Archive | September, 2009

Shoe In… Or Shoe Out?

30 Sep
Yeah, whatever, I know I'm too old for these.

Yeah, whatever, I know I'm too old for these.


I have a little bit of a weakness for unexpected shoes. Tonight, saw these Ed Hardy shoes. Wanted these. Dismissed these as “age inappropriate.” Went back to visit them on the shelf again. Tweeted. Weighed opinions.

Like Nicole, who said “don’t make me call you a douchebaguette.”

Jennifer first advised that I look for Stuart Weitzmann instead, then said “those are so you.”

Another tweeting friend asked where I got them and would I care if she copied me.

And Bren helpfully informed me,  “You know there’s a whole song called “Eff Ed Hardy.”

Then I bought the shoes.

And now, because the audience participation is so much fun and I want to try a poll, why don’t you vote?

But guess what. Here’s what I’m figuring out about myself after 4 decades here. Regardless of your votes cast here today, I love the shoes. I will unapologetically wear the shoes. Be fine with that, or not. It’s cool either way.

Teacher Conference Translator

29 Sep

It’s that time of year again. The morning air begins to feel crisp with the coolness of fall. The lights of the football stadium shine like a beacon on Friday nights. Pumpkins start appearing on porches.

And of course, one day, you open your child’s backpack, and there it is. The scheduled time for your parent-teacher conference. Oh, the excitement. Time to squeeze into tiny children’s desks, sit across from the smiling teacher. You know, the one who has secretly already judged your parenting skills?

I’ve become somewhat of an expert in these, with one child completely through elementary school, and a second getting there. Oh please Lord, let him be getting there. Plus, in another year, I will be the one on the teacher side of the desk, and I’ve already had some of the top-secret teacher language classes.

So here, in plain English, is a simple teacher-to-parent translator for some of the common things you might hear.

1. “Your child is certainly very high-spirited!” Your child behaves like a Chihuahua whose morning breakfast routine consists of  drinking an entire case of Red Bull and then gobbling down a bowl of M&Ms. Seriously. I can’t mention ADD or medication, because that counts as a diagnosis and then the district would be on the hook for your kids’ treatment, but get some drugs.

2. “He/She does seem to have some focus problems.” Seriously. Ritalin, Concentra? Ever considered them?  Can you sign this waiver saying it’s OK for me to duct tape your child to the chair? Please?

3. “Tell me about your morning routine at home.” Are you guys eating crack for breakfast or what? My initial thought was that your child was being raised by wolves, but now that I see you’re human, I’m guessing illegal drugs may be the issue.

4. “Let’s go over some test scores.” Look, I wish I could get to know your child as an individual and focus on his or her specific talents and dreams. But let’s face it, because of this moronic ” No Child Left Behind” crap, at the end of the day, the issue that really matters is “Will your child pass the standardized test?”

5. “We are not teaching to the test.”  Well, not the actual test, since the state testing board keeps those pretty secure. But we will be doing so many practice benchmarks that your child will go to sleep dreaming of filling in circles. When you go out for donuts, he will stuff his napkin in the center hole.

6. “Your child is certainly socially advanced.” You’re aware that your kid’s in a gang, right? Those bandanas are not for “Cowboy Day.”

7. “Your child certainly has an advanced vocabulary.” Not all children can conjugate the F-word into all its various verb forms. The added use of non-verbal hand motions to make meaning clear is also impressive.

8. “Little XXXX is one of the reasons I am thankful to be a teacher.” Every day, when he gets on the bus and drives home, I fall to my knees praising Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha that I have made it through another day and get 3 months off in the summer. Have a nice day.”

Shhh. It Happens

28 Sep

We were so close, weren’t we? The whole posting every day thing? On a veritable roll. Then, *woosh!*

So I need to closely examine the reasons for the derailment: fear of failure, fear of success, writer’s block, commitment phobia? I  wrestled with them all, and here’s what it comes down to:


Lots and lots of poop. Please stop reading now if you’re of a delicate constitution. Poop in many forms, none of them welcoming. Poop in many places, none of them appropriate. Poop, poop, poop. And the contributing harmony of barf. Barf to be analyzed and discussed in detail as it was searched for clues.

You see, last Monday, our little Jack Russell terrier, Bailey, went in to have her girly parts removed. Now, we have owned many pets (or, if you are with PETA, have “shared our lives and hearts with many companion animals.”), and all of them have gone through the spay and/or neuter process.

But Bailey’s initial bloodwork showed some tricky liver enzyme levels, so we expected it might be a tougher ride than usual. The vet did all sorts of things to make it easier, but we still brought home one stoned little puppy Monday night. Tuesday, she seemed a little better. Wednesday morning, better still.

And then, I went to drop something off at my daughter’s school and left her crate door open.

I returned home 30 minutes later, and found, from foyer to back door, a veritable minefield of bodily fluids. It was if  someone had turned a poo-filled blender onto “liquefy” and then left the cap off.  Bailey stood, staring at me unblinkingly. Given her size in relation to the size of the disaster, I am certain she had to be completely hollow. Y’all, things happened to my floors that Dick Cheney wouldn’t approve for prisoners at Guatanamo Bay.

I gagged and cleaned and gagged and cleaned and called the vet and then gagged and cleaned some more.

The medicine they gave her Wednesday didn’t work, she went on a hunger strike, and by Thursday night, when I HAD A MID-TERM, I was completely frantic.

Finally, a second round of medicine kicked in, the poo-storm subsided, and now, she’s fine. My Bissell steamer and my psyche are recovering, albeit more slowly.

So the moral to this story? Sometimes crap really does get in the way of our best intentions.

My Inner Rock Star Goes for Ballads

27 Sep

As you may have noticed, the “post every day in September” goal got derailed. So I’m playing catch up with  four quick posts in a row. Hate this question? Scroll on down. Surely one of the four will suit you.

If I could do anything, I would play guitar like this. And sing this in places other than the car and the kitchen when no one else is home.

But I neither play guitar  at all, nor do I sing Leonard Cohen in public.

How about you? What do you secretly wish you could do that you can’t quite get up the nerve for?

On a Roll

27 Sep

As you may have noticed, the “post every day in September” goal has been derailed. So I’m playing catch up. Pretend this is Saturday, not Sunday. I’m totally going to cheat and post four quick posts in a row. And they’ll all have a question for you at the end, so pay attention.

Silliest video someone’s sent me a clip to this week? The rolling bulldog puppy who just can’t get over. I totally have days like these.

So the next time I’m having one, what’s something you’ve seen that made you laugh? Go on, leave us a link.

And Then, I Found a Horse Head in My Bed

27 Sep

As you may have noticed, the “post every day in September” goal has been derailed. So I’m playing catch up. Pretend this is Friday, not Sunday. I’m totally going to cheat and post four quick posts in a row. And they’ll all have a question for you at the end, so pay attention.

Earlier today, I was going to get busy catching up on my blog posts, but I got derailed by helping the kids with last-minute homework, running up to the store, and then I needed to obtain compromising photos so I could bribe a Federal agent. After that, I had to set up a money-laundering operation in Russia, then travel to Cuba to bank the earnings from selling my cigars on the black market.

Yes. I am a loving wife, stay-home mom, college student, freelance writer, and mafia kingpin. At least on Facebook’s Mafia Wars.

I try to keep my Mafia life quiet. I don’t let the game publish updates to my home page like “Dawn just iced another opponent, bringing her body count to 178.” I do not send numerous messages to all my friends begging them to join my mafia.

But Mafia Wars is definitely my favorite means of procrastination. Why blog when you can bludgeon?

Now you know my criminal secrets. So tell me yours. Watching entire seasons of “The Family Guy” on DVD? Crossword puzzles? Reading this blog? What’s your most popular distraction when you know you should be doing something else?

Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina

27 Sep

As you may have noticed, the “post every day in September” goal has been derailed. So I’m playing catch up. Pretend this is Thursday, not Sunday. I’m totally going to cheat and post four quick posts in a row. And they’ll all have a question for you at the end, so pay attention.

Our family spent Saturday evening at a high school football game. We don’t have high school kids, of course, my husband and I are still practically teenagers (hahahahahahaha!), but they start indoctrination early in Texas. One day last week, I got a frantic text from my middle-school daughter.

“MOM! Can u leave cash in the office they are selling (Insert Generic School Name Here – What, do you think I am crazy?) shirts!!! Even a plush (insert mascot name here)! Adorable limited offer! I need a shirt for the game.”

Never mind that a) My daughter wants to go to the magnet school for the arts, not the high school in question. b) she had not expressed any previous interest in football, and c) She is not supposed to be texting from school. By gosh by golly she needed a shirt.

So she got a shirt, and her dad and I got all the reason we needed to drag her and her brother to a high school football game. Awesome.

I love everything about high school football. The players on the sidelines all waving at the crowd to get on its feet, the marching bands, the very earnest cheerleaders, the armchair coaches in the stands, all of it. Especially the concession stand nachos.

But in this game, a player went down. Hard. Trainers and coaches from both teams rushed out. Players on both teams, on the field and on the sidelines, all went down on one knee. Cheerleaders grasped each others hands and froze. And the screaming stadium fell completely silent, holding its collective breath, willing the player to get up.

When he stood, supported by his coaches, and limped off the field, the relief was just as palpable. It washed over the stadium in a wave of applause.

In the middle of everything that seems to separate us, here was a stadium full of thousands of people. They came to cheer opposite teams. Surely among them, opposite views on politics, on religion, on all sorts of things.  But none of those mattered when a kid went down.

And I found tears sliding down my cheeks,  — tears of worry, and relief, and thankfulness that in the midst of everything, a stadium can be silenced by our common humanity.

Now the question: What last made you cry or tear up?

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