Sunday, October 19, 2014

Patient Zero

We've all been there, where our kid looks a little tired in the morning and sounds a bit hoarse. But no fever, no complaints when asked, and hey, the family spent yesterday outdoors all day with pollen and other allergens, so you send Muffin off to school. Couple hours later, and you get the accusing phone call from the nurse at Muffin's school, saying s/he has a fever of 102, which must have been blooming as they walked away from the car. I don't judge those people.

However, I AM going to get all Judgey McJudgerson on the people who knowingly send their kids to school, for whatever reason. Megan was complaining on Thursday that a kid who sits in the row in front of her had been absent for two days, then came back with a hacking cough, to the point the teacher told him to go call his mom. Mom was, conveniently unavailable, and kid was back at school on Friday! STILL coughing! 

Guess who started being sniffly and coughing last night? Better yet, tonight, Brett started up too, and they both have low fevers. Guess what Brett was doing this weekend? Sleeping in close quarters with his Boy Scout troop, making him Patient Zero for the plague I'm sure will befall the troop. Not to mention this charter school is crazy about absences, and Megan has five already, thanks to the Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease right at the start and a stomach thing she and I got a couple weeks ago, I'm sure just because of all the new germs we encountered moving to a new town.

I want to kick that kid's mom's butt!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Did You Hear the Scream?

It was 10:34 last night. Did I wake you with my scream? I don't care if you're reading this halfway across the world, because the question is still relevant, as I screamed my fool head off, running through the house after I saw the BIGGEST COCKROACH OF MY LIFE IN THE BATHROOM SINK! Did I put enough emphasis on that? MY LIFE I tell you! It was longer than my THUMB! And glisteny and I could see the ridges on the outer shell or back or whatever. SO gross! I was prepared for outdoor bugginess, but in the bathroom sink? That's just too close to home, that's what that is.

Scott, who in my clearly calm executive decision-making process, was elected to dispense with the creature, went with drowning, as he informed me it was "too big to squish." Like THAT will ever make me use that sink again. I don't know what he did with it, I left and went to bed.

In the morning, Uncle Bob comforted me with the information that they are slower here in Louisiana, that Chicago roaches are quick and will scurry when the light hits them, maybe up your arm, but here they're big but slow, and they are easier to catch. Mm-hmm. I'm not comforted. in. the. least.

I'm shopping for bug spray today. I don't care if I kill us all in the process. Last night I dreamt of that scene in Men in Black where Will Smith is battling the giant cockroach. Hmm, wonder why?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Drop Off Area

I used to loathe the infamous drop off line with its overly intense parents who felt compelled to jam on the gas pedal to move forward six feet and had to burn out leaving after chucking their kids out into the world, as others can here a frenzied "move! move! move!" coming from the car. Conversely, the parents who seemingly couldn't get their children out of the car without adjusting outerwear for each child, giving series of hugs and kisses and reminders, causing the veins in the temples of those behind them to throb, they were annoying too. Even the park and walkers, who couldn't drop their precious little cherubs off in the LINE and had to park and walk them in, always oblivious of natural stops in the line, really endangering their children, they too raised my blood pressure. All were part of the early morning and afternoon hum of school, the price we parents pay, if you will, to send our children to public education, where teachers keep them for hours at a time so we don't. have. to. hear. the. whining.

Oh, internoodles, I now long for those days. LONG for them, I tell you. Now that the kids are in a charter school that is 25 minutes away, we were thrilled, let me repeat that, THRILLED that two spots on the bus opened up. Those near hour round trips through sugar cane fields were getting old. I should have realized things may not go smoothly when I asked where we catch the bus, and the DRIVER could only tell me the name of one of the streets. She did, however, tell me it was right by the building that used to be a rec center. This was, in no way, helpful, as there is no signage that says anything about a rec center on the building she was referring to, so as a recent transplant, any of the buildings, really, could have been the one in question. Luckily, we found it the first day.

Let me also say that to call the meeting place a parking lot was reallllly raising the expectations of those looking for the area. I passed it three times before I realized this area was what she meant as a parking lot. It's a small field of grass with a vague traffic worn path through it. There are no parking spots, so everyone just sort of parks wherever, all higgledy-piggledy, double parking, some half hanging out into the streets. It's chaos. Oh, and I don't know why but EVERYONE backs into parking spaces down here. For everything. Me, the rebel I am, I don't and I try to be organized. People look at me weird.

I'm also used to people staying to wave, and once the bus passes, we're gone. As soon as that bus rounds the corner and can be seen, people are chucking kids out of their cars and speeding off. While the backing in thing actually helps in this, there are children I've seen jump out of the path of trucks--everybody drives trucks--to get in the bus line. I stay and wave to the bus, mainly because I don't want to take my life into my hands trying to jockey for leaving position. When I waved yesterday, and I only waited until the bus turned the corner, about 10 feet away, I was the last car in the "area" for parking. Last week, we drove up to a couple kids standing by a shed that's in the area, their parents already gone.

We'll see what this afternoon's pick up brings.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Nickname for the Hubster!

Scott was chuckling the other night when he came home from work. One of the odious parts of his job--hey, all jobs have them--is the necessary repossession of furniture or appliances people have stopped paying for at the rent-to-own store where he currently works as a manager trainee. It's compounded by the fact his region's predecessor had been slacking on his job for many months prior to his departure. Scott said people actually get angry, thinking they were off the hook for paying for things because his predecessor had stopped calling them.

When they repossess, they go in teams, and Scott was with another employee when they approached a house. The woman was immediately angry, coming out of her house shouting and carrying on. She even tried to say the manager had told her "not to worry about it" but couldn't really define what the "it" was in her scenario. While Scott's work buddy was talking to her, he was busily moving the items out of the house and into the truck, as the woman amped her arguments up a notch, demanding to speak with the manager. Both the manager and the customer happen to be Black, as is the other employee who was along for the ride. My husband is, well, not. So when the customer had not gotten anywhere with logical arguments, she resorted to yelling "that's why [the manager] didn't come himself! He sent White Boy because [the manager] knew I'd kick his ass!"

Scott said he could barely keep a straight face as he was walking out, as obviously, my 6'2" 300lb husband was White Boy. She, apparently, kept repeating this sentiment as they finished up taking the items.

I'm totally calling him White Boy for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Football Obsession

Gotta love the south and their obsession with football, a sport I could seriously give a fig about.

Today I was attempting to apply at local high schools, since I've been approved as not morally lacking (little do THEY know of my college years, but those records have been sealed, mwahahaha) to teach the children of St. Mary's Parish as a substitute. I'll talk about that fun process in a future post.

We (Scott was off today and acted as my chauffeur, as I am directly challenged) pulled up to a newish looking junior high/high school combo, and I approached the door, ringing the bell to gain entry. Nothing. Since it was about 1:45pm, this was odd, ring again. Nothing. Peek in, no one moving about. LAY on the ringer this time. A hesitant voice asked what I needed. I said I needed to submit my application to substitute teach. The disembodied voice--usually I've been buzzed in by now--asked if they TOLD me to come there. Um, yes, the school board told me to go to school's where I wanted to be considered and put in an application. Long pause. The voice told me no one was in the office who could provide me with and subsequently take my application, because they were "celebrating homecoming today." Pause on my part, until I said "you're kidding, right?" The voice assured me she was not. Homecoming shuts down the school. She then pleasantly told me to come back tomorrow at 7am.

I walked back to the car, shaking my head. I then relayed my odd encounter to Scott--the most enamored with football human being I've ever met--and he even said "really?" He then pondered, "gosh, I wonder what they do for mardi gras down here." THAT I was able to answer honestly, because I'd looked at the kids' school calendar, they CLOSE the school.

Sigh. The South. Tomorrow, I rise to do battle with you again.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oh, Poddy!

There's been a devastating loss in my household. My very first iPod Video (now called the Classic), the gateway drug, er, product that made me a devoted Apple acolyte, my Poddy, full name Poddington, is on his last legs. During the move, something must have been stacked on Poddy's little home, and he's cracked, as you can see from the picture. I am in mourning.

Prior to the iPod Video, I eschewed the need for any Apple music player, and I am a music JUNKY, a former on-air personality for my college radio station, first adopter of all things musical. My mom used to tell the story of how, at age 5, I wouldn't let anyone else play with my 45 player, handled the precious Disney records by the edges, placed the needle lovingly on and off, put them away in their little sleeves, and I've only gotten worse since. When the iPod Video came out, and I realized I could take my ENTIRE CD collection (over 300 CDs strong and 19 gigs at the time) with me, I was hooked. But I couldn't afford one right away. That was when I found out about Apple's refurbished store, and I told Scott it was ALL I wanted for Christmas, 2006. He saw the crazy gleam in my eyes, and he ordered it. Later, he found it wouldn't be delivered before Christmas.  I could wait, but he used that info to get a few more bucks off (YEAH!). It was delivered after Christmas, and I was in love, saving all my CDs to itunes and uploading them to my Poddy. It was also immediately placed on non-child touching lockdown.

Then I was on the hunt for a player, because I have music on all. day. long, and the ear phones weren't cutting it. I went to Target and Best Buy and played my little Poddy on each and every offering, assessing sound quality, bass, treble, volume, and how difficult it was to get out. The Altec iM9 pictured below, was the winner. It had fabulous sound, and there was no danger of a kid ripping the iPod off the top mount. Plus, it could run on either battery or AC/DC. This little twosome has been my companion while painting the walls of our home, to Girl Scout and Cub Scout meetings where music was needed, to my classes where I played podcasts, to friends' homes, camping, and now, it's outdated and obsolete for charging current models, but still, I could just cry.

I know, my phone holds all my music now, but it was so great if my phone was charging to play music in the kitchen. It was also awesome to jam out when the kids weren't home to my music with "naughty" words in it, or to hold impromptu dance parties at high volume. It still plays music, but I can't really decipher what song or artist it's on.

Poddington and his loud companion will be missed, sorely missed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Peanut Butter Experience

We are deadly serious about our peanut butter in my family. I have certain texture issues that must be satisfied, and only crunchy will do for me. Skippy is my crunchy peanut butter of choice, but the brand the sell at Aldi's is good, too. Jiff? NO. Peter Pan? HELLS to the NO. The boy and I agree 100%. Scott? He likes CREAMY, and really, what's the point? But whatever, he too knows only Skippy will do, but if it's all creamy, I don't really know what his criteria is. Megan? She's complex, needing chunky for sandwiches but creamy for apple or celery dipping. Diva.

We come to Louisiana, and Uncle Bob has JIFF, not only that, but CREAMY JIFF. It was a situation that required immediate attention. Additional peanut butter was purchased, and all was well again in the land, and the people were happy. Really, it takes so little to keep us all amused.

Last weekend, we went to the "big town" closest to us, about a 20ish minute drive. Doggies came along, as we had doggy-related issues to attend to, and we'd heard there was a slamming dog park (there was!) in town. We thought we'd pack a picnic, and the dogs could roam freely.

Uncle Bob was kind enough to make our packed lunch while Megan and I tended to last minute girly things. En route, Megan, of course, asked what had been packed. Uncle Bob said he'd packed PB&J and listed other items. Megan immediately honed in on the PB part, citing our noted peanut butter stances. Uncle Bob replied that he'd made all the sandwiches the same--crunchy peanut butter. Megan reminded him of his preferences, and he said since it had been at least 15 years since he'd tried crunchy, and we had been so adventurous moving down here, he was going to be adventurous and try crunchy again. Awwww, right?

Come doggy park/lunch time, we're sitting at a picnic table, letting dogs roam, sharing our apples with a man and boy who stopped to chat, and I'm eating my sandwich, chit chatting, and I notice I feel smoothness, infinite smoothness. I take more bites, still smooooooth, and wrong where PB&J is concerned. Hmm. I'm near finished when Megan leans over and says "there's no BUMPS in my sandwich" with a displeased look on her face. She feels infinite smoothness too. Man and boy leave, and I ask Uncle Bob if he didn't just try to trick us with smooth peanut butter. He says no and that he used the jar with the blue top. I ask "medium blue or dark blue"? "Medium blue" he responds. Megan and I look at each other and I tell him that DARK blue is the color of the crunchy top. He says "oh" and continues to contentedly munch on his smooth peanut butter sandwich. At least we know we can get rid of the Jiff now.

So much for peanut butter adventure.