Monday, April 28, 2008

In The Classroom

Just a few days ago, in reference to my Bubble Head posts, The Unrepentant Gallivanter commented that it's a wonder any learnin' is goin' on in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's classroom, what with all the thought bubbles floating around. In my defense, I would like to relate one particular day last week when there was a significant amount of learnin' being passed around. Not the book-learnin' kind of learnin', though. The 'school of common knowledge' learnin'.

The morning was relatively tame, as school days go. I asked my first hour class how many thought the room was too hot, how many thought it was too cold, and how many just didn't care. Then I jumped the uncaring bunch who dared raise their hands, because if they didn't care, they wouldn't have voted at all, and to me it smacked of being smart-a$es. Only not in so many words, of course.

Second hour, a girl said she told her mother that I was stalking her. Which is just plain ridiculous, because the last thing I want to do is be around these kids after the final bell releases me from their company. She is the one who announced one day, "I cut myself. But not in the Emo way." She has an odd sense of humor. Her stalking point was that I want to be like her, and try to dress like her. Which is again quite ridiculous, because I hate orange and would never wear it because it makes me look like a corpse. But I didn't tell her that, because you never know when somebody's relative has just died, and that 'corpse' comment would seem callous if they knew the meaning of 'callous' OR 'corpse'.

During the same hour, a girl complained that she was cold. Too bad, so sad. It was 73 degrees. I took one look at her flip flops and barely-fingertip-length shorts and barely two-inch-wide strapped tank top, and announced, "Then wear some clothes." She took it well. We are sympatico. She borrowed a navy blue hoodie, and within 15 minutes announced, "It's hot in here." The boy behind her, a former Extortionist in the Great Hall Pass Caper, declared, "Then take your clothes off." He immediately heard what he had said, turned red, and stammered, "That's not the way I meant it to come out."

The day went downhill from there. At the lunch table, my cousin-the-language-teacher had to comment on my food. She does this pretty regularly, and I would be offended if I didn't know her motive. I think she secretly wishes she had MY food, instead of what is in front of her, which lately has been Lean Cuisine type frozen meals. I, on the other hand, have such delicious fare as Southern Fried Breast Fillets from the freezer section of The Devil's Playground. She leaned over to me, eyed my breast fillet, and said, "You know, that would be really good with Aloe Vera sauce." Hmpf! Why all the hate, Cuz? Even her stammering statement of "I meant to say Alfredo sauce" was not enough to bury the hatchet.

So I did what any self-respecting teacher of freshmen would do, and told my class right after lunch that their language teacher had tried to poison me. That guaranteed her three classes of students quizzing her on why she had attempted murder with Aloe Vera during lunch. Heh, heh. (Insert George Bush laugh and smirk here).

After lunch, the Waldo kid complained that his mp3 was missing. It had been missing since first hour the day before. That's his MO lately. Waldo himself doesn't disappear and pop up again--his belongings do. His wallet, his cell phone, his glasses name it, he's 'lost' it. His buddy announced, "A missing mp3 is like a missing child. It is gone." All the kids looked at me. "That's cold." But Buddy stood by his statement. "It's never coming back. Just like that show 'The First 48'. If you haven't heard anything in 48 hours, it's never coming back." Which left us all thinking of an mp3 in a shallow grave somewhere.

Then I let a kid go to the bathroom, and when he came back in the room, he said, "Not to be rude or anything, but this room smells all fresh-like. Normally it doesn't, but something smells very fresh and clean." To which I replied, "That's just my breath."

Thank you. I'll be here all week.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Guess What Time It Is

I hate my email. I have been refusing to open it for several weeks now. It takes too gosh-darn long to load, and to go from page to page. It used to be just fine, until my internet provider decreed that everybody had to use this new system. Now I despise it. I hope there's nothing important in there. Last time, I missed my three-month billing statement by about three weeks. They didn't shut me down. Better late than never, I suppose. I also suppose that I could go with another provider, or get high-speed instead of this tin-can-and-twine dial-up. But that would mean CHANGE. And we old midwestern typical white people cling to what we know.

Twenty days of school left. Four more duty days, and one more lunch duty week. We're on the downhill slide to the playground of summer. I have set several goals for myself, which include cleaning the Mansion from top to bottom, getting up before 8:30, feeding the kids three times a day, lifeguarding at Poolio, walking around the Mansion grounds daily, not watching two hours of ER every day, and getting a good working plan for next year's lessons organized. We'll see what develops. My summer plans are sometimes like so many New Year's resolutions. Oh, and I want to ride the old people's bus to the casino a couple times a month.

This week, we have The Pony's field trip to an underground mine (um...aren't they ALL underground?), The Pony's Field Day, and a clandestine dinner engagement with my old Lower Basementia buddy. We have to go in secret to ditch our big-eared offspring. Some end-of-the-year gossip is not for the small fry.

Next week is a field trip for #1 son's Beta Club, and his Top 10 Percent Academic Banquet. They happen to fall on the same day. Nothing will do but that BOTH HH and I attend. I thought one would suffice. Tickets are $8 apiece. That's a lot of gambling money! He did blow off the Athletic Banquet, where he would have gotten something for Academic Team. I didn't shed any tears over that one.

I have turned in my requisitions for next year. Whether I actually get what I've asked for remains to be seen. My inventory is done and ready for check-out day. I need to gather up my A+ core competency data, and mark my calendar for Freshman Orientation night. After that, there's not much left to do except collect the textbooks and find somewhere to store them.

The school year is almost over, you know.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Random Thought Saturday

It doesn't have the same ring to it as "Random Thought Thursday," but it will do in a pinch.

HH says he spent 4 hours mowing the grounds of the Mansion today. I don't know what takes so long on a riding mower. And he had the #1 son pushing around a thingy that looks like an a garden tiller, but is supposedly a weedeater. HH really needs to sharpen his blade. It looks like he combs the grass instead of cutting it.

The dogs had a feast of freezer food today. Food that just sits there, unwanted, until it has freezer burn. For example, a box of Gorton's Beer Battered Fish Fillets. Seems like right after I bought them and fed two to HH, there was a big flap about a recall and some kind of food poisoning. I didn't tell HH, but observed him more closely than usual to see if he pulled through. Then I forgot about the Gorton's, and today I threw them out on the back porch. The doggie Ann, who must have some Lab coursing through her Shepherd veins, stacked up three of them and stalked off to eat in privacy, without the Beagle hounding her. That dog is an eating machine. The old dog, Grizzly, just lets out a growl and lunges, and all the other animals scatter. There's a pecking order, you know.

There is absolutely nothing on TV tonight. I will be forced to read. That's OK. I have finished my book about the conjoined twins who were joined at the head and lived in Canada with an immigrant father and a nurse mother who adopted them as babies. It was fiction, entitled 'The Girls', in case anyone is interested, which I sincerely doubt. Now I am on Primary Colors, which has been sitting on my shelf for a couple years, so long that the author is no longer 'Anonymous'. I loved the movie, and what with a Clinton running for president again, I thought it was time to revisit the thinly-veiled fictional account of my man Bill's run for office.

I am listening to a bit of an eclectic playlist on New Delly. First we had Pink and the Indigo Girls with 'Dear Mr. President', followed by the Jackson 5 with 'I Want You Back', Dusty Springfield with 'It Goes Like It Goes' (the theme from Norma Rae, because I like it, I really like it, and they didn't have the version that I wanted available for download), Carly Simon with 'Let the River Run' from Working Girls, Crosby, Stills & Nash with 'Southern Cross', and a double dose of George Michael with 'Faith' and 'One More Try'. Not that I'm a George Michael fan, but 'Faith' is catchy, and 'One More Try' was something I heard many years ago when figure skater Debi Thomas skated to it after some Olympic thingy, and it took me forever to figure out what the song was. Now we're headed for Tracy Chapman and her 'Fast Car', Reba McEntire coming along 'One Promise Too Late', Steve Winwood 'Back in the High Life Again', and then some 70's One-Hit Wonders. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's playlist: where old music goes to die.

HH and the boys just returned from General Custard's ice cream stand. They brought me some chocolate custard, which is quite refreshing. Sorry. I'm blowing you off in favor of a frozen treat. It ain't a Frosty Malt, my dear friend BeanO, but it'll do.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I suppose you all know what this means. It's not an expression we use much around Hillmomba. SSDD. I did not even know what it meant until several years ago, when I read it in Stephen King's Dreamcatchers. A book which did not entrance me, by the way. When the most memorable things about it are the expressions 'SSDD' and 'sh*t weasels', the author has missed his mark. Oh, and in case you live near Hillmomba, and are not much of a reader, SSDD stand for 'same sh*t, different day'. You're welcome.

This was my roundabout way of telling you not to get your hopes up for an exciting barn-burner of a blog post. I don't have the raw material with which to work. I fear that I am even losing my desire to end sentences with prepositions.

The #1 son has gone to a boy/girl birthday party that is supposed to last from 7:00 to midnight. What were the parents thinking? I know that my boy is not staying until midnight. 9:30 will have to suffice. He chose that time on his own. I told him that I'd better not hear any rumors about him or the party. I have heard a-plenty about these kinds of shindigs. I certainly hope there is close supervision. I wouldn't want any of the kids 'punished with a baby'. You wouldn't believe what goes on at these things. I don't want to know what goes on. I have heard more than I ever want to hear. My boy assured me that "She is a really religious girl. She is always wearing 'Jesus' T-shirts. We're all responsible kids. We're the best-behaved ones in school." I asked him about a specific kid. "I can't believe that he's one of the most responsible." #1 thought for a moment. "Well...he's in the top 20." That's certainly a rousing endorsement.

Now here's a dirty little secret. I was told by a student who accompanied one of these kids on a trip that the kid asked some older students to buy him a Victoria's Secret thong. I have no idea what plans he had for the thong. But if a kid this age thinks about owning his own thong, somebody needs to be a-chaperoning that party.

The Pony and I are holding down the Mansion. HH drove #1 to the gala affair, and planned to stay in town somewhere to save on gas. That's the state of the economy, people. The Hillbillies are conscious of how much gas they are putting into their LSUVs.

We are in a recession. But I just might take my Bush money and my tax refund money and use it to pay the taxes on a new LSUV. Not to stimulate the economy, or to keep up with the Joneses, but to get myself to work and back. My current LSUV is on its last legs. Every day, the 'service engine soon' light mocks me. Something is wrong in the fuel filter or fuel line, because the old gray SUV surges and slightly stalls when she pleases. The brakes have been squealing for a year, ever since HH 'fixed' them, and now they don't completely grab. It runs half-way to hot, even when the weather is cool. The clock/radio power shuts itself down during the school day, so that when I come out after school, it is 9:30 a.m. with no tunes. The dadblasted thingy is going to blow sky-high one of these days. Something is amiss. My LSUV is a 2001. This is 2008. This is the oldest car I have ever driven.

I'm ready for a change.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tap Tap Tapping

Random Thought Thursday has been pre-empted tonight in favor of Tales From The Grip (of the Supernatural).

So, on Tuesday night, after watching the Pennsylvania Primary results, I went to bed around 11:00. I made a stop to cover The Pony, because he gets his SpongeBob comforter in a wad. It was across the bed sideways, with most of it hanging down on the floor. I lifted it up and kind of folded it across The Pony so as not to awaken him. Then I went across the hall to #1's room to turn off his TVs. I don't know why he has two. He bought one with his allowance money way back when, and has one on the floor and one on a stand. It's like watching TV at The Devil's Playground, the same show on two screens at once. Then I trekked to the other end of the Mansion and climbed into bed. I assumed my usual position, lying on my left side with my back to HH. That way, he can't breathe his cold germy breather air in my ear.

I had a vivid dream about working in some office building, and there was the color red, and maybe something about a sports car. I'm not sure, because I was awakened at 2:10 a.m. by three fingers tapping three times on the right side of my neck. I startled awake, thinking that I had overslept, and HH was waking me up when his alarm went off. I reached back to knock his hand away, and nothing was there. HH had his back to me, breathing away in his breather. I even heard the hint of a snore, which doesn't happen nearly as much now that he has the breather. My cold, cold heart was pounding. I got up. I checked the time. I went to look in on The Pony, because whenever I wake up for no reason, I think something must be wrong. The Pony is my target, because that's how I found him having an allergic reaction to amoxicillin when he was 1 (and had to rush him to the hospital), how I found him in his little car bed when he was 4, lying on his back with fresh vomit pumping out of his mouth. Kids. Life's greatest joy. But I digress.

When I looked in on The Pony, he had turned over. His comforter was spread out picture perfect. Not sideways. Not a wrinkle to be found. He looked like he was sleeping in a made bed.

Something is fishy in this Mansion.

Last Sunday, The Pony came down with a headache, and vomited around 6:00 p.m. Then he fell into a deep sleep on the couch. I let him sleep there all night. I got up on time, took my shower, and reared the recliner back at 5:00 a.m. for my hour morning nap. I heard walking in the hall between the boys' rooms. The bathroom is right there. Normally, I tell myself that it is The Pony getting up to use the bathroom. But The Pony was snoozing right there in the living room on the couch. I tried to imagine that it was #1, but he has to be hauled out of bed kicking and screaming at 6:15. And I heard him turn over and whack an appendage on his red metal bed frame. The walking continued. I did not open my eyes. It finally stopped.

Something is OH SO FISHY.

Head Bubble Head

Something odd happened to me last night. Something kind of...eerie. Kind of paranormal. But I'm not talking about it now. You'll have to check it out tomorrow, or Friday, or whenever I get around to it. By then, it will not seem like much. That's fair warning.

Tonight, I am giving equal time to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's thought bubbles. What does she really think as she minds her pupils day in and day out? And can it be said that the majority of teachers feel this way? Or is Mrs. HM an anomaly? How many other teachers even know what anomaly means? You won't find the answers to many of those questions here, but read on.

I'm not ready.
Why do you crowd in here at the stroke of the bell?
Don't you have a life?
Get back!
Why do you creep forward like that?
Your desk is closer to the whiteboard than MY desk.
Drop it. Do not pick up that stapler if you're not using it.
Hey! Your backpack just wiped out that box of Kleenex.
That's because that other Creeper closed up the aisle.
Stop fishing for answers.
Cut the cord, baby. Look it up.
No. Don't even stand up.
Will this interminable class ever end?
Sure. You'll turn it in tomorrow. Sure.
Why do I give you time to ask questions?
You're not cute. I don't want to hear it.
Stop saying 'fag'. Now I'm going to have to tell you out loud.
I don't have change for a dollar.
I don't have gum.
Ask a real question and I'll help you.
What is the answer? is not a real question.
Can you get any more annoying?
I am tired of entertaining you.
Why does this room smell like old farts?
Don't take the bait.
Buy your own school supplies. I lose a pencil a day.
You'd better give that back.
If they would start checking lunch cards again, I'd hold yours for ransom.
I don't care.
No. Don't start one of your boring stories.
They never end.
Just nod. Pretend to be listening while you record scores.
Get away. Separate. You're practically doing it right there at the desk.
Now I have to tell you, which will make everybody look.
New rule. Must leave one empty desk between lovebirds.
I wonder what's on Google about the elections.
New girl? What's the point? Only 22 days left.
Everybody show off now, so tomorrow we can work.
You amuse me. I like a good laugh. Without being disrespectful.
Stop taking advantage. Your class is not fun. Too may shoulder chips.
Find your book. I don't loan them. Do without. It's homework.
Stop acting like kids. Settle down.
I have a captive audience for my stand-up routine.
For 3 hours a day. The other 3 should be held captive until they're 18.
I'm glad I'm not your mama.
Plan time is for planning. Or for reading Google News.
Not for you to drop in for work you have missing. Do it on time.
I hate 6th hour plan time.
If you've failed this subject twice, how can I reach you?
I am not a miracle worker.
I am short-changing the foreign exchange student.
She will get over it.
I hate this duty.
Not so much the duty, as that my group stuck me with it.
They don't have it before AND after school.
I am such a malcontent.
That's how I roll.

Time to burst my bubble.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Balloon Heads

Bet you didn't know that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not only psychic, but is also a bona fide mindreader. YES I AM! I know what you're thinkin'. Don't try to fool me. Why, just today, as I was working through some problems calculating WORK, POWER, and MECHANICAL ADVANTAGE on my whiteboard, I looked out upon my students and perceived a multitude of thought bubbles rising from their knowledge-thirsting heads. They went a little something like this:

I thought this was SCIENCE.
What time does this class get out?
Who cares?
When will I ever need this?
I have no idea what she's talking about.
It's too cold in here.
Somebody stinks.
Where is Skipper? He has been skipping a lot lately.
You could get high off those markers.
What's for lunch?
Why doesn't she shut up?
I'm going to copy if this is on the test.
Purple is the prettiest color.
Looks like a tornado coming.
It's too hot in here.
Somebody wrote on my desk.
Don't look at me. Don't call on me.
Is it only Tuesday?
If she lets me go to the bathroom, I can text.
Even those stories about her kids are better than THIS.
Am I passing?
Does anybody have some gum?
That purse is ugly.
I hate this class.
Did she wear that shirt four days in a row?
I need to ask Mr. S if he has some extra rope.
If I buy a pencil with my $5 bill, I will have change for a soda.
That doesn't make any sense.
I'm going to guess if it's multiple choice.
Twenty-three days left.
I wish I could put up my hood and listen to music.
This sucks.
I really could be doing my Algebra right now.
I'm glad I brought my library book.
Why does she bother?
Does she color her hair?
Why can't we watch a movie?

Teaching. A rewarding career.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Kingdom For A Screwdriver

An actual screwdriver, not that drink with orange juice and vodka. I am not a drinkin' woman, and besides, orange was acidic the last time I checked, and it gives me heartburn.

I need a screwdriver because HH has a screw loose.

The boys and I arrived home around 5:15, after getting the shaggy #1 son a haircut, and picking up medicine for The Pony and me. There went HH, scooting across the front yard in his little red Scout. And it looked like he had a passenger. #1 said it was The Veteran. I didn't think so. There was no evidence of The Veteran's truck at the Mansion or the BARn. So I sent the boy running after the Scout to check out the scam. He returned to say that it was NOT The Veteran, but a man. A man HH introduced as our neighbor. We only have two actual neighbors. The one next door we have known for 15 years. The new one across the road who bought The LandStealer's place was here last week. The boy described him as "Kind of a homeless-looking man, without a shirt, driving a lawnmower and smoking a cigarette." Uh huh. Those Seinfeld characters have nothing on us. We can spin a description as colorful as 'Humpty Dumpty with a melon head' and 'Big wall of hair, face like a frying pan' and 'Horse face, flaring nostrils'.

No, this visitor was neither neighbor. The more the boy described him, the more I just KNEW it was The Shootist. Yeah. HH brought his sworn enemy to tour the Mansion grounds. The guy who got locked up overnight and had to post bond and hire a lawyer. The guy who threatened to shoot HH, and it ended up costing him $1500. Or $2500. I forget. I hope HE has.

Too bad the only screwdrivers are in the possession of HH.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

HM Offends More Catholics

I spent the morning watching the Pope extravaganza on FOX news network. Yeah. I know it's got a bad reputation for news, but the Pope was more real-looking on that channel. MSNBC had him kind of washed out, with a reddish tint. Perhaps it was my reception.

Please keep in mind that HM does not have a religious bone in her body. She is ignorant in all things spiritual, and does not plan to purposely offend anyone. But it could happen. Is likely to happen, in fact. So be prepared.

My, oh my! What a big production this Mass was! It was fancier than a Clinton Inaugural Ball. I must say, St. Patrick's Cathedral was magnificent. But the more I watched, the more questions and concerns popped into my head. First of all, there were a lot of old people at that Mass. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I AM a rider of the old people casino bus, you know. But those old people were standing for a really long time. Didn't their feet hurt? Or their knees? Or their sacroiliacs? Maybe they took some Advil in advance. I was worried that one of them might drop.

The fellows behind the Pope intrigued me. I figured they were pretty high-ups in the Church, to be allowed so close to the Pope. One of them right behind him looked like he was having an anxiety attack, or was really nervous, or was overcome with emotion. At one point, he wiped at his eye. It might have been a tear. It might have been an eye boogie. In any case, he wiped it with his INDEX finger. No flippin' the bird behind the Pope. If you know what I mean, Mr. Smarty Pants BObama.

Next on my concern list was that choir director guy. I call him that because he was wearing that dark smock like the singers, and he stepped up to the microphone every so often to sing out. Other people were taking turns stepping up to his microphone, saying their piece, and stepping away. One lady took too long for Mr. Big Important Choir Director's liking. He grabbed her by her upper arm area, and kind of set her aside. That is not fair, manhandling the women. I know this is not the Episcopal church, and perhaps women are not what Mr. Big Important Choir Director consider his equal, but don't go manhandling one on world-wide TV. That woman looked a bit out of place anyway. She was wearing something like a black business suit, with a skirt, of course, but she was not in a nun's habit or a monk's robe or any of the variety of garb I observed as religiousy. But she got to approach the Pope and kneel at his feet and give him a gift and get a rosary in return.

The Pope got stuff ready for communion at a table with what looked like a golden laptop computer on it. I'm sure it was a case that carried something holy, but it looked like a golden laptop to the Hillbilly family. There was a fancy schmancy pimp cup full of wine, which sure wasn't Baptist grape juice, by cracky! The Pope had a big ol' communion wafer compared to those he was giving the others. His must have been twice their size. Good thing my kids weren't a part of the proceedings. I can hear it now. "How come HE got a big one? I want one like that. It's not faiiiiir!" Here's what I don't understand. Some people let the Pope put the communion wafer on the tongue. Others took wafers in their hands and put them on their own tongues. Not that anyone had more than one tongue, of course, but I had to use the plural to go with the other plurals. You can bet that if I got all the way to a big production of such significance, I would let the Pope put the wafer on my tongue. How could you not?

The most disturbing thing I saw was during the recessional or procession out, or whatever you call it. The Pope had bodyguards in black suits. I've heard that these are U.S. Secret Service men, not people from the Vatican. Perhaps they were not briefed thoroughly, or perhaps they had an attitude of 'No Pope-stabbers on MY watch!'. There was His Holiness, walking down the aisle, with people reaching out to him. The majority minded their manners. But a small (and I do mean small) group of tiny nuns started to rush the Pope. There were four or five of them, itty bitty nuns, reaching out. AND THE MEN IN BLACK SUITS STIFF-ARMED THEM BACK INTO THE CROWD!!! That is not right. It could have been done more gently. They were old. They were diminutive. It upset me. Later, the commentator said they were from the order Little Sisters of the Poor, which Mother Teresa had something to do with in India. That made me wonder if one has to be tiny to belong to the Little Sisters. Because they were all under five feet tall, from the looks of them. Later on down the aisle, a single one of them had crept out, on her knees, and looked up at the Pope. He stopped for a minute and blessed her, or some such thing, because he reached out to her, and the Black Suits didn't stop it. I was relieved.

That Popemobile was a sweet ride! It's too bad we have to put the Pope under glass so that no crazy can kill him. I'm not very religious, but if anybody is going to Hell, it's going to be a Popekiller.

I would bet my gambling money on that.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm All Shook Up

Not really. Seems there was an earthquake this morning in Illinois the did some damage in St. Louis and even a neighboring county. None here. That I am aware of. I didn't even feel it, consciously.

I have a Little Ben alarm clock that malfunctions frequently. Ben has been quite contrary lately. He is set to go off at 4:10 a.m. It used to be 4:20, but I need the extra time to pack The Pony's lunch. Ben kept mum this morning. I woke myself up, saw that is was past time, made a stop in the bathroom, then went to the kitchen to take medicine. The microwave clock told me it was 4:41. Mmmhmm. That earthquake must have been what woke me up at 3:37. But I don't recall. I was dreaming about riding the short bus. Not a really short bus, more like a three-quarters bus, and it slid downhill because of a freakish late snow, and stopped short of a plank that acted as a bridge across a shallow lake filled with old bottles. Don't go lookin' in your dream analysis books, people. I already did. The result was not flattering.

Anyhoo, no damage here, but down by HH's old St. Louis plant, a bridge started falling apart a little bit on Kingshighway near Shaw and Vandeventer. Sucks to work in the city, I suppose. The kids were afraid we would end up in the drink on the way to school. We only cross 5 bridges. But they know as well as I that MODOT does not lavish tender loving care on our infrastructure. I am pleased to report that we survived.

So I can complain another day.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Random Thought Thursday 4/17/08

Tra la la, zip-a-dee-do-dah! I'm feeling much better after the bad noodle. I even tried the BBQ pork sandwich from the cafeteria today, and it stayed neutral in my digestive tract. So, on with more random thoughts...

HH is the biggest grown baby to walk the earth. He came home sick yesterday with a double ear infection. To hear him tell it, he had to lie down on the floor at work, and they sent him home. Oh, he was well enough to drive 40 miles. Well, he probably shouldn't have, but he did. The doctor gave him some pack of pills to take over several days, though it wasn't a Z-Pack. It said right on the outside of the pack, 'Take with food if nausea occurs.' Today, HH said he thinks he's better, because he's not dizzy, but he feels sick to his stomach. So I suggested taking his pills with food. "Oh. I might try that." DUH. I need to leave him a note telling him to 'breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, etc.' Oh, and he told my mom he'll go to work tomorrow, but an hour later told me that he thinks he'll stay home another day.

The Pony got an award from the school board tonight for his Spelling Bee participation.

Somebody who has been mean to me for years has a bee in her bonnet because she thinks I don't like her. News flash: life is not a popularity contest.

I have not been to The Devil's Playground for three days.

Kids can be so cruel! Today, the classroom next to me erupted with intermittent shouts and cheering while my kids took a test. One asked, "What are they DOING in there?" Hmm...Spanish is taught in that room. And American Sign Language. So I said, "I think they are whacking a pinata. But no. My little joke could not be appreciated, because the girl who won't tell me 'bless you' when I sneeze, even though she tells everybody else, had to say, "It's Sign Language first hour." So I said, "Oh. Then instead of cheering, they should be going..." And I threw up my arms and opened my mouth. Silently. Two of them laughed. I told one how much that meant to me, her humoring my jokes. Then the other one said, "Actually, it's just that stupid face you made." And the first one said, "Yeah. It was mainly your face." OOOOHH! Like a knife through my heart, these kids hurt my self-esteem. (Not really. I like a good joke. It passes the time. Time during which I am not blessed when my heart stops when I sneeze.)

My thoughts can be OH SO RANDOM.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm Somewhat Ill

I think I got a bad noodle. All afternoon, I have not been well. The school lunch of cheeseburger mac, green beans, hot rolls, and chocolate milk looked pretty good at my regular lunch time of 10:53. It even tasted good going down. But by 1:00, that elbow macaroni was trying to elbow its way out of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's belly. By any exit available. If you know what I mean.

Those of you who are not teachers do not quite understand the seriousness of this issue. You can not simply walk out of a class and leave the responsible youth of America unattended. Something untoward might occur. A poster may fall off the wall and slice somebody's jugular. Pencils might stab. And what about that kid one time who fell out of his desk right in front of me? OK, there were two of those, years apart. One poor fellow had an epileptic seizure because he hadn't taken his medicine in five days. The other had taken too much of some medicine that was not his and was not permitted at school, so he earned himself a 180 day vacation. Oh, and I certainly don't want some girl turning up pregnant and claiming, "Well, remember that time that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom left us alone in the classroom for 5 minutes...?"

I managed to stop the mass exodus from one of the exits. Use your imagination. I even made the other evacuation orderly and timely, at the beginning and end of my planning period. But after school I was so miserable that I did not even stop for PowerBall tickets. I could not even drive my spawn through McDonald's. I had to send the young 'uns in to buy food at the counter. I refused to even eat the pickle out of The Pony's cheeseburger.

Upon arriving at the Mansion, I grabbed a Yu-gi-0h blanket and reclined in the recliner, even though the ambient temperature struck 74 degrees. After watching some Popely footage on the news networks, I gathered strength enough to open a can of soup. Not the Slow Cooked Roast With Mushrooms. Sweet Gummi Mary! The mere thought of that makes my stomach flip. No, I tried the Chunky Sirloin Burger With Country Vegetables. It is minding its manners so far.

I knew I should not have commented on DPA's The Cafeteria Lady Is Trying To Poison Me post. I think those cooks have an underground network.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Please Help HM Find A New Hobby

I am bored to tears tonight. Not actual tears. Figurative tears. I suppose I could go watch some newsy TV, and find out how bitter I am, or how typical, or how much I should finally be proud of my country. Perhaps I can catch a glimpse of Hillary pandering to the small-town folks, throwing back a shot and a beer, a disjointed boilermaker with the boilermakers. I'm not sure why she is the only one pandering. Didn't I see BObama sipping a beer in a bar just the other day? Silly me. I guess he had good reason, perhaps to put those Muslim rumors to rest. But how does that explain his bowling excursion while wearing dress slacks and a tie? Is this one of his hobbies? What is he, a regular Dick Weber? And that visit to a dairy farm, where he refused to wear the paper booties so as not to spread disease, but instead brought a pair of brand-new boots? What's up with that? He promotes condoms so girls won't be 'punished with a baby', yet refuses to even wear paper booties over his shoes? I smell a rat. Did he earn some of his millions on a dairy farm? I'm not understanding this pandering logic.

Do any of you even care about this election? Have you give up hope? Have you looked into the websites of the candidates? Here's what I have noticed. The comments on BObama's site run along the lines of, "OMG, you guys, let's get that survey up to 50%. Did you know that if you change your password, and delete your cookies, it will let you vote more than once because it doesn't recognize you?" Oh, and today, one of the commenters said that Hillary should have 'kicked Bill to the curve'. Ooh, that's cold! Imagine how much more of a kickin' Bill would have received than if it was only to the curb! On Hillary's site, there is a thingy called the Fact Hub, which consists mainly of things that BObama has said that are not true, and explanations to things BObama has criticized Hillary for. I must confess that I have not tried to find John McCain's site. I'm thinking it might just be some tear-off paper thingies posted on a corkboard in a cafeteria somewhere.

I need a hobby. TV ain't what it used to be.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Perturbing With HM

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a bit perturbed. Yes, that's a stretch, isn't it, but play along. She went to make copies during her plan time for the class that comes right after. She's like that. Why do anything ahead of time that you can put off until the last minute, she asks. At least she's not as bad as the teacher who always signed up for chaperone duty at the last dance of the year. "You never know what could happen by then," she said. But getting back to Mrs. HM, because it IS all about HER, you know...the copier was busy. Not like it had a planner, and was scheduled for meetings every 30 minutes, or was writing the Great American Copier Novel, or was gossiping with its BFF the FAX machine down the hall. Busy. Like, printing out 85 sets of some such thing sent via computer from somebody's room busy. And it was only serving #17.

So Mrs. HM went back to her room to grade a class of science assignments and a class of math assignments, and look at what she plans to do tomorrow 1st-4th hours, and write on the board some information vital to what she THOUGHT was going to be today's 7th hour assignment. And what to her wondering eyes should appear (wondering, not wandering--Mrs. HM does not have a wonky eye. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Forest Whitaker has done pretty well with that Wanderer of his, even though HM does hold a grudge against him, what with him playing that character on ER who tried to kill sweet, sweet Luka, even though in real life he is kind of a lowlife, what with having that unwedlocked baby with a Croatian woman while he was married to a regular wife, and allegedly having a simultaneous affair with his co-star who shall not be named, but if you watch ER I'm sure you know who I'm talkin' about, wink, wink. The real Luka, not Forest Whitaker. I don't know if Forest has any Croatian babies or mistresses.) but a colleague at the classroom door holding a sheaf of papers. Does anybody actually used that term any more? Sheaf? It seems so black-and-white-TVish.

With the sheaf waving under her nose, Mrs. HM was asked, "Did you print these? Because the copier was really jammed up, and this is what I got out of it." To which Mrs. HM replied, in no uncertain terms, "No. I do not use the copier for a printer. I use my own printer, then go copy it. That is not mine." What she wanted to add, was, "I do not copy large amounts of worksheets from my room. It disrupts people who walk all the way to the teacher workroom to run copies. From my room, I do not know if the copier is jammed. I do not know if the copier is out of paper. I do not know if somebody came in and just needs ONE copy, in a hurry, which I could stop for."
I have no idea whose copies those were, but they were running when I went in to make copies. At least 17 of them had run.

So Mrs. HM switched her plans in mid-stream, and gave some book questions instead of her reinforcement worksheet. It was about mutations, in case you care, and if you do, that's more than my students can claim. When she went back after school at the stroke of 4:20 to run the 12 paltry copies reinforcing mutations, the copier was out of toner. Toner is not stored in the teacher workroom. The office was locked up tighter than Mabel's metal cabinets full of booty such as extra-large glue sticks. So Mrs. HM went without her copies. Again.

Is this any way to run a business?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The End Is Near

My sweet, sweet, two-and-a-half days of leisure are nearing their end. HH and the #1 son will be returning from their bowling trip in about 30 minutes. I'm not exactly waiting at the front door with balloons and confetti. It was nice while it lasted. The Pony is low-maintenance. He doesn't eat much real food, which perhaps explains the 'Skeletor' physique. As long as I pour out a bowl of Froot Loops (yes, that is the official Kellogg spelling) like so much Meow Mix for the cats, he is satisfied.

Now I will have to wait on the other two hand and foot. They are basically incompetent in even the most simple tasks about the Mansion. D.B. Cooper could have tossed his loot onto the kitchen table, and it would have been safe for nigh on 35 years now. But try to hide some chocolate Hostess Donettes that are meant for The Pony's nutritional breakfast, and they will ferret them out like a championship Bloodhound Gang. Go figure.

Six more weeks of school, people. Six more Mondays. Six more parking lot duties. The school year is almost over, you know.

HH ripped the cover off Poolio last week. The 90-mph winds pulled the cover half off, so HH spent an hour with a LONG dipstick net thingy hoisting wet leaves off the silver circle, then pulled off the whole thing. Guess this means he will have to actually put fresh water in Poolio this year, instead of merely seasoning the butt-water soup of the past two seasons.

The school banquet season is in high gear. The #1 son says he has to go to the Academic Banquet and the Athletic Banquet. Surely they could count the Academic Team as scholars instead of athletes, and leave us one banquet short of a headache. But no. I told him his dad could take him. We all went last year, but I do not feel like paying $8 per ticket for food catered by the Home Ec teacher. Shh...don't let her hear that. She is all about the FACS. I would be scared if she wasn't in a wheelchair. Seems a horse rolled on her and hurt her leg. I suppose it's better than that year she fell off her rolly chair and broke her butt, and the ambulance had to come haul her away. Karma, baby. That's what you get for usurping my rightful parking spot.

I'm tired of writing. You know what that means.
The end is here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hillbilly Mom's Excellent Adventure


Oh, yeah. It was spur of the moment decision, made Friday during my 6th hour plan time. As you recall, the last time this excursion was anticipated, I got a call 30 minutes before time to leave because my aunt had contracted pneumonia or the plague or monkeypox or some such debilitating illness. Thank the Gummi Mary, the ol' gal has been taking vitamin D, and is fit as a fiddle.

HH and the #1 son are gone to a bowling tournament in Lee's Summit, so The Pony and I are having a heyday. My mom agreed to mind The Pony so I could have a day out. It began with a trip to Hardee's to await the Old People Gambling Bus. The Pony spied a short white van-bus thingy pulling out, and was afraid that it was my bus. I told him mine was not a short bus. After loading The Pony and his Lappy and a GameBoy and The Water Horse into my mom's small SUV, I called my aunt to make sure she was up and bus-bound. She gets on a stop earlier than me. All systems were GO. Shortly, a big black and red Husky bus pulled up and swept me away to a day of money-losing. I had an excellent time.

My aunt had told me that I would be the youngest one on the bus. She was right. She also bragged that when she went last week, SHE was the youngest. At 65. We all had seats to ourselves. There were three other old ladies on the bus when I boarded, plus Auntie. We tooled along the interstate for about 20 miles, then cut over to Bloody Numbered Highway. We picked up 7 more people in the next two stops, then the white-haired driver put the pedal to the metal and wove us through some Frogger-like traffic on I-270 to Harrah's. THE place to be from 12:00 to 4:00 on a Saturday when you're old. We took our little green laminated scannable bus tour thingies and raced to the bus check-in area. There, we scanned them and our player's cards for a coupon for FIVE free dollars after we gambled a bit. I also had a $20 and a $10 coupon of my own. Harrah's wants me back. Bad. Because I ignored the $12 coupon, and the insulting $7 coupon over the past couple months. Harrah's marketing director, be advised: Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will not leave her Mansion for such paltry amounts.

We scattered like Skittles dropped on a speckled-tile classroom floor, and went off to seek our fortunes. When 1:30 rolled around, I was only down $15, which was pretty good for me. I cashed out tickets for $135, $55, and $10. As you can see, my losses could have been much greater. I met Auntie for a lunch of California Club and potato soup. She was 10 minutes late, and the soup was OH SO HOT, and lunch ended up taking 45 minutes instead of the 20 I had hoped for. I had to hustle to get back to my Triple Cherry fifty-cent machine. The gosh-darn thing must have overheated, because with 15 minutes left before I had to board the bus, it jammed up good and tight with a 'communication error' message after gobbling up a $20 and giving me one spin. The fixer gal showed up quite timely, like in 20 seconds, and tickled its guts until it agreed to play with me some more. It seemed to work much better, not making me pound those buttons two or three times before spinning. Wouldn't you know...five minutes before I had to high-tail it to the big red/black Husky, it started paying again like pre-lunch. I cashed out $80 and $15, and rushed to the ticket-redeemer thingy. It didn't want to pay me. It only wanted to make change, and spit out my ticket three times. I rushed up front by the leaving chutes, where a brief wait in line netted my cash. But then I noticed that my player's card was AWOL, so I rushed back to fetch it from the jaws of Mr. Triple Cherry. I was OH SO SAD that we could not spend more quality time together. I know he wanted to give me that $21, 835 progressive jackpot. But I settled for losing less than 10 percent of my gambling stake, and I shall live to play again.

Auntie did not appear in the big rotunda area where we were to meet. The driver said he would bring up the bus at 3:45, and we would be leaving at 4:00 SHARP. At 3:50, after calling her 6 times with no answer and leaving a message, I boarded the bus. We were only missing two people. I finally got her to answer the phone. She said, "Oh. I'm inside waiting for you." Duh. She and the other MIA golden oldie hopped on, and we were off. The ride back was filled with more gossip, and our excellent adventure drew to a close.

I can't wait to go again.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Weenus Rears Its Ugly Head Again

A long time ago, on a previous blog listed somewhere on my sidebar, I spoke of the weenus. I believe it was noted in my Encyclopedia of Common Knowledge, but I'm not sure. I thought we had laid the weenus to rest. No. Today, the weenus rose again.

Let me begin by clarifying, in case you can't tell, that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is no fan of the weenus. Unlike 'knowledge', she does not have a thirst for them, nor does she yearn for them. That's a fact, Jack. This is not a real word, people! It is a made-up thingy. It is not found in anatomy books. Get over your weenuses, already!

Here's the situation, as it went down:
A boy in my class of juniors and seniors, we shall call him Chip, came in late from donating blood. I would like to think he had altruistic motives, but my common sense tells me that he wanted to get out of class and have a snack. He mentioned that he wished he had told them not to use his right arm, because it hurt. And the following hilarity ensued...

Dude, why didn't you tell them to put it in your weenus?
What's a weenus?
That skin on you elbow, where it won't hurt.
Here we go again! That's not it. Weenus is not even a real word.
It is too! Just ask Mrs. Downthehallscienceteacher. Can I go ask her?
No. Just tell her to let me know on her next trip up the hall.
Can I get on your computer and look it up?
No way. I don't want my computer to show that I've been searching for weenus.
Do you have a dictionary?
Yes. In the cabinet.
How do you spell it?
W E N I S. (That was from Chip, who had never heard of it until today.)
The tide rolls in and out.
The seasons change.
Mrs. HM grows a long white beard.

Well, I can't find weenus. But I found 'weenie'.
What does that mean? (Chip has a thirst for knowledge as well. Who knew?)
It means little bitty.
Heh heh.
That will be enough reciting from the dictionary for today.
Seriously, ask Mrs. Downthehallscienceteacher. She'll tell you.

Please, please, Sweet Gummi Mary, do not let her tell me that. Don't make me dig up some anatomy texts to point out the lack of weenus.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Random Thought Thursday 4/10/08

Thank the Gummi Mary I am home sweet home, and not displaced again at my mom's house. The rivers are on the rise again. Let the randomness begin!

I really, really don't want to overhear my students talking about a girl who didn't even know she was pregnant, and drank all the way through, and just happened to be at the doctor's office upstairs at the hospital to see why her throat was really, really sore, and went to the bathroom, where her water broke, and then got put in the hospital to deliver her baby, where she pushed so hard that it broke a blood vessel in her eye, and then when she held the baby the next day, tried to feed it a french fry and a slice of pickle. But I was glad to overhear one of the voices of reason ask, "Lucky that she just happened to be at the hospital when it her water broke. What was she planning to do, have it in the woods and not tell anybody?"

A small brown duckling, all alone in a pool of muddy water that is slowly seeping over the dastardly concrete bridge that kept me out of my Mansion last flood, is a sad, sad thing. Where is Mama Duck? Where are the ducky siblings? And why are you diving, little ducky, like there are fish in that there puddle?

Hey! When the county highway people put an orange-and-white striped barrel in the middle of the road, a large SUV will still fit around it if you drive really slow. Same thing with an orange, diamond-shaped road sign on a little metal stand, that says 'Road Closed'. I think not.

A student announced that one of his most embarrassing moments was when, at a funeral home, his brother declared loudly that "This place stinks like someone died in here!"

If you offer a student a band-aid for a burn on her finger inflicted by a curling iron that only yesterday she described as 'dry' and not in need of a band-aid, she will take TWO when she sees that they are Scooby Doo band-aids in a Rugrats metal tin, and another kid will decide that HE needs two for himself for various nicks and scabs. However, if all you have to offer are those brown, boring, band-aids, the students will merrily drip their life fluids all over the desks and floor rather than cover them with such uncool bandages.

When I left school today, after hours of downpour, I saw a sleeve hanging out my back door. My Little Pony had scooted out of that door when I dropped him off at Elementia, and part of the #1 son's jacket was left to dangle and strangle all day. It's not The Pony's fault. I tell #1 every day to sit up that seat, rather than recline it like an astronaut on the launch pad. His answer? "Well, if The Pony would lose some weight, he would be able to slide out the back door easier." Yeah. If The Pony loses any weight, he will be non-existent.

If you leave your class to go to a meeting, and the principal sits in, and then fetches Mrs. NotACook to relieve HIM, you can be sure that one of your students will do something to embarrass you, in spite of the 4-page test over Newton's Laws of Motion that you left with them to keep them busy. Something embarrassing, perhaps, like state that she's had the shot so she will be ONE LESS to get cervical cancer, but she doesn't understand why her twin brother didn't have to get one. And the principal will leave on that note, having requested that Mrs. NotACook field that question.

Just so you know, the alternate title to this post was 'Sleeve, Sleeve, Sleeve, Hangin' Out My Backdoor'. Yes. I'm a CCR fan.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Darker The Humor, The Sweeter The Laugh

This is not a fluffy, feel-good blog. Even my son says I have a cold, cold heart. But I DO have a sense of humor. That makes up for it, no?

One of my classes brought up the Florida gang of girls who beat up an ex-cheerleader. I would never do such a thing. But I understand. OK, that's just borrowing a bad joke from Chris Rock. Only he said it about wife-beating. So in case you haven't heard, this little group of girls was mad at the beatee because she put something on You-Tube that they didn't like. So one of them called her up and said she would come and get her and they would hang out. They went to someone's grandma's house. Granny wasn't home at the time. What a coincidence, huh? And this girly gang smacked poor Beatee up one side and down the other. She didn't fight back, either, in the clip I saw from CNN. She tried to get away. And while a vicious chick was pummeling Beatee by the front door, a voice in the background shrilled, "Watch the cabinet! Don't hit the cabinet!" Yeah. It was a glass case holding glass trinkets. Anyhoo, poor Beatee took a beatin' which kept repeatin'. At one point, she lapsed unconscious. In the end, she was rendered deaf in one ear, and blind in one eye. But she survived. The others, from 14 to 18, had mug shots on TV, with one channel not even blanking out their minor faces. Must have been FOX. But that's beside the point.

This is not funny. Not in any way. Nobody deserves to take a beating like that. But, my class, it was funny. They are some warped puppies, that group. One of them started it all. She said, "Oooh, that makes me mad. That girl needs to murder them!" Okaaaayyy. But that set me off. "Just think, she might be beating them, and near death, they would whimper, 'Please don't kill me...please don't kill me...' And she would be like, putting her hand up to her ear, and saying, 'Huh? What's that? I can't hear you. I'm deaf in that ear.' Or if she was cutting up a snack, and someone came up and startled her, and the knife went into them, she might say, 'Oh. I'm so sorry I stabbed you. That's my blind side. I didn't see you.' Oh, the bad luck! They would have been OK if they hadn't deafened and blinded her."

I would be worried about getting in trouble, but I doubt anyone from this group will tell anybody who cares. This was very mild for that class. The ones who told a girl with an unsightly blemish on her chin, "Man, that thing is HUGE! I hope you don't drop dead, because that's going to need its own coffin."

Anybody care to invest in my handbasket factory?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

nO, Canada!

At the very end of yesterday's post, I stated that Hillmomba is the new Canada. Perhaps I misspoke. You won't hold that against me, I hope. I'm still perfectly qualified to write a blog making fun of my family and maybe or maybe not my workplace. I did not really mean to imply that my little nation of Hillmomba is ready to assume the role of other nations' BFF. I merely meant that, what with HH taking the high road up the hill spy on The Shootist, and subsequently being lured into his double-wide for tea and crumpets, or the Hillmomban equivalent of Budweiser and deer jerky, that this new truce meant the white dove of peace and the bluebird of happiness would be breaking bread at the round table of the world, with dogs and cats living together in harmony, and a pony in every BARn.

But The Unrepentant Gallivanter called me on it. She posed a question fraught with issues that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had not pondered. It seems HM's fingers have been typing checks her a$$ can't cash. Who knew? Here was the question:

So, are you going to start spelling everything with superfluous and pretentious U's? Are you going to make your kids play football with only 3 downs on some weird sized square field? Are you going to have some crazy bilingual law where everything has to be in 2 languages, except in Quebec where English signs are illegal? seem to be having a problem with speaking off-the-cuff without my plagiarizing speech writers to guide me. I am usually so eloquent, I know. But now I have to do some thinking for myself. I can not copy the ideas of others. At the end of the day, bringing all my experience to the table, I am certain I can give the answer you are all seeking. Yes. I can.

Let me get right to the specifics of UnGal's question. You don't mind, do you? If I give you some meat-and-potatoes answers for a change, stop my flowery rhetoric, and get down to specifics?

I don't mind extra 'U's. And I'm all about pretentiousness. At this time, I have no plans to make my kids play football with only 3 downs on some weird-sized square field. That would be downright un-American. And I don't ever want to be accused of being un-American. I LOVE America. God Bless America. I even have a CD with that song on it, by cracky. I think it's over there by my American flag lapel pin that I wear every day. I don't plan on passing a bilingual law. Here in Hillmomba, some of us think bilingual is some perverted sort of behind-closed-doors kind of fetish thingy. And you don't want any rumors going around work in the not-personal emails that say, "I heard she is secretly bilingual, but you didn't hear that from me." And if being Canadian means we can't have signs written in English, then I'm not sure I want to declare that Hillmomba is the new Canada. What kind of nation would we be? People running their 4WD pick-up trucks off the road because they can't read the foreign-language signs, missing their turn-offs to the casinos, unable to find their way to the Hillbilly Mecca, Branson, Missouri? No. We can't have that! It's bad enough when they try to read signs that ARE in English.

All I was thinking when I declared that we are the new Canada is how much I like to say, "Eh?" and "Don't cha know?" and watch Ice Road Truckers. Perhaps I was a bit short-sighted.

So for now, Hillmomba will be friends with Canada, but won't try to steal Canada's identity like a slightly less-psycho version of Jennifer Jason Leigh.

That's what it's all aboot.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Peace Talks

The Hillmomban Peace Talks were initiated last night, up on the hill by the junior Hillbillies' land. HH had snuck off up there, leaving no forwarding address. When he returned, bragging of the new detente, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was skeptical. Just Saturday, upon returning from the St. Louis Cardinal's game, passing by NoMan'sLand, the #1 son reported that The Shootist had waved to them. "It's clearly a trap," I said. "He's biding his time, waving us into submission, and then he will strike in the summer when the firearm is hot." The boy disagreed. "I think he is just old and can't see very well. Dad says the old man has forgotten what Dad looks like, and didn't recognize us."

HH told the tale when he returned. "I rode up there to see what was going on. The old guy came out and waved to me. He said, 'I want to apologize for how I acted. I'm a drinkin' man. I had too many that day, and my old lady was on me to clean up the mess. I'm a nice guy. I normally don't act that way. Those deputies came up here, and one of them was OK. The little one was mouthy. I didn't like his attitude. They hauled me to jail. It cost me $1500 for bail, and $1000 for a lawyer. That's my own fault. I'm sorry about what I did."

Hmm...HH couldn't leave well-enough alone. The Shootist offered to take him on a tour of his manufactured home, and HH went in! Do you hear that music from the original Halloween movie tinkling in your head? I do. They could have done anything, once they lured in common-sensically-challenged HH. They could have skinned him to make a flesh suit. They could have eaten his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. We didn't know he was there. It could have been months before he was found. Probably from a rank odor emanating from our property. But everything turned out OK, and now HH has a new best friend.

"He asked if he could cut down those two cedar trees that are growing right by his driveway, so I told him go ahead, as long as they fell on HIS side." HH is so magnanimous. He even told The Shootist, "Now, if you had asked me back then to store some stuff on my land while you moved in, I would have said OK." Yes, they are starting a new chapter of The Mutual Admiration Society. I wouldn't be surprised if they make a standing date to build a feeder for unicorns and sit under the rainbow crocheting toilet paper cozies.

Hillmomba is the new Canada.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I Challenge You

Taxes are done, man!

Do you know the movie I stole that line from? Except that it wasn't 'taxes', it was something else. And the character's name was Kenny, and he proclaimed it joyously from a rooftop. You can't just google it. I need to know the situation. In a short explanation, not a book report or movie review.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Procrastination Central

Trivia Night must go on without me. I do not feel like playing tonight. Those nagging taxes are not done, and this is my last chance. I would like to ride the old people's bus to the casino next Saturday, so it's now or never. It's just a matter of writing in and subtracting. I have all the info together and organized. It's just a formality, really. I'm surprised that Uncle Sam doesn't just send my refund without me filing.

Here's a horror story for you. My mom gave her taxes to her accountant six weeks ago. The accountant she always uses. Every week, she would remark, "I'm surprised Norman hasn't gotten my taxes back to me. I called to see if there was something they needed, and the girl said 'No'." Mom hates to be a bother, unless she is doing something for one of us kids. Last week, she finally called back. The girl put her on hold for a long time. Then she came back and said, "Oh, it's a good thing you called. We finally found your taxes on the shelf where we put the ones that are waiting for more information. I don't know why we put it there." So now Mom has her taxes, and she is getting ready to mail them in. She says there are about 25 pages. Sweet Gummi Mary! I think the most mine has ever had is 5 or 6. And that's the regular 1040 with Schedule A. Who knew my mom was as crafty as Bill Clinton. Though I don't think she's reached the million mark yet. I told her after that 6-week layover, and the girl telling her, "You might want to send that certified mail. You know, with the problem they have getting the mail sometimes," that old accountant should waive her fee. My mom said, "Well, he didn't. I paid a pretty penny for it, too." OK, she didn't actually use the term 'pretty penny', but whatever she said meant the same thing. Which for her, probably means it cost her $20.

I don't know about the certified mail route. I think that would complicate matters. Anyway, I mailed mine one year on April 14. And the next day, April 15, the envelope showed up in MY mailbox on my own front porch. That was when we lived in town, two blocks from the Post Office. Seems that I had only put one stamp on it, and two were needed. So I drove those two blocks and re-mailed my taxes on April 15. Not as bad as my dad, though, who used to drive his taxes to town for mailing at 11:45 p.m. on April 15.

We'll see how my Trivia team does without me. I think they will fare well. I am not as smart as people think I am, but smarter than my students want me to be.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Can YOU Break The Code?

Mrs. HM has a bee in her bonnet. A thorn in her side. A bone of contention stuck in her craw. She is hot to trot. And not in the good way. At this moment, she is second-guessing a move she made three hours ago. Such is life.

There is an ill wind blowing in Basementia. The victim has been blamed. Please excuse me whilst I type in code for confidentiality. Mabel should grasp the gist of this. I found out after school today that The Emperor is being accused of having clothes! I know. I could not believe it either. And the accusation was public, not private. So I did what any self-respecting Hillbilly Mom would do, and got on the horn to my Basementia Insider to seek advice. One needs to know which way the wind is blowing before stirring any poo, you know.

The BI was all about blowing the horn to the General to chastise the Private. Me, not so much. I felt that it was better to call out the Private directly, since we're all in this battle together. But if no satisfaction is to be gotten, or if the Private chooses to set his sights on ME instead of ceasing and desisting, then IT IS ONNNN, baby! I will sing to the General, and perform an entire opera for the Commander In Chief. That's the way I roll. I will not stand for bullying, whether it is from my underlings, or within my own ranks. The shenanigans shall stop, or a certain Private shall rue the day he targeted the Emperor of Hillmomba for his punching boy.

My first move was to send a communication to the Private detailing the facts, with an invitation to contact ME with any further questions or assumptions, and leave The Emperor out of it. I think the Private will read the message loud and clear. Mrs. HM has fingers, and she knows how to use them. The Private may find himself in hot water if he continues his little game of Rat and Mouse. Methinks he will take exception to this little no-love-lost note, and fire back forthwith. I will welcome such a reply with a fully-loaded HP Deskjet 901C.

And a word to the wise. Mrs. HM documents all transgressions against her kingdom.

Just sayin'...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Random Thought Thursday 4/3/08

Random thoughts flit through my mind like gnats around a watermelon-eating contest.

My students think that our school is going to be responsible for the extinction of the common chicken. Chicken nuggets, chicken patty, chicken taco, chicken and noodles have graced the menu this week. Though there are still some kids hankerin' for the chicken-fried steak of several years ago, which I seriously doubt were steak, but just a chicken patty with white gravy.

Speaking of chicken and noodles, I set aside my baloney sandwich today, and went through the tail-end of the lunch line. I think I am as popular with the cooks as Mr S, who gets a stem in his green beans every time. The first one slopped the chicken juice all over another compartment of the tray, saying, "Sorry" to her co-worker but not to me. The next one only gave me ONE breadstick, when we all know that teachers get two. Think she's trying to tell me something? She's the same one who only gives me one peanut butter and syrup sandwich on chili day. Everyone knows that it takes two sandwiches to get one good eatin' out of them. You have to pull off all the dry crust and bread to get to that circular glob of goodness in the centers. Since my compartment was already full of chicken juice, I told her to leave off the green beans. Mr S can thank me tomorrow when he gets two sticks in his green beans. Oh, but what I'm getting at is that all those teachers who cut in the lunch line, and were smugly consuming their chicken, noodles, green beans, breadsticks, and pineapple cup were filled with envy when I pranced out and set down my tray with a piece of white cake with chocolate icing. Uh huh. That's what I'm talkin' about. I scored the leftover cake. Take THAT, you line-cutters. They all commented on my cake, but didn't have the gumption to go get some, having eaten their two breadsticks and green beans and pineapple cup already.

It's surprising that I had an appetite, what with the incident in my class just before lunch. OK, who am I kidding? Mrs. HM always has an appetite. But still, the incident was none too pleasant. I have a RePete that hour. He is usually fairly tame this year, what with capturing a girlfriend in that hour, and not wanting to look the fool in her presence. A roach dared to walk across the room. I'm secretly declaring that it fell off one of the students, because it wasn't there during the first two classes. Anyhoo, a couple of boys said, "Hey! What's that? Get it!" And RePete tried to grab it a couple times, but only turned it back the way it came, and then it hid for a minute under his coat sleeve, and some other kids screamed, "IT'S A ROACH! Just kill it already!" So RePete finally got ahold of it, dangled it by a leg at a girl across the aisle, walked it by my desk, held it out to me, perhaps 12 inches from my face, and took it to the window, where he THREW it out but it bounced off the window frame onto the row of desks I use as lab tables under the window, which infuriated him for some unknown reason, so he stabbed it with his pencil, then tossed it out. Oh, and then he had the nerve to ask for some GermX, but I referred him to the boys' bathroom because I didn't want any bug guts on MY GermX, and he came back in the room shaking water off his hands because I suppose he couldn't figure out how to work the hand dryer thingy. C'mon. You didn't actually think they give kids paper towels to stuff down the toilets, did you?

Which brings me in a strange roundabout manner (yeah, like that's never happened before) to a kid who always asks for help when she doesn't really need it. Today, for example, on two multiple choice worksheets. Don't think that she can't read. She reads quite well from her library book when I am going over material or giving instructions. THREE times, she asked me to tell her how many were wrong on her paper. Kids hardly ever do this. Their science teacher at Basementia would give them one chance to bring up a paper and hear how many were wrong. Not the actual questions that were wrong, just how many. I humored her today. Not because I am kind, but because last time she did that, she ended up changing the wrong ones and missing even more than she would have if she just turned it in. Which is kind of fitting, in my skewed view of the world. Shame on you for trying to get an advantage. Oh, and the reason I thought of her was because at lunch, my cousin mentioned that a kid expected her to stay after school on FRIDAY to explain how to document note-cards for a research paper. It goes without saying, but I will say it because I like to type as much as I like to talk, that the explainin' had already been done in class, and the students had been working on these cards in class and getting feedback all week. So I said, "Don't tell's Unfair Advantage Seeker." And my cousin was like, "How did you know that?" Uh huh. It doesn't exactly take a psychic to catch that one. The thing is, this kid is in a self-proclaimed race for valedictorian with a boy that I have in the same class as her. Keep in mind that they are freshmen, and that this chick is always asking what that dude got on his assignment. I don't tell her, of course. At times, he is kind of careless about turning in his work, but he could think circles around her. We need to snip her apron strings in the bud and wean her off the teat before she racks up some big GPA numbers with this scam she is running. I have decided to stop giving her the 'how many wrong' option. The others don't ask for it.

Who knew my randomness would be so long-winded today?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hillbilly Mom's Latest Vice

HM has a new rough mistress who beckons her from around the corner on the dark, deserted street. Beckons her from the basement lair while she cooks supper, from the classroom in broad daylight, from the very rooftops of Hillmomba. Forget sweet, sweet Histinex, and Hot & Sour Soup, and especially Sonic Cherry Diet Coke. Dare we speak the name of this new illicit love? Dare we? Of course we do.

She goes by the name of Sweet Lime Diet Coke. OK. It's a made-up name. For a made-up drink. Made up in my kitchen about 15 minutes ago. It goes a little somethin' like this: put about half a glass of ice bought from Save-A-Lot or Citgo in one of the giant clear plastic cups HH bought you for Christmas last year. Squeeze in a buttload of fake RealLime bought in a plastic grenade-shaped thingy from Save-A-Lot. A real RealLime will do in a pinch, if you feel like dealing with the Devil. Then dump in about two tablespoons of sugar from the blue plastic cannister that you try to sabotage so the #1 son doesn't get into it each evening when it's HH's turn to watch him. Insert a long red straw from Sonic. Call for Your Little Pony to come fetch the sugary future concoction and pack it down to your basement lair. When you get down there, send The Pony to the basement mini-fridge for a can of Diet Coke. Not the cans with the $5 Off Six Flags Tickets printed on them, as they are from last summer, and kind of skunky now, and to be avoided but not thrown away. Pour the Diet Coke in the glass. VOILA! Your magical elixir is ready for sipping.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It Ain't Nice To Fool HM

Mrs. HM has had a very bad day. It kind of started yesterday, with a headache that defied aspirin and ibuprofen (don't even try to push that acetaminophen on me, it is like taking a spoonful of sugar, only not so satisfying). Along with the throbbin' noggin was a queasy stomach and a touch of the diarrhea. Yeah. Too much info. Then the remote control for the satellite dish mysteriously malfunctioned right after the #1 son watched The Simpsons on the big screen.

Today dawned its Aprilly goodness, and Mrs. HM felt human again. The overnight storm had hoisted the creeks out of their banks, but sucked them back in again for morning rush. I know, because all the sticks and stones were left piled at the high-water mark when the flood receded. Then the day began to slide downhill. A van saw us cross the last creeky bridge, and pulled off and turned around to tailgate us to the county road. And what should we find there but a big yellow school bus pulled off the road and blocking our entrance. Oh. It was waiting for the urchins in the van behind us. That woman must have telepathy.

Upon arrival at school, I ran some copies without putting in paper or jamming the copier. I was thinking that a Stevening was in order. Then a girly from my science and math classes asked for help. I am not known for helping in the mornings. I am not on career ladder, because I value my time more than money. There are several teachers throughout the building who tutor EVERY morning. Including two Mathies. Ya hear me, Mabel? But this child wanted the original Hillbilly Mom, and who was I to refuse? I discussed rounding with her, and put numerous examples on the board. That took up about 10 minutes of my valuable 30 minutes between arrival and the bell. That's 33%. Just sayin'. Because I'm a partial Mathie.

Round about the stroke of lunchtime, I was intercommed that a call was awaiting me on Line One. Which is really Line Two. I think we've covered this lesson before. It was Elementia, reporting that My Little Pony had just vomited into the classroom wastebasket. Good to know. Whadda ya want ME to do about it? The nurse said he didn't have a fever. I asked if he could stay. She said she would rather he went. So On-Call Grandma came to the rescue.

After school, the #1 son reported that his gym clothes had been stolen out of his gym locker, which was locked with the school-issued combo lock. Another kid had his clothes soaked in the shower. The teacher did not seem too intent on calling the Mystery Machine to get to the bottom of the issue. So I spent nigh on $30 for new gym clothes and a LOCK that is not allowed, but I'm going to email the main man and explain that my boy followed policy, and if he has a problem with a personal lock, he can CALL ME and I will be glad to discuss this breach in security with him. I'm not having my son's phone and wallet stolen while he's participating in gym class, just because someone can open those locks at will.

After school, we drove 20 miles to find a new remote for the satellite receiver. The first of the three addresses the boy found online was non-existent. The second looked like a guy selling hot TVs out of his garage. He had a refurbished one for $10, but I was not sure I wanted to take a chance on it. After waiting 20 minutes, the guy said that he has them back-ordered, and the fastest way to get one would be to call Dish Network. We didn't look for the third address, what with the smashing success we garnered from the other two. The boy said to try Radio Shack, which seemed dubious to me, since the guy never mentioned them, and they are usually overpriced. Oh, we found one. To the tune of $39.95. And when I whipped out my credit card, the guy asked to see my driver's license, which REALLY pissed me off, so I paid cash.

Then the Devil's handmaiden packed my groceries in an asinine way, what with half-gallon of milk, bunch of bananas, and tender mini-tomatoes on the vine all in one flimsy plastic bag. A pox on her in her next life, teaching fraction division to DoNots.

I kept hoping this crap was a big April Fool's joke. But no.