25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here I am to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

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

To-Do: Airport Countdown

Store – Buy quart plastic bag, travel size eye stuff
Go to bank
Check mail
Pack bags
Dependent care forms
Clean carpet spots
Vacuum
Take out trash, recycling, compost
Clean bathroom
Dishes
Clean kitchen, fridge
Laundry
Clean out purse
Clean porch
Send out non-resident mail
Feed & water cats
Pack car
Go to Spencer’s place
Go to airport

21 December 2009

Week update

It seems as though I've suddenly turned into "can't catch a break" girl. In the past week:
  • 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.
I hope Christmas brings some respite for both of us. A mere 38 hours remain until we depart for California!

15 December 2009

Snow!

The Little Bug walks out into snow for the first time.
video

Editor's Note: I would just like to add that I am fully aware of the fact that I have the most annoying recorded voice on the planet. I cringe when I hear myself.

Vintage Sesame Street

A new-found dedication to Elmo, combined with a lack of actual television access, has led to a fair amount of time spent viewing Sesame Street video clips on Youtube. There is a decent selection, and there is always the fun of clicking on a "Related Videos" link and being transported to other venues of awesomeness, which is how I happened upon this clip, featuring folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie teaching Big Bird about early pediatric nutrition.



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

Let it snow, let it snow!

Winter arrived with a vengeance some time last night, here in Buckeye Land. When I awoke this morning, there was a dusting of real snow over everything, and the temperature has been hovering in the low 20s F all day. Fortunately, I had an inkling (i.e. the weather report) that winter would soon be upon us, and so I'd prepared for it just two days ago. I went to the mall to purchase some items for someone else, and while I was there, I got a few items for myself:
Eddie Bauer coat (30% off), nearly identical to this one below, except that mine has fur lining on the hood. Warm, wind-resistant, relatively chic. I wish the coat was longer (full length instead of 3/4 length) but I have to admit, the Eddie Bauer folks totally know what they are doing when it comes to making cold-weather gear.

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.


And never fear: Baby Bug also has his own cold-weather clothing, with a puffy down coat, a snow bunny suit from L.L. Bean (gift from Grandma Debbie), and water-proof baby Ecco boots (that cost, I might add, 25% more than a pair of my own boots).

09 December 2009

Seriously?!

Seen at Barnes & Noble:
You really expect me to believe this book was written by an individual with the name of "Rosetta Stone"?

03 December 2009

Elmo's Song



The little Bug LOVES this video. He is crazy about Elmo (or rather, about Melmo, as he's known around here).

02 December 2009

Words of Wisdom

Eating leftover pumpkin cheesecake TOTALLY COUNTS as doing chores. It is cleaning out the fridge.

Virtue is her own reward.

27 November 2009

No Business Like... Snow Business?

It snowed this morning. I didn't get all hyped up about it because it wasn't very much and I knew it wasn't going to stick. You can see in this picture that it was mostly melting on contact anyway.


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!

Friday Five: Thanksgiving Edition

In keeping with the spirit of this weekend (Thanksgiving Day is on Thursday, but I can be thankful for a few extra days, right?), I offer a list of a few things for which I am thankful.


  1. My adored Baby Bug.
  2. Caffeine.
  3. My job, which provides me with a paycheck and which I generally enjoy very much.
  4. 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?!]
  5. My family, scattered from southern to northern California.

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from the Buckeye State!

25 November 2009

Career Day Volunteers

I'm sitting here at work on the day before Thanksgiving, and I found myself fighting to stay awake (not enough sleep last night, of course), so I decided to take a quick break to wake myself up.

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

Ohio High Holy Day

Yesterday was the Most Important Day of the Year. Bigger than Independence Day, Christmas, New Year Day. No holiday, no day of personal significance, nothing can compare to... the Ohio State versus Michigan football game.

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

Catch-up

If I can get my posts for November up to thirteen, I'll be fine for NaBloPoMo, right? Right?!

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

Button, button, who's got the button?

Today, I discovered an otherwise accomplished person who does not know how to sew a button onto a garment. For reasons that I do not entirely understand, I was utterly flabbergasted. I guess I thought that things like sewing buttons and mending ripped seams were tasks that all adults just kind of knew how to do.

07 November 2009

Numbers

A few numbers from my day so far:

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

Kiss the Girl

I'm not a big Little Mermaid fan, but for some reason I'm finding Colbie Caillat's rendition of "Kiss the Girl" to be very addictive. I saw the music video playing in a Justice shop at the mall, and looked it up on Youtube.


Enjoy!

Yesterday's post

I wanted to do a nice, informative post on some fun topic, last night. I truly did. I need to get disciplined about writing, if only because goodness knows I need to be disciplined about something. However, things went, as things in my life are wont to go, aft agley.

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.

The Zeitgeist Bus? I missed it.

During a discussion of horror movies (we've been having those a lot around here, perhaps because of Halloween), someone (not me) mentioned that Vincent Price had starred in an earlier incarnation of a recent scifi/horror pic.

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.
ME: Huh?!

What can I say? I didn't live in the US or have a television during most of the 1980s.

03 November 2009

Penguin

Candy

In the wake of Halloween, there are thousands of parents attempting to dispose of thousands of pounds of leftover candy. We have some here at work, right this minute, and in my opinion, it never hurts anyone to have the occasional sugar high in the office. But one unforeseen side effect of this year's post-Halloween sugarfest is the triggering of another memory, this one primarily gustatory.

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

A bit of funny

Here is an excerpt from an actual conversation I had with my boss regarding horror movies.

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.

November already

November, and NaBloPoMo, crept up on me. I already didn't post on the first day of National Blog Posting Month (which someone, I don't know who, perhaps the Astronomer Royal, made up as a counterpart to National Novel Writing Month), so I'm a loser.

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

Happy Reformation Day

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther afixed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenburg, Germany.

He did end up bringing change to the world.

29 October 2009

I'm a Barbie Girl

Do you ever have a memory that you didn't find significant enough at the time of its occurrence to file it away for conscious recall, but then have it unexpectedly be triggered, years later, by something totally random, and it's there in your mind, as fresh as if it happened yesterday?

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.

22 October 2009

Dear beloved people,

I miss you! I'm so tired and I know I'm boring. I'm just trying to keep my head above water. Tomorrow is Friday. Till then, let's get some rest.

Love and hugs,
Me

16 October 2009

Friday Five

A new feature in which I publish random lists of things for no particular reason, other than alliteration, really.

Friday Five: Five Reasons Why I'm Slightly Odd and Occasionally Socially Awkward

In no particular order:
  1. 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!"
  2. 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.]
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. I subconsciously check and correct the grammar, spelling, and punctuation of EVERYTHING I read. I can't help myself.

25 September 2009

Weekend to-do

I know this is boring, but as Mia has noted, sometimes it helps to post to-do lists online, to provide an imaginary sense of accountability.
  • 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

Buckeyes!!


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.]

17 September 2009

Busy

Busy is when you have to eat lunch at your desk at work.

By contrast, ridiculous is when you pause to catch your breath and realize that you've eaten all three of your meals today at your desk at work.

07 September 2009

I'm willowy

Stop with the "skinny" already. Seriously.

04 September 2009

Experiencing technical difficulties

My home internet is not working, and though I am trouble-shooting, it is still down for the count. I have oodles of post ideas, as well as dozens of photos to put on Picasa and share, and it just might not happen this weekend.

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

Busy

I have been keeping busy, and God is blessing Nathan and me.

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

Jodi's Meme: My Life According to Judy Garland (via Heather's Eden)

I have no idea who Jodi is, but I got this meme from Heather's Eden. I picked Judy Garland as my artist of choice. She is my favorite singer and actress, plus she's recorded so many songs, and such a variety of them, that I thought she would provide some good answer choices. [Fun Judy Garland factoid: My brother-in-law Tim is related to her--his grandma was her first cousin. Thus, I am related to Judy Garland by marriage!]

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

Oh, hi, Ohio!

Well, it looks as though I will be living in rural central Ohio for the time being. I have received and accepted an offer of permanent employment with the company where I've been a contractor. God provides, and I know that He brought us here for His purposes, and so here we will remain until we have accomplished what He intends for us. Meanwhile, I'll work on putting down some roots and giving Nathan the best life possible. Also, I might have to get myself a Buckeyes t-shirt in self-defense. People around here are CRAZY.

22 August 2009

The Great Cookie Thief

Or, I Heart My Boss, Part the Second

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

Night-time

So I fell asleep last night some time between 21:00 and 21:30 (9:00 and 9:30 pm, for those of us who don't use military, i.e. sensible, time), because I was putting the Bug down to bed and it was just sooooo nice to close my own eyes and drift away... This is great, especially as I needed the sleep. However, I was awakened a few hours later by the sound of my cell phone going off (even when set to vibrate, it makes a lot of noise), and while I missed the call, it jolted me out of a sound sleep and left me wide awake. I didn't much mind, as it gave me the opportunity to brush my teeth and shower and all those things I would have liked to do before falling asleep. But now I'm still awake, and facing the prospect of having to get up in less than three hours, whether I like it or not, and go to work groggy because of my crazy night-time schedule.

Hope the rest of you are sleeping better than I tonight.

17 August 2009

I Heart My Boss

This is a tale of love. True love, in fact. The transcendent love between a girl and her tropical fruit. By my best estimation, fortunate readers, this is the first time such a love has been chronicled and revealed to the world at large.

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

Double Entendre

Ever have one of those occasions when you say or write something, quite innocently, and then come back some time later and realize that your choice of words had an unintended consequence of humorous and possibly even risque meaning? You know, one of THOSE occasions.

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

Grief

Received news that our dear brave friend Ojan has gone on to be with the Lord.

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

Happy 18 Months, Nater-bug!

Naters is 18 months old today. He is a lovely, happy, healthy little boy. He is, as always, very smart. He hasn't been talking as much as some children his age do, and I was starting to get a bit worried. I knew he understood a lot of what I would say to him, because he would respond very intelligently. But why didn't he speak?! My conclusion is, he didn't bother to talk very much, because he didn't really need to; he could get what he wanted without it. He'll say some words if he wants to.

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!

22 July 2009

Gryffindor!

We went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Grandma Willow made Naters a Hogwarts scarf, and she is pretty certain he belongs in the Gryffindor House.


So, dear readers, please leave a comment and tell us to which Hogwarts House YOU belong, and why.

13 July 2009

Tackle-it Tuesday

To Do:

Work on getting Ohio driver license and car registration.

Oh, joy.

06 July 2009

The Problem of Evil? More Like the Problem of Theodicy!

I had an interesting discussion at work, prompted by someone else (You know who you are, if you bothered to find my blog. And if so, ha! I am onto you, and you definitely have better things to be doing with your time.) reading about the Old Testament law and wisdom literature and then coming to talk to me about (among other things) Job and Ecclesiastes. Yes, I sometimes talk about this stuff at work, and it prompts me to think about things.

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).

Happy 17th!

Nathan is 17 months old TODAY.

He has been working on some more teeth, and is putting out some molars!

Happy Birthday! In the past week

Sara Brown
Christie Hallett
Laurel Yoshimoto

30 June 2009

Past value

Now that I am looking to hire babysitters every so often, I realize how valuable a responsible, reliable babysitter is. I did a lot of babysitting in high school, and didn't charge a whole lot, and now, in retrospect, I think I undervalued myself. I could have charged twice as much! Ah, well.

Aw

I decided to delete my previous post, as it turned out to be more controversial than I'd expected. I have no fear of controversy, but this particular topic just didn't warrant that much attention. It seemed way funnier when I posted it late at night than it was in the morning. Lol.

26 June 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Remember, birthdays mark increases in wisdom, and nothing else.

Mortality

So it turns out that Michael Jackson, like Socrates, was mortal. But I don't know why his death should have taken anyone by surprise. Mr. Jackson himself obviously found it to be his teleological end, and prepared himself (and the world) by spending the past twenty years looking ever more like a corpse.



Joan Collins' corpse, to be exact.

25 June 2009

Best. Video. Ever.

Truly, quite possibly the best video in the history of Youtube. It has stiff competition from "Timaeus: the Movie!" and "All Things Are Better in Koine", but "Buffy vs Edward" has one thing the others lack: BUFFY.

21 June 2009

Happy Birthday, Jane Russell!!

Living legend Jane Russell is 88 today.

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

Great time-waster!

I found this linked from the LolCats.

Play to let the cat nom 4 fud! Addictive. Sometimes frustrating. Sort of like a bizarre concept for pool.

14 June 2009

Seriously, people, you're killing me here.

So in church this morning, there was one song where the slides HAD NOT ONE SINGLE BIT OF PUNCTUATION. Not one. Except... EXCEPT apostrophes in all occurrences of the word "it's", which UNFORTUNATELY was TOTALLY WRONG, because it should have been "its", being used as a possessive pronoun, NOT a contraction of "it is".

It's just cruel. [See what I just did, right there? I used "it's" appropriately.]

09 June 2009

How hard is it?

How hard is it to just PUT CORRECT PUNCTUATION IN THE "WORSHIP MUSIC" SLIDES THAT ARE GOING TO BE VIEWED BY HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE DURING YOUR CHURCH SERVICE?!

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

Catching up

I have so many friends I need to call and email and send things to.

Meanwhile, I am all moved in, and mostly unpacked.

04 June 2009

Orang Tua

Mums and Dad have come for a visit. They very kindly drove from SoCal with a moving truck, bringing me most of my stuff, and the kitty cats (who are VERY GLAD to be done with being trapped in a vehicle). Honestly, though, my parents did not come to see me very much. They came to see Nathan! I was afraid that he would not remember his grandparents, but he smiled and laughed and went to them immediately. And that was nothing compared to the transports of joy he experienced when seeing the cats. *chortle chortle chortle* He was pretty stoked about life last night, let me tell you.

Willow always has her camera, so I'm sure we'll have pictures shortly.

02 June 2009

Blast from the Past

Okay, I can't believe that I have neglected to mention this for more than three months: Blink-182 has reunited and is going on tour this summer! This makes me happy. And, they will be touring with Weezer and Fall Out Boy! There is talk about All-American Rejects in there, too. A million fangirls went into overdrive.

One would probably have to sell one's soul AND one's firstborn to get tickets.

Me want! Me wish!

01 June 2009

More Birthday

And a Happy Birthday (late) to Tim, my darling brother-in-law! I forgot this weekend, and I'm so sorry! I have had a lot on my mind lately...

31 May 2009

Birthday

Happy Birthday to a few special people:

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.

And now for something completely different

Check out this link of an optical illusion.

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.

Adventures

Well, I've been here for six weeks now, so I figure it's time to 'fess up to those who might read my blog but do not yet know: I am now living in central Ohio. Yes, despite being a dyed-in-the-wool California girl, I have moved to the Midwest, nearly to the East Coast. And yes, it is like being in a completely different country:
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

WoW Rap

My WoW video posts have gotten only one positive response (thanks, Bob!), but I like them, so I will continue to post them. So phooey on the rest of you!

I think this is hilarious. Most of you probably won't, because it's full of inside jokes. ...Enjoy it anyway.

River Tam FTW!!

It looks as though River Tam will win the vote (facing down, in her final round, Dr. House) for Most Badass (their word, not mine!) TV Character of All Time. Obviously, a tiny tail-kicking ESP-sporting genius girl should easily take out a mere human, even if he does wield both cane and sarcasm with deadly precision.

25 May 2009

Memorial Day

Yesterday was Memorial Day, and Nathan and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a barbecue at the home of some friends. It was mostly people from their church family, plus a few assorted relatives, but everyone was so nice and made us feel welcome. By the end of the day, I was wearing Sweet Baby Ray's all the way down one pant leg. Nathan was soaking wet, covered in Dorito dust, with bbq sauce all over his face and even behind his ear, and whipped cream in his hair. In other words, it was a total success.

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:
Thomas Price
Frank Trigg
Olaf Feely
Vietnam War:
John Price
Middle Eastern Conflict:
Daniel Price
Timothy Bicker

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

WoW Dancing

There are countless videos about the WoW characters' various dances. Each race and sex has their own dances: most are based on real dance styles, many of them are immediately recognizable. This is a better-than-average vid showing toons dancing with footage of the dance source material. They are very well synched, and the vidder even took the effort to put the WoW animation in costumes to closely match the originals whenever possible.



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

That's the World of Warcraft That You Play

Yet another entry in my never-ending quest to cull through the Youtube dross and then bring you the very best in humorous, creative, or interesting World of Warcraft videos. This is a classic, and it's funny because it's (mostly) true!

"Hunter: You don't need anything but your pet--send him in, scattershot, and then feign death!"

22 May 2009

Regrets

I spent most of the day yesterday bemoaning the fact that I failed to take either linear algebra or differential equations when I had the opportunities. Does anyone else have this problem?

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

Who's the Tank

A classic reworking of a classic routine.



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

All Things Are Better in Koine

You know it!

Switched at Birth!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090511/ap_on_re_us/us_switched_at_birth

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*

19 April 2009

DSFGE No More

Yes, I am now gainfully employed!

10 April 2009

Kabaran

I might start blogging again.

And I have News.

19 February 2009

Random Oscar Blither

For the first time in a long time, I haven't actually seen ANY of the movies [Well, I saw a snippet of WALL-E but not enough to think I've actually seen it.] up for awards this year. So my discussion of said movies is based on what I've read, combined with a whole lot of experience with reviews and award shows through the years.

Here are my predictions for some of the Oscar winners on Sunday.

Best Picture
My pick: Slumdog Millionaire
Oh, the prestige! Few awards are so hotly contested, and faddish wins may become reviled just a few short years after the fact. [See: Crash] Self-important Hollywood types like to stuff a lot of ideology into this category, as well, leading to further mis-steps by academy voters who are somehow impressed by shallow left-leaning rhetoric and attempts at moralizing (which never work if there is no solid objective basis for morality in the value system often presented by such films). [See: Crash] That being said, I'll put my hypothetical money on Slumdog Millionaire, which is a huge sleeper hit with heart appeal (which, unlike fads and politics, tends to age well), while also having indie cred and multicultural appeal ("This movie has dark-skinned people in it! Does that outrank all the gays in Milk? Oh no, I don't know how to cast my politically correct vote!").
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Too quirky and ponderous, I think, although this is the likeliest challenger for the Best Picture honor.
Frost/Nixon - YAWN. Enough with movies about Nixon and Watergate. Why are people obsessed with Watergate? BORING. I'd like to see, instead, a movie about all of Joe Kennedy's illegal and otherwise illicit activities. A blockbuster just waiting to happen.
Milk - Eh, overdone and too political for general appeal. Just by virtue of having Sean Penn.
The Reader - Sure, it's Holocaust Oscar-bait, but it had a lower profile than any other nominee except maybe Frost/Nixon. Dark horse.

Directing
My pick: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire. Though if Boyle has any sense at, he will invite his Indian co-director, Loveleen Tandan, up to the platform with him, even if the award is not officially shared with her. And not to open a debate about the issue (which stems from academy rules regarding nominations), but I suspect the film would not have the same impact without her work, so such an action would be appropriate and entirely deserved.

Best Actor
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) should be clearing space on his mantel. As many others have observed, not only are the role and performance just the sort of showy underdog/comeback story that Oscar loves [See: The Champ and so forth], but they reflect Rourke's own personal and professional return to grace, a circumstance that Oscar also loves.

Best Actress
Kate Winslet should finally bring home a statue, not only for her performance in The Reader, but as compensation for all the times she's been nominated and hasn't won in the past. Among her competition, Meryl Streep has won Oscars already and so is just the prestige nomination, Melissa Leo is the obligatory indie nod but won't pull enough votes, and Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie round out the category as the standard "well, attractive actresses are overwrought and glum-faced, so it must be great acting"entries (although, this ploy has worked for many Best Actress winners from Mary Pickford on down).

Best Supporting Actor
Matilda, come and get your (daddy's) Oscar! Heath Ledger has the scenery-chewing AND sympathy votes locked in this category, not to mention votes from any people who are still miffed that he didn't win for Brokeback Mountain a few years ago (get over it, people; his stiff non-emoting would have gained no attention if the movie hadn't been about homosexuality, which means that it wasn't very good acting) . All the other nominees might have given brilliant performances, but unless one of them manages to die tragically before Sunday night, I don't think enough people care about them.

Best Supporting Actress
Always the most varied and interesting of the acting categories, pulling in nominees and winners from cute little kids and ingenues to seasoned veterans, featuring character roles of all kinds. [See: Too many examples to list here.] In a way, it's nice, because it gives a chance for actresses to shine even when they aren't in "leading lady" mode. I admit, this is the most difficult call of this year's Oscars. Marisa Tomei is out, simply because she already got one of them sixteen years ago. Someone mentioned that Woody Allen movies often make a good showing for actresses at award time, which puts Vicky Cristina Barcelona's Penelope Cruz in a good place. However, other buzz has placed Taraji P. Henson as the front-runner here, particularly if Benjamin Button does not win many or any other awards (the supporting acting categories often being handed to representatives of Best Picture nominees). On the other hand, Viola Davis is getting some quiet but definitely gathering support for her distraught mother role [Always an Oscar favorite, of course; see: Holy cow, can't you just believe me?], while Amy Adams has a definite chance at the Oscar because she didn't get one for her standout performance in Junebug a few years ago. Both Davis and Adams are in Doubt, so unfortunately, there is a possibility of them splitting votes from voters who favor that movie, essentially cancelling each other out and leaving the category open for one of the others. So I'm going to say that with the exception of Tomei (sorry!), this Oscar is anybody's to grab, and I'm going to just wait and see.

07 February 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NATHAN!!!

I can't believe it has been a year since you were born. But we've had a good time together, haven't we?

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.
There are things about you that I never, ever thought would be true.
  • 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 always tell people how great you are, how happy and good-natured. You are Superbaby, a dream child if there ever was one. You became slightly less dreamy when you started teething (utterly normal and healthy, of course), but you are still hands-down the sunniest baby I've ever known. You make mamahood fun and comparatively easy.

I am excited to discover what adventures we'll have in your second year.

Love always,
Mama

28 January 2009

Still More Status on To-Do

After dinner, I continued in the same productive vein:
  • 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.
Summary for today's to-do list, as set forth at the bottom of this post:
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.

For tomorrow:
  • Put together new car seat.
  • Career class homework.
  • Facebook.
  • Get paperwork for passport applications.
  • Post on blog.
  • Phone calls and e-mails, as per usual.

27 January 2009

Further Status on To-Do

I felt as if my afternoon was less productive than the morning. However, in retrospect, I really did accomplish a lot, including stuff both on and off my to-do list.
  • 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.
Now, I've eaten dinner, fed Nathan, and updated my blog. I'm off to do more.

Status on To-Do

It is noon, and so far, I have accomplished the following:
  • 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.

Tackle-It Tuesday

This Tuesday, I'll be tackling: Papers and paperwork!
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

My Day

In an effort to keep the blog posts coming and even increasing, I thought I'd start trying to write about minutiae such as what I did today or what I need to do tomorrow.

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.
And for tomorrow, my to-do list includes:
  • 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

Sick little boy

Nathan is sick today. Poor little Nater-bug. His tummy is upset, and he hasn't been eating much. He didn't even keep milk down this morning. I'm hoping the sickness passes soon.

20 January 2009

Seriously, folks

Mr. Obama isn't even inaugurated yet, and I'm already sick of him.

12 January 2009

Vinni Pukh

As it turns out, the misdeeds of the former Soviet Union were not limited to violation of human rights (enforced political "education", imprisonment in gulags, limitation of free speech, to name a few) and maintenence of the constant (and terrifying) threat of nuclear war. They also engaged in shameless, large-scale copyright infringement. Tsk tsk, comrades! In the late 1960s, there was produced an adaptation of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh; it has apparently become something of a cult classic.



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!

07 January 2009

11th Lunaversary

Nathan is 11 months old! I can't believe it!

04 January 2009

Improvement, continued

Well, as it turned out, it was more efficacious to recycle eight items and throw away two, but the net result is still the same.

02 January 2009

Improvement

I'm not making any big resolutions in this new year, but I plan to take little steps to improve little things.

For example, tomorrow, I will throw away five items and recycle five items.
Just that simple.

01 January 2009

2009

Happy New Year!