Thursday, January 26, 2012

Right Track

Apparently LM's school does not embrace the concept of capitalism or the entrepreneurial spirit. Because when he made an impressive snow fort and tried to charge his classmates to come in, the recess supervisors put a kibosh on the activity, saying the snow fort should be for everyone's enjoyment. Sheesh, what a bunch of commies!  (So what if the Kindergartners didn't have a buck on 'em.  No pay-- no play!)

See, LM gets his business sense from his brilliant Popi.  It's a gift.  And what if Popi's mom had told him, as a youngster, he couldn't dress his little sister up as a hula dancer to attract customers to his bingo parlor?  That fun little world of female exploitation and underage gambling would have been squelched, Popi's pocket change all but nonexistent.  Sad and wrong!

Tell you what, LM, I'll buy your snow fort from you. That'll provide a little venture capital for your next endeavor. Then you can ask Popi about how to start a back-alley casino for minors. We'll get you back on the road to success, son!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!

If I weren't darn sure I'm not pregnant, I'd wonder.  'Cause how else do I explain the ravenous cravings I've been having for pickled jalapenos, and roasted seaweed.  (Not together, of course, but...hmmmmm, might make for a very funky Asian-Mexican fusion.)

Monday, January 9, 2012


After nearly a month away (winter break and yada yada), I was able to meet with my Aspie mentee today.   Boy, did I miss him!

Today there was no "get to know you period" like last time, he came out in full force with a proclamation immediately upon seeing me.

"Did you know that the first letter of my name," and here he pauses for dramatic effect as I hold my breath in excited anticipation for the revelation to come, "is a letter from the alphabet?"  I have to admit, the news is less than stunning, but I play along.


"Actually, every letter in my name is from the alphabet!"  He looks mighty pleased with himself.

I put my finger to my chin, tapping in thought.  "You know what?  Same here!  And guess what else?  Our names both start with the same letter!  Cool, huh?"

He couldn't care less.  Didn't even dignify my statement with a response.  One thing you have to realize about many Aspies is that they're very interested in their own revelations, and couldn't give a rip about yours.  (Unless your revelation is that you'd like to take them out to ice cream, give them money, etc.)  This makes me smile, however, because this perceived egocentrism is one of their many qualities that I find rather endearing.  But I know not to waste time trying to get him to recognize and respond to my jibber-jabber.  I'll save that for when I have something really important to say.

Instead, we move on to the main event: K'nex.  This boy is a Lego and K'nex junkie, and being that my mentee (hmmm, the kid needs a blog name!  Henceforth I will refer to him as "The Little Polar Bear" or The LPB) is very routine-oriented, I doubt our 45-minutes together will ever veer much from this activity.  That's okay with me.  After all, I'm learning a valuable new skill.  Hey, have you ever tried to build anything out of K'nex? It ain't easy.

We take out the robots we built the last time we hung out.  "They want to watch us build something else."

"Okay," I say.  "Should they stand together to watch?  Are they friends or enemies?"

The LPB looks at me as though I'm an idiot, which of course I am.  "They're friends because we're friends!"


And apparently, being friends means I have to share my lunch with him.

"Are you going to eat those?" he asks, pointing to my little bag of Pirate's Booty.  They'd been sitting there for a while as I busied myself with the K'nex.

"Would you like some?  I'll share!"

He digs in.  We sit side by side for the rest of our time, building and chatting, tearing down and building again.  I gently probe him for details of his social life.  He asks me nothing except to "pass the Pirate's Booty!" every now and then, or to inform me that I've just put the wrong piece in the wrong spot.  Sometimes, I push back on his social awkwardness just a tad.  I mean, what's the point of having a mentor if they don't teach you anything?  And as we grow closer, I'll push a little more, but for now I want him to know that I accept him hook, line and sinker.

When we're finished, he has no issues returning his tray (like last time).  It's already business as usual.  I smile at him, "Thanks for hanging out!  I'll see you soon!"

He doesn't say good-bye.  But I didn't expect him to.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Plague Of Plaque

I hate going to the dentist.  Hate.  It.  It's a place where you voluntarily go to be demeaned and tortured, and sometimes even pay for the privilege.

"So, Nona, tell me about your flossing habits-- are you a regular flosser?"

I've attempted to stretch the truth on this subject before, but I have come to see the absolute futility of it.  So I answer truthfully-- perhaps too truthfully.

"Nope. I only floss once or twice a week.  Or if I've eaten chicken or popcorn in the last 24-hours."  I feel like I'm on the losing side of a confessional.

"Well, you should really floss every night."

"I know."  I shrug my shoulders as if to say, "So, what are you gonna do about it?"  But my smile is so sweet I catch her off guard.

I mean, I realize that ideally I should floss every night, but there's only one person I know who is that anally dedicated; my father.  That man is superhuman (and frankly, weird).

But my hygienist pays me back for my wayward oral health with a little torture device known as the "water flosser".  In short, this tool turns a benign stream of water into a sharp needle that emits a piercing supersonic shriek as it stabs the gums between your teeth over and over and over again.  I want to raise the white flag in surrender.

But I also realized something interesting during my brief stint in the dental chair this time.  Hygienists speak "Wide Open Mouth" fluently.  It is not an easy language to learn, I assure you.  I wonder if it's a required class in dental school?  Why else would they purposely try to create conversation with you while your mouth is stretched to maximum capacity with various implements shoved inside it?  It's amazing to me.

"Did you have a nice Christmas, Nona?"

"Uhh-huh, eh ah ary i."

"Oh, good! Do you have family in town?"

"Uhh-huh, ari an I ha our alies ere."

"That's so nice you both have family here.  Oops!  Looks like we have a bleeder there!  You might want to concentrate more on this area when brushing and flossing."


"Good.  Tell me again how old your kids are."

"Uy i ele-en, L-eh i eigh."

"Oh my!  Eleven and eight?  They are growing up so fast!"


At this point I am silently willing her to stop talking to me.  I just know I'm going to gleek on her.  And that would be mortifying.

But the worst part of the whole ordeal (yes, even worse than the water flosser) is the fluoride rinse.  I'm practically gagging just thinking about it right now.  I would like to know how valuable it truly is to rinse with fluoride for 60 seconds twice a year.  Is it making such a significant difference in my oral health that I should feel obligated to subject myself to this sort of nauseating torture?  Someone, please tell me why I do this.

But the highlight of going to the dentist?  When it's all over and I realize I don't have to come back for another six months.  And guess what?  I haven't had a filling in ten years.  Take that, you sadist flossing-nazi hygienist!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Secret Ingredients

Happy New Year!  I've been thinking about what my resolutions will be, but nobody seems as excited about them as I am.  I suggested to hubby, "Why don't we go vegan for a year!  Doesn't that sound like fun?!"  No matter how much I tried to sugar coat it (or, more veganly, raw honey coat it) hubby was not biting.  I was prepared for this, however, and changed my tactic, "How about if only I go vegan for a year?"  My sister and brother-in-law shook their heads, giving hubby abject looks of sympathy.  I wasn't ready to give up, though.  "What if I go vegan on the weekdays, but eat like everyone else on weekends and special occasions?"  No love there, either.  "Okay!  How about if I'm just vegetarian on weekdays, and eat like everyone else on weekends and special occasions?"  Hubby rolled his eyes in exasperation.  So, where did things end up?  I have no idea!  But I do know one thing: as the cook goes, so goes everyone else.  Wahahahaaaa!

Here are some quotes to start the year off with a smile:

1. Me: (coming up behind LM and hugging him) "I love you!"
LM: "Uhhh, thanks, Mom.  You're making me nervous."

2. LM: (extremely excited about a friend coming over, going through his prep list) "Got dressed: check.  Got a movie: check.  Brushed my teeth: check.  Cleaned my room: raincheck."

3. LM: "Dora and Diego sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-T-U-V!"
(Would that be the Russian version, possibly?)

4. LM: (talking about marrying a girl someday) "First, I need to get sexy."
Me: "Oh, well, you don't need to worry about that right now.  That'll come later."
LM: "But Mom, I have to be sexy for my wife to have babies-- 'cause sex is the secret ingredient!"
Me: "Ooooookaaaaaay...."
(Quick!  Someone change the subject!)

The next four are quotes that my dad has collected during his time with the grandchildren and then sent to me.  I use them with his permission.

1. Popi: "Bopper, did you know that Nini was in Popi's kindergarten class?"
Bopper: "Was she your teacher?"
(Not sure how to take this... does she think Nini is that much older than me or that much smarter??)

2. Mister: "Popi, I have a secret."
Popi: "Well, can you tell me what it is?"
Mister: "I can tell you behind the door." (He proceeds to leave the room, close the door, and state the secret so I can't hear, then comes back in looking a little relieved.)
Popi: "Mister, can you whisper the secret in my ear?"
Mister: (coming close and looking like he is unsure if it's a good idea to reveal the information, but then whispers) "Popi, I don't like you a little bit."
Popi: "Why, Mister?"
Mister: "Because you told me not to climb over the couch." (Eee gads, that was yesterday!)

3. LM: "Popi, next time you go snorkeling in Hawaii, could you get me a shark tooth?  Actually, about 13.  I need one for everyone in my class."
(One or 13, it's about the same degree of difficulty....)

4. LM: "If you don't study in school you might grow up and have a smelly job-- like a fisherman.  But if I were a fisherman I'd just have lots of cologne on my boat.  I'd spray it everywhere."
(Sounds like it could still be a smelly job.)

That's it for now!  May you succeed in your goals this year (however clever you need to be to achieve them)!