Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Girly-girl's perspective on the Football Hall of Fame

So today we went to the Football Hall of Fame. As I lined up my camera to take a shot of the Johnny Unitas statue in the lobby of the HOF, my Dear Husband, the WCM sneered "you don't even know who he is." Well, true dat. However, I could truthfully say "Of course I do - he was a football player." Which, as a true girlie-girl, is all the answer you'll ever need for this excursion.

The truth is, I insisted that we visit the Football HOF. I enjoy football, and it's not just for the totally ripped and sweaty hunks in tight bun-huggers. It's a fascinating game, philosophically. Think about it - you have men who will willingly cripple themselves in pursuit of this game. They gather in a corps, united against a common foe, facing the other down on the gridiron battlefield. Do I sound like the NFL Films guy?

It was really cool to see all the football history. As a G-G, I liked watching the evolution of the uniforms. Did you know that the old ones were knit, and had a long tail that buttoned at the crotch to keep them from riding up? I didn't until today. I read accounts of the first games and saw copies of the first professional football contracts. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I highly recommend it.

So did the WCM.

Tomorrow, I'm going to the Rock & Roll HOF, where I expect to know a lot more than I did today.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A decade and a half...

The WCM and I will be married for 15 years on June 30, 2005.

It was thought, lo those many years ago, that I was making the biggest mistake of my life. You know what they say: "Marry in haste, repent at leisure." Actually, I don't know anyone who says that. People, uncharitable people, predicted that our marriage wouldn't last two years - I was, after all, barely 20 years old. There was whispered speculation about my waistline - would it be rapidly burgeoning in months to come? No, it didn't. In fact, it took 11 years for my sweet Peanut to come along.

We've weathered lots of fights, lots of celebrations, graduate school, unemployment, one serious illness, two puppies, crate training, one pregnancy, and one horrifying labor and delivery. Sleepless nights, breastfeeding, weaning, and potty training have tested us.

Still, we're together. Neither one of us is perfect, and we have real differences - he's a Republican, for crying out loud! I'm a junk food junkie, he loves whole grains. I'm classical, he's classic rock. We've mastered the art of compromise.

Happy Anniversary, you cheap bugger. I love you!

The GoGos


Tomorrow, at the butt crack of dawn, we leave for vacation. Six days and nights in scenic and fashionable Ohio. Woo woo!

I won't be blogging much, as the WCM doesn't have us staying at posh locales featuring free wireless access. If, at the two places that have it, I get to lay a finger on his precious laptop, I'll tell you all about the fascinating places we went.

Hydrocortisone, calamine, and witch hazel, oh my!

I am the itchiest itch in Itchyville!

I have no idea what is causing said itchiness. I haven't changed laundry detergents or fabric softeners. There has been no change in soaps or lotions. Infestations of mites or bugs have not been sighted.

It's worse than watching reruns of Andromeda.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I guess I ought to watch the news...

I didn't realize that that picture was so old!


I don't watch the news much, because it depresses me. Call me an ostrich.

Still, the sentiment remains. WTF?

Is this for real?!!

When is this ever appropriate? Posted by Hello

If this is for real, and I have no real reason to doubt it, then what in the world was he thinking?! Why would the leader of a world superpower stoop to a crude and vulgar gesture like this? This is who half the country "voted" for? This is who represents us in international forums? This is our President?!

Yeah, there's our first citizen, holding the American FLAG, and flipping the bird at the same time. This, from the head of our country. What a message to be sending - like Jacques Chirac laying a wreath on the tomb of the Unknowns and adjusting his crotch at the same time. Imagine Tony Blair opening Parliament and picking his nose. Perhaps Vladimir Putin will be belching his address at the next international summit.

I have just three letters to describe my incredulity: WTF?!!!

Let me also give you three words to describe my feelings about the subject of this photo: boorish, callow oaf.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Goodnight, sleep tight

There is nothing on earth more heart-meltingly sweet as the sight of a sleeping child. This is one of life's many fundamental truths - one that I've been letting slip by me in the last frantic weeks of school. As things got busier and busier, it was easier to rush through the bedtime ritual so I could have a smidgen of time to myself before I, too, allowed Mr. Sandman to bring me a dream. Tonight, though, on my second full day of summer vacation, I felt things slow down.

Miss Peanut has been staying up later since I've been off, in vain hopes that she'll sleep later in the mornings. Tonight, I carted her off to bed at 9 pm - way later than normal - after watching her rub her eyes for the fourth time in ten minutes. I read her a Princess story, pulled up her covers, and turned out the bedroom light. The hall light was on, banishing the childhood monsters that lurk in the shadows to the corners of the room.

"Pat my back, Mommy."

The light blanket muffles the soft thuds that help Peanut to sleep. My other hand tangles in her soft hair, gently stroking her scalp, as her eyes drift shut. The soft curve of her cheek beckons to me, just begging for a kiss. As I lean down to press my lips to her smooth skin, she murmurs "I'm ready to go to sleep now, Mommy."

I whisper our good night rhyme: "Good Night, Sleep Tight, Dream of..." and I pause.

"...Good fairies tonight" she finishes.

"I love you, Peanut."

"I love you, too."

My child, my heart.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Another one bites the dust

One more year down, another 21 to go before I can retire... Oh the inhumanity!

I've packed all my boxes to be shipped to the temporary building that will be housing our school next year. I've labeled everything, purged my files, and pruned my possessions. It's crazy just how much stuff one accumulates in this profession. I have a huge packing box full of examples of Student Work. Throwing that stuff out, even to make room for more recent examples, is somehow painful - as though I'm throwing away memories of some of my more cherished students. Rationally, I know that these students will live on in my memory - they're too dear to forget - but it's hard to rid myself of the reminders. So I'll give you a few:

From my first year teaching Middle School, Cate and Laura were wonderful. Both of them were sci-fi junkies like me, and we could - and DID - spend afternoons discussing the various Trek series and their reflections on our current society. Both of these ladies are, I'm sure, on to bigger and better things. Last I heard, Cate was at Smith and Laura was probably headed to MIT.

From my second year, Jill T. was a sweetie who always wished me "Happy Friday's Eve" every Thursday. John was a WILD MAN, who was into Panterra and Rob Zombie, but had the softest marshmallow heart of anyone I've ever taught. Then there's Ben, the violin virtuoso who lives more in his head than his body. He's off to Austria this summer to study at the Mozarteum. His mother teaches math and is one of my favorite people.

From my third year, there's Sanaz. I have a couple of pictures that she drew me that I still put up in my room. She was a doll in class - 100 percent average, eager to answer any question but not obnoxious about it. This year, she was class valedictorian. Petit Robert was another treat - I had his older brother in my first year, and would have his younger sister in my last year at that school.

From my fourth year, there's Andrew, Sam, & Phil. Sam was not actually my student - he chose Spanish - but he hung out in my homeroom every morning until the bell rang and taught me some Japanese ('cause his real name is actually Osamu and his parents are Japanese). Andrew & Phil were a riot. Andrew had the best sense of humor and Phil loved fishing and Neil Young. I can't stand Neil Young, so we had fun gently razzing each other. Then there's Vivi les Cheveux (not her real name) with the wildest hair I've yet to see and a personality to match. She and Andrew bickered just like an old married couple.

From my fifth year, Mariel stands out. That girl worked hard and played hard - what a fantastic skier. Most of this year was a blur, though, as I'd come back from maternity leave in December.

My last year at that school was bittersweet - I had quite a crew. JJ was, perhaps, the most gorgeous 14-year old I've ever seen. I'd like to see him again in 15 years to see how he turns out. Taylor, who actually reads this and posts here, was probably the prickliest student I've ever had - but who got my sense of humor ("Ok everybody, stand up if you've ever done something inappropriate with a monkey."). Only Taylor would know who says stuff like that.

My first year at my current school was a bit of a nightmare, with some nightmarish students in 8th grade. I'll always remember Dante, though, for falling in love with my toddler and declaring that he's my "baby daddy." Molly "I'm a pir-an-hah" and Jade "Hazel" were always good for a laugh. And, lastly, Alex - who the hell are the Dropkick Murphys?!! - my own Mr. Cool. Oh, and I can't forget Joe (even with years of therapy), who could name 10 porn stars in 5 seconds, and Wayne, the world's biggest perv.

This year, I know I'll remember Lauren - the BEST STUDENT EVER; Emilie, the former future Mrs. Orlando Bloom; Martin, aka Uncle Chile; Nic & Gabi - Georgia Nicolson fans for life; Amber - Miss Grace & Dignity, an example for young women everywhere; Jenny - who needs to travel back a century and live with Louisa May Alcott (I swear, she could have stepped off the pages of Little Women; The great Megan Triumvirate (3 in one class!!), but especially Mini-Megan with the Maxi Brain; Eddie, the honorary Megan; and lastly, Kasia of the long hair and Mine.

Now I can throw stuff away with a clear conscience.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Score one for the WCM!

The World's Cheapest Man is suddenly Not So! Having been listening to me make noises about how an MP3 player would be a really nice thing to have when I go on my walks, the WCM done up and bought me one! And it's a beaut. Henceforth, he shall be known as the World's Not So Cheapest Man, or WNSCM, for those who like to save time.

So now I have the challenge of finding 2500 songs to fill up my new toy. I'm up to 162, and that's without the collected works of Sting.

Suggestions, anyone?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


That's the sound of the busy bee!

It's finals week at school, so the pressure is on. I love this week - it's so sweet seeing "my" kids change over two years. They stumble in in Seventh grade, gawky and shy, and strut out of Eighth grade, pumped full of hormones and bravado.

After the halls clear on the last day, you can hear every teacher in the building sigh in unison. It's not entirely relief, either. Sometimes it's a sigh of sadness, as you've just sent the BEST CLASS EVER on to an uncertain future in high school. Sometimes it's joy, that you've just seen the end of the class from HELL. But, most of the time, it's a sigh of resignation - that you're sure you've done your best, but you're hoping that you've made as much of an impact on your students as they've made on you.

I will miss so many of my students from this year. I had some of the best students ever. They were motivated, eager, and bright as halogen bulbs. I wish them nothing but the best in life.