Thursday, November 29, 2007


Oceanus is 9. We had a rough start with Oceanus. He had all the classic signs of a "spirited child". Life with him was difficult from the start.

He wasn't content to be born "normally", no, my child had to come out sunny side up and with a telephone hand.

Once born, the child didn't want to nurse. The nurse gave him a pacifier - against my wishes, the witch - and there we had nipple confusion. He ended up jaundiced (probably at least in part due to the vitamin K shot which is mostly unnecessary when you let the cord stop pulsing before you cut it) and I ended up crying and begging him to nurse. I refused to let any chance for him to nurse to pass by - at the fair, at the doctor's office for heel sticks, at restaurants, you name it.

Then the child refused to sleep unless someone was holding him. Against every thing I had ever said and believed, I brought the child into my bed so that we could get ANY sleep.

Then he walked early - just to make my life difficult, I'm sure (j/k, I think).

School was a fun hell. I wanted him in preschool so he could socialize with other kids because I was not the playgroup kind of mom (although I did try, but M.O.P.S. has very specific geographical requirements and I didn't live in the right area). How fun was that?

We started 1st grade at a Montessori school. Except Montessori was not the right name for this school - the teacher was a bitch and expected way too much out of 6 and 7 year olds and then didn't expect enough. Oceanus spent every day in trouble because he couldn't find his homework within the two minute time limit. This went on through 2nd grade.

So we moved to public school. Suddenly life was better. Now he was getting in trouble, but it was "normal" trouble - talking and horsing around with other kids. Other kids! Can I tell you how relieved that made me?

This year? The kid had an unbroken record of stickers on his behavior chart. I was beginning to wonder if he was normal. A kid of mine that NEVER gets into trouble? "Are you enjoying school? Do you have any fun?" (I know, I'm a bad mother thinking you can't have fun and be good all the time).

Well today? Today he proved he's normal. He got into trouble for horseplay in the boys' room. I made a semi big deal out of it, not realizing how sensitive he was about it. Poor kid. I had him in tears. He just knew his dad and I were going to freak out (please, Hyperion got sent to the office twice last year and we didn't freak out, what was he afraid of?).

Oceanus is NORMAL!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I got nothin'

My muse has left. So how about a Bug Hill update?

Megan is still pregnant. She's due Christmas day, but thinks she'll have the baby 2 weeks early. That's what she says her OB says. I predict an induction and a c-section around the 20th. I hope I'm wrong, but experience has taught me that this is the "natural" order of things anymore.

Bug Hill is planning their Winter Parade. Anyone who wants to enter a float needs to contact Leslie Johnson and she'll get you the specifications and guidelines for the float contest. She's advertised that there's very few floats entered so far, so chances of winning a prize are really good. Also, any merchants out there who would like to donate goods, etc for prizes are encouraged to contact Leslie ASAP so she can get their names and donations in the paper as soon as possible. Remember, the earlier your name is in the paper, the greater your advertising exposure is!

The Bug Hill Elementary Glee Club is performing at the December PTA meeting. Glee Club members need to have either a red or green t-shirt (I pushed for blue and white but was overruled) and jeans or tan pants. The meeting is open to all members of the general public. If you wish to join PTA it isn't too late. Dues are $5/family and all the money raised is being used to provide a shade structure for the playground equipment. You can join at the meeting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Do you celebrate Christmas as a Religious Holiday?"

We had our soccer team party last night. One of the mothers I've come to really like asked me "Do you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday?". She knows we're fairly secular so I wasn't sure what she was asking.

I said "well, we read the Christmas story each year and I guess the kids know the religious aspects, but we don't really stress it."

She's 7th day adventist and this year they've decided to completely divorce the religious aspect from what is, in all reality, a cultural holiday. She said she just couldn't make it square up anymore. The idea that we're throwing this huge holiday in celebration of a man who was so humble.

And then there's the aspect of "Jesus is the Reason for the Season, now get out of my way so I can get that last " with elbows being thrown.

I've become more and more scrooge like over the last few years. The more I hear about the "War on Christmas" (get a grip people, Happy Holidays has been a song and a movie for YEARS) the more weary I get of the whole thing. Spend, spend, spend.

And then there's the travel. We're expected to travel back to Oklahoma for xmas every year. It's too expensive to fly 4 people to Oklahoma and there's no airport within 1.5 hours of our families' houses, so we'd still need to drive once we got there. So we drive for 12 hours just for a celebration. Forced cheeriness. And I'm miserable the whole time I'm there - I'm cold and my allergies are killing me because everyone is using their fireplaces and woodburning stoves (it's the most affordable and reliable source of heat for people in rural and semi-rural areas).

Of course, traveling does have its benefits. We are forced, by necessity, to restrict the gifts we buy and so are our families. We can only haul so much. The car does allow us to transport more than we would in an airplane, but not much more. My mother tells me every year that I need to buy a minivan or an SUV. I remind her that gas prices are climbing and we couldn't afford the extra gas even if we wanted to waste the extra resources.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cool New Site

Via Jenny comes The Nourished Kitchen.

I haven't spent much time there, but so far I'm impressed and excited. I recently set up a shared calendar for Mr. Gaia and I with the idea that we would plan our menus along with shopping lists, etc. So far we haven't really done much with it, but it's only been a couple of days.

It's chilly here in the subtropics, so I dug around in the freezer and pulled out the chicken carcass saved from the last roasted chicken and the chicken wing tips saved from our party. I threw them in my pasta insert and put that in my pot full of water with garlic and pepper and sea salt. I'm making broth now. Tomorrow after everything has cooled, I'll pull out the pasta insert and pull some meat off the bones and add celery, carrots, onions and kale. It'll be sooo yummy!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mother in Law Rant

Okay, first let me say that I love my mother in law. I know I'm very lucky that she is as wonderful as she is, but I'm human. She does things that drive me crazy. Especially when she's in my house (I don't mind when I'm in her house - after all it's her space, she can do what she wants).

#1 - I've told you my dishwasher sucks. You've seen dishes come out of it not clean - dishes that were cleaner when they went in (I basically use it as an autoclave these days). So for the love of God, don't just throw things in that aren't even wiped off. I swear - clumps of mashed potatoes are not going to wash off, they're just going to get distributed to everything else in the dishwasher. Same for pie crust. And dried on garlic cream cheese.

#2 - the dishwasher sucks. So don't put in things that are easy to handwash - like mixing bowls and pie plates.

#3 - your wrists are weak. We all know that. Please, please, please don't attempt to wash my heavy pottery mixing bowls. Yes, I know it's only a chip and it's on the outside and won't affect the use of it. Yes, I know it didn't crack through and it's still safe. I don't care. I've had it less than a year and it was a birthday present. I was already pissed with your son for using it to serve food but didn't say anything because that's why we got them.

#4 - your son and I don't drink coffee. We provide a coffee maker and coffee for you because we love you and know you need it. Please clean the grounds out of the maker before you leave. We don't drink coffee and I find it vomit inducing to have to mess with used grounds (I have no idea why, but I do).

My inlaws are gone and I just had to clean out the inside of my dishwasher because there were clumps of food in it. Have you ever taken the racks out and washed out your dishwasher? Yeah, it sucks great big donkey dicks.

Yes, my beautiful blue mixing bowl now has a HUGE chip out of it. Yes, we have part of the chip and can glue it in place but really, it's only part of the chip and looks worse with that in than out.

I'm so glad they're gone. I really prefer to visit people in their homes rather than mine. I'm very catlike in that manner.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


It's cold in the subtropics.

I've caught my cat under the covers of the bed several times (you can't force her under the covers normally.

My trick for heating the house without turning on the heat it to cook a big pot of soup or beans. Tonight it was beans for beans and cornbread.

The other trick is to heat a kettle of water and pour it into my thermos and then have hot cocoa or hot tea all evening. If you're like me and in need of a little bit of relaxing - a little bit of amaretto and coconut rum is wonderful (I had this in Crested Butte one year - they called it a German Chocolate and it was just the thing after a day of skiing).

And then my fuzzy socks and fleece blankets. So far, we haven't turned on heat and I'd like to wait until at least January. It's still 69 in the house - so plenty warm, just difficult to handle when it was 80 in the house only 3 days ago.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Buy Nothing Day

Today was Buy Nothing Day in the US. And, I bought nothing in the US today.

I went to Mexico.

I bought alcohol - always a necessity and the tequila is just so much cheaper there.

And, I bought handmade christmas ornaments. I feel guilty about these. They were fifteen cents each, which, I'm sure, means that the person who made them was paid pennies. I'm just hoping they were made by someone who was doing this at home or outside and not in a sweatshop.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

My in-laws made it in about 12:00 last night (which would be why there was no post yesterday, I do all my posting late at night and last night was spent getting ready for them).

We had a lovely day today. Sitting around talking and eating. And eating. And playing games. And playing with the kitten. Watching the kitten and mother-in-law's dog face off over and over and over again (dog wants to play, kitten is having none of it). Miss Maya (my first baby) spent the day hunkered down in our room.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New kitty

After 12 years of wanting a second kitty, we went to the animal shelter and picked out a kitten today.

We looked at lots of kitties. Friendly ones, loud ones, quiet ones, needy ones. I wanted to adopt them all. I would have liked to adopt some of the adult kitties, but with a 12 yo cat at home it seemed best to get her something she could dominate.

After much thought, I decided I wanted a boy kitty because they seem to be more cuddly and I want a cuddly kitty.

So we found the prettiest cream tabby kitty I've seen in a long time. He's about 10-14 weeks old and playful and cuddly.

The boys named him Ron Weasley (after wanting to name him OJ which made Mr. Gaia and I cringe).

He's currently confined in the boys' bedroom with a food bowl and a water bowl and his own litter box.

While we were there, some coward dropped off a box of baby kittens (barely had their eyes open, I'll bet) and then ran. There were about 6 kittens in there. I wanted to say "I'll foster them and give them their formula and raise them to be big and strong" but Mr. Gaia pulled me away fast.

Monday, November 19, 2007

So... the job interview

Okay - going into this I knew there was no way I would get the job. I don't speak Spanish.

But, I think the interview went pretty well. I was calm and relaxed and chatted with the interviewers before and after. I think I gave good answers to the questions and did a fairly good job tying in past jobs with this job.

Some of the questions threw me completely and I felt like a blathering idiot. Questions I can totally think of much better answers for now. I was expecting questions about birding, etc and was prepared to talk about my favorite birds (sparrows are #1, believe it or not).

I was very upfront about having kids - I mean I have to be, the questions were about school groups and kids, so I had to somewhat talk about my kids and how being around them and their friends has helped me to develop my skills in this area.

Then came the spanish question. They asked me to translate 2 sentences to spanish. I couldn't remember more than "me llamo es" - sigh. I explained that I was working on learning it and that I was in the "decoding" phase. That I knew enough to say "mas despacio, por favor" and pick out key words to "put through my decoder ring in my brain" (DORK!!).

I did tell them that I really wanted the job. They told me that the process would take 2 weeks and at the end of the time, the person they hire will get a call, the rest of us will get letters. I said "well, I would like a call, not a letter, please." (again DORK!!!)

So, in 2 weeks I guess I'll know for sure what I already know. But you know, this is a process. I know now what I need to know. I need to get my Master Naturalist certification, my Certified Arborist certification (officially working on that now!! Yay me!!), and get the spanish. Mr. Gaia and I are going to buy the Rosetta stone latin american version.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tournament is Over!

They played 3 games - they tied 0-0, lost 1-0 and won 2-0. If the team they lost to had beat the team they tied, they'd have made the semi-finals. I was just glad to get to come home and take a long nap.

My interview is tomorrow and once again, I'm caught up on what to wear. Skirt or slacks? Tailored blouse with a jacket? Tailored blouse without a jacket?

What do I carry? They said I didn't need to bring anything. I didn't use a resume to apply - I filled out a state application. They didn't ask for references. Do I take a list of references and a resume? I haven't updated my resume since I got this new job, but it wouldn't be that difficult, necessarily. 3 references are somewhat of a problem. I have a professor from my night classes, a co-worker from a previous job and that's it. I would use another professor, but she didn't hire me when she had the chance, so why should I trust her to give me a good reference? I don't want to use to my current boss even though I know he would be honest and give me a good reference.

Sigh, this is always so stressful.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Heartbreaking day

Tiring day.

First game at 9:00. The other team had the most amazing footwork I've ever seen in a group of 9 and unders. We tied 0-0.

Then a game for Hyperion at 10:15. Lots of shoving and pushing that wasn't seen by the ref. Then our boys decided to shove and push and were seen by the ref. Sigh. Lost 5-1.

Then another game for Oceanus at 1:00 (which was delayed until 2:00). And it just wasn't our day with refs. Whenever the ball was kicked out the ref decided our team kicked it out, even when we were nowhere near the ball (we're not talking things that might be close calls). I'm tempted to send the video of this game to the tournament organizers - it was that bad. We lost 1-0 which will count as a shut out and get extra points for the opposing team. Now it wasn't all the ref, our team kept kicking the ball right in front of the net and our midfield players kept holding back. Our poor scorers had no help at all.

We have one more game tomorrow morning at 10:00. That should be it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thank God it's Friday

I haven't done a thankfulness post in a while, so here goes:

1) I'm very thankful my boss is gone until Monday, November 26. I hope to get quite a bit done, if the other boss doesn't decide to give me a major project.

2) I'm very thankful for our health. I'm thankful that so far any cold we've gotten hasn't been this bad.

3) I'm thankful Oceanus made the playoffs, even if it is inconvenient.

4) I'm thankful MIL and FIL decided to put off their visit for the holiday - from getting here today to getting her Wednesday (more time to clean which is desperately needed).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Good news post

First item of good news - I have an interview for my dream job. It's actually not the same one I posted about, rather it is but it's at a different park. There were 3 parks in our area with this position open, so I applied for all 3 even though one is too far away to be feasible over the long term.

Second item of good news - Oceanus' team made the tournament. Actually they didn't exactly, but another team pulled out at the last minute and so they are in. This is one of those things that is good news for Oceanus and his team but not so good news for me. I need to go check out the park for my interview (which is Monday) and this weekend was the only time I could go. Now we'll be at soccer games all weekend. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Texas Pledge of Allegiance

I went to a PTA meeting Monday night. The student council did a presentation on the flag. So of course we started with the US Pledge of Allegiance and then went to the Texas Pledge of Allegiance. Wha? TEXAS Pledge of Allegiance? So, for all of us non-Texans (and I will always be a non-Texan no longer how long I live in Texas) here is the pledge:

Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible

Okay, WTF? What does allegiance to TEXAS mean? That I will defend the state if Oklahoma attacks from the North? That I will fight to the death to defend their sports teams?

I performed the pledge of allegiance despite my current issues with the state of our country (justice and liberty for all? Tell that to the people in Gitmo). After the pledge, I do what I always do which is drop my hand from my heart and put my arms behind my back. When they announced the Texas pledge, I thought about moving my hand back and then decided not to and shrugged my shoulders. I DON'T pledge allegiance to Texas, I won't even act like I do.

A lot has been made of all the reactionary patriotism since 9/11. People suddenly wearing flag clothes all the time. Having every item they own covered in stars and/or stripes. Yeah, move to Texas and you'll see symbolic patriotism (state-ism?) taken to a whole new level. More houses than not display either the Texas flag or multiple "Lone Stars". You go to Home Depot and you can buy benches, ceiling fans, chandeliers, wall paper and probably dozens of other items I haven't seen yet covered in a Lone Star.

As an Oklahoman (until the day I die, no matter where I live) it makes me very uncomfortable to be around such outward displays of zealotry. I'm beginning to get used to it, but it's still very weird.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm so old

"Mom, back in the olden days, did women do more of the housework?"

"What do you mean by olden days?"

"You know, back when you were a kid. Back in the 1900s."

That was bad enough. Now I'm watching "Folks!". Okay the movie was made in 1992 - that was the year after I graduated High School. Not that long ago, really. But the fashions!! And the technology. There's a computer using floppy disks (at least they're 3.5"). And gas pumps that had dials that weren't pay at the pump.

Seriously, the movie looks like it was made in the 80s. Or what I remember as the 80s.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Eye candy

Sooo dreamy.

I could totally get lost in here.

Seriously, you have to go check it out. Every time I look at them I think I've found my favorite and then another one catches my eye and IT'S my favorite.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Coolest Earrings Ever

Okay, you knitters out there have to check out these earrings - they're too wonderful.

Can I admit to being more than a little jealous of the creativity that inspired these? I am so not creative at all.

Here's a link to her Etsy shop -


Remember my post about the emergency room visit?

So, after the insurance finished their negotiations we owe ... wait for it ... $1,282.07. This is 2 mortgage payments. A year's worth of property taxes. A year's worth of auto insurance. Guess what just came due in the last 2 months? Property taxes and auto insurance. Guess who doesn't have any free money right now? Yep, me. Of course we haven't gotten an actual bill from the hospital yet so we should have time to gather some money from our long term savings.

Now before insurance negotiated it was $3,225, so we're paying approximately 40% of the bill. And Oceanus has now met his deductible for the year.

I thought we had better insurance than this and I'm rather pissed. I know we did last year and assumed the insurance was the same this year. Apparently there was a change in the policy this year (and an increase in premium!). Last year we had an emergency room co-pay and that was it (or so said the insurance policy we were given). This year, we pay all up to the deductible and then 30% of the remaining. Of course, we benefit from the negotiation power. A family without insurance would be expected to pay the full amount and would probably have their paycheck garnished to cover it all, plus interest and attorneys' fees.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Soccer games

I mentioned in one of my comments that Hyperion gets really bothered by people straying from what he perceives as the correct path. This really plays out in soccer games. Last year it wasn't a problem because he was new to the game and didn't understand the strategy and ideas.

This year it's a HUGE problem. He's not on a very good team, they haven't won a game - EVER (his coach from last year didn't come back so the team was split up). He knows (or thinks he knows) what everyone is supposed to be doing. So when one of his teammates doesn't do what Hyperion thinks he is supposed to do, Hyperion fixates on it. To the point of actually refusing to continue to fully participate in the game.

Today when we got to the game, the parents didn't know what field they were supposed to play on. I'll admit I didn't check, I assumed it was the same field as always, but there were already 2 teams warming up on that field, so clearly not. I met the parents and they told me the field number but didn't know what field that was. I did because Oceanus spent most of the season last year playing on that field. Hyperion and I had brought two balls with us because we knew that the rest of the team never brought balls to the games and consequently we often didn't have a ball for warming up. So, the team kicked the balls over to the correct field. I reminded them to stay off the other fields because teams were warming up. A couple of the kids didn't pay attention and lost control, kicking it onto the other field. No big deal, just go ahead and kick it off the field and continue to the right field. Except they didn't. They continued to mess around on the field, I reminded them we needed to get out of the way and when they didn't immediately comply, Hyperion lost it. Sigh.

So he gets it contained, but I can tell it's still simmering under the surface. We get to the right field and his coach shows up. Hyperion is not happy with the drills coach is running (mainly because he's still upset from the ball incident) and pitches a fit. I ask him if he wants to leave and he says yes. Sigh. So we have a "come to Jesus" meeting. I tell him if we leave now, there will be no TV and no gameboy for a week and that doesn't include the consequence his dad hands down. I told him "forget everyone else, live your own path. Pretend you are having a good time - fake it 'til you make it". So he goes back over to coach and tells him he's not leaving.

After the game (a tie so it's not a loss, yay! AND Hyperion made the only goal for his team - his first this year) he tells me that he did fake it and then he found he was having a good time. He said "I faked it 'til I made it and I liked it!".

He has another game next week, the last until spring. So send fuzzy thoughts that this week's epiphany will hold out.

Oceanus' team won their final game. Giving them a final stat of 4 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie - which puts them in 3rd place, I believe. I missed the game because both boys were scheduled to play at the same time about 5 miles apart (different sports parks).


Hyperion in so many ways is a complete reincarnation of me.

He tested for G&T this semester and didn't quite make it. His teacher says he did amazingly well on the problem solving section, but he just missed making the cut. I wouldn't have made G&T in second grade either. Second grade was my year. It was the year I was able to really come into my own in school. Kindy was spent in the naughty corner (well, I was an outside girl, I didn't make the adjustment at all well). First grade was spent in a power struggle with my teacher over my name (I don't go by my first name and it really, really, REALLY bugged her) and trying to learn to read.

I learned to read midway through first grade. So did Hyperion. I had an instinctive grasp of numbers, but if I learned something wrong, I had a very difficult time relearning it (I still have trouble with left and right). Hyperion has gotten into his head that 8+4=11 and 7+4=12. When we have him stop and look at it of course he knows he's wrong, but his first reaction is 11 and 12.

His teacher assured me that if she continued to see improvement she would recommend he be tested again next year.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Writers' Block

So stealing from Cranium:

12 Thanksgiving Questions

1. If you could stuff a turkey with anything, what would it be?

I'm a traditionalist, I'll admit it. I don't like turkey, but my mom's cornbread dressing (don't hold back on the sage, yes, it's SUPPOSED to be gray-ish green, tyvm) is about as good as it gets.

2. If you designed a giant balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, what would it look like?

This one is hard. I've never actually seen the parade, I mean, I've seen PICTURES, but I've never even seen TV coverage - that's part of being the youngest child in a house full of football fanatics (seriously, I once asked, DURING Thanksgiving dinner, if anyone cared who won and when they said no, I asked "WHY are we watching this during DINNER?!" and the answer was "we like football") the parade was never on the TV in my house.

I guess maybe a really cool sweater carefully showing all the stitches along with the ball of yarn and needles (I'm telling you Ravelry - the pull is strong)

3. You can pick anyone to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for you, who would you choose?

Wait a minute, *I* have to cook this dinner? Ummm, no thanks! Next question, please!

Now, if I'm sharing this meal with someone, let me see. Al Gore, Grace, Tanya, Rani, Jenny, KCB, Sally, Jules, Colin Beavan, Sara, Robert Redford, Ed Begley, Jr., Bill Nye, Paul McCartney - well that gets me started.

4. What invention are you most thankful for?

Toilet paper

5. What’s the best part about sitting at the kids’ table?

The corny elementary school jokes.

6. If you had to eat only one kind of Thanksgiving food for an entire week, what would it be?

Ummm, were you listening? My mom's cornbread stuffing!

7. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory or tradition?

I don't really have one. Thanksgiving as a kid meant the day at my dad's aunt's house with all his siblings and their kids plus the cousins and their kids in a 900 sqft house. The only good thing was that the weather was always good and we could go for a walk on the farm.

We're working on making our own traditions. Now we live too far to be expected to go home (I am so NOT complaining) so it's ours for the making.

8. What’s the one thing that could make you brave day-after-Thanksgiving shopping?

Pretty much nothing. Maybe an amazing sell on organic cotton yarn (I'm telling you, Ravelry!)

9. This fall, instead of a pile of raked-up leaves, I’d like to jump into a pile of _______________.

Hmm, how about a walk on the beach and jumping into waves? That sounds about right!

10. A Thanksgiving food I wouldn’t want thrown at me in a food fight is _______________.

Definitely the cranberry sauce - the whole berry kind (since I don't like that kind and it wouldn't feel like a waste).

11. Next Thanksgiving, everyone should wear _______________ to the dinner table!


12. How many times can you say the word “cornucopia” in ten seconds?

I have no idea. There's no one around to time me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I have discovered the addiction that is Sigh. I have so much in my queue right not. I'm dreaming of very nice, expensive fibers for Christmas.

I've stepped up my knitting lately though. And the good thing? More knitting means less eating. I'm working on training my body to want to knit rather than eat. I don't think it will work, but even if I just train myself to do it 50% of the time, I hope to lose a bit of weight before family pictures at Christmas.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Proving I have no sense of humor

I'm reading Scientific American and came across an article by Michael Shermer - Weirdonomics and Quirkology. In it he reports on the "world's funniest joke". I'm sure you've heard it by now. It's this one:
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to
be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and
calls the emergency services.
He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I
The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's
There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the
guy says:
"OK, now what?"

Now, I'll admit it was funnier when I heard it the first time and the men were specified as being from Jersey (read: mobster) but even then I didn't find it more than mildly amusing.

Seriously? World's funniest joke? Still? I think these people should read a few Janet Evanovich novels.

I'm not doing nanoblomo (or whatever it is) because I know that there is no way I could keep it up once the holidays start. But out of solidarity for my friends who are doing it, I'm doing my best to keep my posting going. I apologize in advance that my postings will probably suck a little.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I've noticed lately that my kids call their teachers "Miss" not "Miss Lastname" but just "Miss". It vaguely bothered me but I couldn't quite put my finger on why it bothered me.

Then one day I was with them and they greeted their music teacher with "Mr. Lastname" and it finally hit me. Women, you see, are generic and can be referred to by a generica name. Men, on the other hand, are deserving of the courtesy of their identification and name. Even their coaches are not called "coach" but called "Coach Lastname".

I finally told my kids that if I was their teachers I'd call them "kid" every time they called me "Miss". They didn't quite get it so I explained that everyone deserved the courtesy of being given their proper identification. I asked them how they'd feel if they were called "kid" all the time. Of course they responded that they wouldn't mind, but I've noticed they do it a lot less lately.

Amazing how the patriarchy has infected every part of our world, even elementary school.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wasting Food

A discussion board I frequent recently had this article up for discussion.

The lost art of leftovers

"We waste too much food and should return to the way we lived during the
war, says a new campaign. It would save us money and help save the


"A third of all the food we buy is now thrown into the bin and half of it is
still perfectly edible, according to the government's waste reduction agency,
Wrap. You're throwing away one bag of shopping in three, it says."


"This wanton wastage is not only costing us money - up to £400 a year - but is
hurting the environment: the methane released by decomposing food in landfills
is the most potent of greenhouse gases. Cutting it out would be the same as
taking one fifth of cars off the road, says Wrap."



Bags of

I can't say that the Gaia household is blameless here. We do let more consumable food turn to non-consumables largely through laziness. We do compost it, though, so it's not fully wasted.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Water saving epiphany

We have a leaky faucet. It's one of the hazards of living in the valley - the water is so salty and so hard that it just destroys all metals including the ones that make the faucets. Seriously, our faucets disintegrate after about 5 years.

Clearly we need to replace it, but meanwhile, I've shoved a cup under it with the plan of using that water in the toilet. This has prompted me to make another change.

We've all heard to turn the water off while we brush. So most of us have stopped doing that.

Lately the news has been all about washing hands well and lathering them for the time it takes to sing the alphabet song through twice. With cold and flu season coming on, I've found that my kids really are washing their hands better. So I'm hearing the water running constantly. The cup overflows before it's time to flush the toilet. What a waste!

My epiphany? Turn the faucet on to wet your hands (keeping a little cupped in one hand) then turn it off. Lather your hands and scrub them for the requisite time, then turn the faucet back on to rinse your hands. Much less water used!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

In which I grow a spine

I talked to my mom this afternoon. She asked if I knew what our christmas plans were yet. I told her I didn't for sure other than that we were going to be in Oklahoma. She asked me if we thought we could make it to family christmas (bear in mind, this is my father's extended family). I screwed up my nerve and told her that I didn't really want to attend, even if it worked with our schedule. I explained that I didn't like how mean they were to me and that they weren't exactly nice to my kids.

She said "I never noticed that they were mean to you - what are they mean about?"* "Oh, pretty much everything". It segued into me being different and I said "well, I'm not going to hide that I'm a liberal". She told me that I just had to accept that they were all conservative. I agreed and told her that I didn't start the arguments and didn't answer back when they made fun of my beliefs. *I* don't perpetuate the shit.

I'm sure she'll call me up with a guilt trip in a couple of weeks and the guilt will continue until christmas. But I just don't care. I've re-read my letter and I've decided I'm taking a stand this year. They won't reject me because I'm not going to put myself up for their rejection.

*When I told Mr. Gaia that she said she'd never noticed it he said "That's the problem! *I've* noticed it and it's worse than you will even admit."