up like he was picking up something that wasn't hundreds of pounds. At that point I was a little uneasy, but nevertheless, impressed. The next day is when I got totally freaked out. He was in the garage and I came out to tell him something. I saw him at the top of a stepladder, holding the motor with one arm and attaching it to the rafter with the other. I actually got the heebie jeebies. For one thing, how was he holding that thing with one arm ON a ladder, and for another thing, WHY was he attaching it to the garage rafters?

The scene brought me back to when I was in third grade and I discovered how frighteningly strong a human can really be. We went to music class and sat in little desks and sang songs while the music teacher, Mrs. McDowell, had her back to us and played the piano. There was a kid named David who went to music with us. He was severely retarded but loved music and got so excited when the class started singing that he grabbed me by the neck and squeezed and shook me until my head was flopping all over the place. He didn't sing, he just yelled "DAVID! DAVID!" and strangled me. I tried to pry his fingers off, but I didn't have a chance. I'm surprised my neck didn't break.

Mrs. McDowell couldn't see what was happening because her back was to us, and she couldn't see anything out of her peripheral vision anyway because of her gigantic 1960s flip-do. (it was the 70s. the late 70s.)

This is what Mrs. McDowell wanted to look like. She didn't pull it off nearly this well.

As my vision was fading and I was about to lose consciousness, some kid in my class finally got Mrs. McDowell's attention and all she said was, "Oh no, David, don't do that." Then she started playing again and the whole thing started over. It was the longest half hour of my life. Traumatic.

So I grew to be afraid of the ridiculously strong. Then, inside of one year of being married, I discovered I had married one of those freakishly strong people.

I'm a computer genius now

My computer was acting really strange. The mouse pad wouldn't work, and then it was really slow and so on and so forth. I figured I must have a virus. This was easy to figure out since a few months ago I deleted all my security software. (I don't know why I did it now. I'm sure there was a good reason.)

So for the past several days I've been trying to find the virus and delete it. I think I might have finally done it. I downloaded a scrub software (it's probably just another virus-filled program that's going to cause me to have my identity stolen) and when I ran it, it said that I had a "trojan horse," and that it was now deleted. I said to myself, "WTF can this possibly have to do with Virgil and the Aeneid?" (I'm an English major, after all.)(Did you know that?) In this instance a trojan horse, or simply a *trojan* is a piece of malware (see all I've learned?) that a hacker uses to access my computer files by pretending to be something I want. (It's probably that stupid Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman wallpaper.)

Why would a hacker want to access my computer files? I think I figured it out. I think my computer was being used as a part of a botnet used by terrorists or Koreans. For a short time my computer was being used as a zombie computer (brains...BRAINS!) for some evil plot which I will probably eventually be arrested for. But no more! I fixed it and I got new security software. I mostly did this by sitting at my computer in total frustration for hours and hours and pushing buttons and deleting programs that I'm sure I probably need, and hinting to Mitch that this would probably be much easier for him to do for me. (A hint he never took.) Hopefully this is the end of the troubles.

While sitting in frustration I wrote some haiku poems about my experience. I wrote this one about three hours into my ordeal:

My Dell's infected
Wait! I think I can fix it!
nope, still broken, fuck.

I call this one "Day 2"

What the fuck is wrong?
Goddamn fucking piece of shit
fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK!

(I find an English degree to be so handy in real-life problem solving situations.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ugh blah yuck

I have the swine flu. Nah, probably not, but I don't feel good. I might have gotten food poisoning from the tator tot hotdish I made last night, although nobody else seems to be sick, but with my cooking my family have probably developed stomachs of iron. Why am I such a delicate flower?

It's a bad time to be sick with all this wonderful Halloween candy around. This is prime candy time. In a few days the kids will have eaten all the premium stuff and I'll be left with nothing but Almond Joy and one crushed Butterfinger, along with crappy Sweet Tarts. I might have to raid their stash and hide some good stuff for myself for later. I already had to hide the half a bag of Three Musketeers I had left over from giving treats at school. THEY'RE NOT IN THE BUNT CAKE PAN, MITCH! HA! KEEP LOOKING!

I might take tomorrow off and try to recover. I think I could make it if I could be wrapped in my electric blanket for the whole day. (I wonder if they'd let me do that? I'll have to look for an extension cord.) In the meantime I'll rest and relax with my Facebook farm and Dr. Quinn. I'm on season 5 of 6. When it's over I will be MAJORLY DEPRESSED.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yikes

The kids have been bothering me for years to take them to the haunted ship downtown. The William A. Irvin/William H. Macy gets "haunted" every year for Halloween, but I didn't think the kids could handle having the bejesus scared out of them from a haunted anything. Also, going out at night really cuts into my Dr. Quinn time.

But this year we finally relented and brought them on the tour. Sam is a big tough twelve year old, so I knew he could handle it, but I was still worried about Kira because, after all, she is a nine year old girl, she should be able to be frightened, right? Wrong. The kids weren't even a little bit scared, hardly even startled. Kira was startled by the first ghoul that jumped out at us at the beginning of the tour, but she didn't scream, she just said, "crap," and the ghoul, expecting I'm sure that he was dealing with a normal person, started laughing at her when he realized he wasn't dealing with anything close to normal.

After that, she was expecting people to jump out at us and wasn't scared at all. She just antagonized the people playing the ghouls, and then they would take it out on me just to prove that they really were scary. Who wouldn't be freaked out to have some teenager in stage makeup sneak up on you and invade your personal space? Toward the end, when people would jump out at us, Kira would say, "Get my mom, she's the one who's really scared," and then they would. My throat was sore from screaming.

On the ride home Mitch asked the kids what their favorite part of the tour was and they both said, "How scared Mom was."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kira is weird

I went to the downstairs freezer today and when I opened it I saw a huge perfectly round piece of ice just sitting there. I said, "...What!?" I couldn't really wrap my mind around what I was seeing or how it got there. How does a sphere of ice materialize in your basement freezer without you even knowing about it?

I asked around and Kira told me that she filled a balloon with water and froze it and then peeled off the balloon after it was solid. Why did she do this, you ask? Why not?

Today she asked me if she could bring some cough drops to school from home because the ones the nurse has at school are gross flavor combinations. I asked what flavors they are and she said, "Honey and corn, or kiwi and beef."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

To say this was a lazy Sunday would be a total understatement

I woke up this morning and after getting out of bed, decided it was too cold and rainy to not be under covers, so I went back to bed and read my book. Mitch came up to check on me about 10:30 and told me to get up. I told him the only thing that would get me out of bed was a breakfast that I don't make myself. So he made me eggs.


Fish shaped eggs. He got a cast iron fish shaped muffin pan a while ago and he keeps finding it despite my attempts to hide it long enough for him to forget about it so I can get rid of it. He is trying to prove it's utility. They were pretty good eggs.

Then Kira and Sam and I watched about 12 hours of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. You'd think a person would get sick of Dr. Quinn after 100 hours, but we aren't. It's THAT good! I'm not being sarcastic either. It's a really good show. Now Mitch and I are going to watch Slumdog Millionaire.

I might have developed bed sores today. I'll check later and let you know.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Panhandle

I am 39 years old and I have just realized that what I always thought was the "panhandle" of Florida, isn't really the handle, it's the pan. I always thought the main part of the state, the part that juts down into the ocean was the panhandle. I thought it was called the panhandle and the whole rest of the United States was the pan, and I always thought that was a stupid name, because that's an awfully small handle for such a big pan. But now I learn that the handle is actually the upper part of Florida and the part I thought was the panhandle is the pan.


Now, let's talk about Texas. There is a panhandle on Texas too, but is it the bottom? Or is it the top square part? Is it the side?


Don't get all smug and pretend you have always known what the panhandle of Texas is, because right now you are a little unsure.


If this is the whole pan then I think New England would be a good handle. Florida definitely wouldn't. It would crack right off and, whoa, then you'd be mad! The bottom part of Texas would be a sturdy handle, but I bet if the pan was really hot, you'd burn your hand because it's a little short. You know what would be a good handle? Mexico.