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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Morning checklist

Which was actually stolen, okay borrowed, from another blog I love. (can't decide what the name of the blog is, but I think it's "mommy needs a latte" or it might be from stage dives to station wagons)

My checklist, unlike hers, doesn't have 2 boys and chickens involved, but it does have a grumpy teenage daughter and 3 cats, one needy ocd dog and a lizard involved. And a hubby who can't seem to find his belt (s) to save his life.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Can you pick me up at 6 pm?

I've decided that part of being a mom means being a full-time chauffeur, always on call, or juggling so your kid doesn't end up sitting on the sidewalk.

Now, if ever, I'm pushing my darlin daughter to get her license and then pushing both her and dad to find that perfect first car and get on with it. I'm done.

Apparently while I was on a business trip, Gary again was talking about getting a car next year sometime, to which Jennifer put the kibosh on quickly.

"You have no idea of the headaches of pickup and drop off," she groused.

"Yes, I do," he protested. "What do you think I'm doing now?"

Yeah, for all of 2.5 days. Try it for 362.5 days and we'll talk.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


It's gotten to the point that unless the homework is done, no shopping, no friends over, and no hanging out with friends. Period.

I'm so pretty

Reading as usual before I go to bed, and as usual, the daughter plops on my bed to talk about boys.

How, now, that she's dumped Anthony, the other are starting to circle around and drool. There's the faithful friend guy, the guy from the other high school who is "the bomb" and another guy that's been drooling from afar for about a year. Plus others.

"I'm considered the bomb at school," she brags.

"Well, being smart, and kind is more important than looks, tho you have those too," I said, rolling my eyes at her unabashed vanity, that she only shows to me at these times.

"Yes, but it's nice being pretty too," she pouts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Traveling on biz

But before I take off on the trip could I:

A. Drop off the daughter to school. (yes)
B. Take her a permission slip (since the airporter is showing up in 5, no)
C. Get some more catfood? (see above)
D. Pick up some stuff at the store on the way home (read the above guys, I don't think the airporter will be willing to make a swing by Top Foods)
E. Bring me a travel goodie (this request from the daughter...yes)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Meet the teachers

It was open house at J's high school last night. And since Gary went last night, my turn.

So that meant arriving late, as usual, and then trying to find her class in the maze that can be this Auburn high school.
First up was her history teacher, which Jennifer and I agree gives off the vibes of a lost puppy. But he has a love for vintage guitars, and jazz, and he's a lute, and his wife is going through chemo right I told Jennifer to have his back and be nice to him. I like him.

Math teacher is her v-ball coach, and when I asked about ways to push Jennifer, she rolled her eyes.

"Frankly, she's so good at math, I'm not sure you can push her now," Ms. Farris said.

Great. I'm not going to tell J that.

Chemistry check, senior project group (led by the lead football coach) check, and French teacher, check. Alas, most of the time is was a handful of us showing up for these meetings, maybe 6 or so. Sometimes as few as 3. And I could tell that we weren't the parents that really needed to show up.

In fact when Farris asked her class if their parent were coming tonight, J raised her hand along with a few others.

"Of course," she said, looking at Jennifer. "Your parents are always there."

Finally, last check in.

It's her AP lit teacher, who seems like a sharp man. Of course no one asked questions but me, usually (I asked gary if it was the same for him last year and it was)

But after his speeal, I came up and asked him his favorite books or book and how many times he'd read it (for me and J it's GWTW, I've read it 4 x, she's read it 2x).

He looked at me blankly for a second and then sputtered out The Great Gatsby, and a few others that I can't remember, having read them in college but yeah, that was about it. When I asked what he liked about it, I could tell a. he'd never been asked this before and b. certainly didn't want to engage in follow up questions.

OK, fine. Time to go home anyway and engage myself in the mindless TV program of dances with stars.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mean people II

Wondering what i'll find in my yard tonight, since I flung the ripped out honeysuckle vine in her yard (yes, I know childish).

"You know mom, I just could have tp'd or egged her house for you. It would have been more effective," J. said.

yes, I know, but not the point I want to make.

First car

The Toyota corolla had been parked at a next door neighbor's house for about 3 weeks.

It was blue, and a bit of an icky color, but it was an automatic and seemed in good shape. new tires.

The off putting issues were the price $5400 and the miles - 126,000. However, when the owner dropped the price to $3200, I stopped by on a dog walk/run and chatted.

She's been it's only owner. She's just put on new tires. Only had to spend on maintenance. It has airbags.

I ran back to the house and told Gary to take a look, but at first he refused. Too many miles My counter: One owner. Does it have airbags. yes. Apparently cars of this model do have problems with the alternator, but we'd have our mechanic check this out.

Then the kicker.

"Well, I don't think our daughter would like it. It's not very sporty looking."

"Do I look like I give a damn about what she thinks about it's looks. It's her first car. It's supposed to look like a piece of crap. As long as it runs OK, I don't care what it looks like and she doesn't get a vote!"

I think Gary was a bit surprised by this outburst. Then I realized, he doesn't want his daughter driving a geeky car. Ugh. Guys and their anthropomorphism with their damn cars.

His next objection was that she doesn't have her license yet. Well, no. But she will soon. By October at least. OK, how about $1,000 for insurance. True enough, but if we buy the car now, we can let it sit until we get insurance, and she gets her license.

When I told Jennifer about this back and forth, she wrinkled her nose.

"Really? That car's ugly."

"Do you want a car this fall or not. If you want cute, it's prob. not going to be until next year."

She's thinking about it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dealing with mean people

I'm probably not the best example of this right now.

Went out to the garden today to find that the neighbor, who had been working out there when I got up this am, had pulled out a honeysuckle shoot that I had laced our side of the fence. She didn't just clip off the offending part, she ripped it out of the ground, broke it in half and threw it on the other side of the fence.

Backstory: She moved in about a year ago to the guy's house next door. She had walked out on him earlier for another man, 20 years ago and apparently that didn't work, so she went back to her first sot of a hubby, C. Who took her back. Since then she's been very martha stewartish in fixing up the yard, the house and cliff, who now seems to disappear with his golf buddies when he can.

When she built a fence down our yard, without telling us and the crew let our dog out in the process, I confronted them both. Last year. We haven't exchanged words since. Or really interacted until now.

So I come fuming back into the house, ripped out plant in hand and said a few choice words to my daughter. I'm really trying to set a good example here. But it's hard.

"Mom, I'm in high school. There are cheerleaders and bitches everywhere. So you don't have to tell me there are mean people in this world."

OK, but how does one deal with them? How does one set an example? You can't exactly slam them on MySpace.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get out of the car, now

I was already late to to a WWEE meeting that I'd promised a close friend I'd attend, and write a check to this worthy organization.

But my fashion plate daughter was busy separating her eyelashes one by one before she stepped out of the car and into the espresso house I was dumping her at 'til school started (hey it's within walking distance)

"You can do it in in the coffee shop! Now get out"

"I love you too mom, is that the way to speak to your only child."

"Prob. not, but we were late getting up, you just had to iron your hair and this breakfast benefit starts in 10 minutes, which means I'll be 20 minutes late at least. Out."

With a flounce, she was gone.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where ARE you??!!

And hello to you too.

I had just picked up the phone to get directions to my daughter's v-ball game in Spanaway, when the phone buzzed, and you could almost see it steam.

Puzzled, I picked it up and told her I was just leaving work and I'd be at the high school in a few.

"What do you mean you're just leaving? I'm here are the school and YOU should be here by now"

The time was 5:15 pm

"The game isn't 'til 6 pm, what's the problem" I snapped back, beginning to feel annoyed.

"Mom, the game isn't 'til tomorrow. It's Wednesday"


Monday, September 14, 2009

Switching teachers

Jennifer's decided that as much as she feels sorry for her history teacher, she'd had enough. She's dumping him for another teacher - in the same times slot I guess.

"You're really going to leave that poor guy to the wolves," I said in the Top Foods check out line.

"Mom, he's ...he's just odd," she said. "Today he scribbled something on the board I couldn't even read...and told us to study it."

"Number 9? What's the frequency kenneth?"

"You are just about as weird as he is and I have no idea what you just said," she snapped. "Can I have lunch $$ for tomorrow."

Sure spawn, don't laugh at my jokes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Editing an essay about what makes my daughter tick

And I'm under orders not to discuss it with dad. OK

Or do any more than correct misspellings or run on sentences. OK

But the essay assignment was brilliant: What makes your tick, why are you the way you are and what pressures you face.

I guess some parts that threatened to bring tears to my eyes (aside from the fact she got this 6-page masterpiece done on Saturday's due Monday) is that she learned her love of animals from me, and considers me a writer.

Nice to know.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I think her history teacher is dead meat

While shuffling to get out of a trig course with a teacher who wasn't that good, Jennifer ended up in a history class, not AP, where the teacher seems to be ....intimated by the class.

From J's description of her first period class, most don't want to be there, but are just taking it to get the credit out of the way. I told her to pay attention and consider this an easy A. And try not to get mugged the way to second period.

He seems to be trying to use self-effacing humor to loosen things up a bit, but the kids might just see him as an easy target for ridicule. Really?

An example: He asked them not to carve (insert his name here) in the desks and that he sucks like the last class did. And when explaining something on the board, he misspelled alphabet.

This doesn't look good.

And the kids might not know how to spell alphabet either, but they can smell fear. Believe me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back again with the b-friend

I just lost a $5 bet.

I said it was unlikely, after all her rejections that Anthony would keep asking her to get back together. But by crackie, he persisted and they did yesterday.

I guess boys have stronger egos (or just the ones that date my daughter) than they did in my day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First day of school

And as usual, not much to say.

Each class was 15 minutes long (because the freshmen had the run of the place in the am) and then practice went long (I was late, so it worked out).

A couple of the moms on Facebook said they sniffled as their darl'n daughters or cherished sons left for school. Um, I was ecstatic and can't wait til she's taking herself to school via her own car.

She threatened she'd disown me if I made a scene the first day of school anyway, so it's just as well that the sentimentality faded in about 7th grade.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So much for that boyfriend

After a month, already broken up.

This news came at 10 am, 2 hours before she was to be at high school at v-ball practice. Mandatory.

"Couldn't you have waited 2 more hours to break up with him," I said.

She didn't think it was funny.

Fortunately, the Kent teachers are still on strike, which means an admin assist. who works for the district was home. She Coni was able to take her to school.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On being 16

She dressed to the 9s and went out with 3 of her friends to a fancy restaurant (dad and I picked up the tab).

Turned a few heads, these beauties did, as they sashayed in and out. I told the waitress to put a candle on her cake and sing her "happy b-day" which they did, over Jennifer's objections.

Today was the day that her b-friend and her boyfriend and I were supposed to go up to Seattle and shop, and explore, while I stayed at a discreet distance. Didn't happen, due to the 2 friends getting grounded. So Jennifer sat in her room and sulked, until she came up with plan b, that we go to the mall and shop, which we did.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Flirting and football

Came in to the house tonight to find 3 girls in the bathroom, J's volleyball buddies, all taking a shower, putting on makeup or straightening their hair.

We keep pointing to the clock, but they didn't care. Being perfect was more important for the first game of the season than being on time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What do you mean you bought her a top?

This was the incredulous query I threw out at my husband as he cam back from shopping 2 days ago.

I'd just given my daughter $200 to buy her school clothes, with the understanding that we'd buy shoes, bras, a coat etc.

So when she pulled 2 tops out of an A/E bag, I assumed she'd bought them. But oh no, why buy something with "your" own school $$, when dad's around to bamboozle.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September, my own personal new year

And my daughter's too of course.

She becomes a sophomore in high school next week. She'll get her driver's license, prob. get a job and start looking for colleges. In other words, growing up and out of the house. Three more years, she's off to college, two more years, she's considered technically an adult. I stress the word technically.

So in the next year, I'm going to write every day here, before I wrap up this blog for good. Alien Nation started 3 years ago when she was a tween, and just testing out her snarkiness and growing into the woman she will become and in many ways, is.

I might start a new blog once she turns 17, tho gawd knows what I'll call it. But she'll be a little more human and a little less alien at that age I think. I hope.

Meanwhile, I plan to publish this in a book and give it to her on her 17th b-day. I'm wondering what she'll think of my musings, some she knows about, and others she does not. Then I read this New York Times piece about memoirs and kids getting pissed. Of course this piece deals with a mom writing about her son's drug addiction. I don't think I'll be writing about that.

Well, I hope she doesn't have that reaction when I hand her the book (self published of course). We'll see.