Thursday, November 30, 2006

I Did It Again

That's right, another year of NaNo over and done. Hallelujah!

Monday, November 27, 2006

When I'm Sixty-Four

For a reason that eludes me at the moment, but may have existed at one time, the lyrics to the Beatles' song "When I'm 64" have been running through my head for a couple weeks now. The part that always gets my attention is this:

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave
Yesterday I remembered that in the summer of '94, I stayed in a castle on the Isle of Wight. It was just perfect (aside from the jerk I was with). I'd settle for a cottage now. But honestly, even a movie about the Isle of Wight is too dear these days, even with scrimping and saving.

Maybe I can afford it again when I'm 64. But I'll drop-kick the kid who names his son Chuck, just so you know.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Things to Be Thankful For

High on my list of blessings this week is our neighbors a couple doors to the west, the B's. They are lovely people anyway, and they have daughters just a little younger than our sons. On Tuesday morning, the kids were supposed to have a play date, but The Man (TM) had gotten the flu overnight, and I realized at breakfast that it was upon me as well. So when sweet neighbor B1 called to see when Punkin would be over, we had to say, well, not this week.

So she made us a big pot of chicken soup. From scratch. And brownies. And cookies that looked like turkeys. She threw all this and some breakfast things into a box and brought it over to us. "Get well soon," she said. I about cried as I took it from her. She returned a little later with some stuffing and cranberry sauce for our Thanksgiving dinner. "We're not cooking this year," she said. This time, I really did cry.

Wednesday evening, her husband B2 called to see how we were doing. Fortunately, TM's (104-degree) fever had broken the night before, and he was up and around. I was still on my way down, but we were managing. "Have you guys eaten yet? We have some extra lasagne," he told TM. We had eaten, but about an hour later, he was at our door with a big dish of lasagne, a plate of pumpkin bars (with cream cheese frosting--yum!), and a totally geeky book that he thought TM would like. (He loves it!)

Today (still up on Thanksgiving night) I'm thankful for such kind and generous people in my life.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Casino Fatale

Umm, sure. Last time I was Death. Must've changed my favorite color or something.

You are The Tower

Ambition, fighting, war, courage. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin.

The Tower represents war, destruction, but also spiritual renewal. Plans are disrupted. Your views and ideas will change as a result.

The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." You have been shaken up; blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What's Up Here?

I've been looking around the blogosphere, or rather, the Blogger-sphere, and it seems that my blog is the only one that's refusing to load. Here I was ready to blame it on the servers, but no. It's me, somehow. Or my code. Which hasn't changed since last time I saw this thing. So what's the matter here, anyway?

Don't make me put on my combat boots and come over there, Blogger. I'll kick your *.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Note to My Sweetheart

I really don't mind losing the extra minute of sleep; you can come into the bedroom and get your glasses before leaving the house. Really. Hope you and the kids are safe out there today...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Not a Casualty Yet

Still busily trying to catch up on my NaNo novel (see my sidebar for status) while playing the role of the college widow (is there such a term? maybe just engineering widow) and managing the house and the kids mostly by myself while The Man (TM) tries to pass his classes. Oy.

But in honor of Veterans' Day and all the veterans in my life, including TM and his dad and most of the cast of my novel, I give you selections from Tom Lehrer's brilliant and pertinent song

It Makes a Fellow Proud To Be a Soldier
After Johnny got through basic training, he
Was a soldier through and through when he was done.
Its effects were so well rooted,
That the next day he saluted
A Good Humor man, an usher, and a nun.
Our old mess sergeant's taste buds had been shot off in the war.
But his savory collations add to our esprit de corps.
To think of all the marvelous ways
They're using plastics nowadays.
It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier!
(Full lyrics and comical commentary by Lehrer here.)

Hey, I even have a medal around here somewhere I received for some old military service or another. I used to wear it as an earring. Nowadays it doesn't go with anything I own. At ease.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And Now, the Weather

What the heck? It's getting on for the middle of November and we've got sunshine, blue skies, and 78 degrees out. I repeat, what the--?

Oh yeah, it had to get that hot so it can snow on Friday. Of course. Never mind. As you were.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What Are Words For?

So, I'm coming to the end of the fourth day of Nano, and I'm only about halfway to where I should be by now. (OK, that's an improvement over where I was a couple days ago.) It's a real shame I can't throw the 600 or so words I've written in this distracting blog into my official wordcount. So that means I need to buckle even further down and get my brain in gear. Ouch. That hurts.

What are you guys up to this November?

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Race Is On

...And I've already been beaten by a six-year-old! Well, not exactly. I've got about 1500 words to show for the 2 days I've been at work on this year's novel (which, yes, is less than one day's quota, dangit). But Pirate Boy wrote a book this morning before lunch. Illustrated it and bound it in a lovely green cover, too. He said it would have been longer, if he hadn't hurt his finger. Talk about shame. So I've got to somehow capture the fire again and get moving. My word count icon is in the sidebar, if you want to see how I'm doing at any given moment. Don't laugh. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What Is It With Me, Today?

See what I mean? I told you I had a long way to go.

discover your jack-o-lantern face @ quiz me

Thanks, Carmen.

High in Education

Now I begin to understand why we (in the U.S.) fall so short on college graduates...your sanity or your education? And of course "involuntary withdrawals" is another one of those phrases that raises my hackles. Seriously, kicking people out of school because they have, say, a nervous breakdown? Who are these people and who left them in charge?

Which reminds me, I can almost see this scenario playing out in a "historically black college" with students claiming the new president wasn't "black enough" (almost), but it gives me the willies to think about. And let's not even approach the idea that the leader of, say, Bryn Mawr might not be "female enough" to suit the student body. Whose decision is this, anyway? And what happened to diversity?

Long and Winding Road

I really thought I was doing OK with our straitened situation lately. I've been learning to make a variety of good meals with the same limited supply of food and keep the kids from complaining. I've learned not to whine myself even when I don't have chocolate in the house. I kept most of my misery to myself when I was out of pain medication. I keep going even when there's no money in the bank, little food in the fridge, and a severe lack of energy in my body.

But apparently there's something here that I still need to learn. I must have sighed just a little when I went to the fridge yesterday and found there was only one gallon of milk left to last us until Friday lunchtime. I must have had the fleeting thought that it would be hard to make that little bit of milk stretch so long among so many growing boys. But I had already resolved cheerfully to make the best of it (honest) by the time I got the lid off and discovered that, despite its expiration date, it had already gone bad.

I didn't cry, but I know I sighed then. I have so far to go still.


Aha, Renee found the lyrics for me. What the heck? It's... The Llama Song.