Sunday, December 31, 2006

How I spent the last day of 2006.

  1. I made coffee cake (delicious).
  2. We ate lunch out. Muffin Man ate two kids meals and was still hungry.
  3. We went to a new grocery store (weird, antiseptic, looked like the Jetson's maid would show up any minute.)
  4. Muffin Man and I baked Ginger Bread Cookies. The dough was delicious, and the cookies were like flat, teddy-bear-shaped, rocks. Sigh.
  5. I made Spicy Ginger Peanut Chicken (my own recipe). Delicious.

Tomorrow my SIL and her husband will come for dinner (that's what the prime rib is for). Prime rib, mashed potatoes, and braised brussels sprouts. She's bringing the dessert.

My New Year's Resolution: To put away the laundry. (Chest of) Drawers! What are they good for? Absolutely nothing. I said drawers! Huh, good God y'all.

May you all have a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year.

How to make prime rib

First, buy yourself a prime rib roast from Wegman's. DON'T FORGET TO PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE!

Next, use this recipe. I use my dutch oven instead of a terra cotta planter.

Serve. Accept applause.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Shoot me. Shoot me now.

I am an idiot.

A complete and total idiot.

I am unworthy to be considered Homo Sapiens sapiens.







I bought $91.00 worth of prime rib for a New Year's feast. And then I forgot to put it in the refridgerator.
Gah. I'm so angry with myself.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Murder Ink is closing

I can't believe it.

I met Mr. Spock there. I was introduced to so many authors I'd never heard of, and introduced others to them in my turn. Even now, shopping in a bookstore, I can't resist making recommendations to fellow shoppers. "Oh! You like Agatha Christie? You'll love Josephine Tey!"

By the end of this week, they'll be gone.

Two years ago... (EDITED)

Over 200,000 people died. Today www.washingtonpost.com has only one mention of the event on its front page, and that's an oped piece by Bill Clinton. Doing a search brings up more, but they're all AP or Reuters wire stories. The NY Times is no better.

Did you know there was another tsunami there today? Over 100 people died. Today. No mention on the front page. No mention on the World page.

Over 200,000 dead. More dead today. And barely a whisper...But never fear, there is a big headline about how fashion designers can make a buck selling their designs in virtual reality.


EDITED TO ADD: Okay, now they've added a front-page headline about the observances marking the day and the tsunamis that occurred this morning.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!

I was so not the good jew today. Not only did we celebrate Christmas, we celebrated it with ham.

Yup.

I got so many books for Christmas, I didn't know where to start. But I went with Charlaine Harris's "Shakespeare's Champion", followed by "Shakespeare's Christmas". (Having already read "Shakespeare's Landlord" and "Shakespeare's Trollop") I love me some Charlaine Harris.

MM got me some beautiful jewelry (necklace and earrings), that MS swears were not expensive.

And I played with MM and all his new toys, and he and MS did lots of crafts together (MM got tons of crafts stuff!)

Now MM is in bed, tucked up tight. And I'm checking in with all you folks. Merry Christmas. Peace on earth. Good will to men. And less than 13 months until Bush is out of office.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa, Presents, and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Muffin Man and I made chocolate chip cookies today, and tonight he carefully picked two of them, and placed them on a plate. We left a glass of milk out and MM wrote a note ("I love you, Santa!) and put his school picture in the envelope with the card.

Then he brushed his teeth again (having eaten a cookie while leaving two out for Santa) and went to bed.

Then Santa's helpers rolled into action, wrapping the last few gifts and setting everything out under the tree (some stuff was already there, but now there are loads -- mostly from grandparents and mostly for MM as it should be).

Now there is only the wait for the morning. Good night everybody!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Year in Review

As seen everywhere, but seen first at APL's.

  1. Resolutions: My sister-in-law and her husband gave us gift certificates to a movie theatre and a promise of free baby-sitting when we go to the movies. Thus one of my resolutions for the year is to see at least one non-G-rated film before it comes out on DVD.
  2. Dr. Four Eyes tagged me for this last week.
  3. Muffin Man woke me 4 times last night.
  4. Yesterday, after my Statistics study group was over, I drove to our nearby Wegman's. Inside, I bought:
  5. The term paper, she is done. Not just done, but delivered.
  6. & yet can come into the middle of a song and sing every word in perfect time:
  7. Watermelon
  8. Proof: life is not fair;
  9. My thighs and my back hurt. Who knew that keeping your knees bent while stepping back and forth in a smooth lateral motion and swaying your hips would be so hard?
  10. She's off the respirator and being treated for jaundice. Expected to go home sometime this week.
  11. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have less than a week until election day. This year, it's more important than ever that you get out there and vote.
  12. As started by Annika and Moreena, here's Muffin Man's Fancy Day celebration. Please note that he is wearing not just an "itchy"(pima cotten and ramie, soft as soft can be) sweater, but also a tie.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Conflict

So Andrea over at Beanie Baby has a post about the nuclear family and I was going to post a long comment over there about it, but decided to make it a post of my own.

When it comes to the nuclear family, the level of conflict determines how the kids do in terms of aggressiveness, success at school, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. The following is a section of a report I did on joint custody for a class at Nearby U.:

Bauserman (2002) and Thwaite, et al. (1998) show that children in any joint custody arrangement (either physical or legal) have outcomes that are significantly better than children in sole maternal custody and that there is no significant difference between children in joint custody arrangements and those in intact happy (where happy means that the level of conflict is low) families (Bauserman, 2002, pp. 95-98; Thwaite, et al., 1998, pp. 49-50)....

Thwaite, et al. (1998) show that interparental conflict is harmful (p.24-25) and that parental conflict is “related negatively to children’s post divorce adjustment” (p. 251), but studies of children from both intact and divorced families show “that it might actually be the level of parental conflict that predicts poor psychosocial outcomes among children rather than the divorce itself” (p. 251). In other words, divorce is better for children notwithstanding the common practice of staying together for the sake of the kids. Both the Gunnoe & Braver (2001) and the Bauserman (2002) studies agree that, contrary to the belief that shared custody continues pre-divorce conflict, there is no increase in parental conflict in joint custody situations. Indeed, Bauserman (2002) reports significantly less conflict between parents in joint custody: “in fact, it was the sole-custody parents who reported higher levels of current conflict” (p. 97).


In other words, parents who stay together "for the sake of the kids" are worsening their children's chances of success. Sometimes, divorce is better for the kids. This is assuming that there is a high level of conflict due to marital unhappiness.

References:

Bauserman, R. (2002). Child adjustment in joint-custody versus sole-custody arrangements: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Family Psychology, 16(1), 91-102. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from EBSCOhost database.

Gunnoe, M., & Braver, S. (2001). The effects of joint legal custody on mothers, fathers, and children controlling for factors that predispose a sole maternal versus joint legal award. Law and Human Behavior, 25(1), 25-43. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from JSTOR database.

Thwaite, J., Silitsky, D, & Luchow, A. (1998). Children of divorce: Adjustment, parental conflict, custody, remarriage, and recommendations for clinicians. New York: Jason Aronson, Inc.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hanukah

Muffin Man is all about the Hanukah. His favorite part was lighting the menorah. He liked that part so much, he wanted to do it again first thing this morning. But he was cool with it when I told him he had to wait for sundown. He also liked his chocolate star-of-David lollipop.

Tomorrow I'm gonna see if he's up for making some latkes with me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Done, done, done, done, DONE!

And may I say a hearty yahoo?

YAHOOOOOO!

A whole month of doing nothing but working on a database, cleaning the house, replenishing our larder, cooking meals to freeze, celebrating holidays, and taking MM to swimming lessons. Booya!

Maybe I'll bake some bread, just to mix things up a bit.

Oh! And I've got to get those AP people to find my fireplacing scores.

But no more classes until January 22nd. Yay!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I think I may cry...

WGMS, our local classical music station, which has been on the air for almost 60 years, may get sold to the Redskins so that they can have yet another sports-talk outlet.

Read the story here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What we've done so far this weekend:

We made bread dough figures...


...and decorated the tree. Here's the view from the living room...
...and here's the view from the dining room.


The angel on top is from Muffin Man's first Christmas. Her wings are his hand-prints. There are hand-prints from each year all over the tree. Muffin Man did most of the decorating this year. As you can see, we're not a terribly match-y household. Most items on the tree are homemade by us or some one who loves us. Dani, if you look carefully, you can see the ornaments and the bell!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Random Bullets of Things I Learned This Semester

  • Sea weed is a form of algae.
  • Daddy Long Legs are not spiders. They're insects.
  • Sponges are not plants, they're animals.
  • Octopi or octopodes? The debate rages on.
  • Anti-bacterial soap is counter-productive. It creates resistent bacteria. Bleach is better for killing germs on countertops. Plain old soap and hot water is best for washing hands.
  • Widow's peaks and dimples are dominant traits.
  • Biology is a LOT more interesting now than I thought it was 20 years ago.
  • The Merrie Monarch Festival is a hula competition that is held in honor of King David Kawika Kalakaua. He brought back the hula after decades of suppression by the missionaries.
  • Serious hula dancers make their own costumes, instruments, and accessories. Right down to collecting the materials to make the dyes and paints.
  • Hula dancing is both more difficult and more fun than I thought it would be. I'm sad the class has ended.
  • The world's religions are fascinating. I wish that people who claim to practice the ones we studied this semester would actually heed their teachings as most of them require people to live in peace with one another. Sigh.
  • If I were a character in a Harry Potter book, I'd be Hermione. I am definitely an insufferable know-it-all. Always with my hand up. Always with some item to contribute that I've heard in the news, read in a book, or learned from one of you guys.
  • Research methods and statistical analysis in psychology is both more and less interesting than I thought it would be. It's the one class I'm a little worried about in terms of my grade. It's 7 credits and I'm afraid I'll be getting a C. Gonna have to study hard for the final.
  • If you're going to be in a class in any of the buildings on the east side of campus, park in lot A. The walk's much shorter from there, but it's not as pretty.
  • The third floor bathroom in the huge central building will always have T@mp@x even when all the other bathrooms are sold-out.
  • The computer lab in the farthest south-east building is closed on Fridays. Which really frosts my cookies, let me tell you.
  • The bookstore has a good selection of text books, but a poor selection of everything else. Seriously...what bookstore has a mystery section that has not even ONE Agatha Christie title? But their general fiction section has everything David B@ldacci ever wrote. Feh.
  • We have a synchronized swimming team. Truly. We do.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bullets of Two Down, Three to Go

  • Vote for Phantom, 'cause you know you wanna. She deserves the award. And it'd be a huge dose of affirmation just when it's needed most.

  • Biology Lab final? Done and done well.
  • Hawaiian Dance final? I kaholo'd and kahea'd my @ss off.
  • Psychology Lab Paper? Meh. But I rocked the presentation.
  • Next week? Three more finals. Psychology on Tuesday, Religion on Wednesday, and Biology lecture on Thursday. Thank goodness the hardest one is first.
  • This weekend? Studying and sleeping and playing with the Muffin Man.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

0600

We instituted a rule recently that MM could NOT come for morning snuggles until 6 AM. Everytime he poked his nose into our room before then, we'd haul his tushy back into his own room. Not to be mean, but I'm not a good Mommy if I don't have my sleep. And he's really not a pleasant boy if he hasn't had his. And we don't sleep well jammed three in the bed, when one (cough Muffin Man cough) is not only a blanket stealer, but likes to sleep cross-wise.

Yesterday (and again today) he made his first appearance at 0600 sharp. "I read the clock, Mama!!! it's Snuggle Time!"

Monday, December 04, 2006

A laundry victory!!!

Here at the Mystery house we sometime encounter a stubborn stain or two. My general rule is to just treat it with stain stick or something like that and send it back through the wash. But we had one or two items that weren't cooperating with that formula and I was kind of at a standstill. Too cheap to throw out a perfectly good item, too lazy to do any stain research.

To make it more complicated, the stains were on dark colors. In my mind, that ruled out bleach. But did it? What if I put just a splash of bleach into the washer along with my beloved Dreft (no dyes! no perfumes!) and ran the water awhile and THEN put in the dark wash?

And so I tried it. And it worked! The stains are gone, the colors still look good and nothing smells chlorine-y.

And how sad is it that I'm excited about this?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Fancy Day Meme


As started by Annika and Moreena, here's Muffin Man's Fancy Day celebration. Please note that he is wearing not just an "itchy"(pima cotten and ramie, soft as soft can be) sweater, but also a tie.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A brief reminder

What with all the Christmas brouhaha going on (and I'm brou-ing and ha-ing with the best of them) I didn't want Hanukah to get lost in the shuffle. So I'm posting again the lyrics of that immortal song, "Herman the Hanukah Candle".

Herman the Hanukah Candle
had a very shiny light
and if you ever saw it
you would even say it's bright.

All of the other candles
used to laugh and call him names
they never let poor Herman
join in any Hanukah games

Then one rainy Hanukah night,
the rabbi came to say,
"Herman with your light so bright
won't you be my shamash* tonight?"

Then how the candles loved him
And they shouted out with glee
"Herman the Hanukah candle
you'll go down in history!"

Also, not to forget, The Barenaked Ladies have an excellent holiday CD with an original Hanukah song on it.




*the candle that's in the middle of the traditional menorah. On all menorahs it's placed on a higher spot than the rest. You light it first and then light the other candles with its flame.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Waste

I feel bad because I didn't freeze the leftover leftover leftover leftover turkey. I took it out of the 'fridge for lunch again today and it was spoiled.

I feel bad that I didn't find something intelligent to do with the rice & cranberry pilaf that was leftover (the half I didn't take to Aunt ItalianBeauty's).

I feel bad that I made huge bunches of roasted veggies, and even after giving most of it away and eating it for 6 days myself, there was still enough to get spoiled.

I feel bad that no one else in my house likes olives (and I don't like 'em in abundance) and that I neglected to pack them off to relatives.

All these things went to waste.

On the other hand, we finished the gravy, the blueberry pie, and the stuffing, and we sent off tons of food with relatives. So I'm somewhat redeemed.

What did you folks do with your leftovers?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Now what?

My Tuesdays are bereft. Gene Weingarten is shutting down his chat until April.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I am exhausted and exhilerated.

Thanksgiving went well. Lots of laughter. And I knocked the socks off our guests. So did my sister-in-law who made the most fabulous spicy pumpkin soup.

Everybody had a great time. Muffin Man thought it was the best Thanksgiving ever, despite the fact that he burned his foot with some hot wax while he was showing off the candle holder he made at school.

Best part of the night? Seeing 7 kids ages 4 through 13 all snuggled up like puppies on the guestroom bed to watch "Finding Nemo".

Best part of the day? That moment at 2:15 when I had absolutely nothing to do, because the ingredients for the gravy were ready but I had to wait for the turkey to come out of the oven to actually mix them together, the tables were arranged and mostly set, the noshes were being eaten, and I couldn't think of a single thing that needed to be done. That lasted until 2:20.

Best conversation? I can't think of just one.

Best Toast? Mr. Spock's. I'm still all verklempt.

It looks like the traditional game of Charades may move permanently from it's former after-dinner location to mid-afternoon. The kids all had much better energy and it eliminated a former melt-down-while-waiting-for-dinner period.

I sent gallon-sized bags of veggies, stuffing, turkey, and rice pilaf home with people (along with 3 quarts of gravy) and I still have tons of food in my fridge. And I didn't make all the food I'd planned to make, we still have bags of rutabegas and baby red potatoes that I decided not to add to the roasted veggie mix. Anyone need a rutabega?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Go give some hugs

To Dani, my secret santa from last year. She's one of the nicest, sweetest women on this whole continent and she's just had a miscarriage.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In the kitchen (again) - Chop and Cook

Chopped - All the veg for roasted veggies (Mr. Spock did the acorn squash, I did the rest). Plus some sweet potatoes for...

Cooked (me) - Candied sweet potatoes! And rice pilaf with white & wild rices, cranberries and raisins. Tomorrow I'm toasting pine nuts and chopping parsley to add to the pilaf.

Cleaned - dining room and library (Mr. Spock), and the guest bath (me), and sheets and towels for the guest room (me).

Also on the agenda for tomorrow: Delivery of rental items, picking up turkey and pies, roasting the veggies and making the stuffing.


Had dinner with my mom, stepdad, BigSister, her husband, and their two kids. Her children are gorgeous. Really, really, really beautiful children. My niece is 13 and justlikethat she's taller than me and looks like a grownup. Her face (always cute) suddenly transformed and is now an adult face. I just can't look at her enough.

My nephew is 10 and loving science fiction, fantasy, and "funny books". He'd read all of CS Lewis, The Hobbit, The Tale of Despereaux, Holes, Alan Mendelsohn the Boy from Mars, but he'd never read McKinley or Card or Adams. So I rifled my shelves and gave him The Hero and the Crown and Robin Hood (I can't find the Blue Sword - who the heck did I loan that one to???); Ender's Game; the original Hitchhiker's trilogy (I'd have given him all 5 but I only have the last two in first edition hardcovers); Freak the Mighty; The Boggart; and The Lathe of Heaven. I told him that if he likes them, he can keep them and I'll buy him more by the same authors (and new copies for me), but if he doesn't like them I want them back.

Muffin Man had a ball playing with his cousins and showing off for them. I had a ball watching them all together. Remind me why I live so far from my sister?

Monday, November 20, 2006

In the kitchen - shop and chop

Slight pause to go to a local shindig in the morning.

Shop: Got everything we need for cooking for Thanksgiving (except the desserts and the turkey (but they're ordered and we're picking them up on Wednesday) and good bread and salad).


Chop: Celery, cauliflower, some acorn squash. Clean out the 'fridge. People, I was ruthless. I was completely without ruth. I threw away some perfectly good barbeque sauce for no better reason than IT WAS TAKING UP ROOM. It's true that I threw away far more deserving items, but this was really just an innocent by-stander. Sent to an early grave by virtue of the fact that barbeque season won't be back for seven months and I'm about to have TWO TURKEYS in my house. Condiments, this means war.

Then I had to stop and deal with the blooming AP Services people. They can't just say "we just can't find your AP scores from 20 years ago" and get away with it. I pointed out that they had cashed my check in March and charged my credit card in September and that, really, they shouldn't have done that without being able to send them, now should they? Oh, and btw, could they maybe still be with the SAT scores? 'Cause didn't you use to keep them together? Don't push me AP Services, look what I just did to the refridgerator. Don't make me come over there and clean YOUR 'fridge. 'Cause I'm just the woman to do it!



Then it was time for swimming lessons. So AP Services survived the day. We'll see about tomorrow.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

In other news

Nearby University has a basket-ball arena where Muffin Man, Mr. Spock, Mr. Spock's sister, and I went to see the W1ggles a couple of years ago (I won tickets).

Often on Thursdays and Fridays, as I'm walking past this arena on the way to class, I'll see tour busses and huge semis parked in the parking lot there and wonder who's coming to play. When I find out later, I'm always shocked that there wasn't some huge banner saying "COMING SOON" somewhere on campus.

Two days ago, Bob Dylan got off a tour bus not 50 feet from where I was standing.

I think I'm going to start needing to get a schedule of shows.

Reminder: Bring your umbrellas

Tomorrow is Muffin Man's second swimming lesson for this session. As you may remember, our record for pouring rain on swimming lesson days is 100%, a streak that was NOT broken last Wednesday.

So even though the weather forcasters predict partly cloudy, I predict a need for waders.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Woohoo! and aggggghhh!

On the woohoo side:
I've got all of next week off, people!!! Wednesday - Friday are official school holidays. My Monday Religion class was cancelled by the prof. My Tuesday Biology Lab was cancelled by the department. My Tuesday Biology class will be showing a movie about how sexual reproduction improves species and I asked and received permission to miss it (since I'm a straight A student in that class, she was fine with it). And I've arranged with a classmate to get her notes from Monday and Tuesday's Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology classes.

On the agggggghhh side:
I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year and 26 people are attending. I'm really happy about it, but am feeling just a tad overwhelmed. Less so now that I've got the whole week off, though.

The menu: Turkey (I'm making one and my mom's making one), stuffing (my MIL's recipe), rice pilaf (with fruit and nuts galore, for the vegetarians), roasted winter veggies, gravy, steamed green beans, salad, cranberry sauce and cranberry chutney, mashed sweet taters.

Dessert will consist of store-bought pies, a pumpkin roll (MIL is making it), and ice cream cake (for the couple of birthdays that occur within T-giving week).

To drink: Wine (brought by my Dad and Stepmom, and a couple of extra bottles just in case), softdrinks, etc.

Noshes: raw veggies, clementines, some finger foods.

Already Done: Rented 2 extra tables, linens, plates, silverware, glasses, chairs, chafing dishes.

Still need to do: Cook. Oh! And clean. And go slightly insane.

But boy howdy, this really means I'm a grown-up, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A quick pop-in between papers

Muffin Man is still alive and kicking. It's been a rough couple of days with him testing boundaries and us not really up for it. He's being a typical four-year-old, but he's so smart and has such a good grasp of complex ideas, that we forget sometimes and expect too much of him.

I'm going to slide back some on my expectations of him and try to keep it simple for the next few days. Especially since swimming lessons start up again tomorrow.


Papers due this week = 6. One's already turned in.

TTFN!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

He's lucky he survived the weekend

Yesterday, the theme was "not listening". Six AM, I'm greeted with "can I use the scissors?" I said, "no." He got them anyway. Time Out. "NO!!!! NO TIME OUT!!!!" No McD's for a toy. On and on and on. All day.

Today started better. Good breakfast out, playing, food shopping. We ended up getting the toy this afternoon. Then, long about 7:00, a melt-down. During which, he hit me. So I said, "No hitting." So he looked at me and deliberately hit me again. So he didn't get a bath, or a story, or a snuggle. And he was going to get dinner in his room, but he threw a bigger fit and ended up not getting dinner at all.

I feel like the World's Worst Mother, because I sent my son to bed without supper. But, I really did try to give him supper. Truly. But a boy who hits his mama does NOT get to choose what he's going to have for dinner or where he's going to eat it.

Oh well, he ate a Happy Meal at 4:00 PM, he's not going to starve. So why do I feel so guilty?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Next semester's schedule - Dude!!! No classes on Fridays!

Biology Mondays and Wednesdays from noon - 1:15. (I might switch this to the 9:00 AM section depending on when an internship I'm doing will be.)

Abby someone psych on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 - 10:15

Also on Tuesdays and Thursdays: Cognitive Psych (10:30 - 11:45) and Western Civ. (noon to 1:15).

Biology lab on Tuesdays 1:30 - 4:15

Psychology in the Community on Thursdays (meeting once a month) 1:30 - 4:15. I'll be interning somewhere for this class.

If I can manage to get the teacher to agree, I'll be taking a 1-credit ethics class on Thursdays as well. It's during the Psych in the Community lecture, but since the Psych lecture is only once a month, I might be able to wrangle it. If I can't, I'll take the ethics class in the Fall.

So my schedule kind of looks like this: -H. Cool, eh?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's gonna be a nail-biter - UPDATED

Webb and Allen are still neck and neck. Allen has a slight lead. 6:30 AM: Now Webb is ahead by 8,359!! with 99.75 of precincts reporting! The Green candidate has just enough votes that if she weren't in it, Webb would be ahead (She has 26,098). I can't stand the thought of Allen getting re-elected after he's proved to the world what a steaming pile of poo he is. (Webb might win!!! But there'll be an automatic recount at this small a margin)

Wolf won re-election for congress (BOOOO!!) but Feder got over 40% of the vote, which is fantastic. I hope she runs again next time.

And I could just cry...the so-called "Marriage Amendment" is now part of our state's constitution. We have made bigotry and hatred constitutional. And the worst part is, we could have gotten it voted down if we'd just had more time.

On the plus side: it looks like the Democrats are going to really win the House. I hope I wake up in the morning to find they've taken the Senate, too. (The Dems took the House!! The Dems took the House!!!)



I'm ashamed of some of my classmates who couldn't be bothered to go vote, even when I offered them a ride to the polls. People all over the world are fighting and bleeding and dying for a right that these youngsters are just throwing away. It makes me so angry. I don't even have the words to express it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Get out there and vote, people!

Alright, just had to share this from A Gentleman's C.

Our family is also gonna be representing the Dems at the polls tomorrow. Mr. S. is on his 4th! year! of getting up in the middle of the night to be there when they open tomorrow and staying allllllll day. I'll be there after my bio lab in the evening. MM is going with me to vote in the AM and then he'll be with a babysitter in the evening.

Mr. S. and I will (please dear God) be celebrating after the polls close with the Dems.

And I promise not to gloat the next day the way the Republicans did in 2005.

I am so disgusted - UPDATED with proper links

Go read Phantom's rant about the latest putrescence from the Bush administration.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Again...and again!

So because he is a tu$h1e wiping genius (3 times in 12 hours! Wooo hooo!), he got the Fisher Price castle. Which I put together wrong and Mr. Spock had to take drastic measures to fix.

He's grown an inch in less than a month.

He's eating like a bear just out of hibernation.

He's having quiet time now, having been bribed to actually stay. in. his. room with the promise of going to see a movie when his hour is up.

And I have a spider bite that looks just like a 3rd n1pple right below my left bre ast. Am I being hypochondriacal if my whole body itches, except the bite --- which hurts?

How's your weekend going?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Good...and not so good

Muffin Man wiped his own tush1e again. He's making a habit of it! I'm so glad. I'm still required sometimes, but when I'm not, it's call for rejoicing. And we all rejoiced tonight --- toy shopping tomorrow!

He's having a story with Mr. Spock now and I took a closer look at the bathroom floor (bits of toilet paper everywhere, and an empty box of wipes) and I saw tiny little pieces of p0op on the floor as well. Oh well, at least it's better than this.

Friday, November 03, 2006

3 hours sleep...

I was up until 3:15 this morning finishing 2 papers and a take-home quiz. Thank goodness Muffin Man decided to sleep through the night.

I really could have planned my time better.

Up this week: Exam in Religion (Islam), 2 papers, and a partridge in a pear tree.

It's that time again

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have less than a week until election day. This year, it's more important than ever that you get out there and vote.

I'm in the 13th C0ngressional District of V1rginia. Our 26-year incumbant, Frank W0lf has voted over 98% of the time with GWB. It's time for him to go. I'm voting for Judy Feder. She's had experience in gov't, worked on health care policy, and is a strong progressive candidate.

My Senate choice is pretty obvious. I'm voting for Webb. I can't say that I'm as pumped for him as I am for Feder, but he's looking like he'll serve V1rginia well. I just wish he were a little stronger on Gay rights, which should just be called what they are: civil rights.

Speaking of which, I'm voting "NO!!!!" on ballot question 1 which reads:

Question: Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of
Virginia be amended to state:
"That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.


This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of
marriage."?

Now, the first paragraph is foul on its own. Homophobia enshrined in a state constitution. It makes me sick.

The second paragraph is also quite worrisome. In Ohio, some courts have decided that similar language in their constitution bars unmarried women from getting protective orders against their abusive live-in boyfriends. It could invalidate living wills, roommate agreements, custody agreements between people who were never married.

Our lovely State's Attorney (an elected Republican) sneers at our concerns and says that the legislature and he have written opinions and intent statements that they don't mean this to apply to straight people. Or elderly aunts. Or abused girlfriends. But these are the same people who fought to get strict constructionist judges on benches all over our state. And if I remember correctly, strict constructionists are not known for giving a hoot about the legislative intent. They go by the words in the document.

Heck, even the extremely conservative Richmond Times Dispatch is against it.

If you're in VA, vote "No". And whether or not you're in VA, and you'd like to help fight the amendment, go here and find out more.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Preludes and Nocturnes says it so well...

My grandfather had it. My uncle has it. Preludes & Nocturnes has just written about it. Please go take a look.

Halloween!

5:30 PM - Last minute rush to the store when we were terrified that 3 pounds of candy wouldn't last long enough.

6:00 PM - MM dressed as Superman. I dressed as...I don't know what. I was wearing a black cocktail dress, a glittery jester's hat with little bells on it, and MM's gold lame cape (his royal king's cape, if you must know). So what was I? Any ideas?

MM and MS went out on the TorT rounds while I stayed home to dole out the candy.

By 7:00 MM and MS were back. By 7:15 the last Trick or Treater had been to the door. We didn't need the extra candy after all.

Least cutest trick-or-treater: the one who said "Give me candy or else!" Ugh.

Cutest costume out there: the little cow that had a push-button moo-er.

Cutest MM moment: Him answering the door and giving out his own candy wearing just his dinosaur underpants.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Have I told you lately what a big man he is?

Today f'rinstance:

I dropped him off early at Posh Place so I could get my car's safety inspection done before I hit the road to get to my 9:30 AM class. He was happy to be at school, reminded me that I was going to pick him up early for his doctor's appointment, and pushed me out the door.

I picked him up at 2:15 and brought him to the doctor's office. He took his flu shot with style and grace, and not even a flinch. Chose a Snoopy bandaid and two stickers. And left with a smile on his face and made all the nurses in the office laugh.

Upon getting back into the car he fastened his own seat belt. Which feat he repeated after we bought some expensive Disn3y stickers for being such a big man.

And at bed-time, he made up songs to sing for me.

I love that boy.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bullets of a windy weekend - UPDATED

  • News Flash! Dunkin Donuts is waaaaaaay better than Starbucks. Why? 'Cause they will put the milk and sugar in for you. Light and sweet, please.
  • Muffin Man loves Chu-ckEChee$e. Me, not so much, but I like it better at 10:00 then at noon.
  • Angry Boy gets cuter by the minute and Angry Baby is the sweetest dumpling of a baby. And he likes to hula. Thanks, APL, for hanging with us today.
  • Muffin Man doesn't want to wear jammies under his Superman costume. It remains to be seen if we're going to the parade.
  • PARADE UPDATE: After I cut all the tags out and removed every sticker, the jammies were rated, "still itchy" (fleece jammies, zip-up, no feet). With a t-shirt underneath the jammies they were rated, "okay. But I'm taking them off as soon as we get home." Thus, Superman did not have to wear a coat over his cape.

Friday, October 27, 2006

NoMo

Motivation that is. Boy howdy, am I ever in a blah mood.

Lots of work to do, calls to make, butts to kick and absolutely no desire to do any of it.

Did I tell y'all that the Advanced Placement Services section of the College Board have lost the records of my having taken the APs lo these many years ago? I think they lost my motivation too. I just don't want to have to hunt down my own records, make multiple phone calls, work my way up the chain of command and seriously pull out the hysterically weeping card to get them to just FIND my records and SEND them to Nearby U so that I can get credit for 2 full years of a foreign language, 1 semester of American History and 1 semester of English 101. If they can't find them, I'll have to take a year of Japanese 200 over the Summer. And it's been nearly 20 frelling years since I last took any Japanese. People, I just don't remember enough to even say, "I can't speak Japanese" in Japanese.

On the other hand, I've got a real desire to just start cooking for t-giving, but I have to straighten up the kitchen first.

Is it procrastinating if you're doing something you have to do anyway, just with a lower priority?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Growing

Muffin Man is growing.

He's too big for his car seats, we had to buy him a booster seat for each of the cars yesterday.

He's going on his First! Field! Trip! tomorrow with his class at Posh Place.

He's eating. And eating. And eating. And complaining that he's still hungry after he's just finished eating an enormous slice (seriously, two slices worth) of pepperoni pizza and a huge dish of ice cream.

He's not sleeping well, waking up in the middle of the night the last several nights in a row and coming into our room and trying to get into bed with us (actually me, my side of the bed). Most nights I pick him up and carry him back to his room and snuggle with him for a while there until he's fallen asleep again. Once in a while, I'm too tired to move him, so I let him sleep with us, but then he steals all my blankets.

I'm not ready for my little boy to be a big boy in a booster seat, in a big boy bed, wearing clothes that don't have a T after the number. Going on field trips for cripe's sake. Field trips!

It's all just too soon, too fast.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Random bullets of way too much coffee

  • Why too much coffee? Muffin Man thought that 4:35 was a good time to wake up this morning, and I had to spend a good bit of time convincing him otherwise and also arguing the merits of all of us sleeping in our own fireplacing beds.
  • Results of too much coffee? My hands are shaking and I keep typing letters twice.
  • Other results of too much coffee? I took notes at light speed today. They may or may not make sense or be legible tomorrow.

Tomorrow is "Team Spirit!" day at Posh Place. "Everyone wear a jersey to support your favorite team!" Well, we're not a terribly sports-loving household, not even considering that I'm a jinx. So I had to actually buy a jersey for Muffin Man today. He'll be supporting Nearby University's althletics department tomorrow.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Winter Holiday Extravaganza Answers

If I could, I'd invent a Transporter, like they have on Star Trek, and damn it, the world needs one because, that way I'd be able to visit my sister more often, not to mention seeing all y'all face-to-face.

I sometimes buy organic strawberries, because it is/they are more like the me I want to be than the me that I am.

If you came over to my house to play and touched my laptop without asking me first I'd be a little bit mad at you forever. (Not really, but it's the only thing I could think of that doesn't live in my underwear drawer.)

The colour/s that my high school used to paint the classrooms makes me want to shave my eyeballs with a cheese grater.

The colour/s of the water off Kauai is/are so beautiful that when I see them, a beam of light comes down and I hear a choir sing.

Most tv shows that in any way include eating bugs makes me gag, feel it in my mouth for a minute, and then swallow it back down rather than spit it out (or else I just don't like it, but I'm too nice to say it.)

I might get sick or die if I touch or ingest cilantro, or look at Paris Hilton.

The Doodlebops gives me the willies and I might need to consider a frontal lobotomy if I even think about it further.

I love the feel of flannel so much I want to hump it like a puppy on a sofa pillow.

No one should have to watch me eat Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream, because then I might consider being polite enough to share (not!), and I don't want to share it.

I'm a grown-up now, so I don't have to eat beets any more, and you can't make me.

If I could invent a way to permanently coat my nostril hairs with this scent, I'd be my own biggest customer: chicken soup simmering on the stove (but I'm really an unscented kind of a girl.)

Three things I like that anyone might like: I'm going with Andrea's answer here (and I do like the Bing Crosby Christmas stuff): european chocolate, classical holiday music (classical as in the musical style, not as in 'the classics' like Bing Crosby or whatever--I mean, I like that stuff too, but who else does?), and homemade baked goods.

Three things I like that nobody else in the world likes: Liver and onions, having grey hair, Frances Hodgsen Burnett's books for Adults.

I have TOO MANY/TOO MUCH OF clutter around the house, and not enough time or motivation to clean up.

Okay, we know the best things in life aren't things, but these are the best things in life if there are going to be best things: books. Lots and lots of books.

When people have kind, sweet and nice things about me, they're usually talking about Muffin Man. When they say I'm very silly, they're usually right too.

It's true, I'm a good student. I'm learning to be proud of believe it.

If I could have any talent in the world, I'd choose cooking and hosting like Martha Stewart.

You are given a day and a no-limit credit card to spend in one of these places, childfree. Choose one, or write your own:

A gourmet food store, because you are what you eat. It's all about feeding yourself and your soul. (and a book store. with every book ever in print.)

And here's the last chance to make sure that you're not going to get a "Jelly of the Month" club membership when you're expecting your bonus for a swimming pool:

It is important to me that the items chosen for me be fun for you to get.
(Examples: respect my Wal-Mart boycott, are vegan, aren't made by child or sweatshop labour, can be stuffed down my pants)

And

If I could suggest that you read only one post from my archives, this would be it: Dreaming of a Ham Sandwich

And

If I were to name the Holiday of my choice for this exchange, it would be:
Christmas, even though I'm Jewish, I'm completely a Christmas girl! (Please feel free to make one up - but this is your chance to say "Um, I'm Jewish but that doesn't mean give me dreidels!" or "More Santa decorations please - I only have thirty-seven now." or "Winter and gifts yes; religious denominations, no - if only all cards could be like those politically correct corporate holiday wishes!" if you want to.)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Look over there -->

I've added a few new faces, updated some links, and rearranged things a bit. There are a few bloggers over there with more than one blog that I read regularly and I've linked to each of them on one line (Hi Chris! Moxie! Moreena!!)

Andrea asked a few months ago what the demographics of our blogrolls look like and whether they are primarily mirrors of ourselves.

For the most part, I'd say that my blogroll looks alot like me. White North American Married Women who have at least one child. I do have a few men on the list (Hi Corndog! Scrivener! Overread! Laid-off Dad!) and more that I will be adding. I have a few single folks, a few who are not parents, and a few who have a whole heck of a lot more kids than me. There are some professors, and I'm a student. There are some folks who are having health issues in their families, and (knock wood) my family is currently pretty healthy -- though I am constantly aware of how quickly that could change. I am, after all, 37. My dad had a heart attack when he was a year younger than me, and though he's currently healthy, his father died when he was nine. There are folks who are living about as far away from me geographically as you can get, and here I am. There are a few home-schoolers, and my son's been in daycare forever. There are some people who are far more certain of God's hand in their lives than I and some who are far more certain that there isn't any God.

Each and every person on the list is someone I identify with and am interested in. Even if their lives are very different from mine, I feel a connection. Perhaps it's not reciprocated, but that doesn't matter to me. The blogs I list are ones that touch me, make me laugh, or cry, or both. In any case, there they are. If you haven't had a chance to read some of them, go on and pay a visit.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

As seen at KLee's


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
5,959
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?



But no one in the US currently has my birth name. Which I knew without the quiz since there are only about, what, 25? people in the country with my birth last name and I know all of them personally and none of them have my first name.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

What I'm learning in school this week

Psychology (lecture and lab) - Correlational regression testing and Standard Error.

Religion - Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation. Once again, I seem to be the only person in the class aside from the teacher to have ever heard of, say, Martin Luther.

Biology - Mitosis and Miosis. Sythesis in Miosis is so! totally! cool!

Hawaiian Dance - we just had our mid-term on the meaning and history of and movements for the first verse of 'Ulupalakula. Then we learned the meaning and movements for the next two verses. Beautiful song, beautiful dance. It. Is. Kicking. My. Ass. I most likely got an A on the meanings. I know I only got a B on the movements. Crap.

My Biology lab will be having a mid-term on Tuesday. Biology and Psychology lectures have mid-terms Thursday. We may or may not get a mid-term in Religion on Wednesday, it depends on whether we finish up Christianity on Monday.

So, if I don't seem to be around much this week, you'll think of me chained to my books studying until my eyes bleed, won't you?

Doctor Whooooooooo!!!!

It was old home week on Doctor Who. Sarah Jane Smith showed up and berated the Doctor and there was a great scene between her and Rose. Just splendid. And Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) had a guest role as well. Total geek paradise. Really lovely.

And the new Doctor is growing on me, though I'm still missing the guy from last season.

Monday, October 09, 2006

All better now.

Thank goodness. Muffin Man was all better by Saturday evening (after a peak fever of 102.5). It took me just a little longer to recover after sleeping on the floor of his room two nights in a row (I stayed there Saturday night too, just in case.)

On Sunday, he made up for a full day of all soup all the time by eating everything that wasn't nailed down and begging for more.

Today the three of us got to rub shoulders (and shake hands) with one of The Powers That Be. Very nice experience.

Oh. And North Korea has the bomb. Duck and cover, anyone?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Why is it that kids never start getting sick in the daytime?

And only exhibit symptoms for the first time at midnight?

Muffin Man has a yucky stomach virus. The good news is that even though he threw up twice last night (requiring two bed changes), and he's got a fever of 100.1, he's feeling pretty chipper.

We just got back from the Ped.'s. Negative for strep. He's on the couch in his jammies and bathrobe, watching The Incredibles. So far, he's keeping the chicken soup he had for breakfast down.

Hope y'all are having a healthier weekend than we are.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bullets of Ugh

  • Someone actually said, "I'm still voting for Allen, because he's a good Christian." Lady, good Christians don't intimidate people, call attention to their skin color, say "Welcome to America", and then immediately turn the conversation to the war on terror.

  • Foley. Need I say more? On the other hand, I am LOVING how the Republican leadership is digging themselves deeper and deeper into it. I'm loving how they are missing opportunities to look strong and non-partisan. I'm loving how they are all playing hot potato. I just wish Foley had done something less....vile.

How old are you?

Are you old enough to identify this commercial without Googling it?

Now you see it
Now you don't
Here you have it
Here you won't

I wouldn't touch this product with a ten foot pole, but I loved that commercial.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Got it, read it, loved it.

Under Orders arrived today. This afternoon. I just finished it. It's sooo good. A bit bloodier and more violent than Francis's usual stuff, but still his voice.

Next up: Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice Davidson, which I added to my order to get the free shipping (but I wanted it anyway, just not enough to buy it on its own, y'know?). Also added for the free shipping was No Fighting, No Biting for Muffin Man. We read chapter one tonight.

Oh, and did I tell you that I bought all three books for less than they were charging for just the Dick Francis at my school's bookstore? Not that I begrudge the money to the publishers and the authors, but I really resent the big box bookstore that has the monopoly on campus not giving the students the same deal they give at their larger stand-alone stores. If it were an independent bookstore, it'd be a totally different matter and I'd support them whole-heartedly. But it's not. It's a B@rne$ & N0ble.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Getting naked and other imponderables

Yesterday, Muffin Man decided that Cinderella Barbie, Prince Charming Ken, and Cowboy Pete were all wearing too many clothes. "It's bed-time! They need to put on their pajamas!" Well, they don't have any pajamas. And it's no good pretending that the sparkly blue princess dress is a nightgown because "it's just NOT, Mama! And that's all I'm going to say about it!" So, they're all downstairs in the playroom, in the make-shift bed (the top to a box of file folders), sleeping. Naked.

Why is this bothering me? I'm guessing it's because he had absolutely no desire to change what they were wearing before. He used to imagine that what they were wearing was whatever he decided it was at that moment. Pajamas, pink muumuus. Whatever. He could see them wearing it despite the clothes they really had on. Now he'd rather they wore nothing at all than that they wear clothes that interfere with his vision.

Also, it's a little creepy that Cinderella Barbie is still wearing her blue neck ribbon and Prince Charming Ken is still wearing his crown (sewn on y'know). Also, he's got on permanant underwear. With a fly and everything. Creepy.

Muffin Man is a bit worried about Cowboy Pete. "Why's he so much shorter than the Prince?" And I said, "Well, he's a different doll. He has to be small enough to ride his horse." And then, thinking of Frances, I said, "You know. Some people just are smaller than other people and that's really okay. There will always be some people who are smaller than you and some people who are bigger than you and they're all just the right size and you are too."
"I know. You told me that before."
"I'm glad you remember. Hugs?"
"Hugs."

Update on the little cousin

She's off the respirator and being treated for jaundice. Expected to go home sometime this week.

Thank you all for your thoughts!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I've got a quick favor to ask y'all

Could you take a moment to send good thoughts to my new little first-cousin-once-removed? She was born somewhat prematurely on Wednesday and, though her prognosis is good (weighing in at 6 lb 3 oz), she's in the NICU while her lungs mature.

I miss my Doctor Who

Season Two of the new Doctor Who is on. There's a new new Doctor Who. I miss last season's Doctor Who. He had the perfect combination of goofy, serious, and scary. This new guy is charming but...I guess I'll have to give him some time.

On the plus side, there was a really good Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference in the first episode.

Also the actress who plays Rose did a great job of acting possessed by a smarmy woman during the second episode. I'm very fond of Rose.

A thing of beauty

Moreena's got a new post up that you just have to read. I'm still laughing.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

As seen at Raising WEG

You've Changed 40% in 10 Years
Ah, the past! You may not remember it well - because you're still living in it.While you've changed some, you may want to update your wardrobe, music collection and circle of friends.


I said my circle of friends had not changed much because I'm still really good friends with Jim (of Jim and Jenn) but the truth is that aside from him (and Mr. Spock, of course), I do have a totally new circle of friends. All of YOU. Thank you for being my friends, for being here for me, and for letting me be here for you.

Holding pattern

School's going well. I love most of my classes, and I'm doing well (judging by test scores) in all of them. Muffin Man is healthy, happy, smart as a whip and funny to boot. Mr. Spock is the world's best husband. There are no crises in my life at the moment.

So I was wondering why I feel so...blah. Not depressed, just...blah. And I think I've figured it out.

Muffin Man is the same age I was when my parents separated.

The parents of his friend, Deep-Voiced-Toddler, are going through a separation on their way to divorce.

I'm about to enter unknown territory, I have no idea what it's like to be a school-aged kid in an intact household. None. Well, a hint from reading fiction, but no personal experience. And Deep-Voiced-Toddler is about to live my life (sort of, I don't think joint custody will be an option there).

Thus...blah.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gah!

So Gilmore Girls was good. At least everybody seems to be TALKING and actually being honest for once, except WTF is up with Rory not saying to Logan that she wants to spend the Summer with him? And that town selectman guy is now tied with Kurt for the Gilligan/Dr. Smith award on this show.

Oh well, so I liked it. But then the coming attractions for next week...I'm just not sure. I may not last through the season, folks.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Muffin Man: Soup afficianado

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but we like soup around here. Most Saturdays will find us eating SoupAndBread (potato leek soup and ciabatta bread for dipping) in Nearby Historical Town. Muffin Man gets cranky on the weekends that we don't do our ritual ciabatta dipping.

Tonight, we ate at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant that not only has The World's Best Spring Rolls (and I know from spring rolls, I'm a New Yawkuh), they also have The World's Best Wonton Noodle Soup. Delicious. Muffin Man LOVES this stuff. He's not so happy with pork though, so I trade him my shrimp for his pork and he just digs right in. "Good soup!" he said happily, slurping up noodles and shovelling in wontons. "I love this soup!"

He's my little Souper Man.

I'm so excited!

People: Dick Francis has a new book coming out. It's actually AT my campus bookstore, but they won't let me buy it until tomorrow.

Squee!!!! Dick Francis!!! Yay!

I thought that his last book (Shattered, published in 2000) was, you know, his last book. It's well-known among his fans that his late wife was a real partner in his writing, so I thought that her death meant no more books. I was sad, but okay with it. After all, he's written a boat-load of books and I'm happy just re-reading them.

But a new one! And not just a new one but a new Sid Halley! Halley is one of two characters that Francis has written more than one book about (this makes four Sid Halleys and two Kit Fieldings). I'm. Just. So. Excited!

Okay, back to work.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rush Hashonna Dinner

With SingsLullabyes and MakesBooksForGrandkids. Just the three of us in their New Yawk apartment. We ate oysters (yeah, not so much with the kosher), borscht and sweet challah with raisins, baked salmon and arugela salad, with rughella for dessert (Yay! Arugela and rughella!)

Delish.

Shopping for the ingredients was fun, too.

And I brought back some cinnamon-raisin challah for my boys.

Hope y'all had a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's sad when you can't see the cells for the floaters

I have floaters. They've been my companions for at least 32 years. I can distinctly remember sitting on the brown cordoroy couch my mom had in the '70's, watching my "water marks" floating around in the sun. I don't notice them much in the ordinary way. One of them is a black speck and I notice it most when there are gnats in the room, since it looks JUST. LIKE. ONE.

Today I got up close and personal with several microscopes. Looking for cells. Which look just like most of my floaters. I had to ask the TA teaching the lab if she would mind helping me focus 2 of the fireplacing microscopes because the frelling floaters just kept getting in the way (cheek cells and smooth muscle cells). Turns out, that once the microscope was focused properly, the smooth muscle cells looked like a beach at low tide, with a sort of feather pattern. Neurons look like jelly fish and lilac leaf stomas look like a place where a tree would be in a brick walk way. Best of all was looking at the cells from a living plant (stuff moves around inside them!)

Monday, September 18, 2006

My weeks

Monday through Thursday, first thing in the morning, I'm in a Psychology class that covers Research Methods and Statistics (really, it's two classes but they're both taught by one professor and he's joined them together). Friday mornings, I take a 3 hour lab for that class. We just got our first test back and, while I got one of the only two A's in the class, I only got the A because he curved pretty steeply. The TA who teaches the lab didn't get all the answers right when he took the test to see why the class did so poorly on it. It's been agreed between them that the questions were written poorly (on the questions I got wrong, 18 out of 21 students picked the same answers as I did). Next time, he's going to let the TA proof the exam before he inflicts it on us.

Mondays and Wednesdays I have Religion. I like this class. Good teacher. He's got a wry sense of humor and led a brief discussion today about Pope Benedict's adventures over the weekend. We're currently covering Judaism (just finished with David and are about to discuss Solomon.) I'm doing my usual Hermione imitation (raising my hand alot and being an insufferable know-it-all), but the scary thing is that everything I know about Judaism comes from various Passover sedars and reading children's fiction (All-of-a-Kind-Family, anyone?)

Tuesdays and Thursdays I have Biology. Loving this teacher. We've just finished covering the cell and will have our first exam on Thursday. Tuesday afternoons I go to a three-hour lab for this class. Last week we tested for protein, starch, reducing sugars, and lipids. Our mystery mixtures were sugar and starch. Tomorrow, we're looking at cells under a microscope.

And, of course, on Friday afternoons I have Hawaiian Dance. Still having trouble with those steps.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hula is kicking my ass

We're learning "Little Gras$ $hack" and the uwehes are frelling painful. Not to mention, I still haven't gotten the hang of amis. My calves, thighs, and back are all asking me WTF I think I'm doing.

Aside from which, there are some arm movements that are nigh impossible for me to do correctly because my appendages get in the way. I'm a mountain range in a classful of rolling hills, if you know what I mean.

I'm loving every minute of it, though. I particularly like that my favorite fish, the humu-humu-nuku-nuku-apua'a, is mentioned in the song. (Dashes and dollar signs have been placed there to avoid having my classmates discover the site while researching the song)

Interesting aside: My Hawaiian Dance class and my Psych 300/301 joint class and lab each have only one male student, the rest of the students (28 in dance and 20 in psych!) are female. So I'm spending most of my class time with predominantly female classes. Bio and Religion are more of a 50/50 mix.

One of my Psychology classmates is pregnant, due December 2nd. She's already made arrangements with the professors if she can't attend finals.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The mourning sky

Today I thought about five years ago and what I remembered most. And aside from the horror and the fear and the sadness, what I remember most is the silence.

I live near a flight path from Dulles Airport. About once every five minutes or so, a plane goes by, often loudly. At all times there are contrails in the sky.

Five years ago there was silence and the sky was an unbroken blue. The absence of plane engines, the absence of those straight white lines made me feel that even the sky was mourning.

At school today, I heard a lot of students ask why today isn't a national holiday, and it's a good question. But I think that a national holiday would devolve into what all national holidays are, an excuse for store-wide sales and barbeques.

Wouldn't it be a more fitting tribute if, one day every year, we grounded the airplanes? No flying ever again on 9/11. Bring back the reminder of the eerie silence, the unbroken blue, and the mourning sky.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Vanessa Lynn Kolpak, Age 21. Died 9/11/01.

Bright. Bubbly. Positive. These are the words used to describe her.

A classmate who hadn't seen her in 10 years remembered her playing the violin at an assembly. "I remember the song she played. Her talent."

Her music teacher:"I had difficulty believing that she would not appear in some unexpected place to comfort our aching hearts."

A former employer: "I can't think of a more brilliant young woman, someone who had so much poise and grace, and someone who made people melt with her smile."

She had a big, beautiful smile and brought joy to all who knew her. She had a soft voice and a tender heart. In high school she said, "If I knew that of all of my friends, someone had to have something bad happen to them, I would want it to be me."

This young, vibrant woman worked for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods on the 89th floor of the South Tower. She called home shortly after the first plane hit to say she was fine and was never heard from again.

She is sorely missed by family and friends. They leave messages on various websites telling the world how much they still love her.

I never met her and I regret that so much. I am writing about her because I was given her name by the 2,996 Project. Vanessa, you are missed and loved and remembered.

As seen at Fuzzball

Have you ever...? The ones that I have done are BOLDED:
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten my own vegetables (Tomatoes!)
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than I could afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as I possibly could
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about my life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for my computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then I was actually in love with the person
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized my CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love with someone and not had my heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class (does fencing count?)
71. Played D&D for more than six hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Received flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand (long, long ago)
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of my parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
96. Raised children (not done yet, though)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named my own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when I knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that I shouldn't have survived
105. Written articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of mine below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had my picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something I care deeply about (I got a homo-phobic, evangelical, born-again Christian to agree to vote "No" on the anti-gay-marriage amendment on the ballot this November)
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad (and the Odyssey)
135. Selected one "important" author who I missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared and animal for eating (fish)
137. Skipped all my school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language 139. Been elected to public office
140. Written my own computer language
141. Thought to myself that I'm living my dream
142. Had to put someone I love into hospice care
143. Built my own PC from parts (well, assisted my husband to build it)
144. Sold my own artwork to someone who didn't know me
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed my hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved my head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Friday, September 08, 2006

Holy wow.

People. I have seen the most incredible thing today. I watched these folks exercise and dance (click on the video clips on many of the story pages to see them in motion). And they are amazing. Stunning. Spectacular. And I was sitting thisclose to them in the performance room at Nearby U.

Holy wow.

During exercises, they hold their upper bodies perfectly still while they rotate their hips (ami)almost faster than you can watch. One of their dances has three performers imitating the movement of a boat through the water using one outstretched leg and an outstretched arm that they pulled and pushed back and forth...it was incredible.

Meanwhile, I'm still having troubles with my ami, and I'm doing it very slowly indeed. And I'm having trouble remembering to sway my hips during the kaholo if I'm also doing arm movements. But I'm loving every minute of my class. I feel good. Sore, but good.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Weekend Bullets

  • Went to a certain blogger's son's 3rd Birthday party with Muffin Man (who says, "I love AB, he's my little brother.")
  • Cleaned out the garage. Cut down and boxed up all the cardboard boxes that have accumulated since last year, threw out a ton of junk, and donated everything that didn't sell in last year's yard sale. The yard sale where all the donations went to Katrina relief. Yeah. Procrastinate much? I can't wait for Thursday when we can put out all the recycleables for pick up.
  • Went to the Leesburg Animal Farm Park with friends of MM and their moms. Pony rides, wagon rides, puppet shows, AND feeding the animals.
  • Practiced dancing "We're Going to a Hukilau". I think I have the hand movements and the kaholos down pat, but I'm still having issues with my ami kuku.
  • And I'm sad for his kids, but is there anyone out there who didn't think Steve Irwin would get too close to the wrong animal one day?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

So, why does Norton suck?

1. It wouldn't let me read some comics.
2. It wouldn't let me read some comment pages.

And finally, the straw that broke the camel's back...

3. It stopped letting me send e-mail.

That's right, I said send. I could receive just fine.

So now Norton and I are through. And if Macafee pulls the same crap, I'm moving to Linux.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Norton really sucks

Details to come later.

Ow. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.

My thighs and my back hurt. Who knew that keeping your knees bent while stepping back and forth in a smooth lateral motion and swaying your hips would be so hard?

But I had tons and tons of fun.

I dropped Historical Criticism of Children's Literature and picked up Hawaiian Dance. Children's Lit involved waaaaaay too many papers to write, and I already got the fun of reading all the books.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Busy week

First week of school. The classes are pretty good, but oy! The work!

Already we have 2 pages due Wednesday in Children's Lit., a quiz on Wednesday in Religion, and LOTS of reading to do everywhere.

I'm liking my Biology professor very much. She showed us a scene from Monty Python & the Holy Grail to discuss the scientific method. She's also talked about stomach acid, and tons of other good stuff. I'm going to try to introduce her to my Communications prof. from Spring term. I think they'd get along well.

Tomorrow I've got a 3-hour lab starting at 0830, and I'll be trying to get into a Hawaiian Dance class in the afternoon (fulfills the Gen. Ed. requirement for global understanding, and sounds like fun!)

Muffin Man is sleeping peacefully on new rocket-ship sheets. He didn't want his blanket to cover them (but we tucked him up anyway after he'd gone to sleep).

Monday, August 28, 2006

Review - This is Chick-Lit

A couple of months ago I was contacted by BenBella books, did I want a free copy of a book they were publishing? Needless to say, I did. And they sent it to me.

This is Chick-Lit is a response to Random House's 2005 release, This is Not Chick-Lit, which Lauren Baratz-Logsted thought was insulting. What's so bad about Chick-Lit? And, actually, the lines drawn between Lit and Chick-Lit seems to echo the lines drawn between WOHM and SAHM. And y'all know how I feel about that.

The short stories in TiCL are well-written, often funny, occasionally sad. Most of the women in the stories share a common trait: a lack of a fundamental self-confidence. For most, that self-confidence is found by the end of the story. They are stories "by, for, and about women".

My favorite story of the group is Two Literary Chicks, which starts with college aquaintances bumping into each other on the street. They had met in a writing class years before and each despised the other's writing then. The meeting, and what happens to each of them because of it, rings true and is written lovingly.

One story goes into Stephen King territory. The Third Eye is a strange and eerie telling of the consequences of ill-considered plastic surgery.

Another one, Meeting Cute, has haunted me for the last few days.

These stories have been written especially for this book as a response from the Chick-Lit world to the gauntlet thrown down by the literati. As an olive branch, each author also included her favorite Serious Female author. I can see that during my next vacation, I'll have a ton of reading to do.

WDW in Pictures























Here are 3 bloggable pictures of our trip to WDW. MM is the one in the white Gilligan cap. I'm in the big brown Holly Hobby hat.







Thursday, August 24, 2006

Home again, home again.

We spent the morning at the pool. MM demonstrated to us that, yes he could too dunk his head underwater without shrieking so he could so ride the water slide into the pool. "Well," we thought. "He did LOOOOOOVE Splash Mountain." So we let him slide (wearing a life vest and with MS waiting at the bottom to scoop him out of the vortex of swirling water).

"WHEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!"

"LET'S DO IT AGAIN! DO IT AGAIN!"

Repeat 8x. (MS and I switching off who got to slide and who stayed to catch). Turns out that we never actually need to catch, he did great.

Back to the room to finish packing. Took the shuttle to the airport. Flew home. MM slept for the last hour of the flight (murmuring "Do it again! Do it again!")

At the home airport we did something clever. We split up. MM and I went to get the car while MS got the luggage. We swung by to pick him up and ZOOM! we were outta there.

Dropped MS off at the library for a meeting and MM picked out some books and a movie and got his very own library card (I'm so proud).

Home, ate dinner, and read two of his library books (Mermaids, and The Magic School Bus Gets Cold Feet). Tomorrow he'll get chapter one of Mary Poppins.

He's back at school tomorrow and I'm back to school on Monday (Research Methods, Religion, and Children's Lit.)

Oh, and I really loved both The Golden Compass and Despereaux. I can't believe there are so many good children's books I never heard of before! Now I'm starting on The Story of the Amulet which I also never read. Inexcusable, since I loved 5 Children and It, and The Phoenix and the Carpet.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

WDW Day 3, Pt. 2

Back at MK, ate dinner at the Plaza Restaurant. The club sandwich w/ potato salad is good. The steak sandwich is meh. Ate dessert. Edy's Ice Cream. I'm surprised it's not Blue Bunny, since they have some Disney branded flavors.

Prime Time Cafe wins hands down as best meal of this trip. We'd have loved to have eaten again at the SciFi Diner (ate there last time we were down here) but we didn't opt for the park hopper this time around.

Rode not one, not two, but three! rides! between dinner and the parade. Pirates of the Caribbean (no wait!), Aladdin's Magic Carpets (loved 'em!), and the Jungle Cruise. Splash Mountain is still winner and champion.

We saw the parade and MM was just astounded by the lights, the characters, and the music. He just loved it to pieces.

Went right back to the bus afterwards and watched the fireworks as we were driving away. They were beautiful but we were glad to be watching them from the bus.

Tomorrow we'll pack and then spend a few hours in the pool before we get on the bus for the airport.

Muffin Man doesn't ever want to come home. "I wish we could stay at the Magic Kingdom forever."

WDW Day 3, Pt I

Woke early, ate cereal in our room.

Ran off to Magic Kingdom (we were still late for Little Ones Magic Hours). Rode Stitch's Great Escape, Buzz Lightyear, the tram.

Rode in the nose of the Monorail (got stickers!) to go to a character breakfast at the Grand Floridian (Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Wendy from Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger). The omelets at the GF are delish.

Back at Magic Kingdom. Did the Mad Tea Party, Indy Speedway, and went into Mickey's Toon Town Fair (saw his house, Donald's Boat (the fountains weren't working), Goofy's Barnstormer - MM LOVED IT!, and played in the play area (where we saw well-behaved 3-year-old quintuplets. V. cool.))

WDW tip #5: If you see something going wrong at WDW, do let a supervisor know. They will most likely give you some fast passes good for any ride at that theme park. We saw some grown-up goof-balls cutting the line for Goofy's Barnstormer by Climbing! Over! The! WALLS! And even though we let the ride operator know about it while! it! was! happening! she let them ride anyway. Another family backed us up when we were talking to the supervisor about it and we all got fastpasses.

Rode the train to Frontier Land and used our fastpasses to ride Splash Mountain. This was MM's favorite ride of the whole day, maybe even the whole trip. Walked back to Main Street, buying a Micky-shaped ice cream on the way back. Hosed down MM and then left to go back to the hotel for a 2-hour nap.

We're going back again in a bit for dinner and the parade and maybe the jungle ride.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

WDW day two

Hotter than yesterday, I actually broke down and bought one of those shpritzy fans.

We did Snow White's Scary Adventure (all), Dumbo (MM & me. Boy Howdy does that MM ever like heights!), Winnie the Pooh (MM & MS), met Tigger, played in the Pooh playground, met Ariel, played in the fountain there, Peter Pan's Flight, lunch, Haunted Mansion (mistake...nightmares), Merry-go-round, and finally Mickey's Philharmagic (excellent! really the best thing of the day aside from meeting Ariel).

Then we came home and took a short nap (interrupted by said nightmare), ate a popsicle, went to the pool, and went to dinner. MM was in bed by 8:00 but was still awake at 8:40 because of "scary eyes" he kept seeing. He was sound asleep at 8:45 after I promised to come to bed by 10:00 and turned the clock to face him. Please note, I have not kept my promise but I will go to bed after I finish typing this.

So WDW tip #4: don't assume that just because your 4-year-old loves Snow White's scary adventure and loves the scary parts of both the Snow White movie and the Curse of the WereRabbit, that he is ready for The Haunted Mansion.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The rest of Day One

MM woke up at 4:25 and made it to the motorboats just in time. They had a blast. I got pictures.

We went to dinner at the Prime Time Diner (at MGM, the wait staff won't bring you dessert if you haven't finished your dinner and they remind you to keep your elbows off the table). We had a really great dinner and MM fell asleep pretty much as soon as we got back to the hotel (well...first he brushed his teeth and whatnot...).

Tomorrow, we're going to the Magic Kingdom. We've decided to spend two days there rather than go to any of the other parks. This is based purely on the sheer amount of stuff to do there and the three hour nap MM took today.

KLee: We're staying at the Coronado. We chose it because it's the only mid-priced hotel with suites. MM is sleeping in the other room as I type.

WDW tip #1: Make dinner and lunch reservations in advance. Preferably before you even get here. Especially if you want to eat at Cinderella's Castle. This whole week was booked by the time we got here Sunday. We learned our lesson, though, and now have reservations at other restaurants for lunch and dinner for the next two days.

WDW tip #2: Read these tips from Chris. The only qualifier I have is that if you have 2 kids or less and you're not particularly on a budget, you should stay in the park and not have to deal with driving.

WDW tip #3: The Coronado has a marina which has foam life jackets. They will let you keep one for your whole visit if you're staying at the hotel, so you can use it in the pool, too.

Oh! I forgot to tell you!

At Dulles International Airport they now have two security lines.

One, the one we were in, is for everybody. The other (which was empty) is for First. Class. Passengers (AKA Premium Passengers).

I AM NOT KIDDING.

You can now pay your way into a shorter security line.

Our tax dollars at work.

WDW Day One

Arrived yesterday, spent time in the pool. Muffin Man had a ball!

Today we went to MGM. Saw Muppets, Little Mermaid, Back Lot tour, Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. Got to meet lots of characters! Ate lunch and came back to the hotel. MM went right to bed for a nap and has just refused to wake up 2 hours later. When he finally does wake up we'll go for a boat ride on the lake if the boat rental place hasn't closed (it closes at 5:00).

Otherwise, maybe we'll go back to the park or just go swimming.

We've got lots of pictures, including some bloggable ones. I need to thank KLee and Chris for your great suggestions.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Gone to WDW, see y'all Thursday.

Muffin Man is so excited. He can't sit still! Actually, he's asleep now...but all day long it was, "Are we going yet? When are we going?"

We're leaving tomorrow. See you next week!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Books, books, and more books

I love re-reading books I loved reading the first time around.

Which is to say, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is still lovely. I was going to save it for WDW, but I couldn't wait that long. I'll bring The Golden Compass and The Tale of Despereaux instead.



I also read Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi. It was on a pile of stuff I hadn't read yet that I found while trying to straighten up the bedroom. It's a pretty good young adult Fantasy genre novel about a girl who finds the changes of puberty to be a bit more dramatic than she expected.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My tv habit

Dr. Who is coming back on SciFi in September!!!!

Currently hooked on:

Life on Mars (BBC America). If you're not watching this, you are truly missing out. It's like Reginald Hill made a tv show.

Hell's Kitchen (Fox). It ended tonight and Heather won. YAY!!! (select that blank spot. It's white text.) I love watching Chef Ramsey yelling at the staff. All the cussing of the Brit Wit show Chef! and all the pathos of Project Runway. Who could resist?

Who Wants to Be a Superhero (SciFi). Silly and campy, but good fun.

Lost (DVD). First season. We're on disc 5. Wow that's a good show. How'd I miss it the first time around?

Mystery! (PBS). Depending on which ones they're airing. Foyle's War is our favorite.

We just caught an episode of another Chef Ramsey show on BBC America. He tries to save failing restaurants from bankruptcy by working with their chefs for a week. If that's a regular show, I'll watch it.

If Gilmore Girls returns this Fall, I'll give it one last shot. But boy howdy, they were really annoying me last season.

Muffin Man's still watching Lazy Town, but he's starting to let go of Higglytown Heroes and Little Einsteins. Oobi's already out. I miss him (especially Grampoo and Inka's romance). Unfortunately, he's been asking to watch The Cartoon Network. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

What are you watching?

A Muffin Man Moment

MM: Daddy? Can I have a new toy?
MS: Not today.
MM: Why not? Can't I please have a toy?
MS: Well, toys cost money. Do you have any money?
MM: Umm...I don't know.
MS: Do you know how you could get money?
MM: No.
MS: Well, we work for money. Would you like to do some work and earn some money to buy a toy?
MM: Yeah!
MS: Okay. Mommy and I are going to weed the garden today. If you help us, I'll give you 50 cents an hour.
MM: Yeah! Let's do it!

I wish I'd gotten a picture of him in his little hat and gloves, going back and forth between us gathering our piles of pulled weeds and putting them in the trash bag. After that, we admired our tomatoes (they'll be ready soon!) and went inside for a celebratory glass of water and a fresh peach from our neighborhood farmer's market (run by our own friend Mr. Farmer).

Later, he took his money he earned! himself! and a dollar his grandpa had given him and bought a (small) toy at the new local toystore (Go Bananas!) He was so proud. He told everybody in the store that he'd earned! the money! himself!

123! 5! 4!

Profgrrrrl brought this Meme out of mothballs. Y'all remember the rules. Nearest book. 123rd page. 5th sentence. Post 4 sentences. No cheating.

To the left of me: Blindfold Game by Dana Stabenow.

"Very big boom." Kyle relaxed a little. "Is that realistic?" "You tell me, Kyle," Hugh said, his voice hard."

To the right of me: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy From Mars by Daniel M. Pinkwater.

"Absolutely, yes sir, this very day sir," Samual Klugarsh said. "Can I run out and get you som more hot chocolate? A cheeseburger? The contents of my savings account?"