Do movie ratings work? Heck no.
Tue, 26/10/10 – 22:07 | Comments Off
Do movie ratings work? Heck no.

I thought I had merely run into a strange one last winter when a mom was fine with her pre-teen daughter watching a movie about a force so demonic that even an exorcist was scared …

The last time the Giants were in the World Series …
Tue, 26/10/10 – 12:59 | One Comment
The last time the Giants were in the World Series …

It was 2002. That’s not so long ago considering that my beloved Reds haven’t made it since 1990, but it terms of life-changing events the eight years since San Francisco has been in the fall …

One man’s deployment is another’s day at the race
Mon, 25/10/10 – 13:24 | Comments Off
One man’s deployment is another’s day at the race

He’d bought two tickets for a male-bonding weekend with his brother, who’d planned to fly in out-of-state for the race in California.
She’d bought only three tickets, because her husband’s deployment had effectively blocked his participation …

Lovey’s leaving?
Fri, 22/10/10 – 13:46 | 3 Comments
Lovey’s leaving?

“Mom, I need you to take a picture of El and me tomorrow morning,” Boots said right before bedtime last night. “No, take two of them. One for him, and one for me.”
OK, I said. …

A SWAT for taking memories away from fans
Thu, 21/10/10 – 19:19 | Comments Off
A SWAT for taking memories away from fans

It’s stunning how an organization with enough digital savvy to tweet contests during a game and offer an iPhone app can blow it when it comes to something so basic that most fans would want …

This ain’t your mother’s parent-teacher conference
Thu, 21/10/10 – 14:23 | One Comment
This ain’t your mother’s parent-teacher conference

Back in the day when we had to walk four miles up hill both ways to school, Mom used to sneak out a few evenings a year for this mysterious thing called a “parent-teacher conference.”
Convinced …

Lovey lost – and found
Wed, 20/10/10 – 12:05 | Comments Off
Lovey lost – and found

He has little tiny black eyes about this big, Boots explained, holding his thumb and index finger about a quarter inch apart. He’s about this tall, he continued, stretching his arms to span a foot …

Homeschool not for the faint of heart – or me either
Mon, 18/10/10 – 12:49 | 2 Comments
Homeschool not for the faint of heart – or me either

The relentlessly cheery among us never have problems. Instead, they experience “challenges” or “opportunities.” It’s a “chance for growth.”
So, in that spirit let me thank our school system for giving me the “opportunity” to put …

A candy land curriculum for math
Sat, 2/10/10 – 9:22 | Comments Off
A candy land curriculum for math

Seeing that I’d already compromised my principles a year ago by using “fruit” snacks to help Big Guy learn to add and subtract, I had no ethical problem whatsoever with sending Boots to hell in …

It’s not about the Net. It’s about decency
Fri, 1/10/10 – 17:04 | 2 Comments
It’s not about the Net. It’s about decency

I knew it was coming the second I heard that the Internet was tangentially connect to Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi’s suicide.
Yes, tangentially. The Internet did not kill Clementi. It wasn’t even a weapon in …

THIS is second-grade math?
Fri, 1/10/10 – 13:17 | 2 Comments
THIS is second-grade math?

Rhonda, Tom, Liz and Miguel all have 4 shells. If they each find 1 more shell, does the mode change? If so, what is the new mode? – Page 64, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill “California Mathematics,” Second Grade.
Big …

Silly Bandz aren’t silly. I’m just jealous
Thu, 30/09/10 – 13:51 | Comments Off
Silly Bandz aren’t silly. I’m just jealous

Big Guy is a neophyte in the Silly Bandz game – he has a mere five.
Er, make that four. His most precious one, a soccer ball, was dead on the dining room floor this morning, …

Why are these people still following me around the store?
Tue, 28/09/10 – 14:24 | Comments Off
Why are these people still following me around the store?

Though I’ll admit to a bit of melancholy when my last baby declared that he had to ride the school bus because that’s what big boys do, by and large I welcomed the start of …

A girl friend, not a girlfriend
Thu, 23/09/10 – 13:58 | 2 Comments
A girl friend, not a girlfriend

Mom, why do they call it a “girlfriend”? Big Guy asked. Doesn’t that mean you kiss and date and that stuff? Why can’t I have a girl who’s a friend?
I have no idea why they …

If a warning label falls in the forest and no one reads it …
Wed, 22/09/10 – 22:11 | Comments Off
If a warning label falls in the forest and no one reads it …

I thought I was as shocked as I could possibly be by a warning label last fall, when I bought a pack of lip balm that included a five-line disclaimer.
That was before I was fixing …

Can playing football cause suicide? Can sensationalism cause hysteria?
Tue, 21/09/10 – 23:49 | Comments Off
Can playing football cause suicide? Can sensationalism cause hysteria?

There are more than 17,000 football players each year in the NCAA’s top two divisions. Anyone know how many have been diagnosed in the past year with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease typically found in …

Heaven help me, I want a van
Tue, 21/09/10 – 14:00 | Comments Off
Heaven help me, I want a van

Sometimes it’s hard to determine if that’s an angel or a demon dancing at your doorstep.
I’m sure a friend thought she was being helpful last week when she loaned me her van so I could …

An evaluation by numbers isn’t really an evaluation
Mon, 20/09/10 – 22:21 | Comments Off
An evaluation by numbers isn’t really an evaluation

Evaluation: An interview between a manager and an employee, which allows the manager to judge how well the employee is doing the job.
Now that we have the dictionary definition out of the way, let’s move …

Getting by with a little help from my friends
Mon, 20/09/10 – 14:45 | 2 Comments
Getting by with a little help from my friends

One woman, seeing me lament on Facebook that I was running out of Tylenol to treat Big Guy’s fever, delivered a fresh supply to my doorstep.
Another didn’t so much offer to loan me her van …

Finally sick in bed – and it stinks
Fri, 17/09/10 – 15:39 | Comments Off
Finally sick in bed – and it stinks

For years I’ve fantasized about kids being sick in bed – as opposed to sick kids who still fly through the house at warp speed.
I wondered when the day would arrive that they’d learn …

The case (sort of) for Ines Sainz
Thu, 16/09/10 – 19:46 | One Comment
The case (sort of) for Ines Sainz

Three things that amuse me about the whole “was Ines Sainz harassed by the New York Jets” controversy:
1. The number of people who start out by saying “I don’t think anyone should be harassed” …

I don’t believe in bribes – unless they work
Wed, 15/09/10 – 14:21 | Comments Off
I don’t believe in bribes – unless they work

I don’t pay for grades, despite some scant evidence that it can work in some situations.
I don’t pay for goals – that would counteract the “you’re part of a team” message I’m trying to drum …

The boy who lives in his own little world
Tue, 14/09/10 – 14:18 | Comments Off
The boy who lives in his own little world

Sometimes he’s a hummingbird named Joey, fluttering his little hand-wings rapidly at chest level and cooing naaaanu,  naaaanu.
“That’s hummingbird for ‘I love you’,” Boots explains, though he quickly adds that Joey is no bird brain. …

Learning to respect something bigger than yourself
Mon, 13/09/10 – 12:43 | Comments Off
Learning to respect something bigger than yourself

I was half-cajoling, half-dragging Boots to his brother’s soccer practice when Big Guy stopped me in my tracks.
It was 5 p.m., which meant we were late. It also meant it was time for the strains …

He likes him! He really likes him!
Fri, 10/09/10 – 13:26 | Comments Off
He likes him! He really likes him!

Once in a while – or, often, once a day – one of the guys will say something that really floors me.
But nothing either had uttered in their entire lives had prepared me for the …

Diving off a cliff into second grade
Thu, 9/09/10 – 11:14 | Comments Off
Diving off a cliff into second grade

It’s not so much the academics, though the weekly spelling list now is 20 instead of 12 and the words are harder for Big Guy to wrap his head around.
“Witch? That’s not W-I-T-C-H, because I …

Why I won’t be saying (much) about that whack job in Florida
Wed, 8/09/10 – 12:18 | Comments Off

Gen. David Petraeus spoke out against his plans yesterday, and I tweeted a link to the story.
That’s the last  you’ll hear from me about the deranged “minister” in Florida who seems to have captured the …

The soccer coach who’s trying to kill me
Tue, 7/09/10 – 11:20 | One Comment
The soccer coach who’s trying to kill me

Wear shoes that you can run in on Monday, Big Guy’s soccer coach told me late last week. The parents are going to play the kids during practice.
Me? I asked with mock shock. Oh, I …