Sunday, September 16, 2007

Big Dog Lost

Sadie is missing. She got out of her yard sometime during the day on Thursday, while David and I were at work. I have been feeling sort of zombie-like the past two days, driving up and down all the streets in the surrounding area, checking the perimeter of the house every time I step outside, and pestering the animal shelter to see if they found any German Shepherds recently. I am hurting; I feel like I lost a child. I just want her to come home.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rambling Down Memory Lane

Ok, it's been awhile since I posted last. I guess I came across a little writer's block while scrambling in between work, school, social commitments, and keeping my husband happy and content.

I'm feeling a little melancholy right now. Sometimes I wish I could go back to a simpler time in my life, back when I thought a budget was a kind of bird, and thought that my clothes just magically reappeared in my drawer all clean and folded automatically.

Today I spent the majority of the day catching up on housework that I have been letting pile up for a week or two. After a long day of dishes, vacuuming, and laundry, I was cutting up a watermelon to enjoy with David, and wallowing in memories from my childhood:

Missing Mom's "home-cooked" summer meals consisting of a can of condensed soup and a gigantic slice of watermelon.

Walking by the kitchen and seeing my skinny sister with a hollow leg getting all the last scrapings out of the rind.

Wandering through my dad's home-grown watermelon patch, with leaves bigger than my face, and looking for the tee-tiny watermelons, anticipating the deliciousness in the near future.

Sitting on the old picnic table in the back yard with my sister when I was about five, and each of us having a slice of one of Dad's watermelons that was so big I had to rest it on my knees in between bites.

Having a contest with my sister that night to see who could spit watermelon seeds at the dozen cats we owned and actually hit them. They were too good at dodging for us most of the time.

Eating the last couple bites of the Hamburger Helper when my brother wasn't looking, and then when he heatedly asked where it went (since his raging adolescent football-player appetite hadn't been satisfied yet with three heaping helpings) blaming it on my skinny sister, and watching her get called Miss Piggy shamefacedly.

Watching movies with my family on school nights, even though I knew I should be getting my homework done, and feeling happy that we were all doing something together without anyone getting angry at someone else for at least a couple of hours.

Getting called a bum-bum head by the little boy who lived behind us because I didn't want to play his stupid game.

Having to listen to him and his mother argue about whether or not my head actually looked like a bum-bum. She was determined to convince him that he was wrong so he would apologize, and he was determined not to apologize.

Dancing around the yard, holding a cat above my head, and chanting Ooga-chaka like a little heathen. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't think we were devil worshippers. I blame it on the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie we watched- it was a bad influence.

Always wanting to put my Barbies in a different outfit than the current one, being able to get the clothes off, and only being able to get the new clothes partly on. My dolls ended up being in a perpetual state of nakedness or mooning one another.

Wishing there was a way to get engraved underwear off the Barbie so I could change that, too. I probably wouldn't have been able to get the new underwear on her anyway.

Getting a kick out of making a loud noise and scaring my dad to death after he had been on the toilet long enough to relax during his extended bathroom trips. And yet he didn't get mad at me when I did that- I think he was just so glad that the house wasn't really falling to pieces.

Back rubs from Mom that would sometimes last as long as a movie. Hers were the best, because she always chewed her nails down to nubs, so her back scratches were more like light massages. But if you actually wanted a massage, she would swear she didn't have the faintest clue as to how to give one.

There are so many more things I could write down, but for tonight I'm out of steam. This will have to do until later.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

English Final

The Final's Almost Here! Here is my paper for the final:

Everyone is an author, but many do not know it yet. Everyone has written something at some point: a journal, a letter, a narration of an event that happened to them recently. Writing is merely setting one’s point of view down on paper; the difference between a best-selling author and any old Joe on the street is training and practice in writing out one’s thoughts and ideas. In his article “Writing won’t kill you: Making your point is half the battle. Here’s how.”, Mr. Bill Marvel made several compelling and significant points about the writing process. He concluded that writing is a necessary skill for life, and that while writing one must articulate his ideas clearly and precisely.
Writing is an essential ability for all walks of life. As Mr. Marvel states, “Sooner or later everyone has to write something – a thank you note, a report on a PTA meeting, a complaint, an apology, a eulogy” (1). Everyone needs to know how to put cohesive thoughts together, and then transfer them all to paper. Writing skills separate the educated from the uneducated-- the cultured from the uncultured. People write essays to get scholarships, letters to get job interviews, love letters to get dates, journals to preserve memories, and signs to locate a missing pet. Writing is the bridge that connects us all, regardless of age, race, culture, religion, or location.
Writing also forges a common ground through the use of a mutual goal in all literature: all writers must learn to put their thoughts in words in a way that is clearly understood. For example, in Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, Hitler created labyrinths of words in his sentences; as a result, Hitler’s writing is hard to follow and understand. Thus, one of the most important aspects of writing is clarity and brevity of thought. As Ms. Diana Booher, a communications consultant, stated: “Clear writing is just clear thinking” (Marvel 2). So, when a person is learning to write, he is also learning to think more clearly.
There are many methods to writing comprehensibly—one method is to write an outline beforehand. Regina Montoya, CEO of the New America Alliance, says, “My writing’s better when I do an outline. [It] forces you to put down which points are the more important ones. The more thorough the outline, the clearer and more to the point your writing will be” (Marvel 2). Regardless of the method one uses, it is important to make sure that one’s writing is simply put so that any reader who picks it up can follow the line of thought.
Regardless of what a person is saying, people will not read it if they cannot understand it. They also will not read it if it lacks personality and enthusiasm. I deeply disagreed with Dr. Castilla’s point of view when she said, “I try to make my students understand their goal is to communicate, not to express themselves” (Marvel 3). Writing loses its essence and becomes boring and dull when the writer stops allowing his own personality to show and stops speaking in his own unique voice. Everyone must write at some point; whether writing a thank-you note or an autobiography, it is important to write clearly and with personality.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Brain Damage

Ok, I no longer doubt that something is wrong with my poor little strange black and white kitty. Today she proved further weird-ness than I've ever seen from her before. I was sitting on the toilet, and she walked right up to the toilet paper holder, and took a giant bite out of the roll of toilet paper. Then, this evening, I was sitting in the living room with my kitties watching tv. Then, I heard a little crunch crunch crunch coming from Trinket's side of the room. I looked over to see what was going on, and saw Trinket with a death grip on a wooden pencil, chewing the end with the lead. I ran over and got it away from her. Maybe she just needs more fiber in her diet. Otherwise maybe I should inspect the ingredient list on her cat food for lead.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Monica's Story

Okay, one of the little girls that I work with wrote a short story today (it was Book Club day, so we read books for about an hour, and then the kids wrote their own stories). The prompt was: Once upon a time, there was a little girl named ________. One day she decided to go for a walk. While she was out walking, she saw something amazing!

This is how "Monica" ended the story:
What she saw was a kittin. The kittin came up and looked at the girl, and liked her. The girl took the kittin home and adopted it. The girl gave the kittin a bath, cut its toenails, and painted them pink. Then the girl gave the kittin some food. The kittin was hungry. The girl named the kittin Cutie. The kittin was black and white and it was a girl kittin. They lived happily ever after. The girl was married and her husband's name was David. The end.

I think there might just be a little subconscious symbolism there- what do you think?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Racism

Okay, this is the reason I love education- it gives me great subject matter for later rants. plus cause for deeper thought and introspection. Today in my composition class, we discussed racism, and read a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. called "The American Dream". It was about how he wanted Americans to forget about race and become a brotherhood of Americans, and how the value of a person is based on the fact that they were created by God, and not on how much money they have, or how much pigment is in their skin. I agree. What I don't agree with is the kid in the last row who said that his boss is racist because he asked him not to come to work with dredlocks, and in gang clothing. What I don't agree with is the Mexican kid who says that there is a white conspiracy to keep the other races down. What I don't agree with is the kid who says that I'm a racist because I kicked them out of the center (at my work) for cussing and fighting. It's not my problem that they are black and I am white. I didn't choose to be born the color I am, and my parent's financial situation is also not my fault nor to my credit (depending on whether their situation is good or bad).

There is a Mexican kid in my class who says that white people make all the rules in society because they are white and it is written in their DNA it conquer and control other races. What a dum-dum. White people don't make the rules of society. Rich people do. You know why? Because they control the resources of the country- they have something that everyone else wants. Isn't that the way it usually works? The kid with the best toys decides under what conditions the other kids get to play with them. I'm not saying it's right- that's just how it is. It's a little thing called truth. Poor people will never set the agenda of the country because they have no leverage.

Now, if I had my way, I would make it so that everyone was treated with dignity regardless of life circumstances. I would make the rule that anyone who was hungry would get food, everyone who was cold would get some clothing, and everyone who was homeless could have a place to live. All of that is pretty easy to accomplish- it already exists. There are homeless shelters, church pantries, and thrift stores. What is hard to accomplish is the next part- Love and Respect. I would make it so that white people could speak the truth and no one would call them a racist. So that men could be manly without being called chauvinists. So that women could be women without being accused of being anti-feminist. So that black people could speak the truth without being accused of being too white, or any other variety of insult. Sometimes I wonder why people can't just be who they are without everyone else having an opinion.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Too Funny

Ok, this was too funny to pass up. Tonight, David and I were sitting in the computer room, and while we were sitting there, Gizmo decided that David was in her spot. So, she decided to fix the problem by jumping up into the chair and trying to push him off. She ended up just getting wedged in between David's back and the back of the chair. Here's a picture:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Self Expression

Another paper I wrote for my English class. I am so proud of myself!

Self Expression

When I write, I feel joy in the written word. Writing is a beautiful catharsis of the soul; it is my moment to work out my feelings and share them with the world. Nothing compares to the experience of feeling a feeling, gestating the idea in the depths of my mind, then displaying it on paper in a verbal painting. I can display my deepest fears and highest hopes with the chiaroscuro of language. I am never more myself than when I am putting my personality into words and writing. In the beginning, God created the universe by speaking, and there is a deep meaning to that. Language is a very powerful thing- it makes the difference between success and tragedy. When I use language to tell of myself, I bolster my character and personality. On the flip side, if I fail to share myself with others through written or verbal communication, who I am becomes dimmer and begins to fade into the grayness of the unknown. When I write, I am declaring myself to the world.
I love to write creatively. My favorite thing to write is either a fictional short story or a poem. When I spend time writing, it gives me a chance to work out how I feel; I can brood and cogitate and sort out the feelings that get bottled up and placed on a shelf until a more “appropriate” time. After they have cocooned themselves in the attic of my heart, and hibernated for awhile, I am ready to break them out and show the magnificent butterfly within. On the other hand, because I feel so deeply about writing and regard so highly my brooding time beforehand, forced writing is torturous. I can be tremendously creative in finding alternate activities or necessary errands when I have to write something and feel uninspired. My strengths quite often become my weaknesses. I have always been the sort of person who says little until I have something to say, then comes out with something well thought out, either funny or serious. I rarely spoke as a younger child, but when I did you could bet on the fact that I would be determined and stubborn about my statement or opinion. I guess that translates into my above-mentioned struggle between writing spurts and procrastination.
So, reaching back to the original prompt, what are my true feelings about writing? When I write, I feel happy. When I write, I feel sad. When I write, I feel anxious. When I write, sometimes I feel bored. When I write, I feel angry. When I write, I feel hopeful. When I write, I feel. Period.

The Cold, Hard Truth

This is one of the papers I wrote recently for my English class. Enjoy!

The Cold, Hard, Truth

I used to believe that when I was an adult, I would have all the answers. Now I believe that no one ever knows all the answers. I used to believe that one day I would arrive at adulthood, and feel all grown up. Now I believe that for the rest of my life, I will still feel like a little girl inside, and that’s how I want it to stay. I used to believe that when I got married my problems would be solved. I know now that marriage only creates even more problems- but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I used to believe that adults could do whatever they wanted, and couldn’t wait to be one. Now I believe that children are really the ones that can do whatever they want, and sometimes I wish I could still be one. I used to believe that if only (fill in blank here) would happen, then I would be happy. I have learned that no matter what I get or achieve, or who I am friends with, I will not be happy unless I can be happy right now, in this moment, because it is my choice, and not a circumstance.
I am only 23 years old, and yet I have already learned much in this life. I have learned that it is possible to either be 23 years old, or to live the first year 23 times. I have learned that in order to learn from life, I have to be open and aware. I have learned that the only peace I will ever experience will be the peace I give myself. I have learned that I am responsible for my own problems, and that most of my problems I have created for myself. I have learned that I am not the center of the universe- that the majority of the time the way people act towards me is a product of their own issues, and their own wounds that they are struggling to heal and overcome. I have learned that I am responsible for how I feel about things, and that I am not responsible for how others feel about things, and because I learned that I am free. I am free to be me, to do what I want, to feel how I feel, and do what I need to do, and I no longer have to carry the burden of controlling the universe. I have learned that in order to love someone, you have to accept their rejection. I have learned that the more I try to be in control, the more of a slave I am to others. I have learned that there is always a choice, and for every choice there is a consequence, be it good or bad. And most of all, I have learned to never attempt to gain a free five hundred dollar gift card from anyone online. It costs too much in time, money, and mental health, and it’s doubtful that you will ever see the gift card.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Hearty Weekend

Okay, it has been a while since I blogged, but for good reason. My dad is in the hospital, and is facing a quadruple bypass. His surgery is scheduled for Friday. I have to admit, I have been somewhat of an emotional wreck lately. The other day I called him before he went in for surgery (to see if they could fix it with a couple of stints), and when I hung up I cried for about an hour straight. My cats started freaking out. Gizmo ducked for cover- the only other times she has heard me cry have been when she scratched me, so she was expecting David to come chasing after her and throw her in her room any moment. She looked highly concerned that no repercussions were being wreaked upon her yet. Trinket just looked confused. She didn't really know what was going on, but let me hold her for a couple of minutes when I picked her up without squirming and moaning. Right now I am in the hospital room with my dad. My mom is doing a crossword puzzle, so consequently the whole room is doing a crossword puzzle. This is the way it goes: she reads a clue and then the argument ensues over what the right answer might be.

Today was also sort of a rough day at work. I only worked from 3-6, but by five o'clock, I was practically in tears. They were being so bad. I can't describe just how bad it was, but let me try. Within the first thirty minutes I sent four kids home for wresting in the computer lab. They were all intent on yelling, cursing, hitting, kicking, and running around, acting like they had never been inside a building before in their lives. Maybe it was because I took a long weekend. Most of the kids I hadn't seen since last Thursday or Friday. Anyway, I was in no mood to deal with it today. At 5:05 I sent every last one of their little ghetto-thug behinds home. As Christian (a 10-year-old boy I work with) says :"They need to get them some home-learnin'!"

My sister Carrie and her new husband Bob are back home from their honeymoon now. I am very glad, too. Mostly I am glad that the hubbub of wedding preparedness is over, and things are settling back down into normalcy again.

Ok, that's all I got for now. Back to the crossword puzzle.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A New Experience

Hello, All! It has been a while since I have posted- I just realized that today when I happened upon an excellent topic for a new post. I used the toilet today, and had a new experience- my butt cheeks recieved a lovely sauna. Apparently one of the restrooms on my college campus can only get hot water. Not only hot water, but scaldingly hot water. Water so hot that about 1/8 of it comes out of the faucet as steam. So, when I sat down on the toilet to relieve myself, guess what temperature the water in the toilet bowl was? I don't know if your guess is right or not, because measuring the temperature in a toilet bowl is about the nastiest thing I could think to do with a thermometer, but it was a fun guessture at least. Anyway, my guess is somewhere just under the boiling point because as I sat there doing my business I could feel the steam caressing my buttocks in an appalling and unnatural way. I decided to quickly finish and just chalk it up to weird experiences never to repeat. Anyway, hope you enjoyed my new experience of the day, and may you have many new experiences yourselves!

Monday, March 19, 2007

North, South, East, or West?

Okay, I have been marinating a new idea for the last few days. I actually thought about blogging it the same night as my last blog, but I decided that last blog needed the limelight for a little while, plus some ideas just need time to mature and fully bake before being exposed to light.

I've been thinking about life strategies recently; about how important it is to know what you want in life, and where you want to end up. Otherwise your life just turns into a huge game of dodgeball. Have you ever noticed the difference in some children's games? Like the difference between a scavenger hunt and dodgeball. In a scavenger hunt, there is a list of goals to accomplish- a toad, a marble, a red leaf, a four-leaf clover, a toenail, etc. The kids run all over creation finding their things, and when it is all over, they have accomplished something. In dodgeball, kids line up against the wall and then just wait for a couple other kids to pelt them with soft projectiles if they are lucky, hard things if they are not. The point of the game is to avoid being hit, but the players never get anywhere. They just take turns attempting to knock the heads off their friends until the teacher blows the whistle and they come in from recess.

So the real question is: do I want to spend my life with a list of things to avoid or a list of things to accomplish? Do I want to end my life with a list of "I'm glad I didn't end up like ____" or a list of "I feel proud that I am a ______ person". Ok, moment of irony- how funny is this statement: "I feel proud that I am a humble person." Hehe.

Anyway, I haven't quite finished my list, but I have a few ideas so far as to what I want in my life. And for right now, I think that I will focus on that instead of just being one more "muckraker" as Teddy Roosevelt put it. Here's some of my ideas so far:

I want to be the kind of person who welcomes people into my home and offers them a cookie and a cup of something warm to drink (or cold, depending on mood and season). I want a house full of warmth, laughter, and light. I want to fully develop the child in myself, and humor every impulse for fun that awakens in my soul. I want to own lots of toys and play with them. I want to have lots of fluffy pets. I want to be a collector of "moments of impact", where I truly make a difference in someone else's life. I want to be a great lady in the church, with many friends and opportunities to encourage, uplift, and love other people. I want to teach Sunday school and public school and contirbute in raising the next generation with a sense of purpose. I want to continue to grow myself, and become more appreciative, kind, peaceful, happy, and loving every day. I also want to be a mother someday, and raise children who have a good sense of fun, happiness, compassion, and connection to themselves and others.

I think it's important to give yourself the gift of a roadmap in this world. It's hard to keep a clear vision of where you're going if you constantly have dodgeballs running you off the road.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Maids of the Mist- a short story by me

Have you ever wondered why it is that ever so often the clouds come to earth and settle on the streets like a big fat cat exposing its belly for a rub? I know that some might talk of "humidity" and "barometric pressure" and other phrases and gobbledy gook as being the reason, but I will tell you the real one.

Way up at the top of the heavens is the normal place you will find white, puffy, sometimes feathery clouds. These bodies of mist and smoke are not beings unto themselves. You see, they are merely the underbelly of the home of young, lithe, female spirits. All through the day these spirits engage in laughter, flirtations, dancing, singing, hilarity, and jubilation. They leap from cloud to cloud, running and hiding among the hills and crevices of pure white fleece. They twirl around with colorful streamers, and make conversation with birds as they fly past. They take turns braiding each other's hair, telling stories to one another, and serving twinkling drinks to each other made of bottled moonlight. They laugh from pure joy; they shift between unbridled playfulness and affectionate embraces and kisses. Their lives are the composite of every little girl's ideal of the perfect life. Out of the cotton of the landscape they weave magnificent garments of every color, using the rainbows as their fabric dye. They are unconscious of pain- all they know is happiness and amusement, and grateful reflection.

You must be wondering by now what these wondrous sprites have to do with the evening fog of humid spring nights. Well, it happens like this: These young maids have very little memory. They live purely in the moment, their feelings constantly engulfing them. While they are in the clouds and engaging in merriment, they feel light and happy, so they stay up in the heavens. Every once in a while, though, one or two might become disenchanted with the game and happen to look upon the earth from their high perch. As they look down, what do they see? They see mankind, scurrying all over the place, busy as beavers. They see cars, trains, airplanes, adults jogging, families picnicking, and children playing, and they are delighted.

As they focus on the earth, they begin to come near, their cloudy pedestals drawing closer, so they can begin to see and hear what all is going on. As they listen and watch, they begin to notice more than just the delights of the earth. They see the suffering, the hunger, the misery, depression, desolation. They see children being forced to hold guns, being forced into wars. They see women treated as slaves, beaten by their employers and paid nearly nothing. They see husbands and wives divorcing each other, and the sad children caught in between. They see men with disease, and little boys without fathers to protect them. As they see all the pain, and the way humanity treats one another, they become sad. Forlorn, they sink to the ground. They weep, cry out, and rip their beautiful dresses. These broken-hearted spirits wander along the streets, trailing their mists alongside them, sobbing over the fate of their human brothers and sisters.

Desperate to find something worthy on the earth, they peer into windows, watch people walking along the street. They trail along mournfully, searching for relief from their overwhelming despair. Eventually they calm themselves to listen because very faintly they can hear singing. They wander until they find the source of this music, and they finally see, in a rocking chair lit by the twinkle of a nightlight, a grandmother holding her precious grandchild. The grandmother sings a sweet, low tune and holds the child to her chest, calming, soothing, and lulling the child to a peaceful sleep. As the maids listen, they too are brought peace.

As their hearts are soothed, they hold one another, repeating and extending the song, and slowly drift back up to the sky.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Silent One Speaks Again

Ok, you knew when you saw a new post on my blog that it would have something to do with my cats. It does and it doesn't. First, an update on the kitties, and then on to the things that have nothing to do with them (or so I think).

Today was a hard world for little kitty. Trinket has had to endure so much. First, her mommy held her for almost 15 minutes. The horror. Then, she was let go, but soon thereafter lured back over to the vicinity of mommy with a strip of paper dangled so beguilingly on the edge of the couch cushion. She couldn't help herself. And then, before she knew it, she had been swooped up into mommy's lap once more. And then the awfulest of awfuls (at least so far in the day) happened- mommy clipped the Trinket nails. She was surprisingly good, aside from growling and moaning murderous threats. Gizmo was sitting nearby and looked both alarmed for the sake of Trinket, and jubilant that she wasn't the one being held and having her back claws trimmed. When I was done she wriggled loose and skittered away, but the day was not yet over.

Once I was done watching Oprah, it was time to execute the next necessary torture I had in mind for my kitten. You see, she has been lumbering around here with her ears quirked to the side in discomfort for the last few days- they have been itching her due to a collection of earwax. Trinket has enough problems already with loopy thinking and dull-wittedness, without having the trouble of itchy ears making her nuts. So I was determined to clean them for her. She abhors having her ears cleaned. She hates it worse than getting a bath(which she is also in need of, but I must ask myself just how traumatized I wish my kitten to be at the end of the day).

So, quick as a wink, I wrestled Trinket onto the floor, grabbed her by the ear and the scruff of the neck (just in case the little booger tried to bite me), and began prodding and scrubbing the inside of her ear with a Q-tip. By this time I really didn't blame her for cursing kitty-style and wishing my death upon me. She even hissed once.

When I was finished, I got up, wiped the cat fur off of me, and went to take a shower. Trinket gave me a friendly chirp as I walked past her room (great- I've scarred her mentally to the point of memory loss), and then I took my shower.

Once I was done, I pulled the curtain back to a surprise. Gizmo was patiently waiting in the bathroom for me to get out, with a determined tilt to her ears. She had something she needed to say. "Mow. Mow Rrrrrrow mrow miow. Meow meow meow mew meow mow. Mew. Meoweow meow mow. Meh Mow MOW!" Then she glared at me for a moment and turned and walked out into the hallway. I imagined the monologue to be interpreted as something like this- "Mommy! Are you out of your ever-lovin' mind? Why in the world would you soak yourself down? What are you thinking? Just look at what you have done to Trinket! She has been reduced to imbecility. I say hello, Trinket, get away from my food, and she says ok, and then five minutes later she says "Oh hello, and who might you be?" You are no longer fit to call the shots around here, so I will take that upon myself. Now lick yourself off, and get in there and clean my litter and feed me. Hop to it!" It was quite hilarious. I wish I had had a tape recorder at the time.

Anyway, on to the things not about my pets. I would hate for this blog to end up being completely about my pets and lose that wonderful quality I used to maintain where it was a good mix of humorous anecdotes and thoughtful comments. I was thinking today. I guess I am a pretty deep thinker most of the time, which is a quality in myself that I learned to value from my wonderful roommate in college. You see, she taught me in the short time we roomed together that it's not enough to just go along with the routine- that it's important to also have a good reason for doing it, and to have clear thinking when making decisions.

So while I was doing some of my treasured thinking earlier today I was pondering over where I am in my pursuit of personal growth. I always want to continue striving for self-revelation, understanding, and humility. I was just thinking today about my level of awareness, and feeling pretty self-congratulatory, and then it occurred to me that people who say to themselves or others "I don't think I could get any more aware of myself or my motives/circumstances than I already am" are basically refusing to grow. So then I started wondering what it is that I am not ready to face or deal with, or work on. Right now I am not ready to know, but I am willing to give myself time and grace to work it out.

And finally, I wrote a couple months ago about how I was looking for some good literature. Thankfully, with the help of God and a friend, I have come across some absolutely amazing books. The stories in them aren't always pleasant, though they have some pretty good moments in them, but they manage to confront and stretch prejudgements and views that I didn't even know I had. SO, some of my reccomendations are: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons, and Jacob Have I Loved (I especially loved this one, but I can't remember who the author is). I am going to keep reading and as I come across great books I will let you all know.

Anyway, that's all for now. I have other thoughts brewing, but I will get to them later.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

High Maintenance Kitties

Okay, this is just too good to pass up writing about. Tonight David and I tried out the beta version of our cats' litter box lid. We just couldn't convince them to use it as long as there was a doggie-door connected to the lid. So we have just been leaving the lid off of it. Well, the lid door broke off recently, and it just so happened that the new litter box liners that I bought didn't want to stay on, so we decided to try out the lid(since it would hold the liners on) and see if they might be convinced to use it.

Trinket just couldn't get over the new lid. Literally. She couldn't adjust to stepping on the edge of the pan with the lid like she used to when there wasn't a lid, and kept clotheslining herself on the edge of the catbox while trying to get in. She got spooked and tried to run away. David decided to help her get used to it, and tried shoving her into the litter box. She gripped the edge of the doorway with her little paws, and tried to squirm away. David shoved harder, and succeeded in poking her into the catbox. She looked out at me from the inside of the litterbox with the expression of someone looking out from a gas chamber. Then she realized she could get out, and away she went. Then Gizmo hopped in with a proprietal air. "Silly kitten, look what the amazing Gizmo can accomplish. The likes of you must use primitive potties. Go back to the pound."

I decided to have some mercy on the cross-legged Trinket (she needed to go- bad) and asked David to set a box at the entrance of the litter box like a stepping stool. Trinket immediately took advantage of her very own stepping box, and joined Gizmo in the potty. Gizmo bounded out in disgust. "Drat! Foiled again- and it was about to get very interesting!"

Thursday, February 08, 2007

History Class Contraband

Okay, I almost had a heart attack today. I haven't been in trouble in class since I was a junior in high school and the teacher caught me slack-jawed, eyes shut, sitting-straight-up snoozing with drool about to roll out the side of my mouth and a snore gathering intensity at the back of my throat whilst the rest of my oh-so-happy classmates were dredging their way through some play by some Latin sounding playwrite. I was the source of a screaming tirade about how I looked like I was in pain, how teenagers don't sleep enough at night, and eventually how all teenage girls dress like prostitutes- the favorite topic of tirades from the wonderful Mrs. Stone.

Anyway, I got in trouble today. Today was test day in my History class, and when I walked in, my usually laid-back teacher was glaring like a snapping turtle, and the students carried an air of gloom like war hostages. I came in the room and my teacher snarled "Bookbags at the front, nothing on your desk, speak to no one, and if I better not Hear ANy CELLPHONES!!! That Is RUDE!!!" Ya, mein dictator.

So, when I got to my desk, I turned my cell phone off. I didn't think anyone would call me, but I wanted to be on the safe side (In case Trinket grew tired of meerly pounding the door with her paws, moaning and crying like the demon-possessed, and pounding her head against the door, and decided to try calling my cell phone to get me to let her out. I'm not crazy- stranger things have happened. I saw a cat on America's Funniest Home Videos say "Oh Long Johnson!") So, anyway, my cell phone likes to sing to me when I turn it off. I tried to cover the sound. Wasn't successful. Once the song ended, as I was swallowing my tongue in fear, my teacher lit up with rage, and began the search like a bloodhound on a scent- "Who's CEll PHONE was that?! Who?!?" I exclaimed in a panicked agony "No- I was turning it off!!" "(In the wicked witch of the west shriek) What's Your Name?!" "Cristy Brown.... I turned it off.... You said to turn them off! (Quaking with fear)" She began to mutter something and went back to her desk. Strike two against me. I believe I am now the face of evil to her- I was 3 minutes late, AND I had a CELL PHONE!!!! I tried not to hyperventilate when I noticed that all of the studying I had done yesterday and today had been terrorized out of my mind. I tried not to hyperventilate. Don't faint don't faint don't faint... because if you do this is one teacher who definitely wouldn't revive you....

I think I did okay on the test. I am guessing I made somewhere between a 70 and 80. This all seems like a surreal nightmare. I feel like David is about to shake me awake for the fourth time and then I will squintingly stumble down the hall, use the restroom, and get dressed. Oh for the squinting stumble!!

Actually, I am feeling pretty chipper right now. I have calmed down significantly now that I'm not under the baleful glare of my History teacher. I wonder if she still chats conversationally about what a weasel JP Morgan was when she's drunk....