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.

December 27, 2014

Mary Christmoose

The semi-chronicles of the Rogers clan - 2014.

No pictures in this edition. Sorry. Also, not much of a year wrap-up, as we've done nothing of any note this year. Like every other year. So, dig up one of the old letters and read that if you want.

Stinks has entered the high-profile-exec-who-was-caught-doing-wrong phase: "No pictures. No Comments." He's in the 8th grade and is convinced that everyone is watching him, but no one gives a crap about him. Ah, the delusions of adolescence. Much to Dad's chagrin, Stinky has 0 hobbies except boy scouts, camping, and video games. We did send him to computer programming camp this summer, which he liked and continues to fiddle with. Maybe he'll be a little nerd like his mom? Doubtful. But he is now as tall as his dad and loves to point that out.

He's still mowing lawns and shoveling sidewalks, now to save toward a crazy-big camping excursion: Philmont scout camp. He wants to go in 2016. Mom is a little scared about sending him way out there. He might get lost, and then there'd be paperwork to fill out.

Unlike Tim, who really did get lost this year. (see october 12 blog). Fortunately, we found him before we called the fuzz.

Moth is in middle school. He likes to push the envelope. Hell, he likes to push the entire mailbox full of envelopes. If I say, "be home at 5," he's all ready to negotiate, "how about 5:30?"

To which I reply, "how about 5?"

Rinse, lather, repeat, and then he concedes, grudgingly. And he gets home at 5:00:01.

The boys both like to take trips to the library. This pleases their father greatly, as he believes they are reading many books of an academic bent. In this he could not be more wrong. They go to the library only to play video games, as we have never allowed them in the house. And when I say we, I mean John. I'm a bad parent at best who likes to keep the kids quiet by whatever means necessary. Video games are a relatively quiet way of keeping them out of my hair while I read fanfic. John thinks we can do better. Right.

John purchased them both notebooks (computers that only allow internet access) and blocks every website except google, wikipedia and an educational (math and grammar) program. He assigns work on Monday for every night of the coming week. Every week of the year.

Except Christmas. He did give them Christmas off. See, here are Moth's assignments for the week.

The boys did not find this humorous. They have taken to singing "you're a mean one Mr. Grinch" whenever he's in the room, as he's given them HOURS of school work over the break.

Speaking of Grinch, we had no idea what to give the lads for Christmas. Two years ago, I broke the video game ban by purchasing DS's (think gameboy if you're my age, and if you're older? meh, google it). (Dad's okay with them as he can confiscate them, and does, until the extra work for the week is done.) Last year, we got them sunscreen, beach balls, travel kits, and to round it off, tickets to Curacao. It was the big family trip of the century. Seriously. We will be eating beans and weenies for approximately 2 more years, then we'll be done paying the loan shark off.

But we didn't just present these presents. No siree. Two years ago, they opened socks and underwear first, and some other ridiculous gifts, then the DS's. Stunned joy.

Last year, it was all of the silly presents. They really started to get suspicious when Aunt Mary sent them swimsuits and towels. The final present was a diving map of the place and pictures of the plane tickets. Stunned joy.

This year, we had NO idea what to get. So I got a bunch of silly stuff, and, after JOHN suggested it, an XBOX. But how do you present this?

I wrote up a letter which entitled each of the boys to a new, extra-long twin bed and one set of sheets. They've been complaining that their twin beds are too short, see. Really, it's an entree to "we need bigger beds in our own rooms!" Which will happen 2 minutes after never. I have 1 vermin-infested room. I will not have 2. But I figured they'd see the bed coupon and be like, "great."

They opened everything, including the flying monkey slingshots. Seeing all the presents were silly (except the socks, which were useful), they were looking for "the Gift." Last, with building excitement (cause they're on to me) they got to the letter. They opened it, read it. They were like, "cool!!" All smiles and joy.

They were actually excited about the fake present. Had I outfoxed myself?

Hours later, well after lunch, and after Tim had crashed 3 of his Styrofoam gliders and Sean had terrified Loki by chasing him around with the car Aunt Mary and Uncle Kim got him, I "found" a present for Dad. He opened it to find three distinctive green cases containing Madden whatever, some driving game, and some call of duty-type killer game. He was very excited.

The boys were very confused.

"Why does dad get them?"

And out came the Xbox.

Sean still doesn't believe we got it. "Mom, how did you get Dad to agree?"

"It was his idea." And it was. See, our only TV is plugged into something called a VoltBolt. They will still not be able to play games, unless the emperor puts the thumbs up (and the key in). As soon as the boys keyed in to that (ha), they lost some of the video-game induced high. But they haven't started whistling Mr. Grinch, yet.

I give it til Monday.

That's my Christmas story, and I'm sticking to it.

Wishing you a wonderful Holy-day season and a whacky new year, from bird land to your land (this land is, after all, your land. this land is my land... did I get it stuck in your head? Did I?).


December 04, 2014

My Experience At The DMV...

Well, that title should be enough to reel in a few readers.

Sorry, it's been crazy busy this year. School is always busy, but this year, I feel like I live in Office Space. "Yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to ....."fill in the blank with some ridiculous, time-consuming task. Several times.

So, as per usual, I do as much as I can, and do it as well as I can, which is, specifically:  not much, with overwhelming mediocrity. What can I say? Overachiever? Not it!

But I am at school, most days, for about 10-11 hours. And attempting to go to the gym 3-4 times a week in the morning. And still raising (or trying to) two sprogs.

So, something's gonna give. I'm simply too lazy to be this efficient.

I forgot to renew my driver's license.

I was all set to go last Friday, after Turkey day. I totally forgot. As I had done for WEEKS of Saturdays before this. My license expires tomorrow. So, I had to get it done this week.

I left school with the kids on Monday (there's a shocker). Rushed home. Got to the DMV at 4:30. They closed at 4:15. What the heck kind of hours are 10:00-4:15, I ask you???

We had parent-teacher conferences for report cards this week. I took the opportunity to leave 20 minutes early. (One irate parent called me while I was running to catch a train.) So, I get to the DMV.

4:05. One person getting her picture done. Her attendant looks and sounds like Lurch. I was like, oh, man. He was SUPER slow, and I was afraid it would take until 4:15 for him to take her picture. (it did, btw).

But another clerk comes out at 4:10. He looked normal. But my clue should have been his opening line.

"Man, that potty break sure felt Gooooood!" with a big guffaw.

I smiled, trying to keep my face calm. Those pictures are always so great to begin with. I don't need an "oh my gosh you're strange" look on my face.

So, I answer the questions and fill in the organ donor thing and then he asks me to sign the signature box.

He then proceeds to critique my signature.  This doesn't look anything like your old signature. And it wasn't a second or two. He studied it, turned it sideways, upside down. Looks at me a few times like I'm trying to pretend to be me or something.

I laugh nervously/frustratedly and say that I always have a hard time with the computer sign pads, and now that I sign papers all day, my writing's gotten worse.

I do the signature again.

Same thing.

I'm getting super frustrated at this point. I go through the signature dance with him 4 - four - F-O-U-R times, and he still wasn't happy with it. Puts a demerit or some other horse hockey on my record. Then he takes my picture.

I looked a bit like a homicidal maniac. Sadly, my glasses had too much glare, so he wanted to do the picture again.

Reaching down for that one, tiny atom of Zen left in my system, I took off my glasses and attempted to "clear my mind" as Snape might say.

Needless to say, my signature is just slightly more ridiculous than my picture which, sadly, is a good semblance of my everyday visual insanity.

As the card is printing out, he comments on the fact that I'm a teacher. He states that he always hated school except math. And he only does math in his head. He doesn't like calculators. I asked if he could do trig in his head, because I was in one bitch of a mood at this point. He said that he wasn't allowed to take trig. He says he thinks the school discriminated against him. He couldn't be in sports either because they were afraid he would hurt himself. But he's had 24 fractures and none of them hurt. He doesn't even use Novocaine at the dentist. He doesn't feel pain.

He's got a rather maniacal look in his eye as he says this.

At this time, it's a bit after 4:15, and Lurch comes over and joins the conversation about pain. And they're holding my new license hostage, comparing their wound histories.

I know I should have compassion, but THAT WAS THE MOST FRUSTRATING 10 MINUTES OF MY RECENT LIFE. And I teach in the inner city.

And now, here I sit, laughing because that was such a surreal experience, how can you not? So, Lurch and NoPainMan?  Thanks for the birthday laugh. It'll be a story for me to remember, and a reason to find a different DMV in 4 years.