Me: Acid. It's 'trip acid', not asses. Although ...
And then I had to explain what tripping acid was. He was repeating something from the comedy radio station we have in our area. It's a hit or miss kind of deal. Sometimes, the comic bits they have are hilarious. And some I wonder how they can even play on the air; so racist, sexist and offensive. Q-12 got to ride in his teacher's car on a field trip (no buses because of budget cutbacks) and they all begged to listen to the comedy channel. She agreed as long as it wasn't inappropriate.
Q-12: And as soon as she turned it on, the very first thing wasn't a commercial or anything. It was some guy talking about gays.
Me: What did she do?
Q-12: She just turned it right back off. The first one!
Today, my city had a 'law-lapalooza' where the public was invited to a session about how our municipal court system worked. I don't know if I just live in a funky bubble, but I've noticed that people I've been running into lately (businesses, hospitals, governments) have all been exceedingly nice. Suspiciously nice. This event was no exception, I felt as though they kidnapped regular government employees and replaced them all with Kindergarten teachers. Nice everywhere. Got a fee you have to pay? Here's all the different ways and our extensions and we love you and we're very understanding and empathetic. I've worked collections before, so this was surprising.
They had a Q&A session and the mayor, police chief and some prosecutors were there, as well as some employees from other counties. They had thoughtful questions and answers and concerns and you really felt like they were invested in their community. They were concerned about mental health in the community, under 21/marijuana users, security and new forms of tech crime.
For some reason, I liked what the clerks did, filing and making order out of chaos. I got interviewed by the local press and I won a gift card for coffee. So good times all around.
For a bunch of state's-rights-loving fiscal conservatives, they sure started off on the wrong foot. At their last meeting the 3 new members announced that they'd hired their own attorney at $75k/year. It was pointed out that this move was in violation of the law and so they voted and what do you know, the vote was 3-2 in favor of breaking the law to hire the attorney.
This attorney happens to be well known for his work in for-profit charters (a type of charter that is illegal in my county). People were mad and their voices ignored to their faces at the last meeting, so you know this one was going to be awesome because all the angry people showed up again and there were two police officers standing guard. Here are the highlights in the tone I imagine they should be presented (!)
We had to recite the Pledge like a bunch of children! (I abstained because I'm a bitch)
We got our own little school's boundary changes approved!
OMG, people are worked up over STEM, (My cousin-in-law explained to me that there was a certain Middle School that got approval to use its empty space for a Choice Enroll STEM program. Parents were thrilled. Then the new board decided that they needed that space for a new Charter School and cancelled the STEM program. Parents are pissed!)
The new board doesn't think the district needs to save money in the rainy day fund anymore! Even though the rainy day fund is what we used to offset the deep state and federal budget cuts over the last 4 years!
We are now paying the board to have two lawyers!
We are paying $400k to bail out a charter school, Collegiate Academy, (that someone said we'd already bailed out once) that somehow can't manage it's funds. $400k was a compromise, the board originally wanted to approve more!
We tried to get rid of preschool testing, which we are required by law to have and to replace it would be $5mil so we are keeping the original preschool testing!
Former Board Members had to tell New Members what rules to follow and how to handle themselves! New board tries to close meeting! Remaining 2 board members object! They are outvoted! Then they all consult their attorney(plural?)! They need 4 votes for a closed meeting and they only have three! Welcome back everyone!
The plan to spend $2 million for charters, $2 million for (charter, I think is what he said) bonuses, and $3 million for fee reduction has been shelved until the end of the month! Oh wait, no it won't! I have no idea if this is approved! By the way, this wasn't on the agenda, it was introduced tonight by one of the new board members and the financial officer would like to explain to him how funding works but he doesn't want to hear it!
I couldn't stay, which is good because the meeting went from 6:30-11:40 PM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMGWTFBBQ. It's like a soap opera. And at the end of its run our kids will be stupid.
Dear Conservatives in my state. This is not a proper use of school funds or time. Kindly pull your heads out of your asses and stop trying to; pay your friends with our tax dollars, pay companies you're invested in to privatize schools with our tax dollars, bail out failing charter schools who are supposed to fail under your free-market vision, deny money to public schools because we should be using those kids somehow to make money, take away programs for preschool and kindergarten and free/reduced meals and at risk kids and severely impacted kids and kids who speak English as a second language and kids who are performing above proficiency.
You know what will help you do this? STOP FUCKING THINKING THAT CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SHOULD BE FOR-PROFIT YOU MORONS!
5:45 AM? Mom, it's 6 O'clock
6:04AM? Mom, it's 6 O'clock
6:23AM? Mom, it's 6 O'clock
4AM? Mom, it's 6 O'clock
And damn does 6 come early! The other day I joked that he's like death. I hear him creeping up to our door and I get real still and close my eyes and hope that he's there for Smoochie and not me. I think, it can't be my time, it's too early, I'm not ready! I NEED MORE TIME!!! GOD, NO WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE ME??!?
When I told him, he said I was being mean, but the next day he woke me up with an especially creepy, raspy voice.
Tomorrow is the kids first day back to school from winter break. And I know the Quinn Reaper will be coming for me ...
- The inlaws came to visit. Smoochie got a $400 plane voucher one time when he was bumped for a flight. As the deadline to use it neared, it became clear that we would not use it as it would just cost us money and time and we were a little short on both. I suggested he use the voucher to pay for one of his business trips, then pocket the reimbursement, but he felt that was fraudulent so he bought his parents a plane ticket out for the holidays. Yay. Last time they were going to come out for the holidays we got a blizzard that shut the airport. This time their plane was delayed by 9 hours and we got a hysterical call at 1AM from Sister-In-Law-Who-Hates-Me because she thought the plane had crashed and we were awful people for sleeping and not charting the minute by minute progress of the plane via website like she was doing.
- Our cat vanished December 22. To make this even worse, this was a replacement cat for the cat that got hit by a car this summer while we were on vacation. And, of course, that cat was a replacement cat for the only cat that ever mattered who got eaten by a coyote the year before. Not to be confused with our other original replacement cat who's been banished to the garage because he spent his year peeing and pooping on our bed. That little asshole is still alive and well.
- I spent a lot of money. A lot.
- I went to get some extra tables and chairs from my mom on December 24. As I was driving there, she texted me that she had set up a doctors appt for some stomach pain and was hanging out in the waiting room. No problem, I loaded the stuff I needed then drove over to hang out with her. I thought it would be nice to get some lunch after.
I took her home that night and me and my brother spent the next couple of days switching off watching her full time. She is recovering and will try to go to work for a few hours tomorrow. However, she's been getting worn out awfully fast. We went to the store and she made it down about 5 aisles before we had to leave so she could nap. Today I moved some books for her and she was exhausted after an hour.
Sister-In-Law-Who-Does-NOT-Hate-Me and her husband live nearby and they also helped with the kids. Her husband dropped Smoochie off at the hospital so he could get our car and keep it from getting towed. When I came home for a few hours on Christmas, he asked my what my mom had and I told him, "Umbilical and ventral hernias, as well as a string of smaller hernias." She had about 5 total, one the size of an orange. The surgeon put in a 3x6 mesh from her bellybutton to the bottom of her breast bone.
He told me his dad had an umbilical hernia too, and his dad had ignored it (like my mom) for months and then while he was on a business trip it worsened and he died. His dad was a year younger than my mom when it happened. I remember it because it was right after he came out to visit about four years ago, but for some reason I thought he'd died from a heart attack. So that was awful to learn.
When I told my mom, she said she could understand why he hadn't bothered to get it checked out because it didn't really hurt much or consistantly.
It was a rough few weeks, but my mom's doing well, the inlaws left and on December 30th the cat came back! Still spent way too much money though, can't fix that.
C-9 : What killed the dinosaurs!
T-10: How high can dogs jump!
Q-12: How does a pen walk a mile!
Me: Wait, what did you just say?
He had to say it like 5 more times before I got it; how does the Panama Canal work. Jesus, I need more sleep.
Sister-In-Law-Who-Hates-Me texted me about it because she knows I had a real shitty school life (I myself got teased for being gay from 4-7 grade -- until I stabbed a girl with a pencil, take notes kids). But that's like a whole landmine of an issue because they are such conservative Catholics and while I have no idea where they stand on homosexuality and gay rights I'm pretty sure I can make an accurate guess.
Which means not only is he being bullied, and all the humiliation that comes with that, but he himself probably has deep feelings of shame over what they are using to bully him.
And surprisingly, the internet was not a whole lot of help with how to deal with the issue. Or, at least not for people who aren't accepting of it. For example, if you were to use the HAHASO method, one way to deal with abuse is to agree with what people are accusing you of because fuck them. But I don't think my nephew can do that because then he'll probably just go straight to hell.
Anyway, I asked the kids how they would respond and it went like this:
Q-12: I would ask them, 'Are you angry at mother nature? Because of what she did to you?'
T-10 just shrugged and (in a voice like she'd just been told it was 72 degrees out) said: Okay
C-9: I would say (and here was a big pause), 'Is there something wrong with your birth control?'
Q-12 to C-9: That's racist
T-10 to C-9: Don't say that. I feel like when you say that you are making fun of people with disabilities.
Me: What? I don't even know what's going on in this conversation anymore.
C-9: Okay, how about if I just do this?
And he waved his hands around his face and bugged out his eyes.
So there's a problem I don't know how to handle and now I'm slightly worried about my offspring.
You know what I think society should have? A rewards system for high frequency 911 callers. For every call you make you get a punch on your card and when you get 10 you get something for free like a coffee.
Because I would clean up! I call the police all the time, I've called twice in the last week. I love calling the police (it's a sickness, I know, but I can't help it, I'm a tattler).
Last Friday I called because there was a downed utility wire across the road on the way to my kids' school. They had to patch me through to three different agencies and I had to answer a bunch of questions like did I see any sparking or smell something funny and what were other people doing (no, no, and driving over it). They said they would send the fire department and so I was waiting for the sirens so I could tell everyone "I did that". But they never came. And then I started to self doubt, like what if it hadn't been a wire at all but one of those car counting lines? My friend assured me she'd seen the same thing and it was not a car counter. On the way home I slowed to look and all someone had done was ball the wire up and throw it to the side of the road!
Q-12 said "4+5=12 aaand we're done here" which kind of made up for it.
Then tonight me and T-10 were coming back from Westernsires and passed a broken down car on the highway. Some skinny little teen in nothing but a hoodie was trying to change a tire, in the dark, in 38° weather on a major highway. I was going to circle back and help, but it's a petty dangerous section and I had my daughter with me and I wasn't sure what to do until I remembered the one time Partner In Crime called the sheriff about her flat tire.
God, I felt like such a mom, too, because while I was listing all the reasons the police needed to help this girl I almost said, "and she's not even wearing a proper coat!"
Anyway, after dispatch told me a car was on the way and I hung up, T-10 tells me she's pretty sure my teen girl was actually a boy. Close enough, right? And only 8 more calls until my free Good Samaritan donut.
Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.
In my day I had a 3 day mountain trip called Cal Wood and I loved it. He gets a week and I'm so excited for him, but it's really hard not to be able to check in with him and see how he's doing, if he's sad or scared and to just hear about the cool stuff he gets to do.
I know he's taking an archery class and a survival class which should come in handy as it's snowing up there and they might need survival training. They have a day long hike at some point. His teacher emailed a list of all the wildlife they've encountered. It seems so great.
While I'm at home with the others (and they've just discovered the What the Fox Say song). Smoochie has been spending his weeks in Utah on a project, coming back for the weekends and then leaving again. That's hard. This week though he's taking a leadership training class in California and will be back in time to trick or treat. Nice how that works, lol.
Q-12 will miss trick or treating, because he doesn't come back until Friday.
... unless I have to get him early because he has strep throat. T-10 does and she stayed home today and will be home again tomorrow. This is what we did today instead of learning (god, I'm such a bad mom. Although in my defense, this was before we went to the doctor and got the strep test and I thought she was just faking):
So I only have one kid going to school! You know, I should have asked to have their tonsils out when they had their tubes put in, but I didn't and now I'm stuck with all my second guesses. The youngest didn't have to have tubes and he rarely gets strep. That's probably due to all the dirt he ate as a child. He's happy here because his sister made me buy him a rat at the Halloween store.
I am really thrilled though, that Q-12 got to go to Outdoor Lab. The district has been trying to cut the program for about 4 years to save money. Which I understand, but this really is a valuable program. For some kids, this is there first experience in nature, for most it's their first time away from their parents, and it's chock full of unusual learning. And as we all know, unusual learning is the best learning.
But it's KILLING me to not know what he's doing. ARGH!
Here's the summary:
Mike Ironhorse has made a promise he thinks will be easy to keep. He’ll hire his best friend’s ex-fiancé as a wilderness expert for his two-week desert survival course. And he won’t hit on her. Easy, right? Then he meets her.
Adaline Lopez, Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, thinks her life can’t get much tougher. In addition to being disabled, discharged, and depressed, she must also rely on her ex-fiancé to find an employer who will hire her in her present condition. Can’t get much tougher, right? Then she meets her new boss.
Working for Mike Ironhorse is a major SNAFU to her road to recovery. He doesn’t trust her with the material, the students or himself, her ex keeps showing up to surprise her on the job, a neighbor kid has decided she’s his new best bud and, worst of all, her four closest friends have enrolled in the course as a show of support. Not to mention she and Mike are fighting a very strong, and very unwanted, attraction. Just when they begin to trust each other, a local goes missing in the vast Arizona desert. The class volunteers to help the search, but Adaline finds herself in an awful state of affairs. Can she risk her new-found happiness and tender feelings for Mike to save a man in the same situation that nearly killed her during the war?
You can still buy my first book, Barely There in booth real and e formats!
Taken … and no one knows where…
This novel is inspired by the true events of a slave ship that disappeared off the west coast of Africa during an era of human savagery and ruthlessness. The year was 2001.
Kerri Mansfield and her family have a tangled history of colonization and aid -- not just to one nation, but to all of Africa it seems. When the slave ship, Etireno, goes missing, Kerri is one of the few people who knows where to look. One of the few people with the contacts and resources needed to find it. But she must hurry because the children on board weren't taken by chance. It's revenge in its ugliest form.
She isn't the only one searching either, oh no, that would be too easy and life is rarely that. The French Secret Service are also after the children and they've sent their best agent to find them. Kerri's ex-husband. Even better is that he’s teamed up with her current boyfriend, just to make it all a little more interesting. Tracking the ship to a Brazilian port two weeks before Carnaval should be the end of the story, instead it's just beginning. The children have vanished and as Kerri's leads dry up she begins to take risks that put others in jeopardy.
Oh, and I did I mention the ex-husband?
*Cross posted fro lilaschow. You can comment here or there.