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Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Snapshot of the Future?

We were out buying a new car with J. today. Not for her mind you, but last time we went without her to buy a car 6 years ago, we came back with a lemon (2003 Chrysler Voyager. The transmission blew up last year about this time. $3500.00 later. Need I say more?).

She's always blamed us for buying this piece of junk. If only we'd taken her. Soo, this time we took her and came back with a 2008 Honda Civic. I like the car already, and plan to drive it until the wheels fall off. J. was disappointed it wasn't red. I told J. and Gary that I DON'T CARE. Good gas mileage (the van was doing good to hit 21 mpg) and low maintenance (read above). So we got dark beige. Taupe, I think, is the official color. Fine by me, won't show dirt.

But as we were waiting for the sales guy to "go talk to his manager" (yeah, yeah, we know this game, but we also know that we have the upper hand. We know how much blue book is, trade in is, and the dealer mark up thanks to Consumer Reports. And we're in a recession and we can walk.)

Out in the parking lot was a family and a young girl, maybe in her 20s. She was having her dad, I think, take pictures by a new Honda CRV (this was at the Honda dealership in Auburn).

J. let it be known that she'd like that to be her in 2 years. I told her try to picture herself NOT in the sportscar she had her eye on (a black and gold number that she said would match PLU's colors) but the blah Civic she just bought. Most likely, that will be her first car. And we'll take a picture then.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Champion for the Bumbles

While I was rejoicing for the snow the other day, my daughter gave me a dirty look.

"What about all the bumble bees that are going to die!" she grumbled.

Here is the post I put up as it was snowing outside Thursday evening on my other blog.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shopping for a New Dress

It was Easter after all.

And Jennifer headed out to the mall, with mom acting as the Easter Bunny (this is much more expensive than jelly beans) to buy a new dress. And I couldn't resist, I had to buy one for myself too.

Standing in line to try on said -almost strapless dress- for myself, I heard this exchange between father and daughter (who based on the slinky numbers walking into the dressing room, these were prom dresses, not Easter frocks).

Dad holds up dress from rack for daughter's approval, while she stands in line.

"Dad, I said nothing with sequins."

He holds up another offering.

"Not bows."

And yet another.

"That one gives me a headache," she sniffed, looking at the 1970s design of brown on orange.

I had to agree with her on that one. It made my head ache too, 30 years ago.

So, resigned, he walks over to darlin daughter and asks how much is the the slinky number she holding.

$150. Noticing his shocked look, she says "Now I told you it was going to cost that much before we went out."

He holds up headache dress. It's $60 cheaper.

"No way"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Obama Speech, For Those That Missed It

Of course, last week, there was some good news for Hillary as well. Whether this speech will push those ## or not, we'll have to wait until next week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No Easter Beagle, Instead J. Wants to Talk Politics

This morning J. and settled down to check out our usual list of tivo'd stuff. And instead of looking through last night's "Dances with Stars," she paused on analysis of Obama's now-famous speech.

It was interested to see her reaction to this story. She really isn't buying the "I don't like some of his beliefs, but still go to his church" line. Also for the first time, I noticed that Obama called Rev. Wright "his former pastor."

Some of this you can blame on me. I just left a church I had attended for 20 years when some of the leaders literally ran the pastor out on a rail because they didn't feel he was spending enough time at the church (fyi, his wife has lupus). I learned later they'd pulled a similar stunt when on a minister that I didn't particularly like, but no one should be treated like that.

So, with some tears, I left. It does matter what the leaders of the church do, what they say and what they don't say. It matters. And your reaction to it matters as well. So I 'm not buying it either. BTW, here is some good news for Hilary supporters.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weekend With the Daughter

Which was actually quite pleasant.

We went out to see "Horton Hears a Who," which was quite good actually, when to Thai, and then she slept with me and the cats in the master bedroom (G. was on a business trip). During the Thai dinner, she chattered on and on, about friends and boys and dropping such comments as "Yeah, no girl really wants to date D. He goes after anything with boobs and a vagina."

Okay, try not to choke here. And at least she's talking to me right? Couldn't convince her to go to church this am, (but she may next week), but she did go to b-fast. It was nice sharing the weekend, even if I had to help her build a cadmium model (don't ask.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Civil Disobedience, Middle School Style

A text apparently flew around the school on Thursday to not cheer at the pep assembly at my daughter's school , because, gasp , the assemblies were rigged.

So when it came turn for the entire 8th grade for cheer in order to get their crack at the spirit stick, a few that didn't receive the text called out, but most were mute. I guess, my daughter tells me, some teachers are ticked, and will be letting the 8th grade know what punishment they'll get on Monday. It might mean their 8th grade end-of-the year dance is toast.

Okay, in one way I see the administration's point. It takes down the entire school spirit of the school if the 8th graders decide not to play ball. And even they agree, yes it's rigged. The stick is passed around in a 6th, 7th, 8th grade rotation. But the kids, you got to give them credit for imagination.

This is the same group that decided that one math teacher was "processing" sending kids to a mini detention, too often. So they made a pact to all get "processed" in one day.

The most normal 8th grade prank I heard about was setting off a stink bomb in the cafeteria in January.

Trying not to laugh, I told J. that yes, your group has imagination, but if the adults are not amused, you're going to have to suck it up and take your punishment....and plan the next act of CD.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Great Day Balancing the Budget, Then the Day Goes to Heck

Went as a chaperon to Junior Achievement with J. middle school class (only field trip this year by my count) and the kids were supposed to balance out a budget given a profile they received (married, 2 kids; single, 3 kids, married, no kids) and salaries ranging from $21,000 to $50,000 a year.

And darned if the kids didn't make a good go if it, finding room to pay the mortgage, rent, car payments, food, insurance, vacation, med. insurance, down to savings and donations. J. ended up as a single woman with a salary of $51,000. So she lived on the beach and drove a sports car. She had $7 left over at the end of the month.

I think some adults, moi included, could use this rundown.

But then things went haywire from there. Her best friend wouldn't "wait for her" a faux pas in friendship etiquette. Wouldn't save her a seat and one of the girls put a sticker on her back and no one would tell her about it.

Then the coach got mad at some girl mouthing off, and made them run lines until they were in tears. Ahem. This isn't the 1980 Olympics team (see Miracle if want to know what I'm talking about) or the Marines.

So I picked up a tearful J. in the back of the gym.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Any Parent of a Middle School Girl Should Watch This

Was just reading the Seattle Times this morning, and came across this blip for a documentary that follows some teenage girls, about a dozen of them, from 2002-2006 in Overland Park, Kan.

But in reading the story, it looks like the place could have been anywhere USA.

Here is the direct link to WE. So the documentary starts Monday at 10 pm (past my bedtime) on the WE or Women's Entertainment network.

I loved the lead by Jacqueline Cultler of ZapZit.

As teenagers enter high school, traces of the girls they were linger. Some
teeth have braces, and faces are rounder and clean of makeup. Four years later,
those traces and braces are gone. Their faces are more adult and defined, and
their eyes are rimmed with too much eyeliner.

So Tivo it if you have to, and it's worth the eight hour commitment (my daughter is frowning at me as I write this, afraid, I think , I might find out a few of her secrets.)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Frustration on the Court

Arrived at J. b-ball game yesterday, and I'm wondering if I'm a jinx.

The scores were fairly close, and then the girls seemed to lose steam, and ended up losing by 15 points. Happened last time I picked her up at a game as well. When Gary picks her up, the team wins. I'm about ready to assign this duty to him.

However, not only was J. discouraged about losing, but the fact she got to play very little, and that the coach threw a gatoraide at the bleachers during the game. He said later he wasn't angry at the team, but come on, middle school girls can't process that. Most grown women I know can't process that. They think you missed and hit the bleachers instead.

So what to do. I know the principal was at some of the game watching, but I don't know if he saw this outburst.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The New Black, Part Deux

First off, we watched this post on a friend's blog tonight and just laughed! B-word, the new black. It's a Tina Fey SNL skit on Hillary.

Which brings us to the new black under my roof. J. took a career/skills test at school, and came out with high marks in science, leadership and persuasion. And assertiveness. Not so much on accommodating skills however.

"A bit bossy, huh?" I laughed.

"I am not!" she said.

I pointed out this was a good thing, referring to the "the new black."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Easter Eggs, They are Still Fun

Apparently. As we're walking through Top Foods today, J. turns and asks when we're going to buy the Easter egg stuff.

Really? I thought, frankly, she'd outgrown that, but apparently not. She went on to gush on how fun it was to color the eggs and draw on them with the clear crayons. Okay, well, if she still wants to do the eggs, which no one ever eats, we'll do the eggs.

I had to laugh, since soon after she turned 10 or 11, I went on an all out mission to nuke Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Sandman. She still believed in them all, and I was tired of it. I wanted to get some sleep on Christmas Eve (Gary usually went to bed early), and same went for the Saturday before E-day. My jewelry box was beginning to look a bit gruesome with all those teeth stacking up.

So, I started to make sure she found the Christmas presents and the jelly bean sacks underneath the sink. Finally, she gave it up about 11-12 and told me, okay mom, you can stop.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Another School Recognizes the Middle Class are Good Folks to Have Around

This NPR article caught my eye. So now I believe it's Harvard, Yale and now Stanford that have agreed to waive tuition is the family makes less than $100,000 a year.

So, I guess I can quit work so my darlin can go to Stanford? Or maybe Brown, according to the NYT article.

Society or Scholastics

Coming down to the wire on what high school to go to.

Both girls agreed to go to an open house at Auburn Mountainview, and I think they were impressed, even though most of their friends are still going to Auburn Senior High. To recap, J.'s BF was slated to go to Auburn Mountainview, so we thought the matter was settled. But then BF's dad (parent's are divorced) wants her to go to Auburn Senior High. So the tug and pull continues.

There are more honors classes at AMV, and it's a newer school. But the refrain of "all my friends are going to ASH" is beginning to wear Gary and I down. Everyone once and awhile a helpful friend sez, "You need to be the adult here." Thanks for that.