Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I'm off to California to meet my youngest grandson. Have a splendid holiday season!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

400 Days

Only 400 days left of the Bush Administration.

Only 400 days left to send billions upon billions of dollars into the economic sinkhole that is Iraq.

Only 400 days left to send countless soldiers to one of four fates: death, physical injury, PTSD, home well and in one piece.

Only 400 days left to wage war on Iran.

Only 400 days left to wage the war on terror just as the Three Stooges would. (That is, if Larry punches ya, ignore him and hit Curly...)

Only 400 days left to drag-foot on positive environmental policies.

Only 400 days left to further tarnish our reputation on the world stage.

Only 400 days left to push an energy policy that does little to nothing to implement ideas and technology that would help decrease consumption while simutaneously blaming consumers for consuming.

Only 400 days left to pad the bank accounts of energy executives and war profiteers.

Only 400 days left to push the ineffective strategy of abstinence-only sex ed.

Only 400 days left to advocate for the fetus while abandoning the infant.

Only 400 days left to pretend our country is doing something productive for those areas damaged by Katrina.

Only 400 days left.

If on day 401 we aren't looking forward to significant and positive change on all these issues and more, there simply is no hope for us.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Splotchy's Story Meme

Tagged by konagod, I herewith keep Splotchy's Story Meme alive and well. To quote kona, "Each tagged person needs to add to the story and then tag others. Them's the rules and I don't make 'em." I backtracked to Splotchy and discovered a request that we link to those who go before us. Well, that makes sense. So I did.

I hereby tag Phil, Kaat, Madame X, and Maya's Granny.

(And even if I haven't officially tagged you, if you drop in and read this, please do pick up on the meme. It's a hoot!)

Now, on with the story:

I woke up hungry. I pulled my bedroom curtain to the side and looked out on a hazy morning. I dragged myself into the kitchen, in search of something to eat. I reached for a jar of applesauce sitting next to the sink, and found it very cold to the touch. I opened the jar and realized it was frozen. (Splotchy)

I was used to the house being quite cold in the mornings, as the night log usually burns out around one AM when I am dreaming cozily under my covers, not normally waking to put a new one on until morning. I was surprised because on the rare occasions that it actually had reached sub-freezing temperatures in the house, I had awakened in the night to restart the fire. I would have been worried about the pipes before P-Day, but there hadn’t been running water in two years and that was one of the few advantages to being dependent on rainwater, no pipes. (Freida Bee)

The nightmares began during the following spring. The apple trees came to life in my dreams. At first the trees spoke and I thought they were amusing. That changed when the messages arrived. Lately, their anger was directed at me. (mathman6293)

I turned and stared out the kitchen window, past the frosty-lidded cistern to the orchard beyond. My trees, my beautiful fruit trees, stood leafless and dark. I wished with all my heart that this was just a normal winter thing, but it wasn’t.

"Why are you blaming me, guys? You know I love you. You watched me go out and vote that last time, in the ice-storm. It’s not like I didn’t try!”

I turned with a sigh and went to the phone to give Zaius a call. Perhaps The Good Doctor had made some incremental progress on his Long-Shot-Theory. (TCR)

Unfortunately, the phone was dead. Not from the inclement frigid weather, but because I didn't pay the phone bill and my service was shut off. "Oh well, I'll use the cell phone," I said aloud to no one but myself. As fate would have it, the cell phone battery was completely drained. I never even heard the thing chirping during the night to remind me to charge it. Being somewhat annoyed by all this, I went back to the kitchen, grabbed an ice pick and began chipping away at the rock-solid apple sauce when suddenly there was a very loud knock on my door which startled me. (kona)

In my surprise, I dropped the applesauce; no one but me had been on the property since Cordelia had died, not even Zaius. The frozen jar smashed into my big toe, which was inadequately protected by a worn green handknit slipper, one of Cordelia’s last gifts to me. Blood gushed from the crushed digit as the knocking escalated into insistent pounding. I moved from room to room in a frenzy, limping yet rushing, knocking over stacks of books and papers, blood documenting my every move. Where were my glasses? I had to have my glasses to see out the peephole. It hadn’t been prudent to fling open a door in welcome since the Winter Cleansings of 2018, just after the internet was shut down. Where did I put them? Just as I spotted the spectacles beside the fireplace, the pounding stopped, replaced by a most inhuman howl. (Bitty)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Afterlife

A few months ago, my almost-13-year-old grandson told me his great-grandmother (mother's mother's mother) had recently died. At least, that's what I thought he told me. I'm not on unfriendly terms with his mother (who is not my son's wife), but we don't chat regularly, either, so I hadn't heard this news.

I confirmed this info to be true with Marine Son, First Grandson's father.

I'd meant to send belated condolence letters/cards to FG's mother and her mother -- dead grandmother was a nice lady and I'd liked her -- but I hadn't got around to it.

Imagine, though, my surprise this week when I received a Christmas card from said dead grandmother.

The stick-on return address label showed just her husband's name, but I immediately recognized the handwriting that had penned my name and address as the same hand I'd been seeing for the 12 years the couple had been sending me cards. My initial reaction was that the great-grandfather had been writing out the Christmas cards all these years and I just hadn't known it until now.

Then I opened the card and found it signed Him and Her.

Signed Him, the widower. Signed Her, the deceased.

I decided that I must have not been paying close attention when First Grandson and Marine Son both told me about the death. I thought it must have been First Grandson's grandfather's mother.

I was, gotta say, freaked out, but also embarrassed that I'd made such a mistake. And I was oh so grateful that I hadn't sent the condolence cards.

However, tonight I decided to double-check. Marine Son is away from home doing training and I certainly wasn't going to call First Grandson or his mom. So I went to the net, plugged in the appropriate info, and...

discovered that the kind lady who sent me the Christmas card did indeed die in July.

Either it really is the husband who's been writing out the cards all these years and he simply can't let go of her, or she was one of those hyper-organized types who wrote them out well in advance and her husband decided to mail them anyway.

In any event, I feel deeply uncomfortable about this.

But I put the card out with the others anyway.

Merry Christmas, Him and Her.

Monday, December 03, 2007


On the phone today with Daughter’s Littlest, who will be 3½ any day now, and who started preschool in September:

Bitty: Do you like your school?
Littlest: I have lots of friends.
Bitty: What are their names?
Littlest: I don’t know. (Aside) Mommy, what are their names?

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Tall Son sent this video this morning. I think he sent it mostly because he could; that is, he just bought an iPhone and he sent it through the phone. Tall Son is a marketer's dream: he has probably owned at least 25 different cell phones since portable phones were first invented. His first looked like the radios in the war movies. Now that he's purchased the iPhone, I'm left wondering what took him so long. Me, I'm on my third phone. I gave the first away to a domestic violence program and the second one broke.

However, Tall Son's patriotic spending habits are not the point of this post. The clever video is. It interests me on two levels: these guys clearly spent a lot of time practicing this routine since the camera never cuts away. One little goof and they'd have to start over. I'd like to know how many takes it took to get it right. The other thing? It reminds me of Les Miz and its circular stage. I have students doing a presentation on the movie version of the play next week, and after that I'll be watching Les Miz myself as I evaluate their efforts.

I'll try not to think of treadmills as I watch it.