Thursday, November 11, 2004

Random Bits

Ashcroft quit! Woo hoo! I'm doing the happy dance!

Oooh, I think I sprained something with the enthusiastic happy dancin'; no matter—I'd get up from a coma to happy dance at that news. (Ok, I know it's not exactly news at this moment, but that doesn't mean I'm not still stupidly happy about it.)


Many, many years ago, back when lovely husband and I were roommates with his brother, I made a dish that was equal parts garlic and penne, sauteed in oil. That is only a slight exaggeration; the recipe called for *10* cloves of garlic, and I follow recipes slavishly.

Needless to say, after consuming such heroic amounts of garlic, we all reeked. There is no way someone in our family will pass up such a garlic-laden dish, even if it burns both ways, if you know what I mean. We were walking garlic bombs for at least 2 days.

I generally learn from my mistakes, but I guess if I slipped after 10 years, you could cut me some slacks, right? I overdid it with the garlic powder on my salad last night, and neither toothbrushing nor coffee nor mint gum has killed it. I'm considering an olfactory-lobe-ectomy.


Today I saw a girl carrying a purse that was made out of a large fish with colorful scales that just swallows the items she wants to tote around, or perhaps the purse was made from leftover upholstery swatches cut into circles and attached like sequins. Maybe she's an interior designer and the purse is multi-purpose. Or maybe she's hoping that anyone getting close enough to mug her will have their retinas seared and thus be foiled.


The one day I have stuff to jot down for my blog and one of my stories (!—more on that later), I left the damn spiral at home. Damn. I have some tiny pages out of my old daytimer that I used instead. Stupid tiny pages. I couldn't use my Palm because somehow it was almost out of juice. That has not happened yet in the 11 months I've had it, and it freaked me out. Stupid Palm.

Many things have been stupid lately, due the fey mood I'm in (borrowed that from Tolkien; you've got to love a man who describes people as fey, repeatedly).


D.D. and L.H. are at a small procession in honor of St. Martin, a Roman who became a saint because he shared his cloak with a beggar on a cold night (like tonight!). I'm sure there's more to the story than that, but I'm getting the info from a 7-year-old who is being forced to take a Catholic religion class in school and who might not be paying as much attention as necessary for relaying all the details. Anyhow, all the little kids make paper lanterns, and there are various processions around town. D.D. is attending the one hosted by her friend's sister's (evangelic) church daycare.

There's usually a pretty big one in our village, starting at the church about half a mile up the hill past us. Last year D.D. cried and threw a pretty big fit when we tried to get her to go, so we gave up when we got to our house. I hope L.H. is having more luck with her this year. I had Latin and didn't get home until 6:30, so I missed the procession, but I am getting to cook the spaghetti, lucky me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

winter is here to stay

So I was totally wrong about the snow. There were at least 3 inches on our patio furniture this morning, and it was still falling, but not heavy, when I left the house.

Darling daughter was all psyched about playing in it, so I bundled her up head to foot in snow gear and sent her off to school with her dad. Mr. "Germanic" made one concession to the cold: he wore gloves with his jacket (*not* coat). Knowing D.D.'s love of snowballs, he probably ended up pretty wet. Heh.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Let it snow, etc.

It was cold and wet (surprise!) in our village today, but it was actually snowing in the village at the top of the hill where darling daughter has ballet. Fortunately, we ride the bus, so I don't worry about sliding off the switchback road in such a heavy vehicle.

(Lovely husband wants to buy a car next year so we don't have to wait on the bus. Driving in the snow terrifies me, so I secretly have my fingers crossed that we don't find anything in our price range until about April.)

When we got home 2 hours later, it was snowing in our village, too, just not as heavily. We live up under the roof in our building, so most of our walls and windows are slanted, and the snow is starting to build up from the bottoms of the windows. It's really pretty, especially from inside, next to the heated tile oven. D.D. thinks she'll be able to sled tomorrow, but since it's barely hit freezing lately, the ground's not cold enough for the snow to stay.

Proofreading bitchiness:
I would probably be done with the tea job if all the examples weren't culled from every variety of English *except* American and British. I'm just saying.

Husband bitchiness:
We have to record our own meter readings for our utilities at the end of each year in order to set the monthly payment for the next year. Landlord showed L.H. the meters when we moved in a year ago so he could verify that the readings were correct for our lease. Now he has no idea where they are, so I've been the one who has to poke around in the dusty, musty, dirt-floored, cobwebby cellar. L.H. suggested I look "on the wall". There are 3 rooms down there. Thanks, Honey, that really clears it up for me.

How I miss UT

(Too tired to type this up last night, but composed during the day.)

Those of you near and dear to me may remember me bitching (when have I not?) about the lack of central organization when I began studying at the university last year. Well, it tried to strike again, but I struck back and conquered!

The state government has declared that every couple of semesters, students must prove that they are making progress in their studies (i.e., not dead wood). There is no central database (!) for course completions and grades; we get a little certificate at the end of each course saying if we passed or not. We have to collect and keep track of these slips of paper, because no slips = no degree at the end.

So when you've reached the end of your couple of semesters, you have to hand over the slips to your academic department to prove you've been attending class. Then you get *another* certificate saying you had the right number and kind of slips (kind of like the McD Monopoly game, ick), which you get back.

According to my department, once I got the certificate, the main university would be notified electronically, automatically, without any effort on my part, that I am making progress toward my degree and to let me stay enrolled.

Do you see where this is going?

Didn't happen. Instead of getting my long-awaited student I.D., I got a letter informing me I was exmatriculated, or in other words, kicked out. Son of a bitch!

(Darling daughter wondered why I was bothering to do my homework since I was kicked out. Obviously, to her, I'm nuts!)

So I was the first person in line when the doors opened (which is no mean feat; the damn things are probably 12-feet tall and the handle is at eye level on me)—certificate in hand—and everything was fixed in about five minutes. The university people would have to deal with fewer bad-German-speaking people like me if they'd just hire a programmer so some administrative stuff could be automated.


After months of badgering by lovely husband, I finally cut D.D.'s waist-length hair. It's now just below the level of her armpits, and I rounded the bottom. D.D. has been fighting us tooth and nail about it, but suddenly decided as I was about to begin that she wanted it short-ish, to the top of her shoulders. I didn't think she'd like that (she's quite vain about her hair, like the rest of us), so I went with the middle length. She and L.H. were pleased at the results, and she wondered if her friends would recognize her at school the next day.

On more than one occasion, D.D has commented that she would like spikes in her hair. (Drat the influence of her red-headed boy cousin!) I told her, as soon as she starts washing and brushing her own hair and can manage products, she can do whatever she likes to her hair. At the rate we're going, she'll be 35.


We've finally gotten into the freezing range weather-wise. The paper yesterday said the range of temps would be 1-11 C (about 33-53 F). I've finally mastered the art of layering and bundling D.D., but she won't put the layers back on to come home, so half her wardrobe gets left at school. Poor L.H. is hopeless at remembering to fetch it from her classroom (D.D. attends after-school care in another classroom), so I end up dragging home a huge bag of clothes every other day when it's my turn for the pick-up. At least we're not both that way.