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Archive for July, 2007

In other news

In no particular order, here are the other things that are going on around here this week: 

  • My best friend has returned from two weeks in New Mexico.  I have missed her and can’t wait to catch up with her. 
  • The kittens under our deck seem to realize that I = food.  Therefore, they’re cautiously friendly around me.  Oh, they still hiss at me, but they’re so small that the hissing is almost comical. 
  • I have suddenly found myself in demand as a committee member.  Initially I spent a lot of time questioning exactly why I suddenly was being asked to be on this board or that committee, but have since decided to just roll with it.  I may make some contacts that help me out in the future. 
  • I have committed myself to $1000 in plane tickets for our annual fall trip to Florida.  If any of you out there hold any sway with the weather, I’d appreciate your directing the hurricanes away from the southern Gulf coast during the month of October. 
  • Spawn will be starting soccer in about a month.  I really resisted becoming a soccer mom but the kid managed to wear me down and so I’ll be the one on the sidelines with a juice box and a good book. 
  • Spawn lost another tooth yesterday.  This makes seven the kid has lost so far.  Apples and corn on the cob have been challenges this summer.  And of course the Tooth Fairy has set the gold standard at our house by giving out a gold dollar coin for each tooth, so at this rate the kid is getting rich and the Tooth Fairy is going broke.  Except for the gold Canadian dollar she managed to sneak in there at some point since she didn’t have time to get an American gold dollar at the bank one day. God save the Queen. 

That’s all I’ve got today. 

— Mox

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I am distracted today. 

Yesterday was the open house at Spawn’s school, the one where everybody converges to find out what classes they’re in and what teachers they’ll have.  So we went, and Spawn got the teacher I had hoped for, and tomorrow night my husband and I will go back to the school for a little pep talk by the principal and a parents’ meeting with the teacher, in which she will explain just how first grade works to those of us who are more than 30 years removed from the experience. 

I made Spawn try on uniforms last night to see what still fit and what needed to be replaced.  Now I have to get to the uniform supplier sometime between now and Friday morning to get something for the kid to wear.  And then I have to buy shoes, since the school does not allow sandals.  And the backpack I’ve ordered for Spawn should arrive today.  The supplies are all marked with Spawn’s name and in a sack waiting to be taken to school. 

I’m trying to be ready for this but the fact is, I’m not. 

And I don’t really think it has anything to do with the fact that my baby is going to be a first grader.  We’ve done preschool.  We did full day kindergarten.  School, as a routine, isn’t shaking me up too much. 

Summer’s over. 

Spring is by far my favorite season, with the coming of the warmer days and the flowers starting to bloom, and the promise of summer to come.  I love the potential of spring. 

But summer is a shift in attitude.  A change in thinking.  A relaxation of schedules and standards.  Long, sunny days with no agenda.  Even though I don’t get a summer vacation I get a summer frame of mind and that’s just about as good. 

I woke up one morning last week and realized that the chorus of birds was gone.  That’s a sure sign of fall coming. 

And I can’t really put my finger on it, really, why the end of summer depresses the hell out of me. But it does.  And to start school so damned early just pushes the season along too much. 

I know plenty of people who love fall, and even a few cracked pots who claim to love winter.  They make no sense to me. 

Right now I have the feeling of trying to hold back the ocean with a rake. 

— Mox

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Thus far, I have called every age that Spawn’s been through, “the best”.  And it’s true, I’ve enjoyed every age and stage so far. 

So far. 

Now we’re dealing with being mouthy.  And I am not enjoying it. 

Now, I don’t remember being particularly mouthy as a kid.  Mainly because I was terrified that my parents would kill me if I got too out of hand.  But also, I didn’t have other kids around to lead me astray in the attitude department. 

Spawn has been with peers all summer, and it shows. 

In most cases, the infractions we’re dealing with are more in tone than choice of words, but if I hear “oh, come on” out of that kid’s mouth any more, I might have to come unglued.  Spawn has also been channeling that inner teenager, the one who rolls eyes and sighs heavily and is generally inordinately put-upon by the very uncool adults.  All of that breathing of the air and blinking of the eyes is just SO TAXING. 

Another thing we’re hearing is “ain’t”.  While I realize that I’m just as country as the next person around here, I know when to apply “ain’t” and when it ain’t proper.  That’s something the kid has yet to learn.  At this point I don’t see any wisdom in heading into a school year with bad grammar sticking out. 

If we can just get through this little attitudinal rough spot, I’m sure the pleasures of having a six year old will become evident again. 

— Mox

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My husband and I took Spawn to the amusement/water park yesterday.  The kid has been bugging us all summer to go, because the park has been advertising incessantly on TV and radio since, oh, May, and boy is my kid tuned in to the commercials these days.  And with the first day of school looming prominently in the near future, we figured we’d better go and get it out of our systems while we could take a day in the middle of the week and avoid the huge weekend crowds. 

Man, we are so smart

There is an obvious difference between Spawn and my husband and me; namely, the kid is as brown as a biscuit from being in the pool all summer and the two of us have that pasty pallor so commonly associated with people who spend all of their time indoors, working their asses off.  With the exception, of course, of my husband’s red neck because, duh, he’s something of a redneck.  Can’t live where we do and avoid that. 

We lathered up pretty good with the 45 SPF because our skin hasn’t seen the light of day in many years and the last thing Yours Truly needs is for her magnolia skin to get burned to a big ol’ crisp.  I am happy to report that with the exception of a few spots that got missed, I am not very much burnt. 

I am, however, pretty damned freckled. 

Now, with all that pasty English ancestry in my DNA, it’s not a surprise that I don’t really tan all that well.  But the freckles, man, the freckles.  I keep thinking (hoping) that maybe someday they’ll all run together and approximate a tan, but so far that hasn’t happened.  The year-round ones seem to get darker, and the lurkers pop out whenever I get in the sun. 

I have noticed, however, that I now have freckles across my chest.  I’ve never had freckles there before.  The question now is, are they freckles or age spots?  Aren’t I too young for age spots?  Please let me be too young.  I will take the freckles. 

Just call me Spotty. 

– Mox

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I walked into the bank yesterday to exchange a roll of quarters for a (much lighter) ten-dollar bill.  Now, banks are quiet, quiet, quiet, and my bank is just like all the rest, with everyone hunkered down in their ivory towers, counting the beans.  The flagship location of my bank is brand-new, less than three years old, and it’s very nice in an austere kind of way.  Lots of glass, lots of rich mahogany, a baby grand player piano tinkling in the lobby.  Very wealthy, and designed to make you feel quite comfortable with leaving your money in their hands. 

The tellers were pretty well twiddling their thumbs because other than me there were no customers in the queue, and that got me to thinking:  what do bank employees do when they have downtime? 

When I get some downtime at work, I hit the Internet.  (Obviously!)  (Doesn’t everyone?)  (That’s what I thought.)  My friends can tell just how bored I am by the number of links I email to them.  Some days, I am the Link Queen. 

But I don’t think people like bank employees get to do stuff like that, at least not the ones in the public eye.  I don’t think they can read anything either.  Nope.  Seems they just have to be there, waiting until a customer comes in.  Like a soldier standing at attention. 

Good golly, how boring that must be.  At least I can entertain myself until something work-worthy comes along.  I would not want a bank teller job, all that quietness and waiting around.  I’d lose my mind. 

And speaking of boredom, remember back a few months ago when I said I was quitting my job? 

Yeah.  Well.  That hasn’t exactly happened. 

The reason it hasn’t happened is that nothing better has come along.  Oh, sure, I’ve had a few discussions with my boss at my second job about me coming on more or less full time, but that’s just been conjecture at this point and right now I think I’m fine with that.  I’m not at all sure I really want to work more at the second job because, see above.  Boredom Central. 

My first job is still hanging in there and to be quite honest with you, I love it.  I’ve always loved it, and even though I have been shat upon like a statue in the park at sometimes, the bottom line is the work is enjoyable and the rest of the staff (what few of us are left) are right good eggs.  There is variety and challenge and just about the right balance of work and downtime.  When you do a job for 14 years you get to know it pretty well.  And I’m finally starting to reap some rewards, however few, from being here so long.  I think that has something to do with attrition in the ranks, but a perk is a perk. 

Huh.  I just now realized something.  I’ve been in this job the same number of years I’ve been married.  I had this job a couple of years before I got married. I took a detour for a couple of years at another job in my field right after I got married, but I came back here when I got the opportunity.  I don’t know what that says about me.  That I’m a crazy person, maybe?  That I like having a known quantity from day to day?  That if it ain’t broke don’t fix it? 

I don’t think you’ll find me on the cover of Risk-Taker Magazine any time soon. 

— Mox

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Holy crap. 

I have been hunting for two days, trying to find a flight between our teeny midwestern airport and the much more accomodating, larger airport in Florida where my relatives live, a flight that doesn’t have five million connections in between the two airports. 

Do you know how hard that is? 

This is one of the things, I guess, about living in podunk that will make you crazy if you think about it too much.  I mean, if we lived in, say, Boston, it would be no big to find a direct flight from point A to point B and at a cheap fare.  But because we live out in the cornfields, there are a fair number of puddles to jump in what will be an arduous journey. 

We’ve tried driving to a larger city to catch a flight there, and when all was said and done we hadn’t really saved ourselves any time or money.  Plus we had to spend the night with the in-laws.  Oh joy. 

So we made the decision last year to just fly out of our local airport, an airport that bills itself as a “regional hub” and I’m here to tell you, if this is a hub then it’s a hub to nowhere.  You just can’t get there from here. 

I know that there are people out there who are way smarter than me when it comes to economics and business, but I have a theory.  If you’re flying to, say, Florida, wouldn’t it make sense to fly directly south, rather than fly north into Detroit and then turn around and head south?  Seems to me that’s a waste of fuel and no wonder airline tickets are so damned high. 

I know, I know.  The airlines have worked this out to where they can maximize the number of passengers on any given plane and therefore it’s more money for them.  Otherwise they’d all go belly up. 

I don’t even mind, really, the connections, just so long as I’m catching connecting flights that seem to be in the general direction I’m headed.  It doesn’t bother me to change planes in Memphis and again in Atlanta on the way to Florida; what I don’t get is the return trip, where they want to fly me and my family over our airport to Detroit or Chicago and then make us get on another plane that will then take us back home.  I mean, we will literally use the airspace right over our local airport but won’t stop there. 

Maybe we could parachute out when we fly over. 

— Mox

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Shooting blanks

Still not a whole lot to tell. 

Or rather, plenty to tell and yet not really in the mode for sharing right now. 

Check with me later. 

— Mox

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