Monday, March 31, 2008

A Lick And A Promise

I'm a big fat liar. You ain't gettin' no lick, no how. But I promise that I will type this as fast as I can, what with the tornado watch we're under, and the short power outage 90 minutes ago, and that rumbling thunder somewhere up over my head. I think it's thunder. The shadow of a doubt comes from the floor plan that puts the master bathroom right over my basement lair. HH could be up to some shenanigans, perhaps.

There is also a 90 percent chance for heavy rain tonight. That means more bridge flooding, like we had again on Sunday morning. That will go well with the other hole in my head. Get it? Like the expression, 'I need that like another hole in the head'. OK. I just thought some of you might be a few bales short of a hayride. Not that there's anything wrong with that... At this rate, we'll never get that Northern Red Oak planted. He's freeloading in the laundry sink at the moment.

The #1 son had to stay after school for his MOB thingy again. He told me to be there at 4:45 to pick him up. I had the audacity to be a block away at 4:44, and he called me on his iPhone to see where I was. Not that I had any right to be late, what with him costing me 7 minutes every morning because he has to lay in bed for 15 minutes after his wake-up call, then lay on the couch 10 minutes before rummaging through the pantry to scrounge up breakfast, then lay on the couch 7 more minutes because he is tired from digesting his food, then throw on his clothes and wash his face and brush his teeth and tell me to comb his hair before we traipse out to the LSUV.

Only 8 more Wednesday duty days, people! Only one more week of lunch duty! The school year is almost over, by cracky!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tax Attack, Day 2

HM is still being held hostage by a rogue 1040.
Long form.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

That Time Again

It's time to do the taxes.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Random Thought Thriday

Because I can. It was due Thursday, but I am that privileged kid with connections who can bend the rules and turn in my Thursday post on Friday.

I turned my mother into a criminal. I gave her the Easter Bunny computer game and sent her to the next town to get a cash refund. She dropped by school at lunch time to tell me she had a harrowing experience. She waited in line, and just when it was time for her to do my bidding, the service lady cleared out her drawer and a new one came on. Mom handed her the game and recited the story we had rehearsed. She is not a good impromptu liar. "I gave this to my grandson for Easter, and he already had one." The Service Lady shook the game out of its cardboard sleeve, and looked at the top sticker, then the bottom sticker. ("I had smoothed down the stickers right before I took it in," my mom had reported). The SL looked at her. "Has this game been opened?" Borrowing a line from Hillary Clinton, my mom answered, "Not that I know of." The SL asked the retiring SL about it. "Do you think this has been opened?" The other said, "I don't know. We have to be really careful about that. You need to call back to electronics." So they did. They waited. The call came back. My mom said, "Is there a problem?" The SL gave her the whole spiel about how people take them home and copy them and then bring them back. She said she thought it should have been shrinkwrapped, but Electronics checked the shelf and said none of them were shrinkwrapped. Then she gave my mom $53 and change. As Mom walked away, heart all a-flutter, the SL called her back. "Here's your receipt. You'd better keep it. You have another game on there." Whew! Good thing I sent an impostor, because she had to sign her name. Crime DOES pay, by cracky!

Those people in the UPS store can be quite rude. Like when it is 5:30, and they don't close until 6:00, and someone walks in with a package, and two of them run into the back room. That's because they apparently weren't vigilant enough to watch through the front wall of windows, and were startled by the 'DING' of the bell attached to the door. If they were birds, I, the cat, would have eaten them. They must have armwrestled to see who had to wait on me, because the girl came out and the guy stayed hidden. All she had to do was take the large package I had been holding for 5 minutes because all of their counters were covered with this'n'that stuff they wanted to sell. Godspeed, sweet Lappy.

HH walks around upstairs like he has stumps but no feet.

Yesterday, a girl who told me she has an IQ of 260 (!) announced, "I cut myself." We all swiveled our heads to gape at her, and she amended that statement with, "But not in the Emo way. I cut myself last night and had to get a band-aid."

For Easter, I gave Mabel a cow that moos and poops candy. I am one of those people who can find the perfect gift for anybody.

Wednesday, we had a hailstorm after school. I remember the day, because as I walked outside for duty, HH called and asked if it was hailing. No. It was bright and sunny. But there was a black cloud creeping closer by the minute. Thank the Gummi Mary, my duty ended dryly. At 3:15, the skies opened and the ground grew white. In looking out the window that the #1 son opened to 'catch' some hail, I saw a soda can and some snack wrappers. My room looks out on the front sidewalk and bus lane and guest parking. I said, "Where did all this trash come from?" #1 replied, "I'm sure your kids toss it out there when they are busy sticking their arms out the window."

The Pony brought home a Norther Red Oak today. I'm thinking it was some kind of Arbor Day promo that the 4th grade goes through every year. Surely he didn't rip it out of the ground. Though if he did, I wouldn't blame him, what with my outrage at a girl for accusing him of cheating yesterday on a MAP practice math test. He seemed a bit miffed. Three people got the same score. The girl across the room who said he copied off her, The Pony, and the girl who sits next to him. "But we have to leave a seat in between for the test, Mom." I asked him if he cheated. "No. But we missed the same ones." I asked if he had the same answers. "Well, on one of them that we got right, I had the same answer. It was about some kind of pie, from a graph." OK. If it was a RIGHT answer, they should have had the same thing. Duh. This boy is not smart enough to cheat. Not that he's dumb. He's gotten 'A's in math every year since kindergarten. You can't tell me he's been cheating off that girl across the room all this time. Or even off the girl next to him. What are the odds that he has a smart kid sitting alphabetically next to him from K-4? So I will take him at his word. I've never known him to cheat before. Methinks some young lass is cruisin' for a bruisin' if she doesn't lay off. I suppose he cheated to win the school spelling bee as well. I despise a liar. Well, unless it's Hillary Clinton. Then I'll make excuses for her. Because I appreciate a crafty war of words. I go to battle many times each year, what with various students sniping at me as it suits their moods. I always emerge the winner.

It will be time to retire when a 9th-grader out-argues Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

HM Declares War On The Devil

I know it's Thursday. But I can't be random. I'm still hot to trot over The Devil and his Playground Politics. Perhaps you can have the random thoughts of Hillbilly Mom on Friday this week. Now, back to our story.

As you read yesterday, I am battling The Devil's Playground over a $50 computer game. In case anyone wants to know the specifics, it is Pirates of the Burning Sea. The Easter Bunny brought it, not having read the fine print, not knowing that it is useless here at the Mansion, because it can only be played on the innernets, and cheapskate HM won't spring for high-speed at thrice the cost we're paying for dial-up. The LSUV's gotta eat, you know.

After my defeat yesterday by the Bleachy Haired Honky B*tch at the non-service counter, I did what any middle-aged hillbilly would do, and called my momma. That woman is a freakin' BRAINIAC, by cracky! She said, "Honey, when she said you could only trade it for a new one of the exact same kind, you should have taken it. Then you would have the new one with the stickers still on it to return." Duh. I ran this scenario past my mathies today, and one of them declared, "I was just going to say that." OK. So my mom is as smart as a 9th grader. She still out-thought the pants offa ME. Oh, and Mabel told me that same thing first hour.

So I took it back today, along with a shirt that I bought during my unfortunate displacement during the up-a-creek-without-a-bridge crisis. Of course I got the same BHHB. I gave her the receipt for the shirt and pocketed my $11 and change. Then I gave her back the game, withholding the receipt this time. I'm a conniving little scamp, I am. I said, "Well, we tried it, and it didn't work, so I guess the only thing I can do is trade it for a new one like you told me yesterday." She set it aside, and told me to bring the new one back up front. (I loves me some prepositions. There's three in a row for you!). Of course I would have to go through the line again. Lots of people were dealing the Devil's goods today. When I brought up the new one, wouldn't you know, I got the other crackpot working the counter. She acted like she didn't believe me, the sauntered down to get the old game that was set aside. "Do you have your receipt?" she snarled. I told her, "No, I had it yesterday, but I misplaced it. And she told me it didn't matter whether I had the receipt." I yanked my head toward the BHHB. Cranky said, "Well, it doesn't." Then why did she freakin' ASK me for it? I swear, one of these days the camera is going to capture a rampage at the Devil's service desk. She made me show my driver's license, then sign a receipt thingy. And she proceeded to pick the stickers off the new game! I was shocked. "Why are you doing that?" She looked at me like I was simple. She sighed. "You gave us an opened game, and we have to give an opened game back to you." I suppose my momma and that 9th grader and Mabel aren't as smart as they think they are. No life of crime for that trio. It simply won't pay.

Now I have two options. I can take that freaking game back every day and tell them it won't work, to multiple Playgrounds if need be, and make them waste about 10 of their precious $50 games. OR, I can take the game I just got today, with the stickers that The Pony had stuck to themselves and we unpeeled and put back on the case, along with my receipt that I carefully retained so the servicers didn't write on it, and have my momma take it to a neighboring Playground tomorrow and get my cash refund.

I think we'll go with door number two.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Problems With The Devil

Did I tell you that I have Easter Bunny issues? Well, if I didn't, it was a rare oversight on my part. That game that T. Easter Bunny brought The Pony? That $50 computer game? The Devil's Playground refuses to take it back. OK, I know that The Pony took two stickers off of the cardboard that holds the plastic case in its sleeve. That was all. I found out that he did not even open the game like I had thought...the #1 son read about it on the back of the case, and told him, "You can only play this on internet, and our dial-up is not going to let it run right." So he shoved the whole thing back in the cardboard sleeve, and it sat on the living room table until this morning.

I finagled the #1 son into taking The Pony into Papa John's Pizza while I explained my situation to the ancient greeter. She slapped a sticker on that Pirate game, and I went to wait in line at the service desk. The bleachy-haired honky b*tch (that's one of my favorite book titles, you know, and a pretty darn good book as well) behind the counter was busy chatting with an old friend such as my Bean, it appeared. No transaction was taking place. Another worker traipsed in and out a couple of times doing nothing. After cooling my heels for 7 minutes, the 'friend' turned around and saw me, and wrapped up the reunion.

BHHB took my game, popped it out of the cardboard sleeve, wrenched it open, straightened the 5 booklets she knocked out, perused the 2 or 3 CDs in there, and said, "All I can do is let you trade it for the exact same thing." Yeah, right. I had told her the situation, and showed her my receipt, and still she clung to this explanation. "Because of federal copyright laws, we are only allowed to exchange opened items for the exact same thing." I asked her how that would help me. I told her that I had waited in that very line last summer, behind a woman who traded in 2 of the 2-for-$9.99 DVDs without a receipt, without an ID, and got cash back. She said, "Even with movies, all we can do is let you trade it for the exact same thing." LIAR! LIAR! (to borrow some lyrics from 3 Dog Night).

When I left, the man behind me stepped up to the counter. BHHB said sweetly, "May I help you?" He knew which way the wind blew, because he said, "I hope so." To borrow some words from Reverend Wright, "G--D--n the Devil's Playground!" Now I am out $50. I mean, T. Easter Bunny is out $5o. I went back to the entrance for a cart, and told the little old lady that they wouldn't take it back. "Oh," she said. "You didn't have your receipt?" I most certainly DID have my receipt, from last Friday night. She rolled her eyes. "That doesn't sound right. You might try another Wal*Mart." Uh huh. Or I might come back to this very Playground on another day, when that BHHB is not working. It's not like I make a habit of buying games for $50, copying them, and then returning the games.

By the time I left the Playground, I was, (to borrow a favorite expression of Mabel's), hot to trot! And not in a good way.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Woe Is Us

Great Googley Moogley! Now I know why I try to stay ignorant of world events. It seems that we have inadvertently mailed Taiwan some electrical fuses for intercontinental ballistic missiles. Oops! Is our face red, or what? I'm no techie, but methinks these are the same thing as Minuteman Missiles, which are stored in underground silos in western Missouri and in Kansas, the sunflower state, home of my old college buddy, The Bean. Not that we ever discussed Minuteman Missiles, mind you, what with our thirst for knowledge and studious approach to higher education, and oh yeah, the weekly party hosted at our apartment that pulled in people from far and wide for our most scathingly brilliant live entertainment. But I digress. I am only familiar with the Minuteman Missiles because of that old movie, The Day After, which scared the pants offa me, and kept them off for years, what with my unfortunate year spent teaching in western Missouri for the grand sum of $8500, and seeing such a thingy firsthand.

Apparently, we mailed those fuses a year and a half ago, and boy, that intercontinental mail must be really slow. Perhaps a disgruntled federal employee stored those fuses in the wall of his momma's house for a bit, what with all the work it would take to deliver them. Or maybe we just now figured out our mistake, kind of like that security breach in the candidates' passport files. Or maybe it has been a conspiracy and kept quiet, what with the government being so busy injecting AIDS into 19 percent of the population, and selling them crack at bargain prices.

In any case, I suppose it's good that it was only Taiwan, because if they decided to build a Minuteman Missile around one of those fuses, methinks it would be plastic, and not cause a lot of damage if it hit us. Much more dangerous would have been sending them to China, because then a missile might have come back to bite us in the butt with toxins that would make our slow death from dog food and toothpaste and children's cough medicine totally superfluous.

Don't quote me on any of this. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom learns her world news from three or four lines of Google News stories. She can't be bothered to actually click on them and read the articles. Dial-up, you know. The Hillbilly Curse. But later, I'm going to watch some CNN and MSNBC. In between bashing Hillary Clinton and telling me how I should vote and poking their media noses into politicians' bedrooms, they might carry a sensational story such as this.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Misinforming the world one blog post at a time. And buying stock in a handbasket factory as you read this.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hillbilly Mom: Judge, Juror

I watched some TruTV today. You know, the station formerly known as CourtTV. There was the trial of a 15-year-old kid who killed his principal. They had two women give an opinion of whether this boy should be tried as an adult, or as a juvenile. The TV did, not the judge.

The one lady, who was some kind of lawyer, perhaps, said that since Killer had told several people that the principal would not make it to Homecoming, and brought two guns that day, and shot the principal 5 times with a revolver, he should be tried as an adult. He had planned the murder.

The touchy-feely child psychologist said that Killer should be tried as a juvenile. The brain in an adolescent is not capable of reasoning like the brain of an adult. Oh, and the kid had suffered sexual abuse at age 6 from a 12-year-old stepbrother, and ongoing physical and psychological abuse from his father, who had called him 'retard' and 'dumba$$', and thought the proper way to discipline Killer was to 'beat him on the buttocks with a wooden paddle'. Give me a freakin' break about the 'beatings' already. In my day, that was called 'spanking'. Oh, and Killer was not allowed to shower at home sometimes, and so the principal had arranged for him to shower at school. And another thing...Killer did not get along with his stepmother, who had adopted him at the age of 6, and that if any housework got done, it was done by Killer, as well as the cooking, which he did mainly for himself, because he was home alone, and if laundry got done, it was because Killer did it. Give me another break. I have many students, boy and girls, who say they do their own laundry. Perhaps the stepmother and father were both working, and Killer needed to pull his weight around the house. The defense attorney even said about the cleaning and the laundry, "And we can see that Killer did not do a very good job at keeping up with these duties."

I did not hear the entire trial. But apparently Killer was not so stressed by duties that he did not even do. I am not very sympathetic. They would disqualify me from the jury pool. A 15-year-old kid knows the difference between right and wrong. I don't care about his brain. Unless he is mentally ill, he knows not to go to school and kill the principal. Oh, yeah. He did it because he was mad that he had been suspended for throwing a stapler at a teacher, and then a few days later had been caught with a can of chewing tobacco in his backpack. The police had been called over the stapler incident, and the officer reported that the stapler was in 3 pieces, and the cinder block wall on the other side of the classroom had a quarter-size and dime-sized hole from where the stapler struck. Killer had told the officer that he wanted to hit the teacher with the stapler, but he missed and it hit the wall. He was mad because he had been working on a project with a partner, and they got into an argument, and he called the partner 'Fatty', and was given a detention. He also admitted to the officer that he used some vulgar words along with 'Fatty'.

A girl in Killer's gym class saw him with the chew, and told the principal, because it is against the rules to have tobacco or drugs at school. Killer asked her the next day if she told on him, and pointed his finger at her like a gun. The defense attorney asked her if Killer said anything to mean it was a gun, and she said no. The DA held up his hand in the 'Loser' shape at his forehead, and then pointed it at the girl, and said, "What would this mean if a kid did it to you? That you told and you are a loser?" And the girl agreed. Except that Killer never put his hand to his head before pointing his gun-finger at her.

Anyhoo, they have all the witnesses, and the 5 'accidental' shots of the revolver, 3 of which hit the principal, one in the chest, one in the head, one in the leg, and the shotgun that another administrator took away from the kid. That's what I left out. On that Homecoming morning, this other guy saw Killer walk into school with that shotgun. At first, he thought it was a prop for the Homecoming parade. Then he asked Killer, "What are you doing with that gun?" Killer told him, "I'm gonna f***ing kill someone with it." The guy said, "Not in my school you're not!" and took the gun away and carried it away from all the students, either into the office, or outside. Then Killer took out his white-handled revolver.

Back to my original point of juvenile vs adult...why would you want to try this kid as a juvenile? It's not like he was 6 years old. Why let him serve 3 years and get out? As an adult, he's facing life without parole. It's not the death penalty. Why would he be miraculously cured of his murderous tendencies at the age of 18, to be released back into society? I'm having none of that.

The lawyer lady even pointed out that lots of people have been abused, and paddled, and have had crappy childhoods--but they don't all go out and kill people. The child psychologist said this was his cry for attention, to let people know that he was under stress and couldn't take his crappy life anymore. She argued that trying him as an adult would not send a message to other kids who contemplate these acts. Kids and even their parents don't understand that much about the judicial system, and barely know the difference between being tried as a juvenile or adult.

Hmm...I've overheard several conversations from the kids about beating someone up while they're still under 18, because then they'll only go to juvenile, but at 18, they'll go to regular jail. And the same type of attitude about having underage girlfriends. They know.

This world needs to make people more responsible for their own actions. So says Mrs. HillbillyMom, judge, juror, but not executioner.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bad Bunny Batting Pinata

That rascally rabbit, T. Easter Bunny, brought The Pony a computer game that will only work with internet and a $20 per month membership! How dare he! What are we going to do with such a game? I'll be darned if I'm going to pay a $20 per month fee, even IF our dial-up would do this game justice, after the #1 son got an iPhone, with an increase of $20 per month on my A T & T Mobility bill. WHICH he's paying out of his allowance money at $5 per week, by cracky!

Perhaps The Devil will take an opened computer game and fork over some cold, hard cash. I've been in the return line when people brought in opened DVDs of the 2-for-$9.99 variety, no receipt, no questions asked. I'll give it a try. Perhaps T. Easter Bunny shops at The Devil's Playground.

The boys were not happy that we would not allow the colored eggs to go to Grandma's house. They had big plans for them. Oh, not eating them. Or using them as a colorful centerpiece. Or hiding and hunting them. They wanted to take them out into the yard and hit them with a baseball bat. Who can blame them? That's what Grandma suggested a few years ago, to their older cousin. And now, they expect to do it every year. HH put his foot down. "No. You are not going to waste those eggs. That is just stupid to hit them with a baseball bat." To which My Little Pony replied, "I don't want to hit them with a baseball bat. I like throwing them at trees." When we got home after an afternoon of the cousin asking, "Hey, didn't you guys bring any eggs?", the #1 son asked if he could have a couple of eggs. I thought he wanted to eat them, so I asked if he wanted me to peel them for him. "No. I wanted to take them outside to hit with a baseball bat. I told him that wasn't going to happen unless his dad ate them, and he whacked his dad like a pinata. He was disturbingly agreeable with that scenario.

I can't wait until tomorrow, when the boys are all hopped-up on sugar.

Can you detect my sarcasm?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Non-Tale Cotton Tail

No time for a proper post. There are 3 dozen eggs that need a-boiling. It wouldn't do to disappoint the Easter Bunny when he comes hippity hoppitying down the bunny trail to the Mansion.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Faux Pas Friday

Welcome to the first installment of Faux Pas Friday. Here are this week's unfortunate misunderstandings of the English language, as heard or read by Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, Wordsmith Extraordinaire.

Let's begin with Mrs. HM's own spawn, a 10-year-old tyke with a slight hearing problem. He hopped off the bus amid the day-long downpour, and entered HM's classroom full of science fair displays after school. "Wow! Look at all of them!" the boy declared, running with arm-breaking fervor to the far wall to inspect them further. Mrs. HM announced, about the "Which Fruit Contains The Most Seeds?" project, which had dropped a peach pit enclosed in a baggie since being set up that morning, "One of them has lost a seed."

The young lad parroted, "It's lost at sea? I get it--because of all the rain."

Next up, we have a simple misunderstanding from Mrs. Not A Cook down the hall from Mrs. HM's classroom. On the half-day before Easter vacation, her class was playing a mathematical card game of some sort. Mrs. HM's self-declared favorite student wanted Mrs. Not A Cook to get on with the game. "Deal those!" he urged, with the accent of a 15-year-old hick Missouri town redneck. Which entered Mrs. Not A Cook's ears as "Dill does," which sounded like a certain fake body part used for sexual gratification, causing Mrs. Not A Cook to shout accusingly, "WHAT did you say?" which in turn caused her students to imply that she had a dirty mind.


From these simple misunderstandings, we return to Mrs. HM's classroom, to the high school senior who told his buddies that on a certain day in question, he was not inappropriately attired for a situation, but was wearing a normal outfit for the place and time, with the shirt being a 'white-beater'. Even the boy the group regarded as the most ignorant and socially inept had the nerve to call him on it.

"Uh, that's a WIFE-beater, stupid. Not a WHITE-beater! Because trailer-trash guys wear them to beat their WIVES, idiot, not WHITES!" The outrage in the room was nearly palpable.


And now, to the political arena, where people who leave comments on newspaper articles should really check their grammar or their usage or their spelling or just plain have a 12th-grader wearing a wife-beater read over their comments before submitting.

Exhibit A: "President Clinton hinted it, rather, tried to use it to the advantage of his wife’s champagne, but it worked against her."

Let's hope they didn't celebrate with a glass of campaign.

Exhibit B: "They need to realize that they are not going to be allowed to ride rough shot over Obama."

Well, now. I suppose any type of being ridden over would be equally uncomfortable, whether it be rough shot or roughshod.


And there you have it. Our maiden voyage of the HM's Faux Pas Friday.
I do loves me some fancy words, by cracky!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Envelope, Please...

And the winner is...Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's school!

The Science Fair gave out the awards at 3:00. Our school entered 8 projects. ALL 8 WON SOMETHING! That is 8 for 8. 100 percent, by cracky. No other school could lay claim to that record. Not even the two big schools who bussed in busloads of bus-riding entrants.

Here is the breakdown:

6th grade-Middle School Physics: Honorable Mention
7th grade-Middle School Physics: 1st Place
9th grade-Science Fair T-Shirt Design: Honorable Mention
9th grade-High School Engineering: 1st Place
9th grade-High School Chemistry: 1st Place
11th grade-High School Chemistry: 2nd Place
11th grade-High School Chemistry: 3rd Place
11th grade-High School Biology: 1st Place

Uh huh! That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Our school rules!!!

Of course, I must brag, because that's what blogs are for. My son and his partner won 1st Place again this year in Middle School Physics. No mean feat, what with 14 entries in that category. It was the largest of the 10 categories in the Middle School division. Too bad my 9th grade pair decided not to enter their Computer Science project on 'Does Text Affect File Size'. There were no entries in that category for High School or Middle School. They would have automatically won 1st Place and $50 if they had entered. You snooze, you lose, boys.

Oh, yeah, the bragging continues. All those 9th graders were MY students. Sweet Gummi Mary, those kiddos ROCK! The T-Shirt girls had to compete with 16 entries in a mixed MS/HS contest. Not too shabby.

One kid told me he was going home tonight to start his project for next year.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom...spreading science literacy, one student at a time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hey It's Great To Be Back Home Again

No, you didn't hear John Denver singing. It's just Hillbilly Mom, back to where she once belonged.

Ahh...Mansion sweet Mansion. We were able to make it home tonight, and on the 3rd of our four available routes. Conditions, they are improving. I had ONE parent tonight at conferences. That makes the whole six hours worth it, I suppose. Another duty day down. That leaves me with nine until the school year is kaput.

I would love to go on throwing out random numbers willy-nilly, but I feel the need to move on. I had a most scathingly brilliant idea for a blog post tonight, but I've decided to put it off until Friday. 'Faux Pas Wednesday' just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Tomorrow is the big Science Fair. One of my students brought in a really fine-looking project that he is entering. Another tore his apart and started over around 11:00 a.m. We'll see what develops. I have one in the Engineering category, in which a suspension bridge is compared to a double-deck bridge with supports, for load-bearing capacity, and another in the Chemistry category, in which water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen by using sodium and potassium and an electric current. All I can tell them is to label their steps and know what they're talking about. It's not like it's rocket science.

My #1 son is in the Physics category again. While the experiment itself is simple, his strengths lie in the tabling and graphing of data, and in being a know-it-all when the judges come around. Oh, and his late silent partner does OK, too.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the results. I know the suspense is killing you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where's Hillbilly Mom

I have been misplaced!

OK, technically, I have been DISplaced. I cannot go home again. The water is wide. The journey of 15 miles begins with just one revolution of an LSUV tire. In case you haven't heard, we in the midwest are getting a long, slow rain event. For example, we got 3 inches of rain overnight, and were supposed to get another 7 today. I am not outside with a ruler, but I know that HH had to come back to the Mansion after traveling only half a mile this morning. Water was over the itty bitty concrete dip thingy on the way to the Shootist's house. HH went back 40 minutes later and drove through it in the truck, which he had traded for his ancient Mercedes. We followed about 20 minutes later. I had to drive through about 10 inches of water. I was not a happy canoe-er. We had to go 8 miles out of our way to get to town. That was the last resort. Route #4 of the 4 possible ways to get to town.

Now we can't get home. After all the going around the elbow to get to the thumb, HH was thwarted by this itty bitty bridge. We will be spending the night at my mother's townhouse. By that, I mean her brick split-level home near the city limits. We will all wear the same clothes to school and work tomorrow. She has offered to wash them for us. I suppose we will sit around naked as jaybirds during the wash and dry cycle. NOT.

I certainly hope that the dogs go eat out of the neighbors' dogs' food pans. It's the least they can do, considering that we feed the entire pet population. The minute we go up the driveway, it's pet party at the Mansion. I know. I've had to come back for something, and foreign pets go a-jumpin' off the Mansion porch like rats off a sinking ship.

I was almost happy that tomorrow is a half-day for kids. A 5/7 day, to be exact. But then I remembered that I am at school until 7:00 p.m. for conferences, just like tonight, but in the same clothes, with a slightly more sour attitude.

Who wants to be the first person to make a crack about my clothes tomorrow, huh?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Phoney MOB

I got a call from My Little Pony's school today. It frightened me. First of all, they never call unless he is sick. But this one wasn't from the nurse, it was from his teacher. So I wondered, "What's he crying about?" Because The Pony is very tender-hearted and a bit immature. He will cry at a finger pinched between desks, or at some thoughtless comment. Then I hoped he hadn't soiled his pants or some such real embarrassment. Not that he ever has. But you never know what to expect when the 4th grade teacher calls. I didn't think he was in trouble. The Pony has put his days of being sent to the principal behind him since kindergarten. He's a regular model student now, thought not exactly a student-of-the-month. It appears that getting 'A's and staying out of trouble are not enough to earn that title.

So with some trepidation, I answered the intercom above my head, and agreed to take his teacher's call on Line 1 (which is really Line 2 on the phone in the teacher workroom, go figure, because it has taken me 3 quarters to ascertain that nobody is going to be on the line when I pick up Line 1, or it will be the Elementia counselor requesting a favor from me because I happened to pick up her call, which was no doubt told to someone that it was on Line 2, and they picked up my call and hung up).

Whew! All she wanted was to tell me that she had sent home a paper with The Pony saying that she did not need a conference with me (we've never met--I probably couldn't even pick her out of a police line-up of dwarfs and male prostitutes and those people who grow hair all over their faces and bodies), but that the speech teacher needed me for an IEP meeting (The Pony receives speech services and occupational therapy for fine motor skills--they love him at MAP time, because he is an IEP student, by cracky, and he raises their scores for that subgroup), so could I come over sometime tomorrow? I agreed to 3:45. Which I could have told you without the run-on sentences, I suppose, but they are OH SO MUCH FUN to write in my stream-of-consciousness way.

The #1 son was MOBbed today. That is to say, he was on MOB Squad, which stands for 'Moving Out of the Box', not that anybody puts my boy in a box, mind you, but that a group of handpicked kids stay for MAP practice in the hopes of moving their OH SO CLOSE scores into the next higher category when they take this year's MAP test. For the first time in forever, #1 did not make 'Advanced' in Math last year, so he was included. Last year, since his score WAS 'Advanced', he was left off the MOB Squad, which wounded him deeply, because what Middle School child would not want to get a special invitation to stay after school and play in the gym for 1 hour and have Math practice for 1 hour and get free pizza and soda for the trouble?

That MOB kept me at school until 5:00. I am OH SO GLAD that the school year is almost over.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pushy Science Fair Mother

My boy finished his science project today for Thursday's Science Fair. Job well done. Except that he had forgotten to take pictures of the actual experiment on the day it was done, what with HH running off in a fit of peevishness, and the partner being an hour late, and the boys doing their task without supervision. Yeah. That was HH's deal, not mine. Anyhoo, once their experiment was completed, they did not save their materials to display at the Science Fair, but instead drank some, exploded some, and shot some.

Perhaps I should clarify...the project was about cooling Pepsi with ice, ice water, and ice saltwater. I have no idea what possessed them to destroy 36 Pepsis. Not that I actually care, because I'm a Coke kind of gal. But it is just wasteful. My idea was for #1 to use Mountain Dew, because it is the kids' drink of choice. He said, "No, actually, just as many of us drink Pepsi." Then he declared that he would not drink the leftover Pepsi, because it is in cans, and he only likes the Pepsi in plastic bottles, even though he freely admitted to drinking one of the experimental Pepsis.

So these boys being boys tossed some of the supercooled sodas into the air, and were amazed when they exploded on contact with the hard, hard frozen ground. I suppose they have never dropped a can of soda and seen it explode. Then they came for the BB guns, which did not bother me to let them shoot, because #1 is an OCD safety fanatic, and I figure what's good enough for my son is good enough for the son of a lady who brings him an hour late for a scheduled science project date where three bags of melting ice are at stake.

The bottom line is that I had to buy one more 12-pack of Pepsi (I refused to get 3 more) and three more bags of ice and three more coolers so he could recreate the set-up and get pictures for his display. Thank the Gummi Mary that those Devil's Playground coolers were only $1.46 apiece. And the boy had strict orders to save the sodas and HE WILL DRINK THEM, by cracky, and leave the Cokes for me. After looking at his display, I'm glad I got the re-creation stuff, because those pictures really add to his project. Maybe tomorrow, he will get me a picture of the display so I can post it. After carefully blocking out the kids' names, of course.

The #1 son is hoping for a repeat win this year. I'm sure I told you how he and his partner won the Middle School Physics category last year, when they were only in 6th grade. Because what else is a blog for, except to brag about your children and criticize your husband? They should at least place 1, 2 , or 3 this year. It looks really good. He does not always take my advice, but he DID listen when I made him get out the Science Fair brochure, and include everything that was listed under what the judges look for. I only proofread one item for him this year (at his request--I am not a pushy 'fair mother'). He did not arrange things in the logical order I would have hoped for, but it's HIS project. Well, his and his partner's, though the partner had nothing to do with the writing up and display again this year. I don't know why that boy can't stand on his own two feet and do it alone. He'd win twice the prize money, but that doesn't even sway him. "I am NOT going to sit out there all day and be bored by myself. I need Partner there to be bored with me." Whatever.

Oh, and since we're not in school that day, I will take him to the college, and meet my own students who are entering. Last night, my boy dared to ask, "Can we meet Partner somewhere and take him with us? We both have to sign in to get our display number. What if he is late?" GRRRR! That's EXACTLY why we're not meeting him somewhere. I am not going to be late meeting my own students just because his mom wants to bring Partner an hour late. I told my boy he can carry the stuff in and sit in the bleachers to wait for Partner. I'm not catering to him.

Because that's how I roll.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

An Editorial From HM

The following is an editorial by Mrs. Hillbillly Mom.

People at lunch tables throughout the nation of Hillmomba: It is not necessary to comment on what other people bring for lunch. Period. Mind your own beeswax. Does it matter to you what some other person consumes for sustenance? Do you think you will be offered/required to eat some of it? Let me answer for you: "That ain't gonna happen." Let your colleagues be. You are not the food police. You are not a registered dietician. Your opinion does not count. It creates ill will. Shut your piehole!

Just yesterday, for example, a colleague had decided to ingest one 20 oz. Pepsi, and one can of chocolate royale Slimfast. She was not mixing them. They sat side by side in the area where her plate or cafeteria tray would have rested. But someone had to raise the question, "Isn't that counterproductive, drinking regular soda with Slimfast?" She answered, though a withering glare would have pleased me more. "Well, I thought it would be better for me than that." And she waved a hand at ME and Mr. S! Like we had to be included on this witch-hunt.

If I want to bring a baloney sandwich with cheese and mustard, and a snack pack of Fritos, is that her business? NO! So I snottily said, "Well! I can't believe you people don't find baloney and Fritos to be a healthy lunch! She stammered, "I just meant, like, it's not as bad as having the school lunch. It's full of fat." That's what Mr. S was having. A tray of fat. In the guise of chicken nuggets, potato chips, nacho cheese with an orange skin on top, a chocolate milk, a strawberry milk, green beans with onions, and a rainbow sherbet push-up thingy. Never mind that the Slimfaster had eaten the rotini with melted cheese, garlic breadstick, tater tots, and banana along with her Pepsi the day before.

THEN, the original offender went on to say, "I like it when people have a DIET soda with their food. Last weekend, my dad went in a convenience store and bought a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and a Diet Coke. The cashier took a look at it and laughed." OK, first of all, if that happened to me (which it wouldn't, because I don't like Krispy Kreme), I would say, "Just forget it. I don't want it anymore." And that cashier could just restock those items and void the register, and perhaps think twice about the sanctimonious chuckle the next time.

Does anybody ever stop to think that regular soda is just TOO GOSH-DARN SWEET? There's no way I could drink a 20-oz. regular soda. A diet soda? No problem. I'd swill that sucker like there was no tomorrow. Some people just prefer the less-filling diet soda. So they can cram in more Krispy Kremes before they're full.

No matter where I've worked, there is always somebody at the lunch table who appoints him/herself the lunch police. Who cares if I brought the exact same lunch of cheddar cheese on a bagel with mustard, pretzel sticks, and a Diet Mountain Dew for one entire year? That was MY business. Did I spout off about the Chili Mac that those freaks ordered out? Nope. Wasn't my business.

Get off it people. Eat and let eat.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Child. Molester.

Settle back for a whiny tale of Hillbilly Mom, Victim. Last night, I took my #1 son to his Honors Choir concert at the local college. He had to be there by 6:30, so we arrived around 6:20. We Hillbillies are nothing if not punctual. The boy took off, and The Pony, my mom, and I selected seats on the main level of the field house, front row of metal bleachers. We had a good view of the choir risers, and could stretch out our legs. The place filled up to about 3/4 its capacity. At 10 minutes before 7:00, The Devil's Daughter arrived.

Let me preface this little pity party with the facts: Hillbilly Mom does not like people; Hillbilly Mom does not like to be touched; Hillbilly Mom does not like crowds; Hillbilly Mom does not like children very much, other than her own or those of some colleagues. Also let me make the distinction that I am not so much a child hater as I am a non-fan of the maturity-challenged. I do not blame the incidents about to be reported on the little girl. She did not know any better. After all, she had never had her behavior corrected in her entire life. I blame the spawner, not the spawn.

The Devil's Daughter was dragged in by her mother, Satan's Handmaiden. SH plopped down between me and the people on my left with nary a how-do-you-do or is-this-seat-taken. Since there was limited room in our prime seating area, she picked up DD and wedged her between us. The kid was between 2 and 3 years old. She rode my left hip for a while, squirming and jabbing me with her precocious elbows. Then she decided to stand for a bit on the bleacher. Wasn't that dangerous for such a wee tot? Heavens, NO! She stood with her sticky palm on my left shoulder, like I was the headrest of a car seat. I tried to shrug out of it with no such luck. Then dear little DD grabbed the sleeve of my shirt and pulled, which kind of exposed the strap of my unfashionable foundation garment through the stretched neck-hole, so I yanked my clothing back into proper adjustment with a bit of an attitude. Then the untamed urchin squeezed my shoulder like she was picking an apple off a tree. Except that the knobby bone end of my humeral head was HELLO attached to rest of my humerus and did not budge, leaving her with a handful of shirt. This new turn of events apparently enraged the tiny terror, and she pulled out the piece de' resistance...She reached her taloned little hand into my side, and latched onto a big wad of underarm-above waist flab and twisted it. Yeah. That kind of smarted, having my side-fat squeezed like so much yellow Play-Dough through her bony fingers.

By this time, I had scooted away all the room between me and The Pony. The book he had lying between us was held by his grandma, who kindly offered to trade places with me. I was having none o' that. She would have befriended Satan's Handmaiden, and passed out candy to the Devil's Daughter. People should not be rewarded for rudeness. NOT ONE TIME did that woman EVER say, "Excuse me" or "Oopsie" or "Sorry". No. She chose to let her daughter ride me like a rodeo bull. She let her frolic upon my person like I was a piece of playground equipment.

I readily admit that I did not retaliate. I was not a part of the solution, so I suppose I was a part of the problem. Hillbilly Mom does not like confrontation. Judging by the total disregard of her daughter's behavior, and the waft of exhaled alcohol from that direction, I thought it best to simply give myself scoliosis by bending away from the onslaught. This is Hillmomba, you know. At any moment a knife fight could break out. You don't want to ruin your son's concert by taunting a drunken female with young to protect.

Funny thing, how if the daughter was a dog, her leash would have been yanked when she started to jump on me. But because she was human, her tender self-esteem was to be cherished.

I was molested last night by a child. A child molester.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The ARMgate Scandal

Well, in this season of critical political faux pas, I think I'll add a minor Hillbilly Mom scandal. As I mentioned yesterday, my #1 son went on a stretch limousine trip to Pizza Hut as one of 16 students who were tops in the fundraiser. It was a white, SUVish stretch limo.

My 9th grade students and I were shooting the breeze, having finished our math work in record time. It's amazing what these little whippersnappers can accomplish when they know the rest of the time is theirs. I don't mind. They never give me any trouble, there are only 13 of them, and it gives me time to grade their papers. Yesterday we reached a high temperature of 79 degrees. I had the heat turned off, but could not bring myself to turn on the air conditioning. We had snow days last week, by cracky, and there are still a few drifts of the stuff hanging around. My room was a classical room temperature 72. One of the kids asked if she could open a window. I agreed.

Next thing I know, there are 6-8 kids at the two windows, each sticking out one or more arms. In retrospect, they were just 'feeling the weather', as one told me today. I never let the kids stand by the windows. In fact, that's number 12 on my list of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's Never Evers. But I made the exception, you know, for the nice weather. Then I hear, "Hey, look at that limo! Where's it goin'? Hey! It's turning in!"

Yep. The stretch limo went through our circle drive. I told the kids to get away from the windows. They did. They asked why. But it was too late. The limo had already gone by. I explained. "Chances are, that's the limo from the Middle School. How many limos do you think there are, driving around our town at noon on a school day? And if that's the MS limo, my son is in it. And he will point out to his friends, 'That's my mom's room right there. The one with all the arms sticking out the windows. She always lets her kids stick their arms out the windows.' And in two years, when that class is over here, and I teach them science, they will go rushing willy-nilly to the windows to stick their arms out. When I correct them, they will say, 'Well, you let everyone ELSE stick their arms out the windows.' So that's why we can't do that any more."

Oh, and I forgot to mention that at the time the limo was turning in and preparing to cruise my windows, a man on a horse rode by the other way. And the kids said, "Can we holler at the horse?" I hope you know the answer to that. Then a kid said he bruised his arm on the window, and I could already see it forming, and I told him great, if my kid noticed that, he would tell his cronies, 'Sometimes they hurt their arms on the window, and then they sue the school to pay their medical bills.' All this because Mrs. Hillbilly Mom tried to play Mrs. Nice Guy for a day.

Nice guys finish last, with kids sticking their arms out the windows.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Of Mathletes And Junior Scientists

I am happy to report that my #1 son got his limousine ride to Pizza Hut today. The assembly was changed to permit the Mathletes to go. I am a bit disappointed in his math performance, but what can you do? It was multiple choice, but he spent his time actually answering the problems. His teacher had told them to use the last 10 minutes to fill in any unanswered problems, since they only grade on the number right, and there is no penalty for wrong answers. Nope. Not my boy. He left 17 of them blank. I am also disappointed that he did not get his cookie dough reward. I would think that maybe he didn't earn it, but he said every one else got one. So it only goes to figure that if he qualified for the Pizza Hut and limousine with everyone else, there should have been some cookie dough coming his way. I'm kind of glad to be out of that building. If I was still there, I'm afraid I would play the cookie dough card and get myself into trouble. The kid already says he gets discriminated against because someone in charge never liked me. I tend to agree.

We had book fair at Elementia and Newmentia today. WooHoo! The Pony got 3 books and 2 hand-pointer thingies, #1 got 2 books, and I got 4 books and an eraser/pencil-sharpener combo. That's because my pencil sharpeners have a habit of disappearing at home. I think the count is at 17 missing in action, including 2 battery-operated fancy ones. I could probably pry up a board in #1's floor and find his stash, along with my scissors, staplers, and tape. Is it any wonder the boy wants his first job to be at Office Max?

My students have been working on their science projects this week. Which means about a fourth of each class work, while the rest pretend to be doing something. My favorite projects so far are: Card Flicking Penny Cup, Slinkage, Lemon vs Lime, Mouth Microbes, The Un-Named Color Recognition Project, Chew Gives You Cancer, Suspense-ion Bridge Is Falling Down, and Aluminum vs Wood. OK, so they're not ALL my favorites. They're just the ones I remember. And I took liberty with a couple of the titles. We'll see how they turn out.

This week is dragging on. Thank the Gummi Mary, next week is only 2 and a half days for the students. Of course, I will have conferences until 7:00 or 8:00 on two nights. And one of the days off is the Science Fair, but that will not be like work. Next week kicks off 4th Quarter.

The school year is almost over, you know.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Out Of The Mouths Of Drama Queens

I heard a good story today. A story that made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurt from that leftover chicken and stuffing that I took for lunch. I had to take a Pepsid AC for that burning pain. But the story was good. And true.

It all started with one of the kids who sits right in front of my desk. The class was working on their science projects which are due next week. This gal's cousin was on the case, telling her what to do next. So she had a little time to ask me, "Do you want to hear the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to me?" I'm sure the others could hear my eyes roll, clear in the back corners of the room. "There's only ONE?" I asked. Because maybe, just maybe, at times, she's a bit of a Drama Queen. The cousin snorted. "Oh, there's way more than one!"

The whole story started because DQ has been sick, and came up to my desk to get some tissues. "I'll just take a few of them back to my desk so I don't have to keep getting up." Yeah. That three-foot hike was killing her. But seriously, I didn't mind, because it kept her germs at bay for a longer interval. I told her, "OK, as long as you don't leave them for me to pick up out of the desk." She agreed, and took her tissues to her seat. She did a bit of work on the project, and then asked the fatal question. Of course I could not stop her. She's like a runaway train when she gets going. DQ commenced her story.

Last year, at summer school, we were eating lunch in the cafeteria. I was sick, and I had a bunch of toilet paper to use for blowing my nose. I was sitting at the lunch table, so I stuffed the toilet paper down between my legs. When lunch was over, we had to go to gym. We went down the steps and got out some basketballs, and Coach told Cousin and me to choose teams. Then somebody yelled, 'Hey, DQ, show us how it's done!' I jumped up in the air and shot the basketball. And all of that toilet paper fell out of my crotch onto the gym floor. People staired. Some of them said, "Hey, toilet paper fell out of your crotch!" I was SO embarrassed. I had walked around the lunchroom and down into the gym and everything with all that toilet paper in my crotch. And some people thought it was really
toilet paper. You know, not for blowing my nose. I can't believe I did that.

After I stopped guffawing, I said, "Where are all those tissues that you've been blowing your nose on? You didn't throw them away." And she assured me, "Oh, they're in my crotch. I put everything in there."

Sweet Gummi Mary! They pay me for this.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Pony And The Bee

We just got home from The Pony's spelling bee. I regret to report that Our Little Pony went out in the first round. Poor Pony. I felt very sad for him. He does not take things like this well. I think perhaps he was crying silent Pony tears down in his loser seat. He was looking at the floor, not the other contestants on the stage. Poor Pony.

When it was over, and they called all 20 contestants up on stage again, The Pony seemed to be his sunny little self. They handed out certificates to all but the five finalists--and The Pony. He was crestfallen. Then a teacher down front from his school, who was a guest judge, said, "Wait a minute. Hillbilly Pony didn't get his certificate." They fished around and found it and apologized. The Pony went all flaky. During pictures, he sometimes held the certificate in front of his face. Or clamped it under his chin. He's a bit immature. Some of the kids were twice his size. I suppose they were 5th graders, but The Pony IS the second-smallest kid in his 4th grade class.

When the kids were released to the custody of the parents, The Pony came right to me instead of his grandma. Take THAT, Gammy! And he stood with his lip trembling. I told him I was proud of him. He crumpled up his number tag thingy around his neck, but he held his certificate carefully. I think he'll recover. The bottom line is that he's MY Little Pony, and I'm proud of him no matter what place he did or didn't get in the spelling bee.

And for a bit of political incorrectness...during the practice round, one of the girls was given the word 'whip'. She asked for it to be used in a sentence. The reader hesitated, then said, "He will whip the naughty children." Yeah. These sentences are given out by the great spelling bee conglomerate so that all can have the same kind of words and examples. They must have been using them for years. Like back in the day when parents were still allowed to whip their kids.

Ahh...the good ol' days.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Timing Is Everything

HM has issues. For real. My #1 son says that on Tuesday, when he will be at the local college representing his school on the Math Team, the other students will be having the reward assembly for the fundraiser. The fundraiser in which I purchased 8 polishing cloths to help him meet his total of 20 items so he could earn whatever prize he had set his sights on. Did I need 8 polishing cloths? Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not like I operate a jewelry store. I need 8 polishing cloths like I need another husband. But it was the cheapest thing in the catalog, and not too heavy to carry on the bus.

Oh, and also on Tuesday, the top sellers will get to ride in a limo to Pizza Hut for lunch. That is wrong. If this scenario plays out, that boy will never sell another item for the school. I've had it.

I do not like the school pimping out my child. I'm sure I've ranted about this before. They have a big fundraiser kick-off, and show the kids prizes, whipping them into a frenzy. Then the prizes come in with the orders, and they are bait-and-switch pieces of junk. The smaller prizes shipped with the orders last month. Like #1 said, "That's not what I put down for my prize, but the guy said we could take it, or he would give us a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough." He still hasn't brought home the dough. Maybe that's what is being handed out Tuesday. #1 said that his math teacher and the counselor are both disgruntled about the timing. They seem to think this could have been done on another day, if the master schedule had been consulted. The math contest has been scheduled that day for the entire school year.

Another issue with this fundraiser is that I don't know what this money is earmarked for. Is it to give plaques to the Spellling Bee finalists? Is it to purchase pizza for the after-school MAP-score-fluffing sessions? Is it to buy embroidered shirts for the faculty? Does it go towards the GameBoys and TVs and MP3s that are awarded in drawings for returning free lunch forms? Does it go into petty cash to fund catered dinners to the faculty on conference nights? I don't like my kids selling so the school can have money.

I have offered a donation several times, instead of buying overpriced fundraiser junk. For example, if I donate $10, isn't that more profitable to the school than if I buy a $5 polishing cloth? Wouldn't that, perhaps, be worth 10 polishing cloth purchases? Not according to the school. A donation of $10 counts as ONE ITEM sold. What if I and 9 friends each donated $1? Would that count as 10 items?

Perhaps my boy should refuse to go to the math contest, and choose to stay at school for the fundraiser awards. How would that look? Would he be punished? I'm betting that some type of retribution would occur, either now or later.

Don't make your kids hawk merchandise for the school, people. Everybody needs to take a stand. Let's stop the widespread pimping of our offspring. It ain't right.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

HH Takes The Cake

Three words, people. Center. Turn. Lane. What do you think that yellow-lined-and-arrowed section between the opposing traffic lanes is, exactly? Some work of modern art? A play area for toddlers? A lost-and-found for single shoes and hubcaps to wait until their owners come back? A time-out for road-raging drivers? Angle parking for people with white-line-fever to take a nap? A separate lane for drivers undecided on which way to go? A helicopter landing zone? A signal to aliens from urban areas, where there are no crop circles available? Directions for 747s? Busy work for state highway department employees who are naughty? Court markings for that popular game Go Play In Traffic?

I am tired of people slamming on their brakes, sitting until oncoming traffic has cleared, and then turning left ACROSS A FREAKIN' TURN LANE! Yeah. You might have noticed my chagrin.

In other news, the entrance/exit of our gravel road and the county road has a hole in it. Not a pothole, though there are plenty of those as well. I'm talkin' 'bout a hole in the gravel where you can see where a big culvert-type pipe should be, but there is bent metal and a hole. I call shenanigans on those trucks that raped the land and hauled TONS of rocks out of here. Not so much on the trucks themselves...that would be a bit personifyingly inaccurate. I call the shenanigans on the land-owner who pimped out his acre, and the truck driver who KNEW his truck was too heavy on this road. Oh, well. It's nearly spring. Some ignorant self-employed hillbilly will soon bring a load of tree limbs and dump them across the road. That happens every year. Perhaps it will strengthen the Mansion outer road threshold.

HH takes the cake. Literally. He took the boys to some carnival-like shindig at the armory, where The Veteran had a booth, and won a triple chocolate cake in the cakewalk. That HH. You can count on him when there's free food to be had. I also saw a two-liter bottle of Sprite, but I'm afraid to ask what he did to win that. The Pony had a handful of noise-making clacker-type toys. "Look, Mom! I won a lot!" Thank the Gummi Mary, the #1 son arrived empty-handed.

I already want my lost hour of sleep back, and I haven't even lost it yet.

Friday, March 7, 2008

HH Down Under

HH had a close call yesterday. He was moving a forklift from one building of his plant to their old building across town. The forklift was loaded onto a 'wrecker', as HH calls it, which to more civilized folk is a tow truck. Once the forklift arrived at the intended destination, after traveling a distance of about one mile, HH unfastened the chains which held it on the truck.

(Cue dramatic music)


A giant hole appeared just in front of HH. The truck and forklift fell into the hole. HH did not. But it was just where he had been standing a few seconds before. There went my chance for a major settlement with HH's company.

HH and his crew were dumbfounded. They were already one forklift short of a load. Seems somebody on the night shift had turned over the other forklift the evening before. Don't ask me how you turn over a forklift. I thought those things were pretty much unturnoverable. Like you would really have to be trying to do it.

Anyhoo...they got another truck to come and rescue the truck and forklift from the hole. HH lived to tell the tale.

Nothing exciting like that ever happens to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. She can't even get an old man to threaten to shoot her.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Random Thought Thursday #8-08

Hee hee! It's Thursday, and I don't have to string coherent paragraphs together. Random thoughts, here I come!

Who needs a meteorologist when you have Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's aching bones, and her students who appear to have been whipped into a frothy, fever-pitched full-moon frenzy?

John McCain's arms are too short to box with God. In fact, a T Rex could b*tchslap him without Johnny Boy landing a blow. What's the deal? I saw Georgie Porgy Bush greet him on the steps of the White House (after an entertaining soft-shoe routine from the old soft-headed fool), and the difference in arm length was staggering. Johnny's shoulders were a good inch higher than Georgie's, but his arms were at least 4 inches shorter. Maybe 6. I fear that Johnny is not fit to enforce the long arm of the nation's law. It troubles me. But not so much as Georgie's dragging knuckles have irritated me for nigh on 8 years.

While we're being political, lets give equal time to some other candidates, and the current POTUS. My mom calls John McCain John McClain. Oh, that's nothing. Governor Huckabee is Governor Hucklebee to her. My son, on the other hand, refers to him as Hickabee. It's the Arkansas connection, you know. My mom can not abide George Bush. She has to turn off the TV when he comes on, because she can't stand his smirk. I think he needs to increase his word power. Then he can understand those big words that his advisers feed him through that little earpiece, and he won't make such embarrassing English language faux pas.

In case you haven't noticed, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a bit of a democrat. But that does not stop her from ridiculing her own candidates. Barry O needs to stop with the bent finger already. Either point it like you mean it, or leave it with its companions. And stop your gosh-darn preaching. Just talk like a normal person and say something of substance, for cryin' out loud.

Hang on there, Hillary. You don't get a free pass. Lighten up. Thank the Gummi Mary, you've gotten a stylist since your White House years. Apparently, a stylist who is not from Arkansas. It was painful watching you back then. One hairstyle after another was uglier than homemade sin. And the frocks weren't so fetching, either. But let's not dwell in the past. I'm sure that look was only to please your hubby. Look at his taste in women, after all. You were only trying to keep him at home. The new look is acceptable. So what if people make fun of your pantsuits? I agree that they are all disturbingly similar, but it's not like you have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. embroidered on the back. A fighter such as yourself needs to be comfortable. So I give you a pass on the pantsuits. But the screeching voice is another matter. Perhaps you should invest some of that $4 million you raked in during the 48 hours after Ohio on a diction coach. Just sayin'...

The earth opened to swallow HH today. More on that story tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Little Snow Can't Stop ME

Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to work I go. All of our beautiful snow melted today! What's up with that? Usually, 8 inches will stick around for 3-4 days. I suppose we're lucky we got any snow, what with the temperatures the day before the blizzard hitting 78 degrees. Welcome to Missouri.

The boys and I drove to town today to pick up my check. Because we can. There's a reason I drive that LSUV. We slipped a bit on our level driveway, and on our slippery slope of a gravel road. Much to our chagrin, the county and state roads were clear. However, there's a bit of an early forecast for 2-3 inches of snow on Friday morning, with a high of 30 degrees. We'll see what develops.

We went to the post office and picked up mail for my grandma. The grandma who made the front page of the local paper last month for flipping her car at the drive-thru bank. I also took her some soup, which she called my mom about later and raved that it was the best soup she ever ate. Uh huh. Hillbilly Mom can stir a mean cauldron of soup. Even though she starts with a powdered mix, those five secret ingredients really make it pop.

No trip to town is complete without a stop at The Devil's Playground. We needed that magical automatic shower-cleaning scrubbing bubbles stuff. And The Pony needed some cough plus cold medicine. No sweet, sweet Histinex for him, but I DID spring for the real Tylenol, not the generic Devil-y stuff. I was persuaded by the #1 son's old math teacher from Lower Basementia, who accosted me on the sick aisle, and declared that she always goes for the brand name, because the generic is nasty. She attended the same conference I did last week, but a few days earlier for the elementary portion. We had the same opinion of it. Every year, it gets worse. Then we spotted one of my students and her mother who is a teacher at Elementia, and they declared that their road in the boonies on the other side of the county from the Mansion were also clear, so we knew we were having school.

And now I must prepare. Mentally, of course. You don't think I'm actually doing homework, do you?

The boys planned on sledding down the side yard of the Mansion when we returned from town. What a difference 2 hours makes. The snow was receding and mushy, so they made a snowman the size of The Pony. Not experienced in creating men of snow, they made it like three big snowballs. Not by rolling a ball to pick up snow, mind you, but by patting more and more handfuls of snow on the original snowball. Kids these days!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Absolutely Nothing Interesting.

The Mansion is sitting pretty in a Winter Wonderland. I'm not sure how much snow we have. I'm guessing around 8 inches, but it could be more. The #1 son took out the trash, and after prying the lid off the dumpster, brought in a piece of ice half an inch thick. He says that is what's under the snow.

I cooked a cauldron of vegetable beef soup, washed a pile of dishes, tossed in a load of laundry, and spent most of the day watching CNN. I can't decide if I'm going to watch more CNN tonight, or my usual Big Brother 9.

Isn't life boring without work? That said, I'm eagerly awaiting my NO SCHOOL call from HQ. And it's time to go fire up the cauldron.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Snap Snot

That title has nothing to do with this post, other than it's the first thing I read this morning on my work email, and it set me to chuckling before the first bell. Somebody was planning to step into some classrooms and take a 'snapshot', but some freakish Freudian slip resulted in a 'snap snot' moment instead.

Ahem. The promised sleet storm did not roll in until 3:00. That is just wasteful. I was yearnin' for an early out. Oh, but get this! Everything for the students after school was canceled. The sports practices, the mandatory tutoring, the academic team match, the spelling bee. But we had a faculty meeting until 3:40. Here's what that says to me: Students are precious. Teachers are expendable. Perhaps I should stop listening to those voices in my head.

Once I rounded up my kids, turned off my computers and made a pit stop, it was 4:00. The sleet she was a-fallin'. In fact, the slopey parking lot was covered with her round slicky goodness. The boys had gone on to the LSUV while I locked up. The #1 son had started the car. "It's all over the car!" he proclaimed like a true Einstein, though in my mind I thought of him as more of a Sherlock. Like his father, he had turned up the heater full blast before the engine was warm. I asked him why he was blowing the cold air around. "You're freezing The Pony! You know he has no body fat." The boy looked at me, then at his brother in the back seat. "Oh, I'm not freezing him." He pointed at the rear controls. He had not even turned on the back seat blowers. Believe me, he was NOT doing it to be kind.

I stopped before I got all the way out of the parking lot to make #1 flap the windshield wipers and knock off that skin of ice that had grown on them. I scratched at my side mirror. The boy had the bright idea to reach out and clean HIS side mirror while I was driving about 30 mph. Bad idea for Sherlock Einstein. He lost the feeling in his fingers for a good 20 minutes. Not that it was any of my concern. That boy tries to win a Darwin Award on a daily basis.

The roads were by no means clear. There was a layer of sleet on even the main roads, with car tracks to follow. We came across a tractor trailer truck off the road at the Chinese restaurant where we lost Mabel one year. I don't know if he hit his brakes to avoid traffic, or if he was trying to pull out of the Dominos Pizza mini-lot. Whatever the cause, he had run the passenger-side tires of his cab off the road, and his whole rig was canted at quite an angle. I would say 45 degrees, but it wasn't that much, so it was more like 30 degrees from the vertical axis, or 60 degrees from the horizontal axis, whichever floats your boat. This is why Mabel is the math teacher and not me.

The creeks were up, and we skated across the big low-water bridge with the water lapping a mere 4 inches from the top. Another 5 minutes, and we would have had to drive 8 miles out of the way for our Emergency Route Number Three. I did not even plan on the Number Two, which turned out to be a good thing, because that bridge would have given us the ol' heave-ho and flipped us upside down in the creek quicker than Teddy Kennedy on a date with Mary Jo Kopechne.

Nothing goes down better on a cold, sleety day than a big bucket o' Hot & Sour Soup. We called HH and convinced him to pick it up for us. To repay him, we salted the steps to the Mansion porch so he would not fall down and break his crown. And maybe spill the precious soup.

I have already gotten my NO SCHOOL call for tomorrow, have a belly full of Hot & Sour Soup, and am living high on the hog. With my fingers crossed that the power doesn't go out.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

We've Lost Our Title

Aww, shucks! Missouri is no longer the Meth Capital of the U.S. California has stolen our thunder. Oh, we still have the MOST meth labs. But CA is outproducing us. Like 50 to 1. Who knew those Californians were so productive?

The forecast calls for rain changing to sleet and snow Monday night. We've already missed 10 days of school this year. What's another one? The Pony's regional spelling bee thingy is Monday night. This is the third scheduling, methinks. He wants to get it over with. The #1 son missed his while he was gone to the conference with me. A girl from his school placed 4th. It makes me wonder how he would have done, what with winning the whole shebang at his school. He doesn't seem to mind. He got a cool plaque for winning, anyway. All The Pony got was a piece of paper with the date and time of the next contest.

I don't care if we get another day off. We really need to go to school so my students can work on their science projects. Especially the ones who want to enter the Science Fair at a local college. I'm afraid they won't have time to complete their entry forms and meet the deadline. I have some students who are not getting the message about a science project. They think a model of a volacano will suffice. Or a report on the evils of demon chew. They can not grasp the concept of The Scientific Method. I will have to pound it into their heads every single day until the project is due. The chew boys, upon being told that they must design a procedure and actually TEST some aspect of their idea, replied that they would chew different brands to "see which was best". I told them that is NOT ACCEPTABLE, which means I will not accept it. So they said one of them would give it to his uncle, because he's not very healthy anyway. These two little critters better knock it off. I don't know how to make it clearer, unless it is to have the principal call them in and 'explain'. I am planning to email one's mother. I think she would like to know.

My boy finished his 'experimentation' stage. I don't like the sound of that. Anyhoo...all he needs to do now is write it up and make his graphs and put together his display. Without his absent partner.

Speaking of that #1 son, he is at this moment being a Guitar Hero, and the sound is driving me crazy. Pardon me while I put an end to the concert.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I'd Rather Be At Work

Today was the day for the #1 son to do his science project. The project that I didn't want him to have a partner for, but he insisted. The plan was for Partner to arrive at 10:00 a.m. and stay until 12:00 noon. The boys have a bowling league on Saturdays, and this would still leave time for bowling. The Partner was responsible for bringing three styrofoam coolers and a cardboard can of salt. We, on the other hand, bought a thermometer, 36 cans of Pepsi, 3 bags of ice, and the display board. I planned to go to town and get back with the ice at 10:15. That's because we don't have room for 3 bags of ice in the freezer, and it was 60 degrees today.

We offered to go get Partner, who lives in the other direction past school, but he declined. He said his mom would bring him. We offered to meet Partner in town, and let the #1 son ride with his mom to show them how to get to the Mansion, which is off the beaten track. Then they could have things set up and ready for the ice. Partner said no, his mom would bring him. He looked up our address on the innernets, and said he knew the way, and that it would take 42 minutes from his house. This morning at 9:15, I told #1 to call Partner and see if he needed directions. There was no answer.

I left for town as planned, and sent The Pony to the BARn with HH, who had gone over there at 8:20, saying he was going to sort his fishing lures. On my way to town, I saw that HH's #1 son was parked in the middle of the BARn field. At 9:35, my #1 son called to tell me that Partner had just left his house.

Upon arriving home with the precious ice at 10:15, I asked the #1 son where Partner was. He called. The Partner was in The Devil's Playground. I left the ice in the back of the LSUV, swaddled like true Ice Babies in our winter coats. At 10:40, the #1 son again called Partner, who stated he was just leaving the Playground. The #1 son went to the BARn to get a 5-gallon thingy to put some water in. HH picked a fight with him and told him to get out. I know, because I was on the phone with #1 when it happened. HH had his fishing lures all over the table that was to be used to do the experiment. How it takes 2 and a half hours to sort lures I'll never know. It must have something to do with rummaging about upstairs at the back of the BARn, which is what The Pony said they did while HH's oldest son was there. After the scuffle, #1 was quite upset and declared that he was not doing any science project, and that the Partner could just go back home. Which was my opinion, but the Partner had just bought the stuff, and wasn't even here yet.

The #1 son's phone rang, and he refused to answer. I told Partner that #1 didn't want to do the project any more. He said, "Here, talk to my mom." Great. They always put me in the middle. Of course Partner's Mom was lost. Uh huh. We could have avoided this whole debacle if #1 had remained Partnerless. Or even if Partner would have listened to reason and let us pick him up. So...I tried to give PM directions, figuring that if I threatened to take the iPhone, #1 would straighten up and fly right.

At 11:10 Partner arrived. I small-talked with PM, who said, "I know they had planned two hours, but I'm not sure that will be enough time. How about if I come back at 1:00 to get him?" I told her that would be OK, but 1:00 was the time that the boys left for bowling. Just to make my point that she'd better not say 1:00 and arrive at 2:10. By 11:20, #1 had been coaxed out of the house, and loaded up the Scout to go experiment. HH had taken off around 11:00, after screaming at all of us about how HE was the boss, and not the boy. Same old HH.

So there's the tale of how I spent a miserable Saturday morning. I swear, people would suffocate without me to tell them when to breathe in, and when to breathe out.