Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thank You for Commenting!

I am exactly one week late with this post, but I do want to recognize a very important person here in the cafe. The day before Thanksgiving is "Thank Your First Commenter Day" according to Neil over at Citizen of the Month. I think this is a wonderful idea. Commenters are the caffeine that keeps bloggers running! Would I keep writing if I thought no one was reading? I don't think so. And even if everyone and their Grandma was out there reading, I'd never know unless I heard from them now and then.

So without anymore waiting... Thank You Bruce! You were my very first commenter and in it you offer the wisdom of a elder blogger to a novice. I haven't been blogging long, but your words still ring true! Read this first comment here.

It also should be noted that my very good friend Weaver was only beat out of this prominent position by three minutes! But if there was a day to recognize your most loyal commenter, she would have it hands down.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pick of Destiny

Yesterday, to put a cap on our Tenacious D weekend, we went to see the movie. During the concert, they begged for everyone to go see the movie (or see it again) and take ten other people along with you. (There might have been ten people in the theatre all together when we went to see it.) Seems it's not doing too hot. I've just been perusing the reviews and none of them are stellar. There in lies the problem:

We loved it! We sang along with the songs! Shouted at the screen! We were complete geeks for it!

On our way out, floating along in our Tenacious D bliss, we pondered if the movie would be enjoyed by anyone who wasn't a complete freak for the band. Would they think it was funny or would they think it was the stupidest thing ever made? Reading the reviews, I'm guessing it's the latter. I'm afraid they have made a niche movie, a cult film. The funny thing is that both E and I had the same thought: Wouldn't that be great to see as a Midnight Movie with a bunch of people who loved it as much as we did, a la "Rocky Horror"? That would be the BOMB! But, I won't hold my breath. More likely, the man and I will host annual viewings here at the house -- The Annual Tenacious D Blow Out! Anyone who remember the "Wrath of Khan" party knows we know how to watch a movie!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Road Trip Recap

Our quick, quick trip to Chickee-G was a big success! Only one spot of dead-stop traffic on the way in, but we still made it to the Uncle's in five and half. It was spooky, foggy the first half of the trip, but made for something cool to look at for a change while traveling through Indiana.

Abandoned the kids at the Uncle's and took off back to the city. The concert was at the UIC Pavilion. We got to the city WAY early, so on the advice of a cop, we headed around the block for a bite to eat at the most crowded little smoky restaurant ever built. We were told it was a 30 minute wait for the table, but 45 minutes later we're still waiting and much closer to death, not only from hunger, but smoke inhalation, than when we walked in. And it appeared that not only was no one being seated, but those already in seats, weren't getting food. We bailed. Back at the pavilion the doors were open and we got the best chicken tenders ever. (And I'm not just saying that because it was the first real food I had in twelve hours!)

The concert opened with a "comedian", Neil Hamburger. I know I'm not the hippest chick in the world, but I truly didn't understand what this guy was going for. He's trying to be the "World's Worst Comic" and I think he's there. I'm not even sure how to describe it. His jokes weren't funny at all, his delivery was worse, in between he cleared his throat in disgusting ways. The only thing funny was the audience reaction to him: Booing, screaming at him, even throwing food! But finally he was gone and then it was TENACIOUS D! And they were fantastic! It started out with just the two of them, but then, after they died and went to Hell, they played with a complete band that rocked out! Defiantly worth the drive!

The next morning, after we left the Uncle's (Thanks for letting us crash!), we cruised through the city to show the kids some sights. Still too foggy to do the Sears Tower, we ended up at Millennium Park which was so beautiful. Here's what we look like in the Cloud Gate.

We then walked down to the Christmaskindlemarket where I bought a little snowman ornament from a guy with a German accent. Can't get more authentic than that! The crowds were intense! At times you couldn't even move! But the giant Christmas tree was excellent.

Finally we were all walked out and drove straight home, non-stop.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Day

Yesterday was all baking. We made an apple pie, completely from scratch, even the crust, scared of me. And then we made two kinds of cookies- no bake oatmeal and some chocolate chip with these new nifty chips I found that were swirled with chocolate and peanut butter. Very cool looking. Today it was off to the sister's with all the goodies. It was an excellent dinner hands down. Everything was delicious! Lots of fun visiting with the relatives and playing with baby Colby. No pics because I forgot my camera. Oh well.

Tomorrow morning, bright and semi-early, we are all headed out to the Windy City for some Tenacious D action. The kids are going as well and crashing at the Crazy Uncle's while we see the show. But it's just a quick, quick visit and we'll be heading home Saturday afternoon. (Can't leave these stupid cats for too long!) Sorry Chip, we'll catch up with you next time!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bowling Pins and Needles

This morning my darling told me that I might not have the right personality to be a bowler.

Now this wasn't out of left field. We were having a conversation about bowling and how I have an unfortunate history of almost always getting hurt while bowling. I actually have a recurring tight spot in the back of my neck from a bowling injury about a decade ago. But then he drops this bomb that I might not have what it takes not only physically, but mentally, to be a bowler (No, he didn't use those exact words!). More explanation is needed.

My love is a damn good bowler. He's not out there just for the beer and the semi-hot women, he's out there to knock 'em down. Every Monday he heads out the door with his crippling double bowling bag to the echoes of the kids shouting "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWL!" after him. Later that night, I'll get the report of his score along with whatever token he's won: a tiny towel, a huge patch. Going to school at CSU put a crimp in his game and he went through a long slump. No fun. But going to Vermont now has really improved his game. Mondays are good again.

E has been bowling every Monday, September through May, almost our entire marriage. My dad taught him to bowl and put him on the team. It was their bonding thing. Dad's not on the team anymore, but E's still out there. When E was just learning to bowl, I would go out and watch him practice and keep score. Dad took me bowling a couple of times as a kid, but never seriously, not like when we would go play Putt-Putt. Now I wonder... Did Dad give up on trying to teach me to bowl, because he sensed that I didn't have the heart of bowler? Great bowlers are born, not made? Nature vs. Nurture? Ya got it or ya don't?

E says that the monotony of bowling frame after frame, week after week, year after year, isn't my style and that I would be bored with it. Could be true. He asked me if I want to spend the next 20 years trying to pick up the 10 pin. Not really. He finally pointed out that I also have a strange aversion to loud mouth a-holes, which bowling alleys seem to spawn. Case well made.

So, I'm not a bowler, but I'll take you apart on the Putt-Putt course.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Working Woes

For the most part, I don't like to talk about my job. That's probably because most days I don't like my job very much and I'm not one to dwell on unpleasant things. Leave it behind and forget about it, that's me. And when you are a substitute teacher that's exactly what you can do--walk away and forget. Tomorrow I'll be in a different building with different kids. It's possible I'll never see the kids I had today again (Which would be nice!). I never have to plan ahead except to make sure I have clean clothes to wear. No meetings to attend, no parents to deal with, no lesson plans to write, nothing. It's almost not even a grown-up job, because if I don't feel like going to work, I just don't answer the phone and nobody cares. Four years ago, I took the job a lot more seriously, but now I know my place-- babysitter. It's true. Most kids aren't going to listen to me or do any work and when the teachers come back, nothing that was done on a "sub day" gets graded. All I'm doing is holding down the fort and making sure everyone gets home with both eyes and no broken bones. I can do that.

Of course, I have to try to teach anyway, make a good show of it. Today it was third graders at Franklin. This was the yappiest group of kids I've had in long time. Luckily, none of them were mean, angry haters. On the contrary, these kids got along, almost too well, because they never, ever, EVER stopped talking the entire day. They kept talking even when I would stare right at them, say their name, tell them to stop talking. They chatted with each other constantly, mumbled under their breath when they read or did math, and shouted in the hallways to other classes. They talked so much, I'm not sure how they can still have voices left! Mine is certainly tired after a day of telling them to be quiet! The loudest part of the day? Silent reading. It was just chaos in there! Okay, maybe going down the hall to lunch was a little louder, but not much.

They had library today and when I went to pick them up, the librarian was beside herself. I guess they weren't quiet in there either and she was giving them a "Shame On You" speech for making it impossible to teach them. They couldn't hear her, of course. They were whispering to each other, loudly.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Friday night was the Girl Scout luau. Five of my lovelies went, but I'm pretty certain this will be our last time going to this event. While they look like they're having a great time here, for the most part they were bored. Seems they are getting too old to hang out at a dance with a bunch of Brownies. Maybe in a few years they could be the organizers of the dance. That would be cool. That's Callie's tree from her bedroom that we took along to the dance. It looks a lot bigger in her room!

Ethan was camping again this weekend with his troop and it rained the whole damn time. They were stuck in the cabin when they weren't hiking in the drizzle. And let me tell you about these Boy Scout cabins -- They are the tiniest, stinkiest, yuckiest huts! I know that I am spoiled by Girl Scout camp! I know! But these cabins are right on the verge of gross! We went out to have dinner with him Saturday night out at camp. I have no idea how they stand staying out there. This cabin was so tiny, we were all on top of each other. And it could have been worse! They got this "bigger" cabin because of a cancellation. They were supposed to be in smaller one, like the size of closet! Not my idea of fun, but I guess it's theirs.

I'm a complete NaBloPoMo failure, but I will try to pick up the pace from here on out. No guarantees though!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Head for Politics

The Democrats take both house, bringing Sherrod Brown along and we couldn't be happier around here! As a way to celebrate, Ethan has shaved half his head! Okay, it has nothing to do with the elections. Tomorrow is crazy hair day at school, so this time went extreme. We were planning on a haircut someday soon anyway, so we just did the first half tonight. He should be a sensational tomorrow. Here's to a new BLUE, SMOKE-FREE Ohio!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Not long ago I posted how I feel about fundraisers. I ended that post saying that my least favorite kinds of fundraisers are the car wash and the spaghetti dinner. So, of course, tonight was the spaghetti dinner for Ethan's Boy Scout troop. Oh my, what a long night! My feet are very, very tired and I think I smell like sauce. But for the most part it was a very smooth event. No giant spills or irate people. It wasn't a great success, but it wasn't a flop either. And it wasn't a car wash, which now is bumped up (or is it down?) my least favorite fundraiser. Ethan was a superstar coffee pourer and Calliope pitched in bussing tables. Ethan's troop only does this every other year and I am SO down with that. That sounds just about right!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Campng at Timberlane

First, I didn't miss a day yesterday. I commented on another blog which I have been lurking on for months for the first time, so that counts.

Friday night, we took the troop out to Timberlane, in the snazzy Tall Timber cabin, for a girly girl overnight. It was probably the most unique campout we've ever had. The girls made homemade clay face masks, oatmeal masks, face lotion, cold cream, homemade mayonnaise for their hair, sparkly lip gloss and bath salts. Then they tried it all out. Here they are with some kind of goop in their hair; they had a choice of yogurt, honey or mayo. Then they put the oatmeal or the clay mask on and kicked back with the cucumbers. After this they soaked their nails in little bowls to get ready for the manicures. Aren't they lovely!

But none of this make is what made this campout so exciting. When we tried to build a fire in the cabin's fireplace, it backdrafted filling the cabin with smoke and set off the smoke alarm. Both cabins had to evacuate while we waited for the firemen to show up and check everything out. We were outside in the freezing cold for a good half hour and most of my girls still had wet hair. But we sang and visited with the troop from the other side. Finally we were given the okay to go back in and finish up being girly. We had chocolate fondue with all kinds of yummy stuff to dip in it. Finally, they gave each other manicures, pedicures and curled and crimped each other's hair. It was some night!

The next morning it was back to real camping. After breakfast, we set off on the perimeter trail taking our lunch along with us. I truly do not remember there being so many straight-up-a-hill and then straight-down-a-hill parts on this trail. My legs are killing me today! But finally we made it to the bridge where we were stopping for lunch. We dug a hole, surrounded it with rocks from the creek and built a fire to cook our hot dogs and s'mores. We let the girls run around and explore the creek and hills and just enjoy being outside for an extended period of time in a natural place. The weather couldn't have been better.

Back at the cabin we had an award ceremony to present the girls with their Bronze Award pins. It was a camping trip that had it all: girly stuff, outdoor stuff, emergency vehicles and firemen on the roof. I for one, will never forget it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Weird Al's new CD is out

I remember the first time I really became aware of Weird Al. I was in the seventh grade when I heard "Eat It" on the radio. My dad and I were crazy for that song. Whenever it came on we would crank it up! I also distinctly remember the day he took me to Camelot. (Yeah, that's right! Camelot! In the mall down by Friendly's and that Greek place. I dare you to call me old!) We were wandering around the store when he shows up behind me with the "Weird Al in 3D" LP. I truly couldn't believe it. He was actually going to buy it? For me? No WAY!

So that was the start. I have most of his stuff on vinyl and all of it on CD. Heather and I went to see UHF at the movies at Great Northern (Don't say it!) and we were the only ones in the theatre. We've seen him in concert a couple of times and he always puts on a great show. His fans at those shows are another story... Can you say mosh pit and drunk obscene women? Deeply disturbing.

And now I've got my kids all brainwashed to love him to, but really, how could they not? His new CD is out and it's got some really great stuff (and a few clunkers too, I'll admit.) But here's the single and it's definitely one of his best. The kids insisted that we listen to this on the way to school today. That's a 45 second drive, but they wanted to hear it. Hope you like it as much as we do.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween Costumes

Here's my trick-or-treaters, finally. This is Callie in her famous ice cream cone costume. I'm proud to say that this costume was homemade by the girl herself! Callie and her friend came up with the idea, went shopping for the supplies, and then put them together (they both were cones) without any help. Got to LOVE having big kids!
Want to talk about the differences between boys and girls? Here's Ethan as a Ninja Zombie. Need I say more?
A close up of the ice cream hat. That's a giant cherry on top there in the back. She hot glued all the pieces onto a pink baseball hat. I tried it on and it was really comfortable!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trick or Trick Night

I am guilty, year after year, of not getting pictures of my kids in their Halloween costumes. It doesn't make any sense, but it's true. The one night you should have your camera at the ready, I forget about it in the rush. In years past, I've dug out the costumes and dressed the kids in January or February just to get the shot for the album. You can tell it's not Halloween night, because there's a blizzard out the window behind them.

I did take pictures last night, but you can't see them because Blogger it seems is on the verge of crashing. ("An engineer has been notified of this problem" Oooh, I hope he's in a little striped hat!)

Blogger is gagging now most likely because this is the first day of NaBloPoMo. I am not going to officially become a part of this craziness, but I am going to make an attempt at it. I at least can become a commenter and de-lurker. I know I've got some lurkers out there myself. Let hear from you already! This is your time!