Archive for January, 2007

What She Said! (Earwigsworms)

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Copying Karen, because boy oh boy, what she said! She’s talking about practicing the flute in her dreams and, oh boy, have I been there, done that!

And why stop there? How about coding in your sleep? Fortran IV, anyone? On a DecWriter II hooked up to a mainframe computer somewhere in the universe by some slower than all getout connection? Or JavaScript, rummaging around in the Document Object Module? Tick tick tick tick ding. grok grok. Or counting money in thousands over and over and over ad nauseam, trying to figure out if you can scrabble together enough shekels to buy that stupid little house on the west side of the planet.

And then we got to the packing years. I’d be sitting on the floor in the middle of about ten square yards of baby clothes and toys and stuffed aminals and diapers and other flotsam and jetsam and cosmic debris and whatnot. Dragging all of that stuff into various bags and getting it all in and zipping up the bags and then looking around and seeing another ten square years years yards of debris. All of which *had* to be packed. No way could we leave it home/beach/Houghton Lake. Wake me up. QUICK!

I am doing a *lot* of this frenetic non-restful kind of dreaming lately. Sketching and scanning and skewing and filtering Photoshop layers ad infinitum. Navigating content management systems. Photoshop “art” using only text and Flash animations are probably next on the docket. Of all things, the familiar old shoreline dreams are non-existent. Except for a little bit of green water under ice last night at the Doelle end of the beach. Somehow Grinch was involved. I forget how. But I know we drove down a goddamn road.

Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Is it the Internets or is it me?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Testing, testing. I can’t seem to get a reliable connection at home so I drove over here to Barry Bagels. I tried switching to the Planet Ann Arbor Public Schools wireless and that worked for a while but I had business at Youtube and it wouldn’t let me go there. I was able to connect to 1-3-7 (whoever that is) for a few minutes and then that faded and all the other wireless signals in the area required a password.

Actually, the connection doesn’t seem that great over here at Barry’s either and I have to keep copying this bunch of blather into TextWrangler so I can save it offline so I don’t *lose* it. Because today, “Save and Continue Editing” means just about the exact opposite. It had better not be my cable modem. If it is, the ISP better plan on sending somebody out that 1) knows what he/she is doing, 2) can answer a direct question with a straight answer, and 3) doesn’t make me feel like jumping out of my skin. It is *my* house and if you are a service provider of any sort, you’d better be sending people with at least a *minimal* level of social skills out to it. And no criminal record either.

Anyway, I’ve got work to do and no time for this s*%&!

If this is Tuesday, I must be boring (or maybe it’s just that there’s lotsa stuff I can’t blahg about ;-)

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

A bad time to *not* use your turn signal is when it’s so slippery that people are running into curbs and stuff. If you are gonna change lanes in front of me in those conditions, please lemme know. Slowing down, *especially* if you are in an SUV, might be good. I drive a coupla small honda-type vee-hickles. They are intrepid but I don’t wanna be hit by you with your cell phone plastered to your ear. Okay, that’s outta my system. Onward. As nervous as I feel about art-type critiques, there were some things I didn’t like about my designs today and I caught myself thinking something like, “maybe the other students will have some good ideas about that.” Of course, they didn’t always address *my* areas of concern but I will deal with the results. Dark oceanness? I *should* be able to do that. What is wrong with me? Oh! Maybe I need to incorporate a *cylinder*! On a different tangent, if I can figure out how to make a picture that includes a duck and a cow among other things using only type (yeah, that means letters), I win. I have a long way to go though. And I absolutely loved the bloody shark.

Monday Without Barry’s

Monday, January 29th, 2007

No Monday coffee with Marci at Barry’s because Marci is off gallivanting around somewhere for the week. I forget where. I cannot keep up with my very down-to-earth jetset friend but she’s somewhere and I hope she’s having a blast! Nevertheless, life at The Landfill goes on, sorta in order:

  • Shower. Layer up. Walk. Cheerios. Make bed. Clean bathroom. Throw laundry in.
  • Chisel, chisel, chisel.
  • “Using the Flash drawing tools, make a self-portrait. Be creative.” Hmmm. Probably my least favorite assignment ever. For some god-forsaken reason, it is coming out better than I expected. Wonder if I’ll post it…
  • Chisel, chisel, chisel.
  • Photoshop: gothic-organic style interface
  • Chisel, chisel, chisel.
  • Email with Karen a couple times. Glad to hear she has heat. It’s winter and this is Michigan.
  • Photoshop: paper-bag style interface
  • Pack up a great big box and a 10×13 envelope, go to the PO and mail them to Callyforny and Kalamamalakazookman, respectively. Last box to Callyforny for the moment. This is the third PO clerk that has complimented me on my packing skills. What can I say? I used to be a non-profit administrator but now I’m just a mom who mails things to California. There is glass in this package. I do hope it makes it there successfully.
  • Quick and dirty partial river ride. No kayakers.
  • Scrounge a leftover lunch.
  • Put laundry away.
  • Deconstruct website for school project.
  • iChat with Sam! No audiovisuals due to some weird problem we didn’t figger out. That’s okay, photo booth picks up wrinkles and other ugliness that I don’t see even when I’m 2 inches away from a mirror! Go figger. ‘course, it’s just Sam and she knows what I look like and prob’ly could couldn’t care less about the wrinkles. Did I say “just Sam?” Kee-reist. That was the biggest understatement on earth. Kee-reist.
  • Chisel, chisel, chisel.
  • More Flash, Photoshop, and deconstruct website.
  • Discuss website migration issues.
  • Tell Sierra Club guy at the door, “no thanks.” Hopefully politely but I was on the edge. Wonder if these young pups, when they see me in my small house on the Planet Ann Arbor, can ever understand what I’ve been through regarding land use issues. Do they know where I grew up and that I still own land there? I doubt they’d even begin to understand or believe my story. Sigh.
  • Return Lizard Breath’s email. Register car in Callyforny? Yes, good idea.
  • Walk. Penetrating kind of cold today. But it’s winter and this is Michigan. So.

My so-called life! Is yours more exciting? Do tell! 😉

Chisel, Chisel, Chisel

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

aminals.jpgGrok grok grok! *I* wanna blahg about this! Grok grok grok! Sorry, Froog, I get to do this! Yaknow, you can getcher own blahg. I bet is available.

Moley has been found!!! As well as Black Beauty, Squealy & Scrambly, and BLUE MOUSE! And 24 other aminals of all sizes and descriptions. Just as loved as the four who were named but never got incorporated into whatever fantasy world was playing out when they were acquired, therefore without names or fully developed personalities.

I am chiseling away at this landfill and one of the things I chiseled at today was a big black garbage bag full of stuffed aminals in the basement. The last time I looked for Moley, I could *not* find him anywhere. I guess he must’ve taken a trip to steal socks in Saudi Arabia or someplace. Anyway, he’s back now and I’m sure he and Froog’ll be in cahoots to wreak all kinds of havoc around the Landfill.

My kids watched their share of TV and movies when they were young and they even did some computer gaming. Mouse, at 2-1/2 used to stand on a chair and play “Concentration” on our first Mac, which we bought right around the time she was born, actually. She even knew how to use the mouse (yeah, I know) to navigate to the “File” menu to get a new game.

But stuffed aminals and puppets ruled the world here. Some of them seem to exist to create trouble grok ggrok. Froog, shut up, you are *still* createing trouble. Others were good helpers when discipline issues arose. Chrissy The Police Mouse, where are you? The cutest $4 grocery store aminal on earth. She *has* to be around here somewhere. I’ll find her.

For a while, my kids, being girls, were also into Barbie and My Little Pony, etc. I remember one time when we came home from some family event over in Megalopolis (actually I think it was Becky’s wedding shower! :-)) and they were absolutely in heaven about getting all of The Beautiful Renee’s pony stuff and it might’ve even been The Beautiful Susie’s pony stuff too. Swimmin’ pools (dry water only, please), movie stars, etc. They got bored with that stuff early though. A few years later, when we held our one and only ga-rage sale, they couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

I can’t get rid of the stuffed aminals and puppets. They have personalities and they need good homes. I don’t know how to find better homes than the one they have, even though they’ve spent the last nine years or so in garbage bags in the basement. After the tornado warning that sent them down there.

Git me outta here! grok grok. I’m dizzy!

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Grok grok grok. Ol’ Baggy is learnin’ how t’ do sumthin’ called Flash ‘n’ so far that jus’ does *not* seem like a good idea. Grok grok. ‘course, instedda workin’ on ‘er homework, which’ll be th’ uggly-ist ol’ self portrit on erth, she’s bizzy makin’ some stupid rainbow pitcher. Grok grok. “But I *like* doin’ rainbow pitchers!” she sez. Grok grok. ‘n’ then she goes on ‘n’ on abou’ how when she wuz a kid, one o’ her cuzzints (Sally ‘r sumbuddy) showed ‘er how th’ cranbox had th’ colors o’ th’ rainbow, so she always made rainbow dezines. Grok grok. ‘n’ then she gits off abou’ how mad she wuz when th’ ol’ cran peepul got rid o’ some o’ th’ rainbow crans ‘n’ put in sum stoopid ones like “tickle me pink” ‘n’ “purple mountin’s majesty” ‘n’ “asparrygus” ‘n’ stuff. grok grok. You c’n check it ou’ here ifya wanna. Grok grok. ‘n’ *then* she goes off onna nother tangint abou’ how *another* cuzzint o’ hers (Mac ‘r sumbuddy, what kinda name is that, I thot it wuz a ‘puter) useta make her color inside th’ lines. Grok grok. Evrybody shoul’ know that colorin’ inside th’ lines is th’ *kerrect* way t’ color. Grok grok. Sumtimes I just can’t figger out Ol’ Baggy. Grok grok. Enyway, this stoopid ol’ rainbow thing is makin’ me dizzy. Grok grok. ‘n’ I can’t figger out how t’ make it stop. Grok frgok. Guess I better go git s’more frog jooce er sumthin’. Dum de dum de dum. Grok grok grok hic grOokGROK! Treguuuuuuurtha! Ker-flop! Zzzzzzzz.

Star Light, Star Bright. First Star I See Tonight. Wish I May, Wish I Might…

Friday, January 26th, 2007

When I was a kid in Sault Ste. Siberia, I used to see the first star (Venus, right, Val?) many nights. I always had lots of wishes. Mostly related to things like having no tornados or volcanos or whatever right near my house.

So, last January I’m sure I saw the stars, at least when I walked early in the morning. But I don’t remember much about last January except for putting a sewing machine needle through my finger and having dreams that made me sit up straight in the middle of the night (figuratively speaking, that is) that eventually came true. The old saying is that if you tell your dreams, they don’t come true. But how do you tell people about dreams like the ones I had?

Tonight I had dinner at Zanzibar with the Twinz of Terror. Then they went to the folk festival and I walked home. I appreciate the folk festival. I know what all the musicians put into their work and I appreciate the outcome. And I have fun at the folk fest. For a while. But it is just too long for me. It lasts until midnight. I cannot sit in a seat that long. So I walked home. A long-legged, longish-haired, female strider moving swiftly through the night. In a beeyootiful and expensive wool knit Petoskey skirt (thank you, Ms. Commander, and Radical Betty no doubt had a hand in it too) and ratty old ski jacket. With wings on her feet. Past a bunch of guys around my age, er prob’ly twenty years younger, who were bumbling out of a car and sheepishly realized that they were holding me up. “It’s okay, I won’t run you over!!” I said, and continued on my way, past the new Y, up Washington, past Slauson and the old Chez Regenstreif (festooned with winter lighting), on over into my own neighborhood and home.

Have the wish I wish tonight…

I saw the evening star. All the way home. I have a lot of wishes. In between all the other mush in my brain: kids, school, internship, cabins, sisters, cousins, in-laws, friends, octo-people, real-estate, vee-hickles, etc., etc., ad nauseam. What wish did I wish tonight? I won’t tell. But I did wish.

…Have the wish I wish tonight… Please, may all of you get at least a few of your wishes too. And I am getting weird dreams this winter but they’re just the usual stuff, not prescient-seeming. -Love y’all.

It’s a Byootyful Day in the Nayberhood, A Byootyful Day grok grok grok grok…

Thursday, January 25th, 2007


Grok grok grok! Yay, we have a ol’ drill truck here! ‘n’ ushaly a bunch o’ other trucks too. Right down th’ street! See it? Grok grok. It is so excitin,’ me ‘n’ ol’ Smokie c’n hardly stand it! ‘n’ they even let me run th’ drill fer a while. Grok Grok. Seein’ as how I got me all that experyunse on the ol’ Linebelt las’ summer. Grok grok. They’re drillin’ down t’ check fer sumthin’ in th’ water. I think it’s called dioxane ‘r sumthin.’ Shore hope they find some, I’m runnin’ outta frog jooce ‘n’ stuff. Grok hic grok.

Yup. Grok grok frgok hic. It’s a byootyful day in th’ nayberhood. Jus’ like ol’ Mr. Raj useta say! Useta be one o’ my owner’s favyrite shows. ‘n’ th’ Polkadot Door too. Grok grok.

Grok grok. Y’all c’n click my li’l thermommyters t’ hear my latest li’l ditties. Grr-hic-grok. They’re short t’day ’cause Ol’ Baggy kep’ kickin’ me offa Ga-rage Band. Grok grok hic Grok.

Grunge is the new black. Or is black is the new grunge? Or is it just grunge? Or black? Or what?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

earrings.jpg“I just stocked a skirt like that and I thought of you. But it was labeled as beach wear?!?” So said a much younger classmate of mine who works retail in one of the small cities that surround Ann Arbor. They aren’t suburbs yet and I hope they never will be. And, yes, my favorite skirt (or skirts, that is, I have two of them) is beach wear. I’m wearing it in the winter. It’s sequiny but not too sequiny and lacy but not too lacy but just enough so that when it catches on whatever it catches on whenever I get out of the green Honda and rips a little bit (more), it doesn’t matter too much.

I’m sorry, I don’t wanna look like a lady banker and I don’t. I prob’ly could’ve been a lady banker. I’m really good at counting money. But I didn’t go there. Even though it can be exciting. A friend of mine, on her first day of a stint as a teller, was robbed at gunpoint. Now she’s a middle school teacher. Go figure. But I’m not into the collections business. Especially when it comes to cows. Once Grandroobly, a banker, told me a loverly little story about going with his father (also a banker) to Sugar Island to collect a cow. They walked it down the hill to the ferry and back over to the mainland. I don’t know what they did with it after that. Maybe sold it to Alec at auction? Who knows. The story ended with, “when you are in the banking business, you can get into all kinds of shit.” Sorry about the language, that was a quote.

It’s winter and I pretty much just drag into whatever combination of clothing fits the weather conditions of the day. It helps that my clothing is mostly black. I’d’ve been a good Goth, I guess. But I’m not. Actually, I do the same thing in the summer and the palette is very similar. I wonder if I’m in mourning? Didn’t people used to wear black for some specified length of time after their relatives died? Naw, I always wear basic black. It’s just easier. You can do things like get dressed in the dark.

But the beautiful green earrings in the pic made me feel a bit more cheerful today. They are shells and Isa sent them to me from Callyforny. Never mind that I look like an ugly old bag in the Photo Booth pic. grok GROK!. They are beautiful and comfortable to wear. Love.

Wow! That was randomness. Bro’, areya readin’ from wherever it is you are?


Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

So, I actually survived my first ever artistic type critique today. Yeek. Scary? Yeah! I had to put two vastly different web designs up on the — dun dun dun — H drive today so they could be displayed for everyone in the room to make comments on. The rules are that you have to be polite and give positive criticism and those rules were followed. All of the people involved are my classmates. Some of them are old friends or at the least familiar faces and some are new but I know we’ll all be friends in the end.

We have some fantastic artists in the class and their designs absolutely blew me away! I am not one of them. I think I have an eye for color and line and form and space/negative space, etc., etc. But I have almost no real experience in any of this stuff, except for some experiments with beadwork and fabric collage, which don’t translate well to web design.

I did get some positive comments but I have my work cut out for me before the next critique. Which is next week. This class is stretching me absolutely, positively, utterly to my limits. That’s good and I’m gonna try to live up to my own high expectations. That’s what it’s all about. Wish I’d known that a few years decades earlier.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

It’s time. This house has been ransacked too many times lately. Missing birth certificate. Tax documents. OS X Tiger upgrade disk. Applecare package that hasn’t even been *shipped* yet, fer kee-reist. It’s outta control here.

Once upon a time, I was not terribly bad at keeping house and organizing. I kept track of bank accounts right down to the penny and I had a cleaning routine. It wasn’t the best but I at least cleaned up the big chunks that were front and center, if not the nooks and crannies. And I usually got to the nooks and crannies eventually.

If I had to pinpoint a time when it all started to go south, it was probably early summer 1998. It was late afternoon and the tornado sirens were blowing. The skies were not quite dark green but it was pretty ugly looking out there. There didn’t seem to be much of a panic outside in the neighborhood. Hans and the GG were painstakingly photographing two moths mating in a large crack of Hans’s sidewalk. Some workers over at Luke’s were chipping up a tree with some noisy mechanical contraption. Inside the Carbeck Landfill panic was a bit more evident as the Landfill Urchins were in the process of flinging every single stuffed aminal they owned down the basement stairs.

I can’t even describe the next seven years of working for a non-profit and doing volunteer work for other organizations and then (yikes) going back to school. Things got worse and worse. And then, in June 2005, things took a disastrous turn and the suitcase years began. Bro’, if you can see this over there on the other side, it’s NOT your fault and I love you. But that’s when it seemed like I started living out of a crappy old LL Bean duffel bag and various backpacks and YAG tote bags. I never could quite get unpacked. Things got progressively worse around here. I decided I hated vacuum cleaners. And I started to lose things. Important things.

I haven’t lost the stuffed aminals. They are *still* at the bottom of the stairs. That is, they are not just piled in a heap down there. They have all been put into garbage bags and placed on top of the ancient set of cabinets down there. But I am done. I am going to get this place back in order if it kills me. I am not going to do it quickly. No landfill would accept the amount of crap that I will have to get rid of. It’ll take time. I’m going to continue to do the small things I already do every day (like dishes and laundry and cleaning the blue toilet) and maybe a few small extra projects a day. I am not going to go backwards!

Two of the things I want to make inroads on this week are keys and electrisikal crap:

  1. I want to have a house key attached to every single blasted last car key. That is all, house key and car key. There will be two sets of *other* keys. Houghton Lake, Gitchee Gumee, Commander’s house, and whatever else. All keys will be kept IN THE BASKET at all times!!!!!
  2. Next. All lucky-shucky or electronical related cords and cables and other unspecifiable lucky-shucky-looking items will be collected in a cardboard box for labeling.

Either that is all or I have run out of steam. Any household organizational tips are appreciated! Love y’all and g’night.


Sunday, January 21st, 2007

carlsnowmanseattle.jpgI know y’all do *not* want to hear about my long boring weekend of doing homework, which has just about sucked all life out of me. Or the he said/she said tension of the day. I hope Jay and Carl do not mind me blahgging them. I got this Silly Seattle Snowman pic from Jay, who writes, “Seattle schools have missed so many days this year (wind, snow, ice) that they are asking parents to give their opinions of how to make up the 5-7 days. Should be interesting. Right now, if they just tack them onto the end of the year they will go until June 27th. And since winter is not over yet – and it has been the strangest anyone can remember – maybe we could go for July 4th.”

I don’t know what the Seattle school schedule is like. If I were still a parent in the Ann Arbor Public Schools and that institution of infinite wisdom asked me for my opinion about a similar situation — and they might ask but I doubt they’d do anything with the answer — I know what I would say! Get rid of that stupid extra week-long break you have in the second semester. Mid-winter break or spring break. I do not care which. Back in 1989 when we walked our 4-year-old to kindergarten, there was only one spring break. It did not have anything to do with Easter or any other holiday. It was scheduled approximately half way through the semester, at a time when the kids and the teachers were probably ready for a break. Already.

Somewhere along the line, the break got tied to Easter and Passover, which usually happens around Easter. (I think that’s right but I’ll have to ask one of my experts. Again. Alzheimers, anyone?) But that wasn’t good enough. Our break wasn’t the same week as the UM break and people with more money than I have wanted to take their little darlings to Disney World and/or Europe and/or skiing and/or whatever. So, all of a sudden, we had *two* breaks. One at the end of February and one whenever Easter/Passover happened. There were years when only *three weeks* of school happened *between* those two breaks. Sanity please?

I was gonna go on and on kvetching about how little happens at the Planet Ann Arbor Public Schools during the second semester but I think I’ve written about that before and I doubt y’all much care. This is a great picture of Carl and his Silly Seattle Snowman. I bet he built it for his daycare kids! Love all you Seattle area folk!

He was such a good boy, he always sent me a Mother’s Day card!

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

Lemme see, he sent a bizarre email message to the president of a large university. I won’t say which one. And threatened the football coach of said large university in some way that I didn’t understand. I thought it said something about a baseball bat but it didn’t sound like anyone was too scared. Burglaries? Where? Hopefully not my neighborhood…

Because this young man is known to me from the Hallowed Halls of the Haisley Manatees Hawks Huskies. And this is not going to be politically correct, but.

It often seemed like he and his younger sister were held up as exemplary students. And I think they were indeed intelligent high achievers. I didn’t encounter them very often because they were not at the same grade level as my urchins. When I did, it was always ugly. Once, when I was printing the school newsletter, not one of my favorite jobs, the principal very ceremoniously led this young man and a bunch of younger students into the curriculum room. He was being trumped up as a mentor to younger students! As soon as the principal left the room, he began gushing a non-stop string of expletives, despite the fact that an, um, adult, was in the room. Me. Or didn’t I qualify as an authority figure? I dunno, I guess I was just one o’ those stoopid ol’ pto moms. And then there was the time that his younger sister went on and on at great length about all the wonderful outfits she had sewed for herself and then sequed into an acount about how she and her brother had ambushed some neighborhood kid from behind and beat him up.

Maybe these kids did get in trouble for some of this stuff but all I ever heard about them was about how intelligent and wonderful they were and how great their parents were and yada yada yada. And that was especially good in the eyes of the local school district because these kids were African American. The achievement gap is as bad here in this “upscale” city as it is anywhere else and these kids were an exception. But it didn’t seem to matter how they behaved!!! This young man (and maybe his sister) probably needed some kind of mental counseling way back when. Why didn’t he get it?

The achievement gap is a problem. We keep throwing money and programs and people at it. Nothing seems to really work. I don’t have any answers. Well, maybe I do. But we will never have the money or the personnel to do it. *Every* kid — white, black, blue, purple, or green — deserves to have a teacher at every grade level that makes an effort to know and have some understanding of what they are about! Not to mention absolute, unconditional love and support at home. I sure wasn’t perfect about raising kids but I did try. I think that many families, minority or not, have some difficult issues about school. In some cases, we are going on three generations of people who haven’t had good experiences with schools. Of course they are wary.

I’m out of steam but I do hope this young man gets the help he needs.

Life, aka Winter Semester 2007

Friday, January 19th, 2007

I guess it’s about time I post a school schedule since school is absolutely kicking me in the you-know-what already:

  • INP212 Web Graphics III (Tuesdays, 1-4): aka experimental web design with a teacher who just plain rocks, how else can I say it. So, project 1 (out of 3 …or is it 4? I’m afraid to look). Anyway, design *two* interfaces, one in organic-gothic style, the other in paper bag style. Yes, I just wrote that. When, oh when, will the public schools at large allow students to stufy study *both* music and art? ’cause I sure wish *I* had both right now. First critique on Tuesday.
  • INP176 Web Animation I (Thursdays, 9-12): yup, that would be Flash. Fun, fun, fun, so far. I have made bats fly. I may not be so happy when I get to the “self-portrait” assignment… We have a fantabulous young teacher who somehow manages to lecture *clearly* even though English is not her first language. I am in awe. I can’t even stand up in front of a group and speak *English* without getting totally tongue-tied! 😐
  • INP295 Professional Practices (Thursdays, 6-8): In which I am forced to actually think about what I want to do when I grow up. Sigh. I *need* this class. The teacher is one of my favorites and I knew what I was getting into. I *know* I need to write a resume. I think I actually *finally* know what I want to do when I grow up. I just don’t know how to go about accomplishing it. Why the heck doesn’t extreme spreadsheeting and dragging organizations online count?

My Own Computer, My Real Computer, My 12-inch Screen G4 Powerbook. Love.

Thursday, January 18th, 2007


Happy New Year and don’t walk when it’s icy!!!!!

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

It was a neighbor of mine who yelled, “Happy New Year!” out his car window. I’m always glad when I see this elderly African-American gentleman because I’m not sure how good his health is or how long he’ll be on this earth or in my neighborhood. But he’s always friendly and upbeat and when his arthritis isn’t too terrible and the weather is decent, I run into him *walking*! I don’t know him well. I don’t even know his name. But I’ve been encountering him for many years now and he always reminds me of my dad.

The sidewalks aren’t really that bad today. Ice still coats all of the vegetation here but, in most places, the sidewalks are dry. There’s some non-slippery snow and occasionally there’s one of those slick spots that makes you fall flat on your back if you aren’t paying attention. I did that once. It wasn’t fun… 🙁

It’s coming up on January 31. That’s the day that I got *the* call. One of those calls that you always know will come someday. Grandroobly, my own personal dad, had fallen. On ice. We think. Y’all know more or less what happened next. I asked my friend if he’d been walking lately and I advised him not to until the ice was gone. I told him my dad had fallen last year. I didn’t tell him how hellacious my dad’s last seven weeks were. Why pour some rain on a cheerful person’s day? I know my friend doesn’t walk unless the conditions are right and he’s feeling up to it. But he does walk. Whenever he can. I love him.

Thankfully, I encountered him *after* I ran into the windup woman. She’s usually not out but when she is, she starts talking and will *not* stop. Today she was kvetching about something some drunk had put on her sidewalk in the middle of the night. No, it was not vomit, I think it was salt. Anyway, she got all freaked out and called the police, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam. I somehow managed to get away from her in pretty short order, maybe it was because there were a bunch of tree removal trucks across the street, I dunno. Those trucks are all over the city right now picking up ice storm debris and I didn’t tell the wind-up woman that I routinely carry a little baggy of stealth salt in my pocket in the winter. That way I can keep clueless homeowners from getting sued when people break their necks on the icy sidewalks that owners are supposed to clear. I know the wind-up woman is probably just lonely but I just cannot deal with one-track minds and one-sided conversations! I have a *lot* on my mind and most of it is multi-dimensional! grok grok grok

Happy New Year! And do *not* try to walk if it’s icy and your bones are getting rickety! Love, Kayak Woman! and Froggy too

HAPPY BIRTHDAY #2 of the week

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007
…Skirting around the fact that it’s her BIRTHDAY!!
With love from California,

It’s Winter and This is Michigan

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

click to enlarge

Two things

Monday, January 15th, 2007
  • ¡Feliz cumpleaños a Grinch! Que te cumples muchos (as?) más.
  • This is incredibly nerdy, but there is a Beach Cousins facebook group. Any cousins of mine that I am friends with on there have been invited, but all beach cousins NOT in my friends on facebook should be encouraged to either look me up or join facebook and look me up. =)

With love from California.

(Moom, I don’t remember the tag to make it blue…)

blahgity blahgity blahgity blahgity whomp! Grok grok grok!

Monday, January 15th, 2007

grinch.jpgOl’ Baggy doesn’t have anythin’ werth sayin’ t’day. She wuz gonna write sum horryble sappy ol’ thing abou’ ol’ MLK Day but that’s all just a big ol’ ikskuse t’ give those ol’ slackers at th’ EPA a day off. But that ain’ what’s really important abou’ Jany-wary 15th! It is th’ ol’ Grinch’s birthday! Grok grok grok grok GROK!!! My frien’ Green Guy’s ol’ man ‘n’ Rady-kul Batty’s kid ‘n’ Ol’ Baggy’s bestist cuzzin. Er, one o’ her bestist cuzzins enyway. She has a lotta bestist cuzzins. I’m not sher how ol’ he is. Ol’ Baggy sez he’s older ‘n her. But she’s just abou’ as ol’ as ol’ Methusy-lah so I can’t figger out how he could be older. Enyway, here ‘e is! Pontify-katin’ on some important topic er other with ‘is winder washer ‘n’ ‘is squeegee. Ya can’t see us but me ‘n’ Ol’ Baggy ‘n’ Rady-kul Batty ‘n’ Green Guy are all listenin’ with rapt attenshun. Squee-grok! Squee-grok! Happy birthday Grinch!!! Love you very dearly!