Saturday, March 31, 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

Boyscouts aren't the only heroes

Tonight Jonathan's quick reaction may have saved a little kid's life. At least, it saved his mother from the heart attack that was in progress.

We went out to dinner to grab a quick bite of anything fishy at a Red Lobster, figuring it was early and we could have our tilapia on the terrace. A refreshing rain finally washed away the heinous pollen, and it was pleasant and cool outside.

We were walking to a corner where there was a table, and I hadn't noticed the rising hysterics in a woman, but evidently Jonathan did, and processed the picture.

Somehow a little toddler (maybe a year old--just barely walking) had somehow climbed between the slats of the terrace and was headed for the traffic in front of the restaurant. We were locked in behind the railing, and the only way to get to the kid was to walk back around through the front of the restaurant. The mother was pleading with the kid not to move, which is pretty much like asking the wind to stop blowing.

In one giant blur that looked like a choreographed ballet, Jonathan cleared the railing, swooped the kid up in his arms, and climbed back up the landscaping rocks to hand him off to the still spazzing Mommy.

He then calmly climbed back onto the terrace and announced that maybe jumping like that in sandals wasn't a very good idea. That's it, he shrugged off the lady's profuse thanks and ordered a bowl of clam chowder like it was all in a day's work.

When pressed, he said he was thinking of his cousins, and could we please pass the bread.

My hero.

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Perhaps a better question is:

Is your self esteem caught up in being smarter than a 5th grader?

I thought so.

Here's the test, anyway. I know you're going to take it. I did.

What did I get? Hmm, I scored a 90%. I guess I'm smarter than most 5th graders. It doesn't matter; I know I'm smarter than most college freshmen. See, I used a semi-colon correctly.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pollen Sucks, Redux

It doesn't look as severe in the pictures. Check out the pollen on my shoes just from walking down the driveway to get the mail.

prayers for my friend Greg

He had the gall to have his gallbladder removed this morning.

In other news, the pollen count is now 10 bazillion. We can't find Vicky's car under the pile of green and yellow dust.

edited by me at noon: check out this video of pollen falling like snow. I'm just sayin', things around here are pretty crummy.

In a sympathetic reaction, I woke up this morning with my eyes glued together with green and yellow goo. Yikes! After some warm water and a little bit of elbow grease (and a jackhammer) my eyes are wide open, but I can't see. I love spring in Atlanta.

Somebody needs to get Chief Knockahoma* out of retirement and doing the politically incorrect rain dance. We need the relief of a good rainstorm so that I can then complain about the yellow foamy residue in the driveway.

Have a nice day!

* you can read about Native American/Indian mascots here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Random is a good thing

Every once in a while I get the insane idea that doing manual labor is better because you can go home and take a shower and be done with it. I know better than that, because all I have to do is look into my backyard and I realize that I went to college because I didn't want to get my hands dirty. Call me a classist pig if you will. Just don't call me late for dinner.

Today could be one of those days that I entertain a different line of work. It's registration day. I'll be done at 7 pm. Meanwhile, I sit in a large conference room, and students stream in for advisement and help with the on-line registration. After the third one fails to get registered correctly, I want to ask, "What's wrong with you? Can't you follow the directions on the screen?" And then I remember that I'm supposed to be living the gospel. That little angel perched over my right soldier is awfully full of himself and all self-righteous when he whispers, "Tsk. Tsk. What would Jesus do?"

The smarty-pants dressed in red and sporting the classy horns on his head doesn't miss a beat when he whispers that Jesus once had a little temper tantrum outside the Temple. I am tempted, which of course is his point.

I compromise. I continue to think some of these people are [insert adjective of your choice], but I smile and help them.

Meanwhile, the pollen count is over 5,000 (172 is considered high).

The air-conditioning in the registration hall is broken, so the giant fans are lulling me to sleep.

I have a few writing projects to complete over the course of the next couple of days, and I am physically exhausted (from what? since I can't express myself--perhaps it is from smiling and being helpful).

We are hoping for a shut-out at tonight's game. Samurai Sally needs to control her checking. It's refreshing, however, to see that she's not the one coming home with the bloody knuckles.

Meanwhile, Jonathan is helping to build the set for the musical, so he's the one bringing home the bloody knuckles.

And me? I pretended to know what I was doing and bought a bunch of material to make some costume accesories. Oh the things we sacrifice for our spawn.

I'm sporting a serious resemblance to Bill the Cat--I have three more hours to go....

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pollen Sucks

I've neglected a lot of my writing over the past weeks--mostly because I've gotten involved in some other writing projects, and partly because I've just had a lull in my creativity.

Okay, maybe you can reverse that, mostly because of a lull, and partly because I've ben doing some other stuff.

Anyway, realizing that it is Friday, I mosied over to my favorite creative workshop, Ink 'n Doodles, and doodled up a Friday Rumination. You can read the beginning here, and catch the rest of it over there if you are so inclined.

Pollen sucks, and so do a lot of other things in life. But, I'm not gonna let it
get me down. No. I'm going to suck it up. Pop an antihistimine. Snort some
saline solution and move on.

I didn't even realize what was wrong with me today until I came back from lunch in a foul mood, oozing liquids from all the mucus membranes in my face.

I grabbed a fish sandwich at the BK Lounge and thought I was having an allergic reaction to it, when I pulled into my parking spot at work and noticed all the yellow-green tinged cars around me.

D'oh! I was crying because the pollen count is like 12 million, not because I
was upset about the homeless man holding a cardboard sign at the frighteningly
busy intersection down the street. . . .

Monday, March 19, 2007

Real Life...Uma...and Bloggers

I haven't watched television in a little over two years. I have to admit, it was difficult at first, but eventually I got over it. I don't even miss the news anymore. It has opened up a lot of free time that I have managed to fill in other ways that aren't necessarily any more noble, but then again, free time is free time.

Before you think I'm all intellectual and thumbing my nose at TV, I readily admit that I do enjoy some shows on DVD. I have one Miss Elaine, and her big sis to thank for an addiction to The Gilmore Girls, and I watch that in marathon sessions, even though the show has gone to crap.

Anyway, I don't need television dramas--not when real life is far more amazing. One thing that I have done, is really immersed myself into a few blogs that I read often. I haven't linked to them because, in at least one case, the blogger prefers that I not, but the rest aren't listed because...well, because I haven't gotten around to listing them. I should do that soon.

One of those blogs I discovered through playing the 12 of 12 adventure. OK, several of those blogs I discovered from the 12 of 12. The one I'm talking about is a casting director in California named Bonnie Gillespie, who evidently has some ties to Atlanta, so that's cool enough for me. The funny thing is, I really have no interest in the acting thing that she promotes, but her blog entries are funny and clever and very disarming, if you go for that kind of stuff. I realize that I now sound like some kind of terribly bored stalker or something, but nothing could be further from the truth. I find that different blogs have different merits, like for example, Wil Wheaton, who is the cleverest man in the universe. He can probably have that title because as Wesley Crusher he travelled all over the universe. But who cares about Star Trek (gasp! did I say that?) he's brilliant. Read for yourself. Anyway, I digress.

At Bon's blog (yes, I can call her Bon because in my stalker imagination anyone who has posted a comment on my 12 of 12 is now my friend) she's had a running update on a young woman I've been praying for named Uma who had an aneurism and stroke over the Christmas holidays, and her miraculous recovery is being documented through links at her blog.

It's an amazing story, way the heck better than anything Oprah promotes with The Secret. It's about the power of positive thinking, the power of prayer, the power of love. Anyway, rather than linking to Bon's blog for the story, I found the blog by Uma's friend, who has to be the best friend in the history of friends. It's a good story, and so far, it looks like there's going to be a happy ending.

"289 is an ugly number"

Last week, Jonathan the brainiac became excited by March 14th. Evidently it's Pi Day (3.14), and every geek in the universe celebrates in some geeky way. I suggested taking a pie to school, which they would have gladly eaten, but was ultimately rejected as cliche and obvious. I have no idea how they finally celebrated. Do I care? Not really.

I was impressed, though, by some guy who recited Pi to like the millionth place. Maybe my math isn't quite accurate--consider the number metaphorical, in case somebody out there is excited by the literal number 1,000,000. Anyway, this guy was definitely the topic of dinner conversation, and being math-phobic myself, relegated the conversation to the dustbin of my mind.

This afternoon, while scrolling through the news at lunchtime, I ran across these video clips of the guy Jonathan had been talking about. His name is Daniel Tammet, and he's considered a savant. Not too long ago, I was researching something called synesthesia, which is seeing words and numbers in colors, and it turns out Tammet sees number like that. If you have the time and the inclination, the link has a series of video clips that illustrate his gift, and also share some personal experiences from the young man.

It's an amazing gift, and at the same time, it seems a bit of a burden for him. Most savants have some kind of mental impairment, and while Tammet was diagnosed with Asberger's, he seems to be a high functioning savant. He speaks a little bit about his disability, too. Check it out.

Meanwhile, I need to get back to my calculator to finish figuring out final grades.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Gooooooooaaaaaaal ! ! !

Guess who scored a GOAL? That's some skills--she plays DEFENSE. They won: 12 -- 1.

Lookit whose geek math team brought home another ginormous 1st place trophy. I love it when my kids win.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Houston, we have a problem

The adage that the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys, while generally true, doesn't necessarily mean a Porsche. Witness these pictures from Sunday afternoon. A twenty dollar rocket and some soft drinks and everybody had a good time. Even Baker.

I learned there's a difference between a B engine and a C engine. John learned it, too, since that's what put him up a tree. For the record, that was Christy's launch that landed in a tree.

The other launches, by Jonathan and Baker, pretty much blew up the rocket. The parachute caught fire, the string that held the nose to the fuselage burned off, the nose went flying (with the camera in it) but they found it.

Anyway, enjoy.

What's an outing with the boys without the plot to mock and ridicule them?

Evidently rocket science really IS complicated.

I was perched on Vic's old haunt. I figured, it was safer that way.

It made for great comedy, too. Check out who is in the tree. Jonathan and Baker are weenies.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The last time I linked to an article...

A bunch of people got their panties in a wad. This time, it'll be mice, so unless they have magical powers, I feel pretty safe.

This article discusses the raging hormones in teenagers and gives a pretty plausible explanation for their mood swings. I'm not one to point fingers these days as I am a hormonal mess myself, but as the mother of three teens, I have to admit the article did grab my attention. After all, we know puberty stinks, on many levels.

That lasted for about ten seconds because really, who cares about the effect of stress on mice during puberty?

The part of the article that grabbed my attention and kept it long enough to inspire me to blog about it occurs towards the end. It turns out that PUBERTAL is a word. As in, "the pubertal mice were affected" or some-such scientific sounding phrase.

I can't wait to try and work that word into a conversation, it sounds too much like something else.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12 of 12 version 2.0

Time for another 12 of of 12. Check out Chad's big idea here. You know what's going on here--my day captured in 12 snapshots. Many people have already lamented that theirs is going to be the dullest since it's fallen on a Monday. I dunno about that--all I did today was grade, grade, and then, grade some more. There's only so much I can do with a red pen, you know?

7 AM Christy incredulous--partly because she can't believe it's so early, and partly because she saw the 847 herbal supplements and fiber shake I had for breakfast. Yeah, you can thank me for not showing it. Gross doesn't really capture the...essence of the shake.

7:15 AM The usual commute. Again, how many times can I show the tail lights? I gave in to a staged picture of the obligatory woman putting on make up in traffic. I hate that cliche. I do much more complex things, like pluck stray hairs on my chin.

8:00 AM I down a cup of green tea before going to teach a class. We won't discuss the...effects of so many herbs and such.

11:00 AM Round 1,356 of grading. It's interminable.

12:30 PM Wendy's has a really nasty salad. I'm guessing, I'm not getting another one.

1:00 PM The saga continues. More grading. Things are getting bloodier.

2:30 PM Hitting the stress ball. I didn't squeeze it, though. It was more fun to bounce it across the room to the wall. It came back every time. I had a rhtyhm going to the soundtrack of Dance with Me.

3:00 PM I entered the grades and got ready to split.

3:05 PM But first I spokewith Christy about the after school schedule.

4:00 PM As it happens, Jonathan had nothing going on, so we went home. There's Pol Pot in the picture. That cookie (yummy) was what's left of my birthday "cake." I shared it with the boy, who was already making his way towards it.

6:00 PM Gossiping with the coaches. That's Christy holding the lacrosse ball sack. Um, yeah, that's what those wenches delight in calling it. I'm sure there's a much more delicate way of putting it, but there you have it. Actually, if you've seen the musical, The Music Man, they actually say "Balzac!"

7:00 PM Vicky didn't have dinner with us, because she's not here, duh. So we used her spoon with the flower.

Bonus picture: GREEN

Okay, it's a bit washed out, but this stretch of road is really getting green. Only, the damned Bradford Pears are blooming, and they stink, really badly. Why would all the builders tear down the natural flora in this beautiful area and plant the smelliest trees in the world?

it's 12 of 12

Check later tonight for my entry. In the meantime, my blog is up at Rosary Army, where I review the Trouble with Angels starring Rosalind Russell and Hayley Mills.

I'm still behind and have to post the pictures from yesterday's adventure at the park with rockets and the goobers who launch them. Let me just say, you won't want to miss the hero in the tree.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What a full Saturday!

Non-stop, really.

First, we attended Abigail's baptism, which was lovely and sweet, and then crashed the godparent's house for an afternoon of continuous snacking. The trouble with snacks is that I want to taste everything, and it just goes round and round from there. And then I get round and round....

There was plenty more running around--Christy had to be at school to catch the bus for Augusta. They won their lacrosse game, 18-0, which is a lousy thing to do after getting rousted like that last week, but I guess the coach had her reasons. Some defensive players tried out attack and scored, and they tried some other things.

John hauled Jonathan up to Winder for the Literary Meet, where the Quartet performed in an extraordinarily bland way, and gave a painful performance. Too bad for them, but there was some trouble with focus and other silly stuff that....well, again, I don't know I would have put up with and so there's next year to look forward to.

On a high note, the GaTech Drama group closed their run of Stephen Sondheim's musical Assassins last night. Just to round out my backseat coaching, not a topic I'd necessarily get excited enough to write a musical about-- presidential assassinations, but it worked. Rather nicely. It was funny and sad, and the characters were terrific.

And Eryn continues to have a marvelous voice. Two thumbs up. I didn't get the toaster, though.

It made for a long day, but it was lovely.

Friday, March 09, 2007

HOT...or not?

Looks cool to me.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Picard Maneuver (the jacket, not the tactical move)

My honey gave me the entire Star Trek movie series, from the woefully lame Star Trek: The Motion Picture to Nemesis, which was only marginally better because it actually had a plot. In between there were some really good ones, but the thing that I really enjoyed was all the commentary and special features. I fell in love with Riker all over again, and Shatner is as bombastic as ever. Michael Okuda is my new favorite person because he did some brilliant work creating a pop-up video-like commentary of the movies. He's a funny guy.

Anyway, I give the special features a bunch of thumbs up. It was very entertaining. Even more entertaining was watching Christy's look of disgust as she'd walk into the room to see what I had on, only to discover it was yet another Trek. Bahahaha. In fact, I just ran her out of the office by inviting her to watch one with me. Who knew privacy was so easily attainable?

So, all things Trek fresh on my mind, I had one of those post-modern moments of realization in class today, when my suit jacket kept riding up, and I kept snapping it down. At one point I realized I was doing the Picard Maneuver.

What a nerd.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Samurai Sally Strikes Again

Yeah. A check to the head.
Yellow card.

Spring is toying with me

It was another beautiful day today. The high was supposed to be 60, but it was higher. The sun was shining brightly. The sky was a brilliant blue, broken in places with such fluffy cumulus clouds that it looked like a cliche landscape sky. I think I painted something like that when I was a kid and going through an acrylics phase. Only mine was a big blotchy patch of white that melded into the cerulean background.

I had one of those stop-action moments when I got home from work and walked the bane of...I mean the dog. He seemed intent on smelling something in the air, and so I looked around and saw the trees, and then looked in among the sparse leaves. I spied the most incredibly red cardinal in a branch. It was a male, and he must have had a very nice winter, courtesy of the birdfeed I had been putting out, because his chest was plumped out and he looked ready to be courting the duller-colored females.

It's a rotten joke on us females that the males have all the bright colors. Don't worry, though, I won't be dying my hair a vibrant red to make up for the increasing salt in the salt and pepper that I have. Still, it's a shame that only the males get to be pretty.

Who knows what kind of weather tomorrow brings? It doesn't really matter. This afternoon, for a little while, I lived in the moment.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm baaaaack ! ! !

Believe me, the hiatus was not my idea.

Apparently, some little blogger-bot decided that my blog had some questionable content due to over-linkage or something like that. Whatever. It thought I was automating things, and so I had to request a review to verify that I was indeed, a real live person. Who knew? I still don't. I'm just happy to have the blog unlocked.

Anyway, great excitement around here, since my suspicions come from a recent little interlude with my friends over at the aptly named Methuselah Foundation, who evidently don't understand irony, or my total lack of interest in their goals for eternal life. I figure, I'll be getting my eternal reward with different packaging--frankly, the idea of living 1000 years just isn't appealing to me. Admittedly, my birthday does engender ruminations on my mortality (hmmm, SAT words)but it's not something that a) scares me or b) sends me into despair. I guess that's the advantage of being Christian, huh? There's more to life than self-serving egotistical gratification. Enough of that soapbox.

In other news, Jonathan getting over an upper respiratory infection. The little nerdlinger pulled a very nice score at the recent math competition, helping the team to 2nd place overall. Christy socked the heck out of Decatur, only to be beat into the ground by Columbus. You win some and lose some. Hey, that's life! All 80 years of it. Lest Vicky should point out that I don't mention her, she gave a phenomenal review to Erin's play, so I'll be watching it this weekend. Hurray. She's got a heck of a voice. Oh, and in case you missed Vic's brilliant comments before---the kid is brilliant!

Meanwhile, work continues to I may have found the solution to the time situation, as my honey gave me a tres nice birthday gift in the form of a delightful mp3 player. Yes, it's true, I am getting closer to the 21st century every day. One of these day's I'll be able to change my own DVD, or saints alive, maybe I'll be able to get rid of the blinking 12:00 on the stereo. Pathetic, I know, but I prefer to think it lends me a certain charm.

Meanwhile, I'll have to deal with Rascal Flats next to Willie Chirino, because you know that's how I downloaded it.

Cheers, and I'm glad to be back.