Sunday, October 14, 2018

body mousse and the bionic girl

We had our P.E.O. fundraiser shindig last night.  By the end of the night, all of the wine and food was gone, and we'd sold all of the auction items.  Success!

I don't know the total headcount yet or how much moolah we made, but either way, it was a fun night.  Mag and I brought a white wine that supposedly pairs well with cheddar cheese, so I made some vegetarian quesadillas from a recipe I made up on the fly that included cheddar cheese.

I wanted to bring something vegetarian since I'm trying to not eat things that once had a face, and to have something to offer others in the group that don't eat things with faces.  The quesadillas were actually quite good, I'd say.  Maybe I should try making recipes up on the fly more often.  Or maybe it was the wine talking...

Anyway, it was a good time.  This was our second annual wine fundraiser.  I missed it last year because, well, this is high school marching band season, and that was Meego's thing.  We used to do Oktoberfest which had been successful too, but was more work to throw - all those brats!  Wine and potluck works better.

I also "won" some body mousse from the silent auction.  I really wasn't interested in buying anything, but, all proceeds go to the philanthropies.  One of my P.E.O. sisters teaches engineering at a local high school, and she's quite interesting and  knowledgeable about geeky things and also makes a crappy salary.  As such, she sells Mary Kay on the side.

Among the auction items were a few Mary Kay things, from whom we all knew.  Anyone who knows me knows I'm not in the target audience for Mary Kay items, but I saw a canister of  "body mousse" and was all, "What the heck is 'body mousse'?", and nobody really knew.  So I asked the Mary Kay Teacher Sister, "What the heck is 'body mousse'?"

She said it's like lotion, but thicker, "more like 'body butter'".

...which left me wondering what "body butter" is, but at that point, I decided to just bid on the darn stuff.  And now I own it.

Another highlight of the evening was the bionic girl.

See, the couple who hosted have three adopted Chinese daughters in addition to their four biological kids.  The youngest daughter was born with an incomplete arm - it ends just above where her elbow would have been.

Daughter had recently gotten this cool new prosthetic arm, and we all knew about it because her mom/our sister has been working on getting the arm, and there were several hurdles to clear, etc.  Daughter recently got it and began using it, just in time for homecoming, no less (she's 16).

I and others wanted to see it, of course, but didn't want to be all, "Hey Sis, bring daughter out and make her do stuff with her arm!"

But, without us needing to be obnoxious about it, Mom and Dad had her mingle with us while they talked about how cool the thing was, and Daughter did a few demo moves.  This isn't her arm/hand, but close enough:

 Anyway, it's pretty cool what these things can do.  And hers isn't even the most advanced.  I was impressed at how dexterous she was with the prosthetic, considering she just started using it after being one-armed her whole life.

Friendship, wine, faceless food, charity, body mousse, bionic Chinese adopted girl.  Three hours well spent.

*and I've fallen behind on Inktober, but so bet it...*

Saturday, October 13, 2018

baring arms

"You're the first person to come in wearing short sleeves today"

This from Geej, the girl who gives my weekly allergy shots.

And I was all, "Well... yeah, I'm here for shots"

In fact I told her that I'd changed before going because it wasn't a day to be wearing short sleeves - the reason why everyone else who'd come in had to figure out ways to bare their upper arm(s).  I like to keep it simple and skip the disrobing.  Plus I'm strangely obedient when a medical person tells me to do something like, "wear short sleeves when you come in for shots".

But yeah, it's been cold and drizzly here all week.  We got snowed upon.  It's early for that stuff, so people are confused, and I got a gold star from the allergist's.

And speaking of prizes, looky what I won from Ann over at Annster's Domain!

Yup, Ann had a blog door prize of sorts to celebrate her 1000th blog post, and I won the Starbuck's Gift card!  What a treat!

For those who don't know Ann and her blog, it's always a fun place to visit with upbeat posts and good times.  Take a break from the &%*!^# news headlines and visit Annster's!

In other diversion news, I'm managing to keep my head above water for Inktober.  Here are thumbnails of the latest submissions:

I ordered some new pens and expect them to come in the mail today.  The ones I've been using for Inktober are on their last legs, I think, but I'm keeping the drive alive πŸ’ͺand trying to put some ink on paper every day as I excitedly watch for the mailman.  Yeah, simple pleasures...

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday speaking of

Happy Sunday, blogworld.  I'm currently enjoying a cup o' tea, getting ready for a pleasant tutee and thought I'd do a Silver Lining Sunday post.

Speaking of tutees, my schedule is full of 'em, and for that I'm grateful - all nice kids/young adults.  I'll give a shout out again to high speed internet finally finding our neighborhood.  And I do have a handful of local students because it's nice to get outta the house too.

Speaking of getting outta the house,  I went for a bike ride this morning, and fall is definitely here.  Two words for this morning:  FOG GEE.  It was noticeably chilly too - I had to break out gloves and stuff.  I snapped this pic after a good portion of the fog had cleared out and I could actually see across the street.  I'm grateful for my bike lights!

Speaking of recreation, I'm having fun riding the Inktober bandwagon.  I've managed to keep up for this first week.  I'm finding it nicely therapeutic, but I'm not sure just what the therapy is for?  I'm following a few others on Instagram in addition to seeing what Wolfgang's got to offer.  Here are my days one thru six:

Speaking of social media, my P.E.O. chapter is having a fundraiser coming up next weekend.  Wine and Cheese and silent auction social - actual face-to-face socializing and nice way to bring in some cash.  I'm also glad I'm not Prez this year 😊.

Onward to the tuting, and then exhaustion!  (That's today's Inktober prompt: exhausted)
Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

pigs and hazmat gnomes

3. Roasted

Happy day 3 of Inktober!  I'm managing to keep up... so far.  Three down, twenty-eight to go.
Today's prompt is "Roasted", so thought I'd draw some sunflowers... and an uneaten pig.

I used to be quite a carnivore, but more and more, I find myself eating meat less and less.  Especially mammal meat.  I've caught glimpses of slaughterhouse videos, and they make me think twice.  I know that my abstaining from meat eating isn't going to save many pigs or cows, but oh well.  And I'm considering the appeal of "Moo Shoo Tofu"?

So Inktober is a fun diversion.  I've fallen off the artplay wagon, and this is a good thing to get me back on it.  I even cleaned up Meego's old gaming area and took it over as my "drawing studio" a.k.a. "little desk in the corner with some pens and stuff".

Inktober is something Wolfgang got me into last year when he got into his Copic®️ marker hobby.  He likes to ink fun cartoony things as opposed to my purist black-and-white things.  He sent this image he did for Day 1:  Poisonous

1. Poisonous

Well, now, I do eat mushrooms.  But what would Inktober be without some Hazmat Gnomes?

Sunday, September 30, 2018

cats gone wild

"You might want to go get your stuff and bring it in here"

"mmf... it's fine.. *snorf*

"Last I checked, she had your bra and was messing with it on the couch"

"mmf... sh*t, okay..."

Magnum and I spent the night at Wolfgang's last night.  The two of us with Wolfgang's cat, Maisey.  She's adorable...

... mostly.

See, Wolfgang came down for the weekend to do volunteer trail bike at a HS cross-country meet.  Meego told me he was thinking of coming home this weekend too as he wanted to do some guitar buying/selling.  So that worked out since  Wolfgang could bring Meego down, and we could give Meego a ride back up to school, which we did last night.

Wolfgang, in the meantime, is mountain biking today, so when Meego asked for a ride back to school, we worked it out that Magnum and I would stay the night at Wolfgang's and check on Maisey.

She's a young and very playful cat.  She's also quite large.  Wolfgang got her from a shelter only after she'd been in quarantine for being too rough. 

We brought our sleeping bags so as to just crash in Wolfgang's apartment.  I took the coveted position on the couch and was drifting off when I was punched in the face.  By Maisey. I opened my eyes to see her staring at me, intently.  I tried to go back to sleep only to have her punch me some more and also pounce on me. 

I thought, "Okay, maybe SHE wants the couch.  Fine".  So I moved down to the floor near Magnum, and Maisey commenced to having a loud one-cat wrestling match on the couch.  But she eventually tired of that and came back to us - her newly found enrichment toys. 

The punching and pouncing recommenced.  I realized that (1) she was not about to let us sleep, and (2) even if she decreased the punching and pouncing, I couldn't sleep anyway because I'd be wondering when she was going to punch me or pounce on me next.

Plan B:
Move to Wolfgang's bedroom and close the door.

That's where I was happily drifting off to sleep when Magnum gave me the bra report after going back out to save his stuff.

So I went back out, saved my stuff, the night progressed with no further attacks, and I had a bra to put on in the morning. 

After we got up, Maisey was waiting outside the bedroom door.  She was all lovey dovey.  Clearly, she'd missed us.  She was not at all apologetic, however.  More like, "sorry you guys had to leave so soon from the party".

All in all, it was a nice weekend.  Nice to have both Wolfgang and Meego home for a while, and to get to know Wolfgang's weird cat. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

good-bye, summer

Happy fall!  I'm not sad to see summer in the rear view mirror, but a little pensive about winter up ahead.  It's been unseasonably hot here lately, we broke a few high temp records.  But it's all relative, as many of us reminded ourselves, "at least it's not a hurricane".

Living in Colorado for most of my life, I have no direct experience with hurricanes.  Sounds awful - not just the storm itself, but all that mess of aftermath and ripple effects on the economy.  My mom grew up in the Philippines and used to tell me that my room "looks like a typhoon hit!".  Sorry, Mom.

We dogsat the grandpooch - Chaco's dog, Ella - for a short time this weekend.  She is just too cute and fun.  We're still working on getting her and the cat to be buddies, but we've made good progress.  I still don't trust the two of them alone together, so there's a bit of pet juggling whenever she's here.

And Wolfgang was home for a bit last weekend.  He has some mountain biking friends who live here, so he graces us with his presence once in a while when he's done with them.  Nice thing is, he also took most of his remaining crap that was still stored at our house.

He reminded me that Inktober 2018 is about to start.  I plan to do 'em all again this year!  That exclamation point was to psyche myself up.  I managed to get it done last year, but not without spilling into November.

I have not been doing much art play, however.  I've noticed that it can sometimes be difficult for me to switch brain hemispheres.  Since much of my tuting is left-brain stuff, that's where I've been mostly hanging out recently.  Inktober will be a good challenge and put some balance back into my brain.  I hope.

Speaking of the tuting, a good chunk of my students come to me for help with college entrance exams:  SAT, ACT, and GRE.  Test prep was how I got into tutoring in the first place.  Sometimes I hear back from students when they get their score reports - hopefully happy news.

In all this time, I've had a handful of kids who've gotten close to perfect scores - a very rare thing - but never the golden 36 ACT or 1600 SAT or 170 GRE.  Earlier this week, I got this message from "Joe Kool":

Never mind that his "I got 36 ACT this time!" is grammatically incomplete.

He gets a pass.

Friday, September 21, 2018

recommendations, robots, randomness

I rarely use facebook, but keep an account.  Like I told Magnum, because of the nature of my work, prospective students and/or parents are more likely to spy facebook over Linkedin to check for any dirt. So I keep it for the purpose of nothing-to-see-here, and to avoid any hmmm-why-doesn't-she-have-a-facebook-what's-wrong-with-her?

I do follow a couple of groups, mainly P.E.O. and the bicycle commuter group, both of which are usually positive and helpful, unlike seemingly the entire rest of fbook.  But even they have their moments.

Recently, one of the bicycle commuters, who lives somewhere in Europe, said he was coming to the US for a temporary work assignment.  He was bringing his bicycle and wanted recommendations for a good bullet-proof vest to wear while commuting.


Was he joking?  He was joking, right?

Some assumed he was joking, others told him he was much more likely to get hit by a car than by a bullet. I, for one, ignored him (he's posted attention-drama-queen stuff before).  He claimed to not be joking.

So that went on to spark a conversation thread about some notions people from other countries had about the US that they felt seemed strange, but turned out to be true.  One person thought it was strange the way the national anthem is played/sung before sporting events.

That sparked an even more animated discussion about American school children pledging allegiance to the flag every morning of public school.

Admittedly, I find that kinda weird.  Last year, when I was working at that local public high school, I was a bit surprised to learn that schools still did that.  And it seemed strange that high school kids, stereotypically known for rebellion, robotically stood up each morning on cue and mumbled the Pledge of Allegiance.  As I dutifully stood and sometimes mumbled along, I couldn't help but feel I had a part in some dystopian novel.

I do however like the anthem before sporting events, but I'm not really big into watching sporting events.  My appreciation stems more from races I've done where the anthem is performed just before the start.  For one, it gets everyone to shut up so we can all hear the "Go!".

One local race I've enjoyed is the Rescue Run that happens "Rain, Snow, or 20 Below!" on New Years day each year, with proceeds going to the county search and rescue team.  That race is run partially in some boonies with the start at a different location than the finish, and there is no PA system at the start.  Instead of having some talented person sing the anthem, one of the race officials starts us off and all us race participants belt it out.  I strangely enjoy that part.

This past year, after I'd finished the race, I was hanging around because I'd won a medal and had to wait for the big presentation to receive what I'm sure is pure solid gold 😝.  It wasn't quite 20 below, but it was chilly, so I went to the snack area to get some warm beverage.

They were serving up animal crackers and hot Gatorade®️.  Believe me, it tastes better than it sounds, at least to me it did.  It was so surprisingly good that I've thought about it off and on for the past nine and a half months - every time I go to Costco and see those big jugs of animal crackers.

I broke down and bought one today - a big jug of animal crackers.

That's really what this whole post is about.  I bought a jug of animal crackers today at Costco.  But if I just said that, it would've been pretty dumb.

But I WOULD like to know others' thoughts on the playing of the national anthem before sporting events and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in US public schools... or animal crackers.