Friday, May 18, 2007


It's the time of year when things speed up a lot before they slow down, and I think my family is feeling the wear and tear. I know most of you reading this still have a month of school to go, so forgive me my ramblings. And keep in mind that mid-August when we're in school prep mode, you'll have a month of vacation left. All good things to those who wait, right? I'm sure I'm mis-quoting, but you get the idea.

Let's start with the Film Geek. His classes are done and finals complete. I think he's even got some grading finished. He has two beasts on his back at the moment, one related to work and one not. The work beast is the end of the semester student screenings. Not just any screenings, but the ones the students themselves have submitted for awards. This is a huge deal for everyone in the department, but the work load doesn't appear to be evenly distributed, if you know what I mean. He has been frantically editing until the wee hours every night this week to get the whole thing put together for the Awards presentation tonight, which is opened to the entire community. As I said, this is a huge deal for the department in a lot of ways. The film department as a whole has been steadily moving up in national rankings, based strongly on the basis of the production aspect. By a lot of standards, it has become the film school in the midwest. Up until this year, the Film Geek was the only production professor on staff, so you do the math. There's a lot of pressure on him in times like this and he's muddling through as best as he can.

His second beast is his modelling convention next weekend. For those not familiar with this aspect of the man, he's actually earned a dual geek degree, one in film and one in scratch built science fiction models. He painstakingly builds these things and then enters them in competitions, both in person and on the model geek website that he regularly frequents. He has built up a worldwide group of friends with the same hobby, and even worked out a way to get a grant to film the conventions as part of a project on how the internet has replaced the back fence or the garage in terms of people coming together over a shared interest. (Wow, that's a long sentence, even for me!) His problem is that he's really behind on his model and he leaves in less than a week. Something tells me this is about to become my problem as well.

Sasquatch has four days, counting today, of junior high left. All of his biology work has been turned in (finally) and we've climbed out of the "F" category. Last night there was a 9th grade awards ceremony that seemed to come out of nowhere. I have the 9th grade recognition on my calendar for next Thursday and have already had him tell me he doesn't want to go because it's "stupid". I wouldn't have even known about the awards if Laurie hadn't said something. When I asked Sasquatch about it he said anyone who was getting an award already knew about it. All of his friends concurred, and said they weren't going either. Laurie said she didn't think that was the case, and that the Red Headed StepChild was looking forward to it. For reasons that remain unclear, I accepted my child's version over my friend's version. What the hell was I thinking? This morning at elementary school drop-off I had a parent ask where we were last night, since Sasquatch won several awards. Laurie diplomatically didn't say "What the hell were you thinking?", but she should have. After everything this kid has put me through in junior high, I could have stood to see him get a couple of awards. Any guesses on my blood pressure right about now? Anyone?

Gumby stayed home yesterday because his tick bite turned into a systemic infection. The kid's lymph nodes are the size of grapes. I took him to the doctor Wednesday after school and got a prescription for an antibiotic, which as it turns out, he wasn't able to swallow. I begged, I pleaded, I crushed it up and put it in ice cream - no go. When his fever started to climb and he got all flushed, I started to worry. So there I was on the phone with our doctor at 10:30 at night, all ready to take him in to the ER for some IV antibiotics. I knew full well I'd never live it down with my colleagues, because surely it could wait until tomorrow, right? Honestly though, I didn't care at that point. Our doctor told me to leave the kid alone and let him sleep, and get the med in an elixir form the next morning. I trust this doctor hugely, so I did. He was better after the first dose and he's back at school today. The 5th graders are having a fundraiser bake sale for the town in Kansas that was destroyed by the tornado a couple of weeks ago, so I have poppyseed bread in the oven as I speak.

Surfer Dude had a good birthday all around. He took in homemade ice cream sandwiches for a treat and they were very well received. This is the second year in a row he's taken in the same thing, and it's funny how it came about. Last year we were in the middle of our demonic move during his birthday. For his classroom treat he wanted to take cupcakes, but our oven was broken. This will give you an idea of my state of mind a year ago. I said honey we can't do cupcakes because the oven isn't working. Why don't we do cookies instead? Got everything together to make the cookies, went to pre-heat the oven and said oh dear lord, I'm losing my mind, aren't I ? Because clearly you don't need to bake cookies the way you do cupcakes. I ran to the store and bought already baked cookies (from a working oven and everything). We filled them with ice cream and rolled them in chocolate chips and sprinkles and they were a huge hit, thank goodness. He got a lot of athletic stuff for his birthday and money from Nana and Grampa Stu. We had to go to Target immediately to spend his birthday bucks, but he didn't find anything he felt he had to have, so he's pondering his options. He has his second soccer game of the tournament tonight (they won the first) and he and Gumby each have two games tomorrow.

As I'm writing this my doorbell rang and it was Sasquatch, waving a pass from his AP English teacher to allow him to go home and print out the homework he had evidently forgotten. He said she offered to drive him but he told her we only live a few blocks away. Do you see how many people are trying to get this kid through?? Any guess on my blood pressure right about now? Anyone?