Sunday, April 11, 2010

This Blog Is Starting To Smell

I am trying to switch over to a new blog, since this one has 650 posts and is becoming unwieldy. Until I have time to go in and prune some of the overgrowth, I'm going to stash this one under the name of Hillbilly Mansion Four. Blogger willing.

Blogger gets my hopes up by allowing the switch, but then won't give me back my Hillbilly Mansion title like old times. What's up with that, Blogger? Why you wanna do me this way? We had a good thing goin' on. We have five blogs together. And now you want it to be like this? Uh huh. I see how it is.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Culinary Critiques

Have you ever tried to eat food that was presented to you, just to be polite and not make waves? Food that is really not at all tasty, but to refuse it would upset the chef?

What can you do, pull a Seinfeld and shake your head at the bite of pie? Stuff mutton into Grandma Memma's napkins until dogs follow you home? Hide your brussel sprouts under the mashed potatoes like Beaver Cleaver? No. That doesn't work in real life. Sometimes, you just have to stuff your piehole.

My dad liked to prepare BBQ hamburgers and pork steaks on the grill. We ate it. We didn't know any better. Until we grew up and tasted other people's BBQ. Who knew that hamburgers were not dry and mealy? That pork steaks could be plump and tender instead of thin and sturdy like the sole of an Italian loafer? Not us.

Somebody in my family must have been food-poisoned somewhere down the line. My mom cooks everything within an inch of its life. Well Done should be a framed needlepoint hanging in her kitchen. No wonder my sister doesn't like meat. Meat loaf was just like those BBQ burgers: dry and crumbly, with only the ketchup on top holding it together. Pork chops: the other leather. Don't even get me started on the Thanksgiving turkey. There's a reason I prefer dark meat. It doesn't suck all the saliva out of my mouth. Wild game suffered the same fate. Quail, rabbit, or squirrel...they all tasted alike: fried to a jerky consistency.

Desserts are not off the hook. The brownies only look like brownies until the first bite. After that, they look like crushed Oreo potting soil. You could put gummy worms in there and they wouldn't know the difference. Those brownies are as dry as that Thanksgiving turkey in Christmas Vacation. I swear you can hear the air go out of them when you make the first slice. The pecan pie somehow shrinks in upon itself, away from the crust. It looks like some freaky mud-flat landscape.

And we don't even want to talk about the cheese-and-broccoli stems.

I would never mention this topic to the chef. It would hurt her feelings. She means well. She likes her food well-done. Even when we take her a perfectly tender piece of meat loaf or pork steak, she re-cooks it, by cracky, until it is charred.

Like we don't know how to cook!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Halt The SuperNanny State

Stop. Making. Excuses.

Oh, my gravy! That little expression is courtesy of one of the cowboy brothers on Amazing Race. It is OH SO ANNOYING, but quite appropriate for some of the latest news items that caught my eye. Please remember that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not suffer fools gladly. In fact, she would gladly see fools suffer. It's her nature. Much like trying to get blood from a turnip, you can squeeze her cold, cold heart for a month of Sundays and still not harvest a drop of sympathy. Here's some advice from Mrs. HM, people: You can not sue the pants off everyone just because you feel that you have been wronged. Litigation is not the answer. Sometimes, a good old-fashioned butt-kicking is in order.

The cheerleaders who peed in a soda and 'enticed' their fellow yellers to drink? Shame on them! The imbibers should kick their pee-ers' sorry a$$es, and then the administration should kick the leaking ladies off the squad and all extracurricular activities forevah! None of this ban them for the rest of the season crap! Make it permanent. The word needs to get out: When you give your teammates pee to drink, you forfeit the right to have teammates.

The lady who grabbed a three-year old for kicking her airplane seat? Shame on her. But somebody's gotta do it. The mother was obviously not doing her duty. It takes a plane cabin to raise a child. What was that stewardess doing, anyway...blowing the autopilot?

The student-government leaders who posed with a noose? Shame on them! Facebook is forever. Good luck finding a job after graduation, guys.

The bullies who drove a teenage girl to suicide? Shame on them! Somewhere, I saw their names, even though they are minors. How does that work? I thought they were always kept out of the press. Good luck, girlies. You can bet there are some crazies out there waiting to kick your butts. Not that it's right, mind you. But it happens. Bet your 15 minutes of fame don't look so good now, huh? And for the poor deceased girl...whatever happened to parents teaching the sticks and stones method? If something like this put her over the edge, it was likely that something later in life would have done the same thing.

The Notre Dame letter-of-intent football dude who died on Spring Break? Shame on him! What high-schooler deserves a trip to Mexico for Spring Break? And who gives alcohol to high-schoolers? And who is chaperoning this trip? And people who throw away opportunity willy-nilly sometimes find that they ARE NOT invincible after all.

Nature finds a way thin the herd. We don't need to legislate people into submission.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cash For Flunkers

I am the Jerry Seinfeld of Hillmomba. After school today, I went out and bought 12 new cars. I don't own my own parking garage in New York City, or even a parking garage in Hillmomba. So maybe the likeness to Seinfeld ends with the plethora of new cars, and my Even Stevenness.

My cars cost a grand total of $12.63. You can bet that receipt is getting stashed with my 2010 tax records. They're phasing out the $250 per year educator expense deduction. How dare they! It costs me that much in tissues and GermX!

Getting back to those new cars...they are Hot Wheels. I am tired of raiding my personal children's stash of toys for lab materials. And forget writing it up on requisitions and trying to find a time that the power that beeees will cough up that Devil's Playground no-tax purchasing card. That makes it OH SO DIFFICULT to schedule spur-of-the-moment lab activities. I'm not like Mr. H and Mabel, who run their copies for an entire year during the August inservice days. No sirree Bob! Not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. She's a born procrastinator, and a fickle planner, and changes her mind to suit her moods. We are doing a ramp-rolling, graph-making, metric-measuring exercise in potential/kinetic energy tomorrow. Thus, the bevy of Chevys for Mrs. HM.

I really don't like to stay late on Fridays to grade papers. Lab write-ups can be scored in a jiffy, by cracky! And they're easy enough that even the least-motivated students can boost their cumulative points.

Only 6 more Fridays until school is out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I've Got Your Number

Every year, there is a new Eddie Haskell.

"Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, did you and the boys color eggs for Easter?"
"Yes. Yes, we did. Did you color eggs, Concussor?"
"Oh, no. I am too old to color eggs."
"Well, we colored them, and they are in the refrigerator right now."

It's a tradition, you know, to color eggs. Concussor's little brothers might have enjoyed such festivities. Though maybe not, because rumor has it that a couple years ago, one of them told another one to "Quit yer cryin' and get off the tit." Perhaps other families don't exist in a Hillmomba, Leave It To Beaver world. Perhaps my boys are just big ol' girls, as Concussor insinuates daily. Don't you go feelin' sorry for #1 and The Pony. Concussor says that about every dude except the one that sits beside him.

After taking roll, I was explaining formulas for work, power, and mechanical advantage. Concussor kept blurting out his opinions about various topics, some of which may have slightly pertained to work, power, and mechanical advantage. I stopped speaking. I gave him the eye. You know, the look with one eyebrow raised. The stinkeye, as some have accused.

"Concussor, I would think that you are too old to be talking out in class without raising your hand and being called on."

He hung his head. "Uh...well...I am...but I do it anyway. Sorry."

Sometimes, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom just has to lay the smack down.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Driving Frosh Crazy

How do you drive the freshmen crazy? Just have the custodians install a wall support for a screen and projector. Really. That's all it takes. The support is the same color as the wall. It's a pooched-out oval with dimensions around 2' long and 8" tall and 6" deep. There's a hole about the size of a 50-cent piece in the middle, through which you can see the concrete-block wall.

The students were all abuzz.

"What's that thing?"
"What's it for?"
"What's it do?"
"Where did that come from?"
"When did you get that?"
"Why do you have that?"
"Is that a camera?"

Yeah. It's a camera. An invisible camera. Because you can plainly see the wall through that little hole. There is nothing inside that support. It's a thingamajigger screwed into the wall above the white board, with a hole to put a pole that will hold a projector, and a base to hang a pull-down screen. The teacher next door and the one next to her already have theirs completely installed. You would think that in their many travels throughout Newmentia, the students would have viewed such a contraption already.

So these kids thought there was a camera watching them. I should have told them yes, they're right, it's a direct link to Mr. Principal's office. Joke's on you. You will be surveilled within an inch of your life, so don't try anything foolish like, oh...I don't know...maybe...taking out your cell phone right in the middle of class to send a text.

What do they think this is, anyway...The Devil's Playground? Like we have security guards to monitor each classroom 24/7. A better question is, "Why do you want to know if that's a camera?" Surely you realize that you will be the one I watch closely now.

We teachers are so far advanced in our psychological warfare. It's like taking a cell phone from a freshman.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Harbinger Of Spring

It's official. Spring is here. I pried the season's first tick off my left lateral thigh area this morning. I cry shenanigans. Visitors to the Mansion will recall that the ticks here feed almost exclusively on Hillbilly Mom blood. It is some type of kick@ss arachnid elixir that they absolutely crave. Never mind that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom rarely steps a toe off the porch except to enter the garage and T-Hoe. Never mind that Farmer H spends more time outdoors than Woodrow McCall, Gus McCrae, and Pea Eye Parker on a pilgrimage from Texas to Montana.

You would think that Farmer H's horde of fowl would keep the arachnids in check. That's why he hoards them, you see. It's his excuse: "They eat ticks out of the yard." Perhaps they would, indeed, if Farmer H didn't overfeed them like he overfeeds all of his animals. That pregnant goat, Goatrude, has not birthed a young 'un yet. I'm sure the gestation period of a goat is less than the 11 months that she has enjoyed Mansion life, even though she eats like a horse. Farmer H bought himself a fat goat and called her pregnant. And those 22 chickens strut around the yard, squawking and scratching, letting the ticks have their way with HM. It is OH SO UNFAIR!

Maybe I could join a scientific study and get paid to let ticks latch onto my flesh. They're going to do it anyway. I might as well get something out of it. Turn it from a parasitic relationship to one of mutualism. Remember those old commercials for Deep Woods Off, where some idiot stuck his arm into an aquarium of mosquitoes? Maybe he was mosquito fodder anyway, and chose to cash in on his special talent. Which is different from a 'special purpose'. Just ask Steve Martin as Navin Johnson in The Jerk.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

This Coif Is Made For Walkin'

I wish I had a lovely Easter tale to tell. But I don't. Instead, I have this:

Last night, as we were finishing up dyeing the Easter eggs, Crime Solver H could barely tear himself away from America's Most Wanted. Some serial killer had left a trail of victims, and their pictures flashed on the screen. Not gory pictures, just pictures of the women. They all had long black hair, parted in the middle. I glanced at them and exclaimed, "They all look alike!" You know, meaning that the serial killer had a certain type that he liked to murder. The narrator had mentioned that most of the victims were prostitutes. Again, the killer had a type, just like Jame Gumb who fought Clarice in that dark basement had a type, his happening to be full-figured gals with enough skin to make himself a woman-suit.

Crime Solver H snorted at my proclamation that all of this killer's victims looked alike. He added, "Of course they look alike. They all had the same profession. Streetwalker." Aside from Crime Solver H being rooted in the 60's with a Sheriff Andy Taylor euphemism for prostitutes, the poor misguided hillbilly seems to think that prostitutes have a uniform. Like a union painter or some regulated profession. And that uniform is long black hair parted in the middle.

The #1 son and I tried to explain that there is such a thing as a blond or red-head prostitute, with a variety of coiffures. Crime Solver H became downright surly. "Fine. Make fun all you want. But the next time you want to earn $40, have someone else drive you to town to mow lawns."

"Or," I said, "grow your hair long and part it in the middle, and stand on the street corner."

Thank you. I'll be here all week.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Choosy Moms

Imagine my unpleasant surprise this morning when a bite of my breakfast of champions, a plastic forkful of Peter Pan Honey Roasted Crunchy Peanut Butter, contained a peanut that would not be crunched.

I spat out the offender, and saw that it was not a peanut at all. It was a freakin' shard of driftwood-looking stem. I am returning it to Peter. I'm sure he would want to know of my misfortune. Lucky for him, I am not a litigious person. I was not harmed. But I could have been!!! What if I bit down wrong and busted a $640 crown? What if I sliced open my superior labial frenulum? What if I swallowed that stick and it got stuck in my esophagus due to the obstruction of my goiter? Heavens to Betsey! That foreign flotsam could have wreaked havoc in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's intestinal tract.

Peter will receive his slab of wood in the mail. Far be it from me to keep such an item that I did not purchase. It's not like a box of CrackerJacks, that canister of crunchy delight that Peter is hawking through a promise to provide one million meals to help hungry kids through Feeding America. How about feeding them POINTY STICKS, Peter? Hows about that? Give those hungry kids a bellyful of petrified peanut stems. It's not like these kids have built up an immunity to twigs, like Mr. S and his green bean stems. At least those suckers are stewed into a soft consistency.

The picture does not do justice to that log. In fact, it looks like the much more pleasant and child-friendly worm at the bottom of a bottle of tequila. Not that I would know anything about the worm, mind you. The #1 son's finger obscures the sharp, harpoonlike business end of the weapon. Like a true enclosed prize in a breakfast food, it was lurking at the very bottom of the jar. Thank the Gummi Mary, I did not chomp down on it in a sandwich, or bake it in a batch of Easter cookies.

I did not buy any more Peter Pan Honey Roasted Crunchy Peanut Butter on my excursion to The Devil's Playground today.

And for the record, Peter hangs out at ConAgra. It wasn't enough to foist salmonella on the population through powdered seasoning mixes this year, or through Peter in 2007. Now the mighty Con has to sever an artery to get more sensational free publicity.

I'm mad as heck, and I'm not going to eat it anymore!

Choosy moms choose Jif, because Jif doesn't maim their beloved children.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fake Baby Blues

What's the matter with kids today? Well, besides excessive cell phone usage. How times have changed.

It used to be that if you gave a parenting class the fake baby for a week, the students would actually care for the fake baby as intended. Indeed, as little as three years ago, the kids were actually taking responsibility for their fake kids. They would haul them around in baskets and car seats and dress them and feed them with that magnetic/electronic pacifier dealybob, and actually try to stop them from their programmed crying. Except for that one girl who let her dad put the crying fake baby in the top of the closet under some blankets all night, because he had to get up early and needed his sleep. But even she knew that she would suffer a grade penalty for that lapse in caretaking. Yes, back then, they would take their fake babies to the FACS class babysitting service during PE, when they couldn't keep a good eye on their phony offspring. One or two of them might have learned a lesson about how hard it is to care for an infant if you are still a child your own self. But not kids these days.

Nowadays, the kid parents haul their fake babies down the hall in a baby carrier with a heavy textbook balanced on top of the baby. They swing them back and forth like weapons of mass destruction in a crowded hallway. The babies never cry. They must have been broken by several years of abuse. Or else they're a new generation of cheap, chipless fake children made in China. No more computer chip to blow the whistle on abusers and neglecters. Heck, it's a plus to see a rubber baby pass by with his head still attached. Yes. I have seen two inanimate infants pass by with their heads lolling beside their shoulders this week. And their pupil parent has laughed about the deformity. Haven't these kids watched Llamas With Hats? In the llama's voice of reason: "Carl! That kills people!"

The youth of today has no idea how good they've got it. Seems like only yesterday that there were no fake babies to be checked out. Students back then got a bag of flour, by cracky! A bag of flour to heft onto their collective hip, and dress, and burp, and jounce upon their collective knee. Not a lifelike squalling fake baby. Or, if the school was really cheap, they got an egg baby. Yep. An egg baby that they could draw eyes and hair on, and make paper towel baby blankets, and construct cotton-lined box cribs. Their parenting orientation included a viewing of an illegally videotaped ABC After School Special: First, the Egg, starring Justine Bateman and Jimmy McNichol. That's how they rolled, back in the day.

Now everything is a joke, the world owes them a good time, and they can't take responsibility for the simplest things. I've a good mind to throw off my shawl and shake my walker at them!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Might As Well See A Witch Doctor

Farmer H is off his rocker. He has dizzy spells and the doctors pass him around like some kind of sacred insurance cow. Used to, he would call the doc for some antibiotics for his self-diagnosed ear infection. That wouldn't work, so he would call and they would prescribe a Z-pack.

After a couple years of this, the doc started sending Farmer H to specialists. They scanned his head and found nothing. Now one of them says that Farmer H does NOT have an ear infection, nor even fluid in his ears, but instead has something called 'crystals' out of place in his ear canal. WTF? Of course, I am hearing this story second-hand from Farmer H. He heard it from an allergy specialist who finally rid The Pony of his string of baby ear infections.

I am skeptical. Supposedly, the little ear bones like the anvil and stirrup have moved out of place, and Farmer H needs to be hung upside down and his head vibrated until they go back in place, and then he must keep his head level for 9 days so they won't move out of place, and then he will be cured for all eternity. I asked him if he was seeing an osteopath. Farmer H said no.

Am I the only one who finds this fishy? Farmer H said an old lady at the bowling alley had this treatment, and swears by it. I say Farmer H is an old lady.

Why can't he get his medical consults from the internet, like normal people?