For realsies

Bad Parenting with Bologna/Baloney May 31, 2012

I let him have a bologna sandwich for dinner tonight.  Just calm down; I’m not taking him to Biscuitville and ordering the fried bologna (which, rumor has it, is back). Still, it’s one more thing that I would have to hide in the back of the organic greens drawer of the fridge if I lived in the suburbs.  I’ve been meaning to try the Tofu-logna; I have.  But man, the bologna deals at the deli counter are seductive.  AND there is a chance that I will get to hear someone order it using the “Buh-loan-uh” pronunciation—basically the funniest thing you could hear at the deli counter; weird, Americanized Eye-talian city talk. 

Feel free to call me out on the carpet for feeding my kid such un-healthy, un-local, un-slow food.  I am pretty sure that he will grow out of it (uh, unless he takes after his dad, who somehow consumes half of the bologna supply in the house).  Also, I Googled “bologna related diseases” and it was less scary than Googling “my leg hurts.”  My leg does hurt, and I don’t eat bologna.  Besides, my kid eats bowls full of blueberries, which my research reveals acts as a veritable suit of armor against bologna-borne yucky things.  He’s also skinny and has the metabolism of a hummingbird, so I figure I should get some kind of awesome parenting award for not trying to raise him on red-dyed sugar water (which in my day was known as Hawaiian Punch–complete with stereotypical Hawaiian-ish guy strolling around punching people–way too much like my classroom for me to dwell too long on that memory).  The Awesome Parenting nominations are probably clogging up my inbox right now.  I’m guessing.

For those of you with organic toddlers, your time will come.  One day, you will be dog-tired and your now age-wizened darling will loudly present a bologna manifesto in the grocery store, at which point you will do anything to shut Mussolini up.  You know what’s next.  Welcome to Biscuitville.




Sweat = Learning May 29, 2012

Filed under: education,humor — peachyteachy @ 7:09 pm
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News flash from my classroom today: “It’s hot!” Not like the kind of hot that means cool or sexy.  The kind of whiny, extended short o comment that implies that, as a teacher, I should be able to distribute ice packs and personal fans to each and every smelly tween that occupies the rice cooker that was my classroom today.  Barring that, I should at the very least allow the whiniest and most obnoxious student a coveted chair in front of the rattling box fan while everyone else drips in silence.

On days like this, I become Teacher of the Year, submitting in my T o’ Y e-portfolio footage of myself responding to these surprising “it’s so hot” revelations with insights like, “Boys and girls, raise your hand if you were unaware of the fact that it is hot in the classroom today,” and the ultimate I-want-my-kid-in-HER-class response: “Thank you, Captain Obvious.”  I’m sorry. But at these temperatures and dewpoints, the sarcasm loses its solid consistency, melts, and just drips on out. “Eustachia,” I hear myself saying, “Let me get this straight. So, you’re saying —basically—-that you have noticed that today, our classroom—this room—it is—how did you put it? It is—- HOT?”

Did I mention that I am sick? As a result of this, there were certain points when I was pretty sure that my brain had reached the official “poached” status as defined by the Joy of Cooking, and my eyeballs weren’t far behind.  Everyone wanted to go to the handful of destinations in our building that boast air-conditioned nirvana: the main office, the library (picture big-eyed children imploring me to let them return books). And, of course, the nurse’s office. See previous post  for a perspective on how much booze I need to buy our school nurse to make up for the Urgent Care Express that my students call home. I’m the one who should have assigned everyone to make a BFF club sign while I went down and stretched out on a cot.

It would be silly and trivial of me to ask for prayers that tomorrow we may be blessed with a consistency less that of a molded Jello salad and more that of an Arctic hare.  I am more than capable of striking deals with the Universe on my own up in here.

But perhaps we could take the tiniest moment to picture together, one perfect, glistening snowflake?  Aaaah.



When All the Mulch is Gone May 26, 2012

I was at our friendly neighborhood mega mulch mart a couple of weeks ago, and it appeared as though I had somehow missed some universal homeowner memo requiring the purchase of multiple bags of mulch.  Do Homeowner Associations mandate this sort of thing? Are the color options limited? One can only hope that the red stuff is a violation.

I did start to get a little worried about the prospect of a time when the mulch bags run out, when all that is left is a ripped bag of the maxi bark chunks the size of a bar of Ivory soap.  It is 2012, after all.

I remember a time when only a tiny minority mulched their landscapes (or even referred to their yards as “landscapes”–those were pictures above the couch), and most of them used white pebbles, and strategically planted skinny tufts of grass amidst the stones at random intervals, presumably intended to create a sense of whimsical informality.  It was a God-awful time in landscape history.

No, I am not a Geritol customer, but I have what may be a disproportionate awareness of the past of my parents.  I think it is safe to say that folks who have early memories of the Great Depression and WWII tend to be less vigorous mulchmasters than, for instance, Reagan era Young Republicans.  Granted, it takes a darned spritely octogenarian to spread more than a cut off half-gallon milk jug full of mulch, but it’s more than that. Much, much more. It has been suggested in some academic circles that the rise of the mulch nation and its obsession with putting freshly colored stuff on top of everything may, in fact, have been a tribute to Reagan’s own ever-youthful hair color.  Will this man’s contributions ever cease to amaze? I know.

This all begs the sobering question: what will you do when the mulch runs out? Are you prepared to live without it? Or will you be among the numbers shredding dining room furniture?



Accepting Donations NOW-Be the change I want to see in my house May 24, 2012

Something happened while I was out teaching America’s underprivileged youth.

I found out after I was forced to venture down to the basement at twelve the other night to find a fan.  It was creepy, but not as creepy as trying to sleep in the stenchly mug.  I was not about to attempt to install my room air conditioner at this delicate point in the night (one of my worst nightmares has to do with dropping an air conditioner out of the window, thus destroying my oakleaf hydrangea–and maybe damaging the house a little bit too-with a passing notion of a human being slammed by said unit). So I found the fan, dragged it upstairs, and plopped it on the floor next to my side of the bed.

The macabre discovery occurred the next day.  You should know that our dog is a black mop of Springer/Poodle mix.  They called her a “Springerdoodle,” but, really—there’s not much doodle going on, and quite a generous dose of spring, especially if she has never met  you.  In laymen’s terms, she’s a spazz. She weighs in at about 30 pounds.  This is important, if only to assist in visualizing the dust bunny that I mistook for the dog.  The damned fan apparently awakened the sleeping giant dust bunnies who had been dormant for weeks.  Or possibly months, depending on the calendar you use.  In cosmic or evolutionary terms, really, a mere blink of an eye.

This brings us to the amazing microfinancing opportunity that has landed here for you.  Clearly, I could use some Merry Maids, or an equivalent outfit, to help me with this situation.  But wait! It’s not because I am lazy and don’t want to do adequate cleaning! It’s all about the Cleaning Person Effect that I have heard about (never having experienced the magical spell of having someone else clean my house).  If there is an appointment with a cleaning service, I will be forced to clean up to prepare for their arrival!! You suburbanites and aspiring hoarders can back me up here.

So simmer down and dig deep.  If you have a service mentality (and God knows that you should), this is your chance to make a difference to me, to my family, to my students who are sick of my asking them to come over and wash my dishes, and to those who will benefit from an uplifting get together following the Peachy/Maid collaboration!

My humble thanks are yours in advance.


The Perfect My Little Pony Party May 21, 2012

I was over at the Bad Parenting blog, brushing up on my skills and comparing birthday parties–

I must say, however, that the supposedly sub-prime cooking party I read about was beyond my scope,  especially since I have two boys.  But it did remind me of one of the crowning glories of my history of birthday party attempts: the My Little Pony themed party that I threw last summer for my 20-year-old son.  I HIGHLY recommend waiting until such an advanced age to pull out the stops on themed centerpieces, etc., because that was one surprised geek being celebrated all in pink, a My Little Pony pastel action scene in all its splendor on the cake.

When  you wait until your kid is in college to buy the metallic spiral doodly-doos, no one has a meltdown or asks to take a pinata  home in order to soothe their wounded feelings.  College boys have very low expectations.  This fact is pure magic.  A great big pizza?  “Oh my God! Awesome! Thank  you!” Yes, one day, these will be your children.  Ice cream AND cake? “This is, like, really REALLY good.  Thank you!!” They all wear their stupid party hats and thoroughly appreciate the humor inherent in the wearing of a My Little Pony hat.

After the feast, everyone sits around and takes turns playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii with little seven-year-old brother.  After awhile, they drive themselves away to go see a movie.  It’s all so colorful and dreamlike.

People love to say, “(insert any age here) is such a great age!” Twenty. Twenty is a great age.



Is that a swarm of locusts I hear? May 19, 2012

Filed under: humor,music — peachyteachy @ 7:54 am
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Turn it up or turn it off.

I don’t get the use of background music in everyday life.   I more than don’t get it; it drives me to distraction.  In the car, if someone turns the radio down to engage in conversation, that’s just a ride to crazy town for me.  WHY? Clearly no one is able to discern what is happening on the radio.  But now, I have to listen to whatever the heck is being said, in addition to something that resembles what I imagine a soothing swarm of locusts might sound like.  It takes Herculean self-control for me to calmly  and gracefully turn OFF the insects without readjusting the car’s HVAC system by way of my flailing.

People who use music as background tend not to be Bob Dylan fans.  Or lyric fans.  Both of these really do call for actual listening, as any music worth hearing really should, hopefully.  Or maybe that’s just me.

I might be able to make an exception in the case of folks who are attempting to live their lives with a soundtrack, envisioning each vignette as a moment of film brilliance or blockbusterness.  Perhaps the heartbreaking Adele song’s volume decreases as they answer the phone, then swells again when it becomes clear that, no, it’s not HIM after all.  Even so, that implies an attention to the proper juxtaposition of the tunes, not just a droning volume level 4.

So can we either listen to the song or not?  Turn it up, let it get in there, have a moment? And then turn it off? Please? Because there isn’t enough Deep Woods Off to fend off the bugs that are buzzing when the volume is low.



May 18, 2012

Filed under: humor,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 9:58 pm

As crazy as life can get in the urban classroom, the marginal city neighborhood with personal snipers on call, Snarky made me feel so thankful that I do not have to worry about being invited to a Cleanse Party. AND she reminded me that it’s high time we find something to celebrate with a cookie cake.


Woodchuck Vigilante May 17, 2012

Filed under: gardening,humor — peachyteachy @ 10:34 pm
Tags: ,

I am not a member of the National Rifle Association, and I have been known to make fun of hunting apparel and hunting accessories and hunting guys. However, I did reap the benefits of having a gun-toting neighbor not long ago.  He was my downstairs neighbor, Pete (of course not really), and he would, on occasion, ring my doorbell to share things like a freshly deadened turkey, or some newly acquired harpoon–just anything that he thought might brighten my day.  Since I knew that he was a gun collector, I thought it best to receive these visits with good cheer.

When I shared with Pete my frustration with some cheeky woodchucks who had taken to chowing down on my amazingly beautiful container gardens, I never imagined that he would avenge me so valiantly, but that is what happened.  He was so overcome with neighborliness that he just up and shot the woodchucks for me! Mind you, he used some sort of silencer, so that he wouldn’t alarm the other neighbors or the authorities (who did show up at his doorstep a couple of times–and when they drop in on dudes who have a small arsenal of registered  firearms, they take up a lot of parking spaces on the street).  And I am pretty sure that he shot them from his window (the woodchucks, not the authorities). I wasn’t around, and I don’t think that I directly asked him to do that. I may have said something about wanting to kill the woodchuck. At any rate, I have to say that it is a bit of a trip to realize that you have your own personal sniper on call.

I don’t have neighbors in the same house anymore. That’s mostly an overwhelmingly good thing—but the woodchucks have discovered my green thumb smorgasbord, and I am missing Pete.  I tear open the back door and yell things like, “Woodchuck! Run away!” while my useless dog looks at the woodchuck, then me, then the woodchuck.  It doesn’t seem quite kosher to call Pete to request a sniper visit, since we don’t keep in touch. That kind of an ad on Craig’s List seems like a potential ticket to the front page.  But it’s tempting.



Presto! I’m a microfinancier! May 16, 2012

Yup! My Citi Thank You card has been compromised! Gasp! A hundred and fifty bucks on iTunes. Thank You indeed! You’re welcome!

And you are especially welcome for the minor expenditure at Capital Sweets. Something like that. When I googled it, it looks like it’s a place where you can get Samosas.  Being a samosa fan, my heart started to soften a bit toward my credit card info thief.  Indian food could corrupt anybody.

As for the iTunes, this could be the make or break as far as my benevolent benevolence goes, toward my samosa-loving fixer-upper.  Assuming that we are purchasing music only (a big assumption, I know–relax), the choices are key.  Have I subsidized great stuff, or pure crap? “House” music? No. Hair Metal? No. Talking Heads? Thumbs up! A cappella stuff? Interesting.  Lucinda Williams? Uh-huh!

“Early Fraud Department” did a nice job for me, noticing that I had not previously been in the habit of purchasing samosa with iTunes, and leaving me lots of Stepford Wife sounding messages to alert me of my new status as microfinancier of a criminal.  They seemed surprised when I said thank you…Apparently, some people get pissed off at them when they let them know that someone bought samosas with their money.  But they are covering it, so what’s to get upset about? Just spreading the love around, man.

Craziest coincidence? I had Indian food last weekend.  You know I had samosas.



Welcome Home! A Letter to a Returning College Student from Ulti-Mom May 12, 2012

Filed under: humor,parenting — peachyteachy @ 7:26 am
Tags: , , ,

Dear Firstborn Son,

I could not be more thrilled that you are coming home from college today! Really! Before you set foot inside the front door, though, I just thought I would issue a couple of alerts. I have to work all day, so I won’t be here until later.

Alert #1– The house is a disaster.  The dog is shedding fur, the cat is shedding poo, and the tenacity of dust is making a decorating statement.

Alert #2– Legos. That is all.

Alert #3– The fridge looks full, but there is actually nothing to eat.  It’s mostly just leftovers that have gone South and are waiting for me to issue their marching orders.  That sounds vaguely Civil War-related. And, much like those who suffered through the meager rations of that era, I can make no commitments as to when I will be going grocery shopping.

Alert #4– There is nothing to drink either.  Nothing fizzy, anyway.  I know that DIY chocolate milk isn’t your thing.

Alert #5– The wasps have begun to crawl down from the attic to die in your room.  I haven’t removed them, because I  know that this will be comforting to you, as you will have some company while you wait for us to come home (to take you out to dinner).

Finally, in answer to the question that is foremost in your mind, yes, you are still required to do our traditional road trip to the garden center tomorrow for Mother’s Day.

Can’t wait to see you!


Your Mommy


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