Friday, December 31, 2010


Happy New Year's Eve Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "resolutions". I had a feeling it might be something along those lines.

I've been formulating a few resolutions of my own as it's that time of year. Any bad habits out there waiting to be kicked? New ones waiting to be tooken up? Care to share?? (Is "tooken" a word?)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

what I got for Christmas

Oh, right, as if you care!

Actually, I realized it's been a while since I've visitied the bloggie. Well, it IS the holidays, but then again I have practically NO social life...

That class is keeping me just busy enough, and I'm having fun with it. It's a large class, so there are actually 4 of us teachers. I've only ever done a class with 2 teachers, so while 2 is company, 3's a crowd, 4's a party! (According to Andy Warhol I think).

In the midst of that, the kids and Magnum are all off from school/work this week. Christmas was fun and now, I think we've sorted through all the stuff that we plan to keep and all the stuff that will be happily chucked out the door donated.

On Christmas eve, a guy answered a craigslist ad I had out there to sell Wolfgang's Guitar Hero II PS2 game and guitar. He showed up at the agreed upon time, and I went out to meet him in the driveway. Little did I know, it was a gift for his kids, who were in the car. The buyer pounced upon me and swiftly stuck the contraband in his hoodie while handing me a twenty. We've had good luck selling stuff on craigslist despite some of the bad press it gets. The pouncing didn't even come close to anything juicy.

Aside from video games, Magnum and I often get games for the family at Christmas. This year we got Scattergories per Wolfgang's favorable review. It's a good time. (A word of caution, however: If your required letter turns out to be a "P", the word "*enis" will probably come to mind for every category for that round, it happened, just sayin').

And now, we count down to the new year. We're planning on running our annual midnight mile once again despite a weather forecast of temperatures in the single digits - or maybe even negatives! Wolfgang was totally determined to do it topless this year, and I was actually going to join him in that (within reason).

Forget about it!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Happy Christmas Eve Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "winter".

I like how the birds that stick around all year get all bulbous in the winter. It seems like they should freeze, but they always just look so fat and happy and carefree. Maybe I'll name this one "Botero".

I hope all who read this have a special holiday season! Maybe take it easy on the suet, though...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

frosty silence

I went out back this morning to clean up the dog run and thought I'd take a picture before it was all gone.

No, not the dog poo....

It was all purdy frosty this morning. The trees and fences and everything were covered with this frosty natural flocking. Here in Colorado, while we do get snow, our humidity is actually usually on the low side, so we don't get many frosty mornings like today's.

My photo doesn't really do it justice, but it's all I've got.

In other news, Meego's not speaking to me. Meego's not speaking to anyone. Laryngitis has claimed his voice. Remember being 10 years old? Remember how much you probably liked to talk? He's rather bummed, so we (pretend to) feel badly for him.

In other other news, all of my gift packages have arrived, so Christmas is a go. And.... LOWERS VOICE TO A MERE WHISPER.... I got this little missive from the milk man!:

Can you believe? How Risque! How BRAZEN! It was just sitting in the cooler right there on the front stoop! What if Magnum or one of the kids would've gotten to it before I did!?

Well, alls well that ends well, anyway. Clearly, he can't stop thinking about me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oy, what a day

We're easing into the holidays, right? RIGHT?!

Last Friday, I got a last minute request to help teach a class. No problem, I was actually happy for the work since I didn't have anything else going on, and it's just 3 sessions per week and no interference with any of our holiday plans.

So these online classes, they're always listed in Eastern time and we just convert accordingly. You'd think I could manage a 2-hour time difference! But NooOOOoooo...

Then, I don't know what it was, but I stepped outside to take China the crazy dog for her walk when it finally occurred to me that I had added 2 hours instead of subtracted. The class I was supposed to be helping to teach had just ended it's first session!
*SHITAKE MUSHROOMS!!* (Yeah, I teach math... no really!)

I (virtually) ran over to the classroom to find it empty with nothing but (virtual) post class trash in there. So I ran over to the (virtual) front desk to see what was what. Normally, if a teacher doesn't show up, the front desk people are all over the phones.

Anyway, to spare further boring details, the front desk didn't call because I was just added Friday and they were unaware. There were other teachers there, and they just managed. It's all squared away now and I will be there on time tomorrow MORNING!

So, after that waste, I decided I'd go to the police station because I have to get fingerprinted for that crossing guard job. Nothing like some good old government inefficiency to brighten a day! And such lovely people to share it with!

Actually, I should be happy that it only took an hour.

And the drive home was quite lovely and carefree on a nice sunny day. Except.... have I mentioned that I live near a mall?

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday on a Saturday! This week's prompt is "mail".

It's that time of year when many of us are relying heavily on the mail. I just got a message today that the last of my gifts from amazondotcom have officially shipped. They've got a week to get here. Preferrably sooner.

But I went with the message-in-a-bottle theme, because it seemed like more fun than mail order stuff. It's kind of like blogging. Just throw something out there and see what happens.

Besides, after the Christmas mail arrives, the bills are sure to follow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

it's a start

Or is it a "STOP!"

I got a little part-time job today. Our elementary school needs a crossing guard, to start after the New Year. I dressed in my loudest clothing and applied.

I now just need to complete the paperwork and get officially trained, and the big flashy stop sign thing and bright orange vest are mine. I'm actually quite looking forward to it.

See, this isn't just some little neighborhood street like in the kids' books. I will be reigning terror on a 5-lane, 40 m.p.h. BOULEVARD, baby! I will OWN it for approximately 2 hours a day. All these years of pent up bicycle commuter traffic frustration are about to surface.

As expected, it doesn't pay a whole heckuva lot. But like I told Magnum:

"No vamos a ser ricos, pero voy a ejercer un poder mucho más!"
(He's doing the learn-spanish thing too, so we speak it to each other, it's hawt.)

Translation: "We won't be rich, but I will wield much power!"

Bring it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

just a ramble

Okay, remember when I was all busy with class sessions and tutor students and internet troubles and Spanish lessons and everything?

Well, the class ended, the tutor students ended, the internet troubles ended. At least I'll always have Spanish lessons.

I've been thrown into reflective mode now that I've got the time. See, I like my job, as in I like WHAT I do. But, I don't particularly like WHEN I do it. The "when" being evenings and/or weekends. The nature of our classes is such that our students typically work or go to school during the day, so our classes are offered on evenings and weekends. Not so good for la familia

I had a little chat with my boss, who was very understanding and helpful, and I'm cutting back my hours.

I want a day job. A part-time, fun, fulfilling, purposeful day job. That pays. I've been reading a career counseling type book from the library, and that's been helpful. Mostly it's been helpful showing me what I don't want to be doing.

Truth be told, material wealth isn't high on my list of priorities. Really, just ask my neighbors. But apparently, I like to be kept busy doing something that's of use to SOMEBODY.

In the meantime, my house is (relatively) clean and the dog is much walked.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

I'm not sure, but I think I've been remiss with the silver liningness posts. However, I do remember that I gave thanks for our slaughtered Thanksgiving turkey...

Either which way, let the resumption... uh... resume!

Firstly, we got a new internet service provider this week. The *bomb blast* is no more. I was able to actually attend all of my online classes this week without a glitch, yay. Said classes wrapped up at the end of the week. Big Test yesterday.

I'm thankful that it was an enjoyable class, despite the one-week of connectivity hell. One feature of these online classes is that two teachers are assigned as opposed to just one as in the "brick and mortar" classrooms. This was the first time I'd worked with this particular co-teacher, and we had a good time and hopefully made strides in leading the students to the promised land. This tag-team teaching approach helps me to be a better teacher.

In movie news, Magnum and I watched "Brothers". We'd seen the original Danish version a few months ago. This is a gritty, provocative story, and I typically like the original foreign versions of movies better than the Hollywood. In this case, however, I liked the Hollywood version better. Although it was difficult to see Spiderman as a Marine Captain, everything else worked nicely, and I thought the acting was exceptional, including the young girl who plays the oldest daughter. I felt the wife in the Danish version was kind of a ditzy space cadet, and I didn't particularly like her. Natalie Portman did a better job. It's not perfect, but I'll give it 4 grenades out of 5.

The clases de español continue, and I think I'm making progress. I can almost sometimes understand "Planeta Salvaje" on Telemundo.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Hello and happy Illustration Friday, where this week's prompt is the open-ended "Phenomenon".

So I tried to get a little abstracty-ish mysterious-ish weirdy-ish and ended up with this-ish (solar eclipsy-ish). But call it whatever you want.

Either way, it's nice to be back into the weekly pattern. I totally missed last week's entry, but I was in the aforementioned throes of work busyness and technical issues with a bit of laziness thrown in. I hope that was just a rare and unnatural phenomenon.


Monday, December 6, 2010

and another thing...

I mentioned the internet connectivity issues (which are hopefully fixed now - crossin' my fingers) keeping me from regular blog time. The other piece of it is...

I'm a little burnt out on computer time. See, there's the online class that's going on. It's 4 hours/session, 4 sessions/week. Then there's the stressed out online tutor students. That's a lotta computer time for me. And I'm still doing my computer based Spanish... Yo estudio espanol de la computadora!

SO, that means that when I'm not teaching and I'm not learning, and I'm not dealing with Tech Support, it's time to JUST WALK AWAY. In other words, all this responsible behavior is keeping me from my slacker hobby of blogging.

Be clear, however, that it will not last. The class ends this week. Big test this Saturday, so stressed or not, the tutor students are done. And I have little work on the horizon until after the New Year.

In the words of Arnold The Terminator... (right, like I would really say it)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

virtually real

Hey, remember me?

Ack, it's been a week. We're having troubles with our internet service. Really, the troubles aren't THAT bad, if we were just regular subscribers, but they're wreaking havoc on my online classrooming.

So, I've been on the phone lots with tech support. They probably see the caller ID, and think "oh crap, it's her again...", but geesh, who do I gotta sleep with to get a reliable connection around here?!?

Anyway, we're switching providers. I think I've given the current crew - won't mention any names, but rhymes with "BOMB BLAST" - more than three strikes. They're out. New guys' time to shine. The switch happens on Monday. All this in the middle of a 4-week long online class. I've got a 2-hour online tutor session later this afternoon. I'm just hoping the ship holds together for that.

BUT OTHER THAN THAT.... it's been good times as usual around here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


What? Already Tuesday? I totally missed my Illustration Friday entry for last Friday. But, since that is just a self-imposed rule, I figure it's okay for me to break it... this time.

I was just savoring the Holiday time off with the family, so that's appropriate, right? Since this week's prompt is "savo(u)r"?

Of course, "savor" doesn't just apply to food. It's to "appreciate" or "luxuriate in" well... anything. Still, I chose the food thing, particularly a chef savoring his own food. How many times do we, as "chefs", take the time to savor those things we've mainly created for others' enjoyment?

Go make a sammich.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Yesterday, I came upon this on the fridge "to do" whiteboard:

I guess Chaco felt he needed to put it up there in case I forgot or something. (Note: I added the hatchet as it was missing and I felt that step was important).

Of course, it's not about the turkey, not really. It bothers me when people refer to Thanksgiving as "turkey day". I just want to grab them by the lapels and shout, "It's not about the turkey, you ingrate!", but I don't.

Either way, I am thankful for the turkey who gave its life and is now roasting away in the oven.

But I am most sincerely grateful for friends I've met through this blog. Really, just know that I would gladly take a bullet for any one of you.... but maybe not in the head, but in like an arm or leg or something.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Okay, yesterday I gloated about having all my Thanksgiving fixin's on hand. That wasn't entirely true. I need to do a run for yams and Cool Whip sometime today. Nothing like the grocery store on Thanksgiving eve. Sure to be every woman for herself. I do enjoy cooking, just rarely make it a priority, and the family is usually appreciative when I do.

Maybe along those lines, but not necessarily so, I recently learned about a new-to-me artist: Fernando Botero. Recall that I recommended the movie City Island a few days ago. Have you seen it yet? Why not!?! Oh well, in the movie, there's a side plot that involves Botero. I had no idea who or what this was referring to necessarily. I meant to look it up afterwards out of curiosity, but I guess it wasn't all that important. Nevermind, because in an almost eerie, coincidental, synchronistic way, Chaco educated me.

Chaco had an assignment in his spanish class. He needed to put together a presentation of sorts about an artist. He chose Fernando Botero at random from a list. I came upon him as he'd begun working on the project. He was clearly not a Botero fan.

"This isn't art, it's just a bunch of fat people!" Curious, I went to see what he was talking about, and that's where I learned about Fernando Botero.

"BOTERO!! That's the reference in that movie we just watched! Now I totally get it!"

Surprisingly, Chaco was not as flabbergasted as I was at this amazing coincidence.

I've since learned a bit more about him. In the art world, he's known for these "inflated images", but the non-politically correct, Chaco's "fat people" is pretty much Botero's trademark.

I've come to rather like these plump people. I doubt I would hang them on the walls of my house, those are reserved for my children's masterpieces. But a greeting card or two is not out of the question, provided the plump people are not naked or being tortured.

And maybe it's the odd coincidence of Chaco's assignment with my seeing "City Island". Or maybe it's the humor I find in Chaco's presentation. Or maybe it's that I will be a cooking fool tomorrow.

Either way, I find Botero roundly amusing today.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I don't want to work

but I don't necessarily want to bang on the drum all day either, so I guess I'll work.

The kids are off of school all week, so there's laziness in the air. I'm not used to this. I'm used to them trudging off to school each morning, only to return HOURS later. But NO, they just keep hanging around!

Actually, I don't really mind it. It's nice to have no set schedule and just relax a bit as fall rolls in. I do have one class going right now, but tonight is our last session for this week, so it's manageable. And, impressing even myself, I got all of my Thanksgiving fixings last week. I don't know what came over me, but I was grocery shopping and just added that stuff to the cart.

And now, I'm pretending to work.

Meego is entertaining two friends. They wanted to play video games. They wanted to play video games on the video game system that is just a few feet away from where I am sitting. Just a few feet away from where I am sitting and currently relishing in the fact that there are no video game noises coming from anywhere near me.

So I told them, "not right now, I'm working", which I'm clearly not doing, but putting on a pretty goood show of. And so they're playing Life.

I may have mentioned here that we never got on the Santa Claus bandwagon with our kids. Just didn't want to lie to them.

This is WAY different.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "sneaky", and I guess I was feeling a little cartoony. Self-portrait.

Recall that I went for a health checkup last week. Everything checked out fine, but my cholesterol number interested me. Supposedly, it's best to be below 200. Well, mine came in at 193 - technically on the good side, but just barely. But it's even higher than Magnum's number. Let me just clarify, however, that my HDL is still WAY better!

Still, the 193 had me curious. Where's all this cholesterol coming from? I exercise. I eat right. Well.... I exercise.

It's the eggs. Gotta be. I loves me some eggs. I typically eat a couple every day. I would actually eat more, but I limit myself to two. Yesterday, I decided to do a little background check on my friend, the egg:

One large egg has 212 mg of cholesterol. I have no idea what 212 mg of cholesterol really represents other than a whopping 71% of the recommended daily value.

Sneaky eggs.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

not to pick, but...

Chaco's been home this week fighting the snot wars. While he's not sick enough to just lay around all day, he's sick enough to not be hacking germs all about the shared air of the high school.

So, he does a teeny tiny bit of homework, plays video games, fakes like he's doing a teeny tiny bit of homework, and watches movies. Today he watched District 9. That's a very loud movie. I've watched it before and actually liked it in a this-is-weird-but-pretty-good kind of way. I didn't watch with him today, but was rather going about my usual housewifery which isn't usually punctuated with such explosions and frustrated rants unless they are emanating from me personally.

Anyway, this was after I returned home from the annual Thanksgiving Feast at Meego's school. I got wrangled into spooning again. This year? Gravy. Easy, messy fun!

What sometimes intrigues me about these volunteer assignments is the picky poo volunteers. Don't get me wrong, school volunteers are typically good folks, but some can be so picky. Recall earlier this year, I did volunteer duty for Field Day. I was assigned the long jump. I worked next to another mom who told me she "only does long jump" What the...? I think I've done every event there is. I show up and am handed whatever implement necessary. This year, a rake.

So, there I was at the school cafeteria today. Donned my apron and lovely latex gloves and was positioned at the gravy station. Next to the mashed potato station. Next to the volunteer who "only does mashed potatoes".

What the....?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

And a lovely Sunday morning it is.

Firstly, how about that Manny Pacquiao? Any boxing fan knows what I'm referring to this morning. I happen to be a bit of a boxing fan. I'm not even sure how or why because I never watch boxing - we don't even have cable, let alone pay-per-view, and I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in MMA. I think I'm just impressed with the discipline and training required, not to mention the insanity of participating in the sport, so I follow it somewhat and can drop a name now and then. Combine that interest with the fact that I'm 50% Filipino, and it's impossible for me to not know about Manny Pacquiao. Anyways, I'm glad he won and I'm glad it's over because I was actually worried about him this time. Silly me.

In other goodness news, I finally got around to going to the doctor's for a "well woman check" a year and a half overdue. I detailed my reluctance for these things before, and don't want to rehash it. And anyway, it's the right thing to do, plus, Magnum supplied me with two sweet words: "cash incentive". His employer actually gives us money for jumping through a few health hoops. We don't even have to BE healthy! We just have to show that we know whether we are or not!

And let me just add that, in regards to the previously mentioned "reluctance", this particular time was so much better! As I was being stirrupped (yes, that's a verb), I just casually mentioned my challenges to the doctor - a bit of pre-pap-pep-talk I suppose, mainly for her benefit as an "it's not you it's me" sort of tone - which prompted her to select a different speculum than that used on normal women. Omigosh! What a difference! Ladies, if you share my deformity, give your doctor the pep talk! Better yet, purchase one of those things and carry it in your purse!

Okay, enough of that....

In movie news, Magnum and I both enjoyed City Island - yet another flick I'd never heard of, but it showed up in my Netflix recommendations. It's a hoot! Very fun! Go see!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Is it hot in here, or is it just me? OH, it's Illustration Friday. This week's prompt is "burning".

Since my demise birthday is looming coming up soon, I thought of hot flashes candles. Birthday candles. Birthday candles and fire. Birthday candles and BIG FIRE.

I didn't put all of the candles on this cake. I don't think I have enough paint.

Monday, November 8, 2010

birth orders

Today, I noticed something about my development as a mom.

About 6 years ago....

*riiiing riiiiiing*

Me: Hello?

Phone: Hi Abby, it's School Secretary. Listen, Chaco collided with another student in P.E. class today. He's hurt his wrist....

Me: Really? Thanks, I'll be right there.

About 4 years ago....

*riiiiing riiiiing*

Me: Hello?

Phone: Hey, Abby. School Secretary. Wolfgang fell of a chair this morning while hanging some posters and hurt his thumb.

Me: Hmmm, can he write?

Phone: Not really.

Me: Okay then. I'll come get him in... about an hour and a half?


*riiiiing riiiiing*

Me: Hello?

Phone: Hey, Abby. School Secretary here. Meego got whapped in the face with a tetherball. We've stopped the bleeding and his eyes aren't black yet.

Me: Awesome, you guys rock. Tell Meego I'll see him afer school.


Friday, November 5, 2010


Dang, these weeks, they are a-flying by, aren't they? Already November! Already Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "afterwards".

First thing I thought of was laundry, so I drew some laundry.

A book with the title "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry" is about getting back to reality while also being on the spiritual path. At least that's what I'm told it's about. I haven't actually read it. But I do try to live it. We're all spritual creatures, and we're also human.

I should probably try to spend less time with the laundry.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

intervention maybe?

This past weekend, we had an incident. An incident involving Wolfgang, and I'm wondering where we went wrong.

Now, Wolfgang's a good kid. Works hard in school, gets good grades, helps out at home for the most part. His teachers and coaches like him. He's popular with the other kids. As such, he is often invited to parties.


So yeah, he actually went to two parties this weekend, one on Saturday night, another on Sunday. I've always trusted him to do the right thing, and his friends he parties with are good enough kids from what I know about them. It's all good, right?

Apparently not. On Sunday, he returned home, and I could tell right away that he'd gotten involved in something that his father and I don't condone. He didn't even try to cover it up, and I'm pretty sure that he felt bad about what he'd done, even felt bad while he was doing it. It was the peer pressure, he explained. Everyone else was doing it, so he just went along.

They... they... they went.... they went....



He said they'd planned to do other stuff, but not that many people showed up, it being on a Sunday evening and all, so they just decided to... to.... OH, I can't even type it!

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know what we'll do about this just yet. I just feel so dirty.

*stress eats another pack of rollos*

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Sunday and Happy Halloween! Since this Sunday lands on a spooky one, I thought I'd changed things up a little and present a few of my favorite spooky film characters in no particular order.

Now, yes, there are the obvious ones - the Darth Vaders, the Hannibal Lecters, the Jasons, the Freddies, etc. What I LIKE in a good scare are the ones that seem absolutely plausible. The ones that could be the guy next door, or the guy in the kitty corner cubicle...

...or, the guy dating your daughter. In the movie Fear, a young Mark Wahlberg (not yet too far removed from the Marky Mark we all knew and loved) is that guy, Reese Witherspoon your daughter!

Yes, he's attentive and gentle and caring... and let's face it, he looks pretty darned good playing pool in a tight shirt and blue jeans. But, don't be fooled! Next thing you know, he's pummeling your platonic high school buddy and worse!

Then there's Colonel Landa from Inglorius Basterds. Wasn't he SO wonderfully EE-VIL?! Truly, in my book, Christoph Waltz deserved every one of the awards he won for that role.

In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there were a couple of awful, evil guys-next-door. I will mention just one so as to not present any spoilers for those who have yet to see the movie. The so-called "Guardian" PIG! Evil, evil man.

In the movie "Fracture", Anthony Hopkins plays a successful and highly intelligent businessman. Ooooh, beware the successful, highly intelligent businessman!

And lastly, I'll throw in the movie "Severance", because it's just stupid, somewhat spooky fun.

I would love to hear any other evil recommendations. Do tell! What creeps you out?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

because 2nd place is first place last

I ran in a road race this morning. An actual organized, pay-a-fee, get-a-t-shirt road race. Omigod, it was so much fun!

A DECA (a high school marketing association to which no one seems to know what the initials stand for) group at the local high school sponsored this 5K to raise money, not for them, but for the Disabled American Veterans. I don't typically sign up for 5K's because I prefer longer races - it takes me about a whole 5K to warm up.

This race sounded like a good time though, and certainly for a good cause. Originally, Wolfgang thought he might do it to - which was part of my own motivation. He ended up NOT - slept in instead. But also, the race happened to start and finish about 5K from my house. SHOOT, I just ran over there, ran the race, ran back home.

And... AND, I won! Not tops overall, but I won first for the "ladies". Looky at my loot in the above pic:

* One memorable certificate with my name mispelled
* One $15 Road ID coupon
* One $5 Pizza Time gift card
* One $25 Biaggi's (ristorante Italiano) gift card
* Four shiny safety pins!
* (not pictured - one t-shirt)

Guess who's not cooking this weekend ....

....not that I typically do anyway.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday where this week's prompt is "spent".

Remember the good old days where we just woke up when we woke up, then just played until we fell asleep in our tracks?

Neither do I.

This morning, both Chaco and Wolfgang overslept. I could tell because of the "sound" of their oversleeping - that would be silence in the place of the usual banging and clashing that accompanies their morning ablutions.

I purposely did not go and wake them, but lucky for them, Magnum's banging and clashing that accompanies his morning ablutions did serve to startle them into consciousness, and they both made it to school on time.

There's a time to sleep, and a time to wake. Too bad we don't always agree when those times should be.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Yes, I have a facebook.

I know of facebook users who have a gazillion friends or so, and that's certainly fine. My own style of facebooking is to (a) set it up, (b) hardly ever go there, (c) ignore friend requests from people I hardly know, (d) accept friend requests from people I truly like.

So yes, I've ignored a friend request or two or twenty. The fact that I occupied the same town/school/place of employment at some point with another person isn't enough to get me to hit that "accept" button. (So there, for those of you who are on my friend list, see just how discerning I am!)

But yesterday, I got a strange request. It was from a colleague of my DAD!

I mean, I vaguely remember what the guy even looks like. I remember him being at our house for the occassional dinner party where I was banished to the kitchen to do clean up duty. I remember his wife's name only because he mentioned it in the friend request: "...Glenna say's hello". In fact, I can't even bring myself to refer to him by his first name, he was always "Mr." Colleague of My Dad.

Pros of accepting his friend request:

* I won't feel bad about not accepting it.
* I do have a few fond memories of him and the family.
* He went through the trouble of finding me and sending the request, so I should reciprocate.

Cons of accepting his friend request:

* I'll worry about him reading my rare but possibly raunchy status updates?
* It's difficult for me to refer to him by his first name.
* I'll worry about him reading my rare but possibly raunchy status updates?

Oh, what the hell, I hardly never even do status updates (yes, I know I'm breaking a grammar rule there).

It's still sitting there. A day and a half has gone by since he sent it. I want to know if others have ever gotten an atypical friend request and couldn't decide. What to do?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

...on an actual Sunday! It's only right.

First of all, this week was a nice mellow one work-wise. Really, I'm not a work-a-holic at all, I was just posing as one for a while there. I only had two class sessions this week.

One of my tutor students cancelled because of sickness, and another class that was supposed to begin this week was cancelled because only 4 students had enrolled. Normally, these aren't necessarily good things, but I really needed the break. So, while not happy for the sick student or the 4 others that are now scrounging for another class, I'm grateful!

On that note, I'm thankful for the flexibility of my job and also thankful for Magnum and his job, all of which allow me to take a load off as needed.

Wolfgang had his final cross-country meet on Friday as mentioned. It was a nice way to finish out the season. Conditions were perfect - favorable temperatures, slightly overcast skies, the pink shoes.... - he was very pleased, unlike the previous meet where it was an unseasonably hot 80 degrees with the sun boring down and Chipotle for dinner the night before... um, yeah.

As for my activity, I surpassed the 1300 mile mark for my own running on the year this week. Fall is my favorite season for running. Next stop, 1400 miles.

AND, we mustn't forget quality time with las bicicletas! I don't keep track of those miles, but they're all good.

(segue into the learning-to-speak-Spanish thing). Yep, I'm making it a priority to keep up with my spanish lessons each day. Today, for instance, I learned desayuno, almuerzo, y cerna among other things.

In movie news, we watched The Red Baron. I mainly got it because I figured the kids would like the dogfight scenes, which were very well done by the way. But I actually liked it for myself. Gotta love a love story.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

racing II

Okay, I couldn't let an Illustration Friday go by with just a photo! As mentioned in the last post, this week's prompt is "racing", so here's a coupla kids doing just that.

I recall that a local school banned the kids from playing tag at recess because it was deemed "too competetive". And while they were allowed to run, they weren't allowed to race. Same reason. Phooey! They're gonna do it anyway! The little criminals!

Go for it, I won't tell.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday once again. I drew nothing.

Ironically, the prompt this week is "racing" and I drew nothing because I was at Wolfgang's cross country meet. So, in lieu of an illustration, I took the above pic of him owning the field. He came in FIRST out of his JV team while setting a new PR! (He's the kid in the dark top and yellow trunks and pink shoes which he swears are more red than pink).

Actually, I did start to draw something, but didn't finish. Unlike Wolfgang.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

stay at home, mom

Hey gamers (yawn), how about that Fallout New Vegas?

Okay, I'm not a video gamer at all. However, my living situation requires that I am constantly in the know about the world of video gaming. I will say that I find it rather interesting that the video game world is one of the few that has hardly been affected by the recession. People will find ways to stretch their toilet paper stash, but don't take away the video games!

Anyway, yesterday was another big release date for a game lovingly named "Fallout New Vegas". As per usual with these big release games, Chaco had pre-ordered his copy, happily paying a premium in order to getting his on release day Tuesday.

Except it didn't show.... HORRORS!

I don't know, something happened with amazon dot com where a bunch of "guaranteed" orders were not delivered (I'm curiously monitoring the backlash). Now, here I was, under strict request to please, Mom, please!! be home to sign for the precious package on release day Tuesday.

So I made exciting plans to accomodate this request by cleaning my kitchen. That was Tuesday. Amazon dot com then sent further correspondence to explain that the copy was on it's way, would be overnighted and delivered by fedex on day-after-release-day Wednesday, a.k.a. today.

Once again, the strict request was issued for me to be here to accept the precious cargo that would be delivered "some time before 3 pm". Nice of them to narrow it down for me.

By 11 am, I was getting desperate to get out. It was a beautiful day. The dog needed her beauty walk, I needed to get cookies for my class later this evening - this is the high schoolers. I've learned that one way to a high schooler's brain is through their stomach, via junk food, but I digress. Nonetheless, I needed to LEAVE THE HOUSE! *music of foreboding*.

Shhhhh.... don't tell Chaco, but.... I left. SHHHHH!!

I went to the grocery store, got a few things, got some cookies. Upon my arrival back home, I had JUST backed into the garage when the fedex truck pulled up. I couldn't have synchronized it better if I'd planned it! I got it! I got the stupid video game!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

there are others

Okay, I have to confess this. I just can't deal with the guilt any longer.

I'm cheating.

I KNOW, I know... It's a wretched thing to do. I tell myself that it's gotta stop. I need to find a different diversion. I wasn't looking for it, believe me. The circumstances just presented themselves, and before I knew it, I was already in the throes of the affair.

This past week, things kind of came to a head. It was enough to make me take a step back and examine just what I was doing. Maybe blogging will help as well.

See, it's not just ONE that I'm cheating with. That would be bad enough. But there are actually SEVERAL. I don't know, I guess it's just that my own home life has gotten to be so routine, and I was feeling taken for granted. Then these young ones started giving me this attention, and I caved.

Yes, I'm cheating on my kids. I'm a cheating mom.

It started around the beginning of the school year actually. I would be at the elementary school, do some sort of innocent volunteering thing, when a little one or two would say something so sweet to me. They're all 3rd grade or younger. My youngest kid is a 5th grader for Cripe's sake! What mom wouldn't be led astray!?!

So this last week, was the Semi-annual book fair. The BOOK FAIR! Such a place of sin! I volunteered on both Monday and Tuesday to help the little ones fill out their wish lists, since they can't yet fill them out themselves. First and second grades and... and... Kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN!!

I could've been home for when Chaco comes home for lunch, but NO, I was at the BOOK FAIR. I could've gone later in the day to book shop with Meego, but NO, I was athe BOOK FAIR with the little ones! Filling out WISH LISTS!

Wish lists with items like Captain Underpants and Oh David and Fly Guy and Skippyjon Jones! SKIPPYJON JONES!!

I was putty in their hands. Their pudgy little not-quite-rid-of-the-babyfat hands.


Friday, October 15, 2010


TGI Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "spooky", so I sketched this brujo.

I think some actual brujos were around nearby when I was growing up, but I don't wanna talk about it because they scare me!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


For years, I've been thinking that I ought to learn Spanish, and there I sat. Then finally, a few weeks ago, I decided, I'm gonna do this thing. So we ordered that learn-to-speak-Spanish program, which I started this week.

Oooh, it's fun! It's interactive! They never speak a lick of English (or any other non-Spanish language for that matter), and so far, I'm liking it and, I think, making nice progress.

Yo soy maestro.

Yo tengo una bicicleta azul y bicicleta naranja.

Ahora, I'm going to ride mi bicicleta azul to the Post Office. Okay, so I'm still pretty limited in my fluency level...

Yep, won't be long now until I can understand those Telemundo shows with all the good looking people assist local Spanish - speaking people with their various communication barriers!

Hasta luego!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Silver Liningness Sun(Mon)day

Late again, but better late than never, I say!

Last week was a fast and busy week with much goodness as always. For one thing, the weekend was my first weekend off in a month, so that was nice. We didn't do anything special, it was just nice to have the nothing-to-do's.

Wolfgang achieved another PR at his Cross Country meet last week. He's been making nice steady progress and can probably beat my butt now in a 5k. Must be that haircut.

We have yapples! Lots of yapples. (okay, I know they're really called "apples"). I don't even know what kind they are, the tree was here when we moved in, and I think this is the most productive it's been. Very tasty too.

It's finally starting to look and feel like fall. The summer heat had overstayed its welcome, but it's starting to cool down nicely, and the colors are showing before we hit the winter greys.

...which makes for lovely bicycling and running weather.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ghost writer

It's Saturday, and I'm happy to state that I am not teaching today. At all. No class, no tutees, no nuthin. Most of my recent students are currently toiling away on their respective grueling tests, while I bask in not having to use my brain.

I had a lovely bike ride this morning. It's finally starting to feel like fall around here, and the temperatures were in the 40's. My toes were wonderfully numb upon my return home.

Later, I was on amazon dot com. I wanted to read the reviews of a book that I'm currently reading. The book is okay, but I found the title misleading and wondered what others thought. Once there, I decided to write my own review.

I've never submitted a review on amazon dot com, and once I submitted this one, I was curious to know why the nickname that showed up for me was "her son". I never remembered making any account settings, but just submitted the thing anyway. Then I saw that "I" had a couple of other reviews, so naturally, I had to go see what "I" had reviewed.

One review was for a video game, the other an air soft rifle. I'm pretty sure Chaco wrote them. They're actually quite well written. Since I do assess a good number of essays for work - on topics that I have absolutely no interest in - I was able to get a grasp of his writing skills despite the fact that I had no interest in either of these products whatsoever.

Now, next time he complains about having to complete a writing assignment for school, I will need to remind "her son" that "his mom" knows he can write, so stop the whining.


Friday, October 8, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "transportation".

Naturally, I believe that every woman should have a bicycle to go with her little black dress.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

wake me up when September ends

Greetings! AH-CHOOOOO!! Bless me, there's so much dust around here, I've got the sneezes.

I'm glad to say that things are settling down to a gentle roar on the work front. This weekend is a big test weekend, subsequently I predict much alcohol consumption come Saturday evening - either of the revelling-in-success kind or the drowning-in-failure kind.

While I'm glad to be able to get more dimension back in my life, I will miss the current round of students. *sniff*, they grow up so fast.

My grad class features a bit of a love triangle between the characters Music Man, Teacher Girl, and Teacher Man. I'm just going to stay away from that altogether and turn my efforts to pulling for Tea Girl and Camper Guy. Oh, wait, I want them to do well on their tests too, of course. ahem.

Anyway, it's nice to visit the blog again. Expect resumption of regular programming.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

... this time, on a Tuesday!

Well, it's busy. Weekends are busy. October is a rip-roaring month in the land of standardized admissions testing, thus making September and October rip-roaring months in the land of stanrdized admissions testing preparations. Aren't you glad to know that now?

So on that front, I'm enjoying the busyness. One grad class and one high school class plus a handful of tutees is enough for my schedule. And they're all attentive and friendly students. After all, there are annoying ones out there.

Speaking of which, one of my high schooler tutees informed me yesterday that she got 32 big ones on her recent ACT. Couldn't have happened to a nicer girl. Now, onto pwning the SAT!

Okay, enough shop talk! I'm thankful that Wolfgang got a haircut. Really. We pretty much let the kids do what they want with their hair and clothes. I mean, they're boys - not too many battles there. But Wolfgang had been letting his hair grow for a while. His hair is very thick and wavy, so when he grows it out it gets, in a word, BIG. Combine that with his thin build, and he was looking a bit disproportioned in my humble opinion. He thankfully asked for a haircut - figured it would cut down on the drag for cross country. Whatever works!

Remember that elementary school car show I mentioned at some time or another? Of course you do! Well, it was this past Saturday. Weather was perfect, pizza was free, cars were sure purdy. I don't know how much money we raised, but I'd say it was a success, which is nice because the guy who organizes it is an all-around nice guy.

In movie news, we watched "The Losers". It's no chick flick, it's a comic book movie. But for the ladies, I'll say just one word: Jensen.
A singer in a smokey room... the smell of wine and cheap perfume...
Everybody sing!


Friday, September 24, 2010

old fashioned

Happy Friday! Illustration Friday, as always. This week's prompt is "old fashioned".

Call me old fashioned, but I think babies should get their "child care" from Mom.

Unless she's like... psycho or something...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I see you, v

I was out this morning, enjoying a lovely run, when I was nearly run over by a vehicle pulling into the high school parking lot. I'm not sure if the driver was a high schooler or a parent or what, but the vehicle was one of those crossovers.

Crossovers: The new minivan.

Be careful out there.

Monday, September 20, 2010


What I actually wrote:

Dear Coach (of x-country),

Wolfgang didn't have transportation to Black Forest on Saturday 9/18. He ran 5 miles on his own.

Abby Normal

What my mind wrote:

Dear Coach (of x-country),

Neither my husband nor I was the least bit willing to drive Wolfgang 35 miles in order for him to run a 5-mile shake out run with the team on Saturday 9/18. He ran a perfectly good shake out run by simply going out the back door and returning 5 miles later.

Although there was breakfast at someone's house later, we suspect this is just a ploy by you to get lots of free food during x-country season, cleverly disguised as "team building". In my high school days, team building consisted of diligently straining and striving and struggling and sweating and toiling and exerting with my teammates. It was running up hills while carrying a large rock in each hand. It was running down dirt trails while right on the cusp between control and complete lack of control. It was crashing and falling in the cinders. It was blisters. It was scabs. It was occassionally holding each other's hair... just in case. It was the natural bonding that occurs between teammates who win together or lose together or suffer together and scar their knees together. All of that to be followed by water from the spicket, nothing more.

Not breakfast at someone's air-conditioned home and photos snapped by cell phones that get uploaded on facebook pages after.

Abby Normal

Okay, maybe my mind got a BIT carried away... but the first paragraph stays.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

This was a good week - moreso in introspection and revelation than in actual quantifiable events. But I'll take good over bad anytime, and I'm left feeling rather energized, bold, and vibrant. I'll leave that at that. Esoteric enough?

As for the measurable stuff...

Work has been goodly busy. I've got that one grad class I started last weekend, then the high school class starts this coming week, and a handful of tutees. Friendly students, flexible hours, and a paycheck. Good things come in three's.

Speaking of flexible hours, I got a call to go help out with school pics at the elementary school on Friday. That is fun volunteer duty. Little kids all dressed up for their annual photos, from kindergarten to 5th grade. We got them all through in record time and only had to deal with one high-maintenance mom!

Despite the busyness, I still find time to play with my art toys. The internet helps. What did we do before the internet?

Weather's been nice, which allows for lots of outside time, but we could use some rain. Anyone know a rain dance?


Saturday, September 18, 2010

tastes like high school

This was an awesome week. A bit of a rollercoaster ride, and we all know that THAT is NOT meant to be a good analogy in my case, right? But, bottom line, it all ended up well.

For one thing, it was Halo Reach week. Anyone know what I'm referring to? Anyone? Yeah, Halo REACH! *voice dripping with sarcasm*

But I started a new class this week, and it's a friendly attentive bunch. It's still a bit early, so I don't have any secret nicknames yet. No budding romances that I know of. And then I got word today that another class I was scheduled to teach is a go. Up until last Thursday, it looked like it would be cancelled due to low enrollment, but a couple of last minute sign-ups sealed the deal.

I'm looking forward to this class as it is a class of high-schoolers. In all my time doing this test prep thing, I've never taught a class of live high-schoolers. I've only done private tutoring and online classes for the high school crowd. So, I'm thinking it's going to be fun.

Of course, I'm practically minded enough to realize that I may very well be eating those words after our first couple of classes.


Friday, September 17, 2010


POOF, it's Friday again. I swear, someone needs to slow this train down! It's been a wonderful yet busy week, and the blog neglect should start letting up now.

It is also Illustration Friday, so good thing I'm so peculiar about this must-submit-something-each-Friday thing.

This week's prompt is "acrobat". Oh fun! I realized that I don't think I've ever drawn anyone upside down before. My first upsider downer!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

... on a Monday! Pretend this is from Sunday, a bit of condensed version...

ACK, it was a busy weekend! I started a new class - a nice new crop of students. It's fun to be back in a real classroom after doing mainly online classes for a couple of months. Good old brick and mortar!

As mentioned, last week was Field Day at Meego's school. I know that many schools do their Field Days at the end of the school year, but the P.E. teacher at ours got sick of the weird weather we have in the spring and switched to fall a few years ago. It was fun, spending the day in the sand pits. It was my first real volunteer activity for the year, and nice to catch up with other moms and teachers I hadn't seen all summer. Much gabbing all around.

Magnum and I finally watched "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo". Was good! Go see!

Finished reading a book, started reading a new one.

Friday, September 10, 2010


"There is relish to be found in competition -- in having put forth the best within you."
---Henry Kaiser

Happy Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "Proverb".

So I thought, Proverb? What can I do with that? And then I had to leave to spend the day at Meego's school, for today was the annual Field Day.

Yes, field day! Such fun! Healthy competition amongst friends, and everybody gets a ribbon! (even though we all know that 6th place is really last place...).

This year I was assigned the long jump. So, it seemed only fitting that I would do a competition based proverb.

This is a guy in the midst of a long jump competition. As it formed on my paper, I think it took on a rather crucifixion-esque undertone. That was unintentional on my part, but perhaps subliminal due to the prompt.

Plus I do have a bit of an internal competition with myself on these Illustration Fridays. I want to get my entry posted on the day the prompt is released (they last a week). I managed to get this one scratched out in time to get the burgers on the grill for dinner. Now THAT was a race!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the excitement continues

Happy Wednesday, I made the new weekly pilgrimage to the p.o. box today. Lo and behold, there was something in there!

A coupon! A coupon for Staples!

So there was much satisfaction in knowing that I had pedalled all the way there - brought the bike lock and everything - for an actual purpose. There it was. A shiny coupon. A coupon I will probably never use other than to add to the weight of our recycling.

Deanna Somebody or
Current Resident

That's me! Just below my alias of "Current Resident" was a business name. Later, I was extremely bored and unproductive curious, so googled Deanna Somebody of [name of business] to see who the previous owner of our p.o. box was.

Natural nail care.

Well okay then. That was exciting.


There's always next Wednesday. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

an off day

Today's been a nice day. Meego had the day off of school, so the teacher's could recover from yesterday's day off of school or something like that.

ANYWAY, it was just the two of us and we'd decided ahead of time that we would go out and use the gift card that we/I recently received. Of course the rule is that we had to bike ride there. The gift card was for Starb#cks and there such a one inside a nearby Bar&es and N%ble, so we headed for that.

I learned something. I learned that the Starb#cks within the Bar&es and N%ble is really a "Bar&es and N%ble cafe" that serves Starb#cks stuff. As such, they accept Bar&es and N%ble gift cards but not Starb#ucks gift cards. Oh well, so I bought our Starb#cks products at the Bar&es and N%ble cafe that serves them. In the meantime, I still have the fully loaded Starb#ucks gift card. It says that it never expires, so that gives us some time.

So it was a lovely day that included a lovely bike ride and some lovely non-gifted lounging. One thing that struck me was the number of adult people at the Bar&es and N%ble cafe that serves Starb#cks stuff. Just having a coffee, reading or glued to a laptop. I thought, "don't these people have day jobs?", but then thought, "well, maybe they don't. Best not to wonder".

As for me, I'm actually "working" right now. I'm giving a test to an online class. Are they cheating? Heck if I know. And they don't need to know that the teacher is blogging either.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Well first of all, it's a holiday weekend. The holiday being "cat acquisition weekend".

It was Labor Day weekend, 1999, when our cat found us, or rather when we freed it from it's starvation trap and it followed us home and never left. I realized it was officially ours a couple of months later when I took it to the vet to get spayed. It was given our last name in the vet's file. It was also given a neuter job instead of a spaying. Hey, he's a cat, okay?!? With long hair! Not that obvious!

Still, he's a little sensitive about that mixup, so don't mention it should you ever run into him.

One reason I write of Cookie the cat is that, this morning, while out for my run, I went past a cat in the gutter. Not really a "cat", but the former shell of a cat that is now in cat heaven. As I ran past it, its resemblance to Cookie had me a bit alarmed. Hmmm... Cookie usually greets me in the morning wanting me to open the door for him, regardless of what side of the door he's on. I didn't see him this morning. Was that him in the gutter?! *SHUDDERS*.

I continued running, thinking I should go back and check the thing in the gutter, but also not wanting to go check the thing in the gutter, know what I mean? I didn't check the thing in the gutter.

When I got home, I searched for Cookie and found him perched on a table, getting fur all over the laptop cover - one of his many thrones. Such relief. He's getting extra Holiday liverwurst.

In other thankfulness news, work is humming along nicely. I have to turn assignments down, there are so many opportunities.

In movie news, Magnum and I watched Wedding Crashers. What a hoot! No, we hadn't seen it before. It's funny.

And this week, I got some new boxing gloves. Yes, boxing gloves. To replace my old boxing gloves that I punched into oblivion. They're really purdy.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "dessert".

What's in yours?


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

attention deficit

Today, I go to the Post Office. Wednesday is now official Post Office Day.

I go to the Post Office each Wednesday to check our Post Office Box. A few years ago, we got a Post Office Box for financial type things we didn't want coming to our street box. These identity theft days, you can't be too careful leaving that stuff laying around. At the time, we also had an autistic boy neighbor who would occassionally go "play" with people's mail, so enter the P.O. box.

They're relatively cheap at $5 a month, plus the branch office where ours is located is a pleasant couple miles bike ride away. As it was, I only visited the box when we were expecting something of importance in there. Such was the case a few months ago. I arrived, key in hand, and went to open the box.


Key would not turn. I fiddled with it, I rattled it, I checked the number, I fiddled some more.


It was as if the lock had been changed. So I came back home and called the post office - that was actually the quicker alternative to standing in line - and learned that, yes, the lock HAD been changed.

The lock had been changed because we didn't pay our 6-month's rent. We didn't pay our 6-month's rent because I wasn't aware that it was due. I wasn't aware that it was due because I hadn't kept track of when it was due. I hadn't kept track of it because the post office had always sent me a bill a couple of weeks before it was due. They sent me the bill via...

... our P.O. box.

which I couldn't get into because the lock was changed because we didn't pay the rent because I didn't know the rent was due because the due notice was put into the box which I couldn't get into because.... well, okay.

So last Wednesday, I rented us a shiny new box. And now Wednesdays are Post Office Days. I'm not really expecting anything of importance, but I just want to get myself into the habit of paying the lonely box a weekly visit.

I hope there's at least a Lego catalog awaiting me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

It's the last weekend of August. I'm pretty glad to see it go in some ways. August is hot, and I'm looking forward to a cool down.

Cooler temperatures and shorter days have made for some very pleasant early morning runs this week, with a weiner dog race in the dark thrown in for extra fun.

As mentioned, Wolfgang is running cross country. He's enjoying that quite well and holding his own nicely. There was that team potluck thing yesterday. Normally, I'm not big on these things, thinking that the emphasis in competetive sports should be on training and competing (GRRRR!), but it was a nice enough way to kick off the season. I brought a ham/egg/cheese/potato casserole thing that was scarfed down in record time. So I'm glad it was enjoyed and it also made for an efficient way to rid my fridge of those pesky salmonella eggs. JUST KIDDING!

And speaking of Wolfgang, he's misplaced his wallet. No, I'm not really thankful for that (although I'm sure there's an inherent lesson in responsibility there...), but as he was searching for it, he found my bicycling gloves that had been MIA for about a day. YAY!

And speaking of bicycling, I've enjoyed some nice rides nearly every afternoon, under the guise of errand-running. Now that the kids are back in school, there's more time in my days for such indulgences.

And speaking of back-to-school, one of the teachers at Meego's school sent a gift card home with him last week. It was to thank me for helping her out at school last year. Okay, better late than never, I'll take it. Meego's decided that he and I will use it. I guess hefting it home earned him that.

In movie news, we watched Kick Ass the other night. I liked it, even though it wasn't really what I expected. I expected a rather geeky teen movie. In fact, I never even checked the ratings to see that it's rated "R". I just assumed it was a PG-13 geeky teen movie. It's very graphic novelish in presentation, rated R for sexuality and gore, and a bit awkward for me at times, sitting next to Meego... but we all liked it. (Not for the squeamish or prudish).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

what's in a name

This morning, Magnum and I went to this potluck picnic thing for Wolfgang's cross country team. They had a morning practice followed by parents bringing a bunch of food. I think it was mainly a ploy by the coaches to get a bunch of food after practice, but whatever...

Anyway, it was a nice enough day for it, and we were at this park pavillion. As I was hanging out, this vaguely familiar person came up to me and asked if I lived near the elementary school that we live near. I answered that indeed I did, and he went on to say that he runs on the path and often sees me walking the crazy dog.

Okay, so then I remembered him, and pretty soon we're talking like we've known each other since kindergarten. He points out his daughter, Magnum and I point out Wolfgang (of course the kids weren't anywhere near their parents, on purpose I'm sure).

But the whole time we're carrying on this conversation, I realized that about 5 seconds after he told me his name, I'd forgotten it. Or maybe it was never deep enough into my brain in the first place for me to have known it well enough to even forget.

To make matters worse, his wife joins us and he adeptly introduces us all by our actual names - just further making me feel like an inattentive slacker. So I'm thinking that, hopefully Magnum remembers.

Yeah, riiiiiight.

The thing is, I will probably see him on the walking path again, and I should acknowledge him by his name, right? "Hey, runner guy that I shared life stories with at the cross country potluck! Howzit going?" just doesn't really sound right.

What to do?

Fortunately, he told us that he works for the school district. And fortunately, Wolfgang knows his daughter pretty well, and knows their last name. And fortunately, the school district has a website which I happen to have bookmarked. And fortunately, I easily found the department he works for. And fortunately, they have a listing of department staff...

Jeff. JEFF. jeff. Jeff. JEFF.

Wait... what was it?

Friday, August 27, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday, where today's prompt is "immovable".

When I saw that prompt, I was reminded of my working girl days. My department had an annual summer picnic. No spouses. No kids. Just us working slobs getting together for an afternoon of fun, beer, and camaraderie. I truly believe that this simple yearly event was a major factor accounting for our excellent synergy at work, despite many differences in ages, personalities, and backgrounds.

And I recall one year where an impromptu Tug-of-War tournament broke out. For some reason there was a rope laying around and we decided to pick teams ala the old playground style of gathering some "captains" and letting them pick from the underlings. I don't remember, but I was undoubtedly one of the last picked - unless a team took pity on me.

Anyways, I recall one team in particular - the winning team - the team that blew all other teams away. It consisted of just 3 guys, but they were the 3 largest guys in the department, looking much like my depiction above. All other teams had 4 to 6 members, but none were a match for the uber tug-of-war team.

In fact, it was so humiliating, I recall vividly how this team didn't even dig their heels in as is customary in such an athletic competition. Someone would say "GO!", and these three would just move their hands from front to rear while holding their end of the rope, and the opposing team members would barely escape falling on their faces. Actually, some didn't escape.

That could've been from the beer, though.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

rolling along

Saw some kids on skateboards, winding down the last days of summer. Soon, we'll be bundling up and fighting the snows, but for now, let's revel and flip our skateboards.

I was chased by a weiner dog yesterday morning while running. I passed him on the sidewalk as he looked at me rather confusedly. A few yards later, I heard the telltale sound of his nails on the sidewalk *scritcha*scritcha*scritcha*scritcha*... as he chased me down. What did he think he was going to do when/if he caught up to me?

So I stopped running, turned to him and said "STOP". And he did. Then I began running again. I think he just wanted to run with me.

So not much is happening here. The weiner dog chase is the most exciting thing. This time of year makes me feel like doing resolutions again - like at new years. I don't know if it's because this is when school gets back in gear, so I'm programmed to set goals in the fall or what, but the gears in my head are a-turning that way.

Or maybe it's because the weiner dog chase is the most exciting thing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

I should start by being thankful about that rib thing from about a month ago. Remember? You DO remember don't you? Anyway, it is much better, and I'd put it at a 95% at this point.

And, as already mentioned, kids are all back to school, and I think I've gotten all of the first-week-back chaos out of the way. Forms and agreements have been agreed upon, checks have been checked, school supplies have been supplied...

Chaco finished his final phase of Master Drive today. So now what?

Magnum and I watched a movie called The Last Station. It wasn't rivetting. I'm not falling over myself to recommend it. It was entertaining enough, though. I only mention it because James McAvoy is yet another cougar crush of mine and, in my opinion, can do no wrong.

OKAY... in closing, I just want to give a shout out to our storage efforts from the last few weeks. Magnum and I think everyone should have at least a 3-month food supply if not longer (I swear, sometimes I think I married my DAD!). I've been working on ours, and it's lacking in some areas, but here are a couple of photos of it's current state:

Anyway, I'm thankful for the preparedness blogs I found to help inspire and guide me. Not to mention, they're FREE!

We've got storage, yes we do. We've got storage, how 'bout you?

Friday, August 20, 2010


Wow, Friday already! Illustration Friday to be exact. This week's prompt is "atmosphere".

Several years ago, I worked at a polyurethane plant. One of my job duties was that of "Safety Coordinator". Sounds impressive, no? Actually, I think it was assigned to me because no one else wanted to do it.

Anyways, I just had to keep track of all the safety stuff in compliance with OSHA regulations. In a polyurethane plant, that could be relatively extensive and tedious. This position also required that I provide necessary safety training to all new employees, including temporary workers.

This place had a tendency to use a lot of temporary workers. And they were usually used to do things that weren't pleasant. In a polyurethane plant, that could be relatively extensive and hazardous.

I recall two such temps. They showed up one morning bright eyed and bushy tailed - NOT! I took the two of them into a meeting room and went through all of the terrible things they would likely encounter while earning their day-laborer wage. I then showed them how to properly use a respirator (gas mask really, but "respirator" sounds more friendly). They signed all of the necessary paperwork, in compliance with OSHA, and I sent them on their way.

The morning breaktime arrived. They left and were never seen again.

My coworkers joked about how I had sent them running away in fear. I say, it wasn't MY fault. It was just the atmosphere of that place.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Another week bites the dust. Another one begins!

Firstly, Wednesday was my and The Magnum's 20th anniversary. GAWSH that sounds like a long time! He actually bought me stuff, too! We don't normally make a big deal about the anniversary date, plus I'm totally low maintenance when it comes to stuff like that anyways. That's probably why he married me in the first place.

This was a good productive week. I started tutor sessions with a new student and also started an online class, so work is picking up just in time for the kids to go back to school.

Speaking of which, school starts tomorrow! Summer's done. Boy, that was quick, but I managed to get Meego's supply list taken care of... well, except for the hand sanitizer which was picked clean. HAND SANITIZER, who do I have to sleep with to get some hand sanitizer around here!?!

And actually, Chaco and Wolfgang get one extra day of summer. Their school year begins Tuesday as tomorrow is dumb-freshmen-get-the-entire-building-to-themselves-day. We didn't have that when I was a high school freshman. We started proving our idiocy right from day one.

I did the drawing at left in celebration of back-to-school. I just felt a certain vibe in the air...

Friday, August 13, 2010

star gazing

Illustration Friday is once again upon us. This week's prompt is "star gazing", and it conjures in me cartoony thoughts for some reason. It also conjures romantic thoughts. Put those together and it's a fine cartoony romance.

Sometimes when I'm watching nature documentaries, and think of those filmers, hidden with their cameras, trying to capture the true nature of wild beasts, I think, "what if aliens are filming us... making little PBS documentaries?" What are they thinking?

Or maybe they just like to stroll - three-fingered hand in three-fingered hand - with their sweeties, and think about the bigger picture.