Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Boy, does this annoy me

Them: "So where does she go to school?"
Me: "Menlo Park Academy.  It's a community school for gifted kids in the Westpark area of Cleveland."

This conversation embarrasses Jason, who believes we shouldn't be advertising the fact that our child is gifted.  It smacks of bragging, he says, and he was horrified to hear Liza describe her school as being "for smart kids like me."

Apparently the fact that we're sending our child to a school for gifted kids SO SHE WON'T BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT BEING SMART has escaped him.

Or maybe he hasn't had the conversation 14,000 times, the way I have.  I've tried his approach, which inevitably goes like this:

Them: "So where does she go to school?"
Me: "Menlo Park Academy.  It's a community school in the Westpark area of Cleveland."
Them: "Oh, what's the focus of the school?" (which is always the immediate follow-up question, because charter and community schools are a bit topic around here)
Me: "It's for gifted kids."

If Liza attended a school for the arts, or a school for kids with developmental delays, or a private school, I would have no problem including that information in the answer, so why should the word "gifted" make anyone squirm?

I don't whip out statistics about how it's for kids whose cognitive abilities tested in the top 2% in the state.  I don't say my 5-year-old has an IQ only slightly lower than Einstein's.  I don't immediately tell people she's been reading since she was three and is now reading at an 8th grade level.  I don't allow Liza to compare her own performance - academic, physical, or artistic - to anyone else, for good or bad.  I don't say she's smarter than anybody else's kids, or act smug about it, or talk down about the local public school districts.  I answer their questions about the school fully and truthfully, without a hint of embarrassment.

Being gifted isn't an achievement to be proud of, it's just part of who Liza is.  She's blonde, has size 13 feet, is kind to bugs of all kinds, likes to tell fart jokes, and is gifted.  I refuse to let her think I am ashamed of any part of her, least of all her brain.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yet another reason I like my online "friends"

Post A: discusses an article on inappropriately sexy children's clothes called "Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps"

Post B, responding to A: I agree dressing girls like hobos in dirty clothes and ripped up baggy pants and shoes with holes in them etc sends the wrong message.

Post C, responding to B: Wait, no, wait! Shit. That’s how I dress my kid.

I applaud you, C, as someone whose daughter regularly attends public events looking like this:
(you can't even see the level of crazy that was going on under that jacket - it was epic)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Six-word glimpses into my life

Today's post was inspired by Ernest Hemingway:

Today’s excitement: vacuuming, laundry and bills.
Spent too much at Target (again).
Haven’t knit any socks in weeks.
Importing CDs - too boring for words.
Seriously, why so much Led Zeppelin?
Dreading what will cause today's tantrum.
These pictures won't scrapbook themselves, y'know.
Fragrance of hyacinths makes me smile.
Wish that pimple would go away.
Mushroomhead CD last played when? 2003.
Bella: Zach, you're hogging the bed.
Hope the pizza dough rises soon.
Aged cheddar in CSA basket - YUM!
High school mix tapes: painfully embarrassing.
Fighting urges to discard all belongings.
Target shouldn't sell pools in April.
Downloading Katy Perry for Liza's birthday.
At least she's better than Bieber.
Japan's radiation problems make me sad.
Preparing for failure at Lego Olympiad.
Our trash is predominantly cat litter.
Can't transfer - haven't painted bedrooms yet.
Really want my new porch NOW.
Wish the garden dried before June.
Burning sticks is lots of fun.
Permission to end this message now?

Why they don't let me write the scripts

From the second episode of Sherlock, as near as I can recall:

Watson:  "But how did you know that he had traveled around the world two times in the last month?"
Sherlock: "It's perfectly obvious.  The chronometer on his watch was off by two days.  The watch doesn't know when you've crossed the dateline, which he must have done twice. And Breitling just released that model in February, so it has to be within the last month."

What Watson should have responded: "Or maybe he didn't read the manual for his watch and hasn't figured out how to set the 'day' dial yet.  Ever think of that, Braniac?"

Using Sherlock's logic, my living room is in some sort of 1-hour-off temporal warp for 6 months out of every year.

Sherlock: "My God, Watson, do you realize what this means?  They are running a particle accelerator in the basement, causing gravity to warp in the room right above it.  Printing fake banknotes is just a cover for their development of a dark matter super weapon they'll use to bring down all the governments of the world!"
Watson: "Or maybe it's just a severe pain in the ass to rehang that clock without the pendulum falling off and scratching the inside of the case, so they don't bother to reset it when the time changes.  You have got to stop overestimating these people.  Also, if you ever again try to come along on one of my dates and almost get my girlfriend shot with a crossbow I will beat you to death with this cane that I no longer need because you oh-so-cleverly made me forget it when we rushed out and chased over half of London ON FOOT to try to catch a suspect in a taxi.  Got that straight, Dumbass?"

Also, "Benedict Cumberbatch" is the best name, ever.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why so silent, good messieurs? *

Top Ten Reasons I Haven't Been Posting Much Recently This Year

  1. I'm kind of busy downloading all my CDs into iTunes.
  2. I kept going over the usage limit on my cellular internet card thingy, and Jason gets a nasty tic when I mention we just paid $$$ extra last month so I could post pictures of my life on the internet for strangers to see.
  3. But this weekend I got cable WiFi at the house, and a free Netflix trial for the Wii.  Meercat Manor and Mythbusters 24/7, baby!  And I can watch videos on YouTube without having to kill time by taking a shower while waiting for them to buffer!
  4. Scrapbooking eats up all the time I should spend blogging and knitting and cooking and farting around on the internet cleaning.  But I'm making significant progress through the giant box of pictures from, um, 2010.
  5. Let's not discuss the seven albums of pictures from Japan I'm trying to redo before the nasty acid-filled albums kill them, alright?  Or the pics from Europe in high school.  Or my college pictures.
  6. There is no number six.
  7. My dad's sick, but I'm pretty sure he's not comfortable sharing details with the world, even though I think about it all the time even when I'm doing stuff like interviewing potential investment advisors or looking through the SkyMall catalog on the airplane, FFS.
  8. Sharing details of my husband's private problems = surefire route to divorce, which would prevent me from going back to Jamaica anytime soon.  So, not gonna do that, obviously, because I'd like to go back to Jamaica now, please.  They have rum there.  And nannies.
  9. My daughter is in school and I don't want to put anything on here that would be inappropriate content when her friends and their families find it (and they will find it, school full of geniuses that they are).  Guess that TMI tag is going to start collecting dust ... and it's hard to be amusing when I can't make fun of my daughter's inadequacies or complain about parents of her classmates.  All I have left are topics like "How to clean up cat puke - now, with pictures!"
  10. Ever have one of those days when you have 14 million things you need to get done, and they're all important, and you spend all day futzing around not doing any of them because it's just too hard to decide which ones are the most important to do?  Yeah, I'm having one of those years.  My list of things to accomplish around the house is about a mile long, as is the list of things I need to get into my etsy shop, and the things I want to write for my various blogs, and the things I need to do as a volunteer at school.  And then the bathroom project exploded in my face, and the basement flooded, and I found a couple of really good series of books at the library, and we went on vacation, and I started prepping for Liza's birthday party.  So, in other words, LIFE HAPPENED.  And I want to write about it all NOW ... but I can't, so I just don't write.

* That's a Phantom quote, but of course you already knew that, right?