Monday, April 11, 2011


I've pretty much been "chubby" my whole life, and that pretty much made my entire school experience, from kindergarten to Bachelors degree, miserable. A fat chick is a target. Everyone seems to be okay with that. Additionally, or maybe in part because of always being a target, I've always been somewhat socially awkward, and that led to me periodically getting in trouble at school. I talked a lot. My attention wandered. I corrected teachers. I talked a lot. I also had a lot of problems with anxiety. Stomach problems. Recurring nightmares. Etc. So, while I do have a (small) handful of not-miserable memories of school, for the most part I look back and ... shudder.

When Seth started kindergarten last fall, I had high hopes that his school experiences would be better. That his memories of it would someday be happier. After all, he's a good looking kid who is not chubby. Smart, sweet, funny. And when we first met his teacher, we were all enthusiastic about the school year. She's experienced and involved, and from everything we'd heard about her, her kids all loved her and they learn a lot from her.

This past Friday, Seth got in a fair amount of trouble at school. Her notes are sometimes vague, and he sometimes acts like he's not quite sure why he got in trouble (which is counterproductive, if you ask me). Brian and I have been after Seth for a while now to not get in trouble anymore at school, and a couple nights last week he wasn't allowed to watch television or play with his DS, because of it. But on Friday, he cried at school. He got in trouble for forgetting to do something...and I'm sorry, but forgetting something is not a behavioral problem (if it were, I'd be in Leavenworth by now), and then he cried in class, and then he got in trouble two more times. In the note she sent home, she actually made fun of him for "bawling like a baby" ... at least, that was our perception of it. We both found it pretty unprofessional of a teacher to make a remark like that, in any case. So Seth didn't get in more trouble at home for that, as we could both tell he'd stressed himself out enough over it (hence the crying).

Last night as I was getting Seth ready for bed, and he realized it was a school night again, he started telling me his stomach hurt. "If I throw up tonight, I won't have to go to school tomorrow, right?" This made me so sad, I can barely articulate it. That's how it started for me...seventeen years of daily torture and nonstop anxiety. It is now my mission to keep it from happening to him. I wish I knew where to start.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Softball Practice

OMG, why do boys eat dirt?!? Why? Why did he do it again this year? I sat there in my red chair outside the field and didn't know whether to go sit in the car and beat my head against the dashboard, or climb the fence and go all King Kong on him. And seriously, softball dads who are standing around the field? Pay attention to other kids besides your own kids. Specifically, the one in right field who is EATING DIRT. Looks like he could use a little of your attention, ya know?!?

Deep breath.

Okay. Besides the whole "eat dirt and embarrass my mother (she's the one sitting over there in the red chair)" sketch he performed for everyone, he did pretty well. Threw the ball, caught the ball, hit the ball. The actual softball stuff, not embarrassing. Second practice, Friday night. Oh, and his team is named the Holden Hitmen. As I told my sister, somewhere a Zarrelli ancestor is smiling.


Having found a new blog yesterday ( and having, further, laughed my ass off while reading said blog, I've been giving some thought to all the things that make me laugh, and why. I don't mean to get all Aristotelian on you or anything, I just have a, shall we say, eclectic sense of humor, and lots of stuff makes me laugh. Here are a few of those things, in no particular order:

Friends outtakes. Specifically, the ones involving Ross, a couch going up a narrow stairway, and a set of bagpipes.

The moat scene in The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Just humming the music from this makes me giggle. "Swine moat!"
(sorry, this clip has an ad in front, I hate that)

This, from History of the World, Part I

Damn near anything in Young Frankenstein, but especially this

Monty Python's sketch The Fish-slapping Dance
The Semaphore Version of Wuthering Heights

These twin boys, talking to each other.

This website:
and this one, tho he doesn't update it anymore:
(btw, Mil's a tremendously nice guy, we've exchanged several email messages over the past few years)

And, of course, a lot of stuff Seth says and does. Yesterday he told me he had "fifty-five pounds of love" for me.

Oh, and why do these things make me laugh? They're just frickin' funny!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I see it's been well over a year that I've written a blog entry. As I suspected from the first, my ability to maintain a blog...not to mention my overall interest in doing so...dwindled over time. Plus, once you get used to Facebook, blogs seem superfluous. Especially when you're as lazy as I am. So, an update. Or, shall we say, a series of updates.

Seth's in kindergarten now, and is doing well...except for that all-important "listens and follows directions" category. The kindergarten grade report at Seth's school is a simple series of Ys and Ns, Y being yes, this student has mastered this specific item, and N being no, your kid obviously should have attended a preschool. Thus far, Seth's grade report has been 99% Y and 1% N. Apparently, he doesn't like being told what to do anymore than I did. Acorn...tree. He's wearing glasses now. My little Clark Kent. He's done very well with them so far. Knows how to handle them, how to take care of them. Knock on wood, this pair will last a good long while. He's been taking piano lessons since this past October. His instructor says he's done very well. And yet he bitches and moans *every day* about practicing, says he HATES it. And I say, no one I've bought a $500 piano for gets to quit until they're 18. So there. We've got him signed up for machine-pitch softball this year, and practice begins this week. Last summer he played tee-ball, which was slow and boring, and to which I no longer wanted to be subjected. I mean, Seth. Seth didn't want to do it anymore. Brian took him to Chuck Gard's house a couple weeks ago to practice hitting, and said he did surprisingly well, so we're not worried about his skills. Just everyone's level of interest.

We have a trip to Disney World planned for June, after school is out. We're driving down in the new Pilot, and spending four days there before driving back. Three days at DW, one (possibly) at the Kennedy Space Center. I'm in full-on planning mode, of course. We're also hoping to make it to Chicago again for Labor Day weekend this year, to stay at Hotel Arnold and see our good friends James and Kristal...not to mention Gabriella and the new baby (due in May). Brian is still at Billy Goat, and I am still at SH3. This means we haven't won PowerBall yet. Other than that, I don't know what to tell you. Life goes on.

Monday, February 15, 2010


President's Day. Or is it Presidents' Day? The important thing here is I get the day off work, so I don't really care where you put the apostrophe.

Another crap weather day so I'm staying home, which was not the kind of day I had in mind. I just don't like driving on slick or snowy roads if I can possibly avoid it. And since I'm all about avoidance, here I sit. I haven't even started doing laundry, I'm just...sitting. Reading. Goofing around with Seth.

Not too much going on these days. Brian and I spent this past Saturday night up in Kansas City. We got a room at the Westin Crown Center, went to the Nelson for a couple hours, and then had supper at Figlio's on the plaza. (The Spaghetti Diavolo was more diavolo than I remembered. Whew!) Seth stayed with Brian's folks overnight, and he had a good time too. Brian had roses delivered to the hotel room, when we walked in I was surprised with them. At first I didn't realize what he'd done, I just thought maybe the hotel had them in the room for Valentine's Day. And I'll be honest, when he first said that he'd had them sent...I wasn't sure whether to believe him or not. But while he's something of a bullshit artist, he's not a liar, so I finally believed him. And I certainly brought them home with me.

I've really been wishing I were in New Orleans lately. You know I've been there three times, right? Last time was for our honeymoon. But lately...I don't know what it is. I just REALLY want to get back there. It's probably that it's Mardi Gras week and the Saints just won the Super Bowl and I just read a book about it and watched The Big Easy again, so it's on my mind. In the air. But we sure don't have much of a travel budget this year. I got a good deal through PriceLine for the hotel room this weekend, and my dad is letting use some of his timeshare points for a long weekend in Arkansas at the end of May, but beyond that we're homebound this year. And Seth starts kindergarten in August so from here on out our travel plans will be defined and limited by his school schedule. But, man...beignet at Cafe du Monde. Brunch at The Court of Two Sisters. Hurricanes on Bourbon St. That music. That SMELL. I want to go back!!!!!

Anyway. Looks like it's lunch time. Seth will be out here any minute looking for a turkey sammich. Best go get ready for that.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Long overdue for an update, I see. Sorry, Facebook is easier.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.... Our tree is up, the stockings are hung, the lights are up outside. And it's coooold. Almost done with the shopping, but need to start the wrapping today. I think we're going to see Brian's grandmother today, take her her gift and visit for a while. We were at Anne-Marie's last night, making cookies and candy and just hanging out. Had some wine, the first I've had in AGES. Expected to get buzzed and then have a headache, but neither occurred. I'm guessing it has something to do with body weight. :oP

We've got a new front door in and almost finished, Brian is going to finish up the trim and whatnot today, if he's feeling up to it. He wasn't feeling very good yesterday or last night, flu-like symptoms. The old door was letting so much air blow through we might as well have left it open. We went ahead and bought the new door so we could get the tax credit. And because it's purty.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Labor Day weekend, 2009

Saturday: rode the train (Seth loved it), got to Chicago a half-hour ahead of schedule (everybody loved that), had a steak dinner at Hotel Arnold (yum), watched a movie when the kids went to bed (by Grabthar's hammer!).

Sunday: went to church (and did NOT burst into flames), lunch at Cafe Arnold (on the house), afternoon at the Museum of Science & Industry (rock star parking!), deep-dish pizza at Moretti's (topping compromise reached after some intense--but bipartisan--negotiations), Settlers of Cataan until 1:30 am (guess who won).

Monday: breakfast at McArnold's (Seth finagled some waffles), packed the bags and stashed them in a locker at Union Station (with fingerprint scanning! on a luggage locker!!), walked to Michigan Avenue (OMG my feet hurt), saw the Oprah brouhaha (she shut down two blocks of Michigan Avenue for her show), found the LEGO store (spent some money in the LEGO store), homed in on the Girardelli chocolate store ("Would you like a free sample?" "What do YOU think?"), caught the bus back to Union Station (oh thank god), arrived in KC on time. And tired.

Thanks again to James and Kristal for being such great hosts. Gabriella is beautiful and you make great parents ... and you're great friends as well. We miss you but it's nice to have such a cool place to go visit now.