Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mediocre films

There are some films out there that are really not very good yet I continue to watch them every time they are on. And quite often I think fondly about a particular movie, even if it has a banal storyline and the acting is so-so.
Why is this?
I think it is because of familiarity.
These are movies where I can begin watching in any part of the story and know what happens before and what happens after. Primarily because I really hate catching movies I have never watched in the middle of the story.
And so I think it is odd, really, to watch something that isn’t a “great” movie by any stretch of the imagination but be so devoted to it.
Two movies instantly come to mind: “Empire Records” and “Singles”.
Neither of them great movies, although certainly reminiscent of the early 90’s, a time when I wasn’t even living in this country so I missed that whole jeans and flannels, Kurt Cobain-ish style, although I did have some Doc Martens that I bought on Carnaby Street. They both have great soundtracks for sure, but the actual movie? Meh. Although they are funny in their own mediocre way.
"Singles" was on this morning and so I stopped what I was doing (getting ready for work) to watch it. Of course this movie does have many redeeming qualities, such as appearances by Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell. I’d watch them work their way out of a paper bag.
But as far as the movie in general - not worthy of more than five stars.
What movies do you like that aren’t very good?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Long night last night.
Seven people each with a 20-25 minute presentation.
We didn't get out of class until 9:30.
But it's over and my presentation went okay.
I hate second guessing myself and after I listened to the first two presentations I just wanted to go next, because as I sat there all I could think was, "Damn, I should have written that, or I should have expounded upon that even more."
So I got it over with.
And I have to say that not only was everyone very attentive and respectful to their fellow students (it should be that way, but sometimes it's not), but the presentations were actually very enlightening.
These are the books that were presented:

Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Dead Souls, Nicolai Gogol
Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
Metamorphoses, Ovid
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Edgar Allan Poe
The Stranger, Albert Camus

I'm sure that it sounds quite enticing for everyone, but it actually was a great introduction to novels that I don't know and to learn something new about those that I do. People have done a lot of research, and it showed.
And now I have more books I want to read.
The last book is mine.
I heart Camus.
And I said as much.
What the hell.
I'm just a looney middle-aged lady.
And this morning I watched "The Constant Gardener."
What a film.
Sad, depressing, almost suffocating, but really quite moving.
Highly recommended.
Now, I have to get ready for work!

Monday, November 27, 2006

We're having an Amazon Christmas

Can someone write a song about that?
Yes, I have placed orders from Amazon. Apparently it is important to place orders for things that are in distribution centers close to where you live and that can be shipped easily because the orders (plural) I placed this weekend will be here this week.
But don't even try for Nintendo DS in Coral Pink - that won't be delivered until after Christmas.
Along with the Aly and AJ Christmas CD which is apparently in high demand as noted previously so that won't come until after Christmas either. This is why we have options. It's called and the CD is here already.
And I love Christmas music.
Absolutely adore it.
But not when Neil Diamond sings it. Sorry Gayle, I know he's your fave, but it just seems odd. He is Jewish after all. Perhaps if he released a CD with The Dreidel Song.
(And when Hannukah is here I will post a picture of my crystal dreidel.)
I love listening to Christmas music. Sometimes in July.
I just loaded some onto my iPod yesterday and created a playlist called, what else, Christmas music!
And to make a correction to a previous post, DN1 did not talk me into going to the mall. She called me out in a reply. So I will post a retraction.
But then I will clarify.
She guilted me into going to the mall.
And that's the truth, thus spoke Edith Ann.
Not much knitting going on around our house.
Or cleaning either.
I've been very busy completing some final projects for my class.
Do I expect an A?
Well, if my professor is reading (Hi!) certainly!
I have a 20 minute presentation ready for today and a rough draft of a paper. As she would say, so rough you'll cut your fingers.
And then a final version due in 2 weeks.
After that, back to knitting and reading some of the books I've been ordering for myself along with those Christmas presents (the best gift is the one you give to yourself, right?). I haven't picked up needles in a while and I have all this lovely sock yarn languishing waiting for me to knit with it!!
And my poor eldest son, I've been so busy I haven't even mailed his birthday package to him and as you might note, his birthday was yesterday.
Bad mother.
You can see why I'm in the 8th circle of Hell.
There is hope for me yet, though, something that will bring me forward a few circles.
I've been asked to be a substitute Sunday School Teacher for DN2's class (grades K-3).
Can you imagine that?
Me either.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Just to give you some perspective on how much he has grown in 22 years.

Happy birthday to you, Jordan.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It used to be pop

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

But now I call it soda.
How come there is no bar for the twangy, nasal-accented Western NYer's???

Already aggravated in the parking lot

You know it is not a good day to shop when you arrive at the mall and the stupid drivers in the parking lot irritate the piss out of you.
But we persevered.
Because I wanted to go buy these.

I wanted to get the iced tea glasses (on the left) at Macy's, and how could I pass them up? They were marked down to $29.99 until noon. And they come as a set of 12!! I arrived at the store at 11:50. Just in time. After some assistance from a very nice salesperson (if you can believe it) I went to the register, used my $10 off coupon and paid (pre-tax) $19.99 for these suckers. Not bad, considering we hardly ever entertain -- although there is a family in North Carolina I wish would come up for an extended visit!!

Shopping here in Western NY is so much different than in Northern Virginia. Locals, as a rule, wouldn't really spend their weekends in Potomac Mills mall from Columbus Day until after the 1st of the year, unless it was to go to the movies. It was madness! Truly, utterly packed with people. People coming from out of state to shop at our mall!! And you can only imagine the parking situation. Ick. I don't miss the crowds. Which is why I was surprised I let DN1 talk me into shopping on Black Friday, but there we were.

After living overseas for 7 years and then in Northern Virginia for another 9, you begin to behave a certain way when shopping. While living overseas the rule of thumb is if you see it in the Exchange and it is a new item, you know that if you don't buy it then and there chances are you won't see it again. Now things have changed a bit because we lived overseas from 89-96 and this is all pre-internet shopping, but even still, when we had our Thanksgiving in London we couldn't find any baking soda in the commissary. People horde. Because they all live by the same rule. It doesn't matter anymore anyway, because any of us who lived overseas are not allowed to donate blood to the American Red Cross (mad cow disease and all that). I don't know how that fits with hording, but it serves us right I guess.

The second rule of thumb, and this applies more to Northern Virginia than to Western NY, is that if you want to see a new movie, chances are with 250,000+ people living in your county someone else is going to want to see the same movie. We went to see a Harry Potter flick in 2002 (which one was that?) and the theater was so full at 12:30 in the afternoon that DN2 had to sit on my lap! Don't these people work?!?! So when we moved up here we were still in rush, rush mode. Get to the theater, someone has to go get seats and someone else gets popcorn. But the first few times we "rushed" we realized, hey, no one else is here. So slowly but surely we're breaking the habit, but once learned it's difficult to forget.

I don't know what any of this has to do with buying crystal glasses at Macy's. Other than when I got home I called my mother to tell her about it she said, "Well you've got all of Great Aunt Mytle's stemware here you could have used."


And as for deaths in the family boy we've had our share. My elderly cousin (89) died two weeks ago and my uncle's wife (his third) died yesterday.

Again, nothing whatsover to do with crystal stemware or stupid drivers in the mall parking lot. But then again, perhaps it does.

Hope everyone had a great turkey day. Tomorrow is a special day for someone very special to me -- it's my little Hawaiian boy's birthday (he's not really Hawaiian, some haole called him that to her daughter when the two of us were sitting outside a hotel in Honolulu). The big 22. Bring it on.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Life is good when there's turkey to eat, Charlie Brown to watch, and a birthday to celebrate (and no guests coming over, ergo, no house to clean).

So Happy Thanksgiving to all, and Happy Birthday to the girl who is no longer a teenager!

Hope you enjoy your birthday/turkey day Beanie!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


According to Wikipedia, an always reliable source, the following contains the demographics for the town in which I live.
Man, we're poor. And white. (And my friends wonder why I act like poor, white trash.)
With the entry of my family into the town I'm sure we've increased the Hispanic population by 1% or so - guess we'll find out with the next census.

"As of the census of 2000, there were 8,103 people, 2,399 households, and 1,221 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,448.4/km² (3,752.0/mi²). There were 2,589 housing units at an average density of 462.8/km² (1,198.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the village was 91.84% White, 4.41% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.92% of the population.

There were 2,399 households out of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.2% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.1% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the village the population was spread out with 15.0% under the age of 18, 44.6% from 18 to 24, 19.2% from 25 to 44, 13.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $37,068, and the median income for a family was $50,828. Males had a median income of $34,375 versus $24,556 for females. The per capita income for the village was $14,729. About 5.2% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Congrats go out to Chrissy

Congratulations to Chrissy (she was my partner in the Knit Tea Swap).
She just got engaged!
Go to her blog and check out how she received her ring, it's a very sweet story.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Last of the Summer Wine

This is the last bottle of wine we'll ever receive from a certain Hungarian gentleman. He died this week.

His is an interesting story. He and his pregnant wife (who goes by the same name as me) escaped from Communist Hungary. Upon their arrival in Austria she gave birth to their oldest of two sons in a Red Cross camp. Later they moved to Canada and then down here to a small town in Western New York where they came to be friends with my mother and step-father.

This weekend we will drink from this last bottle of wine he gave to us and offer him a toast. He will be missed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Scene from a library

Note to the cross dresser:

If you choose to dress like a woman, that's cool, but please remember to keep your wardrobe appropriate to the season: No white after Labor Day!!!

Otherwise I might have to go all Serial Mom on your ass.

How can this be?

I went to place an order from for some Christmas items. Nothing special, just an Aly and AJ Christmas CD and things like that.

I got to the checkout section and under estimated delivery date it said: December 26, 2006.

How can this be? (I ask again!)

So much for having an Christmas. I might as well go to the mall and pay a bit more but get it in time for the actual event!


Perhaps I should try and see if their international delivery is faster.

Recruiting Issues

The Army has been having some recruiting issues and they have had to modify their standards in order to attract personnel.

Semper Fi!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I guess this is where I belong

I took two different tests and ended up in the eighth level of hell both times. I guess this is where I belong.

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Eighth Level of Hell - the Malebolge!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test


Incentive #5 to get your kid to church:

You can't see your girlfriend all week if you don't come to church this morning.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On a Rainy Autumn Day

Barbie and Ken dry off by the fire after a quick swim in the kitchen sink.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Beyond Harry Potter

It was with great shock the other evening that I discovered that my professor has never read Harry Potter. I looked at her and said, "Really?" in an accustatory manner, because honestly, who hasn't read Harry Potter? Well, she hasn't. But I believe it is probably for one of two reasons (or perhaps both): too many other books to read and intentional avoidance. She does have a Ph.D. after all and is reading massive Victorian tomes while I'm sneaking in Donna Parker Goes to Hollywood in between writing a paper on Albert Camus.

What can I say - I love young adult literature. Especially those that are set pre-women's lib; it's like reading stepping into a time warp. So as I continued to deal with my shock that there is someone out there, not from a Third World Country, who has not read Harry Potter (I suggest listening to it on tape/CD - very entertaining), I recalled a series that I have read twice in the past three years. There isn't much to recall really because I look fondly at these books on my shelf since they are located just below the two shelves of books I read for my other Master's program. Place of honor indeed. This series of books is far better than Harry Potter. Yes, I've just blasphemed but I can't help it because it is true!

If you're really interested in magic, especially old magic, then Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series is just for you.

The first book introduces us to Will Stanton whose world turns upside down on his 11th birthday. In it he finds out he is not who he, or his family, believes him to be.

The second book, Over Sea, Under Stone, introduces three different characters, two brothers and a sister, who have an adventure in Cornwall helping to defeat the dark.

Greenwitch is the third book which brings all four children together in Cornwall in order to defeat the dark. After two other books the dark is only being held at bay.

The Grey King takes place in Wales and is really a transitional book leading up to the final book in the series. Bran, a Welsh boy, is introduced as a primary character.

The final book which culminates the series is Silver on the Tree. In it the people who represent the light, the five children and Merriman, an old one, band together in a final attempt to vanquish the dark. After reading this book I had to visit Wales. Well, I wanted to but I haven't been there yet. It is comforting to know that I have ancestors who emigrated from this part of the United Kingdom along with my Scottish and English ancestors. Perhaps there is a biological reason for the connection.

I cannot say enough about these books and my short annotations do not even do justice to the depth of Susan Cooper's story telling. She combines mythology, legend, old magic and fantasy, and the books are really just so enjoyable and believable. I love them so much that I am ready to read them again even though I just read them last fall.

So if you want an alternative to Harry Potter, try Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. And I'm sure if my professor reads this she might consider these books - and I hope you do too!

Happy Birthday, Marines

Today is the 231st birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.
I would like to share a story with you about Chesty Puller and some great quotes about the Marine Corps.
Semper Fi!

In October 1954, Chesty was the base commander at Camp Lejeune. I was the commanding officer of A-1-2. In those days (and maybe now) we had a rifle company on each coast that was combat ready and on alert to fly anywhere on a couple of hours notice. The duty or alert fell to one company for a period of time, then to another. In early October 1954, Able Company was the "clutch company" when the panic button was pushed. I was called to battalion. The battalion CO and I then rushed to regiment. We picked up the regimental CO and sped to division, straight to the war room. In the war room was the division commander, the G3, G2 and an awful lot of brass. And, in the back of the room sat Chesty Puller. The briefing started. First, one Colonel, then another, briefed on where we would be going and why, how soon we had to be in the aircraft, initial destination, and all that. Maps were brought out, various opinions offered, and contingencies discussed. As I recall, when the division commander asked if I had any questions, I was so overwhelmed that I did not. Then, the division commander turned toward Chesty Puller in the back of the room. "General Puller," he asked. "Is there anything you would like to say?" Chesty looked at me for what seemed an eternity, then said rather quietly and very seriously, "Son, if they give you any shit, level the place."

We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk.
Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC; Afghanastan, 20 September 2001
As reported on page 1 of the New York Times

The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!
MGen. Frank E. Lowe, USA; Korea, 26 January 1952

Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights.
Navy Times; November 1994

Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines.
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918

The United States Marine Corps, with its fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth.
Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997

For all of those that have son's or daughter's at bootcamp let me pass on what I found. Let me give you a little back ground first. When my son left home he had no motivation, he was lazy, slobby, no pride, no self worth. This is the boy that got off the bus March 18th at Parris Island. The man that I met on Thursday for parents day is AWESOME. There is no way I can describe to you all the difference. He looks different, he walks different, he talks different, he has such a sense of bearing and pride all I could do was look at him in awe. Oh yes, the training is hard, what he went through is unimaginable to any one that has not been there. They are definitely taught to be Warriors. Let me tell you the surprise of what else they are taught. My Marine son has better values, better morals, better manners than any one I know. It is so much more than Yes Sir, Yes much more. He cares about how he looks, he cares about what he does, and its not a boastful, bad ass thing. He is a true gentleman. I saw patience, and a calmness in him that I have never seen. I could never express my gratitude enough to the Marine Corps for what they have given my son. I know this, I have an 11 year old Devil pup still at home. When the time comes for his turn if I had to I would take him kicking and screaming all the way. Although I'm sure that will not happen. The hero worship I see in my younger sons eyes for his Marine brother tells me I will have two Marines in the family, and I will be one very proud mother.
"Cybil", Mother of a Marine writing to the myMarine Group

The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.
James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy; 23 February 1945
(the flag-raising on Iwo Jima had been immortalized in a photograph by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal)

I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!
General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur; Korea, 21 September 1950

We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
during the assault on Grenada, 1983

The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat.
RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake".
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles.
Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997

Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?
GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC
near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918

Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over.
Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC
in a note pinned to his office door, 1836

Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!
Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC
rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950

Marines die, that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.
the mythical GySgt. Hartman, USMC; portrayed by GySgt. R. Lee Ermey, a Marine Corps Drill Instructor using his own choice of words in Full Metal Jacket, 1987

You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!
Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943

We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess.
Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC); 10 November 2000

I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold.
1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC
in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918

I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past.
Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Reader Responsibility

I received my latest mailing from Mystery Guild last night and as I was perusing the packet it occurred to me how out of touch I am with contemporary authors. There's probably a reason (it's called "taking classes for the past three years straight"). And I haven't purchased from Mystery Guild in a while and there's a reason for that too - it's called the library. I'm a little tired of spending money on crap books that just hang around my house. I am also trying to be a little more selective in choosing what I buy. Just because I've read all the other books in a series doesn't mean that I want to have them around all the time.

For example, I have purchased and read all the "Cat Who" books by Lillian Jackson Braun. I like these books a lot, I really do, but I've also found that as time goes on the stories become a tad less complex and the margins on the page increase. I think it is great that someone continues to write as they age because mental acuity is great at staving off the loss of memory (obviously as a doctor I'm qualified to make this dogmatic statement). However, there comes a time when I must stop spending money on these books (especially when there are so many other things to spend my money on). Another author who started increasing her margins is Phyllis Whitney. Back in the 80's I hit the jackpot at the Quantico library and purchased a ton of books for ten cents each, books by Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. I'm not that much of a snob that I would deny reading them because I think both women are gifted story tellers (and they are NOT Danielle Steel novels - I do have standards). But when we moved up here and the movers were packing our 20,000 pounds worth of stuff, I had to make a decision and Phyllis and Victoria had to go. And as I've been slowly unpacking I've been getting rid of many other books too.

Ultimately I've been trying to whittle down the books I own in order to keep only those that I've read two to three times and will most likely read again. My comfort books I call them. And the others, well, I'll just find them at the library.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cookie Central

This is what 53 cases of Thin Mints looks like:

And here are some more stacks:

One hundred eighty three cases in all.
Yes, I'm the Cookie Mom.
Because I just don't have enough to do.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday morning

And this is what I found when I came downstairs.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oh to be a French Woman

Mireille Guiliano has a quiz to find out how French you are.
I am Potentially French.
But I always knew that.
Let me go live in France and I could be une vraie Francaise!

Some thoughts

I always end up sitting behind or near women who insist on talking as loud as they can to each other and to everyone else. (Hello! I'm engaging in anti-social behavior here! Can you keep your voices down???)

If Melinda Gordon aka "The Ghost Whisperer" aka The Boob Whisperer, continues to tell people about the ghosts she sees, by Season 3 everyone in her town will know she has this gift. ("Aw, that cute girl with the big tits talks to ghosts.")

My mother, at 75, can now feasibly fit into my size 9 Calvin Klein jeans I've saved since high school. (Bitch can't have 'em.)

Just because the movie is a cartoon doesn't mean it's appealing to kids. ("Ferngully" and "We're Back" are ones that immediately come to mind.)

It's difficult to skim a 300 page book. (But by golly I'll try to do it before Monday.)

It's so awesome to feel superior

Especially when you're eight years old.
Watching the news at 4:30 this morning (yes, she's awake).
NBC Early Show announcer comes on to discuss the opening of the new Marine Corps Museum in Quantico next week.
Except he pronounces Quantico incorrectly.
And she laughs and says, "He doesn't know how to say it! Did you hear him?"
This is not the only time she will feel superior to those whom she sees on tv.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


It's snowing again. The weather forecast calls for it to be 6 degrees tomorrow!
Oh wait, that's the forecast from the Toronto radio station.
And they measure using Celsius.
Man, I always get that confused.
Sometimes I just can't remember where I am.
Who am I again?

National Novel Writing Month

Wow, I must have been living under a rock for the past decade, because National Novel Writing Month is in its ninth year. Why didn't I hear about this sooner? Why couldn't it have come in February when there's definitely more indoor time?

Regardless, this is such a great thing! You have one month to write a 50,000 word novel. You can post to their website daily and have others read your work. And because NaNoWriMo is a non-profit, they will be happy to accept donations and put them to good use building libraries and helping people to read and write. And you can't help but like the people who run this - read their history. Even better, there are schoolteachers out there signing up with their classes! You've gotta love anything that encourages creativity.

As soon as I can figure out how I will post their button on my sidebar because yes, I did sign up for this. Forget that 20 page paper on Camus...this is more fun! Now I'm already a day behind, so as Jimmy Neutron would say, I've gotta jet. I'm going to channel Snoopy and begin my novel.

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Small town trick or treating

Last year when DN2 and I went trick or treating, we went out with a friend of my brother's and his daughter, who is the same age as DN2. He invited us because he knew that we were new back to the area, and just because it's always cool to have a second generation become friends too.

This year, however, DN2 and I decided to go it alone. And the biggest difference is that we weren't trick or treating from my mother's "out in the country" but this time we were right here in town. We had thought about going to a housing development, but quickly found out that there was plenty of candy to be had here in town.

One of the reasons we didn't want to trick or treat in the village is because this is also a college town. You know what when you're in a college town, and that is the unexpected, unpredictable, and vomit on the street corners. Being game we headed off into the direction of the largest off-campus housing in town -- right down our street. In this village (I call it a town, but it's really a village) there is a main street, and that line of demarkation is huge. The issues on the east side of Main Street are different than those on the west side of Main Street mostly because the west side is where the college (and the majority of the off-campus housing) is located. Ever wise we chose to live on the west side.

The standard rule of thumb with trick or treating is that if the porch light is on you're open and amenable to trick or treaters. Apparently there were some college students who figured that they would leave their porch light on for safety (good on 'ya) but didn't anticipate small children coming by and demanding candy. So at one house, DN2 received 2 pieces of Orbit gum and a guarantee that it would freshen her breath.

We decided not to venture down much further into the college housing territory and turned around. We went onto the next street and there were met by a woman who looked at DN2's devil costume and exclaimed, "You need to be wearing my horns!" This lady had on dollar store horns that blink on and off, and surprisngly she took them right off her head and put them onto DN2's head! (No stories about lice and unsanitary measures, I know, it's the gesture here folks).

After walking around for 2 hours, we were both pretty tired and DN2 had a pretty good haul. We saw some parts of the village that were really highly decorated and it brought home to me about how lazy I am about decorating. I looked at some of these houses with the lights and the yards all done up and I thought to myself, "Geez, you've just got to take it down tomorrow. What a waste." Regardless, we ended the evening with no property damage and lots of leftover candy. Yum yum.

Now, time to get ready for the Marine Corps Birthday, Veteran's Day, and Thanksgiving.