Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Go Round

It seems I am the official love-giver of the house. It's what makes things work. It's the grease that makes the wheels turn. I have to do it with gusto and can't feel guilty for having such an easy job.

Beyond expectation, God has lifted my burden from me. I can stop worrying so much. Thank you for thinking of me at Christmas. I know your thoughts and prayers helped.

My Dad was able to move himself from the bed to a chair on Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Scarecrow Zombie Song

Okay, I just made this up for my kids. It's kind of gross and it works best with some tickling! (I think my kids will be well-adjusted either because of, or in spite of me. Whatever! : )

If I Only Had Your Brain

I could while away the minutes,
chewing on your digits,
and cause you massive pain,
But it's unsatisfyin',
'cuz I'd much rather be fryin',
up your luscious juicy brain.

I could fire up the griddle,
and grill your chunky middle,
but it wouldn't be the same,
with the bones I'll be rippin',
I'll be using them for dippin',
in your yummy gooey brain.

I shuffle and I toddle,
but I'm thin as a model,
and not necessarily sane,
But I would not be just a zombie,
who works at Abercrombie,
if I could only eat your brain.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Better

How much of a worthy goal is "feeling better"? Necessary at points but not productive. How about "being better"? Or at least "becoming better"?

Things

I don't know what to do with the fact that so many of the things I do and think are pointless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For the Best

Wow, I really need to hurry up and finish reading "Candide". I've been reading it a little bit at a time for weeks and it's starting to affect me. Everything is "For the best". Arguing is "For the best" because it highlights relationship issues and will lead to improvements. Having no money for christmas is "For the best" because it's money I won't be spending... (?) Anger at work is "For the best" because it reinforces home relationships and strengthens "us vs. them" alignments and helps work-life balance. Acting like an idiot and become a parody is "For the best" because I can't have a serious issue if it can't be taken seriously. If my mom loses her independence it might be "For the best" because she's lonely. I can't think of much about my Dad's situation that's "For the best". Except for maybe that he's very loving now. It was kind of business-y before. Love is all we have left...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dad

My Dad had emergency surgery last night for an ulcerated eusophagus. He is recovering at the hospital.

In other news, I changed the date on some posts just to get them out of the way. I'm off track but I don't want to stay there so I need to keep going!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Little Tiny Robots

Me and my boys are going to go check out LEGO robots tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finally!


They have designer Snuggies now! My couch potato fashion worries are over!

Monday, November 30, 2009

But We'll Always Have MySpace ; )

I was a victim of cyberterrorism, or something, and my Facebook is gone. I have no idea how I am going to continue to play Bejeweled. I bet my friends are full of mixed feelings at the lack of my "One of the Best Scores in the World"...

The problem with Facebook is that in addition to real friends, random people send you friend requests. When you get a friend request and you see they are a friend of your husband, you might assume that's a safe choice.

I think a personality trait of accountants might be exagerrated honor and righteousness. I would push my heart through a cheese grater before I would do anything wrong. That's my personal legend.

So now... What's this chat room thing?...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Board of Health

I took the boys to get H1N1 vaccines this weekend. They were prepared for huge crowds. Everything was cordoned off and the workers were in orange vests. They had like one family at a time every 5 minutes. After Z got his flu mist dose he daid "They practically water-boarded me. With diseases!" Cute.

Monday, November 23, 2009

...And Stay Prepared

Have you seen this performance art piece/prank where someone gives a software demonstration and it all goes horribly painfully wrong? But it's kind of wow. I may have shared this already, not sure.

Anyway. Somehow I just knew this was going to be the only uh, conference video you could see me in. This speech was interesting because the speaker threw away his notes right before he walked on stage and decided to speak off the cuff instead. (I'm not quite sure how to avoid trackbacks. ...I think I got it.) You could listen to it... If you don't need that lesson, just catch me at 3:44 Keep in mind, that was less than four minutes in. : )

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Magical Feelism

It's always so fun when I think about things. Nothing is ever as bad as I worry it is and my real motivations are always kind of silly.

I was thinking about why I've never made any kind of website. They're cool, they're not impossible, they're are even easy ways to do it.

I'm surprised to find out I might be super competitive. (It's a wonder that all the karaoke contests weren't a clue...) I think I wouldn't want to try anything I am pretty sure I will suck at. I've seen bad websites and I want no part of it. Design is not my talent. I'm kind of infamous with my workbooks, I make them right, other people make them pretty.

But one interpersonal skill I did learn from karaoke is "You never sing someone else's signature song." And from band: "Everybody gets a solo".
"From each, according to his ability, to each, according to his need." I'm a Marxist for talent! : )

I think competitiveness actually plays a part in the issues I've been having this year. I pretty much vanquished everything except my feelings of envy: comparing my life with other peoples' and feeling like what I have doesn't stack up. But a friend mentioned something last week that shows me that a lot of what I do have is a worthy goal. Makes my grass a little greener. I can align myself with that. Joy to the world, much obliged, I'll run with it. One less issue, one less reason to be upset about having issues...

Now if I could just stick with that tack without letting my desire to be cool and my dorkiness get in the way.

Another thing I realized about how I feel about programming. Okay, "secret language that causes things to happen". LOL, I think it's magic! I think I already had that opinion a little bit about statistics. Am I the only one who thinks "statistics are magic"? Statistics, "the ability to predict the future". I also think foreign languages are pretty mystical too: "The ability to communicate with aliens" : )

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mustard

One of my sons has a natural talent and interest in cooking and the other one is not into it at all. I don't pay attention sometimes and agreed when someone said my son was 'real smart but has no common sense'. GRR... Um, not any less than any other child. That's what I'm here to help with! I'll try to pay more attention from now on... : )

See, the thing I had in my hand on display was the sandwich he made for my lunch: A piece of bologna on itty bitty bread ends all covered with mustard. The whole inside of the bag was mustard.

When I asked my husband to go get bread and he said "We have bread!" I think that was just a technicality.

It's one thing to care about cooking and do well and it's another to not care and slap things together but it's the worst to be awful yet really care about it. I remember when I was his age... I was terrible. I'd be so ashamed I'd go through an entire dozen eggs trying to make breakfast for my Dad and brother. "No, don't come in here, it's okay!" My brother came and looked in the garbage, "You know, we could've still eaten those..." "No, they're bad! The yolks were broken!"

You know you're getting somewhere in life when you realize most of your trauma are just interesting stories...

I'm not going to worry about rescuing my son's honor. I once mentioned not really feeling that spiritually engaged at "rock 'n' roll church". I felt so, so bad...

(I actually do think there could be a place for church lite. I just think it seems slightly whats-the-word to be both super fun yet have extreme views like dinosaurs in 6000 B.C. I think atheists are tough as hell. I just can't do it right now.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

WANTED: Happier Books

As a matter of fact, I need recommendations on books that are well written but uplifting. I've been in an angry mood and I need some warm fuzzies for my heart and head! : )

Books I Don't Get

There are some books that are classics, but after I read them I just don't understand what the fuss is about. Here are my thoughts on some of those:

"The Stranger" by Albert Camus - He was a sociopath. So?

"Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka - Dysfunctional family. I read the graphic novel and then I read the whole text just to be sure and the only thing that didn't come across fully in the graphic novel was the whole sense of him forgetting his humanity.

"Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte - Heathcliff was a jerk and so was Cathy and I'm pretty sure there was a little something going on off-page.

"Flatland" by Edwin Abbott - One of the most classist, sexist things I've ever read. Worst of all, it has virtually nothing to do with math!

It's almost like in the past people didn't understand mental illness or have "Grey's Anatomy" or grocery store tabloids to keep them amused...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Axis


View My Road in a larger map

I always knew where my "stomping grounds" were but it didn't occur to me before that I have lived most of my life within a few blocks of the same main road. Pin locations are approximate. In a way it's kind of sad. In a way it's kind of nice.

Heavy Things

I carried all my mom's groceries up the stairs Saturday instead of taking multiple trips. I had flashbacks to band practice when I carried my bass and amp up two flights to the top floor of the apartments. I only carried my big amp once at the same time as the bass. That was a mistake. Later when I lent my practice amp to our keyboardist I carried both together.

I am strong now. My kids are big and strong. My 12yo is a little viking warrior. We never give up and we never back down. It's deceptive to be so strong. You know this.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

In the Blink of an Eye

I've been thinking, "My boss is really good at quick decisions and I kind of suck at it..." I even read that book "Blink" in June although it turned out to be more about trusting your gut instinct than snappy comebacks.

I needed to fill for my boss but I didn't have enough info or enough time to get the info so I turned out to be wishy-washy and annoying instead of helpful. Worse yet, this exact situation happened almost exactly the same way back around Memorial Day. So why didn't I do better this time?

I'm used to doing cost-benefit analyses. I'm used to going for accurate decisions not necessarily snap decisions. I hate inconveniencing anybody ever. I think of this person as a peer not a subordinate so could only offer an opinion not a decision. I think the answer is yes but there is conflicting info so I can't be 100% sure so maybe that means no...

But then I realized my boss has resources I don't. If he was there, he would have gotten my "67% yes" opinion hours before, turned it into a firm yes and everyone would be happy.

I have some goals to improve. I have to know my audience. My boss and other manager like to talk things out so we can all be on the same page. So for others who only need the answer I should just say "I'll get back to you." Come to a decision, plan on second-guessing myself on purpose, work through that and don't come back with any answer until I go through it again. Still doesn't sound fast... I'll set a 20 minute time limit.

I'm going to start making notes of my hunches before my analyses and see how they match. I've had pretty good intuition over the years. I'm used to keeping tabs on how things are and "Huh, that's weird..." has led to problems and solutions. I'm dedicated to continuous improvement ("Kaizen!" : ) and working on different fronts simultaneously, balancing sales efforts with expenses, lead times and forecasts, etc. So as long as I stay connected, I should be able to trust my own judgement.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Waiting, Not Actually the Hardest Part

Took a half day off work yesterday to help my mom file some paperwork. Hundreds of people can just sit and stare at the walls without talking or reading. They must have very interesting thoughts. I'd like to be in on that.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Museum Solar Video!

Here is a 2 minute video about the environmental efforts at the Toledo Museum of Art. Cool!

TEDxDetroit video

Here is a video from TEDxDetroit. Dr. Gary Gabel.

Checking In

Busy weekend! Took my Mom to the store and cleaned her house Saturday. Took my kids to see "Cirque Du Freak: Vampire's Assistant". Did my shopping Sunday. Didn't make it to see my Dad but should be tonight!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taste of TED

Here is one of the TED videos we all watched last week. Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity. If you haven't seen it check it out. About 20 minutes.

All We Need Now Are Snugglies

On those family makeover shows like Trading Spouses and Super Nanny, whenever people are on the internet, it's very antisocial. Everyone's off on their own, holing up by themselves.

Not here. For us it's very cozy. I spend a lot of time on the internet but usually my kids are right here with me. If they are done with homework, one will play video games and the other will play or watch and I'll play music and read articles or we'll watch YouTube. They help me improve my writing. If I make up a joke that is too crude for me to use I give it to my 15yo. Comedy writer and rock star is still on the list of things they could be when they grow up. I need to hurry and capture my malaise and confusion and write some Emo songs for their upcoming band. : ) Too late!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wait... What?

Wait, my problem is what? I'm being underappreciated? I think I need girl lessons.

If that's all there really is for this long it must be hella good, LOL!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thar She Blows



Okay, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was cool*. But Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is just silly. amazon

*Unless you're susceptible and then you might get all Victorian and ultra-concerned with propriety and zombie killing for a while. Just saying.

No Show

Every September for sixteen years my guitarist friend has called to check my status. Didn't call this year. He must be happy. Good for him!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Maslowbotomy



You know I'm weird, right? Does this surprise anybody? Yeah, I'm a genius idiot, total wuss with a sick sense of humor and a prude with a dirty mind. A loving bitch, self-centered yet generous. Hardworking and burnt out, living in an Alanis Morisette song.

Just feeling a little cynical. Everybody wants basic things like food shelter money and good sex. So... wouldn't that be the lowest common denominator to base anything on? If that's all there was, wouldn't that make relationships interchangeable?

Just want to get off ground level to some spirituality and intellectualism and be of service to the world and maybe even have some hobbies. Just want to get higher and not get cut down.

In the vacuum, I built my own little thing. Now, under examination, it's all stupid and weird. But it's not. But I can't really justify anything. We don't like weird... Um, why me then, exactly?

Who dissects a living thing?

But you know, a lot of people are lonely.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Not TED Yet

I made it there! And home again! I had a blast! I should really be posting about TEDxDetroit because it was an awesome time. There was just so much to process that I am waiting for the videos to be posted so I can really share with you! Oh heck, here are some quotes without context:

"A door should not need a user manual."

"When was the last time your floor was made of lava?"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

TED

Just plugging away, watching the TED videos I haven't already seen so I can be caught up when I go to the TEDxDetroit conference Wednesday.

I am so honored and excited to get to go. I can't wait! : )

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Boy Scout Myth

Just thinking about how unprepared I am to raise a teenager and deal with the forces of nature unleashed upon my family. : )

Of course I was unprepared for babies too. I mean, you buy the books and the furniture and the diapers and get ready but you don't know how things really are. Once when I was a teenager I got to bottlefeed a baby raccoon. It scratched and clawed at the bottle and was kind of scary. It was good training for newborns. No one tells you they're feral.

And the thing with toddlers is all the control issues. Other than bribery, the secret is trickery. You never say, "You need a bath." You say, "Would you like a bath with bubbles or no bubbles?" "Bubbles!!!"

Everything is coiled up with so much emotion. Is everyone like this? Who knows?

Anyway. We can get ready, but we can't be prepared.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shopping

Holy moly! My son's friends mom just called me and asked my to go shopping with her. My kids TOTALLY rock! : )

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Practice Tape

Last night I found this practice tape of my old band. It doesn't sound good but it's the only recording of the "Psycho Stalker Love Medley"...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Working It

I've been thinking a lot about this post from 2007, in which I kind of make fun of someone working on their marriage. Excuse me, I mean "helling on their hell".

Things are snapping back to normal. It's cold and light and day. Let's take a moment to miss the sparkle of things I do not have.

I feel like God has protected me. People have protected me. Things could have been so much worse. I am so grateful for the friends I have. All my friends are totally fantastic people. Back when I didn't have things to worry about I wondered if I was an elitest. Yes. Yes I am. You're the best. : )

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Photos

I uploaded our photos from our solar energy tour at the Toledo Museum of Art on Flickr. (Wow, it's hard not to type that 'E'. In fact I did 3 times : )

I couldn't bear to work Saturday but I think I'll have to Sunday. The museum was the only thing I was able to see on the Solar Energy tour. But it was totally worth it. I also got to see the Chihuly Toledo exhibit and the LitGraphic Exhibit about the art of the graphic novel. I would say Chihuly needs to get out of the 80's but I think most of the pieces were created in the 80's so instead let me say Chihuly really captures the artistic zeitgeist of the 80's. ; )

I loved the Graphic art exhibit. Most of the artists are very socially conscious a lot of it was very deep. Just as surprised by it as I was by the Warhol exhibit a few years ago. I want to track down "Pride of Baghdad" about the fate of the lions in the war...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fun Music Video



This is about one of the weirdest things I've seen in a while. But it's a good song!

Stroller for Solar

Going to check out some of the solar energy tour sites in Toledo today!

Having flashbacks about being a little kid going to my dad's work and some of his partners I guess would show me the big prototype solar panel thing, it was HUGE, as big as a door and thick, like one or 2 feet thick. They would show me the poster they had and explain it to me. I made them show me every time. I loved it. And we would go have breakfast for lunch. I had this elaborate ritual where I had to cut up my bacon and my toast and my eggs and mix them all together before I would eat. My dad said it was gross and maybe I should get scrambled eggs instead and please stop doing this. But I didn't. : )

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Transit Times

When things get really whacked I get tempted to revert to my childhood. I studied astrology as a preteen and by the time I was 13 I was good enough at it to start my empirical analysis to prove/disprove astrology by collecting data and evaluating it based on many different criteria. I continued this from Freshman to Junior year of High School. It was real scientific but I think one of my first categories was "people who have dark hair." HeHe : )

Maybe I would like to play the game anyway, just because...

Okay, naysayer, I'll see your "no scientific possibility whatsoever" and "fatalistic determinism" and raise you a "math is fun", "that explains everything!" and an "all things must pass"!

Because it's good to know things will get better. But it's better to know things will get good on Thursday morning at 2:14 am.

No Dis!

Didn't mean any disrespect to my wonderful beautiful friends I connect to on the phone and online! I think what I am missing most is a shopping buddy! : )

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

...And Bad News

See, when you dare to title a post "Good News", you will inevitably have to come along soon with a post called "Bad News". It's Blogger's way of balancing out the world.

I did sign up for Improv class. And last night it was cancelled.

So bummed. I had all kinds of hopes pinned on it. Not only was I going to try to develop a new talent, syphon off some of my out of control randomness and have a fun hobby, I was also hopefully going to make some friends. Female friends who are geographically near who would have to be smart and funny or at least interesting to sign up for an Improv class...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Star Fail



Spotted this on a local daycare center.

33% Better than Zero stars!

Ugh, don't make a rating system totally different than every other rating system!

"Well, we don't want to have to design 5 different signs..."

Good News

I got my invitation to TED! It's really exciting!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ig Nobels

The 2009 Ig Nobel awards (for hilarious science acheivements) will be webcast 7:15pm EST October 1st. The keynote speaker is the awesome Benoit Mandelbrot. I'm sure more info will become available here.

Here are last year's winners!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Moderation of Discombobulation

Last week I found out there is a TED event in Detroit coming up. It sounds really exciting and it's totally affordable but attendance is by application: Tell us about yourself and your good idea for the future of Detroit and the world.

Can I just say "Well, I don't have any ideas but TED looks really fun!" Would that work? : )

I think I do know why things change. Things change because they are broken. Things bruised, dented and limping do not really change, they just find a way to get by. But when pieces are hanging off and swinging back and forth and you say "Gosh, I don't think it's supposed to move like that." That's when you say, "What pieces can we salvage and what can we build with them?"

People don't want to spend right now. I think we either spend small amounts that add up to something or our hearts totally override us. When I think about things I love, sure I can spend a little on that. Being part of the community is worth something too. (Thinking about Detroit, I think of the music community and going to rock shows.)

I think I know how things get simple. When you throw in one last monkey wrench and the overcomplicator gets discombobulated and completely jams up. THAT's how things get simple. Not because you've figured it all out but because you can't. And you go back to basics and work with the obvious.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Armored Whale


Check out this picture my son drew in Math class yesterday. I love it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What We've Got Here

Sometimes I feel like my life is being run by the world's stupidest person:

"Okay, why is there change all over the ground? Pennies, nickels, quarters... I think we have a financial problem. Now why are these various items of makeup scattered along the path? This must be a self-esteem issue. Now, who left this purse just lying here? Somebody's going to trip over that! Maybe we should get a safety consultant out here. Wait, those footprints in the snow don't look right... Because there shouldn't be snow in August! This crazy weather must be related to global warming... And who threw this lawn furniture in the way? I can barely get through. Why the heck would someone put the dresser in front of a door? That's it, design problems! Call the decorator!"

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fair Weather

Hi! I am so tired. We all went to the fair and walked like crazy. My kids rode lots of rides and my husband and I did too but we got kind of crazy riding the ferris with the cages that flip upside down. Not as fun as it looked. We were dizzy for quite a while after that!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Long Time

Just thinking about how life shrinks in a long illness. Corners are cut. Hopes are amputed. Accomodations are made. Mechanisms acquired. Grapes go sour but you can't tell if you hold your nose and close your eyes. Don't look.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dad Successfully Maintaining Status Quo

My Dad is still in the hospital. They are taking good care of him, I am glad. I don't know how they get away with such crap care in nursing homes. It's barbaric. I wish he would get better enough for home care.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Star Crossed Fingers

Okay, remember last year when I was all sad about not getting anything for my birthday? Okay, well I've laid the groundwork and made sure my husband knows that I do not care at all what I get. A knick knack is cool but flowers or candy or even just a card will be great. This is not the year for me to not meet bare minimum. I've also enlisted my kids to help make this happen. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tape Over It

Thinking about Octomom's poor, poor kids. Didn't see the special: Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage. (Can't really find a link to the video.) But I did see a promotion for it. A few seconds showed the little boy, maybe he's 4 years old holding up his arms to be picked up, wanting to go on the trampoline. And the camera zooms in to the trampoline leg all bent and wonky and held together with a massive wad of duct tape. And her face flashes but she doesn't miss a beat and says "No honey, that's not safe." And the boy looks at her like "Oh, okay."

------------------------------------
Superpower of Marginal Utility: Denial.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Feelin' Graphy (again)

This is a repost from 2007:

You know how on TV crime shows they run things through a "machine" and get a little graph like this and say something like "Look, it's made of lead. It must be paint." (Okay, I know it would have been better to say something really, really specific. "We ran it through our Everything in the World Database and it's exactly This."--Trade secrets aside! But I need to move along.)

In a really simplistic way, it could be applied to people. It's really easy for me to use my "spikes". And I'm blessed and it's wonderful, but I get stuck in a rut almost. And then I wonder why I can't do something else...

"How could you not do X? You're excellent at Y!"

I think I need to put down the hammer and just learn how to use the screwdriver like everybody else. Do the work and do the practice. Doing it badly is better than not at all.

------------------------------------
Superpower of Marginal Utility: Untying knots.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chef Nick

And last but not least, Chef Nick got married yesterday! Congratulations! : )

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sue's Mural

Also, my friend Sue's mural is done, I think, and it looks gorgeous!

zigzackly

My friend Zigzackly is in the middle of his Godawful Poetry Fortnight! Check it out! : )

zigzackly

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You Should See it in the Carwash!



Here's an article about a tesla coil as car theft protection!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And There You Are

I'm going to take a cue from the Velvet Blog and repost some favorites. Repost from 2007...

Every once in a while I like to pose this question to my boys: "One third of accidents take place within a mile of home. Why?"

And my big one says "Because you're running late and you're in a hurry." And my little one says "Because you have to pee."

Good answers. But the one I was looking for is: "Every journey begins and ends at home."

And I meant to say that the fact is just an example of probabilities. That's just the statistics of being in a certain place a lot. And it turns out the insurance company article I got the fact from doesn't mention that conclusion (which I find strange for a company with actual actuaries on staff). They say it's because home is where you let down your guard.

------------------------------------
Mashup I am not going to make: "Morning Train" and "Ruby Tuesday"

------------------------------------
Touche Cliche: You can't go home again if you're too scared to tell them you wrecked the car.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another Non-Problem

Here's another non-problem like I referred to in my comment on the last post: My community college has an Improv class coming up. It's 2 hours once a week for 6 weeks for $199. I think it sounds fun but do I need any more excuses to say stupid things? Will it help me think on my feet? Shouldn't I really get technically back to school and continue working towards being a CPA?

I feel so much guilt about the effort I put into bucket list things. (Actually no, I really loved the all-girl band thing.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Have a Day

Did you ever have one of those days where you don't know where you're going or even where the hell you're coming from? For a month?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Dawn of Astronomy

Friday night we went to the Ritter Planetarium and saw a program called "The Dawn of Astronomy":

"Discover why and how the pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England were built. See the splendor of the newly raised pyramids and watch as the Sun rises over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge. The Dawn of Astronomy, produced by the Hansen Planetarium, celebrates the incredible achievements of early man in measuring the length of the year, developing the Zodiac, and predicting precisely how the Sun and the Moon move in the sky."

It was really cool, but it did feature some of the worst music I have ever heard.

I am so glad I got to read a placard in the lobby about spectomerty and the doppler effect because I was able to use that info in conversation with my youngest twice today.

My older son is obsessing about the Monty Hall problem...

Don't miss the Perseid meteor shower August 11th!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Laptop

I'm shopping for a laptop for my birthday and I'm trying to decide between a netbook and a notebook. I think a netbook would be great because they are little and light. Plus my budget is $400. Plus they would not tempt my kids because they can't run games! : )

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From the Grocery Store

I needed to buy a notepad at the grocery store. Here are some of my more interesting thoughts:

- "Peach Fruit2.0 rocks!"

- "They have organic mushrooms? That must mean my regular mushrooms are not organic. I'm so glad!"

- "Give me a minute, and I'll give you rice!"

- "It's great to pretend you're a foodie. You have more fun, buy less, and spend the same."

- "I want fellow shoppers to look at my cart and think, 'I want to go eat at her house!' ...I hate ruining the aesthetics with a giant package of toilet paper."

- "I can't find foil! Foiled again!"

- There was a lady in the wine aisle in a daze just staring at a bottle like she was in love. I went to the other side and whispered "No. Don't do it!" She didn't.

- "Thanks, cashier-lady! You make me feel like Santa!"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Operator Error

My friend Mark was talking about his phone a few "weeks" ago. I thought it would be overkill for me... We use a pay as you go phone for emergencies (takeout orders) and 60 minutes lasts for months. In fact, I hardly ever talk on the phone at all. This point was driven home when I missed my friend Amy and called her cell. It rang a few times and I thought "Oh, I'll just call back later" and hung up. She called me back, "What's wrong?" "Nothing's wrong." "You called me. I thought something must be wrong." I was mortified and I didn't want her to get hurt talking on the phone in traffic so I let her go. Ouch.

I wonder if I am actually afraid of the phone. It's ridiculous but understandable considering everything phones have done to me. They've demanded money, broken up with me, told me "Honey, I'm sorry I can't come back home."

I found out today that I have a fear of hobos. Not homeless people, I'm not a heartless jerk, but literal hobos with hats from the '30's who will growl and throw empty bottles at you and kick you off their train.

Most of my irrational fears haven't been vetted since I was 8.

...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

SyFy Channel

Sue, here's an article about why the SciFi channel changed their name.

It's rebranding for everyone who doesn't pronounce words in their heads when they read! To get them back, let's all pronounce it "Siffy"!

(Wait, people do pronouce words in their heads don't they? As long as we're on the subject, does anyone else have an orchestra to play with in their head? Can we all dream in 3D? Is anyone else pissed off about having to have been a baby?)

Big Math Attack

It's getting expensive to help my mom. After we went to the store we went through the drive thru. She gave me a $5 but it cost like $7 so I paid with a $20 from my own purse. But she didn't understand my explanation and insisted on all the change. Whatever, just try to be happy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's People!

Woke up feeling pretty good. Looking forward to my day, getting things done and seeing my coworkers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

summer

days spent in the sun
memorial to labor
gardening is done

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weird Al Video

Weird Al's video "White & Nerdy" is a hoot!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Consider Us Pirateers

Just saw this commercial and ooh it rubbed me the wrong way:



We didn't invent anything, but it's cheap! Ha Ha Ha!!! ; P

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ooh, This I Like!



Now, this is a cool logo! I thought, "Oh, what's that? Is that Wardenclyff!?!" I love Nikola Tesla. It's amazing that there are still people who've never heard of him. And people who think Marconi invented radio. You can look him up on wikipedia or check out this new Google timeline view I just discovered (that's been around for 2 years.)

And if you're interested, this is a great book about him!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're My Only Hope!

Would You?

If something like say, you split your pants and you were walking around oblivious, and you had a big meeting scheduled and you were likely to walk in there anyway, unless I warned you to xyppdq even though it wasn't really my place, but hey I didn't want you to look like an asshole, would you be happy or does the world already look hunky-dory? I mean some people make decisions and just let the reasons fall where they may and sometimes that leads to even bigger and better opportunities, right??

And I always, always, have a reason.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Day By Any Other Number

I missed 7-8-9 10:11.

I missed 12:34:56 7-8-9.

But damn if I'll miss 7-8-9 10 after 11!

You Don't Have to Cook Like a Recipe

We made some awesome beef stir fry with baby-baby carrots, onions and peapods from our garden! And green pepper, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes from the store. And real basmati rice. Sorry it's not pictured; It disappeared too quickly!

I would really like to learn how to make my own stir-fry sauce instead of using a mix...

Watch Out For Late Blight

Here's an article that shows how to recognize and combat Late Blight, the harmful potato fungus.

We're keeping our eyes peeled! ...Sorry!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Goals For Yesterday

1. Play Bejeweled Blitz for an hour and a half.

2. Whine about how my life is going nowhere.

Hmmm...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Désolée

My son told me my post from this morning was awful. I wasn't trying to be mean spirited... Maybe I've been in a crabby mood this month so far. Like the status quo is as good as it gets and it's all downhill from there.

Let's go Krogering

Last night I went to the grocery store and saw these things:

I passed the "Ethnic Hair Care" section. They lie. It's really all one ethnicity. They don't have Asian hair products or sunblock pomade for the Irish.



I want the Kaz "Extended Life Humidifier Filter". I'm willing to let my hair get frizzy for that!



I saw these 3M Earloop masks. They reminded me of Michael Jackson so much that I think it would be a nice tribute to wear them tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Martian-i, with ice

This is pretty cool how the Phoenix lander is exploring the ice on mars: http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

After the Summer, Comes the Fall

I keep thinking about this lady in a documentary about holocaust survivors. I don't remember which documentary. She was a teenager at the time. I was just really struck by something she said, "That first year, we still took our holiday at the seaside."

It's just, where are we headed? We're decimated; Where will it end?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Runaround Who

My internet is down at home, but I'm still around!

We got to watch my dad do physical therapy last night, hitting a balloon around. Glad I got to see that!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Galileo



We saw the Galileo exhibit at the Franklin Institute last week. Neat stuff!

Saturday's Alright For Shopping

Just checking in to say "Hi". I have to go run around and take my mom to the store. I am going to buy some stands to mount my PA speakers because the store that has them isn't open late during the week. We'll be working on setting up the office for band practice for me and the kids. It might not be cool for us to play out, but it's time for me to teach them what I can! They are 12 and 14, the time is ripe! They can sing, so that's a great start.

Go check out Sue's awesome post about the term "artist"!

UPDATE: I didn't get the speaker stands when I saw that with the tripod, they had just as big a footprint as the speakers themselves. We did however get a really nice keyboard stand. I just realized the other day: I'm never ever going to get back my old one I left in Jackie's friend's parents' basement in Point Place 6 years ago.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oddly Fun



I just found this website makes celebrity pictures look odd. It's fun.


.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Then Again...

Feeling better after resting up. "Shhh!", Don't tell my work that they are rest from vacation! Of course I'd be a whole different person if my job involved walking around all day... I need to look into this MBWA thing... Wait, how do you explain fat mailmen?

Already the natters of rain and pain and 'stubborn/don't be so stubborn' stress are fading away and soon we'll be left with the images and stories. It's like in '92 when I won a trip for two to Vegas in a karaoke competition and I took my mom. We bickered and I gambled away all my money and we missed the bus to the Grand Canyon but remember that wonderful trip I took with my Mom? : )

We swear it was Dick Van Dyke eating breakfast in the next booth.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't Know How Lucky You Are

Me and my kids are back from our trip to Philly. It was fine except it would have been nicer without the stormy rainy weather. Plus we lost the car in the parking garage. We were in the garage where Level 5 is bluish-green. We were supposed to be in the garage where Level 5 is greenish-blue. I don't feel so hot today because I seriously overdid it with the walking for hours.

Being in an airport makes me feel what I imagine as "Russian": Waiting in long slow lines for terrible service, extortionist prices, getting shaked down and frisked --and no one is there to help you when you really need it!

------------------------------------
Most interesting thing I saw today: I had to get gas tonight and a Mayfly rode my windshield all the way home. They usually come in May and a few miles closer to the lake (Erie).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rite of Whaaa?



Today Google is celebrating Igor Stravinksy's birthday. But arent't these custom Google logos getting a bit much? It looks like a Pokemon card! (Specifically, this pokemon.) Just give it up and put a picture of Stravinsky with a little Google logo in the corner!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get It?

What am I supposed to do when I tell a joke to someone and they say "I don't get it."? Is this supposed to make me feel that my joke, instead of being clever and cute and kind of obvious once you think about it, is actually stupid? Cuz it does.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Decent Weekend

We're still here! I took the boys shopping so they'll look nice on our vacation later this week. We went out to the country with the husband to watch him fly his r/c plane last night at sunset.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tai Chi, Schmai Chi

You know how people who get a makeover prance around afterward? That's me and my back. I am flamboyantly walky.

This morning I decided to stop being held back by ignorance. I don't know Tai Chi but I've seen pictures. I will do fake Tai Chi.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Books for Mail!

Does anyone want a copy of "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd? Full of juicy bee intrigue: "Don't mention I buzzed it, but the queen looks tacky in yellow!"

Also here "The Family Tree" by Sherri Tepper. Totally trippy environmental scifi.

Or "The Postman" by David Brin. Postapocolyptic mailman, who can resist? You should know what the movie version cut out!

Sorry these aren't linked to Amazon, but the links will make me late for work!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where it Counts

My kids asked me, "Mom, do you think aliens exist?" I said, "That's not the question. More important is, 'Do spaceships exist?'"

On the Thin Ice of a New Day

Okay. So I'm stressed out, only skating by on hubris (and running low at that). Whatever shall we do?

It's world war III and no one will trade too much for too much or even too little for too little...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Risin' up to the challenge of our rival

My car is at the shop with a broken sway bar. But I still spent some time at the hospital this weekend where my Dad is is back with pneumonia. He's back on the vent so at least he's pink, but my hope is starting to flag. When life is less about living than surviving it changes people.

Yet still I have a funny for you. Every once in a while I heard "Ahhhhahhhhahhhhh!"
I thought, "Oh, that poor lady... Gosh, why don't they do something... They should give her some morphine... Maybe even sedate her..." On my way out the automatic door goes "Ahhhhahhhhahhhhh!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Got Thesaurus?

The other day my friend Mark and I were on a call with Tech Support. We were supposed to change some settings. I said, "Okay, but it's going to take a couple of days for the transactions to become... homogenous." They laughed at me. "Uh, we're not talking about milk here." I couldn't think of a phrase like "the same"? I am such a dork. : )

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Alive!



Here is my garden: Cucumbers, watermelon, oregano, parsley, cilantro, bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, green onions, cantaloupe, garlic, peas, rosemary, lettuce, carrots, spearmint, cabbage, dill, spinach, sunflowers, and potatoes. The basil and cantaloupe are limping along, but I'm hoping they will improve when it warms up.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Making Rhymes of Yesterday

I can't sleep so it's time for another...

Famous song rewritten as a limerick:

There once was a number called one,
The loneliest number he was,
But along came two,
Who soon bid him adieu,
Now maybe's the saddest for one


.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sit On It

The neighbor around the block put out a couch for the garbagemen to pick up that looks nicer than my couch. And it rained all day yesterday.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Very Interesting...



I don't know who made this... But I totally want a third shot of Charlie Rose!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One Branch at a Time

My son just had a cool idea for making paper a green way: The lumberjacks should prune the largest limb from every tree. They'd have plenty of wood and the trees could live too!

------------------------------------
Mashup I am not going to make: "Paper Planes" and "Authority Song"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Long Weekend

We had a nice holiday weekend. It lasted forever. (Yes, literally. I don't know where you think you are but we're still there.) We went to the park, to see Night at the Museum 2, played Monopoly, and generally ran around. I barbecued steaks last night but I forgot I had a yam I was supposed to slice and grill too. But we had corn on the cob. Which we cut off the cob.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

No Sugar Tonight

Ten days without sugar and today both my parents tell me how fat I'm getting. Grrr.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

TV or Not TV

We finally got an outdoor antenna! My husband put it up a few days ago. I should take a picture of it. (Maybe that's why my neighbor wouldn't wave "Hi" to me today.)

The picture comes in beautifully. Watching the American Idol finale with my kids Wednesday night was the most enjoyment I've had from watching TV in a long time. The project actually cost us about $110, but I hope it will pay for itself. I just couldn't handle the newscaster turning into Max Headroom all the time.

Friday, May 22, 2009

1... 2... 3!


(boxesandarrows.com)

Everytime I see this picture on the interwebs it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I know it's supposed to mean togetherness and teamwork, but all I can think of is, "OK, on the count of 3, everybody PULL!!!"

Aaaaaaaaghhhh!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Is This Okay?



Cat yodeling, just plain funny or just plain mean? You be the judge.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

First Harvest



Here's what I had for dinner. The spinach is from my garden!

Take the Money and Run

Got to go on a bank and store run with my mom! : )

Ugh

I feel like crap. And no, it's not a hangover. Nobody's here. The kids are at their friends and J's at his mom's.

Friday, May 15, 2009

He Plays One...

Yesterday I called my doctor's office to make an appointment. "Can you hold, please?"

"Sure..."

I'm listening to the hold music, working on a report flagging some invoices as house account sales. House, house...

The nurse comes back. "Can I help you?"

"Yes, I'd like to make an appointment with Dr. House."

She laughed, "Well I can't blame you there, he is pretty awesome!"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tricky

My kid thinks he's tricky, doing a load of laundry that consists entirely of his own clothes.

Ha ha ha! He did his own laundry. : )

Oh heck, he used the last of the soap.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Truly

My 14 year old said this Sunday while we were looking at the newspaper:

"There's a lot of help needed, but there's no Help Wanted."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Awful Baby Names

I heard someone mispronounce a word on the radio last night and thought to offer a list of bad baby names:

HercuLeAnn
Charlemander
Draculana
Sarcassie
Darth
Magnesia

Saturday, May 9, 2009

S'cool

Here's an interesting book review in the Wall Street Journal for the book "Why Students Don't Like School" that led me traipsing across the internet early this morning for more info about "flow". Even though I'm not an educator, as a worker and a manager and a mom, I want to learn more about motivation and learning. Here are some quotes:

"When we confront a task that requires us to exert mental effort, it is critical that the task be just difficult enough to hold our interest but not so difficult that we give up in frustration. When this balance is struck, it is actually pleasurable to focus the mind for long periods of time. For an example, just watch a person beavering away at a crossword or playing chess in a noisy public park. But schoolwork and classroom time rarely keep students' minds in this state of "flow" for long."

So that's why I had fun Friday working on a database project. (I love SQL but my complete lack of internet programming is holding me back. I want to and can't make a digital dashboard.)

"Is drilling worth it?" The answer is yes, because research shows that practice not only makes a skill perfect but also makes it permanent, automatic and transferable to new situations..."

Good! Another reason to tell my kids why they should do their homework. And while searching for more info on that quote I found this post by Foodservice Educators Learning Community, that says "This insight actually gave further validity to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow Theory, ...which suggests that when the skill of the individual is in sync with the level of the challenge, the individual is in a state of flow and so engaged that, among other things, they lose all sense of time. When the challenge is beyond the skill level of the individual s(he) becomes anxious and when it is below the skill level s(he) becomes bored."


Which is interesting. I'd like to learn something about teaching, how can you increase someone's skill level?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Current



Today's the day I finally got caught up at work. Yay!

I haven't been totally up to date in almost a year. : )

Now I'll get to do some cool projects and make some groovy reports, revamp some charts, maybe even dynamic metrics. Yippee!

I went over to see my Dad to tell him the news and he was eating a hamburger! Not the bun but some of the meat. I had a nice visit with him and my stepmom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mayhem

I finally got my copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I'm really enjoying it! Thanks, Jim of the Velvet Blog for pointing it out. I never would have heard of it.

I visited my Dad Sunday. He was up in the chair eating a bowl of vegetable beef soup and some apple. He lost over 100 lbs. and he's finally starting to gain a little back.

Friday, May 1, 2009

When Dandelions Attack

We sicced the whole family on the dandelions in the front lawn. It was really nice working together. A little friendly competition to see who could get the most and the best. It was nice to think about how frugal and organic we were being and how fortunate it is that grass doesn't scream.

A dozen more dandelions popped up last night.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Maximum Strength



(Here is my baby Eric at the Natural History Museum in Pittsburgh a few months ago.)

Okay, so I did not really need to see the movie "Religilous". I laughed too. I see the problems and incongruities. And I really didn't need to hear about the creationist museum with it's coexistent dinosaurs and cavemen... (Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.)

Maybe "back then" is like "how it is now". Is the whole internet false because some people have conspiracy theories?

It was amazing anybody could even write back then.

Maybe it's like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "National Treasure" or "DaVinci Code", a mystery with red herrings and double meanings and you have to have the secret clues to see the path?

I don't know, I can't really see the path. All I know is the thing that you get with faith: Resources beyond what you actually have.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Turn That Frown Upside Down

In High School biology, my lab partner and I didn't get along at all. Everything I suggested, yielded an "Okaaaaayyyy...". Like, 'How dare you be such an idiot?' I wasn't thrilled to see him.

But halfway through the semester, I thought, "You know what? I don't care. I don't want the hassle. I don't want to hate my science class. It's not important to make an enemy. I am not going to not like him anymore." So I just cut off my dislike and started being normal and friendly. We didn't become best friends or anything but it was fine.

Anyway, I don't want to worry so much.

------------------------------------
Funniest thing I saw "today": I found a receipt from the grocery store in my purse and noticed it said "LOL butter". Lots of Laughs Butter.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Update

My Dad's blood pressure dropped way low this weekend and he's back in Toledo Hospital.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Time Travel 2

If I could go back to when I was little, I would explain to myself about growing. I would tell myself that the reason you can't have the same pretty dresses in 2nd grade that you had in 1st grade is that you are bigger now, and they won't fit you. I would tell me that "Goodwill" is a good thing and it helps other little kids who still wear size 6X. It's not one of those things that is supposed to sound good but is actually nasty, like "medicine".

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Could Put Weights on Their Heads

Every morning I notice my kids getting taller and taller. My 14 year old is not even eye-level with me anymore. What can I do to stop this?

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's a Keeper


image link

(Don't worry, no spoilers! We wouldn't do that to you.)

I was thinking, when society goes kaput, and regular services are no longer needed, I could become a beekeeper. I guess I'd better start early. I don't suppose I'll be able to just hop online and order a kit. My next-door neighbors would love it. Free honey, at your own risk!

Actually, I don't have to change professions. Dystopian bookkeeping could be kind of fun!

"Good morning, sir. Our records show that you owe us a thousand dollars or two goats."

"Hey there! Here's your commission chicken!" : )

Monday, April 13, 2009

Or Because Steampunk is Sooo "In"

Does it seem like there are more trains lately? I mean a lot of trains, all day long. Trains so long they want to make you late for work? Maybe it's the cheap transportation or maybe because they're (maybe) greener?

You Can't See Him

...Unless you stand 18 inches away and let your eyes go out of focus a little bit.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Secret Life of Please

I'm sorry I've been in a little funk ever since I finished this tearjerker book and I took my mom for a haircut. It was very strange for me...

Things I Learned on Zappos

In five minutes of watching Zappos shoe orders in real time, I learned:

High heels are only popular in New York City. Thigh high boots are strangely popular in Boston considering the imminent Spring. Oregon loves their flip flops.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When to Be Bad at Math

How to avoid unnecessary credit card debt: When you see a cute pantsuit marked down from $60 to $40, go ahead down a slippery slope and assume you won't be able to pay for it. Tack on 30% interest and a $40 late fee. Not so cute anymore! : )

Monday, April 6, 2009

These Games are Made for Walking

One of my friends told me about this young guy he helped get a job. He lent him Carhardts, tools, even work boots. When the young guy got his first paycheck, he bought an XBox an iPod and a Playstation. It didn't last long.

I stopped at the carryout on my way home Friday night. I was looking for change... "Take your time, no worries... Will there be anything else, ma'am?" Have you noticed how polite and professional all the new carryout clerks are with their grey hair?

It's bad enough for the people who try.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dug In



Here are the pea sprouts! (Hey cool, the crazy colors match my blog!) My husband and boys got the raised beds dug up and constructed and ready to go. We are holding ourselves back and will try not to plant too early...

We went to the Beni Hana style restaurant Sunday night. Eric pointed out the $10 kids menu so we took the boys too. It was a blast!

I've been trying to get caught up at work. Going there now... : )

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Garden Center

I took a half day vacation day from work Wednesday to celebrate my anniversary. Our "date" was to go shopping at the Jacob's Garden center. It's a cool store, they have a lot of decorative things that are nice to look at. We were too early to find any plant starts, but they did have some frost-resistant shrubbery. We bought a few packets of seeds: canteloupe and cucumber.

Eric wanted to make dinner, tuna salad. Yes, really. It was good!

We watched the movie "The Lucky Ones" about a trio of returning soldiers. It was good.

My dad and step-mom gave us a restaurant gift card to Sakura. I've never been there. It looks neat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's Up?

I forgot to mention something I saw the other day: Two swirly clouds, spaced a quarter sky apart with nothing in between. It looked exactly like quotation marks. Hey everybody, watch out for the "sky".

Also: Today's my anniversary!

Last Saturday Night

We got Eric a party for his birthday. He knew it would be his only present and he didn't care that was the thing he wanted. I also got him a gift card but we were in cahoots, it was only $20. Don't tell anyone.

My boys and I had a fun time on our way to Q-Zar Laser Tag. Somehow we morphed "Q-Zar" into "Cause-Ah!" and had a fun silly time. I really get away with having a lot of fun with my kids. It's like having none of the disadvantages and none of the advantages of being a single mother. I give them all my wisdom, such as it is. (I couldn't even formulate a clear opinion the other day as to whether I'm for or against socialism. "Laissez-Faire!---Oh, poor baby! [Wait, you're not a baby! ...Or _are_ you?]") I aim for hard-working, honorable, fair and unshakably loyal. I have to believe there will be a benefit for my kids of having 2 parents behind them. So I give them my wisdom but they also get a lot of funny conversation so when they grow up famous they can buy me a house.

The party itself was a huge success. I didn't have to worry about my husband not feeling up to going after all, because they have the whole thing planned out. It's a two hour party with games [Update: had to fix the typos from "gams" to "games". It just wasn't that kind of party!] and pizza. Half hours of intense crowds and noise and activity alternating with half hours of total quiet and boredom when every single kid goes back to play laser tag. It's the strangest thing. Almost like some kind of therapy. Kind of relaxing, really. Aah, all the kids are gone... Yay, all the kids are back! : )

Eric was the birthday star; He got first place, the high score. He's a neat kid, really strong headed. (FWIW he's a triple Aries with 5 planets in Capricorn which might be meaningful just as a statistical anomaly.) He incredibly strong. He was born with muscles. When he was just barely two, he helped with the groceries: He comes walking across the kitchen carrying a gallon of milk almost as big as he was. He's on the honor roll in 6th grade. He did the talent show with his brother when he was in 4th grade and pantomimed as his brother told jokes. He always stops the TV on PBS create to watch Jacques Pepin or Ming Tsai and we have to watch Hell's Kitchen. He's the only other person in the house who can make decent tuna salad. Actually, when he does it by himself it turns out better than mine.

Monday, March 23, 2009

How to Find Lost Objects

Look under something that wasn't there a while ago.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Who You Gonna Call?

One year, my company got a new accounting program. I really wanted to transfer our (FoxPro) data directly into the test company (SQL Server) database. But the software company had a program to convert Excel files to the new program and everyone (else) wanted to be comfortable and do it that way. Master files and 2 years of transaction files and let's restructure the General Ledger along the way. I started out working normal days. But the last week, the days got longer and longer. 10 hours, 11 hours, 12 hours, 14 hours, can I hear 16? I was there at 11 pm Sunday night and our bathrooms were broken. I had to go down the hall through the warehouse. (The building is supposedly haunted by a guy who died in the elevator.) On the way back, I heard this crazy sound. (It sounded like a pipe fell off a shelf.) I started booking! I ran as fast as I possibly could all the way back! "Just because I don't believe in ghosts, doesn't mean I won't run from them!"

(Sorry my phone and email were out. It hadn't occurred to me yet to put the utilities on the credit card.)

Got to make a cake. Today is Eric's 12th birthday! : )

Monday, March 16, 2009

Working for the Weekend

When you have to work from home, you focus and ignore your house and your family. When you have to actually go in to work on the weekend, it's so dark and quiet and lonely you also need to entertain yourself, like listen to a podcast. I can't believe how little I got done this weekend.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Like Some Kind of Bandit

I said Goodnight to my 11 year-old: "If you're going to give me a one-armed hug, I'm going to give you a one-lipped kiss... Whuh-whuh-whuh..."

"Hee-Hee! Jeez, Mom! Don't be gross!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Running Around

Sorry I was busy. I spent the weekend running around. Getting groceries for my Mom and fixing her phone. I think she actually needs a new jack.

My Dad is doing good he's at a new long-term hospital and they are really good. Really well-staffed. They have the good stats monitors and ventilators and all that. They have a pressurized trach thing and he is talking! They've done swallow tests and oh, heck, I forgot to find out what the results were. The applesauce test went well last week but this was the ice cream test. He wasn't looking forward to it because they already let him have ice chips and he got gung ho with those and sick of having a cold stomach.

Flight for Fight

Obviosity: "Exercise is good for you."

So hard to remember when you're stiff and tired and all you want to do is lay down. Sometimes the answer is to lay down and stretch out, make gravity get off your back. Other times you've got to get up, even if you start out like Frankenstein, and like a steam engine, go faster and faster, in the stumbling madness... Ah, feels good! : )

A little stronger, a little more able to stand up. Sometimes it takes a little adversity to bring out the fight.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Que Sera, Sera"

--What I'm going to say next time I hear "It is what it is."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Not Actual Urban Decay



See the "N", fixed with rope? It didn't just fall off by itself. A block away is Roy C. Start High School. So it's just a case of childish pranks/trespassing and vandalism. As they used to joke when my husband went there, "Start High, stay high". So the rope was the only possible compromise. (Two cop cars drove by minutes after I took this picture.)

------------------------------------
Funniest thing I heard "today": Last night my 14 year-old asked me the name of the chemical that makes you sleepy. He thought it might be what makes smokers stay calm and not want to smoke when they ate cold turkey for lunch.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dark Side of Oz

I went to see Polka Floyd last night. They are awesome, totally worth seeing. Their vocal harmonies are much better now than they were in this video from last year. They did great. There was a man dancing who looked like a marine on drugs. But you don't just spontaneously do the splits. I think we have a real-life Binky Barnes. There was also a really cute couple dacing who really knew their stuff.

Some friends invited us but my husband didn't want to go because it sounded weird. I wanted to go because it sounded weird. So I went. I only spent $9.

I blew out a tire on the way home. Maybe I ran over something? I noticed it was flat as I went over the railroad tracks. I made it to the Burger King parking lot. My thoughts: "This not such a great neighborhood at one o'clock in the morning." Okay, only this thing happened: A carful of teenage boys and another carful of teenage girls both pulled into the parking lot quickly and got out and talked to each other for 15 minutes and then left as they came. But I was in my car 2 spaces over with a flat tire, repeatedly calling home, trying to wake my husband from a dead sleep. So I was nervous. Who was I to say that these teenagers were really motivated by hormones and not just a synchronicity of criminal intent?

Then I called my friend Barb who I had just said goodbye to. I knew she was awake. She said okay. A little while later an SUV pulls up and it was her three friends. They found me and they changed my tire. In the cold, at one in the morning. Jeff, Tom and Tony are wonderful! I thank them so much! My husband and I will have to make it up to them somehow.

On the way home, I was so grateful. I was thinking, three, and thought about the three helpful characters from the Wizard of Oz. But that falls apart in about a second: Which one's which? Shall you go by height? Whoever has the fluffiest hair? Do you know that much about their characters, other than they are really nice?

What about the three musketeers? I never read that book. Are the musketeers even all good, or is there a sarcasm there that I've never, ever caught?

This is all nonsense. The best thing, that I can do is go to church and say a prayer that God will bless them.

[Aw heck, I could have titled this post "Floydian Slip"]

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gestalt, In the Name of Love

When my 14-year old looked at me last night and said, "I love you this much!", I had a flashback to when he used to do that as a little guy. He'd stretch out his 3-foot wingspan, and the best thing was he thought we were even.

He blinked his eyes and smiled at me and looked exactly like when he was five.

Time and love.

I'm so glad I have a husband who's loved me a long time. Gee...
I'm so thankful for the Photoshop layer of pretty he lays on top of me instead of just being fat and gimpy.

------------------------------------
Funniest thing I heard "today": The other night, my son said "Dad, why do they have all those red flags in China?" "That's their flag. Why do we have so many American flags in America?" "Well, I mean, they're everywhere." "Maybe they're more patriotic than we are." "Daaaaddd!" "Because they have to."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pepp'i Cristina Gorgonzola



Super busy Saturday! My son broke his glasses and I had to help my mom. We needed to order out and thought about pizza. Then I remembered my husband had a $25 gift card from (Before you clink this, be aware it has music:) Mancy's Italian Grill that the builder on his last job gave him for Christmas. Maybe we could get a few things from there and share them.

We got these babies. (My younger boy carried these for me and he couldn't resist digging in on the way home, can you spot it? :) I thought the Classic Pepperoni was a little salty but my guys liked it. My favorite was the Gorgonzola with "Gorgonzola cream, sautéed spinach, prosciuttos ham, red onion, roasted roma tomatoes, roasted garlic". I was in heaven, but my guys said "Meh." Everyone liked the Cristina with "Tomato sauce, mozzarella, shaved rosemary ham, shaved parmesan and porcini mushrooms". I enjoyed my dinner coup that only cost us $3.50 out of pocket.

(I have a monster day at work. I'll have to remember the lipstick AND earrings and look sharp and be sharp. Maybe I'll wear the suit that matches my cane.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Octoball

My son fell asleep on the couch and I woke him up and sent him to bed. He said, "I dreamt I saw a snowman with an octopus on its head in front of our house with a plane flying overhead. What do you think that means?"

"Travel. You want to get away from the cold and fly somewhere you can scuba dive and see ocean life." He said "Mom, that's dumb, I don't scuba dive." I said, "Honey, if you're going to insist that random things have meanings, you're going to have to accept random meanings!" : )

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Put It Where Your Heart Is... [Annotated!]

A week or so ago, my kids and I walked up to the local comic book shop. Eric said "I think it's closed." Something didn't look right in the side window. We walked up and peered in. "Oh... No..." Almost everything gone. Empty walls and some papers scattered on the floor. We came around the front and read the letter taped to the front door: "We've moved three blocks West."

"Yay!!! Our comic book shop is alive!" People in passing cars wondered about the weirdos cheering on the street. : )

We bought a digital TV antenna [indoor Phillips HD digital TV antenna for only $35 from Phil's TV. Best price I've seen anywhere.] from the TV shop next store because we'll never be standing there again and went to find our new comic book shop...

And I was thinking about our plan for money, and things have to change and we have to cut back. What should I cut out? After being enticed by Coraline's pretty commercials... I can't really afford to see movies I regret seeing. [Because even though it was good animation, I started worrying about whether little kids were being traumatized and who in this movie is actually nice anyway and dang I didn't know until I was buying the tickets that it was an extra $9 because of the 3D and why didn't they post that somewhere?] I won't be fooled again. The next movie I ever see, will be researched. [Is it a feel-good movie? Because I can rent the really good movies later, stop and rewind, put on the subtitles to cut through the brogue.]

So what to cut? Clearly [one would think] the other extras like taking my boys to the comic book shop and my weekly $20 visit to the foodie store to get something special for us to eat. [But since I'm posting about it, it must be one of those extremely minor life crises that I learn so much from...]

But I have always been frugal. I can't [won't] say why. I won't [can't] pay for TV [because I am lucky enough to live in a city so I can get away with it, although my life is now occasionally like a defective DVD. I think we really need an outdoor antenna.] and [as I say to my kids:] if you don't like it, watch less [because you need to do other things like read books and go outside and play. If you don't have homework at least go play Guitar Hero, at least you're moving.]. (Actually, watch hulu, it's awesome! [If you like to watch old TV shows (which my kids don't really.)]) I'm frugal except for things I love [/appreciate/want]. My family and friends and favorites.

So, if we can manage it, the mega-grocery store Kroger is going to have to take the hit. We already turn the lights off when we leave the room. Food is the biggest variable area of my budget. Kroger is sky-jacking their prices and I have to fight back. [Dinner Ninja]

I am going to let my kids follow a comic book [Except they won't get into it. We used to go for the Pokemon cards and now I'm not sure exactly why. I think it's just me. It's just a fun place to visit. Say Hi, show your support for something local. I usually get something cheap and random and pass it down to the kids... I need a comic book about science. Real science.] These times are what they'll remember. But even though I am soooo tempted by this post on the Velvet Blog, I will think twice [unless I see it at the library!].

[So I will be careful, but I already was a cheapskate and why should I change my philosophy now and stop voting with my pocketbook? Except for, in spite of my belief that the American economy will start to revive once the banks start financing again, it might take too long...]
------------------------------------
Mashup I am not going to make: "House of the Rising Sun" and "Someday You Will Be Loved"

The Velvet Blog: More braaaaaiiiiiins, Mr. Darcy?#links

The Velvet Blog: More braaaaaiiiiiins, Mr. Darcy?#links

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Twister

Swirling winds blow through
Shingles, books, papers, cds
But wouldn't budge you

(Dedicated to my husband for Valentine's Day. Everything else could fly away. But I only need my loving treasures.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Update

My Dad is so handsome and awake and lucid and interactive. He can make hand signals and write legible words and sit in a chair. Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers, they are helping so much! : )

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Days in the Lounge

An article I found the other day about programming object naming conventions, "Hungarian Notation", reminded me of something...

Back in the day, I took a math class at the University of Toledo that was directly across the hall from the IEEE lounge. The International "House" of Electrical Engineering. I used to hang out there before class and read Spectrum magazine, hoping to meet a boy. I came close once, when a boy took me in the back room and showed me his Tesla coil. It was awesome. But not romantic. It's a good story though. Not for me, but I can imagine the Urban Legend.

I used to want to be an Electrical Engineer. My desire ended abruptly one day when I tried the crimper my mom bought me from the dollar store.

Seriously, the dollar store sold electrical appliances?!? "Let's crimp all the hair at once, from the inside!"

Now I am explicably afraid of anything with a cord. (Help, the printer's out of paper!)

And then another time in the lounge... How can I ask the husband of one of my bestest friends, "Was that you, in the IEEE lounge 20 years ago, and you were talking to your friend about "Reverse Polish Notation" and I giggled? Because I'm an idiot?"

Dad Looks Better

My Dad looks better now that he is in the Hospital. He still has more medical needs than the long term care facility can help him with right now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Test

Just want to see where this will show up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hospital

My Dad had to go to the ER because he was having trouble breathing. But they got him fixed up and he looks really good.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Coraline (the movie)

We went to see the movie Coraline.

Huh.

The animation was very good. I just don't know if I liked this movie. There were elements of Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka, and the book House of Leaves.

Coraline was dark. There was only one song. It was fine but it was about Coraline, not something that will stick in your head and you'll sing it around the house.

This movie is not appropriate for kids. In addition to the scary images which were expected and why we came, there was also an extended semi-nude old lady dance scene. "Little Billy's first pasties" did not need to be in 3D, or should I say DDD. (I may have nightmares myself.) Wait for the DVD so you can fast-forward this scene.

When we came out of the move "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" everyone was smiling, now that was an enjoyable movie.

Happy Face

I wonder if it would make me a really, really bad Mom or a really, really good Mom to put Clearasil on someone's face while they sleep.

I'm thinking... Nah!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scenes from a Wal-Mart

I got to spend 2.5 hours hanging out at Wal-Mart today because my mom wanted to get $4 prescriptions at their pharmacy but didn't bring any perscriptions along so we had to get everything transferred over.

- Walmart's prices are not crazy low like I remember the first time I ever went there. $8 is not that great for a plastic bowl. $13 is not low for a Sterilite container. (It's not even low for Rubbermaid.)

- 3 dozen Bakugan toys on the wall and all the kids are complaining about "They don't have the one I want." (New ones, that's what the kids want.)

- I got another bobbin holder for a lipstick caddy.

- I am so happy my husband doesn't call me "Maw".

------------------------------------
Funniest thing I saw today: A van with a solid 12 inch high roof of snow on top. Getting off the exit ramp of the highway. Whaa?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Groundhog's Day!



Happy birthday, Phil! (my Dad). Hope you wake up today and see your shadow, and proclaim, "I'm all right!"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dropping the Ball

What is it with 2009? First we have the New Year's Eve celebration where the ball is not dropped, and now the Super Bowl with no audio commentary the whole first quarter?

Eyebrow Dance

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Town

Sorry I've been so busy. I have to rush off to take my mom to the grocery store but here's a quick update: There were a few more setbacks for my Dad. Small problems like tubes coming off. But my Dad is finally home. He's at a new place in town and sleeping a lot. I came home before him and blew a tire on the way home and the troopers helped me, but all is well now.

Tip of the day: If you are going to drive long distances, bring some flares. A car by the side of the road with it's hazard blinkers on doesn't make traffic get out of the right lane, flares DO.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Whoo Hoo!!

(If all goes well) I will be going to Pittsburgh in the morning to help my stepmom make sure my Dad gets home! He is supposed to set out by ambulance and we will follow. Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh Nine in History

Yay America, Go Barack, Whoo!

My Dad was supposed to come home tomorrow. Just found out he is not. He has an infection from the surgery that he had to have to replace his little modern feeding tube with a big one before he could come home to a brand new state of the art facility because they think Pittsburgh is all that and Toledo is not. Please get home.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Eight out of Ten

My body conspired to help me keep my number theme. I was going to drop the "Six, Seven..." theme from the post titles because what's the point if it's not accidental?

Eight is the answer to the question "On a scale of one to ten, how much does your ear hurt?" Friday night I started getting chills and by Saturday morning it killed me to swallow, my ear hurt so bad. So the doctor at the urgent care center told me I had a bad inner ear infection. It kept me in bed all weekend.

No more news about my Dad yet.

Note to self: Make a list for your peeps of all the urgent care centers that accept our insurance.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seven Years of Kevin Costner

We watched 2 movies: "Mirrors" and "Swing Vote".

"Swing Vote" was fine. Kevin Costner really knows how to *Star* in a movie. I want to go back and view his "normal" movies like "Bull Durham" and "Tin Cup" and "Message in a Bottle" and see if he actually drove those around like a vehicle too. In "Swing Vote", the girl actress gets a lot of screen time, so that makes it more even if you don't take into account the subject of the movie. "Swing Vote" contains two or three truly bizarre political commercials.

"Mirrors" had 2 scenes that relied too heavily on the actor yelling to be scary. Possibly whoever was in charge of quality was passive-aggressive with Keifer Sutherland. (I was able to sit through the whole thing, so it may not be a very scary movie.)

If you like Sci-Fi, "Mirrormask" was pretty trippy. Sort of animated Alice in Wonderland kind of thing.

------------------------------------
Funniest thing I said "today": When I do sudoku, I put a smiley face if I solve it and a sad face if I mess it up. Last night, before I was done I said "I'm going to make a smiley face, just for myself." Gave my boys giggle fits, because they love a good non sequitur. : ) Ha.

------------------------------------
Mashup I am not going to make: "Your Smiling Face" and "Complicated"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Six Degrees of Cold

Brrr! Hope you are staying warm! I've been going to bed before Jeopardy for a few days. At least it's cozy.

Here is the news and I am keeping my fingers crossed. My Dad is off the ventilator and they are getting him ready to send back to Toledo at the beginning of next week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Okay Mr. Mix

Here is a cover song playlist I am finally done making. I "dis-embedded" it and just made it a link.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What Do You Get

I've got a ton to do at work, because of all my time off. I had a tough time trying to concentrate on a big task and do all the little things and pass things back and forth. Aw, heck more later. Guess where I've got to go now! : )

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back

We are back home, back to work, back to school. I am so glad we went to see my dad. I hope they can get rid of his pneumonia and wean him off his machines. He knew we were there. He wanted to hear CNN on the TV and he wanted me to read his book. I got him, "The Audacity of Hope". I thought he'd get a kick out that. I thought things would be different than they are now.

Yesterday I heard the Nat King/Natalie Cole version of "Unforgettable" on the radio. I'm glad I wasn't driving. Back when I got married this was a (relatively) new song. It was in the DJ song book but not in the list of Father/Bride dance songs so I had to write it in. I guess we have a song you'll actually hear sometimes. Aw geez, this reminds me, the stupid DJ played "Could I Have This Dance For the Rest of My Life" for the Groom/Maid of Honor dance. Stupid DJ, not paying attention, man was I mad at him. I'm sure he's better now, or hopefully, not DJ'ing.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ups and Downs

Here I am in Pittsburgh with my kids having come to see my Dad. I can't sleep. I was dreaming about traffic, feeling like I'm flying, going up and down hills. And I'm too sad and don't want to be alone. We watched New Year's Eve on ABC Family or Disney mostly America's Funniest Home Videos. My kids thought it was a travesty how the winner didn't have any kids to bring on the prize: visits to all the Disney parks around the world. We switched over to Fox to watch the ball drop. But we swear we didn't actually see it drop, we think somebody dropped the ball. We don't know. Everybody kissed. I called my husband but he must have been asleep.

We got to see my Dad and we got to see Ruthann and we got to talk to the doctor, one of them, not the main doctor but the staff in charge I guess.

He didn't look horrible but it wasn't great. He had circles around his eyes, brown eyelids. He wasn't conscious but he did move his head around when we came in and when we left. I couldn't think of what to say, except like Dad I'm here and about the weather on the road. Eric was something: we're glad you're not dead, we're mad at them for getting you sick.

What happened was my dad got released on Christmas Eve but he needed arrangements to come to a care facility here and also transport home. So I was going to come out Christmas weekend but since he was supposed to be home Monday or Tuesday, I cancelled that. But the insurance company was closed for Christmas and they didn't make the arrangements to get him out of here. And then over the weekend he got pneumonia and he's been worse every day since.

This doctor we spoke to was pretty grim, but Ruthann assures me that he's always like that and the one in the morning is much more positive.