Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Shall Parade No More Forever

I'll start with a little story. Now this was some years back but I think I remember it close enough. It was my first year as a Brownie Girl Scout leader. The year had gone grand. But when April rolled around, my very good friend and co-leader started to talk about being in the Memorial Day parade in May...

Me, cutting to the chase: Look, I'll tell you right now, I don't do parades. I'll do pretty much anything else you need but not parades. I won't walk in a parade or ride in a float. I barely enjoy watching parades.

C0-leader, in blatant disbelief: But we walked in it last year....

Me, hard-core in my convictions: I wasn't here last year. If you want to take the girls, feel free. I won't be there.

I thought that was the end. I thought I made my position clear. And she didn't bring it up again, not until just before the parade.

Co, peppy to the last: I've got the permission slips for the parade. We're meeting in the parking lot at 9:30.

Me, ice princess : Have fun. I won't be there.

Co, slightly shocked: No?

Me, James Bond type cool: No. Won't. Be. There.

Co, laughing off what must be a bad joke: Sure you will.

Me, not joking: No way.

So the day of the parade comes and here's me in my little chair watching the city's finest march by melting in the heat and looking miserable. Lo and behold, here comes my troop of girls and leaders. I wave and smile as they pass by. Did they wave and smile back? No, not quite. Nobody likes to be stood up, but I think that when you say you're not going to be somewhere and then NOT show, all you are doing is keeping your word. But no, I was a betrayer, a spoil sport, loser.

However, I made my point. The word "parade" has never come up in a troop meeting again. There have been other organizations that I've belonged to over the years that have also put together a float or marched en masse behind some handmade sign. I'd have none of it. The reaction is always bad. Nobody likes a parade hater.

Well, I don't care! I don't like parades! I had to be in every stinking parade my entire childhood. Even out-of-town parades. It was the pits. We always got stuck behind some truck with fumes in our faces or behind horses leaving land mines or some lousy band playing the same damn song over and over and over again. I swore that once I was an adult and in control of my own destiny, I would never be in a parade again. So far, this has been a promise that I've been able to keep.

As a consequence of my loathing of parades, my kids have yet to be in one. This has caused several uncomfortable moments for them as well. Most recently yesterday as we were once again installed in our traditional parade watching spot, the boy's Boy Scout troop paraded by. As a group they glared at him and then me. We waved them on. They are certain to say something (and probably not in a nice way) at the next meeting. But again, we told them that we weren't coming. They shouldn't have been surprised.

I mentioned that I find even watching parades an iffy form of entertainment. I do like the marching bands and when the APL comes by with the dogs. My least favorite part is the endless line of tow trucks. Why do the tow trucks have to be in the parade? And why are there so many of them??? Isn't anyone broke down on Memorial Day morning? Maybe if our little hometown parade had floats like this, I would enjoy it more. Well, no, probably not.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lip Sync Champions!

Performing "I'll Sue Ya!" by Weird Al, The Girl, Boy and Other Girl totally kicked it out and took first prize. Congratulations to my three favorite superstars!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fields Trips Cold, Field Trips Hot

Fields trips fun, fields trips not! In the past week, these 6th graders of mine have had not one but two field trips. No two trips have ever been more different than these.

First, the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was a cold, drizzly day in Canton. We arrived fashionably late after an almost 2 hour bus ride. The parking lot was chuck full of buses and kids from schools all over the state. There wasn't one happy face in the crowd.

First stop, athletic drill on the football field. Did I mention it was cold and drizzly. Oh yeah. Big fun. These huge smiles are only because this crew is a big ham for a camera.

Next stop, time for exploring the museum. This group was my responsibility. I guess you could say that we walked the whole place twice over without stopping much. I guess you could say that football's not our thing. I guess you could say we were bored out of our minds.

Here we found the boy in the gift shop. I picked up a really cute Christmas ornament of Santa at the Hall of Fame. How could I not buy it?

After that, we ate lunch ON THE BUS and then drove home. It was the worst field trip of all time. There's nothing more to say.

This week the field trip was Swings 'n Things. And just stop right there Brewer -- Everyone already knows your opinion of that place! This was a great field trip. The first half was fun disguised as educational lessons. The second part of the day was just running around with the place to ourselves. Sunny, warm and unlimited rides on everything. This trip more than made up for the one to you know where.

This guy and his company invented modern batting cages with net tents and ball returns. The one at SNT was the prototype when they first started. Who knew!

That's me in the bumper boats. They soaked me big time before it was over. Tomorrow is the lip sync contest. Stayed tuned for a big post about that!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spring Fling!

The annual Spring Fling carnival was last Friday at school. Games and prizes, food and running around like fools. You know, the usual. This year was a very special to the boy and girl because when you are a sixth grader, the tradition is to get a whipped cream pie in the face from a younger student. They all look forward to this. It's one of the highlights of being a sixth grader. Weird, I know. Anyway, here's the boy getting his face-full.
And the girl getting hers. They said that the whipped cream was disgusting smelling and made them all sick. Tell the truth, none of them looked too great after all of this: A bunch of sixth graders walking around looking sticky with matted down hair.
Every that we've helped out with this, the man and I work the bracelet engraving table. The man makes the COOLEST bracelets. On mine you get a choice of your name in print or cursive with a heart, flower or star as decoration. By the end of the carnival, your hand is fairly numb from holding the engraver. Here's us hard at work for the last time. They'll have to find new engraving suckers for next year.
We had a "Flat Stanley" visiting us last week, so he came to the carnival, too. Here he is with one of the dogtags we were engraving. He got a bracelet with his name on it to take home.
Unfortunatly, for us, this last Spring Fling, probably was the worst ever thrown. First, they had it outside in the parking lot and sitting in the sun, engraving those little pieces of metal was really yucky. Also, being outside, the whole thing had an aura of tackiness, even for a cheesy school carnival. But the thing that really put a damper on it was that there was no music, no DJ. It was the quietest event you've ever been to. Every other year it's been a big, thumping dance party with games and crafts around the edges. Without music, it was downright bland. But let's not end this post on a down note. Here's more pie-in-the-face shots!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A message from Mama Cat

Happy Mother's Day
Now stop following me around and let me sleep!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

While you wait

We are right on the brink of lots of fun, exciting things around here. Camping trips, field trips, recital, last day of school... all kinds of big things. But right now we are pretty quiet around here. It must be the calm before the... party? I don't know. Anyway, to keep you entertained while you wait for the good stuff, check out this video. And if you want to see even better, go to the "Montgomery Redemption" version of it. Enjoy!