Friday, September 23, 2005

Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3

After many long and painful hours of studying - my test is a thing of the past!! I spent a grueling 7 hours staring at the computer taking a test that included the dreaded k-type question - a list of four things followed by the answer choices:
a) 1, 2, and 3 are correct
b) 1 and 3 are correct
c) 2 and 4 are correct
d) only four is correct
e) all are correct.

Even the SAT abolished these as too cruel for use on a standardized test!

Anyway in a mere 4 to 6 weeks, I'll get my results. Keep your fingers crossed until then!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Freecycle Success

About a month ago I was so excited when I learned about Freecycle. In many ways it was much more appealing to me than even Craig's list and infinitely better than e-bay. I quickly signed up and started watching posts. People have all kinds of stuff they are giving away: couches and beds, scrap metal, plants, food, clothes, cats, dogs, and even sheep. And there are people out there eager to get their hands on this kind of stuff, especially for free.

About a week went by before I put up my own post:
OFFER: wood window blinds interwoven with tan/white/brown decorative yarn.

I also included all the dimensions. Immediately, someone contacted me for these very blinds. I was elated and quickly sent back a reply, but the woman didn't follow up. No biggie - I had a second taker, or so I thought. She didn't follow up either.

Ok so nobody wanted my blinds, but perhaps I could give to those requesting items. I finally found the perfect post - somebody wanting end tables and lamps. I just happened to have two extra end tables and three extra lamps - perfect for this 18 year old going off to college. But no response.

Maybe I'd have better luck if I tried to take something. I was definitely interested in the "tons of canning jars" in Independence. My inquiry got no response, not even a "sorry, they're spoken for," which is all I really expected. Now is that too much to ask.

So I had very low expectations when I replied to "Wanted: curtains" yesterday. But today I got a phone call - not an e-mail - an actual person! Not only was this great for coordinating, but I got her whole life story to boot. It turns out that Jessica needed the curtains for her dad's 1900's house because the windows are quite drafty in the winter time. Her dad is a "bachelor and is clueless about these kind of things." But she wants it taken care of because she is going to be moving in with her dad because she is expecting and due in November. She said she send her mom over right away to pick up the curtains. A little too much information, to be sure, but I was just so excited to finally be getting rid of something.

About an hour later a woman showed up. She said she'd be happy to take all of my unwanted curtains (even the ugly red striped ones!!) so I helped pile them into her car.

My faith was restored. One man's (woman's) trash was another man's treasure.
Time to offer up more of my junk, er, um, I mean treasures.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Jump for Joy!

Megan still loves her jolly jumper, especially now since it is the best seat in the house for watching ping pong. Plus, she can really get some air!

She's drooling with excitement! (well, that and her second tooth just broke through).

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wired Up

Megan obviously inherited my computer skills (or lack thereof)!

"Now where do all these wires go? And, more importantly, can I eat them?"
(BTW - check out my tooth!)

Mr. Mom

Mac has adjusted well to his roll as Mr. Mom and I think he is glad he didn't have to head back to school with the rest of the teachers this year.

Being a stay-at-home dad isn't always easy, though. A few days ago Mac related an encounter at the grocery store. An older woman passed him in the aisle and said, "I see somebody is babysitting today."

"Parenting!" Mac corrected as he pushed the cart on.

But spending time with Daddy is great for Megan. She loves all of his rough housing. Plus, Daddy sometimes does things differently than I do. Like this morning when I found Megan with her pants on her head after Daddy took her to get dressed. Mommy certainly doesn't do it like that!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Yesterday, I was certain our reliable alarm clock had woken up way too early. The house was still pretty dark, but Megan was most definitely awake. A quick glance at the clock revealed that I was the one who was off. It was 7:03; Megan was still more faithful than Old Faithful itself. (Old Faithful eruption times vary between 45 and 90 minutes apart; Megan almost always awakens +/- 10 minutes of 7 o'clock).

A look out the window was all that was necessary to explain my confusion: our house was entombed in fog. (Of course, that didn't really explain why I was still tired like it was 5am...). We couldn't even see to the edge of our property.

No, my photography isn't that bad - we really couldn't see anything!

Today was a different story. There was still lots of dense fog only this time we were above it, our house basking in the morning sun. The fog blanketed the valley and only the distant mountains (which looked remarkably close over the fog) peeked above it.

Also, we've got one more thing peeking out in this house: Megan's first tooth! Ok, "tooth" is stretching it a bit as it has just barely broken the surface, but it is definitely coming along.

Friday, September 9, 2005

Dead End Job

Megan is getting close to crawling. She can get herself up onto her hands and knees and even propel herself...backwards. So far forwards just isn't happening. Sometimes you can get into a tight spot if you don't look where you are going:

Today Megan went from the middle of the kitchen to end up under this desk. She got pretty frustrated when she realized she had hit a dead end.

Cat and Mouse

Megan is mesmerized by our cats. She has become quite a little cat lover. How fortunate, then, when Zeus decided to sit down right by her today.

Zeus seemed to have an uncanny awareness that Megan, despite her best effort, cannot move forward, only backwards. The cat didn't flinch as Megan flopped around beside him.

In just a few minutes Megan went from two inches away to two yards away.

Once she discovered the light, she didn't seem to mind.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

To My Credit, II

My month without a credit card was completelt crippling. On a day to day basis, I almost never use cash. I usually keep a twenty-dollar bill with me (just in case...), but I rarely ever use it. Sometimes that twenty dollars will last a couple of months. Of course I spend, I just pay with plastic. Mostly this is for my own convenience: I never have to go to the ATM, I don't count or recieve change, I know I always have enough. A lot of places make it a lot easier on the credit-card carrying consumer as well: gas stations make you take your cash inside, but credit cards you can use without leaving your car; the self check-out lines are a lot faster with a credit card, and a credit card is the only way to shop on-line.

So my question: In this day of e-mail, e-commerce, telecommuting and virtual reality, do we really need printed money? Wouldn't virtual money suffice? The system could function just like a debit card, so credit would not be an issue. Cash is practically obsolete anyway, why not retire the mugs of George Washington, Abe Lincoln and Ben Franklin once and for all?

Of course, I'd still have to remember where I put my card...

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

To My Credit

Half way through our move I lost my credit card and driver's license; or better said, they were misplaced. I remembered most of the details about the day they went missing: for some reason I didn't take a purse that day and instead carried the cards in my pocket at work. After work, I went to our house in Portland to load up the truck with junk to take down to Salem. Not wanting to get my work clothes dirty, I changed into a pocketless shorts and T-shirt outfit. Then, being very responsible, I took the cards out to the truck and put them in the cup holder. I then loaded the truck and headed down to Salem. Mac unloaded the truck that night.

The next morning the cards were gone. A very thorough search of the truck was fruitless. I was pretty certain Mac had misplaced them while he unloaded our stuff. But after four weeks of unpacking boxes, the cards still hadn't materialized. This past weekend I got to the last box - still nothing. I had been watching our card account on-line and hadn't seen any aberrant activity, so I was pretty certain the cards weren't in the hands of evil-doers. Plus, that just didn't fit with my memory of the situation.

What I forgot to remember, until today, was that halfway down to Salem, I thought the cup holder was a pretty studid place to keep a driver's license and credit card so I put the cards in the pocket of my white doctor's coat, an item that was in the process of being moved that day. The coat got immediately unpacked into the laundry room closet, where it has been sitting for over a month.

As luck would have it, I was asked to go get my picture taken for my new job in Salem today. Oh, and by the way, could I bring my white coat along so that I would look professional in the picture. The last details of my cards' whereabouts came creeping back into my mind when the cards tumbled out of my pocket.

To celebrate, I decided to stop by Starbucks on my way home from work.

"I'll have a large green tea latte," I ordered.

Aside: I refuse to use the Starbucks size lingo. Yes, I know that "tall" is the small size, that "grande," which means "large," is a medium and that "venti," meaning "twenty," is the largest Starbucks offering at 20 ounces. But to me the system is retarded because all the names mean "big." Papa Murphy's pizzaria uses similar idiotic sizing system. I once tried to order two medium pizzas. "We don't have a medium. We have personal, large and extra large sizes." But if "large" is the middle size, isn't it a medium?? Wendy's offers large and Biggie fries, but of course, no small. Why is it so terrible to order something that is less than large, extra-large or super-dooper-kajooper large??

Ok, back to the story...

"I'll have a large green tea latte," I ordered.

"Do you mean a Chai tea latte?" the cashier asks, obviously sensing my Starbucks ignorance, particularly because I don't use the right size buzzwords.

"Ok, yeah," I stammer. "Wait! Is the Chai tea latte green?"

"No [you moron] it's brown."

The other waitress gets where I am going. "We have a green tea frappaccino; it's green."

"Yeah, that's it," I exclaim.

"One venti green tea frappaccino," the cashier says pointlessly to the second woman, who obviously knows what I want. The cashier probably does this just to use the word "venti", as if I don't feel small already, or is that tall already??

"That'll be $4.20," the cashier says.

I smack my credit card down on the counter.

"Will that be on your card?"

"Yes it will!"

Saturday, September 3, 2005


My mom is here taking care of Megan during the day while I study and Mac is off hunting. Yesterday they did the laundry; Megan was a big help, I am sure!

Friday, September 2, 2005


I have been to all but two of the fifty United States: Mississippi and Louisiana. I have always though that some day I'd make a trip to New Orleans and while there just swing over the border to cross the final two states off of my list. But in the wake of Katrina and all the destruction left behind, I regret that I didn't get to these two states sooner.

In eighth grade I visited the Twin Towers and took in the view from the top floor. Though something magnificent will likely go up in their place, the New York skyline will never be the same.

The same goes for New Orleans and to a lesser extent all the small towns that were decimated by the recent storm. They will be rebuilt but will the Canjun flavor live on? Will they stay true to their Southern roots or will they put up fantastic but generic skyscrapers?

I also feel regret for my ignorance. I don't know what levees broke, where the French Quarter is located, what the Superdome looks like because I have never been there. I feel like I would understand the news better if I had had first-hand experience of the area.

Some day I'll get to these two states, but it won't be anytime soon. I only want to see these places when all this devastation is just a memory.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Summer Clothes

Megan wore her Winnie the Pooh outfit today, very fitting for my little Piglet! We're ok with this kind of Pooh on her clothing!