Thursday, January 31, 2008

to the politician

I'd like to say that I like you,
But I don't like you one little bit.
I don't like your promises.
I don't like your accusations.
I don't like you.
And now I will go sit on the toilet
And think about how all you say and do
Is digested by the masses.
Then when all is said and done,
What comes out the other end
Is always the same.
And the stench lingers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


List of January accomplishments:

*grew out eyebrows. Why I obsessively plucked them in the first place is unknown. Start date of said obsession is also unknown.

*read a book. If I hurry, there is time to finish the other one I am in the middle of reading.

*successfully earned my Florida Teaching Credentials (translation: filled out and filed necessary paperwork so that I can teach in Florida). No, I am not moving there (that I know of for sure), but I wouldn't mind teaching for a prominent online school based in Florida.

*survived a chaotic little girl birthday party

*ran 40 or 50 miles (perhaps I should keep better track of these things)

*worked 0 hours at my un-job

*chatted with my 80 year old grandmother at least once

Immediate goals:

*read another book

*study for Texas teacher certification tests

*get rid of lice on #2 daughter. Just found them on her itching head last night and have isolated problem to this one child.

*pray for...stuff that I don't really want to talk about. Doesn't anyone have any good jokes to tell? Avoidance people - help me out here.

*call grandma again

Saturday, January 26, 2008


The father of JG's friend, "Sarah," volunteers quite a bit in their kindergarten class. Sarah's daddy teaches them Spanish words and phrases for their weekly Spanish lessons. On occasion, he also does cheesy magic tricks - the kind kindergarteners love (finds pennies in kids ears, does miscellaneous card tricks, etc.). But one magic trick in particular really wowed the class.

I remember JG was giddy with excitement when she came home from school that day.

"Mom! You shoula saw the magic trick Sarah's daddy did today!"

"Oh, Sarah's daddy does magic tricks?"

"Yes! Today after Spanish class, he had Sarah go up front because he could only do this trick with Sarah and not anyone else."

"What trick did he do?"

"Well, he had a long bunch of scarves all tied together...a long lot of them! Oh man! It was so funny!"

JG was beside herself and practically rolling on the ground in a fit of laughter.

"C'mon. Spit it out, already! What did he do with the scarves? Pull them out of his sleeve? Eat them?"

"No, no, no! He had Sarah go up there and he put that long lot of scarves all tied together down her shirt! And when he pulled them out...and when he pulled them out..." She could hardly spit out the words.

"Finish the story! Did he pull a rabbit out of her shirt?!"

"No! He pulled out a black bra?"

"What?! Do you mean he pulled out a black scarf?"

"No! A black bra! It was so funny!!!"

"Like Sarah's mom's black bra?"

"Yeah - it was black and it had really big boobs!"

"Really? Uh, where was your teacher when all this was going on?"

"I don't know. I think she was there."

So there you have it. A dad is pulling a big boobed black bra out of his daughter's shirt in order to entertain the kindergarten class. It's boy's-club humor in the classroom. Totally inappropriate on many levels. Or, possibly I was the only parent who thought it a tasteless magic trick to be performing for the kids. Sheesh - a person would have to swallow a few martinis first in order to really appreciate the bawdiness of that joke.

But I doubt anyone will say anything because this guy's wife is in a pretty advanced stage of MS. I think he spends all of his time caring for his wife and volunteering at the school.

God forbid I should deny him from sharing his magic tricks with the kids.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chilly Entertainment

It is cold here. Okay, I am whining just a bit because I know it is snowing where some of you live. Yesterday, though, it didn't get above 36 degrees where I live. And that is not normal. When I went running yesterday afternoon, it was barely 33 degrees and there was that annoying misty drizzle in the air - the Oregon type of misty drizzle that I've never loved. I bundled up thinking that I would be a running popsicle - long johns, shirt made to keep one warm and yet not sweaty, special waterproof windbreaker, knit cap, Poetroad's winter gloves.

Half-way through my run, I realized a few things:

1. I was way overdressed - even for 33 degree weather. After mile two, I took off my gloves and considered taking off the windbreaker too.

2. Not only was I the only person running that day in my neighborhood, but I was the only person outside. Actually, that's not entirely true. I did cross paths with one other runner - he is a dentist (I know this because this guy is the father of oldest daughter's friend). Anyway, we all know about a dentist's affinity for discomfort (need I remind you of Ch@ndy's little visit to the Russian/mafia dentist in Pecan Creek? "Stop crying like baby!"). So it only seems natural to see a dentist running in near freezing temperatures. Everyone else driving by me, however, looked at me like I was crazy.

3. I run just as fast as my 65 year old father. Who had a hip replaced only three months ago. Pathetic. It took me 60 minutes to cover 5 miles.

Later that night, H@nnah and I went to the movies - we saw a light little musical called Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. We didn't know anything about the movie except that Mr. Depp was the main character. Honestly, that is the bloodiest movie I've ever seen - no joke. H@nnah and I spent half of the movie cowering in our seats and covering our eyes. Still, the bleak and macabre mood of this flick is oddly juxtaposed with the lightness of "musical" and nicely represents Post-Modern Deconstructionism. The movie sort of had a Moulin Rouge feel, except Sweeny Todd was a more gory representation of the theme.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


For once, I'm not running away from anything, ha ha. Moving two thousand miles from where I once lived is far enough, I suppose.

Anyway, I enjoy exercising, and lately I've taken to running (again). Which is funny, because I am not a particular fast runner. Currently, I run at a 9 min. mile pace. Also, I have a short and squaty build. My oldest brother inherited all of the leanness and lankiness - the quintessential "runner" look (he has always excelled in distance running too - even when he had a pack-a-day habit).

So I am training for a 5k even though I don't have any plans to race in one. However, should I get the nerve up to run a race, there are plenty to choose from around here. Needless to say, I'm starting off with with a low mile week, which translates into running 15 miles. Training programs for a 5k start a person off with 20 miles per week. Ah, well, I've got to start somewhere.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


After the frenzy of making lunches for your three school aged children in the morning, do not mistake that blob of cream on the side of your ring finger for cream cheese. It quite possibly - and most likely is - a blob of creamy vanilla scented soap - the "Bath and Stuff" moisturizing kind that sits next to the kitchen faucet. You may not have rinsed off all of the soap after washing your hands in between making those lunches and doling out breakfast this morning. So don't lick off the blob in your haste. It won't taste anything like what you expected. Unless you expected to taste soap - a very wonderful smelling but awful tasting soap.

But should you do so, be sure to have a strong cup of coffee on stand-by. It will help wash the soap down.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tea Party

Last Saturday, my oldest planned and executed a fantastic "high tea." You know, the kind of tea party that does not require one to dress up in fancy clothes but instead includes the eating of crustless cucumber sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries, and pound cake. The cake, again, was made from scratch. I didn't have to intervene once. The food, especially the cake, tasted delicious.

Even the dog loved the cake. We made the mistake of leaving the cake (an entire loaf sans only a few slices) on the kitchen counter Sunday evening when we went out for a bit to visit friends. When we returned, all that was left was the shell of the plastic wrap that had once covered the cake.

Naughty dog! I hope he has a belly ache today.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Write Stuff Poetry Contest Entry

And not a moment too soon! Here is my entry for the Write Stuff poetry contest...

Don't forget to vote!

"Modern Immigrant"

Early in the morning as the sun barely crests the horizon,
Weathered brown smiles work unaffected.
Hands saw, pound, lift, push, mix, pour, lay, pull, smooth.
Muscles purpose gilded cathedrals of wood stucco and stone for kings of suburbia.
At lunch, Maria's Taco Truck arrives; thick aching fingers
Gather quarters, dimes, nickels for tamales and albondigas.
When the sun begins to set, tools are gathered and cleaned.
Ten or twelve bodies pile into cabs and beds of weathered work trucks.
At the Shady Hallow Trailer park, a shared five hundred square feet
Affords a stove, a toilet, and a few cozy rooms
Lined with homemade double and triple bunks.
Before the sun rises again, fathers and sons call home, south of the border;
Money is sent to wives, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters
For warm meals, a blanket, a roof of stone or plaster to stave off the cold.
Why so hostile, America?
Why turn away those who will do what you will not do?
If they go, who will fashion your houses, tend your lawns, clean your toilets?
Whose hands will harvest your strawberries, peaches, apples?
Instead of appreciation and compassion, you offer bitter contempt
And a barricade.
Is this a new Cold War? Will we also erect a cruel and brutal wall?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Poetroad is home!

And he's breaking out the wine!

He's only been home six hours, and already I've taken a nap, ate a snack, and got a break from the bedtime routine.

Ahhh, it's good to have him home!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Let them eat cake

The two older daughters have always been interested in baking. However, I have been reluctant to indulge them since usually I am the one who has to clean up the resulting mess. Just how does every mixing bowl, measuring spoon, and rubber scraper in the house get dirty in creating one little cake? But feeling the weight of not giving them enough experience in the kitchen, I decided that 2008 would be different. Anyway, what does cleaning a few dishes matter in the full spectrum of life, especially when experiencing the creative process in the kitchen - and spending quality time with my daughters - is what is at stake? So on Sunday evening when they got the baking itch, I let them scratch it. And scratch it. And scratch it. The result was surprisingly delicious, but not at first.

True to her artistic inclinations, the 12 year old had a vision of what she wanted to create and sought out a recipe to match that vision: a two layer lemon cake - made from scratch. Only her version would be iced with white icing and topped with candy sprinkles. I was fairly confident that she could follow the recipe on her own (for heaven sakes - the 12 year old and the 9 year old have baked soft pretzels from scratch six or seven times over the past year all by themselves). So I helped her gather the necessary ingredients, and then I left her on her own.

As I casually went in and out of the kitchen over the course of the next hour, she appeared to confidently have everything under control - careful measuring, adding the eggs one at a time, softening the butter, etc. But her first taste test revealed that - possibly - there was a slight problem. "Hmm, it's a little salty, Mom." A finicky palate? As I went in for the taste, I wondered if we could save the batter by adding a little more sugar to counter a slight saltiness. The batter tasted horrible! Like home-made playdough salty. Like licking the rim of a margarita glass salty.

"Uh, just how much salt did you put in here?"

"I put in what the recipe said to, Mom!"

"Well, how much was that? Come over here and show me."

Annoyed, KC pointed at the ingredients list on the page and quipped, "Right here - 1/4 cup."

"One fourth cup! Try "teaspoon." TEASPOON. Here's a little tip," I suggested, "there isn't any edible baked good where the recipe will require you to add more than a half of a teaspoon of salt."

"Oops. Sorry mom. I must have looked at flour measurement when I added the salt."

I softened my facial response and wondered if it would be a blow to her esteem if I ran and stuck my mouth under the faucet of the kitchen sink in order to get the lingering icky taste of the batter out of my mouth. Instead, I casually suggested that she start over as I walked over to the trash can and scooped the salty batter into the trash.

"It's okay, honey," I encouraged. "We make mistakes and we learn." All the while, we laughed hysterically about her mistake.

Nevertheless, for "take-two" I decided to hang out in the kitchen and watch a little more closely. At least until after she measured the dry ingredients.

And this time around, the batter passed the taste test fantastically.

Afterward, the nine year old and I baked brownies - from a mix. Although I did give her liberty in creating her own frosting concoction. Which also tasted fantastic.

In the end, I told KC that I was proud of her for making her cake on her own, but I was more proud that she did not give up after the first attempt did not turn out as expected.

The sink was full and overflowing with dishes at the end of the day. I happily washed them too.

Monday, January 07, 2008

overshadowed by
complete idiocy are
snapshots of genius

Sunday, January 06, 2008

If you were waiting for me to say something profound...

Is it January 7? Glad I didn't resolve to blog every day this year; that goal is already in the crapper.

Quick Notes:

Yes, Texans are required to go to a football game for X-mas. That made me chuckle, Peter! Actually, the high school team for our district went to state playoffs, and the black shirt/Santa hat was the requested attire. Our team won! (p.s. The new profile pic was also taken at that game. Did I mention it was very cold and windy that day?)

No, I didn't get arrested when I went into the precinct to take care of my speeding ticket. Even though I missed my court date. And the ten day grace period after that. I think the lady at the window felt sorry for me. Because I am a complete idiot. Note to self: do not put important papers in special places so that the papers will not be lost or stolen. Second note to self: the ticket you lost is probably with your Social Security card - which you haven't actually seen for seven or eight years because you put that in a really safe place too.

Poetroad has been away at school. He returns on Wednesday. Thank God - then I can get back to my regular blogging of nonsense and the like, starting with my 2008 resolutions. Which I will probably get around to writing in April, right after I send out my 2007 Christmas cards.