Thursday, November 23, 2006

Let it all hang out

The last couple of days have been incredibly hard on my self-control. Most people would think "Duh. It's Thanksgiving and you're losing weight." I wish it were that easy--but it's my temper that has been tested.

Yesterday, I got my face ripped off for asking what I perceive as a legitimate question. I was at church, and brought up the fact that We (the congregation) have been talking about remodelling the kitchen for about 2 years now, and nothing has happened. The committee in charge of the remodel hasn't even met, for Pete's sake. Next thing I know, Sis is yelling at me, because K has already made up the plans, and Sis passed them to B, asking B to head up the effort, therefore something has been done and I'm being a witch. I then asked why K did the plans, shouldn't we consult a kitchen designer? Yes, I realize I should have taken the previous answer into consideration before asking another question--hindsight is always 20/20. Sis snidely informed me that she wasn't about to waste the money on someone like that. Me: "Well, they generally apply their entire fee towards the materials we buy for the project. Plus, they know the ins-and-outs of kitchen design and can help us plan what we really need and the most efficient design." Sis: "We don't have to pay K a fee, and he'll just run down to Builder's Supply and get the materials for us much cheaper." At this point, Mama G comes in and tells me that K designs residential remodels and new installations for a living, forestalling my next line of questioning into his credentials (yes, I realize now that that probably would have been disastrous. hindsight and all). I wasn't trying to be a bitch--I was just frustrated that nothing has been done. I still don't think my questions were out of line, and Sis was acting like I should know all these answers (although I don't know how I could possibly know any of it). I guess I just need to talk to someone more reasonable and less emotional/defensive the next time I want answers.

At least it was something different today--although nothing new. Sis has these kids that she's adopting. The youngest of these kids, A, is a real sore spot for me. If I have to hear about how cute she is even one more time, I think I'll go barking mad. She's even more of a spoiled brat than my own kids--and that's saying a lot. She gets no consequences for anything she does...but the other kids get punished for her. My kids don't like playing with her, because she bites and scratches when she doesn't get her way. I just tell my kids to avoid A, because when A hurts them, Sis just says "the other kids bug her so much that that's the only way she can get them to leave her alone." Okay...but my kid's bleeding, and my kids don't treat her like that. But A's siblings have spent plenty of time in time-out for 'harrassing' their sister. Btw, this is just a quick summation. I could go on for pages about their 'parental' role with this child.

So today (Thanksgiving), we're all over at Mama G's house for dinner. Mama G has one room in her house she doesn't want the kids in, so she put up a room divider to keep them out. Mama G notices the divider is knocked down onto her fig tree in the forbidden room. Instantly, the 2 young boys (mine & Sis', aged 4 & 5) are in naughty-chairs getting the 3rd degree about who did it. Monkey Do is crying his little eyes out claiming he didn't do it. I calm him down enough to ask who did--and of course, is was A. I appologize and let Monkey Do go--after all, he was innocent. Sis keeps hers in the naughty chair and rushes off to see of A is hurt. Next thing I know, A is sitting at the table, eating pie, and her bro is still in the naughty chair for...I dunno...snitching on A? Whatever. I got pretty mad, so I removed myself to the now-empty dining room to read. I can't help it. Every time I see stuff like this, I get so mad I can barely keep from exploding. They, Sis & Mr Sis, should know better than to make every parenting mistake in the book with this kid, and yet they just keep on doing it. Yes, they should know better--they are not only trained and experienced foster parents, but also trainers of potential new foster parents. Sis spends a lot of effort making sure I remember who is the 'parenting expert,' yet.... Oh, never mind. This should be an entirely separate post.

Hopefully, no one is really reading this. My honest hope is that people gave up on me when I didn't post for over a year, because if I really thought people would read this, I wouldn't make it such a bitch-session. Sheesh--I won't even read this one again. It's just too much of a downer!

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm back

I win lottery, sun goes nova.
--Steven Moretsky

It's been too long since I've blogged--I really feel the pressure of all those unaired feelings starting to build. Need to vent before I explode! No, I don't really think that I have anything interesting to say. No, I don't really hope people out there will find me amusing/intelligent/profound/quirky. Just hoping to spell things close to right and get some of the angst out of my system. Luckily, I think everybody gave up on my blogging skills months ago (last post was in August).

Still on the weight-loss wagon. Thanks to the pneumonia I had last month, my current count is -30 with 30 to go. I went to the gym every day during the summer, and haven't been back since. So, of course, instead of going to the gym during my 4 hour break today, I pigged out at IHOP then came home to sit my tomato self down in front of the computer. Sure, I went through my home and my school emails. Sure, I clicked towards a better future at thebreastcancersite.com, and the hunger site, and the literacy site, etc., etc., etc. I also checked out the weather forecast for the next couple of days (so I can dress my children appropriately) and caught up on some of the local news. But really--is any of this more important than my health? I'm such a blob.

I paid off my car. That's right--the car is MINE ALL MINE!!! So this is when the engine, transmission, and everything else in there goes horribly bad, right? Man, I hope not. I really don't want to buy another car right now. I'm hoping that this one will last long enough to pay a few other things down (Mr Gorilla's vehicle, our camper, our home improvement loan), so I can afford the sweet (not so) little Honday Pilot I want. Leather seats, DVD system, bells and whistles all over, and a sun roof. I cannot stand the thought of giving up my sun roof.

Enough prattling. I gotta get to my next class. Little darlings are waiting to grasp the pearls of wisdom as they drop from my mouth.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Past Students

The name of my blog should tell people what I do for a living--I'm a travelling instrumental music instructor. I teach at a girl's high school, 5 elementaries, and a preschool (just music, not band for the pre-K) And I do it all in 3 days per week. Now, as I sit at the precipice of a new school year, I can't help looking back fondly on the students who have made a major impact on my psyche. Here are some of my favorites:

The Fat Kid. To be honest, I'm terrible with names. I have to write a brief description of the kid next to his/her name in the grade book until I can sort them out--'buzz cut,' 'curly blonde,' 'glasses,' and my favorite, 'husky.' No, I never let them see the book. My first year, I had The Fat Kid. Nice enough kid, but he was a total round-boy--round, rosy cheeks and all. This child also had no business even trying to play the clarinet. Every single lesson that year I had to tell him how to put it together, how to hold it, and to turn it around and blow through the other end. I don't think he ever got it right, but he sure raised my blood pressure to a healthy level.

The Excuse Maker. Everybody's heard 'the dog ate my homework,' but this kid came up with some real doozies. She couldn't play because of her asthma (yet she picked the flute, not drums). She couldn't practice because her younger sibling was sleeping (all the time?!). She forgot her method book at her friend's house (as if it ever left school). However, she never bothered to tell me why she was always 10 minutes late to my 25 minute class--even though I asked her every single lesson. 2/3 way through the year, her mom calls me up and yells at me for picking on EM, when it's not her fault she's always late. Apparently, her PE teacher kept them late in his class, so she was late for mine. That didn't seem to affect the other kids in the class, and she still never bothered to answer my questions about it, but I'm the worst teacher ever and scarred this child for life.

Mr. Attitude. Whew, this kid still haunts my nightmares. Nice, quiet kid for 2 years. Year 3, he starts throwing me major attitude and disrupting the class. After several warnings, I just started kicking him out of my class. When I called his father to discuss this, I got yelled at for over an hour for being totally incompetent, and accused of singling out MA because I just didn't like him. Turns out, this father was forcing MA to stay in band, and MA decided the only way out was to start a war. Btw, his younger brother stayed in band all 4 years and had no problems with me.

The Invisible Child. I've had several of these. Our program is in the parochial schools, and relies on parent-paid tuition, so if kids don't come to class, it's wasted money. But, there always seems to be one kid who dodges me for weeks at a time, until I call home and ask if s/he will be returning to the land of the living soon. They show up again once or twice, then disappear. No matter how hard I try to find these kids, they never seem to be where they belong, and the saga continues.

I have other fond memories, like strapping my breast pump on as I drove to the next school--so glad I didn't get stopped for speeding--and sliding my car sideways down a hill on an icy day, but that's enough for now. Please understand, I have wonderful students who really make it all worth while, but they're not as fun to talk about. Why else would I stay in a job that pays less than a fast-food restaurant and demands so many extra hours?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Do Soccer Moms Really Eat Their Young?

Monkey C had her very first soccer practice yesterday. They started with sprints, then worked on kicking and stopping the ball in pairs. Very cute bunch of 4 and 5 year olds, and MC is actually a good kicker. After kicking balls into the goal, the coach split them into 2 teams for a little scrimmage. This is where I lost all semblance of sense--I kept yelling things like "Get in there!" and "Get that ball!" Poor MC made it about 10 minutes before she started crying. I, of course, sprint across the field, ask what's wrong, and learn I'm the worst mother ever when she blurts out "I can't play soccer!" Shit. One lousy practice and I turn into that slavering mother who is more competitive than the kids. The worst part, of course, is that I made my baby cry. I need to be shot. What will I be like when Monkey Do starts in his 3-yr-old league? Jeez, don't let me make him cry....

What do you add to that? I am the lowest of the low, and the guilt will eat at me for a while, but at least I realize what I did, and will NOT do it again.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Calendar Games

The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison

Something is wrong at DayTimer, Inc. I have now returned 2 (two) calendar refills because they sent me 2005. Now, I may not be an expert on this, but I'm pretty sure 2005 is 2/3 over--why on earth would I pay full price for the last 4 months? Is it just the educational community who thinks we should be able to get next year's calendar in August? Are we really that different from the rest of the world--are there doctors and construction workers out there who still need to buy this year's calendar? What the hell is going on out there?!

Last night, Mr Gorilla and I went to Dave & Buster's to play video games without the kids. I had a grand time there when I went with the girls--I love shooting games and driving stuff, especially the speed boats. So here I am, ready to play games until my trigger finger falls off, and I notice Mr G doesn't look very excited. We zoom our speed boats through the Greek Isles and around the Lost Island, shoot monsters to save the world, and tear evil robots apart with machine guns. I ask Mr G if he wants to ride the Harley Choppers--and he says no. Hmm...something's wrong here. 'Okay, what would you like to do next?' 'I dunno.' 'How about shoot Borg, or even go shoot some hoops?' 'Nah.' 'Drive NASCAR?' 'Nah.' 'Well, what DO you want to do?' 'I dunno.' Wow. I thought it was impossible to go to D & B's and not have any fun--but he did it. Talk about a wet blanket--we were home by 9:00. Woo hoo. Next time I'll take the kids. At least they'll think it's fun.

Monday, July 25, 2005

tomatoes and other things

Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners. -- E. Joseph Crossman

So today I bought a new pair of shoes. Normally, this puts me in a great mood. They were on clearance (upping the mood even more), strappy, red leather (been looking for some red ones) with a great, narrow heel. Yes, I love heels, they make your legs look longer and leaner. However, today I saw them in a full-length mirror. Shoes looking good. Legs looking long and lea..n..n..what the heck is that? Are those MY thighs? S#$#! That can't be my body!! Holy COW--I look like a tomato on stilts. What the heck?! I bought the shoes--can't pass up a great deal on great shoes. But boy, do I need some HoHo's. And maybe some wine. Make that vodka. *sigh*

In other news, as a staff member at our vbs, I got a vbs tshirt. Yep, got me a bright yellow, boxy tshirt with a huge giraffe emblazoned across the back. Gonna look great with those new shoes.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

negative vibes and the people who give them

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. -- Bertrand Russell. How appropo for bloggers.

Today's Topic: Negative Vibes and the People Who Give Them
subtitle: Mean People Suck
Okay, we've all seen the bumper sticker, but if you've ever had to spend time with one of these negative people, you would shout 'Right On!' every time you see it. You know who I'm talking about--the person who always has something to complain about; the person who can never be thankful for anything; the person who never has a kind word to say about anyone and anything. Let me give you a heads-up, here: It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you start every day and every endeavor thinking it will be terrible, it will. If you always look for something wrong, you will find it. If you never give a person a chance to be nice to you, they won't. I'm not saying you need to go around with a fake, leering smile plastered all over your mug, or you have to find the silver lining in everything, because that would be against your nature. But for Pete's sake, just try not talking about it to the rest of us! Moving on.

I volunteered to help at vacation bible school this next week, and wound up in charge of preschool crafts. Gonna wear Mr G's old shirts for this one--there goes my rep as a fashion-plate. Fat woman wearing hubby's old icky tshirts. Sexy. Of course, since they're preschoolers, they'll be wearing every meal they had that day, with a dash of something unidentifiable in their hair. I should fit in just fine....