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Showing posts from May, 2010

An oxymoron

The term holiday weekend has become an oxymoron for me. Now that I am a family's camp counselor, transportation coordinator, chamber maid and "she-who-shall-not-be-named all around bad guy" I rarely find holidays or vacations of any kind restful.

I woke up and thought - let me take the dog for a run before it gets hot. I fell back asleep for about half an hour and was less motivated to run. Still motivated to get something done, I woke C and brought her with me to Wegmans for an early morning trip. At about 12:30 I realized no one had taken the dog for a proper walk, so I put on my New Balance and off we ran around the block. I came home drenched with sweat and had to shower. Meanwhile people were just beginning to think about what we needed to bring to the beach - our destination for the day. At the store I bought SPF 70 (!!!) sunblock for my fair husband's face only to be told "I just read that any SPF over 15 is bullshit and not worth buying." One of tho…

always saying the wrong thing...

Earlier today I started to comment on facebook. Her status was "Stay-cation - pro or con"? I wrote something like staycation sucks for a stay-at-home Mom because it means more work. This friend writes the ambivalent womb blog.  I deleted it and changed it to a more appropriate comment about wanting more stamps in my passport (also true) - but for people who can't afford expensive vacations it would also be inappropriate.

I had lunch with a friend of mine who is not well. She said that the medicine she is on is causing weight loss... and just as my inappropriate mouth tends to do I said the wrong thing. I made a comment about how I wished I could lose weight... WTF is wrong with me.

My father outdid me. After lunch was over and we were in the parking lot, my friends were talking about how lots of people are praying for her. My father said, "Well, I believe in medicine!" (Followed by something supportive about chemotherapy).

The apple doesn't fall far from t…

New Jersey's rudest town???

(Written Sunday)

Yesterday morning (Saturday) I was ready to crown Bridgewater as New Jersey's rudest town.

Two people I know just scowled at my when I saw them on my street, smiled and waved hello to them yesterday morning.

On the way to a soccer game, I stopped at Panera for bagels for C and me. On the way out of the parking lot I did what can be referred to as a "California rolling stop". There wasn't much traffic, but the guy coming towards me in the opposite lane rolls down his window and says (nasty "big man" voice).


"THERE'S A STOP SIGN, BITCH!!!!!!"

I was so shocked that all I could was gawk. I wanted to say something like a multitude of four-letter words. I was impotent! I don't think I've ever been silenced before by a man! I felt attacked - minor violence against women, but I could feel the hate!

But then with a little time and some time spent with some of my favorite Bridgewater residents (on the soccer sidelines and late…

need to write a 2nd blog

We were JUST talking about this yesterday, but I'd never heard of Eliza Dolittle Day.

Long live grammar!

Long live people who want their kids to speak English well. I will correct any kid I hear saying, "Me and my friends like this."

Long live those who endeavor to use correct grammar in their own speech!

Thanks Mom and Dad for correcting me throughout my life. Even today I get a reminder if I speak incorrectly.

Soccer Mom's presumption

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Last night our Soccer Centers trainer called a parents' meeting. I got there on time but there was no parking ANYWHERE. I met up with the other parents at 8:32. Just as the trainer finished.

I blurted out to one of our coaches, "Didn't you say it was STARTING at 8:30?" I was more mad than I should have been, because showing up for this meeting really wasn't a big deal (besides missing my date with SM for Idol).

I was stressed because I had assumed that the trainer called us to complain how chit-chatty the girls are. I assumed that he'd say something like "if they want to compete at this level they have to get serious about soccer"... and what everyone knows but no one really says in public... "their behavior is a poor reflection of their parents and you should be ashamed of yourselves".

I was completely wrong! He had praised the girls for doing a great job. Oh, and by the way, they are running a summer camp....

Should I have more faith in …

Enrichment for the masses

One of the biggest complaints about the district is the lack of enrichment. AI enriches the IQ-elite. Our district also has targeted enrichment for those with various types of needs - it's required by law. Lack of appropriate
enrichment for the bright but not quite AI-bright has been one of the pet peeves of many a parent. Lack of enrichment for the masses is even worse!

The best enrichment I have ever seen was when C took part in a grade-wide international exchange program (no, not the kind where you get on a plane) called Friends and Flags. Our 2nd graders were teamed up with a school in Cyprus, Greece. Our kids made all sorts of things to demonstrate to the school what life was like in the US in general and Bridgewater specifically. They took pictures of the library, made brochures of various tourist places in the US (like Disney, Washington DC, Mount Rushmore), made a scrapbook of Bridgewater and our school. Our girl scout troop also contributed to the project making a "b…

Lucky Monday

When I grew up there was an ice-cream parlor that was a throwback from the 1920s called Lovells. The whole area around it is now rundown and the parlor has been out of business since at least 1984, but it had a beautiful Sunday called the "lucky Monday". I remember it was delish...

Today I feel lucky for no particular reason. I am sitting here with the freedom and quiet to read my book (think I can finish 300 pages of Cutting For Stone before book club tonight) while sipping a nice cup of coffee. My Dad is here, the dog has stopped barking since the Chimney Sweep left. (I still have "Chim chiminy chim chim chiree" chirping in my head). And the news was good. When my dear husband nearly burned down the house a few years ago he left no damage to the chimney/fireplace/flu etc. Another of life's bullets dodged.

At 1pm I'm meeting MR to continue the struggle of woman versus food. At the gym. Hopefully my thighs have forgiven me for Friday's torture followed …

On being one of "those" kinds of Moms

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We all know them and we all hate them. "Those kinds of Moms". Sometimes I think the majority of Moms sometime fall under that category. I certainly know several that I can name pretty quickly!

Tonight I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered "et tu Soccer Mom?". But I shrugged and said "nah". Here are two examples:

Yesterday I actually called a coach and complained that my daughter hadn't played enough in the last two games (and it pained me to do so because I love the coaches). Well.. those weren't my exact words. In fact I was calling to find out if my daughter had been misbehaving and if THAT was why she played so little. I was ready to discipline her if necessary. Perhaps she wasn't playing well enough in their eyes to warrant time on the field? Sometimes she just doesn't hustle and she isn't very aggressive for being a black belt! But I think the message ended up being "can ya play my kid more" when the message real…

4 links

GOOD MORNING, BRIDGEWATER!!!!!!!!!

Here are two links for your pleasure...

What happened at the Town Council joint meeting last night?

What is my gut reaction?

I knew they'd cut. "A vote is a vote" they continually stated at last week's meeting. The budget was defeated - they stated that even if it were only by 30 votes- it was a defeated budget and they felt they had to cut. So for me personally, only a $1 million cut is a great scenario - and if they are able to make up half of it through breakage, I'm thrilled. After all, they've already cut nearly $8 million before we even voted!

As a linguist do I like that they suggest cutting foreign language? No, but I didn't think my elementary-aged kids learned Spanish effectively. After 4 years of Spanish C can't understand simple questions, like "how are you?" Did they listen to my plea to keep the cuts out of the classroom? No! But when does a governing body listen to little me?!?!

Time to make N…

Wednesday coffee thoughts

Quickie this morning:

1) Tonight is the night when the Town Councils announce how much they will cut from the district budget. It is the last chance for public input. I have heard that the dye is cast and my comments would be useless. Besides, as one of the Board of Ed members said to me last week, "yeah, we know what you are going to say". I don't think that I have any stunning new information to present. Nor any political collateral. Hopefully the e-mail (that I received something like 8 times yesterday) requesting me to go, went to enough other people. It's their turn now.

2) Our UK guest has left. It was lovely to have her and get to know our new "cousin" (isn't that what some people call the kids of their parents' friends?).  She lives in a completely different world - a bohemian world - and it was really interesting to see her life (from afar). I realize I live in a very materialistic world compared to her who buys most of her things 2nd hand…

Tired

Zzzzzzzzzzz..........!!!

I love to host people. I enjoy having friends stop by. I don't mind running our B&B. But tonight, on the last night of our friend's visit, what I really want to do is go to bed early. Is it rude to politely excuse myself and get to bed at 9:30? Everyone is going to watch 24 in a little while. I just want to curl up with my book under my covers and sleep.

I promise I'll have the starbucks brewing before 7:30 and if need be will hit Wegmans by 9am if we are missing something that we desperately need.

The plight of being a morning person in a 24-hour lifestyle!

More than mother's day...

Today was Mother's Day. I am not sure my family noticed because today focused on celebrating my Dad. It's his 85th birthday.

While it would have been nice to get a little recognition, I am a firm believer in it's better to give than to receive. Since I got very little and I spent the day giving, it worked out. I played hostess to my Dad, his best friend from college's daughter, my sister and her kids (plus my own family). In many ways it was just another day - complete with a Wegmans run, much ado in the kitchen and a soccer game.

But I'm glad to have spent the day celebrating him. I honor him. He's a wonderful person with a beautiful disposition and brings happiness to everyone around him. I am so grateful that he is an integral part of my life. I've been fortunate to have such a smart and compassionate person as my role model for all these years.

I remember a few times in my childhood when Mother's Day coincided with his birthday. My Mom didn't al…

It's not easy being green...

I'm supposed to be cleaning. It's 10:18 pm and I still haven't got all the crap off the guest bed so that I can wash the bedding for tomorrow. The counter tops are literally full of stuff in the kitchen. I haven't cleaned any of the bathrooms yet, but I have time to check out facebook? What is wrong with my time management skills? Prioritizing? WTH!

Like it or not, envy is a theme in my life (let's face it, it's probably an issue in yours too!). Tall blond women with silky soft hair are often the object of mine. And, of course, people who live in paradise with unlimited spending... Tonight at dinner T and I talked about how we would like to live near the ocean. "Hawaii," I said. "I want to move THERE someday!"

"Milk costs like $10 per gallon!" he retorted and I knew that if I am ever going to live there, it would only be after a painful divorce. I guess I am also jealous of people who have husbands who don't think in terms of w…

Following the footsteps...

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Today my cousin's daughter (KC) turns 18. In a few months she will go off to a prestigious liberal arts college - where Liberal is taken quite literally - to study some combination of art and science.  Where will it take her? Far, I'm sure.

I've probably mentioned this before, but I have some unbelievably talented people in my family. KC's parents probably top of the list (well, in a tie with my brother). Her dad designed the glass piece shown above for Steuben Glass (hope it's OK that I'm showing it here, Robbief?!?!). They are all among the smartest AND most creative people I know. In my Mom's generation talent and brains abounded - it has trickled down in mixed forms. All of "the grandchildren" (i.e. my generation) are pretty bright, but some lives turned out more complicated than others - mine included. I guess that is true in all families. KC is part of the next generation. From what I know, members of this generation do pretty well on the b…

Hot date night?

Last night's meeting at the new Bridgewater Municipal Building was a hot ticket! As with several other recent meetings it was chuck full of mostly teachers, a hand full of parents and some non-parent, local residents. I was somewhat surprised by how few parents were there! Lots of the "usual suspects" were MIA. Guess they were watching Simon or Sawyer...

Some teachers were furious about this op-ed by the Bridgewater Township President. If I were a teacher I would have been offended too. One teacher from my kid's school was especially angry in her talk. I see what kids say when they claim she can be pretty mean.

Others were nicer to him. It was almost weird - he is so young that many of the teachers said they had him in school, calling him "Matt"!

C's 4th grade teacher - who is one of the best we've ever had the luck to have - spoke about how the Science curriculum calls for projects but that the district can't afford the supplies. Mrs. Teacher …

Guillotine

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Today is the day when the Bridgewater and Raritan Townships are meeting in special joint session to decide how much to cut from the school budget. As I write this (before coffee on Tuesday morning) I am planning to attend. But, let's face it, my record shows that sometimes I prefer TV to contentious meetings.

What I would say if I went up to speak? "I am ashamed of how poorly the negotiations have gone. I'm ashamed of New Jersey." The reputation is right: it does get ugly here! It's too late to make any changes - the dye is cast. Maybe I should say what I said the first time I spoke at a budget meeting? "When you make cuts I hope you will protect the academic integrity of our schools."

Or would that sound naive?

Saying it now makes it seem like I don't know anything about the budget or its process. Or have been living under a rock for the past 2 months. In the end, as Jeffrey Brookner was quoted in the Courier, there isn't much to say except &…

Corrections

Every decent news organization worth it's reputation has to print retractions from time to time.

I do not identify myself as a news organization, nor am I a reputable source of information.

That said, it has been called to my attention that one of my recent blogs is full of bull...

Someone brought the following inaccuracies/misunderstandings/big bloopers to my attention:
Apparently the meeting is long to fill certain legal requirements. See here http://www.brrsd.k12.nj.us/files/filesystem/9000_Series/9201.pdfMy claim that the budget wasn't mentioned didn't take into account that the Superintendent's report would cover it. (Duh!)And quoted from the e-mail that brought this to my attention:
Closed Sessions is listed in every Agenda (at the end) because the BOE needs to give adequate public notice that there may be a need for a Closed Session before or after the regular public meeting.  And in the BOE President's remarks, it states the reasons why there may be a …

What ifs...

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One of my dear friends is trying to have a baby. She has been chronicling her experience in her Ambivalent Womb blog, which I faithfully check daily. Yesterday's blog is a bunch of what ifs.

I started to write my own "What if" blog list. It got so depressing that I just deleted it without posting. It was full of 'What if my kids start using drugs, "what if I had a fabulous career and made lots of money?..." type of questions.

There is nothing like an online community to make you create a what-if list when you see what your friends are doing. It brings "suffer by comparison" a new meaning. For example, one of my friends, a professor of history in Hawaii posted earlier this week that she missed lilacs. I felt for her. Today she posted the picture of a tropical flower the size of a textbook with the caption "picked this at lunch today."  My empathy waned.

Another friend has given up a life of carting kids from school to activities for a dre…