Math and other things

By Mir
June 21, 2013

I keep thinking I’ll post something coherent when a full-fledged story presents itself, and then I look over the past 9+ years of writing and realize that this whole notion of actually having a cohesive narrative has never stopped me BEFORE. Why now? Possibly because I am lazy, or possibly because there’s some gelato in the freezer and it’s not going to eat itself. I don’t know. But because I’m a trooper, I shall soldier forward as best I can with disjointed bits and pieces of things.

I’m a giver.

Summer mathin’. I may have mentioned the whole math thing…? Hey, kids, let’s do an entire year of accelerated math in a 6-week summer course, online, in the snow, uphill both ways! Okay, the last two may not technically be true, but still. The 6-week course started on a Monday and then concludes with a final 5 weeks later on a Tuesday, so the MATH people are bad at COUNTING. (Irony: it’s what’s on the syllabus!) It’s a 5-week long course and I’m fairly certain it’s designed to kill the students who are taking it. Chickie doesn’t seem to mind, most of the time, but it is killing ME, and I DO mind.

For one thing, it’s a lot of math, particularly when you’re not the best about self-discipline. For another, this can lead to things like a certain teenager begging for help with something at 10:00 at night when there’s a midnight assignment deadline, and that means dealing with a mother who is 1) tired, 2) grumpy, 3) annoyed that it was more important to chat with your friends than to figure out your damn math earlier in the day, and 4) feeling stupid because frankly no matter the time, she sucks at math.

[This is a fantastic combination of circumstances. Chickadee and I are closer than ever, by which I mean that our games of Punch Buggy in the car have turned violent. “Yello—” “OWWWWWWW!”]

There’s also the matter of the teacher being either unwilling or unable to grade assignments in a timely manner, plus her “availability” for the kids is spotty. When a class is taught at such a breakneck pace, there just isn’t any margin for error. Don’t understand this concept? Oh, too bad, the entire unit of work is due at midnight, so OH WELL. Had some questions about that test? It will be graded three weeks from now, ten units later. I guess the good news here is that the next actually-a-year-long-and-in-a-classroom class is going to feel ridiculously easy, in comparison. Still, I personally never would’ve taken a summer math class of my own volition, and the fact that it’s so intensive and hard and disorganized has practically driven me to drink and it’s not even MY class. Ask Chickie how she likes it, though, and she just shrugs and says, “It’s okay.” (I’m beginning to suspect I might not really be her mother.)

Sleep habits of the bizarre. While visiting Kira, Chickadee and I shared a queen bed. That should be plenty of room for two smallish people, right? It was no surprise to discover that my now-my-height charming daughter is really just an overgrown version of her former toddler bed-pig self; I woke up clinging to the edge of the bed for dear life more than once. The fun was that several of those times she was also INSISTENT in telling me VERY IMPORTANT THINGS, most of which made no sense. Because “grab the plate over there” and “no, he’s flat” and such made no sense to me, but are apparently important declarations while you hog the entire bed.

I think we were both relieved to return home to our separate beds, but I have since discovered my darling child is sleeping on the floor of her room rather than in HER (newish, super-comfy) queen size bed. The reason? Well, she has a ceiling fan in her room and it’s not directly centered over the bed, you see. So she’s sleeping on the floor so as to be exactly underneath it. Because… yeah, I don’t really know.

Me, I sleep in my bed. Comfortably. Otto never hogs my space and lately he hasn’t been waking me up to talk about snakes or helipads, so it’s all good.

Textual relations. So we got Monkey a cell phone before he left on his adventures. He was with Otto for a week, and now he’s off with his dad for two weeks. It’s good that he has his own phone, because it allows him to text me super-important information like all-caps updates about what his grandmother’s dog is doing. Truly, this is the best $10 I’ve spent this month. It also lets him do things like demand that I put my phone up to Licorice’s face (okay…?) and allows for the occasional BATTERY DYING DON’T TEXT ME message.

I think my favorite so far was:

I watched a star trek movie yesterday.


I miss that kid.

The joy of baking. It rained and rained while we were away, which meant that the stubby-pencil-sized zucchini we’d left in the garden last week was the size of a Louisville slugger when we got home. Naturally I shredded it up to make copious amounts of baked goods, and yesterday as I slaved over some high-protein-but-you’d-never-know-it chocolate zucchini bread, my darling daughter looked up from her math and commented, “That looks like explosive diarrhea.” Without commenting on the veracity of her assertion, let’s just agree that lumpy chocolate batter is never particularly visually appealing. Still. The resultant bread is beautiful and delicious (and gluten-free, to boot) but she will not stop referring to it as “diarrhea bread.” Whatever, man. More for me.

Elsewhere in the garden. We’re currently enjoying a real bumper crop of deformed purple phalluses Japanese eggplant:

(They taste delicious, so I try not to let my inner 10-year-old boy snicker too much about what they look like.)

Me so sophisticated. We did a little wine-and-cheese thing this week and Otto went out to buy the food, probably because I was busy trying not to do math. I can’t remember. ANYWAY, he came home with various cheeses and some beautiful grapes. I mean, these grapes looked like they could’ve been made of wax. Two items of note:

1) The grapes tasted like… nothing. They were beautiful and utterly flavorless. We of course didn’t discover this until we had a guest here, but I continued eating the little bunch I’d grabbed for myself because… I don’t know why. I am DUMB? I was convinced the NEXT grape would be good? Once my mouthparts start moving they really do not know when to stop? I have no explanation. We all agreed the grapes were terrible and threw them out. Except for the bunch I’d already eaten.

2) Otto bought some Jarlsberg cheese, which I never would’ve purchased because it looks just like Swiss cheese and Swiss cheese is disgusting. But I tried the Jarlsberg because—as we’ve already establish—apparently I will put anything in my mouth that I think might taste good (oh, God; that’s what she… don’t say it, don’t say it!), and GUESS WHAT! Jarlsberg cheese is DELICIOUS! Who knew? I mean, it’s parading around like a hard, gross cheese and actually it’s sweet and soft and yummy. Where have you been all my life, Jarlsberg? (Answer: Masquerading as Swiss. And possibly hiding behind the flavorless grapes.)

Basically I’m here to make you feel better about your life choices.


  1. Therese

    No cohesive thoughts needed here. Keep rambling the way you do! We the readers love you just as you are :)

  2. Therese

    And also, teenagers will think you’re stupid until they turn 23 or so. Then they realize how smart you actually are!

  3. Juli Ward

    Someone convinced me to try Jarlsberg cheese once and it IS good! Havarti cheese is good too.

  4. Alison C

    Oh I thought that picture was of giant slugs!

  5. Rocky Mountain Woman

    stream of consciousness is a very valid post in my opinion! I love swiss cheese – buy some good swiss sometime and put it in your mouth!!!!

  6. Heather


    I may have to try some Jarslberg ;)

  7. Megan

    Mmmmm Jarlsberg. Also Manchego. And Gruyere. Ooh! And Comte!

    Sorry, lost the entire rest of your post due to cheese.

  8. kapgaf

    I loved this post because I have the attention span of a gnat and the length of these snippets is just right but, oh dear, why did you mention cheese? I’m not allowed to eat cheese for the moment (I live in France, for goodness sake, surely dairy-free is against the law?) so I’m salivating on my keyboard!

  9. Tracy B

    Variety…I just love the variety of thoughts, Mir! I need more!!!!

  10. Lauren

    I’m glad to hear Chickie’s math class is infuriating, because that sounds like an absolutely normal thing to be infuriated by, and that must be nice. :)

  11. Ladybug Crossing

    Like all self guided math classes – yours is as infuriating as my LLB’s. Except that her math teacher was on campus. She tooted some dorky guy’s horn but gave my kid absolutely no kudos whatsoever at Senior night for the exact same class – Multivariable Calculus (yeah, all I can do is spell that with spell check enabled…). But, my girly, in her typical fashion, sent her teacher a thankyou note at the end of the year with just enough snark to make me proud.

  12. Nance

    My life choice is to stay in bed all day to day because, well, I can.

  13. D

    A) eggphalusant…. got my giggle going
    2) I wanna know what the snark was in LLB’s note… I do love some snark…

  14. Daisy

    I have a blog of “random thoughts.” When I ramble on and my associational memory takes me all around the world, I can click that default and all will make sense. Sort of.

    But I begin teaching an online summer course soon (not math – music) and I’m approaching panic. What if I don’t keep up and my students need me sooner, rather than later? What if I really do end up teaching the maximum number of students (60) and they’re all high maintenance? Will I ever sleep?

    Never mind. it’s all random.

  15. Aimee

    It seems I needed to snicker like a 10-year-old boy today, because that’s what I did at the diarrhea bread and the phallic eggplant.

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