Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The cat ate my internets...(update on lack of updates)

I haven't posted in awhile OR been able to read or comment on anyone's blog, not for lack of fascinating things to say (that never stopped me before, after all) but because I've had no internet access.

Somewhere around here I've got an unpublished blog post on the joys of speaking to tech support (or lack thereof). But in this particular case it happens that my dad and the-guy-who-knows-a-song-about-a-chicken get the credit for spending hours on end rebooting everything, unplugging and replugging everything and reassuring one tech support person after another that the internet is not, in fact, hooked up to the toaster oven instead of the phone line.

It seems like I'd have learned the the answer to this one during the year or two I answered an 800 number: why does customer service ALWAYS ask at the painfully obvious end of a seemingly endless phone call if there’s something else they can do to help?

In a similar vein, why does Triple A bother ending phone calls with “Have a nice day!”? If a nice day were in the cards, would a call to AAA really be necessary? I for one am having a rotten day just by virtue of having had to make the phone call to them.

In any case, the endless phone calls to tech support ended in the inevitable visit from a technician, and so I appear to be back in business!

Many thanks to everyone involved in this victory, especially whoever it was who decided that I might get faster service if the DSL line wasn't connected directly to the toaster oven...

Also, apologies to Nimue and Sugar, who did not really eat the internets. They mainly like to confine their diet to tampons and hair squishies (that would be as opposed to hair bands like Ratt, Poison, or Ratt Poison).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kiss what?!? Kisey what?!?

Ok, so our school PAYS for us to go to workshops on "Kisey Koochy." For real. Look, this is copied directly from the materials:
I have NO IDEA what Kisey Koochie actually is, but, y'know...I could venture a guess. I'd like to think I know what kissing is. I mean, I may not be the world's leading expert or anything, but I've heard of it (*shrug shrug*).

As for Koochy, I don't know if this is common elsewhere in the English speaking world, but The-Guy-Who-Knows-A-Song-About-A-Chicken uses the word interchangeably with "bukeylukey", "va-jay-jay" and "hoo-ha."

OKAY! So I'm the one who uses "bukeylukey" and I only offered him "hoo-ha" as an alternative word. I've never heard him use "vah-jay-jay" in conversation. I just stuck that in there for reference.

But vocabulary lessons are not the point. The point is, my school actually sent teachers to a workshop that included learning about "Kisey Koochy," whatever that may be.

Unfortunately, I did not attend the Kisey Koochie workshop and only looked over the materials later in the day. So I never found out EXACTLY what Kisey Koochie entails and the two teachers who attended apparently were only paying attention to whatever it was they were supposed to be paying attention to. I've gotta make sure my friends are paying closer attention to life's absurdities...

Meanwhile, I hate to think what kind of google searches I'm going to be getting now. Welcome all you perverts!! I'd tell you to pull up a chair, but you probably didn't find what you expected anyway...

Monday, February 18, 2008

I should probably just drive a U-Haul

The-guy-who-knows-a-song-about-a-chicken once called my car "an extension of my purse". I guess he's right in that it's a place to keep a bunch of useful stuff and that it generally goes where I go.

I finally got distracted enough by all the receipts, headless superheros, hair bands, legos, magnetic monkeys, library books, television instruction manuals, and the like to clean my little car out today.

I did it as I clean most things, on a whim while I was supposed to be doing something else...because I didn't know where else to look for my brain...

Here are a few of the things I took out:
I left two pair of scissors in the car but brought one pair into the house.

I tossed out 4 tubes of lip gloss (sorry sweetie - they were gross)

I removed a pair of sneakers and left one pair.

I threw away three keys. This is why I lose things. I really only think I've lost them when what really happen is that I tossed them out and forgot.

I left the game of Cranium Cadoo, a beach blanket, a badmitton set, and a baseball bat. You never know when you might need those.

I removed a roll of scotch tape, 14 picture books, and my rolling pin (So THAT'S where that thing went!).

I removed three umbrellas, but left one.

I removed 21 pens and pencils. I tossed out another 9 that had seen better days. But I left 16 in the car, because it's hard to write and drive at the same time if you don't have easy access to a pen or pencil.

I also fixed my own car stereo while I was driving. Ok, so I was the one who broke it in the first place. I was trying to cut off my non-working CD changer with one of the pair of the scissors I left in the car when suddenly the formerly working stereo gave up mid-song.

I thought for certain I was destined to go see the Venezuelan guy up the road who ALWAYS fixes my stereo each and every time I cut through some of the wires with a pair of safety scissors, but it turns out that once I fooled around with all these wires a little bit - I was able to find two that seemed loose. It turned out I hadn't cut through anything of any great importance with the safety scissors after all. Of course it looks better than that now that I shoved the wires back behind the plate and cleaned the leaves and pine needle pieces out the little tray.

I can't do gift wrapping in my car anymore without supplies from the house, but I'm enjoying that fresh clean car feeling...for another 20 minutes until the kids get home.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of some men lifting a lawn mower onto the roof of a nearby school. When I first went for my camera, it just looked like they were interested in dangling a lawn mower in the air. But they ended up putting it on the school roof, so I guess they're going to mow up there.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Just to Clear Things Up

As talented as that cat 'o mine is, he did NOT send flowers! The photo shows him merely inspecting them to make sure they are of a certain quality (they are). It's the-guy-who-knows-a-song-about-a-chicken who sent the flowers!

The cat is very talented at weighing himself and imitating a water bottle. He also has incredible aim when it comes to tossing various objects into the toilet. But as of yet he has no access to a credit card and has not ordered me any flowers.

This photo is just to prove that as ugly as Houston is, it still has its moments (I mean besides the fact that it's 63 degrees out at 10:00 at night in February). I took this while driving to work the other day. I should have stopped the car, I imagine, so it wouldn't have come out so crooked:

So anyway, one more happy Valentine's day and remember, don't give your cat access to your credit card! It's sure fire trouble if you do!

It's Chocolate Day Again!

I got a Valentine from a cat today. This may seem odd, but Sugar actually sends mail to my kids while they're at camp too. He hates putting his paw into the ink pad, but I think what really gets his goat is that he can't address the envelope by himself. My daughter had to help him out on that one, and you know how cats are about their independence.

Let me tell you, it's entirely possible that I gave some wrong advice the last time I wrote about dating. My exact words were "Don't try it!" I always say the only thing I know for certain is that I don't know anything for certain. So, y'know...I could have called that one wrong. Here's Sugar inspecting the flowers I got for Valentine's Day:

Now, since I only tried online dating for ten days, only gave my phone number out to two guys, and only went on a date with one of the two, I'm probably not qualified to give advice on online dating.

But then again, I got exactly what I requested: a guy who knows a song about a chicken AND a song about whiskey, who calls frequently but not enough to be considered stalker material, who is willing to eat outside now and again, and a harmless yet demented sense of humor. So maybe I am qualified. You choose.

If I am qualified to be dispensing advice, more or less this is what I've got: Date a guy who really CAN come up with a song about a chicken! They just don't make 'em better than that.

Thank you again for the wishes for my grandfather and happy Valentine's Day everyone! Since I haven't figured out a way to put real chocolate at the end of the post or transmit it over the internet, here's a Valentine for everyone via Roger at Idaho Daily Photo!
Happy Valentines

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My sometimes somewhat sort of barely in control life...

Yet again I have not only failed to fall off the face of the Earth, but have continued to cling (tenuously? tenaciously?) to the blogging world too. Lately the story is that my 98 year old grandfather has been sick and seems unlikely to recover.

Those of us in denial (Yeah. Okay. It's just me in denial) are pretty sure he'll make a complete comeback in time for my daughter's Bat Mitzvah in June. But in the at the moment he's in hospice care which, I've been told by my boss, is not a good sign. Ok, so I might be all by myself living here in denial, but the schools are great and the property values are good and the neighbors...ok, so the neighbors have moved out but ANYHOW...

My mom came in to move what was left of my grandfather's stuff to various locations around the city, so my little apartment now looks like a storage warehouse. Sure, I could be conjuring nooks and crannies to store an extra bed, TV and dining room table instead of updating my blog...

At any rate I now have enough q-tips, coffee filters, and bandaids to last through my kids' high school years. It's lucky, because bandaids are one of those things I never think to buy until someone is already bleeding all over the place. And who wants to go to the drugstore when someone's bleeding?

It's not totally fair to blame my lack of blog updating solely on my grandfather's illness. In all honesty, my life tends toward the barely in control even when running along at its smoothest. But I will make at least a half hearted attempt to update on the other crazies later in the week...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sign Here

I got another school notice. Or two. Or four hundred and sixty seven. All in one day. When I taught in public school, teachers complained constantly that parents never read their notices. Of COURSE they never read them! Have you ever SEEN how many notices come home per day from school? Let's just say it's not the textbooks that cause those backpacks to outweigh the children!

Out of the approximately 254 notices that come home on a daily basis, a parent who barely has time to read a story to their kid is supposed to be able to pick out that one notice that HAS to be returned the very next day, otherwise the kid gets hung by their toes from the rafters, kicked out of school, or complained about in the lunch room.

Sometimes that notice is easy to pick out because the kid is hopping up and down on one foot saying he or she is going to miss recess if it doesn't come back pronto. But normally it's just one more notice in the kajillion that came home and who the heck has time to look through all those things?

Let me tell you who: not your average parent. Our literacy rate in the US might be right up there with Switzerland and Turkmenistan, but even great readers have trouble wading through all that stuff.

Here's my method for disposing of extra paperwork in the fastest possible way: I never read anything I sign, ESPECIALLY not school notices. What's the point of looking? The punishments for not signing whatever papers they send home range from the kid missing recess to being kicked out of school. Most of the papers state that both the parent and the student understand and/or agree with policies that they don't understand and/or agree with. The only options are to figure out a way to pay for private school, quit work and home school, or sign the stupid papers. They've got you over a barrel really.

I'd like to think that my kids are going to do their best to learn what they need to learn and behave the way they need to behave regardless of whether or not they sign a paper listing all the dire and horrible consequences if they fail to live up. And I'm for certain going to do the best parenting I can do regardless of whether or not I "agree" to all the different ways their going to punish me if I fail to parent exactly the way they want me to parent. So for the most part, I just shut my eyes and hope for the best when I sign all that stuff. I do look to see where they're going on their field trips at least.


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