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 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.