There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
You are very welcome here, so feel free to comment and contribute!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Learning Styles Insight

Me Knitting
Originally uploaded by sunasak

My post yesterday on how much I like to sing, then Stephanie's comment got me thinking about why I pick the hobbies I pick. I love to sing and knit (and type, i.e., blog).

It dawned on me that both singing and knitting are things I use my kinesthetic learning style on. Both I learn by how it feels to do an action I may have mentioned before that the reason I don't often forget a harmony part is that my throat remembers the feelings of each note in a song--I don't remember the note values; I remember the pitches relative to each other.

And I remember how to knit various patterns by how they feel when I do them. The fact that I learn patterns better from a chart than from written-out knitting instructions also has to do with learning physically--I can see the direction the decreases or increases go in on a chart, so I don' t have to thinking "K2tog" or "SKP" -- I just do the "thing that leans left" or the "thing that leans right," physically, as depicted in the chart without having to translate into the words for what I am doing, which is an extra step in my mind.

Certainly, one reason I like doing these things, and also why I like typing, is that I enjoy the fact that I can get my body to be so precise and do exactly what is needed to create something of high quality--a song in tune, a sock, a quickly typed email with few errors. It feels good to be physically adept at something.

Anyway, just a short insight into how I do things and why I like them.

OK, we all know we have a mix of learning styles in us, and that there's more than one way that people define learning styles. Robin (see comments) suggested that some of my liking for knitting and singing might be due to being a visual-spatial style learner. Are you? If you want to know, here's a set of questions and here's an interesting comparison. I found it interesting to look at, because I do share many (probably most) characteristics of someone with that style, but with a few marked exceptions: I am an excellent speller and I like to speak in public. However, sure enough, I visualize words to spell them, like the comparison mentions.

Enough about me--what truly struck me was how the descriptions fit Beccano, and the comparison, which I think is intended to show why folks with this learning style might not fit in well in a traditional academic setting--fit my boy Beccano. To a "t" even. Makes a lot of sense. Really makes it clear how he can be so "gifted" and have such a high IQ but not be a great traditional student.

So, thanks, Robin, you educator, you!

Friday's Feast

Appetizer: Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?
Well, there are actually a fairly good number of people I find it easy to talk to. But there are two people I can just talk to, totally uncensored, knowing they'll love me no matter what dorky stuff comes out: Lee and Nancy Jo. I just love sitting with Lee and saying whatever pops into my mind, and listening to what he comes up with. And I used to love sitting around or riding in the car to work with Nancy Jo and just talking. We'd figure a lot of stuff out, and be gentle with each other when the stuff was hard. I miss those conversations. Though I have to say, when we do manage to get on the phone now, many words come out.

Soup: If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?
Edo, which is what eventually became Tokyo

Salad: What is the most exciting event you’ve ever witnessed?
Being on a plane at 9/11 was "exciting" but not in a good way. I guess the most significant event in my life I ever witnessed was when Lee said we need to do whatever we need to do to be together, and deal with those consequences as they come. It was such a courageous leap of faith, the most courage and trust I'd ever seen in a person. That moment still replays in my head.

Main Course: If you were a celebrity, what would you do for a publicity stunt?
I'd knit something unusual or valuable, then sell it at an auction to a worthy, well run and ethical charity.

Dessert: What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?
Darn, wish I hadn't read Stephanie's answer first. But I have to agree that 29 is a good age. You have had time to sow some wild oats and gain a bit of perspective, plus have a bit of funds saved. And yet, you'd squeak in under that "over 30 is an old mother" stigma. And you'd still have some energy for chasing toddlers. I was 31 when my first was born, btw.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hurricanes, Music, More

First, Hurricanes

You probably know that yesterday was the anniversary of Katrina hitting New Orleans and a huge swath of the Gulf Coast. You hear a lot about how things are getting back under control, how rebuilding has occurred, etc. But, for the poor, elderly or simply unlucky, things aren't so great. I'd encourage you to read this account from a former resident whose knitting blog I have followed for a long time, with photos and personal stories. We need to remember these people, and help if we can. I know folks from my church have gone down to help on weekends, and my dad has done so, too.

I have always loved Louisiana, especially the coastal parts and the Cajun culture, stemming from when I married into it briefly. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama...these are not wealthy parts of the US. There are so many people who have always lived simply on not much money. It's hard to recover when you don't have any back-up. (And as someone struggling to get myself a nest egg, only to be hit by unexpected expenses every time I do, I think there but for pure luck go I.)

Now Music

I went to the first church choir meeting for the fall last night. We had 5 altos and one of each other part. One alto (reluctantly) went to sing tenor. One sang soprano (a visiting recent high school grad with a lovely voice, but she's off to Stanford in a week or two). I sang loudly to help the two new people, one of which will need a bit of help with pitch--which we are always glad to do. But that meant a lot of loud singing on low notes. The choir director was POUNDING the notes and I was blasting them at the new people.

After song #1 I traded with High School Graduate, and she blasted the next song, while I went and sang with the one soprano who showed up, luckily the woman with great pitch. Ahhhh. it was nice to trade off like that. It's hard to keep on your notes when someone's a-wanderin'

But the good thing was that I suddenly realized I was singing quite vigorously on notes such as "E" the one above high C. The one I did NOT have a few weeks ago. YAY! I can sing again! And I still have the E two octaves down, too!

Why this matters is that, you may recall, I've had singing "issues" the past few years. For some reason, being a reasonably good singer has been important to me most of my life. It's what makes me "me" in my mind--part of my persona. Being the star of the high school choir is what kept my self esteem up in those years, when otherwise I felt ugly and unpopular (I was neither, in retrospect). And later, I have enjoyed harmony singing so much, and enjoyed being a leader in the choir. (I do realize I am not a great singer, just a very good one--but it's enough to count as "good" where I am now, or in a high school.)

Jeff messed up my singing esteem for quite a long time. I am not a trained singer--the only instruction I've received is from choir directors, but I do know how to breathe, blend, read music and support myself. But Jeff was so caught up in proving he is a great singer that he put me down a lot. Told me how nasal I was (funny, no one else says that), how I didn't do this and that, how I should not think of singing professionally because I am such an amateur in quality. Yadda yadda. So, I stopped for a while. Even stopped choir for almost a year. He feels bad about it now, but it messed me up.

So, feeling able to sing in my trio again, or with Lee, or in choir is a sign I am doing better. And auditioning for the community chorus without feeling inadequate is another sign. I am so glad that the vocal issues appear to have just been allergies, not something else. Yay. Singing makes me feel good. I am glad I can sing, and am FINE with singing at the level I do. It's enough to bring joy.

And School

I think the kids are settling into school better. Beccano had to fight a bit to get his schedule worked out, but it is now, and I hope he will locate all his classes and make it from now on. I contacted his counselor and asked her to please straighten things out, after someone told him he had to go through a bunch of rigmarole to fix his schedule--the school messed it up--they were supposed to be bending over backwards to put him in the right band and elective.

We also had some issues with getting to and from school, but I think those are resolved, too. Now if we can just get all the weekend activities done and not interfere too much with paternal visits, all will be well.

Then Jobs

Lee did have an interview yesterday, where I work now. That would be fun, but who knows if he'll get it. You just never know what people are looking for. I was surprised at what an in-depth interview he got. Mine was minimal. They wanted a writing sample, but, oops, Lee hadn't grabbed any before he was escorted away. I hope he can get something. I knew when I was leaving ALE, so I saved a few things that were generic and bland for samples. And heck, they gave me a book with the training I developed on my own, so that is a handy sample.

At least Lee's old house really is sold. It really will close next week. Wow. I wish I could have helped him fix it up, but really, it's a better use of our resources to fixate on one house only. We can look forward and maybe get something to fix up that is all ours at some point. Nice to be able to plan for a future.

Finally, Irritation

I got extra irritated at a private email list of people formerly and currently associated with the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization yesterday, when someone (not a list owner) sort of ordered the members to not talk about something. On a list with no restrictions. Now, some of you know that I have been ordered to not talk about something by people in my former organization before, and that really pisses me off. I don't work there any more, anyway, so if I wanted to say a certain six-letter acronym over and over, I could. I think I can talk to my friends about topics that interest me or matter to me a lot (though, actually, I have not said a word on the current hot topic on that list--just sitting back and laughing my posterior off at grown women being treated like naughty children: "If you won't play with the toys we gave you the way we want you to, we will just take them away!" ). I guess censorship is still one of my touchy issues, even when I am self-censoring mightily.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

That Time of Year

It has to happen. School starts. I liked it when I was in school, but as a parent, ugh. The start of that period when I can't remember all the things I am supposed to remember or buy all the things I am supposed to buy.

This year it is bittersweet--both boys are in high school, in the box-like institution pictured here. It's nice to only have to go one place to drop them both off (though I enjoyed taking Beccano and chatting with him last year). But I feel sorta sad that my kids are getting this old, getting ready to fly the coup and all that--no matter how nicely I am letting them go, according to last week's postings.

At church on Sunday there were little groups of crying mothers scattered around--all of whom either just sent or are about to send children off to college. And some wonderful children whom I will miss, too. So many talented musicians, thespians, intellects and comedians that won't be around to enjoy except at holidays. As someone mentioned on an email list, that stuff just sends me into "pre-mourning." They are both so much fun, even when Tuba Boy gets a bit teenagerly and grumpy--for the most part he is still my wonder boy--just everything a mom could want. And his brother still talks to us and tells us what is going on in his life--how I treasure that.

I'm happy that they will be in the band together, and proud at how they are already handling scheduling mix-ups and such. We'll be here to help Beccano adjust--he's much stronger now and I think he can do it just fine. I just hope Lee and I can handle the band and debate schedules, plus all the other little things that come up!

Speaking of Lee--he has an interview tomorrow, so please think good thoughts. It would be so nice if he ended up with options and decisions to make about what fine new thing to do! And his house is sold, so that worry will go away in just a few short days. We might actually make it through this period slightly ahead, knock on wood.

Thinking about Friendship AGAIN

Oh, I should not think too much, especially on the topics that gnaw at me endlessly. Like friendship. On a blog I read, the author went on a bit about losing friends suddenly and not understanding why, writing a long passage I could have written myself with only slightly different circumstances. Ironically, this brought back wounds I thought were long buried about email friendships gone awry and a whole set of friends I lost MANY years ago due to that. And that then brought up the next series of losses a few years ago, and a more recent relationship loss another long-term friend just went through. I went into a spiral of self-analysis again. No wonder my tarot card for yesterday was the 10 of Swords--I stabbed my own self in the back doing that!

I did note the blog author getting into thinking a bit of what I used to think--that my defective personality just drives people away. And it wasn't true of me or her--sure neither of us is perfect (who is? I don't want to know them)--but many times these losses are also due to issues with the other person. Sometimes folks just don't know how to say they have an issue, there's something wrong, something's bugging them, until it festers and POW the relationship explodes.

I even read an article on female love-hate friendships on CNN yesterday, which ties in a bit with this. How you can both admire and feel jealous or competitive with a friend, and how that's difficult to deal with.

Where I was going with this is that I need to realize that with a bunch of old friends popping back into my life (Facebook's dredging them up from the woodwork, way back to high school), I need to keep at peace with past failings and friendships gone awry. All I can affect NOW is how I act today. So I'll keep working to be the New and Improved Suna, and try to not wallow so much. Hard to do, with my natural Piscean INFP wallowing tendencies! But I can try!

So, don't run away, readers. I still like you, even those who don't say hi. (I seem to have chased someone off when I mentioned that last week--many apologies!) Deep in my heart, I treasure you all--ones I've hurt, ones who hurt me, ones who love me, ones who barely know me. You all have something to teach me in one way or another. Thanks!

Grateful Monday

Oh yeah, I forgot to be grateful again yesterday. I was grateful for my voice, since I managed to hit all the notes, even a D above high C, in the new choir rehearsal last night (still having some trouble with it cutting out). I am also extra grateful that I can read music. It would be awfully challenging otherwise.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

That Parental "Letting Go" Thing

Beccano Lives Dangerously
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
As your children grow up, you are supposed to let them try new things, test their independence and such. I think I am doing this fairly well. I let Tuba Boy go to Buda to "hang out" with Friend Girl, which is farther than I'd let him go without parental supervision before. And that worked out fine.

Now he decided he wants to apply for a job where his friend applied. I am going to let him give it a try, though I hope it will not mess up his studying, with all his school activities. It would be good for him to have some money, a bank account and all this. Plus, he decided--I didn't pressure him. In fact, we were not going to pressure him.

And here we see me letting Beccano stretch his wings. Some of you may know I have a pretty big fear of motorcycles. Seen too many injuries, heard too many stories. Feel they are unsafe, more from the perspective of fools in cars not respecting them than from the cyclists.

But, here I am sharing my life with a man who came equipped with a motorcycle. A big one. As you can see, it's not a "crotch rocket," and has lots of safety features. Beccano expressed an interest in riding. Lee got him a helmet. But, they'd never found a good time to try riding until yesterday. They showed up at the yarn shop so we could go buy a curtain rod to finish the guest room, helmets in hand (in the middle of a risque yarn shop discussion, too).

And I was OK. I let Beccano stretch his wings, under the supervision of someone I trust. He said he really had fun, and Lee said he figured out how to lean into turns really well. As you can see, even in 95 degree heat, Lee wears long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves. So did Beccano. (Usually Lee wears a summer motorcycle jacket, too--safety first.) To me that all looks hot and uncomfortable, but I am glad they had fun, and glad that I am letting my little boys, who are both approaching 6 feet tall, spread their wings.

Friday, August 24, 2007

What Keeps Us Going

Polaroid of Boy
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
What keeps us going and slogging through each day, no matter what stress or strife comes up?

Love is one thing. Love for my kids is basically what got me through 2000-2006. And love for my expanded family has things even better!

Learning is another. When the world stinks, you can't do anything about it, or you are chafing at "the way things are" like Tuba Boy is these days, you can always come back to learning. That's a big part of why I am still here. There are still things to be learned in this life!

Then there's laughter. Humor truly helps when things are scary, stressful, difficult or tedious. Thank goodness it's everywhere in my house. From dogs and their antics to Lee and the kids, there's always something funny!

Beccano has been developing a keen sense of humor, as I've mentioned. He does a lot of puns, makes up jokes, and is also adept at physical humor. An example is this picture. He was playing with his hair (needs hair cut, yes I know, Father of Beccano) and wanted to be a unicorn. So he piled on the gel, but it didn't quite work. It did make these lovely curls however. So once again, the boy mugs for the camera. We have quite a collection of his facial contortions--I'm going to have to make a collage of "The Many Moods of Beccano."

I hope this gives you some Friday fun!

Friday's Feast

Appetizer: Say there’s a book written about your life. Who would you want to narrate the audio version?

Mary Steenburgen.

Soup: Take the letters from your favorite kind of nut and write a sentence. (Example: Perhaps every avenue needs understanding today.)

All lovers may occasionally need/desire solitude.

Salad: If you could go back in time and spend one week in another decade, which decade would you choose?

A week. I'd say the the decade a hundred years ago. I'd like to see if I can make it without air conditioning. But I could still knit.

Main Course: Name a song that brings back memories for you.

"Nothing Compares 2 You" by Prince, sung by Sinead O'Connor. Reminds me of when I was happy with the kids' dad (they lyrics are not what reminds me, it's the music--lyrics remind me of The Bad Times).

Dessert: Do you prefer to wash your hands in cold water or warm water?

Cold. I don't really enjoy this task, since it dries out my hands, but I do it because you're supposed to.



It's been seven hours and fifteen days
Since u took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since u took your love away
Since u been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing
I said nothing can take away these blues
`Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u

It's been so lonely without u here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong
I could put my arms around every boy I see
But they'd only remind me of you
I went to the doctor n'guess what he told me
Guess what he told me
He said girl u better try to have fun
No matter what u do
But he's a fool
`Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u

All the flowers that u planted, mama
In the back yard
All died when u went away
I know that living with u baby was sometimes hard
But I'm willing to give it another try
Nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u
Nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u
Nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Originally uploaded by sunasak.
Here's the kind of thing that cheers you up. When your precious pups engage in mutual mouth cleaning, how can you be all stressed out?

And the picture was taken with my "new" camera. Which the folks at Canon said was not broken. They cleaned it or something and it works marginally better. Grr.

Getting the kids ready for school this week, so they are not LOL-ing much. Thank goodness Lee can help, since I was all booked today and it was Tuba Boy's registration day. Tomorrow is "Colt Camp" for Beccano, but it's in the evening. Yay.

We are still thinking positively about job opportunities! It's as much work looking for work as it is working, and Lee's finding that out. The stress is giving us nightmares and weird tarot cards, but otherwise, I think we are doing fine. All the good thoughts and energy are appreciated!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Have an Opinion

I often read CNN's website while I am eating lunch. Sometimes that is not a good idea, like today, when I got pretty sick of what I was reading. It was this article here, about that horrid Football man who killed all those dogs and such. In this article, some brilliant rep for the NAACP actually said the following ignorant things:
"'In some instances, I believe [Mr. Football] has received more negative press than if he would've killed a human being,' [Mr. NAACP] said. 'The way he is being persecuted, he wouldn't have been persecuted that much had he killed somebody.'

"[Mr. NAACP] said he believes [Mr. Football] will cut a deal rather than roll the dice on a trial and take a chance on being found guilty, but 'whatever he's done wrongly, he needs to pay for it.'

[Mr. NAACP] also said he didn't understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable."

Well, if ignorance is bliss, Mr. NAACP must be a really happy fellow.

First, killing just for the fun you get from torture is nasty. Killing anything just to watch it die a painful death shows there is something deeply wrong with you. And you know I think killing people is bad. But, bad enough to train an animal to do something against its nature, bad enough to torture the animals when they are alive, but then to torture them to death? That is completely sick. And, Mr. NAACP, people DO differentiate between things that were accidents and brutally torturous murderers of humans, too.

And let me count the ways in which torturing dogs to death differs from hunting a deer:

1. Hunters do their utmost to quickly kill animals and not let them suffer. They don't douse them with gasoline and laugh as they die.

2. Hunting originated as a way to feed families. Humans are omnivorous, and to eat meat, something must die. But there is more than one way to do that. Many, if not most, hunters give the animals they shoot to the needy or eat them themselves. I doubt Mr. Football man ate any dead pit bulls. But, I guess he could have. He seems inhuman enough.

3. Deer are prey animals. They were put here to be food for something. Domestic dogs were put here to be companions to humans and help them (herding, protecting, keeping warm).

4. When you are hunting, the animals have a chance to escape--a "sporting" chance. They aren't tied up and brutally killed (yeah yeah, there are some counterexamples to this--I am not for that kind of hunting--well, actually, I am not big on hunting, period, but I don't think it's on par with dog torture).

I could go on, but am sick to my stomach. And when the sports dudes on Monday Night Football went on and on about how the gambling was worse than the dog fighting, they lost all my respect, too. Gambling at least just hurts people who gamble. (Note, I don't gamble, at all, either.) I hope Mr. NAACP never hears the end of it for what he said. And I fantasize that Mr. Football gets sentenced to the job in his high security prison of scooping the guard dogs' poop. With the dogs loose and HIM chained up. Sigh, but I wouldn't do that to a fellow human being, because I am not cruel and vindictive. Lucky Mr. Football.

This is the kind of stuff I try to dwell on so I don't worry about Lee all day. How'm I doin'?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Making Joyful Noises, Gratitude Amid Stress

I am glad I went to the first rehearsal of the Round Rock Community Choir last night, even though I was having some big ole stress issues from Lee's job going away. Flashback to last year, sigh. Singing really helped take my mind off troubles, and made me feel better (just like the choir director said it would). The music was neither too easy nor too hard, and though it is incredibly Xtian, that's OK--it's for a Christmas concert. Now, the show tunes they want us to do for Sun City, ick. The director seems excellent, and I am looking forward to learning a lot from her. And my voice mostly worked all right. Only cut out a couple of times. I think it's getting better.

Last night, sitting with Lee and trying to comfort him, I realized that I felt a familiar way. I just looked up one of my favorite posts from just over a year ago, June 2006, when I had just been laid off. It is where I counted my anxiety symptoms. Ooh, they came back for a visit!

Rant On: Now, this post nearly got me fired as a knitting teacher because someone who didn't bother to talk to ME about it, called the LYS owner to say that they thought maybe I was too much of a mess to teach. I laugh about it now. That's one reason I de-linked this blog from the LYS site, my friends' blogs and such. Just so random do-gooders would have less success finding it. It's bad enough so many people who don't speak to me directly continue to read this all the time. It's worse when it's people I don't even know.

(Still not sure why someone would keep up with my daily ups and downs so obsessively but not ever tell me hello in person or at least leave a comment...but I guess we're all different, huh! So, hello to Sherwood, Jacksonville, Cedar Park and beyond!) Rant Off. I just need to make this point every couple of months, I guess.

Back to my main point--I can really see that job stress gets to me more than a lot of other stuff. Even Lee's. I am doing a lot better today, mainly because I have a lot more confidence in his marketability than mine. There's no 15-year gap filled only by a questional nonprofit organization gig to have to explain, for one thing. He's done some great stuff, and really deserves a better place to do more good work.

So, goodbye to my symptoms and hello to the positive outlook I eventually get to anyway. Doors closing means others open, and all those cliches.

Gratitude Tuesday (I was a bit stressed to say what I was grateful for yesterday):

I am grateful to you, my friends. Thanks to everyone who's emailed me and given suggestions and support to both me and Lee. They are both always welcome and very much apppreciated. Now I'll go sing something, at least in my head! It does one's spirit a world of good.

I am also so very grateful that Lee and I have each other now, so when the poop rains on our heads, we have someone holding a newspaper to deflect it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More Bad News Good News

Bad News: Lee just got laid off after 9 years at that crappy assed computer manufacturer.
Good News: At least we met each other there.

Bad News: I don't handle this stuff well.
Good News: He has a LOT of time to find something else, and really needed to be elsewhere anyway. They have been treating employees like cattle for quite some time. Cattle are sacred in India, where his job is going. He was already applying for other jobs. And had recently trained his lovely replacements in India.

No wonder I was an emotional wreck all weekend. My intuition smells these things way in advance.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Good News, Bad News

The good news: We sent my "new" camera in to the manufacturer to get it repaired, since it refused to take more than 2-3 photos with any set of batteries. Lee mailed it off Tuesday, and by Friday they'd shipped a repaired (or we suspect new) one off to us. It's at FedEx now, so should be back tomorrow! I really liked the new camera, when it was working. I could get much better details on my photos. It was irritating that it didn't work, but the folks at Canon seemed quite cheerful to repair it! Yay.

The bad news: I had a pretty crappy day all around yesterday. So crappy that I decided to not go to church and inflict my bile on others.

Yesterday I messed up a knitting project badly and got pretty upset with myself (it ended up fine--the erasing of an entire pattern repeat actually ended up with a reasonable sock. See it on the knitting blog. Anyway, that got me all agitated.

Then we went to a family dinner at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, and had to endure Tuba Boy being an angst-filled teen born with his father's incredibly persistent arguing gene. I know he and his dad enjoy that style and I respect that completely, but here at our house, we can only take it so long. Sigh, I want to talk to him about what's important to him, but the technique of taking apart examples or tangents in great detail, thereby ignoring your conversational partner's main point gives me flashbacks, so my stomach was hurting. Beccano got a bad headache and was sick last night. And Lee tried really hard, but ended up quite exasperated. The poor boy wants the world to be the way he wants it to be, and thinks if you just explained it to folks, they'd all agree. SIGH. And he doesn't want to ever have to compromise. He isn't taking, "Being mature and adult means compromising often, while being as true to yourself as you possibly can" very well. We talked about the topic even more when we got home. At least then he wasn't yelling at us.

Anyway, we've agreed that when conversations totally bog down, we can take a break, think about the other person's points or work on our own, and come back to a topic.

Nice that he's thinking. Wish he were thinking a bit more clearly. And listening a bit better.

Oh well, we're all grumpy today, so at least we're in it together!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Licensed Driver

Licensed Driver
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
What a milestone. This beaming young person is a licensed driver now. Next, I must phone the insurance company. Then I need to teach him how to drive a manual transmission car, because it looks like Lee is not going to let him take off in the truck any time soon. Then, I have to scrape together some cash and get him a car. It will really be helpful for him to have a vehicle, with all the band practices, debate events and, sigh, dates he will be doing this year.

I just deleted a ton of useless info on my less-than-stellar finances. I keep hoping something helpful will come through. But I can't imagine what that would be. Thinking positive!

But, all in all, I am proud of my boy, even with the "Awesome Beard" that you can barely see in the photo. I'd do anything for him, including emptying the savings account, I guess!

Friday's Feast

Appetizer: Describe your laundry routine. Do you have a certain day when you do it all, or do you just wash whatever you need for the next day?

This is embarrassing. For most of my life I have been the laundry queen. I always did laundry once a week, mostly on the same day. That was a lot easier when I worked from home. But since Lee has been here (with his fancy washer and dryer), he has taken over and I only occasionally start a load. I do fold laundry some. He seems to start on the weekends, but it takes a while. It all gets done, though, and I am totally grateful for that.

Soup: In your opinion, what age will you be when you’ll consider yourself to truly be old?
I'd say around 80. People I know in their 70s seem to be getting up there, but not really acting "old." In the 80s they seem to start slowing down, getting more ailments and such. Maybe in 30 years, people won't start seeming old until they are 90! But I don't know--things are getting worse, not better in the US. Our lifespans are decreasing now, and I don't see the health care system improving. I probably won't be able to afford insurance, so I could end up like people I know who don't get things checked out until way too late, and then can't afford the kind of care that would keep their issues at bay.

Salad: What is one of your goals? Is it short-term, long-term, or both?
My main goal is to have a place to live that is not crowded and hyper regulated, and where I can live more simply, and that I will have the resources to stay there comfortably and knit until I get "old."

Main Course: Name something unbelievable you’ve seen or read lately.
I read about a town in Alabama where black high school students have been treated horribly for daring to sit under the "white tree" on the school grounds. White kids have assaulted and threatened them, with no consequences, but anything a black kid does has been prosecuted to the fullest extent (with all-white juries). I guess I didn't want to know that places like that still exist.

Dessert: On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how happy are you today?
Probably a 8. Slight worry about the car for Tuba Boy issue, and that health care system train of thought under the "soup" section didn't help. But really, life is good. So much better than it was, even this time last year, and many magnitudes better than it was two years ago.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Guest Room in Mid Renovation

Guest Room in Mid Renovation
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
Yay, Lee took a couple of pictures to document his hard work on the guest room, so I can share one. We still need to put pictures on the wall, and are waiting on delivery of a bedding ensemble and curtains that we hope will match the paint perfectly.

I do not know what the light colored stripe on the left is--perhaps the flash reflecting off a mirror.

The walls are "Surrender," a periwinkle/lavender color and "Desert Seedling" which is a light grass green. Lee, Beccano and I debated a long time on colors. Then we worried the green would be too light, but it's actually quite refreshing. The paint appears to be sticking to the walls, too (we were worried, because most of the room has been caked in baby powder from when Jeff used the guest bath for four years--the man keeps Johnson and Johnson in business). Lee washed the walls, which helped.

The bed is Lee's very nice bed from his old house, the mattress of which we hope to never have to move ourselves again. The lamps and end tables are also Lee's, as well as the dresser that you see as a slab of wood in lower left. The room also contains two bookshelves of lovely knitting books (I swear those book cases are Jeff's, but he didn't take them) and a very old desk inherited from Great Uncle Clarence that used to hide a typewriter inside it, which would pop up when you needed it. All the furniture is in good shape, but each type is a different wood, ranging from the very light end tables to the very dark typewriter desk. We have decided it is "eclectic" and hope that the green/lavender accessories will tie it all together. The bedding has roses on it (Lee's favorite flower) and a wee bit of rose coloring so they will sorta coordinate with the lamps. And sorta coordinate with the bathroom wallpaper that has pink and green and tan.

We will see what magic we can work! I really appreciate all that Lee has done to fix up the house this summer. He is spending his whole vacation on household fix-ups. I might even be able to get the car in the garage today or tomorrow! The old fridge is gone, the old bed frames and mattresses are gone, and that desk is back upstairs! Woo!

Please Send Good Thoughts

I talked to Jeff yesterday, who is with his mom, Rose, in Florida. She's hospitalized after complications from back surgery that have nothing to do with her back. I also talked to Rose, and she didn't sound all that good. I am thinking it is all the pain killers she is on, but I am worried about her. I just hope she gets better and can continue to enjoy her kind new husband and her nice life there. I know Jeff has a hard time with this--his dad died from incompetent hospital care, so he has to be a mess in side. But, he and his brother have been advocating for Rose, so she is getting better treatment. Please send her any good, healing thoughts you can spare.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So, What Tarot Card Are You?

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

If you have ever read our tarot blog in the past few months, you'd know I have been drawing the Moon a lot recently. When I did this quiz I figured I'd be the Moon or Queen of Cups. Please post a comment and let me know who YOU are!

Little Concern, Potential Big Fun

Last night I auditioned to be in the Round Rock Community Chorus. I'd been thinking of doing that for years, but a guy at my current job (one of the few people who ever talk to me) kept encouraging me, telling me he and his spouse really enjoyed it. And since my trio/quartet doesn't seem to practice or try to perform other than on rare occasions now, I felt like I could use another singing outlet besides church choir.

Note that I love the church choir, really enjoy the people in it, and like to help. But, most of the music is not very challenging. And we rarely sound all that good, given our small size and mix of skills. Still, it's a nice outlet and I honestly think it is GREAT to give anyone who wants to sing a chance!

I have sung in a couple of large choral things since coming to Austin, and really liked doing it. But the one I did, the Texas Choral Consort (GREAT director, Barry Williamson--and hey, they have a performance this weekend) was very intense--many meetings over a short period, then a performance. Then nothing for a while. And rehearsals were pretty far away (to me). This one meets weekly and does two shows a year, and the rehearsal space is only a few miles down the road. Costs less, too (money pays for sheet music!).

So, I went to the director's house in a lovely part of older Round Rock and did warm ups and sang "My Country Tis of Thee." Not a big stretch. I sounded mostly fine--my normal reasonably competent singing, but there was a problem. High notes just would not come out. Notes that normally are not an issue for me at all came out all scratchy or not at all. I tried everything I knew, breathing better, opening my mouth more, opening my throat more. YIKES!

I sure hope it is just some allergy-related issue or a temporary glitch, and not a sign that I am losing my singing voice. I was not nervous or anything--just couldn't sing above a certain point.

I just la'd a bit. I seem OK now. Fingers are crossed.

Anyway, I am in as a first alto, which sounds fun and is usually the harder alto part. Rock on, Suna. I can't wait to sing with a lot of people! I hope it is fun.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Junior Sneak Day

Junior Sneak Day
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
Ah, another moment when it's fun to be a parent. Tuba Boy is a junior in high school this year, and that's the year when the fun stuff starts. Looking for colleges, getting a class ring...and the first tradition to whack him over the head, the Junior Sneak Day.

Apparently it's a tradition in Ye Olde Maverick Marching Band to assign seniors to awaken juniors way before dawn on one day during summer band. They then dress them in a funny outfit (see photo) and take them to breakfast at I-Hop. I believe they then have to do marching practice in the funny outfits, until it gets too hot.

Now, from what chatty sophomore car-pooler Schultzie tells me, most of the juniors figured that today would be the day, and they probably went to bed early and slept in their clothes. Not our Tuba Boy. He stayed up his usual too late IMing with Debate Friend Girl (my new name for her) and such. So, as you can see, he looked pretty deat at pre-5am when his senior came to get him (poor senior--he has a speech issue, and when he called me to remind me yesterday, Beccano answered the phone and hung up on him, thinking he was an outsourced phone solicitor).

I am looking forward to tales of this adventure. The timing could be better, though. Yesterday's planned driver license procural went awry when a truck exploded on the Interstate, making Lee and Tuba Boy unable to get to the quicker-processing facility in Georgetown. The plan is to do the deed this afternoon. Well, won't Tuba Boy enjoy living with a license photo featuring dirty hair and his "Awesome Beard"??

BTW: Awesome Beard is scheduled for removal by Friday, so his official band photo will look nice. What a good boy.

Meanwhile, Beccano has lost ten pounds during summer band. Bye bye vestigal baby fat. Hello Manly Boy. Sniff.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cowboy Suna, Gratitude

Cowboy Suna
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
Readers asked for a better photo of me in the red cowboy hat, so here's one, taken over the weekend when Lee and I made another trip to his dad's farm. Not the best light, but you get the idea. There are a couple of other photos on Flickr (click link below photo to go to the site) if you want to see very ripe corn, a big spider and some sunflowers.

Everything worked out great this weekend. XH stayed at our house with the kids, so Lee and I went to his dad's without having to worry about who'd feed the dogs or anything. And the kids didn't have to pack up and go to a hotel room. They had helped Lee set up the guest room so it would be usable (after wrestling the jelly-like guest mattress upstairs, they then had to bring up the very substantial bed). So, we had a nice space for XH to sleep. They could make dinner at home, too, which was convenient and fun for them. Seems like a good deal--he saves $ and we have dog-sitting. And he washed the bedding when he left, and had the kids fold up the clothes that were in the dryer. That worked out great! I hope we can do it again on weekends when Lee and I don't have to be in town for some reason.

Lee and I enjoyed our first long trip in the Limo Truck. It sure rides nicely. His dad was very impressed with it, too. Since my own dad told me he'd printed out the truck's photo, I say we did a good job in pleasing the parents with the purchase! Lee's thinking of getting the rear windows tinted "limo" dark, since we call it the limo anyway.

It was good to see how Lee's dad is recovering from his skin cancer removals (big ole incisions--I think he waited a bit long on them). We took him to Victoria and fed him a steak dinner at one of those noisy roadhouse places. The steak was so delicious that it made up for the noise. Lee's dad also loved the mushrooms he had with his. I liked that you could get a small 6-oz. sirloin. (Still gained a pound over the weekend, sigh.) Lee's dad had stomach pain on Sunday morning, which worried Lee, but it is something he has been getting for years and no one knows why. Hmm.

It was interesting to see Victoria. It is about the size of Chambanaland where I used to live. Not a lot of character for the biggest city in south Texas, but they told me it all got over-built by strip malls and car dealerships. Lots of those. And hospitals. Oh, and if you are interested to know where the heck Lee's dad lives, here is a link to the website of Yorktown. The history section is actually pretty interesting, and mentions Lee's ancestors who settle the area (that would be the German settlers).

We took a nice scenic trip home that was only marred by traffic when we approached Austin. Then had adventures in paint and accessory buying for the guest room redecoration. We choose a periwinkle and a pale grass green combo and found a quilt with exactly those colors in it. Unfortunately, the only matching curtains we could find had just ONE panel. It was a challenge getting the Linens-n-Things people to order us another pair, but we managed. That took so long that by the time we got back to Lowe's to get the paint, they were closed. Sigh.

So we came home and worked together to make an interesting dinner, and were happy with the kids. Kids make us happy. But neither of them liked the cheese grits I made. Darn. They did love our weird nachos, smoked salmon and watermelon dinner from Friday, though!

Lee is off work this week doing home improvements. I wish I could be there to help! By tomorrow the old fridge and beds will be gone, plus all the old mattresses (yay Limo Truck). We will have a nice guest room AND space to park the car and motorcycle in the garage again! Woo!


No, I didn't forget it was grateful Monday. I guess I can't say I am grateful for Lee and the kids every week, can I? However, they are mostly where my gratitude lies. So, I'm picking them ANYWAY. It is just so wonderful to come home to three men, all smiling and wanting to tell me about their days. All willing to help me out, and to build me up. How lucky I am.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday's Feast

Appetizer: What is your favorite kind of pie?
Oooh, pie. Peach, preferably cobbler, warm with vanilla ice cream.

Soup: Name something that made you smile this week.
I was sitting with Lee on the couch, knitting and watching television. I looked at him and he looked at me. I had to smile. It is so wonderful to have someone to spend the mundane moments with who likes being with you as much as you like being with him. Lee makes me smile a lot.

Salad: What do you do to cool off when the weather is hot and humid?
I stay indoors. As we have learned this week with Lee's heat stroke episode, it is best to stay indoors in August in Texas.

Main Course: You receive $1,000 in the mail with a letter that says you can only use the money to redecorate one room in your home. Which room do you pick, and what do you buy to spruce it up?
I'd have picked the kitchen if it were more. Since we fixed up or are in the process of fixing up most rooms in the house this summer, I think I will pick the garage. I would pay someone to haul off all the things we haven't hauled off yet, then get all new organization and storage stuff for what is left. I'd also paint it and get both garage doors to open correctly. Goal: Get my car and the motorcycle both in.

Dessert: Fill in the blank: My _________ says __________, but I __________.
My bad ole brain says it really would like to eat a strawberry danish right NOW, but I know I need to wait for lunch and eat my Lean Cuisine and an apple.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Existential Apatheism

Jackson Browne said:

Somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you’ll never know.

That sums things up for me. If only my friend Bill read blogs, he'd be thrilled I quoted his danged Jackson Browne song. Oh man, next I will quote the Dead or something.

Suna, the ripple in still water

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Suna Goes Texan

Suna Goes Texan
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
Yee Haw, y'all! (It's OK for me to say y'all because I AM from the south.) It's me, driving a pick-up truck, and though you can't really see it, I assure you I am wearing a cute red cowboy hat. Beccano is enjoying the spaciousness of the back seat.

In the background is the police-person neighbor's "new" vehicle, which I believe is his old police vehicle, painted white. He is working on it all the time. Not sure what he is doing with it. They now have twice as many vehicles as people there. But I am not upset with him--he watched the stupid non-crippled dogs after they broke out again on Sunday (Rosee--you got some 'splainin' to do...)

Yep, back to the topic at hand, Lee bought the truck. It is shiny and silver, matching his motorcycle (which, if you are keeping track, I have still not set my rear end on). It still has a warranty and everything--we were told it didn't have enough options so the owner traded up after less than a year owning it. It's a 2007 model, but way less expensive due to being used! What a deal! I know Lee misses his convertible. But this one has a lot of fun features, and is so much nicer to ride we will be able to tow a trailer with it, so we can go camping (assuming we get a hold of a camper of some sort).

We enjoyed a nice little outing in the truck last night as we waited for Tuba Boy to finish his last driver's ed practice. On Friday he has ONE more class to do and he will be able to get his license. Um. Now HE needs a vehicle. Eek. Insurance, too. OMG.

Lee's still feeling a bit puny, but recovering from the heat issue. He is drinking a lot of liquids. Beccano survived his first day of summer band like a trooper. He was a whole different kid last night. But his back hurt from having to stand up straight. HA good posture is on its way. So, things are better all round.

I just can't believe I now have: three pairs of cowboy boots, two real cowboy hats (one straw, one felt), more than one western shirt, and a PICK UP. What has Lee done to me???? (Other than make me very, very happy, I mean.)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Grateful Monday, Passages

The Grateful Part

What I am grateful for today is my flexibility and patience with myself. In the space of a couple of hours last night my plans for the week changed many times. And I coped and didn't yell. Got a bit frustrated, but did not yell. And I think both kids will make it to band camp and back successfully for at least the next two weeks, and one child MIGHT have a driver's license soon. Dealing with my kids' lack of foresight and planning really requires me to be flexible. But sometimes it takes me a while to figure out which option among many is the best. And people stare at me, wanting an instant decision. I am proud that I am patient with myself because I understand that I am not a snap decision maker, but rather someone who weighs options first. Jeff thought I was stupid because of this, but I know I am not. I just see many options and want to choose the one that's best for everyone, not just what is most convenient for ME. So, I am grateful that I have learned to be more patient with myself, and that I've always been pretty flexible.

The Passages

Well, both my kids are officially in high school now, as I sent a worried and frightened Beccano off to summer band this morning, where he and Tuba Boy will play and march and get ready for the football season. I am glad he got a ride with Derek's dad, because he will have been more together without me. Tuba Boy says he will watch out for him. He is a good brother.

Of course, part of my flexibility above had to do with Tuba Boy following my instructions and getting one more driving session in so he can get his license (another passage, somewhat overdue). However, he managed to book it for the middle of his first day of summer band. Now, Lee and I both work. But it's $25 if you don't show up for a session. On the other hand, if I took him I would lose way more than $25 (would have lost 4 hours). But, it might be worth it to get the driving stuff OVER with. Argh. Hard to weigh all those options. But, Lee saved the day by getting really, really sick last night, to where he could not make it in to work this morning. He is up to driving a boy to the driving school and back. And he has benefits (at least at the moment).

Lee's under a lot of stress. No wonder he got sick. I think it was too hot for him out doing the yardwork yesterday and that did him in. It is good news that he may have his house in Granger sold, and that we found a great candidate for a new vehicle for him on Saturday, but dealing with financial stuff is never fun for either of us.

So we looked at a bunch of trucks, and test drove one on Sunday. It was really nice of Tuba Boy to go with us, too. He could check out the back seats. I discovered I am too short to get in a Dodge truck without a sissy bar (or whatever they are called). Most places didn't have trucks as old as he was originally looking for, but then we found a used 2007 model that was really nice. And as a GMC, I could get in it. I have never been big on pick-up trucks, which are the national vehicle of Texas, but I can see we need one at this point in our lives. So, I am gamely participating in this. We drove the GMC one and I was surprised. I mean, I have been in pick-ups before and it felt like I was in a truck. Even Suburbans felt truck-like. This thing was deathly silent in the interior--really nice. And it rode very, very smoothly. I sat in the back seat and had all the room I could possibly want short of being in a limo. It will be fine for the kids! And when needed, this thing will seat 6! So. I must swallow my pride and admit this truck is pretty nice. Still, not great gas mileage, but we can use my car most of the time, and this one when we need to haul or (eventually) to tow. And it is still under warranty!

I guess it's another passage. I have turned into a Texan. Who am I? Where is Sophisto-Suna who scoffs at giant vehicles??? Sigh. At this point the durned thing IS practical.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Friday's Feast

Appetizer: On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how polite are you?

Ooh, good question. I'd say about a 7. I am more polite than a lot of people, since I was raised in the south and said ma'm and sir a lot until I got fairly old. And I think people should be treated respectfully. But I am not good with a lot of politeness duties, like thank you notes and not interrupting people. And when someone's personal style really bugs me, I have been known to leave their presence more quickly than would be polite. So, I am pretty good, but not great.

Soup: What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

I could not tell you exactly, but it was something Beccano, my 14-year-old son, said. He was just a riot last night. At one point I remember Lee and I about to smooch and he said something that made us have to stop and laugh and laugh. And he was making some killer puns at dinner. He is working hard on developing a personal humor style, and I have to say, he is very, very good. He's developing a real way with words, so we all get to laugh a lot when he's around.

Salad: Who is your favorite cartoon character?

So many to choose from. As a child I wanted Mighty Mouse and the Chipmunks to all be my children. As an adult, I guess I will have to choose the Li'l Cheney character on Little Bush. Every time he says "wah wah wah..." I just can't stop laughing. Dang, that is one funny, if eerily accurate, cartoon.

Main Course: Tell about the funniest teacher you ever had.

This one's hard because I am so OLD. And I went to school for a LONG time. I'm sure, though, that my teacher with the sharpest wit was Jerry Morgan, who taught syntax and semantics at the University of Illinois when I was in grad school (you betcha, the Internet is my friend, I found his picture). He was one of the smartest people I ever met, and so quick witted. We would really enjoy coming up with example sentences and analyzing them, because he would insert puns and really sophisticated word play into all the exercises we did. He was a real joy to talk to, and even more fun after many, many beers. Also, the best Big Boggle player on earth. (Big Boggle: best game ever invented--and you should see it played by a dozen or so professional linguists.)

OOOH BONUS: Do you want to see almost every professor I ever studied under in grad school? Even the Great and Powerful Georgia M. Green, the professor with the zingiest margin-of-your-paper comments ever (and best knitter)?? Click here!

Dessert: Complete this sentence: I strongly believe that ______________________.

I strongly believe that if people just followed whatever their tradition's version of the "Golden Rule" is, we would be living in a peaceful, cooperative world with no war, hunger or poverty.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Another good new word

I am loving reading all my vocabulary building feeds every day. Here's the one today from one of my favorite sites, the Double Tongued Word Wrester, by the authors of the Double Tongued Dictionary, who also have an NPR show, but we don't get it here. Boo.

The word is apatheism, if you didn't care to click. And it's "the attitude of not caring about religion or if there is a God. " That fits right in with some of the conversations I have with Tuba Boy and friends. There's this one who was very firmly atheist, but I could tell some of the stuff I was saying was getting to him. I didn't see him for a while (he stole that girl Tuba Boy liked in April) but now he is back...and an agnostic. He didn't enjoy my "I told you so." I do enjoy listening to the teens talk and figure out what they believe as they go. What a fun age.

And here is their most recent citation of the word, which I think is a great quote to ponder:

Freakonomics Blog (Aug. 2) “Cut God Some Slack”: I think you’ll find that the stance of simply not caring much about God or religion ("apatheism” in the jokey parlance) is much less common than you imagine. It seems to be growing as people get wealthier, but a depressingly predominate chunk of humanity believes that God is indeed worth caring about, one way or another.

For me, it's hard to get apatheistic about the beliefs of others, because they keep infringing on my right to believe nothing, not know what to believe, or mix and match as I see fit!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Lughnasadh Miracle

Yeah, another Celtic holiday is upon us. Happy Lughnasadh to anyone who celebrates it or likes the idea of a holiday where you get to eat stuff (celebrate those first fruits of harvest with a whole bunch of home grown tomatoes if you can!). (Holiday is also called lamas in some traditions.)

I've been enjoying the recent full moon, as it's shone in our bedroom window in the evening, and then lights the master bath when I first wake up, so I don't trip on Buddy. Nice to be able to see it, too--it means the rain has let up.

But I mentioned a miracle, didn't I? And it's a miracle of growth! At least, I think it's cool...

Sunday before last, Lee bought me a dozen roses. You may recall that the rose I brought in to put on my desk was the thing I was grateful for Monday before last. Well, I am still looking at it, only a little worse for wear. The roses in the media room have bloomed all the way open and are now drying (they look pretty). But this one is still at that partially open stage that's so pretty, and the leaves are all perky and sticking out like they are happy.

I'd been wondering how it stayed so nice, since it didn't seem to be drinking much water out of the "exotic" vase I have it in (plastic Diet Coke bottle with the label peeled off). Today I was thinking, "Oh, maybe I should get rid of it--there's a little brown around the edge." Then I looked more closely. Whoa! There is a spray of three new leaf clusters coming out of the base of one of the leaves! Each spray has five leaves. They are a happy, new green! I see budding coming out of a couple of the lower nodules where leaves once were, too! No wonder the flower still seems happy--it's alive! It's funny that the roses I put the powder in to keep them fresh faded days ago, while the one in plain water in a plastic bottle has started to root!

I know this is a fancy florist rose and its root stock is probably not one that will actually survive, but what the heck, let's see what this one does!

Um, I'll sneak this in on the bottom here. We think Tuba Boy had a real date on Monday evening. A girl from debate camp drove all the way up from Buda to go to a movie with him. So if it wasn't a date, it sure is a loyal friend (judging from her constant posting on his wall on Facebook, I think she likes him.) Due to his sterling navigational skills, they never found the right theater, but apparently enjoyed a film at the discount cinema they passed while looking, and had a fine Taco Bell repast (his favorite fine dining establishment). I have to say it's nice to have cheerful Tuba Boy back, after the two months of moping over the previous object of his affections. Hope this one is as nice as the other one was, but he has good taste, so we are not worried. Also, he's picking up some "mad bass skillz" while he sits around and IMs all day.

Beccano had a frenzy of friend activity this week, too. They are packing in fun before band camp starts next week.

PS: For some reason I checked to see what I was doing this time last year. It's my phone's one-year anniversary! Yay Pink Razr! And I have not broken it yet. Good for me. I usually go through phones pretty quickly. I'd like to keep this one a while, so I can get a really good one next time.