Friday, September 28, 2007

Next Saturday is the beginning.

One week 'til Falcon Face-Off action. Are you ready for hockey season? ARE YOU?
Did I mention I highlighted all the game days on my due date master list?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Minutes, Wednesday edition

Minutes spent trying to find old fantasy sports names: 5
Minutes spent remembering that I threw away old fantasy sports team names and ideas when I thought I would not play fantasy sports again: 1
Minutes spent searching through recycling for fantasy sports team names information before realizing that's just silly and it isn't in there anyway, not after all this time: 2
Minutes spent trying to pick a new and humorous weather + sexiness + sporty related fantasy sports team name: 6
Minutes spent finally deciding that there are few fantasy sports team names that combine those features better than one used in a previous league: 1
The Texas Hookers it is, then. Hockey, bring it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little humility for Tuesday

3 Things I'm Not Good At

Dribbling a basketball
Whipping cream
Sticking to a grocery list

Monday, September 24, 2007

Food Talk

Well, last entry was fashion, so I guess we'll move on to food.

Foods I have recently tried and immediately gotten attached to:
Custard Jello pudding mix.
(I know...I could just make some custard. But for some reason this sounded good recently, and it really did hit the spot. I need to get several more boxes now that I know it's a hit. Also, I have no idea why I'm craving pudding. I find the feeling novel.)
Thai Kitchen peanut noodle lunch thingy
(It comes in a little tray with a draining lid, and can be done via microwave or boiling water. It even comes with a fork. I have a Simply Asian pad thai thing to try at the office, too. We'll see how they compare.)
My mother's pork cutlet recipe, made with chicken breasts
(For the uninitiated, this is usually delicious pork cutlets topped with a little sauce from the Kraft Spaghetti box dinner and some mozzarella, and baked. I did it in a skillet with some chicken herbed with flour, pepper, basil, parsley, and oregano, fried in olive oil, then simmered in some white wine with a bit more seasoning. Then the sauce and mozzarella. It blew my mind. I love it with pork, but I don't always have cutlets on hand, and this was a super alternative.)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why I will no longer be watching Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

You all know me. You know my affection for Tim Gunn and his advice-giving on Project Runway. And once PR starts back up, I'm all over it.
But after watching one TGGtS episode all the way through, then two more in snippets, I will state flatly that it's over.
Here's why...
...not because on the first episode, as soon as she was all made up, the woman was tossing her hair in that broken-neck, stiff-shoulder, aren't-I-the-best-thing-ever way (a really sweet woman, who looked in her body language all of a sudden like no one should dare touch her, and a real snot, despite her smile)
...not because all of the women can't seem to get over someone looking in their underwear drawers (grow up, geez! It's underwear. Not a breast exam)
...not because the women are suddenly completely devoid of clothes, have a few new ensembles, and then we never find out if they get to actually have more than those few ensembles, particularly their casualwear (NOT "sportswear"), and therefore have to completely restock their closets out of their own pockets with their new "knowledge"
...not because no one seems to be allowed to wear a pair of cozy lounge pants in the sanctity of their homes
The moment of complete rejection came today, as a mother of 2 was being remodeled. She was given a shiny (and I mean shimmery, not simply lustrous) diaper bag/purse (I think it was shiny leather, actually). Personally, I found it odd and not very attractive, but that is a taste thing. But what Veronica said next was unforgivable:
Everything you buy needs to be this level of style, chicness, and quality.
My response to this: CLICK.
I was so disappointed! I mean, as a teacher I will be the first to acknowledge that people, particularly students, wear some pretty ridiculous things to class, and when flip-flops came back as "fashion," not as beachwear, I was mortified. But I categorically reject any notion that all clothing you buy has to be metaphorically or truly shiny, high-maintenance looking, and even expensive-looking. At "this level."
I reflect on a pair of pants I picked up at Victoria's Secret on clearance. They are lounge pants, light yellow with white and grey racing stripes, and even a little rhinestone decal. They were cheap, but decently made. I bought them because they were soft and the color was pretty, and new to me. Now, I think that in the right instances they look stylish and chic, and they're cute on me. They're perfect for running or walking, going to Meijer, or "walking the dog," as was the case in the first episode (the woman got a DRESS for that, which was stupid). But they certainly aren't part of a category that would include that pretentious bag, and the comment I rejected so strongly makes me wonder if Miss Priss would reject my pants. And I just can't be a part of a show that would.
I generally applaud a show that encourages women to think outside their fashion boxes, and get excited about new things that fit them well, and a new understanding of what shapes look nice on their bodies. But I question the practicality of the actual choices made, and also teaching women the one side without giving them the balance of the other side...those moments at home, or when you simply want to go take a walk by the pond, or when you're feeling sad and just want to curl up, these require a different side of fashion, and women need to believe that this is acceptable, too. Women don't need a "sweatsuit alternative." They need to wear things besides sweatsuits, certainly, but every fashion item has a time and a place. Having nice things is great, but a wardrobe devoid of true "puttering around" wear and casual comfort that makes you feel good is not a proper wardrobe at all. Slobification? Fine, but don't let the inverse be true--please don't snobify these women.

I will not start watching this show again unless I hear they miraculously buy a woman an inexpensive and everyday (stylish? fine. but not "this level") set of cozy clothes to go for a walk in. And Veronica buys some, too.
Tim Gunn, I'll see you on PR.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tueday Mash-Up

In celebration of being essay-free for the week, and of what seems like it will be a pretty and warm weekend, I believe I shall go to the zoo at some point Saturday or Sunday. What do you think of that? I haven't been to the Toledo Zoo in a while, and I think the time is right. It's expensive as all get out, but I want to see some wildcats.

Also, I need to do laundry. The underwear drawer is starting to look sad.

Also, I need to get groceries, and at some point cook something delicious.

I have noticed of late a problem with my usual make a casserole or large dish and eat it for several days routine...I've been getting tired of food faster. I cannot decide if this is a loss of willpower or if my body is trying to tell me something.

My LUSH supply is starting to run low, and now that it is bath season, this is a problem. Am currently unsure of what to do about this.

There are many craft and sewing projects I should do in my week off. I envision myself getting very little done.

Have I mentioned how cute my niece is?

Monday, September 17, 2007

In which I gush about how awesome my niece is

So this weekend I journeyed north to see my paternal side of the family in honor of Ruth, my four-month-old niece. I haven't seen much of this family in ages and hadn't seen Ruth since June, so it was certainly going to be a big event. I drove up to East Lansing and stopped to get my hair cut, then went up the rest of the way and arrived in the evening. It's beautiful up there, Crystal Valley, which is near Hart. It was getting cold, but the light was clear and melting in the trees. My dad and brother-in-law were out cutting brush, so I stopped for quick hugs and then went into the warmth of my granny's house. After hugs all around I sat down to enjoy a chat with the "womenfolk." I watched for the first time my mom be a grandma, and loved seeing the smiles erupting from Ruthie at Grandma's antics, such as "Shoe the Horse" and "So Big." There's no question; she loves her grandma. It was also adorable to watch her grinning through the window at her grandpa and dad when they came up to say hello, and to watch her with her new London-bought Rubber Duckie with the crown on its head when she had her bath.
Eventually, I decided that what I really wanted to do was get dirty and tired, so when my bro came in, exhausted, I went out to take his place. My dad and I set about hauling heavy walnut branches and dumping them in the field. Dad later complimented both my strength and my ability to use my body properly to haul brush up the steep hillside. I always joke about being the family boy, and being glad I now have a brother to help out, but the truth is, I do like getting out there and hanging with my Dad, and getting pure and honest work done. We came in at dark for dinner, which my mom had cooked in advance and brought up to keep my grandma from having to cook for a pile of people. So, after all that work, I got to have some French Beef Stew from my mom's own kitchen. Eventually, my parents left for their hotel while the "kids" were staying with our grandma. I got to have a late-night chat with my sister, something I miss when she's so far away.
The next day was Ruthie's party, and we all went to the Crystal Valley United Methodist Church. She was resplendent in a pink dress with a sheer white pinafore and a bonnet, and while she didn't particularly enjoy the crowd and the noise, she was very well behaved and sweet, and particularly enjoyed playing with her dress (she fluffs her skirts the same way any girl does...and then chews on them) and watching her mom open presents. The white handmade afghan was of special interest. For my part, I got to see tons of relatives and feel like part of the party, since I am The Aunt. I got to chat with lots of people and enjoy the spread put out, including the cake with little peapods iced on it, in honor of our Sweet Pea.
Saturday evening was pretty sleepy for all of us, made more so by our lasagna dinner. Even Ruthie, sitting on great-grandma's lap, was just sort of looking around and taking things in. Imagine my surprise when I heard we were not in fact going to church the next day. It was just as well, because we all were pretty exhausted. We all sort of straggled out of bed and ate breakfast on Sunday, then hung around until dinner and until I had to leave. Highlights included my mom's rhubarb pie, getting to sit and snuggle with my mom for a bit after lunch, and watching my dad put a very cross Ruthie to sleep by whistling through his teeth softly, I gather parts of operas. I also, of course, got to hold the baby for a while, since I was going to be the first to leave; my sister is really good about making sure everyone gets a chance with the baby. I was sad to leave, but had that smug feeling of satisfaction that I'd just had an awesome weekend.
Ruthie is a charming baby. She is pensive about things, studying objects and people; but then you interact with her and she just smiles and smiles. She likes chewing on her clothes and even when she's getting ready to cry for real, her little soprano wails are very ladylike. I'm pretty sure she's a genius.
I miss her already!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Yesterday was a day of sad remembrance. Today, I wanted to focus on something that made me feel warm inside, so I spent a few minutes learning about the progress of Spirit and Opportunity far away on the Red Planet. Bless their little hearts, they've been at it for 3 1/2 years. Opportunity is preparing to travel down a crater, and Spirit is doing its own work elsewhere.
Being the nerd that I am, it makes me feel happy that a project of human technical creation could work out so well and for so long, that its research could have far-reaching applications, and that we've gotten what I consider to be good value for the expense. And they're awfully cute.
I wish you luck, little rovers!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


In February of 2006, I wrote about my college dance mentor, Dr. Dixie Durr. Sadly, Dr. Durr passed away this past weekend. She was an amazing lady, and everything I learned from her is still a force in my life as a teacher, writer, and of course a dancer. I have a lot of fond memories of classes and rehearsals with her, places where I learned and hurt and smiled and found out a lot about my personal limits and how far I should push them. As she said, "Never apologize for being alive."

Monday, September 03, 2007

If by "Labor" you mean lounging around in jammies...

I've been lying low this weekend, making sure that my body is indeed back to normal. This has given me ample opportunity to make jewelry, to start building some wings, and to watch gallons of a matter of fact, my VCR is currently taping part of the Murder, She Wrote marathon. Live the dream.

In all the ruckus of last week, I forgot to tell you I finished the dupioni jacket to go with my skirt. The pictures, taken the day before I got sick, didn't much turn out, but I got a few decent ones. I thought the lying down one was cool when I took it, but now I look at it, it's pretty obvious I have a fever.

Anyway, the wings are going pretty well. I experimented with simple, bakeable clay yesterday, the kind that comes in little blocks wrapped in plastic. The "bones" actually look pretty awesome. I haven't checked on the ones I did with air-drying "improved" papier mache clay, which is supposedly sandable. Anyway, the next step will be putting on some tulle or something and stiffening it, then attaching feathers. I need to figure out just what shape the tulle will have to be, which basically means drawing out the feather pattern first before I can proceed. Essays are coming in tomorrow, so the project has to get to a good stopping place.

Well, my office is unexpectedly freezing so I will be leaving as soon as possible. Thanks to all of you well-wishers this week, and for understanding when I've kept myself hidden away. I'm seeing my niece in less than two weeks, and I want to be fit!