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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Covert Operations


Peyton: That was some good whining last night, they didn't even see it coming.
I'll give you the candy I promised later.
Sommer: Whatever I can do to keep us in their room, sister-girlfriend.
Think they're on to us? Mommy let me cry a little longer last night.
Peyton: Nah, they'll break. They always break.
Sommer: Yeah...we're gonna take them down, take them down to Chinatown!
Together: Suckers!

Friday, September 28, 2007

A letter to my teenage self

Dear Adolescent Boni,

Hey girl, it’s me – you, only a lot more relaxed and not so angry. I bet you're dying to know your bra size, but I'm not telling. I have to break it to you, we’re not 108 pounds anymore. Deal with it and stop saying you’re fat. Take that cigarette out of your mouth. One day you will actually be older and more sophisticated, but right now you look and smell ridiculous. No matter what anyone says, keep your Edie Brickell and your 10,000 maniac tapes. Embrace your geekness. Throw that pink can of Aqua Net away before you take that glamour portrait. It will be a relic in every member of your family’s household that will forever torment you and embarrass your children (wha?).

Sister what’s-her-name was wrong, you are not evil. She's just frustrated by your sarcasm and to be honest, you really need to be a lot nicer to her. It will take time to smooth those ragged edges. Again, you must stop smoking.

Stop complaining about Mrs. Friedman. Because of her you will always want to be a poet. Speaking of poetry, DO NOT let your binder out of your sight. Get Ms. Tmarsel’s address before you graduate, you’ll wonder where she’s at for the rest of your life. Psst...Mr. Crudo isn’t all that cute or that much older than you, so snap out of it! Please pay attention in Algebra. You’ll have to help your kids with their homework one day.

I was going to give you some dating advice, but you’re a romantic spurred on by your big book of British Literature, and all that E.E. Cummings and Lord Byron gunk swirling in your head. You aren’t going to listen to me. Your friends are trying to help and you aren’t listening to them either. You'll get your heart busted up in the worst way, but it won't break.

Your folks are your folks and they pretty much won’t change, so you’ll have to change your expectations of them. They’ll always love you and in their own way, they’ll always be there. Listen, whatever happens between them, you are not to get involved. Peter and Yvette need you more than they do. You know this. Oh, yikes, and don’t let Yvette sneak out before her 18th birthday. Take my word for it, this is not going to be good. You'll never get caught though (wink).

You have some really awesome friends. The gang will stick together for the most part, but some will disappear one day and everyone will be dumbfounded, some are going to marry each other (get out!), you’ll all lose someone very dear one day. Treasure it now, and don’t worry so much about yourself because you’re pretty tough. High School is going to be mostly great for you, but it will get a little rough after that. Keep your head up. You’ll make it out in one piece, I promise.

I can’t wait for you to meet some very important people who will totally change your life. Until then, one piece of advice: don’t do that cabbage patch dance at the pep rally, that’s really lame and I'm still so ashamed of us.

P.S.
Menudo sucks, sorry Bon. That long
distance call you made to Puerto Rico
will show up on the phone bill and you’ll
be grounded for weeks. And you still won’t
Get to talk to Ricky. Oh, Ricky sucks too.
Trust me on that one.

Thanks to Mona for the post prompt. Others welcome!

Crosswalk: STOP!

Answer me this. Why are we in such a hurry? People often pass me up on the road only to be stopped next to me two minutes later at the red light. Me: 'sup? Them: nod. What is the use of speeding on a 14 mile island? If you're on you're way or running late to a very important meeting and you have to drive with lightning speed, you probably need some time management skills. If you're going to a government office, don't worry. When you get there, you'll have to wait fifteen minutes to get seen anyway, so chill. Or, as my 15 year old son says, chillax.

Speeding here is a mystery to me, but what really gets my goat (sorry, Billy Bob) are people who refuse t0 stop for pedestrians. This happened two times last night and one time this morning. Garapan is a very busy district, and there are always people standing at crosswalks. If you're ever at a Saipan crosswalk, bring a good book and keep the sequel in your bag. For most part, drivers just ignore them. Maybe that's why people just take their chances instead of waiting, beats me. Two times last night I stopped to let a young boy and an older man cross the road. Both times cars just zoomed by while they were walking in the middle of the crosswalk. I had my hazards on way before they got near the crosswalk, but they just kept on going. I was so mad I started honking. One time I even ducked, I was so scared. I actually thought my windshield would be kissing someone's butt, that's how close a driver came to the old man at the 99 Cent Supermarket crossing. The people crossing were not as upset as I was. Most of them looked at me like I was a crazy woman, probably thinking I wanted them to skedaddle because I was honking. I guess they are used to having to stop in the middle and wait or rush on through regular traffic. Na-ah, If I were them, I would have stood in the middle of the road, turned towards on coming traffic and given those motorist The Crane.
Don't make me get karate on you!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Holiday Inn

I remember the day Hope read for the first time. We took her out of private school because we were worried that the teachers focused more on how she wrote her "a" than if she enjoyed opening a book. She struggled for a while and then we found a brilliant first grade teacher who didn't care that her penmanship wasn't perfect and praised her for every tiny effort and step forward. Tony and I took turns tutoring her on basic phonics, always remembering to impart that books were things to be treasured, not conquered.

We took a trip to Hesperia, where my husband is from and decided to drive the kids to San Diego so they could see where mommy and daddy were boyfriend/girlfriend. It was on the freeway, while we talked and sang that I heard a small voice say Holiday Inn. After the 5th Holiday Inn, I twisted around and looked towards the back seat where Hope was sitting. She was pointing and reading signs on buildings!! She was amazed that there were so many Holiday Inns by the side of the road.

I think I cried, but I can't be sure.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Oh Magic Hour!

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!"
— A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943
Peyton read her very first book all by herself tonight! I was reading a story to Sommer when all of a sudden Peyton started reading ahead of me. It was like hearing her voice, watching her eyes open and seeing the world unfold in front of her, for the very first time. My heart is soaring. They say that if your child can read, you should thank a teacher, so thank you Mrs. Ngewakl and Mrs. Gabaldon. And, thank you Peyton, for reaching out into the world of the printed word. You are in store for magical journeys beyond anything you could dream.


Another tooth gone and Peyton inches towards the big 7! What a personality she is, confident and thoughtful, quite unlike....

Sommer the Wild Child of Papago


Peyton reading and Sommer trying to listen. video

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Date Night at Porky's and Government Aid

My hubby and I had a nice dinner at Porky's last night. If you want to go somewhere where they don't skimp on the drinks, it's really the place to be. The margaritas make me happy there. I opened my my puppy (laptop) to try and post while I was waiting for Tony to show up and guess what Bruce? It took forever to load. I really think it has to do with everyone's connections for real. I usually have no problems at all. Maybe y'all need to try out the Treehugger Firefox browser, works for me!

Well, even though Wednesdays are smokeless at Porky's I go outside because I feel guilty and I don't like being stared at, but I think Bruce has found a very creative way to get me to quit. A few seconds on the patio and I hear a faint sound, like the voices of angels from above. I look up to see two little girls eagerly waving and smiling, "Hi Ms. Boni!" OK then, back inside and that's that.

We were there for Arnold Palacios and Ray Tebuteb, and got a good chance to sit and talk about the budget and other political issues. All in all, it was a relaxing night. We even made it home in time to see the two babies, Peyton and Sommer still awake and begging for a good book to be read to them. Tony Jr., who is now 15 and the designated babysitter, collapsed in his bed as soon as we got home at 7:30! Doesn't look like he'll be wanting babies anytime soon:)
**********
GES still doesn't have a secretary and we've been mulling over some creative solutions. It dawned on me that we could utilize our very own human resources to solve our staffing shortage. Since all the students are only in class until 2:20 and we work until 4:30, why don't we hire them for the rest of the day to do some office work. Talk about authentic service learning opportunities, and we all benefit. The kids get to practice their Math, Reading and Writing skills, we get all the staff we could ever dream of, and the government doesn't have to spend another greedy dime on us.

Here's Peyton balancing the FY '09 budget, calculating the staff payroll and playing Tuga the Sea Turtle on Nick Jr. That's Math and Environmental Science all wrapped up in one. We could pay them with skittles under the table and they could get an early start on their pensions. By the time they are seniors in High School, they'll be ready to retire from government service so we won't really have to fold them into the already bloated work force. Brilliant, just brilliant!

So easy, even a 1st grader can do it!

Friday, September 21, 2007

THE II&I Award


The winner of the most inane, irrational and inflammatory comment goes to the boonieman!

The comment: "U look pretty hot for a dude"

Consolation prizes go to everyone else who commented yesterday.
Thanks go out to everyone who refused to snub me, especially Melissa, Bruce, Lex, James, and Glen.
Special recognition goes to Tami for making up the most rumors about me in one post.
I will be e-mailing the deleted comments to boonieman before lunch ends today.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Notes from Papago

A trusted friend confided in me today that a certain Senator told him that all a school needs in order to run properly is a classroom, a good teacher, some books and toilet paper. Three out of four isn't bad. Next time you appropriate the funding, don't forget the toilet paper good Senator.

This Senator's name will remain unmentioned because I refuse to waste my breathe speaking his/her name. I will not waste anymore time thinking about this person either, at least not until election time rolls around again.
**********
All candidates running for election:
Feel free to use my campaign slogan.
I haven't seen anything more creative out there.



Feeling Cheeky?

There's no such thing as a dumb post,
only a dumb comment.
It wasn't a "drive by post" Cavedude, I erased all my comments when my school and my position got attacked. However, I rarely learn my lesson and I seem to have no ability to hold my tongue.

For today, and only today, I am opening my blog up to anyone who wants to post innane, irrational and inflammatory comments. The only catch is you cannot remain anonymouse.

The winner gets the rights to all the comments I deleted.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mommy & Daddy: we need to talk

First of all, let me say that I ludge you both very much and I think it's really adorable how you're both trying to kick me out of your room. I know you're trying to do the right thing calling me a big girl and making me sleep in my own bed, but you're making a horrible mistake. In fact, it's really quite annoying.

What the heck are you thinking?
Have these three years meant nossing to you? Is this really necessary? The new bunk bed is nice dad, but your room is pretty-ful and I need you at night, like soba needs spam! So, give it up if you know what's good for you, because I'm not backing down.

Oh yeah, and mom, when you put me to sleep please don't forget to follow the rules:
1. Face me
2. Hug me
3. Do not at any time, attempt to face or hug dad

Yes, this is just a phase. No, it is not negotiable. You will have many nights to be alone later when I am grown, believe me. Right now, it is best that you comply or the whining will only increase and you will never find your favorite earrings again.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Poetry Paella

I was probably most notorious in high school for writing what I considered semi-decent poetry. That, and being the only senior to have my own apartment. Anyway, that has nothing to do with the price of empanada in San Roque.

Blogging has been an avenue back to writing, slowly coaxing the poetry out through literary freedom of expression. I chickened out of Script Frenzy with Jane, and my knees are shaky just thinking of the novel writing right now. Still pretty mad about losing my binder full of work, very few of which I have managed to remember and re-write, I decided that I'd start a new online collection. This is the first installment of my Poetry Paella. I've written something in honor of substance abuse awareness month. To be specific, I've written it in honor of the families who live with functional alcoholics.

I grew up in an alcohol laden social/cutltural environment where drinking was the norm. I never knew any "alcoholics", as the ones around me were "functioning" quite well. Like everything in life, one has to come to a point of readiness to evaluate priorities. This is not a poem about my family or a self-reflection. This is a piece of writing that strives to interpret the inextricably complicated functional addict. I'm not an expert and everyone knows I am a fan of the frozen margarita, so I realize I may be treading on some hypocritical turf here, but this is a piece of my heart - so be gentle please.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I drink my carbs


Somewhere deep inside of me
is a skinny woman just dying to break out


I can usually shut her up with some pie!
**********
Ever since Jeff revealed that Cynthia is pregnant I've been thinking about babies. Yikes, I think I just sensed my husband falling off his chair. Don't worry honey, if you're reading this I'm not thinking about more babies, just our babies. Whew, you can wipe the sweat off your forehead now.

It's crazy how the female human body reacts to having a little tenant inside. With each pregnancy, my cravings got weirder and weirder.

Pregnancy Cravings per Child
Tony Jr.: 7-11 hotdogs with jalapeƱos and Taco Bell ten pack tacos with hot sauce (burn the rubber off your tire sauce, to be exact)! Yes folks, I could eat all ten by myself.
Hope: Watermelons. I would cut a watermelon in half and grab a spoon! How I managed to prop it on my gourd-sized belly, I don't know.
Peyton: Avocados. Sugar, milk, avocado, smashed, chilled and eaten with a smile! I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner sitting under the Iba tree with my grandma when she was still alive. Both of us cheated and ate salt and iba, shhh!
Sommer: Jollibee spaghetti. Everyday. Okay, sometimes twice. I also craved those $1.00 bacon wrapped Tijuana hotdogs, the kind you can only get on the streets of Mexico at 2:30 in the morning, but that was not to be had.

I do not miss being pregnant, but I loved the feeling of carrying my babies. Our home will soon be diaper-less for the first time in 15 years. I'm teary eyed at the thought.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We were gonna balance the budget...

I like flowers. I am not so fond of boogers. There.

One my favorite blogspots, located conveniently in the Middle Road started a chuckle in me that erupted into this blomit. They remind us all, since it is substance abuse awareness month, to drink responsiby. Ah, yes. I concur. Driving drunk has enormous consequences that reach far beyond your own personal inconvenience. The results can be deadly, and they are never funny.

The reason I chuckle dear friends, is from disbelief that our government, cashed strapped as it is, would continue to under-staff and underfund critical departments in charge of the health and safety of our community. So, this month, as the Middle Roaders say, if you get drunk and crash, be prepared to sit for a while waiting for help or bleed to death at the hospital waiting for a doctor.

...the buzz around town is that physicians at the Commonwealth Health Center have been telling people that they should avoid driving when they are intoxicated from now on.
Again, why? Because there are no doctors left on the island to treat victims of road mishaps or tragic accidents.
Maybe I should issue a letter to parents informing them to try and make sure their children don't develop learning difficulties since we are short of teachers and will not be able to accomodate them. Oh wait, that is already happening in some cases. Makes as much sense as taking 2 million dollars away from us, promising to, but never paying it back and then threatening to investigate us for theft of services.

It is substance abuse awareness month in the CNMI folks. Let's all rally the cause here and fight to stop the senseless sniffing of stupid gas.

I like hydrangeas the best. Boogers belong in your nose, not on your tongue. There.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wide open spaces

Nope, you can't box her in


The girl needs wide open spaces
Room to take big steps

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Our Daughters, Ourselves

Sommer is three and says things like, "is this really necessary?"
and "tell me loving things mommy"
She greets me every morning with Happy Mommy's Day!
**********
Hope is fearless. She's never cried during shots, not even once when the doctor had to snap her dislocated her elbow back in place. She is the first to try anything and say to the rest of us, "it's okay, come try too"
**********
Peyton could stare down a lion. She exudes confidence and has a smile that melts your heart.
**********
I evaluate myself and find myself lacking the courage, fortitude and optimism found in my daughters. I have often been consumed with battling my own mother-daughter demons that I've neglected to appreciate the good things I've managed to do for my own girls. For many years, I've obsessed about how mothers can leave, promising deep within to never recreate the unhealthy relationships I've had to endure. I take a step back and realize that I've had what it takes to be a decent mom, if not a good one, and I am eternally relieved at this new discovery. I can do this, I can raise girls. I do not and will not relive the past with them. I will create and cherish this minute and the next. I will take hold of all the minutes given me with them and fold them into fond memories.


Promoting Values

I am so glad to be back on Saipan. Yes, even with the outrageous cost of living and upcoming election madness. I spent my second day on the island of Guahan, driving from Yona to Yigo, trying to occupy my time while my husband was at a meeting. It was nice, for the most part, to drive a longer distance and enjoy the billboardless scenery. I tried to listen to the radio, but after a while I was so disgusted with one of the radio station's promotions that I just turned it off and listened to the sound of the car engine, a better audio entertainment by far than what was on "air".

There was a promotion for the Globe, a hot spot and happening club in Tumon. It was apparently "No Panties Night" at the Globe and the DJ made lude comments about it being "pao pao in Tumon tonight". Now I'm admittedly way out of the party scene and consider myself to be more conservative than the average GenExer. But, this was outrageous. I could go into all the social and ethical implications that this sort of promotion brings, but I know I'd have a barrage of comments from folks who would try to convince me to be more "with it".

No way.

I am glad I live on Saipan, where Porky's promotes no smoking Wednesdays and you can still find a nice place to hang out and have "a few" without feeling like you're in a meat market. Saipan, where the only titillating specials are Naked Fish's hole in one deal and Oleai Beach Bar and Grill's dollar tacos.

Change is a good thing and should be embraced if we are to understand the dynamics of human relationships. Change though, in my opinion, needs to be for the better and I cannot, as hard as I try, contemplate the benefits of having a club full of panty-less females in an alcohol laden environment. What have we come to?

I think of my own children and the things that will become acceptible in their social environment. We have such a heady responsibility as adults. We have the awesome task of preparing them to make their own good choices. We must also prepare an appropriate selection of options for them. Perhaps I am a just a backwards island girl who takes everything a little too seriously. Perhaps the CDC shoud look into bringing their free HPV campaign to the Globe.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Call me crazy

Today I did not wake up and read the news. I did not get up until 7:30. It is 9:05 and I haven't checked my office e-mail. Today I am on leave and I will try to do womanly things like shop. Last night I joined my husband and his colleagues for dinner and listened to other people talk about their jobs. I ordered a peach margarita and ate half of my steak and reveled in the fact that I did not have to wash the dishes.

Ok, enough of that. I'm restless out of my mind and still have the school bulletin to write before Sunday morning rolls in. I don't want to shop, I want to go home to my kids. I want to be in Saipan, where the gas is expensive and the power gets cut off. Call me crazy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Red Bull makes me dumb

Pretty
It's such a weird looking word
Look at it
Now look away
Does it look right to you?

Look at it closer
Doesn't it look funky?

Pretty

*********
It's almost 6:30 and Deece hasn't put up the WWII yet. I am getting on a plane for Guam tonight. Do you hear the roar of the GES staff chanting "yeah, she's GONE!"? Wait, back to the WWII. The palpitations are starting, the nervous hand wringing too. Deece, WHAT IS IT? Deece, where is the new WWII? Did I get the last one? Is the new one fruit or appliance? Okay, I'm going to go outside and take a stroll around the garden and when I get back....
*********
Come to think of it
Weird
Weird is also a very odd looking word

It looks a little dorky to me
Like it's trying to look like something it's not

Weird

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

G.E.S. PTA


The first PTA meeting of the year. Even though conservatively, we are about thirty students and four teachers short, we are still the largest elementary school in the CNMI. There are over 870 students and staff and we haven't had a secretary since February. Is it just me or is that wrong? I spent the entire day calculating the timesheet. The whole day folks. Again, is it just me or is there something better I can be doing with my time?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hello Tony




Iraq

Every once in a while I get letters from an old classmate and still good pal who is currently serving in Iraq. I haven't been too good at writing, but I try to send an email off every now and then to let him know that all of us '89ers are still praying for him and his comrades over there. It's good to see that Mike still has a sense of humor. He's kept up with what's happening here and on the mainland, and seems to have maintained a positive outlook.

Sometimes he cracks me up:

How many people get to say that they have a corner office over a 100,000 acres of space?
Sometimes he scares me:


Well it's been the same here in Iraq scorching hot (119 degrees today), people still killing each other, Soldier trying to stay alive and keeping my head down.
Sometimes I don't know what to write back. Like today:

we lost a handful of good Soldiers. Some of which were my men. Kind of hard to deal with events like these.
The best thing we can do is pray. Would you continue to pray for Mike and all the soldiers still at war with me? He has a wife and kids, family to go home to, just like everyone else there. Sadly today, many families will be dealing with terrible news of those not going home alive. Let's pray for them too.



Saturday, September 1, 2007

You never know what will happen

Everytime I think to myself, "that's it, I'm not blogging anymore" something happens to remind me that this is a new community slowly creating it's unique mores. We are caught between cyberspace and reality. What a perfect opportunity for a true study of new relationship dynamics. The little blogling rivalries have prompted different responses in people. What we think we understand, and we are comfortable knowing about human interactions is evolving before our eyes.

Either that or we're just a bunch of boobs. That didn't come out right. Boobs. You know what I mean.

I was genuinely surprised to see posts from Dave, Jeff, and Angelo referring to a what started as a comment I made on Hope's the day before the last blogger meet up. Before we knew it, there were bloggers whose veins teem with sarcasm, and hypercritical critics heeding the call to a kinder, gentler approach. Angelo's encouraging words to fellow bloggers actually brought tears to my eyes. Reading what Jeff wrote about Jane made me appreciate both of them even more as friends.

Our school counselors call these encouraging words "put-ups" and they are used to counter bullying in today's campuses. Put-ups are just as necessary for adults. In the wake of certain blogger spats, it was just what we needed.

Having the meet ups gives us a chance to re-connect and reminds everyone that we are all real people with real feelings and what we say online has an affect in real time. I hope everyone makes it a point to go to the next meet up, even if it's only for a little bit. I have an idea for the next meet-up that will be really fun, so mark your calendar!

What a disaster

PARADISE TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO BUDGET CUTS
***************

Operation Rota <3's Boni again.

****************

TODAY AT THE GROCERY STORE
Cashier to me: I received twenty dollars.
Me (in my head): Uh-yeah, that's because I just handed it to you.

****************

It is Disaster Preparedness Month and I have two thoughts, one serious and one tongue in cheek.
Serious - Instead of bringing in the testosterone overdosed terrorism response team and scaring the beteljuice out of our students, why can't a handful of conscientious agencies come in and:

1. Show students how to make a practical "kid friendly" typhoon kit. Kids always get left out when typhoons hit and they become bored out of their brains while the adults try to secure the house, etc. I'm just thinking. A good kit: flashlight or neon stick, non-perishable snacks and water, coloring book/book, their own radio with batteries, age appropriate games, and some glow in the dark stickers.

2. In addition to dialing 911 in emergencies, kids need to know what important information to give the dispatcher. They could create refrigerator cards with address, phone number, proper names, the street where they live. Thinking here.

3. Instead of talking about snipers and terrorists, law enforcement can talk about who's job it is to protect our students and reassure them that they will be taken care of if anything scary ever happens. When Sept. 11th happened, all the children wanted to know was "who is going to take care of us so that we don't get hurt". A simulated terrorist abduction and CUC bomb threat is completely useless. Still thinking here.

4. Give kids simple tips about how to keep themselves safe from predators. Kids need to practice how to scream at the top of their lungs and run like mad. In most abductions, statistics show that the kids who don't return are the ones who "obey" their abductors thinking they can get off on good behavior. Kids need to know that when they are lost, they should look for the nearest woman with children. Kids need to know their parents full names, address, etc.
Sarcastic - The government should re-think their disaster preparedness presentations to include the following.

For Scheduled School Power Outages:
  • How to teach 30 or more students how to read in pitch blackness using brail.
  • How to flush toilets for 0ver 870 students and staff using the collected sweat,snot and tears.
  • How to telepathically notify the radio stations, parents, central office and the bus drivers to let them know we are sending students home. (No power - no fax, no phone)
For Budget Shortfalls:
  • How to conserve the second ply of toilet paper so that it will last until next fiscal year.
  • How incorporate using metal detectors into P.E. class so kids can scrounge for loose change on the playground in order to buy gas for the van and lawn mowers.
  • How to recycle the dilapidated, termite infested wood into No. 2 pencils for the SAT10.
  • How to collect the early morning dew with hibiscus leaves so that we have enough water for students to drink.
  • How to integrate security duty for students into an evening Social Studies curriculum.