Wednesday, January 30, 2008

something besides plumbing

So yeah--I am not going to detail my current mental status or lack thereof--I may very well be certifiable by the end of the month. seriously. The last time I had this much out of control stress in my life I was a skinny undergrad trying to get a divorce.

The frozen pipe has been thawed and repaired and should not ever freeze again. I have a very good plaster dude coming to fix the ceiling. Zoli may actually pass Science tho Math is still in the crapper. We still do not have the transformer from DTE so the AUX HEAT thingy still doesn't work. So we maintain at 66F-71F. All three of us have balked at the plane to NY because of predicted Blizzard Thurs/Fri, so no Keroauc, No Timmy, No Lisa and NO margaritas!

However, I can still watch mindless TV and LOST is coming!!
Here are the fishbiscuits! Basic Scottish shortbread with a healthy squirt of food coloring. I really liked the marbled effect, but Izzy thinks they need more SNAP.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

quit whining

Quite recently I was bemoaning my lack of a boy* with tools/toys. A lot of my dear ones have boys who are very very skilled, handy and talented with things like electricity, plumbing and chain saws. Happily these friends will on occasion let me "borrow" their beloved partner. So when the "soil stack" froze into a 15 ft icicle during the single digit temps we had last week I was whining and lamenting my having to pay "dudes w/tool belts. (I confess I was secretly hoping somebody might take pity on me) and I did get lots of sympathy, advice and pats on the back, when one of my darlings tactfully pointed out that I should prly quit whining because she doesn't even have anybody to commiserate with or to write the check when emergency type situations occur. I was hushed. Sometimes I need that. and..I was inspired. I KNEW what had to be done and damn it-- if this amazing woman could fix her kitchen plumbing I sure as hell could stuff some damn insulation into some wall spaces. So I did.

Mind you I like MY boy and his toys just fine. I was stressed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I hate plumbers

WHY do they get paid without fixing the problem??Initial problem
Ten things you do NOT want to hear your plumber say---
1. I need a ladder
2. I need a bucket
3. I need towels
4. This may be the iceberg that sunk the Titanic
5. I can't fix this because "I hurt my paw."
6. The little doggie can help me (in fact plumbers in general do not need to acknowledge pets)
7. I don't have a saw for this.
9. I'm gonna need some newspaper
10. That'll be $145 and we can finish fixing it till Saturday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

exquisite sentence structure

Heidi Weiss writes

"The first 15 minutes of Charles Newell's Court Theatre production of "Titus Andronicus" are so brilliant -- staged with such a metabolism-altering rhythmic propulsion and ingenious use of space, and with such a mix of sinister magic and emotional instability -- that you might well find yourself hoping this director's next project is a freshly choreographed version of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring."

Damn! I would want to see that play even if I didn't already know that Tamora eats her kids in a pie. HEY!! There it is!! The segue I needed for the Sweeney Todd story. "You have read the play haven't you??" That is what I asked the cow with who (m?) I almost got in a fist fight. She was trying to preach family values at Isabel. Have I told you this story?? Oh. well it is a good story. anyway--don't argue lit with me okay?? And she should have controlled her "short people" prejudices.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Look what Jeanne's doing!!

click here

What an excellent idea! Local food! (from the west side o' the mitten)

I am excited about my garden..and was talking to my work buddy Tony who said that last year he had SIX TOMATO PLANTS AND GOT SEVEN BUSHELS Of produce. I can only hope.

Community Theatre

Zoli has really enjoyed spending his Saturday mornings for the last several months participating in an eclectic little theatre group. The Washtenaw Community College hosted The Neighborhood Community Theater which had its first production yesterday. Eighteen "scenes" with singing and dancing and most importantly for Z., Mime. He played a homeless drunk who barfs in an elevator and sleeps on a bus (he got quite a few laughs) and then--ostracizes a companion who picks on a gay couple. There was a very strong MLK-honoring individuality promoting with a strong pacisfictic tone to the the performance. This is only slightly surprising as the kids actually wrote the "scripts" themselves. Along with Colors of the Wind we heard songs like the Beatles, Imagine and Yesterday with Nigerian folk songs and Bob Marley's One Love, guitar solos and modern dance. And a rap/bsketball demo showcasing a HS Musical song. It was surprisingly entertaining and I was so proud of Z. My fave bit was when he was actively trying to avoid the bully and was staring "out of the bus window". He was really very good. I wish he had sung a solo. *sigh* He really wants to get a handle on the comedy thing.

Friday, January 18, 2008

MLK 3.0

I understand keeping the same lesson plan and re-using it. In fact I am myself generating lecture notes to be saved for next Fall. But how much MLK can one family take???

It was Izzy's turn last night. Every year the Ypsi Public Schools really puts some effort into celebrating MLK. Long time readers will remember Zoli's version of this same play, wherein he played Henry David Thoreau-- WHO ironically enough was played by Isabel's new "boyfriend" Daniel last night. He is standing next to her in the group shots.

Some of you may remember when Matt got 3rd place in the district for his poem that he entered in the contest. That year we got to go to a special luncheon (it was kinda weird--they served BBQ and soul food--it seemed almost like reverse racism--strange vibe but delicious chow). Regardless of any slightly misguided menus of the past last night was fun. (and Happily the last time I have to sit through another "bus strike". Ghandi was particularly amusing. Words are enhanced with pics so
I've published a new Photocast using iPhoto that I'd like to share with you. You can just click on the following link:


Isabel sang beautifully as did her classmates, and we were home by 8:10--ROCKIN!

Bt all griping aside, my babies are all grown up. (eep) This was our last Martin Luther King Jr themed elementary school performance. ): I am almost as sad as when I realized that we didn't HAVE to go to the YHS Holiday concert anymore. we could of course but we wouldn't know anybody...that was a fun tradition. How will we celebrate MLKday next year??

Thursday, January 17, 2008

my fantasy european tour

First stop London
Second item on the itinerary Shakespeare and Co.

I have a passport now....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

fun packages

Yesterday I got three fun packages. Tuesday is produce box day and that box came. It makes groceries seem a little more special--the crisp greens, the gorgeous lemons--and my baby bellas--YUM!

The second package that awaited my return from school was the silk fern I purchased. There is a spot, a problem area--if you will, in the living room that we call "the black hole". This massive pit of a shelf once held stereo equipment. It is a built area above the woodbox next to the fireplace. It is also by a window --but the window itself is in heavy shade--so when I brought the Boston Fern in from the porch (to avoid Frost) and supplied it with a grow light..I promptly fried the back half of the fern. The front did okay--but then when the propane fiasco went down the fern just couldn't take it any more died of stress--poor thing. I have guilt. So I filled the empty space with a nice big poinsetta--lovely! But of course it died roughly one week after the new year. I was beginning to think I should add "serial killer" to my titles. Rather than murder another LIVE plant I just nosed around on the net and found what I THOUGHT was gonna be enough faux chlorophyll to lighten up that very heavy area and still look fairly realistic. Hmmm-- guess I shoulda got two.

Finally and the most fun of all Lisa sent me a book and a wonderfully smutty thing!!
I have ALWAYS wanted to try COCK flavored soup. Especially Jamaican COCK flavor....mmmmmm

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

...of outrageous fortune (telling)

Rick & Tim did a very good thing. Over break they introduced us to Slings & Arrows a Canadian soap opera that rips on Stratford. IMDB sums it up thusly, "In the fictional town of New Burbage, legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure, to assume the artistic directorship after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver Welles. When Geoffrey arrives he finds that Oliver is still there, in spirit anyway, and with his guidance (and often in spite of it) Geoffrey attempts to reconcile with his past while wrestling the festival back from the marketing department." Said Marketing Dept is headed up by a mature Mark McKinney--remember him? from "Kids in the Hall" (god I loved that show).

S&A is so well written, and sexxy and funny and clever and full of witty (if Shakespeare oriented) puns--we watched the first season and the second season and tonight we start the third season. We have to drag it out till LOST starts. We are looking in to the future, waiting for our entertainment to begin,There is a new Jim Butcher novel coming up, and actually he is also 'sposed to be publishing a graphic novel from a monster's POV. But right now we wait...and dream..perchance to veg.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

MSU Equestrian Team

Saturday we ventured to Lansing to support Matt's upstairs neighbors. Isabel is on the verge of her "horse craze" and I of course never really outgrew mine; so we dragged the whole fam (and Roxy!) to a ginormous alfalfa smelling barn to watch NeighborJess get third place in one class of Hunt Seat. I personally think she should have placed first.

IMG_0464It's all about the boots baby.

I had a good time but even Isabel was getting bored so we didn't stay as long as I would have liked. After a couple hours of watching college girls "canter" "walk" and "reverse" I got outvoted (despite my best efforts to delineate the difference between geldings, stallions, mares or the coat colors of "bay" and "chestnut" ~sigh~ even the hot blonde with the riding crop in her jeans pocket did not entertain this restless bunch--thus we toddled off to El Azteco the most delicioso Mexican resturaunt in the state--okay that place in Beantown was okay but El Az has better Margaritas! We stuffed ourselves silly and got to hug Noah for surprise!! Seems how Roxanna, Izzy and I all share a fetish for ice cream we went to Melting Moments and got ice cream on top of the enchilada feast we had just devoured. OI! we could barely waddle ( I got raspberry oreo if ya are wondering). As we aimed back to the car Matt dragged us into a Verizon store to oogle the phone he wants to get next payperiod. Lo and behold Tim the amazing salesman sucked $63 outta Pete and two momentous things happened. 1. I HAVE A PHONE THAT RINGS!!! (same bat number FYI) and 2.) Zoli got the comes w/Mom's new plan free phone. He is ecstatic as it hasn't quite dawned on him that it is an electronic tether... and he hasn't even gone on a date yet!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I am so glad I am not alone. I'm not the only one. Anybody who uses the term "hyperfoodie" and also describes her basement as the "Blair Witch Project" is a kindred spirit. (She also has that girl on girl thing working) I like Julie Powell. She wrote a book and it got published. (bitch) Her book started out as a blog (there maybe hope yet). She cooks. Her friends are odd. She had a line where she points out that it is good to have friends crazier than oneself--simply so one can convince oneself that sanity is relative.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

more interesting than me...

on the subject of Making of Medieval books. If you wish to see my SCA friend's page it is at:
Randy is so freaking talented

still harping on Eastern

Today I parked at 8:38 am. Toted two book bags from Sill Parking Lot (about two blocks) and got up to my office in Pray-Harrold an hour before I needed to be there. hmmm, nice day, free hour--time for an explore.

I Decided to go check out the "new" student center. I use the term "new" loosely as the building wasn't there when I split three years ago. I walked around the man made lake and it's accompanying landscaping and through the little patch of trees where I used to a.) practice my flute, b.) ingest interesting cigarettes and c.) debate the meaning of the universe. It was very unkempt back then. Woodland floor kinda stuff, not the manicured park & bench effect we have working today. Hell-- now there is a sidewalk & stairs where, as a pregnant freshman, I used to have to hike up the frozen snow melt hill for an 8 am psych class. Gack-- that was a happy moment.

I popped into the Rec Center to see how expensive and/or cute the "personal trainers" were--Matt thinks I should start a weight training regime. Bleh. Lots of very young very fit people there and again, like the parking...something I feel the employer should provide as a bennie or a perk is easily my entire paycheck. I wish they had a Yoga class scheduled. I wonder if I could teach Yoga? Prly have to get certified eh? I left the Rec/IM building a little disheartened, but the sun was shining and my coat was unbuttoned--how cranky could I be? I was still walking at the right time; just without my fuzzy little partners. I missed them. When we lived in the 'hood we would do part of this route occasionally. On I toddled sans puppies.
Upon entering said Student Center I immediately flashed on Water Street Pavillion. A similar food court kinda thing that U of M-F conjured in downtown Flint. I had a definite sense of foreboding. As it turned out the tiny Starbucks was playing jazz and the staff in the EAGLE CARD OFFICE were pleasant and cheerful and I got the ID card I was supposed to get last term (but NEVER needed). I spose if I am ever craving bad Chinese food or need to buy a T-shirt I'll know where to go.

Day 2 of HP as Children's Lit went very well. Lectured on genre & mythology and demonstrated how "oral myths" can become distorted or change during re-telling by playing the old whisper in your neighbor's ear "telephone game". I whispered "Parking on this campus is lame." to a student at the front of the room and the last student repeated what she thought she had heard..."Pirate ears are getting licked."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ya say ya want a resolution?

My apologies to my beetle boys. (and to Sierra Club who made the joke first) There are so many things I would like to discuss if only we were in the same room with a lovely cuppa whatever yer poison is. (fondly remembering the 9 year old bourbon and coffee chasers at GWL)
1. The Wings won against the Avs last night. & McCarty is gonna be skating with the Flint Generals. (gotta respect the passion there eh?), don't wanna talk sports? 'k.
2. I made this really yummy squash green bean coconut milk dish from Yoga Journal of all places, you don't cook?? oh--
3. The story on "Dead Zones" WEMU played this morning? I was aware of the oceans, but the GREAT LAKES?? Fuck. I am kinda scared. As much as I look forward my own grandbaby...where will said child live? and speaking of water...
4. I learned about magnesium rods in hot water heaters--don't need it. Nope--gotta take it out today.
5. Finally the resolution thing--
there is the annual I'm gonna lose 40 lbs but I think that futile endeavor should finally be retired. I am of course going to continue to get as much local organic food as I can into the pantry. (without having a nervous breakdown doing so)--so that doesn't really count as a resolution. Perhaps I should resolve to do something grand and fabulous? or maybe I should just paint the bathroom ceiling??

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Oh dear ones!!

I had so much fun!! My new winter term started today and the Harry Potty class was a rousing success!! I don't know if Annette reads this blog but I owe her a huge THANK YOU!! I haven't had so much fun in a long time. These kids are just as excited as I am. There are only about five guys and the other 35 are all girls. Not surprised really and neither was Andre (who has NEVER read the books! but then after school was teasing me about HP being "girlie". Humph.

It was so sweet when one girl came up after class and started to thank me profusely. She was saying stuff like "This is so important." She had tears in her eyes. She was effusing and grateful. I started to understand the priest thing. Today I was just happy when my power point finally worked! We got thru the syllabus and basic housekeeping. Then as I took "attendance" I asked them a question like "Which is your fave book/movie/character?" or "Which pet would you bring with you?" They all seemed to have a sense of humor and nobody suggested a book burning at that moment. I still have about half of the in class writings to read thru but so far so good.

I think I have found my niche.

Monday, January 7, 2008


In 1984 I applied to about ten colleges. I was accepted at roughly six of them (I really didn't think Vassar would take me based soley on my address-- but hey it was worth a shot*.) The one I chose, was EMU. Primarily because they offered me a big fat creative writing scholarship. So off I went. I LOVED IT! I felt right at home. The campus seemed so perfect for me. Small campus with turn of the century buildings that seemed both grandiose and familiar. Lovely green park like grounds. With statues and massive trees. The architecture was familiar because the business district of my home town was constructed at roughly the same time. Lots of Victorian brick and marble columns. Charming and quaint--Just like every other town born during Michigan's lumber boom. Ypsilanti had this great little antique shop strip with a couple of kick ass pubs and the downtown was a little creepy but hey a bus ride to Paris (oops I meant Ann Arbor) was only .25 away.

My new found punk friends and I hung out at Dom's bakery all night and I waded into the Liberal Arts most cheerfully. One beatific term. Then...UofM-Flint. Gotta do what the grown ups say...marry the baby daddy. I left Eastern. I missed it. Flint was big and dirty and violent. I was determined to finish my degree but just as fiercely determined to stay independent of my folks. So we lived in some pretty "low income" places. Years go by--yadda yadda--time for me to get my Master's. When U of Chicago slipped out of my grasp I decided to finish what I had started and applied to EMU. Full circle and all that. It was gonna be good. Some of the scales of naiveté fell from my eyes. After thoroughly enjoying my Masters work I stayed in Ypsi and taught at EMU. I learned a lot about politics and economies and things I never would have been interested in--I grew up.

I watched my pretty little four year that had a nice rep for its English Dept, Ed Dept and nursing (ooh and a kick ass Men's Diving Team--and the radio station played (s) jazz!) morph into a giant parking lot that practically advertised corruption and deception.

Today in my email from work I got a fund raising request for the university. I am supposed to buy a license plate with a big "E" on it. I can hardly bring myself to consider buying a T-shirt! and I , dear reader, am one who often wears my heart on my sleeve. Case in point--I sit here typing in a fund raising T-shirt from the WEMU radio station (a VERY $eparate entity from the university) where I also volunteer during their fund drive. And yet-- I won't ...I WILL NOT give the university my money. They haven't earned it.

For you see I am quite angry with the suits who have ruined my alma mater. Example?--Despite the fact that in the last 13 years "they" have destroyed acres of green space to create parking lots for illiterate commuters-- I still have to park at 8:30 am (or earlier to be closer) to walk two blocks in order to teach at 12:30. I considered paying $480 for a parking spot quite close to my building but honestly how sick is that?
A. ) It would be the equivalent of a paycheck and a half. B.) Shouldn't one's employer provide parking? YES!! in "their" defense I have been issued a hunting permit to wrestle with the other starving vultures for a precious spot anywhere near my building. But am I gonna buy a vanity license plate for my little VW that proclaims my pride in EMU?? Hell no. How can I be proud of a place that has to send out weekly emails warning us that the co-eds are being stalked raped and killed on campus?
Seriously, immediately after the fundraising request there was another email from the campus police giving me a "timely warning" that another girl was attacked in the dorms--she curled screaming into the fetal position after getting groped and mugged. The creep ran off.

I am sad.

My French teacher at old VHS used to tell her colleagues at conventions that she "taught French at Vassar." She just didn't specify Vassar, MICHIGAN...nobody did. God what an empty relic.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

fish biscuits

I am so happy to have my LOST back that I am planning another party. The "Opening Day" Festivities on the 2 hr season premiere will include FISH BISCUITS!! Yes I have finally found the fish shaped cookie cutter necessary to duplicate Sawyer's Season three reward in the polar bear cage. I shall make then from a pink colored shortbread. mmmmmmm fish biscuits.

Friday, January 4, 2008

cross the line

Normally I would never dream of crossing a picket line. Never. I am a "rabble rouser". I was instrumental in getting the full time lecturers to get their shit together at EMU. I believe in unions. The Flint UAW thing is legend to me. But dudes--well we may have a problem. This afternoon on NPR I heard that both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report will be returning on Monday Jan 7. WITHOUT THE WRITERS. So not only will it be a test to see if Stewart & Colbert still have their comedy chops-- but I can certainly get my antidote to Bush and his administration, even if it is ad libbed.


However dear reader--if you looked at my "myspace" page lately you will have noticed that I am starting to rev up for LOST season 4. Whilst I was wasting another hour of my life (hey layoff-- it's tea time--who the hell am I gonna make cucumber sandwiches for?? the dogs?) I saw this bit on

The WGA contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) expired on October 31, 2007. With a 90.3% mandate, WGA members voted for a strike authorization, and on Monday, November 5, the union began striking, despite a last minute attempt to avoid a strike with federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez. Some of the primary issues are residuals for new media distributions, including DVD sales and online downloads and streaming. The last WGA strike was in 1988.
Industry observers had noted that the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Directors Guild of America (DGA) had major contracts that would expire soon in Spring 2008. Therefore, they thought that WGA might have decided to wait until June 2008, when all three unions could strike simultaneously for increased leverage. The WGA decided otherwise.

Rumor has it that there are only eight epis in the can. ARRRRRGH!! Come on WGA!!! Wrap it UP!!! hustle hustle!! I got tv to watch! In 2006 the writer's of LOST won the WGA Award for "Writing in a Dramatic Series", they totally deserve it. I want them to get a cut of the buck$ I drop on the DVD sets, and the action figures. But I want them to get this settled ASAP. pleeeeeeease

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

catch up

What did the daddy tomato say to the baby tomato? Come'on slow poke---KETCHUP!

Lemme think here, even if I just discussed the food highlights we would be here forever. I do have to touch on the food porn highlights. Gluttony Day was fantabulous. Rollo made ho made caramels and marshmallows and they were delightful, perfect in appearance and tasted like necter. It was a happy caramel weekend as the caramel bourbon sauce that Faillen put on the chocolate cherry bread pudding was orgasmic. I am most proud of the ribs we did for Gluttony Day, but the Xmas Eve prime rib roast was pretty awesome and the lamb for GWL was acceptable. Mina's curry mix is a thing, I hope it isn't secret. I still have about a half cup. There are new foodie pics at the .mac album (see button in upper left corner). The Horvath's won the Hungarian Throwdown, Dave's cabbage soup was delish. Next year we do French!!

I was concerned that my greedy American kids would notice that we do in fact have two mortgages. They seem pretty happy, quite oblivious to thinly stretched checkbooks! In fact when we got home from GWL we woke up to a beautiful snowbomb. Zoli said and I quote, "This is the best winter vacation I have ever had. The Wii, Gregor, GWL and now MY OWN SNOW HILL!" He was referring to the mountain the snowplow created. This shot is Isabel out there as soon as she swallowed her cereal.

So we are home now--the '07 holidays are complete and most happily-- Ray got to take Margie home; her doctor finally gave her the thumbs up for the trip home and our house seems to be our own. Just us. Kinda weird to think that since we bought the house in August, we have only had about three nights when we didn't have "guests".

So here is to a new president, a new year and new garden.