Sunday, December 20, 2009

Spent yesterday in urgent care, then with the ophthamologist. Really severe eye pain, like someone was stabbing me in the eyeball. So I spent the rest of the day hanging out in the dark feeling miserable.

This morning I wake to find my computer doesn't work. Well, maybe it works fine, but the screen is black. Nada. Lovely.

What a weekend. No idea what I'm going to do at work tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

life has kept me away

So, not a single post all summer, all fall, and here we are heading into winter. Work is keeping me exhausted, and really, that's all I want to say about that for now. I'm barely able to keep up with reading my favorite blogs, along with a couple of comments a month or so, even though I keep flagging the posts I want to respond to in my email (love RSS feeds, in case I haven't already said that a dozen times or so).

I'm embarrassed that I never posted my "big experiment" pictures, but I'm sure they're on my computer somewhere. I'll just say for now, that they have to do with gardening and deer, and the results will be worth the wait if you have deer munching away on your tulips!

I finally got sucked into Facebook, and my feelings are mixed. In some ways, I love it, and in others... not so much.

Getting ready for a big family party this afternoon and, quite honestly, I'm really not in the mood. I really want to have a day to sit in my pajamas all day long, on the sofa with a good book, and just take it easy. Alas.

Before the party, I had been wanting to:
  • bake some cookies... that's not going to happen

  • get my hair cut... yeah, right!

  • make up some really fantastic gift bags for family members (well, I'm working on it, but as the time goes on, maybe the "really fantastic" part might end up being an exaggeration)

  • get about 10 or 500 loads of laundry done (well, I'm down 2 or 3)

Why does this party have to come so early this year??? Ugh! My guess is that some members of the family will be travelling, so this was the best weekend for them. I need another week's reprieve! This was a particularly difficult week at work, with me working into the wee hours several nights. I am a lump right now.

Maybe I'll take a few minutes of my wee one's nap time to post some comments. For anyone who's still reading... thanks for hanging in there all these long, warm months!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

thanks to dee, here's a quick update

No, no, don't worry, I haven't given up the ghost. Just fighting off the constant weariness that comes with the end of the school year. So much to do and so little time... you know the deal. I've been fighting on several fronts: technology that has been kicking my bum, being a bit under the weather (but not the flu, thank you very much), family issues, and trying to bite off more than I can chew at work, thus working late and coming home ready to sleep.

Oh no, I sound like I'm complaining.

Really, things could be much worse, so I don't mean to complain. I'm just tired to the bone, and I have commitments until basically the Fourth. Ah, sweet Independence Day, I am looking forward to it. OK, the Third, I shall be free on the Third of July.

So. Tired.

And I don't mean to keep you all dee in suspense for so long... I do fully plan to write the post about what was up in the garden. Just as soon as I get my pics off my husband's computer. (Oooh, a post with pictures! Really, it will be worth the wait.)

I'm reading those of you who are posting, but there's no time for commenting. I'm very appreciative, however, of the short stolen moments I get to enjoy reading!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

an experiment

I promise I'll post about it later, when I have the time to upload the pics to go with, but I've been working on an experiment for the past month? six weeks? I'm not sure, but the results are in!!

And if I do say so myself, I am impressed!

I will say it happened in the garden, and it has to do with deer and survival of the greens!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The video I originally put up here was taken down, so here it is from the source. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

being green pays off

I have always wondered how this whole recycling thing works. This is a very cool animation that explains the whole RecycleBank process (one of the processes, which allows mixing recyclables). Brought to my attention by Sustainable Dave (he's cool, check him out!).

Plus, evidently, you can rack up points by recycling. Which I'm probably not going to do (rack up points, that is, not recycle), as I don't think this program exists in my area. :-( And even if it did, it sounds like you have to sign up for trash pickup in order to do this. We go to the dump. Which is fine. And getting points wouldn't make me recycle more, although who knows... maybe I'd be more assiduous about finding out how many more of those things that we have are actually recyclable.

Anyway, if you live in parts of: VA, MA, MN, PA, NE, CT you may have access to this program. (Sorry, I really have no idea if something similar is available in Canada. But if any Canadians want to suggest something, I'd love to hear it.)

One of the things that I thought was really super-cool was that they developed a program for universities to encourage students to recycle, where they have kiosks on campus, you have a little passcard (like those FastPass?? things at the Mobil station) to get credit for your recycling efforts. You rack up points and redeem them. Evidently, they also have kiosks in some cities for people who live in apartments. Hmm.

One thing that I thought was a little annoying about this video is that they show Ikea as one of their rewards partners, but I couldn't find anything about Ikea on their website. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm obsessed with all-things-Ikea, but still, I expected to find them on their list. Maybe they just left the program, but then that makes me wonder why....

P.S. I don't think this is an April Fool's thing. But I have been told that gullible isn't in the dictionary before. Does anyone have any experience with this company?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

why so much pink?

I see lots of toys in the stores that my son would like, either now or sometime in the future (I think). What I want to know is why does everything having to do with kitchen or houses have to be so pink??

For example:


This toy is actually labelled as a "girl toy." Don't get me wrong. I'm all for girls being (gourmet) chefs, doctors, lawyers, presidents, CEOs and all that other fun stuff. Hey, mechanics, software engineers, garbage collectors, nurses and teachers, too.

But don't manufacturers basically leave out half of the potential market with this kind of stuff? Will girls refuse to play with non-pink toys? Do girls think it must be a "boys' toy" if it's not pink and/or labelled as "for girls"?

I'm not philosophically opposed to giving pink toys to boys either, it's just that I don't really want all the traditionally "feminine" things to be all pink. Anything to do with babies, cooking, houses. Maybe they are available online in non-pink, but in the stores (at least the stores I've been in lately), no such luck.

There are a lot of toys that I loved as a child, and now that I'm searching for them, it appears to be hard to find them in "non-Barbie colors."

Whatever happened to primary colors?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

things that make me cranky

Middle-aged man who asks me (while volunteering at a registration desk for an event... not the first aid desk) to help him put a Band-Aid® on his finger which currently has a tissue rubber-banded on. Reluctantly, I agree to help. Then, he proceeds to ask me to throw away his bloodied tissue. Uh. No. I ask him to kindly come around and throw the tissue away in the trash can. This man, who is not a teen Michael Jordan-wannabe, proceeds to try to do a free shot for the trash can. And, surprise! surprise!, doesn't make it. Then, he expects me to pick up the tissue from the ground and throw it away. Uh. Double-N.O. Spells "NO." I didn't want to touch your tissue in the first place. I certainly don't want to walk across the room, bend over, and pick up your tissue because you are too childish to just throw the thing away in the first place.

Note to clueless people: Don't expect a stranger to want to deal with your bodily fluids (even if dried), and especially don't expect said stranger to want to pick up your dirty tissues because a) you don't want to be bothered or b) you're too adolescent to just throw it away and want to make it into a game. DO expect me to give you my best teacher glare.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

watch at your own risk

I found this (via Realigned Rain) truly frightening. I mean, I knew this existed, but....

The thing is that she looks so ... ordinary, blah, whatever at the beginning. If I saw her on the bus, I wouldn't even look twice. She looks like someone who doesn't really care much about her appearance. And after she's "made up," she looks traditionally "pretty," OK. But they have to photoshop her to make her even "better."

I feel sick.

Monday, March 23, 2009

anatomy of a headache

I have a very strange headache that is kind of coming and going on one side of my head only. It started maybe forty-five minutes ago. Very strange. I was reading some books to my son, and poof, all of a sudden, I feel a pain in my temple. (Poof would actually be better to describe it disappearing, yes, but whatever, my head hurts!) Now I'm sitting up, in front of the computer (duh), and it's continuing. It's weird because I'm so aware of it, how it comes, and then it's gone. It's not a sharp, stabbing pain, but it's definitely there. And now, I feel it on the other side of my head, too, but in my forehead.

Anyway, I took some Advil a while ago, because I was having a pain in my leg (yes, I'm falling apart, evidently), so hopefully this thing will be gone lickety-split.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (and some other stuff)

In case you're out of the loop (the way I usually am), here's the scoop about the Obamas' new vegetable garden. Here's the layout of the new vegetable garden at the White House. Yum. I want to eat there. Aside: Except the rhubarb part. I'm still convinced that that stuff is poisonous. My mom told me repeatedly not to touch it when I was a kid (I guess the leaves are toxic or something?), and I'm still listening to her. Of course, you know, when she offered me some of that rhubarb pie she made, I wouldn't touch that either: I mean, come on, she just said it was poisonous. (Yes, I'm still six. Logic will not rule in this instance.) They were pretty smart to put the mint in a patch by itself. That stuff will take over otherwise.

And I'm a bit jealous. I really want to have a real garden here. I get paralyzed by all the choices and by the lack of choices.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Did you know that...

there is "an international expert on falling bullets" at Stanford University?

I found this hard to believe, but I just heard this as they were introducing him on Mythbusters.

that fascinating organ

Evidently, there's some new brain research (dee, did you read about this?). They (the proverbial "they") have mapped the brains of a bunch of twins as they were... thinking. Here's one picture of the "strings" connecting different parts of the brain as they get connected via the thought process.

Some researchers from UCLA did a study using a bunch of twins, some identical and some fraternal, in order to test how much of brain speed is due to genetics. I read about it here, on NPR's website. What I don't understand is how do they factor in the environmental impact?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

if I can just stop my eyes from tearing for a few seconds...

I could tell you about someone I just met. Or want to meet. Or at least enjoy reading her blog.

Via dee, I just spent the past 45 minutes (OK, not quite that long, because I was going up and down stairs to do more laundry during this same time period, but anyway, back to the point) reading mimi smartypants' last few entries.

The first entry, I was intrigued, partly because of her take on kindergartners, and partly because of her location (ah, nostalgia... oh right, back to the point). Then I started going back to read a bit more, and I thought I would wake the baby, my snoring husband, and all the neighbors with my laughter. It's been a while since I've laughed so hard. The first 2 paragraphs cracked me up. (Thank you, Mimi. Can I call you "Mimi"? I hope that's not too forward of me....) I think I need to add someone to my Blog Roll (if I can remember how).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

and the letter is...

I got this meme from Jen on the Edge. Name 10 things I like, all beginning with the letter she assigned me: H. I think this is the first time I've been given something so specific to work with, so here goes.
  1. hibernating OK, I haven't actually hibernated yet, but right now, on a Sunday night, I'd really like to hibernate and not go in to work tomorrow morning. Where did the weekend go?
  2. hippos They look like such gentle creatures, although I've heard that they're not. Whatever. They're still cute.
  3. hiver Yeah, I got stuck, and so if you don't speak French, it means "winter," which I really do like love, although I'm getting a little tired of it right now. Unless of course, we can have a snow day tomorrow....?
  4. Hungry Caterpillar, The Very That little guy (girl in French!) is so cute, and I love reading it (over and over and over).
  5. heating with wood I lived in a house once that had a woodstove as its primary heat, and I loved the whole process: chopping and stacking the wood, carrying it into the house, starting a fire, and enjoying that wonderful heat. And waking up in the morning in a 50-degree house.
  6. holidays Especially three-day weekends. Four-day weeks are so civilized. (How many do I have now?
  7. hips that don't hurt Self-explanatory. H is hard! (Did Jen give me a hard letter on purpose?) Of course, if this meme were of things I liked, I could have said Hart to Hart. (Uh-oh, I think I'm dating myself.) I thought of this because I see Remington Steele on the TV playing James Bond.
  8. honesty (tempered with kindness)
  9. hot coffee in the morning, especially when prepared just the way I like it and served to me in bed... aah, the good old days
  10. huddling under a warm down comforter with my sweetie(s)... time to do that right now
Good night all!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

did you hear what I heard?

I heard a story on the radio the other day about an idea to change how we get taxed on gas usage. Here's the idea: instead of a specific percentage tax on gasoline, which is what happens now, s. ome folks want to install little thingamabobbies into cars. These thingies would measure the number of miles you drive, somehow send the info to a newly-created state agency, which would then bill you for the number of miles you actually drive. (Feel free to listen to the story, as I may have confused some of the info. You know, not enough sleep and such....) Basically, though, that's how it would work.

This story infuriates me.

Right now, we have a system that taxes the amount of gas you use. Maybe you use a gallon or two to run the lawnmower or snowblower, maybe you fill up the tank of your car to drive around town or across the country. This system is pretty efficient, in that it is already in place, it is straightforward, and it gets collected at the point of purchase. You buy your gas, you're done paying that tax.

But there are people who want every car to have a thingy installed (this is going to be expensive for someone, although I guess if you own a thingy-producing factory or if you're the person who invented and patented the thingy, you'll win big), and in fact, get all the new cars (what new cars?) to install them in the factory. And then they'll have to create a brand-new state agency in every state(where are all the folks who think we should have smaller government now?) in order to oversee all this and collect the taxes from individuals instead of from gas stations.

And on top of it, as I understand it, you'll be taxed the same per mile, regardless of whether you're driving a super-efficient car or a Hummer. As far as I'm concerned, this is a no-brainer. Who are the people who sit around and come up with such super-contrived utter nonsense? Do they actually get paid? Do they have any jobs available in their departments? Although, to be honest, I'm not sure I have such dumb ideas to share.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

things I haven't gotten sucked into yet

In no particular order....
  1. The Sopranos
  2. Survivor
  3. Twittering
  4. macrobiotic diets
  5. Pilates
  6. HDTV
  7. TiVo
  8. football
  9. rap music
  10. clothes that bare my midriff

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

gotta love Apple

I've been trying out the new version of Safari for the past couple of weeks, and *I love it!*

They have a beta version out... for both Mac and PCs, so you PC-users can't get all grumpy about not being able to be in on the next cool thing. And best of all... you can download it for free!

So here are a couple of the things that I think are really cool (maybe flashy, but hey, they are cool!):
When you open up Safari, it opens all your "top sites" (the ones you visit most often?) in the background, and you can see them in this really cool gallery.


Then you can just click on the site you want to open.

Supposedly, you can also view your bookmarks this way. I haven't had time (surprised?) to try this out yet. (Or many of the 150 features.)

Anyway, I'm sold.

I think I've posted this before, but here it is again:

Monday, March 9, 2009


So I was fascinated by this video of a potter decorating a piece with slip. It says it's 8 minutes long, but I didn't see anything after 4 minutes.

It's not at all the kind of ceramic work I used to do, or even the kind of stuff I'm normally attracted to, but I saw something of hers on etsy that I thought was beautiful, and I found the video on her website. If you happen to look at the etsy site, my favorite photo is the one of the bowl upside-down. I love the fact that the pattern continues on the bottom, even though almost no one looking at it would see that.

The potter's name is Grace Sheese.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

need a laugh?

Honestly, it took me a while to figure this one out, but here goes:

Here's a close-up, for those of you who can't quite make this out:

Let me know if this made you chuckle. (Maybe I just have a weird sense of humor?)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I must have been living in the Dark Ages

I finally figured out how to do these scheduled posts. I had heard about it, but I hadn't put any effort into trying to find the thing. (And it kind of feels like cheating, you know?) So anyway, now I can be all bloggy like the rest of you! Hah. So there.

I'm taking advantage of toddler napping time to create a (few) post(s) here instead of
  • picking up all the toys
  • starting a load of laundry
  • thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner hubby is going to make for dinner
  • reading a good book (what's a book?)
(Sound of sick baby stirring and then crying.) Right, that's why I'm not doing all those things.

Friday, March 6, 2009

an old favorite

I don't know why, but I never get tired of this book:


As a youngster, I loved this story, mainly the part with the dogs all heading for the tree. What is up on top of that tree, anyway? Oh, the anticipation!! I also loved the page with all the dogs asleep, except for one. (What I realize now is that maybe that little dog is asleep, too, just with eyes wide open.... A little scary, but whatever.)

I've been reading it again (a lot) the past 8-12 months, give or take. Mostly because I enjoy it, and it's long enough to be reading for a while. And my little one seems to be fascinated by (the idea of) dogs.

I've been noticing lately that the dogs with hats:
"Do you like my hat?"
"I do not."
really provide some comic relief and break up the reading and tie it all together at the same time. Clever.

And I still love that dog party! What a cool dog party! And what's up with that dog that's sleeping up there in the tree in the middle of the party??

Thursday, March 5, 2009

excuses, excuses

OK, so I have my reasons. I feel like I've been sick since Valentine's Day (is that possible? maybe not quite that long, but almost). I also have a terrible tendency to bite off these huge chunks and then wonder why I feel like I don't have enough time to sleep. Working full time, having a toddler (who's been sick, too), trying to keep up with the laundry and myriad of other chores, taking a couple of (real) classes and one that's "just for fun," teaching a class. Nuts! That's right.

Oh, that's why I don't have time to go work out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'd like to sign on paper

Am I the only person left in the entire universe who doesn't trust those machines that every store (seemingly) asks you to put your signature into? Or, I suppose more to the point, doesn't trust the people who hack into those machines in order to steal your money, identity, and soul....

Every time I go into those stores that have a "please sign on the machine" policy, I politely say, "I'd like to sign on paper." Their eyes glazed over, they point to the machine and say, "You need to sign there." "No, no," I say politely again, "I'd like to sign on paper." They insist (usually) that I must sign on the machine. I insist that I want to sign on a piece of paper.

Sometimes they call for a manager. If it's a store that I shop in often enough, I usually learn the key combination they need to press. Occasionally, after I insist, they go ahead and print the receipt for me to sign as if they knew all along how to do it.

And sometimes, they will ask why I won't just sign on the machine. So I explain:
-you know how there are people that hack into stores' info in order to steal credit card info and stuff?
-well, imagine that they steal not only the credit card info, but also steal your signature
-now, they can put that signature on anything, and how on earth could you prove it wasn't your signature?

PS Thanks to Peevish for kicking my butt, even though she probably has no idea, because as I read her post, I knew I was off that blogroll of hers. Yes, indeed, I have been out of commission for longer than I thought possible.