25 December 2009
And, in the light of inclusiveness coupled with a respect for history, allow me to also wish you a belated Happy Hanukkah, a jolly Jul, a festive Winter Solstice and Sol Invictus celebration, a fabulous Saturnalia, and so forth.
Syncretism. What would we do without it?
22 December 2009
Store – Buy quart plastic bag, travel size eye stuff
Go to bank
Dependent care forms
Clean carpet spots
Take out trash, recycling, compost
Clean kitchen, fridge
Clean out purse
Send out non-resident mail
Feed & water cats
Go to Spencer’s place
Go to airport
21 December 2009
- The Little Bug had a cold and cough.
- The Little Bug had stomach flu.
- I had stomach flu.
- I missed a lot of work due to aforementioned illnesses.
- I am way behind on cleaning the apartment.
- We had at least 4 inches of snow over the weekend.
- The Little Bug was climbing on a chair (though he has been told not to, again and again) and fell and hurt his foot.
- And so forth.
15 December 2009
I think this is so amazing, with the amusing but logical setup (of course Big Bird thinks nursing is a funny way to feed a baby: he's a bird, and females in his species do not lactate) and the simple way that breastfeeding is presented as a natural and healthy action, while at the same time respectfully avoiding condemnation of mothers who don't breastfeed.
I wonder if Sesame Street would ever broadcast a segment today with a celebrity mama nursing her baby in this day and age. I hope so. I'd watch it.
10 December 2009
Bear Paw boots (40% off), very much in the style of the popular Ugg boots. I've always hated Ugg boots, but then I've always seen them worn in California with mini skirts or short shorts, which is just about as crazy a trend as anyone could find. I swore I would never wear boots like this, but then again, I also swore that I would never live any place that had snow. And with heavy denim trousers and a sensible jacket, these boots look great, utterly appropriate, and are water-proof, snow-proof, and extremely comfortable. Again, these manufacturers totally know what they are doing.
09 December 2009
03 December 2009
02 December 2009
27 November 2009
You can see that there is a significant layer of fluff on the car, though.
Nathan was surprisingly unimpressed with the "snow" thing I kept mentioning, although I'm sure that when we get more of it, and it stays around for a while, he will be much more interested. The cats, by contrast, were rather intrigued, even disturbed. I realized that my hyper-aware and intelligent ninja cats had never seen snow before, and they were very cognizant of the fact that the white flakey stuff in the air and on the ground was something very new. They are inside-only cats, so they were not able to directly experience it, but let me know something was going on: They ran around my ankles meowing, then paced back and forth on the windowsill, their noses pressed against the window glass while their tails twitched and swished in slightly alarmed agitation.
The first snow of the winter season!
- My adored Baby Bug.
- My job, which provides me with a paycheck and which I generally enjoy very much.
- Lovely kind friends Erica and Jill, who invited Nathan and me to join their family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner in their new home. [Why didn't I remember to get a picture?!]
- My family, scattered from southern to northern California.
25 November 2009
And now, I present to you yet another conversation from work. Hey, it's my best material!
Context: It started out work-related, as some of our engineers had gone to a local school to do a presentation for Career Day.
ME: Best (or worst?) idea ever: Volunteer for Career Day and show up dressed as a cheerleader or Mexican wrestler or something. When the (probably startled) teacher asks, “What career are you here to talk about?” just give her an Are-you-stupid? look and say, “I’m here to share about engineering”, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
HIM: That would be great. Go dressed as a giant fish or something. Or a sports mascot.
ME: A giant fish?! I don’t get it.
HIM: Oh yeah, the cheerleader and Mexican wrestler made a TON of sense. But GIANT FISH?? THAT’S STUPID!!!
ME: Because, you see, fish don’t have careers! Although now that I think of it, I wonder why they don’t. They do spend all their time in schools.
HIM: *RIM SHOT!*
21 November 2009
After all, everybody supports Ohio State on game day. Even us.
We don't have a television, so we never watch any games, but we do like to go to the shopping mall (the mall, mind you, not even near the OSU campus) to see the hundreds and thousands of people decked out in OSU gear. I took a lot of pictures at first, because it really is a sight to behold; I've never seen anything like it in SoCal. However, I guess I've kind of gotten used to it lately.
Anyway, Ohio State beat Michigan pretty soundly, which is good; I won't have to deal with Cookie Boss being all mopey. He is obsessed with OSU, but I guess it's understandable in his case because (unlike most of the people around here) he actually went to school there.
13 November 2009
Well, this week has been crazy. Baby Bug has been fighting some sort of virus. He has no symptoms like coughing or sneezing, and just ran a low-grade fever some nights and has had low appetite. I was concerned enough to take him to the pediatrician (if he doesn't eat like the proverbial horse, I do get worried), but he is really okay and (per the doctor) just needs time, cuddles, and plenty of fluids in order to get better. That is all well and good, but the practical impact is that the Bug has trouble sleeping, which means that I get little or no sleep at all.
So, I'm TOTALLY EXHAUSTED. I fell asleep while putting Nathan to bed, three nights in a row. I have barely read e-mail and (obviously) haven't posted on any of my blogs. My apartment is a total mess, and nothing on my to-do list has been accomplished for something like a week. I don't concentrate well at work, and I have tasks piling up. In a word: WRETCHED.
09 November 2009
07 November 2009
Number of eggs Baby Bug and I ate for breakfast: 3
Thomas raisin English muffins, same event: 1.5
Incidental egg-to-muffin ratio: 2
Frappuccinos obtained: 1
Diapers changed: 3
Dead deer seen by the side of the road: 8 (The last one in a ditch by Arby's. Yeah, I know, right?! I so wanted a picture but I was driving.)
Live deer seen by the side of the road: 0 (But they're usually not out and about in the middle of the day anyway.)
05 November 2009
The most significant issue was the fact that my Baby Bug just refused to go to sleep. If you've ever spent more than 24 hours with him, you know that it is a huge challenge for me to get him down to bed, whether for a nap or for the night. He just doesn't like to sleep, and if I am present, he thinks he needs to be nursing because that is what he likes to do. It's not always bad; most nights, we have a routine that he knows and generally finds reassuring and that I enjoy as well, because it's good and healthy to have regularly scheduled time for bonding. Every so often, however, he gets fitful and throws the routine to the proverbial winds, and then gets even more upset because (I think) he is out of sorts and out of his comfort zone. Then I get frustrated, which feeds his frustration, and then we are both exhausted and short-tempered and building on each other.
So, yeah. It is really awful. I know every parent has hard times like that, but it's doubly difficult when one is a single parent. There's a feeling of isolation and despair, because there's no one else to turn to for help, and while God is ever-present, that knowledge doesn't really help in the moment. Maybe my faith is too small. I don't know.
Anyway, beyond the frustration of just having to deal with the horror of a fussy, sleepless child, there is the anger of having a to-do list that isn't getting done. I had several things that I really wanted to do, and they just didn't happen last night. I'm not talking about some ephemeral plans for fancy nonsense; I'm meaning things like just washing the dishes.
Finally, I just gave up and said "Screw it", and laid myself down on the bed next to Baby Bug, holding him and letting him feel that it was okay to relax and drift off to sleep. At least I was well-rested when I awoke at 5 am, but I hadn't showered or gotten our clothes out or put together our breakfasts and lunches. And the little guy still wouldn't let up. I went to shower this morning, and he came and stood in the bathroom and howled. I have no idea why he was upset, really. Then he insisted on opening the shower door (crying all the while), so that he got sprinkled with stray spray and I got a cold draft of morning air while soaking wet, and I rinsed shampoo from my hair while fuming, "Why? Why me? Why, why, why?!"
My cheeks, jaw, neck, and shoulders are constantly tense. I know that I'm clenching my jaw at night when I sleep. I can't go on this way. Seriously.
The only thing that makes this all okay is the fact that at least I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, so at least I'm not failing at that.
COWORKER: Who's Vincent Price?
ME: Vincent Price? He's famous!
COWORKER: Famous? I've never heard of him. When was he famous?
ME: He was in movies maybe 1940-1990. He did a lot of horror, like stuff based around Poe. He's legendary! He was in Laura.
BOSS: (popping around the corner from the next cubicle) He did the narration for the "Thriller" video.
COWORKER: Oh, gotcha.
What can I say? I didn't live in the US or have a television during most of the 1980s.
03 November 2009
In the US, there is a popular candy called Smarties. I do not care for them. They taste like sweetened schoolroom chalk.
US Smarties are a huge disappointment because in Europe and Asia, there is another kind of Smarties, and these are a Nestle version of M&Ms: chocolate candies with a hard coloured shell. Infinitely preferable.
I have occasionally wondered, but with no satisfactory answer: Why is there such a great divide between confections available in the USA and those in other parts of the world (including Canada, just to the north)?
Nutella is now available stateside, but whither my Pocket Coffee?
My Silver Queen bars?
My kue lapis?
My es cendol?
People in the US have so much, and yet... so little.
02 November 2009
Him: I do like zombies as a horror antagonist.
Me: I can’t handle real horror [movies]. Nothing bloody or really scary. I think real life is awful and scary enough as it is, so I don’t understand why people feel the need to make fake nasty stuff.
Him: I think if you’ve lived next door to cannibals maybe zombies hit a little too close to home.
I'd add a bit of exposition, but I think it's funnier left as it is.
I don't know if I'll be able to even come up with anything entertaining enough to sustain 30 posts. We shall see.
01 November 2009
29 October 2009
I was in a situation at work wherein I was griping to my boss (Cookie Boss, yes) about how I was at a disadvantage in our industry, being female and blonde. I suddenly had a recollection of something that happened when I was a very young engineer at the Humongous Anonymous Technical Company, and apparently I had repressed the memory or just did not think much about it for the past nine or so years.
I was a lively young thing in a world of older, socially stunted men, and quite a few of them were holdovers from the era preceding political correctness (or just plain courteous treatment of others). One fellow was from somewhere on the east coast, and was known for (is still known for, in point of fact) being rather noisy and opinionated about a good many things, with a New England accent that just makes things funnier. I, too, am opinionated and can be noisy when I deem it appropriate. He and I had a discussion about some technical matter; I'd been less than a year at the HATC, so I had very little knowledge and no expertise, but that didn't stop me from being assertive, and I ended up questioning his methods and conclusions, and ultimately, disagreeing with him.
He looked at me, astonished at my audacity, and declaimed, "Oh, what, so now you're rocket scientist Barbie?!"
I may have found the Best Halloween Costume Idea Ever.
23 October 2009
22 October 2009
16 October 2009
Friday Five: Five Reasons Why I'm Slightly Odd and Occasionally Socially Awkward
In no particular order:
- I make inappropriate jokes inside my head. For example, there is a billboard on a road where I drive often, with a picture of a little girl and a caption, "Every 20 minutes, a child is diagnosed with autism." And every time I see it, I mentally complete the sentence, "...and boy, is she getting tired of it!"
- I say unwittingly inappropriate things out loud. When my verbal filter fails to catch the output from #1 above, as well as other faux pas. Like this one time, years ago, I asked a pregnant woman, "Is it like having a parasite?" and she didn't take to the question very nicely. [Note: This woman's lack of understanding aside, I can assure you that being pregnant IS like having a parasite. So the query was valid, but not appreciated.]
- I will tell you when you're wrong about something. And then provide you with all the pertinent facts so that you can change your views and become right. I consider this a public service. You're welcome.
- I know a lot of dry facts and don't mind trotting them out on seemingly random occasions. Part of the reason for this is that I see connections between ideas that a lot of people don't, and so a conversation about, say, color blindness, is (to me) an obvious precursor to in-depth discussion and analysis of the Russian revolution.
- I subconsciously check and correct the grammar, spelling, and punctuation of EVERYTHING I read. I can't help myself.
25 September 2009
- Go to bank - Done!
- Sort mail
- Check e-mail
- Take N to park
- Grocery shopping
- Heath city forms
- County forms
- ADP dependent care
- Advertise Acura
- Post on blogs
- Make phone calls
- Send e-mails
- Send in support donations
- Post pictures on Picasa and Facebook
- Clean fridge
- Do dishes
- Clean cat box - Done!
- Clean bathroom - Done!
- Hand-washed laundry
- Fold and put away all other laundry
- Clean and organize bedroom closet
- Go through one box
- File N's daycare papers
- Make dr appts (do on Monday)
- Pediatrician - bill and insurance (do on Monday)
- Passport paperwork (do next week - finally)
- Send in for diploma (finally)
21 September 2009
See how far I've come! Or, how far I've fallen...
But I decided that Baby Bug and I are real Ohians (Ohio-ans?) and Buckeyes now. If I'm going to move most of the way across the country and totally change my life around, I'm not going to be half-hearted about it. Maybe together, the two of us can enjoy being part of a larger community here.
And let me tell you, the Buckeyes are a HUGE part of the community here. People are CRAZY about Ohio State, especially now that football season has arrived. People are rabid OSU fans, even if they've never been to college (heck, they probably can't even spell it!). So it's sort of self-preservation to start showing a little spirit right about now; I'm beginning to fear that if I don't put an Ohio State pennant in my window, my neighbors will slash my tires.
Oh, I kid, I kid! [But only a little.]
20 September 2009
17 September 2009
07 September 2009
04 September 2009
On the plus side, my beloved Elizabeth is visiting for several days, so we're having girl time and I'm looking forward to a great weekend with her.
My new friend from work, Spencer, is getting married on Sunday. He and his fiancee Amy deserve great happiness, so send up a prayer for them, if you think of it. I'll be enjoying their wedding myself, going out for fun with my sister Elizabeth while Naters is with a babysitter; sometimes it's important to get out and about without the baby, you know.
Have a restful and blessed holiday weekend.
02 September 2009
I'm excited to be permanent and get even more deeply into work at the Medium Anonymous Technical Company (MATC). My problem is that I just do not have enough hours in the day, and thanks to Nathan, I can't stay at work at all hours anymore, so my workaholic tendencies are tempered.
On a less happy note, my boss is losing heart points, as he told me that now that I'm a permanent employee, I have to get my own cookies. He will rue this day. Rue it, I say!
27 August 2009
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Post as "Jodi's Meme: My Life According to (BAND/ARTIST NAME)"
-Are you a male or female? (Poor Little Rich Girl; A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow)
-Describe yourself (I Got Rhythm; Little Girl Blue)
-How do you feel right now? (I Don't Care; I Feel a Song Coming On)
-If you could go anywhere, where would you go? (Somewhere Over the Rainbow; Fly Me to the Moon)
-Your favorite form of transportation (The Trolley Song; On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe)
-Describe Your Morning Routine (Stompin' at the Savoy; Skip to My Lou)
-Your best friend is (The Boy Next Door; FDR Jones)
-What's the weather like (Stormy Weather; Come Rain or Come Shine)
-Pet Peeve? (It Never Rains But What It Pours; Ya-ta-ta Ya-ta-ta Talk Talk Talk)
-If your life was a TV show, what would it be called (That's Entertainment; There's No Business Like Show Business)
-Your relationship (I Wish I Were In Love Again; I'm Nobody's Baby)
-Your Fear (Blues in the Night; The Man that Got Away)
-What is the best advice you have to give? (Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; Everybody Sing)
-If you could change your name, you would change it to (Liza; Mary's a Grand Old Name)
-What do you say when you are frustrated? (Who's Sorry Now?; What Now, My Love?)
-Thought for the day (It's a Great Day for the Irish; Lucky Day)
-How you would like to die (Jitterbug; When You're Smiling)
-Your soul's present condition (Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart; Lost in the Stars)
-Your motto (Get Happy; Look for the Silver Lining)
Okay, so I had enough options available to find at least TWO songs for each category. Yet another reason why Judy Garland is the most awesome entertainer ever.
24 August 2009
22 August 2009
On Thursday last, there was some kind of meeting (hereafter referred to as "the meeting") at work, with attendant VIPs from the company's main facility in Connecticut. I was not invited to the meeting, which was fine with me, since I had no interest in sitting around in a freezing conference room listening to people yammer on about goodness knows what. I discovered that the VIPs warranted a catered lunch. Still no interest on my part, particularly as the catering was done by Quiznos (Note 1: Bleh. Note 2: Shouldn't there be an apostrophe in that name?), until I saw that they had brought along some very large COOKIES. I made up my mind, then and there, that even though I technically was not allowed to partake of the catered lunch, being not VIP enough to go to the meeting, I was going to get my hands on a cookie!
My boss, whom you have already met, so to speak, was in fact an invited attendee of the meeting, and so had the all-important right to at least one cookie. He happened to wander into the kitchen area while I was there. Aha! Target acquired. Scene set.
Me: [trying to look innocent] So, how many people are there in the meeting?
Him: [is no fool] Fewer people than there are cookies.
Drat! He must have noticed me eyeing them with ill-concealed lust.
Me: [giving up on the "innocent" ploy] You'll get me a cookie just in case, though, right?
Him: [smirks in amusement as he walks away]
Hmm. No good so far. Undeterred in my pursuit of cookies, I send him a quick e-mail: "You don't want your cookie, right?"
Several minutes later, he comes to my cubicle. "There are plenty of cookies. You should be fine."
"Should be isn't the same as absolutely will be." He sighs and shakes his head, and turns to go. "Oh, come on, please!" I beg. I have no shame when it comes to obtaining cookies, as you can see.
"Oh, I'll get you a cookie." He is either really irritated or just thinks the whole thing is funny.
True to his word, he comes back a bit later and presents me with a CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE. I am transported to realms of bliss. A few minutes later, I send him another e-mail, vis: "It would be awesome if I could get TWO cookies. Can I make it my stretch goal?"
Then, a few minutes after that, the manager of the electrical group comes to my cubicle and hands me a CINNAMON SUGAR COOKIE. He had heard me asking for a cookie, and he has a medical reason why he couldn't eat his, so he brought it over for me. Sweetness!! In every sense of the word. When I next see my boss, I wear a smirk myself, and announce, "I achieved my stretch goal."
And then, and then, all the VIPs finished eating, and there were still cookies left, so all of us humble peons were given permission to glean from the corners of the fields, to make an entirely relevant biblical allusion. And so I got a THIRD cookie, this one a CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE.
I send off yet another e-mail: "THREE cookies and counting!" Quick as a flash, he shoots back, "Now you're a collector!"
Yes, I collect cookies. In my mouth.
20 August 2009
Hope the rest of you are sleeping better than I tonight.
17 August 2009
A few weeks ago, my manager at work described to me his family's planned trip to a very large and awe-inspiring grocery store by the name of Jungle Jim’s. [He occasionally feels the need to tell me these kinds of things, for reasons known entirely to himself.] He mentioned that the store was known for its large selection of produce, including tropical fruit. Any Asian MK knows that the only proper response to such a revelation is: “OMG, DO THEY HAVE RAMBUTANS?!?!” Also acceptable: “OMG, DO THEY HAVE GUAVAS?!” Or “OMG, DO THEY HAVE JAMBU AIR?!” [“OMG, DO THEY HAVE DURIAN?!”, while not, strictly speaking, incorrect, is of a dubious nature. If that is your go-to reaction, you and I may be friends till death parts us, but we will never be roommates. I’m just sayin’.]
At any rate, my manager was unfamiliar with the rambutan, so I explained it to him, described it, and even drew one on my whiteboard. He is reasonably astute, and asked, "So, does the name mean something about it being all hairy?" Yes. Yes, it does. I also tried to explain durian, but he wasn't too sure about that one. As I said, he's astute.
Several days passed, and I actually completely forgot about the conversation. So imagine my surprise when he came into my cubicle this morning and, with a giant grin, dropped a bag containing five rambutans onto my desk! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I was extremely happy and excited, to say the least. I made him try one, as he had claimed that he didn't eat any before because he didn't know how they were to be eaten (Seriously? It's not rocket science.). He also insisted that while he saw guavas there, he didn't dare get some, because he couldn't know to pick the appropriate level of ripeness (A valid point; I'm picky about my guavas.). No matter: I was duly impressed by his intrepidity in getting rambutans at all.
I love my tropical fruit, and I'm so grateful to my (nameless) boss for remembering me and braving the mysteries of the international produce section!
The immortal Bard relates to us this truism: "That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet". It is by no means clear to me, however, that a rambutan by any other name would be quite as wonderful.
12 August 2009
At work, we use an office messaging program (instant message, essentially) and while it can be very useful, it mostly serves as a venue for useless chatter. Today, I was having some chat with my friend Spencer, mixing useless and useful in varying proportions from time to time, and this ensued:
Spencer: Writes a lot of useful, important stuff about work.
Me: Writes a lot of useful, important stuff about work.
Spencer: Be right back. Going to go talk to Jon.*
Me: (remembering that I need to talk to this same Jon) Ok... hold him for me.
I get up and rush over to Spencer's cubicle, but Jon is already gone. No biggie, I run into him in the hall on my way back to my desk and get the answer I need. Having returned to my own cubicle, I look at my computer and read Spence's response.
Spencer: Oh yeah, he's real cuddly.
*Our program manager.
07 August 2009
He was beating the cancer again, only to be taken in a freak accident. It's so tragic and far too soon. I am in shock now, but know that I will soon be experiencing anger and resentment, in addition to sorrow.
Here is Ojan with a bunch of friends: Philip Scharer, Roland Morgan, Dan Price, Ojan, me, Michael Nance.
The Prices loved you!!
06 August 2009
Now, he says "Mama", which he's said for a long time, actually. He also says, "Nah!", which means "nose": he will point to (or bite) your nose while saying it. I taught both of those to him. I nearly missed the first word that I didn't teach him that he said. At daycare one day, I had come to pick him up, and he was playing in the main room. I came over, and he said, "Bah!" He will produce a lot of syllables all the time, so I don't much pay attention to them, since most of them are unintelligible. This time, however, I noticed that while he said it, he was pointing to a round object a few meters away. "Bah!" Oh, yes yes yes!! I went over and rolled it back toward him. "Yes, sweetie, it's a BALL!!" I don't think I'll ever be prouder, even when he wins a Nobel Prize.
Furthermore, last weekend, we visited with my friend Spencer from work, and he has a little fluffy dog. Nathan likes cats and dogs, and he LOVES to shriek with laughter and chase them around. When he saw Spence's dog, he said, "Beppie, beppie!" Yes, PUPPY!!
He's learning more and more about everything in the world, every day.
I love you, Nater-bug!
27 July 2009
22 July 2009
So, dear readers, please leave a comment and tell us to which Hogwarts House YOU belong, and why.
13 July 2009
06 July 2009
The "problem of evil" has been a popular topic of discussion for centuries, or millenia, rather. As Christianity (and the Hebrew religion prior to it) professes a God Who is both all-powerful and completely good, philosophers and other people have been drawn to grapple with the question of how such a God could and would permit evil to exist. The idea of the "theodicy" developed as a means to vindicate God with respect to the existence of evil.
Now, why do we think God needs our help? While I grieve as deeply as anyone for the suffering of the innocent in the world (I would rescue and care for all babies and kittens, if I could... puppies, too, on a generous day.), I have never felt that I needed to defend God with respect to anything of this nature. He is more than capable of taking care of Himself, and my duty is rather to live as a redeemed person and spread His Good to a hurting world.
Interestingly, Herch put up a post about this very topic. His view of God is similar to mine, and I would add that while people like to whine about their suffering and pretend that they reject God's Lordship out of some sense of outraged justice (And how amusing is this, really?), in reality, the vast majority of unbelievers that I know refuse to turn to God out of pride and a desire to maintain lordship of their own lives. They have no desire to live in such a way as to open their lives up to God's blessings and allow themselves to be turned into blessings themselves, to mitigate the evil they pretend to be protesting. And so I challenge the whiney people: You don't do what GOD wants. So why all this fuss when God won't do what YOU want? I know, that seems a bit overly simple. There is more to it. And yet, when you get right down to it, the bottom line is just simple.
God is God. You are not. The evil that you see as a problem comes from YOU, from YOUR heart, spilling out through YOUR actions. God doesn't want evil to happen, but He has not yet crushed it out of existence because to do so would mean crushing you (and all of us human beings) out of existence, and He is giving you (and all of us) opportunity after opportunity to make things right with Him. Eventually, evil will stop existing (Rev 21-22).
30 June 2009
26 June 2009
Joan Collins' corpse, to be exact.
25 June 2009
21 June 2009
I was surprised to discover that despite Ms. Russell's sex symbol status as the femme fatale of many a film noir or as an alluring musical comedy star, she is openly and proudly a politically conservative Christian woman. She is, in particular, an outspoken advocate for life and for the rights of tiny unborn babies to not be horrifically tortured and murdered. In keeping with her concern for the welfare of children, Jane Russell also has supported and promoted adoption agencies for years and adopted three children of her own, none of whom has breathed any sort of "mommie dearest" rumors, so she is probably a pretty good mother to boot.
Jane shows her skills as a comedienne, holding her own with Bob Hope in The Paleface and helping to introduce the Oscar-winning song "Buttons and Bows"...
...And matches wits with frequent co-star Robert Mitchum in the atmospheric exotic drama Macao.
May the Lord continue to bless you and expand your territory, using you to bless others in turn. We'll meet in heaven some day!
18 June 2009
14 June 2009
It's just cruel. [See what I just did, right there? I used "it's" appropriately.]
09 June 2009
No, really, how hard IS it? Because apparently NOBODY involved in slide production in ANY of the churches that I have attended over the past DECADE has figured out how to do it. I am fed up enough that I might volunteer, even though nobody has figured out how to ask for help, either. Is grammar a spiritual gift?
I'm going over into the corner with the Panda, to sulk together and commiserate about apostrophes (soon to be the topic of another post, I'm sure).
07 June 2009
04 June 2009
Willow always has her camera, so I'm sure we'll have pictures shortly.
02 June 2009
One would probably have to sell one's soul AND one's firstborn to get tickets.
Me want! Me wish!
01 June 2009
31 May 2009
Bekah Farber - I've known Bekah since we were wee little children in Southeast Asia. She is a smart, creative, beautiful person who loves the Lord. Obviously, she's pretty special if she has found it in her to put up with me for more than 25 years.
Roland Morgan - I have no idea exactly when I met Roland, but we were both undergrads at Biola and encountered one another at some point between 1996 and 1999. If you had told me then that I would still be keeping in touch with Roland and value his friendship and advice, I would have thought you were nuts. It just goes to show that life never turns out as one might expect.
I see it spinning both ways, and can switch it back and forth at will. Sometimes it flips of its own accord, though. Oddly, it tries to go clockwise more than the other direction, indicating that I am more right-brained. Most people would probably peg me as a left-brained person, though.
It is lush and green here.
There is no traffic.
People speak with a slight drawl, and are generally friendly and polite.
There is nothing, anywhere, written in Spanish.
I have gainful employment, and I love it. [Please pray that paperwork and logistics will work out so it can be permanent; I'm still a contractor right now.] It is related to the kind of work I did at the old Humongous Anonymous Technical Company, but it is for a different company. I already knew and even worked with some of the people here! I get to do a lot of math stuff, and physics.
I don't have any friends yet, and I will admit that I've been lonely a lot. However, I have found a church that has seemed to be a good fit for me, and have started meeting people there. Naters is doing so well! He has taken to daycare wonderfully, and of course, the daycare workers love him to pieces and wish all their charges were like him.
I believe I will continue to see God's goodness.
26 May 2009
I think this is hilarious. Most of you probably won't, because it's full of inside jokes. ...Enjoy it anyway.
25 May 2009
On a more serious note, Memorial Day is intended to memorialize people who died in service to the United States of America. I don't know anyone who died that way, but I do have family who lived that way.
World War II:
Middle Eastern Conflict:
We also honor civilian contributors to the nation's service. Many civilian defense workers may not be facing down a rifle, but there is always the high risk of carpal tunnel distress, paper cuts, MISS (Mathematics-Induced Stress Syndrome), etc. But seriously, desk jockeys work hard and get little recognition!
24 May 2009
Unfortunately, this does not include all the dances, but only the ones for which the vidder could find appropriate clips. For more information, see here.
23 May 2009
"Hunter: You don't need anything but your pet--send him in, scattershot, and then feign death!"
22 May 2009
The thing is, I neglected those classes because I didn't need them for my degree (in physical sciences, interdisciplinary), and had insufficient motivation to pursue them after I graduated from my undergrad. I was pretty done with math after third semester calculus. I did just fine in the course, but it just sort of lost me in the translation from classroom to life. Usually I'm pretty good at understanding that relationship, but multivariable vector calc just did not do it for me. I said to myself, "Self," I said, "when math stops having any ACTUAL NUMBERS and just has Greek letters and operators, that's where I stop, too."
So, naturally, 10 years after I've graduated with my bachelors degree, I am now working heavily with matrices and vectors, doing complicated calculations and translations among varying three-dimensional reference frames.
13 May 2009
Honestly, I think this is funnier than the original. The set-up crayoned sketches, starting at 2:08, really do it for me.
I don't even play WoW anymore, but I find WoW videos so amusing!
12 May 2009
Creepy! And but for the grace of God, there I might have been...
It's a little-known fact that I was SWITCHED AT BIRTH. Totally true!! They switched me with another baby at the hospital right after I was born. Fortunately, my mother was on top of things, and since the other baby was a Hispanic male, the error was not too hard to catch. But still... *shudder*
06 May 2009
19 April 2009
19 February 2009
07 February 2009
Even before you made your entrance into the outside world, there were things I already knew about you. I knew you were a little boy. I knew that you were very healthy. I knew that you were active and energetic (I should have known that you weren't much for sleeping), and you really liked caffeine (you'd jump around when I drank coffee or tea).
I also had some strong suspicions about how you'd turn out, and you rarely disappoint.
- I thought you'd be pretty smart, considering that statistics were in your favor. Nobody could doubt that you are an extremely bright little boy.
- I believed that if you were dark, you'd look like your daddy, and if fair, you'd take after your uncles. You have gone the blonde route, and you do indeed bear a great resemblance to the baby pictures of both your Uncle Mike and Uncle Robby.
- I am not surprised that you are strong-willed, and you want to do things your way. I am sure we will have battles as you grow older and your way begins to conflict with my way.
- It seemed likely that you would have at least some affinity for math and science. I had no idea you would display your gifts so early: You instinctively understood doors and hinges as soon as you were old enough to scoot around and examine them. You absolutely love anything electronic. You are already very spatial. You're obviously analytical; sometimes I can almost see the wheels turning in your tiny head, as you make connections and solve problems. I think you will turn out to be a mechanical engineer, but we'll see what the Lord has for you.
- I had no idea you'd turn out to be a shameless flirt. You are all about the ladies; you have an almost unerring instinct for selecting and focusing on those who will be susceptible to your charms, whenever we are out in public. It is comical to watch you after a rare misfire: You are so confused and indignant that you have not yet become the center of attention. But you have a charisma, and it is so evident, to the point of being recognized and commented on by professional actors. I have never seen a baby draw so much positive attention on a regular basis, and you already know how to work a crowd. Use your powers only for good, my son.
- I did not know how much you would adore the kitty cats and want to be friends with them.
- It never occurred to me that you'd love me so much, and actually want to be with me. We're going to be best buds (even though I know you won't admit it after age 12).
I am excited to discover what adventures we'll have in your second year.
28 January 2009
- Watched part of NCIS.
- Spoke on the phone with the mother of one of the students I've helped in geometry.
- Continued running laundry through the dryer or hanging it to dry on a rack, and folding it when it was done drying.
- Changed Nathan's diaper and then put him in his pajamas.
- Read to Nathan and put him down to sleep for the night (always a major task, even when he's so exhausted he can't crawl straight).
- Checked the diaper bag to ensure it is adequately stocked for tomorrow.
- Got on WoW to check mail, do a fishing quest, chat with a friend, and take a boat over to Northrend. I am half of a bar into level 70. 80 is a long way away yet.
- Went through a stack of miscellaneous papers, put them into appropriate groupings, and filed them in labeled manila folders. [I actually did one of the tasks allotted for Tackle-It Tuesday!]
- Realized I didn't have the paperwork immediately available for the passport applications, so I'll do that another day.
- Put at least 20 items in the recycle or trash.
- Made my to-do list for tomorrow.
The things I DIDN'T do were my homework for my career class, Facebook, and cleaning and organizing my bookshelf. And I didn't do my passport paperwork for my Tackle-It Tuesday project.
I'm pretty happy with all I managed to accomplish today. However, success and productivity should not be anomalies; they should be the hallmark of every day. I'd like to be this organized, disciplined, and motivated on a daily basis. At the same time, I must retain a realistic view of what I can and cannot do with the time I have at my disposal. One thing I need to incorporate into my schedule is regular exercise. I guess I'll work on it.
- Put together new car seat.
- Career class homework.
- Get paperwork for passport applications.
- Post on blog.
- Phone calls and e-mails, as per usual.
27 January 2009
- Folded laundry from dryer.
- Ate lunch and fed Nathan.
- Engaged in a battle of wills with Nathan, regarding whether or not he was going to take a nap. This took a long time, but eventually, I won.
- Spent some quality time with Sara (though virtual, as she is in France).
- Unloaded clean dishes from the dishwasher, and loaded dirty dishes in after that.
- Made a few important phone calls.
- Went to AAA and got my membership (a Christmas gift from Debbie and Jerry).
- Hosted a little videoconference for Nathan and his daddy (who is doing work in Baltimore).
- Drove a small load of stuff over to the storage unit to keep until I am ready to deal with it.
- Took out the trash from my bathroom.
- Fed the cats and cleaned up their litter.
- Gotten Nathan and me ready for the day.
- Flossed my teeth. I don't do this often enough.
- Gotten at least a little food into Nathan and me.
- Run one load of laundry through washer and dryer, have one load in the dryer, and one in the washer.
- Called the engine service place about taking my car in. As it turns out, they are booked solid today and tomorrow, so I have an appointment on Thursday morning. Technically, I didn't actually complete that task on my to-do list, but I think I can cross it off anyway, as I addressed the issue and did as much as I can about it today.
- Restocked Nathan's diaper bag. I do that almost daily, of course, as I like to have it sitting ready to go at a moment's notice. In addition to plenty of diapers and wipes, I always pack a blanket, a burp cloth (which I actually seldom if ever use for burping, but they're great for so many things, such as an emergency changing pad), an extra onesie, and a pair of socks. In the winter, add sweater/jacket and booties for warmth. Then there are the consumables: snack-sized portions of applesauce and/or Cheerios, and the essential Orajel and teething tablets. Oh, and a toy or book.
- Washed Nathan's diaper bag's changing pad.
- Changed Nathan's diaper three times and his outfit once.
- Recycled two papers.
In this society, one of the banes of existence is the preponderance of papers that threaten to overwhelm our homes and our lives. Even if we just get rid of it, as with junk mail, it still requires some of our resources to look at each piece of paper, evaluate it, and then put it in a recycling container. If the papers are worth keeping, we then expend even more energy deciding how to keep it, and where, and with what other papers. And with bills, bank statements, Christmas newsletters, information from businesses, and more, all building up, it seems as though even good papers become negative when they sap so many of our resources.
Anyway, I'll go through papers that have been in my room, some of them for weeks, some of them as recently arrived as today.
I will also apply for passports for Nathan and me.
26 January 2009
This was a very busy day, and I accomplished a lot. It made me wonder how anyone handles it when she is working fulltime in addition to being a mom. The errands and appointments must happen miraculously, or perhaps she borrows Hermione's time-turner. I'll find out soon enough, I guess.
After getting up and getting ready (not only myself, but Nathan too, of course), I was prepared to face my day. I went to:
- Doctor's office - Check-up appointments for Nathan and me. The doctor was very encouraging about Nathan's health and development; he is healthy, alert, intelligent, all those things a parent desires to hear. She was also encouraging about my continued breast-feeding. In fact, she is completely pro-lactation, and refuses to take as patients any infants who are not breast-fed. Now, there's someone who puts her money where her mouth is. I am also in decent health, thank you very much.
- Bank - Depositing some checks, and all that happy stuff. One of the checks I deposited was a rebate from State Farm.
- Gas station - Filled my tank for slightly over $30. The price of gas is creeping upward, unfortunately.
- State Farm office - I had to pay a premium for some insurance. I had a question about the bill, so I stopped in to see my friendly State Farm agent (or rather, to see his office manager), had my question answered, and then paid my bill. The premium I paid was actually about a dollar less than the rebate check I had just deposited. If only State Farm would sort out its Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, there would be much less juggling of paying this versus getting back a portion of that. But their left hand does not seem to know what their right hand is doing.
- Oxnard College Job and Career Center - I drove over to Oxnard to drop off some important paperwork for my county job search program eligibility worker. I'm telling you, the local government is probably single-handedly responsible for the razing of at least one third of the Amazonian rainforest. I don't mind shuffling papers and sending in all my info for them; the county programs are being helpful to me and I appreciate it. However, a lot of times, they get their signals crossed or get caught up in the proverbial red tape. For example, they asked me to send in my completed quarterly report by January 5. But... I didn't even receive the paperwork in the mail until January 5! The mail delivery was probably slowed up due to the holiday and weekend. Technically, the quarterly report was already late by the time I got my hands on the empty form. I've pretty much gotten that one sorted out now, but it's a regular pain.
- Trader Joe's - Grocery shopping! We patronize Trader Joe's because they have, overall, great prices, high quality merchandise, and a corporate philosophy that we can whole-heartedly support. [Speaking of their merchandise, I have stumbled upon a revelation that has transformed my life (being as how I own cats): Silica litter! None of the dust or smell of clay litter, and much less of a mess, as the silica gel crystals do not adhere as much to paws and get scattered around the litter pan. There is also a lot less waste than with regular clay litter. So far, I'm really liking it.] And yes, I brought my own reusable shopping bag in which I carried home my groceries.
- Starbucks - After several hours out and about, doing useful and important things, I decided I needed a little boost and treat as a reward, so I picked up a frappuccino on my home. By the way, Nathan behaved beautifully all day. He is such a darling little boy.
- Take my car in to get the engine serviced.
- Go to AAA.
- Take a load of stuff to the storage unit.
- Sort, organize, and file papers.
- Recycle or throw away at least 10 items.
- Do my homework for my career class.
- Make several telephone calls.
- Send a few e-mails.
- Actually get onto Facebook and update and respond to people. I'm so bad about Facebook.
- Two loads of laundry.
- Clean and organize my bookshelf.
24 January 2009
20 January 2009
12 January 2009
See it here if it won't embed.
In spite of (or perhaps because of) the bargain-basement visuals (I'm cutting them some slack because they didn't have Disney's studio and artists) and the fact that I don't understand Russian, I found this cartoon utterly charming and amusing. True, this production jettisons Milne's overly precious Englishness (exemplified by here-absent Christopher Robin), but retains in spades his celebration of the universal quality of childlike wonderment and appreciation of the absurd. There is Vinni Pukh himself, looking like a slightly deranged Siberian bear cub and sounding like June Foray with laryngitis. There is Piglet, who lives in something of a slavic chalet, looks rather like an actual piglet (unlike whatever animal Disney's Piglet is supposed to be), and wears blue gingham high-waisted shorts. There are the bees, wild-eyed and menacing in their military-like organized defense of their honey hoard. All in all, strangely wonderful. If only I could understand the (martial-sounding) songs and the dialogue (which is reputedly very witty in Russian). I can't believe I haven't heard of this before!
File this under A, for Awesome!