Thursday, July 29, 2004

Impulse buys

Just got back from St. Louis and just ordered pizza and put my feet up.  Dereck is playing softball, but I couldn't get back into the car.



Erin (our favorite sitter) is coming at 9:15, and I'm supposed to go watch the DNC at the DuKum, but I don't know if I'm up for it.



I want to write something with the poetry and elegance of Karl's blog, but I am always too damn beat.  Just the facts, ma'am.



We drove down to St. Louis last night and stayed in the Hilton by the airport.  V. swanky.  The hot tub was lukewarm and ineffectual, but still v. swanky. 



We swam and "soaked" and then the kids watched a dvd on my laptop (woo hoo, it worked!) and then we did more of the same this morning, and I gave my mom a deep tissue massage to help her gear up for the flight.  She has spinal stenosis, which= pain for the rest of her life.  She takes morphine for it, but worries about her stomach, and would like to get off it.



Sam and I walked and ran respectively on the treadmill (at his suggestion) and I lifted some weights.



Then, I took my folks to the airport, and we headed out... to get as far as O'Fallon, land of Krispy Kreme, Target, PetSmart, and Office Max.



I got: dvd's, five (gads, really) karaoke cd's, two de-barkers for the dog (and behold, she is not barking) that emit a high-pitched sound instead of shocking her.  I also got an adapter for the car so I can plug in the laptop, so the kids watched dvd's on the way home (which was about a quarter of the cost of those itty bitty dvd players they well for the car) and ate donuts.



It wasn't a very long ride (remember, Jen was driving) and we got back and just collapsed.



I shouldn't have spend ANY money today, but I did, so there, so sue me.



Tomorrow:  meeting at 11:00 (large sigh) and challah, hopefully exercise, and hopefully not too tiring a day preparing for Shabbat.



I am tired already, just thinking about it, and tired still, just remembering.



Do I really need to go out tonight?



My hair is in a pony tail (hurray for growing hair!) and I have mud on my nose and chin.  Not to scare small children, but an attempt to stave off the big huge red thing on the end of my nose.  I look like a big scary witch, and depending on whom you ask, that is indeed what I am.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A Day of Firsts

Yesterday was a day of firsts for me.



I pulled Goldie's first tick off her (though I have many experiences with ticks in general, as well as ticks on dogs).



I gave my first enema, to a poor wee three-year-old child (and then gave my second).



And I had another first, which I would prefer not to discuss here, but which was more unpleasant than the enema...



But somehow today we all woke up and have survived another day.  Most of us anyway.



I had a wide realm of strange and disturbing dreams last night:



I was pregnant and hadn't yet gone to have a test.  Yikes and egads! 



And I had a plethora of strange strange dreams last night in general, including that I had spilled chocolate syrup in the work fridge  (because I had placed two iced mochas in the door  for a second, having made one for someone else, and there was a minor spill that somehow escalated, as dreams do) and I came by at night for something and found them (people at work I suppose) all having dismantled the fridge to clean it and PISSED.  



I worked in a hair salon (which is where I spilled the chocolate syrup) with the same bitches, though they were jennifer garner and others, and there was a self-curling curling iron, that you just clipped to your very long hair (and I had wonderful and very long hair) and it curled it, just rolled right up by itself, but they wouldn't show me how to use it.  And I had seen them using it, so I sort of knew, but they denied any knowledge of it.



I used it the regular way, and my hair was beautiful, but they were all ignoring me.  I couldn't see the back, and they kept telling me I hadn't gotten the red part in the back, but in the end, it didn't really matter.



And then we were all swimming in a river. Lots of dreams strung together I guess.  And later I was driving the wrong way up a highway, couldn't get into the right lane because of lots of traffic, and there was a cop on my tail, but somehow I ditched him.  I got home and whispered to one of my sons that I was on the lam, and I kept waiting to be arrested.  Eventually I realized that the cop hadn't known where I had gone.  I did  wake up this morning to realize that the cop would have gotten my license number.



But in my dreams, I got away.



Monday, July 26, 2004

Mozilla

I know I am supposed to like Mozilla, and it's the P.C. (ha, get the double entendre?) thing du jour to do, but I (insert adverb here) hate it.



It doesn't work.



It sucks.



I have this week off work, but I still got sucked in for two hours today when I went to take the tapes in to be transcribed.  I am loving having this time off though.



Worked out with CH today, and then we had the R clan over for a very lovely evening.  It was just great, m'dear.  Thank you.  S, who is 7, made a really really good cake, and I'm going to have one cranky six year old on my hands tomorrow morning if I don't stop eating it...

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Laptops...

Hey Alan, I've been researching this whole laptop thing, because I like to do that kind of stuff.



There are actually a lot of cheap deals out there-- you can get laptops on E-bay, of course, and some of them you can actually finance for low monthly payments.



I saw some on E-bay for $99.  The link to the one on here is for $89.  It is not going to let you do much besides word process, but still...



I am sure you have already done this research, but just in case...



The weekend it was...

Thursday:



Ran errands all morning, took Christian to work with me. Took care of

last minute details, picked up audio equipment, data projector,

extension chord.



Went to Wal-mart and stocked up on food for the kids.



Showered, packed, wrote a note to the sitter.



Departure time: 3:20 p.m.

Dinner reservations scheduled for: 7:30 p.m. in St. Louis.



Jen drove.



The Radisson Hotel Clayton



We were at the hotel by 6:30 p.m., checked in, got to our room, (which has been upgraded, but I'm pretty sure that they tell everyone that).

changed clothes, and met folks in the hotel lobby for dinner at 7:10.



The Harvest



We decided, since we had seven people, to take one car: mine. We got

a little lost, but ultimately found our way to the restaurant. Let me

tell you. It was lovely. It was darkened, lots of elegantly set

tables, very nice atmosphere. Appetizer: goat cheese tart. Gin and

tonic with Hendricks gin.



Dinner: filet mignon, rare, with sides of braised vegetables, with

sauce drizzled over the plate, and a corn chowder spoon pudding. It

was really perfect.



Red wine with dinner.



For dessert: coffee with brioche bread pudding with currants and a

whiskey sauce.



The Problem...



9:30, one dignitary starts talking about wanting to return to the

hotel (after his coffee). 9:45 we have a problem: we now have eight

people at dinner, seating for seven, we are still having dessert, and

I have to be at the airport in ten minutes to pick up another dr.



The solution:

Cell phone: call friend Karl and beg him to come and get me and take

me to the airport. He can't come, as he is hosting friends at his

house; sends his friend Brad, with whom we swam at Lake of the Ozarks,

who has a new car.



Brad:

Brad, just the sweetest man, comes to get me at the restaurant one

cigarette later, and he is listening to Rufus Wainwright. All will be

well.



The airport.



We get to the airport and have to circle a few times. Brad drops me

off. I go in, no dignitary. Call my babysitter and have her check

through my email for flight information. All we have is the time, and

a vague impression that of what time the flight comes in. I guess

that the flight will actually arrive a half hour later, and I am

correct. Outside into 88 degree temperature at 10:30, and awful

humidity for a cigarette. Go in, pick up dignitary, and head back to

the hotel.



The set-up...



At the hotel, I recruit Dereck (who is currently awake, but will not

be in the morning) and he helps me set up the conference room with the

microphones, tape recorder, nametags, data projector, etc. We do

sound checks and get the laptop setup. People from my team come down

to check the room, approve.



I was really really happy that we did it all that night, because in

the morning, I would have been screwed trying to put it together

without Dereck or any real sense of how long it would take me.



At 1:00 a.m. I go to bed, toss and turn, and eventually sleep until

the wakeup call at 7:00 a.m.



Friday



Get up, shower, head downstairs. Forget glasses. Check on everyone

downstairs, go back up for glasses. Go back down and they are trying

to use the internet in the conference room to download one song. I

point out that they will charge us $100 for this. We don't need the

song after all.



From 8-5, I change tapes, take notes, talk to hotel staff about the

meals, slip notes to my team discreetly arrange for shuttles to the

hotel.



Airport...



We want one guy who has to leave early to be there as LONG as

possible, so I finally volunteer to take him to the airport

mid-afternoon, which means I will no longer be giving my presentation.

That's fine.



Grab Dereck, take dignitary to the airport, come back, go back to

meeting. The meeting doesn't last much longer (only three hours). At

the end, I am given a round of applause, and am convinced that

everyone thinks I am either a secretary or a techie, but I don't

actually mind.



We now resemble swiss cheese, having taken rather a beating from our

consultants. But we all assemble again for dinner at 6 p.m.



After having dissembled all the equipment in the conference room...



Frank Papas

We have two cars now going to dinner. One street we need to turn onto

is closed. I call the restaurant for alternative directions. Try

calling car behind us. Cell phones are off. I have Dereck hang my

phone out his window in hopes they will get the hint. They do, they

call, I explain the alternative route, and we get there about 20

minutes late, but are received warmly.



Groovy grapevines on the ceiling with grapes, very classy place.

Lovely waiter from Ireland. It was a lovely dinner, lots of barbs

and jokes (Jen to waiter: You forgot to fill up Dereck's wine glass.

Waiter: I'm going to serve her first from now on or I'll never hear

the end of it! And so he does. Jen: Please don't spit in my food...)

(Dignitary: It's really great for men when the women think it's

important to spend time with the kids. Jen: That's why I'm

divorced).



We get frequent phone calls from friend Karl, with whom we are to meet later.



Eventually, after a lovely meal: crotini with goat cheese, calmari,

tenderloin with a lobster cognac sauce... lovely cakes and chocolate

ravioli and cappucinos...wine... we finally go back to the hotel.



Party Time



We drop everyone off, and head directly to the party at which Karl is

waiting. Hang out at the party, which is actually a separation party

for a couple, who have a cat bigger than Mr. Kitty, and we do not stay

long at all. Less than a beer.



We have a mission: the bars of East St. Louis.



Clearly, Shabbat has gotten a little lost in the shuffle tonight...



The Driving...



Many highways are closed, and we lose Karl repeatedly. Dereck has the

mission impossible theme song set for Karl's number, so every five

minutes, we hear the mission impossible theme song and we negotiate

meeting places. We eventually make it to three or four bars--

they all start to run together. I hang out with Angela, and we are a

little bored so we don't

really get into it. I think Dereck and Karl have a good time. We

stay out til 2:00 a.m. and then head back to the hotel.



Saturday



At 10:30 a.m. Mission Impossible. Call me when you are conscious. We

discuss, and call him back-- come over for a hot tub dunk.



Kopperman's



Hot tub, check out of hotel, then a lovely brunch in west St. Louis (after a trip to a

middle eastern store for hummus, baba ganoush, bak lava, grape leaves,

and a hookah for Angela) of poached eggs over smoked salmon on an

English muffin, with hollandaise sauce and really good fried potatoes,

with hot sauce.



Airport



Drop Karl off at home, get to the airport, and my parents arrive a

little later. We hook up, get luggage, get ice cream at Carvel's, and

head off for Columbia to meet the kids at the mall.



Mall



Find the kids in Target with a frazzled sitter, picking out toys. I

get toys, several DVD's, a DVD for Erin, an extra $10 for cleaning,

and then mall food, and a very expensive trip to Barnes and Noble,

then homeward.



And that was the trip!



Phew!!! And then the dog kept us up a lot last night....

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Oh My Heck.

You'll have to scroll down for my latest post.  I have no idea how they got out of order, but they did, and I don't know how to fix it.

 

Oh my headachness and weariness.

 

I went in for a conference call today, and then took the rest of the day and my blinding headache home for my furlough day-- more meetings tomorrow, and last minute preparations for St. Louis.  I need to make dinner reservations, etc. etc. must do that this afternoon.

 

Actually, I can do that while I type.  I am talented that way.

 

So, I found out that the speaker that I scheduled is coming during the week that I schedule my vacation also.  I had the wrong date stuck in my head.  So, I had to reschedule our cabin in Minnesota, but fortunately, they got us in the week before in the very same cabin.  So, things just worked out.

 

What else?  Tonight is Karoaoke at the Dukum, Alan-- come to that rather than Thursday night at Toons (blech!).  I am now on a bit of a mission to find you a laptop, but I was very serious when I said you can borrow mine, so after this weekend retreat, come and get it. 

 

We may take some of the Peeps out to see Don's kitten tonight before karaoke, and hopefully I won't be too tired or too headachey to go.

 

And later when the heat index has gone down a bit, we are probably going to the lake with Liza and kids, who are finally back from Minnesota.

 

I emailed the rabbi today to let him know that I'm still here, still interested.

 

In other news, some people's lives have been falling apart rapidly around me, the cause of my headache, but we have talked ad nauseum (quite literally) this morning, and my headache is receding, and we have chosen to agree to disagree.

 

Made dinner reservations at one restaurant, still hoping to hear from the Harvest.  Well done, Fulcrum Monkey!  Thank you!

 

Wow, golly, I wish I had something interesting to say, so I will just shut it and go finish reading Pie's very long post from yesterday...

 

 







Another One Stolen From Pie...

FIRSTS

First job: Babysitting, then Rax restaurant.

First screen name: Jench

First self-purchased CD: I have no idea.

First piercing/tattoo: ears pierced age 11 in Denver; second piercing age 15 in Chicago/ tattoo of a voodoo symbol to protect my children and my house from evil, on my tenth wedding anniversary, in the middle of my divorce.

First true love: Ummm... Steve Richter, or Mark Wise, who broke my heart.

First enemy: Gads.  I don't know the first one.  I just keep track of the current ones.

LASTS

Last big car ride: probably to Lake of the Ozarks to camp.

Last kiss:  Dereck, a few seconds ago.

Last library book checked out:  A Mary Stewart King Arthur book that I lost and have since found, but not returned yet.  Checked it out last fall.

Last movie seen:  The Station Agent, and it was freaking awesome. Nope, wait, The Shape of Things on HBO, and it was creepy.

Last beverage drank: Two schmirnoff ices at karaoke, and some water because it was so hot, I couldn't breathe...

Last food consumed: pasta from Il Spazio right before Karaoke.

Last phone call: Called restaurants in St. L to make reservations.

Last CD played:  Soundtrack from Reality Bites.

Last annoyance: someone didn't show up at karaoke and didn't call...

Last pop drank: Dr. Pepper, only Dr. Pepper... when?  Sunday night at KFC?

Last ice cream eaten: Frozen custard cone tonight with D and kids at Crumbles and Cream

 Last time scolded: When I was informed at work that I had forgotten the dates of that speaker...

Last shirt worn: I'm wearing a black tank top, and before this, a lime green ribbed thing.

I...

I am: staying up too late doing this.

I want: job security.

I have: three beautiful sons and an awesome awesome guy.

I wish: can't say here.

I hate: job insecurity.

I fear: job insecurity/ not being able to care for my children properly/keep them safe.

I hear: the fish tank...

I search: for Truth.

I regret: Um, making enemies with someone who later testified against me in my custody trial, even though it worked out okay.

I love: Dereck and my boys; my family; my friends; my animals

I always: worry too much and butt my nose in where I shouldn't.

I am not: shy

I dance: to Strokin' at karaoke.

I sing: Piano Man at karaoke

I cry: sometimes.  The hardest most recently was when Linda had her stroke.

YES or NO:

You keep a diary: What do you think?

You like to cook: yes, but I like to eat out more...

You have a secret you have not shared with anyone: Me?

DO YOU...?

Have a crush: No.

Want to get married: Sometimes.

Get motion sickness: sometimes.

Think you’re a health freak: What is the opposite of that?

Current hair color: umm, mostly blonde, five different colors of highlights thanks to Carol Ann.

Eye color: blue

Birthplace: Denver

FAVORITES

Number: 11

Color: brown

Day: Friday

Month: October

Songs: ?  Too many to count.  Love Beck's Sea Change, and Coldplay's Rush of Blood to the Head.

Season: Autumn.

Drink: Coffee, with half and half.

Alcohol: Yes, please.

PREFERENCESCuddle or make out: Depends on my mood.

Chocolate milk or hot chocolate: right now, chocolate milk sounds much better.

Milk, dark, or white chocolate: milk

Vanilla or chocolate: chocolate.

IN THE LAST 24 HRS, HAVE YOU...

Cried? teared up.

Helped someone? tried.  Meddled is more like it.

Bought something? I have three kids. Of course.

Gotten sick? Blinding headache most of the day.

Gone to the movies? No.

Said ‘I love you’? More times than I can count.

Written a real letter: no.

Talked to an ex? um, yes, actually, damn, I forgot.

Missed an ex? No.

Written in a journal? just this.

Had a serious talk? Yes, perhaps one of the most serious of my life.

Missed someone? hmmm... not really.

Hugged someone? Yup.  Many many someones.

 

 



Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sleepy Sunday

Yesterday morning at our backyard breakfast table, we laid out a veritable palette of possibilities:  go down to Columbia for a wire dog cage and to look at fax machines?  Go to Beach Ottumwa?  Go to a matinee?  Go to Macon for meat?  Go swim at the lake?

 

This morning there didn't seem to be as many possibilities, not having tomorrow to recover from them.  In fact, today seemed a perfect day to recover from yesterday.

 

I have indulged, today, in lying down about three times.  The last time is the only time I actually slept though, and woke to the sound of my cell phone buzzing next to the bed.  I thought it was some kind of alarm and Monday morning and the kids were going to be back soon and I was going to have to start getting ready for work, and I thought all of this in my groggy brain in a short enough time to realize it was the phone and see who was calling and decide to answer.

 

This morning, phone rang early (but not like the gadzillion calls yesterday a.m.) so we got up and started the day much earlier than my 2:30 a.m. sleepy time/ shut-down-the-bar-with-many-beers body would have liked.  We had coffee and french toast (made by Dereck with the challah) and then walked the dog long enough (she picked up her own leash to tell me she wanted to go!  We have been kennel training her in earnest this weekend) for her to be productive, and then came home and did enough yard work that our neighbors might come home from their vacation and wonder what new family has moved into our house.

 

I got some kind of rash/allergy all over from the yard work (not poison ivy, 'cause it's gone already), so I bathed and then lay down for the first time.  D continued the yard work-- how did I get so lucky? 

 

I got up, instant messaged for a bit, ran out to have a conversation I have been needing to have, felt a little better, came home, and lay down again because D was lying down (get your minds out of the gutter).

 

L reminded me that I have an additional deadline for her, and so I had better get cracking.  No doubt I was sleeping today to hide from deadlines and mountains of laundry.  Shortly, we will hie us to the grocery store and perhaps the video store, and then come home for dinner and grading (for him) and laundry and movies to carry us through the rest of the evening.





Saturday, July 17, 2004

Funky Cool New Dashboard...

Wow, there are so many more posting options today!!!







I can do this. And I can do this. I think I do like the green. We'll see how it shows up.





Sorry, didn't know that was going to happen, and I got all distracted.







D is on the phone with his mum who just had knee replacement



surgery. My mother has had two, so I know how great she is going



to feel in a few weeks. She is in physical therapy right now, and



hearing about what she is doing is similar to hearing about Linda.







Woke up today and then ate challah and tapenade with coffee outside



with D and the puppy, then met CH at the gym. I have been working



out my arms, because there is going to be a wedding in September,



don'tcha know, and I want my arms to look a little better for my



dress. I am hoping to go dress-shopping on Tuesday...







We are staying at
the chesire lodge,



and have selected the Bordello fantasy suite, which comes with a bottle



of champagne, has its own jacuzzi, and a complimentary night at the



hotel within a year of the anniversary of your night there... it sounds



dreamy...







We are heading out soon for Mexican for dinner (mmmm... peach



margaritas) and then meeting CH and JR for drinks on the Dukum patio



after they go see
I Robot.







It was a very relaxing Saturday, made all the better because I



got all my deadlines met earlier this week, so I have nothing hanging



over me.






Thursday, July 15, 2004

Under Deadline

Me: (Peering over counter, on tiptoes, to look at the printer)Are you out of paper, you little son-of-a-gun???



Her: (sitting by the phones) You know, they have medication for that now, Jen.



Me: I know. I'm actually ON it.



Her: Well (flipping newspaper page), I don't think it's working today.

Ahh, better...

I went through the personality test very quickly this time and just chose my preferences based sheerly on my guts and instincts and didn't think about it so much.



I like this assessment much better. And I think it is probably more accurate.



Wackiness: 76/100

Rationality: 60/100

Constructiveness: 80/100

Leadership: 80/100



You are a WRCL--Wacky Rational Constructive Leader. This makes you a golden god. People gravitate to you, and you make them feel good. You are smart, charismatic, and interesting. You may be too sensitive to others reactions, especially criticism. Your self-opinion and mood depends greatly on those around you.



You think fast and have a smart mouth, is a hoot to your friends and razorwire to your enemies. You hold a grudge like a brass ring. You crackle.



Although you have a leader's personality, you often choose not to lead, as leaders stray too far from their audience. You probably weren't very popular in high school--the joke's on them!



You may be a rock star.




Yes, yes, definitely a rock star.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A List of the Toys I Want, Don't Need, and Can't Afford:

a cell phone with a camera.



a palm pilot.



a DVD player for the car.



A five disc changer for the car (mine has one only, sadly, privileged thing that I am...).



A fax machine! Fax machines are cool.



A pager. Doctors have them. Why oh why can't I?



A new laptop. Because the old one is just acting funny. And the dvd player doesn't work.



A cappucino machine.



An MP3 Player.



I am such a soccer mom yuppy wanna be.



But last night I went out to dinner with a tie-dye bandana wrapped around my head. That is my favorite look for myself, I must admit. I am a real hippy wanna-be.



And I cannot express how happy I am that my hair is growing out. It's so humid that it's actually pretty wavy and has a lot of body lately.



For those of you (Pie and Michelle) who have only just met me, you must think I'm on crack with my hair as short as it is, so you will have to trust me now, believe me later, that my hair was so short last August that this is a SIGNIFICANT difference in the length.



I know many people (women) who think I look much better with it short and sassy like I had it last summer. And I absolutely don't care. I don't even know who I am with short hair. Now, I look in the mirror and it's like seeing an old friend I used to know and haven't seen for awhile, and I smile a lot more, and say, "Ah, yes, there you are."



I am never cutting it short again.

I am drinking lots of water today too and stayed up until about 1:30 a.m.(which is not uncommon for me)-- but I was drinking beer and

margaritas at karaoke and smoking entirely too much... So, today I am

a bit draggy as well. But that did not stop me from going to the gym

at 5:00... working late did...



I actually had a good time at karaoke last night, which is a bit

unusual for me, as I tend to have lingering feelings of guilt based on

the divorce, associated with being at the Dukum Inn. It's something I

work on, like feeling guilty about smoking... And today as I drove him, feeling pleasantly satisfied that a project is finished (at least the writing part of it), I realized that I probably feel vaguely guilty when I go out when I have unfinished work at work-- because part of me feels that as a salaried person, there is no excuse for not having finished it...



I know. It's sick.



Even though it was so dreadfully hot, we were using coasters as fans, the air-conditioned

bar was empty and the patio crowded with singers. That says something

about its appeal, now doesn't it? Dereck and I did Summer Nights, and

then he did Spill The Wine, and I did Piano Man.



I always have a cigarette in my hand when I do Piano Man, and do it in

a really low register. I always feel like Billy Joel when I'm doing



it too...



Well, last night Dereck and I didn't get to the game until the last

inning, so it was great! And they won, too. They had a pool party

last night after, so we dropped off sodas, and I admit, that pool

looked very very good. I'm trying to entice Dereck into going up to

Beach Ottumwa this weekend for some good waterpark fun (without the kids! Aren't I just evil?).



Oh! A Mormon family with seven children (the new Postmaster general)

has bid on the house across the street from us, so the fraternity

withdrew its bid! So, we are having a neighborhood celebration

instead of going to the planning and zoning meeting tonight.



I want to go see Spiderman 2 again tonight. But we should support Fahrenheit 911 coming here. So, maybe I'll buy a ticket and then sneak into Spiderman or King Arthur. I really don't need to see Fahrenheit again. It's not really a "fun" flick.



Okay, gonna take the doggy for a walk now. Out.



Further Proof that Peons Rule the World

Overheard...



Him: "Do you need anything else?"



Her: "Well, we could really use that data. But this (holds letter up) is the most important thing because you're the PI (Project Investigator)."



Him: "Really? I am? I didn't know that."



Her: "It was in the letter you signed."



Him: "Yeah, thanks."



Her: "Don't worry. You'll do a great job. We're all very excited about this. It was nice to meet you. I mean, I don't know you, but I see you at baseball games."



Her: "Well, that's the most important thing."







Tuesday, July 13, 2004

That Quiz.

After re-reading my quiz results and some honest self-reflection, I won't quarrel with them.



And Anonymous, I won't quarrel with them as regards to you, either, though I don't think that you are as deliberately in control of your face to the world as I am. I am older and I have a bit more self-confidence than you, I think.

Busy

I am very extremely busy right now waiting for a phone call.



In a few minutes, I'll be very extremely busy sending a fax, and soon to follow, I will be very extremely busy getting heatstroke at a baseball game.



Personality Quiz

I stole this from Pie, of course, who got it from Jewdez and Mikey. But I'm going to make things real simple and just give you the link.



I thought this test was incredibly accurate when I saw Pie's score. I am not really sure what to make of mine.



Wackiness: 40/100

Rationality: 50/100

Constructiveness: 50/100

Leadership: 40/100





You are an SEDF--Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you an evil genius. You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.



Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well--even those you have known a long time--because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.



You are not to be messed with. You may explode.




It is too hot to think. I have projects to work on. Actually, that is not accurate. Most of the writing is done. I have letters that need to be signed, which means going out into this awful heat and humidity (Karl describes it really well) to obtain them. Even if I drive instead of walk (and today, I will), it will mean just sweltering heats that just sap little parts of my life away...



I wore pants today-- big mistake. Skirts, definitely from here on out.



Today on my lunch hour, I bought a new minivan. I went and test drove it last night, and then spent an hour at C's for her birthday looking online at reviews and ratings with JQ and DD, and decided that it's a good one. It's a silver Chrysler Town & Country, and I got a sweet trade in. It is a 2001 (pictures when I get home to download them). No electric doors. Captain seats in the back, the better to separate little boys with. And a five-disc changer... Not that that was a selling point or anything.



Some people would think I am crazy for buying a mini-van so soon. I am not. I am practical. Dereck got his car from the same dealer, and knock on wood, no problems so far. And he got it before I got that damn van. If I go out of town to get a minivan, what is the dealer's incentive to deal with me fairly if I have a problem? This is a pretty small town, so word of mouth can kill a business. I'd rather spend the bank's money here.



Briefly considered a new vehicle, but honestly, that seems really more than I am comfortable with (though who wouldn't want a new van with a dvd player?). But it would depreciate quickly, and also, the kids would just ruin the interior, and that would make me crazy. Not to mention Goldie...



All right. I have to go out into the heat now. If y'all live in Missouri, take care, yo?



Sunday, July 11, 2004

Answers to Your Questions About Spiderman (Rated PG-13)

Questions about Spiderman (brought to you by Sarahspace)

1. Are Spiderman’s superpowers a metaphor for his penis? Is it one of those ‘I am going to fight crime with my enormous cock’ type things?



Yes, of course. And, ironically, it is only when he surrenders his Spidey powers (the fact that he is losing his powers, his virility, is mental, not physical, just as many penile problems are mental, not physical) that he becomes more able to love Mary Jane. Just like it is for most men: when you stop thinking with your penis, you are a pretty decent human being. It is then, however, that we find you boring. (Kidding, I swear to you, I was kidding). However, in true comic book fashion, he can't actually have the girl without the superpowers (much like in Superman 2, regardless of that scene in the cave in which they consummated their loooove).



2. I completely believe that it is possible to bitten by a radioactive spider and get turned into a Spiderman, but this Dr. Oct thing seems completely improbable. Why were the arms needed? What do the 4 extra arms have to do with creating fusion? Am I the only person who is bothered by the implausibility of this? And isn’t there a flaw in your thinking about creating a new power source that needs electricity to maintain itself? Spiderman pulls the plug out of the wall and everything stops? I don’t understand science, so maybe this makes sense to someone who did not get a D in physics.



I think the Dr. Oct character is clearly a metaphor of some kind. Maybe not so clearly, but a metaphor nonetheless. I was an English major, so let's try it:



Marxist theory: in the scene in which the arms are lighting his hand-rolled cubans and waving the smoke away from the fire extinguisher, the arms are clearly the workers being exploited by the burgoise, to the point that they are even willing to make sure the burgoise does not get caught. The Dr. Oct character, therefore, clearly represents George W. Bush.



And the fact that there is electricity required to sustain the energy source? Well, that is clearly representative of the lies George W. propulgated about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to receive funding for his war. See? See the beauty, the brilliance?



It's not about physics. It's about politics. Just like everything else.




3. It seems to be that a disproportionate number of persons who have a negative encounter with science and gain superhuman abilities turn evil? Is this only to make the heroes look better? Or is there some fundamental human propensity to choose evil over good?



Well. This could be tome in philosopy. However, the best answer, as a former literature instructor, that I can come up with at this hour is that it's all about plot. There has to be some kind of drama, some kind of suspense. Spiderman himself struggles with his responsibility and power and how to handle it. So, if we do a psychotherapeutic reading of Spiderman, then the Dr. Oct character suddenly becomes Spidey's alter ego, and plays out all of the fantasies (let us return to the cigar again-- the ultimate in a sinful pleasure) that Spidey can't. The best Spidey can do is fly around in the dark, which is kind of sick in a Peeping Tom kind of way. He can't turn off his conscience the way Dr. Oct can. However, at the end of Spiderman, the alter ego has a return to conscience after a strict conversation with his superego, and sacrifices himeself (as does Spidey) for the greater good.



And it is only after Spidey makes the ultimate sacrifice, by the way, that he can get the girl...




4. Was Spiderman 2 missing a bunch of scenes that would have allowed me to figure out what the fuck was happening?



Probably all over the editing floor. But isn't this much more fun?



5. Why would a beautiful girl who dates millionaires and astronauts fall in love with such a self-righteous prig like Peter Parker? “You are a stupid girl; I know what is best for you. Stay away from me, I am too dangerous.”



Okay, I can concede the self-righteous prig part. It is always dangerous when a man decides to protect a woman from something "for her own good" rather than allow/empower her to make her own decisions.



However, Peter Parker knew her when she was just the loser next door with the alcoholic father, so he provides the love of her true self that she requires, and which the shallow astronaut (is he really a millionaire? He is the son of the newspaper editor) cannot give her, only seeing her beauty.



Okay, that's bullshit. I just like Tobey Maguire, and if he had played the astronaut, I would have been able to give you a much better answer.



But I hope that clears everything up and makes your second viewing of Spiderman 2 all the more enjoyable.

Sharing The Love...

Here's where I get the cool templates for blogs. As fun as Totally Spies was, it was even freaking me out. I think I need a cooler (and by cooler, I mean cooler in color, blue is a cooler as in colder, less dynamic, color) template.



Living with my personality is dramatic enough without having a dramatic template to go with it...



I think it's easier on the eyes too. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2004

"What is the Opposite of Chickens?"

I called the bank yesterday to find out how much of a loan I qualify for so I can trade in my minivan. And I called and made an appointment to have it detailed on Monday.



Today we drove around to used car lots: There is a dearth of minivans in this town right now.



Sigh.



But I have to have the door fixed. It OPENED when I was a block away from home driving with the kids today. That is IT. They will be gone this week (well, sort of, being babysat at my house...) and maybe I can replace it before they have to be in it again. We took Dereck's car to go lookin' today.



I'm exhausted, absolutely just want to crawl into bed. I had a nap before dinner, and it was full of restless anxiety dreams. I have consulted with several people though, and it turns out that I am not on crack. And the women I know have all appreciated the beauty of my gesture. Don, even you would appreciate it.



This morning the kids had a baseball game at 9:00 a.m., and that means we had to be there... earlier. I went to bed after 1:00 a.m. after maragaritas and Under the Tuscan Sun with my neighbor. We talked through the movie, so I feel like I need to see it again. Tommy's baseball glove has disappeared, but he can just use Sam's during the last game. I am not replacing his glove with only one game to go.



I got the kids' hair cut recently and asked the stylists how long it takes to get your cosmetology degree... Nine months to a year. Seriously, might be something to consider for retirement...



We went over to have Torah study today, but we were all so tired that we planted ourselves in the living room with tea and coffee and just chatted, and the kids played. But maybe enjoying the community was enough. And Dereck suggested at dinner we say the Havdalah prayers to close Shabbat.



We got an olive tapenade from Harry and David the other day that is like caviar.



It's better than nutella.





Problem-Solving at Friday Night Baseball
:



The dog was digging under the stands, so I gave Christian a little plastic dish and asked him to go get her some water.



He came back much later with water all down his front. He explained that Tommy careened into him and he spilled, and then he spilled one more time before he made it back with water, which we set down for the dog.



Then Christian sat down beside me and proceeded to drain my fountain drink cup of its soda, and demand money to go get more pop.



I refused, handing him the cup, and saying, "Go fill it up with water."



He said, "Really?"



"Yes, you don't need pop. Go fill it up with water."



He took a step away from me and then paused again. "Really?" he asked again.



"Yes, Christian, now go!"



"People can drink toilet water too?"



"What?"



"People can drink water from the toilet too?"



"Is that where you got the dog's water?"



"Yes."



The water fountain was broken. I kissed him and told him he was a genius, but then I took him and washed his hands, and showed him how to get the water from the sink.

Friday, July 9, 2004

Margaritaville

So, on top of my crappy day, I also arrived an hour and 45 minutes early for baseball, so we came home for dinner.



Dereck is going to go play Nintendo with the boyz tonight, which I find unendingly amusing-- see where your PhD gets you? They are really turning out to be a nice group: frisbee, softball, Nintendo-- they are a fun group. So, my neighbor, who is intricately familiar with the players in my bad day called to see if I am interested in Margaritas tonight.



You betcha, as they say up in Minnesota.



She is coming over, and we're going to get a girly flick, but I anticipate a night on the porch spent talking, drinking, and smoking.



Then possibly Torah study tomorrow-- have to call Barbara about that.



I got feedback tonight from the chick I did consulting for this week: She said, "You were a substantial help," among other things. This is very nice, takes the raw edges off the day.



I felt like I was on top of my game while I was doing it, so it was, knock on wood, a very good experience.



I'm out until after Shabbat, so have a good one. We might go camping with the chirrens and the dog tomorrow night, so have a good weekend.

Comments

For some reason, blogger comments are not showing up, so we're back to Halo.

Bad Friday

I have to go work out in ten minutes, and I hope that helps.



I have yet to make challah. Caleb is still here from the slumber party and making Gatorade demands on me, while I'm blogging. Water is in the tap-- try it.



Shabbat just always seems kind of haphazard and slapped together. Freaking baseball-- we have a practice and a game today.



There are other things, other sources of frustration which I will not address here, but boy, let's just say that I am feeling very much today like the Universe is conspiring to make people as deliberately unpleasant to me as possible, beginning with those phone calls.



Other people strike me as deliberately troublesome-- I will have to have some emails in private with people and poll them for their opinions on some things, just to find out whether I am on crack or not-- and I was pulling out of our alley today and stopped to let a little chicky in a white convertible pass, and she did not take her mean, beady eyes off me, for having the audacity to make her have to move around me a bit. I just smiled at her the whole time like a cheshire cat.



And I made another passive/aggressive (okay, there was nothing passive about it) of grandiose niceness toward other people today, just because if I don't, I'll be a real bitch instead.



Sometimes situations call for grand gestures.



I remember once that there was a secretary in my ex's division who had a student worker whom the secretary treated like shit. In retaliation, the student held an elaborate party with signs, banners, and balloons, a "Secretary Appreciation Day." It was so over the top, a really elegant and eloquent fuck you.



That is the inspiration for the gesture I made today, which will, I am sure, be interpreted the way it is surfacely intended, which, apparently, is how the game is being played.

Thursday, July 8, 2004

A Mostly Fine Evening... (This Is Intended for Audiences Who Know I Swear)

Dereck had a late softball game tonight, so I kept the kids home. Sam has a friend sleeping over, and there was much excitement! I drove all four kids to Wal-Mart to get snacks and a memory card for the Game Cube or X Box or whatever the heck we have. I called our sitter Erin on my way and asked if she'd like to come over so I could color her hair. Truly, I have missed my career calling as a beautician.



Erin agreed to come, so I bought some brown color to bring her back to her natural color (two inches of growth with orangish streaks-- you can see why I was itching to do this) and then put on the cap and lightened it with highlights. The cap took a long long time as her hair is long and she has a lot of it. I put kids to bed in between colorings, and we watched Cheaper by the Dozen. I let the older boys stay up.



At midnight, the phone rings twice, and I figure it's Dereck calling, and he'll soon try my cell phone, when Sam comes out of the TV room saying, "Here's Jen, here's my mom. It's someone calling for Dereck."



"Hello?"



"Is he at the bar?"



"Who's calling please?"



"This is Jerk Smith, one of Dereck's students."



"And you are calling my house at midnight?"



"Is that a problem?"



"My ten year old son just answered the phone."



"I didn't mean for it to be a problem. Am I in trouble now?"



"Well, you're a jerk, whoever you are." I slammed down the phone. Actually, it was more like I angrily turned off the phone. But there you have it.



Then I called Dereck and asked him if he had a student named Jerk Smith. Yes, sure enough. They played frisbee after karaoke one night in the rain when I was in Seattle. I doubt the guy even knew there was a bitchy wife and kids.



But still. When you are a student, you do not call your professor's house at midnight. And if the bitchy wife answers when you do that, you are very very apologetic.



At quarter to one, the phone rang again. I thought, "This better be Dereck."



"Hi, Is Dereck there?"



"Who is calling?"



"Uh, this is Asshole Student."



"Are you friends with Jerk Smith? Are you guys part of the asshole club who just thinks you can call families at one a.m. or midnight or whenever the fuck you want?"



Click.



"Dereck, do you have another student named Asshole? Because he just called now, and now they think it's funny, and it's harassment. I'll come into your class and talk to them if I have to. But next time they call, I'm calling the police."



"Does it sound like they are calling from the bars now?"



"Yes, that time it did."



"We're going to go try to find them."



"Feel free to mention the police."



We never should have gotten rid of caller ID. If they call again, so help me, I will have their balls in a sling.

I've often wondered...

Tommy's fortune cookie tonight read:



"You have a conscience; that is the gift of G-d."

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Everybody's Goin' to Minnesota...

Liza is in Minnesota this week. I just told her that Dereck and I booked a cabin at Bear Track which is about an eleven hour drive from here, in Minnesota. Liza tells me the mosquito is the state bird. Can't hardly wait.



We will check in for a week in August. We will have a cabin with no electricity, no running water, and no indoor plumbing (but we will have an outhouse) which is what we wanted, noting that the notion of going to a cabin with air conditioning and direct TV is ridiculous and hardly camping at all.



This will be camping.



There is also a Finnish sauna. She (the owner) says our dog will love it (the campsite, not the sauna). We are very excited and can't wait! It is also very cheap, with one night free because we're staying for four nights mid-week. Dereck asked me if I planned to get a lot of writing done. Yes. That is the point of a cabin with butane lamps. But yes, this is a true writing retreat (but I get to have sex too).



Tonight I worked on my consulting gig, with my other responsibilities laced throughout, and I think they are impressed not only with the quickness of my work, but with the quality. The researcher remarked that she couldn't even tell what I had trimmed to make the application meet the page requirements. I created hypotheses. I wrote the background section. I revised the methods and design section and wrote part of the specific aims section. And I made it all come together and relate to the criteria of the RFA. It may not get funded, but it's much better than it was.



The researcher and I exchanged photos and I remembered late today that we were on the same snowy bus from Banff to Calgary and then she sat behind me on the plane. She started having a sugar crash and I gave her a Zone bar so she wouldn't throw up. It is a small small world.



I didn't work out today, except for walking the dog a lot, but I did have a piece of cheesecake with my salad at lunch time.



And I ate every bite of my bread.



I just finished making a power point presentation for a 9:00 presentation tomorrow morning about a topic I can do in my sleep. Those kinds of projects are always fun.



Now it is time to disconnect the internet IV and go do something else.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Grab the Popcorn...

Tonight I was sitting at karaoke, once again flipping through a collection of songs I don't know, and I just wasn't feeling it. So, half-way through my drink, I just handed it to Dereck and said, "I'm going home."



In a bit of a funk, and not just because of my friend with breast cancer. I just haven't had any time in my house lately. I was out of town, then out of town more, right back into the work week, baseball, softball, neighborhood meetings, karaoke, then more out of town camping, then back to work, then wading pool, neighborhood chatting, then putting kids to bed, then back at karaoke. And I just didn't want to be there.



So, now I am in my messy house (which my awesome babysitter Erin, sensing my overwhelmed-ness has vowed to clean with the kids tomorrow) and I feel better, but not better.



There is nothing wrong. I'm just feeling a little maligned tonight. Just need some sittin' time.



I put a bunch of beautiful new towels into my shopping cart at JC Penney, and then didn't buy them.



I am noticing my summer salary reduction a bit-- I have money in savings which I don't want to dip into, rather like having it there, but the child support check isn't here yet, and there is the babysitter to pay, the kids needed new shoes, two of them need haircuts, plus we went to Spiderman 2 last night (which was awesome! I loved it!) (more time not at home, though). There were girls behind us who weren't feeling the Spiderman love, though, and started snickering during points that Dereck and I didn't appreciate, so I almost feel like I need to see it again just not to have those moments ruined.



I just watched the preview. Okay, I feel better now. I have also watched the preview for Before Sunset. Sorry to say, I don't think it's going to measure up to Before Sunrise. I am afraid I will be disappointed, but I know I will watch it anyway.



Doesn't Coffee and Cigarettes just look delicious?



Ah well, you get the idea.



Now it's time to go see what's on HBO!

It Sucks...

When you find out that someone you love has breast cancer.

Monday, July 5, 2004

Camping at Lake of the Ozarks

Well.



Camping was great!



I always begin a vacation with a vague sense of anxiety, i.e. that I should be working or at least on call, or that I should be doing something besides the fun thing I am doing.



I am not sure exactly where it comes from. It could be leftover from the marriage. The first time D and I went camping together three summers ago, nobody knew where we were that weekend, and I was a nervous wreck because I had dared to go out of town without my ex-husband's permission. I enjoyed myself, but I still remember that Dereck had to talk me down from the anxiety and reassure me that I was an adult in my thirties and that I was allowed to do this, that I would not lose custody of my kids, that I didn't have to tell M where I was going, only where the kids were going when I took them.



Those were days pre-cell phone for me. Honestly, the cell phone is expensive, but it saves me a lot in anxiety attacks. We bought car chargers for them this weekend, and I inquired about the price of a camera phone. Holy Cow!!!! I can wait.



So, we ended up going camping after looking at the weather and realizing that after Friday, it wouldn't rain. So, we spent Saturday cleaning the house (oh, that felt GOOD) and packing leisurely. We had shopped Friday for it (I think? Is that right? I don't remember. Yes.) We took our time getting on the road because we wanted the ground to dry anyway. So, I think we ended up getting down there around 4:30 or 5:00, in time to make a fire and cook our steak. We also had grilled zucchini with green peppers, with olive tapenade over it, and toasted French bread. We don't slum it when we camp.



After I decided that anxiety could possibly also be dehydration/boredom, I got some water and a magazine, and that did the trick.



Yes, we took the dog with us. We got a long lead and a stake to bring down with lots of toys. She slept the whole way down in the car, which was awesome.



Our campsite, I must say, was scary. Very patriotic, lots of RV's that look like they live there full-time, and no privacy. We were camped right next to some young full-time marines who WANT to be in Iraq because that is "what we're trained for," but have three year gigs here in the midwest taking care of recruitment. I don't know why that buzz cut doesn't clue me in that people are military-- it should. But they were friendly enough and loved Goldie.



There was a robust couple (bless their hearts) across the way from us who poured almost a whole container of lighter fluid onto their firewood in their attempt to light a fire. We sat and ate our steaks and watched, making quiet disparaging remarks around our own capable fire (which D deserves sole credit for, but I do have four years of primitive camping under my belt, thank you Mormons, so I have baked a tent in a shoe box lined with tinfoil and sunshine. I could have handled the fire, thank you very much).



Everyone eventually got their fires going, and I ate many marshmallows, to D's amusement. We even had angel food cake. There was an outhouse that was a nice walk away (nice, as in take the dog along). We even discovered a very steep hill on the way, so I'd walk to the outhouse, pause to trek up and down the steep hill, go to the loo, head up and down the steep hill again, and back to the campsite. Got my exercise.



That night they started playing loud patriotic (i.e. country) music and had fireworks. That dog is so mellow. She started a bit (didn't bark) and we calmed her, so she went to sleep. She slept in the tent with us without incident.



I had bizarre dreams all night, so D got up at 6:30 with Goldie, and I slept until 8:30. D had made coffee and eggs (with tapenade) and we had canadian bacon, and small rolls. Mmmmm... Again, our neighbors weren't so lucky with the fires, and we were generally amused.



After some walking around and hanging out, D needed a nap, so I hung out and walked the dog for awhile because she was playful. I started getting hot and so did she, so I headed into the tent for sunscreen and my bathing suit and tried to get the dog to get into the water-- she was afraid of the tide.



We ate lunch and then called Karl (Christian just ate a piece of the dog's food and tells me that cat and dog food are both equally delicious). We headed over to Brad's parents' condo, and went swimming, which felt heavenly. Brad was in love with the dog,and took her down to the dock, where she slipped into the water from the steps, so I looked to see a small girl in a bikini carrying my very wet dog to the pool area, where Goldie promptly went to sleep.



After swimming, Karl, BJ, Dereck and I went to the outlet shopping center at Osage Beach and went to Harry and David for elegant snacks, and The Gap for clothes for Jen (not thrilled with the jeans, but the shorts and t-shirts are very good).



I was positively sun-logged (though not burned) by that time, so we stopped (along with the rest of Osage Beach) for frozen custard on the way back to camp.



We had really really really good ribs last night that had been covered in bbq sauce in the cooler all day. The dog went after brats and startled Dash, so one of the ribs went into the fire. We gave it to her while we ate, figuring she earned it, and she was a very very happy puppy.



When we got back to camp yesterday, we felt comfortable enough with Goldie to let her run free until she drove us nuts, but she was free for about an hour and a half, running in laps around the campsite, and D gave her a pink ball that talks when she touches it, which freaked her out and obsessed her for a long long time. It was very funny. "I'm gonna get you puppy!" it says.



I took a shower after dinner, and felt like a million dollars. Then we settled in for more redneck music and fireworks. The dog slept next to D. The robust couple (bless their hearts) came back after being absent all day, and brought with them Hansel and Gretel, er, their two small children. They once again dosed their wood with lighter fluid, but had kindling last night, so the fire started more smoothly. Not bad for working in the dark.



I got up in the middle of the night with Goldie who was whining and walked to the loo. Then, I woke up to the sound of one of the young marines saying through the tent that a big storm was coming. Indeed, the winds were powerful enough to lift up the tent (with the blankets and sleeping bags in it) as soon as we had it unstaked, so we held onto the strings. Having packed most everything in the car last night, we were dressed and out of there in about ten minutes. It didn't rain, and the storm largely missed us, but I was eager to get back and see the chirrens so didn't mind being on the road at 7:30.



We ate at paneira, which was light and warm and lovely and sweet. Then we zoomed home, threw the contents of the van into the studio, and ran the dog up to get the kids, who threw themselves all at once upon me. They are quite lovely.



Now: Spiderman 2 (Tommy is arguing that he should stay here. Hmmm... Six and a half years old. Nope!). Then dinner out, then Walmart:



shelf/basket thingy for bathroom

deodorant

kids' shampoo

Shoes for Christian

swim shoes for all children

look at towels

milk

game cube

karaoke cd's

kiddy pool?

doggy pillow

swimsuit for Dash

stuff for lunches for kids at home this week

new water bottles-- old ones are gross

teeth whitening strips



Hope you and yours enjoyed the holiday!

Friday, July 2, 2004

Everything I Ever Learned I stole From Pie

Office Space Wars



I have to check the link and make sure it works, but this is very very funny, especially if you have seen Office Space too many times, as we obviously have, Pie obviously has, and the makers of this film really really have.



Liza and I went to the gym today and worked out for, count 'em, eighty minutes. That's right. She looked at me afterwards and laughed and said, "You're soaking wet." And so the torrential rains outside (oh thank you, no camping) didn't bother me too much.



I went and got new running shoes in a 9 1/2 today because the other ones where pinching me and giving me blisters. My shoes are so big that they make my calves look really skinny. Or maybe the exercise does that. I burned off almost 1000 calories today, and had salad for lunch and forgot breakfast, so guess who gets to have dessert with her dinner?



I called the children today and told them the dog's name was Goldie, and they were very happy. Tommy wanted to talk to her on the phone. Then he said, "Mommy, I can't remember what your house looks like," which just about broke my heart. They are coming home on Monday, and my parents are coming out later in the month for a visit. My mother keeps asking if the kids have grown-- well, I don't know, I see them all the time, but yes, they are children. I imagine they have.



The other day I asked Christian if he had lost another tooth. "No." Well, is your top tooth loose? "Probably." I could do an entire paper on the linguistic implications of that response. An expected child response would be, "I don't know," which would lead to further questions from me. But something about, "Probably," so unconcerned, so dismissive, "Yes, it's probably loose, but can we get back to the dog now?"



I love linguistics. Perhaps I have missed my calling. No, seriously, I missed my calling by not becoming a dermatologist... But a linguistics PhD, now that could be fun.



Hell, a linguistics MA could be fun. My prof didn't think I love it enough, but I sorta think I do. It fascinates me. I am always doing rhetorical or linguistical analyses on different texts, and I kid myself that I'm pretty good at it.



Tonight: dinner with Christine and her new honey pie, thanks to seeing her at the gym, and having her yell up to me from the volleyball court, "Are you and Dereck free for dinner?" We had been planning cornish hens for Shabbat, but had also considered going out for dinner, so pretty quickly I told her to call Dereck. We will have Shabbat before we go out.



Speaking of which, I need to shower and have Shabbat.



Shalom Shabbat.

4:39 a.m.

I've been up for 40 minutes, but she finally made outside, after not going since 8 pm! So, lots of praise. And she clearly wants to play. So, we simply moved her crate outside to the studio. It is not wakey time for humans, despite this simple post to the contrary.



I could never stand to listen to my children cry it out, but strangely with Goldie, it doesn't really rattle me. It seems much more important to establish straight out what the rules are and who the bosses are.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Oh Crap.

Well, maybe we're NOT going camping...



Friday 7/2 Get Details

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Couple of showers, t-storms

High 81° F



Friday Night 7/2 Get Details

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Showers and t-storms possible

Low 68° F



Saturday 7/3 Get Details

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Showers and t-storms possible

High 80° F



Saturday Night 7/3 Get Details

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Mostly cloudy



Tired Thursday

Went to two softball games, and I felt bad that I missed key plays. But I was talking. I suppose that since I pause to pay attention to my children when they are up to bat, the least I can do is pay attention when Dereck is up to bat. Tonight I had Goldie Savannah with me and I was talking to Carol and Devon (who had Baby Henry, who was bound and determined to play in the parking lot) about dogs, mothering, what else is there really?



Then we went and picked up a crate for Goldie at Christine's and put newspaper and toys in it and let her bark as we left for dinner at Ryan's with the team.



That was very nice, but I was beat afterwards, so I came home. I let Goldie out, and she had either wet or drooled just a bit, so I threw out the newspaper, and took her out to the studio for dinner. Then a walk. Does she take care of bathroom needs? No. But she did have an awesome time. So many things to sniff! Having a puppy makes me revisit the world much as my children do, so she is a nice flashback to their toddlerhoods (but I can put her in a crate and leave her here when I go out).



She is lying here at my feet and I'm afraid to get up and move lest I wake her. She is going to sleep inside tonight so we can take her out as needed.



Tomorrow, I have some obligations here in Kirksville (and Dereck is taking Goldie to the vet) and we must do some shopping (I swear to G-d my feet are growing so I need new running shoes-- can barely walk in them!) to prepare for our camping trip. We need more toys for puppy, treats, an extended leash/line, ice, brats, buns, lunch meat, alcohol. Challah, candles, kiddush cup, wine.



Today I thought we better call ahead for campsites: all full at Mark Twain Lake, so I found one spot after three calls at Lake of the Ozarks, and it turns out Karl will be there too!!!! So, I printed out driving directions from his spot to ours and vice versa.



Hmmm... I should maybe take a look at the weather.



Well, now Sprite is here on the table growling at Goldie, and I am saying, "No bark!" and praising for not barking (she is so brilliant, learns very fast), but I am getting tired, so signing off. If I am not on again til Sunday, have a great Fourth Weekend.



Goldie Savannah

This post has been edited. Look for the edits in italics.



Her name is Goldie Savannah.



Thank you for all of your name suggestions. I was really really pulled by Sadie and Sahara. But we have special memories of Savannah from our trip, and so that is what I chose (Dereck not caring). I didn't see the Charlie comment until afterwards.



Dereck pointed out that the kids will hate it. They did hate it. And it turns out that Tommy wrote a book at school today about his dog Goldie... So what is a mother to do? They have been calling her Goldie all day. So, we decided to give her a middle name.

But I have a sneaky feeling the kids are not going to be cleaning up her poop for the next several weeks, so her name is Savannah. (I've been hoisted on my own petard)

Dog Questions!

We still don't have a name because I haven't been home for us to talk about it. I don't know whether Dereck has any inclinations or not, but right now I'm torn between Sadie and Savannah. I still like Ginger and Goldie too. Chardonnay is a really cool idea! I think Dereck may really like that too. We will try a few out on her. I just called her Gracie last night in the car without even realizing what I was doing, so maybe that is a sign. So many good names, and only one wee little dog!



I've been reading about crate training, and my friend Christine is letting us borrow her crate (her golden retriever is a grownup now). She did do really well for her bath, furthering my suspicions that she came from a breeder. Her nails have also been clipped. We are already gently letting her know what is okay and not okay to chew on/have in her mouth. We need to get up at night and let her out. I didn't know that last night, so she soiled her carrier, and I felt dreadful in the morning, but she didn't seem traumatized. But I don't want that to happen again. That is what led to the bath.



So, how many times per night should we let her out to poop? How often do they have to poop? She is eleven weeks old. The only time she barked was when she was outside and I went in for a minute without her and she couldn't find me. She loves us so much already. When i was drying my hair, she lay down in the bathroom with her paw on my foot, and squeezed under the fence to follow when I left for work!!! So, we need to get a long lead for her until she is too big to do that.



I am anxious at work, have been calling Dereck all day to see how she is doing.



The cats, I may have said this already, are intrigued. They were ALL outside in the yard last night checking her out, even Sprite, who NEVER goes out. And Sprite didn't hiss from her spot on the bed when the dog was in the bedroom with me this morning. They just seem strangely interested. I think they don't feel threatened because she is very submissive and she is not a cat, and she is smaller than two of them!!! (Not for long). So, right now, they are in a very good place. And I think she would like to be friends with them, and I think pretty soon, she will hang out with the boys. Boone kitty was really looking for reassurance last night, which I gladly provided.



We are going camping with her this weekend: What do I need to know?