Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another Year Gone

*Ahem* Yup, I'm still here. A little battered and bruised around the edges, it's been a rough fall, but I'M STILL STANDING Y'ALL! I made it through my first quarter of full-time student teaching, as did my family, and am looking forward to the rest of the year. Let me tell you, teaching is AWESOME! I knew I would enjoy it but I wasn't prepared for how much I would love it. I can't wait to get there in the morning, I'm loathe to leave in the afternoon - or evening, you teachers know how that is - and even the bad days are still pretty awesome.

Things at home have been let go quite a bit and I'm paying for it with some, er, interesting behaviors from my kids, but I think the adjustment period is finally past us and we are all settling in to our new normal.

Happy New Year from all of us and I promise to post more often, I've got some really funny teaching stories!!!

When did my kids get so damn tall?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Husband and I went to a wedding last night. It was beautiful and touching, like all weddings should be. When the bride walked up the aisle on the arm of her Grandfather and Mother I started to cry and I continued to fight back tears for the entire evening.

There was a little old lady at the buffet whose younger friend or relative was helping to get her food dished up. I had to walk away because it so reminded me of Nannie.

When the bride's Grandfather toasted the new couple I almost lost it completely.

All evening all I could think about was how sad I was that Nannie will not be here for my brother's wedding. She was so very proud of him, she really liked his best beloved, and would have been thrilled to see them say their vows to each other - to see him start off his new life with the woman he loves. Nannie loved Scientist Genius Brother so very much.

I know she will be with us in spirit but I am selfish, I want her there for real. I want her back. I miss her so so very much.

My heart hurts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whatevertober Parts 3, 4, & 5: Memento (2000)

Good evening, illusions! This is your host, Thing Two! I'd like to personally apologize for the late update(s). You see, we came down with a severe case of vagueish problemitis. Also, I was busy watching and rewatching Memento (sadly, without any guest commentators), which so happens to be tonight's film! I apologize in advance for the lack of spoilers. I know how much everybody loves spoilers to a really good recent movie that shouldn't be spoiled.

Memento isn't really a horror flick so much as it is an intellectual thriller (we can do thrillers as well as horror films, and this apparently even extends to Godzilla movies); the kind that demands your attention. And damn, but do you have to pay a lot of attention to this one!

The whole film is viewed from the perspective of the protagonist Leonard Shelby, who has memory problems and something to do with a murder or two. There are sequences filmed in color, which go in reverse chronological order, and sequences filmed in black and white, which go in regular chronological order. "Confusing" is an understatement. There was a mind-boggling number of mind-bogglers the first time I watched it through. I had so many questions that needed to be answered, I resolved to watch it a second time the next night. And so I did.

The second viewing absolutely floored me. It was like watching a different film. Now so much more made sense! So that's why *SPOILERS* was *SPOILERS* to *SPOILERS*! They were trying to *SPOILERS* the entire time! Well, almost the entire time. However, there were still a few things that I still did not understand, so, having never watched a movie thrice in a row, I decided to watch it for a third time! And that's what I did tonight. I think I get everything, but I may have to let it all sink in for a while.

Anyway, if you like psychological thrillers and repeated viewings (read: Inception), then you'll probably like Memento! Four out of five reverse-reverse-antireverse-rereverse plot twists!

Tomorrow night, we eat bullets! Or, y'know, watch Poltergeist. Whatever.
I truly am really, really sorry for the short update. I promise it'll be better tomorrow.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Octoberfest Part 2: The Exorcist (1973)

Good evening, children of God! This is your host, Thing Two! Welcome to the second spine-chilling sequence of Whatevertober, with guest commentators Thing One and Katy herself, who picked out tonight's movie! Speaking of which, let's get to that. Tonight's feature: The Exorcist!

THING TWO: I know I promised not to do summaries or recaps, but I couldn't pass this one up. All right, so tonight we watched The Exorcist, a touching yet bittersweet tale of a loving mother, her sweet little daughter, a down-on-his-luck priest who's offered a second chance, and an vengeful Iraqi spirit that hates friendly upper-class American families for some reason.

The movie starts off with an aging Indiana Jones on an archaeological dig in northern Iraq (sometimes called Kurdistan), where he eventually confronts an ancient statue. It is revealed to him through nonverbal psychic exchanges that the time-traveling ghost of Saddam Hussein is seeking revenge on the decadent and corrupt Americans. Naturally, Indy rushes back to the USA as fast as dotted red lines can carry him.

Back in America, we meet two more of the main characters: Julia Roberts and Reagan. Reagan complains about how that meanie Gorbachev won't put his book down during tests to let Reagan copy his answers. Oh, and there's something about a space cowboy, too. Captain Howdy, I think his name was. Then we get to meet the other protagonist, Rocky Balboa, who is undergoing a faith crisis.

The storyline is split between Julia Roberts and Rocky for a while. Julia Roberts finds that the vibrating massage bed isn't working out for Reagan, and she gets it replaced with a non-malfunctioning one. But tragedy strikes again, as Reagan listens to too much heavy metal and in the middle of the night starts headbanging a bit too enthusiastically. Then Reagan wets herself at a party, embarrassing poor Julia Roberts to no end. The montage is quite the comedy of errors. Reagan is taken to Asshole Psychiatry, Inc. where the doctors misdiagnose her in every imaginable way before admitting to their quackery and advising Roberts to seek out a professional archaeologist (preferably a WWII veteran) or a rookie boxer.

At this point, the storylines merge. Up until now, Rocky had been mourning the death of his personal trainer Mickey and questioning his faith. Indiana Jones had been battling clockwork Nazi golems offscreen. Julia Roberts asks Rocky for help, who in turn asks Indy for help. They all meet up at the Roberts household, where they find Reagan restrained, bruised, battered, and wearing hideous puke-green contact lenses. At first they have trouble figuring out what's wrong with Reagan. Initially, they dismiss the possibility of possession by an angry Middle Eastern dictator's spirit (since Reagan's room is like an icebox, and one would think that some like it hot over in Arabia), but the contact lenses give Saddam away (Hussein was famous for his terrible fashion sense).

To counter Hussein, Indy and Rocky read aloud Led Zeppelin lyrics and sprinkle Reagan's body with the tears of Kurdish children. It proves to be ineffective, as Saddam kills Indy with the constant mental image of Shia LaBeouf's face (this truly was his last crusade). Rocky, inspired by the memory of Mickey's training, grabs Saddam's ghost in a stranglehold and wrestles him out the window. Rocky's sheer willpower manages to banish Saddam Hussein back to Hell once and for all. Unfortunately, Rocky lands on a flight of stairs and breaks his own neck. Julia Roberts and Reagan live and move to Argentina (or possibly Connecticut). But what about Rocky and Indy? Oh, don't worry...Darth Vader resurrects them in The Exorcist II. No, really, James Earl Jones is in the sequel.

But seriously, I liked The Exorcist. It's not really a scary movie, but I like it as a thriller nonetheless. It's a story of faith and connection, and it works. As for everyone out there? Well, if you're old enough to get over Reagan's demonic makeup and distorted voices, then check it out! As long as you aren't expecting Ghostbusters, it won't disappoint! I give it five out of five pea soup regurgitations.

KATY: The scariest thing about the Exorcist is the idea of losing a child. Poor Regan is lost to her mother and that is the ultimate boogeyman...someone taking your baby. So very very scary...

Thing 2 is the Antichrist, I'm gonna have to become catholic now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Whatevertober Part 1: Dracula (1931)

Good evening, counts and countesses! This is your host, Thing Two! Welcome to a new feature of Whatever that we like to call Whatevertober! Every night of October, I will be watching a horror or thriller movie and providing short afterthoughts with one or a few guests watching it with me and providing even shorter afterthoughts. So you now all have thirty-one entertaining blog posts to look forward to (thirty, if you don’t count this one)! If you are familiar with Cinemassacre's annual series, Monster Madness, then you should recognize the similarities. As in, this is exactly the same as Monster Madness, but in blog format. And it isn’t recaps, it’s afterthoughts on the viewing experience. With guest stars. But anyway, let us move on. Without further ado, here is the first entry of Whatevertober, with guest commentator Thing One! Tonight’s film: Dracula!

THING TWO: Several years ago, we purchased the two-disc 75th Anniversary DVD edition of Dracula. (Whew! There’s a technical mouthful for you!) Tonight, I finally got around to watching it. Really, it was actually Thing One’s idea to dust it off and give it a try. I think that he nailed it (pun intended) with Dracula. There couldn’t be a more appropriate choice for the first entry of Whatevertober. And here’s why.

Dracula, to put it bluntly, is a timeless classic. It’s a masterpiece, truly ahead of its time. Vampire movies are now a cornerstone of the horror genre. There are so many vampire movies nowadays. How many good vampire films that have come out in recent years can you think of? What vampire movies have you seen growing up? Thirty Days of Night? The Lost Boys? The 90s remake of Dracula? Everyone’s seen a few. But the original…is Nosferatu. The original with sound is Dracula, starring the master himself, Bela Lugosi. Oh man, Bela Lugosi…he’s awesome. Bela Lugosi is like the Chuck Norris of horror. (Boris Karloff is the Bruce Lee of horror.) That iconic cape, that spine-chilling stare, the etcetera etcetera. I really don’t feel like repeating what has been said a thousand times over. You all know how iconic Dracula is. Let’s skip ahead to my actual thoughts on the film.

It’s awesome. ‘Nuff said.

What, you want more?

Oh, fine. I’ll start with the music, or lack thereof. There is only one bit of soundtrack in the entire movie, and that’s at the opening credits. But that single snippet of score is more than enough to set the unnerving mood. The omnipresent silence that follows for the next hour and a quarter is downright disturbing. It’s…well, it’s creepy. What else can I say?

I can talk about other stuff. Like the performances. They’re a little cheesy sometimes, but what would you expect? Dracula was released in 1931. (That sentence sounds funny. For me, it just now conjured up a mental image of Dracula being let out of a cage after waiting since the 1800s.) The set pieces are absolutely fantastic, and do a wonderful job of setting the mood. Speaking of the mood, the atmosphere is so thick, you could slice it with a knife. (That’s a good thing.) The one special effect is the bats. I saw the string at one point. But again, it’s from 1931. It’s more than forgiven.

All in all, Dracula is a treasured gem of cinema. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out! I give it five out of five Lugosi creeper stares.

THING ONE: The grand daddy of horror. A must-see for any fan of anything ever. Five out of five delicious Hungarian accents.

See you tomorrow, when we tackle another thriller! Until then, counts and countesses, good night.

Thing 2 is doing this as an extra-credit project for his drama class, I'm not sure his teacher knows exactly what he has unleashed upon the world!

One of Husband's Favorites

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I love student teaching! Every day when I walk in the classroom I think "this is where I belong".

But blogging is not gonna be happening much, if at all, for the foreseeable future. I need 36 hour days.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The First Week

After going to bed at 8 o'clock last night and sleeping for almost 12 hours, I am now almost coherent enough to put together a bullet list of notable observations from my first week of student teaching at a very large, urban middle school.

* Getting up at 5 am every day is a lot harder than I remember it being.

* Middle school kids are AWESOME. And very funny, I have a hard time not bursting out laughing at least six times a day.

* Teachers work their asses off. I always knew this but now I've seen it first hand.

* Kids love a routine and settle in to one very quickly. It takes us adults a little longer though.

* It is possible for jeans to stay at thigh level - with the help of a belt - but it makes the boy wearing them like that walk funny.

* I need to figure out a system of making sure everything at home gets taken care of. Until that happens it is going to be a little hectic around here.

* When I walk in the door at any time from 3:30 to 7:30 at night I am exhausted and I don't even have any homework from my own program to do yet - not sure how that is going to work.

* My kids are awesome. They're getting their chores done, getting themselves off to school, fixing dinner, daughter is a great shuttle driver for her brothers, and I'm very proud of them for taking care of business without me standing around telling them what they need to do.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Senior Pictures

These are two pics I snapped with my phone while daughter was having her Senior pictures taken. The first one was taken using the Hipstamatic Ap for iPhone and the second was the regular iPhone camera then edited with Picnik.

I cannot believe this beautiful creature is related to me - she is growing up so fast and we are unbelievably proud of her!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Am

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~Anatole France

Reading this quote shook me up. I have spent years and years of juggling college with taking care of my home and family. During that time I took a year off of school because the boys needed me to be 100% available to them and, while I have never articulated it to myself or anyone else, school has always come second to what I need to take care of at home. Not in a my family comes first way - everyone I know feels that way - but in a 'I can quit school anytime because it is a hobby compared to taking care of things at home' sort of way. When people asked me what I did, my answer was always that I am a SAHM - although I hate that term and much prefer 'Home Executive' or 'Queen of my Domain'. My role as a student came second; "Oh yeah, I'm in school too."

But recently I was asked what I did and I answered "I'm a teacher". And immediately was overcome with sadness, or maybe more accurately, grief. My life has changed so much in the past year, changed in a deep, fundamental way, and my role has changed forever.

For almost fifteen years I cared for Grandmother. She also cared for me, especially at the beginning when my babies were small, but I took her shopping, to appointments, and at the end, made sure her medical needs were taken care of. Now she is gone and I spend a lot of time wandering around the house doing nothing while thinking about all the little things I miss doing for her.

Daughter getting her driver's license was another pivotal change for me, although I didn't realize it until a few days after the fact. She went to a friend's birthday party and came home without me having to drive her. She picked her brother up from tennis practice the next day because I was at work, learning more about being a teacher in the school I am student teaching at.

The boys do their own laundry, they took it over after Grandmother died without even asking me for help or to do it for them. She had done their laundry ever since they could remember; Thing 1 on Mondays and Thing 2 on Thursdays. As I watched Thing 2 fold his clothes the other day I had to go into my room because I started to cry thinking the completely ridiculous thought that he doesn't need me any more.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad my babies are growing up and becoming independent. After all, that is the whole goal of raising kids. And while I miss her desperately, I am glad that Grandmother is not in pain and suffering the indignities of old age anymore. But I need to allow myself to grieve the death of my old role, my identity as a SAHM, as I move ahead to my new identity as teacher, wife, and mother of increasingly independent teenagers - soon to be college students and adults.

I have floundered this summer, not getting a lot done and spending hours doing nothing but thinking about the past. Reading the quote from Anatole France made me realize what has been going on, one life has been dying as I prepare to step forward to my next life.

I am a teacher.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh Deer!

I have so many questions about the sign I took a picture of yesterday at an intersection outside of Shelton, Washington...

Who would steal a deer?

Who would miss a deer?

Who is it that expects a deer to be returned to them?

WTF is so special about THIS deer? On the same trip I got pictures of a Mama deer casually grazing in someone's front yard. Deer are EVERYWHERE in this area, why don't the missing their deer people just get a new deer? A younger deer? A better deer?

Deer me, I just don't understand.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I am slowly being unshackled from the bonds of teenage activities - DAUGHTER HAS HER DRIVER'S LICENSE!!! It took 4 shots at the written test and 3 at the driving test but she is now legally able to drive herself and, just as importantly, her brothers around.

The calendar on her phone now has several dates - with the alarm reminder set on LOUD - that she is responsible for picking up Thing 2 from driver's ed and taking Thing 1 to tennis practice because I will be student teaching full time starting on Thursday. Girl got driving just in the nick of time!

Here she is before her very first solo drive, to go shopping naturally.

Hey, wait a minute. She's driving away. WITHOUT ME! INTO THE COLD, CRUEL WORLD ALONE!!!!

Life will never be the same.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gratuitous Whining

Getting back into the swing of reality after a trip of a lifetime is a drag.

I know, shut up Katy, what a first-world problem to have. May you all have such a problem to deal with someday.

Thing 1 has decided to swap band for tennis, Thing 2 is taking driver's ed classes, and daughter has a bazillion dance classes/practices every week. Next week is going to be especially exciting because it is the infamous BAND CAMP WEEK.

Not THAT kind of band camp. You pervs. The kind of band camp where the marching band, dance and flag teams practice for 6-8 hours a day (I hear it's more like 12 in college) for a week in preparation for football season and, in the case of our high school, the parade they march in that kicks off the state fair in our city. So even though Thing 1 isn't in band, daughter is on the dance team and has practice every day next week. Thing 1 has tennis practice every morning next week and Thing 2 has drivers ed class every day next week. And I have 2 full days of workshops and seminars to get ready for student teaching.

But on the plus side, daughter WILL pass her drivers test tomorrow at 11am Pacific Time (cross all your fingers and toes for us will ya?) so she WILL be able to get herself and her brother to practices. Husband is gonna have to pick up the slack on the two days I'm learning about student teaching, I just have to tell him.

And after school starts we will be juggling two different district calendars - the district where I'll be student teaching and the district where the kids go to school - as well as all the kids extracurricular activities and my twice-weekly evening classes. Ugh.

But my student teaching is only for seven months. I can do anything for seven months.

I hope.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Australia Pictures

I took an insane amount of pictures on our trip (not as many as Marvelous Mom did though!) and looking through them I'm so glad I did. Even though the big camera is kind of a pain in the ass to carry around everywhere. These are just a few of my favorites.

Here is SGB's Best Beloved and I on the beach. She asked me to be a bridesmaid in their wedding - I was completely gobsmacked! She is a lovely person inside and out and I am thrilled that I get to be a part of her and SGB's special day. A sister! I get a sister!!!

Twelve Apostles - the pictures don't even begin to do justice to the beauty and power of the ocean beaches.

Rainbows were a constant theme of the trip. I saw more rainbows in the three weeks we were there than I have seen in the entire rest of my life. I'm choosing to believe that Nannie was watching over us and that the rainbows were messages from her. This picture was taken off the deck of Best Beloved's family holiday house in Rye. Gorgeous!

Another rainbow over the ocean beach.

And finally the two reasons we went so far away, Scientist Genius Brother and his Best Beloved. It was so awesome to spend time with them and see how happy they both are. Her family welcomed him and us with open arms and I can't wait to go back for the wedding. Sightseeing was fun but the real treat was spending time with the best brother in the world, his Best Beloved, and her family. I am so proud of him I could burst!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Port Macquarie

The weather was hideous but the company was wonderful.

Totally insane crazy lunatics surfing. It *might* have been 50 degrees and was definitely pouring with rain and super windy.

Me and the very best brother in the world.

SGB and his Best Beloved in front of a very cute church in town. They were having services as it was Sunday so we had to sneak around very quietly taking pictures.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


These were all taken at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie - a small seaside town about an hour's flight North of Sydney. I wasn't allowed to pet any, they are all being nursed back to health, but they were so cute.

This little guy was getting his twice daily formula feed. He almost knocked the can out of the volunteer's hand trying to get it faster than she was giving it to him.

The cuteness!

This poor little girl lost both her eyes to a chlamydia infection so she is now a permanent resident of the hospital. It doesn't seem to slow her down any though, she was very curious and got around her little home just fine!

And here is a little guy trying to take a nap.

Koala's get attacked by dogs, hit by cars, burned in bush fires, and suffer from several nasty illnesses - all of which are treated by hundreds of volunteers at this unique hospital. There website is here and if so inclined, you can adopt one or make a donation to help them continue their work. Like animals everywhere their habitat has been greatly reduced due to human activity, can you imagine Australia without koalas? Me neither.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I have several spider pics but this is the biggest one yet. SGB can palm a basketball, that's how big his hand is. And the spider is almost as big as his palm. Approximately the size of Connecticut. Ish.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Melbourne Day One

Having a spectacular time!!!

Marvelous Mom, SGB, and I in downtown Melbourne along the banks of the Yarra River.

These alleys turned shopping areas are called Arcades and are the coolest little places to explore.

Scientist Genius Brother and his Best Beloved in front of the stadium where we saw my first Australian Football "footy" game.

SGB and I at the game.

The 'thighlights' were spectacular. Heh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Australia Here I Come

Marvelous Mom and I begin our Big Australian Adventure tomorrow. We get to fly for 3 hours from Seattle to LA, breathe smog for two hours, and then sit on a plane for another 14-15 hours from LA to Melbourne. It doesn't look so bad on the map, hardly even a few inches.

What I wouldn't give for Star Trek transporter technology right about now.

Our first weekend in Melbourne we will be going to an Australian rules Football game. From what I can tell it is a cross between rugby, quidditch, and fight club...I can't wait! And by 'we' I mean Scientist Genius Brother, Best Beloved's Brother, Dad, and I. Marvelous Mom would rather have a root canal than attend a sporting event. Party pooper.

We will also be talking about wedding plans, getting to know Scientist Genius Brother's Best Beloved and her family, and stalking koalas. (I am gonna pet/hold/get bitten by a koala if it is the last thing I do.)

For our second weekend we will fly to Port Macquarie (see map below) where almost all of our Aussie rellies will join us for a reunion of sorts. I have only met two of Grandmother's nephews and none of their extended families so it will be absolutely lovely to get to spend time with people who were so important to her and who I have been hearing stories about all of my life.

Then we will be accompanying one nephew (is my Grandmother's nephew my first cousin once removed or my second cousin?) and his wife on a train trip to Sydney. This will be my third train ride ever and a great way to see a tiny bit of the country. After five days in Sydney, some of which we will spend with Stepdan's niece and her Hottie Husband, we will fly back to Melbourne and enjoy the rest of our time with SGB, his Best Beloved, and her lovely family.

Marvelous Mom is a wee bit nervous about the flight but never fear, I have Xanax to slip in her drinks so she will be just fine. Heh. Just kidding.

I can't wait to post a picture of a spider the size of a dinner plate for y'all to see. Muhahahaha....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Travel Preparation

Now that school is over and Nannie's Big Ass Party is past, it is time for me to prepare things for my month-long absence in July. Just to make things interesting for myself, I'm heading to Vegas on July 2nd to visit Dad and Stepmonster, get home at 1:45pm on July 6th, and leave for Australia with Marvelous Mom at 6:30pm on July 7th. Thank God for drugs, I'm hoping my doc will give me Xanax or Valium or something for the plane trip so I can sleep.

Luckily the wardrobe for both trips will be completely different so I can be packed for down under before I leave for sin city.

The final complication in all of these plans is that Daughter leaves for a 3 week tour of Europe with her Art class on July 13th so I need to make sure she has everything she needs before I leave. Husband will make sure she has everything on her list packed and take her to the airport to meet her group at o'dark thirty but other than that he will be working (someone's gotta pay for all this globe-trotting) so I am going to do everything I can to make sure she is ready to go too. I have to order her a *shiver* debit card so she can get cash while on her trip, make sure she has enough of her medications, all the clothes on the list, etc. etc. etc.

I'm not sure I'm ready for the shopping princess of Puget Sound to have a debit card yet.

So from now until July 2nd I will be in full on Travel Preparation mode. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for checklists!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Big Ass Party

After the Memorial Service at the church, everyone gathered back at our house for the Big Ass Party Nannie requested. I estimate we had 100 people at the house over the afternoon and evening so it was DEFINITELY big ass! We ate, drank, told funny stories about Nannie, drank some more, played a very funny game around the fire that was just a little bit too complicated for my slightly drunk self, and generally celebrated with friends and family. It was perfect.

Goodbye Nannie. We love you more than you can imagine.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Memorial Service

We had a lovely service for Grandmother on Saturday. Years ago she had marked the hymns she wanted at her service in Marvelous Mom's hymnbook and we managed to get all of them in so it was full of music. The photo board showed just a tiny fraction of her adventures over 95 years of living life to the fullest...

And here are her boys with Marvelous Mom. They both got up and spoke, I was so proud of them. Grandmother would have been proud too.

And this is Husband with two of my cousins. It was such a gift to get to see them both since they live in different states.

Number 1 son is on the aisle (the one with hardly any gray hair as he is so fond of pointing out to Dad) and Number 2 son is next to him. Grandmother loved her sons more than anything else in the world and was never happier than when sitting in between the two of them.

Finally, no gathering for Grandmother would be complete without a baby. Here I am with another cousin's beautiful boy. We have lots of pictures of Grandmother holding him just a few short months ago and he has a little hat that she knitted for him...although his gigantic head is too big for it now.

The service and music were absolutely perfect, Nannie would have loved it - not least because she was the center of attention as my Dad pointed out. It was not easy, I cried as well as laughed, but am so glad we set aside this day to remember Nannie. She made sure our family bonds are strong and I will never cease to be thankful for that wonderful gift.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Quit

I am becoming closely acquainted with Craig and his List these days, happily pouring over photos of cars, blue book values, and engine specs. Daughter showed me her schedule for next fall and there is no WAY I will be able to get her to 5 dance classes and 2-4 dance team practices every week. Not to mention the Friday night football games, after school events, and study club meetings at our local library. And since we are selling our extra car to my BFF so she can chauffeur her lovely littles around for the next 15 years, we have to buy Daughter a car.

Car shopping is one of my favorite activities. I've been know to look at cars for sale even when we are NOT going to buy one. My idea of a perfect car for daughter is something small and cute. I've been lusting after this for years...

Or one of these. LOOK AT THOSE ORANGE WHEELS! So freaking cute.

Unfortunately, Husband is only willing to part with enough money to purchase something like this...


And Daughter is No. Help. At. All. I've already told you about her curious lack of interest in cars and driving and the situation hasn't improved at all. When I asked her what kind of car she would like - 2 doors, 4 doors, sedan, hatchback, etc. - her answer was, and I quote, "I dunno. Not green". NOT GREEN. What kind of teenager, when asked for input on what type of vehicle they like, answers with NOT GREEN?!?!

I suspect this particular car search will take all freaking summer. Or I'll just say to hell with it, I'm buying something I like.

Either way, come the end of August, I am resigning as her chauffeur.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What A Year

If someone had told me what a roller coaster the past nine months would be I don't know that I would have gone ahead with grad school on top of it all. This cake that a classmates wife made for our end of the year grad school cohort party made (representing a sick inside joke :) is pretty much how I feel right now...

Roadkill baby.

But I survived the twins first year of high school, my first year of grad school, daughter driving, losing Nannie, sending my babies to the other side of the planet, and having a bloody obnoxious puppy. Phew.

Grade report - 4.0 in all three of my classes for spring quarter. Even though I know that grades don't matter in grad school, it is impossible for me to not work my ass off in search of a perfect grade. It may not matter to anyone else but it matters to me. And, I'm guessing, my parents. They're always really happy to hear that I did well in school. It makes up for all the slacking I did in high school. Heh.

My summer is going to be busy but FUN! Next year will be even crazier than this year has been so I intend to make the most out of the next three months. Saturday our friends and family are gathering to celebrate Nannie's life...I'm both looking forward to it and dreading it. I still burst into tears at weird times and haven't begun to work thru all my feelings about losing her but it will be nice to hear everyone's memories and stories about her. Family is coming from all over, including her Canadian nephews who we don't see very often and it will be a wonderful party to say goodbye to an amazing woman.

July is my travel month. I get six days of doing NOTHING while visiting Dad and Stepmonster in Vegas with BFF Cousin and then three and a half weeks dodging Sharks With Frickin' Lasers in Australia with Marvelous Mom.

August will be a blur of drivers ed classes for Thing 2, band camp for daughter and the dance team, parades, 2 days of student teaching seminars, sunshine (I hope) and training the damn puppy so I don't have to kill him.

Life marches on.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Inspirational Words

So I was cruising the blogosphere looking for Decorating Porn, because I totally don't have three more papers to write in the next ten days and have plenty of time to look at decorating porn. Yup. No problem here. Move along officer... when I came across this post from The Uncluttered Lifestyle. Inspirational words on the wall in her office. Faith, Imagine, Love, Family...really nice words that illustrate how she lives her life. Not to mention a beautiful home office to blog in, rather than my preferred workspace of the couch with my laptop and a glass of wine in arms reach.

What would my inspirational word wall say?


Hmmm...I'm thinking I should work on how I live my life. It's not looking so hot on the wall. Maybe I'll make a wall of how OTHER people live their lives. Much more company-ready than mine.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Counting Down

10 days until the end of the quarter and the end of my first full year of grad school...

4 weeks and 5 days until I go to Vegas with BFF Cousin...

5 weeks and 3 days until I go to Australia with Marvelous Mom to visit Scientist Genius Brother and his FIANCEE!!!! Yup, that's right, he FINALLY popped the question! She said yes and the wedding planning is ON!

3 more papers to write and then I can relax.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Iran Trip Part I: by Thing 2

Hey folks, Thing 2 here. We just got back from Iran! And by "just" I do not mean "just," as it was just a few weeks ago, so saying "just" would just be unjust, and saying so would do me no justice and be just plain unjustified. I'm just sayin'.

You know what's a really stupid name for a movement? Antidisestablishmentarianism. Why not just call yourselves the "Double Negativists," or "The We Failed English Classists?" Cut out the middle man! Stop foolin' around and admit who you really are!


Anyway, Iran. It was an enlightening experience. I can't type out all of my thoughts on Iran in one go, because my brain is faster than my tongue, and my tongue is faster than my fingers. Hey-o!

Here you can see a really old bathroom of a really old castle from the 1700s. The echo was absolutely unbelievable; I couldn't understand what I or anyone was saying! I tried to say,
"These pillars have really intricate patterns on them."
but what I ended up saying was,

"Buddy, are those your kids over there?"
"Are they speaking English?"
"Are they American?"
"They're Iranian-American kids."
"Wow! As a tour guide, I think that I'll drop everything I'm doing in my busy schedule and whatnot and give them a personal tour, free of charge!"
"Gee, thank you, sir!"
"Do they speak Farsi?"
"No, they never bothered t-"
"You must be a terrible father. Shame on you! Here, be my translator."

We climbed a whole mountain, and got a beautiful view of the Tehran smogscape!

Come, my children! Have you your jackets and water bottles and ovaloid chunks of flatbread? We shall take the fight to the mountains!

Whoever heard about the Western tradition of throwing coins into fountains must have translated it as throwing money into fountains. We saw in fountains golden coins, silvery coins, and...paper bills. Yes. Actual, real people decided that it was a good idea to
Into a fountain.
Wait, that's not the best part! Here's the kicker: At the end of one fountain, we saw resting at the bottom of the pool, rendered almost invisible by the obscuring effect of the wind blowing across the water...
Pardon my Sanskrit, but WHO THE HECK DOES THAT?!? Did some obscenely wealthy international fatcat stop by and say, "Gosh, I really need good luck on the next shareholder's meeting. I know! Here, have a freshly-picked Visa from my personal money tree!"

I mean, that's just silly.