Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Thursday, January 29, 2004



She managed to make it through six other words--bolt, groom, blockhead, swindler, pleased, and smattering--before getting stymied. Oh well, such is life.

Or so you would think.

They had all the parents and visitors of the eight kids competing in a room together away from the library, and we watched the contest on closed circuit. The moment Oldest was told she was wrong, she let out an audible and rather snotty "Oh, CRAP!" then a few minutes later showed up upstairs clutching her gut and melodramatically stage-whispering to Reba and me that SHE! FELT! SICK! I told her to shhh and whispered to her to go to the restroom, and she furiously hissed that SHE! FELT! LIKE! HER! STOM! ACH! WAS! ON! FIRE! Reba and I both told her to pipe down and I told Reba to take her out to the restroom now. ::sigh:: They came back in a little bit, and she was quieted down some, but she kept mumbling to herself and agitatedly spelling everyone else's words on the television. It'sonlyaphase,it'sonlyaphase,it'sonlyaphase...

The final two kids went through seven more rounds before one got hung up on ubiquitous--e-u-b-i-q-u-i-t-i-o-u-s. The other girl, whose name I believe was Courtney Moss of Clay-Chalkville, spelled it correctly and then finished up with serendipitous for the win.

As for the rest of the competition, the television we had wasn't quite plugged into the CATV outlet all the way, so until the custodian came and fixed it, it was like trying to watch and listen to scrambled Cinemax. Not that I know what that's like. You could hear the kids barely, but the pronouncer was inaudible until it was fixed.

At least this year the pronouncer didn't have such a thick Southern accent as the woman did last year, although she and the judges both seemed to have lived a rather sheltered life. She stopped at one point and asked that the judges pronounce vigilante. As the kids say, WTF!?! You don't know how to pronounce THAT?! So, the judges pronounced it, something like "vij-a-LAHWN-tay'." Huh!? You TOO!? Stuff like that is why I get so miffed at being constantly hectored by the teacher's union sorts about how smart they all are. Yes, I'm sure you think you are, but when an 8th grader mocks you for not knowing a common word, it kinda hurts your argument.

In other observances, there was one cute little smiling girl who asked for a definition for EVERY word. Including words such as log. It was obvious she had been coached in the fine art of stalling for time. She was eliminated toward the end, too. Then there was a lady there who seemed very intent on making sure all the other parents knew that you could protest a call. She said something even before it began about wanting to make sure she could hear the television in case she needed to make a protest. A kid misspelled embargo as embarigol because of the stilted way the pronouncer said it, which the kid repeated. The lady leaned over to the grieving parents and confidently said, "You know, I would protest that." Hey, no kiddin', sister.

All in all, an interesting break during the middle of the day. And there were refreshments afterwards!

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