Monday, June 25, 2012

Board Games and LEGOS

But the rest of my family members were somehow allowed to take the class in pre-school.
My husband and my two children can play  some of these new strategy games for hours on a Sunday afternoon.  My son has been known to disappear into the basement with his small plastic building bricks and only come up for food and water.  I know that it is not just my family.  Many mothers have reported the same phenomenon with similarly aged sons and/or husbands. 

There are some members of the female population that have a similar attraction to games of strategy and toys that can be built into new inventions.  My daughter and my sister-in-law are two such females.  I, however, am not.  As soon as the games come out of the cabinet, I go out the door...usually grocery shopping or some other equally thrilling mom adventure.   Sometimes I even go for a jog.  (see my previous post to know how desperate I must be to not play those games)

I think it may stem back to one of the few truly traumatic episodes of my childhood....the everlasting game of Monopoly that my brothers always wanted to play, and win.  Me?   I was more than happy to while away an evening playing Trivial Pursuit where there was always the chance that you could be the lucky player to land on the history pie space and get the question "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?"  See...isn't that much more fun????  No strategy involved, just dumb luck.

And those little plastic bricks......
We have banned all plastic bricks to the lowest level of the house because I am convinced that if left elsewhere, (under boy's bed, on boy's floor, scattered round the house)  these little monstrosities wander and breed.  That means when you get up to get a drink of water in the middle of the night, you will step on at least 5 of them in your bare feet before you even make it to the bathroom.  Very unpleasant at 2 a.m., in the dark, when you are only half awake.

But I have decided that missing the class does not excuse me from missing my kids enjoy something.  As much as I would really rather be left in a room full of starving pre-schoolers with only one snack baggy of goldfish, than play those games, I have to keep the big picture in mind.   It's really not about me.  I have to get over myself.  My children should be able to have fun and share this with me without my dramatic sighs and procrastination. I should be thankful that they play nicely together and want to spend time with their parents. On the rare occasion that I do play, we usually wind up having conversations about their own little lives and what they are thinking about.  That may not always be the case.  There may come a day when they don't want to talk to me at all, about anything.  That scares me more than the hungry pre-schoolers, as we are nearing those teen-aged years and young adulthood faster than I care to admit.

So my family is going to get to teach me this summer about board games and small plastic bricks, and I am going to shoot for an A in the class.

Because there is more at stake here than just missing the class.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Exercising AND looking good at the same time.

I'm fairly certain that only a select few had this on their schedules in high school. It was probably written in pencil underneath the P.E. class time slot.  I think my guidance counselor's pencil broke before he got to my schedule.

C' know exactly what I mean.
When you drive the 1/2 mile trip to the library and see all the joggers and bikers along the way. Yes, those fitness fanatics who look good, even when breaking a sweat. And you are driving, because if you ran that 1/2 mile to the library, the librarians might think they should break out the AED upon your arrival.
Or when you take your kids to the "Y" so they can go swimming, and you pass all these people coming out who look like they are old enough to collect social security, but fit enough that they could beat you in a  3 mile foot race any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I'm not saying exercise is bad.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  There are probably a few thousand blogs and websites dedicated to helping us all look good, feel better and live longer by exercising. Our doctors, our Surgeon General ,our First Lady, our bathroom scales and our non-elastic waisted pants all tell us we need to exercise. I, myself  played sports in high school and college.  Loved almost every minute of it, even though it was exercise.

Except for one thing. 

No matter what the sport, my coach expected us to show up to pre-season with at least some conditioning (read running) having been done during the off season.  This created a large amount of anxiety for me every time.  You see, due to missing the above mentioned class, I could never get more than 5 minutes into a "jog" without turning into the human version of the star of "Attack of the Killer Tomato"  When people are offering to call 911 or get you a bottle of water when you are only 3 blocks from your house, it can get pretty discouraging.  Let's just say I was never quite "conditioned" when pre-season workouts started.  Then I thought I would get smart :)  I would play goalie :) They don't have to run around the field....aren't supposed to run around the field in fact. Brilliant! (I thought).

Until basketball goalies :(
I decided that was OK though because the basketball court was a lot smaller than a field hockey or lacrosse field. (side note..field hockey is NOT ice hockey on a field and women's lacrosse is a very different game from men's lacrosse).   Even the sprints didn't bother me too much, since being sprints, they were done faster.  It also helped that the girls who had gotten to take that special class were just as winded as I  at the end of the sprint drills.

 Until I got to college...and met our team's starting power forward.
She was 6' tall and as graceful as a ballerina.  She never got winded during sprints. She practically tip-toed down the court during drills, while I Clydesdaled my way from one end of the gym to the other. (no disrespect to the horses)  Obviously she had gotten into the advanced class. Obviously I was in over my red faced, sweat dripping head.   We both survived.  One of us just barely.

Fast forward a few (ahem ) years.  Apparently there are very few inexpensive opportunities for adult women to continue playing the sports I loved as a teen and single young adult.  That left me with only one choice for cheap exercise..sigh...running :(  This time around though, I decided things would be different.  I would learn to make it past the first  5 minutes of jogging!  I would find someone who could help me learn more about conditioning and training!!  I would learn how to look good while exercising!!!!

Well, two out of three isn't bad...right?

Because I still missed the class on that.....

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quantum Physics and Technology

No....really.....  Aren't "they" supposed to teach that stuff in elementary school?  O.K....maybe high school, but still, I missed out on this one.

If I had attended this class then I would understand how my computer functions faster or slower (or not at all) in exact  inverse proportion to how many tasks I need to complete that minute

I might also be able to understand things like the space-time continuum that dictates communication with my printer and wireless connections and the worm hole that the information falls in to before it makes it to where I thought I sent it.  Or maybe I might finally grasp the intricacies of what all those function keys at the top of my keyboard actually DO.

I would also be better prepared to use things like cell phones, apps, and texting instead of resorting to my default of smoke signals or quill and ink on parchment.

Again, my parents are not at fault here.  Both my mom and my dad as well as my 3 siblings work in technology related fields and use tech savvy terms as though they were speaking normal, every day English.  Moi?  Not so much.  Family reunions can sometimes sound like Klingon to me....I just resort to using my high school French because I did NOT miss that class :)

VCR?  yup...still have one, and no the clock is not set.
Home Phone?  yup still have one of those too, and yes it IS plugged into a wall.
Family Calendar/Planner?   Hanging on the PAPER format.
Banking?  No on-line bill pay for this girl! No sireee..... I prefer to have my information stolen by "honest" crooks who actually have to figure out what a paper check is, and what to do with it.   Besides, I consider it my patriotic duty to buy stamps and support the USPS.
Spell Check?  Good Old Merriam Webster sitting by my side. (It is the "new" edition though.)

Blogging????   hmmmmm...lets just say that we won't say how long it took me to get back to my own blog to create this post.

Don't get me wrong.  I like all the things that technology can do for us.   I would probably be just as lost as the next person without it. Literally.  I actually use a GPS to get around....but I use the "old fashioned" kind that plugs into the outlet on the car dash, not the new fangled one on my husband's smart phone.

Sometimes it does get hard though, this having to function in the everyday life of quantum physics and technology.

Because I missed the class on that.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I'm pretty sure I missed the class on organizing.

I'm pretty sure my family would agree with me.

As I sit here at the computer, I can count no less than 5 unfinished projects with-in arms reach.  I dare not turn around to see what lurks behind me in the dark corners of the abyss...I mean office.....

Now, I know that my mom tried really hard to teach this important life skill.  I had to clean my room, do my laundry, complete my chores...etc,etc,etc.  I just  think that there was a class on this topic that they forgot to put on my schedule at school.
I'm thinking this class would have covered things like....

1) making sure every matched sock that went in to the laundry, came out with the same mate.

2) knowing how to make every piece of meat put in the freezer for future meals  come out in time to be defrosted for the scheduled meal.

3) having every penny that goes in to the checking account be accurately recorded as it goes out of the checking account, regardless of how many people use the account.

4) being able to put your hands on all important documents at any given time, whether they are in or out of your immediate sight.  ( BTW Did you know that the bottom of a pile of papers is a BAD place to keep shot records and birth certificates?)

5) containing yourself to only as many hobbies as you can fit in one tote tub before said tote spills out, forcing you to go in to the big-box store where you buy more hobby things on your way out with a second, bigger tote.

6) how to keep your mini-van clean, no matter how many children are getting in and out.

I know this class had to have been taught at some school, somewhere.   I have many friends who have clean cars, accurately balanced checkbooks, matched laundry, and hobby totes that stay neatly contained and nicely closed.  I even have friends who remember to defrost their meat, and know where their shot records are. Most also manage to do this with families much larger than mine. They are amazing people.  I yearn to know what curriculum their schools used, and if the class was a semester, or year-long option. 

Because I'm pretty sure I missed the class on this.