Sunday, October 28, 2007

Too many cooks...

spoil the soup.

If you haven't heard this new Mick Jagger release from 1973, I highly recommend it. The woman-as-pot-of-soup and man-as-cook-with-big-wooden-spoon metaphor is one I had never heard before, at least not set to music. I was in my car, listening to the radio, dying laughing. I had to call Husband, just for someone to share the idiocy with. It was frickin' awesome.

I bet a man with a mouth that big could eat a lot of soup.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Things that make me remember why I love my family:

The Bear, while out on a pre-dinner walk around the neighborhood: "Mom, if I didn't get some fresh air today I was going to POP! Like a balloon!"

And later, during a discussion of whether or not it was going to rain tonight: "I like to hear rain at night. It rocks me to sleep."

She's so very sweet. It's not easy working full time and raising two kids, but moments like these make it a hell of a lot easier.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Everybody knows*

Ok. I've had my fill of people today. I've reached my quota.

Idiots of the world, go home: the position has been filled. Thanks for your (dim-witted) interest.

People who deserve to be bitch-slapped with a sack full of doorknobs:

1) Any 7th-grader who can't suck it up and accept the fact that *A* is not a default grade - you have to earn it, and if you don't earn it, you won't be getting it.

Oh, and crying uncontrollably for two hours won't help.

Seriously, these ridiculously stupid rich parents are putting so much pressure on their kids to get into a good high school, a good college, a high-paying job, a big house, big this, expensive that, prestigious other. These kids are 12, and they're about to have a nervous breakdown because they don't have straight As. Life is not about straight As. Nobody normal gets straight As. Straight As will not bring you happiness, eternal salvation, or a nice ass. I would venture a guess that some of these rich kids are just as fucked up (albeit in different ways) as some of the poor kids I've taught. They're freaking miserable.

Thank goodness that I'm the perfect parent, and that my children will be normal, well-adjusted students who just *happen* to get straight As without effort.

2) and 3) My mother- and sister-in-law. God forbid that my daughters and I are ever in such a dysfunctional relationship. I'd have to shoot one or two or all three of us. Man.

My MIL is frustrated with my SIL's grades, attitude, behavior, clothes, habits, boyfriend... you name it, she hates it. And yet, she's pathologically incapable of setting any kind of reasonable boundaries (perfectly within her sphere as the Parent in the situation) and/or sticking to them. Can. Not. Do. It. She has all the gumption of a damp bath mat.

My SIL, on the other hand, is completely convinced that not only is she the only person living in this house, that she is, in fact, the only important person ever to have been born into the world as we know it. She has no awareness of, compassion for, or interest in anyone that is not herself. She sees that she can avoid the rules my MIL sets and does it. My MIL is powerless to stop her, because, Oh, God, what if there's some sort of Conflict? Much better that we all just look the other way and give in to the teenager.

So, I'm in the awkward position of being both a know-it-all, a control freak, and a busybody. It's impossible to ignore, and pretty much impossible to keep my totally unwanted opinions to myself. And of course, all of my thoughts on the situation contain the only viable solutions. It's terrible. I know exactly how to fix the situation (duh! I know all! Omniscient Jane!) but can't tell anyone what to do, and the pressure of having to keep my opinions to myself is about to make my damn head explode. Why can't everyone just see that I have all the answers and bow to my superior intellect and intuition?

I am obviously the only non-idiot left in the tri-state area. I've gone on a search for other intelligent life (Minnesota isn't too far to hitchhike, is it?) and will report back if I can find any. The prognosis is looking pretty grim around here, though.

*Gold star to you if you can complete this song lyric from the Refreshments. It pretty much sums up my day.
**God help me, that wouldn't be the first gold star I've given out today. It's amazing the kind of motivation they can provide. Who knew?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Uncork the bubbly...

Cause you all better be celebrating.

After all, it's Columbus Day.

The banks are closed!
The post offices are closed!
School's out!
The indigenous peoples have been properly subjugated, massaced, and generally put in their (second-rate) place!

I'm thrilled, aren't you?

I am exorbitantly proud to live in a country that celebrates an official national holiday to commemorate a man who never set foot (or eye, for that matter) on the aforementioned country.* I am pleased as punch to take this time off of work so that I can contemplate the imperialist colonial clusterfuck that is the reason that they speak Spanish in latin america in the first place.**

I'm so proud that we have a freaking parade to celebrate the theft of a continent and the murder of its peoples.

What a great day to be an American.

One thing I am proud of? The fact that somewhere, out there, on the streets of Chicago, twenty sixth-grade girls are boycotting Columbus Day, and telling their friends and family what it is that we're really "celebrating" today. And the fact that they did it on their own. I didn't make them do it. I didn't force it on them. I wasn't even the one who brought it up! They asked intelligent, probing questions, and came to their own conclusions about the facts.*** In fact, they're planning to start a petition that our school forgo the Columbus Day holiday in favor of a celebration of el Dia de la Raza. They won't win, but it's important to them that they say something.

Some days I love my job.

*Great. Columbus was "Italian." So are you. So was Mussolini! Where's his parade? I'm waiting, all you Italian-Americans! Besides, who sent Columbus to the "New" World in the first place? Um, that would be the Spanish. What? They don't even get a damn float? Oh, the injustice.

**What? You thought that the indigenous people all spoke Spanish before the conquerors came? Of course they did! And, upon discovering their shared language and cultural mores, they all sat down to have a very pleasant tea party together. Nobody was killed, nobody was enslaved, and nobody was forced to accept Catholicism. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.

***Granted, the conclusions of a bunch of eleven-year-old girls sound like this: "Like, Oh, My, God! What a racist! Why are people so stupid?!" and "That's so dumb! I'd rather go to school than celebrate that!" and my personal favorite: "That's freaking lame!"

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Things that suck

The Chicago Marathon. How tragic for the runners, and how stupid on the part of planners.

Epstein-Barr virus. "EBV remains dormant or latent in a few cells for the rest of the person's life. Periodically, the virus can reactivate... This reactivation usually occurs without symptoms of illness." Without symptoms of illness, my ass.

Labyrinthitis. Seriously. Thought I was dying. Still taking it under consideration.

Valium. Seriously. How did all those 50's housewives manage to stay upright, much less vacuum the house in heels? I'm so stoned it's not even funny. (Or very funny, depending on how you look at it.)

Here's a scary bedtime story, kids. Sometimes, you can get an infection (again, apparently) and it can settle in your inner ear, causing you to fall over. A lot. Then, you'll feel like you're going to die. You'll be tired (really, really tired) and dizzy, and shaky, and sleepy, and very, very disoriented. You will spend several days in the same pair of pajamas, lying in bed an average of 23 hours a day. You will smell bad. Have fun. Take two Valium, call me in the morning.