Peace, love and pot

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A guy came into the library today in what at first looked like a snuggie with the hood up. As he walked away the full effect hit me. It was a one piece outfit (romper? leisure suit?) with a zipper up the front and made of pajama material. It had large rainbow colored marijuana leaves all over it. Yikes!- he just walked in again. It has a black background and green, red and yellow leaves, about the size of the palm of your hand. I have $10 that says I will see his name in the paper sometime in the next two months.

I work in a different library now, a smaller one. This was not an easy decision for me. I hate change, but the money was considerably different with not many different responsibilities. I am in charge of adult programming including the adult reading program this summer.  I was worried about learning to use a new cash register. Ha! It is a drawer with a compartmented wooden box inside for the change and a empty check box with a rock in it for the bills.

I am excited to be able to ride my bike to work come spring and I don’t work evenings any more. My kids can ride their bikes here to attend Lego Club and Coder Dojo. All in all it was a good move.

Road Trip

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A friend and I needed to get out of town, so we drove to Estes Park last night. We went to a bar and I spotted my first Hipster in the wild. We were way older than the others in the bar, but it was some good people watching.

Page 71 and counting

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I am reading “Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid.” It has been on my list for several years and I heard it mentioned on NPR a couple of weeks ago, (that is where I learned Godel rhymes with noodle-unless I misremember) which rekindled my thought that I should read this book. I got it from our community college library, which by the way, is catalogued according to Library of Congress rather than Dewey and thus it was very novel for me to have to ask how to find a book. He asked me how long I wanted to keep it. I stood there in stunned silence. “A month?” “That is our usual time, but you can have it longer if you need.”

I read the introduction and learned that the guy who wrote it had planned to write an essay, maybe a pamphlet when he set out. In case you are unfamiliar with this book it weighs in at 740 pages with barely 30 pages of endnotes and bibliography beyond that. Luckily for me it is full of pictures and little math games, and music too.

“What is it about?” I hear you ask. Godel was a mathematician towards the beginning of the last century I believe. Escher is the guy who drew all the posters you saw in dorm rooms with endless loops of stairs or a quilt turning into birds or the two hands drawing each other. Bach? “Ah, Bach,” as Radar said in MASH to his woman-friend. The author, Douglas R. Hofstadter whom I will now refer to as “the guy” because I am not typing that again, wanted to show us the way music and math and art all weave into each other through the Socratic thought process. I think. It is pretty tough to explain. The guy wants us to think of things in new ways and to question everything. Everything. I gave my daughter an example, “Is one and one always two?” Of course it is. But what if two raindrops were running down a window and joined? One and one are one in that case.

I think I have been reading it about a week –I am on page 71- and I hear something every day that makes me think of this book. Today on NPR (I listen to a lot of radio) they were talking about audio loops on TV shows, where you hear stuff going on in the background. They pay people to wander around and say random things so they can weave it through the dialogue you are supposed to be listening to. Background noise. I am just reading about negative space in art and math and music. *lightbulb lights up*

After a month, I will decide if I can get through this book. I don’t think I will be taking it to the beach this summer, although I probably could since the last person checked it out in 2002. They still use the little paper in the front of the book. No barcode or anything. Maybe GEB will help me with my seventh grade math homework. I have promised myself I will only read this or the book our book group is reading this month until I decide if I can handle it. My brain hasn’t been required to do this kind of thinking since I was in college and it may no longer be capable of deep thought.

I pointed out to my mother that I will not likely be tested over this, so if I find myself not understanding a concept I can just keep going until I get to something that makes more sense. So far that has worked.

Have any of you read this? Can you describe it better?

Random Things On My Mind Lately

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When is a good time to stop by Walgreens to pick up my prescription? They were held up Wednesday for the second time in four months. (probably the same guy, but they haven’t caught him) I would have been there at about that time but I was having my PE teacher do my taxes and we ran late. The dude wanted prescription drugs, although apparently not birth control pills. The pharmacist came in the library that night and was still a little shaken. The next nearest Walgreens is 90 miles away.

Now that I no longer spend my time parsing my words for fear of their results I find I get PMS. I think I was too scared to before.

I spent half an hour on the phone with Sarah’s math teacher today. She keeps failing tests, but gets good grades on her homework. That is because I check it each night, which takes about an hour. Add that to the hour I spend checking Lydia’s math and you now know why I am not watching Downton Abbey or Outlander. Next year we can add another hour for Thomas. Our current babysitter is good in math, which has cut down on this some.

My poor sons. They want me to read to them, or spend some kind of time with them, but it seems after supper we have math. They need another parent.

“Wanted: husband with math skills and driver’s license. Please send junior high transcript and photo of minivan.”

I say this, but my kids got snowed in last weekend with their dad, and my boyfriend drove five hours Monday to get them so I could go to work. And he lets me say mean things to him when I have PMS. He can’t help the girls with their math, although he told me he can throw a dart with a rope on it over a haystack and tell me how many tons of hay are in the stack then balance a ration for pregnant cows. So far Saxon math has not covered this.  Maybe in eighth grade.

I got five calls from Zach’s first grade teacher about his behavior in January (there were only three weeks in this January) He was mostly not paying attention to the teacher and goofing off. According to ‘The Birth Order Book’ he is a little behind schedule in the whole goofing off thing.

If a can of beer has 12 ounces and a gallon has 128 ounces…ten and a half beers is a gallon.

Do any of you watch the Bachelor?

Not related to the Bachelor, we have a guy studying for the bar in our library. He told me he was at a conference a while ago where Sarah Koenig from Serial spoke.

The beginning of a bad country song. Either you get it or you don’t.

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I am sitting here in my bed eating crackers and goat cheese. I worked a 10 hour day and for supper I went to Jimmy John’s. (You had me at Jimmy) When I asked the guy to cut my sandwich in half and wrap it separately he misunderstood and thought I asked for triple onions. The goat cheese worked. I get mine from a friend who raises goats and makes a living at selling cheese. I hate goats but I love their cheese.

Writing to public figures is on my mind lately. I wrote my state senator about some plans they have to lower child support payments for non-custodial parents across the board. They would be lowered anywhere from $40 less a month to $225 less. I think it is a done deal, but I wanted him to know that a guy who brings home $130-$150 K has kids on reduced price lunches. I am sure there are guys out there who have a hard time making child support payments. He is not one of them. An extra $200 won’t change his lifestyle. Loosing it would probably rule out swimming lessons, band, tumbling, and piano for us. I am thinking if they are going to do this, perhaps they will make the changes based on current wages of the parents rather than the wages we had when the decree was issued.

Don’t get me wrong. He pays every month on time, and we can certainly live fine off what we get. I just don’t think it is very fair to reduce it.

A couple weeks ago my mother tried to get ahold of my brother but he was not answering texts or returning calls, so she called his wife to find he was in Greece. Yes. They needed him to go to Greece to help re-write this manual on cranes. Cranes like the ones at ports to load and unload ships, I presume. I am a little bitter. I have wanted to go to Greece since fourth grade when I did a report on Greece. Now, I have four kids who are on welfare and foreign travel seems unlikely.

My brother eats because if he doesn’t he will die. There is no enjoyment in it, (which makes sense if you ever eat his wife’s cooking) he eats for sustenance. He has traveled all over the world for his job (London, Singapore and Greece since Halloween) and I don’t think he explores at all, just does his meeting thing and flies home. I guess he talked to Dad and he did take in some sights and gained seven pounds in two weeks. I feel a little better, at least he did some of the things I would have, although seven seems a little low for me.

Off to bed!

Not So Well.

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On the advice of my lawyer, a deputy sheriff and a social worker I got my kids a track phone. My oldest texted me when her dad opened his first beer. And his second. I called 911 and ended up with a state patrol dispatcher who actually said, “it isn’t that big of a deal” about driving and drinking. I got his name. He did send someone who gave my ex a breathalyzer (he passed) and let him go. I told my daughter to make sure the cop called me, and by golly he did. He was really nice; even apologetic. So I learned an empty is not an open container, my kids learned a cop can stop your dad after he has been drinking while driving but will let him go, and my ex learned there ain’t no good in an evil hearted woman.

I am also horrified that my daughter knows she made this happen. Or not happen, as it were. She turned her father in to the cops. I am making a counselor appointment for next week.

Lord help us if Jim finds the phone. I just bought it this afternoon. Mom pointed out that we need to erase the texts ASAP. Just as soon as we learn how to do that.

I haven’t slept for two weeks, I have heartburn and my digestive tract has gone flop-woozy over this. And I even cried today. Big sigh.

Wish me well.

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I had a lovely talk with a social worker today, then a deputy sheriff. You see, last month my ex had a close call with a DUI and open container and child endangerment and who knows what-all. A state trooper pulled him over because of a phone call another driver made. He had been drinking, but had the kids cover up the cooler and hide the empties so the cop would not see them. The cop looked at four kids in the pick-up with him and let him go.

They interviewed the kids at school today. The social worker said they are going to confront him. So my ex thinks I made the first call. I didn’t. He will be convinced I made the second call, which of course I did. The girls and I talked about it tonight.

They are sure the ex will scream at the kids about how awful I am and how great he is and that beer is mostly water for two-and-half hours on the way home, as he drinks beer. They are scared of him, and with some reason.

Now this is my question: how awful would it be of me to get a digital recorder to put in a backpack to record how he treats them? I would turn it over to a social worker Monday without even listening. Is that awful or just making sure the people who make decisions have the facts?

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