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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Dance With Cinderella

Or, actually, I've been hearing the theme songs from Cinderella for about two months now.

J. is in the school musical at the fairy godmother, so I can almost sing (loosely stated) the entire two verses of "Impossible" when FG first pops on the scene.

Which brings me to the dress. This last weekend we went out walking around the Auburn Supermall in search of the perfect fairy godmother dress (I was all for renting or Value Village, but we weren't finding anything, or at least anything in a size 4).

So we wandered into a prom/wedding dress shop, that was packed with bored boyfriends, nervous dads and weary moms, all searching for that perfect spring prom dress.

I spotted some odd tulle sticking out of one line of dresses and dug it out. Voila. It was blue, and not hot pink, and had tulle to spare, along with feathers dotting the top layer of fluff. It wasn't strapless (a no no in an eight grade play, it seems) and yet showed enough skin to satisfy my daughter.

She started to balk at the feathers, when I reminded her she wasn't going out on a hot date, but she was a FG. The feathers worked perfectly for that, as did the long poofy train in the back. Looking skeptical, she disappeared into the dressing room, with orders NOT to peak over the top.

And the dress fit perfectly. Okay, it fit if she inhaled.

Now, the price tag. Org. it was $350 cut down to $150, but once I told the store's owner that is was going to go to a school musical, and yes I planned to donate it for a tax deduction, she whacked it down to $100.

When J. pulled out the pile of fluff and presented it to her drama teacher yesterday, who exclaimed of it, declared it the perfect FG dress, and then asked how much it cost.

"On second thought, I don't want to know," he quickly added.

Unf. the alt. fairly godmother couldn't quite fit into the dress (I suggested we just lose the zipper and put in velcro, but was outvoted ), so she's going back to get the size 6.

Friday, April 25, 2008

So What About This Teacher That Got a $10,000 Grant?

That is what I asked J. casually, when I heard about a middle school science teacher at her school getting a $10,000 grant for his science class and to help a nearby salmon stream. No info. She had never had the teacher, since he didn't teach honors classes.

Well, what's he like? Mean. Fun. Good natured? Pick one.

No info whatsoever. If you're not in her line of sight, well, you don't exist in middle school. Here's the story anyway. But from this blog post, this seems to be the norm among middle schoolers.

Yep, I've Seen Text-Speak In Her Papers; And As For the WASL, Who Are They Kidding?

This is an interesting New York Times article on text-language showing up in formal papers kids turn into school.

Well, I can attest to that. J., knowing my background as a journalist, will always have me proof her work. And lo' and behold, if it's not an actual misspelling, it's something like "R U going...." Yeah, that's going to get by Mr. Heinen with flying colors.

Also, she's relieved. She took her last WASL test until the big one in 10th grade yesterday. I asked her if she wanted to take it early in 9th grade, just to be done with it and it was like I had just suggested that she poke herself with a hot needle. Okay, never mind.

But if anyone thinks those kids don't discuss the test with each other, with their friends, grandparents or parents, well, they do. I have a force and energy question (something to do with a pipe) that I've pretty much memorized right now, due to the fact J. repeated it so many times to see if she'd gotten the right answer (yeah, I have a biology degree too, so I get the science questions as well.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yeah, That's Going to Get A Reaction Out of Me

I'm beginning to regret my open conversations with my daughter. Well, not really, but a quip exchange we had this weekend set me on my heels.

We were both wrestling with our dog Kodi, a big dumb mutt, Aussie-mix, who was busy trying to get as many licks in (slobbery tongue on our faces) as possible. He turned on me when I was laughing and stuck the damn thing in my mouth.

As I was sitting there sputtering, and saying nasty things about the dog, J. pipes up and accuses me of first French kissing with the dog and then lets loose this zinger: "Say, given where that tongue has been, isn't it like you just gave a b-job to the dog." (I would say the entire phrase, but that seems to wig out the Google AdSense crawler. I'd be on PSA ads for a week.)

I stopped sputtering. J. realized she'd crossed the line-from the look on my face.

"That's sick and I...Don't..Ever...Want...You...To..Say..Something...Like...That...Again."


After a few more heartbeats she nods her head. Bleck. (This is me still spitting dog saliva out of my mouth.)

I usually don't rise to the bait. But a. I wasn't prepped for a b-job comment and b. I could just see her dropping this line on her 79-year-old grandmother if I didn't react strongly now.

Don't even want to think about that scenario.

I then decide to ease the tension and promise to buy her some more pro-Hillary gear this weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chores, How Much of a Biach Should I Be?

I wouldn't call it an ongoing battle. More like a slow simmer.

Chores. My daughter doesn't seem to know the meaning. She is supposed to clean here room (which she does when it finally threatens to swallow her whole), clean her bathroom and clean up the dishes every night. And oh, yeah, feed the cats.

Well, I ususally end up feeding the cats, and I have to ask, pretty much every night, to get the the dishes cleaned up. She does get $7.50 a week, but again, it's usually hard to get her to do the chores to earn this $$.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Want to Get Kids Interested In Science, Blow Something Up

That was the lesson tonight, as me, J, parents, and about 100 high school and elementary school kids watched the profs at PLU work wonders on an annual science/chemistry night the Chem Club and the chem profs have been running for about five years now.

The kids were fidgety at first, but then settled down, when the prof told them to cover their ears; he was about ready to recreate the Hindenburg disaster. And sure enough, he did.

Later, the student got to create lava lamps, disappearing ink, and gack, or something like it. Even the deserts were informational. The ice cream was made with dried ice and the brownies were in the shape of the periodic table.

J. even stopped texting for awhile to pay attention.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dalai Lama or Nordies? Tough Choice

We were in Seattle yesterday on a mini-vacation (using a gift certificate for a $40 a plate dinner at the Met) and my daughter had nixed going to see Cabaret in lieu of a shopping spree.

We are across the street from Nordstroms, and all the sudden the entire street is blocked off by police. The Dalai Lama is leaving for a speaking engagement. I hand J. my cell phone to take a picture of his holiness, and she looks at me in scorn.

"Mom, he is 2 blocks away, and this, as you may have noticed, has no zoom," she sniffs. "Besides, how long is this going to take, she said, longingly looking at the main entrance which feeds directly into the shoe department."

"It will take as long as it takes," I snap back.

We focus on a cluster of limos up the street, and sure enough, out pops of vague figure in a red robe. Quick, I command, and she snaps a shot.

All you see is a red blob surrounded by men in black.

Okay, maybe he'll wave at us, I tell her. That's what The Queen does. She gives me a skeptical look.

Finally, 15 cops on motorcycles roar by, and then the motorcade, and no the Dalai Lama was not waving out the window. I think he was the figure in the second limo. But there were two guys hanging out the window of the advance car that looked like they'd shoot you (in the name of peace of course) if you so much as put a toenail out on the road.

Okay, fine, as all we're left with is more police and exhaust fumes. Let's go worship on the altar of Nordies shoes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Story on the Master of Mommy Blogging

You'll see Susan Armstrong's blog as one of my faves on the side here (me and millions of others).

This WSJ story gives you a behind the scenes snapshot of her life. And what may be a $40,000 a month, yes a month, salary. I like what she does with the hate mail.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Social vs. Scholastic, Part Duex

Okay, it's coming down to crunch time.

J. is on track to go to Auburn Mountainview, and the fix is in (I think). We had been planning on inertia making sure her BF came with her, but just before spring break started this week, we learned she'd turned in her waiver to Auburn Senior High School. Damn it.

So now what?

Mountainview is a superior school, with generally better teachers, and more honors offerings. However, if BF goes to Auburn Senior High, there goes J.'s afterschool ride, and there goes most of her friends.

Now, I know, you can always make new friends. But these friends are a good lot. And they will have more influence over her as time goes on, I know.

So do you pick a better school, or an established group of friends, all on the honors track? And for those of you that remember this angst from 3 months back, yes, I'm still chewing on it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Okay, It's Official, Obama Supporters are Rude

That was the conclusion my daughter and I came to after attending the 33rd Legislative District caucuses yesterday.

There were about 1000 of us over in Des Moines for 5 hours yesterday (the seasoned veterans were smart, and brought books, iPods and sitapons for the bleachers in the Des Moines High School Gym.

There were the inspirational speeches, of course, and a surprise visit by Hillary Clinton's national campaign chair, a great national anthem by a middle school girl and a nice break dancing gig by a fourth grade boy.

When the time came for the Obama/Clinton supporters came to give their spiel, I'll give it to you, the Obama speech was better. We Clintonites, clustered together for support (there were about 800 of them, compared to 200 of us) clapped politely.

When it came time for the Clinton guy to speak, he wasn't as good, granted, but he didn't deserve to be heckled by 2 Obama supporters, or booed, or have a running conversation (loudly) by two Obama supporters (I could tell, that side still has cooler t-shirts and buttons) during the talk.

Finally, my new best friend and Hillary supporter, Mrs. Frances Dill, age 70-something, stood up and protested. She also protested about the boy-girl way of choosing the delegates, which had another Obama supporter (same one that gave the rally speech) doing the twirling, "she's crazy", hand gesture, for all the gym to see.

Okay, her penis speech may have been a bit off the reservation.

Short version: Something along the line "are we going to check between their legs?" and then she got into a transsexual discrimination line of thought. One woman popped up to argue that transsexuals can pick their own gender orientation and there will be not checking between the legs. Ah, the Demo party I've always loved. Glad Hillary's man was gone and I was wondering if this would appear on YouTube today.

Regardless, treating a 70-something year old lady like this (crazy gesture) was rude.

At about hour 4 of speechmaking, waiting for results, music, more waiting, and penis/transsexual discussions, 200 of us got together and chose 12 delegates to the next level.

I think will get alot of votes include:

Two very well spoken African-Americans, one man and one woman, who explained why they were voting for Hillary, and why they resented all their friends and the media assuming they'd vote for Obama, whose supporters, they noted, seemed to have imbibed on too much cool-aid.

A single mom struggling to raise a teenage son, after fleeing an abusive relationship and now she's trying to pay COBRA for her new hubby.

A house painter who earns $35,000 a year.

Two delegates who are 24 and 18 respectively, and are constantly trying to defend their Hillary position to their friends (see above).

And a Swedish immigrant, who mentioned the b-factor, but said she's not looking to date Hillary, she wants someone to run the country.

I hope they all end up in Denver to balance out the oh so holy Obama delegates. Sadly, Mrs. Dill will not be there to liven things up. She passed on being a delegate.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

So What Does the Dalai Lama Do All Day?

Besides makes speeches and appear calm.

That was sort of the gist of J.'s question to me as she perused the paper on the Dalai Lama arriving this week in Seattle.

"Well, he's a holy man, a leader of his people in Tibet," I started.

"Yeah, but what does he do," J. asked.

"He was chased out of Tibet by Chinese troops in the 50s, been in exhile since, and has been a voice of peace and also resistance to his people."

Try two didn't take much either. This is truly an age where being famous is more linked to what movies you've made, or had made about you, Oscars won, records cut, winning.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

American Idol Comments

Yes, I'm watching American Idol. I would like to say I'm forced into this by J. and Gary. At this time, I'm hooked too.

And we were watching Dolly last night, belt it out. J. was surprised at how many well-known songs, that other artists, such as Brittney Houston, had made famous. She's written 3,000 in all.

Even tho Country isn't her fave genre, J. liked Dolly.

"She's such a tiny thing...well, except in one area," she said.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More New Car Talk

This is a post from my other blog (on the environment) on the Prius-Civic debate my daughter and I had before we finally settled on the Civic.