flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

January 27, 2008

The Crap that Slowed the World

So, one day on the train this week, I got into a car that was rather fragrant. In a bad way.

By the next stop, we were all evacuated out of that car to the next car, and that car had to be isolated. It seems someone had dropped trou and made a steaming deposit in the train car. The thing that gets me? This is morning rush, and this car is the one that has the driver in it. How did someone manage to do a number 2?

Whatever the case, it delayed our train by about 5 minutes, which caused a much larger population of people waiting at each stop. And we only had 4 cars open instead of 5. It was like Tokyo or a sardine can (I guess with the smells, the sardine can is more apt). And it took about 10 minutes longer in the end.

But, as I said to a friend at Spaceley's, it was still hands down better than my old commute, when I had to drive! (does that indicate how much I HATE driving?)

Have I mentioned that my night classes are in Cole's school, from the sixth sense? Very strange. I keep expecting to see hanged people in the stairwell...



Whaz Happenin?

The dusty aviary is not so dusty these days, because my house elf (aka bird mom) is in residence. The clothes are cleaned, the dishes washed and put away, the dust removed and the floors swept. It's awesome.

Stinky is a little jealous that the Moth gets to stay home with grandma. So this week, he got himself sick enough to stay home. Little did he know Grandma's treatment for sick kids is laying in bed with no entertainment. I feel that even if he is sick on monday, he'll return to school.

His ailment has been a strange one. He screams with pain in his belly. Ukes just a bit, then lazes around. He seems to be fine most of the time. Last night, though, he completely freaked me out. He was laughing in his sleep like he was being tickled, then the laughter turned to sobbing. All while he was asleep.

Tim has not caught whatever it is that Sean has got, and I hope it stays that way. One screaming sleeping child is all I can handle!!


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January 19, 2008

One More, from Grandma

Do you know why firetrucks are red?

Firetrucks are red
Newspapers are read
Newspapers cost 2 cents
2x6 is 12
There are 12 inches in a ruler
Queen Mary was a ruler
Queen Mary was also a ship that sailed the high seas
Fishes are in the seas
Fishes have fins
Fins hate Russians
Russians are Red
Firetrucks are always rushin', that's why firetrucks are red...

I have further proof. Russians are not red anymore. They're capitalist green. Bryn Mawr firetrucks are green. QED.



Dispatches from Urbanalia - part 2

This week was another eye-opener in a funny way for me. Instead of having a separate Health class, our school has speakers who come in once every other week into a regular class period to talk to freshmen.

There's one of these speakers who talks from the Women Against Rape group. He's an ex-con who has huge street cred with the kids, and he is trying as hard as he can to get them to choose a different path than he chose. Kudos to the dude!

The second one is in last period algebra. I can't remember which group he's from, but he has more deep clinical knowledge. Last week he talked about drugs. This week, STD's were the topic.

Now, how this gentleman stood in front of the class and spoke seriously, but engagingly, about such topics... every time he says something like Penis or Vagina or Sex, they all start giggling or saying slang words for the same thing. I did my best not to laugh, I swear. But then he started talking about AIDS.

Not a laughing matter, AIDS. I realize that. We actually had a good discussion going. But then he started talking about how it's transmitted - by bodily fluids. First, these fluids have to get into the body, and they really only do that through mucous membranes, which, as you can imagine, sparked a bunch of racous debate.

Then he goes back to the bodily fluids. He says these are blood, saliva (but only if it has a lot of blood in it), and sexual secretions. He asks what the names of sexual secretions are. One kid says semen, and he agrees. Yes, semen is the sexual secretion in a male. What's the sexual secretion in a female? The girl near me says "That's got a name?" in disgusted wonder. I had to agree, silently.

But I still kept in the laugh.

Then the speaker asks, what might make you think you have AIDS? At first, there is silence. Then, this one child: a small, normally quiet boy, speaks up.

"Yo, you junk be on fire and shit."

Of course, the speaker corrected this misconception (that's another STD, he states, and goes into disgusting detail). But I didn't really hear. I was too busy wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes.



Most Puzzling!

With the new job being as crazy as it is, there are some nice fringe benefits. Though I am away from home 6:30 - 7:30 M-F, the weekends are (until sunday afternoon homework) MINE. I can't be called in the middle of the night or bothered in the afternoon. So, I've been taking advantage. On Saturdays, we've been doing Jigsaw puzzles like this one from Ambo (at least that's who Mom thinks gave her this nutty puzzle.)

Also, I have been reading books Books BOOKS!! on the train (I'm on the train for about 2.5 hours a day right now). My amazon review list is going through the roof. This week, my non-fiction pick was Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. This is the dual story of the invention of the wireless radio and an icky murder in London (and the neat connection between the two). If you like science, you'll probably like this book, though I found Devil in White City and Isaac's Storm better. Anyhow, I bring this up because I never knew Marconi's first name before. It's Guglielmo. GUGLIELMO. Is that pronounced "googly elmo?" Did his parents hate him from birth? Jeez, Louise.

The whole puzzle thing has caught on in the house. Stinky, who likes to build things and admire them (it's an Aunt Mary trait) has taken to doing this on my living room floor:

At least they're easy to clean up!


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So, Stinky's been reading with Dad for the last, oh, six years or so. It's their time. And lately, he's been into the classics.

They just got done reading, recently, a wonderful rendetion of the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne (of Magic TreeHouse fame). Sean was absolutely captivated by the story, especially when Odysseus tricked the Cyclops. It was one of his favorite parts of the series.

Well, Sean brought home his art project a few days ago. It was titled "The One-Eyed Monster."

Now, I know, and John knows, that he means the one-eyed GIANT or the cyclops, but I'm wondering what his art teacher thinks we're teaching that boy.



The Moth has been really enjoying his time with his Grandma, and it shows. She's teaching him to write and read and do puzzles. Unlike last year, he doesn't seem to miss his friends. He does, however, continue to torture the crap out of our poor dog (who, BTW, is as good as new, finally!!). Say a prayer for poor Daywok, as he puts up with this kind of torture!!



January 12, 2008

Dispatches from Urbanalia part 1

So, as many of you may know, I’m teaching now. I’m in an urban high-needs school system, and this month, I’ve been placed in math classes in a predominantly Hispanic school.

It’s a lot of fun.

It’s tiring, and I haven’t had my own classroom yet (I get that next month). But in a strange way, it’s kind of revitalizing.

I spent a few days getting names down. The boys thought it was quite funny to all tell me their names were Pedro. Har dee har har. But I could tell who was being straight up and who was yanking my chain, as it were. And they weren’t doing it to be mean.

There are the usual problems and soap opera goings-on. That’s high school. It’s a lot funnier now that I’m not a student. I’ve had a few senior moments – leg warmers are in again? - and a few new math quandries - what the heck is a box and whisker diagram? – but for the most part, it’s all good.

So, if postings are light for a long time, well you know why!



January 05, 2008

Hope Is Dead

So, our Sunday paper comes mostly Saturday morning. Today's paper had today's Parade, which features Benazir Bhutto on the front cover.

"Is Benazir Bhutto America's best hope against al-Qaeda?"

Gosh, I hope not! Talk about going to press too early!