Disclaimer: Some content is inappropriate for readers under 18 years of age or those offended by swear words, references to sexuality, atheism, and libertarianism.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stuck Looking for Christmas Presents?

If your loved one already has ample supplies of handjobs...




Why not consider a WTF blanket?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Give the Gift that Gives Back


This Christmas, you can honor a loved one by buying a gift in their name or else simply feel like a smug, charitable bugger by just buying it anyway at Women for Women International. With a donation of $50, you can teach a woman to read, for $15 you can buy a woman okra seeds, for $75 you can buy a woman a sewing machine, or if you're rolling in dough you can give $250 to provide a woman with an entrepreneur's starter kit.

Anyway, please consider giving so that a woman may contribute to her society in a war-torn country and rise up from poverty to stand on her own two feet. Here's the direct link.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Christmas Moon.

So we took photos last night to put on our Christmas cards. Thankfully, my husband doesn't expect us to be in the picture because I'm not particularly keen on being photographed and the kids make far better models anyway. Well, except that my three year old only has to look at the dresses I try to put her in for pictures each year before she starts running away naked, yelling "IT'S ITCHY!!" kinda sets the whole mood for the chaos to follow.

Adding a 7 month old into the mix makes for an even more entertaining time. It seemed that every picture I took had one of them blurred in motion while the other sat perfectly poised and motionless. When one had her hands on her lap, the other was sticking them both into her mouth, right up to the wrist.

I realized that ordering my three year old to smile was pretty stupid. I was in a colossally bad mood already, having had the work day from hell and knowing I'd only get more the next day on top of college assignments, simple household stuff that takes more time than effort, car trouble, more doctor's appointments for my youngest to have ear tubes put in, no time to rehearse my belly dancing choreography, no time to do Christmas shopping... Feel free to point out the hypocrisy of an Atheist celebrating a religious holiday. It's an excuse to be nice to others and spend time with family and enormous amounts of food.

Anyway, needless to say that my shortened fuse was not helping the matter so I decided to resort to the lowest common denominator. I told my husband to moon her. My husband is nothing if not accommodating. My daughters both looked in the same direction and beamed with enormous, heart warming, angelic smiles. Click. No one will look at that Christmas card and suspect the truth...



Friday, December 04, 2009

I Thought I'd Quit Breast Feeding, But I Guess Not...

There comes a time during my day in which I'm forced to ask myself the time-honored question: "What the fuck?" This usually occurs on a daily basis, and today was no different.

I've been working with this kid who keeps getting himself into trouble and failing a bunch of classes. He's smart, doesn't have special needs, but has the maturity and sense of responsibility of nine year old. Maybe. (He's a freshman, to clarify). So I invited him to come to me during his study halls, even though it meant he'd have to come to my busiest one, full of other colorful, clashing personalities, so it's a regular bloody Breakfast Club in there.

Today he had a history test and his teacher asked if the kid could come to my room and do it in there. I said sure. I'm already used to seeing the kid at least twice a day as he and his teachers seem to have decided that I'm his mommy and they can send him to me whenever he gets to be too annoying or at risk of getting himself into more trouble. To be honest, I appreciate that because I'd rather that than his getting sent to the office, but anyway... So he came to me today with his history test. I gave him a place to sit and said "Go for it." He whined endlessly, which I ignored. He tried to physically escape a number of times. I stopped him (verbally, I don't wrestle with students). Another teacher came in and decided to try to play good cop for no good reason and take him to his room even though I had everything under control and had started actually working on the test. Needless to say, the kid was promptly sent back to me minutes later. The kid's history teacher then came in and GAVE THE KID THE NOTES WITH ALL THE ANSWERS. I know why he did it... The kid wants to wrestle and his grades threaten that. That didn't even surprise me half as much as what happened next... He kept trying to call me over to help find the answers for him and to check if his answers were correct.

I abandoned all the classroom management warm fuzzy stuff I've been working on recently.

TeacherLady: Seriously? You were given the answers, which I find ridiculous enough, but now you're expecting me to find them for you? No, absolutely not. And you can find out if you got them right when they get graded. This is a test. It's testing what YOU know, not what I know.

I think even he realized how ridiculous this was, but it doesn't help my goal of getting these kids to take on SOME freaking responsibility.

Will someone please end this madness?! Make these kids do SOMETHING to EARN their grades and rewards!!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Smart Ass Response of the Week and the Woes of TeacherLady


When told to please stop chatting in class, then later asked why they continued to do so, a student's response was "I'm brushing up on my social skills."

I'm so glad I wasn't the teacher getting that response. I try not to be swayed by student humor, but I've been so slap happy recently, I might have burst out laughing and made things worse.

I wish I could say I was slap happy for good reasons, but sadly not. While examining how things "ought to be" in the education world through my college classes and philosophical discussions with my peers, I am then faced with the chaos that is reality.

In an ideal education world, when a kid qualifies as mentally retarded and the special education teacher working with her (ie. yours truly) has done all she possibly can to get this kid covered legally, it wouldn't take 4 MONTHS with no sign of the paperwork being completed by those responsible (ie. the school psychologist) any time soon.

In an ideal education world, when a teacher asks a student if she is okay with the work she's been assigned and the student responds by yelling and calling the teacher a "ho", or if a teacher is even physically threatened by a student, the administrators and counselors wouldn't then question the teacher in an accusatory tone about what efforts he or she made towards building "good rapport" with that student, or even worse, ask what the teacher did wrong to provoke the student that way, then let the kid off lightly and wonder why the classes are in chaos with the students running the whole show. At what point do we realize we ALL take responsibilities here, that includes the kids, teachers, parents, and administrators. I would never say it's the parent's job alone, nor the administrator's exclusively because that's not what I believe, nor would I blame one group entirely either...

In an ideal education world, ALL the classroom teachers put thought into their lesson plans and not pull things out of their asses last minute, especially when the special education teacher is being expected to co-teach and is being evaluated on her ability to do so... I don't want to be a bitch, but if my evaluations were to come back negative because I'm not co-teaching, it would put me in a hugely awkward situation where I'm tempted to point out some ugly truths. I've not done so yet. This also applies to evaluations of my ability to maintain classroom management when I work in classrooms where the teacher is completely inconsistent with expectations and then I have to tell the kid to put away their mp3 players/phones or not talk while I'm trying to teach the short lecture portion of the lesson and they argue that the other teacher lets them do it all the time. Way to add to the grey hairs I'm already accumulating on my head. Especially when I think how much better these lessons could be...

I have fantasies that these kids receive the education they deserve... Where they learn that a line is drawn at some point, and crossing it out in the "real world" doesn't mean you get an extra chance, and an extra chance, or continuously enjoy the wonderful protection afforded to them in school by the statement "I have anger management issues"... Where they learn, practice, and master the skills necessary to get and keep a job. Where they learn to cope with frustrations and failures with grace, instead of constantly escaping, avoiding, or being given the false belief that we are "all winners" all the time and that if you complain loudly enough or to the right person, you'll be one too regardless of what you did or didn't do. There will be no soft-hearted teacher or administrator or counselor out in the big bad world who will let you seek refuge in their room rather than face the music. Show empathy, by all means, and give them these supports while they're starting to learn to handle life without them, but make the goal for them to eliminate those crutches at SOME point.

One of the reasons I've been blogging less is because my job has expanded to cover more and more responsibilities and I'm determined to do them well. I know I've got a lot of growth ahead of me, but it's frustratingly limited by the crap of which I've only just begun to address in this post.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Neutralizing Arguments

I enjoy learning about my profession. I've learned to put a name to a technique that's pretty handy to use with kids who have learned to get their way through manipulation, pleading, and arguing. According to Bob Sornson, it's called neutralizing arguments and the basic premise is to respond to the student's arguing with an empathetic phrase and then repeat the direction, request, rule each time the student continues to whine/complain/waste valuable oxygen. Here's a sample discussion I had the pleasure of having today. It takes place after the student came to me late AGAIN with yet another excuse why, complaining that her stomach ached, had nothing with her in terms of books/papers/work, said it was in three different places, took her sweeet time to go to each to get her stuff, then returned to me continuing to whine that her stomach hurts, that she's thirsty:

TeacherLady: Okay, you've got that math homework to do, get started on that please.
The Mouth: My stomach hurts. I already did this! No I didn't. I hate that man. Can I go get a drink of water?
TeacherLady: No, I'm sorry, but you've got to get that math work done.
The Mouth: My mouth is so dry. I can't work with my mouth dry like this. The more I talk the drier it gets... Can I go drink some water, pleeeeease?
TeacherLady: No, I'm sorry you're thirsty, but you've got to get that math work done.
The Mouth: So dry. I just want some water. Then I'll get my math done.

(I've noticed an alarming pattern of kids and teens trying to bargain this way. They always want to get the reward first, then do the work for it... Maybe... Is it the generation of credit?)

TeacherLady: No, I'm sorry you're feeling that way, but you've got to get that math work done.
The Mouth: When did you get that picture?
TeacherLady:...
The Mouth: Who made that?
TeacherLady:...
The Mouth: This is SO BORING. My mouth is so dry...

I sat in silence, marvelling at the sheer will of young people and at her vocal abilities until she finally stopped talking. And worked. It was beautiful. Until...

The Mouth: Can I go drink some water?

The problem is that I've seen her interact with her family, and her mother makes the easy mistake of getting sucked into the argument instead of simply drawing a line and ending the conversation. If any adult in her life falls into that trap, it reinforces that kind of behavior in her. It fuels her. I watched her light up when her mother made the mistake of trying to reason with her. It gave her fodder to pick at, question, examine for holes... It made her mother angry, which in turn upset the girl, despite her excitement at being able to stir things up.

Which brings me to the following video which my colleague shared with me today. There are times when matters are open for discussion, and there are times when the kid is just trying to be a smart ass... This is one of the latter:



Falling Through the Cracks

There’s a frustrating situation that arises once in a while in a school. Special interest is taken in a child who appears consistently unbathed or with mysterious marks on their arms, or he may only come to school once a week or so... So steps are taken to investigate. “Home” is sometimes determined to be a single motel room where the mother inevitably has a less than stellar boyfriend saying with them. Then if the authorities are involved, there’s the threat of the parent being sent to jail and the parent views the school as a meddling entity since none of the kid’s issues would have been brought to light had it not been for us. So we fight the good fight, making calls, writing letters, asking questions, lending a shoulder, and then you get the notice: “Withdrawn”.

The student you fought for, worried about long after the working day is over, endured all sorts of added complications you really could have done without, but went through anyway, has been pulled out of your school by the parent. Chances are good that if the kid is put back into any school at all, the same thing will happen all over again. You know it will, because when you looked into the kid’s file you saw three different schools in the space of two years. Once they’re withdrawn, there’s really nothing that can be done but cast a thought in their direction once in a while, wonder what they’re doing now, and wonder what kind of life their own kids will have. There are some cycles that are near impossible to break, and I admire those who can when this is the only type of childhood they’ve ever known.

To the student whose mother chose her violent ex-con of a boyfriend over her own abused daughters and told the school she wished we would just take her daughter off her hands and that she wished she had never been born, I’m sorry we couldn’t do more. To the student who barely came to school, then didn’t come at all, then got withdrawn to avoid having the mother sent to jail, I’m sorry we didn’t even have you half of the time your last two schools had you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

TeacherLady on Facebook

I've started a Facebook account under my TeacherLady nickname (I went with "TeacherLady Rantings") so I can keep in touch with my blogosphere friends that way... Feel free to add me to your friend list on Facebook. It'll help me maintain the illusion of an exciting dichotymous life.

Thank you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Clash of the Titans

Trailer for the remake. I can't help but say "oooh" then laugh at the cheesy Hollywood "TITANS. WILL. CLASH" words flying at you. I love me some Greek mythology, though.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things You Never Knew About Hitler and Other Stories.

I often hear the kids share their knowledge of Hitler's Jewish lineage, but this year I heard a new one in a quiet conversation between two students:

Student A: Did you know... Hitler was gay?
Student B: Yep.

What made that funny for me was the tone of the second student, as though that was common knowledge and the first guy was a moron for even uttering it. I think I'll add my own rumor to spice things up and tell them all he was, in fact, a chihuahua and the father of Scientology too.

Also, in discussing the first president of Hawaii following the fall of their monarchy, the history teacher tried to tap into their existing background knowledge they never they knew they had about president Dole.

History teacher: You know the fruit with the stickers that say "Dole"..?
Student: Oh wow... So Dole's the sticker company?
History teacher: Er no. They sell fruit.

Based on some of my less favorable experiences with doctors who succeed in missing the obvious, I think he's got a fine future ahead of him in the field of medicine.

Psyched for Psychoville!


Yes, OH YES! A second series/season AND a TV special have been green-lit by the BBC for one of my favorite TV shows, Psychoville. It's enough to make me want to grab a washed up, one-handed, bitter children's entertainer and kiss his painted, nicotine-stained lips! Is it a newfound interest in clown porn or is it just Reece Shearsmith? I'll do some research and get back to you on that one.

Oh I can't wait to see how many hits my blog will get from poor buggers doing Google searches for "clown porn"...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Four Letter Word



I will forever regret the fact that I will most likely never get to sit and enjoy a pint and hours and hours of conversation with Billy Connolly. He is so genuine. The above sequence begins with a song he wrote entitled "Four Letter Word". I posted this in response to BothEyesShut's post on swearie words. He tells so many charming little anecdotes from his life growing up in Scotland. Be prepared, he's Glaswegian, so he makes more sense if you knock back a few pints first.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

LBD


How many ways can you wear a little black dress? Sheena Matheiken is shooting for 365 as part of a combined statement in fashion, sustainability, and fun in the name of charity. Check out her page at The Uniform Project. Some accessories are donated but her goal is to get donations to fund the education of poverty stricken children in India. It also reminds me that there's absolutely no point to my having a wardrobe full of stuff I hardly ever wear yet insist in holding on to for year and years and years.






Friday, November 06, 2009

Dear God, Sorry to Disturb you, But...



I finally made use of the massage gift card my husband got me for my last birthday and ended up having quite the philosophical discussion. While I normally prefer to remain absolutely silent and have whoever’s handling me do the same, we ended up chatting almost the entire time. He was the first male massage therapist I’d ever been to, but fully expected him to be gay, giving me nothing to worry about. Indeed, he was, so I didn’t have to tense up at the thought of his accidentally brushing my boob or other lady bits. We discussed politics, intolerance of homosexuals, cultural differences, great wines, and atheism.

I was so tempted to ask why most homosexuals vote for Democrats over Libertarians who actually have the balls to back gay marriage, but I didn’t. They probably don’t vote for them for the same reason I don’t, at least in the presidential race. I’m too chicken to back what I perceive to be the losing horse, so I just resort to the lesser of two evils.

While he felt claustrophobic being forced to be in the closet in certain circles, he had it two-fold in the fact that he felt unable to be open about his atheism too. I felt strange actually recognizing that I felt in the closet too.

Back home, it was unheard of for anyone to be a “non-believer”. As a wee one, my “friends” would rat me out to our Islam teacher like the little SS informant wannabes that they were. I had to lie to keep from being told I was going to hell, my family was going to hell, and my best friend who was Christian, and my little dog too. I decided that if there was a hell, I’d rather go there with people who I loved and who loved me and loved life and a freaking sense of humor than be trapped for all eternity with a bunch of hypocritical “holier-than-thou” wieners who felt it more important to follow ancient dogma and spread fear, mistrust, and bitterness under the guise of keeping the best interests of other’s immortal souls at heart when they really just love any excuse to exclude people, judge people, and look down at them. At least if they practiced religion in a loving, productive way I wouldn’t have developed such distaste for organized religions. I recognize that not all believers act the way they did, but my early experiences with religion were all pretty much like that. Witch hunt after witch hunt. Who can we accuse next? To those who practice a religion with love, charity, and joy, thank you. To those who are troubled by my lack of faith but who don't believe I should die a horrible death, thank you.

When I moved to America, I foolishly thought that separation of church and state actually existed and I’d be free to follow my own lack of religion to my heart’s content. I was proven wrong when I tried to buy white wine for a recipe one Sunday morning. I felt like asking if I really had to be held to someone else’s religious beliefs, but I could tell it wasn’t the cashier’s fault and that she was powerless to help me out. I happened to go to a private college for my undergrad, so it was a small Catholic establishment. I’m in their house, so I have no problem having Jesus peer mournfully down at me from every office and classroom, but I could see the perception they had of the rest of the world and it was limited to say the least.

I soon learned it wasn’t altogether acceptable to mention one’s lack of religion or belief in a God in my little corner of the United States. I couldn’t even get away with honestly admitting that I’d be willing to believe in a God if there was unquestionable proof because that wasn’t good enough and it would inevitably lead into the whole “faith is built on not having proof” thing and which drives me nuts.

I don’t try to convert people to my beliefs, and I appreciate it when they afford me the same respect, but what they always struggle to keep to themselves is the complete inability to grasp how I might have any understanding of what is “right” or “wrong”. That I could have an internal moral compass as opposed to needing someone or something else to function as an external one seems to completely confuse many of them.

So this is my coming out of the closet: I don’t believe in religious dogma. I don’t believe in the existence of a God or gods. I don’t believe in the devil. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I believe people are imperfect and it’s a great goal to strive for perfection, but my vision of perfection and yours might be very different. I’m okay with that as long as no one gets hurt. If your vision of perfection involves harming others in the name of your religion, that’s not a difference of opinion, you’re just an asshole.


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Thank you.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Perfect Day



This just totally chilled out my squirmy six month old... And then is ended... Drat.

Tim Burton's Superman



I love Tim Burton. However, there are times when I recognize that he may quite possibly be on some sort of MAJOR hallucinogenics. What, in the name of Krypton, was he thinking when he came up with this concept for Superman? Granted, the movie that did come out was pretty mediocre at best, but Nicholas Cage? I like him too, despite that horrendous inability to accept his natural hair loss, but... In THAT costume? Holy Kal-El. Seeing Mr. Cage's expression in this video convinced me that they must have been sharing the same bong/crack pipe/whatever.

Sorry, I know this is old, but this is the first time I ever saw this. And I wish I never had.

I love Tim Burton and Nic Cage, I really do... But a comic-book nerd has her limits.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Little Woman.

My older daughter is three and a half years old, but I'm already getting a taste of the teenager she may grow up to be. She's got a little friend at daycare named Denny. One evening we were eating dinner at the dinner table and she shared:

Mini-me: We call Denny a diaper, because he's small.

TeacherLady: Oh that's not nice. Poor Denny.

Denny is the kid who is always standing inches from us when I come to pick her up from daycare each day. If he's not in love with my daughter, he's at least in awe of her. And he is small. I encourage her to say bye to him as we leave, and she always does... He just stands there, staring after her. Denny the Diaper.

I do love how their insults are limited to their current vocabulary. Toddler Tourettes would consist of "poo, pee, potty, bum, fart". I should know, because my daughter occasionally has such outbursts followed by squeals of laughter.

Speaking of which, I'm mildly concerned about her tendency to randomly flash us. She sometimes likes to wear costumes about the house, and one day she was dressed quite charmingly in her Snow White outfit. In fact, she had put it on in honor of the Disney show we were about to go see and we thought she looked delightful. I then heard her distinctive squealing laugh, saw my husband roll his eyes smiling and turned to see her tiny bottom waving back and forth at me from underneath her poofy yellow skirt.

Mini-me: Look at my BUM! (she says/sings the word "bum" in as though it's made up of three syllables. It's very cute.)

I did what any self-respecting parent would do. I whipped out the digital video camera. Oh she'll pay for this, all right, but many years from now when I insist on showing this at any family gathering we host at our place.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Evils of the Boob.

To be filed under a WTF category:

Somali Islamists whip women for wearing bras
Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:35am GMT

By Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia's hardline Islamist group al Shabaab has publicly whipped women for wearing bras they say violate Islam by constituting a deception, north Mogadishu residents said Friday.

The insurgent group, which seeks to impose a strict form of sharia Islamic law throughout Somalia, amputated a foot and a hand each from two young men accused of robbery earlier this month. They have also banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and playing or watching soccer.

Residents said gunmen had been rounding up any woman seen with a firm bust and then had them publicly whipped by masked men. The women were then told to remove their bras and shake their breasts.

"Al shabaab forced us to wear their type of veil and now they order us to shake our breasts," a resident, Halima, told Reuters, adding that her daughters had been whipped Thursday.

"They first banned the former veil and introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women's chests. They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat."

Officials of Al Shabaab, which Washington says is al Qaeda's proxy in the failed Horn of Africa state, declined to comment.

The group's hardline interpretation of Islamic law has shocked many Somalis, who are traditionally moderate Muslims. Some residents, however, give the insurgents credit for restoring order to the regions under their control.

Al Shabaab, which means "youth" in Arabic, control large swathes of south and central Somalia.

Abdullahi Hussein, a student in north Mogadishu, said his elder brother was thrown behind bars when he fought back a man who humiliated their sister by asking her to remove her bra.

"My brother was jailed after he wrestled with a man that had beaten my sister and forced her to remove her bra. He could not stand it," Hussein said.

Men were not spared the' moral cleansing'. Any man caught without a beard was been publicly whipped.

"I was beaten and my hair was cut off with a pair of scissors in the street," Hussein said.

"My trouser was also cut up to the knee. They accused me of shaving my beard but I am only 18. They have arrested dozens of men and women. You just find yourself being whipped by a masked man as soon as leave your house."

(Editing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved



Sorry if you've already seen this article, it's a bit dated, but I had to comment.

Okay. At what point do these guys fail to examine themselves and realize how hypocritical they're being. If their goal is to remove the outward sexuality or sexual expression of women (ie. their tits, those evil, evil fun bags of doom and destruction) why do they then force the women to jiggle the offending mammary glands them? They're one hair's breadth away from donning "F.B.I. : Female Body Inspector" t-shirts and guffawing like 13 year olds at the sight of a woman's boobs.

At what point do people actually start to take responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings and stop blaming a) the devil, b) women, c) the West? Wasn't the hijab meant to have men see women as equals and not ogle their boobs? Doesn't seem to work, does it? Instead, it's abused as a tool of oppression because these "pious" neanderthals can't handle their own sexuality. I have no problem with women wearing the hijab, as long as it's their choice, but let's be honest... Where there's a will, there's a way. Instead of ogling boobs, they're ogling ankles. If they can't see the ankles, they'll find something else. Why do you think so many Arabic love songs feature women's eyes? Partly because we've got sexy, sexy peepers, but also because men will sexualize whatever they possibly can, and there's nothing wrong with that! We're sexual creatures! But to infringe upon the freedom of others is what I find unacceptable.

Why do people always seek to externalize responsibility like this? It's actually possible to have an inner moral compass without blaming others for our own submissions to temptation. Really. It's not the chocolate's fault that I desire it. It's mine. I then have the choice to act on my impulse. Is the chocolate mine? Yes? Would taking it infringe on the rights of others? No? It's now a healthy contribution to my growing thighs and belly.

Sorry that this rant derailed at some point... I'm multi-tasking to an absolute extreme.

Friday, October 16, 2009

BBC NEWS | Wales | Text drive film to 'shock' pupils

It's so easy to get me choked up... But PSA's often get me because they're so real. This was horrifyingly real and I think all teenagers who drive or intend to drive should be made to watch it. And possibly get therapy afterwards...




more about "BBC NEWS | Wales | Text drive film to...", posted with vodpod

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sour Water Flavor EP



An old pen pal shared this with me on Facebook, and I thought it was charming. It's a perfect candidate to make the Internet rounds as it's very "now" what with the use of webcams and the web's ability to shrink this blue-green globe of ours.

I just wish I understood the lyrics...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cookstr


Okay, so I guess I'm more easily influenced by advertising than I'd care to admit, but this one came from the lovely lips of Padma Lakshmi (I'm sorry, but refer to exhbit-freaking-A above), and I'm only human. Cookstr.com looks like a fun place to explore. My husband already made the chicken breasts stuffed with fresh figs and goat cheese which turned out lovely. He found the recipe when searching for anything that included two of our favorite ingredients: goat cheese and bacon. Yup, there's bacon involved. Feel free to omit that portion, my kosher and halal friends. It's still freaking amazing. Turkey bacon may provide the salty element, but I can't say if it would really work well.

I like that you can search by chef, too, though their catalog seems a little limited at the moment. I searched for some highly visible celebrity chefs, and not all of them came up.

I'll share updates on any recipes which turn out well. I keep wanting to add to the blog I share with Gila, Give Peas a Chance, but then I realized all the recipes I like to make are fattening as hell. Maybe I should change the criteria for the posts on the blog...

Failing to Fail.

I have some concerns about the direction that public education is currently taking. I suppose not all public schools are following this route, but I can speak of the experiences I am witnessing…

Kids with special needs have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). IEPs document the strengths and weaknesses of each child who qualifies, with goals they need to aim for (academically and/or behaviorally) and what supports they need to accomplish those goals. In order to level the playing field, they are given supports above and beyond what the average kid can get in order to be just as successful. If they need two days to be able to do what everyone else can do in one, they get it. If they need someone to read the questions to them in order to understand them as well as their peers would, they get that.

So what happens when ALL kids are entitled to those supports too? Should ALL students have IEPs? If the definition of success is measured against every single child’s unique set of strengths/weaknesses/progress, what does a graduation from high school really mean? We are being asked to provide such supports for ALL kids and the implication is that it would be perfectly possible for a student who does not have a disability at all to graduate high school with the same set of skills and learning as a child who is mentally retarded.

This ties in nicely with giving students the mistaken impression that they may have second, third, fourth, fifth chances every time they behave inappropriately, never teaching them that sometimes life doesn’t give you a second chance for you to sit back and willfully fuck up the first time. It gets so bad that these kids think they’re having a whale of a time goofing off, knowing that they’ll have plenty of opportunities to do it again and again until the teacher is finally able to get them to pass, get it right, or behave appropriately. Even better, they might be taken under the wing of a kind hearted administrator or counselor and feel even more empowered to continue to “express themselves” and simply run back under that wing anytime any other adult takes them to task. And EVEN BETTER, they may be given rewards that well behaved students are not given the opportunity to experience because the na├»ve hope is that if you give gifts and prizes to the badly behaved child you’re bonding with them and going to somehow remedy a deeply ingrained persistent problem.

By all means, take into account individuality, but to eliminate basic standards of expectation is not an act of kindness and sympathy. It cheats the kids. It provides them with subpar educational experiences and robs them of the successful future they may have had if their violent behavior had NOT been treated lightly, had they been expected to show up on time and every day, had they been expected to learn to make fewer mistakes rather than wait for the next chance to roll around AGAIN.

I think all teachers need to watch The First 48 more often. Look where we are sending our kids to after graduation. They don’t have the skills or the etiquette to get the better jobs, they don’t have the self control to stay out of trouble, and they definitely don’t see the wrong in their actions because they were also taught and handled on their terms.

I dread the day I read the news and see the names of the ones who have “anger issues”. The ones who we had to tread lightly around for fear of setting them off, who were forgiven for their outbursts and their violence time and again because they were never expected to actually control their anger or were never given the medication they needed to be able to do so.

The key is to use knowledge of the kids to raise them up to some sort of predetermined standard set for all kids. They may reach it, they may not, but having a universal goal to work towards and measure them against isn’t evil. We must always bear their futures in mind, and not be so shortsighted as to simply worry about dragging their butts through the next few years of school.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Summer Heights High

Chris Lilley is fantastic. Jonah is so hilarious and tragic and real... I think I taught him once. You have to watch the whole series to really bond with the kid. (Note to my peeps, I've got the series on DVD, e-mail me if you want to borrow it.)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Someone's Hot for Teacher.

Thanks for texting me how you feel


The other day, I found two of my colleagues giggling over a phone.

TeacherLady: Oh, Ms. LogisticsQueen, you haven't been sent anymore provocative text messages, have you?

I said this in jest, but was referring to an actual incident a couple of years ago where she had foolishly left her cell phone on her desk, allowing a particularly creepy student to get her phone number and subsequently send her some messages of the horny variety. This is the same kid who tried to touch my left boob by inching his hand closer and closer to it as I leaned forward to help a student sitting opposite me. I kept inching away, his hand kept advancing, until I ended up leaning so far to the right, I looked like I was attempting a particularly challenging yoga pose. I think I'll dub it the "Avoiding Purvy Paws Pose".

Anyway, it turned out I was fairly accurate.

Ms. LogisticsQueen: Just take a look at this.

Now, I know these new iPhones come with screens that are fairly sizable, and that's usually a good thing, but I really regretted that fact when I came face-to-face with a downward perspective shot of an erect penis in the grip of the photographer/artiste's right hand. An attached message read "Thinking of you..."

TeacherLady: Oh... OH! What? You could have just TOLD me... Oh man... Did you have to hold it that close to my face?

Apparently, just before I came in, she had held her phone up to HotAsianBabe who only saw a blank screen and caused some great confusion when asking "Is it yours?", referring to the phone and not the picture that had already vanished from the screen. After having two very different conversations between them, they finally cleared things up just before I arrived.
What's even funnier is the response from our head of security, whereupon seeing the telephoned-and-texted todger asked "Do you recognize him?" Obviously, he meant the shoes, but she made certain to clear any supposition that she may be able to identify strange men, and possibly a student, by pointing out their peckers.

We should probably text this guy back and thank him for the many laughs we had at his expense. Not the reaction he had probably hoped for, but he gave us some pleasure anyway. I laughed so hard I cried at subsequent conversations where we all asked her if she opened the picture up periodically, if it's her new screen saver etc... I love my colleagues.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Women For Women International


Please consider donating to one of my favorite charities: Women for Women International. Until October 31st, your donations will be matched dollar for dollar, making your gift even more meaningful. Your money will be used to help women in war torn countries help themselves to improve their status and reconstruct their own societies.

If you give, I will do a happy dance for you. Oh, and you’ll change the life of a woman, her family, and her community. Whichever is more fulfilling, you decide.


When Adults FAIL.


I’m noticing a pattern here. While I don’t mean to remove all responsibility from the hands of the kids, I have to take a look at the adults for a moment. In most messed up kids’ pasts or presents, you can usually identify some adult/s who has/have failed them. Those who were victims of abuse or neglect, those whose teachers gave up on them, those who were punished more than taught, and those whose school psychologists suck copious amounts of ass on a regular basis. I also point an accusing finger at the system that allows students to graduate high school thinking they can continue to behave the way they did all throughout their educational career because they were never sufficiently taught to do otherwise. We’re not being kind by doing that, we’re destroying them.

I was doing my best not to bitch about my colleagues, because Flying Spaghetti Monster knows I’m not perfect, but when certain lines are crossed- whereby an adult actively harms the best interests of the kids- I have very little patience or tolerance.

So let’s take into consideration our school psychologist. The man who took a whole year to identify a kid I was helping as having special needs, and when he finally did “test” the kid, he asked me which label we might want to go with, as though we could arbitrarily pull one out of one of our collective orifices. I know he doesn’t have a freaking clue how to do his job, so I pointedly responded with “Well, what did your TESTING say…?” I would have asked to see his documentation, but I probably would have had a hard time reading his handwriting with it being written in crayon and all.

Said “psychologist” has reached new heights of detriment to our students. There is a girl who showed obvious signs of having major mental and emotional concerns and a fellow colleague took two hours to convince the mother of the need for assessment. She finally agreed. The psychologist then had to be included in the follow-up meeting as it is HIS JOB to get the ball rolling with assessments and collection of data etc. He decides to try to flex his impotent muscles by sucking air through his teeth and saying it might be a bit early to jump to the conclusion that she needs help. The mother leapt onto this and agreed that she always just felt her child was just a bit emotional, and that there was nothing out of the ordinary about her behaviors.

This is how he does his job: By avoiding it. Sometimes, I think the effort he puts into avoiding certain aspects of it seems more time consuming than actually doing them. He has failed that child to a monumental degree and he is so self-absorbed and narcissistic that he doesn’t see how damaging his laziness is. That girl’s needs will not be formally identified, she will be misunderstood, she will get herself into trouble both in relationships and with the law, and she will undoubtedly be an unstable mother some day and probably pass on her misunderstood mental instability onto her kids either through their upbringing and/or her genes. By not knowing her own problems, she won’t be able to understand and help those of her own kids either. He may not be the sole reason her future is as bleak as it will probably be, but he is a CONTRIBUTOR to it.

There are far more horrific stories that I don’t care to go in to in which adults fail kids to monumental degrees, but it’s horrifying me to realize that the bad guys aren’t always the more obvious ones such as the child rapists or the parents who beat their children… They come in the form of people whose jobs are to help these kids, but instead fall short through poor qualifications, apathy, laziness, and/or simple mistake, and even ones who are malicious in their intents and it gives these poor kids even less of a chance of climbing out of the black holes known as their “futures”.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TeacherLady Philosophizes For a Moment.

Each year, I notice trends amongst the groups of kids as they migrate up to the high school. One group was particularly strong in math, but not so hot in the English department, one group had fun attitudes, but not a lot of math or English skills, but this year shall be known for sheer anger and inability to relate appropriately to other human beings!

I see angry kids every year, there’s no doubt about it, but this is definitely the year of the Angry Child in my neck of the woods. While I’m empathetic and sympathetic to an unholy degree, I’m also handcuffing myself quite nicely in terms of how much I can actually teach these kids.

So… The kid didn’t sleep last night because of all this crap going on at home and he tells you so and gets mad when you tell him he can’t sleep in class. I can’t tell him off, and I can't tell him to lift his head up for the billionth time. Do I give up and let him sleep? Do I let him make up the assignment each time this happens? When does it become a boy cries wolf situation? What do the other students think when they see this?

So… Another kid experienced a great trauma a week and a half ago and it has resulted in her completely losing it with staff and students almost daily, cussing and verging on coming to blows, disrupting classes and hallways. We’re told to give her more space, which I can understand, but what kind of credibility do we have amongst our students when they see their teacher get yelled at, called names, and sworn at by a student, only to see that the student receives no consequence?

So… The kid brings no materials to school because money is tight at home. We buy the materials for him, only for him to lose them more than once and get mad when you tell them you can’t keep buying them replacements, so he refuses to work. This isn’t just a case of his not bringing in a pencil, it’s school books, book bags, calculators, etc. I can have a trade plan set up for pencils, whereby he has to leave me collateral if he wants to borrow a pencil, but I can’t do it for other materials consistently.

These kids DO deserve sympathy and our understanding, but on a superficial level I have to get these kids to pass the state test, and on a more significant level, I have to prepare them for the real world. Will the world be forgiving for the cussing and the fighting because they’ve got “anger issues, you know that, so get outta my face”? Will the world read things for them because they graduated high school with the reading level of an elementary student at best? And I’m not talking exclusively about the students with special needs at all, but even those kids will be held accountable for their actions (or inactions) in the work place, unless they’re bagging at Krogers. Are we perpetuating the dependency on Welfare every time we buy them the same things over and over for which they fail to take ownership and responsibility?

Aren’t we, instead, dooming these kids to a life of dependency, mediocrity (at best), poverty because they can’t keep down a decent job even if they GET a DECENT job, and even jail time? Have we lost sight of the fact that after four years, they actually leave the shelter of our building and have to go out into the Big Bad World? It depresses the hell out of me.

While I’m a bit of a “fiscal conservative” this isn’t my whining that I don’t want to be paying for them to sit around so much as my feeling heartbroken at the loss of potential, hope, and chances for happiness for these young people. Even when some of us DO care enough to try our damnedest to pave their ways with opportunity after opportunity to succeed, it’s often OTHER ADULTS who whip those paving stones right out from under the kids…

I’m talking about the teacher who intentionally provokes the fragile student to get him kicked out (sorry, folks, it happens), I’m talking about the teachers who fail to communicate what they know about the kids to others (more on this later), or the people who heard the words of warning and failed to act, to the psychologist who takes his sweet-ass time to get a kid identified as having special needs because the truth is he has no fucking clue how to do his job, to the parent who ignored or abused their child, to the doctor who didn’t want to put a name to the child’s mental condition because he didn’t want the kid to have such a harsh label attached to him at such a young age but then doesn’t suggest a follow up evaluation later on in the kid’s life…

These kids are being failed by adults over and over and I’ve had enough of it. I refuse to contribute to their failure, but at the same time I realize I’m part of a bigger team, and if the team doesn’t work together, the whole structure falls apart and you’ve got more kids headed to untreated mental illnesses and lives of crime, perpetuating the cycle that came before and will come after them for many generations.

Here’s my proposal. A period can be offered to include the following: Anger management, relationship building, coping skills, and study skills. I’d even include some etiquette lessons. All year long. The class would include goal setting for each student based on their particular need/s and this would be shared with all the students’ teachers. This class would be optional unless the student receives more than three days of out of school suspension, in which case it would be compulsory. Maybe it could be wrangled in such a way that the kids could earn an elective credit for it.

Whaddya think?

I've got so little free time, so forgive me if this could have done with a lot more editing.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Obama's Speech to the Students

There. That wasn't so bad, was it? I may not subscribe to Obama's domestic policies, but I think his role as president of this country gives him the right to address our students if he so wishes. I may not agree with the man, but it doesn't mean I don't show him a certain level of respect. I may have been troubled if he had said something during that speech that I felt was out of place, or bearing an ulterior motive, but I would have let my students watch it, if they wished, and let them agree or disagree of their own accord. I don't believe in censoring that kind of material from my students. They're going to believe what their parents believe for the most part, anyway.

Too bad his words of wisdom regarding students taking responsibility for their own successes and futures fell on deaf ears as my one student I had at that time announced: "Man, he boring. How long he gonna talk for? Can I go get a drink of water?" It's also a shame that his speech was timed right when I was working one-on-one with this student who is farthest behind on ALL her subjects AND failed to inspire her on top of that.

I guess he should have had Michael Bay direct his speech and Danny Elfman do the score. Ew. Danny Elfman, NEVER work for Michael Bay. Please. Actually, let's make that a general rule. NO ONE should work for Michael Bay. Maybe then he'll stop making movies.

Anyway, back to the case in point, here's the transcript of the speech if you didn't get to hear it. I had hoped it would have been a little more dynamic to capture the interest of the students who REALLY needed to hear it, but oh well. It was a nice thought.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Teachers: How to Look Like a Complete Moron



It's sad that I am not at all surprised that people like this not only exist, but managed to get a teaching license too. Why? How? They must be seriously desperate for bodies.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yeesh.

It's not been that great a week. First, my parents-in-law had to put down one of their beloved dogs, then my father-in-law collaped and had to have a pacemaker put in, and now one of our own dog's goes and has what I can only presume is a stroke.
A short while ago, I had read a horrifying account of someone whose dog rapidly deteriorated neurologically to the point that he could do nothing but walk in circles incessently until she finally conceded to have the poor thing put down. Seeing our old dog inexplicably walk backwards in the most odd way then fall wildly over my daughter's empty bouncy chair before he collapsed onto his side was a terrifying reminder of that article. Would he be similarly compelled to move in an unnatural way until we would finally set aside our selfishness to let him go?

Did I really have to finally accept that our old dog, the dog my husband and step-son had before I joined the family, is really on his way out? His many grey muzzle hairs and gradually slowing gait when hobbling up the stairs to our room at night are painful reminders of his advancing age, and I've said many times that I knew his time must be coming soon, but saying the words and actually being prepared for it are two entirely different things. I thought if I said it enough, I'd actually be prepared. If I was so damn prepared for the inevitable, why are my eyes brimming with tears every time I look over at him to make sure his belly is still rising and falling?

My father-in-law recovered beautifully from his operation, thankfully, so the news isn't all bad. I suppose being so sheltered thus far in my life has lead me to dwell on the few instances of hardship more than I should. I think of my own father. He died alone. He was in bed, so I pray death came to him in his sleep, but he was alone, damn it.

My uncle's partner was luckier, I suppose. He died with my uncle, his ex-wife with whom he still had an amicable relationship, and his son, all there by his side. He was surrounded by people who loved him very much, and I think he knew it. I had just arrived in the country the day before he died, so I wasn't there for him either.

I guess it's the death of one and the reminder of mortality in two others over the past week has given me some reason to feel a little crappy. I wish I believed in an afterlife. If I really believed in heaven, I'd cry so few tears for the people I lose in this life... I wonder why people who say they believe in the afterlife cry so much when they lose a loved one? I'm assuming they don't fear the said loved one is headed for hell, but if they really believed they were headed for all the milk and honey of some deity's garden, where no pain or suffering is known, why not rejoice? That would surely overrule any feelings of simply missing the person until they are to be reuinted, wouldn't it? I don't mean to insult believers, I've just always wondered that.

I'm afraid to laugh or smile, as though I'm tempting some sort of bad karma upon the ones I love. Ironic, I know.

I think I'll re-read a moving letter I got from a student to remind myself I do actually have some power to do good in this world.

Man, I'm such a downer. Sorry.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Song That Make Me Melancholy

Those Were the Days- Mary Hopkin


You've got to see this version too! Leningrad Cowboys rock.


Two Little Boys- Rolf Harris


Sinead does a touching a capella version too...


Zombie- The Cranberries


One Tin Soldier- The Original Caste


Runaway Train- Soul Asylum


Hazard- Richard Marx (embedding not permitted for the actual music video, so it's one of those annoying youtube montages...)


Theme from Dot and the Kangaroo (STILL makes me tear up)


99 Red Balloons- Nena


Screaming at the Wailing Wall- Flogging Molly


Rainbow Connection- Jim Henson


Fast Car- Tracy Chapman (and this isn't even the song she wrote about a guy beating his woman to death...)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Songs that Make me BEAM

And I don't just mean crack a small smile, I mean smile like I not only find global poverty, child abuse, wars, and famine have all come to an end but I've also got another Lion chocolate bar on my snack shelf.

Mr. Blue Sky- E.L.O.


Pure Imagination- Gene Wilder


Wake Up Boo!- Boo Radleys



Everybody Needs Somebody- The Blues Brothers. (Actually, just about the whole soundtrack of that movie delights me. Dan Ackroyd was so damn cute.)


Blue Skies- Betty Hutton (Ella's version is amazing too. Oh yeah, Brent Spiner too...)


Everybody Wants to be a Cat- Scatman Crothers & Phil Harris.


I Wanna Be Like You- Louis Prima


Bare Necessities- Phil Harris


Come on Eileen- Dexy's Midnight Runners


Disco 2000- Pulp (sorry, better copies were not embeddable...)

Still Here. Sort Of.

Taking another online M. Ed. class online. Work started. Pets need feeding. So do I. Really want to get into that hot tub we've got. Talking. In. Short. Shatner. Sentences.

I shall attempt to return with a little more regularity at some point. In the mean time, here's a story to inform my fellow educators of how NOT to handle delicate circumstances involving children... This story is for you, my favorite hot blue-eyed science teacher who I promised I wouldn't do posts like this, but I lied. This story is set in the past, so I'm willing to forgive if such instances STAY in the past and are never repeated again. Ever.

RatherLoudScienceTeacher: (marches into special ed. classroom. A few students are working silently with their special ed. teachers nearby.) Well, I can tell you right now who's going to fail. THAT one, THAT one, and DEFINITELY HER. I know, I know... She was raped an' all, but she's just not making any effort in my class."

Yes. You read that last line correctly. Yes, this teacher did say all this loud enough for all the students and adults in the room to hear. No, it is not based on some sort of "tough love" educational philosophy espoused by Ruby Payne.

I may tease my students, I may make fun of some of the silly things they say, but I LOVE my students. I respect my students' strengths and needs. I may not always understand them, but I sure as hell want to be there for them and do the best I can to help them be successful. I may not always be the best adult for them, and so I honor any adult they can interact with better than they can with me. I so hope this teacher proves to have grown since that incident. I think growth goes a long way towards making up for something like that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

In the Night Kitchen

My daughter adores a rather bizarre little tale- In the Night Kitchen written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak of Where The Wild Things Are fame. It came across to me as a bit of an acid trip, but not all stories have to have glaringly obvious moral lessons (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, anyone?) and I found it rather charming that he dared to include innocent child nudity which freaked out enough people to have it pulled from some library shelves.

Here's an amusing reading of the story performed by Owen from Dad Labs. I shared a lot of his thoughts when I first read the book, except that the bakers didn't look like fat Hitlers to me... I just saw Oliver Hardy. However, I totally felt the same way about the "Cock-a-doodle-do!" bit...

Psychoville

My husband and I have been following the British dark comedy Psychoville and were sufficiently impressed even before seeing the fourth episode, which just totally raised the bar. Right from the get go, the inspiration for the episode is obvious to any Hitchcock fan. What I really loved was that the creators (and performers) of Psychoville took on board what Hitchcock could not, due to technological limitations of his time- A true continuous shot of the whole episode. The "ballet" performed by actors, boom mic. operators, lighting people, camera men, and crew who swoop in to move furniture out of the way and back again is quite impressive. It only serves as a reminder of how much more impressive it was back when shows were aired live and actors similarly had only one take to get it right, as well as stage actors who do it every day.


Above is a brief documentary on said episode.

Riding on the popularity of Lost's collection of counterfeit yet realistic company websites to add realism to the world created on the show, Psychoville has its own- all linked to from the official BBC website under "The World of Psychoville".

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back to School Special



Laugh as much as you want, I've seen enough kids return to school having gotten knocked up over the summer... I think this Back to School special may not have been accidental.

Why the Fuck Do You have a Kid?



There have been plenty of times this thought popped into my head... So this website offers up many examples that will inspire the same question in yours.
Why the Fuck Do you Have a Kid?
(Damn, that website no longer exists... What a loss....)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

VD is for Everybody!

Who knew? I thought it only belonged to skanky meth whores, but apparently we can ALL get in on the action!



And speaking of meth... (Thanks, Tim)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

PG Porn





Nathan Fillion! "And by my hammer, I mean my penis..." I loved Dr. Horrible... And Firefly... And Nathan...


I like how the porn stars actually seem to be genuinely enjoying the experience of making these shorts:

Alternate Ending for The Wizard of Oz

We turned on the TV and Thriller was playing. Before I could reach for the remote, my three year old daughter got an eyeful of Michael Jackson turning into a werewolf, in all his Rick Baker-esque grotesque glory.

As I mentally calculated the cost of her impending therapy, she continued to watch the music video with a great amount of interest and even delight, and so... I let her. I taught her the word "zombies" and she totally denied that Michael was a boy. She's going to grow up thinking Thriller is a kinky lesbo-horror music video. So we decided to show her The Wizard of Oz, thinking the creepy Wicked Witch of the West would be just as appealing for her... Turns out, she's scarier!

Anyway, here's a video I happened to come across... Dorothy has a point, there:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson.

Good lord. Michael Jackson died. Though, frankly, he died for me a long time ago... I'm guessing this isn't some sort of weird hoax...
Man, he used to be so cool. I wanted that red jacket so badly.

Flashbacks of the Fecal Kind

It's funny starting all over again. The late night feedings, the weird evolution of the poo (resulting in rolicking games of "Guess What Color the Poo is Now?"), trying to remember to take fifty-billion things along with us even on the "simplest" of outings... But it really is the diaper experience which really brings back some fond memories of the first time I went through all this.

I recall with particular fondness the 2am feeding and diaper change which resulted in my daughter projecting a glob of yellow poo at least two and a half feet onto the carpet before I was able to get the second diaper positioned in time. I am pretty proud to say I wasn't upset, so much as frantic to get the stain up before it set in. I have since adopted the Speedy Switch technique to avoid repeats.

Another highlight of my diaper career involved the time a little bit of said yellow poo snuck out of the "leak proof diaper" onto my daughter's onesie near the poppers at her crotch. I scrubbed at it with a wipe and was pretty pleased with the results. Even my overly paranoid first-time-mother eyes could not detect the slightest mark on her onesie. Then I lifted her bottom up to put the new diaper underneath her, only to then find that the majority of her poo had, in fact, evaded her diaper completely and oozed its way up her back, leaving a fabulously enormous poo stain right above her diaper. Shit. Literally.

Good times, good times...

Every one has a good poo story, be it their own or that of their offspring. Please feel free to share, it won't gross me out. I've become strangely ambivalent towards excrement. It's great how one's standards can drop...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quick Update.

My mum's in town, so blogging has taken even more of a backseat than when the baby arrived. It's now so far in the backseat, it's in the trunk. I figure you're all big boys and girls who are not so sad as to get your exclusive kicks here, so I'm not worried.

With way too much to do, too few hands with which to do it all, and breasts that spontaneously lactate for many, many reasons, I now tend to get a lot done looking like a freaking T-Rex with my forearms pressed against my boobs.

I got Rock Band 2. Pity the children who will have to hear my singing as well as my cursing my way through the drumming.

My new child is bent on getting into the Guinness Book of Records for being the fattest little tyke known to man. She looks like a short mafia don, what with the little baldish head and cheeks that put Winston Churchill to shame.

I saw my belly dance instructor perform a couple of days ago and it brought tears to my eyes because I miss dancing and feeling the beat. Then I look down and see the little pooch of a belly and realize I've GOT to get back to it. But with a more concealing outfit this time around...

I pumped just so I could have a little wine at a tasting in a wine store. I got slightly drunk. Hey, I'm a light weight AND they gave generous samples. I'm a cheap date.

Life is still damn good. Here's a music video to chill out to. Enjoy: