April 29, 2005

I can't breathe.

Man, why do I keep forgetting to take my allergy medicine before leaving the house? Right now, I want to cut off my nose and leave it off until all this pollen finishes doing what it's doing. Wednesday night I went to a dinner and reading for two of the creative writing faculty who are retiring, and this is what I learned: two late nights in one week make Kathleen a zombie for the rest of the week. I was dead tired when I woke up yesterday. I'm still tired today, but not as bad as yesterday. However, the food was good and I got to see some people I haven't seen in a few years. So, it was well worth the dark circles under the eyes.

I have the grand idea to start a creative writing club at my daughter's school. She's been writing books lately and I asked if the school had a writing club, and was surprised to learn that they didn't. Anyway, I thought, "I could do that." So I called the principal yesterday and offered up my services. I need to have a faculty sponsor for liabillty reasons, apparently. The principal said he'd send out a message asking for a volunteer. Needless to say, I'm hoping someone is willing to do it. They'd really only have to be present during club meetings. I guess to make sure I'm not teaching the kids to worship the devil or something. Actually, it makes me feel better to know they are trying to make sure the kids are always in a safe environment. However, if it's a go, that means I've got to learn about poetry over the summer. I'm a fiction writer who's never been much of poetry fan, so I don't really know anything about it. But if I'm going to try and help kids write the stuff, I guess I better figure out what I'm talking about. Luckily, my husband has studied poetry, so I hope to go through his books and get a better understanding of the mechanics of writing poety.

I had an interesting discussion with someone yesterday about the future of Notre Dame. Lately, the university is very much trying to reinvent itself as a major research university, which is not, in itself, a problem. However, in trying to further its research reputation, it seems there's been an increased challenge to the university maintaing its Catholic identity. This has happened, primarily, because you can't have the best research faculty in the world and think they're all going to be Catholic, or even unantagonistic towards Catholicism. Anyway, as it works out, the faculty seems to be getting more liberal and the student body seems tostill be pretty conservative. As I've talked about in past posts, a lot of people seem to think it's the role of the Church to remold itself in the eyes of the worshippers, which I think is crap. It'll be interesting to see how this all develops.

April 27, 2005

Whazzup?

Not much going on here today. I just got back from meeting with my daughter's speech therapist at school. They're hoping she won't need any more therapy past Christmas because she's coming along so well. And I would hope so. She's only been going through speech therapy for the last four years. So basically, for as long as she's been able to speak in sentences, she's been in therapy. She suffered chronic ear infections her first year, and it affected her ability to properly hear sounds during that crucial "hearing sounds" developmental stage. That, in turn, affected her ability to pronounce sounds correctly because she didn't know what the correct sounds were. She still has to work on "th" sounds, which she wants to pronounce as "f."

Also, her therapist seems to think I'm super-parent because my daugher's vocabulary is so extensive and sophisticated.

"It's obvious you work with her at home," the therapist will say.

"Well, maybe just a little," I say, not explaining the "work" really entails me strapping her down and forcing her eyelids open a la Clockwork Orange while flashing word cards in front of her.

Really, if my husband and I can take credit for anything it's that we try to encourage her reading skills and we spend a lot of time reading to her and playing audio books for her to listen to and that sort of thing. If she does have a large vocabulary for her age, that's where she's picked it up from. But I have no problem letting her therapist think I'm a parenting goddess. People should worship me and be in awe of my powers, so it's only fitting.

I watched "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" the other week and I have to say I've really been confused about why Malcolm McDowell's character rapes Clive Owen's brother in the movie. I understand Malcolm didn't like what John Rhys-Meyers's character represented, but I don't get why he felt so connected to the behavior to be compelled to humiliate him through rape. Unless I missed something really important, it all seemed out of place and happened just to give Clive's character a reason to really want to kill his brother's attacker. What I'm saying is that it all seemed a little too contrived for me. I welcome any comments to the contrary, though.

April 26, 2005

Call me Gimpy.

I think I forgot to mention that in addition to my poor ankle, I twisted my neck something fierce. This is a problem because I can't compensate my lack of strength on the left side of my body because the neck strain (which is on the right side) prevents me from taking up the slack. I'm the Hobbler. Actually, everything is slowly but surely getting back to normal. I can move my head from side to side without having to also move my entire upper-body. I can walk pretty well, I just have to be really conscious of how I move my ankle.

I thought I might be going to Montana for my nephew's first communion, but I don't think that'll be happening now. My sister was going to get tickets for me and my daughter using her frequent flyer miles, but she's apparently not done it early enough, so it's doubtful she'll be able to get the tickets. It's a bummer in some ways because I'd love to see my sister and nieces and nephews, but it's a lot of traveling for a very short trip, so I'm kind of relieved in some ways. Also, my daughter would have to miss a day of school and I really don't like her to miss school. Not because I'm one of those really uptight parents, but because I'm lazy and it's more trouble to me to help her make up her assignments than to just send her to school. She's also not fond of missing school because most of the time, she has to miss recess to make up work and, for a seven-year-old, that's worse than ripping out her fingernails with a pair of pliers. Truly, it is. She's told me so herself.

The MFA theses reading was last night. It was fine, but it takes a long time because there's about a dozen people who have to read. It just gets really hard to sit there after about an hour without wanting to run screaming from the room. But they make it worthwhile it by offering mushy crudit├ęs and stale cookies after.

April 25, 2005

Damn, I'm old.

Well, not really old, buy I sure feel like it sometimes. Remember when I fainted a couple of months ago? Well, I fainted again this past weekend. I don't know what it's about, but they took a CAT scan this time and they didn't see anything. I asked if I could see the scan, but they wouldn't let me. Does that suck or what? The nurse was like, it looks like a brain. And I was like, but it's my brain and I want visual confirmation that my brain is as phenomenal as I think it is. It's a long story, but here goes:

Saturday morning, after waking up from having fallen asleep on the couch while watching TV Friday night after getting back home from the hospital gala (which I'll talk about a little later), I turned to get up and go to the bathroom. When I stood up, my sprained ankle buckled under me and I collapsed to the floor in pain. My husband and daughter heard the booming crash and came down to see what had happened. I laid there for about a minute because I didn't want them to touch me because my ankle hurt like a mo' fo', once again. Anyway, once the pain subsided enough where I could bear the thought of anyone touching me, my husband helped me back up to the couch, where I sat for about a minute waiting for the pain to go away enough for me to get up and actually go to the bathroom. As I sitting there, I noticed that it looked like starbursts where flashing in my eyes, which I thought was weird, but I wasn't really concerned. Then I told my husband to help me up so I could walk to the bathroom. As we were walking, it seemed like my left ear was blocked up and I couldn't hear out of it. I mentioned this to my husband and we hobbled to the bathroom. When we got there, I sat on the toilet and felt like the room was spinning around and I started feeling nauseated. I thought I was going to throw up while I was on the toilet and I told my husband that something was wrong with me. Then I finished going to the bathroom and I stood up and turned to try and flush the toilet and I remember reaching out to push the handle, but missed and then the next thing I know, I'm waking up on the floor staring up at the ceiling while my husband is on the phone to 911 and my daughter is sitting by my head playing her Gameboy.

So the paramedics get there and they take my blood pressure, which is fine and ask me questions and I notice they have their shoes on. I tell them I normally make people take their shoes off when they come into my house, but I'll make an exception in their case. Anyway, they ask if I want to go to the emergency room and my husband says yes. So they load me on the stretcher and I see the flashing lights outside of my house and I think, "Great, they've got the lights flashing and everything. Just what I need." I ask why an ambulance and a fire truck have to come just for a fainting spell and they tell me because they don't know what to expect when they get to a scene so they need to be prepared and I say, "Oh, you mean like if I was 500 lbs. and you needed to lift me up?" And they said, "Yeah, something like that."

I really didn't want to go to the emergency room because I didn't want to have to pay for the ambulance, or the emergency room for that matter. I told the paramedic in the ambulance on the way to the hospital to ask me any question and if I got it right, then they wouldn't charge me for the ambulance ride. He asked me how much does it cost to ride the ambulance and I said $100, but actually I just remembered hearing on the news that they'd just raised the cost, but I didn't know what it was. Then he told me he didn't know what they charged. So I guess that means I don't get the free ride.

Anyway, once we get to the hospital, they do some tests and about three hours later tell me I can go home. Nobody knows why I fainted this time either. The emergency room staff told me they'd send the results to my doctor and she can decide where to go from there. Anyway, I don't know if I want to bother calling her to find out if she gets the information because it's always such a hassle trying to fit doctor visits into the day. We'll see, I guess.

As for the gala, it was OK. The meal was alright, not fantastic. The people at our table were OK, but it was interesting to see the big fish in a small pond at work. They all sat there just getting drunk. Well, the women did. My husband managed to engage the other men at the table by commenting on the excellent flatbread offered in the bread basket. This spawned endless conversation on the merits of onions.

"Boy, nothing beats the taste of a nice, thick slab of onion on some nice tomato," one of the men commented.

I smiled and nodded. That is good information to have.

Now there was some attempt by the caterer to "jazz" up the meal by offering us something a little uncommon. We had a baked chicken breast with small summer squash, a root vegetable compote, and mashed potatoes with eggplant. I mean, it's really just a normal, stick-to-your-ribs kind of Amerian meal, with just a couple of small twists. Well, to listen to these people at the table, you would have thought they were trying to slip them sheep eyeballs or something.

"There's eggplant in the potatoes," one woman commented while grimacing at the thought. This particular woman also spent a good deal of time talking about how great things were in Florida, from where they had just returned after a week of vacation. This particular woman also spent a great deal of time looking like she had a poker shoved up her ass.

One of the other women asked me," What would be in a root vegetable compote?" I answered, I'm thinking they'll probably have beets, parsnips, turnips, you know, root vegetables. Being half-Korean, I'm probably used to eating more "exotic" fare than the average American, but I'm always astounded when I encounter what is averagely American. And, boy, do I encounter a lot of it here in the Midwest.

April 22, 2005

My brother bites the big one.

My brother won not one, but two, mini iPods yesterday from a radio station. I've wanted a mini iPod forever. Did he give the extra one to me, you ask? No. No he didn't. He gave it to his future-wife. I changed that boy's diapers when he was a baby and he gave the iPod to his fiancee. Is that justice, I ask? IS IT? I feel my heart beginning to crack and shatter inside my now hollow chest. Are those the winds of change I hear? No, just the winds of despair howling through the cavity of my soul.

Anyway, I've got to go to this benefit dinner with my husband tonight. I'm really not looking forward to it because I have to get dressed up and everything and all I want to do on Friday nights is veg out. It's some hospital gala. Although, since I've never been to something described as a gala before, it should at least prove enlightening. Although, you've got to wonder what constitutes a gala in rural Indiana. Too bad I don't have a digital camera, then I could take pictures to show all of you next week. The last benefit dinner we had to go to for my husband's bank was something, though, I must say. The night's entertainment was provided by the local high school's debate team. Several members performed dramatic monologues while we ate. It sure was something. Maybe this time we'll get a command performance of the passion play the pre-schoolers put on over at the First Methodist church down the street.

April 21, 2005

Same old, same old

I'm still somewhat pissy today. Does that just make me pissish? Someone thinks my office phone is a fax machine and I'm starting to get angry at that high-pitched squeal screaming in my ear every time I answer the phone. Did you know that babies cry and bees buzz at the same frequency, which happens to be a frequency so annoying that it triggers feelings of anger? Supposedly, it's some inbred thing so we don't ignore babies crying or bees buzzing. I'm sure the reasons for this are obvious.

Or what, maybe I'm not remembering that correctly. Maybe it's that John Williams had the Jaws theme played on a synthesizer at the same frequency as bees buzzing to create a sense of dread in the listener. I'm talking about the duh, duh, duh, duh thing that plays right before Jaws attacks. You know what I'm talking about, right? Anyway, something about babies crying and bees buzzing freak us out.

I'm having lunch with one of my editors today so I can bitch and moan about how much I hate everyone. I'm sure it'll be an enjoyable time.

April 20, 2005

Get outta my way!

I am in a really pissy mood today. Partially because I forgot to take my allergy medicine this morning and I can't breathe at the moment, and partially because I'm just mad at the world today. I like that commericial showing grumpy people doing things like knocking stuff off desks, or closing the elevator door on people just before they hop in, or just randomly kicking people in the shins for the hell of it. That's how I feel right now.

My husband and I were watching a little bit of the coverage on the new Pope last night on CNN. Paula Zahn was saying how Cardinal Ratzinger's comments in the wake of Pope John Paul's death sounded like campaigning. What the hell is that supposed to mean? This is why I hate postmodernism because nothing in the world can be sincere anymore. Why do his comments have to be interpreted as "campaigning"? He can't actually believe the things that he said?

Anyway, I know there are mixed feeling about the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Some people are disappointed that he's too "conservative." I admit there are things about Catholic teaching that I don't particularly see eye-to-eye on. I, personally, don't have a problem with people using birth control. I understand that Church teaching states the use of artifical means of birth control shows a lack of respect for the natural function of the human body (which I would largely agree with). However, in this life, I'm not willing to take the chance with natural family planning and unwanted pregnancy. That's my decision, and if that means I've got to spend some time in Purgatory because of it, well that's just the way it goes. I don't think, though, that it's the Church's responsibility to change to get more in line with what I think. The Church stands for something and should stick to that. It's not the Church's job to accomodate my personal point of view. My divergence from Church teaching is my responsibilty and I'm willing to face the consequences of that. And I pretty much feel the same way about all the points where I don't follow church teaching.

I don't think homosexuality is a sin, but if the Church says it is and I call myself Catholic, then I've got the pay the piper--or St. Peter, as the case may be--when the time comes. I'm OK with that. I don't fault the Church for it's teachings. I fault myself more for not having a greater conviction of faith. Ultimately, do I think God cares more about people loving someone of the same gender or murder. I think he cares more about people killing each other and would appreciate us doing more to build love, but I don't know that. Not really. And do I think that we can have a perfect interpretation of God's word here on Earth? No, not really. We're human and imperfect. But I'll accept the burden of imperfection more readily than I'll place it on God. Maybe that makes me simple-minded. But, that's just how it goes.

April 19, 2005

Pity me.

I sprained my ankle yesterday while playing tennis. I'm wearing an ankle brace. Pity me. It's actually not that bad. I really did the damage when I got home from playing tennis. I only twisted my ankle during tennis (which hurt), but then I sprained it when I was taking off my shoe later at home and my minorly injured ankle buckled under my massive weight, causing the sprain. And that really hurt like a mo' fo'. The ankle is a little swollen and it's tender to the touch, but nothing major. I can't imagine how bad the pain must be in the case of a badly sprained ankle when I felt like crying from the agony my itty bitty mishap.

In good news, my scab of shame fell off my lip last Friday, so at least that's not a problem anymore. Now I'm going to make sure I lay sunblock an inch deep on my lips before going out of doors.

April 18, 2005

One more thing.





You Are 75% Normal

(Really Normal)









Otherwise known as the normal amount of normal

You're like most people most of the time

But you've got those quirks that make you endearing

You're unique, yes... but not frighteningly so!


Magic 8-Ball

I'm feeling a litte uncertain, so I'll be asking the Magic 8-Ball to unravel the mystery of my future.

KC: Will I be getting a raise?

8-Ball: Very doubtful.

KC: Is it beacause this university is stupid.

8-Ball: Without a doubt.

KC: Am I better than all this?

8-Ball: Yes, definitely.

KC: Are you lying?

8-Ball: Yes.

KC: Really?

8-Ball: Reply hazy, try again.

KC: Really?

8-Ball: My reply is no.

KC: Whew, thank God. Am I smarter than everyone I work with?

8-Ball: Better not tell you now.

KC: Why? Is that a loaded question?

8-Ball: Signs point to yes.

KC: Will my husband make lots of money?

8-Ball: As I see it, yes.

KC: Will I be famous?

8-Ball: Cannot predict now.

KC: Will I be infamous, then?

8-Ball: It is decidedly so.

KC: Do people love and admire me?

8-Ball: Outlook not so good.

KC: Is it because I intimidate everyone I encounter?

8-Ball: Yes.

KC: Will I lose ten pounds by my brother's wedding?

8-Ball: Yes, definitely.

KC: Will my daughter become a tennis sensation?

8-Ball: Better not tell you now.

KC: Why? Because her road to success will be fraught with despair and shin splints?

8-Ball: Signs point to yes.

KC: Should I encourage her to take up a different sport?

8-Ball: Reply hazy, try again.

KC: Should I encourage her to take up a different sport?

8-Ball: Very doubtful.

KC: Am I the fairest in all the land?

8-Ball: Signs point to yes.

Alright!! Since it doesn't get any better than being the fairest of all, I better stop while I'm ahead.

Damn, my kid is funny.

Frequently, my daughter busts me up so much, I really can't stand it. She's funny because she's really a 50-year-old woman trapped in the body of a seven-year-old who hasn't quite figured out that fact. She oftens asks me questions that are strangely mature yet naive at the same time, which of course always equals funny. This was a representative exchange we had over the weekend:

Little KC: "Mom, do parents really have eyes on the back of their heads?"

KC: "Yes."

Little KC: "I don't have any eyes on the back of my head."

KC: "That's because you don't get them until the moment you have a baby."

Little KC: "But what if I never have a kid?"

KC: "Then I guess you won't get eyes on the back of your head."

Little KC: "But what if I have an annoying husband I have to keep an eye on?"

KC: "Well, OK, probably in that case you'll get them."

Little KC: "OK, good."

Now, I can never laugh when she says things like this because she's dead serious and becomes majorly offended if I happen to let loose with a chuckle. There is no attempt at humor involved. She is serious as a heart attack when it comes to these discussions because, hey, she's got stuff to figure out. So don't be laughing, G.

April 15, 2005

Birds and the bees.

Lately, I have noticed that couple of very special mother/ daughter presentations are taking place at a couple of churches around town. Catholic churches, I'm talking about. It's to explain the birds and the bees in a religiously appropriate manner. What's interesting is that they don't seem to be holding similar father/ son presentations anywhere. I find this disturbing. Does the church somehow think boys don't need this sort of education? Are they focusing on girls because they can get pregnant? Boys should be taught to respect the responsibility of their sexuality as much as girls should. Anyway, it's interesting. I've been teaching my daughter about sex since the time I felt she could sort of understand what I'm talking about. It started out pretty simply, and as time goes on and she has more questions, I get a little more detailed. I think it's really important to establish a dialogue with children because it's never too early to make them feel comfortable about discussing sex. I figure the only thing I can do is give her as much information as possible so that she can intelligently make the sorts of decisions for herself she will encounter. Plus, it's never been anything I've been embarrassed to talk about. I don' t know why people get all worked up about it. I think the people who believe talking about sex will encourage young people to have sex don't really understand much of anything. I think the more they know, they more they will understand the chances they are potentially taking by having sex too early in life. Besides, if I had waited until my daughter was a teenager to start talking to her about sex, I'd never have had the opportunity to hear her say to me, as she did one day while we were in the car: "Mom, I am so happy that Daddy's germ got into your egg so that I could be born." Innocent observations like that just melt a mother's heart.

April 14, 2005

Simple observations.

The funny thing about cold sores is the better they get, the uglier they look. As the blister dries, it scabs over in a thick, dark way. The primary function of this powerful scabbing action is to make it even more noticeable to the casual passer-by. Now that I'm no longer physically affected by the virus in terms of lethargy or pain, the only obvious way of causing me further mental anguish is to become really, really, blaringly apparent via the cold sore on my lip. I hate the way nature has already figured out how to screw you over. Anyway, I hope this thing falls off pretty soon. It's pretty large, so there's no telling how long it'll put up a fight.

This was an interesting day because someone who I don't normally interact with came into the office and started telling me about some medical concerns of hers. Well, she really came to talk to someone else, but I was the only one there and I guess she really needed to get it off her chest. I don't really want to get into the particular ailment, suffice to say it's a woman's issue. Anyway, it was just another thing added to an already loaded list of other difficulties. But what made the entire conversation interesting to me is that it really made me realize how fragile some people are and how this whole life thing ends up being a much harder struggle for some. And when I say "harder struggle," it's with the understanging that everything is relative. This particular person has some issues she needs to come to grips with in a major way, but she's living in a country where she doesn't have to wonder where her next meal is coming from or think about covering herself from head to toe lest she risk being stoned in the street. But why is it that some people just cannot break out of their own self-destructive behaviors?

I find I have less patience for self-pity the older I get only because I understand a little bit more how very small everything is. I was looking up at the sky today as I was walking to my office and I wondered how we get so wrapped up in our lives that we stop looking up. You should try it. It's very calming. It made me remember how I would freak myself out when I was kid by looking up at something like a church steeple on a windy day, and I'd get the sensation that the steeple was going to fall on me because the clouds were rushing by so quickly. I would really feel like I had to get out of the way because I was expecting all that stone and wood to come crashing down on my head, but then it never happened. But it gave me a little thrill. It made my heart beat a little faster, and then I'd look up again and get freaked out all over again. Yeah, good times. Good times.

April 13, 2005

Nice Surprise.

Guess what? You get a free rental on your birthday at Hollywood Video. I can say it was a genuinely nice surprise for me. What's ironic is that the video I rented wasn't even for me, it was for a church function. Anyway, now my daughter is all excited to go rent a video on her birthday, which is still six months away.

Here's the really big news, though. We now have a freestanding Starbucks in town. I think we have to be the last town in America to finally get one. Now all we need is a Whole Foods and maybe this will start to be an OK place to live. I'm not holding my breath, though.

April 12, 2005

I'm almost older than dirt.

Today is my birthday. I am 36. I am freaking out about being closer to 40 than 30. My mother is also freaking out about having a child closer to 40 than 30 because that means she's almost older than dirt, too. I'm really more melancholy than freaked out about the whole thing. But you know, they say 40 is the new 30, so I guess I'm really only 26. OK, I can deal with that. I only wish I still had the same body from when I was 26, which would have been pre-baby body. I miss pre-baby body. Pre-baby body didn't have saggy pelvic skin. Pre-baby body didn't have stretch marks. Pre-baby body was firm and tight. Oh, God, pre-baby body why have you abandonded me? Why? Why? Why? Ok, that's enough of the self-pity. My daughter gave me $1,000,000,000 for my birthday, so that's pretty good. Now I can pay for my tummy tuck. That's, of course, after I pay for my daughter's no-expense-spared trip to Disney World. Then, I'm allowed to do whatever I want with what's left and that's straight from the horse's mouth.

Actually, I don't mind being my age as long as I don't look my age. And since both my parents look younger than they are, I'm feeling like I won the DNA jackpot on this one. My mom turns 60 this year, but looks about 45 and my father is 64, but looks about 56. So I'm in like flint. I'm happy to accept any gift you might feel inclined to send. But dream vacations and a role in the next Harry Potter film work well also. Be creative, I say. Actually, if you could hook me up with a celebrity make-up artist to make me look exactly the way I should look if I had lots of money and a personal trainer, that would be AWESOME.

April 11, 2005

Ugh.

Oh shit, I'm back to work. I am feeling really wiped out right now. Did I mention I've got a big 'ole cold sore on my lip? Well, I do. That could be contributing to my fatigue at the moment. I've been popping acyclovir like Pez the last four days. The swelling in my glands has gone down, but I'm still tired. I often get cold sores when the days turn sunny, but I usually try to be really dilligent with the sunblock so they don't pop up. I was not successful this year. I like to watch the way people try to get a look at whatever the hell is going on with my lip without being obvious about trying to get a look at whatever the hell is going on with my lip. Quick glance to the lip, look up at the eyes, another quick glance to the lip and squint a little to get a better look before going back to the eyes. I wish people would just ask so they can get over the discomfort of wondering if my husband beats me. It's what I would do.

"Damn, what's up with your lip?"

"Oh, nothing. My husband beats me."

I shouldn't joke about domestic violence, I know. It's in bad taste. I've got an interesting story to tell you about one of my daughter's friends but I don't have time right now. I had to drop this friend off to school this morning, but I'll tell you about it later after I've sorted through the backlog on my desk. Go to Korean Celt II and ask me a question already. Shoot, I'm beginning to think you don't want my advice.

April 10, 2005

End of vacation blues.

The husband and child are downstairs watching The Incredibles. I'm up here typing. This is my last day of vacation and I'm sad. It's pathetic that I'm dreading tomorrow when I don't even do much of anything at work most of the time. Actually, I'm starting to realize that's one of the reasons why I'm dreading going back to work tomorrow. I get angry sitting at my desk when I don't have anything to do because I think about all the stuff I could be getting done at home or my daughter's school or at church. I don't like being stagnant. My work is cyclical, so sometimes things are really rolling along at a fast clip and other times it's just dead, dead, dead. The dead times are murder. Pure torture because I only have the vast space of my mind to keep me company and, let me tell you, that's a tricky thing sometimes.

There's something going on in the park across the street from my house. It looks like a bunch Notre Dame kids decided to drive over and have a cookout. They're all over there eating hotdogs and throwing frisbees and footballs. They're horsing around on the playground equipment. And this is how I know I've officially become an old fart: I'm sitting here thinking what made them decide to do this on a Sunday night when everyone has to go to bed for work and school? How long are they planning on staying over there? Are they going to make a lot of noise when I'm trying to go to bed? Are they going to be rowdy all night long? What the hell are they thinking? These are actually my thoughts. I have become my parents and it's scaring the ever-living shit out of me. When did I start being bothered by young people trying to have a good time. I'll tell you something else, I call the cops if high schoolers are out at the park after curfew. I do. I did it the first week we moved in. The second time I called the cops, I was really concerned there was some kind of "wilding" going on because those kids that time were doing stuff that just didn't seem kosher, if you know what I mean. Anyway, it was strangely satisfying to watch them scatter like cockroaches as soon as the squad car pulled up. I laughed when it happened. Am I just dried-up and dead on the inside? Yeah, probably. Oh well.

OK, I'm laughing now because the movie is over and my husband has apparently just looked out the window and he's just yelled up, "Why are people parked in the grass [in the park]?"

Me: It looks like a bunch of college kids having a party.

Kid: What the heck is going on out there?

Husband: But why are they parking in the grass?

Me: I guess they didn't want to park on the street.

Husband: But that's just wrong. I'm calling the police.

And so now I'm lauging. Obviously, I'm not the only old fart in the house. I don't know if that makes me feel any better.

Holy crap. I don't know what those kids are cooking out there but it is smoking up like a Montana forest fire. One girl is holding up a pair of fluorescent orange volleyballs right at chest level, and since it's dusk, it's putting a whole new twist on the "headlights" idea.

Here's another reason I'm dreading going to work. Although I am not the type of person who needs a lot of outward praise for my work, I absolutely expect to be treated with a level of respect commensurate to the quality of work I put out. Even though I talk a lot about not having much to do, I can assure you I'm damn good at what I do, and that's part of the reason why I have a lot of time on my hands. I do what I do in a very timely manner. You can chalk all of this up to conceit, but that's just the way of it. At any rate, lately, I have not been feeling the love, so to say. The problem with doing a job well is that people start forgetting what it was like with someone who wasn't nearly as accomplished in the job and then they start expecting the truly unreasonable because they start thinking the really impressive is ordinary. And while, as I look back on what I've just written, I realize I'm blowing things out of proportion a bit, I still affirm people are trying to get something for nothing from me and it's starting to piss me off in a royal way. I've been talking about my disenchantment with academics and academia lately, and it's all wrapped up with that, as well.

People are starting to leave the party. Maybe the mosquitoes are getting to them. If the party is breaking up already, it sure wasn't a very long one. Why even bother if it's only going to be for an hour? Surely, if all they wanted to do was roast some wieners, they could have done that on campus.

Anyway, I'm not going to complain about work anymore tonight because I cannot adequately express my malaise. We had a newcomer's brunch at church today. It was OK. One of my friends quit the social life commission, so my work with that won't quite be the same anymore. There's this thing with us mid-thirtysomething women. We're just not satisfied with any of it. We were supposed to go out have the world on a platter and we're finding out it comes with a bad case of e coli.

Also, I ate too many powdered mini-donut gems and my stomach hurts. I don't even like powdered mini-donut gems.

April 07, 2005

Vacation check in

Alright, I'm going to do a post just to keep things flowing until I get back to work next week. I'm home with my daughter for her spring break. So far, despite my initial doubts, I've managed to get a good 3/4 of the house clean. So, yay for me. I rock. We have been having fun, too. We went to the zoo on Tuesday with friends and that was pleasant enough. I really don't like our zoo much because it's small and the animals are in areas that aren't large enough for their size. We call it the sad zoo, but my daughter loves zoos so much she's willing to overlook the fact that the animals have that dead, sucked-out spirit look in their eyes. Also, they tend to have a lot of empty exhibits. I don't know why. But, the day was a nice one.

I also decided that my daughter will learn how to ride a two-wheeler this week, so yesterday I took the training wheels off her bike, slapped helmet and pads on her and took her to the blacktop at the park. I told her she was going to fall and that was just the way of it. We were there a grand total of about 20 minutes before I couldn't take her whining anymore.

"Moooom, I want my training wheels back on," she wailed the entire time.

"Sweetie, don't you want to learn how to ride a bike?" I asked.

"Not if I have to get hurt," she replied.

As it turned out, she only got a little scrapped up. Next time, I'm going to put jeans on her to protect her legs a little better. Hopefully, that will cut some of the complaining. Actually, she was doing pretty well as long as she pedaled, but she'd freak out over the fact she was moving and then stop pedaling and fall, or she'd put the brake on and fall.

I hate to say it because I love her with all my heart, but she can really be quite wimpy at times. My elderly neighbor told me I baby her too much. That pissed me off a bit, but maybe she's right. Next time, I'm taking the bullwhip out with me. That'll learn her.

April 01, 2005

the grim reaper cometh

ok just to give a different perspective on this His modivations were probably as equally monetarily motivated as her parents to "fight the fight" Terri Schiavo's parents received considerable "donation" from a number of "charitable" organizations that are in essance non profits that simply allow a number of very rich people pursue their ideals monetarily without it being immediately visible. In addition all of her parents lawyers are not working pro bono as they might like people to think. They are also being "paid" by the same organizations. I don't say their convictions are wrong. Just not as clearly benevolent as they could be if they had not accepted large 6 figure "donations" Both sides of this game "profited" from this whole ordeal and Terri Schiavo was the pawn. In a political and financial three ring circus. I hope she finds the peace and dignity that the recent months didn't allow her with the media blitz that surrounded her.

April Fools.

I don't relly have a good joke to pull. I wish I did, but I don't. I'm not clever enough. Anyway, I want to be a little serious today. Let's talk a little about life. With the Terri Shiavo situation and the Pope being ill, it gets a person thinking. I think what happened to Terri Shiavo was a crime. I really question a husband's right to determine life or death for his wife when he's made a very public display of not being a "true" husband. I understand that he has a right to his own life, and in that case, he should have divorced Terri a long time ago and then let her parents and family assume responsibility for her care. But that's not what he did, is it? I do believe money was his only incentive for staying in the picture. Unfortunately in this situation, the world will never know what Terri would have really wanted for herself. It's possible she did say she never wanted to live in a vegetative state, and it's just as possible she would have decided her life was not her's to take, as her faith would have instructed. I'm not really interested in entering into the debate of right-to-life or right-to-death, I'm just interested in giving my own opinion. People can agree or disagree. I'm not really trying to convince people either way. I have to say it also bothers me that it's somehow OK to let a person die from intentional starvation when I don't think the courts would have allowed Terri to be killed by, say, lethal injection or some other quick method of death. Let's really drag it out and let her suffer for two weeks. Not right, people. Not right.

So you juxtapose all this with the Pope right now. He's being described as critically ill and people seem to think this is the end. But all reports also indicate the Pope as being calm and serene. This makes sense because he knows it's not really an end. He has no fear of death. If it plays out that he can't recover from his phyicals maladies, it'll be a sad day, indeed. This life will have lost a truly good man. But he will finally be at his eternal salvation. And I'd like to think that when my time comes, I can be as calm and serene knowing that I've left a good mark behind.