Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Halloween on a Monday?  I think most true partiers already celebrated.

BUT, I've got a bunch of candy for the little moochers.  Yesterday, we went out and got the traditional pumpkins from the quaint little local pumpkin patch (a.k.a. the big cardboard box outside the grocery store).

Here are the results of our self expressions

From left to right:  Wolfgang, myself, Meego, Magnum, and Chaco (of course).

Happy Halloween!  Don't pig out.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Silver Liningness

Season's Greetings, and time for some silver liningness Sunday action!

Started this morning out with another beautiful fall bicycle ride, except I have GOT to get me some of those warm biker socks or my toes won't live to see 50.

As mentioned earlier, I completed the police polygraph test and surprise urinalysis part of my induction to "the force".   So far, everyone I've met there is pretty cool.  This volunteer gig is something totally new and different for me.  I think being an unpaid crime fighter will be fun.

I have a phacebuuk page, but I don't spend a whole lot of time there and sometimes think it's all kind of silly.   But this week a relative of mine in the Phillipines found me, and that was pretty nice.  He is my Uncle Maximo's (Mom's brother) grandson.  We so should have named one of our kids "Maximo".

Movie-wise, Magnum and I watched "The Last Word".  It's dark, and I liked it.  Wes Bentley is strange yet endearing (and he's got really purdy eyes).

Last silver liningness Sunday, I briefly mentioned a life coach and some helpful questionnaires.  Well, I actually hired said life coach for a few sessions, and I think she's helping me get a life.  Talk to me if you want a referral.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Happy Illustration Friday once again!  This week's prompt, in time for Halloween I suppose, is "Scary".

Recall that, earlier this week, I had a polygraph test. It was part interesting, part uncomfortable, part scary.  Terri suggested that I create a character out of "Polygraph Man", so I've done that for this week's entry. 

He looks friendly enough... but maybe a bit scary too?  He knows everyhing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

for Anita

Recently, Anita, in another thought provoking blog post, brought up the topic of embarrassment and candidly recounted a few of her own embarrassing moments.  I've noticed that, as I've gotten older, I don't embarrass as easily as I used to.  That said, whenever anyone brings up the topic of embarrassing moments, one such moment always stands out.  I told Anita that I was too embarrased to reveal it on her blog.  I will attempt to do it here...

This "moment" occurred several years ago.  Chaco was a toddler, Wolfgang was pretty much brand new, Meego was still floating around in the whole time-space continuum.  I vividly remember the kids' ages precisely because of what happened.

Magnum and I had gone out and ordered us a new mattress and box spring.  It was to be delivered by the mattress store, and as is customary, the old mattress would be hauled away.  So the time came and these two big burly guys showed up with the new stuff.  Step one was to remove the old stuff. 

I remember it was early evening.  I had just finished nursing newbie Wolfgang, and was cuddling him as I led the burly bed boys upstairs to the bedroom. 

Okay, so I've got this just-a-few-weeks-old infant.  Now ladies (and guys probably), you remember what the doctor said about having ______ in the few weeks after giving birth?  About how your ______, if that is your preferred _______ control method of choice, doesn't really fit the same anymore?  Since the ________ was our preferred  __________ control method of choice, and I hadn't yet gotten to the point of being fitted for a new _______, Magnum and I used ________.

Anyway, back to the bedroom.  There we were - Magnum, me, baby Wolfgang - Chaco was probably around somewhere eating paint chips or something.  The burly bed boys go to move the old mattress and out flutters a bright red ________ wrapper.

I was mortified.

Magnun was not.  In fact, I think he and the bed boys had a bit of a male bonding moment in those few seconds of words-not-necessary. 

All ended up fine.  We got the new mattress installed.  The old one was removed.  Somewhere in the fray the ______ wrapper was disposed of.  I never saw those guys again.

I hope.

Your turn :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

testing... testing

Remember when I said I was volunteering for the cops?  Well, naturally, they don't just let any old civilian off the streets come in an just start volunteering.  Nooooo, there's all these hoops to jump through.  Today?  Polygraph test.

I wasn't concerned.  I had to do a polygraph back in college for my retail job.  Found out, though, the PO-lice are a bit more thorough. 

I was given a whole booklet to fill out ahead of time.  Geez, how many different ways are there to be illegally involved in drugs and/or sex?!

The polygraph man was pretty mellow.  He admitted that employee and volunteer polygraphs were rather boring, "but the criminals are interesting".  He had a very calming voice - like that of an announcer for a classical music radio station.  I commented on that, and he told me that it was by design. 

He also had a fun way of opening doors that required badge access.  Instead of unclipping his badge and running it past the reader, he would just go up to the reader and give it a good chest bump.  I liked that about Polygraph man.  We had to go through a number of doors, requiring his chest bumps, just for me to use the restroom, as the one near the polygraph room was for police only. 

"They put their guns on the counters when they use the restroom", he explained.  Awesome!

Polygraph tests, for the untested, are mainly a series of yes or no questions given while hooked up to a machine that monitors breathing, blood pressure, and perspiration.  Obvious, benign questions are interspersed along with the more flavorful variety.  Our session went a bit like this:

Polygraph man:  Is today Tuesday?
Me:  Yes

Polygraph man:  Are we in Colorado now?
Me:  Yes

Polygraph man:  Have you ever had sex with a child under 15 years old?
Me:  No

Polygraph man:  Are the lights on?
Me:  *wonders if he's referring to the time I had sex with a child under 15 years old?*  Yes.

Polygraph man:  Have you been involved in the manufacture of illegal drugs?
Me:  No.

Polygraph man:  Is this the month of October?

And so on and so on and so on and... for about an hour.

Afterwards, he asked me how I thought I did.  I said I thought I did okay.  He said he thought I did okay too.  Then he gave me paperwork to go have a urinalysis done.

"Did you know you had to do a urinalysis?", he asked.

"No, and I was wondering why I didn't", I replied.

"That's because we like to surprise you", he smiled. 


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Silver Liningness

Happy silver liningness Sunday!  What a pretty autumn day it is here.  I had an absolutely BeaUtiful bicycle ride this morning. 

And it's really been a good week all around, albeit a really quick one.  I guess time flies when you're having fun? 

Magnum's employee health plan gives us incentives for being healthy/being aware of how unhealthy we are.  It was health assessment time again.  All of my "numbers" were good!   My assessor even told me I "won the prize" for best BMI she'd calculated.  Okay, so she didn't give me an actual tangible "prize", and the people she'd been assessing were all pretty much middle-aged, desk-bound people... but I won "the prize", I'll take it.  And my cholesterol that was getting uncomfortably close to the "bad" zone, has gone down from last year's assessment.  Bring on the omelettes!

And speaking of assessments,  I've been doing some self-assessment type exercises too.  I went so far as to talk to a "life coach" (mainly because it was free), and she directed me to this website with a bunch of free (sensing a theme here?) questionnaires for helping to "find yourself".  And I learned stuff

For instance, I'm really not all as disciplined as some people seem to think.  I run, ride my bicycle instead of drive, practice math problems, etc. simply because I just like to!   No surprise to me, but we'll just let the others go on thinking... 

Magnum and I watched a fun movieBuddy.  It's Norwegian, so you have to read.  We really liked it - Two thumbs up!

On Friday night, I finally took a friend up on her offer to join her and some others for a girls night out.  She's been inviting me to join them for a while, and I've always had other plans.  I'm glad she persevered, though, and invited me again.  Such a nice break from the testosterone, and Magnum and kids got in some Man Time. 

And now, I'm going to go walk the crazy dog.  Because I want to.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Happy Illustration Friday on a happy Saturday!  It's a beautiful fall day outside - a great day to refuel the soul.  This week's prompt is "fuel", so my illustration depicts a refueling in progress.

What energizes you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

updates in haiku

Thirty-four degrees
The windpants, the gloves, the hat
Running in the dark.


Fish still upside down
Feeding peas every day
Weird creatures they are.


Each day it reminds
Of the popcorn left too long
New microwave, please. *

*wasn't my fault....

Sunday, October 16, 2011


It's Illustration Friday Sunday.  This week's prompt is "scattered".  I had visions of scattering birds, or bugs, or mice, or dust bunnies, or... those crazy people that run in front of a bunch of crazed bulls in Spain.

I went with the crazy people, or rather a crazed bull. 

Have you ever seen a bull?  Up front and personal?  They look to me like one HUGE muscle. 

With horns. 

I imagine that those people in the white and red, running in front of and inevitably getting gored, are carrying inside of them inapproriate yet necessary amounts of alcohol.  

feral weekend

Fire bans have lifted, so we headed for the boonies!

Yes, we just got back from a weekend camping trip to get in touch with our savage sides.   The Aspen trees were a bit past their peak, but still all purdy.

We enjoyed getting all "Blair Witch"  'round the campfire...

More carnivorous action:

And yes, it was a bit chilly at night in the tents.

Ridiculously huge binoculars, I know.  I swear they're real, though.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Silver Liningness

Whoop, it's Tuesday, I'm falling off the silver liningness bandwagon already.  Well, there's no "rule" that says I can only be thankful on Sunday...

The clutch crapped out on the car.  Boo.  It wasn’t too major, though.  Less than $200 to fix it, so for THAT I’m grateful, on a 13-year-old car.

Things are going well on the workfront.  I love being able to more or less decide how much I will work and won’t work.  And it’s interesting.  One of  my students is probably THE best girl basketball player in the city.  And she’s nice too – not all full of herself, as can sometimes happen.

As for the proofreader, she does seem nice.  I didn’t mean to dis her, to make it look like she’s a liar.  I think she’s just being conscientious about her work and wants to do it correctly.  For all I know, her boss knows she’s working with a tutor to improve her editing skills, (I just get the impression, though, that she hasn’t revealed that).   The end goal is for her to fly solo.
A nice man used my school crossing this morning.  He told me, "You've got one of the best jobs at that school".  At first, I thought he was referring to the fact that I get to be outside, with nice views of the mountains and all.  Then he went on to say, "Someone's kid gets hit by a car on this road, they'll painfully remember that until the day they die".  Gave me a lump in the throat.  I know it doesn't take much brainpower to be a crossing guard, and we sometimes joke about my Spongebob Hall Monitor resemblence, but it's nice to be appreciated. 

And the cops continue to watch my back, but this morning's shenanigans deserve their own post. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

secret thing on the side

One day last week, a woman contacted my tutor e-mail looking for an English/Writing tutor.  She explained that she was not a student, but that she had to do a fair amount of proofreading and editing for her "PR" job and that she wasn't very confident in her skills.

I told her I thought I could help her get up to snuff and to contact me if she wanted to set up tutor sessions.  So yesterday, I received another e-mail.  In that one, she had cut and pasted a rather wordy sentence and asked if I could fix it.

I figured she was checking up on my editing skills before deciding to hire me.  I found a couple of errors and fixed them, but also revised it altogether to something I thought made it easier to understand.

We continued to e-mail back and forth (I was just sitting here in my "office", drawing a french horn...).  Would I be available to do more revising over the computer?  Did I have a per-page rate?  Could I do that and tutor her in addition?  Her e-mails "sounded" anxious, about keeping her job ("I just signed a lease.. and I'm single!")It became clear to me that she was at work at the time, and the original sentence she'd sent was one she was supposed to fix. 

Okay, so this isn't a typical tutor request, but it sounded kind of fun - sort of a "help desk" / "ask the expert" mode.  I could see her sitting at her PR job, turning in newly revised and edited documents with her supervisors being none the wiser!

Ghost writer.  Something new for the resume'.  Just in time for Halloween.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Omigosh, it's already Illustration Friday?  Where did the week go?  No, really, where?!?

OH well, this week's prompt is "contraption", so I tried to think of some interesting machinery type thing, but nothing really spoke to me.  Then I stubbed my toe on Meego's baritone case.

Yes, Meego is playing the brass baritone in band this year.  It sits in a rather largish case just off - but apparently not off enough - of the traffic pattern of the house.  I figured the stubbing of the toe was a sign to draw the intricacies of the contraption that is a baritone.

But I rebelled since it attacked my toe, and instead drew MY instrument from the high school daze.  The beautiful and lovely french horn.  Yes, that's all quite redundant.  As I recall, I didn't quite do it justice, but I tried to make mine sound as mellow and lovely as the one sitting in the first chair.  I tried.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Silver Liningness

Happy first Sunday of October!  I like October...

This was another good week with plenty of silver liningness.  Firstly, let me just update on bicycle boy:  he's fine.  He showed up back at the crosswalk (and school) none the worse for wear.  He was a little wary of riding the bike, but in a couple of days, he was right back up on that "horse".  Told me, "I got bored with walking".

Also this week, I checked into some volunteer opportunities with the PO-lice.  A friend - another graduate of elementary PTO - enticed me into it.  They want me to do "crime tip analysis" for about 5 hours a week.  That's all I can say about that.  All very hush hush!  I checked out the nerve center on Thursday - looks fun and interesting!

My neice and her husband are adopting a 19-month old.  I'm a great aunt!

Paternal in-laws visited.  They brought good beer.

And students, I'm getting students.  Did I mention I'm tutoring again?  Anyway, I guess my online profile is working - lots of inquiries and a couple of high schoolers on the books.

All this is not to say that I haven't been indulging my right brain.  The artwork therapy is still in full swing with the added dimension of creating the occassional video.  Here's the latest:

Yay for cheap therapy!