Category Archives: Observations

Since When Is A “B” Not Enough?

And not just a “B” but an 88.5.

For a 10 year old.

Are you kidding me?

Don’t get me wrong. I love this college-prep elementary school. I’m glad they have high standards. I’m glad they’re pushing my son to reach his full potential.

But when is enough, enough?

Or, more specifically, since when is a “B” not enough?

My son is bright. And imaginative. And active. (You can see where this is going, can ‘t you?) Some teachers love his exuberance, his joie de vivre. And he thrives in their classrooms. Other teachers? Not so much. They just don’t get him.

Not to be redundant but,  did I tell you he is bright? This isn’t just a delusional mom. I have perfect standardized test scores to back me up. As a result, he gets bored. Easily. But emotionally, he is right there with his peers. So, in the 5th grade, he stays. I’ve put my foot down and no one will convince me otherwise.

I received an email today asking for a conference. “He isn’t in trouble, by any means, I just don’t think he’s working up to his full potential.”

notebook-and-pencill-2

I scan the grade sheet. The detailed rubric of his progress in this one class. Writing Class. A 93. An 88. Another 88. And an 85. For an average of 88.5.

So what’s the problem?

I don’t want my kid to be lazy. I want him to always give 110%. But he hates (gasp) to write. He doesn’t like to write fiction. He doesn’t like to write non-fiction. He won’t even like to write his own autobiography. Apparently, I didn’t pass down the writing gene to him. And that’s okay with me. Because….

He loves math. And science. And engineering. And taking things apart. And putting them back together. And Greek mythology. And history. And reading. He loves, loves, loves to read.

So, the writing will come. Someday. For right now, an 88.5 in his least favorite class, and his lowest grade in all subjects, is fine with me. In fact, a high B in a class he doesn’t enjoy is pretty impressive in my book. And because he is bright, I know he will glean from writing class what he needs and apply it when he needs to apply it.

C’mon. He has an 88 in writing mechanics. At age 10.

I’m not worried.

 

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Filed under Observations, Soapbox

Hey! My Jeans Don’t Fit. All Over Again.

With all the yoga, herbal supplements, meditation and mostly gluten free eating I’ve been trying lately to manage this silly panic/anxiety affliction I’ve acquired, I have some good news.

I’ve lost some weight.

And not just some weight. I’ve lost about 17 pounds. So far. (I’m optimistically counting on more. Trust me. I could stand a few more.) 

Whoo-hoo! Go Me!

That’s the good news.

The bad news? My clothes don’t fit. Again.

“But this is one of my favorite pairs,” I cry. “I can’t get rid of these.”

“Fine,” my husband says, “Look like a homeboy hangin’ out in the prison yard.”

He has a point.

jeansdiet

You’d think losing a little weight would be a good thing, right? An excuse to go shopping. Update the old wardrobe. But no. It’s not.

First of all, I’m cheap. In a good way. But cheap, all the same. I’m on a roll, without eating the rolls.  I’m planning on going down at least another size. I can’t afford to re-do my entire wardrobe. But until then, I need some clothes that don’t slide down past my hips, revealing my Calvin Kleins. I enter the dressing room, armed with a half dozen pairs of jeans.

One pair is too tight.

One pair is too loose.

One pair is dragging on the ground or cutting me in the crotch or too loose around the thighs but fine everywhere else.

There is only one common denominator. Wait. Make that two common denominators.

1.) They are all the same size.

And…

2.) None of them are just right.

So I walked out of the store with nothing. Just my baggy ol’ pants that look like I borrowed them from my husband. Or my cellmate.

How could all the same size of the same style of clothing give such different results on the new, thinner me?

We are bombarded with print ads showing us how we should look. We compare ourselves to the other moms at the neighborhood pool. We criticize what we see in the mirror, no matter what size.

I was convinced if I went down a size (which I have) I’d be happier. I’d look so much better and I’d feel fantastic.

I am happy. I do look better. But I don’t feel fantastic.

I don’t know about you, but I need to feel good in my clothes. I want them to be comfortable and I’d like to think they are flattering. But those outfits are too far and few between. I may have lost the weight, but I haven’t lost my critical self. And it’s depressing to think that no matter what the size, I may never feel satisfied.

But all the criticizing in the world doesn’t make up for the fact that much of what is out there is just plain unpredictable and uncomfortable. I admit. I’m not much of a shopper. But is it too much to ask that a size X be a size X and fit like all the other size X’s out there?

Is it?

Apparently, it is.

Ah well. Just another excuse to go shopping again.

Anyone want to come with?

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Filed under How We Roll, Observations

From Point A to Point C to Point X, Y, Z and Finally To Point B. Or Not.

I have 17 drafts in my draft folder.

Seventeen posts that I started and never finished, dating back to October, 2009.

Considering that’s only 4 posts a year, on average, that I start and don’t finish? I’m feeling pretty good about myself. But that statistic doesn’t include all the other posts, the amazing, captivating, change your life posts that never make it to my computer screen. The ones that dance in my head for 2, maybe 5 minutes before another distraction sends them spiraling into the lost post abyss.

My life is a series of crooked lines. I’m sure many of you can relate. We sit down to begin a blog post. That brilliant idea that we had just moments ago, just itching to get down on the screen. We struggle with a title. Or not. A couple of my drafts are just brilliant titles that actually stayed in my head until the computer booted up.

And then, it happens.

The dryer buzzes and we get up to hang up those few things that dance the rotten-apple-wrinkle in two minutes flat. We dump the rest of the laundry on our bed, promising to get back to it and then throw another load in the washer. The dog is standing by the door, so we let him out. Someone left syrup on the breakfast bar so we wipe it down. We remember we forgot to take our herbs so we pour a glass of water and wash them down. We sit down at the computer only to have our son come downstairs, wanting a snack. We point him in the direction of the pantry but we realize he really just wants to connect with us, so we stand in the kitchen while he eats and talks about summer vacation plans and playing minecraft and how he misses his friends from his old school.

Then, we finally sit back down at the computer to write and that stellar title means nothing now or the brilliant blog post idea has lost its fire.

And by “we” and “our,” I mean “I” and “my”. Because all of that just happened, moments ago when I sat down to write a dazzling post about my ever growing draft folder.

poin

Ahhh, to go from point A to point B without any detours. Some nights, I just want to go to bed and not put the shoes and backpacks by the door and load the dishwasher and jot down the errand I will most surely forget by morning. I want to sit up and say, “I’m tired. I’m going to bed.” And do just that.

Or write a blog post without interruption. (No, it’s almost lunch time. You may not have another snack.) Or take a shower and get dressed with answering 20 questions from my husband. Or clean a room from top to bottom without starting another more pressing project in between, leaving both chores unfinished.

Or…

Wait.

What’s that?

Sigh.

The dog is barking to be let in.

I’ll be right back.

Or not.

8 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Observations

One Hundred And Eighteen Shades of Grey

Do you own one of those handy dandy color wheels? You know, the ones decorators use?

We do.

Don’t ask me why. Neither my husband or I can claim any talent in the decorating department. Although, we do watch a lot of HGTV together.

colorwheel

Have you ever noticed the crazy color names? Forceful Orange. Hyper Blue. Gusto Gold. Heartthrob. Lime Rickey. (Sure, set me up, barkeep!)

Well, after watching a lot of HGTV over the past year or so, my husband has decided to jump on the grey wagon. It seems everyone out there is painting their rooms shades of gray. And no, I don’t think it has anything to do with the popularity of that racy novel, although, I wonder if that racy novelist has been watching as much HGTV as we have.

We grabbed the color wheel and starting ticking through the colors.

Charcoal. Nope. Too dark.

Nuance. Too light.

Solitude. Too lonely.

There were the smart greys: Analytical Gray, Intuitive, Worldly Grey, Imagine, Balanced Gray. Even Intellectual Grey.

There were the dull grays: Mild Grey, Polite Gray, Reticence, Useful Grey, Proper Gray, Essential. And Modest Grey.

“What about Passive Gray?” my husband asked, holding the color swatch to the wall.

“Hmmmm. I don’t know. What do you think?” I replied.

“Aloof?”

“Eh,” I shrugged.

“What about Ponder?”

“I’ll have to think about that one,” I said.

“Agreeable Gray?”

“Of course!” I chimed.

Finally, he gets it and we’re in a fit of giggles.

After one hundred and eighteen shades of grey, which color did we finally go with?

Hinting Blue.

Guess we’re not as trendy as we thought we were.

(To accommodate my outside America readers, I’ve evenly distributed equal spellings of grey and gray. Interesting note: “In the U.K., grey appears about twenty times for every instance of gray. In the U.S. the ratio is reversed.” I have to admit. After writing this post, both spellings look wrong to me now.)

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under funny, How We Roll, Marriage, Observations

We Can All Be Heroes Today

When senseless tragedy hits I have to find a way to cope. My own experience with this can be calculated by the before & after 9/11 timeline.

Before 9/11, I would cry, devour the news, curse the terrorists, curse God, cry some more and then, eventually, slowly, move forward.

After 9/11, I cry, scan the news, pity the terrorists, cry a little more and then relish in all of the Good Samaritan stories that begin to trickle through.

After reading a handful or more of these stories, I can move forward with gusto.

In my lifetime, I’ve noticed that with every tragedy caused by a handful of idiots, hundreds upon thousands of good, kind, compassionate, caring, amazing heroes emerge. It is a wonderful, beautiful, mathematical probability that can only be explained by love.

Man is inherently good. Evil, while it tends to grab the spotlight with a better stronghold, is rare. When faced with adversity, we DO rise to the occasion. We help. We care. We reach out.

And the amazing and far more beautiful part of the equation? Even if we are not directly hit by the tragedy, even if we live thousands of miles away and have no direct ties to the event, we empathize. We put ourselves in another’s shoes and we say to ourselves, what can I do to help? How can I make this better?

If it’s sending blankets or food. Or going to the blood bank. Or pulling out our checkbook. Or holding our children a little tighter. Or saying, “I love you” to those we care about a little more often. It all makes a difference. It all makes our world a better place.

1 idiot: thousands of Good Samaritans.

I’ll take those odds any day of the week.

everyday

Thank you, all you heroes out there. Those who were on the scene. Those arriving to the scene. And those of us, miles away, who are living today more mindfully, kindly and lovingly.

We can all be heroes today. Every day.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, In the News, Observations

And I’ve Got A Bridge In Brooklyn To Sell You

photo (3)

6 Comments

April 12, 2013 · 5:48 am

Crawl Back Under Your Rock, Lance Armstrong. We Don’t Care Anymore.

Lance Armstrong. Did he dope or is he just a dope?

You be the judge.

Or not.

Does anyone really care at this point?

Apparently, there are people who do. Or at least, Oprah would like us to think we should care.

All the latest hype is for a “no holds barred” interview with Oprah, to be aired Thursday, where he is finally ready to tell all. He is “calm…at ease and ready to speak candidly.” Again, I ask. Who cares?

arstrong

I am not an expert in drug enhanced sports performance. I did not follow every speck of the Lance Armstrong doping studies. But I followed enough to determine, for myself, that with the insane amount of information collected, the fact that he was stripped of all seven titles, and a chief executive of the USADA is willing to publicly say that it was the  “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen?” I’m guessing, and it’s just a guess, that Lance Armstrong was guilty of taking  illegal sports enhancing drugs.

Seriously. Does anyone else doubt it?

And now, he’s going to appear on Oprah and it’s been leaked that he’s going to apologize and offer a “limited confession?”

He is an embarrassment. Not only because he took illegal drugs but because he denied it, vehemently, for years. He is reportedly worth $100 million.  He doesn’t need to confess. We know he’s guilty. He doesn’t need to apologize. We don’t care anymore.

Instead, he should be laughing all the way to the bank.

Or, at the very least, crawl back under the rock from which he came.

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Filed under Observations, Soapbox