Saturday, July 28, 2007

See Ya, Shonda!

Haven't posted on the Grey's fiasco, but this is exactly why Thursday nights are going to change for me. I am done with the drama, both inside the series and out. I am tired of Meredith and her dark self, and I am tired of all the self righteous crap from Katherine Heigl and the rest of the cast, crew and writers. Was Isaiah right or Isaiah wrong? You know, that entirely depends on you. But after letting him jump through hoops and go into "rehab," to find out that they were done with him anyway? Puh-leeze!!


Thanks, Nike!!

Thanks to Nike corporate, I won't have to trash my new Nike running shoes. I was starting to get a little worried, guys, what with my big mouth and all. I couldn't go around with my new Nikes and Mike getting that fat contract paid by you.

So, thanks. I get to keep my shoes and my dignity and you get to keep your corporate pride. You did the right thing. Let's here it for Susie Homemakers all over the country.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Quick Before I Lose the Connection...

As posted before, I have managed to break the power cord to my school laptop and have been relegated to the dinosaur upstairs. Well, the wireless signal comes and goes of its own freewill up here and I have to post quickly before I lose this signal. For some reason, it works for PrepGirl and BrownBear. I think it knows when I am trying to log on and it just likes to jerk me around.

I have been reading the e-mails posted by my principal from all those with: no lives, nothing better to do, no job (you pick) at the central office. Sorry, but it is true. I am not looking forward to this school year for a myriad of reasons, but the Curriculum Briefings from those clowns is one of them. Sweet Oprah, it was 11, yes, ELEVEN, pages long today. What in hell could possess them to put out a "briefing" that was eleven pages long? I couldn't tell you that either, because I stopped reading. At about page one.

Our school's enrollment is down this year, too, and I found out yesterday that my partner in crime would be the fifth grade scapegoat if people started getting transferred out because the numbers were too low. (I told you I didn't want to go back.)

Got PrepGirl's birthday cake ordered; she and my sister share a birthday on Sunday and sweet mother of Oprah, what a juggling act that has been for years. I never know who is going to be out of sorts - this year, however, PrepGirl is supposed to get her learner's permit. Well, guess what is closed on Mondays in this fine state? You guessed correctly. The Division of Motor Vehicles!!!!!!! She has to wait until Tuesday (7:30AM) to join the unwashed masses in the line for a permit. I hope she passes the test. I can only take her so many times and then I am done.

BrownBear got a call from her 6th grade buddy yesterday and was invited over for dinner and a swim today. You should have seen the palace I pulled up in front of this afternoon. (In my 12 year old Suburban, thank you very much.) But I only felt sorry for BrownBear because she was about sixteen inches taller than every girl there. Including the kid's mother. I wish I was as tall as that girl is going to be.

Tomorrow, I get to spend the governor's money. It is always nice to get free money, but I always wonder how he is going to be expected to be repaid.

And Ann Taylor Loft has a tasty little sale going on right now.

Too bad they'd take away my license if I used the governor's money there.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

This Almost Makes Sense.......

You Are Jan Brady

Brainy and a little introverted, you tend to think life is a lot worse than it actually is.
And while you may think you're a little goofy looking, most people consider you to be a major babe.

Sunday Musings

How did I break the power cord to my laptop? Now I am relegated to the dinosaur in the guestroom whose keyboard has the tendency to stick. I believe this, in itself, will drive me crazy.

I am going to do two things in a minute: look over plans for the first week of school and put together my first bulletin board. There. I wrote it down. It isn't far off - I go to pre-planning in two weeks - whew! That made me nauseous, just to type. BrownBear and PrepGirl have another month to go before that first day of school and it is a good thing because they both have three different summer reading assignments to complete.

I think I am going to make a list of things I want to do next summer and put it on my bulletin board. The first is to NOT teach summer school. Then I want to drive to California. See Texas and the Grand Canyon. Go to Turks and Caicos and DisneyWorld. I think I am already into the avoidance behavior I am so famous for during the school year.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Nike, Michael Vick and Arthur Blank

I can't believe I am wasting "ink" on this subject, but I feel like, since I live in this town, I need to weigh in.

I am pretty much a due process kind of girl - spent the last week with the Constitution, remember? - and everyone is entitled to the innocent until proven guilty idea. However, Michael Vick and his posse are just a bunch of thugs and Nike pulling their endorsement contracts with him is not the same as denying him due process. After his outrageous behavior in the Miami airport a while back, AirTran pulled their endorsement contracts, and no one gave it a second thought.

I have read a very thoughtful sports article in our local paper which concludes that Arthur Blank has a duty to dump Vick.

Personally, I would have dumpped the jerk years ago. He is a chump; he flips off the fans and he really isn't a team leader or a role model. I don't go to the games - how could I when I grew up with Sonny Jurgenson and Joe Theissmann? - and I would never take my own daughters to watch him.

Perhaps Arthur Blank needs to know that.

The writer goes on to wonder what would happen if it had been a regular teacher who had been handed a two inch thick federal indictment - federal, boys and girls- we'd be looking under rocks trying to figure out where that person went. She wouldn't be in a classroom come opening day, I guarantee. He goes on to wonder what would Arthur Blank be doing if it was one of his Home Depot hammer salesmen who got caught in this mess. I doubt he'd still be peddling Mr. Blank's hammers.

Here is another delicious tidbit. Michael Vick claims he just owned the property in Virginia. He says he was never there and he didn't know what was going on. Well, wake up, Mike; I have friends who live in Surry County, Virginia, who run into you and see you all over town all the time. Perhaps this genius had better get another defense, because if this is the best he can do, he really does need to spend some in a federal penitentiary.

So, it comes down to money. And, really, I am tired of money being the bottom line. There isn't any honor anymore. So, Nike, you and Arthur Blank really need to listen up.

It is time for me to do some back to school shopping and both girls need new shoes - they won't be Nikes if Mike is still under contract, 'kay? Just as long as we are all clear. I love my Nike running shoes and I love Niketown, but I am going to be severing my own contract with you if you can't show enough moral courage to take an endorsement contract away from a thug like Mike. I understand the bottom line is money, but do you honestly think that I buy Nikes because of Michael Vick?

And, Arthur, the fun of football died for me in this town years ago. Michael Vick is just another thug who believes he is above all rules and law. Someone should have reined him in years ago. Perhaps just a good spanking would have been enough, but he and his brother, Marcus, have always been treated like prima donnas.

Aren't there any football players out there who deserve an endorsement contract? Someone who isn't raping women, killing other people, fighting dogs? Good, hardworking people like Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers and Doug Williams? My word, what would George Halas do? What would Vince Lombardi do? What would Tom Landry do? What would George Allen do?

They would have never allowed him to play in the first place and, if he had started, they would have never allowed his behavior to disrupt the team and the fans the way Michael Vick's has. Do you know how many people could care LESS about the Atlanta Falcons? Do you think that holds true in Dallas, Washington, or Chicago?

So, Arthur, you and Nike just do it. Do what is best for the common good. Think of it as a lesson in civics. Ask your attorneys.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Teachergirl Back in Da House

Been up since 4AM so I could haul my sorry, tired behind to Dulles International Airport and wait for a flight to the deep South that didn't leave until 11AM. Luckily for me, that was my destination. I was flying with one of my teachermates who was making a connection to Salt Lake City. WTH? Dulles is one of the biggest airports in the country and someone couldn't get her a direct flight to Salt Lake? Am I missing something here?

I think I was one of the first ones home. I have already been asleep once - and get ready, I am going back in just a minute. Some of my California buddies are just getting in.

I had a great time. I worked my butt off, made some good friends and really learned something. I would do it again, but I'd take my own sheets and my ipod speakers. (I need some background noise and something soft to sleep on. )

LawyerBoy was at baggage claim - praise be!!!! He had parked the car and was waiting for me.

It is really lonely here without PrepGirl and BrownBear but that will all change tomorrow.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Is It Ever Going to End?

Peering out from underneath my copy of the Constitution and the Federalist papers to wonder how I ever made it through college. I am so freaking tired, I cannot function. Oh yeah, and that was my cellphone raising all kinds of hell this morning during the lecture. Yeah, you got that right. Sunday morning lecture.

This experience is truly amazing, but I swear to Oprah, if I live through it, I am making a medal for myself and wearing it home on the airplane. (Crap. Have to fly back, don't I?)

Right now, I am shaking, I am so tired.

And the best part? One of our lecturers forgot to turn off his portable microphone when he should have. You fill in the details.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back to School

Just a few quick notes:
  • I didn't not crash and burn on that big old jet airliner as I previously thought. As a matter of fact, the ride was pretty smooth and I was with another teacher who was coming to the Institute with me. (This flight was brought to you by Xanax.)
  • College life is just like you thought it was. Cold water in the showers, hard beds, air conditioning that either works really hard or it doesn't at all. Cafeteria food has improved, but I remember why people put on that freshman 15 (or 40 - Alison!!!)
  • Oh, yeah. The fire alarm went off at three o'clock this morning. That was sweet. I couldn't go back to that good sleep, so I feel like I pulled an all nighter. That was after going to bed having been drinking with the other teachers across the street.

I am so tired right now, I don't know how I am going to make it. Lots of coffee - but it is bad, remember? Got three hours of lecture after breakfast and three more after lunch. Then we have to work on Congressional hearing presentations. It is just 7:20 and I need a nap.

It is beautiful here in the Shenanadoah Valley, though, and the weather is cooperating. No humidity - unheard of here in Virginia this time of year and I am most grateful for that. The teachers I am with are a most wonderful group. Friendly, outgoing and not at all the geeky ones I expected. Excellent.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lawyer Boy In Charge

LawyerBoy is in charge after I leave on Thursday.

That shouldn't give me pause - he has a college degree with a double major, a Master's Degree and a Law Degree. As he has often told me, that law degree allows him to do anything: diagnose disease, teach school, critique movies, and - take care of the children. (That law degree really gave him one hell of an ego, is what I think.)

That wouldn't be such an issue except they are both going to camp and they are leaving after I leave. That means lots of packing crazy crap like mess kits and lots of clothes and sleeping bags and who knows what the hell else.

So, I am washing clothes like a crazy woman and laying out stuff and lists and packing everything for them that I can. The rest is left up to them.

And being the control freak that I am, that is driving me crazy.

Yeah, that and the flying.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eight Random Facts

The Tour Marm tagged me a while ago and I need to post my eight random facts. (I am procrastinating instead of packing. What do I need to pack, anyway?)

1. I am a voracious reader. I will read pretty much anything. As I have gotten older, though, I have realized that I don't necessarily have to finish something that is retched. I can put it aside and give it away.

2. As much as I complain about teaching, I really love it. I always thought I wanted to be a lawyer, but I can't imagine doing that for a living. Really. Summer is a blast.

3. If I am wearing a dress or a skirt, I usually wear pantyhose. I can't stand to wear dress shoes barefoot. (Although I did on my anniversary. That is the influence of teenage daughters.)

4. I was waitlisted at the College of William and Mary and that was one of my biggest disappointments. I think everything works out for the best - but it still bothers me.

5. Having daughters "late" has made me younger. I can't explain it, but when you have an eleven year old trailing you, people automatically think you are just younger than you are. I don't mind, but I am older than you think.

6. I am a pretty good tennis player. I hate golf, but I have a pretty good drive.

7. I usually can spot a grammatical error just by looking at the copy. The teachers on my team usually hand me the rough drafts of whatever they are working on and I just polish it up, right there on the spot.

8. I have gotten more outspoken as I have gotten older. You have a right to your opinion and sometimes, you have a right to say what you think. I believe that individuals and groups who try to silence you or tell you that you are wrong are the ones who are wrong. And I have become bold enough to let you know.

And here's an extra - I am fairly shy, so I am not a tagger. If you haven't been tagged for this (and everyone I have been reading looks like they have been) raise you hand and I will pick you for this meme.

Wish me luck on the packing!!


Monday, July 09, 2007

The Next Big Adventure

Thursday, I leave for a week at James Madison University to study the Constitution.

I am officially the empress of the geeks.

I applied for, and won, a scholarship to spend an entire week studying the Constititution and learning how to teach it to elementary students.

I can't wait.

You see, I am a history major.

I am a Virginian.

I am going to be all alone.

This is going to be just like college. :)

Now the downside: I am Sissy McNutcase when it comes to flying. I don't know if it's because I am claustrophobic (yes), or I am a control freak (absolutely) or every time I go to get on a plane, some other nut job tries to blow up an airport or whatever. So, I have to take off my shoes, unpack my laptop, and be prepared to prove that my Bobbie Brown foundation isn't going to explode upon take off.

I wasn't always like this. I used to get on a plane and sleep before takeoff. I could hop a Delta jet to New York for the weekend like other people hop onto their bicycles.

Then, once, I hopped a jet with Lawyerboy and we hit the motherlode of turbulence. "All is well," Lawyerboy, who also holds his pilot's license, "if something bad were to happen, the pilot would hit the seatbelt light." And so help me, that is exactly what happened.

And something in me snapped.

It also didn't help that we were coming in over Key Bridge, which had just been the scene of the crash of that Air Florida jet. During college, I usually worked in Washington, crossing one of those bridges daily. With those big jets going over- you haven't taken off in a jet until yours goes out on the runway at Reagan National and then basically backs up to be sure it has enough room for takeoff. Seriously. It reminds me of a slingshot. Or taking off on an aircraft carrier.

So, I have become a bad flyer. It has something to do with not being in control and also being terrified of dying in a fiery plane crash. That's all. I also believe that flying is akin to magic. I don't understand how it works - I mean, after all, the wings have to be able to move up and down. THAT freaks me out. Don't ask me why. Maybe it looks like they are trying to fall off.

I am always afraid that I am going to freak out like William Shatner did in that episode of The Twilight Zone.

So, there you have it.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Homeward Bound

Nice as the beach is, I always look forward to going home. Not the actual trip, mind you, but the arrival. Well, not even the arrival, if Lawyerboy has been home by himself. And, yes, he has been home alone.

They should make a movie about him being home alone in the summer.

The girls and I never know what we are going to find when we get back.

He always has the air conditioning turned way up or off. (No, I can't explain it. He either likes it hot, or he thinks he is saving money.) There are always dead flowers on the kitchen table because they are leftover from our anniversary and he can't bear to throw them away. (Why does he think I can?) The mail is either piled up on the same table or it is still in the mailbox.
The milk is usually sour. We always try to drink it all before we go, but sometimes...

This year, he was working on a huge closing - one that would make the fall an enjoyable one, you know, tuition and house payments - and finally, Friday, he said that all the signatures were on all the documents and a closing date was being set. Well. Finally. I've been sweating this one, too. I don't know why, because I usually try to stay out of Lawyerboy's business, but this one has taken a toll on all of us.

But, tonight, it is no more beach water in our mouths and we will finally be able to rinse the shampoo out of our hair.

Tomorrow, we start on the next adventure.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy First Anniversary

Yesterday was the first anniversary of this blog. I am surprised at how quickly time has passed and I am also surprised by the fact that I have been fairly consistent at writing in this. Better than in my real journal.

I have started a walking routine. I am hoping to carry it over into my real life - get up off the couch, teachergirl, and face the flab. Be healthy. On that note, I am off to walk the beach one last time - vacation days end tomorrow morning as I drag sleeping teenagers back to the big city to prepare for the next big adventure.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hey There Mr. Blue Skies

This just in. The sun is shining. This is like the end of a hostage negotiation. I'll be by the pool until further notice. Or until Sunday. Whichever comes first.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Declaration of Independence: Did You Really Read in In High School Or Should You Read it Today?

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Enough said.

Happy Fourth of July!!!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Welcome to the Beach

After that stint at summer school, I threw the girls in the Suburban (oh yeah, and two of their friends) and headed south to the beach house. "Pack some crap!" was my battle cry and "Get in the car. You can sleep when you're dead!" We've been suffering through an enormous drought, and the thought of sandy beaches, the Atlantic Ocean and, at least, my Dad's pool, made me delirious.

The trip was uneventful. Sleeping girls. Ipod playing, me driving down I-16 toward I-95. As I headed toward Brunswick, however, I began to notice cars coming toward me with their lights on. Not something too unusual, as I often drive with my own lights on - my warning to get out of my way, I'm coming through. As I examined the horizon, though, I saw dark, ominous clouds, bolts of lightning - typical summer storm stuff. I called my sister to make sure that I wasn't heading into a tornado situation - and she assured me that said scattered thunderstorms - some severe. Fine, I thought.

Forty-five minutes later, as I pulled off the freeway for the third time, visibility zero, hail battering us and lightning striking much closer than I prefered, I called her back to make sure she had checked for the correct Brunswick/Jacksonville.

We limped into the beach. The three teenagers in the back had stopped making driving comments. They had stopped talking altogether. Nothing like an act of God to get them to settle down. Wake up and shut up.

Yesterday started off a little gloomy but as the day progressed the gloom lifted and it turned out to be beautiful. Right now, it is overcast and sprinkling. I have already walked a mile in it. It thunderstormed last night as I was going to sleep. says that it is supposed to thunderstorm all day. Great. Trapped in the house with four girls, my father and his ladyfriend all day because of thunderstorms. It hasn't rained here in fifteen years and the week I come to the beach, it decides it is going to rain. WTH? There are only so many games I can play and books I can read and cooking shows I can watch when I know the beach is about 45 feet from the house.

I guess a wise traveler would have checked the forecast before throwing everyone in the car. However, a bad day at the beach...

adopt your own virtual pet!