Friday, December 10, 2010

Just got back from the spelling bee. I wish I had a valium.

Jane and cousin Jack were both representing their respective classes at the upper elementary spelling bee this afternoon, so my Mom and sister Jen and I showed up.

Writing about it is bringing on mild PTSD.
Please hold while I procure a paper bag into which I can breathe.

The pronouncer was from somewhere in the Midwest, and kept saying stuff all screwy. And by screwy, I mean, not like they do in Arizona, or in California, or on TV. I'm all for the great American melting pot and the German and Dutch immigrants who influenced the North Midland dialect, but not when nerdy bragging rights are on the line. Not to mention the trip to the regional bee.

What does it matter?  Why am I being so small-minded? Well, I'll tell you. The result was a who's-on-first-type-scenario that began in the practice round:

Pronouncer: The word is ADD. 
Cousin Jack: ADD?
Pronouncer: No, AaaaaDD.
Cousin Jack: Can you repeat the word?
Pronouncer: Aaaaaaaaaadddd.
Cousin Jack: ODD?
Pronouncer: Nodding... ADD.
Cousin Jack: ODD. O-D-D. ODD
Pronouncer: That is correct.

Kid behind me: She said add. That's odd.

And indeed, it was.

But the real problem? I couldn't deal with the pressure. It was a good thing Jane flubbed up CITIZEN in the 5th round, cause I might have keeled over on the bench from the unhealthful levels of cortisol jetting about my blood stream if it had gone on any longer.

Those poor kids. One slipped syllable and DING!  THAT IS INCORRECT! YER OUT!
I have to stop talking about it now because my pits are getting sweaty again.
I think I need a nap.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I jinxed my hollow leg

by talking about it here on the internets. Either that or I filled it with pastrami and cupcakes.


Now I have to go to kids' school to watch oral report on tsunamis, then back home to write pithy, self-deprecating Christmas letter that will warm people's heart cockles and spread Christmas cheer in only one to two paragraphs so no one will be bored. Is too much pressure.

Have you written your Christmas letter yet? Can you please cut and paste it into the comments section, or send it to, so that I may become inspired by your brilliant writing (i.e. plagiarize)?

Thanks, then, in advance.

P.S. I've only gotten like three cards this year. Is it because we moved a year ago and the post office isn't forwarding anything and I didn't send anything out last year cuz I was pregnant and in a bad mood? Or have I done something to offend everyone I know?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Don't hate me for my tape worm

So, I haven't read as many books as I normally would this year, what with the infant being born and the four other children under the age of 12 living here at my house,  all wanting to be fed and clothed and helped with their oral reports on tsunamis or what have you.

But I did read stuff, I just can't remember what it all was. (Except I just finished Sex with Kings, which was non-fiction and fascinating, and not nearly as dirty as it sounds. Royal bastardry was big business.) So perhaps you can tell me some of your favorite books you've read this year, (or you know, ever), and then I'll remember, HEY, I liked that book, too? And then I can take it to book club tonight, where we will be choosing books for the new year, and eating some holiday groceries (I'm making ganache-dipped macaroons. You should come).

And there I will be in my glory, with all the books and the treats. And I shall eat more than your average book clubber, because with all this nursing of my 22 pound baby,
I have developed the coveted HOLLOW LEG, wherein I can store that oreo sundae from Sonic and then the 1.5 more bowls of ice cream I put away yesterday and still lose 3.5 pounds in one day. Yes, fer reals. I won't even mention the six Thanksgiving dinners I dominated, or that I've had pie for breakfast 10 days running. (I'm just hoping it is a hollow leg and not a tape worm. But if my tape worm is wrong, I don't want to be right. I've lost 50 pounds since April, and am on my way back to medium-foxhood.)

And in Coldplay news:

Yeeesss! Muchos gracias para the cancion de la Navidad, Chris! (And the restofya, too. Whatever.) Lovely. Keep up the good work. And by keep up the good work, I mean, don't go country like your wife (and Jewel), and grow your hair out a little tiny bit. Gracias.

Now perhaps I can entice my kids to watch something other than Don't Shoot Me Santa. Which Jake feels in not appropriate for children. And Jake is no prude. But Brandon Flowers in that sweater con las maracas? Worth a peek, I tell ya.

Now don't forget about the books, just cuz I confused you with all the talk of bastards and parasites and holiday songs that have absolutely nothing to do with the baby Jesus.

What should we read for book club in 2011?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

BASIS Chandler

Have you heard about BASIS?  This Tucson (also in Scottsdale and in Oro Valley) charter school has received national attention, was named #1 high school in America by Newsweek, and was listed in U.S. News & World Report's top 20 American high schools. They are opening a school in Chandler (at Cooper and Chandler Blvd.) next fall, and there is an information session tonight at San Tan Learning Center (my son Sam's school) at 6:30.

You might not believe me, maybe since I've never said anything about it before, but I have wasted a lot of time, energy and tears researching public, private, and charter schools here in Phoenix. Some of my kids (the super smarty, high energy, easily distracted boys; Jane seems to do well wherever she is) don't fit easily into a regular classroom, so I've had to find alternative programs (and even consider homeschool. But nobody wants that. There is a reason I changed my major from Elementary Ed to History and became a librarian). At the moment, I've got two kids in a Mesa public school Montessori, and another has just moved into a gifted classroom at a charter school.

I don't know if this BASIS school (which will start in 5th grade and go through high school) will be too intense and high pressure, and I know our public high school (Highland) is one of the best in the state, but I figure, it can't hurt to check it out!

What have you heard? Do you know anyone that attends BASIS?

Maybe I'll see you there tonight?

BASIS Info Night
Wednesday, 12/1
San Tan Learning Center
Gilbert, AZ  85296
6:30pm - 7:30pm  with Q and A to follow

Below is a trailer for a Two Million Minutes documentary about BASIS school.