Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thoughts of a Twitterless Thinker 10-10-09

Greetings Quangsters! For those of you who are new to the Quang, this is where I --oh, once a week or two--spill out those thoughts that normally would be assigned to Twitter if I twittered, or if I could ever limit a thought to 140 characters. Yeah, right. It's also where I get to use my two favorite font colors--purple and green! So grab a snack and hang on while I set out to prove just how pointless most of my thoughts really are!

This week we found out that Computer Geek’s employer is having a barbecue for all employees. The party will be held at L.L. Cool Guy’s house this weekend. Computer Geek walked into my daughter’s office (she’s his boss.) Daughter Em saw him and said, “The party is from noon to 4 p.m. at his house, you don’t have to bring anything except swimsuits, there will be parking available and if Mom has any other questions, tell her all further details will be forthcoming in an email.” He laughed and said that wasn’t why he was there. Em later told me of this little transaction, at which point I accused her and my husband of laughing at me and mocking me. Of course we were. What good is it to be related to an anal person if you can’t make fun of her?”

On the downside, Computer Geek decided to go to the barbecue with some co-workers and there was not enough room for me (Waaah!) so I didn’t get to go. He promised to take pictures of L.L.’s awesome new house for me though!

Congratulations to Foreign Quang readers Ken Devine and Pen Ort who were blessed with new grandchildren this week. Welcome to Ken’s granddaughter, Edith, and Pen’s grandson, Harry. We love new babies!

These fall days have been absolutely KA-RA-ZY! Between teaching all day, then helping my son with his homework, then doing MY homework (“Yes children, teachers have homework, and it takes a lot longer than YOUR homework so quit your whining,” she said with a clenched teeth grin,) making dinner, cleaning up after dinner, getting small boy to Scouts or Kyuki-Do depending on the night, getting laundry done, and getting small boy to bed, my weekdays are full. On Saturdays I try to do the housework that I pretended didn’t exist all week, plus prepare for my Sunday School classes. On Sundays I am involved with Sunday School, church, and church related meetings from 9:00 a.m. until between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. depending on the Sunday. Then I come home and prepare school lessons for the week. Why am I telling you all this? So I will feel less guilty when I plop my grandmotherly behind into bed at night and look at my cell phone screen that says, “You have 8 missed calls.” Not to mention about 5 unresponded-to text messages. So for those of you who call, or email, or text me, and I don’t respond right away—I STILL LOVE YOU! I am trying to be more organized---really I am!

Speaking of being organized, one of my BFF’s said to me yesterday, “I really am a very organized person; it’s just the upkeep that I suck at!” Boy, did I identify with that one. I have file folders for every topic imaginable, but no time to put all my papers into those neatly organized folders. I have a place for everything, including a huge pile of stuff that’s waiting to be organized into those specific places! My goal this week is to put away/throw away five papers per day. (Janice, you are such an inspiration!)

Do you want to know a super duper simple yet really yummy nummy fall snack? Go buy a large jar of Planters Dry Roasted peanuts. Then buy a huge bag of candy corn. Mix together in a bowl. Leave out so snackers can grab a handful. Tastes like salted nut rolls. MMMM!!! Plus, it looks cute and autumn-y, especially if you have a pumpkin shaped little bowl or some red leaf accents to nestle the bowl into.

I have a picture of my son on my sidebar, in the feature I call Ten Zen: Question of the Day from a Child Who Hates School. (Loves learning except when it takes place at a rectangular desk in a square room.) My son’s friend, who we call The Huntsman, said to Jere yesterday, “I love the way your mom can take a picture and make it look like you are in the air, or by the ocean. That’s cool how she can do that to pictures.” What? Is he accusing me of Photoshopping? I believe he was! I will have him know, that I do not own, nor do I know how to use, Photoshop. The picture of Air Jere was taken while he was jumping on the trampoline. I told him I was going to take a picture, so being the clown that he is, he went into a semi-yogaish position. I snapped it at the right time and there you have it. This picture of him by the ocean is taken using an actual boy and an actual ocean. The boy, once again, is Jere. The ocean is called the Pacific and the beach was somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, on the way to Forks (Yes! The home of Edward, Bella and Jacob!) He’s happy because it’s his first view of an ocean. Photoshop. Hmph.Seriously, if I knew how to use Photoshop I would get rid of that annoying smudge that is on the right side of every picture I take.

In honor of October being Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I would like to make a proposal. Let’s quit using the “R” word as a slam. I joined a Facebook group called “Getting Rid of ‘Retarded’ in Everyone’s Vocabulary.” Long before I joined that group though, I started becoming sensitive to the use of that word.

Last year in my class, one of my students said, “That is so retarded!” I had to stop teaching for a moment and address the issue.
I said, “I have had the privilege of teaching, or being around, children who you would call ‘retarded.’ It simply means that their bodies grow faster than their brains can keep up. Every one of those children that I knew, was totally incapable of hurting someone on purpose. Can you say the same? Every one of those children has no idea what it means to sin. Can you say the same? I know right now that if God had to choose between sending me to Heaven or sending a “retarded” child to Heaven, who would he pick?” The room was really quiet because they all knew I would be the one left behind.

My friend, Gut Laugh Girl, had a daughter who had cerebral palsy and was at a mental disadvantage. Yet, she was so happy with her beautiful, always smiling, daughter in a wheelchair. She said to me once, “Yes, she’s a teenager and I have to still lift her into the shower and help her get her clothes on. Hauling the wheelchair everywhere we go is a drag. No, she can’t discuss things with me on my level. But she will never break my heart. I will never have to watch her get involved with smoking, drinking and drugs. I will never have to cringe at her choice of boyfriends. I will never have to worry about her feeling left out because everywhere we go, people come up to her and smile, or hold her hand. She thinks she is the most loved girl on this planet. And I have a daughter who will never sin. How can I ever be upset with that?”

So how about it? The next time you hear a child say, “Oops, that was so retarded of me!” or “Hey, retard!” let’s put a stop to it. Are you game?

Sometimes life can be made easier by something so simple. My cursor for a long time has been a pointing hand. It always drove me nuts because it seemed I always had to click an option more than once to get my computer to respond. Finally the other day I said, Duh! Why don’t you just change your cursor? I changed it to a pointer and dang, life has been good. It just “feels” more accurate and precise. And if I'm not mistaken, it just "feels" like chocolate.

Here’s my nomination for funny video of the week.

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. “Of course we were. What good is it to be related to an anal person if you can’t make fun of her?”



    Ahem, also I freaking loooooooove being called a Quangster. Except, in my heads it's Quangstah!

    Anyway, I just reorganized my MIL's office and she is a messy person. And I just happened to call her a messy person to her face totally on accident. (I swear!!) Here's what I've learned about messy people during my extensive organizational experience:

    "Messy people" are often "visual people". (Unless they're hoarders, in which case they're just messy!) They need to be able to SEE everything. The problem is that houses are designed for people who put things away, so messy people don't have enough space or systems to see what they have. Hence the messy.

  2. That does sound like a yummy fall snack! I should try to do that instead of eating the Halloween candy already :) I also like to stop kids when they call someone "retarded". I remember hearing one of my son's friends saying it and I did take the time to give a little sensitivity training (with cookies on the side)!

  3. Hayden: Thank you for validating my analness! That's right! Un-anal people just don't understand. :)

    I'm glad you love being called a Quanstah. I'm channeling Coolio now...Quanstah's Paradise!

    That's interesting what you say about messy people being visual. I remember when I was a young teen and shared a room with my older sister. She would always keep her clean clothes on a sofa that we had in our room. Big, huge, piles. One day, in a spirit of sisterhood, I folded all her clothes and put them in her drawers. I thought she would thank me, but nooooo. She freaked out, saying, "How am I supposed to find anything?" and she dumped all her drawers back on the couch. Must have been a visual person.
    She's not that way anymore though. Her house is immaculate.

  4. septembermom: So you sneak Halloween candy too? I remember when my daughter was little she said,"Mom, I feel sorry for parents. They don't get to go trick-or-treating." I said, "That's ok sweetie. We just wait until you're sleeping and then sneak what we want out of your bag."

    Yes, I think most kids, when they realize what they are really saying, are happy to be a little more sensitive to the names they use. Besides, cookies help anything!

  5. Randi:

    I'm glad you don't tweet. We might never have learned to mix peanuts and corn candy for a yummy treat.
    Hey, that rhymes.

    Funny, I say corn candy, you say candy corn. And we both grew up in Iowa, the corn state.

  6. Hayden: Wow, I can't believe I forgot the "g" in Quangstah!

    Auntie M: See, you're literary even when you don't mean to be!

    I think we call it different things because of the emphasis we want to place on it. For me, candy always comes before corn because of my sweet tooth!

  7. Randi

    I concede to you. I looked up the various Brach's candies and it's Candy Corn, invented in the late 1800s. By the way, October 30th is National Candy Corn Day.

    Let's enjoy a handful.

  8. You are such a witty twitterless thinker Randi. It makes great reading.

    Thanks for the mention. We've just said goodbye to her (her first venture ouside).

    "R" is a word we dislike too, but fortunately it isn't used that often here. Whenever it is used, I imagine it's just their way of saying who and what THEY are...they just omit the "I am" bit.

    Have you tried cleaning the lens? Sorry, I'll try not to insult you ever again!

    I identify with "Organized" perfectly.

    Have a great week teaching...if it's possible to have both.

  9. Auntie M: October 30, here we come! I'm up for slamming down a couple of handfuls of candy corn (or corn candy, in your honor) on that day! I had no clue that it was invented in the late 1800's. So let me ask--do you eat the white tip first? And did you ever stick the white tip under your lips to make teeth?

  10. Ken: You're welcome for the mention of the new granddaughter. (Secretly I am trying to line up future dates for my 6 month old grandson.Does she like older men?)

    Ah, the old cleaning the lens remedy! Well aren't you MR.WISEGUY! Actually I've tried that several times until I have finally concluded that the spot is on the inside---probably from when I dropped my camera in the snow and a waterdrop dried on the inside. Clean my lens. I'll get even, Ken Devine. :)

  11. Randi:

    You betcha. Eating the white tip first is like opening an Oreo sandwich cookie and eating the frosting first. We all do it. But the corn tip is not really satisfying so we must resort to eating a whole handful for pleasure. As for putting Candy Corns (correct name) in my mouth as teeth, probably, but I have no actual memory of doing that. I dare you to post a photo of you doing it on National Candy Corn Day. No Photoshopping allowed.

  12. Auntie M: I hereby accept the dare. Anyone else up for the challenge?

  13. Randi:

    I'll do it. I think I'll buy some Candy Corn today so I can practice.

  14. Thank you all for refusing to tolerate the R word!
    ~ Sarah's Mom

  15. Auntie M: Ah, so you can "practice." I'd better go buy a couple of bags myself so I can "practice" too. :)

    Jill: You are very welcome. And thank YOU for allowing your story to be told.

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  17. Let's face it, m'dear - you and I just aren't natural twitterers or daily bloggers! Our posts are novellas and our comments and comment replies are blogpost length! I, for one, am delighted that you do this instead. I love these posts and feel like I'm catching up with the life of a family member I can't be near.

    So many things I wanted to respond to as I read; this'll end up looking like a bowl of assorted snacks!

    Your daughter and CGeek have you pegged, says one anal control freak Quangstah to another, but tell CGeek he's mean for not taking you. It's practically your family firm after all!

    If I can stay awake on purpose some night, it would be an honour to phone and talk you through your decluttering. It would be an advantage that you're so busy and tired at the moment - less resistance!! By the way, thanks for the link. This'll sound dorky, but it always makes me feel kind of grown up and a proper blogger to see a link to my site. Our decluttering is still underway and to be honset, major overhaul would describe it better. It's not just the eggs before an omelette - it's a battlefield. I feel like I'm fighting for my very survival.If I don't keep going. I'll go down into quicksand and drown. Maybe when i'm down there I'll find all of those odd socks that have disappeared over the years...

    I enjoyed Hayden's comment about visual folk. One of the techniques I use when I do phone decluttering sessions is to harness that need to see everything before it can be dealt with.

    I'm proud of you for enlightening the kids in your care about the misuse and abuse of the word 'retarded'. As a teenager, and later as a student, I worked in various homes for disabled children and adults. It was one of the biggest lessons in love, humility and compassion I ever learned.

    There's more in your post I could happily chat about, but I have to go cook (and I'm trying to limit my time online..!) No matter how busy you are, I'll always be here when you feel the urge to share glorious snippets of your life with us!


  18. Janice! Hello, you busy girl! Thanks for such nice words about my twitterless state---and just so you know---you ARE family!

    Yes, my daughter certainly has me pegged. She's lived with me longer than anyone, so she KNOWS. There are occasions though, and I will remind her of this, that she has admitted to being mini-me.

    I liked your comment about there being "less resistance" when I'm tired. I wonder if that is part of being a control freak--having stuff that we hang onto forever. Maybe giving up stuff is somehow like losing control? Ya think I'm onto something, huh? :) I too, was glad that Hayden said that about visual folk. Very good comment.

    Yes, my son chose Weston as his new name. It's a name in his paternal family side so he sometimes likes to be called that. So, we'll roll with it...
    I couldn't think of anything for me other than Queen of Quang so I'm still me. Besides, I feel if I am going to put thoughts and opinions out there, I should stand behind what I say with my real name. I just won't give out my SSN or blood type. :)


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