Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hmmm....Maybe the Facebook Page *Wasn't* Such a Good Idea....

I was taking a rather circuitous route through BlogLand the other day, and came upon this story. Apparently, these students at Tarleton State University in Texas have a very funny (read: lame and disturbingly rascist) way of celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr Day.

According to The Smoking Gun, the students came to the party dressed in "gang attire", and one young female even came dressed as Aunt Jemima. The pictures feature party attendees eating fried chicken and what appear to be ribs. There are also many pictures of party participants drinking malt liquor.

The jig was up when the student head of the NAACP chapter at Tarleton discovered the photos on another student's Facebook page. When the student who had the photos on his page was contacted via email, he jabbered something barely intelligible about the party not being intended to be "rascist or discriminating." Yeah.

You know -- I've grown up in a city with rascism as a part of its inherent mix. Some people are open about their prejudices. The more dangerous of the species, by far, are those who hate in quiet. They're much more likely to grab a sniper rifle and head for a belltower. What bothers me most about this story is that these students have no clue that what they did was wrong. and what's more, they probably don't care.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Run For Your Lives.....

...the giant cats are taking over! Oh. Wait. That's only our cat, Lotus, annexing Offspring's dollhouse much the way Hitler annexed Poland. Sorry. Cancel Defcon One.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Freedom to Choose

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

This is an important issue for me. If it were not for choice, I may not be here now, and I certainly wouldn't be the person that I am today. In April of 1991, I was raped. It was an awful time in my life, made worse by the fact that I thought I had somehow deserved it, or brought it upon myself. I was 20 years old.

My world was shattered. I was very naive, very innocent for all of my bluster. I grew up in an insular little community, and while I was aware that rape happened, it seemed to happen far away. The kind of thing never touched my golden, carefree life. The worst I had to worry about at that time was bringing up my flagging Poly Sci grade, and to grumble that my jerky boss had put me on the late shift at the movie theater. I was active in community theater, and was excited because I had just scored a coveted role. My life was work, college, and my dearly-loved theater productions.

My world not only shattered, it melted away with lightning-fast speed. Suddenly, not only was I someone who'd been torn asunder physically, but the horror was compounded by the fact that I was now pregnant by the rapist.

Up until this point, I was sure, in my holier-than-thou fashion, that abortion was the refuge of the lower-class desperate. That people who were ignorant chose that avenue instead of the morally upright choice of having the baby, or even having the baby and placing it for adoption. It's funny how my attitude changed when I realized that I was pregnant. It was the worst sort of hell for me. I had always dreamed of the day that I would have children -- I'd imagined my life surrounded by them. And here I was, pregnant with one I did not want, and one that was left with me after a night of rape.

I had an abortion. If that choice had not been available to me, I feel quite sure that I would not be here today.

While abortion was something that I never would have thought I would ever do, I'm glad that it was an option. To the lawmakers who are pushing for a reversal of Roe v Wade: do NOT reverse this decision. It may not be a choice that you would ever make for yourselves, but it is a choice that needs to remain just that -- a CHOICE. I know that I'm not the only woman out there with a similar story. Please do not take that option away from us. Imagine if it were your mother, your sister, your wife. Let the highfalutin' attitude fall by the wayside, and consider whether YOU would want to be forced to bear an unwanted child, maybe at the risk of your own health. To reverse Roe v Wade would be akin to being violated again.

Stolen Shamelessly from CCW

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

Check back tomorrow evening for my post supporting freedom of choice.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Gift Exchange Wonderful-ness: Incoming

My package for the Winter Holiday Gift Exchange arrived several days ahead of schedule, and I was so, so tempted to open it. This was *not* helped by Juggling Freak who encouraged me to open the gift and lie, saying I'd opened it on the correct day. I resisted the urge, barely. I will confess that I rushed right to Andrea's to see who "Amy" was once I got a look at the return address.

Amy is located at The Texture of Things, and is sure to become a new blog haunt of mine. I have to do some blog admin this weekend, and her link will be going up. I admit that I poked nosily around her place a little bit, wanting to know a little more about her. I learned that Amy is married with one daughter, and has a wickedly sharp sense of humor. I like her already.

Upon opening the box, the first thing I spied was a large plastic container. I opened the gaily-decorated bucket to find a large bag of cookies nestled within. They were oatmeal with (I think) butterscotch chips, and they were simply scrumptious. Unfortunately, the hordes descended like a plague of locusts, and we wiped those cookies out in record time. Yum! (I must beg Amy for the recipe. Pleasepleaseplease...)

Amy also discerned that I'm rather slavish in my devotion to the color blue and penguins, and I got an adorable penguin holiday pin to wear for next year's holiday season, and two lovely (and blue) towels featuring cuddly penguins. Damn the torpedoes, those are going bathroom all year round! Heck with ""penguins don't belong in a tropical clime!"

I don't think Amy had to struggle too hard to discover that I'm craft-mad. I got a penguin stamp, which I will try to work into just about every project I can (he's so cute!) and a holiday-themed candy border stamp. Amy knows me very well already. Or am I just that obvious? That would be a big righty-o!

Encased within colorful wrapping paper also rested a nice "The Fall of Fergal" notepad, which I both need and use copious amounts of; a lovely brass "teacher" bookmark; a CD of poetry (which I plan to peruse this weekend); and a packet of Roaring Radish seeds.

Thank you so much, Amy! I enjoyed all the gifts very much, and I'm sorry that it took me a bit to post! I didn't want you thinking that I didn't like and appreciate my package -- I did, very much. Thank you for participating in the exchange, and for making my holiday that much more special. I can't wait to get to know you a little more! I hope that you keep coming back here to visit, and that we become good bloggy friends. I hope your package arrives soon, and is as perfect for you as yours was for me. You deserve a great gift!

Gift Exchange Wonderful-ness: Outgoing

Sorry I'm a bit late posting my gift contents. Blogger was acting persnickety last night, and I had no time nor opportunity to post then.

At any rate, last year, I participated in a holiday gift exchange that was arranged by Andrea, and I had SO much fun that I couldn't wait to participate again. Imagine my glee when my email with my giftee's name arrived, and it was CCW! CCW and I have determined that we share so many commonalities, that we are actually the *same* person. Of course, she's the skinny and pretty version, while I am the tall and craft-loving version. During recent telephone conversations, we have also determined that we are married to the same man. But, I digress.

I had discovered through my surfing at CCW's all about her faves, and likes and dislikes. I had always figured on making a scrapbook-y type item for my giftee, since Sue liked hers so much last year, but since I knew CCW a little better than the lion's share of the other participants, I was really able to tailor the scrapbook to her family. I added anecdotes that CCW had told me about the family members, making sure that I added a TtFTE page especially for Not-So-Baby-H.

I do have a tale to tell about the black fuzzy socks -- CCW has already shouted to the whole of the internets (*thanks a lot, buddy!*) that said socks were purloined, not purchased. Unfortunately, she's right. I had a number of things in my buggy at the craft emporium where I got said "liberated" socks, and they somehow got snagged between two other items, and didn't end up getting paid for. I didn't discover this until the next day, when I was totalling up what I'd spent to make sure I stayed within the $25 dollar limit, and was confronted with the fact that they were not listed on the receipt. They cost a dollar. Next time I go to the craft place, I'll have to hide a dollar in the sock basket. Ssssh!

So, here are some photos of CCW's gift in both construction and in packing. I had such a good time with making CCW's scrapbook and the cross-stitched brass ornament. I love crafty stuff, and I'm always pleased when someone likes what I've made for them. I was also happy to help foster her rather unhealthy obsession with lip gloss and chapstick. After all, at least Mr. MFBA will benefit from that, right? (Please pay VERY little attention to the fact that my craft room looks like a scrapbooking store threw up. I apparently have to have every sheet of paper I own and then some (none stolen, however) on the desk as I work. There is method to my madness. I think.)

I'm glad that CCW liked her gifts. I hope she was as pleased with the giving as I was with the constructing. Happy Gift Exchange, CCW!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bullets of Blah

Today has been one of those blah kinds of days, so I have no energy to offer you anything more than mere bullets. Please accept my mediocre apology.

* Had a migraine at work today. I think it was brought on by the odor of a solvent that our custodians were using. I really feel for Sue, who seems like she has been dealing with migraines 24/7 lately. So much for that wonder drug they promised you, Sue. Hope you can find some relief soon.

* I have advanced to level 32 of weffriddles, which is a major feat for me, considering that I only allowed myself 30 minutes of solving time yesterday. I think Linda said it best: avoid this crack-like plague if at all possible. And, for what it's worth, I humbly apologize to anyone that I got hooked on it. I'm truly, deeply sorry.

* Watching Offspring play a video game with lots of action and moving around is not exactly helping the migraine. I'm just sayin'.

* Had a coworker ask me if I was losing weight today. No, and I don't think I have, but it's a damn sight better than them telling me how much weight I've packed on. What *is* it with people and the obvious lack of manners that they could just blurt out to someone, "Gosh -- you're gaining some of your weight back!" This has happened to Juggling Freak a few times recently, and it never fails to anger me on his behalf. It really burns my biscuits when fools can't keep their traps shut!

* Offspring got quite a lot of money for her birthday, so she took a large chunk of it and bought some of those Heelys that everyone in the tween set has been wearing. She has not had very much opportunity to roller skate before, so I was afraid that she was going to get discouraged quickly when she couldn't immediately do triple axels right off the bat. And, that she was going to have basically chucked her birthday money down a hole. Cause the Heelys weren't exactly cheap. To my surprise, however, she practiced with them almost every second of the day since she got them, and was fairly proficient in about three days. There have been the odd bumps, bruises, and selected wipeouts, but on the whole, I'm proud that she's kept with it. She would have slept with the blasted things on if I would have let her.

* Over at Andrea's, I made the very rash and hard-to-keep promise to cut back on my crass American consumerism. Among other things, I plan to NOT buy any more crafting supplies until the 10th of February. My goal is to use the more than copious supplies that I already have on hand, and not just fritter away money on stuff that will gather dust. Let's see if I'm able to keep that promise. On the positive side of things, I avoided the craft stores all weekend (even though there were SALES!) because I know how craven and weak I am.

* Speaking of Andrea, I just popped over to her place and saw that today is the day we FINALLY get to open our Winter Holiday exchange packages! Hooray! Heck with you guys -- I'm off to get goodies! I'll take lots of pics, and post the contents of my box tomorrow!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Should I Be Worried....

....that I'm the number one Google search hit (at the moment, that could all change, you know) for "god help me with by brain injured husband"?

I mean, sure -- he's taken some ribbing here, but I don't think it's gone all that far! I have talked about his porpoise-like qualities, and about our familial propensity for ocular damage, but I don't think I've ever been so crass as to come right out and call him "brain injured"!

I'll be hearing about this one for days.....

Saturday, January 13, 2007


You know, I usually read jo(e)'s page, wondering what great stuff I'm going to read there. Whether it's her own reminiscences or anecdotes about her wonderful family, jo(e) always has something interesting to say. Except now - I'm not so fond of those kids of hers! Jo(e) mentioned that they were very into solving weffriddles, and I, like a dummy, had to go and get myself addicted to them!


Jo(e), I'm so mad at your kids right now! (Especially because I'm stuck on level 11, and they probably breezed right through ALL of them!)

I even dreamed about weffriddles last night!


Thursday, January 11, 2007

And Yet Another Meme

As seen at the still-gorgeous, even while sick Karyn's, I give you yet another meme.


1. The phone rings. Who are you hoping it is?

My father, with an update on his recent hospital tests and hopefully, the results.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?

No. That's Offspring's job. She hates it when I don't let her return the cart.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?

I listen at first, but once I feel comfortable, I've been known to throw my opinion into the mix.

4. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?

Only if I'm abandoned near a fully-stocked cabin that I happen to run across. Otherwise, I'm lunch for some bear. And maybe dinner, too.

5. Do you like to ride horses?

No. Not since I grew bosoms. The last time I rode, I whanged myself in the noggin with my own breasts. That stopped the riding cold.

6. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?

Yeah. I went to both week-long camps, and once for a whole summer.

7. What was your favorite board game as a kid?

As a young kid, probably something like Clue. As an 'older kid' - high school age, Trivial Pursuit. Or Pictionary.

8. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was taken what would you do?

First, I would check to see that they had the right person. Then, I'd think it was a joke of some sort, and if/when I determined that it wasn't some sort of in-bad-taste prank, I would tell them that I'm happily married, and I don't need anyone else, but thanks for the ego-boost.

9. Are you judgmental?

I try very hard not to be. I feel that I am more judgmental of actions than of people. I don't focus on race, sex, religion, or creed, but I sometimes get offended in conversation where no offense is meant. I often read more subtext into things than is really there.

10. Would you date someone with different religious beliefs?

Yes, and have. Am married to someone with very different beliefs, and it's going pretty well, thank you for asking.

11. Are you continuing your education?

No, but I need to. I do take continuing ed classes for my recertification, but I need to go back to school full time. I just don't have the resources to do that at this time.

12. Do you know how to shoot a gun?

No, and I don't particularly want to. I don't like guns. I have an innate fear of them. I've been held at gunpoint before, and I've never really gotten over either instance. I have the horrible fear that I will die by gun violence.

13. If your house was on fire, what's the first thing you'd grab?

After making sure that my family was out safely, our cat. Then, if we're all safe, the baby pictures and wedding albums.

14. How often do you read books?

As much as possible. Sometimes instead of sleeping. And, I REALLY like to sleep.

15. Do you think more about the past, present or future?

I don't live in the past, but I do keep a summer home there. I try not to belabor the past, but I tend to forget a lot of the "bad parts" and romanticize it a bit. I need to live more in the here and now.

16. What is your favorite children's book?

For young kids, things like "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" and "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". For older kids, anything in the "Harry Potter" series, and my favorite growing up was "The Secret Garden." I recently read a "tween novel", "13 Little Blue Envelopes," which I enjoyed a great deal.

17. How tall are you?

Six feet. That was the verdict at the doctor's the last time I was officially measured, but the husband is six feet as well, and I'm very slightly shorter.

18. Where is your ideal house located?

It's an ivy-covered mansion in London. Or a secret apartment in Cinderella Castle at Disney World. Or a permanent (and FREE) suite at the Grand Floridian Resort at Disney World.....

19. Last person you talked to?

Juggling Freak.

21. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?

The day after Christmas. We had to spend that gift card from my parents!

22. What are your keys on your key chain for?

My car, JF's car, the house, my classroom, my mother's house, a door key to the place where my Girl Scouts meet, and one to the cash box that we take out to cookie sales.

23. What did you do last night?

Cooked dinner, ate dinner, washed dishes. Got Offspring ready for bed, read her some more from "Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank for her Social Science Fair Project, and got her in bed. Packed lunch boxes, attempted to post over at Phantom's (off and on for about 3 hours), and got ready for bed. Read until 12:30, and finally went to bed because I knew that the alarm would ring early, and I would be hating myself in the morning for staying up late.

24. Where is your current pain at?

She's in her bedroom. Oh -- mean *actual* pain.....In the foot with plantar's fasciitis.

25. Do you like mustard?

Regular mustard, no. Honey mustard, yes.

26. Do you like your mom or dad?

I love them both. Didn't always LIKE them, but I always loved them.

27. How long does it take you in the shower?

Right about seven minutes. I'm a wash and get-the-heck-outta-Dodge kind of gal. It helps having very short hair.

28. What movie do you want to see right now?

Nothing too much. Am eagerly awaiting "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

29. Do you put lotion on your dog or cats?

Don't own a dog, and I could never conceive of a time where putting lotion on my cat might work out well for any of us.

30. What did you do for New Year's?

Ate dinner out with my family, went home, and watched TV together.

31. Do you think The Grudge was scary?

Didn't watch it. Didn't care to.

32. Do you own a camera phone?


33. What's the last letter of your middle name?


34. Who did you vote for on American Idol?

I didn't watch any of the various incarnations of American Idol.


You are all welcome to appropriate this meme for your own amusement, should you wish. Props to Karyn for stealing it in the first place!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My Heart

At 10:31 am, on January 9th, 1996, my beloved daughter was born and placed, squalling and warm on my chest. My life has never been the same.

Sweetie, I love you more and more each day. You constantly surprise and amaze me. You are growing and changing so fast, but I can still see the capricious toddler inside of you who loves new experiences. You are just as at ease painting your fingernails and planning your outfits as you are coloring and playing with dolls.

When people look back on their lives, they often want to have left a mark -- some way to show that they were here on this Earth, and that they made a difference. YOU are the thing that I'm most proud to leave behind.

I can't believe you're already eleven. The years have flown by so fast. Happy Birthday, my baby.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Mayfly Project

A friend of mine ran across this site, which I thought was both interesting and challenging. The challenge is to sum up the past year in twenty four words. Here was my submission:

"Still teaching. Married for fourteen years, still happy. Daughter is my best contribution to society. Blogging, crafting, learning. Working on being happy with self."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sweets For The Sweet

We had theorized quite a long time ago that the holidays were way too busy to support the idea of squeezing a cookie swap in among all the other hoopla. Most people who responded with interest for a swap said that a more appropriate time would be around Valentine's Day. I figured that this was a good time to revive this idea, and get started with the questionnaire that I thunk up.

For those of you who are interested, email me at mistresskoflee AT yahoo DOT com, and let me know that you want to participate. In the email, please include your real name and street address. This info will help ensure that your Baking Buddy gets your goodies to the right location. The info will not be seen by anyone other than myself and your Baking Buddy. Then, you can answer the questionnaire, and post it on your own blog (under the heading of "The Great Cookie Swap Questionnaire", so everyone can find it!) by January 24th. On January 25th, I will take the names of all participants, draw for Baking Buddies, and let you know via email what name was drawn for you. You can then peruse their website at your own pace and decide what goodies to make for them. I think we said that 2 dozen was a good amount -- you can make two seperate recipes, or just one; whichever you prefer. Take pictures (for further blog fodder) during the baking of your goodies, and of your parcel (opening AND consumption!) when it arrives. All packages will be mailed by February 7th so they will (hopefully) arrive in time for Valentine's Day. You may open your parcel the very second it arrives. Cookies are perishable, right? So, you have to eat them fast in order to maintain that optimum freshness! Sound good? Okay -- on to the questionnaire!

The Great Cookie Swap Questionnaire

(replace the italicized text with your answers)

1) If I should die in some cookie-related accident, you can be sure that my favorite cookie was to blame. They'll probably find those crumbs clutched in my fist. And sprinkled across my pillow.

2) I think that my least favorite cookie flavor or addition are an abomination unto man and should be pushed off a cliff into the roiling sea below! (Example, coconut, or grape jelly -- whatever!)

3) Please don't send me cookies with any allergies should be noted here, or things you can't eat for dietary or religious reasons, because I will end up in the ER/shunned by my parents, and you wouldn't want that on your conscience, would you? (If you don't have an allergy, that's fine. I know we have several in our blog community who do, though.)

4) I have a coworker who thinks that chocolate and mint are an appalling combination -- clearly, she is a delusional person -- but I think someone was not operating on all cylinders when they dreamed up this combination: choose your least favorite cookie duo/team here.

5) I hardly ever get to eat cookies because other people in my house always steal them from me! I plan to hide my cookies, and eat them all by myself!/ share them with my family.

6) My ideal cookie would have all of your favorite ingredients in it. Yum!

7) I am participating in this Cookie Swap because: list your own reasons here.


All right, you lot-- get to it, and send me an email if you are interested! I don't mind Canadian participants -- some of my favorite bloggers are North-of-the-Border types! Everyone is welcome! Happy baking and swapping!