Monthly Archives: March 2008

A Vote for Me… is a Vote for Me!*

The following is a Monday Mission. Today’s mission: write your blog post in the form of a political ad. If you elect not to enjoy what I have written, check out some of the other candidates at The Painted Maypole.

*Bonus points if you can tell me what that is from.

There is a threat to our borders.

This menace threatens what you hold dear: a bug free home.

What is this menace? The mosquito hawk.

This menace takes advantage of our open borders, those borders we open for free passage of goods, services, and most importantly, cat food, to slip in and terrorize our community.

If we seal our borders, then the mosquito hawks win. But we need an effective way to deal with this scourge.

My opponent believes in a “catch as you can” philosophy. He prefers to wait for the enemy to show itself before striking. Sometimes even to the point of landing on him first before acting. And if he can’t catch them right away, he is apt to “cut and run”. This has allowed for too many bugs to infiltrate the premises.

Caught in a clear violation of House rules!
Can you trust him to keep our home bug-free?

I believe in an active campaign to rid us of these pests. I believe in an active border patrol. I believe in engaging the enemy the moment it makes the mistake of flying into our airspace. And I believe in immediate consumption of the treat, I mean threat.

Since I have begun my campaign, mosquito hawk sightings are down 65%. And once those hawks are sighted, they are eradicated in mere minutes. In fact, I plan on an increase in my patrol activity, some might even call it a Surge, to eradicate the mosquito hawk presence once and for all.

Your candidate on active patrol.

My opponent? Has no such plans. A home under his leadership would quickly fall to the insectoid menace. You cannot let this happen! It is within your power to elect strong feline leadership for this household.

Your choice is clear:
Saphira for Alpha Cat.

I am Saphira, and I approved this message.

Haiku Friday 3/28/08

Haiku Friday

I know you have been waiting all week for this. You’ve been on pins and needles wondering what haiku bliss I will bring you today. Well, it is nothing more than the mundane task of laundry. Which in this house is a never ending process. If you feel the need to wash your hands of me and find other haiku outlets, check out Playgroups are No Place for Children and A Mommy Story.

Laundry Haiku

The piles are growing.
Little boys can generate
a lot of laundry.

It does not help much
when they put clothes on the floor
instead of away.

For then what happens
is that the dirty and clean
are mixed together.

Very annoying.
Makes so much more work for me.
But not for too long.

Thing 1 is now 10.
He is getting very tall.
Can now each controls.

I wonder how long
it will take him to change ways
once he does the work?

Now isn’t this interesting…

Here is my latest water bill.
Why am I so intrigued by this thing? Well, mostly because of the amazing decrease in water usage.
At first I was a little confused by this. We haven’t really changed anything in our lives…

We don’t use the dishwasher anymore.
We stopped using it in mid-February.
It’s just something to think about. Maybe I can take the monthly savings and get a manicure to repair my poor hands…

Hump Day Hmmm 3/26/08

Today’s Hump Day Hmm: take this issue—this idea of rating people according to how they fit or don’t fit some arbitrary ideal—and debate/discuss some angle of it. Make it general or make it personal—how it affects you, our culture, your kids, your morals…however you want to approach it.

Ya wanna talk arbitrary ideals? Welcome to Stepford.

I’ve only posted about Stepford once, but I was fairly objective about the whole thing. I never really got into my feelings on the matter, other than I thought Stepford was a little odd. It’s definitely an alternate universe, where people’s perceptions are very skewed.

But just beneath the surface, I always sense the tension. It’s more than “keeping up with the Joneses”. There are days where I feel like we’re all kids living some sort of fantasy of adulthood that never really existed.

The standard around here is like a glossy magazine. Things aren’t “just so”, they are perfect. And I? Am not.

I can’t live up to that ideal. Not that I haven’t tried, but it’s just too hard living up to someone else’s standards. I’ve only recently come to the realization that the only person I can truly please is myself. And I don’t mean this to be some sort of excuse to go into some sort of hedonistic pleasure hunt. What I mean is that each person is responsible for their own happiness. I can, theoretically, be doing everything “right”, but if some people around me are still unhappy or don’t like me, then there isn’t anything I can do about it. I can’t feel resentful about what others are thinking because there just isn’t enough time in the day. I have to create my own standard, and then do my best to live up to it.

Which can be hard to do. Sometimes I realize that I’m setting my standard on some unrealistic goal. Others times I may be selling myself short. I’m constantly re-evaluating myself and where I need to be. That’s why I started this blog in the first place; I needed a place to work through some of these things that was cheaper than therapy.

As I look at those that seem to have that perfection thing down, I always wonder if they are as happy as they seem to be. Do these same burdens trouble their souls? If they do, would those people be brave enough to admit it? Or is that against the standard, too?

I talk a good game, but is it all talk? There are times where I succumb to the pressure and start to feel really badly about myself and it’s hard to come out of that. Our society places so much emphasis on the outward that it’s hard to remember that your internal standard is so much more important. Keeping your perspective when all those around you have none can be pretty hard. But the price of not doing so is high.

An interesting observation

First, I need to update you a little bit. I’ve started working as a substitute teacher a few days a week. Why, you may ask, would I do something so insane? Well, the extra money doesn’t hurt, and it gives me something to do. Anyway, there are four elementary schools and one middle school within a very short distance of my house, making it easy for me to sub. The observation I’m making comes from today’s assignment, which was in a kindergarten classroom.

I want to start out by saying that this was by far the most organized classroom I’ve been in. The lesson plan was perfect and easy to follow. The kids were really well behaved. It was pretty awesome.

That being said, I was a little creeped out by something. One of today’s assignments was to color pictures of the planets Neptune and Uranus (space is this week’s theme). We read a book, talked about some of the facts in the book, and then I handed out the coloring sheets. After I did that the kids asked to see the sample. Sure enough, there was a sample and I brought it out. Then the kids told me that the teacher always hangs the sample up so everyone can see it. Ok, not a problem. I did that.

All but one kid copied the example EXACTLY. The placement of the moons, the shading, everything was exactly the way the teacher had done it. Except for the one kid, who got creative with her moons and how she used the crayons (pretty cool shading technique for a kinder, I have to say), and she also put stars and background on the picture. I was pretty impressed with it, but all the other kids were going on about how the teacher didn’t like it when they deviated from the sample.

And the rest of the day was pretty much the same. As I looked at some of the work that was displayed, it was pretty obvious that this teacher valued compliance over creativity. It was disheartening.

I can only imagine if the Things were in this class. Let’s see, when Thing 1 was in kinder, he liked to mix things up, like giving the bunny rabbit green ear insides, instead of pink. Or coloring his stuff in a negative. And Thing 2, well, where should I start? Would it be with the day he decided to do everything backward (talk, walk, dress, write), or perhaps the day he decided to see what the inside of his locker would look like when the door was closed (what, is there a light in there or something?). Fortunately, both of my guys had teachers who didn’t even blink when stuff like this happened. But I can only imagine what a miserable year we would have had if we had this teacher.

So I’m wondering how many creative impulses this teacher has crushed in the name of having an orderly classroom. And the more I think about it, the more I’m sure all of these kids will totally ace their standardized tests in the future. Education like this will give us a well trained work force. But it will be exactly that: trained. Like a monkey or a dog, they won’t be capable of thinking or leading. And that is what we need our schools to provide for us now more than ever.

Don’t ask the question unless you want to know the answer…

What is on the ceiling?


Do I really want to know? I don’t think so.

Friday Haiku 3/21/08

Haiku Friday

Do you smell that? It’s ennui. So many of my regular haunts are in the throes of it. Myself included. I wonder if there’s something in the virtual water. Anyway, what better way to discuss it than with a haiku. For more, perhaps less angst-y poetry, try A Mommy Story and Playgroups are no place for children.

Have you all noticed
Something going around blogs?
It’s blogging ennui.

Too many good blogs.
No way to visit them all.
Makes me feel guilty.

Writing good content
Has been really hard lately.
Bananas don’t count.

Jennifer and Lis
And so many more fave blogs
Saying the same thing.

Perhaps I’ll join them.
Time to remember why I
Blog in the first place.