Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's that time of year again.

I did it last year and here it is again. The first line of the first post of each month from 2007.

January: ...Picked up his stool, carried it to the cabinet near the sink, climbed up, opened the cabinet that holds the drinking glasses, got one of his plastic tumblers, closed the cabinet door, climbed down, carried his tumbler to the fridge, opened the fridge, got out the jug of filtered water (only 1/3 full), handed his tumbler to me, said, "Would you please hold this while I pour?", poured the water, put the jug away in the fridge, returned his stool to its home, retrieved his glass of water from me, drank it, and put the tumbler in the sink. (he's my big boy)
February: Was at The Little Gym. (paaaaarteeeee!)
March: Chores done by my 5-year-old: (yes, yes, I know. It's a sentence fragment. Sue me)
April: Monday: Computer shuts itself down without warning while I'm in the middle of writing a paper due yesterday. (my flesh still creeps thinking about it.)
May: I find there are three things that keep me posting regularly(ish): (yes, yes, I know. Another sentence fragment. Sue me)
June: God, I love my cable modem. (don't we all?)
July: Mostly, I've been working on unbloggable stuff and have nothing to say. (so very, very glad I figured out a way to blog about that!)
August: I got three A+'s and a B+ for the semester. (but man can not live on grades alone)
September: "Find your hook and hang up your backpack." (or, RTFM)
October: I can't believe the amount of gunk my sinuses can hold at one time. (or, TMI)
November: I walked. (oh, how I walked)
December: I made them. (latkes, that is)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa has come...

MM has been read to (Mouse Tales, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Visit From St. Nicholas) and told to stay in bed or Santa won't come. He's sleeping soundly now.

So Santa came. He ate the cookies (chocolate-chip with pecans and almonds), the reindeer ate the oats. The presents are wrapped and ready under the tree.

Happy Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

C, C+, B

Meh. I'm okay with it. I still have a 3.54 GPA. I wish I could have done better but, MS points out that the World's Best Camp pain Man ager (who's getting his master's at Nearby U) got an A+ for his work on the Camp pain. And that if I could have gotten scholastic credit for it, I'd have gotten an A+ too.

Ah well. Time to start applying to Grad schools.

Work was boring but good. No e-mail. No internet. I got work done and twiddled my thumbs. Taking the bus was good too. I'm bringing my knitting tomorrow. I hope I can get it through security.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I got a job

I'm covering a maternity leave during winter break. I start tomorrow!

My temp agency says it's the fastest turn-around time they've ever had. I called yesterday, they got an interview lined up for me...hired today.

Posting will be light but, perhaps, more interesting!

Monday, December 17, 2007

More about the blasted pink crap

I sent an email to Hasbro through their customer support link on their website (not an easy site in which to find the "contact us" button). I hope they get the message.

I'm also wondering...I boycott W@lm@rt of course and I'm thinking I'm going to start boycotting the pink plastic crap. I'm not buying it for my son. I'm not buying it for his friends. I'm not buying it for my neighbors.

If it's pink, I'm not buying it.

If it's shelved only in the pink ghetto, I'm not buying it.

I'll buy it in blue. I'll buy it in purple. I'll buy it in De1g@udi0 orange, for crying out loud. But I'm not buying anything, ANYTHING in pink.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What did we do this weekend?



Oh Boy! Chocolate chip (MM mixing and spooning) and delicious buttery sugar (thanks to DeepVoicedKindergartener's Mom)! Yumyumyumyumyum.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gender, gender, gender

What the hell is up with Littlest Pet Shop and their Electronic Paws Off diary? Is there any reason why it only comes in pink?

What, Hasbro thinks that boys don't like dogs guarding their stuff? MM begs to differ.

However, that led me to find out that most reviewers thought it was crap. So...we're not buying it for a couple of reasons now.

And for the record, if it had gotten GREAT reviews I might have bought it but I'm just so flipping sick of manufacturers vomiting pepto-bismol all over toys so that they can market them to girls.

It's insulting.

It's insulting to girls, because --- what? They need to only buy pink stuff? Oh! No! if it's not pink then it's a boy thing!!!

It's insulting to boys, because ---what? They need to be told there are certain things they can't use because oh! no! IT'S PINK!!!! Ewwww! You're using a girl thing!

And I'm not against MM using pink stuff. I get him pink stuff quite often. But he does get pressure about it and I don't want him thinking that only girls can be diarists or cooks or parents for crying out loud.

I'm angry and shocked that almost 40 years after this album came out, things are actually worse.

I mean...have you been to Target lately? In the toy section there is a pink ghetto. Three aisles where not only are all the toys packaged in pink, but the section signs are also in pink.

That is the section in which you will find all The Littlest Pet Shop toys.

TLPS toys are plastic crap. I am not denying this. I have guilt over the amount of plastic crap in my house, but that is not what I'm ranting about today.

MM loves TLPS. LOVES it. What's not to love about cute little animals? And most of it is not pink.

MM also loves to write. LOVES it. So why did Hasbro decide that THIS toy needs a pepto paint job? Hasbro is going to get a nasty letter from me tomorrow.

But I think there's going to be a disappointed boy on Christmas Day. Because we're not buying that pink plastic piece of crap.

Think, Hasbro. If it had also come in yellow or green or purple I would have bought it before reading any reviews!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holy cow

Cecily wrote this post inspired by this post. And they both just hit me WHAM right between the eyes.

You remember this post? And how, afterwards, I got down to my marriage weight? And I wanted to get down to my bookstore weight? Well, it didn't happen. What happened instead is I went right back up to my just-had-a-baby weight.

And then I went walkingwalkingwalking for that thing back in November and I lost 10 pounds. And I felt really good about it. But then I stopped walkingwalkingwalking and the weight is creeping back on.

And it's not because I'm eating hugely. And it's not because I'm scarfing down Mallomars (though I'm not denying myself them either). It's because I'm not walking at least 2 hours a day at least four days a week. Which is an insane amount of exercise and I don't have the time for it anyway.

So here I am.

I am never going to be 108 pounds again.
I am never going to be 112 pounds again.

I am just not.

I need to exercise a decent amount to stay healthy, but I'll be damned if I'm going to do it to lose weight.

I will never be a D cup again. I will always have trouble finding clothes to fit. And I'll be damned if I will let that make me feel bad about myself. I had trouble finding clothes when I was thin, because I'm FLIPPING SHORT!

Heart disease runs in my family. That is a fact. I will exercise to stay fit so that I can live to see my grandkids. But I am not going to focus on weight or clothing sizes anymore. I am an apple and I am going to be proud of it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Latke recipe

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs of potatoes (I used butter potatoes, but any kind will do)
1 small onion (or medium-sized if you're like me and think there's never enough)
1/3 cup flour
2 eggs, whisked
Salt and pepper
Enough olive oil (or canola oil) to make it 1/2 inch deep in your cast iron skillet

Peel your potatoes and put them in a bowl of water to keep them from getting yucky. Put your grating attachment in your food processor and grate those suckers, along with the onion.
Put the grated potato/onion mixture into a large bowl and add the flour, whisked eggs, salt, and pepper. Spoon mixture into the hot oil and flatten each spoonful with a spatula. Cook 3 minutes a side. Remove them to a paper-towel-covered platter. Put paper-towel between layers of latkes on the platter as the pile gets higher.

Serve with sour cream and apple sauce. And a roast chicken makes a tasty side dish (in which case, if you're kosher, skip the sour cream)!

Keep the oil in the pan to reheat leftovers. Only discard the oil when all the latkes are eaten (usually after breakfast the next morning).

MS thinks that I should use our english muffin rings to make them next time...I'll try it next year and let y'all know how it worked.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Weekend Update

Taking a two-minute break from cramming for Cell Bio to bring you random bullets of What's Up:
  • Public areas of house are neat and clean (stairs still need to be vacuumed).
  • MakesBooksForGrandkids and SingsLullabyes were here and great fun was had including:
  • Putting up the tree
  • Opening some Christmas gifts with MBFG & SL
  • MM putting on a show!
  • I banged my elbow so hard last night, I thought I'd chipped a bone. Kept ice packs and frozen blueberries on it all evening. It's much better now, but that whole side of my body is fireplacing sore.
  • Pin Art can keep a 5-year-old boy occupied for hours.
  • These toys can keep a 49-year-old boy occupied for hours.

See you folks later this week!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Adequate/Inadequate

Lindsay over at Suburban Turmoil has a post up about ways moms feel judged and judging of other moms. I don't necessarily feel judged or judgmental of other moms in the real world, but I do measure myself by fictional moms' standards and it's by that yardstick that I often feel inadequate.

Inadequate:
Mama in All-of-a-kind Family has 6 kids and has to do the laundry by hand, yet she still has time to do charity work, take care of a sick friend and spend quality time with her brother. I have a washing machine and dryer and only one child and I haven't put away the clean kitchen linens from last week's wash. My house is a sty.

Adequate:
On the other hand, she relies a lot on Ella to babysit for all 5 younger siblings and she allows her toddling son to go to the store downstairs by himself. I've never left MM alone with a 12 year old for God's sake! And no, he is NOT allowed out of my house without supervision. Plus, I can pretty much trust him NOT to put hot coals in his lap.

Inadequate:
Ma from the Little House books cooks at an open hearth, cleans, draws water from the fireplacing WELL and homeschools! I live in the modern world and...well...see Inadequate above. Also, MM doesn't know how to tie his shoes. I should have taught him that already, right?

Adequate:
I don't rely on my deathly ill child to crawl on the floor and get water for the rest of the family. Nor do I expect MM to put a sibling through school by sewing 10 hours a day.

On par: MM gets a bath at least once a week, more often if it seems necessary. He can read. He's happy playing by himself while I get dinner ready. He loves to vacuum. And, while his Christmas list is rather long, he understands the concept of "enough" and is not expecting to get more than one or two things off that long list. And he'd be really really happy with some silly slippers as a present.

But I feel horrible about how often I feed him crap, or spend time on my computer instead of playing with him, and how messy our house is, and how much tv I let him watch, and and and...

But he's loving, and a good friend, and loves nothing more than to have me and his daddy read to him or listen to him read, he spends a huge amount of time coloring and writing stories, he's a good kid.

On balance, I guess I'm doing a good job. I guess my feelings of inadequacy come from knowing I could be doing much better. But sometimes good enough is good enough.

Now, I'm going to work out some guilt feelings in the kitchen with a mop.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

That's all folks!

The World's Best C@mp@!gn M@n@ger played this for me today and after I went and changed my pants, I came to share it with you.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Latkes of love

I made them. Fried. Oil. Oh, the sweet sizzling of it.

We ate them. Fried. Potatoes. Onions. Ohhhh, why oh why does heart disease have to run in my family? I want to eat the fried potato-y goodness forever.

And then, could it get any better? Mallomars for dessert.

Heaven is hanukkah.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Hibernating

MM is hibernating today. He's in school in his jammies, fuzzy bear slippers, and sleeping bag with Paddington* watching Brother Bear.

Can I hibernate too?





* a bear was specified in the instructions for the day. "Can I bring Boo instead?" he asked his teacher. "Ghosts don't hibernate," she said. "What about my fox?" queried my little rebel. "We really are talking about how bears hibernate," said his teacher. Hmmpf.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I got muscles

I have three favorite muscles:

1. Gastrocnemius (origin - medial & lateral condyles of the femur; insertion - calcaneous; action - plantar flexion of the foot). This is the muscle that looks good when you wear high heels. I have a particularly good set left over from when I used to skateboard long ago.

2. Brachioradialis (origin - lateral ridge of distal humerus; insertion - styloid process of radius; action - flexion of forearm). This muscle is one I know well from my job at Haagen Daz lo these many years ago. Go ahead, pretend to scoop some ice cream - see that muscle there on your forearm? The one that's popping out? That's the Brachioradialis.

3. Sternocleidomastoid (origin - manubrium of sternum and medial portion of clavicle; insertion - mastoid process of the temporal bone; action - flexion of head (when acting as a pair), rotation of head to opposite shoulder (acting alone)). I like this one just because of its name. It's a great name.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shhh! Don't tell MM but...

His lower front right tooth is also just a squidge loose! So slight that he hasn't noticed it yet (I discovered it while flossing his pearlies last night). Should I offer him another bite of an apple?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

On reading chapter books

So MM and I are reading More All-of-a-Kind-Family which is how I'm exposing him to Jewish Culture (hey, that's how I got it aside from the annual Passover Seder and Hannukah celebration). And we just hit the chapter where the Lower East Side is reeling from the Polio epidemic of 1916. And I realized that this may not be good bedtime fare for an imaginative 5-year-old. So I say to him,

"This chapter is about a sickness that was really, really bad.
BUT, you shouldn't think that this is an illness that YOU can
get because you can't. Do you know why?"


"Why?"


"Because the doctor gave you a vaccine that will protect
you from getting this sickness."


"What's a vaccine?"


"A vaccine is what you get when you get a shot at the doctor's office. You get the shot that teaches your body to fight the illness so you don't get sick. This is why Mommy and Daddy make sure that you get all the shots you need so that you won't get sick with Polio and Measles and other illnesses like that."


"Did you get those shots too?"


"Yes I did. But in 1916, when this story takes place, they didn't have the vaccine, so people got sick, and sometimes they died. OK?"


"Okay."



And then I read the chapter, and he was fine. But now the question is, Will Lena Marry Hyman? We'll find out tomorrow!

Lost:

One tooth. Bottom left.

Incident report.
On or about the night of November 22nd, one Muffin Man bit into a slightly unripe macintosh. He then complained of pain and bleeding at the front toothal area. A female parent was dispatched to the scene and discovered that the tooth, formerly fixed firmly in the oral cavity, was now loose and wiggly.

Various Jewish relatives kvelled over the impending adulthood of Muffin Man. Estimations of when said tooth would release its hold on the gomphosis were given, the earliest estimate being Monday, November 26. Noodles and ice cream cake were applied.

According to the report of Muffin Man's female parent, Muffin Man continued to complain of pain whenever turkey was suggested as a palliative. More noodles were applied. At toothbrushing time on November 23rd, gentle brushing dislodged the tooth completely. The tooth was placed in a drawstring bag under Muffin Man's pillow and has not been seen since. Four quarters were mysteriously left in its place.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nevermind

I'm not taking Yoga after all. Credits from Yoga don't count towards graduation. I'm so disappointed.

Instead, I'm taking Counseling Psychology on Saturday mornings. So I've got a picket-fence schedule. Tues-Thurs-Sat.

MS pointed out that I can take Yoga at the Yoga place in quaint RevolutionaryTown after school is all over. I think I'm going to take him up on that. Or maybe I'll see if my Hawaiian Dance teacher is still teaching classes at NearbyCounty's rec center.

I still may buy the pants, though.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An excuse to buy pants

I'm all registered for next semester! On the line up I've got...

Statistics: Oooh! Numbers! I feel all tingly!
Technical and Report Writing: Swoon.
Yet Another Psych Class and.....
YOGA!

So, my friends in the internets...it's obvious that I will need new pants, no?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sorry so silent

School work, celebration parties, school work, sleep, more celebration parties, more school work.

I'll be back soon!

Monday, November 05, 2007

This time tomorrow what will we know

This is it, folks. The calls have been made, the helium tank is prepped and ready, the clothes ironed, the sample b@110ts sent out to the v01unteers. Tomorrow I will be in perpetual motion as will MS.

If you live in my state, don't forget to V0TE!!! If you live in my nabe, don't forget to v0te for Mi11er!!!

Thank you to all my friends out here who have helped us get to this point. We could not have done it without your help.





I can't wait to be able to talk about something else.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

One and a wake-up.

Today we stuffed paper into plastic. We stuffed paper-stuffed plastic into boxes and then we sent the boxes out with good friends walkingwalkingwalking to various places so that lots of people could wake up tomorrow to see the paper-plastic decorating their doors.

While they were out doing that, I was home making 10 bundles of this and 10 bundles of that and 10 bundles of stickers folded nice and flat. I boxed those up and sent them on their way to be bundled with other people's bundles to be distributed all day Tuesday at assorted schools.

Then I packed MM's suitcase. He's spending the night at my SIL's tomorrow and she'll deliver him to school on Tuesday. He's got 5 or 6 books with him, and "Unicorny" and "Little Guy" and "Worf". He's all set.

If everyone who says they like us comes out, we're going to rock this town!!! I really hope they all come out!

Do you want to know what I did today?

I walked. From 12:30 to 5:00 and again from 7:30 to 10:00. I walked. I walked up streets and down streets. I climbed stairs. I rang doorbells and smiled. And then I walked some more. Did I mention the walking? And the walking?

And then I did some homework.

I'd go to bed, but I can't get out of this chair.

Help! I'm sitting and I can't get up!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Post on Halloween coming later, with pictures.

Works so well, I should patent it

First, before anything else, go to the website again and look at some of the latest news.

Then go to L0ud0unExtra d0t c0m and look at their L1v1ng 1n L0c0 blog, there's a story there about a famous author and a reference to me!


If you ever have to put together Y(a)r(d) S(i)g(n)s, I have the perfect technique.

First, wear grippy gloves. These are great and they protect your hands from the oil, grime and pokey things on the wires.


Second, if you're me, wear eye protection. Seriously.

Unbox the signs and wires and cut any binding stuff off of them. Place the wires so that they are leaning on a side wire, with the top bars facing you (if some are facing the other way, ignore them for the present). Place the signs so that the opening on the bottom is closest to you.

Now, sit with the wires near your dominant hand and the signs near your non-dom hand. Grab the top bar of a wire and pull it out from the rest of its brethren. Then move your hand to the free side wire and push it down toward the other side wire (the one on the bottom) until you can grip them both in that one hand.

With your other hand, pop open the bottom of a sign and bring sign and wire together. Once the wire is in the sign, let go of the side wires and let them pop into place.

I did 200 of them in about an hour today.


Friday, October 26, 2007

He's serious

(screamed while sobbing in a corner of the examining room)

Mommy! Daddy! You're bad! I told you I didn't want a flu shot! I told you NO THANK YOU! I said please! I'M NOT GIVING YOU ANY OF MY CANDY!






I did not laugh out loud. I did NOT laugh out loud.

Gah!!! I'm getting comment spam again!

Sorry guys, I'm putting comment verification back on.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend and thanks!

Thanks for the feedback! I changed the light grey to dark blue...is that better? Should I change the purple link colors too, do you think?

Updates of an outdoor weekend:

Yesterday, the whole family spent the afternoon smilingsmilingsmiling. MM handed out stickers while we handed out balloons and information.

The other guy was just opposite us handing out cups of flavored ice that make a reference to his name, and movie theatre candies, ditto. Also his team put his stickers on kids' backs when they weren't looking and without asking parental permission. Stinkers.

Today, I rewarded MM for all his excellent smilingsmilingsmiling by going with him and his friend LovesHighSchoolMusical and her mom to a nearby CornMazeWithFunCowTrain! Moon Bounces! OMG! PONIES!* and FUNNEL CAKE!!!

Fun!


*PS, I miss you.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I upgraded to the new template and lost my blogroll EDITED

Somehow Blogger used the one I had when it upgraded the whole thing. VERY STRANGE. Fortunately, I'd saved the old one. Please be patient while I work on this issue.

In the meantime, please tell me if you like the new color scheme or if I should go back to the old one.

Blogroll is finished, but I'm going to make it easier to read soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

As seen at Overread

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
Non-Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lovely busy day

7:00 AM: wake up because MM is TICKLING MY FEET. We end up in a big pile o' cuddles.

Morning: kvell with our CM over the Big Can of Whup Ass our side brought to an event yesterday. WHUP ASS.

Brunch at LovelyRestaurantThatHasBuggiesHangingFromTheWalls. Mmmm.

Post brunch, more kvelling.

1:00 PM: MM and I go to YearlyPumpkinExtravaganza and I spend 3 hours watching him have an indescribably good time. He got his face painted, rode a pony, slid down enormous slides, climbed the rock wall, had a hay ride, ate popcorn and drank cider...

4:30 PM: Come home, set MM up with a movie. I make 75 phone calls. Leave 56 messages, talk to 12 people.

6:30 PM: Watch a bit of another movie with MM and wait for a friend to call to go out to dinner.

6:45 PM: Go out to dinner with DeepVoicedKindergartener and his mom. Did I tell you guys that DVK ended up coming back to PoshPlace? MM and he are so happy. YAY!

7:45 PM: Go to a party for a good friend at another good friend's house. They are in the unbloggable business too. MM and his friend LooksExactlyLikeDoraTheExplorer watched tv in the basement while the grown-ups shmoozed.

8:30 PM: MM gets a bath to wash all the sand and straw dust out of his hair. PJ's, teeth, story, etc.

And this is all after yesterday's walking and smilingsmilingsmiling for 3 hours and the WHUP ASS event.

So I'm a bit tired.

But I'm still stoked. We WHUPPED ASS!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rant

I bought MM a mosaic tile kit from Target. On their website, they have one that is MUCH nicer than the one they have in-store.


The one they had in-store is sold in a bright pink box.


Why?


Why the gendering of a frelling CRAFT?


Lucky for me, MM likes pink and isn't yet at that stage where he will turn up his nose at something because of its color.


Gah!




Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pardon me, I'm just coughing up a small rabbit

Seriously, you remember my sinuses from 10 days ago? Well, apparently all that lovely green glop has migrated south.

Antibiotics and decongestants have been started. Sleep will hopefully follow shortly.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fabulous

The reunion was amazing. I had a great time and saw a billion people. A surprising number of whom looked exactly the same. (MomOfTwoSetsOfTwins, WorksWithNonProfits, and Wow!CalculusIsBetterForEconomicsThanPhysics - I'm looking at you).

And then, as Dr. Dog points out, I woke up to a text message that I was prominently featured on page C5 of the local rag (article starts on page C1). You can read the article at L-O-U-D-O-U-N-E-X-T-R-A(dot)C-O-M. Click on "News". The article's about growth and at the mo there's a thumbnail picture of the one that was in the paper this morning

Did you know that you can't get my local paper in Park Slope, Brooklyn? The B&N in the neighborhood doesn't carry newspapers. I was shocked.

I mean, seriously, I can't believe that there could BE a neighborhood in NYC that has 7 newstands and NOT ONE carries the paper that broke Watergate. Gah.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Reunion

This weekend is my 20th High School reunion. MM and I are taking Amtrak up to New Yawk. MM will watch his first baseball game! (on TV)

I can't believe it's been 20 years since I graduated High School.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'm in a great mood



You remember that unbloggable thing? Well things are heating up here. Again, I (most frustratingly) can't link to any of it, but please go to the website in the picture and go to the latest NEWS. There are two items there that tell most of the story.
Also, go to L-O-U-D-O-U-N-E-X-T-R-A (dot) C-O-M to see some really hilarious commentary about it all. While you're there, you might find more photos of me in the shirt (smilingsmilingsmiling) if you go to their news photo galleries.






Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Awe

In this post I said
What is my grandma going to do? She was married to [Grandpa Emeritus] for almost 50 years.

Well, I got my answer.

  • She's visited my sister in Vermont for the first time in 11 years.
  • She went to my parent's country house for a while.
  • She went to her sister's country house for a while.
  • She's going to see both her sisters in California for 6 weeks.
  • She's doing things he wasn't able to do and she wouldn't do without him.

I hadn't realized how much of her life was bounded by the limitations imposed on her by his various illnesses. Part of their independence (living in their own apartment without home health aides) was predicated on their being close to quality medical care. The mere fact of his age (not to mention his health history and his bags) made any hospitalization a big deal and what if that hospitalization were to happen away from home? What if it dragged on for months?

Grandma is, for 89, a VERY healthy person. She's got some high blood pressure and some osteoporosis, but other than that, she's in great shape. She also knows that she's got to grab her chance to do these things NOW or she may not be able to do them later. She's paying 11 years' worth of visits, doing 11 years' worth of travel, having 11 years' worth of adventures.

When he was able, they loved to travel together. They went all over the world. They made life every day an adventure together. The two of them could make shopping for fresh vegetables at the farmer's market into a trip to an exotic destination and that spirit did not die with my grandfather. It lives with zeal in my Grandma.

She's my hero.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Apple Pigs, revisited

A couple years ago I wrote a post about a book from my childhood, "Apple Pigs". Today, I sent it with MM to school (because today's Show and Share assignment was "a healthy apple snack" and...um...I sent a store-bought apple turnover. I figured sending the book would make up for the un-healthy-ness.)

It was a hit.

I also sent two apples and some tooth picks.

Miss MomOfTwins, MM's teacher MADE AN APPLE PIG using the instructions in the back of the book.

I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mystery Mommy rants

MM has seasonal allergies. Heck, all of us here at Chez Mystere have 'em.

MM's ped gave us an rx for the allergy drug beginning with a Z. Insurance said they wouldn't pay for Z until we'd tried Clar!t!n first.

I started him on Clar!t!n on Tuesday night with misgivings. Though I really felt like I should be fighting to put him on Z instead since we have a family history with Clar!t!n. Clar!t!n's adult formula has not had a good track record in this house. And I remembered one of your kids had behavior issues while on Clar!t!n. So...I let MM's teachers know I'd put him on it and we went on with things.

Today his teachers tell me that for the last two days MM has been aggressive with the other kids. Aggressive! Getting up in their faces. Threatening violence. Unable to use his words. MM!

I'm taking him off the Clar!t!n. I called up the ped's after-hours line and they are going to get insurance to cover Z. He may have issues with that as well, but at least we know what to look for.

Bonus! While I was on the phone with the after-hours doctor, MM was having a huge unprovoked screaming fit. She asked, "Is that tantrum normal for him?" I said, "Nope." She said, "Take him off the medication."

I should have listened to my gut. More importantly, with our family history, we shouldn't have had to trial that stuff with him in the first place. I'm mad at me and I'm mad at the stupid insurance company.

And it's not as if they'll pay much of Z anyway. Our co-pay for mine is over $70. Gah.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Smoothies, they're what's for dinner

Yeah. I take REAL good care of myself.

At least I got the healthy one with lots of fruit and vitamins in it.

MM had a K1d Cu1s1ne with his baby sitter while I was out smilingsmilingsmiling.

What happened to my plan to stock the freezer with baked ziti, shepherd's pie, and lancastershire hotpot?

And please, take a couple of hours and watch this, which Gene Weingarten led me to. It's totally worth it. Kathy a. agrees with me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The hip bone's connected to the thigh bone...

We're studying bones in my anatomy and physiology lab. There WILL be a test. In October.

So, of course, I've got Monty Python in my head all day. "Look at the BONES!!!"

I think my favorite so far has to be the ethmoid, which can be found in the cranium posterior to the nasals (translation for Muffin Man: in your head behind your nose). Appropriately enough, it looks like a balled-up tissue.

We're also learning about telling left bones from right bones. In the leg, the medial (closer to the center line of your body) portion of a bone or set of bones will be larger because it carries more weight. The heads of the femur and humerus are medial. In your cranium, the parietal bones have the smooth edge at the bottom (inferior) and the part that looks like a side burn? that goes towards the front (anterior). On the temporal bones, the part that looks like a mike from a blue tooth headset? That points to the front just like the mike would.

I'm going to have some trouble with the pelvic girdle, I can tell.

And thank the powers that be, I don't need to know the individual ribs or vertebrae or the individual bones in the hands and feet. I just need to know what type they are. Ribs is ribs, but I need to know what general region of the spine the vertebrae come from and where in the hands and feet the bones come from.

And don't you just love the word, "phalanges"?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A picture (or two) tells a thousand words

I finally figured out how to safely blog it! For those of you I haven't emailed yet:




This is what I've been working so hard on. I'm not including links here, but if you type in the url above, you'll get to a place where you can hear all about it and see pictures of the three of us here at Chez Mystere. If you're willing to do a bit of googling on the info shown, you'll find out what others have to say too!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The week that wouldn't end

So far this week I've had: 3 exams, 2 quizzes, 3 nights out smilingsmilingsmiling.

Coming up: Another night smilingsmilingsmiling and 2 papers to write (one is mostly written already).

Also coming up: a doctor's appointment.

Thank you again for all your help and support with the unbloggable effort. We're doing really well! Updates coming up in e-mail soon. But not this week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Why am I not in bed yet?

Fizzy brain.

I walked miles today. MILES. Knocked on doors. Introduced myself. Smiledsmiledsmiled. Went to a lovely picnic supper on a lovely farm. MM rode a lovely pony. Good times were had by all.

I'm exhausted.

Yet...here I am. Not in bed.

Must wake up early in the morning.

Yet...here I am. Not in bed.

Must do the introducing and smiling again tomorrow after going to school and studying for 3 exams (2 Tuesday, 1 Wednesday).

Yet...here I am. Not in bed.

Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and get into my fireplacing pajamas and get into the fireplacing bed, huh?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Things are heating up.

Spent time at a sen10r c3nter today, and at schools this week and last week. Next week I'll be spending more time doing that.

Plus my own school stuff.

Plus Muffin Man.

Busybusybusy.

I'm going to bed as soon as I've tucked MM in for the night.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Aunt SoLittleAndCute 1914 - 2007

She was Grandma Sylvia's sister. She was a librarian, and could tell you what section in the Dewey decimal system a car's license plate would take you to (very fun game to play on a long journey!) SingsLullabyes and MakesBooksForGrandkids and I would pick her up in PortCity, NJ on our way to my summer camp and we would picnic together on the Delaware before they would drop me off.

She gave me and Cousin ResemblesAndieMcDowell wonderful old-fashioned rag dolls with dresses and pinafores. I still have mine. She knitted sweaters for me.

She was so fiesty and fiery. She was tiny - so tiny that she had to get her shoes mail-ordered from a firm called something like Cinderella Shoes. She barely topped my shoulder.

She never married, and lived alone in a 2 room apartment in PortCity. Her best friend lived next door and they were fiercely close until her friend's death.

Aunt SoLittleAndCute reminded me of a combination of Miss Marple and a somewhat aloof tabby cat. She was loving, but irritable. She had a generous heart and a sharp tongue. She was really, very, very smart and loved to work puzzles. Like Grandpa Emeritus, she did the NYTimes crossword everyday.

I admired her hugely, loved her dearly, and will miss her sorely.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A: The WHOLE day!!!

Q: What was your favorite part of Kindergarten?





And after his bath he read half of Funny, Funny Lyle to me. Listening to him sound out "especially" was especially wonderful.

According to MS, today, MM learned to read the instruction manual

"Find your hook and hang up your backpack."

"Look at the board and find your picture."

"Find your seat and color quietly."

Drop-off is between 0815 and 0830. I had a class an hour away at 0900. (sob) I missed MM's first moments of kindergarten.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Endings

Today was MM's last day of Jr. Kindergarten. His last day of daycare.

He chose his outfit with care. Today was "Hollywood Pizza Party! Dress glamorously!"

He wore his blue pants, his white oxford shirt, his ocean-print coral-reef bowtie.

Couldn't you just keel over from the cuteness?

Neither he nor his friend DeepVoicedKindergartener have really realized it, but today was their last day of school together...at least for this year. DVK is going to public school starting Tuesday, while we're keeping MM at Posh Place (they have full-day Kindergarten. Our county public schools do not. PP doesn't have after-school care this year for the half-day kids, only for the full-day ones. Sigh.)

DVK and MM have been in daycare together since they were nine months old. They are best friends. I don't know how they will feel about this change. Especially DVK...his parents just got divorced.

We're already setting up a boatload of playdates with him. You betcha.

So , two endings in one. And a new beginning on Tuesday. Imagine! No naps*!





*please note he hasn't napped at school for over 4 years. He. Just. Doesn't.

Good gravy...

Found this in the Post. Speechless. Not at all surprised, but still speechless.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I am a Senior at Nearby U.

Really and truly!

First day was good. My Sensation & Perception lab looks like it's going to be writing intensive, but otherwise breezy with many weeks off. F'rinstance, I don't have to be there on the 10th.

My Cellular Structure and Function lecture seems like it will be a blast. My professor, Dr. Beautiful, is from Camaroon and speaks American idiomatic English with a lovely lilting accent. The class is rumored to be hard (only a 66% pass-rate most semesters), but I have a feeling that it may be a "it's only a 100-level class, how hard can it be?" sort of attitude from the ranks.

Tomorrow's my long day.

Tomorrow also marks the last week before MM is a kindergartener. How the heck did THAT happen?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Heads up

Hey y'all! In dribs and drabs I'm sending out e-mails to pretty much everybody I know here in blogland about that unbloggable thing going on at Chez Mystere. If one doesn't find its way into your inbox and you'd like to know what's up, please let me know!

Also, school starts up again on Monday. Three 4-credit lab courses: Anatomy; Cell Structure and Function; and Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing.

Despite the sadness of the last few weeks, I really enjoyed the break. I only wish I'd gotten more done housework-wise.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I love Amtrak

MM loves it too. He took himself to the little water fountain 5 or 6 times, figured out the locking mechanism in the bathroom and took himself to the potty several times, he stood up and danced alot and knelt on the floor in front of his seat to play with his pirates (he really loved those two little boxes, KLee!). He ate most of a ham hero that we bought in the cafe car and revelled in the fact that THERE ARE NO SEATBELTS.



Handy tip for taking Amtrak with children: invest in a Redcap. He (or she) will board you on the train early for the cost of a gratuity (I did $5.00/bag), and it leaves your hands free to keep your active child from attempting to find out what the under carriage of the train looks like.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wisdom from my mother

My mom used to run everyday before work. At 6:15 every morning she'd meet her friend NameMatchesHerTemperment and they'd run around Prospect Park together.

The rule was: if you were going to cancel, you had to do it in person. Downstairs. On the street. At 6:15 AM. No cancelling over the phone.

By the time they were up and dressed and on the street to cancel they'd realize they might as well go running.

Brilliant.

Now all I need is a jogging partner and three or four VERY sturdy jogbras to wear at one time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The post of catching up UPDATED!

  1. Went to my MIL's for a few days in Humidity Like A Brick Wall Region
  2. Saw KLee! Here's proof!
  3. MM came awfully close to actually using an airsick bag. Fortunately, vomit was averted. He kept the bag near his face for a half-hour though.
  4. De1ta lost our luggage on the way home, but delivered it to us after midnight.
  5. Took MM to the doctor's this AM. No infection it seems, so they sent us to have an x-ray. Altogther, it was about 3 hours of office time.
  6. Doctor hasn't called us. Answering machine is saying to try back during office hours and then clearly says that THESE ARE OFFICE HOURS. Sheesh.
  7. Leaving for NYC tomorrow for Grandpa Professor Emeritus's memorial.
  8. Mom wanted me to find a picture of MM and GPE together. Unfortunately, while there are plenty of pictures of MM at GPE's house, there doesn't seem to be any of them together. Fourteen of MM with Late Sweet Dog, but none with GPE. Photoshop, anyone? MS FOUND SOME!!! MS FOUND SOME!!! WOOOHOOO!
  9. I'm doing laundry.
  10. MM and I will go and buy new sneakers for him tonight. His current ones smell of old dead cat pee and they're too small to boot. (Ha! Boot! Sneakers! I crack me up.)
  11. He is now 45 inches tall and a whopping 40.5 pounds. He comes up to my armpit, but I can still carry him through an airport.

Nu? How's by you?

Friday, August 10, 2007

I was going to blog against racism

But I got my vituperitiveness out yesterday yelling at J3t B1ue and I have nothing left.

So I pulled weeds in the garden and scrubbed my shower and tried to get a head of steam up to blog against racism. But I haven't got it.

So I'll tell you a story that my aunt Lillian told me. I think it was Aunt Lillian, it might have been Aunt Esther.

Esther and Lillian were Grandpa Professor Emeritus's younger sisters. They both died several years ago.

Anyway, Aunt Esther (or Lillian) was a dark-skinned Russian Jewish woman. That side of the family comes from the Ukraine. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that this story was told to me by Esther. For a few years in the 20's and 30's, my grandfather's family lived in southern Virginia. Esther, being dark skinned and having a somewhat flattish nose, was unable to "pass" as white. She looked "colored" and she was treated as colored. To the family, this was nothing new. They'd fled from Russia to escape the pogroms, after all. The only difference to them was that this time it wasn't their religion that was being reviled. Not that they practiced Judaism. Grandpa's father was a devout Atheist.

When they all moved back up to New York, they joined the great big community of Russian Jewish emigrants where they were all accepted and blended in, but Esther never forgot (and made sure we never forgot) that to racists and anti-semites, it doesn't matter who you are, what matters is how you are perceived.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

J3t B1ue, I think I hate you (edited for typos, I was pooped.)

Reasons I hate them:

1. 4 hour delay going. Granted, not their fault. Weather. But I'm not feeling generous at this moment.

2. Cancelled yesterday's flight and didn't call my cell, though they did send an e-mail, which wasn't useful since I was nowhere near a computer. I waited on line over an hour yesterday to change my flight to today because they don't let you do that at the kiosk.

Which brings us to today.

Today I arrived at JFK 2 hours early for my flight. I was clearly told to go to gate 15. I double checked the board. Sat down at gate 15 to wait. The gate itself had a different flight number up, so I asked the nice lady at the gate and she said yes, I was in the right place. Whereupon I took up a seat right next to her and waited.

About 10 minutes before my scheduled departure time I finally lost patience and asked when they would be boarding my flight and she said, "Oh! They switched the gate to gate 14 and it's closed for boarding now!"

I ran to gate 14 and the plane was pulling away. 10 minutes early.

I never heard an announcement. I never heard them page me. Not once. And I was listening. Truly, I was.

I cannot begin to describe to you how upset I was.

And then, customer service lied to me. They said, "Everyone else made it onto that flight."

Except they didn't. Another woman who had the same experience was placed on Stand-by for the next plane along with me.

Oh! And they switched the gate on that one, too. And there was no announcement, just a change on the board (which, fortunately, I was checking every five minutes.)

And they only put up the flight number at the gate 5 minutes before they boarded. And they made three brief announcements, the special assistance one, the rows 10 and up one, and the general boarding one. And then they got us stand-bys on. 10 minutes after the first call, the plane rolled away from the gate. And it was a sold-out plane. And they never paged the missing passengers, so how'd they have extra seats for me and my co-horts? Hmmmm? Which made me feel better about missing the announcements for the flight I was SUPPOSED to have been on.

And then the plane was stuck on the tarmac for 2 and a half hours. Again, not their fault, weather. But I would not have spent 11 hours in an airport today if they'd ACTUALLY MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENTS THEY SHOULD HAVE MADE.

I hate them.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Out of Office Message

I'm on my way to NYC. I'll be back on Wednesday when I'll see you all here. The memorial will be the weekend of the18th, probably.

Thank you all for the kind wishes. I'm so glad and proud to have you as friends.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Grandpa Professor Emeritus 1910-2007

He died tonight.

Home from the hospital on Wednesday, with his children around him. He was laughing and joking this morning but was very clear that he was ready to go.

It seems we were right to joke that his strong will to live was what kept him here through heart attacks and cancer, through diabetes and infections. When he said he was ready to go, he meant it. He let go.

He used to skip with me down the street and this last time we saw him he sang the silly song to Muffin Man that he used to sing with me when we skipped.

He was a Physics professor. I've seen a film of him teaching - completely incomprehensible to me, but MS said it was a good lesson. I'm looking right now at two books he gave to MS, "Mathematical Methods of Physics" and "Fundamentals of Mathematical Physics".

What is my grandma going to do? She was married to him for almost 50 years.

This is a very incoherent post. I'm happy for him and for my mother that the next few weeks aren't going to happen as we'd all thought they would. But sad he's gone and sad for my grandmother in particular.
...

Just talked to my sister. She just saw him this morning and then drove six hours to get home. She said he said that he expected the morphine to make him feel muddled, but he felt clear as a bell. He told stories of his father for an hour. His nurse said, "Morphine couldn't make him muddled. Not him."

And that's it. That's the essence of who he was. He held himself together.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Feeling of coziness.

Today, I sent a friend an e-mail and then I went to a party and came home and checked my e-mail (nothing in my inbox) and started to open a browser to check her blog when PING! there came an e-mail in my inbox!

She'd gotten my e-mail and replied and then I replied and then she replied. And it wasn't until just now when I realized that it was kind of like having a short phone conversation with this person who is a dear friend whom I've never actually spoken to (as in, using my vocal chords).

And this feeling, this "we just had a phone call" feeling is making me feel very cozy and warm.

Phantom, thank you both for the exchange and this feeling.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Grades are in. Happiness, Sadness

I got three A+'s and a B+ for the semester. The B+ was in my one-credit course, so I have a 3.93 for the semester (stupid registrar doesn't record the extra points for the pluses on the A's. Hmff).

That puts me at 3.78 overall. I couldn't be happier scholastically.

However....

Grandpa is home from the hospital, hospice has been called in and he has 24-hour care at home. He's on oxygen to make him more comfortable. My aunts are with him now, my sister will be there for the day tomorrow.

I'm so glad I got to see him a couple of weeks ago. He was in pretty good shape that weekend and was able to enjoy our visit and laugh at MM and make MM laugh too.

Ninety-seven years of life is a good, long time. But, oh! it's not long enough. It's just not long enough.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Oh, SNAP!

Tonight MM gave me the finger. Not in a bad way. He just had configured his hand in that shape and said, "LOOK MOM! Look what I'm doing with my hand!"

.....

So I said to him, "That's really great, Sweetie! You're really very dexterous....um....dexterous means you can do cool things with your fingers. Um....one thing though...that shape you're making with your hand...some people find it really rude. It's kind of like the hand version of calling someone a doodyhead. So don't do it at school. Okay? 'Cause people might get mad."

"It's rude to do this?"

"Yeah, Pumpkin. For some strange reason, people think it's rude. I know you don't like to get in trouble for being rude."

"No, I don't. I won't do this at school. But it's really cool that I can do it, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is. Would you like to learn how to snap your fingers?"

"YEAH!"

"Okay, first you go like this..."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Birthday birthday birthday

Three birthdays in two parties. On the downside, I had to miss what promised to be a wonderful blogger family playdate. On the upside, MM had a great time at both.

How is it that he's the one running around like a maniac and I'm the one who needs a nap?

Final exam on Thursday, then three weeks off! And I've scheduled a blogger playdate during my visit to my MIL!!! Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

An open letter to Jerkface

Dear Jerkface:

Our professor is deaf and, therefore, he speaks somewhat indistinctly. When you keep talking through his lecture, it means none of the rest of us can hear what he's saying. Nor can he hear questions posed to him. Given your complete ignorance of the subject you demonstrated during the class review session before the exam today, I'm guessing that this technique isn't working very well for you, either.

Your behavior shows that, despite your claims to the contrary, the corporeal punishment your parents used with you DID NOT WORK. You are the poster child of what comes of Authoritarian Intrusive parenting. And, yes, that WAS a question on the exam. Why? Did you get it wrong?

Sincerely,

Mystery Mommy

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Shooooooooes!

I got these and these! My tootsies look soooooo cuuuuuuute!

And I got a skort. And a chocolate ice cream. Never say I don't splurge, eh?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

_ick

MM had a TICK! ON! HIS! HEAD!

It was a Diamond Back Dog Tick. So no Lyme disease, thank goodness. But ICK! A TICK!

According to the doctor who removed it this morning, the best way to remove a tick is to rub it with lots and lots of soap and then use a tweezers to pull that sucker off. Next time, we'll do it ourselves. We were worried that we wouldn't remove it all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Talking about death

My grandfather is 97. He's survived 3 kinds of cancer, two (or is it three?) heart attacks, and - until recently - was doing the NYT crossword everyday. Now he says he can't do that AND read the Times from cover to cover, so he gave up the crossword in favor of being informed. Also until recently he and my grandmother were going to movies, museums, and plays. They're still reading the New York Review of Books and then reading the books that were reviewed. He's going deaf but still tells silly jokes and sings silly songs at my son. The same silly songs he used to sing to me.

He's an eternal sort of person. And it's hard to believe that he's coming to the end.

A few weeks ago, he started doing dialysis three days a week. For a long time, he refused to do it. He didn't want his quality of life to suffer. But this December is his 50th Anniversary with my grandmother, and I think he decided to start dialysis when it looked like he might not be able to get to that milestone. He seems to be doing really well on it, although he's exhausted on the days when he gets the procedure done.

MM and I went to visit them while we were in NYC. We saw them twice, on Friday and Sunday. In just the couple of months since I saw them last, my grandfather looks like he's aged 10 years. It's so hard to see him.

Here are some discussions from the weekend:


MM: "Is GG Professor Emeritus very old?" (GG stands for Great Grandfather)

Me: "Yes, sweetie, he's very, very old."

MM: "So old that he's going to die?"

Me: "Well..."

MM: "I know, I don't have to worry about it."

Me: "That's actually not what I was going to say. I was going to say that we are worried that he's going die. But he's not going to die today or even tomorrow probably. And we're visiting so that we can spend as much time as we can with him before we can't spend time with him anymore."

MM: "Does death mean that someone's gone forever?"

Me: "Yes it does. But that person will still be in our memories and we will still love them, so in a way they will always be there with us.

MM: "So is Grandpa's brother gone forever?"

Me: "Yes, sweetie. He is."

MM: "Did I ever meet him?"

Me: "No, I don't think you ever did."

MM: "So how can I remember him so that he'll be there?"

Me: "You can't, but Grandpa can. And so can all Uncle Science's family and friends. That's why we went to his memorial, so that all the people who knew him and loved him could remember him together."


(later)

MM: "What are those black spots on GG Professor Emeritus's face?"

Me: "I think they're kind of bruises."

MM: "Are they catching?"

Me: "No, they're not catching. He has them because he's very old and his blood vessels break easily and give him bruises*. You won't get them from kissing him or anything."

MM: "Are you sure?"

Me: "I'm totally, completely sure."

MM: "Okay."

MM: "I wish nobody ever had to die."

Me: "I wish that too, MM."

MM: "I'll put it on my Christmas list. Maybe Santa can give that to me."

Me: "I know Santa would love to give that to you, but even though he's very magical he just can't stop people from dying when they're very, very old."

MM: "Was Uncle Science very, very old?"

Me: "Yes. He was very, very old and also very sick."

MM: "He was Grandpa's brother, right?"

Me: "Yes."

MM: "Does that mean Grandpa is very, very old?"

Me: "No. Grandpa isn't very, very old because he was much younger than Uncle Science. He was the youngest of all his brothers and Uncle Science was the oldest. Uncle Science was twelve whole years older."

MM: "So Grandpa's not going to die?"

Me: "Not for a long time.**"

MM: "Okay."



*He's got very dark age spots that weren't there last time I saw him. I don't know the science behind age spots so I used this patently false explanation instead.
** You hear that, Dad? Keep up with the swimming and everything, okay?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Home again, home again

Whew. Visited with no less than 100 people this weekend what with my dad's family at the memorial, my grandparents, and the parents of my high school friend. MM was great, really held it together through it all and was very grown-up and cooperative.


Interesting discussion in the comments on the last post. Here are my latest thoughts on it: if it's a good book for other reasons, I'm not so concerned with the explicit content. Clan of the Cave Bear and The Handmaid's Tale, for instance, are books I'd be happy for him to read. Valley of the Horses? Well, I read it when I was a teenager and...so...I think I'd be okay with it. Uncomfortable but okay. LKH? I just don't know. I'm guessing I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dani tagged me

Eight things??? EIGHT THINGS???

Alrighty.

  1. Got new glasses. Not sure I like 'em. MS and MM know they don't. But they were the least expensive frames in the store that day. Next time I'll shop around more. Maybe bring frames with me.
  2. It doesn't really matter, because I wear my contacts almost all the time anyway. I had to get new glasses for my fall classes because I'll be dissecting things again. All three of my fall classes involve dissection labs.
  3. Friday is a memorial for my uncle who died last month, so we're going up to NYC. MM is really super excited about having him some grandparent time.
  4. We're taking the train. Don't you love taking the train? Once, when I was pregnant with MM, we took the overnight train to Hilton Head to see my MIL. We had a roomette and everything. Even 6 months pregnant, I felt just too Cary Grant for words.
  5. I was talking with a friend about something on Tuesday and somehow Laurell K. Hamilton came up and she said she hadn't read any of those books herself but her daughters (12 & 14) had just started reading the Anita Blake series. So I said, "ummm...." And she said, "What?" And I said, "I don't know how you feel about your daughters reading explicit sexual material?" And she said, "WHAT???" And I said, "Well, the first 6 or so books are violent but not terribly sexual...after that, they get mighty steamy." And she said, "Well, I guess I'll have to read them first!"
  6. Which makes me wonder about what kind of mom I'm going to be for my future teenager. Will I be a "yes, you can read it...come to me with questions" mom? Or will I be a "I don't want you reading that until you're older" mom. Will I be okay with him reading the violent books? Will I be okay with him reading the sexy books?
  7. Speaking of books, we're reading The Wizard of Oz to MM. One chapter a night. Oz has just taken off in the balloon. MM is fascinated. He likes the movie better, but he loves that the book is different and more detailed. And that the book we're currently reading is different from the pop-up book we've also read. "The pop-up book doesn't have as many words because they needed to make room for all the pop-ups" is his explanation.
  8. Speaking of the WOO, I love what Oz says to the Cowardly Lion about the drink he gives him:
    "What is it?" asked the Lion.
    "Well," answered Oz, "if it were inside of you, it would be courage. You know, of course, that courage is always inside one; so this really cannot be called courage until you have swallowed it. Therefore I advise you to drink it as soon as possible."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pooped. Boy oh boy.

Today was to be DAY OF THE PLAYDATES.

We started off with a two-fer in the AM: MM, BigTallKid, and LookAtThoseCurlsOnHim at the the pool. Then we all went to the restaurant with the big upside-down W on the doors. Then we all went to our respective homes.

Whereupon MM announced his feet hurt. His toes are all blistered, probably from when his flip-flops popped off in the parking lot. Poor fella.

So there went our plans to play in the fountain with DeepVoicedPreSchooler, but we remedied that by calling and asking if it could be a "Sit Quietly and Watch DVD's Date" instead. So that's what they did.

Yesterday we had a different playdate with my cousin from Maine, her 8 yo daughter, and her boyfriend's neice and nephew.

Tomorrow...tomorrow is another post!



I know there's a lot of stuff going on in the world what with Libby and Cheney and scandals galore, but so many other people are posting so many well-thought-out posts about that, all I feel I want to say about it is, "Yeah! What they said!" So I'm going to let these ones slide by.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's a small, small world

My professor offers quite a bit of extra credit. One way to earn it is to summarize 3 popular (non-scholarly) articles he has up on the class website.

Article #5? Written by one of my mother's best friends.

What makes it a truly small world is that when I was in Korea on a stopover twenty years ago, I turned on the tv and saw this same friend!!!!

I just called her to let her know that her article is required reading for this class. She's quite pleased.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Holy guacamole, has it really been that long?

Mostly, I've been working on unbloggable stuff and have nothing to say. So I'll leave you with a quick seven things courtesty of Purple Kangaroo:
  1. I got an A+ on that portfolio I did for my Social Work class. Most of my biography (done in order of Piaget's phases) was taken from the blog.
  2. There's a fun fountain over at a nearby shopping center that kids can go play in. We took MM there Saturday and he had a blast. Then we got ice cream at Haagen Daz. Does anything say summer better than Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream with chocolate crunchies?
  3. I culled out my clothes and brought no fewer than 7 bras, 3 suits, several dresses, and a few pairs of pants and shirts over to The Resourceful Woman. I also threw out about 2 trash bags worth of clothes that were stained or ripped. Why did I keep them in the first place?
  4. I didn't cull out my books, but I did put them back on the shelves. I can't wait for 7/21, can you?
  5. Also gone are three large bags of miscellaneous trash. And 7 broken chairs. And long-expired canned goods (bought after 9/11).
  6. MM baked! a! cake! almost all by himself (I supervised and did the oven work). He brought it into school on Monday and shared it with his class.
  7. It's hard, when taking a Child Psychology class, not to test one's five-year-old to see what developmental stage he's in. If you're interested, he is starting to leave the pre-operational stage (he can imagine what another person's point of view is. He doesn't think that he and I have the same view if we're facing in different directions). I haven't checked to see if he has an idea of conservation yet.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fun with trademarks

These words were once trademarks:
  • Cola (the last word in the two-word name on the red can with the swoosh)
  • Aspirin (Bayer)
  • Yo-yo (Whammo)
  • Hula hoop (Whammo again, I think)
  • Heroin (Bayer again, I think)

The companies that own these trademarks are fighting to keep them from becoming generic:

  • Kleenex (tissues)
  • Xerox (copies)
  • Photoshop (modify a photo)
  • Coke (some Southerners use this term for any soft drink)
  • Google (internet search - not making eyes, or talking about really big numbers)

I seriously never heard a "tissue" called a "Kleenex" until I moved down here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vacation!!!

I've got a week off between classes!!

Plan:
  • Clean my room and toss old papers.
  • Cull through my clothes and bring what doesn't fit to The Resourceful Woman
  • Cull MM's clothes and books ditto.
  • Cook and freeze, cook and freeze.
  • Make fund-raising phone calls, send fund-raising e-mails.
  • Figure out a way to be less cryptic about what I'm fund-raising for without being Googleable.
  • Read non-school-related books.
  • Do a mug or two.

Google is in danger of losing its trademark, according to the professor of my just-completed ethics class, btw. It's becoming a verb!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

An Announcement

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am involved in a community project. A big community project. An unbloggable community project. I am raising funds from folks near and far. If you are interested in knowing more, please e-mail me your phone number (liz+at+miller+household+dot+com).

Don't be surprised if you also get an e-mail from me. I'm going to be beating the bushes!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Two down, one to go

Physio Psych and Social Work finals done. Ethics final tomorrow.

Going to bed now. Night all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Whoo. Glad that's done.

I turned in a major project for my social work class this afternoon. Now I just need to complete a take-home exam for Thursday and I'm done for that class.

Physio. Psych and Ethics classes tomorrow. Finals in those classes Thursday and Friday. Then I have a week off between summer sessions.

How's by you?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just a smidge cranky

Remember this post? Well, the teacher is giving folks an opportunity to make up their grade with added work on their final projects. I wouldn't mind if she'd just let people drop their worst exam grade or required them to write short paragraphs on the right answers but this is very amorphous. It feels unfair. How much work is she going to consider enough? And will it make mine look worse if I don't do the added work? It's not like the test was that hard -- pick the crunchiest granola answer and you're pretty safe. Okay, okay, I know this is sour grapes...

I like my teacher, btw, I think she's fun and enthusiastic. She's also knowledgeable and really does want the class to learn these concepts.

No one in my class knows I'm the one who busted the curve. When asked by one what my grade was, I said, "Let's not go there. That exam is over and I'm thinking about what we have to do next."
"Wow," she said. "Did you fail it?"
"I'm not going to discuss my grade. Seriously."

Plus, the advent of the red tide is making me take this more personally than I should. And it's rainywindythunderlighteninghailing outside.

Signed, Cranky McCrankerson.

I spoiled the curve!

That is all.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What we did this weekend NOW WITH MORE PARENTHESES!

  • Homework (me)
  • Super Top Secret Father's Day Gift Stuff (me and MM)
  • Studying (not enough)(Me)
  • Attempting to go to pools that were closed due to human waste and other bodily fluids (blood!) and actually going to see Shrek 3 (not bad! makes me wish I'd seen the second one!)(Me, MM, DeepVoicedPreschooler (formerly DeepVoicedToddler), and DVP's mom).

Friday, June 08, 2007

He's getting so big...

Scooped him up in my arms this morning and looked in the mirror. His head's on my shoulder and his feet are waaaaay down past my knees.

Trimmed his finger and toe nails after his bath tonight and I swear his hands and feet have grown in the less than two weeks since I last trimmed them. The feet that were so small they could wear socks that looked tiny on my thumb are now a size 12 (kids), his itty bitty hands are almost as big as mine.

MM: "I think I should have a bath every two days, Mommy. I should have my next one on Sunday, then Tuesday, then Thursday, then Saturday, then...uh oh, what happened to Friday?"

Me: "On that schedule you'd have another Friday bath the week after."

MM:"Oh! Where was I? Saturday! Then Monday, then Wednesday, and THEN Friday again!"


MM: (on seeing that we bought a new white board) "You didn't need to buy a new one, I would have shared mine with you."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Music to drive by (inspired by CornDog)

Dr. Dog has, once again, written a kick-ass post on music. Though I can't describe music as well as he can, I thought y'all might be interested in what MM and I listened to on our odyssey to visit my mom and step-father at their country house:

1. Free to Be You and Me. While supremely corny and a product of its time (1972), this was a favorite of mine as a kid and is now a favorite of MM's. The songs are interspersed with funny stories and, though each and every one has a MESSAGE, the message does not detract from the fun. MM's favorites on this album are the first Dudley Pippen story, Helping, Housework, and It's Alright to Cry. We always skip Girl Land.

2. Really Rosie. Another favorite of mine. Carol King sings Maurice Sendak. Brilliant. MM's favorite is Chicken Soup With Rice. He won't let me play past Avenue P, 'cause that half the album (the old "B" side) is scary.

3. Dog Train. Several bands, including Blues Traveler sing Sandra Boynton. The title track is a keeper as is I Need a Nap (Weird Al and Kate Winslet), Sneakers, Wave Bye-Bye, Pots & Pans, and Brocolli. We skip all the Cow Planets and, unfortunately, Dragon Fire and the Allison Kraus song.

4-6. Beethovan's Wig, Beethovan's Wig 2, and Beethovan's Wig 3. MM and I love these. We sing along. We Sing Verdi Very Loud, we ask each other to Please Don't Play Your Violin at Night.
MM now recognizes these pieces of classical music everywhere. At Panera, during commercials, at dinner parties. He impressed a room full of grownups singing Vivaldi a few weeks ago.

7. (groan) Aladdin. On the plus side, we hadn't listened to it in a long, long time and we only listened to it once.

8. No! by They Might Be Giants. MM likes this less than I do. But we're both fond of Bed Bed Bed and In the Middle, In the Middle, In the Middle.

What I like best about all but (groan) Aladdin is that, for the most part, I enjoy these albums as much as MM does. There's no Hokey Pokey or Apples and Bananas on any of these guys. They're good singers singing good music with (often) very, very silly words.


MM was an excellent traveler, btw, and very helpful - looking out for signs for exits and food and not whining at all.

Bonus conversation!

MM: (on seeing a car with no lights on in the rain) "Hey! You! Headlights!" (I wonder where he got that from....oh! Me!)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Spoiled. Rotten.

God, I love my cable modem. Love it. Love it. LOVE IT.

I also love my mom and stepfather, with whom MM and I just spent a Truly Lovely weekend. Laughing, joking, eating well. Plus, I did homework while they carried MM off to have exciting adventures. But...

They have dial-up. I didn't remember what dial-up is like. It's....


It's going to my school's WebCT page and reading a chapter in a book while it loads. Seriously, I read all of Ghosts Who Went to School (a favorite from my childhood that I just bought for MM) while I uploaded my homework for my Wednesday night class. The whole book. That's how slow dial-up is.

In any case, I'm back and you folks have written far too much in 3 days.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My sister is incredible

Again, unbloggable, but my sister and her family are doing an act of good work. I couldn't be prouder.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thanks, guys! I'm blushing! Plus random items UPDATED

I have no idea why comments were turned off on this post. Blogger did it all by itself. They're back on now.

SuzanH asks if I saw the series ender to Gilmore Girls. I did.



I'm glad they chose to end that way 'cause it seriously left me NOT wanting more. Blah.



Also, I haven't watched since January, so what happened to Rory's dad? And to whatsherface, the hyper blond-chick Rory's roomed with?



Today was the First Day of School for Summer Session A. Physiological Psychology, a Social Work Synthesis class, and a once-weekly Computer Ethics class (Wednesdays).

So far I'm loving my new classes but GAH it's going to be a TON of work. So don't be surprised if I disappear more than usual during the next month.

I've found I actually cannot do any serious studious reading while I'm in my house. I keep piddling around on the computer reading posts or writing post or I get otherwise distracted. Not good. So I'm going to spend my afternoons reading text books at the local coffee shop that is a chain but not *$. That worked really well for last semester's finals so I'm going to keep on with it.

I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the nice weather if you're in a place with nice weather.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bragging

A, A, A-, A-, B.

Breathing a big sigh of relief.

After!

All done! Just in time for us to add the chairs as an Anniversary present to ourselves. Eleven years today.


Doorway into kitchen with the broom-closet-sized pantry. Hanging on the pantry door is my laptop lunchbox and a bag full of plastic grocery bags. We're going to change out that plate behind the dimmer switch for a white one.


Here's a picture of the half-wall and the line between the dining room and the library. Beyond the half-wall is a table with a large format laser printer and one of our many computers. Through the doorway is the kitchen (linoleum floor) and the living room (carpet and toys). You can see that there is half-wall between them as well.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

S asks...

What I'm doing expending this much energy...

Partly, it's that I have the time. If it doesn't get done now, it just won't happen.

Partly, I've been inspired by some of you folks. Everywhere I look it seems someone's painting or finally getting new floors or doing a huge garden or baking homemade bread or finishing knitting a hoodie.

So, I decided to just do it. And I'm getting lots of help from someone else who lives here.

During...



Okay, so we've taped and papered and we're ready to start cutting-in. But it's after 5:00 PM, so we're calling it a day.

Before...




Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hold me...

I'm painting our dining room. No! Really! I am!

One of the things I love about this house is its open floor plan. But it's also the reason we haven't painted since...well...we've never painted.

The dining room flows into what we call the library (in the Model it was the formal living room), there are half-walls between but no demarcation line on the wall so we're going to put up molding going up from the half-walls to the ceiling and paint up to there. I'm leaving the molding, the area below the chair rail, and the bay windows white. I know what I think it'll look like, I'm just hoping it ACTUALLY looks that way when I'm done.

This is a big step, people.

Hold me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Whew, glad that's over

Questions:

Why is CSI Miami on the air? Not only are the actors ATROCIOUS, but also the writing sucks. Upon what planet do DNA tests and fingerprint checks come back that fast? How many coincidences does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Why oh why didn't I watch more of House this year? I guess I'll have to catch up on DVD. Not that it's not far-fetched too, but the acting is splendid and that makes me forgive much.

Gilmore Girls is ending tonight. I haven't watched it since January. Anything I need to know, or will it be self-explanatory?

Anyone know when the new season of Life on Mars will be coming? Or Foyle's War?

On Books:

I've read several new (to me) books this semester that I haven't talked about here.
The Stranger House by Reginald Hill was outrageously good. Death Comes for the Fatman (also R. Hill) was also wonderful but reminiscent of others of his, including Who Guards the Prince (a must-read).

I read the first in The Series of Unfortunate Events which is good, if dark. Echoes of Dahl anyone?

Speaking of Dahl, we read The Fantastic Mr. Fox to MM. I'd never read it and thought it was a lovely re-telling of "The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night".

Also on the kidlit front, I read Justin Morgan Had a Horse. Nice. Easy read. Sweet. Not much more to say, really.

Back in the adult world, I read the newest Charlaine Harris book, All Together Dead. I like this writer very much, but the earlier books in this series are better. However, it's definitely a good one for a cozy afternoon on the couch. I think I can see where she's going to take the character in the next book.

Dana Stabenow's A Deeper Sleep was good, though somewhat uncomfortable. There're a great deal of guilt feelings floating around the park.

How many times have I told y'all to read Margaret Maron? Her latest, Winter's Child, is one of her best. This series keeps getting better and better. However, you'd probably better start with the previous book, Rituals of the Season, to get a bit of back story. Then, once you're hooked, you can go and read EVERYTHING SHE EVER WROTE.

There. Now that's off my chest. I can settle down and read Middlemarch for the first time. And Jane Austen's Letters. And some other stuff that's lying around.

Plus, I'm going to paint the dining room. No! Really! I am!

Monday, May 14, 2007

He's a genius.

Biology? Done!

Now on to Abby Someone Psychology.

This particular exam is at 0730 tomorrow. Someone in my household (not me), upon hearing my plan to get up at 0500 to ensure promptitude at said exam, brilliantly suggested that I stay at a hotel right nearby Nearby U instead.

I told y'all he's a genius, right?

I'll be done by 0900 and that will conclude the Spring semester. Summer classes start Monday.

Friday, May 11, 2007

One down

Two to go.

And SingsLullabies and MakesBooksForGrandkids will be here this weekend.

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to study Biology I go....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Gasp

Coming...up...for...air........................
First...of...three...finals...tomorrow......................
Will...see...you...all...Wednesday..................

Monday, May 07, 2007

Asking for some help

Dear friends,

Any of y'all know where I can find a bathing suit that will fit me? I'm looking for a practical suit, something that I can wear playing with MM. In other words, no dental floss, but not a burkini either. Lands End, Nordstrom, Water Water, LL Bean, and JC Penney only go up to Didi.

Alternatively, any of you have ideas on how to phrase a Google search for one that won't bring up something geared towards a fan of GGW?

Thanking you in advance for any and all input.

History paper done

'Night all.

Friday, May 04, 2007

All clear

Re-do of mammogram a success. "Next year have your doctor order a comprehensive instead of a screening so we can do all the pictures in one visit."

Whew.

Best quote from visit? "My, for such a little thing, you're sure large. Bless your heart."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Now it's your turn

Let me know in the comments of this post if you'd like to be next to be asked 5 questions! I think YT asked some great ones, gonna be a hard act to follow.

Question 5: What keeps you blogging regularly?

I find there are three things that keep me posting regularly(ish):
  1. I have something I really want to say. These posts are somewhat infrequent, but they're the ones I like best.
  2. Procrastination. I have other things I really need to do but I don't wanna. Some of these posts come out well. I end up saying something of substance at least.
  3. Fear that I'll look like I'm forgetting about you. These are my least favorite posts. Mostly it's "Hi! Still here!"

Speaking of which, I'm going to be posting less regularly for the next couple of weeks. Two papers due and (gasp!) Finals.

Yes, my friends, it's the last week of classes of my fourth semester at Nearby U. My, that went fast! A year from now, I'll be graduating!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Question 4: Who is your best friend in the whole world, other than Mr. Spock, and why?

I have several. Y'all know who you are! Some of you I've never met IRL, others I've shared curry with or gone to hear play at little funky venues.

But if I must pick one, I think it has to be This friend, who I've known now for almost 6 years. Oh my god, the hours we've spent laughing over misery. Not to mention the hours I've teased her about this. She's in school for her undergraduate degree, doing it online while working full-time at a company that sucks all the joy from a job (I should know, I used to work there). She's one of my heroes.