The Love Shack

We are incubating about four dozen eggs right now, hoping for baby chickens. We candled them tonight, and only six of them weren't fertilized. 42 / 48 = 87.5% fertilized! Those chickens sure are busy, if you know what I mean. Busy makin' sweet chicken love! I shall hereby refer to the chicken coop as "The Love Shack".

And I would walk 500 miles...

I'm 37 now.

Or, maybe I'm 47.

I look great for 47, don't I?

That's because I'm 37.


Gina's hat is still sitting in the closet. Knitted for her birthday, first week of February. February? Damn.

If you teach a fish to climb a tree, he won't climb a tree, he'll feel like an idiot. But if you teach a fish to swim, well, there's another thing entirely. What the heck was I meant to do? Am I a fish climbing trees, or learning the doggy paddle?

10,000 hours, someone told me today. You do anything 10,000 hours, you're an expert.

I'm going at this teaching thing very slowly, then. I only really teach ten hours a week. I need a thousand weeks of this, then. Twenty years? Wow. It's going to be a while. Although, I do have prior experience.

What kinds of things do I actually have 10,000 hours of experience doing, I wonder?

1. Sleeping, for sure.
2. Watching TV. I'm an expert at that.
3. Being a student.
4. Walking.
5. Reading.
6. Talking to people.
7. Talking to myself.
8. Cleaning.
9. Despairing, in general.
10. Daydreaming.
11. Writing? This is possible. I'm not entirely sure, as writing is usually recorded in pages or words rather than hours spent.
12. Eating.
13. _________________________________

What do you have 10,000 hours of experience doing?

Good Reads: "Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire: A Novel" by Poe Ballantine

As a child, my grandparents spoiled me in every way possible, but when Sunday night, Seven PM rolled around, they were suddenly quite strict. There was nothing, nothing in this world that could keep them from watching "The Lawrence Welk Show". It was then that they became different people, their faces transported to an otherworldly Nirvana as they watched those magical bubbles float across the screen.

And that's why the title of The Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire grabbed me immediately. The author, Poe Ballantine, is a frequent writer in The Sun. He's a fantastic writer of the truth, in all its nuances. I didn't know, when I picked up the book, if he would pull through on the fiction front.

The book starts out a little bit worrisome, seeming like the ramblings of some middle aged guy about his raucous youth. Edgar, the main character, gets kicked out of college for acting like a complete idiot. His one saving grace is that he knows he's been an idiot, so I read on. And then, through some series of events that really could happen, and really could happen to some idiot like me, he follows his best friend to an island in the Caribbean. I think it's a fake island that Ballantine made up- no matter. Once there, Edgar sees the darker side of his friend, he falls into lust with a worrisome woman, and also it turns into, well, kind of a zombie book. It gets really awesome, actually. I couldn't put it down for the last one hundred pages. I mean, it doesn't get cheesy at all. The zombie thing falls into the storyline as naturally as drinking orange juice for breakfast. The main character, Edgar, doesn't believe in zombies, of course.

Of course.

Now that I'm done with, Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire: A Novel, I feel lonely. I want to go back there again.

I've always felt left out that I never got one of these letters, but now I finally did! I'm being hoodwinked! Yay! What shall I respond?

Confidence Trust and Honest
From the desk of Dir. Abdoul Ali
Regional Managing Director
Coris Bank International
Ouagadougou Burkina Faso
Telephone number:+22674186972

Dear friend,
My names are Dir. Abdoul Ali Regional Managing Director of Coris Bank International I discovered existing dormant account for 5years. When I discovered that there had been neither continuation nor withdrawals from this account for this long period and our banking laws stipulates that any unserviceable account for more than 5years will go into the bank revenue as an unclaimed fund.

I have made personal inquiries about the depositor and his next of kin but sadly, the depositor and his next of kin died on their way to Senegal for business tycoon, and he left no body behind for this claim I only made this investigation just to be double sure of this fact and since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives, I seek your concern for further information.

Amount to claim US$:9,500.000.00
The purpose of claming this fund: to help the orphanage around the world
Now my questions are:-
1. Can you handle this project? ………………………
2. Can I give you this trust? …………………………

If yes, call me and send to me your personal information as below:
Your name :.......................
Your address :.................
Your country :.................
Your occupation:...............
Your age:...................
Telephone number:..............
This information is necessary.

My regards to your home,
Mr Abdoul Ali

[Cellar Door is amused by the grammar in this note, among other things.]


I just read this article about sleep. It confirms my own experiences.

I generally say that Little Z slept through the night right away, and that she was a good baby and no trouble at all. This is mostly true, but there is a little white lie in there. It's easier not to explain, but I think, in light of this sleep research, I'll explain it.

She did sleep through the night right away a week or two after being born, but only for about two and a half weeks. Then, she started waking up once a night. She didn't actually cry. I would wake up around two or three AM and feel like she was awake. I would go to her little bassinet, and she would look up at me. I would pick her up and rock her in the rocking chair and breast feed her, and then put her back to bed. I might read a little bit and then go back to bed myself.

At first, it really bothered me, because she had been sleeping through the night, and then she just stopped, and I felt cheated of my eight consecutive hours. Then my dad came to visit and said, "You know, it's completely natural to wake up for an hour or so in the middle of the night. It's what everyone did before the light bulb." Then I started thinking about it differently. Why was I mad about her waking up? Did I really have trouble getting back to sleep? Was my waking up unsettling, really, or did I just have some preconceived notion about eight consecutive hours of sleep?

She kept waking up once a night for the better part of a year. I read House of Leaves, and I have to say, reading that book in the middle of the night scared the bejesus out of me! Mostly, though, it was just a really unique time that I'll never forget. I'm not generally awake in the middle of the night.

One night, there was a lunar eclipse, and I woke up BAH to share the experience with us. I'm not sure he appreciated that.

I know that I really came to accept waking up once a night at some point, because I went to a check up for Little Z, and the Doctor offered to put her on some sort of program to help her "sleep through the night," and I (without thinking) blurted out,

"No, no. She's fine. WE DON'T NEED THAT!" Sensing Mama Bear about to attack, he backed off.

Eventually, she did start to cry a bit in the night. We moved her crib to another room, and she grew older, and she slept through the night, and I didn't mind her sleeping through the night. And I certainly don't mind her sleeping eleven hours at a stretch now. But, it's still interesting to me how I just woke up and knew that Little Z was awake, without her crying.

Anyway, that sleep article may change how you think about sleep. I had already decided that it was okay to wake up for an hour or so in the night before I read it.

Things to Make You Less Afraid

When I was in high school, I used to always picture my teachers naked. It wasn't because I was a pervert or because I really wanted to know what they looked like naked; it just made me less afraid of them.

Now that I'm a teacher, I like to remind myself that my students are a bit like drunkards. That makes me less afraid of them. And, the fact is, they are a bit like drunks. They act in many ways like adults, but then they have huge discrepancies in the impulse control category- just like drunkards. Emotionally, teenagers are completely erratic. You can have an argument with them one day that disturbs you so much you think about it all night, and when you go to apologize or talk about it with them the next day, they might not even remember the argument ever happened. Sometimes, in the middle of the school year, they become a completely different person, for no reason you can see at all- again, like a person on drugs or alcohol.

I would go on, but my three year old is asking me if I know how to make honey, like a bee.