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Archive for March, 2018

Dear Parents of Boys,

A little more than eight years ago, I posted my Top 10 recent quotes as a mom. I thought of that list this week because I could not believe some of the things I’ve had to say to the boys, now 11 and 13. Here’s the 2018 expanded version:

  1. Put on some pants before you hug me. I don’t want you to drape your wiener across my leg.
  2. Esmeralda* is off today. Get this underwear off the floor.
  3. Please clean your bathroom. There’s all sorts of fluid all over the mirror.
  4. I’ve clocked out for the night. Ask your father; he’s on call.
  5. It’s not appropriate to flick food across the cafeteria.
  6. Please get your hands out of your pants.
  7. Be quiet! You sound like a howler monkey.
  8. Stop eating — it’s almost bedtime!
  9. You have to open this door and let the air circulate. It smells like ass in here.
  10. You can’t watch “Game of Thrones” with us. (And no, I don’t like Jon Snow better than Daddy!)
  11. Yes, you have to go to school today.
  12. No, you cannot eat granola bars for dinner.
  13. No, you cannot watch yet another episode of “Teen Titans Go!
  14. It’s time to get off the Xbox. Yes, now. I don’t care about your “Fortnite” mission.
  15. Keep your hands to yourself. (How often do I say this? Every. Single. Day.)

Not much has changed from 2010, really. (And yes, I also tell them regularly that I love them.)

Please tell me I am not alone. What things have you said recently that you never thought you’d say? Tell me in the comments.

In the meantime, I’ll pray for you if you pray for me!

Sending strength,
Beth

* The name of our make-believe housekeeper

 

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Dear Trish the Chicken,

It’s been eight years since your untimely death. I miss you on the reg, but never more so than yesterday.

I went to the Northwest Georgia Poultry Club show in Calhoun, Georgia — an hour northish of where we live now.

By myself.

For no reason beyond curiosity.

I did feel out of place, though. For example, I drive a Volkswagen, not something like this:

 

Also, I wasn’t wearing camouflage. (An oversight, really. I do own plenty of camo and a general affinity for rednecks.)

The show made me miss you so much, and also miss having a house where we could have chickens. Look at your beautiful brethren!

This looks like some kind of dog!

I thought the sign said “bitchen” at first, and I thought, “Yes, that is a bitchen’ chicken.”

Look at this handsome specimen!

She’s got legs, and knows how to use them.

What a beautiful bird.

This face!

As I am mostly a “city girl,” it’s hard for me to understand some customs. For example, why is one of the judges wearing a Clinique consultant coat and the other is wearing an apron?

Let’s review your skin care regimen.

The apron on the guy on the left says, “Judge.” It makes me fear for the losers of the competition.

The contestants were vying for these trophies. And perhaps the hand sanitizer as well.

And the title of Champion Cock.

These were the sights. You can imagine the smells. Here are the sounds:

Finally, thanks to the onsite Tabernacle of Praise, I was able to say a little prayer for you.

Anyway, it was an interesting Saturday morning.

And I still miss you.

Love always,
Beth

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Dear Trump, GOP and NRA assholes representatives,

I am a teacher, and I DO NOT want to carry a gun to class. I’m there to instruct, not take down a “bad guy.” (Armed teachers = unusually bad idea, even for you)

I have one goal in class: Teach. I work with college students, so they are paying my salary. My goal is to give them their money’s worth and more. I want to be the life-changing (life-saving in a different way) professor like Dr. Brightman was for me.

Part of my job is figuring out what each student needs (and I guarantee that it is not an AR-15 in their hands or mine).

Students usually come in a handful of personas. Here’s a field guide:

The Tracy Flick
Hand up first. Already has an A, but wants extra credit. “Overachiever” doesn’t even begin to encompass this student. Also can dissolve quickly if mastery doesn’t come easy.

The Ferris Bueller
Seems like he doesn’t care and isn’t paying attention, but he is smarter than the average bear. Often turns in the best work in the class without even trying.

The Jeff Spicoli
Sigh. What do you do about a student who is paying money to go to college, but is just a complete slacker? Love them anyway.

The Summer “Tinkerbell” Hathaway
This student is suspicious of you from the get-go, but you will slowly win her over if you do, in fact, know what you are talking about. And then she will try to push you to see how far she can go.

The Will Hunting
This student may appear to hate your guts during the class, but he will surprise you later on when he tells you that he learned so much from you. It is an unexpected, but joyful moment.

The John Bender
Hard candy shell with a liquid center. Seems confrontational, but is masking a deep-seated vulnerability. I love to see these kinds in five years when they are all well-adjusted and shit.

The Regina George
This student often is the most challenging because she has created a particular persona, and may resist your efforts to get her to think about anything/anyone other than herself. The trick is to help her figure out how to make assignments interesting enough to her so that she will enjoy doing them (thus learning in the process).

The Steve Stifler
Every female faculty member has this student’s number (meaning we know exactly who he is). No, we cannot have a meeting with my office door closed. No, we are not going together to the fraternity party Friday night. It’s great to see this student mature and even <gasp> get married.

The Sam Baker
This student is smart but can be quiet and thus overlooked. Pay attention to this one. Still waters run deep, as they say. This student often ends up being as close to you as students in the next category.

The Todd Anderson
With this student, you know early on that he/she will be in your life forever — and that is a good thing. You “get” them, they “get” you, and it is a lovely, symbiotic relationship. You start out as professor/student and morph into colleagues and friends later on. Some people in the aforementioned categories will end up in this one, and that is a lovely thing too.

I live to make a difference. And I live for notes like these:

That’s from a student who graduated five years ago. No surprise that she was a Todd.

I want to learn how to better reach every student. I do not want to learn how to better reach my gun.

I want to be accurate with grading. I do not want to be accurate with aim.

I want to get paid to carry full classes. I do not want to get paid to carry a gun.

Please, please, please find a different way to achieve the one goal we all want: peace in schools (and everywhere, for that matter). The answer is not arming teachers.

Thanks,
Beth

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present “How I spent my first St. Patrick’s Day back in Atlanta.”

7:46 a.m. Wake up to the doorbell. Apparently, it is playtime in the neighborhood. The hooligans I live with head outside to terrorize each other and assorted friends.

11:30 a.m. Finish watching the last episode of the last season of “Game of Thrones.” I’m excited, aroused, worried, repulsed, mad, sad — all in equal measure. I need to talk to someone about it. I’m so far behind in finally seeing it, though, no one wants to talk to me.

2:10 p.m. Nap while watching recorded episodes of “The Voice.”

5:30 p.m. Make the soup that we like for dinner. Compliments all around. Pregame. Realize it is too early to pregame.

7:10 p.m. Take Nap Two. (I’m elderly. Leave me alone.)

8:50 p.m. Dominic notices that I’ve put myself together. The following conversation ensues.

Dominic: “Are you going out tonight?”
Me: “Yes. Rene and I are going to some thing called ‘Psycho Disco.'”
Dominic: “Well, don’t get murdered by a psycho. If someone comes up to you, turn your usual reporter mode off and run.”

8:51 p.m. Document the conversation on Facebook (because if it is not documented, did it even happen?).

8:55 p.m. Tell René I’m on my way. He tells me I’m early; he is not ready. I tell him I’ll cool my jets. Men.

9:02 p.m. Amuse myself by reading responses to the FB post.

9:15 p.m. Call for Lyft. Help Tarrant find me as I am on the side of the road (getting into apartment complex is a pain). Fetch René.

9:44 p.m. Arrive at The Music Room. It’s not open yet, but the barbecue place next door is. 9:49 p.m. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like I always do: by drinking an Irish Car Bomb. It’s tradition. Usually, this tradition involves The Royce, but he is in Savannah with Mike Pence and Mother (barf), so I had to carry on without him.

10:22 p.m. Go next door (now open) and meet René’s friend, DJ Tracy Levine. She is tiny, impeccably dressed and energetic. She also plays amazing house music for the seven people in the bar. It’s still early.

10:30-11:45 p.m. Listen to DJ Tracy upstairs. Go downstairs where there are more people to watch, but then have to endure a DJ that is not as gifted. Go back upstairs to dance. Go back downstairs to watch. Lather, rinse, repeat.

11:54 p.m. I’ve lost René.

12:30 a.m. Take Uber to Atlanta Eagle. I am the only one of my kind there. Also, it’s leather night. So.

1:11 a.m. Wait for Uber outside because now we are going to Blake’s. A woman rushes up to me: “Hi! So good to see you!” I don’t know her, but I see a guy right behind her. I quietly ask her if she is OK, or if she is trying to get away from this guy. Girl code. Then I see another woman with them. I ask her if everything is OK. She says, “Oh yeah, they’re together. She’s just drunk and friendly.” Aha. Then our Uber chariot appears.

She’s adorable, right? And extra.

1:24 a.m. “Do not pinch me. I’m wearing green,” I say to the fellow who has just tried to pinch me. I show him my shamrock. (My necklace. Come on!)

1:35 a.m. Blake’s is THE place to be, apparently. Let the mingling, chatting, dancing and whatnot commence! No, I do not want another beer. I’m good. Thank you very much.

2:21 a.m. Surprise stop at Waffle House on the way home. Scattered, covered, diced and capped, please.


3:11 a.m. Shower and go to bed. I’m too tired to take the towel off my hair.

8:53 a.m. Not taking the towel off last night was a mistake. My hair looks like a fright wig.

9:13 a.m. Text my friend Brian to tell him I went to the two gay bars he’s been telling me about. Without him.

9:30 a.m. Brian decides I’m going with him to see “Love, Simon” this afternoon. But that’s hours away.

Next weekend, René and I are supposed to go to the Northwest Georgia Bantam Club Winter Classic —  a poultry show. No, I’m not kidding. I can’t wait!

Stay tuned,
Beth

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Dear loyal readers,

If you have been with me here for a while, you know that grammar and punctuation often are topics for posts. Many moons ago, I wrote a few posts about words I hate. I also wrote the antithesis post. Two, actually.

But I have a new list with a theme.

Always an anglophile, I’ve become even more obsessed with all things England after my recent trip. As you all know.

[Before you get your knickers in a twist (explanation below) about this obsession, just know that my fixations come and go, roughly lasting two weeks to a month (memory refreshers here, here and here). Bear with me; it’s almost over. Also, I’ve been bingeing “Game of Thrones.” Cut me some slack.]

Hence: British words I love (in alphabetical order, because I’m proper like that)

  • ace and, sometimes, aces (adjectives): excellent

Use it in a sentence, please: “That’s ace!” Trish said when her telephonophobic friend finally called her back instead of texting.

  • barmy and barking (adjectives): mad, crazy

Use it in a sentence, please: Eddie thought his wife had gone barmy for going out every weekend.

  • bollocks and bollocking (nouns): nonsense, verbal trash; trashing, telling off

Use it in a sentence, please: Si spent way too much time talking bollocks. Meanwhile, Clair gave Karl a royal bollocking for sleeping during the set. (In his defense, he did have to get up at 6 a.m.)

  • candyfloss (noun): cotton candy

Use it in a sentence, please: Her late grandmother’s hair was blue and spun into an orb like candyfloss at the circus.

  • caravan (noun): RV

Use it in a sentence, please: Hannah is contemplating a caravan rental for the music festival.

  • car park (noun): parking lot/garage

Use it in a sentence, please: Terry didn’t like to go to new places because he worried about finding adequate car parks.

  • cheeky (adjective): impertinent

Use it in a sentence, please: Gideon is becoming quite the cheeky monkey.

  • chuffed (adjective): pleased

Use it in a sentence, please: Hazel was chuffed to little mint balls.

  • dodgy (adjective): sketchy

Use it in a sentence, please: She fled to the ladies room to avoid the dodgy fellow at the bar.

  • faff (verb and noun): to waste time (v) or a time-waster (n)

Use it in a sentence, please: Dominic felt that any interaction with his family was a bit of a faff.

  • gutted (adjective): really upset

Use it in a sentence, please: Beth was gutted about what that asshole Ramsay Bolton did to Theon Greyjoy.

  • hoover (verb): vacuum

Use it in a sentence, please: She accidentally hoovered up the slip of paper on which she wrote an important email address.

  • jacket potato (noun): baked potato

Use it in a sentence, please: Do I really need to?

  • kit (noun): clothing

Use it in a sentence, please: “Come on then, get your kit off,” she had her hero say to the heroine in the sex book she was writing.

  • knackered (adjective): exhausted

Use it in a sentence, please: Cris was knackered Sunday morning after staying out so late the night before.

  • knickers (noun): panties (yes, I love this word too)

Use it in a sentence, please: I already did (see above). (Knickers in a twist = panties in a bunch)

  • pinched and nicked (verbs): stole

Use it in a sentence, please: René pinched some candy from the jar on Beth’s desk.

  • rogering (noun): sex

Use it in a sentence, please: Once the heroine had gotten her kit off, the hero gave her a good rogering.

  • rubbish (should be a noun, but Brits use it as an adjective): worthless

Use it in a sentence, please: I’m rubbish at this Twitter malarkey.

  • skip (noun): dumpster

Use it in a sentence, please: The teenager’s mother got so angry at him that she threw all his Xbox games in the skip.

  • shambolic (adjective): very disorganized, confused

Use it in a sentence, please: The shambolic mess of a woman straggled home after a night out way past her bedtime.

  • shirty (adjective): bad-tempered or aggressive

Use it in a sentence, please: Barry reminded his old girlfriend that the night of the first Tommy Stinson experience was also the night she got into a scrap at the front of the stage because some girl got shirty with her.

  • the tits (adjective): fantastic

Use it in a sentence, please: That shit is the tits.

  • wee (should be a verb, but Brits use it as a noun): pee

Use it in a sentence, please: I went for a wee,” the crazy American shouted to everyone within earshot at the club.

I have heard or read all of these in just the past month. I’ve used some of them. It’s made conversations more interesting.

(British friends, if I have got it all to cock, please make sure I’m sorted. I promise I won’t throw a wobbly.)

 

Side note: This was in the British aisle of my local international market. Pretty sure it should have been Marmite. (I was looking for mushy peas. No, they’re not gross. Shut up.)

Cheerio!
Beth

 

 

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Dear Tommy Stinson,

You now have the distinction of being the star of two of the weirdest nights of my life.

One was back in The Replacements days in the ’90s. You and I shared a moment, but that’s a story for another day.

The second was Saturday night at the Atlanta show of your Cowboys in the Campfire tour.

My usual partner in crime was indisposed, so I drug my long-suffering husband out to the luckily very early (7 p.m.) event.

I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this:

There’s a reason I don’t like Bob Dylan. WTF are you singing, Tommy? You were a bass prodigy. Besides The Replacements, you were the bassist for Guns N’ Roses and Soul Asylum. What are you doing? I do appreciate wanting to try something different (I’m president of that club), but …

Sigh.

When the merch selling began, I knew what I wouldn’t be buying. (I’m so sorry; it’s just not for me.)

You know what I did buy? Your Co-Cowboy Chip’s spice blend.

That’s right.

I went to a concert and bought Uncle Sippy’s Seasoning Blend. And because this wasn’t strange enough, I decided to get it signed too.

Apparently, Chip used to be a chef.

Here is Chef Chip telling me that this is NOT a rub, and I should not use it as a rub.

While you were signing my souvenir, one of your people said I should let you take a selfie of us.

“He takes the best selfies,” the guy said.
“OK. Sure,” I said.

So you took a selfie. This is the result:

It certainly was not what I anticipated. But you were so nice to amuse a long-time fan.

Anyway, thanks for an odd night. We are two for two.

And Eddie and I were home by 9:30.

See you in another 25 years or so.

I’ll expect the unexpected.
Beth

P.S. Tell Chip the seasoning blend is delicious!

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Dear Gideon,

Youngest fruit of my loins, you may never hear this again, but you were right and I was wrong. Of course, you don’t know that I ever disagreed with you on the point of baseball, but I have to come clean.

When you said you wanted to try out for the team, I said:

Sure, baby. Whatever you want.

But inside, I was like:

I thought the coach would be a douchey frustrated former ballplayer.

I was wrong.

I thought the other moms would be cliquey mean girls.

I was wrong.

I thought I would hate trekking to the field and sitting outside to watch your games and practices. (OUTSIDE!? What is this concept?)

I was wrong.

Maybe I’m in a period of personal renewal where I am actively seeking new experiences, but THIS HAS BEEN GREAT!

I’m proud of you for trying something new to our family. (Basketball would have been the expected choice because of your dad’s history, but no. You have to be different.)

I’m still trying to figure out all the rules. (Sorry I got excited today when I thought you got that kid out at third. I didn’t know you had to tag on a steal. I’m learning too.)

Plus, I’m meeting new people, thanks to you. (See that woman in pink on the left? That’s Suzanne. She is fantastic.)

You know what also helps? Coolers are allowed at the park.

Hando and I enjoy the game. We were so proud when you scored.

Again, you were right. And so was Yogi Berra.

Love ya, kid. You’re the best.

Go Rockies!
Mama

*Thank you, Chicago.

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