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.