Wednesday, December 23, 2009

what did i do today?

PATHOLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS

Uterine cervix, cone biopsy
Histologic type: High grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (CIN grade III)
Tumor site: Left inferior quadrant (6 to 9 o'clock)

Endocervical margin: Uninvolved by neoplasia

Exocervical margin: Uninvolved by neoplasia

Deep margin: Uninvolved by neoplasia


in other words:
YAY!!!!! 4 weeks to sauna. 6 months til more people in my business. blessings
all around. merry christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

what if i've been doing it wrong all along?

homeschool group monday night we had 2 homeschool alumni visit with us. the young lady was rather jaded-her experience seemed to consist of a lot of self-study in one area & not much of anything else. the gentleman seemed to have had the homeschool experience of a lifetime. both his parents had degrees in opposing fields which meant that practically everything a person might need to learn was covered and then some. something that he said struck me....

also attending the meeting was a girl who had a million questions about homeschooling as she is contemplating beginning with her son after the new year. so our meeting really ran the gamut-covering it all. something she was very curious about was the fact that many homeschoolers do not test. we do-our curriculum calls for it &, as our children attended brick & mortar school for the 5 & 6 years of their educational careers, we felt it would be best to continue in the same vein. she was concerned about being able to track progress if no testing was being done.

our guests had differing opinions on the subject. i believe they were both in non-testing situations. the young lady stated that she felt it harmed her further schooling experience, starting with the ACT she took during high school and continuing in to college. she also felt that it was harmful to her sister who was following in the homeschool footsteps. and then the man said something that surprised me. and i can't figure out if it is because i've misunderstood all along or if i'm just completely wrong.

he told our newbie that he suggested she be sure to read ahead so as to stay ahead of her student. and also to look ahead in the test booklets to be certain that she was directing him in the proper direction for success on the tests.

and this is where i'm confused. a major complaint that i have heard over & over again regarding schooling outside of the home is regarding "teaching to the test". which i've always understood to mean that teachers are not covering all material-just what is going to be tested. (and, after thinking on this, i'm beginning to wonder if this is in reference to standardized testing rather than regular classroom graded tests...gotta get that government money, you know!)

i make it a point to NOT preview the kids' test booklets ahead of time. i have textbooks & a lesson plan to build my lessons off of & i do my best to be certain that we cover all given material. i try to avoid spoon-feeding it to them as it concerns me that it will be a disservice to them in the future. they are 8th graders this year-big high school next year & hopefully college in 4 years or so. if i coddle them at this point, what would that mean for their future? i try to not take it easy on them as i don't want them to begin to expect it since i won't be their teacher forever. i definitely don't include piddly filler information in our daily lessons but thus far i don't think i've missed any of the important main ideas in any subject.

so...what say you? should i follow the alumnus' advice & look ahead at test questions to be certain i'm covering all pertinent information & not spending any too much time on information that will not be repeated again? or am i on the right track by expecting the kids to take the information i give them, the information they are responsible for learning on their own in their daily reading & "homework" that is completed once class is done for the day, and be able to put this together into a knowledge base that will serve them further in their educational careers? would it be more beneficial to be certain they are grasping by 100% a small number of facts-thus insuring (theoretically...these ARE teenagers i'm dealing with here) a high grade on tests & quizzes covering that material or is it more beneficial for their future to expect them to be able to glean information from the various lessons and independent work once they are asked for it at test time?

i don't feel like i am an easy teacher, by any means. one of my kids has a bad habit of expecting things to be handed to them & not being willing to do any more work than has to be done. we've been fighting a battle against "surface answers" recently-where the most basic of answers is given in response to a question without putting much thought into it & without truly grasping the crux of the lesson. i feel like the lessons that i impart to them in these years will stand them forever & that by being too easy on them, i am not pushing them to expand their knowledge or abilities. and i feel that by only pointing them in specific directions when it comes to schoolwork, they will not have the ability to self-teach once they are in whatever form of higher education they choose.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

i second the "wow"

i can't decide if this absolutely intrigues me or scares the hell out of me. very, very interesting. bit of a slow start but hang in there, it will pick up speed!



**courtesy of Kathy Petersen's Blog

PSA

and totally unrelated to the PSA but it just occurred to me that the title of the last post should have been anatomy IN a korean hospital. i think that would have been funnier. anyway....

so. little sister is going to belize. as in that little bitty country in central america that is stuck to the eastern coast of mexico & a huge chunk of guatemala. she's going all by herself for at least a year to manage an avian (that means birds) rehabilitation clinic as a volunteer. she'll receive a tiny bit of money on occasion & all of her living expenses will be covered so she won't be wanting for anything but extras.

she has a heart for conservation of our planet & trying to clean up the mess that we've made of it in any way that she can. she's followed this heart from south carolina to texas & hawaii & now out of the country. these positions have been (and continue to be) internships or volunteer positions but her purpose here isn't to make any money. it's to do what she believes so strongly in that she is willing to put aside her material wants & completely rearrange her life time and again in the name of her heart.

so if anyone wants to follow her along on her journey-which doesn't officially begin until mid january (but preparations are already in full swing)-you can hop on over to her blog and keep an eye on her. and if you feel led to assist her on her quest, she has a donate button on the blog as well.

http://natalieinbelize.blogspot.com/

i hope to join her for at least a week at some point. which will necessitate me flying halfway around the world again & possibly killing myself on some dang mayan ruins or something since she seems to have unearthed a hiking gene in me somewhere but how often does one get to go to belize? and know someone there?

and i guess i could add as a postscript that i'm pretty dang proud of my brave little sister. try to keep up with her on her journey-i think you'll enjoy it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

anatomy of a korean hospital

and it began yesterday when someone called me & (i think) told me to be there at 8:00 am instead of 7:30. again, i think. so that's what we went with. good thing i heard on korean television yesterday that a person can be up to 30 minutes late to a person's home in korea without it causing an international incident.

and at 6:30 this morning, out the door we went. into the rain & nasty & down the road.

and i showed the fellas in suit jackets my little piece of paper & they used their badges to let me in the door & into another door where surprise! the lady who met me there didn't speak english! oh this should be interesting!

but somehow an english speaker was located & came out to take me to the changing room & tell me to take off my everywhere? and my underwear? and all this accompanied by hand motions as back up. and a baby screaming in the room i'm headed for. and a basket to put my stuff in with a specific bag for my shoes. he was very specific that that bag was for my shoes. not, apparently, for my head. or my broken self. which, come to think of it may have been easier.

and so i took off my everywhere & my underwear & put on korean hospital pajamas which are top & bottom & no parts exposed (hey! USA! take a note here!) & had the name of the hospital on them in case, i suppose, i ran off or something they would know where to return me to. and put my stuff in the basket & my shoes in the bag & the whole nine in the locker thoughtfully provided & equipped with more sign language to get the thing closed up. oh and take off your glasses & your earring. and no you can't take your ipod to drown out the poor little screamy fella 4 beds down. because men, women & children start off in this preop room with 8-10 beds.

and then hurry up & wait. and someone from the international clinic came to ask questions about eating (11:30 last night) & was someone here with me (1 in the waiting room) and blood type (O...uh...crap. can't remember + or -!). and some tissues for my eyes that seemed to not want to stop tearing up at being left alone in a hospital in a strange land. and then the dreaded nose ring conversation. "you should take it out." um. "you can't or you don't want to?" don't want to? and then rapid fire korean with more hand motions. and then "they will use an electricity to stop bleeding. if you don't take it out, it could make burns." oh. well when you put it that way. and out it came. sigh. and then a few more questions. and a timeline. and this was at 8:00 and they would come get me at 9:30. so what on earth does one do in a korean pre-op room for 1 1/2 hours? sit and wait, that's what.

and an iv showed up at some point. yuck. and then i had to potty. but apparently my limited korean (hwa-jang-shil?) was not very understandable to the poor lady on duty. and since the iv, i couldn't just jump & run for it & lock the door before they got me. so mr. changing room translator was called back into play. and we got sorted out. and then waited some more. and then i got a hat. it was blue & matched the spots on my jammies. and all my hair got tucked in & tied with a bow. and that apparently meant they were coming to get me soon.

andat some point, peace came over me and i relaxed and accepted that i'd be fine. combined prayers of the korean hospital & peninsula & south carolina i'm sure assisted this along. it was such a strange sense, i thought they had drugged my iv. but, no, it was just antibiotics.

and at about 10, as i was contemplating asking for the bathroom again, they came. and "laying down please" as i had been sitting up in the bed & down the hall we went. to operating room 8. and there were about 10 people in there. and one took off my shirt. and one asked if i was married & had baby. and one strapped down my left arm. and one strapped down my right arm. and i think the same one did something to my iv site. but i don't know what because i i didn't look. and the same one asking about my baby said "2 babies delivered normal presentation?" and i said yes. and then someone strapped down my belly and then 2 other someones took off my pants, as i was strapped down & couldn't manage myself. and then someone who looked so young asked my name & what was my surgery & was surprised when i didn't know the name of the surgery so i said cervix & apparently that was sufficient. and the doctor came in & people bowed & he said hello in his british accent & i said hello back. and the same young one looked in my mouth for chipped teeth & then came a mask. "this oxygen mask? you will go to sleep? breathe deeply"..."breathe deeply"...and the beeping & conversation got further & further away and then i woke up.

and the pain woke up & i asked what time it was (11:00) & where was 1 (in the waiting room & i could see him later) & my throat hurt from being intubated & i got a shot of demerol or cocaine or something but whatever it was DIDN'T HELP. and i couldn't go back to sleep because the shot lady said so. and then i went back down the hall to the first room. and they pulled the curtains & put my pajamas back on & opened the curtains & then i went to sleep. and then 1 showed up in his snazzy blue hospital gown & flip flops & aunt jemima hat. and asked for more pain medication. and then things were a little fuzzy & then he left & then i went back to sleep.

and at 1:30ish, i asked for the bathroom. and when it was open, i could go but i didn't have an iv stand & so when i tried to be sneaky & stop at my locker & get my phone & my ipod, i didn't hold the bag up & blood ran up the line. but they allowed the ipod & phone even though i had been naughty & forked up my iv line. and put me back in bed again where i could text & listen to music & occasionally hear my name spoken but still no hope of release. and an xray tech was pressed into service as a translator & asked what did i want (um? to go home?) & if i had any pain (yes! here!) but that was my lower abdomen & i had surgery on my vagina & uterus (well, sort of) & did i have any OTHER pain. well, no. but can i go home?

and at 2ish someone told me i could go home at 3ish. and then someone pulled my iv line. and then 1 showed up in his hospital clothes & then international clinic lady from the early morning question episode showed up & then i could go put on my clothes & mrs. brandi? on the bathroom door in case i needed a pad but i was prepared for all this crap so no thank you, i have one. and then they took my flip flops & i put on my shoes & we slowly slowly made our way downstairs. and paid 1.25 million won for the privilege of allowing them to have me in their esteemed hospital. and then went to the bakery because really? i haven't eaten in about 14 hours & probably i'm a little hungry? and then i got a pretty orchid plant in a pretty little bucket from 1. and then we came home in the rain & at 6ish i took some medicine & slept again. and now i'm awake. for a minute.

these koreans i think are stoics. and i don't think they gave me enough pain meds. so i think sleeping might be the next activity on the agenda as that seems to be the way to deal with this. along with my heating pad.

and we go back to the byeong won tomorrow & again in 2 weeks & again in 4-6 weeks. and no exercise for 2 weeks & then light exercise for 2 weeks. and in 4 weeks i can go to the sauna again. and other things. and then in 6 months dr. park will see us again.

and no more getting sick around here for a year. the medical fund has run dry. between broken me & allergy littlest, we're done. hear that? done! oh. and the nose ring is back where it belongs. and i think i will leave it alone for now. that hurt.

Friday, November 20, 2009

can i get some retraining, please?

and december 10 draws closer. and i'm IGNORING the fact that it is coming. but damn sure it is.

and yesterday my phone rang & it was the pulmonary department? with a*** hospital? and is this meesus coe-lette? or something like that. my inner korean accent phonetic speller thing isn't working tonight.

and yes, it was mrs. collette.

oh and mrs. collette? your dr. referred you to us? because your chest xray? he didn't like what he saw.

um. 2#%#$^%$^#W$R?

well, yes. and we would like you to come see us tomorrow at 9:40. can you do that?

well, let me call my husband (and figure out how i'm going to rearrange yet another school day & should i leave all 3 kids here or just 2 or maybe they should all come & bring their school books but then if this is sad news i'll probably want the 1 1/2 hour trip home to compose myself and did i say @#%$@&#%^$?)

and so i called him & called them back. and then spent the rest of the day stewing in what, exactly, THIS meant. and then spent 1 1/2 hours in the car (to be fair, some of it included me sleeping) with one and littlest who were coughing their heads off. funny how I'M the one with the pulmonary clinic appointment, isn't it?

and then the hospital that might become a second home or something. or maybe at the least i should get reduced train fare/road tolls since i seem to spend a lot of time there (we won't even talk about the referral i got for littlest today for pulmonary function tests because the God-blessed coughing is back AGAIN). and a different escort & a different department & nurses who loved littlest & gave her cookies & a tangerine & a yogurt drink with a straw. and she said "kam-sa-ham-nee-da" and they all melted into little puddles all over the floor. and then a dr. who asked 40-11 questions & listened to parts of my chest i didn't know i had and then peered at xrays & said...

the xray tech saw nodules (i HATE that word now, thank-you-very-much) & didn't know what they were. but your lung sounds are good & i think that probably they are just some sort of scar tissue probably from a previous infection? so i think you are cleared for surgery. and do you have any questions?

and one and i took a deep breath & littlest asked for another cookie & then we bought a coffee & then we came home.

and, hey, a*** byeong-won? maybe you could tell your people to NOT scare the hell out of people when they call them? a simple "could you please come back for more surgical pre-screening stuff chuseyo" would have sufficed & i damn sure wouldn't have worn a hole in my belly thinking about it for 24 hours.

and if someone reading this translates korean, please let me know. i'm gonna "accidentally" drop this when i go BACK to suwon in 20 days. 20 days people. how's another 3 ulcers sound?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

i think i'm tired of this place. tired of restrictions. tired of appliances i can't read instructions for. tired of not being able to buy what i need when i need it. (a hook & eye latch or whatever you call them for our laundry room & bathroom doors...a glue gun with glue sticks...because for some reason, the PX sells the gun...2 whole racks of them! but are completely out of the 1 rack allocated to the sticks. perhaps i'm expected to just slaughter my own horse. if i could even find one in this damn country). tired of not being able to understand the language...this might be a problem come december 10th when the international services department doesn't open until 1 1/2 hours after i have to be there. tired of feeling out of place because me or my spouse is not one of the few, the proud...wait...that's the marines...but i think you get the point. who knew that in a room full to bursting with people, you could feel so damn alone?

i'm tired of feeling like i don't meet expectations. like i'm not the BEST homeschooler since i'm contemplating quitting it with biggest & middlest. like i'm not the BEST christian because sometimes i'd rather go out on the town rather than stay in. like i'm not the BEST mom because i lose my temper on occasion. like i'm not the BEST wife...for reasons i won't go into.

i struggle with this everyday because i feel like there's a mask i need to wear. a different one for different people. and one day i'm going to get mixed up & put the wrong mask on at the wrong time & the whole damn circus tent is going to fall down over my head, leaving me wrapped in red & white striped canvas, arms flailing for an escape, serving only to wrap me tighter in the trap of my own making, all the while wondering if i REALLY want to make my escape because then i'll have to meet the accusing eyes of the people who came to see one version of cirque de soleil but ended up with an offshoot & now they want a refund.

i think, right now, i just want to go home. not this home away from home where, at the rate we're going, i may be until i die. or lose my ever-loving-fucking mind. home. where i'm from. where my family is. where my friends are. where i speak the language. and there are no masks.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

home again, home again

it's a good thing i'm such a good blog updater. that way all (one) of y'all that read this mess know exactly what i've been up to for the past month. and a week. or something like that.

annnnnnd we're back. annnnnnd it sucks. i think i forgot how to live over here. i'm pretty sure i did. i actually knew some numbers before we left but the doctor's visit today (because OF COURSE we have to go to the doctor the day after we get back), showed me that the numbers must have vanished somewhere between korea & there. or there & korea. i still appreciated the fact that a doctor's visit plus prescription plus vitamin c's for the little sicko only cost less that $25. that, at least, made me happy.

the flight wasn't horrible. i discovered the secret to anxiety-free flying. which is all well & good until the anxiety buster wears off & the emotions it has been covering up resurface. round 2 for everyone! hurrah! littlest was bored, bored & more bored. she shared her yogurt drops with the baby in front of her, played hand tug-of-war with the lady behind her, took a couple walks & didn't eat any of the griped about & meticulously prepared gluten-and-seafood-and-fish-free meals she was given. instead, she ate a rice cracker & drank some seaweed soup. whatever. all she's been doing the past 7 1/2 weeks is eating. it had to slow down eventually.

middlest & biggest did their video game/movie/book thing. whoo hoo. they slept some. that's about it for them.

the truck drives differently-steering is tighter, brakes are more sensitive. stupid brakes still SQUEEEEEEEAAAAAALLLLL though. i would have preferred it if they didn't. i have to show an ID card to shop again. that's a little weird.

in the commissary, one aisle over was a little girl loudly yapping something. and in the split second after i thought it in my head, littlest said "that jasmine?" and i said no. and had to restrain my emotions for a minute.

i'll get over myself. school starts again, busy starts again. once i have no time left to think about it, i'll forget.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

oh hell.

i TRIED to post this on the 20th. but stupid blogspot wouldn't cooperate. so here you have it...a few days late.

i finally made my way to the "old" neighborhood today. i think i had been avoiding it. a friend & a baby friend still live there & i should have been over there early the week after i got here so as to say my good byes to friend's husband who was leaving for a deployment. but jetlag & mommy brain put paid to that & with one thing and another, today was the first day i'd actually hit the neighborhood.

and the neighborhood hit me hard. i hadn't expected that being there would evoke much emotion. our life there wasn't that long & very full of work & kids & sports & things-so much so as to not seem to cause a strong attachment to home.

but somehow, driving down the road to the entrance caused pain to well up inside. and approaching the house that is still ours for all intents & purposes but will never be fully ours again as 2 families have made it their temporary home since we left, brought the pain bubbling almost to the surface. and it sat & simmered inside all the while i stayed & played with friend & baby friend.

that was the house we were supposed to stay in. to raise littlest in. to watch biggest & middlest journey off into the great wide world from. the house with the turtle room that was painted & push-pinned to death before littlest got to spend her few short months in it. the house with all our "stuff". stuff that has found new homes or been consigned to storage.

and now home is way over there. in another country. almost another world, what with all the hours we are apart from those we love.

home will probably be over there for another couple of years at least. and even after that, home still won't be home. home will be another succession of apartments separate from our lives over here. probably in at least one other country. probably with another succession of people that dart in & out of our lives with the rapidity that the military brings to things. here today, gone tomorrow.

how to not get too attached to people that form our daily lives? how to not get too attached to this place & that thing? how to ignore that tugging at the heartstrings that will occur every time we board another airplane, pace another bag, say another goodbye?

littlest has now spent 3/4 of her life in a foreign country. but to her it's not foreign. to her it is where her surprise is. where her toys are. where her dog-dog meets her at the door.

but this is home to me. and i'm trying hard to be the free-falling equivalent of a military wife. perfecting packing skills at a moment's notice. letting people into my heart while always knowing that when their time is up, i may never see them again. except to follow them on facebook or whichever social network next becomes the thing to do. forming opinions of characters at light speed-something i've never been good at doing with with months to work with. trusting people. trusting myself.

trying to keep the emotions at bay while always counting the calendar until the gate calls our name again makes it hard to enjoy the moment. anticipation makes me sluggish and wary of wasting time with the small things. i want it all & i want it big & i want it now. now before the time expires. now before the calendar runs out. now before it all runs away from me at top speed.

sometimes i wonder if i just shouldn't come home. better to stay over there in my loneliness than to skirt the pain of leaving again.

this is home. one day i'll come back. not soon enough.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

continued!

see! i'm back! whoo hoo!

wednesday-everland. korean disney world-ish? more walking up & down mountains. who knew that korea isn't flat? if we didn't before, we do now! lots of rides & a huge roller coaster & lunch out of the cooler & feeding birds out of our hands & boo the monkey house was closed! probably because it was late & dinner time. baby rides & big rides & a helicycle thing that had no electricity-leg powered! which, isn't so great the day after a mountain climb. but we made it around. and we did the safari with lions & tigers & bears, oh my. and a water ride with rapids but ponchos on the boat so we didn't get much wet. except for where the water sloshed in anyway but then there were dryers at the end so you could dry off! yay korea! lots of junk food in the form of ice cream & churros. but that's what vacation is for, right? and home late at night for 1 & nallie to fall into bed as they had DMZ trip in the morning. i, however, had the day off!

(yes, yes, stay dry on the water ride! so fancy!)


thursday-nallie & 1 headed for the DMZ while i stayed home to hold down the fort. haha, get it? ok. i'm a dork. still recovering from tourist-zilla. they got up at some ridiculous hour to head for seoul to get on a bus. they said it was kind of creepy. there were some pictures. maybe i'll go someday. no kids allowed so it's been kind of difficult to get up there. possibly i could go alone since i'm all brave these days & stuff. the kids & i stayed home & hit the water park for a bit. still no stinkin baby pool. at this rate, i won't get to use it til next year! it was kinda quiet since after the water park, littlest & i came home for a nap & biggest & middlest went to hang out. and then everyone came home all at once & it got very loud. and then we all went to bed so we could get up & go again in the morning. see why i'm so tired?


(glad you two are taking this so seriously. but it does look rather like an amusement park, doesn't it?)

and finally friday. sigh. friday? already? GEEZ. friday was seoul day. we took the metro up and then climbed.another.mountain. this one was more like a hill. but sore calf & quads made it feel like a mountain. we at lunch at the base of the namsan cable car-more bibimbap except cold this time. seaweed. {{shudder}} except for that it wasn't bad. then cable car'd to the tower. same old, same old except this time with nallie! yay! went up in the tower & checked out the 360 degree view of seoul. still awesome. really? a city is THAT big? that may explain the traffic.... came down for some ice cream. the ground got mine as it jumped off the cone & onto my shirt before hitting bottom. people laughed. sigh. i got more ice cream. it was good. then onto a bus that was supposed to take us to the metro so we could go to cheongye stream-it's a riverwalk type thing. but no one listens to me & my stellar navigation skills so we ended up in an old people park where they played gate ball & some board game & slept on four wheelers. that's what i want to do when i grow up-sleep on a four wheeler in a park. then the boys found a little league park while the girls tried to figure out where the heck in street-sign-less korea we were. and of course we weren't where we meant to be. backtracked to a metro station & finally found the stream after some hot dogs & smoothies (most fruit is the english word written in hanguel. except strawberry. that is something like dalgi). walked down the stream/riverwalk and found a world refugee day thing at the end. that would feature angelina jolie that evening! or the next. we weren't quite sure. and lots of police. LOOOOOOOTTTTTTSSSS of police. geez. nallie & i decided that that night was a good night for the sauna. so we all got back on the metro & nallie & i got off at the next stop because we SWORE that's where the sauna was. except it wasn't? but it was where all the protesters were. hence the huge police presence. but apparently it wasn't an anti-american protest because then it would have been scarier. still not sure what they were protesting. wandered around and around and around the station trying to locate the missing sauna. FINALLY got talked into visiting the information desk. where the lightbulb went on! if you're looking for the DRAGON HILL SAUNA, you might want to check at the YONGSAN station (yongsan is dragon hill in korean...duh). that was nice. hopped back on the metro, found the sauna & then had some chinese food in korea-yum! nallie was all excited about "igo kogi" (no meat) cause she finally got to use it. it was good food. and then we headed for the sauna. yay! had a bath & then a scrub/massage with a helicopter moment & then checked out the whole ginormous sauna & met some lost koreans. americans showing the koreans how to sauna? huh? that was cool. found a sleeping room with some yos (flat floor mattresses) & little rectangular pillows. slept in a room full of strange women & woke up butt-crack of dawn to hop the metro again for pyeongtaek. took nallie to emart for some last minute stuff & then back on the train again. and that brings us back to the beginning of the first post.

(the only pic you'll get of the sauna. stolen from miss jet lag. did you really want to see nekkid old ladies?)

it was the fastest week ever. i miss having someone to play with. now it's back to the real world of work & laundry & summer reading books. there is something to look forward to, though. i won't get into that now. and if you already know, keep your mouth shut!

back to my real world before that baby of mine destroys something. she has just handed me a golf club & asked me to play. guess that's my hint.

banni-who tried to finish this post last night but then had to go out with 1 for father's day & then came home & fell asleep. who also thinks that while she will never be a full-fledged hiker, probably won't say no if asked to climb another mountain. once she recovers from this one, of course

fastest.week.EVER.

for realz.

so nallie was here. and by here, i mean, she was here for a week & then we rode a train for 3 1/2 hours & got to the airport & got her checked in & then she walked through the gate of no return & i rode a train back for 3 hours & i'm assuming by her facebook status update that she is finally home but apparently atlanta customs snagged her bag or something cause they are stupid. but we already knew that, being as how we are world travelers now or something. that would be one thing i DON'T miss about the states. stupidity. here things are weird or half-assed because they are & have been for 40 million years & there is no lateral thinking. there? things are stupid because they are & people are lazy & don't give a rat's ass. i don't miss it.

anyway. recap. sort of in a nutshell because who wants to read the longest post ever about someone else's vacation? hmm...maybe PEOPLE WHO NEED TO COME OVER HERE & EXPERIENCE IT FOR THEMSELVES? hint, hint aunt jo & uncle joey. and whomever else may like to see a little slice of asia. room is free, people!

saturday-train to the airport ALL BY MYSELF without getting lost. and dragged natalie out of the crush of not-round-eyes and stuck her on a bus for 3 hours to get home. and i was supposed to keep her awake on the trip as there is no time for jet lag on a 1-week-other-side-of-the-world-vaca but i kind of stink at staying awake on busses myself so i failed at that job. and then we got home. and that was saturday.

(setting myself up to get killed over posting this picture of miss jet lag 2009)

sunday-pyeongtaek market! and city busses. and lots of yuck things. but lots of cool things. and flowers and clothes and shoes and veggies and fruit and cacti and donuts and stuff. OH! and lunch at the indian restaurant which required a quick telephone translation because our waiter's english didn't quite extend to whether or not there was chicken stock in some of the food. but it was good. and spicy hot. and chai tea as usual.

(thanks to miss jet lag 2009 for the pic. i know the label is misspelled. sometimes my fingers don't work right)


monday-hwaseong fortress wall in suwon. and katusa snack bar for lunch. but not necessarily in that order. ksb was the usual. not such a fan of the korean food. ramyun & mandu will usually suffice and did monday. nallie had dulsot bibimbap (hot veggies & rice). i think she liked it. no gyeran. that wall was seriously huge. and true to tourist-zilla form, we walked all the way around it. which included 4732 steps (WITH A STROLLER, nonetheless). oy. and in the seedy part of town (apparently the wall had a hole in it? which required we walk through a market area. and a bar area. gulp.) we stopped for a drink in a convenience store. apparently the store was very convenient to the drunk korean who availed himself of nallie's butt for a minute. yikes! and then we climbed all those steps. and then climbed back down. and who freakin knew that suwon is SO BIG? geez. and convenience store snacks for dinner because it was late & please don't force me to eat korean food twice in one day. but this store had no butt grabbers. thank goodness. however, there was that one incident at the little waterfall area where i accidentally flashed some korean teenagers all in the name of a picture. and i don't mean northern flash. oops. and the picture didn't come out that good anyway! geez.

(betcha thought it was gonna be a waterfall picture, didn't you? nope. this is suwon from atop the fortress wall. way atop. that was the theme this week.)

tuesday-ahh, tuesday. and a mountain. for real. gyeryongsan national park. about an hour's drive away. yes, I DROVE. that gps is a handy little bugger, that's for sure. we hiked up a mountain. and then walked along a mountain ridge. about 1/2 mile up. the ajeema squad that we traded leads with halfway up the mountain applauded when we motioned that we were headed up. if only we knew why. at one point, we thought we had reached the peak so we sat down & had lunch. and it was pretty. and then we discovered that HAHA it wasn't the peak. there's more climbing to do! and then suddenly we were at the peak & there was this ridge. and breath-taking steps & rocks & a korean very surprised to find americans on the mountain! and a soju dance party waiting to happen (but it didn't, for us at least. boo.) on the next peak & more climbing & 6 hours & 8.2 kilometers later, we were down. and i'd never truly climbed a mountain before. apparently we are part mountain goat. that was handy. and words can't describe the top of that mountain. i've tried. they can't.


video

(the peak before the steps. and the korean ice cream man...only, he didn't have ice cream? only sticks? took this picture. not the best for scenery but LOOK we're on a mountain!)


and i've decided that i'll go ahead & break this into 2 posts. in case someone needs a potty break or a kid needs fed or something. i promise i'll finish this one. right now MY kid needs to go to bed. i'll be back in a bit.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

just out of curiosity...

why is it, when SOME people tell you exactly what they are thinking, your feelings be damned, they are "just being honest" & you shouldn't be offended? BUT when you turn the tables & do the same thing, they get all offensive & ugly? i say turn about is fair play. apparently not everyone plays by the same rules.

Friday, May 1, 2009

great. just great.

first of all, anyone who was waiting for the continuation of the spring break post, you'll have to keep waiting. i had a whole post typed up & when i discovered that blogger will only allow a few pictures to be posted per post (wtf? did that make any sense?) - at least on this blog since i read another one recently that said she could put something like 89 on hers - i decided to break the spring break post up into chunks so as to get all the pictures in. and then the computer went a little nuts, warranting a restart and for some stupid reason, i hadn't backed up the spring break post, rendering it lost forever. and since everything has been just enough off center lately that i spend most of my time in a fog, making no sense to anyone around me, including myself, you'll all just have to wait until my brain returns from the vacation that it apparently decided to take without telling me to get the rest of the story about spring break. thankfully i have all of those not postable to blogger except one at a time pictures to remind me of what we did.

and back to the whole point of this post. haha. fooled you, didn't i? you thought i forgot, huh?

it appears that i am on my way to being railroaded into another dog. did you hear me? ANOTHER DOG. the dog that we have





- the one who houdini-ed his way out of his crate years ago during one of his first nights in our home, the one who tried to eat the vet tech at his neuter appointment (i still stand by my opinion that she needed some retraining on how to approach a strange dog, especially a strange dog accompanying a very pregnant woman & who is extremely protective of said pregnant woman), the dog who accompanied us to korea & made it here alive even after being fed untold amounts of tranquilizers by his grandma to try to get the whining to cease, the dog who has resurrected his houdini skills & manages to bust himself out of the bathroom where he is confined whenever we leave the house - apparently isn't enough of a pain in the ass that we need another one. because the vet clinic/airlines/dog food & treat manufacturers don't get enough of our money already. and we haven't even had the joy of kenneling this one yet.

but apparently there is an adopt-a-dog up in seoul that 1 found out about during a work trip this week. it seems to be a dachshund except perhaps with longer legs (of course! he'll fit in just fine in our family!) and is of indeterminate age. now, mind you, 1 is the one (haha) who got us involved in having more weiners than we have males (haha again) in this family to begin with. i NEEEEEED a dog, he moaned. i NEEEEEEED a weiner dog! and it should be a GIRL. and we'll call her dixie, because that was the name of the fat little weiner dog girl that i used to torture when i was little (i've seen pictures). and sucker that i am, i went looking. and found weiners in the paper (shouldn't that be illegal? weiners in the paper? see...my head is NOT RIGHT.) and the whole family went over to look. and we didn't end up with a girl dog. we ended up with a boy dog. and his name is DIXON. and he is rotten (see above). and littlest tortures him, much like i'm sure her dad tortured his dixie back in the day.

but i guess the newness of the weiner & the baby has worn off so now we need something else in this house to keep us company. or busy. something like that. and since the foot has been put down about new babies in our house, i guess everyone (except me) thinks that that something needs to be a dog. biggest & middlest have been lobbying for months for a dog. BUT. for the same reasons my mother didn't want any more animals at her house, neither do i. why? because no matter whose dog it is, no matter who has sworn to protect & vet & keep & bathe & walk & clean & play with it, the mama is always the one who ends up on pup duty. why do you think I'M the one who ended up carting the damn dog over here, anyway? along with the 3 kids, 8 suitcases, 1 carseat, 1 stroller & a grandma?

don't get me wrong. i may be a dog person now. i kind of like the little bugger that is currently sleeping on my legs (well, and the bed, since he is a weiner & my legs, frankly, aren't that wide). i don't mind bathing him sometimes & littlest likes to help. and i took him to the vet this week & put my finger over the hole in his leg after the blood was drawn for a heartworm test & didn't fall down on the floor (although i was a little bit sicked out by it). i just don't know if i want another weiner around that i'll end up being responsible for.

but i think i'm being railroaded. which means my say in the matter probably went out the window weeks ago. sigh.

**and right now, yes, really right now, while i'm sitting here waiting for blogger to upload the weiner pictures, middlest came in here & started bugging me about the new dog AGAIN. i think this is their plan...get me so tired of hearing about the damn thing, that i just give in & say "fine! get the dog! just STOP talking to me about it!" maybe if i tried the same tactic about a vacation. think it would work?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

spring break, take 2


the "secret garden" was just beginning to wake up for the spring but was still pretty (even with pre/teenagers in it),









































































& we walked our little & big legs off (training for when natalie gets here?). lunch was in a hole in the wall. biggest & middlest will eat anything these days, littlest was pigging out on kimbap, don't know what 1 got, i got eggs in my ramyuns. bah. i really need to get over this food-a-phobia. i know, i know. i've tried. whatevs.

next we went back to namsan tower. we've been there a lot. that's ok-still cool. we didn't go up this time-just hung out around the base. took the cable car up & back (thanks 1 for not torturing us with that dang mountain again) & got some nice pics. ate some ice cream & just sat for a bit before taking the cable car back down.




















so happy to be on family vacation.













he may be-i can't tell.













all but 1













we really do comb this child's hair. everyday.













cables from the cable car. the pics from inside the car of the scenery outside didn't turn out so well. i won't subject you to them.













Monday, April 20, 2009

since i'm already here...spring break! v.1

we decided to take a mini-vacation & head to seoul for a few days. would have enjoyed a more exotic/adventurous locale but as we are a little unsure of our (ok, 1's) employment status in a few months, figured we should stay close to home & well within a miniaturized budget in case we need to get the heck out of dodge anytime soon. so off to seoul we went.

we tried to be adventurous & left the truck home. 1 always gets way too pissed off having to drive to seoul & i'm too much of a chicken to do it so we took the subway all the way up, all the way around & then all the way back. not too shabby but for the lack of seating (maybe next time we'll reserve a seat on the "real" train) & that one time on the way home when the train stopped & everyone got off. more on that later.

we left on wednesday afternoon & got there wednesday early evening.

and we took stellan with us to let his family know that we are praying for him in south korea.

view from the window-"backyard" of the hotel













pretty flowers on the way to the hotel













cherry blossoms! love them!













middlest was in desperate need of some haircare & the salon up there beats out here & osan's by a mile. 2 hours later (and after much griping on middlest's part about how long it was taking), we emerged with straight, washed, trimmed, pretty hair. spent the evening hanging around the hotel. had some dinner & went on up to the room. biggest & middlest has their own room (what was that i said about a budget?) & were loving that. 1 & i put littlest to bed & went downstairs for some grown up time. the waitress sucked. that was the highlight. yippee.

thursday morning i had a massage appointment. still not an american style massage but getting closer. what is the korean obsession with massaging in group & with the lights on? i think that is one thing i will never get used to! after that and some breakfast, we went exploring. first we went here:














it was neat. but we decided that if you've seen one palace, you've seen them all (1 has seen more
than one. i trust his judgement).

the architecture was beautiful,




























































and apparently blogger really dislikes me. and won't let me upload anymore pics. it may be that it dislikes my fancy camera & its huge images but whatever. it's messing with me-has been since last night. so spring break will be continued in the next post.

random

let's see. where to start?

around here we've been:

1-potty training. this is very exciting for us-maybe not so much for you. check the other blog if you want details. i'll get them up there soon. i think.

2-starting baseball/softball. biggest had his first game this past weekend & his first ever in the park homerun. that was pretty cool. middlest has her first game this coming weekend. all her games are in yongsan. that's not pretty cool. traffic in korea sucks. i don't have much else to say about that at the moment.

3-really starting to lose our interest in school. spring break just left (oh, yeah, i meant to post about that...) & summer is right around the corner. we're still pushing through it though-in hopes that we can finish out the year on a good note. exploring new curriculums for next year. no clue what we are going to do. this ought to be interesting.

4-seeing a break in the weather. whoo hoo! it has begun to warm up & littlest & i take the dog out every day (except for today since it was apparently monsooning a few months early). she loves to walk him but has had a few nose-dives as a result of him getting a little too excited & her feet not moving fast enough to keep up. poor baby. skinned elbows & knees. haven't lost any teeth yet-something to be thankful for!

5-my natalie is coming! my natalie is coming! my sister has purchased her plane ticket & is headed to the land of the morning calm. err...will be headed...in a few months. i have a feeling that i may see more of korea in a week than i have seen in 1 1/2 years. she is planning & scheming & reading & interneting & hanguling & i don't know what other PARTICIPLES i can come up with. ha. so far on the list...hiking at a park, DMZ trip, maybe the (omg so frickin dusty i can't believe i'm contemplating going there again) korean folk village, a korean vegetarian restaurant (if we can find it...snort), many rides on the trains/subways and i really don't know what else. i don't think i'm brave enough to drive to incheon to pick her up. i may take the subway up & then the bus back. which also means i have to keep her awake on the bus. ahem. i have trouble staying awake on the bus. this ought to be interesting. but we're excited to see her & show her this place that we have temporarily adopted as home. i hope my legs can take it. and, oh yes, she is contemplating NCN. cause she's read that that is what the koreans do. and she wants to do what the koreans do. so we might do that. i'm psyched.

(i forgot what number i was on so i had to scroll back up...i think i have ADD or something)
6-2 festivals over the next 2 weekends. the strawberry festival is this coming weekend. strawberries & a folk village. littlest will be in heaven as strawberries are her favorite. i will, however, be in hell. again with the dusty folk village. this is a different one. maybe it won't be so bad? (yeah, yeah, and i'm gonna have 10 kids before it is over. apparently that question was answered today. ain't happening).

the flower festival is the next weekend. all i know is that it is a flower tour. and biggest & middlest groaned when i told them. these are free tours-with lunch included-offered by the nearest big city in the interests of friendship between us and our host nation. it is a great way to get out & see some things that we may not otherwise know about. we always have a great time on these trips! and maybe i'll actually remember to post some pics & a small summary of what went on. mmmhmmm. we see how that always turns out!

Friday, March 27, 2009

happy birthday, baby

thoughts, ramblings and mourning on the other blog-here-if you're so inclined.

Friday, March 20, 2009

me or them?

so, someone posted a few weeks ago that her bloggy buddies weren't holding up their ends of the bargain. where was her reading material? didn't we know that she needed something to do at work? (not trying to pick on you here, B, just that i've been thinking about this for awhile & your post helped spur it on).

it's nice to be needed. really, it is. but during this long, ridiculously cold, ridiculously sick winter, most of my fodder for blogging has gone out the window. it's hard to come up with new stuff when you get to eyeball the same walls everyday. and visit the doctor i don't know how many times in how many weeks (including the hospital visit we threw in there for kicks) to get yet another nebulizer treatment & some medicine you aren't sure you know what it is or, for that matter, agree with.

and so, the muse is reduced to analyzing the everyday minutiae of life. the stuff of psychiatry journals & parenting magazines. and even that presents a roadblock. which brings me to my point (3 paragraphs later cause hell, yeah, that's what i do best!)

why do people blog? is it SUPPOSED to be for the blogosphere? to make sure they have something to do at work? to make sure they have something waiting for them when they open up their readers or just type in your address? i can't count how many times i have read blogs stating that it drives them crazy when people don't blog regularly. that they will cancel their subscriptions or just flat out refuse to visit the URL anymore if there isn't something waiting for them daily.

i guess that is the guilt method? to guilt people into posting? cause, yeah, that totally works for me! i have a reader with Lord-only-knows how many blogs on it. lost of people are faithful, some aren't. it doesn't ruin my day if someone goes missing for a week. it wasn't any extra effort on my part to not see their name on the list. don't read me the wrong way, i wouldn't wish anything to happen to anyone. but life sometimes gets in the way (see my last post & some before that) & sometimes you are too busy cleaning up puke or playing phone tag with the insurance company or pulling the 2-year-old off the ceiling fan or attempting to maybe-not-so-gently push your teenagers into being viable, sensible, friendly human beings to remember to post about the puke, insurance, ceiling fan flier or surly offspring. i get it. i do all of that and more on a daily basis. it's cool. i'll let you slide-no worries. i'll see you around again.

the thing that gets me is that i thought that blogging was a way to blow off steam. some bloggers have important info to share. but lots are just, like i said, posting daily minutiae for the world to read. maybe so we can know that we aren't alone sometimes? maybe so that they can blow off steam and, by typing it out and sharing it, get most of the weight off their chests. because we all know that a sorrow shared is a sorrow divided.

i guess i didn't realize that someone's world would come to an end if i didn't post a little blurb every day of my life. i thought i'd start this & hit it up everytime i had something neat to share or silly to recount. i think that the bloggy greed is another symptom of the world gone mad. feed me, seymour. heaven forbid we rest on our eternally busy tail ends for a time without adding our two cents to the teeming world of internet. we might upset someone's daily balance. forget about our own.

and one final point? i may have sorted out yet another reason for my disinterest lately. posting on here is something of a therapy session for me. where i can bitch about things that have long since ceased interesting 1. where i can put it down on "paper", if you will, which has always helped me work out the details in the past. but it seems i have been located in internet anonymity by more people than i was interested in having know my innermost turmoil. and that kind of turns me off. no longer can i use this therapy session to the best of my ability, for fear that it will come back to bite me in the ass. not interested in all that, thank you very much.

and yes, thank you, i know that i can privatize. i could go to the other blog & selectively privatize posts. i could start yet another blog & leave that one in the black hole where no one could find it or me. and those options really piss me off. i've about had it with this garbage of watching what i say for fear that someone may twist & turn it to suit their own purposes & use my words, my thoughts, my observations & interpretations to shit on someone else just because of some sort of something that i have nothing to do with. i mean, hell, if you can't tell your blog, who can you tell?

see ya in another few weeks. unless something breaks before then.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

slacker (again)

i just haven't had the energy to get on here & impress everyone with my scintilating wit & biting sarcasm. several things have happened in the lives of people i'm close to that have sucked up all my time, thought processes & energy. i feel like i'm needed in two places at once for different people and different reasons and i can't figure out how to spread myself between that, the family and school.

i feel as if the world is imploding around me and thank Heaven that mine seems to be, at the moment, shakily stable. and then i feel guilty because what right do i have to have a stable world in the face of all this other pain and need?

i think my girls will be ok. one seems to have a plan that is exciting her more and more each day. the other will cope, as she always does. strong, that one is. and i think there is someone in her life who can draw her out of herself like no one else ever has been able to.

but that won't stop me from worrying about them both. and wanting to sacrifice myself-my sleep, my sanity, my fantastic story-telling skills-to try to plan anything, everything, all things to make their worlds right again. i can't take back what has gone before. i so desperately want to pick up the pieces, turn back time, re-erect the towers that fell but i can't. for one, i can't even hold her hand or rub her back or let her sleep like i so desperately want to. it is driving me MAD.

B-i love you. i hurt for you. i'm glad G is there to do all the things i wish i could.
G-i hate that this happened to you. i'll be mad if you want me to. barring that, i'll be available for therapy whenever you need.

and for other people who will remain nameless for various reasons...i hope things can straighten out. i don't know that there is much else i can say.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

awesome!

how can anyone say that God doesn't exist in the face of things like this?

watch them all...in order...it's an hour of your day you won't mind missing. and much more worthwhile than some of the mindless mess on tv. (and, yes, i'm guilty of way too much mindless mess consumption myself-no denigration here!)

**thanks to S from Thursday night Bible study for sharing!









Sunday, February 8, 2009

wordle



you can go to this website & punch in either the name of your blog or just some random stuff & they'll hook you up with one of these cool things. and then you'll have to get someone to show you how to save the thing because they don't make it easy & for some reason i couldn't figure it out for myself. so thanks 1 for saving me from myself.

Friday, February 6, 2009

one good turn & all that...

binna, dear friend that she is, tagged me for tagging her on the other blog. next time i'll remember to say "no tag backs". so here we go. 4th folder, 4th picture, no cheating. and an explanation.




well, it appears we ended up with a video in the 4th folder. and for some reason, when i open my picture folders on here, i end up with a different folder than on the other blog. which i suppose is good as i would have had to post the same pic with the same explanation & how much fun is that? AND for some other reason, when i attempt to upload a video, it takes 4 days with negative results, hence the youtube link. i think this is auri playing with her sit and spin. i just realized that that name sounds a little rude. two-bugs & unca-josh sent it for her birthday last year. and this isn't one of the sit and spins of our youth. oh, no. my delightful siblings had to pick the deluxe version. it sings. and or plays simon says. cause i don't have enough noise in my house. it took her awhile to get the hang of it but there's no stopping her now. she carries it around the house & commands us to sit and spin (geesh...starting early, are we?), too. dizzy makes me sick so i beg off whenever i can.

i guess i'll move on to the 5th folder (because we are supposed to be doing pictures, not videos) and see what i find.



it's dixon! ol' weiner dog. it must be hard being longer than your bed. since then, the bed has been replaced by one of those big pillow bed things. he still prefers crawling under the blankets with one of us, though. it's because he's a badger dog, you know. they like to burrow.

and that's it. the trail ends with me. i could tag back terra, i suppose, since she has even more blogs than i do but i'll leave it up to her. i need some bloggy buddies!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

wow.

30 Day Shred. that's about all i have to say.

i did the 1st day yesterday at about 3:30. by 12:30 last night, i was lying prone on the floor & it almost took a crane to get me up. today? my quads hurt. my abs hurt. my pecs hurt. muscles i don't have a name for hurt.

i don't think i'm that terribly out of shape. i have my "problem" areas & then there is the fact that littlest is almost completely done nursing so my #1 calorie burner has bitten the dust & also my metabolism seems to have finally taken a turn for the worst (gotta love growing up!). i don't get as much exercise as i should. ok, well, fine, i don't get much of any exercise-especially in the cold. but i'm still not a lump on the couch. so i'm surprised how much damage that little 25 minutes worth of workout has done me.

i didn't even use weights-as i don't have any & didn't realize i needed them. maybe i'll get some today. or maybe not. if i feel this broken without them, i'm a little concerned to see how bad it is with.

30 Day Shred - Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame. check it out. but don't come cryin to me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

catharsis

what is it about women? what is it about the way that we cope?

you rarely see men having a heart to heart. of approximately 50 blogs i read, all but three are written by women. most of them are personal blogs-involving much heart-felt writing about situations that used to be kept behind closed doors. some may argue that this worldwide dissemination of private information is harmful to the sanctity of familial relationships-by airing dirty laundry, we invite the public with their judgment into our private lives which could possibly worsen the problem which started the ball rolling.

but women are built that way. by sharing our pain and sorrow, we decrease the impact of these emotions on our psyche. divide and conquer, if you will. rather than keep it bottled up inside to rot our brains, destroy our sleep & turn our family lives upside down, we share the pain with those close to us. or with anonymous faces via the blogosphere. either way, we attempt to rid ourselves of the poison before it can entrench itself in the folds of our mentalities.

through this expulsion, we reach something of a happy medium. our sorrow or pain is still there but has been diminished to some degree by bringing someone into our heart. this someone is usually a woman-who better to understand us than someone of our own make? someone we can trust to not use our words against us. someone who will offer a hand up rather than a push down. someone who, while they may have not been in our exact pair of shoes, has a pair at least pretty damn similar floating around somewhere in their closet. someone who, like ourselves, has fallen prey to the vultures of darkness, deceit and loneliness at some point in their lives and can relate to our pain and suffering. we should be thankful for this blessing and know that once we've allowed one of these friends into our hearts, souls and minds, they will be there forever-no matter the distance between us.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

peaks and valleys

i got this email the other day. it was from my BFF (that's sure to make middlest cringe-apparently moms aren't supposed to use cool abbreviations or slang terms). she was none too gently informing me of the generally all-around negative tone of my posts lately. and it's ok. BFF has never been one to do anything gently. i think it's part of her charm.

i had already beaten her to it, anyway. i can sense that my tone has changed. and not for the better. i'm in a season, apparently. maybe not so much in my physical life-where i'm living, what i'm doing. but more in my mental life. i'm no longer in a pit for the most part but it seems my attitude is.

i've accepted where i am. i don't always like it but it's not eating me alive like it has done before. and things are looking up on the "get out & do banni things without a kid attached to your hip or wallet" front. so what's up with my attitude? am i that jaded? where is my joy?

i can't figure out where it may have gone. i drew back from the edge of depression a few months ago. best i can figure is that it fell deeper into the pit than i did & is taking a bit longer to climb out. or maybe more than a bit. i wish it would hurry its ass up. i'm getting a little tired of waiting on it! if someone else sees it, please give it my new address & let me know so i can be waiting on it.

and, just for you, BFF-new tunes! you may have to move down the playlist a bit. and they don't really fit in with my theme. but, hey, the things we do for each other! i love you! and i'm so sorry for what's going on in your life right now. even sorrier that i can't be there with you. RLFF-even when we've gone international. i'm still just a phone call away.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

#%^@$&%^*&#$^W%#

you know when you are on a road trip & you are really hungry & you finally get to an exit on the interstate that has a convenience store with regular sized bags of chips instead of some scummy rest area that has the stupid snack size bags that are worth about 2 cents even though they charge you $1.25 for them and you run in the store & grab a bag because you are so hungry you could fall down flat in the oil splotch in the parking lot & not notice & then you get back to the car after shelling out $5.00 for a bag that would cost you like $2.00 in the grocery store but you don't care because you are just that hungry & you go to open the bag but it is stuck?

so you sit in the car & wrestle with it for 10 minutes & the asshole behind you is beeping his horn because you are hogging up a gas pump but you are determined to get the damn bag of chips open so you can get on the road without starving to death but you keep tugging on it every which way & it STILL won't open so then you are biting on it & your filling falls out so now not only are you hungry but now your tooth hurts as well & you're on a road trip so you don't really have a dentist sitting in your backseat on call for potato chip related injuries but you REALLY want those chips & you finally manage to get it open but in the worst possible way so it explodes into your face & your car & all your delicious chips are scattered in bits and pieces on your upholstery & in your console & your hair & one seems to have wedged its way into your seat belt since you didn't bother buckling up yet because you weren't actually driving since you've been sitting in the parking lot for 20 minutes now wrestling with a bag of potato chips.

and at this point you're just over the bag of chips so you jam the seat belt buckle in, chip and all, and drive on down the road until you find some crappy fast food joint where you settle for a bag of limp fries and a flat soda.

have you been there? i'm there, right now.

right at the very last point of frustration before the chip bag explodes in my face. and damn it, i don't like it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

just for you, j.b.

so, last night was 1's bowling night. which means it was also 1's go out night. he promised he wouldn't be late as biggest had to be up at the butt crack of dawn to go warm up for his game. and he rolled in later than expected. but he had a good excuse.

remember "R", mr. "homeschool's the debil"? apparently he is also "general civility is the debil" man, too. the normal hangout is a little bitty bar with about 15 bar stools, 2 tables & a pool table. it's a nice little place. it's...just...little. no biggie. when everyone has their manners on. and last night they didn't.

a fella was playing pool & was in a position where he needed to take a corner shot. which meant he would either have to 1-stab the person in the corner bar chair in the belly with his pool stick or 2-ask the person in that chair to move momentarily so that he can take his shot. he chose 2. he had his manners on. guess who was in the corner bar chair?

apparently chaos ensued. R refused to move. period. his excuse? i'm drinking a drink here in this chair & i'm not moving because i don't have to. quite a few people attempted gently assisting him with seeing the error of his ways but no good. the bartender/owner & the previous owner came on the scene. funny thing that the bartender pointed out? that R didn't have a drink. so his flimsy little argument held no water. or jack. or whatever assholes drink.

what the hell is his problem? again with the sense of entitlement. was this a parenting failure? did his parents instill this sense in him? this sense that he has to listen to no one about anything and that, no matter the subject, he wrote the book. or is his ego just naturally supersized? i will never understand how a person can get to the age of (approximately) 40 and not be able to fit themselves into the world without constantly bumping heads & knocking shoulders with the other inhabitants.

is it really that difficult to move your tail for 30 seconds so a man can make a shot? i'm sure that doing that would have endeared him more to everyone-instead he seems to have accomplished the opposite. he was gently removed from the bar. i don't guess it's a lifetime ban & judging by his attitude, he'll be back in there next week stirring the pot just because he can.

and, oh yeah, the kicker? he was out last night. on his wife's birthday. so i guess it's not just complete strangers and/or acquaintances that he treats like dirt. i feel like that should make me feel better. i don't think it does, though. it makes me feel bad for her.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

more crazy

except this is real world crazy. in the midst of a family "meeting" today, we discovered something sad. the coaches of the 13-15 y.o. boys basketball team here on post have been cursing around the kids. the claim is that it only happened the very last time they had practice. but i have a hard time believing that. so we have our eyes out for this week.

this hurts my heart. i am familiar with some of the boys on the team & they aren't the type of children i'd really like my kid to be associating with by choice. we're limited to sports teams around here so i've sucked it up for basketball season. it doesn't last forever. but before the season/practice even started, i talked to biggest about some of the influences he would be facing by playing with these boys. and that he needed to be sure that those influences didn't find their way into his heart & mind.

i know at this age it is SO hard to use discernment while with peers. some kids don't have any issue holding their own in their own space while others are more subject to being tainted by undue influence. some kids are trying so hard to fit in that their common sense goes completely out the window when it comes to proper decision making skills while with their peer group. it's a hard fact of life. i'm trying very hard to stay out of this process with biggest & middlest so that they can learn the process on their own. sometimes it's hard to keep my mouth shut. it's a learning process for us all.

it REALLY ticks me off that someone who has been tasked...actually, VOLUNTEERED for the job...is not using their adult sense when interacting with these children. these sports are meant to build skills & confidence in these children so that when they play on a less recreational team, they will have a place on that team rather than bench warmer. these skills are meant to be taught in a reasonable environment. i don't consider cursing at players to be a reasonable environment.

granted, 1 and i aren't perfect angels when it comes to keeping our words consistently civil. but i have NEVER until last night heard biggest use anything near a curse word. he's been playing ball with this group for 3 weeks. it leads me to believe that this new found vocabulary wasn't picked up around here. he confirmed that when he told us that most of the players on his team use those words on a regular basis. which is to be expected, i suppose. most of them live on an army post where the soldiers don't know to watch their mouths-i've been witness to that myself. but i don't live on an army post & neither does biggest. i'd appreciate it if the adults responsible for my child several times a week would watch their mouths during their interactions. we're keeping an eye on the situation for the next week. if it doesn't improve, it will go higher up. if it still doesn't improve, i'm gonna have a little talk with the coaches. i'm sure it will embarrass the pieces out of biggest. eventually he will get over it.

he tells us that no one else really cares about the potty mouths on the court. i refuse to be the parent that doesn't care. i can't control everything but you can believe that i am going to work to take care of the things that need to be controlled. i'm learning how to choose my battles. i think this is one worth fighting.