Showing posts from June, 2011

Guest blogger

A nice gift from my 17 year old son, R., that he read at our Unitarian church on Mother's Day. Thanks for indulging.
So, I was going to stand up here and read something that someone else had written, a deep contemplative piece about caring for your mother, or a huge story about someone’s mother guiding them in the right direction. So naturally the first thing I did was ask my mom where she thought I could find such a thing. “What?! You’re reading something at the Mother’s Day service? If you truly love me, you’ll write something yourself.”

A few days later, I set out to write something.  After the first few seconds of not knowing what to write, I turned to the only source I trust for inspiration: my mom. This turned out to be a great idea (like it always is) because she did that classic motherly thing: gave me some tips and added “I’m sure whatever you write will be awesome.” To which I responded “Thhhaannkss moooommmm!”

This got me thinking about all the th…

Personality and your week

Aries (3/21 – 4/19): I was wondering about all the  ways you can test your personality, and came upon blood type as a determinant.  It said lots of nice things about me based on my blood type.  So far, that seems accurate, right?  To further verify, I texted B. to find out his blood type.  He got pretty nervous: "sheesh, do you need a transfusion or something?  WTF?"  Anyway, Aries, wouldn't this whole horoscope thing be a lot easier if I only had four things to write each week?  In these austere times, we may have to go to a blood type based prediction, but I'd hate to lose accuracy. . . Your week will be all about maintaining your high standards, against all odds.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Taurus, you are a very adventurous person. You love to try new things, but you get bored very easily.  You act like an adult, even when you don't feel like it.  Hmm,  I stole it from a website that describes your personality based on the contents of your refrigerator.  I h…

How to write an Essay

From the archives...

Sign up for a writing class to force you to write.  Sit down at the computer to begin writing.  Notice, for the thousandth time, the last unpleasant vestige of 1976 that remains in your house, a span of high pile brown shag carpet that covers the stairs. Think, for the thousandth time, that you should do something about it.

Remember the reasons that you haven’t: before getting new carpet, you should paint the hall area.  But before you can paint, you should finish the window seat that is at the stair landing, started by your ex-husband a dozen years ago.  The window seat, which is a bumpout the size of a double bed, has the windows, but they are unfinished; no trim. But before the windows can be trimmed, the drywall should be mudded and taped, and then covered with spray on texture.  Then you can paint.

Once the painting is done, you can replace the carpet, but you hesitate to remove the brown shag, because you know that underneath are shoddy construction stairs t…

As you trudge through the week...

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):  I heard someone mention that, "with 7 billion people on the planet now..."  and it freaked me out a little, because I didn't think we were there yet.  Turns out we have until October.  Aries, this week enjoy the space while you can.  Dance and spin with your arms extended.  Sing out loud.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):   I was at our little local grocery store buying kale the other day because that's all that grows around here anymore during this endless winter, when the guy in front of me started talking to my favorite checker about knitting.  It turns out he's teaching himself to knit, and began with a pair of pants.  I know!  I happen to be someone who knits -- I can knit a hat, a sweater, or even a sock, but pants seem like a pretty big challenge, not just technically, but fashion-wise.  Especially fashion-wise.  Don't take the knit pants challenge, Taurus.  There's enough baggy weirdness in the world without that.  Be part of the solution…

Maillard Reaction

The other day when B. and I went to coffee, the daily trivia question was, “What t.v. star sang on the Berlin Wall?” 

“Bono?” I guessed.

“Roger Waters?” guessed B.

“Wrong,” said the barista.   “Think t.v. star.”  It turned out to be David Hasselhoff. 

B. was all, “Oh, I shoulda’ guessed that.”

I was all, “huh? Who’s David Hasselhoff?”

B., the cashier, and the barista all just stared at me.  “Baywatch?  Haven’t you seen that?”

“Um, no.”  I was glad I hadn't said what I was thinking, which is, "Isn't he  one of the Seahawks?"

B. gave me that look, like you are so freakin’ lame it’s amazing I have coffee with you.

I felt the tiniest bit defensive.  “Hey, I know other stuff.  Just not about David Hasselhoff.”

“Like what?”

“Well, like why hamburgers are so popular.”

“Okay, go.”

“Well, it’s because they are one of a small number of meat sandwiches where the meat requires the same level of effort to chew as the bread.  Picture a steak sandwich, where either you have to r…

Confusing week ahead

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):   So I was listening to RadioLab, and they had an interview with a specialist in artificial intelligence who, through the course of online dating, fell in love with a robot, and went so far as to plan a trip to Russia to meet her.  Of course, he didn't know it was a robot; he was duped by her clever, loving chatter.   I thought I'd check out communicating with a robot, because what's wrong with a little clever, loving chatter now and then?  Cleverbot is a computer program that has been trained to communicate as if it were human.  Here's our conversation:

I don't know about you, Aries, but I was totally duped and found Cleverbot to be quite the fun conversationalist.   I can see how you'd fall for someone like that, and buy tickets to Moscow...  Even though I cut out the part about ...  Okay, never mind, I'll let you see that part too:
I thought that was pretty smooth about the casing.  Aries, the point is, things might not be as they see…

Half Empty

So, in case you were wondering, the results of the MRI came back normal, yay.

When I went to the appointment, I didn’t think I was nervous at all.  In fact, I actually fell asleep in the waiting room, to the point where I was dreaming and possibly drooling/snoring, and only awoke when the technician, I think her name was Lisa, called my name.  She took me back to a dressing room, told me to change into beige hospital scrubs, open the door, and wait for her.

I sort of liked wearing the scrubs, because it made me feel like I had an important job saving lives, but Lisa didn’t come back for a long time, and I started to worry that she'd never come back.  She finally did, escorted me to the table, covered me with a warm blanket, inserted an IV into my arm, and explained how it would go.  “Don’t open your eyes.  It’s really best if you don’t open your eyes,” she said about four times, making me want to do just that, but I trusted Lisa, so kept them shut.

“Do you have any questions?”