Thursday, January 30, 2003

Photos from January 2003

























More Dogs and Cats... and Amy

A few months ago I applied for a job that I really REALLY wanted. I talked to the people in HR at this particular college. They told me they received over 500 resumes, but the woman recognized my name when I told her the college where I used to work.

I thought I was a shoe-in for an interview, at least.

Today I got one of those "this decision is so hard" American Idol let down letters from this college, and I'm irritated.

I didn't even get INTERVIEWED by them. How is it that I don't even rank an INTERVIEW!? Jebus, what did I have to do, INVENT THE INTERNET for cripesake? This particular job could not have been more my job if the job title was "Christine's Job" on the want ad. I'm stymied. Totally stymied. I just don't get it.

So... I'm going out and buying a couple cats to start my hoarding with...

Speaking of which, Amy responded to my last entry with a tone of dismay (if one can read tone in an email)... See, Amy's been kind of down for a while with some things. One of them is the total dearth of good looking, non-gay, single, non-insane men in her life, nay, on the planet.

My entry the other day about animal hoarding alluded to the fact that sometimes single women as they age and are alone get into that ... hoardy stage.

Amy has two cats.

She was slightly concerned that not only was did single = pariah, but owning more than one cat = pariah. Not in my book, but I did tell her that if she got up to like 10 cats or something I'd schedule and intervention.

Linda, this goes for you too!

Kidding. Totally.

Anyway, after some banter back and forth about Cat Hoarding, Amy donned a Buford hat and photoshopped herself up as a cat hoarder and cloner!

Y'all, I just about dropped my shit. That is SO funny. She's all cute and in the middle of 8 gazillion cats... all of them exactly the same! She must be a Raelian or subcontracting out to Clonaid or something... I think she may have worked on the Grandma Cloning Project recently.

The Buford hat is the best.

I told her that this not only was funny, but the long and the short of it is that she's too good looking in this picture, and that she should dig through the boxes of pictures of herself and find one with too much weight, one eye closed -- the drunken look -- and then put all the cloned cats around her.

Amy is not homely. Amy is talented. Amy is smart. Amy has cats. Amy has a killer sense of humor. And I swear that there is someone out there on this planet who will like Amy and her cats. If you know him, and don't want to have him date my sister (whom I am still trying to hook up as well) Let Me Know.

The Way Out Inn love connection... purrrrrrr.


All y'all know Aaron is in Antfartica. I don't have to mention it again (but he is. I'm saying it. He's in Antfartica). He's married to Michelle. They are our friends (new readers can do a Search on Aaron and Michelle and read all about our adventures with them... they're fun and funny).

Their dog Gonzo has done some rather peculiar things recently.

One day this past autumn A&M were out of the house. He climbed UP ONTO THE COMPUTER DESK and took a massive dump. Not just a dump. A Massive Runny Evil Exploding Dog Kind of Dump (TM).

On the keyboard.

All over the keyboard.

They cleaned it up and no, they didn't keep the keyboard -- they went out and bought a new one. It was pretty gross. But Aaron told me they recovered from it nicely.

He continued to get into naughty situations while they were not at home, so Michelle suggested to Aaron that while he was in Antfartica (you know, he's down there... right?) she was going to kennel him while she was at work. That made Aaron sad, and he felt bad for poor ole little Gonzy Wonzy. So... she didn't.

And she should have.

Michelle was at work the other day, and Gonzo got himself into the bathroom. It is a very very small bathroom. And he closed the door behind himself... locking his little doggy self in.

This is part of what she came home to:

Michelle was, needless to say, shocked.

One little dog. So much damage.

He ripped apart EVERYTHING in the bathroom. Ev-Er-Y-Th-In-GGGGGGG.

He ate all her cosmetics. He ate a container of mineral spirits or oil or something. He ate sanitary napkins. He ate soap.

He must have been just completely off the hook freaking-out panic stricken. Look at the last picture. That's the vent built into the bottom of the bathroom door.

He tried his hardest to Andy Dufresne his way out of the room. But there was no doing it. No Shawshank Redemption escape for this little dog.

So she's standing there in the middle of it all -- and what does she do? She calls us.

Doug laughed and laughed as I told him what happened (she was on the other end) and I laughed and laughed and made jokes. And after a while Michelle also laughed and laughed.

But she still had to clean it up. Great googly moogly.

So she took these pictures and others to show Aaron when he gets back. Or, if he should happen to read this journal, which I doubt he has time to do, whilst on the bottom of the globe.

Still -- it's pretty funny. I like in the middle picture where Tweety Bird is peeking out from the midst of the mess. Fwah!

Michelle's note with the email she sent along with these pictures states that essentially the mess she was confronted with was only part of the mess. She had to clean up and then see the floor. So not only did he try and tunnel out the door, he tried to dig through the floor to escape. Silly beast.

Seeing as he ate a ton of stuff that could probably do him some real damage, Michelle had consulted with a vet to see if there was anything she should do. The vet gave her a number that she could call for puppy poison control, but we all predicted that he'd be crapping his puppy brains out in no time thanks to the mineral spirits that he ate/drank. good thing it wasn't Drano. He did expunge his wicked bowels... and now seems to be fine.

But he's in the kennel for good. Now he's working on chewing his way out of the kennel.

I'm tellin' ya. Rename the dog "Shawshank."


Anyway -- I normally wouldn't use my personal journal to write up the adventures of someone else's life... but when it comes to pets (Chad's exploding cat is a good one too) and their foibles, I sometimes cannot resist. So Gonzo -- this one's for you. Stop shitting on keyboards and eating soap, you crazy mutt! Daddy will be home soon. Stay out of small confined spaces.


Aside from not getting the job I want, this has been a pretty good few days. I'm having boatloads of fun when I'm working over at Geoff's school, the kids all like me. The teachers think I'm a riot. I'm growing very partial to one or two little kids and have decided that the little girl I disliked greatly to start with isn't half bad. She's growing on me. Still, I say "Pardon?" when she "No"s me.

I worked with professor MF on a powerpoint presentation that we'll be doing at a conference in March. We got our outline all done, started the slides, worked up the notes that will go with them (so when we present we look like we know what we're talking about). I'm going to design the slides and make it shine. The way I do. And when I go to this conference, perhaps my dream job connection will be sitting in my audience.

Someday, my employment prince will come...

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Poor Dogs

I didn't get much sleep last night.

We have a steady flowing leak in the roof of our bedroom, luckily there is no ceiling in there to ruin, but the support beam for the roof up inside where the ceiling would be if it were there is spongy and sucking in water from the outside. The insulation is also adding to the problem. The steady flow of dripping water made me stressful and anxious. Especially after listening to it for a half hour, then talking about it with Doug, to hear him say "this is a job for the spring time."

He's right, the insulation and everything needs to come down out of the ceiling and we need to do a close investigation as to what to put inside the house behind the fascia boards, which really are only about 7 years old...

but waiting until Spring...

What happens to all the water and ice and snow on the roof NOW as it thaws, melts and otherwise... enters my bedroom.

So I had an anxiety attack. I have to clean this room, get rid of everything that is garbage, purge anything not being used or needed, find somewhere safe for stuff we want to keep, like photo albums. I started to hyperventilate. I ended up out on the couch watching X-files reruns on TNT until after 2am, thinking about how in the hell I was going to get this room in order. I couldn't lie there in the bed, listening to Doug and the dog snoring, listening to the dripping, thinking of the room content.

Our bedroom is the dumping ground of the family. We just sleep there. That's all the room is for. It isn't a showcase room. Both of our bureaus are full of clothing which has not been worn since 1998 at least. The clothes we wear on a regular basis are piled up on top of the book case and bureaus. On my bureau, there are tons of papers, work the kids bring home from school. I pile it up there and then sort through it after a few months deciding what's to keep and what's to pitch. It used to be just Jessica's stuff, now Geoff has a pile.

There are photo albums and boxes of pictures on the top of my bureau as well. And any number of little bits of paper, some important papers, stock certificates which aren't worth the money they are printed upon (from my last job. I laugh when I see them). It's truly a disaster.

We don't hang anything in the closets. It all ends up on the NordicTrack Clothes Horse. Especially Doug's stuff. He has to dress somewhat decently for work, as opposed to me, the woman with no fashionable clothing outside of a BNL tour T-shirt.

There are bags of clothes earmarked for the Hyde girls and for goodwill.

There is a lamp, sitting there. It doesn't really go anywhere in the house so we just kinda put it in the room over by the corner.

We have bookcases covered in books..

We have stacks of books.

Doug has stacks and stacks of magazines... he reads avidly, and they are all over the place, all over the floor.

The neatest place in our bedroom is the top of our bed. The mattress is covered in a fleece blanket, and I make the bed daily because Kinger lounges there when we're not home, looking longingly out the window out into the world.

So the room, in short, is evil. And I couldn't deal with it last night.

On top of that, Kinger seems to have some sort of bug or something. He has the trots, and had to go out twice last night. Seeing as it was stinking cold, I went out with him, and after about 10 minutes I came back in the house and waited for him.

He gets this way once in a while and goes deep into the woods to expunge his demon bowels. He eventually comes back. It usually takes him a half hour.

So that happened twice... I sat on the couch with the porch light on waiting for him to come back so I could let him in.

I woke Geoff up so he could go to the bathroom, twice. Just to be safe.

I watched more TV.

I'm very tired right now. And still thinking about what I am going to have to do in that room.


Kinger and Jack are both going to be sick in a few hours, I just know it. Doug put a chicken carcass in the trash last night, and when I drove Geoff to school Kinger ate it out of the trash. When I got home, he'd hidden it under my bed. Jack found it after I let him out of the kennel. I took it away from him, put it in a plastic bag up on top of the stove so I could go clean up where the initial munching had taken place. Jack quietly stole it again, and went into Geoff's room to eat it some more. When I tried to take it away from him, he tried to bite my arm off.

So, the chicken carcass was reduced to a few cartilage like bone masses. And both dogs are going to explode in a few hours. I hate when this happens. The phrase "sick as a dog" makes a lot of sense when you see a dog sick.


Speaking of sick dogs... this story out of Oregon is pretty disturbing. From the Idaho Statesman, it's reported that a 76 year old woman was arrested, charged with animal cruelty. She had somewhere in the vicinity of 500 dogs on her property, about 200 inside the house, and 300 outside the house. She was in Ontario (not Canada, but another nearby town) with about 30 dogs in her van with her. This is her second offense as well.

Her husband was also arrested.

Now, it's pretty sad. Animal hoarding is usually done with cats and by single crazy women. So to my single gal friends, I beg of you -- three cats in your personal household is enough, m'kay? Ten is where I begin to weigh whether or not you are sane any longer.

But 500 dogs?

I have a hard enough time getting my husband to take our two dogs out on a negative 2 degree night such as this one. I couldn't imagine the brow beating that Mr. Dog Hoarder was undergoing. I have a hard enough time cleaning up after two dogs pooping in my yard. Five Fucking Hundred of them is sheer insanity.

How do you sit idly by and allow this to happen in your house? What is up with this husband. This is the woman's second offense for hoarding animals.

I'm sure several of them had to be put down due to illness, and there were already several dead dogs out in the yard. I think this woman needs some serious jail time. I'm sick just thinking of it.

The story is heart breaking -- and if you're a big animal lover (like you, Annie) you'll be sick to death at what you read. Some of the volunteers and the vets were just crying and hurting over what they saw.

The shelter that responded to the scene, according to the story, is the Second Chance Shelter, in Payette, Idaho. This is the listing I found on Petfinder about them. They don't seem to have an up-to-date website with news of the event... but I thought I'd pass this along. Support and volunteers seem to be pouring out of the woodwork, so it looks like they've got the situation under control. The newspaper offers this page for ways to help, and a phone number.

Thinking of all these 500 dogs, who I'm sure are in quite a sickly state, makes me want to hug my stupid chicken-eating dogs even more, just the two of them, and love them.

Forgiving them for eating out of the trash because after all, chicken's damn good stuff when you're a clueless quadriped with stray dog tendencies. I hope they don't get too sick.

I'm waiting for Michelle to email me some pictures of some devastation recently wreaked upon her apartment by Gonzodog. I won't tell the story here, because I'm sure it will be best illustrated with the pictures once she gets them to me. It's a hell of a story and makes my chicken-strewn bedroom look like a walk in the park.

On that note. I'm going to take a nap. Then, start cleaning that bedroom... shudder. shudder..

Monday, January 27, 2003

Raiders lose, Bucs win. Baby pictures

Well, I got my wish.

The Bucs won, and prooved they aren't the Yuks. I am happy for them and already looking forward to next season. The Steelers and the Eagles are favored by Vegas oddsmakers to meet up in Superbowl Next. So we'll see if the Commonwealth of PA will have an east/west battle.

We stayed home, watched the game here. We were invited up to the Hyde-A-Way, but Doug had reports to write and I had a mess of clean up work to do on the project for CM (which I'm happy to say is done, and we're presenting it to the client today at 3:15pm. Say hallelujah, say amen).

And I would like to go on record saying that Raiders Fans are evil. They rioted. And if they had won, they'd have rioted. They are bad, bad people. All of them. Including professor CM who is a diehard Raiders fan. I told him I am not allowed to consort with Satan any longer, so as soon as we're done with this project I'm not speaking to him until he changes affiliations... I mean even being a Lions fan. A Seahawks fan. Anything but the Raiders.

It would have been nice to go to the Hyde-A-Way. Just to see this little guy again:

Isn't he cute? Nathan rocks.

We went to see him on Thursday night before going out to dinner for Doug's birthday (we took Wayne with us, to celebrate and make him drink beer). We had a nice little visit... I got to glom on the boy and hug him and hold him and sniff him... Geoff was excited to hold him but was scared at the same time. Can't say as I blame him. I managed to get the one picture of him... then he couldn't take it anymore. Too scary!

I went back on Friday and spent four hours with Marcia, just chillin' in the hospital, us girls and a baby. He slept the whole time. It was like he never was there.

We had a great time out for Doug's birthday (and celebrating Nathan's with Wayne... such fun).

Aside from being constantly busy with designing webpages, I haven't done much of anything else. There is no new or fun news to report. I'm boring as hell as always. I've got a busy week ahead of me, meetings, cateringman, working at Geoff's school, babysitting for Dan and Honey (oh yeah, every Friday! me and baby Ben! wooooo hooooo!)

Nothing else to report -- just wanted to make sure you all knew I was alive. Especially before Tess started worrying! Hee hee

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Curious Fear Grips Globe: Apparent "Grandma" Cloning Causes Ruckus

Boynton Beach, FL: Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, CEO of Clonaid, announced today in a hastily organized and sparsely attended press conference that "Grandma" had been successfully cloned. She introduced the new "Grandma," one who states she looks forward to her role starring in the retarded web-based musings of her oldest daughter, Christine.

One deep, dark day in early January, Grandma was allegedly chewed to bits by her daughter's puppy, Jack. The family disposed of her body in the way she'd requested, quickly chucking it out of a car window into a gully off of I-95 north of Boston, MA.

Clonaid representatives lurking in the area, allegedly seeking Kennedy family members from which they could withdraw DNA samples, noticed the body-chucking. They quickly ran to the gully and extracted Grandma and her juicy DNA bits, all still intact. Grandma's plastic-like corpse was quickly flown to Clonaid headquarters and a team of alleged scientists, religious crackpots and somewhat geeky Sci-Fi fans was assembled to rebuild Grandma.

Like Slim Shady, 'Look Who's Back.'
"This is our first foray into cloning of adults," stated Dr. Boisselier, who up to this point has yet to produce one of the live human babies she claims her organization has created. Their methods have been carefully guarded, and Dr. Boisselier would not exactly state how a 60 year old woman could be created in just a few weeks.

"We contacted the aliens via telepathy, and they called us back on satellite phone. They wanted to know her physical characteristics and a strong description of her personality and intangible qualities. We directed them to the Grandma's Adventure webpages. The alien fathers read the funny webpage, and they knew exactly what to do.

"Our efforts have paid off," Dr. Boisselier beamed as she introduced the shiny new Grandma, filled with the piss and vinegar all have grown to expect.

Looks like a duck, walks like a duck...
Christine and Linda, who were not present at the press conference with Dr. Boisselier, could not be reached for comment. Dr. Boisselier seems to feel the Fogarty Sisters will be very satisfied with the cloned result.

"Grandma is as ornery and bitchy as ever," Dr. Boisselier assured the probing press corps. "She demands cigarettes and No Yolk Egg noodles, and screams "Bart!" a lot, but once in a while, she forgets the name Bart and yells "Maurie!" instead. It is quite funny."

Dr. Boisselier stated the aliens reviewed websites and hours of video tape, attempting to not just reproduce the body, but the soul of Grandma.

Great. This is all we need!
Critics and detractors of the cloning process were stunned when Grandma appeared at the press conference with Boisselier and yelled "No Smoking Section! Goddamnit!" And went to play Game Cube with her grandson.
Religious organizations and anti-cloning groups are all speaking out tonight against the recent Grandma clone.

President Bush issued an ultimatum that Grandma be "captured swiftly and dissected fully by the "best damn scientists NASA and Starfleet Academy combined" can offer.

Thousands poured into cathedrals around the globe and prayed, believing that this allegedly fully confirmed cloning is a sign of the last days. An unnamed representative of the American Baptist Church stated "it is bad enough that people barely believe in God in the first place. We have such a tenuous hold on the belief system in this country, and then these jerks have to go and do THIS. It couldn't come at a worse time. If this is true. Ho-boy!"

Others have rushed forth to embrace the New Grandma. Barenaked Ladies is planning a concert at the Way Out Inn Coors Ampitheatre Pavillion once the snow melts in honor of this new Grandma.

"She's better than New Coke!" said an enthusiastic Steve Page. "Remember New Coke? Well, it was okay. But New Grandma is so much better and cool!"

Long time self-proclaimed family friend and savior of the world, Gayle, rushed to Boynton Beach to give New Grandma all her support. She wasn't doing much at work that day anyway, so, eh. Why not.

"I figured I'd coughed enough and done my hip stretches, and listened in on a lot of people's phone calls. They'd probably be relieved that I wasn't around," stated Gayle. "Plus, Linda's my best friend, and she couldn't get here fast enough, so I thought I'd do it for her and then let her know how it went."

"Goddamnit you sick woman!" yelled Grandma, "get your hand off my stomach!"

Rael himself has had little to say about the recent Clonaid experiments in the field of infant replication, but today he released a statement in French about Grandma, wrote a folk song about her, and drove a car very fast around a track in Spain.

"I have met this Grandma, and she is the penultimate example of the shining achievements we have made. Through our relationship with our alien fathers, we have brought you nice Grandma to yell at girls and smoke with the cigarettes. The aliens are happy, and so am I. Now, I must drive!"


Rael meets Grandma at the secret alien space craft landing site

girl, boy, girl...

boy!

In case you're a friend of the Hydes, or in case you've been paying attention to all the mentions I've given the impending arrival over the last week or so... Wayne called.

Nathan Wayne was born at about 11:20am, 9 lbs 8 oz 22 inches. Yow. Big boy! He joins sisters Mary and Natalie and brother Pete, and friends from all corners. And we welcome him to the party.

Mom and baby are doing well. Dad is giddy and very silly. We laughed a lot. So now there's another cheeky baby to love. I do believe if Doug wants to go this afternoon, we'll go see cheeky baby Nathan and the mommy and daddy, hang a little, and then take Doug to birthday dinner.

Wayne said he's going out after spending some time there with Marcia this afternoon and he's buying his son a present -- a wide screen TV. So he can come home and watch the superbowl. How funny is that.

I'm happy for them -- they have cool kids and they're cool, and life is good. So give thanks and praise! I know I'll have pictures to post here after we go check him out and make sure he's a keeper.

And, it's not just Doug's birthday, but it is Ian J.'s birthday (he's 11), my cousin Mike is (I think) 40 today (wha wha whaaaaaa????) and it is also Annie's birthday. You can go over there, and say hi, and email her birthday wishes if you like. She's had a rough start to the new year, so send her some lovin', would ya?


I posted another mirror project picture. It's the one of me in the light fixture in the kitchen that I posted here a couple days a go.

For someone who doesn't think she's really photogenic, she sure does take a lot of these. That's what you must be thinking.

It isn't that I like to take pictures of me per se, I get a kick out of the concept of the reflected picture and mirror project. It isn't easy to get the angle right, sometimes it's darn near impossible to get in the lens what you want to see. It's fun. I find myself walking around now scoping out mirrored surfaces.

So go check out my latest posting if you like.


What else?

Professor MF and I got accepted to present at an Educause regional conference coming up this March, it's in Worcester. She is now sending applications and proposals all over the country to do conferences... the BIG Educause national conference is in November in Anaheim, and she so wants to go to that. Last night she called me and had me go over a proposal for a Small Comuters in Education conference in Myrtle Beach.

I'd love to go to all these conferences, but hell baby -- how am I going to afford to GET there?

Part of me loves the concept of going to conferences, and planting seeds, meeting faculty and perhaps drumming up some connections and business. But another part of me says it's bull shit and MF should just go on her own and I'll stay here, and we will do a CuSeeMe session to show how it works in real time. But I don't know if she'd be able to set it up on her end and make it work. I'm the one who would have to ... set everything up THERE. So I'd need to be there for such a thing to happen. Life on the conference circuit takes me away from home, too. And that would stink.

Sigh.

I sent out about 20 resumes today. I'm getting sick of this. I've called two temp agencies and neither have gotten back to me. Whatever. I just feel like we're on the verge of being screwed financially and I don't want that to be. So I have to think of something and fast.

But I'm not going to grouse about finances. It's a baby's birthday, and it's a great thing. So I'm going to leave typing here with a big fat smile on my face.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

portrait of the blogger as a young idiot

well, i somehow fancied myself a better writer back then. but in complete reality, there isn't much i wish to share or even keep in these old journals.

some of it is just plain unbelievably bad. embarrassing. right now all i can think of is how much i must have pained my english professor and mentor, Dr. Ann Ferguson, who made me keep these journals for every class I had with her.

the most interesting part of this re-reading is reading her comments. The little "hmmmmmm" at the end of one poem and the "try some objective, totally impersonal, pure, descriptive paragraphs. They are good antidotes for the more subjective expressions of our world. Write of the landscape, as it were, external rather than interior."

in other words, quit bitching and moaning about Steve. stop whining about your broken heart. write about clouds and weather, dogs and puddles, anything but your personal hell for crying out loud.

if she could have, she would have smacked me back then. i wish she would have. or if she tried to verbally slap me, i don't remember hearing her.

i feel i owe her an apology for being the over sappy, heart broken, piney mcpinepine shabbadoux that i was back then.

but here are three of the nicer things i had in there. and one that someone wrote for me. or at least I think she wrote it. I don't think it's someone else's poem and she just wrote it down and gave it to me, but if so... who cares. She thought enough to give a poem to me.

and a couple other things that were in the Ralph issues.

mostly, i'm excessively embarrassed by what i've got here, and plan to hide these damn things. in the trash. gah. enjoy... this is all you get.


linda (july 16, 1985)

i'd like to tell her to leave me alone
here, with the storm.

I pretend I'm writing
something important, poetic;
so she leaves on her own accord. silently

she goes back down the hall
to her own room, where she can't see
the storm.

because of how the rain falls, laying on her bed, visible
in all white
she is an angel
in the dark.

-clf


21 December. 15th year

Countless piles of old photos
lay rotting, time piling on
in the old red book and the boxes.

Black and whites, and Instamatics
showing faces and places
of memories I can't erase
too easily

Her youthful smile
and baby fine hair have
given way to a new era
in her ways
Time has painted the colors well.

Soon the way she is now
will be a memory like
these, placed far back in mind
like old Christmas gifts.
And new pictures will fall
into their places in the book.

-clf


Winter from the Inside

Ghostly white
water, dormant in the night time
Glimmers as if moonlight in
abundance
is pouring only onto the
water's surface

No reflection of shadows
and tall trees
rise to meet the eyes.

Temptation like that
one which struck the
Fair Ophelia
over
comes
you

to go below the white layer
and see if beauty is only
surface deep.

-clf


Christine

Teary-eyed children pass candy store windows
crying for things that they never can have
All of life's sweetness is captured and waiting
Behind red-brick corners and crystal clear glass

All of the hopes of those times lie forgotten --
Sugar plum fairies turn to worries and pains.
Pushing us onward are dreams of the future
Pulling us back are those candy store days.

Then in the midst of this whirlwind of forces
Lonely and hopeless I reached toward the sky
Fast fading memories might lead me to heaven
But only one thing here will keep me alive.

Frazzled and screaming I groped for the answer
Never quite knowing what questions there'd been
Someone looked down to the hand in the cyclone
Thought what she saw was worth salvaging.

Never did try to redeem such a recluse
She only talked when I needed to hear.
I can't say I much remember words spoken --
Only that words made the winds disappear.

Thank you Cliffy-even though you may not know it, this is you, to me.
Merry Christmas, I love you,
Laurie.


Pale Sun

The pale sun and clear sky
Only give me a delusion
of warmth.

The perfect diamond, with brilliance and fire
provides no light, or heat, but is
still beautiful.

and your winter-sky eyes, cold candles in the dark,
show me no path, no exit
no hope.

-C.A. Livingston


Snow is Too Beautiful

Snow is too beautiful
and strangely warm
Perfectly white,
alive.
Snow is too beautiful;
it easily deceives,
covering all quickly.
Snow is too beautiful;
I lie face down,
strangely warm,

suffocating.

-C.A. Livingsto

Old Journals

We have this closet, and in the closet are boxes. The boxes are filled with crap we've been hoarding, from early in our marriage, from college. From high school.

Inside the boxes, there are wedding cards, mementos from our honeymoon. Lots of spewed forth words on paper with grades on them, Doug's spew has many a higher grade than my spew, and he retained a lot more of his academic work than I did.

But in the midst of C+ papers for literary criticism class and James Joyce senior seminar class, I found two old journals of mine. From 1985 and 1986. Before I met Doug. When I dated Steve. There are poems in there. Some of them are great. Some are absolute shite.

I plan on sifting. Finding the ones that are halfway sort of decent. I'll post some of them here and you can laugh at me.

When I met Doug in 1986, he was an English major. He changed majors and scoffed at us English types as "starry eyed poets sitting on our asses" or something along those lines.

I've not written a good poem in many years. So my starry-eyed poetess career may be considered as over and done with.

Another gem of surprise that I found were several editions of an underground little publication called "Ralph" which a friend of ours published. We had a literary magazine at my school, I was the editor one year. And Ted published Ralph, Bert, Yak, and other very interesting poetry collections on mimeographed paper printed off the VAX system at our school.

There are quite a few poems by Clayton in there.

Some of them are just priceless.

I never submitted anything to Ralph because I felt that I wasn't cool and pretentious English majory enough. I wish I had. I had some good stuff that could stand right up next to some of the drivel in there. I should contact Ted and see if he's transcribed these to the web yet.

Anyway -- I have to run. I'm supposed to sub at Geoff's school but don't have to be there until 9:30. I dropped him off, ran some errands, came back here to call Doug and let him know not to pick up Geoff. So I'm off. More later perhaps.

We'll see me then soon -- some glimpses. But until then, here's me now:

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

New Semester Begins, Jon Gruden is a Hottie

I think I jinxed myself when I commented the other day that I was ruling the earth visits-wise. I was up to about 70 plus hits a day for two days. Now I'm back down to my usual 30 something. Oh well. It also helps when you actually update the damn journal.


Where've I been? Right here, just unable to take the time to log an entry. I spent several hours over the last three days with professor MF. Her course starts today and the CuSeeMe people put out a new version of their service in Beta mode. She was having a complete and total aneurysm because now there is a monthly fee to use the service (three different levels) and she couldn't figure out what she was going to tell the students in regards to "Oh, in order to take this class it'll cost you $29.95 a month. Consider it a lab fee."

Not so good, Al.

Anyway -- she and I both tried to download the upgrade and it screwed up both of our systems. I gave up Sunday night at about 8, and she plugged on and on. She called me at 10 and told me she was in, it was working, and the tech support/project manager guy we worked with during the summer (but who blew us off during the academic year when we needed help) had found her online in one of the rooms and recognized her username. He told her who he was and she freaked... she had all kinds of questions, was ready to start screaming at him, but he talked her through everything, set it up so her students will have certain rights and privileges that come with a higher level of service but will only have to pay the lowest member fees ($5 a month) and then talked her through everything she needed to know to get things working.

She was on the phone with him and online in the chat room setting things up for about three total hours Sunday night and four more hours during the day Monday.

I'm glad he found her.

She was ready to give up and cancel the class session, and get in huge trouble with the college I'm sure.

She is thrilled with the look and feel, the changes, the way things work. She can set it up so students can go into "break out" rooms off of the main room to have one on one or three way discussions.

This new layout works so well... and I wish to hell that they'd had this in place last semester when she had 12 students. So far this semester... she has six. It will be easier for her to teach with fewer students, but the technology is finally catching up to where she needs it to be in order for it to kick ass.

So... today is the first class session. I'm supposed to go down there but just don't feel like it. I'm achy, headachy, tired. I may just call and leave her a voicemail and let her know I'm home if she needs me, but otherwise I'm not there.

It's negative eighty degrees out, and part of the problem with me today is that should I go down there I'd have to park in East Jebus and walk to campus because I don't have a faculty/staff sticker and gate pass (because I'm not faculty/staff anymore). Seeing as I do not wish a fate like that of The Little Match Girl, I'll stay here where it's warm but leaky.

Although Doug did leave me the Quimby Truck, and this would be my opportunity to show it off to Ben, Brian and Dan...

Nah.


We took the Christmas tree down on Sunday. Actually, Doug did the bulk of the work. I was in here working up a page for Professor CM and when I came out the ornaments and garland were off the tree and he was taking the lights off. He picked the tree up and gave it the bum's rush out the front door and yelled something along the lines of what a bouncer would say to a disorderly barfly as he chucked him into the gutter.

Poor tree. Served us so well and was so nice. It even smelled good in parting. A nice dry piney smell lingered in the house, and my vacuum cleaner enhanced the smell as I sucked up the remaining detritus. My house seems so big and open now without the tree. And I am going to undertake reorganization of the closet that was behind it. It's a new year. Let's clean house!

After some coffee.


Well, what I wished for Super Bowl-wise was the Raiders vs. The Bucs, and I got what I wished for. While under normal circumstances I'm an AFC kinda gal, I'm cheering for the Bucs because of that dishy coach. Mmmmmmm, Gruden. Dude, your coach is hot. Hotter than a tater tot...

This should be a good game. Not as good as last year, but much better than the year before. I have a feeling the Raiders are going to kill the Bucs, ripping their live, beating hearts out of their chests right through their pads. They'll kill them and eat their babies. It will be ugly. Scary. But. Gruden's cute.

For the last three or so years we've watched the Super Bowl with Wayne and Marcia. I don't think that's going to happen this year. Marcia's baby is due this weekend, and the doctor said that if she hasn't had it by pretty much tomorrow that they'll induce her labor on Thursday the 23rd, day after tomorrow.

That's also Doug's birthday.

It will be cool if they have the baby that day, as we'll be able to add yet another friend with a child born on Doug's B'day. Ian J. will be 11 on the 23rd, and I recall that day as vividly as if it were yesterday. My cousin Mike's birthday is that day as well. It's a party day. A good day to be born. It is 123 (1/23 actually). So pray for a safe and manageable delivery for Ms. Marcia.


Mr. Garfield came and visited with us on Saturday. In complete honesty, I think it's been about 9 years since last I saw him. He worked at the Coffeehouse with us back in the day and stopped coming for various and sundry reasons, and I missed him sorely. I've spoken oft of him here.

He and I have been emailing each other back and forth for some time saying "we should get together for lunch or something..." and in my life, I'm usually all talk and no action. So we finally committed after many moons of hemming and hawing.

He came by and was much worshiped by our dogs. (Jack pined for him after he left. It was rather sweet). And we went to pillage Building 19, where I danced in the aisles to a Counting Crows song just for him.

We didn't get much out of our pillaging... some minor things... nothing huge or memorable. The place was mobbed, as Saturdays usually find it. The funniest thing I saw was a group of three family members looking through the sporting goods at XFL clothing and actually trying stuff on.

Uh, okay. The XFL died, but hey -- cheap quality clothing no matter how ridiculous is a good thing. Right?

I had a good laugh about that.

We went out to lunch too at a local foodrinkery. I had a great salad. All told -- a super day. We intend to take Mr. Garfield on a geocache not too too far from his very own front door up Exeter NH way. Start training now!


I seem to be working backward here news wise. Aaron called us the other day, I think it was Friday. Well, it was Friday here but not Friday where he is.

Anyway -- He was really upset -- they were out in the field when they got a call that a helicopter had crashed in Lake Fryxell, and he and his team leader have EMT training so they responded. They were about 10 minutes away via copter, and he told me it was the worst thing he's ever witnessed in his life.

Inside the copter, I believe he told me there were two men, severely injured. It took the team about 8 hours to free them from the wreckage which was embedded in the ice. He called us from McMurdo, where they were grounded while the crash was investigated. He thinks an incorrectly loaded sling load was to blame, and the copter crash was a result of them not being able to fly with the imbalanced load.

Michelle called me the other day and said he (Aaron) is not doing very well -- he's very disturbed and sort of "post traumatic" stressed out about the whole thing. As of the last time they spoke, he hadn't slept the last two nights. He's back out in the field, but not feeling too good. Aaron gets obsessy about things sometimes, and I see this as the type of thing that could knock him back. I want you all to pray for him -- he did good work in extracting the survivors, it was a blessing for him to have been there with his knowledge and training, and as horrible as it was to witness and be a part of, he needs to heal and move on. So lift him up, send the boy some major mojo. It's not fun to be down there and feel so depressed and sad. You can't crawl into a nice warm bed and cuddle the dog or the wife. You just have to get through it and be the best you can be. So... do it. Pray for him right now where you sit.

I wish I could give him a big hug, or be an ear he can unload into right now. It's not easy because he's so out of reach geographically. I can't just pick up the phone and call and make him laugh.

I should email him the picture of himself that he sent me a while back when I was pining over Missy. It cheered me up. Hopefully he'd find it funny.

Poor kid.

Anyway -- that's about the long and the short of it. I'm off to tackle a closet or two. I've got food pantry stuff to put in the church basement (thank you Mr. Garfield!) and stuff for goodwill to drop off at the Catholic Church around the corner.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Wherein I confess to hating winter more than anything

Before I get started here, I need to comment on my last entry. I think I was really harsh on Little Miss NO the other day. I want people to know that I don't HATE this child, I wrote from passion and frustration. Yesterday I went to drop Geoff off and we walked past the room just so I could say hi to all "My Kids." I made sure to really say hi to her and give her love. She blew me kisses and didn't say no once. She even took my hand and wanted me to come into the room and read.

I feel guilty today about how I felt about her the other day. She is actually really sweet. She's very helpful. She wants to be the teacher and give out the projects and help the children get up on things. There is a supportive streak and a giving heart in that kid. I would like to say I'm going to actively support that in her as often as I can.

News of my dislike of this child has spread through the staff, and I'm heartily afraid her grandmother, who teaches in the three-year old room, hates me. I don't want her to. And I am afraid of this woman, so I don't dare say a damn thing. Meh.

On to the actual Journal Entry. First of all --

Have you been following Mary Ann's Antarctic Journals? Here's Aaron and Amber, one of the other field engineers, after they fashioned a McGuyver-esque drill head out of an aluminum can.

All I gotta say is -- the boy looks happy.

I still can't believe my buddy is on the bottom of the globe. Damn.

Secondly, the title of today's entry involves me and ice, continuing the theme from Aaron's involvement in ice. Only his may be a lot more fun than mine.

As you know, we currently have 8 billion feet of snow on the ground... and on our roof.

Our gutters are filled with snow and ice. The fascia boards on the side of the house in one location have decided to wick all the melting water in the universe into the building. Water is seeping in all over the place.

Two nights ago at about 1am, Doug woke up and sat in bed for a while... he heard the dropping. The dripping. The dripping...

He put the light on and got me up (because he can't see well) and we saw that the cedar walls of our closet and the acoustic ceiling inside the closet were wicking the water to a dumping point - the frame of the sliding door.

We opened the sliding door and moved a mess of stuff out of the way. The water was dripping from two locations, so we put a pot under the drip with an old T-shirt in it to absorb the noise, and resigned ourselves to go back to bed.

Yesterday, the water was dripping steadily. I moved more stuff out of the closet and it's wide open and airy, so hopefully the carpeting and everything in there which is getting damp will not be stinky. I was standing at the kitchen sink yesterday doing dishes when I suddenly felt drops on my arm. The window frame above the kitchen sink is soaked, and the venetian blinds were wicking the water down the vertical cords, resulting in two points of steady drip. I positioned plants under the drips, which was good for the plants, but I'm pissed that the leaking is spreading in that direction. God. I'm going to be so pissed, SO pissed, if the water wicks through the insulation out into the middle of the dining area where we've replaced the ceiling (even though we still haven't plastered/joint compounded and finished the damn thing).






Some ice melt, a pitch fork, an industrial space heater, and then some serious water proof paint and caulk for where the fascia board inserts into the blue trim would be my solution.

The blue trim is the wall that our closet is on, and right where that arrow is pointing on my doctored picture is the entry point. We've had this problem a few times before, and every winter I say "Damn, we have to take those gutters OFF and totally waterproof that entire damn area."

But. We have yet to do this.

When we first moved into the house, I was in the bedroom and water was dripping onto my bed. We had JUST had a roof installed by our friend Todd, and I was pissed, thinking ... there is NO way this roof is leaking, it's brand new! I climbed up there (yes, I was pregnant, about 7 months) and looked all over in the pouring rain and slush for an entry point. I brought a shovel. I shoveled the roof (it's a long and flat slightly angled surface so the water runs down it and off behind my bedroom). When Todd put up the roof, he put up new facia boards and then gutters on top of them, but we never painted them. He told us they were weather treated and were all set, we could paint the trim later if we wanted, painting around the gutters, but that any additional water proofing wouldn't be an issue.

I think he lied.

I called him and he came over, put a patch right over where my bed is under the roof. The water wouldn't stop, and between the two of us we finally figured out that the facia board he put up was absorbing the water, and the insulation inside the house was wicking the water like an oil lantern wick until it could travel no further. So he and I spent the afternoon cleaning out the gutters.

Doug removed the downspout attachment to the gutters (the little curvy part) because the bulk of the problem wasn't the gutters themselves but the downspout.

The downspout would freeze solid because the north face of our house never gets enough sun to keep them warm and the water flowing. Taking the downspout attachment off meant that the gutters could easily be drained with some ice melt and that little hole could then freely spew the liquid. We haven't had a problem in a long time, but this is a lot of ice and snow, and frankly, I'm kicking myself for our having not installed heaters on them or just taking them off the house all together.

Stupid Fucking Gutters.

So I'm on drip patrol. I'm in all the exterior facing rooms of the house looking for drips. Our bedroom and the bathroom currently don't have ceilings, we didn't make it to those rooms yet, so I'm going to reach up and in and make sure the insulation is not touching the facia on the inside of the wall, and hope that this makes a difference.

God. I hate winter.

So, how's by you?

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

substituting

For the past several days I've substituted at Geoff's school, mostly in the toddler room where one of the regular teachers is out with severe flu.

I'm enjoying myself, and it is the easiest 8 bucks an hour I've ever made. I hang out. I play with toys. I get hugs. I wipe boogers. I am much loved by a few of the kids, and many of them are much loved by me. One little girl though ... voof. I don't want to say that I hate her. But. I could seriously do without ever seeing her again. She's the kind of little girl who at age 2 you know she's going to be a bitch at age 12. She's bad news, and everyone knows it. Her mother attended the school back in the day, and her grandmother is one of the teachers, who has been there for close to 30 years. I guess she's pretty much raising the little girl, as the mother is 20 or 22 and ... not responsible for her own actions.

A lot of little kids are in this situation, many of them are darling. Others are hell on wheels. They may grow up to beat up a cabbie one night. They may grow up to do drugs. They may just grow up and be bored and lonely. I have to keep telling myself when I'm dealing with this little girl that the people around her will shape her. Eventually. And if enough love can penetrate the darkness of the exterior she currently seems to possess, perhaps there is hope that she won't end up knocked up at 20 like her mom. And on Jerry Springer yelling "You don't know me, I do what I want! Shu uhp!"

She's in a big "NO" phase. One of the kids asked me if I had a cat. I told him "I have two dogs and no cats." The little girl said, "No" with such a bitchy tone, I just looked at her and said "Pardon?" She looked at me because I'm sure in her life no one has ever asked "Pardon?" to her. I said to her "You've never been to my house so you can't say NO to something that is a fact of my own life. You can say NO if I ask you if you want to sit down of if you are doing something and don't want to stop. But you most certainly cannot say NO to the fact I have no cats and I have two dogs."

She just gaped at me, slackjawed.

I turned back to the other little boy and we chatted about his one dog and three fish. Towhit she said "No" to the boy.

The boy and I chose to ignore her. She eventually told me she has a cat. I was tempted to say "No."

She's the kind of little girl who has to have all the crayons and a toy in each hand when there is just enough to cover one toy per each child. She tried to ride one scooter today while towing the other behind her, because, you know, she's a toddler and everything is "MINE!" Bitch.

I've actually started using the phrase, "You've got to learn to share," on some of the kids when they fight over things. Saying "You have to share" isn't something that makes sense to a two year old. They don't know how to do it. So make it a teaching moment. Tell them to start learning. Suggest how it is done. Amazingly, I saw a response in most of the kids. "I'm done. You turn" says one boy to a little girl waiting for the Minnie Mouse Tricycle. "I let you ride. I use the wagon" offers one girl to another who patiently waits for for the Cabbage Patch Kids Choo Choo. I saw change and learning taking place in 3 days.

The teacher of this class is learning disabled, I think she has downs syndrome but I haven't pried too deeply into her life. She told me she just moved into her own apartment in December and she's very happy. She's got to be about 25 or 30. Her mother is the day care's director. At first, I scoffed at the nepotism. I thought -- how can that girl deal with teaching these kids. I was judging a book by a cover.

Boy, did she open my eyes. She's bright, funny, full of love for the kids and for God. She has kind of a strange voice, so I always thought when I walked past that she was being bitchy or mean, but it's just her voice... her disability makes her speech sound stunted and sharp.

The kids love her. They respond to her. She treats them like gold but she also lets them know SHE is the teacher. This one little challenge of a girl gives her a run for her money, but she doesn't take any shit from this girl.

At naptime, the teacher asked me to get the other kids (8 in the room) all down for their naps and she'd focus on little miss NO. I thought at first she was asking me to do quite a lot, but she really was the one with the hard job. I got all the other 8 kids horizontal. Some of them were passed out within five minutes. Others, I had to back rub and sing to. I ran out of ideas for songs to sing, so I sang "Close your eyes" by James Taylor, a song I sang to both my kids and one that always makes me smile.

Within a half hour, all my kids were out, and the teacher was still wrestling with Miss NO. When she finally fell asleep, I shook my head and told her that I thought she was the best teacher ever. She laughed... She knows she is. I have a deep and abiding admiration for this teacher, and I think that she's the best.

I also have a renewed love for anyone who ever has to work with my son. Geoff's a lot better than he was a year ago, two years ago. At age two in pre-school, I'm sure he was Little Mister No. He was hell on wheels. And I'm sorry that people had to deal with him. Some have dealt with him better than others, and now his teachers tell me he is the best and brightest. Good and thank you. Without them and their guiding hands and tired but helpful hearts, I'm sure Geoff wouldn't be turning out this well. So I've got humbled and deep love for his teachers. And I will pray daily for anyone crossing his path as an educator in the future, as well as praying for him.

One little boy in the class is adopted from Russia. He is about 19 months old, and he doesn't speak much English except for "Mah Dah" which is "My Dog," a stuffed Ty Beanie Buddy of a German Shepherd which he carries with him all the time.

This little boy is the sweetest, most adorable, lovely, bright and gorgeous child I've ever known, even with his boogers.

We had a storyteller come to the school today, and this little boy sat on my lap entranced for the whole hour. They told me it was my break time, and I should go take a break, but I looked down at him and realized that there was no way on earth I was making him get up. I stayed. He doesn't speak much, he's loving. And I am actually going to miss seeing him tomorrow when I won't be working there. Sniff.


Sunday, January 12, 2003

Geoff's birthday week comes to a close...

What a week.

You only turn six once, so it was fitting that we had party after party. First at school, then dinner out at the RFC, then... the party of the decade yesterday at the bowl o rama not too far from home.

We invited a million kids. Some RSVP'ed willingly. Others required constant nagging from myself (in the form of notes) and the teacher (in the form of through the eyebrow scowlings and scoldings). All but one kid who RSVP'ed showed up. Several parents stuck around too and they helped out. 15 kids ranging from age 3 to 10, and pizza and bowling and... wow.

And, of course, mom had to make her own life more difficult than possibly imaginable by making T-shirts for all the kids for the occasion.

Instead of gift bags, which always are filled with kind of sub-par toys (and my dog will eat the contents) and candy (which my kid doesn't need after gorging on cake and/or ice cream) I figured it'd be nice if everyone had a memorable item they could keep for a long time, so I chose T-shirts.

I got a bucket load of shirts from a craft store at about $3 a piece, and using Pokemon Project Studio Blue Version, which is cool, I made iron-on patterns, personalized for each kid with their name and a different pokemon on each one.

Jessie was a big help, she cut out the excess stuff around the printable area while I ironed. It took us 90 minutes to do 15 shirts, and at the end, I kicked myself for not making ME a shirt. Dude, these are so cool. She also helped me set up the tables at the party in record time, and was a good sport when I told her she must wear a party hat. I so torture that girl.

The back of each shirt says "It's Geoffrey's Birthday!" except on his where it says "It's My Birthday." I also made a nice pattern on his sleeve of all the "badges" pokemon trainers get on the show for beating certain leaders. There are 8 total. And the shirts looked the balls. I was so psyched.

The shirts were also good because each child was easily identifiable in the large and very public bowling alley. I wanted to be able to keep good track of them, and this was an awesome way to do so. It was a very good time. Special thanks to Doug for being score keeper and pizza man, Gregg and Karry for coming all the way out from Rockport, Nancy, Frank, Naomi, Naomi's mom, Leigh, Mariah's dad and his girlfriend -- all for hanging out and taking part. Whew.

My lovely kids -- right before all the party guests came
The cake, prior to being molested.
Jessie and Ian, who get along like a house on fire and act like they saw each other just yesterday, even though it's been months and months...
Geoff was done bowling after the third frame, 10 minutes into the hour we had to bowl.
Geoff's best friend in class. I hope we can keep in touch with him after school is done
The whole gang. Waiting for Pizza!!!
Let's see... I wish for a super rocket car, a motor cycle, all the pokemon in the world in real life, and some pie!
Action shot. The best candle blowing out picture of the week. He's going so fast, you can hardly see him!

Yummy cake! And it's good to be the king.

Geoff was the big star. Got great presents. It was a great day for the residents of the Way Out Inn, and one to remember for quite some time.


We brought Gregg, Karry and the kids back to our house to unwind, let the kids play, and watch some football. Titans, Steelers. Yeah baby, yeah! Apologies to all y'all who don't give a shit here, but I'm here now to talk about football. You can skip this part and go down to the bottom of the page to the


which draws the line at the end of this section.

As for the game yesterday -- I can't believe the Steelers lost. I can't believe they make it to overtime, and the Titan's kicker, Joe "I stink but I'm lucky" Nedney, manages to pull the win out of his ass.

The overtime win was theirs thanks to a roughing the kicker call against Dewayne Washington (a call that was QUESTIONABLE at best because the ball had already been friggin KICKED and MISSED when Dewayne slid into Nedney. Big Jerk).

And Bill Cowher, esteemed Steelers coach and king, was pissed. Cowher's chin reached new lengths sticking out from his face yesterday. I was frightened it might fall off. To lose the game because of someone sliding into the kicker long after the ball was kicked and had missed is bullshit. Absolute certifiable Grade A USDA bullshit.

From the Steelers' website, here's what Cowher had to say in his press conference.

"I saw a kicker who kicked the ball, had taken a couple of steps, and Dewayne sliding on the ground fell into him. For a game to be decided on that call is ludicrous. And for me to have to explain to an official what's reviewable and what's not, that's wrong. Fine me if you want. That's the truth.

"I'm not going to blame anything on this game. We had opportunities to win this game, and we didn't win them, but we had some taken away from us too. For a game to be decided because a kicker takes two steps and we have a guy slide into him…after going four and a half quarters, guys laying it on the line and it come down to that. Please, let the players play the game on the field.

"I've never been more proud of a group of guys. They've done everything I asked them to do. I wouldn't trade them for anybody in the world. Unfortunately it wasn't enough today."

Bill Cowher -- class act.

But what can you do. It's done. I will TELL YA what you can do -- Come back next year and kick some ASSSSSSSS!

I'm already looking forward to the End of August 2003. The season's not over, and I'm already looking forward to next year. Because there is no one to route for in this upcoming post-season now. All my three favorite teams have been eliminated, the Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Steelers. So I'm going to become one of those people who doesn't give a shit who plays, it's just all about having or going to a party.

This is what I'm faced with:

I sure as hell am not routing for the Jets or the Titans, those big loser jerks.

I don't want to route for the Eagles or the Niners, because I have no interest in them.

I can't route for the Raiders... that's like routing for Satan. And since Gruden's gone I have no interest. He's still in it though. But I think Tampa Bay has played crummy (crumby?) this year, and I've lost a lot of respect for Warren Sapp this season, so I can't in good conscience... well. What am I gonna do. Route for Tampa just because Gruden is cute? Meh. I don't know if that's reason enough. In the long run, it's just going to be all about whose house, how big the TV is, and what hors d'ouevres I can bring/make in order to make it a certifiable good time.

And no home-made T-shirts for that party. That's for sure.


I picked up some germage which is resulting in a sore throat and swollen tongue. Not sure if I picked it up at the pre-school on Wednesday or if I picked the germies up yesterday. So I'm feeling kind of listless, slow. I have a 4pm phone meeting with professor MF to go over the website and get it ready for Spring 2003's session. And, her proposal to present at a conference this coming March was accepted, so we'll be doing that and have to have all the bugs ironed out, and a presentation outline ready. I'll be presenting my side of the experience, and she'll talk about her motivation, the student reaction, why we did this. It will actually be a funny presentation, and we'll have a good laugh and I'm sure people will enjoy it. I'm just not into working on it today. I may call her and reschedule.

More later -- I'm going to go into the black hole that is my son's room and clean it so he can play on his carpet with his cool new trucks and cars.