Thursday, May 31, 2007

Avoiding Work Again











Okay, I have another 170 pages to read of a book and a paper to write on it, with additional references, 24 chapters of textbook to read and here I am at the blog again, blathering on about nothing. Pat and the boys are engaged in various and sundry activities: golf, Six Flags, sleepover, and ???

I am pleased to have found the pedometer I thought I lost Saturday at the Hard Rock Cafe or the Bats game, but have barely cracked 10,000 steps in the last four days. I'm waking up early to worrisome thoughts unable to sleep so I get up and read instead of working out. Just for this week I tell myself, until I get some this schoolwork under control. But then I am so sleepy I just about crash on my desk at work or today I dropped into a chair after work and fell immediately into dream state.
Above are a couple of additional pictures from Holiday World and our saying good-bye photo on Monday. In my growing up time, we always took a photo of everyone when we said good-bye. Seemed to forget we had a camera until it was time to leave.
That just reminded me my dad asked me to email some pictures to him for the Family News. He can't seem to take them off the blog. Someday maybe Ginnie could tell me how to intersperse pictures and data.
Oh yeah. I also finished the roller coaster story but it is stuck down below a few posts if you would like to have a look.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Bomb


Boy14's band "Light the Coast" was the bomb at the Jr. High Variety Show today. Perhaps it helped they were following 15 rather sedate and traditional, even classical piano, vocal and instrumental pieces.

They played "Stairway to Heaven" the best I've heard them do. The crowd erupted into applause and screaming on the first guitar solo, and the falsetto verse drew a laugh then more cheers. Standing ovation at the eAdd Imagend. Boy14 raised his guitar in celebration. It was awesome. Brought a tear to the eye. Last week I was bawling, so I'm glad I had my emotions under control today.


It'll be all over UTube soon...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Beauty


This incredible moth was posed on a tarp at Louisville Slugger Stadium on Saturday May 26. Amazing, huh? Enlarge to get full effect.

Braveheart





Blogger just erased my three detailed paragraphs of the ride of my life. Now I don't know if I have the sanity to go on.


I was not going to do a coaster, no way. I didn't want to ruin my day with that sick feeling, or worse, leave my children motherless if the thing malfunctioned (it opened late for some unknown reason). But, we were walking by the Voyage on the way to the Thanksgiving buffet. Oh, we were in Holiday World and Thanksgiving is the newest section of the park. Anyway, there was virtually no line, and I suddenly had the nerve so I declared, "It's now or never" and got in line with steely determination.

We only had to wait about three carfuls, but my heart was pounding out of my chest- 130 beats per minute, I checked. However, the people getting off the ride looked amazingly calm, and NephewJustTurned8 has ridden thing regularly since it opened last year. He was to ride with me, we decided, but he informed me there was just one thing he had to tell me, after we were seated and belted in.

Betsy told me Nephew8 does have one little phobia about rides, he gets panicked about having his seatbelt tightened and sure enough he called a couple of workers over to adjust it for him. After this, he announces to me "This rollercoaster sometimes gets stuck on the way up the hill."
And off we go. Oh great.

We are immediately ascending a high hill, but I believe the big drop comes at the end, but just in case, my eyes are tightly closed (fear of looking and of bugs getting in my contact lenses). It is indeed a stomach lurching drop, and then speeding around corners, jolting up and down and into tunnels and Nephew8 yelling, "It's not over yet." I'm still waiting for the BIG drop, when we round another bend and start to slow down, and pull safely into the platform station. I am so ecstatic to be ALIVE!! You can virtually ride to by clicking on the link above if the picture thingee doesn't work. I wasn't even queasy afterwards, and was able to eat turkey and dressing for lunch.

Just call me Braveheart.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Moments






















I was thinking about the country song "Moments" by Emerson Drive, a song I really like, as a theme for describing my Memorial Day trip to visit my sister and her family. Our drive to southern Indiana took about six and a half hours, that was making pretty good time. The boys had their Ipods, some magazines and Boy14 finished HP 5 and started #6. These are re-reads, but he is getting primed for the July debut of the Harry Potter book #7 and movie #5. Isn't this Daniel Radcliffe going to be having a mid-life crisis by the time the film series ends? I got really sleepy the last 1 1/2 hours. I had awoken at 4:30 a.m. and got up at 5:15 a.m. to get "a few things" done before we left town. I was starting to do that jerk-yourself-awake thing.






The boys played a game called "Break the Safe" with Betsy and NephewJustTurned8 while I took a short nap. There was lots of yelling and a timer set at the end, then we headed to downtown Louisville to eat dinner and see a baseball game. First I had to do a pretty amazing job of parallel parking which is pictured above. Betsy did stand outside the car and queue me when I could advance or back up six inches at a time. We ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, which I don't like very much, but the wait staff are very accomodating about taking family pictures for patrons.




The Louisville Bats faced the Buffalo Bisons, so our loyalties were divided, but to tell the truth, nobody really cared because it was pretty boring, and we were sitting too far away to see well. Big Leaguers Mark Belhorn and Hector Luna were sent down to their minor league affiliates and that added a bit, small bit, of interest.




We topped off the evening at Clarksville's new franchise of the Homemade Pie Kitchen which I LUV. Unfortunately, the camera batteries died at this point, so you can't see one of the best local sweet shops ever. For some reason, dinner and too many sour skittles combined to make me not hungry for the luscious pies. I ended up splitting a piece of Dutch Apple Caramel pie with Bets, really had to choke it down, haha.




Meanwhile, I had my BIL (brother-in -law for the uniniatated) take a look at my Family Values/Cultural Profile paper for my grad class. He had lots of suggestions, comments, etc. so we discussed that quite a bit over the course of weekend. I think it helped my paper a lot.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Three Man Band

Here's the band I have spoken so proudly of. In all honesty, I wasn't sure there really was a band, let alone a band that can play and sing "Stairway to Heaven." Their mysterious "practices" usually turn into games of diplomacy or Gray Wolf. They will perform Tuesday in the Jr. High talent show during school. Boy14 is in the middle on bass. He doesn't really move like a rock star, he doesn't move at all, no emotion. But what can you expect? The sound is what matters. Too bad I don't know how to post to U Tube, or you could have a listen.

This is the school auditorium and they look so small up there. I'll let you know Tuesday how the crowd reacts (around 300 7th and 8th graders). They are closing the show. Boy12 has seen them and gives his approval so that is a big vote of confidence.

On the baseball front, Boy14 caught for his Pony League team last night and they won. I walked home in the 4th inning because my pants were soaked. It rained on and off, but the game wasn't called. My mom was holding an umbrella over my head, but the water on the bleacher was running downstream onto my leg. Plus, I was afraid I'd eat a second Snickers bar.

Boy12 pitched all six innings tonight and rocked the house. Afterwards, just getting ready to leave town early tomorrow. Had to pick up some magazines, snacks, fruit, etc. for the road trip. I only read trash magazines when I see my sister. Some weird fetish we have for reading about Brangelina et al.

The paper for class Tuesday is written, proofed and referenced, but having problems with formatting and getting it onto a computer to print. My dad complimented me on it, and did not take offense to my views on my upbringing and how it will affect my social work practice.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

How Much Does the Internet Weigh?


Boy14 is wanting to pick up a copy of the latest Discovery magazine with cool articles like the title above. I think I will surprise him with it for our little trip to visit my sister and nephew this weekend. This is a pretty well established Memorial Day Weekend ritual for us. It may be our last if Boy12 is involved in the traveling baseball team next year.


I have made good progress on my first paper due next Tuesday so I feel okay about taking a mini-vacation. It's about family values passed down and cultural identity and how that will affect my future social work practice. I assumed I knew everything about myself, but in writing this paper (5-6 pages) and really having to focus in on how it relates to working with people, I did discover some new connections. For instance, what could be regarded as my lack demonstrativeness or openess is actually part of my Scandanavian and German cultural identity. It not necessarily a character flaw that I inflicted upon myself.
I have to not forget to call my friend Helen "Helen on a cell" back (pictured above foreground, Amy in background) in Florida and tell her I can't pick up her kids on Tuesday from daycare. Their dad has a test that night, and though I'd love to see them, (we haven't seen much of each other since basketball ended), I've got to leave myself a little time to make sure I'm ready for class after work Tuesday.
So, if I have a chance to get on the computer over the weekend, I will update you then, if not, have a terrific Memorial Day and remember those you love. I hope to take a bunch of pictures and share them next week.

Friday, May 18, 2007

teeth


This guy looks like he has big false teeth. I don't know why I'm up watching the end of this game, probably too much Diet Dr Pepper, a late night walk and getting a start on a school paper has me kind of buzzed.
Anyway, that's mean to say about him. He probably does have false teeth. I was visiting my dad this morning and he had his upper plate out, and God did he look like an old man. What a difference teeth make, false or real. I exclaimed, quite disrespectfully, "I hope I never lose my teeth!" But he just said, "That's right!"
Steve Nash is a good guy. So is Tim Duncan. Class acts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates


Here is what my box of Urban Chocolates looked like on Sunday. The missing piece was "Espresso Truffle." I also had (up until five minutes ago) "Key Lime," "Sea Salt Soft Caramel," "Grapefruit Ganache," and "---rk From Ghana." The box was torn where that last chocolate was listed. Very tasty.
I caught a break tonight when my graduate class was cancelled. I got to watch most of Boy12's Little League game. Saw him hit a double and a fielder's choice. Then he closed the game after the team rallied in the top of the sixth, for the save. I actually missed the last two strikeouts, in order to take Boy14 to his guitar lesson. I even squeezed in a bit of the PTO meeting I had shirked for class.
The stand-out of my first graduate class last night was the instructor stating, "You're not going to get much sleep." OMG. She was not kidding. I've been waking up at 4 or 4:30 tossing and turning, worrying, looking at the clock. Today I got up at 5 and read the assignments for said cancelled class. I've had to get up early the other mornings to get my walking and lifting done. I don't want to end up like last week, cramming all my walking into the weekend.
I'd love to hear from others about juggling family/work/school in middle age (or any age). Is it worth it?? Gotta run to the dryer now.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Classic


This is classic Boy18: The card says, "Yo yo yo, it's Mother's Day. You down wit' that?" accompanied by Urban Chocolates. It was nice to wake up to his thoughtfulness. Sorry for the bad photography. Someone will have to tell me how to keep the flash from glaring everything up on the indoor pictures.

I can also picture Nephew7 picking out this card for his mom.

The little boys gave me a sweet card also, and a phone call from Boy12 who spent the night with a friend.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ahh Sweet Victory


The top photo portrays the first ever Golf Ball Drop in our town to raise money for the Little League. The crane was pretty impressive, for what I initially thought was a pretty dumb fundraising idea. $3 for ticket to win $500, $300, and $150 for closest ball to the target. The balls coming out of the basket look more like a nest of mosquitos, but it was pretty cool in person. Well, that was not the victory I am referring to in today's title (we didn't win any prize).
Boy12 pitched all six innings and went 3/3 at bat in the 5-2 victory for our team. He is quietly happy after the game in the lower picture.
It was funny at Friday night's game I kept score with another mother who had no baseball acumen whatsoever. I was feeling really good about impressing her, though it didn't take much. When I was talking about whether it was top or bottom of the inning, she asked which team? She could hardly believe I watch baseball on TV.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Apples to Apples




We had a nice game of Apples to Apples after family dinner tonight.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Companies I Hate

I got the idea for this post from a blog called Not So Simple. Right up my alley.

1. Verizon - previously explained - see cell phone post.

2. Designer/Direct/Checks Unlimited - I've always had good luck with ordering cheap checks from those coupons you get in the coupon section of the newspaper. But somehow I ordered two boxes of checks last month, and when I got my bank statement, they had withdrawn $32.70! Are you kidding me? It was a direct withdrawal, so I didn't write a check nor did I think I ordered on the phone, so I called and finally got through to a person after two days and pushing hundreds of buttons. She claimed she didn't know how the order was placed, but insisted I must have authorized it, or they would have sent an invoice. There's no way...but no point in arguing further. I told her to make sure my account number was destroyed because I would never be doing business with them again.

3. Nextel - Did you know when you cancel the day after your contract expires they feel entitled to charge you for the next month? Then you keep getting bills anyway though they eventually go down to like $5 which is still annoying.

4. Keifer (everything but the water) - where I usually order my goggles and swimcaps. One day I decided to order a suit because it was a little cheaper than Land's End (who I am incidentally very satisfied with). I'm going to try to remember how this went. First of all, the measurements were in centimeters but I converted and checked everything and ordered my size. When it arrived, it wouldn't fit over my calves so I sent it back (at my expense) and ordered the next size up. That, too, was too small (made it to my knees). Sent it back and tried again. This time I noticed on the invoice they charged me handling on top of the postage I already paid, so now the $27 suit is costing around $50. The third suit I was able to contort myself into, and kept it anyway to save any further expense. Made several calls before getting through only to be told the extra charges were in the fine print. So I huffily demanded they take me off their mailing list and stop sending their catalogs ever two weeks! Come to think of it, I gave up swimming shortly thereafter (a seven year habit down the drain).

To be continued when brain kicks in...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Me Meme

SUSAN's Questions:
Note: I'm getting all nervous about answering the following questions, like I'm being interviewed on TV and I'm getting all tongue- or finger-tied.

1. What do you love and dislike most about the part of the country you live in?
- I love the change of seasons, four distinct but about equal. I love dirt roads, fields of corn, occasional trees and small rivers, the friendliness of the people, lack of light pollution.
- Dislike being 1 1/2 hours from an airport, potholes in the streets.

2. What was your favorite book to read to your kids when they were little?
The Last Noo-Noo (about giving up the binky), Fedge Makes a Wish, and Shihan and the Snail.

3. What is your favorite thing in nature?
- I'm not a very good nature lover. Cardinals, Red Winged Blackbirds, caterpillars, the scent of lilacs, the moon.

4. What do you enjoy the most about scrapbooking?
- camraderie, paper, the collage effect. being creative without having to draw or paint. Rice Krispie Treats.

5. What is the quirkiest thing about you?
- I hiccup a lot?? I've never ridden in a limo? My startle reflex is super charged.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Start/Stop


I went to Boy14's last track meet, the first I've attended. He wanted to quit last week, and the week before, but I insisted he show up for the meet today, since I had volunteered to help run events, whatever that meant. I never dreamed of running track nor have any notion what I would be doing.


So, I was assigned to time the races. Sounds pretty important, huh? I asked if they were sure they wanted me there?? The coach felt I could handle it, and I didn't feel like moving field equipment or some worse job, so I took my assignment bravely. There were 8 parents, one for each lane and they patiently explained all I had to do was press start and stop, watch for the smoke from the gun of the guy with the orange sleeve, watch my lane, and much more that got me very nervous again. I was initially concerned about what body part was to mark the finish, but quickly realized, it made no difference. There is no way I could really tell a difference between an arm, a foot or a torso crossing. I was so worried about being involved in a photo finish.
I volunteered for lane 4, where I thought the slow runners would be. Not necessarily the case. Lane 4 turned out to be rather difficult because you had to look across other runners to see yours coming across the finish line. Then there was the matter that you couldn't see who was in your lane until they were right upon the finish line. The events seemed to go bam, bam, bam, very intense, well organized. I was timing the 100 meters and suddenly saw Boy 14 come out of nowhere. He did well, held his own. Not the fastest, not the slowest, and over quickly to boot. He ran the 200 meter as well.


The whole deal was 2 1/2 very quick hours. The other parents were real social and it was quite jovial. My stopwatch malfunctioned during one race, but there were less than 8 runners so someone else picked up the time for me. (I think I actually pressed the wrong buttons). On only one race, did I totally screw up and forget to start the timer. Again, someone saved my ass. It was not a real intense meet, so if mistakes were made it didn't seem to be a big deal. THIS WAS NOT THE OLYMPICS. I would definitely offer to do that again, if I ever have to be a track meet again, which I don't think there is much chance of. Enjoyed it very much.