Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Idiots! Gosh!

For some reason, it's not often that I experience anger or frustration over a person's ignorance. It may be because for the last 10 years I have worked with people who are oppressed and frequently have their human rights violated by ignorant people in their lives and communities. I think the main reason is because most of the time I just don't give a shit, and because I don't give a shit, a lot of the time I don't pay close attention to what many people are saying.

Well, last night I had no choice. As most of you know, I am in the midst of my doctoral coursework. I talk about it frequently because I am boring and can't talk about work. I only have so much material people! Last night, I was sitting in The Most Boring Class Ever watching Tracy (from my Doc Posse) file her fingernails, and listening to this chafe, J, prattle. She's one of those. You know, those who love to hear themselves talk? This is the second class I have had with this woman and I can't express how grateful I am that I only have one more year to endure her annoying ass. Between J and this other guy who is a former Merchant Marine, no one else can get a word in. It's actually kind of nice on those nights when you just don't feel like being there and contributing.

The topic of last night's J and Merchant Marine dude's discussion was about Goals 2000. Goals 2000 is a lame document put forth in the 1990s that outlines the federal dept of education's goals for the year 2000. One of these goals is about advancement in Math and Science, and touts that the US will be a world leader in M & S education. We haven't met any of the measurable objectives stated in Goals 2000, and we are definitely not the world leaders in M & S education; thus triggering the following, albeit brief, discussion:

Someone, maybe Tracy, asked "Why aren't we? When do you think that will happen?"

J snarkily replied, "When there's no more Asias!" Um, I thought there was only one Asia?

L, another student says, "China only educates the top 1/4th of their population, which is still more than all of the US. The US tries to educate everyone, and is persecuted because achievement scores aren't internationally competitive/high enough." Okay, I am listening, but not offended because I agree with some of what she's saying. NCLB has forced teachers to teach to the test and stifles creativity and critical thinking. Furthermore, only 1% of the special education population is exempt from achievement testing, which skews achievement test results. I understand where she's coming from.

J then says, "We're not comparing apples and apples here! China's standardized tests are so hard, and when they [students] fail, they [Chinese govt] kick them out! They just send them back to the rice paddy or something!"

Yeah, she really did.

After that statement, and the ensuing stunned silence, the instructor quickly moved on to another topic. I just sat there, aghast that someone with her level of education - she's a freaking microbiologist/geneticist could be that stupid. I couldn't say anything because I am too close to finishing to jeopardize my standing and we don't have bail money - we're saving for an adoption. ARGH!

Later, she started talking about her friend's children who attend a local Chinese school saying, "They speak Chinese and everything. They are entrenched in the Chinese culture!" All I could think was, " I wonder, if the student's fail will the administrators make them work a rice paddy in the playground out back? You stupid bitch."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Song Memories

The other day I was having lunch with 2 colleagues, and we started discussing music. The older colleague said, "I really can't stand rap." In response, the younger colleague said, "Oh, I love rap, but I hate country." Then I said, "Well, I hate 90s music." It was as if the needle scratched across the record and all sound stopped. My younger colleague asked, "What? All 90s music?"

No, not all 90s music, just most because I had some rough times in the 90s. I was telling B about the conversation later at supper, and we started talking about song memories. Like scent memories, I hear a song and it immediately takes me back to that event, place, and/or time.

Highlights from my musical timeline:

Tie a Yellow Ribbon - Tony Orlando & Dawn: One of my earliest memories is pretending to be Tony Orlando. Even though he was a guy, I wanted to be in the spotlight. I loved TO&D and would regularly force my parents to endure my "shows." If I could harangue my brother into the "show," he would be my back-up. I would also include Donna Fargo's Happiest Girl in the Whole USA in the mix.

Dance to the Music - Sly and the Family Stone: Otherwise known as "The Sloppy Song." When I hear this song, I am 5 years old again. We lived in a little house in rural WV and my dad worked a lot. My younger brother would have to hear this song every day before he would take a nap. He called it "The Sloppy Song," which stuck and we all call it "The Sloppy Song" still.

Come Sail Away/The Grand Illusion - Styx: My mom played this album every single day for years, and we continue to listen to it whenever she and I take road trips together. I can remember the stereo/record player was so big, it took up almost an entire wall. I have a very young mother, so in the seventies she was in her twenties. I can't imagine being 26 and having a 7 and 5 year old. At the time I didn't pay attention, but in memories, she was so cool, young, and beautiful.

Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' - Journey: This song reminds me of being at the local Roll Arena. Usually played for the final Couples Skate, the lights would dim to swirly red, blue and green and the boys and girls would take the rink. I was really young, so most of the time I was in the far corner changing from skates to shoes. I still remember the smell of leather, feet, and popcorn, and how weird it would feel to not have those heavy skates attached to my feet when I stood up and started walking to the return skates booth.

Straight From the Heart - Bryan Adams: One of the first 45s I owned, this was also my first slow dance with an older boy. In seventh grade my love for David B., a ninth grader, was strong, true, and totally unrequited. Every month, our junior high would have dances in the cafeteria/commons. After several months of pining on the sidelines, I worked up my courage and asked David to dance to this song. We put our arms around each other and swayed in a circle. I looked off to the left, he looked off to the right, and when the song ended he said, "Thanks," and walked off to his friends goofing in the corner. I played that 45 over and over, reliving every moment.

Little Red Corvette/1999 - Prince: This song reminds me of my Junior High Posse, Kathy, Pam, and Jodi. We were so tight in 8th and 9th grade. Kathy and Pam both had a thing for Prince, I was loyal to John Taylor of Duran Duran, and Jodi loved the Kajagoogoo guy. In retrospect, I think Kathy's love of Prince was typical junior high crush stuff, but Pam's love came with a worldly, sexual knowledge that was foreign to the rest of us. Pam was wild and introduced me to things my mama and daddy didn't feel like a 12 year old in the early 80s should know. She enlightened about the sexual innuendo and drive of Prince's music, and I've been a fan ever since.

Need You Tonight/Kick - INXS: Kathy and I would cruise in her mom's white Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. We would open the sun roof and blast this cassette while driving past boy's houses, gossiping about everybody, and enjoying the little bit of freedom that comes with being 16. A time when the only worries we had were grades, boys, zits, and whether our nemesis Shari S. was going to steal our boyfriends (she did).

College and My 20s:
Back to Life - Soul II Soul: I attended a historically black college in the late 80s & early 90s. There was so much happening with hip hop and rap at that time. I remember dancing in the student union with my college boyfriend Danny. He loved the direction music was taking, and was really into this band, 2 Live Crew, Ice-T, Kid N' Play, Arrested Development, etc... He made me go see New Jack City, and that was the first time this WV girl had ever seen anything like the lifestyles portrayed in the movie. I remember leaving the theater feeling sick to my stomach and ashamed; I felt so uninformed about the world around me.

Mysterious Ways - U2: One of my least favorite U2 songs. Working as a bank teller and taking classes in my 4th year of college, I was so ready shed the mantle of college and move on. Even though I had great friends and a well-paying job, I remember feeling lonely and stagnant. This song was playing constantly; it was huge.

Twisted - Keith Sweat: I was dating a younger man and was contemplating a deeper relationship with a friend who was also committed. I distinctly remember this video playing while I sat next to the friend, sipping Foster's wondering what the hell I was doing. I made the wrong decision.

Crush/Before These Crowded Streets - Dave Matthews Band: This CD had been out for a while, but B loved it (still does). I had gone to a friend's wedding in the same town where B lived. We had only been dating a few weeks, and had made plans for me to meet him at his apartment after the reception. I was having my period, and by the time I made it to B's apartment, I was sick from it. I asked to take a raincheck for our date, and he told me he didn't care if we ever left that apartment, as long as we could spend time together. I stayed, and I laid down on the on the couch with my head in his lap. We were listening to this CD, and I remember thinking about how being with him was like coming home.

I am still building my song memories for my thirties. Some that come to mind are ones that remind me of C when she was small, and where I am in my life right now. A few:
Dream a Little Dream - Diana Krall
I Can See Clearly Now - Jimmy Cliff
Wide Open Spaces - Dixie Chicks
Sweet Surrender - Sarah McLachlin

What songs trigger memories for you?

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Posses

After watching Grey's Anatomy the other night and then watching the TVWOP forum implode over the mass Izzy hate train and the whole Cristina/Burke "she's (Meredeth) my person" argument, I started thinking about my girlfriends and what role they play in my life. I have lots of girlfriends who fit into nice categories. My posses:

My Doc Posse: This posse consists of three women, Tracy, Lisa, and Kristi. These three are the ones with whom I attend almost every class, participate in every group presentation, and who have kept me gong with this school gig over the last 2 years. We meet for dinner several times a semester, and they are usually 3+ hour affairs. After B and my family, they will receive serious props when I draft my dissertation acknowledgments. They are the driving forces behind my completion of this program. In any other situation I don't know if we would be friends, but just like people who bond during a tragic event like a hijacking or being trapped in an elevator for several days, we will be there for life.

My Work Posse: These are my work g-friends, Lori, Tami, and Jen. The ones I trust to make the days better, and who let me vent about my job. They are in the same boat as me, so usually someone is available to lend a comforting shoulder, juicy gossip, a snarky remark, or a big piece of cake when the stress hits. You wouldn't think that what I do is stressful. I mean, it's not like I'm rescuing children and puppies from burning buildings or trying to find a cure for cancer; nothing so heroic. What's stressful is that I (well we) are dealing with people's money. I can't think of anything more stressful than that. We know personal things about each other, but I don't know if we would have ever met had it not been for work. So I guess that's a good thing about having my job.

My Bloggy Posse: These women, Shannon 1, Shannon 2, and Susan aka The Tiara Girls, are my g-friends I met through blogging about China adoption. But that was the starting point. Susan and I visited the King last June, and hit it off like long lost soul sisters. Soon after that trip I began emailing my virtual twin, Shannon. Again, another soul sister! Later, I met the Shannons and Susan in Sept for a weekend of unspeakable fun. China adoption and blogging may be what brought us together, but we have so much more in common. Matter of fact, our weekend together consisted of no real discussion about adoption, we were too busy talking, laughing, gossiping, bonding, and just having fun it never really came up. We've kept in touch via the World Wide Web since then, and oh, to read some of the emails! If you are naive enough to thing that bloggers don't gossip about each other, you are in for a rude awakening.

My Persons Posse: Like Cristina, these are the women who would help me remove the corpse. They are the friends that have been there through thick and thin. They've seen me at the best times of my life, and have endured my darkest days. Rachael has been in my life the longest, almost 20 years. Caroline came in about 10 years ago, with Alicia rounding it out at 6 years. Out of the three, I see Caroline the most frequently because she and I work together. Rachael and Alicia are busy taking care of their families and working full-time, so seeing them, talking on the phone, and spending time with them doesn't happen as often as we would all like. Nevertheless, these woman are the sisters of my heart, and my life is better with them in it. No matter how often or little I see them.

So those are my posses. Four posses with three women in each. All are vitally important to my sanity. I love my girlfriends.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Brought to You by the Letter "P"

For my pleasure, I am completing the single letter MeMe that has been floating around. Being a MeMe 'ho, I jumped on that crackpipe. Thanks to a&mg over at The Jade Road for the letter "P"

1. Pickles - Clausen's please. I love a big stinky dill pickle. My favorite are the Clausen's hamburger slices. They are especially yumm-o with grilled cheese.

2. Posses - I have several girlfriend posses. I actually have part of a post drafted about my posses coming soon. Not pussies - don't be gross.

3. Phillip Seymour Hoffman - He's a phenomenal actor. Also, my husband could be his separated-at-birth twin, or at least his brother-of-another-mother.

4. Project Runway - My heart belongs to Heidi Klum.

5. Please, Please Tell Me Now (is there something I should know?) - I wasn't lying when I said I was a Duranie. I love this video and song. John Taylor looks fine in that blue button across the shoulder shirt and white oxfords. ROWR!

6. Panties - Can't live without them. I never go commando, and I only wear Hipsters - no briefs, no thigh-highs, no bikinis and definitely no thongs. I probably own over 50 pairs of panties. This is a trait I get from my mother, who probably owns over 100 pairs of panties. We will never be without clean ones.

7. Pizza - I love pizza, but not from just any old pizza joint, and definitely not frozen. I love pizza from a local pizza place, Graziano's. I will also eat Papas and Bellicino's. I like plain cheese, pepperoni and mushroom, ham and pineapple, or vegetarian minus green pepper/add banana peppers. I can also make a mean Chef Boy-r-dee mix. Oh yeah.

8. Pointy-toe Shoes - Besides being a MeMe 'ho, I am also a shoe 'ho. I love me some pointy-toe stilettos. Big girls rock in sexy shoes because they make our curvy booties look awesome.

9. Pearls - I love, love, love pearls. Maybe better than diamonds. Getting Ruby is #1, on the list of the great things about this eventual trip to China. Going to the Pearl Market might very well be number 2 or 3. Yeah, yeah, I can't wait to see the people, architecture, and the Great Wall. But I also can't wait to purchase Ruby and C's wedding strands as well as several pieces for myself. I am already saving.

10. Prince - Nobody does it like the Purple. I swear 1999 and Purple Rain are two of the best albums (yes, I am that old) ever. That little man could sell sex to my grandmother. He is the funkiest of the funky.

**I am making plans for the template change. It's looking like I'm going to keep the the picture if I can. Now, to jazz up the background a little. Too much green is not a good thing, and I would like more room for words so my posts don't look like they are long and skinny. Give me time, peeps I've had a lot of homework to do and grade this past weekend.

P.S. B's all het up because I didn't include poop and penis. Whatever.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I love bread. Warm, crusty, chewy bread. This is an addiction for me. I am not ashamed of my love for a crispy oven-toasted, buttered-to-the-rim piece of bakery bread. Out of our local bakeries, only one is known for it's bread. Duchess Bakery makes a white butter-pan bread that is perfect for toasting or grilled cheese. It's to die for.

Today we were closer to Pan*ra than we were to Duchess. Because it's snowy and cold outside, I had decided that today's a perfect soup day. Tomato soup day. With that in mind, I told Mom I wanted to run into Pan*ra to get some country bread to make nice, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches to dunk into our soup. She was reluctant because our Pan*ra is not the greatest. The selection of breads and pastries are usually slim pickings, and the customer services is disappointing to say the least. Regardless, I made a beeline for the bakery. I won't bore you with the details that confirm that our Pan*ra sucks, but I will tell you all about the one good thing that they are selling:

Peanut butter and banana crunch bagels.

OH MY GOD. Chewy sweet bagel with peanut butter, bananas, and nuts baked in all topped off with little crunchy banana crumbs.

I can't get it in my mouth fast enough.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Request and a Question

If you look past my archives you will see a little blue square that tells readers that says, "Tracked for free by Statcounter.com." Every so often I will roll over there to see how many hits the old blog is taking and to see who's looking at me. Especially because I might be looking at them.

I don't have a lot of readers, but since I became an ALT, my readership (is that even a word?) has gone up. I am getting hits from folks from all kinds of places. Places where people are covered in snow, basking in the sun, eating sushi, building space stations, or watching fireworks over the Pearl River in China. Places I want to know about. Places I would like to see.

So my request is this - Identify yourself, please. Put a little shout out in the comments to say, "Hey!" or to tell me some weirdo factoid about yourself. Here, I'll share a weirdo factoid about me: I smell my food. Oh yeah, like a dog. I know, it's weird. If you don't have any weirdo factoids about yourself (you know you do), you can just show me some love. Well, you don't have to show the love, but I won't complain if you do.

My question is this:
I need to update my blogroll to include my ALT Posse. When I do this sometime in the next week or so, should I update the look of the blog? I love the picture, but the green is really getting to me. Right now I am 90% sure I am going to ditch the picture and opt for a new layout. You have to read it, so tell me what you think. What's appealing to you, dear reader?

Actually, that was 2 questions.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's All About the Love**updated

Happy Valentines Day!

**It really is all about the love. This morning when I was lounging in my recliner reading blogs looking really lovely with my raw nose, greasy bed-head, Biaxin breath, and explosive diarrhea from said Biaxin, B came up to me before leaving for work and handed me a little red bag. Inside was a copy of Justin Timberlake's Future Sex/Love Sounds and some candy. He then kissed my cheek and said, "Because you bring sexy back." He laughed his ass off all the way out the door. That's some love.
***Yes, C1 is a Mary Englebreit print. I heart ME

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Random Ramble**updated

I am sick. Again. I really don't want to be one of those bloggers who bitches about how crappy they feel and how sick they are all the time, but I really am sick. Again. I didn't think the human head had the capacity to hold gallons of snot. Gallons. Well, I was wrong. My nose is completely raw and cracked and bleeding. Yes, I am lovely. One good thing about it is that the appetite is gone. Never thought I would say that. I really believe it is viral, so it just has to run it's course. And run. And run. And run. You get the point.

As you can see from my previous post, I am crushing pretty hard on John Mayer right now. I loved his Ryan Seacrest slam on the pre-Grammys show when RS quizzed him about Jessica Simpson. Those lips, that voice, those lips, the sense of humor, the tattoo, those lips... Oh yeah, I also love his music. It's not just a physical love. My friend Thea and I saw him with Maroon 5 a few years ago. He is awesome live. Better actually.

I am currently waiting on the cable guy. Our cable company can't make set appointments, so it's an all day appointment or nothing. Basically I have to hang out all day and wait for this guy (or girl) to show up. Not that I mind, I am feeling rotten. I just hope he isn't repulsed by the state of my nose or the ten thousand used tissues that have multiplied faster than Gremlins and have exploded around the house. The VS channel (some sports thing) is bleeding through on Food Network. That's bad. I only watch daytime TV when I am sick, and I only watch the Food Network. I hate all of those crappy daytime talk shows and soap operas, so having some dudes playing tennis superimposed over Giada is not a good thing. **Two dudes arrived and over the course of an hour and a half they replaced all of our cable lines and our modem. They said our cable lines were incredibly old and starting to fray. Also, because it was them and not us - the call was free. Cool. Ina's kitchen is so bright and shiny, I might have to wear shades!

My new dryer was delivered Friday. The washing machine was damaged, so it had to be returned. It will be delivered in the next week or so along with the pedestals that elevate the machines and have storage space. So for now I am using my ghetto washer and fabulous dryer. The difference - one super load in the wash is a medium load in the dryer, and what used to take 2 hours to dry now takes 34 minutes. 34 minutes. I am in love.

So, The Police are touring again. I have seen Sting, but never The Police. They actually came to our little state back in 1983. The Synchronicity tour. I had a choice to see them or Duran Duran. I was 12, so take a wild guess at which concert I chose. Regrets? No. I was a Duranie and will always be a Duranie. Back off. B went to both concerts because he was spoiled. He refuses to tell anyone besides me that he went to Duran Duran. Ha! His secret is out! The Police is B's favorite band ever, so if I can get tickets, perhaps we will see you at the Philadelphia show. **Doubtful - as wzirl says, the tix are thousands of doll-hairs. Umm, we have a big old trip to China to pay for, so see you on the flip side Sting.

Finally, today is Krista's birthday. Go over and wish her well. She's snowed in, so I am sure she'll be perusing blogs and email all day in between naps. Krista is a great broad, and I mean that in the kindest, elevated to status of we-could-be-great-friends way. She's crafty, smart, supportive and kind. She's a crack shot, super investigator, penguin fanatic and has much, much love for her friends and family. Go on! Get over there and wish her a good one!

Monday, February 12, 2007


I just want to bite them. Hard.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I am Blaming it on the Chinese

Working from home definitely has it's benefits. I get to do conference calls while wearing my comfy flannel PJs, which is pretty awesome. I also have less distraction, which helps me get things done at my own speed and take lots of breaks to do things like cook and laundry. Well, today was an exception. Our dryer died.

I had a bad feeling this was going to happen soon, because on Sunday it took 2 1/2 hours to dry two king size sheet sets and around 20 pillowcases. Yes, we use that many pillows - not the point here...

When we bought our home, we paid the former owners $300.00 cash to leave all of the appliances. Call us Suckahs!, because the assholes had planned to leave the appliances with the house and basically took our money. We were first-time home buyers, give us a break! The washing machine died during the first year. We were totally broke (thanks to infertility treatment costs), and I bought a cheapo washing machine that has 3 cycles and only rinses on the cold cycle. No bells or whistles, no delicate cycle, no sanitation. Just cold/cold, warm (cold)/cold and hot/cold. At first, the only plus was that it had a liquid fabric softener dispenser. Now, that either completely gums up after about 3 cycles and/or gradually leaks out during the washing, not rinsing phase. ARGH.

So, instead of spending the day in my warm house in my warm flannel PJs, I trudged out to buy a dryer. Only a dryer.

As you can see, I came home with these:

My excuse was: "B, we'll be having a baby soon! We need the sanitizing cycle! We need the 22 towel capacity! We need this for bibs, food stains, shit issues, and general clean baby karma!"
We are now $2500.00 lighter, and have a used washing machine for sale.