Sunday, July 11th, 2010 02:22 pm
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
The World Cup is on.

My kids are on the XBox, playing Mini Ninjas and getting along. They are laughing, and having fun, and getting along, and not shouting or crying or stomping off in extreme grumpiness. Any mother worth her salt would recognize one of those Rare Moments, and would not disturb this for anything.

And ESPN is NOT streaming it live on their website!!!


*is hopping mad*

I'm listening to it on ESPN Radio, but... IT'S NOT THE SAME!!!!

They've had live streams of every other game... so... why not this one???


Once again...

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 08:47 am
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Dear Writer,

Your story looks interesting, and I would really love to read it. However, when I clicked on the link, I found it to be locked. While I understand the need to f-lock stories on your LJ, I do not understand posting it on a comm which is locked to members only... and then linking it to your LJ, where you have locked it to your friends list only.

The comm is already locked. No one outside of the members of that community can read it, so... what's the point?

Maybe after I've calmed down, I'll leave a comment on your entry making this point that won't be bitchy and sarcastic...

... but don't count on it.

No love,

auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
Dear Mom,

I just wanted to apologize for being the kind of kid who asked rapid-fire questions almost non-stop, the kind of questions that make a parent stop and go, "Wait, WHAT??" and promptly have an accident in the middle of an intersection.

The fact that Dad never did is either testament to y'all's patience, your skills at distracting me, or his awesomely fast reflexes or superior driving skills.

I haven't either, and I'm not sure why. But I can tell you this...

I now know why female animals sometimes eat their young.

So, I just wanted to say, Mom, I'm sorry, and thank you so much for allowing me to survive long enough to become an adult.

losing her patience one question at a time,

auntbijou: (Calcifer)
Or maybe I should have titled it "The Angst of Auntie."


Where do I even begin? Life has been... difficult. And for the stupidest of reasons. I can't go fully into it, but suffice it to say, I think that the Husbandly One and I are going to be most definitely resigning our positions on the soccer board. The past five months have been... hard.

We have a person on the board who... if we had known ahead of time what we know now, we would not have voted him on. And one of the present board members, who has not been on the board as long as we have, has a great deal of... emotional investment in this person. Quite a few of us on the board think the person is... not entirely honest, and poses a serious risk to the board and the organization, but the board member is adamant that it is all lies, libel, etc, and has told us any move on our part to have this person removed would result in legal action against us.

There is nothing in our bylaws that will allow us to get rid of this person, save catching him red-handed with his hand in the cookie jar. Which I personally suspect is not long in coming.

In the meantime, THO and I are being accused of having a "personal bias" against this person, and THO has been told he has "control issues."

This, right in the middle of our trying to deal with the city and the issues with the fields (the city wants to "disk" our fields, which would totally and completely screw them up, not to mention wrecking the sprinkler heads on the irrigation system WE installed). We were going to resign at the end of this season anyway, because the Impertinent Daughter has gone as far as she can go in this league. We don't have enough kids to field a U15 and up team in the fall. We never have. So, that means we need to go to a league in San Marcos, or New Braunfels, or gods help us, Austin. And if we have to take one kid to practice in another town, it seems ridiculous to leave the other to play here. Might as well move both of them and not have to try to go to two different practices in two different towns, and then two different sets of games on the weekends. And if our kids aren't playing in the league, then there's really no point in us being on the board, since we will be basically running hither and yon anyway. There just won't be time for it. So, maybe this was our wake-up call that it's time to move on.

In other news, I have the sinking feeling that the 8th grade principal at the junior high is well on her way to some sort of mental breakdown. That or the sweet smiles I've graced her with whenever I'm at the junior high are finally shredding her nerves!

I quote from the Impertinent Daughter's journal on DeviantArt...

"I got nothing else to really report.

Oh, no wait... the principal is going all psychotic about the dress code again.

So after giving us some other crazed up lecture and making everyone late for class, she released the boys but held the girls back. Then she told the custodians to close the doors in the cafeteria so no one could get into the cafeteria. At that point I was getting worried. But then she started on a rant about how the girls were wearing too low-cut shirts (I don't) and that we weren't supposed to do that and that we will get in trouble if we do. Then she started to complain about us wearing short shorts and told us again that we COULD NOT WEAR SHORTS THAT DON'T TOUCH OUR KNEES. Not even a CENTIMETER above the knee. No. Then she started complaining about how we use our jackets to hide low cut shirts or we hold our binders in front of our chests to hide the low cut shirts. I swear, if she could outlaw jackets from the dress code she would. And the way she went on about all of this made it seem like we were doing illegal drugs instead of breaking a few slight dress code rules. Ugh. I hate her so much. "

They were ten minutes late to their next class.

And this doesn't include the lecture she was giving the kids about talking, etc.

Oh, haven't I mentioned, the majority of the kids lunch periods is taken up with Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere and Principal Noodlehead lecturing the kids from the stage? Oh yes, with microphones and everything. "You need to think about the decisions you make, you must make appropriate decisions or you will be left behind, or worse, find yourself in a place you never imagined." "There is too much talking and not enough eating going on in here!" "You need to change your behavior, blah, blah, blah, blah..." which is pretty much what it degenerates into. I am stunned every single time I walk into that school to hear one of those two women droning into the microphone or haranguing them for something: "you over there! You need to stop clumping up and stand on the blue line! Stand on the blue line for the lunch line, stop cutting and talking! Do you hear me over there? STAND ON THE BLUE LINE OR I'LL TAKE AWAY YOUR SWIM DAY PRIVILEGES!!"

This goes on every single school day, for all three lunch periods!! And personally? I think they are massively counterproductive.

The good news is... they are not going to be returning to the junior high in the fall. The bad news is, we have 30 more days of this shit to live through.

What I tremble to find out is... where are they going next? Because Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere keeps getting removed from the junior high, then a year or two later, turns up at one of the other schools like a bad penny only to be removed by the virulent and furious insistence of the parents... whereupon they ship her back to the junior high.

Which means she'll be back by the time the Impossible Son makes it to the junior high.

Personally, I'm thinking of shooting an email to the school board president and saying something along the lines of, "I think Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere is getting close to a mental breakdown. Her OCD is going into over-drive, and I'm worried for the welfare of the students. Granted, she's only got 30 more days to go, but enough is enough, get the crazy bitch out of there."

Of course, I would word it a bit more tactfully and diplomatically than that, being the awesome writer that I am.

I'm sorry, but spending ten minutes haranguing the girls about the length of their shorts, and whether or not they are wearing "low-cut" shirts is... too much time.

This is one of those times when small-town life loses its appeal.Life

writing blues

Friday, March 26th, 2010 02:27 pm
auntbijou: (icon by <lj user="odyssey">)
I have been trying to write. Really. I have.

But... *sigh*

Everything I've done so far is full of suck, and that's speaking objectively. I feel like I'm trying to write through this huge... barrier... and its sucking the ... gosh, I'm not even sure how to put it. Let me put it this way: I've been working on a piece of original fiction, taking what I normally push into fanfiction, and writing something new. Right?

Am I stuck on an erotic scene? On a hot one on one passion session with lots of smut-tastic action?


What am I stuck on?

One phrase. One damn, niggling, stupid, idiotic phrase to describe the sound of someone running down a running path that will lead up to one of the main characters looking up to meet another main character. You know, that "moment" where the eyes meet and something sparks, though they don't act on it, at least not right away, but the potential is there, and you just know it's going to go somewhere?


*bangs head into desk repeatedly*


I mean, I know this is the usual slow climb to recovery that has happened after the last two times I lost files in a hard drive crash, but JAYS, this is driving me nuts!! There is NOTHING worse than having this ... need and craving and just gods, I have to write something, but it's just not coming. It's like... something inside got broken or is out of order, or maybe I didn't notice the "writer is currently out of service" sign, but it's like torture, and it's driving me nuts.

Even writing my posts feels unnatural and just... not like me.

I know that part of it also has to do with the fact that my thyroid is... totally out of control right now, and I've been waiting for the Impertinent One to be settled back in school before calling to reschedule my appointment. Now that she's actually made it through a week of being back on a full-time schedule, I think I can call, because y'all, I am telling you, I can't live like this any more. I'm not sleeping at all, my hands and feet are swollen, the exhaustion is crushing me again, and no matter what I do, I am gaining weight like crazy, which is... seriously depressing when I allow myself to think about it. But that's what happens when your metabolism takes a nose-dive. Once I get the dosage adjusted, I'll feel better and the weight will start coming off again, but for now... I'm just not a happy camper.

And I can't write. Oh my gods, I can't write, and it HURTS.

SO. Monday morning. I will call the endocrinologist and say, "Hey, who do I have to blow to get an appointment ASAP? You can ask my husband for references, I'm really talented at it!" I mean, whatever it takes, because seriously, y'all... I can't do this again. I enjoy getting a full night's sleep, really I do! And I miss having the energy to do things... Auntie wasn't meant to be a couch potato!! I know I haven't said much about how things were going with me, but... it's been rather a lot to deal with and... well... I just... didn't want this to turn into a blog full of me complaining about all the things that are going wrong in my life. Because... there are a lot of things that are pretty darn good about it, you know?

Every once in a while, though... it all sort of backs up and goes catty-whompuss on me and I have to vent.

I want to write again. I want that feeling back of my fingers flying on the keyboard and being lost in trying to capture the images in my head in words on a page and...


auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Dear Angry Soccer Mom,

Really, I do understand your concerns about the soccer fields. They are crap. Complete and total crap. And they are definitely a lawsuit waiting to happen.

However... sending angry and vaguely threatening emails to every member of the city council, berating them on the condition of the fields, and for not doing anything about them, is not helping us. Or the kids.

1. Yes, the fields are full of rocks and weeds, they need to be stripped and dressed, the rocks pressed back into the ground, a new layer of soil and sod laid down, seeded, etc. However, none of that is going to do any good if we don't get the fields irrigated, and right now, we've only gotten three of them done because... that's all the city gave us money for!! And we had to do the work ourselves!

2. Yes, there does need to be sidewalks to all the fields. We agree with you on that. In fact, we've been pointing this out to the City for quite some time, mostly to deaf ears. We've pointed out the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the fact that we could be sued, since there are several handicapped relatives of players who cannot get out to the fields without a great deal of help. However, once again, the CITY owns the fields.

3. There is no point at all in trying to do anything with the fields right now. The season started last weekend. We will be playing games every weekend until May. In order for anything to be done to improve the fields, we would have to tear them up, which would render them... unplayable. And again, there is no point doing anything to the fields until they are irrigated, which they are not, and the city has told us that there is no more money for improvements until next year.

4. Writing to every single member of the city council is great. We applaud you. However, blaming the soccer board for problems that are actually the provence of the city is definitely playing dirty pool. I realize you probably have no idea that we really have no control over the field conditions, though we've been trying for three and a half years. You would have earned more respect from me if you had (1) signed your name and (2) gotten other parents to write as well. Right now, you just look like a one-woman vendetta that is just barely this side of crazy and I bet City Council, from the tone of your last email, is wondering if they ought to install metal detectors outside of City Hall.

Get some other parents involved, and get them to write, too, and even better, sign your names. And you know, we could really use volunteers to help dig the trenches to lay the waterlines, since we have to do the work ourselves, oh, and if you could help us dig out the rocks and stuff, that would be great, and hey, help us raise money to do this stuff, and we might actually respect you. Otherwise, STFU and stop pissing the Parks Board off, They're refusing to mow the fields, you dumbass!!

No love,


Yes, we have this angry parent who has been writing letters to the City Council, demanding that they fix the fields right now. As in, this minute, dammit!! Honey, if I had the power, I would wave my wand and say something like, "Viridis Agri!" and "Expello Cilicis!"

However, redressing the fields is going to take a lot of hot, sweaty grunt work, and it's going to take time. For one thing, when the fields were built, the City took the lowest bid, and the fields were dressed with construction fill.

Yes. You read that right. Construction fill. You know, the stuff that construction companies throw away? Because it's full of crap like glass, chunks of asphalt, rocks, metal... all that good stuff!! Yes, that's just what you want on a soccer field, right?

Now do y'all understand why I say that soccer is the red-headed step-child of sports in this town?

This was once a volcanically active area, and we have rocky soil. You'll find limestone, flint... you name it, we got it. And it percolates up through the soil with every rain. It's not unusual to dig in your garden and toss out a wheelbarrow's worth of rocks. Add that to the rocks in the soil they used to dress the fields, and you begin to understand the scope of our problems. Not only that, but the recent drought showed how badly the fields were leveled. It's just... so frustrating!! And then the irrigation issues.

The soccer board does not have the money to irrigate the fields. Even if we did, we wouldn't be allowed to because the board doesn't own the fields. The CITY does, and we lease them. We've managed to lay irrigation for three fields, but... WE had to do the grunt work. The City bought the pipe, fittings, and all that, and WE had to supply the trencher, shovels, and warm bodies to do the work. No, they did not hire a plumber. They paid a master plumber and a master electrician to consult with us, and draw up a plan... but not to do the work, or even oversee us.

Yeah, that's exactly the problem we're dealing with. That, and our liaison on the Parks Board is a man who can't make up his mind whether or not to retire, and rather than actually do anything, he continually promises to do stuff for the soccer fields, promises to send this or that, or put this project through, or that... and then ignores it. Needless to say, neither the baseball or football leagues have this problem with him.

It's very frustrating, and then to have this... person... writing the city council, implying that it's the laziness of the soccer board that is responsible for the problems at the fields is... beyond frustrating!! And then she doesn't even have the guts to sign her name??

*tears out hair*

The last email she sent, which I got a copy of in my inbox today, is... well... it's vaguely creepy. And faintly scary. We suspect it's a mom from one team in particular, but the coach (who is also a board member) has not been able to get anyone to confess. Nor has he apparently been able to get her to understand what our role is, and how exactly our hands have been tied.

This is so... frustrating!!!! GAAAAAHH!!!!

[profile] harry_holidays

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 07:10 am
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
Reveals are finally up at [profile] harry_holidays, so I can finally post my contribution later today!

*is very, very happy*
auntbijou: (Calcifer)
Okay, so, yesterday was full of teh suck. I'm... not getting better. It's nothing serious, exactly, just a persistent low-grade fever, and fatigue. Lots and lots of fatigue. And it was hard to admit to the Husbandly One yesterday that I'm not getting better. So, it's back to the doctor on Monday. Yay.

And you know, I'm getting really, really tired of it. I mean, every mom fantasizes about having a day to relax, rest, and do absolutely nothing, but the truth is, more than one day of that would drive us absolutely bonkers, and I have reached my limit. I'm used to ticking along on my merry way after only a day or two of being side-lined. This is ridiculous!!

I'm sorry if this is rather rambling, but I'm very cranky right now, and hot (because of the damn fever), and uncomfortable, and I don't wanna go back to bed (even though I know I should) and... I'm just grumpy, y'all. And frustrated.

At least I finally have my voice back (it came back yesterday, after being gone for over two weeks).

Did I mention that I'm hot? And cranky?

auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Writing for the last four months has been... difficult. I don't know what it is, but every time I sit down to write... something happens.

It'll be difficult to start, it goes in fits and stops, and then finally, blissfully, I settle into the writing groove, I'll be going great guns and...

"Mom, Mom, wait, you have to hear this! So, I was in my choir class, and this guy came in... no wait, it wasn't a guy, it was... no... wait... forget it, I forgot. So... whatcha doin'? Is it okay if I hang here a while? I'm bored. Oh, and I'm hungry, too... can you make me some ramen? Or, no... wait... popcorn. Can you make popcorn, Mom? I'm not hungry so much as I just feel like nibbling... you know, popcorn. And hey, can we watch a movie? You haven't watched a movie with us in...."

Then she wonders why I'm banging my head against the desk.

So, I find another opportunity to write, sit down, have trouble starting, then hit the groove, the keyboard is practically smoking, it's going so well, I'm flying and completely lost in the story and...

"Hey, honey, we need to talk about whether we're going to send the kids to soccer camp. I've been looking at the budget and I think we can manage if we do this camp, as opposed to the Outrageously Expensive Soccer Camp of Doom. But we'll need to cut out this, that and the other from the budget, if you'll let me get on the computer so I can bring up the... honey... why are you grinding your teeth?"

Literally. It never ends. It's like a vast conspiracy to Keep Auntie Away from the Computer, and it's driving me completely insane. I have several writing assignments that I am supposed to be working on, and one of them is nearly completed if... I... can... just have a friggin' hour alone!!! And the other, I am barely halfway through.

I have to tell you, there are times when I get so frustrated, I want to throw up my hands and say, "Fine. I give up. No more writing. I get the damn hint, okay? Just forget the writing and give up on it because there's just no point. No point at all!!"

Then I remember why I write in the first place. Because it hurts not to. Because I can't stop. Because I have all these ideas, and pictures, and voices in my head, and they all need to come out, and the only way to do it is to write it all down.


*is very frustrated*

Right now, though, the temptation to throw in the towel and just give it all up is very, very strong.
auntbijou: (Default)
The Impertinent Daughter has her first soccer game today. Her first game playing for her school, that is.

Remember how I said there were about 33 girls trying out for the 7th grade and 8th grade teams? Well... no one's been cut... yet. I think the coaches want to see how they do in this first game, and then decide.

*massive roll of eyes*

Miss Priss is going to play fullback and... middle sweeper?? I think that's the term her coach used. Oh, and forward. Her friend, B, is going to be goalie, which is a good thing, because while B may be the poster child for Stereotyping Blondes, she's a wickedly brilliant goalie. She's tall (meaning taller than me), thin, with excessively long legs that tend to fold up on her unexpectedly. She's very fast, can run forever, and you'd think she'd make an excellent forward or striker, because she's very focused and aggressive (on the field), but... there's the legs-folding-up thing. So, she's a goalie, and I have to say, in watching her play over the last four years, I've watched her do things she should not have been able to do.

Anyhow, this game should be interesting, simply because there's going to be about 16 girls sitting on the bench, and I think they play 11 v 11. Miss Priss said, "It's going to be weird, having subs." Because usually, playing in the rec leagues, we don't have enough kids on a team for more than one or two substitutes. She's gotten used to playing an entire game without a break.

Oh, and did I mention, she has to stay after school? They're not allowed to come home and eat and get ready, etc. They have to hang around at the school until the game starts at 5:30!! Meaning... they'll not have eaten since lunch. And no, the school is not going to provide a snack.

I should have realized, since the junior high is stupid about so many other things, that they'd be stupid about this, too. Apparently, they think the kids are going to either forget about the game and not come, do something vile to their uniforms in the interval between the end of classes, and arrival at the school for the game, eat something totally unsuitable and vomit during the game, or... hell if I know!!!

So, I packed a snack bento for Miss Priss along with her lunch bento. And if the coaches complain, they will bring the Wrath of Auntie down upon them. Because how the hell they expect the girls to play two 30 minute halves on NO FOOD since 11 a. m., I don't know. No wait... two 45 minute halves.

Sorry, I had to pause and let my blood pressure go down.

There are at least six girls on Miss Priss' team who have been in the rec league, that she's played on a team with at some time or other. I think I'll get together with their parents and see if they would like to approach the coaches with a "What the hell do you think you're doing??" argument, but phrased much more politely, and see if we can't rectify the situation. You know, along the lines of, "Do you want us to rotate and bring team snacks for the girls to eat before the game or during half-time? You see, we're pretty used to doing that, anyway, because our kids have been playing soccer for a long time..." yada, yada, yada.

Otherwise, I don't see how we can keep them from crashing, if you know what I mean! Otherwise, I'm going to find myself sneaking Miss Priss a Hershey bar or something to keep her charged.

*rolls eyes*

Oh, and yesterday's prank on THO was a huge success!! I waited until after I was sure he was at work, and I called him. He said he had set his phone on his desk, and when he heard it, he looked around, thinking, "Whose phone is that?"

One of his co-workers said, "THO, I think that's your phone."

He said, "No, it's not. Mine has a kind of samba ring-tone."

Another co-worker said, "No, dude, that's your phone."

He said, "Can't be. Where's that coming from?"

They said, "That's your phone!!"

He said, "Holy cow, that is my phone!" and answered it, but it had gone to voice mail at that point. He saw it was me and called me back, and I was laughing so hard when I answered it that he knew who had done it.

*dies again*

Then... as I said, I'd emailed friends and family to call him, and his phone rang all day long!!

I have to say, this is the best April Fool's Day prank I've ever pulled on him!!

Of course, he said, "Vengeance is a dish best served cold."

*dies laughing again*

We'll just see about that!!


Sunday, March 29th, 2009 10:07 am
auntbijou: (Default)
You know what I hate?? I hate when someone posts a fic on a comm, the summary looks interesting, so you click on the link...

... and you can't read it because it's either f-locked, or on a fiction site/archive that you have to log into.

I mean... why bother posting it as a public post on a comm if the members of the comm CAN'T READ IT???

*grumbles and snarls with irritation*

I swear, y'all, that just chaps my hide, you know?

auntbijou: (Default)
I guess I should explain yesterday's complaint about my sister.


When one is having health issues, such as gallbladder pain, and one is ignoring the dietary restrictions the doctor has requested one follow, such as NOT eating highly acidic, and extremely fatty foods, AND one has been living in a highly stressful environment, one should not then jump in the SUV and drive ALL BY ONE'S SELF to Arizona to stay with a friend. Really, Bets, I do understand why you had to get away, and I'm not disputing that. Hell, I'm over 165 miles away... and I want to get away!!


(there's always a but, isn't there?)

This means that when one suddenly has an attack of acute gastritis and ends up in the emergency room in Flagstaff, Arizona, that your family is at a complete loss as to what to do to help you. Mom can't go to Flagstaff because she's just physically unable to. The Blonde Sister can't go because she's pretty much the only nurse left at the private practice she works at, since the other three are out. Your daughter can't go because she's an emotional and physical wreck right now and I can't go because I have a sick kid, and THO can't take time off right now to take on child care full time.

And yes, dear, I know you are out of the hospital and at your friend's home with all these wonderful medications, but I"m also aware that it will be at least a week before you are able to drive down the street, much less across Arizona, New Mexico, and all of Texas, and I also know (as Mom does not, and it's a good thing she doesn't know, too, or your ears would be blistered from her phone call) that you checked yourself out of the hospital, you weren't released. You stinker (and I'm bein' REAL nice now, dontcha know, because I really want to call you something else).

This is why my sister is an IDIOT. And why I am contemplating flying to Flagstaff, just so I can clock her on the back of the head and say, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING????"

I mean... there's a reason I used to call her the Practical Sister!!!


*grumbles and mutters under breath as she starts hacking at the weeds in the backyard*


Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 05:41 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
Must... control... Fist of Death.... AAAAAAAUUUUGGGHHHH!!!!!
auntbijou: (Default)
I was a grumbling, snarling, very cranky and bad-tempered Bear yesterday.

For one thing, I felt like crap. Don't ask me why. I just... didn't want to do anything and I scared the Husbandly One to death when he tried to pop a bit of chocolate in my mouth (to appease the Bear, you see) and... I didn't want any.

Yeah, I know, some of you are probably wondering why he didn't take me to the emergency room. Auntie, especially Auntie the Bear, refusing chocolate? Unheard of!

He thought about it, believe me.

Wanna know how bad I was yesterday? Everybody is avoiding me today. And I'm not the least bit bear-like today!!


For another, yesterday was the first day of NaNoWriMo, and everything I started was absolute crap. No, really, I mean it, it was absolute, unadulterated crap. Y'all, I was seriously considering throwing up my hands and abandoning the writing gig completely. Seriously. You know, turn in my resignation to the Gods of Writing, give the Muse a pink slip, the whole nine yards. I was TIRED of it all, and I was also tired of sitting and staring at a blank screen for what felt like hours on end, then when I finally got going... someone would come in to talk to me and completely blow my train of thought, and... I couldn't get it back again.

It was driving me NUTS!!

I'm afraid I got very... snarly. I actually snarled at THO when he came in to tell me how awful the UT Longhorns football game was going, and he was giving up watching it, and he wouldn't read my signals, or couldn't see the fact that I was working on something and didn't want to be disturbed, and I finally snapped something like, "I'm so happy for them," or something equally horrible.

It was not a good night.

Finally, near midnight, something finally stirred in my sluggish brain, and I finally got 1, 210 words written, which was way under what I wanted to write, but hey, it's a beginning, and the story doesn't make me want to vomit, though it does make me wince a bit, and oh, gods, do I want to go back and edit, but it's not allowed, and...

I will not be a Bear today, I will not be a Bear today, I will not be a Bear today...
auntbijou: (Default)
Every time I have a parent-teacher conference with one of my kids' teachers, I usually come back with extremely mixed feelings. On the one hand, I feel proud (and relieved) that my child is doing well, that he/she is not causing major disruptions in the classroom, or eating paste from the jars, etc. But on the other hand, when the teacher discusses one of the few problems my child is having, I usually end up wanting to bash my head into something, or head to the state department of education and start banging other people's heads together and ask, "What the hell are you people thinking??"

Today, it was the Impossible Son's second grade teacher, and I was glad to hear my son is getting better at sitting still in class, at focusing on his work, at taking his time, though he still rushes through things.

He is having a problem in math. Mostly, it's the rushing thing. He'll get the first part right, then start on the second part of his work, see that he's getting close to the end, and then start rushing because he just wants to get done. And he gets those problems wrong.

But then... there's the other thing. Teacher points out that he's having trouble with the section they're working on now, that is teaching associations and groupings. Okay, I said, so what's going on?

She decides to give me an example and pulls out one of his tests to show me a specific problem he had trouble with.

"Cecilia is having 9 people over for dinner. She has six places set at her table. How many more places does Cecilia need to set at her table for 9 people?"

Well, that seems like a pretty straightforward problem to me and in my head I think, "I know Mr. Manzie knows to think, okay, 9 - 6 = 3."

Then the teacher says, "And he's having trouble getting the right answer, which is right here," and she points at the multiple choice answers, where I see the above answer as option C. But that's not the answer. The answer is option A. And what is option A, you ask?

6 + 3 = 9.

Yes. You read that right. The answer to what is very clearly a subtraction problem is an addition answer.

I blinked and said, "Wait a minute. How can that be the answer?"

She grimaced and said, "Well, you see, the whole point of these problems is to teach the kids to associate all these numbers together. That 9 -6 =3, and 9 - 3 = 6, and 6 + 3 = 9, and 3 + 6 = 9 are all the same problem, all associated with each other."

I nodded, then said, "Okay, well, here's my question. How can he, or any other child in this class for that matter, possibly get that answer from what is obviously a subtraction problem? How can any kid read that and think, oh, I need to ADD to get this answer."

"Well, you see..."

"Okay, wait, wrong question," I said, seeing her getting a headache just thinking about this. "How many kids in this class actually got that problem right?"

"Well... none of them," she said.

I nodded, then said, "But, you're being required to teach it this way, aren't you?"

She looked so relieved. "Yes. I am."

"And they're not getting it."


"Can't you go ahead and teach it the right way, and then explain what they need to do?"

"No," and she looked very clearly frustrated. "I am required to teach it this way."

"Is it okay with you if I teach it the normal way?"


This is the point where I start thinking I should have just gone ahead and home-schooled my kids. Not for religious reasons, but because of stupid crap like this. When the Impertinent Daughter was in second grade, they were teaching this really odd... well, it's hard to describe, but basically, what it did was get the kid somewhere close to the answer, without actually getting the right answer. As in "close enough is good enough."

I had enough of that really fast and went ahead and taught her the algorithms to actually get the right answer, which were much easier than all the waffly, poofy, fluff-bunny crap they were confusing her with, and kept it up when she was in third grade. Because, of course, they were still teaching the fluff-bunny math. When she took the Math TAKS that year, she got the highest math grade out of all the third grade classes at her school. Gee... I wonder why?

I tell you, there are times when this school district drives me nuts. My daughter doesn't have homework, and she's not learning to write, at least not from school! My son is expected to have good handwriting, but the class only works on handwriting twice a week, for ten or fifteen minutes. And they're learning cursive this year. So that means that along with practicing his vocabulary words, and doing his reading (which is his actual homework), as well as going over his math homework, and practicing his addition and subtraction (which isn't homework, but work that I do with him to help him out), I will now be working on his handwriting with him...

They only assign him fifteen minutes worth of homework, but we end up working for about an hour to an hour and a half on just me supplementing what he should have gotten in class. And what are they doing in class? Well, he takes the TAKS for the first time next year. THAT is what they are working on, preparing him for the TAKS. And for those of you who don't know what the TAKS is, HERE is a link that explains it.

The Impertinent Daughter doesn't have homework, but... we've required her to bring her math work home so we can go over it with her. It just works out better that way. And I sometimes ask her to write something for me, and then go over it with her after, because... they're not teaching structure. She wasn't writing in paragraphs when we started. Or indenting. Or using quote marks.

Which makes me wonder what the hell they're teaching in "Language Arts."

Yeah, I'm pretty frustrated with the schools here, but we can't afford to move at this time. I guess we could suck it up and pay the extra fee to send them to school in Hays County, but the drive!! OMG!!

Nah, I'll just do what my mom did, and what I'm doing now. Half public school, half home-school.

*groans and tries to stave off impending Migraine of Doom*

Shoot me. Someone just... shoot me now!
auntbijou: (Default)
The Blonde Sister is the biggest wuss on the planet!!!!

... just in case you didn't know....

Oooooo, I'm so mad, I want to SCREAM!!! I've been waiting most of the day for the Blonde Sister to call and let me know how Dad was doing, since he was going in for surgery to have a feeding tube put in. I talked to her last night and the plan was to have the parents go to her house after the surgery. She had wavered, saying, "Daddy will get pissed, and he won't want to do it," and I had given her several suggestions of how to get around him, finally saying,"Look, if worst comes to worst, just tell him that Mom looks peaked and exhausted, and could probably do with a bit of a rest. He'll do things for Mom that he would never do for himself."

"I'll try," she said dubiously.

"Don't try," I said firmly. "Do it. You know it won't be good for him to go back to that house right now!"

"Okay," she said more confidently. "I'll do it."


I don't know why I expected her to grow a spine overnight.

I waited, and waited, and finally, after the Husbandly One got home, he asked how Dad was, and I said, "No idea, no one's called yet, and I'm not sure if I should call the Blonde's house, or my mom. Of course, if I call Mom and she answers, I'm going to be really, really angry."

He nodded, said, "I know," and then, "Well, may as well get it over with."

So... I called Mom because... I just knew. I just knew. I had a brief surge of hope when the phone rang four times with no answer (she usually picks it up on the second ring), but then, just as I was about to hang up after the sixth ring... she picked up.

When I asked why she wasn't at my sister's house, she said, "Well, after you get your daddy in bed, you know you can't get him out again."

I blinked, then said, "You mean, he's still at the hospital?"

She said, "No, he's in bed here at home."

I said, "Wait... you were supposed to go to the Blonde Sister's straight from the hospital."

And it all went downhill from there. And I admit, I blew up, though I didn't yell, because Mom really doesn't deserve that from me. But I did let her know how unhappy I was and why I was so unhappy. And all the excuses, "He didn't want to go to your sister's," "I would have had to pack up all his paperwork, all his medications, clothes for both of us," just made me even angrier. I simply could not make her understand why it was so bad for them to have gone back to their house. And it was proven out, because he's down to 140 pounds, and he's so weak, he can barely stand now. He's in a great deal of pain, to the point that it's affecting his heart, and he won't sit up, which he has to do to eat, and to take his medication. Even with the feeding tube, he has to sit up to eat.

When I had finally had my say, Mom said, "You know how he gets. We weren't going to stand up to him. Are you telling me you would?"

"Yes, I would! And I have! You know that! When it's this important, you bet I would stand up to him!" I almost shouted. Gosh, I was furious.

I will tell you right now, my dad is the only person on this planet who scared me, and could set my knees knocking. Other people could make me nervous, but no one could genuinely terrify me like my dad. But even with that, I am the only one in my family who has ever stood up to him... successfully. I don't do it all the time. You could say that I pick my battles, and I was always the most successful when I knew I was right. He didn't like it, but he would back down. And it sounds like I may have to go to Houston after all and be the one to do this after all. If he doesn't die on us first.

Yeah. It's that bad.

See, he's diabetic on top of all these other problems, and he hasn't really eaten since last night. She said she almost called 911 a couple of hours ago, because of his pain but he "wouldn't let her."

Don't even ask.

I'll be calling her in an hour to check up on them, and to urge her to call 911 if his blood sugar drops any lower than it was when I called her earlier. I'm resisting calling the Blonde Sister right now until I'm calmer, because if I do call her now, I'm going to just start yelling, and that would actually be counterproductive. She'd tune me out, and I want her to hear every single word I say. So, I will wait until I am calmer, and can talk in that sweet, light, unaffected tone that those who know me best know means I am about to go in for the kill. And no, she doesn't know that, by the way.

The fact that she hasn't called me yet tells me she knows she screwed up big time, knows I'm going to haul her onto the mat, and is wanting to avoid it. She's expecting it. Therefore, I shall do what she doesn't expect, and nail her when she least expects it!

I was counting on her, dammit!!

*wanders off to snarl, growl, and tear things to pieces*


Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 07:44 am
auntbijou: (Default)
Dear Jenny's Dad,

You know that mile and a half stretch of Clear Fork between your street and City Line Road? Yeah... NOT A SCHOOL ZONE!!!

So there's like, no excuse for you to be driving 15 f**king miles an hour the WHOLE ENTIRE WAY!!! You know all those people behind you, honking and waving fists and fingers? Dude, they're not honking because they love Jesus, as your bumper sticker would indicate. They're honking because if you were going any slower... YOU'D BE GOING BACKWARDS!!!

If we could, we'd be passing you in droves, but the road won't allow it. What the hell are you doing in there, anyway? I mean, we can see you and Jenny moving around in that little green Cabriolet. Of course, knowing Jenny, she's probably waving her arms and shouting, "Geez, Dad, can't you go any faster??? Can't you hear the cars behind us honking?? I'M GOING TO BE LATE!! I COULD GET THERE FASTER IF I WERE WALKING... WITH A BROKEN LEG!!!!" and ending with some variant of a wailed, "YOU'RE EMBARRASSING ME!!!"

And knowing you, you are probably saying stuff like, "Okay, Jenny, now you be good girl today! You don't talk to any boys, you don't touch any boys, no holding hands, no kissing, no buggy eyes, because you do that, and the next thing you know, BAM, you're Pregnant, and I don't want you getting Pregnant. You're a smart girl, Jenny, you going to college, and I don't want no boy keeping you from College! Any boy try to touch you that you no like, you're strong, you bash him but GOOD with your fist, and if you shy, you no want to bash him, you tell ME, and I bash him but good!!..." etc, etc, etc...

But... can't you do all that a little... you know... FASTER???

Geez, life in a small town....


Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 09:59 am
auntbijou: (Default)
You know, I just went to post an entry on my family journal over at Greatest Journal. It's just for my family, since we're all spread out, and keeps me from having to repeat the same information to everyone I call, which can be frustrating.

Anyhow, I was picking an icon to use and frowned. I thought, "You know, I coulda swore I had more icons than this!" So, after I picked one and posted, I went to look at my icons. And it said that I was limited to five icons. So, 31 of my 36 icons was listed as "inactive."


Maybe I'll move the family journal to InsaneJournal after all. *grumbles at the inconvenience*

I have to teach my dad how to log in ALL OVER AGAIN!!! *rips hair out*

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