Thursday, January 31, 2008

Long Ago and Far Away

::Onesome: Long ago-- I was sure I would become a _ _ _ _ _ _ when I grew up! Hmmm...

  • Hahahaha, oh that's funny. Whoo. Indeed. What did I think I would become? As a child, of course, I did the whole doctor/teacher/artist/astronaut/cowgirl route. Somewhere along the way someone mentioned I could draw, I built a model for high school art and figured I had what I needed to be an architect. Little did I know what it REALLY takes...self absorbed, egocentric, conceited, drunk, black wearing weirdos! What if I LIKE other colors?! But that's not the point here. Right now, I think I should be a psychiatrist when I grow up.
::Twosome: and-- how did you end up where you are (currently) if that didn't happen? (Students, you can talk majors and changes and such!)

  • Gah, if I knew that, I would have left this crazy place and got a lower stress air traffic controller or something. Seriously, I ended up here because I was too stubborn to change my major half way through. When one professor - he knows who he is - said perhaps this wasn't for me I got upset and decided I would finish the degree if it killed me. I did, with good grades, and he congratulated me at Commencement for not giving up. Still, I wonder if that was the best thing.
::Threesome: Far Away-- from any thoughts of the Super Bowl? Are you tuning in? No? Whatcha' doin' instead?

  • Yeah, we'll probably have it on - for the commercials if nothing else. They haven't been their usual quality ads in the past few years. Not like the Bud Light days. It's always good to see the Clydesdales though. Pretty, pretty horses. Don't know that we care too much about the game. The Patriots are old news and do the Giants really have a chance? If it gets close we might pay some attention, but really, I expect it to be a massacre. Sorry New York.
This is me, getting a little scared of The Back Porch peeps. Too many questions a little close to home all in a row.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Academic Decathlon

Tarzan is a great educator. He stays late, he works Saturdays, he volunteers, he starts new clubs and programs to get students and teachers involved. He's amazing frankly. And because I am Wife Of The Year, I help him out whenever I can. I've chauffeured chess club players to matches, photographed events, carpooled, whatever. I don't mind because I get to see Tarzan in action. So when he asked if we could stop by the Academic Decathlon (did you know Decathlon is spelled with only one 'a?' Could have sworn it was DecathAlon...) his school's team was competing in last Saturday I was agreeable. I thought I knew what a Decathlon was - I've seen movies - even though I never competed in one. (Note: Jane does not think on her feet well - this is why a blog is a good medium for her) We walked by the registration table, the food table. There were adults and students hanging around the stairwells and lobby, lots of purposeful movement going on. I was mildly surprised by how well the students were dressed and how casually the adults were. Suits, ties, jackets and heels versus jeans, sweats and ball caps. The "science guru" from WPHS motioned us over as we entered the cafeteria which was laid out as base camp for all the schools. This is Tarzan's school table:It took me a minute, amongst all the introductions, to notice that many of the students were TALKING TO WALLS:I mean, they were really insistant, pleading and imploring to the doors and chair rails. I found this extremely fascinating. It was explained that there are indeed ten events (the whole "Deca-" part of the deal) but with several hundred students involved the interviews and speeches take a REALLY long time. So three events were last Saturday and the other seven will be this coming Saturday. The medals are for individual and overall scores. The interviews are taken from an information sheet the participants bring with them and it's considered the easiest part. The speeches are prepared previously and it was these the students were practising towards the walls:As this was not his first trip to one of these Mr. S let us in on all the secrets that the champion schools use. A lint brush is utilized to the point of insanity. They girls, especially, are encouraged to wear gloves until right before their speech so theirs will be warm when they shake the judges' hands. Right before each event a breath mint strip is gently placed on each student's tongue. This is irrelevant of the fact there is at least 10 feet between student and interviewer/judge. And, of course, the hair must be fluffed just so:This is a high school boy in a suit, on his knees, getting his hair fluffed by a person not his mother. None of the boys I knew in high school would have worn a suit, let alone any of the rest of it.
We didn't stay long but it was a highly educational experience. The students were all really nice and polite. I am not often called "Mrs. O'Grady." It was cute. I wanted to fluff all of their hair!

This is me learning, even after school is over.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Random Monday

I forgot to bring my pictures to the office today so any description I insert would not do the weekend events justice I'm afraid. Instead I offer this meme which I found at Child's Play. (He's a good guy. I think I'd like Matthew in real life.) I get the impression I'm supposed to offer a review of this "band" and their new "album" but I've been stressing enough about creating the label. Too much, too much.
How to make your own groovy label:
1. The first title on this page is the name of your band - I am apparently not good at these title to they mean the first clickable word? Or the first bold word, or the first proper noun? I am so confused. Hopefully my band is not too lame.
2. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album. Click the “New Random Quotations” button for more - this one was much easier, and consistent, since the page is the same every time I click the link. I suspect unless we all want to release albums called "also by the heart" you need to click the random quotations button.
3. The third picture on this page will be your album cover. You then take the photo and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your picture. Please don’t forget to give credit.
I am so, SO sorry, to whoever took this picture. I clicked and saved the image and then my computer crashed and I didn't get a link to the photographer. If it was you let me know so I can credit it. Again, SO SORRY!!

This is me, wondering if this is how real bands pick their names and covers.
P.S. Thank you everyone who's been commenting! Love you!

Friday, January 25, 2008

In Which I Whine Some More

Two weeks. A mere fourteen days. And then I'm free. Free of this stressful, self-centered, antagonistic profession and free from this cluttered, snide and oddly structured office. There are days I think it can't come soon enough and other days when I will actually miss this place. Maybe. Well, not really. In the interest of full disclosure, it's actually guilt that I feel. Not for the office - they'll be fine - but guilt that I'm not already pregnant so we have a "legit" reason why I'm quitting. People keep asking me why I'm leaving now and what I'm going to do "until you have kids?" We covered some of what I'm going to do, but that's not enough I suppose. So I feel guilty. Guilty for not working when we don't have kids yet, guilty that Tarzan is going to kill himself working because he's afraid we won't have enough money. Guilty for not shouldering my share or something. This is despite Tarzan's repeated reassurances that we would have done it sooner had things been different, that this is the time for us to get our house in order, literally and figuratively, that I will be doing lots at home. With such an understanding, supportive husband you would think I could get my mind around the situation wouldn't you? Yeah, me too. Except when friends or relatives accost me and ask why, why, WHY are you quitting? Why not make some more money first, why not wait until "it" happens, is there something you'd like to tell us Jane - when they know darn well there isn't - what am I supposed to tell them? The lines I'm using sure aren't working.

This is me, kinda bitter today and not sure why.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Harlem Globetrotters Basketball

::Onesome: Harlem-- Nights? The Apollo Theater? If we came to visit your area, where would you recommend we sight see?
  • I suspect the people at The Back Porch are stalking me...this is the second week in a row they asked a question about something I had just done. With the AKSR being hosted in The Jungle this year I had compiled a partial list of places to visit to stimulate the minds and bring a plethora of suggestions and ideas for our outings. Yeah, well. We've got some time still before we decide where we play. And there were a lot of options. One thing about The Jungle; if you can think of it, we have it. Theaters (one playing Wicked), amusement parks, beaches, mountains, observatories, monuments, it's all here. Come on down and we can show you around!
::Twosome: (The) Globetrotters-- can be quite a show! Have you ever seen them? Are there any "show" teams you like to watch perform? Pep competitions? Bands?
::Threesome: Basketball-- is in full swing, and March Madness isn't all that far away? Any opinions on either NBA or NCAA teams? ...or is it all downhill after the Packers lost?
  • Me no likey basketball. Tarzan stays current enough to know if USC is winning - not as often in the b-ball season as the football one - but that's all. After the SuperBowl - and we don't really care too much who goes, we pick a team to root for during the game but it's not too heated - the sports are over until the fall. We catch some baseball but as a family thing not as a sporting event.
This is me, knowing stuff.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Faster Than Lightning

I love this world we live in - a world of instant gratification and immediate information. Streaming video, chat rooms, email, all that stuff. It's marvelous. It can almost be too fast though. Was chatting with QC this morning, as we nearly always do because who needs to work? And randomly he throws out that R123 (there are so many people in this family that have R as their first initial - I should keep a log somewhere of what I call people for this very reason), an uncle, was in a car accident and "we" don't know if he will live. Oh crap, I think, here we go again. (I am definitely going to hell for that.) QC's mom, my MIL - another R, called him, QC, when her youngest brother, B3 (there's another overused letter), called her after R123 called B3. (And now the rest of the vitamins want to put in their 2 cents...) QC tells me, I call Tarzan and he calls B3. Over the course of my 45 minute lunch, Tarzan calls me 5 times. On the first call, it's to tell me he has no new information, but he was just talking to R123 ten minutes before and hopefully he didn't cause the accident. The second call was to say, R123 called B3 "with his last breath" but he DID call on his own, so we don't know anything but it's probably not fatal. The third call was completely unrelated to the accident but we discussed schedules for picking QC up at the airport because he was looking at airline flights as we talked. I am, of course, IM-ing QC everything as I talk to Tarzan. The fourth call was to say that R123 was sitting in the emergency waiting to see a doctor so it's not too dire. The fifth call was a few minutes ago (via B2 to Rocketgirl to Tarzan back to B2) to tell me that it wasn't a car accident after all. Apparently R123 fell and smacked his head really hard. He was dizzy, really disoriented and he has a pounding headache. Probably will for a couple of days. The hospital is doing tests for concussion and all, but he's going to be fine. And there we are; from a fatal car crash to a bump on the head inside of 2 hours and now I'm blogging about it.

This is me, passing on the information addiction. Aren't you glad?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Do you watch the Academy Awards? We do, usually. Not in a fascinated, hang-on-every-word kind of way but in a "oh, huh, didn't see that movie either - hey! Kirk Douglas is still alive" kind of way. So I was not one of those who stayed home to wait for the Oscar nominations to be out this morning. Does not mean I don't know who is nominated however. I swear, if she has time to read the Oscar nominations aloud to the ENTIRE office, she has time to file, you know what I mean? Be that as it may, I am pleased to see some of the nominations.
  1. Best Picture: Haven't seen a single one.
  2. Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress: Having not seen a single of the pictures any of them were in, I can't say as they aren't all absolutely spectacular performances.
  3. Best Director: Haven't seen a single of the pictures directed by these people, so I'm sure they all did their best.
  4. Best Foreign Film: If I don't see the local films, what makes you think I would have seen the foreign ones?
  5. Best Adapted Screenplay: Haven't seen any of these either.
  6. Best Original Screenplay: Woot! Finally something I can comment on. Go Ratatouille!! I'm gonna go with a no on this one. Because...
  7. Best Animated Feature: It's nominated in this category as well and in my opinion is much more likely to win here because it IS an animated feature and despite all the equality talk, a cartoon is still a cartoon.
  8. Best Art Direction: Back to not having seen any of the nominated films.
  9. Best Cinematography: Ditto here - one would think I don't get out much.
  10. Best Sound Mixing: Not entirely sure what this category is even for, but for the first time we have some drama, having seen The Bourne Ultimatum, AND Transformers this could be a close race. I'm gonna be on the edge of my seat for this one.
  11. Best Sound Editing: Again, not sure what this IS exactly, but both The Bourne Ultimatum AND Ratatouille are nominated again.
  12. Best Original Score: Ratatouille could end up sweeping this Awards night. Wouldn't that be something for the record books?
  13. Best Original Song: Oooooh baby, I'm all about this category this year. First, so cool about August Rush. I wanted to see that one. Hopefully the song is deep and meaningful, not schmoopy and manipulative. We shall see. It is a source of great, great sorrow that I did not get to see Enchanted because it is exactly the type of girly, musical, movie that I love. Second it had Patrick Dempsey and who doesn't love him? It ALSO has Idina Menzel who was the Broadway Elphaba (and is therefore on my much listened to CD) and also was in Rent. The girl has some pipes. THEN, to make it all perfect, the guys who wrote all the songs are none other than Alan Menken - of Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Hunchback and Beauty & the Beast fame - and Stephen Schwartz. You don't know him? He's the man who wrote WICKED - my most favorite-ist musical of all time! How could these songs NOT be fabulous? But wait, it gets better! There are at least one, possibly three, songs from the movie to be nominated AND all the nominated songs get performed live at the Awards show. Sweet!!
  14. Best Costume Design: Did not see the pictures, so this will likely be when we go to the kitchen for some dessert.
  15. Best Documentary Feature: Didn't see any of them. Probably very informative.
  16. Best Documentary (short subject): Didn't see any of them either. Probably very informative and short.
  17. Best Film Editing: Go Bourne!
  18. Best Make-Up: Hey! A newbie AND one I saw. Awesome. Go Pirates!
  19. Best Animated Short Film: Did not see any of those either. Les sighs, I need to get out once in a while...
  20. Best Live Action Short Film: What is this? Don't know, didn't see any of them. Is that phrase getting overused here today or what?
  21. Best Visual Effects: We saw both Pirates of the Caribbean AND Transformers so it could be a nail biter too.

Let me know what you think of the nominations this year. Was any flick robbed? Is it an honor just to be nominated?

This is me, with the verdict: no messing with Tarzan's head via the dinner table.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pie Consumption

Ha HA! I did it, I mades some pie. Do you know rhubarb is a very seasonal thing? Even in The Jungle, where one can get strawberries in December and mangoes all year, one can NOT get rhubarb in January OR likely in February. I visited a large number of grocery stores this weekend and no a one has any or any opportunity to carry any "for a long time." Poor Tarzan, no strawberry-rhubarb for his Sunday dinner. We had to improvise with a mixed berry / apple combo that I have my doubts about. Tarzan, bless his heart, eats whatever I put in front of him - which sounds sweet but has good and bad sides. Consider: we made chili a few weeks ago and there were inevitably leftovers, since I can't get it through my head we are three, not eleven! In the subsequent attempts to consume all the leftovers one night there was enough chili for one. (ATL and I had something else) It all seemed fine until I noticed Tarzan huddled over his bowl, inhaling the spoonful and then quickly washing it down with milk. When I inquired the problem, it came out I had scorched the bottom of the pot when reheating the chili. I felt really bad - apologized and told him to stop eating it - I'd make him something else. BUT HE WOULDN'T STOP! His comment "You made it, and that's good enough for me." Dude. It's not like I did it on purpose. Or started messing with ingredients. I am not a first year wife who would cry if her husband didn't like what she had slaved for hours making. I wouldn't have served it had I tasted it first. But he HAD to finish the bowl and I spent the rest of the night feeling bad for feeding him burned chili. The funny part is this did not really surprise me because we have been married seven years. (That sounds so long but doesn't feel so long...) This is not the first time. There was the pineapple incident. Apparently Tarzan does not like pineapple. Fresh pineapple. I did not know this. He NEVER mentioned it to me - disputes to the contrary honey, you DID NOT! - and I love fresh pineapple. So we (I) would buy and serve pineapple for brunches and whatever and he ATE it, never letting on the stuff was making him gag. One day I noticed violent twitching and not the good kind. The man does not like acidic stuff - apparently. He doesn't drink orange juice either. Unless I put it in front of him - then he will eat it. It's kind of a weird situation. Do I mess with his head and see what funky stuff I can feed him? Or do I be a good wife and try to make everything tasty?

This is me, undecided.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Apple Pie Crust

::Onesome: Apple-- turnovers? Bear claws? Do you have a favorite pastry? You know, the one you can't pass up no matter what!
  • It's not the type of pastry, it's the flavor - love me the blueberry. Got to try a blueberry tart, turnover, pie, croissant, etc. no matter what.
::Twosome: Pie-- or cake? You're out to dinner and you get your choice: What do you go for? ...or do you simply have to have the creme brulee?
  • Usually pie...but then it all depends on the flavor and the crust and if it comes with ice cream. And the kind of cake too...donna like the chocolate cake, but if it has chocolate frosting then bring it on! I am certainly not a black and white decision girl - all kinds of shades of grey exist here.
::Threesome: Crust--makes the pie, ya' think? Which pie absolutely has to have the proper crust or it just doesn't work for you?
  • Crust TOTALLY makes the pie. Berry pie must have the right crust or it's all goopy and smushy and not good at all. Pumpkin can have whatever kind of crust though, the filling usually can hold it's own.

This is me, contemplating making some pie this weekend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I like to make a special effort to welcome new commenters to the blog. Goodness knows, anyone who actually WANTS to read the daily nonsense of The Jungle deserves to be recognized for it. AND if they have a blog then I definitely go and read/comment on their entries. Welcome and thanks for the comment Elzinga's - hopefully it was worth the effort.
Ooo! When you do comment, mention how you found the place if it's not readily apparent - like you're related to us.

This is me with new readers, awesome!

Monday, January 14, 2008


I think our youngest kitten has some issues. Either she needs more attention - though let's be honest, she gets more petting and cuddling than the oldest three combined and more than either of the middle two - OR she is not all there, if you know what I mean. I cannot count the number of times I have attempted to take a step and she comes flying across the room so her tail/paw is under my foot as it comes down, only to mew pitifully and run away - like the big bad person who feeds her every day DID IT ON PURPOSE! Lately she's taken to throwing herself into the side of my foot as I walk. She comes tearing across the bed towards the door and runs full tilt into my leg. My ankles are not appreciating the abuse. Just this morning, I lifted my foot to put on my sock and she jumped up, smacking her head on my hand. And as I was getting breakfast she dodged out of the way OF NOTHING and ran into the wall. What is up kitty? Are you insane?

This is me, wondering why cats do what cats do...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Longer Than It Seems

I've been contemplating this post all day and really, I have nothing. Nothing profound or important or spectacular to say. It's been one month since the accident - since all our lives changed - and according to some blogs I read, by people who are in the know, remembering anniversaries like this is important. I'm skeptical. I'm not sure I want to remember MQ by remarking on the day she died. I would rather remember her on the days she lived, vibrant and glorious; laughing when I ran through the living room "not looking, not looking" the Christmas she and QC stayed with us and both slept on the non-fold-out couch; her giving me a huge hug the very first time we met; flashing the victory sign as she beat her husband at go-karts and bumper cars and pretty much all times behind the wheel; buying SuperDad pajamas for QC; never failing to let us know we could stay with them if activities at the big house got to be too much; offering me a place in their wedding, though we'd never met and I was clearly the shortest, roundest one in the entire place; putting baby Teaq in the USC shirt we sent him for Christmas even though it wasn't their alma mater; calling me just to talk, because we married into a family that was vastly different from our own and needing to discuss it where hurt feelings would not arise; those are the memories I want to keep of MQ. Every day that is bright and sunny will remind me of MQ and her unrestrained joy the day she was sealed to QC for time and all eternity. That picture and others are here. If the feeling moves you, trot on over to QC's blog and leave him a message. If you live near him stop by for a hug and let him know that you remember too.

This is me, remembering the good times.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kidney Stones and Herbal Remedies

::Onesome: Kidney--beans? Lima Beans? Pinto beans? Which legumes do you like to cook with? Hmmm... A hot pot of chili sounds good this week!
  • Which is really amusing since we JUST made chili last weekend. We like kidney beans (well, A doesn't), black beans (Tarzan REALLY likes the black beans) and white beans. No likey the Lima beans - they're so dry. Pinto are fine, Navy are fine, Boston baked are fine. We likes beans.
::Twosome: Stones?-- Monoliths? Pebbles? Do you use any of these in decorating? Heck, we'll even count marbles in vases!
  • Good thing too, since that's about all we get to, marbles in vases. Oh, and big rocks in the front yard. We'd like to get the pavers and gravel borders in the back...maybe in a few weeks when I'm free of this employment coil.
::Threesome: and herbal remedies-- Hey, there's a good one: do you have any herbal remedies for us to try? Anything? I'm betting this bunch will have a trick or two to work with!
  • I don't really - we eat lots of oranges and grapefruit for vitaminC. Actually we like to get all our vitamins from the actual food rather than pills. Tarzan's parents on the other hand...they do the cod liver oil, emu oil, St. John's Wort route. They are much more suited for this question than we.
This is me, back in the swing.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Latest Craze

My latest obsession is another Broadway musical - never fear, Wicked and The Pirate Queen have NOT left the building - called Jekyll & Hyde, based, unsurprisingly, on the book 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson. Very intriguing. I think I have to read the book now and see how accurate the show is.
My path of travel for this season's fixation takes a trip across the sea to China and back. My sister, ATL, is completely obsessed with a singer, Kris Philips, or Fei Xiang, who is HUGE in China. We got her his 2-CD Broadway album set for her birthday a couple of years ago. 'This Is The Moment' was one of the songs he sang in English. (I don't get a thrill from the songs sung in Chinese, but ATL does.) 'For Good' was another song but that's a different story. 'This Is The Moment' was such a great song we looked up the musical it came from. We Googled Jekyll & Hyde but it wasn't playing anywhere around us and we thought it was likely pretty depressing based on what little we knew of the book. Wicked took over my brain shortly thereafter and then my love affair with Stephanie J. Block and The Pirate Queen and I didn't think of Jekyll & Hyde until a few months ago when ATL and I discovered we could record snippets of songs on our phones and make them our ring tones. I know - we are SO behind the technology. Whatever. ATL recorded 'This Is The Moment' as her ring tone. So whenever she gets a call "...when all I've done, all of the dreaming, scheming and screaming become one..." blares across the room. So it was in my recent memory when I was ordering CDs in December. I was due some free ones, so I searched for Jekyll & Hyde and the Original Cast Recording was available. I figured, why the heck not? (I also got The Boy From Oz because Ms. Block is in it - but another day, another post.) It finally came and I finally got around to hearing it last week. OMG - so good! I love the rhyme schemes, I'm a sucker for clever rhymes and patterns (dialysis...pal, a sister anyone?), I think all the talent is great and Robert Cuccioli, especially, is awesome. Not as depressing as I thought it might IS a little dark, naturally, but in a self reflective way. Classic Good vs. Evil plot. Am loving the character of Emma. Truly. She's strong, independent, smart, loving, and she doesn't apologize for any of it. Nothing to "get over." She doesn't waffle about her decisions, does not spend a lot of time questioning herself or motives. Does not develop any complexes. She makes up her mind and carries through. I like her a lot. Lucy, the other female lead, gets all the solos but she's the typical prostitute with a heart of gold. Ehn. I see a reason for her but I don't get behind her.
After devouring the CD and committing most of it to memory I looked the show up on YouTube in the hopes someone got all illegal (as they did with Wicked) and loaded the entire show so I could pretend I was seeing it live. Even better, a legit video copy - in 16 parts, but still - is available to see. The sad part; it's not the original Broadway cast. The funny part; it IS David Hasselhoff. I know - sad to say the first thing I think of for him is Baywatch - but he's not that bad. His performance does not blow my mind, but he does not stink. I just don't think of him as a song and dance man. It's interesting to get my mind around this concept. I am totally loving Andrea Rivette. Great performance. Great voice. Great character - I have to admit she is where a lot of my respect for Emma comes from. Just...great! Not to say the original girl, Christiane Noll, is a slouch, she is very talented as well. I am just in love with anything related to the show right now I think. Can't wait to find a live production somewhere, ANYwhere. Is it playing in your town right now?

This is me, happy in my obsessions.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Vacation - Part II

This is the picture part of the vacation. When we dropped B, M2, PIT and Squishy off at our parents' house I left my camera with them since I wouldn't be seeing them most of the time. And B went nuts with it. My extra large memory card was full when we arrived less than a week later. But it was good because we got snaps like this - love the shoes and hat babe:
meeting Firefly:
Squishy chilling with Grandpa:
Aunt B getting her head in a family pic:
Opening some presents early so Nana could see:
Two sharp looking dudes, ready for church:
I was not feeling really good on Christmas but I managed some pictures. LittleJ opening his football first - Daddy has some high expectations apparently:BabyR REALLY loved her stuffed doggy - good choice S and E:
R liked his laptop I think:
Nana in one of her rare still moments - I think I know where my flurrying nature comes from:
Tarzan letting his emotions get the better of him - again...:
The horses were a big draw for the grand kids, though I don't know how their parents felt about it. E was not as enthusiastic as LittleJ about riding the "horsie!" B was really good about taking him out on Ginger and he loved it:
Pippin and Gitgo share a sniff:
Tarzan must have gotten bored when I was sick - yes that is me, asleep, covered in kitties who are indignant I have taken their typical sleeping space. That's Ocelot by my face, Belle ON my arm, Ice by my feet, Train Wreck by my rump and if you look close you can see Mikey tucked up by my shoulder:
B got me a sponge cake pan in the shape of a COLISEUM for Christmas so I HAD to make one up for the Rose Bowl game - really, I think it helped the Trojans defeat the Illini so handily:
I was preparing for church last Saturday and Mikey came to sit on my lap, in the middle of my notes. I think she thought she could do a better job. She even 'offered' to hold my pen - but she needs those glasses, her penmanship is horrible:

This is me, sharing some memories from the holidays.

Monday, January 07, 2008

From: What Privileges Do You Have?

From: What Privileges Do You Have? (stolen from RHM, who got it from clanhanna who got it from someone else - lemme tell you, this meme gets around.) -based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. (If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.)
Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children's books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 (though, frankly they didn't last long - I am not a musically talented person)
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (costs after scholarships)
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child (if by original you mean, drawn by me and my siblings...)
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child (sometimes yes, sometimes not, we switched around all the time)
You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up (does the Natural History Museum count?)
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
--What is this supposed to teach me exactly? Illinois?--
--Ed. Note: I found the website for one of the originators and now I know what it's all about. Interesting experiment. This is the kind of class I really enjoyed taking in college. How did I end up in architecture again?--

This is me getting back in the blogging swing with more memes - pictures of cute nieces and nephews to come, I promise.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Back To Back To Back To Back Thursdays

It has come to my attention that the world did not stop while I was sick and on vacation. What's up with that? There are so many blogs to catch up on and comments to make and the memes! In my attempt to forget that I was sick I will catch you up on ALL the memes I missed over the holidays. And that's a lot. Because I love you THAT much faithful readers, I do.
::Onesome: 'Tis-- Hmmm... More or less an older contraction? Do you have any semi-archaic words you use regularly?
  • I use a number of the older contractions, 'tis, 'twould, and 'taint. I also use 'groovy', 'chicks' and 'dudes.' I think I just like slang that's unusual.
::Twosome: the-- heck you say? Okay, how about a 'regional' saying you're known to be fond of? You know, the one the relatives just don't get when you say it on the phone... Sure, slang will work.

  • I try not to "date" myself by using regional phrases. Probably comes from my father telling us to not talk like Canadians or we would get made fun of when we moved back to the States.
::Threesome: Season--ings for the season? Mulled cider? Peppermint bark? Apple pie? What do you look forward to in the Winter months?
  • Nothing like cider with cinnamon when it's cold and blowy or rainy out. Hmm, Apple is good too. Hot chocolate is good. Cinnamon rolls are a favorite in our house. I have never been a fan of peppermint, mint or the like.

: Angels-- as tree topppers? ...or spires? Stars? Bears? What do you like to use to set off that tree?

  • When we have a tree - which has been a couple of years now, travel and all - we have an angel. My parents have a star. Don't know anyone who uses anything other than those two...bears would be interesting.
::Twosome: we have-- heard you're getting something special this year! Do you have any idea what any of your Christmas presents are going to be?

  • Well, this is after the fact of course, but I did suspect Tarzan's present. The man stresses SO MUCH about getting me something "good" that he usually asks if it's okay before he buys it and I have to "forget" about it before the big day. He was better this year, but when he asked my size I figured some clothes were on the way. (They were and they fit, so it could be worse right?)
::Threesome: ...heard-- the worst Christmas song ever this year? Which one is it for you? I mean that one that even if Aunt Martha is playing it on Christmas Eve puts you out on the porch!
  • I hate the "Christmas Shoes" song. Pretty sure Aunt Martha doesn't even know it, thankfully, but it irks me to no end. Also, I think 'Silent Night' is overdone. That is - EVERYone has to sing it and some people really shouldn't. Maybe that's my real beef. The person singing the song - not the actual song itself...
::Onesome: Better-- butter than margarine? ...or Mayonnaise? What goes on your bread for sandwiches? How about dinner rolls? Honey, anyone?
  • Butter is TOTALLY better than margarine for rolls and biscuits. And honey can be used, sparingly on biscuits, but not rolls. Mayonnaise is disgusting - always. None of those go on a sandwich though. PB&J is just that. Peanut butter and jam/jelly. And not always the jam/jelly. Meat gets mustard...what else is there?
::Twosome: Late-- again! I think that's something I do about once a year. May I blame it on Christmas cleaning? How about you: is your place all cleaned up from the paper-fest? ...or can you even get to the door yet?
  • Fortunately there will be (were) no large gatherings of people at my house for the holidays. Bless Renay for not getting too deep into my cleaning habits. I swear she is a saint for coming back to our place every year.
::Threesome: than Never-- again? Do you have any Christmas memories (this year or Christmas Pasts) that you'd just like to never repeat? I'm thinking humorous stories would be best!
  • Yes, humorous would be best. See my last post for reasons why I would not do this year again. Another reason would be the wonky weather out at my parent's house. Tarzan likes to "camp" in a tent in the backyard - privacy and whatever. This year the moon was blazingly bright full on the top of the tent, I swear I thought the flood light had been turned on (at 2am I thought it was 7), the wind howled like a banshee and knocked things over, including a metal cabinet ready for the recycle bin 'round about 5am when I was just getting back to some real sleep after the moon moved...yeah, not my first suggestion for a repeat performance.
::Onesome: Twenty-five?-- Good age to be? ...or bad age to survive? Can you look back at this time without cringing? ...or are you there yet?
  • Twenty-five was not as much fun as twenty-four. Twenty-five was a tough year, marriage wise - growing pains you know - and employment wise and housing wise. Twenty-six was okay too. But I could be twenty-four forever. That was a great year.
::Twosome: or Six-- ways to help yourself out? ...or maybe just one? If you could send a piece of advice for yourself at twenty-five, what would it be? ...and if you are twenty-five? Well, can the gang here answer any questions for you?
  • Hmmm, in retrospect; stress less, don't be so stubborn, believe in yourself, trust Tarzan.
::Threesome: to Four-- pounds of See's candy over the holidays? Did you survive 'growing season'? How's it looking out there? I've already seen the displays up for Valentine's Day! Can we survive the constant onslaught of the chocolatiers?
  • The Valentine stuff is a tad early in my opinion. Who is going to buy chocolate NOW for six weeks from now and then hope it still tastes good? I sure don't know. I managed to avoid a lot of the Christmas candy at the office and I was really sick at home and didn't feel like eating anything. In fact, I may have lost weight because all I did was sleep and blow my nose. Crappy way to do it, but if it works, who's to knock it?
Bonus points: Who did this song and when?
  • No idea - I totally suck at knowing artists. I also stink at knowing dates. And titles. Really, all I'm good for is the lyrics. I can remember lots of lyrics. :-)
This is me with a whole lotta memes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Vacation - Part I

Inhale...exhale...inhale...and she's back! Whew. That was a December I never want to relive in many ways.
First MQ's death, which really eclipsed most of the rest of the month. I tried to help all the families any way I could despite my being in The Rockies for only a little while. I felt useless most of the time frankly, which is not something I am used to feeling. It was weird. Not knowing what to do or having anything TO do. It was tough to leave though and it's been harder being here than there with nothing to do. I know Tarzan is having some rough days, not being there for his brother. It's harder to hug people from 600 miles away. The up side is QC IS healing - little by little. Naturally there are good and bad days. When we visited, I thought he was rushing the five stages of grief, trying to force the acceptance so it wouldn't hurt anymore. I forgot that the steps don't come in any order and we don't feel only one at a time. He is slowly getting better. He has his son and both sets of parents. They help each other. I am so, so, so thankful for the knowledge I have that this life is not all there is. Not to say it doesn't suck still. I have had a few comments from people who know we are LDS who say "at least they will be together forever" as if we shouldn't be sad or something. Believing in an afterlife and eternal relationships does not make the grief less, or easier to bear, it only lessens the bitterness and despair I know others feel when someone they love dies. They will be together again, we will all see her again, and we know where she is now, but she's still NOT HERE and it still bites. QC is not the only one I am concerned about right now though. I worry about Rocketgirl. She's seems stuck in the anger/depression phase and I don't know what to say to her. I can't fix the situation obviously and most words sound trite and after-school-special-y. It's tough.
Thank you everyone for all your comments and emails and prayers.
As for the rest of December: my plane from The Rockies landed in The Jungle just in time to meet my sister, BHB, coming in from up north - I even got to meet her at the gate which is rare these days. We rushed to gather all things promised for the church Christmas party (drinks, ice, bread, trinkets for Santa to hand out to the kids) and deliver them. We were a little late but it worked out okay. We then stayed up late preparing the picture frames for the next day so the kids could make a present for their parents. Thankfully my sister, ATL, who lives with Tarzan and I, had done A LOT of prep stuff while we were out of town. After church we were supposed to take BHB out to my parents' house but just as we were leaving for The Desert my sister M2, called to say she and PIT and Squishy were coming in from The Other Side Of The World the next day, could we not tell Mom and Dad and could we fetch them from the airport? Well, we surely could but we had to come up with a reason to not go out that Sunday without tipping off Mom and Dad. I am not ashamed to say we fudged the truth just a teeeeny bit...but it was totally worth it when I saw my mom's face the next night when we dropped them off.
I had to leave work early that day to make the airport and then The Desert, and then I had to leave work early the next day to pick Tarzan up from the airport. Let me tell you, it was good to have him back. And the office seemed to deal just fine without me. At one time that might have made me insecure or snippy, but now it's just a comfort and relief that I won't be leaving the office in the lurch. And on that note: you may have noticed, my turtle friend has moved beyond Liberation and I am not celebrating. It seems as though I will be remaining at the office for another few weeks. February 7th is the official day (and it will likely be the 8th because that's the end of the week.) So I am adding a revised turtle. Just so we can keep it all straight. Not sure why, the office seemed to manage just fine without me. One of the guys said he thought I'd just not come back after the funeral - "life's too short for this crap" and all that. I considered it. Considered it very seriously. But I hate to leave a task half done, so I am back in the office to wind things up before the real end.
It was also good to have Tarzan back because I got really sick. We had been running around like crazy people, with work and rehearsing for the Christmas program and holiday parties and presents and shopping and shipping and driving people places. It was busy. The Thursday before Christmas I felt a little scratchiness in my throat which was bad enough because I was singing that Sunday in a small group. Friday was the office holiday party and my nose had joined the stuffy ranks. Saturday was more shopping and I was aching everywhere. Sunday was the program and it went well if I do say so myself, although one might not trust my judgement seeing as I had a fever of 102 that day. After church we took M2, PIT and Squishy to the airport and then I went home to bed. I was a little better Christmas Eve. Enough so that Tarzan figured we could drive out to my parents after all - he was going to try and keep me home - no way, it was Christmas! Of course, I spent Christmas all kinds of hoarse and coughy and sneezey and loopy. We had planned to stay for a few days but I was not well, so we came home the day after Christmas and I slept for that day and the next three days. Pretty much all day. So no cleaning or arranging for when RHM came to town. I was feeling much better by the 30th, but still sleeping 12-16 hours a day. New Year's Eve was a small quiet affair for which I was glad - not a lot of energy to host bunches of people. The first day of 2008 I considered writing something here - it had been a while - but after the football games (go USC!) - and dinner (thank you RHM) - I was exhausted.
It was almost a relief to come to work today because it meant a return to normalcy. RHM went home this morning and ATL and BHB will be back from my parents shortly and soon I can go home to bed again.

This is me, tired but back.

From Whence You Cometh