Monday, September 29, 2008

Gym Mice?

I just wanted to apologize for the writing in this post. I wrote it last night after I returned from teaching and I didn't tweak it at all. So, sorry.

I used to be an obsessive gym rat.

Actually let me start at the beginning.

I used to be a non gym going, non athletic person. When I was a teenager. I was relatively thin (actually, I was probably quite thin, but my best friend was a stick, so next to her I looked chubby). Then my mom died.

And I ate to kill the pain.

And over years I gained weight. Getting up to over 260 lbs (118 kilos) after Pamela was born.

And then I became an obsessive gym rat. And I got back down to 130, which was slightly more than I weighed as a 9th grader. And I stayed there.

Until I got pregnant with Seth.

Actually, I still ran when I was pregnant with Seth. But we had tried so hard to get pregnant with Seth and then I was surprised that we got pregnant.

And then I started spotting.

So I stopped running. And we moved to Poland.

And I gained weight again. Not as much as before, but definitely too much.

Then I got pregnant with Toby. Then we moved to Houston.

And I went to the gym (YMCA!) and I kept going. And I lost some weight. Not all of it, but some.

Then we moved to Ghana. And I got pregnant with Blaise.

And there were no gyms in Ghana. And I couldn’t lose weight no matter what.

So we moved back to Poland. And my kids all started school.

On my way to one of the schools I saw this sign.


I was convinced, and very excited. It’s right on my way to the kid’s school. I checked the website. It’s awesome. It has a pool and cardio equipment and everything I need in a gym.

Except, it turned out, that’s all it was. A sign.

But, come November, you'll see the old gym rat me.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wait! I Teach Religion?

So in class the other day we played a getting to know you game called 2 truths and a lie. My kids are a weird range of ages, the youngest is 12 and the oldest is almost 17. The 17 year old is great fun because he's almost an adult and he's got the whole abstract thought thing down. This works well for my sense of humor. I'm sure he's the only one who even cracked a smile when I told them "When your parents brought you to church and had you baptised, they called you Josh. Well, only you, Josh. I'm pretty sure the rest of your parents called you by the names they gave you. But maybe they didn't. Maybe your names are all really Josh."

Yeah, I got nothin'. (Of course, I'm actually not funny in real life. Something you'll see if you follow me on Twitter. 'Cause in my world, Twitter is real life.)

Oh, and I told them a few things that I'll soon hear about from the parents. Things like: "Just because you're an adult in the church doesn't mean that you can drink and smoke. You'll have to wait until you're 18 like everyone else. Except you Americans, you'll have to wait until you're 21."

Yeah, I actually said that. And still got no laughs. (Hello? Is this thing on?)

Anyway, I told them that I really like to write. And because of that a big part of our lessons would involve them writing. Ha! So there!

At the end of class, one of my "troublemakers" (they're all really good kids, the worst I have is the group that talks constantly) asked if they could read what I write. I said, "Um, no." Which in hindsight seems unfair, since I make them write so that I can read it.

But then I really started looking at my blog. And I was like, yeah, it's not entirely appropriate for children. Particularly those to whom I am teaching religion.

Then it kind of hit me. I'm teaching religion.

Yeah, and I write about midgets (so not PC) and how 5 year olds are good with ladies and how my son peed in a strip club.

And I don't even know how I feel about God in general.

The last teacher viewed everything as black and white. He followed the "gay people go to hell" way of thinking. Which, because my daughter was in his class, I took issue with (especially because this is not ACTUALLY what our church teaches). But he was teaching, not me, and she learned a lot from me and very little from him.

It was at that point I realized that the religious education coordinator should really do background checks. An agnostic teaching the highest class...hmm...not necessarily the best of choices now, is it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why I Don’t Use Google Analytics

Caveat: I do realize now that my husband was using the correct MySpaceage when talking about his blog.

Last week I told you that my husband has a blog. He writes for a very specific audience, but he’s amusing. He also asked me to pimp his blog and then after I did he said “I apparently don’t know the correct terminology. I didn’t want you to
tell people about my blog. I wanted you to make my blog look pretty.”

Right, number one rule of blogging – learn the language. You want me to BLING your blog. (He also rejected my first 2 headers, and went with the really boring one without flames one that actually matched what he writes about. I should really get paid for dealing with his crap blog.)

Anyway, he was curious about who was going to be visiting his blog. He asked me for help. I said, “I really don’t know anything about this stuff because I don’t use it. I don’t want to know what freaks lovely people are out there stalking me reading what I write each day, yet never leaving a comment.”

But I learned. And I set him up with Google Analytics.

And the first day he had one visitor. And they were in Poland.

Who is this? Who’s reading his blog?

I spent about 30 minutes learning more about who was reading his blog.

They spent 30 seconds on his blog.

They live in Warsaw. They have the same Internet Service Provider as me.

Because I have a very specific internet service provider, I knew they had to live in my neighborhood.

Then, it was like that urban legend. You know, the one with the babysitter and the caller.

“The call is coming from inside the house!”

Then (yes, it actually took me that long), I realized that it was me.

And that, my friends, is why I don’t use it for my own blog.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crafty Wednesday!

Know that this isn't as bad as it looks. My stitching software was deleted and I don't know where my husband put the copy to install it, so I had to "stitch" this together using Photoshop. Not quite as good as the stitching software.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chased By A Midget

When I'm riding my bike, which is every day (except when it's raining or snowing or cloudy or too cold or too hot or sunny), I listen to my iPod (usually an audiobook). This is great for when people are yelling at me for blocking their way/crossing against the light/having a bright yellow big ass trailer that makes me stand out like a whore in church/being me (no offense to any actual whores, I'm sure churches totally want you. And you don't stand out that much - as evidenced here). I only half speak Polish, so I can't usually understand everything they're saying anyway, but having the earbuds makes it OH SO MUCH better.

The other day, I crossed against the light (yes, I do this a lot and yes, I now wear a helmet - the helmet is mostly because a very good friend of mine was hit by a car while on his bike recently and he actually obeys the law. I figure my chances are slim.) and another cyclist was turning right. I suppose, since I was crossing against the light, that he actually had the right of way, and so he was yelling at me. I could hear him through the headphones, you know 'cause he was actually doing the same thing I was and not yelling at me from his car.

He also apparently had a bit of bike rage, because he then started to follow me. I sped up and I beat him! It wasn't that hard, him being a midget and all. And me being, well, long legged.

Oh, did I not mention he was a midget?

A couple of days later I saw him as I was leaving my neighborhood (how do I know it was the same guy? It's not very often you see a bicycling midget.) and I thought "What are the chances he recognizes me?" Then I thought of that big ass yellow and green trailer and sped like a demon to get the hell out of there.

I wonder how much damage an angry Polish midget can do.

*No midgets were harmed in the writing of this post.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Strange Education

Sunday night I start teaching religious education. I've taught before, but in the past I've always taught the little kids.

This year, I'm teaching the teenagers.

Oh, the terror!

While my kids actually look like this:
Credit: Royalty Free Photos

In my head they look like this:

Other than drinking heavily (which would be hilariously funny, when I'm the drunk religious ed teacher, of course I MUST have been drunk when I volunteered so it would just be par for the course) or popping Xanax (which unfortunately, I no longer have a prescription for) do any of you (Alice, Alice, where are you?) have any suggestions for working with *gasp* teenagers?

While I expect that this will provide me with LOADS of blog fodder, I still need some support here. I'm a totally nervous teacher.

If I go missing, look for me at the British School. I'll be hiding in the broom closet with my vodka.


My husband has started his own blog and because he keeps badgering me I love him so much, I’ll pimp it out here (particularly because he’s planning to release it to the entire expat community and then Pirkirls might start showing up here if they see my link, something I don’t need to happen because then what would I have for blog fodder?).

You can find him at The Thrifty Expat: A blog about saving money while overseas. It’s actually incredibly boring all about money going to kill my marriage more interesting than the title implies.

And this is post one of two today, so check back later 'cause I need your advice.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Good With The Ladies

Seth's best friend, we'll call him Mike, saw me after school the day I got my hair cut (well actually he sees me every day - but that's really not important to the story).

Mike: I like your hair!

Me: Thanks!

Mike: Oh, I thought you were Seth's sister!

Me: Oh, thank you. That's so sweet!

Yeah, Mike is good with the ladies. And he's in Kindergarten.

His parents are screwed.

My son, on the other hand, mentioned it hours later.

When I asked him.

Then he said, "Yeah, it looks good."

I think I'm going to be okay. My boys suck with the ladies. Like their father. Which is probably the only reason he's married to me.

And now it's decided that I will definitely smuggle Ela with me. I have hair that apparently makes me look thin and young. Yeah, she's totally coming with me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Crafty Wednesday!

I've really been working with Photoshop elements (it's how I did my header). So I worked on a page in the style that I've already done in photoshop elements. Of course, the end of year photo is missing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cat's In The Cradle Or the Dining Room

Monday mornings I work at the PTO store at my kids' school. Globetrekking Mom works with me and we essentially sit around and chat and sell the requisite one P.E. uniform a day and make absolutely certain that we will never be elected president (or any other officer) of the PTO. It's like a 2 hour coffee break, without coffee and we're supposed to be working.

That really had very little to do with my story, but I just wanted to give a shout out to Globetrekking Mom. Holla!

Yesterday, when I returned from my "job", I walked in my front door - which opens right into my dining room. I was welcomed by a gray cat.

I do not have a gray cat.

I said in a loud crazed voice "NO! NO! NO! WHO THE HELL ARE YOU AND WHY ARE YOU IN MY HOUSE?"

And because he's a cat, he just looked at me like "Fine, apparently I am not welcome here. Jeez lady, what's your problem?"

Then he just leisurely walked out into my garage.

I really don't like cats, despite the fact that I have 3.

*This was much funnier in my head.

And now I have a super cute haircut! I always hated getting my hair cut because (and yes, I know this sounds so stupid) I hate the way my face looks when I'm sitting there with that black cape around my neck. Black is not so much my color and the thing around my neck makes my face look really fat ('cause my face is square shaped).

But Ela is so fast and REALLY good. Too bad I have only 2 more years here. Maybe I can smuggle Ela in my suitcase. I can see the headline now "Diplomat gets life for human trafficking." And I'd be all, "But she's a fabulous hairstylist and it's taken me 34 years to find someone so fabulous!"

I can only hope the judge is a woman.

What do you think?

I should totally risk it, shouldn't I?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike - Updated

I'm having difficulty writing a post right now as I have some personal issues that I'm not ready to share. I will, but right now is just not all that funny and I'm just not up to blogging.

One thing though, is that I cannot get in touch with my father or sister, who both live in Houston and were affected by Hurricane Ike. I'm sure that their phones are out, I know that 99% of the metro Houston area is without power and most people have no water.

Some of you are Pikirls who know my dad and sister. If you see them or hear from them and you have some way to get in touch with me, please let me know what their status is.

Thanks. I'll be back to normal in a few days.

Updated: Finally heard from BIL (sister's husband). They have no phones, no internet (how do they live???), but they have power, water and gas. They've had minor damage to both my dad's house and my sister's house, but everyone is okay! Thanks so much to all of you for your nice comments and thoughts!

Friday, September 12, 2008

For Pamela

Pamela’s been aggravated with me because she says that I never say anything funny that she says in my blog. She is very funny, and strangely enough she wants to be mentioned in my blog. So here’s a montage of funnies from Pamela.

Seth – Why is it smoky in here?

Me – Pamela’s decided to burn the house down.

Pamela- Yes, I’ve decided to disobey your orders, but burn the house down while you’re here. When you’re dressed in your pajamas. So that we have to run into the street half dressed. Just as the guards are going by. I’ve planned it all out.

Playing Candyland with Seth:

“LOOK! LOOK! I just got all the way to the princess Frostine and then what do I get oh I draw a stupid little card, harmless right?! NO! Now I have to go back to stupid GRANDMA NUT! WHO WANTS TO GO SEE GRANDMA NUT? HER NAME SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. I MEAN SHE’S A CRAZY OLD WOMAN! THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST ME!”

About having the cats chipped*:

“What do you do when you give them away? You change the chipping address!”

When she’s watching her brothers in the pool:

Me- Where’s Blaise?

Pamela – He drowned. You can’t see him because he sank. Not enough body fat on a two year old to float.

Talking to her friend in Finland:

“K is in the future! And she refuses to tell me what happens!”

*In the EU you must have your pets chipped and the chip holds the name, address, and phone number of the owner.