Saturday, October 31, 2009


...and other medieval forms of torture.

I ran Friday.

For my friends in Smyrna who know me best, I'm giving you a minute to pick yourselves up off the floor, get a tissue to dry the laughing tears from your eyes, and let your breathing return to normal before you start reading again. Better? Okay. Let's continue.

I ran Friday.

Okay, Smyrna girls. That's enough laughing. Pull yourselves together now. There are other people trying to read this.

So I ran. I know I've always said that there's no way I'd run unless there was a big dog chasing me. Well, this big dog is named Kathleen and I was chasing her, trying to keep up. See, I was foolish enough to mention that I'd reached a plateau in the Biggest Loser contest at work. For the past four weeks, I've only lost half a pound a week. I've only been dieting and not exercising because I've been so busy. Kathleen was trying to organize a group of teachers to participate in a "Fun Run" after school several days a week. I commented that there was nothing at all "fun" about running. She encouraged me to give it a try before I passed judgment. I called her a crazy fool, and it went downhill from there.

Long story short, she said that the more people we got to participate, the more likely each of us would be to find a running partner on her own level--someone to match pace with us and keep us company while the others sped off toward the Boston marathon. Since I'm one of the oldest teachers on our faculty, I knew this would not be the case for me. The assisted living facility is a little further down the street--that's the only place I'd find a running buddy. But, I brought some workout clothes to school on Friday and prayed for rain all day. Naturally, the rain didn't come until later, ruining my kids' Trunk or Treat, but not early enough to ruin my run.

I bravely set out with the skinny, 20-something teachers and immediately realized my mistake: I'd forgotten a sports bra. The main reason I hate to run is because of the bouncing. Not that I have much to bounce, but it's damned uncomfortable anyway. I hung back and tried to set a comfortable pace. I realized at once that I'd found my running budding: my teaching partner's nine-year-old daughter who was panting, whining, and asking if we could stop now. I fit right in with my gasping, moaning, and begging. We were soul mates.

At least until we completed the first loop around the neighborhood and the girl's mom took pity on her and allowed her to stop there. Not so with me. Those young, thin beeyotches made me keep going, although they did slow down when I reminded them that we'd had a class party about an hour before and, unless they wanted to see some of the "Swamp Water" punch I'd drunk making a return trip, they'd better slow the frick down. They walked a little while to let the punch settle in my stomach, then took off running again. I politely told them all to F-off while dragging behind them, trying not to hurl in the neighbor's yards. I have students who live on those streets, so I didn't want it to get back to school on Monday that Mrs. Brewer blew Halloween Party chunks in their front yard.

Cut to the chase (which is what I did--chase the other teachers) all the way back to the school. I mapped the distance we ran on 2.87 miles. I survived, but just barely. The other teachers all congratulated me on not fainting, stroking out, or barfing in the bushes, and I sweetly told them all to F-off again. No really, they told me I did a great job of keeping up with them, especially considering that I have no running experience whatsoever, other than being old enough to have powered my first car with my feet, Flintstone-style. They all told me not to give up, that it'll get easier each time I run, especially if I don't drink a gallon of Swamp Juice and eat a plate of M&Ms and Pigs in a Blanket right beforehand.

Oh, did I fail to mention the candy and Blanketed Piggies? Yeah, that's the real reason I ran. So I could eat a little junk food at the Fall Party. I tell you, the sacrifices I make for nitrates and sugar.

I might try running again--when those yummy piggies fly.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Did you ever see something that made you say out loud to yourself...seriously? Did you really just do that in front of me? Did that really just happen? I seem to be a non compos mentis magnet this week...or maybe I'm just noticing the crazy more than usual.

Take, for example, the other day at Lowe's. I was coming out of the store and headed toward my car when I saw a woman walking in the opposite direction toward the store. She was flossing her teeth as she walked. Really. Not picking at a stray food particle with her fingernail. Not employing a toothpick that she'd just picked up at the cash register of her local eatery after a fine dining experience. Oh no. We're talking Full-On Flossing, like with for real dental floss. She had the sawing motion going
and everything.

Curious, and slightly disturbed, I sat in my car and continued to watch as she approached the entrance. Step. Saw. Step. Saw. She was flossing in rhythm with her steps--an admirable accomplishment, but still. I was horrified, but I couldn't tear my eyes away. It was like a train wreck. I wondered what she would do with the floss, knowing all the while that this could not end well. I knew from the very depths of my soul that the floss would never make it to the trash can at the front of the store. Sure enough, she tucked the offending piece of string back into her purse! Euw! What? Is she saving it to use again later? People are just nasty.

Then, on the drive home, I pulled up to a traffic light behind a Bubba. Now, I live in Tennessee, so there are quite a few Bubbas of my acquaintance. Some of them are actually named Bubba; for others it's more of a lifestyle choice. This guy was more like a Bubba Jr. Wannabe. He was driving a reddish-orange tricked out pickup truck with low-riding wheels on the back. The truck was so shiny that you could just tell that he'd never used the vehicle to do any actual real macho work. In fact, it looked like the kind of truck that would be afraid it would break a nail if it tried to haul anything.

The clincher though was the sticker in the back window, which read, "No fat chicks. Back end will scrape." I wanted to pull up beside the obviously struggling with his masculinity driver and say, "Excuse me? You should be grateful to ANY chick who would be seen in this limp-wristed, sorry excuse for a truck with you. Here in the South, "chicks" generally prefer guys who have a little something more going on under the hood, if you know what I mean."

Then tonight I saw yet another vehicle whose driver was clearly hoping to date a real, live woman at some point in his life, but would probably be living with his mama into his late forties and saying, "Do you want fries with that?" at work every day. I'm sure you've seen these trucks with the fake testicles hanging from the trailer hitch. Really? Really? You need to justify your lack of cajones by giving some to your truck? Seriously? That's too pathetic to even be sad.

Citizens of Tennessee: please try very hard to keep your crazy to yourself. I teach public school, so I'm all stocked up. I don't need your 27 varieties of mental illness in my day. Thanks.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rainbows, Fluffy Bunnies, and Bubble Letters

...are things you won't find here.

Okay, since apparently my last two blog entries were filled with enough vitriol that I actually had people ask me if I was okay and if there was anything they could do for me, I guess I need to back off the bitter a wee little bit. This blog will be a kinder, gentler, warm fuzzy kind of blog.

Who am I kidding? I'm not a fluffy bunny kind of girl. It'll be the same old snarky blog as ever, but with a tad less sarcasm and spite. But only a tad. Because then I'd get even more emails asking, "What's really going on? You're being too sweet. What are you not telling us?" You know me so well.

So, yes, it was a busy week. I had my mom's pooch all week because she was in Las Vegas taking care of my Grama who had knee surgery. Izzy was a good little doggie until the very last night, when she decided to attempt to scratch her way through the door at the top of the steps. She was squirrelly all day Friday because she must've read the calendar and realized that her mommy was coming home.

I had my second observation on Wednesday and it went really well. The lady who observed me is from the central office. She does one of the observations and my principal does the other two. (Two down, one to go.) She said many nice things: lots of growth and improvement since last year, she could see me taking on leadership roles in my school or teaching professional development classes for the county, very organized classroom, great centers (thanks, McCartney!), etc. What was really funny was the area she identified as one that I could stand to strengthen (she went out of her way to emphasize that it was not a weakness or an area where I was deficient in any way, but just an area to strengthen to become an even better teacher) was the exact domain and indicator (letter, number, the whole shebang) that my principal identified as a strength in my evaluation two weeks ago. :-)

Then we had a field trip on Friday to the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville for the Tennessee History Festival. I didn't sleep at all Thursday night. Izzy contributed to my lack of sleep, but I was also stressed about the trip. The weather forecasters were predicting a 100% chance of rain on Friday, but the big question mark was how early the system would be moving out of the middle TN area. We even emailed the meteorologists at channels four and five to ask them about it. At six Friday morning we had a monsoon pass through, but by the time we left at 9:30 it was not raining. We had a good time learning about the events that shaped our state's history from prehistoric times to the present. Other than the anonymous comment on Friday (HA!! Too funny!), the trip went really well. I was exhausted and fell asleep on the couch at 8:30 Friday night. Field trips wear me out. I think I'm glad we only get two of them.

This weekend I've been cleaning, organizing, and taking Eight to a birthday party. Today I hope to tackle the garage(s) and try to make room to store Dad's boat for the winter. Problem is, the stuff taking up the room where the boat will go belongs to Mom and Dad. Hopefully they will be able to come get it this week so we can clear out that space. Oh, and I have to list some things on Craigslist to get rid of. I've never done that before, so wish me luck.

See, no rainbows or bubble letters, but it wasn't too bitter. I can be sweet and soft when I need to be. For a limited time. Tomorrow I'll probably be back to my normal, caustic self again. You've been warned.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sarcastic Thanks

Since sarcasm is my native language, I have a few thank yous to share with the blogverse.

I'd like to start off by thanking mom's dog for dragging her butt all across my carpet this week. Thanks, Izzy. Because, really, keeping the carpet clean with two boys and a Labrador in the house wasn't quite enough of a challenge for me. I needed to add "Poop Scootching Skid Marks" to the list of unidentified stains. Seriously. Thanks for that.

And to Wal-Mart. Yeah--my favorite place on Earth. Hey, thanks for carrying only ONE size of the hot pink shiny snow boots--a size ten. Really. Because, it was very helpful to me tonight when I desperately searched for pink rain boots all over town for the field trip tomorrow to know that my favorite color was available, somewhere out there in the Walliverse, just not in the actual place and time and SIZE 8 where and when I needed it. It was so thoughtful of you to let me know what I was missing. I probably couldn't have slept tonight if I had thought you only carried green and orange boots. Thanks for dangling that pink booted carrot in my face and then jerking it away when I saw the size tag. Sure. Thanks for that too.

Oh, and thanks to all the parents who fully believe that I have the power to manipulate the weather and can redirect rainfall. I appreciate, also, that you have faith in my ability to predict what tomorrow's weather will be too. It's so supportive how half of you hate me because I didn't cancel the field trip and the other half of you would've hated me if I had canceled it. It feels so good knowing that, whatever decision I make, at least 50% of you will be lined up to tell me why it was the wrong one. That just warms my heart.

I also need to thank all the liars in the world who are so skilled in your trade that you actually start to believe your own lies until you're certain they're true. I admire your ability to continue to prevaricate, even when faced with undeniable proof of your untruthfulness. Wow. That takes moxie. I'd say my hat's off to you, but you'd just tell me that I wasn't wearing a hat to begin with.

Whew. I feel better. It's always uplifting to give thanks where thanks are due.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Open Letter

to the jayhole who sat behind us at Chili's tonight:

Dear Jayhole,

We, the patrons of Chili's, would like to cordially invite you to achieve an anatomically impossible event after enjoying the presence of your children tonight as we dined. We'd blame your Satan's spawn, A and E, but, as children, they are not entirely responsible for their actions. You are. We blame you for raising them to be the incorrigible, horrendous buttheads that you've allowed them to become.

And how do we know their names, you ask yourself? Well, because we heard you repeatedly shouting the little darlings' names as you issued one empty threat after another. How did I know they were empty threats after only twenty minutes in your unpleasant company? Well sir, even your very young children realized that you were not going to follow through on your warnings because you obviously never do. Instead we, the other paying customers, were subjected to repeated shouts of:
A, get down!
E, sit up!
A, stop knocking on the glass!
E, don't choke your brother!
A, get out from under the table!
E, I told you to stop that!
A, get off your brother or you're going to have to sit over here with me!

And on and on, ad infinitum, world without end, amen, amen. And then you'd get on the phone again and continue to ignore your offspring while they terrorized the other diners.

I used the children's initials instead of their names because they are innocent bystanders in the atrocity that is your parenting technique. I realize that your wife is out of town and you're not used to being the parent on duty. But here's some friendly advice, from one parent of boys to another: Man the frick up and raise your kids right before they get to school and their teachers hate you as much as everyone in the restaurant did tonight.

Thank you.

P.S. I might be feeling just a tiny bit smug because both of MY boys made straight As on their report cards today. :-)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Last Day of Fall Break which I shall bore you with more doctor's updates from fall break and whine about how I don't want to go back to work tomorrow.

I will say one thing about my new family practitioner: she gets labs back FAST! It used to take my doc in Smyrna at least a week to give me the results of my blood work. Not this office! I had blood drawn on Thursday. You know, the usual: checked my cholesterol, red blood cells (for anemia), electrolytes, thyroid function, etc.

Friday morning I went garage sale-ing with mom and her next-door-neighbor. I made the mistake of saying that this would be the only day all week when I didn't have to see a doctor and didn't have to get a needle stuck in my arm. Naturally I spoke too soon, because then my phone rang.

Nurse: There's an abnormality with your labs and we're going to need you to come back in so we can send another sample to the lab, STAT.
Me: Um, now?
Nurse: Yes, honey. We need to get this over to the lab as soon as possible so we can get results back today.
Me: Oooookay. What kind of abnormality?
Nurse: Your potassium is too high.
Me: Is that a problem?
Nurse: Well, maybe not, but it could be. Are you experiencing any symptoms?
Me: Huh? What kind of symptoms?
Nurse: Well, if your potassium is high and your electrolytes are off it COULD indicate a problem with your heart. Are you having flutters or an abnormal heart rate?
Me: Wait. What? My heart? No, I'm not having symptoms. (long thinking pause) Hold said my potassium is too high? (laughing) I can explain that. I've been putting bananas in my fresh fruit and yogurt smoothies this week because the bananas were about to go bad and I wanted to use them up.
Nurse: Well, we still need you to come in as soon as you can.

Long story short, I had to get another stick to prove what I'd suspected: Banana OD. Darn healthy diet.

Oh, and for those of you who were feeling sorry for me because I didn't get any shoes the other day...score! I bagged three pairs of designer shoes at Goodwill for less than twenty bucks, which is still less than what I would've paid for one pair (half price) at Shoe Carnival. I also got a brand new black leather Jones New York jacket-y blazer thing which is way cool. I love being cheap.

This week we're puppy sitting mom's dog, Izzy, whom I affectionately refer to as Wolverine. She's got sharp teeth and an attitude like a wolverine, but she's pretty cute when she's not biting my fingers off. Lily loves having her here and the cat...well, the cat is adjusting. She'd just gotten used to having Lily sniffing her business, and now she's got this barking little, panda-looking Wolverine to contend with. Poor Snowball.

I really don't want to go back to work. WAAAAHHH! I loved having time off, but it makes it that much harder to go back on Monday after seven school days without students. I'm being evaluated by someone from central office on Tuesday, so naturally the state website that I need to access to write my planning information record is down. Grrr. I'm going to be really mad if I have to work on it tomorrow night during DWTS or Castle.

Okay, I think that's enough boring random facts for now. Look for more of the mediocrity that you've come to expect here at Casa de Princess next weekend. Until then, kick back and enjoy some Grand Hoochie Skank Rosè. (SNL reference from last night that still has me giggling tonight.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Princess in the Royal Family

My baby cousin Stephanie had a baby of her own today. Before you start thinking this is a Springer episode, my cousin is not really a baby. She's 28. I just can't help thinking of her as a baby because I held her when she was born. I thought I was so important because, at that time, you had to be at least twelve years old to visit new mothers and babies in the hospital. I had just turned twelve the month before, so I got to go with the adults to visit Aunt Sue and hold the new baby.

For those of you spraining your brains trying to do mental math...that makes me 40 now. Shut up.

Anyway, Stephanie and her big brother were acolytes at my wedding in 1991. Now she's got her own little girl. I would like to personally thank Mackenzie Hope for managing to get herself born during fall break so I could go visit her at the hospital and hold her just like I held her mama 28 years ago.

Welcome, Mackenzie. I hope you g
row up to be as beautiful and smart as your mom.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Frenzy

I had my doctor's appointment yesterday with the breast surgeon and everything is looking good. Healing up nicely. I still have to schedule the MRI, but I'm not in any rush to be trapped in a metal tube.

I took the boys with me to my appointment yesterday because we had errands to run afterward. Twelve was his usual self: fidgeting, tapping, talking a mile a minute, and being his typical flurry of busy movements. I realize that he can't help it, but it just drives me up the wall sometimes. At one point, he leaped up out of his seat and dashed all the way across the waiting room for no apparent reason. Well, no reason that was apparent to me, anyway. I was just about to fuss at him, when I realized what had caught his attention. Sometimes being the kid who can't help but notice every little thing going on around him is a good thing. He'd jumped up to open the door for a little old lady in a walker who'd just come out from the exam room area. She thanked him and praised him for being such a helpful young man. Suddenly his fidgeting and frenetic movement didn't bother me so much anymore.

We went to a few stores on a mission: Twelve needed long-sleeve T-shirts and new shoes. We struck out on the T-shirts (none he liked at a price I was willing to pay) but hit pay dirt at Shoe Carnival. He'd been wearing a size six in boys, but I figured he'd need a larger size--possibly transitioning to men's sizes. Imagine my surprise when the shoe salesgirl said that he'd need an 8 1/2 or a 9! That's bigger than his daddy's shoes! Holy cow, my kid is getting big! Since the shoes were "Buy one, get one half off," we got brother and daddy some new shoes too. Who didn't get new shoes, you ask? Me. The person who also has the smallest closet in the family. I couldn't find a single pair of shoes in the whole store that I liked. Which really stinks because they would've been half price. Ugh.

Then I took Eight to the doctor. His right ear has been bothering him since the summer. No fever, no pain, but just an itchy, full feeling that ear drops and allergy meds weren't helping. Since we're on fall break, I decided we should finally have someone take a look in his little ear. We had to find a new doc in Hendersonville because, even though I wanted to keep going to our doctor in Smyrna, it was just too far to drive when my school doesn't even dismiss until 4:00 in the afternoon. So I found this doc on our list and made an appointment. The doctor took a look in both ears and smugly said, "Well there's your problem. His ears are full of wax."

Me: But just the right ear, right?
Doc: Um, no. The left one is just as bad. We'll get the lavage kit and take care of this. (starts walking out the door)
Me: (shouting to his retreating form) I promise I'm a good mother.

Way to make a first impression, right?

So, the doc, the nurse, and I cleaned out about seven years worth of wax from Eight's ears. At least, that's what it looked like as it came out. Eight, continuing the whole impress the new doctor theme, said, "Mom, you never told me I was supposed to clean my ears. I thought only dogs did that." I looked at the doctor and said, "Just for record, I did SO tell him to clean out his ears." He nodded and grinned smugly as if to say, "Yeah right, Slacker Mom."

I'm not sure if we're going to keep seeing Dr. Smug.

Today I have a nurse coming to the house to draw blood for the new life insurance policy Dan bought for me. Well, for him, since he's the one who will benefit if I croak. The day he sold me the policy, I was on my way out the door to play Bunco. He stopped me and made me sign the policy before I left the house. Nice. "Hey honey, sign this before you go--just in case you don't come back." He didn't mention there would be fasting and needles and standing on a scale for a stranger involved here. I'm hungry.

Then tomorrow I get to go back to Dr. Smug's office (but I'll be seeing his female partner) for another blood draw for my twice yearly thyroid check. At least I'll have matching bruises on each arm. Then I think we'll round out the week with eye doctor and dentist visits.

Yeehaw. Do I know how to party over fall break or what?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another lame update post

I just realized that I haven't updated the blog since September 26 because, well, I suck at life in general. So sue me. I decided it was time to update the blog when my friend told me she was reading it to check on "my girls." Nice to know that even Canadians are concerned about the status of my ta-tas. Mary Ellen, I'll update you on my "girls" tomorrow after my follow-up visit with my surgeon. I'm supposed to have an MRI soon, but it's not scheduled yet.

And speaking of ta-tas, Dan was at the Race for the Cure event in Nashville yesterday to represent AFLAC. They were invited there by the Komen Foundation to offer their cancer insurance (among other policies) to participants. Hopefully he'll be able to get some sales out of that and help people who might find themselves needing that protection, God forbid.

I did have a ginormous lump develop behind my right ear, which popped up after a three-day headache. My co-workers told me it was probably a blood clot and I was "fixin' to stroke out." Nice, huh? The doctor at the walk-in clinic was all set to send me off for a CT-scan, X-ray, MRI, and all sorts of other tests, but her supervisor said it was probably just an infected gland. $4 for antibiotics VS. massive tests is definitely better. The lump starting shrinking after two days, so all is good.

I finally finished cleaning out the fall/winter clothes from storage and put everything away in my tiny closet. Did I mention that I have the smallest closet in the family? Just checking. Anyway, I took my friend Nancy's advice and stored all my summer/spring clothes in Space Bags so they won't smell like gasoline like my fall/winter clothes did. I got my new Miche closet organizer with my eight shells in it. I like to just sit and look at them in all their loveliness. My newest favorite is Black Stacey. She's so pretty. So is her sister, Brown Stacey.

(Yes, I call all my shells by their product names and talk about them as if they're friends. Because they are my friends. My dear, darling little friends: Jayma, Priscilla, Pink Zoe, the Staceys, and Baileigh. Dan is seeking purse therapy for me.)

We finally broke down and bought a Wii for the boys' birthday. The whole family is now hooked. The boys are mad because, so far, I can beat them in every single game except boxing. I HATE boxing. I hold the family record for Wii golf, with two over par on nine holes. That's verrrry different from real-life golf. In real life, Dan was asked by the driving range owner to never bring me there again. Something about the other golfers fearing for their lives. Sheesh! Men. You forget to yell "fore" a time or six (when you hit it backwards toward the crowd) and the menfolk get so touchy.

I had a great observation with my principal last week. In fact, I'll give you one quote from many positive comments. She said, "I think that's the best way I've ever seen that concept taught." I know, right? I was grinning from ear to ear when I floated out of her office. "Atta girls" feel great. I'll have another observation from the central office evaluator when I get back from fall break, and then another one with my principal in November. Hopefully I'll remain employed again next year.

I was tied for first in the Biggest Loser contest at work two weeks ago, but I don't have the results from last week because our school nurse was out. I think I've lost about seven pounds, but the scale at school is the true indicator. Dan and I bought Wii Fit, but we haven't been able to kick the kids off the thing long enough to play our game. The kids are addicted to Super Smash Brothers Brawl. They just borrowed Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga from Blockbuster and they're in love with it too. At least we'll know what to get them for Christmas--all Wii, all the time.

This week of fall break is going to be full of housework, yard work, lesson planning, doctor's appointments, and Wii play. It's so nice to have a fall break again, after being without it last year. I needed a break after the first nine weeks and parent conferences. Now we're one quarter finished with the school year!