Friday, September 26, 2008

critics review

**this was written in an attempt to entertain myself while on the job supporting 8th graders in Comp class; their assignment was to pretend to be a restaurant critic at home)

This Critic's Review

The first thing a patron notices upon entering Chez Crumhole is the chaotic energy emitting from the core of this dismal dining operation. The chef is rather frazzled and tense and can often be heard expressing many unpleasant comments during meal prep.

The decor is cluttered and terribly lacking in appreciable (albeit unrefined) ambiance. The kitchen is more than a little appalling, the service is provided by disgruntled and terribly wifty individuals and the dishes are bland and--not surprisingly--unappetizing.

For example, my most recent (and unfortunately not my last!) meal at Chez Crumhole consisted of pre-packaged, pre-cooked meatballs carelessly slung into a pot of pre-packaged, canned red sauce while a scary-looking pot of boiling water was filled with pre-packaged, pre-processed hardened penne noodles. As a consumer, I was filled with a peasant-like sense of dread knowing that this meager offering was not a scrumptious culinary experience but yet another disappointing caloric refueling obligation.

This critic takes away stars from Chez Crumhole for this restaurant dining experience and would be hard pressed to recommend it to anyone else (unless of course your last name happens to be Crumhole ... and then that leaves you with no other options!!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ode to the start of school

driving, driving, driving
work and work and work
driving, driving, driving
tennis, soccer, and homework
driving, driving, driving
slam some laundry in
driving, driving, driving
off the grocery again
driving, driving, driving
what? where do we have to meet?
driving, driving, driving
*whew* I am definitely beat!

Friday, September 12, 2008

here they go again

It's the middle of September and the neices and nephews should be in full swing at school.

Except they're hunkering down for yet another hurricane -- Ike.

feeder bands ... this has become a blasphemous word to my Southern people.

And to top things off, my mom lovingly told me last night that gas prices are expected to shoot up another $1 a gallon. Damned refineries parked out there in the middle of the Gulf!

I really despise hurricane season.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

pesky fonts and reading dramas

Has anyone ever doubted to power of letters. I don't mean the ones written by hand and mailed with a stamp -- I'm talking individual l-e-t-t-e-r-s.

Take for instance the seemingly simple, at the very beginning, start it all off, first letter of the alphabet: A or a.

For most kids, that little guy belongs to 'apple' -- 'a', 'apple', 'ah' (except it's not meant to pronounced like you're having your tonsils checked; your supposed to pronounce it like a New Yorker or a Bostonian!)

This is kind of an important letter; it's seen in lots of important words like cat, map, waste, and academic annihilation!! Unfortunately, this booger can really lay a kid low if he or she can't manage to wrap their fuzzy little heads around this particular squiggle.

And to make matters worse, font masters have to go and fuck things up for these poor kids by providing so many letter shape varieties.

The problem with "a's" is that they often show up looking quite different in just about every kind of text a kid runs across. For instance, Times New Roman likes to use their funky "a's" (with its weird Buddha belly and strange swoop-y toupee at the top) and Comic Sans likes to employ what I call the primary or Kindergarten letter "a" (with its simple round "o" and straight-backed line). Which one is the real "a"? Well therein lies the rub. Kids are expected to write one type of "a" and be prepared to read/identify (with a hitch) several different other kinds.

And we won't even get into the issue of italicizing letters (as well as all those different "g's"and "q's")!

Learning to read --especially for kids who struggle with partially wired brains, brains that like to "flip" images, or brains that like to make images "float" around before identifying them-- can be a real special kind of hell. And for me, it's terribly frustrating to see them struggle so hard to make out those inane distinctions while trying to put all those arbitrary symbols together into a coherent whole. It's a wonder so many people manage to read at all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Wowzer! What a storm!! Here's an incredible clip of the damage that occurred in this quaint little town where I last had permanent roots in Louisiana.

And here are some great pictures of trees gone topsy-turvy on top of people's residences and all sorts of other amazing pics (be sure to hit the caption option to read where the pictures were taken and what they are). It's kind of freaky to easily recognize so many places in those photos.

On a more personal note: I have been in touch with the folks down there. Besides having a lot of limbs and trees down and some roof leakage (lil sis had a total of three trees come down on her driveway and take out a vent in her roof), most of my family fared rather well. The final verdict is still up in the air because my cell phone contact with them is sketchy at best. All of them are without electricity and aren't expected to get it back for days.

Hopefully, for their sakes, the debris clean-up and electric line repairs go fast and so that they can be back on their feet before the next LSU football game.

But--what with this being Louisiana and all--I doubt it!!