Wednesday, February 28, 2007

As Generic As It Gets

HH went to the doctor today, a regular appointment. I have been
telling him to go back since last Thursday, after the doctor told
him last Monday to come back if he wasn't better in a couple of
days. Now, the doctor says to stay in bed, and come back Friday
if he's not better. We'll see. I'm sure HH hates to miss 2 MORE

One of my old teaching buddies was back in the building earlier
this week, subbing. With my busy schedule, I didn't get to talk
to her the first day, but the next day she hunted me down before
school started. I hope the accident victim from my LSUV reverse
faux pas does not know her.

We picked up like old times, like it hasn't been almost a whole
year since we could chat about people who are not as good as
we are. Heh, heh. Then she leaned over my desk, glancing
sideways in each direction, even though my door was closed,
and only the two of us were present. "I feel like I have to tell
you this," she nearly whispered. "Did you know you will be
teaching Science next year?"

Gosh! It's great to have a friend to watch your back, even
though this is the first time time she's been in the building in
several months. What if she hadn't told me? What if I showed
up the first day of school, and found out then? It could happen.
Anyhoo...I thanked her, and told her that was OLD news to
me, that I had known for 3 weeks now.

In other news, I see that my Intervention show on A & E has
been moved from Sunday nights to Friday nights. Great Googley
Moogley! Won't all the people who need interventions be out
drinking and drugging on Friday nights? Is this a ploy by the
programmers to save them, because surely they will say, "I'd
planned to go out drinking and drugging, but by cracky, I think
I'll stay home to watch that Intervention show!"

In still other TV show news, I have grown addicted to The
Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. It doesn't hurt that every
week she tells some of those comely young men to strip off.
Plus, the DRAMA! I even like seeing her son, Nathan, try to
take on the responsibilities she gives him, just before she takes
them herself. I tried watching The Agency, a knockoff on MTV
or VH1 about the Wilhelmina Agency, but they appear to be a
cheap imitation of Janice's show. Janice does look somewhat
like a cadaver, though. A well-preserved, high-strung, loud-
mouthed cadaver.

I am still not my usual vibrant, entertaining, controversial blogging
self. I thinks it's something in the atmosphere. Because I never
write 'I thinks' when I am my old self. I am stagnant. I need my
head to unstuff with the HH congestion. I need some new ideas.
Sweet Gummi Mary, I would even settle for some old ideas.
Any ideas.

Perhaps tomorrow I will tell you about the new toilet paper
dispenser in the faculty women's restroom.

If you're good.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

HM Is On The Lam

I'm a fugitive. I'm on the lam. Will somebody harbor me? I've got
to lay low for a while. According to HH, anyway.

Remember when HH backed his giant Ford F250 Crew Cab Long
Bed 4x4 pickup over a compact car, slicing the hood like a can
opener? Well, today Hillbilly Mom herself committed an bit of a
backing faux pas at the bank...

Funny thing is, I never park anywhere that I have to back the
Large SUV without room to see behind it. I won't pull up to drop
off the kids at school where I have to back up. I park at the end
of a row, or somewhere I know nothing is going to close me in.
Funny thing is, I wasn't parked at the bank. I was waiting in line
to cash a check from the people who share our lake lot. This cash
budget idea is going to be the end of me. Funny thing is, this isn't
exactly a laughing matter.

There was one car at the drive-thru thingy. The commercial lane
was empty. The lane on my right was empty. Hey, that's all there
are: three lanes. It's the middle of nowhere. So, this car in front of
me was taking a while. In fact, it was turned off. Which usually
says 'little old lady having her checkbook balanced by the drive-
thru teller' to me. So I decided that I might as well back up to get
into the right lane. Even though there is usually just one teller in the
afternoon, they alternate between the two regular drive-thru lanes.
So if somebody else pulled up in the right lane, they would get
served before me when I pulled forward.

But there was nobody in the right lane. I looked in the rearview
mirror. Nothing. I looked in the driver's side mirror. Nothing. I
looked in the passenger side mirror. Nothing. I turned around to
look out the back. Nothing. I even said to my #2 son in the back
seat, "See anything behind us?" He said, "Nope." I put it in reverse.
I backed about two feet. I felt a bump. I put it in drive and pulled
up to where I had started. I got out, and saw a little black car
behind me. A little black car that had stopped my backing progress.

A hair-thinning man more older than younger, with a grayish pointy
meth-looking beard was out of the car, with a white dog on a
chain. "Get back in the car!" he shouted. But I figured he meant
the dog, so I went on back to see what hideous damage I could
have done to his little sardine can. A very clean, black, sardine
can, I might add. There was not a mark on it. On the can, that is.
The license plate was kind of crumpled, like the foil after you
unwrap a miniature red or green holiday Reese's Peanut Butter
Cup. My OnStar round thingy that is on the trailer hitch had hit
his little car in the license plate. I grabbed the license and bent it
back a little bit, nearer to its original shape. Our bumpers had not
even touched. Well, my bumper had not sliced open the hood of
his car like a sardine can, I suppose, because there would have
been none of the bumpin' of bumpers, what with my LSUV being
so much taller than his little car. I told him, "I didn't see you. It
looks like I've crunched your license plate." He came around to
look at the damage. Then he drug the dog back to the car.

Now here's the part I don't get. He seemed like he was afraid of
me. Hey! He's the one with the dog on a chain! He acted like he
didn't want to get close to me or talk to me. Kind of timid-like. I
don't really think he was a meth-head. He didn't look like that
style, but who knows what that looks like these days. I thought
maybe he didn't want to be bothered, or maybe he was drunk
and didn't want the police called. Something didn't seem quite
right. He called into the car, to his wife, I suppose, "She just bent
the license plate." The woman nodded her head. He stood by his
door, looking at me. I stood between the cars, looking at him.

"I have insurance," I told him. "I have insurance, too," he said.
"We can call somebody if you think we need to," I said. He kind
of shook his head. "It's OK?" I asked. He nodded, and got back
into the car. So I climbed back into my LSUV and pulled forward
to the money-tube-sucker-upper thingy. A red truck had pulled
in behind him while I was out of the LSUV. Apparently, nobody
wanted to use that right lane. It was open, you know.

So now HH tells me that I should have called the police. Because
now the guy can call them with my license number and tell them
I left the scene of an accident. The same HH who said during his
unfortunate sardine-can-slicing incident, "There's no need to call
the police. We're on a private parking lot. They can't do anything
except take a report." Which is what the principal at another school
told me after a kid's girlfriend plowed his farm truck into the back
of my parked 3-month-old Nissan Sentra. Which was kind of
expensive to repair, and took the whole school year to get the
money out of his parents, because they wouldn't turn it into their
insurance because he'd had a recent wreck and had to pay for
plastic surgery for a different girlfriend or some such thing.

Anyhoo...the point is that I got out and offered to call the police,
and give him my info, but he didn't want to. I am not a psychic.
I don't know what he wanted. He seemed like a nice enough
guy. I would have been madder than he was if somebody backed
up into my little sardine can. I could not hold him down and
force him to take my info while I called the police. There was
no damage, except to his license plate, and I'm pretty sure the
insurance won't pay to hammer it back into shape. He had pulled
up so close that I couldn't get a good head of steam backing up to
WHACK his car and go over the top of it, like GraveDigger, or
BigFoot, or those monster truck thingies.

People! If you can't see the driver's face in the mirror, the driver
probably can't see your little go-kart behind him. And please tell
that to the black-haired little moonfaced kid in the red sardine can
who tailgated me for 5 miles this morning. If I hadn't seen him slam
on the brakes at the Wal*Mart exit, and whip out behind me like
a Roller Derby queen out on a jam, I wouldn't have known he was
back there, except when he kept swerving over the center line, like
he was going to pass me, but wouldn't. Good thing for him I didn't
need to back up at those three stop signs.

I need one of those LOUD beepy things when I back up.
And one for the LSUV, too.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Be Careful What You Search For

Preposition: ending with. Just sayin'...

Since the magic still ain't a-happenin' will be treated to HM's
interpretation of some wacky keyword searches. For those of you
who enjoy them, I may do it every night this week. For those of
you who deplore them, this is it for a while. I promise. You can't
see behind my back, can you?

buy some land read a book it's called speedstick it's not expensive
Yeah. That's all together in a search string. So I figure somebody
has an annoying friend with too much time and money to burn.
Thus the advice to spend the money on land. It's a good investment.
They aren't making any more, you know. And read a book, so you
will quit bellyachin' that there's nothing to do, since you are OH SO
RICH and don't have to work. Unfortunately, you must have some
killer BO, because this dude wants you to loosen the purse strings
and invest in some Speed Stick. By Mennen.

free knit directions for a rastafarian hat
Do you really think that someone who wants a rastafarian hat will
knit it? Because methinks they would most likely just make a trade
of some substance for the hat.

sitting on head and fart
Join the circus already, freak. You must be quite the contortionist.

taum sauk gym
Umm...perhaps you don't really want to work out here. Because
I would not quite call it a gym, really, and ever since this reservoir's
unfortunate collapsing faux pas the morning I was sitting in court
waiting for jury duty to start, I have been a bit uncomfortable even
thinking about hydroelectric power.

two kidnapped boys found in moi
NO! They were NOT! That is saying I am as big as an apartment.
Which is not considered polite.

mom showing her boobs again drinking beer
NO! I am NOT! If I ever did. Which is for me to know and you
to find out. But I don't think I did. Because if there ever was a
time I was drinking beer, then the boobage was in fine shape to
be shown off, but I don't think I did, since I never partook of that
Mardi Gras bead-hoarding agenda, but perhaps I did lean over
the copier a time or two when a fellow science teacher at my
first teaching job commented on how he liked my white-and-
black teeny tiny polka-dotted dress (the dots were teeny, not
the dress, we are talking about HM here) and how he especially
liked the V-neck thing it had goin' on, and so what if he was a
29-year-old with braces on his teeth, he was an OK kind of
guy, and when you live in a town with 29 churches, maybe that's
about as much fun as you are legally allowed to have, but I was
most certainly not drinking beer near the copy machine, oh, my
no, because that would be just wrong, because what if it got
spilled (Oh, the humanity! What a waste of schoolbeer!) and
messed up the copy machine, which would make a whole lot
of teachers mad, so mad they would not ever forgive me, even
if I showed them my boobs, which certainly weren't drinking beer,
which is kind of what the search thingy seems to say, but that is
impossible, I am not some circus freak with beer-drinking boobs.

picture of hillbilly idiot
Why, oh why, oh why oh...did this string of words bring someone
TO MY MANSION?!? I will admit to the hillbilly. But not to the
idiot. Though perhaps I did have a post about A Family of Morons.
Duh. And why, oh why, oh why oh...did I get stuck with that
Middle School music teacher who would only allow us to sing
SHOWTUNES for my entire 7th grade and 8th grade year?

what are the five nations of iraquois league

I don't know. You've stumped Hillbilly Mom. I could look them
up, but meh...I'm not in Trivia training at the moment.

teepeeing ideas pretty much just take a big ol' roll of toilet paper,
the really thin and cheap school bathroom kind, not the good
stuff like Charmin Ultra With Aloe, and toss it up over a tree
limb. It's not rocket science. It's not even astronaut farmer science.

she pushes really hard and jams the pencil sharpener
NO! I DON'T! Stop saying that. I have two pencil sharpeners,
and they're both in perfect shape. In fact, people comment on
my pencil sharpeners. "This is the best pencil sharpener in the
building. I save my pencils to bring in here and sharpen." So
there. No pushing. No jamming. HM hearts her pencil sharpener.

Sadly, we've come to the end for tonight. Play along, people. I'm
sure someone is sad that it ended.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Poker At The Mansion

False advertising alert: this post is not about poker. It's just the
only title I could come up with. Said Hillbilly Mom, ending yet
another sentence with a preposition. Two, in fact.

HM is a KnowNot. She has lost all creativity, even the portion in
her little finger that was more than HH has ever had in his entire
body. She can not think of anything today that could possibly stir
even the faintest interest of a studyhall teacher who has finished
reading the USA Today from cover-to-cover by the start of
2nd Hour.

Tralala...what pops into my mind? Academy Awards tonight?
HoHum, who cares? I haven't seen any of the movies. TV?
There's not much on TV these days. I watched an old ER on
DVD. What's with the charcoal, people? We know you give it
to the overdoses to pump their stomachs. So why do you leave
it all around their mouths? Do they drool it out all day? Do they
not feel it, and wipe it away with the backs of their hands? Do
those caring nurses ignore the black gunk and make faces behind
their backs, like, "Heehee! Look at that black drool! These ODs
are a riot!" It just seems that they would wipe it away.

The boys have been sick, and not up to their usual hijinks. My
mom's FAT RED PINKY FINGER is normal again. No gambling
trips on the horizon. The Annie dog hasn't eaten any UPS packages.
No trysts with my Sonic manboy who used to discount my sodas.
No drama at work that involves me. But Mabel, I've got a story
for you. No freakish weather. No Hot Cabana Boys. No stray
dogs or kittens to adopt. No LandStealer feud. People just have
not been Pissing Me Off at the usual rate.

So I'll have to turn to my surefire source of entertainment: HH.
Perhaps I mentioned that HH spent 4 days at home with the
plague. Or what he seems to think is the plague. He also came
home early the other day. HH spent most of this time sleeping,
sometimes in the bed, sometimes in the recliner that makes a
deafening ratcheting noise when he throws it back. Thursday
evening, HH said he had trouble getting any rest during the day
when we were all at school..

"Every time I get into a good sleep, something pokes me." He
pointed to his arm/shoulder area, the deltoids, like where you
get a shot. "It's like the end of a finger poking me to
wake me up."

I don't know what to make of this. I would say he was crazy if
there hadn't been other odd things happen around the Mansion.
Or I would think he was just falling into that REM sleep, and it
was some kind of recurring dream, or that he wasn't getting
enough oxygen and his brain was having some kind of hallucinatory
spasm. All I know is that I've never had anything TOUCH me,
thank the Gummi Mary, and I've never seen or heard anything
in our end of the house. This is a new one on me.

Perhaps something from beyond is telling him to get off his lazy
butt and quit sleeping 20 hours a day.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Snort, Cough, Cough

I certainly hope HH is happy now. I have caught the plague that
he has carried into the Mansion. It started on Thursday, with the
headache and nausea, after a night of 3 hours sleep due to the
hacking and recliner-riding of HH, the plague carrier.

Do I get 4 days off from work, to lie about the Mansion, whining
and simpering about how bad I feel? NO! That's why I have a
blog. Did I visit the doctor and get antibiotics and a hydrocodone
derivative? NO! But I had my mom ask for one of the two.

I get to spend my weekend weak as a waterlogged kitten, with
not even the pleasure of my longtime companion, Sonic Cherry
Diet Coke. He hurts my throat, so I've given him up until I feel
better. Or until I have some Hot & Sour Soup. Because that
stuff will kill me without my Sonic Cherry Diet Coke to put out
the hot. I have found the soup to be good for what ails me. I
had some on Thursday night, and again on Friday night. Perhaps
I will try some tomorrow, if I feel like driving to town.

Oh, and I am still expected to do the household chores and
pay the bills and make sure the young 'uns are fed and watered.
#2 son had to miss school Thursday because he thrashed all
night with a fever. Hmm...wonder where he picked that up?
My mom picked him up at my classroom before school. She
asked if he thought they should go by McDonalds for some
pancakes. He looked at her through his glassy eyes, and said
earnestly, "Yes. I think so." He is doing better now, thanks to
me doping him with Children's Tylenol Cough Plus Fever, or
one of those variations.

This morning, #1 son came down with it. He crawled back in
bed until 12:30. And he asked for an acetaminophen, which
he never does, because he's a big ol' baby and has to have
them cut in half or he can't swallow them. HH went to work
this morning. From 7:00 to 11:00. WooHoo! He's settin' the
world on fire! He's a regular Trump, it seems.

I didn't go to bowling this afternoon. I got to do the grocery
shopping, bill mailing, laundry, and dish washing. I have been
drinking lots of water and running my electric space heater
under my computer desk to soothe my aching muscles. HH
has been bellowing about this and that, so it seems that he's
on the mend.

My mom went to the doctor Friday, and I had her ask him
to call me in a prescription for sweet, sweet Histinex. They are
good about that stuff. Plus, they sent me that $60 rebate check
a couple weeks ago. I don't know why. I don't recall paying them
anything extra. But I'm on guard in case the want to lop off a pinky
finger sometime in the future. I picked up my sweet, sweet Histinex
Friday evening. He is now sitting in the kitchen cupboard, on call
for when I need him. I figure it will be Sunday night or Monday.
I'm in the snotty, throat-closing-up stage now, so I figure the
wheezing and hacking aren't far off. It's good to be prepared.
With this new schedule of mine this year, I've found that everything
is closed for lunch during my plan time. It is really difficult to carry
on the war with the insurance company, or contact the doctor or
any other business during 12:15 to 1:05.

It's going to be a long week.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Look Inside

fun games battle of the teachers

Somebody searched for that string of words, and my little Mansion
popped up. It was a while back, but it's been on my cerebral back
burner. I could stage a good "Battle of the Teachers" contest. Like
"Battle of the Network Stars". Oh, my. Don't think I've actually
watched such a show. A dainty thing like me, barely 21, fresh as
dew on a daisy. But I've heard about a show like that.

Hmm...what events can I include for my Battle? Let's pitch a few...

Ultimate Copier Possession.
The object of this game is to keep the copier away from others for
as long as possible. There are several variations. You can run to
the machine the instant all faculty are dismissed from the meeting
in August, and run all copies you will need for the year. You can
arrive at 7:30 a.m. and begin copying your 500 student copies of
War and Peace, douple-sided, making sure they are collated and
stapled. You can commandeer two, count 'em, TWO cadet
teachers, and send them to the copiers during the school day,
when you are stationed in your classroom. This way, they can
tie up both the copier in the teacher workroom, AND the copier
in the office. Bonus points for leaving all paper trays empty.

King of the Space
The goal is to take another faculty member's parking spot. This
will only work if the parking spots are not designated. Since
teachers are creatures of habit, you can find out the unofficial
parking heirarchy within about one week. Next, choose the
person who has worked at your school the longest. Observe.
Start getting to school about 5 minutes before that teacher.
Park in his spot. It doesn't matter if it is way down the line in
Outer Parkinglottia. It doesn't matter if your classroom is
entirely on another side of the building. Park in that old fogey's
spot. Do it secretly. No crowing. If he gets there before you,
park right next to him. Close. The winner is the usurper who
makes the veteran blow his stack the soonest.

Help Yourself
The idea behind this event is that whatever your neighbor has,
you have a claim to it. Need a cable to connect your VCR to
your TV? Shop at Ye Olde Neighbor's Classroom Boutique.
Oh, you don't want to bother him. Get whatever you need
after he leaves for the day. Or pop in quickly when he runs
up to the teacher workroom to check his mail. Why, he might
not even need that Epileptic-Seizure-Sensing-Dog for weeks!
And your kids will have so much fun playing with him. Need
a doorstop? They're yours for the picking. Enlist a student to
kick it out into the hall after class, and others to soccer it along
to your classroom. Write your name on it quickly, before he
can lay claim to it. The winner is the one who gathers the most
stuff in the course of the school year.

Captive-Audience Unintentional Stand-Up Comedy Act
All performances must be held at the teacher lunch table.
This may be in the teachers' workroom, or in the cafeteria.
Past winners have included the following routines:

"I can't help it. Every day, someone writes it on the board
right behind my chair. I have tried and tried to catch them, but
I never see anyone go back there. I don't know if they're doing
it as a joke, or if it's malicious."
"What does it say?"
"F*ck me."

"Well, it looks like you're going to be the only man on this
building's faculty next year. You'll be in Hog Heaven."
Slow look around the table. "You've got THAT right."

"And they won't keep their hands to themselves. They are always
poking and picking at each other when they come into the room,
and then one of them gets mad and wants to fight. So I told them,
'Boys, will you
please stop fingering each other?' And they
laughed. What's so funny about that?"

"You know how she has that little bitty arm? Well, I was walking
down the hall, and she came out of the bathroom, and she had
a big streamer of toilet paper tucked into her pants, and I got to
thinking, 'How does she wipe with that little bitty arm?'"

Hide the Wastebasket

The object of this contest is to chose a high-strung teacher, and
take turns kidnapping his wastebasket. You must hide it in your
own classroom. You may put it in place of your own wastebasket.
You may put it under your desk, or in a cabinet, or inside your
own wastebasket. But it the HST finds it, you have to give it back.
The winner is the one who makes the teacher flip out. It's kind of
like a game of Hot Potato. You never know when he'll blow, but
it is sure to happen.

Rude-Writing Rascals
Choose a partner to sit with at a faculty meeting. Make sure you
have brought extra paper, and a Pilot pen, one of those that the
ink just flows out of effortlessly and silently, the red, blue, green
and black ones in a 4-pack at Wal*Mart. Write scathing notes
about your cronies and slide them to your partner. Be discrete.
Do not get caught. Nod knowingly when the speaker looks your
way. Ask a couple of pertinent questions. The goal is to make
others glare at you unapprovingly, and to get your partner in
trouble for laughing and being unprofessional. Be ready to eat
the evidence if your witticisms are discovered. Bonus points for
making your partner shake, cry silent tears of mirth, or pee her

That is by no means all of the events, but it is enough for tonight.

Examples are not necessarily based on real people or events, and even if they were,
I have worked at so many schools that
they can not be designated to my current place
of employment.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Dosing With Own Medicine One

Hillbilly Mom has reached her limit. Enough is enough. It's more
than a feast. It's a bloated buffet of all things Amsterdam.

Perhaps I told you about the fascination our students have with
this locale. They carry on about it all the time. Great Googley
Moogley, they even ask for help in finding it on the map. Today,
the frenzy reached its zenith. Some kids asked Mabel if they
could choose Amsterdam as the final destination for their senior
trip. Mabel is the sponsor of the group raising money for this
annual pilgrimage. Not necessarily to Amsterdam...most classes
choose Hawaii, or Mexico.

I wish I could turn the tables on these scalawags. Dose them
with their own medicine. Give the geese what they have been
giving the gander. Because I am sooo tired of hearing about
Amsterdam every day, hearing it worked into any conversation
about any subject.

So in Hillbilly Mom's Imaginary Get-Even World, it's going to
be The Springtime of Amsterdam. Not springtime IN Amsterdam.
OF. As in the Seinfeld episode: The Summer Of George. It will
be All Amsterdam, All The Time, from the beginning of 4th Quarter
until school is out. I am only supplying these empty sponges with
the information they desire. They have a thirst forAmsterdam
knowledge. They yearn for it.

We will begin with a map of the world. Not my favorite movie,
A Map of the World, starring Sigourney Weaver, in all her
wooden glory, based on my favorite book, A Map of the World,
written by Jane Hamilton, of Oprah's first Book Club fame. No.
An actual map of the world, showing Amstedam's place in the big
puzzle. Oh, and all the countries must be labeled correctly. And the
lines of longitude and latitude. With oceans and major rivers, too.
Perhaps we will throw in a topographic map of The Netherlands
as well. You can never know too much about the destination of
your dreams, you know.

Hmm...let's learn about the language of the Amsterdamsters. How
about a vocabulary list, and spelling test each week in Dutch? But
probably the students should first be informed that Amsterdam is
not a country. And that the official language is not Amsterdamish,
Amsterdamen, Netherlandish, or Netherlanden. Or Spanish.
Maybe we will even diagram some sentences in Dutch.

Students should also learn about the culture. What are they going
to eat when they get there? Chocolate? Worstenbroodjes?
Gehaktballen? What kind of money will they be spending? What
is the conversion rate with U.S. dollars? Is there tax? Is there
tipping? What if a discount is offered on
and/or products they are seeking? Will they be able to get a
good deal, or will they get ripped off? Where will they stay?
A nice hostel, perhaps? I know my students are big fans of the
Saw movies. And Hostel, too, of course.

Great Googley Moogley! We'd better get cracking on this
project, by cracky! There's an itinerary to plan. Let's find out
about the time zones, and book a flight, and figure the jet lag,
and plot the landmarks we will fly over. Let's make a budget.
Oh, and let's not forget how we're going to make the money
that our little jaunt will require.

Yes, I will be very thorough in my Amsterdam unit. By the
time we are finished, methinks these young'uns will not want
to bring up Amsterdam at the drop of a hat.

Here's to my little plan...or as the Amsterdamsters might say,

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Giant Pain In The Can For HM

I've got a bone to pick. Yes, it's a thorn in my side, a gripe in my
gizzard, a pain in my neck, a bone of contention. Feel free to add
your own cliche, or state your opinion.

Have you ever participated in a can drive? I don't mean the Boy
Scout way, or out of the kindness of your heart buying $20 worth
of Save-A-Lot food to take to the food pantry. I mean the school
canned food drive. Or as some people call it, the can food drive,
which is another bone of contention, but let's limit the topic today.

Every year, each building has one for some charitable cause. I don't
mind the canned food drive. I mind the way some people go about
it. For son's class was in the lead. They had 137 cans,
with the next closest competitor having 8. Yes. EIGHT cans. So
they were pretty much counting on their reward of a breakfast
cooked by the club sponsoring the canned food drive. Then the
snow days came, so the deadline was extended. My son's class
continued to bring in cans. Then, on the LAST DAY, a competing
class found out their total. A parent was called. The parent brought
200 cans. It still was not enough. The parent was called again, and
brought more cans. Some say it was 500 cans. Which put the
competitors over the top.

I cry FOUL! If it ain't there at the beginning of the school day,
it ain't a-comin'. It is not fair to have some kid with access to a
parent with free time and unlimited funds steal the victory out
from under the class that has been charitably straggling in cans
for several weeks. Shame on all involved! It's a CanCan Scandal!
Sure, it brought in more cans. But at what price? And I'm not
talking about $0.10 per can. And it's not a big deal just because
my kid's class came in second.

Thank the Gummi Mary, the sponsor found out what was going
on, and has decreed that the most-cans-class and the class-who-
11th-hour will BOTH receive the reward breakfast.

This is not an isolated incident. Every year since my oldest kid
started school, someone has done this. Maybe not always at the
last minute, but there has always been some kid or another who
had parents bring in a truckload of cans. Why raise the hopes of
the other students? If they know so-and-so is in another class,
why should they bring in anything? They have no chance to win.
I think there should be a limit on how many cans ONE student
can bring. But then, some parent would probably buy all the cans,
and parcel them out to each student in the class. It just doesn't
seem fair. If they want, let them donate cash or more cans, but
not as part of the contest.

We're talkin' kids, here. Kids and compassion. Not Survivor, or
The Amazing Race, or Big Brother, where the end justifies the
means. Not love and war, where all is fair. Kids. Kids and free
food during class time!

Is that too touchy-feely, everybody's a winner, plumping up
self-esteem of me? I don't care if they get their little egos crushed
or not. I just think a contest is a contest, and someone is bending
the rules.

At least the infractors were dealt a mediocre message in this case.
Rumor has it that they are incensed at having to share the reward.
Boo freakin' hoo, by cracky!

What's a-matter, it ain't FAIR?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where We're At

Heh, heh. I can even sneak my preposition in at the end of the
title. I'm that good.

Let's have some updates. HH the Hillbilly HouseHusband is still
sickly. He took off from work another day to go to the doctor.
From there he went to The Devil's Playground to buy dogfood.
So I don't think it's terminal. He says it's a bronchial thingy, and
has 10 days of meds and some tasty-looking cough medicine
that is not Histinex.

My insurance has decided that they ARE my insurance, and are
again refusing to pay my blood test lab bill from Nov. 30 due to
it being a 'routine test'. I've heard this song before. I called the
doctor's office, and after talking 20 minutes, being cut off once,
and transferred once, I got satisfaction. The girly said that from
my file, it looked like that is NOT a routine test, and the doctor
would issue a corrected diagnosis code to the lab. She even
called back after she talked to the lab, saying it was a done deal.
And when I got home, the lab had sent me a form to fill out for
secondary insurance. So I'll be calling THEM tomorrow.

#1 son is at the rescheduled Valentine's Dance at this moment,
not dancing. I told him to tell his little girlfriend, "I can't dance,
but I will stand on the dance floor with you so you can dance
and it will look like I'm participating."

My mom is doing well with her SURGICALLY-REPAIRED
PINKY FINGER. She is still up to her thrifty tricks, what with
sending me a red styrofoam plate in a bag of goodies the other
day, 'goodies' meaning coupons, a note how to get $5 off the
next cake I order, and said styrofoam plate. This afternoon I
went by her house, and she offered me some ketchup she had
sitting upside down to drain out every last drop. Then she said,
"Well, I can get another bottle out of the pantry for you."
I asked her if it was 4 years old, citing her Expired Ranch
Dressing Faux Pas in which I think she planned to poison me.
She didn't think so.

We are deep into 3rd Quarter now, there's no turning back.
Graduation has been set, the MAP test is in sight, and we are
all sick of each other. Yep. Everthing is right on schedule.

The school year is almost over, you know.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Encyclopedia Mom Has No Clue

President's Day is highly overrated as holidays go. Especially when
we have to go to school.

HH had the day off. That discombobulates me in the morning. He
didn't set his alarm, so I didn't have my extra 20 minutes of naptime
while he took a shower. I couldn't just get up later, because that
would throw off my goiter medicine schedule. Yeah. Goiter. My
life mimicks a Seinfeld episode each day, I tell you. Goiter. You
know...that football-sized growth on the side of my neck. Though
I didn't romance Mohandas. Anyhoo...after HH telling me that
he would set his alarm for 20 minutes, and then hearing him snore,
and then having him tell me the 20 minutes was up, after only 8
minutes...I arose to start the day.

HH is so needy. He wanted to be pampered. Not in a crazed-
rope-and-some-trash-bags kind of way, but in the stand-beside-
the-bed-and-hold-my-hand-and-adore-my-HHness kind of way.
That wasn't happenin'. I'm on a tight schedule every morning. The
extra 12 minutes had been taken up by finding a new lunch bag
for #2 son because his had mysteriously disappeared, and routing
#1 son out of bed because he lollygagged for 20 minutes after
being awoken, and getting a new shirt for #2 because he thought
he would be cold in a short-sleeve, even though he had a T-shirt
on under it and the forecast was for 56 degrees after weeks of
highs in the 20s.

When asked about his plans for the day, HH stated that he was
going to pick up my grandma's mail. Quite a feat when the Post
Office is closed, I pointed out. "Doh!" said HH, as he lay in bed
sporting his tighty whiteys, the only thing missing a Duff beer on
his belly. When I called home at 3:15, to ask what he was doing,
HH replied, "Laying here in the bed about to die. I have had a
fever off-and-on all day." Too bad, so sad. I informed him that
he wasn't the first man ever to catch a cold, and went on my
merry way, as I will do now, to something more interesting and

I must make a note to append my Encyclopedia of Common
Knowledge, because just this morning I learned that...

Scars Are Not Permanent. Neosporin removes them. That's
stupid to think that scars are permanent. Dude. It doesn't matter
that ranchers brand cattle. People aren't freakin' cattle. All you
have to do if you brand yourself with a hot metal thing like they
use on cows is put Neosporin on it and it will disappear. Duh.
And anyway, you can go to the hospital and they will burn off
the scar with lasers.

Dogs Can Eat Anything. Because they're dogs. But maybe not,
because after eating a whole oven mitt, that darn dog threw it up
all over the comforter and the bedspread. That was a surprise,
because there was nothing in it to hurt him. It was just an oven

Jeans Are Girls' If They Have Buttons On The Back Pockets.
And that's kind of G*Y, you know, for a guy to wear them.
So what if they have 28 32 in the waistband? Girls can buy a
size like that. Or not. They may be guys', because my brother
has two pairs like that. Wait a minute! My brother has two
pairs, so maybe they are girls' jeans, because he's just a big
ol' girl and I tell him all the time.

A 30 Percent Discount Is Not A Good Deal Because It Makes
The Jacket Cost 3 Times More Than It Did Before The Discount.
So why would anyone want to buy it? It costs more. And then
when you figure that the tax is 7 percent, and you add that $7
to it, the jacket costs even more. So you should have bought it
before it went on sale.

OK, envy the life of Hillbilly Mom. Sometimes I wonder what
kind of mark I am making in this world. I try and I try, but I do
not seem to be effective some days. It's like taking an hour to
explain the space-time continuum to a group of what you have
been told are gifted students, and one of them raises her hand
and asks, "Where'd you get them big ol' teeth?" Not that some-
thing of that sort has ever happened to me, but you get my drift.

I must be a visionary, ahead of my time. Ya think?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Encyclopedia Of Common Knowledge

Years ago, SNL had a fake game show based on common
knowledge. Even though the contestants gave the correct answer,
they were wrong if it was not the 'common knowlege' answer.
According to the rules, Answers for Common Knowledge are
determined by a nationwide survey of 17-year-old high school
seniors. Example: the author of A Christmas Carol...Ebenezer
Scrooge. The author of Huckleberry Finn...Tom Sawyer. The
Louisiana Purchase was obtained from the country of...Louisiana.
The capital of Washington is...Washington, D.C.

Through my many years of working with students who love to
spout off their common knowledge, I am ready to write my own
reference book. Here are some exerpts. I shall call it:

Hillbilly Mom's Encyclopedia of Common Knowlege

Surviving A Car Crash. As long as you go limp, you will be fine.
That's why drunks are always OK in a car crash. If you wear
a seat belt, you can be trapped in the car and die. If you brace
yourself, you will break bones. As soon as you see there is going
to be a crash, go limp. You won't be injured. You may even be
thrown clear of the accident.

The Myth of Surface Tension. You can fall from any height and
be safe, as long as you land in water. Water is soft. You can
shoot into it, too. It's a bunch of bull that a bullet can riccochet
off the top of the water. People who actually hunt and know
how to use guns do it all the time. It's kind of funny that someone
would think the bullet can bounce off the water. Water is soft.

Holding in a Fart Will Kill You. If you have to fart, don't hold it
in. The gas will build up in your intestines and cause them to
explode, and then you will puff up and get an infection and die.
So always fart whenever you have the urge, or you will die.

Bullets Shot Into the Sky Are Exempt From Gravity. It is perfectly
OK to shoot your gun in the air on New Years Eve. The bullet
goes into the air. It won't fall on someone. And even if it did, it
is just falling, not being shot at them. Ha, ha. That's pretty funny
that someone would think a bullet could fall and kill them.

More Hair Grows Back If You Shave It. Don't shave your arms,
because more hair will grow back. You will have, like, a beard
on your arms. More hair will grow in its place. So leave your
arm hair alone. Same with your legs. It will look like a forest if
you shave it and it grows back.

Hate Words Can't Hurt People If They Don't Hear Them. It's
OK to say N*gg*r and J*w and M*x*c*n and G*y and F*g
around our town, because there aren't any of those people to
hear it. Like the classroom, for example. None of us are like
that, so who is it hurting? It's stupid that we can't talk like that.
But if some of them are around, don't say it, because there might
be trouble. Or you can say it, as long as you're not afraid of them.

Kids Are Expert Agents of Espionage. Only kids know what's
really going on. Adults are too stupid. They have never taken
drugs or been drunk or had sex or known anybody who breaks
the law. Adults are so stupid, it's a wonder they can live through
each day. If they only knew the things kids know...

The South Won the Civil War. That's why so many people like
to fly the Confederate Flag, and put it on their truck windows,
and on their caps. Why would anyone do that if they lost?

The Flu Shot Will Give You the Flu. Everybody who has ever
gotten a flu shot gets the flu from it. They will never get another
flu shot, that's for sure.

The Shocking Truth About Pearl Harbor. It's when the Chinese
bombed the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Japan. That's what the
library book said, you know.

The Harry Potter Books Promote Devil-Worship. Nobody who
says this read them, and nobody in their family has read them, but
it's true because somone's mom saw it on TV.

The Blair Witch Project Was Based On a True Story. All kids
plan on going there to check it out when old enough to drive.
Where was it, anyway?

The Most Popular Vacation Destination Is Amsterdam. When
kids graduate, they're going there. (It doesn't matter that they are
in 11th grade and have 3 credits and need 24 to graduate, and
don't know what they're going to do for a living. Probably be an
underwater welder with the Navy, because those guys make a lot
of money. Of course they can afford to go to Amsterdam. Can
you show them where is it, exactly, on the map?) Adults are so
stupid they have never heard of what goes on in Amsterdam.
They have no idea why kids would want to go there. It's like,
the best kept secret ever, next to '4/20'.

Rules of Division. When the question says '2 divided by 100',
it means the 2 goes on the outside of that little house thingy, and
the 100 goes inside. The answer is '50'. That's easy.

The World Is The 10th Grade Boy's Oyster. He knows all there
is to know about life. The Hooter's girls love him, even though
he can barely afford a soda there, and has never heard of tipping.
He doesn't have a girlfriend, yet is an authority on sex because he
knows who John Holmes is. He does not have a driver's license,
but knows the best car, and how to take it apart and put it back
together. He already has a job lined up for when he graduates,
making $30 per hour. He really doesn't need school, but attends
because his mom wants him to graduate. His future wife will not
work, and he will never send his kids to daycare. The kids will be
geniuses, and they sure won't be going to this school. His wife will
be hot, like a model in those motorcycle magazines. In his spare
time, between trips to Amsterdam, he will have his own TV show,
like Bam Margera.

I will leave you to digest this serving of common knowledge. If it
stays down, there may be more feasts in the future.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

HM Said Knowingly

This Much I Know For Sure...

That 40 mph wind today was colder than Hillbilly Mom's heart.

I will put things off until I can no longer get away with not doing

When HH tells me 'the roads are clear', he means the roads after
I drive 1 mile of gravel road, and 2 miles of blacktop county road.

My kids will eat any kind of noodle, but not much else.

Ketchup is not a vegetable, even though the school lunch program
can count it as such.

People are naive if they think the work email is not monitored.
And if they drink Evian.

HH will find a new way to make one of the boys cry every week.

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Or walk
around naked. Or tell people they live in a glass house, because
some pervert may come a-stalkin'.

A brand-spankin'-new rural mailbox will not remain untouched for
more than 7 days.

While people are away, their dogs have big 'come eat my dogfood
because my people will give me more tonight' parties.

When you tell a kid 'five minutes', he thinks that you mean
25 minutes.

All this time, HH thought Howard K. Stern was the same person
as Howard Stern, and today said, "He sure doesn't look like he
does on TV."

These Things I Wonder About...

Why does each weatherman give a different forecast? Don't they go
to weatherman school? Is there not a standard way of predicting the

Why does the local license office have a popcorn machine? Is it
really a three-ring circus? Where do they keep those elephants?

When I go back to teaching Science next year, will I regain my
status and be an actual person, not the invisible woman?

Do people in H*ll really want ice water? Wouldn't they perhaps
prefer a stronger beverage, so they can forget that they're in, umm...

What IF your face froze like that? Would you go to a plastic
surgeon to try and correct it?

Does the President have to work on President's Day?

Where are all of my pencils, tape, pencil sharpeners, and rulers?

When an accident victim is examined in the ER, do the docs
and nurses say, "He should have listened to his Mom and put
on better underwear"?

Will I ever again think of something interesting to write about?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag

Here's some news. I can let it leak now, now that it's official.
I won't be a Lower Basementia dweller next year! WooHoo!
I won't be a traveler! I will put down roots, in my own climate-
controlled classroom, a mere 10 paces from the bathroom!
Sorry if I'm getting carried away, but this has been a long time
comin'. Six years, to be exact. It was six years ago I agreed
to give up the placid life of a core class teacher to become a
purveyor of common sense, and jack of all subjects. I was
asked to do it, and I answered the call. Now I have been
asked to resume my Science duties, and I will answer that call.
Although I'm not sure it's really a choice this time.

I don't care what I teach. I am reasonably intelligent. I can adapt.
My background is in Science, after all. I will still have one Math
class. But I will be in one building all day, people. Just like it
used to be. I will no longer be a hybrid, unable to put down my
roots, unable to connect with my compadres. I will have my old
lunch shift back, most likely. I will have one boss, one set of
meetings, one duty schedule, one gradebook, one plan book,
one classroom to decorate, one parking lot to find space in, one
set of keys, one building to attend for conferences, one fund to
donate money to, one way to report attendance, one set of
inventories, one set of requisitions, one desk to buy Puffs With
Aloe for, one set of pencils to loan and not get back, one check-
out procedure at the end of the year. ONE IS THE SWEETEST

But I will miss some people from Basementia. And I will miss
being in the same building as my boy. And I will miss the hijinks
that occurs there. But the benefits far outweigh the deficits.

So what if my class load increases from the 54 I started with this
year to around...oh, I don't know...maybe 130? That is a high
estimate, I believe. But having taught Science at a middle school
with 180 7th-8th graders on my class roll, including all freakin'
10 Behavior Disorder kids in one section, nothing can scare me,
by cracky!

I am looking forward to the challenge. The kids have no idea.


And now, yesterday's news. There's one thing I forgot to tell you,
what with my very bad day.

Perhaps you've heard of the nationwide peanut butter recall? I see
that my blog buddy, Redneck Diva, has some of the tainted treat.
Only she has the name brand, people! I am in awe. I have the
poorer cousin, the Great Value instead of the Peter Pan. I blame
The Devil's Playground. I normally don't buy peanut butter there.
I normally buy it at Save-A-Lot. But I wanted to save-a-trip, and
I bought the peanut butter at the same store where I bought the
Granny Smiths. That's one thing I'll say for The Devil's Playground,
the produce is good. But I haven't bought any peanut butter since,
oh, probably last fall. I know it was before Christmas. I used to
have an apple and some peanut butter every night. Like a nightcap,
only it wasn't an alcoholic drink. So I didn't think anything of this
peanut butter witch hunt, except to put in the back of my mind,
"I might want to take a look at that peanut butter some time."

Last night, when I got home at 5:45, HH had set out a jar of peanut
butter on the cutting block. A big freakin' jar, 28 ounces. I saw the
code started with 2111. I took off the lid. It was half empty! I went
to tell HH, who, as I might have mentioned yesterday, was lying face
down in the big triangle bathtub. "Hey! We have the bad peanut
butter!" HH doesn't eat peanut butter. Only #2 son and I eat it. HH
reared his soaking head and said, "Yeah. You need to throw it out.
But don't give it to the dogs. It might make them sick." Okaaayyyy.

My mom has 4 jars of the stuff. Perhaps I've mentioned that she
likes to buy in bulk. And served me 4-year-old expired ranch
dressing at Thanksgiving one year. We are planning on getting a
refund. Just because.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

HM Gives You A Quickie

Quickie. Not that kind. I am rushed. It has been a most dreadful
day, a day of which I do not have the time to detail the awfulness
that you so deserve a good description of. But I got in my sentence-
ending proposition, by cracky!

I knew it was going to be a bad day. My heart knew it, anyway,
because on the uneventful drive to work, the ol' ticker was doing
that jumpy, skippy, beating kind of thing. Like right before a
panic attack, if you've ever had one of those thingies, and you
get kind of shaky feeling. Or when you have just started taking
that demon Toprol XL, or whatever it is, that you have not
adjusted to yet.

Anyhoo...#1 son had to take out the trash this morning because he
forgot to take it to the end of the driveway last night. We're talkin'
a big green dumpster, people, down a 1/10 mile driveway. So he
did it this morning, in the 7 degree cold. Then he remembered he
had to take 10 cans of carrots to his 1st hour teacher to win a
pizza party from FCCLA, and he had to take a gift bag to his
Valentine, and he brought the wrong book home Monday for his
homework, but went back for the right one, but had that extra
book to haul around, plus the entry papers for his Science Fair
project that he didn't want to wrinkle. So when we got to
Basementia to drop him off, we had to wait for him to make a
second trip to the car.

#2 was dropped off uneventfully, clutching his kindergarten
Valentine box in a Wal*Mart bag, because he was too lazy to
make another one for 3rd grade. I got to my first building, and
promptly discovered 2 shiny new quarters behind my Large
SUV. Did I turn them in? H*LL NO! I thought, "It's OK. I'm
Even Steven." No, I'm not.

The graph paper I was needing was not the kind I had in my
cabinet, so I had to stroll to Mabel's end of the building and
mooch one from her. Then I saw that she had my birthday
gift, so I again thought, "It's OK. I'm Even Steven." No, I'm not.

First hour Mabel brought my gift and we had the gift-opening
festivity while my 10th grade boys rolled their eyes. More about
the awesome gift in another post, with photos. Then I helped
with a little biology, tried to graph my T Rex with the coordinates
I got off the internet, and filled out some ISS papers.

Then the turn for the worse began in earnest. I wrote up a kid
2nd hour. Only my second one all year. The first one in this
building. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom should not be provoked. Let's
just say that when you are told to sit down 3 times, but don't
stay seated, and are told to be quiet 3 times, but instead start
reading aloud from a library book of the 3rd grade reading
level, it's time to face the consequences. Pay the Piper. Bite
the bullet. Reap what you sow.

Third hour was uneventful as third hours go. I raced to Lower
Basementia to find that the bell did not ring. "Oh," I thought,
"Something is up. They must be ringing it manually again." No.
It was advisory day. The schedule was off by 20 minutes. I
could have gone to the bathroom! So I did. And again, I thought,
"I am Even Steven. I get 20 extra minutes today." No, I'm not.

At 2:30, I got a special message over the intercom: "You have
a meeting immediately after school at the other building." Umm...
what about my kids? What about my mother who's stopping by
Basementia with #2's birthday gift? What about the haircuts
we're getting after school because the $10 in coupons is not
good after Friday? What about the birthday cake we have to
pick up at 3:30? What about the fact that it takes 20 minutes
to get there, what with the difference in the clocks, and the
bus and pick-up traffic? Oh. That's MY problem. So I hastily
and against the rules took out my cell phone and called the
other principal, who said that yes, it was vital that I be at the
meeting, so I then called my mom and her POST-SURGERY
PINKY FINGER WITH A PIN IN IT to see if she would
come in and watch the kids so they didn't kill each other while
I was in the other building in a meeting. Then I imposed upon
my fellow mathie to watch the one remaining student I had
that hour (they're dropping like flies, I tell you), and then called
the office to get permission to leave 5 minutes before the bell
in Basementia, which was one minute AFTER the bell in the
other building, and was told go for it. So I went to the meeting.

Which lasted until 4:30, and was due to a big misunderstanding
in my opinion, but I can understand where the powers were
coming from, so anyhoo, we had a big ol' gabfest, and then
were released on our own recognizance, we troublemakers,
all 9 of us, to create havoc another day. Mabel, have I got a
story to tell you!

Upon taking back my spawn, we hit the road to McDonalds,
their fast-food Mecca, since it was bowling night for HH, and
waited in line 15 minutes for the not-so-fast-food, until I told
#1 I was going in to get my money back, but he whimpered,
"But we want the FOOD!" so pitifully that I sent him in to get
it, since they usually seem to set our order on the counter and
forget about it. That made us too late for my Sonic Cherry
Diet Coke, which made me quite the unhappy camper.

Next stop was the cake pick-up, because I was in no mood
for the haircuts at this late hour, and in the store I waited and
waited for a woman ordering slivers of sliced ham and sliced
turkey and sliced-whatever-you-got-in-that-case so this woman
who only wants to pick up her son's 9th birthday cake can
cool her heels a while longer.

When we reached the Mansion driveway, #1 son got out to
bring the dumpster back to the house. He pushed it through
a big puddle of slushy ice just to get his foot wet, and upon
parking it by the garage, climbed into the moving LSUV to
ride the 5 feet into the garage, and commented, "The dumpster
isn't all the way empty." That fool had pushed the unemptied
dumpster back to the garage. Sometimes, because the hill is
icy, the trash men wait a day to come up in here. The boy
said, "I thought it felt kind of heavy." Now he has to push it
back up there tomorrow morning.

Neither boy would help carry in the cake and stuff from school.
HH won't let me starve them into submission by refusing to
cook for them until they obey and contribute to the household
chores, so they really see no consequences to refusing. They
have learned from the master, as HH was laying face-down in
the large triangle tub in the master bathroom. Don't get your
hopes up. He was still breathing. So I went back out to carry
it in for myself, seeing as how no help appeared even remotely
on the horizon.

I warmed up some leftover chili for my supper, and cracked
open a can of Coke, the real thing, not the Sonic variety, and
both are waging a war with the lazy, lie-about, slacker epithelial
cells of my stomach lining. It has not been a pleasant day.

The icing on the cake was...well...the icing was fine, but when
we cut into the white cake that I ordered, it was chocolate.

Which I suppose is the imperfect end to the imperfect day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dear Hillbilly Mom

Since I was off today, I have too much time on my hands. Too
much time to think of things to do that are not folding laundry,
cleaning the kitchen, or working on the 1040.

Which's time for some more hijinx with Hillbilly Mom's
keyword searches! Are some people just plain stupid? Why are
they looking for these things? Can't they write to Ann Landers
if they are too dumb to figure stuff out? Because apparently,
they can't, I shall be her proxy. I will provide them with answers
so they can get back to their messed-up lives. Here goes...

help i've got no panties...
They sell them at The Devil's Playround.
You might know it as 'Wal*Mart'. If you don't have money, you
can stand out front with a can and collect some some.

gummi spanking pain...Why are you spanking gummis? They
have no nerve endings. At least I hope they don't, ever since
that student ate the Gummi Virgin Mary while I watched.

ingrown nostril...What's this? Is it a blowhole? I don't know what
an ingrown nostril would look like, but I'm betting it's not pretty.

vomit cleaning mink coat...Wow! This must be like the 'Roomba',
but with more class. Is it sold in the Neiman Marcus catalog?

backwoods hillbilly yards...Yeah, I bet these are OH SO
DIFFERENT from the urban hillbilly yards.

does roadkill spoil taste of venison...WHY are you adding roadkill
to your venison? They are two separate meals!

valium before vasectomy...Perhaps you should try the valium
after the vasectomy. Just sayin'...

mucinex claustrophobia...What? It doesn't like to stay in that little
bottle? Who knew? And how did they know?

hannah montana having her boobs sucked...That's kind of a
titillating subject to be searching for, don't you think?

sissy stirrup-pants...Sorry. I am only an authority on the masculine
stirrup pants.

yellow mucous one nostril...Is this your Indian (ahem..Native
American) name? Is your other nostril ingrown?

hog sayings...OK, here's a few. "Man, I was really makin' some
bacon last night!" "I ate too much. I feel like a fat hog." "Close
your mouth when you chew. You sound like a pig."

itchy hands and forearms cefzil...Don't try to market this. I think
you will find that the regular cefzil sells much better.

ishotmyself big blogspot beach party...This party doesn't sound
like much fun to me.

i fell pretty oh so pretty...Oh yeah? Well I don't care if you scored
a perfect 10.0, you still fell, you clumsy freak. Walk much? Have
a nice trip, see you next fall.

sissified husbands...What about them? Do you have one? Do you
want one? Do you mean in the 'Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual'
way, or the 'he might be gay' way? I know--buy him some sissy
stirrup pants. That should make him happy.

why has two scavengers in a truck got any punctuation...Because
we live in a civilized world, you cretin, where people use proper
punctuation and grammar. Word of which has apparently not
reached you yet, in your big cardboard box under the railroad

dry lungs dry unproductive cough spray paint...Again, people.
Do not try to market this product. The regular spray paint will
be a better seller. Trust me.

That's it for the advice column today. I know you are thirsty for
more, but that's how it goes here at the Mansion.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Mansion In Winter

Happy snow day! We were a bit surprised, what with only rain
this morning until 9:55. We were up, we made a trip to town, we
thought the weathermen were wrong again...and then it started.
Five minutes of sleet, and then these GIGANTIC snowflakes.
They fell for about 20 minutes, then we had some flurries for a
few hours. It is slicker than snot out there. We are off again on

Here are the huge flakes. As big as hamsters, I read on the
weather blog for Channel 2 in St. Louis. I have never seen
snowflakes so big in all my extensive years.

Here is the view from the kitchen door, off the back deck.
Watch your step! It's a 10-foot drop.

Here is the front yard. Behold the 5th-wheel camper in all its
glory. The poor lilac bush and the yucca are not faring so well
this winter.

Here's HH's pimp car. It's a 1980 Olds Toronado. Copper
colored, with spoke wheels. It was free from his boss, when
the boss's dad passed away. It runs and everything. HH drives
it every couple of weeks. My sister-the-mayor's-wife is the
one who named it the 'pimp car'. She said she would never
ride in it. That's OK. HH has never asked her.

When HH got home, he fired up the Scout and pulled the boys
around the field on their plastic toboggans. They crouched on
their knees, holding ropes to keep the front ends up, and waved
as he drove by the house. They looked like waterskiers. Except
they were on their knees on plastic toboggans, in a snowy field,
wearing camouflage coveralls and sock caps, being pulled by
a Scout. Otherwise, just like waterskiers.

I watched some ER this morning on TBS, then went out to gape
at the falling snow and pet the dogs, who thought the world was
ending, then washed a sinkful of dishes, then made a pot of chili,
then baked a birthday Oreo cake for #2 son's birthday on Thursday,
then made lunch for the boys, then made lunch for myself, then
retired to my computer for a while, then baked some corn muffins
to go with the chili, because HH says they go together, but I'd
never heard of it, then watched the beginning of White Chicks
with HH, even though we've both seen it, and I think I have it on
DVD, then started this post.

And now I'm done. It's MTV night at the Mansion. One of the
two nights I regularly watch TV. Make that three, now. Sunday,
Thursday, and the new MTV Tuesday night line-up.

I'm sure I should be doing something else, but I don't care.
Tomorrow is another snow day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Not As Bad As We Thought We'd Be

All right. I'll give you the results of my team at Saturday's 37-team
Catholic Free-Beer Triva Night. A little bit later.

There was only one person on my team who I had played trivia
with before. How's that? TWO propositions to end a sentence!
And a questionable who/whom faux pas. I knew of all but one
team member. Which is not to say I run in their circles. We had
quite a time picking who was going to keep the official score sheet.
I did not want to, but was told to, so I filled out part of it. A Know-
It-All showed up after me, and I offered him the duty. He declined,
but I could tell he wanted to be in charge. I asked three more times,
and right before we started, he said, "Oh, okay. I'll do it." I could
tell he was itching to get his hands on it.

We were up and down throughout the night. With so many teams,
we were tied with 3 or 4 down in the middle of the pack. There
was a bonus round where we had the opportunity to earn 5 bonus
points for naming songs they had played during the break. It's not
that we were not observant, but that we did not know any of the
songs. We scored a big 0 on that bonus. Our nemesises, or our
nemesi, however you pluralize it, got ALL 5 FREAKIN' BONUS
POINTS! That put them 3 points ahead of us for a couple of
rounds. They were at the table right behind us, and kept tossing me
messages written on the green official Catholic Free-Beer Trivia
Night notepads.

I suppose they were trying to distract me. For example, one note
proclaimed that the writer had a 'friend' to keep her company on
those cold, lonely nights. She wrote, "I call him 'Big Ed'. To which
I replied that one time somebody gave me a 'Big Ed' for my
birthday, and after a year or so, I tossed him into a dumpster.
She sent a note back inquiring as to whether it was a green
dumpster, as that is where she found 'Big Ed'. I jotted down
that indeed, 'Big Ed' was laid to rest in a green dumpster, and
that I certainly hoped she had given him a bath. She ain't quite
right in the head, that gal, because she wrote back "Yes, if by
'a bath' you mean licking him clean." OK.

When our score was 59, she laughed her fool head off and called
me over to their table on a break. "I looked up and thought your
score was '69'," she hooted, as did her entire tableful of team.
So I went back to my own little table, and wrote a note saying,
"I don't understand. What does 69 mean?" And she replied on
paper, "It's what you showed me in that picture." So I had to
pen, "Oh, yes. That picture of you and Mrs. Patriotic Dobro
Player from down the hall." That kind of took them off their
game, and we closed in on their 3-point lead. Perhaps that free
Catholic beer had something to do with their relapse.

Get ready to answer without reading to the end if you want to play
along. The categories, and some questions we missed were:

Heroes & Villains:
What is the Spanish word for 'fox'?
Current Events:
What was the final score of the Super Bowl?
Christmas Trivia:
Why was 'The 12 Days of Christmas' originally written?
Sorry, no question. We scored a perfect 10/10. Do you know
the logo for Lowry's Seasoned Salt?
Political Pets:
What pair of animals did Lewis & Clark bring President Jefferson?
TV Music:
What instrument provides the voice of Charlie Brown's teacher?
Dead or Alive:
I'll give you both that we missed, to make up for the Logos...
Robert Conrad. Anita Bryant.
Missouri State Parks:
Which park has the tallest waterfall?
What's the theme song for 'The Apprentice'?
The capital of South Korea is Seoul. What does the word
'Seoul' mean in Korean?

We had predicted our score as 65, because the first round was
a bit difficult. In the end, the lowest we scored in any round was
6/10. We finished the evening with a grand total of 71 points.
Which was good enough for 6th Place! Which I think is pretty
darn good out of 37 teams, since we only got 6th in one Trivia
that only had 12 teams. We didn't win any monetary prize, but
a good time was had by all. Except maybe Mr. Know-It-All.

And now, the answers:

The Spanish word for fox is zorro. Not baca, which we said,
which appears to mean 'recovery from difficulty'.

The final score of the Super Bowl was 29-17. Not 31-17.
We really needed our young sports maven to be 21.

The 12 Days of Christmas was a catechism mnemonic for young
Catholics. Or WAS it? That's the answer they gave, but there is
some controversy over that info being an Urban Legend.

Lewis & Clark brought Jefferson two bear cubs. Mr. K-I-A
wanted that answer, but we hooted him down. "How could
they bring bear cubs back on such a long trip?" We answered
'prairie dogs'. Hey! They did send Jefferson a prairie dog!

Charlie Brown's teacher is a muted trombone. I knew that.
But I deferred to the two (not one, but two) band teachers
on our team, and went with the wrong answer of 'trumpet'.

Robert Conrad is dead, dead, dead, no more daring us to
knock that battery off his shoulder. And Anita Bryant is
still chugging that orange juice and persecuting homosexuals,
as far as I know.

Missouri's Tallest Waterfall is found in Taum Sauk State
Park, not Roaring Rivers.

The theme song for The Apprentice is 'For the Love of
Money' by the O'Jays. I watch it every week. I could sing
it for you. But I didn't know the name of it. It is not: Money
Money Money Money.

The word 'Seoul' means Capital City. Duh. I wanted to say
'Capital', but my team went with 'love'.

And there you have it. We beat our same-school opponents
by 3 points in the end.

Hee hee.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

HM Can't Find The Catholics

And now, for something completely different. GOTCHA! It's
really just more of the same. Since the masses (Colleen, the one
and only reader who asked about it) are clamoring for the results
of the Trivia Contest, I will gladly give you an update.

To begin with, that goshdarn Catholic Church is a hard nut to
crack, by cracky! I arrived at 6:00, and went to where I thought
it would be, what with HH giving me the directions. Silly me!
I forgot the part about HH saying that place was the drunkest
he ever was. Methinks his alcohol-addled brain did not register
some important details. I knew where the Church itself was. I
pulled into the parking lot to see what developed. I knew by
the cars that this was not the Trivia crowd, it was the Mass crowd.
They left, and I did not see very many cars remaining. Only 3 cars
pulled in, and some Trivia-looking people got out with some
Wal-Mart bags, and went in. I could not see exactly where they
went in, because the giant white SUV with a local carpet company
logo parked right beside me with the engine running and a child
jumping in ever 45 seconds and slamming the door was blocking
my view. And the red SUV that pulled in behind it kept me from
backing out and cruising the neighborhood on my Trivia quest.

I called HH, and he kept yelling the exact same directions, as if
I was a foreigner, and repeating it louder would surely make me
understand. Turn left just past the drive-in restaurant, HH yelled,
and then park in the angled parking, and go in that door. Except
there was an abundance of angled parking, and it didn't look
like anyone was going in that door. Finally, the red SUV left, and
I backed out and drove around to the other side of the Church.

It was there that I hit the Church jackpot, because located on
that street was a Lutheran Church, and I suppose they were
having a Lutheran Mass or whatever the Lutherans call it, woohoo,
because now I have another religion to insult. There were cars all
up and down this block, and a parking lot that was nearly full, but
I managed to squeeze my Large SUV into a parking spot. From
there, I could read a building in front of me as saying it was some
such Lutheran outbuilding. So then I thought that I might have
invaded some Lutheran space, and they might have my LSUV
towed away when I came out, if indeed these other cars belonged
to Lutherans at their Mass thingy, and they all left while I was at
Trivia not drinking Catholic beer.

The longer I watched, the more uncertain I became. I was ready
to call it a night, and drive back home where there was no worry
of being caught in the crossfire of a Catholic-Lutheran Hatfield-
McCoy type feud. I called HH back, and he could not fathom
where I could possible be, even though I was just on the opposite
side from where he told me to go. HH kept telling me odd things
like "West" and "South" which meant absolutely nothing to me
because HELLO it was dark already, and I am not good with
directions except when I have the rising or setting sun as a
reference point. THEN I saw a few cars arrive and fill in the
remaining spots in the suspected Lutheran lot. OK. Old people
got out. Not people like me, who I see playing Trivia. Like an
old woman in a wheelchair. And a great-grandparent-looking
couple. So in further insulting the Catholics, I had to determine
whether these Catholics are a bunch of swingin' oldies who are
game for anything in their latter years, or if perhaps they just
age more rapidly, and were only my age after all. Oh, and these
people were carrying two or three trays of food apiece! So
then I figured it was probably just a Catholic Church social or
some such thingy, like a pot-luck dinner, or a wedding rehearsal
dinner, and if I went in, I would be crashing the party, and might
be chased out by a mob with flaming torches.

By now, it was about 6:40, so I decided I had to investigate.
As I crossed the street to a nondescript little building with a
light on, a woman stopped her SUV to wave me across. She
leaned out the window, "Is this the Catholic Church Trivia?"
I told her I didn't know, but I was going to find out. A young
man waiting out front assured me it WAS the Trivia. I went
in, found an open door, and walked into a gym filled with
about 300 people. I asked a lady near the door if she knew
where my team was, and she consulted a master chart, like
a blueprint for the atomic bomb. "Second row, third table.
There he is, waving at you," she said. Whew! That was a
relief! Only half of my team was there so far. But the rest
of the county seemed to have arrived.

Those Catholics sure know how to throw a Trivia Contest!
There were 37 freakin' teams, people! With 8 members on
each team. Great Googly Moogley! It was a busy, busy place.
Words can not describe it. But that hasn't stopped me yet.
I saw my boys' doctor, in a bright blue Hawaiian shirt, drinking
a bottle of beer, and hugging another professional-looking dude
in a Jamaican kind of Rastafarian striped knit hat with fake
dreadlocks attached, in an 'I love ya, man!" way like those old
beer commercials. His wife the doctor was not there. I guess
she had to stay home with the kids, if they have any, or else she
might have been outside fending off the Lutherans who were no
doubt beating our cars to smithereens in their parking lot.

I saw a woman in a bass hat. Which was like a khaki-colored
cap with the head of a bass sticking out the front, and the
tail sticking out the back. People had coolers, and bottles of
wine, and mixers, and every kind of alcohol you could imagine,
and were also getting free styrofoam cups of beer from the
Catholics in charge. The din of happy drinking people was nye
to deafening. Each table had eight folding chairs and eight green
notepads and eight green pencils (is green the designated color
for Catholic Beer-Serving Trivia Contests?) and answer sheets
and envelopes to enter names for door prizes, and popcorn and
pretzels and a table number. We were 26.

Our team had snacks that we brought: Chex Mix, chocolate chip
cookies, and a cheese/sausage/cracker tray. Though I will say,
5 members did not bring anything. But that is another story. I will
have to continue tomorrow.

Fished in! Thought you were going to hear the score tonight, didn't
you? Please remember...there were 37 teams. Tune in tomorrow
for some questions, some hijinks, some b*tchin', and the score.

Please. Join Colleen in reading this trivial tale. You know what they
say: 'Misery loves company.'

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Turkey Valentine Birthday Beer

It's now or never. I just returned from the boys' bowling league,
and will depart shortly for Trivia. There's not much of interest to
talk about. We found some large turkey feathers by Tank's
holding pen. I will be glad when that little dog is old enough
to take care of himself, so we can let him run free. I don't
think he got ahold of the turkey. I think the neighbor probably
shot one, and the doggie Ann carried it's carcass to our yard,
and taunted Tank with it from outside the cage. There are two
more big piles of feathers in the front yard. Oh, and in case
you are not a's not turkey season.

We made a trip to The Devil's Playground this morning to buy
some Valentines. Oh, we forgot the Valentines, but bought some
candy hearts, and a fluffy white bear for #1 son's girlfriend. She
will be thrilled. It doesn't take much to please a 6th grade
girlfriend. I'm still betting he won't dance with her at the Sweet-
heart dance, though.

Now we have to make a freakin' Valentine's box. I hate those
things. #1 son used to go all out. He made one like a computer
one year. #2 wants ME to make a simple one. He likes stickers
and stamps all over his. I tried to trick him into a red plastic
bucket thingy that was only a dollar at The Devil's Playground,
but he slapped it out of my hand and said, "NO!" Great Googley
Moogley--it's not like I was asking him to take the PINK one
with hearts all over it.

I persuaded #2 son to forego the birthday party this year. It is
Thursday, and it always sneaks up on us. Instead of renting
somewhere and having a party where only 3-4 kids show up,
I've told him how I'd rather spend the money on him instead
of a party. He agreed. I think he wants a game for his Wii,
and we are making the hour trip to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow
to celebrate ahead of time. I know Redneck Diva hates Chuck E.
She hasn't been to the one on South Lindbergh. It's not bad. I
might get kicked out one of these days for shoving kids out of
the way to play that quarter-pushing machine. I love that thing.

We ran into my mom at The Devil's Playground. Rather, she
almost ran into us, with a cart. I suppose you can't steer too
well with a post-surgery-wrapped pinky finger. She looked
good. Even her hand looked better. She gets the bandage off
Tuesday. I hope she doesn't find that the doctor transplanted
somebody's big toe to her hand.

Also in The Devil's Playground, we saw one of #1 son's old
teachers, who left our district a while back. She had a case
of Hamm's beer on the bottom of her cart. I take this to mean
she is still teaching somewhere. Speaking of demon alcohol in
The Devil's mom asked if I was going to Trivia
alone. I thought, "How sweet. She's wondering if I want her to
go and keep me company." Nope. She added, "In case you
need one of those...what do you call them...designated drivers?"
Ahem. I do not drink. #1 son added fuel to the conflagration
when he blurted accusingly, "And I've noticed that there is an
O'Doul's missing from that six-pack in the pantry." I was
shocked that the two of them are ready to stage an intervention
and send me packing to Betty Ford. "Umm...O'Doul's is a
nonalcoholic beer, honey." This didn't phase him. "I know.
That's why I'm sure Dad wasn't the one to drink it." Perhaps
I'd better re-think that law school dream I have for this boy.
For somebody who hasn't had a drink in more than a decade,
I sure get the suspicions from my loved ones. Except for HH.
He is always advising me to have a drink. Ulterior motives.

That's about it. I'm off to play Trivia and not drink some
Catholic beer. Honest. I wouldn't lie about something like that.

I fear the lightning strike.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The One Where HM Offends The Catholics, The Baptists, And The Mathematically Challenged

Ho hum. I didn't make the top 20 finalists in the Design-Your-
Own Lottery Ticket Contest. All it cost me was a piece of paper,
an envelope, and a stamp. It was cheaper than buying a lottery
ticket, actually. Don't worry, I'm not depressed.

I'm Even Steven, you know. I showed up for my 4th hour class
and found out they were having an incentive hour. WooHoo! A
free 50 minutes for moi!

Tomorrow night, I am playing in another Trivia Contest. One of
my new team members asked me. So what if I was the last one
he asked? He said I was the 'Queen of Trivia'. I will follow him
anywhere. Even to a neighboring town's Catholic Church. That
is where the Trivia is being held. Not in the church itself, I think,
but in the wild party lounge next to it. Or whatever they call
those thingies. I am not much on religion. Have I told you that?
But I know they are selling beer at this Trivia, so we can not
have our ringer, our sports genius, because he is not 21. That
tender baby-faced sports maven can not play. I'm waiting for
my Even Steven bonus to appear.

Like I said, I don't know much about religion, being raised as
a Baptist. A First Baptist. My parents didn't go to church. My
grandparents took me. I learned enough to know a slim bit of
Bible trivia. At least I'm not as dumb as Bart Simpson when
he spent the night with the Flanders, and played Bible Trivial
Pursuit with Rod and Todd. I'm thinking he didn't know who
'Jesus' was. Anyhoo...I know that the First Baptists would
not have sold beer at a Trivia Contest. HH says the drunkest
he ever got was at this church where the Trivia is being held.
At his wedding, I think. Oh, not his wedding to me! Oh my,
no! Ours was at a United Methodist Church. It burned down.
I refuse to take responsibility. Though I did tell #1 son that I
could possibly be struck by lightning when I walk into the
Catholic Church. I mean 'party central' annex. Goodness.
Am I done insulting a religion yet? Sorry, Mabel. I plead

Mabel gave me a birthday card today. It is musical. It plays
'Shake Your Groove Thing' when you open it. On the front,
it says "As long as you can shake it without breakin' it..." open:
"you're nowhere close to old." Heh heh. Mabel is the Thelma
to my Louise. Which means that I am not riding anywhere with
her in a convertible. Not even if she promises to pick up Brad Pitt
as a hitchhiker. Thanks, Mabes. I'll be shakin' it at the Catholic
Church disco tomorrow night. Gosh! Maybe they'll offer some
type of gambling, too! Sorry. I'm ignorant.

In my free 50 minutes today, I took an online practice Praxis
test. That's a test for teacher knowledge in the subject area. It
wasn't a real Praxis. It was on some free website that wanted
to sell me Praxis practice materials. Say that 10 times fast. I
command you. Then switch to New Blogger. And cluck like
a chicken. You are feeling verrry sleepy. When I clap my hands,
you will awake and not remember any of this. But every time
you hear 'Shake Your Groove Thing', you will lay an egg.

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah. The test thingy. I took an
Algebra test, and got 19 out of 20 right. That's 95%. Then I took
an Advanced Algebra, and only got 10 out of 14. Only 71%. So
what? I bet I did better than you guys would have--Mabel not
included. See, I have a problem, and about 5 questions on this
test were it. "Sally can build a house in 4 days. Dave can build a
house in 2 days. Quinn can build a house in 6 days. If they all
work together, how long will it take to build a house?" Hmpf!
I know that if they work for a day, that overachieving Dave will
have built half the house already. And Sally will have built 1/4 of
a house. And Quinn, that layabout slacker, will have built 1/6 of
a house. So we have 11/12 of it completed already. But my
choices were too close to pick the most reasonable answer.
Aren't you glad I'm teaching Math to kids that aren't yours?

I used to always have trouble with unit multipliers, but after 3
years of asking Mabel, I learned 'em right good. Now all I have
trouble with is slope. I remember that I have to rise before I can
run, Mabel, but thank the Gummi Mary I haven't had any kids
in Algebra I for a couple of years. And I don't think any of my
kids this year are getting that far in Algebra A or B. My mind is
a terrible thing to waste.

Actually, my mind is just a terrible thing.

But I am still Queen of Trivia. I might make myself a crown.
I cooked up a plan where I walk into this big Catholic Church
Beer Bust/Trivia thingy, and sit down with the opponents from
our school. As they look at me oddly, I will say, "Didn't So-
and-So tell you they invited me to play on your team?" As they
look at each other over my head, in a panic, I will add, "And
at the break, I will bring in my clarinet and play 'America The
Beautiful' for you while I sing it, too. I am kind of a clarinet-
playing ventriloquist."

That should shake 'em up enough to gain us 5 points, methinks.