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.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

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 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.


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


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.


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


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?


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


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.