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.

June 26, 2008

If I'd a knowed you was coming

I baked a cake today. From scratch. For the first time in about 14 years.

The last time was a german chocolate cake for my husband, who adores them. He ate a piece and said "Peppridge Farm makes them better."

But this cake, basic yellow with Mom's white icing, is good. It is, in fact, excellent. Ugly, but yummy.

This stay-at-home-mom gig is kinda cool. We alternate going to a library or a park and also have a membership to the zoo. So, it's a lot of walking, a lot of homework (which makes my boyos cry... homework in the summer!?!), and a lot of lazing. Next week, we get pool memberships.

This life doesn't lead to much blogging, but I'll take it. Oh, yesiree, I'll take it.

Back to my book!



June 17, 2008

Tarot as Vocab Builder

(wow, four posts in one night?! well, John's had the computer all week... he's writing again... so I'm putting down everything I can remember... not that anyone reads these things anymore, anyhow.)

During our last week of school, I've done all sorts of stuff to keep the kids occupied.
  • I taught them how to play blackjack, as it made them add quickly.
  • I wrote out a few hundred multiple choice science, math, and pop culture questions and played "who wants to be a millionaire" for real prizes. (that was surprisingly successful, though my hand still hurts. See below.)
  • I've watched a number of science-related-kind-of films (the Core, Deep Impact, Twister, Dante's Peak, and the Mummy series (archaeology is a science)).
  • I gave tarot readings to a few kids.
yes, it seems like they were all time wasters, though I did try with most to reel in the science and math where I could. The tarot, though? A complete fluke (on my lunch break, both times).

I had a set of Tarot cards from my pre kids life - got them when I was a bookseller for under 5 bucks. Never used them. This was perfect, though. A couple of my girls really wanted to see if they worked. So I pulled them out and followed the directions.

Thing is, the cards were all described with words like obsequity and calamity and deceptive and adversity... words my girls just don't know. But boy were they interested. I think I taught more nickel and dime words to my kids in these tarot sessions than their English teacher did all year. Heh.

I even wound in a science lesson, talking about how time is a fourth dimension and Heisenberg's universes... amazing that a little supernatural makes the natural seem interesting!

Ooh, ooh, and I taught them a history lesson because for some reason, we got to talking about the difference between the Anglican church and the Catholic church and that whole thing just happens to be one part of history I kind of know.

Watch, I'm going to get slapped with doing occultish things, though I stressed the whole time that it was an interesting load of manure. Not real. Not real at all. Just fun.

Think I'll get fired?



Time To Graduate!

Tonight is graduation from my high school. I didn't go. Bad, I know, but I only teach freshmen, and I've only been there since February. I'm Not a team player, I guess. I'm not going to the retirement luncheon tomorrow (I only know one of the retirees, and I got him a card and a gift by myself) and I'm not going to the "end of year picnic" on Friday.

The thing is, I like my fellow science teachers. But every time I eat or hang with the other teachers, I'm OVERWHELMED with their negative attitudes toward the school, their students, and/or each other. So, I play by myself. Works better for me that way anyhow.

But I did recently attend another very important graduation. The moth is now a preschool graduate. And, contrary to popular belief, he was not at all good at the whole being on stage thing. He's such a ham in real life, you'd think he'd be a natural. He's not. Ennui at best. Angst at worst. Stinky, on the other hand, had a blast on stage, though he's not so good at the one-on-one interaction. Weird, huh?


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summer project complete

I had one project I wanted to complete before the summer was over. I wanted the boys out of their bunkbeds into the big room, and the furniture from the big room into the boys' old room.

I've painted and cleaned and disassembled and assembled and moved and it's all done. I allowed Sean to pick the colors, and they don't quite match, but who really cares? They love it. I now have enough room for all their nick knacks and paddywhacks, so of course they're gathering more. I've also put out their dad's treasures - masks from Sierra Leone, boxes from Haiti, fossils from Granny knows where.

My hand - which was healing from the computer programming induced abuse - hurts like the devil between this project and my "who wants to be a science geek" question writing session. But now I have NOTHING over my head for the next 6 weeks. Yipee!
(p.s. if you can read the whiteboard... John wrote that, I think he was channeling Sean, who is currently staying with his sainted grandparents.)


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how come I have never seen a lead story...

that connects the price of gas with the fact that all reasonable avenues to domestic power have been blocked by politicians for years? From Jimmy C's ban of the breeder reactor to everyone blocking any kind of drilling for new oil to the closing of coal mining operations...

Do so few news people see the cause and effect here? Or am I missing something major?



June 06, 2008

Wow, I should upload pics more often

If you scroll down, you'll see that I took Stinky and the Moth on a field trip of sorts a few weeks back. We had a blast. I got some good pics on the train... but on my cell phone. I forgot the bloody camera. Giggleberry whatever it was was also great fun. Of which I got no pictures. But I have memories!!

I do have pictures of a baseball game that John took the boys to - back in the pre-season. (end of march, I think). Yes, they're old. But the kids haven't changed much. I can't believe John took them to the Linc and all he got was a few pics of this stupid statue. He's almost as bad as I am at taking pictures. But here they are for posterity. Or whatever.

More recently, they've been playing in the hammock. I believe the picture titles explain it all, but maybe the expressions do, also.



Grading the last tests

Did you know that the left side of Africa has the same cricket ness as the right side of South America? (sound it out.... cricketness... crickedness... crookedness...)

And that climax is the average of weather? (I have no idea how climate became climax. I teach adolescents, though, so sometimes the hormones take over.)

I have had a lot of fun this year, but nothing is better than grading the papers. One of my favorites is the time the cherubs did the matching pre-test on energy. I wanted to see what they could figure out, you know, with logic. Several of them decided that England is powered mainly by burning glow-worms.

Cricket-ness. That's classic.


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Finally found the answer, but still more questions

So it's a few weeks late, but things as they are, I'm surprised I'm posting this year. On this D-Day, I say thanks to all the vets who fought and fight for our freedom.

It's been my habit the last few years to take my mom to the cemeteries on memorial day. I think I'm the only one of my sibs who knows where they all are and who's where. I suppose when she's gone, I'll still do it.

Though the graveyards are starting to fail... I couldn't find Walter Harvey and his wife Orcinda (gggg-grandparents, b ~ 1780), though I have pics from their gravestones a few years back. I couldn't find John and Polly Harvey (ggg-grandparents b ~ 1805), either, though I also have pics of them. (Delraine, the gg and his son Stephen, the g, are still accounted for.) On the flip side, I did a little walking around and totally stumbled onto Stephen's in-laws - the stodgy Harris family. Didn't take a picture, though. I'll have to go back this summer.

I've blogged before about my fixations with cemeteries in general and my family genealogy in specific. My grandma's mom's family is one of the few dead ends (pardon the pun), and it bothers me. So, every once in a while, I try to track something down.

This year, I decided to track down Thomas Crompton's grave. I thought maybe his family would be buried near him, lending more clues to the family in general. It ends up that my sister-in-law's father is buried in the same cemetery, so she knew where it was. I dragged her with me (I usually drag some unsuspecting poor soul on my treks, usually my mom) since she could navigate. I didn't think I'd easily find the grave. But, believe it or not, I did.

Unfortunately, it just opens more questions. Grandpa Crompton is buried alone. The nearest grave is another soldier from the GAR who has no family buried around him. I'm guessing that the Vet's Association (the same people that put the new flags on the soldiers graves every year, bless them) paid for Thomas Crompton's burial. But there was no such dignity for his family.

I planted him some flowers and yelled at him for leaving his family to cope without him. Suicide when you have a family dependent on you is just wrong. But he is, they all are, remembered... even if it's only by me.


June 04, 2008

T Minus 12 Days

I have one more week til grades must be posted. But I have students for 2 more weeks. Go friggin figure.

I teach science, but they wouldn't let me have a science room. Today, one of the students was presenting her end of year project. She was showing how oxygen is necessary for fire. She showed a system that removed oxygen, and it put out fire. She showed a system that created oxygen, and it took the dullest ember to a wickedflame. The kids loved it. It was a great demo/project. And then the principal came. And then the first school policeman came. Then a second and a third.

We had smoke and fire, you see. Not much, but enough to smell it.

Try teaching science without any cool labs or demos. Just try it. It sucks balls. It's boring. The bio classes can't even have scalpels for their dissections. All because of one or two bad apples in a pretty good bunch. Sheesh.


Family is good. I've been chillin like Dylan most of the time. This weekend I rented P.S. I Love You and daggone I haven't had such a good cry in a while. What a tear jerker. And the most devastatingly romantic scenes. Really, really good. Lisa Marie, if you're reading this... GO RENT THAT FILM. Then we'll go to Ireland together. Shhh. Don't tell John. (what, John reads this? Damn.) And speaking of films, the new M. Night Shamaladingdong movie comes out next week. Whoot!!


OK I'm going to go grade my papers. Have a nice day. And pass it on.


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