Other People’s children

So I’m on the phone yesterday, with a client. Its going well until I start getting the incoming call beep. I check the number and its someone I don’t recognize, but its local, meaning its for one of the kids. I ignore it because clients are more important that kids calls.

Only, this kid calls every two minutes. Hang up, call again, hang up call again, lather-rinse-repeat. This is the second kid that has done this. Why can’t parents TEACH their kids that if someone doesn’t answer the phone, then MAYBE just MAYBE
a)we aren’t home and can’t answer the phone
or
b) The current call is MORE IMPORTANT than YOU are you rude little carpet monkey.

When I finally answered the call(and the client was a little put out from having to repeat things 3 and 4 times) I pretty much reamed the kid. And tomorrow I plan on reaming the parent.

Oy.

My kids have to ASK to use the phone. And they are time monitored. They have proper manners for
a) Answering the phone and taking messages correctly
b) Being polite
c)They say “Yes Ma’am(sir) and Thank you when appropriate.

There is another kid that (thankfully) doesn’t call anymore. Quite frankly, the mom doesn’t deserve kids because her daughter is the most ILL mannered, RUDE little asswipe I have ever encountered. My kids REFUSE to answer her calls or to go anywhere with them. Sadie calls and the conversations go like this

Sadie: Is Katy there?(note, she did not identify herself at all)
Me: Nope.
Sadie: Well, where is she?!?
Me: None of your business. She isn’t here.
Sadie: Why won’t you tell me where she is???
Me: hangs up.

Sadie: Is Katy there?
Me: Yes and she doesn’t want to talk to you
Sadie: Why not?
Me: Because you are rude, you basically physically abuse her by hitting her or you verbally abuse her by threatening to hit or by emotionally manipulating her. She has chosen NOT to communicate with you until you develope some manners, grace and basic human civility.
Sadie. I want to talk to her now.
Me: Exactly..and I hang up.

And then her mom calls
Michelle: Hi, can Katy come over and play with Sadie?
Me: No and I told Sadie why.
Michelle: What do you mean?
Me: Your child has horrific habits of physical and mental abuse. You seriously need to spend some time with her so you see her absolutely unacceptable she is around other children.
Michelle: Can I borrow 30 dollars? We’re out of…
Me: Hangs up.

Paid Programming

Nothing in the universe is worse than some quack hawking his newest “Miracle Cure” with a 30 minute commercial. Well, actually, there is worse. Waking UP to a quack hawking his miracle cure.

Now, I pay HUGE money for HDcable and yet 70% of the channels switch over to this paid programming crap after midnight.. Uh, Hello? Why the FUCK and I paying for this drivel? Who CARES if all the people in the world have dirty clogged colons. And why must I be forced to PAY to watch it?

Even more annoying, they are NOW pasting this crud as a “pre-commerical” on the VOD stuff.

Mebbe I just hate the old Guilt Pitch, but geeze, can they just lighten up a bit. I’m either dying of Clogged Colon, Cholesterol, PMD, Diabetes, Erectile Dysfunction, ad nauseum. No wonder Health Care costs so much. We’ve become a nation of Hypochondriacs thanks to Late Night TV.

Mixed Messages

Mixed Messages

After watching “The Devil Wears Prada” for the umpteenth time last night, it occurred to me there very disturbing mixed messages in this film. While I understand the film itself is meant for purely entertainment purposes, the insidiousness of the messages can harm it’s target audience, namely children and tweens.

First we see Andy desperately looking for a job. She is a young recent college graduate and barely out of the nest, so to speak. She is Fresh Faced, naive and idealistic(odd and ironic for a journalist major, don’t you think?) and dresses very “Girls School” frumpy. I’m a solid 25 years out of college and I never saw anyone dress like that even in my day.

By some quirk of fate she lands a job in the most important fashion magazine in New York, “as an assistant to the Executive Editor”. Can we say “not bloody likely”? I think you can. Andy thinks the women at the magazine are idiots for subscribing to designer couture(where did that naive idealism go?) and even comes up with a dispariging nickname, “The Clackers”.

In one swift stroke, she marginalized them into sub human, non-thinking lemmings, without even bothering to learn about them as individuals or their personal motivations. I fail to see how this example is something good or even worthy of imitation. In fact, this is the very reason we have such intolerance and racism in the world today.

As the movie progresses, you see Andy getting sucked into this “evil machine”. Her best friend pulls her aside and delivers a scathing diatribe about “how she is changed and she doesn’t know her anymore”. Oh good grief, every person on the planet grows and changes. How is it wrong to value a job or excel at a job, over a poor bohemian lifestyle? How is a poor bohemian lifestyle preferable to a high profile well paying job? The same friend is desperately trying to break into the glitterati with her art. The message they beat us to death with is compromising your ethics, but its a very bad example. People compromise their ethtics every day just to KEEP a job and KEEP food on the table. Somehow I don’t see Noble Starvation as better than positioning yourself as well paid and able to support yourself without governement funding.

And the boyfriend. Yes as Andy works dilligently at her chosen job, the boyfriend gets his digs in. “How can you work at that job if you hate it so much?” Yet we see him in a dead end job toiling away at a job he hates.

Just as an aside here, I find these to be very limiting and unhealthy relationships. GOOD friends and GOOD mates do not judge. They support. They listen. They don’t do lectures or cast the “you’ve changed” guilt trip on a friend.

The most devestating message in this film is that successful women are divorced women. The Executive Editor is going through yet another divorce. A marriage sacrificed because of her job. THis is so terribly misleading to children. We see Disney values(another ironic thing) imposed on girls and women. A woman with a job and a good job is doomed to fail at family. She is evil, self serving and less than human.

Nice Job Disney.

Your Texas Driver’s License

This was news to me. And trust me, I got my license out and looked. It’s
really there!

Something all Texans should know, especially since this has received very
little or no publicity.

Your Texas driver’s license has a phone number on the back, just above the
bar code on the lower left side:
1-800-525-5555. (It’s VERY SMALL PRINT , but it IS there.)

This number can be called for emergency assistance on the highway or
wherever you might have trouble while in your car.

A service truck will be sent to you. This service is state operated, paid
for with your tax dollars.

If you are ever stranded, just call the number on your driver’s
license…help is on the way.

A state trooper will be sent to make sure all is well. This one is worth
passing on especially to all the women you know

Conversations with a Cat

On walking into the kitchen this morning to get my coffee, Bubbles followed. The dialog was as follows.

Bubbles: Meeee OWWWW
Me: I didn’t step on your tail
Bubbles: Mrow
Me: Breakfast is in 20 minutes. Lemme drink my coffee. You know how cranky I am before my coffee
Bubbles: Prrrrt
Me: Well, you don’t have to AGREE with me
Bubbles: Prrtttt oowwwwwww
Me: Still, its rude.

I pour my coffee and add the sugar and cream. Bubbles watches closely. As if it were a top secret process that she was going to have a pop test on later.

Bubbles: uuuuOOOOOOWWW
Me: (shows her the coffeemate) See, this goes in first
Bubbles: Prrt. Prittt.
Me:(stirs the coffee and adds the sweetener) And then you tear the tops of the little packets and pour them in
Bubbles: (stares and then shoots a significant look at the cat bowl) EEEEEOOOOOOOW
Me: Well technically I haven’t had my coffee yet.
Bubbles: Muhrowowow
Me: Okay FINE. I’ll feed you. Then leave me alone, okay?
Bubbles: Prrrrit.

And then the other cats run in

Me: Ah, so you are the designated Noisemaker this morning.
Bubbles: MeEEEOWWWW
Miss Kitty: ehhhOOWWWW
Furby: (opens her mouth but no sound comes out. That Persian Mute thing)
I put the food down and the happy silence is only broken by the sound of crunching.

Child Prostitution

The lazy days of summer are over and cooler temperatures are flirting on the horizon. It’s back to school time. Big yellow buses wind their way through the neighborhoods collecting our most precious cargo.  But there is an insidious predator lurking,  invited with open arms by our school administrators to prey on our children. Sanctioned even,  by our elected officials with a greasy “No Child Left Behind* smile who promise parents a free and useful education for our kids.

I have the glossy paged, ever so professionally printed evidence in my hands. What, you may ask, is this horrible perfidy? Well, my friend, I’ll tell you. It’s the School Fund Raiser, which should be titled “Governement Sponsored Child Prostitution”.

Who are these people, these businesses who shamelessly use my child to pad their bottom line? How did they so effortlessly insinuate into the public school system to use and abuse and discard my child’s hopes and expectations with the promise the Free School Party if you sell 75 items?  Items so grossly overpriced even the most hopelessly addicted shop-aholic would cringe and hide their credit cards? More importantly, Why do our Elected Officials turn their heads and make themselves blind to this scheme of prostituting my child for the empty promise of raising  “funds” for our schools?  And more than that, why must we recieve these utterly contemptible fund raisers more than twice a year? Are our schools so ill funded that it becomes acceptable to allow our children to be pimped out in such a shameless fashion?

The teachers I know absolutely abhor the fundraisers. They distract the kids, and more importantly, take valuable class time to collect, collate and distribute. And woe to the teacher that improperly recorded the sales. More often than not she is required to issue the refund or provide out of her/his own pocket, the funds to cover the error. Sure, there are teachers that give lip service to the monstrosity because they are not provided with enough materials in the classroom to even cover their state mandated curricula, but that does not mean they agree with it.

I do know that our schools are badly in need of stuff, but how is that the onus of the children? State Representatives and Congress should look a little closer at our schools. Trim the fat at the administration level (and oh, the stories I could tell about THAT, but that is for another post). I just don’t see how pimping out my kids is in their best interest. There isn’t any way you can spin it to make me believe it.

Personally, I’d like to see more of a community effort. It takes a village to raise a child, right? That’s the line we have been fed. Well, how about acting on that propaganda. I’ll gladly spend $100.00+ and cook * all day* Saturday making spagetti for 200 people. They can sell that instead of the $25.00 four ounce box of chocolate. Not only would the school get all the profits, it would at least bring the parents together for one night. Hell, it might even inspire those parents to get invovled.

If you have children in school and have been presented with the School Fund Raiser, I challenge you to write on the envelope;
“I will not permit you to pimp my child. We refuse to participate in Government Sponsored Child Prostitution”.

Yes, I know your kids will give you that look, like you just stomped their favorite puppy to death in front of them, but you’re the parent. Cowboy up and take a stand to protect your kids from charlatans and con men dressed up as the Candy Man

Dress code Blues

I hate the dress code. No, I loathe the dress code. Abhor. Despise.
At any rate, since I don’t get a vote on it and the Megalomaniacs in the School Administration desperately need to discharge stupid rules for the sake of, well, their personal power trips, we have a dress code.

“A students appearance has much to do with the way the student feels about himself or herself. Appearance also affects the way in which other students respond to them and has a great deal to do with student success and the learning atmosphere of the school. Because of this the Dickinson School District has established a standardized dress code for students.”

Yeah, right. I’m sure EVERY kid in the school feels SO much better dressed like a Used Car Salesman.  And I’m quite sure they all respond to Used Car salesmen with respect. Personally, being forced to look like a dork never did anything for my self esteem.

Okay, my personal feelings aside, can they PLEASE INFORM their faculty what is on the handout that was MAILED to me? Please? I am SINCERELY tired of having my kid call me for “Dress Code Violations” which *aren’t* violations according to their little communist propaganda. Twice my kid has been yanked out of class for her shirt and TWICE I had to spend an HOUR calling the principle to VERIFY that her shirt is, indeed, within their dress code. TWICE. BOTH times the assistant principle agreed with me when I told her to sing line and verse WHERE my kids shirt is in violation of their stupid dress code.

Incidentially, I have not met a single parent or teacher that agrees with the dress code. In fact, it is universally hated by all. The “Dress Code” was sold to us as a method of deterring gang violence. Uh, hello? When you camoflage them, how the hell do you keep track of them? Wouldn’t you WANT some sort of visual cues to determine who is going to be your problem students?
Why would the Administration want to create such a hostile environment between students and faculty? Or between Faculty and Parents? It makes no sense. Since our drop-out rate is higher than the national average, I think they should be THRILLED the kids show up at all.

On Borrowing Hats

It was Crazy Hat day at school. Mel offered Becky her prized hat to wear.

Mel: How’d it go?

Becky: They said I looked like either a Pirate or a Three Musketeer

Me: You looked like a candy bar?

Becky: No a Three Musketeer.

Me: You mean a “musketeer”  Three Musketeer is a candy bar or THREE male musketeers

Becky: Oh

Furby the SuperCat

Recently, Furby has acquired an aversion to walking on the floor. Rather than let her precious paws come in contact with something so lowly as carpet(or concrete) she has developed a stratgey of jumping from whatever elevated object is handy, to the next. Normally this would only be mildly annoying, however, considering how outrageously clumsy she is, it has become a source of unending amusement.

Today she went from the stairs to the sofa(slight jump down and to the left), followed that around to the next sofa(all three are arranged in a U shape) until she gets to the end. Uh oh. The chair is not where it used to be. Its MUCH farther away, about FIVE feet away. But she tries anyway. A giant leap and she…. MISSES. By about 2 feet.
Well, since the Current Known Feline Policy is to ignore any mistakes, she immediately sits down to groom and pretend that it was planned.

Conversations Before Dawn

A conversation one morning before school…

 While paying homage to her reflection
Katy:(to Becky) I had a dream last night that I took your phone to school with me

While searching for her shoes
Becky: (To Katy) And then I had a dream that I beat the snot out of you for touching my phone.

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