Monday, June 29, 2009

We've Been Waiting for this Day

What can I say.
Three down, one to go for starters.
Only DN2 remains, and she won't graduate for another 7 years!
Sure our seats were kind of far away, but at this stage of the game, what did it matter. He was down there with his classmates.

We were just glad to be there.
And I think he looks pretty happy too now that it's done.
Both here with my mother:

And with the whole family:

The funny thing is I sent DH out to the lobby to find SN2 so he could take pictures while I helped my mother get to the lobby.
Once we found them I asked DH where SN2 was; DH said that he had already gone to turn in his gown and get his diploma.
I asked about pictures, and he said they hadn't taken any.
We had NO pictures of him in his cap and gown.
But you know, I let it go, because SN2 was actually done and had graduated.
We hoped.
He still had to see if his diploma was in the envelope, or if there was a dreaded note that told him to call the school counselor because he had not met all the requirements to graduate.
Our greatest fear.
When he came out with his diploma cover I had to ask; he looked at me and said, "It's in there."
Woo hoo.
Then he did something really sweet. He went to his friend Jay and asked if he could borrow his cap and gown so we could get some pictures.
And even better, Jay's family waited patiently while we took our pictures.
That was nice.
(Jay was actually one of SN2's first friends when we moved up here, and it's nice to see they're still friends, don't you think?)
So actually this is not the cap and gown in which SN2 graduated, but again, at this stage in the game, who cares.
He's done!
Now isn't this the walk of a young man feeling a large sense of relief?

I think so too.
Congratulations Pooh Bear - well played.

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 25th - What a Day

Was yesterday an outrageous day, or what.
We had severe weather here, so that did not affect your part of the country, but I know we're all still reeling from the news.
First, Farrah Fawcett.
I always liked her a lot.
Remember when she was married to Heath Barkley aka Lee Majors? What a power couple.
Next, a fierce thunderstorm rolled through in the afternoon, and it was accompanied by lightning. The sky became so dark by 2:00 that it looked like twilight had come early.
At 3:10 exactly the power went out in the entire building.
Since there were only 4 of us on our floor at the time, we just looked at each other.
My first words were, "Oh, guess it's time to go home!"
(An old Marine Corps saying - there's no cure like se-cure.)
We did go home 20 minutes later because we had found out that power was out across the entire campus.
Once we were in the lobby we then heard from some other employees lounging there (who can work in the dark, right?) that there were people stuck in one of the dorm elevators.
We exited the building into a pouring rain which surprisingly cleared up shortly afterward.
It became so clear that by 6:00 we were sitting on the sidelines watching DN2's soccer game, facing west and staring into the bright sun.
Then DN1 walks up and tells us the unbelievable news: "Did you hear that Michael Jackson is dead?"
It was difficult to focus on the soccer game after that news was delivered.
For all his wackiness, Michael's voice was an accompaniment to my youth, and was there as I contemplated that unanswerable question: Who do I like better, Donny Osmond or Michael Jackson?
Ah, to be 10 again.
So folks, tomorrow is SN2's high school graduation.
I think we're safe because his name was in the paper along with the rest of his graduating class, so congrats to him.
Let's just not ever repeat yesterday.
What a day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Found My Camera!!!

I found my camera this morning!
Amazing what shows up when you clean a bit.
And surprisingly enough I also have the charger on hand, although I'm missing the case, so the battery is at home being charged right now.
I can take pictures again!
Not necessarily good ones, but pictures.
Now, let's see how long I can hold onto this blessed thing before I misplace it again.
Any bets?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Sometimes images never leave your head, even after many days, and sometimes they may haunt you forever.
I saw this video on YouTube via Facebook a few days ago, and I can't stop thinking about it.
Some may find the images objectionable (so says YouTube's rating), so if you have an aversion to violent images of people fighting for freedom and democracy, don't watch.

I constantly have to remind myself that this is 2009, not 1979.
The comparisons are there, although with startling differences, because I like to hope that they will fix what got screwed up back then.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's always a good mail day when books are delivered

Today was a good mail day.
For sure.
I received two books in the mail: one I had ordered, and one unexpectedly.
In helping to create my syllabus for my class this fall I had to research YA fantasy books.
Sounds pretty easy, right?
Well the problem is if you're not sure what you're looking for, then how do you find it?
Especially when the syllabus has to be submitted for approval by the department chair.
Anyway, I randomly went through and picked out some books, one of which appears to be out of print.
I'm so smart, right?
Fortunately I found it on Amazon for less than a dollar, but then had to pay $3.99 for shipping.
That's me, Mensa ready!
This book is The Island and the Ring by Laura C. Stevenson.
Hopefully I made a good choice, considering I was referring to a two line synopsis when choosing it.
I'd post a picture but even that is not available.
Oh wait, I found one on GoodReads.

Then my oldest bro (one of the real ones, as I call them, and that's a post for another time), sent the family a copy of Excavation by James Rollins.

Apparently it's filled with archaeology, lost Inca cities, graves, gold, death, and as big bro added, evil Mestizos.
That would be in reference to DH's ethnicity.
Not the evil part, just the Mestizo part.
So it's been a good day today - I had a good checkup at the doctor, the sun is shining, and I have new books to read.
I'm so excited I might just have to go take a nap in the sun.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thinking of Singing

We went to DN2's chorus and band concert a few weeks back. I was surprised that the 4th grade band could sound so good, with none of that awkward, stuttering music that occurs when the kids play a piece alone.
You could tell they had been practicing their pieces a lot.
It was nice.
She loves band, but I've had to force her to attend chorus.
I want her to stick with it because if they participate throughout her school years there are plenty of opportunities to travel and perform at myriad locations around the state and country.
This is an argument we've been going through all year, and the thing is she likes to sing. What she doesn't like is having to get up early and be at school by 7:30.
So I forced her.
And now she has been chosen to sing with the select chorus at school.
They practice at noon.
Big difference.
I asked her how she would have felt if she didn't make it into this select chorale group, and she said that she would have cried and been really upset.
We've avoided that disaster for the time being, thankfully.
Now we have another dilemma.
She is expressing interest in singing in another chorale here in the area.
It markets itself as a "select" group, but oddly all of the kids who showed up at the information meeting on Monday night were selected.
Hmmmm, is it my kid who can sing, or is it the lure of my money that you hear?
I think the group has plenty of opportunities for her to learn how to sing, and also for her to learn poise while performing. That's something she needs to know, but for $300?
I'm not sure.
Believe it or not, we're leaving the decision up to her because she'll have to learn to manage her schedule with swimming, soccer, and singing practice one night a week in the next town over. Then there are all the sundry games and meets, as well as concerts throughout the year for both singing groups.
DN2 has said she can do it, but she really needs me to buy her a planner.
Really? That's all it will take?
I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Today is Bloomsday, and you have got to hear this recording of James Joyce.
You can listen to it here at BoingBoing.

It's remarkable, but this is not how I thought his voice would sound.
I don't even know if I gave it much thought, but I agree with the comments where people said it will change how they hear the cadence of the words as they read his works.
Truly remarkable.
Go grab a copy of Dubliners or Finnegan's Wake, get a Guinness, and enjoy the day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I am in LOVE!! but please keep it a secret

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I am in love.
And this is big time in love.
I can't escape from it, and you know, I don't want to escape it.
I want to revel in this feeling of ecstasy, and just spend all of my time with this new love.
What an amazing emotion, and it's so fulfilling.
Believe it or not DH knows all about it.
How could he miss it? I've been telling everyone at work, and I just can't stop talking about it even here at home.
I'll tell you too, but you'll have to keep it a secret. it is:

It's I Like Lemons' button-tab hat pattern.
Oh my gosh, I LOVE this pattern!
This has got to be the best hat pattern ever.
It's so simple and a quick knit, yet it makes this great looking hat that can look completely different depending upon the brim and the button.
So far I've finished one and am on the decrease rounds of the second one, and I'll show you both once I find the perfect button for the second one.
I'm beginning to chain knit these hats because my group at work is knitting and crocheting hats, mittens, and scarves for school kids in the area this year.
We have a lot of rural poor around here who are overlooked when it comes to people helping them out.
(Interesting fact: our school district has the highest amount of subsidized lunches of any of the schools in the area.)
I definitely love this pattern for middle school and high school-aged girls, so I expect to see many of them sporting my button tab hats this winter.
Love it! LOVE IT!!
And what's love unless you share it?

Friday, June 12, 2009

A New Addiction

DN1 has lost all respect for me.
This morning I told her about my new addiction, and she said, "That's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard you say."
What's the addiction?
I've been reading about it for a few weeks, but I just discovered it last night on an On-Demand channel:
I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here
Yes, I know, I'm hanging my head in shame, but WOW, what train wrecks they have on this show!
Now, some of the people are actually pretty decent, and that is what I find interesting to watch: the group dynamic and the rainforest location really bring out a person's true character.
I stayed up until midnight last night watching this show, and this morning I stood in my room to curl my hair so I could watch episode three.
Hey! I have to catch up!
If you can't stomach watching the show, then just check out this puppet parody.
This is pretty much episodes one and two:

It's obvious isn't it?
I have no shame.
I'll go back to my corner now and try to make better television choices in the future.
And don't judge me too harshly; I'm sure you've all made bad viewing choices before.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NYS is a big old mess

There's theatre in Albany.
Well, of course there are theatres down there, but in the New York State Senate?
Have you seen what's going on?
It's crazy!
Talk about drama.
If you're not from New York, you probably haven't been following what's been happening, but the gist of it is, two Democratic Senators (who both have spurious reputations) have decided to caucus with the Republicans, thus giving the Republicans control of the Senate.
And the governor is pissed, but because he is not a very well-liked governor anyway, no one is really paying him too much attention.
On Monday evening when this all went down, the Democrats were so pissed they turned off the lights in the chamber and shut down the media feed.
Oh the drama.
What a hot mess.
And then they wonder why people are leaving the state in droves.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Does anyone even know who Franz Liszt is anymore?

DN1 sent me a link (on MySpace) to this video "Lisztomania" by Phoenix from their new album (CD?) Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
Interesting stuff - quite catchy, especially when you listen to it five times through like I just have - so I thought I'd share it with you.
Let me know what you think.

And then there is the first video that came out featuring this song, before the official version, called the Brat Pack Mash-up. Good stuff here too:

The band prefers their effort, but the brat pack one is pretty popular too.
Which version do you like better?
Or, would you rather just listen to the song?

P.S. Yes, I know who Franz Liszt is, although I rarely listen to his music (except the Mephisto Waltz. According to reports, he was the Michael Bolton (ugh) of classical music in the early 19th Century. Go figure. They even made a movie about him. Hmm, learn something new everyday.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Hanging out in a crowd full of drunk, stupid people

Last night we headed to a concert.
I dreaded it; DN2 was about to pee on herself out of excitement.
You see the diverse expectations we had in approaching this event.
I wore sneakers (which really need to be used for more than just standing around).
Fortunately we had a line jumper pass and were able to go right around the crowd that was several thousand in strength, and get right in as soon as they opened the doors.
DN2 was then ready to stand in one spot in order to watch the concert.
It was in a parking lot at the Port of Rochester, so we were on pavement and would be standing for about 5 hours, hence the sneakers.
I made her leave that spot in order to get some water.
She was upset that we couldn't get back to it - it really was a good spot to stand, but she just wouldn't understand about how crowds push and shove and you get moved regardless of where you start out.
She understands now.
Oh, did I mention the allegedly 10,000 people that were there as well?
Apparently they had too many people, too many tickets, and not enough space, so we were lucky to get in at all.
It wasn't a bad show, but parts of it were so-so, and other parts were surprisingly good.
The line-up included:
The Sunstreak (a local band)
Kristinia DeBarge
The White Tie Affair
The Ting Tings
We the Kings
Kevin Rudolf (we left just before he started, but the sound system was SO good that we could hear him rapping as we left the park - just what we wanted, to be accompanied by the loud use of the word m*therf*cker and other epithets as we walked back to our car).
Now, ask me if I felt old.
Go ahead.
I'll tell you.
First, now I can rattle off the names of these bands, but I had only heard of one of them before going to the concert.
Second, while the young girls were checking out the men in the bands, I was thinking, "Hey, that security guard is kind of hot."
Yeah, I'm old.
For the record, crowd surfers are total jerks.
DN2 got kicked in the temple and it actually made her cry, but she still wouldn't leave her spot. She wanted to see 3Oh!3.
(Another for the record, one of the guys from the band was talking about having his gun cocked; personally, I thought he was packing a snub-nosed revolver; perception, go figure.)
The White Tie Affair are very good performers - I was surprised, and We the Kings were good live as well.
The Ting Tings, what we could see of them, dang it, was great, but their music is remarkable both live and on the, CD.
Each band played a 4-5 song set, so the event went rather quickly.
I feel, however, that we have unleashed a monster with DN2, because now she is going to want to go to even MORE concerts, and guess who gets to take her.
Over the noise last night I shouted to her, "My mother would have never taken me to something like this when I was 10."
She smiled; she knows my mother.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Sad news.
I bought three new pairs of sandals to get me through the summer (and hopefully into summers beyond).
I ordered them off of the internet, and I waited a week for them to get here, anxiously anticipating their arrival.
They were such cute pairs of sandals in all the colors I need: one black, one blue, and one brown.
Yesterday they arrived.
I was so excited to get home from work that I left right at 4:00 with the IT guy still running stuff on my computer.
See ya, I said.
I opened up the boxes, I looked lovingly at their stylish shape and form...and then I tried them on.
Too small.
(Here's where I cried and whined for a few hours, and felt like one of Cinderella's older sisters.)
One pair might have fit, but really, for as much money as they cost, it's not worth it to keep shoes that don't fit.
(Goodwill can attest to this fact, when they get clothes from me that still have the price tag affixed.)
I'm so bummed, because now I have to send them back, and that's a chore in and of itself.
Well, one pair will remain behind because DN2 said, "These sandals are so pretty! They're so pretty!"
Guess who's getting a new pair of sandals.
So now I'm going to have to take my fat butt (and foot) to the store and buy some new sandals.
(Stand by: I'm going to whine again)
And I REALLY, REALLY liked these sandals.
Bummer drag.

Monday, June 01, 2009

What is this, Silver?

Today, DH and I have been married for 25 years.
Can you believe it?
In honor of this auspicious occasion, I want to share my favorite Flintstones' clip.
I think I've put this on here before, but honestly, it is totally worth seeing more than once.

My mother actually called me at work this morning and sang this song.
See, we're all crazy.
It's genetic.
And poor DH married into this craziness.