31 December 2006

Happy New Year

A happy New Year to all of you. Let's all look to bigger and better things in 2007.

We're celebrating New Year's Eve by watching brainless movies. A great tradition.

2 is the new 4, 0 is the new 2

And I'd do well to remember it.

We are visiting Sam and Melissa right now, and we've been having fun. We're watching Family Guy right now.

Melissa asked Jeff and me if we are going to have New Year's Resolutions. Neither of us is inclined to do that sort of thing, but Jeff said he'd like to lose weight.

I don't have any New Year's Resolution, but if I did, it would be something along the lines of:
-Get a healthy, balanced lifestyle that involves nutritious food, regular exercise, and plenty of alone time and fulfilling activites.
-Become competent at the guitar and improve my flute skills.
-Watch 20 Academy Award-winning films.
-Be accepted to graduate school.
-Learn to sew, and improve knitting skills.
-Achieve competency in another language, to be determined.

Detailed, step-by-step plans to accomplish above to follow.


I tried to switch to the new Blogger, but my blogs didn't show up. I'll try again later when I haven't had a green apple Smirnoff.

29 December 2006

AZ update

My ability to post has been hindered by the fact that Jeff and I have been on the road for several days now, and I don't always have reliable internet access. =(

We made it to Arizona yesterday, and spent a few hours in the afternoon with Dan and his guest K-W (who just happened to be passing through AZ at the same time as us). We chatted about theology and our planned takeover of the academic world.

We headed out to Claim Jumper to meet Jen and Todd, and we enjoyed chatting with them, but the restaurant took almost an hour and a half to get us our food, and when it came, it was cold, so the manager ended up giving us free meals, plus a slice of the motherlode cake to take home. Bravo, Claim Jumper! They may win back our business with that shrewd move.

Then we went on over to Sharon Campbell's house, where we were to spend the night. I had a great time chatting with Sharon until late in the night. Then I crashed into bed and slept soundly.

26 December 2006

Dear Readers, I know that you have been neglected for the past two days. I have been so good about posting daily through December so far, and then on the most exciting days of the month (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), I fail. Tragic flaw, indeed.

Well, what do you want to know? During the day on Christmas Eve, I spent a lot of the time cleaning and doing laundry, in preparation for going out of town for several days. In the evening, Jeff and I went over to Debbie and Jerry's house, where we had Christmas celebration with the Feely family. It was a nice and tasty dinner, as well as a fun time with the relatives (Rob and Candace and Olaf and Rosalee were there, of course). I was excited, in particular, about the Hello Kitty tote bag that Debbie MADE for me, as well as a precious pastel blue Hello Kitty lanyard. I'll be sporting the Hello Kitty bling when I go back to the classroom in January!!!

Christmas morning, we did stocking with Debbie and Jerry, and then sped south to LA area to see my family, stopping in Gorman along the way to exchange gifts and Christmas greetings with Josh and Laurel. [Shout out to Laurel, just because I love her!!!] We arrived at my parents house, where the whole clan was assembled: Mom and Dad, Dan and Jen, Mike, Mia and Tim. We stood about for a while, then opened presents. A few highlights:
-Dad cried when Mia and Tim gave him a guitar.
-Mike and I gave each other identical presents: copies of After the Ice, by Steve Mithen. My adik and I are birds of a feather.
-Mike received a book on Egyptian hieroglyphics, but was unable to explain how he was planning to fit Egyptology into his current plans of shrimp farming and market analysis.
-Jeff received duplicates of Halo novels and the fourth season of Family Guy. That's the result of posting his wish list on his blog.
-Mum gave all the girls handmade felted purses. Authentic Willow's Cottage merchandise. Order yours now, deliverable some time in the summer!!!
The we had a family dinner, with a guest named Dorothy, and it was tasty and involved all sorts of questionable dinner-table topics, including politics and tapeworms. Mike, true to form, nabbed and hid the salmon before dinner even started. Bless his heart.

Today, it was lowkey. We had a late breakfast at IHOP, went to Borders (to spent those gift certificates) and Best Buy in Manhattan Beach, ate at Red Sesame, then moseyed to Pier 1 and Barnes and Noble, still in Manhattan Beach. It was nice to see a lot of the family. We are obviously addicted to books.

23 December 2006


I think I'm an undertaster. I eat more than I should because I crave taste. I need to add lots of flavor to my food, so I add salt and hot sauce. I can't handle bland food!

22 December 2006


Our shopping is pretty much done, and our holiday plans are good. But I'm still not in a holiday mood. Not festive. Certainly not ready to deal with people.
Ack! I am a prisoner in my own home! There are a lot of young men at my house, playing Halo, as part of Rob's birthday party. I am happy to celebrate Rob's birthday, but feel compelled to point out that I was not consulted on either the generals or the particulars of this party, until after they had been planned. I didn't have to cook, so that was nice. The thing about me is that I don't feel obligated to be nice to people merely to fulfill the narrow requirements of propriety, so I mostly ignored the people around me and read my book. Now I am ignoring them and posting on my blog.
Note: There have now been TWO young men who have come into my house and neglected to remove their hats. This pisses me off so much. Odd that men removing their hats indoors is a requirement of propriety that I actually DO wish to be observed. Chalk it up to eccentricity, I suppose. But seriously, guys, just take off your hats when you enter a building, especially a home or a church. It's a mark of respect and good breeding.

21 December 2006

Note to self

When I become an evil superpower, I need to remember to breed lots of goblins and trolls to do my hard labor and dirty work. They seem to ask little satisfaction other than gratuitous violence and gore, and as for feeding them, well, all indications are that they eat each other, so they'd be fairly easy to maintain.
On the minus side, they are volatile and appetite-driven, and tend to turn on one another with little or no provocation. Labor relations will be key. But they're none-too-bright, so keeping them somewhat motivated should be a cinch (further note to self: collect tips on crowd-pleasing yet non-commital rhetoric from liberal Democrats), and, in-fighting aside, they do not generally question or rebel against their superiors to whom they own allegiance.
When outsourcing even to India becomes prohibitively expensive, outsourcing to Mordor could be our next alternative.

20 December 2006

Understanding engineers

I read somewhere that there are three kinds of people in the world: men, women, and engineers. I left my engineering post at the Humungous Anonymous Technical Company, but as my dad would say, "Once an engineer, always an engineer". It's an INTJ thing, too. I find engineering humor and geek humor to be irresistible.

For example, the following tidbit is funny because it's TRUE.

Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction. "Normal" people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction:
1. Stimulating and thought-provoking conversations
2. Important social contacts
3. A feeling of connectedness with other humans
In contrast to "normal" people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions:
1. Get it over with as soon as possible.
2. Avoid getting invited to something unpleasant.
3. Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects.

19 December 2006

Not idly do the pants of Lorien fall

We are watching The Two Towers. A few years ago, when the LOTR films came out, there was a little word game that I heard a few times: the "pants" game. Take a line from the books or films, and replace one of the nouns in the quote with the word "pants". Much hilarity ensues.

For example, the real quote from which the title is drawn is, "Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall". See? Hilarious!

I make it a point of pride to know that I have been a Tolkien fan for more than 20 years. I was obsessed with Tolkien and Middle-Earth long before it was fashionable to be so. I read the Silmarillion when I was in fourth grade. I studied Elvish scripts and languages. Oh, dear, I've been a geek since childhood. Oh, well, I'll just embrace my destiny.


I'm still working on switching over to the new Google-compatible Blogger. It's just so hard to commit.

I started my official vacation time today. I spent it cleaning the lower part of my house, as well as cooking lentil soup and biscuits. Whee.

Now, Jeff and I are watching Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, as he wanted to do something relaxing while he does important computer-type stuff on his laptop. I'm always torn between enjoying the pure visual spectacle of these films and disliking them because I love the books so much. I especially dislike the casting of Liv Tyler. Ugh!

I think I'll be shopping tomorrow, as well as doing more cleaning. Such excitement.

18 December 2006

A good Sam Cooke fan is hard to find

Sam Cooke was a seminal artist in the early rock-n-roul/soul music scene, but he is hardly remembered today, it would seem. I am a fan, and have been since high school. My dad is also a fan. Anyone else out there?

Cupid (Draw Back Your Bow) and (That's the Sound of the Men Working on the) Chain Gang are two of his best-known tunes, but he did some great gospel and catchy songs such as Everybody Love to Cha-Cha-Cha and Another Saturday Night.

Cooke just had a unique voice. My dad identifies it as achieving its tone by somehow resonating air in his sinuses a certain way; listen for it when he does long, drawn-out vowel tones, such as when he sings:
"Cupid, draw back your bo-o-ow, and let your arrow flo-o-ow,
Straight to my lover's heart for me-e-e..."
Had he lived longer, I suspect that Cooke would have become one of the great singers of the 20th century, and his memory would not reside in semi-obscurity.

17 December 2006

The weather here in the Valley has been getting colder, and the sky is often grey. I hate cold and grey. The saving grace is, it doesn't rain a lot. Oh, well. Perhaps some day, I will move back to the equator and live on the coast of a tropical island. I can dream.


We did our usual Saturday thing of sleeping in, and I made eggs and pancakes for breakfast. Then Jeff cleaned his computer nook and I did some dishes and several loads of laundry. And then Jeff taught me how to play Magic the Gathering. And then we went to the gym and exercised. And finally, we came home and watched a movie or two while I folded laundry.

Jeff has gone to bed, and I am just waiting for one last load to finish in the dryer. And watching F List on Fuse TV.

Saturday, in a nutshell.

15 December 2006


Have I mentioned that "vacation time" is a good reason to work for a school district?

Hypothetically, I am moving into a new classroom for the next quarter(s), but we'll see if that becomes reality.

Meanwhile, I'm working on figuring out goals for the next semester and year.
More grad school?
Learn a new skill?
Lose some weight?

Best. Clip. Ever.

Ginger Rogers dancing the Charleston.

Chipmunk-face Zellweger, eat your heart out! You are not Roxie Hart.

[By the way, I'd like to embed the videos in my posts, but for some reason, the coding is not working. So, please, please click on my links.]
I still need to switch to the updated Blogger. Maybe I'll figure that out this weekend.

Meanwhile, I'm discovering the treasures of Youtube.

Vintage live performances:
Marlene Dietrich singing "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?".

A link Jeff shared with me a while ago, that I found again: Halo footage set to a nonsensical yet catchy tune about a kitty cat.

Open your Christmas present early:
The great Eartha Kitt and the original Santa Baby.

14 December 2006

Moving backward

Well, now that my laptop is mostly resurrected, I will resume some of the wedding narratives. Here's a morsel to whet your appetite.

Christina's wedding was at the end of October. I was concerned about the strapless bridesmaid dresses (hey, for many years, I might not have been able to keep the top up), but mine turned out to be okay. In fact, it was more than okay: I ended up liking it a lot, and Christina gave her bridesmaids very lovely jewelry (a silver brooch) to accent the dresses.

Here I am with super-beautiful Sharon Campbell and Kristin Nassau. We had fun partying it up together, bonded by joyful spirits and a love for Christina.

12 December 2006

School Daze

I haven't blogged about work/school for a while. It's sad, because I have all kinds of funny stories. Honestly, juvenile delinquents (especially the less-than-intelligent ones) can be hilarious.
Names have been changed to protect the underaged-but-far-from-innocent.

Let's talk about "Andrew". I know which students are supposed to be in my Transition class on any given day. If the students don't show up, I call their first period classes to ascertain whether they've gone to class instead, and if so, I have them sent over to me and proceed with business as usual. Andrew has a problem with attending school regularly, which is one of the reasons why he got sent to Transition in the first place. One morning, I called Andrew's Period 1 teacher, and he had indeed gone to his class. His teacher (who is a very good teacher, by the way) promptly sent him over to my room, except... somehow, he never arrived... How stupid is it to ditch school when both your regular teacher AND your Transition teacher know that you are ditching? Exactly.

Now let's talk about "Robert". Robert also has a problem with chronic ditching of school. On another fine morning, he wasn't in Transition as scheduled, so I checked in with his first period teacher. No Robert. Following my established routine, I then called his home to see if he was there, or at least to discover what his mom or dad would have to say.
Me: Good morning. I'm calling from xxxxxxxx Middle School, and I'm trying to located Robert xxxxxxxxx.
Dad: Oh, he should be in class by now.
Me: Well, he's supposed to be with me in Transition, but he failed to show. I called his first period class, and he is not there, either.
Dad: I don't understand. We sent him to school more than an hour ago.
Me: Let me explain. Your son is ditching school.
Uh-huh. There's our problem right there, folks. Robert gets away with everything short of felonies because Dad is totally clueless... Robert was SO BUSTED this time, though. Aside from his attendance problem, of course, he is unpleasant, disrespectful, and had the gall to start a food fight in the cafeteria when I was standing RIGHT THERE. Of course, he didn't get to have any real fun with the food, since I put an immediate stop to it. I have it on good authority (i.e., some middle school kid told me all about it) that Robert just hates me. Mwahaha. [No, Mom, I don't think he will bring a gun to school and try to off me; he's not that organized.]

And "Leonardo"? He's my Tracking Anklet Boy. Yes, he's on parole. No, I don't know why. That's police business. But I think the whole thing is extremely funny, even though I know I shouldn't. Teehee.

Never a dull moment in Transition, I swear.

11 December 2006

It's a great day for America

I'm still on the thing where I watch Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show on Youtube.

Example. Even if it's old news.
"I think Michael Jackson may be gettin' a bit weird."

"If OJ won't admit, you must cancel It!"
"He's right, yet... curse you, Spielberg!"

I've been watching a few films with Constance Bennett. Gotta love the husky-voiced queen of the pre-Code screen!

10 December 2006

Today, I drove down to Bakersfield with Debbie to meet my parents and pick up a sheet music stand from them. I had a good time, and after getting lost in Bakersfield on the way home, she and I decided to do some impromptu Christmas shopping at the Tulare outlet mall. We also ran over to Pier 1 to look at coffee tables. Unfortunately, I thought that I had communicated to Jeff that we would be stopping to shop, but he had been expecting me home a few hours before I arrived, so he was really worried and upset when I finally came in. Oops!

I wish I were better at shopping. I feel so inadequate, as I struggle with identifying gifts that my loved ones will really want.
My computer seems to be acting strangely again. Very odd. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that water was probably spilled on it while I was gone today.

08 December 2006

New version of Blogger?

I guess I will be switching over. Using my Google login. Finally, Google is unifying their products.

Anyway, more happy gifts. I wear size small. But I don't actually expect to get any of these. And I don't actually condone purchasing via the internet. Heh.

-More Hello Kitty. A shirt.
-Canvas tote bag, perfect for a teacher, who's hip enough to know what it means to be Bored Now.
-UC Sunnydale t-shirt.
-Wear the Bronze.
-Even law firms have a t-shirt.
-Hostile 17 gets his revenge.
-Budget nostalgia. Welcome to Sunnydale sticker. Bad Miss Edith sticker.

Who knew there was so much STUFF in the world?

07 December 2006

Christmas cheer

I can't say that I'm really looking forward to the holiday season (or rather, enjoying it now that it's here). I have a lot of people interaction on a daily basis, so I'd really just prefer to have a few weeks of hermithood. I love my family and friends, butI just don't feel festive. This despite the fact that 2006 will be the first Christmas in twenty-something years that I haven't had to worry about school, and final exams, final papers, etc., during the Christmas season.

Continuing with a haphazard Christmas wish list:
-Cute clothes. I can always use more of those.

06 December 2006

Not a sound from the pavement

Jeff and I watch Farscape. The episode we're watching right now involves some kind of clone thingie in the plot. It triggered a long-forgotten (repressed???) memory.

Despite the fact that I've never watched a soap opera in my life, when in high school, I used to love to read the daily soap opera synopses in the paper. Why? The plots were all so farfetched that I found them hilarious, and couldn't believe that anyone would take them seriously enough to put them in TV series. Heehee. In the early 1990s, there was some soap opera (I forget which one) that had a plotline involving some character's scheming clone. This in addition to the usual adultery, murder, and blackmail plots. My 11th grade year, I was homeschooled, and every morning, Mike and I would read the paper, do the crossword and word jumble, and snicker over the soaps. Totally educational. Ah, memories. Heeheehee.

Anybody else have a long-buried oddity to confess?

05 December 2006

Not familiar with this guy, but he's funny.

"Killer whale". He's right, that is a hilarious name for an animal.


Well, I am not one of those people who obsess about numbers on the scale. I know that muscle weighs more than fat, and how you feel is more important than how you look, anyway.

But it was still depressing to hop on a scale, on a whim, at the gym, and discover that instead of losing weight over the past few months, I've gained. I was 131 pounds in July, and now I tip the same scale at 137. My clothes don't fit any differently, so I haven't gotten fatter, but it is certainly odd.

I guess I ought to start cutting back on the M&Ms and ice cream.

03 December 2006

Successfully accomplished:

Performance of Ave Maria (Aquilanti), Regina Coeli (Mozart), Magnificat (Bach), and several Christmas carols.

Tomorrow is Monday, and we return to work and all those other regularly scheduled items. I don't really feel ready to get back to work. I am sooooo tired, and I'm not sure why. I guess I'm just more in the mood to fool around, rather than be productive.

If I could eliminate the need to sleep and eat, my life would be better, also.


I'm no luddite. Really. I like technology, and appreciate its many contributions to my lifestyle. [This is possibly a result of having spent a significant portion of my childhood sans electricity and plumbing, but I can't be sure, since I know a lot of people who like technology who always possessed in-home running water and working light switches.] However, my love of technology is definitely unrequited. It is true. Technology hates me.

I now refuse to buy anything on the internet. Aside from the normal security concerns regarding the transmission of information such as credit card numbers and PINs, there is the simple fact that every one of the few internet transactions I've ever completed has gone wrong. Once upon a time, some years ago, I attempted to buy a textbook from Amazon. I put in my order, paid, and received e-mail confirmation that I would receive my product. Several weeks later, I received another e-mail, stating that my desired book was no longer available. So I didn't get the book, and Amazon never gave me my money back. They claimed they returned it via electronic transfer, but I never got it. Long story ensues, involving me getting married and setting up a new credit union account with my husband in the weeks between ordering the book and getting the notice that the book was no longer available. I spent so many hours communicating with their customer service and finance people, trying to clear up the situation and get either my money or the book that I had orginally been promised, that I finally realized that on a per-hour basis, it was no longer worth my time. It's only thirty-something dollars, I told myself. But now I absolutely will not buy from Amazon. DO YOU HEAR THAT, AMAZON?!? You lost a lifetime of my business due to thirty dollars and change for a book about Old Testament prophecy. For shame, Amazon! Dot com? More like DOT CON!

There is another tiresome story regarding a pen light that I ordered online as a gift for Jeff, a few years after the Amazon fiasco. I received a confirmation e-mail, as a matter of course. But the pen light never arrived. I called the customer service number in the e-mail, and while it was the right number for the right company, they claimed to have no record of my order. They never charged me for the light, though, so at least in this case, it was a wash. But that was the end of it. E-commerce is just not for me, because e-commerce hates me.

The above are just a few examples. There are many more. I am always having issues with my computer. And cel phone. And PDA. And various TVs and stereos. They respond magically to Jeff's commands, even if he just does exactly the same things I've tried to do previously. Jeff is mystified by the problem, and agrees that "Technology hates me" is probably the best and simplest explanation for the phenomenon. And that is why I am reluctant to embrace technology. It makes me sad, but I avoid it because I must. I mean, it's not like I NEED more frustration in my life.

01 December 2006

I'm thinking about joining Holidailies. I'd have to post daily for one whole month. Quite the commitment.