Archive for April, 2010

Get ma gun.

April 30th, 2010 2 comments

EmGreenwayWe went to a preliminary parents meeting at Em’s new middle school last night. It’s definitely a world away from her current school. At Em’s current school, the school population is more than half native Spanish speakers, so all the assemblies for parents are translated. A school official will speak, and then pass the mike to a translator who will repeat what they said then pass the mike back, etc. At her new school, I only saw one face that I would automatically identify as Latina, and there was no translator. I would never begrudge the translators – I definitely want ALL the parents to be as involved as possible in their kids education – but I do have to admit it probably sped the meeting up a bit.

At Em’s current school, there are box tops and soup labels saved for school equipment. There is a candy sale, a magazine sale, a book fair… any little way they can get money for the school. Because they really, really need it. At Em’s new school, they apparently dispense with the sales and tell the parents once a year, “Okay, time to donate to support the school.” They said last night that they raised $72,000 that way. I’d be surprised if Em’s current school made $5,000 last year. It’s only a few miles away, but it’s a totally different economic world.

I am absolutely not slamming Em’s current school. The teachers there are top-notch and bring their A-game every day. The students are kind, compassionate, smart and hard-working. I have no idea how that compares to the new school yet, but I am grateful every day that we have had such amazing people in Em’s life.

However, there is one definite change on the horizon.

At last night’s meeting, my husband spotted a rising sixth-grade boy glancing repeatedly at Em as we entered the building. Not glancing like, “whoa, weird kid.” Glancing like, “whoa, she’s really pretty.” Mr. Tvini, having been a middle school boy at one point, said he could definitely tell the difference. He took note of the kid’s appearance, filing it away in a “I’ve got my eye on you, mister” way.

I am her mother, so I am biased, but I do believe that Em is beautiful. Boy/girl issues cannot be too far behind. It may be time for my husband to take up skeet shooting.

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Weird dye

April 22nd, 2010 6 comments

dye mocha rage
This is the “mocha rage” I dyed yesterday. 100% sportweight wool, dye with Jacquard acid dyes in brown, chestnut, cherry red, red-orange, and black. It turned out all right. By the time I started it up I wasn’t rage-filled anymore, so it did its job. I hadn’t done a brown before, so it was good to branch out. Literally branch, actually, since I suspended part of it out of the dyepot using a large stick from the back yard in order to get two different shades.

alpaca silk

This is the second set I dyed yesterday, chestnut and cherry red. It’s Blue Sky alpaca/silk. I want to make a scarf and couldn’t find a color I liked, so I dyed my own. However, this yarn is freaking me out.

I can’t tell what color it is. It’s a little bit darker than it appears in this picture. People who I’ve shown it to seem evenly divided among brown and red and purple. I’m not sure myself. My eye can’t quite resolve it. It’s like one of those rabbit/duck pictures where you see one thing and then you see the other. I don’t think I can make a scarf with it because it’s going to make me nuts to look at it constantly while knitting.

I think I need to overdye it, but I can’t decide whether to go toward brown, purple, red, or some other direction. Thoughts?

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Coffee mixup

April 20th, 2010 No comments

Today in Charlotte, some local restaurants and coffeehouses are participating in AutismAwareFare. It’s a great cause, since a percentage of proceeds from purchases at those businesses is going directly to the Mecklenburg County chapter of the NC Autism Society. My husband and I are getting takeout from one participating restaurant tonight. To be even more supportive, I went to what I thought was one of the six participating locations of Dilworth Coffee and got the largest size mocha they have. I do not normally supersize my coffee, so I did spend more than usual.

Unfortunately, a few hours later Dilworth Coffee responded to someone’s question on Facebook asking what the participating locations were. There were only five, not six as it said on the AutismAwareFare page, and the Quail Corners location where I got my coffee was not one of them. D’oh!
I hadn’t been able to find a list of locations anywhere on Dilworth Coffee’s page or on AutismAwareFare’s page, so I had just made the assumption that the six locations on the left side of the “Dilworth Coffee Locations” page must be participating, since they were in Mecklenburg County. It turns out that that was a poor assumption. Had I known, I still would have bought a mocha from them – I just would have bought it at another location.

I mentioned on their Facebook page that they should probably put that information front and center next time. I also called HQ and very politely explained the problem and suggested that in the future they might want to publish that info. I also said that while they were certainly under no obligation to do so, I hoped they’d consider adding my mocha money to the total. Based on the vibe I got from the customer service phone guy, I’d say there’s about a 50/50 shot of that happening. Well, it’s better than nothing. Regardless, it’s really not fair to complain to the world without actually letting the company know that I’m disappointed. They can’t do anything if they don’t know there’s a problem.

I’m very frustrated by this. Probably the large amounts of caffeine now coursing through my system aren’t helping. At any rate, since I can’t go running because of the copious amounts of pollen in the air and because I am STILL coughing (also frustrating!), I’ve decided to channel my irritation into dyeing a skein of yarn which I will call “Mocha Rage.”

At least I’ll be awake for tonight’s D&D session.

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Good decision.

April 17th, 2010 3 comments

There was a crazy guy at the post office yesterday when I was mailing out Jayne hats. He brought in a slip of paper and showed it to the clerk to get his opinion. Apparently the man’s wife had signed her father’s name instead of her own name when she was picking up a package from the father’s P.O box. The man was asking if her signing her own name qualified as tampering with the mail. Apparently he was trying to get some kind of dirt on his “crazy” wife so that he could dismantle her character in court and get custody of his kids. I don’t know about the wife, but based on what the clerks and I saw, there was definitely someone crazy in that relationship.

When I see things like that, it just reminds me that I made the best decision of my life when I married my wonderful husband 16 years ago today. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Love you, guy. Here’s to the rest of our life together.

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Mighty Fine Shindig!

April 16th, 2010 3 comments


The 2010 Browncoat Ball site is finally LIVE and they are selling tickets! Bear in mind that there are 150 tickets available and more than 500 fans on Facebook, so you might want to sign up early.

This is going to be amazing, folks. There are three “tracks” that should have something for everyone. “Tour the Core” will take the trolley and do a historic tour of uptown. “Hard Burn” will head off to the NASCAR museum for some local flavor. And “Thrilling Heroics” will go out to the National Whitewater Center for kayaking, ziplining, climbing and rapelling and various other activities that will get your heart pumping.

In between there will be a midnight pajama party Firefly showing, the Wash-o-saurus luau, an auction, drink, food, more drink, local music, and yet still more drink.

Oh, and of course the main event: the Ball. With costumes. And waltzing. Swoon.

Also, there’ll be some seminars and workshops on the first day, including a “how to knit a Jayne hat seminar” led by yours truly with able help from the world famous Turtlegirl. I will forgive you if you choose to go to the concurrent taekwondo demonstration instead, as long as you be sure to say hi at some point.

This is going to be so awesome. Seriously, get your tickets now.

Oh, man, I gotta get a dress.

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Battle on, Em.

April 16th, 2010 1 comment

Em woodpileEm has always been a bit boisterous, in spite of any other issues she may have. It’s gotten a little more pronounced lately, which is good. As a toddler, her “Mother’s Morning Out” program teachers called her “Miss Priss” because she hated to get her hands dirty. (Thank you for making fun of my daughter’s sensory issues, by the way.) She still doesn’t like it, but now she’s more willing to suffer it a bit in order to have some fun before going in to wash up. Here, for example, she takes apart a woodpile as delicately as she can in order to see what kind of vermin are living among the rotting logs. Those were all stacked up neatly when she started.

She also likes ridiculous, over the top physical humor. Here, for example, is a project she’s working on for school. The assignment is to explain force and motion as if you were writing a children’s book geared toward a 2nd grader. As you can see, there’s definitely some force and motion going on in that picture. And I only just noticed the lines around the eyes of the victim expressing just how astonished she is.

Yesterday, through the magic of Netflix instant queue through the wii, she caught part of the first episode of Xena, Warrior Princess. She liked it and thought Xena was beautiful and cool. It was a slapsticky battle scene that really pulled her in. My girl’s first taste of geek pop culture. I’m so proud.

Based on all the facts, I see two new options for her future: nerd or superhero. Both work for me. Either way, she’ll want to work on her war cry. Battle on, Em.

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Yarn stew

April 9th, 2010 2 comments
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D&D Week 42: Cliffhanger!

April 6th, 2010 No comments

120809 notes

Here it is, the final D&D session of 2009! You may recall that last week we made a pathetic attempt to board the ship, thwarted by bad connections and sickness. We’ve had a week to mull over a plan, but haven’t decided on a course of action.

We discuss our choices:

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April 2nd, 2010 3 comments

We’re going through the process of re-doing Em’s testing for her IEP (individual educational plan) to determine what services she’ll be getting in middle school. There’s a test called the BASC that teachers and parents fill out with a bunch of multiple choice questions like “Argues when denied own way” and “Refuses to join group activities.” This is the first year Em’s been old enough to fill out her own, or at least the first year she’s filled it out at home so we can see it. It’s very interesting.

I was pleased to see that “My parents are always telling me what to do” got a false. And amused to see that “My parents are always right” also got a false. Heh. She’s got our number.

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