Monday, October 31, 2005
Some random observations:
1) People give out lots more candy per kid than they used to. They don't give out one fun-size Snickers or a couple rolls of Smarties. They give out a handful of the little Snickers bars or little bags with about half a dozen types of candy in them.
2) It's more fun when the people answering the door are dressed up too.
3) Sometimes scary is too scary. There was one house in the neighborhood that scared the kids and my sister so much that they refused to go in. They had a big pickup truck with yellow flashing lights on top parked in such a way that it looked like it was pinning a man to a tree. He writhed a little bit sometimes just so you could know he was real and not a pretend person. The same yard was full of scary looking things and there were a few zombie-type people silently roaming the yard. I thought it was brilliant, like performance art. The only one who agreed it was awesome was my brother in law.
4) When you're on a dark deserted street and hear the music from Halloween playing faintly a few streets away, it's pretty creepy even if you're a grownup.
5) Older people seem to give the best and most copious quantities of candy.
6) Trick or treating at condo complexes is very efficient. So many homes in such a concentrated space.
7) Trick or treating is a good excuse for checking out people's homes. I love seeing how they decorate and what their houses look like.
8) Carved pumpkins with real candles are still the best Halloween decorations.
9) I saw a shooting star while we were out. That was pretty cool.
10) People can still give out homemade treats (popcorn balls) around here and you know it's okay and not evil and poisoned.
11) Even though the officially designated time for trick or treating was from 5 to 8 in our town, two hours was plenty. The kids were beat and when we weighed my girl's bag o' treats, already minus some treats, it weighed 5.5 pounds!
Sunday, October 30, 2005
So there I was, up at 6:30 on Sunday morning. I made a pot of coffee and sat down at the computer to log into my online class to make my kind of late-ish contribution to this week's discussion only to find out the assignment closed on the 29th. Oh, that was yesterday. Guess the whole thing ended yesterday. Oh well. That was the only time I missed contributing so I think it will be okay.
Taking an online class has been a weird experience. I like the convenience of it but it seems so part time. Which is a dumb thing to say because it is part time. Maybe what feels odd is being a part time student. Any other time I've been in school, school has been my life. One of these days I'm going to adjust and not be obsessive about everything, I hope.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
When I got to campus I saw lots of rain gear and umbrellas, but I get here around 7:30 which means most of the people I saw were other adults who work here. Us grownups use rain gear, I guess. I reached the door of my building at the same time a student did. She had a raincoat on and was carrying an umbrella. The umbrella was folded up at her side and the hood was down. She had the rain gear but she was still walking through the rain letting her head get wet. What is it with that?
Monday, October 24, 2005
I'm pretty quiet these days. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I've been trying to trade computer time for actually doing things in the world time. Not all that time is spent doing important adult-type things, like my new bookkeeping job. Sometimes I'm making things like this, with patterns from here. The patterns are only going to be free until the end of the month, so if you're interested in making little stuffed animals and are too cheap to pay a few bucks for some really good directions, get them now while you can.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I've also continued working on the sweater I'm knitting out of merino wool and have re-started (for the third time) a shawl I'm knitting from a lovely alpaca wool I've had sitting in my stash for the past two years.
When I'm not playing with yarn, I seem to be baking. Yesterday I got home from teaching with an hour and a half free before I had to pick up the girl from school. There was a half peck bag of cortland apples on the counter, so I looked through my baking books and decided on the Crumbly Apple Square recipe from The Clueless Baker. Very crumbly and very yummy. I'd like to see if I can come up with something that travels a little better next though.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
It looks cool. The widgets are kind of groovy and there is even a sudoku widget that pauses the stopwatch when you leave the widget interface and starts it back up when you resume. I suppose iPhoto and Garageband are better, but I haven't had much time to use them yet.
There are a few things that just out and out piss me off though. First is that I have to manually connect to my wireless connection everytime I startup the machine or wake it up from sleep. My preferences settings are such that it shoudl just find and join the network, but it doesn't. The other annoying thing is that mails sent from one of my non-primary email accounts in Mail automatically get a reply address to my primary account. I don't know why that's happening either. It didn't happen with OS10.2.8.
So, I'm not finding this new OS the most convenient thing to use, but I'll stick with it since I have it.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I've seen this neo-retro attitude closer to home with my own students. Today in class, while practicing conversations about wanting to do things in the future, a student said she wanted to become a housewife. I started to talk with her about it a little because in light of the NYT article I found it interesting to see it might not be just an Ivy League phenomenon. The student told me both her parents work and her mom probably earns more than her dad, but both she and her sister want to stay home with their children when the time comes. I told her I thought that was cool and that it's hard work. I also mentioned that it must drive some of the female professors my age and older a little crazy to hear it. I've heard other students with working moms comment that they spent a lot of time in day care as kids and didn't like it and wished they had been able to spend more time with their moms around.
I realize not every family can afford to have a stay at home mom. Probably most can't. But for me it's nice to see younger people valuing that role. It also makes me feel less guilty for the choices I'm making about my career now and allowing me to realize that my students might actually understand and possibly even respect that I arrange my teaching schedule around my parenting schedule, and not just their convenience. They might find a 2pm class would suit their leisure, but it doesn't fit my life at the moment. Maybe they didn't even care that I dashed out at the end of afternoon classes last year to be able to make it in time to pick up my daughter from school. For so long I had this rule in my mind that said it wasn't professional to appear to have a life outside of my role at work while I was at work. And in my personal life I was encouraged to think that any yearning I had for traditional family roles was backwards and wrong. I still think that people should have a choice, as far as reality will permit it. It's just kind of funny to finally allow myself to consider all the choices as well.
The house is older and looks it. There used to be railings up the front stairs and stairs coming down off the small back deck. Now there are rusted off metal stumps where the handrails used to be set into the concrete stairs in front. Out back there is a two and a half foot drop off from the deck, which is missing not only stairs but also a couple of floor boards. The flower beds in the front and on the side of the house have been left to the weeds. In other words, it doesn't look so good.
If the rest of the property was also neglected, that might go along with the general tone of things, but what's odd is that the grass is always cut short and my ex has obviously spent a lot of time and effort clearing away a whole bank of blackberry bushes off one edge of the property and clearing out small trees and brush from the other edges of the yard. He has also moved the dog's house progressively further back in the yard so it is now about as far away from the house as it can be while still being on the property. I'm not really sure what the point is, but if he doesn't want to deal with the dog anymore I'd be more than happy to keep him (the dog) here. In an odd and politically incorrect (because the ex is Japanese) way, it reminds me of Japan in World War 2 when it got all land hungry and was more focused on capturing as much territory as possible than just about anything else. I guess I don't see how it's okay to sacrifice the wellbeing of the home(land) for the sake of claiming more land.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Sometimes I feel wound up when eclipses come around. My theory to them, as far as it goes, is that they kick you in the ass to get you back on track if that's what you need, but if things are generally moving in the right direction then they don't cause quite so much chaos. I'm not really sure how much I believe in astrology anymore, but I still like to keep an eye on what the planets are doing, just in case...