Jabberwocky for 2005 November

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[Comments] (6) *Groan*: I'm getting weaker and sicker. Luckily only two more days until blood augmentation. After work today I spent most of the day in bed, but I have to get up now because I have a LOT of papers that need grading.

Whoa, the semester is winding down and it's time to worry about lesson packets for Spring! (already!) I think I really need to do it this weekend unless I want to wreck my Christmas vacation.

Rachel has left for London, and I hope she has the time of her life.

Boy Scouts: Today the Boy Scouts came over to do service hours for their Duty to God awards. I had them--can you guess it?--pull weeds. They did quite a lot of work and got some more of the garden ready for me to plant daffodils.

I did something I have never done before in my life. I bought cookies at a bakery to feed them. Oh, I've bought the random bag of Chips Ahoy when I had a coupon, but never bakery cookies for a church event. I just was not up to baking cookies.

They ate most of the peanut butter cookies but only about half of the chocolate ones. What is WRONG with kids nowadays?

[Comments] (6) I'm here to tell you...: ... that I have never in my life used algebra. (Not precisely true; I taught in a bilingual self-contained classroom for two years, and I had to fake it.)

I've used geometry a few times, designing patterns for costmes, building a fishpond, sewing window treatments, etc., but never, never, never algebra.

I heard on NPR this morning about a school district in Maryland that has an algebra class for parents. Many parents were quoted--nobody knows how to do algebra, and now they are trying to play catch-up.

I know all the reasons why algebra is taught. It develops your brain and stretches your cognitive skills, yada yada. I've done just fine without it, so I'm not sure that is a good excuse for torture. I'm just sayin'.

Observations on Food Storage, by Susie: "Most people store wheat, but my mother stores balsamic vinegar."

And what is wrong with that, I ask you?

Drop by Drop: I got the blood yesterday. It flows in one drop at a time at a rate of 125 drops a minute. Basically, that shot the day.

I wonder where the blood goes? I'm surprised that people don't pop.

I didn't feel a whole lot better yesterday, mostly because I was running a fever, but today I felt pretty good and strong enough to plant a lot of bulbs with Susie. There are still so many more to go!

Susie did a lot of visiting with Grandma, and we went to dinner at Pat's. Uncle Carroll and Rodney Love were down (they came to visit Grandma), and we had a very nice visit with them, Pat and Alan, and Don.

Slow Day: Somehow I didn't get a lot done today. This afternoon church schedule really messes up your weekend. I can't wait until we switch to morning, especially now that we went off daylight savings time. It gets dark really soon after church, and Gretel and I don't have much time at the dog park.

I didn't get any of my stuff for Spring Semester done this weekend.

[Comments] (3) One More Time, With Feeling: One more class for my Academic Development students before they take their writing proficiency. I hope they make it! There are three of them that I don't have high hopes for.

The English students take their test after Thanksgiving. You ought to see all the late work that is coming in. People tell me I shouldn't take late work, but I figure, if they pass their test, I don't want to play a game with them having to repeat the class (some sadists do...), and if they fail the test, the work is to no avail anyhow. Fail the test, fail the class.

Here is a bummer: Veterans Day is a holiday, but it's on Friday this year. I don't teach any classes on Fridays.

[Comments] (2) A Bakersfield Farewell: Today's main headline, page A-1, and letters (I swear!) an inch and a half high, is the closing of the local Krispy Kreme franchise. This will probably come as a blow to many locals.

I don't like doughnuts myself, and I disapprove of Krispy Kreme because of the cutsie spelling, but I think a lot of people are going to be very sad about this.

A secondary result of this closing is now the "red corner" protesters won't have anywhere to pop in and get a doughnut while they are out there on Friday nights. (The "blue corner" protesters still have McDonalds.)

A Good Citizen: I went to vote after work today. I voted "NO!" I am so disgusted with the whole thing. There is nothing on that ballot that couldn't have waited till March. In fact, it all could have waited forever IMHO.

You are asking, "Did you vote "No" even on the bill requiring parents to be notified before a teengirl has an abortion? Yes, I did. I found, in my years of teaching high school and jr. high, that there are too many dysfunctional parents. As a teacher, you always have to call home before you give a kid detention. I found that often, if I called home about a student's behavior, the kid would get beaten when he/she got home. So I think if a girl can't tell her parents about her pregnancy voluntarily, she probably has a good reason.

One of my students right now is going through this. (Actually, she had the baby last weekend.) She is over 18, so that makes a difference, but she is having a terrible time with her father over the pregnancy. I think the man has done a lot of damage to their relationship.

[Comments] (2) I Drew the Candy Heart: It's back to the beginning with parenting for me. Apparently I have learned nothing in the last 26 years.

I had a huge pile of papers to grade, and Gretel wanted something and kept nosing me. I ignored her for a long time, and then I got impatient and yelled at her. The poor little doggie went over to the other side of the room and stood with her head down and her little shoulders sagging.

I felt just terrible. Here's a doggie with a huge heart, who would do anything for me (except behave)and I can't even take a minute to rub her tummy, or play the booga-booga game, or tug of war. What a bad mommy!

I know from long experience that it's better to stop what you are doing and give the child what he/she needs, and I should have done that. I'll try to do better in the future.

Cocooning: I went to the grocery store on my way home from work today, and now I'm not going to go anywhere until Monday morning. We have Stake Conference, but I'm going to skip it.

All the papers are graded, but I do need to work on the stuff for Spring Semester. I brought my textbook home today. It's a lot of work to put together a whole semester at once, but it certainly saves me time in the long run.

I also have plenty more bulbs to plant. I'm going to do all the tiger lilies tomorrow.

[Comments] (2) That's what *I* say too!: I drew a Scrabble rack that says "wurrra". Wurra, wurra, wurra.

[Comments] (1) Smells Good: This morning I went back to bed with a fever, but got up again about noon, feeling some better. I made some bananna bread and started some dough for cinnamon rolls. The big plan is to bring bananna, pumpkin, and cranberry bread to Thanksgiving, with various flavored cream cheese and butter spreads. I also need to make some crescent rolls, which is my assignment for the meal.

The cinnamon rolls are for Davin Amundsen. I asked Joey Nations to come do some heavy lifting in exchange for cinnamon rolls, but he brought Davin and they were finished before the rolls were. So I took them over to the Nations', and Joey was supposed to share with Davin, but he didn't. So I have owed Davin cinnamon rolls for quite some time. It will be a burden of guilt off my conscience to deliver them today on the way to the dog park.

[Comments] (2) Shaking: Today there was a major earthquake in Japan--disagreement as to whether it was a 6.9 or a 7.1. It caused a small tsunami.

We've also had three quakes here, the largest a 3.0 at about 11:30 a.m. We have not had a tsunami, there being nothing around here to tsunam.

Yankee Doodle: Today is Aaron Copeland's birthday (105 years I believe.) The DJ on NPR was claiming that Copeland's music is "quintessentially American." That's the kind of thing they write on liner notes and never can define or explain. I wonder what makes music "American"? I know the stock answers for other art forms: wide open spaces, can-do attitude, rugged independence, the pioneer spirit. I can't see how to translate those into such an intangible as music.

So I listened to "Appalachian Spring." The American aspect can't be form--the ballet suite is very positively not an American invention. I tried to think if the music was a landscape-evocative experience, but the evocation was colored by my having seen the ballet on stage. Visually, yes, you can make something "be American." But how much of our folk music is originally American? Not much I bet; we are the proverbial melting pot.

Someone should start staging "Appalachian Spring" in alternative costumes and time periods, as is done with Shakespeare's plays, to see if its "Americanness" survives a change of scenery.

[Comments] (2) Running Around: I feel just terrible today, but I pushed myself and got a lot done. I taught my class and then went to Target to get trash bags, laundry soap, toilet paper and sugarless candy for Grandma. Then to get a haircut. Then to go see Grandma. We sat out on the patio of the nursing home, and she appears to be doing better today. Pat stopped by with Leah and Joel, so I got to see the babies! They both look so much like Shannon.

I made baked potato, garlic chicken, and vegetables for lunch, but Rachel didn't wake up to eat with me. Then naptime. After that, making the broth for matzoh ball soup and cleaning and straightening up getting ready for Irma tomorrow. I swept on Sunday, but by today the floor was dirty again.

Davin Amundsen is coming over to pass off the Environmental Science merit badge so he can get his Eagle. Did you know I was on the Scout Committee, on top of all else? Well I am. I'm going to ask him to help me flip my mattress and move the garage refrigerator when he gets here.

[Comments] (4) Music to hear, why hears't thou music sadly?: I had a dream in the night that I was standing with my father on the edge of an open grave (empty) and we were singing "Nearer, My God, To Thee." There were other people there, but they all had their backs turned to us and the grave. These people were all dressed forties-fifties style, with hats and overcoats. I don't know who they were, but that wasn't an issue.

It doesn't take a genius to figure the symbolism of that one out.

I have read that most people dream in black and white, but I've always dreamed in color. All my other senses are involved in dreams, too--I can smell smells, hear things, even feel textures. Must be because I'm a Taurus.

My father had a beautiful singing voice. I asked him once why he didn't sing in the choir, and he said it was because he couldn't see well enough to read the music. I told him we could get the music ahead of time and work it out on the piano and he could learn it by memory, but he thought it wasn't worth the bother.

Geisha: The girl who cut my hair had no eyebrows. No stubble either. I wondered if she plucked them, or if she shaves them everyday. Then she paints on black, arching eyebrows.

She grabbed a pair of electric clippers and started to touch up the ends of my bangs, and I greatly feared for my eyebrows.

[Comments] (1) Recycle: It's good for the bottle.: I'm noticing that the PETE beverage bottles are getting thinner and thinner, and as a result, they are getting floppier. I think this is especially dangerous in a two liter soda bottle. I'm afraid the day will come when they sell us drinking water in a plastic bag.

You will note that even though the weight of the plastic bottles has gone down, the price of the CRV has not. We are still paying as much CRV as we did when we had real bottles. The net effect is that people who recycle for cash are actually losing money. I don't know if anyone has noticed this; I'm just sayin'.

I don't recycle for cash anymore. I actually PAY $20 a quarter to have a blue bin that is picked up by the city. It's such a relief to not have to haul in the recycling as I have for the last thirty odd years.

[Comments] (1) Wish List: Here is my wish list for Christmas, which I have been ordered by my child to produce. Nobody has to get me anything though. Amaryllis bulbs. Stilwell and the American Experience in China by Barbara Tuchman. ( betcha it's out of print though) Black cardigan sweater. Park’s gift card. movie tickets. waffle iron. Beatles’ greatest hits. auto emergency pack (like the ones at Target that have jumper cables and flat tire fixer). black Marks-A-Lot. red Marks-A-Lot. Bedtime for Frances book (Hoban). sun visor CD holder. ice scraper

[Comments] (1) What a Waste!: I was really sick all last night, with the result that I was beat all day today. I really didn't feel well. I stayed in bed until about 2, and then I got up and roasted a chicken and planted some bulbs, pulling some weeds in the process. Gretel thought that roasting a chicken was a really good idea.

The plan is to make a chicken pot pie tomorrow. I've been craving chicken pot pie, and now it's the weather for it. I am also going to have to get serious about my Thanksgiving baking.

It's no fun being sick and not getting anything done.

[Comments] (3) Plugging Along: I have made it through all the wars to Third Nephi. I think that's a respectable showing for the Book of Mormon reading challenge. I don't know if we are supposed to be finished by Thanksgiving or by Christmas. If it's Thanksgiving, I am not going to make it.

I have a trashy novel (provided by Rachel) just waiting for me to pick it up as soon as I am allowed to read anything other than the Book of Mormon. I have a couple of Tuchman books on my Amazon wish list; hopefully, at least one of them will appear for Christmas.

It feels really strange not to have any Stephen Jay Gould science books to read, and to know that there will never ever ever be any more. It's sad. Maybe I should start reading my collection over.

I thought about saying "the ox is in the mire" and going out to plant some bulbs this morning, but it is FREEZING out there!

[Comments] (1) Bark Park: Gretel and I went to the dog park, and she had a wonderful time. The only problem is she thinks she has to keep running back over to where I am sitting to see if I am okay. It's a shepherd characteristic, I guess.

Every Sunday, there is a guy there with a border collie that really hustles after a ball or a Frisbee. They look like they are having so much fun! If I throw something for Gretel to fetch, she stands there and gives me a look as if to say, "Go get it yourself. I'm not a retreiver."

Well, neither is the border collie, so flubbaththth.

[Comments] (1) Ready to Party?: I have done my assigned crescent rolls for tomorrow's feast--three batches of them. I also made banana bread, cranberry bread, and pumpkin bread for snacking, and some cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow. Now all we have to do is wait for Irma to finish and for the home health to bring my medicine, and we can go.

A debate is raging, the dilemma being should we stop at Pea Soup Andersen's, or arrive starving for Leonard's dinner he is cooking for us.

Gretel has not been notified that she is going to be dropped off at the Weight Loss Spa. I fed her lots of fattening goodies yesterday, so I hope she won't lose too much at boot camp. I will give her a quarter pound hamburger patty just before we leave.

I went to see Harry Potter last night with Rachel and her friend Becca. It was scary. Too scary for kids under about the age of 10, I imagine. I thought it was ok. No complaints about the movie. Well, one. There were not as many touches from the "world" in this one, and I missed them. The critics are liking that about the movie, but I don't.

[Comments] (1) Raining: Here I am in San Francisco. We had a lovely Thanksgiving, but there was no mashed potatoes and gravy, which horrified me. I had turkey and a crescent roll for breakfast this morning. The kids have gone to Chinatown without me--I really don't feel so well and I need to save energy for the wharf this afternoon.

We are basically waiting for Robert to arrive. His plane was delayed in Salt Lake City. I made reservations for lunch at Alioto's for 3p.m. The kids want to go to ghirardelli square. Chocolate works for me!

[Comments] (1) Baaaa Like Sheep: Today is not particularly a good day to be in San Francisco because everyone else in the world is here too. Robert did get here, and we did go down to Fisherman's Wharf and ate at Alioto's. It was certainly pricey.

We also went to a museum of old arcade games. There was one called French Execution that intrigued Robert and me, so we put our quarter in and watched the guillotine work. Then there was another called Execution, so we watched it. It was a hanging. Then we found one called English Execution, and we were hoping for an axe, but no, it was a hanging too.

I tried to call Jill to ask if Rent is edited MTV style (all jumpy) or no, but could only get a bad connection. So Jill, is it?

[Comments] (2) Wurra, Wurra, Wurra: We got home very late last night, and we were snuggly sleeping in when Don called. My mother in law, Rosalie Richardson, died early this morning. It was a real shocker because she had been doing great. The assisted living people checked her at 3 a.m. and she was fine. Apparently sometime later, she walked to the bathroom (by herself) and the caregiver found her on the floor when checking at 6:00. She probably never knew what hit her.

Rosalie was a sweet, wonderful woman, and I loved her dearly. Many people have trouble with their mother-in-law, but not me. I was really blessed.

It seems like you get the ducks almost lined up, and you think you can make it through the week if you hang on by your toenails, and then life comes barging through with a Kalashnikov and kaboom--here we go again.

[Comments] (1) Yay! Hooray!: I have finished the Book of Mormon challenge! It helped that I could stay in bed all day sick and read.

I note that I haven't read Ether as often as I have read I Nephi. I'd almost forgotten what it was about.

I thought maybe I'd find a new favorite scripture, but the winner is still Mosiah 18:8+.

[Comments] (1) Ain't Kiddin': Camilla has named me Trusted Lieutenant of Grammar Hell. So watch out! I had five students fail their writing proficiency today, so that is where they are going!

All in all though, my class did pretty well. I did have two no-shows, which is pretty lame.

Jabberwocky for 2005 November

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.