Epic Wedding Dance

This is how I am going to roll at my son’s wedding if I ever approve of the woman he wants to marry and allow him to get married, but I don’t see that happening.  How could any woman compare to his beautiful, funny, thoughtful,  loving mother?  I pity the girl who tries to take him away from me. 

 

 

Miss Susie had a….

Kids nowadays don’t know how to have fun.  (She says while hiking up support hose and adjusting her false teeth)  Throwing birds at blocks?  Constructing houses with a guy named Steve? Playing video games with your friends who are in a different house?  (The Jetson’s didn’t predict that one either did they?)  That isn’t fun.  We knew how to have a good time when I was child.  We played a game with yarn and called it “Cat’s Cradle” even though it had nothing to do with kitties or a baby.   We smacked hands while singing about buying bread at a Chinese restaurant.  I actually tried to teach my children that game.  They looked at me like I had three heads.  Then, they went back to watching clips of talking oranges on YouTube.  (Who is the freak now?)  It seemed like a perfectly normal song when I was in elementary school.  Now that I am an adult it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I went to a Chinese restaurant,
to buy a loaf of bread, bread, bread,

Well, that’s where you went wrong.  Why would you go to a Chinese restaurant to buy bread?  Have you ever heard of a bakery?  Grocery store?   Did you buy one loaf of bread or three?
he wrapped it up in a 5 pound bag,

A 5 pound bag?  Is this the last supper?  Who needs 5 pounds of bread?
and this is what he said, said, said….

I heard the first said.  You don’t need to repeat everything three times.
My name is…
Kay Ai Pickle Ai
Pickle Ai Kay Ai
come from Polly
Polly Wally Whisky
Chinese chopsticks…
Chow….
POW!

I am calling bulls**t on that one.  That is not your name.  Besides, nobody asked you for your name.  We asked for 5 pounds of bread. 

I understand this “cute” song is no longer politically correct.  Back then, we didn’t put that much thought into the words.  That is something adults over analyze.  However, we paid very close attention to the lyrics of another tune.  It went a little something like this:

Miss Suzie had a steamboat, her steamboat had a bell.
When Suzie went to heaven, her steamboat went to
Hell-o operator, give me number nine.
And if you disconnect me, I’ll kick your big
Behind the yellow curtain, there was a piece of glass.
When Suzie sat upon it, she cut her big fat
Ask me no more questions, tell me no more lies. The cows are in the pasture baking apple pies.

When we weren’t singing offensive songs about a particular ethnicity or cursing we played outside.   That is fun.

Ohio boy pays it forward…..

There are stories on the news that make you shake your head, roll your eyes and even yell at the TV.  Then, there are stories that leave a mark.   They are written so well, told so beautifully that you feel strong emotions for a perfect stranger.  You may not remember their name, but you can’t seem to get that person out of your head.  Sometimes a two minute story can change you.  Those are the stories I miss telling and this is one of them:

Instructions not included

The Oscars are a week away and I have seen four of the movies nominated, two of which were animated films.  That is a record for me.   I think the movie “Instructions Not Included” deserved a nomination.  It didn’t resonate with critics, but the common folk gave better reviews.  The Spanish-language film grossed over $40 million.  I saw it in the theater with a good friend of mine, but watched it again on TV over the weekend with my husband.  We tried to start the movie when the kids were still awake.  It was a bad idea.  My 6-year-old is learning to read and is very excited about it.   Do you remember the scene in Rain Man when Dustin Hoffman’s character reads every sign he sees a loud?  My son reads everything, too.  E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.    This is what it was like trying to watch a subtitled movie with him.

 

Nasty to the core

“Oh no! What day is it,” my 13-year-old set down his fork,  suddenly panic-stricken while eating pancakes.  “It’s Thursday.”   He took a deep breath,  cupped his face in his hands and said,   “That means we have to do Carnegie Math on the computer.”   It is another part of the “Common Core State Standards.”  Forty five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the new curriculum.  The standards are more challenging for K-12 students.  What’s wrong with that?  Every teacher must revamp their style of teaching to match the new standards.  They are given binders with scripted lesson plans.  The lessons are boring.  Many teachers say they have been told to limit free time.  My 6-year-old came home from school several times this year complaining,  “My teacher played a trick on us.  She said we could go on the playground after we did our work, but we didn’t.”  They ran out of time.   There is no time for fun.  A simple project to make applesauce in the Fall is frowned upon.  It is not part of the ‘Common Core.’ Teachers are forced to sneak in arts and crafts during lunchtime.  Field trips aren’t part of  ‘Common Core’ either.   I understand my child is going to school to learn, but do you think Number Bonds motivates a child to learn?  No, it’s playing a silly game to master counting by tens.  It’s the science experiment where you make a tornado out of a plastic soda bottle.  Forcing children to sit through ridiculously long scripted lessons is insane. (What the hell is a number bond anyway? I don’t even know how to do first grade homework.)

‘Common Core’ is an experiment.  There is no proof this way of teaching is any better than what we have done for decades.  We are taking 5-year-old children and demanding they learn what used to be taught in first or second grade.  The stress we are putting on these children is disgusting and will no doubt lead to greater problems.   This is what the ‘Common Core’ expects of kindergartners:

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics  Kindergarten

10 Counting and Cardinality

•Know number names and the count sequence.

•Count to tell the number of objects.

•Compare numbers.

Operations and algebraic thinking

•Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from.

Number and operations in Base ten

•Work with numbers 11–19 to gain foundations for place value.

Measurement and data

•describe and compare measurable attributes.

•Classify objects and count the number of objects in categories

Geometry

•Identify and describe shapes.

•analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes

 

I have heard the argument for making changes, Other countries, like China, are far more advanced than we are.”   They are also lead by barbaric dictators.  China still has a one-child rule.   Women 7, 8, even 9-months pregnant are  injected with a chemical to kill their unborn baby because they cannot afford the fine for having a second child. We are far more advanced.

Administrators will tell you the  ‘Common Core’ is “to ensure that schools prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their careers.”  Ask any teacher and they will say ‘Common Core’ is depriving our children of the chance to just be children.

Take this job and shove it!

Clearly this woman worked in a newsroom. (cause it looks like a newsroom) I had a similar boss at one point.  News Directors come and go like men through Taylor Swift’s dressing room.  In fact, that guy who eliminated my position via text message and email after a decade of dedicated service? (paging Mrs. Bitterman) Yeah, he just got kicked to the curb.  Karma is a wonderful thing.  Anyway, this other guy would start each morning meeting reading from a tally sheet.  “People love the homicide video. That got the most hits.”  I am so happy their loss is your gain a**hole.  There are journalists who actually care about people and telling a good story.   Anyway, resignation letters are so 1995.  This interpretive dance for her boss is solid gold.

Minivan Mix

I am a big fan of Bruno Mars.  So, when I heard a radio DJ introduce his new song I cranked the volume.  Pump up the volume, pump up the volume, dance, dance.   Mama knows how to rock out in the minivan.  Then, this happened :

“Here is Bruno Mars’ latest song, Gorilla”

Okay,  the song is about gorillas kids.  That is one of our favorite exhibits at the zoo. (turns up the volume even more)
Ooh I got a body full of liquor
With a cocaine kicker
And I’m feeling like I’m thirty feet tall
So lay it down, lay it down

Mommy, what’s cocaine?  I think he meant Coca Cola honey.  Soda.  He prefers Coke to Pepsi.

You got your legs up in the sky
With the devil in your eyes
Let me hear you say you want it all
Say it now, say it now

Clearly, his friend fell down while riding her scooter.  That is why her legs are in the air.  Those are tears in her eyes, not the devil. 

Look what you’re doing, look what you’ve done
But in this jungle you can’t run
‘Cause what I got for you
I promise it’s a killer,
You’ll be banging on my chest
Bang bang, gorilla

Ooh, yeah
You and me baby making love like gorillas
Ooh, yeah
You and me baby making love like gorillas

Oh my, panic sets in.  Fumbling for the dial.
Yeah, I got a fistful of your hair
But you don’t look like you’re scared
You just smile and tell me, “Daddy, it’s yours.”
‘Cause you know how I like it,
You’s a dirty little lover

He should not be pulling on her hair.  That is not nice.  No, he is not her Daddy.  Bruno, you’re killing me.  This song will not make the minivan mix.

 

 

 

 

Instructions Not Included

There are movies that makes you laugh, cry and the rare screenplay that takes your breath away. Honestly, I don’t recall the last time I saw a movie like Instructions Not Included. I absolutely loved this movie. Critics hate it. For years I have based my decision to rent movies on the Rotten Tomatoes rating. Yes, it is ridiculous to make life decisions on a food that claims to be a fruit, but is used as a vegetable. I am glad I didn’t check the website before buying this ticket.

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I met my good friend, Nikki, at the theater tonight. How did I escape the homestead? I had to taxi my teenage son and his friends to the theater. They wanted to see some ridiculously scary movie. I hate being scared which is why I don’t watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The guys were really disappointed I wouldn’t be joining them. Ha! Yeah, right. I bought two giant tubs of popcorn, gave them the soda and candy I smuggled into the theater and sent them on their way.

Nikki had heard good things about Instructions Not Included. She did not know it was a foreign film. I thought we had mistakenly pressed one. Were we in the wrong theater? She turned to me, “Is this a Spanish movie?” The guy seated in front of us chuckled, “Si señor.” I took French in high school, but Dora has taught me a few things. “He said yes.” We debated leaving, but I paid $10.50 and wasn’t budging. It just seems like a lot of work reading and watching a movie for two hours. Of course I have seen other foreign films. There is the one about the orphan who is encouraged to consider himself at home, consider himself one of the family. Then, there is the one about the French mouse who wants to be a chef.

By the end of the movie I forgot there were subtitles. I was also sobbing. I am talking a ‘moaning, ugly face, snot running down your face’ cry. Sure, there were a few over the top Telenovela-ish scenes. It was also funny and touching. I highly recommend it. I don’t recommend trying to engage teenage boys in conversation. Just drive and accept the fact that you’re no está bien.

Mid-life crisis

I have been whining for years that I need time alone. Being the mother of three, I can rarely pee without having a conversation with a child. Mom, who would win in a fight? Batman or Wolverine? Could we have this riveting debate after I wipe my vagina?

Well, I’ve finally got time to myself and I don’t know what the hell to do. This morning I sat and cried with another mother over coffee. This woman had no idea what she was getting into when she invited me. Our tearful conversation began at the cash register. The barista was training and couldn’t figure out how to key in my order. She may have been frazzled because a middle aged woman was having a nervous breakdown near the scones. An elderly man with a crisp button down shirt and pleated pants (Hello, 1994 is on hold and would like to speak with you.) was standing in line directly behind us. I could practically feel his breath on my neck. He was huffing and puffing because the line wasn’t moving fast enough. He finally tapped my shoulder and asked, “What’s the hold up?” Today is not the day to mess with me. I know you are eager to sit down and read 50 Shades of Grey while sipping coffee with a sugar substitute, but back off grandpa. That is what I wanted to say, but I was taught to respect my elders. I shrugged my shoulders and walked away. He doesn’t care about my mid-life crisis. For goodness sake, he doesn’t even care that his nose hairs are trying to escape, dangling inches from his upper lip.

It hit me like a ton of bricks today. It is the beginning of school for my children, but the end for me. The end of changing diapers, rocking a baby to sleep or teaching a toddler to walk. There are no more babies. My uterus is spent. This phase of my life is over. Sure, my children will always need me, but less and less. My daughter didn’t shed a single tear on her first day. In fact, she was eager for me to leave. I peeked around the corner to see her smiling, playing with another girl. I was proud of my confident, independent little girl. My heart ached realizing how much my baby has grown. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, put on my sunglasses and walked out the door. I suppose it’s time to get to know myself. Well, that or beat the hell out of senior citizens at coffee shops.