Wednesday, January 31, 2007

is this a great country, or what?

I've cropped the letter to avoid the creepy stalker thing, but my niece's school sent this home. If you see the headlines coming out of Miami, there's a great deal of elation over Castro's ill health. My earlier post focuses on the tasteless joy at his impending demise, but at least the Archdiocese of Miami is using charitable language.

Of course, we all know how to handle the nuances of euphemism. "In the case of a change of government in Cuba...."

I'm guessing what they really mean is "when that arrogant son-of-a-bitch assassin dies...."

The concern here is that pandemonium will erupt in the city. Several things can happen. Crazy people will take to the streets in celebration, creating a scenario much like a riot. In fact, I'm sure the plan is to prepare for rioting. I suppose raucous behavior is still a riot--and there will be people out to pillage and plunder. What a shame; what a crying shame.

The second eventuality is a state of chaos in Cuba--U.S. authorities are preparing for a mass exodus from the island--to the tune of a million people. Insane!

I'd drive down to check out the scene, but the truth is, it has the potential to be really crazy.

Nevertheless, I am totally expecting somebody to hook me up with the T-shirt, m'kay?

update on Elaine

She's out of ICU and seems to be stable and, hopefully, out of danger. Things are looking good.

I wonder if she'll be able to play the violin?


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

peeling movies and killing beetles

Sounds weird? I think so, too.

I've got this on-line class that I teach and settled into the evening waiting for the messages from students (that never arrive---I guess they're all gonna get A's or F's).

I see my husband intently concentrating at his desk, so I ask him that ever-original question: Whatcha doin?

I know I don't get points for creativity, but I wasn't expecting his answer:

"Peeling movies and killing beetles."

Apparently he has ordered a bazillion movies from some cheap on-line source and the package came in. He was peeling off the wrappers and struggling with the obnoxious strip of tape that seals the box. To entertain himself he played some RPG that involved killing giant beetles for some valuable drop. It's all Greek to me.

for Laura

dang cold or bitter cold?

How do you classify it when it is so cold that your body is not reconciled to the cold?

I can put on a coat, wear warm pants and good winter shoes, put on a goofy knit cap and wrap myself in yards of scarves, and still feel that penetrating cold that hurts every pore in my body. Let's not even talk about what it does to my lungs.

I'm going home to make some hot chocolate.


Monday, January 29, 2007

HA HA HA HA HA ! ! !

There's a trip to the confessional in here somewhere, but I'm not quite at that place yet.

Check out this hysterical headline: Miami Planning a Party at the Orange Bowl When Castro Dies.

That's just too much.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

They made me do it

Blogger finally hijacked my login and made me switch to the new version.

No hard feelings--but a warning to those of you who haven't--it's coming!

We'll see how this works. I've already been using the new version with some other accounts, so it shouldn't be a big deal. This post is mostly for me to get one done and work out any potential kinks. I'll be back to my regularly unscheduled posts later.

28, 082

Friday, January 26, 2007

Nude jogger? Gross

I'm wondering if the people in this article would change their tune if the guy was built. It just seems that the focus is on the fact that the guy is out of shape (he gets no credit for trying to get in shape?).

Just thinking out loud on this one folks. Having witnessed a nude vollyball game on Virgina Beach in Key Biscayne, Florida back when it was a nude beach in 1981, I can say with definitive authority that people should wear clothes when exercising. Those Greek urns? Yeah, they capture a picture of those athletes frozen in mid action. It'd be a different situation if those urns were animated.

Oh, and Moma and Dad, I was on a field trip for Geology. We went there to study groins.

Note: Okay you naughty people, go read the link. It's an actual geologic term. Of course, I'm not commenting on the obvious....

Thursday, January 25, 2007

the thing about writing other stuff... that I get here, and just stare at the screen. It's like there's only a finite number of words that I am capable of producing, and once I have hit that limit...that's it--shut off mode.

It's a shame, really, I mean, I guess in a typical day I could have maybe 3 or 4 hours of writing, if I managed my time well.

Except, who said I manage my time well? I steal half an hour herea, an hour there, and maybe it adds up to a few hours. Anyway, my quota was met and exceeded yesterday and today with a series of things that had to be written, and not one, NOT ONE was for pleasure.

Sheesh. This is mostly to stave off the nasty commentary from she-who-shall-remain-nameless. It's for naught. I can hear the comment now: Nice. Another excuse for not finishing the novel.

For your information, when writers find other stuff to do instead of writing, it's called "vacuuming the cat." As in, there's something far more important to do than write.

Of course, it's silly for me to vacuum a cat. I don't have one. But we have vacuumed the dog when he was shedding copiously. Or I could blog.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

where's the Raid roach spray?

I'm sitting at my desk tonight, minding my own business, answering e-mails, checking up on my on-line class, brainstorming in the most exciting intellectual endeavor I've been involved with in a long time, and Jonathan limps in to watch John play some War Video game.

I can't ignore the conversation--it's taking place 5 feet from me, and it goes like this:

Jon: How's it going?

John: It's been a rough time.

Jon: Oh, what's that?

John: I just finished killing Zergs.

Jon: Zergs? With what?

John: Zerg against Zerg.

Jon: Man!

Can anyone decode this? There isn't a decoder ring in the Cocoa Puffs. I think it may be hormonal.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Old Man!

We love you Ginormous!
Bego, John, Vicky, Christy, and Jonathan

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Today is the 20th, yeah!

A year ago today, I started this blog. I was gonna get all mushy and thank everybody, especially my friends over at Ink and Doodle, where a Friday column called Ruminations eventually turned into this blog, and then I was gonna find all kinds of cool links to brilliant writing advice and stuff, and it was just going to be a grand celebration.

And then Jonathan broke his ankle.

Yeah, that pretty much put a damper on the writing for the evening. Mental note: why do broken ankles happen on Saturday nights when I'm being the responsible adult? Yeah I'm razzing you, Miss Annie. Anyway, it wouldn't be a trip to the emergency room without the requisite viewing of a drugged out criminal in shackles being shadowed by his police guard, but that's another story.

So here we are, home again. Jonathan is being all hard core and refusing pills. He's calculated joyously that he won't have to walk the dog, and I pointed out maliciously that when he's better, Christy will have a nice vacation from walking the dog. Pays me now or pays me later, baby.

Anyway, probably in the history of the world, no one has broken an ankle at a Math Competition, so this is a first. A few people in the ER had already heard the news, so the wiseacre of a doctor wanted to know if the boy had tripped over some trigonometric calculations. Haha, he thinks he has jokes. Not.

So, I guess I'm not finishing the novel tonight, either.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's Snowing (HA!)

Yeah, winter precipitation in Georgia is kinda like watching those ridiculous American Idol auditions. There's just no kind way to laugh out loud at the ludicrousness of it. I just got a textmessage from Vicky alerting me to the exciting news that, at least downtown, it's snowing.

What does that mean in our fair city? Well, first, the news has been all over the threat of this crazy front that's coming through today (and last night). They put out all kinds of winter warnings, advice about road closings, alerts about school closings, etc.

It was all for naught. Nothing. Nada. A little rain that sometimes might have had a little sleet mixed in, but nothing, nothing even remotely approaching an ice storm.

How do the citizens of this fair burg respond? Everybody goes out and buys milk and bread. It's the most curious behavior I've ever seen. I mean, wouldn't you go out and get sterno refills? Firewood? Refills for necessary medicines? Canned spaghettio's?

I would, but that's me. I've actually driven through blizzards, so an 1/8th of an inch of snow isn't going to put me out, even though it literally shuts down the city.I can even understand that. After all, it doesn't usually snow here, so the DOT doesn't have all the resources that, say, Buffalo has, so the icy roads + people who don't know how to drive in this weather + cars that aren't equipped with proper tires = potential carnage. Go ahead and shut down the city.

But please, leave me some milk and bread.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Faux Klingons?

Um, I definitely thought they were fake, as in fiction to begin with.

Anyway, the problem with taking a break from blogging, is not so much that I'm not writing, but that I'm not reading either, and so I managed to miss this little nugget.

For your viewing pleasure, here's a congressman from Oregon describing the White House in Star Trek terms. My beloved Star Trek is being dragged through the political quagmire that is Iraq. I am so sad for this guy.

Anyway, it ends with a bit about Bush that I don't necessarily subscribe to, but then again, he said he'd like to be a dictator, so fair is fair. The alternative site running the video, however, was less my cup of tea than this one. Enjoy, and have a laugh or two.

when somebody else says it better

So I read Wil Wheaton's blog. Can you possibly be surprised if you know me? He was Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, so that explains it, right? I stumbled across it a few years ago, and then got sidetracked and forgot about it and rediscovered him last year. Admittedly, I read it initially because it was Wil Wheaton of Wesley Crusher infamy. I stayed around and became a fan because he's a brilliant writer.

I don't always agree with everything he posts, and some of his venues (not his work, necessarily) are not always appropriate for work (because of the ads, mostly), but I suppose I could bypass that by reading from a feed. But then, I'd miss out on some of the pictures and stuff.

Anyway, his posts are about his writing, his family, the cool technology stuff that I wish I understood and want to work with, if only to be able to keep up with what's happening, and a beautifully crafted nostalgic geekiness for things that I remember in the 70's and especially 80's, even though I'm 10 years older than him. In short, it's an eclectic collection of his thoughts---something like what I aspire to here.

This post is a must read for those of you who are working on creative projects, or on your own creativity, or want to create, or are just plain curious now that I've given it such a fabulous introduction. It's not just the post, btw. Read the responses to it in the comment section, and read the link to an article by a guy who came up with a mathematical formula for procrastination.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm so happy

Check it out. I was finally able to get something posted over at Rosary Army! Hurray! Okay, so here it is, lamer than usual, but up and rolling.

And by the way, thanks to those of you who donated during the fund drive. It means a whole bunch of new cool things will be happening this year.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Jan 12 of 12

Here we go again. Thanks to Chad and his idea, and everybody else that posts theirs, too. My day, uneventful, until the car became possessed and I almost killed myself and my co-worker. More on that at the bottom. So, like I said, here we go...

Got up way late because frankly, I just stared at the ceiling instead of getting up. It's 7 am, and I'm still not out of the house, even though I have a class at 8:20

I was further delayed because I knew I wouldn't have time to stop at my favorite QuikTrip for the best coffee ever. So I made my own latte, with whole milk (heresy! but it tastes so good) and now that I think of it, a cuter picture would have been my tiny espresso pot, but whatever, I was still a bit groggy at 7.

So I hit the road, it's still dark outside, and what do I encounter? A train. Of course. Because the people who run trains obviously feel that the best time to ride through a city moving slowly (may I quote Miranda Priestly--AT THE SPEED OF A GLACIER!) is during rush hour at like, 7:45 am.

After working diligently for many hours, and feeling that I had had about all I could take, I ran away for a bit and had a human lunch, instead of wolfing down some disgusting frozen salt mine (have you read the label on those things? 93% of your recommended daily intake of sodium). No wonder I have high blood pressure. I will refrain from putting down a time, as it could be incriminating.

Went to pick up the kids (plural), and only found one. She wasn't happy to see me. Actually, the face is a reaction to the roaring engine. Something is wrong with the car. It was lurching and revving, and generally not very safe sounding. Shortly after this picture was taken, I pulled into a spot to wait for the other one to get out of a meeting, and the car sounded like it was going to take off and lurched again.

I called the knight in shining armor to pick me up at the mechanic, who is just a little ways down the street.

So I took a nap and drooled...

While "The Good One" played with the camera and took pictures of weird visions in the sky. I would say it looks like the Anarchy symbol, but she got all excited about The Scarlet Letter, which she just read last semester, so in a moment of geeky joy, took the picture to her teacher, who immediately got all giddy and joyous about...some clouds.

Of course, we were stuck at the mechanic waiting for our ride. This would be Jonathan's typical face of aggravation because he was hungry, and our detour to the mechanic cut into his refrigerator-bonding time. It's not even 5 o'clock yet.

So my last three pictures from my day are as follow: a cute shot of the boy watching a movie with the dog, me scarfing down some oreos, and a picture of the movie I'm going to watch. The pictures are fabulous. Blogger is being a bitch, and I can't upload them. Went to flickr to post them from there. Nothing. Nada. Not to make excuses, but this is why there wasn't a 12 of 12 in December. So, use your imagination. Or don't. I don't care. I'm frustrated, and tired, and I'm going to bed--it's been a long day.

a female Beefeater?

I thought it was just a bottle of gin.

OK, bad joke. Nevertheless, a bit of history coming at us from England. Moira Cameron will be the first woman to serve as the Queen's (wo)man. Cool. What's next, female Swiss guards? Why not. Anyway, here's the article to entertain you today while I snap my pictures and do the year's first...

12 of 12.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Got milk?

Sometimes it's just the kind of day that requires cookies and milk. It brings me back to kindergarten days. The comfort of playing hard and getting a break with real cold milk and the king of all cookies, the champion of the universe, the sublime, the ethereal: The Oreo.

When it's double stuff, all the better.

So I'm having one of those moments with a small glass of milk and a couple of oreos. Magnificent. I can now face the rest of the evening: a trip back to the high school for a rehearsal, a jaunt to the bookstore for a much-needed book, a load of laundry, another 1500 words for the novel.

Yep. I can do it!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Yvonne De Carlo died!

She was 84. I am sooo sad. I loved her! I wanted to be her. In fact, I stopped dying my hair so I could look like Lily Munster.

She was also in one of my favorite John Wayne flicks, McLintock, even though I'm pretty done with the whole John Wayne spanking women in his movies.

Alas, another Hollywood beauty goes to the Great Film Festival in the Sky.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Che, and the girl next door

subtitled: adventures in random roommates

Vic, somewhat hesitant to find herself rooming with a complete stranger, accepted an invitation to room with a classmate from high school. Initially, perhaps not a bad idea. In practice, let's just say that their world views were sufficiently different to cause some discomfort and...awkward situations.

Both being decent, if not necessarily on the same page regarding men, they parted amicably, albeit not on the 'friends list' with each other.

Such is life. Rodney King's lamentation, "Why can't we all just get along," comes to mind.

Embracing the ever optimistic youthful outlook typical of, pardon my redundancy, youth, Vic put in a bid for a new roommate, thinking that she already had some badluck, it couldn't get any worse. Ah, it's that arrogant challenge that we throw at the Fates that gets us in trouble. Never say it can't get any worse. It's usually an open invitation for just that.

Roomie #2 has been missing in action since before the end of last term, when the exchange was granted and Vic began the tedious process of moving all her belonging into a another building. After cajoling the housing staff, they allowed her access to the room in order to drop off her stuff.

So, what does she encounter upon walking into the room? This.

A giant flag of Che Guevara.

What are the odds? I can't bring myself to post the actual picture, so you'll have to make do with the banned Che pic. To quote my uncle Jorge, "I really didn't dig that guy. He was an uptight Argentinian...ASSASSIN."

It started a wave of speculation, however. The girl finally made an appearance yesterday for a brief moment, and then later today, she stopped by for a brief, but engaging visit with Vic. It turns out that the chick is a Communist.


Can this be real? When she saw that Vicky had put up a Cuban flag on her wall, she was clued in to the fact that it was probably not a good thing to have Che's portrait up, in the interest of personal relations. As it happens, she's living with her boyfriend, who accompanied her on the visit. A Chinese guy. Another Communist.

The report is that she was very pleasant, and that she wouldn't be hanging around too much, so Vic pretty much has the whole room to herself. Party on, dudette.

Meanwhile, whatever you do, please don't say it could be worse.

Monday, January 08, 2007

David Bowie turns 60 today

And I am not surprised that he is a mere 16 years older than me. Why that seems to impress me has something to do with the frightening realization that somehow, 16 years isn't so much, and then the next even more frightening realization, that perhaps I am closer to 60 than I previously thought. The funny thing is, all this time I thought I was still 19. Feh.

The thing is, I'm not a particularly intense fan of Bowie. Sure, I enjoyed "Fame." Okay, I played "Fame" all the time when I was an angst-riddent teenager, and I think The Man Who Fell to Earth is brilliant, and later, I really liked the sound of "Golden Years."

On second thought, maybe I was a kind of Bowie fan.

Except, I can't stand that duet he sang with Bing Crosby on one of Crosby's Christmas specials, back in the day when entertainers actually had Christmas specials. It was painful, and I'm not particularly fond of Bing Crosby either.

Anyway, happy birthday Ziggy.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Rocket Men!

Here they are: they managed to keep all their fingers.

Peace Jesus

I imagine that this requires some explanation, and unfortunately to get to the explanation, you need some back history...

Last year, the Amazing Red Hat Lady gave us a game called "Visual Eyes." It's a great deal of family fun that requires players to think outside the box and create pairs of words that go together. Twenty dice with pictures are thrown, and players have to create matches based on what they see. For example, a die with a mountain, and a die with a spinning top can pair up and become "mountain top."

The game is tough because of two reasons. First, you have to be clever in pairing the dice, because if someone else has your pair, both of you lose that point. The second part is that the group as a whole decides if a combination will be acceptable. Sometimes, a bit of convincing is necessary in order to save a combo. Most of the time, once a case is made the group will accept it untless it is way out there.

Case in point: Peace Jesus.

Critter drew a grave with a cross marker, and a peace sign. Her answer? Peace Jesus. Cue the ugly gameshow buzzer. No one was going to let that go, but she went ahead to plead her case. No way. Ever. Peace Jesus?

The real competition was between me and Achi, who thinks so far outside the box, that he might be in someone else's box. That, and he is the most anal retentive game-rule person ever. There is no such thing as standard practices in his book. In fact, I wonder if he could ever play Monopoly with all the house rules we have. What a goober.

Nevertheless, I knew from the beginning that he would be a threat. As it happens, we ended the game in a tight score, thanks to LULY WHO TOTALLY PNWNED ME!

How did a five-year old manage to cancel two of my plays?

Inch worm.

She can't even spell yet. Luly drew the pictures and just read the combinations to us when it was her turn. And she killed me.

note to self: don't play words games with little kids.

Friday, January 05, 2007

OMG a real tornado!

So today was a crummy day in Atlanta, weather-wise. The interminable rain is a real bummer, but to make things difficult, severe warnings were up in just about every county.I work in a tomb, a cinderblock room in the interior of a building, so I was clueless about how seriously bad the weather was outside. When my colleague returned from a doctor's appointment sometime close to noon, she asked me if I had checked on my kids, assuming that they were at home. I told her no, that they were at school, and if there was foul weather, they were probably safer there than at home.

Don't you know a few minutes later Christy calls to see if I am OK. Hmm. Why? Oh, because they were hit by what they are insisting was a microburst at their school.She went on to tell me in great detail that they were told to move into the halls in preparation for a tornado hit, and then things really got exciting. The side of the building that she was in took the brunt of the hit from the winds and debris, and then suddenly, the doors on both ends of the hallway (crash doors that only open out) were blown open from the inside out. She said it was amazingly windy, and debris was blowing everywear, and the teacher moved them back into one of the classrooms again, and then it was over.

She said there was a lot of damage to the school, and that she was going to find Jonathan and call me back. She knew he was on the other side of the school, and so he was probably safer than she was, so off she went. True enough, his experience was a little different. When I spoke to him, he was very nonchalant, but he knew things weren't good. When they were told it was not a drill and to move it, he grabbed the obligatory book to cover his head with. I asked him if he took a new hardback novel that he just got for Christmas, and he scoffed at me. "No, I took my geography book--it's the thickest book I have." Smart kid. Anyway, his report was interesting, because he said he could hear everything that was going on; it was very loud, with the wind and debris swirling past them, and he could hear the straining of the stadium roof as it was being peeled off. Crazy scary!

Here's a link to the video.I don't know how long the video will be available. Such excitement!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Is it possible? Have I made a mistake? Am I not reading the fine print somewhere?

While logging in to my aim account, I discovered aol's In2TV, which runs cartoons and other classic television shows on the web for free.

I watched an episode of The Jetsons, and there are so many others available--including Babylon 5 (the old one).

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, but being so technologically impaired, perhaps this is something that has been around forever and I am only now discovering it.

Retardedly yours,

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

back in the grind

So here I am in the relentlessly odious registration pool, waiting on the students to go through and register, the vast majority first time students, confused, and inexperienced. Makes me feel all maternal and everything.


But hey, it pays the bills, and so one does what one is expected to do. Meanwhile, my room dawg is reading over my shoulder to see just what I might be writing about her! HA!

It's a long day, but doesn't come close to the nightmare that John experienced yesterday with his inventory, so even in my suffering, I realize that it could always be worse. Unfortunately, I just can't get any serious work done, because there are continuous interuptions.

Alas, this is the romantic notion of teaching college?

Monday, January 01, 2007

The obligatory post about New Year's Resolutions

First, let me just say that I will resist the urge to list all the impossible bad habits that I wish I didn't have, and how, because it's the first day of the year, I'm going to decide to change all of them. Thus, I will not resolve to lose all the weight that I am unnecessarily, and dangerously carrying around. Nor will I write a million dollar best seller that will be optioned by a movie studio and make me filty rich beyond my dreams. I won't travel to exotic foreign places such as Sri Lanka or Machu Pichu. And after 43 years of living as a slob and considering fast food a delectable alternative to going grocery shopping and cooking, I will not magically turn into Martha Stewart (I don't even like crafts).

However, this time of year does seem to encourage some people to evaluate their lives, and ponder making changes for the best. The problem is in making these gigantical declarations to make impossible changes. How can we succeed? It sets us up for failure, at least me. You see, I don't have a realistic set of expectations, and definitely, the plans start with the fatal words, "I wish...."

Therefore, I resolve this year to eat healthier as often as I can (if that means sitting down to dinner and ordering water instead of Coke, so be it). I will finish my novel and publish it, even if publishing means posting the PDF here. I will take one gratuitous trip somewhere, even if it means I drive up into the mountains of Georgia instead of a more coveted trip to say, New York. And finally, I will paint my living room. Not exactly Martha, but I might even get all wild and paint one wall red.

So that's it. I think that maybe writing down some goals that I can work on may be a better ticket to good health, both mental and physical, than sitting by the mimosa this morning (hey, why waste the leftover champagne?) dreaming BIG without any plans for execution.

Good luck to me.

Happy New Year!

I stuffed 12 grapes in my mouth and ate them up--all gone!

what kind of goofy stuff did you do? We finished a very long game of Mexican Dominoes that ended right at midnight, and now, we'll watch a movie and fall asleep.

I love being old--I don't have to make excuses for not wanting to do anything.


I hope 2007 brings health, blessings, and contentment.

In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones:

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well you might find
You get what you need