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 the other day. (Along with other wonderful recipes) Here it is:


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."


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.