The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Idol (and Other) Nonsense

I'm gonna end up stripping these gears if I don't quit changing them so fast. And I don't want to see any whiplash lawsuits rolling through here, either! I mean it. Just a brief update on the haps. The OTHER haps in my life.

Okay, I've mentioned before that I'm an American Idol fan. I'm not in a support group, or anything. I'm just dealing with it the best way I can. I don't get to watch it every week. With the responsibilities of motherhood, any show I try to watch regularly is just a doomed proposition. DVD's have been a great change in that part of my reality. I imagine TiVO would be, too. And if/when I win the lotto, I'll let you know for sure.

Anyway, I was actually able to catch part of the performance night show this week and all of the results show. Performance night is, by far, my favorite. I like to see the contestants actually singing. Most times, I'll skip the results show and just find out the next day who got kicked off.

Here's where I lose everybody...last night, it was down to five contestants. Katherine McPhee (my favorite), Chris Daughtry, Elliott Yamin, Paris Bennett and Taylor Hicks. I figured it would have to be either Elliott or Taylor going home last night. The other of those two the next week. Paris the week after that and then, reluctantly (because I like his voice, too) Chris. But, as these things often go, Paris went home last night. Which isn't like the end of the world. I only envisioned her staying another couple weeks at best. But I think she has a much better voice than say, Taylor.

Oh, well. I was just sorry to see her go. Though, at 17, I imagine it's far from the last we've seen of her.

In other crap around my house, Highlander's job is eating him alive. It's difficult to see him so emotionally drained day after day. But, having non-stop complaint calls every couple minutes for 10 hour day after 10 hour day is just exhausting and infuriating. How anyone could keep their good humor and not feel battle-fatigued at the end of a stretch is beyond me.

I've been hiding little cards (in his lunch, in the book he's reading, etc.) to kind of distract him and let him know I'm cheering for him. And, periodically, I'll send him a little email note to remind him that I love him and that I'll see him soon. Not sure that does much. Seems like holding up a candle to distract a blitzkrieg. I wish I could do more.

It doesn't make me feel better, either, that I seem to be so inept when he's working so hard at keeping my crap beat back from the doors and windows around here. But I'm trying to come to terms with that, too.

The kids are, overall, doing fairly well. Only a couple weeks of school left and they are all looking forward to putting this year behind them. They go back to their dad's for a week on this Saturday. Which is "Derby Day". [Kid 1] and her significant other (who plays varsity softball) are going to be working at Churchill Downs doing clean up in the infield after the derby. It's a way for the softball team to raise money. But, I KNOW [Kid 1] has no idea what she's getting herself into.

The Derby infield is a notorious haven of debauchery where nary a horse will ever be seen by anyone. It's the actual inside area of the track and there will be some pretty wild partying going on. The clean up crews in the past have found human waste and used condoms, routinely, along with the occasional winning racing ticket, jewelry, money, and the standard papers, bottles, cans and half-eaten (or regurgitated) food. The track's policy is finders keepers and, for that reason, a lot of people choose to do it, in the hopes of finding something cool. And given the amount of alcohol flowing in the infield multiplied by the number of idiots there, the odds for coming home with something valuable are actually much better than betting on the race itself. So, that is on tap for Sunday.

We'll drop by our neighborhood comics venue on the way to drop them off on Saturday, to pick up our freebies for Free Comics Day. Highlander and I will probably hit the store in my ex's neighborhood on the way back.

[Kid 2] got a note from her therapist to be able to wear a hat at school. This after a teacher reported to her school counselor that she was worried about [Kid 2] and didn't know if her parents were aware of the problem. This seemed to be kind of a blessing in disguise, as we'd been unable to figure out a way to get around the dress code. But, my discussion with her counselor, and the fact that another teacher was concerned, opened a door that might not have been able to have been opened otherwise.

Wearing the hat (it's an army cap...she's ALL about wearing camo) seems to be helping, as it simultaneously reminds her not to and discourages her from pulling her hair. So the more she wears it, the more she should be able to minimize the damage. The hat hair is pretty bad, but at least it's hair.

Yesterday was day one of the "official" wearing of the hat at school, and an episode with her English teacher had me (and you should have seen Highlander when I told him) pretty fired up. [Kid 2] reported that her English teacher (where she is having the most school-related stress) asked her to remove her hat in class. When [Kid 2] explained the situation and proferred her a copy of the note from her therapist, the teacher sent her to the office to talk to the school counselor. The school counselor counter-signed the note and walked [Kid 2] back to class, where the teacher met them in the hallway and argued with the counselor that [Kid 2] wearing the hat in class was a disruption and that, even with the note, she shouldn't be allowed to do it. Okay, that pissed me off. Big time.

[Kid 2] had a field trip to see a play yesterday and the teacher made it abundantly clear, during their little impromptu conference that she would NOT be allowed to wear the hat during the performance of the play. That it was "disrespectful". I'm sorry. My child has a problem and is seeking professional help and has shown signs of improvement by undertaking this solution and you're deliberately trying to undermine that. Hold on just a sec...let me grab my skates out of the closet.

Let me just say,


Had I known about the incident when it happened, I'd have been at school, re-educating that teacher. She's really rather lucky that I didn't find out about it until after the fact. [Kid 2] further indicated that the teacher relocated students so that she would be seated next to her for the entire performance. To make certain that she didn't put the hat on.

As [Kid 2] reports this to me, she is seeing how upset I'm getting. Having been around me for some time, she knows where this is going.

"I'll take care of that tomorrow, Sweetie", I told her.

"It's okay, Mom. Really."

"No. It's inappropriate for that teacher to treat you that way and I'm going to make sure that it does NOT happen again. And that she apologizes to you for how she treated you today."

"Mom. No. Don't. I know you're trying to help, but I've got it under control. Honestly."

Reluctantly, I said, "Okay. I won't get involved right now. But if it happens again, I AM going to correct the situation. And I mean that."

I hate when they get all capable and grown up on me. I so badly wanted to bitchslap that teacher. But I won't do it at the expense of my daughter's independence and her ability to handle the situation herself. Those things are entirely too valuable.

But, I better not see that bitch at the grocery. I'll run her down with my cart. I swear it!

And last up on the hit parade is a meeting I scheduled yesterday to turn 'Hell' over to the spawn. It appears, my very dear friends, that next Wednesday evening, I will be handing over all the documents, all the keys, all the financials, all the headaches, all the everything, to the very unusual and irritable residents. I could not be more pleased.

I'd love to think that I wouldn't ever have to deal with any of it again...but I doubt that will be the case. I'm going to hope though. And it's a delight to think that a great many of the calls I will be able to say, "I no longer handle that. You'll need to contact your condo board president for assistance." I've already started practing saying it. I love how tingly I get doing it.

Losing this project, however, is going to free up my schedule dramatically around the office. And with very little work on the plate right now, I'm not sure what I'll be doing with the extra time. I've got a couple small projects that I'm working on right now, but they are hardly enough to fill my days. I suppose I'll find out soon enough.

It probably won't be good. But it won't be Hell. And for today, that's enough.

All right, I better start figuring out what I want to yap about around here tomorrow. But before I get out of here, please note that I have a new link in my list of blog links. Leah's A Girl and A Boy has had my blog listed for months now. I'm terrible for just getting around to reciprocating. It's not because I don't like her blog, though. It's because I SUCK at formatting. I should be alphabetizing these, but even the thought of doing it sends me into a tailspin!


Blogger MJ Norton said...

I've only watched Idol during the early, city to city sweep. For the most part, once they've found the talent they're looking for, too much of it is geared towards performances I don't care about. People singing modern pop "standards" I've not heard and generally don't want to hear again. Too many people who "style" songs rather than sing them, and who seem to prize warbling more than the ability to hit and hold a note.

There are some pleasant exceptions, of course, but not enough to get me to stop looking once we've gotten past the car wreck, first-sweep auditions.

One off thing about school in our current district is that while it doesn't start appreciably later it does end a week or two later than many other spots in PA. So, our kids will be in school through the middle of June. Still, yes, the time's getting short.

Good luck to [Kid 1] at the Derby sweep-up.

The English teacher should be publicly humiliated, or at least made to feel a similar pressure at the level of peers and superiors.

I know what a strain it is to have to restrain yourself this way for the sake of one's child's social sanity, but - even if I ultimately didn't do anything with it, just as a relief valve for myself - I'd deeply consider drafting a letter outlining the events, including how you didn't make an issue closer to the event solely at your daughter's request, wanting to spare her further humiliation. Add that your conscience compelled you to ultimately make a point of it at the proper level - once your daughter had reached a safe point beyond possible retribution - so as to possibly help safeguard some other child in some similar circumstance from such inappropriately rigid and insensitive treatment.

Set up copies not only for the teacher but for the principal, school counselor, and even research farther up into the district for more highly-placed personages. Be sure to include the cc list on the letter in hopes of generating a skid mark. Get the copies all ready to trigger just before the school year ends. Hell, I'd consider scheduling a day off to hand-deliver them.

Finally, all the best in dropping the keys to Hell into someone else's hand.

5/04/2006 12:10 PM  
Blogger Highlander said...

Baby, baby, baby,

I'm so glad about the Hell thing.

Look... my job sucks. It does. But first, well, this is what I get for making a lot of bad decisions about my schooling early on in life. That shit catches up to you. Second, everybody's job sucks... yours, mine, Mike Norton's. And Tony Collette can only envy us our shitty jobs. It's a hard world out there, and it's going to get a lot harder very soon... but never mind that.

Sweetie, the 'shit' you think you have to beat back from the doors and windows is nothing, nothing at all compared to how much you give me and how much I gain from having you and the kids in my life. If I didn't have you guys, guess what? I'd still have a shitty job, and I'd be living someplace much much worse and I'd be lonely and miserable. So don't worry about it. We'll get through it, and all the bad stuff isn't a drop in the ocean of good stuff I have in my life, because of you.

I mean it. Stop fretting.

I love you!

5/04/2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger Your Girl Friday said...

I want a Highlander!!! :)

5/04/2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger Highlander said...

Sorry, YGF...

there can be only one.


5/04/2006 9:05 PM  
Blogger AaA said...


We're a dime a dozen.

5/05/2006 12:36 AM  
Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

I missed "Idol" this week. Paris got voted off? Bummer! I'd pegged her to go all the way. Or at least Taylor should have gone before her. Actually I'd really wanted Mandisa but the world doesn't seem to like fat women.

5/05/2006 11:55 AM  

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