Finally there's some good news about that bogeyman of the day, Global Warming. I can't tell you how cheered I was to read this in the latest issue of Southern Living. But wait, I'm not even going to make you click out to read it...it's too precious and inspiring.
According to Steve
Every day on the network news, there's another dire warning about the threat of global warming. One such report stated that if the North Pole melts and sea levels rise, alligators in the Everglades might be replaced by crocodiles. I know I'm supposed to think this is bad, but if an 800-pound reptile is ripping off my leg, it doesn't matter to me which kind it is. Anyway, one aspect of global warming that the mainstream media have totally ignored is that warmer weather could have benefits for gardeners. Look at purple fountain grass, for example. Thanks to its reddish-purple foliage and graceful, rosy-colored plumes, it was recently inducted into the Gaudy Plant Hall of Fame and makes frequent appearances at shopping malls. But unless you live in the Coastal or Tropical South, winter cold kills it and you have to buy a new plant each spring. Global warming can change this. Someday soon, everyone may be able to enjoy purple fountain grass year-round. It'll look just great planted around your brand-new crocodile pond. Southern Living September 2007
Can you believe the mainstream media? Reading this little tidbit just made my whole week. I mean, have you SEEN purple fountain grass? Seriously. It IS beautiful and Oh So Showy. And I can't get mine to live even through Austin winters. It is depressing to hear the unrelenting reports of sea levels rising, adorable polar bears starving, devastating hurricanes and increasing numbers of forest fires. Way to go Southern Living for showing us the upside of global climate change. I applaud your optimism!
Finally there's some good news about that bogeyman of the day, Global Warming. I can't tell you how cheered I was to read this in the latest issue of Southern Living. But wait, I'm not even going to make you click out to read it...it's too precious and inspiring.
I've noticed that there is a honeymoon period when one child is gone from home, where for a short time, it is a huge difference in the workload around here. Equilibrium is reached before too long so it all evens out, but for a while having only one kid is suddenly as easy and carefree as if I were lunching with the Junior League ladies and discussing all the hassles of daily massages, whether to Botox or lipo first, and the impossibility of finding good help these days.
Little A has been a fun companion to take along to various places while I attempt to accomplish some of the tasks I never could get around to doing during the summer. Maybe it's that they're suddenly the center of attention; maybe it's that their sibling isn't around to tease, irritate or otherwise make their lives miserable and torturous. Maybe both.
Whatever the reason, I have reason to feel much more accomplished than I have in many days, or months for that matter. FlyLady has been reintroduced to our household after a hiatus over the last 6 months or so. After struggling with my system for years a friend took mercy on me and told me about FlyLady. A brief description of my previous 'system' would be easier to imagine as a Complete Lack of a System. I still struggle with organization although I have a passionate love of The Container Store and the office supplies section of any retail establishment. BB won't even look at my Inbox or my method of organizing files on my little laptop. He's tried, he really has, poor guy. Franklin Covey, David Allen (Getting Things Done) , suggesting I just use the folders I've set up rather than keeping 800+ emails in my Inbox (just in case I need them!). Nothing has come close to sticking besides FlyLady. So I'm back on the bandwagon. I'll be walking around with my timer, shining my sink, doing my 27 Fling Boogie, and managing my Hot Spots.
6:00 am. Darkness still hangs over the 'burbs. A glimmer of light faintly glows over the treetops, gently pushing as the blue-gray sky recedes. BA-DEEP!! BA-DEEP!! BA-DEEP!!, the alarm blares into my ear. Good morning.
6:36 am. Big E is up and halfway dressed. The sponge curlers she forced, I mean begged, me to put in last night don't give her quite the level of bounce and curl she had been hoping for, but she holds it together very well. No wailing or throwing herself on the floor in desperation. Dare I hope she's outgrowing her tendency toward the Ultra-Dramatic? She's too preoccupied with thoughts on her new class...the Chili Peppers. You know, 'cause they're hot, hot, hot!
7:05 am. Now we're running late. Little A is still in bed, BB is just rolling out and we've got to leave in 15 MINUTES PEOPLE! I start my countdown panic with the same effect as usual. None, other than a spike in my blood pressure.
7:25 am. Out the door only 5 minutes past Goal Time. We swim through the the Houston-like fug, me hauling Little A and Big E's 75 lbs backpack in the wagon in 98% humidity, BB on his bike taking photos. Big E alternately skipping and walking and chattering non-stop. Aside from the 18 inches she's grown in the past three years, our walk to school is virtually the same as it was on the first day of kindergarten. We walk by a group of middle schoolers waiting for the bus and I privately hope to myself that Big E will never look like THAT...I'm too tired to adequately describe it, but mostly it's just BIG. They just seem so old and all traces of childhood innocence are gone. Or maybe there's a tiny bit there, but they're trying SO HARD to hide it all we see are these 2/3 kid - 1/3 adult people trying to seem 100% grown up.
This ensemble was the result of approximately 36 hours of shopping and trying on and decision-making to get just the right look for the first day of school. Not just any thing will do. Don't want to be too dressy...can't be too casual....one wants to set the right tone with a class of new, harshly-critical 3rd graders. Finally, we came to this. I think it lived up to all her expectations.
Little A asked if we could stop by The Short One's house on the walk home from school. He hasn't accepted the fact that TSO is in kindergarten now and that means he won't be around to handcuff him and stick him in jail, aka the closet, or fight as pirates or Jedi Knights as often.
3:00 pm. Big E comes home starving. Lunch is only 20 minutes and they were running late, so really only about 10 by the time they actually got to it. I've been shocked several times recently by how much food she can eat. Today was one of those times.
4:00 pm. One homework assignment today is to fill a brown paper bag with 5 things that say something about you. She agonizes over which 5 items she'll take and narrows it down to a necklace that she beaded this summer, a photo of her with BB and me in San Antonio when she was 3 years old, a Girl Scout patch, a pin from San Francisco, and a Letter of Acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from a Harry Potter-themed sleepover she went to a few weeks ago. Close runners-up were a Math Pentathlon patch and a swim team ribbon. There may still be some switching around in the morning.
8:15 pm. Big E crawls into bed, happy and tired and looking forward to tomorrow. 1st day as a Chili Pepper a spicy success.
In the spirit of learning something new everyday, yesterday I learned that reverse cannonballs off the steps going into the swimming pool are a great way to split your chin open and expose all the underlying fat layer, requiring 3 stitches and a 4 hour ER visit to the brand new Dell Children's Medical Center. While we were at the hospital no less than 8 people asked us to describe the accident. Sometimes they asked me, sometimes they asked Little A. He was a bit too overwhelmed to answer at first, so I explained how he was climbing out of the pool, slipped on the steps and came down on his chin. After that, we took our turns explaining the same scenario he restating my original description almost verbatim. It wasn't until we got home that night and Big E said he had actually been practicing his reverse cannonball technique that he came clean.
Whenever Little A is cautioned about potential danger involving various activities like scaling the outside of swingsets, jumping from the top bunk, or sliding face first into the deep end of the pool, I get the standard 'Awww, that won't hurt ME' answer. He was playing on the patient bed IN the ER room, bouncing and trying to stand up and jump (it's KINDA like a hotel bed, right? uh, except for the wheels and expensive equipment all around it). I said something to the effect that it probably wasn't a good idea and he gave me that same answer. While he was sitting there with a gash on his chin. Waiting for stitches. In a trauma room. I shudder to think what kind of Invincibility Charm he'll believe he lives under when he's a teenager.
As we were registering, a man and woman frantically blew into the ER, obviously in a panic. They said they'd received a phone call that their 14 year old son was here and could they please see him? Hospital staff quickly ushered them through The Big Doors and they were gone. Leaving me to ponder What Happened? Leaving me to ponder that feeling of dread that I feel when I see or hear a kid doing something dangerous. The feeling I imagine I'll wake up with in the middle of the night in too few years.
Thinking of this and school starting, and Big E morphing into some kind of tween or something and then reading these two very well-written and timely blog posts (here and here...they even have matching backgrounds) has me a bit melancholy, pensive, and torn between counting the minutes before the school bell rings Monday and locking my doors to keep everyone in. Take the time to read them. I'll give good odds that there will be a tear in your eye or a lump in your throat when you're done. And don't we Moms just love that sometimes?
Today has not been a good day for anyone who has a moderate to strong dislike of weird and creepy critters. This morning, while I was attempting to accomplish some yard work before the major heat set in, I came across one of these...
Being thoroughly disgusted, but a tiny bit intrigued by the sheer length and the repulsive flat head, I fetched a container and set out to capture it. Picking it up with a stick, the yucky, sticky, slimy thing - gulp - tore in half. The head end kept on moving and now that I've done a little research it looks like I've got myself the makings of TWO land planaria. Oh, the luck! Turns out a primary method of propagating themselves is chopping themselves up into little bits and regenerating their primitive nervous and digestive systems. Wow. You really CAN learn something new every day. Strangely enough, as I continued my yard work I came across 3 more of the creatures. I smooshed them (which I read later was completely the wrong thing to do....wrap them in tissue paper and dry them out) and was unable to eat for hours.
As if that weren't enough, I discovered that a scorpion I had spotted in a light fixture a couple of days ago and assumed was DEAD and could therefore wait until school started for me to disassemble the light and dispose of it's dessicated carcass (or better yet, let BB deal with it), was in reality still very much ALIVE, and apparently just kicking back and enjoying the cush life in his private little globe light. Oh. My. God. Little A made up his own game called "Throw things at the light and watch the scorpion run around the globe".
Scorpions are my nemesis. If I ever had to have a showdown between myself and my arch enemy, it would be me against a giant scorpion, just like Perseus' (aka a pre-L.A. Law Harry Hamlin) battle with the giant scorpions in that 80's classic, Clash of the Titans, which scarred me from a very early age.
Try as I might, I just can't bring myself to respect the scorpion's place in the food chain. I don't feel this hostility toward any other creatures, although cockroaches, hairy spiders, and overgrown eyebrows come pretty close. And now, land planaria.
Earlier this week the kids were able to convince me that another afternoon of hanging around the pleasant a/c of our house would result in Very Bad Things, so we joined friends and made the trek out to Lakeway to visit their really fun little swim park. For a small admission you have the pleasure of riding your choice of two water slides (three if you count the adorable little frog slide where the little ones slide down the frog's long tongue into the 6" deep water), the lily pads, or swim in the big pool or the little pool or the zero-entry beach-like splash pool. It was a great way to spend a blazing HOT typical August afternoon.
I thought I'd do something I rarely do and bought the kids candy before we went. It's not that they don't ever get candy, but usually it's associated with birthday party piñatas, holidays, or someone else is providing it. So, I'm rarely the source of the goody. I like to use the Basket of Sweets as a primary source of leverage (generally in the form of withholding) in gently encouraging them to behave in socially appropriate ways.
I'm sure there's some psychological reason for my suddenly placing far fewer limits on their intake of sweets, something like since I can't eat candy or cookies or anything aside from the veggies and fruit I've been eating for over 2 weeks now, that at least I should be able to enjoy watching my kids eat all the things I'm obsessing about.
Enough about food....back to the swim fun...
Our friendly neighborhood Spiderman made an appearance at the pool and kept all the ruffians in line.
Both the kids were quite adept at getting across the lily pad obstacle. Little A didn't bother with the rope since he couldn't reach it, so he just hopped, very authentically, from pad to pad. Big E was very good at unfolding one of her long legs to pull a pad that was floating away back where she wanted it. I went across once and know it must have been semi-entertaining since I actually saw the lifeguard snickering at me. Brat.
We hosted a full house last weekend and welcomed sisters, aunts, cousins, grandparents to share our little abode here. Air mattresses were filled, futon mats flipped out and pillows shaken out of their tightly compressed giant ziploc bags from the attic. I know you're thinking 'But weren't you JUST in Oklahoma to visit these people?'. And the answer is Yes, actually we were. That was about the time SOMEONE (I'm looking at YOU, Grumpy!) got it into their head that we should all get together to witness the Greatest Meteor Event In Decades as a family unit. And wouldn't that be fun? The first suggestion was camping. No go on that. Texas in August. Need I say more? Then a lodge at a state park. No go again. Too much money. Travel budget busted on California. Why not just come to Austin? I say. We've got Plenty'o'Room, I say. Bring the kids! So that's how I get myself into things like that.
But really, it turned out to be a very fun weekend. It was a bit torturous for me because I couldn't eat anything I was cooking for the gang. Plus, Big E made what everyone told me were the Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies (substitute honey for the corn syrup) ever.
BB and I are in the midst of this detox cleanse thing and it was a true test of my willpower (what BB lovingly refers to as my stubbornness). The diet seems to be nothing to him. He asked why we don't eat like this all the time. How about because I can't LIVE in the kitchen doing nothing but chopping and cooking without going CRAZY (or crazier, depending on your POV).
I warned my sisters that we were still de-TV-ified, so we would be dependent on videos to brainlessly entertain the children for hours on end. But they never turned the TV on once. The Big 4 (Big E, Little A, MP2, and NP) played Harry Potter ALL DAY Saturday.
They ran around the house spouting spells and waving wands and playing Quidditch hour after hour. When they ran out of spells and finally caught the Snitch they played Settlers of Catan.
I wasn't in on that but they looked like they were having lots of The Fun. The Little 2 (Big M and Little M) entertained themselves in various ways, including the occasional spell thrown their way, and just going up and down the stairs, over and over and over.
And we saw them together.
Karl Rove has resigned. 8 years too late, but I guess I'll have to take what I can get. I have often wondered how different the world would /could be today if things had gone differently that day in November, '00 as BB, Big E (who was quite little at the time), and I confidently ate at some Austin restaurant (which one WAS it??) and watched the results flow in. It looked good for us as we turned in for the night...only to wake up to an altered universe where Katherine Harris, Antonin Scalia, and pregnant chads became part of our daily vernacular.
Thanks to Bizzy, from whom I lifted this photo.
I don't know if things would be much different, but I like to think so. I like to think it would have changed the lives of 3690 U.S. soldiers and their families and the (at least) 40,000 Iraqi families who have lost loved ones in the last few years. Perhaps we wouldn't have come to accept the torture of another human being as being "unfortunate, but necessary".
It isn't that I blame Karl Rove directly for this Mess o'potamia, but really I do. Some other people too, but I would be Ever So Giddy to see this man go down and go down really hard. Unfortunately, that really only happens in the movies, like that scummy senator in Shooter (man, did he get his!), so I'm not holding my breath. He'll end up skating away from whatever comes of his Congressional subpoena and either continue as an evil, conniving political strategist or make a bundle on the speaking circuit and book deals or maybe both. Whatever happens, I've prepared myself for the likely possibility that he'll be a thorn in my side for many more years. But for now, I will take pleasure that we're no longer Running with that particular Devil.
All that political soapbox out of the way, I can talk about the Devil that we WILL soon be running with again....David Lee Roth and Van Halen are reuniting and starting a new tour next month. One more way for me to feel the years slipping away is to read about David Lee Roth, age 52!!!, joining back up with his old band to sing songs from my high school days that are over 20 years old.
I couldn't find any word on whether they'd have an Austin stop, but I don't think I'd go even if they did. First, BB would rather disembowel himself with a shrimp fork than go to a Van Halen concert. That's just a guess based on previous uncomplimentary comments made toward that genre of music. Second, I'm not sure I want to relive those days. Those days are 'those days'. They were fine while I lived them, glad I did, but I've moved on. Plus, I'm just outgrowing the damage I did to my hair with all the perms, teasing, and hairspraying enough Aqua Net for my own personal ozone hole, that I'm not willing to start all over.
Now, I'm going to pretend I'm a Fug Girl for a minute....I'm not remotely as clever or witty so bear with me.
It was good of Eddie V to take time off from his house painting gig to show up for this publicity op at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. Did Valerie forget to lay out a shirt? And is that guy on the left Larry the Cable Guy back when he had a full mullet and before he decided to rip the sleeves off his shirt? Did anyone tell these guys they were going to be on the TV? The smarmy agent looking guy looks like he might have gotten the word and DLR did go to the trouble to unbutton his shirt down to his navel, or more likely...he buttoned it up and tucked in.
What IS this?
a) entrails from a medium size goat
b) jaundiced placenta of a coyote
c) roasted eggplant
If you guessed c, you're really good. When CCC slapped it down on my cutting board today I was personally thinking of b. While the kiddos played nicely, CCC and I (mostly CCC) threw together some baba ghanoush since we were both getting bored of green salads, green salads, and more green salads. We had to make a few modifications, like omit the tahini and the naan *gasp!*. I luuuuuuv naan. Is it not THE perfect bread? Even though I enjoy it, I've just never been able to hold my Indian food (one bad, awful, life-altering experience 8 years ago has yet to be forgotten), so I don't get nearly enough naan in my life. But that's all about to change. Come August 26, this cleanse will be over and I'll be at Whole Foods buying the new naan they started selling last week. It looked so dreamily good. Soft and puffy and just the right amount of springiness. I sat and held it and gazed at it for a while. True, the naan would be fabulous, but it goes really well with a red pepper strip, too.
Has anyone heard if there if there is some sort of horrible shallot shortage this year? Too much rain? Have the shallot farmers gone on strike? The two grocery stores nearby had ZERO and Whole Foods had only a few to choose from.
Here's the final product. The cilantro makes this dip really wonderful, even if it is a bit on the slimyish side.
Well, it's been about 3 weeks since Bubble Boy ripped my bleeding heart right out and returned our cable boxes while I innocently slept. After coping with the knowledge that I would no longer be able to sit and mindlessly flip through the hundreds of channels we had (but never watched...I just took comfort in knowing I could if I wanted to), it hasn't been too bad. We've had to buy The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
and somehow BB says some special chants, waves his magic wand and transfers that to the Apple TV so I can get my daily dose of fake news. But otherwise, we've made do with the library and Netflix. The biggest conflict seems to center around the gender and age difference between the kids, but we had that before, so no Big Whoop.
Speaking of Apple TV, I'll take this moment to say I'm peeved with Apple for putting out a product designed for use with a TV that won't connect directly to the internet and download programs from iTunes. Doesn't that sound like an obvious feature? But I'm just a technobaby, so what do I know.
Not much else happening. These have been the lazy days of summer. I am doing the cleanse again. That's what made me think about the TV thing. The first few days of the cleanse I have found myself craving things (Big E really enjoys waving her nachos and goodies under my nose) that I would otherwise not give a second thought. Graham crackers, churros, potato chips with sour cream dip, etc... Kinda like the craving to watch lots of junk tv when I knew I no longer could. What's up with the human brain working this way? Of course I've heard 'the grass is always greener...', 'we always want what we don't have', etc... but it does get old and anyway I always thought of myself as somehow different, maybe a bit above all that nonsense. Guess I'm a walking cliché in yet one more way.
Big E's school will be starting in less than 3 weeks. Little A won't start his 4 day/week nature school until after Labor Day. This is the first summer in a while that I haven't found myself checking the days, hours, minutes before school starts. I decided we weren't going to do any summer camps this year. We spend all school year being told where to be and when to be there, so I really wanted a break for all of us for a while.
It's been a great summer! Yes, it hasn't all been rainbows and unicorns....there have been Moments. Just yesterday one of those Moments presented itself in a very ugly manner. After the gym, the bubble kids and CCC's kids usually beg for some way, somehow to stay together forever and always. So we split up, I took the 3 big girls, she took the 2 little ones and we ran our errands, meeting back up at her house for lunch (yummy cleanse-approved mushroom soup...delish!) and to switch back to our own kiddos. Upon being given the 10 Minute Warning, Little A shrieked like a banshee and ran screaming through the house like a three-headed monster was chasing him with a pitchfork and it basically went on this way for about 45 minutes, long after we got home. I'm thinking he wasn't ready to leave.
It was, of course, all my fault. He told me so many times. A multitude of so-called privileges were lost yesterday which ends up causing more misery to me and the whole family every time he's reminded he can't have dessert, watch a video, go to Barnes and Noble to trade in his reading list for a free book. Guess who relishes in reminding him often of these punishments? Big E is a master at making sure her brother never feels happiness in her presence. There I go complaining again. But like I said, I'm not looking forward to school kicking back into full swing. Then I'll have no tv AND no kids. What will I do for entertainment then? Yikes...what will I crave???
Today the Urban Assault team (SJ, CCC, JC and myself) finally made good on our intention to go mountain biking. JC and I are totally new to this sport and CCC has been once before, I think. So, it's safe to say the three of us are in the beginner category. SJ, however, is a Mountain Biking Rock Star so she gave us a quick lesson on the proper stance for riding over rocks, keeping our butts off the saddle and we headed down the trail.
Now, the first question that comes to my mind is "Why do I want to do this when it's sunny and 97 degrees?". Two answers and the first is this: I had honestly thought mountain biking sounded really, really fun about 6 weeks ago, when I was all "SJ is willing to teach us how to mountain bike! Awesome!...it'll be a blast!". The difference between then and now is that THEN I was a triathlon running, Urban Assault riding S-T-U-D. And those endorphins or whatever they are in my brain tricked me into thinking certain unlikely things, including riding a bike over a rocky, stumpy, twisty, hot, dusty trail would be an enjoyable thing to do on a Saturday afternoon in August.
The second reason was I have been trying really hard to not let "I'm too lazy" be my reason for not doing something. And basically, that's what my hesitation was. So, it was an opportunity to not be such a lazy bum.
Really, I'm just complaining, because that's what I do (pretty good at it too, according to many knowledgeable sources). It WAS fun...but it was hard, too. I was super impressed with the other girls...they are much, much, much braver than I am and I am inspired to try it again. And maybe this time I won't walk over the drop-offs. But don't hold me to that.
Just couldn't resist a quick review here to hopefully help me remember actually seeing this movie. I'm notorious for forgetting that I've seen a particular movie and need to be reminded of details. I'm working to improve.
So, this movie was fantastic. I had heard all the hoopla about Forest Whitaker and all that bidness, but really....wow. I was a bit disappointed that James McAvoy's character, Nicholas Garrigan, was completely fictionalized, but took comfort in knowing that what happened to him in the movie didn't really happen to him (maybe to someone else, which I will try really, really hard not to think about).
Forest Whitaker was indeed amazing. He WAS Idi Amin as far as I am concerned. I have a vague recollection of IA, having been a clueless tyke during his reign. But I think FW received so much attention that James McAvoy got overlooked. This was a big change from his character in Narnia (Mr. Tumnus, the faun) and he did a great job. It can't be easy to hold your own when you're up against freakin' Idi Amin. Plus, I just love All Things Scottish.
All the fluff said, it was shocking, eye-opening, and depressing to be shown some of the many horrible things that have happened and be reminded of the atrocities that continue to happen in Africa. We watched Blood Diamond a few weeks ago and that alone was enough to make me never want to buy another diamond again. Damn...I hate to end a blog entry on such a sour note, but it just sucks too badly there to do otherwise. Sorry.
Today marks the beginning of what is sure to be a very close and lucrative relationship with Big E's orthodontist (lucrative for HIM....I'm sure we'll be having bake sales to help pay for retainers over the next 6 years). She actually handled the insertion of the RPE (Rapid Palatal Expander) quite well. Being on the nervous side like she is, I anticipated much more screaming or at least some whimpering, but didn't happen. We discussed and practiced some calming techniques beforehand and I think it paid off. Dodged a bullet there!
It will take some getting used to, though. Obviously she's supposed to avoid sticky, clumpy foods like peanut butter and white bread and stick to things that are pretty soft. So, Tortellini for Dinner, I thought. That didn't go over so well. After 3 or 4 bites not working out and getting stuck in there, a Drama Queen Moment came over her and she collapsed in tears and anger, "I CAN'T EEEEAAAT!!!", she wailed over and over. A big bowl of oatmeal quickly remedied that problem and we're good 'til tomorrow when gruel and chicken broth are on the menu.
More happenings today....Little A fell from the top shelf of the pantry. He's decided he doesn't want to ask anyone for help in retrieving whatever snacks he'd like and so he'll just climb up and get them himself. Having been cautioned against this behavior he now closes the door to the pantry so no one will know what's going on behind the closed door (The What We Can't See Won't Hurt Him Theory). Today I heard the "thumpity-thump-thump-splat" of him tumbling down and the subsequent crying. As I dashed to the door and opened it, he looked up at me and cried "I'M NOT HURT!! I'M ONLY CRYING BECAUSE YOU SEE ME!!". One of those moments I feel like saying "See!? I told you so!" like the 5 year old I am deep down inside, but I stuffed the urge down with great effort.
And still more happenings from today....just gotta talk a little about the lifeguard situation at our personal country club, the GH pool. I had so much fun watching the LG laze around with her feet propped up on some guy's (her boyfriend??) lap, while she chit-chat with her girlfriend and took token glances in the general direction of the pool. JC, who manages the pool said there has been at least one complaint about her calling long breaks, leaving early, and Public Displays of Affection (aka GROPING) with her boyfriend. Tonight she was polishing her fingernails. Is that Red Cross sanctioned nail polish? I wonder if it really does bother me, if I am just looking for things to bitch about, or what. Part of it makes me remember just what it was like to be 16, but you know, I wasn't getting paid $11/hour to sit around and paint my nails and be mauled by some acne-faced boy in front of the whole neighborhood. Maybe I'm bitter, or maybe I'm jealous. I'm guessing bitter.