Thursday, December 31, 2009

Into the New Year?

So someone explain to me why I am sitting home again on New Year's Eve. I don't think I've been out on New Year's Eve since I lived in the Frozen Frozen North. You'd think, being young (snort) and single (despite Monkey Boy), I'd be out partying in my heels and pantyhose and Spanx.

Clearly not.

Instead, I plan on continuing to wear down this seat on the sofa and hoping to go my son goes to be sooner rather than later so that the SpongeBob marathon ends. Please - let it end.

But then, maybe it is just a sign that I am old and a fuddy-duddy that I don't go out and try to party hardy. I have to admit that I don't have party filled friends (or even that many friends) nor am I dating someone. Heck, I'm not even looking cross-eyed at someone....

Which brings me to the real issue of all things. The fact that I am not dating. How do you meet people when you're divorced and have a child to care for?! I love the ads on tv that make it look so EASY. *snort* Nine times out of ten the real issue that I have is that the people I'd like to date won't look twice at me and the people willing to date me are less desireable than reading A Tale of Two Cities and then critiquing it with literary professors who admire Dickens.

How do you find that happy medium?! People who you'd consider dating and who'd consider dating you in return. I'm no longer at the point where I am surrounded by people who I can date - as I draw the line at dating small children and that is who I work with. I've been told to consider meeting someone at church, but being a divorced recovering Catholic, this may not make me all that desireable in the Catholic church. I don't think jumping from religion to religion is a good idea either in order to just find someone willing to date me. Besides, most people seem to have found someone in college and I'm not going back to that since I rather like being employed.

And then some people have all the luck. I mean, my mom lost my dad at a fairly young age (though older than I am now and more willing to not have children - maybe that is my sticking point, I want at least ONE more child). Three years later she decided to date and went out on ONE date and that was the man she married three years later. *bangs head against things* Seriously. How does someone get so lucky?! What did I do that it doesn't happen like that for me?!

In the meantime, I shall hope that the new year brings new things and new opportunities. And if you happen to find my Mr. Prince Charming wandering the Frozen North, could you send him over?! Let's just make it easier on every one. It's not like I have that many demands or anything - just intelligence, a wicked sense of humor and a never-ending desire to worship me... Nothing all that complicated considering worshipping only involves moderate offerings of gold, jewels and foot massages..

But as for the rest, may the world be good to you and yours this new year. And bring you all you desire. And that you think good thoughts for me and my quest for the new year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It has been looking like Christmas...

Who creates these things?

These hideous hideous video games.

I just want their number. Really. That's all. I promise. You won't ever really find that body - honest!

For Christmas my son got this whole series of games about Rabbids. I hate them. Hate them with a passion. They were clearly written by a Japanese 7 year old and with that sick seven year old sense of humor because they have fart races, throw paper airplanes and collect garbage all while stealing clothes from various people.

Seven year old humor!

It makes me crazy to watch - especially since my son is constantly jumping around and yelling at the tv. I could tolerate just about anything else, but the combination is far too much. *shudders* I am going to be lucky to sane by the end of the winter break. Oddly, I believe it will be a relief to return to education and corrupting small children into thinking with higher order thinking skills. I shall brain wash them all into thinking that word games are the most fun out there. If I am lucky, I will be successful and the annoying rabbid things will leave my house FOREVER!!!! *insert evil cackling here*

In the mean time, December has not been all about annoying video games. It has been about time spent with friends and family.

And of course, Christmas cookies. My favorite kind is definitely the frosted sugar cookie. Mom makes the dough homemade and we cut them out and frost them. This year we spent over six hours creating and frosting cookies. It was delicious and as always I think they turned out even better than they did last year. And they made for a great set of pictures:
Aside from the cookies, there is family as always. Little boys and their laughter and excitement. I really feel like this was the most exciting year for Santa Claus to come and visit. Monkey Boy was very into it and made sure that everything was just so and I managed to remember that believing in a jolly red man who brings presents is an amazing thing. That even then adults are remembered in many instances.

Family sharing and laughing together. I think that is the best thing about the whole season - sharing family laughter together about things - in this case a great Star Wars cookbook for a little boy. And of course in our family - the new tradition of hideous gag gifts for siblings.

J's rubber chicken of DOOM.

M's fabulous new work shirt and excellent tie.
N's purse of many things. Many interesting contents...

Here is a better picture of the THING from HELL. It is supposed to be a backpack of a purse or something. It was decidedly ugly including all the leftovers yarn from a million different projects. The bottom of the bag was the worst - requiring three undoings and more to get it right - at at least semi-correct.

Enjoy your holiday season and remember that life is a brilliant thing to enjoy. I am grateful for all the end of this year brought and I know that next year will be even better.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Further Twilight Thoughts

I have to admit - I still don't get all the Twilight hoopla. I don't understand the fascination with Edward - pale and sparkly doesn't do it for me. And this totally creeps me out. Small children and vampire love - not a good combination. Like I said before, not my cup of tea. Bella still irks me. Jacob is a better character - far more full of depth in terms of reading and a bit more swallowable in terms of the whole 'magical mystical' animal/creature front.

But hey, it takes all kinds.

Best part of the books so far (just finished with New Moon) was the whole argument between Bella and Edward about the getting married versus immortality. That was amusing and for that split second I was totally in love with Edward, but then he was all soppy and teenagerish again and bleah. I just didn't get Bella's whole issue. She'll give away her LIFE?! but won't get married? Seriously? Who can KNOW that they are constantly going to want to be with one person. It's IMMORTALITY people. It doesn't come with a refund. I'm with Edward - who'd want to buy into that! At least with getting married, it's not forever....


I did just write that.

Maybe I don't get the books because I don't understand what that kind of love really means. I've never felt that kind of 'oh my god I can't live without this person' feeling. I was going to say I don't think something like that really exists, but then I had to stop and have a think.

It does.

Maybe not with all the teenage drama and sighing and brooding and smoldering that Stephanie Meyer seems to give it, but it does. I can remember my grandparents having that kind of love. They died within weeks of each other. It could have been that they were both rather sick and definitely towards the end of their lives, but you know that they did die because one could not live without the other. And then I was thinking further... my best friend in college was like the whole Bella and Edward thing. Well, she's not even remotely Bella-like, but the romance was the same kind of unable to live without you feeling and knowing the moment that you met that you belonged together. It was that kind of awesome thing to watch... to be a part of... and then to watch her when her husband died... yeah, I can get how Stephanie Meyer would think that exists.

But it's not happened to me.

I wish it would.

Maybe I am just not that kind of person.

i'd love to meet someone who could just take me away - sweep me off my feet like that. Maybe I'm just too, hmm, untrusting maybe? Lack of confidence? not in the right place at the right time? Yes, I've been married, but was it that kind of 'choir of angels singing' moment when I met him - probably why I am divorced as well. I've never meet anyone else that could be that "Bella" to my "Edward" (I refuse to link my name to hers I'm too damn opinionated and cranky and demanding to be Bella). I've found comfort and closeness, but ... not that kind of moment.

But of course, I wouldn't want a sparkly vampire to bring me that moment. *g* I don't want him to be soppy and romantic... but having the moment would be nice if nothing else. Some things are just not meant to be ....

Maybe I should move to Oregon and stalk pale men who drive Volvos while wearing specially knitted mittens....

*eye roll*

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Twilight Review... In my Own Words

First of all, a disclaimer, if you are a HUGE Twilight fan, you might want to look away. I have some rather frank opinions and if you are of the opinion that the world of vampires and gorgeous men begins and ends with Edward Cullen, you and I are not going to see eye to eye. So let me preface my words below with the note that they are MY OPINION. You are entitled to "sparkly" Edward all you like.

That being said though, I'm only a half way through the first book. I do plan on reading the rest because if nothing else they are entertaining as long as I am willing to turn my brain off.

Now there are four kinds of writers and books. There are good writers who are something worth reading and write reasonably well. The books are usually read once and get a 'well that was worth reading'. They aren't something you really recommend to other people often, but they are worth the paper they are printed on. But with me, if I buy one of these, I read it and resell it - no big deal. There are GREAT writers who are amazingly entertaining. They create fabulous character who are believable and you read the book without wanting to put it down. My latest great writer I've been enjoying is Tamora Pierce - for her amazingly strong and full of control female characters that she writes. You can see and feel the books from beginning to end. There are also classic writers - people who are timeless for various reasons - the themes and language that are presented to us. You've read them in high school and college and blah blah blah. The last kind is the okay writer. These are the people who are published by some miracle of publishing that let them get a contract for a book. It is one of those crazy flukes of the world wherein the undeserving get what others might deserve.

I'm afraid I have to put Stephanie Meyer's books in the category. It was an intriguing idea when vampires were just becoming 'big' again. So of course it was purchased. Besides the fact that teenage girls are so gullible and more willing to swallow Edward and his sparkliness. That and they all see themselves as 'Bella' the 'plain' who suddenly becomes beautiful. (In case you're interested, I'd also stick JK Rowling in this category - for most of the books after 4. She did well until then, but honestly?! Yeah.)

So part of my issue with the books has to do with her writing style. I admit, I'm not a brilliant writer. I could use a great deal of polish, but I'd like to make sure that Stephanie takes an introduction to the descriptive paragraph. That and I'd like to show her the benefits of a thesaurus. Just how many times can one use the word smoldering in two pages?! Seriously - I counted at least five. That and brooding. I'd like to let her know that I don't think those words mean what she thinks they mean. And I've yet to meet a teenager who knows how to look 'smoldering'.

Maybe it just comes across as horridly written because it is written from the point of view of a teenager. But just because it is written 'by' a teenager doesn't mean you should sound like one as a writer. It just makes me want to take Stephanie in hand. This is also probably why I don't write in first person because unless you are AMAZING at it, it sucks. Big time. I think I'd buy the whole story a lot more if it was third person. Probably because I could never see myself as Bella. Not in a million years. I'm not (a) gullible, (b) an idiot, (c) gullible, (d) amazingly stupidly trusting or (e) gullible.

Aside from my issues with the writing, which can be ignored, I don't get the whole Edward factor. I just don't. Seriously - the dude is the LAMEST vampire ever. EVER. Maybe it's because I'm only half way through the book. Maybe it's because he's only supposed to be a 'teenager' or something like it. (Though I don't get how you can be 'teenagery' when you've been 'dead' over 100 years, but hey, who am I to judge?!) Seriously - he SPARKLES in the sun!!! Now I like my bling and sparkle as much as the next girl, but in SUNLIGHT?! *shudders* And he's so LAME. I mean, who admits to being a vampire?! He knows her, what, two weeks and she says 'Oooo, you're a vampire' and he's like, "well, dude, of course" but in some cool vampiric way. *bangs head against random surface* Didn't he go to vampire school?! You know, where they tell people to deny deny deny?! Maybe you don't have to deny if you are into only eating animals. *bangs head again* They only eat animals?! Look people, it's Moonlight all over again. *rolls eyes*

What happened to vampires just being vampires?! They're evil. They're not nice and yes, they will suck you're blood. They're not like Draco Malfoy and leave room for 'doubt'. THEY ARE EVIL. The end. Maybe I just like my vampires evil. (Not that I happen to like vampires in general - they just aren't my things.) Just like I like my men in charge. I should NOT walk all over you. You should be in command and sarcastic and cunning and intelligent. You should NOT be a milk toast vampire. Maybe it's just me. I don't need a tender hearted man who is cute and sensitive and SPARKLY.

If I am going to fall for a vampire, he's going to be far more like Jean-Claude from the first few Anita Blake novels. I say only the first few because after that they dissolve into a massive orgy and if I'm going to read porn - I'm going to read porn, not a novel trying to be disguised as porn. Jean-Claude was cool though. He was tall and dark and French and hideously over-bearing, but seductive and lethally sexy. He's the kind of vampire you'd risk it for, just because. I also happen to love Harry's brother from the Jim Butcher books. I also like Jim Butcher's take on the vampire lore - the three courts of the vampire: red, black and white. Red is pretty horrid, but black is all the traditional vampire lore. But then the white is a totally different breed - living off of lust and sensuality instead of blood. I think it is an interesting take - probably not an original idea, but interesting nonetheless.

Though really if I am going to select a fictional man to fall in love with, there is a huge variety to choose from in my opinion - and most of them better than Edward. I'd probably start with Ramses from the Elizabeth Peters books. Then any of the Mallorys from Johanna Lindsey's works. Mitch Rapp from the Vince Flynn books. Eragon from the Inheritance books. Most of the men in Tamora Pierce's works, though I have a fondness for the Rogue from her Bekka books.... The list goes on. What do they all have in common? They are strong and sarcastic in general. They like to think they are in charge, even when they're not. They are intelligent and egotistical to some degree. I'd probably hate them all in real life....

But as I said, I will read the rest. I'm intrigued and while reading the summaries on Wikipedia is faster, it's not have as intriguing.

Then I'll have things to blog about if nothing else.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mystery Illness

So, I seem to have some sort of unusual illness that is defying my own personal medical diagnosis. Perhaps you are smarter than I am. I seem to be suffering from (in no particular order): dizziness, nausea, light-headedness and upper back pain and a one day hint of a sore throat. It is only the back pain that bothers me because that is usually the sign of an ILLNESS not an illness. And yes people, there is a difference.

An illness is cured with lots of kleenex and a fluffy kitten and some tea and if you are feeling particularly horrid, some theraflu.

An ILLNESS consists of no less than three days being prostrate on ones back on the couch which fending off a small child by throwing cheese at it and attempting to write sub plans that are more involved than 'deal'. Therefore I am not interested in having an illness.

So without a fever (which would automatically indicate the flu), I decided that perhaps I would attempt to figure out what it was I was suffering from.

Let us all take a little travel over to WebMD. Ahh. So pretty. I decide, let's just input the major symptoms - dizziness and nausea (and no I am not nauseous only in the morning Mr. WebMD or have been out of the country or knocked myself on the head recently).

Turns out, I either have chronic heart disease, am pregnant or have some kind of unpronounceable disease that involves having lots of contact with rodents (I may teach, but really!).


So, not exactly helpful.

Input additional symptoms. Ooooo. Nope - haven't swum in infested waters recently - what a bizarre question! Buttons! Clicky click click!


Are bizarre nightmares a symptom?! Probably not.

Now I have the flu (without a fever, really?!), something do with physical activity, toxic shock or fibromyalgia....

Who writes these things?!

I'd get more information by inputing my quarter into the fortune teller machine or asking the Magic 8 Ball.

Next thing you know it will tell me I have scurvy and an allergic reaction to my socks.


I think I will just stick to my own paranoia and offering to the small altar in my room. No that is not incense you smell and no, I never had a second cat, why do you ask?!

** Disclaimer: Author continues to have two cats at this time. Small children are never flung cheese at told to fend to themselves - sandwiches are always provided. Politeness is not. Post written under the duress of unknown illnesses are not the responsibility of the author.**

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Some days you can go for the entire day without remembering those you have lost and sometimes the loss of that one person haunts you without meaning to. People come in and out of our lives on a regular basis. They touch us and go and sometimes it is in the going that they leave that profound change - a piece that makes you into a different person entirely by their loss. You think about where you could have been and what you might have been if you had not lost their influence.

Today is one of those days where the loss seems most prominate and the most touching to who I am and what I have become and even the future of my life. I would say that most of the time, I shove those memories aside, push them down, but today with a single word, twenty years disappears like nothing and memories are there - right where you can touch them.

Twenty years ago today, I lost my Dad. I was only fifteen at the time - just a baby really. (And yes, you can do the math easily and figure out how old I am - so boo to you.) Of course that is all in perspective. My son would think I was so old from his stand point. But then Monkey was just as young as my younger brother, Bumper, would have been when my dad died. I can't imagine being Monkey's age and having lost my Dad. How devastating.

Twenty years though seems like a very long time to still be grieving for someone. Though I suppose grieving in terms of what people might think is not what I mean. That traditional sense of loss remains. I never had him there when I graduated from high school or college or to walk me down the aisle or any of those momentous events that you really consider sharing with your Dad when you're a girl. I never had him hold my son and feel his pride when I stood up for myself when I got divorced or his rage at my ex. I miss having those things - sharing those positive events with someone, making those father/daughter memories.

I miss him too. He was larger than life in my mind. Always toweringly tall and smelling of his own special scent and wanting to hug me when he was all sweaty and had come in from running. I remember dark suits and red ties and sitting with him at the dinner table. He was not an angry, yelling Dad - more the peacemaker than my mom was. But at times those memories seem so far away and yet at the same time so touchable.

I got to do a lot of the things I did in my life because he wasn't around. I traveled to England to meet some strange guy I only knew over the internet because my Dad wasn't there to go completely and utterly ballistic over the action. I got to stay where I live currently because his job didn't move us to Texas. I got to go to a private Catholic college and study to be a teacher because he wasn't here to push me into something far more demanding and intellectual such as a doctor or a lawyer (his preference). I got to marry said strange guy from England because my Dad wasn't around. I wouldn't push myself so hard to try and lose weight and keep in shape if I hadn't lost him to a heart attack. All of things have made me who I am and I wouldn't be the same without these events and I like who I am.

I do wish I could have the best of both worlds on the other hand, but if wishes were horses than beggars would ride. I am who I am. I have my son and my job and my own slice of contentment.

But I still miss my Dad. Love you Daddy. I'll always be your little girl.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekly Winners

Though I've not posted all of my Disney Photos, I did spend yesterday editting pictures. So the photos aren't new, but the editting is. Monkey as a pirate - posed and all. It was definitely one of those moments wherein he would rather not be posing any longer.

Ice cream was one of the best things we had in Florida. It was hot enough though that you had to eat it quickly before it melts down your face.

The flowers were beautiful in Florida. I wish I could grow them like this at home.

A final group shot. It was brilliant to see all of us there and having a good time.

If you need to see more weekly winners, visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom and check out the rest.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Final Countdown

Last Day.

Monkey's day of choice. He choose to swim in the morning and then go to Epcot (or as he would say it, Ep-ee-cot - why? I have no idea. We do teach appropriate diction and pronunciation in this family). While Grandma spent the morning with him and enjoying the sunshine (while forgetting the needed SPF 50 on his shoulders! Darn you grandma!!! At least it wasn't too bad), I went into downtown Disney.

Why one might ask? Downtown Disney is really about shopping and shows and shouldn't I have had enough of those in the parks? Not really. Number one reason was that I needed some time alone and away from the Monkey. Too much togetherness is never a good thing. We love each other dearly and it is good to have time together, but it is always better with time apart mixed in. It is just human nature. We do better that way and I know it. Monkey doesn't quite know it yet, but he will in time. So I went to have some time alone.

Number two reason was that I was on an a hunt for an illusive item. A Holy Grail of Disney items. Something that would make me the envy of all small children every where...

Phineas and Ferb merchandise.

Don't tell me you, like the myriad of Disney employees I stalked *ahem* inquired of, don't know who Phineas and Ferb are?!

Go and school yourself then.
You should be ashamed of yourself for having missed the Disney genius at work.

The true disappointment is that they didn't have anything. How is that for annoying? They tend to get everything LAST and not first. Sad, isn't it? Dude. I'd have thought they were the mecca of all things Phineas and Ferb, but I guess not.

Anyway, after the lunch meal, we went to Epcot. It all started with Spaceship Earth again. Monkey and I did the Kim Possible adventure twice despite the down pours of rain. He had a croissant and I had a crepe. We wandered through the Japan store which was interesting and listened to the Taiko drummers. He had some pokemon love. We visited Canada which was fun - the video was quite good. Then we stay again for the fireworks. It was another great end to the day.

We had to toddle back and get ready to head home. Then we had to have a run for the bathroom before we could get on the bus and retreat to the resort. It was a good end to the trip - like ending on a big bang.

In the end, I think Monkey enjoyed himself. He had a hard time with the heat and the walking was harder on him than expected, but I am glad I didn't bring a stroller or rent one. At the same time, he would have enjoyed staying at a place where he could just play video games and swim. I think the experience is something going to be remembered more fondly than the moment being fond. The heat combined with not enough sleep and poor eating (it's hard to eat well when you only like a few things) made it harder for him to enjoy every moment. Next time, we'll bring our own bread and peanut butter, stock in crossiants and chocolate milk.

But in the end, there was magic.

Bright eyes watching fish being fed.

Laughter over a soaking wet mom.

Hiding from the big splash at the end of Splash Mountain.

Wacky futures on Spaceship Earth.

Awe of fireworks.

"I Love you Momma."

It's all in the small moments.

The Day of Rest

So after the creation of this miraculous world, God rested.

And so did we.

Though we only rested because it was on the schedule and because Monkey and I were rather tired of one another. We did sleep in and have some DS time. Then we went to the pool where we spent several hours. Now Monkey is fairer than I am and I am rather panicy at the thought of being sunburned. Probably because all I connect with Florida is the feeling of being rather hideously sunburned. If I was at my parents' house I would post the picture of myself beet red sitting on the sand in Florida. It was rather hideously painful.

So here we are in the land of sun and I am fearing nothing more than having to travel home hideously burned - like lobsterfied. This would not be good. It would be worse if it was Monkey. We lavished ourselves in our SPF 50 over and over again. Thankfully after a good portion of the morning and afternoon in the pool, with breaks for lunch. I also treated myself to a well deserved afternoon nap.

There was much discussion about the evening. All of us were ready to be on the move, aside from Monkey. He wasn't so keen. The real issue? He was hungry. Once we had a delicious meal of cheeseburgers and french fries for K and steak (with mashed sweet potatoes) for the rest of us, we agreed on an option. We would all head to Epcot for the evening fireworks/laser light display.

The trip there was uneventful and the Scooter (most bus drivers would add "O'Doom") earned us a rather priveledged viewing spot. I highly recommend making sure someone knows how to limp rather well when you and your partners in crime traverse Disney so therefore the wheelchair seems more believeable. It certainly gets you into things a lot faster and with better views. Though, I did see a lot of it really being utilized by grandparents seeing the joy with their grandkids. [[On the other hand, I recommend making sure your children walk if they are over five. If you have to rent a double stroller for a SINGLE child, it's time for them to walk. Monkey could have used a stroller by the last day, but I think he did well and it did his body good to do the walking. I am glad that I insisted. And dragged him. And really didn't have to practice walking around carrying fifty pound weights.]]

Monkey and Grandma settled in while I went for a hike, snapping photos here and there. Dinner had left me feeling rather rotound both out and in. The walk did me some good and then we had a very nice time enjoying the view of Illuminations. It was really quite brilliant - very well done. And where we were sitting, it felt like we were on top of where they were firing off some of the fireworks from.

It was excellent. Pictures to come!

Animal Kingdom

This was probably Monkey's least favorite place to visit. He's not a big animal person in general (considering I can't drag him to the zoo when he's in a good mood!). Therefore this was not his idea of a great time. It was hot and therefore he was exceedingly crabby. Monkey and heat just do not mix. It's rather like putting a live tiger and a bunny rabbit in a cage together and hoping they both come out alive. Sooner or later, something is going to go wrong.

We did okay with breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe. Monkey ate (lack of food has been another reoccurring theme). Then we went out into the park. We started the day with the Safari Tour. It was great. Kind of like the Jungle Cruise but on land and with live animals. I suppose that makes the only similarity the fact that they both require humourous drivers. I enjoyed it if nothing else while Monkey wanted to know if it was time yet for playing his DS and could he go back to the hotel now. This was the recurring theme of the day.

Before total patience was lost, we managed to get through a train ride around some of the area and a ride on the River Rapids which left us all soaked and dripping wet. By then Monkey was at his height of annoyance and demanding to be back at the hotel. He and I had several words most of which seemed to involve tears and gesticulating and wringing of hands and claims of lack of loving. It was not a high point. I was sure I wasn't going to be one of those parents who was scolding their child in the midst of the park, but some things leave us where they are and little can be changed about things once items are in motion.

Monkey and I eventually sorted ourselves out. Calmer, we stopped and played some of the carnival games wherein he promptly won two new 'friends' - a sea serpent and a turtle. Both of which have names though I am unsure what they are at the moment. I clearly need to be better versed.

We returned to the hotel and eventually went out and did some swimming before getting dinner with grandma and grandpa poolside. It was a lovely end to the day and Monkey was much more refreshed after that. He is loving the pool and grandma has promised him swim lessons when we return to our section of the world as she would like to see him become a stronger swimmer. He does well now, but a lot of his swimming really just involves diving in and around the water - not swimming from place to place. He does have good lung control - possibly better than mine!

Finally we all managed to toddle off to bed - making the mental note that perhaps Animal Kingdom was not the best choice for a Monkey who isn't keen on animals and would rather be strategically attached to his DS. One does live and learn.


Time has slipped away from me here in Disney. I meant to update on a daily basis but by the time we were done with the Animal Kingdom, Monkey Boy and I were out of sorts and it is rather hard to be witty about one's child when one would rather lock oneself in a small windowless room instead of write about said child. I think they would have committed me if it had been possible. This is why I am looking forward to WORK if nothing else.

That said, look tonight or later today. I will have all things posted the good, the bad and the entirely ugly.

See ya on the flip side.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Birthdays and Epcot

Today was a day of prime importance. It is very very important.

Today was Monkey Boy's seventh Birthday.

Clearly, he turned seven.

Therefore today was the ideal day to visit Disney. Now the advertisement is for free admission to the park on your birthday, but we had that covered with the price of our admission. I got to choose his prize for him and we selected the Fast Pass option. It allows you to 'jump the queue' for certain rides. Giving you an automatic Fast Pass to ride immediately. A typical Disney fast pass is for several hours into the future and they run out of them at a certain time - only a limited number being available. Except when you have a birthday fast pass. THEN you can have a fast pass even when they stop giving them out.

We started our day in Tomorrow Land. We rode the Buzz Lightyear ride and the Stitch experience and then the race cars before heading over to do Peter Pan and then to It's a Small World (my choice - feel free to make fun). I love It's a Small World for some reason. I think it's because I had a mini Disney record of it when I was little. One of those brilliant things I looked at and listened to again and again. "You'll know it's time to turn the page when you hear Tinkerbell ring her bell. Like this!" Brilliant.

After that we had a nice lunch before doing the Haunted Mansion. Then we did Thunder Mountain. We tried to do Splash Mountain but it was down for 'technical difficulties'. So instead we did the Jungle Cruise and then Pirates of the Caribbean. That has changed from my memories. Well, most of it has changed since my memories of what it was like, but hey, 20 years shouldn't make that much difference! Then we did Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain again.

By that time, Monkey Boy was tired with it all and frustrated with Mom and the Camera. (I believe I was told 'no more flash photography' - clearly someone had been on Disney property too long). We decided to head out as it was starting to rain again. You should have seen those people and their crazy plastic ponchos! It was so hot and muggy that I couldn't imagine putting something plastic against my skin, but hey, good for them. I'd rather get wet, which we did. Kieran collected two different balloons for final birthday presents (one from mom and one from grandma, coverging from two different sides) besides the sword from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The balloons were carefully protected on the way home - worrying about them possibly impacting with something sharp - like a raindrop or something. I had no idea the Monkey Boy was ever so paranoid, but he clearly is.

Which gives me my favorite memory of the day. Little boy fingers clutching balloon strings as tight as he can.
Happy Birthday Monkey Boy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Today was Epcot. We were up early which was fine with me, but the Monkey Boy was not so certain. He would have rather slept as long as possible. What did he think?! That this was a vacation or something?! We had things to do and places to be! We got on the bus and to Epcot early enough to be there before the opening which was a rather cool thing.

We survived the mad trampling (ie gate opening) and went straight to the Test Track. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. I could have ridden that one about twelve times in a row. Monkey boy enjoyed it, but didn't want to go again. Then we went and got fast passes for Soaring and then to the Under seas exhibit. Monkey Boy LOVES himself a good fish. No wonder he loved Nemo for a year. Seriously we spent nearly an hour there wandering around looking at the fish. And the dolphins. And the manatees. The best part was the feeding show. They fed the rays and the other fish in this big aquarium and that was pretty awesome.

Then we went and rode Soaring after a spot of lunch. We wandered a bit more and then left the parents behind so Monkey Boy and I could return to the hotel. He was tired and hot and ready for some time to relax. We spent some time in the room and then two hours in the pool. It was very exciting. He enjoyed it which was all that was important. Nothing better than swimming in the pool. If he wasn't already Monkey Boy, he might have become fish boy....

Aside from that, I only have these few comments to make:
(1) Disney knows how to move people. Seriously. They can get you from A to B faster than greased lightning. They move millions with ease. It really is amazing. I'd love to have a chance to sit in a security booth for awhile and just watch them move people. They are clearly talented in that area.

(2) Disney is not the land of beautiful people. Seriously - NOT beautiful people. In fact, I'd almost go as far as saying the land of ugly people. If you want to see beautiful people, I'd recommend just about anywhere but Disney. The amount of inappropriate wearing of clothing and bathing suits is scandalous. If your fat hangs out of it, please, don't wear it. I'm not saying don't be fat and wear a bathing suit, just that they make things that cover these things (and I should know!). No one wants to see your fat - certainly not me. If I wanted to see fat, I'd go home and look at myself in the mirror. And men, speedos are a no-no in a family resort. NO speedos! None. Never. I think they should be marketed as ILLEGAL.

Daily Photos found here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Well in case you haven't been following my life as closely as you should be, I'm traveling at the moment. My mother, stepfather, son and I are on the grand adventure called Traveling With Small Children to the World's Most Crowded Vacation Resort (otherwise known as Disney World).

The process of preparing for this journey took over six months, a million phones, weeks on the internet and enough patience that I should be qualified for sainthood. Seriously. Preparing was monumental and that was only making the lists for these things. Besides getting ready for this, I also had to get ready for school and that is enough to give most sane people a mental breakdown. I'm rather glad I'm not sane for just that reason. Who wants to be sane? I'm of the opinion that sanity is over-rated.

Aside from planning, the trip has been rather uneventful. We traveled in high style - economy by Northworst. At least this time they didn't manage to lose anyone's luggage. Usually the theme with them is to lose something that we might consider valuable. Hey - they even gave the Monkey Boy a whole can of Sprite without a single begrudging.

There was a great deal of laughter over my Mother and her commentary on things - namely how she was going to steal into first class and take over their food. Of course they paid $10000 for their ticket so heck, they should have some decent food if nothing else for those kinds of outrageous prices. And they were clearly into protecting said food on the other hand. To protect first class from us wild hooligans who were salivating over their brilliantly odorous lunches, they had a HUGE barrier in place. No one could see a way around this amazing obsticale. It was enough to deter those who cowered in the face of the mighty authority who's name is STEWARDESS.

The rest of us undid the velcro rope and tromped through, enjoying the luxuries of first class. Sniffing the odors of their delicious foods. Stroking the tops of their chairs.

So the flight went well. Monkey boy was a dream passenger - playing quietly throughout the whole trip and generally keeping himself entertained. They applauded all the small children for excellent behavior when we were done. *snort* Aren't children just supposed to be good?! Or at the very least be constantly trying without heaps of praise.

Regardless of that, then we went to have some lunch (a daily allotment of grease) before riding on the bus to Disney properties. From there we entered our room. They politely delievered my bag for me and then we went and had some lovely dinner (pizza - the ultimate food group) before swimming and having a quiet night in. Tomorrow - Epcot!

Pictures, to follow along, are here!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


So I live in an apartment that could qualify for the fifth ring of hell at the very least in terms of heat. I seem to be missing the laughing cackling evil things with pitchforks and the pots of flame, but hey, it's nearly the fifth ring of hell. I consider the apartment something of a concrete box surrounded by concrete boxes. I get no cell phone reception inside and it retains heat from now until December. I turn on the heat for two days in January and that's about it because it retains so much heat.

While it's nice not have to heat the place because it's so well trained in retaining heat, it's annoying in the summer. I get the afternoon sun and it heats the apartment despite closed blinds and ritual sacrifices. You can fry and ego on the wall of the outside of the apartment over an hour after the sun goes down it retains that much heat. Therefore I have to have the air conditioning going 110% of the time otherwise I really do live in the 5th ring of hell.

No one wants to live there - well unless you like to cackle a lot and have a thing for pitchforks.

And if you do... have I got an apartment for you!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Basement

Everyone wants to grow up and have a house with a basement. We want to be able to store that small million of Christmas ornaments we eventually plan on passing on to our darling children; to keep our childhood toys which our children love to sneer at as horridly dull; to keep that ugly furniture we can't seem to part with; to have a place to toss bored children on rainy days; to keep the food we may need for the large meteorite heading towards earth... I could go on. There are huge reasons for all of us to have a basement, but in general I would think that storage and a place to put the furnace and hot water heater (at least here in the northern areas. I know they aren't as popular in all places).

So you have your large lovely storage area to keep all those things which we assume are going to be useful but never really are. The thing is, one really needs to be selective about what one stores.

Here are good things to store:
  • extra canned goods and other extra large quantities of food for your next party
  • holiday decorations that you love
  • suitcases for all your many travel needs
  • books you read again and again
  • baby clothes for those children you could eventually have
  • items for work you may eventually need
Things NOT to store:
  • audio tapes for a stereo that is so obsolete that it runs on coal
  • film reels that are unlabeled and can only be played on a projector that you would have to borrow from the Smithsonian
  • furniture with odd shapes and sizes and special holes added by visiting rodents
  • books you never read or have twelve copies of
  • unused electrical appliances or broken appliances
  • computers or computer parts that are older than a decade or need a hard drive the size of a room to operate
  • any food that is beginning to ferment in its packaging
  • any item gnawed on or peed on or used by rodents or insects
I could go on, but I will spare all of you. I am hoping that you have common sense.

Why do I write about these things? Consider it a polite word of caution against the mess I encounter far too often. I shall leave the location nameless, but if you need any of those things you shouldn't store - let me know. Between that and the thousands of dollars of tupperware and I might some day be sane.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I love to shop. I know there are people who don't, but I honestly love it. I don't necessarily like to buy (and right now have NO MONEY with which to buy), but I love to wander around and search for things - especially bargains. I like trying things on and fine special delight in shoes. Luscious in more ways than one.

More than just shopping though, I love shopping with others. Need a shopping buddy? Send me an email, I'm happy to come along. I love the challenges and delights in shopping. And I can convince people of what looks good on them - hence why my brother has a purple shirt and tie to wear with his new shoes.

Most of all, I love shopping with my mom. (*waves to her mom*!). I have to admit that I love my mom. She's an amazing person from top to bottom and we always have lots of fun together. Some day I will relate to you the story of cleaning out the basement and the tupperware attempting to claim us when we weren't screaming at the mouse droppings and spiders. Brilliant fun.

I love shopping with her. She's such brilliant fun. I think it's the best just because she always laughs at my stupid jokes. Just like a good mom, she thinks I'm funny and allows me to wander about the store attempting to amuse myself by showing off hideous fashions. Some clothes are just not made for real people. I admit it, I'm not a skinny minny, but then skinny is not attractive. Thinness can be, depending on how it is displayed. I have to admit, I'd rather see people with a bit of 'meat' on their bones as opposed to thin enough to see your ribs. Clothing appears to be made for the refuges of concentration camps far too often. I mean, just look at the manaquiens in the store. Those aren't shaped like real people! Those are the kind of people who only eat lettuce and come out at night. But it is just not the size that is ridiculous - it's the colors and patterns! You should see these things. *shudders* And then there are people who actually buy and WEAR these things....

And that is why Ilove shopping with my mom. She totally lets me run around the store like mad and make hideously stupid comments on the clothing choices. That and she lets me tell her what to buy.

So nice that your mother can take direction from you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


This is another one of those hideous pet peeves. Of course it is not as dangerous to others, unless sensibilities are one of those things that you don't think should be offended.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love socks as much as the next person. In fact, I'd rather wear socks than have bare feet. I don't like the feel of certain things on my feet which is generally why I wear socks most of the time.

On the other hand, there are some things that are not meant to have socks worn with them. High heels for instance. Flip-flops are another. But then these are obvious ones (one would hope).

What is completely and utterly wrong is socks and sandals. Seriously wrong. I mean, I can get that you might not like your feet, but then don't wear sandals. You should NOT ever consider wearing socks with sandals. It's just... wrong. I don't even care if you are a wearing a pair of pants - don't wear socks and sandals. It's the epitome of saying 'I have no style sense'. Which is just fine if you want to announce that, but wear a sign so that the rest of us don't need to be so tortured. If you must wear black dress socks and sandals, stay home where I don't need to be so tortured.

This trend is only slightly better than wearing knee socks or tube socks with shorts and trainers. Say what? I spent nearly a decade chastising my ex about this, trying to convince him that he needed to wear short ankle socks. It was rather like banging my head against a brick wall. Nothing is as weird as a guy with only his knees showing in the middle of summer. It's just like wearing plaids and stripes - it really shouldn't be done. Really.

Trust me!!

Top this off by my ex finally buying short ankle socks after we're divorced and being all 'Wow. You were really right about this sock thing."

That loud banging noise is my head hitting the wall ... repeatedly....

Saturday, August 1, 2009


As I was informed by a coworker this morning, just over a year ago at this time I was at work - having started the new school year. Funnily enough, even though we don't start until th 24th, I was at work.

I think that is rather a kind of irony.

But it sounds like my life.

Always working - even when I shouldn't be.

That and napping.

I spend a lot of time doing those two things.

It's a sad sad little life I lead.

But at least it's mine and I am happy to have a job, despite working as much as I do. I'd rather be employed than nothing else. It is a good thing. And I am looking forward to having a great year and being with the students again.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Let me explain to you one of my pet peeves.

Yes, I have more than one. In fact, I rather think that listing them all would take more time and energy than I have inclination. They are from the mundane (people who can't put carts away) to rather seriously annoying (the America 'public's' view of education and teachers in general). I could lecture for hours on just sthose things.

But I digress.

We're just going to talk about one.


People who are supposedly well versed enough to earn a license in their given state and have enough funds to purchase a vehicle.

This does not mean that they know how to drive.

Let me explain to all of you out there who aren't so sure about the most important item to be used in driving a car - the gas pedal. It is not the break. It's the gas. Gas means go. When you drive on a freeway, you use the GAS so that you GO. You do not use the breaks. You use the GAS so that you GO. The speed limit on our main highway from the city is 70. The average idiot uses the BREAK more than the GAS and does not GO 70. Most go 60.


I get it. Not everyone likes to GO. I know I have a lead foot. I believe if going is good, GOING is better. Not everyone wants to GO like I do. Not everyone clearly knows where they are going.

Here is my hint for today and I'm not even going to change for this simple piece of advice.

If you are not going to GO, do not drive in the left lane. Do NOT toddle along, humming happily to yourself in the left lane. The left lane is only for those who wish to GO. I should not have to speed around you on the right. Really. In fact, in case you missed it, most highways have this cunning little sign that says 'Slower traffic move right'. If you are not going my speed, YOU ARE SLOWER. Therefore you are supposed TO DRIVE ON THE RIGHT.

I do not think these are hard concepts.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Just remember to drive on the right unless you're passing and we'll all be okay.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

You Capture - Friends

So I've been wanting to join a Blogroll/Carnival for a bit of time - especially the photography memes because I love taking pictures.

I found this one through the winners of the BlogLuxe Awards (first posted at Cake Wrecks). It's called You Capture from I Should be Folding Laundry. I decided I had to enter the theme this week - Friends. Monkey Boy is such a good friend to people that he takes great pictures. Not all of these are taken by me, but all deserve a place of recognition!

Once you're done looking, please head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry and check out all the other links - they're great!

Here is Monkey Boy playing on the rocks with BF (Monkey Boy would like to be adopted by his family, but I'm holding out for a bigger pay off! *g*)

Here again are Monkey Boy and the BF. This is the bus ride home after a school field trip. They had had their first sleep over the night before and neither had slept well. So of course the bus makes a great place to sleep.

And sometimes the best friends are the ones you are related to. The Monkey Boy and his Cousin:

They are both involved in their DSes. You'd never know they were related would you?!

Thanks for looking! Be sure to stop by and see the rest of what I Should be Folding Laundry is sharing!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I am borrowing a Cricut from a very very very nice coworker for the week. She has willingly allowed me to bring it into my home and cut apart things to my little heart's content. There is nothing so blissful to a teacher as freshly cut apart pieces of paper. It makes it palpatate with please.

Bum bumbum bum bumbum.

I love loading it and see things come out all beautifully trimmed.

We did have to have a serious discussion about recognizing exactly which buttons I am pressing and that I am speaking about things it must do and am not to be disobeyed.

The most amusing thing - other than not having to cramp my fingers with scissors to get each and every piece cut out and when you have 24 students on average - you have a lot of cutting to do - is Delusional's reaction to this piece of machinary.

First of all, Delusional would like to think he's a person. This of course is not true. I know this because I know few people who walk on all fours, meow and have fur (and if you are one of them, I don't think we should talk).

Second of all, Delusional, if human, would be certifiable. Paranoid would merely be on lots of large pills and have a small place to sit and rock and hum until he felt better. Delusional is just... he's the Joker of the cat world without all the guns and explosions.

Thirdly, Delusional considers all machines that move back and forth and spit things out to be scary and his mortal enemy. I don't think they wear capes and leather, but I don't pay too much attention at night. They must be watched. And stalked. One cannot nap when they are working. One must watch them at all times. Delusional actually got up the MOMENT I turned on the machine and sat just out of its reach and watched suspiciously until it ceases.

If it continues, I may just pin him down to the sticky board and see if it works on cats just to know how paniced he will get....

*evil cackling ensues*

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Contrary to what you are thinking, I'm not going to write about the school for my children, but the school I am attending.

Somewhere along the past year, I lost my mind.

Not literally - that happened eons ago. In fact, I am not sure I ever had one. I'll have to examine that fact.

Needless to say, in the past year I somehow managed to lose my grasp on reason. How can I tell? I signed up for a summer class.

Not just any class, but one wherein I actually I have to work. It's one thing to take one of those summer classes where you kind of slough off and do a little bit of work and pretend that you are paying attention to the online discussion in a random sort of way. It's easy, you end up with clock hours and renew your license and then go on your merry little way - cackling at the A you received for merely living and breathing.

I didn't go that route. Oh no.

I decided that I wanted to earn something new - an additional license. Oh for joy.

So instead I get these horrendous long things I have to read and process (ick) and have to read and write about an extra book. It's work. Darn it all. Lots of work.

I hate work.

Tell me again - why did I do this to myself?

Is it over yet?!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Good Morning to You

Morning. I'm not sure there is much good about it.

I believe it all depends on how one is awoken.

To truly have a good morning, one must slowly climb from slumber, blissfully leaving behind a world of dreams and darkness, to rise and stretch. The alarm clock is turned off before it even comes on and you smile bright and awake and ready for another brilliant day.

This is not how it works around here.

Oh no - that would be asking far far too much.

My morning resembles something closer to The Exorcist combined with Lion Tamers and Barney.


It all begins sometime around the ever so unglorious hour of 6am when Monkey Boy decides he is awake. Instead of being that lovely agreeable child and rolling over in his own bed and attempting to return to sleep, he decides that being awake means he should visit his mom's bed. Therefore he exits his room and enters mine, crawling into the bed and promptly draping himself all over me.

I am now awakened from a glorious dream about some hot guy named Nick who's desperately in love with me and proposing.... Before all the good stuff. Sigh.

But far be it from me to begrudge the Monkey space in the bed.

So we all settle down and attempt to return to something resembling slumber.

This would be the cue for Delusional to enter the bed. His thought process reads something like 'Extra human in bed. Extra hand to pet. Must snuggle very close.' So he promptly plops himself down on top of the Monkey and begins the process of licking until the Monkey gives him proper attention and petting that he is certain he deserves.

For the Monkey, proper attention involves picking up the cat and heaving it off the bed.

For me, it means hiding further under the covers and praying for the dreams to resume.

Delusional, in typical I'm a cat and therefore should have my way fashion, repeats the process all over again, certain the first toss off the bed was a complete mistake.

When I'm finally whimpering and begging for a chance to gather a bit more sleep, I collect Delusional and pin him down wherein he proceeds to lick ME until I pet him therefore completing ruining any chance of further sleep as who can sleep with rough cat tongue being slathered hither and yon.

Finally sated, certain both Monkey and myself are awake, Delusional deserts the bed to chase Paranoid who just happens to be strolling through the room. This gives Monkey the chance to drape himself over me, snuggling tightly to my neck to be sure that I don't actually drift off to sleep once more.

Just as I manage to figure out how to sleep while having my windpipe crushed by a limpet Monkey, he boldly announces that he's off to play his DS.

Once more I am completely awake as the occupants of the bed shift until it is just me. Blissful once more, I settle back down, pulling up the covers, eyes closing, dreams of the hunky guy returning as I feel myself fall back into slumber....

And the alarm goes off.

So, explain to me again, why we call it a good morning?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flickr Update

Monkey Boy has new Pictures! Enjoy the summer set!

The art of the Nap

Everyone thinks that naps for for babies or small fluffy animals.

I beg to disagree.

Naps are for all ages and sizes and should be mandatory in school through at least high school. I would be so much better at my job with the guarantee of 30 minutes of recharging on a daily basis. Who wouldn't do a better job? My students could have uninterrupted quiet time. Of course the argument for something like that would be insane since most parents fear even allowing snack or any break from regimented academics. But then, few parents understand the taxing adventure that is school these days. Most assume we either play for 90% of the time and color for the rest or have no idea how one manages one seven year old much less a classroom of 22 of them - all with different needs, desires, wants and levels of parental input into their lives.

But that alone is a rant for another day and time.

Today is about the Nap.

A blissful mid-day or mid morning period.

Time to recharge. To snuggle into your couch and have a touching bonding moment with its fabric and cushions.

To investigate the inside of one's eyelids for light leaks.

To feel the heaviness of a cat lounging on top of your suddenly still and stable body, purring in hopes that you might barely open your eyes or move just enough to pet the stupid furry thing.

To feel the tug of a small child who seems to have forgotten all abilities that belonged to it in the morning to whinge about the need for Koolaid or some other beverage.

To dream scarily of Martha Stewart remolding your bedroom with a sledgehammer and a blowtorch because the television was left on.

Ah - the nap.

But at least one awakens somewhat recharged with a new perspective on why one get's a better sleep at night.

And what does Monkey Boy do when I attempt to nap? This:

Why yes... he does play a Nintendo DS with his feet.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Only An Optimist Would Think This is fun...

The story of a single mom, one brilliant little boy and two anxiety ridden cats.

I may be single, but am never alone.

This is the journey of my life entwined with theirs as I teach, am taught and take no prisoners.