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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Please Clean My House

And please grade my papers, too.

After a week of plague, I am now suffering from round THREE of illness. Now I have a plain ol' cold. Yay.

I have the crappiest immunity system in the universe. My daughter is right behind me. Curiously, it takes a lot for Jared to get sick. I'm VERY glad for that fact.

You know what works great as a decongestant for me when I have a cold? Sudafed. What has been reformulated due to Speedy the Wonder Meth Lab? Sudafed. I have to buy a multi-purpose cold med to get the sudafed generic ingredient now, I realized. Bastards.

Did you Americans know that codeine is legal over the counter stuff in England and Canada? Has anybody told them how addictive that is? Yet I can't buy straight up Sudafed in America anymore due to some meth heads? Aw, fuck you!

Oh well. This is the last week of classes at Ye Ol' Community College, and then there's exam week, and then there's FOUR WEEKS OF VACATION! Woohoo! I just need to grade and get things in order for two more weeks...that's it...then I am done.

Well, no, then I get to make Ariana a candy costume for her Christmas pagent.

Ok, THEN I am done!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Oedipus Complex

My son, like many boys, has a special relationship with his mother. Jared adores me. Life revolves around ME (smart boy!). When irritated with life, he tells everybody,"I hate you. But I love mommy." I remain the only person he hasn't told off ever for any reason. Common phrases from my son are: "Only mommy can do that right!", "Mommy is beautiful!", "I love you and I like you mommy!", and "Don't do that...I only want my MOMMY to do that..."

Jared was not even out of my belly when the issues with my ex husband blew up in a spectacular manner. By the time he came out into this world, the situation with my ex was so disasterous that Jared truly never saw us being romantic, kind, nice, or happy with each other. The best he saw was the days we tolerated each other. Jared was not used to sharing the Most Precious Mommy when Alex came along...and as much as he loves Alex, some days he definitely is not sure about this Alex touching Mommy thing.

Today, Alex and I were smooching while Ariana was in the shower. Jared didn't like it, so he came over and inserted himself with a leap between us and, hence, between our lips. I laughed; Alex laughed. I whispered to Alex, "Somebody's jealous!" Sure enough, Jared announced that there was to be no kissing. "Nobody kisses my mommy except ME!" he exclaimed firmly. I laughed some more. Alex announced that the reason why Jared was feeling that way was that he WANTED and NEEDED tons of kisses himself. Agreeing, I kissed one side of his head while Alex kissed the other repeatedly. Jared grumbled about that and said, "NO! I don't want kisses from anybody ever except MY MOMMY!" Grinning, I asked him how this could be when I know his sister kissed on him all the time and he seemed to enjoy that.

Here was his reply (and NO I am NOT shitting you here):

"But Mommy, when I kiss her, I am thinking of you!"

Oh yeah. Not only does my son have the most spectacular Oedipus Complex ever but he also is well-prepared for manhood!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Don't Ask Questions You Don't Want Answered

My students should know better than to ask questions unless they want them answered.

In my English Literature I class, we had group projects yesterday. In between the projects, we have a lull time while the next group sets up. They usually add medieval or renaissance food as part of their cultural projects because they know I'm food obsessive and food means I'm happy...I rock! Well, before the first group set up, I was talking to the class about things in general and I found out from the Clemson students who are taking my class and only my class over at Tech that my class is the hardest class they have ever taken.

Wow. I still can't believe that. I was trying to determine what made it so hard, and I thought maybe it was the amount of reading they had to do. No, they stated, it wasn't the reading because they've had classes that required that much reading. I was trying to determine if some aspect of my teaching the material could make it easier to absorb, and they stated no way, I clarified everything beautifully so they COULD learn it. It was just hard. Well, ok. Then they asked me why I wasn't at Clemson teaching at Tech since I have a degree from Duke. I told them about needing a PhD for a great shot at teaching at a University and how I DID want to get one of the instructorships at Clemson, and what happened there, etc. Ok, so next project started...

In between that one and the last one, we talked again. Somehow, we ended up talking about misplaced ideas on what Southerners do. One of them discussed how people thought beastiality was common here but it never happened. I laughed and told them that my ex was a former prosecutor, then relayed to them a few tales (all of which involved German Sheppards) of actual cases in the upstate. Then I told them about a police officer I had in one class who also discussed once a case in the area involving a German Sheppard. The whole class laughed when I told them how a student asked after the police officer relayed his story, "Why is it always german sheppards? Is that a particularly attractive breed?"

So, another student was also latched onto the German Sheppard idea too, and he asked immediately, "What IS it though about German Sheppards? I mean, why not a poodle?"

Without missing a beat, I deadpanned, "Because the poodle is too small and would rip apart."

His reply was to scream and say, my eyes, my eyes, take the image away! I'm so sorry I asked! I wasn't thinking! Everybody else started laughing hard, and one guy from the back shouted out, "You should know by now that if you ask a question, no matter WHAT it's on, Kira's gonna answer you!"

Yeah. Don't ask questions you don't want answered!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pissed Off

Ok, I want a show of hands.

Alex's mum is allowing and even approving of this 28 year old fellow to take the train down from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand each weekend to spend time with Alex's FIFTEEN YEAR OLD SISTER who just turned 15 in August. She has no idea why Alex and I are upset about this. She doesn't even supervise the visits. She goes off to her boyfriend's house and lets Kate do whatever at the apartment (or in that guy's hotel room). She has no idea of his phone number, his address, or even his fucking last name.

Kate, Alex's sister, thinks that we should not interfere and should stop saying her mum is bad. This is, by the way, the same mum who didn't know her daughter had only two pairs of shoes and that one of them hurt.

Kate's mum thinks Alex and I are overreacting. She worried that I had the bird flu from Asia, but she doesn't worry about the PEDOPHILIAC with her daughter. Why? Let's review my thoughts!

a) she would rather be a friend than a mom to her daughter

b) it would involve her taking time away from her own selfish pursuits with her boyfriend at his village home to actually spend time with her daughter and put her daughter on a high priority

c) hey, the man has money (as Alex pointed out: so does Michael Jackson!), and money is Alex's mum's god. So, he must not be a pedophile if he has money. And even if he does have sex with her, maybe if she's lucky they'll get married and she can get money off him too

I love you Alex, but I'm just furious at your mum right now.

So, blogworld...what do YOU think? Should a 28 year old man be allowed to spend weekends alone with a 15 year old girl? Oh, and did I mention that Kate is emotionally less mature than a typical 15 yr old too? So, really, emotionally? He's dating a 13 year old. I want feedback! Come on!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Drama Beneath My Window

I hate using Alex's french keyboard. It screws me up, and even when I flip it into English, it sometimes spontaneously flips back, thereby pissing me off. But what the hell does it matter? I'm pretty sick now (relapse for sure), and I can't sleep, and it's 330a right now. I might as well try and post. I have nothing better to do.

See, when I left school, I was in severe body pain. The back part is a chronic issue I had when I tried to save a pet and lifted something no girl my size should ever be able to lift, esp one who is totally out of shape (yes, I had the burning adrenaline rush and everything). My back snapped afterwards. Periodically something is done about it and it fades. This time, I thought it was my usual back problems, but what it turned out to be was a return of the cold from earlier this week. Sigh.

Then I picked up the kids from school and saw my child in clothes appropriate for a 60 degree day. The high here was not even that. The low was below freezing, and that'd be when her daddy sent her to school. She's had the same plague I had/have, and now I'm worried about a relapse for her too. So, we went home...I took medicine, which let me be able to drive without crying and also allowed my nose to stop sniffing. Alex babied me when I arrived, and sadly I TOTALLY needed it. I haven't been this sick in years. It hurts no matter what position I'm in, no matter how much meds I've taken, and no matter how many hours of massage Alex gave me before bed. I'm desperate to feel better by tomorrow or else Master Alexander will make me go to the doctor. Except hell, it IS tomorrow, damnit. I have a few hours left to shake this sucker off!

I woke up around 2a and listened to the drama beneath my window as a form of entertainment. See, I'm in Columbia in an apartment in five points that faces the bars. Later on today, the classic gamecock (USC) and tigers (Clemson) rivalry will take place. If we manage to get out to do something, we need to be holed up in here before the game starts so we are not mauled to death trying to drive around town. This area in particular will be ridden by folks going to bars who have no tickets so they can drink themselves silly while they watch. Hell, a lot of them started already, and the noise has been intense. I suppose I know I already won't be sleeping, so oddly I'm not bothered by it. Instead, I'm entertained. People are running around drunk, singing all sorts of crap, and there's always a group of guys who starts up the chant, "game...COCKS! game...COCKS!" vigorously after a while. I see a lot of crimson down there (the gamecocks' color), and whenever a clemson person seems to be anywhere around, you can hear either good natured ribbing (we'll trash your ass!) to the more drunken comments (fuuuuck yoush, tiiigrrr!). See, this year I am betting the USC students are going more nuts than usual because there's a pretty good chance they could beat Clemson for once. Our coach is better (sorry Amanda, Angie...you know I have my master's from USC!), and our football season has been better as well. So, there's hope that the gamecocks can break their losing streak against their in-state rivals, and I can hear that excitement in the voices of the folks down below. Occasionally I hear a beer bottle crash or a few incoherent sounds; the worst sound I hear sometimes is an obviously drunk person peel out of a parking lot because I can't help but wonder if he or she will make it home alive. Still, on the whole, the nightlife down there has entertained.

Then, the REAL drama unfolded. (next drunk person I just heard: Go cocks! Fuck you you clemson scum! Clemson dude responded from a distance, but I couldn't hear...)

I heard the clomping sounds of a drunk person trying to run off unsuccessfully. She apparently was then snagged by her sober friend. At least, Chaotic Drunk Girl was obviously drunk, and Best Friend had that soothing, I'm dealing with a drunk person type of voice I recall using myself on drunk friends in high school. I never went to a party in high school and drank anything. Whatta geek! Instead, I watched after the others mother hen like and, later on, was the designated driver. My family's Catholic...I had all the alcohol I wanted at home. I didn't need to drink somewhere to be rebellious. Anyway, then the CDG sobs out:

"But he LOVES ME! But he's MINE!"

BF: Honey, you are so much better than him!

CDG: But he loves me, LOVES ME! He is MINE!

BF: He obviously doesn't love you or else he'd not be doing this to you, dear...

CDG: No, no, it was one time, it was a mistake...

BF: Do you want me to get the girls together whom he's screwed and kissed on you so you can't stay in denial? YOU KNOW you are worth more than that!

CDG: (sobbing) You're wrong, he loves me, he's mine...

BF: You think it's love to cheat on the person you love?

CDG: he didn't mean it, he apologized, if you could talk to him...

BF: I have, and his stories are riddled with lies. WHY do you think you deserve it?

CDG: I love him!

BF: Why, when all he does to you is cheat on you, hurt you, take you for granted? You let him get away with this behavior by staying. It tells him he can do it again. Eventually he will. WHY do you not think that you deserve a man who would cherish you and love you?

CDG: (loud still, but not as loud as before) He's mine, he loves me (she repeats stubbornly).

I'm three stories up. I can hear it like they are next to me. I wonder about the cold and if the drunk girl left her jacket in the bar she ran out of and if she is cold but doesn't know it since she has so much alcohol in her and if she can hear how much her meddlesome friend only opens her mouth up because she loves her...I know CDG will stay with the man who cheats on her. On some level it's a challenge for her to keep him; on another, the more people tell her she should leave, the more she stubbornly insists on staying. Her misery is painful, but she has decided to stay with him. "He loves me! He's mine!" The "he's mine" statement reminds me that some women are afraid to be alone. Better to have a crap man than no man to these women...an attitude I never understood.

I fantasize that I run downstairs, the stranger on a white horse who confesses to hearing the whole scenario, the woman who begs CDG to listen to her BF who obviously loves her and wants her to not be in pain any more...and she listens to me, as startled as can be over this redheaded fury who barely took time to slide on shoes to evade the broken glass...and goes home and restarts her life, alone at first, then with a man like Alex.

Of course, what would likely happen is that they'd think I was crazy and CDG would tell me to fuck off.

So I freeze.

So they leave, their voices dying out now.

And I wonder. I wonder about why a woman OR a man would think about staying in such a relationship. I wonder what she'll do. I wonder if they'll get married and have kids and she'll feel trapped when she realizes the cheating is a pattern. I wonder if her BF will stick around and mop up her tears until one day, one day she gets the courage to leave. Yes, it's unlikely to be the case, but that's my fantasy, and that is the idea that will let me go to sleep now....

Good night.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Can I? Huh, huh?

Question: is it ok to kill my ex if he sent my daughter (who is just recovering from a bad cold) to school with a very thin long-sleeved shirt on and thin long-sleeved pants...NO JACKET...NOTHING ELSE besides shoes...and it was 27 degrees F this am?

I'm just checking.

It's not good to set off for Columbia in a mood to teach the kids new curse words...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Little Bits of Nothing

So, I get to go to the Girl Scout Cookie Meeting tonight with the troop leader. Why am I going? Well, because somewhere along the line I got suckered into being, basically, next in charge for the troop. Yay! The troop leader should go alone, but she called me up last night and said in the most sad voice that she didn't want to go alone. Who's the sucker? ME! I am the SUCKER!

Perhaps I'm really going to hear more about how our cookie profits will be reduced if we fist fight with other girl scout moms. No, really. Until my daughter joined the girl scouts last year, I had no idea cookie sales were so tough and rough that moms actually have had fist fights. Last year at the meeting, those assembled were told about how this one troop had gotten a table at Lowe's Home Improvement in our area...and the troop wasn't from our area, so technically, they couldn't do that. We all have to set up tables in our local areas. So, an area mom happened to go to Lowe's that day and see the ILLEGAL TABLE set up right there! *gasp* What did she do?

Yes, that's right, she had a catfight with the other lead mom at the tables, right there in front of the girls and all the patrons at Lowe's. Lowe's doesn't want the girl scouts back now.

I think Lowe's has this one all wrong. MEN shop there primarily. They should make it a rule: here's the mud pit. If you want to watch the girl scout moms in string bikinis cat fight it out, admission is purchase of one (1) tool of $20 or more plus two (2) boxes of girl scout cookies. That's a win-win situation if I ever heard one.

Anyway, maybe I'm going to this meeting to hear more dirt. It might make it more entertaining at least.


I've been in the South too long. It's official.

I noticed today that I'm droppin' the g's on my "ing" words. It was bad enough when I integrated y'all into my vocab, but now the shift is bigger than ever.


It is ironic to me that I commented on Foilwoman's blog that I've been a registered voter for well over a decade and never ever been called for jury duty...and now I have been. Unfortunately, it's during my last week of classes. I need to be there at school for those. So, I'm having to fill out a form requesting that I get jury duty over my break instead.


I'm having Chuck Envy. He's all caught up on his grading. Bastard! He's not only making me jealous, but he's making me look BAD! Should I be grading right now rather than blogging? YOU BETCHA! I have no self-control. Or at least, my self-control is minimal.


This damn cold is almost gone, but my throat is still sore, and I'm still hacking up pieces of my lungs. Argh! Alex is also getting better slowly but is still sick. When the kids and I go down to Columbia tomorrow, we should all be just a lovely family, hackin' up phlegmballs left and right. Woohoo!


And hey, last piece of thrilling info: Harry Potter 4! Oh yeah! We'll be at the theatre on Saturday to catch it. Kids are excited; two (in theory) adults are excited. Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Have Seen the Face of Evil...

...and its name is Total Wine and More!

My GOD!!!!

I decided to stop into the new store in the area because my brother raved about the one in Raleigh. I thought, well, if I don't take a cart or basket, I will just LOOK, and maybe walk out with one bottle of wine. HAH! HAH HAH HAH!

The place is planned well, and they have every type of wine and champagne imaginable. The prices are pretty good, too. I was in awe. Wandering up and down the aisles back and forth, I felt lost and small amongst the copious bottles...but it was a happy lost and small.

I had a bottle of wine called Tom Cat, a Merlot, 2003, from New Zealand in a restaurant a while back. I have been looking in all the wine shops for the stuff to no avail. Lo, there it was! *and the chorus sings*

They had my favorite everyday table wine, Lindermans Bin 50 Shiraz (2004), and it was only $4.27 a bottle...holy batshit!

They had a section of recommended wines, and a section of highly rated wines. The wines are all alphabetical within their grape varietal or region. I spent the longest time staring at, drooling at, the Rhone section. Mmmm hermitage...chateauneuf du pape...oh yeah baby! Oh yeah!

Since I am broke, we will not discuss the purchase(s) that may or may not have been done at the time of my venture. All I can say is that I must avoid that store no matter what. I've done what Amanda and Angie call "accidental shopping" by walking in there, and I really can't afford to do that again! haha!


How to teach a Frenchman to brake in your car, lesson one

As Alex barely taps on the brake for eternity and the car does not slow down much, and then slams on it to get the car to stop at the stop sign, Kira attempts to explain the normal way on how to brake but does not have success. Being the SUPER teacher she is, she comes up with an analogy that a Frenchman can understand!

Kira: "Alex! Stop making love to the brake! We are not caressing it lovingly and fondling it! It's more of a wham bam thank you ma'am type of thing!"

And note, he used the brake fine after that point.

It's knowing your audience, folks. I tell my students that all the time! Know your audience, and you can communicate your message more effectively!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Overload of Empathy

I had an excellent student in my English 101 class last spring. She has a son who is also at Tech. He's in an Eng 155 class I teach this term.

He's doing ok in the class. Sure, he laughs at my jokes, but otherwise he doesn't really participate.

One day he came in with his arm in a cast. Apparently, he had missed the previous class due to being too damn drunk and hitting a wall with his hand. Hence, the cast. That was my first clue.

Now, in this classroom, the students don't pass by my desk on the way in. Therefore, I can't sniff him out like the damned bloodhound I am. I don't do anything more than announce loudly that said student entering the class is stoned and/or drunk, and I've never failed to be accurate about it(oh, and I also ask if the student in question drove...nobody drives home drunk if I am aware of it). Hell, I even have had two students sitting at the desk for tutoring, and I've told them: you drank last night...it's STALE alcohol smell, not fresh. You drank so much that it's still coming out of your pores. And yes, I've been right both times. My sense of smell can differentiate from fresh alcohol/I am now drunk and stale alcohol/I was drunk. I have no idea if the son is drinking and coming to class, or getting stoned and coming to class, but given new evidence it's likely.

His mother tracked me down today. She knows I can't tell her anything specific gradewise or attendance wise about her son due to information rules. However, she also is just itching for SOME kind of information about her son because she's worried. She found out all sorts of things, drug related, of which I won't detail. In short, she knows her son is starting the mad spiral downwards.

I feel for her, especially as a parent. I wish her son would come and talk to me...not like I can do shit, but once in a while somebody who is not in the picture can help out in ways others can't. You're witnessing my problem here: my desire, even though currently I'm overwhelmed with too much to do, for this boy to come and seek me out. I already counsel numerous students. I already come to school early and leave late helping them both with classes and their personal life. I can't help it...I want to assist people if they come to me for help. Sometimes, I feel like crying out, "SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!! I'm worried about my son having a cold, if I can grade my papers in time, will I be able to pay the bills, is the cat ok, can I see Alex next weekend, will the ex continue to be agitated about Alex, is Ari doing ok in spelling, is my sister hanging in there or do I need to start planning out a way to get her out of the house for a bit so she can proceed with life, do I have the girl scouts' next project put together for the meeting? etc." But I don't. I really DO want to help. It makes me feel useful, and it's just that sometimes I'm a little too stressed to be patient and kind. I have a couple of students who are SO NEEDY that I am being drained dry, but I would worry about them even if they didn't talk to me, so oh well.

Like student Z I mentioned a while back (the one who had been sexually assaulted by another tech student). She's pregnant. I am very agitated about the choice of fathers there. I can read the signs, but I sure as hell am not going to tell her what to do. Like my therapist did to me: I won't tell anybody when to leave or when to stay unless they're having the tar beaten out of them. That's another matter entirely. That's when I arrive with the Uhaul and say, load 'em up! We're going! Anyway, Z still comes into this one class and sits next to me while I finish up teaching it. She feels safe around me. We talk about babies and pregnancies and how she really needs to wait until after the baby is born to see how her fiance reacts to the newborn. I told her: last thing your baby needs is a crap father role model and a miserable mom who is always on the bad end of the stick with the husband because you rushed this thing. A baby isn't a reason to get married.

You know what I fear? I fear what I've seen several teen mothers do: "You told me it would never work! I'm gonna make it work! Damnit! I'm gonna DEFY you! I'm gonna SHOW you we can be married and raise this baby and I don't care HOW miserable I am, I'm gonna SHOW you, and NOBODY can tell me 'I told you so' 'cause I'm gonna make sure this sucker WORKS!" Her fiance is acting nice now. He's done this before and always reverted to "jackass." Worried? Yes, yes, of course I'm worried. Can I stop helping her? Of course not. I thrive on the overload of empathy.

But back to the mother.

There were tears in her eyes as she described things to me her son had done or was doing. I wrung my hands and wondered what to do because she also told me I couldn't TELL the boy I knew all this stuff. That means I have to hope he comes to me on his own, and I doubt he will. So I fret.

And I remember the mother's tears.

And I know that the teen years sprawl out ahead of me, and I wonder, will I make bad choices as a parent that will leave my children with options I wish they didn't think they had to take? Will I one day be the student coming up to a professor and silently pleading for help while stating, "I know you can't tell me anything about my son's performance, but let me tell YOU what he's been doing and why he's been arrested..."

Soft, squishy heart. That's me. It's why I couldn't become a vet. It's why I carry my work home with me, even if there are no papers to grade.

It's a good thing I'm not actually the goddess Alex claims I am. I'd run around with a magical wand....

POOF! No, you can't have more children until you ask my permission. First, find a decent guy, THEN you can ask.

POOF! Oopsie, now whenever you try and DRINK, you'll just throw it up. Alcohol will be repulsive to you.

POOF! You know what? Your friends took a poll and NOT ONE OF US EVEN SLIGHTLY FINDS ANYTHING REDEEMING IN YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Therefore, he/she is disintegrated. From now on, we get to vote on whether or not you can date somebody since you are incapable of picking out said person on your own.

POOF! Yeah, sorry about that urge to rape you once had that's been replaced by an urge to wear women's pink panties and constantly sing showtunes from "The Sound of Music"

POOF! Ok, so you think it's cool to put down others who came from a more rural/less educated/more poor background than you. Wow, lookie there, you now talk like Larry the Cable Guy except you're not funny, and you break out into a rash whenever you wear clothes that weren't bought at Wal-Mart! Sucks to be you!

POOF! Man, all you can do is live vicariously through others, gossip, and slander. Ok, for you, you're now a deaf mute. Enjoy!

Yeah, it's a good thing I'm not Goddess of Planet Earth...

...I think...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

For Amanda and Angie

I thought this would bring back pleasant memories, guys!


Ok, so Alex decided to try and kill himself this weekend. It wasn't intentional, but still! He woke up at 4a feeling like complete crap and decided to take Nyquil. Being unfamiliar still with American meds, he then also took some tylenol cold medicine immediately afterwards. In France, he'd typically have to take a couple meds to get the same type of effect in one dose of Nyquil, so this was a new one for him. I've given him Nyquil before, but somewhere at 4a he decided it was ONLY for sleeping well.

Yeah, he slept well. He slept all the way through several conversations, too. He was groggy as shit. Sigh. Wouldn't that have been JUST my luck? "Yeah, I met the most perfect man in the universe and we were madly in love...and then he OD'd on cold meds and died." Damn. Oh well, he doesn't drink enough to do anything to his liver, so he finally gave his liver a chance to weep copiously from overwork. He seems to be ok now.


Ariana and Jared requested the "hup two three four" single file marching all about town again, so Alex and I complied. Yes, I have two children who follow the chiquita banana sticker code of, "Do what you like and screw the world." I'm rather proud of that, actually. We went out and saw Chicken Little (it was cute), and Alex took the kids to a playground near his apartment for a couple of hours so I could nap and grade. Again, the little family unit moves and flows so nicely when togther. I love the part wherein both Alex and the kids think of each other as parent and children. Ariana wrote a card out for Alex that said "Alexander" on the cover, but inside it said "I love you dad!" Awwwww...

You know what I just realized? I'm sick. Alex is sick. Amanda, Angie? Sick. We must have picked up some shit at the Clemson/Duke game. I sure as hell hope I don't pass this sucker onto the kids...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Santa's Letter

Angie and Amanda are writing letters to Santa. I guess if we write them now, we have a better shot of him coming through? Anyway, since it's time to write the letters, here's mine!

Dear Santa,

I've got the good stuff covered already (great kids, great man in my life, food, place to stay). I don't know HOW I managed that stuff when clearly I deserved coal in my stocking last year, but I guess you like dem bitches! Yay for me!

1) I would like one of those wonderful culinary trips to someplace fun like Italy wherein you spend a week in a beautiful villa, are taught how to make all sorts of native foods, eat said native foods, tour the area for a few hours a day, and drink lots of wine. Please make the trip for two so I can have sex while there as well.

2) If I request this one way ahead of time, maybe you can help out, so here it goes! Alex finishes up his internship over the summer. Then he has one more year of business school left, and he'll graduate in May of 2007. At that point, could you make sure he gets some high-paying job here in the upstate so that he won't ever have to move away from me again so long as we both live?

3) Since the cat can't write, I'd like to state that what he wants for Christmas is his own Christmas Turkey. He wants it cooked as he's a lazy indoor cat now.

4) I would like a maid for my Ex's house and for Laura's ex-husband's house. She should come over once a week to remove beer bottles and scour.

5) You know what would be FUN? How about a really expensive bottle of wine I'd never be able to afford that I'd enjoy! I like the shiraz/sirah grape and the merlot grape best. Maybe a nice Rhone wine that's usually out of my price range?

6) A knife sharpener...not one like Joe has because I'll never manage all that. I'm just talking like a nice, high quality electric sharpener that even an ignorant fool like me could use for her kitchen knives.

7) An All-Clad roasting pan. Please? I can cut you the same deal I cut Joe with the All-Clad...

8) A new vacuum cleaner. This old one frustrates Alex.


10) World Peace and My Own House

Thanks a hell of a lot, Santa! You rock!

Your favorite succubus,


Thursday, November 10, 2005

It's Official...

...I'm a wine snob. I drank one glass of a $9 bottle of wine and decided I didn't like it. After contemplating using it for cooking, I remembered the firm rule of don't cook with what you wouldn't drink, so I dumped it down the sink. It wasn't "awful." It just was not what I want out of a wine.

Hmmm and that's all I had to say, and I already made a post a few minutes ago...I think I just did what shall herewith be known as "S.C. posting style." S.C. posting style means several short posts made throughout the day. Does this mean I'm an S.C. groupie? ;)

Alex Logic

Alex has a unique way of looking at the world, and I am very grateful for it.

One of his main philosophies amazed me completely when he first expressed it. I'm used to it now, but most other women aren't, so when he casually flips out his belief on this topic, it usually surprises. Ask Angie! She was surprised! haha!

Here's his philosophy: if you are up doing work, I need to be up doing work too. If you are sitting down, then I can rest as well. Amazingly simple, yet how many men think that way? I love it! I am ALWAYS assured that if I am up cooking, he's tending to children or mopping or changing lightbulbs. If I'm doing laundry, he's wiping off the kids' table on the porch. If I'm making up a grocery list and organizing coupons, he's washing dishes in the kitchen. For well over two years he's done this one--he did it before we even were dating, and I made the mistake of thinking he was doing it just to impress me. No, that's really how he feels, and really how he is.

What I love the most about his attitude is that it encourages ME to do more around the house too. When I feel like I have a true partner, I am energized and emboldened to do more. For instance, I've been meaning to sort through the kids' candy bags for quite a while, but especially since we had a new burst of candy come in for Halloween. They collect all their candy in one big bag or bowl apiece, and after dinner they can select a certain number of pieces. Sometimes, pieces get to the bottom of the bowl or bag that sit there forever and should be thrown out. I found some chocolates from last Christmas that needed to go bye-bye, plus Ari's bowl needed to be cleaned out because some pixie stix had burst open and it was sugary everywhere. When have I EVER had the energy to do this task I've been meaning to do for months? Well, it was Sunday morning, and Alex and I had woken up early since we had gone to bed early Saturday night (too much fun with Amanda, Angie, and Keri at the Duke/Clemson game). When I woke up, I started folding laundry and putting up the kids' clothes. Alex then immediately got up and started to vacuum. Wow! Then he switched out the bulbs in the kitchen and mopped while I made him breakfast and started in on the candy organization. Why not? Twice as much work done in the same amount of time! What gets more energizing than that???

And then of course I have the rest of the day free then. In all actuality, I am pretty sure that's part of his Evil Plan. See, if I am doing four hours of housework, that means that's four hours we can't be frisky. If he helps me and cuts it down to two, then that's two more hours back for play. Hmmm...he's a smart one!

Remember, he also has FRENCH logic going on there. What is French logic? Here, as Alex explains it to me:

Snuggling...sitting on the sofa, curled up, head on his shoulder.

French snuggling...as above, but eventually turns into sex.

Napping...the couple heads to bed for a mid-day rest.

French napping...as above, but right before the nap, it turns into sex.

Massage...getting out the oils and having back, legs, and arms rubbed.

French massage...as above, but ends up in an internal massage.

Haha! Yes, I think I like French logic too.

I think the most striking example of how far Alex takes his philosophy of "If you are working, I need to work too," was last spring when I was trying to finish up the grading the night before the grades were due. The kids were at the Ex's house, and I was furiously sitting on the sofa grading away. He insisted on helping. So, I handed him the sections of the exams that were matching or whatnot and let him go at it. When he finished, I was still in the middle of a stack of essays. He did NOT like the idea of going to bed or playing around on the computer since I was still working, so he massaged my feet while I worked. Later on, he got up and made me food. He also fetched me drinks, too. I had to practically SHOO him off to do something else. He wouldn't go to sleep, though...not until I took a two hour nap and then continued to grade.

I like Alex's world. I really, really do. I don't plan on leaving it!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Power of Words

I remember one time long ago, Angie had put up a post about Eubonics and the dominant culture and many side issues. I found it facinating because I had not thought of those issues before in the context in which she presented it, and the post has stuck in my mind. I am now contemplating a situation that reminds me of her post except the student in question speaks Redneck, not Eubonics.

I love student E. E shows up to EVERY SINGLE CLASS without fail. He comes through the Writing Center and gets help on ALL pieces of work for the class because he wants an A. He'd probably end up with a C without the help, but he wouldn't fail. He just doesn't have the educational background to get an A without assistance to "catch up." Student E is probably around 40 yrs old. He's a sweetheart of a good ol' boy who loves fishing and hunting and baseball. His process speech was on "How to Make the Worms You Need for Fishing." Gotta love it. He even gave us all sample worms. That totally rocked.

His journal entries he brings into the Writing Center are filled with the common speech patterns of South Carolina: "I was fixin to go there," "I seen it," "It ain't right," etc. I always tell my students there is NO reason to abandon their Southern language as they become more educated. The last thing I want is my kids going back to their friends and family and them accusing them of having too much "educashion" and as Amanda puts it, being an "uppity bitch." There's language that one uses amongst friends and family that may be riddled with grammatical errors and slang, but that's how one communicates in that setting. However, they DO have to learn to communicate both orally and on paper in standard English or they are screwed. Promotions and even jobs themselves would come harder to the Southerner who insists on using Southernisms on all forms of communication. So, I tell them they need to speak standard English at school and write standard English on their papers. I allow nonstandard English in their journals mostly because I WANT them to SEE the difference in presentation from one style to the other. Know your audience, right? I try to remind them that their language is NOT an indication of their intelligence. Nor is their education. However, we live in an appearance based world, and simple things like how we dress, how we speak, and what language we use when we write will send a message to our audience we may not like. If you want to have people think you are intelligent and have something important to say, dress up for your class speeches. Use standard English as you talk and write. It's that simple...

...but it's not that simple, even if you have been told over and over again how to communicate in the culturally acceptable fashion, when your entire life has revolved around certain vocabulary and ways of presenting ideas. It's a hard shift to make.

Yesterday, I had student E come in to the WC and he was panicking. I had given a handout to the students that I had stolen from my boss: "Internal Documentation of Oral Presentations." When I handed it out, I laughed and translated it for them because obviously the title intimidated some of them. I used the examples given in sample speeches, and thoroughly explained that the whole idea of the paper was to instruct them and show them examples of how to cite their sources. After repeating myself from 15 different angles, they seemed to get it and move beyond the wordy title. E was not capable of doing it. He kept asking me with his panicky voice, "But what does it MEAN? WHAT does it MEAN?" When I verbally translated the title for him, he calmed down until he had to read the title once again, and the panic started all over again. I SWEAR that the words themselves intimidated him so much that his brain shut down totally. Even when he looked me in the eyes, I explained the concept again, and he gave me feedback to indicate he understood what I was saying, the second his eyes fell back on the title, the panic started once again.

I've never seen anything like it.

Finally, I just picked up his pencil and crossed out the words "Internal Documentation for Oral Presentation." Then I wrote underneath it, "This paper tells me how to say where I got stuff from." He broke out into a big grin, and looked totally relieved. He thanked me profusely and said that helped a lot, and he had it now. He then left.

The words scared him that much. I can't believe it. Words, mightier than the sword? You betcha. I haven't stopped thinking about it. I know that some of those high falutin' graduate school articles had me snoring or translating in my head as I went along. There are intelligent ways to say things, and there are deliberately obscure ways to say things to MAKE it sound like you have something intelligent to say when you do not. The latter irritates the hell out of me. But it's never intimidated me. I know words. I sleep with words...they are my lovers, my enemies, my friends, my family. Words have been circling my head my entire life, and I know them like a math major understands numbers. There is no fear. But those who did not have my education? Well, there you go. They are sharp swords, poking and stabbing, and they frighten. Facinating. I have no idea how to fix this situation, either.


My cat has to get his teeth cleaned today. Before you non-pet lovers crack retarded jokes about this, let me inform you that pets in the wild do NOT have their teeth cleaned nor need to because of their diet. Our cats and dogs have overly processed diets that lead to plaque build up that a steady diet of mice and such would not typically do. It's sort of like the price of the American diet is excessive weight gain. Modern times did it. A pet typically needs his teeth cleaned once or twice in his whole life. If he does not, the plaque build up can not only affect the teeth themselves, but it can release dangerous bacteria into an older cat's or dog's bloodstream. Therefore, it's a wise choice to have this proceedure done when needed...even if you are broke. Which I am. But my cat is worth it, so here we are.

I had to stop his food and water at midnight. I received no sleep last night. Instead, I had an agitated cat running up and down me and over the bed meowing, wondering where his food bowl went and wanting his water. He's meowing constantly at my feet right now, but we can't leave for the vet's for another hour. His VOICE is hoarse from all the meowing he's done. I've tried to say, "Dude, you'll get food when the proceedure is done," but he doesn't believe me.

I have dark circles under my eyes. I'm trying to find a happy place where the cat is not meowing and where I'm still sleeping right now. Must remind myself...cat puts up with children like a pro...cat deserves best care...this cat is the best family pet ever...I love him and must not kill...I love him and must not kill...I love him and must not kill...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Figuring It All Out

So, I thought the ex would like the kids for a longer span since I'll be taking them for a huge time over Thanksgiving (we're going up to Raleigh to stay with my brother and family at The Mansion). I KNOW he loves his kids and loves spending time with them. Therefore, I was certain he'd want them this weekend to make up for some of the really extensive time I'll have them shortly. He looked all agitated when I suggested it. He said, "well, I'm not sure that's a good idea. I might not make it that long..." I thought, at first, he meant he might not make it that long RE: kids driving him nuts as kids are wont to do. Now, he's still unemployed, so when they are at school he has all the recovery time he wants, but maybe he meant the weekend would be rough? I insisted my plan was better.

Well, I slept on it. I realized what was NOT said in that conversation was, "I can't make it that long without getting smashed drunk, especially with the USC/Florida game this Saturday and me liking drinking during football games.

Damn, I'm slow sometimes.

So anyway, I called him up today, told him I figured that one out, and I'll have the kids over the weekend. Then he can get obliterated without little witnesses and everybody is happy. He was a much relieved man. You know, he could have just said it outright instead of making me figure it out. Oh well. At least I did!

I think we'll head down to Columbia to stay with Alex and have another family weekend then. We've already hit up the children's museum and the zoo, and two weeks ago we saw a movie. Chicken Little is out now though, so they might want to see that one. Or there's a playground near Alex's apartment. Maybe I can get him to take them there while I grade...damn I'm so behind on the grading. I whine about that constantly, but it's true. It will be my constant complaint until December 12th (the day grades for the fall are due).

Oh, and wine review of the day: Bolla Sangiovese di Romagna 2002. It was Suck. I drank a glass and corked the bottle and contemplated what meal I could cook with red wine so I had a use for the rest it. It was my first a) Bolla and b) Sangiovese, so I'm not sure which part of that equation most disagrees with me. All I know is that cherry nyquil? Yeah, they both have the same aftertaste and bouquet. How's THAT for techinical language? Hahahaha! Sorry!

Youth vs. Old Age

My, how times have changed!

My beauty rituals at 15 yrs of age:

--shave legs and under arms
--use soap, shampoo, conditioner
--no makeup! yuck!
--wear bra. any bra is fine, but no bra hurt.
--use nailclippers as needed
--brush hair
--brush teeth
--use deoderant

My beauty rituals now at 35 years of age:

--use bath and shower gel in exciting scents!
--facial scrub
--shave way more than legs and under arms (with shaving gel now too ,not just soap) as old age has made me paranoid about body hair in general, plus I've found body hair in new and exciting locations (some of which needs to be plucked, like that stray little hair under my chinny chin chin that appears every so often...what the hell is up with that? It didn't appear until I was like 20!)
--alternate shampoo with moisturizing one or one that adds more red into my hair
--deep conditioner
--when out of shower, use rejuvinating facial moisturizer for face, use special lotion for legs, and use special hand cream for hands
--pluck things that need to be plucked
--paint toenails
--brush hair
--use concealer under eyes to hide fact that children, allergies means blackened racoon circles
--use lipstick because my lips are chap all the time and it helps
--wear super armor bra with metal support and crane hoisting capacity due to bigger tits and the need for the extra support that comes with it (plus, let's face it, two kids who were breastfed didn't make the damn things perkier)
--brush teeth, floss, use mouth wash, and carry mints and/or gum all day long in deathly fear of bad breath
--use deoderant

And then you add two kids I have to get ready too? Shit, no wonder I'm having a harder and harder time getting out of the door on schedule! I dread to see what it'll be like in five more years! What the hell ELSE can I add to the damn list? SHEESH!

I've probably forgotten some, too. I bet some people will comment and remind me of steps I do a few times a week as well.

I have to remember though: at 15, I may have had it easier, but I had to listen to my parents, had no beautiful children, and Alex was only 6. AW SHIT! My boyfriend was 6 when I was lusting after boys...ok, I didn't need to think about that one...

Never mind. Getting old can suck.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I skipped Kindergarten. I was there for three days before the teacher wrote the word "underwear" on the board, I giggled hysterically, and then I was called out of the room. Thinking I was in trouble, my heart was racing as the teacher then gave me something to read just to see what I could do. In retrospect, that was a damn clever teacher. She had written the word up there to SEE if anybody giggled, hence being able to read it. What five year old can resist giggling at the word "underwear?"

Anyway, the big first graders didn't get naptime. I missed out on naptime. I want my naptime back. Additionally, I have a substantial part of my ethnic heritage checked as "Mexican." Mexicans believe in the siesta. So, I think I'm pretty much due for that two hour break in the middle of the day to use for napping.

I tell you what: if you guys let ME do it, I'll make sure YOU can too, ok?

I have to get back to grading now. Sigh. After a very full weekend of driving two hours to Columbia to get Alex, driving two hours back, waking up early to get to the Clemson game with Angie, Amanda, and eventually Keri, drinking too much, "seeing" a football game (more like little specks running around the field as we were in the Cloud Section), engaging in intelligent discourse with Angie, getting more food, driving back home, cleaning the house, driving two more hours to Columbia to drop Alex BACK off, and driving back two hours...well, I didn't have time to grade. I'm far behind on it, and so here I am. This is my blogging break. My blogging break is, now, sadly over.

And I want naptime.

*cries and throws tantrum*

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Watering the Plants

When I speak of watering the plants, I mean it in the figurative sense. In all actuality, I have a black thumb. I kill plants. The plants find out I am their new mistress, and they know their life expectancy has been shortened tremendously. I don't remember being like this pre-children. I used to always have a porch garden of fresh herbs and then usually a tomato plant and a green pepper plant. They thrived. Post children? Well, I guess my attention span is directed elsewhere. The most frequent cause of death is either overwatering (overzealous children trying to help) or no water (we have plants? OH SHIT!).

However, when speaking of my STUDENTS as plants and ME as the gardener, my luck is much better. Sometimes the plants die despite my best efforts. Sometimes they barely make it, or produce just a tomato or two. But a lot of the times, I watch a tiny plant--usually the one I expected least to grow and produce--flower, bloom, and feed my soul most heartily with its produce.

My most favorite plant...er, I mean student...was Brenda. Some of you may remember me writing extensively about her around a year ago (near the beginning of my blog, actually!). If life is a 100 yard dash, my life placed me on the 80 yard line. I'll finish. There is no doubt. You'd have to TRY to not succeed when your family is as functional and loving as mine. Brenda? Well, she was at the negative 20 yard line, and I'll be damned if she's already ahead of me in the game! She started out as a writer with just horrific flaws, and she ended up with a fluid, beautiful, experience-ridden writing style. More importantly, she started out with no self-confidence, wondering why she was in school, barely keeping afloat financially...and now she is a single mom who is THRIVING: straight A student, entering the nursing program, kids doing well, succeeding in her job, and now a proud house owner. When Brenda and I run in to each other, it's all babbles, smiles, hugs, and laughter. We make Chuck need insulin; he says it's like watching a hallmark moment when we are together...haha! One plant like Brenda and my soul is fed for so long that no occupation other than teaching will do.

This term, I have a few plants who have flourished amazingly well. The one I'm pondering now is actually Angie's aunt. Let's call her R.

When Angie told me that her aunt was in my class, I was surprised. At first I couldn't remember WHICH of my older students she was, but after Angie described her to me, I knew exactly whom she was. Her diagnostic essay was riddled with run-ons. She lacked self-confidence completely. She "knew" she couldn't write, and certainly at her age, she wasn't going to learn like the younger kids, right? But R did as I asked: she showed up in the Writing Center for everything. I mean EVERYTHING, too. I knew that she was Angie's favorite aunt, but Angie also mentioned that she was of a more conservative bent, so I wondered if I'd eventually offend her. So far, we seem to be ok there...haha!

When she brought her journals in, she fretted about everything. We had a running joke about her comma splices. When she started out, she averaged about three to four a page. "Wait, a run-on! Oohhh psychic senses tell me...it's R's paper!" and we'd laugh.

She started opening up about her personal life in her journal. I had goosebumps when I was reading one of her entries for her that she wanted checked because it was about Angie's uncle, Kevin, whom she has mentioned on her blog before. I KNEW the ending, so I sniffed a bit. I learned of the sibling she never knew, and the two pictures that hang over her parent's bed now in memory of the child long gone. It's not my business to reveal all that she wrote, but I started to see pieces of a puzzle that lined up and suddenly came together. I began to understand HER, and she is BEAUTIFUL.

And each piece of paper? Well, fewer errors. Fewer run-ons. More fluidity. More creativity. A tentative reaching out to express herself in words when she thought she NEVER could. One day, she came into the Writing Center and was all excited because she managed to write something with her scrapbook pages for a family event. She said she always was confident with the scrapbooking but reluctant to write anything, and this time she had no fears about writing a piece with it. I mentioned that I bet Angie's piece was well-written, and she laughed and said yes of course, plus very long compared to R's! haha! I was so proud for her that writing was no longer an issue in the way it once was. I was even prouder to see her skills improve so noticably.

Just a week ago, R came into the Writing Center. I read a three page paper of hers and...was stunned at the end. "R," I said breathlessly, "there aren't ANY run-ons in here!" She grinned, proud of herself too. After all her hard work, she NEEDS to feel that sense of accomplishment. She's a writer now. She has something to say, and she says it well.

Another plant has produced enough fruit for my soul to thrive for longer still. I'm so glad I met Angie's aunt. R is just...well, a lovely, terrific person. And I am lucky to be her teacher.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Good News

Here's information you can use! I came to a revelation of great importance when posting on A*'s blog yesterday!

Ok, so you know how many of us are behind on doing things? We're behind on grading, cleaning, emails, phone calls, stuff at work, etc, right? I think that means we're behind on life.

And if we are behind on life, we aren't aging at the same rate as the rest of humanity who ARE keeping up with life. We are, indeed, aging slower.

Do you see the beauty of that one? Yes, that's right, procrastinators and people who just can't get their act together are YOUNGER in the end! WOOHOO!

That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Some People Just Deserve a Bitch Slap

So, today just wouldn't start. My kids were in a sugar-induced coma from the night before, and nobody could move this AM to get out of the house. I knew that no matter what I did, we were going to be late. I was disgusted. This year has been awful for late stuff. When Ari went to kindergarten, she was late once due to us not being able to get out of the house. I think we upped it to twice in first grade. It appears we're getting worse over time because this year, we're up to three times, and it's only November.

To top it all off, the previous late day--about a month ago--I forgot Ari's lunch at home. She cried a lot at school because she was certain that SHE felt she had forgotten it and not me. Nope, it was me. Of course the school folks just gave her food from the cafeteria, so she was indeed fed. Still, I felt crappy for it because she had cried...and it was my fault...and I have NO idea why I'm so overwhelmed this term vs. the other terms. I had a summer break! I'm even teaching five classes instead of six this fall (although granted, I picked up extra writing center hours instead)! What the hell is my issue? Is it that I'm doing more with the girl scouts? Is it that the number of students I end up "counseling" in addition to tutoring or assisting has about quadrupled this term? Why? WHY?

So, now you have one part of the background.

Second part: when Ariana was in Kindergarten, there was a little girl who got on my nerves who was in her class. Let's call her J. J's mom was the homeroom mother and she did all sorts of Martha Stewart like things for the kids. J considered herself the Top Bee of the Ball and basically acted...well, selfish and egotistical. I tried to grit my teeth about J. After all, wasn't it rude to want to strangle a five year old girl? J's family was very wealthy. J's mom stayed at home and doted on J like she was the only girl in the world. J's mom also taught J to value superfical things. I dunno...I seriously questioned for a while if maybe I just felt on edge because J's mom got to stay home and be homeroom mom? Was I resentful? Man, did I ever try to give her the benefit of the doubt. But then I ended up teaching her older 18 yr old cousin. J's family rented out the roller rink for J's bday party and catered some food there, and the cousin I taught told me she'd be there too (the entire kindergarten class was invited, along with 50 other people or so). My student--I loved this kid, by the way--moaned endlessly to me about how she just detested how J was as J was a spoiled brat who always got her way. Ok, so after the student's commentary about J's personality, I nodded and thought, I was right. She's just a little snot. And at that age, a lot of the time, the reason why a child is a little snot is mom and dad.

Now, current situation:

J's mom serves as the replacement secretary for the school when the secretary is sick or is on vacation. She also is, once again, the homeroom mother...and yes, although Ariana escaped the delight of J in first grade, they are back in the same room together. J's mom the replacement secretary had to type up a document for me once, and I almost choked. She can't spell. She can't do anything that looks remotely grammatically correct. It was awful. I apologized to the receiver of the document because I was so embarrassed about it, and the receiver was horrified that anybody would be allowed to type up things for the school when she is so incompetent at it. Hey, did I go to her and say, wow, need some help? I can teach you! You can't write! No. I did not. Tempting, but I did not. However, J's mom can't help but be nasty to ME. How so, you ask?

We pull into the school late due to said sugar induced comas. I sign in Ariana and J's mom, replacement secretary, is there to give Ari her late pass. She then very deliberately turns to Ariana and says, "Do you have your lunch?" Ari nods yes and walks out. Now, if all she were concerned about was if since last time we were late I forgot the lunch, I had forgotten it again, that would have been sufficient to discover the answer. However, that was not J's mom's goal. Her goal was to make me feel like crap. She then turned to me and gave me one of those sickeningly sweet smiles that make me want to go on a mad, bitch-slapping frenzy and said, "You DID remember her lunch? OH GOOD. Last time you forgot her lunch, she was hysterical! Oh, she cried and cried, she was sooo upset, I just had to make sure you didn't do it again. I mean, like WE would let her STARVE! haha! Oh, I had told her it was ok that her mother forgot her lunch, but she was just STILL so upset! Poor dear! I told her, any time that your mom forgets, we will just let you go to the cafeteria and get food there!"

Oh, yeah, and she went on.

What went through my head? Well, first of all, stuff like, "Look, bitch, I'm lucky to get out the door each morning with my kids having their underwear INSIDE their pants instead of OUTSIDE. It's hard being a BROKE, SINGLE MOM. I don't have free time like you do, and I don't have money to buy prepackaged shit lunches either. But hey, I don't mind because at least my child is smart and KIND, two qualities you do not possess, but if you SAY PLEASE maybe she'll teach you kindness, ok? We can't teach you INTELLECT because the skull is just empty. Maybe she'll help you with grammar, though, although I'm not sure you'd get it. Are you just jealous because my daughter keeps winning awards and all the kids in the class love and adore her? Is that it? You wanted your little miss queen bee to be the most popular future cheerleader in second grade, and so you're pissed that my child is collecting accolades and is better loved due to her helpful nature than your child who--and I feel so sad for her--has been taught that appearances mean more than what's inside? Who is also given her every whim? Well, sounds like a personal problem to me. So fuck right on off!"

I bit my lip. I growled, nodded once, and told her yes Ari had her lunch, and then I left. Grumbling. Wishing for the smackdown. Wanting it, wanting it.

'Cause some people just deserve a bitch slap.