Do. Not. Like.

Friday, July 8th, 2011 11:52 am
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Dear Mr. Hopcraft,

Your emails have been a constant source of stress and worry for my mother. You send her the stupidest shit it is possible to find on the internet, which she then forwards to me with the plaintive refrain of "is this true???" Which means I then have to use my Google-fu and Snopes-kwon-do skills to prove to her that it isn't true and is just a silly internet rumor/lie/whatever.

Last week's was particularly fun. Along with your usual OMG, THE PRESIDENT IS A SCARY BLACK MAN WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO GET RID OF HIM HE WASN'T EVEN BORN HERE, you had to send something claiming that Obama had gotten rid of all the flags in the Oval Office and decorated it Muslim-Style!, or something stupid along those lines.

*insert eye-roll here*

However, last night's takes the cake, and it wasn't even really your fault except you probably don't have a firewall on your computer, or any sort of protection, and probably open every attachment you get. So somebody has hacked your email account, copied your entire address book, and probably sent identical emails to the one my mother got to everyone on your list. The thing is, it took forever for me to get my mother to see that an 86 year old man in poor health who can't make the drive or take a flight from Oklahoma to Texas is unlikely, therefore, to take a plane halfway across the country, and then across the Atlantic Ocean to London all by himself.

And if he gets mugged and has his wallet and cellphone taken, and then robbed so that he only has the clothes on his back and (miraculously) his plane ticket (no mention of the passport, by the way), he is more likely to call one of his sons, both of whom are employed and very well off, for help than he is the widow of one of his oil-field buddies who is on a fixed income and unlikely to have the funds needed to "tide him over" until he can fly home. I pointed out that you are a proud, stubborn man who would rather starve than ask for a handout like that. If you wouldn't ask my dad for help, you certainly wouldn't ask his widow for help. And that if you are able to get access to a computer for email with no money, no credit cards, no phone, then something is definitely fishy.

I finally convinced her that it was all a scam, somewhat, but I know she still had doubts. I'll probably have to call the police department in your town and have them do a health and welfare check on you to prove that you're at home and okay before I can be sure she doesn't worry herself into a swivet and decide to wire you that money.

I don't like you very much, Mr. Hopcraft. Before last night, if you were on fire and I had a glass of water, I'd drink it all. But now? You know what? I don't even care. In fact, I'm only bothering about this because you, once again, have upset my mother. And I have a very big problem with that.

So after we get this current crisis solved, I'm going to recommend she change her email address and, if necessary, block you. You're not worth the hassle. Seriously.

no love,

Auntie
auntbijou: (Death)
I wish I was a whiner, because right now, ooooo, I'd be so whiny, everyone would be sick of me!

*sigh*

Okay so... last week, the virus. First Mr. Impossible, then Miss Impertinent, then me. Impossible had it until Wednesday, and went back to school on Thursday. Impertinence got it Monday afternoon and had it until Saturday. I took Impossible in to the doctor on Monday, and Impertinence on Friday. No visit for me because, well... you know how it is. Besides, it was a virus, not much to do but grin and bear it, yeah?

I took the Impertinent One in on Friday though, because we were actually starting to worry, judging by her limp noodleness and the fact she was so damn quiet, that she had... MONO... AGAIN.

*shudders at the thought*

The doctor said, "If you're still feeling like this on Monday, I'll have to run a mono panel on you."

I think she scared the Impertinent Daughter into getting better!

Okay, so... Sunday, it was hot and so the kids invited a couple of friends over and had the Epic Water Balloon Fight of Doom. Somewhere in there, a galvanized tub had been filled with water for splashing purposes, and for some crazy reason known only to another ten year old (and thus not to someone as old as, say, me) the Impossible Son lifted up that tub full of water and lost his grip so that it smashed down on his big toe.

*cries*

It is nicely purple and swollen. It got iced down and at the time, we thought it was just badly bruised because he could wiggle it and bend it. This, of course, was before he went on a field trip to San Antonio on Monday, and before a kid in his class said, "I don't believe you really hurt your toe," and... stomped on Mr. Impossible's foot.

No, I am not a happy camper. And yes, I am calling the school.

Anyhow, by last night, he was in tears, so, I called our doctor, who has his own X-ray machine, and made an appointment. And got teased about our very frequent appearances. I had to laugh, though, when one of the receptionists told me they were thinking about painting, "Reserved for Auntie's Family" above one of the exam room doors.

I said they should give me frequent flyer miles instead!

So, he was examined and X-rayed, and they'll be sent to a radiologist, but so far, they don't think his toe is broken.

The only thing is... there's only, what, six more weeks of school? And I'm working on something I might actually get paid for, but there's a deadline, and I thought, well, I have all of May to work on it...

*bangs head into wall*

GAAAAAAHHHH!!! And then... and then... and then... the Impertinent One just texted me, "Mom, my throat hurts, can you come get me??"

NO! NO, NO, NO!! BECAUSE I AM NOT GOING TO LET YOU START SUMMER VACATION SIX WEEKS EARLY!! NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!

*wails*

And the cats are stalking me because I need to buy more cat food, and I desperately need to go grocery shopping, but I can't, because Mr. Impossible is supposed to stay off his foot, and I'M ABOUT TO LOSE MY MIND!!!

I just need time to write, and just... get it done, and hello, universe, please to start cooperating with me? Because I really, really can't take more of this, really. Seriously. Stop it now. Now. Stop it.

*self medicates with chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate*
auntbijou: (Kirk duh what??)
What is it about the number four??

Ten years ago, when the Impertinent Daughter was four, she waited until I was busy washing dishes and grabbed the pair of scissors we'd been using for some project or other, and... cut her hair. She chose a chunk on the left side of her face and cut her long, beautiful, waist length hair to her chin. Right there in front. No way of hiding it.

My wild fey little fairy had a large chunk of hair missing.

I don't know who cried harder, me or the Husbandly One. Because... it was a big enough chunk that it couldn't be hidden, or "fixed." She had to have a haircut, and oh, she didn't like it, not one bit, because she enjoyed having her hair braided, and being able to do all kinds of fun things with her hair. We took her to a salon, and she had a cute little chin length pageboy cut that made her look absolutely adorable... but we missed our wild fairy, oh, so much!

Okay, so... cut to last night. The Impossible Son is over his bout with strep and went back to school yesterday, but now I'm fighting it off, and by the time I picked the kids up from school, I was shivering and had a very nasty headache and just wanted to lie down. So I did. Miss Impertinence came in to tell me she was bored, and I remember feeling a little anxious about this because truthfully? A bored Impertinence is NEVER a good thing.

I told her to find something to read, because seriously, we have a house crammed with books that she's barely cracked one fourth of, and she wandered out, shouting something vague over her shoulder, and I sort of dozed off. She came in my room sometime later, but since she didn't say anything to me, I didn't bother opening my eyes. Then THO came home, and I heard some loud talking, and a rather... dumbfounded silence, and then the ominous words, "Does your mother know about this?"

Okay, when my husband, when talking to the kids about me, addresses me as your mother... it's never a good thing.

So, she comes ditty-bopping in and says, "Look, Mum, I cut my own hair!" and turns around so I can see the back of it.

I can quite truthfully say that I completely and intimately understand the term, "shock and awe," now.

Before I lost my battle with the Wall of Fatigue, the back of her short haircut had come down just below the base of her neck. When she turned around to show me her handiwork, it was mostly right at or just above the bottom of her hairline. Where it wasn't skewing madly off at the diagonal. Because she had used a small hand mirror to see the back of her head when she cut it.

Y'all should be proud of me. I'm pretty sure I managed to keep "aghast" out of my expression, though I'm sure the "polite interest" I was aiming for probably looked more like "crazed serial killer." Or "my eyes are about to spontaneously pop out of my head while my eyebrows ascend into my hairline."

"Do you like it?" she asked with that big grin that really means, "please don't kill me or make fun of me."

"Oh, it's... um... um..." I floundered, then finally gave up and said, "Okay, that's gonna have to be fixed." Because there was just no way I was going to be able to adequately describe just how awful it looked.

And when she finally understood what I was saying, she said, "Well, what kind of cut do you think I'll have to get to fix it?"

I said, "Um... okay, think... Emma Watson..."

And I could see panic in her eyes because... she gets mistaken for a boy now with the feminine haircut she had before she'd mangled it, and I knew she was thinking it would only get worse if her hair was that short.

THO drove her into San Marcos after ordering me back to bed (because I'm trying not to come down with strep) to get her hair fixed because... there are no salons open after 5 in our small town. No, seriously, a lot of the businesses here roll up the sidewalks and lock the doors at 5 p.m.

They managed to salvage what she did to her hair and make it cute and girly without going the Emma Watson route. And she's actually taken my advice and today wore a shirt that leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that she is, indeed, a girl. However, I told her that should she continue this trend and decide to cut her own hair when she's 24, she's on her own as I will be officially not responsible for bad haircuts, dubious fashion choices, or shoe fails. They will all be on her ticket!

Now if I could just convince the Impossible Son to get his hair cut...
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Beware, cranky grouchy Bear alert:

Patrons are warned that a very snarly Bear was seen in the vicinity of Auntie's domicile. Innocent bystanders are warned to move slowly, speak softly, and have lots of chocolate to throw to distract the Bear in order to aid escape.

Do NOT play Johnny Mathis singing Christmas carols anywhere in vicinity of Bear unless one is willing to be maimed, twisted, stomped on, chopped into tiny bits, stuffed into jars, and distributed across disparate parts of the county, never to be found again.

That is all.
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
I love my mother dearly, y'all know that, right?

I think I upset her today, though. Sometimes, it's not just my kids who try my patience.

*head-desk*

Poor Mom. Okay, there's this old friend of my dad's, a guy who he used to work in the oilfields with, and he keeps in contact with Mom basically by forwarding a lot of crap to her. You know, the "there's no such thing as global warming, it's a CONSPIRACY!!" and "Bush was a GREAT president, it's all a CONSPIRACY!!" and "universal healthcare is socialism in disguise, we'll all end up communist, IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!" and my personal favorite, "Obama's really a Muslim, and he's not American, IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!"

*sigh*

I used to kind of like him, in a distant, you're-a-friend-of-my-dad-so-I'll-be-polite-and-keep-my-real-opinion-to-myself sort of way, but now? I wouldn't spit on him if he were on fire. Seriously.

Anyhow, Mom and I were chatting, and were about to get off the phone when Mom says, "Oh, Mr. Hopcraft (yes, that's how much I dislike him, I'm using his name) sent me this interesting email about Michelle Obama, want me to send it to you?"

I hesitated, then said, "Mom, if it's bigoted, or says they're not Americans, or says she's stealing milk money from kids or something, then no, I don't want to see it."

"Well, okay," she said, sounding amused, "but it's pretty funny, though I admit, I don't like it. It has me kind of upset, I mean, it's about her clothes, and if it's true, well... I just don't approve of it."

This didn't sound good, so I said, "Mom, I'm sure it's funny, but really, I'm not interested."

"Well, it's just, it shows her in these clothes, and they don't fit right, and they don't look good. I mean, she's in pants and they show her butt, and they show the crease and all, and it's just... not decent. Not proper. And... I don't think she should do that. I mean, she's representing our country..."

I rolled my eyes and said, "Mom, have you looked around to see how people dress now? I'm sure she's just reflecting styles of the people around her."

"She should have more dignity!"

"Mom, if they're pictures of her with her kids, then she can dress how she wants..."

"No, she's with foreign dignitaries! It's just not right!"

I sighed, then said, "Mom, if Mr. Hopcraft sent it, then you have to consider the source. He doesn't like President Obama. He's very conservative. And he's a bigot. I am sure that the person who cobbled that email together found all the shots of Michelle Obama's off-days, or the days where she was having a wardrobe malfunction, or those days that every woman has where she goes, omg, I can't believe I wore THESE pants, I wanted the OTHER navy pants, these are too tight, or oh, no, this skirt shrank in the wash, look, the hem is uneven now, and it won't lay right, and what the hell happened to the zipper?" I sighed. "I am sure there are a lot of photos like that, because the woman can't take two steps without cameras going off. If you take a bunch of those types of shots and throw them together, you can make the case that this is the way it is all the time. And the thing is, I've seen a lot of photos of Michelle Obama where she looked absolutely fabulous and was well put together."

"Well, the news certainly wouldn't show the bad shots, they might get in trouble," Mom said doubtfully.

"Or they might be too decent to do it," I countered. "Mom, I don't want to see that email. It's just going to make me cranky."

"You're already cranky," she said, sounding tearful, and of course that made me feel 2 inches tall.

"I'm sorry, Mom," I said finally. "Look, anything he sends you, you take it with a grain of salt. You already know how he feels, so you already know what slant he's going to put on things. Let's just take it as read that anything he sends you, you should not forward on to me unless you want me to write him back and set him straight."

"No, I don't want you to do that," she said. We talked for a few minutes more, then I had to get off the phone because I was so... frustrated and just wanted to... well, I'm sure you can guess. The man is 86 or 87 years old, and pretty set in his ways, and you know what? What he thinks doesn't matter a hill of beans to me. It only matters that it upsets my mom enough that she wants me to see it, too, and I personally don't want to clutter up my mental hard drive with his drivel. And I don't want it making me snap at my mom when the person who really and truly deserves it is two states away and unable to hear my snarls.

Mr. Hopcraft? Take your hate mails, fold 'em into sharp corners, and stuff them up your rectal oubliette!!
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
So there I am, supervising the Impossible Son as he cuts butter into flour and salt to make pie crusts when the dulcet tones of Toploader crooning, "Dancing in the Moonlight" alerts me to the fact that someone is calling me. I look at the Caller ID, see my mother's name, and immediately think, "Uh-oh, the Flaky Sister is calling."

Yeah, I know, that's not a normal conclusion to jump to, but see when my mom calls me, she calls me from her landline hone to my landline phone, because that's just the number she's used to, and knows she'll get me eventually.

The Flaky Sister, however, when she calls me, she wants me to answer, dammit! And she knows I always have the mobile on me, so... she calls me from the landline phone she shares with Mom to my mobile. Because she knows I'll always answer (unless I'm at the doctor or in a movie theater).

So, I answer cautiously because lately, when the Flaky Sister calls, it's because something is wrong.

I say, "Hello."

"You and the Blonde Sister are coming here the day before Christmas, and you're staying the day after Christmas, because I. Am not. Doing this. Again. Ever."

Ooookaaaaay...

Apparently, Mom was criticizing her cooking.

*pause to die laughing*

As some of you will remember from past Thanksgiving debacles, the Flaky Sister isn't exactly... the best of cooks. Ouch, I think I just strained a muscle saying that.

She thinks she can cook, but... gods, there just is not enough antacid on the planet, I swear!

Mom wants to be sure the meal is edible so... she's... trying to head Flaky off at the pass, so to speak, but... well, Mom and Flaky get along about as well as oil and water, you know? So, I said mildly, "Mom's micro-managing your cooking?"

"Gaaaaah!" the Flaky Sister said, then she asked in stern tones, "Do you know how to salt and pepper a turkey?" and I had a moment of utter panic, thinking OMG, is she dumping Thanksgiving in MY lap at the last minute, WTF???

Instead, I said mildly, "Yes, I do. Who do you think helped Mom with the turkey after you and Blondie got married?"

The Flaky Sister said, "Yeah, well... so do I! But does Mother think I can salt and pepper a turkey?"

I refrained from saying, "Well, she knows you can salt and pepper a turkey, it's probably the amount of salt, plus the stick of butter you're trying to add that has her concerned..." because, well, I don't know she was trying to add a stick of butter...

Instead, I said, "She probably misses being able to do the turkey herself."

Not the most diplomatic thing I could have said, but... there you are. I won't go into the rest of the conversation, which was short, but... I ended up promising that we would arrive earlier than usual, to help out. And you should be very proud of me, I didn't do anything more than wince when she told me she was making stringbeans with parsley, thyme, oregano, bacon, and oh, I hope, I so hope I misunderstood her, but... possibly basil or was it something that makes me think of lemons... oh, I dunno, but... it was not something that is normally added to stringbeans, and knowing the ingrained habits of my family... no one is going to want to eat it.

I called the Blonde Sister after I'd gotten the pie in the oven, just to find out what the HELL was going on. After asking if she had received a grumpy call from a very cranky sister, I said, "Remind me again, why did we decide the Flaky Sister would be handling Thanksgiving and Christmas?"

"Because she has a bigger house?" The Blonde Sister said cautiously. Then she laughed and said, "Guess I'd better take Christmas after all, huh?"

"Please! I mean, seriously, at least one of our holiday meals should be edible!"

She died laughing and said, "The Brotherly One said the EXACT SAME THING!!!"

I knew there was a reason I liked him so much!!

We chatted a while longer, laughing and venting a bit and shaking our heads over our sister. I didn't know until tonight that the Blonde Sister had no idea that the Flaky Sister thinks of herself as the "Good Daughter."

"What, is she trying to say that you and I are the BAD ones here?" the Blonde Sister asked with an amused snort.

"Well, I'm the Black Sheep, I don't know what the heck you're supposed to be," I replied.

"You're not a black sheep," she said, laughing, "We're both black sheep!"

"Own it, Sister!" was about the only thing I could say at that point.

Funny thing is, I only just realized lately how little my sisters have really talked with our mom. Well... let me rephrase that. How little my sisters have listened to our mom. Both of my sisters have complained over and over about how Mom refuses to open the curtains in the living room. Or raise the blinds over the kitchen sink. I pointed out that both sets of windows are on the side of the house, facing into the side yard which looks like an alley. And Mom has issues with that.

The Blonde Sister had no idea what I was talking about, so I had to explain yet again about when Mom and her family lived in downtown Houston next to an Italian restaurant called "Delmonico's." And that there was no restroom in the restaurant (it was 1930's Houston, what can I say?), so male patrons would go into the alley between Delmonico's and the house Mom was living in to relieve themselves, and because they didn't want to piss against the wall of the restaurant, they'd face the house.

They had no air conditioning, so the windows in Mom's family's house were always open, night and day, and so when Mom would go into her bedroom, it wasn't unusual to see two or three men's heads right at the window sill, peering in while they relieved themselves. And sometimes, they'd try to talk to Mom and her brothers, and it always, always freaked her out (can't blame her at all, either).

The Blonde Sister had no idea. "Mom wasn't like that about our house!" she said in surprise.

"Yes, she was," I said calmly. "That's why Daddy planted rose bushes by all the side windows of the house. It was the only way he could get her to open those windows. The rose bushes made her feel safe."

"How do you know all this?" the Blonde Sister demanded.

"I asked her!" I said, exasperated. "Good grief, Blondie, Mom has all these great stories, and you'll never hear them if you don't ask her about them. Try asking her what Houston was like when she was a little girl. Or ask her about how Aunt Dee Dee handled ice deliveries. Ask how Aunt Dee Dee kept the mockingbirds and blue jays from picking the paper caps off the milk bottles when they were delivered in the mornings! Or about how her brothers embarrassed her by putting boobs on the snowman she built."

Sometimes, my sisters annoy the heck out of me. Whenever Mom gets onto one of her fussing jags, all you have to do to distract her and get her onto another groove is ask about her childhood, or about the war years, or the summers she spent on the family farm in Louisiana, or how she managed to date our Marine dad despite three extremely over-protective Navy brothers who had no love for Jar-heads.

Well, the cookies are baked, the pies are done, the tarts turned out fine... and I am ready for bed.

And I promise not to kill the Flaky Sister. I don't look very good in orange, anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
Dear Muse,

I don't know where the hell you are... the Bajamas? Cozumel? Maybe taking a trek through the Himalayas? Well, wherever you are, DROP THE TRINKETS AND THE FUNNY KOOL-AID AND GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE!!!

Seriously, you idiot, what were you thinking? I haven't written anything in MONTHS!! I've given up on fests... I've given up on NanNoWriMo... I've practically given up on the two original shorts I was working on... my head is full to BURSTING with story ideas... AND I CAN'T WRITE!! Dammit, you were supposed to be here for me!!

Why am I the one who got stuck with a flitterbrain with an itchy wandering foot for a muse? I mean, sure, you're like the biker chick from hell who whacks me with a chain to get me to write when you're HERE, but for such a grouch, you're amazingly ditzy and easily distracted.

Get back here and HELP, dammit!!

No love,

Auntie

PS Being able to watch things instantly on Netflix is not helping. I've been catching up on Stargate Atlantis, among other things, and ... not writing.

Please, Muse... COME BAAAAAACK!!!
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Dear Principals, Teachers, and other concerned adults,

You wanna prevent bullying in schools? Really? Want me to tell you how? Okay, stop with all the "Oh, let's build up self-esteem and tell the bulliessocially awkward and overly enthusiastic children that bullying is wrong and hurts people!!" crap, because y'all have been doing that for about, what, ten years now? Is it working?

NO. It's NOT.

Let me elucidate for you. The BULLIES already know that bullying is wrong. They already know it hurts people. That's why they do it.

They don't do it because they have low self esteem.

They don't do it because they're unaware of their own strength.

They have a sense of entitlement, and they know their own strength and have no trouble at all using it.

Why?

Well, maybe they're being abused at home, and they're acting out. Maybe one or the other of their parents is a bully at work, and has given their child the impression that the best way to get what they want, to get things done, is to bully people. Because if you think bullying stops when the bullies graduate, you are living in a dream world.

But the main reason bullies do it? Because... they can get away with it. They know that you, the principals, teachers, administrators, counselors, etc, will only do so much when one of their victims is brave enough, or desperate enough, to report them to you. They know you will take them into your office, sit them down in chair, and talk gravely to them about bullying. You'll ask them if they understand what they've done, and they'll say and do whatever they need to in order to get you to leave them alone. They know you will nod, and frown, and speak firmly to them, that you'll say something about calling their parents, and then let them go back to class. You'll send them to the counselor for a few weeks, who will also talk gravely to them, maybe make them watch a video or two full of those "happy, happy, cheerful, cheerful, don't be a naughty bully!" crap that does nothing at all whatsoever, maybe have them draw a few pictures, and then release them back into the population of the school. A few weeks will pass where the bully will do nothing. Then, when everyone's breathed a sigh of relief that the bully has been magically cured...

... it will start all over again

You might go a little farther if the victim's parents throw a hissy fit and mention the words, "lawyer," "lawsuit," and "police involvement" when they call you or storm into your nice, quiet, clean offices. You might give the bully an "in-school suspension."

Or you might send the bully home for a few days with a mild suggestion to his/her parents to see a therapist, or even to just "communicate effectively to your child that bullying is wrong!"

All you've done is give that kid a three day vacation from school work.

Wanna know how to stop it? Really, really stop it?

For one thing, tell your teachers when they're on playground duty to stop gathering in little clumps and getting so involved in conversations with each other that they only notice bullying when it's reached the point that someone is either bleeding or has a broken bone. If they're on playground duty, they need to separate and walk around the playground. They need to pay attention when they see a group of girls around one single girl, and need to notice the expression on her face. If she's crying, looks angry, or terrified, she's being bullied, you nitwits, not playing a game!! If a boy is being pushed down to the ground and two other boys are kicking him, it's bullying!!

Shit, people, this isn't rocket science!!!

And so help me, if you come back at me with, "What, you mean I'm supposed to actually watch the kids like they're in jail??" I am going to kick you so hard, your grandchildren will feel it! Yes. You are supposed to watch the children. You are supposed to walk around, keeping your ears and your eyes open. You're supposed to intervene before fists fly, before words that are worse than sticks and stones hit, before that one kid who stutters, who is smaller than the others, who wears weird, hand-me-down clothes, who has unusually colored hair, who wears glasses, who has braces, or whatever other fucking stupid reason bullies use to justify why they torment their victims is hurt again. That's your job.

That means at junior high level, you not only patrol the halls, you walk into the restrooms. What, you don't want to intimidate the kids? Why the hell not??? Isn't that your job, too?? What the hell else do you think is going to work?? Don't you remember junior high? Where did most of the worst bullying happen? IN THE RESTROOM!!!

And high school, same thing. PAY ATTENTION!! It isn't that hard. You did it every time you took your own kids out to play at a park, or at a family gathering, or any place where there were other kids, some of them older and bigger. You watched your kids like a hawk, and swooped in like a fury when they were threatened, and gods, if you didn't, I feel so sorry for your kids.

Well, you know what? For eight hours a day, my kids are your kids. And you better damn sure watch them like a hawk, because if you aren't, then you shouldn't be teaching. Or a principal. Or a counselor. Or anything to do with kids.

Seriously, people. You want bullying to stop, you don't try to make them feel good about themselves. You don't show them flowery, happy videos, and you don't treat them like victims who are mislabeled, or misunderstood. You stop them. You make them know, in a way they cannot ignore, that they are being watched. You get in their faces and confront them. You tell them it won't be tolerated, and then you don't tolerate it. You call the police and file charges on the behalf of the school and the victim. You fine the parents. You do whatever you have to do to make it damn hard for them to get away with it. You give the damn bullies consequences. Remember those? You stopped teaching about those a few years back, right about when you stopped teaching logic and critical thinking.

Until you do this, it won't stop. It will keep going. You can't wish it away. You can't close your eyes and pretend.

You're just as responsible as they are for what they do, what they get away with, and the damage they leave behind.

Well? I'm waiting...
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)



Okay, I'm posting this anyway, because it's a really incredible video...

BUT...

You see, I saw this on Facebook. One of my RL friends posted it, so I watched it and thought, oh, cool, I'm going to post this on my LJ. But... I'll go to YouTube and get the embed code to do it. I've done it that way for a while, just because I'm funny that way.

So, I go on YouTube, and just as I'm looking down to find the embed code, I see, "Sign up for YouTube with your Facebook account!"

WTF????

Okaaaaay, soooooo... Facebook is taking over everything?? Livejournal, YouTube...

Facebook is the new Evil Empire???

o_O???

Okay, I think that's a little TOO much surreal in my day!

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,

Auntie
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Dear Numerous Fiction Writers,

Please do pick up your dictionaries, or go to dictionary.com, and use the damn things!!

Discreet - (adjective) Careful or circumspect in one's speech or actions, especially in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage: We made discreet inquiries.
*Intentionally unobtrusive: A discreet cough...

Discrete - (adjective) Separate and distinct: speech sounds are produced as a continuous sound signal rather than discrete units.


They sound the same, but they do not mean the same thing and thus cannot be used interchangeably.

Also...

Taut - (adjective) Stretched or pulled tight; not slack: the fabric stays taut without adhesive.

*(especially of muscles or nerves) tense; not relaxed.

Taunt - (noun) A remark made to anger, wound, or provoke someone.

Provoke or challenge (someone) with insulting remarks: students began taunting her about her weight.

Reproach (someone) with something in a contemptuous way: she had taunted him with going to another man.



These barely sound the same, and definitely do not mean the same thing!!

Also, news writers, telephone POLES are what fall when you have an earthquake. POLLS fall when those questioned don't approve or agree.

You cannot depend on Spell-Check. Please use your brain as well!!!

GAAAAH!!!!


Extremely annoyed,

Auntie


I swear, y'all, if I have to read about another "taunt belly" or about a lawyer warning his client to be discrete in revealing his whereabouts, I will scream!!!

*throws up hands in exasperation*
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
See, here's one of the things I hate about having asthma (like there's not ten million, six hundred forty two thousand, three hundred and fifty one other reasons to hate having asthma).

I'm sitting up late. Why am I sitting up late? Because I used my albuterol inhaler about an hour and a half ago.

*grumble grumble*

Why is this a problem? Well, because that albuterol, the main ingredient in my inhaler, makes me shake like a vibrator on steroids. It's like... inhaling adrenalin, I swear. My heart is pumping, my nerves are just wired up so high, and it's like I'm having this huge adrenalin rush... and nothing to do with it. Except sit here and grumble with you guys.

And it makes me cranky. Did I mention it makes me cranky? And I'm tired and I'm SLEEPY, fer gossakes!! Just let me pass out already!! *throws a hissy-fit*

Oh, yeah, and I'm cranky. Just thought I'd mention that.

If it were daylight, I could at least entertain myself by getting out the watercolors and trying to paint a straight line in different colors. Instant Impressionistic Art! WOO!!

Yep. Still cranky.

Perhaps I'll go to bed anyway and see how long it takes the Husbandly One to wake up and start complaining that I've put too many quarters in the Magic Fingers bed, because it won't stop vibrating!!
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
You know, I was going post about my weekend and last night's choir concert, but after I read it over, I deleted it because it was so negative and complaining that I sounded as if nothing could ever make me happy. Kinda scary, actually.

So, all I will say about my weekend is that I froze my little patooties off, but we made money for the soccer league, and let people know, again, that yes, we have a soccer league in this town.

And all I will say about last night's choir concert is that it was long, interminable, soporific, and that my daughter's little solo group was one of two bright spots in the entire night, the other being the high school choir's third period performance group that performed a truly stunning acapella version of "Carol of the Bells." The audience was so relieved to hear something that wasn't hurting their ears that they broke out in what the Husbandly One dryly termed "premature clapulation" before the song was quite over!

And the Husbandly One made me extremely happy by bringing home some Extreme Chocolate ice cream last night. Life is good!!

And I am literally dancing with excitement until my contribution to [profile] harry_holidays is posted. I can't wait!!

I am close to finishing two afghans that I've been working on for what seems like AGES, and that I should have finished months ago. That's one of the problems with coming up with your own designs... you have no real stopping point. You just finish when you feel you've finished. Now, if I can just finish them before Christmas, then I can give the one that was supposed to be a friend's birthday present to her for Christmas.

*sigh* I am so lame!

And now, I must set the beans to simmer for dinner tonight. YAY!!
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Every once in a while, I run a Google search on my username, and on my real name, the Husbandly One's real name, the kids' names, etc, just to see what comes up, and to keep track of things.

Today, on a whim, I ran a Google on "Impertinent Daughter," just to see what comes up. And I ran across an entry from an LJ user who is a fellow member of [profile] eat_my_bento, and back in March commented about an entry I had made on the comm. You know... I don't know exactly how to...

*pauses*

I love my children very, very much. They sometimes exasperate me, drive me to the edge of my reason, and make me want to either tear my hair out, or find a quiet corner and weep. But they also fill me with joy, make me unbelievably proud, remind me why I'm glad to be a parent, and make my life complete in ways I'm still discovering.

And I hope very much that this comes across in my journal.

When I read this particular entry, I was horrified to discover that this person has deducted, from the fact that I call my daughter the Impertinent Daughter, and Miss Priss, that I don't like my daughter, and said if her mother had called her that, she'd "be walking around with a massive inferiority complex." She also took exception to my calling my son Impossible, and based on an entry I'd made about him having stomach flu, felt I considered him an inconvenience.

Dear gods, y'all... do I really sound like that???

And yes, I do know what "impertinent" means. "Not showing proper respect; rude; exceeding the bounds of propriety." And I do know the alternative meaning, "not pertinent to a particular matter; irrelevant." I am using impertinent in the "not showing proper respect" meaning. Why? Because when my daughter was three, a man who was a complete stranger to her, to myself, and to her father, wanted her to kiss him on the cheek. He was an elderly man, said she reminded him of his granddaughter, and wanted to her to kiss him because she was "such a little darling."

She drew away from him and wrapped herself around my legs, and I knelt down and picked her up, backing away from this perfectly nice man because I didn't like him, either. He said, "Aw, don't you want to give me a little kiss?"

She said, "No. I don't know you, and I don't like you. Go away!"

Of course, he was terribly offended and said, "What an impertinent daughter you have!"

And I said, "Yes, yes, I do, and I'm very proud of her! And you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to force a little girl to kiss a complete stranger!!"

Nope, I have never forced either of my kids to kiss or hug anyone, whether it's a relative, a friend, or a complete stranger. Never wanted to take away their power to say, "NO!" in that sort of situation at all.

But at that time, I was proud to think my child was impertinent. And she has been impertinent... in some very pertinent ways. When a boy tells her he likes her, and she does not like him, she's told him so, and when he persisted, went so far as to threaten to rip his arm off and beat him over the head with it. Yes, very Impertinent, and I'm glad of it. So you could say my calling her the "Impertinent Daughter" is my way of celebrating her inner strength, determination, and personal empowerment. Self-esteem issues? Not at all.

This is not to say she isn't polite, because she is. But, she will very much stand up for herself, and I'm glad.

And as for the Impossible Son, well... he is, sometimes. My son is generous to a fault, affectionate, bright, easy-going... and incredibly stubborn. It is a trait he shares with his mother, meaning me. And there are times when I have to walk out of the room, grab a pillow, and scream into it, then scrounge around deep inside myself for another scrap of patience so I can go back and try to explain/deal with/help my son without losing my mind. I am trying like heck to follow my mother's example, and channel his stubbornness into something positive, rather than something intractible and counterproductive.

And, gods help me, sometimes, I need more patience than one small woman can possibly possess.

But sometimes, he's the Impossible Son, because he manages to do things that should be impossible for him. He's so tiny (people sometimes think he's in first grade) but can lift things that should be far too heavy for him. He can climb things that give us all horrors, finding finger and toe-holds that just... aren't there. I could go on and on, but... y'all already know the stories.

Besides which, in real life, I don't actually call my kids, "Impertinent Daughter" and "Impossible Son." I call them by their names. I call them "Honey," and "Love," and "Bubba," and "Button," and "Honey-Girl," and "Sugar-Bee," and "Peanut," and "Punkin," and all the endearments a Texas and Southern heritage has emplanted in my brain. When I do say to my son, "You, sir, are impossible!" with a hint of exasperation in my voice, I ruffle his hair, and he beams up at me and says, "Yeah, I know, but I come by it honest, right?" and I say, "Right!" Because he knows he has a long line of stubborn and impossible coming from both sides of his family.

And my daughter comes from a long line of strong, "impertinent" women.

That's what was in my mind when I chose those names for my kids to use in this journal. I don't use their real life names in this journal, and there are only a very, very few of you who know those names, for a reason. I protect my children. And that is that.

I love my children very, very much. They are not an inconvenience to me, and I have never let them think so. Neither has my husband. Both of us have had our full share of crap in our childhoods that we made a conscious decision to NOT pass on. I shouldn't let what someone who doesn't know me said bother me so much, but the thought that I have implied, in some way, shape, or form, that I don't like my kids, or ignore them, or find them "inconvenient" somewhere or somehow in this journal makes me... well... furious. And horrified.

I get exasperated with them, but then, I'm human, and I don't know a woman on this planet who doesn't get exasperated with her kids at least two or three times a day. Anyone who doesn't isn't normal.

I'm starting to lose the focus of what I was saying, but jays, this really, really got under my skin.

I think I'll go rip up some weeds, or bake some bread so I can pound the dough and vent my spleen!!!!

GRRRRRRRRR...

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 08:20 am
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Dear Former Assistant Principal At My Son's School,

You should know, better than anyone, that the speed limit around the school is 20 mph. Therefore, getting on my rear bumper is not going to make me go faster! You were so close, I could see the crumbs from your breakfast still on your upper lip!!

And you also should know by now that the speed limit in the neighborhood is 30 mph, and that our town's cops like to sit partially hidden down the side street we have to pass to catch and ticket anyone going any faster... and there's always two of them! Riding my bumper is not going to speed me up. Sorry, I'm not willing to get a ticket so you can go faster. Besides, I gave you two opportunities to pass, which you ignored for the glory of scowling at me and gunning your motor.

So, yes, I laughed myself silly when I turned left, and looked in my rear view mirror in time to see you put on a burst of speed... only to get pulled over by one of the cops who had been hiding behind a parked van. You so totally deserved it! Yes, sometimes, there is cosmic justice in the universe!!

Just thought you ought to know.

Smugly,

Auntie
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
I'm doing research for the Book Bag Incident, but I came across an odd little study a Central Texas school did on the impact of inappropriately heavy backpacks on elementary age childrens' backs. Mostly it voiced concerns about children hauling extremely heavy backpacks that are just stuffed with textbooks, papers, extra reading material, school supplies, lunches, etc, and how their backs are just bowing under the weight.

*snort*

Um... two cures for that. One, parents going through their kids' backpacks every couple of days and eliminating the detrius children tend to accumulate that has nothing to do with school, such as pretty rocks, extra pencils that may or may not belong to them, that collection of rubber bands and paperclips that have mated and become their own species, etc, and just tossing them out!

The other cure is... properly adjusting the straps on the damn backpack. One of the things I do while waiting for the Impossible Son is look around at the other kids, and it's a habit of mine now to stop a kid or two, usually with a parent in tow, and adjust the straps on their backpacks so the damn bag's not hanging down and bumping the back of their calves. I do the same thing with other types of bags that have adjustable straps. There is no reason for an eight year old to be walking along with their messenger bag dragging on the ground, or for the child to be holding the bag UP while trying to walk with it over their shoulder.

Seriously, does no one know how to adjust straps around here??

I have also found that my Problem Principal had been "removed" from head principalship at the local alternative high school due to parent complaints. What about? Oh, about her wanting to ban... backpacks and book bags. Think I might raise that point in my letter to the board. I'm also planning to talk to some of my fellow soccer parents who have kids at the junior high and find out how many of them are bugged about this issue, and see if they are willing to join in making complaints to the school board. Half the time, people don't protest something because they don't realize they have the right to, or think they're the only one's who feel that way. The way I look at it, the more the merrier.

*off to do more research*
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
The Impertinent Daughter's bag was confiscated today.

*glowers*

See, the Husbandly One got us both Dumbledore's Army messenger bags. Mine was a birthday present, and hers was to keep her from absconding with mine. Because... she wanted one, too!

I am using mine as sort of a purse, because, well, Auntie is a mom, so... I carry Mom-type things in it (tissues, a small sewing kit, a few bandages in a small bag, Germex, etc), and I like to sketch sometimes, so... a small sketchbook and a bag of pencils, etc, and then there's my wallet, a small hairbrush, my DS Lite for those times when I'm waiting and unable to sketch or read... you get the picture, right?

The Impertinent One was using hers for pretty much the same purpose. She carried her wallet, her emergency moon cycle stuff, pencils, pens, phone ( I think in today's world, when a kid starts junior high, they need a basic, no frills cell phone), and had room for her gym clothes and her zippered binder. It's smaller than the bags most of the girls at her school carry as "purses," so we thought it would pass muster.

Besides, the dress code only bans backpacks. Not any other type bag. Just backpacks.

She's used this bag for two weeks with no problem. Then today, the 8th grade principal stopped her, thinking she was a new student (!!) and confiscated the bag. When Miss Priss said, "Ms. Principal, it's me, the Impertinent Daughter," Ms Principal frowned, then said, "Oh, my, you've had a hair cut!"

O_o???

Her hair was cut two weeks before school began.

Nonetheless, Ms. Principal took her bag, making her take everything out of it and saying it would be too easy for someone to steal her stuff.

Um... what??? What the hell does THAT mean?? If the bag is on Impertinent's shoulder, and it is closed with straps and buckles... then... how does that make it easy for someone to get into to steal her stuff??

Not only that, but it seems there were six other girls nearby, all with bags bigger than Miss Priss' bag, but... they weren't being confiscated.

Now, I have been in and out of that school. And I see girls on a frequent basis with bags that are about the size of your average beach bag. Big enough to literally hide behind, right? And no one has ever taken them away. Needless to say, I will be making an appointment to see Ms. Principal tomorrow to talk about this issue with the bags. Because, like so many other things at that school, they are not being consistent. Okay, you don't want the girls to carry large bags? Then you better start lining them up in the gym every damn morning for bag inspection, and if some of them are carrying bags that are too big, they better go, no matter WHO their daddy is and how much he donates to the football team!

Can you tell I'm getting all riled up? I wouldn't be so cranky about this if it was a district wide policy. But it isn't. It's only at the junior high. The freshman campus, and the high school allow backpacks. They also allow normal clothing choices. So why just at the junior high?

Not a clue.

Should be interesting tomorrow, that's for sure!

GYAAAAHHHH!!!!

Thursday, August 20th, 2009 04:56 pm
auntbijou: (Calcifer)
Okay, next year? Remind me to never, never, ever again go school supply shopping ALONE with my kids. No, seriously, put it on your calendars for August of next year, "Remind Auntie DO NOT GO SCHOOL SUPPLY SHOPPING ALONE WITH YOUR KIDS!!"

And then remind me, over and over again.

*bangs head into wall repeatedly*
auntbijou: (Calcifer)
I do not understand the people who live in my house, sometimes. Especially the oldest one. You'd think, after being married to me for 18+ years, he would know that when I am in a grumpy, snarly mood to just... leave me alone. You'd think the two younger ones would know to stay away and not keep coming in every ten seconds to ask me questions.

I should come with a warning sign. "Warning: Grumpy, Snarly, Grouch Bear. Do not provoke Bear. Do not approach Bear. Do not address the Bear. Management not responsible for loss of fingers, toes, arms, or head. You have been warned."

I am grumpy, I am snarly, I am easily pissed off right now and do not want to be poked, hugged, cheered up, sympathized with, or otherwise bothered. Just give me the damn chocolate and make yourself scarce!!

*snarling and growling as she slinks back into her den*

...sigh...

Thursday, July 9th, 2009 07:36 pm
auntbijou: (Calcifer)
*is hot, tired, cranky, and in need of serious cheering up*

I'm losing my voice... again. Dammit.

More blood tests tomorrow.

I need a break. Seriously.

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