Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Here's the best part of Halloween: Candy Corn.

Really, I ought to just slide up to the sugar bowl and eat it directly out of there, but there's something so lovely about candy corn. It is the quintessential Halloween candy. It has the right fall colors, lots of orange and yellow. In fact, it has the colors that my beautiful Japanese maple should have right about now.

So, even though I'm not dressing up as anything (I figure, I'm witchy enough on a regular day--why go for the obvious today) I can still enjoy the candy. And there's plenty of it because I gave in and went to get the candy--including Jonathan's selfish candy.

I remember that as a kid, the focus moved quickly to figuring out which house had the best candy. There were always some creepy people who gave out fruit--um, I guess they never got the memo about CANDY. And then there were the ones who gave those weird black and orange peanut butter taffies. I like them now, but for a ten-year-old, c'mon, dig a little deeper in those pockets and come out with the cash for the good stuff. We can't forget the folks who pooh-poohed Halloween altogether, and gave out the tracts about burning in hell because we weren't saved. Gimme a break--no kid in my group was thinking Satanic thoughts---we had to visit as many houses as possible to get the loot!

The big ceremony was at home sorting the stash. There's so much new candy today, but I am partial to memories of the good ole days. Remember the red wax lips? They tasted kind of like licorice. Remember the sugar sticks that looked like a pack of cigarettes, complete with the red tip? Man, what Big Tobacco executive came up with THAT idea? Talk about raising a generation of smokers!!! I hated the Necco wafers, but loved Pixie Sticks. I never did figure out how to suck down all that sugar without clogging up the straw with my slobber.

And of course, the best part about being the oldest is trading all the crummy candy for the good stuff. I'm guessing that won't work anymore. You kids can keep the Sour Skittles and the Gummy Worms. I'm settling in for the night with a bowl of candy corn.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm pooped

So it's late and I'm tired. I just posted my blog at Rosary Army about 12 hours late, but it's still Monday, so I'm just gonna let it go.

I've been a bit put out by the problems with blogger, plus, Mondays really kill me with classes straight through. At least I have lunch, but that's filled with responding to email and such, so really, not much of a break.

Although I get to leave at 3 pm, there's still the second shift to consider. I had a meeting at the high school from 3-4:30, and then had to take Jonathan home and haul Christy across town for another meeting. We didn't have dinner until almost 8 pm, which is pretty late for us. Usually, the animals are salivating and licking their chops the minute they get in the car, so tonight they had to wait for me to get back from Salem. Ha!

And! More of the same expected for tomorrow. No treats, just tricks. Oh, and I promised Jonathan some selfish candy--candy for him--not for giving away. We'll see.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My blog is dead

Something weird is happening. I hate to think I have to switch to the beta.



My post blew up yesterday. Maybe you saw it. Maybe you didn't. I saw it. Twice!

And then it was gone.

I realize that maybe this endeavor is a bit more complicated than I can handle, but I plug along gamefully anyway.

Friday, October 27, 2006

my uncle schmoozing with the pope

So my dad in his very unsubtle way, forwards an email to me that shows an email exchange between my brother and our uncle, in Cuba. The unspoken threat: you better get off your franny and write!

OK, OK, I hear ya loud and clear.

Then, this morning I open another email, this one from my mom. Another forward, this one from my cousin Mertxe in Cuba (she's a missionary nun there) and it's this awesome picture of my uncle speaking with Pope Benedict XVI. How cool is that?

I guess I better write him, huh?

The pressing question on my mind is: what language were they speaking?

Things to do

So, it's raining and that means I'd rather be in bed. But no, I'm up and dressed and ready to take Frick and Frack to school. They have already wiped out my money and my patience with party requests for the weekend. Are their beds made? No. Did I say Yes? No. Ha!

Anyway, for the voyeurs, here's what I have to do:

1. Finish a translation for an obscene amount of money (for only 2 hours worth of work). Too bad I'm not terribly interested in doing this for a living. I hate marketing myself in spite of the fact that my dad is an excellent salesman and trained me. Bah, just not interested.

2. There's that pile of essays calling to my red pen. I need caffeine before I tackle that penance.

3. I need to write a proposal for a film class. I am soooo pumped about that. Can you believe I get to pick 10 films to discuss in a film as literature class? I am sooo forgiving of my remedial classes just because of this little carrot. Anybody have any suggestions? I was thinking of doing a "cultural literacy" theme, showing those films that are a part of American culture. I'm thinking Casablanca, and of course, Star Wars. I also want to include one Hitchcock film. That's actually created some fun dinner time debates. The kids are pushing for The Birds or Psycho, but I'm torn between North by Northwest or Vertigo. Meanwhile, John is campaigning for Rear Window. This is going to be fun.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Friday if I didn't complain about the bane of my existence (other than the dog).

4. The laundry. What else?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The bathroom stalker is back

Man! Or rather, woman! The bathroom stalker is back. I'll spare the details--just coming here to vent because no one else is around.

This time, she entered after me, there was an open stall, but she stood outside mine until I emerged.


The NaNoWriMo Challenge

So I finally gave in to Rob's gentle nudges and have registered to be a participant in National Novel Writing Month. YES! I did it. I even succumbed to the nerdy button advertising said registration. Scroll down the page and look for the little running guy carrying a pencil. It says for all the world that I am a participant. Somehow, that has the same terribly cheesy feeling I associate with getting a certificate of participation when everybody in the group got an actual award. Sheesh, let's not delve into my childhood baggage right now....

Anyway, I did it, and so now you know about it, so I guess I would be a jerk to drop out now. Talk about creativity at gun point. Being the competitive person that I am, I can't imagine bailing out now, although in terms of my writing projects, I do tend to be Achi-like in abandoning things. Lest anyone care, I haven't quit the real novel I've been writing for a couple of years, I'm just slowed down by the immense nature of the research. I'd like not to look like a total jerk when I have my characters walking down certain neighborhoods only to have somebody's granmother point out that I got it wrong. Unfortunately, Tio Humberto died after I started interviewing him, and then Tia Esther refused to talk about the event I wanted, so I guess that gives me the liberty to make up the the rest of the story. Wow, I guess I rambled off topic there for a moment. Another one of those tricks we use to avoid the topic at hand. I gotta write a novel in 30 days.


Well, the good news is that the contest requires no quality. It's supposed to be one giant vomitous draft. I can do that if I give myself permission not to revise the day's work. Hmm, we'll see how my personality manages this challenge.

Anyway, that's what's going on. Check out the website, and play around over at Ink 'n Doodles Creative Workshop, too. Who knows? Maybe I'll get that novel finished. It beats doing laundry

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The $600 Cell Phone Bill Debacle of 2006!!!


John blanched when he saw the bill. Let me tell you that I'd still be laughing at the vision of a middle-aged guy dropping his jaw just like in the cartoons if I hadn't been suffering from apoplexy myself.

Finally, he regained his color, and of course it shot into scarlet immediately. He grumbled, "CHRISTINA! BRING ME YOUR PHONE!"

Naturally, she came running, sporting a glazed deer in the headlights look.


Sorry about the caps, gentle reader; unfortunately everything that John said was in this Incredible Hulk voice. It was almost like being in a scene from the Mask. The veins were pulsing, his jaw was square, Christy was getting smaller and smaller.

Where was I? Cowering behind my monitor--I had text messaged a few times, too.

I kept waiting for him to crush the phone in his giant cucumber fingers. Instead, he excused her, and called the phone company.

Let me tell you that it was the first time I ever saw him deal with customer service in a civil tone. Maybe this company really does have its act together, or he realized that snorting like a crazed bull wasn't going to work in his favor. Maybe a little of both? The good news is that my darling husband is finally mellowing, like a fine wine.

He went through the entire bill itemization without once losing his cool. Amazing.

And here's the good news. They had a record of the offer for free text messaging. It was never applied, so a little magic behind the scenes and the agent adjusted the bill. Phew!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Feast day of St. Anthony Mary Claret

The Holy Spirit works in crazy ways, and today is such an example of His influence in my affairs. My work schedule is wacky, with some days that start at 7, and others that start much later, and consequently end late. You can imagine that it impacts my family, not in a negative way, but that schedules must be carefully arranged. Daily Mass is not something that I fit into that schedule. Let's just say that my attendance is totally random, or motivated by some feast day or special intention.

Last Sunday, John, a.k.a. the lead usher, put away the collection, sealed it, and went home. Then he discovered our contribution still in his pocket. Ooops. It fell to me to take it to the church, and so I attended morning Mass today. Truly, it was a case of coincidences, and I had no motive other than leaving early so I could attend Mass since I was going to the office.

Our pastor, a quirky (how 'bout that generous description?) but kind man, assumed that I had attended Mass for a specific reason. You see, today is the feast day of the Bishop of Santiago, Cuba--St. Anthony Mary Claret. You can read about his life here. He was a very interesting man, one that I knew some, but not much about.

But back to the pastor--he assumed I was there for the feast of this fascinating saint, and indeed, FJ's homily was about St. Anthony Mary Claret's life. In his own weird way, FJ spoke to me, literally, by acknowledging me in the congregation (he does that--it's always a surprise to the victim), but spoke to me more clearly through his interpretation of Claret's life and message. In short, he used, practically, the same words I used at the end of my weekly post at Rosary Army's blog. Among other things, Claret was devoted to the rosary. Hmmm, cue the creepy music.

Anyway, FJ kindly offered the day's intention for the clergy in Cuba, acknowledging my uncle, whom he has never met. I might shake my head at his quirkiness, but he is a good guy.

Monday, October 23, 2006

shades of 2001: A Space Odyssey

So I'm scrolling through the news this afternoon and see this picture from NASA. Here's the link to the Hubble article, but that's not what interested me. Doesn't it look like a human embryo? I think so.

In a political statement brought to you by, ME, here's a link to some sensible pro-life stuff. I'm all about common sense folks. I mean, if the Humane Society protects sea turtle eggs because those embryos will be sea turles one day, how come they don't protect human embryos? How's that for taking human out of HUMANE?

OK, thanks for listening.

Incidentally, here's my post at Rosary Army. Mom, you really just need to bookmark the page, k?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jane Wyatt died!

Wow, I had no clue she was still alive. I would have bet she was like a hundred! In fact, she was 96.

In a moment that links me to The Gilmore Girls, I love the 1950's sitcoms. Father Knows Best was one of my favorites, although I have to admit that I loved Wyatt more as Spock's mother. That weird Vulcan kiss with the finger thingie was a gas.

My other favorite is, of course, Leave It to Beaver. In addition to having a crush on Wally, only to see what a nerd he's grown up to be, I owe my predilection for pearls to that other TV mom, June Cleaver, um, Barbara Billingsley. In fact, I advertise my psychotic intent to really clean house by donning my pearls.

rainy days and sundays

Sundays are pretty ok in my book. Rain just makes it a whole lot better. We slept in to the incredible , unbelievable time of 8:10. I feel like I may have wasted my entire morning. Not!

It's been a very low key morning, and so I thought I'd pop in to post something--anything--rather than return to doing...nothing.

Hey! We're actually enjoying Sunday the way it's meant to be! After lazing around and having a very sugarladen but tasty breakfast of cafe con leche and ginormous cinnamon buns, we've each retired to our little pursuits. I'm here, of course, updating this and trying to get myself all geared up for National Novel Writing Month, at the persistant urging from Rob at Ink n' Doodles. Christy is off with her music, and Jonathan and John have resumed their work in the basement. I'm sure they'll be up shortly in search of lunch and positive reinforcement for having laid two more tiles and swept a bit.

Actually, I shouldn't mock them too much. They've gotten quite a bit accomplished, and the basement is moving toward completion. I just think it's a wise course of action for me not to entertain thoughts of a completion date.

And, the best news of all, the dog is taking a nap. No chirping at the moment. Here's hoping you have a relaxing Sunday afternoon, too.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

another excuse to avoid laundry

entertain yourself with this:

You Are Marge Simpson

You're a devoted family member who loves unconditionally.

Sometimes, though, you dream about living a wild secret life!

You will be remembered for: your good cooking and evading the police

Your life philosophy: "You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."

Friday, October 20, 2006

pantyhose, feminism, and common sense

I've got one of those jobs where "professional dress" translates to: you better be wearing pantyhose. My knee-jerk reaction to that is: the men better be wearing ties.

Consequently, we've got a lot of women wearing that awful support hose from the 70's--you know what I'm talking about--the one where the nude shade makes it look like you've been at the beach all summer, but your arms and face are scary-white. They lead to saggy ankles (tsk tsk).The guys, of course, don't disappoint. There are a few who wear their ties proudly--with short-sleeved shirts. I'm tempted to check their collars to see if the ties are snap ons.

Anyway, I dutifully wear my pantyhose.

This afternoon while in the ladies room doing the ministrations ladies do in those rooms, I managed to poke a finger through my hose. I didn't think it had compromised anything--I was sure it wasn't going to run because more than likely it would just continue to tear along the fault line. I was right.

By the time my staff meeting was over, the little tear was now a gaping hole in my thigh, and all that compressed thigh was trying to escape from the not-so-tiny-anymore hole. Yikes! It was like a sausage trying to escape the casing. Ew, perhaps that's not a good choice of imagery.

I dutifully wore the offending piece of lingerie. While chatting with two of my colleagues back in the office, the conversation made its way to a point where somehow it seemed appropriate to share my mishap. Why? Well, one of the ladies is pregnant, and so that automatically sets the stage for pregnancy war stories.

I told them about my sausage-casing thigh. They looked at me like I was afflicted. I got, in stereo, "Take them off!"


Why didn't I think of that?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

feet are gross: and so are toes

So I'm sitting at my desk drinking my green tea (because there is no coffee-maker in the house---re Coffee Pot War of '06) and I got to thinking about what I could write. I wasn't going to post after all, so I got entertained by a game of Spider Solitaire. I can win at the hard level, which pretty much qualifies me to do...nuthin'.

Anyway, I've got a load of laundry in the dryer, so I can't go barefoot according to FLylady. Here I am--it's 9 pm-- I'm wearing my comfy flannel jammies, and I've laced up some shoes. She says we need to wear shoes so we know we mean business with the housework. I'm sensing an awful off-topic track here....and I move my feet and somehow WHOA! I catch my toenail, in the shoe, in the sock and I feel like there's some kind of Chinese bamboo torture attacking my toe.

I gingerly remove the shoe and the sock, to discover that my nail has somehow separated from the skin, only in a perfect little box, so half is disconnected and the rest is stuck where its supposed to be. Pain. Pain pain pain.

I figure, it's my blog, and you are the weirdos cuz you come here and read it, so why not share a real moment in the life. Here's a picture. It's the middle toe, and you can barely see what happened, but there's something about posting my toes here that makes me feel a bit self-conscious about a close-up. On second thought, this is going to be one of those posts I just should have let die.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Cup of TEA and a Random Thought

In the world of silly conversations, today I discovered something really funny about my sister.

She hates tea.

What's the big deal? She very much wants to like tea. She jumps at the opportunity to make tea, because, in her own words, "I like making tea." What a loser.

She also randomly orders tea in restaurants because they have nice-sounding names such as darjeeling or tisane, or she'll latch onto something fancy, such as Earl Grey. And then she'll taste it and go, "Ew, don't like it."

HA! How could I not mock her here?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dancing Monkeys?

One of the things that I really enjoy about my job is, believe it or not, the hours I must spend in my office to be available for students. It's like I get paid to catch up on things that I need to do that are computer related. I write here, in the blog; I write a weekly blog for Rosary Army (my mother reminded me I haven't posted it yet--sorry Mom, I have a new schedule and I teach straight through Mondays, so you'll have to wait-maybe I'll have to turn it into Tuesday Thoughts). I work on some other things, and catch up on grading, too.

My favorite, however, is catching up on my favorite podcasts. I listen to them right off the internet, and it's turned into a great treat for me. This morning I finally listened to the Rosary Army 100th episode while, among other things, putting away laundry at home.

I've reviewed a few things here, some books, a play...the dangerous sport of wheelchair drag-racing in the streets of Atlanta. It makes sense that I should review my favorite podcast.

I got hooked on the Rosary Army Podcast, hosted by Greg and Jennifer Willits, last year when they started it. Actually, Greg got it going, and when Jennifer joined him, the quality improved (ha!) and the show went in a wonderful direction full of spontaneity and humorous banter, with a sprinkling of serious topics affecting families. It's all done under the mantel of Mary's exhoration to "do as He says" so listeners can bank on Roman Catholic content that is faithful to the Church's teachings.

The bonus is that we can hear normal people (okay, the normal part is a bit generous) talk about their lives, their trials, tribulations, and joys, AND be practicing Catholics. It's a lovely example of a young couple living the gospel in the world. Incidentally, there's a great deal of catechesis going on, sometimes direct and prayerful, and other times through their brilliant characters, Captain Catechism and his sidekick, Merry Medal.

The 100th Episode is a must-listen for those of you interested in something better than angry talk radio. Give it a listen. I promise you'll get hooked.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

whatever happened to Paul Hogan?

We found Crocodile Dundee at Helen's Oktoberfest in the Georgia mountains.

Things must be tough in Hollywood; he seems to be the local troubador.

This morning, very early, I took Christy and Jonathan to the All-State auditions in some little-known backwoods town somewhere between Atlanta and Macon. When we got home, starved and punch drunk, John suggested we get lunch in Helen, two hours away. It was a brilliant idea. You couldn't ask for a more beautiful fall day, so we were game. Only, it's October. Duh, you say? Well, it's more like Homer Simpson's Doh!

This is what it looks like trying to get into Helen in October. We realized, a bit late, that maybe it wasn't such a brilliant idea afterall.

We entertained ourselves for an hour, while waiting to travel 2 miles...here's a self-portrait of me in my boredom. We also listened to Univ of Georgia lose. HA!
And we made friends with a Shriner. They always do good work, in spite of the goofy hat. These are men with great conviction, or a poor sense of fashion.

Nevertheless, we finally made it into town. That's the Hooch (the Chatahoochee River, of course).

We naturally headed straight for our favorite restaurant, Alt Heidelberg. Here, the budding thespians are contemplating the joys of Spezi.

Of course, then there's dessert at one of the bazillion kiosks selling funnel cakes. The consumer bought a ginormous strawberry and cream concoction, which I dutifully gnawed on for a while. Here, a very nice nun (from Cleveland, Ohio!) took our picture. I should have taken her picture, instead. She was smoking Tiparillos. Nice.

Incidentally, any clues about why a Bavarian/Swiss town is flying the Mexican flag? Maybe you can find the answer at the very first restaurant in town. Casa de Pepe. Jeez. I like Mexican food as much as the next person, but you don't see Warner Brothers cartoons at Disney World, ya know?

Edited by me: Hey, I'm a moron. That ain't no Mexican flag. I just realized that, in order, it's France, Bavaria, U.S. , ITALYand that last one I had to look up--Norway (there's actually a Norse collection in the midst of all the German stuff in Helen--go figure). I'm still offended by the tarbaby in the next picture, though.

Speaking of the inexplicable, I actually saw this little statue in town. Does one go up to the homeowners and ask: Where have you been for the past 40 years? Just sayin'.

And finally, thanks for reading this far down in the interminable post of 2006. It was a long day, thus a long post. It ended on a hysterical note, too. This picture is not so great, but it's significant in the historical moment that it represents. We were chatting on the way home and John got lost. He got lost! LOL!!! And the best part is, he admitted it!!! With an announcement, no less. "Hey, you're not going to believe that I think I'm lost."

LOL---ROFLMAO!!! I love this guy.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Triskedekaphobia? Not us!: Happy Day, Christy!!!

On a Friday the 13th, 16 years ago, my precious Mouse was born. John was threatening to name the baby Jason if it was a boy. The nurses were scandalized. The doctor told me not to worry. I guess he knew something all along.

Anyway, no such thing as bad luck. I even walked under a ladder today, because they are fixing the roof just outside my building, and I would have had to re-enter and leave by another exit. Like I said, I'm not superstitious. But, I watched some people hesitate, go back in, or think about it before they walked under the ladder.

What a bunch of losers. The only bad luck would be if the thing fell on their heads. They could get a clue from the wacky people here, having a grand time at the annual let's debunk superstition party going on in New York. There's even an obstacle course where they dodge black cats, open umbrellas indoors, and yes, even walk under ladders.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

October 12 of 12

So here we go again with another 12 of 12. Check out Chad's brainchild here. You can read the rules, and see the world wide submissions. It's a pretty fun activity--celebrate the mundane, capture the fantastical, or console yourself with the knowledge that you're not the only one leading a tepid existence.

Sheesh, sorry for the mood. Maybe I'll have something remarkably original for next month. For now, the voyeurs can just take a peek at what a mild-mannered college professor does. I'll work on finding a phonebooth for next month.

Sometime around 6:45 a.m. I ate a bowl of raisin bran. OMG, I am possibly more pathetic than I thought!

These two goobers have a cross country meet today, and it's cold and promising to rain, so they are gussied up and posing as gangstas. Somehow gussied up and gangstas just doesn't work. Whatever happened to smiling for the camera? One day when they are old they are going to ask themselves why they look stupid in every single picture.

I sat down to check email and such after I returned from dropping off Frick and Frack. It's not even 7:30 yet, and I don't have to be at work until 10, so I burned some CD's.

Then I did some laundry because all I ever seem to do is laundry. By 9:00 I had finished a couple of loads, so I felt I had done my piece for family today.

After some tutoring and twiddling of the thumbs, I escaped out the back way and had Chick-Fil-A. If you're not from the South, capital "S", then you don't know what you're missing. I will concede the point that sweet tea is an evil concoction, though. Yuck. I had mine with Coke. This is Atlanta, after all.

Sadly, I had to return to piles of grading. The only way to learn to write is by writing. It's painful for me over here on the receiving end of those first attempts. I imagine that screening literary manuscripts must be an awful job. On the other hand, those editors can pitch the garbage. I have to make nice and write encouraging comments on even the most feeble attempts.

Finally, I make it to my car, in the dark, in a not so great area. What happened to the street lights? I was ready for some Kung-Fu Fighting ( or running--I was in flats).

Traffic was the usual congested mess. It's very dark by 8 p.m. and the time hasn't even changed yet.

I saw gas for sale for $1.92. I was so amazed that I tried to take a picture. Now that I think about it, why did I take a picture? I should have pulled in and filled up.

Home Sweet Home. Did anybody save dinner for me? No. They will pay for this when they least expect it. I whipped up some cheese quesadillas, which were filling, but not exactly fulfilling.

What, you may ask, is the significance of an empty laundry basket? Ah, you are so brilliant! I have, indeed, finished the laundry. Until tomorrow. When somebody throws dirty underwear in there and starts my purgatory all over again. Let me enjoy my picture.

And finally, I am off to bed. I've been following the advice of FLY Lady and shining my sink before I go to bed. It's made a big difference for me and my slacker ways. Goodnight--I've gotta get some sleep.

The Bonus Picture: Halloween

Let me express my extreme bitterness at not being able to attend this year's Herald Hunt, formerly the Tropic Hunt, in Miami. BOO-hoo

if you're looking for pictures...

check in again tonight. I've got a handful already, and it's still early.

Remember, today is 12 of 12. Get crackin'.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Only in California...

...could the crazies encourage people to bring worms to work. Yeah, it's a plan to have the worms eat all the garbage such as apple cores and leftover sandwiches and create compost which the employees can then take home for their gardens.

Read about it here.

I especially like the part about worms being finicky eaters. "They also seem to harbor a special dislike for bologna sandwiches, though any kind of dairy or meat product is problematic because of the smell.... Like other slender creatures, worms are also finicky about fatty foods and carbs, and eat bread only in moderation. Coffee grounds, on the other hand, and rotting fruit go over very well."

Can you make this stuff up?

Oh, and the part about bologna sandwiches...why are you still buying that poison? Even the worms won't eat it.

Tomorrow is the 12 of 12

Get your cameras ready, set the alarm, and for Pete's sake, remember to get dressed. Tomorrow is the monthly 12 of 12. A fun little activity for the voyeur in all of us.

Check out Chad Darnell's website, with the rules, and past entries here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Holy Bat-3D glasses, Batman!

My dad sent me pictures of this guy's sidewalk art last year. Here's the link. It's pretty incredible. These are new pics, although, the angle isn't always giving the best perspective. Nevertheless, totally amazing. Especially the girl in the swimming pool--it looks like her leg is coming out of the water.

Here's a self-portrait of the artist.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Miss Annie Update

Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. Y'all keep her in your prayers. She'll get a couple of pins, and then a pretty long recovery, so we'll see how she fares.

In other exciting news, we have attacked the front hedge. Yes, the hedge that I so adroitly trimmed the other day. There is scary talk of fountains.

Did I just say that? For your amusement pleasure, John wants to put a fountain in the front of the house. Sure, this after we renew our wedding vows and I used up any chance that we weren't in our right minds 21 years ago.

As if I wasn't already long-suffering with the dog....

I think he does this to torture me so that he can get what he really wants. It's like the teenager who tells his parents he's getting a tattoo, so that when he comes home with his nose pierced, they are relieved. He just bought a truck, what else could he want? Oh no! I think he really wants a fountain!!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

plans are made to be broken: Saturday night at the emergency room

And speaking of broken, I got another one of those I've fallen and I can't get up calls from Miss Annie. This time, though, it was serious. Chris and I were on our way home from the grocery store, so ice cream be damned, we mounted the rescue team.

We found her sprawled on the living room floor, where she had dragged herself to open the door. Chris and I were going to try and spare her the ambulance, but it became clear to us immediately that there was no way we were going to be able to carry Annie and her flopping ankle to my car, so the 911 adventure began.

Let me begin by noting that in today's world of diversity and political correctness and Americans with Disabilites Act stuff (which is a GOOD thing, don't flame me), the ambulance driver clearly had a disability that not only impeded his speed and movement, but made it impossible to carry the gurney out of the house and down the steps. So, our heroes called another set of heroes, the fine men down at the fire station. They parked the big red shiny engine on the street, because, well, there was no way they were getting up the hill. Then, they scaled Pride Rock rather than walk around the driveway. I guess they get their training anywhere they can.

The adventure ended with a picture of Annie in the gurney, because despite the obvious pain and freaky angle of her foot, she was determined to be a hostess for the 7 men that were surrounding her. Oh, and they were ever so genteel by turning around while Chris and I stripped the pantyhose off of Annie. Mental note: next time just cut the buggers off.

The emergency room was a saga unto itself, as a broken ankle doesn't rate up there with the other maladies and emergencies, including Code Blues and the PA announcement that had to have been distressing to the mother-to-be, "If there is an obstetrician anywhere in the building please report to the emergency room." How would you like to hear that between contractions?

Her nurse was a pleasant woman, named aptly enough, Linda, and she had the winning ticket when they finally authorized some morphine for Annie. Let me just say that I'm sorry it didn't come before they took 80 x-rays of the ankle, knee, hip, and bank account. I was asked to step outside, and that's a good thing because I would have punched the woman when I happened to look through the window and see Annie writhing in pain because of some crazy angle the chick placed her in for the x-ray.

Anyway, the doctor was appropriately compassionate and professional and all. She's going to need surgery on Tuesday, once the swelling goes down. I imagine the rest of the evening went well. Once Elaine got there and they discovered I was not the daughter I was unceremoniously asked to step outside, so I went home.

It's just as well. They were going to set the ankle in a splint, without general anesthesia, just a sedative. I might have punched somebody.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

it's only 3 and we've done so much!

I guess that's what happens when you get up at 8 am and hit the road for activities. Christy chauffeured us around town in "her" truck, taking us to breakfast (I had a yummy omelette), buying shoes, and of course a pit stop for the consumer to pick up an inflatable skull for Halloween.

Christy and I left the boys to their devices (it seems Jonathan always has some device), and we headed out to Ga Tech for a tailgate party sponsored by her sorority. We had a nice time, met the girls and some of their parents, had an awesome burger and some really tasty cookies and then went back to another tailgate party hosted by the H's and C's.

Here's Vic and her "twin" sister, since they have the same big sister.

I still have the whole day and evening ahead. I need to figure out what to do with a London Broil. I imagine broiling figures in there somewhere. Time to look up what Rachael Ray has to say on the subject....

Friday, October 06, 2006


Evidently, today is an exciting day after all.

Happy Birthday


It's Friday morning, and I am indulging myself with a cup of real coffee (picked up on the way to work). The Great Coffee Maker War of 2006 continues and I refuse to buy a coffee maker. Therefore, no coffee at my house, unless you like a little shot of Cuban coffee.

I have a lot of paper work to catch up on, setting up an electronic gradebook, dropping no shows, and planning lessons. It's nice to have a catch up day like this, especially since meetings and such haven't creeped up on me this early in the term.

I've been listening to a lot of music that I wouldn't ordinarily pick. I think I'll put together a list of what I've enjoyed recently, but not today. Although, I must share that I went to a wonderful concert with Vicky, to see the 5 Browns. They are a family of 5 brothers and sisters who are accomplished classical pianists. The concert was exquisite. They played a variety of composers, including Lecuona and his very famous Malaguena. I forgot to tell Vic that he's a Cuban composer (so if you are reading this, Vic, now you know!).

I'm also catching up on some podcasts that I haven't had time for lately. I'm waiting for the next installment in the Secrets of Harry Potter and I'm getting a little impatient, but to be fair, the episodes are worth the wait. If you are a fan of the HP series, this is a great commentary on the mythical and especially, Christian symbolism in the books.

That's it. It's not a terribly exciting day, but it is a good day, and it's always good to get some work done. If you came here for entertainment or quirkiness, I'll indulge you with the link to the winners of this year's igNobel Awards--a spoof on the real Nobel Prizes. If you have smelly feet, then this is a must.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

restroom ettiquette

I've heard of the complex positioning of men in public restrooms when there are many open urinals, with the appropriate selection being as far away as possible from the ones already occupied. It makes sense to me.

Women have it easier--at least we have stalls with doors and locks (most of the time). I think the same rules of selection apply to us, though. I mean, I wouldn't go next to someone if I could put a stall between us. Unfortunately, one of the reasons it is so interminable for women to go to public restrooms is because the stalls take up more space than a urinal. Don't worry ladies, I'm not advocating a change in the system.

I'm just choosing my blog to vent about a very creepy experience I had in a public restroom today. When I entered, there was a woman who had just exited a stall. I chose a different one, because, frankly, ew. Intellectually, I know people have been there before me, but I had no interest in following a recent occupant. By the time I reached my stall, the woman had finished washing her hands and had thrown away the paper towel, and seemed to be headed toward the door.

Instead, she stood outside my stall. I swear I could hear her breathing. I couldn't believe it. On the weird-o-meter, this woman was off the charts. I thought, maybe she's fixing her hair and there's a mirror in that unlikely spot. Then I thought, hmm, should I ask her if she needs help?

In any event, my bladder clamped up, equally freaked out, so I gave up on my errand and zipped up angrily and left the stall. She was just standing there, no mirror around. I gave her a creepy look, and washed my hands. Evidently that was her cue to leave.

Relieved, I was able to relieve myself. I have to chalk it up as one of the most bizarre experiences in a bathroom, ever.

I don't generally ask for input from my gentle readers, but I really need to ask: Am I crazy? Should I have said something, even if it was an angry go away?

my geeky Star Trek yearnings

So it's no surprise that my Star Trek interest would lead me to read the science news. Scary, I know. Few people know that I was torn between geology and the arts, with literature winning at the last minute. If my life had gone in another direction and I had listened to the very persuasive recruiters, I'd be in Alaska working for a Big Oil company.

Thank God!

No doubt it would have been an interesting adventure, but I have no regrets. I think maybe I would have had many had I stayed the course. Who knows. Maybe I'll write a book about my alternate universe.

Anyway, I'm happy to be sitting in my office listening to Frank Sinatra's duets (he sings with Jimmy Buffet, how cool is that?) and complaining about students that write poorly. I keep interminable office hours, and no one visits. Then of course, at the last minute I'll have a full house--goobers asking for extra credit. Sheesh!

In the meantime, I enjoy the solitude and the music, and get some writing done, or like now, some reading. As I was perusing the news sources this morning, I ran across this article about transporting matter. Very cool.

It isn't exactly Mr. Scott and his transporter, but it's still pretty cool. I mean, instead of art imitating life, it's the other way around.

Incidentally, for you Trekkies and Trekkers, Captain Kirk never, ever said, "Beam me up, Scotty."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Congratulations Jaime

Look who got ordained today! Woohoo, Jaime! Congratulations. I think there's a party going on in Rome as I write.

Felicidades, mi amigo. And now, on to the next ordination!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Don't tug on Superman's cape; Don't spit into the wind.

Don't pull the mask off the Lone Ranger, and don't mess around with Clark.

I've been following a crazy campaign that Clark Howard has been running against Bank of America, and it makes me laugh. In a complicated turn of events, a San Francisco man was arrested for check fraud and detained, then held even though he wasn't the criminal trying to pass the bad check.

The guy was eventually released, but it still took $14,000 of his own money to clear his name. Clark Howard called the bank to offer to split the guy's court costs, and the bank refused, thus pissing off Howard and starting the whole mess. In short, Howard, a syndicated radio personality that offers consumer advice, has advised his listeners to remove their money from Bank of America because a bank unwilling to admit to a mistake and provide good customer service is only interested in the bottom line.

He proposes to attack that bottom line. To date, $26 million dollars have reportedly been removed from Bank of America accounts. I guess those $7,000 saved have really made an impact on the BOA bottom line.

Forgive me while I assume a Liberal posture and laugh while the little guy makes the corporation cringe.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Out of the mouths of fools

Some politicians (some?) just need to keep their mouths shut, like this idiot who advocates sterilizing bad parents.


"We pick up stray animals and spay them," Larry Shirley said in a story published Saturday by The Post and Courier of Charleston. "These mothers need to be spayed if they can't take care of theirs. Once they have a child and it's running the street, to let them continue to have children is totally unacceptable."

Too bad his mom wasn't spayed.