Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stuff

I'm making brisket. I got a (quick math, round to the nearest...) 11ish pound brisket for cheap at the store yesterday and had no clue how to cook it. So I went looking online and had too many paths to follow and yet none the wiser. So I e-mailed Doug and he helped guide me in the right direction. Or I at least hope it's the right direction. This thing will take about 10 hours to cook. I put it in the oven at half seven this morning, we'll see how it turns out tonight. I could've put it in the oven last night and let it cook overnight, but I worry about leaving appliances on overnight while I'm sleeping. Except for the refrigerator - that one's a given and I have to use faith in Frigidaire.

That is true I turn everything off. OK not everything. the alarm clock stays on and so does the nightlight in the hallway so the kids don't bump around the halls and fall down the stairs (Ok that's just me then) but everything other than those few things gets turned off at the wall. If that doesn't make sense to you, here in the UK we are able to turn the power off to individual sockets with an on/off switch. Means I never have to plug/unplug appliances, damaging wires, I just flick a switch. Work much more efficiently, especially if it's the computer and hifi as they're on a surge protected socket strip. Of course if this is now common everywhere else just skip this part.

I've now watched the Friday Debates twice, once live at 3am with both my daughter - no they woke me up - and last night with proper attention and alertness. I think Obama came out on top. McCain bugged me - will someone tell him to get his top plate fixed, please! The man "shurged" and shushed and hissed through his whole speech and when he wasn't whistling into the mic he was poking his tongue over his front teeth to push his top plate back in. I wonder if part of his distraction was the voice in his head saying "Please don't let me teeth fall out on live TV, Dear God please don't let my teeth fall out." If it turns out he doesn't have dentures, then he needs some training to stop the somewhat reptilian habit of tonguing his teeth.

I also found McCain condescending with his "Sen. Obama wouldn't understand..." crap, and I was glad to see Obama have a reply each time to show he did understand. I also found his "I love the Veterans" statement lacking in every way because I think he's a liar so far as veterans go. He's not supporting the GI bill. How is that Loving the Vets? He likes to think he's a man of the Veterans but he's deluding himself. If not himself than the American people. Give those people what they were promised and stop scrounging pennies to throw away dollars. (Ok that sounds better as "pounds" but only because it rhymes).

I can't get Sarah Silverman's' "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" song out of my head. It's starting to annoy my Husband.

We had about 200+ geese fly over the house headed south last night. What a racket they make as they go by. I love it. I imagine them all being backseat drivers.

I didn't win the lottery and I'm a bit disappointed. I only play when the pot is really big, and £100 Million is big. I didn't win anything, not even a free play. *sigh*

F1 is in Singapore today, so you know where I'll be this afternoon. Hamilton is in second and Massa in pole. Massa has had an awesome year. The fact they're one point away from each other at he moment for Championship title is exciting.

I'm going for some breakfast. As the house fills with the smell of roasting beef, mustard and garlic there's a distinct growling going on inside my belly. Omelet, bacon and strong coffee is what's on the menu. Oh yes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Craziness!

I'm all over the shop just now. Can't grab time alone to save my life. Haven't been alone for days and as I keep getting picked on for my loud typing and the computer in in the living room *sigh* it's just a fucking nuisance really. Not my fucking fault the keyboard is so clacky. I'm a fervent typist, I get impassioned as the words flow out my fingers and I may bash a bit. But not any more then anyone else who gets into a typing zone and closes out the world and it's just them and the words. That's my story and I'm sticking to it, as he saying goes.

I've had lots to talk about too. But now I feel like the sheer volume of babble I have contained within will be mind numbing if put into one lengthy post and no one ever reads those posts, really do they? They skim the paragraphs maybe to be polite and make a coherent comment but that's it.

Tonight is the last episode of Lost In Austen which I'll do a big post about as it's been a fantastic show. Modern girl Amanda Price who's life is fairly dull and typical. Works in a bank, has a boyfriend who's less than dashing and a roommate who's a bit tarty. Amanda does love her Pride and Prejudice and has read the novel several times. She loves Darcy, loves Lizzy loves the whole thing. So it's quite a shock that mid paragraph at a tasty part of the book she hears a scuffle in her bathroom. Upon investigation she finds Lizzy Bennet standing in her bathtub amidst dangling underpants and tights wearing her nightgown and cap. Trippy. Turns out there's a door in the attic of Longbourne that never opens except for tonight and Lizzy can pass into Amanda's world, and Amanda can pass into P&P. Chapter one no less. What they didn't know was once Amanda stepped through, the door was shut and locked again and now, the story is playing out. (And Amanda isn't exactly in period dress.)

It was our 13th anniversary yesterday (Can I wear black for a year and dress like a Goth? Please? I kind of want to go whiteface and abuse eyeliner) and we didn't do anything really but Husband surprised us by scoring a new Wiifit! Yes!! These things have been sold out all over the UK and we've been trying for ages to get one. This one was actually reserved for a lady to collect on Saturday but she didn't show so it's ours now. It's a lot of fun and extremely weird to try and orient ourselves. Favourite game so far is heading the soccer ball and ski jump. The kids like the jogging program and chasing the dog.

That's all for now I have stuff to get to. Busy! The kids are off school today because of staff strikes. So annoying. I still made them get dressed and clean themselves and Sassy had homework to do before the TV was allowed back on. I am not popular. But I thought it was important to impress upon them that just because school was canceled does not mean they get a free day. They'll have phonics later - both of them. Sassy's spelling is atrocious and I think a phonics basis is going to help her. They don't teach it the same here as they do in America and the American way is better in my opinion. Later they can watch Electric Company. I'm not heartless.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What my friend Kel said...

I stole it from her Xanga page. I then e-mailed it to the McCain supporters in my family. Wonder if they'll stop sending me pro Republican junk now? Just in case, send me any and all Pro Democrat e-mails you get to the gmail account. That would be: lyvvie@gmail.com

Sent to me by a friend, forwarded from the Great Ether:

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight...

If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'
Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, that's a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
Name your kids Willow , Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
Attend five different small colleges before graduating, you're well-grounded.

If you spend three years as a community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
If your total resume is: local weather girl, four years on the city council and six years as the mayor of a town with fewer than 7,000 people, and 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second-highest-ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising two beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age-appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system, while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard-graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner-city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.
If your husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, and who didn't register to vote until age 25, and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Meeting went well

Sorry for not coming back yesterday, I'm having troubles with blogger sign-on. But it all went very well. Mr. VP was great, listened and set a plan together.

Apparently this kind of girl gang thing is common in 5th graders at a girl's need to do right and uphold a strong justice develop and goes haywire. They think they're doing the right thing by protecting Sally, but in reality are just getting caught in the moment and exacerbating the situation. The fact they all come from busy-body soccer-mom types only adds a new level of frustration.

So what the school is going to do to help SassyFace is assign her a key worker in school. A supervisor who remains in the large classroom - Sassy's school is open plan where all the classes are near each other in one large room - that she can go to anytime and vent, talk or report troubles. It's also her favourite supervisor. All the supervisors are out during recess and that means Sassy has a point of contact if the gang starts up, plus all the supervisors are aware of Sassy's troubles and can blow their whistles and tell Sally to sling her hook and leave Sassy alone.

Hopefully Sally won't take much telling before the info sinks in and she goes somewhere else. Hopefully Sassy won't become so dependent on her supervisor that she tries to seek affection - a thing she has done in previous years. I'm told upper school is a no cuddle zone, it's all about high school prep. Also Sassy isn't to run about espousing "I'll tell my supervisor on you!" because we don't want role reversal crap, now do we.

As it goes, Sassy is very happy with this resolution and here's hoping she can get some peace and use recess for what it's intended: letting off pent up classtime energy and not creating new pent up energy that'll distract her.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And the shit begins...

Made our first appointment to see the Vice Principal on Thursday. It's about the continuing bullshit from last year. And the year before...oh and the year before that! Same shit for four years.

So what's the problem? Of course it's complicated. Isn't it always? Sassy is being bullied. But not in the classic big mean kid pushes her around kind of bullying. She's being bullied by a special needs kid. I don't remember what the name of what her problem is; some long complicated German sounding one, but she's certainly smart enough to progress to the next grade every year. Her problem lies in her co-ordination and physical sensitivity. She can't feel things the same as other kids. To let her feel a hug, you have to really squeeze her. She's also from giants, both parents are very tall, so she is the tallest girl in the class by a long way. The problem she has with Sassy is: She wants to be her friend. Her only friend. Her exclusive friend. When Sassy says she wants to play with other kids eventually there's grabbing, chasing and Sassy gets hurt. Always.

Not to say that Sassy hasn't hit her back in frustration (once) but you would think she'd just pulled the fire alarm, or stomped on a litter of kittens - you can't hit the special needs kid! Even if she does hit you first, and is a head taller, and outweighs you by 15lbs. No no! She does not know of what she does. Fuck off. Fuck right off.

Because this girl is so ungainly and lacks sensory signals she always hits too hard,grabs like a vice, pulls too rough, and shoves with great strength. The only thing the school will say is that the two of them are not allowed anywhere near each other during recess. Yeah right!

Backstory - in Spring Sassy was in trouble because she finally cracked because this girl - I'll call her Sally - had been following her around for weeks during break wanting to play tag. Sassy didn't want to play tag. She wanted to play war games with her friends who are all boys and don't like Sally. But Sally wouldn't go away. No matter where Sassy ran to, Sally would chase her. Eventually Sassy's friends started saying "Why don't you go play with Sally instead?" because they were fed up with Sally butting in all the damned time. Finally Sassy shouted her to fuck off and leave her alone. Yes she used those words. When Sally wouldn't - or more to the point she goes away and comes back five minutes later. Finally fed up - Sassy hit her. Now she got in trouble with the teacher, and me. She should've gone to the supervisor first. BUT she's done that for so long and every day, well it gets tired and really doesn't do a damned thing. Frustrated beyond hope, she clocked her.

Now the trouble starts: Sally's Mom is Ms. PTA (Not Frog Face but friend of Frog Face) the gossip trickles through the lines to all the biddy's of whom I despise and soon the venom trickles to their daughters. Next thing I know a couple weeks later there's a gang of five girls walking up to Sassy at breaks threatening to tell on her if she goes anywhere near Sally. Now in the wake of the hitting Sally - Sassy's been Sally free! Sally finally got the hint. Sassy has been quite happy running with the boys pretending to take over the world. But now this vigilante group has formed and stalk about saying Sassy's within ten feet of Sally! Tattle tattle. Sassy's like - WTF? I'm playing with them...those boys way over there. I have no care as to the whereabouts of Sally. Everyday the gang hawkeye Sassy.

Then Sally really starts to like the attention she gets from the Gang.

Thankfully, Summer break comes and I hoped this shit would be forgotten.

Well it wasn't. The Gang reformed and began their bullshit; even though one of them spent three weeks of the summer playing with Sassy at camp! Nine year olds suck. Anyways the real burr in the paw is Sally now plays it up for all it's worth. She'll run up to Sassy and cry "Help me! Help me!" and the Gang come running and GRAB SASSY. they grab her and restrain her so Sally can run away. For Sally's own good. Because Sassy might hit her again. You should see the bruises Sassy gets. Yesterday Sassy was waiting for her friends in the coatroom next to the exit to the playground when Sally came in from outside. Sassy told her to go back outside because they're not supposed to be together and somehow Sally slipped and fell on Sassy, stomping her ankle and banging her head off the stucco wall. It's always these kinds of accidents (And I had to restrain myself from using quotes just there) that only happen to Sassy where Sally is concerned.

Well I said at the beginning of the school year I'm pulling no punches this year, and I'll have it out with the school first and then with each mother so they know exactly what kind of wee shit their rearing.

I'm fucking livid! I sincerely hope Mr. VP knows what's coming. I'll be calm, explain nicely, but I'm going to insist Sally get told exactly how damned wrong she is - no pussy foot because she may not know of what she has done. I cry bullshit. The Gang will be dealt with and disbanded. The Mothers better wise the fuck up to their princess' because they aren't all that sparkles. I at least have never thought my kid was faultless. I push her to achieve. In fact this is the first year she's showing a real keen interest in doing well in school as opposed to just getting by. She's focussed. She struggles with Sally in class as well and I mentioned this to her teacher - a great, strict, old-school kind of teacher who Sassy loves - because Sally had been sitting at a group desk behind Sassy so they were back to back, and Sally kept turning around in her chair to go "Lalalalalaaa" over and over in Sassy's ear. She's no charm that one. Disabled or not: She's an asshole.

OH - and don't think I've not talked to Sally's Mom about this like a dozen times. See the spin had always been it was Sassy being mean to Sally so I felt apologetic and awful that my kid was bullying the disabled kid. Can you imagine how that felt? And she always nodded, smiled and now I find out she talked behind my back to her cronies and then to their kids all along. If I have to lay blame on anyone it's Sally's Mom. But now the truth is ou and can you imagine how pissed off I am? And the only advice they give Sassy is to stay away from Sally?!

Fucked up.


This rant has not been proof read (much) as I'm to mad just now so forgive any grammar errors please. I'll let you know how the meeting goes.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Got To Love A Smart Woman.

JuliaSweeneyI've been reading the entertaining rants on Julia Sweeney's blog. She's got Sarah Palin under her skin and she's trying to purge the scourge before she explodes. If you have any questions about Palin, Julia sets us straight. Actually she sets herself straight as it seems she's arguing with herself. I love blogs that come across as you'd imagine the internal dialogue to run.

Julia Sweeney: So Brilliant.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Herb Garden

Herb GardenHerb GardenHerb GardenHerb GardenPumpkins

I've tried growing pumpkins this year in grow bags. Was kind of silly really as pumpkins like a lot of space to spread and are very hungry and need fed daily. Downside as well is my pumpkins get about this size and then rot and fall off. Or they become slug food.

Herb garden was a series of small plants I pulled apart from a discounted mixed pot from the garden center. They've taken to this new home like wild. Especially the coriander which is the tall one draping itself all over the mint and flowering prettily.

They have tripled in size in six weeks. I think it's down to having fed them with tomato plant food twice a week. Shame it didn't work on the tomatoes which seem quite happy to flower all summer but haven't bothered to give me one fruit. Bastards.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just so you know...

I'm not a Republican. I'm Pro-Choice. I'm an Atheist. I feel I just need to get this out there because some folks just lump me in along with their own very Republican views and I'm sorry to be the one to break your heart, but: I'm Not A Republican.

I get a frightening amount of Obama bashing emails currently. Not many McCain bashing ones though. Does this mean I have far too many Republicans in my life and not enough Democrats, or that Democrats have far more important things to do than send snarky propaganda emails? I have no doubts there are plenty, I'm just saying - I need more Democrat friends. Balance is essential.

We get The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and thank you for it, I have to say. Granted we get them a week late, so we got the Sept. 5th episode just last night. What a brilliant episode. Cannot wait to watch more.

Still not feeling well, but much better. Annoying tummy bugs, but that's all. Shorty is still struggling with her cold, but is much better. I think she'll be ready to go back to school tomorrow. Her asthma kick off easily which means she's needing her inhaler a lot, but only once so far today.

Very bored. So bored. Bored.

*sigh*

Several hours later...Still bored and now slightly insane. I show folks the inside of my fridge. I must have gotten confused with taking photos with this camera where I turn it on its side and then adjust later, but I can't adjust film. So, I aplogise if you get a crick in your neck.

Monday, September 08, 2008

It's All In The Title!

Copied, as I'm ill and have no want for real blogging but still have a laugh to share.

LONDON (Reuters) - "Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers" benefited from a late surge in public support to win the title on Friday of oddest book title of the past 30 years, The Bookseller magazine said.

The book -- a comprehensive record of Greek postal routes by Derek Willan -- grabbed 13 percent of the 1,000 international public votes cast to chose the oddest title from the winners of the annual competition that began in 1978.

It beat "People Who Don't Know They're Dead" and "How To Avoid Huge Ships" into second and third places with 11 and 10 percent respectively.

"The posties pulled off a real shock here. The pre-tournament favourite was the prize's first ever recipient - "Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice," said Horace Bent, custodian of the annual Diagram Prize.

"Right from the off, it was Gary Leon Hill's "People Who Don't Know They're Dead" that set the pace. It topped the polls for over three weeks," he added.

Another early favourite "How To Bombproof Your Horse" also failed to feature in the final count.

The prize was dreamed up initially at the 1978 Frankfurt Book Fair as a way of avoiding boredom. It has since become an annual star. This year's winner was "If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs."

(Reporting by Jeremy Lovell; Editing by Matthew Jones)




What's your favourite title that you've stumbled across? It seems bizarre titles abound and Russell Ash thought it would be a good idea to make a book about Bizarre Books. Examples include:

Flashes from the Welsh Pulpit (1889)
Whippings and Lashings Girl Guides book on knots (1977)
Handbook for the Limbless (1922)

Punishment by Robin Banks
Motorcycling for Beginners by Geoff Carless
Fundamentals of Arctic and Cold Weather Medicine and Dentistry by Harry Eisberg
Illustrated History of Gymnastics by John Goodbody
Care for your Kitten by Anna Mews

My Tablecloths - Ethel Tweedie, 1916
1587. A Year of No Importance
Not Worth Reading - Sir George Compton Archibald Arthur, 1914
A Selected Bibliography of Snoring or Sonorous Breathing 1967
The Romance of Cement 1926
The English. Are They Human? Dr G.J. Rennier, 1931


I can't think of any myself because I'm far too tired and blah to be bothered. But look! I made a post anyways! So can't expect it to be a shining example of a perfect post, now can you. No. And you shouldn't. Ok, fine. Here. Revolting Librarians! (Some of my favourite people are librarians)

I'm making tea now.

Ok, fine. If the book stuff didn't amuse you, then maybe a sausage wielding, spice rubbing thief is more to your taste. Sicko. (Yes, I stole all of these links from my favourite Wundee and I'm sure they won't mind)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Yowza!

I spoke to the teachers of my daughter's nursery the other morning. I had an idea that the kids would enjoy a bit of messy play by making onigiri, and I would lend my rice ball makers and cutters for them to have a play with. they said they'd need to discuss it. The next day I got the go ahead with great enthusiasm! So I'm quite chuffed to be able to share the fun of onigiri and bento with the preschool class.

This morning the Deputy Head Teacher (Assistant Principal) approached me and asked if I wouldn't mind coming in and doing a demonstration for the 7th grade class as well, as they are studying Japan this term. I said sure! While quietly bricking my pants.

Wee kids in kindergarten are one thing - but a class of eleven year olds? They'll want impressed! Right? I don't know how I can make rice balls impressive to pre-teens. I thought I could make a hand out, explaining origins of bento, the 4-3-2-1 nutrition, chyraben, ekiben, oekaki and bring in pictures of bento (Any Volunteers?!) and then just let them run riot with squishing rice and making an edible morning tea.

Trying to think of what food stuffs to bring. See most of these kids will think Japanese food = raw fish and that's it. They'll instantly be on the defensive and suspicious. (I work in a world of worst case scenarios, in case you were wondering). So ...any suggestions? Also this a nut/seed free environment so no sesame anything allowed. Makes furikake a bit dull.

Also, if it is a success and the kids really enjoy the demo, I can just imagine how many annoyed mothers will be glaring at me because their kids demand a bento lunch? Carrot butterflies? Are you mental?! Oh dear. Alright, I do get a sick wee pleasure out of that thought but that's just between you and me, ok?

My Favourite.

Rar!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Oh I'm all kinds of preoccupied...

With myself! I'm loving this free time in the mornings. Just rolling in grass with joy loving it. I can go to the gym, have a wee snack, get the gardening done or get the house in order and I have energy for it!! Afternoons have always been my slump time. I'm a morning person! I just had not realized how frustrated I was with the afternoon business where now my afternoons are far more leisurely and I'm just pickled tink!

I've lost eight pounds as well which is nice bonus so this new routine - absolutely works for me. Whew! shame Shorty isn't as happy. She's been crabby about it, but she'll just suffer it for the sake of her mother. She has no choice. I exaggerate - she loves the time in the nursery, she's just not used to busy and rush in the morning.

Speaking of the nursery, I volunteered, nay suggested, I come in with all my rice presses and onigiri makers and do a messy play food demo with the kids one morning. When I made the suggestion there a bit of polite confusion and Shorty's teacher said they'd talk about it and get back to me. Well this morning was all excitement and yes they'd love me to come in! So that was very nice. I'll go in on the morning of the 23rd (Which is my anniversary so I hope Hubs won't mind - it's not like it's a special year, only the 13th. We go all out on the fives.) and we'll make the rice there, I'll bring the stuff and seaweed and punches and everything and we'll make onigiri! I'm really looking forward to this, I hope they like it. I know on a small level it's me being a show off but they seem to want to indulge me so it's ok really, isn't it?

So I mentioned the eight pounds. It's not been too hard. I've changed eating habits again. Doing the six small meals a day instead so the metabolism is always fired on and never gets the starvation signals. I'm doing rather well with it. No hungry, not struggling and I'm not having mad cravings. If I did, I'd give in to it, but only a little. I'm done with saying no to everything - except I actually am saying NO a lot. that sounds stupid, but dieters will understand. I hope.

The downside is, I find my sweat is smelling very strongly of ammonia. I know sweat does have ammonia in it, but it's a noticeable smell. At least I can flub it if anyone says anything and make mention of cleaning products and scuttle off. It's better than BO! But not by much because ammonia and urine are also close in scent. Great! Now I just talked myself into smelling like pee! I don't smell like pee - I assure you! Oh fuck, I hope I don't smell like pee.

I saw my first V-formation of geese this morning. I woke up at 5am to help Shorty with her inhaler. Both kids have their asthma kicking in just now which is weird and scary and annoying. Trees are starting to change colour. Autumn comes so fast here. Bam and the seasons are changed. Nothing gradual like in Massachusetts. It shocks the system. Well, it shocks my slow-to-catch-up system. Geese!

Euromillions lottery is up to £92million this Friday. I think I'll buy a ticket. Why not? I mean what the hell would I do with £92million? It's way too much money. I'd have to start considering charities. But I did have a thought that I could find a private island, near David Bowie. I don't know why, but at the time, being his neighbor sounded like fun. What would you do with much money?

OK - this made me want to pee my pants... with laughter!

I know what some of my friends are getting for X-mas!