Saturday, June 29, 2013

Insubordinate and Churlish

I'm wondering about the concept of "fashionably late." Here's the story: I'm under the impression that when someone invites you to her house, you should get there about 15 minutes late. Somehow I learned that this was the polite thing to do, probably from my mother. The idea is that you shouldn't rush the host. Dan seems never to have heard of this concept. Also, we've hosted several gatherings for friends (not family - family is supposed to be on time, I'm pretty sure) in the last year, and most people are not 15 minutes late. They're less than 5 minutes late.

So, what's the story? Are we supposed to be 15 minutes late, or what?

I looked it up online because we're in a learning challenge here on this blog, and I discovered that the phrase means you're so popular that you can't arrive on time because you've been busy with other engagements. Also, I found out that it means you have dinner at a later, more sophisticated hour. It doesn't mean that out of politeness, you should arrive late. Maybe that's called something different?

What's your understanding of this pressing etiquette matter?

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Rock Feels No Pain

Feeling a little blubbery, and discover right in my facebook feed a 30-day ab challenge.

The first day seemed really easy on paper, but when I just got down on the floor to do it, it seemed hard. I didn't take any breaks in between the exercises. I pushed right on through. In 30 days, I'll probably have a two- four- or six-pack. If I lose a few pounds.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sick, Dead, or Mute

Today I learned about this video from my school pals at the conference. I laughed really hard.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Learning Bonanza

It's going to be hard to narrow down what I've learned today. Basically, I'm learning at a rate of maybe 10 or 11 things per hour here at the High Tech High Summer Institute. Just now I learned about how to co-design a semester-long (or really any length) project with students. It was really inspiring, and I bought the presenter's book. The book was only $10. You might actually want it.

In another domain, I'm learning that my typical travel gas (yes, I'm referring to flatulence) is exacerbated when I eat lots of Mexican foods, like I'm doing here in San Diego. I'm already gassy, so this is kind of a serious problem.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Bane

I've learned a bit more about an annoying condition that I myself suffer from. It's called psoriasis, people. It's a common skin condition, and boy is it irritating. After perusing the Mayo Clinic website, I've learned that changing your diet doesn't really improve psoriasis. Damn it! I've also learned that taking fish oil supplements may help psoriasis, but probably not. Damn it! To be honest, I've googled nutritional healing options for my problem before, but I've never consulted the Mayo Clinic; and I think we can agree that's a definitive source. I learned some other things, like if you have psoriasis, you're more likely to have other debilitating problems like depression and cancer. Basically, psoriasis is just not a great thing to have. You might want to get a lemur instead of psoriasis.

I knew already that psoriasis is cyclical and chronic. Basically, once you have this dumb skin affliction, you've got it for good. You can use steroid creams or stress reducing measures, but basically, you're stuck with a life of itching and embarrassment. I'm starting a psoriasis support group. If you have psoriasis and you hate it, I support you.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Severe Weather

What I learned this evening is that if you have an iPhone, or perhaps another smart phone, you'll get severe weather updates without trying. This happened tonight when we were having dinner with friends at our house. All of a sudden, our phones started buzzing and beeping. And then, several trees hit our house. Seriously! The there are like three or four large tree branches down in our front yard. It was crazy, and the other parents started using our land line to call their babysitters. Everyone seems to be okay. Later when I walked Skip (our dog, whom I love), I noticed several trees that were flipping UPROOTED within a two block radius of our home. Apparently the winds were like 60 mph. Our phones warned us.

Then they warned us about a flash flood warning. We're still under that, but we still have power. Geez louise.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Think of Me

Mac and I had our violin lessons with fab teacher Jennifer today. I got a sticker on the Seitz Concerto No. 5 in D Major, Op. 22, 1st Mvt. To be honest, I did not give a perfect performance of said concerto, but Jennifer said, "I think it's sticker worthy."

Bam! I'll take it!

After that, I learned something. I learned that Mac is ready for a 16th size violin. I also learned that the problem with him playing the 32nd at this point is that his fingers are crowded on the fingerboard, which may cause him to get in the habit of playing out of tune. We can agree that's not the greatest idea. Let's keep that kid playing Twinkle in tune. Let's make it our #1 priority. I'm trading in the 32nd size tomorrow for the 16th. "You'll be so happy with the 16th," she told Mac. "The sound is so much better." That's the third thing I learned.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

There's a New Challenge, Thank The Stars

My bosom pal, Lee, started a new blogging challenge. The deal is, we're supposed to learn new things. 30-35 new things by the end of July. As a proud and dedicated life-long learner, this should be absolutely no problem. Here's the first thing I learned: like me, famous essayist David Sedaris likes the actors on the current iteration of Hawaii 5-0. In fact, actors from that very show came to his reading in Honolulu and discussed with him the problem of his stolen computer bag, which he describes in an essay called "A Cold Case" in his latest book called Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, which I've been listening to.

Have you heard David Sedaris read, either in person or on the radio or an audio book? Well, he's completely fabulous. The NYTimes review says he's a "brilliant audio performer of his own work." Duh. Here's some audio of one of my fave stories in Owls. It's called "Standing By."

Anyway, it really pleased me to know that David Sedaris is familiar with Hawaii 5-0. We were already connected because I have a poster of him in my classroom, and now I know that he also recognizes a great crime drama when he sees one. He, like me, likes the actor who plays Detective Chin Ho Kelly.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Underneath the Moon

Finally getting into the swing of things here. Don't have to go into work any days this week. Maybe I won't be plagued with that constant feeling that I SHOULD be doing something. It's made it tricky to wind down. So far, I've done my typical first days-of-summer thing, which is to deep clean closets, do hours of yard work, read books about curriculum, etc. etc.

However, I've also watched Scandal. It rocks, but Dan refuses to watch it. I just finished season one.

I also read Ender's Game, which is a book my brother gave to me for my birthday back in March. It's a good one about child soldiers who are forced to save the world from aliens. Very exciting. You'd probably like it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Kid is Five

You might not have realized that my youngest child is now five years old. Let me tell you, he's thrilled to be five. And, this dude's got style.

Here's what he likes: flat-brimmed hats, turned this way and that, and collared shirts worn open and layered over t-shirts. He also likes cool shoes and an occasional slick of nail polish on fingers and toes.

Birthday cake featured an iCarly motif. He wanted a message in pink frosting: "Happy 5th Birthday, Mac." First he wanted "Happy 4th Birthday," but then I reminded him that he was actually going to be 5.

If We Were Older

Had a couple of pals here for Bachelorette viewing on Monday. Come to find, each of them was feeling some jealousy about my summer schedule. I fielded a few of the complaints about "summers off," with my usual explanations. However, the crowd of three 12-month employees was not satisfied.

"Must be really tough, hanging out by the pool," said Gia.

"Look," I said. "I'm pretty sure I make less money than any one here." That's undeniable.

"Yeah," said Dan. "For working less."

Can you believe that guy has been married to a teacher for 11 years? No? NEITHER CAN I.

"Well," I said finally, "I am cordially inviting each of you to join me in the field of education. If any of you would like to do my job for my pay, you're more than welcome."

No takers. Not surprisingly.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Organization

I am forcing the family to organize all of our stuff. The reason for this is that I have spent the last month hating my life as we ransack the house each morning for the shoes, the socks, the sunscreen, the appropriate sporting equipment, the preferred snacks, the uniforms, the homework, etc. etc. etc. In the last couple of weeks, I've been actually cursing under my breath (and, okay, sometimes aloud and in front of the young and impressionable children) because the process is so flipping frustrating.

So, we're folding, sorting, Goodwilling, calendaring, magnetizing, and bagging. The bagging is my best idea. Every activity will have its own bag. There will be a golf bag, a tennis bag, a swimming bag, a baseball bag, a tae kwon do bag, a study-time bag. Each bag will be pre-packed with the appropriate supplies. When we return home from each activity, the bags will be immediately re-packed and placed in the appropriate bin.

This requires some shopping today to make sure we have the appropriate number of sunscreen tubes, sports-appropriate outfits, and portable snacks.

We're going to get it done. I'm going to post photos of the results.

Eat your heart out, Fly Lady. This is going to be so stinking supreme.

Friday, June 7, 2013


OMG. It's finally over. I just got home from the last day of school. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it's been a crushing couple of weeks. I did the narrative comments. That's 30 pages of writing, single spaced. I did the final exams, the grades, the cleaning of the room, the planning of the summer work, the wrangling of the children to and from school. I did not cry when I discovered that half of my comments were unreadable in the system because of some horrible Google Docs error. I did the final meeting and the picnic at the Arboretum. I'm now so exhausted I can barely stand.

But, it's summer, and it's time for near-daily blogging. I want to reconnect with my writer identity this summer. I'm going to do some writing. I've got some topics in mind, but I think this is enough for the first day. I blogged. Isn't that great enough?