The Paper Moon Method

Husband, Baby and I went to the Olive Garden today for dinner. At the next table was another couple with a younger baby in a car seat. Zelma is a people watcher, so we looked over at them quite a few times. The baby was very quiet. The couple ate their meal. The next thing we knew, the mother and baby had disappeared. Then the waiter was talking with the baby's father, and the father was explaining that they didn't want to be "one of those people who sits there in a restaurant with a screaming baby..." although, interestingly, we hadn't heard the baby make a sound. The waiter went off to get boxes for their food, and then the guy was gone. Table empty. A bit later, the waiter brought the manager over to look at the table with the two boxes of food and no paying patrons.

Well, I guess that's one way to get a free meal!*

*I noticed that, serendipidously, my quote of the day is, "Fortune favours the bold."
-Virgil Or does that relate, really?

Separated at Birth?

The one guy modeling Natalie Dee's tee shirts looks just like Marcos Garza. Or is it just me?

Cupcake + Vitamin = Super Breakfast Dude.

Marcos with a beer and a bass. Of course.

A Job Worth While

I like being a reading teacher, because it is just such a good thing to teach people to read.

A couple of years ago, I taught high school reading, for those who had somehow slipped through the cracks and were reading at something like a second grade level in the tenth or eleventh grade. A few weeks ago, I ran into one of my former students, one who had done really really well (as in, she was reading at her grade level by the time she graduated). She was going to technical college and working at the grocery store. I thought that was great. She seemed really happy. I walked away feeling good about being a reading teacher, wondering how she would be doing without our reading class.

Today, though, took the cake. Today, I was at the University, and ran into a another student! I just said "Hello," from across the room (we were both giving blood), so I'm not positive he was actually a student, but I think he is. He had been, in the eleventh grade, very behind in reading mostly because English was not his first language. He was doing really well in the class, I recall. I was very happy to see him there at the UW.

This year, I'm going to substitute teach part time, starting next week. It might not be as much fun as teaching reading, but at least I'll get to be with Little Z quite a bit, too. Anyway, it sure beats selling power tools at Sears, or driving that big ole' school bus, or doing the hotel laundry, or working at the Old Time Photo Booth at the fair, or selling jewelry, packaging tea or, well... doing any of those other things I've done.

I've been keeping track of fellow blogger Slimbolala's progress at becoming a math teacher, after formerly being some sort of rocket scientist. Becoming a teacher is a real shock to the system. It's highly entertaining to read about someone else's plunge into the unknown. It seems like he's way more competent than I ever was my first year!

Baseless Criticism of Olympic Sports (Summer Edition)

Badminton: That's with the little birdie, right? In the Olympics?

Beach Volleyball: The only reason they had to add the word "beach" to this was to see some pootay.

Diving: I know, I know. This is supposedly a legitimate sport. But is it? It's one of those things where you're judged by your form, etc, which is worthless. It's subjective. Also, any sport where you have to make the smallest splash possible just sucks. What if I want to make a big splash? Huh? Huh?

Equestrian: Isn't this judging the horses of other countries? Who cares? This is the modern age! If we're going to judge horses, why don't we judge each others' cars and trains?

Gymnastics: I know, I know. It's a legitimate sport, as well. It's also child abuse.

Modern Pent.: Shooting, fencing, swimming, riding, and running, all in one sport? Enough, Mr. Country Club! Get a job already!

Sync. Swimming: Oh. My. God. It's a Mel Brooks movie come to life in the Olympic pool!
Trampoline: Looks like lots of fun! Which means it really ought not be in the Olympics. One should suffer out there in Olympia, don't you think?

Congratulations, Ellen and Portia!

Wow, that's a first! That's right. The marriage of Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi marks the first time ever that two stars whom I have always really liked have actually married each other!

Ellen is, of course, always funny, especially on her most recent show. I've been a fan of Portia since she was on Allie McBeal, which I loved watching, although I never really related to the main character (I was convinced that Allie herself must have been such a space cadet because she was starving to death). I liked Portia even more when I found out that her original name was Amanda Lee Rogers, and she changed it legally when she was fifteen. I guess she thought "Amanda Rogers" wasn't exotic enough! Due to some sort of archaic legal issue, Ellen and Portia didn't marry until very recently. Congratulations!

More Adventures in Francesland

I just had this long conversation on the phone with my mother, Frances. I got a really nice letter from her today, and within it was something about how she was going to have heart surgery soon. Then, later in the day, a guy left a message on the answering machine, saying he was her "caregiver" and that she was about to have heart surgery and he thought I might like to talk to her.

So, I called her (for the first time in, I'm just guessing, fifteen years). It was really a trip. I don't want to go into too many personal details, but I love how she talks. She must be the last person on earth who still says, "Dig this," before she gives you a really juicy piece of gossip. In addition to that, instead of saying, "he said," when someone said something, she says, "he claims..." as though anything anyone said were suspect. She's also one of those people who, once they begin a story, you never know quite where it will end up... one of her stories started up being about hispanics who are racist against hispanics, ended up with her wrecking a car on the Bay Bridge, because she said the car was "defective," and the police told her to, "just forget about it." And she had to walk all the way Uptown and thought she was going to die!

The last time they had to put her under for a surgery (to look closely at her heart) she said that when she woke up, they asked her who was president, and she was really tempted to give the wrong answer, just to see what they would do. I think I may have inherited this tendency from her, this desire to give the wrong answer and see what happens. I have to try really hard to suppress it in job interviews. I'm always tempted to confess to some heinous crime about the time someone seems completely set on hiring me. I think I'll blame or credit her, as the job offer warrants. What the heck? Heredity must have something to do with something, right?

So, I hope the surgery goes well. Really. Apparently, she has a faulty heart valve. They may have to put the heart valve of a pig inside of her, but hopefully, they can just repair the one she has. Let's let bygones be bygones and send good vibes to Frances this week.


Tibetan prayer flag in background; baby poop flag in foreground.

I still want you to vote in the poll, and...

check out this blog! I'm laughing my booty off. It's just horribly decorated cakes.

The poll is a dead heat, at the moment, which actually really surprises me! >>>>>>>>

Please Vote

Please vote for your favorite comic or two. >>>>>>

I realize that I did not include all comics. If your favorite comic is not listed, get your own blog!

I suppose that the comics listed really do reflect my own warped frame of mind. But what do you expect from someone who wrote her own comic about a green foot who bought breast implants and carried them around in a stylish tote bag?

Things that make you go hm... why?

I heard on the news- the BBC News, the only one I usually listen to- that John Edwards had an affair. Hm... this actually made the international news. Hm... Why? All I could think of is that maybe the comics would run out of material if the press stopped keeping track of politicians' sex lives. Or, maybe, I don't know, habit? They've just been reporting on this crap for so long that they cannot stop? Who in the world is such a Puritanical tyrant that she wouldn't vote for someone if he cheated on his wife?

Once, when Brian and I were visiting my Grandpa Alvin, he had us watch this documentary about Kennedy in the White House. It was all about how he made his aides go round up "secretaries" (read: prostitutes and lose gals) and escort them back to the White House for his pleasure, and about how he had all of these physical problems which made him dependent on drugs, and his "Dr. Feelgood" would come and shoot him up with all sorts of feel good things a few times a day. Grandpa Al was shocked! He kept saying, "We didn't know any of this! Nothing!" I think he was also a little amused by it all.

But now, when you hear about yet another "sex scandal," it's just, like, boring.

Why I want to visit Germany

This youth seems German.

Check out Natalie Dee Today

I so love Natalie Dee, America's Favorite Cracker.She has recently almost passed up XKCD as my favorite comic, which really is saying a lot. The best part about Natalie Dee, besides that she's great, is that she posts a new comic every day. I would say that Natalie Dee was my favorite comic, but then I went to XKCD, and it was about the Ghost Busters killing the Holy Spirit. So, you know, it goes without saying. But I do so love Natalie Dee.

Happy Labor Day to Me!

Happy first birthday, Little Z!

I actually had two labor days, but who's counting?

Monsters are real, after all!

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and yes, Little Edie, a monster did wash up not far from your private beach in the East Hamptons, just a few days ago. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and- oh, wait, that's completely inappropriate.


Click here for the full story! (They had it on Fox News! It has to be true!)

New Music

I got this free music sidebar over to the right, there. It's a little weird. The Flaming Lips seem to play at double the speed of the actual album! I haven't listened to everything, yet.

I guess I shouldn't expect a lot for free?

I chose this picture of the Flaming Lips most especially because of the pink ukulele.

Just turn your computer sideways.

The party was fun, of course. How could it not be? And our house is cleaner than it ever would have been, had we not had people over. Even Brian, I think, had fun. We did have to wake up the birthday girl, which we she did not like, but she warmed up to the party, after a while. How could she not? It was all about her!

More pictures- right side up- on her birthday at Zelmarific.

Oh, why do I worry so much? I was so worked up over nothing!


Be Afraid...

Tomorrow is Z's first birthday party! Which makes me afraid, very afraid. I just found out that Joan isn't coming! Joan was my only close friend who was coming.

I am a social nincumpoop.

John Waters said in an interview I heard once that the really good thing about being rich is that you just don't have to deal with people you don't want to deal with. I'm a afraid that, if I had that kind of freedom, I would never deal with anyone. I guess I would be alone all the time.

I like people, in theory. But in actual practice- I don't know. They seem an awfully suspicious lot, to me. I only like, really like, a very few people. Most of them don't have children. I only invited people with babies (or, truly, I invited babies to bring their people) to the birthday party. Therefore- well, do the math.

All the same, it seems like it ought to be fun. A lot of uncorrupted youth. It should be fun. I shall truly find the spark that inspired me to throw the party shining brightly tomorrow, right? Right?