Jabberwocky for 2003 October

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: I gave Karen Nations a whole lot of basil from my garden and she made pesto lasagna. Last night she brought me some, fresh out of the oven, and I ate it for lunch today. It was very good; I'll have to get the recipe from her.

Gretel really wanted some, but I wasn't sharing.

I've been a little sick. I think I caught something from a student. Yesterday I went to bed and read a trashy grocery store novel, "Mt. Vernon Love Story" by Mary Higgens Clark. It was charming but mediocre. I just grabbed it off the rack at the store and was shocked when it rang up as costing $6.99. Whaaaa? That's a lot of money for a trashy paperback.

: I went to CLS Pets to buy cat food and they had baby bunnies! So cute and silky, black and white ones that look like Xochitl.

They also had guinea pigs, which went weeeek at me, and brand new baby hamsters. And red slider turtles.

I almost broke down and bought myself a turtle for the pond, but then I read on the sign that they eat goldfish.

: On campus the other day, I picked up a flyer. It seems Wesley Crawford is running for California State Assembly. (Wouldn't that be a circus!) The flyer is 95% fragments and 100% bad sentences. I thought we taught him better than that. Wesley, Wesley, Wesley.... where is your sentence combining card?

: I filled the green waste dumpster with tomato plants. A couple more days of hard work and the garden will be gone. Sigh. I wish I could keep it up, but between my illness and Gretel tearing it up as fast as I can plant, it isn't getting done.

I moved the blueberries, and will move the strawberries, to the side of the house by the street. If neighborhood children eat some, oh well.

The household waste dumpster is filled with black weedblock fabric which I took up from in front. It's time to plant ground cover around the stepping stones.

: I'm just finishing up the scrapbook pages of Christmas 1987. Just before this, I did pages and pages of a trip to Washington D.C. I think we actually took two trips, one in 1986 and one in 1987, but I can't tell which pictures belong to which trip (the kids have the same winter coats in both of them), so it will just have to be jumbled. Boy am I glad that year is finished. It was a big one.

: Woke up in the middle of the night realizing I had left out the page of the Jefferson Memorial, and now it's going to be out of chron order. Grrrrr.

: It's done. I ended up voting for the Native American guy. I thought he was a good compromise; he's running as a Democrat but not a partyliner. He's a serious candidate and seems like a reasonable human being. I'm glad it's over.

: Drat. One of my gold earrings is lost. I've had those earrings since forever; they were my first pair. I don't even know if I can get another like them.

They were in a little soapdish on my bathroom counter. I don't know how it got out or where it went. *I* didn't spill it!

: I am very in touch with the dingbat side of my brain. I went out and bought Marines stickers for a scrapbook page of Mario and Katiah's boot camp graduation. They were in the Navy, weren't they?

I think the scrapbook store will take this stuff back. I hope.

: I pulled out the gazanias and I'm going to put them in front, and I yanked up the strawberries to move them to the side yard. The Young Men came over and moved concrete blocks and removed the vegetable beds. (This is sad!) They worked really hard, especially Travis Whetten, who came an hour early with two of his friends.

I had them get the pond filter out of the water and it STINKS! The pond really needs cleaning. I'll have to go back to CLS and see if I can buy some filter foam. An alternative is perhaps cut up furnace filters to use--would certainly be cheap. Why not?

: I'm very disappointed in Cruz Bustamante. He was downright mean and nasty in his concession speech. "Nyah nyah, I'm in charge anyhow when you are gone, so stay away as long as you want, Arnold". What's up with that? Can't we behave decently? Davis I'm worried about. I think he will go postal. This man is wound so tight--and he's not normal emotionally.

: I am reading the Dictionary of Symbolism. The author explores the symbolism of Freemasonry -- and every other symbol he can reach, from our cultural context and others-- explicitly and deeply.

Now, I have always heard that Joseph Smith "copied" the temple ceremonies from Masonic rites. I can live with that because I think that symbolism really is archetypical and has widespread meaning. It's very possible that Masonry is a corrupted remnant of an ancient temple ceremony. As we believe, Joseph Smith restored the teachings of the gospel; he didn't make them up.

Here's the problem I am contemplating. The temple symbolisms are archetypical and "universal"--but only to our culture. What happens when folks of another culture attend the temple? They haven't been steeped in the same symbolic values we have. Orientals, for example, don't feel the same way we do about squares, directness, exactness. On a psychological level, an Oriental is not going to have the same experience as an American or a Western European. The learning will not happen in the same way. Then what? This is a problem a worldwide church will need to address.

: I mended and capped off the sprinkler pipes in the former vegetable garden and in the back yard generally. Prepared the chessboard for planting in grass. I give up on dichondra. It won't grow here. I'll just have to pay Juan to mow and trim the chessboard. I also pruned the wisteria so the Welches can come dig it up.

Gretel went with me to Home Depot to buy the sprinkler parts. She was a little scared of all the people and traffic.

: I haven't gotten near as much done today as I needed to--don't have the strength. I started to drill with my earth auger to make holes to plant daffodils, gazania, and thyme, but the ground was too hard. So I put the rainbird on to soak it and came in and took a nap. I'm about to go give it another try.

: This evening I had the suprise of my life. Kim Cornett came over and brought me a beautiful friendship quilt made by the women on the Mollybluestocking list that I run. I was floored. It's so beautifully done, and every square is precious.

It's done in lovely shades of green and burgundy. Some of the squares have poems on them. Very very nice.

Also while the Cornetts were here, Larry dug up the "Falstaff" rosebush. The back yard is ready for Juan to work his magic tomorrow. After the Cornetts went home, Gretel and I took the rosebush to Jill Langley. Jill was taking her bath (something she does every evening), but Tim answered the door.

: The Ho sisters. Patricia and Pauline. They were brilliant. Patricia was in my graduating class in high school, and I knew her best because she was in the band with me. What did she play? I seem to recall clarinet. Pauline was a couple of years younger and in the orchestra; my brother Leonard knew her better than I did. He went to the --was it the Prom?-- with her.

They had this huge Chinese family with a traditional grandmother and everything. Leonard was invited once to their home for Chinese New Year.

After graduation, Patricia went to Stanford, where I saw her in a student production of Dvorak's "Rusalka" our junior year. That was the last time I saw her because she never came to class reunions or to the big party I had at Christmas in 1975.

I'm sure that wherever the Ho sisters are, they are successful, and I hope their lives are full and happy.

: I dreamed I was singing in church and all the women's voices dropped out --except mine-- on the third line of the hymn, every verse. I tried really hard to stay on key alone against the bass line all the way through the hymn. I did the best I could. At the end,I looked down at the hymnbook and saw that I had rests in those measures. The notes for a soprano part were sloppily pencilled in. This dream may be rooted in my feelings about going to church alone and living alone, or it may just be an overreaction to sitting there with Rachel and her not singing last Sunday. Or?????

: Unbelievable. The appraisal on this house came in at $164,000. I paid $79,000 for it two years ago, and put in $20,000 and two years of hard work. Unbelievable.

: The headline says "Andrea Yates in 'Psychotic State'". Yeah? You mean like in Texas?

: Fall is here. I can tell because the little Xochitlcoatl rat-kitty is sleeping under the covers again.

Gretel is scratching scratching scratching. It was so bad last night I had to put her outside because she was keeping me awake. I've made an appointment for her at the vet. I don't think it's fleas because she takes her Program and I can't find anything on her skin. Watching her scratch makes me itch too.

: So the Chinese have sent a takionaut into space. I wonder if it has even occurred to them how anticlimatic that is?

: Robert Gomez was here and quoted a bid in a horrifying amount for the fall landscape cleanup--plus a couple of extra things like mending a sprinkler pipe and fixing the front gate. Gaaaahhh. If I just felt better I could do these things myself. Oh well, I guess it has to be done, and Robert's guys do a nice job.

I didn't mention to him about planting daffodils. Trust only goes so far, and it stops when it comes to flowerbeds I think.

: I didn't realize that Robert Gomez had left the front gate open, so when Gretel had to go out in the night, she escaped. There I was roaming the neighborhood at 3 a.m. in my nightgown, calling the dog. When I found her, she was into someone's trash and had it spread in the street. What a night.

In other news, Wendell Settlemire has fixed the two gimpy hinges on closet doors!

: In support of the grocery workers' strike, I shopped at the Green Frog Market today. It took me about twice as long because I was unfamiliar with the store's layout, and I thought prices were overall slightly higher, but I did find Wasa crispbread, which I have not seen since we moved here from Los Angeles. Now I know where to get it.

I might be tempted to shop Green Frog more often if it were in my neighborhood. As it is, I'll just plan to keep going back as long as I need to to show solidarity for my brothers and sisters on the picket lines.

: John notes that he is out of eggs. I am also out of eggs. The bad thing about this is, I went to the grocery store today, and I'm still out of eggs!

: I went to Young's to get eggs. It was very busy and crowded. The lines were slow. They had eggs for $.49 a dozen, but I didn't have a new-style Saver Card filled, so I had to pay the regular price. I bought the carton of eighteen eggs for a tiny savings. There is now a new Saver Card in my purse with three stamps on it. I had quit going to Young's when they discontinued the old saver stamp program, so I guess they noticed and started a new one!

All kinds of people were shopping there, most of whom had never been into Young's, I am sure. One old lady gave me a real lecture about never cross a picket line. "I wouldn't dream of it," I assured her.

: I forgot to mention that while I was at Green Frog, the produce manager was stacking a huge pyramid of Autumn Flame peaches out of RichPak boxes. The display table had a row of little black and white checkered racing flags along one side. I wonder who thought of that merchandising idea. Shannon?

: Gretel is getting out more and more. Today while I was asleep a neighbor brought her home. She has apparently figured out how to open the broken gate. Robert Gomez has gone out of town until Monday or Tuesday. I hope he fixes the gate soon. I don't know how much more of this my heart can take.

Leonard and Sumana are here and we are having a nice visit. Today we went to two pet stores and an antique store, and tonight we are going to see Richard III at the college. The homemade lentil soup was a hit. I froze a lot of portions for the future.

: Been thinking about beans, ever since Alyson cooked them. Plus the ward chili cookoff is coming up. I've never had beans turn out in the crock pot, and I always thought it was just because I used beans from food storage that were probably too old. Or, I had heard if you put salt in them it makes them tough. So when I made this lentil soup I bought a brand new package of lentils and put no salt. After FOREVER in the crock pot they were still crunchy. Bleah. Well, it was dinner time, so I took a portion and boiled them on the stove and they turned out fine. I left the rest cooking in the crock pot over night and in the morning--crunchy. I put them on the stove in a pot and they cooked right up. So. Looks like beans have to be boiled. Whoda thunk?

: I'm putting together a grammar workbook to go with my syllabus for English 60 next semester. It's a very tedious job. I've ALMOST made it to spring break.

In other news, my employer can bite the wall. If I were Some People, I would have been downtown with the lawyers today, faster than the administration could spit.

I'm glad I'm just a simple flunkie who is teaching college for a hobby and not for a living. I'd hate to have my life depending on these people. Such jerks.

[Comments] (6) : We're stylin' here! Starting with this entry, people can make comments on the content of this weblog-- and the mentality of the author--simply by clicking on the blue triangle. Way to dialogue, Leonard!

I hate it when people use "dialogue" as a verb like that.

Here are some other words I hate: foundational, collegiality, outcomes.

[Comments] (1) : Robert Gomez is STILL mending the wall and the gate. I'm getting kind of tired of not being able to let Gretel out there. Plus she figured out how to open the French door.

I went to the Family History Library tonight. We are getting quite a little club going there. I found one line that added 2,000 names.

Work work work on the grammar handbook. What a headache.

: Sometimes is a headache just a headache? I spent the night consuming copious quantities of Advil. Maybe it's not the grammar book.

: Advil. Hasn't always been around. My Understanding of the History of Analgesics. Asprin was invented in the 18-somethings, but willow-bark teas and so forth had been used by Native Americans and pioneers forever. Willow=salix=salicylic acid = asprin. Tyelenol came out when I was in college. I never thought it was all that effective, but the purported advantage of Tyelenol is it doen't upset your stomach. I have never had a problem with asprin upsetting my stomach. Advil came onto the OTC market in the middle 1980s. I think it's a wonderful drug, especially for cramps, but in retrospect, is it really any more effective for a headache than asprin? My experience doesn't think so. Therefore, why do I keep taking Advil$$$$ instead of El Cheapo? I think I'm the dupe of a marketing campaign.

: One of the student workers claims he can tell if someone is dumb or smart by the way they walk. He was standing by my window narrating his evaluations.

"Walking purposefully, eating a bananna - smart." "Wandering down the sidewalk, eating a Twinkie - dumb."

"OK," I said. "Tell me if the Vice President coming out of the Humanities Building is smart or dumb."

"That old guy? He's dumb! Lookit him rambling around holding his McDonald's cup and he still has to write stuff in a notebook after doing a job how many years? He doesn't even have a briefcase! He's the friggin' Vice President and he doesn't even carry a briefcase? What kind of Vice President is that? Dumb. Dumb. Dumb."

Then one of the girls chimed in with a comment about the combover.

Cracked me up.

: I was outside hoeing the flowerbeds when some JWs came by. I really did not want them to stop, but they stood out in the street--it's a public street!-- and talked at me. I tried not to be rude. One of them was a really nice elderly lady, good vocabulary, very sharply and modestly dressed. She lives in the neighborhood.

I would like to be friends with her, but long experience tells that one simply cannot be friends with a Witness. Behind every conversation, they are always lying in wait for the chance to bring the topic around to religion. When Leonard was in kindergarten, there was a little Witness girl in his class. She was a cute little girl--practically the only one in the class besides Leonard who spoke English. Her parents were very nice, she had a baby brother Rachel's age, and they lived just right over on Third Avenue. I thought they would be good friends for our family, but every meetandgreet kept turning into an evaluation of what I'm missing by not going to their church. The can of worms was opened when I invited the little girl to Leonard's fifth birthday party the week after school started.

Anyhow, that same old lady returned to my house and knocked on the door to "bring me more news of what is going on in the world today." (Like I don't read Newsweek and the paper?) I was really sad to not let her in, because she is a lovely lady with whom I have some things in common. But boy, catch her listening to me share my views? uhuh.

: Today I picked our first pomegranite. (Not exactly true; there was another one, shrunken and half rotted, which I picked and ate standing in the garden yesterday--the not rotten part, that is.) I will very kindly share it with Rachel, and I hope for a bigger crop next year!!!!!

[Comments] (2) : I was asked for advice. This is what I said: (1) you should do adventuresome things while you are young and single. (2) You should make sure you really believe in something before you do it.

: The neighbors on Cedar Street to the south got new curbs and gutters. How do they rate?

: I finished all the worksheets for the grammar book. Oh, my neck aches from typing! I just have to put it all into a lesson plan now and prepare the syllabi and the coversheets for about a dozen writing assignments. Last semester's syllabus is in a corrupted file, so I have lost it. I hope there is a hard copy in my filing cabinet at work. The deadline for getting this thing to the printer is Thursday, so I have just three more days to work on it.

[Comments] (1) : A student today said she can tell that I like the class. I'm glad she thinks so. I'm glad she can't tell that I go beat my head against the wall after I leave them. Thank goodness it looks like I like them.

: I thought I had at long last finished the grammar workbook, but when I looked over the lesson plan I still need to make two more worksheets. Whew. I spent all day and evening on it today.

[Comments] (1) : B-i-g-g-g- s-i-i-i-i-i-g-h-h-h-h! I finished the English 60 grammar book and the ACDV 68 worksheet packets for Spring semester. I'll take them to the printers tomorrow and make him kiss my feet for getting it in two days before deadline. Oh, my aching neck from typing all day for days!

Today Sherrie Lewis and I visted Jill Langley and Ernestine Boonstoppel. I asked to see the photographs of Jill's surgery. Everyone else thinks they are gross, but I was interested. The tumor looked sort of like a beef kidney. It was the size of a Nerf football and weighed four pounds. Thank heaven thank heaven thank heaven it was benign.

Judd Lewis and his fiancee are not registered anywhere, and I'm too tired to think of a gift on my own, so I'll probably just give them a gift card. I think I'll give Megan a recipe box, however.

Hooray for having the workbooks done! Now I guess I'll go back to scrapbooking. Oh yes and plant the rest of the daffodils.

[Comments] (2) : The portcullis has come crashing down and the heads have rolled. I'm glad I don't depend on working at this college for my survival. I am also glad to have survived this round of horribleness.

I asked Pedro to watch out the window to see me walk and tell me if I'm dumb or smart. I looked back up to see him and he was standing with two thumbs up. I guess that means I'm smart.

Maybe smart, but with a two-inch stack of papers to grade over the weekend. I have lunch with Sunnie and Susan to look forward to tomorrow though.

And Super Saturday at the church on Saturday, where I am going to make a layered jar of soup mix and some stamped Christmas cards. I signed up to take homemade soup for the luncheon. I was going to make matzoh ball soup, but I couldn't find any matzoh stuff. I went to all the independent grocery stores yesterday, and not only did they not have it, they didn't know what it was and thought I was insane to even ask. I know they sell it at Vons and Albertsons, but they are still on strike. Today I went to Foods Co., and they didn't have it either, so I am giving up. I'll just make homemade dumplings from scratch.

The broth is smelling really nice right now. I put in a lot of fresh thyme from the front yard. (I did rinse the mud off it first!)

[Comments] (5) : My boy is going to Arkansas to work on the Clark presidential campaign. I'm so proud of him--and thrilled and happy. I betcha my brother, his Uncle Leonard, aka "Mr. Democrat", is bustin his buttons about now.

I do have some friends who are Republicans, and I have miffed them already. Geez, the first miffs of the 2004 Presidential race!

: Today I tried to talk Dr. Amin into stopping the IV. He wouldn't; he wants to give it another month and then "we'll see." I never thought he would be so hard to talk into anything. I got a flu shot and am feeling it now, but can't go to bed because I'm waiting for trickortreaters. I've had a few, but it's raining. I have the idea that there will be lots of Hershey's in this household come dawn.

: In other news, the earth is opening up and swallowing people.

Jabberwocky for 2003 October

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.