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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Driving lessons, part XV

After my hubby and daughter got into a row over the last driving lesson. Jennifer declared it was my turn to take her out.

Which I did last night. I was wondering what possessed me as we inched our way, one lurch at a time, through an intersection on the Kent-Auburn border. Not fun. She kept popping the clutch and not giving the car enough gas, so inch by lurch, we worked through a left turn on S. 277th. She started to cry. I had to sit on my hands.

"Someone is going to hit us!" she screamed.

It was light enough so that no one was going to hit us (we were now about 2/3 through the intersection). I kept calmly telling her that just let it catch, give it enough gas. Pretend we were on the roads near our home, and breath.

And I resisted the temptation to get out of the car and take over. She had to, for her own confidence, get herself out of this.

About 5 lurching minutes later, the car's gears caught and off we went. In stony silence. Then we reached the intersection on Auburn W. North and Gowe. And again, we were turning in inches. I looked up to see another mom smiling at me. She winked, and just about then, the clutch caught,and off we went.

Ms. perfection parked the car on the curb in front of our house and stalked into our house. Driving lesson over for today. More tomorrow.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Great love scenes if there were texting

Frankly, many of them prob. would have never occurred.

Romeo and Juliet?


Anthony and Cleo


And then there's Scarlett and Rhett


Doesn't quite have the same snap.

I'm certainly glad texting wasn't around when I was dating, or I probably would have gotten dumped much more than I did.

But J. dusted herself off over the weekend, and headed into school a bit late, due to a "stomachache" she swore had nothing to do with her ex b-friend, and marched off to class. I think her pack of g-friends, all saying he was a douch bag helped her spirits. And guys now lining up to ask them out.

The headache for me is vetting them all over again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

GD BY (:

As I was trying to cheer Jennifer up this Thursday, we were watching "Mississippi Burning" Gene Hackman at his best, with a William Dafoe, and lo Jennifer disappears.

After a bit I go looking for her, and she's back on her bed, sobbing. Her boyfriend of 3 months had just broken up with her, via text. She learned later that he'd been thinking about this for several days - apparently her friends knew about it and didn't tell her - bad friends - and when she didn't come to school on Thursday due to strep throat, he just decided to get it over with.

So I let, her cry, went to the store for more tissues, and cold meds, and she was furiously texting at her friends (didn't ask what she was saying). As for D. the b-friend. Well, mixed feelings. Really liked this guy, AND his parents, only to have this happening.

However, as I told her today, it doesn't surprise me. Apparently mom screams alot, and he's probably been trained to avoid that at all costs from an early age. He just assumed you'd scream at him too, I told her today. Not that that excuses his behavior.

And I also told her from sad past experience, think twice before getting too invovled in a man who doesn't like and respect his mom. Not in a norman bates way, mind you, but a good way. It made the difference for me between the man I married, and the man I didn't 20 years ago.

They are trying to be "friends" but I'm advising against that. I referred her back to the movies "he's just not that into you." and my own personal experience of being pathetic over a guy in college named Terry. It was all there "give me some space," "let's keep the relationship secret, until God tells us to be open about it." (yeah, fell for that), and never calling much.

I advised her to dump his ass and be over with it.

Actually, today she was taking it in good stride.

"Listen, ALOT of guys want to date me, and I'll check them out (hmm, not sure how I feel about that) and the entire b-ball team thinks I'm hot. So I'm not too worried about it," she said today.

Soo, I guess we're in for a speedy recovery. Both for the strep and the heart.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Home sick

Up at 6 am, deciding what to do. I feel like crap, but am ready to try and muscle into work, since have a to-do list that doesn't seem to want to stop at PLU.

But once Jennifer pops up in bed, the decision's made. She's burning up, and while she's older (at 15), with that temp, I don't to leave her home alone/ So I tell work I'll be in after lunch,once Jennifer gets up again. So about 10:30 am, she rattles out of bed. And she's still hot. And now I'm getting the chills.

Debating if she feels good enough to take a few aspirin, watch tivo'd American Idol and stay at home by herself. She gives me a pathetic look. Okay, I'm home. And beside, since I'm feeling crappy, won't do well to break my own rules and march into work sick, spreading germs. So we're both home, watching AI.

Will be making comfort food run soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PI goodbyes

touching goodbyes from PI staff

Jennifer's wondering why mom's sniffling in front of the computer

And for once, she's not making fun of me, as I watch the farewell videos on the PI's last day as a newspaper. The actual video is above.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I'll trade you a South Pacific for Watchmen

We were walking toward our parent-teacher conference, and I was trying to get Jennifer to go to Auburn Senior High School's "South Pacific" with me.

No, no and no.

I finally told her that if she wants to go to Watchmen, rated r, she was going to have to go with a parent, mainly me. And I wanted something in exchange. I finally was getting close to a yes, with some cash added in, when a friend walked up and said a bunch of them were going to SP. Did she want to go.

Well, that changes things. So she went, and I didn't have to pay her $20 for the privilege. Now we're off to see Watchmen tonight, but I keep hearing it's really violent. Maybe this wasn't such a good trade.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Uhm, probably won't watch True Blood with J. anymore

Now don't get me wrong. We share a love of vampire movies and books. She and I really liked the "Twilight" series, in fact, I turned her onto the books after I realized it was a series. We both hated the movie. It's been a while since we've seen such bad acting.

So when someone told me "try out the sookie stackhouse novels," and after I got over the weird southern name, I dove in and plowed through them. They were good, and Charlene Harris does a good job of weaving in this whole hidden world of werewolves, fairies, witches and of course, vampires around N. Louisiana. Now, some of the books are a bit raw, but HBO of course has taken this a bit further in the True Blood series, which is running now up til the next season.

I know that Sookies's bro, Jason is a hound, but I really didn't need to see him humping a woman (I can feel the psa ads appearing now) and watching himself in a mirror as he does it. I swear that wasn't in the book. Or a vamp tramp going down an a vampire (ick), or the vamps repaying her by slitting her throat and draining her, (double ick).

Gary walked into the room in a particularly...revealing moment and looked at me "You skipped church for this?"

No, I didn't skip church. I woke up to late after going to bed at 2 am after getting back from a state b-ball game and reading into the wee hours. I do that. And daylight saving time didn't help.

Even Jennifer looked down into her geometry homework Sunday morning and say "I don't think I should be watching this." Alas, I agree. I'm trying to decide if I should be watching this.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

No, I don't want to invite any of my friends

That was the response that Jennifer kept giving, as we asked her today (soon to be yesterday) if she was sure she didn't want a friend to tag along to the state b-ball finals in the t-dome tonight. Kentwood girls and Federal Way guys won! Go SKC. Now back from that outburst.

I teased her that my cutie wootie still must like spending time with good ol' mom and dad. She glared and promptly messed up my hair. But she still went with us and seemed to have a good time. I think she relaxed when she realized that none of her friends were there to see her sitting with mom and dad.

It was nice rooting for a team we used to boo when they met up against Auburn Senior High girls and boys. And I'm glad they both won.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Well, we'll just leave her behind

After 15 years, it feels good to say that frankly.

This weekend, GAry and I will probably catch some of the state b-ball action down at the t-dome. Jennifer, since Auburn isn't in, has not interest. So we'll just leave her at home.

And the same goes if we go to a movie she doesn't want to see, or a restaurant she suddenly "can't stand." We leave her at home.

Finally feels good to get to this point.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Have you tried smacking her?

Actually, I was saying don't hit your younger, bitchy, 14-year-old sister. That was my advice to my intern today, who was bemoaning the fact that the youngest girl in the family was about to top off her behavior with a spinning head. Or at least that's what her long suffering parents were thinking.

I told her to a certain extent, welcome to the world of a 14-year-old. Now, that said (as I was relaying this story to my daughter, she started to glare- "you didn't say I was like that did you!" No, actually, you weren't that least most of the time.)

But some girls do in fact turn into secretive (this young woman only talks to her parents in grunts and glares), snarky, sarcastic beings, who feel ALL adults (anyone over 20) are idiots. They seems to wake up from this alien abduction at about 16 or 17, maybe even as late as 19 (when they figure out who is paying for college).

I told my intern after listening sympathetically to the snarkiness her mom was taking, to tell her mom to stop taking it. For now, she's going to have to be the bad guy and tell her daughter "You might not like me but" And come up with some reasonable consequences if she doesn't. As I said, slapping her is not an option, although that's what my bro threatened to do when I told my mom to shut up at 13. Yeah, didn't do that again.

And putting her out on the street to starve is not a good idea either. So I suggest hit her where it really hurts. Take away texting privileges. Otherwise, you might get a few women I have in my life who were never told "no" or made to behave. Believe me, at 50, it's no longer cute.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Popping the clutch 101

On the way home from the mall, Jennifer pleaded: comm'on,just let me try before I have to drive with dad.

Okay, okay. So we found an industrial parking lot off the West Valley Highway, and she had her first lesson on driving a clutch. We killed the car about 5 or 6 times, before she got to actually point it in the right direction and make it go a few feet, before it died again. But on that happy note, I figured she was ready to try with Gary.

So fast forward when we went out to Ivar's tonight. Gary immediately noticed the driver's side seat was cranked forward, and he'd lost the claim to being the "first" to teach Jennifer. No matter, he drove into the elementary school parking lot to give her lesson #2.

Actually, it went pretty well. He told her out to adjust the mirrors (I'd forgotten that) and how to turn on the blinkers (um, didn't tell her about that either). And then he taught her reverse, which I'd skipped too. But I think getting to get the car to go ANY direction was a boost to her confidence, because she was actually able to get the honda civic to go forward, around and around at 8mph before killing it a few more times for good measure.

Gary did well, better than expected actually. And Jennifer can't wait for the next lesson...with dad.