My sister called my father, sobbing and swearing that she wouldn't enter his house without his knowledge again. She said that she was looking for old pictures of us when we were little because she thought I would tear them up!! My father tried to assure her that I'd do nothing of the sort. Really, she was looking for the pictures in the china cabinet and a box in his bedroom closet? I'll bet they are in the front closet opposite the front door, where they've been since we moved in in 1978 or was it 1979? She also said that she's been avoiding him because she's avoiding a confrontation with me. Gee, then why did she do an about-face when she saw him with my mom in the day room before a meeting that I was not going to attend. My dad is there 6-7 days a week and I'm there one. That leaves 5-6 days a week where she could contact him and ask to meet him when I'm not there. She's been *so busy* because she is working two jobs. Oh really? Who can get time off of one job, let alone two, to drive across country to visit your kid at school. The U.S. economy is in the toilet. As one expert on a financial radio show stated, we have to work harder now than ever in an effort to keep our job. Apparently not Carol! "Crazy...but that's how it goes".
Parent-teacher conferences and I went around smiling hugely--before, during, and after. (Especially since one of the Screentek PFE culprits was in the room, I think, and if it was her, she didn't seem to be enjoying the evening as I was. Serves her right for being rotten to me. I have no idea how her kid got into honors anyway, even with her money and her education as a teacher.) Nothing but wonderful praise about their behavior and their grades. Contrary to what every minute of every day screams to me, I must be doing something right. I"m not just exaggerating or being too critical of myself. Of course my better half deserves credit, making it a 'we must be doing something right' statement, but I worry about me messing them up more than I worry about him messing them up. For now, I will enjoy their success!
Was the 'special' they ran on the anniversary of the u.s. president John F. Kennedy's assasination. I always cried even though I was kind of young to understand what was going on. I guess that is the perfect example of a date that everybody remembers where they were. Not me. I was "t minus 6 mos.' so to speak. My mother and sister got off the bus a few doors away from my grandmother's house. Or should I say, my soon-to-be-grandmother. A lady ran up to them shouting, "They shot him! The president is dead! Oh my God", etc. "The poor thing", my mother thought, assuming the lady had lost her mental faculties. A few minutes later she learned the unbelievable truth.
I don't approve of cheating on one's spouse. But all I can say is "Rest in peace with your wife and your son".
At least I can breathe easier. I was literally losing sleep. The person, what name did I make up for her?--who is giving me trouble has been backing off. I think she just likes to be the boss and tell people what to do. Wow, a career PTA person who likes to wield power? It's weird too that she used my ideas, which cut out a huge amount of work that would have been unnecessary and that I never would have agreed to. She never even acknowledged that it was my idea. She just said, "We are not doing xyz, we are doing abc." She made another statement that led me to believe that another of my ideas was either hers or just sort of happened. Why do I always meet up with these people?
More on my sister, the home invader. So, my sister used the emergency key that she has to my parents home. She waited until she knew he was going to be visiting my mother at the nursing home, went in, went through some stuff and never said a word.
He sent her a letter (because that's the only way he could reach her). He told her that he hopes she found what she was looking for. He outlined the days and time he is gone in case she needs to come back. Maybe then she'd have enough time to take her shoes off and not track dirt through the house. He called her on her avoidance behavior and a few other wonderful characteristics.
Ok, Mad (Wo)MAN, but I was having fun with the analogy. I realized at this late date that my life is like the discription of the wonderful t.v. series, Mad Men.
It's 2008 and medical info specialist Terri rules the roost at her pathetic Market Day sale and her little niche job at a huge publishing co. Living a glamorous existence of a never-ending white port supply, clothes with holes chewed by a bird, and kids who ignore her, budding misanthrope Terri makes numerous strides in conquering endless tasks at work mindless tasks in her personal life. But the world is beginning to change, and Terri will have to use what little smarts she has to stay one step ahead of the game. Watch her tread water with a soap opera family of origin highlighted by a sister exhibiting bizarre behavior, a new person coming on board at work who she will have to train under very different circumstances, while trying to reign in renegade Market Day parent volunteers who managed to change the entire location of the site without consulting her.
Here's the real description of Season 1.
"It's 1960, and ad executive Don Draper (Jon Hamm) rules the roost at New York's Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency in this Emmy winner for Best Drama Series. Living a glamorous existence of never-ending cocktail hours, worry-free smoking and ego-stroking power, ladies' man Draper makes numerous conquests both at work and in his personal life. But the world is beginning to change, and Draper will have to use all his smarts to stay one step ahead of the game."
Today is the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the Carl D. Bradley that went down in Lake Huron during a horrific storm. Only two survived. Over twenty men from the tiny town of Rogers City were killed. The death toll was so large that a mass wake was held at the Rogers City High School, the same location that served as the site for the bell ringing ceremony tonight. The bell they rang was the actual ship's bell, recovered from the submerged wreck just about a year ago. A replica bell with the names of those who perished was installed on the ship by divers. Tonight the bell was rung again for the first time since the wreck. May they rest in peace.
It must be me. It must be my lack of social skills. Maybe I'm in one of those shows where everybody is strange but me. Maybe I'll wake up and it will all be a dream.
This career pta person will not stop. She notified me of a meeting she had with a principal after the fact. In fact, I heard about it earlier in the day from someone else that she had told me. Of course, why would she bother to invite me to a meeting, why wouldn't I be the last to find out. I'm only the CHAIR for goodness sakes.
Today I couldn't keep quiet anymore. I think everyone else in this universe would either have put up with it for eternity or would never have had a problem like this in the first place. I went online and discovered...tah dah...she is my co-chair. If you are going to be someone's co-chair, don't you think you should many, um, mention it to them first? Who does this? Someone who would show up only in my world. I had mentioned some frustration to the Market Day supervisor and she told me that I am the Chair. All decisions have to go through me. At least I know that she's not in on the conspiracy.
I sent this person an e-mail just now. I said that I found out from the website that she is my co-chair. I said that I've had problems keeping track of who is doing what lately. I asked her to keep in mind that I should be notified of any proposed changes because decisions regarding the sale have to go through me. I also added that I need to be notified if any meetings are going to be held so I can attend. DUH!! Look for the fireworks to begin, they always do. I will end up quitting and it will be the happiest day of my life because I don't have time for all the work and I don't need to be a part of this circus act.
My father called me after I got home from visiting my mother at the nursing home. He wasn't calling to make sure I got home ok as he sometimes did. "Someone's been in this house", couldn't have surprised me more. My quick littany of the police, checking doors and windows, etc. was quickly silenced. He can tell that my sister had been there. She has a key. He is remarkably observant, noticing a chair pulled away from the table, a box in a closet at an odd angle from the wall, and most of all, dirt on the floor by the china cabinet and closet. The dirt is even stranger because we are all conditioned to take off our shoes at their house. It's always been that way. My father and my daughter think that she was saving time by leaving her shoes on. They may be right, but I think it's another sign of her losing it. In the past, she would occasionally drop by (I guess the telephone company's "Phone First" campaign was lost on her) by, but she would leave a note. I've come to the difficult conclusion that she is not after money. It seems strange, because nearly everybody is after money, particularly if one is in her situation. My guess is that she was after momentos. Those sort of things he would give her if she asked. There were a few nicknacks in my grandmother's china cabinet that we always liked to play with when we were kids, for example. I never mentioned that there were a couple meetings at the nursing home. On one occasion, she walked into the day room, saw him, turned around, and did not return until the meeting actually started. What's up with that? She held it together well during the meeting I attended, her occasional flashes of anger went unnoticed. She is really unhinged.
As I was saying, I recently started to read Dick Francis crime novels as well as his autobiography--which is just as interesting as fiction. I understand he's written over 40. They center around steeplechase horse racing. I was worried that they might not hold my interest since I'm not really into horse racing. Not so at all! I figured I'd like him since he is so popular. Yes, I enjoy his books as much as I do "The Cat Who..." and the Kinsey Milhone series.
One difference greatly surprised me. After I finished the first book, I looked forward to reading about what other events would happen in the life of the lead character. Surprise! It seems that every book has a different lead character. Unless he's strung together two or more books somewhere in the series that I don't know about, it seems that all of the books stand alone.
I was a bit dissapointed, but I suppose his method has some advantages. It is kind of strange that the same lead character becomes embroiled in serious crimes dozens of times. Even the character of Kinsey, who is a private detective, states that 99% of her work is mundane. He will never have to come up with relatives of the lead character that we've never heard of in 30+ novels, or have the character re-invent himself by moving or starting a new career, just to keep the readers from dying of boredom. I think the most intriguing element is that he actually can kill off his lead character whenever he wants. We know Kinsey isn't going anyplace until maybe "Z is for..."
Oh my, I did it! I finally embedded a YouTube video! WOW, I've been trying for years to do that!
I still take piano lessons and made my *debut* last year along with numerous five-year-olds, which was quite embarrassing. Probably for them too. I played a cute little number about rainbows. Despite my totally losing my bearings trying to play it on a shortened keyboard rather than the full-size, I managed to pull it off. The real trouble began when my instructor offered to sing it. Don't get me wrong, her singing actually moved me to tears once, so, I was honored. The problem was that her singing is what I would call 'classically trained'. The piece that I played was originally sung by Kermit the Frog.
That night I got to thinking about next years' performance. I'm talking about a food fair in a neighboring village. It always irks me when they have kids play incredibly long, classical pieces. There was a kid who is quite talented, but I don't think that the average person off the street is a lover of classical music, at least not here. II begin to think about what the perfect song for me to play would be. It would have to be something that either people have heard before or one that they would find catchy even if they hadn't heard it. What piece have would I play if I could play anything? "The Sting?" No, it's been done to death. "Music Box Dancer"....mayybeeee. Then I rememberd a song that my mother always loved because of the player's style. I never realized it was country, which is strange since my parents listened to nothing but country for awhile. I guess if it wasn't a banjo or a fiddle.... I now have the music and I'm almost through it. Maybe by next July it will be ready. It's only the easy version, but I think it sounds reasonably. Can't wait until I'll be able to play the real version. It's called, "The Last Date". While hunting around the 'net, I was startled to learn, after all these years, that there are lyrics. (They aren't on the sheet music either.) When I looked them, oh, could I tell that this is a country song. The typical tearful breaking up song, only this breakup came before marriage unlike so many country songs. Please don't tell my teacher that there are lyrics. Not that I wouldn't want her to sing it, but I think the lyrics ruin the song. Don't know why I like the video of the scrolling old record albums better than the one of him actually playing it. If you happen onto this page, please give it a listen. I think you'll enjoy it!
Did I tell you I got my brown belt? Don't get too excited, there's still a long way to go. I still have to earn a brown belt with a black stripe and then a belt that is half brown half black. It's still a huge milestone for me, though, and I've seen people get through those two brown belts pretty fast. We now have to do a Jo form (kata) and later I will learn a long knife form. I'm not sure if it is the knife or the form that is long. The Jo is like a Bo only shorter and slightly thicker. I got to hold a REAL Samarai sword yesterday. It was really amazing to hold that in my hand. I am also working a a 'finger lock drill' in which one twists his/her uki (Don't you love that word? It is pronounced 'ookee' and means someone that you use as a practice dummy.) in about four different finger locks while leading them around by the fingers held in various painful ways. It can be so painful and frightening! I must really want these belts!
How wonderful that Laura Bush and Sarah Pailin are giving Michelle Obama parenting advice. Hello! Maybe they could tell her what NOT to do. Maybe Brittney can chime in while they're at it. Uck! The Obamas seem to be doing a wonderful, loving job and I can't wait to catch glimpses of the two precious girls. Keeping CNN on quite a bit while I'm working from home, I've noticed something from watching the same few clips over and over: Milia (whom I understand is the older sister) seems to do a little hop from time to time. Reminds me of one of the Irish dancer girls. The only thing that worries me is that everyone tends to say, "Sasha and Milia". Shouldn't the older one go first. We always say my daughter's name and then my son's. Fortunately he isn't one to let something like that bother him. Those girls don't seem to battle like mine anyway. I could just see us trying to physically seperate them while still managing to face the camera and smile. Shivers!
Miracles happen! After two days of headaches upon realizing that Century school screwed up and didn't attach my cover letter to our Pie Bonus Days Market Day fundraiser form.....after feeling guilty that I didn't have the time or ambition to babysit them on this simplest of tasks...that I didn't make the instructions more remedial.......I found out that our sales numbers are in line with the other schools. Truly a miracle!!
Worst thing that happened to me today:
I witnessed a bird death. We had a fall arrival of literally hundreds and hundreds of starlings, the grass was thick with them, the sky was thick with them. Our little Mango got to see them and was fascinated. I leashed up the dogs, purloined my husband's gloves (next time I'll make sure to get a matching pair or at least a right and a left, not two rights)....remembered the poop bags, and headed out. We turned into the cul-de-sac just a house away, and I heard a loud "smack!" like a cymbal. I saw the huge flock fly over the roofs and saw the poor bird fall. It must've hit the metal stove-pipe like chimney and landed on a steep pitched roof. I wondered what I would do. I don't know the homeowner. There were no windows near the poor creature. I stood stock still. No motion was detected. I reluctantly resumed our walk. Upon our return, about 20 min. later, I still saw no movement. A few hours later I had to go out....to pick up Market Day forms from the schools, what else? I drove by the house. No sign of the bird. It had been raining, but not horribly hard. Should I leave a note informing the homeowner that there may very well be a dead bird in their gutter, thus explaining a strange problem, should it arise?
Why am I so nuts about animals? Today there was an ad on tv featuring a paralyzed veteran. I fast forwarded through that to get to the next commercial to show my kids....a football player encouraging us to join the ASPCA. With his gorgeous, but maybe funny looking dog sharing touching moments, he was the anti-Michael Vick. Don't get me started on the gorgeous, healthy plant that I rescued from someone's trash a few months ago..spotted while walking the dogs btw. What kind of a person throws out a healthy, living plant? Even my mother-in-law, who isn't into plants because of the dirt, would at least give it away to someone else. I've seen this lady. She talks on her cell and makes no eye contact when I walk by. She has little kids. I think the plant was a baby gift because the pot is wrapped in pink foil and it was a pink heart on a stick stuck in the soil. UGGGHHH!
I have decided that one thing that I would like to do before I die is to experience paranormal phenomena...see a ghost if you will. My only other thing that I'd really like to do is to fly over an ocean. I think that me and my kids should form our own ghost hunting team. My husband seems all for it, so who knows if he will want to join in. I know that I/we should go on some 'investigations' with a readily available crew; a local group from neighboring Will County to get some experience. I'm also the type that would be perfectly happy to go along with a group, not insisting on being my own boss. It's a bit far...I might have to drive to some unfamiliar place..in the dark! Some of their 'investigations' go through the night and staying up very late has always had miserable effects on me regardlesss of my age at the time.
I found out that the equipment needed is affordable. In the 'olden days' it seemed like the equipment was huge, cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and was not portable.
This hobby meets my criteria:
1. I must buy lots of equipment.
2. I can buy two or more books on the subject that will probably contradict each other, thus adding to the confusion.
So, now we need to:
1. Find out what equipment to buy (there's that word..buy. yum yum.)
2. We need a name. I'm not sure that we should use our last name, the name of our suburb, or anything that would make it easy to trace us, as we might need to go to places where we shouldn't. The name should make a smart acronym--like TAPS (The Atlanta Paranormal Society). We can then design a logo (I know, that should not be left to amateurs) so my husband can print up some jackets or something.
Did I tell you that I am now a brown belt in karate? I never thought it would come! I also never thought I would take it in stride and look toward the work that is to come. I love my school and my classmates. That's what keeps me going when I think it would be so easy to quit.
You are 13 today. You had me worried for a long time. You've overcome so many obstacles. Straight As, even in MATH!! Surviving and thriving in Jr. High, a school that I heard had a serious bullying problem. You did things your way and it sure is working for you!
I have never carried a self-defense weapons. I'm not at high risk for one reason. I don't go to the mall at night (or ever if I can avoid it). I don't work downtown at night (or go downtown ever, darn it), and I don't live in a high crime neighborhood (thank God!)
It all started on Ebay. Somebody outbid or raised my bid on something so I did what I called "spite bidding" and raised their bid on something. They never raised the bid and I was stuck with a box of Dick Francis books. I figured it was a calculated risk; the guy seems to have written many books, so he must be good. I like mysteries. I was a bit concerned that the horse racing theme would get kind of boring. I went on a trip to my work and over the course of a couple days, saw two people reading Dick Francis novels. It was time for me to start on them. It started slow, but I ended up loving it! In fact, Francis' description of a self-defense device called the kiyoga, or a spring-loaded batton, actually prompted me to buy "the fearsome thing".
Now I have to remember to carry it with me any time that I could be at risk, which is pretty much any time (except when I'm walking our three wild, over-protective, somewhat pitbull-appearing dogs). I had to laugh when I caught myself considering to bring it on our walks.
It didn't come with instructions. You swing it at the perp and it expands as the business end pops out. I think I know which end is which. Another plus is that I figured there was a low likelyhood of it hurting me by mistake. I'm not so sure about that anymore....what if I swung it while holding the wrong end? I think I should ask my karate instructor because he knows everything about self-defense. Yes, although I train in martial arts, I don't rely on that for protection. Even the people I know who COULD rely on their martial arts for protection are armed to the teeth! They don't want to leave anything to chance, so they carry a blade strapped somewhere on their body. I'm not sure if they carry it 100% of the time. I also know that my instructor says that if we carry a knife, we should take a lesson or two to know how to use it.
When I carry it, I find myself much more suspcious. That man wearing the coveralls coming toward me in the cemetery...crazed madman or nice worker who wants to help me 'find-a-grave'? The footsteps behind me after my piano lesson....crazed killer or fellow student or parent? Who knows? I better be prepared!!!