Jabberwocky for 2004 November

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[Comments] (5) In-N-Out: This evening I paid Juan, balanced the checkbook, bought groceries, and paid bills. I guess that says it all right there.

We are having a controversy at work--I may have written about it--in which another prof was offended by Gloria Dumler's bumper sticker(s?) and sent out a massive theological email complaining about it. Sheesh, her licence plate says GDUMLER; if he had a problem with her, he should have talked to her privately. So this morning I walked in from the parking lot with Becky Mooney and she asked me if I had offended anyone with my bumper stickers. I certainly hope so. Jar people's thinking a bit! Most people know who my license plate belongs to also, so they can key my car if they want to, I guess.

Actually, the red truck did get keyed during the time I had the anti-Rush Limbaugh sticker on it. It may not have been Rush's fault, however, because that same semester I had a gangbanger student really angry with me because she failed and I wouldn't change her grade when she tried to intimidate me. She even filed a formal complaint with the Dean. She may have keyed my truck too.

If some of these people would put the energy into coming to class, doing their work, and trying to learn that they put into avoiding work and playing games, success would be theirs!

[Comments] (3) Present and Future Tense: Rachel and I are monitoring Cnn.com and hitting the refresh button often, but I think I'm going to bed early because I feel rotten.

At work, they are doing all kinds of hazmat stuff on the roof, and the area has been full of fumes. Everyone has a headache, and I sure don't understand why they can't do this stuff on a weekend when nobody is there. The Dean asked me (personally) if I wanted to move my classes for the week, but I figure the fumes will drift whereever anyhow, and the students didn't want to change rooms. We only have two more class meetings until writing proficiency testing.

Flubathththth: That's all I can say. "But we must cultivate our garden."

[Comments] (4) Sigh: But our garden will be harder to cultivate now. Opressive regime.

[Comments] (2) The Stepford Wives Don't Have These Problems: I have a big owie red place on my eyelid. It not only hurts, it itches, so I have an appointment with the eye doctor, Dr. Freeman, tomorrow at 3:45. I like Dr. Freeman, but I always have to wait forever in the waiting room before seeing him. Fortunately, I have no hot date tomorrow night.

I also got back into case management with the County Health Department. They had me on the string before, but I dropped off when I started working full time. Now I am back. The public health nurse came to see me this afternoon. Gretel liked her really well and kissed her a lot.

Dr. Amin ended up with no flu shot for me. I can possibly go stand in a line at some senior center in Oildale on November 22 from 2 to 4 p.m., or the public health nurse is going to see if she can get me one. She said she requested twenty shots of the current ration from the county.

She also said I shouldn't dig in the dirt. Flubathththt. Just try and stop me.

[Comments] (4) I Cultivated My Garden: This morning it was cold and Gretel and Tonks and I went back to bed. Then, when I got up, Gretel and I went for a ride in the car, to the bank and gas station, and then to Carls Jr. for a happy meal for her and a Famous Star for me. (It stayed down a whole two hours.) I worked in the yard until time for my appointment with Dr. Freeman.

Dr. Amin's office called and said they had a handful of flu shots, so I got one when I went for my appointment with Dr. Freeman. Dr. Freeman said I have wazzitblepharoadoodlesaurus, and hot compresses and a prescription. And no eye makeup.

After the doctor there was time to run over to White Forest Nursery, and I picked up some more herbs, a bunch more violas, some bulbs, and another couple of flats of wooly thyme. I'm going to put crocuses in between the stepping stones, among the thyme. It was a trip, walking down the aisle where they had the pony packs of stock. It's all quite floriferous and bloomiferous and odoriferous. Lots of planting to do tomorrow.

I did start my paperwhite bulbs in a vase tonight. This year I got paperyellows, though. They are named "Cheerfulness."

[Comments] (2) Press Forward: I finished the K surnames and started on the Ls. There are 23 pages of L surnames, so I only printed out half of them to start with. Of these, I checked two pages of names today, but am going to quit now because my eyes are fogging up.

[Comments] (4) Bits and Pieces: Today I went to Youngs to buy ingredients to make Indian Shrimp Curry. They didn't have any coconut except the sweetened flake kind, so I had to go to Lassen's (a health food cum organic cum vitamin store) for that. Also the rice flour the recipe calls for.

I have Aunt Jeuney's CD with all her recipes on it, but the track that has her shrimp curry recipe is corrupt. So I'll be experimenting tomorrow, adapting an online recipe to what I hope is memory.

After the grocery stores, I made beef stroganoff and planted a whole lot of flowers and killed a whole lot of weeds.

I think I've put my finger on what bothers me about Lassen's. You would think--well, *I* would think-- that a person who wants to eat healthy foods would figure out that the best route to that is to prepare fresh, natural ingredients from scratch. The shelves at Lassen's are absolutely full of packaged foods that purport to be more healthy and are proportionately more expensive, but look to be really just the same as the old same old found at the supermarket. There are all kinds of brands of soda pop, cold cereal, and the snacky stuff--oh my oh my. The packaging touts earthy values, but it's still packaging.

Poor Lassen's. I went into the produce department to get an avocado, which I forgot to buy at Youngs, and they didn't have the prices on any of the tomatoes. I don't blame them because it's probably pretty scary. (Accordingly, the avocado was pretty scary too. $1.69.)

Off to put the November church newsletter together.

Fat Free Spam--Oh So Nourishing: "My tablets is an advanced fat-binding appurtenance that takes away grease from the nourishment we dine! Devised with the vigorous grease-sticking filament, the mixture of biological components..."

[Comments] (3) Cooking Curry: Well, I made the Indian shrimp curry. It was ok, but not wonderful. Somehow the flavor lacked something, and I can't quite put my finger on what. One possibility may be that I didn't have curry leaves to fry in ghee. (I used butter.) Another is that I used the Schilling curry powder from the supermarket. There is an Indian spice store somewhere in town, and I'm going to go there to see if I can get better curry powder. I don't really know the difference, but it's got to be more authentic than the prepackaged Schilling stuff, right?

I served it with my favorite salad, a California salad of orange, grapefruit, avocado, red onion, and bibb lettuce with poppyseed dressing. Rachel liked it this time! I am relieved, after years and years and years of having my husbands and children refuse to eat this salad. (This salad is also good with Italian dressing.)

[Comments] (1) My Wish List: Red sweater. Lands End jeans #8923-7A72 size 10 inseam 31. New garden clogs. (www.gardeners.com). New pepper/salt grinder. Nutmeg grater. Trip to White Forest Nursery and help planting the stuff. Amaryllis bulb(s). Alice and Jerry Books. I also have a book wish list on Amazon.

Moving Along: I checked all the Lanes and the Langleys today. I found another place where the lines cross. One of the Lane wives has Call ancestry two generations back. I was excited to discover this. I think it's always interesting to see the interrelationships.

About That Time Again: Next week my students take their writing proficiency. I'm busy busy grading papers because they are hurrying to turn in their late work. There were two in today's class I wanted to drop because I don't think they are going to pull it off, but when I talked to them they each wanted to hang in there. We shall see how they do.

I also have to get ready for next semester. I want to get all my duplicating sent down in the next couple of weeks so that I don't have anything to worry about over Christmas. Thursday is a holiday! Yay!

[Comments] (3) Yummers: Going to make cinnamon rolls now.

[Comments] (2) Citrosity: I ate a tangerine this morning. Most of them are not ready yet, but this one was, so I sat on a bale of compost by the tree and ate it. I feel so fortunate to have inherited a tangerine tree of the variety that contains no seeds.

We've been eating the lemons for several days now, and the oranges and grapefruits are coming along. This will be our first year for oranges and grapefruits. We had a few lemons last year. Now, the tree is loaded!

In other outdoor news, I planted a flat of thyme, some spraxis, some ranuncluus (ranunculi?) 25 crocuses, and a dozen Iceland poppies. The yard is looking really nice.

Is the Weekend Over Already?: I didn't get up until afternoon today--I had a really bad night due to the Zithromax. Couldn't keep anything down all day either. Gretel was really glad that I didn't go anywhere or do anything. After I got up, I just sat quietly at the computer (except for dashes to the bathroom.) I didn't even get around to getting dressed. Hope I feel better for tomorrow; I have to work and then go to lunch with Grandma.

This is a Test, Not an Actual Emergency: Obviously. I had three students from this morning's class not even bother to show up. I'm feeling pretty cranky about cooperating with them for a makeup test. I think I should just flunk them, and then we'll see how they feel!

Rachel and I went to see Napoleon Dynamite at the dollar theater. It was okay, but I am glad I didn't pay to see it in a regular theater.

I am working and working on getting my handbooks done for Spring 2005 so I can play over Christmas.

Seig Heil!: Are we sliding closer and closer to dictatorship? We certainly appear to be. The latest move is the purging of the CIA. Apparently the administration is humphy because of "leaks" to the "liberal media." Dunno what's becoming of the Bill of Rights, but I'm starting to get scared.

[Comments] (3) Same Drama, Different Characters: Today I had three students not show up to take their exam, just like yesterday. That gives me a total of six makeups to have to schedule, not including any possible retakes. Arrrrrrhhhhgghgh! One of the students I advised to drop back before the drop deadline, and she wanted to try and begged me to leave her on the roster, and now she doesn't show for the exam.

Irma is finally coming back to clean the house tomorrow after almost three weeks in Mexico visiting her mother. I'm glad she got to visit Mexico, but boy has this house missed her. Rachel and I have swept floors and whatnot, but still....

[Comments] (4) Dipit: I think I will make spinach dip to take to the placement reading on Friday. This means I will have to go to the store tomorrow. Maybe a cheese ball too. I always try to take something like that nowadays since I can't/don't each much candy/cake/cookies/doughnuts anymore. I really don't want to spend Friday doing placement reading instead of sleeping, but I do need the money.

Pink Socks: Grandma Jessie used to be in charge of charitable donations at her church in Orange County, and she always receive many more clothes than the needy people in her congragation could use, so she would bag them up in big black trash bags and send them home with us. We called it "The Bag". Then we would go through The Bag and take what we could use and people we knew could use, and then The Bag would go to Grandma Rosie for her garage sale or the field workers or people at her church.

I have a pair of pink socks that came out of The Bag, oh, probably twenty years ago. They are still good and haven't worn thin, despite the fact that I wear them often because I like them. A lot. There was a counterpart pair of socks I got from The Bag at the same time, the same sock but in sage green, which has long ago reunited with Mother Earth. But my pink socks just wear on and on. I think they are some kind of miracle sock. Super socks. The socks for eternity.

[Comments] (5) Keeping Warm: Cats have a normal body temperature of 101 degrees, so it is important to keep them close to you during a cold winter season. One suggestion is the Cat Hat, which will prevent heat transfer from the top of your head into the atmosphere, at least until your scalp reaches equilibrium with the cat or the cat jumps off. Clothing that contains large Cat Pockets is a stylish addition to anyone's winter wardrobe.

A common problem is a situation in which you need the cat on your cold feet, but the cat prefers to rest on your tummy. We can suggest our new Cat Slippers, which are large enough for one foot and one cat together. An optional feature of the new Cat Slipper is a ribbed cuff opening at the toe which allows the cat's head to protrude for a decidedly retro look. It is important when wearing Cat Slippers to keep your legs as far apart as possible at all times in order to avoid hissing and suchlike.

Wedding Bells: I went to a bridal shower for Christa Settlemire today. There were not very many people from church there; it was mostly her friends and co-workers. She got a lot of things that really made her blush. I wouldn't know a)where to buy such stuff b)how to get up the nerve to go into that kind of store, or c) what to do with it if I did have it.

I think I may have missed the boat somewhere along the line.

We played a game I'd never seen before, called Pin the Kiss on the Groom. We had little paper kisses and a big cardboard poster of Drew. My kiss ended up on his chin. Christa played last, and while she was blindfolded, they took away the cardboard Drew and sneaked the real one in so that when she felt her way to him he grabbed her and kissed her. She screamed. It was pretty funny.

[Comments] (3) Response to Sumana's Post: I'm happy for Condi Rice that she was able to have UFE. It would be nice if it were a procedure available to all women, but alas, most private insurance companies won't cover it, and most people don't have the kind of cash on hand (or connections) Condi does. Insurance companies would rather have us bleed to death, it appears. Or maybe we should have the hysterectomy and get sent home from the hospital too early, with our tummy slit open.

Been there, done that. So has Nancy.

I hope Dr. Rice remembers what kind of privileges she enjoys because of the efforts of the women who have gone before, and when the current administration starts chipping away at those rights, she will do something. This is not an optimistic hope.

M-M-m-m-m-m-M: I finished checking the L surnames in my genealogy today and it's time to start on M. This is a milestone I guess because M is halfway through the alphabet. I think that I am much more than halfway because the original printout was 863 pages and I am down to 215. That seems almost manageable.

[Comments] (2) Heirloom In the Making: I have a maple rolling pin that my grandmother received for a wedding gift in 1920. She gave it to me when I went to college, and I've used it ever since even though one of the handles is broken off. This is fixable by someone who has the proper woodworking tools, but I don't know anybody like that.

This rolling pin has always driven the kids crazy, and last Christmas during the cookie making they bought me a new rolling pin--a kind of exciting wooden one with ball bearings in the handles. The first time I went to use it, the dough stuck horribly. Then it occurred to me that it is new wood, not "seasoned." Well, I can't give it the patina of a pin that has been in use since 1920, but I sprayed it with nonstick cooking spray.

Nonstick cooking spray is a product I seldom use because I admire the charms of real butter, but it worked wonderfully in this case. Tonight I sprayed it again and rolled out the crescent rolls for Thanksgiving really slickly. The wood appears to be getting a titch darker. It's getting seasoned! So about 2050 it will be an heirloom too.

American Families in Crisis:

Jonathan: William has left home and joined a cat cult. I miss him.

Me: William? He ran away?

Jonathan: Yes. He was seen in the company of another cat trying to indoctrinate the neighbor's cat into the cult.

Me: Can't you get one of those deprogramming experts and hold an intervention?

Jonathan: No, we don't know where he is now. He never writes.

[Comments] (1) Inner Boyfriend: While visiting for Thanksgiving at Leonardw's, I lay down to read next to him on his bed--just like old times, reading together! I picked up the book Jeff had on his nightstand--Encountering Your Inner Boyfriend or some such title. I've read these ideas a zillion times before in the women's magazines. You know the drill--take better care of yourself, do things that interest you, don't be "needy" and go out seeking just any old boyfriend... Jeff says he suspects I already have an Inner Boyfriend. I think I need to take better care of him.

So today, I made my bed (like it said to in the book!) and I made a beautiful meal of chicken dijon over rice, orange-glazed carrots made with fresh orange juice, and lightly steamed fresh spinach. Unfortunately Rachel is sick to her stomach, so my Inner Boyfriend and I ate it alone, and there is quite a bit left, so come on over!

[Comments] (2) Sign Me Up For The Idiot Brigade: When I am feeling sick, it is very difficult to concentrate on anything else. One time I was vomiting into a wastebasket in the Humanities Building and I couldn't even see straight. Eventually I felt I was better enough to crawl home, so I left, and I got halfway across campus before I realized I was still carrying that wastebasket. So I had to sneak back with it, fearful of getting caught and that someone would accuse me of stealing it.

I say this by way of introduction as the reason I left my purse in the restroom of the Shell station at the Firebaugh exit last Wednesday. Arrrrgh, arrrgh, arrrrgh! I know being sick is no excuse, but it is the reason. I had to spend the whole holiday with no money--was not able to buy a cowboy song CD to give Jonathan, was not able to treat my kids to lunch, was not even able to buy gas! The Pits.

Fortunately some Good Samaritan found the purse and the station owners saved it for me, so I was able to retrieve it on the return trip. The Shell operator called my bank when the purse was found and they have my checkbook and ATM card on hold, so I will have to call tomorrow and see what needs to be done about that. I had forgotten about that when I went to the grocery store on Saturday. Arrrrgh, arrrgh, arrrgh. I hate it when I do stupid klutzy disorganized things.

[Comments] (2) Letting the Housework Go: I got up today and took my car in as it had been making a funny noise. The mechanic found a loose muffler, which they welded, and I hope that was it. It sounded okay coming home. I also got a new battery and wiper blades and the various checkout things.

Many students were absent today. I had the ones who came do some proofreading exercises while I called them up one by one to go over their exams. I always hate the part of my job where I have to tell people they are going to fail.

I came home, got my car, went to the bank and got reinstated, and came home again to go to bed. Rachel appears to be getting sicker and I don't feel so well myself. Mostly exhaustion I think. Can't wait until Winter Break!

[Comments] (3) Mercator Projection: Sumana is all upset about the Mercator Projection. I must confess I have been irritated by it for years. Even when I was a kid, I disapproved of the warpage of continentage, and later when I happened to see a map of the world in a Russian geography text, it occurred to me that the Mercator Projection is just plain chauvinistic.

No wonder the rest of the world hates Americans. We think even the map centers on us, us, us.

In good news, the Supreme Court has refused to review the Massachusetts gay marriage law.

I think I would like to be a Supreme Court justice. Then I could decide the way it is and the way it's gonna be and people would take me seriously. Let's start with the Mercator Projection.

[Comments] (2) Bare, Ruined Choirs Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang: It really frosted last night. I went out to get the newspaper, and every little viola flower had a rim. A rim of rime. The poor eggplant is a goner. It droops, all withered and pathetic and turning black. I guess it's time for the green waste bin.

Even though the furnace was on, I still froze all night. Xochitl was under the covers with me, but she is so little and scrawny she didn't provide much heat. I seriously considered inviting Gretel up into bed with me, but she had gas.

Jabberwocky for 2004 November

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.