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.

February 28, 2012

java blues

So, like most yupsters, I enjoy a good iced coffee. Usually, I like mine with a dash of sugar-free vanilla and a hefty amount of skim milk.

My usual morning caffeine, however, is hot coffee, with skim milk. But because it's skim, I need quite a bit to get the right flavor. But if I put too much in, I end up with luke-warm coffee... ick. Which is what I have today, when I need it. Ick.


The times in the aviary are quite exciting. Moth man has saved enough money finally to purchase the lego kit of his dreams. Thanks to Amazon prime, it's coming today. Problem: he doesn't get to put it together until Thursday afternoon, when he has a half day.

You'd think we're pulling the little bird's wings off. Cruelty, thy name is mom. But I only have one table in the house, and if he takes it for his legos while dad is trying to serve supper, there will be a hell toupee. (side note, what exactly is a hell toupee? Is it extra hot? Misery inducing - itchy? Or just a flame red color? I've always wondered.) 

(no, I'm not that stupid. I know it's hell to pay. But I prefer hell toupee. It's fun to imagine someone with a little devil on his head.)

Stinks has baseball tryouts this week. He's really into the idea of playing baseball. I wonder if he will actually stick with it, or if he's truly like me, and after a few weeks, will say "meh", finishing out the season with a whimper and never play again.

Meanwhile, Stinks has become quite the historian. He completely rocks at the whole social studies thing, and has been enjoying American History a huge amount. So, I guess he's not my kid completely :)  He now knows more about the American government than 90% of the voting-eligible public. I wonder if he'll retain the knowledge? Any tips on how to help a child retain stuff like this? Music works for Mothy (and me), but not for Stinks.


Well, it's time to finish the prep for today's classes. I have been shucking my work on Saturdays and putting more in the morning prep. It leaves me feeling a little less prepared, but in all, way more relaxed. I was becoming quite undone, working every day for months on end. There's only so much a bird brain can take. Now, I'm hoping something can spur the muse, and maybe let me start writing again in my free time. She's been quiet for too many years. I feel kind of like a phantom limb - my imagination - is missing. If you see it, send it home, will ya?

Have a nice day, and pass it on!!


February 10, 2012

Earworms, Lovelines, and Solutions manuals

What do these three things have in common? Well, they're all in my head right now.

So, it's that time. Stinky is in the 5th grade, king of the elementary school... and it's almost done.

The order forms have started rolling in.

The school yearbook (which I have told the Stinks I will pay for) has a section called "lovelines" in which a parent etc. can send an eternal message to a loved one...

"Stinks, we're so proud of you! love, mom dad and mothman"

"Stinkypoo, we love you!!!!!! Mommy, daddy, and the moth"

"Junior master, thanks for the walks. Please stop picking up our crap. We put it there for a reason. Love, Titus and Loki"

I couldn't think of one that I would put in that wouldn't make Sean embarrassed and still pass the elementary school screeners. In a moment of clarity, I actually asked Sean if he would like me to put in a loveline for him. {eye roll} "No mom, those are for girls. No. No. That would be embarrassing."

I asked John if I should, thinking it may embarrass Sean now, but in a few years, he might know what an unfeeling mom I am because I never sent him a loveline. John replied, "No. That would be embarrassing." (well, actually he said something else, but this is a family blog. Right.)

Wanna bet that the Moth would LOVE to have a loveline? My two boys are so very different.


Moth is now a VIP (pronounced vip to him) Lego member. He's been picking up dog doo and taking dogs for extra long walks - anything for cash. He's saving to buy general grievous??? ship.

Now, maybe I'm old school. I don't remember general grievous in star wars. Alas.

When we went to the Lego store, back on one of my "take grandma harvey for a walk" outings, tim bought a small lego ship. (He only had $5, it cost $10. Grandma Harvey "found" a $5 on the ground. Then she complains "He has enough of those logo things, don't you think?" Irony, thy name is grandma.) When he purchased the ship, he was given two catalogs.

He has read them threadbare. He has pestered John and I for every job to save money. He has asked to be a VIP member. Even though he wasn't sure what a vip was, it sounded, well, vippy to him. He is OBSESSED (hmm, he couldn't have any of my genes could he?). But it keeps him happy.


Meanwhile, I'm trying to teach a section on orbital motion, and I've never studied that in my life. So I studied it, and wrote up/stole some powerpoints. But now I want some sample problems. So I decided to hit up the teacher resources for the book for some extra problems. I haven't used these this year, as I had no problem so far making up my own extra problems. But this section... well, it's a little hard for me.

So I went back to the old teacher's books. There are the extra books. The problem workbooks haven't been cracked. The solutions manual is falling apart. I thought the dude was a PhD in chem? What on earth was he relying on the solutions manual so much for? I would be afraid to do that, because then I could only see a problem one way.

Is it arrogance? I suppose it is. I have but one strength - my logic. When it fails I get frustrated and angry (hence my hatred of physics). But no way am I gonna let this subject beat me.


Now, for the earworm. If you listen to music a lot, you get them. The worst are when you don't know the actual song. But since the advent of the interwebs, all you have to do is google the lyrics. You'll find it. Even the crappy old songs mom sings... found a Shirley Temple one last night for her. (Ice cream cake and candy... may be fine and dandy...  ... Got you Mary)

But what do you do if your earworm is classical - and has no lyrics? For a week, I had a bar stuck in my head... it was baroque, maybe early classical. hugely famous. I ended up listening to every Bach piece I had until I found it. Air on a G string. Which is a totally humorous name, these days, but a brilliant piece. But I did phone one of my violinist friends and ask her what it was, leaving a frantic message, before I finally figured it out.

So, now I'm listening to Bartok. No way that would EVER be an earworm (think the music from the Shining. Creepy, but not earwormish)

Have a happy valentines day!