Wednesday, January 31, 2007

blogger doesnt usually make me laugh

Blogger bites. Not that this is news for many of you.

I was forced to upgrade to the "New Blogger" several weeks back, and that was right around the same time that I was asking TheMostImportantGuy for some help in adding Haloscan for comments (so I could see yer alls email addresses and have an easier time replying). Haloscan wasn't equipped for the "New Blogger" a few weeks ago, though. It was only ready for the "Old Blogger" and the "Beta Blogger". Or something. Whatever. We just couldn't make it work right then.

Well, a few weeks went by, and I asked TheMostImportantGuy if he would look into it again. And so he did. Haloscan was ready for the "New Blogger," so TheMIG added it, and within a single press of a button, two things happened that totally flipped me out:

1) ALL comments made to previous posts disappeared. I thought I was adding Haloscan "from this day forward," but noooooo...all of the sudden I had this blog that looks like it has never received an ounce of feedback (I know that's not true, but when I'm having a temper tantrum about it and have emotionally regressed to age 5, that's what it feels like). I didn't know that all the comments were going bye-bye. I think I quit breating for a few seconds, and then it made me cry. The Haloscan was promtly removed, the comments were restored, and I'm back again to my not getting your email addresses delivered along with your comments. I am also now back to feeling my own age again about it, and I'm thinking maybe I'll be more prepared to add Haloscan after having a comment funeral or something.

2) As part of Haloscan being added, the "New Blogger" of mine needed one last upgrade. Within that "upgrade", my entire sidebar content got fucked with. I'm only sort of just getting it back together by fiddling around with the template stuff and basically guessing at what I'm clicking on and hoping it works and doesn't eat my whole blog by mistake. Hopefully I can bring it back to life soon.

But here's the funny part (and this made me laugh so hard, which is good, 'cuz I'm pretty tweaked out with stress right now). As part of my cleaning up the sidebar stuff this morning, I was thinking I should maybe glance over the "About Me" section, and consider updating my profile.

That's when I noticed that next to my "AGE" it says: 250

I'm not sure how that got there.

But I'm thinking I'm leaving it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Snap A Dozen Days

kitchen window view, wheelchair height

January is about the "mini-hibernation". It seems that all throughout November and December, I am just dying to tuck myself into a warm cozy spot, but that I am denied. Too many holiday obligations, and the warm-cozy thing just does not happen. So do my best to find it in January. This year's January finds me not only making the time for lounging, but it also has me better understanding the importance and joy of it.

January is about the "little breather". I have always felt the wind rushing out of the sails in January, but I was most aware of it during the years I was catering professionally. There was constant insanity from October's end until New Year's Day, with an exhausted heroic push right there at the finish line. January's arrival meant I could finally regroup and reorganize the chaos. It also frequently meant that I could finally get sick, as I'd been somehow magically holding it all together and fending off a cold those last couple of weeks. I am no longer catering, but once January hit this year, I almost instinctively started doing a fair amount of regrouping and reorganizing on the home front. It must just be the season.

January is about noticing the return of the sun and the lengthening days. In January it almost feels like a daily change to me (well, scientifically it is...I'm just very aware of it right after the winter's solstice, moreso than other times of the year). I'm sure that contributiing to this is the fact that half of the days in January here have cloud cover. It reminds me of when you dont see a little baby for a few weeks and then the next time you do, they look like an entirely different kid.

January is about wishing I'd gotten on top of planning something for my birthday. I love birthday celebrations. And not just my own. My birthday is the first week of February. I usually think about this fact in December, but things are too hectic for me to do more than think about it right then, so I tell myself I'll get right on it once the holidays are over. January is the month I realize that I should have started planning earlier. In my early 20's, whipping up an event on short notice was never a problem. That is not the case anymore. Aside from my own schedule being too busy and too complicated, the circle of friends I have often need several week's advance notice for just about anything. The last decade or so of birthdays have sort of felt like when you get all excited to shoot off a firecracker and you light it and it sparkles a bit and you hold your breath and...and it fizzzes and goes out.

January is about choreography. We have a tradition in the Sabah Ensemble, established by my teacher, the late Jamie Miller. If we want to, we can perform for our birthdays. Often people will choreograph a solo and perform it at the end of the dance class nearest their birthday. For the same reason as above, January comes, and I'm often wishing I had started something sooner. This year I really wanted to do something. I had plenty of time, had music chosen, and a pretty strong creative vision for the choreography. But the burn situation knocked out several weeks of crucial rehearsal time. I'm still working on something, and my plan is to present it a couple weeks late....and I'll just sort of warp time and still call it a birthday dance. Or something. LOL

January is about cool crisp air, warm scarves, extra blankets, longer days, soup, deep breaths, and creativity brewing in the cave.

well, that wasn't so bad

Dudes, I finished 20 of the 23 things on my to do list yesterday.
I'm not even sure how.
(sorry, Kath...but blocking the shawl was 1 of the 3 left on the list, as was cleaning the cat box and washing that last pan that is too big to fit into my split sink)

I was hardly overwhelmed at all in getting all of the stuff done. The overwhelm came later when I was sitting down for dinner and had time to think about it all. TheMostImportantGuy was on his way out of town on business, but stopped by on his way with Vietnames take-out. Somehow sitting down to eat caused some slowdown of brainwaves represented by a couple pouty-faces. But after the TheMIG left, MyFavoriteKid and I squished under a blanket to watch Lord of the Rings. For the kajillionth time. Love it. No more pouty-face. Works like a charm.

Other than that dinner moment, things were good. Close to 3 years of gimpin' here, and I've finally figured out how to mop a floor from a wheelchair without making muddy donut tracks all over the place I just cleaned. Woohoo! Also yesterday I bought a few organizational tools for moving into Phase A.3 of purging the abundance of paper that insulates my house. Even bought a couple nice wooden magazine boxes to house my knitting mags on that newly rearranged shelf.

Some of the stresses for me right now are all about negotiations. Sure, there is the ongoing legal one...but I'm also in a negotiation zone with the director of Dandelion Dancetheater. We want to see if we can resolve some differences about the use of video, and all that buttons that arguing about it pushed for both of us. If we can get on track, I'd like to be able to perform with them again. But we're still in negotiations.

There is a whole lot of negotiation right now going on within the bellydance troupe about how best to create this next performance piece on a limited timeframe. My brain is in director-mode (as it should be) and I'm working too hard trying to keep everyone happy (as it probably shouldn't be).

I'm just kinda getting warped from too much thinking, feeling, talking, listening, processing, negotiating, thinking, feeling, talking, listening, get the idea. Sometimes these sort of things just go round and round the spin cycle for what feels like foreverrrrr.

That's what I need.
I need an iPod. LOL
Just one day to tune it all out.

Another post coming later today for 007 Snap A Dozen Days.

I first read about this sometime the first weekend in January. Since then, I've been jotting down little notes here and there about what January means to m.. I'm going to compile them into one post with a photo. Then my plan is to do that once a month for the rest of the year.

Neato, eh?
A little bloggy scrapbooky sort of thing.

Monday, January 29, 2007

things i learned this weekend

I learned that dishes don't wash themselves and that eating cereal with a fork is difficult.

I leaned that handknit shawls wont block themselves.

I read a good amount of knitting blogs, folks. It would seem that most lace knitters complete the handiwork and then sprint to the finish line by immediately blocking their shawl so they can bask in the glory. My poor shawl has been sitting here for a week. I'm probably not the only one out there to have done this, but I do believe I am possibly setting a knitterly record here.

It would seem that I have a major case of CantFinishIt-itis (hey lookie there--the word "shit" is in the middle of that!). I'm doing this with my other knitting projects, too. I have a little neckwarmer that is 4 rows away from being done, and I just can't seem to get it off the needles and around my neck.

As much I hate having a bunch of UFO's laying around (UnFinshedObjects, for the non-knitterly folks), I think what I really need to do (aside from blocking the shawl for crying out loud), it to cast-on something new. Something with some rich, bright colors, maybe.

I learned that when you have only known somebody for 3-1/2 weeks, and they slink by in the middle of the night and leave herbal remedies for stress for you in your mailbox...that friend is a keeper.

I learned that maybe half my problem with feeling the "lawsuit undercurrent" is this:

That is a shelf of the entertainment center in the livingroom, and that is the shelf that is at eye level, and that is the shelf that my vision meets every single time I emerge from the bedrooms or the little girls room (that really smells like a little boys room, because well....a little boy lives here). That pile on the shelf is all stuff mailed to me by my attorney.

I've somehow let it become some sort of altar, but not one I enjoy reflecting upon. Maybe some day I can do complex origami with all of it. Heh. That would be one fun craft project :-)

Anyhow, two shelves below this shrine dedicated to my legal woes, is a lidded picnic basket sort of thing, housing and hiding all of my knitting books.

This weekend I swapped out and put the legal crapola in the closed basket, and the the knitting books on the shelf.

I know.

I'm a little slow.

This weekend I learned that missing the meeting of the local spinning guild again really sucks, especially because I now have a spinning wheel and don't know how to use it. But I've also come to realize that if I'm already rather "delicate" (LOL) and what I want to feel is comfort, then I'm really not up for feeling fumbly, then I shouldn't push myself.

Besides, if MyFavoriteKid is away at his dad's for the weekend and TheMostImportantGuy is over, laying in bed all day with big plates of brunch and watching survival shows on the Science channel is (to me) a whole lot more fun than pushing myself to get out of my pajamas and meet people.

Maybe next month.

SO. All in all, this weekend was fairly restorative.

But carrying that feeling over into this week might prove to be a challenge.

By 7:33am this morning, I hadn't even had a cup of tea yet, and I already had a To-Do list with 23 items on it. All for TODAY.

Hey! One of them was blogging!

1 down, 22 to go.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Here's a little peek inside the head of a person who has a (albeit situational and temporary) mental disturbance.
Full of too many symbols and analogies.

Seeee...something's just not quite right here.

It's some sort of anxiety thing. I am in fight or flight mode. I have that heart pounding, head popping, rush of adrenaline, normally reserved for defending the fort or running for the hills.

Except that there is nothing in my immediate sphere of existence to kill or outrun.

Sadly, this is not a new feeling to me. Since the accident, I've had this tweaky little phenomenon happening periodically at the unlikliest of moments. I deal with it just fine. I'm into the immersion method when it comes to dealing with my emotions...all of them... whether they are what you might call "good", "bad", otherwise. I'm actually entertained and charmed to no end playing with being as present as possible with my emotional states. I liken it to being a human tuning fork. But when it comes to humming along with the fight or flight thing, things are not so good. A little off key and little too much buzzing and vibrating, I think.

It can also be a little bit like immersing myself in an anxiety bath. Waiting for it to pass has proven to be a really bad thing if I let it go on for too long. More than a few days, and my floating begins to becoming a sinking...right into a deep pool of depression.

So when I get anxious, plan is....
keep moving.

See, I can usually take the hyper, "arm the battle stations!" feeling and do something useful with it. Like wash a few dishes or knit a few rows. Anxiety for me also sometimes feels like I have a cannon that is loaded and ready to fire, even though there is nothing to shoot at. What I try to do is make a conversion to having it pointed at something. Like a pile of laundry. Harness that energy, dammit!

But that's not what is happening this go round. The new twist for me this past week is that my freaky state is accompanied by a "deer in the headlights" sort of feeling. And I get to where I can't do ANYTHING. Completely Frozen. Motionless. On the outside. With a tiny little internal tornado of panic spinning around on the inside. THAT is a new feeling for me. And it feels icky. And I don't like it.

Seriously. It's like that immersion pool has a deep, silent, riptide floating underneath my otherwise lovely little floaty boat of panic in the sunshine. It's like it ripples to the surface and spins the boat around a few times and paddling is just no use. Just gotta kinda hang out. Which I'm not very good at. And then when the current lets go, I'm disoriented, and I have to figure out which way the damn boat is pointed because now I can't tell which direction I'm facing.

Good news, I guess, is that I've finally figured out what the force is that is flowing down there.
It's The Undercurrent O'Lawsuit.
And temporary.

So long as you count a several year long event to be a situation that is temporary, I guess.

I'm blogging about this because one of the things that really helped me this week was TheMIG relating that he had felt that deer-headlights-tornado-thing when he bought his first house.

Hearing that helped me feel like less of a nutcase. It was good not be alone. It was also good to be reminded that I actually have felt this way before too...when I bought my first house. I just forgot about that feeling. Kinda like how women forget the pain of childbirth in 2 seconds flat. Okay, maybe 2 minutes flat.

But I survived buying the house. And I'll survive this.

No one is attacking the fort.

Even though there is something about feeling this strange that feels completely isolating, in some panic driven sort of way.

So if there is anyone else out there with a spinning boat...hi.
You aren't alone.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

is this all there is?

Apparently I exist to fold laundry and to wash dishes and to change sheets and to vacuum and to cook and to clean and to help with homework, because that's pretty much all I did yeterday....rather than what I wanted to do which was to block the shawl, try to make friends with my new spinning wheel, and then blog about all of it.

It's a little disappointing that I can pass on what I really want to be doing in favor of what I should be doing, and still feel like that what should have been complete, is never finished.

I get it that housework here is never ending and is only about playing catch up, but sheeesh.


MyFavoriteKid started walking himself home from school last week, rather than having me pick up. It took me a couple of days to figure out that I wasn't the only one sitting expectantly and waiting for him at 2:45pm.

Roxy Sits on The Wall, Peers Over The Fence, Waiting for MyFK to Come Home

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Not a whole lot of blogging going on over here now lately, is there.
I'd like to fix that. I'm not quite sure how, though. I'm kinda busy knitting, and purging, and enjoying the sunshine!

Updates on the rest of my life at the back end...but first, here's something I finished last week:

BoySocks for TheMIG
Yarn: Trekking XXL, Color #69 (olives)
Needles: US#1's, Susan Bates...the shiny pale green metal ones
Pattern: no pattern, just plain old socks
Started: sometime in the early fall (?)
Finished: Jan 16, 2007 (it took me forever to do these)
Notes: It's official. This is the 3rd pair of socks now where I've picked up 2 sts at each gusset (ala Charlene Schurch), and it is definitley my favorite sock trick. Another thing came out of this sock project...these:

...inspired by THESE at Saartje Knits. Do read her blog for a better explanation and better photos. Mine was taken in the dark.

This pair of socks took me so long to knit, that they kept getting moved from from bag to bag, or shoved in pockets or whatever. Somewhere along the line, I lost the little slip of paper where I'd jotted down my notes about how many stitches I'd cast on, how I turned the heel, how many rows I had done on the first sock, etc etc. It wasn't rocket science to figure it out, but I found it totally annoying. Hence the little tag system. I love them. And I already had a box of them in my desk drawer.

I have to tell you...when I went to add the link for Charlene's Schurch's book...I saw THIS:

I. Shall. Own. This. Book.


Hmmmm. What else is up.
Well, what isn't.
Damn if I can find the time to blog about it though!

Here's a general run down of things, some deserving of longer explanations that maybe will come some day soon....others are barely worth mentioning, but I find the record entertaining.

* I got the refurbished spinning wheel this weekend!!
(that one definitely needs it's own entry!!)

* My heating bill for last month was $300.

* My beloved boyfriend, TheMostImportantGuy, took time out of his weekend to put in new weather stripping.

* I'm now officially doing the D-word. Dieting. I'd call it eating healthier and exercising more, which I am doing both of those things for sure...but it's Dieting. The goal IS weight loss. Hauling 35 extra lbs around on cruthces is really bad for the back.

* I've lost 5 lbs in 2 weeks.

* The guy I visit at the convalescent hospital asked me what I was doing to shed pounds, so I told him that my first thing was to switch to smaller plates and a smaller fork---he was laughing so hard he had end our visit.

*I'm on a mission to purge clutter, especially paper. As Donna said, "I like paper. I must. There are piles of it everywhere." Mouse has agreed to be both cheerleader and supercop. I report to her every day how much paper I have tossed. If I throw some out, she says, "Yay!" And if I don't...well, she threatens me with the "Red Heart Scarf of Shame" that I will have to knit 6 feet long. Good incentive.

* I've been having serious insomnia issues for days now. Not falling asleep, but staying asleep...particularly waking up at like 4am and not being able to go back to sleep.

* I haven't failed yet on my "Knit From Your Stash" commitment. I said it was okay to go through with my registration for Socks That Rock, and I did...because holiday and early birthday gifted monies covered it anyhow. And I said I'd buy yarn from independent dyers, and I did buy a skein of sock yarn (pics soon). But of those purchases were not in violation. Although I am not sure why, as it really does seem like it is the sock yarn that is taking over the stash, now that I really look at it. But here we are, 21 days into the new year, and I already cruised a yarn store for something specific...something thicker than sock yarn...and the only reason I didn't get in there and buy something is because the yarn store was closed. Me thinks I'm not going to make it. Me thinks I'm screwed.

* The Sabah Ensemble (the group I teach and peform with) is on the roster to perform at this year's Rakkasah. We'll be on the Cabaret Stage at 2:40pm. Yes, Karen...this is my official declaration that I am performing and not just directing.

* Tomorrow is blocking day for my first handknit shawl.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

back to the lunchbox

Before I totally let this slide, several folks had asked about MyFavoriteKid's lunchbox items the other day.

Well, what you have there in 'dem little boxes are:
orange slices
cherry tomatoes
grilled chicken strips
and edamame (soy beans)

Not that you couldn't figure that out on your own.

What you guys really wanted to know, was what was in that there baggy, which would be a mixture of:
nori (seaweed) wrapped rice crackers, tamari flavored, I think some of these teriyaki nori strips...

..along with a bag of some of your standard issue "fruit snack" gummy things, that are basically made of, well...CRAP.

Here's another one of MyFK's lunch boxes for you, just because ya' really care LOL...

PLAIN steamed green beans
PLAIN pasta
more of those sicko gummy snacks
and these absolutely nasty tasting chip thingies that he loves and I can't even get close to the smell of:

And those aren't even the right flavor, dudes. The "good ones" are spicy garlic, which you think might mask the stinky shoe smell, but somehow it enhances it.

For the record, I do not "get" my kid to eat a healthy lunch. What you are seeing above is a fine example of MyFK's issue with mixed foods. Allow me to illustrate. MyFk WILL eat a grilled beef patty, plain noodles, cheese, and tomatoes...but he will NOT eat lasagna. All. Ingredients. Must. Remain. Separate. MyFK is sooooo bugged by combined items, that certain foods can't even touch each other on a plate.

Last week I showed MyFK a brochure about a really cool summer camp experience that he is finally old enough to go to this upcoming summer. He'd be gone for 5 nights, so it would be his first big camp-a-long thing (up until now he's only gone to summer daycamp). He looked at the pamphlet and completely ignored the photos of the kids jumping creeks and learning archery. All he had to say was that he was totally freaked about that fact that he'd starve to death. Then he asked if I could send lunches every day.

MyFK doesn't eat PB+J, burritos, tacos, sandwiches, any most of the stuff most kids like. Some kids you can get to try anything if you provided a sauce to make it more intersting, but not my kid. He'll take his broccoli plain, thank you very much. Nothing gets dipped into sauces except for french fries into ketchup, or strips of steak into a little "jus". I mean, I cant even pour syryup on his pancakes. It has to be in a separate little dish and he has to dip into it. If we go to a restaurant, he probably wont eat off the kids menu, but will order grilled salmon. He'll eat oysters, but not a baked potato. The kid is a total trip.

So again, I dont get him to eat anything. This is the way HE eats! And totally missing out on his mom's culinary talents too, I must say (I actually went to culinary school and was a professional caterer!).

So there you have it.
Nothing connived or scientific here.
If you want to see an example of that, look here at the lunches of someone who goes really nutzo with the little plastic boxes. Check out this example, found at VeganLunchbox. Very healthy, and I admire her creativity and dedication, but....

It's a little too "Martha" for my blood. And we aren't vegan anyhow (although I used to be).

All I have in common with the VeganLunchBox lady is the assorted little containers to keep things nice and separate ;-)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

it's still christmas in january

Little elves are still hard at work, and holiday gifts are still arriving! This is great!

First was a handknit Christmas ornament from TheBon:

(The pic was taken last week...the tree is officially packed up now). I love the ornament because it feels to me like it embodies Christmas, Channukah and Winter Solstice! Thank you!!

Second gift was this:

Blocking wires. MyFavoriteKid decided I needed these (sure is helpful having a kid that knits...he understands mommy's needs quite well).

MyFK had told his dad that he wanted to get me these as a present this year. His request to buy them was made early, but then ordered late (*ahem*), hence another shopping trip between the two of them the day before Christmas so that MyFK wouldn't show up empty-handed (he was very stressed about that...which is odd, because I'm not even into Christmas and we'd already done Channukah).

So I also got an "antique" vase (sundae dish?) out of the deal, which I also adore....mostly because MyFK picked it out himself.

It's faceted and sparkly and is made of a pale blue glass--my favorite color. Very pretty, and very thoughtful :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 'bout some Knitting Knews?

I've got too many projects on the needles, so consequently, none of them look like they are going anywhere at all. Hate that.

The Trekking Socks for TheMostImportantGuy are almost done. Sock#2 needs 15 more rounds and then the toe decreases.

So near, but yet so far.

Seeing the reports about the upcoming cold snap (we've been getting into the low 20's people...that's not normal for California), I decided I needed a wider scarf. Like, NOW. So I cast-on for Bejeweled last week. I was almost done. It was about 4 feet long, and I had only about a foot and half more to go. And then I saw a mistake wayyy back, decided I couldn't live with it, and ripped back so far it made my head hurt. *sigh*

I really must learn how to shoot purples better. This thing is actually eggplant. When shot it in the I did in natural light indoors, it looked blue...and then with the flash, pinkish. And it's too cold to do a photoshoot outside.

Wanting instant gratification with that scarf and failing, and really wanting just a little something to keep the wind off the back of my neck, I put Bejeweled down and decided to cast on for this little neckwarmer, from the book One Skein Wonders.

Easy peasy, fast knit, no?
Short row hell. But I have taught myself to knit backwards rather than turning the work around, so a new skill has been acquired. Yay. I'm about 1/2 way done.


The Forest Canopy Shawl is almost done. Given the instuctions for the laceweight version, I have enough repeats now to stop and add the border, resulting in a "shoulder shawl". But I think I want to do a few more repeats and make it a bit larger. It's been sitting in my basket while I ponder that thought, but with the blocking wires now in hand, I feel the urge to finish it. I'm pretty sure it's a gift for someone in April, but I'm not going to give it up if I fall in love with it because it's my first shawl and I can be a selfish pig when it comes to handknits.


TheShumps are still waiting for me not to be moody, and the Jaywalkers are still waiting for me to mourn their non-stretchy/sizing issue so I can rip it out and start over. I'm eager to get on them right after the Trekking socks are done though, which will hopefully mean next week.


Here's one last knitting thing. A HaHa brought to you courtesy of Carleigh, my new friend that Is learning to knit:

I recently taught her how to "tink" back to fix her mistakes. For the uninitiated, "tink" is K-N-I-T spelled backwards, so when you "T-I-N-K", you are "un-knitting".

Yesterday Carleigh discovered that she had to un-knit some purl stitches, which she had not done yet (she'd only tinked knit stitches). When she asked me to show her, she decided that unknitting purl stitches should be called "L-U-R-P-ing".


By the way, dear Carleigh already has projects in queue, a stash building up, and a sweetheart that is complaining she is knitting too much.

Welcome to the ranks, babe ;-)
You're hooked.

Friday, January 12, 2007

pit stop

Very busy, and with any luck, a longer post later today answering some of those lunchbox questions.

Before I fly out the door, here's an official AmpuT product endoresement and some stuff from the elementary school kids that are good for a giggle.

If I Was Asked to Do An Infomercial Marketing This Stuff, I would:

The 2nd degree burns I took to the right breast two weeks ago are healed over even better than I had hoped. Thank you for all of your recommendations about aloe, vitamin E, etc...but let me show you what I use on my burns, that works so well, it amazes me every single time.

This is a topical that I picked up from my accupuncturist. It is called "Ching Wang Hung" by a company called "Great Wall Brand". There is a REALLY good detailed description of what is in here. You can buy it in the same green tub (which is inside a gold box) online here, and you can buy smaller tubes of it here.

It's a wee bit stinky, like most other chinese herbs, but not intolerable or overly offensive. Just sort of herbaceous and vegetal.

I was first given a jar of this as a cure for hemmoroids after my son was born. I had tried multiple rounds of many other western products. This stuff eliminated my problems with one application. Sorry to be so graphic, but hey, if I can help someone out...whateverrrrr. After that treatment, I discovered it was also used a burn cream, and I used it extensively during culinary school (which means very extensively). I only have one burn scar from culinary school, and it is the one I did not treat with this cream because I was out of it.

There ya' have it.

Tales From a Fourth Grade Classroom

I volunteer at the elementary school in my son's classroom once a week, doing various and sundry...but today I got to grade homework papers. Here are the highligts (I have made no corrections whatsoever):

From the math page. A page of word problems that were about tripling an ice-cream recipe...fractions and whatnot. Also included was instructions to make up your own recipe.

CHOCO ice cream
First get these ingredients;
3 eggs
2/3 cup
1-1/2 cup milk
6 cups salt
2-1/2 whipping cream
2 tablespoon vanilla
Next, pour all of the ingredients. Then, stir until it's brow. Finally, put it in the oven for about 5 hours.

From the spelling list. The kids have to write a sentence for each word on the list. These are compiled from more than one student (except the first set). Spelling words are underlined. I have made no corrections for you:

(from a student who is learning english as a second language...all 20 sentences were written in this style)
I ask my mom what citrus mean.
I ask my dad what germs are?
What is a generation?

(now the rest of the kids)
This is the 24th century I am living in.
Darian, front and center!
I was doing yoga on a cymball. (should be "cymbal" and most kids wrote sentences for the word "symbol")
Valerie is a genius. (written by Valerie)
I know how to circulate.

But seriously.
Parents. Read over your kid's homework for crying out loud.
These kids are our future.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

back to grind...and a little bit more about what i did when i wasn't grinding

MyFavoriteKid is back in school, and....ahhhhh, it feels quite lovely to be back to normal these last two mornings. Rising and shining, early bird catching the worm, and all that shit.

As I was in the kitchen packing up MyFK's lunch box with the the same ol' little plastic containers with the same ol' food selections, I felt relief. Then I found myself wondering: When did this happen?? When did I start craving a routine?

I mean, I have a loooong history with chaos, especially thriving amidst it. "I do my best work under pressure," and all that...ya' know?

I grew up in a family that generated chaos without even trying. My folks are readers of this blog, and they'd kill me if I listed some of the crazy shit that went on, so you'll just have to take my word for it. (Hopefully) it's safe to tell you this much: when I became a questioning adult and I asked my parents why there were so many insane moments, their rationalization for all the commotion was the motto: "Chaos is good! Imagine how boring life would be without it!" **

Well, okay. True. I'll give you that. But it was good for a couple of years on the couch, too hahaha.

Somewhere in my 20's I realized that I was so used to things always being a constant state of upheaval that even when things were going well I would purposely screw stuff up just to keep things interesting. You know. Little things. Like relationships.

I thoroughly therapized myself through my late 20's/early 30's until I stopped being a chaos-junkie. I quit creating messes where there weren't any, which I had done often, solely for my need of the familiar. I wanted "routine". But chaos was the routine.

I did gain one skill from my crazy childhood. I came away with a knack for thriving well under pressure. And once I stopped creating unneccessary drama in my life, I still went ahead and sought out high pressure situations since I operated well under those conditions. Like culinary school and catering, for example.

Here I am, pushing 40 though, and now what makes me all warm and fuzzy is the stability of a routine, some peace and quiet, a little bit of auto-pilot...and okay....I guess a few surprises here and there wouldn't be so bad, but some good ones would be nice for a change.

No more familiarty with chaos. No more creating chaos. No more thriving in chaos.
I've changed.

But when did that happen??

I'm very curious.

** This will generate a call from my mother to discuss my blog entry. When I grumble, she'll say, "What. Don't I get to comment on your blog like everyone else??" To which I'll respond, ?"Of course. So comment like everyone else. That's what the comments button is for." hahahaha. Love you, Mom. I'm available by phone after 3pm.

*my favorite thing...watching TheMostImportantGuy's hands*

It's more than a week late, so this seems really stupid, but I want to note a few things about New Year's Eve...for my future feeble mind.

TheMIG was the sound engineer that night for this event (do click and check out the photos...much better than mine):

It was pretty awesome.
Lots of music and dancing (there's some Butt-Cheek-Showing-Samba-Dancing shown down there, so EASILY OFFENDED SCROLLER BEWARE).

At the party, I met two really cool people.

The first person was this guy that was also working back behind the soundboard most of the night. He was recording the live music, I think. What I noticed about him immediately was that he remembered the name of every single person he was introduced to. And of course, I don't know his name. But I really saw the benefit of that skill that night, and it sure makes me want to try harder to play little name games with myself so I'm not a "third time's a charm" kind of person anymore. I will also remember this guy for being totally cool about my jumping up uncontrollably to dance when the music got so good, and letting me hold onto his shoulder so I wouldn't do the one legged tippy-over thingy onto a kajillion dollars of sound equipment. He even danced back at me. So Mr.WhateverYourNameWas, it was really good to meet you, and thank you for dancing with me with no hesitation!

The second person I met was Carleigh (she is over here, too). I saw her when I walked in and was immediately intimidated by her statuesque leggy beauty, and the fact that she was obviously somehow linked to the bellydancing at this event. She was running an information table right next to the sound stage, so we were sitting close by. It was before the doors were opening, and she was meeting and greeting the performers as they arrived. These were going to be the realllly hhhip sorts of bellydancers, and while my own dance troupe creates some amazing pieces of art, we definitely are not the "in crowd".

I just kind of stuffed myself in a little corner while TheMIG worked. The food and the bar weren't open yet, so what's a girl like me to do but pull out a sock in progress and start knitting, right?

Well guess who comes over like a magnet. Ms.Carleigh, who happens to be a just as nice as she is pretty. And guess what? She wanted to fondle my socks. She's a beginning knitter. She's between semesters, has a little bit more time to devote to knitting, and is stoked to learn more. We met up for late night coffee shop knitting last week and she's now working on her first hat. Woohoo!

She's also proactively generous. Carleigh has figured out a way to support tribal cultures by having tribal-style bellydancers (and the like) do benefit shows. Her organization is called Don't Let My People Die. Click. Read. Give. Please.

The other updates making headline news:

* Legal Issues Bring Insomnia, Midnight Math Calculations About Money

* Boobie Burn Healed, Now In Scar Prevention Mode

* Trip To RV Show Reinforces TheAmpuT Should Consider Spending Money to Offset Pain and Suffering

* Below 20's Temps Predicted This Week, Causing Knitter to Hustle on New Scarf Project

* Stoopid but Protective Dogs Determine New Corn Based Cat Litter is a Yummy Treat. Eaten and Up-Chucked.

Friday, January 05, 2007

MyFavoriteKid is running me ragged. Hence my bloggy absence, email delays, and the lack of shipping out (still) long overdue packages.

The holiday break from school started late this year (the day after Channukah--how considerate). Of course, this means the kids go back to school late, too. Monday cannot come soon enough.

It took a few days longer than usual, but I've finally had enough of this time together business. My kid is seriously high-maintennance (wonder where he gets that from). It's not only me that he's maxed out. My parents took him for an overnighter at their place, but then came a call the next day requesting I pick him up earlier than planned. He ran them down.

Somehow I've managed to raise a kid that believes that life is about being constantly entertained....and mostly by the efforts of others.

Here's a sample of a normal morning conversation (I'm not making this up, he's does this to bug me...9-1/2, and the little twit is already a really good button pusher):

Me, "So, what do you want to do today?"
MyFK, "Go to Disneyland." (8 hours and hundreds of dollars away)
Me, "Be realistic. Seriously. Want to go for a little hike or to the library?"
MyFK, "No. How about the moon. Let's go to the moon."

Thanks. Helpful. Very very helpful.

Yes, he does occasionally entertain himself. Sadly, none of his solo interests are quite ones. Even if I get a break, there is the constant humm of kidlet in the background. There's the electric guitar. There are the Cartoon Network programs with all of their characters burping, screeching, and whining...all done by the same 6 voiceover artists . There's the handheld game system beeping and booping (the headphones that go with it? "Noooo mommmm....those are tooooo unnnnncommmmfortable"). MyFK has even decided that reading out loud is more entertaning than reading silently ("Mommmm, I'm practicing being a public speaker!").

So. Vacations mean that I'm either the source of all things fun, or that I'm trying to block out the racquet. And, if I'm not doing either of those things, then I'm in the kitchen washing the last round of dishes in preparation of yet another feeding for the a boychild whom is clearly beginning his bottomless pit phase.

I love my kid.
Big time.
And I'm a good mommy who has come up with plenty of interactive experiences for her kiddo.
But I don't know how you homeschoolers do it.
By all accounts, it appears y'all are having a good time.
If it were me, you'd find me at the end of every day draggin around the house to picking up all the hair I had ripped out my head.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

this can't be a good sign. the first three days have already whizzed by.

NYE Balloon Drop

I've been trying to do up a post about New Year's Eve, and not only can I not get my shit together mentally, but I can't get it looking good either. The post would be greatly supported by the photos I took, and they aren't as good as I thought they were. They looked great on the digital camera screen when I took them, but upon uploading, they look too dark. I'm going to tinker with them and see if I make them spiffy. It was a really fun evening and I'd like to document it (I did make it out to that event that TheMIG was working). I saw great things, met good people, and I have a few things to say about photos or not photos, the post will come in a day or so.

Meanwhile, as an update:

Well, there basically aren't any comments on comments. Why? Because I SUCK. You guys have been leaving really cool comments and emails for days now, and I haven't replied to a single one.

Some of you I don't have email addresses for, because blogger is lame and doesn't require you to leave them. I asked TheMIG to help me get a new comment system installed on the blog, but it isn't quite ready yet. Haloscan isn't set up for the "new blogger"yet. Only the "old blogger" and "beta/new blogger". Send me an email if I don't have it and you are waiting to hear from me. Link to my email is in the sidebar.

For those of you that I DO have email addys for, and am perfectly able to shoot a reply to...well, like I said. I suck. I should at least announce something to the several of you that commented or emailed about the "Soooo...what did they do with your leg after it came off?" question. I am more than happy to tell you, and my lack of response to you freaks (and you know I mean that affectionately) is not because I am offended by your asking. So please don't fret about that. I haven't replied becuase I'm frickin' lame!

I'm hoping to get caught up with emails this week/weekend.

The burnt boob is on the mend, but slowly. It's in that "looks worse before it looks better" stage. The gooey sticky peeling stage (I know. Wrinkle your nose and say "ewwwww!" My apologies). It's still quite painful, and I'm not sleeping well, which isn't helping to lower my cranky-factor.

Let me try to give you a mental picture of what I looked like when I was out New Year's Eve. I was on crutches, sans prosthesis. I was wearing sort of gaucho style pants. Just below the knee length swishy knickers. Like these.

Becuase these pants are the hip trend in the dance world, I have several pairs of these, and unlike full length pants (which I will pin or tuck up), I just kind of let the empty leg hang long and dangle there like a skirt. When I wear them, it is clearly an empty pant leg. Kind of like the Grim Reaper's cloak with no face showing.

The empty pant leg is even more obvious when I'm sitting down and the slinky fabric just sort of goes...flat.

SO. Back to the paryt. I'm outside of the NYE venue getting some air, sitting on a park bench. Leg(s) completely visible, not tucked under a table or anything. A young gal sits down next to me. She was cute and very sweet, and looked like she had just come off The Playa. She starts chatting me up about what cosmic intentions I have for the New Year, her place of employment (a place on Haight Street that sells tye-dye and paraphernalia) , and about where sandalwood resin comes from.....

....and we go on like this for about 10 minutes or so....

Then she asks me how I sprained my ankle.


Sprained my ankle???

Believe it or not, this type of thing happens frequently. I have had multiple occasions of being asked how long I will be stuck wearing a cast or a leg brace. Hellloooooo...are you seeing a cast or a leg brace somewhere?? I mean, dude. There is no cast there. There isn't even a leg there to put a cast on.

Once I even had someone walk right up to me, and I swear to god, their opening statement was to ask me what run I was skiing when I broke my leg, and if it would keep me from hitting the slopes again in the future.

I don't get it, but I think what happens is that people see the crutches, and want to be polite by not staring at the rest of the picture. Are they somehow trying stay focused with eye contact, and in doing so, they don't scroll all the way down, maybe? Well that's fine. Good actually. But then stop right there and shut up about what you think you are seeing when you aren't really looking because you are making an ass out of yourself.

It totally cracks me up every time. I told the NYE chick that I twisted my ankle, and as I was falling, my leg just sort of twisted it right off.

I gave her about 3-4 seconds to absord the news flash, and then I started laughing so hard I almost split a gut. Which was all good, and then she started cracking up, too. She was brave enough to not fall all over herself trying to apologize, and she certainly didn't need to. I mean, most of half her problem was the fact that she was in a "lovey state" and was hugging and smooching the tree next to the bench (and no, I was not on the same boat ride).

But it happens when people are straight up and it's broad daylight, it is one really odd phemonenon ;-)

Go to John's and check out his link to the YouTube video (I'm not slick enough to add it to my blog the way he did, and you should check out John's blog anyhow because I am super-fond of him).

I looove this clip and have watched it a whole bunch of times today and no matter how many times I see it (and hear it...I don't know why, but the sounds seems important to me) I still can't stop giggling about it.

It's sort of like bowling for body parts.