Sunday, March 29, 2009

Peanut Prose

My daughter, Miss Peanut, has been coming out with all kinds of funny stuff recently. Oddly enough, I often hear my own words coming out of her mouth. I guess I can't say she never listens to me, huh? She hears me all right.

So yesterday, we were getting ready to go to a birthday party. Miss Peanut had been parading her various sartorial choices past me, checking for my opinion. She decided on a pink dress with a cupcake print (gotta love Gymboree), pink socks, and white sneakers. When asked for my opinion, I said "Looks cute. How about a necklace, too?" Her hand fluttered up to her throat in that quintessentially feminine way, as she said "Oh! Good call!" and whirled around back to her room to further bedeck herself.

Earlier this week, I'd gotten a cryptic behavior report from her teacher, stating that there was a "kicking incident" between Miss Peanut and another student. When I asked her about it, she said that when they were sitting "criss-cross applesauce" (this is the modern PC euphemism for what we all called "Indian-style") one of the boys accidentally kicked her when he was getting up. She further elaborated, saying "and I accidentally forgot and kicked him back."

There's been other stuff, too, but these little PeanutBytes come so fast and furious that I can't remember them all. She's growing up, that's for sure!


Monday, March 23, 2009

In which I am all thumbs and spasms

Not only am I an inarticulate knitter, I am a profanely clumsy one, too. At least I know how many stitches I started with, and haven't dropped one yet, so nothing's really lost. I very nearly lost my shit though, when I had a freaking spasm in my hand and yanked that slippery green metal needle completely out of the row. I have about one inch of sock cuff knitted, for those who are keeping track. Nothing much, really, but for me, quite an achievement.

I also ran today for the second time in several hundred months. I was a little sore and stiffish today at work. I can tell you this, though: sore and stiff though I was today, I'm likely to be thrice that tomorrow! Christ on a cracker, I am actually hurtin' right now. I'm also a weensy bit impressed with myself. Only once did I give up in the running, and that was on the last stretch of it, uphill, and for the last seven seconds. I counted. Knackered, I am, but come Wednedsday, I'll be doing it yet again.

School today was hard. We're just all getting back on track after the chaos that was the State testing program. After seven days of laxity, it's very difficult getting anything closely resembling work out of my students. Even the rocket scientists were ridiculously chatty and difficult to corral. That's only to be expected, though.

I have a few friends, who all independently of themselves, have recently suffered personal setbacks. I want to hug them all, shelter and shield them, fight for those that need it, and let the others weep on my shoulder. Unfortunately, not all of them are geographically close enough to me to do that. For those of you that aren't, expect a phone call soon. For those of you that are, you may find yourself taking one for the team - even though you personally don't need a hug, you may find yourself receiving one intended for another. Please accept it and karmically pass it on. It's well-intentioned.

And hell, while I'm giving out the karmic hugs, if anyone out there would like one, I'm sure I can pass one on to you. All you have to do is ask.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Bucket List

I've started Bucket List. I'm not in imminent danger of death - that I know of - but I figured there was enough stuff that I haven't done in my life that I should do, that I should organize it. This weekend, I got a start at two of my Bucket List items.

The first, Run a 5K, will happen this July. Since I am about as out of shape as Jabba the Hutt, I figured I'd better get started on this now. I downloaded an interval training podcast and began the arduous task of running and walking. I looked like a complete ass, alternating between minutes of walking and mere seconds of running, but I did it. I'll keep doing it, until I can run five bloody kilometers. It's more than I've ever run continuously in my entire life, but I'm determined. This will happen. Even if I hate it. Which I currently do. Hate running. Yuck.

The second item begun is slightly more fun and entirely more sedentary: Knit a Pair of Socks. My grandmother taught me how to crochet, embroider, cross stitch, needlepoint, and sew. My mother taught me how to knit a scarf. Socks, however, are something that I've wanted to do ever since I saw my friend Cathy doing it. I asked her to teach me, and she has graciously acquiesced. Today, with another Kathy, we had our very first Stitch-n-Bitch.

Today's Stitch-n-Bitch deserves its own paragraph, as there was quite a bit of bitching. Kathy and I are pretty much rank beginners, able to turn out a mean scarf or potholder. Socks, however, reduced us to language that would do any dockhand proud. Or, at least they reduced me to this language. Kathy may have been a bit more appropriate and ladylike. I do believe we two are the founding members of the First Guild of Inarticulate Knitters, as much of our frustrations were expressed in wordless utterances - "Whaaaaa? Gaaaah! Meh! Feh! Bleaaaaargh!" Of course, we were trying to knit both socks at the same time on two circular needles. Glah! Eeep! Floooo!

Two weeks from now, at our Second Stitch-n-Bitch, I imagine we'll be slightly more articulate, as I intend to practice and get a few more inches done on these two socks. Maybe I'll be ready to turn the heel by then. And then? After I finish these socks? I'll never have to do another pair. But who knows? I might! Why? Because I'll know how. Further down on my Bucket List is to pass the knowledge on to my daughter, should she want to learn - not just socks, but all of the nearly lost feminine arts I learned from my grandmother. But that's not something I'll be doing on my timeschedule.

So what's on your list?

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Supporting McCain

Meghan McCain, that is.

There's been a recent kerfuffle involving Meghan McCain, Ann Coulter, and, most recently, Laura Ingraham. The most recent bit is what left me temporarily speechless. I'll elaborate, shall I?

Now, we all know that I am not a Republican. I do not tend to follow politics as a rule and know very little about the various right-wing pundits. Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly are pretty much the sum total of my right-wing pundit knowledge. I do not call Ann Coulter a right-wing pundit. I call her a reactionary, whack-a-doo, heartless, worthless Grinch of a creature. Next to Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh seems like a jolly avuncular teddy-bear of a man that would give me a Werther's candy and a pat on the head. So, when Meghan McCain seemingly came out of nowhere attacking Ann Coulter, my response was definitely positive. I was frankly glad to see some young Republican women acknowledging that this woman was not a positive role model for them.

So I just read on Big Fat Deal, a size-acceptance blog, that Laura Ingraham made no substantive rebuttal to McCain's comments, but instead chose to make belittling comments about McCain's weight and "plus sized" status. Excuse me? What the FUCK does Meghan's size 8 behind have to do with the validity of her comments? Never mind the fact that a size 8 is only plus sized in an anorexic's head, when did the size of a woman's ass become an inverse measure of her brain? Um, never, thank you very much.

Another thing that just gets under my skin about this whole interview thing is that it's another woman who is perpetuating this sizist crap. I mean, if it were some male chauvinist that were spewing this garbage, I could just write it off as typical male conservative sexism. Yes, it exists. Yes, I've encountered it in real life. However, for this to come out of another woman's mouth - for her to skip right to the ad hominem attack instead of examining the value of the argument put forth just reeks of the whole catty female politics that we, as women, have striven to rise above.

Shame on you, Laura Ingraham.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Boyfriend

I've had a boyfriend for a while now.

Don't wig out - my husband knows! He even thinks my boyfriend's adorable. He is, too. He's three years old and lives with one of my best friends (who happens to be his mother, see). His name is Max and he's just been introduced to someone new - his baby brother.

Max, I have news for you, boyfriend. This squawking little blanket burrito will completely change your life. He will drive you nuts, yet at the very same time, can be your best friend and biggest ally in the world. You will share a lot: clothes, toys, parents, to be sure, but also the family slang and inside jokes that you will have a large part in teaching him. Oh, I didn't tell you that yet! You get to teach this little critter, this baby brother, all of that stuff. You have now gained some responsibility.

Yours is a very important role, Max! You are the BIG brother. I'll bet you're more apt to be the voice of reason in this duo than the one who charges headlong into trouble. I'm also pretty sure you'll receive your share of hero-worship, noogies, wedgies, and flying tackles. You'll also get a friend for life, a partner in crime, and someone to watch your back from here on out.

In short, Max, you've got a brother. Treat him well.

(PS - hi Robbie!!!! Can't wait to finally meet you in person, pal! And you know everything I just said to Max? Goes double for you, shorty. Oh, and your job as the little brother? Why, to give your big brother hell, of course!)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Potty Mouth

Ok, so I have quite a potty mouth. I keep it leashed at school, for the most part. When I do let fly, it's usually in French, so the kids don't always understand it. Mostly, though, I make do with substitutions, like "shoot," "dagnabit," and "mother-of-pearl." Not quite as satisfying as the real thing, but they get the job done.

This video, though, made me giggle and wonder "what if... ?"

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Adventures of the Courageous Masked Jones in Montreal

It was a dark and stormy night

Evil lurked in the shifty dusk

Courageous Jones hauled her sorry ass out of bed at 4 am one dark and gloomy Friday morning.

"Time to go fight the evil noxious plague of ignorance that runs rampant in our school system city," she grumbled sleepily. Staggering her way to the bathroom, she pulled on her mask and ran her fingers through her short crop of hair. Business transacted, teeth brushed, and slightly refreshed, she shuffled back to her bedroom to ditch her monkey slippers and trade them for her slinky spandex travel gear.

Moving swiftly and silently through the house now, lest she wake its slumbering denizens, Courageous Jones swiftly stowed a few necessities in her utility belt and coiled her laser wit whip about her waist. She slinked down the stairs, keeping to the shadows, and waited, poised, for The Principal to arrive.

Their journey was short, and soon they were in the vaunted Tower of Learning in Canuckland, or, as it was know to the natives, Le Centre Sheraton. Yet there was no battle to be fought that day. Jones and The Principal chose to scope out the territory, joining forces with the WonderTwins from their same team. Disguised as mild-mannered teachers, they roamed Vieux Montreal, eyes constantly scanning for foes of all sizes. None, save the Foul Poutine, were to be found, though.

Courageous Masked Jones let her guard down that night and felt the beauty of the city around her. Little did she know that she would feel its crushing weight upon her the next day.

Madame Firebrand began her tutelage the next morning. If Courageous Jones had ever felt that she was up to the task of scourging ignorance from her classroom city, Madame Firebrand would soon extinguish that confidence. Madame Firebrand ran Jones through her paces, test after test, until she was ready to drop from the exhaustion and felt weak and trembling from the mounting fear. Mockery and self-doubt slipped from the shadows and fell upon her. Worse, her fellow participants the rest of the Justice League were succumbing to the same foes. It was time, thought Courageous Masked Jones, to butch up and face things.

Loosing her whip, Courageous Jones lashed out at the debilitating demons that diminished her self-worth and beat them back with the sure knowledge that, while there was always room for improvement, there was also the ability to improve within her. Everything she needed was at her beck and call. Calling it forth from every fiber of her being, Courageous Jones took the lessons that Madame Firebrand had provided and worked on them. She toiled, slaved, wiped her damp forehead, and then toiled some more. Pages of notes and plans appeared before her - the product of the sweat of her brow and the magic of her mind.

Courageous Masked Jones has a plan.

Now, does she have the power?

Stay tuned, superfriends, stay tuned!

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Back, Incognito!


Thanks to my girl On The Curb for this one!

It really seemed to fit today, as my friend Hube, Colosssus of Rhodey contributer, Iron Man enthusiast (and major comic-book geek afficionado in general) decided to start up a side-blog (because obviously he has nothing better to do...) and is now writing at Comics of Rhodey. Feel free to check him out. If you'd like to make your own hero, go here.

I think I may write about the Adventures of the Courageous Masked Jones in Montreal a little later this week. She was, of course, incognito.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Off to the Frozen North!

I'm away to the Canada!

One of the few perks of being a teacher in an International Baccalaureate school is the opportunity to travel to conferences on how to teach effectively in this milieu. As I've only taught the middle grades in this system, I'm now going to be trained in teaching the upper grades. As I teach French, I chose training located in scenic and fashionable Montreal, Quebec, where ze frenchies are still prezent!

I get to go with my Principal - he seems fairly cool for an administrator - and with one of the middle school French teachers. I think we'll have a great time kicking back after the conference sessions are through for the day.

Have fun without me!

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Updates, long overdue

It seems that with the new year, many of my favorite reads have decided that they'd just close up shop and feck off. Being a ridiculously sentimental sort, I've waited an unduly long time to delete them. But, alas, the time has come to clean house in that regard. Soooooo...

Goodbye to my old friends, and hello to some new ones. Please check out my sidebar for some new reads.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

One of the Stupidest Things I've Ever Done... not what you're thinking.

One of the stupidest things I've ever done is learn to make microwave cake in a cup. Now, I am no more than 5 minutes away from cake at any given time. Goddammit.

So of course, I feel honor-bound to share this recipe with you. But, be warned - you must love chocolate.

Get a large mug (beaker to you Brits) - the bigger the better - and a fork for mixing. Then find your measuring teaspoon.

Into your mug, measure 2 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour, 6 Tablespoons of Sugar, and 3 Tablespoons of Cocoa. Stir 'em up just to get the lumps out.

Then, add a splash of vanilla, 1 egg, 3 Tablespoons of oil (I used Canola, since it's got no flavor), and 3 Tablespoons of milk. Mix this all up until it's amalgamated and smooth. It should have a stiffish brownie batter consistency. (Nom, nom, nom!)

Then, for the coup de grace, throw in a handful of chocolate chips and give it a very cavalier stir. You don't want them all falling to the bottom of the cup, so be a lazy person and half-ass it. Pitch the fork into the sink and bung the cup into the microwave for 4 minutes on high.

Let the cake sit for about 2 minutes before tipping it out onto a plate and digging in. You don't want to burn your mouth while it's piping hot.

Or, if burning your mouth seems like a really good idea to you you just can't wait, don't tip it out onto a plate and plop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it instead. It's a substantial cake, so it can take the moisture of the ice cream.

It's enough for two people to share, or for one really greedy person to enjoy in the privacy of her own kitchen. I'll let you figure out which one it was for me.


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