For realsies

Beware Tapas con Pepsi February 22, 2012

Filed under: bad dining,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 9:36 am
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Parents with kids in college go to visit them, and take them out to dinner.  It’s not home cooking, but it’s different than the usual dining hall fare.  For my kid, this usually means something called the Mini Chicken Quesadilla.  So I thought that checking out the tiny town’s tapas restaurant would be a fun departure! Funky, ethnic, Spanishy!

That show on PBS where Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow traveled through Spain, eating and drinking and being in good moods all the time—it had colored my vision a bit, especially since they went to some world-class tapas place with Michael Stipe.  What could go wrong?

On that show, they always enjoyed the most inspired and historically rich wine pairings for everything.  This place not only had no liquor license, it offered one beverage: Pepsi.  Granted, the menu teased that they carried “Pepsi products,” but, when pressed, our server made it clear that, no, there was Pepsi.  Her tone implied that we should have known this somehow, and that all tapas places followed this custom.

HIGHLIGHT: Fabulous bread.

LOWLIGHT:  All else pretty dull and yucky. I won’t go into details. Don’t order seafood.

There is one dessert on the menu. For 6.99, you can taste that traditional, creamy-sweet indulgence known as flan.  Except that, no, we couldn’t. Which we also should have intuited. So we ordered the substitute dessert, which was equally pricey, but best described by my son’s friend who joined us for the hijinx:  “I think it was leftover from someone’s office party.” It was very pink, and was served on pink paper plates, to boot! It was also reminiscent of the strawberry Zinger.  Seven-year-old approved.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have taken as an omen the fact that, shortly after we entered the restaurant, a twelve-year-old appeared from behind the kitchen entrance curtain, brandishing a plastic pistol.  Next time.  For now, I’m chalking this one up to Memorable Dining Experiences in College Town.  In the end, it will not soon be forgotten. Or repeated.


Superman February 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 8:29 pm
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I want a picture of Superman ice cream to appear on my page. LOOK! It’s too labor intensive, though. NO, IT’S NOT! I can’t get real Superman ice cream. I can’t make a picture of it appear on my blog. YES, I DID! It’s depressing. Where I live, people are not familiar with Superman ice cream. I can’t take pictures of it. It is multi-colored and mystery-flavored. It is designed for kids. There are food stores in the mall.

Did you notice that that last sentence was an irrelevant detail? Do you think that you could generate relevant details all by yourself, if I gave you a topic sentence? Let’s try it!  Here is the topic sentence:

Personal hygiene is important.

Your turn.  Let’s try for three relevant details, in complete sentences. I’ll give you an example, and a non-example.

Relevant detail: If you wash your stinky places every day, your friends will enjoy your company more.

Irrelevant detail: Dogs.

Now it’s really your turn.


Bowling for Catholics February 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 8:37 pm
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I paid a lot of money to go bowling with my seven-year-old son last night.  It was promoted as a Mother-Son event that would take place while some alleged Father-Daughter dance was happening in another location  in the city.  Apparently, it was mostly a fundraiser for the parochial school that is situated in the same neighborhood as my son’s less-holy public school.   We knew precisely 1.7% of the others there, but they were all nice and didn’t cuss when they missed a spare, so it worked out.

As Divine Order would have it, this event doubled as a celebration of the birthday of the parish priest, and therefore we found ourselves deep in the singing of “Happy Birthday” to Father Fred, despite our decided non-Catholic persuasion.  I am truly grateful that there was no kneeling or genuflecting expected, because we would have been exposed as frauds instantly. We did partake of the blessed cake and of some holy Hi-C.

In this gladiator stadium of a bowling alley, I enjoyed the fact that Mom-Son Catholic bowling flowed seamlessly into dyed-in-the-wool, beer pitcher guzzling, card-playing, weekly bowling leaguers.  I had a joyful reunion with my former neighbor, Wes, with whom I shared a hug that was far more familiar than our entire previous relationship as neighbors had spawned.  Crazy small bowling world.

Perhaps the best part was that I did not sustain a glute injury, like the last time I went bowling.  I am white trashy enough to have once had a bowling average–as embarrassing as this is in most of my current circles, there is still a sense that I should be able to somehow rock it on the lanes, and a butt injury–my own private humiliation hell.  Bless you, Father Fred.



Xena and Jethro: the Cologne Wars February 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 11:22 pm
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You will be so proud of me.  Since we just learned that our State Assessments are going to be even longer and more difficult, I decided to add a new component to my otherwise test prep-oriented teaching world.  Of course, I will transform formerly dull, failing scores into shiny, passing ones.  But, just in case that doesn’t pan out, Plan B awaits.

So today, I stepped it up at work–I started career grooming a couple of students in earnest.  Their future, world-competitive occupation?  Perfume snipers!  Inspired, I know.  I can’t take full credit for this, truth be told.  I can, however, take credit for the vision needed to see their hijinx as a veritable job aptitude survey!

Behold the magic–while at specials, the girl in question (let’s call her Xena), produced a sprayable fragrance from I-don’t-want-to-know-where and took aim at the boy in question (we’ll call him Jethro), effectively emasculating him and rendering him unable to carry out any guyish pursuit he may have planned for the day.  But that Jethro! What a self-starter! He responded with retaliatory spray from his own cleverly concealed cologne cannon, even whilst smelling like a girl!  After which he categorically denied any involvement–until it was discovered that he carries his cologne in his shoe, which is a terrific sniper thing to do, as far as I am concerned.  What are the odds of having two future perfume snipers in one class? Talk about gifted and talented.  Xena and Jethro may not be able to determine the theme of a realistic fiction passage, or read the word “unfathomable,” but they can hide and spray fragrance, dammit! And I, for one, applaud them. Who says they will wind up flipping burgers?  I see a much sweeter future for them, with light floral undertones.


Peter Pinewood Plays With Parents February 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 2:57 am
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Oh, Cub Scouts.  Oh, Pinewood Derby.  Oh, mommy humiliation at the horrific reality of having the only minimalist (read: ghetto) car at the event.  You are supposed to transform your car into a tank, or a monster, or maybe even a parade float.  Ours looked more like a suet cake on wheels. With googley eyes.  One of the uniform-wearing types in my kid’s “den” asked him point-blank, “Did you work hard on that?” Yeah, about as hard as you worked on tying that neckerchief, Skippy. We will invest in the uniform shirt after taxes come back. Maybe.

I’m the mom.  I don’t go to the Cub Scout meetings.  This means that males have to acquire all of the relevant information using only their own rudimentary listening skills.  This is why we somehow did not know that the one-time “Car Cut” event meant that you either go and have your block of wood cut into some awesome shape, or you will have to use  your own woodshop  at home to work pinewood magic.  Alternately, you could try a chain saw or, possibly, an emery board.  I don’t know how the thing finally wound up “cut,” and it’s probably best that I don’t.

It’s also mysterious the way that I ended up being the one waiting in the interminable line to have the car scrutinized and weighed, clenching my teeth while whisper-yelling at my son, “Turn your voice down and don’t say things like, ‘It’s lame!’  People can see it for themselves!”  Grace and composure were pretty much oozing from my pores at this point.  Friday night scout event after five days of teaching fifth graders–let’s just say it doesn’t make for super mom behavior. When I noticed his dirty fingernails, it was all I could do not to scream, “You have a lame-ass car AND you didn’t clean your nails?!”

And another thing. . .I know for a fact that there were no espresso-based drinks whatsoever served at this gala– yet, my son has not stopped chattering at an elevated volume since we returned an hour and a half ago. Crazy stuff, too. The only reasonable conclusion is that the scout council is so desperate for funds (above “Boys Life” subscriptions and high-end neckerchiefs), they went and had Red Bull sponsor the event.  Good one, Pinewood Pack.


School Nurse Most Wanted List: My Class February 3, 2012

Filed under: humor,school,teaching,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 1:42 am
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In the jungle of data through which I machete my way on a daily basis, I am pretty sure that the only place I reign supreme is on the list of Most Kids to Nurse’s Office.  It’s a well-kept secret that I teach the only class of 75-year-old fifth graders in our school’s history.  Never mind my admonitions to show me the blood, or to pull the garbage can next to their desk “just in case.”  They produce the blood, they hurl on the floor, they limp and wince and get wheeled out of my room in wheel chairs.

I do have a cohort of little darlings who have legit medical issues, and their numbers would normally keep me busy.  But this year, I also have attracted several young folks who apparently have the weakest of constitutions.  Not to mention Hypochondriac #1.  He may need to cut his losses and just go to Broadway, as trivial details like academics and attendance are not his strong point.  Musical theater, I’m thinking– he challenges his audience to practice willing suspension of disbelief each and every day.  After each desperately needed visit to the nurse, his recovery is so miraculous, that he can actually SPRINT up the stairs, around the halls, and eventually back to class, where he collapses across his desk, unable to complete any exhausting task I may request.

I live to serve.


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