Sunday, December 25, 2011

Stupid elves...

... at least they didn't wait until we'd gone to sleep to wake us up all over again.

Still, do you have any idea how terrifying it is to be bent over, digging in a drawer to look for those gift bags from last Christmas because nobody can remember where the stockings are, and feel a hard, knobby, bony finger poke you in the side while a voice that sounds like a chain smoking six year old says, "Santa's running late, we got hung up in Poughkeepsie, and then there was a block party going on in Tulsa with search lights... Santa's way behind schedule, and you've got balls to blow up, here's the pump!"

I thought my heart was going to jump out of my mouth!!

I think the only reason that elf isn't dead, dead, dead is because (1) no gifts for the kids EVER, and (2) the Husbandly One wouldn't let me clock him with the lamp. He really likes that lamp. THO, that is.

So... yeah, it's 2:21 a.m., and we're done putting out the presents under the little artificial tree THO and I had the first year we were married. Yes, we still have it, and it looks so cute and completely dwarfed by presents! And I'm sure in the morning, I'll feel more charitable toward the elves, but right now? Not so much.

It was easier when the kids were smaller. Santa did the bulk of the present lay-out, and we just filled out the corners with the presents we'd gotten them. But since the kids have gotten older, it seems Santa is more and more pressed for time.

I'm beginning to wonder, though.

Anyhow, Happy Holidays to all my friends! Hopefully, you're getting more sleep than I am!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Because he's just cool like that...

Our marriage is twenty one years old today, and therefore, old enough to drink. The Husbandly One says we should take it out, get it drunk, and do wicked, naughty, evil things to it!!

*merry laughter*

He has the best ideas!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"It was a Butler... in Pain... in a Trunk... in Cement..."

I'm fresh from a game of In A Pickle, and oh, boy, my sides ache from laughing!!

The Husbandly One and I love playing games of In A Pickle with the kids, because not only do we get into hilariously silly word strings, but... our kids learn to think on their feet, they learn to use their skills of persuasion and argument, and they learn to think creatively while justifying their choices.

It's a win-win, because while THO and I are demonstrating the skills we want our kids to learn, we're also getting a glimpse into the way they think. And, disturbingly enough, they're getting a glimpse into how we think!

So, while we started with a cheeseburger eating moose in a bedroom, the Impossible Son added that it was all in fear, and he had to justify that all of that would fit in a fear, and we had a lively (and somewhat hysterical) discussion about irrational fears, and THO wasn't quite convinced that fear of a cheeseburger eating moose was the same as the fear of being watched by a duck. However, the Impertinent Daughter chimed in that she was sure there were many Americans who were afraid of having a moose in their bedroom, and that she, herself, would be very disturbed by a moose in her bedroom, and if it were eating cheeseburgers, that would definitely cause mental scarring for life.

I had pretty much laid my head down on the table at this point, in helpless tears of laughter.

So, once Mr. Impossible, with the help of his sister, had won his case, I decided that all of this was in the mind of a girl, and I got the pickle.

We've had a great deal of fun with this game, probably more than we're supposed to, because with our geeky brains, we probably get a whole hell of a lot more mileage out of the words than most people would. Come on, seriously, how many people would look at the words, "Venus Fly Trap," in their hand and think, "OMG, I know just how to use this!!" and go on a word string that has a Reflection of a Venus Fly Trap in a Mirror on a Submarine in a Parade? Or starts cackling with glee when they see, "Nun," and end up with Ants in a Nun in a Marriage (we didn't say she was a good nun) in a Warehouse in Paris?

Whenever someone goes a little too weird or too far, the rest of us make that game show buzzer noise, "EEEHHHHHH!!!" and "No, no, no, sorry, can't have a blimp in a cat, even if the cat is as big as a house, or a toilet in an elephant, because even if an elephant is bigger than a toilet, how would it get in there? An elephant is big, but has a small mouth!"

I won't even go into the arguments to justify how a toilet can get into an elephant!!

Of course, as the game goes on, we all get more desperate to not lose a turn, and it just gets crazier and wilder until we're all laughing so hard that we can't breathe, and I just ... can't help but find it so awesome that we can all do this, that we all get to do this together. To be as nerdy and silly and just plain goofy and... life is good.

Yeah. Life is good.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Breathing... it's a GOOD thing...

Well, this is a milestone of sorts.

This is the first time in years that I've made it through the entire month of November without getting pneumonia

"is chuffed*

Really, this is quite an achievement for me! Seriously. I've been wrestling with the Asthma Monster for well over twenty years now, and the last ten have sucked majorly. Seeing the gastroenterologist last year was the best thing that ever happened to me. Seriously.

Well, second best. The best thing that ever happened to me is meeting the Husbandly One. Period.

Anyhow, it wasn't like I was having major heartburn all the time. Just... every once in a while. Though there were foods I couldn't eat without getting major heartburn, like ... spaghetti. So, I never considered acid reflux an issue connected with my asthma, even after my dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. That's why, when I had the major stomach pain last year and had to see a surgeon, I thought he was kind of nuts for suggesting that acid reflux was causing the majority of my severe asthma problems. But I took the medication he prescribed, because I was in serious pain and figured it couldn't hurt.

By the time I got to see the gastroenterologist three weeks later, it was as if I didn't have asthma any more at all.

It was the weirdest feeling, too. Not feeling like everything in my chest was too tight. Being able to draw in a deep breath and it didn't hurt. Coughing, and actually being able to clear my airway!

And it's still that way. Still. That's why I was throwing such a hissy fit about the Dexilant, the medication I take for acid reflux, because it feels like it's given me my life back, you know? I mean, THO and I finally decided to just skip the insurance and pay for it ourselves, and the drug company sent us a discount card that means it only costs $60 to refill it, instead of $150, which is a win in my book any day!

So, this year, I admit, when November rolled around, I was still kind of resigned to first getting bronchitis, and I did get a mild case of it, which would lead into pneumonia by the middle of the month. Usually just before Thanksgiving. Or immediately after, because driving into Houston is just asking for trouble on my part, as many of you very well know.

And... that didn't happen this year. If it's not the pollen and crap blowing around on the strong cold fronts that start in November here, it's turning on our heater that does it. But... not this year. And trust me, I'm not questioning it, I'm deliriously happy about it! This is a good thing!

So... I'm going to sit here and just... enjoy the breathing regularly without discomfort thing. Because that's just... totally awesome.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Drummer, beat, and piper, blow/Harper, strike, and soldier, go..."

The first book I ever wrote was about fire lizards. I loved the idea of fire lizards! I loved the idea of finding eggs in hot sands on the beach, and having one break open and a hungry little dragonet pouncing out, all hungry and creeling, and because I just happened to be carrying a lunch bag, WHAM!... Impression.

Of course, I was fifteen and the book was for my sophomore English class in high school. But I wrote it, illustrated it myself, and hand-bound it. It won first prize in a creative writing contest I didn't even know about, but my teacher entered it on the sly. I was very proud of that book.

And, of course, I wrote it because I was Pern-crazy.

I read my first Pern novel when I was about twelve. It was Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey, and I fell utterly in love with it. Well, actually, to tell you the truth, I fell in love with the illustration on the cover of the book, which is how I usually picked books when I was a kid. I would be intrigued by cover illustrations, and then get hooked by the words inside.

After that, I was doodling fire lizards all over the place. They showed up in my notebooks, in corners of my textbooks, on my piano music, napkins at lunch...

And then I discovered Dragonflight... and discovered there were more books by this wonderful, wonderful woman. Crystal Singer, and the Dinosaur Planet series, and her shorts in Get Off The Unicorn, and The Ship Who Sang...

I had always wanted to be a writer, when I wasn't wanting to be a astronaut/veterinarian/engineer/pianist/artist/scientist/dancer... well, you get the picture. My family is full of story tellers. But this woman... her writing set my imagination on fire, and I really, really started wanting it. Starting taking it seriously, and working at it. I started thinking it was possible.

Thank you, Anne McCaffrey, for all those wonderful hours sitting up on the roof, curled up in the shade of the tallow tree, reading about dragons and their riders, fighting against Thread, and Masterharper Robinton, and Menolly, and for the amazing Captain Sassinak and her brilliant fight against the Planet Pirates, and for Killashandra and the Heptite Guild, and the Rowan and Jeff Raven, and Afra and Damia, and... everything you taught me. I am going to miss you.

Rest in peace...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Congress wants to take away your internet! So PAY ATTENTION!!!

Originally posted by dynamicsymmetry Congress wants to take away your internet. Folks, I know you're tired of me yelling at you, but you should be aware that there's a hearing this morning being held by the US House Judiciary Committee on a "copyright" bill that will essentially break the entire internet.

You like the internet, right? I mean, you're here.

From the link above:

As drafted, the legislation would grant the government and private parties unprecedented power to interfere with the Internet's domain name system (DNS). The government would be able to force ISPs and search engines to redirect or dump users' attempts to reach certain websites' URLs. In response, third parties will woo average users to alternative servers that offer access to the entire Internet (not just the newly censored U.S. version), which will create new computer security vulnerabilities as the reliability and universality of the DNS evaporates.

It gets worse: Under SOPA's provisions, service providers (including hosting services) would be under new pressure to monitor and police their users’ activities. While PROTECT-IP targeted sites “dedicated to infringing activities,” SOPA targets websites that simply don’t do enough to track and police infringement (and it is not at all clear what would be enough). And it creates new powers to shut down folks who provide tools to help users get access to the Internet the rest of the world sees (not just the “U.S. authorized version”).

This is being framed as an attempt to fight hackers and pirates. Don't buy it. And don't think for a minute that it's going to stop there. This is bad. And at the hearing today, only one opponent of the bill is being allowed to testify.

Please do whatever you can to fight this. Email congresspeople. Sign petitions. Yell about it in every venue you can.



And just to add my own personal note to this, the wording in the S.O.P.A. bill has changed somewhat. The new wording suggests that ATT, Comcast, and other web providers would be the ones blocking your access to certain sites.

They also want to add a technology called "deep packet inspection" which is "designed to monitor each and every bit and byte sent across a network, and has been heavily criticised as a targeted, privacy-invading approach to anti-piracy."

Yeah. Sure. And there's a bridge in Brooklyn you want to sell us, too, right?

Folks. Again, contact your congressperson. Complain. Tell him/her you won't be voting. Then call the tech companies that, unbelievably, are supporting this. Tell them in no uncertain terms that you won't be supporting them either. You won't be buying their products, using their services, and not only that, you are going to tell everyone you meet what they're trying to pull and encourage them to vote with their pocketbooks, too. Seriously.

Want to know who they are? Here's the top nine...

!. Apple
2. Microsoft
3. Adobe
4. Dell
5. Intel
6. McAfee
7. Rosetta Stone
8. Kaspersky
9. Symantec

I'm sorry to see Apple in that list, but it's more because they haven't spoken against it than what they've directly said. Still... silence implies compliance.

So, WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE? GO COMPLAIN, PEOPLE!! SHOO!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Keep It Up!!

Round one of the SOPA wars goes to us!!

Now keep it up! Because we're not done yet. Not by a long shot. You know, it's funny, the entertainment industry tried to kill VCRs, mp3 players, and digital music... and now they're trying to kill the internet as we know it.

And if you can't quite bring yourself to worry over whether or not websites you enjoy get shut down or whether you might get slapped with a fine (or jail time) because you used a Marilyn Manson song in a video you shot of your cousin Matilda's wedding, because it was just so awful and tasteless, and then you put it up on YouTube to share the horror, then think on this...

Think of all the protests organized over social media over the last year, not just here in the U. S., but in Egypt, Syria, Libya...

Now, think of the government's ability to shut down websites that they feel infringe on copyrighted media.

That THEY feel infringe on copyrighted material.

Yeah, that's a bit more sobering, isn't it?

So, keep up the pressure. Keep writing. Keep calling. Keep pestering your representatives, even if you didn't vote for them or agree with them, just keep doing it!! Keep letting them know, loud and clear, YOU DON'T WANT THEM TO FIX SOMETHING THAT AIN'T BROKE!

Keep it going. Be calm. Be rational. Just don't stop. Don't stop until they get the message. Yeah, the copyright laws need to be fixed, but... this is not the way to do it, and it doesn't fix the problem anyway. So... keep pushing.

WE CAN DO THIS!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Internet Censorship Bill, Part 2...

Just in case you're not sure what I'm talking about, this pretty much describes it in a nutshell...



PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.


Pay attention, my dears.

Internet Censorship Billl...

You know, most of y'all have been awfully silent about this, and... I'm kind of shocked. But then again, it may be very well that none of you either know about it, or care about it, but... you should. Because it's going to affect you. It's going to make doing what you love here on your blogs almost impossible. It'll make what you do on Facebook, YouTube... whatever blogging site, video site, music site... whatever you love to do on the internet, this is going to make it nearly impossible.

And possibly illegal. And therefore... expensive.

Internet Censorship. Today, Congress is holding hearings on the first internet censorship system. And it looks like a wrecking ball. Are you going to just let this go? Are you going to just sit there, shrug, and browse on and not worry about it? Because... you should. You really should.

Read THIS. Then do a Google search. See if this is something you can live with, or something that makes you want to spit nails. Roofing nails.

If you can't, get on the phone and call your representative. Express your disapproval. Tell him or her exactly how you feel, and that you don't support this. Tell your friends to call their representatives, their Congressperson, and complain. Mention that you are a registered voter that takes your civic responsibility seriously (and gods, I hope you do, I really do) and that you will use that vote to express your feelings about this.

Read THIS, too. Read everything you can find on it, but do it today. And act on it. Don't sit there. Do something.

I'll admit it, I didn't realize the hearing was TODAY, and I went to my Tumblr, planning to put up some more lunch notes when I got the shock of my life. Every single picture I had put up was blank, with a "Censored" stamp across it. Which kind of freaked me out. So, I logged in to find out WTF was going on and saw the link and said, "Oh, it's today. Wait... today??? I thought it was next week!!"

So... educate yourself. Find out. And take action. Because I have a feeling this will slam fanfiction writers upside the head. Hard. Think about it.

And do something about it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Shufflin', sh-sh-shufflin'..."



For your enjoyment, because Americans aren't crazy enough about our holiday light shows! Now we have to decorate for HALLOWEEN!!!

It's just a bit of surreal to end your day with, WOOO!!!

Because sometimes, they just need you to be there...

So... had a parent-teacher conference with the Impossible Son's primary teacher today. It was interesting, and encouraging.

It was only supposed to be for 15 minutes, but... we ended up talking for 45! We talked about the Impossible Son's math problems at length, and I found that he's been rushing through his math assignments so he can read a book afterwards. While she's pleased to see him reading, she's not so pleased that he's rushing through his math, getting problems wrong, and not asking for help. He says nothing to her. Just finishes as quickly as possible and hands in it, then grabs his book and disappears into it.

*sigh*

Shades of his mother. Meaning me. Which means I know exactly what he's doing.

So, I told her, explaining yet again about the lack of trust in his teachers, and said, "It's not you personally. This started in second grade, with Mrs. Oblivious Teacher, who is now teaching fifth grade." I filled her in on what he had gone through, trotted out several of the math "explanations" she had given me, and followed up with what he had gotten in third and fourth grade, including the outside issues that were causing problems for him.

"Was he as lost as he seems to be now last year, too?" Mrs. S. asked me.

"Oh, yes," I replied. "I had Mrs. H. send home math homework, worksheets, whatever it took, to tutor him through what was stumping him."

We went over what I've found so far that stumps him, showed her what he was doing and what I had done to correct it, and finished with, "I can't help him if I don't know what's going wrong, so please, please, please send home worksheets!"

About this time, a mouse made its presence known.

Not long after that, a second larger mouse made its presence known.

We spent the rest of our time with our feet up off the floor, keeping an eye out for the mice, and talking about the Impossible Son and what we could do to help him.

Somewhere in there, I found myself volunteering to tutor three of her students who are having difficulty with reading comprehension. They read beautifully, but have no memory whatsoever of what they've read. "Apparently, this is a skill they didn't learn back in second grade," she said grimly. "Nor have they been tested or had any sort of intervention recommended, so far as I can find out. And the parents are... not responding to any of my notes."

Oh, goody.

So... this should be fun. I'll start out twice a week, and depending on how things go, I may end up doing it more often, but we'll see. I figure getting them to break the stories down into smaller parts and asking them to tell me what they remember is a good place to start, and I'll expand from there.

The other advantage is that this gets me into the Impossible Son's classroom twice a week, so I can see what's going on and unobtrusively observe him in class.

Lastly, I also need to talk to his Language Arts teacher about why he's making a 75 in a class he normally makes 90's to 100's in. I mean, seriously, this is a kid who is reading at a 7th grade level! I mean, I have my suspicions, but... I'll wait until I talk to the teacher.

*sigh*

Tis a puzzlement!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

People to do, things to see...

So... it's been awhile, hasn't it?

Part of that's been because we had the Stomach Virus from Hell, which was possibly a norovirus. Well, the Husbandly One got it on a Wednesday night, threw up and had... um... well, let's just say he drove the porcelain bus, too. Yay. He had me worried to the point of hovering.

I don't hover. Unless someone is really sick.

He got better Thursday afternoon, which was a good thing, because that's the day the school didn't call me when the Impossible Son had been attacked at school.

*sigh*

By Friday, I had a meeting with the principal, informing her in no uncertain terms that she would be seeing both myself and the Husbandly One for a meeting, it was not going to be postponed to a more convenient time because as far as we were concerned, since she and her staff dropped the ball, her convenience was irrelevant to the situation.

I will say this about the Impossible Son's principal. Confronting her is like bashing yourself into a brick wall surrounded by fluffy pink blondeness. Seriously. First, she tried to blame the lack of calling on the counselor. "I told her to do it immediately," Mrs. K. said. "She knew she was supposed to inform you first thing!"

"Except she was in the office with you, because according to your own words, the student was out of control."

"Well, yes, but she should have called you the minute she left my office, and I reprimanded her for it, telling her that her priority is always to inform the parents..."

"Mrs. L. has always called me when there is a problem," I said firmly. "That has never been a problem for us before."

Yeah, that kind of threw her.

And... she tried to turn the Impossible Son's esteem issues back on us. Ohhhh, don't even go there! Don't... even.

We announced our intention to transfer Mr. Impossible, and THO tried to couch it diplomatically, saying that sometimes, just changing an environment can be good (he's had personal experience with that), and of course, she tried to discourage us because they really, really don't want to lose the Impossible Son from that particular school, which is the "flagship" of the district.

*insert eyeroll here*

And finding out what measures they were taking, in the meantime, to protect our son was like... pulling hen's teeth. She kept citing privacy laws to us and I finally snapped and said, "Look, I just want to know if my son is going to be safe! I want to know what guarantee there is that this won't happen again. I want to know what you are doing to make sure he's safe! Are you moving this kid to another class? Are you separating him out and putting him in in-school suspension? Are you sending him to the alternate school? Are you fitting him with a shock collar? What??"

I mean, she wouldn't even tell me if this kid was bigger than Mr. Impossible!!

I found out later through a friend who works at Mr. Impossible's school that Lug has a "shadow." A teacher who is assigned specifically to him who is with him at all times, and that he isn't allowed to come into contact with the other children.

It was a most unsatisfactory meeting on all sides.

So, THO and I made an appointment to talk to the principal of the school across the street from our backyard. She was pleasant and calm, asking for our son's name and taking notes when we told her why we were there and wanted to transfer him. Then she dropped the bomb.

It seems that the fifth grade class in our district is the largest ever, and the fifth grade classes at all four elementary schools in our town are literally jam-packed to the gills. In fact, the class at the Impossible Son's school is the largest in the district, to the point that they had to hire a fifth teacher just to handle the overload.

I already knew this. It started in second grade, when they had to hire a fifth teacher (there are normally four teachers at each grade level at his school) and let her go at the end of the year, then hired a fifth 3rd grade teacher the next year... and let her go, and so on and so forth. I just didn't realize it was district wide.

Anyhow, the principal, Mrs. O. told us she would give us a call after reviewing the situation with the fifth grade teachers at her school, and as soon as there was an opening.

That was Friday. That night, the Impossible Son got the stomach bug, and threw up continuously for several hours. He wanted his Papa with him, so THO stayed up with him while I went to grab some sleep, only to be shaken awake at 2 a.m. "We need to take Mr. Impossible to ER," THO said. "He's dehydrated."

So, I got up, got dressed, woke up the Impertinent One, grabbed a blanket, a towel, and a bowl, and drove to San Marcos and the ER there. That's when we found out it was possibly norovirus, and that we weren't the only ones. There were a lot of people with the same thing there.

Fun, fun, fun.

The Impertinent One, in the meantime, trying to stay awake and to not starve, raided the vending machines and consumed Dr. Pepper, a slice of carrot cake, a Coke, and Doritos. This... made her incredibly hyper and it was exhausting just to look at her. When we got home, the Impossible Son crashed on one couch, THO passed out in our bed, and I went and curled up in the Impertinent One's bed.

I was too tired to process that my teenage daughter was hyper and had nothing to do!!

When I eventually woke up several hours later, I staggered into the dining room and stopped, frowning. Something was missing. The feeling increased as I moved through the kitchen, and then into the living room.

She had cleaned the dining room, the kitchen, and the living room. She did dishes and several loads of laundry and... and... then she... she...

...FOLDED IT ALL AND PUT IT AWAY!!!!

I am still gobsmacked. Still.

Needless to say, our weekend was pretty mellow after that.

Well, Monday, Mrs. O. called and informed me that she had talked to Mrs. K., who had assured her that measures were in place to protect my son. And Mrs. O. was hesitant to transfer my son, but not because of Mrs. K's assurances. She said, "The thing is, we have a group of boys in our fifth grade classes and there is a lot of... ahem... drama going on with them. Normally, this is a problem with the girls, but this year, for some odd reason, it's the boys. And I'm really concerned that if we transfer your son here, we will be taking him from one ... dramatic environment... and dropping him smack-bang into the middle of another dramatic environment with the added bonus that he would be The New Kid. And Mrs. J.... that would be like tying meat around his neck and dropping him in a shark tank."

"I can see that," I said with a sigh, and I do. Great.

I haven't called the other elementary just down the street because that's the school we transferred Miss Impertinent away from when she was being bullied, and the same woman is still principal. She didn't protect Miss Priss, and I don't have a lot of confidence in her protecting Mr. Impossible.

*sigh*

That night, the Impertinent Daughter had a choir concert at the school, and I... wasn't feeling so good. But I went, leaving THO with the Impossible Son, and sat through the junior high choir's unenthusiastic and uninspired droning (no, you can't possibly call that singing) and was relieved when it was the high school choir's turn, because they actually can and do sing, and... drove home after, hoping the rock in my stomach would go away.

Yeah, I spent the night throwing up and ... driving the porcelain bus. Let's put it this way, THO didn't change out of his work clothes until the next afternoon.

So far, the Impertinent One has avoided it. *knocks frantically on wood* This stomach virus is ripping its way through town, and I just hope it doesn't come back for a second visit because... eurgh!!

And then this week, I had a checkup with the endocrinologist. During my last appointment, there was concern that the Lump on my thyroid seemed to be growing, so I was scheduled for an ultrasound, which ended up being rescheduled several times due to circumstances beyond my control (i.e. sick kids). Well, I finally got it done, and when the doctor saw me, he had a pleased smile on his face. The Lump has apparently been reabsorbed, and while they are going to be keeping close tabs on me (I go back in December), they're pretty certain this is just one more part of having Hashimoto's thyroiditis (anybody know Hashimoto? I'm sure he's missing his thyroiditis, and I really wouldn't mind giving it back...).

So... there we are, all caught up. And now, it's time for me to pick the Impossible Son up from school!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Because the bully blues just go on and on...

Y'all must be getting sooooo tired of me writing about bullies. I know I am.

*sigh*

Okay, so... the Impossible Son comes home and announces that he never, ever wants to go back to "that school" again. And I just knew... I just knew.

"What happened?" I asked.

Oh. My. God.

Okay, first, before I go on, let me assure you all, he's fine. Just some minor scrapes, sore muscles, and shock. And he doesn't want to go back to school. And what little trust he had in the school is... well, shot.

So... they didn't have P.E. today, they had music. So after lunch, they were allowed to go out to the playground. However, the second graders have the lunch period before the fifth graders, so the big kids have to wait in line behind some orange safety cones until the little kids clear the playground, and then they're allowed out. A new kid in the Impossible Son's class, we'll call him "Lug," had been in class long enough to know this rule, but was impatient to get on the playground, I guess.

Now, the Impossible Son's class teacher wasn't out there. Her class was being chaperoned by the school counselor and another teacher, Miss C.

Okay, so Lug decided to run out onto the playground, and the Impossible Son caught his sleeve gently (and this is the counselor's word, not mine) and said, "Hey, you can't go out there yet, Lug."

Lug turned and backhanded Mr. Impossible, then grabbed him by the arms, twisted them, and took him down to the ground. The counselor said she was shouting at them, but they couldn't hear her, and she got there as fast as she could. By the time she and Miss C. got there, Lug was about to stomp Mr. Impossible in the face.

*pause*

Yeah, I'm still shuddering over that part.

So, they pulled Lug off of my 4' 3", 66 pound son and hauled him to the principal's office. This was around 1 p.m. and the counselor said that she, the principal, and the assistant principal were dealing with him from then until 3:15 p.m.

But they never called me... and they didn't inform his teacher, either.

And guess who Lug's teacher is? I bet y'all can't. Yeah, she's the Impossible Son's former second grade teacher, the one who started us all on this lovely little round-about of bullying and denial. Yay.

So... when the Impossible Son told me about this, I was... livid. Though I managed not to audibly snarl. So, as soon as I sent the Impossible Son on to grab his things, I turned to the phone and put a call in to the school, demanding to know why I wasn't called when my son was attacked on the playground.

Oh, yeah, that took them aback a bit.

I was transferred to Mrs. S., his main teacher, and I left a voicemail, then went back to the main office and asked to speak to the counselor, "since I understand she is a witness."

Yeah, that shook them up, too.

She was on bus duty, though, so, I gave my cell phone number and waited for the call back. And she did call back, within ten minutes, and I got the story from her. At least, the part about the actual attack. What happened to Lug after wasn't so clear, though the counselor hastened to assure me that my son didn't have to worry about Lug again. She said, "There were some other issues, the longer we dealt with him, and the fact of the matter is, he won't be allowed back into this school until his... er... issues have been dealt with."

That didn't sound very encouraging, and the longer she went on, the worse it sounded. Finally, I said, "Okay, so... do the Husbandly One and I need to file charges for assault and battery? Because I have to tell you, I am not liking the sound of this at all, and the fact that you're telling me absolutely nothing isn't exactly inspiring confidence in me."

"Oh, no, no, we are dealing with this, Mrs. J, I assure you!"

"I also have to tell you that what little trust he had in you and the rest of the staff at your school is completely shot. You assured him last year that he would be safe, and he was extremely upset when he got home. He doesn't feel safe and he is begging us to transfer him..."

"OH no, there's no need to do that, Mrs. J.! Really! This boy will not be a problem, and your son will be safe..."

His grades are dropping, and he's having trouble focusing. I know he's been having bully problems again, but he's been telling me he's been dealing with it. I was planning on stopping by after school this week, or waiting for the conference I'll be having with his main teacher on the 20th to sound her out, but... no, I don't think it can wait now.

Oh, and after the call with the counselor, the phone rang again, and it was his main teacher, and that's when I found out that she hadn't been told, either! Nor did the Impossible Son tell her when he got back to class, which really puzzled her. "He didn't seem upset or anything," she said when I told her. "He just came in,grabbed his book, and started reading!"

I sighed, wondering how she could be teaching this long and not know this. "Look, Impossible has been having bully issues since second grade, and that was because Mrs. Oblivious Teacher, who is now teaching fifth grade with you, basically ignored it. She told him to stop trying to get attention for himself. And he's had ongoing bully issues since then. And every single time, it's taken a major effort by myself and his father to get your school to deal with it. He has no trust in the teachers, and no trust in the staff. He doesn't trust you on principle. It has nothing to do with you personally. Let me put it this way, if he ever actually comes to you and tells you someone is picking on him, or hurting him, or making fun of him, you can take it as read that it's bad, because if it wasn't, he wouldn't say anything to you, because he fully expects you to ignore it."

I could tell that shocked her, but... she has been ignoring him over the last week. Which was why I was planning on stopping by after school, so I could ask her why. And find out what she thought was going on (the answers to that are always so illuminating... and depressing).

Mr. Impossible is supposed to talk to the counselor tomorrow morning, but I'm planning on dropping by to talk to the principal myself and ask what the hell's going on, what is going on with Lug, and do whatever is necessary to shake the fog out of their brains. This is RIDICULOUS.

Man, oh, man, do I wish we could afford private school!! Or to transfer him to a better district!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Yep...



I think I can safely say that this comic, by the Impertinent Daughter, nicely sums up what the past three days have been like for the two of us.

Add in a phone call that left me wanting to spork myself, and yeah, it's been FUN.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another Math Rant in the Making...

Yes, you were spared my math rants last school year because of the Incredible Mr. Knickerbocker™, the most Awesome Math Teacher in this district. He, unlike most of the other teachers here, actually makes it his business to find out what the kids that will be coming into his class are learning at their previous schools. And this is why he is rarely surprised when they come to him with little or no math skills.

I wish the other teachers at the freshman campus and the high school would do this. It would reduce the amount of eye-rolling that happens whenever they say, "You should have learned this by now..."

This goes for every single subject they take, by the way.

Anyhow, the Impertinent Daughter's current Algebra teacher is completely unaware of what they have and haven't learned before coming to his class and... he doesn't care. He started his class with, "I don't do subtraction or division. I don't like it."

O_o????

Yeah, we're in trouble.

Because his "explanations" are... horrendous. I have no doubt he can do the math. Problem is, he understands it so well, he takes all these shortcuts, and expects his students to understand them. Problem is... if you don't have a grasp of how the equations work in the first place, if you don't understand the "long method " (his words) of doing them!

She understands how to do this. However, the wacky explanations she's been getting over the last three weeks have completely thrown her, so when she had to take a test yesterday, well... she didn't do well. And was so very upset when she got home. 'I know I know this stuff!" she wailed, "but I'm so confused!!"

She wrote out one of the problems she remembered for me and said, "I have no idea how to do this!"

I looked at it and was stunned.

x - 5 > 7

"You do know how to do this," I said, shaking my head.

"But..."

"Honey, you treat the greater than sign like an equal sign," I said and did the problem for her.

x - 5 > 7
x - 5 = 7
x - 5 + 5 = 7 + 5
x = 12

Her jaw dropped. "I do know how to do this! But... why didn't he say that??"

I shrugged.

"This is how he showed us how to do this," she said, and grabbed my pencil. "You just turn the minus sign into a plus."

x - 5 > 7
x + -5 > 7
x > 7 +5

And... he didn't go past that point in the notes.

Okay, that's great, and that works... if you already know how to do it the way I did it! If you don't, or if you don't remember it because you didn't spend your summer holiday doing algebra and math, you'll be completely lost!! You want to teach them shortcuts, great. Do it after you've taught them the standard forms!!

It looks like the Husbandly One and I are going to be algebra teachers again this year. As well as chemistry teachers. Because, yeah, I had to spend some time learning how to do dimensional analysis so I could teach the Impertinent One how to do it, because her chemistry teacher can't. And she admitted it, too! "If you can't understand my explanations, go to the teacher next door and ask her. She's better at it than I am."

And this woman is the Advanced Placement chemistry teacher!!!

In better news, I got the Impossible Son through a misunderstanding in multiplication. It seems one of his previous teachers, in teaching him how to multiply large numbers, taught him to add... oh, geez, let me just show you.





This is, of course, completely wrong!! Because the answer is actually 125.

So... I did it both ways, side by side and right next to each other, explaining what I was doing on every step, and asked him which answer made more sense.

"Um, 125," he said, frowning. "And the way you did it makes more sense, too. Because the way I was doing it just... felt weird."

Yeah, tell me about it! And I got him through long division again, too, which normally he breezes through, but for some reason, he wasn't getting it. Took me a while to figure out he'd never been taught to use trial and error to figure out where to start. You know, taking a scratch paper and multiplying different numbers against your divisor to get close enough to starting the actual dividing?

Okay, I know that made no sense whatsoever, but it's something we all do. Once I got him past that, he sped through his homework. I'm going to have to chat with his math teacher and point out what's going on so she can reinforce what I've already done. Fortunately, she's a good math teacher, once she knows what the problem is.

It's enough to make me want to scream. And absolutely dread the years he'll be in junior high, with the absolutely sucky math teachers there. It's almost, but not quite, enough to make me want to go back to school and change my major to mathematics so I can teach it. But not quite.

GAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! *tears out hair*

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

That's what weekends are for, right?

It has definitely been a tumultuous weekend for Central Texas, let me tell you! I mean, we finally got a break in the temperatures, seeing the low nineties rather than the triple digits, but... we can't go outside because of all the smoke from wildfires! There are three currently going that I know of around us. First, the Bastrop Fire, which has burned over 30, 000 acres and destroyed close to 600 homes. That one, as I mentioned earlier, is about 30 miles away from us, but is still affecting us, as we are wreathed in smoke and everything smells like ashes. And it's not even close to being contained. The Delhi fire is about 15 miles away, and of course, sending smoke this way, and according to the map, is only 45% contained. The Pettytown fire is supposedly 90% contained, but... well... if the wind picks up again, who knows?

Saturday, when this whole business started, the Husbandly One had gotten the ambition to clean out the garden shed, which needed it badly. Basically, we had pretty much just shoved things in without so much as a "where should this go?" And when we started, it was lovely and windy, and we had no idea what was going on around us. We noticed it was hazy, but figured that after a summer of blasting furnace heat and no rain, soil was being picked up and blown around, plus whatever pollen had survived to this point. And we knew there was a fire warning on, so hearing sirens didn't alarm us unduly. And I figured the breathing problems I was having was due to dust and pollen being blown around.

And when my daughter said, "Hey, look, is that a thunderhead?" we looked and thought, "Oh, thank goodness, rain on the horizon!"

It wasn't. It was this...


That's the smoke cloud from Bastrop, by the way. It was huge.

We didn't find out about it until after 9 o'clock, when I'd gone to sit out on the back deck and saw this weird orange glow on the underside of the "cloud" we had noticed earlier. I was sort of idly checking Facebook on my iPod Touch and saw a post by a friend who lives close by worrying about the fires coming close to her home and thought, "Huh?" So I checked local news and nearly had heart failure!!

She and her family are okay, for now. They live close to the Pettytown fire. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them and offered a hidey hole for them if they need to bolt. I sincerely hope it isn't needed, not because I don't want them here, but because I don't want them to lose what they've built.

This is what I saw this morning, when I left to pick up the kids...


That's from the front yard.


That's from my back deck.

It's not any better right now. Just... lighter. And everything reeks of burned soil. I'm staying indoors, but I have to tell you, the Asthma Monster is rearing it's ugly little head again, after an absence of nearly eleven months. Major. Suckage.

Oh, by the way, InHumane Care called yesterday. They used a robo-caller, because I guess they didn't want to give me the chance to chew them out. Anyhow, this robot calls and in a happy, cheery little perky voice told me that my prescription request has been denied, and that I should try alternatives and have a nice day!! MAJOR. SUCKAGE.

So, yeah, back to Dr. Tummy and the Pharmacist Who Won't Quit. I hope we can beat this, I really do, because I have to tell you, this is as depressing as hell. And I'm FURIOUS.

SO. That was MY weekend! How was yours?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fear, Fire, Foes!!

First off, let me reassure anyone who might have been worried, we're fine. The Bastrop fire is 30 miles to the east of us, so mostly, we're just getting a lot of smoke. The Delhi fire is about 15 miles away, and again, lots of smoke. There are three other fires in Caldwell County, which is where I live, and one of them is listed as being 90 percent contained. That being said, at the moment, we're not in any danger.

Most of this is because a cold front blew through and has decreased the humidity greatly while hitting us with wind gusts of up to 40 miles an hour. Plus, we're basically sitting in a Texas sized tinderbox, thanks to the drought and triple-digit temperatures of the summer. And we have many idiots living among us who do stupid things like throwing cigarettes out the car window, pull over on the side of the road where the long grass is, or maybe they decided to burn trash in an area with a burn ban and a red flag flying.


Of course, there are some of us who think that this is in answer to Governor Rick Perry's prayer event, and you know, I have to say, I'm thinking the Almighty has just given him a huge flaming sign that says, OH, HELL NO!! I mean, seriously, when you pray for rain, and instead of getting rain, your state catches on fire, I'm thinking that's not exactly a ringing endorsement for your presidential campaign. But hey, what do I know?

Anyhow, aside from the Asthma Monster rearing its ugly little head, we're all fine, if a little stir crazy because we can't go outside!

I'll keep you updated!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Extreme Geekiness...

Yesterday, on the way home from a trip into San Marcos, the Impossible Son and I sang the Moosebutter Star Wars song at the top of our lungs all the way home.

It was awesome.

He's still recovering from chickenpox, so he had to accompany me in to San Marcos for a trip to Dr. Tummy to get samples of my acid reflux med while we wait for the drama over my prescription to get resolved. Who will win? InHumane Care, or the intrepid and determined Dr. Tummy, with assistance from Mr. W., the Small Town Pharmacist Who Could? Tune in next week for an update!!!

*laughs*

Well, yesterday was full of little trips. I took Mr. Impossible in for a followup with the doctor about his tests, yes to chickenpox, no to Lyme, and to check his pox out. Most of them are crusting, so he should be good to go back to school next week! Then the trip into San Marcos for the samples, and then a stop by his school to pick up his makeup work.

The trip home was a blast, actually! I mean, there were were, walking back to the car, him skipping along next to me while holding my hand and chattering on cheerfully about any and everything, and I have no idea why, but I just started randomly singing, "Nobody cares if you upset a droooooid, 'cause droids don't tear your arms out of sockeeeeet..." and he chimed in with, "I suggest a new straaaaategy, let the Woooookie win," and we both sang loudly and badly, "Because nobody caaaaares... if you upset a droooooooid!"

And yes, there were lots of other people in the parking lot, and yes, we got stared at, and no, we did not care at all!!

After that, it was a foregone conclusion that I would select the song to play on the CD in the car, and would hit repeat, so we could sing it over and over again on the drive home, complete with gestures and faces. I am sure the people on the freeway in San Marcos enjoyed our emoting, and I'm also sure the people at the light before heading down the state highway thought we'd lost our minds.

I especially enjoyed the Impossible Son's faces during the section of Luke whining. The pathos! The utter dejection! The extreme sulkiness!!

It made my heart swell with pride!

I love moments like that with my son. I don't often get to see his extremely silly side like that, and I have discovered that he has inherited my, and my dad's, extremely elastic face. He's got a pretty wacky sense of humor that I truly do appreciate, and is developing a wit as sharp as his sister's. Pretty soon, their verbal sparring is going to take a whole new level, and I'm going to find it harder and harder to out-geek them.

I look forward to it with great enthusiasm!

Because... nobody caaaaaaaares if you upset a drooooooooid!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A peek inside my sketchbook...

I'll give you three guesses what we watched last night... and who I absolutely fell in love with...

Here's your first clue...





Heh, yeah, I know, how much more obvious could I be??

Thought I'd better practice them for lunch notes, and I'm also practicing Master Chief from Halo.

Oy, who knew armor could be so darn hard to draw?? All those planes and reflections... and I'm trying to do that at 6 a.m. with little caffeine? Am I crazy??

Oh, wait... I am. Never mind.

Anyhow, Tangled was better than I expected, and didn't take itself too seriously, which I liked, and whoa, could Rapunzel wield a frying pan or what??

Okay, off to bed now. Just thought you'd like a peek at my sketchbook...

Monday, August 29, 2011

As Jo's Family Turns...

You know, my blog is beginning to look like the synopsis of a very bad soap opera! No, seriously!

Okay, so... two weeks ago, the Husbandly One came down with the shingles. Which... is weird, because it makes it sound like he was covered in roofing tiles, right? I even had a dream about that, that he was covered in roofing tiles and he was blaming me for it, and I was all O_o???

Anyway, he had the shingles, which is a variant of the same virus that causes chickenpox. It was painful, we both lost a lot of sleep, and he's getting over it.

How is this significant?

Well, last night, the Impossible Son came to me and asked me to scratch his back and get him an ice pack.

I frowned. "Um... sure, I'll scratch your back, but... why do you want an ice pack?"

"I have such a bad headache, I need an ice pack," he said, grimacing and squinting at me in a very familiar way. "I think I have a migraine."

Oh, crap.

So, I got him an ice pack and he said, "First, scratch my back?" and pulled up his shirt, and I started to oblige and stopped. "Um... Little Man... where did you get all these bites? Did you fall into an ant bed or get into a lot of mosquitos or something?"

"No," he said, frowning. "There's no mosquitos. Drought, remember?"

"Yeeeaaahhh," I said slowly, and the Husbandly One came in and went, "Uh-oh... that looks like chickenpox."

Crap, crap, crap, crap....

So, we inspected him and took his temperature, and he had a fever, and he had spots popping up, and yeah, lots and lots of fun.

Here's the thing: he's had the chickenpox vaccination. But not the booster, which he's due to get next year. And... it's only about 90 percent effective, anyway. However, having the vaccine is supposed to reduce the severity of the virus and also reduce the time he'll have it.

But... it's the second week of school!!!!

*sigh*

So, Dr. W. checks him over, and as she's examining him, little spots are popping up!! She brings in Dr. R., who has lots of experience of chickenpox over his years of practice and at first, he said, "Oh, these are insect bites! There's no fluid in these spots!" And then... he notices more popping up in places where there were not spots as he is looking at him and says, "Um...hmmmmmmmm... this perhaps is chickenpox. Has he had his shot?" And when I said yes, he frowned and said, "Let's get bloodwork, to be sure."

At which point the Impossible One howled, "NO!! I DON'T WANT TO!!!" and every variant in between. Both doctors were rather shocked because Mr. Impossible has always been very cooperative for them, and I had to explain why he was so upset over his protests.

And just to make things even more interesting, Mr. Impossible did have an insect bite on his forearm that the doctor looked at, because it was swollen and red, and I was worried about it being infected. She frowned and said, "Um... how long has it had this red circle around it?"

o_O???

I looked at it and said, "That wasn't there last night."

"Have you been camping recently? Hiking in the woods or the state park? Had any deer munching on your bushes?"

I knew where this was going. "Not been camping or hiking, and if there are deer munching on our bushes, I haven't seen them. I find droppings, but deer droppings and rabbit droppings kinda look alike, you know?"

"Uh-huh," she said, frowning even more at the red ring around the bite. "Just to be on the safe side, let's do a Lyme titer."

O_O!!

"Can we just cut to the chase and go on doxycycline now?" I said, remembering my own close call with Lyme disease and four weeks of doxycycline. Woo-hoo!! All kinds of fun!!!

"Let's just see what the titer shows. I mean, I'll probably put him on it, but let's get him through the chickenpox first!"

Okay, cool...

So, he's home, ensconced on the couch, playing Halo, and asking for something to drink every five minutes.

The good news is... exposure to my son having chickenpox is supposed to reduce my chances of getting shingles later. That's perfectly okay with me, because seriously, shingles looks very painful, and I don't want it!

Now, to prepare for the Impertinent One to come home from school. Yay, whoopee, yay!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Where's the cooler weather when you need it???

It's official. This... is the Worst. Summer. EVER.

Want proof??



Yeah, that's a high of 42, a low of 25 today (for those of you across the Pond) and a high of 43, with a balmy low of 25, for tomorrow.

I am NOT leaving this house!!! Well... we might go to Krause Springs tomorrow, which are freezing cold, and I plan to spend the entire time we're there in the water!!! But today, we're supposed to go to a birthday party, and... I'm going to be sitting indoors, in the air conditioning, clutching a glass of ice tea to my chest, wearing the skimpiest clothing I possess!! Because... no, I do not like being overheated, no, no, no. I don't mind getting sweaty, or a little hot, but feeling like I am boiling alive in my own juices? Not so much.

Oh, did I mention? Austin broke a weather record. See, before this week, the longest stretch of triple digit days was 69, set in 1925. We broke that this week with 71 days. So far. The way it's looking right now, we're going to be having triple digits all the way through September!!!

We got a teeny bit of a break on Thursday, because it was cloudy and then it rained, but... it was barely .01 of an inch, which was just enough to cool things down and raise the humidity. It only got up to 88 (31 C) on Thursday, and it actually got cold in the house, because the air conditioner wasn't having to work so hard!!

And the poor Impertinent Daughter! Soccer season isn't until January, but they're working on conditioning and strength training right now, and... the Athletics period at her high school is during the hottest part of the day! They have plenty of access to water, but it's hard on them to work outside in this heat. I feel really sorry for the football team, because they're out there working in full pads and helmets! By the way, they won their game last night, 34 to 9! GO LIONS!!!

*laughs*

And on the medication front, my doctor and my pharmacist are duking it out with the insurance company. *grimaces* You know, if I wasn't already convinced that my acid reflux issues were driving my asthma, I'd be convinced now. I haven't hurt like this since December, and... I thought this was all my asthma's doing. It's the damn reflux. And let me tell you something, Gaviscon doesn't even cut it!

It sucks.

All the idiots who've been protesting universal healthcare because of "Death Panels?" WE ALREADY HAVE THEM

Oh, someone asked if my medication was so very expensive. It's $5 a pill, so a thirty day supply is $150. Which is small beans compared to things like... the pain medication my father was taking for his cancer. That was a little over $26 a pill, which came out to a whopping $800 for a thirty day supply. His insurance refused to cover it, so he and my mother had to pay out of pocket for it, and that depleted their savings rapidly.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, the insurance my husband's company was using before Humana, absorbed $90 of the cost for the Dexilant I was taking, so we only had to pay $60 for it. I have a feeling that if I keep insisting (which I will) on taking the Dexilant that I will be paying the full $150 for it. Whoopee. $150 a months, so I can breathe without pain, so I can eat, so I don't keep coughing my lungs up. Yeah, it's worth it, but man, that's going to be a drain on our resources!!

Oh well, we will see what we will see!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Not. Happy. At. All.

Dear Humana Health Care,

After finding out that you've refused to cover a medication that I very much need, a medication that has pretty much given me my fucking life back, I have only one thing to say to you.

Futue te ipsum et caballum tuum.*



No love,

Jo



*Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Looooooooong Day...

If you remember, back in June, the Impertinent Daughter looked like this...


We'd colored her hair twice more over the summer, using Manic Panic. Last week, she went to the high school to pick up her schedule. The Tall Blonde had asked if she could take her, because her daughter, Super Goalie, was nervous and the Impertinent One has a settling influence on her. I was cool with that, because really, I wasn't looking forward to listening to Impertinent/Impossible bickering, you know? So... I wasn't with them when Miss Impertinent got confronted about her hair.

*sigh*

It was funny, she got her locker assignment, got her schedule, went walking all over the school to find her classes, and no one in the office or the classrooms said diddly squat to her about her hair. However, when she walked into the library to take a picture for her student I.D., one of the student helpers looked up and said, "Oh, you can't have your picture taken with blue hair."

And immediately, a staff member turned, saw Miss Impertinent's hair, and said, "That has to be gone by the first day of school or you won't be allowed in class."

Well... here's the thing. It was for the summer only. We knew, when we took her to get her hair dyed, that she would most likely not be able to keep it that way when school started, despite the fact that we regularly saw kids with wildly colored hair on campus, kids who weren't being suspended or harassed about it. I'm thinking of one girl in particular who had bubble gum pink hair, a la Tonks. And the boy with green hair (not to be confused with the movie). The girl with bleached blonde with magenta tips. There were more, but those are the ones who stand out in my mind. Still, Murphy's Law being what it is, we decided to just limit it to the summer. So you can imagine that I really resented it when this ... person jumped on my daughter about her hair.

So... I made an appointment to have the color removed from her hair. Let me tell you something. The first dye treatment she had in June lasted maybe three weeks. The second, Manic Panic Midnight Blue, lasted maybe a week. The last one, Manic Panic Shocking Blue... hung on like grim death.

This is what her hair looked like after two bleachings to remove the color...


Ms. Stylist had to do two more, using foil on the last one in an effort to get the light mint green color off the ends of her hair. It took three hours! And it still didn't come completely out!!

I'm telling you, Manic Panic Shocking Blue is ... shockingly resistant to being removed!!!

Ms. Stylist had to recolor Miss Impertinent's hair, and now, she's back to the strawberry blonde she was when she was 3...


Ms. Stylist suggested that if Miss Impertinent washes her hair over the weekend and some of the new color comes out and the green tinge shows, to just tell any complaining school official that she went swimming over the weekend and there was too much chlorine in the pool.

The thing is... why should this be an issue at all? Why should a kid's hair color be a problem any more than the color of their shirt or shoes? Truthfully, no one paid any attention to the Impertinent Daughter's hair until an adult started making a big deal about it. Even after the student helper said Miss Impertinent couldn't take her I.D. picture with blue hair, no one paid attention to it until an adult made a big deal out of it.

So... it's not distracting to the students. Or even most of the teachers, who said nothing to my daughter, or even batted an eye at her hair earlier in the day, including the principal. It's only distracting to specific teachers and staff people, who are in the minority.

Life in a small town. Don't even get me started...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whaaaaa??

Add this to the file of Things I Am Not Ready For:

*ahem*

The Impossible Son... has fuzz on his upper lip.

*flail flail flail*

No, it's not cat hair, it's not chocolate syrup on his upper lip... it's hair. Stiff little hairs.

*meep!*

I'd noticed this a few weeks ago, actually, but tucked it away neatly in my Denial Drawer. Nice big roomy thing, my Denial Drawer. Lots of room for stuff I'd Rather Not Think About™

Anyhow, I'd noticed this... subtle shading on the corners of his upper lip. It was really apparent when we were at the beach, and I had actually pretended at one point to be rubbing sand off his chin so I could take a better look in bright sunlight and... promptly shoved what I'd seen in my Denial Drawer. But I couldn't help noticing it again, and again, and again.

Finally, tonight, in our poorly lit bedroom (we had the lights low to encourage sleepiness), it was unmistakable, and I got the flashlight and put on my glasses and took a really good look... then got the Husbandly One for corroboration, and... yeah. Fuzzy Lip Syndrome.

*weeps*

Where did my baby go????

And while I'm going through this emotional toss up of my Denial Drawer, the Husbandly One says, "Oh, yeah, I started shaving when I was TWELVE."

*jaw-drop*

Don't mind me, I'll just go curl up in the corner with a paper bag over my head, rearranging the contents of my Denial Drawer. While singing. Loudly. And NOT thinking about the hair on my son's upper lip. And his legs.

*sticking her fingers in her ears and singing "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-I-CAN'T-HEAR-YOU!" loudly*

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Long day was LOOOOOONG....

I am tired, I am hot, and I am very crabby.

*random grumbling noises*

The Impossible Son had a dental appointment today and was wound up in anxiety about it. Why, I don't know. Seriously. He sees a pediatric dentist and she is wonderful! I wish she was my dentist! I mean, seriously, they have never hurt him. Never. And he's had dental surgery to remove the root of a broken tooth! So, that's saying something! She's the type of dentist that will sing to her patients to calm them down, or tell them stories. So why he was anxious to the point of throwing up, I have no idea!

And you know, I told him several times, "It's just a cleaning, son. You're just getting your teeth cleaned."

So, he's sitting there, clinging to me when the dental nurse comes out and calls him, then looks at his chart and says, "Yep, just a cleaning today."

He blinks, sits up, and says, "Wait... that's it? I'm just having my teeth cleaned?"

"Yep," she says cheerfully.

"Oh! Well... why didn't you say so??" He shot an accusing look at me and went happily along his way.

*head-desk*

Of course, it didn't last. He had a spacer that needed to come out. Nothing complicated or painful, just pop it off the tooth and clean the glue away.

He had a complete meltdown.

I almost said, "Who are you, and what have you done with my son?" when I saw him. I mean, this is the same kid who sits quietly to have his blood drawn!! Did we have the spacer removed today?

No, we did not.

We're going back in two weeks, and Dr. L. will have to use nitrous oxide to calm him down before popping it off. However, she did lay the groundwork, preparing him for work that will need to be done in order to correct the fact that his lower jaw is growing faster than his upper jaw. And this will prepare him for the idea of braces later on.

*sigh*

He actually handled that a lot better than the idea of popping that spacer off. The good news, however, is that he had no cavities whatsoever. How, I don't know, because getting that boy to brush his teeth is an ordeal in and of itself.

Once that was done, we stopped by Sally Beauty Supply and bought more blue hair dye for the Impertinent One's last coloring of the summer. Dunno if they'll allow her to have blue hair at the high school. We'll just have to see. Then we came home, and I pretty much have not sat down for more than five minutes at a time since. Until now.

I am sooooo ready for school to start. Totally.

*grumblegrumblegrumble*

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'd like you to meet my husband... Fabio...




Well, in this picture, he kind of looks like him, don't you think?

*laughs*

It's the way his long hair is blowing in the wind, you know. And if you're wondering, that cute little fish was his catch of the night. He'd taken the kids salt water fishing for the first time, and while the Impossible Son caught the biggest fish of the night, and the Impertinent Daughter caught the second largest, the Husbandly One caught... the smallest. And no matter how hard he tried to catch something bigger, for the rest of the week, everything he caught was... pretty much the same size as that cute little Gulf cat in the picture. Heck, for all we know, it was the same fish the entire time, following him all around Rockport and Fulton, throwing itself shamelessly on his hook for one more look at its long haired hero! ♥ ♥ ♥!!

Oh, come on, I had to say it!

I find this an extraordinarily entertaining photo, on so many levels, and I'm proud of the Impertinent Daughter for taking it. She got a good shot of her papa!

I wanted to write more, but I'm just too tired to concentrate. School starts in three weeks, and... I can't wait.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

!!!!!



I have no words...

That's a high of 40 C and a low of 25 C, for those of you overseas.

*goes in search of iced tea and a fan*

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Whoa...

Tickets acquired, and my, how times have changed in this little town!

The first midnight screening we managed to see was Goblet of Fire at the local cinema, and they barely managed to fill up one theatre.

The second was Order of the Phoenix and that was almost full.

When we saw The Half-Blood Prince, it was seriously crowded in that theatre!

Then last year, the Impertinent Daughter and I saw Deathly Hallows, Pt 1, and... they sold out the theatre and had to open a second!

So, I went to buy our tickets early, in the heat of the day (I feel like my eyeballs are boiling in my head, y'all), and casually asked how many tickets they'd sold.

"Well," said the teenager behind the counter, "we've sold out one theatre, and the second one is halfway full already, so... we'll probably open a third one, just in case."

O_O!!

Seriously. Awesome.

Yeah, we're going to have to get there at 10:30 to be sure of getting seats together!!

The Last Hurrah...

In a few minutes, I will leave to run a couple of errands, one of which will be to go to the local theatre to pick up tickets for tonight's midnight showing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 2."

As my daughter said this morning, sitting on my bed in shock, "I'm so excited to see it, and yet I'm not because... I'm not ready for it to be over."

We've been following Harry Potter's adventures since she was very, very small. We've laid on the floor with a box of crayons and a huge 18"x 24" tablet of paper in front of us, and drawn Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Hagrid, the blue Ford Anglia flying through the air, Fluffy the three-headed dog, and Professor Dumbledore with pointy toed boots and sparkly purple robes, because Miss Impertinence had gotten glitter sparkle crayons from Aunt Blonde Sister and thought they'd be perfect. We've sewn felt people and made Harry, Snuffles, and Mrs. Weasley with wild curly red hair. We've experimented with making Butterbeer, some of which were awful, and some which were... okay. And when the Impossible Son was born, we tugged him into it, too. We've dressed him up as Harry, and dressed Miss Impertinent as Hermione, and as Luna. We've had Harry Potter birthday cakes and spell battles. We've made up ridiculous spells for very silly things, and we've made a game of looking around when we're in public and spotting people we either think look like the characters in the books, or that we think are secretly witches and wizards slumming it with the Muggles.

In other words, we took the world of Harry Potter and ran with it. And it's been fun!

But... it's sad to see the last movie. Because, according to J. K. Rowling, that's it, there is no more. One can hope she will eventually come around to writing about the next generation of wizards and witches and the challenges they will face, but... that day may be long in coming, or may never come at all.

Still, I'll be leaving to get the tickets. And I'll probably pick up a box of tissues to take with us because... I have a feeling we'll need it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Ol' Dan and I, with throats burned dry, and souls that cry for water... cool water..."

Yeah, y'all are probably tired of hearing about this, but... this is the seven day forecast for Central Texas...





I saw a story in the news that cattle are dying from... drinking too much water. Yes, you read that right. See, a lot of stock tanks (what most folks think of as "ponds" are called "tanks" down here) have dried up, and pastures have withered, so... ranchers are moving their cattle to pastures where they can pump in a water supply. The cows, of course, are understandably thirsty, and if they drink too much too quickly, well, it's more than their bodies can handle and they die. More than 90 percent of the state is in the two highest drought categories. Where I am is in the "exceptional" category.

And because there is no moisture in the soil whatsoever, it's just... baking out there. It's like walking into an oven when you go outside, which I'll admit, I don't really like to do all that much. Because, there's only so much clothing you can remove before someone gets charged with indecency! This is the first time I've ever wished we had a pool, but at the same time, I'm glad we don't because, omg, the water bill!!

My latest writing project is going well... when the kids leave me along long enough, that is. I'm hoping to be done by tonight, so I can get it edited and ready to send off by tomorrow night. And that is all I will say about that, for now.

Now, if I can just get the the Migraine of Doom to go away and leave me alone, that would be totally awesome!!

*goes to sit in front of a fan to dry the latest layer of sweat*

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hee!

The Impossible Son just came running into the room with a large Nerf gun in his hands. "This is a hold up," he shouted.

I blinked at him.

"Now... hold something up!!" he said, aiming his Nerf gun at me.

I grabbed my cup and held it aloft, my eyes wide.

"Okay, you're safe," he said, and departed.

Life in my house = never a dull moment!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Library day...

So, I'm at the library today. The Impertinent Daughter has her Ani-Manga Club meeting. The Impossible Son gets to play on the heavily filtered kid computers and go to library approved gamesites that he can't go to at home, because our computer slows down to neolithic speeds otherwise. I'm not sure how the library's tech team does it, but the library computers seem to have no problem with it. Our Mac, though, does.

And what do I get out of this? Time to write, uninterrupted. Well, except for the fact that there are those who wander about, looking specifically for people using personal laptops, and feel compelled to do a bit of "over the shoulder cruising."

I hate it when people look over my shoulder when I'm working on something, whether it's writing, sewing, crocheting, drawing, whatever. I can't stand it. And it would be truly nice if I could set up somewhere with my back to a wall, but there are no plugs near the tables by walls, and my laptop's battery power lasts for about, oh... 23 seconds. Yeah, need to replace it, I know, I know, but... you know, things like dental appointments, and mortgage payments and FOOD come first.

Anyhow, I do what I can, and try not to feel too paranoid, and the kids are happy. Well, until the Impossible Son gets bored of the computer and wanders around to find a book, then comes to sit with me. Then he'll start snorting and snickering, and feel compelled to read the funny bits of whatever book he's reading out loud to me, and I won't get it because (a) I haven't read the book and (b) he's giggling too much to be coherent. I'll still laugh, though, because he's funny, though I'll pretend I'm laughing at what he's reading, to save his feelings, you understand.

Plus there's the added bonus of people-watching. I enjoy people-watching. You never know what you're going to get. Last week, I got to watch a young guy who had "Saggy Pants Syndrome." His jeans were hanging down around his thighs and his underwear, as a result, were slowly sliding down as well. I was amused when he pulled his underwear up... but not his jeans.

Then he sat down. This did not help.

It ended when a librarian came by to fuss at him for his jeans practically falling down around his ankles, whereupon he felt compelled to start wandering around. He passed me, and I realized he was also Hygienically Challenged.

Yes, a good time was had by all.

So, I suppose at some point, I should finish this entry, and like a good little author, get to work.

Yeah, not so much of the writing getting done.

*sigh*

Note to Muse: This would be a really good time for you to show up. WHERE ARE YOU??

No love,

Jo

Oh well, back to the salt mines!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grumpy Old Spock...



I came across this video on Tumblr, and I couldn't resist! Leonard Nimoy is all kinds of cool, isn't he? Your surreal video of the day!!

Hot, Hot, Hot...




That's the most recent seven day forecast for Central Texas. Hot. Dry. And miserable. It's only a little after 11 a.m. and it's already 90 F. Around 3 or 4, I should probably let my kids try the fried egg experiment on our front sidewalk, or maybe on a frying pan we laid out to heat all day. That one's fun, too. Funny how I remember doing that when I was a kid, and what boggles my mind is my friends and I standing on the sidewalk around the frying egg barefoot!!

And we are back in an "exceptional" drought, which are the worst drought conditions you can have.




There are folks in town who are going ahead with their vegetable garden plans, but we decided to forgo them this year. For one thing, as we learned during the last triple digit summer two years ago, no matter how much you water, the garden will still get burned unless you rig some sort of shade structure for it. So, we're downsizing as far as gardening is concerned. I have my container garden on the back porch, and that's fine for now. Much easier to keep stuff watered and shaded until the worst passes.

The ones I really feel sorry for are the farmers in our area. The milo crop has mostly done well because it was planted early, while we were still having a least a teeny bit of rain, and it's ready for harvest nearly a month early. But the corn crop is already fried, and cotton, which normally thrives during hot weather, is struggling. So far, the only thing doing well seems to be hay.

Yes, I know, this is a pretty boring post as far as posts go, but you can say this is my reality at present. It's hot, it's dry, and no rain in sight. Anybody got any extra rain they want to send this way? We'd surely appreciate it!

*sigh*

Monday, June 13, 2011

*sweat sweat sweat*

It's going to be another one of those hot Texas summers...




I don't think I'll mind the cold springs so much this year...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Epic Adventures in Hair...

My friends... a rite of passage has been approached, and has now been navigated.

The Impertinent Daughter... has dyed her hair.





*is full of glee*

Monday, June 6, 2011

"They're driving me mad, MAD, I tell you!"

Week Two of Summer Vacation... and I'm about to lose my religion.

Let's see, I'm trying to clean the hog pen that is our living room, a task which always makes me want to strangle my children rather cranky, because it begins to take on Sisyphean proportions. Every time I think I've cured my kids of a bad habit, I find that I haven't. They've just gotten better at concealing it.

*snarls*

Take, for example, the Impossible Son. I think Hercules had it easy, cleaning out the Augean Stables. He should try cleaning under and around the loveseat that Mr. Impossible has claimed as his own. I found... okay, I don't know what it was, I don't want to know what it was, I could live my entire life without ever knowing what that stuff was, and die happy. Seriously. It might have been a thriving civilization, for all I know. If it was, sorry, I destroyed it. I had to. It was going to take over the Earth. That's me, the unsung hero of planet Earth, saving it from being taken over by home made science experiments and penicillin farms.

So, I'm picking up detritus left over from video games, glasses left on the table from yesterday, and I move to pick up some toys next to this old video console we're using to hold DVD's and as I'm standing up, I look between the console and the wall and there are these... things. Lumpy, dark, possibly reddish, possibly purplish, kinda hard to tell... things. And it was hard to tell the color because they were covered in a thick mat of hairy mold. They might have once been strawberries, or... blackberries? I'm not sure, because like I said, I could go my whole life without needing to know. Anyhow, there they are, stuck to the floor, pulsing slightly, looking somewhat malevolent... I'm not quite sure, but... I think they were... looking at me!!

Windex and paper towels. I saved the planet with Windex and paper towels. Yes, I am awesome!!

I'm still seriously grossed out. And yeah, I let Mr. Impossible have it, making him look at the mashed, squished, Windexed remains and said, "There is a garbage can not six feet away!!. There is a compost bucket three feet beyond that!! USE THEM!!! Or seriously, the XBox, the Wii, and the PS2 will go the way of the triceratops. As in BYE BYE!!"

I don't get it, this kid can play an entire game of soccer nonstop, he can run a mile without stopping, he can climb anything, is sometimes so energetic he can't sit still and has to go outside to play... and he can't walk six feet to a garbage can????

Oh, and I'm seriously going to have to call my mother and apologize again. Because I completely understand now why she would go nuts when I'd put music I liked on the stereo and had it blasting away while I cleaned the living room and the bathroom. Because when the Impertinent Daughter puts her music on full blast while she cleans her room, the living room, her bathroom, the kitchen, etc... it drives me up the wall!!! And you know what the worst part is??

We like the same music!!

I mean, how sad is that? She's listening to music that I like... and it's driving me nuts because I can't hear myself think!!

That's it. I am officially old.

Oh, and another thing... I'd better get some serious chocolate out of this. I'm not kidding. Because after I finish scraping that weird sticky stuff off the wood floor in the living room (and no, I don't want to know what that stuff is either), I have to tackle the kitchen and the laundry room.

*head-desk*

This is sooooooo going on my bill to Homeland Security. I mean, seriously, I SAVED the PLANET. With Windex. And paper towels.

How many superheroes do you know can do that?

Yeah. That's what I thought!

Excuse me, I need to find the paint scraper. There's a malevolent force of evil I need to scrape off the floor. By the way, have you seen the Windex?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Because sometimes upgrades suck...

So, I have this Sony Vaio laptop that we bought prior to our trip to Washington D.C. a few years ago. It's been through a lot with us, being hauled through airports, in hotels, being accidently squished at the bottom of stuff we packed in the back of the car, bumped by kids and cats, hauled to libraries and cafes, soccer board meetings in questionable places, and so on. In other words, it's had its share of getting knocked around.

So, when it started getting inexplicably slow, after cleaning caches, registry, defragging, scanning it for viruses and malware, all to no effect, I figured it was aging, maybe needed a few upgrades, maybe I needed to get rid of some excess software, but mostly, it's getting old.

When it started freezing, sometimes shutting down completely, or refusing to load a page no matter how many times I clicked "refresh," I figured it was getting cranky, too. Or maybe it was possessed. Or maybe it had a virus/worm/trojan that our antiviral software couldn't handle. This wouldn't be a surprise because no one's antiviral programs can possibly handle everything that comes out of evil little hacker minds the moment it comes out, right?

I was getting ready to reprogram the damn thing with an axe... and then I read a friend's rant about Mozilla's Firefox 4, and when I read through the comments, suddenly realized what the problem was.

I had upgraded to Firefox 4, and while I liked some of the new features, mostly I just wondered why they had added all the new bells and whistles, because it didn't really seem to improve things much. It just added more stuff. It was nice and shiny, just kind of top-heavy and cumbersome. I got the earlier version mainly because I wanted to watch movies on Netflix on the laptop, and for some reason, Silverlight won't work with Safari for PC (works just fine for Safari for Mac, so???), and when the upgrade popped up, I had no problem with giving it a shot.

And that's when all the problems started, though it took a week to manifest, which is probably why I didn't make the connection. So... I went to Mozilla's website on the desktop to look and see if they had any fixes, and they suggested deleting add-ons. That would be great, if it didn't take forever to get the damn browser to even load. Fifteen minutes, I shit you not. Fifteen minutes!!! That's when I finally said, "Screw this!" and uninstalled the whole friggin' thing.

Amazing how fast my laptop was after I did that!!

I still ran the cache cleaners, rebooted, and defragged the hell out of it. Then I reloaded Firefox 3.6, and it's running beautifully with no problems whatsoever. It's like having a new laptop, I swear!!

If any of y'all are having the same problems and need to reload Firefox 3.6, you can get it HERE.

And thank you, Keira, for posting about it in the first place. You saved a laptop from an untimely death!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Me mind on fire, me soul on fire, feelin' hot, hot, hot..."

It was 100 F (37.7 C) at the school down the street from us today, and 101 F (38.3 C) at my son's school.

It's only May 25th!! Jays, this is going to be one scorcher of a summer! It's going to be another triple digit summer like it was two years ago, I just know it. Yay whoopie yay.

Yesterday, when I picked the Impossible Son up from school, he stated most emphatically, "Mom, I never... ever... want to come back to this school... ever... again."

And I thought, "Uh-oh, what happened now?" Because he'd been having bully problems, I'd emailed his teacher and while she didn't reply to me, he had told me things had improved.

Seems they hadn't really, he'd just been dealing with it... kinda. Mainly though, it was like a redux of what had happened to the Impertinent One in third grade. She had her best friend, whom she'd known since first grade, and suddenly, this best friend started withdrawing from her and hanging out with two other girls, one of whom started picking on Miss Impertinent. Then she started isolating Miss Impertinent, who had no idea how to deal with this, as no one had ever done this to her before. And the next thing the Impertinent One knew, her best friend turned against her, claiming that Miss Bully had told her all the bad things Miss Impertinent had been saying about her. And Miss Impertinent said, "Huh??? What bad things? What???" And it just got worse from there, to the point where I had to walk the Impertinent One to her classroom door, and pick her up at the door after school. I tried talking to the teacher, got nowhere because she was Mrs. LaLa FooFooBrain and tried to tell me that all her students got along and were such beautiful children. I tried talking to the counselor, Mrs. Fluff Bunny, who told me she didn't want to traumatize the "bright, sensitive child" who was bullying Miss Impertinent by labeling her as a bully, and the Husbandly One and I had to threaten legal action to get them to even sit down and fucking talk to us.

And we ended up transferring Miss Impertinent to a different school, because any administration who thinks labeling a fucking bully as a BULLY would be traumatizing to the BULLY is not one I want have looking out for my kid!!

Miss Impertinent still sees the girl who was her best friend, and is tentatively friends with her again, but... she doesn't trust her any farther than she could spit into a hurricane. Meaning not at all.

Okay, so... we have the Impossible Son. There's this boy who has been his best friend at school for two years. There's another boy who doesn't like him. And it's really, really weird how history is repeating itself. In fact, this other boy pulled the kind of bullying you see girls doing. He isolated Mr. Impossible from his best friend, and turned the best friend against him. And then got a third boy into the mix, who thought it was all just a joke. Then the bully from the fall, the one who had called Mr. Impossible gay and all that crap, started it up again, but instead of using the actual word "GAY," started singing the "A and B, sitting in a tree," song, using Mr. Impossible's name along with another boy's. And was under the impression again that because his aunt is a teacher at the school, he can get away with anything.

And after the Impossible Son related this to me, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "I don't matter at all to Best Friend. It's like he doesn't care about how the things he's saying is making me feel."

"Then he's not your friend," I said sadly. "Because real friends don't do that to each other. Real friends don't join in and help bullies hurt you. Real friends stick with you and stand up for you. Or they run and get help. Real friends have your back and know you have theirs."

"I guess he's not my friend, then," he said and started quietly crying.

I hate it when my kids cry. It makes me want to go crush something, or start smashing something. You know, "Hulk go SMASH!!" but Jo style.

Then he said, "Mom, transfer me to another school... PLEASE? And let me miss the last three days of school! I don't want to go back, I really don't! I won't do it, I won't!!" and on and on, until I realized saying, "You can't run away from it, love," and "We will deal with this, I promise" just wasn't working, and I finally said, "Look, don't worry about it right now. We'll talk about it tonight, okay? Just take a few deep breaths, calm down, and let me worry about it, okay?"

And worry I did. After we got home, I sat down and fired off a tactical nuclear missile very much to the point email to his teacher, basically telling her what the problem was, who was causing it, the peripherals involved, and then informing her that we would be transferring the Impossible Son to another elementary school within the district next year.

It's funny, but I think it was the last sentence that got their attention, because this afternoon, after I'd been helping the Tall Blonde get soccer league pamphlets separated for the different schools in the district, my phone rang and it was the Counselor from Mr. Impossible's school. Mrs. Teacher had already answered my email, apologizing for not noticing that it was happening in her own classroom (evidently she had talked to my son before writing me) and told me she had disciplined the Lead Bully for something similar yesterday, but to another child. And then that she had been advocating for an elementary discipline management center all year, because, and I quote, "...we, as classroom teachers, do not have enough recourse for these such incidences..."

And she's right. They don't. They can send them to the counselor, who is now required to make them watch videos, and to talk to them. Just... talk.

HOWEVER... the counselor at my son's school is... just awesome. When she called, she told me about her discussion with the Impossible One, and then that she had called in the three bullies, plus Mr. K-I-S-S-I-N-G, and got their side, then pretty much stomped a hole in them read them the riot act. She quickly figured out who was the lead instigator, and who was just following along because they basically have no wills of their own.

*rolls eyes*

She made them apologize, then separated out the Bully Boss. and apparently decided that the videos and Firm Talking To™ weren't going to work. So, she decided to go back to a technique that had worked with the bully the Impossible One had dealt with back in second grade. The Bully Boss is going to be supervised over the next two days. He'll have to report to her every hour for ten minutes of face time and to find out what he's been up to. And she'll be in contact with his teacher, just to be sure she's getting the truth.

And when school starts next year, he'll have to report to her before he even goes to his new classroom, where she'll start the process again, until it sinks in that he's going to be watched. Constantly.

It worked before, but that was in second grade. I think 7 year olds are a little bit easier to intimidate than an 11 year old, but that's just me.

When I got to the school to pick Mr. Impossible up and drop off the soccer pamphlets, the principal made it a point to come talk to me, and said that all three boys, plus Mr. I'm-Immune-Because-My-Aunt-Teaches-Here, would be in her office first thing in the morning, where she would be talking to them about her expectations.

Yeah. You do that.

*sigh*

I'm taking this all with a grain of salt. See, I know why my earlier email was ignored, but yesterday's wasn't. I threatened to move my son to a different school. To move Mr. Impossible to a different school, I have to write a letter to the district to request it and list my reasons why. And, of course, the biggest reason would be because my son is being bullied and despite repeated demands requests for it to be dealt with, it was continuing to happen.

It would make them look bad (this is the "flagship" school of the district), and it would also show that the counselor had been cut out of the loop. It's always been my policy to try dealing with the teacher first, before going to the counselor and the principal. Basically, I give 'em three shots across the bow and if they don't respond, thenI go in for the kill to the principal and the counselor. This time, the counselor didn't know anything about it until this morning.

*grumble*

This was Mrs. Teacher's second shot. I mean, she dealt with it fairly quickly last semester, so I'd figured she'd deal with it quickly this semester, too.

Oh well. At least he'll have two hassle-free days before school is over for the year!

I'm just... so fucking done with this district. Seriously. I am.