Saturday, January 29, 2005

Isn't reading fun?

My daughter loves reading. She's currently into books in verse, such as Allan & Janet Ahlberg (Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Postman), and of course, Dr. Seuss (One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and the ABC book) and we read one if not all of these stories each night before bed. She always ends story time saying "That was a great story! Isn't reading fun!".


Friday, January 28, 2005

The weather outside is frightful

These are pictures of the snow accumulation as of January 24th. The snow wall is much taller now (about my height). Have I mentioned how much fun I have shoveling snow?



Sunday, January 23, 2005

An interesting soldier

Here's a little bit of info about the guy who took us to the airport...his story is just too neat not to mention...

He is 22, speaks 7 languages (reads in 13), plays 12 instruments (oddly enough, not a single percussion instrument other than piano), composes 108-piece orchestral music, and is some hot shot Martial artist and owns a house. And he's in the military? WTF? I absolutley HAD to ask him...WHY? His response "I wasn't thinking at the time". Obviously. Not to mention the salary he was making prior to joining the service...let's just say he said "I just lost $13,000" like it was the spare change you'd find in your couch cushions. Good grief.

Nothing else to add...just felt the need to mention him as it's not everyday you meet a symphony-composing, multi-lingual 22-year old in the Army.

Shoveling a Brick Wall

Or at least, that's what it seems like. This morning I awoke to a wall of snow (okay not REALLY a wall, but for all intents and purposes, it was a wall) - a wall that I, myself, had to shovel thanks to my lovely husband being sent to Florida. Florida, dammit! Wheeeeee! Let the fun begin.

Mind you, I'm supposed to be in Arizona right now, but you probably read all about my flight of doom (not to be confused with the mouse of doom) - AKA the flight that never was, AKA we-don't-care-that-you-are-stranded-here-at-the-airport-with-no-money-we-will-not-put-you-up-in-a-hotel-you-poor-bastard, AKA fuck this shit. The last thing I wanted to do was shovel snow after my fun-filled day yesterday. But, alas, here I am shoveling this wall of snow. And it's hella cold outside and my driveway appears to be the meeting place for the damn snowflake convention because there is WAY more of it in my driveway than there is in anyone else's (I wanted to blame it on the new neighbors, but I think it was just a continuation of yesterday's craptastic luck). There is so much snow that you can only shovel about an inch before it starts seeping over the sides right back on the ground. Yes, this is exactly why I was trying to LEAVE New York. Kill me now.

It took 45 minutes to shovel the evil whiteness. In the process, I believe I gained about 5 lbs. in muscle mass (snow blowers and gyms are for wusses), a really sore back, and a new contempt for snow (which, after last night, I didn't think could be topped). Oh...my sweet, beloved Arizona - 12:15a.m. Tuesday cannot come fast enough!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

When it rains...

make that, when it snows you'd better damn well believe there's a blizzard a-coming.

Well...as you've probably guessed, we didn't make it out of NY...we were there pretty early (just after 2 - our flight left at 5 p.m.) - I went to check-in...everything was going just fine and then about 30 seconds after the woman handed me the boarding passes, she got the call that the flights were all cancelled for the rest of the night and likely through tomorrow! Yikes! One of my husband's soldiers had given us a ride to the airport (he didn't go with the unit to Florida). He was really cool and told me to call him once I knew everything was cool - so I called him (he had to go to Syracuse to get something fixed on his car anyway...so he was planning on being there for a couple hours) and I just went back home with him.

The soldier (have I mentioned that he is awesome) is going to try to take me again on Monday (they said there was about an 80% chance they'd have to rebook again if I made reservations for tomorrow, so I said to heck with that and opted for Monday)...they wouldn't put me in a hotel because it was weather-related (good thing I didn't take a taxi up there...I would have been totally broke!). My step-dad offered to pay for a hotel for us, but I figured I'd rather just go home and try again on Monday...if it's meant to be it'll happen. I am beginning to think someone is trying to tell me that we're not supposed to go home...

So...we stop off to get some food before heading back home. It's snowing like mad out there and you can barely see 2 feet in front of you...we get stuck trying to turn about 6 times on the way back. Oh, but it gets worse! WAY worse. Kaia was fussing in the back seat and she said she had to go to the bathroom - okay, we were just about to stop and get gas...no biggie. We stop, she pees, everything's cool. Then we get back in the car, back on the road, and after about 10 minutes I hear this unmistakable sound coming from the back seat. She's throwing up - ALL over the place. OMG it was awful. Her dinner is all over - thank GOODNESS not all over his car, though. Just all over her and all over her Gloworm, who, I think, will have to be retired because he's only surface washable (he was a Christmas present and she sleeps with it EVERY night - that will be fun to explain). We stopped at another gas station and get her cleaned up - buy some windex and a sponge to clean up her booster seat (which was nasty, btw) and the little bit that got on his floor mat in the car. UGH! What a day this has been! I am so glad we're home.

Poor baby. She kept saying "I'm sorry Mommy" once we got back in the car - I had to change her pants in the convenience store because their bathroom is an outdoor one and she would've frozen her cheeks off out there (she puked all over her shoes, too, so I had to take them off). What a great impression we must have made on the soldier! This was the first time we'd really met him! I told him I wouldn't blame him if he didn't want to take us back on Monday!

I think I would've gotten frostbite on my fingers had I been outside 5 more minutes (took a while cleaning out the car)! They are still red and kinda numb (after a little over an hour).

*sigh*

I offcially take back every time I said I liked snow.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Leaving on a Jet plane

So tomorrow I head home to good ole Arizona. I cannot wait. My sister is getting married in May, so I will be going again in a few months...but the family wanted me to come home now. The husband is gone for a month or so (stupid training), leaving me here to enjoy the wonder that is a Central New York winter. Thankyouverymuch.

But, tomorrow, weather-permitting, I will be boarding a plane (thank you Jet Blue for your cheap-ass tickets and your DirecTV...I don't have to miss my beloved nightly dose of CourtTV) headed to the sunny skies! I.CANNOT.WAIT!

I am hoping to catch up with some of my high school friends while I am home. We keep meaning to go out dancing whenever I'm home - 'meaning' doesn't put me on the dance floor, now does it (quick...what movie is that referencing)? I really want to go dancing...and I want to go with people I actually LIKE and who can actually DANCE (or at least, who thoroughly enjoy dancing)! When we were living in Belgium, I went dancing a few times with some acquaintances...I didn't much like them (they were just not the kinda poeple I'd want to make my friends) and they weren't much fun on the dance floor, either. I like to go dancing with other people like me...people who are the first ones on the dance floor, the last ones to leave, and don't set foot anywhere BUT the dancefloor the entire night. This bunch of acquaintances thought it odd that I would actually dance to music that I didn't necessarily enjoy. My high school friends would have thought it odd if I DIDN'T dance.

Hopefully I will get to go out at least ONCE during my time home. I probably will get as far as 'meaning', but I can hope!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Celebration of a Legacy

Today is (Rev.) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Today, we remember one of the men at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement...a man who brought hope to a people who seemed to have little reason to hope.

In celebration of his legacy, I am posting two lesser known snippets that I am quite fond of.

"I am convinced that love is the most durable power in the world. It is not an expression of impractical idealism; but of practical realism. Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, love is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. To return hate for hate does nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. " - Ebony, November 1957

Even semantics have conspired to make that which is black seem ugly and degrading. In Roget's Thesaurus there are some 120 synonyms for blackness and at least sixty of them are offensive, such words as blot, soot, grim, devil, and foul. And there are some 134 synonyms for whiteness and all are favorable, expressed in such words as purity, cleanliness, chastity, and innocence. A white lie is better than a black lie. The most degenerate member of a family is the "black sheep." Ossie Davis has suggested that maybe the English language should be reconstructed so that teachers will not be forced to teach the Negro child sixty ways to despise himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of inferiority, and the white child 134 ways to adore himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of superiority. The tendency to ignore the Negro's contribution to American life and strip him of his personhood is as old as the earliest history books and as contemporary as the morning's newspaper. - from the SCLC Convention speech: August 16, 1967 in Atlanta, GA

May you always rest in peace, Dr. King. We thank you for your tireless efforts, your relentless struggle for justice and peace, and your infinite wisdom. Thank you.


Return of the Mouse of Doom

Damn. He's back. Around Halloween 2004, about a month after I moved out here to NY, my husband was sitting on his brand new recliner and I was sitting on our brand new couch...we were watching something on TV. All of a sudden he leaps from his chair and sits on all fours - the chair now rocking rather wildly from his suddent movements. I am wondering what the heck has gotten into him. He says, in a not-so-calm manner "ummmm...I just saw a rat". Okay, so my pulse is racing, I'm trying to think of how the heck we're going to get it out of the house without killing it, all the while making sure my feet are nowhere near the ground.

This just a day before he has to do to the field...couldn't have been more perfect timing (HA). So I leave all of the lights on at night - he gets some DeCon the next morning and we set it out, just waiting and hoping that the little guy (or, God forbid, guys) will take the bait and never come back. Yeah, right. I hear him scurrying in the walls for a good 4-5 days and then I hear nothing. Well, the bait was untouched, so I figure he just left because he couldn't find any food.

Well, yesterday, when I was putting away my dishes, I opened the silverware drawer to discover what could only be mouse droppings. GROSS! I'd set another box of DeCon on the counter about a week before when I saw a few small blackish things on my stovetop - thought it might be mouse droppings, but, I've never seen mouse droppings before, so how could I be sure? So upon this new discovery, I emptied the silverware drawer, bleached the tray and the silverware that was in it (whew...it was only two knives - all of the dishes were done the night before), and proceeded to put DeCon in the drawer.

This morning, the very first thing I did when I got out of bed was open up the silverare drawer. OMG. De-Con is completely gone. So right now there is a seriously drugged up mouse running between my walls somewhere. Ew. I put some more in the drawer right away and have not been able to keep myself from opening the drawer every 30 minutes or so throughout the day.

On Saturday, I'll be going home for a few weeks to visit my family (my sister is getting married in May and we'll likely to a bunch of wedding plannish things), and the last thing I want is for my husband to come home to find that mice have invaded our home. Tomorrow, once I get the living room all squared away, I'm calling the pest control peeps in the hopes that they'll be able to figure out where they're coming from and how to keep them out!

I keep the kitchen light on at night so that he'll be confined at least to the kitchen until I can get someone in here to get rid of him and his potential mousy family. Ugh.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Just a few pictures of me and my shadow...





We had a blast playing in the snow today. There are a number of nice-sized hills in our neighborhood, so we climbed up one of the hills and I had her lie on her back while I pulled her down the hill by her legs. She thought it was hilarious! She didn't want to go back in the house...I had to bribe her with hot chocolate and marshmallows! Here she is trekking through the snow while we were playing hide and seek (on the way back to the house).


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

On my mind

Not unlike any other day, I've been thinking a lot about my fellow human beings in peril throughout the world. The horrible destruction resulting from the earthquake/tsunami is, of course, at the forefront of many people's thoughts. Please let us also remember the other people who are struggling today and every other day (Sudanese, Iraqis, etc.).

My husband will be joining the forces in Iraq sometime later this year. I can only hope that he will bring joy to the lives of the children he encounters during his tour and that he will not be placed in a situation where he will be ordered to harm anyone. People often wonder what he, a peace-loving, liberal 'whack', is doing in the military...my answer is always "wouldn't you want more men and women like him representing our country and standing up for what's right?".

I am obviously conflicted with respect to my feelings about him leaving. I hate this war, I hate everything it stands for and everything it is becoming. I hate what this war is bringing out in people and I hate what we are doing in the name of "freedom" (or establishing democracy, or the search for WMDs, or dethroning Saddam, or whatever today's excuse/justification happens to be). I obviously do not want him going - fighting for a country and government that doesn't give a crap about him...but I also want good people serving and maintaining what's left of our dignity/respect amongst the world. He's good people. Such is the life of a liberal military wife.


Monday, January 03, 2005

See...what did I tell you!

Well, as expected, it's been over a month since I created this little space for my ramblings. It's certainly not a result of a lack of things to say (not me - NEVER)...just not keeping on top of things, as usual.

So I'm kicking off the new year (a few days late as per the procrastinator's manual) with a new post! Whoo hoo! Just a little bit about what's on my mind...some goals for the new year...whatever.

First, I have set a goal to lose 20 lbs by May. I certainly cannot give up my guilty pleasures (chocolate, pasta, etc.), but I will definitely get back on track in terms of my activity level (which, sadly, has been rather stagnant for a while now).

My second goal is to continue work on my baby name book. I hear the groans - "ANOTHER baby name book? Aren't there far too many of them already?". Well yes and no. There are a zillion baby name books with the exact same format and that's where I come in (or rather, my book comes in). My book (which has been "a work in progress" since some time in 2003) will be nothing like what's already out there...a book that is much easier to navigate and is geared toward both name connoiseurs like myself and new parents who don't want to sift through 500,000 names in order to find the one perfect name. That's all I can say other than that it will be fantastic!

I'll come back later for the "what's on my mind" portion of my ramblings...