December 29, 2004

I'm still in DC.

Hello, kiddies.
Still here at my parents' house in DC. I'm waiting for people to finish showering so I can get in the shower myself. Yeah, that's right, I'm stinking right now. It's been a good trip so far. We were lucky because my husband didn't have to work half a day before we left, so we were able to get on the road at an early hour. We're actually heading to Baltimore today to visit with my aunt. I don't get to see her too often, so this will be a way to get some quality time in. I wish I had something really exciting to talk about, but I don't. I've been sleeping a lot, which for me is exciting. My daughter has just walked into the room. I'll ask her a question.

KC: How are you enjoying vacation?

Little KC: Happily. You could kill an ox with this (she says about the pencil she has just sharpened.)

The child has left the building. So, really, I'm just wasting some time right now. We'll probably have our New Year's dinner on Friday because we want to hit the road on Saturday so we can rest a day before it's back to the daily grind. My brother and his new fiancee are here, as well. Everyone is excited about the engagement and the wedding next year. They haven't set a date yet, but they know it'll be next year sometime. I got my hair cut the other day, that's pretty exciting too. Well, I guess that's about it for now. I really wish I had something witty to say.

December 23, 2004

Last day.

So here I am sitting in my office with nothing to do. Magazine's out the door. Checks have been deposited. So, I'm just sitting here. Doing nothing but sitting. Did I mention I'm just sitting here? The good thing is I only have to stick around until noon or so. Then I can go home and clean the house before we take off for DC. There's a major storm heading through our part of the country and it's heading east. I hope most of it is cleaned-up by the time we have to hit the roads. One year, when my sister still lived in Madison, WI, which is only about four hours from South Bend, we were driving up for Christmas. There was a bad snow storm that day and, in the end, it took us twelve hours to get to her house. My daughter was only a couple of months old and if you wanna talk about a sucky-ass road trip, that was it. We actually ended up passing my parents on the road, who had driven from DC. That ended up being a good thing because my father got a flat tire in the last stretch of the trip when we were on the back roads to my sister's house. If we hadn't been with them, who knows how long it would've taken them to finally get to my sister's house. So you see, God's always looking out for you. Anyway, I am hoping that tomorrow doesn't prove a reprise of that fateful night. We have to swing past Cleveland to pick up my brother from his girlfriend's parents' house. If we get to my parents' house by midnight, we're going to feel fortunate. The reason we'll be hitting the road so late is because my husband still has to work half a day at the bank.

I was wathcing a little of Chris Rock on HBO as I was getting ready this morning. He's so funny, but so nasty. Why does every other word out of his mouth have to be fuck or mother-fucker or whatever? You should be sparse with the fucks. You know, you just sprinkle them in for flavor, like salt. Too much ruins the meal. I'm not a prude or anything when it comes to swearing, but, damn, it is possible to go overboard. Anywho, it's probably going to be awhile before I make another post, so Merry Christmas everyone. Drive safe and don't drink too much eggnog. Peace.

December 22, 2004

G.I. Christmas greeting.

My friend Kristen sent this to me and it was much too good to keep to myself. I LOVE military folk because they are in a class all their own. And this time, I'm not being sarcastic. Enjoy.

Time to kick back.

I finished packaging my other magazine yesterday, so it sits in a tidy bundle on my desk awaiting the printer for pick-up. If you've been keeping count, that means both my journals are out the door and ready to roll. The university doesn't close down until Friday, so I've got to still come in and sit at my desk for appearances. Not that I'm complaining too much about it. It's kind of like being on break already because no one's going to bother me because no one is here. Just us poor working stiffs.

While our daughter is gone, my husband and I have taken the opportunity to rent movies we can't normally rent while she's home. And, no, I'm not talking about Debbie Does Dallas, you pervs. I'm talking about R-rated movies for the most part. Things like horror or action or the really boring adult films where most of the movie relies on you paying attention to the dialogue to know what's going on. I will confess that I also rented Princess Diaries 2, which is something I could have rented anyway, but that was the only one. I swear it. All the rest are completely inappropriate for small children. Although, this does bring to mind the time my brother, husband and I went to watch Blade 2 in the theaters and while we were sitting there, we happened to notice a father walking his six- or seven-year-old daughter up the aisle to go to the bathroom or whatever. I don't know if you've all seen Blade 2, but it's incredibly violent and incredibly gory. So it goes without saying that we were all pretty disgusted by the idea that there was a father who thought this was a good movie to bring his very young kid. You know how they say you need to pass a test to be able to drive but any idiot can be a parent? Well, this was an instance of someone needing to have taken a test before having a child. I have to imagine she was terrified watching this movie. Actually, it made me really angry and I wanted to go up to him and ask him what the hell he could have possibly been thinking to bring his daughter to that movie.

What's funny about our daughter, though, is that she's very good at policing herself. If one of us is watching television and she comes into the room she'll immediately ask, "Is this an appropriate show for me?" And, yes, she does use the word appropriate. Usually it's not and we have to change the channel to Nickelodeon or something. Damn kids always ruining our fun. I think it's funny.

December 21, 2004

We're so gauche.

Did something totally rude last night, but I'm really not feeling too bad about it. We stopped by my friend Elena's parents' house to drop off a panettone my husband made for Elena's sister, Ana. Now the reason we stopped at their parents' house is because we knew the whole family would be there for a birthday dinner that they were having for Ana. We'd already given a panettone to Elena and her parents, we were just dropping off the one for her sister. Now, I knew they were having a nice, home-cooked Italian meal and I knew they'd probably invite us to eat. My husband said that we should just leave, but I wanted to eat some of that good Italian food, so when they asked, I said, "Sure." So rude and tactless, I know. But there's something about home-made Italian food that makes me not care about manners. It ended up being a really nice evening, for me and my husband, anyway. I'm feeling a little guilty this morning about barging in on a family night, but the food was so good. And if you could eat Elena's mom's cooking, you'd understand. Of course, I won't ever tell my mom about this because she'd be angry that I did something so uncouth as to conveniently show up at dinnertime to someone's house and then stay to eat.

December 20, 2004

Exciting News.

My brother finally proposed to his girlfriend over the weekend. Yesterday, to be exact. Yesterday evening, to be even more exact. I knew it was coming because he told me his plan, but it's still exciting now that he's asked and she's accepted. So soon I'll have a new sister-in-law. But first, I will be taking her out for "the talk" when we get back home. The talk I am speaking about is not a sex talk or anything because, ewww, why would I want to talk to someone about sex with my brother? No, this will be the talk about how to function as an American in a Korean, or at least partly, Korean family. More importantly, what it means to be a daughter-in-law with a Korean mother-in-law. Sons are very, very special to Korean mothers and my mother's son happens to also be the baby of the family. A lot of baggage with that one. I'm not criticizing or anything, my brother's girlfriend will just have to be able to handle certain things in a way that she probably hasn't expected. I don't want to say Korean mothers-in-law are pushy or bossy or intrusive or anything like that because that seems harsh (even if it's a little true), but they definitely expect a certain level of respect and a certain level of being listened to. In the old days, daughters-in-law usually became a sort of slave to their mothers-in-law. I'm not saying that's good or anything, in fact, I think it sucks, but this is the tradition that we're operating with--that the husband's mother will have supreme say. My mother grew up in a culture where this was the expectation in the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship. My mother doesn't really expect to exert this much control over my brother and his girlfriend after they get married, but you know, there's a cultural identity that's buried deep beneath the surface of each of us that can never be erased no matter where we end up as adults and how we're expected to act by society at large. So, I'll have to take my future sister-in-law out to lunch and basically explain to her that she can't take any of it personally and she's just going to have to let most of it roll off her back. But let me reiterate, it's not because my mother will be a monster to her, but I think she'll expect to be able to say what she wants without too much dissent. I know, I know, doesn't sound fair that my brother's girlfriend has to be the one to bend. But in the end, it will make life soooooooooooo much easier. Really, trust me on this one.

December 18, 2004

The vacation before vacation.

It's 4:20 am. What the hell am I doing on the computer? I don't normally get on so early, but I woke up at 3:30 am because I went to bed at 8:00 pm, and my body obviously thinks it's had enough sleep. I woke up and then couldn't go back to sleep because I started thinking about the stuff I have to do today: wrap my mom's birthday present, write a letter to the mailman telling him when to stop our mail, get the Christmas package for my sister's family together. You know how it goes. Anyway, we're taking our daughter up to Chicago today because my mom is flying in to take her back to DC. That's where we'll be this Christmas, but my daughter's school ended yesterday and my husband and I don't start our vacation for another week, so my mom's going to get the kid a week early. Good for us because it means life will be a little less hectic as we finish up this last week of work before the holidays. I'm also grateful for my mother getting the child because it will save me a week's worth of child care money. Woo hoo. I can, of course, then spend money saved on presents, which is good for the kid. She's starting to want high-ticket items now and it definitley changes the way you look at shopping. She wants things like video games, dragon playsets and whatnot, so the number of items under the tree will probably be less. That's not a bad thing as far as I'm concerned.

When I was a kid, I remember my parents would tell us we could ask Santa for two things and that was it. So the one year I asked for a bionic woman doll, her inflatible dome house and her control panel, and that was ONE gift and for the second I wanted some board game. I don't remember the name but it was the one with a little dome in the middle with a die in it and you had to push down on the dome to get your dice roll. I mainly wanted it because you had to push that thing down and that seemed really cool to me in the commercials. Anyway, my parents gave it all to me, which is cool because they could have definitely said the bionic woman doll was just one thing. I remember the Christmas in third grade was kind of a bummer because my dad was stationed in Germanyy and we were still in Georgia waiting until we could go over, too, and we each only got one gift that year. It didn't seem like Christmas anyway without my father there. I don't know if the reason we only could get one gift was because we didn't have as much money as usual with my dad out of the country, but it was a sparse year all the way around, that's for sure. Not that it bothers me now or anything, but I remember being disappointed then. But that's life. The next year was a more normal Christmas because we were in Germany with our dad by then.

December 16, 2004

Eight shopping days left.

Are you done with your Christmas shopping? I'm not. I'm planning on finishing up this weekend. When did Christmas shopping become such a drag? I used to really enjoy it. In general, I used to enjoy shopping a lot more than I do now, but something about Christmas shopping has become particularly gruesome to me. It's not that I don't like getting things for people I love. In fact, that's the only part of Christmas shopping that I enjoy anymore. I really love doing something that I'm hoping will bring a little bit of joy into the lives of my friends and family. I just hate the crowds because they add more time to whole process. I hate being crammed in with so many other people. Crazy people, as it were. Christmas shopping makes people crazy. The same kind of crazy you always find in Price Club shoppers. That frantic I've-got-to-get-this-before-you-do kind of shopper. Shopping in Price Club can be a contact sport if you keep an eye out for the people around you because if you see something you like, you better grab it because it probably won't be there the next time you go. So, everyone goes crazy thinking they've got to get that thing, whatever it is. When it comes to getting the gifts for my daughter, we've told her she writes her letter to Santa and then he decides which of the items on her list he'll give her. I wrote that into the contract as my get out of jail for free clause because I DO NOT want to be in the situation where I'm schleping from place to place trying to find the only remaining Cabbage Patch doll in town. I refuse to do that. The parents who do that sort of thing think they'll be destryong their children's belief in Santa Claus if they don't get every freaking thing on their lists, but what they don't realize is that they created that unreasonable expectation in their kids by letting them think that's the way Santa operates. We made it clear from the get-go that Santa never brings everything on the list, and that, really, the letter is just a list of suggestions for Santa so that he knows he's on the right page. It's worked pretty well so far. I have to say, as a sidenote, that I really appreciated the North Pole scenes in the movie Elf where all the Christmas elves are making things like Barbie, Etch-a-Sketch and Monopoly. That was a brilliant way to explain to kids why Santa brings toys like the ones in the stores.

December 15, 2004

Yes, I have an awful lot of time today.

This one's here for my daughter.

Harry Potter!!!

Created by KrYpToNiTe64 and taken 537 times on bzoink!

Do you know who Harry Potter is?yes
What are the first and last names of Harry's two best friends?Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger
Do you know what the name of Harry's godfather is?Sirius Black
Do you think the aforementioned godfather is hot?Are you talking about Gary Oldman, then yes.
How many brothers and sisters does Ron have?five brothers and one sister
Who is Percy Weasley's boss?Corneilius Fudge
Who is Dolores Umbridge?Evil defense against the dark arts teacher at Hogwarts
Who does Harry have a crush on until the fifth book?Cho Chang
How many movies have been made based on the Harry Potter series so far?three
What is the incantation for the levitation spell?wengardium levioso (I'm guessing majorly on the spelling.)
What feature does Harry have that is a mark of the curse he repelled?lightning bolt scar
What is a bowtruckle?a tree-dwelling, pixish sort of creature
Which three people can see thestrals?Harry, Luna Lovegood and Hagrid
Who wrote the Harry Potter books?JK Rowling

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What do you think?

I just sent one of my magazines to the printer, so I obviously have a lot of time on my hands right now. Anyway, it's Christmas. Cut me some slack.

What is your stand on.....

Created by spyndakitrose and taken 16975 times on bzoink!

Abortion?Don't advocate abortion but believe every woman should make that decision for herself.
Death Penalty?I'm for it, for the most part.
Prostitution?I don't really think about it. Obviously it's a career choice that involves a lot of potential danger. I think most people involved don't want to be.
Alcohol?I don't have a problem with alcohol.
Marijuana?I don't think it's a good thing and people should abstain.
Other drugs?Same as with mariijuana
Gay marriage?I don't have a problem with it/
Illegal immigrants?They shouldn't be allowed to stay. They're too much of a drain on our system.
Smoking?Don't do it and don't like it when people do.
Drunk driving?Sure everyone should drive drunk. Psych!
Cloning?I think it's pretty dangerous territory and humans are too stupid and too greedy and too blind to ever make it a good idea.
Racism?Don't believe in it. I've been on the receiving end too many times.
Premarital sex?Well, I'd be a hypocrite if I said it was wrong.
Religion?I think religion is important.
The war in Iraq?I don't think it's a bad thing that Sadam is out of power.
Bush?I think he's doing the best he can. It's easy to criticize when you're not the person having to make the decsions.
Downloading music?I don't have a problem with it personally, but I understand musicians are getting under compensated for their work and that sucks.
The legal drinking age?I think it should be 18 because everything else that legally constitutes "adulthood" is doable at 18.
Porn?There's obviously a lot of hurtfull porn (child porn, snuff films, etc.), but generally I think adults should be able to watch what they want (as long as it's not illegal, such as with child porn and snuff films. I'm talking about the mainstream type of porn that involves consenting adults. )
Suicide?It's wrong and people who commit suicide are carrying out a very selfish act.

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I'd say that's average.

How many people hate you?

Created by KerianaWilliams and taken 14955 times on bzoink!

Favourite colour?
People that hate you:370
You willl be murdered because people hate you.False

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Considering how many billions of people there are on the planet, I don't think 370 is sooooo bad.

December 13, 2004

The horror, the horror.

What can I say about the Christmas concert? This is where I'll direct you to the title of today's post. The little kids (which consisted of grades K-5) were fine because they just sounded like a bunch of little kids singing. You know what that sounds like. However, it was an entirely different thing altogether for the sixth- through eighth-graders. The music teacher obviously thought that she could make the higher grades sound like actual choirs. You know, where they're split into parts--alto, soprano, tenor, baritone, etc. Wrong, so wrong. I sang in choirs pretty much my entire way through school, and I now know with complete understanding why you must actually try out for choir. I've never truly understood until now that sharps and flats and everything else thrown in together actually produces noise, not music. Not only that, it's painful noise. It hurts your ears. I don't want to put these kids down because I don't think it's their fault they didn't sound good. They looked miserable up there and it was really interesting listening to cheerful music sung with all the enthusiasm of a funeral dirge. That music teacher obviously has watched Sister Act too many times and thought, hey, if Whoopie can do it... Ok, that's why it's a movie. That can't really happen in real life. You can't actually take a group of kids who can't sing and make them sound good. I'll be curious to see if next year's concert follows in a similar vein.

December 10, 2004

O Tanenbaum, O Tanenbaum...

Well tonight is the night that we live through that most joyous of joyous holiday events--the school Christmas concert. This is actually our first Christmas concert as parents and it should be really interesting. All the kids are just singing, it's not a play or anything, but it should still be interesting. This is the first year the school has done this because they have a new music teacher this year. She's a little Nazi-like in her determination to pull off this little shindig, but what the hey? Let's see what Frau Musiklehrerin can do. She's certainly been cracking the whip at practice from what my daughter tells, so I hope she's satisfied with the results of her hard work. Although, I'm a little worried that she hasn't truly taken into consideration that kids on stage always result in some tragic or embarrassing mishap. For sure, someone's going to fall off the risers. But only after someone else makes the rest of the carolers on stage laugh by farting in tune with Silent Night. I really have high hopes for this evening. Of course, this all assumes she actually gets as far as starting the performace. She wants all the parents to drop the kids off at the auditorium two hours before the concert so she can have a dress rehearsal. She doesn't want the parents to stay or anything. She just wants us to drop the kids off and then come back when it's time for the concert to start. Apparently some of the teachers will be there for crowd control, but something deep inside of me tells me this woman has no idea what she's getting herself into by having all those kids (who will be bouncing off the walls with excitement over their upcoming performance) in a confined space for two hours. If the curtains are still hanging when the show finally begins, I'll be really surprised.

December 09, 2004

Don't go chasing waterfalls.

I don't buy the shy part. So unique that I am completely beyond your understanding? Oh yeah, that's totally on.

?? Which Natural Wonder Or Disaster Are You ??
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Boiling Point.

I was flipping through the channels the other day when I happened upon a show on MTV called Boiling Point. The entire conceit of this show seems to be how quickly one can piss off a stranger for no apparent good reason. Sure, it's an interesting sociological study on human reaction, but, really, it's just televising how to be an ass. I only watched it long enough to see what was going on and I have to say I found it somewhat disturbing that this is what passes for entertainment nowadays. Now, I like to push buttons. I'm a big one for saying random shit just to see how people will react, but I try to come clean pretty quickly if I see that someone is confused or totally put off by whatever it is I'm saying or doing. It's really a sort of litmus test so I can determine if the person I am engaging is worth my time. The ones who can sense right away that I'm full of crap are the ones who pass the test. The ones who take me seriously and don't get that I'm joking are the uptight wads I don't really care to get to know any better. But, I would never, never continue to play with a person to the point where they are genuinely upset. That's just wrong. Why do you want to put that kind of energy into the world? So, I do find it disturbing that there are shows that make a point of getting people so agitated. I think they're trying to play off the tradition of Candid Camera, but it just doesn't work for me.

December 08, 2004

You're a blockhead, Charlie Brown.

I was in bed reading to my daughter last night when my husband called up saying that A Charlie Brown Christmas was on and would it be alright to let her miss her bedtime to watch it. I said OK and we went down to all watch it. It's probably the only Christmas special I'd let her miss bedtime to watch just because it very directly presents what Christmas is really about. My husband says it was his favorite Christmas special when he was a kid. Personally, I liked all the Rankin-Bass stop-action shows. Charlie Brown was OK, but I'd get bored when Linus did his little schpeal about the meaning of Christmas, mainly because I didn't really understand what he was talking about. So while we're all sitting there watching it, I wondered what sort of perceptions my daughter would have about it. My husband asked afterward what the show had been about and she said that it was saying Christmas was about Jesus' birthday. Now, it's been a long time since I've actually seen the Charlie Brown Christmas show and I have to say it's amazing watching it as an adult because you don't realize how much of it is over your head when you're a kid. All the psychiatric help stuff that Lucy was offering Charlie Brown was something I NEVER got as a kid. But, of course, how could I? It also made me realize how low our expectations have dropped over the years, as far as what we try to tell our children. Obviously, the people making the Charlie Brown Christmas show didn't think there was anything odd about writing the things they wrote. They expected children to get it. Today, we've dumbed down everything and we wonder why Johnny can't read. I'm not trying to get on my high-horse or anything (but of course I will) but we really just don't get anything anymore. I'm sure most kids watching that show today don't really get how harsh a criticism it presents against commercialism and I'm kind of shocked by how relevant the message still is. I'm shocked because we're the generation that lost that message in the first place and created what we've got today.

December 07, 2004

Hi, we're here in...Tuesday.

The child is at work with me again today. They closed her school because our priest's mother died and they're having her funeral today. They figured many staff and faculty member would want to attend the services, so they closed school. Good for the kid, but only so-so for me. My daughter is taking the opportunity of this day off to make new Pokemon cards for herself. She is currently drawing the picture of one of her original Pokemon, which she will name Pup. It does look doglike as a see it now. She says it's a puppy with a saddle because one often wants to ride a puppy. And it's likes those kind of dogs that have the long, long fur that drags behind them, she says. She forgets what its name is. And he has his tongue sticking out because he always has it sticking out. We'll put a picture up here as soon as she finished drawing it, and then you can be amazed by her awesome talent at creating Pokemon. Don't cry, only a special few are granted this ability. It's just not you. Here's her Pokemon card.

December 06, 2004

Really, I don't care about ND football, but...

So, the mighty Urban Meyer is going to Florida and I say, "BRRWWPT (sound of a rasberry)," to Notre Dame. Serves you right and I am laughing the deep, satisfied laugh of the smug and vindicated. Not going to find a bit of sympathy from me. I've been doing a little reading of viewer comments posted on a local news station's website and it would seem most people don't approve of ND's firing of Ty Willingham. Most of the people who commented seemed to echo similar sentiments to those I've already expressed here. Willingham wasn't given enough time to prove what he could really do and the University only cares about the almighty dollar. Despite how it might appear from the outside, this is "supposed" to still be a Catholic institution. It's "supposed" to be concerned with something higher than money and its ill-gotten gains. Whatever. Now I understand in this country and in this culture, higher education is big business. I've got to wonder about football, though, in terms of its place in higher education. Do you have football programs to try and support the educational goals and desires of a university or do you have a football program to support the football program? Maybe I'm just really clueless on this because I really, really, really don't know why football is soooooooooo important to this country in general. Just like I don't understand why soccer is sooooooooo important to the rest of the world. I mean, if anything, all it displays is the primal human urge to claim territory. Just something to thump our chests about. This might all sound strange coming from a person who has degrees from two schools with very large football traditions, traditions I've enjoyed participating in to a certain extent. But, you know, it is just a game. Deal with it. There are more important things in life.

December 03, 2004

Another word on Ty Willingham.

I like this editorial. Willingham It sums up pretty nicely why the decision to let him go leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As I mentioned in my last post on the subject, I think it was a decision motivated entirely by money. So read the editorial and make up your own minds.

December 02, 2004

Kids! Can't kill 'em and beating 'em doesn't work.

I've been exchanging e-mails over the past couple of days with my friend who told me that her 7-year-old son invited some friends to come over for Thanksgiving dinner, only to be told they'd only come if it was going to be a party with naked girls or nearly-naked girls. It seems they wanted some boobage to cast their eyes upon. Then these boys wanted to later take these topless beauties in the bedroom to enthrall them with their 7-year-old sex skills. Needless to say, my friend was somewhat disgusted and dumbfounded that boys that young would even know about stuff like that. Of course, I'm using the word "know" very, very loosely. She complained that it seems like just yesterday that she held her little baby boy and fed him and changed his diaper and now, all of a sudden, he's a pig just like the rest of them. I told her I think the whole tit fascination MUST stem from some fond infantile breastfeeding memory. I mean, really, what else can it be? We women, we don't get why men think boobs are such a big deal. We compare it to looking at your scrotum and can't understand what's so great. Anyway, I told her while her sweet little boy is dreaming of sexing up the ladies, my sweet little girl is practicing unmanning them. If you ask her what to do if a boy bothers her, she says, "Kick them in the wiener." And she says it with a lot of passion and gusto and a real bloodlust that, I must confess, scares even me a little. I really think she's just waiting for the opportunity to have a legitimate reason to knock a couple of balls into the top of some poor boy's mouth. I think the main reason for this is that I've told her this is a last-resort, self-defense technique. This is to be used in the event that she is in real physical danger and not to be done if the boy does something stupid like pull a ponytail. So she understands that slamming the nuts hurts, and that it hurts badly. I think she wants to see just how badly it hurts. You know, she wants to know if it will really make a boy puke his guts out from pain. It's really just scientific curiosity, but I'm a little frightened for the boy who does her wrong.

December 01, 2004

You're gonna go and fire the man at CHRISTMAS TIME?!?!

So they fired Ty Willingham. At the risk of coming across as actually caring about Notre Dame football, I'm going to say a few things about this anyway. First of all, I am really disappointed by the news of Willingham's dismissal, primarily because it says something about the state of the current American university system that I don't like: It's all about the money, baby. Now, what I find particularly irritating about this situation is that we lowly employees have only been getting 1.5% salary increase over the last few years because "there's not enough money" to give higher increases. But there doesn't seem to be any financial repercussions involved with coughing up the few million dollars the university will have to give Willingham for firing him before his contract was up. I don't begrudge Willingham a cent of that money, I do resent being told that the university with the country's largest endowment doesn't have the cash to pay its employees a decent rate. That burns my butt.

Secondly, I don't think Willingham got a fair shake. Whether or not the board of trustees wants to believe it, it does take longer than three seasons to build a strong football program. Let's see, three years was just enough time for Willingham to get through the last of Davie's recruits and to just start developing his own recruits. I don't know about the average observer, but I'm saying that doesn't seem like enough time to show what you can really do. And I am the average obverser. Actually, I'm probably the sub-average observer because I don't really care about football in the whole scheme of things.

Third, Willingham seemed like a real decent guy to me. Someone who realized football is just a game, but leaving with a good education is something that lasts a lifetime. Maybe I have that wrong, but I dont' think so. He seemed like a real guy to me. I'd see him biking up campus to practice with his clipboard in hand. I liked that because it showed that he considered himself just an ordinary guy. I like ordinary people. I think the powers that be should have at least given him the length of his contract.

I'm also a little sensitive to this because there are similar sorts of concerns whirling around Joe Pa at Penn State. I like Joe Pa. I met him when I was in college and I know he's a decent guy. Joe Pa IS Penn State football and people who are saying he should be booted out because we're not winning as much as we should are jerks. Joe Pa has earned the right to walk away when he chooses. I don't care how many games we lose from now until then. He's done right by the football players he's guided over the years and he's done right by the university, as far as I'm concerned. You don't turn your back on loyalty like that. But, of course, money means too much for some people to worry about common decency. Well, you can suck my ass, you greedy bastards.

November 29, 2004

Turkey DTs.

Here we are, the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Ugh, I feel sluggish from too much food. Thanksgiving was OK. We were here. I invited over one of my grad students who wasn't going to be able to go home, so it was a pretty low-key day. I did the typical turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gruyere brussel sprouts, pumpkin and peach pies. Everything turned out OK. The only glich was that it took forever for the turkey to cook for some unknown reason. It was only 15 lbs, but it took like eight hours to cook. I put it in the oven at 10:00 am and it wasn't ready until about 6:00pm. It was thawed, so I can't figure it out. But it tasted good so it was alright, I suppose. Although, we were measuring doneness by temperature, so the updates were something like, "Only seven more degrees to go." It was a Jennie O turkey. We didn't wait for the pop-up thing, I just started measuring temperature because I started thinking the pop-up thing was broken. As it turns out, it probably wasn't because it took eight hours to reach 180.

Indiana is an interesting state when it comes to holidays that are usually accompanied by outdoor decorations. I have never lived anywhere where the people seem so keen on putting plastic figures and lights all over their yards and houses. Any holiday where they can get away with it, they do it. I mean people have been putting up Christmas decorations around here since Halloween. When I was growing up, we didn't put the tree up until a couple of weeks before Christmas. We probably won't get our tree up until this weekend, which makes us pretty late in these parts. We only started putting up our tree so early because our daughter sees everyone else with their Christmas trees, so she wants ours up. If it weren't for her, we'd probably just wait until a couple of weeks ahead of time. Although, my husband is really into Christmas decorations too. I suppose they're nice, but it takes so much time to put everything up.

Yesterday was the last offical day to sell Girl Scout cookies. We sold a total of 152 boxes. We made one last go at the neighborhood yesterday, but a lot of people were gone. So we chucked it in after a couple of blocks. We only sold nine boxes yesterday. My favorite rejection was from this guy who answers the door in his slippers and a dirty Notre Dame sweatshirt and says, while patting his stomach, he's on a diet and better not buy any. Yeah, he really looked like someone who gave two shits about his appearance. As we walked away from his door my daughter said, "Mom, I should have told him about the reduced fat cookies." Yeah, that would have done it.

My Uncle PG's funeral was Saturday. I haven't had a chance to talk to my father yet and ask how it went, but it makes me sad to think about it. When someone is around for such a long time, it's hard to realize that they're just not there.

November 24, 2004

Gobble, gobble.

Well, it's the day before Thanksgiving and I've got the kid in the office with me today. Her school is closed, so she had to come in with me. She thinks it's fun, but it's kind of a drag for me only because she wants to be entertained and work isn't very entertaining. She's over at the typewriter writing a story right now. It's about cats and dogs and mice. It's a thrilling epic of love, hate and revenge. She's got something about an airplane in there too. Don't know how that one fits in. I'm going to interview her now.

KC: So, Sweetie, what's the meaning of life?

Little KC: I don't know.

KC: Why not?

Little KC: Yes, I do.

KC: What is it, then?

Little KC: I don't know what the answer for that is.

KC: What are you going to eat tomorrow?

Little KC: Oh, turkey. Hey, I wasn't realizing that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

KC: Why is it soooooo hard getting you to eat?

Little KC: Stop bugging me.

KC: Why? Don't you think this is fun?

Little KC: It would be fun if you stopped annoying me.

KC: How am I annoying you?

Little KC: Because you just are!

KC: So, what would make this fun?

Little KC: If you left me alone.

KC: You already said that.

Little KC: I know, I'm saying it again. Really, stop copying what I'm saying, RRRRRR. Now you've done it. Really, it's a pain in the neck. (Squeezes my arm and growls.) Stop it, would you?

KC: So, what's going on in your life lately?

Little KC: Will you please stop annoying me?

KC: Uh, no, I don't believe I will.

Little KC: I'm trying to do something here.

KC: What?

Little KC: I'm trying to write the story, I'm asking the questions what to do and then you call me over here to do this silly piece of paper.

KC: This is a story too.

Little KC: No it isn't. It's a silly little piece of paper.

KC: It's the story of our day here.

Little KC: No it isn't.

KC: Stop screaming, we're at work.

Little KC: I'm not screaming.

KC: Stop speaking loudly, then.

Little KC: I'm speaking loudly because you're giving me a pain in the tooshy.

KC: Is that the proper way to speak to your mother?

Little KC: Yes, when she's annoying me.

KC: Time out.

Little KC: Do I really get a time out?

KC: No, I'm just playing with you.

Little KC: (Bangs head on chair.) I'm standing here because you are giving me a headache.

KC: Well, let's talk about something that interests you.

Little KC: The only thing that interests me is that you help me make my story.

KC: I was telling our audience a little about your story earlier. Do you want to share anything more about it?

Little KC: That's supposed to be private and we don't have any audience.

KC: Sure we do. The one other person who reads this blog.

Little KC: That's it, I'm going to erase this thing.

November 22, 2004

Sweet dreams, Uncle PG.

I found out yesterday that my Uncle PG died over the weekend. He's actually my great-Uncle PG, but Uncle PG is the only way I've known him my entire life. He was 84, I think, and basically his body just didn't have anymore energy left. I really love my Uncle PG because he's the closest thing to a grandparent I've ever known. He's my dad's uncle on his mother's side. Both my dad's parents died before I was born, so I never knew them. My mom's mother died when I was six and before I'd ever met her. As I've mentioned before, my mom is Korean and her mother lived in Korea, so I never got the chance to meet her. Although, I'm sure she knew me in utero because I was conceived in Korea, but my parents left for the states a couple of months before I born. The only grandparent I've ever met was my grandfather on my mother's side. He came to live with us for a little while when I was little. My mother was sponsoring most of her Korean relatives during my primary years so they could get American citizenship. Anyway, my grandfather came to live with us for awhile. But despite having lived with him, it wasn't a typical grandparent/grandchild relationship because he didn't speak English, so communication was a little difficult, and he was in poor health, so he really couldn't do much. We used to play a Korean card game all the time, though. And I remember that being a lot of fun. Anyway, so my Uncle PG is the closest thing I've ever had to a real grandparent. And he was great. He had so much energy and love for life and you couldn't help but smile and feel good when you were around him. He loved polka music and we'd sing songs like the Pennsylvania Polka together on the few times we got to see him. I'm glad to know he's up there looking out for us and I'm glad to know that he's not suffering any longer, but this life is losing something really special in him because he's the kind of spirit that reminds us life is supposed to be enjoyed and not endured. Even though I didn't get to see him nearly as often as I would've liked to, I am really going to miss him and his joie de vivre and his child-like wonderment at everything he saw. He was the kind of man about whom people would say, "They broke the mold after they made him." And that's the God's-honest truth. He was one of a kind. So, I love you, Uncle PG. Take care up there.

November 17, 2004

Hello, old friend.

Here's something interesting--I'm experiencing something I haven't felt in an awfully long time. I am currently experiencing work-related nervousness. I used to feel this all the time when I was still working as a journalist. The nervousness of knowing my deadline was approaching and I didn't have the story written. I always had the story in time for the deadline, but that doesn't stop the nervousness. So here I am feeling it again. The magazine, in my mind, is supposed to go out at a certain time and due to the straggling of other people involved in the process of getting the magazine out, I'm not feeling confident about the magazine making the deadline. It's one thing when it's my own laziness that makes me nervous. It's something altogether different when people not being on the ball cause the nerves to jangle. In a lot of ways, I don't consider what I do right now real work because it's not the most important thing in my life. I don't think "work" should ever be the most important thing in a person's life, but I know it is for some people. At any rate, it's not work that satisfies me in any personal, meaningful way. Which makes it particularly vexing for me that I should feel any agitation because of stuff happening here.

On a lighter note, the weather's been kinda crappy the last couple of days so we haven't been able to get out to sell cookies. I swear I'm more into this entire thing than my daughter. I think she was done after the first couple of times out. But I REALLY want to sell at least 200 boxes.

November 15, 2004

You can kiss my cherry ass.

A friend sent me this picture. I think it's pretty funny. I wonder why they don't sell it at Successories.

Anywho, it's been kinda busy at work, hence the lack of posts over the last few days. Well, I never post over the weekend, so that's the reason why there was no post on Friday. I still have a lot of work to do, but I do have an adoring public I must satisfy. Sent the husband out with the daughter on Saturday to sell cookies and they only sold three boxes. Our total is up to 128 now, I think. I told my daughter we'll hit it again today after school. I actually had one acquaintance refuse to buy cookies. I couldn't believe it. She broke the golden rule of buying crap from other people's children: Buy something because, eventually, your kid is gonna have sell some stupid shit for school that nobody wants. Tit for tat. That's the way it works. When I told my husband, he said, "Well, they better not come asking us to buy anything." See? It's a major rule. It's not good to go upsetting the natural order of things by not forking over a few bucks. And, besides, they're girl scout cookies. Who doesn't like girl scout cookies? That's akin to not liking apple pie or cheeseburgers. It's un-American, I tell ya.

November 11, 2004

Read 'em and weep.

So how many boxes of girl scout cookies have we sold after our first official day? 104 boxes, baby. Now how's that? We are the cookie-selling queens of the world. We've still got 2 1/2 weeks and an entire neighborhood to go. We RULE, that's all I can say about that. My husband's off work today because of Veterans Day. Lucky bastard. I remember getting all those holidays off when I worked for the government, but those days are long gone now. Ho hum. My daughter has diarrhea. I know that's probably not the sort of thing you all want to know about, but what can I say? Shit happens. Bwa, ha, ha. Get it? Shit happens? But, seriously, she does have diarrhea. Last night she was on the toilet, bent over, going, "Mom, you do not know how bad I feel."

I said, "Yes, honey, I do know how bad you feel."

"No, Mom. You don't. I think I'm going to throw up."

She didn't throw up and she started feeling better once she got everything out, so to speak. But she had another couple of episodes this morning while getting ready for school. I've already gotten a call from the school nurse telling me she's complaining of stomach pain, so I told her to send her to the bathroom. We'll see how it goes. At any rate, she'll have a couple of days to recover before we hit the pavement to sell cookies. I'm going to wait until the weekend before we do our serious selling. More daylight and people are home.

November 10, 2004

I'm all used up.

I just finished writing the yearly Christmas letter, and doing it used up all my creativity for the day. I only have a limited amount, you know. I've got to go to the gym and run now. Perhaps that will put some creativity back into me and then I'll have something interesting to say tomorrow.

November 09, 2004

Cookies? Did someone say cookies?

Well, tomorrow is the offical beginning of girl scout cookie selling season. My daughter, having bridged over to Brownies this year, gets to sell those little nuggets of heaven for the first time. She's pretty excited. She's been practicing her sales pitch: "Excuse me, would like to buy some delicious girl scout cookies from me so my troop can do fun things?"

Then I say, "Uh, what kind of cookies do you have?"

Holding up her chart, "We have all these delicious cookies. We have chocolate and fat free cookies."

"Oh, fat free cookies?"

"Yeah." (Actually, they're reduced fat lemon coolers, but she's hyping the fatlessness to get some solid sales in.)

"Well, those sound delicious. I'll by seven boxes."

"Just sign your name here and thanks."

Anyway, she's pretty excited about the whole thing. She woke up this morning and said, "Mom, we are gonna stick this neighborhood!"

Since we've lived here, I've never had a girl scout come knocking on my door to sell cookies, so I told my daughter we're going to make out like bandits in this virgin territory. I hear about how the girls who live in the suburbs actually claim blocks of their neighborhoods, and any punk girl scout who crosses the line better watch her back. So I've told my daughter to keep the information about our apparently girl scoutless neighborhood on the down low. We don't want any outsiders infiltrating our hood.

On a much heavier note, I have my yearly "woman's" exam this afternoon. Yippee!! Ugh. I don't know if there's anything women dread more than the yearly pelvic exam. My doctor at least tries to make it a bearable experience by posting pictures of tropical destinations on the ceiling of the examination room. Yeah, it doesn't really help, but it's nice she thinks about it. People complain about dentists talking to you while you've got all that crap in your mouth. It's no more comfortable trying to have a conversation with someone shoving a great metal torture device up your twat, either. Sigh.

November 08, 2004

Supersize Me

I don't know if you've seen Supersize Me, the documentary by Morgan Spurlock, but if you haven't, go rent it now. Now, I say. How anyone could continue eating at fast food restaurants after seeing this film is beyond me. We all know it's bad for us, but we don't really know how bad it is. And it's really, really bad. After watching the film, I felt like I wanted to go run for two hours. If you are unfamiliar with the film, Mr. Spurlock documents his month of life eating nothing but food from McDonald's. There's other stuff thrown in there, but primarily, it's about how disgusting fast food is. I found this film particularly effective because I don't feel like Spurlock is proselytizing, trying to convince us to accept some other radical "superhealthy" diet. He asks a question and sets about trying to get the answer for it. In fact, he good-humoredly argues with his vegan chef girlfriend on why he is NOT going vegan. It's simple enough: He LOVES meat. But watching that movie really made me realize there is no reason to ever eat fast food again. After watching it, I had a talk with my daughter and explained to her why we are never eating at McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's or any other fast food joint for the rest of our lives. She wasn't too convinvced, but, hey, I've got the cash so there's not much she can do about it. Seriously, go rent the DVD and watch. If it doesn't completely alter your perceptions on the evils of fast food, then you've probably fallen asleep.

November 05, 2004

What the hell happened to us?

I've been having an interesting conversation with my friend Amanda through e-mail the last couple of days. What's interesting about it is it's a conversation I've also been having with other friends of mine who are roughly the same age as I. Apparently, modern 30-something wives and mothers are plagued by dissatisfaction. We feel like we're not realizing our full potential and feel like there's so much more still left out there for us and it's just out of our reach. I've concluded this funk is created by the fact that we're at an age where we assumed, when we were younger and idealistic, that we would have been a whole lot more than we think we actually are and we're frustrated by that. Add to that, the fact that we understand we're still young enough to pursue something that's got to be caught. We've been able to quiet that voice in the back of our heads while we've been raising our children, but they're in school now and we have some freedom of time not devoted to another person and it allows that voice to come back screaming like a banshee. The voice that yells, "You are more than this!"

I don't say any of this to discount the importance or meanigfulness of being mothers and wives. I'd have to think long and hard to come up with a job a woman could perform that is more important than being a mother. I'm not talking about having children, either. I'm talking about being a mother. But let's face it, mothering is an outwardly directed activity. It's about helping another person realize their full potential and find their place in the world. And we all feel like we still haven't figured out our own place to our complete satisfaction, so we sit here with a sense of emptiness and wanderlust. But it's not all doom and gloom, my friends. I've started writing again and I've started sending stories out again and I've been thinking about that book inside of me that's still got to come out. So for all my sister mothers and wives out there, as corny as it sounds, tomorrow is another day and we've still got plenty of time to be the next big thing we're supposed to be. Only the decision to do something stands between us and the future we want.

November 04, 2004

Stop your crying, will you?

I don't understand the shock Kerry supporters seem to be experiencing right now. There was a 50-50 chance your candidate would win and he didn't. That's the end of it. It doesn't mean you live in an America where everyone but you is blind to the state of the nation. It means you live in a country where more people disagree than agree with your notion of the state of the nation. That's it. So stop your whining and figure out a way to live with the hand you've been dealt. However, I do empathize with your feelings. I wore black to work the day after Clinton won his first term in office, and I believe I may have done the same after he won his second term. But I didn't go around stealing Clinton signs out of people's yards and act like some melodramatic fool screaming about how we're all going to be thrust into a raging pitfire of damnation. I mean, seriously folks, you'll get another chance in four years. Just chill.

Now with that out of the way, I think we should all give ourselves a big pat on the back for going out to vote. For the first time that I can remember in my life, people took their duty to vote seriously, and if nothing else, that counts for something. I can only hope people continue to speak their voice and cast their ballots accordingly. Good show, everyone. America rocks!!!

November 02, 2004

Vote! It's the American way.

Well, I just cast my vote for the next president of the United States, so now all we have to do is see what happens. My husband, the geek, has taken the day off and tells me he is going to buy a map of the country so that he can color out the states as Bush wins them. I'm sure when I get home today my living room will be adorned with various bar graphs and pie charts detailing the voting results of Star Trek-loving, D&D-playing, Tolkien-reading misfits everywhere. The district I live in is a heavily Democratic one, so I absolutely must step up for us disenfranchised Republicans. The fact that I work at a University also puts me somewhat in the minority. Faculty here would probably react more kindly to me if I admitted to being the anti-Christ than a Republican. I'm not shy to tell people my views if they ask, but I don't like political discussions because, really, there is no such thing as a political "discussion." The only reason people talk politics is because they want to scream at you and tell you why you're an idiot for not agreeing with them. This is also the reason why I don't watch shows like People's Court. I'm really not interested in watching people make fools of themselves by screaming at each other. It's also the reason why I don't really enjoy watching political talk shows. It's the same thing, people yelling at each other and abondoning any sense of civilized behaviour. This is odd because I am quite willing, myself, to yell at people who don't let me finish what I'm trying to say, but I don't like watching other people do it. The other reason I don't like political talk shows is because they showcase extremists, people who cannot and will not try to see both sides of an issue.

November 01, 2004

Smell my feet.

Happy November. Good Lord, I can't beleive it's already November and the official start of the time-to-think-about-Christmas-gifts marathon. But before we start with Christmas, let's finish up Halloween. I took off work Friday so I could decorate the church basement for the Pumpkin Ball we held. It was OK and I think everyone had a good time. Then Saturday we had to go to a birthday party for a friend of mine who turned 50. Sunday, of course, was Halloween and we went to our friends' house for a pre-trick-or-treat birthday party their youngest child. Then we traveled en masse so our kids could bum candy off the neighbors. Now that we live in the age of bad guys and villians, our kids have to go trick-or-treating during daylight hours. It's alright, I suppose, but I remember it was so much fun to go at night when I was kid. It was much scarier and people took full advantage of it. I remember one year a family in our neighborhood had set up a large cardboard box in the yard with a little panel cut out and a curtain hanging in front of it. You had to put your hand in the box to get your candy. Of course, someone was sitting inside, but they'd grab your hand first and pull on it before giving you candy. It's scared the living crap out of me, but it was GREAT. I don't think it would have been quite as effective if they had been forced to do it while it was still light out. Plus people are so sensitive about Halloween anymore. I think the "freer" our society becomes, the more close-minded people become. I don't see the problem with Halloween. I don't think most people view it as anything more than an opportunity for kids to have some fun and get some free candy. But now you see these towns around the country wanting to ban Halloween because it means everyone is worshipping the Devil. I think this sort of thing is in direct correlation to the fact that no one knows their neighbors anymore. People are so isolated and afraid that they have to convince themselves everyone is a Satanist trying to poison their kids with tainted tootsie rolls. Actually, I think it's sad. I think it's sad that people really believe making a better community is beyond their control. People are lazy, they sit back thinking it's someone else's responsibility to take care of the world and that it requires no effort from them. Speaking of Democrats, one interesting thing about trick-or-treating last night--one of the couples was British and everytime we came to a house with Bush/Cheney signs, they'd say something to the effect of, "Oooh, look at this evil house. No wonder they give out crap candy, they're Repubicans, after all." I've made no secret of the fact that I am a Republican, but these people didn't know my political affiliation. But I must say it surprised me they had no qualms to speak so harshly about a group of people they could very well be in the midst of, as they were. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to get into some kind of name-calling match while taking the kids around, but how could they think this was appropriate behaviour? What was worse in my mind was that they also made of point of mentioning to their children everytime they hit a "Kerry" house that they must be wonderful people inside, while of course all the "Bush" houses were full of heathens. Now there's a quality lesson in teaching how you love your fellow man. Those kids won't end up bigoted. Although, it might have been interesting to mention that I am a Republican just to watch them burst into flames, you know, the way vampires do when they're hit by sunlight.

October 28, 2004

Will I ever be normal again?

Something was up with Blogger yesterday, so I couldn't post. Did you miss me? Of course you did. Anyway, slowly but surely, this stuff on my face is clearing up. I went to the doctor again yesterday because I wanted her to give me a prescription for some kick ass antifungal medication, which she did. So now my face only looks this bad:

At least you can tell I'm human. That's always good. On the way to the doctor's office yesterday I was sitting at a stoplight and just started wondering about all the cars and the people inside of them. Looking at the line of cars reminded me of looking at ants marching along in line. I think that's what we are, a line of ants. I just looked at the people in the cars that were turning in front of me and I wondered what was going on in their heads. I think of what's possible with human potential and I just think we let ourselves be satisfied with very superficial concerns. Raising my daughter is something real, but I really wonder about the rest of it. We're so lucky to live in America where we can be anything we want and we end up as drones who live life on auto-pilot. If there are people out there who are truly happy, and I mean truly happy, with their lot in life, leave a comment and tell me why. I'm interested in knowing how we rate our lives and the standards we compare them against.

October 26, 2004

The thing that ate my face!!!

Remember how I thought the thing that caused my fever last week was an oncoming cold sore? Well, it wasn't that. It was something far worse. How could it be worse than a cold sore, you ask? Well, it seems to me I've got a fungal infection covering about half my face. I went to the doctor yesterday and she gave me a steroid cream, but this morning the patch under my chin had a decidedly ringwormish look to it. So, I've concluded it must be some sort of fungal infection. It's really disgusting and I am looking something like an extra from the set of The Hot Zone. Want a big, fat, juicy kiss, baby? I'll make sure to really rub the side of my face along side yours. If I had a digital camera, I'd take a picture so you could all share in my disfigurement, but I don't, so I can't. Too bad. The other thing that's making me think it's some kind of fungus is that it itches like hell. Actually, this has happened once before, just not this bad. I think I pick something up from the gym. I'm not using their towels anymore. I'm going to start bringing in my own. Please, Lord, let this thing go away. I don't want to look like a mutant.

Here's my face. I told you it was gross.

October 25, 2004


This is what I discovered over the weekend: 18 children in one house is way too many. Yesterday was my daughter's birthday party and that's how many kids we had over. It was good weather, though, so we were able to keep them outside most of the time. However, eating and cake time was pretty hectic. All in all, it went over well and my daughter had a good time. Next year, though, I think we're going to have to do the party at a remote location. My husband dropped my parents off this morning so they could head back to DC. They gave my daughter an electric guitar for her present. My father plays the guitar, so hopefully the child will have inherited some guitar-playing genes from him. Now that that's all over, I have to concentrate on finishing my daughter's Halloween costume and doing what needs to be done for the Pumpkin Ball we're throwing at my church on Friday.

October 22, 2004

And they're off.

OK, just dropped off the Krispy Kreme to my daughter's class. I'm at work right now (and obviously working hard). As soon as I pick up my daughter from school this afternoon, we're on the road to Chi-town to pick up the rents from O'Hare. But first I have to vacuum out the car so my mother doesn't comment on how messy it is when she gets in. And after I pick up some food for the child so she doesn't keep complaining about how hungry she is as we drive up. Is that everything? I think so. Did the brownie troop hayride last night. It was fun, but hard to do during the middle of the week when it's a school night and I still have a lingering fever. I did a Google search on fevers not accompanied by other symptoms and apparently I have cancer. I know that's not something I should joke about, but what else am I going to do? Actually, I think I've discovered the culprit. This morning in the shower I felt a familiar tingling on my upper lip, so as soon as I got out I wolfed some acyclovir. Hopefully, I've caught the little bastard. I really don't want to go through the weekend with a big ole honking cold sore on my face. That wouldn't be cool.

Now that the presidential campaign is hitting the home stretch, I really have to wonder about the stupidity of the American public. I think if there was any coverage on an actual political concern, everyone's head would probably explode, like in Scanners, which must be the reason why all the news organizations choose to focus on how Kerry's wife holds considerable disdain for average American mothers and why Ohioans are miffed that Bush hasn't visited them for three weeks. I'll come right out and say I'm voting for Bush and I'm not ashamed. I've been a Republican for as long as I can remember. I think Kerry is a joke. Actually, I think most polititcians are a joke and my primary reasons for being a Republican are that I think it's the party that more closely demonstrates a philosophy of personal responsibility and because I don't believe government needs to get into every nook and cranny of citizens' lives. That plus the fact I once heard a joke that goes something like this: How can you tell a Republican from a Democrat? The Republican reads the newspaper and the Democrat lines the birdcage with it. I didn't want to be the person who lined the birdcage.

However, all you poor, misguided Kerry supporters should know that, historically speaking, Americans don't change presidents during times of war. It makes sense, really. How are you going to bring in an outsider during such a precarious time? They've not been involved in what's happened and don't have a good sense of where things lie. It's just not good thinking. Anyway, Kerry is just monstrous looking with that big old chin and forehead and face and everything. He's almost mutant-like, I'd say. Anyway, all joking aside. I'm Catholic, and you'd think that would be reason enough to favor Kerry, right? Wrong. He's what we like to call a C & E catholic. He's catholic when it's convenient for him and not when it isn't. I'm not going to preach overly much about what makes a good catholic because I know I'm going to be spending a good number of years in purgatory, but he certainly doesn't seem to internalize the teachings of the catholic church in any real way. And, seriously, what is up with his wife? I was going to college in Pennsylvania when John Heinz was killed in a plane crash and I can remember people's sadness and shock. He was apparently a very popular senator for Pennsylvanians. At any rate, Teresa Heinz Kerry strikes me a person a little out of touch with what the average American wife and mother deals with from day-to-day. And I'm not saying this just because she's brusque. That's not a crime, although, people like to think it is because women are supposed to be all warm and fuzzy. She seems to lack the ability to connect with people on a simple human level. Some people work tirelessly because they have a true compassion for their fellow man and their work is motivated by a complete lack of concern for their own personal wellbeing. Other people work tireslessly because they have a personal, rigid, opinion of how things should be and fight more to satisfy their own sense of order than being inspired to better the human condition. Teresa Heinz Kerry strikes me as being the latter. Sure, in the end, people probably benefit from either approach, but I'd rather be helped by a kind person. That's because people who help from kindness aren't doing it because they expect something back in return.

At any rate, no matter who you choose to vote for, go vote. It's important and, quite frankly, you don't have any right to bitch about the state of things if you haven't taken the effort to help decide the state of things.

October 21, 2004

Don't drink the water.

Here's a picture of my brother and his girlfriend during their trip to Costa Rica.

Aren't they cute? Yes, yes they are.

I was home sick yesterday. I woke up Tuesday night with the chills and then with a massive headache Wednesday morning. Took my temp and, yes, I have a fever. I stayed home to give myself one day of rest because the next fews days are pretty busy. Tonight I have to take my daughter on a hayride with her brownie troop and pick up Krispy Kreme for her party at school tomorrow, Friday I have to drive to Chicago to pick up my parents at the airport, Saturday have to run around getting stuff for my daughter's party and then go to a friend's party for her daughter, and Sunday is my daughter's party. So, as you can see, I couldn't afford to weaken my immune system any further by forcing myself to go to work, as I would have normally done. Anyway, I feel a little bit better; although, I'm still running a fever. I don't know why, though. I'm not displaying any other symptoms like sneezing, puking, stuffy nose or anything else. I just have a fever for some reason. Weird.

Ooop, just found out I don't have to do the friend's daughter's birthday party on Saturday, so that slows things down a bit. That's good. I'm cold right now and have to put on my jacket.

October 19, 2004

Let's play master and servant.

Obviously, I have a lot of time on my hands today...

You're just looking for love. You're very
emotional, and a lot of sad teenagers are going
to turn to you when they feel like shit.
You're also into BDSM, you devil, you.

What band from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yes, yet another stupid test.

I'm a O65-C92-E95-A14-N49 Big Five!!

Order Now!

I woke up at 4:00 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep, so I went downstairs to watch TV until 5:30, which is when I normally get up. I'm flipping through the channels and notice that there are an obscene number of sports channels and home shopping channels. What does this say about our culture? Why do we need five bajillion sport and shopping channels? I guess I'm more amazed by the fact that there's actually a demand for this much stuff. Have you ever watched a home shopping channel? How long do you have to sit there before something pops up on the screen that you actually want? My mother ordered a camera once off QVC or whatever and I couldn't believe she had actually ordered something off television. The camera was fine and all, I just couldn't believe she actually picked up the phone to make an order after watching something on television--that she was actually moved to the point of spending money because of a commercial. I have a strict rule about ordering off television: Don't do it. My daughter often gets caught up in the glitz and glamour of commercials selling various devices she thinks will be useful to me like vacuum cleaners or tools of one kind or another. She'll often run to the phone and bring it back to me yelling, "Order it, Mom. Order it, now. That could come in handy." Then I have to remind her I never buy anything off television and she always says, "Oh, that's right." She always seems a little disappointed that I don't make the order. I don't know why. Kids are weird.

I used to like shopping, in real life, I mean. I used to enjoy going to the mall and wasting an afternoon there. Not anymore. I pretty much hate the mall now. I only go if I can't get what I need somewhere else. Basically, the mall takes too much time, and if you've got a kid with you, you get dragged into the Disney store and the pet store and Nature Company and all the other stores that have nothing you need. My main shopping outlets now are Target, Wal-Mart and Meijer's (a local Wal-Mart type store). If I can't get it from one of those three places, I probably don't really need it. Of course, there might be a direct correlation to the fact that I don't much enjoy shopping anymore and there being no good shopping here in this god-forsaken place I unfortunately call home. When I go home to DC, I always make a stop at Tysons Corner or Fair Oaks to get what I can't get here, like MAC products. But, of course, that doesn't end up being much fun because it's usually Christmas-time and shopping is never fun at Christmas, especially in DC when everyone in the metropolitan area is crammed into a giant concrete box trying to beat out everyone else on the two-for-one sale of George Foreman grills at Sears. It sucks.

October 18, 2004

Pass the kimchi, please.

Last night I had Angela, her mother (who is visiting over fall break), and Lisa (Angela's roommate) over for a home-cooked Korean meal. This is the first time I've made a full Korean meal for another Korean who is not in my family, so I was a little nervous about it. But, in the end, I think it all went over well. I don't tend to make Korean food often because I'm the only one in my house who really likes it. My daughter likes the food that is most acceptable to an American palate, and my husband is pretty much the same. That means if I'm making Korean food, I'm making the same thing over and over again. So it was a nice change to whip up some dishes I wouldn't normally fix for my family.

It's starting to get cold here. It stayed warm for a good long while, but in the last couple of weeks, Autumn has hit hard. Autumn is my favorite season, so I'm glad to finally feel the chill in the air and pull out my jackets. However, today is not the sort of fall day I like. It's cloudy and cold and wet. I like the clear, crisp days when the color of trees is exploding all around you and you breath deep to fill your lungs with that wonderful earthy air.

Over the weekend, I took my daughter for her yearly birthday photo shoot. It works out well because right around the time I get her pictures back, it's time to start addressing Christmas cards, so I have a brand, spanking new picture to put in the cards. In one of the proofs, my husband says she looks just like me. "She has that same smug, you're-such-an-idiot smile that you always have," he said. I laughed.

October 15, 2004

It's the bling.

I thought since I mentioned it the other day, I'd let you all see my new ring.

You ain't all that.

I feel like complaining about academia and the people who make it their life and they way they confuse that life for something that really means two shits to anyone in the real world. However, before I do that, let me offer up the disclaimer that what I am about to say is not based upon actual events or people in my life and any similarities to actual events or people in my life is purely coincidental.

I have found that for some reason certain types in the university setting (primarily really old, sickly, white men who are on the verge of retirement after they've plagued others with their overbearing sense of inflated self-worth--created by having published a few books--for far too long) are allowed to get away with just about anything. Somehow, managing to have lived long enough equates deserving respect. Now, I should tell you, Homey don't play that. Character apparently means nothing. Demonstrating a respect for others apparently means nothing. Understanding that no single one of us is more important than any other one of us despite "station" in life apparently means nothing. What does seem to mean something is acting like a petulant child when not getting one's way. What does seem to mean something is behaving in such an annoying manner that people give you what you want to just get you off their back despite the fact that it's completely inconvenienced them and thrown their own schedule in the grinder. That's apparently the stuff that counts. And it quite literally makes me want to vomit watching people humor this sort of behavior because it's wrong and it's unacceptable and no one should have to put up with it. I just want to know when do people lose their fire? When do they stop thinking it's worth resisting oppressive treatment from others? I say, "Vive la revolution, you bastards!"

October 14, 2004


Let me just say that Maxine Hong Kingston ROCKS!!! Her reading was awesome, she was awesome, the evening was awesome. She is such a gracious speaker and person. If anyone ever gets the opportunity to see her, go do it. She's a tiny woman with an incredibly large presence. All I know is that when I'm in my 50s and 60s, I want to be cool the way she is. She wore a long gray, jersey dress that came close to her ankles and a long, brightly-colored scarf she wore draped across her neck so that it hung down her back. The coolest part, though, is that she wore turquoise flats that were impossible to miss when she stepped up to the stage. Actually, I take that back. The coolest part was that she wore her hair in pigtails. If you've never seen a picture of Maxine Hong Kingston, you should know that her hair is long and thick and brilliantly white. The most incredible thing about her, which is most meanigful to me, is that you can almost see the glow of serenity that surrounds her. Maybe that sounds mushy, but she exudes this incredible calm and gentleness. But despite that exterior placidity, you can definitely sense the fierce heart beating within. Anyway, here's what she wrote in my book.

October 13, 2004

Warrior Woman

Maxine Hong Kingston is tonight and I'm very excited to listen to her speak. I read a little of The Fifth Book of Peace on because I can't get a copy of one in town. Hopefully, they'll be on sale at the reading tonight. But getting back to what I read--she starts the book out explaining how she lost her original manuscript in 1991 to forest fires. She tried to get to her house to save it when she heard news reports on how close the fires were to her neighborhood, but she wasn't able to. I have to think losing something like that is akin to losing a child in some ways. You've poured all this love and effort into it to create something beautiful and strong and then lose it forever and the only thing that makes it real is what lives in your memory. And sometimes what's left in the memory just doesn't seem real enough so you're broken because, then, it's just gone like mist.

Anyway, she was obviously able to bounce back and build something new that is hopefully more beautiful than the original would have been because it's informed by a reinforced love and determination to finish what was started.

I don't know if I've already mentioned this, but my husband and I celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary this month. He gave me my 10-year anniversary ring over the weekend and it's very pretty. I have to fess up to the fact that I actually picked it out and there was no surprise involved in me getting the ring because I basically told him he had to buy it. But it's still nice to have regardless. I'm looking at it right now and I can't believe I've been married for ten years. I know it's not that long in terms of a lifetime, but, damn, it is still a long time. The only piece of jewelry left for my husband to buy for me before we die is a diamond tennis bracelet, and I told him not to worry about getting that until I'm, like, fifty. I think only mature women can get away with wearing something like a tennis bracelet without looking stupid.

October 12, 2004

Nothing Much.

Just got back from a meeting that was really productive and an excellent use of my time. (Of course the absurdity of this statement should be plainly obvious to anyone with a brain. Any sentence containing the words "meeting," "productive," or "excellent" is automatically invalid based on standard rules of symbolic logic.) Anyway, I don't really have time to write because I've got work to take care of, but let me just say that someone at work is very high on my shit list. In fact, he's at the top of it. In fact, I've just made the executive decision to write him in on the top spot with permanent ink.

October 08, 2004

Waste of Time.

Well, I just wasted a bunch of time looking for Harry Potter candy. I thought I'd order some for my daughter's birthday party. I nearly bought some Every Flavor Beans from, but at the last minute decided not to because I wasn't going to get free shipping, Guess I'll just have to buy regular candy for the goody bags. Aren't you glad you stopped by today to read about my exciting afternoon? I got an email from my friend Amanda today and she told me feels invisible and that she doesn't have her own identity. She's either her kids' mom or her husband's wife. She says she doesn't do anything for herself anymore and I told her I know exactly what she's talking about. What's it about? Do men feel this way? That they're only identified by the circumstances and people connected to them rather than existing in their own right? When I was growing up, I never heard any of my mother's friends call her by her name. It's a Korean thing. They always called her Kathy Oma, which means Kathy's mom. And she would call her friends the same thing, just replacing the blank before Oma with the name of their oldest child. I mean, that's just part of the formal nature of addressing others in Korean culture. But even in America, it seems women of a certain age are only acknowledgeable by the function they serve to other people. Basically, what my friend is complaining about is that she feels no one cares about her own desires and thoughts. That's the part I understand. Maybe this is all just a bunch of whining. Well, tough boobies, baby. I don't care if it comes off as whining. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!

October 07, 2004

On schedule for today...

I've got to drive my daughter to a birthday party today after school. It's going to be at a roller rink, which should provide a few laughs. Looking at my calendar, I am realizing that there's a reading tomorrow night I want to go to. It's Susan Choi. She wrote The Foreign Student, and has now written a second book. I don't know what it's about, but I've seen her before and I'd like to again. For any of you keeping track, Desperate Dad and his girlfriend had their baby a couple of weeks ago--a beautiful little girl. He's got a picture up at his blog, so go take a look. She's freakishly unalienlike in appearance. As anyone out there who's had a baby knows, they tend to look something like Gollum from Lord of the Rings for a few months before hitting the cute baby stage.

Anyway, speaking of birthday parties, my daughter has decided to go the Harry Potter route again for her party this year. So I ordered the Harry Potter pack from Birthday Express and am now surfing the internet trying to get ideas for wizardly party activities. Although Birthday Express is a little pricey, it's worth the time it saves me in having to go from store to store looking for all the necessary party accoutrements. She had a Harry Potter party last year and she'll be inviting many of the same kids as last year, so I've got to try and figure a way to make it a little different this year. You know, how does all this stuff start to overcome your life? It's all normal, I suppose, but why don't we really figure out by watching what our parents had to do for us, that that's what we'll be doing for our own kids. I never imagined there would come the day where I had to feign interest in scrapbooking because every freaking thiry-something mother seems to think it's neat. I don't get it. But this is my life. But seriously, what is it with the scrapbooking? I look at my pictures because I like to reminisce about things that have happened in my life. I don't think having the pictures arranged in a flower pattern enhances that experience in any way. Sometimes I feel really stuck.

October 06, 2004

color quiz

This was interesting.

Color Quiz

These were my results:
Your Existing Situation
Readily participates in things that provide excitement or stimulation. Wants to feel exhilarated.

Your Stress Sources
Wants to overcome a feeling of emptiness and to bridge the gap which she feels separates herself from others. Anxious to experience life in all its aspects, to explore all its possibilities, and to live it to the fullest. She therefore resents any restriction or limitation being imposed on her and insists on being free and unhampered.

Your Restrained Characteristics
Believes that she is not receiving her share--that she is neither properly understood nor adequately appreciated. Feels that she is being compelled to conform, and close relationships leave her without any sense of emotional involvement. Feels that she cannot do much about her existing problems and difficulties and that she must make the best of things as they are. Able to achieve satisfaction through sexual activity.

Your Desired Objective
Needs a change in her circumstances or in her relationships which will permit relief from stress. Seeking a solution which will open up new and better possibilities and allow hopes to be fulfilled.

Your Actual Problem
Feels restricted and prevented from progressing; seeking a solution which will remove these limitations.

Your Actual Problem #2
The fear that she may be prevented from achieving the things she wants leads her into a relentless search for satisfaction in the pursuit of illusory or meaningless activities.