peachyteachy

For realsies

Superman, Stamps, and the Circle of Life August 31, 2012

When I was young, I sent away for stuff from the back of comic books.  I’ve been thinking of my childhood toys lately, and blogging about them, and this activity has led me to connect with some fellow bloggers whose parents apparently collaborated with mine to determine which toys to buy for their darling girlchildren.  See Dawn doll stuff if you care to.

I keep wondering whether some of my old stuff is buried at the family homestead, preserved perfectly by neglect.  More importantly, I have been wondering if I could make some money selling them, if indeed they have maintained their pristine condition.  Due to neglect.

You may remember an outfit called the Mystic Stamp Company that advertised in magazines, and, if memory serves, comic books.  I cannot claim to have been close to cool enough to read DC or Marvel superhero comics, but I did go through an Archie and Richie Rich period.  The best thing to come out of the Archie franchise, in my opinion, was the “Sugar, Sugar” 45 r.p.m. record (this is getting way too technical for the under-40 crowd, I know) that you actually cut out of the back of the cereal box.  It really played on the turntable, although the sound quality was god-awful.  We were hands-on back then, kids.  It is not the same to get 3 free downloads on iTunes, believe you me. Good, good times. Please note that this was before the era of “spinning” cereal names to avoid the use of the word “sugar” in the name.  That dude on the box of Super Sugar Crisp (say it loud and proud!) was cool spokesman Sugar Bear.  Yes, he was.

Somewhere, most likely back in my childhood bedroom, there are lovely translucent vellum sleeves that hold beautiful stamps from places like Rwanda and Guyana, minted before these places became inextricably connected in the collective consciousness with genocide and mass suicide by Kool-Aid.  Philatelists (that’s what serious stamp collectors call themselves, I am quite sure), help out here.  Can I retire? I mean, like, early? I await your reply.

In the meantime, look what’s happened! Now, instead of buying stamps by mail from the back of a comic book, the USPS has taken to issuing stamps BASED ON comic books.  Whoa.  I would refer here to the lyrics at the beginning of “The Circle Of Life” from “The Lion King,” but, let’s face it—we all have our versions of the intro to this song.

 

I am breaking up with Staples August 26, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 7:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

And by that, I do not intend to imply that I have stapled anyone’s anything to anything.

Staples. Up until this year, a teacher’s friend.  Especially if you teach poor kids.  You know how, in the ‘burbs, kids score about 70% higher on high stakes tests?  If you didn’t know, trust me.  The return on school supply lists is approximately the equivalent of the percentage of passing test scores.  That’s not a high return.  We understand that people are choosing, sometimes, between food and pencils.  Just write me a note and it’s cool.

The upshot of this reality is that I buy the notebooks, folders, pencils, and everything else that I NEED them to have, just to have a prayer of teaching (imagine saying daily, “Take out your Math notebook,” and having a quarter of the students say, “I don’t have one.” I can’t afford to have even less instructional time, really!).

Staples has crazy deals in the summer. “Extreme Deals,” they call them. You have to buy $5 worth of stuff to get the really good ones, but up until this year,  Staples allowed teachers to get up to 25 of the extreme deal items.

Fast forward to some horrible day this spring when Staples sent me an email about their exciting new program for teachers!!! Instead of having the extended limits on the Extreme Deals (notice how I capitalize them as if they were deities), we could purchase the remaining amount past the regular limit (usually 3-5) at full price, and we would have all of that amount credited to our Staples Rewards! Oh. My. Glob. You mean that I get to spend way more at Staples than I can ever afford or need?

Staples! The last time I checked, you didn’t sell wine!

The number of cars in our family=674 minus 673.

The number of incomes in our family=3459 divided by 3459.

I went to Teacher Appreciation Day at Staples and got my cute little tote and my FREE one subject notebook.  Teacher Depreciation Day came to mind. The manager was apologetic about having to “deliver the message” about the new policy.  I wasn’t abusive. I didn’t go into a Post-It flailing fit.  I handed over my $5.30 plus tax to purchase my three composition books and a new stapler.  Which I don’t need.

Customer support is 1-800-STAPLES

 

Hospitality Man-The New Face of Star Wars August 25, 2012

"Hospitality Man"

Hospitality Man wishes he was Han Solo.

Our dog, Bob Marley (no relation to that heart-wrenching retriever that made someone a successful writer awhile  back), used to enjoy chewing stuff.  A lot.  Isn’t that cute and unusual? No, I know.  Settle down.  The mildly interesting angle that I want to share with you here is how she had a preference for certain items. Yeah, Bob Marley is a girl dog.

Bob Marley did have a varied diet, and took to heart the nutritionists’ admonition to all of us that we should Eat a Rainbow Every Day!  What a sunny reminder to help us back into Oz when we veer off into the brown-and-beige-based food groups, such as oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (transformed to healthier Rainbow Eating by the strategic addition of M & Ms), mashed potatoes, and the breads in all their glory.  Bob Marley managed it by eating toys, especially Legos (always the coolest ones from the expensive kits, not the basic bricks) and action figures.  Star Wars action figures.  She could be surrounded by toys all over the floor, and she would be cheerfully chewing away on a Storm Trooper, not blinking an eye when you came in the room.   Many tears were shed, you can be sure.  The number one super fave, though, was the Clone Troopers–the ones from the animated series that we Star Wars purists poo-poo as illegitimate.  Like Cheez Wiz, it should be written “Star Warz the Clone Warz.”

None of that pure Star Wars propaganda holds any sway with my son.  “There’s too much conversation in the original Star Wars.  There’s more action in the prequels and in the Clone Wars,” he blithely states, while my older son and I gouge our eyes out with Lego light sabers that have missed the Bob Marley scourge.  Yeah, we have kept a lot of the damaged troopers, so the action figure collection in this house might not be suitable for younger viewers.

As a matter of fact, we came across one of the amputees this morning.  Grisly.  As you can see, both legs just clean gone.  “Does this guy play as the wounded one?” I asked (see  Ambling and Rambling’s Stupid Questions for more like this).

“Yeah, he’s Hospitality Man.  Cuz he has to go to the hospital so much.”

Hospitality Man.  Defiantly hospitable. Coming soon to a theater near you.

 

Early 70s Mindbending August 24, 2012

Filed under: history,humor,life,television — peachyteachy @ 9:48 pm
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Fond childhood memories of psychedelic television. He had the levitation thing down way before David Blaine.

Then, the commercials for stuff that looked cool but tasted like moon dust:

Good times.  We need to get some folks back in space.

 

A Labor-Intensive Award August 22, 2012

Filed under: humor,life — peachyteachy @ 8:33 pm
Tags:

Tell Me About Yourself Award

Tell Me About Yourself Award…

Ms. FurFiles herself has nominated me to tell you more about the mysterious world of Peachy.  Thank you, and now I will have to kill you. This award is, apparently, seven-themed.

PART ONE:

1. I was a member of a 4H Knitting Club at the age of ten.  There was nothing remotely trendy about knitting at that point.

2. I was detained in a police station when I was caught riding in a car driven by my teenage friend who possessed a learner’s permit, but no license.  It was fun.

3. I love to make risotto.

4. Fave actor: probably Robert Downey, Jr. Cuz I like those healthy ones. . .

5. I love the movies “The Big Lebowski” and “O Brother Where Art Thou”–go Coens.

6. Huge “Twin Peaks” fan.

7. Salmon and tuna make me throw up. My recovery requires Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese.

PART TWO: This is like that blessing hanky from Jesus that comes in the  mail for you to send on to others in need of blessings.  If you just do it in spirit, I will understand. I don’t know about the folks in corporate Tell Me About Yourself HQ.

Blogs that I read and recommend:

1. Snarkyinthesuburbs is hands down hilarious

2. The Kitchen Slattern Speaks   has assured me that, if ever invited to my home, she will arrive with wine and no kids. So, yes, an etiquette blog.

3. Sparkling By the Way’s Blog Pets, kids, unorthodox driving, and a little musical theater from time to time.

4. Stuff Kids Write As a teacher, this stuff keeps me going.

5. The Pharisee in Me  Refreshing stuff from a recovering holier than thou chick (Willow, I may not have that exactly right), and you might see a deer saran wrapped to the top of a car.

6. Spice of Life– this chick has parents who go by the monikers Falafel and Hummus.  What more do you need? Never mind that these items also make me puke.

7. clotildajamcracker is awesome and weird and I love her writing.

 

Groovy School Reform Circa 1970 August 21, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,teaching,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 10:25 pm
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Cool Peace sign mouse pad at zazzle.com

I worked for awhile in an elementary school that was built in the 1970s.  In other words, some grad students dropped some acid and said, “I know, man! Let’s make a school that has, like, no WALLS!”  And it was, like, the grooviest thing ever, and grad students are cheap, and suddenly, there were two or three wall-free schools in our city that operated like feed lots, where the noise was deafening and there was nowhere to plug anything in.

At some point, someone decided that, if they constructed some temporary walls that did not reach up to the ceiling, and covered the floors with carpet, it would be even groovier, or at least not as deafening.  The result was slightly short of groovy.  If you have ever stood on one side of a temporary wall while someone is teaching on the other side, and you paid attention, you probably could  have passed a test on whatever that teacher was teaching.  Additionally, if you have ever strolled around a building with carpeting upon which hundreds of eager learners stomp in snow boots for several months annually, you are no stranger to the earthy aroma of tenacious Mr. Mold.  Indeed, you may have become a cog in the wheels of a class action suit seeking damages for respiratory, well, damage.

Respiratory issues are tough to top as a wonderful human equalizer, and God knows that shared difficulty breathing undeniably brings people together.  Just in case you were thinking that I was knocking anything.  No.  But when you add the aesthetic and functional nightmare of the windows in this Thunderdome—well, let’s just say that the drugs were either getting progressively better or increasingly scarce.

Maybe it was the recent memory of assassinations during that time period that convinced the designers that the windows should be indestructible.  Why they determined that they should be shaped in such a way that the building appears to have enormous, dull amber-colored eggs protruding from the exterior walls, is a question for the ages.  There may have been a brief honeymoon period during which about seventy-five people saw the out-of-doors through those windows, but I was there way, way after that ship had sailed, and I got to enjoy “the suggestion of sunlight” through the curvy bubble windows. You could see, however, through the gap between the window and its casing, where the winter winds howled and deposited little drifts inside from time to time. Groovy AND cozy.

As captivating as this coming of age story is, it is time that we get down to brass tacks (available at Home Depot) and ask the obvious question at hand: why is the visibility through my house windows similar to that of the plastic, indestructo-egg windows at Peace Man Elementary? How do people get their windows clean, anyway? I don’t have a big ladder, and I don’t have modern, tilty windows.  Spraying them with the “power wash” setting of the hose has yielded some pretty damned crappy results.  You never hear lore about people who do windows, only those who don’t do them.  I am guessing that it is due to the fact that this clean window deal is a well-protected secret.  Unless you live in a skyscraper, in which case there are native species who live on the sides of those buildings and carry squeegees at all times.

I will patiently await your instructions.  Please do not link me to a Pinterest-based window cleaning solution that involves Dawn dishwashing liquid.

 

Mick Jagger, Skating on a Frozen Pond–and Hair Suggestions August 18, 2012

I painted my front steps today.  Mick did not show up to help, even though he has a standing invitation to pitch in and act like a knight for once.  Now I am probably going to have to find a way to take care of the glass of wine that I poured for him, being the mostest hostess that I am.

The image I truly wished to share with you is that of the lovely paint sample chip, eloquently named “Frozen Pond.”  However,  my own computer is not working, and I am borrowing the black sheep of the computer family, the HP, or, as I prefer to call it, The Half-Ass Prince.  So, no actual photo of the paint chip or the completed steps.

I looked for an arresting image of the exact color online, but their Frozen Pond looked very different from the “brooding blue green” that I wished to convey.  What I did discover, though, was a shot of a dude who looked alarmingly similar to our Sir Mick.  And so  you see how we ended up with our random classic rock edition today.  I believe that my last foray into this genre involved Jethro Tull and the classic “Aqualung” in the brooding, blue green post about the critical importance of the large, ugly coat in a post-9/11 world.  Oh, yeah, and my previous post that stole a Who song title.  I may just switch on over to an all-classic rock format one of these days, seeing as how other folks have done all the work already. . .

I could serve up a tasty Stones tune right about now– “Paint it Black,” perhaps, or the later era “She’s So Cold”– but instead, may I suggest that we reflect on one of Mick’s strong points: his hair (that, and rocking the skinny jean before skinny legs were cool).  It turns out that my TwinBloggerSister, javaj240.wordpress.com, is in the market for a new haircut/style/do.  I am going to suggest that we look to some classic rock providers as even greater inspiration than Jack Black.

Let’s consider a non-example: “Under My Thumb,” one of my secret favorites, despite its position in the annals of misogyny.  This, sadly, is not one of Mick’s glory haircuts. Perhaps Brian Jones?

 

Won’t Get Fooled Again. Yes I will. August 16, 2012

Filed under: humor,life — peachyteachy @ 8:49 pm
Tags: ,

Earlier this week, I was on my way out to take the dog for a walk.  As we came down the driveway, a guy in a van pulled over in front of the house and rolled down his window. “Excuse me,” he said, “I’m going to be trimming some trees next door today. Do you need the branches over your garage trimmed? Cuz they are picking up the brush today.”

I politely declined, as late summer is not my rolling-in-extra-bucks season.  I told him if he wanted to take a look and tell me how much he would charge, I would think about it. He drove away. I did run back and haul out the pile of brush that I had been accumulating, so that it would be at the curb for the imminent pickup.  My yard is an ongoing machete project.  I don’t always put it out at the appropriate millisecond for Machete’d Vegetation Day. I have not committed the municipal special refuse pickup calendar to memory, as I am doing well if I have today’s date within three days, during summertime.

But here’s the crazy crap:  no one ever came over next door to trim trees, and the city has yet to pick up the brush.  Really? This guy was just trying to drum up business through the magic of bullshit? If I had acted more interested, would he have asked for some cash up front and then pulled away? Did you see this coming?

I didn’t, and the point is that I never will.  Although I may come across as just the tiniest bit cynical on occasion, the fact is that I basically expect people to be telling the truth.  There are plenty of times when this has proven to be  mistaken assumption.  In the case of people close to me who have proven themselves less than trustworthy, I don’t put myself in that line of fire anymore.  But as far as the general public is concerned, and incidents such as Pretend Tree Trimming Dude, it always surprises me, and I never see it coming.  What I notice about myself, though, is that I don’t really get that bothered by it.  And that is a part of me that I would call sane.  Found one!

 

Girl Stuff–Gentlemen, Read At Your Own Risk August 15, 2012

Filed under: girl stuff,humor — peachyteachy @ 9:48 pm
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There’s nothing quite like your GYN inquiring as to whether you still have your regular visits from “Aunt Flo” to make  you feel young and spritely. Fan-frickin-tastic.

I am riding on a couple of stellar days (no reference to the Perseids, of which I viewed zero).  My big kid left for his senior year of college, AND I got to visit my above-mentioned doc, so that I can check “girl stuff” off the list of severe, flesh-eating conditions that I may discover are coursing through my body on any given 3:30 in the a.m. It’s what I like to refer to, affectionately, as an Ibu-day. You can insert your pain relief of choice to personalize it, if you like.

As the workplace Candy Ma’am, I dole out ibuprofen by the handful, and my coworkers are well aware of my cycles, as evidenced by my face taking on a look similar to our pretend migraine sufferer here.  Also by my “special little purse” that hovers precariously close to qualifying as a fanny pack (horrors).  It’s so discreet there–my colleague with the voice that carries approximately the length of a football field is perfectly cool with hollering at me from the copy room, “Hey, Peachy, you got your period? I see you have  your little purse!”  Why, YES, I DO, friend, and yes, I do, young male student walking by on his way to the bathroom, and thank you for asking! This year, we have to get way more professional, and go with the Aunt Flo code.

Take your time winding down, summer. Take your time.

Image: unifiedhealthgroup.com

 

Let’s Make a Playdate! Please sign this waiver. . . August 12, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,parenting,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 7:35 pm
Tags: ,

image: freevectorfinder.com

We have a friend visiting! I am all out of ibuprofen, and there is someone conducting a repetitive test of a tuneless whistle somewhere nearby, while the boys use their “outside voices” exclusively, arguing about who will be Player One, who gets to use which Legos, biggest cookie—you name it.  Thinking that I need to restructure this whole playdate arrangement.  I am going to draft a waiver! Waivers always make everything run smoothly.

 

Thank you for inquiring about a playdate between our respective offspring!  Prior to scheduling, I request that you read and sign the following standard disclosure and waiver form.

I, _________________, parent of ______________, agree that my son/daughter may meet for diversionary purposes at the home of Young and Grouchy Megamind  on the following date: ___________________________.

I understand the following statements:

  1. Hearing damage may occur as a result of a birth defect which left YGM without a working volume control.  He is set permanently on 11. Earplugs are recommended.

  2. If my child has special dietary requirements or preferences, I will send along something that works for  him/her.  The neighborhood  spelt supplier has gone bankrupt in these tough times.  Also, there are religious duties which prohibit the consumption of Kool-Aid of any color. The work camp-like beverage selection may include water, milk, and whatever generic juice is on sale.

  3. Extreme bossiness may occur at any time.  The gracious host may take a brief time out, and there may be general statements made regarding groundation from various technology, for unrealistic periods of time.  In no way does this imply groundation for the visitor, nor does it imply a request for advice from me to Mommy Megamind on appropriate groundation practices.

    I PROMISE TO DROP OFF AND PICK UP MY CHILD ON TIME. FAILURE TO DO SO MAY RESULT IN UNSPEAKABLY BAD THINGS.

    Just overheard in the other room:

    Guest: “Life’s tough.”

    Grouchy Megamind: “Yeah, Life IS tough.”

    *sigh* Generic prune juice, anyone?

 

 
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