A conversation with Mr. T in the asexual Mom-mobile today. Mr. T is finishing his freshman year. He has an amazing English teacher that if you receive an A, you WORKED for that A. He has never made over a B+ in a quarter, but knows he worked his butt off for that B+ and prides himself in making A's on all his papers. (He doesn't do well on some of her tests, but the boy is learning to write.)
Background: Just after Christmas he ate lunch with a group of boys he doesn't know well. They aren't his friends, but he sees them on campus and he needed a place to eat and they invited him. They were mostly jocks and being the sports freak he is, he fit right in. But the boys... they are all carrying less than a C average.
Evidently one of the conversations was about GPAs and they were comparing who had the lowest GPA. One kid was skating on a 1.5. Another had a 1.9. Mr. T said he ate quietly, hoping they'd not ask him his as he's got a 4.0 weighted GPA. (You get extra points for Honors classes.)
Fortunately they didn't ask, but T said in reflection, he realized they didn't ask him out of respect. He was fitting in perfectly fine except for the GPA thing.
I have nicknamed the boys, 'The Dumb Boys'. (Yes, it is not nice, but it's just within the family, T thinks it's funny, and this is my blog so I will divulge it.)
More Background: My Dad used to do this thing when I visited with the boys... the Word of the Day. This was before Bill O'Reilly. There were three words in particular: Lugubrious, Egregious, and Capricious.
Me: Everyone gets labeled in school. People can tell who the smart kids are. Have you had lunch with The Dumb Boys lately?
T: Bwahahhahaha (he was really laughing... it was the way I said it I guess) No. Poor kids. I hope they can come back next year...
Me: They never asked.
T: They never did. I was so afraid they were going to say, "So, what's your GPA?" and then I think I'd have choked. I mean, I can't lie. And everyone knows I'm near the top of my class...
Me: We all get reputations. People can peg the smart kids.
T: Yeah, I have the reputation of being cute, a jerk, good in math, and I have a large vocabulary.
Me: YOU? Vocabulary? After fighting me this whole school year on your vocabulary tests?
T: Well, it's my papers. And I have this thing... I have to use the word lugubrious in EVERY paper. It's like... My word.
Me: Wait. EVERY paper this year?
T: *smug* Yup. Every.single.paper. And I just don't throw it in there. I'll alter the entire paper if I have to, to make sure it fits. I create whole paragraphs around it. In this English class, when we're analyzing, there is always emotion involved. So, it's not that difficult.
Me: I wonder if she's noticed...
T: I dunno. But let me tell you, I've written A LOT of papers this year and every one of them has had lugubrious. It's to the point that before I hand in a paper, Kyle grabs my paper and reads it, hunting for it.
Me: T. This is hysterical.
T: Yup. And I have her next year too...
Me: *bwhahahahaha* Big Daddy would frickin' LOVE this.
T: Oh! OH! Better yet. One paper, I used lugubrious, egregious AND capricious. I couldn't believe I fit them all in!
To which I immediately thought, 'I'm so posting this for my Dad!' It topped the time I was in the car and Ringo asked how a Nuclear bomb works and I said, "I... don't know..." and he said, "Call Big... He'll know."
It's been a busy weekend, starting with Mr. T's Confirmation on Friday night.
He chose his older brother as his Sponsor.
Damian. Why did he choose Damian? He spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to choose. He went through family names, random names, rolling them off his tongue, seeing how they would feel with HIM.
Then he started researching what Saints were associated with various things he might want to do as a life career. He stumbled on Damian and Medicine since he's been thinking about Medical school. I never said a word, but when he chose it, I finally said, 'I have a picture of Joe's of St. Cosmas and Damian... the twins. It is odd you chose St. Damian when Joe's home was full of pictures of him and we have one in the guest room."
Mr. T had no idea.
The picture is now in his bedroom.
Here's a picture of the three boys... yes, they have the same father, why do you ask? ;-)
You can see that Bones is starting to lean out into his man-frame. His shoulders and neck are starting to change as his face thins.
I spent yesterday afternoon laid up in bed with the mother of all migraines. It was caused by a couple things, one of them being dehydration due to an Eagle Scout project I assisted with at one of the local VFW's. I think I finally shook the migraine today. I felt it as a shadow most of the day, which made me nervous.
Pix of the project tomorrow. It came out really nice. I'm still speckled with rustoleum black paint. That's attractive...
Dear Baseball Dads That Sat in Front of me at the Movie today,
I loved how you interacted with your kids. I was really impressed with how you let them be by themselves sitting in a row in front of you, you all sitting in a row as well, yet how well behaved you kept them.
They were a real pleasure to watch.
I also quietly laughed as I couldn't help but overhear the conversations of this past baseball season. All of you must be Dads on the same team, coaches etc.
I thought the fact that all the boys had nicknames was really funny.
But it does lend the question, "Just HOW did that one young boy get the nickname... Pot Roast?"
A Very Entertained Mother of Three Boys
My pre-calc student and I were on the internet looking up something when I went to Google and saw today's Google art, which was very cool. (My brother had already given me a head's up.)
Me: Hunh. Look at this. This is what my brother was talking about it.
Student: What is it?
Me: It's ... a synthesizer.
Student: *playing with it* How cool is this?
Me: Very. Moog. Hunh. How cool would that be to have Google celebrate your birthday? I'd frickin' love that... to do something so big they made art for me.
Student: Um. I think you have to be dead.
Me: Are you sure?
Student: Pretty sure.
Me: Not ready for that then...
Student: No, not yet.
Bones and I in the car:
Bones: So coach washes my PE uniform...
Me: WAIT. YOUR COACH washes your PE uniform? That's right! I haven't seen any PE uniforms when I do the laundry. BONES! That is not his job to wash your clothes...
Bones: Well, he has his own washer and dryer right there at the school and he said he'll do our uniforms if we want. So I just give them to him and he washes them all.
Bones: You want to wash it?
Me: Your teacher shouldn't be washing your clothes!
Bones: I know... but Mom... he uses that stuff... with the little cuddly bear... and my clothes smell so good and they're so soft...
Great. I lost out doing laundry to the PE coach because he buys better detergent. Not that it's a real loss... but still...
There is a lot of singing going on in the house right now, which means Bones must have his Jury coming up.
He tried out for the Chorale group on Monday. It's the special girls/boys chorus that you have to audition for. They're the best of the best and only accept about 10 boys. He did his best, including sight reading, but time will tell.
He said he won't be upset if he didn't get in because... he felt like he did well.
His auditions for YSPB are next week. He's been practicing that song as well.
Next year are his auditions for the High School of the Arts vocal department. It has the lowest acceptance rate of any magnet school in our county, with a 12% acceptance.
The art high school is a bit... different. I tell people I want him to audition, I'd love for him to get in, but deep inside, I'm afraid that by the time he graduates, he'll be wearing fishnet stockings and carrying a Hello Kitty backpack.
Yeah. It's a bit odd there...
I'm on the road all day on Thursday, driving up to St. Augustine to meet a man at the Mission. I'm working on placing a historical marker there and there was just no way for me to get it done without my making the trek.
Four hours up, two hour meeting, four hours back.
It should be interesting.
On my 50th birthday (three years), it will be the 450th anniversary of the first Mass said. On my actual birthday. I've already told my husband that's where I want to spend my 50th birthday.
I told him, "Clear your schedule now. It's a Tuesday..." I want to go to Mass there and celebrate with them.
No, I'm not Catholic. I just think... I want to be there.
I could swear I'd posted that "Mo falling off the pig and separating her shoulder" story, but I'm thinking now, I hadn't.
The whole story was just so fitting. When she was little, she had this thing about pigs, thinking they were so cute. My Nana took it that next step further, and I swear she inundated my sister with all things pig.
I just occasionally continue the tradition. I got her a teak pig that you can hide things in. One year I got her a big pig pitcher with little pig cups. If she sends me a picture, I'll post it.
I think that was the most surprising gift I got her pig related. I mean, what does one do with a big pink pig pitcher with four pig cups?
But the pig story with her, taking place seven years ago or so, just kind of threw me over the edge. You have to know Mo. If someone were going to portray Mo in her life story, it would be Sandra Bullock and the goofy way she does her physical comedy. (People have said she could easily portray me with the messes I get myself into, but really, I don't have to have her portray me. I just want my body to look like hers...)
Seriously, Sandra would be a good fit to portray Mo, however, as she's the funniest of the two of us. If I'd separated my shoulder, NEVER EVER would it have occurred to me to tell someone I'd done so in a pig race for a children's charity.
But what happened next was the moral and ethical dilemma as the guy... actually asked her out on a date. He wasn't American, so we weren't really questioning his intellect. Well, maybe a little. But hell, we have rodeos with bulls and horses, so why not a pig rodeo?
And she said yes, so that meant the phone lines were burning between the two of us as to what she was to do next. When exactly did she tell him that there was no pig racing for a children's charity, that she'd made up the story, and that their date was based on the fabric of one big weird lie?
Do you keep playing into it? Tell him up front? How do you keep him from feeling stupid?
Oh the scenarios we pondered as we tried to get her out of her 'I don't really race pigs for a children's charity' dilemma.
Fortunately, some guy he worked with clued him in immediately, so it was never a real issue. He picked her up knowing he had been gullible.
But this whole thing led me to want to continue to feed into this pig mania...
Which brings me to this Christmas.
She told me that she'd gotten me this odd gift. She swore it the craziest gift and... suddenly, I felt... I don't know. Challenged?
Imagine my surprise when I was strolling through Bed Bath and Beyond two weeks before Christmas and found these fans shaped as animals.
Me: HOLY CRAP! Look at this!
Husband: What is it?
Me: It's a huge cat. With a FAN in it's tummy. It's a cat fan!
Me: OMG! There are other animals!
Husband: No. We don't need an animal fan...
Me: NOT FOR ME! For... MO! I wonder if they have it in pig form...
He rolled his eyes, shook his head and walked away. I immediately glommed onto my phone googling 'pig fan' to see if there were... pig options.
And there were.
I ran through the store, 'HUN! LOOK! They have a pig fan! I could get this for Mo for Christmas!"
My husband said, "Do not get her the pig fan. Flam does not need a pig fan in his home..."
He wasn't so much looking out for my sister, but for my brother in law. That whole, "men stick together thing" or maybe the "these two sisters are bat crap crazy..."
And so I started my pig fan hunt, because as God is my Witness, everyone and their brother evidently wanted this pig fan, because it was the ONLY animal form sold out.
I had to order said fan from frickin' Washington State. WASHINGTON STATE! And not just Washington State, but from some small store, in some small town, located in one of those north western nubby pointy corner parts of the state.
Could I get any further from S. FL? No.
Every house needs one, yes?
As for the gift from my sister, she got me a whimical item for my garden, that I do love. I call it, "Flamingo dropping acid" although maybe it's some kind of goonie bird.
I prefer Flamingo since my family had this thing about hiding plastic flamingos from family member to unsuspecting family member.
Definitely... every garden needs one of these!
Over the last seven years, y'all've seen me do some crazy crap. (I had never actually typed the world y'all've before. I use it all the time... but it really looks weird spelled out...)
I've run a marathon. I've been a vegetable blogger. I've taken on various volunteer organizations that were just... not even a little cup of crazy, but a big dang mug of chaos. I stopped Karate just as I started blogging. (I was a brown belt in Shotokan.) I'm trying to think if I was blogging when I was running/swimming/lifting all the time.
Anyway, yeah... I don't have issues taking it that next step and experimenting with my health to see if it improves and if I can live with it.
Which is why I've decided... to start juicing.
When on the trip to San Antonio, I hung out with a Mom who is a nutritionist and had done the vegan thing. We talked about why that doesn't work. But I was really interested in her juicing theories.
I've talked for awhile about going once a week or once a month on a pure liquid diet. I have enough digestive issues that I thought that a once a month liquid type fast for 24 hours wouldn't be a bad thing.
But this whole thing with fruits and vegetables and juice... I'm thinking.
I'm in the process of looking for a good juicer. She's been giving me tips. Don't be surprised if I become a Juicer blogger for awhile. The ups and downs of what not to drink when juicing... I have a feeling there will be some big mistakes.
She said every now and then she does a five day vegetable/fruit juice detox.
I said, "FIVE days?" to which she said, "I haven't known you that long, but I have a pretty good glimpse into your personality. I suspect if you decide to go five days on vegetable and fruit juice, you WILL go five days on just vegetable and fruit juice..."
To which I in turn replied, "But... after like... a couple days... don't your teeth feel the need to BITE something?"
She gave me an odd look.
I'm probably going to try it, but I think it is a good thing I don't live near a farm or after day three, I might be caught biting a cow.
We shall see...
I was walking down the street of San Antonio with one of the four Moms I enjoyed hanging with, and there stood a miniature version of the giant chicken.
A smaller version of... Beyonce.
I stood there staring and immediately one of the Moms pulled out a camera and started to take a picture saying, "OMG. I have to send this to a friend... Beyonce"
To which I said, "Knock, Knock..."
And in unison we finished, "Mother F*cker..." and we both broke out laughing.
She reads the Bloggess. Funniest post ever if you'd not read it.
You've officially bonded with someone when you both see a giant metal chicken and immediately say, "Knock, Knock..."
Conversation tonight. I was hungry for something sweet. I was looking for a bowl of cut up canteloupe from my fridge.
Me: Where's my canteloupe?
T: We ate it. It sucked.
Bones: It did. It really sucked.
T: It was hard.
Bones: like an apple
T: without taste
Bones: It was awful
Me: *pause* but I notice it is still gone...
Bones: We were doing you a favor.
T: Big favor. It sucked. Really.
I was in San Antonio with the Boys Choral group and the entire trip was planned by a Festival company. They did a really crappy job.
At one point, the plan was to drop us off downtown at some Mexican Market thing... for FOUR HOURS. Four hours of Mexican stuff... with 180 middle school kids.
There were four of us women that just kind of hung out together. Similar senses of humor and values... we found ourselves laughing a lot.
Five minutes into it, the four of us looked at each other and said, "NO WAY. No way we can do this for four hours..." (Fortunately, the choral directors saw it our way and we left after two.)
We knew it to be true when we found the Last Supper carved out of wood and made completely of Mexican men wearing sombreros.
Christ was wearing a sombrero. You can't make this stuff up. I just wish I'd had the wherewithal to take a picture.
Instead I took a picture of a life sized porcelain pig. As I leaned over it, one of the Moms said to me, 'Bou. What are you doing?" To which I replied, "This is a large piggy bank, right? I mean, what do you do with a life sized porcelain pig?"
Of course I sent it to my sister, the picture, not the pig, and told her it was extraordinarily fortuitous that I was traveling by air, for if I'd been by car, I would have purchased one of said pigs and given it to her as a gift so she could pretend she was riding it.
Did I ever post the story about the time she separated her shoulder while in the gym with me, and the next week some guy asked her what happened (her arm was in a sling) and tired of telling the story, she made up one about riding/racing pigs for a children's charity and falling off, separating her shoulder, while she tried to save the life of a child falling off their own pig?
So now I have. And the urge was most overwhelming to buy one of those pigs and have it shipped to her...
I did not.
I found a good home for latch hook rug Jesus and if I'd thought about it, I would have bought Apostle/Jesus Sombrero Last Supper for him too.
I'm not sure why I wasn't thinking clearly that day.
So much potential for gift giving...
Bones is auditioning for a new group next month.
It is a serious group, but a fun group... get to 1:30 when it gets funny.
This is the mens's group he aspires to sing with...
I think that people don't value National Security enough anymore. I find that... disturbing.
I find it rather ironic, that back without the internet, without TV or instantaneous gratification in communication, that everyone was worried about the Russians, our enemies, or even the Chinese. Now with the internet, what appears to be visibility into everything, because people don't see them there lurking... the assumption is that they must not be... lurking.
We will be the end of ourselves.
So I'm back on homebase and we're trying to get everything wrapped up for the end of the school year. My older boys are starting to study for their final exams. We're trying to keep on top of Bones to get through this school year... a truly torturous task.
Ringo graduates from high school next year. We have 12 months and he'll be a high school graduate. I'm not struggling with it... but I keep mulling it over. Six months from now, and we'll probably know where he is going to college.
He will be leaving home.
I'm Ok with it, but I am realizing more and more how much I... need him here. Our late night conversations as he pours out his hopes and worries. My listening, knowing I can fix nothing nor make anything happen. It is all for him to do.
Parenting is becoming more and more a spectator sport as I prepare to release him.
He runs errands for me, helps Bones in math, mows the yard, pulls the younger boys aside when he realizes they've pushed me to my limits. He is another adult in this home.
My husband had accidentally planned a business trip for the same time I was in San Antonio. It left T and Ringo home alone from Wednesday afternoon until Saturday night. There were band practices, concerts, dinners, school and even a prom. The entire time, they only had to rely on someone besides the two of them... once. Son#4's Mom came and picked up T from a study group on Saturday and brought him back to their home while Ringo went to Prom.
It was just four days, but they completely took care of themselves.
It wasn't until I was in Tyndall on day 4 that Ringo started to send me txts, wondering how I was, what I was doing and when I'd be home. He sent me pictures of his Prom, unasked. Via txt we joked about various things.
One of my co-workers said to me after I showed him the Prom picture and told him about some of our txts, "You have a good son, Bou. I hope I have a relationship with my son like you do with yours... when he's Ringo's age."
I am very blessed. There are times I want to scream. There are times I want to run. But those times are few and far between.
I walk amongst the blessed.
Every now and then, I just have to be reminded... like going away and seeing from afar, what I have been given. Single handedly, the most difficult, amazing, and wonderful job I have had is...
... being a Mom.
I posted already on the fact I couldn't get through TSA with a small hard rubber lift in my sandal... that was packed in my suitcase. Obviously someone thought it was a shank and I was going to butcher the passengers of an airplane with it.
What I didn't tell you is what happened the day before on my return flight home with the vocal department, with a bunch of pre-teen and teenage boys in my care.
It started with my mis-packing. I'd accidentally not packed the correct under garment to wear with a black sheer tank top I wear with a open weave top. That forced me to wear my Sunday shirt to the performance on Friday.
But come Sunday I realized... it had been so hot in San Antonio, I couldn't re-wear anything. I had sweated way too much. I was stuck.
So I decided to wear my dark blue tshirt pajama top, figuring if I put a hoody on over it, nobody would know. It could probably pass as a real tshirt.
We got to security and they told us that all sweatshirts/hoodies/coats had to come off. I thought, "Great. Now I have to go through security wearing my pajama shirt... but nobody will notice... hopefully."
I was coaching the boys through, getting them to take off their shoes, their belts, and to separate their electronics. Somehow, I got tagged to go through the big huge Xray machine where you put your hands over your head.
Great. In my pajama top.
I went through, did my thing... and I failed.
I got pulled aside and a female TSA person had me put my hands over my head as she started to pat me down. She said, "Let me know if I hurt you..." and she proceeded... to cup both my breasts.
I'm standing there, big as day, knowing I'm in my pajama top, with the middle school boys all around while the TSA agent feels me up.
I looked at her and said, "Excuse me, but did I FAIL the Xray machine?" to which she replied, 'Yes... but I think it was this...' and she proceeded to grab the middle clasp of my bra, fingering it, nearly unsnapping it. Her hand was between my breasts grabbing the center clasp of my bra.
Boys all around.
I've had three kids and honestly, there isn't a lot of modesty left in me. They had so many people in the room when I gave birth to Bones, due to some complications, that I suggested they pull in bleachers so everyone had a place to sit for the show. But can you imagine if this had happened to some teenage kid?
I walked down to the chaperones and told the Moms what happened. They said, "Call your husband and tell him you don't need anything from him tonight. TSA just about took care of it for you..."
I have a friend who is an airline pilot. I was telling him and his wife the story the other day, knowing he deals with TSA. He told me he's so sick of them he has attitude. This is a guy who flies into the SAME airport, back and forth... all the time. All.the.time.
He said he doesn't even fight with them anymore. He said he has such bad attitude that when they tell him he can't fly with something, like his razor, something he's flown 500 times before with, without ever being stopped, he just says, "Fine. I'm going home. I'll call my supervisor and tell him I'm not going to work because TSA won't let me..." and he walks away. The airline steps in then, I gather.
He said there is no rhyme or reason why he gets stopped. He can go for months and months and months, just gliding through, and then one day, carrying the same exact stuff he's carried for months and months before, someone will get a bug and decide he can't go through.
It's a power trip, mostly.
Except in my case? I seriously think my TSA agent was a lesbian and she just wanted to feel me up.
I'm not kidding.
I spent yesterday morning in a hangar with F-22's. I was looking at my Lead's parts, going through questions we've had. I walked around the aircraft looking at various things, noticing how frickin' big it is.
I walked from the aft end of the a/c to the forward, right under the wing, completely standing up with four inches to spare. The guys all had to bend down. I thought it was funny. I made a motion of walking back and forth under the wing just to show them the beauty of being Hobbit sized.
I bought a GREAT Tshirt. I thought to myself, "Life doesn't get much better than this..."
But then it did.
In the afternoon, I went to the back table in the engine shop, it was me and the mechanics. Everyone else was in a conference room upstairs. The hangar doors were open, a light Gulf Coast breeze blew through the hangar, the radio played some local station with music I liked as I worked on my reports and the mechanic finished his work... F-22's kept flying by as I looked up to watch or ran to the hangar doors to see what they were up to. Lots of max power take offs.
As I sat there listening to the radio, inhaling the smell of all that is jet engine, making small talk with the mechanic, listening to the distinctive howl of the F-22, waiting for the next take off I thought... "When have I ever been so happy?"
I couldn't remember.
A video sent to me by a co-worker...
Tablets are a hassle. I type 100 wpm and the tablet is cumbersome. There will be spelling and punctuation errors in this post. I don't care...
I spent the morning trying to get through TSA. I had a weird experience yesterday. That I wont get into. That's for later. This morning. They hated my carry on. Between the steel toed shoes and my sandals with the small lift, I was doomed.
It seems the small wedge lift that my pt installed in my left sandal to counteract my support issues must come across as a shank or something. Finally after tearing apart my luggage, pulling out my shoes, and runnjnv it twice I said to them quietly,"the United States. Air Force is about to let me on their flightline and I cant get through TSA? "
They were quiet and suddenly my bag made it through. Good grief.
I spent the afternoon on the flighTline watching F22s take off and in the backshop talking to me chanics.
I am aware of the journalism that is out right now. Its been all the talk out here. Ive read the article a few times and can quote it. I know of the Tv.
I don't blog my job.... but I'm going to make some things clear and others ....not.
Ive known of this since the day after the first incident. I got the report damn close to immediately. NONE of this is new to me. NONE.
I know nearly all the action taken. I know what's going on currently. I get it.
And I still know this is the best a/c ever.
What I wish is ... that Lex were still alive because id want his take on the two pilots and the reporting. Lex knew what was going on. I used to email him about it on the side. My first and only disagreement with him was on the accident investigation at Elmo, faulting the pilot. He agreed w the report. I still say the plane killed the pilot.
But things have been done and two guys are not the voice of the fleet. Just as it annoys all if yiu that the vocal minority get their way, remember...I know of many more who feel the direct opposite.
Would I want my sons to fly one? Only if they couldn't be a naval aviator first.... ;-)
I think this could be tedious...
Bones and I are up early to make our way to San Antonio for a vocal competition with his school. We have 80 chaperones and kids on my plane alone. (The band is going too and there are a whole heapin' lot of those kids.)
So I'm left to wonder, did we fill up all six flights, three from West Palm to Atlanta and three from Atlanta to San Antonio... both ways? Because how much would that suck to show up to your gate and realize you were making a two hour flight with 80 middle school kids?
I'm hoping we're the only ones on the flight. For the sake of any unsuspecting passengers.
Don't get me wrong. They're great kids to travel with, at least I know the vocal department is. When you travel with the vocal department and they get bored, they sing.
One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall has never sounded so good.
But still... we're talking a large quantity of middle school kids and I'm not sure I'd be so thrilled to be traveling with them if they weren't... you know... mine.
I'll have a little tablet with me so I might be blogging from the Great State of TX.
Should any of you reside in the San Antonio area and you're bored out of your skull and want to hear a good vocal group, shoot me an email and I'll let you know about Friday's performances.
But you need to be ... you know... really bored. Heh.