Thursday, August 31, 2006

9 questions book meme

MaryKate tagged me. I'm not a huge reader. I like books and once I get into a good one, I have a lot of trouble putting it down, I actually become a little obsessed with finishing it. So maybe that's why I don't always have one that I'm reading (for pleasure that is). I wasn't terribly excited to do this meme, since I haven't read all the great books yet....eventually I'll get to them. That's what I love most about the classical education I'm giving my kids.

  1. One book that changed your life? As a person: Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. As a woman: A return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit. As a Christian: Knowing with the Heart by Roy Clouser.
  2. One book you have read more than once? The Chronicles of Narnia and countless other children's books that are on our shelves.
  3. One book you would want on a desert island? The Bible, that way I'd actually read it cover to cover (or The Brother's Karamozov -I've started that one a few times but never been able to get "into" it and everyone has such great things to say about it.)
  4. One book that made you cry? (Just one?) Goodbye Jeanine by Joyce Sackett made me cry more than any other book I've read, but for obvious reasons.
  5. One book that made you laugh? Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophia Kinsella.
  6. One book you wish had been written? A very practical divorce handbook/survival guide.
  7. One book you wish had never had been written? Same as #6.
  8. One book you are currently reading? The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
  9. One book you have been meaning to read? Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (for about 10 years now)

I am supposed to tag 5 people but I think all the bloggers I know have done this here are a few people who don't blog but are avid readers and maybe they could post their answers in comments? Mom, Julie, Inge, (and Tif if she ever actually read my blog)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

On the mend

Thanks for all the well-wishes...the antibiotics are doing their job and I'm much improved. I spent the past couple of days in a log cabin with my children my two x-sils (ex-sisters-in-law) and their children at Sandy Cove. We had a really nice time swimming, playing mini-golf, exploring the grounds, monkeying around on the playground, etc. Today while packing and cleaning up to head home, L locked my keys in my minivan. Just Monday, the boys had asked me if I had ever locked my keys in the car before, and I proudly said, "No, I have never locked my keys in the car before." Now I'm not superstitious, I don't knock on wood, but isn't that a strange coincidence? My "sisters" were great though, and helped me get the help I needed to get on the road (my phone and wallet were in the car too). By the time the tow truck driver arrived to jimmy the lock, I was no longer feeling stressed.

My other big news is that when I arrived home there were some packages waiting for me (some accessories for...) and a few hours later that big brown truck rumbled up the hill to deliver my new Dell Inspiron! My old computer bit the dust Sunday night, so it couldn't have been better timing. Now I'm learning this new gadget, oh, it can do really cool stuff, like make phone calls and burn cds and play dvds and, and....I'm as giddy as a school girl! The kids are psyched too, because now their games will play at regular speed.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


So, I'm still sick, and since I've become sick and tired of being sick and tired, and pretty sure my body isn't going to conquer whatever it is that is ailing me, I finally went to a doctor. Turns out I've got a whole bunch of -itis : bronchitis, pharangitis, tonsilitis. I've taken the opportunity of being sick and tired to become a bit of a couch potato and have watched lots of movies and television. Last night I spent the evening watching season 1 episodes of Wonderfalls which I greatly enjoyed. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of quirkiness, gen-Y underachievementism, disfunctional family relations, and the subtle transformation of one darkly sarcastic Brown University philosophy grad into a slightly less sarcastic and somwhat caring young woman. The question of destiny is constantly at play as inanimate toy animals and statues become animate and speak to Jaye Tyler telling her to do peculiar things. She finds that when she doesn't listen, bad things happen, although sometimes even good comes from these bad things. When she does the little animals bidding, it works out unexpectedly for some greater good, with usually bizarre results. She's not sure if she is going crazy, if God (or Satan?) is speaking to her directly or if she is just destiny's puppet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Once upon a time I was an art teacher in a rinky-dink Christian school in Catonsville. I was thrilled to have employment, but overwhelmed by the range of classes I'd be teaching my first year out of college: pre-kindergarden through eighth grade. On top of all this the school had very limited funds, no existing curriculum and the art room was a complete disaster. I soon learned that the previous art teachers had all been packrats hoarding all sorts of useless junk with the thought that it could be made into something. I was up to my ears in an organizational nightmare with very little compensation. The thing that inspired me to return to teach for two more years was the student body. The eighth graders in particular became my pet class. They even invited me along on their end of year trip to chaperon. I was tickled to go, these kids were fun to be around, even if I had to act like a responsible adult in their presence. In fact, the following year, the school just wasn't the same without them. Welllllll, fast forward ten years into the age of myspace, and eighth graders are college graduates now- the same age I was when I taught them, some have married, some have started families and they've tracked me down to invite me to a ten year reunion in the Spring.

Monday, August 14, 2006

2 year blog-birthday

Wow, I've been at this for two years now...over 10,000 visits to this blog so far! Who are all of you people reading about my life?!

I'm happy to say that the original purpose and context for this blog has evolved for the better, although I can not attest that the content has much improved. I had grand ideas of summarizing the high points (or at least the most humorous) over the past two years, but since I'm sicker than a child's kitchen experiment, I will spare myself the trouble. However, if you have a particular favorite entry, I'd love to hear which one it is. Perhaps it'll cheer me into health.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sick in the head

A few weeks ago, my children were sick with headcolds. The majority of symptoms cleared up, but the boys had nagging coughs that plagued them mostly at night. I was feeling kind of smug that I hadn't caught the virus when I heard that M, the children's father, had come down with it right before his beach vacation. But now, my body has finally given up fighting and I am consumed with the sore throat, stuffy head, coughing, sneezing and general malaise. The boys are having a relapse, I guess, since the coughing has worsened and they have had sporadic fevers. I'm sure it didn't help my recovery that I stayed up past midnight watching Alfred Hitchcock's Anatomy of a Murder with Jimmy Stewart. I must have had an "irresistble impulse" which caused this "insanity". It was two hours and forty minutes long, but very good all the way through. Hollywood has definitely lost it's touch, but then again, I'm partial to anything with Stewart or by Hitchcock. I was especailly surprised by the use of such words as "spermogenesis, panties" and "rape" in this film. You just don't hear that kind of mature language in those oldies very often. Oh and here's another reason to check out this old film, Duke Ellington does the entire soundtrack! (And there's a pretty good scene of swing dancers in action too.)

If you have seen Anatomy, I'd love to hear if you thought Manion was really guilty or not.There are still a lot of unanswered questions at the end.

**errata: Anatomy of a Murder is NOT an Alfred Hitchcock film, it was directed by Otto Preminger...I guess I assumed it was so because Netflix had it listed with all my favorite Hitchcock movies as a recommendation. My apologies for the misinformation.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

At table

Now that the boys are getting older and more articulate, we have more conversations and discussions at mealtimes, (that is, instead of just noise). At lunch today D presented an example of typical family discourse. I will try to transcribe it to the best of my recollection:

D: Mommy what is your worst food?
Me: Hmmm, liver, no, anything slimy and bitter
D: What is your worst drink?
Me: (laughing) anything slimy and bitter
D: What is your worst color?
Me: Throw-up color
K: Oh, me too.
D: Mommy, if there was only slimy, bitter things to eat and drink and everything was throw-up color, what would you do? Would you eat and drink or would you die?
Me: I'd die.
D: Yeah, me too.
K: I wouldn't, I'd want to live.
K: But drinks aren't slimy, Mommy.
Me: Raw eggs are slimy.
K: That's not a drink.
Me: Some people crack raw eggs into a glass and drink it.
K: ewwww

I could have steered this conversation into another direction... but half the fun is just seeing where these conversations will go naturally, when they ask the questions.

in the name of science

Just for the sake of scientific curiosity, I know you all are wondering how that bruise is getting on. Well, it's just gettin' perttier and perttier. I bet Target could use it for one of their ads.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday blahs

I finished my last beginner level swing dance class on Wednesday. Chuck, my instructor, told me I was "smooth," I believe he meant my dancing. His assistant also told me I was doing really well, that I had good form, etc. But last night, I danced with a maniac, and suffered a fall. I wasn't doing arials folks, he pushed me hard and inadvertantly tripped me with his wild footwork, and I went sailing acrosss the dance floor to the foot of the stage. My injuries consist of a badly bruised and scraped knee, and today, a case of the blahs... He didn't even help me up! The guy did finally (about an hour later) come over and apologized and then asked me to dance again. I politely declined. I resolve to never dance with him again. But what is it with the men out there? Why are some men so self-absorbed they can't tell they've completely missed the mark? Chuck said, in class, that it's the man's job to make the woman look good on the dance floor, especially with swing. How is it a man can trip a woman and not offer her a hand? It makes me mad. I'm angry that there are immature, narcissistic men who don't know how to be a gentleman. I'm angry that I put up with it. Another much older man I danced with told me he wished he could bottle my sense of humor because there were "so many uptight women" at the dance. If only I had told him how uncomfortable a dance partner he was. He was too rough, and yet, since no one else was asking I danced three songs with him, and it wasn't funny anymore.

In all fairness there were a number of "smooth" gentleman that I danced with too, they even taught me a few new steps, but somehow I feel like a magnet to the it because I'm too nice? hmmmmmm

update: Mood has improved today, knee, however looks worse and feels the same, "ouch."