Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My day

Awake to dh freaking out because the clock says 7:17. "Mine says 6:49, what does your phone say?" "6:50" "So shut up". He gets up and goes to the bathroom - loudly. Leaving his alarm set.

I stumble out at 7:10. The kids can't find their clothes, their shoes, their homework. Oceanus needs someone to cut him a piece of bread. The following conversation took place:
Cat: Yowling desperately
Me: Someone feed the cat.
Hyperion: it's not my turn
Oceanus: I fed her last night
H: not my turn
M: I don't care, *I'll* feed her
O&H together: Noooo!!! *I* want to feed her.

DH takes forever getting his shower, making me late.

They leave to walk to school "we're LATE!"

I realize I actually have 10 minutes before I need to leave and then remember boss has court this morning and I didn't brief him on the file yesterday. Know I'm looking for something, but can't remember what. Get to the end of the alley and realize - oh yeah, my allergy pills. I'm not going back.

Get to the office, boss is worried about time, etc. But still doesn't leave. Informs us all that the receptionist is in the hospital (she has the stomach bug going around and it has left her so dehydrated she has to be on IV fluids) and then gets exasperated at her. I'm sure she chose to be ill and in the hospital.

Boss finally leaves. I realize 2nd boss has an open calendar - "Do you have time?" "Yes, we need to talk" Sigh. He gives me a laundry list of things to do and reminds me that I have a limited window of time without boss 1 around. Sigh.

At 10:00 walk-in comes in. I realize her name is familiar and can't figure out why. I ask boss 2 if he will see her. He says sure, why not. Right before I tell her he will see her in a minute, I realize why her name is familiar. She has an appoinment with Boss 1 Thursday at 9:30. Boss 2 decides to go ahead and talk to her and not worry about thursday. Boss 1 wants to leave early anyway (around 10:00) so why not.

Boss 1 gets back at 11:00 and is upset because his calendar is messed up. He juggled an appointment around yesterday and then juggled it back. Either he didn't tell me or I didn't hear it because it didn't fixed in the calendar. So I start calling appointments to ask if they can reschedule to the morning. They are happy to do so.

In between all this, I do my job.

2:30, I leave. Call my mom. Continue to try to contact a client. Walk to pick up the boys.

3:20-4:40 - play homework cop. Manage to contact client and remind her of court tomorrow.

4:40 leave for soccer practice

4:50-6:20 shag balls and help with practice. I'm exhausted.

6:20-6:30 discuss dinner with Mr. Gaia, finally settle on chili dogs

6:40-7:00 listen to two boys make more noise eating than any 2 children have any right to make.

7:00 - send the kids to start bedtime routine

7:45-8:10 - read chapter 3 of Harry Potter 6 to the boys

8:15 - mix a drink of pineapple juice and coconut rum and relax. Log on to the computer and veg.

10:45 - come here.

I have a very boring, tedious life. Don't you wish you were me?

Actually, I shouldn't complain, it's nice to have a tedious life. A boring life. A little excitement isn't bad, but it never seems to be a little excitement.

Friday, February 23, 2007


So Hyperion's teacher finally mentioned that she thought he might have ADD. Really? No kidding?

I'm not sure how to handle this. I know I don't want to medicate him. That much I'm positive about. He is doing well in school. He's an A-B student, but he is having behavioral issues. I'm afraid he is preventing other kids from doing as well as they should. There will be some discussions in the Gaia household this weekend.

Oceanus is mad at me. He didn't put his soccer shirt in the dirty laundry and I just realized it today. I've already done the week's laundry. I made him gather what was left and then I walked him through washing it. He didn't think it was fair that I made him wash my clothes too. I pointed out that we still weren't washing a full load and that was wasteful. I told him that if he had put it where it belonged, it would have been washed with the regular clothes and we wouldn't be wasting energy and water washing a partial load.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Homemade Donuts

Tanya the Art Butcher has posted an entry about homemade donuts and how ugly they are when you improvise. This brought back some fun memories.

My grandmother was a country woman. She sniffed snuff (before I was born, but still). Most people think of Copenhagen and tins of moist crumbles of tobacco when they hear snuff. But snuff started out as a sniff-able product. It looks like cinnamon - same color, same consistency and was meant to be sniffed like cocaine. This kind of snuff came in small tumblers (I think it still does, actually, just plastic tumblers). These were the glasses we kids used at my granny's. (you can see examples here).
She would roll out the donut dough on the kitchen table (a formica topped metal atrocity that is highly collectible these days, but was used to the point of falling apart) and then use a snuff glass (about 3" in diameter) to cut out the donuts. She'd grab a small pill bottle and use that to cut out the holes.
Then over to the propane stove and the cast iron skillet to fry them in hot bacon grease. Which sounds disgusting, but was actually really quite good.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bug Hill Update

I haven't mentioned the preacher's wife in a while. She's due May 14 which makes her about 28 weeks along. She's really getting big. Her new joke is to answer the question "How far along are you" with "56 weeks - 28 weeks times 2 babies". Most people don't get it - they don't think about 9 months equals 40 weeks (I know, it's really 39 but details) and get that 56 weeks puts her past full term.

She does look full term.

She's starting to think about the fact that she will have 9 kids under the age of 13. She told me that Michelle Duggar is pregnant again. That if Michelle can handle 17 (and possibly 18 kids, we haven't heard if it is for sure a singleton pregnancy) surely she can handle 9 and she must be a failure to feel worried. I reminded her that she breastfeeds until her kids are 2 years old (even when that means tandem nursing), that she cloth diapers. That she hangs all her laundry on the line. That she does not put her older kids in charge of a younger child or make them do most of the housework. She hasn't seen any of the TLC shows on the Duggars and hasn't really read much about them. She didn't realize that she does a much more intensive style of parenting than Michelle.

I told her that it's okay if she feels overwhelmed and to be sure to take any offers of help from anyone. And then I offered to have regular playdates with her 3 kids that are around the same age as my boys. I think I may be nuts. Playdates with 5 kids? Of course, her kids don't get to play videogames at home - how bad will it be if I let them veg in front of the Wii after their homework is done? I don't think she's against videogames, necessarily, they just don't have them. But I don't think I'm going to ask.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Soccer - or the need to be aggressive

So, Hyperion's first game ended up being a forfeit - only 2 people from his team showed up. Sigh. But they went ahead and shared players from the other team and scrimmaged. Watching those kids was a lot of fun. Wherever that ball went, they went.

Oceanus' game had all the players there (one too sick to play, but still there). His team would not cross the half way point if the other team had the ball. They'd hold back by their goal and wait for the other team to bring it to them. No matter how many times we said "go get the ball" they'd hold back.

Consequently they lost. 7-2. Poor Oceanus played goalie and let in 3 goals (one was a penalty shot and his team totally didn't get what was happening to help him out).

I think I could learn a lot watching this. I've been complacent in my life. I've waited for the ball to come to me. My current job is somewhat an example of this. Yes, I did go after it - to the point where I went completely outside of my comfort zone and asked everyone I knew if they knew someone hiring parttime and carrying resumes with me everywhere. But now that I have it, I can't be aggressive. I find myself terrified to make the wrong choice, so I don't make a choice at all.

My job is safe. I don't have to do much - other than put up with a boss who can be an asshole and a coworker who is more than willing to stab everyone else in the back. I'm not doing what I want to do because it's too hard. It's too hard to fight the good ol' boys club. I'm not aggressive enough to take them all on. BUT!! There is a way around them. I can start my own business.

So, it's time to do that. To set some goals and set a timeline to achieve them.

Coming soon - goals and a timeline.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Overheard this morning

Oceanus: "Where are all our clothes?"

Mr. Gaia: "Ummm ... maybe mom put them away?"

Oceanus: "You're right Dad. That's weird."

I told the kids that was their Valentine's gift from me. They were NOT impressed. Hyperion had the nerve to say "Well, it's only one time".

Mr. Gaia said "what got into you? Did you run the dishwasher and unload it?"

I had hoped that they would do a little more cleaning while I had to work late today and Mr. Gaia was home with them. But that didn't happen. Maybe this weekend.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Starting (I hope) a new tradition

In the morning, I family will awake to find that I have done some chores for them. For my kids, they will find their clothes put away correctly - hung up or folded neatly in drawers. DH will find his clothes neatly folded and ready to put away.

DH will also find his baking mess cleaned up and possibly (if I stay up late enough) the dishwasher unloaded.

I'm hoping this will start a new tradition of everyone doing chores for someone else for a holiday.

Well, a girl can dream right?

Regardless, I make a pledge to continue this tradition for my family.

Monday Rants

1) Coworkers that are so annoying. So, we apparently had a power outage that fried something. I have no idea what it fried, but it made our breaker flip from time to time. The breaker with our server (which was connected to a UPS, thank goodness), my printer and I have no idea what else. The first time it flipped, I was trying to print something. As in, I couldn't do anything until my printer was working. So when annoying coworker said she knew what to do I figured "okay, learn what it is in case it happens when she isn't here, I can't do anything else." Pissed her all off and she griped at me for not doing my job. Hello! I can't do my job until this is fixed.

The 2nd time it flipped, we had a client come in and I was on my way to tell the boss that they were there. My way to his office happened to pass by the breaker box (this is the way I always take and so does everyone else). I heard the beep and said "wow, did it flip again?" and she again says "I've got it, you need to concentrate on your own job". That time I called her on it "Excuse me, I'm on my way to the boss to tell him his appointment is here" "Whatever" says she in the most disbelieving tone imaginable. So I walk straight to boss' office, which is in her hearing and tell him they are there and reviewing their documents and I'd come let him know when they were ready for him.

The 3rd time happened when I realized that there were no pens in the conference room. Well, these clients were going to be signing documents. They need pens. DUH. The breaker box happens to be in the supply room. So, I walk to the supply room to get the pens and I'm told, by her, that she's already spoken to the boss and he agrees that I need to be concentrating on my own job. "Okay, I'm getting pens so my clients can sign their documents".

So, later on they realize a folder is missing from the server. Now, I have a good idea what happened to the folder. Most likely someone accidently dragged it into another folder when they were trying to open it. I have no intention of dropping my work (remember I've now been dressed down 3 times for it) so I say "look in the folders around it, it probably got accidently dragged into one". Coworker 2 did that and found it. Coworker 1, didn't even try and instead made a bitchy comment about me butting in. Okay, so would you rather I not give you a clue? Seriously.

2) DHs that delete things from the DVR without asking first. He knows full well that I delete after watching something. He knew I didn't watch it live.

3) People that have so many kids that their older kids raise their younger kids.

4) People who think that college is bad for their girls.

5) People who think saying "all your job and familial secrets will be exposed" is EXACTLY the same thing as saying "you've revealed enough information here in the last 2 weeks for anyone to find you". They're both threats, you see.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Internet security

Let me say this now - never tell anyone anything online unless you want them to be able to track you down. Even if you don't go by your married name, don't give it on the same site where you've given your state and county.

Someone did that on a site I frequent. It took about 3 seconds to know that the person google pulled up wasn't her. It took about 2 minutes to go to her county site and pull up her marriage license.

In less than 15 minutes I had her home and office phone numbers, a drawing of her house, copies of her mortgage documents, etc.

And I'm not even good at this kind of thing.

People laugh at me because I won't reveal what county I'm in. Sure, I'll reveal my general region, but there are several counties in this region. They laugh because I don't want my first name out there or my last name. I'll be honest - my first and last name are extremely common. Beyond common. Except down here. They're extremely anglo and this is an hispanic area - not many anglo names here.

Of course, googling my name will never turn up my phone number because I use a cell only. But if you knew my county, you'd be able to find my deed information and my dh's name. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

So seriously, if you don't want to be tracked down, never reveal anything.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fucking Blogger

I didn't want to move to the damn new blogger. But did it give me a choice? Nope.

I hate things that make me fucking change.

Bug Hill Update

Valentine's day is next week. I'm not sure what V-Day is like in a large high school, but here it is something else. All the girls will get at least one flower arrangement (parents will buy for their girls so they aren't left out) and many will get multiples.

So, the school and the flower shops are working together to get their protocol in place. This involves very careful planning to organize times for delivery. They've tried it all - flower shops requiring orders at least 24 hours in advance for delivery, restricting deliveries to certain times, etc. Nothing ever works. Girls will drag flowers, balloons and candy from class to class. Some classes will be so full of flowers and balloons, the kids won't be able to see the teacher.

I don't have girls and thank goodness. I wouldn't want my girl to be left out, so I'd be one of those parents sending flowers. And those are so expensive. Some of the families have lobbied to stop all deliveries to the school and insist that they be done to homes after school. The flower shops point out (I'm sure truthfully) that this would severely impact their business.

In a small community you're constantly trying to balance everything. We can see that deliveries impact learning for that day. It impacts the pocketbooks of the parents and teens. But stopping it would mean that our flower shops would probably be forced to go out of business. It truly is their largest business day. Even bigger than prom. So we have to decide if we want to lose businesses in our community (which has shrunk way too much over the past few years) or decide that one day of reduced instruction in school just isn't that big of a deal.

Clearly, so far we've decided that it's just one day.

Now I just have to decide what Mr. Gaia is getting.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

For funsies

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The South
North Central
The Northeast
The Inland North
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

LOL - I'm from Oklahoma but everyone always says "that's not an Oklahoma accent. I tell them it's a TV accent - I watched too much as a kid. It drives my mom nuts that I say "soda" instead of "pop" (or "coke") and "bag" instead of "sack".

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Defrosting the Freezer

So, somebody (and really we have no clue who it was, it could have been any of us) didn't fully shut the freezer door. It wasn't open enough that anything thawed, even part way, but it was open enough that condensation formed and froze and suddenly shutting the door was getting hard.

So, it was time to defrost it. We got a manual defrost because it uses less energy and there's less chance of freezer burn. Food stays better longer because it isn't subjected to periodic partial thawing. However, we had never defrosted it. We've moved twice since we bought it and it got defrosted during the moves.

We had no idea how much water this process entails. I hadn't done laundry that week, so I had dirty towels. But, it wasn't enough. We were chipping away the ice to help reduce the amount of water. We wrung out the towels so many times my arms started to really hurt.

In the end we now have a clean freezer. We found a lamb roast we'd forgotten about and rediscovered all the grains, etc we keep. We can now go into the freezer and see what we have an menu plan. What a novel idea!

My only question? How the hell did a button that fell off my skirt over a year ago end up in the freezer? Any ideas? Do other freezers have the socks that are lost in washers?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sunday Random Thoughts

1) I watched "Cover Girl" with Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly last night. Who does Gene Kelly remind me of? Is there a new actor that looks like him? I'm pretty sure I haven't seen any of his other movies (yes, I had a deprived childhood, I'm working on it now, okay?)

2) Wholegrain pancakes can be really good. The key is real vanilla (which we get cheap from Mexico, one of the perks of living in South Texas).

3) Superbowl Sunday sucks. There is nothing decent on TV, not even any good old movies. I've watched all the movies I taped (except "The Blues Brothers" and a couple I taped for the kids). I'm one minute away from watching "The Producers" which I suspect Mr. Gaia taped for us to watch together.

4) Yes, by "taped" I mean recorded on the DVR. Yes, I'm a dinosaur.

5) Speaking of dinosaur, Mr. Gaia and I are the same age. How is it that he makes me feel so ancient when I mention songs from HS - like "Armegeddon it" and "(That Girl is) Poison". He barely even seems to recognized the names of the groups - Def Leppard and Bel Biv Devoe. We won't even mention the look he gave me when I mentioned "Funky Cold Medina".

6) I really want another cat. I want a cute, cuddly kitten.

7) Speaking of cute, cuddly kittens, is there a reason why "The Closer" chose to use kittens that were several weeks old to stand in for what were supposed to be newborn kittens? Their eyes were open for cryin' out loud.

8) And is it asking too much for medical dramas to get their facts straight when discussing pregnancy and birth. A woman who was raped one week before is most likely not going to test positive on a pregnancy test unless they are using a very, very sensitive test. Plus, that would be too early for a surgical abortion given that the fetus likely isn't even implanted yet.

9) There are reasons people might choose not to have their preteen child get the HPV vaccine other than that they don't want them to think it's a free pass to have sex. Let's just say I'm glad I have boys and it isn't a decision I have to make just yet. After the rotavirus vaccine issue, I'm quite skeptical of new vaccines. My kids are (now) fully vaccinated except for the prevnar vaccine.

10) In fact, if I had a girl and chose to get this vaccine, I doubt I'd tell her much about it. For one thing, this vaccine doesn't prevent all cervical cancers (and believe me, I'd tell her that) and clearly doesn't protect against AIDS and other STDs.

11) I am glad, though, that insurance companies will have to pay for the vaccine in Texas. I just wish there were a better way to make them pay for it other than mandating all school girls get the vaccine (yes, you can opt out, but it isn't the easiest procedure known to man).

Random acts of kindness

I try to do random acts of kindness. Sometimes I don't succeed. Sometimes, I succeed even when I don't mean to.

The day of the seminar I apparently performed a random act of kindness. As we were leaving I asked someone I knew if they noticed he never mentioned his son. One of the ladies said "maybe he's gay". I said "there are worse things to be" (which I still don't like because it implies that I think there is something wrong with being gay). Unbeknownst to me, one of the ladies in the group has a son who is gay and she hasn't told anyone. I didn't know her son was gay.

She called my coworker to ask if I knew her son was gay. She thought I was sticking up for her. I made her feel better for saying what I said.

You never know when something you say is going to be just the thing someone else needs to hear.

Nintendo Wii

Can I just say this thing is just a bit twee?

Okay, so it's called the Wii. The commercials are "Wii would like to play". The game controller is called a "wii-mote. Then you create a mini you called a (what else?) Mii.

Could it be any more twee? Or should that be twii?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Increased Expectations

So Hyperion is in 1st grade. He's a smart little boy. He grasps math concepts almost intuitively. His teacher says his vocabularly is shocking. She says he always knows the science answers (well, it is earth science which is my "specialty" so I would hope so).

However, he needs special help in reading. He just isn't "getting it". I agreed to the tutoring, whatever. He isn't made fun of and he doesn't mind it. But I've been paying special attention to the books he reads, especially for AR (accelerated reader). I told Mr. Gaia that it looked to me like it was right where he should be based upon how easily he was reading the books at the 1.8+ level.

At the beginning of the semester they tested the kids' reading levels. Today we got the results. He's at level 1.6 - that means he tests at the average level for a 1st grader after 6 months in school. Let's see, school started the middle of August, it's now the beginning of February (and they tested in the middle of January) which by my math means that he's now been in 1st grade for 5.5 months.

So he needs tutoring because he is right where he should be?