July 23, 2006

Super Fire Hot BBQ

We decided to have a little get-together Saturday. Of course, that was before we realized how HOT it was going to be (the LOW temperature for the day set a record for heat, if that makes sense--it never got below 74 degrees. Around here, 74 degrees is a pretty nice high temperature for the day). But, our game little band ventured outside anyway (by then, it was better there than in the main floor of the house. And it's hard to barbeque in the basement.)

So out we went. Dennis shared his pictures from Singapore (including some beautiful orchids and a snapshot of the Prez's doppelganger, who he found in the local zoo.) Some of the local monkeys were interested in Dennis' new computer. And there were a lot of hot women in our backyard, too. It'd been way too long since we saw Joe and Carol and Ella and Hannah and Dennis.

(A note about Blogger and pictures, which eventually I'll incorporate into the sidebar of the photoblog: If you want to see a bigger version of a picture, just click on it once. Clicking on the resulting, bigger picture, will zoom in a little more if that's possible for that picture. For the record, it does this automatically. I like these people!)

Sunday we lay around, fanning ourselves, as the humidity from the previous day abated while the mercury climbed even higher. The house did cool off a little bit this morning, but the basement refuge takes a beating when it's been this hot, for this long (I'd still rather sleep down there than anywhere else in the house, but eventually even concrete and earth and elevation don't keep out the heat. Oh, and we lost power for a while yesterday, so the fans all stopped during the hottest part of the day. At least we're not in NYC.)

July 21, 2006

Isn't This Ironic?

...because, really, I HATE spiders. But I realize it has to do with personality, not arachnids. Thanks to Ty for the link.

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

July 19, 2006

Fwd: The Body of Christ...

Matt send this to our vicar (and cc'd it to me, of course) just now.

I am in tears.

Guess that whole church thing has rubbed off on 'em.

Begin forwarded message:

>The Body of Christ...


>I thought you would find this funny, and I was afraid I would forget
>to mention it on Sunday.

>Laura has a little plate upstairs in my office where she plays while
>I'm up there. I have a bag of cheerios. I put a small handful in the
>plate for her to snack on.

>Today she had her little plate and was giving out the O's to me and
>Emily saying "Daddy, the body of Christ, the bread of life. Emily, the
>body of Christ, the bread of life..."

>What could I say but "Amen"?

>Happy Wednesday!

July 16, 2006

Today's Fun Family Quotes

Laura and Matt have a mutual disgust society going, centered around that hallmark of human activity that tries hard not to be mentioned in polite society: gas. The following exchange actually occurred:

Matt: [censored]
Laura: You're DANGEROUS!

(Yes, my darling daughter, Daddy is dangerous. I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice. Sometimes, he gives Mommy asthma attacks. But then again, my darling girl, you are often pretty hazardous yourself.)
Several weeks ago, Laura noted, as she had a cold, "My nose is stuck."
As previously mentioned, we do like the Beatles. Perhaps to excess. When listening in on our discussions of Emily's upcoming birthday--and that she'll be 1--Laura says, "I'M sixty-four."

But hey, we still feed her.

July 15, 2006

Bastille Day Beach Trip

Summer having arrived, we finally put aside our projects and such and made it back to Gleneden beach. (I still wonder if it's pronounced "Glen Eden" or "GLEN-uh-den", which is how I say it. It IS paradisical and there is a glen there. So I dunno.)

The morning and afternoon were perfect.

Having gone a few times last year, this time I marshaled my best organizing skills and put together a system that, hopefully, will forever be streamlined and wonderful each time we go (I made a separate bag for the beach, and for changing and going into restaurants, and we finally gave up and just packed a small suitcase with our extra clothes.) It took a bit longer in the morning than sometimes to arrange, but I saved my inventory list of what was in each bag (again, I realize that's obsessive, but I get tired of hearing Matt rummaging in the trunk in increasing frustration, saying, "Do you know where we put the _____ ?" There was, satisfyingly, none of that on this trip.) So the next trip should be super-organized from the start. Nirvana.

One thing that was unusual was that it was HOT. Generally, the beach is cooler than the valley, but yesterday it seemed just as warm where we were. Matt mentioned that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to try going when the weather is supposed to be in the 60's. :-)

Another unusual occurrence was the ferocity of the sea. Generally, the beach here is pretty peaceful, with casual waves lapping the shore. Not so on our trip; more than once I jumped a little bit as the waves went ker-THUNK! as they crashed into the sand. We had real breakers (not tall enough for surfers, but bigger than we were used to), so we tried to get pictures.

We played on the sand, including a small castle Laura and I built, complete with an alligator in the moat (the construction scale was somewhat limited, since the waves made getting water and wet sand more of a challenge than I cared to do more than once. Matt wasn't even game for once! Through a careful dance and nimble feet, I avoided getting my shoes wet. But it was a near thing.) Emily sampled some, of course (Matt: "Is that really bad for her?" Ginger: "Well, it's basically really refined dirt, so it's not much worse than regular dirt for her. However good that is." {choosing not to mention the various crawlies that live in sand...but there are crawlies in dirt, too....} She lived through the night, so there you go.)

The tension arrived on the ride home. In spite of (or perhaps, because of) sleeping about as much as usual, Emily was absolutely crazy on the ride home. She fussed and cried pretty much the whole way. (As an aside, of course we stopped and tried feeding her--which she appreciated, but went right back to fussing when we strapped her back in.) Brief respites could be achieved by singing, and therein lies the humor. Matt and I each have our standard lullaby songs, sung with mostly "doo doo doo" for the words (for the record, his is the Civil War-era tune, "Lorena". It's not the theme for, but shows up several times in, the Ken Burns Civil War series. Mine is "There Is a Balm in Gilead," which always makes me feel better even if it does nothing for the baby.) Listening to Mommy sing just pissed her off more. Daddy's lullaby didn't work, but Laura requested "The Wheels on the Bus" and that soothed Emily for a while, kind of. However, when Matt's creativity failed (the poor man was driving at the time, after all), and he tried just "doo doo doo," back came the crying in full force. So I supplied him with verses for a while, and she was intermittently okay. For a time. Finally, Laura tried singing to her....and there was complete peace. Sadly, Laura's work ethic just isn't as strong as an adult's yet, and when she got tired of singing and stopped...Emily started fussing again. Still, we were impressed that Laura could quiet Em when neither of us succeeded. Siblings are cool.

I'm guessing the child was just plain pissed off at riding in her car seat any more. When we finally got home (things escalated considerably during the last mile, but there wasn't much we could do for her), and got her out, she just wanted to hug Mommy. And then she was happy hanging out, as if nothing happened. At least she's the forgiving type!

Still, it was a wonderful day!

July 12, 2006

Today's Fun Family Quote

"It's really just wet."

-Matt, observing that the experimental recipe for "Creamy Chicken and Vegetables" turned out not, actually, to be very creamy. (We encourage constructive criticism for new recipes around here, as long as the cook is not already in tears or in the act of ordering take-out....)

One more thing

I forgot to mention, Matt survived just fine with the girls. It was really the first time I'd left them all alone with each other for the whole day.

I may just do it again, now that I think of it....it was nice to have a little freedom!

Reasonable Doubt

I had jury duty last Friday.

I ended up on a case...a nasty one, too. (Although there were 100 called, only 26 showed up. Even those were good odds, had they gone in numerical jury number order. But noooooo, they just randomly assigned us based on how quickly we turned in our questionnaires. Guess who finished first? That's right, and my special reward was to be the first person called up to a hot seat.)

Although, I'm glad to do my civic duty. Unlike some others who needed more thought before they realized their important role in government. ;-)

Basically, it was a 25 year old and a 14 year old in a he-said, she-said situation. I was alone among the six jurors in thinking that he (the defendant) was probably guilty, going into deliberations (they didn't know that when they elected me their leader....). The rest of them asked me if I was sure "beyond a reasonable doubt," and I had to admit I was not. He certainly *could* have done it (no real alibi emerged). He *probably* did it (so think I). But I wasn't *sure* he did it. So, he was Not Guilty.

I know I'd rather "let ten guilty go free than hang one innocent," but it wasn't very comfortable all the same. I especially felt bad that I couldn't at least let the accuser know that I thought she might be telling the truth; as it is, I fear we gave her a collective slap upside the head (though there was testimony regarding her veracity, or lack thereof, she reminded me of a lot of my former students. Maybe I'm just a soft touch...)

Adding to the irony was the fact that the Assistant D.A. did, really, an awesome job (her witnesses were just crappy), while the other attorney was absolutely execrable. The judge asked us if we wanted to hang around and chat after the verdict (when everybody else had left the courtroom), and she was so bad that we, the jury, had to know if that attorney was a Public Defender. We were all relieved? to learn that at least the defendant wasn't paying her. Though that doesn't say much for the indigent in our society's chance at actual justice.... The judge was nice and pointed out that she hadn't had much experience yet. (and the judge WAS nice, although we also saw him in "SCARY" mode when he was laying down the law a few times on witnesses, attorneys, and spectators. I was glad to be on the jury instead at those points!)

July 9, 2006

A Festive 4th

Against the odds, we had a great time on the 4th of July.

I say against the odds because we sort of were at loose ends; nobody
planned a BBQ (at least not that we were invited to...), we didn't have
plans to go anywhere to see fireworks, and yet, we had a lovely
four-day weekend to enjoy. So, we did what anyone would do under the
circumstances: we threw a block party.

(Credit where it's due: it was actually one of our neighbors saying
it'd be cool to schedule a block party sometime soon [I think this was
on Saturday] that made us think, "Hmmm. Nobody works on the 4th of
July. Good day for it! To heck with the state of the yard...")

Several sausages, potato salads, watermelon, and other goodies later,
we reflected on the good time we had. As a plus, we got to know our
neighbors better (including another speechie. We are everywhere;
resistance is futile.) One day soon I'll post the sidewalk chalk art
that's decorating our patio.

July 2, 2006

CSI: Toys

This was the (crime) scene that awaited me this morning when I awoke.

Clearly, something happened here....something terrible. I don't know if the victims knew each other, or if that possible inter-species relationship was a motive for these horrible crimes.

Worst of all will be telling the family; the other dolls, the other bunnies, and all their friends. Will they now live in fear that they may be next?

One good thing: we do have a suspect. Since it's a juvenile, I won't publicize the name.