xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

The ugly truth about parenting that nobody wants you to know

Music festivals: Then and now

I was driving around Oakland yesterday (actually I was lost in a shitty neighborhood trying to find the freeway and I was a little nervous about it, but that's not important right now) when I spotted a billboard (they still have those?) advertising a music festival that was to be held at some point in the near future, on Treasure Island. For those of you who don't live here, Treasure Island is a former Navy base that resides in the space between the East Bay and San Francisco. Here, this frighteningly accurate depiction of the area is probably more helpful:
I added some extra landmarks to make this an educational experience for you guys

So, I saw the sign for the festival, and my first thought was: "Ooh, good bands!" but then as my brain continued on its old & neurotic spiral of thought I was struck by how very very different my thought process was these days, as opposed to how I used to approach these matters; as a youngster; 20-some years ago; before children.



Thursday, September 29, 2011

And you thought yesterday's post was pointless

I have nothing to write about. Actually I have a lot of things I could write about but they would be angry, curse filled rants about how much I hate Everyday Math and how autism can go fuck itself this week, and such, and I didn't want to be angry and... well, I didn't want to be angry, I wanted to be funny (such as it is). But nothing funny has happened here lately; I've been following Child 2 around with a tape recorder and everything. No I haven't. Or have I? Regardless, even he hasn't given me anything; and you know the well is dry when even Child 2 hasn't been funny.

(Sorry, Child 2. I hope you never read this. I never want you to know that when you were 6 I said that you hadn't been funny that week. Please nobody ever tell him I said that. PLEASE.)

In order to find something to write about I was looking through my test results (NO, I'm not pregnant. I mean THESE test results) trying to see if you guys had given me any good ideas that I could steal and call my own, and there are actually a few in there! And since I haven't yet been able to come up with a birthday story, per Liza's request, and I haven't gone on a date yet with Hubs, per David's request, I figured... what the hell. Let's just give everybody else what they asked for! As long as it doesn't require too much energy on my part, because it's fucking hot here today.

First of all, please visit these two sites:
  1. Tap Dancing Lexicon
  2. A Little Less Fluff (she actually asked for a guest post, which I will do! As soon as I can think of something to write about, but once I think of something to write about, I need to put it on my own blog, first, so you can have the second thing I can think of to write about. Unless you'd like an angry, curse filled rant about how much I hate Everyday Math?)
Secondly, please go to Wombat Central's Facebook page and "like" it. She wants to know what happens when she gets to the magical number of 25. I'd like to know, too. I didn't realize there were magical numbers! As I write this she has 18 fans; only 7 more!!!!! MAKE IT HAPPEN, PEOPLE!!!!!

Somebody named A Na, who did not give any more identifying information than that, said "I'd like you to let Child 2 dictate a whole post to you. Like, literally, word for word, everything he says."

That's an awesome idea, A Na (if that's even your real name) and so I approached him with my laptop and told him of your idea; he knows what the blog is and he knows that he says funny stuff over here and it comes out on the internet over there, but suddenly he got all embarrassed at the idea and turned red (SO cute) but agreed. So I said "Okay, go for it!" and he said "I love you."


And I said "yeah, whatever. What else?" and he said "No, that's it, that's the whole post. Write that down."


Sarcasm Goddess said she wanted me to find her an agent so that she could quit her soul sucking job, and if that was too much to ask I should just draw her a picture of a puppy.

Related: I don't know how to draw a puppy.

Rebecca asked for "a day at the spa." Sorry, Rebecca, this is the best I can do for you:

Related: I don't know what Rebecca looks like, nor have I ever even been to a spa.

Allison Dellion said "give to charity" so I made a $25 contribution to Project: Purse and Boots, "a gathering together of the women's blogging community to celebrate life while raising money to help fight the devastating consequences of cerebrovascular disease" and a project of Lori who blogs at In Pursuit of it All.

wasn't_serious requested an avatar for the Twitter.

Um. Sorry about the shitty avatar....

Anna Nonamus from Because You're a Moron (awesome) requested an entire post dedicated to her and if that wasn't possible, some cheese. Well, Anna... how about a sentence dedicated to you AND some cheese?

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese.

Okay, that's about half of the people who actually asked for something. I'm impressed at how many of you said you didn't want anything at all. Not greedy people from the internet? IMPOSSIBLE! I'll get to the rest tomorrow because I have run out of steam and now I have to go do homework.

Related: I hate Everyday Math!!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Literally

Monday, September 26, 2011

Homework: what do you think is reasonable?

I spent a lot of time last year at this time talking about homework and how much I hate it. It's true. I hate it. Especially with Child 1, because I'm a shitty teacher and he's a difficult student. After a few months last year I just said fuck it, I'm not doing homework anymore; this is too hard and too frustrating for all of us. I made a half assed attempt to find a tutor for Child 1 but then I gave up on that, too, and had some changes made in our IEP so that homework was modified and also done in school. That took a lot of the pressure off. Off of me, that is. Because this is about me... not about either of them.... Just kidding. No I'm not.

Toward the end of the year last year, however, I was feeling really shitty about never doing homework with either of them; I had rationalized that Kindergarteners shouldn't even have homework and I was doing him a favor by not making him do it, and that worked for a few months, but then I went back to feeling like a shitty slacker mom. So, this year I'm determined to stay on top of things and get this shit done every day so that I'm not a horrible terrible no good shitty parent. Because... as I said... this is about me... not them....

I've hired a tutor for Child 1. This shitty economy means that I get really lucky when it comes to tutor choices, apparently. I've found a credentialed teacher who works as a Resource Specialist in a public school but doesn't make enough money as a single parent so she picked up my tutoring gig (there's your proof, Fox News, that teachers and teacher's unions are ruining our economy!!!). Child 2 is a frickin genius, at the end of Kindergarten he was reading at a 2nd grade level, so I figure I can handle helping him and his genius brain.

So, this was all just a really long winded introduction to my question, because I need some perspective: How much time do you think is reasonable for a 4th grader with autism to spend doing homework, and a 1st grade genius to spend doing homework?

Child 1, with his tutor, can take up to 2 hours. Child 2, with just me, can take up to an hour. And he's not struggling or anything, he's speeding through it; there's just a lot of it.

That seems like a long time to me, for these guys to be spending this much time every day.

Does it seem like a long time to you?

How much time does it take your kids to do their homework, with or without your help?

Birthday Award Ceremony!

Thank you guys so much for humoring me and my silly little quiz. I was worried nobody would take it because I'm a silly dumbass, but lots of people ended up taking it!! Thank you for feeding my ego! HORRAY EVERYBODY!!! (Except... there was a typo in there. And nobody told me! WTF?? How did nobody mention the typo? THANKS A LOT, "FRIENDS.")

And MAN did you guys have some awesome ideas for prizes! I'm a little sad I can't award everybody, although.... I actually might. There were some good ideas in there that I may very well steal and pretend that it was my idea. And, also, some of them were quite reasonable, so if you really want what you said you wanted your prize to be, let me know, I'll probably still do it.

Anyway! There were three people who got 100% on the test and therefore three people will be awarded prizes today!! YAY!! (There were also two people who only got ONE question right on the whole thing. HA HA HA!! I may decide to "award" them "prizes," as well.... *snicker*)

But, I was looking through the test results the other night, and I wondered what would happen if I graded you guys on a curve? How would that change the results, I wonder? Teachers do that all the time, right? It's supposed to be easier? So, I asked hubs for help, because he's smarter than I am, and together we came up with this neat little bell curve type chart thingy!

And you know what I learned from viewing the results in this manner? That I have no fucking idea how to grade on a curve. Not a clue.


Our first winner is Liza! Who I don't know, actually. Hubs asked me if I thought it was weird or creepy that a total and complete stranger would get 100% on a test about me. Um.... Anyway! Liza said that for her prize she wanted "A birthday story." When I asked for clarification, she said "I'd love to hear about one of your memorable birthday moments, happy, sad, funny, horrific, whatever. It could be about anybody, past or present." I'm not sure if this post counts, but I'm going to guess probably not, so YES! Liza. You will get your birthday post as soon as I can think of something memorable to tell you about. So... that should be happening any day now.... hmmm.... do you smell something burning?

Our second winner is Dave! Who I also don't know! So, um... yeah.... there's nothing awkward at all about complete strangers getting 100% scores on tests about me.... nope.... nothing at all.... Dave said "My prize is for the hubs to take you on a date, then you can blog about it. Perhaps a picture of the food or bowling alley or park, whatever." That is a DAMN good idea, Dave. DAMN good. I am texting my babysitter AS I WRITE THIS, Dave!!! I will keep you posted.

Our third and final winner is somebody I know. YAY!! It's Roxanne, who blogs at Unintentionally Brilliant and can be found on Twitter at @roxisbrilliant. Brilliant work, Roxanne!! AHA HA HA HA HA HA..... sorry..... Anyway, Roxanne requested I draw a picture of her and her little man having a lightsaber fight. HERE YA GO!!! YAY!
"Hey, I made you some toast!"
"Isn't it a little on the dark side?"


1.  Who or what did I say is "trying too hard" ?
  1. Sarah Palin
  2. Child 2's preschool teacher
  3. An artichoke (Source)
  4. The car parked across the street
2.  Who is my blog idol?
  1. Me. Only me. Forever. Always. Just me.
  2. Allie Brosh (Source)
  3. Eschaton
  4. Amanda Marcotte
3.  What is Child 2's favorite song?
  1. Let the Bodies Hit the Floor (Source)
  2. Truckin'
  3. The Mickey's Clubhouse theme song
  4. Anything by Abba
4.  What is Child 1's (and therefore my) "old nemesis"?
  1. Rakes
  2. Scratchy shirts
  3. The sun
  4. Fire drills (Source)
5.  What do hubs and I do every Friday night?
  1. #wineparty
  2. Play Rock Band (Source)
  3. Get a babysitter and go out to dinner
  4. Karaoke
6.  Child 1 has a "test" for every new teacher he has every year. What is it?
  1. The "sensory" test
  2. The "softness" test
  3. The "decibal" test
  4. The "niceness" test (Source)
7.  How many birds, in total, have I actually killed?
  1. 0 (Source and source. Birds of the "Angry" variety don't count!)
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
8.  Why was there a cat intentionally locked in our garage for 2 months?
  1. He was rabid
  2. No reason, we're just really really mean
  3. He had a broken leg (Source and source and source)
  4. He was fighting all the other cats
9.  Where is my happy place?
  1. My car
  2. Drunk somewhere, it doesn't matter the location
  3. My big, comfy comfy bed
  4. Target (Too many sources to list!)
10.  How does Child 2 say "sarcasm" ?
  1. "sarcastum"
  2. "starcasm" (Source)
  3. "starcastum"
  4. "sarcasmst"
11.  What is the most amount of cats I have had at one time?
  1. 4
  2. 7
  3. 12 (Source)
  4. 13

Friday, September 23, 2011

A birthday post

So, we're playing Rock Band... because it's my birthday... and for my birthday I want to play Rock Band... and then this happened.....

You see what I did there? I scored #57 in the entire world of all the people who play Rock Band and sing Love is a Battlefield. I'm actually rather proud of that. I mean, I don't know exactly how many other people I'm competing against here in the Rock Band leaderboard world, but there has to be a lot, right? And here I scored #57 of all those people. I think that's cool. That's cool! Just accept it!! IT'S COOL. I'M ACTUALLY VERY PROUD OF MYSELF, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Anyhoozle, you know who is seriously underrated? Billy Joel? BILLY JOEL!! Why don't more people love him? Why?? Because "more people" are too fucking young, is the problem, in my opinion. I think. "More people" just don't get the brilliance of Mr. Joel. Because he's awesome. So very very awesome.

OH MY GOD. This song fucking kills me. KILLS ME. I love Billy Joel. I want more than anything to meet him, in person, and tell him how fucking awesome I think he is. That will never happen, but that's okay. None of us, ever, get to meet our heroes, really, do we? Okay, I get that. And yet, here we are.

Okay! So, let's talk about my birthday for a moment. As I write this, it's about 30 minutes past midnight, so it's technically not my birthday anymore, but we don't care about technicalities, do we? Did I spell that right? There's no red line underneath it, so I'm going to assume it's spelled right. Anyway, what was my point. OH RIGHT. One of my prize winners from my quiz had requested a birthday post. She said I'm a good storyteller. I thought maybe she was thinking of somebody else, but then I emailed her and she wrote back and huh. She was actually talking about me. Anyway, she requested a birthday post, and here it is! Me, writing a post on my birthday. Probably not what she had in mind, but then again, this isn't the actual prize giving post, so maybe nobody will notice.


Okay, so..... my point is as follows: Okay, well, Liza, I'm sorry, this isn't your prize, because obviously this sucks and it's a sucky prize if it were a prize, but good thing it's not because it sucks. You know who you are!

My SECOND point is that.... if you haven't already taken my birthday test, you need to take my birthday test. Remember! It's anonymous! And such. And it makes me happy to see that you've taken it. And don't you want to make me happy? The question alone makes me sleepy. And gassy.

Also click here.

And then visit this site, because she's cool and I like her. So you should like her, too. And stop questioning me!!! Also, she got the worst fucking score on my test. OMG she sucked so bad! HA HA HA HA HA H!!!!! She got, like, ONE question right! But, seriously, I love her and she's awesome.... so... yeah.

And then take the test. Because I said so.

P.S. I apologize for whatever it was I said above. It's my birthday and I'm (obviously) drunk and I didn't proof read before I hit "Publish Post." Don't judge me.....


Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's my birthday and I'll be vain if I want to

Excitement and/or interest not to scale
It's my birthday today!


How old am I, you ask? Well, sure, I'd be glad to tell you: today I turn the 13th prime number. HORRAY!

So, since it's my birthday, I thought I'd be vain today. I mean, that's what blogging is, after all: an exercise in vanity. So why not take advantage of the combination of these two things happening in one day? I don't see why not.

And so... I have created a test. A test to see how well you've been paying attention over the last 15 or so months that I've been at this blogging thing. I know that not everybody has been reading since the beginning, actually only about 3 people have been, so I've made it easy for you by making this test open book. All the answers to the questions on this 11 question multiple choice test can be found within the pages of this blog (down at the very bottom of the left side column there is a search box). It should be pretty easy. Right?


The winner will be the person who gets 100%. Should there be more than one person, I may award all of you, or I may randomly pick one or two. I don't know yet, it depends how many there are.

Said winner, of course, will get a prize; and you guys know that I always give prizes when I promise them... y'know, eventually. And the best part? THE BEST PART??? This time I want you to pick the prize. At the end of the test is a place for you to tell me what you want your prize to be if you win. It can be absolutely anything you want, with a few exceptions. AAAANYTHING.

I KNOW, right???

Here are the exceptions to the prize rule:

1. I'm not showing you a picture or a video of myself. Don't even bother complaining about it, Sara, it's just not going to happen!! So don't even ask!

2. Please make sure it's something that physics will allow me to do, I mean.... humans still can't fly and all that...

3. I am willing to spend some money but please don't break me; I'm not rich

4. I won't do anything that I am ethically or politically opposed to. So, while you might think that it would be hilarious to make me give a campaign contribution to Michele Bachmann... yeah, sorry, no...

The test is also completely anonymous, if you want it to be. It asks you for your name but you can always lie, and it doesn't capture your IP address when you submit your answers, so unless you want me to know, I will have absolutely no idea who the winner is. Anybody in the world is welcome to take it, (except Hubs) so all you need is some interest! (I assume that's the hard part). Not telling me who you are, however, won't stop me from awarding you the prize you requested. If you win? You get the prize.

Okay. SO! To take the test, simply click on the link to the test. You will then see this:
See, you can put whatever you want in there as your name, as long as you don't leave it blank, but you do need to put the correct Access Code, which is JILL. (If you can't remember the access code you probably won't do very well on the test, though. I'm just sayin).

At the end you will be asked, again, who you are and again, tell me whatever you want. Then it will ask you what you want your prize to be should you win. GO TO TOWN, PEOPLE!! Get creative!! WOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!! I'm looking forward to seeing the shit you guys can come up with.

Once you submit your answers, you will get a score telling you how well you did, but you will not get the answers. This is to prevent you from coming back and taking it again with the correct answers. Unfortunately, because the last question is "fill in the blank" if you get all the questions right, your score will only be 92%. It's confusing, don't ask, but you can get a pdf of your answers and see which ones you got right.

Once I think I've gotten enough submissions, I will turn the test off and come back here with the winner and the answers.

I'm turning off commenting for this post so if you have any questions, find me on twitter or email jillsmo at gmail.com. Are you sorry that you can't wish me a happy birthday? WELL YOU SHOULD BE SORRY. Actually, if you want to give me a present, you can go over to the sidebar there on the left and click on that juggling chick with the apron and the boobs; and then do that again every day that you come back. (this is the last time I will mention that, I promise).

Okay, now I feel icky for having been so annoyingly vain. Good thing this only happens once a year....

Oh, by the way, I've spent a ridiculous amount of money on this online testing software that I will probably never use again, so if anybody wants to borrow it, let me know, because I paid for a whole year and somebody might as well get some use out of it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, but with some words

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My scumbag brain returns

I'm never sure if I should just show you guys these (awesome) pictures without a narrative or if I should chat you up while I do it. Last time I introduced you to my scumbag brain I did it without any explanatory text, so this time I think I'm going to get all chatty 'n shit on your asses. Let me know which one you like better.

It was last Friday and I was walking the boys home from school, and I was really tired. You know those days when you're so tired that you feel like you could literally fall down and die? Die from being tired? I mean literally? Fall down? And die? That was the kind of day I was having, on Friday, coming home from school.....

The boys, however, had LOTS of energy; obnoxious amounts, in fact. Annoying, obnoxious amounts. I was miserable. All they could talk about was how much they couldn't wait to play Wii and who was going to play Wii first and Mama will you watch us play Wii and this is so exciting because it's Friday and no homework and we're going to play Wii when we get home!! YAYYYYY!!!! WIIIIII!!!!!!!!

Usually when I'm feeling that tired I sit there on the couch and I stare blankly at whatever they're doing, but this time I thought I'd take advantage of this Wii obsession. I gave them snacks and water and I went upstairs to lie the fuck down! YES!

I'm pretty sure that there is no better feeling in the world than when you're really tired and you slip into your comfy, comfy bed for a nap. Well, maybe an orgasm, but just barely....

Then, it happened, however: my brain turned on....

Because, you know, we live less than a mile away from the Hayward fault, which is so overdue for "The Big One" that at this point it's no longer a question of "if" the big one will hit, but when and exactly how big and how many people are going to die when it does? It could happen at any time. Any day. No matter where we are or what we're doing, or whether or not we have yet gotten around to attaching our large and heavy pieces of furniture which hold our televisions and our Wii consoles securely to the wall. And once I start thinking about these things, the game is over, I can never make my brain shut up once it gets going like this. Have I mentioned yet that I'm neurotic? Yeah, a few times....

Stupid brain.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Dive Bar Welcomes: Becky

Today we welcome Becky who blogs at A Side of Rice. Hello Becky!!!

Two Words: You're Alive

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my sister sat on the runway at O'Hare airport, her flight waiting for clearance to take off.  She's a flight attendant for United.  As the horrific events of the morning unfolded, our family (mom, dad, myself and two other sisters - and countless other family members) were desperately trying to reach her. We didn't know her schedule and didn't know if she was on any of the ill-fated flights that day.

On September 11, 2011 my sister posted the following on facebook:

   I have had a number of strangers ask me how I am doing today, but not one of my loved ones has called to check on me.  Hmmm.

Her post ignited a bunch of commentary, to the tune of:

   What is wrong with your family?
   How thoughtless of them!
   We love you even if they don't

And when I saw this assault, I commented:

   By "loved ones" do you mean your family?  If so, then you'll have to consider me offended. On that day 10 years ago we did not know if you were working one of the flights and were desperate to find out.  When we did finally realize you were ok, we were relieved.  And then the guilt kicked in. Because our relief was so many others' unimaginable grief.  Not to be a snot about it, but this really is an unfair characterization of your family - not to mention uninformed commentary by your friends about your family.  You are thought of EVERY day.  Because you are family.  And today, I add the thousands of souls who perished - along with the multitude of those left behind who continue to grieve - to my reflective thoughts.  You are one, among many, but don't be offended if I don't single you out.

My comment was up for about 10 seconds.  And. Then. She. Deleted. It.

She texted our youngest sister: "I just deleted a comment she made on my post. Guess I'm gonna hear about that". 

I did try and call her, but my call went right to voicemail.  So I left this message:

I love you, but I believe your post today was totally disrespectful and inappropriate.  I found it important that I defend our family's honor. On the anniversary of such tragic events, it is not a time to be self-centric, when you have being alive to celebrate.  I hope I talk to you soon.

I've got two words for you sis:  You're Alive.

And here are two more: Thousands Aren't.

As if that wasn't enough, try this: Multitudes Grieve.

So in closing, here are my two final words: Getover Yourself.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I've gotten in a little over my head

UPDATE: Okay, here's what's happened so far. I "unsubscribed" from everything in Google Reader, except when I go to reader now, everything is still there; all 539 of them. HOWEVER, it has made it appear as though I actually have unsubscribed from all of you because I'm not showing up in your little GFC box anymore. So, YOU think I've unsubscribed, but Google does not. THAT'S FUCKING GREAT, GOOGLE.

I've switched to netvibes. I fucking hate Google now.

I don't know if anybody has noticed (probably not, but whatever. Hey, it's MY ego and I'll inflate it if I want to!) but I haven't been reading or commenting on any of your blogs lately. Maybe one a day at the most and it's only because I've followed a link from a tweet.

See.... here's the thing. When I first started blogging, I only had three followers and one of them was me, so as I made my way through the internets and encountered all these other blogs, I started following every single blog I landed on, especially the ones with only three followers, because man I know how awesome it feels to have your fourth follower be somebody you aren't related to, and I like to pass that kind of joy around. The problem, as you will guess, is that I am now following quite a large number of blogs: 539 to be exact.

This is not a joke. I am not exaggerating or inflating that number for show, I am actually following 539 blogs. See?

As you can imagine, it's a bit difficult to keep current on 539 blogs every day, and it really only takes about a day for this to happen:

See, once you get to 1,000 unread posts, they just stop bothering to count for you and they add that plus sign at the end. After three days I might have 3,000 unread posts as far as I know.

At some point I figured out that I could make categories and put all my 539 blogs into neatly categorized folders, except once I had made the folders, I couldn't figure out which blog should do into which folder, and it became a nightmare of trying to read and figure it all out. A nightmare, I tell you!!!! (#FirstWorldProblems)

At this point I've decided to just scrap the whole system and start over. I'm going to unsubscribe from all 539 blogs (even my own!!!!!!) and then RE-subscribe, one at a time, using a different fucking blog reader than Google reader because Google reader is lame.

So, if you notice that I've unsubscribed from you, especially those of you who only have 4 followers and one of them is you and another is me, don't worry: I'll be back!

Also, what readers do you guys use? Can somebody recommend a good one (for Mac) that isn't Google Reader? Because Google reader is lame.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hubs takes one for the team

Child 2 is very smart, but at some point along the line he heard a rumor or something about "sex" and got it into his head that "sex" was when two people kiss and snuggle a lot. So, lately he's been telling me that he wants to have sex with me, or he'll kiss me and say "we just had sex!"

Um. Awkward.

I've been trying to talk to him about it, but MY GOD is that uncomfortable, so I thought "Hey! I'll get a book!" Surely there are 10 billion books out there about talking to or explaining to your kids about sex, right? Right. I asked around for suggestions and ended up buying 5 different books for a variety of ages and maturity levels, and they came this weekend.

But somebody still had to read them to him, so I asked hubs; and I was really glad when he agreed. So on Sunday night, he and Child 2 went off to read while I sat in the bedroom, twittering (of course) and I could hear everything that was said......

When he emerged about 10 minutes later, he stumbled into the room and fell on the bed like he'd been wrestling with bears. I told him so at the time, and I'll tell him here now (assuming he reads this):

Thanks, Hubs, for taking one for the team!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guest Blogger: Robot Mommy. Stories of a former teacher.

The other day I commented on Twitter that teachers need to get paid more. You know why? Because teachers need to get paid more. Is why. Then my buddy, The Robot Mommy, commented that she makes more money managing a Starbucks than she did as a teacher. Seriously?? What is wrong with our society that it values Starbucks more than education? Something serious. So, I asked her to guest blog for me. Thank you, Robot Mommy! And to all you teachers out there: You guys need to make more money. But you knew that.....

I watch the news daily and I always feel a mixture of sadness and relief. When watching the coverage on budget cuts causing teachers to receive pink slips, I know my heart is spilt. One half pining to be in a classroom again, the other glad I left such a challenging and insecure profession.

It was my choice to leave. I had had enough. Enough drama. Enough inconsistency. Enough feeling worthless in the eyes of the administration. Enough feeling that my heart was not loving my job to give my students what they deserved.

I taught for 10 years. The first five were strictly preschool in a private school, I taught 3 year olds and PRE-K. I had great kids, great supportive teachers, amazing co-teachers and I worked hard to earn rank in my little private domain. However, I made crap money. This was before a licensed permit was needed to teach but I was in school the whole time. I tried to fit classes in to finish and working another part-time job to make rent. I was in my early 20's. I made 18,500 a year.

Later on, I was given a golden opportunity to quit and make more money doing work as a law clerk. It was fun, at first then it got real heavy and I pined to return to teaching. I kicked myself for leaving. My pay was crap but I was appreciated by my parents and staff. My boss liked me. I made a huge mistake.

I decided to try and return to teaching at the same private school but in a different city. Loaded with a recommendation letter from my previous boss, I hoped for another opportunity. A handshake and a tour of the school gave a glimmer of hope. I'm back where I belong, I thought. That glimmer faded real fast.

The school was "overstaffed" and I was told I'd be a floater until a spot opened up for me. I didn't care, I was teaching. I knew I had to earn my rank again. I was willing to put in my dues.

Floating in preschool, right? Oh so wrong. The school had me in classroom after classroom. I was placed in one room for a day and in the middle of singing a song with the children, the teacher I was subbing for accused me of "turning the kids against her". When I tried to make the situation right, she marched up to the administrator and tried to get me fired since I clearly had "no respect for the tenured teachers"

I was moved. To the middle school class.

I had no middle school experience but was placed with another teacher. What was supposed to be a new experience teaching became a TA position and lower pay. I started at 25,000. They dropped me down to 8.50 an hour. To add insult to injury, I was forced to sub other classes and get paid no more for the day. Other subs would receive $20/ hour for the same work. The difference was clearly their education over mine. But when no sub could be found, they moved me from the middle school to the classes that needed a sub.

I figured I'd fight fire with fire and start up classes at night and take my CBEST. That way I'd at least have my education to merit a better pay. Then my decision to leave showed up in front of me one day. A girl out of high school was in the break room. She gloated about receiving 15$/ hour for sub work with no college education under her belt.
I grabbed my purse, walked into the admin's office, turned in my resignation and left. I cried as I walked toward my car. It wasn't my education, it was me. Clearly, I wasted 5 years.

After that I started working in coffee houses, building my skills, getting promoted and eventually bringing me to Starbucks front door. I was a difficult decision. I mean I only knew how to teach. Somehow, the sadness of leaving teaching quickly left me when I saw what type of support I received from the company. Working retail and teaching children couldn't be farther from the spectrum. Feeling worthwhile in your job has no limitation. Teaching or retail, you deserve to know you are appreciated. How sad, though, that I felt 100x more worthy selling coffee and making lattes for Starbucks than teaching children and preparing them for the future in that school.

I was quickly promoted from barista to store manager and I've been running my own store for over 4 years now. The amount I make in comparison to what I did teaching is almost triple.

I know that if I'd finished up my education I would've been making more when I started teaching. I could've worked for a public school but really, would've been better? Maybe. Maybe not.

All I do know is that given the situation that happened at the second school, more money would not have meant more happiness. My situation is clearly my own but teacher friends of mine have told me that in public schools things are not necessarily easy either. One thing they do have in common is that they're scared. Private school or public, it's the same thing. Without the support of the administrators, you're sunk.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I was driving home the other day....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Say something nice Saturday

I like this idea, saying something nice. How nice!

I thought I'd tell you something nice (and funny) that somebody did for me this week.

The boys and I were walking home from school yesterday and we passed a friend of mine who lives around the corner. This is what she told me:

"I knocked on your door the other day but you didn't answer. I wanted to tell you that you had left all the doors of your van open and there was a squirrel inside your car. Since you didn't answer, I kicked the squirrel out, closed all your doors and left."

Friday, September 9, 2011

No liquids were harmed during the making of this post

My friend Dawn who blogs at This Side of Typical has another thing that she does when not blogging and chasing kids around, which is to be an awesome seamstress/artist type person. Lately she's been into crocheting (I'm sorry but I simply have no idea how you spell that word) and recently she blogged about how she made a mug cozy for me. FOR ME!! She made one for me!!! And she sent it to me.

Because she's fucking awesome.

I must put this cozy to good use. No... not to "good" use, ..... to the best possible use that any cozy could ever be put to!

Okay, but here's the thing, though. This is a tea cozy... and I fucking hate tea. I really do. It's because when I was pregnant with Child 1, and I got sick or nauseous, the only thing I could ever really do for it was to drink some tea. I drank a lot of mint tea, and I drank throat coat, and I drank ginger tea... and after a while it became a joke with Hubs and me, that whenever anything was wrong with me, I should "have some tea!" and it really started to piss me off. So, ever since then, tea has done nothing but anger me. Yes, that's right: Tea makes me angry.

But look how adorable this tea cozy is!! You can tell it's just dying to make tea cozy.

It even has adorable-ass buttons in the back that wrap around the mug handle!!

I guess it could also be a coffee cozy, but... I don't know... since I hate tea, I somehow felt that this cozy was meant for bigger and better things.

So, I tried it out on some other options....

I do drink a lot of coffee, so maybe like this?

No... that clearly won't work. What else do I like to drink? Well, when I'm not drinking coffee, though, the only other non alcoholic beverage I like is water. So, maybe....?

No, no.... I'm not sure this cozy was destined to be on a non-alcoholic beverage. I'd better keep trying.  Beer! It fit perfectly around the beer bottle, except, sadly... I don't drink beer. That was for my college days, I have more mature, refined taste now. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.... no, I totally don't have that, I just don't drink beer because it makes me too full.....

I do enjoy champagne! It's the crack of alcohol, as hubs likes to say, and who am I to ever turn down any kind of crack? Actually.... I've said too much.... nevermind.....

Wine makes much more sense, especially during #wineparty, but it was pretty hard to hold the glass, and I was afraid of spilling on my awesome wine cozy.... maybe there's something that works better...

NOW we're getting somewhere, but again, I didn't want to spill and it wasn't very easy to hold the glass, especially after the fourth or fifth one of these that I tried it with. Not. Easy. At. All.

Y'know, I think I may be over thinking this thing, perhaps I should simplify?

Yeah. That's more like it.... much more like it..... Now we're talking!

But, just in case I still wanted that non alcoholic option....

Do you want a cozy made for you? You can totally have one! Just not for free, is the thing. That's not a problemo, is it? Go to Dawn's Facebook page for more info. And thank you, Dawn, for my awesome new vodka and Xanax cozy!!!!!!

Update, from Hubs:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Who's phoning it in? I AM!!

Yesterday I displayed some of my awesome artwork for you fine folks. Oh, stop. Please. There's no need for applause. Oh, my. A standing ovation? Really? That's so not necessary. I'm flattered, though, thank you. Okay, okay. I think that's enough. Okay, you can stop now. No I'm serious. Stop. Stop now. FUCKING STOP CLAPPING NOW, GODDAMIT, I'M TRYING TO TALK HERE!!

Okay! So. Anyway, part of my awesome artwork of yesterday was the greatest picture of a bear that's ever been drawn; I'm pretty sure that was the general and unanimous consensus about The Popsicle Bear Thing©, and in the comments section, my friend Jennie B, who blogs at Anybody Want a Peanut? suggested that my awesome bear should become a new award, with "I'm just phoning it in today" as the title of said award.


Jennie actually had no idea how much of an awesome idea this was, since just a few weeks ago I made a quiz and promised a prize to the winners, and then never actually gave them a prize. This isn't such a big deal, really, except that I have something in mind for what I'm going to post on my birthday (OMG coming up!!!) and I can't offer a prize for that if I never gave a prize to the last people who were offered prizes, right? I've been trying to think of something to give the winners of that contest but have thus far been unable to come up with something.

Until today.

I'll just create a new award and give them THAT! And I'll call it "Phoning it In." Because that's exactly what I'm doing!!!


AND SO.... I hereby present this, the newest, awesomest honor of today's internet.........

.... to the following lucky recipients.....

There are no rules for winning this award, because that would require a whole other level of effort that I'm just not willing to make at this time, so you guys should just do with it what you want.


Damn, I feel like I really dodged a bullet here. Thanks Jennie!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I hope nobody is taking this seriously

Yesterday I was twittering and I told the twitter that I had nothing to blog about, so I asked for suggestions on what I could write about or draw. And I got some! So I got to work.

But then it kind of struck me that maybe there are some people out there who think I take this drawing thing at all seriously. I mean... it's possible, right? Anyway, I always like to clear up any possible misconceptions even before they happen, so here we go.

Just in case anybody was thinking this, let me set the record straight: I can't draw to save my life. I'm not kidding. I'm not putting myself down in order to get compliments, I'm not one of those people who actually can draw but call it crappy, anyway.... no. That's not what's happening here. I'm not trying to be like Allie Brosh or Big Daddy or Kendall... those people actually have artistic ability, whereas I have none. Absolutely none. Not even a smidge. When I make shitty drawings, it's with the intent of making fun of myself.... because I think I'm that bad. I'm not even trying to be ironic; this shit just sucks. But that's what's funny!

So, as the title says, I really hope nobody is taking any of this seriously, because I'm certainly not, and I hope you're all laughing at me, as you should be.

Anyway! Here's what I came up with, via my twitter suggestions of last night. Feel free to steal it and claim it as your own!!! :)

MotherShutter suggested: "How about a grown man screaming like a little girl while wielding a broom & hopping around trying to kill a mouse. In the street."

FoShoKim said: "Me. Draw me pulling my hair out as my kid plays with angry birds for the 10,000th time."

arocky1 said: "how about a tiny terrorist saying damn it.... it should fit nicely in my blog about my three year old this weekend..."

And fetfet50 said I should draw a bear.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ikea. This is where I die.

Let's BEE Friends

It was Sunday morning and I was going to Ikea, because I had promised Child 1 I would get him a desk before the weekend was over.

I get dressed and get ready, except I decided to skip the shower. I figured it would be quick, in 'n out and all done, don't need to shower for that, right? Except, it had been 3 days since I had last showered and... I was pretty ripe. In hindsight? This was a bad choice.

Because, you see, it was not a quick in 'n out and all done.

School just started at Cal (UC Berkeley) last week, it was labor day weekend, and apparently every student and their mother (literally) had decided that Sunday morning was the best time to go and buy those lamps and computer desks for their new dorms and apartments.

Oh good god it was crowded. And hot. And I was fucking ripe. Did I mention I hadn't showered in 3 days? I had visible stink lines coming from the top of my head. And after a few days of not showering, my hair goes out in all different directions; far, far away from my head. I was not a pretty sight.

And what's that rule? There's a rule, I think, that says that when you go out in public without showering, and it's crowded and noisy and hot and you're sweaty and sticky and fucking miserable you will run into one person you know for each day that you haven't showered? I think that's the rule, right? I hadn't showered in 3 days so, naturally, I ran into 3 people that I knew.

It was awful. The more I walked through the crowds and listened to the in depth discussions about the width of the space between the bed and the window and whether or not this particular Lapkrik would fit in that space and hey, what do you think of the pink one? Should I get the pink one? the more I wanted to just flee that horrible, horrible place. But I had promised Child 1 a desk and I wasn't going to come home without one. Fuck the meatballs and daim bars and lightbulbs, just get me a goddamn desk and get me the hell out of here.... I wove through the strollers and the peppy sorority girls and their mothers and so many toddlers for some reason, I found my desk and I got the fuck out as fast as I could.

The next day, hubs actually took both kids and went back. He came home with not only daim bars, meatballs and lightbulbs, but also pillows and towels. You know what the difference was? He took a shower before he left.

Make a note.