Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yet Another Homeschooling Fail

Australia has states!  7 of them, to be precise.  Who knew?  Not me, that's for sure.

They have names, and everything!

In other news, I ponied up the $8.50 and started reading The Hunger Games last night.  In retrospect, I should have saved it for next week, AFTER finishing up my yearly work contract.  Because it is VERY DISTRACTING.  I think I finally went to sleep at 2 AM.  That is stupid behavior for a responsible adult.  Which, apparently, I am not.

[Australia map: I Love Charts]

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Should've Bought A Kindle...

Having read the sample chapter of Anne Lamott's overpriced new book on my Nook, I can say that it looks great.  But I'm not going to pay 13 dollars for something I can't even share with someone else.  I'll wait for the paperback, buy it, read it, and then give it away to a lucky reader.  That is, if there are any of you left by then who hasn't gone ahead and bought it on your own e-reader.

And, just by the way, that amazing thing where, as a Nook owner, I am supposed to be able to "share" the ebook I am reading with another Nook owner?  Yeah, right.  Apparently, none of the (admittedly few) books I've bought qualify to be "shared."  I feel ripped off.  Meanwhile, if I had bought a Kindle, I could have read the Hunger Games for free tonight and buying it would have cost me only 5 dollars.  The Nook wants $8.50.

My advice?  Buy a Kindle.  My other advice?  Don't bother asking for an e-reader for your birthday if you can't afford to buy books.  I mean, unless you like to read only the first chapter of the latest book.  Then go right ahead.

You know, I'm thinking that some of us are just not cut out to be early adopters.

[Cartoon credit: Fluffy Links]

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Is Where A Sense Of Humor Would Come In Handy

A long time ago, I mentioned how great it was that the boys' Scout troop has an annual mulch sale as its fundraiser.  Unlike with cookies, say, or gift wrap, dads are willing to get their hands dirty with the mulch thing, leaving us moms/wives to our leisure as they spend the weekend loading trucks, unloading trucks, corralling not very motivated boys into lifting 25-pound bags of landscape cover, etc.

Maybe wearing a frilly apron would make me feel better
One would wonder, then, how I managed to be drafted last June into the role of Troop Hospitality Coordinator - a role which includes, among other things, making sure that these hardworking men and boys are fed well and often during delivery weekend.  Was it temporary insanity that made me agree to take on the job?  Was it the assumption (tragically false, as it turns out) that the mulch sale always occurs in April -- that is, after my yearly 31 March contract deadline?  Or maybe I thought, as I stood there in the rain and the cold last year while dropping off a platter of grapes and string cheese and pitying those poor women hunched over the campstoves trying to heat up the food, that the weather couldn't possibly be that bad again.  I mean, what were the odds?

What were the odds, indeed.  You can find me this extremely rainy Saturday attempting to heat up donated chili and macaroni w/cheese over pots of boiling water on camping stoves, while praying the wind doesn't expose me to the elements by blowing the food tent over.  I'm not sure if that is irony, or simply cosmic payback.  Either way, I'm not liking it much.

[Woman cooking image: Zuuzs]

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Disgruntlement R Us

May I start by saying that the weather here is ridiculously warm for the first day of spring?  I'm thinking it just might be the end times.

Also?  Larry informed me that his management retreat (yes, another one) is scheduled for MY BIRTHDAY.  And, believe me, he did not look nearly sorry enough when he told me that.  "You can have your day off another day," he said (almost blithely, I might add).  Excuse me - haven't we been through this before?  Methinks I'm going to grab an entire birthday weekend, thank you very much.

Sheesh, what am I, anyway?  Chopped liver?

That's a Jewish joke, so I'm not sure if it makes sense to goyim.  But it sure does make us Hebrews crack up.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, I was questioning the value of my very existence.  Who says this blog is all froth and no substance, anyway?

Why is this guy so happy about overpriced ebooks?
But, on the happy side of life, Anne Lamott's new book came out today!  The electronic version costs 13 dollars, however.  Why?  Is it all that paper they aren't using?  All that shipping they aren't doing?  Oh, I know!  Maybe it's to pay the rent for the warehouse where they store all those pixels.

What happened to 10-dollar ebooks, anyway?  And don't tell me there are tons of free ebooks out there.  I've read them already.  On paper, actually, way back in the dark ages when we actually had to turn the pages...

[Nook image: Digital Trends]

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hanging In There...

Completely overwhelmed by life for the next 2 weeks...but if I can just make it to April, I think I will be okay.  That is, unless those head lice show up again.  Then all bets are off.

But if you are a praying person, say a little prayer for another blogger today - Anna of An Inch of Gray.  Today would have been her son Jack's 13th birthday. 

There's a lot of pain in this world.  We've just got to stick together to get through it.

Unfortunately, that's as profound as I get.  I'm better at talking about vomit, I guess.  What can I say?  We all have our gifts.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Over to the right there, below the ads and my profile and whatever else, is my rotating blog list.  I'm very fond of it, actually.  It updates itself whenever any of the blogs on it has a new post for me to read.  The most recently posted-on blog appears at the top of the list.

Anywhoo, yesterday I noticed a blog that didn't belong there - it was a spam-ish sort of thing, and I needed it gone.  Only, when I started tinkering around under the hood - as it were - of my sidebar, I managed to delete ALL of the blogs on my list.

When I realized that?  Was NOT one of my better blogging moments. 

By going through some of the comments on my latest posts, I was able to (very) partially restore the list.  If I have missed you, please comment so I can give you back your rightful place in my sidebar.  I could try going through a lot more comments, but I have this irritating thing called a "job" for which I am actually supposed to produce some "work."  Preferably before my contract year ends at the end of this month...

[Funny poster: pleated jeans]

Friday, March 09, 2012

Mattress Discounters Is Going To Hate Me

After 15 years, I decided that it was time to get a new mattress.  Queen size instead of king, so I could rearrange the bedroom. And I could manage to make the bed without walking my short self to one side of the bed and then the other no less than 3 times.  Also, I was eyeing an honest-to-goodness real bedframe at IKEA, with a head board and a footboard, so the room would actually look furnished.

A woman can dream, can't she?

So what I have now is a brand new queen-sized mattress lying on the floor of my bedroom, flanked by 2 nightstands I bought for 25 dollars at a thrift store 18 years ago.  It wasn't easy to get to this point, people.  I had to go to the mattress store and try out the different beds, with 3 children in tow.  I had to get over sticker shock. (1000 dollars?  Really?

And finally, today, the guys were coming to pick up the old mattress and box springs and deliver the new.  Which meant that I had to shovel out all the crap that has been accumulating in my bedroom since 2007.  I can't even blame Larry, since he doesn't happen to be the person in this marriage who has half-finished projects and abandoned crafting supplies piled up in every available corner. 

Look, it was an awful day.  By the end, I managed to clear out the main bedroom area by piling everything else into the (no longer) walk-in closet AND completely blocking the entrance thereof.  Also?  There are now boxes of photos in the master bathroom.

On the plus side, I finally got around to moving Larry's dresser into the little alcove across from the master bath.  That dresser creeps me out because it makes weird sounds on cold nights.  And it's ugly. 

So!  Larry gets home (late) tonight.  I'm lying in our freshly made-up bed (on the floor), testing it out.  He lies down, too.  "What do you think?" I ask.

"It's too soft."

I'll give him credit - he looked nervous when he said it.

But the worst part?  He's right.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Who Needs Paris?

Everyone's asleep but me.  Oh, blessed quiet!

My Rachel attends art lessons taught by a woman who is the German grandmotherly type.  "I try not to chastise the children too much," she told me in her Teutonic accent the first day of class.  Oh, chastise away, m'lady; no reason that I should have to be the only one to do that. 

So I take Rachel and her friend to art class each week (leaving Brian to play with the friend's brothers); and then, for 2 hours, I do errands (library, Target, post office) with Susie in tow. 

I don't know whether I have ever touched on this subject, but Susie has the almost supernatural ability to produce continuous sound.  Her voice resonates beautifully and is quite pleasant to listen to, but still...she talks and sings NON-STOP.  2 hours, every Tuesday, she has me all to herself and she is vocalizing the entire time.  It's impressive.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, the art teacher said, "You know, a space has opened up in this class.  I think Susie's old enough to try it."

People, I didn't ask, "How much?"  I didn't say, "Gee, let me think about it" or even "Let me talk to Susie."  Before you could say "oil-based pastels," I had Susie sitting in front of a box of paints and I was heading back out to my car.

Full-body bliss --  that is the feeling that descended upon me as I sat in my unexpectedly quiet car.  It was as if every muscle - nay, every last fiber - of my being unclenched itself as I sank into that blessed silence.  2 hours later, I returned to the art studio a changed woman - restored, refreshed, transcendent.

That feeling, of course, lasted not 5 minutes once everyone was back in the car...but, you know, that's okay.   Now I can handle the bickering and the singing and the whining for food. 

Because I'll always have Tuesdays.

[Paint palette image: Ithan Elementary School]

Thursday, March 01, 2012