Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Dutiful Mind

Boxes unpacked. Kids at day camps. Subterranean basement office set up and ready for productivity. But when a dissertation distraction calls, it is my duty to answer that call.
Off to Chicago to see
Sun Rings, eat at fancy pants restaurants, and yak my head off with Janet. There's really no choice in the matter. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 27, 2005

Warming Up for War

Blog swarming with the Big Brass Alliance ...
Before the war officially started, coalition forces waged a secret war against Iraq. More than 600 bombs were dropped on selected targets. If you can stomach knowing more, read Michael Smith's piece about our secret war warmup in the LA times, paper where good friend Sam works.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

New Look for the Blog

The old green blog was broken. That gap between heading and post was getting on my last nerve. I emailed the help squadron at blogger headquarters, but they could not help me. The new template had to be called in. I'm getting used to it. What do you think? Would you visit this blog again?

Last night we saw these guys at Mitzi's house. A fox showed up as well, but no one bothered to tell me to come over to the window to see it. This morning, a deer walked into our backyard and sprawled out for a little rest back there. He stayed for about an hour and then moseyed off after the air conditioning heroes showed up. Posted by Hello

Roving Maniac

Karl Rove insulted Democrats on Wednesday by criticizing their calls for "moderation and restraint" after 9/11. He didn't feel moderation and restraint after 9/11 and can't understand how others might not want to charge into war. When did moderation and restraint become negative attributes? Maybe I didn't get the memo or something, but this just seems odd to me. Twisting attributes around could be a new trend. I just love Karl for his idiocy and war mongering. I so admire his manipulation and distortion of the truth. I'm not getting the hang of it, but I'll keep trying. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What's Next?

Our air conditioning broke today. We hope to get a new one installed soon because it's way hot here. It took me awhile to realize it was broken. For hours, I kept running around to each vent trying to determine if the air was cool or not. It wasn't.
#1 son had a friend over. I asked both boys continuously if they were getting hot. They said no, but I was sweating. I get somewhat nervous when friends come over because I want them to have fun. So every time I hear one kid saying, "What do you want to do now," I have to work hard not to run into the room and start up a mancala tournament or some such nonsense. After hours of slow going interactions, we headed to one of our nation's premier public pools. During adult swim, I floated along while hundreds of kids shot daggers at me from poolside. As I floated, I watched happily as busloads of campers left the pool area to board their buses to return to their day camps. A mom drifted by and said, "Isn't it sad that those kids are in camp? I bet they've been awake since 6 am and my kids get to sleep in and just hang around and do what they want."
I mumbled, "Yes, summer's supposed to be like that" and picked up the pace of an American crawl. I don't like to lie, but it seemed inappropriate to say to a total stranger, "My kids will be in camp starting Monday. Yay!"
After the pool, we headed over to the orthodontist to find out that Teen Daughter has 2 months more of braces. Then we went to the store to buy Popsicles. When husbandman came home, I was reading a magazine on the couch. He said, "Why are the kids watching Dr. Phil?" I had no good answer so I just kept on reading and Husbandman picked up the newspaper. After Dr. Phil ended, # 1 son plopped down in a chair nearby and asked, "Well, fellow adventurers, what are we going to do next?" His comment sent chills through my spine, the first I'd had all day. Posted by Hello


I've returned to dissertation work after weeks away. Dissertation doesn't seem to have missed me at all. It offers no friendly greetings or welcoming gestures as I sit down ready to write. Somehow I have to earn back its trust. But how? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Organization Tuesday

In class 204, we spend time organizing desks and tables each Tuesday morning. I like to come up with cheesy names like Organization Tuesday, Writer’s Wednesday, blah blah blah. Even young kids groan at the dorkiness of these appellations, but I’ve never shied away from the dork identity. I work it.

Back to Organization Tuesday, the theme of this post. Here are some organizing tools I’ve used today:

Move On’s petition to protect our nation’s public airwaves
Louise Slaughter’s petition that calls for an audit of the billions of dollars that went missing in Iraq
Big Brass Alliance’s daily updates on coverage of the Downing Street Memos.

So clean your desks please and click these links. Get organized this morning. I’m setting the timer for 15 minutes.

Monday, June 20, 2005

21 years of cohabitation and 18 years of weddedness merit a blog entry. Happy Anniversary Husbandman.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Limestone Bears

Checked out library books at one of our nation's premier public libraries, demonstrating our commitment to literacy for our nation's youth. I couldn't find anything I wanted to read for free so I bought the new Nick Hornby at a nearby independent book seller. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Crossing Downing Street

Yesterday Shakespeare’s Sister live blogged the Downing Street Minutes hearing. I was grateful because I came home ready to unpack boxes and watch the hearings on C-SPAN 3, but come to find out (quaint Midwestern expression) I don’t get C-SPAN 3 on my new cable package. And our new computer cable configuration has messed up the sound on the computer so now there is no sound.

So I read along. The speakers were direct and clearly outlined the need for further inquiry into the DSM. I was moved and inspired by the mom who spoke. She lost her son in Iraq and called out Bush for his idiotic claims that loving the families of those who have died in Iraq is the “hardest” part of his job. We’re supposed to feel sorry for him? Forget it pal. After the hearings, Rep. Conyers walked the petition (with our signatures) over to the White House, but they didn’t let him in. Surprise Surprise.

Who knows what will come next? I’m relieved that the hearings happened and that the story seems to be getting more coverage. On NPR this morning, I heard a snippet of tape recorded yesterday in the Senate. Senators were debating Guatanamo abuses. Doors are opening slightly? Crossing my fingers.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

We don't have well named groceries like this one in our town, but we do have other good things.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Birdfeeder on the right broke while we were gone. Broke means that squirrels can not feed on it, and birds are out of luck as well. So on this first day back I went to the bird feeder store and told the guy my story. He held up bird feeder on the left and said, "You should just buy the more expensive one." So I did.  Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Sabbatical's closing up shop. So is the blog for a few days. Packing is progressing and cleanup is too. Next blog will be from home. Bye to our northern friends and hello to our midwest pals. Happy Penultimate Day to one and all.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Slow Motion Moving

You know in cartoons when the people run and run but they're not moving forward? Fred Flintstone does that quite a bit. And W.E. Coyote. Their feet are cycling away but their bodies are frozen in space. That's what packing feels like. I move from room to room filling boxes but every time a box is filled I notice another area of the house I haven't worked on yet. I'm getting nowhere fast. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Goodbye Boy

Q's good friends throw him a good bye party. I drop him off and try to get a few pix before I am pelted with a water balloon. It's thrown by #1 son. As you can see, he has some spectacular peeps up here. (J.L. came later.) Thanks a gazillion, guys!!! We will miss you and you have an open invitation to our Hoosier home. Posted by Hello

I Heart Hearings

There will be Congressional hearings on June 16 concerning the Downing Street Minutes. Great news for all who hoped for further inquiry.
I wonder if these will devolve into baby world like the recent Patriot Act hearings did. The Republican chair chastised speakers who brought up abuses at Guantanamo. Then he stormed out of the meeting in a little huff. Then the microphones went dead. Real mature.
Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

FYI: Another victory, 10 - 6. I talked to several parents. Posted by Hello

Heading out to the final day.  Posted by Hello

R's speech was awesome. A+ Posted by Hello

New highschoolers.  Posted by Hello

Editing Earth

Change a word here, add a phrase there. Robust findings become tentative uncertainties in Cooney’s version of reports on global warming. White House folk say that this type of editing is a normal part of “interagency review.” Even critics of Cooney's editing job admit that “all administrations routinely” vet government reports. Good to know.

p.s. Read more about matching findings to policy at the Whiskey Bar.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Depp's freaky facial expressions made me sick to my stomach when I watched the preview for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Took a few hours for me to get over the creepiness of it.

Today is the penultimate day of school, so I reminded both offspring to try to use that word as frequently as possible in their interactions. Opportunities for usage are rare. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Exit Strategy...Exit Strategy...Exit Strategy....

Anne Lamott is at TPM cafe, and she suggests that it's okay to say the words "exit strategy." We could even talk about getting one sometimes.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Caption? Posted by Hello

O Husbandman, Where Art Thou?

Single parenting is fun at the start of the week, when I get to make all the decisions and be in charge of everything. After awhile, it gets a bit boggy. The weekend was fun, Madagascar, Science Museum, Children’s Festival, Coffee and Cigarettes, the new Entourage, but there were some glitches along the way that I would have happily shared with a coparent.
Teen daughter spent 3 hours at the computer yesterday doing homework, so I couldn’t check my blog very much. And she forgot her lunchbox for the second time in a week.
I am still miffed at #1 son’s long explanations of the superiority of the paternal system of grocery shopping. Also irked by his insistence that cucumbers are zucchinis. He finally saw the light on the zucchini issue, but then he just laughed the whole thing off as funny. This morning he woke up with a weird rash all over his chest.
Then the people who live in our real house emailed to say our air conditioning is broken. I made phone calls to arrange repairs, but just as I felt I was making progress on this project, the a.c. started working again. The tenant sighed frequently during our phone call, and I apologized about 50 times. Yet, I have a sinking feeling the air conditioning crisis is not over. Single parents should get a third weekend day.

Downing Street Memo

Downing Street Memo. Lots of bloggers are writing about it and that means people are reading about it. If you haven’t signed Rep. Conyers’ letter, can you explain to me why you have not? Come on! It’ll be fun.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I took this fantastic picture of friend's boy child. I tried not to spoil balloon pleasure, but balloons make me nervous and I kept bringing up possible problems. "Hope it doesn't fly off, we won't be able to catch it." "Hope it doesn't pop in his face. That could freak him out." I'm especially nervous with kiddos right now because husbandman is away in a foreign land. And I'm responsible for keeping everyone alive til next week. My own offspring left balloon boy and the adults behind to enjoy Friday's Fair on their own. We walked to Savvy Mom's house and for 15 minutes, all was good. Then I began perseverating on possible problems, "Hope they don't get lost." "Hope they stick together." Friends pointed out that the social and the house were one block from the other, but I was edgy anyway. Offspring arrived safely soon after and I could relax with both of them in plain sight.  Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005

Broken window. Posted by Hello

Take Heart

I wrote 9 sentences this week. Almost 2 sentences each day. To avoid turning into Noel the Negativity Mole, I’m trying to get reassurance from the fact that if I continue to work at this pace, 2 sentences each day, I will probably be able to finish the dissertation by the 7 year deadline. That’s somewhat heartening.
Good news that Rep. Conyers is succeeding with his goal to gather 100,000 signatures for his letter to w asking for answers about the Downing Street Memo. True Blue Liberal is polling about perceptions people have about the possible outcome of increased public attention to the memo. Most respondents aren’t very hopeful, even as they continue to take action. I find that heartening as well.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

His team won, 13 - 1. Posted by Hello

Baseball Mom I’m Not

Husbandman’s out of town so I went to #1 son’s ballgame last night. I don’t usually go. Firstly, husbandman loves baseball and he enjoys providing parental coverage. Second off, I have a hard time thinking of things to say to the other parents. And last off, I get hideously nervous every time #1 son has to interact with the ball in any way, hitting or catching. The night turned out okay. I accidentally sat with some parents from the opposing team who had no interest in talking to me so I got to read an article about troubling gender dichotomies while watching some fairly impressive masculinity performances. #1 made a phenomenal catch in the outfield and got on base 3 times.

The Astronauts

 From a Lynda Barry book, I've used the idea to have the Thirdlanders draw self portraits on occasion.  Draw yourself as Batman, a monst...