I’m sorry…excuse me?

Here’s one.

As I had mentioned in the past, JewelrySlut volunteered to be Shmuppie’s room mother at school. So, she recently emailed the teacher asking if there was anything she could help out with for a potential Halloween party.

Well, she didn’t hear back, but in last week’s weekly report from school, we saw something a little startling. In the folder was a message from the teacher. She stated that she “does not teach Halloween”. She also mentioned that it was possible that some of the handouts and homework could possibly have a fall theme to them and that one might see pumpkins or ghosts, but, rest assured, there would be no witches. If parents had problems with the images on the handouts, please contact the teacher so your child would not have to see those images.

Say what?

Does anyone really think Halloween is a religious holiday?

Better yet, please don’t answer that. I forget from time to time where I live and just how close-minded people are.

Keeping that in mind, let’s roll the tape forward to last night at dinner.

Shmuppie, as usual, is not really eating. She’s babbling and crawling about on her seat. JewelrySlut and I look over at one point and she’s got her hands in front of her and her head is bowed.

Me: What the hell are you doing?
Shmuppie: Praying
Me: Excuse me?
Shmuppie: Praying for rain?
JewelrySlut (Chokes on her dinner)
Me: What? Who taught you that?
Shmuppie: My teacher at school.
Me: Excuse me?
Shmuppie: My teacher taught us to pray for rain. Praying means you ask for something when you want something.
Me (looking at JewelrySlut with utter bewilderment in my eyes)

So, we can’t “teach Halloween” because of the obviously pagan imagery, but we can teach people to pray for rain because “When you need something, you pray for it”

I’m not sure how this makes me feel, but the words “pissed off” come to mind.

I can’t wait until Shmuppie learns sometime in mid-December about how Jews are the root of all evil.

Anyone want a fried PB&J sandwich?

2 topics here:
My travel woes
Shmuppie and her woes.

I get to go first because she can’t type:

Wednesday 5:00AM: BEEP BEEP BEEP
Blearily, I get up for a lovely 2-day trip to NJ. I was out of the house at 5:30 and was shocked as hell to observe rain. It doesn’t rain in Raleigh! I negotiated the roads, dodging frightened locals the whole way and arrived at RDU at 5:50. Since I had no bags to check, I went straight to security.

On a hunch, and knowing it was raining, I called Continental to check the flight; it was delayed. I got to the gate to find it eerily empty. At about 6:10, a woman arrived who looked like she’d woken up at roughly 6:05. She had no clue what was going. A man in a suit pounced on her, demanding answers about the delay. It turns out that the 6:55 flight was scheduled for 9:16.

FUCK!

Something about the crew’s need to sleep. Fuck them. I had a meeting to attend.

And, I guess Continental lacks the foresight to plan for such events and send an alternate crew to us. Upon hearing about the delay, I scampered over to the desk to get on line to do something…anything to get me to NJ on time for an 11:00 meeting. I got on the standby list for the 7:40 flight. I was not entirely happy; but what’s a girl to do?

I sat down, read, and prayed for the best. I made it on the 7:40, but had a right side window seat. I don’t like the right side of the plane. Trust me, when you spend as much time on them as I do, you develop favorite spots; mine is left side window.

We got to NJ and it took me for ever and a half to get to HealthCareRelatedCompany. I arrived later than I usually do when I take that flight AND I had no baggage to claim.

I walked in, pissed, and went to a 3-hour meeting. At moments like those, I realize how much joy I have in my life.

At the hotel, Jeaneane (spelled properly) was not interested in the sack of pork cracklings I had brought her. Ever had them? They smell like a rusty asshole, have the texture of fried fat (which is what they are) and taste like what I imagine scrotum tastes like.

Thursday dawned with rain. I was not happy. Delays would abound. As the day progressed, my 6:00 turned into a 7:15. At least they told us and didn’t just put us on the plane for hours on end.

The trip from HealthCareRelatedCompany to EWR (normally 45 minutes) took 1 1/2 hours. I was not happy when I arrived.

I went to security and was hassled by The Man.
See, at EWR, they have 3 security areas, 1, 2 and 3. The monorail drops you at #2. My gate was more in line with #3, but, seeing no one on line, I went to #2. Not paying attention to anything, I flashed my boarding pass at the goon at the entrance to the line and kept walking. Behind me was a couple who started asking questions. I kept walking, but heard the lady yell “Go upstairs, to the left, then come back down to C1″. I kept walking. She hollered it. I turned and gave her one of those “You talking to me?” looks. (Mind you, I was nearly to the place where the other goon checks your ID and there was NOBODY on the line!). She was talking to me.

So, I had to backtrack the line, go upstairs, walk past the International check-in (always a treat) and come back down to C1. I flashed my boarding pass and started down the empty line. I was nearly to the ID guy when another of the security asses yelled at me to come back to the line entrance and go down a different line. This second line took me EXACTLY to where I had been mere seconds before. Why I had to walk around in circles is beyond me. Then, they had to re-check my backpack. By re-check I mean, of course, dump it on the floor and walk away.

Fuck.

I listened to my Shmipod, and waited for my 8:03 flight. I got home at 11:00 and was not really happy with life.

And, for the last bit of fun, the elevators in the parking garage at RDU were broken so I had to lug my tired ass up to the 3rd level to get to my car (Carrying my overnight suitcase).

It’s really a lot of fun. And, I failed to mention the Homeowner’s Association madness that’s going on all the while.

But, I m home for 2 weeks now until I go on a trip that will test my sanity:
Tuesday AM: Fly to Detroit
Tuesday afternoon: Fly to PHL
Thursday afternoon: Fly home.

Should be a good story.

As for the kid:
JewelrySlut got a call from the principal today. Rut-Ro (Scooby Doo voice)

Seems that a kid in her class tried to grab a paper from her. Being a girl who takes no shit from no one, she resisted.

The other kid slapped and then bit her.

Shmuppie was fine, but the other kid’s actions apparently resulted in the school having to take some more serious action. JewelrySlut was told by the principal though that Shmuppie is everyone’s favorite kid and that several of them want to take her home.

Let them. I need the rest.

We’re off to the Zoo tomorrow, hoping it will be empty because the Fabulous NC State Fair started today. We’ll go next weekend to see the sights. I promise to take more pictures this year.

And, Andria and I exchanged some amusing emails the other night.

I hate Andria.

baRPLis

Just moments ago, Shmuppie walked into the office holding a large writing tablet thing that she has. You know…one of those things where you write and then slide the little doodad to erase it? Yea…that.

“baRPLis” is said.

baRPLis

JewelrySlut: What’s that say?
Shmuppie: It has an “is” in it
Me: Hold that thing up for a moment
Me: (Takes picture)
JewelrySlut: Now, what does that mean?
Shmuppie: It means you burp a lot

This comes from the kid who got a yellow at school yesterday. What’s that mean?

Well, at school, you seem to be on an ever-changing behavioral scale. If you’re good, you get Green…then blue, yellow and the dreaded red.

Shmuppie got a yellow yesterday. Wanna know why? Well, I asked.
Me: (on the phone in NJ): What color was today
Shmuppie: Yellow
Me: What happened?
Shmuppie: I said a word I shouldn’t at school
Me: What word was that?
Shmuppie: Boobies

Seems they were told to draw pictures of themselves.
You all can guess how that went.

Just now:
(Heard from the other room)
WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK
(Shmuppie is playing with her little tool bench)
Shmuppie: I’m OK
Me and JewelrySlut: (Laughing)

Addendum

When I posted earlier, I wanted to add a postscript to my sob story, but thought better of it.

Here’s the rest of the morning:

We’re in final approach and are about to fly over Teterboro airport. We’re like 2 minutes from landing when I hear a ding. “Who the hell is calling the waitress” I think. I look up and it’s the gnome of a woman in front of me.

I had seen her at the gate. She was about 5 feet tall, more than a little flabby, and wearing a cropped t-shirt. She was also in her 40′s. Nothing like 40-ish flab to turn one’s stomach in the morning (more on that).

So, she dings and the stew jumps up and walks over, holding seats all the while because we’re about to land and it’s windy.

By the way, this flight attendant was no genius. 45 minutes earlier, I had the computer on the pitifully small tray and my headphones in and she still wanted to know if I needed a drink and a muffin.

Anyhoo, “Ding”

Gnome: Can I go to the bathroom?
Stew: We’re about to land. You can’t leave your seat
Gnome (Clutching the airsickness bag): I need to go.
Me: FUCK!
Stew: Would you like some ice?
Me: ?
Gnome: Huuuuuuwaaaahhhh….splat
Stew: (Runs away)
Me and guy across the aisle: FUCK!
Gnome: Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuwah…splat
Me: (Picks up my bag and puts it in my lap because I don’t want any collateral damage to befall it)
Gnome: Huaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…splat
Whole airplane: (Develops an intense vomit smell)

Yay for travel!

I then rented my car. I picked the LittleIndian’s Volvo from the lot. It’s his car because he rents it whenever he can and had it when it had like 3 miles on it. He’s claimed it. I shall fart in it and wipe boogers in it out of spite. Anyway, the car is snooty. I spent an hour trying to manually change radio stations. I finally had to look up the manual on line in the office to learn how to change radio stations.

One more story…

I got to the hotel and, as I was walking in, noticed Jeanneane in her office (downloading monkey porn no doubt). I walked in and there was no one at the desk.

What to do?
I could wait
I could ring the non-existent bell
I could start yelling

Guess what I chose

“JEANNEANE! JEANNEANE!”
Note this is a real hotel with guests and all.

Dave was nowhere to be found; undoubtedly fending off his bookie.
Spike showed up as Jeanneane dragged herself from the office.

She checked me in, and as she did so, I noticed a letter in my little key folio.

Me: Oooh mail. What’s this about?
Jeanneane: It’s a Platinum letter
(See…I’m now a Marriott Platinum Guest. That means I earn more points when I stay, actually have the ability to throw people out of hotels, and don’t have a home life anymore.)
Me (Grabs folio and ignores letter…fully planning to throw it away)
Jeanneane: Did you read it? You get a free item from the bar or market if you give the letter back.
Me: (All nipply) I’ll have a Henenkin.

So, I had another beer and came up to the room. 348 this week. First time in this room. Hooray for me.

And…I have some sort of lip fungus. Thought you all should know

Back to School

Not only is today’s entry sponsored by the letter J, it comes to you from seat 5A of this stupidly small plane I’m on. Yes, good readers, I decided to pop the laptop out and write while flying. I was somewhat inspired and figured I’d forget all the witty things I had to say if I didn’t write them down now.

So, I’m sitting here on the plane reading the NY Times Sunday Magazine (Registration required, but free). It’s what I read when I fly north. Not only does it make me look smart, but it also causes the local gentry to stay away from me. I figure they peg me as a no good northerner and just leave me alone. Also, it takes exactly one hour to read cover to cover. The flight happens to be just that long.

Anyhoo, this week’s issue was The College Issue. It was a bit thicker than usual, so I figured it would keep me amused for the whole flight and possible the evening at the hotel.

There was an interesting piece about the college admissions process. If you ask me, it seems to be horrid. Of course, this is all in the Times and needs to be taken with several fistfuls of salt. The article followed 3 kids from NY who were all trying to get into an assortment of Ivy League and other similarly ranked schools. It talked about essays, applications, stress, late nights, crying parents and all other things that make the whole getting into college experience so awful. Then, it made me think.

When I was in high school, as we all know, I went to the Uber-Snooty Pingry School. I was in a class of about 100 kids, all of whom seemed to have Ivy League ambitions. To have anything less was an insult to the good Pingry name.

Then there was me.

My parents had made it clear to me when I was in 11th grade that I was going to Rutgers. They’d decided that they had spent enough money educating me and that they weren’t really planning on paying much money to send me to college. I hadn’t tried hard enough in high school and wasn’t deserving of any more of their money.

Think I’m making this up and maybe over-dramatizing this? I’m not. I got this all out of my father in 2004 when my insipid parents were going through their first divorce. As he and I were having our heart to hearts about life, I pointed to those discussions when asked why we weren’t close. For what it’s worth, he did admit that they had royally fucked up.

I’m getting off-topic here, but I don’t regret any of it. If they hadn’t forced me to Rutgers, I would never have taken that life guarding job in the summer of 1992.

Back to the article. It mentioned how the parents would stay up late helping kids fill out applications. It made me chuckle. I don’t think my parents ever looked at my applications. Of course, the Rutgers application consisted of filling in several little ovals and an optional essay. Knowing I was guaranteed admission, I don’t even think I write the essay. I didn’t give a fuck. Rutgers at the time was really trying to rebuild its reputation in state and nothing would make them happier to get a Pingry kid. Sounds egotistical, but it was true. The school wanted me a hell of a lot more than I wanted it. I also applied to both of my parents’ schools, again knowing full well that I’d get in. They were both tiny schools and would have killed to have me go there (again…the high school was the driving factor here, it was not about me). I got into both. I applied to the horrid Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey) but had announced after visiting it that there was NO FUCKING WAY I’d go there. My loving parents allowed me to think I could go to Grove City College if I had gotten in. I didn’t particularly love the school, but it was cheap and that appealed to Mom and Dad. I got in and had to field a call from the head coach of the swim team in which I had to tell him, through tears, that I would not be attending. I was stuck at Rutgers.

I don’t think my parents cared about what I did. They knew I’d get into Rutgers and were happy that they’d be saving money on me. It was really a loving time. The article made me shake my head. Are those parents insane or do they just genuinely care about their children? I don’t know. I have no reference point.

The next article was about the college experience. They polled recent grads and asked how they rated the college experience.

Ha. That’s a good one. Did I enjoy Rutgers? No. Do I feel I chose a good major? Well, I have a degree in Exercise Science. That should answer things. Did I use my time in college wisely? No. Mostly, I hated Rutgers. I may not have ever allowed myself to like it, but the school didn’t give me much to like. My first 3 semesters were utter hell. Sure, I was drunk a lot, but they sucked. Things only improved in January of 2004 when JewelrySlut was living an hour away. For the next 2 1/2 years, I was barely a student. Sure, I went to class and got good enough grades, but I was not a part of the university. Considering how much I hated it there, that suited me just fine. But, really, it was a wasted 4 years. I don’t really feel I got much out of my college education. I learned the name and function of every bone, muscle, joint and system in the body, but didn’t learn to write or think. I could memorize the shit out of a list. That I was good at. I could test you to see if you had a torn ACL (a skill that would come in handy later in life) but got little else out of the experience. I just didn’t care. And that’s not good. Sometimes, I feel I just took up a spot for 4 years. I did what I was supposed to and got the diploma. But considering my epic career arc since then, the degree has done nothing for me but maybe earn me a few more bucks at this job and the last one.

Where am I going here (other than right over Andrews Air Force base (I’m not kidding…it’s right below me))? What I want is to learn from what I went through. Shmuppie may be a retard, but she seems to be smart. I want her to enjoy her education and, more importantly, enjoy college. JewelrySlut had a ball at school. She went to a small college in NY and had a great time. She got what you are supposed to from college. She got drunk, laid, friends, an education and a love for her school. I want Shmuppie to have a good time at school. I don’t want us to force anything upon her.

Now, if in 12 years she comes to us and announces that she wants to go to some expensive-ass school in Maine or, perish the thought…Duke, we may sit her down and explain to her that UNC is right down the road (or across the state depending on where we live).

I can’t see spending an insane sum of money on college. While I bitch about Rutgers, at least it was cheap. The school JewelrySlut went to was a state school, so it was also relatively inexpensive. We’ll end up making sure Shmuppie looks at in-state schools, but won’t force her into anything. As usual, I don’t want to make the same stupid, pig-headed mistakes t hat my parents made a career out of making.

So, there we go. No talk of vacation just yet. I’ll get to it, but I wanted to have a little rant about college and my experience.

I know I’m a whiny bitch. Deal with it.