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Thursday, June 24, 2004
Thrusday Three
1. What is the best summer job you ever had, either in high school or college?

Well, I never had a summer job in high school. That's probably the best! In college, I just had silly jobs molding plastic parts. After college, I had a summer job reconditioning sewing machines that was kind of fun. During grad school, though, I had a real Southern summer job as a receptionist for an architectural hardware firm. It was a family-run place, with two brothers and their offspring being the current workforce. They also had some non-relatives doing mostly hands-on stuff (the family was more into sales and golf tournaments). I picked up a nice drawl that summer =]

2. (And, as you can guess) What was the worst summer job you ever had?

Well, I did try to be a telemarketer one summer. Doesn't really get much worse than that.

3. Finally, was there ever a summer dream job you wanted, but you never got?

Naah. I'm pretty good at managing my expectations. Well, Paul might disagree...

Three Months Until Baby's Due!
I guess I'd better stop stalling on getting things ready...

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Still alive
Just trying to cut down on my internet time at work. Of course, what with back-to-back meetings and deadlines, it hasn't required much self-discipline to cut down on my time wasting.

I was bummed to miss out on the last Thursday three, especially with everyone vying to put forth the least impressive reading list. I could have blown you all away! The only non-pregnancy/infant care/breastfeeding-type book I've read lately is _The Dream of Scipio_ by Iain Pears. It's not exactly low-brow, granted, but very fictional and interesting in that horrific-train-wreck-in-progress sort of way. Not to say the book is badly written- it's just about the collapse of civilization in Vichy France, Black Death Avignon, and 4th-century Roman France. Not much uplifting there, and Pears really likes working in fanatic heresies in his books (OK, at least this one and _An Instance of the Fingerpost_). But a good read if you like dark plot twists interspersed with philosophy lectures. And I was able to ignore most of the philopsophy ;)

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
I concur
As Paul notes, we had a difficult meeting at church Sunday night. I was there partly because some friends talked us into seeing Shrek 2 with them, so we never made it home to Mebane in the afternoon, but also because I wanted to be there with Paul, since it involved him to some extent, and I was afraid it was going to get ugly. In my past experience, usually when something threatens to get ugly, even within a church congregation, it does. I was very pleasantly surprised. No one cast harsh or undue blame, and no one used the occasion to build him/herself up or to tear others down. I have to give a lot of credit to our pastors for setting the right tone and saying the right things, but also to the congregation (at least those who were present) for respecting the pastors enough to listen to them and recognize that they spoke the truth. I told Paul how surprised I was at the amicability of the whole evening and he said "That's why I love this church." And as much as I miss some of the liturgy and traditions of the Lutheran church, I've never seen a Lutheran congregation so serious about treating their brothers and sisters as God requires.

Monday, June 14, 2004
More photos and video
My very web-savvy friend has a very slick kitty-adoption page up. Unfortunately, I can't watch the video on my work computer :(

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Donnie and Marie on the hunt
Posted by Hello


Marie, irritated to discover that Donnies has eaten all the wet food
Posted by Hello


Donnie pigging out
Posted by Hello

Happy Ending
A friend who lost his cat to disease some years ago has agreed to be a foster parent to Donnie and Marie! Dennis and I met at Tom's house this morning and got the kittens packed up after some tense moments when I didn't know if I was going to have any kittens to give him. I had intentionally arrived early, and had Donnie in my arms by the time Dennis pulled in, but still had seen neither hide nor hair of his sister, even though I asked the little orange guy where she was! I think Dennis' car pulling in got her attention, though, as she came trotting over shortly after I told him she was missing. Dennis knows of a no-kill shelter and a vet which will hold and adopt out kittens, so if they don't worm their way into his heart and we don't find a home for them ourselves, they will probably end up at one of those two places shortly. I am slightly jealous of Dennis for the days of kitten frolics ahead, but very glad for the kittens!

Thursday, June 10, 2004
The sweetest torture
So we were at a friend's house last night, and had finished dinner when he said from the kitchen "there's a cute little kitten out in the parking lot". By the time I got to the kitchen window, said kitten had disappeared, so we went out (we being the friend & me). After some coaxing, clucking, and "here kitty"ing, the little calico Tom had mentioned came out of the shrubs and paraded around just out of reach. Before long, Tom was back in the house with my hubby watching tv and I had two kittens (the calico had a marbled orange tabby litter mate, it would seem!), purring and mewing, frolicking around my feet or sitting in my arms. They had that fine kitten fur and some kind of non-poky burr all through their coats, which made them look dirty, but once I started pulling the burrs out, they were just the most lovable creatures! Tom called the ASPCA and Paul rejected my idea that we could keep them for a friend. :( We could surely have found homes for a pair of such very affectionate little kittens- we found homes for four very shy kittens, after all! Anyway, I had a lovely time petting the kitties and listening to their resonant kitten purrs. And yes, I was certain to wash my hands afterwards.

Ooooh! Second chance- Tom just called to tell me that Donny and Marie (hee hee) are still there. Now I have to work on Paul...

In case you haven't done so,
you MUST read Possumblog's tribute to the Gipper.

Late Thursday three
1) Assuming for the moment that “The South” still has a distinct and recognizable sense of itself within the greater universe of American culture (not having been homogenized and starched into being nothing more than merely another place on the map), when was the first time you ever felt or noticed that difference or distinction?

Hmmm. Tough one! Although my family lived in the infamous "northern Virginia" when I was young, Gainesville was a small, fairly rural town at the time, and pretty Southern in character. I know that when we moved to northern Ohio in second grade I didn't mind snow and such, so the reason I preferred Gainesville probably had to do with its Southernness, though I'm sure I wouldn't have characterized it that way at age 7.

2) Assuming our original assumption is still valid, list three of distinctions about the South that you believe are positive, and worth being emulated by others.

Number one is a lack of intellectual vanity. Maybe it has to do with the fact that A/C was much later to arrive than fireplaces, but it seems like Southerners have a much healthier respect for the fact that man is not omnipotent and that technology is not God.

Number two is an interest in one's fellow man, also known as friendliness. Maybe this has to do with the more relaxed pace of life in the South. Northerners don't tend to strike up conversations with strangers, or even establish eye contact! (Granted, our neighbor from New Jersey will talk 'til someone's blue in the face, but we are neighbors, and the truth is that it's useful to know your neighbors.)

I guess number three would have to be related to number one: a willingness to make judgements based on common sense. So, Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, and pretty much everyone else believe in God. He's probably real! (Now whether that influences my actions or not is, sadly, another story.) Now when Uncle Josiah introduces us to his boyfriend, well, that's just not right! I may not be able to tell you why, but it's pretty clear to the whole family that this is not normal.

3) Have you ever been to another place outside of the South that seemed to have that same sense of “Southernness” to it? If so, where was it?

Hmm. Probably southeast Ohio, central Pennsylvania- small towns in rural settings. Though they usually remind me of the scarier parts of the south...

Wednesday, June 09, 2004
God knows what He's talking about
I've been wasting far too much time reading bulletin boards, etc on babycenter. It's just interesting reading what all these (mostly) women have to say about different things. So I was reading responses to "My partner isn't excited about the baby. What can I do?" or something like that (yes, I was wondering how Paul stacked up on the enthusiasm scale against all the other expectant daddies- naughty me!) and was saddened by what I read. Women were writing in, heartbroken that their boyfriends weren't supporting them. Women who should know better because they'd already been through this with two other boyfriends. Women who knew what it was like to have an abortion (because the father of the last baby wasn't "ready"), and weren't willing to do it again. And yet our society continues to assert that it's silly and old-fashioned and unreasonable to restrict sex to within marriage. God is a loving Father who gives us rules for our own good and takes no pleasure in the suffering we bring upon ourselves and others. I'm so thankful that I was brought up to understand this and given the grace to believe it.

I had a day full of meetings yesterday. Not the sort of thing to inspire great feats of blogging. Other than that, we've mostly had bad news coming in. Apart from what Paul is bummed about, we got word from home yesterday that my younger brother is not welcome back for his senior year of college. The boy is very capable, but just wasn't "into" school. I really hope he will soon find a direction to go in, and people to encourage him. We're 10 years apart, and haven't communicated much since I moved down here, so I don't often know what to say to him. And, being a member of my family, he has postponed- rebellion syndrome. We were all good kids in junior high, but were prone to sullenness towards the end of high school, which would abate during our times out of the family home, and re-emerge after lengthy exposures to parental scrutiny. I worry that things could get very uncomfortable if he doesn't find his own place sometime soon.

Monday, June 07, 2004
Since noone's mentioned it
Maybe I'm just a bad person, but I have to say that while I'm sad that President Reagan is gone, I'm not that sad about it. He seems to have been a Christian, for one thing, and for another, while it's wrong to say "he's been dead for years" (I admit it slipped out of my mouth yesterday), the Ronald Reagan we knew has certainly been lost to us for many years. I know people start using this as an argument that some lives are worth more than others, and I don't mean to lend any credence to that sort of thinking. Only God knows why people and their families have to suffer when disease strikes, and only He has the right to end a human life. Still, as Christians, we can surely recognize the mercy in the ending of a long, painful struggle, especially knowing what awaits the faithful.

I'm not going to read it because I try not to read stupid, infuriating stuff, but check out this headline from Drudge on Reagan:
RALL: 'I'm sure he's turning crispy brown right about now'...

The only mitigating factor I can think of is that I'm sure Ted Rall doesn't believe there is a hell. (How unchristian would it be to add, "Won't he be surprised?" That's what I thought. Never mind.)

Friday, June 04, 2004
Oops, I forgot
To post that baby Marta is home with her dad, mom, and big brother as of Tuesday morning! Hooray!!

Roasting Aardvark

Thursday, June 03, 2004
One last time
Can we please give up the pretense that an unborn child is "part of the woman's body"? If my baby were part of my body, (s)he would be controlled by MY central nervous system. Although it was already clear from an ultrasound 10 wks post-conception, it is becoming impossible to argue that this is the case. Nobody claims that the extraterrestrial from Alien was part of the victim's body, and although this child is distinctly less hostile a presence, there is no doubt that the various body pieces poking and shifting around in my belly are just as immune to my control.

mispronounceable stinky bits of dried vegetation
Otherwise known as the Thursday three!

Today’s Threesday Thur category will be Potpourri! Hooray! Everyone loves mispronounceable stinky bits of dried vegetation!

First question: What is the most daring thing you have ever done in public?

Well, I went to a Def Leppard concert. Does that count as daring?

Second question: Who was your favorite Cartwright on Bonanza?

Wasn't Adama on that show? If Starbuck had been, well, then I'd have had a favorite. Even without having watched it.

Third question: The South has long been known as a hotbed of scientific research and innovative inventors. (Yes, really!) Assuming for a moment that you yourself are an innovative Southern inventor, what device, tool, apparatus, implement, contrivance or other synonym do you think the world is ready for?

Hmmm... I'd love a transporter so I didn't have to deal with I-40 traffic. It would also make it a lot easier to visit my family up north, and for them to visit me. Also, it would vastly increase the geographic scope of my husband's piano tuning business. Beam me home, Scotty!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Setting a good example
So the Orange County school board chairman gave a high school graduation speech he plagiarized from Donna Shalala this year. I'm the product of a public education, K-12, but good grief! Makes you think twice about sending your own kids to public schools, doesn't it? And what are the teachers supposed to do when they get administrators with either no morals or no brains (the guy claimed he thought it was ok to pass off somebody else's generic speech as his own, but never would have intentionally ripped off Donna)? I'm not sure whether I ought to hope he's lying or not!

Another driving mystery solved!
So here's another category of driving behaviors explained. (Of course, this probably doesn't happen to you), but if you experience any of the following behaviors: 1. a car you have slowly been approaching over the course of several miles starts to speed up as you begin to pass and will not let you by, 2. a car which was behind you pulls in front of you and slows down to a speed less than yours, or 3. a car starts to pass you as you are approaching slower traffic, but seems to slow to match the speed of the car ahead of you (thereby trapping you behind the old geezer), CONGRATULATIONS! Apparently, you, like me, are a lovely sight in the rear view mirror or in profile. And here I thought people were just neurotic about allowing a 1992 Taurus with a geriatric-looking front license plate pass them. No, no, no! It's a compliment. Really. And no, they're not squeezing between you and that slow car in front simply in order to get to the exit ahead of you- they just want to see your lovely face above your exquisitely beautiful steering wheel. So, smile and wave to your adoring fans. Oddly enough, I'm afraid Ray-Bans won't help.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
More nursery prep
Well, my parents said I should get the border, and my pal Christina already volunteered to help paint, so I took the plunge. Now my plan is to have the top of the wall painted (restful) blue- where the baby can see it- and the bottom painted yellow, with the border at chair-rail height. In my 30 years, this is the first time I ever got to choose colors to paint a room! The folks who sold us our house had just painted everything in sensible neutral colors and installed sensible Berber carpets, and even if we wanted to add some color, we didn't have the money to do it when we bought the house. Needless to say, I am very excited about my custom-designed nursery!

Paul set up our crib this weekend, so I put the dust ruffle and crib bumper on it, and am using it to collect the various little baby stuff we have so far. I removed all my junk from the closet (and even removed a substantial portion from the room entirely!) and friends are coming this weekend to pick up the twin bed they'll be borrowing until further notice, so hopefully we'll soon be able to start getting the room organized. And now that I've figured out how to post photos, maybe I'll post in-progress photos of the baby's room!

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