Jabberwocky for 2004 January

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: Me: I hope Leonard and Jeff stay together forever and ever, until they become silly old men.

Rachel: They already are silly old men.

[Comments] (2) : I am back from the hinterlands. It was a hard trip, and I felt like I was a real dud as far as companionship goes. I was feeling lousy the whole time--so punk I didn't even want to go into campaign HQ with Leonard to meet the folks.

The first day we drove to Tucson. We ate at a Taco Bell in Palm Desert and Rachel got food poisoning there, so we both spent the night retching. The next day Rachel was basically passed out. I drove to Fort Stockton. I stopped at a wayside restaurant in New Mexico to eat steak--it was good, but NOT rare. Not even medium. I saved the last of it to share with Mitch, only to find out when we arrived in SA that Mitch had been given away, so I gave it to Sadie. Rachel slept in the car while I ate. In Fort Stockton, we had a light supper at a random diner--urrrrk.

The next day, to San Antonio. We ate at a Subway. Urrrrk. I was glad to get to Anne's house, to see everyone, and to crawl into bed. I felt like a real party pooper though. For New Years Eve, Rachel and I went to see LOTR with Joseph and Dave. I enjoyed it, but I think I liked the second movie better.

We thought we had locked the car keys in the trunk, so by midnight I was waiting for the AAA locksmith to some. They say that what you do on New Years Eve sets the stage for the next year to come. I hope not! Just as the AAA guy pulled up, Rachel found the keys. Whew. That saved me $200. Rachel had lost her glasses also, and we spent our time in San Antonio looking for them. At the last minute, Dave found them. Whew! That saved me another $200. Gosh, I'm getting rich!

I would have liked to go to the zoo with Atticus and Samuel, but Anne didn't seem to have anything planned and I wasn't feeling well enough to mobilize against the inertia, so we didn't do anything. We did have cioppino for dinner on New Years, and Anne's friend Ben and also Gayla and Sarah Scoll were there. It was pretty good, and stayed down. Cioppino is a traditional Whitney family celebration meal. I have actually never made it because my mother made it when we all got together when I brought Roy up to meet the family and he about had a fit. He had a fit before he ever tasted it; in fact, I believe he never even tried it. I never met someone who had a problem with fish like he did.

Kristen and Aaron were in kind of a jam for care of their dog, Sadie, as Anne says she can't keep her any more. I told them she can come live with me and play with Gretel. So Sadie went back to Utah with the Smiths and I'm going to need to drive up to get her.

From San Antonio we drove to Houston and visited Charlie and Nancy Schile. On the way there we ate at a Dennys. Urrrk. Charlie looks good and his new kidney is working well. I took all my quilting stuff to Nancy since I don't think I have enough time left in life to do it all. I'm going to devote my life to genealogy. Nancy was acting just like it was Christmas morning. Charlie went out and got some Vietnamese chicken noodle soup for dinner, which made me feel some better.

In the morning we drove to Little Rock. We had a bowl of wonton soup at a doubtful looking place in Nacodogches. I was expecting a bowl of broth with two floating wontons, but it had all kinds of veggies, shrimp, meatballs--it was a lovely meal for $3.75. We were starting to feel as though we had spent an eternity in Texas, and boy did we whoop and holler as we crossed the state line! I never thought I'd be excited to see Arkansas! I had wanted to stop in Hope and get a picture of me by the sign of Pres. Clinton's birthplace, but it was dark by the time we got there. What an ordeal the whole trip was--this country is b-i-g! We met Leonard at our motel, went out for dinner (I had more Vietnamese soup) and then we crawled into bed. In the morning we dragged out and caught the shuttle to the airport. The flight was long and a big ordeal, and our flight out of Las Vegas was 45 minutes late in taking off so we missed the airport bus and had to take the next one home. Home! I was so glad to see it.

Click those old red shoes! There is NO PLACE like home!

[Comments] (3) : Woohoo! Today's Newsweek says that General Clark's Internet operation is "impressively savvy."

[Comments] (1) : Today, in the cold grey hours before dawn, Xochitl hunted down a wet sponge and brought it to bed. I kept wondering what all the dampness was.

[Comments] (1) : I spent a couple of hours on genealogy tonight and made it through the Burgundy family on my printout. This was a big merging job because many lines go back to the French Burgundian royalty. I am glad to be finished with them and almost to the Cs.

It occurrs to me that the lucky ones are the folks who are new to family history who start with a clear slate, instead of folks like me who have to try to make sense of generations of other people's mistakes. Sometimes I feel like I'm just slogging along in it, but if the cleanup waits another generation it will be an even bigger mess. I think I mentioned before: it takes me about a half hour to check a page. The printout is over 800 pages. I'll be doing this for a while.

[Comments] (4) : Dr. Amin said he presented my case at a conference for infectious disease specialits in San Francisco in December and the doctors there couldn't believe I'm still alive. But I still am. Viral load through the roof, and only one T-Cell, but I got out of bed this morning!

I hope it argues something for not being a wimp.

Getting ready to start more genealogy. There are five more pages of B surnames.

: Bleary eyed and stiff, I made it through checking and merging the Byzantine Empire, and am now working on a bunch of Welsh names that start with the letter C. Coming up, someone I would like to know more about: Anna Cakebread.

I had to go over to the church and download a some more files tonight because there was a hole in one of the lines. Turns out it was a B-I-G hole--about a thousand people.

[Comments] (4) : I have started a batch of sourdough French bread. I'm going to make it into little mini-bowls for soup. I'll eat one today and put the rest in the freezer. I don't know why it never occurred to me to do that before. Right now it is rising and the house smells good!

[Comments] (2) : Leonard's Wired arrived, so I read it hoping it would induce somnolence. It induced annoyance. I just hate it when magazines fill themselves with advertising postcards and other non-standard sized pages full of non-editorial copy, and Wired appears to be the queen of origami.

There are gardening magazines I quit subscribing to because of this problem, so beware, Wired.

: Tonks is too fat. Way too fat. He's having trouble getting through the kitty door; he has to squirm. What a knothead.

: I am reading The Blind Watchmaker. An interesting part is the chapter on bat echolocation, where Dawkins says that a human perceivs a bat's face as a grotesque mask, while actually what it is is an ideal instrument for sending and receiving sonar.I think all humans need to cultivate the ability to view the world without screening it through our own chauvenistic prejudices. Probably the bats think we are ugly too.

: I pruned the catmint (which none of the cats seem to like) and the Mexican sage and that was all I had energy for. Fortunately that filled the green bin, so I had an excuse to quit. I hadn't realized just to what an extent that bout with the flu had taken the starch out of me, and I'm starting today on a little program to rebuild strength.

As I was trimming the salvia I found a preying mantis egg case on one of the branches, to my consternation AFTER I had cut said branch off. I trimmed it up and stuck the stick upright in the dirt by one of the granite boulders. I hope the little guys find that condition satisfactory for finishing their incubation.

: Yippee! Madonna has endorsed Clark! I really like her letter. I tried to link to Madonna's website, but couldn't figure it out so here is the text of her letter from Fox News /a>

[Comments] (1) : I'm trying to determine a way to doctor up Mr. Campbell's tomato soup. I thought of Angostura bitters, Tabasco, lemon juice, cooking sherry.... tried the former, but it didn't make enough of a flavor difference to be worth it. I wish I could remember how Dorothy Hall did it, and Aunt Jeuney isn't here so I can ask her!

A recipe search on the Web reveals some rather strange things, including Tomato-Oatmeal Soup (???) and a recipe that makes two gallons of the stuff.

: Today started out very slowly. I put on my dress. It was backwards. I took it off, turned it around, put it on again. It was still backwards. yesindeedydoo, a slow morning. Made slower by the fact that I have to wrestle with tubes when changing clothes. I wonder, if I had worn my dress backwards to church, would anyone have noticed? Would they have said anything?

Probably I've been backwards all these years and nobody has thought to remind me.

: I picked up a Charlotte Bronte novel I had never read before--had barely heard of. Shirley. In the first few pages, Bronte warns us not to expect a love story, and we don't get one--it's about workers in woolen mills, the villages, the mill owners, and the Industrial Revolution. I wonder why it's not more widely taught?

I think if I were one of the people who teach Eng. 1A I might use something like this for one of the novels and do a semester on social responsibility.

[Comments] (2) : Molly Ivins is one of my heroes.

[Comments] (2) : I pulled a bunch of weeds, but there are still many more to go, if anyone feels like coming to help me.

This afternoon I'm going to experimentally try going to a movie by myself. I've tried going out to eat and to the fair. The going out to eat alone is no fun at all, but I did okay at the county fair, so maybe a movie... we shall see. I think I will go to watch Calendar Girls .

[Comments] (3) : Back from the movies. I enjoyed it, even by myself. I didn't buy Coke or popcorn or anything because I am trying to save money. I did find a bagette of Southwest Airlines peanuts in my jacket pocket. There were only old couples at the cheap matinee, and one pair of older ladies.

So I think I'll go more often, without relying on a friend to go with me. I can get three movies out of the gift certificates Susie and John gave me for Christmas. What a brilliant gift!

The ladies' church group in the movie was sooooo much like Enrichment Night!

[Comments] (1) : The Bakersfield Californian is having a "Fattest Cat in Town" contest. Ahurhk.

[Comments] (2) : In conjunction with my determination to do a bunch of Round Tuits, I went to Sears to order new glasses. They are having a 50% off sale. I ordered new glasses and sunglasses with a new prescription. The optician couldn't read Dr. Freeman's writing on the prescription, so she called his office, and whomever she talked to didn't have two brain cells to rub together. So we are waiting for a call back from them. I hope I get my new glasses soon.

I also stopped by Target to buy toilet paper and cleaning supplies. This old geezer was staring at me as I loaded my cart with 48 double rolls of TP. What, geezer, nobody at your house uses this stuff?

There was a paid signature gatherer out front who was the most ill-informed human I've ever met. (and I'm a remedial teacher, so you know I've met a few!) He wanted me to sign one that he told me was about (nearly as directly quoted as I can remember) "There are all these doctors who don't know what to do with themselves, and this initiative gives them money to do research so they have something to do with their time." I told him I didn't think that was a worthy idea. Then I read the statute--it was for stem cell research. Well that kind of changes the perspective. There were about six other initiatives. Some of them I refused to sign, and I would have told him the reasons, but he wasn't capable of listening.

I wonder what makes a person so stoopid? Drugs? Poor nutrition? Lack of stimulating environment? Plain old mulishness?

[Comments] (6) : Jonathan says Alyssa is getting married in the Salt Lake Temple on Friday, February 13. Friday the 13th, yeah, that's about right. I spent quite a while talking to him on the phone today.

In just a few minutes I need to pack up my crock pot dinner and pick up Ernestine Boonstoppel to go to Guilt and Lies Meeting. It's going to be about time managment, and I have been promised (threatened?) that we will be divided into groups and made to participate. Rawr rawr rawr.

: Knock me down and pick me back up: I received a letter today from someone from elementary school.

: I am still reading Shirley. I'm almost through it though. Because it is set in Yorkshire, I wanted to go see Calendar Girls again to listen to the people and see the scenery. So Rachel and I went after her eye doctor appointment. Post-movie, we picked up some Japanese tempura for me and In-n-Out for Rachel and Gretel. It was good but I threw it up. I saved half of it for lunch today, and it was good today. I wish I had saved all of it. Today I'm making us a meatloaf and baked potato.

: Today I ventured out into the world and bought vaccuum cleaner bags and a new paper shredder. Luckily they had the cheap $10 kind of paper shredder, the kind that comes with no wastebasket. I like that kind best. Then I wanted to pick up some more Japanese tempura to see if it would stay down, so I went to Wasabi Express, and they are closed Mondays. Undaunted, I went to Tokyo Garden. They are also closed Mondays. By that time I was getting hungry so I drove through Long John Silver's and got some fish & chips. Mistake.

[Comments] (3) : I forgot to tell about the anole lizzard when I wrote about our trip to Arkansas. On New Years Day, Aaron and Atticus caught a little anole lizzard and hung him from Alyson's ear. He was hanging on very tightly, clamped to her earlobe by his teeny tiny teeth.

I felt very bad to be laughing and thinking it was funny because I knew the poor little thing must be terrified. Atticus was jumping up and down and yelling, "Papa! Papa! There is a lizzard on mommy's ear!"

It was difficult to get the lizzard off Alyson's ear because he was holding on for dear life. Eventually Aaron pried his jaw loose, using the stick from a discarded bottle rocket. This is good practice for when Aaron is a dentist.

[Comments] (3) : I went to Home Depot and bought a For Sale by Owner sign, to which I fastened my Clark yard signs. Gretel went out with me to put it up in the front yard. So far, the house hasn't been egged.

[Comments] (4) : Postscript: When Gretel and I left the house to go for a ride in the car, the neighbor came over and asked where she could get a Clark sign. Luckily I have an extra one to give her. I'll set her up with a bumper sticker too.

: Stephanie Hale sent me this little thought:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well - preserved piece ... but to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out and defiantly shouting "Wow what a ride!"-- Author Unknown

[Comments] (1) : I explored the possibility of having Gretel take doggie Prozac with Dr. Reno. He says it's expensive and doesn't always work and she will grow out of the anxious behavior. Someday. Eventually. We hope.

The anxious behavior was at its peak this morning because she got left at the vet to have a bath and her nails clipped. Poor Baby. The cats have been worried this morning too. Xochitl keeps crying and I don't know what she wants. I was wondering if there was an earthquake, but the nearest one today was in Coso Junction. I'm on the alert.

: More Round Tuits: Today I weeded out all my bookcases and took a laundry basket full of books to the donation box for Friends of the Library. All the shelves are nice and loose now. The trick here is every book I took over there is probably a book I would have bought at a used book sale if I saw it there! I better stay away from the book sale (starts tomorrow) or I just might buy some of them back! (and don't think THAT hasn't happened to me, because it has!)

[Comments] (2) : Today at Green Frog Market I bought a bag of oranges. When I got them home and opened the bag, they were grapefruit. I'm not supposed to eat grapefruit, but I am forming the opinion that fresh fruit is better for me than the drugs that grapefruit supposedly makes weaker.

I am all ready for school to start on Monday and looking forward to it. I like working. Last Tuesday I still had five openings in my 10:30 class, but by today the class was full.

[Comments] (1) : Sumana has been dreaming about pledging to KQED.

I have also been considering contributing to their miserable campaign drive. Not KQED, but KVPR. If I give them $75, they will give me a pair of tickets to the Bakersfield Symphony. Then they will send me junk mail for the rest of my earthly probation.

Hanging in the balance: Symphony v. junk mail

: I mostly did genealogy today. I was going to work some in the yard, and Gretel and I even went to White Forest and bought 25 strawberry plants, but then on the way home it started raining. It is raining still, for real now. They were glad to see Gretel at White Forest even though she banged a flowerpot planted with sedum with her tail and tipped it over. And walked in the dirt.

They have a job opening there.

I think I have figured out why this genealogy is such a mess. It's because names that were added by the extraction people just got dumped into the archives without being linked into pedigrees. So there are all these anomalous ancestors floating around.

[Comments] (1) : The first day of the new semester went well for me. I had thundering herds trying to add my 8 a.m. class. I added everyone who talked to me last November, and I think I will have a little raffle for three more places. That would give me a HUGE class, but I only had three no-shows. I dropped them immediately after class. One of them I didn't want anyway, having had him twice before. He never comes to class, and never listens when he does, and half the time he has disappeared and come to find out they took him to jail.

My 11 a.m. class has a lot of people in it too, most of whom are quite clueless. I signed an add slip for Mercedes, who works in the office at Chipman. I thought she looked very familiar when she walked in the door, but it took me about an hour to place her face in my mental file. I am glad to see she is coming to college and trying to make some progress in life.

There is also someone in the class named something like Moxisijsuy Vakrheyenenayask. She barely speaks English and only at a whisper.

Mark Handy's brother, Matt, is taking my English 60 class. He is a fireman taking college units on his days off. Some other teacher--I don't know who-- refused to add Matt because she said "You firemen are only here for salary advancement, not to learn." Hellooooo? Isn't that why everyone goes to college? Anyhow, I cannot imagine anyone who would take a composition class voluntarily to "learn". Except maybe the people who cut and burn their arms and the people like to be whipped by their sex partners and the people who drive British sports cars.

[Comments] (3) : I gave up on trying to call the phone number to update my Norton Anti-Virus subscription. That line has been busy for months! I went to CompUSA and bought a new Norton, 2004 version. There was a rebate for TurboTax in it, so I got it. In the TurboTax there was a rebate for TurboTax California, and also a rebate for Quicken 2004. I installed the Quicken, praying meanwhile for my data files from the old version. It converted them nicely. I don't know if I like the new software, however. It seems very "busy" visually.

I haven't installed the TurboTax yet.

It's raining here. Poor Gretel doesn't want to go out in it to pee. Last time it rained she held it for 15 hours.

A group of obnoxious parents is trying to ban Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye from high school classrooms in this district. I have signed a petition against their petition. The pro-book petition was written by Gloria Dumler. I was trying to think of who I know (Kern County residents) that would agree with me and sign the petition, and I could only come up with Jeannette and Rachel. Most of the people at church violently disagree with me on many political issues, so I just don't pursue any arguments with them. So I circulated the petition to Jeannette and Rachel and hope they know other people. The BC English Department wants everyone to go down to the KHSD board meeting and make a showing, but I am tired. I'm trying to do less, not more. I would just love to go to jail for picketing over a First Amendment issue, but not today, thank you.

I feel really irritated about the way these born-agains think they can dictate the curriculum that is taught to my child-- and that I teach in my classroom. Let them do their little homeschool thing if they want, and keep their religion and "values" and "morals" out of my classroom and away from my kid.

[Comments] (2) : Ouch! The line for the BC Bookstore comes out of the bookstore, down the hall, through the building, out the door, across the walkway, and clear across the quad!

Something is obviously wrong with their system. Students are having to spend forever just trying to get near enough to buy their books.

[Comments] (2) : I often hear from Marlene, on a mission with her husband Chuck. They are working at improving the facilities at a church camp in Washington. She sounds like she is having the time of her life.

[Comments] (2) : Today I went to check out Lassen's, the new natural foods grocery store. I had been thinking I wanted to start using free range chickens and cruelty-free eggs. (Jeff's influence over me I guess!) The chickens were $9. Ouch! I just couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money on one chicken, half of which Gretel will probably eat anyhow. Then I went to Young's, and whole chickens were $7. Jeeezzzz.

[Comments] (1) : I've never followed a Presidential campaign so closely in my entire life. Of course, the stakes for our country are much, much higher this time. Every time I get scared and nervous for Clark, I remind myself that it's probably like trying out for Honor Band. The first year you try out, you have to realize that you probably won't make it. But you learn the ropes and what to expect, and the next year there are no rude surprises at the audition, and you're in!

: Karen Nations and I went to see the Book of Mormon Movie tonight. We sat with Noel and Emma Cruz, and it was good to see them. The movie was about as bad as they come--wooden writing, mediocre acting. Lehi and the angels were all particularly stiff, and some of the costumes were obviously made out of afghans and bedspreads. The actor who played Nephi, however, was hunky.

Before the movie, the "assistant production assistant" or somebody like that gave a speech in which she spoke of the "miracles" that happened during the filming. Then she tried to sell us the DVD, specially priced today only with a free soundtrack CD if you buy it tonight steprightupladiesandgentlemen! All in all, pretty cheesy.

Jabberwocky for 2004 January

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.