Monthly Archives: January 2011

More than a dusting

It’s a good thing I love snow, because this is what we received in less than 8 hours yesterday. While many folks were trying to drive home from work. And the highways were closed because of accidents.

My cat hadn’t been outside for DAYS and she got all excited when I opened the back door for a photograph. It didn’t take long for her to change her mind. It turns out that sitting on the heat vent is the best way to spend her winter.

What's that? Cleo outside... brieflyCleo says, I'm coming in!On Monday it was so cold that the rhododendron leaves were curled up as tightly as possible (apparently they don’t like 15F). Wednesday morning they were dripping with freezing drizzle. When that stopped, I rushed out to Costco for another 5 gallons of milk (we were down to our last half-gallon) and eggs (down to the last 3) and bread (we went through an entire loaf at lunch yesterday).

For some idiotic reason, businesses that employ thousands of people did not allow them to go home at lunchtime yesterday. At 3pm or so, when the THUNDERSNOW hit (real word, people), everyone thought, Oh, I’d better head home before it gets bad. Unfortunately, it was already bad. And then it got worse. Many people were stuck in traffic for 7 or 8 hours. Roads closed. Cars died. Traffic did not move.  I was so very grateful that my husband had previously scheduled to take the day off. That way he was here to fill the bird feeder…

… and shovel snow.  :P
Waiting now for the snowplow to dig out our neighborhood. It might be a while.

School has been out for a couple of days now (one of those days was the semester break). With everyone at home –and it being newsletter week as well– I am terribly behind on writing and reading blogs. I hope return to normal by next week.

Musical Monday: Taking care of business

Eight times over the course of the past 7 weeks, I have taken someone (myself and/or one of the boys) to an appointment with a doctor or dentist.  Not a single one has been for illness; these are just routine health care visits.
Next up? The cat needs her annual exam.

Gotta love Weird Al:
(Darn Vevo. You’ll have to click through. Trust me, it’s worth it!)

A Stitch in Time

Things I’ve done this week:

1. Compared driving and walking on ice…
Conclusion
:  my own driveway was more hazardous than any parking lot that I encountered.  (Please note: the streets were cleared before I ventured out!)

2. Compared Weird Al songs/videos with the original songs/videos that inspired the parodies…
Conclusion: “Weird Al” Yancovik is insanely talented.

3. Discovered that my 18yo had never seen “Thriller” or “Beat It” (but had seen Weird Al’s “Eat It”)…
Conclusion:  corrected noted deficiency in his cultural knowledge.

4. Considered what kind of mother forces her children to watch Weird Al videos after school…
Conclusion:  the same kind of mother who spent her teen years listening to The Dr. Dimento Show on the radio every Sunday night.  Besides, it’s exam week — they needed to lighten up.

5. Began the process of learning to knit…
Conclusion: it will be a long time before anyone gets a scarf.


Iced Super Cookies

This is what the roads looked like at 11 o’clock this morning…

I had to drive slowly, keeping plenty of space around  my car due to flying platters of ice randomly flying off the roofs of other vehicles.
[side note: I love parking in the garage. No scraping necessary.]
The chunks of ice splintered spectacularly when they hit the ground.

But at least that gave me plenty of time to listen to NPR and learn how smart-phone apps are gathering plenty of information on other people. I say other people, because I don’t have a smart phone.  (I consider myself lucky to even have limited texting capabilities. Hello, I’m Kcinnova and I live in the 20th century.) But if I ever do get a smart phone, I think I’m going to name it “Big Brother.”

Yes, your apps are watching you. Not a big deal, really — just gathering information such as your user password, contacts, age, gender, location, phone ID, and phone number.  The tracking device has been referred to as “super cookies.”  According to the Wall Street Journal, “These phones don’t keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly.”  Just one more reason to believe that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too keep your cookies to yourself.

So what do you think? Do you have a smart phone? Does this concern you, or is it more of a “meh” reaction in today’s world of uber-shared information?

Musical Monday: Holding on to The Dream

When my kids were young, they assured me that they weren’t white. They pointed out that they were “beige” and some of their friends had “light brown” or “dark brown” skin.
We are all Colored People.

I love this video — both the music and images.  (Unfortunately, you’ll have to click through. EMI and Vevo make things a bit difficult.)

 

Colored People

Pardon me, your epidermis is showing
I couldn't help but note your shade of melanin
I tip my hat to the colorful arrangement
Cause I see (the) beauty in the tones of our skin
We gotta come together, and thank the maker of us all

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
And we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

A piece of canvas is only the beginning
It takes on character with every loving stroke
This thing of beauty is the passion of an artist's heart
By God's design, we are a skin kaleidoscope
We gotta come together, aren't we all human after all?

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
'Cause we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

Ignorance has wronged some races
And vengeance is the Lord's
If we aspire to share this space
Repentance is the cure
Repentance is the cure

Well, just a day in the shoes of a color blind man
Should make it easy for you to see
That these diverse tones do more than cover our bones
As a part of our anatomy

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
'Cause we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

We're colored people and they call us the human race
We're colored people and we've all got to share this space
We're colored people and we live in a tainted world
(red, yellow, black, and white)
We're colored people, every man, woman, boy, and girl

Just a dusting

1. EB, my 18yo son, left these footprints on his way to the school bus this morning.
2. Can you tell which one is a shoe print?

3. I have things on my mind that I can’t write about at the moment. This is where a blog fails as an online journal, but it is important to respect others’ rights to privacy.

4. It was wonderful to have all of my boys at home for a few weeks (and SuperDad took some time off from work, too).

[click on pics to embiggen]

5. I’m pretty sure MM was more than ready to go back to college!

not captured by my camera

The wind lifts the snow
like glittering fairy dust
swirling around me

Shed a Little Light

The group I sing with on Sundays has been practicing this song for a few months. We sang our version this morning, just one week and one day shy of the day we –as a nation– set aside time to remember and honor the contributions of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The song actually ends at the 4-minute mark; after that, JT takes time to introduce his band.  I wish I had a video of our group singing, but I don’t.
________________________________________________

What we didn’t know when we picked this song was what was going to happen in Arizona yesterday. We didn’t know that our pastor was going to preach about,  didn’t expect to hear a message specifically about a faith-based perspective on how to make sense of such a horrific tragedy. Being one week prior to Martin Luther King Day, I didn’t even expect to hear his name mentioned.  But much like Diana Butler Bass wrote in her blog post yesterday, these things were all addressed from the pulpit (in fact, the pastor quoted some of what DBB wrote). And then we sang this song that we had been practicing and planning on singing for the past several months:

_______________________________________________

Let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the Earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood
That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world become
A place in which our children
Can grow free and strong
We are bound together
By the task that stands before us
And the road that lies ahead
We are bound and we are bound

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

Shed a little light, oh Lord
So that we can see
Just a little light, oh Lord
Wanna stand it on up
Stand it on up, oh Lord
Wanna walk it on down
Shed a little light, oh Lord

Can’t get no light from the dollar bill
Don’t give me no light from a TV screen
When I open my eyes
I wanna drink my fill
From the well on the hill
(Do you know what I mean?)

Shed a little light, oh Lord
So that we can see
Just a little light, oh Lord
Wanna stand it on up
Stand it on up, oh Lord
Wanna walk it on down
Shed a little light, oh Lord
Shed a little light

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

Oh, Let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the Earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood

45

“We’ve got nothing to fear but fear itself”
Not pain? Not failure? Not fatal tragedy?
Not the faulty units in this mad machinery–
Not the broken contacts in emotional chemistry–
~Neil Peart

Fear. It strikes at inopportune times. Worry is the shadow that steals its way into my brain. It is late at night and I’m trying to sleep and wondering, is that a pain in my shoulder?

My paternal grandmother had a heart attack at the age of 45. I’ve been told that she was lucky to live through it. Today is my 45th birthday.

Fear has my head in a vice grip as I consider what the beginnings of a stroke might feel like… is that a headache or just my imagination?  After more minutes of worry, I get up and take an aspirin — just in case.

Fortified with reassurance that my lifeblood is now going to be flowing more easily, the shadow of worry slips away, defeated. I look out the window at the stars and realize that sleep will have to wait. I have to write.

I didn’t know my paternal grandmother very well. She lived on the complete opposite end of the country from me when I was growing up. In fact, I only remember one visit when I was about the age of ten. She was full of love and laughter and stories of the cousins I didn’t know, and more importantly, stories of my father’s childhood.  I didn’t know her very well at all, but I loved her.

I have precious few photographs of my grandmother; I also have a packet of her writings. She wrote prose and poetry. If she were 45 years old today, I suspect she would be blogging.

And now this stream of consciousness brings me to a place of peace, for I have moved from fear (quite reasonable fear, as we share more than a love of writing — we share genes and body type) to warm memories. I hear the ticking of the clock, but it no longer sounds like the ticking of a time bomb.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
~Psalm 23:4

My husband is retiring this summer. He is going to become my personal chef and trainer, and together we are going to accomplish what I have been unable to accomplish on my own: successful weight loss, increased health and fitness. He might even blog it.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health: Healthy blog! The Blog-Health-o-Meter™

reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it. In 2010, there were 235 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 633 posts. There were 620 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 464mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

I’m a bit embarrassed that the photo those stat monkeys chose was a Google image that I used and not one of my own original photographs… I even have one of the USS Intrepid here.

The busiest day of the year was November 11th with 402 views. The most popular post that day was Remembering. Actually, the “Remembering” post was from 11 November 2008. The title of the post on 11 November 2010 is more fully titled “Remembering once again, for always“.  I don’t know why the older post got more hits than the current post that day.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were Google Reader, suburbancorrespondent.blogspot.com, sibupegasuspower.blogspot.com, google.se, and google.com.py.
I think this means that special thanks are in order to our friend Google in both the USA and its foreign self in Sweden and Paraguay. Way to go, Google!  ;) And obviously, I owe special thanks to Suburban Correspondent at The More, The Messier, and Reb at Sibu Pegasus Power. (Although maybe they just haven’t bothered to put me in a feed reader and really they are just reading me off their own blogs? Hard to tell…) Some visitors came searching, mostly for poppies, lincoln memorial, slogans, maxine cartoons, and horseshoe pit. Which I find rather funny, because whenever I bother to look at my stats, they are looking for a picture of a 4-month fetus (yes, I do have one here) or summer haircuts for boys (although in general, I don’t advise copying these).

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Remembering November 2008 12 comments

2

Cartoons that crack me up January 2008

3

100 More Bits December 2008 9 comments

4

WWC#34: (1,2,) Three….Fire! May 2008 9 comments

5

Gimme a “P”… Gimme an “A” April 2009 9 comments

Mostly, I want to say to each of you who bother coming here to read what I post:
Thank You. You enrich my life and make blogging worthwhile. A few of you I have met in person — what a wonderful treat!  Many of you I have not yet met but hope to have the opportunity to do so one day. Thank you for making the internet such a fun place to hang out. I value your friendship. ~KC