Friday, April 30, 2010

Adventuring again....

I love my children. It was fun to stay home with them when they were little. They made me smile. Oh, sure, there was an occasional annoying/embarassing moment, like the time my then 5 year old son shouted down the grocery store aisle "Hey mom, do you need some pads?" Or when I was forced by a sick little girl to sit and watch "The Little Mermaid" three times in a row. But my kids are great.

Now, my kids are grown. They live in their own apartments that are near their colleges. They are making adult level decisions (like how to spend their money and what to have for dinner and where to park the car) and dealing with some adult-sized problems (like the whole squirrel thing). But, no matter how old they get, they are still my little kids.

One cool thing about having kids who are old enough to have their own spaces is that they need "stuff." Dishes, chairs, tables, a colander--stuff that moms have had for years.

I know you can see me rubbing my hands together as I hatch my evil plan.

Yep. Pawn off all my old--outdated--boring--unfashionable stuff on my unsuspecting kids. Which leaves me free to buy all NEW stuff!
So far it has meant new twin beds for the basement bedroom, a new chair for the master bedroom, a new kitchen table and all new towels.

I even bought a condo, just in case one of them decides to move back to Winston.

And if one of them gets married? I might even give them my car! (I've always wanted a convertible.)

So, all you folks with cute little kids---yay! Little kids are cute! And it's fun to buy stuff for them.

But having big kids means you get to buy stuff for you.
Which is even better.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Glee--I saw it first!

Adventures for Middle Aged Girlies (or old broads, whichever)

(and no, it doesn't involve bricks.)

Today's adventure was talking about television. Yep, television.

Let me start by saying this: I love television. There's only one person I know who loves television as much as I do. Wait....maybe not.
The talk around school is all about "GLEE" of course.

The talk used to be about "Lost," back when "Lost" was quirky, but relevant. Like the whole guy in the hot air balloon who's driver's license said he was Henry Gale, and a bunch of "WoO" nerds KNEW to what they were referring.

And, WAY back in the day we used to talk about "The Partridge Family" and "Welcome Back, Kotter"---but those shows had NUTHIN' on "Glee."

And I even did an episode in Season 1 of "Kirb Appeal" (yes, I'm in love with televsion so much that I have my own show)about "Glee." I kinda like to think I discovered it. Or wrote it.

So, if you haven't checked it out yet, you really should. And then watch my episode of "Kirb Appeal."
I'm good television.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Plagiarism from the web, for you youngsters.

Some people may not be aware that I teach middle school English. Because I'm sure they're thinking "Wow...she's so hot/smart/awesome. She must be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company." But, no....I'm using my powers for ....well, this is debatable. Some days, it's good; other days, it's evil.

And those of you who were aware I teach, may not know that I am responsible for teaching students how to write a research paper.

In the good old days, it wasn't hard. Teach them the whole notecard trick, tell them to paraphrase, cite the sources (encyclopedias, mostly) and move on to the outline.

Now, it's a little more difficult. Because we have these amazing machines called computers. And they are connected to an incredible tool called the internet. And nearly everything is googlable.

It's all too easy. Tempting, even.

I am reminded of the Harvard student, Kaavya Viswanathan, who claimed to have "internalized" whole sections of two novels and included them in her own. Unfortunately, the "internalization" wasn't discovered until Random House had paid her $500,000 and published her book.

As for me, I haven't published jack except for a couple of poems while I was in college and my blogs, which are not technically published. And I realize that anyone can read what I wrote and use it.

But at least give me credit. Because you know I'll find out.

After all, I'm googlable.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Close Encounters

I had a roommate the second summer I lived at Cedar Point (which is a different story, entirely) who used to say that my life was like a movie. Which it was, when I was young and cute. Things just happened to me. Weird things. Like meeting famous people.

It started in high school. I took a class that had a field trip to Syracuse (No, not to see basketball, but for something else.... I forget exactly why we went.) Anyway, the class was walking through downtown Syracuse (somewhat of a misnomer, given the fact that there isn't a whole lot of "downtown")and there was an older man across the street who happened to catch our eyes. My friend Kathy asked "Isn't that somebody?" and of course, with an intro like that, it had to be. Red Skelton. Live and in person and a very nice man.

Also in high school, Mitch Miller listened to me sing and called me beautiful. Which is not the same as some guy from James Taylor's band calling me beautiful....that happened, too.

The list of famous people I have met is probably fairly long for someone who is not in any way connected with the entertainment/famous people industry. Elvis Costello. Bob Timberlake. Red Skelton again. (I know! What are the odds?) And a couple of soap opera people. Also Franco Harris and Johnny Bench, for those sports lovers out there. Yep. I've met them all.

But my daughter will win, if she has the chutzpah. She is in Philly, watching Bradley Cooper film something. Bradley Cooper. Our "Hunk of the Month." All she has to do is get past the bodyguards and the crime scene tape, and ask him to marry me. That's all.

Because when you're young and cute, your life should be like a movie.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We are Fam-i-Lee!!

I have a great family. I have a mom, who lives in the county where I grew up--about 13 hours from here. I get back a couple of times a year, and I love it. It's truly home.

I have a sister and a brother. My brother is four years younger, and he lives fairly close to my mom. We keep in touch, but we don't see each other very often. My sister lives an equal distance away---just in the opposite direction. She is seven and a half years younger, and she has little kids, which is fun, but I never get to see her.

I have an awesome family of my own, too, and I love them all to death.

But sometimes, a family is not related to you by blood, but by sweat and tears.

And in the last two weeks, my "family"--not the blood ones, although they are fabulous--has meant a lot to me. We have supported each other, through old age and infirmities (yes, I turned fifty) and major life changes (there at the beginning AND there at the end, Kelgrl).

Yay for Peeps!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fifty is the new Thirteen!

There is a terrifically funny writer on this blogspot whom I really enjoy reading. (Her blog, not her. I am not versed in either mind OR palm, more's the pity.) Anyway, she's obviously bright and well-educated and has a quirky sense of humor. All reasons to love her stuff. And then, I found a reason to hate her guts.

She's twenty-freakin'-eight.

And she's blogging about all the things she wants to do before she turns thirty.
Which makes me slightly homicidal.

Because there was $hit I wanted to do before I turned thirty. Like become rich and famous.
Instead, I got married and had kids. Which is nice...don't get me wrong. I love my family and they are sweet and not serial killers, so I think I've done a passable job. But they have not made me rich and famous.

And there were things I wanted to do before I turned forty. Like get a great job which would morph into an exciting career.
Instead, I went back to teaching. Which is nice...don't get me wrong. Every year I have a kid who decides that reading is actually FUN, fercryin'outloud, and I know that I have managed to make a minor impact. But exciting? Not exactly.

And there were things I wanted to do before I turned fifty. Like write a book.
Instead, I blog. Which is nice...don't get me wrong. Because honestly, even if I had the focus and drive it takes to actually finish a project of ANY length, I really don't have much to say.

So, now I have to think of all the things I want to do before I turn sixty. And make them realistic, apparently.

Meanwhile, I'm going to spend a little time hatin' on 28 year olds.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kirby Version Five-Point-Oh

Welcome to Kirb Appeal Version 5.0!

For my first attempt at being fifty, I want to talk about ten things that have become better/worse in the last fifty years.

1. BETTER - Maxi pads. Then: long tails that you clipped into a belt and prayed. Now: adhesive and wings. Need I say more?

2. WORSE - Vitamin D levels in Americans. Let's play outside, peeps!

3. BETTER/WORSE - Television. Better, because I know longer need to watch "Lassie" in black & white at 7:00 on Sunday nights. Worse, because even though I can watch 24 hours a day, in color, on more than a hundred channels, most of what's on is crap. (Jon & Kate plus attorneys plus agents plus contracts.)

4. BETTER - Craft beers. Yes, Genny Cream is still the beer of choice while wearing the magic Frye boots, but some of the cool beers out there today? Microbreweries are a beer lover's Mecca.

5. WORSE - My cellulite.

6. BETTER/WORSE - Public education. Better because we're having kids think more, pause less, organize more, explore less, work more, play less, learn more, relax less. Worse for the exact same reasons.

7. BETTER - Listening to my own personal soundtrack on an iPod. It's like buying a 45, but not having to put the little adapter in and then having to change it after the 4 minutes are up. And WAAAY better than an 8-track.

8. WORSE - Conversation. Because every two minutes, someone is looking at their iPhone/texting/checking e-mail/playing a game....whatever. For being a society that's totally connected, we can't talk. I'm afraid the evolutionary process will eliminate our voice boxes and give us enormous thumbs.

9. BETTER - Salads. They aren't just iceberg and Thousand Island anymore. They're romaine and strawberries, arugula and candied walnuts.

10. BETTER - Being middle aged. Fifty used to be a time when women disappeared, re-entering society when their daughters got married or their friends passed away. Now, we can strike out on our own, make ourselves into new, improved women who can go boldly where our mothers feared to tread. We can mix our metaphors with abandon! We can do parodies of "24" and "48 Hours" and anything else that's divisible by 12! We can do the Cupid Shuffle with more butt-poppin' than any 14 year old African-American girl (if we want) or play bridge and tell dirty jokes. We can drink martinis--chocolate or dirty (but never both) or beer or TaB if we are so inclined, because we are over 21! We can be a force with which to be reckoned. (Some of us are still a little scared to end a sentence with a preposition, though.)

We are not going gentle into any da*n good night.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ten things I can do now that NBPTS is over....

1. Laundry. Which is a good thing, because I was getting ready to go naked.

2. Dishes. Which is a good thing, because I was running out of paper plates.

3. Walk. For excercise--not just to get from point A to point B. National Boards might kick your a$$, but it does not leave you physically crippled.

4. Diet. No more mindless popping of M&Ms as if they are Prozac/Xanax/Adderol. Which, by the way, they are not. They are, however, a spectacular way to get into the "fat jeans."

5. Read for fun. Not just for information. Or editing purposes. I see some chicklit in my future.

6. Play mindless computer games, like Tetris. Or maybe graduate to the ones that
involve running and shooting at things. But probably not.

7. Grocery shop. No more take out. Or maybe not. I'm sorta lazy that way.

8. Sing pirate songs at the top of my lungs. Or "Indian Reservation" by Paul Revere and Raiders. Who were not technically pirates, but close. I mean, what's up with those coats??

9. Pick up the forty-three million pieces of paper that are lying around this place. And look in the grammar book to see if that last sentence should be "laying."

10. Drink beer. A lot of beer.
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