Wednesday, January 31, 2007

All About Mii

I'm trying to be strong, but I'm not sure if my EGO can take
much more. Even fortified with its narcissistic-personality-
disorder confidence, Hillbilly Mom's EGO is slowly being
worn down until it's just an ego.

My son put a Mii of me into the Wii tonight. If you are not a
proud Wii owner, that is a little personal identity thingy that
you use when you play Wii Sports. They are not lifelike.
They are kinda like those 'man' and 'woman' symbols on
restroom doors. They have no hands, or many details. You
can choose the head and body shapes, hair color, eyebrows,
facial hair, glasses, skin tone, mouth, etc.

#1 son came into my office a few minutes ago.
"Mom, your birthday is the 15th, right?" birthday is February 11.
"No, it's not the 15th. That's your little brother's birthday.
Thanks for being such a loving son to me these past 12 years.
It's good to know how much I'm appreciated."
"Oh, it's the 14th!"
"The 12th!"
"Mom's birthday is the 11th!" (Now THAT'S the boy who will
haul my oxygen tank through the casino and clip my toenails
when I'm old. Older.)


A few minutes later he was back.
"I just came to see the shape of your face. I forgot what it
looked like."
"That's my boy."
"Well, I know it's egg-shaped, but I didn't remember if the
chin was pointy or rounded."
He turned my head around from the computer screen. Like
an owl might do of it's own volition.
"Now I see."

I am afraid to see what my Mii looks like. I at least hope he
made Mii a woman.

As a special treat for those whose inquiring minds want to know,
I will now update you on my nostril pimply thingy. It is not quite
so painful today. The swelling has gone down a tad. It's still there,
but it doesn't throb with each and every heartbeat, like it's alive.

I have been putting antibiotic ointment up in there, but I don't
know how well it has been working. The directions actually say
For External Use Only, so I feel guilty. The inner lining of the
nostril is not exactly external. What if I am overdosing on that
stuff? It also says Apply 3-4 Times Per Day. I jam that jelly-
like healing junk up in there all the live-long day.

Which of course reminds me of a Seinfeld episode, because
doesn't everything in my life coordinate with a Seinfeld episode?
Yes, by cracky, it does! At my desk in Lower Basementia
this afternoon, I applied some Triple Antibiotic Ointment to
my inflamed mucous membrane. It's OK. There were no kids
present. It was my plan time. My pimple exploratory period.
I scooped a gob of bacteria-fighting jelly onto my finger, and
stuffed it up in there good, coating all around the front edge
where the pain is most severe. For a moment, I forgot that
I have a basement classroom. With two windows that face
another building. And only one of them has been covered
with a hunk from the big roll of black paper. Hey! Two
different administrators have said they were getting me
window shades. I'm not holding my breath.

Anyhoo...I hoped that nobody had seen me with my finger
up my nostril. They might think I was picking my nose, when
actually I was only picking AT my nose. There's a subtle
difference. And of course, this episode in the sitcom of my
life is but a cheap rip-off of Seinfeld's 'The Pick'. You know,
where Jerry is sitting in his car at a stoplight, and the side of
his nose itches, so he reaches up to scratch it, but looks out
the window and sees his girlfriend in the next car, who is
horrified, because from her angle it looks like Jerry has his
whole finger up his nose? That one.

Hillbilly Mom. Plagiarizing life one Seinfeld episode at a time.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How About Some Oldies?

My students this year are an interesting lot. For some reason,
they seem to think I'm old. I don't know how this came about.
My students in past years thought I was happenin'. They hung
onto every word of my boring stories. They liked me, by cracky!
They liked me. Which is not necessarily a recipe for teacher
success, but it doesn't hurt.

Not that the current crop of DoNots doesn't like me. They
tolerate me. They humor me. But the don't worship at my
altar like those DoNots Past. Perhaps it is because in the
past, I had the same kids year after year. You become
attached, or immune, or contemptuous, or whatever familiarity
is breeding in this day and age. And you grow older together.

This year's group is a batch that I haven't had before. We're
getting to know us...getting to know all about us. Learning
exactly...what's our cup of tea. One of these days we might
just burst into song. Anyhoo...these current students do not
hang onto my every word. They are too busy thinking of
what they want to say next. Like I want to listen to them!
Great Googley Moogley! How did things go so wrong?

They continue on the OLD theme. Just today, I started the
morning with, "Remember that really old movie? I can't think
of the name of it, but my mom watches it all the time. It's
about this guy who likes another girl, and his girlfriend kills
herself, but he pushes her down the stairs anyway, and she
won't leave, she hangs around." I had never heard of any
movie like this, but I took a stab at it. "You mean 'Death
Becomes Her'?" "YEAH! That's it!" I have never seen this
movie. Once I saw a commercial for it, back when it was
in theatrical release, which I suppose makes me very old
indeed. I only thought of it because my dad used to say,
"You know that movie...'She Looks Good Dead'?" And
he meant that movie. Yeah. I can be hired as a partner
for game shows. I've got the knack.

Later in the day, as I was ignoring my students, some of
whom were called out of class to order yearbooks because
that's as important as preparing for the MAP, I was entering
grades in the computer when I heard: "When was World War I?"
I stated over my shoulder, "That would be around 1917."
They muttered happily something about being glad that I
could remember it. Surely they didn't believe I was alive back
then...d'ya think?

And to finish the day, one student called another over to read
the side of my desk in Lower Basementia. "Hey! I know who
that is! That's my uncle. Who wrote this about him? Do you
know how OLD he is? How long have you been teaching
here, anyway?" As if. Let me go on. AS IF...I would let kids
write on my desk. AS IF...I have been here as long as the
furniture. AS IF...I had that uncle for a student.

Some mornings it doesn't pay to take your teeth out of that
glass of water on the nightstand.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Souper Pimply Gambling Lawyer

I have several issues simmering on the front burner tonight. That
does not include the pot of vegetable beef soup, which was on
the back burner. I don't know why I make soup. #2 son had to
be threatened to eat five bites or go hungry. HH says he likes
my soup, he just doesn't like the juice. Umm...which I believe
IS THE SOUP. One time I caught him with a bowl piled six
inches high with an entire roast. The roast that I thought was
in the soup. He digs out what he wants and leaves the rest.
So my soup is kind of thick. This doesn't please #1 son, who
when asked how he enjoyed his soup, said, "Well, it was not
so much soup as it was a bowl of assorted vegetables." You
can't please all of the hillbillies any of the time.

The most pressing issue is this horrendously painful pimply-
ingrown-hair-thingy that is up inside my right nostril. I don't
know what it is. I can't see it. I can't feel a definite shape, even
though I've had my hand up in there almost to the elbow. It
has been marinating since Saturday. Each day is more painful
than the next. All I can do is coat the inside of the nostril with
triple-antibiotic ointment. I might be overdosing on it. I don't
want to take a chance on getting a staph infection and having
one of the local doctors tell me he must cut off my nose...
please return in seven days with a decision. Where, oh where,
is StewedHamm when I need him? I forgot how he solved his
nose-pimple thingy. I'm sure he would be a font of information.

Next, I have received a personal invitation from Harrah's to
join them for an evening of gambling on Friday night. Well, I
mean, it's an email with my name on it, for only $59 for a
Friday night, which usually goes for oh...let me see...I'm
thinkin'...about $169. Yeah! I'm a high roller, baby! They
just can't keep from begging me to play. Next thing you
know, Caesar's will be sending a private jet to whisk me
away to Vegas. Baby.

Now that I have sent in my official Design-A-Lottery-Ticket
entry, I am afraid that I might make the top 20. Oh, yeah. I
don't lack in the confidence category. Some say it borders on
narcissistic personality disorder. Go figure! Just because it's
all about me. Anyhoo...the reason I am worried about success
is that on the entry form, you HAVE TO include your date of
birth. And I've heard that it can be used to calculate a person's
true age. And then it will be in the Missouri Lottery news release
items that Hillbilly Mom, 101, of Fake Town, Missouri, is one
of 20 finalists in the contest. I will lie like a rug, people. I will
swear that those lottery people can't count, that they got their
facts wrong. Who are you gonna believe, a math teacher with
narcissistic personality disorder, or the commission that takes
candy from babies, cigarettes from adolescents, fast food from
the obese? I rest my case. Because I also fancy myself to be a
bit of a free-lance lawyer, without any formal law-school
education. A lawyer in the tradition of Perry Mason, not the
Ironside years. Stop objecting. It's MY winning-and-lying-
about-my-age fantasy, not yours.

Excuse me. I have some daydreaming to do.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Roughhousing And The Dead Cat

Last night, the Veteran made an appearance. He spent the late
afternoon hours at the barn shooting bows with the boys. It was
about 10 degrees with the wind chill. Poor little #2 son had red
ears for the rest of the evening, into this morning, what with the
wind slicing through his sock cap. I suppose somebody should
look into sewing hoods onto those camouflage coveralls.

HH took #2 to the movies at 6:00. The Veteran ate a few slices
of the pizza that I had worked so hard to procure, and then
settled down for a heart-to-heart with the #1 son, who has
demonstrated less-than-exemplary behavior over the past
few months. By 'heart-to-heart', I actually mean 'butt-to-head'.
The Veteran sat on #1's head and farted on him, much the
same as #1 does to his little brother. He also showed the
troublemaker a few odd wrestling moves, and sat upon him
while dribbling a long string of saliva from his mouth, just over
#1's face. #1 behaved true-to-form, in that he sniveled and
whined. When he was let up for air, he made a beeline for
the bathroom to hide. When he came out, The Veteran and
I heard him talking to nobody. "I know you're there, waiting
for me! Just because I can't see you, don't think I'm going
to fall for it." Then he ran into the living room and gasped
at the sight of The Veteran sitting right there in plain sight
talking to me. That boy ain't right.

Normally, I would not stand for The Veteran manhandling
his little half-brother in such roughhousing. But that boy
needs to know what it's like to be terrorized by someone
twice your size. He may think it's a joke, but little #2 son
lives in terror every day. One minute he's lying on the couch,
eating a nutritious breakfast of little chocolate donuts, and
the next minute there's a big ol' butt in his face, spewing a
foul gas into the atmosphere.

As The Veteran observed during the bathroom break, "He
doesn't even fight back. He whimpers like a little girl." Indeed.
The boy is a softie. He needs to toughen up and quit using
his superior intelligence to belittle his opponent. Sneering
"Idiot!" at the hulking ape sitting on top of you, pinning both
your arms and attempting to drop drool into your mouth
from 24 inches above is not such an effective defense. He
knew better than to even say it. So he just whimpered, "I
have a headache. I have to go to the bathroom. I can't
feel my legs."

The little shaver fights back. He has a good strategy, what
with his limited height, and what target he can reach to land
the most damage. Not that it's right, or that I want my sons
to be fighters, or practice this stuff on each other. But they've
got to learn to survive, and not to bully those smaller than
themselves. #2 has taken to pummeling his big brother when
provoked. Oh, I stop it, but not in a big hurry. When #1
whines, "He hit me!" I tell him he deserved it, and to quit
farting on his brother, or dripping soup into his ketchup,
or shooting him with the Nerf dart gun, or sitting on him
while he is laying on the couch. Now he has had a taste
of what it is like. There has been only one incident all day
between the two boys, which is quite an improvement. I
don't know how long it will last.

Anyhoo...getting back to The Veteran's visit...He left about
7:10. #1 and I heard a noise. "What is that? It sounds like
something electronic." #1 looked puzzled. "Well, I don't
have anything on. I thinks it's water running somewhere."
The Veteran appeared at the door.

Uhh...does Dad have some tools in here? I think I just killed
one of your cats.
And you think that because...?
I tried to start my truck, and I heard a thump. Then a bunch
of white fur flew out from under it.
Not white fur! That's my favorite cat!
I didn't see the cat. But it must not have any fur left. It knocked
the serpentine belt off my engine.
Maybe it was the retarded cat.
She's gray.
But she has a white stomach.
We need a light and some tools.

I opened the front door for them to walk out, and there sat
the white cat on the front porch. She stood on her hind legs,
which means "Pick me up. Can't you see I'm a person, not
a cat? All these furry creatures annoy me. Come to your
senses woman, and let me into the home where I belong!"
I picked her up and took her into the house for a few minutes.
There was not a mark on her. She stretched out an laid her
head on my shoulder, purring and kneading my exposed
neck skin with her sharp outdoor-cat-survival-weapon claws.

The boys worked on the truck about a half hour. It was nearly
10 below zero by now, what with the wind chill. They came
in to warm up, and The Veteran called his uncle to come help.
"#1 could slide the belt on while I put on tension, but he might
cut off a finger. I don't want him to cut off any fingers right now."
I wonder what grudge he has against his uncle, and exactly
when will be the right time for #1 to cut off a finger. Anyhoo,
he talked the uncle through the various twists and turns to the
hidden Mansion, and they had the thing fixed within five minutes.

"I still can't find a cat. We heard growling under the porch, but
I didn't see any blood anywhere. I just knew I'd killed one of
your cats, and now I'm the a**hole." (An obvious reference to
HH running over the dog's head last summer). We still don't
know what was in his engine. I'm thinking it was that stray cat
that HH taunted with a broom handle, thinking it was our white
cat. It still has seven lives left, I suppose.

The best Seinfeldian reference I can come up with is the one
where George has the tables turned on him. He falls for that
bald model, and then she dumps him because HE is bald. At
least #1 son learned that it's not so funny when the fart is on
YOUR OWN head.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Even Steven Episode

Today again proved my Seinfeldian connection to be correct.
We'll call this the Even Steven episode of the sitcom of my life.

On Seinfeld, it is when Jerry comes out Even Steven in all he
does. He loses a comedy gig...don't worry. Another club called
and booked him for the same dates. To prove to Elaine that he
was Even Steven, Jerry tossed a twenty-dollar bill out of the
window of his apartment. He put on a jacket to go out--and
found twenty dollars in the pocket. His girlfriend broke up
with him and he told her, "That's OK. I'll get another girlfriend."

Here's how Even Steven works, Hillbilly Mom style. I went to
mail in my entry for the Design-a-Lottery-Ticket Contest. I
would link the lottery site, but then, that may give me too much
competition when you all rushed to mail in your entries by
Feb. 2. Anyhoo...I stopped to put some gas in the Large SUV,
and bought my #2 son a donut, and $7 worth of scratch-off
tickets, and $3 worth of PowerBall tickets. Nope. I didn't
win the $254 million on Wednesday, but that store ain't too
far from these parts. My gas and necessities resulted in
change back of some bills and 72 cents. I dumped the
coins in my pocket instead of into the LSUV change tray.

On the way to Save-A-Lot, the boy scratched the tickets and
uncovered a $10 winner. Aha! Even Steven on the lottery.

We loaded up the cart with some staples and kid delicacies,
and got in line to pay. The bill was $43.72. Aha! Even Steven
on the coinage.

The next stop was, of course, Sonic, because I needed my
Cherry Diet Coke fix for the day. I decided to just pull in
and eat lunch there, because it was already 2:02, and neither
I nor my young'un had eaten since breakfast. The older boy
was with HH in a bowling tournament, so we just let lunch
slide today. As I sat there eating a bacon cheeseburger, and
#2 stabbed at his Cheese Tots with a plastic fork, it hit me.
Where was that cheese pizza I bought for the kids' supper?
I did not remember carrying it out to the car with the two
boxes from Save-A-Lot. I told the boy to crawl over the
third seat and see if it was in the back. "No. You left it on
the counter when you put the stuff in boxes."

Great. Not only was I without a quick supper before the
guys were going to see Night at the Museum, but I was
out $3.50 for a Red Baron Four-Cheese Pizza. Plus tax!
That could buy some lottery tickets, by cracky!

I stopped back at Save-A-Lot on the way home. The pizza
was not on the counter. I looked for the young dark-haired
girl who rang me up, but she was nowhere to be seen. The
worker who always speaks to me was still hosing out the
frozen vegetable bin. There was another young girl working
the checkout. Those 110-year-old checkers must have
bought the farm. I haven't seen them in a couple of weeks.

I went to the SALE frozen bin and picked up another Red
Baron pizza. I took it to the checkout. I told the girl, "I left
my last one on the counter about a half-hour ago." She said,
"Oh, we found it and put it back. Did you buy it?" I showed
her my receipt. "Oh, just take it. You don't have to pay
anything." YEAH. That's what I'm talking about. Pizza lost,
pizza found. Even Steven.

Maybe I'll check out the casino tomorrow.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Seinfeld Connection

I think that if I try hard enough, I can equate every problem I
encounter with a Seinfeld episode.

Remember when Elaine and George became each other, what
with everything going George's way when he did the opposite
of what he would usually do, and Elaine stopping for Jujyfruit
before leaving the movie theater to visit her soon-to-be-ex
boyfriend in the hospital, and getting kicked out of her apartment,
and causing the demise of Pendant Publishing because she had
a mouthful of Jujyfruit and couldn't tell Mr. Lippman not to shake
hands with the Japanese businessmen after sneezing into his hand?
OK, maybe you don't. But I think I am starting to switch lives
with DeadpanAnn.

I am suddenly experiencing trouble with my credit card being
charged without my approval, and beaurocratic red tape tangles
from insurance companies. Please make it stop! I am afraid to
take my pets to the vet, lest they fiddle and faddle and over-
charge me like Miss Ann's vet(s). I certainly hope she is winning
with lottery tickets and drinking some Sonic Cherry Diet Cokes.

My internet provider has gone bankrupt, I hear, and was taken
over by a new giant many-named provider who I can not find
on the internets. It's kinda like when I worked for unemployment,
and found out that Burger King was really Foodmaker. But what
really bites my butt is that nobody thought to send my three-
month statement of account when the payment was due, and
the very next day they charged my credit card for an amount
the bears no resemblance to the fee I have been paying for
oh...I don't know...SEVEN FREAKIN' YEARS NOW!
Of course this happened on a Thursday night, and when I
discovered it Friday evening, it was too late to contact a real
live person until Monday. The excuse was that even though
they sent everyone an email explaining the takeover, they did
not manage to send out the email statements of account. It
seems that since I had used a credit card to pay my account
ONE TIME in seven years (that's ONCE in 28 payments)
because again, they forgot to send out the emails, that their
database assumed I always paid by credit card, so they
automatically charged my account. Never mind that the first
time this happened, they DISCONNECTED my internet
service, and I found out why by calling them to report that
my service was out.

Don't you think the normal thing to do would be to stop service
if it isn't paid by the due date, NOT COMMIT CREDIT CARD
FRAUD? Or is that just me? Me and Miss Ann.

And now, for the funny business with the doctor. It's not nearly
as much fun as it sounds. Take my word for it. I now know why
medical fees are so sky-high. It's because each time a claim is
filed, it takes no fewer than 25 people to process it.

November 30 I had a routine lab where blood was drawn for a
BMP, which is just the basics, methinks, like checking a car's
oil. I have this every 4 months or so, to monitor my reaction to
my blood pressure medication. I did exactly as instructed by my
insurance, telling the hospital lab that it must be sent to Special
Diagnostic company so the insurance would pay. Here's what
happened. The dates are not that important, so I'm not looking
them up right now.

Nov 30-gave insurance info and doctor's lab order to the admit
office at the hospital so they could send the blood and bill
Special Diagnostic. Had blood drawn by hospital lab and sent.

Got a denial from my primary insurance stating that the services
provided were for a routine test, and thus did not qualify.

Got a denial from my seconday insurance, saying that it was
the primary insurance's responsibility.

Called my insurance rep that we have through work. She said
that the doctor must have coded the lab order wrong, to call
him and have him resubmit it.

Called doctor's office and was told that they had no record of
the lab order, that I would have to call the hospital where they
typed in the info, and by the way, I did not owe the doctor
anything, but in fact was due a refund, and the checks were
being typed up at that moment.

Called the hospital admit office where the info for the lab was
submitted. They had no record, because they just take the
insurance info and the blood, and send them both to Special
Diagnostic, and then purge the info from their system.

Received a bill from Special Diagnostics saying that my primary
insurance company stated that they were not responsible for the

Sent copies of primary and secondary insurance cards, marking
them in RED to label PRIMARY and SECONDARY, so they
could resubmit to the insurance company, as per instructions on
the statement of account forms sent by Special Diagnostics.

Today, JAN 26, received letter from Special Diagnostics stating
that my primary insurance said I had another primary insurance
company at the time of service. Special Diagnostic said it was
MY responsibility to deal with my insurance company and get
the matter straightened out, and oh, by the way, send in payment
of $145.xx in the meantime, and if the insurance cut them a check,
they would refund my money.

I DON'T THINK SO!!! Since this letter just arrived today, I
can not call them until Monday, what do you know about that?
So I will be calling Special Diagnostics to see WHICH insurance
company told them they are not responsible. If it's mine, I will
be calling my insurance rep, who I might add is mighty hard to
track down during her two-hour lunches. Because I really need
to know:


Because somebody ain't gettin' their stories straight, and who's
going to submit the gosh-darn correct code and make these
scam artists pay for my blood test like they have every other
time it's been done?

If it's my secondary insurance that's been saying these hurtful
things, sniff, sniff...I will ask Special Diagnostic why they did
not resubmit the correct insurance info like they profess to do
on their billing statements. Somebody must be held accountable,
by cracky!

See...a person who pays for two insurance companies should
not have to pay $145 for a test the doctor orders every 4 months.
It's not like I went to the ER so I could get a doctor's excuse for
an illness I don't have so I don't get kicked out of school for an
attendance violation. No. THAT would have been free, courtesy
of my tax dollars.

Now I'm foaming at the mouth. I think I need some new meds.
First, let me quit my job and have HH quit his, and then we
can meet our medical needs without jumping through all these
hoops. There's probably some agency that will provide me
with a lottery ticket fund, too. I'll check into it.

Oh, and that 'refund' the doctor's office was typing up about
a month ago? I got it last week: $60. I have no idea why. All
I ever pay is my $20 copay per office visit. You can bet I
cashed that baby the day after I got it. A few more of those,
and I will be Even Steven.

Thanks for listening, Schmoopies.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Somber, Stalkerish Hillbilly Mom

We had a tragedy amongst our students today. I don't want to
dwell on it. It didn't happen at school, and it was nobody's fault.
Sometimes things just happen. He was not one of my students,
but one a year ahead of my #1 son. They knew each other.
They had been in gifted classes together through four years
of elementary school. They were not close friends, but had a
connection, being the only two boys amongst the gifties. I did
not know the family, other than to see them picking up their
child when I picked up mine, and occasionally in Wal*Mart.
I can't imagine what they are going through. I hope I never
have to find out.

I am overprotective. Hard to believe, huh? My #2 son brought
home papers last week for an attendance reward party. It was
at a civic center that is about a 30-minute drive from our school.
He's been there before with his dad, and to birthday parties.
But one of us was always there to watch him. "Will you let me
go this time, Mom?" he asked. Which made me feel like a
grinch for not letting him go the last time the school took a
group there. He was only in 1st grade then. That's too small
for nobody to be watching him. He really can't swim, though
he thinks he can. He can push off the side and glide underwater,
but unless he can put his feet on the bottom to stand up for air,
he's in trouble. I let him go. Gotta cut the apron strings sometime.

We got the news of the tragedy at 8:00 this morning, after I'd
already dropped him off. Nothing like that kind of news to
make you worry some more. IF you're kind of overprotective.
All day I worried. What if the lifeguard wasn't watching him?
What if he got held underwater? What if a bigger kid did
something to him? Did they all change clothes together, or
did they separate the big kids from the little kids?

I told one of my classes about his trip.

Oh, I've been there.
He said he was going down the big slide, and getting in the
hot tub or something.
Huh? There's no hot tub. He must mean the whirlpool.
The what?
It's a big whirlpool. When I was about 5, my brother and
his friends put me in the middle and started running around
to make it go even faster. They wouldn't let me out.
A lifeguard stands right by it. It took him about an hour to
get me and my mom out of it.
There's a secret way to get out of it. I'll tell you sometime.
He thinks he can swim. He'll probably go underwater and
try to swim to the side.
If he does that, he'll be sleepin' with the fishes!

Note To Self: Do not discuss child safety fears with students.

By then, I figured if something had happened to him, they
would have called me. If they had found his body on the
bottom of the pool! I had told him that in case they didn't
get back in time for his bus, I would come looking for him
at his building.

#1 hung around the bus drop-off area after school, tormenting
the duty teachers. I went to talk to my aunt in her office down
the hall. Next thing I know, there's the #1 boy, telling me that
#2 did not get off the bus. "I did not see him get off, and Ms
M on duty says she didn't see him get off either!" I actually
think the boy was a bit worried. After re-starting my heart, I
went out to the hall. My coat and bag were there. Usually, he
sees these and drops anchor to wait for me. I sent #1 down
to the classroom to look for him. Ms M came in and said,
"I didn't see him get off the bus." The next plan was to have
the secretary call his building to see if the bus was late. Oh,
and if it's not enough worrying that he drowned, we have been
getting emails about a local sex offender on house arrest. Just
then, #1 rounded the stairwell from Lower Basementia. And
behind him was #2.

See there? I just validated my fears. If he could get off the bus,
walk 15 feet through the only open door, and down the hall and
steps to Lower Basementia without being seen by two duty
teachers and his brother and the hall lurkers, he could have
easily lain dormant on the bottom of the pool with 100 or so
kids thrashing about. He is just the kind of kid who goes
unnoticed. Whew! I must get some kind of tranquilizer
for these non-incidents. Perhaps my friend Jim knew what he
was talking about when he would look at me in his 'As we all
know, I'm probably an alcoholic' way and say "Take a red!"

On the way home, my little shaver babbled about his excursion.
"One boy lost his trunks." Great. At least it wasn't him. I made
him try on both pairs last night, and gave him the tightester ones.
Then he went on to say, "But one of the teachers found them
just before we left." I'm assuming that the kid lost them after
he'd changed back into his school clothes.

Yes, I'm a bit overprotective. I'm like that lady in I'll Love You
Forever, the book that makes all the elementary teachers cry
when they read it to their students. It's really about a mom
stalking her adult son. I can imagine what that's like.

Hug your kids.

And if you don't have any, hug somebody's kid who won't press
charges, and make sure it's in a non-perverty kind of way.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pinky And The Bunghole

Let's see if tonight's blogging can improve upon my experience
last night. I am definitely getting what I pay for with Blogger.
After an evening of not letting me post my most brilliant piece
of work in many months (heh, heh, check it out for yourself),
I discovered this morning that Blogger, that little vixen, had
posted my entry twice to make up for the lack of publishing
love last night. Just for spite, I deleted one of them. Ha, ha...
who has the last laugh NOW, Blogger?

I've had an interesting day. Which is what you say when you
can't think of anything nice to say, but don't want to say nothing
at all. Because my mama raised me right. And speaking of my
mama, she went to see a hand specialist today in the BIG CITY
about her FAT RED PINKY FINGER. You know, the FRPF
that one doctor said he couldn't see any infection in, that the
orthopedist said she should see an infections specialist for,
and that the infections specialist said, "It needs to be amputated.
Come see me in one week with your decision" about. The FRPF
that doesn't care if I end my sentences with prepositions.The
FRPF that first manifested itself the eve of the major ice storm,
December 1, 2006, when it went bloating up her hand and
caused her to be not quite herself and I made her drive us
to the ER on a Friday night when only a handful of people
had electricity.

I told her that they must be giving her the runaround because
she's old. Not to hurt her feelings, but you know how doctors
are. They think there is no point in maintaining the geezer's
quality of life if the geezer doesn't kick in a lot of insurance
money. Lucky for my mama, she has regular insurance as
well as that medicare crap. The 'infection specialist' was a
DO, an osteopath, by cracky! As my mama said, "Your
dad would have let me die before he would have let me see
an osteopath." Which perhaps tells you as much about my
father as it does about the osteopath.

Anyhoo...the hand specialist told her there's no need to lose
that finger. He scheduled her for surgery next Friday at his
surgery center, to clean up the infection if it's there. He thinks
it may be some kind of cyst, which another teacher went
through with her adult son, and he had a titanium plate put
into it because the cyst had destroyed the bone and made
it as fragile as eggshell. Only she called it a 'titanic' plate,
which either means that she is a great fan of the movie, or
he had a big ol' honkin' plate put into his finger, or that she
just isn't a scientific-type person. My sister-the-mayor's-wife
took our mama to the doc because I don't like to drive in the
city, and after all, I have been babysitting that FRPF for going
on two months now, and it is her turn. She's also taking
the FRPF to surgery on Groundhog Day. That's Mabel's
son's birthday, you know.

Now for my interesting day...I started it by arguing with a
lad who took it upon himself to tell me that last night on
Dirty Jobs, the guy made a 'bunghole'. To which I replied
that I didn't care to discuss it, because that was not exactly
appropriate language for my classroom. He swore that it
was not a dirty word, to which I replied "Then why did you
bring it up, if not to see what my response would be?"
Then he got all pissy about how he was just trying to give
everybody a laugh and entertain them, to which I replied
"And that is appropriate for my classroom how?" and he
pouted the rest of the hour while the girls rolled their eyes
at him and his buddy knew enough to keep his mouth shut
for just this once.

Then I had to lecture a kid for saying his cousin is "such a
Jew" because that is really not appropriate and he does not
seem to understand, so it may have to go a bit higher than
my authority. His reasoning was that "See, him and me are
not really Jews and nobody in here is a Jew and it's not like
I said the N-word or anything." He's one of your advisees,
Mabel, and I think he needs a talkin'-to. Mentor him please,
and while you're at it, tell him the giant fart he let out in the
middle of his argument was also not appropriate for my

Next interesting thing on the horizon was the student who
approached me in the cold moldy hallway of Lower
Basementia to tell me that "Hey, do you know what I did
last hour? I was chewing on my pencil and accidentally
swallowed this thing that clicks the lead down and now it's
stuck in my throat, I can feel it. Do you think it will hurt me?"
Being neither an ear/nose/throat doctor NOR an osteopath,
I declined to give him medical advice, but asked if he'd seen
the nurse. "I went looking, but she wasn't in her office." Silly
boy. That's not where to find her. He should have checked
the main office and the teacher workroom and the cafeteria.
If he could still breathe.

Oh, then I had the bright idea to tell the kids to try to convince
ME to do something as the subject of today's Persuasive
Paragraph assignment. Note To Self: do not let kids suggest
that you do something. Example 1: I am writing to convince
you that you should shave your head and it would look real
funny and people would call you names and you wouldn't catch
lice from anybody and you could wash it easy and that's why
I think you should shave your head. Example 2: I think you
should go home and pour some salt on the table and scratch
it and then sniff it and then tell me if it smells like pepper and
write back and tell me and if you want you can have someone
in your family tape it and sent it to me thanks bye. By this
time, you must be wondering why I even bothered to read
any more, what with the blatant disregard for punctuation
and the topic sentence, five supporting sentences, and
concluding sentence, though one DID include a nice graphic
organizer from which she neglected to include even one shred
of the info in her paragraph. But I forged on to Example 3:
Have you ever thought of moving to the surface of the sun? It
is warm there this time of year. You don't need a stove. You
don't need a lamp. It's not crowded. It's a pretty yellow
color. Maybe you should think about moving to the surface
of the sun.

Technically, it fit the bill.

My students like me. They really like me. Especially if I
shave my head bald, snort salt, and move to a place hotter
than Hell.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"ideas that have not been used yet for a sitcom"

Yeah. Can you believe it? Somebody wants to find out new and
different ideas for sitcoms from MY blog! I'm sure if it was so
easy to google that and find 'new' ideas, they wouldn't be new
for very long. But I have some ideas that will curl their hair! All
from people seaching my blog! Go figure.

Now, here you have them:


Ideas That Have Not Been Used Yet For A Sitcom

teepeeing with spoons: Follow the wacky hijinks of a gaggle of
high school misfits as they traipse about the neighborhood,
teepeeing with spoons. Laugh as they get conked on their
pointy little heads every time they throw a spoon up into a
tree. Cry as they walk home, dejected, unable to figure out
what went wrong with their little vandalism plan.

pull his balls: This project was actually in development, but
hit a roadblock when no actor could be persuaded to audition
for the lead role. It is being reworked as a reality show.

prairie farms french onion dip purchasing: The thrills! The spills!
Hidden cameras catch unsuspecting rednecks buying oodles
of Prairie Farms French Onion Dip for their BBQs and parties.
Catch the double-dippers who have no idea they are being
outed by the Dip Cam. Get into the thick of it as the Dip Cam
becomes the first casualty of the Dip Diving Belly Flop contest.
Sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy.

big thick turds: This project has been shelved, due to limited
audience appeal.

hillbilly carp tournament: Ripped from the annals of The RFD
Channel, this updated look at tournment fishing with hillbillies
is closing the gap on paint-drying as America's favorite
spectator sport. Watch as hillbillies dump cans of corn into
the lake to tempt the elusive carp into their fishing zones.
Watch the hillbillies say, "What the heck..." and toss the
cans in, too. Watch the Native American shed a single tear.
While the culturally ignorant hillbillies chant "Ching chong,
ching chong." Endorsed by Rosie O'Donnell, but not
necessarily The View.

beagle welfare office of missouri: In the tradition of Dinosaurs
and Father of the Pride, we bring you Beagle Welfare Office
of Missouri. Watch unwed Mama Beagle try to get benefits
for her whining whelps. Watch her puppy daddy bawl at her
for being a b*tch with less sex appeal than a hairy hillbilly leg.
All the drama of My Name is Earl, but without the laughs.

history of caesar countertops: Somebody needs to look up
the true meaning of 'sitcom'. Take this one back to the drawing
board, or shop it around to the History Channel or National

skateboarding spawn ranch: Little bittly future skateboarders
are kept in big pools, practicing their up-the-side-of-the-pool-
turn-around-and-go-down thingies. Watch tourists put quarters
in machines to buy candy to toss to the spawn. Watch them
rush to the candy in a feeding frenzy. See which ones get their
tails chewed off in a survival-of-the-fittest-in-real-life moment.

vomit bowl nursing care: Doctor shows, schmoctor shows!
Let the nurses of Vomit Bowl Nursing Care show you the
funny. These angels of mercy dish it up and serve it hot.
When the doctor ain't in, the Florence Nightingales are at
it again. Tune in to see our Cazzie's name as Technical

roadkill picker-upper: Because somebody's gotta do it. See
Cletus strap on his bright orange vest every morning and
head down to I-44 to see what the Daily Special is going
to be. Oh, his wife, Maybelline, just happens to be head
cook at the Throwed-Skillet Restaurant. This one practically
writes itself.

hillbilly & sheep: Will & Grace. Dharma & Greg. Ned & Stacey.
Mork & Mindy. Starsky & Hutch. McMillan & Wife. Now,
TV's newest couple rears their ugly heads. Meet Hillbilly &
Sheep, the cutest couple since Peg & Al Bundy. Hillbilly is a bit
of a Jethro, and was in deep depression after his girlfriend left
him for Richard Simmons. Enter Sheep, a stunning ovine with
a heart of gold and the gift of gab. Watch Hillbilly get into one
scrape after another, only to be bailed out by Sheep, who
mutters his catch phrase at least once per episode:
"You're so baaad!"

dancing poop: OOPS! This one's already been done, hasn't it,


That should tide you over until the mid-season replacements
peter out. Enjoy.

Good night, and good views.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Intervention Comprehension

OK, fellow TV addicts, I have a question for you. Perhaps I'm
addressing the wrong crowd. How about 'heavy drinkers' for
my focus group? I need some info about alcohol.

Last night I watched one of my favorite shows: Intervention. I
think it was a rerun. This alcoholic woman used to be an interior
designer, and lost custody of her three kids, and worked in a
clothing store. She spent all the live-long day drunk. Well, duh!
I suppose that's how she got the 'alcoholic' label. She drank
from 10-15 little bitty bottles of vodka per day.
That they showed.

Here's my question. Wouldn't it have been cheaper to buy a
big ol' honkin' bottle o' vodka than all those cute little bottles
that convenience stores put out by the register to tempt the
alcoholics like Wal*Mart tempts kids with candy in the check-
out line? Even if she liked the little bottles, wouldn't it have
been cheaper to buy a set of 10 or 15 little bottles and then
refill them at home from a big bottle?

I understand that she was chuggin' them left and right while
driving down the road. It would have been hard to swill
from a big bottle while driving. And what's with the camera
man, anyway, to be riding in the car with a woman slurping
vodka at 55 mph? Does he have a death wish? Or was he
imbibing too, just not filming himself?

There's another question coming up. Let me set the stage.
This woman took a cab across town to her 78-year-old
mother's house. She was supposed to drive Mom and her
aunt to a soccer game, but was too stinkin' drunk. While
there, she needed a drink. Now that's a surprise, huh? Her
mom and aunt had outsmarted her, what with locking up
all the liquor, because as Auntie said, "Those people will
find it no matter where you hide it." I suppose the old fogies
need a refresher course in Drinking 101, because apparently
they forgot that wine contains alcohol.

The alky told her relations that she needed to be filmed, so
could they wait out on the porch. Of course they did. They
were genteel southern folk, with a comfy porch, and plenty
to say behind Alky's back. They meant well, though. Bless
her heart. Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Alky found the
wine, broke off a knife blade trying to open it before she
found the corkscrew, poured a full red Solo cup, chugged
it, then swilled out of the bottle until all gone.

Here's my next question. How much alcohol is in that wine?
Like, how many of those little vodka bottles is the equivalent?
She obviously got drunker, much to the amazement of the
not-so-steel magnolias, who declared in hushed tones:
"She's worse than she was when she got here!" Could
she have kicked the bucket from chugging that much wine,
or is it not so potent? It looked like she drank that bottle in
15-20 minutes.

Anyhoo, I'm not making fun of her, because I know that it's
a disease. In fact, it's one of the few addictions that you can
die from if you withdraw cold turkey. But I just can't figure
out the little bitty bottle issue.

If you know the answers, fill me in. My inquiring mind wants
to know.You don't have to state whether you're a TV addict
or a heavy drinker. I'll pass that judgement myself, heh heh.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It Was Not To Be


I know you are as disappointed as I was. #1 son and I got there
and paid our money and picked out tables and took sips or our

I suppose it was because of the sleet that started falling the
minute we got into Trivia town. I even parked in front of the
school. That is something I never do. I practically have my
own private entrance at the back door. Anyhoo, as I stepped
out of the Large SUV, my foot slip-slided away from me.
I was not injured, but it made me think that the whole
Triviafest might be cancelled. I even left my Sonic Cherry
Diet Coke in the LSUV. When the bandies took my money,
I figured IT WAS ONNN. Which is what I told my main
competitors when they came barging in. One asked me if
I was ready to get spanked. "Of course. It's Saturday night,
isn't it?" Oh. I think she meant something else.

I sent my boy to the LSUV for my SCDC. Get it? Got it?
Good. I taunted the other teacher team with my handy-
dandy answer-recording sheet, to make sure the volunteers
graded the answers correctly. I gave them one last time.
This time I told them I regretted that I had only brought one
for my team and my boy's team. They were not buyin' it.
One snatched the boy's copy from my hand and said, "I'll
go make us a copy." "OK," I told her. "If you know how
to work that thing." Heh heh. She is a technology teacher.

Next, I taunted them with my Chex Mix. I think that started
to weaken them a bit. Then my aunt arrived and sang the
praises of the Chex Mix. She knew she was getting some,
because she is on the boy's team. We discussed my mom's
BIG FAT PINKY FINGER, which a specialist says needs
to be removed. She is getting a third opinion this week.

Only two others from my team arrived. They reported that
Mabel was suspiciously absent from church that evening.
Then they told me the whole thing was called off, because
the bandies wouldn't take their money. We are rescheduling
for next Saturday. I left our roster and my money marked
'PAID'. It's a fundraiser, you know. For the band. We'll
see what develops Saturday, when the weather again calls
for rain changing to snow.

Mabel, I have good news and bad news and good news.
Most importantly, the Chex Mix is still intact. I paid the entry
money for Boyfriend and Girlfriend, and let the bandies keep
it until Saturday. I will contribute half of that slush fund when
I see you at school tomorrow.

That's all I've got. My battery is running low, what with only
3 hours sleep last night. We've got the Basementia faculty
meeting tomorrow. And the students will be all mad that their
promised 4 inches of snow did not arrive. It will be a long day.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Trivia Pursuits

I will be leaving soon to go to Trivia night at our school. We
are having a bit of trouble with our team. Mr. H and I are the
controlling members. Mabel and her husband are supposed
to play again, but their son will be absent. Mr. S has been
away for four days at the Texas School Book Depository.
That's his story, but perhaps he shouldn't be stickin' to it.
Seriously, he and some other faculty went to some kind of
training in Texas, and his goal was to find a ride to the
Depository. He's not that twisted...he's a History teacher.
Let's see...that puts us at four people, plus we have one
of the paraprofessionals and her husband, which is a good
thing, because that man is as smart as me. Not that I'm
bragging or anything, but I know my way around a Trivia
contest, even though I did cost us two crucial points last
time. Somebody else is going to be the answer-writer this
time, by cracky!

This is where the problem occurs. We have six people. So
we all asked around, and were refused, because like I told
you last time, we're not the pretty, popular crowd. Mabel
took it upon herself to ask a former student and his girlfriend,
a current student in Mabel's class. That was fine by me.
Since we hadn't heard from Mr. H, we figured we could
at least get a sports expert with Boyfriend. Unbeknownst
to us, Mr. H asked the mother of Boyfriend, who is a fellow
faculty member, and who said 'yes' to help out Mr. H.
When Girlfriend returned to school the next day and
accepted the offer, that put us at nine. A team is limited to
eight members.

We have several options. Mabel and her husband may not
show up. That is because he may have to return to his place
of employment before the big snowstorm hits tonight, and
Mabel will not drive in snow. Make that 'Mabel will not
drive in the forecast of snow', because whenever it's on
the news that some frigid precipitation is coming down the
pike, Mabel even rides the school bus to school. Bet you
didn't know that teachers get that privilege, did you? Riding
the school bus free of charge. This job is just full of perks.

I'm a-hopin' Mabel shows, but I will understand if she doesn't.
Which would put our team down to seven. Another option is
to siphon off a member to #1 son's team of 6th graders. My
aunt joined them last Triva match, and they accepted her.
She and Mabel's husband get on quite well. They go waayyy
back, to the days she used to bring him donuts from one of
her gallivanting absences during part of the school day. But...
#1 son says he wants no more adults on his team. He did say
he would take Boyfriend, who is the older brother of one of
his teammates. Of course he would. Boyfriend knows sports.
I told him Boyfriend and Girlfriend come as a pair, and can
not be separated. He said he would also take Extra Faculty
Member, but let's not forget that she's the mother of the 6th
grade crony. I don't think the little crony would be likin' that
one little bit.

The sponsor of the Trivia night says he can use extra people
on his team, too. So we'll see what develops. I think we will
be fine. It's not like the prize is $205 million or anything.

And Mabel, in case you didn't make it, because the school bus
don't run on Saturday nights, and you're sittin' home reading
this while we're giving wrong answers willy-nilly till the cows
come home...I took the last remaining Chex Mix to share with
our team. Just sayin'...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Feng Shui And The Room Invader

This morning got off to a bad start. I had aleady prepared my
breakfast of sausage patty and medication, and was settling
down into the big recliner in the living room of the Mansion
to continue the morning routine. It goes a little somethin' like
this: I pack the lunches, lay out the clothes, wake the devil
(#1 son), wake the angel (#2 son), and sit down for breakfast
and the news. #2 hops out of bed or the couch, gets his own
nutritious breakfast of little chocolate donuts or a Cosmic
Brownie and water, and joins me. Then I eat the sausage,
take the medicine which keeps Mrs. Hillbilly Mom running
on all cylinders without blowing a gasket, and scream at the
devil about 6 times until he gets up and grouches into the
living room to torment us. With just 20 minutes before
departure, he finds his own breakfast of half a box of cereal
and a quart of milk.

This morning, I had just plopped down in the recliner, reclined,
reached for my plate of high-sodium pork byproducts and
pills, and it happened! The paper plate (Hillbilly fine china)
hit my plastic Class of 2006 water cup. It tripped over the
remote controls and crashed to the carpet. Not to be outdone,
three little pills somersaulted after him. The sausage, being a
lazy lie-about, stayed put on the paper plate. I de-reclined.
The first thought was of the pills, because I HATE it when
I lose one of those little boogers in the morning. Wednesday
I had a search and rescue pill party on the kitchen floor. The
runaway was found under the kitchen cabinet, in the midst
of a little barricade of dust bunnies. I still swallowed him.
I ain't proud. And I ain't runnin' out of meds.

Back at Loch Mess, I flipped on the floodlights HH recessed
in the ceiling. There they were. All three, waiting to be rescued.
I grabbed the first one, the biggest one, the Toprol. He slimed
me. I quickly rushed to the kitchen sink and washed his
crumbling remains down my throat. Next, I snatched up
the Lisinopril. Silly, silly, Lisinopril. He's a diuretic. He should
have felt right at home, floating in Loch Mess. I made short
work of his orangy little carcass, too. Then I found the tiny
one, the generic sprite who alternates between orange and
white, three days one, three days the other. He was almost
a goner, but I swallowed his tiny remains, and even licked
the orange residue off my fingers.

That done, I rushed (ha ha) to get towels to mop up Loch
Mess. I stomped like Lucy at the vineyard. I think I got
most of it, though my bare feet begged to differ. The boy
sat calmly, as if this happened every morning. The other boy
got up after only 5 shouts, so perhaps my antics disturbed
his beauty sleep.

I must take a moment to inform you that I blame this whole
bout of trouble on HH. Because I can. Because he doesn't
have a blog, heh heh. It is all his fault, because when he
painted the wall that lovely beigey shade called 'Dune', he
also decided to rearrange the furniture. Now we have a low
table on the left of the big recliner instead of a high table on
the right. And since he plops into that chair every evening, he
shoves it back a couple inches over 3-4 days. So things
are just not quite where you imagine them to be when you
reach for them. So it's HH's fault. I'm sure he has committed
some hideous Feng Shui faux pas. And it's workin' on me.

The drive to school was uneventful. But oh, how I wish the
rest of the morning would have been! After the covert
de-butting of the granny panties, I entered the building to
find my rubber doorstop in the hall. I knew something was
amiss. I do not leave him in the hall. That is just asking for
trouble. Just ask Mabel. She gave me another, darker,
brother of the doorstop when we first moved into that
building. He disappeared. The next one, I wrote my name
on with Wite-Out (hey, that's how they spell it). He, too
disappeared after about a year. The kids tell me he is
living with the business teacher. I'm not taking him back.
This doorstop is a paler version of my ex-doorstop. He
is wearing out, getting a bit of rubber peeled off his back
like a bad sunburn. But I always kick him inside the door
when I leave, and lock him up.

The door was locked, but that didn't fool me. I saw right
away that the chairs were askew. The computer monitor
was on. And somebody not in my class had logged on!
There were mud chunks all over the floor. Aha! They had
come in after my room had been cleaned between 12:00
and 1:00. There was a 'self-esteem' checklist wadded up
in my wastebasket. Hmm...somebody is hurtin' for certain
to throw away a self-esteem survey. My eraser had been
mangled. Somebody had written on my whiteboard with
the purple marker, the only remaining purple marker,
since one disappeared when I had the sub last week.
And...oh, the horror...I hate to relive the moment...

Those of you who read the Mansion every day know that
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a bit anal about the things on her
desk. I still have not recovered. The nerve of some interloper,
to take a pen that does not belong to her, from a room where
she was just a visitor. I am beside myself. I have lost about
6 pens this year due to unannounced sharing of my room.
When I know someone is going to use it, I put out a really
crappy pen, like one the health insurance rep leaves, a big
fat wide-body ugly pen that does not fit right in your hand.
I like a certain type of pen. They don't blot. They are easy
to grip. I buy them myself, people! At Office Max. They are
not school issue. They are not the 100-for-a-dollar Bics.
I hate change. And now I have to use a different-feeling pen,
who writes a little shade off in my gradebook. Fie on you,
you room invader! That ain't right. Oh, I know who it was.
It was not a member of our faculty, but a guest who comes
in once a month or so to meet with a specific group. My
next-door-teacher told me they were LOUD and annoyed
her through the wall. Another teacher told me who it was.
"I even unlocked the door for her. I am shocked that it
happened." Yeah. She's a little bit anal, too.

There is more to tell, but that shall have to wait for another
day, if I can remember it, what with my case of Old Timers'
Disease, as my students refer to it.

Tomorrow I shall tell you of our Trivia team troubles.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Butt Nerd Fair Meeting

I've had quite a day. It started as it does every day, when I
piloted my Large SUV into the parking lot and tried to find
an angle where I could pull my underwear out of my butt
without being seen on the security cameras. Safe schools
are a b*tch, by cracky!

Then I went to look for something in my desk, but instead
found a mini-box of Valentine's Day strawberry punch
Nerds that had been there for oh...I don't know...I'm going
to estimate...4 FREAKIN' YEARS. They were delicious.
I'm sure they were safe. I didn't see an expiration date on
them. I don't even know if they make that flavor any more.
To the best of my knowledge, I used to buy them for a kid
who was a freshman, and he just graduated early, so I think
I'm pretty accurate on the age, though I didn't exactly use
carbon-dating to be sure. They didn't grow any mold, and
I'm still kickin', so I figure all's well that ends well. Don't go
thinkin' that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is one of those people who
lure kids with candy. This was back in the day when we
were allowed to give kids sugar, and I had a jar of candy
on my desk for the kids to help themselves each day, though
it was more of a plastic trough than a jar, because kids will
be kids, and since they were, they took more than the alotted
one piece per day, which led to the demise of the Free Candy
For All campaign, but what I was getting at was that this kid
liked the Nerds, so I would only put them in the trough one
box at a time, right before his class, so he could have them
and not the rest of the porcine pisser-offers.

Next, a bunch of other stuff happened that is not really
entertaining or blogworthy, and I ended up in Basementia
having a talk with my son who has been chosen as one
of only two entries from the school to participate in the
local junior college science fair. He wants to have a partner,
which to him means an assistant to do menial chores, as I
will do all the fun stuff and chart-making and design the
project and take all the credit but want someone to admire
me while I do it. Cause I know my kid. He is just like me,
and not meant for working with others, but leading them,
which is just another way of saying 'bossing them.'

Then some other stuff happened and I ended up at the
school board meeting, where I'm sure I made a big ol' fool
of myself again this year, but who cares, I have tenure and
if they want, they can try to fire me over being foolish at
the school board meeting, GOOD LUCK to that, because
I show up to work every day and even do my work in a
timely manner and don't molest any students or (gasp)
break the chain of command. So I figure I'm good until
next year. Oops! Just about broke my arm patting myself
on the back.

Now I've got to go rest my arm, because methinks I might
be needing it at Trivia on Saturday night.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Did You Know...

Did you know...

The county highway department put salt on our bridge.
WTF? All that forecast for the Storm of the Century, with
2-3 inches of ice accumulation expected, and they did nada.
NOW, with the temperature 32 degrees this afternoon,
expected to go into the upper 30s tomorrow, only 'flurries'
possible tonight, and they spend my tax dollars on manpower
and that darn brine concoction and gas for the trucks to
salt our bridge?

I found a wrong answer given for a math problem.
Quit laughing! It was not on one of my students' papers.
It is a problem I got off the internets, people. Stop laughing
even more! It was from DESE, the official website of the
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed.
Go figure. It was on an Algebra 9 question. I thought I
just be extra stupid, because I worked it 9 ways to Sunday
and got the same answer every time, which was exactly
ONE less than the answer the website gave. I took it to
my fellow mathie in Basementia, who promptly announced
"Well that answer is WRONG!" And she didn't mean mine.
The next step is to try it out on Mabel. Great Googley
Moogley! How in tarnation are we supposed to teach the
kids this test if DESE pushes the wrong answers? I get it!
It's all a see which schools have kids put that wrong
answer on their tests, thus incriminating those districts for giving
out the answers. Heh heh. That's a good conspiracty theory if I
DO pat myself on the back for thinking of it. But these are
RELEASED items, which means they are not on the actual test,
they are from past tests. Get it? Got it? Good.

My 8-year-old son is training to be a terrorist.

I heard him talking to himself again, during Flight Simulator.
"Crashing into a ship...DOH! It didn't DO anything! Just like
when I crashed into the bottom of that building." Duh, kid. If
they made it fun to crash into things, that's what everybody
would be doing.

The GIFTED sponsor is a tough act to follow.

Tomorrow night, I have to present my annual program report
to the school board. The powers that be have always had
the Gifted and the At-Risk programs scheduled for the same
month. I generally come out of it well. Last year I had a good
laugh when an administrator told one of the Gifted sponsors
she couldn't have a CD to use for her presentation because
they were SO expensive. Which she believed, until someone
told her they cost about $0.25 each. This year's sponsor has
decided to bring students to help with her presentation. And
she wants to go before me. Que sera, sera. I'll brush off my
stand-up act. The show must go on. I am looking into a
dog and pony act for next year.

Oven mitts are flammable.
If you touch your oven mitt to that orange-hot tubey metal
thingy that heats up the bottom of your electric oven, it will
flame up until you blow it out and then it will smolder blackly
and stink something fierce when you hang it next to its calm,
cool, identical-twin buddy on the hook of the cutting block.
It's TRUE! But not quite as embarrassing as that other
pizza faux pas when you cooked the frozen pizza on that
cardboard circle and then wondered why the crust didn't
get crispy.

Now, you know.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Careful, She Might Hear You

Some days, you just don't wanna hear it. The logic of the young.

Hey, Cousin-With-More-Sense-Than-Me, wanna ride bikes
down to my girlfriend's town? (FYI: It's about 30 miles away)
Saturday if the weather's OK.
Yeah. It'll take us all day to get there.
Don't tell your girlfriend we're coming.
Why not?
Because I'm not supposed to see my girlfriend. Her mom
says I'm too old for her. And his girlfriend will tell them.
How old are you?
How old is she?
NO SHE ISN'T! She's 13.
Well, it's the age you're at.
My girlfriend calls me every morning before school.
Yeah. Mine used to do that. At 6:15 IN THE MORNING!
I told her "I'll call YOU!" I'd rather sleep.
Yours tried to call me and say she was my girlfriend, which
was stupid because I was already talking to my girlfriend when
I took her call.
Hey! Is that who you were talking to in the bathroom?
Nahhh! That's GROSS! I hope you never talk to me while
you're on the toilet.
Well I do. All the time.
EEWWW! That ain't right!

And another thing. I don't hear it, but I see it. My classroom
desks are part of a large migration. They creep closer and
closer to my desk and the whiteboard every day. It's so
subtle that you don't notice it until they are right on top of
you. The two desks in front of my teacher desk are about
12 inches away now. There's barely enough room for kids
to squeeze in there to turn in papers, borrow pencils, use
the stapler, grab a tissue, or read the announcements. The
ones by the windows are so close to the whiteboard that I
can hardly write on it without being afraid my butt is laying
on somebody's work area.

I do not like the enemy--I mean students--being so close
to me. They are practically sitting in my lap, which is not a
good thing for a secondary teacher, male OR female,
because it just provides grist for the mill, and gives the kids
something new to complain about. "Hey! Screech already
sat on your lap today. It's MY turn, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom!"

The desks in Basementia are migrating toward the door.
No Hillbilly Mom love in that place. They are moving
sideways, parallel to the blackboard, and parallel to my
teacher desk. Go figure.

And while we're pondering this mystery the universe, here's
something I heard today that shocked me. "Mrs. Hillbilly Mom,
can I get a baby-wipe out of the cabinet to clean off this desk?
My pencil made a big mess." Yeah. The shocking part was
the request to clean up after himself...not the incontinent pencil.

Now I must leave you with one other thing I did not really want
to hear.

"Ohh! The planes can only land on the runway!"

That was from my 8-year-old pilot during Flight Simulator.
He and his brother had been discussing how they were both
going to get their pilot's license, and fly me around the country.
Umm...NO! It does not help that this child's new computer is
in my office, and I've been hearing mysterious crashes for the
last hour. Not exactly a confidence-builder for one who would
need to be shot with a tranquilizer gun, crated, and stored in
the cargo hold to be flown anywhere.

Good thing I'm not going to Disney World, huh, Diva?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Who Needs Ambien When You've Got HM?

Back to school tomorrow. We got no ice. Just a little on some
treetops in town, nothing to drag out the generator about.
Which sorely disappointed HH and the #1 son.

Four day week, board meeting Thursday night, busy busy busy
with MAP cramming. This week will move quickly. Oh, and the
sophomores go to the votech school on a tour one morning,
so I will get about 30 EXTRA MINUTES to work without
interruption. It doesn't take much to excite Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Which would I rather have...President's Day off, or a snow
day before then? Decisions, decisions. I think I'd rather have
the planned three-day weekend, but those surprising little
snow days are fun, too. It's not like I have any say in the
matter. Whatever happens, I'll roll with it. President's Day
is a loooong five weeks away.

If I get any more boring, I'll put myself to sleep. Nobody
has been pissing me off. Nobody has been telling me I'm
OH SO PRETTY. HH has not done anything stupid. The
kids have not been splitting each others' heads open. The
only item of interest is the FAT RED PINKY FINGER
possessed by my Hillbilly Mama. She goes back to the
orthopedist tomorrow to see if he is going to drain it.
Don't you wish I'd just kept on being boring?

In other news...those kidnapped boys from some nearby
counties were found. A man drowned in his Cadillac within
about 5 miles of the Mansion. A lot of people lost electricity
again. That Ameren spokeswoman is looking not-so-pretty
these days. Like all this speaking of excuses for the company
is wearing her down.

Oh, OH! I almost forgot! Trivia Night is Saturday! We have
six on our team, so we'd better get to lookin' for someone
with sports knowledge and history knowledge to replace
Mr. S. Mabel has a prospect. I have the Chex Mix. Not
that those two have anything to do with each other. Just
sayin'...I tried to lure a Mathie away from her other team,
but she was having none of that. "But they'll get mad at me."
Yeah. And next time they won't ask you, and we'll snatch
you up for our team. #1 son's team lost a member to another
team. He doesn't mind very much. "Mom. She asked the
teacher why we were off today for "Milk Day." I believe
that might have something to do with his lack of concern.

Now I have something to look forward to.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Seven...I'm In Seven...

Perhaps you dropped in yesterday, and caught a glimpse of ol'
Hillbilly Mom having a tantrum about people smoking on her
at the bowling alley. She's baaaaaack...and ready to pick up
where she left off.

Yes, I expect to be smoked on in a casino. It is a virtual hotbed
of vices. Forget that they paint the ceiling to look like blue sky,
and that they have little shops and restaurants and try to promote
a 'family' atmosphere. It's a den of iniquity, I tell you. You can
find all the 7 Deadly Sins in one person if you are observant.
For example, take the fat old guy cruising around on his Rascal,
leering at the waitresses in their skimpy garb, crowding your
machine when he hears you hit a jackpot, slamming his fist
on his when he loses, and beaming when he finally wins, feeding
that machine more and more tokens, because that jackpot is
not enough.

I'm not religious, but I know my 7 Deadly Sins. After all, I
have seen 'Se7en'. Brad's a Missouri boy, you know. A fellow
hillbilly. He was raised up in the town where I went to college,
and attended the high school where I did my student teaching.
Yep. Brad and me go waaaayyyy back.

I know a bowling alley is not a pristine environment, like the
inside of a vacuum tube, or a neonatal intensive care unit. But
there is enough room that you do not have to breathe that
smoke right on me. Stop thinking that you are so important
you have the right to kill yourself and take me along for the
ride. We all have vices, but most of them do not infringe on
someone else's right to life. For example...

I don't grab my bowling alley half pound of fries and sidle
up to people and spray spit and ketchup all over their mouths.

I don't pick their pockets and use the proceeds to keep my
kids stoned on their video game addictions.

I don't rip my son's High Series plaque off the wall and wave
it in front of people's faces so they can see how proud I am,
thus missing the inferior bowling of their own offspring.

I don't smack people in my fit of anger as I am swatting my
errant children for their smart-mouthed wrong-doings.

I don't try to pry those cute little green-and-orange bowling
shoes off their small fry's feet, because they would really look
cuter on my own child, and I WANT them, by cracky!

I don't lean my head on their shoulders, or lie across their
laps so I can be comfortable watching my kids bowl, and
ask them to go pick up my half-pound of fries, put salt on
them, and open 13 little ketchup packets for me.

And I certainly don't do that remaining deadly sin, because
it quite frankly has no place in a bowling alley full of children.

So back off, smokers! I am a big crybaby and I will run tell
on you for killing me right there where everyone can witness
it. Don't mess with Hillbilly Mom. She ain't right in the head.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Like A Chimney

((cough)) ((cough)) Ahhheemmmmm. There. Now my throat
is clear. Please pardon my phlemishness tonight. I smoked a
pack of cigarettes today. Oh, they weren't MY cigarettes. I
got to smoke them for free at the bowling alley, courtesy of
6 different people, while watching my kids' bowling league.

If you're a smoker, you may not want to read further. My wit
can cut like a knife. But this is one case where I hate the game,
not the player. Get yourself un-addicted to demon nicotine,
people. No good can come of it.

I've had friends who were smokers. I coughed and sputtered
every time they lit up. Not to be snarky, but because I couldn't
breathe, people. Yep. I am one of those fanatics who would
have you step outside to smoke. Not in MY house. I ain't
livin' in no used ashtray. No way, no how.

I know that a bowling alley is not exactly a hotbed of health.
But those folks didn't have to stand next to me, puffin' like
The Little Engine That Could Destroy My Alveoli. (That
one's for those of you who learned your anatomy and
physiology like a good little student.) Only one woman
had the manners to fan her smoke away from me. The
two men puffed like chimneys, oblivious to the tendrils of
pollutants that snaked their way up my nasal cavities. The
other woman acted like I had broken into her home and
sat my big fat butt down on her orange-and-brown plaid
couch with the wooden armrests and double-dipped my
Ruffles into her Prairie Farms French Onion Dip. But the
worst offenders were the 2 fifteen-year-old boys who
brought their own pool cues in little violin-like cases and
smoked during their game. Pool is not a game for smoking.
Which means one of them always had a cigarette smoldering
in the ashtray while he took his turn. Then one forgot to take
a drag, and both cigarettes laid together in sin, instigating a
squabble between Beavis and Butthead. "Hey! Which one
is mine? Did you put yours on that side, or is that mine?"
Yeah. You definitely wouldn't want to get any same-sex
lip-cooties in your oral cavity when you're sucking down
those carcinogens, now would you?

All this lighting up made our weekly family outing another
instance of people pissing me off. It's the kids' league.
I wasn't in a bar, or a casino. I expect smoke when I
go to a casino. I can't complain there, unless the offender
has the cigarette poked in my face by holding it and resting
his hand on the arm of the bandit. I think if you're going to
smoke, then puff, puff, puff that cigarette. Don't let it lie
fallow, smoldering its tobacky away into thin air. Suck
all that stuff into your own lungs, don't let it drift into mine.

Now I'm all riled up. I'm going to have to continue this
Public Service Announcement tomorrow. I still have a
lot to say.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Shame, Shame

I got nothin' tonight. Back to the stats for some keyword search
frivolity. Ooh...some people are so naughty!

Shame, shame, ain't you glad nobody knows your name?
Take a gander at these beauties:

booger...c'mon, how old are you, eight? Are you doing a
science project and need to know what they're made of?
And why are you at MY MANSION?

smell my poopies...I smell a fetish.

does my wife need a good did HH find this?

he pushed so hard it jams the pencil sharpener...better be
careful, you might hurt something in that pencil sharpener.

hillbilly in a bathtub graphic...highly inappropriate! And also
not easy to find.

addictions to halls mentholyptus...what are you, Mormon?
You must have blood as pure as Rocky Mountain springwater.

can a four year old take histinex...c'mon, you're not really
going to waste histinex on a four-year-old, are you?

i'd really like to see you tonight seal tab...that's actually not
a very good pick-up line.

cortisone cream on penis...and we need to know this why?
You know you're just jonesin' for some pics, right?

what's the effect on inhaling broken pyrex glass particles...
I'm thinking maybe...ohh...I don't know...DEATH?

tori spelling getting dare to say what everybody
has been thinking all these years. But stop enjoying it so much.

no panties at dinner table...I agree. The dinner table should be
reserved for food and drink, not foundation garments. Gaahhh!

melina without panties...she's welcome at the dinner table
any time she drops in.

deers age from don't say? Then I suggest you stop
putting your stinky feet on the deer, because we don't need no
walker-pushin', oxygen-tank draggin', blue-haired, liver-spotted,
social-security-number-of-'one', feeble old deer mucking up
the countryside. Next thing you know, the woods will look
like a casino.

the flu lost my voice...oh, sure, go blaming the flu! I bet you
can never find anything! Grow up. Start taking care of your
stuff and putting your things away. The flu is not your personal
servant, you know.

soggy bottom boys beards for sale...just a gosh-darn minute.
How long were those beards? Cause I ain't buyin' no beard
that might have been sat on by a soggy bottom, boys.

There you have it. A peep into my secret stash. Don't worry.
There's plenty more where those came from.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm A Freakin' Genius

Hey! Guess what? I'm a freakin' genius, that's what! I just figured
out why I am always rushed and never have time to get my
work done at school! Are you ready? Drumroll...I have six
preparations and one planning period. Get it? That works out
to...umm...let's see...8 MINUTES AND 20 SECONDS PER
CLASS! Good thing I'm a math teacher. And a freakin' genius.

No wonder I have to stay after school every day. I can't plan
lessons and code them to the Grade Level Expectations or
even to the Missouri Frameworks and find materials to use
for guided practice (cause I don't have any books) and run
copies and grade papers and enter those grades in that rusty
old computer grading program that runs like DOS and take
the school climate surveys for both buildings and nominate
kids I don't know for student-of-the-month and send in a
paragraph about what my classes are doing next month for
the newsletter and compile data for my program and get it
ready to mail out with the board packet by Friday and grade
those ISS papers that come back several weeks after we've
moved on and wait in line at the copier for somebody's cadet
teacher to run copies for the rest of the year in 50 MINUTES
PER DAY. I try. But it can't be done. Even by a freakin' genius.

Thank you all for playing the world's smallest violin for me.
I was jonesin' for some string music. Which begs the question:
Is a fiddle just a violin for hillbillies? Because I don't know the
difference, except that I've never heard of anybody bragging
that he has a Stradivarius fiddle.

I love my job. I really do. But sometimes, I you say...
inadequate. Les incompetent, as the big sister told Kevin in
Home Alone. Here's an example.

My language kids have been reading a poem, 'Snake', by
D. H. Lawrence. Well, not so much reading as trying to
go to their happy places while I force-feed poetry to them.
It's not a bad poem. I even researched it a bit on my own
time so I could fill them in on the stuff they fail to see, like
the sibilance, and the reference to the albatross in Rime
of the Ancient Mariner, and how 'Sicilian July' means that
the setting is Italy, and that Etna is a volcano, etc.

After discussing the imagery, and alliteration, and similes,
and personification, and going over vocabulary words
taken from the poem, and drawing chronological panels
like a comic strip (where one little guy had the snake
shouting 'Mama mia!' when the 'clumsy log' was thrown
at him)...I asked for a simple half-page summary of what
each thought the poem 'Snake' was all about.

And I got: I think it's about someone whose land was taken
away by the government, and a bunch of other homeless
people who might lose theirs.

NO! No, no, no, no, no, no, NOOOO!

I admit it's not quite as frustrating as DeadpanAnn's student
buying candy before going into the doll store (you have to
read it to reach the full level of frustration), but by cracky,
I spent days on this. And in case you haven't read 'Snake'
for yourself, let me assure you that there is no mention
whatsoever of the government or eminent domain or
the homeless. The title is SNAKE, for cryin' out loud!!!
Could this urchin not even throw in "...and a snake." just
to humor me?

Let me answer for you: No.

It's almost as bad as that time a 9th grader argued with me
that the Chinese attacked the Japanese at Pearl Harbor,

She complained to the science teacher that I didn't know
anything about history.

Make it stop. For the love of Gummi Mary...make it stop.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Valium On The Keyboard

Oh, don't be so shocked. My 8-year-old son is the one who
told me. "Big Brother told me there's valium on the keyboard,
but I can't find it."

Perhaps I'd better start at the beginning, before some Nosy
Nancy calls the hotline on me. I told my #2 son he should not
wear his earphones when he plays his Pirates Live The Life
computer game. The music is so loud that I can hear it across
the room--with him wearing his earphones. #2 replied that
he can't find out how to turn down the volume: "Big Brother
told me there's valium on the keyboard, but I can't find it."
Yeah. He really meant 'volume'. I got it fixed for him.
Looking for that valium on the keyboard.

Grades came home on Monday. #1 son had the usual list
of As, with one A- in keyboarding. It was a 96.something
percent. HH looked through the list of assignments that
are printed with the report cards, and asked, "Why did
you get an 'F' on the 12 Days of Christmas?" #1 assured
him that every student in his keyboarding class got the
same 'F' on that assignment. He thought that maybe the
teacher entered the assignment, then didn't go back to
record the scores.

It was no big deal. It's not like we're paying tuition to
Harvard. It's a 6th-grade elective quarter-grade. But then
HH got that look in his eye. The eye that thought a growling
stray cat was ours, so he poked her with a broom handle.
"You should go to school and rub your butt and say 'Man,
my dad was SO mad about that 'F' that he beat me with
the belt'. That'll make her feel bad." OK, so HH's jokes
aren't all that funny...but it seemed like kind of a good

I put my spin on it. "I can email Best Friend's Mom Whose
Room Is Just Down The Hall and tell her 'When you see
Your Friend That Keyboarding Teacher, sigh and say I
feel sooo sorry for that little Hillbilly boy. His dad whipped
him with the belt because he got an 'F' on his report card.'

#1 son joined in the plan. "When we go on that incentive trip
to the movie, I'll sit down by her on the bus and say 'Owww.
My dad got the belt after me because of that 'F'.' And I'll have
The Boy Born In A Truck go up to her later and say 'I wish
I had my phone back. My dad took it away because I got
an 'F' in keyboarding.' Then I'll tell Girl Who Saw Me At The
Chili Supper Back In Second Grade And Said Hiiiiii-iiiiiiii
Boy And Grinned Real Big to say 'My mom sent me
to bed without supper Monday night because I got an 'F' in

We all thought we were pretty clever, until it hit me. What if
she calls the hotline on us for child abuse? I'm not sure if
we're going to follow through on this prank or not. With my
luck, the payback would be too much.

Like when her gang arranged a date with a blow-up doll for
payback on another teacher's prank.