Friday, March 11, 2011

Just To Catch You Up On All My Most Random Thoughts

Last week Shortcake performed with the rest of her classmates in CCECC’s production of “Barnyard Moosical”. Dressed in their finest barnyard animal or farmer/cowboy threads, the group of 150 first graders brought the house down with a collection of farm animal themed songs. Shortcake once again volunteered for a somewhat prominent role in this year’s performance, acting out the lyrics to the Goat Cheese Pizza song. The General and I both observed that our normally meek and mild first born throws all inhibitions out the door when under the bright lights of the stage. And all these years we thought Punkin was destined to be our star performer…

Punkin is going to be five years old in just over a month. Can someone please explain to me how it is even possible that my BABY is going to be FIVE?

Have you heard that Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have officially announced that they are a couple? When you take this news and add it to the fact that JB died on a recent episode of CSI, there was a brief moment when I thought we were going to have to put Punkin into an intensive therapy program to cope with both sets of devastating news. Over time though she has come to embrace her ex-boyfriend’s new flame, I think because Punkin respects her acting ability on Wizards of Waverly Place, and come to an understanding of the difference between “real life” and “television”. Crisis averted times two.

If the in real life buzz is any indication, my blog post about The General’s “Who Art Thou” comment may have catapulted him into top billing for subject of the public’s favorite post of all time. It’s been a long time since I had so many readers approach me with comments on how they laughed and laughed after reading a post. And to think he didn’t want me to ever make that conversation public. Doesn’t he realize that I can make him a star?

Right now the gym unit at the intermediate school in our district is pickleball. I thinking that Team We(Cancer)Vive should add a pickleball tournament to their fundraising lineup. It could be HUGE!

This week our school district is participating in ISAT testing and as I’ve done in the past I’m administering the test to one of my students who has accommodations per his IEP. I’m happy to report that if my self-grading skills are up to par I would most likely exceed standards for the 4th grade assessment. That being said, the following concepts still leave me second-guessing myself: vertices, polygons, and math computation with fractions. Perhaps I was too busy passing notes in class when those concepts were drilled home.

Speaking of Illinois standards, life as a resident and public sector employee in this state continues to produce controversy. Although our state capitol is less newsworthy than our neighbor to the north (for the time being, anyway), emails have been flying about pending legislation that stands to make a significant impact. The big topics of discussion right now are pensions and mandatory consolidation of school districts. Mandatory consolidation is an idea that I can’t imagine anyone being in favor of, but Governor Quinn wants to create school districts that serve population centers of 30,000-35,000 people. This would allow him to reach his goal of consolidating from the current 868 school districts down to 300 school districts. The proposal for consolidation of districts would:

  • Dissolve all school districts on July 1, 2012.
  • Abolish all school boards on July 1, 2012
  • Establish county school districts
  • Set a date for a special election for each county to elect members of the new county school board
  • Transfer all power, duties, assets, property and employees from the former school boards to the newly created county school board.
I’ve asked the question before and I’ll ask it again: why, in the face of a serious financial crisis, is it ALWAYS education that gets put on the chopping block first? Does no one in politics take into consideration the wise words of a sober Whitney Houston? THE CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE! TEACH THEM WELL (in school districts with local control and with staff who are compensated appropriately per the state constitution) AND LET THEM LEAD THE WAY!

In light of all the Charlie Sheen drama as of late as well as the death of a second member of Alice in Chains due to a suspected drug overdose earlier in the week, I started wondering what would happen if all entertainers suffering from substance abuse were deemed unemployable due to the negative influence it might have on their adoring fans and the image of the studios and record labels who cut their checks each month. Stop for a minute and imagine what the movie and music industries would look like if this were an enforceable law. As The General stated, there would be virtually no cast of Saturday Night Live to speak of. The Hair Metal Nation would be non-existent. The world might not have ever known Elvis. Even the Disney Channel would be down several high profile starlets.

Say the word “twelfths” five times quickly. Is that not one of the weirdest words ever? Now try it in a series of fractions with that word as the denominator. Five-twelfths. Seven-twelfths. Eleven-twelfths. Saying those makes my tongue feel fuzzy. I’m putting the word in the top five on my weird word list.

Tuesday night I saw my brother carrying a diaper bag. It looked strange. Also, in addition to hosting a “Guess Gunther’s birthday, weight, length, and time of birth” contest, I’ll be running a second side bet titled, “How far into Cari’s labor and delivery before Poke vomits or passes out?”. I’d err on the side of sooner rather than later.

I’m in a recipe rut. I am so tired of making the same eight recipes as part of our dinner rotation that I could scream. Pizza casserole, tacos, chicken alfredo, meatloaf, roast, BBQ, spaghetti, ravioli…I need to spice up the menu. Grilling season is quickly approaching which will help a little bit, but my current combat mechanism is either a) super easy non-all-that-healthy alternatives like mini corn dogs and quesadillas or b) eating out/ordering in. Please feel free to share any mealtime winners you serve in your house if you feel motivated to do so.

After watching news coverage from the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I am again convinced that there is no natural resource stronger or more destructive than water.

Yesterday I woke up to the sound of birds chirping in our yard. It was a beautiful reminder that spring really is on its way.

Shortcake and I will be on spring break in less than two weeks. Although I am very much looking forward to the time at home, I can’t help but feel a little bit melancholy. Last year at this time I was eagerly anticipating my trip to Minnesota, and with Helmette due to arrive very soon I’m extra bummed that I won’t be making a return trip this year. Of course, I’m not sure wine tasting or piano bars would be on the itinerary this year given Tina’s current pregnant state so maybe it’s for the better. I’m wondering if I could talk The General into a summer road trip though with promises of low humidity and cooler temperatures…

Finally, on the topic of summer vacation, I’m beginning to compile my list of possible summer adventures for this year. Currently on the list: Naperville’s children’s museum, Shedd aquarium, Yorkville water park, and a return trip to Fair Oaks Dairy as requested no less than once a week by our Shortcake and Punkin. Anyone else have any suggestions for kid friendly day trip fun?


Tina said...

1. I really love the Whitney Houston reference. Be looking for a post regarding the state of education soon.

2. How much beer will Poke have consumed before and during labor and delivery? I think that might make a better contest, and also produce better passing out/puking estimates.

3. Try these recipes in your dinner rotation - tuna casserole, chicken and broccoli casserole, shredded pork sandwiches w/ beans and cole slaw, beef stroganoff, chicken and wild rice soup. All make a lot of food and are quick and easy to make. I'll send recipes via facebook.

4. You should visit this summer! While I can't promise lower humidity, it usually is cooler...think about it!

Tru Stories said...

A.) There may be cooler temps in Minnesota... but there really are about 7,000 large ponds... which means about 7 gabillion mosquito bites.

B.) We too are in a food rut, spaghetti, homemade mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, chicken in crockpot and then order pizza. We are on a rotation.

C.) Let's plan several days this summer. Of course, a pool day... cuz it aint summer if I haven't seen Punkin puke in a pool. Maybe a zoo day. Maybe a fun day out at Great Aunt Ginge's... while we go for a 3 hour lunch and pedicure. That would be the most fun day for the kids. And not to forget the several evenings at the Carbonhill softball diamond.

D.) I too am greatly confused by cutting all the school programs. I'm not sure how it benefits our country by raising chubby idiots.

E.) The Kid is our school program stand-out (not for his acting, he is the nearly all-time opening monologue go-too guy.) Maybe, they can put on a show at GG's Xmas.

F.) And I wasn't that impressed by The General's Art post. He's had better stuff....

Grama JG said...

Actually, Minnesota has more than 11,000 lakes!! So...there are that many more mosquitos around...some years. It all depends on the quirks of nature.
Loved the comment on raising chubby idiots by Tru Stories!!
If the General would agree to a MN roadtrip this summer, I'll volunteer to help with kiddy distractions, or providing the General a place for some quiet time! I want to meet Shortcake and Punkin b/4 puberty!!!

tlk said...

have I already mentioned on this site that I have never been beaten in pickleball? Cuz I haven't.

The General said...



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