Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Public Transport

Recently (um, yesterday) the young ones and I started taking public transport to school.

At the beginning of the school year, I (read: my husband) switched them to a different school. A school that is about 3 times the amount of driving time as the old school. Of course, Thrifty doesn't have to drive them. It's quite difficult to fit two small children on the back of a motorcycle.

So, after a bout of road rage where I attempted to run down a woman in a mini van who cut me off and then turned left from the right lane (where the children learned more words for their Chris Rock routine the next time they are around English speakers), I decided that for the sake of my sanity and our lives, I should quit driving.

It also makes drinking in the morning much more acceptable alleviates my hippie guilt.

However, there is only one bus line that leaves from where I live. And unfortunately, the route that it should take is under construction, so it's a long, jerky, bumpy ride that way.

So I do what anyone would do. I drive to a nice large grocery store parking lot that's in a better position than I am, park, and walk across the lot with my shopping bag to a better transport line.

And feel only slightly guilty about it.

I'm not sure if the lack of hippie guilt makes up for the "parking lot" guilt.

But it's working at keeping me somewhat sane. I have not yet tried to run over anyone who cut me off on the tram.

Although, it would be awesome to be a tram driver. Maybe I should look into that. Then I could run people down at will.

On second thought, they probably require good Polish skills. And they probably frown upon morning drinking.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wild Pigs in Clothes

In the past two weeks, I've had an odd experience.

Turns out people don't know I have a daughter.

Yesterday, at my kids' school, I was chatting with a woman I've known for all of two weeks. I complimented her daughter's outfit.

She said, "Oh, you know how you go into a store and go a little crazy and buy everything that matches?"

I said, "Yes, I used to do that with my daughter. That doesn't happen anymore. Now it's 'Mom, buy me skinny jeans.' and 'Isn't this shirt CUTE?' while she throws it over my arm and goes looking for more."

"I'm sorry, did you say 'daughter'?" She says this as though I have just mentioned that I have a wild pig that I used to dress in matching clothes, but now insists that I buy it skinny jeans.


"Daugh - ter?"


"How did I not know you have a daughter?"

"Well, um. She's not usually with me. She's usually in school when I see you." Except for that time when we met at the Hard Rock and I had Tigger and her friend as well as all my boys. But I'm sure you didn't notice her then. She didn't look at all like a wild pig.

"How did I not know you have a daughter?"

"Um, I don't know." But it's not as though we've been married for two years. I met you TWO WEEKS ago.

"Does she go to school here?"

"Yes. Down that hall right there."

"How did I not know you had a daughter?"

I shrugged.

(This was WAY funnier in my head.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm back! (Sort of)

I promised some of my lovely Facebook blogging friends that I would have a post up this week. "Write, Monkey! Write!"

I'm still at a loss for words - not because anything bad has happened, but mostly because I think I just ran out of funny. Of course, practice actually helps to keep the words rolling and I'm well out of practice now.

So, for now, I leave you with this:

Tigger saw this on the shelf at our local grocery store (which remains anonymous - HAHA!)

She said, "What in the heck is this? Carrots and corn in a jar? Who thought this was a good idea?"

Then she turned it around.

"OOh! It's a little surprise! When you turn it around it's not JUST carrots and corn. It's PEAS, carrots and corn! How exciting!"

See, I told you I was all out of funny.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I only realized this week that it had been 2 weeks since I last posted. Time kind of spun out of control for me.

Pooh was in the hospital last week. It's nothing serious and he's fine now, but that ate my week and I didn't even realize that the week had passed.

So I owe some new posts. Or something. But I'm just not feeling up to it right now. So I may be back. Or I may not. But I just wanted to let you all know that I am still alive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Passive-Aggressive Much?

In honor of wordless Wednesday (and because I have little to say but I want my last post to fall off...) here are some fabulous PANs (and their translations) from Warsaw.

This one hangs on the wall of our favorite pizza place:

It reads "True Italian pizza is eaten without added sauce." Meaning, "Hell no! We will not give you ketchup for your pizza!"

This one takes a little more backstory. This car:

has been sitting at the end of my street for several years now. We use it as a landmark to tell people where to turn. Several complaints have been lodged with the homeowner's association, yet they always claim that the person who has parked this car here has a legal right to park it here and refuses to move it.

Someone (not us, I swear!) left this note taped to the window:

It reads

The sign was removed the next day. And then someone busted out the window.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Road (Rage) Goes on Forever

Many expats who live in or have visited Poland will tell you that Poles are some of the most obnoxious drivers ever. I hesitate to say 'bad' because in reality they are some of the best drivers I have seen. They are always expecting someone to do something stupid.

Yesterday, I was leaving my neighborhood to go collect my children from school. At the intersection of the exit from my neighborhood and the main road, there is a traffic light and 3 traffic lanes. One is for the people coming into the neighborhood, one is for turning right, and the one in the middle is for turning left. All clearly marked.

I was turning right, so I pulled way up and waited for the traffic to clear enough for me to go when, just at the point where I was clear, another car came up behind me, whipped around me in the left lane and turned right. I almost hit him.

I honked my horn, sped up, pulled up beside him, honked again, and flipped him off.

He swung in behind me and tailed me all the way to the next "town".

In hindsight, I may have overreacted.

I should have hit him.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yeah. They Did.

Like many schools, my kids' school publishes a yearbook.

And, like many schools, my kids' school has the word 'school' in its name.

Unfortunately, the publisher never went to school.

Monday, June 15, 2009

If Hell Has Chinese Food

Hubby and I usually go out for date night on Friday night. This Friday night our babysitter (Tigger) was out for her own date night and we were unable to go. She was home on Saturday, so we went out to this new Chinese restaurant that opened just down the road from our house.

My husband's alter ego is a reviewer of all things expat (at least all things expat related to Warsaw). Last week's review was in regard to the rudeness we experienced at this restaurant. We gave them another chance, and this time the staff was much more pleasant. The management most likely told them not to be rude to the customers.

Instead we should poison them.

We started by ordering a large beer (for him) and a glass of red wine (for me). Our waitress said, "We don't have red wine."

I stared at her. "I understand all of those words individually, but together they do not make sense."

Then, Dylan impaled himself with a chopstick.

After we pulled the splinters out and stopped the bleeding, the first dish arrived. Spring rolls. They were quite small. Dylan and I tried to be very professional (we're reviewing the food after all). "It's a little too salty. There's more than a hint of garlic."

The next dish was Kung Pao chicken. This one was pretty oily and just not incredibly tasty. Again, far too much salt was used.

The third dish was not the one we ordered, so we sent it back. In order to punish us, they returned with a dish that after two bites made my tongue go completely numb.

The waitress returned and asked if we would like dessert. I said, "The food you have brought us has gotten progressively worse. What will you bring next, a steaming pile of dog shit?"

To which my husband replied, "Is that an option? I'd like to trade this dish in for that!"

We tipped the waitress well (she'll need it for when the health department shuts them down) and left the building like it was a nuclear disaster waiting to happen.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Meaning of Life, It Could Very Well Be Monty Python's

I've been having a difficult time coming up with material lately. Not only have I been busy with the end of the school year and all that encompasses, but I've not been feeling the funny. Instead, unlike me, I've been feeling really contemplative.

The end of the school year often strikes me this way. In our lifestyle, the end of the school year signals an influx of new people trickling in throughout the summer as well as the loss of old friends who go on to better other places. It's the loss of the old friends that causes more contemplation than the discovery of new friends, but they are all on the same continuum.

What makes people want to leave their home country and live in a foreign place? What makes them begin to treat friends as though they are family and to rely on strangers in ways sometimes more than they would relatives? What makes a familiar accent the most beautiful in the world?

In addition to all of these gains and losses, I'm also completing my bachelor's degree after 16 years. This has left me more than a little contemplative in and of itself. Because of the above lifestyle, a bachelor's degree does me very little good. Here, in my very last class (which fittingly is called "Cyberpsychology: An Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction"), I don't know why it was such a big deal to me to get this degree. It does me absolutely no good. And finally, I completely understand all of those "trailing spouses" (the term used by the U.S. Department of State) who left their careers to follow their spouses to new and exotic locations that many of them absolutely hate. Now, I know that I earned the degree for me. For my peace of mind and for my own personal satisfaction. But as far as being able to gain employment with it...nada. The jobs that are available to me are of the administrative assistant type and ones that I could hold whether or not I had spent half my life and much of my money getting a useless degree in psychology.

Don't get me wrong. I'm proud of myself. It took me a very long time to get that degree and I had a lot of setbacks during that time (I'll have to reserve the complete story of college education for another post. I can shorten it to this: I was one of the ones in high school who was put into the "she's a very smart cookie, but unfortunately her parents can't or won't pay for her education, so she'll be flipping burgers for the rest of her life. No need to invest any time in helping this one." category).

I'm just questioning. Contemplating. Wondering what it's all about.

And where to go from here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

No Stinkin' Badges

I've spent the last few days wallowing in self pity. I finally got the call about that job that I applied (and interviewed for) OH SO LONG AGO, and *huge surprise this*, I didn't get it.

Instead, they let me know that they hoped they could keep me on the list for temporary help.

I said, "F*ck you." Well, at least I did in my head. I do actually have to see these people on a daily basis, even though I didn't get the job.

Really I said, "No. I have children. I can't drop everything at a moment's notice for temporary employment. But thanks."

But all this wallowing has got me thinking. Why do I really want a paying job? What is the point really?

It's all about badges. Because despite the Mexican bandits of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre insistence that they don't need "no badges", most people in my life have them.

Don't get me wrong; I have badges. Mine are just the color coded lowest of the low - meaning that I am of no importance whatsoever. Which might be worse than having no badges at all.

Perhaps I should become a Mexican bandit.

I am so far behind in so many things. I owe my two children, whose birthday fall within two days of one another, their birthday posts. So, birthday posts forthcoming.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Saddest Thing

I am currently taking a class called Writing for Publication. I'm taking it as an elective part of my degree completion because I love to write.

I know, you never had any idea.

Last week, we were assigned to teams. Aside from the fact that my teammate never actually posted the paper I was supposed to edit, everything went well.

Then yesterday, our instructor sent me his paper. Something ridiculous about how she couldn't really give me a grade if I didn't actually do any work.

Here's an excerpt from his paper (I would have posted the whole thing, but I think you would have wanted to shoot yourself in the head after reading it. At least that's what I wanted to do.):

30,000 children needlessly died today! Annually speaking 11,000,000 children needlessly and pointlessly die each year from the most minor of symptoms. The worst part about this fact is that these “children” are aged 5 and under, so the number is much, much higher. Children in “developing nation”, as if they are just becoming civilized, are getting the short straw from the medical companies. It’s amazing how medicine that is used to help and even save lives, are being greatly misused to created so much misery. It’s incredibly ironic. Children in third world nations are dying from not the diseases but of the world apathetic feelings towards them. Ask the average western or westernized citizen how many people die a year from a common cold. A common cold! And they’d probably look at you with a perplexed look as if they were thinking, “who in the world dies from a common cold.” What a person in a “first world nation” or “advanced nation” considers a minor cold is a disease to children in a “developing nations”. But why is this?

You want to know the saddest part about all of this? He's a student in the degree program for professional writing.

And I am not.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Allergies, Allergies

I'll apologize for my lack of posts, but many of you are subscribers and probably don't notice too much when I'm missing. I just haven't popped up in a few days.

Anyway, this is day 8 of the worst cold ever. I woke up and told Dylan that my neck is stiff and I'm pretty sure I have meningitis. Because I'm a little bit of a hypochondriac.

It's also been raining for, oh, about 8 days.

Today, on my way home from dropping off the boys at school, I thought "You know, I feel an awful lot like I always did in Houston when I was a kid."

And then, in one big "DUH!" moment, I realized I have allergies.

Yeah. My 8 day long cold, is just allergies. From the rain, of all things.

So, amusingly, my two children who suffer from horrible hay fever feel fabulous right now.

And I feel like there's a cloud inside my brain.

Which explains this post entirely.

I'm not as entertaining as these guys. Which is kind of sad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Too Much Information

Pooh goes to a Montessori preschool. The director, who is also his teacher, is a very interesting character.

I've never really talked about her here, but she's hilariously funny without trying to be. I'm always pretty paranoid that people I know are going to find my blog, so I often try not to talk about people I know in real life. Of course, sometimes I get a little sideways and tell such people that I write this blog.

Anyway, because I'm usually not drunk at the preschool, I've never told the director about my blog.

So now she's fair game.

Last week, she told me that Pooh's favorite book was this one:

And Pooh's favorite part of the book is this one:

So Pooh showed me the book and I said, "Yes, that's the way you were born, but sometimes the doctor has to cut the mom's belly and take the baby out that way."

And the director said "Now, that's too much information."

THAT'S too much information? When exactly does it become too much information? I suppose it's when we start talking about surgery.

Update: This is the page about how babies get there in the first place:

My particular favorite is the man and woman lying in bed apparently thinking love thoughts.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rhymes With Duck Race

I had totally intended to have this post up on Wednesday, but my internet went out on Tuesday. Two days without internet - I nearly died. Today, when I reached rock bottom, I could be found at my children's school trying desperately to hack into their WiFi network; which, despite my mad skillz, I was unable to achieve.

I often read stories, or in the case of my sister in law, HEAR stories about children who say inappropriate things in inappropriate situations. They do this because they are children. It's what they do. They haven't yet learned tact. They will learn, although some unfortunate souls never do (is it unfortunate for them or for those of us who have to deal with them? Like the lady at a party the other day who turned to me and loudly announced that another woman at the party had "no tits").

Me? I am blessed by living in a country where 99% of the people speak a language different than the one my family speaks. Therefore, I am usually spared most of those mortifingly embarrassing moments. However, my Polish is horrifically embarrassing, so there's no need to feel like I'm missing out on embarrassment.

Anyway, a few days ago, I was walking through one of the largest malls in Warsaw, while Piglet and Pooh Bear were entertaining each other with the rhyming game. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the rhyming game it's a maddening game where a word or phrase is repeated incessantly and then, because their mother/father/nanny/sister has not been driven to the brink of insanity yet, they think of words or phrases that rhyme with it.

That particular day's phrase was "duck race". I think they came up with it because they are 4 and 6.

So, there are many, many interesting things that rhyme with duck race, but I think you know which one caught my attention.

So I stepped in.

"Please don't say that word. It's not a nice word in English." And yes, I really do specifiy which language when speaking to my children.

Pooh: "What's not a nice word? F*ck face?"

Me: "Yes. That word is not nice."

Pooh: "So I shouldn't say f*ck face?"

Me: "No."

Pooh: "Why is f*ck face not a nice word?"

At that point I was fairly convinced that he was just screwing with me. And he's 4!

Me: "I don't know exactly. Someone a long time ago decided it was a bad word. It's culturally accepted to be a bad word and therefore we shouldn't say it."

Pooh: "Okay. I'll stop saying f*ck face."

Yes. I am truly, truly grateful that most people did not understand a gosh darned word that kid said.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some Days

You know how some days start out like normal?

You're running late, like normal.

Your four year old erupts into a hysterical crying fit because you "let his snail go live outside" - when in reality it was dead and you tossed it into the backyard. You wonder why you bothered to spare him the truth.

You get the kids in the car, give the remaining kids the list of things they have to do before and after school and go off to the preschool drop off.

You get to preschool and the director says, "Here's our information. Build us a website. By tomorrow. Go!"

And then you're like, "How in the name of all things that are good and pure, did I manage to get myself into this mess? Today was so normal!"

Then you turn up 4 hours later with a pretty awesome looking website and she says, "Well, that's good."

And you're like, "Seriously? That's it? Do you know how amazing I am? Especially since I haven't worked in this field in 10 years! And everything I've learned has been through hobbies!"

So here it is:

I expect more praise from y'all.

And it's not online yet because we're having server issues.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Bad, Bad Thing

I've been a bad blogger. Trying to make the rounds, but back when I took my break I told myself that I would only read blogs from my iPhone. That way, it was when I was waiting to get my hair cut, or waiting in the doctor's office, or waiting at the car service center (where I like to hang out every Tuesday) and would not be taking up my whole day.

Then my iPhone decided that it hates me. Which is so sad, because I really loved it.

I read your blogs, click the link to original post, TYPE MY COMMENT USING ONLY MY THUMBS, and then the darn phone freezes up on me and LOSES my comment AND Google Reader then resets so I lose the original post too!

It's a conspiracy!

But yesterday, I typed up a whole post using only my thumbs. And guess what.


Lost the post.

iPhone hates me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pimp My Ride - Polish Style

"Why Yes, city bus WAS the look I was going for."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What Happens When You Give a 4 Year Old Rum Cake

Yes, he's licking the plate.

And I didn't find out it was rum cake until after he asked for his third slice.

He slept REALLY well that night.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Whatever You Like

Today is hubby's and my 15th wedding anniversary. We were married on his birthday. Today, he says that if he were to do it again, he would absolutely NOT get married on his birthday.

But we did, so he can suck it.

Anyway, our first several years of marriage were exactly like this:

I laugh every time I hear this song. Yep, totally my life. Except that my husband was assistant manager at Blockbuster, and manager of Radio Shack.

And now we're diplomats.

And we order sushi.

But we'll always have that time. When it was "all about the Washingtons".

And I think that's what sticks us together.

Well, that and we love each other passionately.

Yeah, that could be it too.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

And Another Thing...

Anyone who lives in Poland has had the experience of getting to the cash register in a store and having the item not ring up. At that point the cashier becomes Obi Won Kenobi. "This is not the item you're looking for". And she puts it into the pile on the side of her register, where all good items go to die.

Usually I take it as a sign that I wasn't supposed to get whatever it was anyway. I've been known to buy things without any idea what they were used for. For instance, I've bought cream that makes me look...um...WAY darker than my natural skin tone (here in Poland of all places) thinking it was a type of moisturizer (I don't actually intend to write about moisturizer obsessively. If you're as interested in moisturizer as I apparently am, you can read more here and here).

This time though, the store had caught on that the item wasn't ringing up and had written the price on the side of the box. The item didn't scan. The cashier looked at me and waved her fingers. I pointed to the price "Tam. (There)." She sighed heavily and tried scanning it again.

"Sześć dziesiąt dziewięć dziewięćdziesiąt dziewięć (69.99)" and I again pointed at where the price was written. She sighed again and called for assistance.

Assistance never showed up. She rang my whole order and nothing. She waved her fingers at me and I went on my way.

It was not the item I was looking for.

Monday, May 04, 2009

A Typical Long Weekend

This weekend was a long weekend. See, 1 May is Labor day in much of Europe. And then the Poles celebrate Constitution Day on 3 May (I'm still pretty sure that Constitution Day was an elaborate plot. Independence Day is 11 November, which is a really sucky time to have BBQs and sit outside drinking beer, so they waited to sign their Constitution until Spring/Summer so that they could have a nice day to have those BBQs and beer drinking. Brilliant plan if you ask me.)

So we tried to go to a Renaissance festival, had a birthday party to attend, went to the pool and abducted some children*.

Perfectly normal weekend.

*I can't tell the abduction story as it involved my husband and this week is his birthday. This is my birthday present to him.

But next week, it's on. ;)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gym? This Is a Gym?

About 4 months ago I posted about my gym, and how I loved it so.

And as with many love affairs, things have started to grow...annoying.

I'm happy. Mostly. There are getting to be far too many people there. They have only 4 ellipticals and apparently every mom out there loves the things. Which means I spend a lot of time waiting.

But I can deal with waiting.

Today, one of the "trainers" came up to me, while I was on the treadmill, and asked me if I would like to try the new Garmin takes-your-pulse-rate-tells-you-how-long-you've-been-running-lets-you-know-if-you're ovulating-makes-your-appointments-for-you watch. I told her, "No, thanks, I've got an iPhone. It's what I was listening to when you interrupted me. And, um, last I looked this was a gym, not a sports store."

When I went to the weight room, the president of the PTO from my kids' school was there. She used to be a world famous violinist, speaks fluent Italian, was an English teacher, got her PhD and was a lawyer. She can do everything. Except (deleted because my husband editor thought it was too harsh - but it was good, SO good)...change her own ink cartridges.

Anyway, I sat down at the lat pulldown machine and she came over and said, "As a former bodybuilding teacher, I just wanted to let you know that you're doing this wrong. You need to just almost touch your chest. And use more weight. You want to be able to do a pull up, right?"

Yeah, whatever.

Just after she interrupted me a "trainer" came to me and motioned for me to take off my headphones. As I was in the middle of the reps, I was reluctant, but did so because I'm a slave to authority. She said, "Can I help you?"

I stared at her and said, "No." I mean, did I ask for your help? Did I in anyway indicate that I wanted your help?

She then said, "I just wanted to let you know that you're doing this wrong. This exercise is designed for men who want to build their muscle in their back. You, as a woman, should be pulling the bar behind your head. You don't want to build muscle because you're a woman."

WTF? Um, isn't this a gym? Don't people come here to build muscle? If I didn't want to build muscle would I be in the weight room? And on top of that your advice, AS A TRAINER, is that people should strain their necks?

I've always been a bigger muscled girl. I work hard at it. I've probably been "building muscle" since my "trainer" was in diapers. But never, ever even on my absolute best day would anyone have mistaken me for a man because of my "big" muscles.

Yeah, the love affair may be coming to an end.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Right and Wrong

I took the photos with my iPhone, so they are not the best. And for some reason when I upload them to blogger, they will not turn the correct way. No matter what I do. Just to let you know that I'm not just trying to mess your vision. My iPhone is.

I often tell my Confirmation class that there are few right and wrong answers when it comes to religion. You pretty much have to work things out between yourself and God.

Yesterday, their assignment was to create a poster that displayed what they believed the Reign of God to look like. These are what they came up with:

Dana and Chris*, Good.

Laurie and Nathan, Good.

Daniel and Rebecca, "Okay, you remember how I told you there were no right and wrong answers. Yeah. I was wrong. There are some wrong answers. This is a great example."

Click to enlarge

Can you see the people swearing at each other? The knife fight? The bombs? But note how the houses and streets are perfect.

Apparently, Daniel's view of the Reign of God is an episode of Weeds.

*As always, all names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Job Hunting

So I had been seriously considering giving up blogging altogether. I felt as though I was spending way too much time attached to the web and not enough time doing "normal" things.

And then my husband bought me this:

For my birthday. And yeah, hell yeah, It's AWESOME!

And then Catsmilk falls into my lap. And I have this. And I can just send it to y'all while I'm standing in the store. And what kind of person would I be if I didn't entertain y'all with it?

So, I took it as a sign. And I'm back.

And...I've applied for a job.


And because I've applied for the job of webmaster, a job I haven't done since 2000 (of course, I haven't had many jobs since then anyway), I've listed my blog as evidence that I actually do know something about the internet and design.

So I prettied up around here. 'Cause new guests are coming. Ones who hold my future.

So don't put your shoes on the sidebar. And make sure you don't type with your mouth full.

Or go ahead. Make yourself comfortable. That's okay too.

And I'll be making the blog rounds, but it's going to take me some time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Uncle Owned a Dairy

How do they get the cats to stay still? A vat of fish?

Posted by ShoZu

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Break

We're all on Spring Break right now.

Unfortunately, I don't know when I'll be back.

I've taken some time off lately and have breathed a big sigh of relief. I have not been tied to the computer. I've been able to spend time with my kids. I've been digging in my garden. I've been taking long bike rides.

I miss you all, but I need to take a long break and have a little more outdoor fun.

The sun does this to you when you live in a place with seasons.

I hope to be back soon.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Monsters vs. Hard Rock Cafe

The crime scene:

Hard Rock Cafe, Prague, Czech Republic, Practice Party - Opening Day

The culprit:

The Missing Link (with a little assistance from Piglet)

The victim:

An innocent bar glass (and some truly terrified bartenders).

The incident:

Friday afternoon, during the practice party for the grand opening at the Hard Rock Prague, the missing link descended on the bar of unsuspecting patrons and bartenders. It appears that he fell (or was pushed) from the 3rd floor balcony where a mother and her 6 year old child were eating the free meal provided by the Hard Rock Cafe. The only casualty was a highball glass, although there was some emotional scarring of the bartenders which may take years of therapy.

The suspect was returned to the custody of his family, where he spent the rest of the day in a backpack so as to not continue to wreak havoc on Prague.

Too bad we couldn't do the same thing with Piglet.

(And when I was jotting notes for this post in the Hard Rock Cafe, Piglet said, "NO! Please don't put this on your blog!" Does that mean I have a problem? Is there a 12 step program?)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

There's a Hard Rock in Prague?

After the train ride, we were supposed to meet up with D at his hotel. Of course, we had to make a small detour into bum town. We really enjoy venturing into the bad side of town when we travel. It helps us to remember the people who are less fortunate than we are.

And we're not so good with directions.

So after a short stop at McDonald's (yes, we have McDonald's here, but we've been engaged in the experiment, so the kids hadn't seen the inside of a McDonald's in 37 days - that's some kind of record) and a stop at Starbucks (yes, it was essential. You must stop at Starbucks when you don't have one in your city* whenever possible. It's like a rule.) we met up with D at his hotel.

D regaled us with quaint stories of his stay in Prague. Did you know that Prague has bad customer service? Who would have known? Except all of us who live in the former Eastern bloc.

We sat at the hotel bar and Dylan asked the bartender if we could sit and have our coffees. He glared at us in typical Polish/Czech fashion and said, "Normally, no."

So we sat anyway.

We then proceeded to sight see. We passed a sign for the Hard Rock Cafe, which thrilled D. Then we went on the long hike up to the castle. Upon arrival, D declared that this doesn't look like a castle.

We then determined that D must come and meet us in Mad King Ludwig's castles. Because real castles don't look like castles.

At lunch time, we thought back to the Hard Rock Cafe and made the hike back down to eat some good ole American food.

To be continued...

*Starbucks Warsaw opens Wednesday!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Night Train

About once every 6 months, my brother in law rings us and says "I'm going to be in a country near yours this weekend/next week/tomorrow. Just wanted to let you know."

And then we make every possible arrangement to meet him in that country. Because he never has the decency to ring and say "I'm gonna be in Warsaw." That'd just be too easy.

We love you, D;). Even though you don't read my blog.

Anyway, this time he rang and said, "I'm gonna be in Prague." And we said, "Oh, it's Lent."

And then we went anyway. The cheapest route possible. 2nd class night train to Prague on Thursday and then 2nd class night train to Warsaw on Friday. No sleeping in a comfortable hotel. No need for that.

We can rough it.

Dylan and the boys can rough it. I'm pretty, um...rough, if I have to rough it.

Our sleeper compartment. Luxury digs, no?

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sister Dearest

My little sister's birthday is today.

She's an April Fool.

Although really I think my mother was the April Fool as Amanda was induced (because she was 2 weeks late, so like her:) and the doctors somehow talked my mother into induction on April Fool's Day.

I'm pretty sure our dad does know when her birthday is.

She's the baby. I'm the one sticking out my tongue. 'Cause that's how it is.

Happy Birthday Amanda!

I'm going to be taking a break for a few days. Rest assured that I will be back to reading and writing on Monday at the latest.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shots of London

I gave Tigger explicit instructions to take LOADS of photos and sent her with my camera.

It's always interesting to see what other people, particularly your children, see in the world. Here are some of her shots.

This one cracked me up. She's taking Rosetta Stone German right now in order to catch up to her peers so that she can take German 2 next year. She showed me this picture and said, "See this? It's called the Rosetta Stone! Isn't that cool?"

I think she only took this because it's written in English. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of the pictures of signs were just because they were in English. This fact does not thrill me as much as it did her.

Yeah. Got no clue on this one either. We kind of alternate speaking British English and American English at home, so I don't know what was so thrilling about a lift. We use that word sometimes too.

I love her for this one. She hasn't told me about the pictures yet, but I know this one is for me. This is her way of saying that if we lived in London the chance of me getting hit by a car would be much less. Because not only do they HAVE bike lanes, there's a concrete barrier there. Sweet.

There is also an awesome short video of her friend flipping off the camera and then having a mild freak out when she realized that Pamela was holding her mother's camera.

And of all the souvenirs she could have brought me, she brought me only this:Because she is the greatest daughter in the universe.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

And I Actually Purchased It...

This is Piglet's new shirt.

Do you see the obvious punctuation error? I didn't.

And this isn't a locally bought shirt in a country that doesn't speak English natively (my "Chili & Pepper: Come and be the heat tonight" T-shirt is always good for laughs when I wear it around native English speakers). This was ordered online from Old Navy.

So I gather that hurt belongs to Get...or that there's some new fangled slang that nobody get is hurt. Or maybe Get is hurt.

Poor Get. We should probably get him some snacks.

Friday, March 27, 2009

So She's Gone?

Tigger, my oldest, went on her very first trip outside of the country by herself. Well, not by herself. I'm not one to send my 14 year old off on a plane all alone.

She's on a school sponsored trip to London.

When you don't fixate on it, you don't realize what a milestone it is.

And it's easy to not fixate on the fact that your "little girl" has grown up, when you're busy fixating on the fact that you have never been to London.

And when she brought home the permission slip I said, "OOH, ooh, ME ME ME! I want to go to London!"

She kept dancing around the house saying "They speak English there!" While I glared at her from the corner.

Yeah, whatever. You go off and see the Old Globe theatre and speak English to all those nice people.

I'll be fine. I'll stay here and creep out the only English speaking people I know by being all weird and silent. And by mentioning my blog in every conversation.

It's probably better that I hang out in a country where I don't speak the language natively. Or fluently.

I can have my conversations with the deli clerk.

"Please Miss. Please 1/2 kilo meat. Turkey. Slicing. Please Miss."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

She Simply Has A Little Herb Garden

So lately, husband has decided that we can't possibly send our little naive, always lived overseas, no idea how the world works, daughter "off" to college.

She's almost 15. I wasn't really planning to send her off until she had at least graduated from high school.

I guess he had other ideas.

So, in an effort to traumatize familiarize her with the ways of the world, he's got us watching Weeds every night.

We had never seen Weeds, as we've been outside the United States since 2005 and AFN doesn't carry shows with drug content graphic sex Mary-Louise Parker in them. It took us to the end of the second episode to realize that Weeds meant weed.

And now I gather from this show that every widowed American housewife is actually a pot grower/dealer who is secretly married to a DEA agent who targets other drug cartels in order to allow his wife's business to flourish.

I guess America has changed since I was last there. Or perhaps I just didn't know any widows.

And now I'm pretty darn sure that I will not be sending the aforementioned daughter anywhere. She's going to live at home until she's 30. Or she'll join a convent.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So That's Why!

The other day, I picked Piglet up from a playdate at his friend who happens to be a girl (not to be confused with his girlfriend, because she would be very angry to know that things changed while she was gone for 3 months).

I asked him how everything was and he said, "Fine. They only have girl stuff."

I said, "Well, that's because they only have girls."

He said, "I wish I was a girl."

I asked him why.

He said, "Because girls always get to go first."

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Just May Kill Someone

For those who are just joining us, our cat died last year.

Not too long before she died, some kittens came to live in our garbage house, then our garage.

We took said kittens to the vet to get their shots and get "fixed".

The vet said that at four months, they were too young to have surgery and that we had to wait until they entered puberty or until they had their first litter.

On many issues, I completely understand where Poles are coming from. Like how they drive like maniacs (And why were you driving 60 kph anyway? Just because it's the speed limit? Pshaw!) and how they really like to dress nicely (who doesn't? Wearing stiletto heels in the dead of winter acts like an ice pick and keeps you anchored to the ground.).

This is the one case where I think they are backward (well, this and the idea that a kid with a runny nose due to allergies most certainly carries the next black plague which will indeed wipe out Europe).

When we had our 6 year old furnace replaced (I KNOW!), one of the kittens vanished.

So now this has left us with one "kitten" to contend with. And guess what? She's in heat. In this time of no money spending, the damn cat has gone into heat! So she's howling at the top of her lungs ALL THE FREAKING TIME whilst rubbing her body all over every piece of furniture to make sure that any wandering males who happen upon our living room will be able to find her.

And my husband continues to sing this song:

I may very well lose my mind. Send medication. And liquor.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We're Sophisticated!

Have you seen the news coverage about the prostitution ring in Houston?

I grew up in Houston. I read the Houston Chronicle most days.

When I read the first article about the prostitution ring, I was offended. They said, "The couple stands charged with running a sophisticated brothel and call-girl operation that catered to the city’s high rollers and screened its prospective clients carefully. Like similar operations that have come to light in New York, Washington and New Orleans..."

It made it sound as though Houston was not sophisticated. At least not as sophisticated as New York, and D.C.

I was highly offended.

Houston has a world class medical center, wonderful museums, and fabulous shopping.

And apparently, some really high class hookers.

What's not sophisticated about that?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why You Should Never Give Your Spouse A Magazine Quiz

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I feel very loved:).

Last night, on the way to our big local grocery store (we've decided that shopping at the corner store is insanely expensive, and we're having a go at once a week shopping at Auchan), Dylan decided he wanted to administer a sex quiz from Maxim.

I'll spare you the details of the whole quiz, but one of the last questions was "What's a deal breaker in a relationship? a) Lying - about anything, b) Using online pron, c) Flirting with another woman, d) Cheating (this includes just kissing another woman)?"

I said, "Cheating, to include kissing."

Him: "Really? Even if I was just kissing her?"

Me: "Why were you kissing her?"

Him: "Oh, so I could have sex with her. But we didn't. We just kissed."

Me: "Yeah, well that's only 'cause you got caught. And that's why we're getting divorced. Are you happy now?"

Him: "You're going to write about this on your blog aren't you?"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Go Shorty, It's My Birthday!

Yep, today, 35 years ago, yours truly was born.

And my dad still doesn't know that I wasn't born on the 18th.

Maybe my "dad" wasn't there...

Anyway, I have little to say about this except that this has been the most depressing birthday by far. There were SO many things I had wanted to accomplish. Not that I really had a date in mind, but in my family if you make it to 35 - well - you're pretty much at the end of your life.

That said, Piglet and I are drooling over the mere idea of chocolate cake...yummy American style chocolate cake with loads of frosting.

And wine. Well, that's just me. Piglet is not so interested in the wine.

Because Father W. was also born in March and has granted me special dispensation for my birthday. Because he had whiskey on his birthday and a little Irish birdie told me that.

So I have special dispensation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Random Holes

Have you ever seen the movie (or read the book) Holes by Louis Sachar?

Sometimes I feel like I'm living it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

But It Has Melted!

A few weeks ago, we had an electrician come to the house to check on our outside lights.

Others look like this:

Ours look like this:

As a result of our simply turning them on.

The conversation with the electrician went like this:

Him: "I have come to check on the lights."

Me: "Yes, they are right over there."

A few minutes later, after he circled the house two times.

Him: "I think you will need to come and show me these lights. I cannot find the broken lights."

Me: "They're these ones right here."

Him: "So they don't work?"

Me: "Well, they ARE melted."

Him: "But do they turn on?"

Me: "You see, I didn't turn them on again once they melted. I don't actually know if they still work."

Him: "Please turn them on."

I turn on the lights, one does work and the other does not.

Him: "Well, one works. The other one probably needs to have a bulb replaced."

Me: "But you see...the lights have melted. I don't think that's normal. I'm pretty sure it's a fire hazard."

Him: "But the lights work."

Me : *Throw up arms in frustration and give up*

Wow, my grammar was horrendous today. I apologize if I've missed anything.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Two bloggers I read and love and feel all friendly with have had something horrific happen to them in the last few days.

Braja was on her way to the airport when the car she was riding in hit a truck. She has suffered facial injuries and a broken wrist and a punctured lung. Her husband's injuries were much more severe, but it looks as though at some point he regained consciousness. Read this update (updated regularly) then go send Braja some love.

Kelley of Magneto Bold Too! suffered a stroke on Wednesday. The day before her birthday. She is 36 years old. She (along with her husband, MPS) is blogging and her sense of humor is intact, but please go and send her some love.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Yeah, We're Related

Last night my husband discovered the We're related application on Facebook. He added everyone he could remember being related to.

It popped up in my Facebook (if you are friends with one or both of us on Facebook, I'm very sorry, but you'll know that in the evenings he usually sits at the desktop and I sit across the living room using the laptop and we harass each other incessantly on Facebook - we're weird that way. It's also something that meets the requirements of the experiment. We also occasionally harass our daughter, but she gets really angry and hacks into our accounts and changes information is no fun). So last night, it popped up asking me to confirm my relationship to him. He was giggling like a schoolgirl.

I confirmed that I was related to him and THEN it popped up with "You've confirmed your relationship with Dylan as his old lady. Add your relationship to Dylan.

He said, "Are you going to put My A$$hole? Have you seen my a$$hole?"

Me: "My a$$hole has it's own Facebook page. You wouldn't believe how many friends my a$$hole has!"

Him: "My A$$hole has an extensive online following. You should add my a$$hole as a friend. My a$$hole even writes a blog."

At that point we both collapsed in laughter. And Tigger said, "Y'all are weird" and left the room, most likely to go find some nice normal people - like drug dealers and prostitutes - to talk to.

But now you know why, after 15 years, we're still married.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thoughts on Week 3

This is the beginning of week 3 of the experiment. Saying it that way makes me feel better than saying "it's been 2 weeks". The beginning of week 3 insinuates that there are only 3 more weeks left (not that I'm counting, but it's exactly 742 hours, 29 minutes and 14 seconds until April 11 at 3 PM). So these are some random thoughts about the experiment.

- We're almost out of iced tea blend tea bags from the States. I fed my family "baby" tea last night (tea that's for babies not tea made from babies. Wouldn't that really be like bathwater?).

- It was a sad day the day we opened our last jar of Jif Peanut Butter. I think I will cry when it is all finished. On the plus side, I've taught the children to make peanut butter from actual peanuts. It's like we're pioneers!

- If I could buy one thing from the store that was not "essential" it would be woda gazowana (water with gas). I love the stuff. I live on the stuff. Distiller water is making me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry.

And those are some of my random thoughts. Maybe I should keep them thoughts.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Super Why! Super Scary!

Stewie has always been the timid one. I mean, he's not actually timid and he can beat the crap out of his brothers with the best of them (like this weekend when he hit Piglet in the face with his Leapster L-Max), but sometimes movies and TV shows scare him.

Which is strange to me. I haven't had a kid who freaked out at television.

A few weeks ago, iTunes had Super Why! as a free episode. We had never seen Super Why! as we have AFN which shows the same Blues Clues episodes on endless loop since Tigger (who's almost 15) was 2. Don't get me wrong, I love AFN, it's just that we're not always getting the most updated television there is.

But it's better than no television. Particularly when there's no money to do anything else.

Anyway, Piglet and Pooh LOVE Super Why! It's a PBS show, so it's educational AND entertaining.

AND it scares the living daylights out of Stewie.

So really, it's a win-win for the big boys.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

I Can't Help That You Have Psychosomatosis...

Dear Parent of daughter in Pooh's class,

I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate your going to the preschool director about Pooh and his runny nose.

I found it particularly amusing how you saw Pooh's runny nose on Monday and your daughter fell ill that night with what he was ill with.

I understand that your daughter has a "delicate" immune system. Only girls who are the youngest in their families by 10 years often do. Only children also suffer from this ailment. And, interestingly enough, mothers of these types of children often suffer from psychosomatosis and/or hypochodriosis. I believe they must be genetically linked.

I also found it interesting how you threatened the director that if my child was allowed back with a runny nose your child would no longer be attending the preschool. I thought you'd like to know that she did pass that on to me.

I also thought you'd be interested to know that:

a) Pooh has a medical condition that causes his nose to run uncontrollably ALL THE TIME. I assure you it's annoying to me as well. We have provided a note to the director from his doctor that notes that he is not contagious.

b) I pay for two children to attend the school. You pay for one. You will be leaving this summer. I will not be leaving this summer. I believe the director will take all of this into consideration when she is forced to choose between us.

Oh, and please pass on to your husband that my husband would like to see him in his office on Monday.

Have a very nice weekend.

Friday, March 06, 2009

I Always Go For Walks After I Go to Bed

Piglet came down after bedtime last night with this complaint:

"The cat keeps following me wherever I'm going."

"Where are you going? You're supposed to be in bed!"

"Um. Whenever I go to get a drink of water."

Tigger: "How many drinks of water have you gotten? You've only been in bed 20 minutes!"

Piglet: "Four."

Okay then.

And my friends, today I discovered soy milk*. I know that sounds stupid, but I have always avoided "milk" that comes from beans. Of course, since I'm lactose intolerant, I pretty much avoid milk that comes from mammals too.

So now I just have to figure out how to make it an "essential" item. Seeing as I haven't been a milk drinker since I was a kid, it's hard to convince hubby that this new invention is something I MUST HAVE.

*I purchased it about a month ago and left it in the pantry. I did not just buy the milk.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

And Now I Do...

Awhile back I posted about why I don't use Google Analytics (or a sitemeter of any kind). Well, this weekend I finally got curious enough to find out who's reading my blog, so I signed up for Google Analytics.

I am, indeed, just as paranoid as I thought I would be.

I'm also a wee bit disappointed. I had imagined there were WAY more of you out there reading me and you were all just being quiet about it.

You know, 'cause it's easier to believe made up crap in your head if you don't have any proof that it's true. Heck, there's an entire website devoted to disproving that sort of thing.

Anyway, I don't get many hits off of Google searches, but the funniest one I got, in just this first weekend, was for "don't use Google Analytics".

And so I thought I should come clean. My name is Kylie and I'm a Google Analyticaholic.

And, for all of you who are still curious about the experiment, I'll update more tomorrow...or perhaps the next day. I'm still feeling a bit lazy and apathetic. I think it's the no moisturizer/Coke Zero/crackalattes.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Taking a Break

I'm taking a break today from my whining and moaning to update you all on my friend.

I saw her today for the first time since the surgery and she's doing really, fabulously well. She was back at work.

And, in case you were all curious, we came to an amicable agreement on how she would pay me. She provides me a service normally. It's, um, not something I want to talk about here - because it's embarrassing she's my crack dealer it's personal. Anyway, she will provide the service for a discounted rate for as long as I continue to help her out.


And, because I am such a slacker productive human being who has a lot going on in her life, I have not yet responded to those of you who asked for interviews. I'm lazy highly efficient, so I have decided to send the same interview questions to all of you then post the questions here and link to all of you.

See, highly efficient.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Days 52, 73, & 365

Edited to add: Yes, my blog header has changed again. I'm still in this imaging class and I'm messing around with my blog look. Sorry. I'm going to be doing this for the next four weeks until I get it perfect.

Day 2

8:30 AM Realize that I am almost out of my $50 a pot moisturizer. Start to use the Mary Kay samples from my dealer. Start to freak out that I might have to resort to *gasp* a drugstore brand. Are we barbarians?

7:00 PM Score a bottle of nice wine from some friends in return for watching their dog while they vacation. Am learning to freeload. Or at the very least barter.

Wonder what I can get if I sell my body? A haircut? Free moisturizer?

I'm pretty sure the salesperson in Douglas was checking me out the last time I was there. So what, if she's a woman?

Day 3

7:30 AM Am officially out of Coke Zero. Resort to instant iced tea. Consider starting a Coke Zero plant in my kitchen.

10:00 AM Receive email about a sale at Gymboree. Realize that there is no way that my children will have new Easter clothes. Explain to Dylan that the children NEED new Easter clothes so that they don't look like bums. People in church may think we're neglectful parents.

He doesn't buy it. Thinks they have enough clothes since their (collective) closet won't actually close. Tell him it's a bad hinge on the door. He doesn't buy it.

5:00 PM Try to figure out what to make for dinner from flour, water, and diced tomatoes. Assume that no one will eat a tomato casserole. Make a pizza. From scratch. Pizzas don't HAVE to be round, right?

Day 4

2 AM Wake up ridiculously early panicking about my phone card, which I'm pretty sure I threw away.

Let the dog out. Dog does not come back in. Freak out that dog has escaped and I will have to call friends and tell them "I know you haven't even left the country yet, but I lost your dog. Here's your dog toys, bed and money back. Oh, and the nice bottle of wine *sob*."

Dog comes back in the house just after I have gotten completely dressed to conduct a massive neighborhood search.

(Before typing all of this up, wonder for a long time if said friends read my blog. Decide that even if they do, they won't be in town to read this one. And really, what are they going to do? Turn around and come home?)

3:30 PM Send kids and husband to the park while I "work on my photoshop homework". In reality, dig through yesterday's garbage scrambling to find 50zl phone card.

Neighbors probably will never talk to me again.

Friday, February 27, 2009

What In The Hell Was I Thinking?

Week Day 1 of the Experiment

Day 1

8:30 AM Realize that I haven't had a haircut. Ask keeper of the rules Dylan if haircut is an allowable expense. He says, For me, yes. For you, no.

Try to figure out how to get a free haircut. Which should be fairly difficult as I don't personally know any hairstylists. Tigger offers her services. I respond "Well, great. I'll just have some really lopsided hair all through Lent."

Did I mention that I'm fasting?

10:30 AM Tigger says "I have 10 zloty. Can I buy a Coke?"

Check with Dylan. He says, "You can do whatever you want with your money. But because your primary source of income is babysitting for your parents, and your parents won't be going out during this time, perhaps you should rethink your budget."

Tigger goes to the store and buys a Coke.

5:30 PM Dylan says, "I'm thinking of this being like when we were broke. You remember, when we had to bounce checks for rent? We've done that. We can do it again."

Yeah...I remember those days. I DID live them. I never really thought I would have to RElive them. By choice.

7:00 PM Dylan asks "How much did you spend today?" I turn to my personal shopper, "Tigger, how much did I spend today?"



Realize this experiment will destroy my marriage. If it means that I can get a haircut, I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Experiment

A few months ago, Dylan and I both read an article in the Reader's Digest about the Hochman family's experiment in anti-consumerism.

Since we lived in Africa, we have recognized that we have too much stuff. We don't spend outside our means, but we own too much - like most people who have the money to do so. You will always buy more to expand to the amount of space you have.

We decided that we would follow the same experiment in our own terms (they were a family of 3 and we are double that, they lived somewhere where they could take public transport everywhere - we COULD but standing outside in 7 degree F weather [remember the Polish word for February] with 3 children under 7 was, um, not as hardcore as I am we are interested in).

Seeing as the Slightly Cracked/Thrifty Expat house is a Catholic one, and Lent begins today, we figured two birds, one stone.

My husband will be blogging our adventures over at The Thrifty Expat. I'll just keep you updated on how I will possibly live without my daily weekly sushi and how grumpy I will be without my daily crackalatte. Also, no trips to IKEA for the next 40 days.

I just might die.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Facebook: Tool of the Devil or Awesome?

I finally gave in and joined the masses on Facebook on Saturday. I blame my very best friend - from the time we were 6 years old - (do you see a theme here? I've known my husband since we were 12 and my best friend since we were 6...I guess I don't like change). She's never been a big fan of computer related nonsense, so when she joined, I knew I had to. I'm a huge fan of computer related nonsense.

The thing I liked least about Facebook was the idea that people I used to know could contact me and "friend" me (BernThis wrote a lovely post that expressed the kind of anxiety that kept me from getting on to FB). My theory was that if I hadn't kept in contact with you, there was a reason.

So I thought I'd be all stealthy and put my married name with absolutely NO MENTION of my maiden name. This way only people who know me now could contact me. Mwahahahaha!

Except that most of the people that we went to high school with knew only one person named Kylie. Most of them jumped to the conclusion that because Kylie and Dylan dated in high school, that Dylan probably married that same Kylie.

And (in a moment of complete and utter stupidity, no matter how hard I tried I COULD NOT put "Kylie is in an open relationship with Dylan" and then go and confirm it for him because I have his login information knowing that it would pop up in his profile as a status change and all 2000 of his friends would see it - sometimes I really hate the fact that I actually care what people think) I linked my account to my husband's. He had a lot of people that I knew (and he has no recollection of) in high school on his friend list. So some of them have sent me a friend request.

And I don't know which is worse. The fact that some of them have sent me a friend request or that some of them haven't.

But the most important thing I have learned is that the popular people in high school remained popular. And that no matter what I tell my daughter and how many times we watch "Mean Girls" and believe that things will change and life will not always be like high school, those popular people are just built different. Their personalities are different.

But I guess, as long as you don't live in the FB world, life isn't like high school.

That said, if you send me a friend request (and I haven't already been on FB begging you to be my friend so that I can no longer look like a loser with only 35 friends - just like high school), I would never click ignore.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

When it rains, it pours...and more weird stuff about salt

Not really. I just wanted to quickly note that my desktop went to meet it's maker (if it's maker is Dell and meeting it's maker means that I threw it through the window of the Dell store) on Friday AND Tigger's laptop (that's issued by the school) cannot connect to the internet because of networking problems (hers is ALSO a Dell), so our family of 6 is down to one HP laptop from the 3 computers we had on Friday morning.

So, you may not see me around that much for a bit.

But, I will be trying to post, and perhaps I can do so telepathically. Or perhaps Dell will send me a new computer to keep me from revealing my horrible review of their products.

Or they may have shut me down to take care of that. Hmm...

Anyway, I've tidied up a bit and redecorated...at least for right now. See, I'm taking a photoshop/dreamweaver class and I'll probably be changing things around for the next few weeks. Don't get too used to the new look.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Sorry that I've been a bit MIA. For all of those who have asked to be interviewed, I will soon have the interview questions coming to you - but that means I have to be all witty, which could be a problem. Be expecting them next week - the children and I are on break then:).

I leave you with this anecdote:

Tigger's piano teacher declared 2 weeks ago that the winter was officially over. I said (this is how I respond to all Poles who tell me winter has ended), "You know, I find it fascinating that the Polish word for February (Luty) means ice. It literally means ice."

Yeah... and I've lived here only 3 1/2 years (collectively).

There's an ice skating rink under there somewhere.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oooh, oooh! Pick Me!

Laura of Are We Nearly There Yet, Mummy? agreed to my incessant begging and bribing request for her to interview me. So without further ado...

1. You’ve lived all over the world. Which was your favourite home and why?

I loved living in that cardboard house out by the airport. You know. The one with the old rusting shopping cart in front. It was SO much better than Ghana.

But seriously, my favorite place to live was Damascus, Syria. The food is fabulous, the weather was pleasant, I could walk to work and the gym and the souk, and the Syrians are the most genuinely friendly people I have met. And it was safe. Because military regimes suck for the people who live under them, but they're great for foreigners. Which is sad.

2. I remember one of your children tattooing himself with a pen. Do you have any tattoos and what are they? If not, what would you have?

Yes, when my eldest son tattooed his younger brother. Good times. No, I have no tattoos. I am actually terrified of pain. But I have given birth to 4 children with no medication.

My sister, on the other hand, has two tattoos. And only one child. With meds.

I think that means we're both warped.

3. This morning I resorted to doing something I said I would never do. All out of baby wipes I gave my child a lick wash with a tissue. What child rearing line have you crossed?

I never cross lines when child rearing. My children are all perfect and I am mother of the year as evidenced by any one of the following: when I videotaped my child's terror and posted it on the internet, or when one of them (not the teenager) got drunk, or the fact that my boys wear tights.

See. Just as I said. Perfect.

4. You work with pre-schoolers. Are you mad?

"We're all mad here."

Yes, you probably must be a little mad to work with children of any age. I also teach teenagers (12-17) and they are difficult in their own right. The biggest difference I can see between the two is that the teenagers mostly participate because they think they have to, because they have been through so much school up to this point where participation was mandatory. Preschoolers don't yet do this. They mostly have to be coerced into participating.

The other thing I have learned: the bad kids ALWAYS come to class.

5. When your children have flown the nest what will you do with yourself?

More time for blogging!

I will cook gourmet meals every night without having to hear about how this is "Yuck!" (my husband is better behaved than that. My house will be perpetually clean with only a little bit of dust occasionally. I will own white furniture. I will own furniture.

In the next couple of years I will begin working on my Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy. This is what I want to do when I grow up.

Here’s the directions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

For Just 150 zloty, You Too Can Skip A Party

So last week, in a moment of weakness, I complained about an experience I had at the bar and that I would have to attend a party with the two people involved.

Fortunately, Stewie locked both sets of keys, both my mobile and Dylan's, and my purse in the minivan. Making us wait for 2 hours for a locksmith and making us 150 zloty (USD 42) lighter in the wallet.

But we totally missed the party. With a damn good excuse.

It was a good day.

So how did you spend Valentine's Day?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Maybe It's Like Robin Hood?

This is part of the series in which I make fun of the ways Poles dress. This is only for fun and is totally an American perspective.

At the preschool where I'm teaching, there are 5 Polish children, 2 French children, 3 American children - although one of them thinks she's Mexican, one of them thinks he's Polish, and one of them thinks she's Israeli...only the Israeli one is correct, 1 New Zealander, and 2 Spanish children.

Notice how the nationalities come in pairs or more. Except the New Zealander - that's because there just aren't that many of them in New Zealand, so they don't often export them.

So there are 5 Polish children at the school. 1 of them never comes to school - he's just on the roster, so he could potentially show up at any moment. Of the other 4, 3 of them wear the same clothes every.single.day. This is because they have separate inside and outside clothes.

What does this mean exactly? Well, think about how long it takes to get a 3 year old dressed in the morning. We must put on tights, then an undershirt, then trousers, then an overshirt, then snowpants (no matter what the weather - as long as it still technically winter we must still wear snowpants...it could begin snowing at ANY GIVEN MOMENT!), then scarf, jacket, mittens and hat.

So, because all the other normal children come to school in tights, undershirt, trousers, overshirt, and spend the school day IN THOSE CLOTHES (mostly, there is one boy and one girl who just have to be in their undershirt and tights all day long), it doesn't take 20 minutes to dress each one of them to go outside.

Add to that the boy who is ADHD and can't sit still long enough to be undressed from his trousers and shirt and then redressed in (a totally different set) tights, undershirt, trousers, overshirt, snowpants, scarf, jacket, mittens and hat, and there is no way I will teach preschool for the rest of my life.

The other thing about this whole ordeal is that IT DOESN'T GET THAT COLD HERE! Our average winter temp is -4 C/25 F.

And before you ask, yes, my boys wear tights.

Their teacher asked me if Americans do this and I said, "No." She asked, "Then why do you put them in tights?" I said, "So the old ladies don't yell at me." Because if you've ever lived in Poland, you know that everyone on the street thinks that it is their business to tell you how to raise your children.

The teacher's ass almost literally fell off. She laughed that hard.

But my boys do have some manly looking tights.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fashion Dos and Don'ts

Monday was my first day of work. I'm currently a preschool teacher. I'm learning that I don't really like working with preschoolers. I also don't really like working with teenagers. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't like working with adults either. Perhaps I just don't like working.

Anyway, I wore a skirt (stupid I know, but my jeans had just been in a mudslinging accident with a two year old) and tights. About 2 hours into the day I realized I had a huge hole in my tights. Like "make me look like a homeless person" hole. I couldn't see it because it was on the back of my leg and somehow when I put them on my foot didn't got through the hole, so perhaps it wasn't there the whole day.

Anyway, once I learned of the hole, I discarded said tights in the bathroom. But now, my legs were bare. Well, except for the skirt and the knee high boots I was wearing. There was approximately 1 inch of bare skin showing.

I went into my local store and the clerks stared at me. I was dressed nicely, just lacking in hosery. I looked back at them. I was all "What! WHAT? You're staring at me because I have 1 inch of skin showing? Agnieszka looks like a hooker and you're staring at ME?!?!?!"

She does too. I'll try to get a picture.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Tales of the Religion Class

One of the schools that feeds into my class has holidays next week. A huge percentage of my class attends that school. My director told me that if half the class was going to be gone, I could cancel the class. SCORE!

So I asked my kids "Who's going to be gone next week?" 5 hands immediately shot up.

"Daniel*, yes your mum already told me. Dominik*, yes, you told me last week - even though you actually had no idea when the holidays were. Cecil*, okay. Richard*, okay. Thomas* - wait, Thomas you go to a different school. Your holidays are the following week. Why are you going to be gone?"


"Right then, I'll ask your mom."

"No, I was confused. I'll be here next week."

Now, I'm not sure why I argued with the kid. I totally want a holiday too. But now, because I'm stupid couldn't resist, I have to work next Sunday.

And aside from being totally tempted to roundhouse kick the troublemaker in the class (not Thomas) in the head, that was the highlight of my evening.

*Names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

ARGH! I'm Trapped!

So my desktop refuses to start up. I'm involved in this scrapbook challenge where everything has to be posted by midnight and my desktop, where I do almost all my work, refuses to cooperate with me.

Then last night, as I was tending bar, a "friend" came in and proceeded to tell me in front of the other patrons/friends some juicy gossip about a mutual acquaintance. I don't really care that much about the gossip, while I didn't know these particular things about this particular acquaintance, it's nothing that other people haven't done in the past.

Perhaps because I was unimpressed with her juicy news, or perhaps because she is just...I don't know...mean, she then proceeded to tell me about how this acquaintance gossips about me. I was a bit shocked and hurt. If I thought quicker on my feet I would have flat out asked her "What are you trying to accomplish by telling me this?" Because seeing as this is an acquaintance, I don't really know him well enough for him to have any gossip about me.

And during the whole thing, I was transported back to high school. And I realized that perhaps I have led a sheltered life since then, but no one has treated me that way since high school. If you hear someone gossiping about others, how do you handle it as an adult? I certainly would not tell the person who was being gossiped about, that only serves to hurt them.

Unfortunately, I am supposed to attend a party with both of them next week.

And then I came home and my damn desktop would not start!