Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another One Doesn't Bite The Dust

Dang if I don't have a lot of blogs to update so they don't get deleted!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Random Thought Thriday 6-6-08

I missed it. I missed my own Random Thought Thursday, what with telling the tale of riding the Old People Gambling Bus. So I'll be random today.

The GhostHunters went to investigate The Blue Lady at the Moss Beach Distillery this week. I didn't see the whole thing, but what I did see made my blood boil. Well, not exactly boil, because I don't get that wrapped up in TV shows unless it is ER back when it was a good show, but my blood might have simmered a little bit. The guys went about their investigation, and found a bunch of rigged ghosty contraptions to fool the customers. Things like a mask inside a mirror, and pneumatics to swing chandeliers, and speakers to broadcast sounds. The GhostHunters are based on the east coast. The Moss Beach Distillery is in California. I certainly hope they didn't make that long trek just to get punked this restaurant. That smarmy guy from the Distillery, when called on his shenanigans, said, "We like to enhance the guests' dining experience."


I would go on strike against my bank, except that it has all my money. The last three weeks I have gone to use the cash machine, that sucker is 'temporarily out of service'. WTF? I have been there on a Friday afternoon, a Saturday morning, and a Friday morning. Where is all the money, people? MY money? Why do you have a cash machine if it won't give out cash. I thought that was the wave of the future: train us to do our own transactions so you don't have to pay the tellers. Let me tell those tellers something, like I did the last two weeks: "I TRIED to use the cash machine, but it's not working." One said, "We run out of money every weekend." Duh. Then have somebody come in and fill it. Get more than one. Fix the problem. You already know what is wrong. On Saturday morning, they said, "Really? It should be working. Oh. She just filled it." No, she didn't. Or it would have worked. I was just there. Then I drove around here. It took 30 seconds, and I waited in line about 1 minute, because people around here don't get up early on a Saturday morning to go to the bank. Unless they are picking up a second pair of glasses for their Pony, and the cash machine is on the way.

This bank issue is a big inconvenience for me, because we are on a cash budget, you know. I'm trying to keep HH off the debit card, and it was working fairly well until the price of gas started going up every day. Instead of telling me, "Hey, I need more allowance every week because of the gas prices," HH tries to slip one past me every other week buy debiting his gas. Then he waits a week to write it in the checkbook. That's no way to run a checkbook, people. Thank the Gummi Mary, I keep a cushion of cash in that account for such HH faux pas. Getting back to my inconvenience, because this is all about ME...I don't like to go inside the bank because I have to take in my Pony, or leave him in the car. Even though he's 10, that's against the law here in Missouri. Oh yeah, and it's hot and he might die, too. And when I get in there, I have to fill out a withdrawal slip, because they don't come with my checks--only deposit slips. That bank is a downright tricky devil.


Bear Grylls is a fine-looking man. Every show, he finds a reason to take off his clothes, down to his boxer briefs. I'm not complaining. Even last week, in Siberia, he took them off, tied a rope around his waist, and dove under a frozen lake. Apparently, he hasn't seen the Seinfeld episode about 'shrinkage'. Or else he has no need to worry.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Substitute Driving Miss Daisies

I'm giving you a brief respite from my political stylings on this not-a-political-blog, so I can talk about ME again. ME, ME, ME. It's been a while. I couple of days, at least.

As you know, I rode the Old People's Gambling Bus to Harrah's yesterday. It was a short bus this time, but with more people. I suppose the gas prices are cutting into Harrah's's highway robbery. We also had a new driver. Listen to me. I sound like a regular. I've only ridden that bus once before. Then, it was on a Saturday, and we had an old white man around 75 driving, and it was a big Husky bus with a bathroom on board, and there were only 11 of us. This time, it was a short Holiday tour bus kind of thingy with no bathroom, with a 30-something black driver who did not know the route, and 17 passengers. One thing remained constant, though. I was the youngest passenger on the bus!

The majority of the passengers were old white women. We were Hillary's posse. There was one man on the bus when I got on. The woman behind me complained that there was no bathroom. "And he's got prostate cancer, and has to go a lot," she said, jerking her head toward the man in the back, who was not her companion. I'm sure he was glad he'd confided in her, what with her announcing it to the entire bus. These were some feisty ol' gals, by cracky! Not an oxygen tank or walker in the bunch.

Our driver's name was Dart. He announced it to us, "Dart. D-A-R-T. Just like the pointy object." He was wearing a name tag, too, with his full name. It was something like Dartagnon, a name I'd seen written before, but never knew anybody actually named that. That old guy who drove the route before just wore his Dickies shirt and pants, and didn't even announce his name. For all I knew, he could have been a passenger who took over the driving.

I felt a bit of sympathy for Dart. The Old Hag constituency treated him like a substitute teacher. C'mon...even though not all of y'all are teachers, you know what Miss Ann and I both know. Everybody thinks it necessary to tell the sub how things should go. After the complaints about the bathroom, (like Dart himself had gotten up early and removed the bathroom from the bus for their inconvenience), they started asking about the sign-in list, and the green cards. "Where's the sign-in list? We always have to sign in. We write our names and stuff. Then the driver gives us our green card. That way we get $5 at the casino." Dart didn't know about the sign-in list. He said we could do it when we came out. But by then, it would be too late to get the $5 free gambling money. Sweet Gummi Mary! Couldn't these people just be grateful that they were getting hauled 180 miles round-trip for FREE, with someone else worrying about the traffic?

Some of this sub-bossing was good. For example, Dart started to leave the parking lot by what most people would think is the normal way: get back on the street, and make a left. But no. Those of us who live around here know that the city put up a sign last year decreeing 'NO LEFT TURN'. So we directed Dart to drive out of the Hardee's lot, through the Dairy Queen lot, out the back exit, onto another street, make a left out of there, and hit the traffic light. Then we found out that while Dart had been told the towns and businesses where to stop, he did not actually know how to get there. So the white-hairs kindly directed him. You could tell there were some regulars on that bus.

When we arrived at the casino, they told him where to park. Then it started again. "Where are our cards?" Dart said he would go in and ask. Then there was minor skirmish between the 'I want to get off this bus and get to the bathroom' crowd, and the 'I want my free $5 crowd'. The pissy people left the bus. The money-grubbers decided they would rather have more time in the casino than waiting on the bus for $5, so they got up to leave. Then the argument started about the departure time. One of them told Dart, "We leave at 4:00. You bring the bus up at 3:45." But another one said, "No, we leave at 4:15. That's what it says on my paper." She flaunted a scrap of paper. So then the others and Dart decided that we would leave at 4:15. All I know is that last time, we left at 4:00. There are many bus routes run by Harrah's. Some of these people talked of driving to Festus, and catching the Husky bus. Perhaps it runs on a different schedule.

The casino itself was a bit anticlimactic after the bus issues. And believe me, there is more to come on that. I spent my $15 free money that Harrahs' sent me in a mailer, and my free $10 food coupon, and parked my big fat butt in front of a 50-cent Triple Cherry machine. Oh, don't think I won. I played for 2 hours on $20, which is pretty good for a 50-cent machine. It had a progressive jackpot of $25,000-something. I know the odds are not as good on progressive machines, but I just KNEW I was going to win the big jackpot. Because it's all about ME, you know, and I'm psychic, and my horoscope said I would be having a good week with my new moon in Mars or something. But alas, the universe is conspiring against me, just like my poor fallen candidate. After lunch, I was down $120. With 20 minutes left to gamble, I hit a triple cherry, double cherry, bar thingy, and then another little jackpot that boosted me to 203 credits. I played the 3, then cashed out $100 to make me a mere $20-loser for the day. I don't count the free money. That's free money.

Just in case, I got back on the bus at 3:45. Wouldn't you know it? All the other old fogies were already on it. My aunt, who had believed the 4:15 faction, climbed on at 3:58. They had all been clucking that she was missing. I guess we missed the 4:00 memo. Dart said he had talked to the other drivers, and they showed him the sign-in printout, and told him where to get the green cards. Of course, nobody wanted their green card then, because it was time to leave. Because Harrah's had not given Dart a printout, he had written the info on a notepad for us to sign. Then the biddies started sub-treating him again. "You mean we have to write on that little paper? How can we write without lines? I'm not giving my Social Security number! You can't be too careful about that." Let it be noted that Dart did NOT ask for our SS #s. He had written 'number' at the top of a column. That meant our player's card number off our Harrah's card. But you know how students like to complain to a sub. Oh, and when that one old gal was complaining about the SS#, another one tried to ease the tension by pulling Dart's leg. "You know, the other driver sang and danced for us."

Our misadventures were not yet over. I had been leery about going to the city on a Wednesday. I do not like rush hour traffic. I feel trapped. Of course, leaving at 4:00, we were right in the thick of it on I-270. We were stopped in the fast lane. I couldn't look out. I had to make conversation to keep from throwing up my arms and screaming, "We're trapped! We're all going to die!" Perhaps that's a bit dramatic, but just let it be noted that I have anxiety about being trapped in traffic. Traffic didn't seem to phase Dart. In fact, the biddies clucked about it from time to time. "He's a good driver. Yes he is. He knows what he's doing." He earned high marks in my driver category because I did not think about his driving. By that, I mean that he didn't swerve, or grind gears, or make people honk, or run off the road onto those noise-making bumpy thingies. All of which my HH does when he drives, because he's busy turning his head to look at things along the road. Another plus for Dart...I didn't worry about him dropping dead at the wheel like I did with that old guy. There I go, bringing ageism into my blog. Shame on me! Shame on me from the second paragraph on!

While we were stuck in city traffic, my cousin called my aunt to report a wreck on the highway we would take after dropping some people off in North Podunk. Don't go to Google Maps. That's not an actual town. Anyhoo, I called HH, who was just leaving work, and told him a 5-minute section of highway had taken Cuz 90 minutes. HH took an alternate route home. We on the bus thought it might be cleared up by the time we got there. Oh, and before we even got there, we got stuck in traffic for a different wreck, involving two crunched pick-up trucks and an SUV on its side. When we got to the major wreck, the Life Flight copters were gone, and the cars, and the cab of the semi truck with its bloody door (Cuz is a bit graphic in his descriptions), and there were MoDOT vehicles and law enforcement and rescue workers cleaning up the aftermath, with the northbound lanes of the highway closed, and our southbound lanes stopped to divert the northbound traffic onto an outer road road. Poor Dart. I hope he didn't think it's like this all the time.

We were mighty happy to get back where we started from without incident. Without incident to US, anyway. By now, the people had warmed up to Dart, and forgiven him for taking that old guy's place, and daring to show up in a bus without a bathroom, and not knowing about the green cards. Everybody that got off the bus before I did thanked Dart for getting us there and back safely, and told him he did a good job. Dart says he's driving the Saturday route, too.

Now he's a veteran.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Plans

It has been almost a week since the last day of school, but we have only had one day off. That's because HH, in his usual horning-in mode, stole the elation of our vacation. Friday was the last day of school. HH was off not only Monday, the holiday, but Tuesday as well. The kids were not happy. I can't say that I was, either.

#1 has been attending summer school. He has a field trip to the Armory and a bank tomorrow. The Pony and I enjoyed our peaceful day without HH underfoot. Tomorrow, we are meeting Math Crony and My Old Lover From The Street Last Night to go to a big book sale. Yes. We are nerds.

Sunday, HH made the #1 son get in Poolio and lift out a large bag of sand to put on the ladder. The water was 62 degrees. The boy argued about it for a while, then jumped in. He had to dive under to pick up the sand. That meant he needed goggles, because he can't get water up his nose. He can't swallow a pill without cutting it in half, either, but that's a tale for another time. The Pony heard that #1 was in Poolio (probably from me running in the house and announcing, 'Your brother is in the pool') and had to change clothes so HE could get in Poolio. That boy has no fat. It wasn't long until his teeth were chattering a tune. By that time, HH was in, and #1 was vacuuming dirt off the bottom like a scuba diver vacuuming up gold dust. The Pony made a seat of pool noodles and kickboards. I had to make him get out when he turned as blue as the pool liner. They all got in again on Monday, but it has been too cold since then. They are dying to try the new air mattresses.

Last night, HH made cookies. This was not a good idea to start with, but #1 was OH SO TIRED from his first day of summer school that he could not climb the stairs to the kitchen. We hollered directions to HH. "Look on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. There are boxes of fundraiser cookies. They are already shaped. Break some off and put foil on that big pan and follow the instructions on the box." We kept asking, "Are they done yet?" They never were. Then they were. They were supposed to be chocolate chunk and triple chocolate, I think. What HH served us was cookie briquettes. They were hard as rocks and as tasty as charcoal. I, myself, could only eat three. And I had to force them down. I think HH got to dunking, because half of a half-gallon of milk disappeared between last night and this morning. When #1 bakes, he puts eight, maybe 12 cookies on the pan. HH crammed 20 of those suckers on. They all ran together like flat brownies. What a waste of perfectly good cookie dough.

Tonight starts the new season of "GhostHunters." Since the end drew near (the school year, of course), I started watching "Man vs Wild" again, and that new show, "The Alaska Experiment." Now I'm looking forward to the Oil Well thingy and the new "Ice Road Truckers."

I'm so glad it's summer.

Monday, May 26, 2008

People Piss Me Off

Yes, they do. Listen here, Sweetie, and listen closely. I am tired of suffering fools, gladly or otherwise. I will now emit a mass quantity of vitriol that I have been harboring for the past several months. You might need some goggles and a raincoat if you are in the front row.

Let's talk about graduation first, because it happened last.

People should not bring those 'horn in a can' thingies to an indoor graduation. I know you are proud of your graduate, but there are better ways to exhibit your pride than blasting that infernal canned horn. It makes me want to scream, "Everybody out of the pool!"

Boys should not wear pastel flip-flops with jeans under their robes.

For cryin' out loud, turn to the camera as you fake-shake hands and grab your diploma. You spent an hour practicing this morning. Don't tell me that part was not rehearsed.

Screaming kids should be taken outside for a walk. Period.

Do not drink before the ceremony. I mean teachers. Just because you chew minty gum does not mean that those alcohol fumes do not waft over the gym for the 60 minutes we are sitting there. And if you are sitting next to me, people might think I am the lush. Seriously. I even mentioned it to the person on the other side of me, and she commented on it, like it was the elephant in the room, and I was the pachyderm. I have not had a drink in 16 years. Do not make me take the fall without even getting the enjoyment out of it. If you can't hold off from imbibing between the end of work at 3:00, and the graduation deadline of 6:45, you might have a problem. And don't think I don't remember that Halloween dance at Basementia a few years ago. There might be an intervention in your future. Just sayin'...

Graduation robes must be outsourced to India or Pakistan now. The fabric could not get any thinner. And the zippers are not exactly high quality. When I tried it on, I had to fiddle with the zipper for 5 minutes before it would slide. Thank the Gummi Mary, I left that sucker zipped, and treated Robey as a pull-over. Because he sure didn't work when I went to disrobe in the office. I pulled him off and tossed him in the box. Let those rental rip-off artists deal with him.

Lady, I parked right by the door, facing out, because I got here 90 minutes early, and I want to make a quick get-a-way. You standing in front of my LSUV kind of cramps my style. Most people know to move when the car is started. You, my dear, must be what we call a slow learner.

More from work...

I will stay after school as goshdarn long as I please. Do not pop into my room and say, "WHY are you still here?" Do you not see both of my young 'uns happily Lappying on the high-speed internet? Leave us alone. I am at my computer either because I am putting in grades, or because I am reading up on Hillary's latest dirty tricks. We do not need you. We do not want you. Do not imply that there is something wrong with us because we are here. Just go away. We are not standing in the door of your room asking why you are leaving.

Control your kids, people. And do not call me an old grouch if I close my classroom door so I don't hear your child run screeching past 3 or 4 times. Enough is enough. I did not yell at your child as I should have, considering that it takes a village to raise a child. I closed my own door. My children are with me. Not running about. Make a note-to-self on childrearing.

Expect me to yell at your 13-year-old child if he comes into MY room, grabs my frail 10-year-old, and tosses him about until his glasses fall to the floor. His $200 'SpongeBob' style glasses. This is why I do not allow other kids to play in my room after school. If this happens while I am sitting right there, imagine what goes on if I am in a meeting. Thank you for hearing me yell at him and not charging in to make me the one who is wrong. This is why your kid has a chance to grow up to be a respectable citizen.

Do not come to my classroom and ask me for paper for the copier. I have one-third of a package left. I use it for my own printer, you know, which I bought myself. I carried that paper down here to use in my printer so I don't have to walk up the hall to get my printouts. You are the 3rd person to ask me for paper this afternoon. I gave some to the first asker, but you are too late. It is not my fault that you waited until the last minute to print your grades. Perhaps a little more working instead of visiting on the prep time will help you avoid this problem next year. Go get the key or somebody to haul you some paper to the copy room. It is not my responsibility. many pissers, so little space. I will stop for now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Holiday Schmoliday

Since it is a holiday weekend and nobody will be reading, and because I have no life, I have decided to humor myself and write about what I want to write about for the next three days. Not that I don't always write about what I want...but sometimes I actually TRY to be interesting. This is not one of those times. Nor is tomorrow. And probably not Monday.

We celebrated the first day out of school for the summer by going to see the new Indiana Jones movie. At least The Pony and I did. HH has to work the night shift for 12.5 hours for some unknown reason, and the #1 son wanted to spend the day at his grandma's house. I'm not sure of the reason for that one, either. I spent 30 minutes there yesterday, between my blood-letting lab appointment and graduation festivities, and I do not want to go back soon. Not that I don't love my mama. I do. But you say...has no conception of a moderate home temperature. It was 78 freakin' degrees in her house, people! And only 73 degrees outside. I swear, that woman must get her utilities from HellUE. But only in the summer. During the winter, she connects with Witch'sT. Because during the winter, you are lucky to catch her home at 60 degrees. I give up. She is a dime-pincher. I say that, because the #1 son dropped a dime, and was going to leave it, and his grandma went to the ends of the earth to snap that little silver fellow.

The movie was quite enjoyable. Most people came in before it started. This was helped by the fact that there were 20 minutes of previews, but I won't complain. Did you know that you should get in the concession line by the actual popcorn popper? Because at the other end, they have a glass-doored cabinet thingy that they get their popcorn from. I have seen them carry it from the popper over there. That means that it is not as fresh. Besides that, it is broken and crumbly, because they scoop it up with a large size cardboard tub, and that breaks those tender puffy kernels. You should always get in the line with the popper. And don't let them talk you into the large soda combo for just 15 cents more. Those large sodas are too big. They are hard to pick up, and your ice will melt, and if you have a child, that is WAAAYYYYY too much soda, and the child will have to go to the bathroom several times. Then you will miss part of the movie going back for fresh popcorn and unwatery soda, and more when the child asks for a detailed re-enactment of what he missed while peeing. Just sayin...I was wise this time. I learned my lesson a couple years ago.

Now, here's the 'Smell my hand' saga from a couple days ago. There I was, sitting on the front row at the awards assembly, and Mr. H said, out of the blue, "Smell my hand." He even stuck it right in my face for my convenience. Because that's how he rolls. I said, "Uh, I don't think so." He insisted. "Smell it." He moved it closer. I did the Jerry Seinfeld bite of pie/bite of Poppy's pizza closed-mouth headshake. Mr. H said, "I broke the sprayer off my Glade air freshener, and it got all over my hand." He put his hand right up to my nose. I sniffed. Floral. "You smell like an old lady," I complimented him. MathCrony was sitting on his other side. She piped up about something a little later in the assembly, and I leaned around Mr. H and told MathCrony, "Smell his hand." She did, too. Because that's how she rolls.

Tomorrow, I am feeling political. That's a warning. Let the reader beware.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Now You See Me, Now You Don't

While this literary masterpiece is being published, I am sitting on a plastic chair in Newmentia, observing graduation from the gym floor. Amazing isn't it, how I'm here, and I'm also there. I'm a freakin' genius, I am.

Yes, graduation night has rolled around once again. I don't really like going. I don't like crowds. I feel trapped during the ceremony. But I DO like marching in to the music played by our very own high school band, and marching out to the music, and seeing kids I have worked with for 7 years graduate. This will be the last year for that, what with my relatively recent assignment solely to Newmentia. Gone are the days when I would take students under my wing in Lower Basementia, and push them out of the nest to fly on their own a mere 7 years later, ready or not. I well up in tears at the slide show of baby picture/senior picture. They have come so far. From a few pictures, you would think the kid never had a chance. And here he/she is, actually graduating, against all odds.

We sit facing the soon-to-be graduates. They have been working toward this for OH SO LONG. And now it is over, and they don't really want it to end. Some are weepy. The pride of the audience seeps into the very atmosphere of the gym, out of the pores of the parents and the grandparents, and settles onto our skin like a fine mist. Graduation is a big deal in these here parts. Some students will be the first in their family to graduate. There is standing room only, and if you want a parking space, I'd suggest getting here an hour before the ceremony.

A few of those tears well up because I think that it is not very long until MY boy will be graduating. He will be ready to move on. Me, not so much.

After we march out and rush to the office, disrobing on the way (just the graduation robes, people, don't jump to conclusions) the crowd trickles out. We stash those rented robes messily into several big cardboard boxes for return shipment, and try to beat the crowd out of the lot. I have mixed feelings. A bit of euphoria from the ceremony, and a bit of sadness that another year has passed. It doesn't last for long.

Next school year is almost over, you know.