Friday, April 04, 2014

Isn't childbirth grounds for a make-up test?

39/40

So I have a lot of friends who are teachers and even more who are parents, and they've all been going completely spastic lately about whichever standardized testing their kids and/or students are doing this time of year. Like posting on Facebook, "All prayers and good thoughts welcome as Ava Gracelynne's 8th-grade class takes the BARG test this week!" or "Double whammy -- my two are both doing the SPRAT test today and tomorrow! But I think they'll knock it out of the park! Fingers crossed!" or "Oh dear Shatner, just help my students get through DERP week!"

The thing is, though, I used to fucking LOVE standardized testing. LOVE it. It helped that I was always in like the 100th percentile, so the shit was eaaaazzzy, but also it was awesome to have the school routine broken up like that. Hours-long chunks, sometimes even whole days or several whole days, given over to the silent, orderly, deeply peaceful filling out of tiny circles with a #2 pencil. Nobody talks, you don't get more algebra homework, you take a break for some Chee-tos and Coke and then get right back to it (pencils freshly sharpened). It was heaven, or as close as you could get while you were attending public school.



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Monday, March 24, 2014

It's like our Sergeant said before one trip into the jungle: "MEN! Fifty of ya are leavin on a mission. Twenty-five of ya ain't comin back."

38/40

Last Days of School, Ranked From Most Awesomest to Worst Crappiest

3rd grade: Party at Miss B.'s actual house! Rolling down that crazy-steep sloped lawn! Lemonaaade!
11th grade: We are officially the kings of the world! SENIORS 1992!!!! Also I leave for D.C. in a few days to spend the summer as a Congressional Page, so hand me a wine cooler and let's tear this place UP!
8th grade: I'm in Washington, D.C., gettin' my National Spelling Bee on. Fuck yeah! Also: I never have to play that fucking flute again, boyeeeeee! I'm free!
4th grade: Feels like summer, the circus is in town, and we have a trampoline at my house!
10th grade: No more geometry! Pile in my car, we're gonna drive around this town till the gas runs out, y'all!
1st grade: Popsicles and air-conditioning over at our grandmother's house! Yay!
2nd grade: Everything is awesome!
9th grade: Woo hoooooo! Only one more summer without a car! Quick, get your sister to drive us to the mall so we can see Major League again (and again, and again).
5th grade: Ucch. This was a weird year, socially, and a relatively tough one, academically (particularly math-wise -- I've begun to struggle). Glad it's done.
12th grade: Zinging back and forth between euphoria, cheap nostalgia, dramatic sentiment, terror, elation, and super-weirdness, everything feels Important and both too big and too small all at once.
7th grade: Oh thank CHRIST this year is over.
6th grade: Holy shit we have to hide! We have to hide from the 7th and 8th graders! They're gonna get us with shaving cream and flour! Run, goddammit, RUN!


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Sunday, March 23, 2014

The jerk store called. They're running out of you!

37/40

I might actually die of wanting one of these "Can't Stand Ya" dresses. For real and for serious.

Fun fact: The person who makes them is Erin Pearce, aka the voice of Toodee on Yo Gabba Gabba.

Funner fact: She's 24. So ... like, I guess Old Lady Gleemonex and a youngster of the Millennial stripe could actually get along. All we gotta do is get going on Seinfeld quotes and we're likethis!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

E.B. White is a goddamn genius sorcerer magician, because he got me to love and read and reread and cry over a book about a fucking SPIDER and a fucking PIG.

Do you guys know this? This, which is: Pigs are fucking horrible. Just gigantic, awful, smelly and disgusting animals. 

I chaperoned Kid Gleemonex's class field trip to a farm yesterday, and y'all -- godDAMMIT, the pigs. PIGS! Christ, I haven't been able to get over it. There were all these adorable goats, sheep, some cows, some horses, a few dozen happy and beautiful chickens, lots of edible plants, a great blue heron, who knows what-all, and but in the middle of all that, we had to get right up close to pigs. They were the size of fucking Volkswagens, weighed hundreds of pounds, had longish bristly hair, and GODDAMMIT THEY WERE PIGS. 

The stink was ferocious, everything about them was repugnant on a major scale, they could've overpowered and eaten us all, they have PIG EYES and HOOVES and ASSHOLES oh my gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhdd. 

The pig is officially the only animal I have zero conflicted feelings about eating. Even a scallop, I feel kind of sorry for, but a pig? Motherfucker is MEAT, because it's too ugly and awful to be alive for any other reason. Yecccccchhhh make bacon out of them all, and so it shall be done. 

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Don't worry -- I've planned ahead! We're three miles from a primary target.

36/40

In these unnervingly warm, still, dry winter & spring days at the end of the anthropocene era, I find it comforting to reread all my greatest nuclear-apocalypse hits -- I just finished Alas, Babylon, and despite the casual sexism, thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a weird kind of optimism, perhaps particular to Generation X: Hey, at least there's still a chance it could all end in a millisecond of brilliant light! Yaaaaaay!

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Old Lady Gleemonex Tells All

35/40

--I do not know what a podcast is, I've never listened to one (or ... do you watch them? or ... liiike ... they're on your iPod? or your computer? the radio? anyway ...), would not have the first clue how to access one or why, cannot imagine spending a microsecond on finding this out, and am hella annoyed whenever that's the only way to get at something that I think would be interesting, because I'm not gonna do it and so that stuff is obscured from me forever.

--I write checks. It's kind of soothing. There are some bills I pay by phone or online, I know how to do it and it's fine, whatever. But I grew up with such financial instability (plus the weird emotional baggage surrounding money and where it comes from and where it goes -- both mysteries of the highest order in my family of origin) that it's deeply satisfying to keep the books in my check register, write things down with my own hand, have the numbers come out right, sign with a flourish, put a stamp on the envelope and mail it; that tactile experience stills a part of my brain that a few clicks on a computer don't necessarily work upon.

--I'd rather communicate via text than by any other means. I'd prefer a series of funny texts over a phone call, any and every day. That being said, I really do seriously, sincerely think less of people whose texting is entirely or almost entirely the abbreviations-and-numbers kind of texting. RU gz cmg 2nite? Yes -- but I'm going to judge you for asking me like that.

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Monday, March 03, 2014

Makes me actively wish for Global Thermo-mooooo-clear War.

34/40

Y'all know that noise from the old Hanna-Barbera-style cartoons, that percussive noise I've always called in my head the "lickety-split" noise? Where a character is trying to beat feet somewhere real quick-like, but for a few seconds, they're stuck in place while their eyes bug out and their legs just pedal uselessly in a cloud of dust and/or other legs?

I fucking hate that noise. It drives me out of my goddamn tree, and it always has, since my earliest memories. Total rage-trigger.

So it is especially unfortunate that my kids' new favorite show, a computer-animated ball of suck called "Tickety Toc," features this noise on the reg. Multiple times per episode. In between this christing cow character's christing "moo" wordplay (e.g. moooovelous, moooootivation, a-mooooo-zing, etc. forever), that is. I had thought that the worst thing was to find oneself staring into the fathomless void of Dora the Explorer's eyes as she waits for you to repeat "las estrellas!", feeling the dread and angst of all life and knowing the cold bleak infinity that lies beyond.

But no, it's that fucking lickety-split noise, followed by some asinine remark by Tommy or Tallulah, capped with "abso-moooooot-ly!"

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