Monthly Archives: November 2009

I went to a movie this weekend

I saw a man take three little girls into the men’s restroom.  He did it twice.  There are urinals in there.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Michael Berry, but I could be wrong.

Michael Berry went to the movies with two of his nieces.  He noticed that mostly non-white teenagers were there and that most of them dropped f-bombs around him.  What he doesn’t know is that all of those teenagers did that on purpose, just to make him look silly.

That is just about as credible as Berry’s supposed story that led him to spread rumors about a certain person who happens to be famous.  Berry cannot put down the celebrity pipe.  He wants to be one so badly it hurts.  He thought he might have reached it when he “lost” his SUV, but that didn’t stick.  (I thought it was a good story.)

So it’s the same old story.  Blackity black black black with a good dollup of whiney white man mixed in.  It’s probably why he didn’t yap about the party crashers.

Flowers and Helpers

Luckily, there was only a little sprinkle this morning, so I was able to get the flower bed completed.  I had a little help :)

The Beginning:

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Yard Work

Since I have come up with an all encompassing plan for both the back and front yards, the work has been steadily progressing.  In the back yard, I finally ran into the problem I knew was there — poison ivy.  I bought some very powerful herbicide to kill it.  The only problem is that it has wrapped itself around a very desirable tree.  I think I will go and buy some long pants and a long sleeve shirt from a second hand shop and also some heavy gloves.  Then I can tackle it and throw the clothes away.

I cleaned up the pup poop in the front yard in anticipation of having the two unruly crepe mytles cut down.  Fortunately I caught my neighbor to tell her what I was planning.  She was happy and wanted to complain about them, but I have as many or more problems with those two trees as she does.  I called one company that has a two tree discount.  I will call others.  Perhaps I can get it done this week.

I bought some flowers to plant between the fence and the sidewalk.  The San Augustine grass just won’t grow.  I still blame it on the fire from a few years ago.  I’ll put up some pictures tomorrow.

Thanksgiving: Better This Year

For one thing, there was no whining about when my brother and crew would show up.  They got there around 4, which is typical at this point.  The girls were initially sleepy, but they soon got into disputes over THE ONE BARBIE out of I don’t even know how many they have — which includes all of my barbies and my sister’s barbies — all of which have missing limbs and some heads at this point.

My stolen off the internet sweet potato casserole was a hit.  I was able to make gravy despite my mom turning the burner up to 11.  We all ate and my brother and sis-in-law were able to sneak off to Walgreens to buy a bed for the two kittens that they are “not sure” about letting the girls keep.

Then we had a fashion show.  Mom let the oldest two dress up in first my prom dress and then a bridesmaid dress I wore at a friend’s wedding back when I was oh so young.  The 8 year old needed safety pins to make the dresses smaller, the eleven year old needed the safety pins just to keep the dresses on her — we couldn’t zip them up.  Honestly, I couldn’t believe that she couldn’t wear something I did when I was 18.  I’ve given it some thought and perhaps I was way too skinny when I was 18 — I was 5’7″ and a little over 100 lbs.  She’s probably fine.

At one point, the middle one gave my mom a piece of candy saying, “Here, this is for you Granny.  Sorry, I licked it a little.”  I had to laugh at that and teased her about it.

The littlest one figured out how to make a miniature barbie(?) exercise ball make fart noises while she sat on it.  I video taped her doing it, and then she proudly showed her parents.

I bought my sis a computer tonight online.  My mom had approved of the original price while I was there at her house, but I bought a security agreement and with shipping and taxes, it came out to about $500.  I think it will be ok.   My sis has been laboring with a Windows 98 desktop for too long.  I can’t take it anymore.  It is worth it.

My sis-in-law gave me a heads up on books for the oldest two girls.  They’ve used the bookstore gift cards I gave them for their birthdays to buy some serial books, so I can follow up on them.  I love my sis-in-law.  She is a very good mom.  And not surprisingly, my brother has turned out to be a very good dad.

After my sister asked me for more than an hour if I was leaving already, I finally left.  The drive home was smooth — no traffic.  When set off for my mom’s this morning, I saw a woman struggling on the sidewalk next to the feeder.  I drove by her and then to my horror saw as she fell face first into the road in my rear-view mirror.  I circled back around — thinking I could at least stop the car with the hazard lights on and protect her.  It was a small circle that took less than a minute to make, but to my surprise and relief, an HPD officer was already there.  I hoped and hope that the woman is ok — when I told my mom and sis about it, they speculated with me that perhaps she was diabetic (not drunk).

It was a good day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is absolutely my favorite holiday.  For tomorrow, I am making mashed potatoes with sour cream and horseradish, as well as a yam casserole (for the first time!)

The reason I love this holiday the most is because it is always joyous with my family.  As the years have gone by, it has been less and less contentious and the girls don’t fight over toys like they do at Christmas.  We almost always have the same food and do the same things — play dominoes and spades.  It reminds me of the happy Thanksgivings I spent out in West Texas with my grandparents.

The first Thanksgiving after I bought the house, I invited my students over.  It’s the only time I missed my family’s celebration.  I had my family’s support though.  They lent me tables and chairs.  I planned for days and it went well.  It’s one of the very good memories I have of the house and Buddy and Gretchen — my old now long dead pups.

I can’t do anything like that now.  The pups are not able to get along and none of them like change.

Anyway, I will always remember Buddy stealing a drumstick and then later lying in front of the door — too stuffed to move.

I read today that someone — Jason — who used to comment here — thinks I’m brainwashed.  His blog is now a registered user only blog.  I suspect that he had to do it because of females, but I could be wrong.  At any rate, I hope he has a happy Thanksgiving as well.

Is it Friday yet?

My god today seemed like Friday.  This week Friday is Wednesday.  But whatever.  One more day.

I gave my first class a practice final test.  They all did well and were quite happy leading into their next class (this would change later).

With my second class, I thought I would try something fun.  This group doesn’t get fun unless you strong arm them into it.  We are starting a unit on art and I set up one computer for them to take turns typing in their personal definitions of “what is art” although I had to stop some of them from just copying dictionary.com or wiki definitions.  The other part of their assignment was to find an example of art on the Internet — it could be anything.  While this took a little coaxing — in the end it paid off.  Each student got to show their choice, explain why s/he liked it and explain why that choice was art.  Then I passed out copies of the definition doc they had made and asked them to try to come up with a consensus.  It worked for the last three minutes, and then class was over.

My last class is writing.  Most of them are very good about being self-motivated.  I also used the time to point out who had and had not completed assignments.  Perhaps the slackers will catch up over the long weekend.  They are, for the most part, a very good class.

The afternoon was hellish.  I worked, but it was not pleasant.  One of my colleagues decided that he wanted to use me to bolster his critique of another colleague.  I don’t play that way.  When I told him that, he insisted that I know how he is; he just likes to argue about grammar.   I told him I knew nothing of the kind.  This surprised him.  I’ve been around long enough to know that students will try to break a teacher they perceive as weak and I will not participate in that.  I’ve had a senior teacher do that to me and it is not pleasant.  It hasn’t happened again — mostly because I raised a stink about and also because I have never ever done that to another teacher.   I take it so far as to make a point when I teach passive voice: once the students learn it, they are capable of using, “I was told” and leave me out of it.  It’s not like all grammar points are agreed upon by all grammar teachers.

The credit card thing is on PBS now.  I’m going to watch it and maybe post more.  I don’t know.

Is it Friday yet?

“At risk to my political future”

That’s what Kay Bailey Hutchison says in her ad for why she should be governor.  She’s staying in the Senate for now– a term for which she promised not to run in the first place — and risking her political career — at age 66.  (I remember when I was asked to evaluate another teacher at work and didn’t give her perfect marks — she didn’t earn them — and then she hauled me into the director’s office to complain that it would look bad on her resume — she was Hutchison’s same age.  It’s sad that they both had/have so little to hang onto.)

Things seem to be falling into place.  Hutchison stays in the Senate to keep Perry from appointing a successor (oh wait, to fight health insurance reform) and so Bill White can shift his ambiguous campaign online and elsewhere to the governor’s race.  Oh yeah, Bush’s friend up in For Worth bowed out.  I read earlier that one of my all time favorite lawmakers — Garnet Coleman — supported the Ft. Worth guy, but I forgive him.  No matter what a great guy he might be — there is no way Dems in Texas will elect someone associated in such an intimate way with W.

In my happy place — we get Annice Parker and Ron Green in to run the city; Bill White the run the state, along with Radnofsky at Attorney General, and while Hutchison may end up serving her term in the Senate — we will have someone to run for her seat successfully out of one of them.

Emancipation Proclamation, Subjugation Proclamation, It’s all the Same, Right?

Periodic fat man and talk radio liar Chris Baker is at it again.  No, he’s not advocating shooting anyone this time, but he is trying to equate being fat with being black.

For all of the poor rubes in Houston who listen to his talk show fron 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, he seems to be here physically, but he’s not.  He’s up in Minneapolis stinking up the morning air.  I’m still wondering when the local radio follower types will call him out on it.

But back to the point at hand.  Today (as he has for a while) Baker tried to equate health insurance legislation with slavery.  The example he used was if your kid were fat, then under the new law that doesn’t yet exist, you would get in trouble with the law.  Or something.

I have a solution to Baker’s listeners dilemma if they should come face to face with the guns of the law over their fat kid:  get liposuction.  Preferably on teevee.  Just like Chris Baker did back in the day.  Now, you must understand that it’s not a permanent solution.  Baker got fat again.

And, you know, being fat is just like being black.

Nobody’s Married in Texas

Our lovely culture warriors have struck the stupid post again it seems.  Barbara Ann Radnofsky, who ran against Kay Bailey Hutchison for Senator the time Hutchison had promised she wouldn’t run, is now running for Texas Attorney General and she has looked into the silly amendment to the Texas Constitution passed in 2005 and is pointing out how silly it is.  Via McClatchy:

The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that “marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.” But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

“This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively “eliminates marriage in Texas,” including common-law marriages.

She calls it a “massive mistake” and blames the current attorney general, Republican Greg Abbott, for allowing the language to become part of the Texas Constitution. Radnofsky called on Abbott to acknowledge the wording as an error and consider an apology. She also said that another constitutional amendment may be necessary to reverse the problem.

To me, this looks like over-reach on the part of the American Taliban.  It’s also a good stick to poke at them in the debates that will proceed the vote next year.

I remember going out into the parking lot at work and finding a couple of guys putting flyers on cars about the amendment back then.  I easily ran them off even though they could have proclaimed their right to be there.  They were just lackies for the people paying their checks.  These same people were asleep at the beginning of the Houston mayor’s race and have only woken up because Annice Parker made such a good show.  First they trashed their only possible candidate for losing, after having done nothing for him.  Then they have attacked the person they underestimated — through their fault only.  They are simple-minded and short-sighted as well.

I’m proud that Radnofsky is already out there working for the office she seeks.  She’s more than qualified and this is a good start.

Fighting Cats, Dog Pack, Fighting Cats, AGAIN

After a tranquil afternoon working in the backyard with sleepy Junebug and Harry lazily watching me, this evening was a nightmare.

It started with Tammy and Murphy going nuts in the front yard.  I knew it was nothing serious by Tammy’s yippy bark.  Inside, Dora went bezerk.  I went outside and found Braveheart and a black and white cat hissing at each other across the driveway from the pups.   They both ran up the neighbor’s driveway at the sight of me, and while I tried to call Braveheart back home, I couldn’t get him to come.  When I came back up our driveway, June and Harry were there — swimming and rolling around together.  I figured if Junebug wasn’t afraid, then everything was ok.

(June has this pseudo-polyandry thing going — each of the boys — Braveheart, Sad Grey & White Kitty, and Harry all love her, but they only tolerate each other.)

After settling Dora down and having about 20 minutes of peace and quiet, Tammy and Murphy started up again, but this time it was angry.  At that point Dora cranked up the decibels exponentially. I looked out the side door and saw two dogs in the street.  I went around to the front yard with the pups and saw as many as eight dogs coming down the street.  I yelled at them and then whistled very loudly at them.  That chased them down the street.  After running a reluctant Dora into the bedroom, I checked the driveway and backyard, and thankfully there were no kittens in sight.  I returned to the front yard and waited for a while to see if the pack might come back.  They didn’t.  Dora was still barking.

Another brief calm ensued but didn’t last long.  Tammy started up her yippy bark joined by Murphy, and I was back out in the driveway, only to find Sad Grey & White Kitty hissing at the same black and white cat.  Luckily, this time I was able to chase the former back toward the house and the later away across the street.  All the while, Dora was probably barking loud enough to break the law.

By this time, I’d had it.  I put the pups in one bedroom and Dora in the other with the lights off and closed the doors.  BEDTIME FOR PUPS.  ASPIRIN TIME FOR MOM.