Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oh, I am SO Going to the polls next Tuesday!

I received a flyer in the mail tonight regarding the referendum on Oaklawn / Lincoln Schools. And I'm left saying "What The Fuck!?"

Firstly, The City of Oshkosh has only too recently been forced to eliminate 40 teaching positions.
There are a handful of reasons why, but let's face it. The real main reason is because we are hitting hard economic times right now, and the school system has had it fairly cushy for some time, adding a lot of what I would deem "Expendable Staff" in the past 10 years. Now they are being told to get real and keep those that matter most.

And now, there is this referendum. Supporters of Oaklawn have been whinging for years that the school is in terrible shape and they just aren't getting the budget to keep it up to snuff. And each time, we the people. vote it down.

And now I get this flyer in the mail saying "Oh, these poor teachers! They have a giant rack of lap tops that they have to set up every day throughout the school because they don't have a real computer lab." Guess what? The Medical facility I work at uses the very same docking rack for the entire nursing staff. It works just fine for us in the real world. What's so awful about making smart use of space?

And the picture of the Music Teacher's Roving Music cart : A recycled Pick-n-Save Grocery cart that the teacher loads up with all of her stuff so that she can roll it from room to room while teaching the children music appreciation is supposed to make us feel pity because she has no music room of her own. I'm a musician. And I didn't gain my love of music from my Primary School Music Teacher. Mr. Sandeman always smelled like he'd forgotten to wipe his ass, and I never wanted a one-on-one lesson from him because he really gave me the creeps. He had a lovely, large music room with plenty of storage. Unfortunately, it smelled like his ass. So a music teacher with a rolling grocery cart is a step up in my book! Although if the city does take pity on her, maybe they can steal her one of those awesome carts from Lowes or Menards instead. Much more sturdy, and the wheels are made for big loads. After all, lets face it. With the budget cuts, we're obviously going to have one music teacher shared among several schools. Wouldn't that teacher rather have portability as a selling factor to keep that position?

There was also a picture of the School Nurse's room, where they hoped to depict the lack of space and proper equipment. Students with an upset stomach have to go way down the hall to get to the bathroom. Well, cry me a river! That sounds more like poor organization to me than lack of space! Who did she swap offices with? Oh, and the photo? It's a room cluttered with rubbermaid tubs filled with whatnot. It looks, to me, more like they are just highly disorganized instead of cramped for space.

If this school is so bad, why is it still open? Why do parents allow their children to attend school there? We do not have to have our children go to school in our own district. We pay the school board's wages. We do have a say. If that school is so bad, why send kids there at all?

My oldest son went to Lincoln school for two years when he was growing up. It was an old, poor, small school, but it appeared to be kept up in those days. It is situated in a poor neighbourhood. Apathy among parents was far too evident. I was very happy when we moved to a nicer neighbourhood and were able to give our son a better chance to learn that you CAN improve your life situation. One can sit still and be angry at the cards life has dealt, or one can move forward and fight for something better.

That neighbourhood does not need a new building. That neighbourhood needs people who are willing to become more involved with the entire families and help them to shed their anger and move ahead.

It's not even a question of the proposed loan. It is a question of the attitudes revealed in this plea.
These people are not thinking outside of the box in the proper perspective. They simply want a free, new box to dump the same old crap into.

I am grateful that there are people like John Lemberger listening to this plea as well. He's Old School. He, like the people of his generation and my generation that followed, know that we CAN have a classroom filled with 30 students and know that all of these students are capable of learning the curriculum and that the majority of those students will graduate and make their mark in life instead of whinging that they didn't receive special treatment.

There is plenty wrong with the public school system today. If we could afford it, Our young one would be attending catholic school today. But in these economic times, all we can do is keep a watchful eye on our child as well as the school board. If they had their way, every child would be on Vyvanse or some other mind numbing drug to keep them calm and placid.

Back in my day, there was no ritalin or similar drugs out there. The teachers would simply stand the misbehaving child in a corner until they were ready to join the lesson. Today, when a child misbehaves, they shine a spotlight on them in hopes of retaining yet another job at the school for some "Behaviour Specialist" to take the child to their office and have the student fill out test papers that are skewed to suit their needs. It makes me sick.

Hubby and I were called in to school one day when our son was misbehaving. They were asking us what we felt they ought to do to help our child get back on track. Every suggestion we made was shot down. They can't make our child write 50 times "I will behave in class" because it is against their rules because it would make our little darling not enjoy writing. PLEEEEEEASE!

No. A new building is not what this city needs. What it needs is an overhaul in the educational system. I'm voting NO on Tuesday.

And on a related note, I went to school with Paul Esslinger. He was a little weasel.
When he first wanted to get into city Government, he went knocking on doors. He knocked on my Dad's door. Told him "Oh! I went to school with your daughter!" Oh, yeah! Like we were best pals! What? Did he memorize the High School Yearbook and go out stalking all the parents of former students and make like he was friends with all of them? That's not networking, that's just creepy!

Frank Tower sang in our Church Choir, and he's not even a Catholic. He helped us as a favour to the Choir Master. He was well spoken, talented, and intelligent.

Decisions, decisions. Smarmy Paul, or intelligent, thoughtful and gorgeous Frank. Gee! Such a tough choice!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just a quick giggle

So, Mr and Mrs Doogster came to dinner last night.
We had a lovely fish fry thanks to Hubby's fabulous cooking skills.
The Doogsters brought Potato Salad and Cole Slaw.

The Doogster said he got into a confrontation with the gal at the grocery deli.
Her sign beside the Cole Slaw said "Better then Grandmas".
The Doogster told her "I think it is supposed to say 'Better THAN Grandma's'."

At that point, I burst into laughter and told him
"I've never tasted Grandma."

Okay, so I am really one sick individual.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hair's to an exciting weekend!

I'm sitting here at the computer watching the clock.
You see, I have hair dye in my hair at the moment, and I am trying very hard to resist the idea that I want to cut my hair (Yes, Shayla, you inherited that trait from your dear old auntie!).

I'm starting to reach a weird point with my hair. I really hate the gray roots, but I really love all of the other colours that show up just before it is time to dye my hair. At about 8 weeks on, I have at least 8 different shades of reddish brown going through my hair as well as the grays. And then when I dye it, I end up with one boring shade. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

But lately, I really hate what my hair is telling me it wants to do. I feel so damned old and frumpy! And that is not how a gal who has lost almost 20 pounds ought to be feeling! So I'm contemplating cutting my hair. Layers. Lots of layers. And maybe bangs for a change. But I know me. Me and bangs don't always get along well. They're high maintenance. I'm a wash it, brush it and run out the door kind of gal. And in a normal world, that would be okay. But I work with a group of younger, gorgeous gals. Gals who never have a bad hair day. I have TONS of bad hair days!

So, I'm thinking maybe once I rinse out the gooey dye, I just may get out my sharpest scissors.
Is there a Patron Saint of Good Hair Cuts? Cuz if there is, I need her to watch over me! :o)

I have a vacation day tomorrow! W00t!
Hubby and I are going to do our taxes now that we're back on line (halleluia!).
And then we are going to go somewhere special!

We normally go out to breakfast on Sundays. As of late, it's been Dirk's Truck Stop. They make an excellent Chicken Fried Steak. However, a few weeks ago, we packed up the kid and sent him to Grandma's for the night while we went out to party, and the next day, we went out to breakfast just the two of us. We went to Pilara's on Main Street.

When we entered Pilara's, I really liked they way they inexpensively charmed up the place. It's an old building, but they really have a hip cafe vibe happening. And as we sat at one of their decoratively hand painted tables and looked at the menu, I said to Hubby "Uh oh, this is a fu-fu place, Honey." His response was "Could be, but the coffee is excellent!" So we ordered some food.
I tried their french toast. Oh. My. Gawd!!!!! Firstly, no matter what you order, they offer you some waldorf salad as an appetizer. It's been decades since I've had waldorf salad. I'd forgotten how much I like it! And then came the French Toast. This is not regular bread frenched up. This is a flavoured bread that they cook as french toast, and then layer it with pecans and walnuts and give you a CUTE little urn of syrup to drizzle on top of it all. It was pure heaven!

I told Hubby "If we ever win the lottery, I want Pilara's to feed me every day!"

Ever since that visit, we have been jonesing to go back there. But, alas, The Child would never eat anything off of their menu. The need has become so great that last Sunday, I put a bowl of Honey Combs in front of the kid and said "Here. You will eat this. And when you are finished, we are going to a restaurant for breakfast where you won't like any of their food. You will come with us. You will be full. You will behave. You will like it."

Then, we jumped in the van and headed to Pilara's... only to find that they are closed on Sundays.
I was crestfallen!

But tomorrow, the kid is in school! Hubby and I can enjoy a top of the line meal without hearing our 8 year old saying "I'm hungry! Their fries have green stuff on them. There are black flecks too. I don't like salad. Where's the bathroom?" (You can picture me rolling my eyes, can't you!).

Well, it's time to wash out the goo! Wish me luck!

P.S. Okay, so I was right. I do hate the bangs. But all in all, I didn't do too bad of a hack job.
Perhaps there IS a Patron Saint Of Good Hair Cuts!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What a relief!

Hubby has been tweeking the new computer every few days to train it to become what it ought to be. I can finally see my graphics on my blog, which is a relief, because I didn't get all of them transferred over to photobucket as I would have liked. So until our server discovers that the source of posting no longer exists, we're golden.

The president gave his speech tonight. Again. As Hubby puts it, the man has been campaigning for so long he thinks he is still campaigning. I don't like watching his speeches. He's not a good liar. He can't look at the camera when he is telling a blatant lie. It's like watching a train wreck.

But that's not even the worst part! Before the speech, I logged on to yahoo to check my mail, and the AP had posted a photo with their write-up on the pending speech and I was just beside myself with anger and disbelief.

How dare they!

Of course, after the speech, I checked the link and they had removed their original photo. Obviously someone made their disapproval known.

I don't give a damn if you voted for the man or not. Surely even the Associated Press knows that Obama is NOT the next coming! Shame on you, Associated Press! Shame! Shame! Shame! You are gonna rot in Hell!

Hearing the Presidential address is much like the messages I am sure everyone is getting from their employers as of late. "Things are shaky, but we're in a good position. We had a very strong first quarter, and all is well." and in the next breath "By the way, we're closing up a few locations, and shutting down your retirement plan until things get stable, oh, and don't put all of your hopes into a raise this year." Ouch.

I'm really glad I quit smoking. I gave MYSELF a raise. I did the math this week. I quit in October. If I had continued smoking, I would have spent $700 in cigarette money. $700! DUDE! That's a lot of dead presidents! (How's that for a segue? HUH! I ROCK!)

I will never go back to being a pack a day smoker. Yes, I will admit that now and again, I do have one. I'm human. It's a tough habit to leave behind completely - especially when consuming alcohol or when I want to kill some body. But on the whole? I think I like saving the money much more. It's MY money. Mine. I've earned it. Nobody else can decide how I will spend it. Nobody else can guilt me into pouring it into owed bills. Ain't gonna happen. That's MY cash! I really like that.

Hmmm... It's looking like I've got to get out my most stern Mom Face. The Child is still lurking about and it is 10:30. He will live after my wrath, but he won't like the (no computer usage) consequences. :o)

Have a great nighty, All!

Aunt Bren

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We're Back!

Our computer crashed some time in February. It was a slow and painful death.
I didn't get to save everything off of it that I would have liked to. But isn't that just how life goes?

We're saving up for a good computer - or may just by one with our Tax Refund... if we ever get our F'ing taxes filed. The unit we are using right now is a used one Hubby found for $40 from a friend. Let me tell you, ya get what you pay for. I'm a slow typist, but I am typing much faster than this computer can keep up with. That is so whack!

So, my devoted followers, I'll bet you are wondering what you have missed in my oh so exciting life in the past 30 days? Not a whole lot! Well... I did win the diet competition at work. I blew them all out of the water. While most of my colleagues had lost a total of 4 pounds in 8 weeks, I managed to drop 14. That $180 was well earned!

So what did I buy with my winnings? Well, for starters, some undergarments that aren't baggy on me! LOL! And I bought an exercise mat, and new tire innertubes for my bike so that I can start riding it to work a few days a week and continue to shed pounds.

It's officially spring now! I've been tending to all of my beloved house plants, finding new chutes and leaves on nearly all of them. And it is so nice to finally be able to take my ginormous plant out of the bathroom where it stayed nice and cozy for the winter. Although it enjoyed its stay in there, I like it so much better in a prominent spot in the living room.

I did a bit of internet detective work last night and was able to identify most of the plants I now have. I was fortunate enough to catch "Lisa the Plant Lady" at work last spring as she was getting ready to start pruning all of those wonderful live trees and plants all around the building. She gave me and all of my coworkers a handful of snips from random over-flowing plants. I had always thought of myself as not having a green thumb, but I know that Lisa only comes by on Mondays to water and fertilize all of those plants. It's not so hard to remember to water plants every weekend.Perhaps because I did think of myself as having a black thumb, I get a real thrill when I see new leaves sprouting instead of a pile of dead leaves!

Well, my people, it is time I get out in the sunshine and start installing those new bike tires!
I hope you all are happy and healthy and I will talk to you all again soon!



P.S. If you are so inclined, say a small prayer for my friend Kayla who is going through a rough patch at the moment. Life is unfair. She's seen enough bad crap. The girl needs some sunshine!