Dec 30, 2008

Dear Sandwich Eater,

What is it that makes you take bites out of the same place in the sandwich over and over until the jelly filled bread reaches your cheeks and then fans out until it threatens to fill your ears with sticky? This makes you smell like jelly all day. If we lived in the rain forest you would have bugs stuck to your cheeks like a sweet little fly strip. This is why I have to catch you and wash your cheeks with a warm rag, I can't stand the thought of random germ filled animals stuck to your face.

Dec 29, 2008

Fun Concentrate

It's the beginning of another back breakingly fun week of errands and shopping and parties. Oh - when will the festivities end?! We should all be so troubled. Why we don't just spread this stuff out into the cold of January a little and then the monotony of dark snowy hibernation will be dotted with occasional presents and sparkly sweaters? I'd plan something, but just yesterday I was promising myslef I would not plan anything (beyond what I've already taken on) and it's not even the new year yet. Can I possibly break my New Years resolution even before I've sealed it up with the wax off a cork of Merlot and sent it into 2009 with a handfull of confetti and a kiss?

Dec 28, 2008

Time Off

So this would be where I count down my accomplishments of 2008 and count up what's going to happen in 2009. Where I make a grand list and plans on how to accomplish it. Instead, I've decided 2009 is going to be a big surprise. I'm going to just see what happens. No expectations, no plans, no goals. I'm going to just coast for a bit and see where I end up. Bohemian Slacktitude here I come.

Dec 26, 2008

On the Second Day

Here I sit in the midst of our three Days of Christmas, trappings and bits and bobbles all over the floor and sticky dishes on the table. Kiddo is vegging out in front of the TV I haven't let her turn on in two days and my dearest is back at work leaving me to wrap the remainder of the presents and make the orange jello salad for the party tonight. Later we'll have martinis and hot toddies at the bar in the basement and when we've sufficiently taken the edge off (whatever that means) we'll convene to the living room and there will be cousins, the crackling fire, presents, glee and bits of wrapping paper flying all over the place while adults hurl "Don't get it out of the box right now you'll loose the pieces" at the kids. Yes, it feels like I'm stuck in the 50s today with all the cooking, cleaning, child rearing and homemaking and to make it worse I am actually hoping to get some sewing done today.

Dec 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Internet!

From the Mermaid that lives here and her Mom, Dad, Dog and pet lobster.

Dec 23, 2008

Interview with a Blogger

DD Hunter posted this earlier this week and I wanted to play along. (Some of the questions are changed slightly to keep my anonymity, I hope you understand DD. Also, this was fun, thanks.)

1. The little three bedroom ranch down the street is for sale, the asking price is u
nbelievably low, in the 50's or 60's. Would you sell your place and buy the ranch? Why or why not?

No way. I don't really care for ranch homes. And we're only ten years from owning this place. Despite all it's problems and even in light of all the practicality and warmth a ranch offers this really is my dream house. Plus where would we put all the stuff we've accumulated?! (Although I have to admit, I have thought about that old three story Victorian on the historical registry up the street that's for sale.)

2. What is the most important characteristic you hope your child will pick up from your example?

Foremost I hope she is an optimist and in general a happy person but beyond that, Persistence & Focus. It's a rare thing to first of all know what it is you want out of life (or what will make you happy) but rarer yet to devise a plan and then have the persistence to actually do it.

3. In 1998, where did you see your life in 2008? How is it different from your hopes? Are you happy with the way it turned out?

I hoped to be almost exactly where I am now... we had a plan and here I am. Perhaps the one thing we haven't done that I'd hoped for was getting further along on our house. Oh, and roller derby, I don't think I could have dreamed that up in 1998, that was a nice surprise that just added to the grand happiness and perhaps the reason we haven't worked on the house so much.

4. A big name store wants to build in your community, it will mean hundreds of jobs, more revenue, tax dollars, etc... The problem is the store is a Wal-Mart. Would you support the possibility or shun it?

Shun shun shun, I support controlled growth while maintaining the intergrity of the community. A bedroom community like ours already has a work force that drives to the next city over to make a living, shunning a big box store wouldn't hurt the work force and anything else it may benifit isn't enough to outweigh the integrity of the village. Shoot, I don't even like those subdivisions where all the houses look the same (even if they are $250,000.00 homes - bleah.) Now ask me about an aeronautics facility or a sci-tech silicon shop, or a green widget maker and I might be on board as long as they will be good nieghbors (environmentally, socially etc...)

5. Hollywood has decided to make a movie based on your life. What would be the title and who would you like to see in the lead rolls?

Ok trying to sum up my whole life with one movie title is too silly, I just can't think of one unifying theme, perhaps something really minimal like the when the Beatles put out the White album... something like "Woman" or "J." Ok, ok, that's not very fun how about "The Lady that Lived to 110" or "A Late Life Trip to the Moon" but then the movie has barely been written. How about a movie about my life in the last decade or so and we'll call it "Midwestern Eccentricities." Marisa Tomei will play me and Christian Slater will play Dan it'll be a weird love story revolving around this couple that bickers all the time under the oddest circumstances and yet they have this uncanny connection. It'll be narrated by a grown up Ella played by Zooey Deschanel and then in the last 3 minutes she'll walk up to a podium to accept the Nobel Peace Prize for solving the conundrum of universal particle theory, and it'll tie together all these little odd adventures from earlier in the movie, like that time we took Ella to the beach when she was four and we argued about if sting rays were dangerous to stand in the water near and the movie will in a single epiphanic moment make sense relating to Ella's amazing new physics theory... what?! It's my movie! Obviously M. Night Shyamalan will have to direct it.

How can I resist, look at how totally cute we were in the 90s.
Oh, wait that's not us that's from the Untamed Heart - oops.

Bored and looking for ways to pass your day?
Care to play along?
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Dec 21, 2008

I've Always Liked Heat Better than Ice - (with many parts... but not that one)

Part I
The mermaid costume is finished and awesome and wrapped and ready. Thanks Mrs. Claus - you are the coolest seamstress, as well as pretty smart and interesting, someone should buy you jewelry to thank you for pulling that present out of thin air. Maybe they should buy you rubies and emeralds to commemorate Christmas. Maybe if Mr. Claus had and extra $80.00 lying around...

Part II
We have two furnaces and one of them didn't work today. Usually it's not a big deal accept that today it was -8 with a wind chill of -20 so with one of them running the house maintained a cool 54. After checking it out, Dan decided he needed a part, a pretty generic part but none the less there are no parts departments open on Sunday and we didn't want to pay Sunday rates for a service tech. I called around and found a guy in the next village over who had it. The 10 minute drive to get it turned into a 45 minute drive when Dan got stuck in a 5 foot snow drift in the middle of the road and had to pay a passing tow truck $80.00 to get him out. They closed the road right after that and Dan never did get to the next village over for that part but it turned out he didn't need it after all which worked out because the universe decided we needed to step outside and throw $80.00 into a snow drift. But really what I'm trying to say is Dan is awesome for getting the furnace going today, you are the coolest most handsome, smart and interesting furnace fixer I have ever met.

This is totally off subject so we'll call it
Part G:
Ella spent the day in front of the space heater watching Escape to Witch Mountain part one and two and then chased it with Bedknobs and Broomsticks. However, we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carey last night and the Grinch was super scary, like hiding behind the couch scary, like watching the TV between your fingers scary, like confirming with your mother before bed that the Grinch is in fact make believe scary.

Dec 20, 2008

The Toys Shop is in Full Production Today.

My dear child asked Santa for an Aerial the Mermaid Dress and Mr. & Mrs. Claus figured they'd run out to Target last week and pick one up. Next to the forty two hundred other princess frocks at Target was an empty space where the mermaid dresses used to hang. Mr. & Mrs. Claus then went to K-Mart, the other Target, and Toys R Us, they called two costume shops to no avail and finally when all other ideas were exhausted they decided to visit the devil and ask him for a mermaid costume, but Walmart didn't have one either. Finally in sheer desperation Mrs. Claus went to JoAnne Fabric and bought green sparkly sequined mermaid tail fabric, some seaweed type material and gobs of purple felt. She will be sewing her ass off today when Dan and Ella go shopping together and hopefully see a movie and perhaps pick up dinner. Mrs. Claus is going to need a good four hours to pull this thing together and afterward she would like a brandy spiked egg nog and a neck rub.

Dec 19, 2008

Snow Day

Today is a snow day. No school, cars plowed in and 8 inches of white fluff blocking the door. So far I've managed to make a waffle for kiddo, a cup of coffee for me and stare out the window at least 3 times. My big accomplishments today will be laundry and vacuuming (gotta set goals right) later I'll reward myself with Christmas shopping, sushi and cosmos with my pal T, who's husband and kid will be at my house entertaining my family. Yep, I'd call that a pretty terrific plan, now if I could only get out of my pajamas and get this day started.

Dec 17, 2008

Crusts cut off, hold the oil

I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I quartered it diagonally making four very dainty triangles and placed it on the plate next to two celery stalks filled with peanut butter and raisins. I placed it in front of my daughter with a small glass of apple juice, dashed back to the kitchen and washed up the dishes. Feeling very pleased with myself, I sat down on the couch to bask in my house-wifeyness and found my daughter with the bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil that I've been slathering on her skin so she doesn't scratch herself to bits in this dry weather, in one hand, in her other hand a oil saturated triangle of PB&J and a tell tail smear of coconut shine on her bottom lip. The ingediants of Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil sound as yummy as they smell but I'me pretty sure you aren't supposed to eat cocoa seed butter, kiwi extract and papaya with lanolin and aloe on a pb&j. Poison control agreed that one shouldn't eat those things together but assured me since she ate it with bread and it was at best three bites she would be just fine.

Dec 16, 2008

20 Questions for Bernard Madoff

Where does one hide after stealing 50 billion dollars? Is he wearing a disguise now? Does the disguise include a wig? Is he wanted world wide? If caught will he have to return the money? Can you buy a self sufficient island for less than 50 billion? How do you sleep at night knowing you scammed charities? Is 50 billion dollars enough to leave family and friends and your whole life behind? What do you do when you get sick, don't you need your medical records? How close was he to getting caught? What was the defining moment in which he realized it was time to run? What was the original plan, did he hatch this from the beginning or was he planning to start out legit and he went crooked a little bit at a time? What kind of faith does a crook like that hang on to? Does he believe in karma? Life after death? Is he happy and sitting on a beach somewhere or scared and sitting in an evil lair/cave somewhere? What do you have for dinner when money is no object? What's his cover story wherever he is? What did he take with him? What do you do with your time after you dedicated your life to making money and now you aren't?

"When the tide goes out you start to see who's swimming naked" - Warren Buffet

Dec 15, 2008

The Little Purple Bus to School

Last week it was so snowy that walking the kids to school took an inordinate amount energy. Picking one kid up off the ice to balance myself long enough to pick another up off the ice, I ordered "That's it everyone hold my hand" and discovered I only have two hands. Telling one four year old to steady another four year old on ice by holding hands is like asking drunken derby girls to be serious for one minute, it’s only going to last 3 seconds before someone is laughing and on the ground. So, last week when it snowed again over the thin layer of ice on even the sidewalks that the vigilant neighbors shoveled I grabbed Ella’s big purple sled and told all three kids to get on. I dragged them to school in less than 6 minutes; a new world record for walking preschoolers two blocks. Though everyone had to disembark the sled and walk across the street when necessary, not because I’m overly cautious but because the stupid village trucks salt and it’s not slippery in the street, it was still less time than the usual trek and I was warm at the end of the trip (almost sweaty.) Today it’s a frigid 1° and though I was hoping for more snow and ice so our little caravan can move fast, the sky is a clear blue with high clouds, so I am getting three layers on to prepare for the long parade up the street, the little purple sled will have to wait.

Dec 11, 2008

Dear Santa, I Like Christmas but I'm Really Bad at the Presents Part

I went to four stores and in total purchased two things. I fail as a shopper. I just can't get excited about the giant universal remote larger than your head and nose/ear hair clippers with the car dashboard adapter (and who wants to clip their nose hairs with something that's just been in their ear and vice versa, and in the car!) I have some ideas of what I'm looking for now and also have the sneaking feeling I may need to get ordering on the internet to actually find it all.

I'm not even sure what I want for Christmas, perhaps a winning sold out roller derby season and a closet. The first is self explanatory and the second well, as I think I may have said before, we live in a old place and there are very few closets. We own wardrobes and dressers but oh how I yearn for one more place to put my stuff and a door to shut it on. When people come over, often times my sewing machine is right there and my roller skates are right there and the birthday wrapping paper, scissors and tape right there. Everything we own is out all the time ready for you to look at right now. It presents a particular problem when children come over and I have to answer "What's this?" five kabillion times... "It's a lint shaver.... That? it's an egg timer.... oh that, it's a box of dice... it's my flash drive." all the while I'm wishing I had a place to put them so that the child wasn't touching it and I wasn't explaining what it is and why they can't play pirates with it.

It's not that we're cluttered (well, actually we are) but I'm going to maintain we would put these things away if we had a place to put them. Perhaps this is what has me hesitant to buy anything new for Christmas. I mean really where will we put another Thing? We been just fine without another Thing. Maybe Santa could just bring me Niecy Nash. She and her cohorts can come over and be appalled at my hot mess and tell me to put at least 15 pairs of black shoes in a garage sale and pare the toys and books down by half and then send us to the
Clocktower while they save my space. Yes, that sounds good.

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is for my skatey ladies to kick some butt this season and Niecy Nash to come over my house and be soo appalled she wants to clean it.

Also, I've been very good.


PS The usual wishes still apply, good health, world peace,
million dollars etc...

Dec 10, 2008

Tis the Season

The festivities have started in an attempt to forget that it gets dark just after lunch and the temperature is steadily at freezing you ass off. Today the sun is out, the sky is blue, my pretend stocks are up and I'll be out doing a little shopping tonight. I have no idea what I'm hoping to find while out shopping but I'm going to give it an honest try while sorting through all the automatic gadget winders, designer custom knitted nose warmers and the dust catching home collection accessories. We put the tree up last weekend and I've almost finished rotating the ladder and getting all the ornaments up. I swear next year I'm getting a confetti gun and loading it with hard candy and just aiming at the tree. There's eggnog and Tom & Jerry mix in the fridge and brandy in the cupboard to get rid of the shakes after I've almost tipped the ladder over while standing on the top, which would really explain why it's taking an entire week to get this tree together, and we are happy for the season.

I hope you and your house are keeping warm and cozy this season dear internets.

Dec 9, 2008

Open Letter to Rod Blagojavich

Mr. Blagojavich,

I am pissed. You have no idea how many times I have personally defended you and fought with my family and friends over how you do things. I stood up for you and it turns out you are a shyster in the worst way. You are the reason politicians even the honest ones who work their tails off are regarded as unscrupulous. I believed in you, how dare you put a (D) behind your name. That means you are supposed to stand up for the unfortunate. Really? - withholding funding for Wrigley Field and a Children's Hospital? You should know better than to mess with Cubs fans and I'm pretty sure God was pissed about the second one. How low can you get?... oh wait I guess you could put the Senate seat left open by our President elect up for sale. UG.

A Loyal & Disappointed Democrat in IL

Dec 8, 2008

The Year End List

Every where you look you can see the Listiest Lists of 2008 and so here's mine:

10. Zac Efron - I don't know why, I just can't get away from him and so here he is.

9. Twitter - moving closer towards the hive mind every day.

8. NYSE - the best reason to be glad I have no extra money.

7. Roller Derby - because "If the good lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn't have invented roller skates." - W. Wonka.

6. Television Commercials - RIP.

5. Lead & Phthalates - two reason not to buy more crappy toys.

4. Ira Glass - just so I can say that I love him again on my blog.

3. Pink - the color of Pepto Bismo and everything my daughter wants and loves.

2. Obama - The reason SNL was ever worth watching again.

1. The Gulf of Mexico -

Dec 7, 2008

I Don't Care

I slept until 10:30 today. Actually I dozed. I woke up at the usual time and then continued to nap in small chunks until 10:30 at which time I could hear my inner crumudgeon complaining about how my day was being wasted, but here's the thing, I've had a headache in the back of my head and in my sinuses and around my eyes for like three weeks. So this morning as I dozed and realized my head wasn't hurting it became blazingly obvious that it's caused by stress. So today I'll be padding around the house in my socks and making pasta for some out of town pals coming by and I may be drinking some expensive wine. (I'm certainly not exchanging one head ache for a cheaper headache tomorrow.)

I know, I know what in the world can I possibly be stressed about?! The Preschool Christmas Program? The upcoming Roller Derby Season? How many cookies I didn't agree to bake to for charity? My poked thumb? Here's the thing, should I choose to think about "why" too long it may add to the knots I've created up there and so today I don't care. Send the lion in!

This brings me to Ella's preoccupation with stories that contain tragic death and destruction. She's been addicted to the above video, I bought the album and it was the first song she committed to memory the second song which she proclaims her favorite is the one where this character dies gasping and clutching at his throat while choking on a tiny bone in his soup. She's asking for fairy tales that include a stolen or abandoned children, cannibalistic witches, killed parents and the removal of hearts from young maidens. On top of this she wants to watch that movie "the Corporate Bride" (she means the Corpse Bride) and or
Beetlejuice, neither of which we own, but caught on TV in October.

So to quell her, we watched the 70s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night. When Charlie and Grandpa Jo go floating up to the ceiling from drinking fizzy lifting drinks, about to be chopped up in the fan, Ella shrieked and cried "I can't watch!" and then ran behind the couch and peeked out through her fingers. Then we talked about it for the next ten minutes, how she thought they'd be chopped up and it was going to be blood everywhere. While I tried to claim I'd never let her watch a movie like that, it did occur to me we had just sat through the Wonka takes his boat through the tunnel while singing maniacally and all sorts of horrors are projected onto the screen scene. I suppose the first time you see this movie it has one soo off kilter that it seems totally feasible little Charlie may be chopped up. It's not the sort of movie you can trust, it changes so fast so often.

Dec 5, 2008

In Which I Ramble on and Whine Like a Pro

Last century Dan took me to Las Vegas for my birthday and I bought a giant red bag from the site where Showgirls was filmed, Wayne Newton played and the movie Casino was based on... the Stardust. Shortly after we were there they tore it down. I love my giant bag, it's made of red soft plastic like those jelly shoes (I'm sure it's leaking phthalates all over me) and so you can kinda see what's in it through the side and the bottom is made of black rubber, so it's ideal for taking to the beach or any soggy place where you may want to set your bag down. Plus it says Stardust on the side.

Last month I discovered the handle was breaking off. So last night I set to work trying to sew it back together. I knew it would be difficult more like sewing leather and I grabbed a thimble but it really involved alot of muscle and my thumb didn't fit in the thimble and so I was improvising with a piece of plastic. This is when when my hand slipped and I stabbed myself with the blunt end of a needle about two or three millimeters deep right in the pad of my thumb. It didn't bleed more than a couple of drops but by the time I went to bed my thumb was all swelled up and throbbing.

I know there are folks with real woes and my entire injury can only be seen under a magnifying glass and even then I have to point it out to you. So I can't even complain about it to anyone accept the internet, because no one else will listen without making fun of me but this is my blog and I can cry if I want to even if it's silly. Poor internet putting up with all the privileged sniveling about poked thumbs in the world. But on top of that it's 6° this morning and I am told it feels like -4°. I am not happy about any of this.

PS the red Stardust bag is fine.

Dec 3, 2008

Larry vs the Snow Bunny

More snow today and I dug my long johns out. I am wearing the warmest pair today because walking the kids while it's snowing is extra slow just as predicted. They spend a good extra 10 minutes making snow angels and or catching snow flakes on their tongues and how can you really not find that so cute you let them frolic, plus their little legs are short and we've just increased the width of them by at least 50% by making their wear snow pants and boots and they really do end up walking like little penguins, so I cope by dressing warm and imagining how fast I can walk home by myself.

But anyway my warmest pair of long johns are these whole body suited red ones, the kind w
ith the buttons on the butt so you can use the facilities throughout the day without stripping down, but those little buttons aren't so little and when wearing jeans over them you can see the little lumps through the jeans and it's just weird looking. On top of that I've confiscated one of Dan's flannels because men's clothes are always warmer and then I'm wearing a snow cap in the house. Honestly I just didn't have to ooomph to take it off after getting all the other snow gear off and all that walking home so fast, plus it's holding all my body heat in. Then, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and decided me and my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl ought to get some nicer looking cold weather gear out (YIKES!). I'm off to dig through the tubs of stuff I put up last season and find a hat that doesn't involve fur ear flaps and or a brand of beer and a sweater that doesn't hang down to my mid-thigh. On the other hand I'm hoping I owned some things that will actually cover anything that could be frost bitten, and perhaps I'll even find something made of fleece that compliments my eyes.

Dec 1, 2008

Extra Dilly Dally

I woke up this morning to find a chunk of snow fell out of the sky and landed atop my portion of the planet. This is going to make walking three kids to preschool full of extra dilly dally. I'm already practicing what to say when the first handful of snow is being packed into a tight little ball. "Hey! No throwing snow... it's the rules" I love blaming the rules. I even sometimes say after much moaning and groaning about not being able to do somersaults in the neighbors yard or smoke cigarettes in the back alley while swigging whiskey "I know, I know, it's not fun but it's the rules." and I shrug my shoulders like there isn't much I can do about it.

Discipline is such a weird abstract kind of thing these days. Ella learned from observing other kid parent interactions that counting is totally bad and the whole world may implode should Mom ever make it to three. So when all reasoning has been thrown out the window, on occasion I will holler "I'm about to start counting!" at which time Ella stops pretending she can’t even hear me and wiping jelly on the couch and stands at attention. I have no idea what would happen if I got to three or even if that's where I should stop. My understanding is that's where other parents stop; I think it’s the universal amount of time one can keep whacking the dog in the head with a foam sword before your mother chases you down.

It'll get weirder, soon there will be grounding and removing privileges and I'll be forced to take responsibility for making the rules. There will be long drawn out lectures about "choices" and "what kind of person you want to be" and then hopefully the mother of all kid controlling apparatus will take form... GUILT and it will steer her through her teen years until she can regain some sanity and actually figure out what kind of person she would like to be. I'm not saying that I wouldn't have made good choices as a teen without my Mother's voice in the back of my head, but I do know that hearing "I’m disappointed in you" was way more crushing that being grounded. Those words can hang on your shoulders like a wet blanket reminding you why smoking in the back alley and swigging whiskey may sound fun but isn't such a smart choice. So I'm going with what I know.

Nov 30, 2008

Robo Call

A Com Ed computer called an said to expect power outages because of the snow today. So firstly I'm trying to blog before the lights go down and secondly imagine if you could call ahead about your possible faults... "Yeah, I might not be doing any housework tomorrow and I may be sitting around in my pajamas all day watching teevoed reality tv so just in case you were expecting something from me, now you know better."

Nov 29, 2008

Big Jump

El and I went out into the craziness yesterday and picked up some books after visiting Santa. I couldn't wait for Christmas to give them to her as she learned how to read a last week. She has been working on the sounds letters make for a while but something clicked and she made the leap from "Ju - Uh - Emmm - Puh" to "Jump" exclaiming "I squished all the sounds together!" And now there is no stopping her. Dan and I can no longer spell bits of our conversation unless the words are extra long and we say it really fast which frankly is sometimes beyond my capabilities. Have you ever tried to spell "compromise" really fast off the top of your head? I had to spell check it just now!

Nov 26, 2008

I'm a Killjoy - Happy Thanksgiving.

In 15 minutes I'll be on my way to Preschool where Ella will be dressed as a Indian and Ms. Preschool Teacher will be a Pilgrim and they will sing turkey songs and have a Thanksgiving feast. I told Ella today that some Indians don't really like Thanksgiving and went on to explain that we gave the Native Americans colds when we met them and then later we kicked them off of their land and made them move some where else. It's what I thought was appropriate for her four year old mind. I couldn't just let the myth of the happy feast go by again this year without throwing a bit of real history in there. Ella agreed that wasn't a very nice thing to do and then added that she never met an Indian and today she was just going to pretend to be one at school but she would just pretend to be happy about eating a feast with the Pilgrims instead of being sad about it. I told her that would be just fine and asked her what she was thankful for and we made a giant thankful list that included everyone we love, marshmallows, toys and birthdays.

Stroller Derby Article:
Are Elementary School Thanksgivings Racist Or Just Outdated?

Nov 23, 2008

Six Actual Ways for Real People in a Cash Crunch to Make a Little Cash that Don't Involve Giving up the Cleaning Lady they Already Don't Have

While reading AOL's headlines today I came
across the stupidest article I've read all day about people having a cash crunch and how to get fast cash. Mary Beth Franklin, Senior Editor and Stacy Rapacon, Reporter of live in a little golden bubble where they can just sell some stocks or take out a loan on their margins to pay bills. They also suggest we take out a home equity loan (how can they possibly not be reading the financial news and know that this is how we got where we are now?!), get another credit card with those blank checks you get in the mail (no I'm not even kidding) and borrow from our 401K, Roth IRA and our life insurance.

I don't know about you, but most people I know in a cash crunch already lost their house in the home loan crisis and or have been laid off from their job and would laugh in your face if you said to them "Just cash in some of your investments" as that '93 Cavalier is the only thing they've been able to invest in for the past 18 months. I've read enough articles about how we should just stop getting those daily lattes or cut out the pedicure and just get the manicure instead, so many I could barf. Ok, so here it is, real advice from a real person on how to get money to keep the heat/electric/water on and gas in the tank.

1. Give Plasma, it only takes a little bit of time, you're doing a good thing and it can pay alot. In Rockford it's $50.00! You can do it once a week.

2. E-bay outgrown kids clothes. One big lot usually goes well, you could pick up $30.00-$50.00 a lot. You usually get the best price after you wash everything thoroughly, mend any bits, get all the lint/pilling off (use a disposable razor and literally shave the clothing... no I'm not kidding), iron it, match up socks and take pretty pictures with lots of sunlight. Write a stellar and honest description and offer to ship fast. - No kids? That's ok, look around the house and e-bay something! We all have junk we don't need anymore. Or offer to do all the labor of e-baying for someone and you take a %.

4. Recycle! Turn those cans in. $10.00 can get you enough gas to get to an interview!

5. Freecycle! Free stuff exchange. This is recycling at it's best.

6. Offer to clean your Mom's/Aunt's/Grandma's house. Mother's are always suckers for their kids offering to do chores for them. I mean really $30.00 to do the kitchen and the bathroom - heck yeah! You might also offer to clean out the garage/basement/attic and e-bay their junk for them for a % of the selling price.

I didn't address saving money in my list of 6, cause there are gobs of ways and anyone in the position of deciding between paying the heat or the electric right now already knows how to by generic noodles and shop second hand (I hope.) So what else can you think of internet? How can real people make/save cash?

Nov 22, 2008

Like an Oliver Stone Movie Only More Horrid

Randy was a friend of the family. He knew my parents and all my uncles and all their friends, was always at cook outs and family parties, he was also a hemophiliac. He passed away in the 80s from AIDS. I was too young to learn much of the details of his situation and he’s the only person I’ve ever known who had AIDS or hemophilia. Today, in light of this article in today’s NYT I realize he joins the ranks of people I know who may have been directly harmed by the pharmaceutical/medical industry. I am aghast at the lack of scruples companies display in an attempt to turn a profit.

"The Bayer unit, Cutter Biological, introduced its safer medicine in late February 1984 as evidence mounted that the earlier version was infecting hemophiliacs with H.I.V. Yet for over a year, the company continued to sell the old medicine overseas, prompting a United States regulator to accuse Cutter of breaking its promise to stop selling the product.

By continuing to sell the old version of the life-saving medicine, the records show, Cutter officials were trying to avoid being stuck with large stores of a product that was proving increasingly unmarketable in the United States and Europe."

How can this company still be in business? I mean really... HOW?!

Thanks to
IBTP for directing my attention to the NYT and this story today.

Nov 20, 2008


I can't make it past level two. Where on Earth do you score?

Nov 19, 2008

The tangled web of finance and politics

I sold Visa with a net loss $0.66 cents on the advice of Aunt M. and bought Cambell's Soup CPB at $37.65 it's gone up $0.05 cents in the last few minutes (Yay! only $45.00 to go to make up for all the losses this last week.) I'm not buying Amazon because they contribute a fair amount of money to the GOP which brings me to the horror of Coors Brewing. Despite being my only money maker (+$0.71) I had to sell and invest in a better brewing company. I bought SAB Miller plc SBMRY at $14.10 aka the company that makes Miller High Life and Leinenkugel's (woohoo!)

Update: after some research I see SBMRY is partnered with Coors, I'm still not quite sure what "partnered" means, but I'm not investing in
Anheuser-Busch for sure and I'm still researching a more democratic beer. Perhaps I'll dump beer alltogether and buy wine instead.

Nov 17, 2008

Wise Words from a Four Year Old

Me: What are you learning by watching TV today?

Ella: I learned that if you know special magical words everything can go your way. That's what I learned on Noggin.

Me: Really?! I sure wish I knew some special magical words that made everything go my way.

Ella: I'll tell them to you they're easy.

Me: Ok.

Ella: "I love you", "Please", "Thank you", "Hi", "I'll teach you this toy", "Your the best" and Let's play"

Nov 15, 2008

Four Steps Forward - One Step Back

Ann E. Dunwoody is the first woman nominated to be a four star general in the United States. They say she's broken the brass ceiling. When asked if she ever thought she'd make it this far she replied

"There is no one more surprised than I — except, of course, my husband. You know what they say, `Behind every successful woman there is an astonished man.' "


Nov 13, 2008

Bombadee's Trading Club

In 5th grade we did the stock market unit where we all picked some stocks and followed them in the newspaper every day for a month. I looooooved this unit and I was good at it. For ages when asked what I was going to be when I got older my answer was a stock broker.

Years ago, I actually had a chance to work for a broker named Brad at Stiefel Nicholas. I worked as a sales assistant for him and it was alot of fun, this was during the 90s, the Clinton years, when the technology bubble was just being blown up and investors were asking if they should be "doing that Wahoo stuff" (Yahoo.)

My job was great, I had the pleasure of orchestrating luncheons for hundreds of people (included sampling the menu and picking napkins as well as hand addressing 500 invitations and calling people for RSVP.) as well as being a general executive assistant, pulling files, fund info and managing the schedule. Towards the end of my time there Brad asked if I would like to get my licence and sent me home with books where I spent weeks reading about IPOs and Mutual Funds.

Why didn't I stick with it? I had just ended one high stress well accomplished career and honestly I really wasn't ready to jump right into the next, I moved to a nice small heating company where I just answered the phone and filed things and knew I wouldn't feel torn when I was ready to quit and stay home with a baby.

So the other day I was thinking of the day traders I used to know and the brokers I used to listen to go on and on and the days we spent just watching CNN for the ticker (there was a TV in every office) and that 16 year old kid that used to hang around at the office and ask the brokers a million questions and then do the opposite of their advice by making his mother buy two and three shares of tech stock every week with his paycheck. He was making a killing, wherever that kid is now... I wish I knew, I'd ask him what to invest in.

Well, anyway when I mentioned investing in Hasbro and I got on Google and found
Google Finance and created a portfolio. I pretend bought one of each of the stocks I would invest in if I had $501.00 laying around. So far I've lost $40.00. Instead of doing anything I learned at Stiefel Nicholas by looking at safe diversified funds, I went with my 5th grade self and picked these based on the upcomming holidays, companies I like and a hunch:

- Hasbro HAS because I like them and Christmas is coming.
Bought at 26.41 it's now at 25.63

- Sears Holding Co. SHLD they are the parent company of K-mart and K-mart is offering layaway again this holiday and I think it will do well this year.
bought at 49.78 it's now at 40.21

-Google GOOG because I like them, use it every day and I always wished could've gotten in on that IPO. Bought at 307 it's now
at 285.29

- Tupperwear TUP because when the economy goes down, left overs go up. Bought at 21.92 it's
now at 19.06

-Molson Coors Brewing co. TAP
because again when the economy is down people buy beer and drink it at home over board games instead of martinis at the sushi bar. Bought at 42.20 it's now at 40.12

- Visa Inc. V Because everyne has a Visa, it's the easier credit card to get and lots of people will be using them in the comming months. Bought at 54.66
it's now at 51.12

Clearly it hadn't hit bottom before I bought them and that irks me alot (ever the optimist) but I intend on hanging on to these (and loosing my pretend ass or kicking myself for not really investing) until at least Christmas. I'll keep you updated if I add anything. If you have any tips or product you would invest in let me know, maybe I'll buy a pretend share and track it with my other five.

Nov 11, 2008


I just read that if you want to send a package to a service member over seas that they'll get before Christmas, you'd better get it in the mail by Thursday November 13th.

Plain Tuesday

At first I posted a meme, 31 questions with 31 short answers. The only answer mildly (And I do mean mildly) amusing was this one:

What does your watch look like? A cell Phone.

So I figured it could not get any worse than telling you what my day looks like. It's grey outside, washed out and clouded over. The trees and vines outside of my windows are old crooked lines against the grey sky, the leaves blew away last week with the last of the warm weather. Ella is sitting on the rug in front of the TV with the space heater on her toes. She is ignoring the grilled cheese I made her and instead eating as many pickles as I'll let her (that's 3, because I'm pretty sure you can get a stomach ache from eating a whole jar and inevitably she'll ask for more pickles at least four more times today.) I'm still sipping the same mug of watered down coffee from this morning. I'm trying to quit caffeine all together, it's slow going on purpose. It really doesn't go with grilled cheese very well and I'm wishing I would've poured myself an apple juice while I was in the kitchen.

I really need to bundle myself and Ella up and make it to the grocery store a few blocks away today, but it's one of those days that I could really pull dinner out of a little bit of this and that and it's not dire that I go yet. Plus the car never warms up when only driving a few blocks and the thought of carrying groceries in while my knuckles are freezing and Ella is dragging her feet up the stairs and the dog bouncing up and down onto my legs at the door sounds horrid. That means I really really have to shop tomorrow or we'll have to put the roll of paper towels in the bathroom and have left over chili for breakfast on Thursday.

That is all.


A few weeks ago I was cleaning up the front hall closet and found our Dora Sit and Spin. Barely used I pulled it out figuring Ella's old enough to get the actual spin part now and so it'd be fun. We put it away last spring because we thought Ella just didn't get how to do it, and instead sat next to it pushing the annoying Dora song part over and over. Really after pulling it out again I discovered why it was so frustrating. The bottom piece was catching in a way that made the it more of a sit and drag instead of a sit and spin. I got a screw driver out and meddled with it loosening the sit part to no avail. In the end I told Ella, this toy was better when I was a kid and when could spin until you couldn't see straight but now it is safer and it as a result no longer fun anymore. In short this toy stinks. Ella griped with me "Yeah, this toy stinks 'cause it's safe."

Anyway, I never like griping without a solution so I flipped over the Dora sit and drag and found the Hasbro logo, located their 800 number online and called them to tell them their toy stinks. Ready to rant, I was greeted with the most cheerful helpful nice operator I've ever spoken with. She explained that they no longer sell that toy but she would like my address because they hate to imagine a little girl in IL with a sit and drag to play with and she'd like to do something nice for her. I gave her our address and forgot about it, content to know I told them thier toy didn't spin.

Today in the middle of our gray afternoon someone knocked at the door and as I grabbed the dog up in one arm and stepped outside I saw the FedEx truck pulling away. I picked up the box on the porch and Ella and I carefully opened it. Inside a brand new kitten surprised us purring and mewing (batteries included!) Ella filled out the adoption papers and named her new kitty Julia and is just itching to know if Santa sent and early present because she's been so good lately, or if the adoption agency just needed a good mom for this little kitty. I say Yay Hasbro, yay for a company with great customer service, if I had any money to invest I'd buy a share or two of Hasbro right now while it was low. It's wonderful to find a company that understands what it means to keep a customer. Great job in keeping happy kids on your list of high priorities.

Nov 8, 2008

From 52 to 48 with Love

This website is really cool, it made me think of some of you bloggie pals, you know who you are.

Nov 7, 2008

What A Wild Friday Night is Like Now.

So instead of going out and drinking beer until our faces are numb and dancing until our feet hurt and then hitting Denny's before sleeping it off, we're having pals over for board game night. There may be beer and dancing but it more than likely involve Yo Gabba Gabba videos and something much darker and thicker than Bud Light and we won't be downing as many as possible. What are we going to play? Maybe a little Redneck Life and then perhaps some FLUX or a little Settlers of Catan and if we're really feeling crazy we may bust out the poker table and play for Halloween candy.

Nov 6, 2008


As of yesterday I've got Explorer pop up problems. I'm annoyed, I've runs scans and scrubbers and cookie erasers and there they are still. I most certainly will come out of this exclusively using Firefox, I know, I know alot of you are probably think "What took you so long?!" and the answer is I don't know.


It's cold and rainy, Ella has snot, I've got parent teacher conference today, I have to bring her with.


Nov 5, 2008

Come Hope, Sit! Now Stay.

Yay for yesterday. Yay for knowing that the majority of the people in the United States agree with me and I no longer have to walk around wondering if I am really so far out there for feeling so passionately about sharing our crayons/food/blessings/burden/etc. Jane put it perfectly when she said:

"...My faith is in people, in humanity. When you go as long as I have, steadily losing faith in humanity, the hopelessness and desperation permeates everything. To spend so much time watching the world, wondering if you're the only person feeling this way, it makes a person grow unreasonably pessimistic.

But the flip side of the coin is that when the bulk of the faith in your life is invested in your fellow humans, moments like last night, like this election as a whole, are ten times more meaningful. Because while I stood in the midst of those 65,000 people, or 240,000 people, or 1 million people, or whatever they are reporting the attendance at now, I felt saved. I felt re-born. It's not that I believe Obama is my savior, it's more that I finally believe in my fellow man again."

I'm looking forward to what we will do with the momentum. Will President Obama ask us to recycle, conserve, ration, volunteer? I'm sure it won't be as fun as the last request... "shop", but more involved than "be on orange terrorist alert" forever and remember once upon a time when we were told "buy duct tape and plastic?" Whatever it is I'm ready.

PS I think the Obamas should name their new puppy Hope. How about you?

Nov 4, 2008

Making History

I'm all full of nervous excitement today. I haven't voted yet, but I will be shortly after lunch. Ella will go with me and I'll have to explain that she can't walk around the polling place talking about why she likes and doesn't like each candidate. I wonder if there will be a line, usually there isn't, but you never know. In the next city over there have been lines for early voting since last week. I've CNN dialed into my phone so I can get updates whever I am tonight, and I'll be putting my local races in my little phone as well. Yes, I am close enough to Chicago to have taken the train in and been in Grant Park tonight and I really considered it, Ella and Dan and I standing in the City on the edge of Lake Michigan with thousands of fellow Americans, under the stars, watching history unfold live but... lots of walking through crowds late at night on a chilly autumn evening is no place for a 4 year old. My pal Jane is going and I'll get to see it through her eyes. We will remember this night well enough watching from the giant party at the UAW Hall downtown in the next city over with throngs of people we know and lots of them who are predicted to win local seats themselves. I also want to remind everyone (accept Mike) to get out and vote today.

Nov 2, 2008

I Was a Moose Hunting Maverick for Halloween

Went out with my skatey ladies last night for a little Halloween fun.

Oct 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

She's a Princess (are you surprised?)

Pretty Scary!

Stroller Derby ran a story this morning about this Republican who has no idea why using pornified illegal robocalls might be offensive. Can you imagine your kids standing next to the answering machine when you hit play in this? I'm pretty sure injecting BDSM porn into your congressional campaign isn't a winning choice. He defends his vast ignorance with this:

"...various issues including in passing the so called "Patriot Act". This is simply appalling. And if a message needs to go out that is "appalling" in a sense in order to get the discussion going, than I believe it is a worthy cause.

Let’s think outside the box, let's not be scared, let's talk about the issues that really matter. I am here to listen. I am here to take responsibility and to be accountable to the District..."

Way to stay classy Zane.

Oct 30, 2008

Project Runway the Bombadee Edition - Season Two (Fall)

Ella picked something from the dress up closet for tomorrow. Feeling a little bad that she didn't get anything new for her costume I went and got some white fur (fake of course) and spent the afternoon sewing some nice little warm bits for her to add. What is she going to be? Tune in tomorrow to see.

Oct 29, 2008

Yes We Carve

Thak you Cameo for sending this to me. Get your own Yes We Carve stencil HERE.

Oct 28, 2008

Remember Getting Your Candy X-Rayed for Razor Blades? Ahh the Good Old Days. had this to say today:
"While the FDA has not recalled any candy from an American maker, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recalled Sherwood Brands Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate Coins, which were made in China and sold at Costco stores in Canada, after they tested positive for melamine.

Sherwood, located in Rockville, Md., has numerous China-made candies on local store shelves, including Lolli Pups, bone-shaped lollipops, and Spooky Eyes Bubble Gum, the package of which states, ''May contain milk.''

Sherwood company officials did not return a phone call seeking comment."

The San Franscisco Chronicle had this advice:
"Any tips on avoiding tainted candy? You need to look through all the candy before the kids eat any of it. If it has any Chinese lettering on it, toss it. Some Chinese candies have been identified as containing melamine. That's what Formica counter tops are made of, and you don't want your kids eating that. You can find out about recalls by going to "

Just buy American this Halloween!

Oct 27, 2008

Richard Trumka

I read alot of political blogs and watch alot of political videos and and sometimes I stumble across something I can't let go, something that I keep telling people "I wish you could see this," something I wish I could put on my phone and make everyone watch when we start talking about the election. I don't remember where I originally saw it so thanks for positing it internet and now I will share it with you my dear bloggies:

AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka blasts racism and underlines why workers should vote Obama in 2008. Excerpt of speech given at Steelworkers convention July 1, 2008, sponsored by USW President Leo Gerard.

Entire speech at Mr. Trumka formerly served as president of the United Mine Workers of America.


Oct 26, 2008

Games All Day

Yesterday, me and some of my skatey mates put our uniforms on and went out to Rock-Con (Rockford's big game convention) and taught strangers how to play "Roller Derby Mayhem" the board game. Dan and I wrote the rules with lots of help from skatey mate DD Hunter and we used those little happy meal my scene roller girls for skaters and we gave away a t-shirt to one lucky winner. It was complete fun. We did alot of yelling "Hit someone!" followed by "Roll a one!" It was particularly nice to be able to direct out of town gamers to their local roller derby leagues. So the kid from Iowa will definitely be going to see a Mid Iowa Rollers bout and the fellas from Chicago were happy to hear about the Chicago Outfit and the Windy City Rollers (who had free beer at the UIC pavilion last night WOO HOO!) Lots of players asked if the game was for sale, it's not but in a couple weeks we'll be posting those same rules on the SRDD Blog.

After the mayhem cleared we packed up and went out for sushi followed by bowling. The bowling alley had a Halloween event and so we got to see zombies, army guys and batman, Ella was very excited about that. She also beat me 72 to 65 (with bumpers that is, I would've totally beat her if we had gutters - so there!) Ella had a little 5 pound ball and every time she ran down the alley and stopped at the line to roll it she'd let out a war cry that was cracking me up. "YA!" she'd yell and then she'd jump up and down and clap while the ball crawled it's way to the pins.

Oct 23, 2008

I'm Subliminally Selling you Obama Right Now

I was going to be Sarah Palin for Halloween but I can't afford Prada or Dior so I'm considering Christmas sweater Palin, or evening gown Palin or camouflage Palin.


Babble recently asked the question When the Times Call for Frugality, What Goes? What Stays? and people are talking about giving up their lattes and cleaning ladies. That's real nice and all, and I realize we haven't suffered much in this climate though we are still cutting back alot, I can't help but think of my pals that have lost jobs and are wondering how to buy gas to get to the next interview. It has me thinking about what I'll give up and in what order. I've already given up the daily paper, new clothes, 8 degrees on the thermostat as well as weekly trips to the city, and cable may be next, but the internet is staying. If I have to sell pencils on e-bay to pay for my internet then so be it. What won't you give up?


I'm addicted to The Pickup Artists. It's a show on VH-1 where this fella Mystery (yes, that's really his name) teaches totally nice guys how to be meatheads. Ok, ok, he really is helping these fellas find some self confidence and become more socially adept, so they can pick up chicks but the discussion of women as "targets" and the science of it all is both offensive and riveting. I am really interested in marketing and the sociology of how to sell things. Subliminal marketing, the use of color, smell, design and product placement to evoke feelings of want and worth is fascinating. So to hear Mystery talk about how to stand and what to say when trying to make a first impression so that you are selling your worth to a person in the first three seconds is marketing gold. It takes a good hard look at women as the consumer and breaks down to a science how to market men to women. Deceptive? maybe, but alot of times if you don't like someone in the first five seconds you aren't gonna spend any more time getting to know them. Does anyone else watch this or am I the only one trying to justify my crap television addiction?


The view from my desk today.

Oct 22, 2008

Who Buys This Crap Part III

From Feministing this morning; a picture taken at a Target in St. Paul, Minn. It seems Target really has a problem understanding what's appropriate for young children. This isn't the first time they've thought projecting sexual body images onto babies was funny. The first time was with the pink onsie "I'm to sexy for my diaper." (ew!)

JC Penny's had the same problem but wised up under pressure from letters by shoppers;

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your comments about the Onesie that we offered for sale. Very specifically, we attempt to avoid themes that would be considered offensive to JCPenney Customers. We sincerely regret that we have offended you. It was not our intent.Based on concerns such as yours and our re-evaluation of the item we have decided to remove it from sale. Although we can not change our catalog we will no longer accept orders the "Too Sexy for my Diaper" onesie through our catalog or our Internet site."

So what am I gonna say now? Let's drop Target a line and tell them to get their heads out of their butts on this one. E-mail them at and let them know that even though they are trying to be funny it's not ok to make sexist comments especially when it involves children.

Oct 21, 2008

Stuff we don't have room to store anymore

I think I'm ready for the giant project I've been putting off. I'm going to start going through clothes. The one's that no longer fit and the one's that are for summer and then I need to get them put in the proper places. Then I'll start the great E-bay project. Maybe I'll open a little e-bay store and call it "Stuff we don't have room to store anymore." I think I'm going to have to get Ella to sort through toys too. The holidays and her birthday are in the coming months and if I try to fit one more toy into this house, it might pop and all our socks and books and Legos will spill out onto the street and then the neighbors will have to help me clean so that the traffic can get through town.

Oct 20, 2008

The Infinite Possibilities are Making My Head Hurt

I looked at the whole internet today and was bored. I thought about blogging my whole existance, I tried to paint the universe, I surfed 1500 cable channels, I looked at a library full of paper, I stared into space.

I have no idea what to write... Feminism, Momming, Roller Derby, Art, Liberal Politics... Blah Blah Blah.

Oct 19, 2008

Guest Blogger

I asked Ella what I should tell the internet about our day, she dictated this:

"We went to the pumkpin patch. And we saw the J. family and we rided some rides and didn't get a pumpkin but we did fling pumpkins. We putted them in the little bag and pulled it and pulled it and pulled it and then let it go and it went really far. Mine didn't even break but Dan's breaked and flobbered all over the ground. And then we ate at a resturaunt next to the pumpkin patch. Now we're at home."

Oct 17, 2008

3 Million Dollars

Who in the hell thinks wasting money on education when you could be giving tax breaks to rich people is a good idea? I mean a projector at the planetarium... get real. It might make kids want to be scientists or astronauts instead of stock brokers and pimps. When I was a kid we had commies to inspire us to go to the moon and that was good enough! Besides learning about the universe just leads to understanding the big bang theory and we all know what a crack pot idea that is.

Oct 16, 2008


I want a president that treats women like they are people who deserve all the human rights American's enjoy. That means privacy and resepct when it comes to making desicions about their health. Does McCain really believe women have late tearm abortions all willy nilly just for the heck of it? Really?! Like a medical desicion like that isn't excrutiating and complicated enough for parents and the doctors already? And how can he say that he wouldn't apply a Litmus Test to supreme court justices before he appointed them and then, in the same breath, say judges who uphold Roe vs. Wade would not meet his qualifications for the role of justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. That's what applying a Litmus-Test means!

Oct 14, 2008


US and NATO forces killed at least 60 Taliban troops trying to take seize the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah of Helmand province in three waves of attacks over the weekend. Anytime I hear about shooting there it worries me, our neighbor and Pal, Dave is still there. But Dan thinks it's good news; if the Taliban is attempting grand gestures before winter to capture a moral victory than they are getting desperate, and there were no civilian casualties or US/NATO casualties. So yay for stopping the Taliban from advancing their control and here's hoping Obama can pull some troops out of Iraq to help my buddy in Afghanistan.

Oct 12, 2008

The Fastest Women in the East

Yesterday I was in Madison at Derby in Dairyland watching Roller Derby Eastern Regionals and today I will be sitting at my desk watching the championship. You can too. There's live broadcasts all day but the championship is at 4:00pm CST just CLICK HERE. Amazing skating, just amazing.

Oct 10, 2008

Amazing Orionids

On the way home from practice last night I was blessed to witness the closest shooting star I’ve ever seen in my life. Its tail was a bright three inches long trailing across the sky with a green sparkle flinging off to the East rapidly turning yellow and then orange. From the time it came into sight to when it rocketed behind the line of trees about three seconds passed. Pretty slow for a shooting star. I said to DD who was driving but still maganed to also see the spectacular display, that it could’ve been fireworks but she assured me fireworks don’t really look like that on the way to the ground and it was much farther away than a bottle rocket. I had to agree and then later on the way home after much discussion about UFOs and other unexplained phenomenon I saw another shooting star off in the dark distance over a field. This one was more the very far away white streak accross the sky kind, not the previously seen in the middle of a city filled with light pollution and looking like fireworks kind. But it still confirmed that indeed we had not seen a crash alien landing. Dang.

What was it actually? According to Mediatrix P. Cristobal in Bits of Halley's comet spark up October sky

"The Orionids meteor shower is capable of producing interesting activity from October 17-25," the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), in its monthly astronomical diary, said.

The Orionids are fast meteors and can produce fireballs. At maximum rates, the shower may reach 10 meteors per hour that may be observed at favorable sky condition, but sometimes there are lulls even during the traditional maximum peak nights of October 21-22.”


Spoiler: F word at the end.

Facts Confirmed here and here.

Oct 8, 2008


I had roller derby practice, Dan had a meeting. We both raced home directly after to see the recorded presidential debate. I popped a bag of kettle corn and grabbed two beers on the way to the couch. Dan put head phones on Ella and plugged her into Mulan on the computer. We all stayed up late watching intently. Dan and I were glad we didn't go with the plan of doing a shot every time someone said "Fundamental," we had things to get done today.

Oct 7, 2008

Fun with Color

Check it out, I was at this website for hours experimenting with color. I don't feel like it's something I fully understand yet. I studied the color wheel and love to use color and can put things together pretty well but here's what I really don't understand... what colors to use while painting to make skin/people look vibrant. I think I should be layering purples and greens and yellows but I'm not exactly sure, and it's not something I learned in three years of painting classes. Really we all just did a painting a week and then we all showed up to discuss it in a group, there wasn't really an emphasis on the classic styles or discussion about methodology. I mean one chick just smeared paint and ranted on about her ex-boyfriends for a whole semester while critiques became a little navel gazing group therapy for her every week. I guess I'm just saying I wish I would've learned a little more classic methodology instead of being accepting of any angst expressed on canvas, but I didn't run the class. Perhaps an illustration course would've given me more. I mean how did Maxfield Parish do it?! So anyway, I'm playing with this website and thinking I'd like to smear some paint around and see if I can accomplish something. The website might give me a good starting point for what tubes of paint to squeeze first.