Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Saga of the Cell Phone, Pt. 1 (or GPS Saves My Wallet)

As some of you know through my rants on facebook and Jessi's blog, a punk at Jamie's school broke into his locker and stole his cell phone and thumb drive. The thumb drive wasn't such a big deal for two reasons: 1) it didn't have any current assignments on it; 2) it cost me less than $10 at wally-world. The cell phone, though, that was a MAJOR deal. It's brand new. He's had it less than a month. And it would cost me $249.99 to replace it. No, that isn't what I paid for it. I got it for free because it was time to renew his contract. But if I had to replace it, it would cost me the aforementioned astronomical sum.

Luckily, I pay $5/mo. for GPS tracking on his cell phone. I've gotten flack from some quarters about my "big brother" tendencies to have to keep an eye on my son at all times, keeping him honest through control and not trust, etc., etc. Whatever your opinion about my choice to GPS track my son through his cell phone (and really, I have my own perfectly good reasons and don't particularly want to hear your opinion if you disagree with me), it saved me the expense of having to cancel his phone account and getting a new one. Because literally within a minute of Jamie calling me in hysterics from the school office, I knew the location of his phone within 12 YARDS. I was then able to keep refreshing the signal trace and watch on a map as the phone traveled away from Jamie's school. It wasn't moving too quickly, so I knew it was with a person who was on foot and not in a car or bus. It was also pretty close to the school still, so I knew a student who was walking home from school had it in his or her hot little thieving hands. While I was on the phone with Jamie, I had him tell the secretary to radio the campus police that I knew exactly where the phone was. Unfortunately, I was told they couldn't do anything about it because the phone was no longer on school property.

Just before all this bruhaha erupted, my friend Xena* (name changed to protect the innocent) called me to tell me I didn't need to pick up her boy Bobby* (again, name changed to protect the innocent) after school in that day's car pool. Bobby had had his locker broken into that day and he wasn't feeling well, so she was on her way to the school to pick him up and take him home. I immediately called Xena and asked her if she could do me a big favor, then explained the situation to her. I was at work and couldn't leave, but could she retrieve the phone for me? She said she'd call me back once she had picked up Bobby.

In the meantime, I texted Jamie's cell with the following message: "This cell phone does not belong to you. GIVE IT BACK!" Which was, of course, ignored. My attempts to call the phone were ignored, as well.

Xena called me back, and I was able to keep refreshing the GPS signal in order to tell her exactly what address the phone was at, even down to what side of the street it was on. She pulled up to that location and said that there was one student walking down the street, so she figured it would have to be him. While still on the phone with me, Xena got out of her vehicle and approached the kid. "Excuse me. How many cell phones do you have?" she asked. I heard a muffled reply of "Two." She responded, "Okay, so give me the blue one that doesn't belong to you." Considering she couldn't see the cell phones when she said this, I imagine it scared the little twerp a bit, and he handed it over.

Xena then gave a speech that would have made any mom stand on her chair and cheer. Xena informed the boy (and I'm paraphrasing here because it's been three days and I've slept since then) that he was too young to be messing up his life by stealing, exhorted him not to throw away his life, and basically gave him a well-deserved tongue lashing I hope the kid never forgets in his life. She then got back in her vehicle and took the cell phone home for me to pick up later that day.

However, the story doesn't end there! Tune in next time for the lie of the century, a thief who can't keep his story straight, and a mother who condones such act(s) from her child(ren).... in "The Saga of the Cell Phone, Pt. 2 (or EPIC Parenting Fail)"!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sign of the Apocalypse.... and Other News

Start Looking for the Four Horsemen
A sure sign that the apocalypse is near - Martha Stewart POLE DANCING on her show! She apparently became so *inspired* by her guest, the founder of the S Factor (stripper factor) fitness craze touting the health benefits of pole dancing and stripping, that Martha decided a twirl around the pole would be "a good thing." The thought of her pole dancing gives me full-body heebie jeebies!

And Other News
  • Jamie's report card comes in today, but I already know what's on it. I love technology! I especially love technology that shows me he got all A's and B's again this nine weeks. I also love that I can look and see he got a 90 on his science semester exam. Good job, Jamie!
  • For the last several weeks, I've had three stray dogs at my house. Last night, after more than two weeks of looking for his owner, I gave the Chihuahua male stray to a lady up the street who loves Chihuahuas and has other Chihuahua dogs for him to play with. I was relieved to be down to only two strays. At 2:45 this morning, the dogs in my house went pouring out the doggie door, barking like mad. I went out to see what the fuss was, and found the male Chihuahua had not only come back, but that he had gotten into a fenced in and supposedly locked-up-tight yard.
  • As a reward for the above-mentioned A's and B's, I'm taking Jamie to the symphony tomorrow night. They are playing a tribute to John Williams, including most of the Star Wars music, with some Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and other music thrown in for variety. I don't know, though, if their tribute can top the video tribute below (thank you, Everett, for showing me this at Christmas!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Jealous, and a Birthday

Today is my brother, Joel's, birthday. Happy birthday, Bubby! I won't tell you how old he is. If you know him, then you might know how old he is already. If you don't know him, you probably don't care how old he is. So why post it either way?

Furthermore, I'm pretty dang jealous of my bro right now. He got to meet and socialize for a bit with Neil Gaiman. I'm so jealous!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Heavenly Father

Heavenly Father,

I know I don't pray as much as I should, and sometimes I pray for the wrong things - things You don't want me to have, things I don't really need, things that are, in the grand scheme of things, pretty stupid. Oftentimes, my prayers are quick, like dashed off notes letting You know I'm still here and of whom (and what) I'm thinking. They range from "Dear Lord, please don't let me be late to work AGAIN" to a more serious "Father God, watch over those who are hungry, those who are feeling lost and alone. Please help them to know You are there, and help them to know how to turn to You." Many times, my prayers have felt inadequate and a drop in the bucket of all the voices crying out in the darkness to You, but still I pray. I know You are listening to us all.

I am not the best Christian, nor am I the best mother. I often lose my temper and say or do things I shouldn't. I shout. I can be downright unpleasant to be around. I don't read my Bible as often as I should, and I don't turn the other cheek nearly as much as I ought. I am flawed. And yet You still love me. You still love me, despite the fact that I have a child but have never been married. You love me, despite the fact that I often do the wrong thing. You love me. I am humbled by this.

I often feel much more than I let on to others. Sometimes the only way to protect myself is to pretend that I don't care; to pretend that words don't hurt; to pretend that the images on the screen don't make me cry. These things I try not to show the world, but I bring them to You. I pray to You about the children who are abused. I pray to You about the hungry. I pray to You about the horrid things we - as human beings - do to each other, the planet, and to animals. They are not eloquent prayers. Sometimes, I can do nothing but cry out to You, and hope You can make sense of the garbled words streaming through my mind. The circumstances in Haiti have prompted such a prayer.

I cannot begin to articulate my horror and heartache over what these people must be going through. I cannot begin to formulate a prayer to You that is adequate to encompass all of what they must be suffering. I can only open my mouth and hands, tears streaming down my face, and cry out to You and hope You can understand all I am trying to express. I know there are so many others praying to You right now, Lord. But I also know you hear us all. I know there are things I cannot understand but are a part of Your big plan. I know I am only human. Please, Lord, watch over Your children, for they are suffering. Beyond this, I do not know what to pray. I leave it in Your hands - the best place of all.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Stinkbumps!

On this date, at very nearly this exact time, 12 years ago I gave birth to my stinkbumps.  The first 12 years have blown past. I’m sure the next six years will be even more fleeting.  His babyhood and childhood are pretty much behind him, as he now enters *shudders* adolescence.  Dear Lord, please watch over my boy and help him to grow up to be a Godly young man.  And Lord, please watch over me and grant me endless patience as he enters this new stage of life.  Something about the last 12 years tells me I’m really going to need it!


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thank you, Crafty Meme Crafters!

Quite a while back, I did a crafty meme thingie with Suze and Jessi. Each of us promised to send the others something homemade. Well, as per usual, I'm the last to fulfill my promise. Suze sent me a beautiful burgundy/maroonish frilly scarf, which is the perfect weight for the normal temps down here and is a frequent accessory when I wear my green sweater. Thank you, Suze, I love it!

Yesterday, I got a blue and green scarf and matching wristlets (gloves without fingers) from Jessi. They are the perfect thing, as my hands often freeze in the office in winter. I have poor circulation, so my hands are always cold. It doesn't help that my boss hates to turn on the heat, no matter how cold it is in the office. I'm wearing them today, even as I type this, so my hands are nice and cozy warm but my fingers are free to hit the correct keys. Thanks, Jessi, I love them!

Unfortunately, I hit a snag on your all's (general laziness and a lack of clean dishes with which to do the baking), but the plan is to make some batches Friday night and send them out Monday at the latest. I just have to research the best way to package them so they arrive fresh and unsquished! I figured that - since I haven't made any progress in knitting and can't crochet - I'd better stick with baking! But some homemade goodies are definitely in the works, and I will do my best to get them out to you ASAP.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Age is Showing

I’ve noticed more and more gray in my hair lately. I’m perfectly fine with that. In fact, I wish I could wake up one morning and it all be gray at once. I figure those gray hairs were earned by all the things I’ve said, done and experienced in my life. They are a testament to the knocks both taken and given in the past 33 years. However, even if my hair weren’t turning gray, my age would show.

How?, you ask. By my frame of reference. Whenever the news is on and they start discussing Yemen, all I can think of is that “Friends” episode where Chandler was so desperate to get away from Janice that he flew to Yemen. If I were asked to name my five favorite songs of all time, I can just about guarantee that most, if not all, of them were recorded more than 15 years ago. Ditto with most of my favorite movies. I wax nostalgic while watching “Roseanne” episodes, because that was my life, and those were (are?) my issues. I can’t watch “V” on ABC without comparing it to my (admittedly vague) memories of the series when it came on the first time. Just about everything on the radio nowadays is a remix of stuff that was on the radio when I was in school, but what is on the radio now is far inferior to the original versions. My frame of reference seems to be stuck in the range of mid-80’s to early 2000.

I remember when I was younger, making fun of my mom and dad for the exact same things I’m doing now. And it annoys me when Jamie pokes fun at me for it, just as I’m sure it annoyed my parents. I guess you really do live and learn, don’t you?

Random Stupid Things I've Said or Overheard in the Last Little While

Me (to drunk driver in parking lot of dance hall and feed store at New Year's celebration): Sir, do you realize you just hit that truck and are dragging a fence post and a lot of barbed wire from your truck?

Drunk guy: Gimme five minutsh and I come back ta fix it.


Marshalls (to drunk guy in parking lot of dance hall and feed store upon finding his firefighter's badge in the cab of said drunk guy's truck): Are you a firefighter?

Drunk guy: Yeah.

Marshalls: Not anymore. In the State of Texas, we take drunk driving seriously, and you can lose your job for this AND not be allowed to be a firefighter anymore!

Drunk guy: Aw, now. Please don' tell nobody I was drinkin'. Y'ain't gots ta tell nobody. I'll be good from now on!


Me (upon getting a freezing blast from the doors of the pub on the Riverwalk on Christmas Eve): Isn't there a Christmas carol, something about "barring the door"?

Everett (laughing): Well, there's a SONG, but not a Christmas carol!

(see, I was the one saying the stupid thing in that scenario!)