Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

So it's official: I've been elected the Secretary for the PTA Board at Riley's school. I seriously never thought I'd join the PTA. My sister's already making fun of me because I'm planning on going to the PTA Convention in a couple of months - she says I never do anything half-way, which is probably true. But I'm hoping to get into the more political seminars about what's happening in Sacramento and Washington, and my veteran readers know that education has always been one of my passion topics so it seems a good fit for me.

Sylvia's doing slightly better. They had therapy this week, and we'll probably be making another appointment for Sylvia and I to meet with the therapist together.

I also had the parent-teacher conference at Riley's school this week. She's doing much better - and actually passing PE now :) I'm having a bit of my old frustration with the system as the teacher explained that Riley's writing issues all sound like things which could be helped with an outline, which they discourage for testing because of the timing. The way I see it, it's worth the 5 minutes to put together an outline to keep from straying from your topic (and as evidenced by my writing, which doesn't follow an outline). So I get to teach her.

I'm toying with the idea of giving the girls their own space to blog in order to make writing fun for them, but not quite ready for them to join us here in the blogosphere. Instead, there's an app on Facebook which I may have them use, but I haven't discussed it with the girls yet. That was on my mental to-do list for yesterday, but there were school projects galore for both of them to work on yesterday for the upcoming Open Houses next week.

Yet one last school note: Riley got an award on Thursday for "Most Improved." We're trying to motivate her to go for Honor Roll next trimester.

Oh, and Riley's also joined the Boys & Girls Club soccer team - a soccer mom AND PTA? Some days, I just don't know who I am anymore!

I also was following the Jon Stewart/Jim Cramer smackdown on The Daily Show all week. I really wasn't sure what to expect from their Thursday night face-off, but I was not disappointed. It's not very funny, but I love the points that Stewart brought up - most particularly, the lack of investigative journalism not only from CNBC, but from most finance journalists.

It's worth the half-hour to watch this if you haven't seen it yet.

There's a couple of things that gall me about the feedback. First of all, I'm astounded by the amount of commenters that claim that Stewart is all about protecting Obama. Obama's name comes up once, maybe, in the un-cut version, but Stewart was talking mostly about Wall Street and finance journalism. It didn't seem to be a partisan thing to me.

The other thing that bothered me was all the talking heads on This Week w/ George claimed that Cramer should never have been taken seriously from anyone - really? Then why is he not on Comedy Central instead of CNBC, which is supposed to be a serious finance news network? As Stewart said, at least he sells his show as snake oil. I did agree with the talking head that mentioned that Stewart's greatest moment was when he said that we should recognize that the wealth in this country should be based on work.

I had a comedy of errors myself this morning. I dropped the girls off to go bike-riding with my parents and went grocery shopping...only to find while in line to check out that I had forgotten my wallet. They were very nice about it, but I was SO mortified!

After I drove home, got the wallet, paid and loaded the groceries, I went to get gas. Slid my card in, went to pump, and couldn't get the pump out. It was padlocked. The gas station was closed. Okay, maybe this happens in other parts of the country, but I've never noticed any gas station closed on a Sunday before!

In the end, got my groceries, got my gas, and decided I needed another dose of my West Wing reruns.

Last night, I watched Changeling. Any parent will be absolutely horrified to watch, but most especially mothers, as apparently, so many people decided it was okay to decide that women are too hysterical to know their own children! I couldn't sit still for most of the movie because it was so disturbing, but it was very well done.

I also watched ER this week, which I haven't watched in years. It was great to see so many of my old favorites back on. (Of course, this coming from the woman who can't get enough of West Wing.)

And I made a decision. I'm giving up my health club membership. I know, I know, I remember what I said, but it's just not working out for me. They don't offer the classes I want at a time that I can go (because of the girls), and the weight training, while it was good, simply wasn't enough for me to justify the cost. I was spending more time feeling guilty for not going, and I've decided that I have enough real worries and concerns to forgive myself this digression.

Oh, and I lunched with Jessica Gottlieb on Friday! I'd met her once before, but this time, it was like greeting an old friend. She made me laugh often, and we talked about anything and everything. I hope to be enjoying her company as much as I possibly can in the future.

And now the girls are back from their adventure in Chinatown. Hope you all had a great weekend!


Tara R. said...

Good for Riley... congrats on her award.

I've only heard bits and pieces of the Stewart/Cramer interview, but am astounded that Cramer wasn't called out before this.

I've done the grocery store/no wallet thing before... I felt like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Riley!

In order to make writing more fun, I've seen parents give kids their own email addresses --- which forwards to yours for security/safety -- and this has make the kids more interested in writing... to friends and family.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Riley!

I haven't had time to sit down and watch that clip yet, but it's on my to do list.

And gah! I'm so sorry I never sent those videos I promised! I am HORRIBLE at follow-through. Maybe I'll surprise you soon with them :)

FreedomFirst said...

If you worry the girls aren't ready to put their thoughts on the internet, it still might be useful to let them just type their thoughts out without posting anything. I used to write pages and pages of stuff that I destroyed afterwards, simply to pass the time and as a way of dealing with all that teenage angst (having no outlet since I was at home basically 24/7/365). I think it helped, but I don't regret tossing it either. It had its place.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

I couldn't agree with you more about Jon Stewart's show. He is an amazingly intelligent person. I was surprised though at how easily Cramer lied down. He barely put up a fight. I thought for sure there would be metaphorical fists flying the whole time. But it was a great show all the same. Kudos to Jon for calling CNBC out.

Anonymous said...

A couple of things:

First - I can't get Harper Valley PTA out of my mind. Thanks for that.

Second - I love Jon Stewart. Love. Him.

Third - I saw Changeling this weekend as well. Disturbing. I think spent the rest of the evening Googling Christine Collins and the case. It just made me more and more angry.

Fourth - Outlining is essential! I always tell my students that if the test is only 40 minutes, I'd rather have them write an organized, thought-out answer based on a five minute outline than 40 minutes of wandering, rambling garbage.

Fifth - I've already said quite enough, don't you think?

jenn said...

I saw Changling when it first came out on dvd. I liked it, but it was disturbing. Thankfully I was busy working on a nursery craft for the kids at church while I was watching it. That kept me distracted enough to not be too depressed by the movie. I probably didn't get the whole effect since I was cutting out fifty ladybugs while I watched.

And congrats to Riley on the award.

Anonymous said...

Wow, heading to the National PTA convention just after being elected - that says a lot about you. Your sister is right, you don't do things half ass. I'm impressed!

Cramer indeed sells snake oil. Andy Grove (former Intel CEO) recently wrote an opinion piece on the economy:

MindyMom said...

Yat Riley! And PTA soccer mom? You drive a mini van too?

Love Jon Stewart but havent seen much of him lately since I was busy watching The Changeling. And you've seen my post on my feelings about that movie. Wow. The more things change the more they stay the same. My jaw is still clenched.

BusyDad said...

Cool on the PTA stuff and progress Riley is making! I'm really trying to get more involved in school stuff, but I'm failing. Our school's PTA moves like a slug. And I get bored out of my skull. I tried though. I really did!

Mark said...

Love the quote!

Kori said...

I am thrilled for Riley, glad to hear Sylvia is doing better, laughed OUT FREAKING LOUD at the image of you as a PTA/Soccer mom (minivans, minivans.....), and had no idea what the changeling movie was about or the other show you were talking about; that means it is a great post! :) love you.

Lifeofkaylen said...

It's like you were at my house!!!

My son and I watched the Jon Stewart show too and were pretty impressed-he is such a straight shooter and just throws out truth out there. I so thoroughly enjoy watching his show. AND he has made a number of negative comments about Obama - I really don't think anyone is off-limits.

And I also watched Changling! It's the most horrifying story and I can not believe it's true! What an absolute ridiculous and horrible act by the police department. And omg, the guy at the end and the farm activity- sigh...that was horrible on top of the horrible!!

There is nothing as tiring and rewarding as being a soccer mom!! Enjoy every minute because all too soon they will be driving themselves places and you will be left out! :(

Suzie said...

I wanna run for the PTA next year. Good for you for being so involved inn the school

Jessica Gottlieb said...

1. I am a TOTAL soccer mom, GO RILEY!
2. PTA notsomuch it's for suckers, I write a check and skedaddle
3. Comedy Central = not funny = fail
4. Lunch = epic success!

Liz Dwyer said...

I could NOT believe Changeling! As unequal as things STILL are for women these days, at least we don't have to deal with that.

Welcome to PTA life! I'm secretary (I hate being secretary!). UGH!

Unknown said...

GREAT job, Riley! What a sweetie, that smile is precious.

I love your idea of starting them with their own place to write. I remember starting my own journaling and writing around Riley's age - perhaps even earlier as I used to watch my own mom doing her own. I think it's an excellent idea.

I'm happy to hear about the soccer, too! A bit of playful, fun competition and exercise is so good for the little ones :)

Shiona said...

Love the Daily Show. I had seen Kramer sporadically. Suze is more my thing on CNBC whatever that means. I find it pretty amazing how we change things for our kids. Heck if you would have asked me four years ago I would have no kids. My how things change. I had no idea Obama was headed this way. I have got to watch more local news...