Sunday, July 16, 2006

What's in a name? That which we call a blog/ By any other word would read as sweet.

I do believe that today I had a virtually perfect weekend day. I slept in, had a quite nice jog in sunny, but breezy weather, ran only one errand to the grocery and bought a delicious cheese sampler and equally delicious loaf of locally baked bread, and bummed around my apartment tidying or just sitting for the remainder of the day. I do believe that today is quite probably the most restful day I've had in quite a while.

It's less than two weeks before I hear about whether I passed the written exam for the Foreign Service. I want to pass, not just because I want to get into the FS, but also for bragging rights. However, I can always take refuge in the fact that it's a terribly hard test and most people who get into the FS have to take the test multiple times. Time flies, though, so I'm sure I'll find out whether or not my hopes are crushed soon enough. :)

I watched a Tracy Chapman concert on OPB tonight. I really enjoy her music - she tells stories with the music, she's not just a little pop candy corporate creation. That's part of the reason I also like Bob Dylan, although Dylan can be annoying at time since he's so aware that he's a counter-culture anti-establishment figure. The most compelling lyrics and music are those that reach into the heart of what it means to live as a human without trivializing the experience or conversely, bordering on arrogant self-indulgence.

That, incidentally, also seems to be the goal of many blogs - tell the story of the individual human, without being either too trivial (unless the trivial story is very funny) or being too self-indulgent. I haven't decided yet whether my blog attempts are entirely trivial, self-indulgent, or both.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Die, evil tutor!

The boys finally won. They've been trying to get rid of their tutor basically since they started going to her a year and a half ago. A. once asked when she was going to die, and that she hoped it would be soon (she's quite old, retired a number of years ago). Today, they finally convinced their mother that she was a mean old bat. Among other things, they think she looks rather gargoyle-like. Last year, A. absolutely refused to go, and I ended up carrying him to her door. Not the most positive of learning environments.

Well, they could bring out the angst in anyone. While they are sweet, wonderful boys MOST of the time, when it comes to doing any sort of work, suddenly the brains they had when discussing Star Wars or Greek myths (I got them hooked) completely disappear. Their focus is gone, and suddenly, five minutes after 4:55 is not 5:00, it is 7:10. Don't ask me where that came from, I think he just wanted to put an answer on the paper. Anyway, until they start with their next tutor - and after, since I'm the home enforcer - I get to make sure that even when they lose their concentration, they can still read a digital clock.

Did I mention that having children keeps getting lower and lower on my list of things to do in life? I want girls when I do have children; they're much less work.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Oregon daily life with OPB

On Caprial and John's kitchen show today, fresh cane berries were the subject food. They went U-Picking here in the Willamette Valley (Hillsboro, in their case) for their berries. This coming week, the boys and I are going U-Picking at a local farm that grows strawberries and cherries. It should be absolutely delicious, and I'm looking forward to the time-honored U-Picking tradition of eating more than I put into the bucket.

I signed up for a wheel-throwing pottery class. It should be pretty hilarious - I wonder how terrible I'm going to be at it? It seems like so much fun, but since I've never tried it, I really wouldn't know. I figure if I can manage a simple bowl by the end of the course, I'll have succeeded.

I wonder who originally came up with the pottery wheel? It's obviously very old - I wonder if American cultures didn't develop the pottery wheel since they didn't develop the actual wheel either?

Pottery pitcher from ancient Cyprus

Library fun!

Today we went to the library for 'Collage Critters.' It was rather cute, and I think a profitable way of spending our afternoon. The boys had fun, there was minimal need of supervision from my end, and I got to read some of my book. Good all around. :)

Since taking this job, having children slipped another few notches down on my list of things to do during my life. Of course, there are now new studies saying that children born to mothers 25 and under live significantly longer, possibly due to the health of the mother during pregnancy. What a charming concept.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

All Natural Ingredients - and tender loving care

I saw an ad today for 7-Up. They now say that their soda is made from five all-natural ingredients. I wonder if high fructose corn syrup can be made naturally?

Well, here's hoping this blogspot thing works out. The whole yahoo! thing just didn't jive with me too well, and I don't have enough control over the layout of my current blog, so maybe this one will work out. Hope springs eternal...

Thought for the day: one can't change the world; in fact, one can't really even change one's small part in the world. But, one can switch from Sierra Mist to 7-Up.