Saturday, September 29, 2007

In case you get confused...

I have made Keyboard Therapy a "Permissions Only" blog. It's getting real personal for the next little while and, while I need to write it down and work it out, I don't feel like flinging all that poo into the blogosphere for the world to see. If you're a loyal reader and would like permission, I think you can request it by trying to enter the site and following instructions. But let this serve as fair warning: you might see a side of me you didn't really want to.

Peace out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Finally! Some Frivolity...

Evidently the blog theme this week is "Gay"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Welcome to fourth grade logic

Dear Fourth Grade Teacher,

The Senator has explained to me that you feel he used the word “gay” inappropriately today because it was used in this context: “High School Musical is gay.”

Allow me to share with you some definitions of the word "gay" from
1. having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music.
2. bright or showy: gay colors; gay ornaments.
3. given to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social season.

Which of these, pray, is an inappropriate description for musical theatre?

I certainly understand that there are other, less appropriate, uses for the word “gay” including the one that The Senator most likely intended to use: slang very common amongst late elementary, middle, high-school students and beyond for “I don’t like that ”. However, I believe your response is a bit extreme. Since he is in fourth grade, I am quite certain the concept of homosexuality – the inappropriate usage which prompted you to request my discussion with him, could not be further from his mind. Rest assured our home is not one in which any type of intolerance or hate is acceptable. .

If The Senator's account of the incident is incorrect and his usage was, in fact, inappropriate please tell us and we will address the issue further.

Yours Truly

P.S. Be proud of me. I resisted the urge to say that I'd watched HSM and agreed that it is, in fact, gay.

Dear "Adult" Children...

It is with deep regret that I am resigning my position as your mother. It would appear that, despite sharing a home for somewhere between thirteen years and your whole fucking life we have developed unresolvable creative differences making a change at the mother position in your life a necessity.

You claim to be adults and desire to be treated like adults and yet manage to walk the earth with your head so far up your ass it may never come out. Needless to say, this would have a profound negative impact on our family photos were I still your mother.

For some of you, I am sorry that you feel like you didn't get enough attention from your father because your mother spent all her time telling you what a piece of shit he is and, despite seeing for yourself he isn't, you believed her and have taken those falsehoods forward to this day. I am sorry you don't take that up with your biological mother choosing instead to take it out on me and, naturally, your dad who also vents that frustration on me. Fuck you very much. Get more therapy and believe what you see and hear from him rather than from your mother. Oh, and uh.. stop fucking taking it out on me. I quit, remember? And I had absolutely nothing to do with it besides helping your father fight for his right to BE YOUR GOD-DAMN FATHER!

For all of you, I am sorry that I hope you'll learn from my young adult mistakes and take those lessons to heart. I will no longer try to teach them because I quit.

I am sorry you feel it is "unethical" of me to Google your boyfriend. I'm not even ashamed of it and since I'd be compelled to do it as long as I am your mother, I am resigning so I don't have to do it again and find out what horrible choices you're making.

I am sorry we did not play favorites or have double standards of behavior for you so that some of you feel slighted. I am sorry I expected so much of you academically while still letting you try to have fun and be kids. I am sorry that I busted my ass for all these years to give you what you are now so fucking ungrateful for. I am looking forward to expending a lot less effort and enjoying a lot more of my money in retirement.

Regretfully, I must also say that I will no longer lecture you on the wisdom of managing your money. The mistakes I have made managing my money haunt me to this day. I have a financial education, I know what I should do but because I was stupid enough to marry the father of two of you of the past am unable to do it. Now you won't have to be forced to learn from them. Make your own but remember, since I'm not your mom anymore, you'll be forced to secure another Bank of Mom to cover your petty annoyances like tuition payments and rent. Most people would welcome free advice from an MBA. A lot of people even pay for it. Sorry to give it to you for free.

This resignation takes effect immediately. I'll take back my cell phone and, since you can't afford the insurance, your car. Be prepared to be billed my consulting rate for all future requests for advice or information. Remember, it's $100 an hour with a 2-hour minimum.

Best of luck,

Your (former) Mother

Monday, September 24, 2007

Reflections on the worst weekend of my life...

You know how normally people want the weekend to go on forever? I'm not feeling that at all this week. I'm so fucking happy that it is Monday after the weekend I had.

It started innocently enough. Saturday was Sarge's day off and we'd made plans to go visit friends on Saturday night. The weather - beautiful! We puttered and cleaned and it was a great morning.

The first thing that happened was my MIL calling around 1:30. "What time should I be there for dinner?" Um... what? I have no recollection of inviting her to dinner. Neither does Sarge.

"5:00 is fine."

So we have grilled chicken and a lovely dinner but have to shoo her off to attend to our previous engagement.

Then, this happened.

Then, this happened. The Redskins, evidently, are not aware of the fact that when I can actually watch them play, I expect them to win. It was such a gut-wrenching loss. I am still wrenched!

Then, this happened. Words do not express how it feels to watch this video. John Force is not just my favorite race car driver ever, he's someone I really respect as a business person and, while not as famous as some athletes, a celebrity. He's a true class act and I admire him very much. And, now we know he's got a good prognosis for recovery. Yesterday all I could see was the crash video and the helicopter video and wonder whether he'd make it. His race team lost Eric Medlen back in March so for them to experience another serious crash this season seems really unfair. And John's the boss - the leader of the team and the father / father-in-law for two of the drivers. It's devastating.

Still reeling from that, I get a call from Squidward. Squidward has proudly stepped up to reclaim his title, let me tell you. He's announced he's getting married. Next month.

SW: "I probably should tell you I'm getting married next month."
Me: "Uhm... Squid, I don't think the law allows that yet - and you barely know this guy!"
SW: "No, mom. I'm marrying a woman."
Me: "WTF?"

And Squidward goes on to explain the circumstances - to be able to live off post, etc. - and his rationale. "It's not a big deal. It doesn't mean anything. Look how well being married has worked out for you guys!"

Me: "We've been married almost 13 years. I think it's working out just fine."
SW: "But what about the first time? That didn't go so hot for either of you."
Me: "We all make mistakes. People change. Be careful about marrying a girl, Squid. She probably only wants you to make babies so she can live off of you the rest of her life."
SW: "Yeah, about that..." He's claiming he was 16, she was 24 and now he's got a four year old that he termed his rights to at 18. Given his history of whoppers, I am seeking verification before I buy in fully. It's a long story, but holy mother-fucking hell. That is either the biggest lie ever or well... you know what else.

After this my head explodes. And he has definitely re-claimed the "Worst Fuck-Up by a Sharp Child Ever" title.

And I'd like the rest of the week off to mourn the death of my will to live.

Peace out.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pass me a martini...

I have a migraine. HRH arrived home safely (feeling like garbage for putting me through this I might add) about noon today. Just after the officer left with a description of her and her vehicle.

Ugh. She has been awarded the prize for biggest fuck-up by a Sharp kid EVER. But she is home safe and that makes me happy.

Waiting for Jourdan

Her majesty the Queen didn't come home last night. Sarge, the boys and I left about seven to see some friends and Shrek but the Queen stayed behind. A few minutes after we left, I received a text message from her saying she was going out. We'd previously discussed that she should be home at midnight. We'd been battling about this a bit lately. It was, you know, the classic battle between parent and newly-turned-18 year-old child.

Parent: "Please be home at midnight, okay?"
18yo: "But why? I'm 18 and I have a curfew?"
Parent: "Yes. Not because I don't trust you, but because I worry. It's not you. It's everyone else. Just be home at midnight."
18yo: ~eyeroll~

Parent: "I realize you don't understand this, but someday you will. See, first you're a parasite for 9 months and then I worry about you constantly until I'm dead, okay?"
18yo: "Nice Mom. Okay."

And now it is 11:15 a.m. and I haven't seen her since 6:45p.m. last night.

Worried? Oh Yeah. She's always been the responsible one. A little rebellious lately - staying out until 4:00, but nothing serious. That is what I get for not being clear. Yesterday I was clear. Now, I'm scared.

Should I be?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Four Things Meme

I got it in e-mail but why do that when I can post and tag all of my readers to do the same?

"Four things" about me that you may or may not have known, in no
particular order. Please follow the return direction at the end.
Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Certified Nursing Assistant
2.Guest Services Representative
3. Marketing R&D Coordinator
4. Marketing Instructor
Four movies you have watched more than once: (or more than 1000X)
1. Seven
2.National Lampoon's Van Wilder---I have never laughed so hard in my life
3. The Princess Bride
4. The Quiet Man
Four of my favorite books:
1. American Gods (Neil Gaiman)
2. The World is Flat (Thomas Friedman)
3. The Ugly American (by William Lederer - an absolute must-read)
4. The Lorax
Four places I have lived:
1. Sparta, WI
2. Hanau, Germany
3. Steilacoom, WA
4. Kentwood, MI
Four TV Shows That I Watch: (or Tivo)
1.Good Eats
2. Human Weapons
3. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
4. The Colbert Report
Four places I have been
1. Heidelberg, Germany
2. Ulan-Ude, Russia
3.Paris, TX
4. Denver, Colorado

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Ahi Tuna
2. Superior Dark Chocolate
3. Grilled Steak
4. Cheesecake
Four people who email me regularly:
1. JP
2. Paul
3. Pops
4. My mom
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Buryatia
2. Italy
3. Napa Valley
4. In my bed
Things I am looking forward to this year:
1. Figuring out how this whole teaching thing works
2. Redesigning the supply chain class
3. Spring Break
4. Selling our house (hey! I'm an optimist!)

Now it's your turn. Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I think this might make me a bad person...

Here's the e-mail I sent to my family and friends this morning:

Welcome to Fall! Fall is the time for back to school, leaves changing and the dreaded school fundraiser. All the adorable kids come home carrying their order sheets and catalogs imploring you to PLEASE buy some lovely over priced wrapping paper or candy or maybe some low-quality and over priced knick-knack you never knew you needed.

Well, this year I've decided not to send my adorable kid around with the catalog or send out a link for you to buy on the web. I'm not buying a darn thing and I don't want you to either. I'm making a donation - 100% pure profit directly to the PTO and I'd like you to do the same. Instead of spending $20 on the stuff he's selling, I'd really love a $5.00 donation to the LaGrange PTO from you. Give more if you'd like - or less. It doesn't matter. I would love to help Kostya's school get the things they need and offer the programming that they do, but I just don't see that selling stuff is the answer. Help if you can and want to by sending a check made out to LaGrange PTO to:

(our address)

I will pass them along to the PTO since I think getting all those random checks in the mail would confuse them just a little bit. If PayPal is easier, then my paypal e-mail address is put PTO donation in the memo field or something. I'm planning to match your donations with 50 cents of my own for every dollar you guys contribute unless your generosity exceeds my budget!

Thanks for your support of the PTO!

Can I say here that I absolutely detest these fundraisers! The primary profit making organization is the company putting out the program, right? They take a healthy mark-up foro themselves and pass a wee portion of it back to the PTO in exchange for the child / parent labor to take these orders. The stuff is typically garbage or - if it's edible stuff especially - way over priced. I'm just writing a check. I think my $20 or whatever I decide to give them will go a lot further than whatever they'd make on my fundraising efforts. I always feel obligated to buy it for the children, but this year I don't. I don't even feel bad. Either way it's $20 lost, right? So I'd prefer to have it all go to the PTO than get merchandise I'd value at $2.00 for my $20 with the PTO maybe seeing $5 of that. Is that wrong?

Oh and if you're a loyal blog reader and want to donate? Leave me a comment and I'll tell you where to send your check - or just use paypal.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's the most wonderful time...

of the year. The time when you attempt to dress your darlings in the morning only to discover that nothing fits them! Pesky season changes...

In our house, we've got a couple of boys that live in shorts and sandals (well, they did live in sandals until they got to daycare and had to ~whine~ wear shoes and socks because of the wood chips on the playground) every day from the first day it's warm enough to do so until, evidently, the last day they should be doing it in the fall. The day before yesterday would have been the last day. The weather here now is just wonderful. The mornings are crisp. The colors are starting to turn and the Khan has nothing to wear.

Shopping for His Excellency is no small task. When Bratticus and Ogre were younger, they were pretty simple. Occasionally, we'd have issues but until Ogre hit the point where his legs were long and his waist was skinny, it wasn't too bad. At the 30 x 36 pants size stage, I switched to ordering them from a catalog and we still had no problems. Trust me. Ordering his pants from the JC Penney catalog during the middle and high school years saved his life. I love him, but I do not love shopping with him. The Khan is a different story. Well, maybe not such a different story because I don't like shopping with him either. PITA doesn't cover it.

Some of my loyal readers (all 4 or 5 of you ;) ) are parents and know this but for those of you that are not parents, I'll explain. Every year when children get their annual well-child exams, their height and weight are plotted on a chart to see how they compare with other children their size. The Senator is at the 15th percentile. He'll be ten but his pants are a size seven slim - for a point of reference. He doesn't like being smaller than most kids, but we can still usually manage to shop for him.

The Khan is a different tale. He's at the 5th percentile. This means that 95% of children his age are larger than he is. The pants he's outgrown are size 12 months (maybe 18?) and he will be five years old in January. He's a skinny little fellow. The primary problem is that clothing made in these infant and toddler sizes usually allow room for a diaper because, well, one and two year old children tend to wear a diaper. The Khan is four. He doesn't. The net result is that if the pants are long enough (long being relative) they are HUGE in the waist. He doesn't have a chubby little baby belly (never did, actually) and he doesn't wear a diaper. If they fit his waist, the pants will likely be at least an inch too short. UGH. And he has zero pants that fit him. It's do or die today folks. I must find pants for his majesty and I must find them today.

Did I mention that I hate shopping? My own wardrobe would send Natalia into fits. Every day: knit shirt, khaki pants and one of two primary pairs of shoes. I'm going to try to branch out and buy a couple of cute jackets today. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today was a better day...

Except of course for the freakish thing that makes my right eye now look like this. Yes, I know it's gross. You don't have to tell me. It doesn't hurt though so that's a plus.

The upper - upper division class went much better today -at least I thought so. We actually covered the subject rather than the intro and now I know to do the intro all in one day rather than divide it into two days. Maybe next semester I'll do the syllabus and a video on the first day and then go into Chapter 1 and the project the second day. That'll be better. I'm planning to show videos from the "Ultimate Factories" series on the National Geographic Channel. What are your thoughts? Cool? Not Cool? Thursday's class this week will be cool. I'm showing "Slasher". I see it as a study in ethics because the main character does some things in the name of getting the sale that are just not right and, unfortunately, not fake.

I got e-mail today from the Finance Department chair asking if I'm interested in teaching a section of "International Finance" in the Spring. What did I say?

Monday, September 10, 2007


I am not going to lie. Several thoughts are going through my brain at the moment.

First, I think I have lost my loyal blog readers entirely and should just quit blogging altogether. I'm down to two or three hits a day and at least one of them is me. I stop by. I look around, check the sitemeter and then I think "meh!"

Second, if you write a blog and no one reads it - is it still a blog?

Third: I think I am the worst teacher ever. Do you know how much training you get before they send you out to fall flat on your face in front of a room full of upper level students? ZERO. The first week of school was awful in one class and ~shrug~ I guess okay in the other. One class I think will go just fine. The other really bothers me. It should be easy but I mistakenly thought I could get some dialog going that just didn't happen last week. I allowed too much time for too little work. This week will be different. I've got tomorrow planned to be busy and a movie to take up the whole lecture period on Thursday. It's a pretty decent movie that a professor played in my graduate level marketing class. I plan to make it an ethics discussion and since we won't have time after the movie, I'll do it on the discussion board in D2L (like Blackboard if you have that). Wish me luck. This is a tough crowd.

Last, it would appear that all of that bullshit from people about wanting us back here was just that. Do you know how many social invitations we've received in the last two months? It is less than one. And none of those we've issued have been accepted. Silly us! We thought a game night would be fun. We invited ten groups, two showed up. I am so sick of sitting home alone every damn weekend that I could just scream. Why don't people like me? Anyone know?

I'll blog more if you peeps comment more. Deal? I miss you. Maybe I'll even resurrect the SOB of the week. This week Mike Vick has my vote, but I'm sure I could fill the pipeline if I try.