The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. ~ President Barack Obama, 1/20/09
As of today, I've been blogging a full year. That's been 499 posts, 199 comments, and almost 21,000 (!) page views, an average of about 56 views per day (admittedly, a good half of those have been mine to proof my work or to get to my fave websites from the list at left).
I had it in mind to make a big deal of the anniversary, with awards and everything. But as the Junior Scouts are leaving for Girl Scout Camp tomorrow, I have more pressing business to take care of. Maybe soon I'll hand out the awards and the lame prizes that go along with them.
But I will say this...thanks for reading. I think I'm up to about 15 regular readers--not bad.
And I'll share that on this day, my greatest joy has been driving in the car, listening to "Here Comes the Sun" and hearing Bosco and Bumby sing along. There's a backstory there, which I'll share soon (though GG, you probably know what's coming).
This one goes out to Dr. Subtext, who yesterday tried to do some home improvement without the proper safety equipment and ended up with a big load of sawdust in his eye. He apparently tried to tough it out by simply writhing in terrible pain and exposing his children to horrible cursing with each turn of his head. I urged him by email and phone text to go to the ER...NOW. An eye is a terrible thing to waste. Apparently, he heeded my advice. (See, Bosco and Bumby?!? Some people DO listen to me!!!) By his account, his cornea is scratched but nothing was 'embedded' (ewwww).
Though I've yet to see it, Dr. Subtext is now apparently wearing an eyepatch. But he informs me it's the "Karloff kind, not the cool Depp kind." In my opinion, any eyepatch is cool. (An aside...a first-grade classmate had to wear an eyepatch to help strengthen her lazy other eye...I was so jealous.) Dr. S, I have a whole cache of safety goggles/glasses at work I can swipe for you when you're ready to begin the home improvements again.
This song seemed fitting, plus I'll take any excuse to play a Heywood Banks song. The audio sucks and I have no idea what's going on with the video. But just listen to the lyrics.
Scout Nation, I may fall short in the boyfriend department, but I am abundantly wealthy in the boys-who-are-friends department. Big blog hugs to Senor FT, The Friend, Dr. Subtext, KC, and Hank for your kind and comforting words over the past few days.
And one for you, too, GG...I know you were out of the loop on this one, but you're my best friend and your love follows me everywhere. (Awwwww....)
Finally at Midway, waiting for my flight back to Austin. I have a few hours before my flight, but I like to get to the airport early. I'll admit that part of that's because I'm my mother's daughter. But also, 1) I LOVE the people-watching the airport affords you and 2) I found on my NY trip that I do my best writing in airport bars.
This trip has been a weird one. Equal parts good, bad, and just plain bizarre. The good part I already blogged about below--my meetings with my Evanston counterparts and my best bud Neo. Also, the driving tour of the John Hughes School of Filming History.
The bad part? Well, we'll just chalk it up to bad timing. See also: the song "Everybody Plays the Fool." As a scientist, I decided to test my hypothesis that if you have a strong virtual chemistry with someone you should meet them sooner rather than later. My observations and data confirm that my hypothesis is quite faulty, and more research is needed.
The bizarre? Thanks to the GPS system I got with my car, I saw practically every inch of the Chicago suburbs, good and bad. I checked the system repeatedly, and each time it showed that it was set to navigate me through the shortest distance between my starting point and my destination. But what it really was doing was sending me on whichever route would possibly make me stop every two blocks at a red light. Often, this was very pleasant...many of the wealthier Chicago suburbs have sweet little town centers with honest-to-gawd village greens. Other times, I spent my every-two-block-stop watching sloe-eyed people lounging against corners of buildings or listening to the deafening beat coming from the car next to me...at least I think it was a car--the tires were so large I actually couldn't see up far enough to determine the type of vehicle. At least not without risking getting shot in the face. Or perhaps that's just my Grandma gene talking again. (Grandma, you know I kid because I love.)
More bits from the trip, divided again into good, bad, and bizarre...(and as I write this, I'm sitting next to an older couple in a pub...the woman is non-stop complaining about the smell, the crowd, the lack of dessert on the menu, the slowness of the service...her husband is pretending to doze. It is a people-watcher's bonanza!)
The good--the Indian waiter at the restaurant in my hotel was so nice I thought he somehow must have intuited the bad parts of my trip. He was so attentive and sweet, and when I wiped up the butter that I'd managed to smear on the table, he thanked me.
The bizarre--A wedding took place at the hotel over the weekend. It was a BIG AFFAIR. Black tie, satiny dresses, everyone dressed to the nines. Yet all involved seemed to be from the Baltic States. It was bizarre to see bridesmaids walking around in their champagne-colored bridesmaids' dresses and hearing them talk in what sounded like Borat's native tongue. Fascinating. This morning, when I went out to put stuff in my rental car, there were hundreds of flower petals strewn about, many of them mixed in with cigarette butts. I thought, quite sincerely, best wishes to the happy couple.
(Brief aside: The grumpy woman next to me in the pub is complaining about how disgusting her cod sandwich is. My thought: That's what you get for ordering a cod sandwich. At an airport!!! But still, she continues to eat it.)
The bad--The couple next door to me in the hotel woke me up with their rowdy sex at 4 am. In a way it was fascinating...this had never happened to me before; I thought you only ever heard people having sex in the movies or in bad novels. But no, there it was...the headboard knocking, the woman's moaning, and then the man's overexaggerated exclamations that he was 'finishing.' Seriously, he was so over the top that I thought about clapping and shouting "WELL DONE, SIR! THANKS FOR THE SHOW!!"
(Update from the grumpy woman next to me: "This place is pretty lame (as she tries to squeeze the last bit of ketchup from her bottle on the table). They can't even invest in ketchup." There's a full bottle on the table next to her, less than a foot away from her hand.)
Enough of all that. Scout Nation, I've got some emotional weirdness to process...I may take some time off from the blog. I don't know how long it will be. Check back in periodically, is all I can tell you. Someday, probably sooner than you'd think, I'll be back from hiatus.
Until then, here's the BEST part of the trip...I'm going home. I'm going home to see my babies, whom I've been apart from over a week. As the song below says..."I'm going home to the place where I belong, and where their love has always been enough for me....
Here in Chicago, now in the vacation part of the trip. Yesterday, I went to have meetings with my new colleagues in our Evanston, IL office (no wonder they're so damn mellow...their offices are so much more totally feng shui than ours) and to also have lunch with our awesome book designer, Neo (also based in Evanston). He and I have had multiple phone conferences, ostensibly to talk about page design and photo selection but more often than not devolving into silly jokes and hysterical laughing fits. For instance, once we were having a 3-way phone conference, trying to pick photos...another female editor was in my office with me, our female photo researcher was on the speakerphone from north of Austin, and Neo was on speakerphone from here. Neo kept saying, "Ladies, what do you think about photo #42?" To which I would reply, "Who are these LADIES you keep referring to, Neo?" Ok...guess you had to have been there. Anyway, I had a fabulous time yesterday, and Neo was totally pleased with my gift to him of a Hello Kitty pencil/notebook set. (He has a Hello Kitty toaster that I covet and that he regularly taunts me with.) Our lunch together was a wonderful time, and it was nice to joke with him face-to-face as opposed to over the phone.
Now? Hanging out in a Chi-town suburb (cheaper than the city, doncha know). Will get out and see the sights tomorrow. I'm thinking I need to go check out Sue (the world's best-preserved T-Rex, and once featured in a Holt book!!!) at the Field Museum.
My hotel is great...they play the best music (mostly oldies) in the lobby. This one seemed entirely appropriate, given the other outcome of my trip here. What can I say? I'm a genius at work, an idiot savant when it comes to love.
Scout Nation, my blogging may be sparse over the next few days. Am heading to the Windy City for equal parts work and fun. I plan to spend a good amount of time hiking the John Hughes Filming Locations trail, so expect some good pics. Until next time...
"We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses...HIT IT!"
Was flipping channels tonight and came across "Project Runway," which I love. Figured it was a repeat, but then soon realized I didn't recognize a single designer. Then, it hit me...this is the first episode of a new season!!!!
That's how crazy this summer is. I didn't even know Uncle Tim was back with a whole new flock of chicks to nurture.
My favorite part was at the end, when they showed scenes from the upcoming episodes. Great quote I can't wait to see in context?
Uncle Tim: "That looks like a pterodactyl from Gay Jurassic Park."
My dear, dear friend GG and his daughter Angel came to visit on 4th of July weekend. We took our three girls to The Magic Time Machine in San Antonio for lunch. Kind of a far drive for lunch, you think? Then you've never been to TMTM.
It's a funky place where the rooms are oddly shaped, certain booths have a 'theme,' and the waitrons look for any opportunity to embarrass or make fun of you. Oh, and all the waitrons dress up as characters. In my 2 visits there, I've seen Dennis the Menace (who was so enamored of Tebe's curls--see the 7/13 entry below), Goose from Top Gun, Elvira, Shaggy, Napoleon Dynamite, Tinkerbelle, Jack Sparrow, etc.
Our waitress was Dora the Explorer. I guess I need to get High Def TV, because in all the countless hours I watched Dora I never noticed she had a pierced nose.
Tables nearby were attended by Ace Ventura. At one point he and Napoleon Dynamite (or Nappy D, as they liked to call them), put on a little song-and-dance for two birthday girls in the restaurant. One of these girls was about 17 or 18, so Ace took the opportunity to offer her birthday goodies in a very special way.
At which point I exclaimed (in my demure way), "Hey, he wants a piece of that action!" while pointing to GG. Thus, Ace and GG went sweetly nose-to-nose while delicately exchanging a dessert concoction.
Kinda reminds you of "Lady and the Tramp," no?
And GG? This public embarrassment is what you get for taking our wedding vows for granted. Love ya, mean it, kthnxbai.
Tebe, I don't say it often enough, but I hope you know how much I love you. My whole life you have been rock, my protector, my best friend, my teacher (especially in all things music--because of you, I actually like Nickelback now), my partner in crime, and probably just about my biggest supporter in many things, especially this blog.
Everybody should be lucky enough to have a big brudder like you.
This is how adorable Tebe is..even that rascally Dennis the Menace couldn't keep his hands off Tebe or his curls.
You didn't actually think I'd never put this on the blog, did you? :-)
Ow! Oh hi! Sorry, I was checking on the bruise I got from a three legged race. What's that? You want to hear about my school days! Okay! Well first I'll tell you about the schools I've attended. I've attended Stepping Stone (preschool), Children's Network (preschool/afterschool care) and Summitt Elementary (now).
Teachers? Okay! Well there's Ms. Jessica who I didn't like because she was so mean. I liked my kindergarten teacher Ms. Eddins because she was sooooooooooooo nice. Ms. Wilson, my first grade teacher had so many class pets that I can't even count them! My second grade teacher Ms. Hudson had reading groups, and I was in the advanced one. Ms. Anne my after school care teacher is cool. She lets us make lemonade.
Let me tell you about five of my friends. Camryn is kind, very playful, and she won the box tops this morning. Riley is fun to be around because she is awesome, and she is with me right now. Kyla is really hilarious, she tells the best jokes EVER! Lillian is so imaginative that she imagined a monster that ate everything. Samantha is a six year old who was crazy! She moved to South Carolina though.
Field trips and Events? Well I went to Krispy Kreme with Stepping Stone, and I made a donut there too. I went to the library with Children's Network. I went to the "Nutcracker" with third grade, and I went to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with second grade.
Hobbies? Well I've enjoyed art, reading, and collecting rocks. They're all very fun to do, especially the art. YAY for art! Rocks can come in all shapes and sizes that's why I think they're cool. Reading is the best thing ever. All of those are AWESOME! It's true! They're the best EVER! I also like to build. I built a cart out of tinker toys once.
Favorites? Likes first, and it's a deal. I like reading the most as I told you earlier. Math is second. Reccess is third. YAY! Dislikes for school? That's easy! Veggie Dippers. Bluch! Lunch Moniters. Raaaaaah! Type To Learn! I mean why did they invent those! Well bye!
Yes, Tebe, you were first with the right answer to the recent challenge.
Honorable mention to GG, who always seems to just barely miss 1st place. Here, anyway. As a friend, you're always 1st. :-)
Tebe, here's your prize...a scene from the highly underrated dark comedy "The Cable Guy." At first, it may seem unrelated to the original challenge, but at around 2:25 you'll see the relevance. (Sorry about the captions...it was the best YouTube version I could find. Actually, I think the Spanish captions make it even better.)
And aren't Janeane Garofalo and Andy Dick completely wonderful here?
Tebe, I think it may have been you who pointed out this line to me, one of the most awesome in the history of great movie lines:
"Come back here..so that I may brain thee!!"
I always laugh hysterically when Jim Carrey starts doing the Star Trek Kirk-Spock battle music.
As zinnias are annuals, they don't grow back every year. You have to plant new ones. We have planned to plant more in Maggie's flower pot this year, along with more of her ashes. But, as with so much in my life, we still haven't gotten around to it.
Last week I noticed a flowering something appearing in the pavement cracks about 2 feet away from Maggie's flower pot. I assumed it was another dandelion...the bane of my yard's existence (not helped by my next-door-neighbor, who seems to be going for a yard of nothing BUT dandelions...some days I watch the feathery seeds float from his yard to mine and think, why bother?!?). But the leaves looked different, and the yellow center seemed to be giving way to a different color. So I waited before spraying the hell out of it with my vinegar solution.
The next day...pink petals appeared. The flower had grown taller. And it was very clear. It was a zinnia. And it could only have come from one place. Maggie's flower pot. I don't know if the seed was carried those few feet by wind, animal, or Maggie's force of will. All I know is it is one beautiful little flower amidst a fairly desolate July yardscape...a beautiful solitary bloom between two concrete blocks.
The girls and I make sure to stop and look at it every day.
Did you know that my mom's full name is [first middle last], and my dad's is [first middle last]? Weird huh? They have almost the same initials! They met at the Carousel Lounge in October because they had a friend named Lance who introduced them. They got married in Austin on September 27, 1997.
I have zero brothers, and one sister who's name is [Bumby]. Here's something really funny about her. She was with my mom at my mom's checkup, and she was poking around in the trash can, and she fell in head first. Then the doctor and my mom yanked her by her feet and she slid out. Her birthday is on April 29, 2001 by the way.
My mom's parents are Grandma and Papa and they are special to me because they let us stay there in our mom's old room. My dad's parents names are Nana and Grandpa and they are special to me because they invite us to Colorado in the winter, and send us presents on holidays why just the other day I got 4 6-Flags season passes for my birthday. My birth date is March 22, 1999, I was born at St. David's Hospital, and my mom's 1st reaction to me was "Look how long her fingernails are!" and my dad's was "Look how perfect she is!". My parents favorite story about me is that I used to love the baby in the sun on Tellitubbies. I don't know why though. Now you know about my early years.
[Blogger's notes: Yes, The Dad and I have similar initials--only our first initial is different. About the trashcan story...Bumby (age 15 months or so) was actually twirling on a stool, fell off, and landed head-first into a trash can. She literally 'threw herself away.' But never EVER mention this to Bumby--this story mortifies her. I find it interesting what Bosco says about visiting Grandma and Papa's house--I never actually lived in that house. Perhaps it's the fact that they often play with my old toys, especially the beloved Fisher-Price playhouse.]