Thursday, March 29, 2007
SLUGGIE: My eye was stuck shut this morning. I had to work really hard to get it open.
ME: (a bit absently, I'll admit) That's nice.
and then a few minutes later
ME: Oh crap! You have another eye infection! (She and Mollusc each had one last week or was it the week before? It's all a blur.)
So that was that. I called to let them know at TKD that we weren't showing, squeezed a thin rope of goop into both of Sluggie's eyes (learned about that the hard way) and gave her a hot compress. Later on, as we were doing our first microscope lab for this new biology book, I saw that Prawn was getting a bit of red-eye. More goop-squeezing (shockingly successful.) We are getting our money's worth out of this $75 little bitty tube of opthamalgic antibiotic, I'll say that much.
In other news, I've run out of Outlander books (have to get #4 from the library) so am reading Possession in the meantime. So far so good. Much more complex than the movie. (which I did enjoy)
And now, Fridge Poetry. Join me, won't you?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Hold on to those you love. ^_^
Monday, March 26, 2007
Last night MuNKi called me from the gas station to ask if I could I bring his work Jeep and the backup set of van keys because Cyd (our van) wasn't starting. The gas station is pretty close, so I didn't really think about putting on shoes (a shoe, LOL!) or a jacket. I've never driven the Jeep before (it's not ours) but it was relatively easy to figure out and I got to the gas station quickly and parked right beside MuNKi.
So I'm sitting there, having handed MuNKi the second set of keys to try, but it's not the keys that are the problem; the ignition switch has locked up.
At this point, the Jeep sputters and stops running. Seriously. I gape at MuNKi and then look at the gas gage, which is on E. No problem - we're at a gas station, right. The pumps are close. I can steer while MuNKi pushes. I thank our lucky stars. But MunKi insists there is gas in the tank, so I try to start the Jeep and sure enough, the needle flutters upwards, but the engine doesn't turn over. MuNKi tries. No dice. I try Cyd. No luck. MuNKi keeps trying the Jeep. No.
We are in a technology black hole - like in Tomb Raider. ^_^ Except the cell phone works, so after about 13 misdials (hey, I never call myself at home, OK?) I finally get it right and tell the kids we'll be a few minutes longer and not to worry.
I'm laughing my butt off at the ridiculousness of the problem, though truth be told, startng to get a little freaked out that nature has conspired to strand us at the gas station while the children are home alone. Because, really, how bizarre is that? I tell MuNKi I'm going home. He is dubious. I am thankful I bothered to bring the crutches instead of just hopping to the Jeep. MuNKi doesn't want me crutching down the gravel shoulder of the busy road. With no shoe/s. He keeps trying to start the Jeep. I can't stop laughing at the outrageousness of our situation, but I need to get home to the kids. I nearly mutiny. But then the Jeep sputters and coughs to life. (MuNKi has been trying for about 10 minutes) The groceries are still in Cyd, but we don't dare stop the (hiccuping) Jeep, so I (against MuNKi's wishes) hop back and forth from Cyd to the Jeep with grocery bags while he revs the engine. We make it home alive. Hallelujah Jaffar! I am grateful. ^_^
There are so many things that could have gone (more) wrong. If we had gone into Ann Arbor or Brighton yesterday, we could have been stuck there and had to call a (very pricey) taxi and deal with car seats and all that stuff. Or it could have waited until the kids and I got to TKD today, stranding us there. While a 2 mile walk home wouldn't have been a huge deal on a normal day, it would have been harder for me in my gimpy state. Especially with trying to keep track of the littles and being unable to hold their hands.
So, all things told, I'm very grateful it happened when it did. And now, here's the song that won't stop running through my head.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Blue Moon is an ice cream flavour I have always just taken for granted. Imagine my surprise, then, to get an article from my mom stating that the flavour is purely a Midwestern America thing. I first remember getting it as a treat after vaccinations when I was 4. We had to have QUITE a few vaccinations to go overseas, and our parents promised my sis and I ice cream cones after each round to lessen the sting. I remember my mom and dad praising me for not crying each time, but I also remember finally breaking down for the last round. I can still hear my mom saying "I think she's finally just HAD it with these shots," and I had. But I still got my ice cream cone -- it wasn't a bribe against crying, just something calculated to make us feel better. Or maybe, now that I look at it from my parents' point of view, something to make my parents feel better. I think I chose Blue Moon every single time. :) I guess that would have been in Berrien Springs, Michigan, at Mission Institute. We lived in Cicero, Indiana at the time, but I don't remember if they had Blue Moon in Indiana.
I know I've seen and had the stuff lots in Wisconsin -- it's a regular flavour at Babcock Hall on the UW-Madison campus -- and here in the greater Detroit Metro area you can get it. But come to think of it, I'm not sure I ever saw it in California. Neil Gaiman apparently eats it. Wikipedia has an article on it. Amazon sells it. (as gourmet food?!?!)
Have you tried it? Have you heard of it? Enquiring Minds want to know.
Triva Fact: our next Blue Moon here in the Americas will be on May 31. Guess what I'll be eating. :)
Friday, March 23, 2007
A completely drunken sot was stumbling down the street with one foot on the curb and one foot in the gutter. A cop pulled up and said, "I've got to take you in, mate. You're obviously drunk."
Our wasted friend asked, "Officer, are ya absolutely sure I'm drunk?"
"Yeah, buddy, I'm sure," said the copper. "Let's go."
Breathing a sigh of relief, the drunk said, "Thank goodness, I thought I was crippled."
A few facts:
-Wish I were only drunk. Of course, I could get wasted, but then I'd just be a drunken cripple. ^_^
-I don't advise ever doing something that causes you to require crutches, because they make your armpits sore.
-Stairs have never struck me as a particularly formidable obstacle before now. Amazing how such a small distance can become such a huge barrier.
-My sister and I bought 2 pairs of wooden crutches from Goodwill when we were about 12 and 15. We invented all kind of games to play on crutches. Most involved rollerskates and a tennis ball. I have to say that crutches are a lot more fun when they're optional. ^_^-Several people have nearly incapacitated themselves playing with my crutches.
My ankle definitely does NOT feel worse, and I think it feels slightly better. Of course MuNKi is not letting me do anything fun. It's like living with the Gestapo. ;) I have to say, though, that it's pretty lovely to just saunter (read hobble/hop/crutch) off after a meal and leave the clean-up to others whilst feeling pretty guilt-free about the whole thing.
And yes, I do actually appreciate (very much) what MuNKi is doing for me. But it's still fun to carp about it.
One of my ankle bones has mysteriously vanished, and that's kinda weird. I'm pretty intimate with a bag of Trader Joe's frozen peas at this point.
I have all the hope in the world of making a rapid (or at least semi-rapid) recovery from this, but in case my foot falls off, I'm pretty sure what my next occupation is going to be. Just call me Captain Pegleg. ^_^
Thursday, March 22, 2007
1) Pushing back kicks are great when the opponent is moving away.
2) They are not so great if it turns out he hasn't moved after all.
3) Apparently ankles are not supposed to make that sound.
4) MuNKi is strong enough to pick me up and carry me.
5) But not effortlessly.
6) Willowy little Christine Daae I'm not.
7) Ice can be very, very, very cold.
8) Also frozen peas.
I suppose you want to hear about the brownie disaster. Oy! We were out of eggs, so I Googled "no egg brownie recipe" and printed a bunch out. I picked one of the candidates and threw it all together, checking everything a few times to be sure I wasn't messing up. I thought it a bit odd that they baked in a jellyroll pan for 35 minutes, but whatever. I thought it a little odder when Mollusc said they were bubbling. But they smelled good, so whatever. When they came out, they were VERY bubbly, but seemed cakelike as I loosened the edges. From there, however, things went downhill. By the time they cooled, they were basically overcooked toffee. Do not trust the recipe called "Brownies Supreme." Unless it's something supremely unlike brownies you're wanting. Gee, maybe I should have read the comments on that page - specifically, the one about "Brownies Supreme." :-P
Monday, March 19, 2007
My dad would have really enjoyed this movie. Today is the 8th anniversary of his death. We were so incredibly blessed to have him while we did. This is not an occasion for sadness, but rather for remembering and rejoicing and being grateful for so many things. And for laughing. ^_^
My dad had a zany sense of humour and was always doing crazy things. If they had already invented (the label) ADHD when he was a kid, he would have been the poster child. If they used it for adults, he would have been the poster adult. He was a spontaneous, enthusiastic, and exuberant guy, and he was always hatching hare-brained schemes. If you've seen Over the Hedge, think Hammy, only with a brain. ^_^
One time, he went through a hot-air balloon making phase. He took those super thin plastic food-storage bags (the kind with the plastic that appears to be cross-hatched when you look closely, and that you close with a twisty) and cut them apart and ironed a bunch of them together in a big bag shape. Then he suspended a candle beneath the bag with string (fishing line maybe?) and chopsticks. It worked. I remember that it seemed to take forever to fill, and I can still picture it lifting slowly up into the night sky and then off over the jungle, to the oohs and ahhs of us all (a bunch of his students came to watch.) I'm still unsure of why the jungle didn't catch fire. ^_^
Another time he went through a phase of making smoothies. He was all about speed. (his nickname as a kid was "Road Runner" because he NEVER walked) The faster you could assemble food or drinks, the better. My favourite smoothie involved a bunch of stuff plus 7up and a poorly secured blender lid. It also involved a lot of clean-up after the lid blew off. ^_^
He made up a lot of silly family words, some (like "Nuftegyew" -- something a monkey once said to him ^_^) inspired by his childhood in India, China and Taiwan. He taught my sister and I how to curse someone in Urdu, and he wasn't scandalised when I said the word "crap" when I was 7 or 8. He could cook a mean curry, and loved to sing, play and compose music. He had his pilot's license, and wrote a COMAL (computer) language programming book. When he saw smoke on the horizon, he'd bustle my sister and I into the Rover (or later the VW Bug) and we'd go stomp out the fires. He taught us to swim, dive and snorkel, and he was the one who discovered that we could swim with the blue jellyfish without getting stung.
He was kind to animals, and caught some of the rats and mice in our ceiling with humane traps made from Klim or Milo cans, and let them go in the jungle. One time he cut a hole in the bathroom ceiling to free a trapped rat. He lured it into a cage with a slice of green apple, and took it to his bio lab to show the kids before letting it go. We had a chicken in Indiana, because he incubated chicken eggs for his bio class and then brought home the chick for us to keep. It had imprinted on him and he had to show it how to be a proper chicken. ^_^ We also had a pigeon named Pea Brain. Students would bring him animals that they rescued, like the baby bats they found in the library.
He would let my sister and I hang out with him in the lab, and take apart and build the anatomy guy. He showed us how to burn sugar into crisp little carbon cakes on the bunsen burners, and he brought home miscroscopes so we could see the world in a different way.
And he loved movies. Theatres had been verboten to us in our first religion (though he did sneak us all off to see Star Wars - my first theatre film.) Once we broke free from that, he made up for it with a vengeance. The theatre people came to know him and encouraged him to attend showings for free. He found something to like about almost every film he saw. But that's he how was about life - there was always something to like, and if you couldn't like something, you could laugh about it. ^_^
I'm sure that if you made it through all that, you can see my dad in me. And I can see him in my sister and in my kids, especially Fishy, his namesake. (well, you know ^_^)
Even when he was sick, he laughed. The morphine made him say and think some pretty weird stuff and a moment or two later he'd realise it and laugh himself silly. One of the best ones was when he announced that "hundreds of Russian women" were "coming over the hill. In tiny cars!" ^_^ So today I remember Daddy, and I laugh, because there is so much to laugh about. :)
Wow. Orignally this was just going to be a title and a YouTube. Bless you if you made it this far. ^_^ What makes you laugh?
Emmett has a new trick. When I'm showering, or right after I get out, he gets up in the window and rubs the fog away with his front paws so he can look out the hole. He'll also lick it off. We suspect he's an idiot savant. Actually, the opposite of an idiot savant, because he's smart about absolutely everything except for opening a cupboard he's gone into. If the cupboard door swings shut, he'll dig at it and push it and bang, bang, bang it, but won't just step forward and walk out. What a goofball.
Trilly's morning routine is to come rub on my wet legs as soon as I exit the shower, and to lick and nibble my toes.
Hopefully it will be a writing day today, in between all the house-maintainting and homeschooling. And then we'll see about those pics. :)
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I have been TERRIBLY lazy about posting pics. I'm sure that if I don't let them out into the blogosphere soon, my computer is going to develop an awful case of constipation. Perhaps tomorrow I can remedy this. . .
Today I taught kid class and no one stayed for the canceled sparring class, so I got to leave on time. I got another $10 in patch-sewing-on work (so far I've gotten, hmm, maybe $130- $150 in work just sewing on patches. Yay!) And then it was off to the Master's house for painting. MuNKi was already there helping to put down the wood flooring. We've been going over for the last few weekends to help out, and the house is really coming along. Both the Master and his wife (and kids, too) are very good friends of ours, and it's always a fun and sociable time. I now sport two different shades of blue paint on my sweatshirt and jeans. I've also come away with a major jealousy of their wood floor (which, fortunately, MuNKi shares ^_^ ) and a desire to paint more rooms. Oh, and the front door. Someday we'll rip up our carpet and put down wood. We're going to start in the bedroom, because what could be better than waking up to wood every morning?
MuNKi made Adobo chicken again tonight, which never fails to please. I adore the leftover sauce and rice. Mmmmmm! And we tried a new wine (see above), which MuNKi loathes, but I find. . . interesting.
I have a new review book. It's called The Grammar Cookbook, and is fantastic. The children were very impressed that it was delivered, in part, by Royal Mail. ^_^
Friday, March 16, 2007
I started a poetry blog. Still trepidatious about sharing poetry, but now I have.
I got a new cookbook.
On Wednesday I finished Dragonfly in Amber, which REALLY picked up toward the end, and then I had to dash to the library 15 mins before closing and grab Voyager (the next in the Outlander series.)
I finished The Shakespeare Code and submitted my review.
I watched The Heart of Me. I don't really recommend it unless you're in the mood for something depressing with a slightly uplifting ending.
I learned that a darling little boy I sometimes teach at TKD has most likely come out of remission from Leukemia. If you are the praying or sending positive thoughts into the cosmos type, please do so for Ryan.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I've carried over the same philosophy I learned in Kendo class. Fear is inside us. Nothing outside us can make us afraid -- we have to generate it ourselves. Believe it or not, when Yoda first said that to me (OK, well he was a lot like Yoda) that was quite a revelation. So I learned that when you're facing a big guy with a stick, you may as well hit him, otherwise he's going to be the one hitting you. And it works. Same with sparring. But tonight, one of those guys kicked MuNKi in the eye, ripping out his contact and tearing it in half. (Fear not, he's OK!) And who did the Master choose to face the guy next? Uh huh. You guessed it. That was pretty cringe-making. But I realised that the poor guy was a little (or a lot) rattled about having kicked MuNKi in the eye, because he certainly hadn't tried to. So I attempted to keep that in mind and stay on the offensive. But let me tell you, when I lined up against him, my stomach was doing flips, LOL!
Which brings me to the silly Litany against Food we were doing last night, a parody on the Litany against Fear from Dune if there are any of you Sci-Fi geeks out there.
I will allow it to pass over me and through me
and when the food has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path
where the food has gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Oh, and MuNKi bought Casino Royale today. I didn't even know it was out on DVD. Clearly he loves me very much.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
MuNKi made more fantabulous bread yesterday. Pics to follow.
My stomach muscles are sore because I decided it was finally time to get serious about those push ups and sit ups for black belt testing. I did the 150 sit ups yesterday and again today. As for push ups, I could only manage 70 yesterday without fear of my arms giving way and my beak getting smashed on the floor. And today I only pulled off 50.
Yesterday was a pretty busy day. I dropped MuNKi at the house of friends so he could help with painting while I taught kids' class. There wasn't supposed to be any sparring, but 2 of the kids' parents didn't see the sign, so I was stuck there for another hour, but it was OK because we ended up playing dodgeball, soccer, and all kinds of made-up games while we waited for the parents. Then it was off to help with the painting while our kids all played together. It's a very fun and sociable thing helping to paint someone's house (interior) and we had a great time.
Today it's off to Ann Arbor to check out what is said to be the largest Chinese grocery store around here. I hope to return home with strange and interesting finds. And plenty of Haw treats. I was going to say that the Haw Flakes packaging hasn't changed since I was a kid in Hong Kong. That was true as of the last time I bought some (last summer maybe) but I see in this WikiLink that it finally has. Most of the Chinese stuff still has the same package it did when I was little, which I love, because it makes everything so easy to find. And of course there's the nostalgia factor. Here in the States, packaging seems to be different every time you go back to the store.
This leads me to slight rant about the constantly changing styles of women's shoes and clothing. Over the last 15 years at least, MuNKi has been able to buy the exact same tennis shoes every time they wear out. But when I find something I like, by the time they wear out (about 3 years later usually - I'm not a big shoe-wearer) the old style is nowhere to be found and I have to start all over again looking for womething that feels right. Same goes for jeans and even undies. Not fair, say I. I know, I know. Life isn't fair; the Fair's in July. But still. . .
And on the subject of shoes, Mollusc has decided to enter a 5K run-walk to help support our local library and she wants me to enter with her. Much as I loathe distance running, this will be very good for us because it's in June, so getting ready for this should help us both in our black belt testing in August. I realise that to a serious runner 5K hardly qualifies as any sort of distance, but trust me, to this sprinter it's a big deal. ^_^
As of 1:30 Eastern, Navan's article is the #1 most emailed story from NPR!
Friday, March 09, 2007
We did the 3 bag kicking thing in red belt class tonight. Three kicking bags (last photo) are lined up in a row, we run at them (shouting various Kamikaze slogans) and jump up and try to kick all 3 in a row. I hate this. OK, well, I don't hate it. I just hate the frustration it produces in me. I hate feeling inept. Especially in front of other people. MuNKi sometimes tells me I'm athletic. I don't know about that. I just know that physical stuff isn't supposed to be terribly hard by the 3rd or 4th try. When it comes to three bag kicking, I am not athletic in the least. If I jump high enough, I don't turn sideways enough, if I turn sideways enough, I don't kick hard enough to hit the third bag, if I think about kicking the first bag on the way up, I forget my name and how to land. Plus, I need to Kegel more.
Hee hee! The DVD menu for Big Fish is playing on the wall and Emmett is going NUTS trying to catch the big, animated bee. Muahahahahaha!! >^_^<
I got Big Fish at the library yesterday. Has anyone seen it? One of the TKD dads (with whom I trade book titles - we have similar tates) said it was good, so I figured I'd check it out. I also got The Heart of Me, and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Oh, and I have Serenity waiting in the wings. The beauty of getting films at the library is that you can pick a bunch of different stuff to watch depending on your mood, and if you never get around to watching some of them, it doesn't matter since they're free!
I was awoken this morning by what sounded like someone banging on the neighbour's roof, and was immediately reminded of Logo. I looked out the window to see what was going on, but what that shocking spectre was, I'm not saying. ^_^
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
"ay, there's the rub." (Egan's favourite part)
I dreamed that I was going to have one use of a machine that granted any wish. I had about 2 minutes to come up with what I wanted to wish for. I remember immediately rejecting a few possibilities in fear that they might cause some unforeseen disaster on a massive scale, though I don't remember what they were. I do remember that I chose the ability to work simple magic and perform healing on a small scale.
I also dreamed (dreamt?) that Cyd (our van) had something very slightly wrong with it and that GuTTer MuNKi decided to sell it and buy a new one, which upset me greatly, because it was such an expensive option and I'd thought we were planning to drive Cyd into the ground.
I'm tired of winter. I want to open the windows and let in some fresh air. At least the sun is shining today. Oooh, and it's Wednesday! ^_^
Monday, March 05, 2007
If you don't feel like clicking the link, what it boils down to is that you check out "Teri's List" for your area grocery store/s, and sale stuff will be listed as either black, blue or green. Black means "buy it only if you need it." It's on sale, but it's not at rock bottom. Blue means "stockpile this stuff!" Stock up bigtime, it's rock bottom and usually this is due to a coupon being used in conjunction with the lowest sale price. Green stuff is stuff that you buy that will be free by the time all's said and done. Woo hoo! I like free things. (unless we're talking virus or something)
The best part is that my first month is only $1 and I can access the lists for all 4 stores in my area. (mine are Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and Meijer) After the free trial, the membership is $10 for 8 weeks for the first store, $5 for additional stores. I figure I will end up with Kroger and CVS for $15 every 2 mos (or $7.50 a month.) The savings look like they are going to be incredible. Of course, I need to watch the prices whether blue or not. Some stuff is still cheaper at the commissary, and yes, they take coupons, too. This week it looks like (among other things) I can get a tube of Kids' Aquafresh for 25 cents and a stick of Degree Women's deodorant for 18 cents. This is good.
If you like free stuff, you might like the free language lessons here, or perhaps you would prefer to take free classes in all kinds of subjects from MIT. (thanks to Real Simple magazine for the heads up)
Sunday, March 04, 2007
The Sacred Bedroom
The Spirit of the Home (if you like this one, she's done more)
Everyday Sacred (Gawpo, even though you're not a chick, this one makes me think of you. She's a potter, for one thing. Dunno whether she's hairy or not, though. ^_^)
Friday, March 02, 2007
I'm having a bit of a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that it's already March. As Mollusc said the other day, "where did the new year go?!?" Next month we'll already be 1/4 of the way through. Zoiks!
I got my new review book 2 days ago, and it is fascinating! It's The Shakespeare Code by Virginia Fellows. I will confess that I am not a huge non-fiction reader, and I was a little dubious about taking this one, but the description made me curious. At first I wasn't even certain that it was non-fiction. And I was still highly skeptical about the assertions made by this book but decided it could be a fun read. Once it came, I found I didn't want to put it down. By about 13 pages in, I was sold. I find myself unable to stop reading bits aloud to GuTTer MuNKi, who, thankfully, finds it just as insteresting as I do (or does a good job of pretending) and claims to want to read it when I'm done. This one's getting a rave review for sure. :)
Today's Question is this: what would you do if you could pull it off? I'm not talking saving the world kind of stuff, but more mundane, trivial little things. Personally, I'd whack all my hair off like Meg Ryan's (maybe not the lawnmower cut from Kate and Leopold, but one of the short ones) or even pull a Sinead or Brittney if it was August. ^_^ And (not necessarily in conjuction with said haircut) I would buy (and wear) this. Oh and these. How about you?