Pranks, Kranks, and Christmas Cheer

Thursday, December 22, 2005

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Heh. I saw magnetic sign on the back of a Jimmy the other night that said, "Santa for Hire, call 888-9876 (or whatever the number was)"
What a funny prank that would be to an unsuspecting driver headed out on a cross-country haul. heh. Another clever one I found:

X-mas Lights
In 1994 Keith Yelton, a resident of Gresham, Oregon, went all out with his outdoor christmas lights, stringing hundreds of them up all around his property. A few days later, he received what appeared to be an official notice from the city informing him that he had violated an ordinance forbidding the display of more than 100 lights per house. Yelton panicked and shot a worried letter back to the city. The city officials who received his letter were puzzled, because they hadn't sent him any such warning.

I heard another good one about putting a lacy "Mrs. Clause suit" into an unsuspecting "grandmother" type's cart...

but then again, where's the LINE here? :)

Headed to Texas for some holiday yee-ha!
See ya soon, folkies.

Jolly Christmas!
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Shake your tilak, gents

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

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According to my 5-minutes of research (i.e. don't bet the farm on this)

"THAT INDIAN DOT" OR bindi: "drop" in Sanskrit. Hindi put the dot (bindi or tilak) on the most significant pressure point (mid-forehead) to symbolize their connection with the "third eye". It used to serve as a reminder for women of their commitment to their spouse. Now, it has morphed into a beauty mark/accessory and has lost much of its meaning.

THE POINT: Why is it so easy in the States to be unaware of a guy's marital status? Some guys who work with their hands have to take rings off at work; some just don't wear a ring; some never talk about their families; etc.,etc. Men should definately have a married prefix. Women have THREE prefixes:

Miss, Ms., and Mrs.

guys have one:


(ok, I'm leaving out Dr., Prof., M.D., Esquire, or whatever...but hang with me)

What is UP with that?? Why does marriage change a woman's name front and back when a man keeps the same name for.ever?

So, PLEASE, MEN, Put a picture of your wife on your desk, wear your ring, talk about your family once a month, put a picture of your kids in your wallet, or bring lemon poppyseed loaves to the company picnic (along with your WIFE).

For the sake of a single girl's sanity.

love. holidays. love holidays.

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Thanks, Mr. President

Sunday, December 18, 2005

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Politics. If Jefferson and Truman ever had (somehow) a nephew in common, I would vote for him for president. Maybe his campaign slogan would be something like, "I'm leaving the bucks with you, folks, but if need be -- they'll stop here." heh. When did "Government" ever get so big? ... spending tax money on investigations into cable television, scandal, investigations,...among other things.... D.C. is like a caricature of itself.

I'm rabling, but the point:

George W. Bush was refreshing tonight. For all the errors and floundering, the truth is -- we are where/who we are. We're (I mean Americans, namely USers) cocky (in a mother hen sort of way), ethnocentric, and puritanically noble.... :o) There's no use whining about what might have been. GWB was remarkably candid. Yeah, it's not what we thought ... but it is what it is, so let's get it done! Ugh! (That's a good "Ugh") Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Sweetly Candid. Let's have some more of that!

M&Ms. W&Ws. Advent.

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Santino McGuillicutty Morgenstern Klasse is foxy man

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Why is Santa Clause fat? Why does he wear a velvet suit?


Santa strolls around on rooftops.
He carries a bag that probably weighs more than an elephant.
He hoists said bag over his head and tosses it down chimneys.
Santa loads and reloads packages at a fine, swift speed.
His buddies are reindeer.
He's traveled around the world multiple times.
His chosen dwelling is a house in the Arctic. He probably roasts penguins on sticks over roaring fires.

SO! Why is Santa fat?? Why is he cuddly and velvet plush??

I think:
What would moms do if Santino "hottie" Clause was offering to take pictures with their children at the mall?

What would dads do if Santa "all that and a plate of cookies" was skating down their chimney late at night?

Better to advertise Santa as a super safe father figure and hide him under layers of fat, fur, and red velvet. That's all just a cover-up, people. The truth? Stay tuned. ;)
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when carpets fly...

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

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it's not always magic.
To be up so high
crash landing on your back.
Sometimes, it's the only way
to see through the racket
the dawning of a new day.

Thanks for pulling the rug.

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Monkey say; Monkey Do. Mr. Bumps, Get back on the turnip truck.

Monday, November 28, 2005

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Once again, I've been caught by an old book. How could I NOT pick up a book called Mr. Bumps and his Monkey?? There is actually a picture of a monkey with a crown and ruby robes on the cover! Sometimes corny is just what an evening needs. Here it is...

Mr. Bumps was a young man, a sailor. He stopped on the west coast of Africa once where a villager presented him with this monkey for sale.

"And then something which Mr. Bumps had not expected at all happened. It was this. His eyes, as has been said already, were of a particularly bright blue; and as the blue of his blue eyes met the gazing hazel of the monkey's, the creature stirred on his arm, opened his mouth, and made a remark. Mr. Bumps had never paid much attention to foreign tongues, and he did not understand what it said. Nevertheless, he knew what it meant. He knew for certain that the tiny, liquid syllables which had issued from the small mouth were a message from friend to friend."

Heh. BALDERDASH! I've never spent time with African monkeys, but if they're anything like Asian monkeys, T-RASH! Some friends and I once interrupted a settlement of monkeys during mating season. I've never SEEN so many fangs! Sling shots have a very practical use when it comes to monkeys and it's not because of their "liquid syllables." They're theives.

Monkeys (at least the kind I met) are much cuter in National Geographic. C'mon Mr. Bumps, wise up.

Sheesh. Sleep. Swimming.
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Carrot Cake Caper

Saturday, November 26, 2005

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Cocktail Hour at WalMart began when she arrived. This woman looked like an average US woman doing her average WalMart pantry stuffing. But, in the shadows of her imagination, she was Robina Hood. The resemblance was stunning, really. Robin Hood: Dashing, misunderstood well-to-do noble guy robbing the wicked rich to save the starving poor; WOMAN: foxy, misunderstood small-town dweller robbing the corporate giant to save the starving ... er... poor. Her cart was almost full. There were the gushing fruit snacks for Sally, the powdered milk for Tommy, and Gingleheim's favorite blue, sweet pea flavored corn chips. The woman rolled past the frozen pizzas with speed, curved around the seaseme-seed buns, and paused in front of the creme cakes. Suddenly, there was a commotion at the apple stand to her right. This was the moment for action! Robina threw back her hair, lifted the plastic cover on a nicely frosted carrot creme cake, and pulled out a sizable portion. The portion fit perfectly in the plastic bag in her purse. While Sally enjoyed her fruit snack gushers, Robina would have one sweet coffee break! Ten points for the down-and-out. Zero: Corporate Giant.

And then... Here comes a brunette who needs a treat to bring to a family gathering at the VFW. She goes for the carmel apple pie, but needs something else.... something for veggie lovers.... hmmmm... She goes for the chocolate cake and withdraws (beans aren't REALLY a veg, are they?)..... She reaches for the carrot cake and puts it in her cart...not realizing until she reaches her car that she has been a victim of the BUH DUH DUNNNNNNNN

Carrot Cake Caper.

I'm such a sucker! Who doesn't NOTICE the cake they're buying has a MISSING CHUNK?? Oy, me!

Family. Festive. Karaoke.

Note: The Carrot Cake Caper is an alleged Caper and may or may not actually be caping in your area. WalMart is an alleged "giant" and may actually be of normal size in your area. Authorities recommend you shop with care.
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Share and Tell

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

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One of my favorite parts of the week is Kindergarten time at the story rug. They're always so excited and rush to the rug with their hands up and waving like flags. The other day, we'd run the gamut of the "usual"--

"I have a new puppy", "I got this (point dramatically to penny-sized scratch) cut at recess", "my birthday is soon (heh. in Kindergarten language, that could be 10-months)", and "I get to spend the night at Johnny's tonight."

One little boy raised his hand and said, "Coyotes don't eat marshmallows." He said it like this matter of coyotes and marshmallows was as normal to him as rocks and snack. It cracked me up, so I'm sure I smiled. He went on to explain. If coyotes ate marshmallows, they wouldn't be able to howl. Imagine a coyote trying to howl with a mouth full of marshmallows! Then, as a final clarifier, he said, "My mom said."

UGH! I LOVE these kids! They show off their war wounds (c'mon now, at 5, recess is all the war they've got!), look forward to being celebrated, have complete faith in what "Mom (or Dad) said!", are fresh in learning how to be a friend, and spend time wondering about fantastic things... like coyotes and marshmallows.

Love. Races. Howwwwwwwwling.
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chaff in the wind

Monday, November 21, 2005

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What would I find if I somehow found the
deepest crevice on the planet and jumped
in? When I reached the molten core of Earth,
what would I find?

What would I find if I somehow flew so
high even the stars were sand below
me? When I reached the edge of the galaxies,
What would I find?

What would I find if I somehow lived
until my great-grandchildren greyed and
time passed away? If I stood on the
threshold of eternity, what would I find?

What would I find if I somehow walked
over every inch of land and sea until
there was nothing my senses handn't taken
in? If there was nothing on Earth left to explore,
What would I find?

Lord, you are a mystery bigger than life.
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The Reason

Saturday, November 19, 2005

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I never really believed (in my experience/heart/gut, though my head had it filed away) that an abundant life in Christ would be filled with suffering. Yeah, Yeah, Paul said rejoice in "sufferings", and

I'll rejoice in mine.... so

"woohooooooo, I don't have as much money as I'd like!" or "yeeeeeeha! I sprained my ankle!"

Eeerrrr. No.


Where can I go? If not to
The One who split the seas in two?
Who can I ask? If He's not
Holding the answers wise men sought?
Who can I love? If not He
Who created, justified, and chose me.

Hope is not the hope. Life is not the hope. CHRIST is the hope... and Lord, it's all on You.

sinking. sailing. sleeping.

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I had my sweater on backwards all day

Saturday, November 12, 2005

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Yesterday was one of those days. During first grade reading hour, I realized I had my sweater on backwards. The kids were like, "You could just pull your arms out of the sleeves and turn it around!" ...true... It reminded me of all the little tricks we weren't just born knowing. Here's a few I've learned in the last 6-months:

1. lemon juice takes out blueberry stains on your counter.
2. If you want to ripen pears, put them in a paper bag with apples.
3. Clothes bleach better if you let them soak in your machine an hour or so.
4. Disposable cameras (FUJI) have a pull out lever on the flash button (i.e. you don't have to hold it down)
5. Oxy Clean cures just about everything.

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The poets bygone

Monday, November 7, 2005

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The writer of Psalms knew that the words of God are Living. He is so much alive that He can't even speak without something coming into existence. It's amazing. It's unbelievable. Lord, Speak.

The Twenty-Seventh

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came [1] upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty [2] of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; [3] I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. 9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. 11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain [4] path, because of mine enemies. 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
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Catch up

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

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How did ketchup get its name?

Time flies. I feel like I'm flying with it. From project to project and place to place. Farewell Rosa Parks. Cheers to people who have guts enough to sit where they know they belong! You go, girl.

Courageous ones don't always wear capes.

hope. frost. leaves.

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Shake it like a Polaroid picture

Sunday, September 25, 2005

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Etch a Sketch
Mr. Magnetic Whiskers

Magic or science?

Maybe magic is one of those cases of the sum of the scientific parts being equal to more than the parts. Magic is science with a dash of something...

Love. Part-time-Job. Magnets.

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A Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Saturday, September 24, 2005

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Today is a chocolate chip cookie day.
I vaccuumed the carpet
I'm not even dressed yet!
I filed all my bills
that were paper pile hills.
I looked out the window
I opened a new window
and wrote in my blog.


Funny. We're going to the Walnut Festival tonight and the cookies I made are nut free.

Love. Cookies. Outkast.

Hey Ya.

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Choose or don't?

Monday, September 5, 2005

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Where does a gypsy who loves her family park her shoes?

On one hand, I feel this stretch to live among other people groups.
On the same hand, there are specific times I feel like the Lord has called me to speak of his love to other people groups.
Again, on that hand, My passion (even in my cynical state) is for the nations.


On the other hand, I love my family and friends and want to be an active part of their lives.
On this other hand, I'm (ugh) afraid of getting on a plane because I'm running away (my claustrophobic reaction to routine, stagnancy, boredom).

Lord, help!
Where am I going?
Where have I been?
Need I analyze this now?

Labor Day. Struggles. Scarves.

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Week One

Thursday, August 25, 2005

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Thursday marked week one. I've been "library media specialist" for one week. Somehow, I keep thinking I should have all the projects (organizing remote controls, inputing new kindergardeners, writing grants) finished by now.

Where did the British guards and their uniform think tankers get the idea for the fluffy, tall, chin hats?

Must sleep.
Picture day tomorrow.
Hair-cut Saturday. Poor planning?
We shall see.
Love. Books. Racoons.

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Books, Books, everywhere and not a minute to read!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

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I've been fronting shelves like a mad woman!
I guess I'm officially a librarian.
I think I'm going to love it.
I have a huge racoon puppet. Could a girl ask for more?
um...maybe a grant for new bookshelves?? :)
School starts next Thursday.

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my gorgeous momma

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

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My mom is gorgeous because
She rocked me to sleep when I was five and it was storming.
She points her "triangle lips" at people she loves.
She wraps presents with raffia.
she's crafty.
She hates to dust.
She's starting nursing school -- after 40.
She sees "sunflowers" in cell slides.
She didn't tell me my doll's freckle wasn't real (until a few months ago).
She fell for my dad.
She has blue eyes of a rare shape and kindness.
She loves to dress up (in costumes, that is).
She's a petite, mighty gal.
She loves people in a real, personal kind of way.
She's interested in fostering life (in roses, kids, and pretty much everything).

I love you, Mom!

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Why my dad rocks

Sunday, July 24, 2005

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Dad, if you're reading, cheers to you.
I keep wishing I could just pick up the phone and call him ... like I always have been able to.

My dad rocks because
He's silly!
He's generous.
He really loves my mom.
He's calm during emergency situations.
He makes cool cartoons of cats, dinosaurs, or whatever the situation demands.
He's really creative.
He grows a beautiful beard.
He's not ashamed to do a little kung foo fighting when necessary... waaabang.
He thinks I should have my own thesaurus for all my made-up lingo.
He has great taste in movies.
He once permed his hair.
He showed me where an airplane engine is!
He's rough around the edges.
We watched Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza, and McClintock together.

There's more.
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Consumerism... errr... What's your currency, Jack?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

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Ok, while slingin sticks (of the bread variety), I've been thinking...

America is famous for the way her people scarf and horde clothing, trinkets, television, and hamburgers...among other things, I suppose.

The "third world" has a reputation for hunger, dirt floors, disease, mental starvation...among other things, I suppose.

In the US, our currency is the almighty We imagine we're short on time.
PICTURE JACK: He's a gentleman schooled in the law. He drives a Hummer and wears only peach neckties for fear of blending in among his lawyer friends. He drinks apple martinis every night after work, has his shoes shined every morning, and brings his wife orchids on Thursdays. His wife coordinates the housekeeper and chef schedules and makes sure the nanny gets her Christmas bonus. Jack can't remember the last time he purchased anything. He upgrades. Upgrades the car. Upgrades the furniture. Upgrades the house. It's natural. It's success. It's the American dream.

Perhaps in "the third world", their currency is passion/time/?.
PICTURE TOON: He's a simple man --a buffalo herder. Once, he walked in a bank and couldn't sign his name. He's not embarrased, though. Buffalo can't read. Toon unrolls his mat next to his beasts and sleeps after the sun sets. Another day dawns the same as the first. The same as the last. Toon isn't sure how old he is. It doesn't matter. He doesn't wonder who hung the sky. Why should he? He treads, one bare foot in front of another bare foot in front of a hundred hooves... and doesn't worry about a thing. It doesn't matter.

My wondering....(don't worry, my point is coming).
When we, as a western world, take our values (Good looking shelter, good looking clothes, and three squares a day make a healthy/successful life) and try to judge the world: "Oh, Martha, look at that family living in a hovel", we're shocked and appalled at the condition of most of the world. The two-week analysis yields a b&w memory of "consumerism versus poverty" or "wealth versus need" or "the corporate giant versus the mom and pop" err.. hmmm...

Yes, disease is more likely to manifest itself in dirty conditions.

Our friend Jack invests his money in the cush life.
Our friend Toon invests his passions in nothing.
Jack spends money on stuff.
Toon spends thoughts on the next footstep.

Maybe I'm rambling or maybe I'm still trying to work out my own thoughts. Boundaries between the third and first worlds aren't as stark as they once were in my mind. Whether someone is trying to fill the void in their hearts with stuff or with a substantial "nothingness", it's still hopeless striving. The third world lives with a consumerism that is just as extreme as the western version, it's just quieter. It's a different type of consumption. That's my point.

To bed.
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Friday, July 22, 2005

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Because of the weather conditions changing in Indonesia (err...tsunami?) and other vanilla producing countries, the price of the fragrant beans is about $1.50 per bean. What if coffee were $1.50 per bean? chocolate?

Vanilla. It's such a unique smell and is one of the basic flavors in so many western desserts. What would the world be like without it? Who knew that some sludge scraped from the inside of bean skin could be so lovely??

Enough about that.
Back to work.
Four more days of class.

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Professional Tests, Higher Education, and Gumbo

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

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Wooh! I passed the ETS test that certifies me to be a librarian. This moment, I'm sitting in a teaching lab at our local university. I'm taking a two-week crash course in web design. It feels good to be in class. I just like maybe this is the honeymoon phase. I'm rambling, but it has been a while, ay?
My question: Who would make the best gumbo? Mere Charlotte in N'awlins who learned in her grandma's kitchen or Lena, who studied at a culinary school in the same city? What does a degree really prove?

It surprised me how many of my co-workers are degreed. Last night, I shared a section of tables with this great girl who has her MBA. Yeah.

That's all. Back to abstracts.


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Ms. Potato G. Head and her lovely ears

Saturday, June 18, 2005

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I was driving home tonight, winding down, listening to a Martin Sexton live cd. He has a song called "hallelujah."...or maybe it's just a song in which he uses that word a lot. His voice just shovels down into my guts and stirs them up. It seemed almost silly that I would listen to his gorgeous voice with the same ears that I would listen to a car honk or static on the tv. We put on fancy shoes with fancy skirts, wouldn't it be cool if we could pause before hearing something beautiful, put on or more sensitive "beautiful" ears, and proceed? ;o)
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Energy Spent

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

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I wanted to write a quick update.
Invested in a new (used) vehicle. It's fantastic. Insurance is a drag. Necessary evil, I guess. Work is draining. I think the energy spent serving others is as much emotional as it is physical. What else can I get you, ma'am?

I need to buy quicken and organize my finances
Why is February so short?
What's love got to do with it?
Good sound systems are worth their weight, but they don't do much good if you make yourself deaf jamming too loudly.
What does "omni" mean?
Where is the femur?
What will my dad miss when he's overseas?
What do people talk about after 45-years of marriage? Is it hard work to stay interesting?

love sleep,
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Love to the givers

Thursday, May 26, 2005

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I love it when people are cool. It's late, so forgive me a bit of blabber, but here's a prime example of goodness that happened tonight. Three older ladies (one was 96.) Her daughter kept repeating that over and over...also saying "she'll live to be 100!!" often. The two younger ones (67 or older) walked with canes and walkers (one walking aid per lady, of course). ANYWAY. The driver lost her keys and asked for a hanger so she could go break into her own car. I was distraught. Picturing this lady with a walker in one hand and a hanger in the other trying to bust open her car door, I wasn't sure how to help. I kept offering to call a service, but the ladies wouldn't have it. Then, *vocal flourish, please*, a man in another table offered to go open the car door for the ladies. He set off their alarm doing it, but he got it open. The driver lady ended up finding her keys in the booth seat. Wow.

THE POINT: Sometimes, it seems like the world is full of takers. In the world of servers, the takers are the people who:
1.)Steal pitchers of lemonade they did not fill.
2.)Require the vocal talents of others when singing is in order, but will not sing for others.
3.) Are always "busy" when the team needs help.

It's refreshing to see an instance of total giving like our hero in the booths--- the man with the hanger.

Must sleep.
More than 12-hours at the restaurant.
Again tomorrow.
oy vey.
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Things I don't get

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

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I don't get why time travel is possible. I keep trying, but I don't understand.

I don't get why fathers don't always tell their sons they love them and let the kids know they're good at being boys and men. I will never understand.

I don't get how some people make divinity. I can't get the moisture level right, or something.

I don't get why the Lord doesn't heal our bodies --- now and forever.

I don't get why people order marinara on potatoes or never try wine.

I don't get people who don't like music.

There are so many things I don't understand.
Now, to bed.

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Cappy and the River & the good life

Sunday, May 22, 2005

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I'm browsing through this book, copyright 1960, thinking how simple life has the potential to be. According to the jacket summary, the book is about Cappy (the dog) and Ken's (the boy)adventures on a riverboat cruise. Ken has no piano lessons, classes, community service, or life-enrichment exercises ... he has his dog, the river, and a boat... and those are his lessons, classes, community, and life-enrichment. I wonder how much more USers can cram into a day before the days explode in their constipation.

On the other hand, I've seen life with just the fields, the buffalo, and the fish. People tend (almost??maybe??) to get caught up and numbed by their routines just as frequently as we do in the fast lane USA.

I guess finding "the good life" has less to do with lifestyle as it does with the person who's living---The man running the hustle in the bustle who aches to know the deeper meaning in life will look ... and find. The farmer in the upper reaches of "nowhere" who longs to understand why the seasons change will ask ... and He will answer.

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Seis de stinkin' Mayo

Thursday, May 5, 2005

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Rantalicious, it will be ...

1. There is not a right or wrong way to serve a cuppa joe.
2. There is not a right or wrong way to dance.
3. There is not a right or a wrong way to type.
4. There is not a right or a wrong way to introduce yourself, apply lipstick, ask for help, offer a toast, cook tapioca, fold towels, make brownies, jog, love, or SING!

Instead of a fiesta, I'm finding the two sides of myself at war.

ATTACK: Why can't we all relax a little and let people live(!*&*&*). It adds so much flavor to the rush of days that people have different ways of living. If Cleatus Snickenbalm drives 5 mph under the legal limit, more power to him! Encore, Cleatus! All of these micro-regulations that I (and my ancestors before me) have placed on ourselves only serve to encourage severe indigestion and eventually, total loss of the stomach.

COUNTER-ATTACK: Yes, the law is in place for our protection. Yes, there are procedures that help us accomplish tasks more smoothly.

THE EVER-LOVING 'But': Yeah...but whoever said the ultimate goal should be a life completely devoid of bumps.

Wheh. I'm done. Thanks for reading, Mom.
Tune in again next time for another fine reading moment with Aubrey.
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Love and Loss

Thursday, April 28, 2005

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Susi is a crazy whirlwind of heart. She's smart, genuine (sometimes startingly so), and vibrantly colorful. The first time she introduced me to Tsiki, it was with a silly home dance video he and his friends had made. She told the story of how they met. One week in the city, she was sick ... barfing all over the place ... and he came over and held her hair back. She loved him. She saw his home and met his parents. An Israeli guy visiting Thailand meets a US PC volunteer and sparks fly. He has to go back to his country to serve his time in the army. The Jerusalem Post "Staff Sergeant Tsiki ... was killed Monday, April 26, 2005, when a car crashed through an IDF checkpoint on Halhoul Bridge." Lord. Lord. Lord. If justice is as sure a law as gravity, bring it.
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the freedom of age

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

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Yesterday, I hung out around town during the day. I had breakfast in WalMart while waiting for all the other businesses in town to open. It seemed to be "the" place to be -- there were older gentlemen filling at least two tables, drinking coffee, telling lies. At the local library, I held the door for a man who walked from his car clenching a giant stogee between his teeth. With his confident(albeit slower) stride, this man struck me with the freedom that must come with age... life with absolutely no one to impress! Getting older isn't so bad.
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Sunday, April 24, 2005

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I went to WalMart to buy another
pair of cheap sunglasses.
A tag attached said "handmade"
what hands would those be?
The kids in Indonesia?
Doesn't something have to have a bit of creative spark to be labeled handmade?
Doesn't everything we can buy start with our hands?
It's just gross to me that a few pieces of tinted plastic merit the label "handmade"
Call me a craft snob.
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A night on the floor- An undignified rambling

Monday, April 18, 2005

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On the floor tonight
I found ribbons
tossed by 4 two-year old children
Happy birthday to Mom!
On the floor tonight
I found shards of glass
from a wine glass that slipped from my hands.
Oops! I'm a bit clumsy.
On the floor tonight
I found discarded crayons
left by the kiddies who don't know "free"
Oh, that I could leave crayons where they lay.
On the floor tonight
I scooched chairs and rolled hoakies
that don't really work
but we like to pretend.
Now it's all over and I'm back at home
I'm still thinking about the floor
Only this time, with longing for sleep!
*please, no breadsticks in my dreams!*

Buona Noche!
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Saturday, April 9, 2005

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New job: serving Italian food & beverage and providing guests with an enjoyable experience. I've gone crazy and am listening to Bocelli, reading about Italy, and considering a trip to Tuscany. :) In honor of Italyfest, here's a poem and painting from Massimo D. Zilioli. Salut! Cin Cin.

Via via
corri con me amore
sin quando questo violino zigano avrà la forza per suonare la sua pazza canzone
Via via
corri con me amore
questa folle corsa che ti dono come pegno antico, come sogno nuovo, se vuoi...
corri con me amore.

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games, games, games!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

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for two or more players aged 16 and up. convicted felons may not play, except in California, where marijuana convictions are not considered.
Each player puts on one of the blue suits from the box and pastes one of the cheesy smile cutouts on his or her face. Pass out blue and red chips to determine who plays the interviewer and interviewee roles. The interviewer(s) take turns asking questions from the STANDARD QUESTIONS cards. The interviewee who is first to provide the answer listed on the back of the STANDARD QUESTION card gets a gold star. The interviewee with the most gold stars gets the job! Extra points for eye contact and a firm handshake.
Ok, my game needs work. It's ridiculous to hire someone based on these things, isn't it? I guess the whole "it's who you know" thing is true for a reason.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

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Home again. I probably won't have the chance to blog regularly again for a while. It must take a super organized person to transition from overseas life to mainland life ( :) ?) without much ado. Perhaps it just takes practice.
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Last entry from Thailand

Thursday, March 17, 2005

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I'm sitting at the TaeWez guesthouse where the sign advertises a "convivial" atmosphere . . . probably for the last time until who-knows-when. My flight takes off in less than 8-hours. It's so bittersweet. Checking out with the office today went well. I'm leaving on a good note, but still, it's hard. No goodbyes; only "so longs"; the world is too small to lose people forever.
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Massage in Thailand

Sunday, March 13, 2005

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I just ran into a former volunteer who was stationed in Phuket about 7-years ago. She comes back every few years to visit her old site. Anyhoo...she brought Easter chocolate and told me a story about Wat Po. Apparently, massage used to be one of the temple arts. The monks perfected the methods and used it on the royal family. Yeah, originally, massage was only for the royals. Then, Rama V (the same king who brought silverware to Thailand) discovered the medicinal benefits of massage and decided it should be available to the common man. These days, massage masters shout from every corner, but its birthplace is Wat Po ... not too far from the guesthouse where I stay. I may give it a go before I fly out.

POST SCRIPT-- Who does the new version of SMB's Joker?
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Assorted Bangkok Ramblings

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My stay in Bangkok has become longer than I thought. I went into the office today, as planned, and found out Doc J will be out until Thursday. I definitely should have made an appointment. Cheers for livin' and learnin'. I now have an appointment Thursday at 8 am. Long, stinkin' time in a large, stinkin' city.

The rockstar party went off with a bang. Bono, Courtney Love, and Kelly Osborne were just a few of the rockstars that showed up. I can't imagine what the Thai hotel guests thought when they looked through the glass doors of our banquet room and saw 30-wigged and decked-out karaoke fools. It was such a good time. Truly Outrageous. :)
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Goodbye Parties GALORE

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

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I'm wiped. I figured it was about time for an update. I'm typing this at a guesthouse computer in the middle of backpackerworld, Bangkok. It has been a whirlwind the last week or so: cleaning house, singing karaoke, thank-you speeches, more thank-you speeches, deciding what to ship/toss/gift/re-gift/stuff in my few bags. I'm not very good at living in the betweens. This feels like the beginning of another lingering stint in the betweens. I was surprised by how sad everyone was that I was leaving. I guess I interpreted their general feelings for me through my US filters and expected them to wai/wave and say, "Ok, Aubrey. Good luck! Goodbye." Excuse the very scattered excuse-for-a-post. I'll write more soon. Until then, I'll be in the betweens . . . attempting to unscatter.
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Monday, February 28, 2005

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Mutley takes five,
chin on his paws ...
awning, his choice of 15 Hondas.
Closing, his lids take a one-inch dive.

Pictures arrive,
Pork he can't taste.
Drooling, his pillow pools saliva.
Thinking, what black-and-white waste.

Night comes in haste.
Out of the road...
Howling, our pooch prepares for the race.
Tramping, he's fast. Unleashes his load.

Then howls low code,
short, short, long, long.
Ending, he slumps, eyes follow the toad.
Hopping in spurts of short,short,long,long.

Mut likes frogsong.
Helps frog survive.
Barking, he's strong; he's alpha; belongs
When he's satisfied,Mutley takes five.

Crazy weekend of traveling here and there trying to see people. Not always successful! I missed my bike, but had a good time. Still no pink wig.
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Doobie Mamas

Thursday, February 24, 2005

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I went to a funeral today. It's a gathering at the temple around the mini temple where they burn bodies (I'm sure there must be a more official name for this). The body burning temple has a huge chimney that spreads ashes around the city when there's a funeral. It's kind of morbid, but really, kind of refreshing. Think, instead of packaging death in sweet styrofoam, Thais sweep it off their porch in the morning. Ehem, I digress. So, during the ceremony, I'm sitting in this circle of old ladies. It was all the usual sucking of teeth until one of the ladies whips a white, plastic jar from her bag and opens the lid. Like a pro, she spoons out a portion of white crystallic glue and spreads it on a ripe leaf. She rolls it. She pops it in her mouth and chews. Chews. Chews. The 40-somethings berate the Linkin Park lovers as a horde of huffing gangsters, but Granny is rolling a little more than her hair. oooooooooooooooey.
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Silly, silly songs

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

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I've always enjoyed a good silly song. It started with "John Jacob Jinglheimerschmit", but I've moved on. In fact, life at the moment has become a silly song FEST of sorts. Check out this one by The Flaming Lips.

she don't use jelly
i know a girl who thinks of ghosts
she'll make ya breakfast
she'll make ya toast
she don't use butter
she don't use cheese
she don't use jelly
or any of these
she uses vaseline
i know a guy who goes to shows
when he's at home and he blows his nose
he don't use tissues or his sleeve
he don't use napkins or any of these
he uses magazines
i know a girl who reminds me of cher
(reminds me of cher)
she's always changing
(she's always changing)
the color of her hair
(color of her hair)
she don't use nothing
that ya buy at the store
she likes her hair to be real orange
she uses tangerines
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The gut-wrenching agony of real irony

Monday, February 21, 2005

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Today, I stopped into a tailor's shop to ask if my province has any pink wigs (project: Jem and the Holograms costume). I was chatting with the sweet seamstress there and it turns out she's a Christian. She knows some foreign Christians who come to the church from the surrounding areas and said if I want to go to church on Sundays, come to the shop and she'll give me a lift. I laughed and cried in a moment. Why is this happening now instead of 6-months ago?

The new group of volunteers came out to visit sites this week. The girl visiting me rocks. We went out to eat tonight with my school director. There are a bazillion restaurants in my province. We happened to run into a couple who are also new volunteers visiting site -- about EIGHT KILO from my house! Yeah, PC placed new volunteers EIGHT KILO from my house and I found out about it tonight... just because the new volunteers happened to chose the same restaurant as my director. I laughed and cried in a moment.

This is the state of things. Oh, the gut-wrenching agony of real irony.
I (and my gut) must rest.
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Thursday, February 17, 2005

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There's a reason I haven't been able to find a thermometer in the country. A buddy's dad sent her one and this evening (EVENING!), it registered one-hundred-and-five-degrees! 105! I collapsed in a dazed heap at 2-o'clock and was unconscious until 4-o'clock. No wonder the schools are closed April. Whew.
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fun times

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

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This past week was one of the best times I've had in a long time. Wooh!
Home again.
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Acamping I will go

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

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I'm out for about a week . . . headed northwest. I'll be leading some recycling activites at a life-skills camp. RE.duce, RE.use, RE.cycle! Like Mom said last night, even our bodies do that! Cheers.

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Leap of Faith

Monday, February 7, 2005

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"Our age is essentially one of understanding and reflection, without passion, momentarily bursting into enthusiasm, and shrewdly relapsing into repose . . . Nowadays not even a suicide kills itself in desperation. Before taking the step, he deliberates so long and so carefully that he literally chokes with thought. It is even questionable whether he ought to be called a suicide, since it is really thought which takes his life. He does not die with deliberation, but from deliberation."

Kierkegaard, Our Present Age

Amazing. How many times have you "died" from deliberation? Me? A thousand times over.

Waiting and thinking don't always mean death. There's a way that even waiting can be passionate. My challenge: To learn that waiting on the Lord (though sometimes gooey and grunge) can be like a leap, arms wide, wind peeling eyelids, suspended in space, wondering (not knowing/planning/deliberating--oy, me!) what's next. Cheers.

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Sticky tack, oh blue goo! How am I to remove you?

Sunday, February 6, 2005

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How to deal with sticky tack on concrete walls

  1. Pull as much off as you can with your fingers. This is almost as much fun as it was to play with gum when you were a kid.
  2. Scrape with a fork. This requires a little more concentration. Pretend it's extreme zen gardening.
  3. Notice the blue blob that still remains in spite of step one and two? Attack it with peanut butter, preferably the chunky kind. Peanut butter gets gum out of hair, right? Right?
  4. Enjoy the aromatherapy of peanut butter in the air. Does it bring back memories of mud pies and bike races? Now, whirl plastic gooey blobs with a wet wipe. Remember, wet wipes were designed for this kind of job.
  5. Notice the (now thinner) blue blob that remains in spite of steps 1-4? Throw some talcum powder on it. This will act as an abrasive and absorb any remaining peanut butter/wet wipe juice (fool the ants?).
  6. Almost there. Attack the talcum plastic mix like Grandma's silver before tea with the queen (whatever that Then, stand back and enjoy...

The blue blobs on your wall!!

Here's the vote: What agent will eventually remove the sticky tack from my wall? Gasoline, WD-40, fresh paint, nail polish remover, a mixture of fish sauce and windex, sand and kafir lime leaves, nothing... it's a lost cause, or a nice painting?

Time will tell. muhahaha. Time will tell.

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Boom Boom and Bam Bam

Saturday, February 5, 2005

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Almost every small neighborhood I've walked through has a small store that supplies the neighborhood folks with ice, coke, gas, and little snacks. My neighborhood has two (I've just discovered they're fierce competitors, too). A couple in their late 60's runs the store where I buy my water. Sometimes, when I go by, Khun Yaiee has her younger sister with her. "Boom Boom", as she asks me to call her, worked for a GI durning the Vietnam War ... when Thailand had military camps scattered all over the place. Every time I see her, Boom Boom says, "I was best house girl. GI give me fruit. He puts everything in the fridge. We eat apples and oranges everyday." It's crazy to me that that one job, however long it lasted, put Boom Boom in a different "class" for the rest of her life. My supervisor met GI's, too, when he was very young. He said they gave him chocolate candy he had never before seen. It was the best he ever had, and when he talks about it, he's (really!) misty-eyed. Amazing. Last weekend, I talked with a Vietnamese kid who travels back-and-forth from Vietnam to Thailand. He said he wants to bring his American buddy home to visit Vietnam, but his parents won't let them. Even now, it's dangerous for USers there. The Vietnamese people are scarred. The soldiers who were there during the "Conflict" are scarred. I wonder what kind of memories our soldiers are creating today? Good and Bad. Bad and Good.

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Lyrical artistry

Thursday, February 3, 2005

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I do so enjoy Paul Simon. I would love to see him in concert. Here's a collage of just some of my favorite lines.

  • --I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard of a golden retriever.
  • --Joseph's face was as black as the night, and the pale, yellow moon shone in his eyes. His path was marked by the stars in the southern hemisphere... and he walked the length of his days under African skies.
  • --In a couple of days, they'll come and take me away for the rest of the story ink.
  • --I need a photo opportunity; I want a shot of redemption. Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
  • --You've got the cool water when the fever runs high.
  • --Yesterday, it was my birthday. I hung one more year on the line.
  • --I know a man. He came from my hometown. He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown. He said, "Delores, I live in fear. My love for you is so overpowering, I'm afraid that I'll disappear."
  • --Just like The Penguins, The Moonglows, The Orioles and, The Five Satins; The easy stream of laughter flowing through the air. Rene and Georgette Magritte with their dog apres la guerre.
  • --He's a poor boy, empty as a pocket with nothing to lose.
  • --She makes the sign of a teaspoon. He makes the sign of a wave. The poor boy change his clothes and puts on aftershave. . . to compensate for his ordinary shoes.
  • --He is a foreign man; he is surrounded by the sound of cattle in the marketplace, scatterlings and orphanages. He looks around; he sees angels in the architecture, spinning in infinity..and he says, "hey, hallelujah!"

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Usher en utero

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

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The other day, I was chilling out at a local vo-tech school. One of the teachers there, who has come over a few times to hang out, is pregnant. She came over as I was biking away and asked what was playing on my walkman. I told her about some of the cds I brought back with me from the States, and she looked, suddenly, very serious. "Usher.. I need to copy your cd. My doctor says my baby will be happy if he listens to Usher."

Heh. Hmmm... Sure. Usher is snagging fans younger than he ever knew.

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The pair

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

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Once upon a time, there was a girl who was exceptionally careless with sunglasses. She lost them with her lap as she stood to move a chair and found them again as 30-boxing boys trampled them underfoot. There was a pair with yellow shades--missing at school. The tortoise-shell framed? Left at the market. The extra dark ones? The counter at the post office. The Elton John pair? Road below backpack. The aviator specs? Who knows! Then, a happy day arrived. The girl went to a real mall that was fully stocked with immitation designer eye-gear. After passing over a hot pair of "Oakey"s, she settled on "V"ersace. They were bold, yet understated. Elegant ... and cheap! The weeks passed and the girl kept track of these shades as she had no other.

One trip to Lotus. One bathroom stall. TWO MINUTES of mindlessness! I pity the fool who wears them in public!


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Ode to yellow-orange

Sunday, January 30, 2005

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waxy crown,

paper suit

noogies all day

wear you down

boxed brothers

jumped ship;

post office floor

rolling colors

one crayon,

envelope, letter

arrived that day

to my town


Ode-eous endings are good for no one. :p

Listening to:

paul simon. african skies. counting crows. omaha. jack johnson. rodeo clowns. michael mcdonald. yah mo be there. stones. beast of burden


Next Ode in the lineup goes to *buh duh duh* Paul Simon, the brilliant storyteller that he is.

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I'm out

Friday, January 28, 2005

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for the weekend. It's time to get some air on those sweet fan buses and see some friends. I hope to --

build a fort

draw a picture

meet a bus buddy

glitter my fingernails

see a movie

sing a Beatles tune, karaoke style

sleep ant-free

I'll let you know how it goes. ;)

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Thailand rocked and rolled today

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Why? Well, here's the story.

I'm in the back of a borrowed chevette (ish) with my two co-teachers in the front. We pull into a full-service station (as they all are here; what was the logic in getting rid of those in the US?) A Thai guy in an aqua work shirt and a pony tail comes to the window and says the equivalent of, "Ma'am, could you move your car to the other pump?" I'm thinking the pump is out of order or something and my initial reaction (argh) is annoyance. Then, we realize that the tank door is actually on the other side of the car and that was the pump buddy's polite way of letting her know.

FIRST-- Sometimes the passive aggresiveness here is like fingernails against my direct-style, US infusion.

SECOND-- Sometimes, tact is kind.

THIRD-- --"terb" is the official name of the tank door of a vehicle. The name originated during WWII. When using tanks for cover during enemy fire, GIs would use "terb" for orientation, as in "Cleatus, SNAFU, "turb"side." Tactical Engineered Readiness Built-in. Am I Balderdashing you?

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Ants on toast..err.. or Aubrey on toast. It's ON!

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I'd like to try it. Maybe it would give these trails of little, super ants something to think about. They crawl down from my ceiling. They trail under my mattress. They stuff my pillow. They hide in my underwear! I've stomped, sprayed, starved, bleached,and sprayed. They're genetically superior to any ants I've ever seen. If I manage to keep a crumbless house, they eat paper or fabric. If there's a crumb to be found, they're on it, stat. I have a feeling, were there a rice field hurricane this far north, my house would never fall. The whole structure is reinforced by the marching bodies of a bazillion ants. I can actually tell the difference between an ant bite and a spider bite while the beast is munching. I'm just training for Fear Factor, folks. But seriously, sometimes I worry if they joined forces, they'd eat me alive. I know I'm more delicious than PAPER... and they've already resorted to THAT. Aaaaaaah!!

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A good, hot cuppa

Thursday, January 27, 2005

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I love throat coat in the morning. I love it in the afternoon. I even love it in the hot season, which is really saying a lot. "What is it?" the curious ones ask. Well, it's this tea by Traditional Medicines that aims to sooth a sore throat. I'm all about preventative care and I drink this tea whenever I can. It tingles. You can find it at any healthish supply store. I wanted to share the joy a little this morning... and if that weren't enough joy, LEARN TO MOONWALK! *sigh* Oh, whatever happened to those rockin Jacksons?

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I went to Verona

... or thought I did when my bathroom was suddenly fountained. It was a dark, steamy night. The sounds of Chinese water torture came from the doorway at the back of my room. *drip* *drip* I got up and discovered my toosh sprayer leaking. I tightened the bolt. After all, what are bolts for if not for tightening? Before I realized what was happening, my pajamas were soaked and I had a fountain spewing from the wall. oooof. Thank goodness for the helpful dude at the hardware store or I'd STILL be taking a raft to the toilet. :)

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Hello Blogger Blogspot, I hope to love you!

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Testing, uno, song, trois.


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