Friday, June 30, 2006

"This Sort of Thing *is* My Bag, Baby."

JF has the habit of scouring the internet for weird and amusing stories. He loves to pass these on to me, and pretty much everyone he knows as well. You know he's looking out for me when he comes home with lots of URL's written down on a sheet of paper. He came home the other day, and before he'd even shut the front door, he hands me a slip of paper and says, "You *have* to post this on your blog!"

"This" was a story about a judge who had been caught *during trials* using an enlarger pump under the bench. I'm at a loss to fathom in what universe the judge thought he could get away with it. Plus, the next time I'm called for jury duty, I'll have a hard time keeping a straight face while I look at the judge. I'll be straining my ears for the "foooot foooot foooot" sound from the area of the bench.

Another site my husband dearly loves is this one. Why he finds it hilarious, I'll never know, but he has the whole family walking around singing the catchy tune. And since it's World Cup time, he found the companion piece here and we've been walking around singing "footy, footy, footy -- England, England!" as well. I think he's most especially intrigued by the idea that the English Channel is populated by "ninjas, lasers, and gold."

Another site that he wants to send all you Star Wars lovers to is this one. Click on the main image and read each episode description located on the left hand side. Where he finds this stuff, I have no idea. It kinda disturbs me. My husband, that is. Although, I do spare a moment's worry about people who get very distressed when a Star Wars flick doesn't feature a few mutilations.

JF is also a HUGE fan of "Futurama", and was very pleased to hear that the show will be returning to the air. It will more than likely take about two years to produce new episodes, but in the meantime, he wants to follow in this fan's footsteps, and create a Halloween costume to be proud of. Scroll down so you may also partake of its awesomeness.

If nothing else, at least I can always count on him when I'm a little light in the content area. He'll always provide interesting links.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Postcards From The Funk

I'm sad to note, ladies and gentlemen, that the funk has returned. I think it's a combination of things coupled with my regular self-loathing.

I'm still missing my daughter. It's the first time I've even been away from her for any protracted length of time. (As I sat writing this, I get a phone call from camp. Offspring's been thrown from a horse, and while she's physically all right, the homesickness blues was triggered by the mishap. The camp nurse assures me that she's none the worse for the experience, but that she's just really missing her mom. Aw. My sweet baby.) I should be better about letting her spread her wings are soar on her own. I'm trying, but it's very hard.

I got a call from the Girl Scout parent that caused such a ruckus back in the Spring, and she told me that her daughter would not be returning to my troop in the fall. While, on one hand, I'm relieved that the dissenting voice that cause me such personal anguish will no longer be there, I somehow feel as if I've failed. It's my nature to want to please everyone, and I fell short of the mark here. I wonder whether the girl had anything to say in the matter, or if the decision was purely the mother's? From what I understand, the girls are perfectly happy with the way things are going, and it's just one or two mothers that are dissatisfied. So, now I'm left not only with the feeling that there's something I should have done and didn't; and feeling of failure, but also the odd sense of a job left undone; an incompleteness of sorts.

I also feel sort of superfluous at the moment -- school out for the summer, vacation over, child away, no major projects on the horizon. I'm at loose ends. I have nothing really occupying my time, and no real energy to start a new project. I've talked before about how I have real self-worth issues, and how I've gone to great lengths to try and prove to myself that I am a worthy person -- some days, it's harder to convince myself of it than others. There are so many reasons for why I can question my inner worth, and no matter how upbeat I try to be, sometimes the funk wins out. I guess this is just one of those times.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Halfway There

Offspring left for camp on Sunday evening. It's the first time she's ever been to resident camp, and we were both a little nervous. I was nervous because she had never spent so much time away from us, and she was nervous because she was going to be trying new things, and she was worried that she wouldn't make any friends.

Offspring stated a long time ago that she was going to be a vet when she grew up. She has always shown great affinity for animals, and has long been fascinated by animals. So, in furtherance of her animal love, we booked her for a week of camp with an emphasis on horses. Now, Offspring loves horses, despite the fact that she's never been any closer to one than a chance encounter with a tour carriage horse.

I was even more nervous when I read the stable's waiver -- we hereby waive any right to sue you should our beloved child die during her riding lessons. Erg. Well, I understand the stable's need to have informed parents, and their need to keep sue-happy people from robbing them of their livelihood, but wasn't there a better way to phrase it that that?

I have been rambling around the house all by myself since we dropped her off. It's very quiet. I never expected to feel so lonely. At any rate, I pick Offspring up on Friday evening. We're halfway there.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday Memories: Dig It!

In college, I had enough credits in two of my favorite pastimes to take minors in them: Theater and Anthropology. The Theater credits came from doing at least 2 plays every quarter, taking "Theater Lab" virtually every quarter, and from countless hours spent building sets, and clerking for the director. The Anthro credits came from Archaeological Field Work.

The Field Work was a summer-long dig. My college had long been associated with a dig on the site of a former Civil-War era plantation, and had spent several summers past working the site. The year that I took part, we were working in the area where the slave cabins had been. We learned how to dig a pit, learned all of the different tools excavators use, learned stratigraphy, and got thoroughly caught up in all the wonders of unearthing the past.

It was hot work, and hard -- first shoveling through the hard layers of oyster shell, and then painstakingly scraping off an inch of dirt at a time to find the treasures that awaited us beneath. We took turns digging and sifting, and each team had to take a turn with the surveying equipment as well. We spent hours brushing off artifacts in situ with paintbrushes. We minutely examined bone, metal, pottery, and everything in between. We would all scramble up out of our pits at the end of the day, dirty and bone-tired, but it was all worth it. We found a lot of wonderful artifacts, and I gained a new appreciation for all the hard work that archaeologists do that isn't glamorized by Hollywood movies. It's not Indiana Jones, but it wasn't without its moments of great discovery as well. It was the best summer of my college years. It was, by far, the class I enjoyed most out of my whole college career.

I would love to work on another dig someday -- there's something so satisfying about discovering a link to the past.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

What Bumper Sticker Should Be On Your Car?

As seen at Inner Dorothy, what should the sticky stuff on your bumper say about you?

Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

I've made smarter things than you by eating fiber

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Poetry Blogging.....Sort Of

In lieu of an actual poem, I'm posting some song lyrics. This is a song by my main man, the Haddington Bear - Fish (like you are all surprised..) and expresses the kind of give-'em-hell funk I'm in today. It's all about how you view things, and just pissed-off enough to give me that upswell of righteous indignation.

The Perception of Johnny Punter

Just another wake up, a hostage of a sunrise,
Just another petrified, ashen-faced motherfucker living on the planet.

(Just before it kicks in)

Just like a silver bullet,
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and tell me that it's worth it,
Said it'll never happen, you said you'd never get caught out,
You settled in a habit, so now you're Mr Fixit,
Just another alien, living on the planet,
Living on the planet, living on the planet.
It's just one of those days when you know that something's gonna happen.

Just another betrayal, lose another friend,
You know you never need them, on your own until the bitter end.
Just another pick up, just another kill, someone else's daughter, someone else's girl,
Living on the planet.
We are in another world, Living on the planet we are, we are,
And you know there's some days when you feel that something's gonna happen,
This is one of those days which you know that something's gonna happen,
And something's gonna happen.

Somedays you just wake up and you don't have any real sense of direction, you just can't find the will to get up and go through with it all, your next allotted 24 hour slice of destiny.
There's just a bad vibe and rather than a world of opportunities, it's full of threats and just too many negative variables. I'd noticed these houses way up in the hills and I tried to imagine what it would have been like living up there isolated from the world, every night watching the fires crawl slowly down the valley, and knowing that one night it was gonna be your turn for the visit.
I tried to imagine what it would have been like hiding in a cellar with your family and the fear hoping that when they do come, when the dogs don't bark, and the silence is around you, you hope that they burn the whole house around your ears and they don't discover you hiding in the cellar because you've got nowhere to go, and you know that one day that something's gonna happen. There's one day, just one day.

Just another village burning in the hills,
I saw it on the TV, just another thrill,
Someone else's problems, someone else's grief,
Someone else's children, living on the planet,
We are in another world living on the planet,
We are in another world living on the planet, we are, we are.

It's just one of those places that never exist till you've been there,
It's just one of those things that you never will see till you wake up,
And you know that somewhere there's somebody that's out there who thinks like you do.
And you hope that today is the day that it's all gonna happen for you.
And you know there's somedays when you feel that something's gonna happen.
This is one of those days which you know that something's gonna happen.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Jaunt Down Memory Lane

I went to private school for six years, and I have to tell you, it was like being in prison. Not that I'm overly familiar with the penitential life, but it was very stultifying. When, in the summer between my sophmore and junior years of high school, my parents divorced and private school was no longer anything we could afford, I secretly rejoiced.

At Shoebox School, I had 22 people in what would have been my senior class. I was told what classes I would be taking, including electives. When I was asked what language I had an interest in, I said I'd like to take German, as that's my family heritage. Imagine my surprise when my schedule for classes turned up with French as my "chosen" language. Had I continued my education there, I would have had to undergo "Moral Guidance" and been forced to take religion classes in a faith I did not belong to, nor would have chosen for myself. So, when private school was no longer an option, I did a little booty shake of gratitude and hied my big ole booty over to Gigantic High School posthaste.

Gigantic High was nothing like I had ever experienced before. There were so many people -- and the choices I was allowed to make for myself! I got to pick when to have lunch, electives, and even to participate in a work-training program! At Gigantic High, there were more than 200 people in my graduating class. I was learning with other ethnicities (shock upon shock!) and even no longer felt like one of the school oddball/outcasts.

I was afraid with so many people that I would not make friends easily. It had been a core set of us "weirdos" at Shoebox School, and we had gotten to be pretty tight. What if I wasn't able to find that here at Gigantic High? What if these kids were just at snotty and cliquish as those at Shoebox? It didn't seem humanly possible that there was enough of the snot-factor left over for other kids, but it could happen, right?

In one of my first few classes, I met LittleBit. LittleBit was a year younger than I, but we'd gotten stuck in the same Algebra class since I was dyscalculic, and we hit it off immediately. LittleBit quickly became my partner in crime. We went everywhere together. She was quiet where I am loud. She was reserved when I am gregarious. She was very straight-laced where I was often way more trouble. She was pretty and petite, where I am huge and homely. We were like Peanut Butter and Jelly for two years, until the year I graduated from high school. She was gearing up for her Senior year when her father lowered the boom. He was a military man, and had gotten transferred to Germany. LittleBit was devestated. Not only would she have to leave her home and her friends, but she would also have to do it for her Senior year of high school. We both begged for her to be allowed to finish out the year, but it was a no go. Her father put his foot down, and away LittleBit went.

We corresponded like mad -- letters and phone calls flew across the ocean. LittleBit neared the end of her Senior year, and invited me to her graduation. I thought it was all a formality, since I knew I wouldn't be able to go, but my parents surprised me by saying that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and they'd pay for me to go over. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I called LittleBit with the news. We both did the Happy Dance, and I started packing.

I ended up spending a little more than 3 weeks in Germany with LittleBit. We went to so many great places and did so many great things: We went to the Gutenberg Bible Museum; we went to Little Oktoberfest in Munich; we went to Castle Neuschwanstein; we rode the train most of the way across Germany. I learned so much; I felt so deeply immersed in history. I didn't want to ever come home, but my harridan mother screamed at me to get my behind on the plane.

I have always looked back fondly on that time together. We grew apart after a few years -- we both met our future husbands, and drifted away from each other, but these memories remain frozen in my mind. I still can see the summer skyline from the windows in Castle Neuschwanstein, and the Glockenspiel in Munich in my mind's eye. I can remember the joy on seeing my best friend again. I miss her. I miss the closeness that we once shared. I hope she is happy, where ever she might be, and that she's well and healthy. I hope to track her down one day.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Tribute to Juggling Freak

Happy Father's Day, JF! In honor of dealing with: a cranky pregnant woman, and a baby that was overdue; first-time fatherhood; learning how to hold a newborn; countless diapers; laughing at me for squirting the cat with breast milk; for ear infections; for buying little teeny patent leather shoes that hurt like hell when you're kicked in the groin with them; snuggling on the couch with your precious baby girl; for crying when she had to go into the hospital; for coming home after a hard day's work to take care of a distraught Mommy and a fussy baby; for watching in astonishment as Offspring got up and walked; for the thousands of dollars we spent on pacifiers; for her first word; for birthday parties; for starting school; for almost drowning; for helping her with her homework; for doing all those science experiments - like building a hovercraft for her to ride; for trips to Disney World; for endless Xbox games; for introducing her to movies that she thought she'd hate; for being the only Dad on the Girl Scout camping trips; for helping with all those frickin' shoebox diaoramas; for being the "calm" parent.

We love you more than you could ever know!
Mom and RatChild

Saturday, June 17, 2006

And Now -- to Bore You All With Vacation Pictures!

This is JF's infamous Sombrero. Yes, he bought it. Now it hangs on the wall in our living room. Offspring did not buy the Sorcerer hat, but she wanted to. She decided to spend her money on more important stuff, though -- Mickey ice creams.

The other shot is JF and Offspring on a Surrey Bike at the Boardwalk resort. We went to the boardwalk for dinner, and a walk around. Offspring wanted to rent a Bike, but since we were WAY too stuffed from dinner to pedal, we declined. So, she had to settle for a picture instead.

If these two pics don't bore you into a stupor, I may post more.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Always Knew The Diet Coke Would Do Him In One Day

Juggling Freak is well and truly hooked on Diet Coke. His consumption of Diet Coke is alarming. He can drink a 12 pack of diet Cokes in about eight hours. He saw this video clip earlier today. Sadly, it will probably not slow down his addiction, only further it. I do have to admit, the video was really cool. :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Random Bullets From Disney World

Hello, all! We're home, narrowly missing the onslaught of rain brought on by Tropical Storm Alberto. We had fairly nice weather, up until yesterday. And, then it stormed like hell so I could have the chance to drive home through it.

Just some random hightlights (or lowlights, as they may be) from our vacation:

* Are there any English people left in England right now? They all seem to be at Disney World! Everywhere we went, the Brits were there in full force, even going so far as to hang England flags from the balcony outside of their hotel rooms as to show their spirit for the World Cup. JF had to stop in the UK pavilion at EPCOT for a half-yard of beer, and he noted that the Rose and Crown pub was wall-to-wall World Cup mania.

* One word, people -- deodorant. Know it. Love it. USE IT! And often. For the love of God, please....use the deodorant!

* When you've gone to a water park to swim and soak all day, why do you shriek like little girls and run for cover when it begins to rain? You're at a freaking water park! You've been wet all day -- what's rain going to hurt?

* Why can't you go ten seconds without a cigarette? Why do you insist on lighting up and fouling the air around you merely paces from the designated smoking area? I'm so sorry we had to ruin your smoking habit with our vacation. This is really a hot button thing for me, since I managed to have to choke down lungsful of smoke where ever we went. People ignore the no smoking signs, even going so far as to light up in the queues! At least I didn't get burned this year, unlike a few years ago, when a gentleman (and I use the term very loosely) was ignoring the stares from all around, and smoked anyway. He brushed me with the lit cigarette, leaving a long burn on my arm. And, then pretended that it hadn't happened.

* If you are even slightly overweight, don't (for the love of God and those with sight) DON'T buy the Speedo. It's just icky. On SO many levels.

* Also, parents -- watch what your child wears. This is part of being a good parent. There was a girl at MGM the other day, approximately 10 years old, wearing a shirt that read: "If you think I'm a bitch, you should meet my mother!" First of all, inappropriate to begin with. Second of all, on a ten year old? In public? Didn't you READ the shirt? Who let her out of the house that morning?

* Vacation time seems to be the time that people everywhere just seem to let everything go. I saw numerous instances of people wearing things they had no business wearing. I mean, I know I'm fat, and I plan my outfits accordingly. I don't wear really tight stuff. I don't wear teeny-tiny tops or shorts. I look ridiculous, and everyone around me notices me. Not my style. I have never seen a larger collection of people who went with the bikini when they shouldn't have. Also in this same vein, parents who let their kids run absolutely freaking hog-wild, and pay no attention to them at all. (Of course, this may be their usual game-plan, but Disney World is the last place on earth that you should let Junior run around unattended.) I saw a kid who was by himself, no parent in sight, trying to scale a fence over a bridge. Luckily, he was way too small, and couldn't get over it, and finally gave up. He wandered off back into the crowd. I still don't know if he was ever found or not. Saw WAY too many instances of people letting the kids do whatever they wanted, and the parents just not caring. Either that, or they no longer had the energy to stop them.

Now, I should really go. I have three suitcases of funky laundry to do, and I have to go sort out all of the items we brought back with us. And my feet still hurt.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Pictures of Vacations Past!

Just to leave you with something to ponder as we leave on vacation -- here's a business sign that we saw while on vacation in St. Augustine. I have no idea what kind of establishment it was, but we saw the sign fleetingly while driving by one evening, and decided to go back during the day to take a picture. It neatly encapsulates my life, somehow....

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Off On Vacation

Now that I'm officially a Woman Of Leisure (as my father terms those who aren't working), we're off on our annual trip to Disney World!

We are in for eight days of Mickey Mouse, intense consumerism, and very sore feet. Blogging will more than likely not occur. We'll be back around June 14th. Everyone, stay safe, and have a great beginning of the summer!