Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Death Chicken ’08 Tour

1 ½ days left of 2008 and I’ve got to tell you, I can’t wait for this year to end. You may not have noticed, but it became painfully obvious to me earlier this month, that 2008 has been trying to kill me!

Seriously. This has been the unhealthiest year of my life. It all started with a small filling in March and the initial shot of Novocain that zapped my tongue. Which was followed by the horrible evil horrible horrible pain that eventually led to a root-canal. Fun. At least that stopped the pain. But then I noticed the cough. Remember the cough? It wouldn’t stop. And my old doctor just kept throwing asthma inhalers at me. New doctor gave me the “liquid gold” cough syrup and eventually the cough went away. But not my migraines. They were worse than ever! New doctor didn’t like that. Started experimenting with different drugs. Again – not so fun. A couple changes and the headaches seem to be behaving better. But then my eyeballs started to rebel. One pair of reading glasses later… and ’08 decided to break out the big guns. Kidney Stone from Hell. Damn. That was not cool.

Silly me, I thought I would end the year with a nice holiday wrap-up post and maybe some photos. I even managed to download my memory card into Lightroom last night and start editing. But ’08 isn’t over yet folks and it made one last attempt at taking me down by turning last night’s dinner into “Death Chicken”*. It even made a play on Kyle. Sharon thinks it is more likely the flu that is going around but whatever, I’m not going anywhere near those leftovers.

I got a Xmas card in the mail yesterday from Michelle, an old friend in Detroit. It is probably the best Christmas card I have ever received. It says, and I quote “This year sucked! Hope your’s was better…” I am preparing to write her a long letter.

And starting Thursday, in 2009 – the Year of Health and Happiness, there will be photos, Flickr updates, posts of happiness and joy! Yoga, climbing, and air in my bike tires. Hell, in 2009 I might even master that damn hula hoop!

* Rachel has already called dibs on ‘Death Chicken’ as her band name. She is fast.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A: It’s worse.

or: How to lose 10 lbs and 1 week of your life!

Now before you go and sign yourself up, make sure you are reading that correctly. Yes, you will lose the 10 pounds within the stated 1 week, but you are also going to lose that week. As in: Work? You won’t be there. Sorry boss. Plans already made? You won’t even have a chance to cancel them. You can apologize later. Family? Well, hopefully there is someone at home who can work the can opener. And they have pictures to remember you by right? You can catch up on everything you missed at the end of the week.

Still sounding good to you? Man, you ain’t right. First off, alarm bells should have been going off at “10 lbs in 1 week”, that is not healthy weight loss. Ok, what about this: you can not schedule this little “time out” from your life. It will strike randomly, probably at the most inopportune time cause that just how life rolls. It will roll on – without you.

Haven’t lost you yet I see. Time to tell you what this is gonna cost you. Because nothing in life is free baby and this little trip is gonna make you pay big time. And that is before the bills even come in the mail. This comes right out of your very being – form of: EXCRUCIATING PAIN!!!

All from a 4x7 mm kidney stone.

Still want what I had? I should think not. Trip to the E.R. 4 ½ days of vicodin/morphine and no food. Hospitalized. Mystery surgery. I recovered on toast, broth, Jello, and ginger ale. I felt like an 80 year old. Erin’s sleep patterns were disrupted. Kyle’s grades dropped. Chris has more gray than ever. My boss now calls me ‘Stoner’.

It is 8 days until Christmas. I’m a week behind on everything. I haven’t done any shopping. We haven’t even gotten the tree up yet. This year I am Santa’s most unprepared elf.

Hey Sain't - If this was 22 years ago I would be stylin’! I would put that Dr. Milt Town to shame.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gimme A Break

So, it should come as no surprise that JavaScript has completely cured me of any and all desire to take another computer class for as long as I live. That’s right – I don’t care how cool a program name Ruby on Rails is – I’m not going to take the class! Ever!

I’m done. I’m over it. I can barely muster the strength to finish the class I’m in. But I will. Cause I’m no quitter thank you very much. Although I will still be throwing something at my mother-in-laws head at some point this weekend.

And then next semester – nothing. I’ve decided to not even take Photoshop like I had planned. I am taking the semester off, so I will have absolutely no homework. No assignments. Nada. Nothing to do but whatever the hell I want! Freedom. Sweet glorious sit on my ass eating raisins freedom.

Did you notice that if it hadn’t been for Halloween (and Erin’s sudden football love) I wouldn’t have picked up my camera at all this semester? No flickr action? Nothing but headaches and reading glasses here. Programming is no way to live people.

But let’s just be clear about this programming thing. I could do it. I just choose not to. Cause it sucks! I will stick with making the internet a pretty place. I’ll leave it to others to make it function. I want no part of that action.

So, come Dec 13th I will get my life back. I will take more pictures, and actually have the time to edit them. I might even vectorize a few of them. Cause that was fun! And I like fun! And I will do more yoga. I encourage Chris to add another section to the climbing wall so that there is someplace to go. And I will bury that evil text book I’ve been lugging around for two semesters in a deep dark corner of the garage, and I will live…

Hey, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Equal Time rule

Because there was a helicopter circling our house when we came home this evening.

This is second Illustrator project we did for my Intro to Digital Art class. I took this photo and turned it into a vector illustration. Pretty damn spiffy eh?!
More tomorrow...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

For Grandpa

Some frosting for the 49er's win this afternoon...

Erin was playing with that football all morning. Even took a nap with it.
Silly girl.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Worth a 1000 words

I had a blog entry partially composed in my head this morning, but never got a chance to type it out, and now that bird has flown. It's so typical that my big dumb brain (henceforth to be referred to as BDB) only kicks into creative writing gear when I ought to be sleeping or some other equally inconvenient time. And you and I both suffer for it. I remember the jist of the post, but I don’t have the creative juice to recreate it right now which has me feeling a bit… oh, what’s the word… frustrated!

And BEHOLD! Intro to Digital Art Project #2 - My homage to frustration ~

It’s actually a pretty big file. Go ahead and click the photo and really get in there and experience my world, up close and personal. I dare ya. I double dog dare ya! And if you want the complete experience, go back to this entry and play that second video in an endless loop in the background for the soundtrack to my image. And that is my world.

Ok, that’s not my world all the time. But it wasn’t hard to piece together. Kyle has been having a rough couple weeks at school. And we have a couple parent/teacher conferences next week. But he is still a great big brother. And was a huge help with my Illustrator project when I had to design a logo and letterhead. That boy has a lot of design talent. Erin is a crack up, but I could do with out her need to climb on everything. And it has been determined that blame can be aimed squarely at Chris for that trait. I’m still not sure where the opera singing comes from.

On a personal note, the reading glasses really seem to be helping. My eyeballs have not threatened to leave my skull since I started wearing them. And that is a good thing. There have been a couple days where my eyes have felt extra tired and I’ve gone out of my way to rest them (read- nap) but in general they are feeling much better.

Head has been feeling ok too. Shh.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Because the candy is gone

yet you still crave something sweet. Baby, I can deliver. Zero calories and guilt-free, what more do you want?!

Me? I suddenly have a yearning for some hot chocolate. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

JavaScript broke my eyeballs - I've got a Dr's note

Left ya hanging again. Sorry. But I am happy to report I’ve not been in headache pain since that last post. Just busy. You know. With stuff.

Too vague? Fine. The long version:
After that last post I was avoiding the computer because my eyeballs were hurting. They felt like they were going to fall out of my head! And that’s not pleasant. And I was particularly concerned because the new preventative migraine med’s info sheet states: in case of eye pain contact doctor immediately. Great. My eyeballs are going to fall out. Luckily I had an appointment with my doctor the next morning. He was also duly concerned about my eye pain, and sent me straight to the optometrist next door to have my pressure checked and my tires rotated. Now I haven’t been to an eye doctor in like forever, cause up until a couple weeks ago I had perfectly good peepers. Clearly it was either the Topamax or the JavaScript causing the problem and I was ready to give up both! Neither being worth the potential of a stray eyeball rolling across the floor. So I get a complete eye exam. Passed the distance test. Yay! Did not enjoy the pressure test - don’t poof air in my eyes! But I passed, my pressure is good. The result is that I do not have glaucoma (which was the doctor’s concern) but eye fatigue and I need reading glasses. Oh. And then they dilated my pupils and sent me on my way. And my doctor was happy and upped my Topamax dosage.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stop Making Sense

Welcome to day 6 of my headache. I thought I was feeling well enough to finally type out some of the mad thoughts bouncing around in my head. Because whenever there is a lull in the migraine pain, my brain always perks right up thinking it time to get busy! Doesn’t care if its 2 in the morning when the meds and sleep have finally done their job, if the pain is gone, the brain does a few warm up stretches and gets to work! “Let’s think about next semester’s classes, write a few emails, hey – how about a blog post?!” Stupid brain.

But now that I’m here in front of my computer, all I want to know is why I can’t change the “page” in Office to a nice 18% gray instead of white. Cause my eyes are watering and I’m thinking maybe I should just go back to bed.

OK, I went and got my sunglasses. That should give me just enough time to tell you that on Tuesday, day 1 of the HeadacheWeekFromHell-Oct08, during a telephone call with the Sain’t, I told him that I hoped a pony would poop on his shoe. Don’t mess with me when I’m in pain yo.

And then on Friday I sent my family to Santa Cruz without me. And it wasn’t a ‘happy happy joy joy I’m all alone for a weekend’ stay behind. And that pisses me off. But anger hurts my head so I was stuck with being sad all weekend.

The End.

But come back and I’ll tell you how my sick brain can connect Rachel Zoe with William Burroughs!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Trapped - like a rat

I just put Erin down for her nap. I’m tired and thought about taking a little nap myself but I’ve downed too much coffee already so here I am.

Its day 3 for me, Erin and Playhouse Disney; and it’s starting to take a toll on my nerves. Well, except those Imagination Movers – they’re ok in a peppy primary color kinda way.

Jen, Erin’s baby-sitter, went on vacation Thursday and left me working from home the last 2 days. Not as fun as it sounds. It messes with my morning routine something awful. I should get up, get the kids ready and out the door, listen to NPR on the drive to work and then read blogs while I leisurely sip my coffee at my nice quiet desk. Aaahhh. Peaceful. With Kyle at camp all week, my mornings were already strangely quiet. So for the last couple days, I got up when Erin did, and we spent the mornings hanging out downstairs. Complete with the running around and squealing, banging lids and spoons, the tossing of balls, and leaving trails of cheerios for later(Erin probably had some fun too). When she went down for her morning nap, I would hop on the computer and try and get some work done. Today is just more of the same. Kyle is at his dad’s this weekend (he was home for maybe an hour yesterday), Chris has gone in to the office, so here I am. Feeling a bit stir crazy. And Jen won’t be back until Tuesday. If I was at the store right now, I would be standing in the Hallmark aisle, eyeballing the ‘Missing You’ cards, with an arm full of roses.

One of the problems is that Erin is... how can I put this... a pain in the ass. “Hey! If you’re mobile and you know it – stomp your feet! And throw a fit! Especially if someone tries to put you back into a stroller after you've tasted freedom - sweet glorious bipedal freedom!” Get what I’m saying? I can’t just take her with me places in the stroller anymore. She wants to walk! And if I do take her somewhere, say the park or the library’s kid section, and let her run around and play and then try to put her back in the stroller or even the car seat?! Well, may god have mercy on my soul. It’s not a pretty scene. And that baby is getting big. And strong. And when she is arched into a backbend (and screaming – don’t forget the screaming) it is physically impossible to get her strapped into anything. You need some sort of way to bend her the other way. Maybe a big stick. I won’t take her anywhere now without an engineer with me. I need back-up. Preferably in the form of a big strong daddy type.

So, we are kinda stuck here for now. Oh well, I’ve got that collage to work on. And there’s always laundry to do. Hey! I think I just found a shiv in a pair of Kyle’s dirty shorts. Rough camp.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I'm back!

I was just talking with Chris on the phone and started ranting about Milton Friedman and free market capitalism! Oh thank god. The Elavil is apparently out of my system! Now this new drug has both my hands numb so that might not be good. But as long as I can scream about Pinochet and the oligarchs in Russia and how well all that worked out, I know I’m back to my sunny self. And it feels good.

Now tingling and/or numbness were listed as possible side-effects of this new medication. Also vision problems. Joy. But the other theory being floated around is that I’m having an anxiety attack; because you know Kyle left for camp this morning. And he’s using my duffle bag. I really love that bag.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Admission for one please

Alrighty then. What I didn’t acknowledge in the last post was that after I mentioned restoring an old photo, I thought about putting up the before and after shots. Wait – that’s not the bad part. Where it really gets sick is that my next thought was – “Can I write a JavaScript program to change the before image to the after image when the user’s mouse moves over the photo?” And then I seriously considered attempting it. I am not well.

So to distract you from my shocking confession, I give you this:

Cute eh? Well, I wasn't kidding about that feedback!

Paint it black

Hot-damn. This Palin-pant-fest post by my dearly demented Sain’t has given me the energy to scale the Elavil induced wall of inertia I’ve been trapped behind. … Wow. How’s that for a sentence?! So, quickly, while I still have the energy to type, what shall we talk about? I am in no mood for the election. I just want it over. Ditto for the financial crisis. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear about JavaScript. There’s not much else thanks to the dulling effect of this damn medicine. I placed a call to my doctor yesterday to talk to him about it because it is just not working for me. Not even a little bit. And I want off it asap. And then I can be my happy chatty self again. I’ll take the headaches over this crap any day thank you very much. He hasn't called back yet. Can you tell?

In local news, the TBMS 6th grade class goes to Shady Creek Camp next week! That should be fun for Kyle. I will admit that I’m not going to miss having to micro-manage his homework for a whole week! Gads. That sucks.

I tried to get a video of Erin spinning around like I mentioned last week. And I might have caught a rotation or two, but what I really ended up with was a lot of footage of her reaching for the camera and throwing little fits of frustration. This may help me with the second assignment in my ‘Intro to Digital Art’ class. The first section of the class has been Photoshop (Illustrator and InDesign are next) and the first assignment was to restore an old photograph. Easy enough. But now we have to put together a collage. And we need a theme. Of course the theme can’t be something simple like the beach, or dogs, or even Christmas. It needs to be more of an abstract concept or feeling. Like sadness, chaos, or imagination. What the hell. I’m annoyed already and will probably take this someplace dark. And I’m pretty sure that’s not the pills talking. This project is a little too scrapbook-y for me. And I sincerely mean no disrespect to any scrapbookers out there. I’ve seen some pretty cool looking pages. I only mean that scrapbooking is something that I never got into. My brain/creativity just doesn’t put things together that way. And I’ll just stop right there before my drug-addled brain goes too far with that train of thought. Back to my project. I have kids and both of them act out in frustration more than I care to think about.* I already have more than enough photos showing this charming side of their personalities. So, I think that’s it. I will put together an angst-ridden montage of frustrated youth. Hmm, I’ll need some sort of background layer, how would you represent amplifier feedback visually?

* 1 ½ and 11 are not that different. I’m pretty sure if Erin was capable of expressing herself in words; she too would be calling us stupid and wanting to run away - all because we wouldn’t let her touch the oven when it was hot.

Kyle and Erin are both wrong. This is stupid. Man, sometimes I really miss drinking.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Present and accounted for

Apparently people have noticed the lack of inane chatter coming from my direction. The always lovely Julie T actually called me yesterday morning to check up on me! Too much quiet broken only by vague tweets and cryptic Facebook updates had her worried.

We then proceeded to natter on about the current financial crisis; concluding with the obvious need to exhume Milton Friedman and beat him about his rotting head and shoulders with copies of the $700 billion dollar bail-out package.

Oh yes, I can paint a pretty picture.

But I don’t want to get into that here. It is affecting my little family in a very direct way and the past couple weeks have been stressful to say the least. So between all that and being busy with school and kids, I just haven’t had much to say. I also wonder if my new medication (trying the preventative thing for the migraines) contributes to the quiet. It hasn’t really stopped the headaches yet but it’s only been 10 days. So we’ll just give it some time.

Still struggling with Kyle and his homework. Is it really that hard to put your name on a paper? Really? But he hit a beautiful double out to right field during his game last Wednesday. That was cool. And Erin is a crazy baby. She started spinning in circles yesterday. Thankfully it was her whole person spinning around and not just her head! I wonder about those 2 sometimes. I’ll try and get a new video up over the weekend.

And my Web Programming class has taken a turn to the hard. No more HTML/CSS here is how to make the given content pretty. Oh no, lets move on to some actually programming! With JavaScript we can make things happen! Like causing my brain to actually have to think. Damn, I remember that unpleasant feeling. And what is that smell?!! Of course, been-there-done-that Chris snickers from the side-lines.

My office building is filled with toxic fumes. I came home from class last night and WaMu was gone. I think that covers everything.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wiped out

Wow. Didn’t mean to disappear down a black hole on ya. But this has been a strange week and I don’t think I’ve fully recovered yet. And really, I don’t even know what I would be recovering from. Headaches, new medications, stock market woes, JavaScript, being a brunette… wait – that change is good. I think. Hard to tell when no one says anything either way. Kyle is calling me Goth, which is pretty damn funny. Hey, is it too soon to give him the Sandman books? I just added Neil Gaiman as a friend on GoodReads. I’m rubbing bandwidth with the big boys now.

What else. Didn’t see Coleman Barks. Totally ok with that. (I’m not ok with the fact that I can’t find the copy of his CD I made years ago) We went to the circus last Friday. Fun, but exhausting. Erin does not sit still even for lions and tigers and bear oh my. Or the tigers, elephants, and small white horses that we actually saw. I took some pictures –shocking, I know. Look for them around Thanksgiving. Tonight I have to take my Chapter 10 test. JavaScript really gave my brain a workout. Wish me luck. Cause when I do poorly, Chris suffers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back-up dancers: Prefer anonymity

Because code isn’t geeky enough, how about some particle physics?

Today was the first test of the new Large Hadron Collider (LHC) built by CERN. I haven’t been paying much attention to it because my brain has been focused elsewhere (Cough laissez-faire). But I have been hearing about this video from different sources for days now. It is a rap about the LHC and the comments are all positive and stating that the science really holds up. So this morning I finally watched it, and it is just a good as everyone says. Well, not the actually rapping and dancing (HA!) but the science – this is the kind of stuff I love. In fact, I can see myself spending a bit of time surfing around CERN’s website this morning. Chris is now feverishly praying that I abandon my PolySci kick and start reading about quantum physics again. Never did I spit venom whilst reading science books. Well, there was that one time with Stephen Hawking…

Large Hadron Rap

Friday, September 05, 2008

Dodge this!

I had big plans to write a new post for you today. Tell you all about how Kyle is trying to kill me has his first school dance this afternoon 3-5pm (for the 6th graders. The 7th and 8th grader’s dance starts at 7pm) and then his first baseball game at 6pm. And tomorrow he has a double-header! With the second game in Foresthill. Which is, I don’t know, an hour or so away! Nice. And hey, its gonna be 101° on Saturday.

But I can’t tell you these things because I am too damn tired. Sure, I got out of class 1 ½ hours early last night, but I had caffeinated myself to be up and alert until 10. So the sleeping? Not so much. And when I had finally tired myself out surfing the internet late into the night, I made the mistake of logging into Photophlow instead of logging off. Another hour or so later the laptop battery was dying and today – so am I. Dragging hard. So tired that my eyes are little slits. And red. And it is not helping that my mascara seems extra clumpy today and my eyelashes keep sticking together. Which I am taking as a sign from above to close my damn eyes and get some sleep.

I would take a nap during the 3-5 dance window, but let’s be real. I am not a napper. And I have to have dinner ready by 5 so that I can de-spin and feed Kyle in the 17.5 minutes we have between him coming home from the running around the gym like a maniac with his posse dance and taking him to the baseball field. Fun. Go Dodgerzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Utata Speaks '08

So, did anyone make it through the whole 81 minutes of that Library of Congress webcast? Yeah, me neither. I barely made it through that lady's introduction. Man, she was putting me to sleep. But I'm going to make it up to you right now, with an even better way to spend your valuable time - Utata has published its big annual project!

Utata Speaks '08

Yay! Photo essays from my favorite Flickr group. I submitted a personal essay singing the praises of drive-by shooting in Santa Cruz - and then didn't shoot at all while we were there this past weekend. But that is no reason not to go and check out everyone else's entries. (helpful tip of the day - that banner is a link, click it!) I haven't had a chance to read many of the essays yet (still folding laundry thank you very much) but between kid-wranglin' and homework I might have 5-7 minutes free this evening. Wait... Kyle has baseball practice tonight - did I wash his uniform?

Well, I would love to tell you more about our weekend and the CIA, but I’ve got to call and sing Happy Birthday to the lovely Julie T’s answering machine.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Love Dogs

I just found out that Coleman Barks is coming to Grass Valley next month. I am so there!

If you are unfamiliar, Coleman Barks is a poet and renowned translator of the ecstatic poems of Sufi mystic Jelaluddin Rumi. I saw him with Robert Bly in Ojai years ago and it was an unforgettable evening. Attending one of Barks’ performances is the only way to truly experience Rumi’s poetry. Prior to that evening, I had read some Rumi and it honestly didn’t do that much for me. Hearing Barks recite the poems to music was a whole 'nother world. It was absolutely amazing.

And if you’ve got an extra 81 minutes lying around, I found this webcast from the Library of Congress that you could watch. But, if you do have that much spare time, I recommend that you do something productive with it – like come to my house and fold some laundry! Slacker.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I want to verse you

You heard that little birdy right - my new photo site is up and running. It took several days of downloads, databases, mySQLs, phps, uploads via FTPs, and several small sacrafices to Al Gore, but I did it. So, without further ado, I give you -


Sure, there are only a few photos there now, but I've got a whole second hard-drive full of images, so I'll try to add one a day for awhile. Of course there will always be flickr for you baby-viewing needs. In fact, after a few more 4th of July beach shots, there is quite the run of family photos to be uploaded. Including before and after shots of Paul's head.

And speaking of haircuts, I did a few more things this weekend. There was the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk on Saturday morning in Old Town Sacramento. That was alot of fun and I met some very cool people. I'll have those shots up on Flickr by next Tuesday. And when I got home I did this!

Kyle on the first day of Middle School:

Kyle after I gave him a haircut:
Yes, I cut Kyle's hair. And I think I did a pretty good job of it. Of course, Kyle thinks it's too short. But after what I went through before the haircut (I don't want to talk about it) he is lucky he has any hair left at all! Hey, I had even forgotten that he had eyebrows.

So, regarding Me vs. my To-Do list, the tally is:
Me: 3.5 tasks completed (I finished my dad's cd, but still haven't mailed it)
To-Do List: 2.3 million things left to do. The bulk of that being laundry of course. And hey, my Fall Semester starts tomorrow so yeah... I'd best get going.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sweet mother of Barry Gibb!

The tight pants, falsetto, and floating heads - what more could you ask for from an earworm?!

This gosh-blasted song has been stuck in my head for days now. And no amount of Joy Division or lullabies have been able to temper my tapping toes. I defy you to get to sleep when this song is playing in your head.

And where should we direct our righteous blame for this unbearable condition? At my niece Tonya Bean. She posted this video on Facebook (I’ll save that subject for another time) and I, trying to not be such an old fuddy-duddy and completely clueless to what kids are listening to these days, clicked play.

So, after you’ve listened to the song – and you should listen to it. It’s not bad per se; just stuck in heavy rotation- we’ll form a caravan, drive out to Michigan and beat Tonya about the head and shoulders with her disco ball.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A rare treat

It’s 12:15 pm and I am sitting on the porch waiting for Kyle to come home from this morning’s orientation. It is absolutely gorgeous outside. The tempurature has dropped from the 108 we hit last weekend, to the mid-80’s. And there is a glorious delta breeze. If summers were always like this I would never be in the house!

I don’t know how long the battery will last on Chris’s laptop and don’t see an electrical outlet near the bench, but I’m going to sit here until my butt goes numb it’s time to pick up Erin. When Kyle gets home, I’ll have him bring me a glass of iced tea.

I had to schedule a doctor’s appointment for Kyle tomorrow afternoon. He got bit by a dog yesterday, so I want the doctor to look at Kyle's leg. The puncture wound is shallow but the skin was broken, and he’s developing a nice bruise. Plus he is probably due for a tetanusSshot anyways. Bummer for him. But Kyle hasn’t had a well-doctor check-up since his 1st grade physical, so he is due. Lucky for us he is a healthy kid (tipping my head back, knocking it on the wood siding of the house). But I am also going to have the doctor talk to Kyle about his diet. The boys eating habits are not good. I keep waiting for his to get hungry enough to eat anything, but it hasn’t happened yet. He can't live on mac-n-cheese and cheerios forever right?! Don't answer that.

Well, Kyle just got home and it is time for him to do my bidding. Suh-weet.

I miss Communism

Laissez-faire capitalism has ruined my posture.

I am still reading Shock Doctrine and it is unsurprisingly making me crazy. I don’t even know what to do with this information. I shouldn’t read it before bed – Chris would most likely say that I shouldn’t be reading it at all. He’s probably right. My brain starts spinning round and then getting to sleep becomes impossible. I got up and tried to do some yoga, but all I could do was sit there slouching. That’s bad. So, here I am. I really need to go back to reading Chekov.

You gotta keep ‘em separated

Tomorrow morning Kyle has student orientation at his new school. I have been so busy this last week that I haven’t even had a chance to think about the fact that on Tuesday Kyle will be starting Junior High! Oh right, they call it Middle School here. Whatever Kyle. He’ll be in 6th grade and in Lincoln that means Middle School, with the 7th and 8th graders. But we have been assured, repeatedly, that they keep the 6th graders separated from the older kids. And after Kyle came back from his SoCal vacation, where he spent a week camping with a group of older cousins, that isolation is now looking mighty good. Because while ‘Don’t be a fool, wrap your tool’ is good advice, learn it – live it, it’s not something I want to be hearing from my 11 year old!

Hey, speaking of school…

My semester ended last week. I got an A. And I don’t want to sound like a complete braggart, but I got a 99.3% and I’m pretty damn proud of myself. It's getting harder by the day to deny it when Chris calls me a geek. The fall semester starts on the 25th and I’m taking Web Programming II which uses that same 5lb book. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m having a hard time not starting early on the next chapter. I really am sick and twisted. So to keep myself occupied between classes, I’ve been focusing on photography projects. I have finished the cd of photos for my dad, and have finally made a decision on web hosting and will start working on my new photo-blog this week. Finally. I am also trying to meet the deadline for this year’s Utata’s Big Project. I’ve got plenty of photos but the writing part of the Photo-journalism project is gonna be tough. As you can see, I’ve got nothing to say.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Keep your pants on!

Well. The baby has learned how to take her diaper off.

What more needs to be said?!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic migraines*

So, we arrive in Santa Cruz last night and my in-laws were watching the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics. Cool. We unloaded the car (ok, Chris unloaded the car) and settled in in front of Bob’s big screen TV. We had missed a lot of it, but what we saw was pretty awesome. But then came the Parade of Nations. And all I have to say is wtf Olympics? Why are all those wonderful athletes forced to dress like color-blind airline employees? Didn't the women look like flight attendants? And what is with all the hats? Is there some kind of un-written Olympic rule that you have to not only wear some god awful suit-like attire in hideous colors, but you must top it with a jaunty hat?! Are fedoras the national chapeau of 90% of the countries on this planet? How did I miss that little tidbit of trivia? And some of those patterns caused me to want to poke my eyes out. I pretty sure Hungary was trying to kill me!

It was getting late, but we stayed up long enough to see the US team, who looked rather subdued with their navy blazers, white slacks, and obligatory caps. At least the women weren’t forced into skirts and ugly pumps. God bless America.

I was informed that the US team’s outfits were designed by Ralph Lauren. So there you go. And suddenly I began to twitch. For I too was once forced to wear Ralph Lauren by an evil overlord. Or the co-owner of the Rattlesnake Club in Detroit, who was from California, and wore ocelot boots to the grand opening. The staff at the new riverfront restaurant had to wear pink button-down Polo shirt, khakis, deck shoes and a very colorful bowtie. I’m wondering if there wasn’t a belt too, one that might have matched the bowtie. Either way, we sure looked dandy. I’m surprised those preppy threads didn’t give me a rash.

The Sain’t, me, and several of our friends were part of the original staff when the restaurant opened 20 years ago. And the only reason I know the actual year is that last month Kim told the Sain’t that she was going to attend the restaurant’s 20 year anniversary celebration. And this is where we again encounter “bad math”. Math that ages me. Math that if done properly states that I was 22 years old when I worked there. Sweet mother of Barry Gibb how did I get this old?!

And to place you squarely in 1988, the music piped into the restaurant was a mix of Roxy Music and Sade. Suh-weet.

*Although I have had headaches the last 2 mornings, I’m happy to report they were not even close to Olympic in size or grandeur. More like a small regional qualifying events at best.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Talk about peer pressure...

When I started this here little blog, my tag line was "all my friends are doing it" - which still makes me snicker (it seems that Kyle is not the only 11 year old boy in this house!) But hey, I was right. Everyone who is anyone has a blog these days. Including George Orwell! Who's not letting a little thing like death stop him!

And I know this has been reported all over the internet, but I found it on PRI's the World while looking for Bosnian folk music. And you found it here, while looking for… what? Reports of my still tight hamstrings? No? Maybe it’s a picture of the baby that you are after.

Well, you'll have to wait. Blogger is not cooperating. I'll try again later after a round of deep cleansing breathes.

Ok then - yoga does fix everything! That and a new flash.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hurts so good...

Hmm, I told you to come back today to get a status on how much pain I would be in two days after my first yoga class in approximately 730 days. And here you are! Nice. Schadenfreude never fails. Let me direct you to the VIP “Laugh at Dawn’s Suffering” section. Pull up a chair and help yourself to a nice cold drink. Chris has been getting rather lonely in there all by himself, but let me tell you – he’s been roflmao big time! Literally. In the spirit of “my best interests”, he made me do more yoga last night! And not being able to stand hearing the pained noises I was making without actually seeing what I was doing (or attempting to do) – he got out of bed to do some stretching of his own. “All the better to view the extent of your discomfort my dear.” He is Big and Mean! (trade-mark pending)

So, yeah, I’m sore. Tight. Wimper with the smallest movements.
There. Happy?! I bet you are.

Me too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What a nice view…

So, today is my birthday. With everything that’s been going on this past month, I’ve had a hard time even remembering my birthday this year, which is very atypical behavior for a Leo. In the past I’ve been border-line obnoxious starting July 1st. But this year? Nothing. I think I mentioned it once in one line a couple weeks ago. Strange days indeed.

But here I am. Older than I’ve ever been. Again. And I kinda feel whatever about the whole thing. Is ambivalence a symptom of old age? I over-slept this morning; do you think that’s a sign?

Whoa, now I’m wicked scared.
I just did a search through my archives to link to previous birthday blather and there was not a word about it in 07 either! I had to go back to July 2006 to find this post! Man, I am slipping. I’ll probably break a hip at yoga tonight!*

But what I found interesting is that it was in July of 07 that I posted about reading Overthrow – the beginning of the end of my sanity. And this July I started reading Shock Doctrine, which is the scariest book yet! In a mere year I’ve read enough of this stuff that I’m completely familiar with names, places, and events. Poor Chris. It was on page 58 of Shock Doctrine that I encountered the infamous Dulles boys and I promptly started foaming at the mouth. To which Chris promptly threatened to take the book away from me! I got a stern look when I hissed “United Fruit!” But this book is much more than the horrors of the CIA – it’s the horrors of free-market economics! Good gravy Mabel that’s some messed up shit!

But that isn’t birthday talk now is it. I’ll save that for later. Let the crazy build a bit more…

Birthday talk is my new flash unit – thanks Chris! Mikuni’s for lunch – thanks in advance Boss. (when will that conference call end?) Calls and cards from my peeps. And hopefully a yoga class tonight!

* come back here Friday to hear all about the second-day sore! I haven’t been to a class in almost 2 years and tonight is a vinyasa/flow class. Wish me luck! Fitting into my yoga clothes that is!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Fool and His Money…

Wes finally took me back to court this morning to get his child support lowered. If he had a dollar for every time I told him to stop complaining to me about the amount and go back to court, well… he still wouldn’t have enough money to cover what he owes me in arrears. He owes a lot. Because he never pays. And then he calls me to whine about it! Amazing.

So, after having his bank account seized last month, he finally decided to do something about his situation. He went down to the Dept of Child Support Services and made a payment to get his license back and then got a court date. And since he is now lying about how much money he makes, the courts lowered the support payment! Which on one hand I kind of expected, because my situation has certainly changed since we got the divorce (and he had the amount lowered the first time), but on the other hand – he’s lying about his income! Which sucks. And there’s not a whole lot I can do about it because he works under the table. I was under the impression that the courts based support on earning potential (to keep people from quitting their jobs so they don’t have to pay), but I guess not. Because if he bothered to work 40 hours a week, he would make double what he is claiming. Oh well. He does have to go back to court on Aug 25th with his 2007 tax returns to prove his income. But again, if he’s not claiming his income what good will that do. So, we’ll just wait and see if anything changes. In the meantime, it will be nice to start getting some money each month. We’ll see how long that lasts. Maybe we should start a pool.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I See You...

But I can't talk now. After all the fun of last week, and several days of headaches, I've fallen behind on my to-do list. I need to start the next chapter for class (and writing code is great for distracting your brain from thinking about unpleasant things!), make a photo cd for my dad, call my aunt, go to a counseling appt at the college tomorrow, prepare for a court date next Monday, and pack Kyle's bags cause he is outta here on Wednesday!

So, I need to stay focused. Nose to the grind-stone and all that jazz. In the meantime, you can watch my twitter updates there on the left to monitor my mental health. If things start sounding dire, send mocha frappachinos!
I'm kinda brownied-out, but I still need caffiene.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get a life.

Wow, I've been out more evenings in the past week than I have in the past year! Crazy.
In the good way.


Last Thursday I met the beautiful Kimerloo for sushi, adding Sharon to the mix at the last minute. (Kim is moving to San Diego next month and I'm none too happy about that, but I'll save my rant about crop circles and conspiracy theories for another time.) Saturday evening was spent at the lovely Rachel's. And last night Sharon arraigned a surprise birthday dinner for Karen at Leatherby's (minds out of the gutter people - it's an ice cream parlor) and I had a blast. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. I'm not even mentioning that Karen moved to Virginia last year. Nope.

Tonight the Sain't was supposed to drive up for dinner and then leave for Tahoe in the morning to visit his cousin. That has been postponed to Thursday. But still, the point is that my day-timer runneth over. Or something like that.

Tomorrow is Chris and my wedding anniversary. 3 years! And the 3rd year is Leather. WooHoo! Go ahead and enjoy the gutter this time, but I’m thinking shoes. Or a purse. But what I’m really getting is a massage on Thursday. And that’s better!

Saturday is Karen’s official birthday BBQ and that should be fun. But my schedule for next week doesn’t look so hot. So far I’ve got a counseling appt at the college on Tuesday. Wednesday afternoon I take Kyle to the airport for his annual 2 week southern California fun-fest (but please don’t forget what a crappy life he has!), and Thursday I finally have the dentist appointment to get the crown work done for my root canal. Oh doesn’t that sound like a good time.

But my birthday* is in 2 weeks!! What should we do?

*I hear the 42nd year is camera equipment. How fortuitous.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Weekend round-up. Wednesday edition.

We are finally back home after our extended and consequently extra wonderful weekend in Santa Cruz. I spent 5 days in a no-news-is-good-news, clean-fit-for-breathing ocean air, more brownies than I care to think about, bubble of happiness. And then the reality of the Sacramento valley had to go and burst that bubble. Still with the fires? And a heatwave too? Gah.

Oh well, what can you do but close the blinds (there is nothing to see out there and it will help keep the place cool) and close your eyes and think back on the long holiday weekend...

So, what did I do with all that time at the coast? Besides fill a couple memory cards with pictures?
Is that wrong?! I got through the next chapter in 2 afternoons while the baby slept and the boys were at the beach. Sure, I could have gone to the beach with them; sat in the sand with the sun beating down on my head. Or I could sit alone in a nice quiet house without any interruptions and Chris’s laptop. If that’s wrong – I don’t want to be right!
And I still managed to see plenty of the beaches while I was there – and in my favorite ways; driving around and stopping for photo ops (or scouting out kelp beds and beach access – depending on who’s telling the story) and walking with Kyle or Erin (and the camera - always the camera).

And let’s not forget the time spent playing the Wii. Oh yeah baby, we have got to get one of those!! I logged 30+ minutes in my Wii Fit piggy bank Monday morning. And I’m feeling it today. Kyle and I have taken the yoga to a nice competitive level. And he’s giving me a run for my money. What the boy lacks in flexibility, he more than makes up for in balance! Which the Wii Fit board has a much easier time of gauging. So not fair. And I bowled a personal best Sunday night – 213! I had 2 turkeys in that game. Nice. And Kyle and I spent at least an hour making Mii's for the whole family. And they look good. Unfortunately I forgot to snap a photo. Sorry. I'll get the family portrait next time.

And there were brownies. Lots of brownies.

Now I have to do the assignment for Chapter 5 and edit all those pictures. (Hey Rachel – I put the 50mm on twice!) And laundry. Always laundry.

Also, I finished shooting the roll of color film in the Holga and need to drop it off for developing. So, the question of the day is: will my desire to see my photos beat out the fact that if I run an extra errand, my throat will close up, my eyes will again burn, and I increase the likelihood of a headache?

Tune in tomorrow to - As the World Burns.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Walk this way

The grandparents will be seeing this live tomorrow. I couldn't leave for a long holiday weekend without sharing our doom the happiness with you.

Enjoy! And have fun and safe 4th of July.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

This ones wet

Lego re-enactment of Eddie Izzard Death Star Canteen Sketch

I found this video on oobject. Plenty to see there. Cake or Death is also nice.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes... and lungs

I have been sick with a headache for the last three days. So not much has been going on here in elfini-land. But I have few updates for you. California is on fire and my previously twittered total of 800+ fires needs to be revised to 1000+ fires. I’m having a hard time wrapping my smoke-filled brain around that number. So how about a nice graphic –

View Larger Map

That’s crazy! It’s no wonder that I haven’t been able to breathe all week. Not fun. But today I did not wake up with a headache so I am feeling a bit hopeful. And able to type. So, let’s catch up eh?

I guess Erin is now officially a toddler. Walking is not yet her only or even preferred mode of getting around, but she’s doing it more and more. From here to there and sometimes back again. Complete with stops and 180 degree turns. So, yeah. Baby walking. Someone needs to disappear that corn popper quick!

I’m half-way through my semester. On-line classes are still kinda surreal. I’m undecided on what classes to take next semester (besides Web Programming II). I’m even thinking of making an appointment with a counselor. And I’ve mailed off the requests for all 5 of my Official Transcripts. Good gravy Mabel, what have I gotten myself into.

For some strange reason this made me tear up a bit this morning. But I’m going to blame it on the smoke. Don’t tell anyone.

Now I’ve got to make a call to firm up the details on Kyle’s annual trip to southern California next month. Let’s not forget how much his life sucks!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The last freebie*

I received an email from Sharon last week stating that she was unhappy with the look of her blog. And could I, the goddess of all things html, help her. Well, if she’s going to put it that way, how could I refuse?

Her page was many shades of bright pink and she wanted something a bit more soothing. I told her to come by Sunday afternoon and we could work on it. She wanted the site to feel calm and peaceful, more in line with her "spa" theme. And I had just the design for her! Since she liked the beach theme I had created for this site but wasn’t using, I offered it to her. Why re-invent the wheel right? And within the hour a new Sharon’s Spa for You was born. And so was elfiniDesigns.

I still plan on doing some work customizing the banner text, but not until my homework is done!

* I will accept payment in brownies. But not with nuts. And for the love of pete people - no frosting!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why I’m not a doctor.

I’ve decided that my Cough ™ is construction induced. As soon as they finish the re-model of the bathrooms in my office building, I will be cured! And if things do not work out that way I’m gonna be very displeased.

I’ve also recently diagnosed my migraines as a casualty of the constant battle between the right and left sides of my brain. A cruel and gory battle to determine which hemisphere will reign supreme! The Artist or the Geek. I really am a conundrum.

Now I must admit that I can never remember which side does what, so I’ll have to look it up. Be right back…

This was the first page I open after a Google search:
http://www.web-us.com/BRAIN/LRBrain.html *
And now I know that it was my right hemisphere that was in tears in Chemistry class. Damn moles. I ‘got’ the math; I just wanted to know why I was doing it!

And then I took 2 different “Hemisphere Dominance Tests” and got a different result for each test! Either I am extremely well balanced, or I’m screwed up beyond measure! Actually there were some questions with both answers were right. So the battle rages on…

And I know that both halves of my brain are working together, and that every person has a dominant side, and this is not the reason for my headaches. But I like the imagery of an epic battle in my head. Migraines that are just hormonal, let-down or stress-related aren’t very exciting are they? Semi-predictable and boring and forever pissing me off, but nothing to write home about.

* Hey - the geek in me wants you to know that I could break down this url into all its parts for you thanks to Chapter 2 of the textbook from hell. Or I could draw you a diagram...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flag Day with the Flag Man

Flag Day 008, originally uploaded by salemflagday.

Check it out - my dad was the Grand Marshall for the Flag Day Parade in Salem, MI last weekend.

I also found an article about him on the Salem Flag Day blog. It is a reprint of the article I posted a couple months ago but it uses a photo that I took last fall. Plus there are more photos from the parade in this flickr set.

So, enjoy the links - I'm off to call my dad...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's All Relative

Found this YouTube video on Sweetney’s Linkblog. So very cool!

The Most Important Image Ever Taken
In 2003, the Hubble Space Telescope took the image of a millennium, an image that shows our place in the universe. Anyone who understands what this image represents, is forever changed by it.

Meanwhile, on our little speck of dust, Kyle’s first baseball season is winding to an end. The Giants finished the season with a 6-14 record and in 4th place in the standings. The first place team is the Cardinals with a 19-1 record including 3 shutouts! Pretty impressive.

This week is the End of Season Tournament with the final game on Saturday. Last night, the Giants won Game #1 against the Ranger (12-4). Wednesday night they play Game #3 against the Cardinals. And you might think that that will be the end for our Giants. And you might be right, but what about this: Last Saturday in the last game of the regular season, the Giants played the Cardinals and lost 8-9. Yes, they lost. But by 1 point!! That must have been a great game! (Chris and I missed it because we were in Santa Cruz. But Kyle got a base-hit and then scored. Against the Cardinals!) So, hope springs eternal and maybe, just maybe the Giants will go all the way!

And hey, Happy Birthday Uncle Bot!!!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Busy. Please call again.

Remember way back when… when I thought I didn’t need a day-timer? When I scoffed at Chris’s suggestion – thinking I could never be that busy that I wouldn’t remember my one, maybe two, appointments per quarter? When I felt it completely unnecessary to feign being that organized? Well. I apologize. If I could go back in time I would kick my former self in the shin. Such is my reliance on my pretty little book of all that is important and looming! It sits next to me on my desk at work. I carry it upstairs with me at home. I pull it out in doctor’s offices, hair salons and once even at Starbucks.

Hmm, now I am wondering how I can keep Chris from reading this post. The gloating will be unbearable. Like bear… ha!

Anyways, the point is that we’ve been busy. Baseball, school events (Kyle’s are ending for the summer but ours have just begun!), more doctors appointments than I care to think about. And this morning I just wrote in “Santa Cruz” on Friday. Because after consulting everyone’s calendars, we found that this is the only weekend we can get down there to get the grandparents their much needed baby fix before July!

Yay, I’m finally going back to the beach! It seems like it has been ages – possibly February/early March since I was last there. All I know was that the last 2 times I was there, I was sick with all those horrible headaches that eventually lead to my getting a root canal. I just checked ‘the book’ and the drilling was April 8th. Hmm, after the sweet pain relief of the root canal came the cough. The cough that still hasn’t gone away 2 months later. Which brings me to tomorrow’s follow-up appointment (highlighted in the day-timer) with my new doctor. The doctor that gave me breathing tests and sent me off for a chest x-ray. The doctor who said he would not just throw more allergy medicine and inhalers at me but find out what was wrong first. Hey thanks! What a novel idea! The doctor that did give me the magic cough syrup that allows me (and Chris) to sleep at night. So, 8:40am Thursday June 5th doctor appointment to confirm what I don’t have (asthma and fluid on the lungs) and hopefully some idea of what I do have so we can make it go away!!

So this week had baseball practice Monday and I turned in my 2nd assignment, last night I studied and took the test (96!), tonight there is a baseball game, tomorrow night is laundry and pre-packing, Friday is Kyle’s last day of school, swim party and then off to his dad’s for the weekend while Chris, Erin and I head down to Santa Cruz. Whew.

But next week I’ve got nothing!
For now…

Monday, May 26, 2008

What a hack

Well, I just couldn't stand it any longer. Erin's bangs were down to her chin and she would not leave the barrettes in her hair. She was constantly reaching up to her head to see if there was a barrette or pony-tail holder up there. If there was, she pulled it out. And then put it in her mouth. It was a losing battle. So she spent her days with her hair covering half her face. She was starting to crawl with her head turned to the side so she could see were she was going. I had had enough and got out the scissors. And as you can imagine trying to cut a squirming 13 month old's hair is more than a 2-person job. So, I present to you:

Baby's first bad haircut. A play in 2 acts: Before and After. Enjoy. And don't worry. It will grow out.

Worth the wait

I finally watched Charlie Wilson’s War last night. And it did not disappoint. And in retrospect, it was probably a good thing that 6 months have passed between my reading the book and seeing the movie. Last night I was completely ok with the casting – in fact I think it was spot on. Phillip Seymour Hoffman? Fanfuckintastic. And I had forgotten just enough detail from the book to not notice any real discrepancies with the movie, if there were many at all. I think it really was well done. The true story is just insane enough that a straight forward telling of it is all you need. And it was funny. Funny and scary and well worth the price of a dvd rental. I recommend it and give it two Stinger Missile Launchers up.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Tale of the Queen of deNile

Once upon a time – last week - the 5th graders watched “the video”. You know the one I’m talking about, the health video for boys and girls on “puberty and their changing bodies”. Oh joy. Consequently Chris and Kyle have been talking. Discussions about erections, birth-control, and wet dreams. I meanwhile have been sitting in the corner with my fingers in my ears singing lalalalalala. Erin joins in with her Tibetan monk chanting and then my head implodes. The end.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Books are Good Food

Erin and I went to the library this afternoon before picking up Kyle from his last band practice. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before how much I adore a good library. I mean come on – free books! What’s not too love?! Grab anything that strikes your fancy. Not enjoying it? Simply return it. No harm, no foul.

And today’s trip with Erin was a perfect example. I had 2 books to return and nothing on my ‘must read next’ list. I had finished the book on the Balkans (very good) but hadn’t spent much time thinking about what I wanted read next. As always there are some themes I plan to explore further (I’m still looking a you Russia!), but I seem to have found my groove with Fiction again. After the joy that was reading A Dirty Job, I picked up an Elmore Leonard novel that I spotted on my last trip to the library. Killshot* – maybe not his greatest, but if you’re a fan (and I am), it’s typical Leonard and a fast and enjoyable read. So, this afternoon, instead of heading straight to World History, I decided to cut through the Fiction section. And when you’re pushing a stroller, it’s like grocery shopping with the munchies. Any book that catches your eye you just throw in the basket. I shopped until it was time to get Kyle. Let’s see, what did I find... I had made a left down the R-Z aisle. Saw The Satanic Verses on my left. Hmm, why not? Tossed it in the basket and kept moving. High up on the right – Kurt Vonnegut. A slim volume I hadn’t read before, God-Bless-You-Dr-Kevorkian. In the cart. Crossing an aisle I’m in the Art section. Familiar territory. Grab a giant book of photographs by Josef Koudelka, which I am very much looking forward to perusing. Then a quick stop in the 700’s to pick up a book on propaganda and we are on our way to the self-check-out. The trip a success - plenty of things to read while I continue searching for the next big-read.

And I’ve got to admire and fear the programs used to by Amazon.com to suggest books that I might like. They have got my number. Between Amazon and my library records, I wonder when the FBI will flag my file.

*Just found out this has been made into a movie. Mickey Rourke is in it which automatically makes it a horror movie. Have you seen his face lately? Scary.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Are you worried that this blog is going to be all about school and my bitter complaints about the weather? Well, that might seem a valid concern after the last 2 posts, but I doubt there will be that much more to say about my class.

Now the temperature issue - I'm not going to make any promises about that one.

But I've gotta admit, I'm just not groovin' with the new look of this page. It's pretty and all but it doesn't inspire me. It just doesn't feel like 'me'. Which is kinda silly since I designed it -used one of my beach photos and picked the color scheme. But it's too calm and soothing, which is not really my mood when I'm writing. I'm thinking of changing it back to the grassy field banner and green color scheme until I come up with a new idea.

And more things are changing around here. Erin is this close to walking. Besides circumnavigating the coffee table, she will hold your finger and walk across the room. And over the weekend she started walking behind her ride-on contraption. She is also climbing up on everything! Oh the joy.

Things are changing for the better for Kyle's baseball team. They have been winning games. Not every game, but enough games that they've pulled out of last place in the league standings. And win or lose, I gotta tell ya - I love watching their games! Yeah no one is more surprised than I am.

A Kyle change that I'm not enjoying so much is the fact that in less than a month, his elementary school career will be over. (Thanks for that Chris) Next year he will be in Middle School! We went to the Parent Orientation last Thursday. Ugh. I'm sorry, but I think the 6th grade should be in elementary, not Jr. High. But I was not consulted and now Kyle is going to have to get his shit together. His last progress report was less than stellar. Far too many late assignments. Not good.

What else? Chris is also going back to school. (Hey, I figure I'll get the rest of the school stuff out in this post and then that will be it.) He just mailed the tuition check for his first class to get his Masters in Financial Services and CRP. Hmm, compared to that, a little computer code doesn't sound that bad eh?

And saving the best for last - next Wednesday's high is only 79!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Spring Semester 08

Hey, look at me - I’m a college student. Again. How weird is that? And at a new school. Now that is not so unusual. In fact, there seems to be a pattern. With every move to a new town comes a new school for me to take a class or two at. God forbid I ever actually get my act together and need to submit all my transcripts. That would be a Herculean task. Chris has one. I, on the other hand, could possibly have dozens! I’m like a connoisseur of colleges. And when you request transcripts they like to know what year/s you attended. That’s funny. I can’t even tell you with any certainty what year I moved to California! That information requires a phone call to the Sain’t.

Anyways, today is the start of my semester. I’ve sharpened my Dixon-Ticonderogas, dusted off the Trapper-Keeper and had my Wheaties…


And I’ve got nowhere to go. And no specific time to be there.

Hmpf. On-line classes are a bit anticlimactic. I guess tonight I’ll log into the system, get my assignment, and participate in the discussion group where everyone will have to introduce themselves. Hmm, lack of public speaking is definitely a plus! On the other hand, I talked Cynthia into taking the class with me. It wasn’t hard. But it’s going to be tricky getting the desk next to her in the back row. How are we going to furtively pass notes to each other and spread rumors about Chad and Susie breaking up?!

p/s I weighed the textbook - its 5 lbs!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Too Cool for School


In fact I’m going to summer school!
And it’s all Chris’s fault.

He was looking at welding classes at Sierra College one afternoon so I started to peruse the class schedule myself thinking it would be great to take another photography class. I took several photography classes at Ventura College many many years ago and I loved it! Black & White Film – way back when before digital was even a pipe-dream and dinosaurs still roamed the earth. I loved working in the darkroom and experimenting with double exposures, solarizing prints etc. The only reason I stopped taking photography classes was a problem I had with one of the instructors. I won’t bother going into details but I will say that I politely declined to smoke a peace pipe with him at the end of the semester. So, I didn’t take another class with him but took a painting class instead. And now this lovely trip down memory lane has distracted me… where was I? Oh yes, discovering that the Fall Semester photography classes were only one evening a week. That sounded doable. There was even a Saturday morning class. Chris was all for it. So I hopped on-line and applied for admission to Sierra College. But the Fall Semester start until August. I started wondering what classes I could take over the summer. I found a Web Programming I (HTML & CSS) on-line course – hey why not? (Again, Chris said I should do it. He totally supports me going back to school to finish getting my degree. Which is great, but I don’t know how he is going to convince me to finally take that Speech class. Good luck with that buddy.)

So, I signed up. Class starts next Monday. And after buying the text book – which has to weigh at least 20 pounds!! – I’ve now spent 130 dollars to learn the same things I have been teaching myself for the past few months with a library book! Which had an out of pocket cost of $0. No I ask you - is that smart? Maybe I really do need to go back to school.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Well it's about time!

What a slacker I am - haven't posted since last Saturday night. Tsk tsk. (and again I find myself fighting the urge to post a Bay City Rollers video!) But today was a day of many fine accomplishments. I finally got my hair done. And believe me when I say that it was long overdue. And as you can see, elfini-land has a new ‘do too! I was not finding the errant line of code that was plaguing my original template, so I finally gave up, loaded a new template (Minima) and started customizing. And I’m not finished yet but it’s a start. What do you think? Do you miss the green grassy field? Will a nice Santa Cruz beach suffice? Chris is just thankful that I hadn’t gotten around to uploading the Stalin poster off my camera yet or this site might have been far more red!

And speaking of commie pinkos – I’m back to reading about the Balkans. Now that is some warm and fuzzy bed-time reading. And I passed A Dirty Job on to Chris, who is suffering his own dirty job this evening. He took Kyle to a River Cat’s (Sacramento’s AAA baseball team) game. Kyle’s school choir and band got to sing the National Anthem before the game and Take Me Out to the Ballgame at the top of the 6th. Which I’m sure was fun for Kyle but he had to miss his own baseball game tonight. And they were playing the Rangers – the only team they have managed to beat this season. I went by the ball field at the end of the game and found out the Giants won! Something like 15-5. I wish I had seen that game.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

S. A. T U R. D A Y. night!

I've started ready A Dirty Job: A Novel by Christopher Moore. Let's not expect me to get anything else done for awhile. And I'm laughing so hard that I keep putting the book down and wanting to call someone. But you people aren't answering your phone!

Best quote so far: "Fuzz on the toast of Death".

Friday, April 25, 2008

Party at Elfini's!!

My parents are going out of town and my brother promised to get me a six-pack of Budweiser with his fake i.d.


Kyle is at his dad's this weekend and Chris took Erin to Santa Cruz. Chris gets to dive, the grandparents get their baby fix, and I get to stay up past 9:00pm!

Monday, April 21, 2008

B-days a go-go

Wow, April is birthday month. Chris started things off on the 2nd. Erin's was on the 13th. My dad turned 88 on the 19th! 88! On the 19th!! The Sain't had a birthday yesterday on the 21st. And today is Paula's (my mother-in-law) birthday. Happy Birthday P!

Am I forgetting anyone else? Because apparently my day-timer can't be trusted. I had Sain't down on the 19th and my dad on the 21st. And I suspected that I had somehow gotten them mixed-up, but then Sain't called on the 19th complaining that his birthday check from his parents keeps getting smaller every year. I was at a game (were else?!) and told him happy birthday and I would call him later. I left him a message somewhere between the library and the grocery store with more birthday salutations but without any singing - I know how he likes to sock things away for later use. That evening he calls back and admits that his birthday isn’t until the 21st. Bastard. Of course by then it was too late to call my dad on the east-coast. That 3 hour thing is always screwing me up. That and my friends who obviously love and cherish me. Ha.

So, I called my dad on the 21st. In fact I managed to check off everything on yesterday’s to-do list (except start the Christopher Moore book) and I even had time to make this –

- all while being a wife, mother, vital-cog and member-of-society-at-large. Amazing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Baseball's been bery bery good to me...

Actually baseball has been kicking my ass. Where did my weekend go?!
Friday night there was a game up in Newcastle. The Giants lost. (Although Kyle smacked one to left field for a base run, and then scored) And then they had another game at 12:30 on Saturday. It was looking good for the Giants in the first half but things fell apart when the A's brought in Cecil to pitch. This kid is the best pitcher in the league. We quickly lost our 8-4 lead and ended up losing 9-17. Ouch. (Kyle got walked this time and then scored) And I'm sure that game wasn't really any longer than their night games, but I was exhausted by the time we got home around 4pm. Then I hit the library, the grocery store, we went out to dinner, took a postprandial walk around the neighborhood and then bam - it was Sunday. And besides finally loading the film in the Holga, I didn't do much this afternoon besides the obligatory laundry. Fun for me.

And tomorrow I get to find out if the IT guys managed to get my computer fixed at work. My Microsoft Outlook stopped working last Wednesday and I spent over 2 hours on the phone with them Friday afternoon. I've got to tell you, my expectations are not high.

Oh! Before the never-ending call to the Help Desk? I was at the doctors seeking help for my rib-cracking-cough-that-just-won't-quit! And I was sent away with a prescription for Advair. Which is a asthma inhaler! ?? I don't know why - but at least it seems to be helping.

Tomorrow's to-do list:
  • Call my dad and wish him a happy 88th birthday! Apologize for not calling on the 19th. The Sain't does not get another call.
  • Call Katie and reschedule coffee.
  • Shoot some more of the roll of film in the Holga!!
  • Start reading new books; Balkan Ghosts and A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.
  • more laundry. It really never ends.

At least there isn't another game until Wednesday.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Typical. A day late and 24 cupcakes short.

April 13, 2007
One year later...

Can you believe it?! Erin’s 1st birthday was yesterday; although we celebrated on Saturday. This whole leap year thing made it easy to claim both days as appropriate for celebrations. We had the cake and presents on Saturday and the much anticipated flipping of the car-seat ceremony on Sunday the 13th. Ok, it wasn’t much of a ceremony; Erin and I were inside while Chris re-installed the car-seat to its new forward-facing position. Yay. Of course now I can barely operate the straps because everything is backwards! Parenting is fun.

So, the big party? Not so big, it was just the 4 of us and Chris’s folks. But that was ok – more cake for us! And of course I made the cake because that is what I do. I am most mom-like when it comes to birthdays. I will bake for you! You want a cake? Great - what color? Need 31 cupcakes for you class? No problem. And this time, since Cook’s Illustrated just happened to have a recipe for chocolate frosting, I made the frosting for my cake (still from a box) from scratch! (Yes, that particular CI had a cake recipe too but it was yellow and we are chocolate cake people) And may I just say, that frosting? Way too chocolaty!!! I know, many of you can’t comprehend such a thing, but dude, it was rich. And I have a ton left over! And according to Chris throwing away frosting is some sort of cardinal sin! Gads. He was more than ready for me to make a batch of cupcakes to put under all that frosting. Like we really need 2 dozen cupcakes hanging around the house. I think I’ll just throw that tub-o-frosting in the freezer. Someone has to show some restraint around here!

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Erin is 1. Too fast! We bought Erin her first doll house and quickly declared the Little People Dad a nerd because of his sweater-vest. She also got one of these ride-on contraptions from Grandma and Grandpa. She is all over pushing those buttons* but not that interested in riding on it. Yet. And they also bought her one of those Corn Poppers! That is not nice!! And of course Kyle is having great fun playing with all her new toys. Goober.

I would like to say that I’ll finish sorting through the gazillion photos this evening, but Kyle has a baseball game**. You just might have to wait until Tuesday night to see more of Erin in all her one year old, toothy, chocolate covered, party dress wearin’ glory. But I can guarantee you that it will be well worth the wait!

* Buttons. Really, that is all that little girl wants to do – push buttons. Eventually she'll find mine! But for now, her favorites are the ones on the tv and dvd players. Great.

** The Giants are 0-5 or is it 6? Either way, they are having a rough go of things so far. But Kyle is doing really well for his first season playing. He needs to gain confidence at the plate and get more aggressive, but he is doing fine when out in the field. He caught a pop fly to right field last week in the first inning. I have vowed never be late for a game again! And when I did get there he was playing 3rd base! The coach has said he was going to be starting him from now on because he's worked really hard and nothing gets by him. Way to go Kyle!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Love Thursday - the Floral Edition

I came downstairs this afternoon and discovered that someone had left me flowers! And just in time for Shutter Sister's Love Thursday!

And who is my secret admirer? Well, I'm not going to name names, but he is awefully cute and as you can see surprisingly sweet.

Don't tell anyone because I've got a reputation to uphold, but I love him to pieces!

This post brought to you by the letter V and Dupont "Better Living through Chemistry"

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Root of all Evil

If you have been following my Twitter* updates there on the right, you probably already know that I ended up having a root canal yesterday afternoon. Those endodontists are a sneaking bunch - "Oh my, that tooth is bad and needs a root canal - and since you're already here in my chair why don't you just put on these not-so-stylish sunglasses and lay back..." And an hour or so later, your jaws sore from being wedged open for so long (oh yes - a wedge!), you're writing out a check for some un-godly sum but you don't care -it's so worth it because that pain the big huge please make it stop pain - it's gone! And this morning, even though my jaw is still a bit sore, I feel 1000% better. Which is amazing because this last month has been rough to put it mildly.

Of course now I need to make another appointment with my dentist to get a crown for this reformed bad tooth. But again, feeling good is still a novelty so I don't care. Happy happy joy joy. But I do wonder about my dentist... did he really not know what he was seeing on the x-ray? That slight clouding that was so mysterious to him? He mumbled something about possible resorbtion - rare - only sees 1-2 cases a year - treatable if caught early - I'll refer you to - maybe they'll know... ??? Did he not know I was heading for a root canal? or was he just chicken -didn't want to be the one to give me that bad news?

Either way, they have rebuilt me. And now I am better than before! Like the bionic woman. Hey it would be really cool if I could get pod-casts on my new and improved tooth. Or maybe blue-tooth capabilities! Viva la borg.

*I don't know what it is but I know I like it!

I started seeing Twitter updates on other blogs awhile ago. I even created my own Twitter account but never posted. And then a week or so ago I received an email that someone was following me on Twitter. What? A stalker of my very own?! How exciting! So I started posting and added the link to my sidebar. But when a couple people asked me what Twitter is, I discovered that I can't answer them. I'm just not sure how to describe it. And apparently I'm not the only one because this guy made this handy little video to help explain Twitter to the masses. So click play and then you too will know and love Twitter. You just won't be able to explain it to anyone.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I've got nothin'

Wow. Monday already. This cold has been kickin’ my ass. As a result not much has been going on.

Let’s see…what can I tell you...

  • I'm almost finished reading Comrades!: A History of World Communism.
  • I have put Sain’t Christopher’s banner project on hold while he re-thinks his tag-line.
  • Haven’t opened that CSS code book all week. I carry it around with me though. Learning by osmosis – it could happen!
  • Picked up a new scanner on Saturday and am very pleased that it will scan 120 negatives! Now I just need to load the Holga and start taking some pictures.
  • Have been sitting with Kyle every afternoon making him practice his bass. The boy is this-close to getting kicked out of band. I don’t want to talk about it.
  • And Erin will be 1 next Sunday. Which means I'll be baking a cake. Come on over.

So now that you are caught up, I think its time for another dose of Emergen-C. And then it’s off to Jen’s to pick up Erin and find out what happened when the bullet meant for Sonny ricocheted off the shelf and hit Michael! Carly is going to be so pissed.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

But what if I want to see Jesus?

Hey - today is Chris's birthday! But enough about him. I would like to state for the record that I like NyQuil. Even better - his generic cousin in the nice easy-to-swallow gel-caps!

I've had a cold since last week and the headaches have been bad lately. I couldn't afford to wake up in the middle of the night with another headache. (I've only got 1 Maxalt left and 2 weeks to go before I can get another refill!) I needed to get a good nights sleep. So I asked the medicine-man (yeah, Chris had the cold first and at the first sign of a scratchy throat Cptn. Pharmacy springs into action) what we've got. And now I ask you - who would bother with sipping night-time TheraFlu when you have NyQuil in a pill?! Nighty-night rabbit.

But getting up this morning was not so easy. I was having dreams with French sub-titles. Awesome! Snooze #1 = normal. Snooze #2 = I shouldn't but ok just this once. # 3 = got up, turned off the alarm, got back into bed. I figured I would get up in time to drive Kyle to school, drop off Erin, and then come back home and shower and go to work. Yes, I was ready to be late.

Somehow I got here 15 minutes early. WTF? Really, how does that make sense?! I don't even think I noticed that I was driving the huge man-van and not my nice mid-sized Highlander. And during our ritual morning phone call, Chris made the observation the NyQuil seems to agree with me*. Can't argue with that! Although the boss-man might disagree as I'm trying to put together his expense reports right now!

*Although on our second call - as I laughed wildly at nothing - he seems to have reversed his position and declared me a danger to myself and the office supplies.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving

Look at what I got!

A Holga!* A present from the ever lovely Julie T for the work I did on her Bad Home Cooking banner. I am so excited about this! And do you see that little white box to the left of the camera? That is film** baby! Yup, it's a cheap plastic 120 medium format film camera. Oh the fun I will have!

But not today. Cause I'm sick. The baby started it with her running nose. Chris went down suddenly Thursday night. And when I woke this morning I was not my usual sunny self. I've just been a slug all day; reading a book on typography and glancing at the CSS book without the energy to actually pick it up. I'm hoping I will have more pep tomorrow because I want to finish up the work I've started on Sain't Christopher's project. Now that the ethical dilemma has been resolved (he asked, she said yes), I can proceed with a clear conscience. And when it is done and has been declared "Glorious!" maybe the Sain't will send me more film (wink wink nudge nudge).

* Because how was she going to ship a hoagie?!
** I've read that Ilford's film has a minty flavor. Sweet!