Spider-Man, Superheroes and Me

I love superheroes and I love superhero movies.  I get excited about the new ones ready to grace the silver screen.

Apparently, this is strange for an almost 40 year old woman to clap and cheer in a movie theater when a trailer for The Avengers comes on. According to The Captain, it is very embarrassing for an almost 40-year-old woman to react “strongly” at a clip of a superhero movie.  Cranky Captain.

Basically, The Captain thinks my love of superheroes is somewhat strange.

Underwear that was fun to wear. Photo from Wikipedia.org

I blame my brother.  He had the coolest superhero stuff when we were kids.  He had tons of action figures.  He had a red cape that was as majestic to me as a holiday Barbie.  He had it all.  He also had these super cool Underoos with various comic book characters on them.  There was a Batman pair, a Robin pair, a Superman pair, and, of course, a Spider-Man pair.  The girl’s Underoos basically stunk.  They only had flowers or butterflies on them or, sometimes, the elusive Wonder Woman pair would be found at Target or Venture and my mom would pick those up for me.  But sadly, there were barely any other superhero ones for girls.  Later I found that the makers of Underoos realized there was, in fact, a solid girl’s market and began making Supergirl, Princess Leia, and even Batgirl ones.  Wish I had those… Bummer.

Here he is. Photo credit: film.com

I blame my mom.  My mom, Crazy Pat, took us to all of the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve.  I was riveted.  I would sit there, barely even touching my popcorn, as I watched the man in red and blue save the day.  I may have even teared up when Superman was thrown into the Coke sign in Times Square.  I was so thankful when he got himself out of that mess.

I blame Batman.  In high school, I was the best girl to take to the movies.  I was more than willing to sit through all of the Batman movies (Val Kilmer, if you are out there in blog land, you were and always will be my favorite Batman).

I blame Marvel Comics.  They created the Amazing Spider-Man, which happen to be my favorite of all the supers.  It could happen, right?  It could be marginally possible, right?  A regular dude could be bitten by a radioactive spider and develop super powers could be, right?  Well, maybe not, but that may be a small reason why love the Spider-Man movies.  The other reason?  Tobey Maguire makes a very convincing Spidey.  And when the Spider-Man movies are on TV, even though I own them all, I am drawn to them like a fly to a web.

Spidey himself. Photo credit: wikipedia.org

So, I anxiously await The Avengers movie.  I am on the edge of my seat about the new Spider-Man film.  And I think I may owe Stan Lee a high five because he is a cool dude.  If only they had some Spider-Man Underoos for me, I would be all set.

Oh, and to The Captain, can I get a “woot woot” and a “hooray” and even a “yee haw” for the new movies?  No?  Oh well.  I will have to send Spider-Man to deal with you.  (Maniacal laugh goes here!)

When Children Learn to Read

Or, what really happens now that my children are reading.

My seven-year-old, Squishy, loves to read.  He is at the point where he reads everything. He will read over my shoulder.  He will read labels.  He will read t-shirts.  He will read basically anything.

There is a fun print my sister-in-law gave The Captain for his birthday.  He likes to make (and drink) martinis.  Squishy now knows how to: 1.  Say martini and 2. Spell martini.

Squishy has become a reading machine.

He also likes to read over my shoulder while I am on my Kindle.

“Mom, what the crap is wrong with this lady?”

“What lady?” I ask, “and don’t say crap.”

“The lady in your book named Anne.  She is a freak.”

I am reading about Anne Boleyn.  “She is not a freak, Squishy, she just had some issues.”

“Like what?” he asks as I wonder briefly how far to take this.

“She was married to a famous king of England and it didn’t end well for her,” I strategically answered.

“Why?  Is his name Henry?”

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“I read it over your shoulder,” he grinned triumphantly, “See ya, I am going outside, OK Mom?”

“Sounds like a plan,” I answered.

Yesterday, heading for a quick grocery store stop, Squishy said, “Mom, the truck next to us has a bad word on a sticker.”

“What does it say?” I asked, trying to navigate through the zillion traffic lights in our small town.

“Will I get in trouble if I say it?” he asked.

“Just read it to me,” I said, with the patience and kindness of a women with mild road rage.

“Bad ass,” he said, “It says bad ass.  Why is he a bad ass, Mom?  He doesn’t look like a bad ass.”

“OK,” I said, using the mom voice, “You can stop saying it now.”

“Well, he doesn’t look like one anyway…Hey, Mom, the sign over there says not to text and drive.  And that one says the service begins at 10, and that one says…”  And so on, and so on.

I think I may need that martini.  Stat.

May the Force Be Mine

During college, my mom sent me a Valentine’ Day card.  It read:

Happy Alentine’s Ay.

On the inside, it read:

Try and keep the VD out of it.

She wrote on the card saying that it was a “knee slapper” and a “hoot” and I should show it to my friends so they could get a good laugh.  I didn’t show it around.  In fact, I hid it immediately in the bottom drawer of my desk (I have trouble throwing cards away – don’t ask).

Strangely, I was thinking of this card as I was helping String Bean decorate his Valentine’s card box for school.  We were putting letter stickers on it, writing “May the Force be with you” and spicing it up with Lego Star Wars stickers.

May the Force...

“Mom, you rock at this.  Did they have Valentine’s Day during your childhood?”  String Bean asked.  He likes the word childhood when it comes to any of The Captain’s or my stories about our youth, which String Bean seems to think was during the ice ages or BN (before Nintendo).

“We did have Valentine’s Day.  We decorated boxes with construction paper and paper doilies.”

“What are paper doilies?” he innocently asked.

“It is just like a very intricate paper snowflake-looking thing,” I stated knowing the next question would be about the word intricate.

“Is it as intricate as my Star Wars box?” he asked, skeptically.

“Not exactly. Your box is much cooler.”

Happy Alentine’s Ay to all.  May the Force, not VD, be with you.

VD in reverse is DV or Darth Vader. Interesting...

Back to the…theater

Thought I was going to say future? Yeah, no.  I am back to the theater again. Earlier this year, I posted about my entire family being involved in the musical The Wizard of Oz. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the lobby, waiting to pick up my little guys while a hot, yet not so healthy, dinner of Wendy’s was waiting for them in the car – along with spelling words to review on flash cards and sometimes even the dog because I just wanted somebody to love that wasn’t singing show tunes. Ha.

Back to the point of this post. I am sitting at a read through of a show that I am not in.  Again. Both of my dudes are in it and, I know this is shocking, so is my husband. They are all three in another show less than a year since the last one. This time instead of Dorothy, the Lollipop Guild, the Tin Man, et all, we have Horton, the Grinch, and the entire Dr. Seuss coalition. It is Seussical the Musical and it will consume my life until the end of February. Super dee duper and bah humbug.

Do I seem a little cranky about the prospect of dedicating my life to the theater? Well, maybe a little. I just don’t get into it like the rest of my family. My mom is the fabulous “lady of the theater” (which must be said with a flip of a scarf, a dramatic accent and false eyelashes), my husband loves it and even is the theater director for his high school, and my peanuts both enjoy the bright lights and the post-show carnations and lollipop bouquets.

Speaking of bouquets, in my marriage vows, although I can’t seem to locate this on the wedding video, it states that I will choreograph all of my husband’s productions. Instead of saying “I do” to that one, I think I might have said, “I might?!”  Geez. This past year, besides carting campy Munchkins to and fro, I choreographed Thoroughly Modern Millie AND High School Musical. I am theatered out. And a  5, 6, 7, 8.

Guess what?  I also get to begin choreographing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  In February.  Right smack in the middle of Seussical.  I am not thrilled.

So, anyone want to meet me on weeknights while my family is singing about an elephant who hears a whole new world on a flower?  If so, name the time and the place and I will be there.  With my dream coat on.

Salty Sunday

Originally posted on my http://overlyenthusiastic.com blog:

I grew up listening to U2.  I am a big fan of Bono and all of his fabulousness.  Today, the song Sunday, Bloody Sunday was on my XM Classic Rock station.  Not sure when U2’s Joshua Tree songs became classic rock, but I guess they did.  Bummer.

But this is not what this post is about.  It is about salt, 4th grade and work.  These three things have no connection at all, you think? Well, they do.

String Bean’s 4th grade class was required to create a salt map of the great state of Ohio.  What is a salt map, you ask?  I didn’t know what it was until a thousand page long rubric came home stating all of the specifics.  Essentially, it is mixing a special salt mixture, putting it on a pizza box in the shape of Ohio, creating all of the hills, valleys, rivers and lakes in the state and picking a theme to label the map with.  Whew.  That made me tired just typing it!

Master Chef Tom began saying each day after school, “This weekend we are working on the salt map.”  Basically he would say it to whomever was around, as if he was working up the courage to start Bean’s project.  I would sit and roll my eyes and continue reading my Kindle or messing around with the iPad.

The weekend (two weeks later) finally came and Tom and Bean started to diligently work on the salt mixture.  They spread it over the state layout on the pizza box and put it in the laundry room to dry.  Apparently salt mixtures need a full week to dry.  Who knew?

By the next week, Tom began his after school statement again.  “This weekend we are working on the salt map.”

Finally, we were pressed to deadline.  Salt maps were due on Tuesday and it was the Sunday prior.  They take this cardboard pizza box with this crazy salty state and set it on the kitchen table and they look at it. (Insert cricket sounds here.)

I swoop in and begin helping by painting the box and the salty Ohio.  Then, Tom and Noah cut out and glued the million cities, lakes, rivers and surrounding states that were required on the rubric (I did mention the rubric was a thousand pages long, didn’t I?!)

Next for the theme.  Tom and Bean picked this out long ago.  First, they were going to put the state parks in Ohio on the map until they realized there are MANY state parks (almost as many as the number of pages of the rubric.)  So they narrowed it down to the Underground Railroad stops in Ohio.  There were 13 of them.  How do I know?  Because I printed them off, cut them out, labeled them and helped Beanie with the key.  I am smarter now.

My question is:  How do children who do not have parents who take an active role in their education complete a project of this magnitude?

Here is the finished project:

The Masterpiece

I’m not ticklish on Mondays

I made this statement this morning.  My nine-year-old String Bean replies, “Is that possible?”   Smart kid.

Of course it is not possible, but it is funny.  Sometimes Mondays are annoying.  One of my favorite movies, Office Space, said it best when an annoying, overly happy co-worker (yes this can be me sometimes) states to someone who was obviously having a bad day, “It looks like you’ve got a case of the Mondays!”

Today is Monday and it wasn’t that bad.  It actually was like one of the “throw-away” Mondays in the summer.  As a teacher, summer Mondays are majestic; they are throw-aways since it is so easy to sleep late, chill with a cup of coffee while reading a beach novel on the Kindle and basically just smile because there is a full week of vacation ahead.    This Monday, however, there is only today followed by a four day work week including a 12 hour Thursday.  I am relishing today.

I decided to start the day by sleeping until 10:30.  It was amazing.  I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed except nature called.  Ha.  Tom made coffee and I milked that for another hour while watching the Today show and reading photography blogs. Tom made brunch, and I chilled.  It was like summer.  Ahhh.

Maybe when the kids get home, I can be ticklish on a Monday.  Lol.