Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School starts tomorrow.

Real school. For all 4 Sons.

I think I need to breathe into a paper bag.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Great movies to see without my parents

Hubby and I took the Sons to see District 9 this weekend. It was nothing like the (preachy, campy) movie we expected to see, but we all enjoyed it.

But, um...if no one ever says the F word again, I will not miss it, ok? And the Sons all seemed to think the nature of the violence was very shocking--although I think the previews we sat through before the film started were a lot more scary and gruesome.

Yes, there were some plot holes. And I could not shake the feeling that the entire movie was building up to something which did not arrive. But we liked it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

And now, to convince you all I am crazy

Growing up, I did not wear sunscreen.

Suntan lotion, sure. SPF 4, I think, most of the time, when I was laying out or going to a theme park with absolutely zero shade for the day. Tanning oil, just as likely, because that stuff made you look all bronzey and sleek like you lived on the Riviera.

And yes, I am half Italian, but only half. I had a tendency to tan, but never get really dark, and I would burn on occasion, but generally just across the bridge of my nose, once or twice a summer. It was just no big deal.

Then sunscreen became CRUCIAL, according to everyone with any voice at all.

If we weren't using sunscreen we were CRAZY, right? We were going to get all wrinkly, and get skin cancer. Right? And God forbid you not slather your kids in the stuff every hour on the hour.

OK, so I did it. I became a sunscreen fanatic, just like everyone else.

Maybe 7 years ago, I noticed: I was burning EASY. At first I blamed it on a course of antibiotics I took. But then I wasn't on antibiotics anymore, and still burning to a crisp whenever I was in the sun for more than 20 minutes. I switched to SPF 30. No difference.

I blamed it on the famed hole in the ozone layer. I increased my SPF to 45. I continued to burn.

I blamed it on being Over Thirty-Five. I lost the ability to tan in any attractive fashion--any exposure to the sun for more than half an hour meant I would burn, no matter what, and probably get funky, irregular tan patches that looked more like dirt than the Bain de Soleil lady of my youthful memories.

Slather, slather, slather.

Then about 6 months ago my doctor discovered I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency.

Remember Vitamin D? The "sunshine vitamin"? Yeah, that one. My doctor said she is surprised to note that many of her patients are rather deficient.

She put me on prescription levels of Vitamin D. And I started ignoring the sunscreen, for the most part, and going out into the sun. On purpose. For an hour or two, in the middle of the day, with no sunscreen and no hat and no sleeeeeeeeves, even.

And I got a little sunburn, at first.

And then I started to tan. Kinda evenly, even. And I'm not really burning anymore, except, you know, at the edge of my clothes if I wear something closer-cut than usual.

I'm still on the prescription D, because even after all that AND a full course of the stuff I still test out as severely deficient. But I think I have pretty much given up sunscreen. And you know what? I feel better than I have in years.

Going out in the sun feels great. It makes me feel better physically and emotionally. I think I've been starving myself of Vitamin D and it has done me no good, only harm, all these years.

So, hey, maybe you should check your vitamin D levels.

Due dilligence: let me confess that there is no history of skin cancer in my family or hubby's, so I am not worried about any of that for me or the boys (who are thrilled that I no longer nag them to wear more sunscreen than they choose on their own). If I earn myself a few more wrinkles in my later years, I figure it is a worthwhile trade-off.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To Be Fair

Today Son #3 and I went back to the registrar and got him registered. And she handled it all, in about 45 minutes, with apparent competence and all that. So maybe she is good, once she puts her "working person" hat on.

Still have to go back next week to schedule him for actual classes, but at least they are expecting him, on some level.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

See, now this is why we didn't want to be with you people

Sons #3 and 4 are entering the school system this year.

A few weeks ago, I realized, "hmmm, it is almost midsummer, I should register the boys." So I called the high school and left a message for the registrar.

"Hi, I have an incoming freshman who has been home-schooled since second grade so I need to make an appointment to register him. Give me a call."

No response.

A week or so later, I called again.

"Hi, I called last week about an incoming freshman who needs to register for school. Here is my home number and my cell number; I will come in with him at your convenience."

No response.

A week later, I called again, this time the main office.

"Hi, I have left two messages for the registrar, and the registrar's office has not returned my calls. Is there someone else I should call to make an appointment to come in and register my son, and make sure I have all his paperwork in order?"

No response.

I called the middle school and they said, "Oh, you don't need an appointment, just drop by." So I did. Got #4 all set up in maybe 15 minutes. Since they are in the same school district, I figured the paperwork the high school would need would be pretty much the same as the middle school. I had gone through this process with Son #1 and Son #2 in years past, as well. So I gathered everything, put it in an envelope, and this morning I said,

"Son #3, they are NOT returning my calls, so I guess we don't need an appointment, or if we do we're not going to get one, since school starts in less than 3 weeks. Let's just go."

So we did.

We went to the counseling department and the registrar was standing in the middle of the office, hand on hip, yakking about personal stuff with her coworkers. She looked up at me and said, "Do you have an appointment?"

"No, I've been calling for the past three weeks to request an appointment and no one has returned my calls."

"Sorry," she said. "I get, like, 20 to 30 calls a day."

(and three of those have been from me, this month, and could have just been ONE call, if you'd handled it the first time around, so I wonder how much of that phone ringing you bring on yourself by not answering the phone)

She said I could have an appointment. So I followed her back to her office, where she asked when I'd like to come in.

"As soon as possible. School starts in a little over 2 weeks."

She handed me a list of all the paperwork I need. Which I had, in my hand. I told her so. She offered to keep my envelope in her office, until our appointment tomorrow. Yeah, like I am going to give her my son's Social Security card and birth certificate to keep. Sure.

She reviewed the list of paperwork, again, and I again stated, "Yes, I have all of that ready for you whenever you are ready to process it."

A third time she pointed to the list, and enumerated the various things which I would need to bring...and...which...I...had...assured...her...were...in...my...lap...already.

Then she asked for transcripts-or-equivalent, and I explained to her twice why I have them in an unfamiliar format, but that I have the information required by the state, and that I would give it to her at our appointment.

So, tomorrow Son #3 and I go back for our appointment, which will probably take all of 15 minutes.

I swear, though, that woman should be ashamed of herself for accepting a paycheck.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Yes, Hubby and I have been married for 21 years. So, you know, even our marriage is old enough to drink.

Here's the #1 song for August 6, 1988, should you be either old enough to reminisce or young enough to think it interesting.