Monday, November 16, 2009

Coming Soon To a Dateline Investigates or Lifetime Original Movie

I'm a voracious reader. Here are three stories I devoured over the weekend that keep popping up in my mind:

The nerdy guy in High School isn't what he used to be.

A father and his autistic son go for a swim. A two day, narrowly survivable swim.

There's so much anxiety surrounding High School reunions. This guy found out the hard way that some things never change. Or save dressing up like a Marine for Halloween.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Throwing In The Towel

I'm off the NaPoBloMo train. It was a combo of The Swine Flu (which was really a 24 hour stomach bug) and my long leashed husband's wild night on the town. I wasn't really blown away with any of my posts and found myself often just throwing something up and promising to give it more thought on the morrow. *sigh*

I am enjoying Evany's and Twisted Susan's daily posts. Do you have any recommends for some new and awesome blogs I should be reading?

Looking forward, I'm tickled pink about our upcoming trip to Disneyland for Hazel's birthday. I made reservations to stay on property at the fancy Grand Californian Hotel and at the Blue Bayou restaurant which is inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. (This is similar to French Laundry on my own personal Mighty Life List.) Crazy excited.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Little Piggy

Yeah, I know it's almost smack dab in the middle of NaPoBloMo so of course Hazel and I may or may not have The Swine Flu. I know that everyone under the sun is calling any kind of sickness The Swine Flu. This morning I was calling it food poisoning and blaming Taco Bell, but see what twelve hours can do? Turn a stomach bug into The Swine Flu. I still went and volunteered at school today because at the time (and still) I didn't have a fever and I'm scared to death of messing with the established schedule for the Art Docent program I've volunteered for with another mom. Today's topic was artists painting birds. Last month I moved the date all around trying to accommodate my work schedule. I think I irritated all parties: the other mom, the teacher, the student teacher and even the people at work. So today, sickness be damned we're drawing birds! Wonder how they'll all feel about me if I've exposed them to The Swine Flu.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nice To Meet You

A while back, the girls and I were invited to a party. It was described as a party for Big and Little girls. We got dolled up and walked over to the house. The host was a mom of one of the girls' school friends. I was quite excited and expected to see many of the mothers I knew from school. However, when we arrived I nervously scanned the faces for someone familiar and came up short. I was introduced to the women gathered around the table, but the names came at me quickly - and in the melting pot in which we now live, I don't get the standard name fare that I'm accustomed to having grown up in Texas.

"You know Lumpia, don't you?" I was asked.

Having just been introduced to a bunch of women, I didn't want to seem rude or ignorant. Drawing all the cues I could from the situation I made eye contact with the woman across from me and mustered up an enthusiastic explanation.

"Oh, yes!" I replied, "We met at school."

The table erupted in laughter. Lumpia is not person. It's a Filipino spring roll.

The story is poignant to me today, because it seems like for all my efforts, I still come up short on so many fronts. Take blogging: I'm still trying to format Monday's post so that it's legible. Or Tuesday's post where I left the 'h' of the http:// on the link. (Now fixed.) I guess there are just some people who are destined to walk through life with toilet paper stuck to their shoes. The least I can do, is to keep trying with a smile on my face and some spring roll stuck between my teeth.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I've lost control

It happened slowly, over time. At first, I hardly noticed and then after a few weeks it became achingly obvious. After receiving the emails, I'd vow to get back on track. But before long I wasn't even opening the envelopes. Oh, Netflix where did we go wrong?

Here's a list of the 100 Best Films of the Decade via Kottke.

My queue better watch out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Loose Lips

"I tell Lindsey all my stories." Lula said.

My head starts reeling. Imagining all the tales that our seven year old reports to the staff of her after school program. The good. The bad. The ugly.

"She thought it was hilarious." Snapped me back to a hopeful reality, but I still feel a bit uneasy.

Here's the story:

The girls are engaging Erik in a rousing game of who do you like better? Failing to get an answer, they continue to plead, "C'mon, Daddy. Tell us, who's your favorite?"

Erik looks thoughtfully at them both. "Neither" he snaps, "I hate you both."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween 2009

The week before Halloween the girls attended their school carnival.

As a pirate and

And a bunch of grapes.

Then we went to the Small Dog Park Halloween Parade

ChaCha was The Money You Could Be Saving With Geico.

On Halloween the girls were robots (again)

Erik and I, recreated this cannibal pumpkin. Here's the picture we took of a picture from a book where we stole got the idea. Ours won the carving contest, but we forgot to take a picture of the actual gourd.

I had toyed with being The Morton's Salt Girl for years. Here I am with my friend Sunny who dressed up as Cher.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Substitute Teacher FAIL

As I reported for duty for my second day of substitute teaching, I was greeted by some rather unsettling news from the principal.

"I need to talk to you about one of the instruments that was DESTOYED during band class under your watch." he said.

Ain't that just one for the memory books. My glorious teaching career is already off the tracks before day two.

He actually used the word DESTROYED. Not damaged. Or cracked. Or broken. DESTROYED.

I'm really hoping it's a harmonica. Or a triangle.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

For Magpie & Others

You want to see the shirt/outfit -- I know you do.

We're just home from an amazing night out in the city. The modeling gig the girls had for a local illustrator had a gallery opening this evening. Then we met up with Erik, stopped by the Paul Frank store and went out to eat at the Squat and Gobble. I've got to wrangle the girls to bed and get everyone, including myself, to school by 8:00 am.

Tomorrow I'm back at the middle school to sub for the algebra teacher. Here's the shirt, in leu of a black cardigan I've covered myself with a cute kid.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Out of the will - again

My mom loves presents. Loves, loves, loves presents. Many a holiday, birthday and court ordered visitation has been ruined over empty handedness. So if I am wise and want anything resembling peace, I know that I had better come bearing gifts. I've also learned, I should show and exagerated and repeated gratitude for anything that happens to come my way.

So when I was unpacking the girls' suitcases Monday, I came accross the gift for me that my mom had already mentioned at least five times. "I got you a present!" she repeatedly trilled. I opened the bag and immediatly called to thank her. I mentioned it again, before we hung up the phone.

When she brought it up on Tuesday, I tried my best to gush. But truth be told, it was difficult to muster much excitement.

Tonight, she began inquiring about the gift again. "Have you tried on your OUTFIT?!!?" she asked. I was feeling a bit under the weather, short of patience, tired of the rediculousness of it all.
"Mom, it's a shirt." I said. "It's obvously something you bought for yourself. It's bedazzled. It's a Medium. It's sleeveless. It's not my style. It looks like something one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta would wear."

She was almost speechless, but managed to snarl, "You need to change your style!"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One, Two, Three, Four - One, Two, Ready, Play

You'll never guess what I did today. I can hardly believe it myself.

I was a substitute teacher. And not just any substitute teacher. I was a substitute BAND teacher.

Earlier in the year, when advertising freelance was slow, I started going through the process to get certified to be a sub in our school district. I took and passed the CBEST - California Basic Education Skills Test. I got fingerprinted. I had a TB test. I paid fees. I ordered my college transcripts. At times, it seemed a bit daunting, espcially when I heard that the demand was at an all time low.

When my phone rang today, I would have never imagined that I spend the day counting to a few hundred middle school students trying to coax them through the first few notes of Jingle Bells. The thing about a few hundred middle school kids with instruments is that they ALL MAKE A LOT OF NOISE. A LOT! And I'm not even going to mention the percussion section. I swear the percussion section swells when there's a sub. Suddenly, everyone plays the drums. And they'll play the drums with anything they can find.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

So we all survived the girls flying solo. They arrived home safe and sound 35 minutes ahead of schedule earlier this afternoon. Southwest charges a $25 unaccompanied minor fee each way, for each child. I'm not really sure what that extra fee gets you? Apparently, a gate agent that walks your kid up and down the ramp. Or maybe the pass through security that allows you to accompany your child to the gate. There was paperwork. I scanned the small print and found out that if the designated adult isn't at the destination to pick up your child, the airline will fly them back to the departure city. I liked the sounds of that. Thought it beat the alternative of - we will call CPS and you will end up on the 5 o'clock news with your picture smattered in trashy magazines right next to Jon Gosselin.

And you know, Southwest isn't messing around. Did you hear about the two year old they kicked off the plane last week?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Let's Do This Thing

Two years ago, I participated.

I'm feeling up for the challenge. Wondering if I should try and tackle putting into words the things that have been heavy on my mind, crank out a few chapters on a book idea I've been toying with or bore you to tears with random observations?