Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Iron Lung

I thought this was interesting, in a sick, scary kind of way. It's a picture of an Iron Lung ward from the 1940's - full of children suffering from polio. Kinda makes you glad for those IPV vaccinations, doesn't it?
BTW, the shields over each patient's head are mirrors: the only way an iron lung patient can make eye contact with another person.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I loved this movie. But I don't think I was supposed to bawl so hysterically at the end, I really don't. It was beautiful and sad and I absolutely loved it. A very gentle movie. Maybe it's because I was adopted, or because I want a third child pretty badly and it's doubtful that's going to happen - I don't know. But I cried snuffly ugly tears at the end - the red-faced, blow-your-nose kind of tears.

I'm still glad I watched it.


Look what my neighbor found today, sitting in my front yard on top of Two's "turtle" scooter!

So cool!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day in the Backyard

Boxers love a lie down in the yard. Oscar prefers to sunbathe and Lamb likes the dirt. You could say that perhaps she is smart enough to know she would burn in the sun, but really it's because she wants to get so dirty she and her brother are the same color. Oscar has been a sundog as long as we've had him. Usually I have to coax him in with biscuits before he cooks himself.

They certainly know how to enjoy themselves. If I believed in reincarnation, this is how I'd want to return to Earth.

Rudyard Kipling: Tommy

"I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin',
Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Read Aloud List for Boys

The only homework the boys will have until 4th grade is to have us read aloud to them 15 minutes each day from something above their reading level. But even before this requirement, we've read to them from chapter books. I started with One when he turned 5 and we started Two's first "big book" tonight (Despereaux). Some of the ones we began with that I would recommend are the following:

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Hobbit by Tolkien
The Magic books by Edward Eagar
Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Redwall by Brian Jacques

You can also try anything by Edith Nesbit - some kids may like them and some may find them too old-fashioned. I've not actually read them to the boys yet, but One listened to Five Children and It on tape and could not be disturbed - he almost gave up eating until it was finished.

Whatever you do, don't go for the abridged version of anything. If the language is too complex or the subject matter too mature, just wait a year or two. It's much better to expose your kids to the amazing language of classic books than it is to read something just to say you did it.

I also have a very personal opinion that the Harry Potter books should wait until kids can read them themselves. If they're too young to read these books, then they're too young to deal with what's in them. Just a peculiar opinion of mine, and I can't think of any classic children's book I would apply it to. And I don't think the magic in them is really witchcraft or any of that nonsense; I just don't think they're children's books, per se. More like teen books, really. Just my own personal quirk.

Starting this tradition early was really a great decision. This winter One and his dad read all of the real, actual Three Musketeers (all 500+ pages). One was enthralled, and is now a die-hard Dumas fan (his dad's plan, of course). Now they're finishing Robinson Crusoe (they hate it, as it turns out, but are slogging through in hopes that it will help One finish Moby Dick in high school). Next up is either Swiss Family Robinson or Johnny Tremain - it's my turn so I'm lobbying for the latter, but it's up to One.

When I was young I read The Austin Family books by Madeleine L'Engle over and over; one of the things I loved about the family was that they read together every night. Hard stuff - Shakespeare - but they loved it and found it fun. I've always wanted that for my children, and I'm so glad it's working out. We plan to keep this up until homework drives away all semblance of a bedtime routine.

Well, this has been a little disjointed, but the main point is this: chapter books, people, chapter books! Enjoy them!


Thank God for people like this, who stand up for what they believe is right in God's eyes!

"...for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in." - Matthew 25:35

Old Friends

We have friends in town this weekend - friends from law school. Derek was our best man at our wedding - we eloped to Hill Country on a Friday afternoon in law school (January 26th) and Derek was best man and photographer. He's now married to Rebecca, who was in law school with us as well, but she and Derek didn't meet until Bar review class. They have a gorgeous daughter, Josephine, and live in NYC. We didn't get to have too much time with them - they are making the rounds of old friends and Rebecca's family in only 3 days - but we had dinner tonight at the Taqueria. One loved Josie immediately. He keeps doing this to me - being such a perfect big brother to really little kids - and it makes me want to have a 3rd child. It alarms his father and delights me. So here are the 2 new best friends - One and 21 month old Josie, giving each other one of their 10 goodbye hugs (there were kisses too, but I didn't catch a picture of that).

Seeing these guys made my whole weekend!


This is Husband's Dopp kit. He doesn't unpack it anymore. Why would he? He will have 75 points on Continental by the end of this week - 90 would make him "Platinum" for the year (he's already "Gold").
Can I just tell you how much I hate the sight of this thing? I bought it for him 15+ years ago as a present, but if I could stick it on the grill and barbeque it, I would.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Here we are at the big Pre-K graduation today. Lots of cupcakes, lots of pictures and treats, and these ridiculously cute blue graduation caps.

Did I mention I even used hairspray for this big event? It was very important.

Two had a great time. He was sad to leave his class (and especially his teachers) but he's still talking about how much fun Kindergarten will be. It is so good to know he's ready to move up.

I am so grateful to his school for having done such an amazing job this year. They have helped so much to contribute to his self-confidence, love of learning, and (vastly improved) behavior. A year ago I never imagined he'd be where he is right now with all 3 of those things.

Thank you, God, for this amazing year you've given us! We have been blessed again and again!

PreK Graduation

I've put on my Good Mommy clothes (from those hallowed halls of mommy shopping, Hanna Andersson and Ann Taylor Loft) and actually blowdried my hair, and am off to Two's Pre-K end-of-school celebration. I'll be back with pictures later on.

Good Friends

Almost nothing replaces the advice of a good friend. Yesterday I was in a bit of a fit: One was invited to a birthday party tomorrow that involved going to see the newest Indiana Jones movie, rated PG-13. I knew if I said no I would be the uncool mom of the bunch, but my instinct was to do just that. With Husband buried under a 30 foot pile of paper in preparation for trial, I used the tried-and-true method of assistance: I emailed my girlfriends.

Oh I love my friends! Everyone I emailed send back such wisdom and support - they were all a joy to read. I wanted to share some of the wisdom that was sent to me - everyone's answer was "no, don't send him to the movie", but there were differences in each answer that I really appreciated. Here we go:

Erin pointed out that it's not the big stuff but the small stuff that worries her. The innuendo followed by the raised eyebrow, the camera focusing on cleavage - the kind of stuff that gets in your child's head and they don't even realize it. It's easier to talk about monsters or a scary fight scene, but this hidden stuff never comes out - it just seeps into their consciousness and does its damage.

Michelle pointed out that we are to think/dwell on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, anything of excellence, and anything worthy of praise - and having One spend the next few days with his thoughts filled with such an exciting and overwhelming movie (and not much else) wouldn't be the right thing for him.

Mary Ann reminded my that if the movie industry says 13, then what should I say?

Shelly talked about the darkness of some of the themes in the movie - skulls with supernatural powers - and thought that those images were definitely not for an 8 year old.

Jenny, Beth and Beth all said being thought of as an "overprotective mom" is always better than the alternative.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love your support when I am feeling wavery on something like this.

And when Husband finally staggered home from work, I got out "Indiana Jones" and "PG-13" and before I could say much more he looked stern and shook his head. My kids don't even need me - they just need y'all!

Thanks again for the blessing of being your friend (and to Husband, of being your wife). Love you all.

False Images

This is an amazing website: from Sweden's health ministry, on the amount of photo re-touching that goes on in the fashion industry (don't worry, it's been translated into English).

I am glad to have boys - and young ones at that - so I don't have to deal with this issue directly, as mom's with girls do. According to Newsweek, by the time she's 12 an average girl will have seen 77,000 advertisements - and who knows how many of those have been re-touched. The power these images have to change a child's image of herself is frightening.

Even as as a mother of boys, this trend worries me. I want my boys to appreciate the women and girls in their lives for who they are, not how they look. Further, I never want them to hold those girls/women up to some unattainable standard set by a computer-generated image of all things.

Thanks to neo-neocon

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Official Preppy Handbook, Part II

Did you know that these were popular again? Uh huh. I was in Nordstrom yesterday afternoon and two definitely un-dorky 16 year old girls were goggling all over them - they each bought a pair. I went up to them and asked and, sure enough, they said these were the thang. OMGosh. I am sooooo old.

Did you have a pair in high school? I did. Yup, I came home from the store and started pulling grey hairs out with the tweezers again. I'll be bald soon (unless I get back to the hairdresser for more highlights, that is). When the 70's started to come back, that was bad enough. Re-living all the fashion mistakes my mom made for me - since I was pretty much too young to pick out those white patent leather go-go boots myself, mom - was bad enough, but to have to spend the next 10 to 15 years looking around at my own teen fashion faux-pas is not at all tolerable.

A funny aside - did you know that Husband's high school was mentioned in The Official Preppy Handbook? And he wore madras blazers to class in nice weather, too. Yup, it's all going to come back and we'll be sorry, sorry, sorry.

Whining at the Pump

I thought this op ed about gas prices was interesting:

There's also this historical data collected by one driver over the course of many years, for those of you who like graphs and math and that sort of thing:

This past week's Doctor Who episode (well, this week according to BBCA) featured an invention that reduces carbon emissions on a car to zero. As the Doctor quickly points out - how stupid, you'll run through oil supplies in no time with such a ridiculous device. Those aliens - always showing us up.

Good News

This story from the UK has encouraging news about finding not just another antibiotic, but an actual cure for MRSA.

Both my boys carry staph, and while we've never found out for sure that it's MRSA, it's still worrisome. The pediatricians here in Houston really freak out about it - a predicable reaction since they've had kids die at TCH from MRSA. Our worst scare with it happened in Mexico last year, when one of the two MRSA-approved antibiotics failed to work. One's foot swelled up like a balloon, and the TCH doctors recommended a second antibiotic, a sulfa drug. The doctor in Mexico, thankfully, wanted nothing to do with 2 antibiotics at once (especially since there are sulfa allergies in both my family and Husband's). Instead she gave One good old Erythromycin; his foot was back to normal in 2 days. As easy as that was in the end, I'd love to know that our staph days were at an end; maybe in a few years I'll get my wish.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jill Paquette

Okay, I know I'm turning into a YouTube junkie, but Jill has such a spectacular voice. She and Donna played at church tonight and, as whenever they do, you leave with such a feeling of uplifted peace.


You Do Something to Me: Paul Weller

This is the wedding reception song from the Torchwood episode, Something Borrowed. I absolutely love it:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Update and Poetry

My mom is in town so I'm a little distracted and haven't had time to write anything decent. I'm also having a sleep study tonight, and am stressing out a little about that. But in order to post something, here is one of my favorite poems:

Here too. Here as at the other edge
Of the hemisphere, an endless plain
Where a man’s cry dies a lonely death.
Here too the Indian, the lasso, the wild horse.
Here too the bird that never shows itself,
That sings for the memory of one evening
Over the rumblings of history;
Here too the mystic alphabet of stars
Leading my pen over the page to names
Not swept aside in the continual labyrinth of days: San Jacinto
And that other Thermopylae, the Alamo.
Here too the never understood,
Anxious, and brief affair that is life.

Aquí también. Aquí, como en el otro
Confín del continente, el infinito
Campo en que muere solitario el grito;
Aquí también el indio, el lazo, el potro.
Aquí también el párajo secreto
Que sobre los fragores de la historia
Canta para una tarde y su memoria;
Aquí también el místico alfabeto
De los astros, que hoy dictan a mi cálamo
Nombres que el incesante laberinto
De los días no arrastra: San Jacinto
Y esas otras Termópilas, el Alamo.
Aquí también esa desconocida
Y ansiosa y breve cosa que es la vida.
Jorge Luis Borges: The Self and the Other (El Otro, El Mismo)

Welcome Home

To Gwyneth Rose Lawrenson!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

My mom had this hanging in my playroom when I was little. I've always loved it.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

by Dorothy Law Nolte

Two Tramps in Mud Time: Robert Frost

Related to the post below - Madeleine L'Engle used this in one of her books, The Arm of the Starfish:

"But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future's sakes."

I love this final stanza, even though I've never studied the entire poem in any detail. What does it mean to you?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Holding Life in an Open Hand

My prayer lately has been to hold everything I have in this world in an open hand - to not grasp or cling to any material good, or even to those that I love. I want to cling only to Christ - to the promises that He has given me and the work He has for me to do. That, in essence, is our avocation in life. All other things are our vocation - work, but not what God gives us to cling to.

Dorothy Sayers wrote about something similar in Gaudy Night. Harriet and a friend at Oxford are discussing how one acts when you know what your "job" (or avocation) is, and how differently you act when you don't:

If you truly want a thing, you don’t snatch; if you snatch, you don’t really want it. Do you suppose that, if you find yourself taking pains about a thing, it’s a proof of its importance to you?”“I think it is, to a large extent. But the big proof is that the thing comes right, without those fundamental errors. One always makes surface errors, of course. But a fundamental error is a sure sign of not caring. I wish one could teach people nowadays that the doctrine of snatching what one thinks one wants is unsound.”

“I saw six plays in London this winter,” said Harriet, “all preaching the doctrine of snatch. I agree that they left me with the feeling that none of the characters knew what they wanted.”“No,” said Miss DeVine. “If you are once sure what you do want, you find that everything else goes down before it like grass under a roller–-all other interests, your own and other people’s.”

When I clutch, life tastes life berries and water; when I let go, I get honeycakes and wine.

Booklist, II

I finished Till We Have Faces last night, and wow, there was lots of that I didn't understand! J, come talk to me quick about it! I am without a clue!

Another book I read recently was Kabul Beauty Shop, by Deborah Rodriguez. Very good read - quick and interesting. I'm not usually into girl-bonding books, but this was an exception. I've read The Kite Runner and The Bookseller of Kabul, and consequently like books on Afghanistan (hey, I even read Caravan when I was a teenager ...). I like Indian fiction better, but there's something about the spate of books about Afghanistan that's very compelling. I think it's the culture collision, or in particular with the Afghani books, the coming together of the 12th century and the 21st. Life is confusing enough for me without any of those conflicts - I can't imagine trying to contain such a thing inside myself.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Need for Beauty

Thanks to Barbara for pointing out this amazing essay by Frederica Mathewes Green, on the importance of beauty in worship:

Great quote:
"We worship in beauty because it is what God commanded. He instructed Moses to provide elaborate beauty in worship—gold, incense, embroidery, carved wood, vestments, “a golden bell and a pomegranate.” But not because God needs these things – as the psalmist says, he already owns the cattle on a thousand hills. No, it is we humans who need such things, and their use in worship empowers mission in ways that, literally, can’t be conveyed in words. Beauty sets the heart aright, and opens it to God."


Here's a list of the books I've read lately. Instead of falling asleep the minute I start to read I've been flying through the most amazing books. I'd love to write reviews of all of them - maybe I'll have the time to eventually. But for now, you can consider all of these super-double-extra recommended.

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
Crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer
The Hospital by Jan de Hartog
The Peaceable Kingdom by Jan de Hartog
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (in process right now)

My Ongoing Battle with the Radio

Why do I let the radio make me mad? I was trying out the Christian Radio Station again on the way to lunch today and it wrapped me around the steering wheel once again. This time it started out good; I was so excited when they played one of Robbie's songs and then - more excitement - they started to play Los Lonely Boys' Heaven. Wow! Except ... it was the same song, but it wasn't Los Lonely Boys. It was an impostor - and a dreadful one at that. So apparently you can take their song, but they aren't good enough. Get busted for pot possession and the Baptists want nothing to do with you personally (but they'll take your stuff if it's good, okay?).


Vroom Vroom!

I am so excited about cars in the near future - here's a quote and a link from Instapundit:

"IT HAS A NICE JETSONISH LOOK: VW Confirms 1L Concept Will Become Reality in 2010. "The VW 1L is so named because, in theory, it only consumes one liter of fuel per 100 kilometers traveled. For those of us in the US, this translates into about 235 MPG. Definitely far and above anything on the market currently." It is kinda low and small. But if they keep the Jetsonish look, it'll sell. If they shift to something more boring, it won't."

My minivan lease expires in 2010, and while this 1L doesn't sound like it would work for me, there seem to be so many fuel-efficient cars - especially the new super-clean diesels - that will be coming out in the next 2 years. The Honda van I'm driving has been a great improvement on the big old Suburban - double the gas mileage around the city - but I'm still looking for a cleaner and more fuel-efficient car. Given how much I drive, saving money at the gas pump sounds just fine with me, too! I can hang in there with the van for another 2 years, since it looks like there will be plenty of options for me when it's time to hand it back to the lovely people at Honda. In 2010 One will also be big enough for the occasional trip in the front seat, so if we have to carpool it will still work out.

Happy Birthday Meg!!!!

Happy Birthday to sweet, sweet Meg!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Let's Kill All the Lawyers

This is disgusting, but unfortunately common:

This "something is wrong - let's blame a lawyer" attitude has to go. Does anyone with this grievance mentality ever stop to think how few attorneys are actually involved in the kind of litigation that makes them so hot under the collar? A large "full-service" law firm is not composed strictly of litigators but also includes specialists in tax, corporate law, bankruptcy, wills and estates, intellectual property, energy law, securities, labor & employment, banking regulation, insurance law, international trade, health care, environmental, private equity, construction and real estate - the list goes on, With the exception of bankruptcy lawyers, none of the aforementioned specialists goes to court frequently if at all.

The vast majority of attorneys spend their time assisting business in its day to day operations; the financial markets and just about everything else would grind to a halt pretty quickly if it weren't for these attorneys. Insulting hardworking people like this only adds to the divisiveness already rife in our political culture, and it needs to stop.


I never win anything. No, I'm not whining about that, but winning and Tari have never been good friends. That doesn't mean I haven't been inundated with amazing blessings my entire life (I have!!) but they don't usually come in the form of "a win" (see my high school soccer career as a perfect example :-)). Anyway, we went to One's school picnic on Sunday and I won his class project in the raffle. Okay, I stuffed the box with 6 tickets. I confess - guilty guilty guilty. But I WON! I am so happy!

Each of the animal's bellies is the thumbprint of the child the animal represents. Oh, I love this jar so much.

Jill, I am not gloating, I swear I'm not. You can still have it for 1/2 the year, I promise.

And additional good news from the picnic: Two will be going to Kindergarten at One's school next year, and he spent a lot of time peering in the windows of his future classroom. He got really excited about all the great stuff in there - he can't wait for K to start.

I Hate Houseflies

It just took THREE whacks with a full Wall Street Journal to kill this fly. He was definitely a professional-wrestler in the fly world.

WHY does this house seem to attract houseflies? It's actually not this house, it's the whole neighborhood for some strange reason. We all have this problem. Maybe it's that our houses are old, and there are lots of leaky windows and doors to sneak in.

Have you ever heard Christine Lavin sing "Fly on a Plane"? I will try to find it and post it later.

Readaholics, by Lileks

Teacher Appreciation Week

Apparently this is Teacher Appreciation Week - far be it from me to question what I hear on the radio, so we'll go with it. The station imparting this knowledge had listeners calling in to talk about their favorite teacher - I'll skip the phone call and just write it down here.

My best-teacher-of-all-time-award goes to Don Mellor: 10th grade English and 12th grade Political Geography. 10th grade was my first year at private school; bored out of my wits in public school, I begged and wheedled until my mother gave in and enrolled me in Northwood. The first day in English, we were given a stack of paperbacks - our reading for the year. That night at home I cried, going over those books one by one - handling them, reading a page or two of each. I couldn't believe someone wanted me to read all of these. We were going to discuss them in class, give our opinions, write about them, be tested on them. I know this sounds silly, but no one had ever asked this of me before. I'd been reading voraciously since I was 5, but no one ever intimated that this was anything other than an admirable hobby. Now it was going to be so much more than that: I was floored. Through that year, Mr. Mellor taught us how to talk about books, how to write about them, and how to love them - not just as intelligent diversions but as works of art, as beauty. I've never read a book the same way again.

The following year I didn't have Mr. Mellor for class, but instead got myself into trouble and encountered him as Dean of Students (or as we called him, Dean of Discipline). He was, as always, fair and honest, and expected the same from all of us sinners. I (for once) was honest, and I've never felt so forgiven by another human being as I did when I left that classroom after "my turn to go talk to Mr. Mellor." I did my time on probation, raking leaves and washing dishes, and never got in trouble again at school.

My last year at school I took Political Geography (which, along with French 4, helped me to escape both Physics and Calculus - whee!). Again, Mr. Mellor was wonderful teacher. He taught less and guided more; he helped us bring out our own opinions, question them, and then write and speak about them intelligently. As a 17 year old, it is so important when an adult takes you and your opinions about the grown up world you are about to enter seriously. Mr. Mellor treated all of us with respect; he never allowed grown up cynicism to sneak in and ruin our idealism. He didn't leave us all believing in pie in the sky, either, but he never once made me feel that I had no idea what I was talking about, or that I didn't have a right to be passionate about an issue that moved me.

Thank you, Mr. Mellor. You were to me what a teacher should be. You demanded intergrity and good scholarship, you taught and you guided and you cared. Thank you.

I'm Old

I know this is obvious, but ...

On the way to school this morning One and I were talking about old friends and what some of us did right after college. I said "... and John worked at a record store ..." One immediately interrupted with "What's a record store?" Sigh.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mother's Day Idea

The National Marrow Donor Program is having a registration drive in honor of Mother's Day:

Please consider it.

Big Firms S*ck

This a long but well-worth-it read, compliments of Instapundit (who else?):

Any attorney or law student who deludes themselves into thinking that this kind of treatment is unusual is just that - delusional. This is how big firms operate - it's the bottom line and nothing else. They treat people worse than the largest and greediest corporations ever dream of; after all, who is going to hire an attorney who sues his/her former firm? Law firms know they are almost bullet-proof, and frequently fire people (or shove them out the door) without any severance or warning whatsoever. The fact that this firm offered this asssociate money is real proof of how guilty they feel - most attorneys get nothing more than help carrying their boxes to the curb.

Read and learn.

Food Blog Watching

I discovered this blog yesterday and am watching it for recipes I can make here. Lots of the ingredients are Indian, so it's either wait for a recipe that is a little more US-ingredient friendly or head off to an Indian market here in Houston.

Here are 2 recipes I definitely want to try soon:

Oh I love Indian food!

This I Believe

"This I believe: that by opening ourselves to strangers, we will taste God."

Read it, read it read it!

I'm sitting here trying to think of something important to say, some comment to make, and I don't have one - this is enough.

Heard on the Way to Work, Part II

French vandals get something right - they're targeting speed cameras:

Apparently they got another one just the other day, and NPR reported this morning that the favored technique for destruction is to bash the thing to the ground, pour gasoline on it and set it alight.

Tell me you haven't looked up at Houston's new red light cameras and thought similar thoughts?

Surfing Radio Stations

This AM on the way to the office I had 2 great sing-along opportunities: Paradise City by Guns N Roses and I'll Fly Away. Yes, a little difference between the 2. I enjoyed the former more than the latter, not because I was ever much of a metal head, but the I'll Fly Away version was way too slow and anemic. Oh well, that's Christian Radio for you - they turn everything good into a washed out pop ballad. Blech.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What I Want My Boys to Learn

I just caught a snippet of a Tim Russert interview with Justice Scalia, and he had this quote from his dad (a professor and intellectual):
"Brains are like muscles - you can hire them by the hour. The only thing that's not for sale is your character."
Husband and I put too much emphasis on smart = good. I want to make an effort to focus more on character and (a little) less on intellect.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bowery Bum Fridays

We don't have casual Friday in my office, we have dress-like-a-hobo day. I swear, most of the people around here look like they spent the night in the bus station. Jeans have dragging, ripped hems, Man Mumus* abound, and sandals - if you are a man I do not want to see your toes in the office, please.

I worked a long time at a software company, and I've seen sloppy. I'm also a Northeastern girl and have pretty much dumbed down the dress code at every place I've worked. But these people got lost on the way to clean out the garage today. Maybe they're just as tired as I am.

*Man Mumu: printed, oversized Tommy Bahama-style shirts, worn untucked to hide your joe.