Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bargain Mocking

WooHoo! Gas for $2.26 per gallon! What a bargain! IF you buy
it. The line was too long. We continued on our way, and got it for
$2.31 per gallon. I know. For that 15 gallons I bought to top off
the tank of the large SUV, I gave up 75 cents by refusing to wait
in line. I'm a math teacher now, y'know.

While I was pumping the gas, a gang of young ruffians hiked past
on the busy road. I don't know what they were up to. I had just
passed them about a half mile back, and they were holding hands
and acting goofy. Cars honked at them, and people hooted out
car windows. I'm sure they were doing something inappropriate.
Then one shouted, "Mrs. Hillbilly Mom!!!" and started running
at me with arms outstretched. No wonder celebrities loathe their
fans. I was a bit concerned. I didn't want to hug this young ruffian,
but he seemed to have that objective.

He was a former student who didn't come to school much. I last
saw him in 6th grade, when he was talking about quitting. Yeah.
Then he supposedly moved. He said he was walking to McDonald's
to get an application. Some people choose their futures early in
life, I suppose. I wished him well. Too bad he didn't stick in school
a little longer, to hear that you shouldn't take a gang of young
ruffians with you to apply for a job.

There were no signs of the puppies we wanted this morning, or this
afternoon. I guess now I'll have to haunt the Wal*Marts, looking
for people with cardboard boxes. The pet carrier was still in the
car today, just in case. Every time we spoke of the puppies, its
door clanged shut. I told the boys, "It MOCKS us!" Either that,
or my driving was a bit erratic.

We found another dead mouse on the porch when we got home.
Perhaps this is a sign. A sign that we don't need a living, breathing,
chew-toy for Doggie Ann.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good News, Bad News

Good news. Bad news. Hillbilly Mom edition.

GOOD NEWS: On the way to school this morning, we saw 5
black puppies scampering across the low water bridge on the
county road. One dived over the side, two stayed put, and two
ran back across to the other side. We called HH to see if we
could have one if they were still there on the way home.
He said ONE.

We crossed the bridge on the way home. No puppies in sight.
Then one ran out of the weeds to the edge of the road. #1 son
said he wouldn't hold it. He wanted to go home and get the pet
carrier. That took about 10 minutes, because the boy fiddled
and faddled before loading the pet carrier.

BAD NEWS: We went back, parked in sombody's field, since
the road there is almost one-lane, and looked for the puppies.
Not a one was seen or heard. No rustling, no whimpering,
nothing. They disappeared into thin air, after being there for
10 hours today. DOGGONE it! I had my heart set on a puppy.
As #2 told HH when we got home, "And I promised Grizzly
I'd bring him a puppy."

GOOD NEWS: HH has been waiting for months for one of his
Case Knife Collector Trucks. He has a whole set. Every year
they send out a new one to members of this 'club'. This year,
he didn't get one. A couple days ago, he got a postcard saying
they had left the zip codes off some of the notices, and if he still
wanted one, to call. HH did. He was excited that he could still
get one.

BAD NEWS: HH went to pay for repairs on his 1980 Oldsmobile
Toronado (pimp car) this evening. #1 was in his room, and #2
was watching TV in the living room. I was in my basement lair.
I went upstairs to give #2 some Tylenol Cough and Cold, and
stepped out on the porch. Doggie Ann was in the front yard
amidst a pile of trash, happily munching away. I called #1 out
to see what his dog had drug out of the neighbor's yard now.
*****It was HH's Case Knife Collector Truck. *****

#1 son said he had heard UPS drop off something on the porch.
HH's older son, in Iraq, has been having packages sent here.
Don't ask me why. It's too long a story. I do not like the whole
set-up. Anyhoo, we have been getting a couple packages a
week left on our porch. We bring them in when we get home.

Apparently, Doggie Ann saw this one and thought, "How sweet!
My people have ordered me a new chewy thing! I love them
OH SO MUCH, even if they DID run over my brother. I shall
have a heyday with this new chewy thing! It's so much better
than that old bag of moldy potatoes!"

She had chewed through the cardboard shipping box, the inner
box with the nice (formerly nice) picture of the truck, and had
taken out the certificate of authenticity, the knife itself in its own
small box, the packing slip, and some bubble wrap. Not one
to go for the appetizers, our Ann was chomping away on that
truck inside the plastic thingy that holds it in the box. You know.
So it won't get damaged during shipping.

#1 son grabbed the truck, gasping "It's Dad's collector truck!!!"
The dog frolicked about, OH SO HAPPY that we had come
to play with her new chewy. I was NOT SO HAPPY. I put
the chewed-up box to her nose, and shouted NO and BAD
DOG. She slunk away. I thought she had learned a lesson.
Then I turned and saw her snatch up a piece of bubble wrap
and take it up on the porch for dessert.

I told #1, "If we had only brought her a puppy, she would have
been playing with him."

And #1 replied, "She would have eaten him."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Groundhog Day in August

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Not the real Groundhog Day. Silly
people! Everybody knows the real Groundhog Day is Mabel's son's
birthday. Oh, and it's in February.

No, tomorrow is Groundhog Day in my classes. Like the Bill Murray
Groundhog Day. Everything repeats itself. That's because my mathies
didn't get the lesson. None of the 3 classes got it. 3 different classes,
3 different maths. It can't be me...can it?

One class can't add and subtract positive and negative numbers.
"Can we use a calculator?" Duh. That's why you can't do it now.
Too many homework assignments with the contraband calculator.
I told them I could teach a MONKEY to add and subtract on
a calculator. Sure, maybe it would have to be Coco, the gorilla,
but it could be done. This gosh-darn newfangled math! It is SOOO
confusing. Tomorrow we will do our lesson using Mr. Number
Line. It was good enough back in my day. And WE know how
to add and subtract, by cracky. We did it that way, and we
LIKED IT! OK, not really. We merely tolerated it, but we know
how to do it now.

Another class can't write algebraic expressions from words. Like:
Three less than the product of 5 and a number is 17. What? You
can't do it either? Prepare the handbaskets for immediate departure!
It would help if they knew that a product is not the answer you get
when you add. This class is actually my most promising. By the
end of the hour, with much help, the light bulb goes on over a few

The class de resistance is the one that can't solve equations. Don't
think I'm being hard on them. It is new to them. But it is a skill they
need at this grade level. I took it slow. They said the regular math
teacher had not gone over it yet. OK. Then she will tomorrow,
because I plan my classes according to the skill she is teaching
that day. She did mention that one class was a day behind. I gave
them the benefit of the doubt. I spent all hour working them on
the board, with part of the class volunteering to come up and give
it a try.

Here's my issue. From the beginning, I heard.

"We haven't done that."
"I can't do it."
"I don't get it."
"Still don't get it."
"What's that noise?"
"Is that a phone?"
"What's that beeping?"
"It's not me."
"It's in your folder."
"No it isn't."
"I still don't get it."
"Is that you beeping?"
"NO! It is coming from over there."
"Do we have to write down the answers to those on the board?"
"I didn't get them!"
"I still don't get it."

So Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had to give them a little lecture about five
minutes into class. Don't worry about the beeping. Since it's so
distracting, tomorrow I'll send you to the principal one at time
until we figure out who it is. It's too bad you don't get it, since
we will stay on this until you DO get it. That's what this class is
for. Did you think that you could throw up your hands and say
'I don't get it' and it would go away? Oh, no. You will have this
for the next five years. We can't just go on because you 'don't
get it.' In fact, we will do this very same worksheet again
Only YOU will do it, not me. And I will collect
this one with the
answers SOME of you have written down.

"But I won't be here tomorrow. I have band." From the only one
who really made and effort, and volunteered to work them out.

Don't worry. I'm sure we will still be on the same paper the day
after tomorrow, too. So you won't miss out on the chance to do
it again. We might spend most of the year on it, until you 'get it.'

Oh my goodness. They did not like that at all. And I am going to
bust them for fibbing, because the regular math teacher said she DID
go over it already. I am expecting much more effort tomorrow.

On Groundhog Day.

If you want to check your math skills, the algebraic expression for:
Three less than the product of 5 and a number is 17 is:
5n -3 = 17. And if you care to solve it, n = 4.

No charge for the 8th grade math lesson.
You're welcome.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Headache Hold 'Em Hot Tub

I've had an OH SO MISERABLE day. See what happens when
you mess with Hillbilly Mom's schedule? I can't get things done at
my first building, what with rushing out the door as fast as my
students when the bell rings. Today I had to park behind someone,
and go out to move the car at 3:00. That ain't right. We travellers
need designated parking. It's not like that building has a lot with
umpteen spaces so you can park right next to someone on the
end. There is not enough parking. Not even on the street. The
minute someone parks on the street, the homeowners or house-
renters call the police. Until about 2 years ago, we could park
on the street. It is so bad that teachers in that building get there
around 7:30 a.m. When they don't even have duty! Just to
secure a parking spot.

I've had a headache all day, and when I do the least little thing,
I feel like I can't catch my breath. Plus I've been nauseous all
weekend, even before that catfish extravaganza Saturday night.

The good news is that I had to stop for ice, and the kids clamored
for lottery tickets. They're like baby birds, yammering and opening
their beaks for me to regurgitate scratch-off tickets into their
gullets. I cashed in a $10 winner, and bought them each a $5
ticket. And because I'd had a headache of a day, I rewarded
myself with a $3 and a $2 ticket. I rarely get to play anymore,
what with the offspring and their addiction. I had no hope of
their tickets winning. They don't have good odds on those games
they requested. I was only out $5, what with the cash-in.

My lucky #2 son was disappointed. "Looos-errrr." I think he
meant the ticket, not me. He'd better have, by cracky, or he's
on a fast track to Spankytown. #1 had begged for a Texas
Hold 'Em ticket. Because one type of gambling isn't enough
for him. I told him they don't have good odds. "Well, the last
time you told me that, it won $20." I hate it when he is right.
He scratched and proclaimed that his first hand was a winner.
We've been down this road before. He doesn't exactly know
how to play poker. What kind of a mother do you think I am?
Children should play scratch-offs until they're ready for the
bigtime table games.

By the time we got home, #1 stated that all five of his hands
were winners. Uh huh. And I like my new schedule. I took it
in to check on the Molottery website, and sure enough, he
had five winners. He scratched the prizes. They were $10.
That little rat won $50 on a $5 ticket! Oh, and mine won $6.
WooHoo! $56 off a $5 investment. I've got the fever!

HH has been working on the Free Hairwad Hot Tub. He took
off all his clothes and got in to scrub it. Stop! STOP! Don't try
to picture that! Are you nuts? Whew! I saved you just in time.
The people at the pool place told him something about it. They
said to drain it, and scrub it, and buy $36 worth of cleaner, and
then buy the stuff we use in the pool instead of chlorine. Hmpf!
I told him the same thing, except the part about $36 worth of
cleaner. Maybe he can get rid of that old-people smell.

And maybe he can find that hairwad.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Who's the Boss?

We had a thunderstorm here this morning, while I was in Save-A-
Lot. So what if the ground needs water...I got soaked carrying
out my groceries that I boxed myself. And it IS all about ME.
We have a part of the gravel road that does not deal well with
sudden heavy rain. Perhaps it has something to do with those evil
LandRapers who brought in a large semi flat-bed and another truck
with a trailer loaded with a Bobcat, and gouged all the big rocks
out of the land on the uphill side of the road. D'ya think? There
is nothing to slow the runoff, and all that mud and water washes
a trench across the road. The boys and I call it The Not-So-Grand
Canyon. Lucky for me I have the large SUV.

I saw a green-and-black striped snake in the middle of the blacktop
road in town. You know it's a hard rain when a snake has to crawl
into the middle of the road to keep from drowning. At least the cat
footprints were washed off the large SUV.

I am getting fed up with my houseguests. Oh. I forgot. They're
my family. I have been watching too much Big Brother. Nobody
wants to do anything except lie around and boss me. I don't take
too kindly to that. Here's an example. I went from the laudry room
(on my second load of their clothes) to the kitchen, and saw a
dark brown spot on the floor. There was a chunk of it over by
the wastebasket, too. I called into the living room, "What's with
this brown stuff all over the floor?" To which HH replied, after
a heavy sigh that could have been heard in town, "I guess I'LL
clean it up, even if it isn't mine." Oh, spare me. It was mud. He
knews he was the only one who'd been outside, wearing his waffle-
soled work boots, after rain showers off and on last night. I don't
exactly think we need CSI here. And since when do we only have
to clean up stuff that is ours? I'd like to see that on paper. Because
my work would be cut by 75%, thank you very much. (And no,
the mud wasn't mine. This all happened before I even went to

And another thing about HH. He knew we were going out to eat
last night. An hour before we were supposed to leave, he took
the boys outside, and sat on the steps of the 5th-wheel camper
parked in the front yard while they sweated themselves silly
whacking a baseball around. Then he said they were ready to
go. I told #2 to go wash his face. HH sneered, "I'LL do it," and
marched him off to the bathroom. I heard water running. "Hey,
what are you using to wash his face? I haven't put up the laundry,
and I know you don't have a washcloth." "I have a washcloth.
The one #1 used earlier this morning." EEEEWWWWW!!!!
Is it just me, or do any of you think it is kind of gross to
have someone else's clammy used washcloth scrubbed over
your face? I snatched #2 away, got him a clean washcloth, and
attended to his grooming needs myself. Which I am sure was
HH's plan all along--'If I do it wrong, she won't expect me to
do it again.'

After our meal of catfish, chicken, shrimp, slaw, hushpuppies,
baked beans, onions, pickles, fries, and sauces, we were not
too full for dessert. We drove through Wendy's for a Frosty,
#2 son's new favorite treat. HH had never had one. He claimed
that he didn't even know there was a Wendy's in the area. It
has been here at least 5 years. We told HH the Frosty comes with
a spoon, but is better through a straw, like a shake. Only thing
is, it takes about a half-hour to melt enough to drink it. Did HH
listen to us? You know the answer. He tried and tried to suck
that thick chocolatey goodness up a straw. He tried so hard,
he swerved the car across the center lane 15 or 20 times. Oh,
I forgot. He does that anyway. He collapsed the straw. He
almost sucked his brain down that straw, I think. Finally, he
said, "This might be good if I could get it out." Duh. All he had
to do was set it in the cupholder until we were almost home.
The rest of us did it. HH said he didn't want to use the spoon
because then he wouldn't be able to drive. Right.

Now I am exhausted from complaining about HH. It is totally
his fault, don't you think? He has not learned the lesson I have
been trying to teach him for the last...a lot of...years:

When there is Bossing to be done, I am the Bosser, and he is
the Bossee.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fantasize With Hillbilly Mom

I said WITH, people. Not ABOUT. Fantasize WITH me.
I just finished reading I Love You More Than You Know, by
Jonathan Ames. I read it in the bathroom, which is no comment
on the writing of Mr. Ames, and perhaps more than you need to
know, but I'm all about the truth here at the Mansion. The altered,
anonymous truth, which I see fit to write.

It was a pretty good book, as this type of book goes, thought I
didn't laugh out loud at it like I did with Hollis Gillespie's Bleachy-
Haired Honky Bitch, or Paul Fieg's Kick Me: Adventures in
Adolescence. However, I'm not writing a book-review column,
so let's get back to my original idea.

Mr. Ames lists some of his favorite fantasies, such as rescuing a
woman from an attacker, rescuing kids from a burning building,
and become a middle-aged star baseball player. OK, so the
baseball player fantasy was first on his list. But it started me
thinking of what everyday people dream of. Do they have big
dreams, or little dreams? Hey! They're your dreams! You can
be the Queen of England if you wish! Except that she's really
not all that attractive, and she's getting on in years, and she has
those annoying Corgis, but still, that might be somebody's

Mine are not so grand. Let's take the rest of today's post to
discuss them. But it's probably going to be a one-sided kind of
discussion, since it's MY blog, and it's the weekend, and not
many people are going to read it or comment on it. Here they
are, in no particular order:

I win the lottery. HH has no say in how we spend it. I pay off all
the bills, and give some of it away to people who deserve it,
but haven't asked for it. Once they ask me, I don't want to give
it to them. I give some to people who work hard and get little
thanks or compensation for the jobs they do. I give some to
students or former students who I think were dealt a rough hand
in life, and can use the money to make successes of themselves.
I use some to buy actual working computers for some of the
classrooms at school. The ones who are always overlooked,
and get stuff from the computer graveyard. After giving some
to HH to buy the tractors and cars and gadgets he wants
because he didn't have enough toys as a kid, I give some to
my boys for electronic stuff that they crave. Then I stick the
rest in the bank. I will live in the same house (it's a mansion, you
know) and work until the end of the school year. Because that's
the kind of gal I am, and I wouldn't want my teaching license
revoked for breaking my contract and quitting in the middle of
the year, because what if we got a bad accountant, and he
took all the money and bought a circus? Oops! That's a sitcom
episode from the show where I got that quote: "I have a thirst
for knowledge. In fact, I yearn for it."

Fantasy Two: I check into a casino for a week, and play to my
heart's content. I don't have to answer to anybody, but I take a
friend so I will have companionship during meal times. We will
have separate rooms, because I want to snore without worrying
that I am a nuisance. And I can't have somebody following me
all around the casino. It cramps my style. I don't really care if
I win. I don't even have to conjure up fantasy money to play.
I just want the time to do what I want, when I want, and not
have to take care of anybody.

Fantasy Three: I write a book that people simply love, but I
don't have to do any work promoting it, and I use a psuedonym
so that nobody comes a-knockin' on the door of my mansion
to ask, "What was THAT all about?" in reference to some of
the more juicy parts. Even HH won't know I wrote it, and I
will earn a little bit of money from it, but not enough to make
me quit my job or anything. I don't want the fame or money,
just the thought that I could do something people would enjoy
and respect. I would even discuss the book with people at
school and pretend I didn't write it, like Weaver did on that old
ER where she had written a novel with thinly-disguised characters
such as doctor "Martin Bean" and head nurse "Carly Halloran",
and the main character had a "withered leg." And just in case
you're wondering...I really can use proper punctuation and
grammar if I want to. Which I certainly didn't here, because I
started sentences with 'and' and 'which' and ended them with
prepositions, and had many a fragment in between.
Because I can.

Fantasy Four: I clean up my house until it is spotless, and you
can eat off the floor. (Well, you could do that now, because
there are enough crumbs to sustain you and all the other Who's
mouses, but that's not part of the fantasy). I get rid of my old
furniture and put in new carpet and of course get new furniture,
and paint the walls with that slick paint that is washable like I
originally told HH when we built the house but he used other
stuff and now it really shows the kids' smudges. Of course we
won't do it in that order, because we'll get paint on the new
furniture, but I think you get the drift of what I'm saying. I'll put
a double stainless steel sink in the kitchen, like I had at my old
house, instead of the almond-colored ceramic-type thingy HH
put in because HE liked it. I might even put up some real curtains
instead of miniblinds. I will get rid of that blasted laundry sink
that HH found (!) somewhere and brought home and waited
until we built a new house to use it, and put in between my
washer and dryer, because who wants a plastic stand-up laundry
sink between a washer and dryer, since it is just a haven for wet
swimsuits and water guns that never get used and the only thing
it is used for is filling a pitcher with water to pour into the dog's
dish, and it is totally in the way of tossing wet clothes from the
washer into the dryer. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
I must rid the house of HH's influence.
It's a total mansion make-over.

There you have it. HM's fantasies. Don't have nightmares.
I told you mine, now you tell me yours. Only the PG ones,
please. I'm talkin' to you, Stewed Hamm!

Friday, August 25, 2006

HM Time Travels

I am uninspired yet again. It's Friday. Let's take a trip back to
Yesteryear. Reminisce with me, won't you?

What was I doing on a Friday way back in hrmf...the first year
I went away to college, shall we say? And let's name it College,
like on Bluto's sweatshirt in Animal House. I ain't sayin' where I
went, but Kathleen Turner went there, and Brad Pitt is from that
town, and College has recently changed its name. Perhaps now
it wants to be know as University.

Anyhoo, College had quite the reputation as being a tough school
for my major. I could have taken a much easier route, closer to
home, but I was always one to seek a challenge.

On a Friday, I had only one class. It was at 8:00 a.m. What was
I thinking? I plead ignorance. I didn't go away to College until
my junior year, because I had a scholarship to a local junior college.
I had no idea I would have to drag myself out of bed and get to a
class at the crack of dawn. But I did not skip it. Not even once.
I was dumb enough to take the Big 3 classes all in one semester.
My advisor did question that, but I was ignorant. I didn't know the
reputation of these teachers, or that every semester one the Big 3
caused students to change majors. (Some people have issues with
math, you know.) I took them all the first semester away from home.
I got "C"s in every one of them. I was not happy. I am an "A"
student, by cracky! Others were amazed that I got "C"s.
"You're SO lucky!

On a Friday, at 5:30 a.m., I arose from my little bed in my dorm
room. Perhaps I was a bit under the weather from Thursday night
festivities. A junior with a car is very popular in a dorm. I dressed
in the dark so as not to awaken my slug of a roomie, rode the
elevator down 8 floors to the front desk, asked the little old lady
to unlock the doors and let me out, and ran 5 miles. Upon return,
I showered, dressed in the same kind of clothes I'd been running
in, hoofed it across campus, stopped in the fieldhouse for a cup
of Diet Coke out of a vending machine, and walked past the
outdoor Olympic-sized swimming pool to wait in line with my
cronies for entrance into the basement lair of The Hump. That
was the teacher of my Exercise Physiology class. Not his real
name. Just what we called him. He was an odd duck. Very smart.
He walked with a limp. I think he had a little leg from polio. He
had one tall shoe and one regular shoe. Some who were not so
nice called him The Gimp. Not to his face, of course. It would
have been hard to remove the giant shoe from a rectum.

After The Hump unlocked the door around 7:45, we traipsed
down the dark, narrow stairs behind him. Many had coffee. I
had my Diet Coke. Mmm...I wish I had some now. Some good
vending-machine Diet Coke. With crushed ice that lasted until
class was over.

This was a lecture class. All lecture. The Hump spoke. We did
not. We took notes. My notes were in high demand. I print in
block letters. Handwriting books say that is a control issue. I
do not dispute it. Also, I never missed a class. Going home
early for the weekend? Just ask me. I'll run you a copy. For
free. Because I'm that kind of gal.

When class was over, after I'd drunk all the knowledge I thirsted
for (yearned for, in fact--nobody has ever found out the root of
that quote, though I use it all the time) I sucked out the last few
chunks of crushed ice, tossed the cup in The Hump's wastebasket,
and headed back to dorm central to see who was staying in town
for the weekend. We'd lie around making plans for latenight pranks,
the best of which involved switching lobby furniture from 9th floor
with that of 6th floor. Many an inebriated dormie stayed on that
elevator and punched their floor number again. Some pranks were
musical, like that of my friend MKKK, who sang all the verses to
that Sound of Music song as she stopped at each floor. One would
get: "So long, farewell, aufwiedersien, good-bye-eye" while the last
floor would get: "The sun. Has gone. To bed and so must I-i. Good-
byyyyyyye." Yeah. We weren't exactly ready to co-star with
Julie Andrews.

When lunchtime rolled around, my platonic buddy who later ended
up in law enforcement (as a worker, people, not an inmate) came
by to take me to lunch. By that, I mean we walked together to
another dorm to the cafeteria. He lived off campus, but purchased
a meal card. So I saw him at least twice a day, sometimes three.
Friday nights I went crawling the party houses with the dormies.
Saturday nights I usually hung out with My Buddy. Variety is the
spice of life, you know.

Occasionally, My Buddy and I made a Friday night trip to W.F.
Cody's, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant/bar on the other side of town,
where we would feast on fried mushrooms and giant hamburgers,
play pool, and perhaps imbibe some giant beverages-on-tap as
well. I still have some plastic cups from there. Go figure.

And that's about it. Not so exciting, my life from Yesteryear. But
it sure beats what I'm doing right this minute.

And to my friend Bean, who, like Mabel, is NOT imaginary....
I know you had a thing for The Hump. You still have his address,
don't you?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rated PG For Mild Violence

Nothing much is going on here. Same old same old. The doggy
Ann has the front porch full of bark from her latest log-chewing
adventure. Also, she's brought home a new toy, a net bag of
moldy potatoes. She is the dog version of HH. Nothing is trash.
Everything has a use. It's free...better grab it and bring it home.

#1 son may be fighting Grizzly for his doghouse this winter. He
is in need of obedience school. The boy, not the dog. He didn't
do his weekly job of taking the trash to the end of the driveway
this morning. He says it is my fault. This afternoon, his split his
brother's lip. It's kind of a long story. Like all of my stories.

It was #2 son's turn to play Neopets on my school computer
while I finished up some work. I have been staying at school
until 4:00 just to catch up with my crazy schedule. After about
10 minutes, the server went down. #2 had a little meltdown.
I couldn't help but laugh, because it was so dramatic. I felt bad,
but I got myself under control. He'd just had a lecture on how
things would not always go his way, and he couldn't make a
big deal, or kids would make fun of him.

Anyhoo, #1 had to rub salt in the gaping wound by taunting,
"Ha ha. Now you lose your day to play Neopets. Loser." This
did not set well with #2, who ran across the room and kid-slapped
#1 on the legs, as only an 8-year-old can do to his 11-year-old
brother, who is the size of a small adult. #1 whacked #2 with a
forearm. He knew immediately that it was a bad move. "Uh. I
didn't mean to do that." Yes he did. He is always picking on the
little guy. No wonder #2 has all that pent-up rage. Ever since he
could sit up, #1 would run by and smack him on top of the head,
shouting, "Baby Smacky! Baby Smacky!" Every time he walks by,
he pinches or squeezes or thumps hit little brother. Blood oozed
out of #2's mouth. He squalled. #1 pretended nothing happened,
and turned back to playing CD games on his computer. He tried
to pretend it was just a reflex. The tooth hole in the flesh of his
forearm said it wasn't.

#1 was banished to his room all evening for his smart-mouthing
all the way home. That was because I revoked the McDonald's
privelege due to the boys squabbling while I could have been
working. He turned quite surly without his fast-food fix. They
get it every Thursday, HH's bowling night. HH took #1's side,
as usual, and invited him to go bowling with him instead of staying
in his room. No wonder the kid thinks he can act this way. Good
thing he said no on the bowling. While in his room, he sent out a
remote-control car. Which he withdrew when I threatened to throw
it out on the porch for doggy Ann. He pressed the 'find' thingy on
his cordless phone, just to hear the beeping sound for about 5
minutes. #1 and I ignored this cry for attention. That boy has got
to straighten up. Next thing you know, he'll be slamming a book
on the floor and saying, "It just fell."

I have paroled him for now, with the stipulation that he stay away
from #2. That's because right after imprisonment, while I was in
the kitchen boiling up some macaroni noodles, he snuck out and
hissed at #2, "I'm gonna re-open your lip."

Perhaps he should chuck the computer-consultant career plan,
and open a hit-man-for-hire company.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Reaches Her Boiling Point

Those people are back. You know who I'm talking about. Those
people piss me off people. People, people, people!

Let's begin with my morning pissers. I can not park in the place I
parked for 6 years. Last year, a usurper took over that spot. This
year, a new pisser has taken that spot from the former usurper.
It's not such a great spot. It's waaaay to the end, and next to a
fireplug. Which is probably illegal, except our lot is private property.
Now that I must rush to drive across town in 4 minutes, I have
adopted a new parking space. It is in the second row, on the end.
I take the end, because I can park way over on the line, and still
have room for the door of my large SUV to open. It's a steep lot.
That door swings all the way open, thanks to old friend gravity.
But what should happen at my new parking space? SOMEBODY
must park RIGHT NEXT TO ME! We are the only two cars on
the second row. There must be 20 or more spaces in that row.
I have a magnetic attraction for bad parkers, I suppose. Does
That Somebody merely park in the space next to me? Oh, noooo!
That Somebody creeps over onto the line. WHY? What is this
advantage? That Somebody parks facing uphill, which puts the
driver's door next to the driver's door of my large SUV. Now
I have to grab that 800-pound door when I open it, so it won't
slam into That Somebody's car. This process has become tiresome.
It would be different if That Somebody got there first. Then I could
adjust my large SUV so I had room. Nope. I park with nobody
else in that row. I come out for the 4-minute rush across town
to Basementia, and there is THATSOMEBODYMOBILE
crowding me. I don't even know who it is. It has a handicap sticker.
Why doesn't it park in front of the building, in a handicap space?
That's not really a riddle, but the answer is: Because I'm not there.

Next on the pisser list, the copy machine. Every time I go to use
it, I get "Load paper in Tray 1." WTF? How can it be empty
EVERY time? I dutifully fill its gullet with 500 sheets of gourmet
copy paper. Don't think I don't try Tray 3 first. I'm pretty crafty.
Nope. Tray 3 is also anorexic, yet dares to beg for a meal. Lest
we forget Tray 2, I must explain that it copies all funky in a freaky
sideways manner, and I do not have time to figure that out, since
I have always been a bit spatially challenged.

Pisser of the Third Kind is the kid who slammed the book down
on the tile floor just to see me flinch. Only he missed that visual
treat, because I was in the hall with my back against the wall. Oh,
I stuck my head in, asking, "Was that really necessary?" And then
came the wrong answer, "What? That? My book slid off the desk."
Now IT IS ONNNNNN! I returned to the hall until the bell. I
presented the lesson. Then I asked, "Will you show me how your
book slid off and made that loud noise? Because I have never seen
a book do that. It's only when the person holds it over his head
with both hands and slams it down flat on the floor. If it had slid
off, it would have landed in the chair. And if it continued to slide
from the chair, it would have landed on its spine, which would
hardly make any noise." Heehee. His eyes were big as McDonald's
pancakes. He tried it. He tried it 3 times. Nope. It wasn't happening.
Methinks he will not mess with me again.

Pisser to the 4th Power decided that he didn't need my math class,
because, well, he was good at math and was only put in there
because he went to alternative school all last year, and that made
all his grades go to 'F's, and he wanted out. Which all came about
because first cat out of the bag he asked to go in the library to do
his work. His work from his OTHER math class, when he hadn't
even gotten my work yet, and was absent yesterday and had that
to make up as well. I wrote him a pass to the counselor, since she
is the only one who can change his schedule. I wrote on the pass
that he said he didn't need my math class. Heh heh. He came back
pretty quick, fuming. I told him that whatever he was mad about
when he came in, it's no use blaming all his unhappiness on me
and my class. And the funniest thing happened. He held up both
hands, changed his tune, and said, "OK...OK." And he was a
little gentleman the rest of class. Oh, then the Bookslammer said
he didn't need my class, could he have a pass to the counselor?
No. Why? Because, well.....he's the Bookslammer. The lying
Bookslammer. Karma's a b*tch, pal.

I shall close with the fast-food pisser, that turkey-talking he/she
ambiguous Pat kind o' boygirl who took my order for #1 son's
chicken strip meal. I don't take issue with the genderbending.
I take issue with talking so fast that you literally sound like one
of those turkey-caller thingies. Gobblegobblegobble I couldn't
understand a word you said, even though you repeated it twice
in the speaker thingy, and once at the window. DARN, guygal!
Come off that 3-day meth binge, stop your speeding, and take
your minimum-wage career more seriously. Or look into one
of those auctioneer jobs.

Whew! I feel better now that all that steam has escaped me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Looking for Something?

Wow! If you thought I was having a bad day yesterday (which was
topped off by losing my internet dial-up at 8:00 p.m.), you should
see the sad sacks who have been searching for stuff and found my

I hope the person looking for how to cover red marks left from
electrolysis is not the same one telling us she lost a leg and looking
for her wooden leg.

Life must really suck when mum's breath stinks, people call you
hillbilly one tooth, which surely means you have hillbilly meth teeth,
and somebody plays a clogging toilet prank on you, resulting in
phone dropped toilet poop
. Methinks not even MacGalver
herself could save you from that one, and you might as well get
used to carrying your cell phone in a ziploc.

On a day such as this, you'd better not wear your broke my ankle
loafers while you're out shopping for cheap briefs for big mens.
I'm sorry I don't have the answer for do I really need to throw
away my hydrocodone by the expiration date the pharmacy puts
on the bottle, and how long does it take for histinex to wear off?
You might want to invest in a hillbilly liver cleaner. Especially if
you are Halls mentholyptus cough drops every day hooked.

The only information I feel qualified to give is that if you are looking
for photos of hillbilly boobs and find a wrinkly woman picture of a
skanky hillbilly, you'd better also read about hillbilly inbreeding
before you follow through with those plans to poke your mom.
And it wouldn't hurt to check out untold stories of the ER bugs
in the scalp.

If raising a large family of morons is what you strive for, be sure
to look into polygamist pleasure. Oh. You said 'morons'. In that
case, make sure to invest in the camera on the internet that makes
you look like a hillbilly, explain to everyone you meet that mom
forced me to wear pantyhose, become an expert on how long
nightcrawlers last in the refrigerator, and run for miss jury duty

Well, today was not much better than yesterday. I'm off to make
an angry stick hillbillies video. You're all welcome to join me in
these festivities anytime. Pick up your hillbilly application and I'll
get back to you.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dark Cloud Over HM

Hillbilly Mom did not have a good day. It started with the #2 son
vomiting at 5:20 a.m. That's my new wake-up time, instead of 4:20.
I heard a little voice in the dark living room say "Heellllooooo?"
You'd think a normal kid would holler "MOM!" Not my boy. It's
like he's a visitor at an exclusive villa, hoping for the staff to come
running with a gold-plated vomit bowl. HH said, "Did I just hear #2?"
He'd already hit the snooze button once.

The boy came into the bedroom, flipped on the OH SO BRIGHT
overhead light, and announced that he was ready to vomit. Umm...

His business done, he curled up on the TV to watch cartoons,
while I packed lunches and laid out clothes. He had no fever. I
think it was just too much snot. No way was I letting him stay
home on the third day of school. I packed him up and dropped
him off. He made it just fine.

I, on the other hand, continued my day under the dark cloud.
Nothing severe happened. I couldn't find a parking spot in my
rush to Basementia. I had to park on the grass. Shh...don't tell.
I went to enter grades and couldn't find my roster. I found the
2nd semester roster, but I don't have those kids until January.
I would have some explainin' to do if I gave them grades now.
I had to call the counselor to tell her I had grading issues. She
said to try checking "Sem 1" instead of "Sem 2". Duh. I had
done it on every screen but one. Ain't that just my luck? Anyhoo,
I think the computer should know what freakin' semester it is.
We never had to change that manually last year.

On the way home, I planned to stop and pick up the prescriptions
HH said he needed. I put $57.00 worth of gas in the large SUV.
Yeah, there was some change, but at that rate, does it really
matter? That was only half a tank, too. I sent #1 son in to pay,
and to buy some Mentos, since he ate the last one this morning.
Darn him! I'd had those things since jury duty last winter, and found
them in the side of my purse this morning. They were aged just right.
Strawberry. #1 couldn't find any except sour-something green ones.
They taste like soap. Don't buy them. Anyhoo, he came out and told
me he couldn't pay until I took the nozzle out and flipped the switch
thingy. I'd told him to do it before he went in. Some people can't
handle responsibility. But with my luck today, I would have driven
off with that nozzle still in the car.

HH called as we pulled into the pharmacy. Seems he hadn't called
in the prescription. That means he had to drive 20 minutes to town,
wait 20 minutes, and drive 20 minutes home. I don't know what's
wrong with that man.

I cooked #2 a grilled cheese for supper. #1 had leftover BBQ
bratwurst. I tried to make a salad. The lettuce was OK. The
tomatoes HH bought yesterday were rotten. They were those
baby tomatoes on the vine that you get in a net bag from demon
Wal*Mart. HH does not do well with produce. With no tomatoes,
I tried some mushrooms, shredded cheese, green olives, sunflower
seeds, garlic & butter croutons, and ranch dressing. After putting
on the dressing, I looked at the bottle. Light ranch. Which is fine
if you mix it with regular, but by itself it is too salty and tart. Salad.
A terrible thing to waste. Especially after it took 30 minutes to
make while preparing supper for the kids. HH was on his own
with the warmed-up BBQ.

I sat down at my desk to turn on the computer, and knocked over
a large cup of ice water. Thank the Gummi Mary that it missed the
keyboard by 1/4 inch. The keyboard #1 son is loaning me, that
gives me typing issues. #1 heard the scream, rushed in to turn on
the light in my dark, dark lair, and offered to grab some toilet paper
to help me clean up the mess. I need to have a talk with that boy
about the 'quicker picker-upper'. If you don't get that, you are way
too young. Go cut out some paper dolls or play stickball. Oh. I
suppose you have newfangled toys now, huh?

#1 son has about an hour and a half of homework. I think that is
too much. He is not one to slack off in school. I don't think kids
in 6th grade should have so much homework. They are kids.
Can't they have a life? When will they watch TV? Heh heh. I still
think it's too much. Just my opinion.

We are planning to watch the finale of Treasure Hunters tonight,
my #2 son and I. He's been watching faithfully since summer.
I'm even letting him stay up 30 minutes late. HH argued with
him last night, but we all know I'm the one in charge here. I wish
he hadn't lost the hour of sleep this morning due to vomiting, but
I've already made my promise that he can stay up until 9:00.

I'll probably fall asleep about 10 minutes before it's over.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Hillbilly Saturday Night

Last night we went bowling. It's an HH thing. He's on a league, and
he has the kids in a Saturday morning league, which starts after
Labor Day. We packed up 4 bowling balls, 4 pairs of bowling
shoes, and three bowling bags, and hit the road. It's only 10 minutes
to our local bowling alley. We got there at 5:55, hauled our stuff
up the blacktop hill of the parking lot, and were locked out. It didn't
open until 6:00. We stood there waiting, because 5 minutes of car
air conditioning wasn't worth the repeat ascent to the summit of
the blacktop Everest.

Good thing we waited. I had no idea that many people went bowling
on a Saturday night. In the summer. We got lanes 1 & 2, which are
way down at the end, away from everything. I was setting out my
ball, a neon green swirly pattern that glows in the dark. Because
I'm shy and don't like to be noticed, you know. I asked HH, "Do
we have 1?" And HH replied. "No. We have two." It was a regular
'Who's on first?' routine. I kept asking if we had been assigned lane
1, and he kept replying that we had two lanes, not one. Finally, #1
son said, "Yes, Mom. Just put your stuff there. He doesn't know
what he's talking about." Which is how most conversations end
around the Mansion.

#1 son had to rent a pair of shoes, because he'd outgrown his
from last year. He can't get his fingers out of his ball, so we were
going to have it re-drilled, but that will cost half as much as a new
ball, which they will drill for free. We will probably get him a new
ball this season, since he needs a heavier one anyway. He can use
mine until it's ready.

We first ordered food, because we have our priorities in order.
We were planning to go eat somewhere, but decided bowling
alley food was good enough for us. #1 wanted the chicken strips,
but HH, being HH, got him a cheeseburger. That's because when
he walked up to the counter, the lady said, "Oh, I know what #1
always gets: cheeseburger, pickles, fries, Pepsi." That is his regular
Saturday bowling lunch. But this was supper. Anyhoo, he ate it,
with not too much complaining. We also had some sausage pizza,
and #2 son had a hot dog. Except don't tell him, but it's really a
Polish sausage split down the middle, grilled with a heavy flat
metal thingy on its back to hold it down, served on a toasted
sesame seed roll. Which #2 ruins by coating it in ketchup, but
that's the only way we can get him to eat any kind of meat.

I bowled a 99, a 105, and a 115. I know those are not good
bowling scores, but keep in mind that when we bowled in a
family league one whole summer, my average was only 92.
HH bowled a 184 one game, which is pretty good, considering
his average after all these years of league bowling is 134. In
case you have no idea what a bowling score should be, a
perfect game is 300. That is if you get a strike every time.

We wanted to play some good ol' redneck music, but an annoying
child was hogging the jukebox. Someone had played "Sweet Home
Alabama", then the whole thing quit. We asked the lady at the
counter what happened. She asked if we needed a refund. Nope.
But #1 said that it looked like some wires were out of the jukebox.
A kid who works there fiddled with it, and got it going again. So
we put in two dollars for 6 songs. I needed more Skynyrd, so we
played "Gimme 3 Steps". Then Bob Seger had to sing "Roll Me
Away", and Gretchen Wilson was "Pocahontas Proud", and
David Allen Coe let us know that "You Don't Have to Call Me
Darlin', Darlin' ". #1 played a couple songs from this century, but
the names escape me. They were country, though.

After the bowling, the kids played some video games, because
they think they are entitled. It was a pretty good evening of
family entertainment. And it's only going to cost us two new
bowling balls, and two new pairs of shoes, because HH has
decided that he needs new equipment, too. I would like to think
that if I had been bowling in a league for 20 years, my average
would be higher than 134.

Maybe he's been going somewhere else all that time. We don't
really care, as long as he's out of the house one night a week.

I have been having trouble with Blogger. If this shows up twice,
I'll get rid of one when I notice. Right now it looks like won't

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Is An Idiot

Usually, I am a pretty smart cookie. An OH SO PRETTY smart
cookie. Usually. Yesterday, I was not.

The day started out normally. I dropped #1 son off at his school.
He walked in confidently, the way he has done things since he
was 3, when he took a flashlight to the barn to talk to his dad, at
night, through the woods, about 200 yards away. Alone.

I stopped in the drop-off lane at #2 son's school. He usually wants
to be walked in, holding my hand. I know. He's 8. Perhaps it's
time to trim those apron strings. He said he could walk in alone.
He climbed out the back passenger door of the large SUV, and
looked at me just before he closed it. "Shiver me whiskers!"
Then he slammed the door and waved, and was on his way.
WTF? Shiver me whiskers? That boy is an enigma.

I got to my first building, wrote on the board, checked school
email, checked my mailbox, set out my lessons, wrote up the
attendance and lunch count forms, and stood in my doorway
to greet the students. Actually, it is required hall supervision,
but I want to seem like one of those caring teachers.

I reminded the students 1st hour that class would be short by
5 minutes, because it was a sustained silent reading day, and
we rob each class to pay SSR 30 minutes every Friday. Only
the time for the early bell came and went. Then the time for
the regular bell came and went. About 3 minutes past that,
there was an announcement that the bell wasn't working, and
we should proceed to 2nd hour. OK. 2nd hour, I wondered
if we would be 5 minutes short, or 13 minutes short. As luck
would have it, the bells were fixed, and we were about 10
minutes short. Then 3rd hour, we had class for 45 minutes
as planned on the SSR schedule, but it really had me confused.
I grabbed some water from my minifridge, and took off for
my Lower Basementia classes.

#1 son had asked to get a water from me on his way to lunch,
since the juice machine was actually a fundraiser that took
dollars and gave out nothing. At least that's what I told the
sponsor, and congratulated her on her fundraising savvy. #1
never showed up for the water. My class came in, we learned
some math for 20 minutes, then went to lunch. Except I had
forgotten my lunch at the first building. Note To Self: Throw
away that cheese sandwich on Monday. I walked my kids
to lunch, then came back to the room to update my rosters
for entering some grades later.

My class returned from lunch, worked on an assignment,
asked for help with every problem (hey, that's my job), and
left when the bell rang. I stood out in the hall, waiting for my
next class. No one showed up. I went into the library, and
called the counselor. "Do I have a whole class that alternates
with band? I thought I only had one student who did that.
Could you check my schedule, and see why I don't have
any kids this hour?" She said she would let me know in a
few minutes, she was scheduling a new student. I went back
to my room and wrote some stuff on the board.

The counselor arrived. "I've figured out why you don't have
any students. It's your planning period."

Duuhhhh. HM. Dumber than your average teacher.

Silly me. I've had 4th hour planning period for 8 years. Ever
since I've worked here. It's always been: teach 3 classes, have
lunch & planning period & travel to another building, teach
3 more classes. Now I have 5th hour planning period. It threw
me for a loop. I asked if I could qualify for a handicapped
parking space. She didn't think so.

Oh, and FYI, that 'shiver me whiskers' comment? Last night,
#2 son asked me to check the channel guide on the remote.
There was a movie he'd been waiting all week to watch. Yep.
Shiver Me Whiskers, a Tom & Jerry piratey cartoon.

Another mystery solved. But not by HM.

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Tale Out of School

Hey! There's something I forgot to tell you about our first day of
school! It wasn't intentional. I'm not holding out on you. I didn't
know it myself until my teaching buddy Mabel called Thursday
night to tell me. She has the hotline to Hillbilly Mom. And to think
I made her wait 40 minutes until I finished watching Big Brother.

It seems that a town water pump broke. I knew something was
up when I arrived for the first day of school, and the drinking
fountains had trash bags taped over them. That just means 'don't
drink the water'. No big deal. It happens several times a year.
The school gives out bottles of water to the students.

I left Mabel's building after 3rd hour in a hurry, as I now have to
get across town to my Lower Basementia classroom by 4th hour.
It's quite a challenge, especially finding a parking space. Nothing
out of the ordinary there. I had no clue. Until my Mabel spilled the
beans, let the cat out of the bag, sank the ship with her loose lips,
spilled her guts, sang like a canary, and revealed what I'd missed.
That Mabel! She is quite active. I'm amazed she doesn't throw a
hip out of joint.

Unbeknownst to us faculty across town, our brethren were not
only without drinking water, they were without toilet water. That
school and the elementary building are on the water system of the
broken pump. Town powers were afraid that two school
buildings would use up the water stores, leaving the townspeople
with no water pressure. You know how students are, flushing
willy-nilly, much like they use 40 boxes of Kleenex per year in
each classroom. Snotty little flushers!

Those two buildings brought in Port-A-Potties. Johnnies on the
Spot. Plastic outhouses, people! On the first day of school!
Well, as you can imagine, this caused quite a stir. Mabel reported
that the attitude of the students was:
This is the best first day of school ever!

I asked my #2 son if he got to use the bathroom during school.
"Yeeessss." He looked at me like I was up to something. I asked
if he meant the real bathrooms, or a Port-A-Potty. Or as he calls
it, a Porty Potty. "Mom! Those were outside! We used the real
ones in the building. But we weren't supposed to flush. The
teachers said they would do it later." Can you imagine, an
elementary school on the first day, and not able to use the
bathrooms? Me neither.

Meanwhile, those of us in the land of Basementia went about our
ordinary lives, swilling from the drinking fountains at will, flushing
as the mood struck us. Who knew the drama being played out
across town?

#2 son brought home a note that we should watch the school
closing channel this morning. I didn't quite understand why, until
my trusty Mabel filled me in. It was just in case the pump didn't
get fixed this morning. It did. All systems were flush today, but
still no drinking water. There's a boil order for a while, so the kids
are being spoiled by getting to carry those water bottles to class.
It will be hard to wean them when the time comes.

They will think they're entitled.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kids O Mine

My children amuse me. When they are not devoted to their life's
work of pissing me off. Not my school children. My own personal
kids, the two boys I tow through life like so many dead bloated
possums, on a frayed, itchy, scratchy rope tied around my neck
with an elaborate noose knot. ya think I could suffer
from depression?

Anyhoo, we had good first day of school, and #1 and I waited in
my Lower Basementia lair for #2 to arrive from the other building.
I say waited, but what I mean is, I sorted through assorted books
and papers to find what I needed to get ready for my 6 different
classes I will teach again tomorrow. OK, Mabel. I know you
are close to that many preps. But you have done it for years! I
haven't had to be this detailed since the Reagan Reign. My #1 son
fired up the computer connected to internet, the one with a giant
monitor that past students carried from the Computer Graveyard
to my old room, thinking they were giving me the BEST of the
discarded monitors. Another teacher calls it my Braille monitor,
because he swears a blind person could read it. Then #1 went
to the car to carry in his Kleenex and loose-leaf paper.

After doling out the goods, he went upstairs to make some copies
for me, and shake down the juice machine sponsor for his dollar
it ate at lunch. He returned with a Diet Dr. Pepper and a stack of
copies. I told him no soda was allowed in school. He said his
teacher even told him there were free sodas in a cooler. Yeah.
For teachers! Anyhoo, he is reaping the benefits of being a
teacher's kid.

My neighbor in Lower Basementia had no chalkboard eraser.
I donated one of my two. Who knows, they could have been
hers, and put in the wrong room. She said she didn't recognize
them, though. #2 son came in, and was pleased as punch to
erase my blackboards. Or he would have been, if he knew
what punch was, since it is not allowed in his school building
this year. Only milk and juice and water. #2 erased in a manner
only he could invent, spinning around with one arm sticking out,
erasing each time that arm went by the board. I told him to knock
it off, that it stirred dust every time he hit the blackboard. #1 has
not perfected the art of eavesdropping, and said, "Hey! I want
to clap erasers!" I told him nobody was clapping 'eraser', as
there was only one. Then I told him that could be the title to the
sequel to his fictional autiobiography: The Sound of One Eraser
Clapping. He was not so amused, much like when I suggested
the title for his first book.

When we arrived home after school, the boys found a treasure
on the porch. If you have cats, you know it's not really a treat
to find a treasure on your porch. An argument ensued over the
treasure. #1 was all for "decapitated bird head." #2 simply
stated "baby mouse butt." Of course, I was the tiebreaker.
Which meant I had to go look at it. I thought it was a part of
some large rat that the cats refused to eat. Really. They will eat
everything on a mouse except some OH SO NOT TASTY part
like a liver, only it's not a liver. This thing was the size of a
golfball. Upon closer examination, two hind legs and a piece
of tail were catalogued to the database: mouse butt. I guess
it's still there. I had my hands full, and the kids and HH don't
get rid of stuff on the porch.

Apparently, that's not in their job descriptions. I must rewrite
the manual soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Rants Again

Tomorrow is the kids' first day of school. I have been getting stuff
together at the last minute, stuff I found out Tuesday night after
Open House that they need. Silly me, to take the list they handed
out at the end of July, and buy what I thought they were supposed
to have. Which brings me to a rant on school supplies...

Sorry in advance if I offend anybody, but I don't know why my
kids have to drag half of Wal*Mart to school with them the first
day. I pity the poor kids who ride the bus. My #2 son's supplies
weigh more than he does. I forgot them this morning, but the plan
had been for me to drop off the stuff in his classroom today, so
tomorrow he would only have his backpack. His heavy backpack.
Now I will have to walk him in and carry two heavy Wal*Mart
bags as well.

For third grade, my boy needs 4 spiral notebooks, a pack of
loose-leaf paper, a 3-ring binder, scissors, glue, 24 pencils, an
eraser, two dry-erase markers, a ruler, a plastic pocket folder,
5 regular pocket folders, colored pencils, a pencil pouch, a box
of baby wipes, two boxes of Kleenex, a box of Ziploc bags,
and a magazine rack. I'm sure I've left things out. I am just doing
a mental inventory of his backpack, not reading from his list.

My 6th grader needs just the basics of spiral notebooks, pens
and pencils, and two boxes of Kleenex and 4 packs of loose-
leaf paper.

Here's my gripe. There are 36 weeks in a school year. Sure,
some are short weeks, so it will look like more, but of the time
they are in school, it is 36 weeks. How many freakin' boxes
of Kleenex do these people need? Helloooooooo! I am not
unfamiliar with the inside of a classroom. I buy my own Kleenex.
In the severest cold season, I go through 1 box a week. Most
of the time, a box will last me a month or more. If there are
20 kids in a 3rd grade classroom, that is 40 boxes. But wait!
The scandal becomes even more shocking when you consider
that in 6th grade, the kids travel to different classrooms each
class period. Say there are 80-100 kids in grade 6, depending
on the year and how big that group is. If every kid that teacher
has brings 1 box of Kleenex, that is 80 boxes. Even if that
teacher has the kids twice a day, that is still between 40 and
50 boxes for the year. I can't imagine any work being done,
what with kids traipsing willy-nilly to the Kleenex box all hour.

What is this, some Kleenex black-market ring? Do these teachers
have a deal with some professional float-builders? What gives?
Sure, I have smaller classes, but I can go days without a kid
needing a Kleenex. I don't get it.

Another year, I bought the stuff on one of the boys'
lists, and I picked out the stuff he wanted. Which is saying that
I didn't just buy the cheapest stuff available. He picked out
colors of pencils, and his folders, and erasers, etc. Then, I
noticed that some of the stuff he brought home was not what
I'd sent. I asked him about it. He said the teacher just put all
that stuff in the supply closet, and took it out when they needed
it. So he didn't get his own stuff, it was given out randomly.
That does not set well with me.

I know that some people can not afford all the stuff on the list.
There are resources and agencies that can provide that for them.
Our school social worker even announced at our meeting that
if we noticed kids who didn't have what they needed, to email
her, and she would get it. She has a fund for that stuff. I am
petty (only one letter from PRETTY!) HM today. I don't like
the idea that the teachers ask for 40 boxes of Kleenex, with
the hopes that maybe they'll get 20. I don't like footing the bill
for others. And that is what I feel like I am doing with some of
this stuff. Who needs 20 boxes of Ziploc bags? What about the
20 boxes of baby wipes? Are they doing community service,
roving around and wiping random babies' butts? I use less than
one box a year, and that is cleaning my white board, cleaning
desks, and letting kids clean their white shoes if they get scuffed.
Why do they need 40 dry-erase markers? I've used the same set
of 6 for over two years now. Put the caps back on them, people!
I'm thinking they ask for so much hoping to get just a part of it.

I am not an evil ogre. When the school sells ice cream for $.50 on
Fridays, do I not give my kid $1 and say he can give the other
$.50 to a kid who doesn't have it? Do I not send $2 on $1 pizza
day? Do I not bring treats to my own students? (And the Gummi
Mary appeared, for real!) Do I not purchase my own Kleenex
(for two classrooms, mind you!) instead of making the kids bring it,
or setting out a roll of the school toilet paper like some teachers?
(I know you remember who I'm talking about, Mabel!) It is one
thing to need stuff, it is another to take advantage of the system,
and act like you're entitled.

Oh, I always send it, because I can. I am fortunate that I can afford
it. But I become irritated when the kids who never have pencils or
paper, and brag about getting free lunch and breakfast, spend $2
a day at the snack bar for chips and candy and soda (as well as
taking their free lunch, a $1.25 value), and say they always just go
to the ER when they need a doctor's excuse for too many absences,
because it's free for them, and tell me about getting back $4000 at
tax refund time, and talk about their 4-wheelers and big screen TVs
and PlayStations and swimming pools and wear $100 skater shoes.
My kids wear $15 Wal*Mart shoes!

But they have 2 boxes of Kleenex to take to school tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stormy Weather

Tonight is Open House, and I won't be home until around 9:00 p.m.
So this early bird is grabbing the worm right now, and twisting Mr.
Canadian Earthworm up out of his hole to face the day.

Yesterday, we had what was perhaps the longest meeting ever
held in that building. There were many new things to cover. There
was no filler. In fact, we hurried right along, and still it took until
3:00 to finish. I still had things to do in my room, like install two
print cartridges, which ran out right before lunch break and the
meeting. I ended up working until 4:30. There was only one car
left in the parking lot when I left. I don't know who it was. The
lights were off, but some kind soul had left the copy machine on.
I turned it off as I left. I'm glad it wasn't dark outside. That could
have been creepy. You don't want to be alone in a school after
dark. Or in a school with one other person whose identity is

I picked up the boys from my Hillbilly Mama's house, and since
it was going on 5:00, drove them through McDonald's for their
nutritious evening meal. Hey! It was their choice. I would have
preferred Sonic. There was a dark cloud over Wal*Mart, which
is right next to McDonald's. That should have been a sign.

When we left the drive-thru window, I told #1 son to check the
bag. The order was wrong. Very wrong. Instead of the Mighty
Kid chicken nugget, there was a Happy Meal chicken nugget.
That is two less nuggets! At the Mighty Kid price! Also, #2 son's
cheeseburger with no pickle had morphed into a Quarter Pounder
with Cheese. We were missing an order of fries, a toy, and a
small Sprite.

I wrote the original order on the back of the receipt, and sent
#1 in to address the matter. He was fired up! Two less chicken
nuggets for him! HH called to ask about the weather. I told him
it was cloudy. My Hillbilly Mama called to tell me there were
warnings for severe thunderstorms in counties to the south and
west. I told her we were fine. Two minutes later, a big black
cloud moved over, and the rain poured down in sheets, and
the wind started to blow.

The boys came out of McDonald's with the fast-food booty,
and we hit the road. We still had 20 minutes to drive home.
I suppose the order mix-up and the storm were a sign not to
eat at McDonald's...

It was hard to see through the driving rain. At least I wasn't on
the highway. I was afraid a tree might fall on us, but we made it
home safely. Poor Grizzly ran around the house in the pouring
rain and into the garage, where he is not allowed. We took him
up on the porch, where he curled up on the rug outside the
kitchen door. HH made it home from work about 5 minutes
later. The whole storm blew over in the next half-hour.

It was a bit of an exciting start to the new school year.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Bone Picker

I survived the first day. But I have a bone to pick. More on that
later. Breakfast went as predicted. Heh heh. I didn't notice that
when I first typed it. Bone. Breakfast. No, nobody choked on
a bacon bone or anything exotic. My table was in the last group.

I almost got some extra work time, because we sailed right through
that insurance and confidentiality stuff. I was working away in my
room when my tenant came in. You know, the guy I'm sharing my
room with. He was OH SO POLITE. I was my grouchy old self.
I told him not to take it personally. I know it's not his fault. It's not
anybody's fault. I talked to him a good 30 minutes, explaining the
computers' idiosyncrasies. Like the one that won't boot unless you
jam a floppy in it. It runs a loop saying Windows is opening unless
you feed it the floppy. Then it works. The other one is slower than
a Wal*Mart checkouts on the first weekend of the month.

I told him I would clean out part of a cabinet for him. Then I
walked him to the other classroom he's using. We broke the news
to that teacher. Her reaction was a bit similar to mine the first time
I heard it. I left him there, then found him later and told him I had the
other computer going if he needed to come in and work. He said he
didn't really have anything to do, and he was going to type stuff at
home. I told him he could join us for lunch. That's because I'm so
used to being left out. I didn't care if he joined us or not, but I
wanted him to have that option. Now don't go thinking I went all
Mother Teresa all of a sudden. I was only trying to be polite.

But listen to THIS! After lunch, I went to the library to get a good
seat for the meeting, and The Sharer came in. He said he'd gotten
things worked out to where he doesn't have to share my room.
I said, "What? I cleaned out some shelves for you." He said,
"Someone told me you weren't very good at sharing a room."
To cover up the deep hurt in my heart, I joked, "Yeah! ME! I
told you this morning I don't like to share!" But I'm bitter. Well,
not really, but it makes for better blogging if I am.

Here is the bone of contention. I harbor no ill will towards The
Sharer. He's a nice guy, and he's the one who has to squat in
different classrooms without a home to call his own. He's got
it way rougher than me. I have no beef with him. But WHO
told him that Hillbilly Mom does not work and play well with
others? WHO? When I find out, I'm nothing,
actually, but perhaps seethe silently the rest of the year.

I have several suspects. Someone who shared my room for a
whole quarter, and ripped up one of my posters, and chipped
some paint off the wall, and left my desks kind of dirty and
crooked. Actually, the students did it, but not my students.
It could have been a confidant to whom I complained about
people using my room. Not sharing, mind you, but using it
with no one telling me, and leaving the door unlocked all night,
and leaving junk in the desks for me to clean out. It could have
been one of my lunchmen, who know my personality OH SO
WELL by now. It could have been the one who 'borrowed'
my TV/VCR one Open House evening, wheeling it back in
right under my nose, causing me to snarl, "I bought that myself,
you know."

There you have it. More suspects than a good game of Clue.
They'd better watch their mailboxes, is all I have to say. You
never know when some cat pictures may show up.

How dare they speak the truth about Hillbilly Mom!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Back To Work Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my first day of school. The students return Thursday.
We will start the day bright and early at 8:00 with a district-wide
breakfast. No matter where I sit, our table will be the last section
to be called through the buffet line. That's how it always works,
no matter where I sit. You'd think my buddies would catch on,
and say, "Um...I promised so-and-so I'd sit over there."

Let's see, the menu will be scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits,
gravy, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries,
hash browns, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, coffee. I think I've got
it all. By the time my table sits down to eat, others will be throwing
away trash. The catering people will hover over us, waiting to grab
our styrofoam plates, plastic utensils, and half-empty cups. Because
I'm a half-empty kind of gal.

We'll have an insurance presentation, a confidentiality presentation,
and probably a guest speaker thrown in there somewhere. After
much meeting, we will disperse for lunch. Then we will have more
specific meetings with the building principals. Here, we will receive
the tools of instruction: plan books, gradebooks, faculty handbooks,
student forms concerning the student handbook and technology
rules, absentee slips, hall passes, etc. The first thing we will do is
flip through those faculty handbooks and highlight our 'duties'.
Then we will pay attention to what is being said. Most of us.

The rest of the time, we will 'be free to work in our rooms'. I'm
glad I have one room ready to go. I won't have to rush. Because
something always comes up that will take time away from what
I need to be doing. Every year, I go back earlier and earlier just
to get things ready. When I taught a regular class, I didn't have
to do that. I could use the same texts, and use the same material
year after year. Now, mine changes every year.

If we're lucky, we'll get our class rosters before Thursday morning.
But listen, whatever you do, don't write names in the gradebook
until after Labor Day, because schedules may change. And FYI,
there are plenty of new kids we add after Labor Day, because
they say they didn't know when we started school. That's their
story, and they're stickin' to it.

Tuesday night will be Open House. I'll have to spend an hour in
each building. I'll start in Lower Basementia, because parking is
OH SO HARD to find there. And the crowds are bigger there,
too. By the time I get to the other building, many students will
have come and gone, so I don't have such a big turnout there.

Wednesday, we'll have a 1-day respite to regroup. There are
usually no meeting on Wednesday, and we are free to get the
last-minute details ready for Thursday. Also on Wednesday,
we can leave at 12:00 if we have our stuff ready, to make up
for our 2 hours of Open House, and the hour we would have
been using for lunch on Wednesday. I'm usually not ready to
leave early. Those elementary teachers have way more to get
ready, and work a long time. Teachers at MS and HS with
only one room generally get done early, unless they are new,
or teaching a new subject.

Thursday morning, we will go over the rules with the students
first hour, and have them sign a form that they understand, and
were given a chance to ask questions. If they refuse to sign,
they are granted a private audience with the principal. Most
of them suddenly remember that they DO understand. The
other hours, we explain our class grading system, and what
we plan to be doing throughout the year, and what they'll need
for class. Teachers with textbooks will probably check them
out today. We also tell kids what lunch shift they will have, and
explain to the freshmen where to go through the line, and what
is expected behavior for the lunchroom.

Friday, we'll actually begin course work, and the year will be
underway. Until new kids get added to the class. Then we'll
have a short setback while everybody adjusts. Because some
kids will have to show off, and some will have to flirt, and
some will have to act totally indifferent. That's how it is with
my students, anyway.

Wow! The week just flew by, didn't it? I'm tired already.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A New Motto For Hillbilly Mom?

Nothing new here. Ann the dog chewed up a Bud Light beer case
thingy on the front porch. It looked like confetti. At first, I thought
it was just a cardboard 12-pack thingy, but after picking it up, it
had to be a case. Actually, I did not pick it up. My loyal #2 son
did the pickin' while I held the bag. Yep. Hillbilly Mom, left
holding the bag once again.

I don't know where Ann found that thing. It sure wasn't ours. The
neighbors are all at least 1/4 mile away. I can imagine her proudly
trotting home with her treasure in her mouth. I hope she outgrows
this stage. Every morning there's new chewing evidence on the
porch. Lately she's been carrying big logs. Not exactly the logs,
but the big curved sections of bark off the sides of the logs. She
might be making dugout canoes in her spare time.

We give her rawhide chew bones and she eats them within a day.
Hers AND Grizzly's. We had an old wooden relic folding chair,
and she has chewed the corners off the seat. She likes to bite on
the cats like she used to bite the dear departed Cubby, but the
cats are having none of it. They squall and swipe at her tender
nose, and send Ann running for her under-camper China-hole
haven. She's only 6 months old. Surely as she matures, this
chewing frenzy will end. I hope.

I might have to change my motto. People and dogs piss me off!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Is In A Snit.

I am in a snit. The world is surely out to get me. Nothing goes as
planned for Hillbilly Mom. We stopped by Casey's for a donut
this morning, and to cash in $10 of lottery winnings. The lady was
soooo sloooow that I didn't feel like waiting to cash in the tickets.
There were 5 people lined up behind us by the time it was our
turn. I bought 3 tickets anyway, $9 worth. Both kids picked one,
and I picked the third ticket. Mine was a loser. Of course. I let
my lucky boy scratch it for me. His ticket won $4. #1 son's ticket
won $10. You'd think the day was off to a good start. You'd be

We worked and worked at school. Make that I worked, #1 ran
around the building looking for people to chat with, and #2 whined
and dropped every videotape he picked up out of his stash in the
cabinet. WHY do they make those things open at the bottom, for
the love of Gummi Mary? Don't they know a kid will pick them
up and BAM they fall to the hard commercial tile floor and cause
the mama of the young 'un to jump out of her skin?

I was about to get done what I'd started yesterday when the
counselor popped in and said, "You know we have to be out
of the building by noon. They are waxing the floors." Hmm...
it was 11:10. I would have to hurry. The phone rang. My Hillbilly
Mama wanted to bring us lunch. I told her no, we were in a hurry.
#1 whined that she should pick him up and take him to her house.
I told him no, that was incovenient for both of us, and he had to
carry in some stuff for me at the other building. Hey! I bought him
a $20 computer game for all the work he has been doing for me.
Work which was not over until the end of today. #2 started to
cry because Grandma wasn't coming to pick him up. He only
gets to stay with her next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
while I have my official work days. I think he'll survive. Then my
Hillbilly Mama was upset, and she started to cry. I wish she hadn't
tried to be nice to us by offering lunch. It threw a wrench into my
typing that had to be done and copied by noon. Then HH called
about 10 minutes later, wanting to make small talk. Hmpf! Some
people were trying to work, you know.

At 11:50, I sent #1 upstairs to make 180 copies of my newly
updated course descriptions and classroom rules. I shut down
the computers and rounded up the stuff going to the other building.
I looked up to see #1, telling me that the copier said "Wait 3
minutes to copy." I have never seen this message. Did it mean
wait 3 minutes between copies, or just to start copying, or what?
#1 took his stuff to the car. #2 and I went upstairs to investigate.
It was working, so I put the copies on. I wanted to run 4 sets of
45, because then I would have them for both buildings, and
wouldn't have to count them out. At 41 copies on the first set,
a new message popped up about fill LCT tray. WTF? I never
heard of that, either.

By this time, #1 was back. He didn't know what that was, but
decided to fill tray 3 and copy from it. We pulled out the drawer
and tray 3 already had paper. Why didn't it work? I took out
the paper, which looked crooked. Then I put it back. Aha! Voila!
I made it work. I got 3 sets done. I told #1 to put 45 of the rules
and 45 of the descriptions in my mailbox, so we didn't have to go
back to Lower Basementia. He came back, and for some reason
lifted the lid of the copier. Which dumped a stack of 45 rules
down between the wall and the copier. Can you hear my sigh?
I told him to dig them out and dust them off. We finished up and
took off. It was 12:05.

At the other building, we copied and printed and copied and
hole-punched and finally left at 2:00. I forgot to pick up a bag
of ice and 3 calculators for $1 apiece at Save-A-Lot. When
HH got home, he decided to go to Lowes for a heating element
for the water heater. About time, I say. He has been in denial
all week about the lukewarm hot showers. He and #1 agreed
to stop by Office Max and pick up some 1" three-ring binders
for me. I wrote it down. I showed #1 exactly what they looked
like. Do you think that's what HH bought? Oh, you are soooo
smart! Of course he didn't. He bought six 1/2" binders. They
are not nearly big enough for the resources I must put in them.

I give up. I will not ask HH to get anything else for me. Maybe
he does it wrong so I will quit asking. #1 said, "Well, Dad told
me they were 1". " I asked him why they said 1/2" on the label.
"Well...he didn't look at the label. He said, 'Those look like 1" .' "

I guess it's true. Men can not measure. 1/2" looks like 1" to them.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Let's Talk Polygamy

Yeah. I've been watching too much TV again. This morning as I
looked for something to watch besides infomercials, I saw that
A & E had a show called 'Inside Polygamy' with Bill Kurtis. The
part I watched concerned some polygamous families in Utah. I
know, big shock there, huh?

A man married his third wife in a ceremony attended by his 1st
and 2nd wives and two of their teenage children. Bill the narrator
pointed out that the 'marriage' was just a ceremony, because
polygamy is illegal. A former wife of a polygamist was interviewed,
and stated that any way you slice it, and no matter what tasty
condiments are added, polygamy is a third degree felony. This
is where they lost me. So I decided to ask the blogosphere.

If a man can't get married to more than one wife at a time, then
how can he break the law by being married to more than one
wife? These people were not jumping from state to state, getting
married willy-nilly before divorces were final. They stayed in
the same place, and the man kept 'marrying' more women. If
he wasn't really 'married' except to the first wife, because the
state does not recognize multiple marriages, how can he break
the law? Where are the documents showing he married more
than one wife? Perhaps these are just his 'girlfriends' who live
with him. Is that against the law? Are we talking 'common law'?
Say, for instance, that he lives with the same girlfriend for a
specified time, and the state deems the union a common-law
marriage. So one day, he's law-abiding, and the next day, he's
committing a felony? Should he move her out of his house for
a year or so, then back in? I don't get it.

One man had a wife upstairs with her 7 children, another 'wife'
downstairs with her 7 children, and a third 'wife' in another state.
I think that's right. After a while, all the wives started running
together in my mind.

What about a guy who has 3 babies the same age, with 3 women
he has not married? Is he breaking the law? He doesn't have a
house where he lives with his women and children. Maybe he
doesn't have a good job, pays the minimum child support, and
the women must resort to welfare to help take care of the kids. Is
this guy less of a lawbreaker than the polygamist who provides for
all his families? Just because he didn't have a 'ceremony' and claim
that the women are his wives? Does it matter that his babies'
mamas would rather kick each others' a$$es than work together
and build a home to provide for the half-siblings?

What are they thinking, these wives of polygamists? Let's see...
they only have to cook and clean and drive the kids to school
and buy groceries and service the husband every third day, or
less frequently depending on the number of wives. They always
have a built-in babysitter. The kids have playmates. They can
triple their wardrobe. Yeah, they really have it rough.

I don't understand this issue. Another thing Bill Kurtis or that ex-
polygamy woman said was that according to their religion, a man
can not enter the Celestial Kingdom unless he has had at least
3 wives. Why 3? Why not 4 or 5? What about a woman? Can
she get in if she's been a monogamous wife of a monogamous
husband? What if she's never been a wife? I don't know any of
this, because I know nothing of the teachings of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Or much about any religion
other than First Baptist, and not too much about that. No Second
Baptist, no Third Baptist, no Southern Baptist, no Fellowship
Baptist, no---stop me, before I go all Bubba-talking-shrimp-to-
Forrest Gump on you.

So I really don't understand this issue of calling people married
when the marriage is not recognized and then saying they're
committing a felony by being married.

Tomorrow, you can explain to me which came first, the chicken
or the egg.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Gambling, Working, Lunching, Movie-Watching, and Shopping with Hillbilly Mom

Another day of schooling for us. The day started with a stop at
Casey's, our convenience store of choice, for some nutritious
donuts for the boys' breakfast. Their slogan is 'baked fresh daily',
but don't you believe it. I used to work at a Casey's, and those
donuts come frozen in large boxes, to be heated and iced each
morning at 5:00. At ours anyway, because we opened at 6:00.

Hey, did you know Casey's also sells lottery tickets? Of course
we had to cash in some winners and invest in some more. My
lucky #2 boy pointed to the kind he wanted. Are you with me?
Do you think he won? You bet your sweet Coors can costume
he did. $25.00 on a $2 ticket. I want shrink him and wear him
on my keychain, that lucky little charmer!

We headed to my other building this morning, where I found
my missing supplies. Funny thing, they were not addressed to
me, but to the principal. Go figure! So all my stuff is here. #1
son hooked up my computers. He also copied a bunch of stuff
for me. That boy loves him some electronic equipment. He had
a heyday yesterday unjamming a copier. The other teachers
had gathered around, saying, "Don't you know that one's a
piece of junk?", because I usually make my copies in
the other building, where the copy room is two doors down
from my classroom. My kid loved poking and prodding and
lifting and sliding and latching and spinning those mechanical
innards. He fixed it right up, too. But we gave up on that one,
because some machines are just not meant to run 2-sided copies.
They rebel.

I put up some scholarly posters on my walls this morning, looked
through my materials, talked to the principal and counselor, and
found out I'll be sharing my classroom. I'm a selfish old grouch,
and don't like change. After that bit of news, I figured, 'Why fix up
the room for somebody else?' and went out to lunch. Not really.
I had already made plans for lunch, and knew I was leaving at
11:00. There is a new class but no classroom, and I am gone all
afternoon, so my room is the logical choice.

After waiting an ETERNITY for lunch to be served (OK, so it
was 50 minutes, but when you have two boys it seems like an
eternity) we decided to go to see Barnyard again. #1 never saw
it, and #2 and I liked it enough to go again. Some daycare group
came in just before it started. Every seat was full AGAIN. And
this was at 2:15. I can imagine the night time shows. Did I mention
how I hate those traipsers who show up just as the movie is starting,
looking for 5 seats together? Yeah. There were more of them.
Maybe they had been waiting on their lunch. The excuse for the
food withholding was that a group of 60 came in unexpectedly,
and only 3 waitresses were on the schedule. It was so bad that
the owner walked through and chatted with people and explained.
Still, he didn't offer us a discount or a complimentary rib or anything.
Not his rib. It was a BBQ restaurant. I felt sorry for the waitresses.
They are the ones who got cheated out of tips, even though they
weren't the cooks, and they didn't make the schedule.

Gosh, no wonder I'm tired. After the movie, we made an expedition
to Office Max for those last minute items like double-sided tape to
stick up my sagging Ethernet CAT 6 cable. That's what my boy
said it is. I wouldn't know an Ethernet CAT 6 cable if it bit me on
the butt. But I would know enough to say, "Hey! Quit biting me on
the butt! Who do you think you are, my students who never caused
me a discipine issue? Enough with the butt-biting! I've already been
in the news this week!"

Now I must write up a new 'Course Description' to hand out at
Open House next Tuesday. Because I have 5 new courses this
year. And it's not going to write itself.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Little Adventure

We had a minor adventure today, my #2 son and I. We went to
see if anyone was in their classrooms on the north side of Lower
Basementia. After traipsing through the darkened library, which
is the major thoroughfare for travel from one end of Basementia
to the other, we came to the darkened north hall. To our right
was the computer graveyard, where old computers go to die
and then be resurrected and installed in someone else's classroom.
Someone else lower in the pecking order from whence the dying
computer came. Also to our right were two classrooms, empty
of their teachers. At the very end of the hall were the glass doors
to the back driveway and athletic field. These doors had a plastic
contraption draped over the push-bar door handles to keep them
from being opened from the outside.

Satisfied that nobody was in the rooms having fun without us,
#2 and I turned back for the return jaunt through the library. We
had taken about 4 steps, and were almost to the computer
graveyard when we heard 'click'. We turned as one, and looked
at those doors. 'Click'. That is what it sounded like, a door latch.
My boy's eyes were big as saucers. "What was that?" "I don't
know. It sounded like a door." He grabbed my hand and pulled me
to the library. I told him I thought one of the teachers might have
been trying to get in, but nobody was there. He continued to pull
my arm. I said, "What's the matter? Are you afraid?" He nodded
his head. Huh! Once you've seen a headless man in your basement,
a little click is nothing. Silly boy.

I put some more things away, went through my requisitions, and
discovered that there are two boxes of things I did not recieve.
I said I needed them by Aug. 1. So...are they in the wrong room?
Have they not yet shipped? Nobody had an answer for me.
School starts next Thursday. I kind of need my materials. I will
have to check with the main office tomorrow to see if they've
been checked in.

My #1 son made himself usefull by hooking up a computer. He
even found a printer in the graveyard and hooked it up, too. It
was a printer/scanner/copier. This was after he had to salvage a
different keyboard. They are made for each other...the computer
graveyard and my techie son. I am assuming that it was OK for
him to take things from there. That's what they always tell me
when I need something computerish, "Did you check that room
in the basement?" All the stuff has an inventory number on it. It's
not like I'm sending him into private homes to help himself. If
they don't want him robbing the computer graveyard, they should
put up a big metal gate and a sign that says "Abandon hope, all
ye who enter here." Or some such thingie, because my little techie
is also a big chicken.

I might get some interesting stories out of Lower Basementia.