Friday, December 26, 2008

Proof that our new camera rocks

As promised, a long long time ago (perhaps the daaaaaayyyyyy the muuuuuusiiiiiicccccccc diiiiieeeeeddd), I can now post proof that our new camera rocks. Thanks to the one who believed in me (sniff sniff) enough to send me step by step directions on how to post pics on this forum. Here goes.

Amy & Leo (perhaps it looks normal now, but remember...)

I warned you. Every blemish can be exposed. Every unplucked nose hair can be found. No one is safe. Not even my big poofy. :-)

This is from the same picture as above. Pretty cool, eh?

We test drove the camera with actual living, moving, jumping, dancing, peek-a-boo-ing kids these last two days. It works great!! I can pop out a kid now and am armed and ready to take fantastic yawning, drooling, dribbling, screaming, laughing, crying action shots.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas date #4

4 years ago, Ben and I decided that we should have a super-fantastic-extra-special-once-a-year date and call it our Christmas date. It always involves special yummy food and usually something that just involves hanging out together for a few hours. For the 2nd one, we went down to Indy, which is, I guess where we always go, to the Melting Pot, a perfect date and girls-night-out fondue restaurant. Sentimentally, I have to admit that this restaurant may be my favorite one that I've ever been to.

Perhaps in part because Sarah dishes out words of medical wisdom, which includes the dictum to GO ON DATES NOW WHILE YOU HAVE THE CHANCE!!! like to the Melting Pot, perhaps because of the commercials on tv, perhaps who knows, but Ben decided that this was where we should go again for Christmas date #4. Believe you me, I was not objecting. I love eating for 2 1/2 hours! I love it when people make big pots of cheese right in front of me and then let me play in it. I love fondue with big chunks of veggies and sirloin. I love the cute little booth that we got. I love celebrating fun things with friends and liquid chocolate. I love people who care about me and want to spend that kind of time with me.

"We are indeed much more than we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are." Adelle Davis

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Laws of Nature

The furnace never seems to quit working when it is around 40 degrees outside (i.e. when the furnace is still working but it isn't frigid outside). If such a thing can be confirmed between me and another teacher, furnaces go out when it is C-OOOOOO-LD outside. Granted, not Montana cold, but still pretty darn cold. Ah yes, our furnace went ka-putz. But thankfully, we were already planning on getting someone to just do a general check-up on it (3 winters after we intended to do it for the first time), so it wasn't a complete frustration to have it happen as would have been the case if, say, the fridge quit. But then again, if the fridge went out, we could just stick stuff outside right now. :-) But then it would freeze. Maybe not.

I admit that I put off using the bathroom for about an hour after I got home this afternoon since the toilet seat was so frigid since our house was equally frigid! That probably wasn't the best idea. But, warm-fuzzy-kitty-bellies are better than mittens.

It's also hard for me to be too frustrated today. My shool is over for the semester, which means that even though I have grading and test writing to do tonight through the rest of the week, it feels like quite the reprieve. I did a jig. It was cute.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." Albert Camus

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yes, you can lick it

Black Friday:

4:32 a.m...I begin kicking Ben to wake up.
5:05 a.m...Ben gets dropped off at the door to Best Buy armed with a sales ad and his cell phone so that we can communicate as I go to park the car and fight my way into the craziness that is an electronics store on the day after Thanksgiving.
5:15 a.m....Ben figures out that we can pay for our purchase at the back of the store where the display is rather than having to wait in the loooong line where the Best Buy employee holding the Santa balloon signifies the end is.
5:16 a.m....I figure out that I can assault (figuratively) Best Buy employees to figure out how to have them unlock the case that holds our cherished prize without having to ask the person running the cash register for it.
5:17-5:24 a.m....Silly lady and her silly daughter waste my time and the Best Buy employee's time as they forgot to look at or bring the ad and aren't even sure what cameras are on sale but surely the employee could give them a complete run down of all of the benefits of each camera that is on sale. There are many cameras on sale. Oh, and they want to know about memory cards, too. Silly ladies. The daughter used to be Ben's student. What does that tell us about the quality of his clientele?
5:26 a.m...The lady in the ugly Betty Boop leather jacket elbows her way in front of me as I'm basically staring at my desired purchase so that I know no one unwittingly takes it from me (alas, it's on hold for me at the register rather than in my hands...I don't trust my good fortune yet). Ben must go search out a memory card while we're waiting. It's not like I know the difference between them. Yes, this is definitely Ben's job while I hold our place in line.
5:27 a.m...Ben beeps on his way out of Best Buy. I have the receipt in my purse and all confusion is made right. I'm relieved that we're not thieving on this Black Friday morning. I'm looking forward to a special trip to IHOP (mmm...the french toast is calling). I can't believe that we just dropped over $600 (stupid sales tax) and we're both thrilled about it.

If I can ever figure out how to do it, I can post pictures from our kickin' new camera that has no delay and can take 2.5 pictures per second and will be, overall, better for trying to capture those special little moments with a baby bopper toddling around the place.

Make sure that you trim your nose hairs. You never know when we'll be using the extra special zoom lens that a friend (who will be allowed to lick the new camera but also needs to realize that yes, it has germs on it you supposed medically learned person you) convinced us that we desperately needed as well. Ah well. 'Twas only an extra $50 more or less for the ability to find out who truly grooms their nasal cavities. And I guess that we'll be able to get better pictures of little Omar with it, too. That's the goal at least. Ben's only half-way through the novel that is the owner's manual currently.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jury Duty Day

For once I had some luck. I still had to go in this morning (oh yay...$15 compensation!) amidst cold, drippy, misty raininess. BUT,

***I got to park at a metered space without paying a meter!

***the entire jury was released about 10 minutes after we were to report because the substance abuser pleaded guilty

***I didn't have to go to school

***I had time to buy my first Christmas present for 2008

***J.C. Penny does not carry any maternity clothes in Kokomo

***I actually popped in to say hi to the father-in-law or a few minutes after the jury was released (his office is right across the street from the courthouse, so it just seemed to be a nice little surprise)

***yummy leftovers and Pepsi (mmm) for lunch)

***a pair or sleeping rather than pesky felines

***finally (excited amidst all of the dread) starting the background research on the intimidating 25-page paper

***new James Bond movie and free dinner out tonight!

***if I get lucky...there might be some ice cream in my future, too! (culver's flavor-o-the-day: butter pecan, yummy)

Friday, November 7, 2008

June 3rd

It was exciting amidst the poking and prodding and multiple samples taken. It was anxious despite being annoyed at having to wait so long (why do these places always run so far behind?). It was a long appointment, but that last little niggling doubt was finally quieted, and I can finally admit with 100% confidence that we are pregnant. (!!!)

Oh, and the due date is June 3rd.

The nurse was really happy (impressed even) that I had such a firm grasp of specific dates needed to determine due dates, but when things all happen coincidentally with big school dates, then it works out nicely.

Believe it or no, the part of me that was hesitant to start advertising my thickening girth was that part of me that had not yet heard anyone confirm it who was not a trained, expert, medical person. It was that "Oh, there's the heartbeat" moment that really did it. And I'm so glad that Ben was there with me, cause I know by looking at him that it took him a bit by surprise as well. Granted, Ben's surprise was due in part to the fast heart rate. He's comparing it to the heart rate of an elite athlete (the difference of approximately 130 beats/minute), so he's obviously new to this too.

So now that mom-in-law will be thrilled that she can do her mom-in-law duty and tell everyone for me. Really, I've told a few people and that's enough for me. After a while, it just becomes redundant. :-) But it never gets old. The more I say it, the more real it becomes, too, which is, indeed, a benefit.

Perhaps I will write a blog soon about my frustrations already with clothing. First I had a love-hate relationship with food, and now it's mostly a hate-hate relationship with anything fastened around my waist.

"To my embarrasment I was born in bed with a lady." Wilson Mizner (I think that I have heard this one before, but I still find it amusing.)

P.S. I got home after the aforementioned three hours of poking and questioning only to find out that I have jury duty next Friday. Does pregnancy count as a good reason not to be chosen??

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh the excitement

I filled up my tank (and I *was* somewhat dissapointed that my tank was only 1/2 empty) because I got gas for $1.97/gallon. I've been keeping track. This is exactly the third time since we moved to Kokomo that I have purchased gas for less than $2.00/gallon. That averages out to once a year. Half a gallon for $13.00. Hot dang.

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their mind to be." Abraham Lincoln

I decide to be happy about this.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween party and the search for a knife

My fuzzy, creamsicle cat, Leo, is sitting with me in the Saturday morning sunshine to write this, and it shall have to be quick like so that we can go shopping for 50% off Halloween candy (and other things, but really, it should be obvious where my priorities lay). I love Saturday mornings, especially when they're sunshine-y. It makes me feel like writing in my blog. So if it's not a sunshine-y wherever you are right now, and if it's not a Saturday morning, I'm sending warm fuzzies your way that are loaded with all good Saturday-morning-and-sunshine feelings.

Here's a big reason that teaching can be fun and dare I say rewarding. Unfortunately, I can't really claim benefit in this one, but I'm definitely enjoying the fruits of someone else's labor. There's a junior at my school who for the past two years has been notorious for his ambivalent, insubordinate, unpleasant attitude toward everyone and life in general. Summer break must have been good for him because he came back not an angel, but enjoyable, hardworking, polite and a lot of fun for everyone (students and teachers) to be around. I got roped into being involved in sponsoring the junior class again (yet so much better this time around considering the change in leadership). This particular student has been invaluable so far in the fundraising and meetings for the junior class. The junior class president, not so much of a help, unfortunately. But this kid, fantastic. We worked together this week to hold a bake sale at a junior class dance and I could barely keep up with him. Wednesday, we were getting the brownies, cookies and such ready to go when I realized that a plastic knife wasn't really cutting it (ba dum ching! boo...bad pun) with the delish chocolate chip cookie bars (you know if it's from the Dishons that it's awe-some). So Dominique went to borrow a sharper utensil from the home-ec teacher. His mistake when he interrupted her lunch break saying, "I need a knife." Oops. Yet funny. (tall black kid; known for his lack of discipline; older brother obnoxious; sure--just hand over a knife!) At least he smiled and corrected his mistake.

I never (oh not even once) went to anything that I or anyone else classified as a party during high school. My friends and I just didn't have parties. We hung out all the time, but Ben and his friends did have parties. In fact, the first party that I ever went to was with him and his high school friends. Parties intimidate me, actually...awkward!! But, we went to a party last night. The worst part is that I have two choices: follow Ben like a puppy all night or stand by myself like the uncoordinated kid who gets picked last for kickball. Overall, it wasn't bad, thankfully. And at least there were a couple of people our age who I kind of know with whom I could laugh when Ben brought me a hot dog on a hamburger bun.

"Man is the artificer of his own happiness." Henry David Thoreau
Yet I suspect that sun is a bit of an artificer of my happiness as well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

sports radio

I haven't written in a while. There hasn't been much to write about in a while. Ho hum.

However, this story is funny to me, so I will share it in hopes that you will likewise find it amusing.

I listen to a specific sports radio talk show on Monday and Wednesday afternoons when I'm driving to Ball State. So I only listen for 2 hours a week. I listen to this particular show because my fav sports columnist is one of the hosts/talk show guys and sarcasm is funny to me. I wouldn't listen just because of the other guy; he get's anoying. On Monday, they were talking to callers about the debacle that was the last Colts game up in Green Bay at the (not so funny when everyone is saying it) "not yet frozen tundra," Lambau Field. This particular guy called in simply to reassure Bob & Eddie (the hosts/talking guys) that the Colts loss (30-something to 14, where they've now lost 3 games in a division where the leader is having a perfect season so far) really isn't so bad. Furthermore, this caller kept saying that the Colts are exactly where they want to be. They (the Colts) will be able to just turn on the momentum when they want to.

Bob just about went balistic on this guy. And, I agree. What is the caller thinking?? Who wants to lose? Who wants to get creamed? Who wants to be what, 4 games back in the division? Seriously?

Thank you caller. You made my hour drive better on Monday.

"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don't like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that." Bill Shankly (not that I agree with this quote, but some of the callers and listeners to sports radio certainly believe that it's true)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wierdness at the Duck Pond

Driving onto campus, I pass a little pond that usually has ducks that I believe is quaintly called the "Duck Pond." Often in good weather I see couples "studying" or girls sleeping on beach towels. Today, however, there was an unusual twosome at the Pond of Ducks. One lanky guy was going through a tai chi/karate routine holding two bags that appeared to be pillowcases with square pillows in them. Balance? He was totally in the Karate Kid pose as I drove past, albeit with two square pillowcases. Wierder, perhaps, was the equally lanky guy who was videotaping the square-pillowcase-Karate-Kid-guy doing his little martial arts routine. And, it was an old school style video camera, not some little 1/2 an ounce silver one from Best Buy. I hope that you have an amusing mental image of this; it was worth sharing. :-)

"The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness, can be trained to do most things." Jilly Cooper

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Surprises, both welcome and un

I know that I have a sewer hook-up in my backyard, but surely there's some rule somewhere that they have to inform me *before* they come onto my property to dig up my yard. Seriously. Plus, it's a fenced-in yard. What if I had a dog outside? What if I kept my gate locked? What would the sewer people do then? I'm miffed, seriously seriously miffed. Furthermore, when I got home at 3 and called a calm lady about it, all of the workers were done working for the day. At 3?!?

And then a quick, unexpected, oops-I-forgot-to-fill-out-that-paperwork-about-my-retirement-fund-stuff-again, trip to my financial advisor (so that she could fill it out for me, not that I expected her to do that...but then again, maybe she trusts herself more; I do!), I realized that today is a lovely day to surprise myself and Ben with a DUNKIN' DONUT!! Kokomo is now a bustling metropolitan (that is losing jobs by the hundred) apparantly if we have TWO Starbucks and a brand new D D?? Now every time (right, like I'll stop by every day or something!) I stop by, I can fondly remember the trip to Cape Cod when all I craved the entire trip was a donut from the neon-colored donut shop, especially seeing as how there are oodles (and tons) of them everywhere out there! And just so I wasn't dissapointed, there were 2 cops getting their donuts and brew.

And for Sarah (instead of a quote), the recipe for my potato & leek soup, my vichyssoise.

2 T butter
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
1/2 c chopped onion
3 medium russet potatoes (but I was rebellious and used 4 med. yukon golds...mmm)
2 c chicken stock or broth
1 to 1 1/4 c half-and-half (I used milk)
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
small handful of shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add veggies and saute for 3 minutes. Add 1 c of the stock (I had to use 2 to get to the top of the veggies). Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Add more stoc, if necessary (hence why I added more). Transfer to a blender or food processor in batches and puree. HOWEVER, I left the last third unblended and it made the soup deliciously chunky, albeit not a traditional vichyssoise idea. Return to pot and add remaining stock, half-and-half, salt, pepper, and cheese. Simmer 5-10 minutes longer. Blend again for extra creaminess if desired. Delicious with chives, too.

Maybe next time I'll post my cheddar broccoli soup that is totally delish as well if someone requests it. It does turn your, ahem, poo green, howsoever.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I love soup. I think that it might be my new favorite food. It's really the perfect meal all in one bowl. Mmm...especially the thick, chunky kinds. I made such a delicious soup today that I nearly made myself sick off of eating it. I couldn't stop. So this is my ode to my soup. Yum.

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2000 of something." Mitch Hedberg

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm in a habit I guess

I find that the only time I have to go grocery shopping during the school year is around 6:30/7:00 on Sunday morning. I don't have to mess with other people, the shelves are stocked and there's no other time during the week that I can go and not give up a significant amount of time doing something that is more important. I often get out of bed and throw on whatever clothes and sometimes my Braves hat if my hair is particularly bad, which would be most mornings.

I guess this morning was a good-Sunday-morning-grocery-shopping hair day. Therefore I wasn't wearing my hat. Apparantly, this is noticeable to the guy stocking the bread shelf...a bit wierd, a bit funny. Ben and I were leaving the produce and walking toward the regular aisles and Mr. Stocking-the-break-shelves-Man said, "Hey! You're not wearing your Braves hat today!" Am I this predictable that the Meijer employees know my shopping habits? Us Braves fans stick together wherever we can find each other up here in the cold North. :-)

The puking never ends

We're going through a week long stretch here where we're dealing with multiple moments of pukage each day. These two cats are certainly having some upset tummies right now.

Some of the highlights:
-4:23 am, Thursday morning (Toby and abnormally a lot)
-we got home last evening after being gone overnight and there was 1...2...3! (trifecta!) spots that needed to be cleaned up
-Ben putting on his shoes this morning...oh, here's another spot
-it blends in well on our wood laminate flooring, apparantly; i stepped in (SO gross)

"The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals." Sir William Osler...this seems quite truthful to me considering what a struggle it is to slather the gingivitis gel stuff on Leo's gums. I can't imagine why a cat would have an issue with that.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"the horror, the horror"

It all started 6 years ago, I guess. At some point early in the summer after my first year at college, my tooth really hurt cause it cracked and el dentist said off to the specialist you go for a root canal, my friend. Yet the subsequent crown never really fit right despite all of the pain & the agony, both for my and my parents' bank account. My fault for asking my new dentist about that this summer, and this time I had to pay for the crown myself. I'm going to utilize my whiny voice or a moment and squeal, it's not faaaaiiirrrrrr. Bad luck I guess that I have to get it all redone after only 6 years.

Even better, the tooth directly below it cracked or broke a bit (hmmm...could it be because of the ill fitting crown???) and a cavity developed. Yay. Let's do both of these procedures at once! But he had to take out the old filling in the lower tooth (I've always been cavity prone, also not fair; I floss and brush religiously unlike my college roommate who frequently forgot to brush for a day or two at a time, oh Crys...) and then drill around a bit before he put the new filling in. It's kind of funny that he kept telling me about how it's a enamel colored filling (!!) instead of a silver filling (!!) as if I'm that fashion conscious about the fillings in my mouth. Who's looking at the very most back teeth anyway. Oy vey.

I think that I counted 8 novacaine shots, including one in the roof of my mouth. 2 of them came after his drilling commenced and it still hurt. Not the first time this has happened when I have gotten fillings. Is it any wonder that I hate cavities?? What's with my mouth that novacaine in normal amounts doesn't have enough of an effect? It's also not the first time that a dentist has stopped and been like, "What, you can feel that??" Oh yes, el dentist, yes yes I can. The funny thing (funny...) about today's episode in discomfort and pain was that they gave me these huge plastic sunglasses to wear (because of the light? the shower of water spraying my face?) and apparantly they couldn't see my eyebrows contorting and flinching. So when the dentist re-numbed me and left the room for a moment, the dental hygenist kept saying, don't be a champ, don't suck it up, let us know that you're in pain!! And I was like um...not trying to. I was definitely flinching and pulling my head away as much as I could. It's hard to convey such flinching when your head is cemented in place by 4 hands, a spit sucker, a blower of air, a mirror and a drill. Plus, my gums/teeth may not have been numb enough, but I definitely bit my tongue a few times trying to adamantly assert I FLINCHED I FLINCHED!!

So I've been in some form of numbness for 3 hours now, and after the last 2 just-to-be-sure-since-it-hurts-to-have-air-blown-on-this-cavity novacaine shots, and I'm still numb all the way over to my left ear. Maybe now would be a good time to get some ear piercings. Good news #1 that comes out of this: Ben didn't object when I called him, almost crying because my mouth had been wide & open and drilled and poked and prodded and shaken and jammed for 2 hours, and told him that I was getting a milkeshake. Good news #2: el dentist gave me my original crown back so that I could take it to one of those places that buys gold fillings and jewelry so that I could get a few bucks for it if I wanted to do so. Nice of him. I kind of just want to see what it looks like!

Alas, no gum until the middle of October.

I don't know why I kept calling the kind dentist "el dentist" because he's totally a 50-something white man. There were some moments when his hand(s) were shaking and I couldn't tell if it was his bordering on retirement age or if it was the tool in his hand.

Extra credit kudos (and bonus points if you press me) if you know what literary reference the title is from. I'll count that as my quote today. :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't usually vent about other teachers, but...

As a teacher of wanna-be adults, I find it frustrating to just hear people vent about how horrible this or that teacher is. I guess that it's my idea of professional courtesy to try not to indulge in the same senseless venting. HOWEVER. Sometimes, it's not gossipy just to be gossipy but venting in frustration. Three weeks into the semester, and I realize (a eureka moment that actually happened about an hour into the first class) that this is going to be a long semester in my Chaucer class.

During the first half hour of class last night, mind numbingly inconsequential, especially when I'm paying for it!, I decided to take some notes about my observations and then share these thoughts with you. I also yawn a lot when I'm bored and/or nervous. I feel bad about yawning, but seriously! I'd been working since about 7 yesterday morning and was in my second class of the night. I'll give you half of what I paid, take my A, and we'll call it even, eh?

1. He speaks quickly and in a monotone.
2. Random, pointless clearing of the throat. Ask Ben; lots of throat clearing bugs me. It's so grating on the nerves.
3. He sprang this one on us last night: each one of us is supposed to take a turn telling a joke at the beginning of class! Oy vey! I'm 25 and the youngest one there...must we really partake of such asanine, junvenalia? A classmate, fantastic person that she is, and a former Manchester student (ergo, she can't be bad at all, right?) volunteered to tell a joke. It was hilarious in its stupidity and was a blessed one-liner. Check...let's move one with class. Oh no, Mr. Professor Man proceeds to tell TWO jokes, neither one short, neither one particularly funny. To his credit, they may have both been funnier if I wasn't beginning to get so peeved. Jokes are fabulous, but as a homework assignment of sorts to begin a grad class?? I try to avoid situations where I feel child-like; next time, apparantly, I must needs sit closer to the door.
4. Joke time over, Senor Professor says that now it's time, little boys and girls, to talk about world events (another "fun activity" that he likes to open a class with). So he read us, literally, a random news article about the chunk of the iceberg that fell off a few days ago. He chose this simply because it's called the Ellesmere (spelling?) iceberg, and a really early, rare Chaucer manuscript is called the Ellesmere manuscript (of which I'm not sure if there's a connection). Really? This is worthy of (his) discussion for 15 minutes?
5. Dramatic pauses. Annoying! Annoying when there's nothing about which to pause dramatically (I realize that I already ended at least one sentence with a preposition, so I have since reworded 2 sentences to not end with a preposition. I always feel self-conscious about doing that; will people catch me? Laught at me? Mock me? Death by a thousand pin pricks? Sidenote: irony...I realize that if I was just saying that out loud, I would have paused dramatically between them all. Apparantly, I'm a dramatic pausing hypocrite.)
6. ENDLESS, endless.......endless stories. To his credit (??), he did not include any last night. However, both classes previous had about an hour's worth of family stories ("Oh, as you are leaving our class tonight that I have already held you too long, I just want you all to know that it is my 41st anniversary..." applause, applause, applause).
7. His notes are yellowed and older than I am. This isn't necessarily a slam against him, but an observation about his unique teaching tactics. No wonder he says "Did I tell you about..." to which we all replied "Yes..." No worries, he can tell us again!
8. He repeats himself. It's like when he says "Did I tell you about..." to which we all replied "Yes..." No worries, he can tell us again! (Did you get the joke there???)

Chaucer's my homie, but alas, Dr. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named will never receive the duece (peace sign...I recently learned this from my wanna-be's) from this home skillet.

"It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated." Alec Bourne

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another survey

This one goes out to you all...a survey of intellectual yet mostly un-literary people. This question came up in my class last night. If you have any thoughts, I definitely want to read them!

Question: I'm taking an Ethnic American Lit. class this semester. What do you think that we're reading and studying in this course?

Mind you, this is an honest question. It may sound simplistic, but we found out that not everyone thinks of Ethnic American lit. in the same way. Ideas?

"When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth."
George Bernard Shaw

(It's not necessarily a quote that goes with the topic, but seriously...find a quote for me that goes along with Ethnic American lit.! And, it is by Shaw; he's literary! Not ethnic, but literary!)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hard to be in a grumpy mood when...

It's so gorgeous outside. Beaches and mountains are nice, but seriously, all I need to be happy are days like these. How gorgeous sans humidity!

"Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language." Henry James

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Musings about gender

Twice a week, I drive an hour and back to Ball State; furthermore, quite a bit of this drive is through endless-seeming Indiana-ness. I seem to latch onto one or two specific topics per drive and just dwell/introspect on them during the drive. Tonight--gender. If we haven't chatted about it lately, I'm studying literature, focusing on women/gender stereotypes as they are portrayed/changing and why. The first time that I remember being interested in this specifically was undergrad w/ Dr. American Lit/seminar/feminist perspective prof at Manchester...whose kids watch hippie kid shows that are gender nuetral and not at all mainstream. Oh, and Isabel Allende's writing, too. Wonderful stuff.

My musings tonight were a continuation of self-absorbed conversations that I have had with me before. I'm always amazed when I think of how much each of us are simply because of the stereotypes that our parents label us with because of our particular chromosomal make-up. Gender is so laden with traditions--why must boys' rooms be blue? Who said that girls' hair should be long and have pretty bows in it?

I find this both fascinating and frustrating. When thinking about my own (unborn) children, how will I approach gender with them? To what extent will we follow tradition and guide our children into a specific gender category? Not that I mind exactly, but if only parents were more aware (and maybe they are and I'm selling humanity short) of the enormous influence that they have on their children. That said, I'm all for gender. I'm all for gender delineation. I just haven't reconciled in my mind to what extent it should matter, how absolutely. Likewise, I'm all for pink and blue...but let's not forget the yellow, green and purple. There is so much more, it seems to me, that comes with the weight of your gender other than strict stereotypes.

Gender stereotypes within the home disturb to me. But in turn, why does my generation find it more acceptable to break the stereotypes? My parents perform the same gender roles as their parents. Why don't we? Why do I find it abhorrent when my mom finds it acceptable?

The crux of my rant: as much as I don't want to, I do it, too. I speak heavily gendered language with my students. Maddening hypocrisy! I continue to spend thousands of dollars to teach myself about gender stereotypes and become more and more convinced about the detriment that such stereotypes cause, and then I reinforce them with my students who are already so jaded, disparaging and wrong.

Blessed Virginia Woolf--for all of her work that is so yay-women-if-only-we-all-had-a-small-allowance-to-support-ourselves-without-needing-to-rely-on-men-so-that-we-can-do-what-we-really-want-to-do, A Room of One's Own is really not as much women-rule!! as one might think. Nevertheless, an essential text for my interests. The next step is figuring out what kernel of insight no one has cracked open yet. The voice of the acclimated minority woman? A connection between the feminine voice and the elements of music? Other?

Thanks Dr. Ings and Isabel; I owe you.

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." Voltaire

P.S...anyone have any ideas for a really cool project that I can do for a grant? $8000 or less?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Top 5 list

As the clock ticked down on another Colt's pre-season demise-ical debacle, I realized that I had the next blog formulating in my mind. This is my very own TOP 5 LIST OF JOBS IN THE COLTS' ORGANIZATION THAT I WISH THAT I HAVE. This does, of course, develop out of our trip last night to Lucas Oil Stadium (crazy fantastically cool to the most fabulous degree) to watch the back up to the back up string players lose to the third string Bengals. Likewise, this idea is an homage, of sorts, to my Braves announcers boys, Joe and Boog, who have been creating some rather entertaining (absolutely necessary since this same adjective does not so much apply to the Braves lately) Top 5 lists pertaining to baseball, past and present. One final thought before the list begins (which can't possibly be as exciting as I am building it up to be): I often (disturbingly?) find myself constantly saying either to myself or the Ben, "Oh! That is another one of my dream jobs!" Funnily enough, these often resolve around sports.


5. A Colts' Cheerleader. Seriously! I always find myself watching the cheerleaders when I go to football games, sometimes more than the game itself. Seriously, they're gorgeous; they dance. Perhaps I look at them trying to figure out if I can be that seductive and alluring. Perhaps I am working of figuring out how they always have perfect hair. Perhaps I have a thing for white leather, sparkles and knee high boots (which really isn't too far off the mark here; I do have 2 pairs). To my credit, it's not like the game itself was all that riveting last night. I spent lots of time just watching Peyton on the sideline in uniform, at the coin toss, on the sideline in jeans...

***Editor's note: Ben thinks that my next dream job should be the person who runs with the flag through the end zone as the team comes sprinting out. How long has this person known me? Seriously!! He knows that I don't run; why would my dream job involve running...?

4. The lifter of the end zone net. You get to sit down on the field and you get to raise and lower the net. How cool!

3. The Air Fan. This is the guy who is not in the true mascot outfit but the INFLATABLE mascot outfit. Not only does this guy get to just bop around, but he can literally eat "his" own head and then pop it back out!!

2. The driver of the mini garbage truck. It was so cute and fun looking...a clown sized garbage truck. Envision it. Embrace it. And then throw a football through the back of it for a chance to win cash. I wondered aloud what it takes to be chosen for these fun-looking, commercial filling, endzone games. Ben's response, "You have to look like you can't do it." I looked at the soccer mom trying to throw a football and know what? He's probably right.

1. The driver of the camera cart. So they have this moving platform which has a lifted platform on it where a camera man films the game from the sideline. How cool would it be to be the person who gets to drive the platform back and forth, mere inches away from the wafting sweat of the boys? Namely Peyton, Marvin, Bob, and Tony. Not that Tony would sweat all that much. Plus, it was just so much fun looking. Zipping slowly back and forth, back and forth. Watching the game, down on the field, back and forth. Who wouldn't want to put the job title "platform driver for a cameraman for the Colts" on their resume...oh I would!

"It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it." John Wooden
(Does this apply to pre-season games as well? Ouch)

Monday, August 18, 2008

A witty morsel from one of my kids

We (mostly me) were discussing how English is mostly a conglomeration of words that come from many different languages and cultures, how many if not most words are "stolen" from Latin & Greek roots. Without blinking an eyelash, the child whose focusing skills I often question declares, "So basically we're all speaking a bootlegged language??"

I'm so proud of my little general puppies! :-)

P.S. Ben and I both stayed up "late" to watch Michael Phelps' final swim, and Ben and I both admitted that we were nervous for him during the race. Seriously? We were nervous? I know that my stomach was twisting a bit.

Monday, August 11, 2008

notes on a Panera sack

I've never been one who gets excited about a road trip. It just seems like a worthless waste of a day to me. Yet, this one was fun despite Milwaukee traffic that rivaled Chicago and the never ending expanses of Wisconsin and Illinois. Darn. Maybe Ben will read this and use it as leverage to bypass flying in the future. But then again, Ben doesn't read this, so maybe I'm okay after all.

After about five hours of driving, I had some thoughts rattling together that started to stick to each other, which led me to find whatever paper I could reach and start jotting them down so as not to forget them. Since they were all sticking together, losing one would obviously mean losing them all. Ben was also laughably curious as to what I was writing. Granted, this makes sense since we'd been confined in a car for 20+ hours in 4 days at this point. The list that he decided that I was making was so ridiculous that those thoughts didn't bother sticking together. Methinks you'll have to trust me that Ben was being funny.

So, the point of the post...thoughts on a pleasant road trip:
**It's really funny when a random motorcycle drives by with one guy on it who so loves his 2 stuffed puppies that he straps them to the top of his rolled up sleeping bag that is likewise strapped, albeit to the back of his ride.

**As I listened to a coversation with a good friend where Benfriend explained about why I'm bailing yet again to visit her though I'm in her general area of the world, suddenly there appear SUNFLOWERS!!! sporadically on the side of road, growing with their yellowy orangy faces toward me...a lovely reminder to me of her and the possee as a sort of visible sign of my sisterly friends. It's wonderful to have friends that remind me of sunflowers. And vice versa.

**I realized that as I frequented my 4th (5th??) rest area bathroom that maybe a road trip is another way to say voyage-to-rank-rest-areas-on-interstates. Oh, this one's nice--it has a trail! Ew, this one's water is contaminated (the aforementioned 4th/5th?? one). Wow, these bathrooms are really plush for a rest area. Look! Vending machines!! Suddenly random sign information is fascinating even if only so that one has a chance to stand and stretch. I learned about carrier pigeons, a certain type of blue butterly, some indians...

**Sigh. My lovely little Honda is old, officially. She turned over 100,000 miles on one busy, lonely (oxymoronic sounding, but true) stretch of interstate 90 between Madison and Beloit in Wisconsin. I toasted her with Pepsi and some Dove chocolate, what every girl should be toasted with in my opinion.

**Missing exits stink, especially in busy-road constructioned-city traffic. When other cars full of people whom you are related to miss exits, that, however, is funny.

**I guess I've already mentioned road construction. Seriously, the green spiky things on top of the temporary cement barrier between my lane and the on coming traffic was making me naseous.

**Windmills. Does no one understand my erudite lit-ite reference to tilting at windmills? The aforementioned 4th/5th?? rest area was the scene of a Don Quixote in a nutshell synopsis for Ben. Just across the field from the rest area/interstate there was a massive windmill farm with humongoid windmills that were fascinating and somewhat monster-esque. I could see why Quixote would chose to tilt at one. They were like massive airplanes that were missing everything but the propellers. Really cool to watch; mesmeric even (for me...I don't think that Ben found them quite so fascinating).

**Don't you love it when others who are sharing the road with you write lovely messages to fellow roadies? Such was our utmost delight when the white SUV drove by with three sets of hands pressing signs asking passers-by to flash them. Interesting invitation. Thankfully, we had no kids with us to whom we would have to explain that. Common decency is always appreciated yet sometimes lacking.

**The busiest, worst Subway/gas station for lunch (literally a 1/2 an hour experience) followed by the most podunk, less-technologically-advanced-than-the-local-Whippy-Dip Dairy Queen for supper that was a desperation stop culminating in fried food...exactly what we didn't need after riding in the car for over 9 hours. Oh, another 1/2 an hour experience. The only saving grace of that place were the bathroom doors labeled "Dairy Queens" and "Dairy Kings." Style points for that.

My jottings on a Panera bag have ended. Lovely trip. My bed felt divine last night.

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything." Charles Kuralt (Ah, Charles...hopefully the boys in the white SUV failed to see anything as well.)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why it's maybe okay when Ben ditches me for a week

24 hours into my forced widow/bachelorette (I'm not sure yet which is more apt) state, I realize that Ben leaving me for a week has some perks.

I get to leave my washcloth wherever I want. Seriously a luxury for my anal-ity.

I can read for HOURS on end...which I did last night. Approximately 5 or 6 hours. In the backyard, delish coffee, no neighbors out mowing their lawns, the bugs basically non existent, slight breeze, beautiful clouds, 6 doves, and some book candy.

No one sees me cry when I read. (I cried during the movie, and I cried during the book. Both honest to goodness, wrenching my heart cries. Sometimes I feel like crying on the inside when I read something but the eyes don't produce. This time, I literally had to stop and cry for a minute before I could continue reading.) Maybe not the best choice last night (P. S. I love you...story of woman who deals with recovering from her husband's death while he "sends" her notes to help her cope), but there wasn't anything else I wanted to do.

Toby brings me the toy mouse the first thing when I wake up in the morning. Me. I get full and undivided attention from my cats. She also brought her precious mousy to me (and only me) last night after my fit of crying and sighing brought me back inside.

I don't have to share my salmon or cheesecake. Yum.

I don't have to watch or try to ignore stupid Star Trek and Magnum P. I. Ick.

I can not only park my car in the middle of the garage (again, incomparable luxury when one has a squishy tight garage) but I can also park my pillow and thus myself in the middle of the bed. Admittedly, it can mess me up in the morning when I can't figure out how to get out of such a large space. You get used to just rolling over and kind of falling out of bed.

No one slept on me allll night!! No arm flung across my head. No head weighing down my shoulder. No cats laid on my legs, prohibiting a natural sleeping posture.

I guess that I am learning to appreciate the space that a week alone gives me.

"Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives." William James

P.S. Regardless, I still miss him.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In hindsight...

Reflecting on the camping trip again, I thought that I had finally come up with some good ideas about how to conquer the inevitable grossness of containers from leakage in the cooler. If it's just Ben and me, I don't take mayo cause I don't need it and Ben can just suck it up if he wants it. ;-) However, since there were 4 other people with us this time, exceptions were made to condimate the lunch meat sandwiches. Oh wait...the lunch meat sandwiches that never materialized since I completely forgot nearly all of the meat in my fridge.

So I pre-made as much as possible, and had lots of ziplock containers with as much as I could. They don't leak unlike ziplock bags. For example, I had the lunch meat in one (not that it mattered), the fruit salad, the sloppy joe mixture. I even scooped out a bunch of margarine and mayo and put them in separate (yet identical) containers.

Saturday morning I was making an impressive mess with the pancakes and eggs on the campstove, so I wasn't really paying attention to what other people were doing or putting on their pancakes. Why we were almost out of margarine was beyond me, but I remember thinking something along the lines of "Great, just something else I screwed up on and didn't bring enough of...what are we going to put on corn tonight?" I was ticked enough that I wasn't really talking let alone investigating. If five people (I hadn't stopped for pancakes yet) had gone through what I thought was tons of butter for what we would need that weekend, then oh well. People would have butter-less corn on the cob. Which, incidentally, did make Ben's sister sad to some extent!

When we got home and I was unloading the cooler, again, I wasn't really paying attention but just threw stuff into the fridge. I thought I'd just mess with the empty butter container later. Apparantly "later" means in about four days since I didn't pull it out until today. must be some sort of clean out day for me. I also finally (2 months later) went through and sorted all of my paperwork (quite considerable) for last semester's grad classes. Yet this is getting long enough with more of this digression...

I pull both the mayo and the margarine ziplock containers out and stood confused, befuddled, bemused. The mayo container was practically empty, but (suspsense building pause)...the margarine container was absolutely as full as when I had loaded it up originally! Hmm...not only did everyone else have to use the less yummy tasting and almost out Crisco-since-it's-cheaper-than-Pam spray for their pudgy/hobo (why is it hobo?? Ben's brother calls them poodgie for some unapparant reason) pies. But also, that means that there was a plentiful amount of mayo that was slathered alllll over pancakes. This wasn't obviously too disgusting (though it really sounds like it would be) since no one said anything, and I didn't notice either. But then again, I was still steamed over my lack of foresight and memory.

Pancakes smothered in mayo and liquid sugar. Mmmmm, healthy! But then again, it's not like it pancakes smothered in solidified vegetable oil (which does generally revert it back to a liquidic state) and liquid sugar is really any better. Thinking of it that way kind of ruins my Saturday morning now.

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2000 of something."
Mitch Hedberg

(Not that this quote has anything to really do with any of this, but it is about food.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

3 girls versus a flood

Camping has lately become synonymous with rain for me. Four straight trips have had issues. The first one of the streak was a horrendous 12 hour deluge; this latest one was a 12 o'clock dash to the nearest hotel. Hot humid weather not surprisingly gave way to a storm at night. Though I have been in tents several times while a storm outside has raged, never can I remember a time when I have tried to wait out the storm all the while trying to figure out if the weight of our bodies was enough to keep the tent from blowing away.

When the rain began to seep in not only at the floors but also at the roof, there was little to do but puddle jump to the car. A few more mad dashes back and forth, a broken and water logged canopy, a decision to abandon the t-shirt sandbagged tent, a dark/foggy/twisty road, and a suite with direct access to the indoor pool...finally led to a warm, DRY albeit very firm bed with promises of a deep whirlpool tub and continental breakfast in the morning.

It's hard to believe, I know, but 3 girls are rather ineffectual against a dripping mesh ceiling when only armed with 2 old towels that lived a good life in the glory days of college.

"When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure." Alice Hoffman

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Scratch that one off of the list

I have a sort of list that I wrote one night when I was trying to calm my mind or something before I went to bed. Sometimes I have to do that. On this list are about 30 things that I want to do someday. It feels good to scratch things off of lists, you know?

Thanks to Ben, I can will be able to scratch one item off...we're going to see a Colts game in August. Granted, it's a pre-season game. But still. Seriously. Who cares? It's going to be in the Luke (hehe), and the tickets were free! For once Ben was lucky and won a drawing. I guess ninety-eight times a charm, eh?

"A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck." James A. Garfield

Friday, June 27, 2008

Monopoly post script

P.S. I FINALLY beat Ben at Monopoly after trying for a week. Unfortunately for our marriage, this whoopin' (for Monopoly, which tends to take a relatively long time, the entire game last about an hour) was sandwiched between 2 veritable decimations playing Scrabble. Ben finally declared a 7 day moratorium on playing games with me. I know that he's hit his breaking point when he keeps muttering, "It's not your's not your birthday!!"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ben pulled Monopoly out of the closet-o-games a few days ago for whatever reason. It had been so long since either of us had played it that both of us needed a refresher course on the rules. It's really more complex than I remember it being. So we've "played" 3 games now...and I have been wholloped 3 times now. I haven't just been beaten, I have been beaten to a bloody pulp while cheating so that I would stay alive. That's just kicking a corpse while it's dead.

Inevitably, it ends the same way: I declare that I quit and Ben is left to play for both sides and then just trounce "me" with no remorse.

The last time that I played this, I'm sure it was when I played it with my older brother before either of us had summer jobs. I remember being bored enough that playing with each other was at least somewhat appealing. Those games always ended with the one of us being unhappy with losing and quitting unceremoniously (deja vu). My Monopoly skills have obvously not improved with age.

By the I type this, Ben is currently playing himself times 4, i.e. there are 4 players in this game and he is controlling them all. Will he get mad at himself if he beats himself?

"There are always survivors at a massacre. Among the victors, if nowhere else." Lois McMaster Bujold

Friday, June 20, 2008

Underwear Poll

I have been thinking of what I should write for my next blog; lo and behold, Ben gives me a topic. Thanks, Ben (just in case he reads this for once).

We have, for 3 years now, had differing opinions on how to fold underwear. He inists that it is more space effective to just lay every pair flat upon each other. Granted, his is all the same color and he doesn't have to shuffle through them in case he prefers to have a white day versus a blue day, for example. I prefer to fold my underwear. I always have and see no reason not to do so. Apparantly, this is about the wierdest thing to do; "Who cares if it has wrinkles? No one will see it?" What kind of an argument is that about whether I should fold my underwear or not?!? Furthermore, whenever Ben folds laundry and any of my offending pairs of undergarments happen to be in the load (which is basically always), Ben does either one of two options. Not so surprisingly, neither of those options is actually just folding it the way that I do it. Option A: fold it up into the tiniest, eency-weency little square possible. Option B: leave it all wadded up in a pile whereupon I have to fold it later. When we fold laundry together, mine and his both go flying in the air at the other person as neither of us wants to give in and fold them or not fold them as the other wants. As I read that last sentence, I imagine that there might be some sort of interesting mental picture conjured up from it (and of course the thought, "who flings underwear at their spouse?" tee hee).

So the poll: Do you or do you not fold your underwear?

I hope that since this is my blog with my kind of people reading it, that I'll get some support (bah-dum ching!). :-) Because of that last zinger and because I seriously doubt that my quote source has any quotes on underwear...I shall go commando on the quotes tonight. (I'm making myself giggle.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

This weekend wasn't what I thought it would be!

Ben and I just returned from a mini vacation that tried really really hard to not work out. It started out as a group of 7 sharing a great cabin for a week in the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. It changed to 4 people maybe going to TN. But oh wait, $4/gallon of gas and other factors—lets do 4 days in Brown County, IN. Wait wait, Amy made a big mistake…it can only be 3 days, a long weekend, in Brown County. Whoa—lots of rain! LOTS. In fact scary, massive flooding and all of the interstates and highways coming down from Indy are closed, more rain in the forecast, non emergency travel is a big no-no. No more Brown County as of mid-afternoon the day of. Wait, we can go north…it’s drier up there. Despite everything, we had a terrific weekend with wonderful friends and only 5 minutes of rain (talk about a pop up shower) in a virtually deserted campground and a tolerable temperature. I took a personal day on the first day of summer school so that I could go on this camping trip; good thing it was worth it!

I’m reading Tony Dungy’s memoir Quiet Strength (even though I’m only 2/3 of the way through, I highly recommend this!), and the message of this book seemed to really fit with the weekend. Blessings, especially in disguise, are abundant. Two specific examples: friends and Ben’s random knowledge.

I have found that since graduation, it seems like my friends are always doing bigger, better and cooler things than I am. They have awesome jobs & school experiences or else are buying much nicer houses & cars. I greatly dislike the jealousy that I feel at times. However, I really realized lately and this weekend that I gain so much from these people that it far outweighs whatever I am “lacking.” It was so nice to be able to spend a couple of days with a couple with similar beliefs and values, who obviously love each other and better yet love talking with each other. You can tell that they’re not just married but that they are truly friends. What a blessing to have this influence in our lives so that we can learn from them.

I sprayed insect repellent directly into my right eye on accident yesterday when I was trying to spray my shoulder. I thought that I had the nozzle turned but apparently did not. It really hurt, but as anyone should not do, I began freaking out without any idea how to help myself. All I kept thinking of is how I was going to have permanent damage because I was in the middle of a campground. Where & how was I going to wash my eye out? The label on the bottle said to pour water into my eye for 15-20 minutes. How in the world could I do this?? But then Ben came back, and never have I felt so humbly grateful for him…not just oh my gosh, I love him but how do I deserve this individual who takes care of my so patiently gently. Apparently, he had some sort of similar situation years ago at camp and helped me rig an eyewash with a cup full of water. What would I/we have done if he had not been in a situation before where he was around someone who knew what to do and thus taught him? It may have been painful for him earlier and it was certainly painful or me now, but who knows that maybe someday I’ll save someone else’s eyes from damage in the future because now I know what to do. Blessings can be painful too! May we all not only be thankful for unexpected blessings but become aware of them.

"You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it." Albert Camus

Friday, June 6, 2008

My new little pretend garden

It's amazing to me how much I enjoy doing things now that I really rather disliked when I was growing up. My mom has quite a sizeable garden, and I wasn't always the biggest fan of going out and helping work in it. This isn't to say that I really worked all that hard in it a lot as it was. I did like walking in the dug up dirt during planting.

But growing flowers and veggies is actually fun! This realization led to 4 boards, a dug out area in a clay and lava rock patch and 20 bags of dirt. Now, I have quite a lovely little raised bed complete with various veggies that I used to not like but am now more often begrudgingly admittinging to be good. Fortunately, the upkeep isn't going to be all that much work, so I shouldn't come to dislike it. It's a little step but a worthwhile one.

"Part of the secret to life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside."
Mark Twain

Saturday, May 31, 2008

It takes a neighborhood to survive a tornado

When multiple tornadoes are within a few miles of Kokomo and heading directly our way, I get worried. When there is a tornado coming within 2 miles of my house, I run for the neighbor's house. In fact, about 20-25 people do! Apparantly, there are few basements within shouting distance of our house. Fortunately, our neighbor has a key to the house that does have a basement...and can let us all in even when these basement-endowed neighbors aren't home!! So about 8 adults and a slumber party full of girls later, we weathered the storm just fine. Imagine that conversation when the homeowners return: "Welcome back; we hope that you don't mind that we had a little bit of a tornado party in your basement while you were gone. Oh, but don't worry. Someone picked up that pair of underwear that was on the stairs. Thansk for being a good neighbor!" Our cats, however, were not pleased about being locked in the bathroom. It's not like we could easily bring them with us, and that is the safest room in the house. It makes sense as much as they don't like it.

So this is the finishing touch on an abnormal day. It was Ben's last day of school ( is it that I still have 2 when every other school in the area is done??), we bought 2 new recliners, sold one (go figure), FINALLY got rid of my hideous, broken, scratchy, what-was-my-dad-thinking-when-he-got-this-for-me orange couch, picked up our new couch, moved it into our living room, somehow managed to move the old couch into the office (seriously not much space in that room now), I went summer school clothes shopping (who does that?!?), and Ben still fit in a couple of graduation parties just for fun. And then the day ended with prayers of relief and thanks that my house is still standing and we are not dead.

As fascinating as storms can be...they are seriously scary to me.

"Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning." George Carlin

Friday, May 30, 2008

End of the school year gems

Often such pithy words of wisdom spewing forth from the minds of teenagers just make you stop and giggle loudly to yourself at your desk. Enjoy.

According to one senior, the Bard's name is Shakesphere. It's a good thing I have several large posters with his name prominently displayed on them hung around the room to help with such unawareness.

"A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift is an important piece of world literature because "It's an example of trickery to get people to listen to his story." I guess that you could say that a satire about eating children (just the unimportant ones) to "solve" poverty and especially hunger is a bit of trickery.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is also an important piece of world literature because "It's importance comes with the enjoyment of reading and the detail that's in it." I wasn't aware that my seniors were such epicureans of good literature. What a vague and trying-to-be-impressive-but-student-obviously-has-no-idea answer.

The best came from another teacher's class. I'm glad I don't know who this kid is because otherwise every time I look at him, I'd just think of this example. This teacher assigns a controlled source based paper to his sophomores every year. This is the first time that these students have really done citations and sourcing, so the sources are provided, and every students writes about the same thing. At the end of one student's paper, he obviously thought that this very Catholic teacher needed a lovely benediction as his grade was being decided. Therefore, the last line of his paper reads, "God bless you and many blessings for you and your family!" That's a new one!!

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." H. G. Wells (Dare I say that I know several people who are already heading toward catastrophe?!?)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Kenapoca-mocha

As I sit surrounded by warm fuzzies in the brainchild of good Manchester people, slowly enjoying my perfect beef & barley soup and sweet iced coffee, I can't help but think...ha! I got to finally experience a cool Manchester thing first before other people who are cooler than I as they generally do way way cooler stuff than I. I am willing to sacrifice and visit this place every day after teaching or studying with a good book and no cares except which drink to choose.

I have already decided that I must visit this wonderful place (really, you can feel the goodness oozing out of the walls, sifting through the air, settling around your stress-tense mind and muscles) with Ben. And, I will deviate from my journey so as to swing by this happy nook as often as possible. I.e., hey, we're going to Indianapolis...I think that we should go via N Manchester!

For this new coffee, soup and broken bread cafe, I want to move back to N Manchester. In fact, poking around on the Manchester Realty website, I see that the Hospitality House is still for sale, along with the Fruitt Basket Inn (I think??). Anyone want to join me in some crazy, never-going-to-happen B&B venture so that I can move back?

I hear that the pumpking chili is fabulous as well. I can't imagine how it wouldn't be.

"Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age." Christopher Morley
(I think that this little happy moment that I enjoyed last night certainly added a little fluff to my old age cushion.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What happens when it's hard to make friends

You spend your Saturday night with about 30 adults 60 years and older. There was one lady who was younger; she was in her mid-40s/early 50s...much closer to our age.

Ben and I decided to help with and participate in a progressive dinner through our church. Neither of us have ever done this before, so we thought it would be fun times. It was quite fun, I will admit. As fun as it gets when the two of us at 25 years old drastically lowered the approximate average age of the group from 69 to 60. Appetizers, a little awkward. Dinner, fun. Dessert, nostalgic.

How many people can honestly say that they've "hung with the homies" from church drinking boxed wine out of plastic wine glasses with your name on it that you took with you so as not to use more than one glass per person? It's even better when you factor in trying to juggle the aforementioned plastic wine glass with a paper plate of food while trying to speak loudly and clearly enough (I swear that every time I see some of these elderly church goers that I have to re-introduce myself...personally, I just don't remember most of their names and don't ask and re-ask but pretend like I remember) to speak above the dull noise of everyone so that my conversation partner's hearing aid can pick up what I say.

May I be as funny when I am that age. We do have some humorous old people at our church.

"Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing does - except wrinkles. It's true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place." -Abigail Van Buren

(Ben and I were definitely the young grapes of that bunch. Can I just refer to older people as having fermented longer???)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Election Day

Is anyone else annoyed by the drama that news stations make out of elections...BREAKING NEWS...DECISION 2008!!!

So I just voted in person for the first time ever. The good part about it--it was super easy and I didn't have to wait. The bad parts about it--the signs telling me where to go were absolutely scarce and I used a marker. Where were the chads that are beckoning to hang?!?!

I guess I assumed that it would be super easy to figure out where to go inside of the elementary school that is my voting site. Oh no. And Miss Embarrassed that I am, I just walked super slowly so that a lady who looked like she knew what was doing behind me would overtake me and lead me to the promised land. Luckily, she wasn't some teacher's aide leading me to a first grade classroom but performed as I needed her to. No one told me that there would be multiple precincts within the same room, so then I did look like a voting moron and fumbled around with my little card to figure out what precinct I even live in. But I figured it out; luckily, it's not meant to be too challenging. But then again...maybe it should be--weed out the morons who shouldn't be voting anyway. You know, voting survivor style!

My novice voting ideals led me to believe that I would be punching buttons or poking at a screen or something when I voted. Alas, I played connect the arrows with a marker. On a wobbly privacy table thing nonetheless. Can you just imagine the little old ladies sitting at the registration table thinking, "Wow, that Amy Cox...she's just going crazy over there with her ballot! Look at her table shaking!"

My guidance counselor got a sticker that said "I voted!" I want a sticker.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My miraculous weight loss!

Finally, I figured out how to loose weight. Not only that...I lost about 10-15 pounds just within the last couple of days. You can seriously tell just by looking at me too. It's stupendous!!! The secret to my miraculous weight loss?!? The end of the semester & finishing my beast of a paper (which was still quite interesting, I think, regardless of how mind numbing it was at times) and the impossible final. All of that weight...literally lifted off of my shoulders. :-)

However, have no fear. I am actively trying to replace the figurative pounds with literal ones. Suddenly, not sadly, there is a plethora of blondies, brownies and cookies just flying into my hands. Sugar is just too accessible. If it was $3.75/gallon, I might not eat it so much. Can we use sugar in lieu of gas??

"Worries go down better with soup than without." Jewish proverb
(I should convert to Judaism if it involves delicious sounding proverbs like this one.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

It's not that easy...being green

It's not that easy being green;Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold...or something much more colorful like that.It's not easy being green.It seems you blend in with so many other ord'nary things.And people tend to pass you over 'cause you'renot standing out like flashy sparkles in the water or stars in the sky.But green's the color of Spring.And green can be cool and friendly-like.And green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain,or tall like a tree.When green is all there is to beIt could make you wonder why, but why wonder why?Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!And I think it's what I want to be.

Love the earth; give it a hug. :-)

"The goal of life is living in agreement with nature." Zeno

Sunday, April 20, 2008

wierd week...

What a wierd week.

Wednesday was the "big boom;" Friday was the earthquake.

Who would have thought that going an enormous boom would jolt me out of bed on a random Wednesday night??? It was quite the wierd situation to congregate with the neighbors all in our jammies outside at 10:30 p.m. By the time we got up in the morning, it was supposedly an effect from a falling meteor. Yeah, right. My brother is *convinced* that it's a not-s0-incognito UFO surveillance mission. The newspeople have now determined that it was a fighter jet from Ft. Wayne...breaking the sound barrier. To me this is about as sci-fi as it will ever come. Seriously...breaking the sound barrier just sounds so out there, like it would never possibly occur anywhere where I would ever be. Ben isn't as astounded by this as I am; I persist in reveling in my awe, albeit somewhat scared awe.

The earthquake...let it be known, I have always kind of wanted to experience what a real, honest-to-goodness earthquake is like. Alas, I don't live in California or southern Indiana. Apparantly, I SLEPT through an earthquake Friday morning. My various roommates and family can attest that I'm a fairly light sleeper, and I was especially restless for some reason. Maybe I have a little bit of cockroach in me and can sense an oncoming earthquake. How did I sleep through it when it was apparantly easily felt in Kokomo too? I feel like I'm always writing on here about getting jipped!

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." Aristotle

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Social Capital

I had a "I must blog this" moment tonight during class. We're discussing a Marxist theorist about different forms of, economic, cultural mainly. The discussion started as well with my professor contemplating why he never talked with acquaintances/friends from previous places where he lived & worked. Ultimately, he came to the conclusion that he no longer talks to these people because he doesn't need them. They don't enhance his social capital (like currency). Methinks I have an excuse for not keeping in touch with people? It's a bit harsh...but I guess it is what it is. Fair is fair; lots of people don't keep in touch with me either! :-)

Confucius say: "Have no friends not equal to yourself."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

What's that bird with the green head?

You may or may not know that Ben is a typical male at times. He's not really all that with it about flowers, for example. He knows what a rose is and he now knows what a daisy is (thanks to me), but other than that, he's a little on the lost side. And that's okay with me; I'm not big on getting gorgeous bouquets of expensive flowers that are only fodder for cat eating and subsequent cat puking.

Ben also sometimes has this same issue with birds. Personally, I thought that some birds are by default easier to identify than others. For example...the blackbird. I mean, how many black birds are there that sit in your yard and eat sunflower seeds? Not many. Granted, some blackbirds do have iridescent feathers around their head/back, but they are still BLACKbirds. Silly Ben. I'm supposed to add the disclaimer that this particular blackbird had a green (iridescent) head, so that made it confusing.

"I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs."
Joseph Addison

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Opening Day!!!

I feel downright giddy. In fact, it's been hard to concentrate all day because it's OPENING DAY! Let the most beautiful 7 months of the year begin. No more homework tonight. I am going to watch this game and no one is going to shake me from my couch. Oh look...Chipper Jones just hit a home run (too bad that was a clip from the past)! I've realized that every year I am getting more and more excited about the baseball season. Oh, I'm excited...! Did you hear that my Valentine's Day present this year was the special, by subscription only, MLB extra innings package so now I can watch up to 50 games a week!!!! Let the first rendition of the Mark Teixiera song begin...let the close ups of Chipper Jones begin...let the beat down with my fantasy team begin!

Running...funny this topic should come up on shapeastar's blog. I was just mocking running today. I loathe running. I can't stand running. I look like a doofus and feel like puking after a mere jog down the block. In fact, it would be nice if other people *wouldn't* run so that my pitiful walking-as-exercise wouldn't look so pitiful. The Ben has a different opinion than me. But, to my defense, if I had his skinniness and wirey-ness, maybe I'd embrace it more as well. Did that appear like a rather paltry defenes of my weakness to anyone else? In all seriousness, I'm all for running for anyone who can and chooses to run. I, however, embrace yoga. ;-)

So the little nephew is a squirmer. Are all little ones so squirmy? I have been indoctrinated into his life...he has gladly bestowed his first bit of spit-up on me. But, I must say, that he was a lot of fun to hold (or try to...he was kind of squirmy!).

In honor of opening day and Yogi Berra's eternal pithiness...
"Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical." (Yogi is Ben's favorite motivational speaker!)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ring tone

Ben got a new ring tone. If you're ever hanging out with him, I dare you to call him so you can hear it. This is probably relatively lame to so many of you who understand technology (right now it's my goal in life to never send a text message...and never learn how). Those of you who know Ben know how much of an absolute James Bond fan he is. He has finally achieved the zenith of his James Bond fan-dom. Finally, with the help of his 7th grader track assistant, he figured out how to download a James Bond ring tone. For all I know, "ring tone" might be one word. I may resist texting, but I think that ring tones can be fun. This is probably rather mundane to most, but this is not the first attempt to get a fun ring tone. So I need help...what should my ring tone be??? Harry Potter? A little DMB? Some Coldplay? Please (really) help me decide!!!

"Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons." R. Buckminster Fuller (hence why I don't text....hmm)

Friday, March 7, 2008

A lunchtime oops

Lots of leftovers have been in our fridge this week. It seems that there has been a flurry of cooking in the past week resulting in no lunchmeat sandwiches for lunch...mmm. I always appreciate good, tasty leftovers when my lunchtime compatriots are eating their frozen dinners. Today, however, I ran into a problem.

There was one lonely container of leftovers on the bottom shelf of my hasn't-been-cleaned-since-we-moved-in refrigerator. Imagine my surprise that Ben has ignored this container for several days now. In hindsight I realize that this was a clue. Yet I grabbed it, tossed it into my bag, and trundled off to school more worried about my missing keys than my lunchtime selection.

Lunch comes around. I open the refrigerator where my stash is stashed. I open the lid (the suspense is not so intense; I'm sure that you can figure out what is coming next) to stick my noodly leftovers in the micro. Alas, naked...cooked...fettucine. I love pasta, but I'm not sure that there is much that is as unappetizing as cold, squished-together pasta that has no sauce. Yum.

I'm glad I brought yogurt today. And of course, there's always my chocolate stash in my desk drawer. :-)

"I no longer prepare food or drink with more than one ingredient." Cyra McFadden
Cold, naked pasta for lunch anyone??

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Snoring problems

Toby snores. Loudly. And, she's getting worse (I think). Not only is she snoring, but she's wheezing more just when she's sitting around doing nothing. One would think that a snoring cat is no big problem, but when she insists on sleeping on or against me whenever I'm on the couch (quite a bit of time considering that I'm always on the couch when I'm doing homework for hours on end), it actually disrupts my ability to read/think/function well. I think that she snores the most when she's in her deepest sleep. Who ever heard of a 7 lb. cat with snoring problems? Ironically, as I type this...she just started wheezing again.

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone."
Anthony Burgess
(Apparantly, Burgess never realized that it's impossible to convince my snoring cat to sleep elsewhere.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wierd cat tricks

So I'm sitting here, typing away, watching Toby sit on Ben's head. I have to capture this moment. Toby has learned a new trick! Yay! As if eating toilet paper & carpet isn't enough. I'm a little surprised that she took so long to learn this particular trick since we hold her all of the time and she has such a penchant for climbing. She's practically made of velcro the way she sticks to us to much when we're in the house. I think that these particular cats are a bit puppy as well what with the way that they walk around the house, holding their toys in their mouths, crying for attention. And, they generally follow us from room to room, especially at tnight.

So Toby has learned a new trick. She has learned how to not only climb onto our shoulders while we are holding her (and frankly, she's really pretty slippery at times), but she has also learned how to jump onto our backs/shoulders while we are standing. She's even pretty good at jumping & balancing on the backs (not really all that thick) of our dining room chairs. She's quite the talented one, I assure you. This is mostly funny because it happens to Ben a whole lot more than it happens to me. But now that Ben has taught her how to do it (and yes, she was encouraged by him, not me), she does it ALL of the time. It can be quite unnerving when you're cooking and all of a sudden Toby is balancing on your shoulders.

She's moved beyond just balancing, however. Now, she settles in and basically camps out on your shoulders/back. Hence why she is sitting on Ben's head. She's laying parallel to Ben so that her head is betwee his shoulder blades and her bum is squarely situated on his head. Laying down. Quite happy. Probably purring (she purrs a lot). If I knew how to put a picture on here, I would. This moment should be enjoyed by more than just myself.

"Cats regard people as warm blooded furniture."
Jacquelyn Mitchard

Monday, February 18, 2008

New nephew

So we haven't met him yet, but Ben & I just looked at the first pictures of our (first) newborn nephew, Jacob. His older sister looks very mature and happy with her new brother.

By the way...someone used the word "erudite" in class tonight. I giggled (on the inside). :-)

"There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval." George Santayana

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Meandering thoughts

All is going pretty well tonight. Toby is sleeping in a bag. Leo is cuddling with me (not with Ben). I'm pretending to do homework. My laptop is working again. And, I found an interesting book today..."The Pirate Cookbook".

So embarrassing happening of today. It had snowed and iced during the day, which meant that I needed to scrape my windshield before I could drive, which is saying something if you could have seen my windshield into school this morning. Yet, I don't have an ice scraper in my car. Wierd. It used to be there. It's not like I've never needed one before. So I did what any intrepid and inventive teacher would do. I interrupted someone else's class in order to relay my problem and have them solve it. It was hard work too!

Apparantly our garage door froze shut (that's never happened before) Sunday and didn't decide to open again until Sunday afternoon. As soon as I couldn't get my car out, I felt trapped, thus reminding me of my dependence on my freedom. I even went to school to work for a while, partly because I needed to and partly because I needed out of the house! Sad.

Leo is offering his fuzzy white belly up to be rubbed by all of you right now. If there is an all of you.

Alexander the Great was embalmed in honey.

Because we were frozen into our house on Sunday, we didn't get to church. Because we didn't get to church, we didn't drop off the 40 cookies that I had baked Saturday night to take to church Sunday morning. Now I have many cookies. Many. I'm willing to save some for anyone who comes to visit me. :-)

Sugar cookies, half dipped in chocolate. Mmmm.

2nd annual chocolate fest, February 29, 2:45

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside."
Mark Twain

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Crocs & Football

Crocs. The funny, spongy, goofy-looking plastic shoes. They look like they'd last for a few days before falling apart (or disintigrating in water). They come in clownish colors. They have holes in them. How can these possibly be good shoes.

Yet, I love my Crocs. (Mine are red.)

I'm not normally into rushing out and buying the latest fad. But after awhile, I give in. It only took me approximately 4 years to purchase my first pair of capris. I remember laughing at them and thinking how ridiculous they looked the first time I saw them. I love my capris. They are, literally, just about the perfect pair of pants. Flattering to most. Not too hot. Not too cold (usually). And, they match most shoes that I own.

I am still surprised that I even tried on any Crocs let alone buy any. But I love them (even more than my capris). In fact, I really think that these might be the best investment of shoes that I have ever made.

So I think that Ben should try whatever I'm all about because obviously if I love my Crocs then Ben would love Crocs too. Croc insanity hath spread in this house. Ben not only found his own cute little pieces of hole-y plastic, but he found cute little Colts pieces of hole-y plastic. And the best part is...side by side, Croc by Croc, they actually make my feet look small. Crocs are truly the miracle shoe.


Football. Before I met Ben, I kind of knew the idea of football, but only because I had to go to every home football game in high school and eventually someone explained the basics to me. Before I met Ben, I don't think that I ever watched a single Colts game. But now, ha, I can (kind of) talk football smack with the best of them...just don't ask me what the difference between a shotgun formation and a slant. In actuality I am pretty good about regurgitating whatever I read in the newspaper and hear other people say about it. But I'm enjoying it. It's really quite a fun game. I've watched more of the post season this year than Ben has...nearly every playoff game. But this is all fair because...

Ben now likes the Braves. Before I met Ben, he thought that the Braves were evil (seeing how he was a lukewarm Reds fan and we all know how fans of teams who never win get jealous of fans of teams who are actually good, whether that good team wins or not...this complex gets much much worse with Cubs fans, unfortunately). Actually, Ben just never watched the Braves and simply had a jaded opinion of the boys in Hot 'Lanta. Now, Ben knows the Braves; he knows the stats, he knows the past players, he knows the good & bad trades, he knows the personal stats of my team. All considering, if Ben's really close second favorite team in baseball is now the Braves, it seems like a small price to pay to learn more about the Colts.

"Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein."
Joe Theismann

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lit theory? Holy flaming potholders, Batman!


I dislike literary theory. Vigorously. Some of it is okay I guess, but really overall, what's the point? Why should I really care about structuralism? semiology? new criticism? At this point, I ineveitably question how it is helping me, thus I must leave it to the powers-that-be to decide what I should know (or at least have some better working knowledge of than, say, my dentist). So basically, I think this is going to be one of the more laborious semesters to make it through with the lit. theory intensivity of it. (I think that intensivity is a word...but I have been know to make them up on occasion to suit my needs, like right now.) Not only is my lit. theory class a hard 3 hours to sit through once a week, but my Brit. Modernism class has also been heavily laden with theory thus far (granted, 2 classes into the semester). And, it's not like Modernism is marshmallow reading (definitely not candy books)...I dare you to read Ulysses (Joyce) and find your way out of that morass whole and unscathed. There's a reason why it is taking a graduate level class an entire month of classes to get through it. 12 hours of class over nothing but Joyce/Ulysses.

I just finished my first venture into the at times mind-numbing literary narrative of D. H. Lawrence (I definitively understand why he was banned in the earlier 1900s!), not that it was a bad read, especially since it was completely refreshing to read that rather than lit. theory for a while. That really may be the longest 459-pager ever. On average, I read about a page a minute...this one was about 2 pages per minute through sheer depth in every sentence and paragraph. I cannot recall another text that I have read that just struck me as so full of pointed meaning in every minute detail...remarkable, yet discouraging in its colossal depth. I bet that even Ben (for all of his so-called symbolism inferiority) would have no issues with deciperhing the amount of recurring images.

Holy flaming potholders, Batman! There really is a point to this. I realize that thus far, this particular post is rather heavily weighted toward the literary, so for those of you who aren't really minded as such and may be reading this, here's my offer at levity. So Ben has this theory that I am the cause of all checkbook woes with him because he has never had an issue with balancing his checkbook until me. Not that I dispute this claim (it's not everyone who deposits their paycheck into someone else's bank account and then bounces three checks...). However, I have my own claim. Before Ben I never set anything on fire in the kitchen (melting a plastic container in an oven doesn't count obviously since there was no fire...and those brownies still tasted just fine). Since him... Tonight was my 2nd reason why I should really have a fire extinguisher stored in the kitchen. When we lived in the apartment, I maybe set the oven on fire once. Tonight, I managed the fire on top of the stove. Potholders make kind of a cool noise when they catch on fire, I discovered. Who knew.

An ode to Joyce and flaming potholders both:
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." James Joyce (1882-1941)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Unexpectedness

Imagine the scenario:

26 special needs students (learning disabled, emotionally disabled, autistic...some just lazy)
4 adults (teachers/aides)
1 school bus taking this rag-tag group to Indianapolis to watch what would be for most of the group a real, honest-to-goodness play (who knew that people acted in real life and not just in movies and on tv?!?)

Such was my workday. When I woke up with a headache (and who wakes up with a headache?? there's been no time in the day to accumulate enough headache fodder!), I was figuring that it was surely some sort of physical sign that taking this bunch of kids on a field trip was an exercise in futility.

Alas, the trip was a dream. The kids were a dream. My doubts were guiltily assuaged. I feel vindicated for my wanting to trust these kids, who many other teachers would never (justifiably) take beyond their classroom door. In fact!!! the kids beat 3 of the 4 chaperones (yes, including myself) back to the appointed meeting place. They were on time, I/we were five minutes late. How often does that happen when too many of these kids try to play beat-the-clock with the tardy bell before our class begins. As a sugary candy cherry on top of this deliciously relief-filled field trip, they even left our school bus in the same condition as when we got on (i.e. they left no trash on the bus that my previous groups of seniors have). How cool are they??? Bless them for overall being more nicely dressed than many other students in the theatre. Bless them for (overall) staying awake and drawn-in by their first ever stage production. Bless them for the joy of adventure that they exhibited as many of them visited the new, exciting territory of the Indianapolis mall (serious grandiosity in their eyes) for lunch. My optimism hath been restored.

Hope magazine: I have no website information beyond this... I know that it's not much.

May the happy feelings associated with the smells of freshly baked bread wash over you. I'm sniffing some of that scent right now, just for you! The sacrifice is great.

Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back.
Thomas Sowell

Saturday, January 5, 2008


No matter which way you look at it, 424-257 is a thorough domination in Scrabble. Luckily, I was on the higher end of the the score (guess who lost). This is the (only) time of year when you want me on your team. Quick, someone organize a game of Euchre so that I can win for once!

Check out Hope magazine for women, published out of Muncie, IN, especially if you're a woman since it's designed to reach out to this demograhic in particular. It seems like I will be working in some capacity for them proofing/editing. I believe that the website is going through an overhaul, but I was told this morning that my name will appear on the masthead as well. As if teaching and taking classes weren't enough already...!

"Always be nice to those younger than you, because they are the ones who will be writing about you."
Cyril Connolly