Carley's day began like every other day had for the last month or so. She got dressed, reluctant, and bored with the whole thing. She went, down the rickety stairs, and through the swinging door into the dining area for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, and potatoes, as usual. Sitting down, she began to eat, and was not surprised when Cross Eyed Pete took the seat next to hers. For the last three weeks, Pete had been taking that same seat, and always had the same question.
"May I escort you to a fine dinner, this evening?" he said, trying to look at her.
"No you may not" she answered, as usual. I am a married woman."
"I don't see no husband" he leered back at her.
"David is my husband!" she answered, again. Angrily. "David who?" everyone wanted to know, because they had forgotten about the sheriff who disappeared. She sighed. They had been giving her a difficult time over the last few weeks, insisting that a girl as pretty as her needed to have a husband. Every single man in the area had been showing up at Fanny's boarding house, hoping to 'escort her to dinner'. Each one had been turned away. Cross Eyed Pete was a jealous type, and he discouraged them all from coming back. So now, mainly, she only had him to contend with. But he was proving to be very stubborn, indeed.
"I will not take No for an answer!" he told her, cheerily. "I don't see no man named David here, and I am just as good as any of them other fella's" he finished. "Be ready at sunset."
"I will do NO SUCH THING" she answered, forcefully, slamming her fork down on the table. Unfortunately, her fork still had a bite of eggs on it, and they splattered all over Cross Eyed Pete. Not caring, she got up from the table, and flounced out the door.
"She is going to pay for that" muttered Pete, wiping the egg off his face with a scowl.
"Oh, now, Pete, she didn't mean it" Fanny said, clearing up her plate.
"Yes she did, and I am tired of her stuck up, high falutin' ways" growled Pete. "She thinks that I ain't good enough for her, well, she's gonna see. She better be waitin' for me at sunset, in her prettiest dress, or I am going to learn her a lesson". With that said, he shoved himself away from the table, and stormed out the door.
Carley quickly gained entrance to her shop, and locked the doors. Making sure the blind was securely pulled down, she paced around the small building. Around all the bolts of fabric, and the sewing machine. She had been searching everywhere for a way to get back to her own time and place, to no avail. "I miss my kids, damn-it!" she shouted to the empty shop, her eyes filled with tears. "I want my life back" she whimpered to the dust. Sobbing, she sat down in front of the sewing machine and cried. After a while, she stopped, and wiped her eyes with a dusty hand. Taking a few deep breaths, she took stock of her situation. She was stuck, in the 'Wild West' in some town called Pineville. She thought, because of the gold she earned sewing clothing, that she was somewhere in Northern California. She was alone, with no family, or friends. For all intents and purposes, a single woman, since technically, neither she, nor David were even born yet. But the thought of being with someone else, especially Cross Eyed Pete, sickened her. Vowing that even if she had to run away to avoid him, she would, Carley started to work the sewing machine, losing herself again in the task. She never did raise the shade, or unlock the door. She didn't leave to eat lunch, or dinner. She stayed, locked in, even when (and especially when) Cross Eyed Pete came banging on the door, threatening to shoot his way in. She heard the new sheriff drag him away. Close to one in the morning, she finally opened the door, and snuck back to her room. Once there, she lodged the chair underneath the door knob, and fell into an uneasy sleep. She forgot, however, to bar the window...
Pete heard the soft footsteps on the stairs, and knew Carley had gone back to her room. "I'll teach that stuck up bitch" he thought, grinning menacingly. He waited one hour, two. Then, snuck out of his own room, careful to avoid the loose floor boards that would give him away. Stealthily, he tried the door, knowing she'd probably secured it well. He was right. He was also prepared. Gathering his canvas bag, he entered the dark, warm night. Quickly, he tossed a rope up to his own open window, and scaled the building, swinging his way closer and closer to Carley's. Just as he'd suspected, she'd left it open a crack. Silently, he slid it open. Before Carley knew what was happening, he had her bound, and gagged. Picking her up like she weighed nothing, he carried her out of the building, and tossed her into the travois he had strapped to his horse. Whistling, he rode away in the soft pink ribbons of dawn.
Struggling against her bonds, Carley's mind raced with fear. If she got killed, would her body return to the future? Or would she be an unmarked grave of the past? What about her children? Tears streaking her face, she snuffled against the dirty bandanna he'd used to gag her with.
"Not much longer" he promised her, hearing her struggle. Near the train tracks, a few miles outside of town, he finally stopped.
"You should have married me when you had the chance, Carley-girl" he said, shrugging. "If I caint have you, then no one can. He lifted her out of the travois and slung her over his shoulder. Ignoring her struggle, he strode over to the train tracks, spurs clicking against his boots. Matter of factly he tossed her down, then tied her, across the tracks with good, strong knots. "train will be here in 'bout ten minutes" he said, after he had her well secured. "No one in town will miss your snotty self, least of all me." Having finished what he wanted to say, he jumped up on his horse, and rode away.
Scared almost to the point of fainting, Carley struggled against her restraints. Each struggle she made seemed to make the knots tighter. Suddenly, from the distance, she heard the lone whistle of a fast moving train. In a frenzy she railed against the rope holding her, causing it to burn and strip the skin around her wrists and ankles. Tears soaked the bandanna stuck in her mouth. Able to only turn her head, she watched her doom approach her in 50 tons of screaming black metal. She fainted.
The night clerk of the Time Travel Inn wandered out of the office, chuckling. "Fool" he thought to himself. Some idiot had broken down a few miles up the road, leaving a smoking shell of a purple VW bug off on the side of the road. Rather than spending money to stay at the closer, cleaner Super 8, the young man had chosen to stay at the Time Travel Inn. He'd been assigned to room 1400....
Tripping over a lump in the grass, the night clerk swore. "Damn, I forgot about her!" Standing up, he helped a disheveled, wide eyed Carley to her feet, and wondered if he still had the phone number that David had left with him over three months ago. He was pretty sure he did....
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Carley's day began like every other day had for the last month or so. She got dressed, reluctant, and bored with the whole thing. She went, down the rickety stairs, and through the swinging door into the dining area for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, and potatoes, as usual. Sitting down, she began to eat, and was not surprised when Cross Eyed Pete took the seat next to hers. For the last three weeks, Pete had been taking that same seat, and always had the same question.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.
You can't really tell one story without telling the other, I think. So they will go, together. For a bit, anyhow.
Helen was born at an estate in Alabama called Ivy Green in 1880. Her father was a former Confederate officer, and her mother had the impressive lineage of being a cousin to Robert E. Lee, and the daughter of a Confederate General herself. She was born with the capabilities to see, and hear. That would all change at 13 months old, when she came down with an illness, that was eithe Scarlet Fever, or Meningitis. It was not a long illness, but it did it's damage. What many people don't know, is that there was a little girl named Martha Washington who lived in the house, and those 2 developed a sign language of their own. Helen actually used over 60 "home signs" by the time she was seven. This ability was actually crucial for her future development.
Anne Sullivan was born in 1866 in Massachusetts, the daughter of 2 impoverished Irish cooks who left Ireland during the Potato Famine. Her mother died when she was nine, of tuberculosis. She and her brother were sent to live with relatives, who later sent the two to live in an "almshouse", where her brother died. When she was 3 years old, Anne had began to have trouble with her eyesight, and later contracted an eye disease called trachoma, that often causes blindness by scarring. She had multiple surgeries trying to fix her vision. She ended up in a school for the blind, where she underwent more surgery, and regained only partial sight. She graduated from school in 1886, and, had another surgery which regained her more of her sight, and then, took a job. Working with Helen Keller.
Helen and her father, in the meantime had made a trip to Baltimore Maryland, in search of a specialist, for advice on what to do with Helen. He sent them to, of all people, Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children, at the time. Bell sent them to the Perkins Institute, and they? Assigned them one of their recent graduates, one Anne Sullivan. Here is where our stories converge.
Anne got permission from Helen's family to isolate the girl into a little garden house. Her first task with Helen was to instill discipline, of which she had been sorely lacking. Next, came the words. I am sure most of you have seen the movie, and the "water" scene. After finally grasping the concept, Helen practically exhausted Anne with her constant demands for more words. When she was ten, the pair learned of a deaf/blind Norwegian girl named Ragnhild Kata, who had learned to speak. This success inspired Helen to wish to speak, as well. So Annie taught her. Helen also learned Braille, and used it not only for English, but for French, German, Greek, and Latin.
In 1894, the pair moved to New York City to attend schools designated for the deaf. In 1896, they moved on to Massachusetts, where Helen entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies, and then, 2 years later, Radcliffe College. Mark Twain, and admirer of Helen, had introduced her to a Standard Oil magnate and his wife, who paid for her education. At the age of 24, Helen graduated, magna cum laude, becoming the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Anne Sullivan remained by her side as a companion for many years to come (a total of 49 years from start to finish.) She had married a man named John Macy, who helped write Helens autobiography, but their relationship deteriorated, and they seperated, though never divorced. In 1935 Anne became completely blind, and she died, a year later. There is now a public school in Brooklyn named for her. By this time, a new companion had been with them for a few years, named Polly. Helen and Polly moved to Connecticut, and travelled world wide, raising funds for the blind. However, Polly died, and then Winnie came aboard as Helen's companion.
Helen did not just tour to raise money for the blind, however. Her entire life she was busy, speaking out for issues she was passionate about, including pacifism, the suffragist movement, radical socialism, and, in favor of birth control. She started the Helen Keller International Organization which is devoted to research in vision, health and utrition, and in 1920, she was a founding member of the ACLU. When Annie was alive, they traveled to over 39 countries. She met every president from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson. (Though she was very staunch in her opposition against Woodrow Wilson.)
She was also an author. She wrote her first book at Eleven years old. Her autobiography was written when she was 24, and she wrote another, "spiritual" one about her religion, in 1927. She also wrote a multitude of essays on Socialism. In total, she wrote 12 books, and numerous articles.
She also had received, as gifts from Japan, 2 Akita dogs, and she is credited with having introduced the breed to the United States.
In 1961, Helen suffered a series of strokes, and spent her last years of life, at home. She died in 1968, just before her 88th birthday.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
David, over on authorblog always asks very interesting, and sometimes difficult to answer Weekend Wandering questions. Go on over, and look at some of his beautiful posts, as well.
This last Weekend Wandering question is "Has anyone ever under-estimated your ability?"
Now, this happens frequently, for whatever reason. People seem to under-estimate others on a regular basis. I usually will just prove them wrong, smirk, and flounce away, vindicated.
There was a time in my life when I did not know how to do that, though.
I joined the Navy when I was 18.
I needed to do something that was going to get me away from the small town I grew up in, and out of the rut that EVERYONE I went to high school with practically fell into. (Go to local junior college while working a menial job, living with mom and dad, stagnating). Some went on to 4 year colleges, but most of us? Not.
So I joined the Navy. Dad had been in the Navy, DK had been a Marine (I so wasn't going there) Grandpa had been Army (their recruiter told me I could be a housekeeper or secretary in the Army. Oh lovely). I did briefly consider the Air Force, but I like the Ocean better than the sky. So the Navy it was.
Boot camp was long. And arduous. I went to Orlando Florida during August, of all months. It was stale, and hot, and I was away from home for the first time. But I survived it. During boot camp, they told me that my first duty assignment was going to be in Yokosuka, Japan. I was excited. I was 18, liberated, and headed overseas! My Mom (Aunt Tuna) was less than thrilled. I'd be gone 2 years.
My first job in the navy was as a "Fireman's apprentice". I could branch out from here into being an Engineman, an Electrician, or many other things related to the mechanics of Navy Life. I actually wanted to be an Electrician. So, after a month of the basic "Fireman" training, off I went, to Yokosuka, to work on Tugboats.
I got there, and was introduced to my "boss", a first class petty officer who happened to be and Engineman. Petty is right.
Lets call him Lance, shall we? This guy announced to me, under no uncertain terms, that I was going to be an Engineman, like he was. Like he was training another young sailor on the boat to be. This guy was a LARGE, muscular man, and he was HATEFUL. I was the very first female crew member placed on the tugboat, and he DID NOT WANT ME THERE. There were 4 guys, and ME on this boat. I could never get away from him, or them. For the next 6 months, Lance went out of his way to belittle me, punish me for any error, and tear me down to tears as often as he could. He was responsible for training me, helping me. He did neither. I suffered a serious burn to my hand once because he was standing behind me while I was performing a task on a large, RUNNING engine, yelling at me and belittling me while I was trying to finish the work. I can still feel the pain, of the burn, and the constant, emotional beat down.
One day, it all came to a head. He crossed the line of emotional, into physical. I was standing next to a wall, and he took a swing at me, while he was yelling loud enough that little flecks of spit were flying. He missed my head, by millimeters. He hit the wall hard enough to leave a dent. I almost fainted.
That was it. I was so tired of him, beaten by him. He would not let me go train with the electrician, he made me hate my life. I was not enjoying Japan, or anything on the tugboat. I was young, just had finally turned 19, and I was beaten. I did not realize that I could have lodged a formal complaint, and taken him to Captains Mast. Oh, how I wish I would have known that.
Instead, I did the quickest thing I could think of. I got a book, answered a bunch of test questions, and changed my job over to Seaman on the tug boat.
Best thing I ever did. It removed me from Lance and his undermining, the Captain of the tug told him he had to stay away from me (he heard about the almost hitting me incident). Hard on a small tug with only 5 people on it. So he just ignored me. That was FINE BY ME.
I loved working out on the decks of the tugboat. Liberated from the oppressive engine room, and the oppressive Lance, I began to work hard, and shine. I really loved my job, and I was GOOD at it. Everyone was amazed that the little mouse I was turned into a sassy, take no shit tugboat girl. I started to love my life in Japan, as well. Being happy and successful at my job made a HUGE difference.
And Lance? He left the boat, eventually. I wish I could say he was eaten by a shark or something. But No. He, and many other men in the Navy like him, thrive in the atmosphere of Navy life. He simply went to his next duty station. I never had to see him again. The next Engineer that came aboard was a super nice guy. Supportive, fun. Had he been my boss, I might have been a good electrician.
So, yeah. Lance under-estimated my ability. But the problem? He got ME to under-estimate my own ability. A very young me. Thankfully, I got away from him in time....
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Color is a language. Color is one of the most fulfilling elements in our lives. Color can attract your attention or change your mood. It speaks to who you are, how you feel and where you're going. At Sherwin-Williams, we can help you put together the perfect colors for your life.
I took this straight from the Sherwin-Williams website. Where I have been perusing what color should be our lives....
Well? What color should be our lives? It's hard to choose. Especially after reading that little blurb about how the color can change our mood and spark who we are...
They encourage me to 'explore the essence of color'.
oook, but when I go exploring, I am greeted with colors, like
'Zany Pink', or 'Radish. If you don't like those, how about Damsel? Who decided to name this strange color that almost resembles lavender to 'damsel'?
And how about 'Sashay Sand'. What kind of person can choose the color 'sashay sand'? I can just hear that conversation, now. "Oh, what a lovely wall color. What is is?"
"Why thank you, it's 'sashay sand'.
um. Sashay sand...
Interface Tan. That one must be for the computer geeks, because it Interfaces, right? To be honest with you, that is one of the colors we are considering for our walls. That, or possibly, Malted Milk.
Yeah, that's us. The Malted Milk people.
How about 'Hopeful?' If it wasn't a hideous shade of peach-ish color.... And then there is another one called 'stolen kiss'. Um. Hey? What color are your walls...
Is that right....
How about 'folksy gold'.
How high were the people naming paint? They MUST have been sniffing the paint fumes....
Want some Charisma in your life? Paint your walls. With Charisma, of course...
In the mood for a Croissant? Paint your walls croissant colored.
I could go on, and on.
But I won't, because frankly I am overwhelmed by paint color names, and I am under attach by a certain, black cat. Who is sitting right behind my head....
Monday, May 26, 2008
So there they were, Mielikki and Cami. It was the morning of the annual Kaos Tiki party, and they were taking a break, and enjoying a few minutes in the sun..
Mr. Kaos (aka Dr.Normal) and Mustang Man were also out, enjoying the sun, and getting to know each other, talking about whatever it is men find to talk about (it should be noted here that these polly pockets in no way resemble either Mr. Kaos, or MM. The male polly pockets ALL look like this, though. I had no choice.)
little K Kaos and Mustang girl were also out having fun. Mustang Girl had baked some cookies and brought them all the way from California for the occasion, and K was doing her best to brush MG's hair for her...
Sybil, and Bubblewench had flown out from the East Coast to Tiki, as well, and Celtic Rose had tagged along with Mielikki, seeing as she's not ever had a tiki drink.... Miss Burrows, hearing of all the fun, joined them as well.
until, that is, she went off to steal the winning carrot card from her husband, who was off shuffling all the bunny cards...
but there was a surprise in store for CamiKaos. To get it, however, she had to be blindfolded...
hidden around the corner, were Holly and Jo, all the way from the UK! (Jo had just finished scolding Holly for not wearing shoes. But Holly maintains that anyone wearing board shorts does not need to wear shoes.)
Cami was so surprised to see her friends, she ran right over to give them a hug!
then, everyone was hugging everyone, and well, Chaos (or is it Kaos?) ensued...
when it all settled down, all the friends raised a glass of tiki goodness to each other
(note Sybil had 2 of them.... so that each person would have a glass to clink against, right, Sybil?)
and then, a group picture was taken, for posterity....
(whew! time consuming! This was my first and last attempt at Polly Pocket Posting..... and Mustang Girl was a big help! Gotta give proper kudo's to Holly and QOH who have done many many more of these... and Holly even labels her pictures!)
Happy Memorial Day, everyone!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Carley stood in the middle of the dirt street, shivering, looking at the body of the man her husband had just shot down. "How did I get here?" she thought, looking around, trying to figure out where exactly here was. The last thing she remembered was showing up at the TIme Travel Inn, the place where her husband had last been seen, a full month ago.
Things had been kind of rocky between her and David for the last year, but it didn't mean she didn't still love him. She never really realized how much she loved him, until he was gone. Even the brief glimpse she'd gotten of him had made her feel better. But where did he go?
Starting to walk, she made her way down the street. People slowly began trickling out of doors, whispering quietly to themselves.
"Did you see that? The sheriff shot him down!"
"Smoot finally got what he deserved!"
"Where did the sheriff go, though?"
"Was David the sheriff?" thought Carley, stunned. "He's an insurance man!"
To her left, a large, blond, cross eyed man approached her.
"You the new girl?" he asked, leering. "I'm cross-eyed Pete, soon to be your first customer."
"I don't think so" she answered, disdainfully. "I am David's wife. Where is he?"
"Sheriff is married?" said Cross Eyed Pete. "Ain't that somthin'. I don't know where he went, but I can show you to his room, Ma'am".
"Please" said Carley, suddenly tired...
Back at the Time Travel Inn, David tried to piece together what had happened. The best he could figure out, is that Carley had come searching for him, and the idiot behind the desk had given her the keys for the cowboy room. And since he'd already traveled back, he could not do so, again.
"So, I have to wait for someone else to come check in?" he asked the desk clerk, trying to resist the urge to choke him out.
"Yes" the kid answered, laconically.
Carley laid down on Davids bed, weeping. She cried harder, when the scent of him reached her nostrils. Even this far away, he still smelled the same, a tangy-sweet smell that reminded her of their prom night. Eventually, her weeping subsided, and she sat up, snuffling. The room was very plain, a pitcher and bowl on the nightstand, plain wooden floor. The bed had a faded blue quilt on it. Hanging on the pegs, were some pants, shirts and vests. As she approached them, they faded away, and in their place, dresses appeared. Sighing, she fingered through them, they were all in her size.
"What am I to do here?" she thought to herself. She'd left her children with her mother in law, and hoped like hell that David had returned to their home. She trusted her mother in law, but the children needed their parents. "I have to find my way home" she thought.
Smelling food, her stomach started to grumble. She went down the stairs, and was greeted by someone named "Miss Fanny". Surprisingly, there was a new sheriff at the table. David was all but forgotten, and they were all under the impression that she was the new town seamstress. Letting them think that, she sat down to eat her meal.
As she ate, and people talked to her, and around her, she was stunned to hear she had her own shop. 2 doors down. As soon as she finished her meal she made her way to the shop, discovering the door was open. Bolts of denim and cotton were everywhere, along with an archaic sewing machine. Sitting down at it, she soon lost herself in the reverie of sewing. She'd always loved the craft, but, since having children, she'd not had the time to do it. Now, however....
Quickly she got the hang of the foot pedal, the old bobbin. The thread. The sewing machine hummed with life. She finished the shirt that had been sitting in the machine, and then another. A man arrived, and claimed them as his own. He paid her money for them, which she accepted gratefully. As the day wore on, more men approached, politely, asking for shirts, pants, and even under things. A few of the "girls" from Miss Fanny's came, too, and she willingly took their orders, as well. Feeling productive for the first time in a long time, Carley kept sewing. Sewing was the only thing she could do that distracted her mind away from David, and her children, whom she longed to get home to. She vowed, if she ever got back home, she was going to buy a sewing machine, and make clothing for them all.
Weeks passed with Carley at her sewing machine by day, crying into her pillow each night. She was making enough money to pay Miss Fanny for her room, but people were beginning to speculate on whom she would choose as a husband. "I have a husband!" she would remind them. But they didn't remember David, at all. Cross Eyed Pete asked her to dine every evening. And she always said No. Business at the shop remained brisk, with people paying her in all sorts of manner. Gold, coins, and livestock the most popular. The gold she kept on her, the coins she gave to Fanny in payment, and the livestock, she sold. She quickly became a rich woman, by the standards of the time she was living in. Still she sewed, and longed for home...
To Be Continued, because Carley apparently is not so short of a story...
Friday, May 23, 2008
My friday lady has a very unusual name.
Zazu Pitts, to be specific.
She got her name because her mother had 2 female relatives (Eliza, and Susan) who wanted her to name her baby after them. So she put their names together. (Anyone curious about the correct way to pronounce it? "Zay-sue".)
She was born in Kansas in 1894, the third of four children to Rulandus and Nellie Pitts. Her father was a native New Yorker, who lost one of his legs in the Civil War. By the time she was nine years old, her family moved again, to Santa Cruz, California, seeking a warmer clime, and better job opportunities. Her childhood home still stands there.
She attended Santa Cruz High School, and though shy, she joined the drama department.
She made her stage debut in 1915, and was discovered by a pioneer screenwriter two years later. She made her debut in "The Little Princess", staring Mary Pickford, that same year. She gained more and more popularity, doing a series of comedies for Universal Studios, where she met and married Tom Gallery, a matinee idol, whom she ended up being paired with in many films. They had a daughter, Ann, in 1922.
In 1924, she was given a role in a tragedy, called Greed. It failed miserably in the box office, but has gained respect over time, once recut to include some of the NINE hours that was cut from the original film.
Her greatest fame came in the 1930's, starring in B movies, and comedy shorts. She also ended up playing "second banana" a lot. She began to trade off doing comedy shorts and features, and earned some respect doing drama, as well. Sound was an easy transition for her, and her sucess continued with the "talkies". During the 40's she also toured Vaudeville, and worked on the radio. In 1944, she made her debut on Broadway, as well. The play, a mystery, was called "Ramshackle Inn", and was written especially for her. She took the play on the road for many years.
Her last role, before she died, was in 1963, in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
She died, from cancer at age 69 in Hollywood, after a long, fruitful career.
She has a street in Las Vegas named after her, a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, and she has been on a Postage Stamp. She was also known for being an excellent cook, and a collector of candy recipes. She even wrote a candy cookbook. I count her as to being in 206 films....
Posted by mielikki at 10:02 AM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I remember the school "open house" nights when I was a kid We went to most of them. There is one in particular that stands out loudly in my mind. It was a potluck one.
My mom will tell you I was a picky eater. I really wasn't, I just didn't like crappy things. I liked fresh things. Pot lucks are not notorious for anything fresh or tasty. So I wasn't eating. She wanted me to eat. So she MADE me eat this kraft macaroni and cheese thing where some idiot had mixed into it tuna from a can.
Gross beyond description.
She got her paybacks, I was sick for days. Puking, dehydrated not moving from my bed sick.
But I digress.
Last night, after carefully considering how embarrassing we would be to her, probably, MG told MM and I that it was open house night at school.
So we went, and almost immediately she was swallowed into the tide pool of milling kids, and we were swallowed into the tide pool of milling parents, all waiting for the classroom doors to open. There was a book faire and spaghetti feed going on there, too. I don't eat spaghetti ( I will explain my spaghetti hating ways in another post) and the book faire were all tween and teen books, for the main part, so MM and I chose a spot near the school garden and sat, talking about the other milling parents.
During our wanderings it dawned on me that I was going to get to meet the teacher who was giving her such lopsided information about things. Whoo hoo.
Now school is over in 3 weeks. Finals are next week. My brain ticked along, wondering. Should I say anything? What should I say, if I do? Is the guy approachable? I am not her Mom, but I am the one who has been here, listening to the stuff he has been teaching them/showing them. MM and I discussed it for awhile. He didn't seem to mind if I questioned the teacher. I said what would really be good is if that teacher told parents the stuff he intended on discussing, and perhaps, had a viewing night for them of the movie(s) so they could decide if they wanted their kids subjected to it. MM agreed.
The classrooms open, and we were, of course, at the wrong one (miscommunication) We worked our way around, and got lured into a classroom with a real skeleton in it. While pondering the bones I heard the name of the teacher. Ah ha! It was THE ONE.
Studying him, I see he is a man probably close to 60, large-ish, bald, and kind of loud.
OOOK. Into the fray. He was talking with other parents, so we kind of surfed the fringes. Eventually, it was our turn. MM kind of stood back, and I just started talking. About MG at first, and then I told him, that the things coming out of his classroom were making for some "interesting" dinner conversation. He took the usual route of "thats a good thing, right?" until I blinded him with the "abortion that ends up in a colostomy" information
Then, my friends, the fluster set in. He FLAT denied it at first. Telling me they ONLY taught abstinence, so why would he teach about an abortion? He insinuated that she was "mistaken". Huh. Thought I. Mistaken my arse. Further discussion of the movies ensued. Then, his mind clicked back into place, and he told me, "it was in a movie, the abortion talk". This of course gets me thinking "so you are teaching abstinence, showing movies where they talk abortion, and you can't remember any of this when someone asks you?" but I didn't say it out loud. He was still back pedaling. Then he made the comment of "wow, that was some good listening.. for her".
MM only heard the good listening. I heard the "for her" part. And bristled. Looking him in the eye, I told him something I think all teachers really should already know "she may not look like she is listening? But she hears every word."
With that, our audience with him was over. We moved on, neither one of us liking him much. The next few we met were pretty nice. All of them had good things to say about the work she has been doing. We ran into the principal and discussed highschool with him, as well.
Eventually, we ended up retrieving MG from the tide pool of teens and tweens, and going out for burgers.
Not spaghetti. Or mac and tuna casserole.
It is interesting to be on the other side of the coin...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Japan has a new tourism ambassador.
Hello Kitty has come a long way, hasn't she?
I can see why the Japanese would use her, she has been very popular for many years now, and some of the Hello Kitty fanatics are entering adulthood, and the land of credit cards, spending money, and travel. Why not spend your hard earned debt going to Japan and investing in the Yen? I do find it funny that her official biography lists her as living in London with her family, however.
I know, I know. I can't talk. I lived there for 2 years. And I loved just about every minute of it. But I was in the Navy. They paid me to live there. And the dollar to yen rate was so good at that time. (Not as good as when my Dad lived there for the same reason, though.)
If we were to pick a tourism ambassador for the US, who would it be?
my mind goes straight to Mickey Mouse. But, would we choose a cartoon? How about a sports figure? Michael Jordan, or Tiger Woods, maybe? I hope we would not choose an actor. Every time I see a commercial for California that ends with Arnold our governator and his stick figure of a wife, Maria, I cringe. Every time. It was kind of cool when Dirty Harry was the mayor of Carmel, and he asks if you feel lucky on on a golf course. But Arnold? Not so much.
I have to give the idea some more thought, though. US tourism ambassador.
I am leaning towards House....(but he is british)
Beavis and Butthead? (no, Cornholio wouldn't probably translate as well)
Ted Kennedy. He could give tours of Chappaquidick? (no, too old)
Britney? (LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!)
How about the guys from Deliverance?
Maybe Hilary could do it. She will need the work. (Nah, would not wish that on anyone. Our tourism would probably crash).
Mr T? That would be entertaining, wouldn't it?
The possibilites are endless.
Whom would you all pick?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Have you ever been out in public, minding your own business, when suddenly, you see something you wish you hadn't?
No, not a nose picker, or wedgie puller. (though I don't necessarily love seeing that either)
What I am talking about is this:
seeing someone in the same exact clothing YOU own. Someone who looks, er, well, less than attractive in that item of clothing.
Case in point.
Eating mexican food the other night with MM and MG. At a table right behind MM, was this lady. VERY pear shaped. VERY. VERY.
And she was wearing this shirt, and I kept looking at it thinking "is it?"
Nah, could not be, my shirt is cute and adorable. That thing looks hideous.
Nah, it just can't be, I don't see the buttons
She turns towards me
It IS the exact same shirt I have. The shirt I like to wear, frequently, because it is comfortable, and sleeveless. And now, tainted in my mind.
I tried to put it on and wear it myself, after that incident. (my own shirt, not hers) I didn't last 10 minutes.
Because, in my minds eye, (though I realize she and I are completely differently shaped,) all I could see was this very pear shaped older woman, wearing my shirt.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
David sighed as he checked into yet another cheap motel. This one, one the company had chosen, was called "Time Travel Inn".
"What a hokey name" he thought, accepting his key. He hoped the room was clean. With a smirk, the guy behind the desk gave David directions to his room. "What about Continental Breakfast?" asked David.
"If you are still here, it will be in the lounge" answered the guy, laconically.
"If I am still here?" thought David, blinking. "Where else would I be going?"
Truth be told, he was glad to be away from home. His wife, Carley, had given birth to twins a month ago, and it seemed like their small trailer was nothing but the noise of the crying babies, whiny older kids, and the bitching of Carley. It was getting real old, real fast.
Trudging back out to his car, David reached up and wiggled his neck tie, unbuttoning the top button on his shirt. Taking a deep breath, he started to cough. "Not used to this country air" he thought, rubbing his nose. Quickly he gathered his briefcase and suitcase. It held all the stuff he would need for his presentation in the morning. Hands full, he followed the directions he was given to his room. He was amused, when he got to the door, to see a pair of cowboy boots painted onto the front of it.
"Wild West Room" was written on the door.
"Hope I don't need spurs" he thought, chuckling. "They didn't tell me this was a theme motel".
Putting down his belongings, he put his key to the lock, and swung the door open.
Peering into the dark, he stepped in, and fell. The door swung shut behind him, yet, it was no longer a motel room door, instead, wooden, swinging bar doors.
"bout time you got here" said a voice, over his head. Looking in the direction, the first thing David noticed was a pair of scuffed, black boots. Cowboy boots. Just like the ones on the door.
"I'm the gunslinger Virgil Smoot" said the voice over the boots. "And you'd be our new sheriff, I'm guessing?"
Getting to his feet, David began to dust off his suit. But it was no longer his suit. Instead, he was wearing a black outfit, with a vest, and a star. Around his waist was a belt that held 2 guns. And on top of his head, a hat.
"Where am I?" he asked, completely bewildered.
"Your in Pineville, of course" answered Virgil Smoot. "You just rode up on your horse." He was pointing out the double doors, so David turned around, and noted the big paint horse tied to the front of the building.
"Come on in and let me buy you a whiskey" chuckled Virgil. "I'll introduce you to the fellas, too. We're mighty glad to have us a new sheriff in town. The other one was crookeder than hell. Was a shame I had to shoot him"...
"You shot the sheriff?" said David, wondering if he had fallen asleep and this was all a dream.
"Yeah, but I didn't shoot no deputy" answered Virgil Smoot, grinning. "Matter of fact, there is your deputy over there. "Hey, Cross Eyed Pete, come meet yer new boss" shouted Virgil Smoot, gunslinger.
A tall, blond gangly man got to his feet and drunkenly shambled across the wooden floor. The prostitute that had been in his lap squeaked indignantly as she hit the floor."
"Hi, I'm Pete" slurred the man, sticking his hand out towards Virgil Smoot.
"Not me you cross eyed fool, HIM" said Virgil, smacking the hand away.
"Oh", answered Pete, waiving his hand in the direction of David. "Pleased ta meetcha".
"I'm sure" answered David, warily.
"Lets get that drink" said Virgil, steering them towards the bar.
Looking around, David noted the woman on the stage warbling "Clementine" and the man at the piano who was having trouble keeping up with her. A few women were milling around, all dressed in scanty clothing and feathers. Including the one that had been dumped off of Pete's lap. Mostly, though, the bar was full up with men, all dressed the same way, from the cowboy hat down to the boots. And they all wore guns.
"Where on earth have I landed" he thought to himself, surreptiously pinching the inside of his arm to see if he could wake himself up from the dream he was sure to be in. Nothing happened.
He automatically took the shot glass that was thrust into his hand by Virgil Smoot, then gasped at the hot fire of the liquid running down his throat.
"Good stuff" muttered Pete, smacking his lips.
"Ah, yeah." answered David, gingerly placing the glass on the bar. Before he could protest, the barkeep filled it again.
"Let me tell you about our little town" said Virgil Smoot, Gunslinger. Sitting down on the proferred stool, David tried to listen as the man told him the particulars of where he'd landed. Every now and then, he'd take a drink of his whiskey, only to find it refilled. Before long, his head began to swim. Without warning, he passed out, head landing on the bar, in a puddle of whiskey.
"I do believe the sheriff is drunk" announced VIrgil Smoot, Gunslinger, frowning down at the comatose man. "Seems he can't hold his liquor. Shame."
Together, Virgil and Cross Eyed Pete gathered David up, and carried him upstairs, to the room where the sheriff of Pineville always resided. Pulling off his boots, they put him in the bed, and propped him up on his side (just in case). Turning out the lights, they left the room just as he started snoring...
Waking up the next morning, David clutched his head in agony. He also wondered if a dead rat had crawled into his mouth and died. Rolling over, he fell off the bed, and onto a wooden floor. Eyes squinted, he realized he was not at home. All he saw was the dirty bed he'd just rolled out of, a basin and pitcher on a 3 legged table, and a bucket.
"How do I get out of this?" he thought to himself. "Do you really WANT to get out of this?" echoed his brain, back at him. "Of course I do" he snapped, out loud. Seeing his boots on the floor, he sat back down on the bed, and put them on. He could smell bacon and eggs sizzling somewhere near. And he was starving. Grabbing the cowboy hat, he turned to leave the small room. Stopping suddenly, he stared at himself in the small mirror that hung on the door. Five o'clock shadow crept up his cheeks, with the beginnings of a mustache. He'd always wanted a mustache, but Carley hated facial hair on a man. Smiling, he rubbed his face, then left the room.
Following his nose, he poked his head into a room, and noted about 15 people sitting around a large table, eating breakfast. The bartender from last night, some of the "girls", Cross-eyed Pete, and even the gunslinger Virgil Smoot. "Mornin' sheriff" said those whose mouthes were not full. A large woman in a gingham dress bustled past him. "Take a seat, sheriff" she instructed. "I'm Miss Fanny, this is my boarding house, bar, and er, bordello" she announced, slapping more food down on the table. Doing as she instructed, David sat down, and began to eat.
His day only got better from there. He walked around the new town, meeting people, learning his way around, and even spent time getting to know his horse, and his guns. He snuck off to a private place to fire them off, and was pleased to note he was a pretty good shot. He vowed he would come out, and practice every day. He had three good meals at Miss Fanny's table, ad enjoyed a poker game with the boys that evening, over a good cheroot. He was more careful about how much whisky he drank that night.
A few weeks went by in this pattern, and each day that finished was better than the last. He felt some guilt about leaving Carley alone with the kids, but figured she was probably happier without him. He felt more sorry for his mother, though, losing her son for the second time.
The first day of his third week there dawned bright and clear. He could smell the morning eggs and coffee, and hear the birds chirping. Getting out of bed, he donned his clothing, taking extra care to pin the sheriff star on just so. Grinning, he whistled as he went down the stairs.
He sat down to breakfast as usual, and noticed the quietness of everyone. "Where is the gunslinger Virgil Smoot?" he asked Miss Fanny. Looking anywhere but in his eye, Fanny answered "oh, well, no one knows for sure sheriff!" She sounded nervous. No one else was able to look him in the eye, either...
Quickly finishing his breakfast, he left quickly. The streets were empty. "Odd" he thought. Rounding a corner, he saw the bank doors. Wide open. And the dead banker, laying right in front of them. Coming out the door, bags of money and gold in his hands
was Virgil Smoot.
"This doesn't concern you, Sheriff" said Virgil, meanly
"Oh I beg to differ" answered David, hand hovering over his trusty six shooter
"Don't think you can out shoot me, boy" smirked Virgil, who kept walking.
Seeing that he had no choice, David cleared his throat.
"I am to stop you, Virgil Smoot" he announced.
Sighing, Virgil put down his bags of loot, and spun on his heel.
"Fine. I didn't want to have to shoot another sheriff, but I guess I will have to".
Eyeing each other, the two men sauntered to the middle of the dirt street, hands hovering over their weapons. Swallowing, David prayed this would not be the end of his life. At this exact moment, he was regretting not trying harder to get back to Carley.
"Are you ready to meet your maker, sheriff?" Asked Virgil Smoot, gunslinger.
David, in lieu of an answer drew his gun, and fired. Shock and surprise registered on Smoot's face, then he fell over dead.
"David, what did you just do?" screeched a voice behind him.
Turning on his heel, he faced a face he thought to never see again.
"Carley?" he answered shocked at her appearance.
As he said her name, her face started to shimmer and fade, and he found himself, face down, in the grass outside the Time Travel Inn.
Carley, on the other hand, shrieked as her husband disappeared, then threw her arms up to cover the indecent amount of cleavage her dress was showing off....
Friday, May 16, 2008
Going Waaaay back for this one. Way back.
Cleopatra, to be exact.
And no, I am not talking the Liz Taylor version. I am talking about the Queen of Egypt.
Her mother was Cleopatra V, and she actually ruled Egypt herself with another daughter, Berenice IV for a year before she died.
Her father was Ptolemy XII Auletes, a direct descendant of a great General from Alexander the Great's time.
Cleopatra's father's reign of Egypt was very tumultuous, it involved losing the crown, getting it back, then having his daughter, Berenice IV seize power from him. He answered her back by gaining assistance from his neighbors, overturning her, then, having her executed. Another of his daughters took over after that, and she was killed as well.
This left Cleopatra, and her younger brother (Who was also her husband. (ick)) as joint heirs to the throne. Her father died in March of 51 BC, making her, and her brother,(husband!) whom was 12, joint heirs to the throne. During the first three years of their rule, they had a difficult time, related to famine, the Nile Flooding more than once, political conflict, and economic hardship.
During this time, she quickly showed that she had no indication of sharing her power with her brother/husband. She eventually dropped his name from all the official documents, and her face alone appeared on the coin of the realm. This resulted in the courtiers become disgruntled at her breaking against tradition, and they removed her from power, making her brother/husband the sole ruler. She tried to raise a rebellion, but failed, and was forced to flee from Egypt with her only surviving sister.
While she was in exile, her brother/husband had a famous Roman killed, and the head presented to Julius Caesar when he visited Egypt. Rather than being pleased, Caesar was pissed, as the man was his former son in law. In his anger, Caesar seized the Egyptian capital, and made himself the arbiter between the rival claims of Cleopatra, and her brother/husband. Always one to use her feminine wiles, Cleopatra had herself delivered to the palace rolled into a Persian Carpet. Her servants unrolled her, and it is said, he was charmed. She became his mistress, and 9 months later, gave birth to their son. He of course, backed her claim to the throne. A short civil war ensued, and her brother/husband was eventually drowned in the Nile. She was restored to the throne, and yet another brother was situated as her new co-ruler.
Despite their 30 year age difference, Cleopatra and Caesar remained lovers. She wanted Caesar to name their son, Caesarion, (meaning, little Caesar (pizzapizza!)) as his heir, but he did not. She had dreams of him being the intended inheritor of Egypt and Rome, uniting the East and West.
She and Caesarion visited Rome and were present when Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. She immediately returned to Egypt. Her younger brother and co-regent died after she got back, and she had her son made her co-regent and successor. To safeguard his reign, she had her only remaining sister killed, which was a common practice of that time.
In 42 BC, Mark Antony, who was part of the power of Rome, summoned her to meet him and answer questions about her loyalty. She arrived, and, once again, used her feminine wiles to her benefit. He chose to stay in Alexandia with her. She gave birth to twins fathered by him. He visited again 4 years later, and then, never left Alexandria. He married Cleopatra, in the Egyptian way (though he was at the time, married to a Roman) and they had another child. Egypt was a large, dominant country by then, and had taken over many of their neighbors. The ruling of these neighboring countries was divided out amongst all of Cleopatra's children, the ones she had with Caesar, and the children with Anthony. She and Caesarion remained rulers of Egypt. She had herself titled "The Queen of Kings". She also was planning a war of revenge against Rome.
Back in Rome, the Senate were obviously not pleased with Antony's behavior, and decided to levy a war of their own against Egypt. Egypt was, surprisingly, not prepared well enough for this war. The Egyptian army actually deserted Antony and joined the Roman one...
Seeing her reign come to an end, Cleopatra died. The ancient sources are in agreement that she poisoned herself by inducing an asp t bite her. Her 2 loyal handmaidens died at her side. Antony stabbed himself, and eventually died from his wounds.
Her son with Caesar, Caesarion, was proclaimed pharaoh by the Egyptians, but, yet, Rome was already in control. They captured and executed Caesarion This ended the line of all Egyptian Pharaohs. The other children of Antony and Cleopatra were taken back to rome, where they were raised by Antony's Roman wife.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Today. I start the arduous task of packing.
It had to happen sometime.
I spent the last week at work collecting boxes. I got so many one night you couldn't see Roxie through the boxes. Hospitals are good for that.
The good thing about packing is that you always seem to find something you love that was lost, but, yet. You didn't realize it was lost. Until you found it, and then you wonder why you never missed it.
Also, it is a chance to get rid of tons of stuff.
All that is fine with me.
I just don't enjoy the task of it, though.
It signifies the end of something.
And, while I am very excited over the house, and all that goes with it, I have to tell you. I LOVED my apartment. I was happy there. It's vaulted ceilings, its warm rock fire place, roomy balcony, kitchen done in avocado green. It is a great apartment.
But, it also comes with weird neighbors, loud neighbor kids who own a drum set, karaoke machine, and trombone, and a very trafficky street.
I've been there since 02. I left it rather abruptly when MG came back here to live. And I don't regret it, in the least bit.
It is time to start saying goodbye to my apartment.
as I pack.
and find things.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
so today in school MG got this poem:
at least it was ee cummings (title: Portrait VIII)
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blue-eyed boy
All this AND they watched a video with dead people whom had used Meth.
She is having an AWESOME week at school. Can you tell?
and yes I added twitter. I will try it.... why not..
Remember, ladies, back in about 6th grade, when, for one special afternoon we were separated from the boys, and we got to see that magic video?
You remember the one.
The one that explained menstruation to us. With the happy girl, oh so proud, and all her friends She'd mailed away for the "starter kit" and everything?
Boy, have things changed.
They now get to see movies entitled "Sex has a price tag".
I kid you not. Google it. I dare ya.
You can purchase the "faith based version" or the "public school version"
they have teachers who tell them about Abortions gone wrong that end up in colostomy bag hell.
and they watch all this with their male counterparts sitting right next to them.
I am all for education, but how about some balance, here?
poor MG got me shocked and speechy at dinner last night in my wide eyed frustration. I may have babbled. I probably babbled.
Despite anyones beliefs, shouldn't both sides of these very controversial coins be explored?
Do all abortions go wrong? No.
Is there really a 'price tag' on sex?
What about safe sex?
because we all know that kids don't stay innocent forever, as much as we wish they would.
In the interest of that, I wish that they would not get such a lopsided education.
But I guess that is what home is for, huh? To help even it out?
Even if we kind of babble while doing so....
Monday, May 12, 2008
By the time you all read this, I will hopefully be sleeping!
First-a correction. MM's neice, whom I tagged "OFP" (Our Future President) would actually like to be the first female Chief Justice (they have no term limits). So, instead of OFP, she can be FFCJ. :) (Hi, family!)I think it is an awesome goal for her to have, and look forward to the day she acheives it.
Now, onto the "real" blog.
What to say.
tap tap tap.
I had blog ideas. Really I did. When I was more awake, that is.
If I were home, with access to my pictures, I could put up pics of the house. But I am not.
home, that is.
But where is home, right now?
Well. It certainly is not my "storage unit" where all my stuff lays, higgeldy-piggledy in a great big mess. Whenever I go there to do something, or get something, I feel disconcerted, out of place. Like I should not be there. Like it isn't really where I belong.
I guess, temporarily, home is Chez MM. But, not many of my things are there, and I still forget where half my stuff is when it IS there. Especially my socks. MM doesn't realize it yet, but I have been stealing his. Matter of fact, I am wearing some of his, right now. They are big, but, they will do in a pinch.
And, if home is where your heart is, well. Then I am in the right place. To say I have grown overly fond of him, and Mustang Girl is an understatement. Obviously. I am sure you've all figured that one out. At THAT house, I am most comfortable, despite the fact that very few of my own things are around. Having my meow mix trio there is an added bonus.
And, the new house.
Which will be a mix of his, mine, and ours. How long will it take until we all feel like we are home? Not long, I am thinking. Because it is a home we all picked, together. Which will make it the best kind of home, right?
Of course right.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Posted by mielikki at 3:28 PM
Friday, May 9, 2008
In honor of Sunday being Mother's Day, I chose Mother Hale. She was born in 1905 in Elizabeth City, NC, but raised in Philly. Her father was killed when she was very young, and her mother died when she was 16, leaving her a true orphan. She managed to finish highschool on her own, and then married Thomas Hale. Her husband moved them to New York, and he ran a business and went to college, while she worked as a janitor. After a few years of marriage, Thomas died of cancer, leaving her a young widow with three young children.
To make ends meet, she continued her janitor job, and cleaned houses, working day and night. Eventually, she had to quit one of those jobs, to spend time with her children. To make money, she began to provide childcare in her home, children who ended up staying all week with her, and only going home on weekends. Her own daughter didn't realize until she was almost 16 that most of the kids in her home were not her siblings. In 1940, she began to take in foster children, eventually rearing over 40 of them. Her foster children grew up, having children of their own, whom refer to her as their grandmother.
In 1969, Clara was confronted by a young, drug addicted mother who was too intoxicated to take care of her baby. She was 64 years old, but could not refuse to care. When she left the room to make a phone call, the mother abandoned her child. She kept the little girl, nursing her through the withdrawals. The mother returned long enough to drop of her other children, whom Clara also cared for. She did actually, return for all her children. Word got out, and soon the apartment Mother Hale had was full, wall to wall, with 22 addicted babies. Some abandoned, some orphaned. She told a reporter "before I knew it, every pregnant addict in Harlem knew about the crazy lady who would give her baby a home."
Her children, now grown themselves, joined her in this task. They took jobs to provide money to the household, while Mother Hale nursed the infants, usually having the more frail ones with her constantly, doing what was necessary to ease the painful detox period for them. She never resorted to MORE drugs to detox them, just love, and attention. The process took weeks, usually.
"It was not their fault they were born addicted. Love them. Help one another." She said this to the Chicago Trib.
In 1973, she officially founded Hale house, in Harlem to care for the babies, with her children at her side. She was awarded the Women's International Center's Living Legacy award in 1986. She used to say "I love children, and I love caring for them. That is what the Lord meant for me to do."
She died in 1992, but Hale House is still in use, as America's oldest, and best known agency providing care for those addicted born addicted to drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and HIV.
No Short story this week, because I think Mother Hale needs to hang out for her special day. I will resume David's tale next week.
Now go hug your mothers if you can! If not hug yourself. Most of you are mothers
I have a great Mieograpy for later
WE GOT THE HOUSE!
THE FOREST IS OURS!
EVERYOE GET UP AND DO A HAPPY DANCE!
I GOTTA GO NAP.
HAD A BAD NIGHT AT WORK
BUT WE GOT THE HOUSE!
Posted by mielikki at 9:01 AM
Thursday, May 8, 2008
sneak peek? Go here
*edit* the link does not work anymore because it is now our house, therefore, off the market. Pictures to come, later*
You may note, this one is kind of different from the last one. This is our latest desire, house wise.
We saw MANY houses the other day. They ran the gamut, from very nice to very dumpy.
The one that 3 bachelors with a dog were inhabiting. When we drove up it was like a scene from deliverance. They were sitting outside on the tail gate while a large-ish dog bounced around. Barely a word was exchanged when we got there. I should mention MM and I had established code words to express our feelings. "Lime Green Jello" meant we liked the home, and would want to offer on it, possibly. "Black Jelly Bean" meant the opposite.
We walk into the bachelor house, and the kitchen was smaller than the one in my apartment. The scent of dog urine filled the air. "Black Jelly bean!" were the first words I said in that house. It just got worse. (I peeked in a bathroom and ran for the hills. I don't even wanna KNOW what was behind the locked doors)
Probably the most interesting house?
The one where the front entrance was many steps up. The living room was small-ish, the closet was laughable, and in the middle of the house were these narrow, spiral stairs. Pulling a drunk in that house would have been lethal.
Best house? Truthfully? Your going to expect me to say the one we bid on. Well, it was, actually, kind of a tie. We saw this GREAT house, beautiful spacy rooms, nice kitchen, HUUGE fireplace. Nice manicured back yard with 3 apple trees. But its location was not ideal for us. Plus, I don't want to spend ALL my free time outside maintaining their wonderful garden. Some gardening? Yes. All gardening? No thanks. But it was beautiful. And the owner was super nice.
We saw a house where all I heard were the barking neighbor dogs. We saw a house with more wood paneling than most log cabins. (though that would have been easily dealt with)
All in all, I would say the house we chose to bid on is the best fit for us. The property it sits on is like it's own magical forest land. We are going to name that forest when it is officially ours.
So, fingers crossed, the offer goes in this morning. We fully expect a counter offer. We have some wiggle room on this one. All it's inspections are done, (except one we wish to repeat now that there is no snow). So, think good thoughts for our forest, please!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
What do you get for your brother, for his 40th birthday?
Glad you asked
Welcome to the school of "How MM shops for gifts".
First, you explore the area BEVMO! options, because, in the case of this brother he was born on Cinco de Mayo. Bottle of good Tequila for birthday? Naturally.
Perk up when brother in law mentions Costco, and their good tequila at low, low prices!
Off to Costco we go.
While perusing the multiple things availiable in Costco, you wander into an aisle, and there you see it. In all it's glory. And you know that your brother must have it. HE MUST.
"It" is a 6 pound can of "Que Bueno!" Nacho Cheese!
It is, after all, a Mexican themed birthday. Nacho Cheese is a must.
Then, in keeping with said theme, go to lunch at Baja Fresh. The cheese was wrapped in the big bag, and tied with the foil that was used to house MM's Chicken Burrito Ultimo.
And the smaller bag was tailored to fit around the 1.75 L bottle of Patron Silver Tequila...
the one we all ended up doing shots from later on..,
It was a sweet party. And, the only camera we had was our cell phone. The pictures of MM's ass in the pool were all too dark for me to salvage, sadly.
But, after reading this, don't you wish MM was your brother, and he would go shopping for your birthday?
Monday, May 5, 2008
First of all, thanks for all the kind words about the house. NanaK, Um. Well. Move your house here, and we will be happy to buy it. Unfortunately, MM and I are not thinking we want to move THAT far.
Daryl-Yeah, we figure that, too. We are seeing LOTS of nice houses tomorrow.
Julie- we rode through at 12:15 am last night, and I was SO thinking flaming bag of poo. MM wasn't, though. Sigh,.
Arrid Zone-a. Land of hot sun, boys wearing high heels, pool stores, and MM's family. (Hi, family! ;)).
We left Friday morning at 0400, and drove a long, long long way. To Mesa, Arizona. We passed through land so dry that I swore I could see it begging for water. I wanted to know where all the skeleton bones were.....
We got there about 5:30-ish. MM's sister had been waiting for us and came out to greet us. MM has a lovely sister, btw. (Hi!) and his brother in law is great as well. As a matter of fact I should just say now, that MM really has a great, funny, enjoyable family. We had a fantastic weekend.
Mustang Girl could not get out of the car fast enough to see her Aunt. It was sweet. We settled in, chatted with the fam, and, because we could NOT convince MG to get back IN the car, MM and I went by ourselves to dinner.
Why were we in AZ. you might ask?
Big Brother of MM turned 40. (Actually, he is 40 today. Happy birthday!). But, Saturday was the big surprise party for big brother.
Saturday rolled around, and, among other things, we went to a pool store to get a new "George" for the family pool. Can I just now take a moment to point out that I have FINALLY found other people who name inanimate objects? George is the pool vacuum. MM, MG and I got kind of friendly with George on the way home. He was too big to fit in the trunk, so he rode on our laps the short distance back. We just hung out, doing various things, Saturday. Sis and Brother in law have 3 daughters. One, (We will call her "Our Future President, or, OFP for short) was on a trip to DC. She is graduating from highschool in a few short weeks. Then leaving for college. We stayed in her room. The middle one, "Gooch" (I don't know the reason for that one) was going to a prom Sat. evening. (She looked adorable. It was 1920's themed). And the youngest, "Bug", went to the Chiuahua races with her friends. Why am I telling this? So I can explain the boy in high heels. While MM, bro in law and I were out getting lunch, we walked in the door, and there was a teenage boy, staring at us in HORROR, wearing yellow shorts, white socks, and a pair of heels. While all the other kids present died of laughter. He was trying to demonstrate to the house that wearing heels was nothing to whine about, apparently. He almost broke his neck trying to get them off. It was a sight I won't forget anytime soon.
Sat. evening was the party. Big brother was very surprised, and BEYOND happy to see his brother (and niece, and, well, Me, for that matter.) We had a great time at the party. MM carefully wrapped gifts in our lunch time Baja Fresh bags, and that was much enjoyed. There was tequila, pinata's, mexican food, and an ass floating in the pool. (Yes, a blow up ass. Or donkey, you pick) MM kept standing it up, and it evenually became MM's ass in the pool, and all the jokes that went with it.
Sunday, after breakfast with the family, we drove the LONG LONG LONG road home. MM is still asleep. MG is at school, and I?
I am barely awake, typing this blog. This long blog.
Hope you all had a good weekend....
Saturday, May 3, 2008
the asshat owner pulled it completely OFF the market. SO, we are going to look at more of them on Tuesday
David rushed through O'Hare airport, desperate to reach his connecting flight to Kentucky, to home. He'd been gone for almost a week, forced to attend an insurance symposium for the company he worked for, Genuine Insurance. He was working really hard to get the promotion that would be in the offing when old Abner retired, sometime next month.
Carley had been very cranky with him when he left, her being 7 months pregnant with his twins. His mother had not been making life easy lately, either. It seemed like noting he did could make either woman happy. Sighing, he quickened his pace, and made it to the gate just in time to watch his plane take off. Without him on it.
"Well that is just fantastic" he thought, watching the plane taxi down the runway. The headache he'd been nursing all day thumped in time with his heart, right in the center of the forehead. Frowning, he rubbed his aching head, and approached the ticket counter.
"Ah, excuse me, young lady. I seem to have somehow missed my connection home" he reported, once he finally got to the counter. The young woman, tall, slim with jet black hair and slate blue eyes, makeup perfectly done barely gave him a look. With a few clicks of her mouse, she said
"Tomorrow. 8 am. Best we can do. Here is a food voucher, if you want a cheap motel catch the train to the right of the airport, take it to Conrad Avenue. Up 2 blocks, on your left. Motel 4.
"Where is my luggage?" he asked, taking the food voucher. Looking down, he saw it was for 12 dollars. "Won't get me much" he thought, morosely. Money in his household was tight, he had just enough to put some gas in his tank once he got home, to Kentucky.
"Went to Kentucky. It will be there when you get there, maybe" she answered, then dismissed him with one, cool glance.
Sighing, he trudged off, new ticket in hand.
Perusing his choices, he went with what was the least expensive, from "The awful Falafel". "Awful is right" he thought, as he bit into their offerings. Sipping his tepid tea, he managed to choke the falafel down. Looking around, he spied a kiosk that held a payphone. He'd need to call Carley. He didn't own a cell phone. The company claimed it could not afford to give one to everyone, so only the senior employes got one. "Maybe when Abner retires" he thought. Sighing, he fed money into the phone. Carley answered on the fifth ring, and he could hear young Wade screaming in the background, along with his oldest daughter, Bella, yelling. Closing his eyes against the noise, he rubbed the bridge of his nose, hard.
"Carley? How you feeling, sweetheart?" he said, gently.
"Like shit. Where are you?" she snapped back. He could envision her, standing with the phone stuck in her ear, rubbing her back.
"Well, see. I am stuck in Chicago" he answered, softly.
"What?" she shrieked, then tore into him for the next five minutes. Taking it patiently, and explaining it away as hormones, David waited her out. When she was done, though, she started to cry. That nearly undid him. As he started to comfort her, a tinny voice echoed over the phone, advising him that his time was nearly up. "I don't have anymore quarters, babe" he said, sadly.
Suddenly, her voice sounded clear as a bell. "Fine" she said, back to angry. With a click, all he heard was the dial tone. Shaking his head, he walked away, and out the doors. Following the black haired girls instructions, he got on the train, and, found his way to Motel 4. Using the credit card for emergencies only, (he figured this was one), he checked in to the cheapest room they had.
Upon entering the room, he shook his head at what he'd just purchased for the night. One single, small bed, adorned with a lime green comforter greeted him. The pillows were bright orange. Hanging on the wall, in all its glory, was a Velvet Elvis.
"Didn't think anyone still had one of those hideous things" he thought.
The bedside table had cigarette burns in it, despite the fact that he had asked for a non smoking room. He noted the clean, but dirty ashtray located on the dresser. Sighing, he pulled back the covers, and examined the bed for bugs Finding none, he stripped down to his white boxers, and went to sleep.
At midnight David got woken up by the person next door, with a hacking cough. Rolling over, he jammed the pillow over his head, grumpy. Eventually, he went back to sleep, only to be awakened again, by the noise coming from the people above him. Squeaky, squeaky squeaky....
groaning, he got up, used the restroom and drank the last of the bottled water he had bought at the airport. Eventually, the squeaking stopped, and David went back to bed.
All too soon, he got his wake up call. Glancing at the cheap clock, he cursed. They'd called him 20 minutes late. Hurredly, he pulled his pants and shirt back on, and ran out the door. He missed the next train by about 30 seconds, and had to wait 15 minutes for the next one. Arriving outside of O'Hare, he entered at a dead run, and, thankfully, made it to his gate in time to check in for his flight home. Only to find he'd been placed on stand-by. The black haired girl had neglected to tell him that last night.
After waiting an hour and a half, there was one seat left on the plane. David gratefully accepted it, and upon boarding discovered that he was going to be stuck in the middle seat, between an elderly priest, and an overweight realtor. Two hours later, thanks to "technical difficulties", they UN-boarded the plane, and got on another, and then, 30 minutes later, took off.
Once they finally landed on the ground in Kentucky, David felt like he wanted to kiss the ground. The priest had rattled his rosary the whole trip home, speaking in latin, and the real estate agent had spent the whole time trying to convince him to buy a home, from her, preferably. If he heard "it's a buyers market!" chirped at him one more time, he was going to vomit.
Once he got into the airport, he learned his luggage had gone on from Kentucky, to Miami, Florida. Wearily, he gave the luggage claim attendant his address, hoping his clothing would be delivered sometime in the next century. When he eventually made his way to the parking lot, he discovered his car, a rusty blue Datsun, had a flat tire. And all he had in the trunk was his old "may-pop". Disgustedly, he changed the tire, then crawled home, at 30 miles an hour so that the may pop wouldn't pop.
It was 6 pm by the time he finally got in the door, only to find his wife, standing at the stove, stirring hash, hair in curlers. His kids were at the table, eating peanut butter sandwiches without the crust, and drinking grape Kool-aide. His mind flashed, to that one day, long ago. He could still taste the sugary kool-aide on his tongue.
"What did I do to deserve this?" he thought to himself, as he sank down dejectedly in the kitchen chair, which splintered under his weight.
Friday, May 2, 2008
This is Annie. The next time you look up at the stars in the sky, think of her.
Annie Jump Cannon was born in 1863, the daughter of a shipbuilder/state senator, and his second wife. Her mother had an avid interest in star-gazing, and she passed this interest on to her daughter.
Annie spent her early school ears at the Wilmington Conference Acadamy, where she excelled in Mathematics. In 1880 she was sent to Wellesley College, in Massachusettes. She was stricken with many repeated infections, among them scarlet fever. As a result, she was rendered almost completely deaf.
In 1884 she graduated with a degree in physics. She returned home, where she grew bored and restless, because socializing when one was almost completely deaf made life difficult. To confound things, she was also older, and better educated than most of the unmarried women in her area. She went to Europe in 1892 to photograph the solar eclipse, and returned without much of a social improvement. In 1893, her mother died. Life at home got even more difficult. Finally, she wrote a letter to one of her former instructors at Wellesley, Sarah Frances Whiting, to see if there was a job opening. Happily, there was, as an assistant to Ms. Whiting, who was the professor of Physics and Astronomy Working at Wellesley allowed her to to take graduate courses at the college. While she was there she studied the advanced fields of astronomy for that time, spectroscopy. She also studied photography. She later moved on to Radcliffe, the women's college at Harvard. By 1907 she had a masters in astronomy.
In 1894, however, she became a member of "Pickering's women", a group of women hired by Harvard Observatory director Edward Pickering to complete the Draper Catalog, which mapped and defined all the stars in the sky. She completed the largest part of the cataloge, nearly 230,000 stars. She made 25 cents a day doing this. Secretaries made more than she did.
She also published many other catalogues of variable stars, including 300 more that she discovered. Her carreer lasted more than 40 years.
She died April of 1941. Among the honors she has received are:
an honerary doctorate from Oxford University in England, in 1925. She was the first woman recepient
In 1929 she was voted the as one of the National League of Women Voters 12 greatest living American Women.
1931 she was awarded the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences. (She had to share this award with a male co worker, however)
The Cannon Crater on the Moon is named after her.
She is nicknamed "Census Taker of the Sky", for classifying all the stellar bodies she did, more than any other person has, male, or female....
Thursday, May 1, 2008
OK not really.
Realtors are fine.
Where I am going with this is here.
We just had Earth day, remember? We talked about how many of us use "real" shopping bags, and recycle. Cami wants to become the queen composter.
I do believe one person can make a difference. And we are a bunch of one people.
Why then, when you make a bid on a house, is a shit load of paper generated? Wanna kill a tree? Make a bid on a house.
And thats just the BID! Something that may not even go through!
(Yes, we made an offer. On this house. No jinx, no jinx!)
The amounts of paper this generated was staggering to me. The contracts are horribly long, and boring. And confusing. Its almost like divorcing someone you were never married to. "Buyer pays for this, seller pays for that" ect ect.
What happened to the day where we could go up to the house we wanted, and trade it for our mule, a bushel of corn, and our firstborn child?
Or at least simply say "here is what we will offer, take it, or leave it".
My realtor would have had me baking cookies for the seller if she thought we could get away with it. She even had me write him a personal note thanking him for letting us view his house, and telling him what we liked about it! (He is a difficult seller, and prone to emotion, supposedly. We want him to "like" us. He needs to like us so that he will agree to the offer we just made. And the offer we just made? Pretty much what he is asking. (Because he is asking a really reasonable price for the house.)
People keep telling me "this is just the beginning". I get that. I am going to be signing contracts in triplicate until Mustang Girl graduates from highschool probably. But why?
Here is my idea. Computerized contracts, with just one piece of paper. The signature page. The hospitals are so keen on becoming "paperless" that we manage to chart, and give care plans to all our patients using a computer, that does not involve paper. Why not realtors? Granted, because of silly people wanting to see things on paper, the whole chart is printed evenually anyhow (don't even get me started) but if we kept updating an offer on a house electronically, and then, MAYBE printed the final contract at the end of the bidding war/process/torture, who would it hurt? Certainly not the trees. Oh, did I mention there is a really pretty dogwood tree in front of that house?
*bear with me folks, I am probably going to be very boring while we are house searching*
In other news, we are leaving for a short trip at the ass crack of dawn tomorrow morning. So I am going to toss up Mieography Friday, AND Short Story Saturday this evening....
unless my realtor has other ideas.......