Thursday, September 28, 2006

This is Not Me...

I say again: This is not me. This is--at best--an amalgam of me and Dave, but there are definitely things on the list that we drop. And yet, I *know* women like this. Yeah, maybe they only have two kids instead of three, but otherwise this is life right down to the toenails. And I found it hysterically funny. One of the things making the email rounds recently that actually had me laughing out loud for so many reasons (some of even them self-directed).

"Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of "pretend" bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment. He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care (weekend, evening, on a holiday or right when they're about to leave for vacation). He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers
outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

There is only one TV between them, and a remote with dead batteries.

Each father will be required to know all of the words to every stupid song that comes on TV and the name of each and every character on cartoons.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, which they will apply to themselves either while driving or making three lunches.

Each man will have to make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4 year old to eat a serving of peas.

Each man must adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep their nails polished and eyebrows groomed. The men must try to get through each day without snot, spit-up or barf on their clothing.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties. They must try to explain what a tampon is for when the 6-yr old boy finds it in the purse.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

He will need to read a book and then pray with the children each night without falling asleep, and then feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair each morning by 7:00. They must leave the home with no food on their face or clothes.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up

They must clean up after their sick children at 2:00 a.m. and then spend the remainder of the day tending to that child and waiting on them hand and foot until they are better.

They must have a loving, age appropriate reply to, "You're not the boss of me."

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.
The last man wins only if...he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again
for the next 18-25 years..."


Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's the weekend, I should post here. The problem is, I have been so busy with working in the glass studio and meeting my ever-mounting commitments that I haven't had much time for life outside of work. If I were still single and childless, there would be no need for this blog at all. I would literally eat, sleep, and work. But I am married and I do have a child and for the child, at least, just because Mommy is busy doesn't mean the pace of her life slows down.

Jessie is in Pre-K now. Her birthday is after September 1 so she did not get to move on with her original classmates, she was held back in the 3 year-old class. Now she is in the first official year of school here in Georgia--the year before kindergarten. She must be in class by 8:30 or she is tardy and Dave has to sign in for her at the office. If she is late more than once a week she can be asked to leave the program. If she misses school more than two days in a row she can be asked to leave the program. Do I really care if she is in the "program"? No. The only reason she is is that the pre-school she has been in for the past two years does the official Georgia thing at four instead of continuing private school.

Besides the... rigorous... approach to tardiness and attendance, there are other new rules to follow which relly have me questioning how much my life needs to be regulated by my government. Lunches, for example, are strictly controlled. We are required to bring a box lunch every other week for field trips. There may be no cookies, animal crackers or "treats" of any kind. No grapes unless they are cut, no sliced carrots. Juice must be 100% juice. You cannot water it down to cut the amount of sugar they get. There are more rules than this but all I have been able to get is a garbled list from her teachers (nothing written) and stories from other parents of inappropriate foods being taken away.

I did try to make logical sense of the rules. If they are not concerned about sugar in the juice, I asked, why can't they have sweet treats? The answer is two-part: they ARE concerened about the amount of sugar, and other kids might who don't have sweet treats would, I don't know, feel bad or something because they don't have a cookie. I replied, isn't that the way it is in life? Everyone is different and everyone has something different. Why would we try to project anything else? What really frosts me on this is that we don't do the cookies and cakes thing, I just want to be able to give her teddy grams for a dessert treat. DENIED.

Shoes are also an issue. They have always had this no-open-toed-shoes rule because they might get wood chips in their shoes on the playground. This year that was extended to no Crocs. Why? Because they slip off and provide no support and, well, because it says so in the handbook! No, it does not, I looked. But does that matter? No! Denied!

So that gets me through this year's petty little issues. Jessie is *four years old* and the school system is already a pain. Next year we have to pick a kindergarten. Easiest choice? The public school one block from our house (right around the corner). Never mind that she would be the only white child in the class. We moved to this neighborhood for diversity. I did NOT want her going to the all-white Laura Bush Elementary in Austin either. There we planned to send her to the Lycee Francais d'Austin and have her bilingually educated in French and English there. The closest thing to that here, The Atlanta International School, is neither geographically proximate nor financially realistic ($14K per year for ELEMENTARY school? I don't THINK so!).

We could petition to send her to the Decatur school system, and that would get her through third grade. Then they don't accept "tuition" students. We already pay Dekalb County AND city of Atlanta taxes To send her to Decatur we would have to petition AND pay almost as much as we would for a private school. So what to do?


A month passes...


I think we have found a solution! The Waldorf

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I am not going to take you there! And you know what I mean if you got here from a link in another post...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Day Off!

I took today off, at least as completely as I have taken any day off in the past couple of months. I did put the lid for the box into the second kiln, but that hardly counts. I am completely obsessed with the fused boxes, but that is a post for Glass Incarnate (and not today).

We slept in until 8:08 this morning when Jessie stealthily came in and said "Hi!" loudly in Dave's face. I managed to overcome the shock and doze on till 8:30, but Dave was doomed and couldn't get back to sleep so he got up. When I finally stumbled down, I did my 15 minutes in the studio and was free for the day.

We all piled into the convertible, put the top down and cruised through the fine fall morning to the Radial Cafe for an al fresco breakfast. I wanted the special--French toast made from challah stuffed with cream cheese and fresh Bartlett pears smothered in maple syrup--but I just can't eat a big sweet for breakfast. So I had a bagel with lox, cream cheese and capers, J had chocolate chip pancakes, and D had the blueberry and walnut wholewheat pancakes. We shared a bowl of cheese and sausage grits--this is the south, after all. Our server had 15 earrings down his right ear, about 7 down his left, one in his nose and one in his lip. Jessie was completely fascinated and the time spent waiting for our food passed in checking out the piercings of the other patrons and servers in the restaurant. There were a lot to check out.

After breakfast it was back into the convertible and off to the Botanical Gardens for a stroll. We explored the woods thoroughly for the first time and enjoyed the bullfrogs, fish, tadpoles, butterflies, chipmunks and lizards in the children's garden. Jessie, who will not actually eat any vegetables, was very interested in the eggplant, gourds, tomatoes and peppers we passed along our route.

One corner of the children's garden has a little stone grotto with a stream and several little garden gnomes in it. In the back of the grotto is a little door. I am a bad parent. When J asked if the statues were real gnomes I said no, they were statues of the gnomes and the gnomes lived behind the door. Then we had to wait for several minutes while she called to them and tried fruitlessly to get them to come out.

J fell asleep in the car on the way home but woke a few minutes after I carried her up and put her to bed. Drat. Fortunately, she was still low-energy enough that we are all hanging peacefully on the sky chairs on the front porch. Tonight, chicken on the grill, rice and green beans, and the Legend of Zorro on NetFlix. What could be better?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Racing to the Red Light

Driving home last evening from getting pizza with Dave and J in Dave's car, I was in the mood for the Indigo Girls and put on "All That We Let In", a gentle poignant song from their last album. Halfway through J pipes up from her carseat in the back, "Daddy, put on Racing to the Red Light". It has replaced the Black Eyed Peas "Let's It Started" as her favorite song. So after "All That We Let In" finished, Dave put on James McMurtry's "Racing to the Red Light". Let me tell you, it is very disconcerting to hear your four almost five year-old singing along to this song (and she knows most of the lyrics):

Racing to the Red Light
by James McMurtry

I'll quit my job
and leave this place
Got a guitar in a machine gun case
I'll make no judgment,
I'll let it all pass
Looking at the world through bullet-proof glass
The access road backed-up to the ramp
They won't let you in and they don't give a damn

Racing to the red light
Momma says to get your face to the fire
Put the guitar down, put the clothes in the dryer
Put the guitar down, quit making it ring
A little bit of hope is a dangerous thing
A dangerous thing, well I shoulda known
Gotta quit doing it soon as I'm grown
Gotta get my hands back down in the dirt
If you liked what you're doing, it wouldn't be work
If you liked what you're doing, it wouldn't be good
Nobody else in the neighborhood's got that kinda money,
That kinda pride, and we're all pretty well satisfied

Racing to the red light
Racing to the red light

Two fifty worth of gas on pump number five
A lottery ticket and a Colt 45
Scratch it right off, cash it back in
Just give me five more somebody gotta win
Somebody gotta win, it happens all the time
Ending up spending your every last dime

Racing to the red light

I'll quit my job and leave this place
Gotta guitar in a machine gun case
If I play it just right I can live like a king
A little bit of hope is a dangerous thing
A little bit of hope, a dangerous mind
Cut your throat for your space in line

Racing to the red light