Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring School Stories

We've had an epidemic of broken arms in first grade. Four out of 60 kids seems like a lot to me! They seem to happen in boy/girl sets.

Boy 1 fell off the structure. I didn't see it happen, but I was on the playground and knew from the way he was clutching it that something was wrong. Girl 1 was pushed off the big kid's structure when she was playing after school.

More recently, Boy 2 broke it jumping off the swings. Only he was afraid he'd get in trouble so he didn't tell anyone for several days. Girl 2 fell off a hay bale. Her cast is the smallest, but she also has stitches on her chin. There was a Girl 3 who came in the day after Boy 2, arm amateurishly wrapped in gauze, saying it was broken, but it was just a story.

Yesterday was a really interesting day.
  • X got in trouble with me for making snorting pig noises. I had a hard time not laughing because he sounded so funny.
  • Y got himself all wound up as usual and as the whining and crying started, I heard someone mutter, "There he goes again."
  • There was a lot of flipping going on: I confiscated a bunch of pencil grips because they were being flipped off the ends of the pencils.
  • And my eagle eye caught a 5th grade girl flipping food with her spork. Hello, trash pickup.
  • The topper of the day was Z, who was playing with scissors instead of paying attention, and cut her hair, her skirt, and her leggings.

28 days.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Night and the Necklace

If you didn't notice my Lori Anderson necklace in Bossy's pictures, you can notice it right here and now!

And then you can go right back to that Bossy link and see all the wonderful people I met last week: Barbra, Glennis, Jason, Jennifer, Jim, Kelly, Shayera, Smacksy, Suebob, Tootsie Farklepants, and my Debbie, of course.

I commented on Jason's recap, "I started the evening nervous about meeting strangers, and ended the evening happy to have been with friends." That's the absolute truth in a nutshell.

But as if it wasn't intimidating enough for me to meet new people, there was a cameraman. Aaaah! And then Bossy asked us to tell our stories.

Glennis started off with the most amazing story! So, ha ha ha, no pressure whatsover, after that! Actually that's true. Her story was so interesting, that I (and possibly others?) felt, "oh well, no topping that, I'll just say what comes out of my head." Which was???? Turning 50, questioning, wanting to be more creative.

I had a blast, and if Bossy wants to know where John Cusack is, I think he's on that circus train sipping slivovitz with the hungarians. Ask Glennis about that sometime.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lazy Afternoon

It was a lazy afternoon at the zoo. (Here's some background music.)

While the flamingos were unusually alert...

...everyone else was kicking back. The giraffes were just standing there...

...while the lions were lying down on the job. (Groan.) That terrible pun was stolen from the zoo train spiel.

The rabbit looked like a sofa pillow...

...which the gorilla could have used. He looked like a guy laying down after one beer too many, scratching his balls...

..."Hey kids, stop banging on the glass and lemme get some shut-eye. Cheez! Kids nowadays! I don't get no respect."

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I had the most mouth-watering breakfast

at Central Park Restaurant, which was right across the street from Central Park, Pasadena's first public park.

As I walked past the park, I spotted a turret. A TURRET? I had to investigate.

I have been obsessed with turret rooms ever since I read The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, where the girl reads in a round room with red velvet curtains.

Going around the corner...

Castle Green. I want to live there someday, but for now I can settle for taking the semi-annual tour.

Around another corner, I found Italian Violines,

cobblestones and alleys,

hidden restaurants,

old signs,

and even Bob the Builder.

Then I met Barbra and she gave me a tour of her town. We had a delicious lunch at her mother's favorite restaurant. No dessert needed when their zucchini bread is so good.

We visited the Norton Simon Museum with her son. He is the nicest boy! So sweet and smart. The museum was beautiful, just the right size for an afternoon's visit. The hidden garden was a treat.

I had to decide where to take Flat Debbie's picture? By the Picasso? By the Degas? So many choices. So I chose...

Debbie as one of the Three Graces!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Adventures with...

The "Meeting Bossy" part of the last two days will have to wait until Bossy posts her pictures, because no one else took any. Not me, not anyone else, unless they were really surreptitious with their cell phones. We were (well, I was) too busy looking at Bossy's cheekbones and perfect skin. Do I have to give up my title of Best Cheekbones now? I gave up the Perfect Skin title several years ago. And we were also too busy talking.

Bossy's HAWT and dressed like a rock star, but she is also the nicest person. You just love her when you meet her.

I had a great time and met some more wonderful bloggers. But let's wait for the pictures.

In other news, Flat Debbie had a great time. Yes, Debbie, you have become the new Flat Stanley. And you are much prettier and WAY more fun!

She had her picture taken with Bossy and the very young cameraman. But while no one would put the REAL Debbie in a corner, Flat Debbie was placed on a table and missed the group picture. I did find her and take her home so she wouldn't have to spend the night in the bar.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another Flat Debbie adventure. I love her! I want to take her everywhere!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Debbie and I are getting ready to meet Bossy! I'm so glad to have company!

Things I Like

Well, hello! Things are looking up. There is good news this week, as opposed to last week!

Three things...

#1... Tonight Bossy's (No) Book Tour hits my closest major ginormous megalopolis. I was sorry to miss the San Diego meet at Jenn's house (and how great a hostess is she, she invited me personally!), but the Encino meetup is a lot closer, it's at an intriguing restaurant, I get to see Barbra again, and most importantly the Thursday evening date allows me to take the following FRIDAY off. (Because I don't want to drive home 2 hours late at night. I'm wussy like that.) And a Friday off is way better than a Wednesday off, in my opinion, if only because I don't have to get coverage for lunch duty on Fridays! But what do I wear?

Because Bossy looks like this.

With legs that go on forever, and I hear her arms are really long too which accounts for how she can take those great self portraits. Bossy photo shamelessly stolen from her Facebook page.

And I look like this.

(Humming, "I'm a little teapot.." etc.) Heh. I'm thinking basic black, with my new Lori Anderson necklace.

#2... This Shrek preview cracked me up! Puss in Boots is fat.

#3... And most importantly, Desmond made the cabana. Henry Ian Cusick. Lost.


Oh yeah, any suggestions for what I should do on Friday? I'm thinking the Getty Museum ( because every other time I passed by there driving sons to the airport, it was a Monday and they were closed. )

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Taj Maholymoly!

Ernest needed a project for spring break, so I dug around in my stash and found a giant lego kit. 5922 pieces, to be exact.

I don't have nearly enough muffin tins! Pie plates were pressed into action.

Tangent here: These are my "family heirloom" (and those are not unnecessary quotation marks) pie plates, which say HEIDI, from the Heidi's Pies that was near my college town 30 years ago. Although this place looks JUST LIKE IT! ... And if you didn't know already, you can surely guess what my name is now.

As he used up the pieces, the chaos diminished.

I was a great help in sorting the pieces, and eventually sorted myself out of a job.

There are always a few extra pieces. (This was a huge set...I count at least 20 extras.)

Taj dah!

(Now where's he going to put it?)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh, Really?

I got this fortune cookie last week.

Oh really? Because lately we've had:

1) Termites, but you know that.

2) Fallen tree in the back yard.

3) Leaks over the computer (but in new spots.) I tried to catch the falling water in the picture.

It filled up over half the glass. I guess I'm a glass half-full person.


So do you think I'll get my good news THIS week?

Monday, April 19, 2010

And the Band Played On

There was an incident at our school last week, where a 20-year-old man hit a counselor with a skateboard, stole her car, and led a 20-mile high speed chase until he crashed into another car. Uh, drugs, you think? Frank says the perp was in his high school class, but he didn't know the guy personally.

The school had a rare lockdown. (There was only one other lockdown in my memory, about 5 years ago.) Rumor has it the English teacher punched the guy...

Ernest says that after the custodians locked the band room doors, the band played on. Well, what else should a band do? Think of the Titanic.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hey, Rocky, Watch Me Pull a Birthday Out of My Hat

Nothing' up my sleeve!

But wait! His brother made him a special breakfast pancake. OMG, with BACON hair!!!

We gave him a totally perfect card...

with something nice inside!

We took him to a kick-ass movie...

...then to a great dinner.

There was a balloon...

...and "home made" cake afterwards. (From a box -- but I mixed it, baked it, and decorated it. You can't really see the 14 purty flowers around the edge... it's really hard to space 14 flowers evenly!)

Yes, I pulled that one out of my hat all right! Whoo-hoo! Happy Birthday to my angel baby!

Happy Birthday, Ernest!

Fourteen! And I have nothing prepared...woe is me! I'll have to pull a miracle out of my hat! Stay tuned...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Snubbing Report

We're back home after the termite fumigation and I have to say, the cat snubbing was not as bad as I expected.

The vet's office said she was very good. Well, all my children are good, what can I say? There was loud meowing on the way home, but she didn't immediately run away or hide in the closet when I opened the carrier. She had a late lunch, a drink, went outside to relieve herself, and I believe right now she is napping on the warm roof (Ernest tracked her). So -- phew!

Meanwhile, I am unpacking all the bags of food we packed...slowly. Where's the wine?????

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cat Tales

She likes to help her boys with their gaming. Yes, she was actually pressing the keys with her paws.

I'm feeling a little guilty because when the house is fumigated, she will have to stay at the vets. Sigh. Will she ever forgive us? I mean me? Because usually she knows it's me that takes her there, and then I am the one she snubs afterwards. The HH suggested that Ernest go pet her while she is boarding, and I said NO. Because then she would be mad at him too if he didn't take her away from there. I feel she ought to focus her snubs on only one person (me) and then she can love everyone else, especially her boys with the nice warm computers on their laps.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Belated Easter Basket

With man-children of ages 19 and almost-14, they don't expect Easter baskets anymore. But they still love candy. So when the store had half-price candy beginning the day before Easter, I went a little crazy. I mean, candy keeps for a while, right?

I'm not sure how long this supply will last...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Chomp, chomp, chomp

I've been enjoying my week off, at least the first 3 days.

Sunday evening we were enjoying what was probably the season's last fire in the fireplace, when my husband started swatting at bugs.

Not just any bugs, but these:

Termite swarmers. Yes, we have termites coming out of a crack in the ceiling. Even the little maggoty eaters are falling out.

We got an inspector to come out on Monday, but the promised return phone call took another two days. Finally, we are set up for a fumigation in the near future. We are on a pest control service plan so we do not have to pay anything extra for it. But we have to leave for 2 1/2 days. Oh joys. Meanwhile, I vacuum up the swarmers whenever they crawl out of the crack. And the white buggers -- I squash them to hear the satisfying "crunch." I know in the scheme of things there are millions more vermin I can't see, but destroying the ones I do see makes me feel better.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Lost and Found

Yes, I did watch The Birds on Saturday. On videotape. Then the player tried to eat the tape. On Sunday the curious ones took the player apart and after much tapping and poking at buttons, got the tape to come out. So that VCR is lost to us, but we still have a lot of tapes... Fortunately Ernest had a DVD/VCR combo he was no longer using, so we swapped it out. Ernest had to take that one apart too, to retrieve a disc that got lost inside when he moved it.

We had to pull out the TV to change the plugs and behind the TV I found 3 Nerf darts, a super ball, and a piece of ancient dried out tortilla. The darts and ball I can understand, because I had small boys whose aim might have been off. But why was the tortilla back there? Did they have a food fight years ago?

It reminds me of when the piano tuner found the plastic wrench and dinosaur in the old piano, and even longer ago, there was a toothbrush found in another VCR. I think little Frank left those things!

What have you lost or found in your house lately?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Peep Peep

While there's no way I would willingly eat a Peep, I love the Peeps dioramas at the Washington Post.

Maybe I'll watch The Birds today...

Friday, April 02, 2010


In that that 40 things meme I mentioned my dream job. Well, no job at all is my true dream job, and I'm aspiring to that this summer! I do love aiding the first graders, but the books constantly call me .... so maybe a library job would be a good fit...

And this has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that that my lovely M-I-L was a librarian.

They say a man marries his mother, but he really didn't. It's just a coincidence that we both love to read. And I bet I read even more than she does.

Perhaps my librarian fantasy is just all about Robert Preston...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

40 things...

I got this from Blackbird.

  1. Do you like bleu cheese? Oh, true confession time here! Not really, but I eat it to be polite.
  2. Have you ever smoked? Smoked what?
  3. Do you own a gun? Surprisingly, yes. It's a Japanese WW2 pistol my army nurse aunt brought home.
  4. Favorite type of food? Too many. As of yesterday, strawberries, pistachios and smoked cheddar from the farmer's market.
  5. Favorite type of music? Classic rock.
  6. What do you think of hot dogs? Yum.
  7. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story.
  8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Black coffee.
  9. Can you do push-ups? Hell, no.
  10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My 20th anniversary ring.
  11. Favorite hobby? Reading.
  12. Do you have A. D. D.? No.
  13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Contacts.
  14. Middle name? Janelle
  15. Name three thoughts at this exact moment: 1. I forgot to put the potatoes in the oven. 2. Frank's home from spring break! 3. My spring break just started!
  16. Name three drinks you regularly drink: coffee, Perrier, red wine
  17. Current worry? At this moment, I don't have one. Hurrah!
  18. Current hate right now? Politics.
  19. Favorite place to be? Home.
  20. How did you bring in the new year? Celebrated 3 hours early, on NY time.
  21. Someplace you’d like to go? Venice.
  22. Name three people who will complete this. Who knows? Surprise me.
  23. Do you own slippers? Yes.
  24. What color shirt are you wearing? Maroon/pink paisley. Yes, I'm gaudy today.
  25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Nope, it's flannel all year.
  26. Can you whistle? Nope.
  27. Where are you now? In the family room.
  28. Would you be a pirate? I often am, for Halloween and ren faires.
  29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Are you kidding, I can't sing.
  30. Favorite Girl’s Name? I'm picking my favorite name out of the first grade girls: Tessa.
  31. Favorite boy’s name? Ditto for the boys: Griffin.
  32. What is in your pocket right now? Cell phone.
  33. Last thing that made you laugh? Now I can't remember.
  34. What vehicle do you drive? Lexus.
  35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Broken toe.
  36. Do you love where you live? Yes.
  37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 6. We don't seem to get rid of the old ones, they just migrate into other rooms.
  38. How many computers do you have in your house? 4
  39. If you changed your job, what would it be? Librarian.
  40. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be? Happiness, health insurance, and jobs... all for my children.