Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Don’t Look Ethel!

Suppose you had a friend who really, really hates bugs.  And that friend has hired you to kill the bugs in her ofice for years and years.  Suppose your friend yells “Raaaaachel!”, every time there’s a bug.  And you go kill it.  And remove it from the premises.

And suppose one day your friend was at home with sick kid while waiting on a plumber to arrive.  While she’s at home, you have a sudden need to borrow the bottle of alcohol she keeps in the bottom left hand drawer of her desk.  (The rubbing kind, not the drinking kind.)  And just suppose that, as you were leaving the office after replacing the bottle, you notice movement next to the wall.  You look closer and It turns out to be two bugs.  Copulating.  Two big, shiny, bugs with crunchy black shells.  Goin’ at it. 

Would you just turn out the light and leave and hope your friend never reads this blog post?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!

Katie got her report card today.  Weird kid. 

She likes both math and reading, the little show off.  At the end of the six weeks, the school does a short honors program for the honor roll kids.  Thirty minutes of kool-aid, lunchroom cookies and an inspiring speaker.  Well, sort of inspiring.  Katie’s had straight As all year, but we’ve missed the last couple of programs because she can’t remember to bring the note home with the time and date and we can’t remember to call the school and inquire as to the time and date.

Today, however, she remembered the note.  I told her I would be there this time.  “With grades like these, I don’t mind admitting to the other parents that I know you,” I told her. 

She hit me. 

A couple of weeks ago, she was talking to me about some seventh grade drama and I was giving her the benefit of some sort of bizarro advice, probably.  Eventually she sighed and said “My friends all talk about how their parents give them ‘that look’ when they’re in trouble or they do something stupid.”

“Yeah, I remember that look.  What about it?”

“In our family, I’m the one that has ‘that look’ and I have to give it to you all the time!”


Katie Look

Monday, April 13, 2009

And now for something not entirely different:

I've been in a bit of a slump.

You've noticed? Yeah. Haven't written anything worthwhile since before the first of the year. Life is not bad, just busy. Every day something happens and I think "I should blog that!" But by the time I sit down in front of the computer to do so, my muse is on snooze break and I end up playing word games on Facebook instead.

Additionally, it was time for some changes.

That sounds ominous, doesn't it? Like the precursor to the "It's been fun, but all good things must come to an end" speech.

Nah. Nothing like that. I've started a second blog to house my work-related writing. All my probationer stories have been moved from this site to the new one. The new blog will be a little more secure, so you'll need an invite to be able to read it. I'm not being stingy with the invites - fire off an email to the address in the sidebar and send a request and I'll shoot you back a permission.

Given the interconnectedness of teh internets (who wouldda thought?) it's just time to make this more secure. I only have 100 invites available to the new site. In the wacky and unlikely event that turns out to be too few (eternally optomistic!) then I may have to consider switching to a paid service like Typepad. (Take a hint, Blogger!!)

So, send me an email and you can read a new probation story. It's short, buy hey - it's way better than nothing!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Pulpit Church

This is a chapel in the middle of a cemetery.  Nice and neat.  Obviously seldom used.  Windows are made with frosted glass – can’t see inside.

But one of the windows had a broken pane…



Pains, Trains and Audio deficiency

It’s been more than two months, and still I haven’t seen the railroad crossing arms near my house move.  Not one time.  Are they for real?  And what happened to the trains?

Yesterday I took a day off from work and took Katie to the doctor.  As I pulled out of the driveway, I got in behind two other vehicles.  Traffic! Wow!  We all proceeded in turn down the road towards town. Our road has a pseudo paving that was made from the recycled asphalt pulled off the Farm to Market Road a half a mile away in the opposite direction.  They dumped the pieces on the dirt road and ran over it a few times with the steam roller.  It was a cool use of the waste material and a whole lot better than the washboarded caliche that we’d been driving on. 

Our three vehicles formed a sort of Conga line down the road.  We’d all danced on this floor before.  The asphalt peels away in huge chunks no matter how often it’s repaired.  Like all dirt roads (even when paved) this one is about a 1 and 2/3 lanes wide.  We all followed a snaky path down the street – first driving on the right, then the left, then the middle with a sharp swerve to the left and then back to the right.  Three cars in a train, running on a set of winding gravel rails. 

That’s not what this post is about, though.

Remember Katie?  She went to the doctor.  Ear trouble. 

She’d had tubes as a kid.  This year when she had her compulsory health testing at school, we got one of those “You’re a Bad Parent and Your Kid Has Lice” letters.  Only instead of lice, she had significant hearing loss on the right side. 

We hadn’t noticed.  She might have mentioned it, but if – IF – she did, we’d handled it in the usual way:  “Suck it up.  It builds character.”   Apparently our tried and true parenting approach didn’t work, so this was her third visit to the ear, nose and throat guy.  He took one look at her ear and pronounced his prior treatments ineffective.  She would have to have a tube.  He gave her the steely-eyed once over and said if she were older, he’d insert the tube as an in-office procedure.  If she were younger, he’d insist on doing it under general anesthesia in the hospital.  But, with her age, he just wasn’t sure. 

This is one of those situations where I really wish I had a sign to hold up that says “Not Really A Parent”.  I had no idea what to do.  Katie was stuck in between us, not sure if she should look scared or put on a brave face.  I finally said “Hell, it can’t be any worse than the dentist and you survived that!” 

After a swift negotiation we agreed that if she survived having the procedure done in the office, then I would let her decide whether or not she wanted to stay home from school for the rest of the day and I’d take her to the bookstore and buy her a book. 

You gotta love a kid that can be bribed with a trip to the bookstore.

(I couldn’t believe it, but she actually chose to go BACK to school!  They like her there.  And I think they’re much more sympathetic.)