Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Limit

Shef has been feverish for five days straight, and I tell you, we’ve had just about enough.

Even if we didn’t have the hard data, we’d know he’s sick because he cries. A lot. Whenever we leave his side and sometimes when we don’t. This makes me feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience. For ten minutes today, I must admit I dumped him in his crib and took refuge in the basement because I felt my brain frizzle and pop – it was, I’m pretty sure, a precursor to explosion.

When I came back to him, he was still crying, so I picked him up and put him in the car for a drive-around.

When we got home he was still awake and still crying, so I thought about holding kebab skewers over a burner and then using them to poke out my eyes.

Please God let him be well enough to go to school tomorrow.

Monday, September 26, 2005


I stayed home with sick Shef today.

He was not himself. We managed this during a brief fever break,

Image hosted by

but otherwise, he sat on the couch with his head on my thigh all day.

Very disconcerting. Very un-Sheflike.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Reunion=Blog Fodder

It turns out that, like me, most of the survivors of the Class of 1995 look older and considerably more exhausted. Especially the moms and pregos look this way, but in fact, so do the attorney and the medical resident and the interior designer and the divorcee. Only the never pregnant, never married, and never grad-schooled seem unscathed.

Although I managed to not talk about wart removal and gas pains, I did say a few things I wished I’d hadn’t. I’ve decided to “bless and release” those things, which seems the healthy and well-adjusted thing to do. Besides, I only seemed to bother one depressed sort of person who obviously disliked me before I blabbed about leaking breasts and my pro-choice beliefs.

Apparently, I gravely offended this depressive girl when I asked to have two pads of Alumnae Association post-its. Clearly, she’s never carried free post-its into a room containing teachers before, or else she’d be familiar with shameless clamoring and frothing at the mouth that inevitably ensues.

She looked at me as if I had just crawled out of the primordial sludge, and said that sure, I could have an extra pad if I was willing to have someone else go without. I muttered something about getting over-excited about office products and turned sheepishly awy.

At the end of the night there were plenty of pads left over, so I took five just to spite her.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Reunion: A Reality Show

My ten-year high school class reunion is this afternoon. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m only just a little bit nervous. I got along with most everyone in my class when we were in school. There were only 62 of us girls, and we went on mandatory retreats every year for bonding purposes; so it’ll be good to reminisce, I think.

I know this sounds shallow, but mostly I’m really, really grateful that I’m not fat. It would be tricky, I think, to reunite with people who only knew you when you were thin. You know everyone would talk about the weight behind your back. It would be an additional stressor, that’s for sure.

So, because I like to avoid stress, I’m glad I look the same, except older and considerably more exhausted. I plan to wear black and khaki so as to blend in and not draw too much attention to myself.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Over the Stinking Top

This was a long day.

I left a sleeping and slightly feverish Shef in bed with Dan and slunk out the door to plan a lesson on The Trojan War. You know Helen who “launched a thousand ships” and Brad Pitt. That kind of thing.

That was at 5:45 this morning, and now I have just arrived home at 9:45 pm. It was Open House night, so I smiled and professed my love for teaching and literature. And all was well.

Dan is watching CSI, which is generally too creepy for my taste; but this time it’s just shamelessly gruesome and plain old nasty. Here’s what they did, and I am NOT kidding about this. Two detectives find liquefied bodies in a trunk in the desert. Liquefied bodies. And they showed this on prime time television. And then they DRAINED THE LIQUID BODIES into a bucket under the trunk.

And that’s just too much. Really. I object.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Polo-Clad Shef Makes a Case for His Way

Image hosted by

But alas, his was a valiant, yet unsucessful attempt; and we remained unyielding in our insistence that he not throw melon on the floor.

And then, we laughed at him and took a picture to document this poor, pathetic expression.

And Some Things Are Just the Same

My students played Balderdash, the definition game, with terms related to The Odyssey today. It was, all in all, a good activity, brainstormed by none other than my old comrade, Renee. You see, neither bricks and mortar nor miles on the highway can truly separate a great team…

Anyway, as I listened in on the kids’ games, I heard mostly really plausible fake definitions – kleos is the ancient art of bone-setting, nostos is the Greek method of hunting and fishing – but I admit there were a few exceptions to the high quality.

“Lemme see what you put for epithet,” said one kid – a student from my first hour who came back for a minute in third to pick up his forgotten lunch.

His classmate acquiesced and tipped his paper toward him.

“Hey!” laughed the visitor. “No way! You said, ‘poop’?” More giggling. “I put that exact thing, too!”

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Itinerary

It will be a busy day.

We are off to swimming lessons. And then, home for a nap. (Please God, let it be a long nap). And then a trip to visit a friend in the ‘burbs. And then dinner at Nana’s house. And then home for bed.

Luckily, last night, I discovered the secret to a good night’s sleep:

One loud fan + one finger in one’s ear

Mix well, and it’s like the crying doesn’t even exist.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Another Miracle

Today a high-schooler smirked as he walked past my classroom before lunch. His backpack seemed to have a built in boom box, and he was emitting music. It was loud, and I couldn’t help but notice that the lyrics included the f-word.

I wasn’t sure of the rules on this type of thing. Cell phones are allowed in the hallways at my school, as are iPods and other music players, so I wasn’t positive; but this seemed sort of not allowed somehow.

The kid stopped at his locker, so I feigned confidence and sidled up to him.

“Excuse me,” I said. “That seems kind of disruptive. Would you mind turning it off?”

I braced myself, preparing for the inevitable “fuck you” or “whatever, bitch.” I had already made it through five teaching days without being sworn at, so I knew I was pushing my luck.

The kid, though, he just shrugged, took off his backpack, and calmly stopped the music.

That was it.

“Thanks,” I smiled, and continued on to lunch.

And OH MY GOD, I love my new job.

Friday, September 9, 2005

Certain Things Are Easier Here

Here’s something amazing about tenth graders as compared to eighth graders:

When you tell them to put their desks in a circle and make name tents so everyone can get to know each other, they all just do it. They do it without an overhead with detailed instructions on how to make a name tent and without a step-by-step tutorial on moving one’s desk to the periphery of the room.

Everyone does it. And then they discuss for a full forty minutes without any teacher intervention.

It’s a miracle.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

The Ivy Tower

Today I realized that, despite my long-time desire for a senior high post, I really belong deep in the bowels of middle school, side-by-side with pimply, unshowered, nose-picking eighth-grade boys.

I realized this as I sat in on Frau Miller’s German class. Frau and I are roommates, and this afternoon, I hunkered over my desk while she led her earnest, sophisticated students through their ichs and guts. It seems they also have plenty of opportunities to say “fahrt” in German, and oh how giggly it makes me feel.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

A Feeble Attempt

I have been in a blog slump.

I’m not really sure what my blog turf should be, as I’m no longer a mildly bitter stay-at-home-mom. This has been causing me angst because I enjoy The Savvy Mom, and I want to do good work here.

Because we have an open and loving relationship, and because he’s a good problem-solver, I turned to Dan with this dilemma.

I had just deleted today’s entry for the third time, and so, quite distressed, I went to him in my moment of need. “I can’t think of anything to write about on my blog,” I lamented.

Dan popped a few peanuts into his mouth and smiled smugly. “You could write about what a great husband you have. I think people on the internets would really like to read about that.”

And though this is probably not the case, I am still grateful for something to put down.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005


Well, the first day was fairly uneventful. I wore a nondescript outfit per Mary’s suggestion, and nothing staggering happened. I again tried a bit too hard to make pals, but the other teachers included me nicely and mostly didn’t make fun.

While starting school is exciting and all, more importantly, let me say how over-the-moon I am that fall TV is popping up again. Already I’m in love with FOX’s new Prison Break. And then next week, we’ll begin again with the Gilmores. After that will come Desperate Housewives – I think I’ll be attending a season premier party – and then Lost and Alias and who knows what other show might turn out to be the Super Nanny of 2005.

Once again, Tivo will be my best friend, and I’ll neglect child and chores to tune in.

Monday, September 5, 2005

It's Time

Tomorrow, after eighteen months, I will make my classroom teaching comeback.

This event seems significant.

I’m not sure if it’s a good sign or a bad one that the thing I’m most worried about is what I’m going to wear.