Sunday, January 29, 2006

Those darn cats!

Jackson bought me acrylics for Chirstmas. Then he bought me this way cool wooden box for all my painty-things. I feel like a real live Ar-teest. I have been dying to start painting for weeks, but couldn't decide on a subject. Finally, after wandering around a bookstore a couple of weeks ago, I found my inspiration. I want to paint pulp art. This weekend I painted my first picutre - a picture of The Shadow.

I spread my paints and supplies out on the dining room table and got to work. Unfortunately, all that activity drew quite a crowd. Not content to stand on the edges and observe the process, they just made themselves comfortable.

Archie has always envisioned himself as an expert on whatever you are reading. He positions himself wherever he can obscure the most information. This allows him to give you the benefit of his advice without all that extraneous information clogging up the conversation.

Omar tired quickly of the whole thing.

I managed to complete my work, even with all their help. Maybe next time I will just paint cats.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Cemetery Blogging

I love cemetery fences.

I need a big, slightly decrepit, Victorian house surrounded by cemetery fence.
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I have a small bit of garden in my front yard that has bits and pieces of cemetry-type fence around it. I put lots of crosses in the garden in an attempt to make it feel cemetery-ish. Instead, it just looks like we are overly-religious.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just a dang meme.

Stole this from Songbird:

1) When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought? Bleh.
2) How much cash do you have on you? $0.32. I never have cash, since I began my love affair with the debit card. Not neccesarily a good thing when you need a coke from the machine.
3) What's a word that rhymes with TEST? Best.
4) Planet? Mars.
5) Who is the fourth person on your missed calls? Jackson. Nobody else ever calls me. Sigh. Maybe because my phone is never on...?
6) What is your favourite ring on your phone? Currently the theme from the Pink Panther, which makes me happy, but it is really difficult to hear.
7) What shirt are you wearing? A fuzzy red fleece shirt.
8) What do you label youself as? Liberal. Mostly.
9) Name the brand of shoes you've recently worn. Ummm... I have no idea. They were brown?
10) Bright room or dark room? Darkroom. Hee hee. Generally a dim room is my preference. I despise overhead lighting. It makes me grumpy.
11) What were you doing at midnight last night? Trying to turn over without angering the cat sleeping on my feet. Evil Steve does not cotton to unnecessary noctornal repositioning.
12) What did the last text message on your phone say? See #5. No one texts me either.
13) Where is your nearest 7-11? Big Flat City, 45 miles south of here.
14) What's a saying you say a lot? Bastards! They're all bastards!
15) Who told you they loved you last? Jackson.
16) Last furry thing you touched? Evil Steve
17) How many drugs have you done in the past three days? Hi, my name is Spooky and I haven't had a benadryl in 2 days.
18) How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? Lord, undeveloped film drives me crazy. Not only do I end up using the one hour developer most of the time, even though they do a crappy job, I pretty much stand there patting my foot and counting the minutes before the photos will be in my hot little hands. (Saving my pennies for a way-too-expensive digital camera. Can't wait!)
19) Favourite age you've been so far? I have no idea. I never thought about it before.
20) Your worst enemy? People who do not understand the distinction between mute and moot. They are two totally different words - pronounced differently, spelled differently, and with different meanings. How hard is this to freakin' understand? Its MOOT, people. Rhymes with BOOT. Learn it. Use it. Stop ticking me off.
21) What is your current desktop picture? This.
22) What was the last thing you said to someone? "...and this time take a regular shower!"
23) If you had to choose between a millions bucks and being able to fly, which would you choose? Defintely flying. Yep. We superhero-types need powers like that.
24) Do you like someone? What 7th grade girl originally wrote this?
25) The last song you listened to? Annie Lennox's version of "Whiter Shade of Pale"

Three Cat Night

We have a new cat. This morning was the first time that Evil Steve agreed to eat with him, so it looks like he's going to get to stay. His name is Omar Jones. He's the one on the right. Doofus Archie is chowing down in the middle and Evil Steve is sneaking in on the left side. Better pictures to follow, I'm sure.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Friday Cemetery Blogging

I say tomato. You say tomahto.

Katie is doing a social studies project for school. Jackson and I are not too good at this sort of thing, since we are coming into the game late. (The teachers haven't had four years of school to get us trained in proper parent participation etiquette.) Katie chose to do her project on Sam Houston. We did ok on the fact sheet. We are dreading making the soap bottle doll. But we can damn sure ace the informative poster - 'cause who else is gonna have a picture of their subject's grave to paste right up top? Huh? Huh?

Strangely unsettling, first thing in the morning.

Remember the little old ladies with knees and oatmeal? On my way to work this morning, they weren't there. The lights were on, the shade was up, the chairs were at the table. But no oatmeal-eating dowagers.

They've ceased being characters in an Edward Hopper painting and become characters in a painting from Harry Potter's world.

They'll be right back. I hope.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I still refuse to attend on Sunday nights.

My cousin D has a daughter who is the same age as Katie and also in the fourth grade. Her daughter, D Jr., and Katie both have a problem with bringing home their work from school. D tried every threat, promise and punishment she could think of, but no luck. D Jr. still consistently forgot to bring her homework home. D finally came up with a solution. D Jr. loves clothes and is a stickler about her appearance. D told her that everytime she forgot her homework, D was going to pick out the clothes D Jr. would wear to school the next day. It only took a time or two of D Jr. having to wear the God-awful clothes her mother chose to teach D Jr. to bring her work home.

Katie has the same problem. Her homework gets left at school night after night. Not so hard to remember, I thought, but evidently I was wrong. We've prodded, pushed, cajolled and threatened. With limited success.

When Katie came to live with us full time this summer, we started attending church on Wednesday nights. I could tell you it was because we wanted to expose her to as many good influences as possible. Or that we wanted to set a good example for her and be more faithful to the church. Or that we wanted her to be exposed to as much positive teaching as we could. Of course, you wouldn't believe any of that.

The truth is we started going to Wednesday night services because they serve a really good meal and Jackson was tired of cooking dinner every night.

Our church has a thoughtful, perceptive Children's minister. She made it a point to invite Katie to get involved in the children's choirs that meet after the meal. For some as yet undiscovered reason, Katie was uninterested. The minister approached her a couple of times but Katie wanted no part of it. So, after a couple of weeks, the minister approached Katie again. This time she told her she had a special job for her. They needed some extra help with the little kids in the nursery during Wednesday night choir practice. Could they count on Katie?

Could they ever! The minister had hit on the perfect plan. Katie feels like she has a special occupation all her own. The actual nursery workers are college students and education majors who are student teaching at Katie's school. Katie feels like she has hit the big time by getting to hang out with them. They pay her in band-aids each week. I'm not sure who's idea that was (I suspect Katie) but I'm glad to know she works so cheap. Katie loves this job so much she won't hear of us skipping a Wednesday night service. Truthfully, most of the time I would rather be sitting at home in front of the fireplace rather than going to church, but Katie would hitchhike if she thought we weren't going to drive her.

This week Katie has been especially lax with the homework. Jackson lectured on the way to school this morning. Only this time he had a new approach. He told her if she didn't bring her work home she wasn't going to get to go to church tonight. Katie was stunned. She couldn't believe we'd actually make her stay home from church. Jackson made it clear that he was serious.

Guess where I'm writing this? At church.
Guess what Katie is doing when we get home? Her homework.

Why I Love Austin

Monday, January 16, 2006

Vote Spooky for Prez

We made it back from Austin, no worse for wear. The seminar we attended was very informative - as usual. Our favorite speaker was a nice little churchy-type lady. She was pushing 65 or so. She was petitie, grey-haired and ever so slightly frumpy. She also has a Phd. in addiction science and is one of the leading world authorities on trends in drug usage. Her field of expertise covers who uses what, where they use it and where it comes from.

We learned all sorts of interesting stuff, such as when the Taliban fought with the Russians before seizing power, they made the bulk of their money from poppy production. Their poppies supplied heroine to Europe. When the Taliban took power in Afgahnistan, they found other revenue sources and ceased poppy production, since it was contrary to their religious beliefs. This freed up the drug users in Europe to the Central American cocaine marketers and now crack cocaine is the major problem drug in places like Ireland. However, since we put the Taliban out of business, they have restarted poppy production to fund their activities. 'Where will the heroine go now?' is the next burning question.

The methamphetamine epidemic is moving from the midwest straight down the map to the border with Mexico - oposite of the usual pattern of drug movement between us and Mexico. The reason? The easy availability of fertilizer and other farm chemicals, plus the wide open spaces - away from populated areas - that rural America offered. However, since we have tighented up the laws on farm chemicals and made them much more difficult to steal, meth production has moved to Mexico. There illicit chemists make a much purer and more dangerous form of the drug than what was being produced by the rural Mom and Pop Dope Makin' Shops.

Interesting stuff!

The photo is a row of desks in the State House of Representatives. (I can't ever go to Austin without trudging around the capitol for a while. It never fails to inspire. Maybe because I always wanted to be a politician, among other things, when I retire. However, I think Kinky Friedman has stolen the thunder from my Weirdo At Large campaign plans.)

Friday, January 06, 2006

What day is it?

You know its been a busy week when you don't even realize its Friday until almost noon. This also means that you didn't give any thought to Cemetery blogging.

Its 4:30 p.m. and I am so ready to go the hell home. I've tried to cram two weeks worth of work into one week. A bad idea made worse by the fact that it was a four day week to start out with, which turned into a three day week due to an all day trip to a funeral.

All of the 497 people I have seen in the last three days (well, ok maybe not that many!) have been emotionally needy. They are like Kryptonite! You can't break eye contact cause that's how they are draining your life energy! Argh!

Next week I will be gone all week, so don't expect anything out of me 'till I get back. Since I am going to training for a week with Princess Mindy and M2, I should have some good stories!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

And the winner is...


It was tough. A couple of you hit exactly on where I was going when I was trying to come up with a caption for this and a couple of you threw me some really hillarious curve balls. But, I gotta admit, for sheer simplicity and to-the-pointedness, I think SplineGuy pegged it!


(This was fun. If you are really sad about not winning and would like a prize package of your very own, feel free to send me your address. Click the email link in the sidebar. I'm kind of a communist at heart and think we should all share the wealth. Plus I have a lot of junk in my desk that I need to get rid of.)