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, October 25, 2007


That's right, Boys and Girls. It's that time of year again. And because The Oral Report wants all of you to have a Safe and Happy Halloween, here's some important information to help you avoid some pretty nasty stuff out there.

You know the term. You've seen NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 27 times. But do you have the skills and information you need? Think so, huh. Let's see how you do with this quiz.

Would You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

Almost definately of course we can't be certain, but you stand a very good chance. You know enough about the living dead and basic survival to be the leader of the group.Did you pick run a bath, because if you did, good job. You'll need as much water as possible because it's going to get cut.
Take this quiz!

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Hmmm, okay, okay. Looking good, but here's a short video that could help you improve your odds of survival.

And if that doesn't answer all your questions, this link from How Stuff Works (an excellent source of general information, btw), should give you a much broader picture.

Of course, there is always the option to dress like your attackers to try to throw them off (a'la SHAUN OF THE DEAD). This site has some excellent choices in costumes and accessory items.

Also, not difficult to throw something together yourself, with stuff you may have in your own house!

And don't forget the kiddies!

For added effect, this link may help you with the lingo.

If you feel you need more research, get ye to the video store!! Maybe checking out one (or more) of the titles on this list will give you an idea what you will be dealing with.

Lastly, please don't think this post is all just holiday nonsense. The Oral Report feels it is critical that you, dear, dear readers, are prepared for what may already be a serious threat. No need to thank me...just doing my civic duty! I'm sure that any of you would do the same.

You may also want to note that in the event that you need it, I will not hesitate to cut your head off.

I'm just saying.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Blow Me!

Kinda late in the season for it, but River City fell victim to another risk from Global Warming. An extension of tornado season.


Luckily, the worst storms didn't hit our neighborhood, but the folks on the other side of the park didn't fair as well. Their power is back on this morning, but they'll be busy with clean up for a while.

Also, glad [Kid 3] and I were home when it started (and that D barely beat it, too), as this photo is of a business entirely too close to my office!

([Kid 1] called from school to let me know she was being routed to the basement of the building she was in, and I called [Kid 2] who was at work and she advised that they were okay there, too.)

Wanted to let the few of you who stop in here know that we're all fine down here. (Though I need to check in with Nate, as he rode it out at his place last night.) Hoping the hoosier contingency avoided the damage as well, but I know much of it was headed your way.

The juxtaposition with the upcoming holiday also made for interesting news reports. One newscaster was touring a neighborhood that had been hit and reported early this morning, that "tree limbs and disembodied heads with hatchets in them are scattered everywhere." In the dark, I suppose you really don't want to think the body parts strewn about around you are anything BUT Halloween decorations...

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Ain't Missing You At All...


...Since you been gone...

Ran across a few things and wanted to share. Still wondering about a couple movies that are supposed to be coming soon. Surely, HBO hasn't forsaken us...'cause that would just break my heart.

In any event, here are a few things that the fans amongst you may enjoy...

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Reflections From the Other Side of a Particularly Long Weekend

Howdy, Gang! Busy the last couple days catching things up at work (thus the apologies). After my regular half-day Friday, the standard weekend, and then throwing in a couple va-ca days Monday and Tuesday, things were a little piled up at the office.

Much as I'd love to share leisurely stories of sauna naps and reading racy novels while sipping mulled cider under the shade of an autumn colored oak, my days were filled to brimming with a good deal of "mom-bizness". Nature of the beast, I suppose. Honestly, as tiring as it gets sometimes, I know I wouldn't trade this temporary gig for anything. Primarily because I realize just how temporary a gig it is.

In any event, the two younger kids were out of school Friday, Monday and Tuesday. The timing worked well for a camping trip with their dad. At least for the younger two. [Kid 1] was working all weekend.

Friday, Nate, D, [Kid 1] and I had planned to catch a matinee of RESIDENT EVIL flick. Within minutes of when we were planning to leave to head to the theatre, I got a call from downtown about a problem at the building. Which, of course, completely derailed the train to Funsville. D and I went and straightened it out, but upon our return, it was clear that there would not be time for [Kid1] to join us before she had to get to work. Quite disappointing.

However, we made our way as quickly as we could to a theatre on the other side of the river (as it was the last one still showing the film at a time we could catch for matinee prices). While it was not a film I, myself, would have elected to see, it was fun to spend the time with people I enjoy spending time with. Having no history with either the video game or the previous incarnations of this series, I had to be spoon fed a few details. But, honestly, very few.

There were some pretty spectacular special effects and the action just kept on coming. Though I will say that watching zombies eating flesh vastly diminishes the amount of popcorn you want to eat. Also, what is with a movie theatre that sells those yummy pretzel bites...but no mustard? Cretins.

The movie was late enough that we were destined to hit rush hour traffic back across the bridge (an unpleasant reality), so we opted to explore a little in Southern Indiana. Hitting a little geek shop we have been to before, and a Hobby Lobby we haven't. Then taking Nate to one of our favorite local restaurants for a deeply delicious Italian dinner.

Saturday was full of grocery shopping and domestic stuff. Though Saturday evening brought some interesting role-playing that teetered on the edge of ruin all night, but luck was with us 'til the end and the results were a whoooooole lotta loot!! Sad that it's only the virtual variety. But fun, nonetheless. (I suppose pretend shopping is all I can afford right now.)

Sunday had the kids returning from their camping trip, though I got a call late afternoon advising that they would be late as my ex had some vehicular difficulties that were proving the better of him. One of the others in the party brought the kids back, a little late, but none the worse for wear. Well...except that [Kid 3] had a nice scrape on her face from a minor fall the first day. In happy news, she spent the entire weekend in fairly close proximity to a rather large dog (owned by her aunt and uncle) and seemed to be dealing with it well. Slow going, but we’re getting there.

Unfortunately, I’d cooked a huge supper (as I usually do on Sunday night), but because they were running so late, they’d picked up something and eaten it in the car on the way home. Netting me oodles of leftover chicken stir-fry and fried rice. Poor Nate. Relegated to leftover guy, once again.

On Monday, I went and talked to [Kid 3]'s teacher about some issues she's been having with scary ghost stories. Apparently, she's a little frightened of ghosts and some of the other kids, acting like kids do at that age, are taking the opportunity to take advantage of telling her much more horrific tales and insisting they are true. It's caused a great deal of fear from what are, effectively, terrorist mind games.

Anyway, the teacher said she'd be more attentive to the situation and we're hoping it helps. In all honestly, [Kid 3], who has begun to realize this is just something the other kids are doing to scare her, is rockin' some serious backbone these days. Not gonna let 'em work HER like that. That's my girl!!

Later in the afternoon, we met with a second periodontist about her impending gum graft. I like this guy FAR more than the first one we saw. The fact that my out of pocket cost to use him is about $125 less is just icing on the cake. (Although cake icing and dental procedures probably shouldn't be used together.) In any event, we have scheduled the procedure for next month and I'm hoping that it goes smoothly. D, in his infinite want to provide for these children has already put the money aside for the procedure and I'm very grateful for that. Primarily, as my ex is getting further and further behind in his financial responsibilities for them. (Anyone remember when I was thinking I just couldn't garnish his child support? How lucky I am that I didn't talk myself out of that one or I'd be in much worse shape now.)

Monday night we stayed up ENTIRELY too late playing, of all things, Scrabble. It was, without a doubt, the worst game of my life. I didn't draw a single vowel for five turns (including one turn in which I turned in letters for a redraw). This could have been due, in part, to the fact that both D and [Kid 2] were hoarding ALL vowels. Nate, in vast contrast, played out his entire tray on the first turn.

After far too little sleep, [Kid 2] and I set out the next morning for a campus tour of one of the colleges she is considering attending. The biggest of the three she wants to look at, we spent a couple hours walking the campus, looking at classrooms, dorm rooms, the magnificent library and workout facility, and then meeting with the recruiter for the College of Education there on campus. [Kid 2] wants to be a high school math teacher. She advised us on what needed to be done for [Kid 2] to be admitted in the program, gave us some ideas on financial aid options, some of the education options at that school, and some very eye-opening advice on things she needs to be doing between now and graduation.

It was an excellent trip, though. (A couple more are already in the works.) And I was delighted to share it the time with her. [Kid 1] was far more indecisive and is certainly not the plan ahead kinda gal. She's clearly happy where she is, but it was a struggle (all at the last minute, too) to get her started. [Kid 2] is doing it quite a bit differently. Funny how different they are as people. With my sociology background, it's always so very interesting to me.

The story is that D and [Kid 3] made chocolate chip cookies and then, with Nate in tow, all became Toys 'R Us kids in my absence. So they had a good day, too. And that's mostly worn off the boys by now. But not completely.

By Tuesday night, though I was pretty exhausted and had a pretty lazy evening spent primarily dozing. I really MUST learn how to operate a restful vacation day one day. In any event, that's the haps. Back to your regularly scheduled slack time...already in progress.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Taking Issue

Mike Norton won't get the full field by next spring (and he's none too happy about it, either), but here is a quiz (sent to me by my 'publican office arch-nemesis) that will help you decide the candidate that best matches your views on the issues.

Imagine that. Voting by finding out where the candidates stand on the issues. What will we think of next?

Before taking the quiz, I had full-well believed that Obama was likely the best fit. However, after taking this quiz, I discovered there are THREE dems (Richardson, Kucinich, and Edwards...none of which I imagine will be on the ballot by the time I get to vote, let alone have the chance to succeed on a national level) ahead of him on "my list". Interesting.

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I Need a Stiff Drink (and Martha)

I suppose I should start this by mentioning that my middle daughter got her expander device installed in her mouth today. It's the precursor to her braces, the lower set of which will be installed in about six weeks.

But that's not what I'm on about.

(In my standard tangential style, time for a 'zing' to the left. Let me first note that what you are about to read is an entirely true story.)

What is wrong with this picture?

If you had to go to a second sheet for your list, you are right.

I realize it's been about a million years since I was in high school. And I realize that when I was in high school, the bathrooms were where the smokers and stoners hung out to keep from getting caught by The Man. (Which was stupid, because the vice-principal always knew right where to go to round them up. But, hey, wisdom comes slowly at that age.) And they were kinda dirty. But I didn't wanna spend a lot of time in there and didn't do a vast amount of clinical research. You know?

Anyway, my point is that I don't remember my high school bathroom being so nasty. And I mean NASTY. N.A.S.T.Y. (See how not just the "N" is capitalized?)

Today, when I went to pick up [Kid 2], I needed to use the ladies room. In hindsight, I should have used the bathroom at my office before I left work. But, by the time I got to her school I was performing the opening moves of the pee pee dance and knew I needed to take care of that, before we headed over to the orthodontist's office. (A mistake I will never again make, btw.)

I was delighted to see that the stalls in the girls bathroom had murals painted on them. An art class project, I'm sure, but they were whimsical scenes of woodlands and I thought it was darling. (The paper towel holders were painted to match.) Unfortunately, I believe it was all to distract me from the horror that was about to unfold before my eyes.

I went to the center stall and was annoyed to see what appeared to be cigarette ashes around the ENTIRE toilet seat. In my mind, I was thinking, "D'Uh! Of course they're smoking in the bathroom."

...and I moved on to the stall to the left. Which, coincidentally, had the exact same issue. Determined, I was, not to clean up cigarette ashes from these triflin' high school chicks, so I moved on to the next stall to the left...the last one in the row.

Guess what? Same issue. I mean they were almost identical. Not a few specs here or there, nearly the entire ring coated with ashes.

At that point, I figured I'd just have to clean one of them off, because I had to go. You know? But, ewwww!! The toilet in the last stall was stopped up with paper and there was balled up wads of it all over the floor, too. So, back next door I went.

Where I found a giant pubic hair at the front part of the toilet seat. My eyes rolled up into my head and I felt flush. So certain I was that I was going to fall over, I grabbed the door to the stall...just above the note about Tony Samuels and his unfortunate problem.

No. No. I could NOT clean this one up enough to use it. Back once more to the stall I'd originally viewed.

Not clean, but not horrifying, either.

It was then that I realized that it wasn't ashes on the seats, but burn marks. There had to be hundreds on each seat. GEEZ!!

I won't go into details about the acrobatics it took to actually USE the bathroom, but let me note that there was toilet paper in the stall. I'm sure some of you were thinking that was the next problem.

Two holes had been drilled through the wall and a heavy chain run through with two rolls of toilet paper strung on the chain. Ghetto, huh?

No. I am seriously not kidding about that. After the preceding, my sense of humor (and my nerves) were shot.

My goal was to get out of that bathroom as quickly as possible, but, knowing that Hepatitis B had to be crawling all over that place, I needed to wash my hands.

But, get this. The sinks were full of used paper towels. Because these lazy kids couldn't throw them in the trash can (though some of them did manage the floor toss) when they finished using them.


So, after removing a couple from the least loaded sink, ([Kid 2] was hysterical at this point, let me tell you)I turned the water on and literally gasped as brown water emerged from the faucet and flowed over my hands.

OMFG!!!!! My brain, if it had them, would have been screeching at the top of it's lungs.

I rinsed, quickly, in another sink. Dried my shaking hands and beat hell outta there.

Unbelievable. I gotta go sit down for a bit.

Obviously, this year's Christmas charity project will have to involve raising donations to get new toilet seats for my daughter's high school. Anybody get a discount at Home Depot?

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Zombies (sort of) in the News

See, I don't swim in water where creatures live. It's just ookie. I don't wanna feel a fish or kelp or some gigantic squid beast touching me (let alone biting my leg off above...or below...the knee). The very thought of it happening gives me a shiver.

I don't do a whole lotta pool swimming either, but that's more about opportunity, than the "ookie factor".

Reading this news story today, just reinforces the HELL outta my paranoia. And, really, I didn't need any help there.

JAWS was a trauma. The scene in STAND BY ME, where all the kids come out with leeches all over them, makes me weak. Even BLUE LAGOON, where Brooke Shields and Ricky Schroeder are swimming through the seaweed tenses me up.

I'm just glad swimming season is done. At least here. The rest of you...send me an address. I'm gonna be investing in a huge stock of noseplugs. Thankfully, it's off-season.

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