Monday, November 26, 2007

A Tale of Two Phone Jacks

There is a certain phone jack that is more important than any other phone jack in our home. It's the one in the Man's room. Thursday it went belly up. Here's how it went down.

Thanksgiving night the Man comes home and discovers that he is unable to get online. Not a terribly big deal since it was very late. Probably just a glitchy thing. But Friday morning, yours truly was unable to access email. Now things are getting serious.

The first thing we do is check the phone line outside that wraps around the house to the room. Back when Marco was a bad little puppy, one day he was able to not only reach this line, but rip it down and chew it into many tiny bits. We both hoped the current problem was a repeat of that-- the Man fixed it himself in no time flat. But alas no. Marco's "Eating everything he sees" days are long past.

Trying out the kitchen phone into the suspect jack verified that the problem wasn't the computer (big sigh of relief), but the phone jack itself (new sigh of frustration). This problem is more mysterious than a chewed up wire, I'm afraid.

So now we are waiting for the phone company to come out and poke and prod and most likely pull out about two pounds of animal fur mucking up the works. That's my theory anyway.

But let's return to the importance of this jack. It is one overworked fellow! First, it is hooked up to a phone and the answering machine. The loss of the phone is just inconvenient. The loss of the machine is a bit of a relief actually! (I could move it somewhere else in the house but....) The fax machine is also part of the package, but it only gets used in that capacity maybe twice a year, so we can do without it for a little while. No, the big problem comes from the fact that our Internet connection is DSL wed to that jack and that is not going to fly at all!

But here we are all back online and going strong with the "Going to Vermont" laptop in my bedroom. I have to say that I LOVE having this up here. Love it! The Man on the other hand is quite miserable without his #1 procrastinating excuse at his fingertips down in his room. Matter of fact, I'm so in love with this situation (I even have a little desk all set up in here!), that when the jack problem gets all fixed, I'll be very reluctant to give this up. There might be a riot. But for now I'm going to play some cribbage online, maybe waste some time finding cool stuff on Youtube, read a bunch of blogs and then do some shopping. Hurray!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Family Pictures

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. Ours was packed with family. Literally. Thanksgiving Day had my mother's house bursting at the seams with dinner for 31. That was followed by games, movies, a puzzle, dodging thrown wooden blocks and general grazing on the leftovers. Occasionally you would have to step outside for some fresh air just because all the air in the house was already in use.

Friday was quieter with ordered in pizza, more games and paraffin hand treatments all around. Lavender...very nice.

But Saturday was the grand finale. We had to take the big group picture since most everyone was in town. Big props to Bob from Rodriguez Photography for making this a success (and getting Summer to smile). To fit all our shining mugs in one shot, we moved all the furniture and used my living room. Completely crazy how many people were in my house! And because a bunch of fam had to hit the road early, we did this at 9 AM. Check out the little video that the man shot. Now he made this with my little digital camera so the quality is not so great and it makes this annoying clicking noise, but it's enough to get a flavor of the morning.

Okay, so it's REALLY grainy and noisy, but that's what you get. (Sorry Man. :( You probably aren't happy I posted this either! ) It's a big love fest because everyone is getting ready to leave; some for home, the rest out to breakfast at IHOP since Hazel's was already packed and strangely enough didn't have enough room for 20 more people. More pictures and stories to come!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pizza Rolls

Warning: This is not the recipe to make pizza rolls, it's just the step by step process which I am showing to make you insanely jealous... and hungry.

These babies are the best! It's the ultimate Grammy treat. First there's the dough, lots and lots of dough sitting around rising and doubling and doing all the things good dough should.
Then it gets rolled out REALLY thin.
It get cut into squares and rectangles and shapes with no names by the pizza cutter.
You have to test the oil and the dough, so some little pieces are dropped in. And yeah, that a big thing of Crisco back there. That's what we're cooking with people!

Those lovely test pieces won't go to waste though. A sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and they are good to go!Meanwhile, this bowl of pepperoni and sausage all chopped up into tiny bits comes out. That must mean it's almost time!
A spoonful of the mix goes on each little square.

And a pinch of cheese on top of that!
Then they get folded over and sealed together making a little pillow of pizza.

It's time for them to go for a swim in the hot oil.

And that's it! That's the boy snagging another one. And who can blame him!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Literary Greatness

Last night the man did his first fiction reading at Cleveland State reading from the novella. You want to read it? Here's the complicated way to get a copy. His book is listed on page 19, order form on page 86. Or I just discovered that it is also for sale over at Amazon which is so thrilling to me that I can barely type this!

The reading was in this little room at Trinity Commons that, if it wasn't for the interesting architecture, one could be a tad bit insulted that you were being asked to read in a room whose everyday use is obviously the storage of sheet music. Anyway, here's the man reading..

Okay, that's really Neil Gaiman and not even a picture I ever took of him. (Any of the pictures I've ever taken of Neil are just a blur of a man in black. Can't imagine why....) The actual man was one very tightly strung banjo before and during the reading and I'm certain the appearance of my camera would have sent him running through the stained glass windows to the street below. While he was all set to read some juicy bits and pieces of the book, the MC of the night caught him off guard with a request of one of his poems. The poor man held it together on the outside, but I could tell he was in tiny little shredded pieces inside. But once he started reading from the new book he did amazing. Funny, smooth and not a person in the room shifted in their seat the whole time. When it was all said and done and everyone had gone home, he posed for this shot, mostly just to show off the windows of said storage closet. He's not going to like that I posted this, but that's how the cookie (and the writer) crumbles!

Congratulations babe! You did great!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Halloween Wrap-Up

Halloween went off smoothly around here. I gave out glo-sticks again and they're always a giant hit. I love putting them right on the wrists of the little ones because they get so excited about it. Since Daylight Saving ended a week late, trick-or-treating started when it was still light outside which was a bummer for the jack-o-lanterns and the glo-sticks, but within a half hour it was dark enough. Speaking of pumpkins, here's what the kids finally carved.

Here's the girl's ghost.

And the boy's skull.

And here are our intrepid trick-or-treaters. That would be Cho, the girl, the boy and the brother. They brought in quite a haul, but had more fun back home trading candy with each other. It was a regular bull pit!

The kids here are posed in front of the scariest thing in the yard, our dead tree. This tree has been dying for years and yet still it stands. It's the tree lawn tree making it the city's problem. I've reported it several times, but I've never seen anyone out here looking at it. Not that it would take a very long look to figure out that it is not going to get better by itself. Since it's already November I'm guessing we are going to be living with the corpse for another winter. I guess it would be cheaper for the city to replace all our windows or some one's car than cut it down. That must be what they're thinking, looking for the most economical way to deal with the situation. It is a great landmark for finding my house though--"Take a left and we're the first house on the right with the big dead tree".

It was a lovely tree in it's day though. Here's the man conquering it one spring day in 1994.

I know it's not an easy life being a tree lawn tree and this big guy has suffered long enough.