Sunday, August 31, 2008

i can stay...

I have no idea what one I missed, because it didn't tell me afterward. I did this too quickly (about two minutes...if that) to remember all of the questions. Anyhow, I guess I'm allowed to stay.

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct!

[Yet another diversion...from Gunma-Gal's archives. Thanks!]

Saturday, August 30, 2008

cardo has discovered you tube

Cardo has a new iPod and has been obsessively using it lately. He's been checking out a bunch of You Tube videos and making me watch them too. Here's one he asked me to watch last night.

Other than this, I'm just taking it a bit easy, trying to get over this influenza/cold/horribleness. We're hoping to be able to make it out for a walk later, although we'll have to be pretty slow-going for me. My body is tired and my muscles are mutinying a bit (I did absolutely no exercise yesterday, other than walking up and down the stairs for class. Actually, I slept. This was the first time I can remember, since Pic's been here, that I've actually been able to rest when I was sick. Usually, I still have to be up, taking care of the apartment, Pic, my own neverending reading, responding, planning stuff. Yesterday, Pic was at school. I cut my day waaay short and left. I had only gotten three hours of sleep, from after three until after six, waking up too many times in between. When I got home yesterday, I slept for six hours. Then, I slept another eight hours last night! That's more sleep than I get in some months.

Anyhow, I'm going to go make some hot tea and lay down a bit more.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

summer colds...

...suck. I'm sick. It came on today. It's not just allergies.

We got up at five this morning to get Cardo to the airport for a work trip. Pic dozed for some minutes in the car on the way home and then not again until we got back in the car at noon. Then, again, she dozed for a few minutes. Two of the three things I had planned today had to be cancelled, due to sickness and lack of childcare. Ugh.

I did eat today, though. Smoothies, pizza, breadsticks (these last won't be pictured...we didn't make them but bought them from zpizza).

Apple juice, bananas, mixed frozen fruit (pineapples, strawberries, mangos, papayas), wheat germ, honey.

Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough, fresh mozzarella, royal gala apples (from TJ's), prosciutto (from TJ's).

This dinner was brought to us tonight by the letters "T" and "J."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

small-child-keep-busy institute

Here is an article I just read and felt strongly enough about to share with those interested. (I subscribe to a Wondertime newsletter, initially only because the abfab Catherine Newman writes her weekly blog Dalai Mama for them.)

The article is about kindergarten and different teaching philosophies. Also, there is a list of eleven ways to make a "good school great" -- again the focus is on early childhood education.

I've always been more than a little interested in elementary education (okay, any education), but I think about preschool, kindergarten and the other elementary years more often now that Pic is three (and a half). Recently a new-to-the-program woman with school-aged children (I think one is in elementary school) told me that her children didn't have PE. What?! Um, okay. How that's a good idea, I just don't know. I have to get outside at least a little everyday to feel healthy. Pic definitely does also. I am so frustrated with this mindset that our children need to be able to pass tests to be considered successful. What about Pic's physical well-being? I suppose one could argue that that is my domain, that I need to make sure she gets the exercise she needs, but I think it's unfair for children to not have a chance to get outside (or into some open space, if the weather sucks too much) to release pent-up energy. If Pic ends up not having PE in school, I'll definitely make sure she stays active, but I feel like this mindset (the no physical education...not my own) is setting kids up to be large lumps of inactive, unhappy people.

In the eleven tips on making a good school great section (which does have eleven tips...two are labeled #6), tip #4 is "Advocate for recess." Since when do we need to do this? Don't kids get recess? I know that it's been a while since I was an elementary-schooler (go Jets!), but has really that much changed?

One of the things I've been worried about is having to schedule every moment of our lives once Pic reaches elementary school. I don't want to be the kind of parent who has her child signed up for twelve activities at once. A parent who is also participating in her own twelve activities. This lifestyle might work for many, but I can't imagine it. I want Pic to have time to be a kid. To go to the park and play with friends. To do yoga and pilates on the living room floor with me (yes, I want Pic/Mamma time, but I don't think that's too much to ask).

I agree with Nelson's statement, "We'd [he and his wife] heard of schools where administrators boast, 'We teach our kids in kindergarten what other schools teach in third grade,' and thought that absurd. We didn't want to rush the academics." I don't understand the rush. Why can't my five-year-old be just that?

I don't know too much about these issues yet. I'm not an elementary school teacher and Pic has a couple of years before she joins the ranks of elementary schoolhood (word coining, not at its finest), but I doubt the situation is going to be rosier by the time she enters kindergarten.

After I've written all of this, there's another consideration (or many more). It's nice for Jack, Nelson's son, that his parents have the means to get him to another school, but not all parents can do this. I have a flexible schedule (and I hope to continue to have one) and I can plan to take Pic outside so she is physically active, in case she ends up in a school with no PE. Some parents work ridiculous amounts of hours (Cardo works more than full-time/40 hours a week, but I still think we're lucky) at one or more jobs. I'm feeling frustration just thinking that these parents are stuck with whatever local schools have to offer. I don't know that I'll ever have to deal with the situation, mainly because I have access to information and I have spare time that many other parents might not.

Also, I feel sympathy for teachers. Poke is a teacher and when she tells me the ridiculously meager amount of time she has to teach subjects such as history, I feel a bit of despair.

Okay, enough freewriting. I'd like to hear others' reactions to the articles or insight on anything I've written. I know that my ignorance and idealism are both great, so I need some education myself.

Monday, August 25, 2008

picture pages




view from the climb

last-minute men

I’m back in the swing of things and I thought all was going well. The first half of my day was decent enough, but Mondays are just going to be ridiculously long and tiring.

Halfway through the day, I was starving. I had eaten a Lara Bar for breakfast, so I needed something substantial for lunch. Record Street closed, so getting a tuna sandwich there was out of the question. Although I think I always like my sandwiches at Jimmy Johns, I didn’t feel like going in there today. So, I trekked up north to the now happening (hello Greg Brady) part of campus to scope out the food choices. Actually, I already know them, but I was hoping that they had changed. No dice.

Starbucks and Keva Juice (smoothies and juice only, no pretzels) are located on the first floor of the Joe. On the second floor are Port of Subs and Tahoe Creamery. Although I have a deep love for ice cream, I just didn’t want it for lunch (no...really, I didn’t, but it does sound good right now). I also didn’t want Port of Subs. All too often when I think of Port of Subs and Subway, I think of bad service. The service I received today was actually good. The sandwich-makers were chipper and polite; they didn’t roll their eyes at the crowd of people queuing up in front of the counter. But…just the thought of a Port of Subs sandwich was depressing. I love sandwiches, I really do, but sometimes I’m not in the mood for something so generic. I think this is what depresses me about the Joe, everything is so new and generic (which really means so big-business brand-named, but generic just feels right). Everything is still too new. I know I whine about weird things, but I like places to feel lived in.

Anyhow, I’d much rather have had a sandwich from Massimo’s, but, alas, it wasn’t to be. So, I ordered my sandwich and trekked back down campus to sit in the empty seminar room, eat, read and write.

I called Cardo during my break and he had bad news for me. He had just gotten an e-mail saying that he needed to go to Oakland on Thursday. This frustrates me for so many reasons. One: he was told that he would be notified of any trips a month in advance. I don’t know what the crap calendar these people are looking at, but three days does not a month make. Two: Coach J and I have our first day of our internship that day. Thursday is the one day I need Cardo to have off so he can be a parent and watch the kids. Hello! One. Freaking. Day. Just one day a week. Three: it seems like it’s always my work that has to be pushed aside and put off when it comes to scheduling issues. (Cardo actually off-handedly remarked on Sunday that things are hard to schedule now that we have a kid. NOW? Um, okay, three-and-a-half-years later.) Four: did I mention how freaking last-minute this is? I thought so.

I should stop and take a breath now. A friend is going to sit with the kidlets Thursday. We don’t have to disguise them as tiny high-schoolers and smuggle them in. And, I should mention, Cardo is a good papĂ­. He’s supportive of me and my plans. He works full time and then some. I imagine he spends more time with family than many other people who are the primary moneymakers for their families. I don’t mean to sound so annoyed with him, but sometimes I am annoyed. Maybe not so much with him (although that is part of it), but with the situation…with my measly paycheck, my many years of measly paychecks ahead of me, my exhaustion, my impatience…. But, really, I’m still shaking my head about his “now that we have a kid” comment. Ah, well.

Well, internetland, thank you for letting me vent (not that you had much choice…but if you made it this far, thank you). I’m going to go upstairs and lay like a useless lump.

Before I do that, though, I’ll leave you with Pic’s choices for who could watch her Thursday. She first suggested Auntie C and Uncle A. However, they will both be working at that time. A couple of hours later, as we were walking to Ross to look for shoes for her, she suggested, “Bert and Ernie can watch me!” We’ll drop you off in New York first thing Thursday morning, lovie.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

(copious amounts of) glorious food

I know this first one looks nothing like copious. Simple: rice pilaf, portabello mushrooms I really needed to use (I sauteed these) and copious amounts of chopped spinach. Oh, and a healthy sprinkle of wheat germ.

All hail the copiousness! When Nana and Papa were here recently, Cardo and I made dinner one night. Bruschetta: both tomato/basil and cannellini. Guacamole (made by the talented husband) and portabello sandwiches with mesclun and sauteed green onions. It was good but entirely too much for us to eat. We had a few bruschette left over. Actually, I could go for some of this right now, especially because I just ate sugar on a stick (an orange Tootsie Roll Pop).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

couldn't resist

I stole this from an old Gunma-Gal post.

Bold the ones that apply:
01. You've ended a sentence with the word "PSYCH!"
02. You watched the Pound Puppies.
03. You can sing the rap to the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air". [Ah, Will, Mr #3]
04. You wore biker shorts under your skirts and felt stylish.
05. You yearned to be a member of the Baby-Sitters Club and tried to start a club of your own.
06. You owned those little Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls
07. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom.
08. Two words: M.C. Hammer. [um, two words?]
09. You watched "Fraggle Rock."
10. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars.
11. You can sing the entire theme song to "Duck Tales."
12. You remember when it was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
13. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
14. You saw the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" on the big screen. [Alas, not on the big screen.]
15. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
16. You played the game "MASH".
17. You wore a Jordache Jean jacket and you were proud of it.
18. L.A. Gear.
19. You wanted to change your name to "JEM" in Kindergarten. [I never actually wanted my name to be Jem]
20. You remember reading "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and all the Ramona books. [um, I read one recently]
21. You know the profound meaning of "WAX ON, WAX OFF."
22. You wanted to be a Goonie. [wanted?...yeah, sure, past tense is appropriate here]
23. You wore flourescent clothing.
24. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off. [I was a bit obsessed.]
25. You have pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf. [Well, not really, because there is that young smurf girl with the overalls.]
26. You took plastic cartoon lunch boxes to school.
27. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets. [I didn't have one, but I knew the craze.]
28. You remember Hypercolor T-shirts.
29. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after (almost) every sentence. [This so describes me...NOT.]
30. Barbie and the Rockers was your favorite band. [I danced with them onstage at Knotts Berry Farm.]
31. You thought She-Ra and He-Man should hook up. [Um, ew. As Auntie P is so fond of saying, incest is not the best.]
32. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged friendship bracelets.
33. You owned a pair of jelly sandals. [Yeah, and my feet smelled so bad.]
34. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?"
35. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up!"
36. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
37. You got seriously injured on a Slip 'n' Slide. [Okay, so I wasn't technically using the Slip 'n' Slide...that could have been the problem.]
38. You have played with a Skip-It.
39. You had or attended a birthday party at McDonald's.
41. You remember Popples.
42. "Don't worry, be happy."
43. You wore like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights. [This drove my mom crazy, but it did come in very handy (footy?) when the back of the station wagon became a vomitorium. Enough said.]
44. You wore socks scrunched down.
45. "Miss MARY MACK MACK MACK, all dressed in BLACK BLACK BLACK" [I have taught the child this.]
46. You remember boom boxes vs. CD players.
47. You remember watching "Gremlins."
48. You knew what it meant to say "Care Bear Stare!" [As does the child.]
49. You remember watching Rainbow Brite and My Little Ponies. [As does the child for the latter...unfortunate thing for me.]
50. You thought Doogie Howser was hot. [Not really, but go early blogger-type!]
51. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac. [Hide the cats!]
52. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool. [When others thought they were cool, that is. I never jumped on that wagon. Either time.]
53. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By the Bell," the ORIGINAL class. [You mean Good Morning, Miss Bliss?]
54. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - "YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME".
55. You played and or collected "Pogs." [Didn't have my own.]
56. You used to pretend that you could transform into a Power Ranger. [I wasn't really paying decade attention until now (now that I see that last line down there), but I thought Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were a nineties thing? Anyhow, I was a wedgie ranger.]

Stuck in the 80s?  [I'd say no, thanks be. However, they were good times.]


...that Sesame Street is occasionally still fun.

And other random music stuff.

aha! success! (i hope)

I have no idea why I couldn't figure out how to do this before. Okay, I do have an idea: I'm lazy. So, I have embedded a video (thanks to that handy "embed" thing on YouTube).

I know I've posted this before, but here it is again.

Music for one apartment and six drummers.

the child continues to mock me

The other day, Pic woke up and joined Cardo downstairs. (I was blissfully sleeping in…not for long.) The first thing she did was come over and turn on the computer. She explained to Cardo, “I’m checking my students.” Ah, yes.

Oh, and the mocking continued, in a much cuter way, tonight. She was in the backseat fiddling with one of the fifty-gazillion objects back there and suddenly exclaimed, “Holy crudmuffin!” Definitely my child.

(By the way...those scratches, that's what happens when you annoy the cat for entirely too long.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

all's been quiet on the western front

I apologize for having been so silent here. (I've only been silent in the blogosphere, let me assure you.) I have both plenty to say and nothing to say. For now, I'll just post pictures of some of our most recent purchases that in Project Greening of La Casa B.

This is my new yoga mat. It's cute. I ordered it from Barefoot Yoga. It's made from PER. Here's the description from the site. (This isn't the ideal material, I know, but at about $20, it's the most I can afford.)

For those who want a more eco-friendly mat, this new environmentally friendly Yoga mat is made of “PER” (Polymer Environmental Resin), a material that is considerably more sensitive to the environment and your health than most Yoga mats made of PVC. This mat does not contain phthalates or heavy metals and its method of production is completely non-toxic.

These are our new stainless steel water bottles. So much less expensive than Klean Kanteens. I hope they're great. We just got them in the mail today. The emerald one is mine, the sapphire is Cardo's and the silver is Pic's. They are by New Wave Enviro...I ordered them here, from Nubius Organics.

Costco finally started selling environmentally-friendly dishwashing liquid. Believe you me, I've been looking. We've been buying the ECOS laundry detergent for quite some time now. (And, I no longer use dryer sheets...less waste!) Because I like to buy in bulk, we are still using up the rest of the dishwashing soap I bought from Costco quite some time ago. I had just about given up on them, and was going to buy some at Trader Joe's, but I prefer to buy in bulk.

I think I put pictures of our lunch bags up before, but here's mine again anyway. (Pic's is at school with her right now.) I also bought that from Nubius Organics, here. Both Pic's and my lunch bags are by Mimi the Sardine.

Of, course, I continue to love my Chico Bags.

All this being put together, typed out, pictures posted, I have to draw attention to the fact that I bought all of this online (excepting two of my Chico Bags and the dish soap). This means, all of this has been shipped. I'm hoping that the reusable factor will outweigh the shipping factor.

Okay, Cardo has to use the computer and I have to fold, wash, dry, put away laundry.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

too pissed for words right now

This is copied from the Reno News and Review. I'm about to troll around for more information on this.

Birth control under threat

By Kat Kerlin

Birth control pills, emergency contraception and intrauterine devices could be classified as abortion if a draft regulation proposed by the Bush Administration and circulating within the Department and Health and Human Services takes effect.

More than 98 percent of women have used birth control at some point in their lives. The draft regulation says these widely used methods of contraception could be considered as forms of abortion because they can prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. The Wall Street Journal reports that most medical groups agree “pregnancy isn’t established until several days after conception, when the fertilized egg has grown to a cluster of several dozen cells and burrowed into the uterine wall.”

The proposed rule claims to protect the rights of anti-abortion doctors and nurses. As abortion is legal, the regulation would have little immediate effect on women taking these birth control methods, but some people fear that it could undercut state laws that promote easy access to birth control, and prompt insurance companies to drop coverage for prescription birth control, a notion Tom McClusky of the conservative Family Research Council called “fantastic” in the Wall Street Journal.

The draft regulation could still be revised or rejected. The Bush Administration doesn’t need congressional approval to put it into effect, but it also could be easily reversed by the next president.

As of Aug. 12, the world’s population: 6,716,350,368.

I don't know who's more upset about this, me or Cardo. I don't use birth control pills-- we use condoms and have plans for Cardo to eventually have a vasectomy. I have control issues and I don't take pills except for the very occasional pain reliever for headaches (this is an entirely different (neurotic) issue, that I won't deal with here). We have one (beautiful, wonderul, light-of-our-lives) daughter. We are finished having kids (and my body is, at this moment, acknowledging this). One child is enough for us, and we agree on this for a number of reasons. Although I don't use birth control pills and have yet to use an emergency contraceptive (although there have been some scares), I know many women who do. And, they should be able to continue to do so.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

oh so common...and not

V is the #116 most common female first name

0.18% of females in the US are named V.

Around 220500 US females are named V!


Pic is the #2434 most common female first name

0.002% of females in the US are named Pic.

Around 2450 US females are named Pic!


I stole this from an old Gunma-Gal post.

the many woes...

I’ve decided that so much of the stress I’m dealing with lately comes from me being so horribly, negatively critical of myself. I’m so quick to point out where I’ve “failed” in life, instead of where I’ve done an okay job in getting by. (I can’t even type “where I’ve succeeded.”)

I’ve also decided that I need to begin to treat myself more kindly. I’m very much a believer of “treat others as you wish to be treated” (organized religions and I are not totally at odds) and I try to practice this in every interaction I have with others. I, however, do not extend the same courtesy to myself. Why is this?

Maybe I just can’t shake this perfectionist identity (although she has been shaken more and more often, the longer I stay in my current field). Maybe I’m too much a product of commercialism/capitalism. We are constantly shown that we are deficient in oh-so-many ways. We’re not young enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, engaging enough, sexy enough, strong enough, ecc, and there’s a product for everything. Just about. However, I have yet to purchase anything that has boosted my confidence and I don’t believe that anything I ever buy will ever help me achieve this end.

I’ve simply decided to make a conscious effort to be less harshly judging of myself. Executing this decision might not be so simple, but I’ll try to stick with it. I’ll try to look at the offensive thoughts I lob my own way and let them pass. I know that this will be incredibly difficult and will require years of shifting my mental processes, but I hope that, eventually, I will be more accepting of and more kind to my very own self. I hope you all will also treat yourselves in kind.

Now that that bit of catharsis has been enacted, on to other non-news.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m reading Gates of Fire for a class. (I have Tides of War to look forward to when I finish Gates of Fire.) I don’t know how I’m going to get through this book. I understand that war happens. I don’t like it or agree with it, but I also don’t know how to stop it. I have a hard time looking at war on a larger level. I tend to obsess about the individuals who are out fighting and killing other individuals. I constantly think about those who are not soldiers but who are direclty affected by war just the same. People who have families who may never see them again. And, often, when soldiers do make it home from war, they aren’t the same people they were when they left. I have to admit that I’m not speaking from first-hand experience. I am fortunate in that I have never had to go to war before. If I were ever forced to go to war, I have no idea what I would do. I can’t put into words how grateful I am that others are taking positions I wouldn’t. (I don’t know that these people always, or even very often, know what they are really getting into, how their lives will be different, how they will be different.) I am mainly a coward. I don’t know that I could kill another person, that I could bring death to many others, even if I didn’t see the results of my actions. There is so much I’m ignorant about on the subject (obviously), but I could continue to ramble on and on with these half-formed thoughts. I won’t.

I’ve never been a fan of war-media (books, movies, ecc) and now I’m diving into two novels on the subject. This leads me to another point: what I’m reading are novels. This doesn’t make the reading experience any easier for me. I’m barely into Gates of Fire and I’ve already read scenes that include gang-rape and torture. The gang-rape scene made me physically ill. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this book. Or the other one, which, I’m guessing, will have more of the same.

Okay, so, sorry about these two pieces of rambling. I’m off to continue reading…because I have to. (I wonder what our class discussion will be like the first day back?)

Monday, August 11, 2008

and...i'm tired

I know. You've never heard me utter anything like that phrase before.

Seriously, though, I'm exhausted. I slept two hours last night, had a short nap early this afternoon (about an hour) and went to the park and for a walk to wear myself out.

I've been trying to catch up on some blog archives, and I have actually. I completely caught up on Waiter Rant (completely addictive to me...I'm interested to see where he takes his blog now). I'm a little more than a year behind in State of Grace and I finally reached 2003 in Gunma-Gal. Catherine Newman posted today, and I, of course, read that the moment I noticed it was posted.

Although I'm catching up (yes, this is like a compulsive challenge thing with me), I keep adding more to the list of blogs I would like to read.

I might have mentioned this before, but I could totally get lost in the world of blogs, never to return from the blogosphere.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


These people, from whom we have bought books/videos twice at their warehouse sales, are buying used books (including textbooks), cds/dvds and software at the new Whole Foods' farmers' market every Saturday from 8-1 (I think) until October 4th.

for better or worse

During our trip to the grocery store tonight, I realized that my relationship to food is slowly changing…for the better.

Pic told us she wanted the “black” cookies. (She made sure we knew what color she was talking about by pointing out the black-as-ebony hair on the Snow White doll she was holding.) We haven’t had any Oreos or similar cookies in quite a while, but these are what she wanted. Before, I would have just grabbed a package of them and placed them in the cart. Today, I hesitated. I wanted to say no, but I am still working out this relationship with food and I gave in. I didn’t want to say no because they were unhealthy, necessarily. I would have bought some healthier version of them had Winco had such a version (something like Safeway’s O sandwich cookies…the “O” standing for organic, not Oprah), but they didn’t.

About a month back, I did purchase the Safeway “healthier” version of the cookies and I have to say, I still prefer the full fat- and chemical-filled cookies. Actually, I have a bit of an addiction to them. The day Pic was born, I was munching on entirely too many springtime Oreos, while sitting in our dark bedroom, using the computer (probably doing something school-related, as I had class that day). I no longer buy Oreos for myself because I’ll eat the entire package, by myself, in an embarrassingly short amount of time. I try not to buy the cookies, period, because I’ll probably eat them anyway.

When Pic asked tonight, I gave in and bought Oreo Cakesters (an affront to Oreos, as far as I’m concerned…but Pic and Cardo like them). I couldn’t help but look at the ingredients. Of course, that demon “high fructose corn syrup” is lurking in the cake-things. There’re also plenty of chemically-ingredients that are in no way related to natural food products.

I’ve begun to look at, and really pay attention to, more of these things. Our shopping experience was different than one we’d have had seven years ago, when we were first together, in that the only fruits and vegetables in our cart were fresh. We didn’t buy any chips. There was no candy.

I don’t mean, here, that we only bought the healthiest of products. We bought two frozen pizzas, the evil Cakesters (I just despise that word, even), non-100% juice and other stuff I can’t remember. Overall, though, our choices have become healthier over the years.

Also, I don’t mean to say that I only eat fresh produce and all-natural foods, even most of the time. I still eat a lot of junk. I’m addicted to ice cream. (I ate some tonight. We walked to the park after we put the groceries away. Then, we stopped by Cold Stone, where only I ordered ice cream – a Like It-sized oatmeal cookie batter with chocolate chips. Then, we walked home as I savored my ice cream. I joked that the beauty of the situation was that I was burning off the calories as I ate them. I also joked that we’d have to walk about four more hours before I even put a dent in the calorie consumption.) Also, we eat out too often, though I choose healthier items than I’d have chosen even a year ago.

I still weigh more than I feel I should and I've gained a few pounds in this last month, but I'm balancing my unhealthy food cravings much better than I did last summer. It's a start. Give me another five years, and maybe I’ll have something to show for these healthier choices. Let’s raise a glass of Odwalla Super Food juice/puree to that.

for all of us old, country grannies

Continuing this You Tube line of thought...

On Thursday, I presented the following videos. About each (and, among other questions), I asked who the audience is/was for each of these songs. For all of the older versions of each song, I heard the word "old." For the absolutely spectacular Dolly Parton's "Jolene," the audience, it seems, is "grandmas" from the country. And, someone whipped out her crossbow, loaded up and shot me through the hear with a dull arrow when she described Paul McCartney's "Let It Be" as boring. Ack!

Ah well, so be it.

Have fun comparing these.

Drift Away -- Dobie Gray

Drift Away -- Uncle Kracker

Jolene -- Dolly Parton (How much more do I love Dolly Parton after watching her shtick at the beginning of this? Oh, so much.)

Jolene -- White Stripes

Jolene -- Mindy Smith

Let It Be -- Beatles

Letter B -- Beetles

Even if you don't watch all, let me know what you think about the different versions. I happen to prefer Dobie Gray and Dolly Parton. On the last set, it's a toss-up. The songs are so different and serve such different purposes...I just love them both.

More random procrastination material to come at a later date, of course.

Friday, August 8, 2008

ignorance of the digital persuasion

A couple of years ago, I was taking a poetry class. (We mainly read, discussed and wrote about poetry, rarely writing our own. This was a good thing. Try writing a sestina and maintaining your dignity as a serious English major. You’ll see my point. Unless you are a poetry genius. In that case, good for you.)

Anyhow, we were discussing a Whitman or a Frost or a someone-else poem, and the guy who always slept through class actually piped up, saying “I found some guy reciting this on U2.” He mentioned it a couple of times. My teacher commented on how you could find anything on U2. Everyone nodded in understanding agreement. I was sitting in my own little (oft-inhabited) bubble of confusion.

Why were “we” describing things as “on” U2? What did U2 have to do with American poetry?

A few weeks later, I heard a story on NPR about the sale of You Tube to Google and I finally heard exactly what was being said.

I foresee many years of Pic rolling her eyes and sighing, explaining, once again, “Mamma…I told you. It’s 3DB! Three dimensional blogging. Geez.” (See, I can’t even come up with a better example that this lame attempt.)


Along these same lines: Does anyone know how I can backup my archives? In case some mishap befalls blogger, I'd like to know that my posts won't disappear. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

have i mentioned...

...that this semester is kicking my butt? I don't know why, but I'm so incredibly exhausted. I can't seem to regulate my sleep. I'll continue to be an early-birdie through December. I just hope my final semester is easy on me -- I think I deserve it.

I've taken a break from catching up on certain blogs. I'm just plain addicted and I don't have time for this addiction right now. Right now, I need to go and respond to at least twelve student papers and read some more Gates of Fire and The Growth and Structure of Elizabethan Comedy.

So, I'm off. Alas.


P.S. Happy Birthday Auntie Peecho!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

who's george harrison?

One of my all-time favorite songs...

and answer to my query above. (I can't claim this query. I'm quoting a former co-worker who, when told who George Harrison was, then asked, "Who're the Beatles?" I was flabbergasted, people, simply flabbergasted.)

Wonderfully furry men...totally Pic's type (so far).

insomnia attacks again! (just like those smells from starbucks)

Okay, since I'm planning for later today and not sleeping, I just thought I'd share. Why can't I be this creative when I'm delirious with lack of sleep?

A couple of Alices (RHPS and Tool). Not my favorite movie, but these are fun anyway (at least they are for me right now).

Also, I've never seen 300, but I admire these people's lack of inhibitions. If only...

Must sleep. Must sleep. Tomorrow, we'll be seeing Ms Judy for story time. We didn't see her last week because it was early voting and the thought of one storytime with all of us pretending to be salty little sardines in the cottage was not appealing to me. (Did I just type "tomorrow"? Yes. I meant TODAY!) Sleep.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

visions of tooth fairies dance in her head

When we went to check on sleeping Pic last night...


Hello, all. I thought to participate in a NaBloPoMo this month, but I found August’s topic uninspiring. (Not that I’m coming up with any stellar topics over here…I just don’t want to blog about “hot.”)

At first, I thought NaBloPoMo was actually a specific month. Maybe it is, even. However, according to the site where I got August’s theme, any month can qualify. I’m just not ready for this month to be the month.

I’m slipping into some familiar depression here. This isn’t unusual. I just feel lethargic, unwilling to do much. This can’t be the case because a lot is pressing on me right now. My penultimate semester here is looming and I’m not quite feeling prepared for the challenge. I’d like it to be the ultimate semester already. Then, I question why I do this…wishing for time to fly away. I really don’t want to rush through this life. I want to savor it. I just need to figure out how.

I’m also still conflicted about the should I stay or should I go now (if I stay there will be trouble, if I go there will be double…no?) dilemma. No matter what, though, I will be applying to a second Master’s degree over the ocean (where my bonny lies, in case you didn’t know…enough with the song references, I know).

Anyhow, I need to break out of this pattern.

On a good note, I went climbing for the first time yesterday. I don’t think I can do the experience much justice by writing about it now – I’m just too tired and glum – so I’ll write about it later. (I would post pictures, but I didn’t bring the camera, so no photographic evidence. Next time, though.)

I do have to say, though, that although dearest husband is a pisces, I think he was meant to be an aries. He took to climbing amazingly well. He has an instinct for it. He hasn’t taken to water nearly as well. Cardo’s ready to go out climbing again. He keeps gushing, “I hope they call me again and invite me to go climbing.” It’s nice (and kind of cute) to see him get so excited about something.

One last note: I made a dinner concoction tonight. Couscous, organic peas and not-organic turkey (organically-raised? I don’t know). I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t remember that cooked turkey is not a more appealing color, but I didn’t. I, of course, took pictures of our dishes. A couple of bites into the meal, Pic got up and started rooting around the desk.

“What are you looking for, love?”

“The camera. I want to take a picture of dinner.”

Ah, my child, through and through.

Friday, August 1, 2008

hello BlogHer!

Okay, so the make-my-day moment has arrived: I'm officially listed on BlogHer! This doesn't really mean anything, other than I listed my blog there, but it doesn't take all that much to make me happy.

So, anyone who visits from there, let me know. I'm always looking for new blogs to read.