Sunday, July 31, 2005
Val is spot on correct, as usual.I am so tired of shelling out money to watch a movie in a theater, only to have my (and everyone else's, too) good time ruined by loud, wiggly, rude, mannerless boors. Not just bratty kids, either. These tactless types come in all ages. Old women are some of the worst, in fact.
Anyone who disagrees with Val in this typically awesome Stone Soup cartoon is welcome to defend his/her really poor manners right here. Come on, try it. Tell us why you are entitled to behave in any way you choose in a public theater. I dare you.
I didn't think you could.
Everyone who agrees say 'aye!'
(I hope Belle has a good time in Michigan. I hope her trip is without incident. I hope nothing happens to my car.)
My car. Sigh.
I am so easy.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Dolly sang it first; then Whitney had a go at it; but I'd rather see it acted out.
It was Belle. Thirty miles away. She and a 'friend' had gone to the Hairbanger's Ball at the Bluebird and she had locked her keys in the car. I told her to call a locksmith and call me right back.
She did. She called me back. The locksmith wouldn't come till after business hours.
So I did what any devoted Mommy would do. I put on my shoes and drove up to the city at three in the morning to give my little
Surprisingly, there was very little traffic on the bypass. I think I've discovered the best time to go to WalMart.
In front of the Bluebird, it was a different story. The sidewalk and streets were packed. The police car's flashing lights just added to the excitement. There were young people in various stages of intoxication everywhere. Good thing IU has a dry campus, huh.
I trust my daughter implicitly, and I want you all to know that I leaned over to kiss and snuggle her out of sheer love and affection and not from any nosy desire to see if her breath smelled like margaritas.
Anyway, she unlocked her car and got in and I started home. About five miles down the interstate my cell phone rang. It was Belle, thanking me almost incoherently for driving up with the key.
She was very welcome.
"Did you really think I wouldn't come?" I asked her in amazement.
"No, I knew you would come." She replied.
You see, being a parent doesn't stop when they grow up. The things you have to do in the middle of the night just get different, that's all. You're still up. They're still up. And they still need you, which makes me very, very happy, unless money is involved.
HOWEVER, early this afternoon the phone rang again. Belle's car had died on the side of the road ("Mom, I heard something just SNAP in there!") the day before she has to drive up to Ann Arbor to confer with her novel-writing partner about their last few chapters. Fortunately, Hub and the sweet MIL were already on the road towards Bloomington anyway, so they detoured around and went to her rescue. Her car is now in the queue at Cotton's Auto Service to be repaired, and how she's going to get to Michigan is anybody's guess.
Update: She’s in Michigan now and guess whose car she’s driving? Sigh. I am so easy
Two of the very finest and best and coolest students I ever had dropped in for a visit today. Josh and Dustin, I loved you dearly when you were little kids in junior high, and now that you're big bad Seniors, I think you're even more awesome. Bless you both, my sweet young men, and I hope you stay like this forever. Hurry back. I miss you already.
How did they get so tall? I had to reach way up high to hug them.
I'm telling the world, they just don't make 'em any better than those two.
Isn't it nice that I can use such a small pan for baking brownies when I save out almost half the batter to eat out of the bowl? Such a space-saver in the dishwasher. That's why I do it.
I used the weedeater yesterday and didn't draw blood even once. And then the fishing line jammed and I couldn't get the thing off so I just laid it on the porch and it's still there. From the road it looks like a dead body.
It's better than a ceramic goose in seasonal clothes.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Thanks, Carnivals, Links, and Opinions. If you have no sense of humor, go away.Calvin: Dad, how do people make babies?
Dad: Most people just go to Sears, buy the kit, and follow the assembly instructions.
Calvin: I CAME FROM SEARS??
Dad: No. You were a blue light special at K-Mart. Almost as good, and a lot cheaper.
Mom: DEAR, WHAT ARE YOU TELLING CALVIN NOW??
Calvin and Hobbes knows what's funny.
A big public thank you, dear Michele, for allowing me to guest-host for you today. It was an honor.
The Carnival of Education is over at Jenny D's this week. Head over there and catch up on many of the issues that just might directly affect your children. We can't change things if we don't stay informed.
Speaking of staying informed on all things educational, I do hope you all read Education Wonks on a regular basis. He scours the web for school-type news and posts the good stuff on his blog, complete with links and commentary. It's awesome; go there! Don't let educational 'things' take you by surprise in the fall; read up and be informed.
I was going to say something about how important a sense of humor is for prospective biological parents while they gripe and boast and compare and laugh at stitches, labor pains, stretch marks, hemmorhoids, and second mortgages, and how important a sense of humor is for prospective adoptive parents while they gripe and boast and compare and laugh at lawyer fees, plane tickets, visa applications, agency red-tape, and second mortgages, and that nothing is impossibly bad as long as you can laugh with/at it, and that whatever the point of origin might have been, the end result is the same: a child who is now your very own, to love and cherish from this day foreveremore, and for whom you would lay down your life, but I guess I won't now. Details on request.
And speaking of kids, we went down to Louisville today WITHOUT ours. Haha, kids, you missed it. We had lunch at Logan's Steakhouse, and on the way home, we stopped for ice cream. WITHOUT ANY KIDS!
I thought of you a lot today though, kids. I looked at Six Flags across the parking lot and I remembered how you both used to really love that park. And I thought of you as I walked through the flea market and looked at the displays. I thought things like, "I'm sure saving a lot of money not having the kids here today." And as we were eating steak? Wow, what a savings there, too.
I still love you, kids. I would lay down my life for you, even though your point of origin gave me hemmorhoids, and even though I was still paying for that point of origin when you started school. But today, we had steak and ice cream without you.
I don't mind discussing any part of it. I still laugh at most of it.
That is because I have something called a "sense of humor." It is occasionally inappropriate but it generally saves the day.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
"Me Magazine." I'm still waiting.I agree. When my kids were little, I used to subscribe to several parenting magazines, and few if any of my problems were ever featured anywhere in there. Maybe on the joke page, but never in an article with advice and solutions. Where were the articles about snakes and albino rats and a garden full of rotten tomatoes and little boys, and how to hang a swing on a tree when the branches are all taller than a four-story house, and how to tell a good yard sale from a bad yard sale just by reading the ad, and how a handful of chocolate chips won't hurt your child in the long run, and how to pack a school lunch when neither of your kids like sandwiches. . . . Etc.
It's still that way. Magazines don't talk to me. I'm not sure who they are talking to, but it's somebody way richer and more normal than me.
Now I like to read magazines about Beautiful Homes, and about Cooking. My own admittedly unique problems are NEVER in there, either.
For example, today I walked into the big bathroom and saw three slices of pepperoni on the sink. Where did they come from? Why are they there? Nobody in the publishing world can tell me. Nobody in the house seems to know, either.
As for the Cooking magazines, well, except for Country Woman and all the other Rieman Publications, most of those are not for the likes of me.
See, when I read an article called "Quick and Easy Summer Meals Your Whole Family Will Love, Using Ingredients You Already Have In Your Pantry," I do NOT expect the first recipe to start out with "Sprinkle 2 tsp. of saffron and 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice over two pounds of octopus, let marinate for an hour, and grill, grill, grill!"
Whose family, and whose pantry, are they talking about? I love to cook and bake and I keep a pretty good inventory of spices and herbs, but SAFFRON? Who can afford saffron?
Lemons. I have no limes, but I always have lemons. The octopus I don't have either, but maybe I could substitute the frozen catfish that's been in the freezer since. . . . well, for a while.
I guess I can make this dish anyway, by substituting lemon for lime, paprika for saffron, and catfish for octopus. Do you think anyone will notice?
Not in this house they won't.
(By the way, if you haven't already discovered "Stone Soup" by Jan Eliot, you're missing out on a really wonderful comic strip. It's one of my favorites.)
I try to keep up with the news.How do they know he's naked if they're sleeping when he does it?
This is how my mind works sometimes. Please don't panic.
Does anybody else think that Rod Stewart sounds almost exactly like
Sterling Holloway, who did the voices for
Winnie the Pooh, and
Kaa, from The Jungle Book?
They even look a little bit alike.
But Rod Stewart was never in the Twilight Zone, and he never played cool eccentric professors in the old Superman tv series with George Reeves and Noelle Neill. Rod was never on the screen with Andy and Opie and Aunt Bee and Floyd the Barber, nor was he hobnobbing with Gilligan and the Skipper. Rod didn't have a recurring role in Circus Boy, with pre-Monkee Mickey Dolenz, and Rod never met Buffy and Jody, or Rin Tin Tin, or Hazel, or Wrangler Jane Angelica Thrift.
All Rod ever got to do was sing like Pooh and hang out with supermodels. Poor Rod.
I bet he wishes he was lucky like Sterling. I mean, besides the death thing and all.
Also, I bet Rod would have picked Mary Ann over Ginger, any day.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
And it was on sale, too.
Why look, it's Mamacita with her new computer!
Wow, she sure looks happy.
She's been online for almost an hour and hasn't been kicked offline once!
Tomorrow she's going to start putting all her MP3's on her new hard drive.
Look at that smile; she must really love her new computer.
His name is Colin.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Tomorrow we're driving up to Indianapolis, to Fry's Electronics, to look at computers.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Apple juice, anyone? Chocolate?Sweet Yvonne is worried because she's storing poop in her refrigerator. Honey, that's nothing.
At least it's your own fridge. When I was young and pregnant with Belle, and had numerous doctor's appointments which forced me to leave school early, I stored my urine specimens in the teachers' lounge fridge. This might not have been so awful if I had put them in a bag or something, but we had none. Hey, we were poor. The only time I had a small bag was when I bought something small, and with no money, who was buying anything? (Kind of like now.)
We didn't have any foil, either. Or even baggies. I tried waxed paper with a rubber band but it wouldn't stay on.
Also, the doctor didn't supply the container back then, so I used the empty bottles from the spice cabinet I got for a wedding present.
Teachers on break opened the fridge to get a coke or some juice and saw, right smack in front (lest I forget to grab it and take it with me to my appointment) a small attractive apothecary-type bottle. . . . full of pee.
It wasn't all that great a fridge, either; the condensation on the bottle kind of added to the gross factor.
Now see, sweet Y, don't feel bad.
If mine looked like apple juice, yours probably looks like fudge.
Never jam today.My poor computer has, for perhaps the 8th or 9th time in a year and a half, been wiped completely clean. Belle's friend Anthony then installed XP on it, and Belle returned it to me last night at midnight in a parking lot in the pouring rain, complete with violent thunder and unbelievable lightning. Omens, no doubt. When the storm seemed to lighten a little, I started for home. Unfortunately, the storm was just a few minutes ahead of me, and I was driving straight into it.
I don't see all that well period, and I don't see well at night at all. Add to this the blinding storm which blinded EVERYONE and you've got a road hazard named Mamacita.
That stretch of Highway 37 is poorly marked; the center lines are all faded and the sidelines are nonexistent for many miles at a stretch. That, and the almost complete lack of visual, and the torrential rain, and the blinding lightning, are why I drove home last night between 15-20 mph, and all those big trucks that kept honking at me can, well, you know.
Oh, did I mention the tornado warnings? Man, the people in Steak and Shake were nearly hysterical.
And what was I doing at Steak and Shake so late at night? I was having supper with BLOG FRIENDS, that's what.
Yes, my dear lovely friend Garrison Steelle, Scotty and his partner J, and I all met at the Steak and Shake on the west side, and had a wonderful time! Next time, why don't all of you join us?
And when Robin comes up, we'll all meet again and it will be even more fun!
Belle, dear, you have fun with that case of Ramen noodles, ok? Some day, we'll look back on these hard times and laugh. Not yet, but some day.
Hub and I spent this afternoon at Appleacres picking blackberries. The plans were for some jam but I doubt there will be enough left after we are finished eating them by the handful.
Want some? Come on over.
What was I talking about. . . .Oh yes.
My computer. I couldn't bring it into the house last night because of the storm, so I had to leave it in the car. Hub brought it in late this morning, and it's sitting on my desk, unplugged, unhooked, and unused. The ram is still sitting on the seat of the chair. I don't know how to do it (go ahead, laugh. i'm used to it. ) and Hub will get around to it later tonight. In the meantime, here I am still on his computer, which is certainly better than nothing at all, and I really, really appreciate his letting me use it.
We are territorial about our computers; it's wonderful that he lets me use his. I hope I would be as nice if he had to use mine.
And now I think I'd better go do some more laundry and maybe grab another handful of blackberries.
Since I'm not going to make jam this time, I wouldn't want them to go to waste.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Round him up, mooooove him out.We spent the day helping Zappa pack up all his things in preparation for yet another move. He has moved every summer since he was nineteen years old, but this move was a little different. He likes his apartment complex, and plans to stay, and had signed a lease for the coming year way back in March; the difference is that he is moving from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom apartment.
Same complex, same building, in fact. No problem.
There still isn't any problem, just a little inconvenience. You see, his new apartment won't be ready for him for three more weeks, and the apartment management already rented his old apartment to someone else.
Just a little miscalculation on their part, for which they are doing their best to compensate.
Today we moved him to a one-bedroom apartment just one floor below his old apartment, where he will live for three weeks. He will then move AGAIN, to his new digs, where he will stay for years and years, I hope.
In other words, for three weeks he will be living in a storage bin surrounded by boxes, with a few towels and changes of clothing, a gigantic stereo, and a bed. I guess if you're 25, that's enough stuff to get by for a few weeks.
I took a shower but I still smell like bleach and disinfectant. And my fingers are still wrinkled, or maybe that's the old age showing. . . .
Both my kids live in the same apartment complex. Their buildings are on opposite ends of it but it's the same parking lot. I find this amusing, and very convenient. This was entirely coincidental, too.
We finally quit working around four thirty, and took Zappa and his friend to get a bite to eat; I met my dear sweet friend Frau there, and we had a lovely chat as we always do. Hub sat there with us and ate his dinner, patiently enduring our giggles.
I brought Zappa's laundry home with me, so my washer and dryer will be running nonstop for most of the night.
And later tonight, I'll get the secret snack I bought Tuesday night out of the refrigerator and pour a glass of milk and do some serious munching as I read my new book and get all happy because the washer and dryer are both going full speed so technically I'm working but really I'm reading and eating my favorite candy and making a milk mustache like the celebrities do and did I mention I have a new book?
I highly recommend the entire series. It's not a knockoff of Harry Potter, not at all; it's a unique series all its own, with a fascinating storyline and great characters. Go for it. You'll love it, and your kids will love it too.
If you're wondering why I had to hide my secret snack in the 'fridge instead of inside the crockpot like I usually do, there's a really good reason for that.
I bought it, put it in my briefcase, and left the briefcase in the car since I already did my xeroxing and grading for the week. And tonight, when I remembered, well, let's just say that chocolate candy doesn't do all that well in this kind of heat, intensified by being shut inside a car.
I don't care though. I'll eat it anyway.
Oh, and I'm counting on you all not to tell Hub where I hide the candy. Because, then I'd have to, like, SHARE it and stuff.
. . . up above the world so high. . . .
This picture does not do the moon justice. Tonight, the moon is full and round and so shining silver it's almost blinding. It's still windy, and a little cloudy, and the combination of wind, and clouds, and full silver moon is breathtaking.
No matter where I stood tonight, and no matter what 'framed' the moon, it was beautiful. It was beautiful in the parking lot of the grocery store. It was beautiful between tall tree-tips in the parking lot of the college. And it followed me all the way home, except when I followed it. Now I am home, and the moon is just above the tallest trees in the woods back of the house, and it is still beautiful.
I love it when clouds brush across the moon. No wonder the ancients both revered and feared it; even now there is something mysterious about the moon. It evokes romance, and wonder, and craziness, and werewolves, and shadows when the stars are out.
When I was a little kid, living in town, I used to lie on top of the car (hey, there were no bugs there!) and watch the stars and the moon through a pair of pink plastic toy binoculars. I was crazy for a telescope, but I never dreamed I'd really get one. Good old Santa; he came through that year, and I was wordless with ecstasy. I still have that telescope; it lives in the corner behind the sofa in the living room. I used it for years; my kids used it; I still use it. The tripod is a little loose now but the telescope is still perfect. Santa's greatest gift EVER. Thank you, Dad. You did well.
I hope all you parents are teaching your children about the night sky. Every star, every constellation, every planet, everything up there has a story, an incredible story that will grab your child's interest and never let go. And with just a pair of pink plastic binoculars, your child can see craters on the moon, planets that are ROUND (at certain times of the year) and a few of Jupiter's moons. You can show your child that the stars all twinkle, but the planets simply shine. Most of these things can be seen with the naked eye. It doesn't take big money to explore the sky; it just takes patience and a toy.
Take your child outside late at night in the fall and spring, to see the meteor showers. Wish on the falling stars; there are so many then that some of the wishes are bound to come true; it's just one more little thing to help make childhood magical.
And after your kids are grown and gone, and hopefully looking at the night sky from their own balconies and backyards, you can still look up and see the man in the moon looking down, and grinning at you, and blowing you a kiss and saying "You did well, old lady with your pink plastic binoculars and your insatiable curiosity and imagination. You did well, because you passed them along to your kids, who will pass them along to their kids, and so on."
Never stop looking up. There's always something there, shining down on you.
(Look down once in a while, though. Otherwise, you might trip on something and fall on your face.)
Oh, and tell Santa to bring your kid a telescope. You'll never be sorry.
A telescope on a tripod. Otherwise it's too hard to keep focus on one thing at a time.
"How I wonder what you are" indeed.
Oh, and Jim over at Patriside rocks. But you all already knew that.
Monday, July 18, 2005
I have found Hafiz.1. Still upset over book.
2. Still happy over certain totally unexpected romance in book. (not the one you're thinking about, either)
3. Still hoping reasonable explanation will be given in next book for actions of certain characters who really
4. Still hoping things are not as they seem to be.
5 Grooving over Hafiz. Thank you, sweet Belle, for the tip. And thank you, Daniel Ladinsky.
I do despise bad poetry, however famous it might be. And I do adore the good stuff, by which I mean anything I personally like. Wanna fight over that? These verses are not Prince Hamlet, nor do they attempt to be. They are attendant lords, ones that will do to swell a progress, start a scene or two, advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, deferential, glad to be of use, politic, cautious, and meticulous; full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; at times, indeed, almost ridiculous–almost, at times, the Fool.
Yes, I totally stole that last sentence and worked it to my will. Now here's a little Hafiz. Read it and think.
All this time
The sun never says to the earth,
With a love like that:
It lights the
Makes the universe admit a
Really just a tambourine,
Against your warm
Do sad people have in
They have all built a shrine
To the past,
And often go there
And do a strange wail and
What is the beginning of
It is to stop being
Of a great need
We are all holding hands
Not loving is a letting go.
The terrain around here
The intelligent man
All your worry
Has proved such an
Find a better
Is God speaking.
Why not be polite and
A hole in a flute
That the Christ's breath moves through -
Listen to this
Invited you to a party
In the ballroom tonight
Will be my special
How will you then treat them
And Hafiz knows
There is no one in this world
Is not upon
His Jeweled Dance
Every address for
Who has just one color of hair;
One gender, one race,
The same suntan all the time,
One rule book,
Trust me when I say,
That man is not even
Half a god
And will only
Great? Not really. Profound? To me, yes. Do I like them? Yes. They make me think.
And for this mood, this moment, they are just right.
Who can say why any thing is 'just right?' We can only do that for ourselves, and sometimes we don't know till the moment is gone.
I don't know what is just right for you. I only know that words that affect my mind and my emotions are just right for me.
I have hated books that most people thought were wonderful. And I have adored books that most people thought were shit. Nobody can choose for someone else.
That holds true for more than books, too.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Warning: spoiler-ish opinion ahead. I'm still crying over the book.I got it. I read it. I liked it, even though it was so different from the others, it's almost as though it was written by someone else.
HOWEVER. . . . .
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. . . . .
I just can't approve of those certain several things. I just can not do it.
That being the case, maybe things could be changed? No?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. . . . .
Friday, July 15, 2005
At Your Request: COOKIES !Hub's downstairs watching the new Stargate episode so here I am on his computer again, snitching any and all the time I can get.
We unplugged my poor pathetic computer and took it up to Belle, who will take it over to Anthony's, where he will try to work his tech magic on it over a period of time. I hope he can do it without the ram; it's sitting on the chair beside me. Sigh. I'm glad my head is glued on tight.
I've had a kazillion (rough estimate) requests for the NoBake Cookies recipe, so here is the one I use. Please bear in mind that I do not use actual measuring spoons for recipes I use a lot.
Put the following in a large bowl and set aside:
3 tablespoons cocoa
3 cups quick-cook oats
Huge blob of peanut butter (my kids liked lots of peanut butter in the cookies) (use less according to your own taste; the recipe actually says 1/3 C.)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Put the following in a medium-sized saucepan:
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Once mixture begins to boil, cook one full minute (watch the clock hands; don't overcook!) and then remove and pour over mixture in the big bowl. Mix well.
Place on waxed paper by spoonfuls.
I made these cookies a lot when my kids were little because A. they were really fast and easy and I didn't have to heat up the oven in the summertime, B. they contain oats, milk, and peanut butter, which by my mind constituted a nutritious breakfast, and C. I like them too.
If you let them boil past a minute, they get harder. (not an intentional innuendo.)
Thank you to all you wonderful people who have given me information about computers. If mine can not be redeemed at all, I will definitely explore the links you've so kindly sent.
I got this cookie recipe out of a little hand-made pamphlet Zappa brought home from PreSchool when he was three years old. His teacher was constantly making and sending home helpful things like that; I still use many of them, and I really appreciated, and STILL appreciate, her thoughtfulness in going that extra mile. (I still put all the little ornaments with his picture on them, that she made for each of her tiny students every Christmas, on our tree.) I thanked her each time then, and here's still another 'thank you' twenty-two years after the fact. Thank you, Karen, for taking such good care of my little boy so long ago. I think of you every time I get down this little orange cookbook, held together with blue yarn, with Zappa's tiny handprint on the inside front cover, and full of easy, inexpensive, mostly nutritious, and tasty recipes.
I ain't sentimental or anything.
Y'all enjoy those cookies now.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Soon, soon, sooooooooonHub's making a phone call so I've just got time to get on here and say. . .
I absolutely can't WAIT to get my Harry Potter book in the mail! Pre-ordering is GREAT; you get it before everybody else does, you don't have to wait in line, and you get a package in the mail, which is always a treat! I got an email from Amazon just this morning, telling me my book is on its way! Woo hoo! And I'm also getting a pre-order from Scholastic! (One of the books is for my three Michigan kids!) I'm getting one for the college library, too.
When I have more time I'll post about why Harry Potter has made more of an impact on our kids' reading habits than any state-mandated program has ever done.
Harry Potter and the Positive Turnaround of American Literacy.
I thank you, J.K. Rowling. You have made a positive impact on our society in more ways than one. You have enriched us with your stories, and you have made our children WANT to learn to read better so they too can experience the wonder of your imagination linked with theirs.
To paraphrase the fabulous Monty Python: I bow in your general direction.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Spell it right or step aside. You make us all look bad.While Hub is taking a little break from conquering the world on here, I'm taking advantage of his absence to ask a question.
Does anyone else find it more than just a little bit scary that the CNN commentary on the shuttle non-launch blamed it on a defective "guage?"
I mean, if they can't spell it, how do we know they can make one that works?
The shuttle isn't launching. Apparently, they didn't.
Spelling is important, people. If you choose to patronize a business that puts a lot of spelling mistakes out there for its customers to see, count your change carefully. If they're careless in one area, they're probably careless in others.
Why is this chair always so warm?
And why don't you all come over and eat up the no-bake cookies I just made? Come on, they're mostly oatmeal. They're GOOD for you.
I know that I shouldn't get so upset over public spelling errors, but it makes me feel as though someone doesn't care enough about the audience to bother being careful.
And if the person who types out the CNN messages that banner across the screen can't keep up and still be accurate, then maybe they should hire someone who can.
Because, somewhere out there, is someone who is an excellent speller, a lightning-fast very accurate typist, and a witty literate funny person who would strive and strive hard to do a really good job.
Come on, hire me. Please?
I'll bring cookies.
No scurvy for me.I'm not dead, but thanks for asking. I just don't have a computer of my own, STILL, and don't have much opportunity now to get online. A few minutes here, a few minutes there, but no longish 'thoughtful post' time.
A few weeks ago, I hurt myself pretty badly when the weedeater attacked me. The slashes still look awful but the infection is gone now, and the poison ivy that erupted between the slashes is under control. That's what happens when you're weedeating poison ivy vines when the small mechanical devices turn on you. My doctor gave me some powerful antibiotic capsules that cleared all that infection right up. He was actually more concerned about the slashes than the itchiness, because when you're diabetic, the legs are often the first to go. Witness my dad.
And now, it's time to run the weedeater again. I'm more than just a little bit afraid of it now, which is silly but still. . . . I also realize that I left the big orange outdoor extension cord out in the yard when I started bleeding, and it's been there ever since. It's raining now but when it dries out again, I'll plug it in and start slashing. Just weeds, this time. I hope. Cross your fingers; I really am scared of it now.
I hate it when the grass gets tall. I like to keep the yard looking nice, for several reasons. One, I just want it to look nice. Two, if the yard looks nice maybe people won't notice the clutter inside the house. Three, if people do notice the clutter inside the house, maybe they'll assume I didn't have time because I was busy mowing the grass. It's logical if you turn your head kind of sideways and drink diet Coke while you're rationalizing.
I still owe people some memes. I still haven't commented thoroughly about my awesome MixMania CD'S. I'll do it, I promise. I just can't do it right now.
I bought two bags of lemons at Marsh tonight. I think I'll get out the juicer. And no, I'm not making lemonade. Straight lemon juice, anyone?
Hey, it keeps me from getting scurvy.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Mixmanias (PLURAL), parties, and the facts of life.Last night's party: Tons of fun, awesome food, lovely people. Some of you might even know a few of the guests. Besides me, I mean. We played some lively informative games, and we all left knowing quite a bit more about each other than we did when we first arrived. In fact, I'd say that we all garnered some prime blackmail material last night. Fortunately, or unfortunately, (pick word of your personal choice) we're all too civilized to utilize any facts to our financial advantage.
Before you go getting any IDEAS, please note that it was primarily a church party.
Of course, I bet I'm not the only one who learned the facts of life at Baptist Camp. It was about time, too; I mean, I was in the seventh grade and dumber than a box of rocks about such matters. I was still far too naive, in fact, even when I entered university. Such naivity is dangerous, so I hope all you parents out there are educating your children accordingly.
Yes, my sister and BIL throw a great party. Thanks, Di and Tim.
That's the good news. Now for the bad. Well, for me, that is.
My computer is still down. I'm still backing up my files. I'm on cd #51 now, and I'm still not finished backing up my MP3's. Do I maybe have too much music on my computer? No. There is no such thing as too much music in any kind of category.
As long as it's to my own personal taste, of course. Tee hee.
I hate not having my own computer. I hate not being able to download songs that awesome trusted friends post on their blogs for such purposes. I hate not having access to my picture files, and my tests and worksheets and college-related files.
On a funky sort of note, yesterday's mail brought forth TWO mixmania cd's: one from the past mixmania, and one from the latest one. The first one has been traveling around the country for quite a while, even though it was addressed correctly; the second one arrived right on time. I'm going to listen to them both in a few minutes, as Hub is wanting his computer back and I have to give up my seat. Such nerve.
I'll post commentary on both mixmania's later tonight. You know, when Hub's finished saving the universe from evil invasive forces.
For now, I will say THANK YOU to both senders-of-beautiful-music, and I'm really REALLY looking forward to having a good listen.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Dead computer, several days' worth of music, shredded newspapers, parties, wasps, and scenery.My computer is dead. Belle and Anthony are going to try and come down again on Sunday night to see what they can save, but I have a bad feeling about it. My assignment from them, until then, is to back up everything I want to save, and to NOT turn it off, lest it not turn back on. There are gremlins sitting on the speaker-tops, and poltergeists dwelling in the hard drive. I'm discovering more MP3's that I've never seen before, and many of my own songs are gone. This is really getting old. Anthony hopes that another thorough and complete wipe will maybe do the trick, but he also says that when a computer has been as thoroughly compromised as mine has been, it's probably time to junk it and start anew. Unfortunately, that would require money and I have no money. Hence, the last-ditch efforts to resusitate the old computer. Sigh. Bless you, Smart Anthony, for all your attempts to save me money and supply me with a workable computer.
A thorough wipe cleans other things; maybe it will work for my poor haunted computer.
It only took a few minutes to back up all the tests and files, but that was the easy part.
I've been saving all my MP3 files. I started last night and I'm still saving files. I'm on cd #21 and I'm still on the "D's." Oh, did I mention that I have over eight thousand music files on my computer? This will take a while.
In the meantime, Hub is letting me use his computer even though he's worried that I will somehow contaminate his hard drive, too, with my wily and all-exploring ways. But really, I mostly just blog, and read other blogs. I'm not the experimental type. Heh.
In spite of the drought, our grass keeps growing. I went out early this evening to mow a little, but probably it's best to do that when the light is good. In the dim, I didn't see the folded newspaper that had blown off one of the deck chairs, and now the back yard looks like somebody shredded the New York Times all over it. Sorry about that, Hub.
I'm kind of hoping there's a strong breeze tonight so I won't have to rake up all that paper tomorrow.
Tomorrow? Tomorrow, we're going to a PARTY!
Maybe it will take my mind off my poor sick computer, and Hub's mind off the big wasps' nest he found under the hood of the van, when he lifted it to change the battery. . . . .
Man, those wasps sure get mad easily. I mean, just because Hub rocked their world by lifting the van's hood, and then sprayed the nest with wasp-be-dead-4-evah, and slammed it shut so they could all breathe it in, the survivors and those who were out shopping at the time of the Death Spray felt like they had to get all medieval on him.
We're leaving early in the afternoon. Belle is taking us to La Torre for lunch, and then maybe we'll hit a scenic route. We have lots of those down here.
And now, I'm going going to go to the kitchen and make two pies to take to the party. I'm thinking one blueberry and one pecan. Does that sound good to any of you?
I want us all to think.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
EVERYBODY'S icon on the courthouse lawn!!!! Then it would be fair!
What's the matter, doesn't every Subway have a huge statue of the Ten Commandments in the middle of its entryway?
This statue was carved by local stonecarvers and intended for the lawn of the State House in Indianapolis. However, its delivery was delayed by all the lawsuits and protests, so the statue was temporarily placed on the courthouse lawn of this town. However again, this placement was also protested and the statue was removed, under threat of destruction, back to its place of origin: the limestone quarry. It lived at the quarry for a while, and then a big building on the corner of the main intersection in downtown ThisTown burned down, and the owner decided to build a Subway restaurant there. A Subway with a really large entryway. An entryway large enough to house a really big two-sided statue of the Ten Commandments.
People are still protesting, but a guy's Subway is his castle, and he can have whatever he wants on his own property. So there, protesters.
He's had to install heavy security to protect the statue: bright lights, and a security camera that runs 24/7/365. The statue gets death threats.
I honestly do not understand all the fuss. Sure, it's a religious thing, but if other religions don't like having only one religion represented, why don't they carve out something of their own to place alongside this one? It would not offend me in the least to have a whole row of representations side-by-side there on the Courthouse lawn. People could walk by and pick out their own, and then explain to their children that the others represent things that OTHER people believe. Wouldn't it just be educational? Wouldn't it just teach us all about each other and our beliefs? Christians and Muslims and Jews and Pagans and Mormons and Buddhists and Hindus and Elflore (yes, we have that right here too) all side-by-side for all the world to see.
Even people who didn't believe in anything could have some kind of symbol for that, so they wouldn't feel left out. Feeling left out seems to make some people all cranky, and resentful that somebody else has something they don't have. Even if they don't WANT to have it, some of them don't seem to want anybody else to have it either. What's the deal with that? Shouldn't we by now have outgrown that kind of thinking? Isn't that more than just a little bit like kindergarten playground kind of thinking?
But I suppose if we allowed all intelligent thinking people to have an icon on the public lawn, we'd have to allow ignorant evil prejudiced people to have one, too. You know, those smelly Phelps-following people who congregate in the intersection of the CVS and Family Video in town after town in this area, holding their signs that inform us that "God Hates Everybody Who Doesn't Think and Look Exactly Like Me. " Those people are always ungrammatical and smelly, rude and screeching and hateful. They come to this town almost every Sunday afternoon to scream and wave their misspelled signs in the faces of motorists who have to stop at the red light. We've got pictures, but Hub won't let me post them. He's probably right; they'd just make all you nice people angry.
Hey, aren't those the same kids who spoiled everything out on the playground, too?
Jeepers, people, why can't we all just get along? Knowledge is power. The real kind of power.
And exposure to many things gives us that much more knowledge. What are we all afraid of? Kids asking questions we can't answer?
Isn't that what we should be encouraging our kids to do?
Immigrant parents took great pride in hearing questions they couldn't answer, from their kids. It meant that the kids were becoming more and better educated than the parents, and education was one of the main things immigrant parents came here to get for their children.
To our shame, it seems that present generations consider questions without easy answers to be something to avoid at all costs. If the parents can't answer a question, then the question must be about something bad.
At conferences, teachers hear it all, from families that don't believe in dental hygiene, to families that want their kids to sit out in the hall out of earshot when stories about fantasy are being read, to little kids who are not allowed to be in choir lest a song mention fairies, to kids who can't take PE lest the evil square-dancing demons overcome them, not to even mention wearing shorts. . . . . You name it, we've seen it. And everyone is entitled to his/her beliefs. I wonder, though, if some people realize what they are doing to their children by forcing them to stand out in the innocent crowd. (I'm not talking about taking a different stand in a not -so-innocent crowd, mind you. . . .)
Let me say it again. Knowledge is power. And you don't get knowledge by refusing to acknowledge that certain things exist about which you might not immediately know a good answer. You don't get knowledge by pretending things don't exist when they so obviously do. You don't get knowledge by hiding in the hallway lest your mind expand with a new idea that your grandparents don't already know and approve of.
What was this post supposed to be about. . . . oh yes.
Thises and thats. . . .New network card: nothing. I was really hoping it would work. Anthony, what now?
Thursday night: midterm exam. Wow, that sure sneaked up on me. I'd better get to work on that.
I hate not having access to my own computer. It's always awkward, to use somebody else's computer. It's not set up for my whimsical ways, and I can't change anything on it because that's just rude.
It still seems odd to have a Fourth of July without tons of kids running all around the house and yard, setting off all kinds of fancy sparkly banging things on the basketball court. As it happened, we didn't even set off the old bottle rockets and odd fireworks after all; we listened to the neighbor boys setting off theirs, and then we were tired and went to bed. Man, things have sure changed around here. I don't half like it.
Anthony, come back. . . . save the life of my poor computer, please? Because with only me to care for it, it's dying.
Only a little while longer till the new Harry Potter book comes out. I can't wait. There is no ten-year-old kid more eager to read it, than I am.
I'm meeting Frau at four thirty tomorrow, at the Chinese restaurant. That is definitely something to look forward to; she's such good company, and she's so very nice. What would we do without friends?
(I call her Frau because she was Belle's high school German teacher. Everybody calls her Frau.)
I've been offered a full six-class load at the College next fall. Oh, please, everyone, cross your fingers that all six classes 'make.' We need the money desperately.
My class meets in a computer lab at the College. The lab always has several people working in it, before my class starts. Sometimes, when we're testing, students come in to use the computers then, too. It's weird, because almost every night, there is a group of students in that lab who seem to know me, but I can not for the life of me place any of them. I've taught so many students in my career that it's hard sometimes to remember names now, but I've always been fairly good at recalling faces and I do not remember any of these faces. I'd ask them their names, but it's been so long now I'd feel stupid doing that. So I guess I'll just continue feeling stupid NOT knowing their names, heh. I hope I get this room for the fall. It's hard teaching this writing class if the students don't have access to a computer for some of it.
I saw Zappa for a couple of hours this afternoon, and after my class I took Belle and Anthony to the new Cheeseburgers in Paradise restaurant. It was great fun. They had live music, which is always cool even when all you can say about it is, it was live. Thursday nights are Karaeoke nights, but I don't plan to go then so your windows and your sensibilities are both safe.
Any day that I get to see both my babies is a good day.
In fact, the only really bad thing about today was that my computer is still wonky.
And if my computer is wonky, then I'm wonky too. So look out. Wonky oldish chick on the loose.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Fireworks, sparklers, bottle rockets, and snakes, oh my!Happy Independence Day. And if you do not believe in that, then, Happy Fourth of July.
Everyone has a fourth of July. It's right there between the third and the fifth, so none of your lip now. . . .
Hub found a bunch of old bottle rockets when we were cleaning out the garage, so we're going to shoot off a bunch of them from the deck later tonight. Our deck is covered with many years' worth of black burned Fourth of July spots. Isn't everybody's?
Please tell me your deck is covered with black spots too?
I'm afraid to ask about your sidewalk, because, well, mine has a lot of black spots on it from those "snakes" the kids used to burn when they were little. I like the spots, because they make me remember those giggling little kids, watching the coiling black snakes with big laughing eyes. The kids, not the snakes.
I'd rather have the spots, and the memories, than a pristine household.
And now, I'd best go run the sweeper and prepare a festive holiday meal, as my sweet MIL will be here in about twenty minutes for supper and I haven't lifted a finger about it yet other than to slice some strawberries and put them in a bowl.
If you make your guests wait long enough, anything will seem good, right? Starving people aren't very picky.
Have a wonderful holiday, everyone. Please be safe, and happy. Don't step on the hot sparkler wires on the ground. Watch out for the tiny kids;
I love you all. Happy Independence Day!
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Roses are red, my love, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, my love, but not as sweet as you.Check out my $1.99 Big Lots rosebush this year. Do not focus on the white powdery bug-be-gone dust. Look instead at those beautiful blossoms. And this is just one of many clusters, all over the bush. Why pay a small fortune for roses when you can get this for $1.99?
Well, my computer hasn't given me the blue screen of death, covered with squiggly white writing that tells me Windows XP has detected a problem (insert ever-changing problem here) and has shut down to prevent damage to my computer, for about a day and a half now.
This is quite possibly because my computer will no longer connect to the internet. And nothing we've tried so far has convinced it otherwise.
Fortunately for me, Belle is coming down tonight, and she's bringing with her the fabulous Anthony, who is a computer genius and who is going to use his magic on my stupid computer. I am hoping, hoping, hoping, that it's something fixable, because I have no money to take it back to Powersource, and anyway, I'm starting to have my doubts about Powersource as the Hall of Computer Magic. I'm starting to think it's a cover for a home-owned Credit Union. Well, I know I've made several deposits there, and seen very little return. . . . .
Thank goodness Hub lets me use his computer when he's not busy using it to save the universe from alien destruction.
My borrowed kids have been returned. Sigh. It's still way too quiet in this house. And I can't blast my music because Zappa is here, and he's napping. What's with these people anyway? Sleep, sleep, sleep.
I've been gathering up the kids' forgotten things. I'll mail them off in a day or two.
Okay, so I got up at one today. At least I got up.
I love my house best when it is full of beloved peoples. It's too quiet when it's semi-empty. Even when I shake the walls with music, it's still too quiet.
I like to hear happy excited voices. Except in the movie theater, of course. In the movie theater, the only voices that should be heard are coming from the big thumpin'-loud speakers.
At home, I like to hear those voices in every room.
I guess I'll go cover the piano keys and straighten up the Disney videos, and throw the sheets into the washing machine.
(I owe several people a meme; I haven't forgotten, and I'll do them first thing when I get my own computer back.)
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Never trust a monkey.It sure is quiet in this house now.
I think I'm going to have to turn the stereo up really, really loud.
Some "Brak" songs are in order, I think. Something to make me smile.
And then I might take a nap.
Friday, July 01, 2005
MixMania playlist and a movie review.This afternoon I took the kids to see "Shark Boy and Lava Girl." I shall try to be kind. This was quite possibly the worst movie I've ever seen. If your kids are under ten, it might work. But for kids over ten, well, let me put it this way: "Major suckage alert."
The thing that makes me the maddest about this movie is that its premise had potential. It could have been really good, and it wasn't good. You know how schools tend to take a good idea and by the time they're finished tweaking it, it's horrible?
This film is like that.
Besides, if your kids have seen "Spy Kids part 3" (you know, the stupid one) they've really already seen "Shark Boy and Lava Girl." Same stances and everything. Plus bullies and a poor teacher.
My houseguests are too polite to complain about this film but I could see the incredulous disappointment on their beautiful faces. Well, tomorrow we're going to stay home and watch both "Addams Family" movies. I wonder if I have any Girl Scout cookies left. . . .
It's JULY, and time to post my MixMania playlist. The fabulous Patriside worked long, hard, and overtime getting this together, so please, everyone who signed up, get your mix burned and get it mailed. No more slackers please. It's not fair. (I mailed mine out on Tuesday.)
Songs that remind me of Summer? There is no way I could get them all on one cd this time. I really needed about ten but let's not be silly. I settled for two.
Janis Joplin - Summertime
Phantom Planet - California
The Lettermen - Theme from A Summer Place
Arlo Guthrie - Motorcycle
The Ataris - The Boys of Summer
The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
Jan and Dean - Little Old Lady From Pasadena
Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right To Party
Blink 182 - Seasons in the Sun
Bobby Vinton - Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
Chad and Jeremy - Sealed With A Kiss
Chad and Jeremy - A Summer Song
Connie Francis - Where The Boys Are
Elvis Presley - Are You Lonesome Tonight (The laughing version)
Enya - Orincoco Flow
Joey Ramone - What A Wonderful World
Gordon Lightfoot - Summertime Dream
John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - Summer Nights
Grease cast - We Go Together
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Over The Rainbow
Jan and Dean - Dead Man's Curve
Jay McShann - Once Upon A Time
Ventures - Wipeout
Louden Wainwright - Dead Skunk
Louis Armstrong - La Vie En Rose
3 Dog Night - Summer in the City
Mocedades - Eres Tu
Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime
Neil Sedaka - Laughter in the Rain
Pat Boone - Love Letters in the Sand (go ahead and laugh; I know you want to!)
Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al
Polaris - Summerbaby
Ray Parker Jr. - Ghostbusters
Ray Stevens - Mississippi Squirrel Revival
REM - Imitation of Life
Ricky Martin - La Vida Loca
Rush - Summertime Blues
Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze
Sheryl Crow - Soak Up The Sun
Johnny Rivers - Summer Rain
Sly and the Family Stone - Hot Fun in the Summertime
The Beach Boys - Surfing USA
Tom Lehrer - Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
Uncle Kracker - Drift Away
Weezer - Island in the Sun
Some of these songs are from my long-ago youth, and others are fairly recent. And some are just downright obscure and weird.
Now let's have another round of applause for Patriside, for drawing us closer to each other with music. As incredibly busy as he is, he found the time to coordinate this for us. You rock, Jim.
Also, don't forget to mail any extra DVD's or cd's to Jim, so he can forward them to the troops. Yet another stellar idea from Patriside.
Is there any popcorn that can rival movie popcorn? I hadn't had any movie popcorn in years, but I had some today. My sweet kids shared theirs with me. Don't you wish they were visiting you? Well, haha. They're mine.
They'll be mine for another few days, and then I suppose I'll have to return them to their parents. Always a catch. . . .
Maybe their parents will forget to come for them. Maybe their parents will forget who borrowed them. Maybe, maybe, maybe. . . . oh heck. Their parents are probably lonesome as all get-out without them, and counting down till they get them back. I would, if they were mine.
Three kids ages 14, 12, and almost 11 who can sit perfectly still and read quietly for almost four hours straight without a word of complaint or whining whilst occasionally participating in a college class, which, tonight, included an hour and a half of absolutely silent testing? You find me any other kid who can do that graciously and productively. I dare you.
Have I mentioned that I absolutely adore these kids? Do I have to mention it?
Because I can give you details if you need them.