Monday, May 29, 2006


by Monkeyboy

ferocious, extinct
eating, attacks, chases
the huge, hungry T-Rex

(My 7 1/2 y.o.'s early start on a writing career)

Sunday, May 28, 2006


My husband, although a very loving man, is not a spontaneous man. So when I said that I wanted to do something fun this long weekend, I honestly did not expect to get a response. Imagine my surprise yesterday when hubby told me to pack an overnight bag and to be ready to leave the house by 10am.

He would give me no clues, only that it would take a few hours to get where we were going so everyone should use the facilities before we leave. The boy had no clue either, and was insistently attempting to get any information out of hubby as to where we were going.

After 21/2 hours we ended up at the Innerspace caverns. These are underground caverns that were discovered years ago when highway workers were determining if the ground was stable enough for the highway that was going through that area. It is a "living" cavern, so the rock formations are still growing. It was quite an amazing site. We would loved to have done the adventurer tour, it last 2 1/2 hours and you get to in more areas of the cavern, but you have to be 18 for that and the boy is just 7 1/2. Maybe we'll come back when he is visiting his grandparents for a month up north.

We also visited the capitol of the state and it was rather impressive. The layout of the capitol building in the city has it so that the main thoroughfare leads right to the central walkway into the capitol building. I was amazed that it was open on a Saturday, but I guess it is because it is a historical monument as well, dating back to the early 1800's. It was interesting to read the various plaques on the monuments - there were some bitter feelings still when the monument to honor those that fell during the Civil War war built. There was an underlying tone of "northeners are scum of the earth". No need to worry, we didn't take it personally.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rollerskates vs.Rollerblades

"You can only be young once. But you can always be immature."
-Dave Barry

My son was invited to a rollerskating party the other night. I was excited to take him, since he has never gone skating before. It went along as most children's parties do; with the adults mulling together and cringing as the children crashed into each other or used the wall as their brakes. I commented "someone is going to go home with a broken bone." Some of us parents who rollerblade extensively thought it would be fun to get out and skate as well. I decided to go "old school" and got the rollerskates instead of rollerblades.

We skated around and the children had races to see who was the fastest. Then the birthday girl wanted to see the parents race. No problem. We lined up, waited for the signaland....go! I want to point out right from the start that several of my competition had rollerblades on, which are much easier to manuever in. However, I was in the lead for 9/10ths of the race.

We came into the last curve, last 5 feet of the race. I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden I was falling, with a one point landing right on my elbow. I sat stunned for a moment as the "referee" shouted out 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Then the pain set in. Whew, I could barely speak. Needless to say, I sat out for the rest of the night, with ice on my elbow hoping that I would get some sensation back into my arm. The landing seemed to turn off my arm - I couldn't lift it or rotate my hand.

We went home, I went to the emergency room. The admitting clerk at the hospital laughed when I told him what I did to get me the visit to emergency room. He said two of his co-workers did the same thing with equally disasterous results - a broken elbow for one and a cracked kneecap for the other. 3 series of X-rays later and a presciption for pain medicine, I was sent home with the diagnosis of nothing broken, just a deep contusion (yes, I am a little disappointed - that much pain should have guaranteed me a cast).

I've gotten most of the movement and strength back in my arm (it is at 90%). I've got two huge bruises - one on my elbow and the other on my pride!!

Monday, May 15, 2006


Growing up I was raised as an Episcopalian, although my family was very "WASP". You knew you were loved, but there was not much affection in my house. We were emotionally removed from each other. My family went to church regularly until I was in 2nd grade, then we went for the important holidays, that is until we moved the summer before 5th grade. They we stopped going all together, although mom would occasionally take we three siblings to a Baptist church or synagogue or Pentecostal church, etc. so we could be exposed to all religions and so we could make our own "choice" when we grew older.

Around this same time, several close relatives passed away (2 grandparents and an aunt). I remember being distraught over the death of my aunt, distant over the death of one grandparent, and altogether emotionally removed when the third died. I think it is at this point in my life when I decided to no longer believe in God.

I remember sitting in the church during my grandfather's wake, listening to the priest mangle his nickname and screw-up the children's' names and relations. I looked around, saw the packed church, and started to laugh. I don't why, but absurdity of the moment just struck me. All the people gathered had not been close in my grandfather's life (as far as I knew), they didn't know me from Eve, yet they were crying as though they actually missed him. To my young mind, this was wrong.

We moved shortly after that and my family went through a readjustment period that was not good. Again, where was the "almighty support" that I needed? There was none. I grew older and chose archaeology as my profession. The scientific, rational world became my choice of reality. In my hands, I held objects that were older than anything in the bible, and could scientifically be proven so. In my young 20's, I found religion laughable. Only unsophisticated folks believed in God (remember, I know everything at this point in my life, or at least I think so). I couldn't understand how some of my friends could go to church regularly, especially with the way they lived their lives. They were hypocrite. I tried going, but felt oddly out of place, like everyone could see I was "faking it".

In my late 20's; far from home in a different country, with husband away defending our country, I envied those around me who had their religion. I wanted to be able to place my faith in a superior being who would make everything alright, or at least have a purpose for the hurt and sorrow that was around us. Again, I couldn't believe in God. I wished I could, but I just couldn't.

Now in my thirties, I still desire a belief. I have a son who is being raised a "heathen" (my mother's words). I know the value of a religious education, it is ingrained in our culture (Easter, Christmas, words like crucified, etc.), and yet I do not believe. With what my dad just went through, I would love to have had a faith to fall back on for support. But I don't. My question to you: "How can you make an unbeliever believe?"

Friday, May 12, 2006


Thanks to everyone for their positive thoughts during the past stressful week. Dad is out of the hospital, although not fully recovered, it looks good. This has made me reflect on my beliefs/lack of beliefs and made me look into why I feel the way I do. I had some self-discovery which I'll post about later on.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Dad is still in the hospital. It looks like he has a blood infection on top of the pneumonia. They think he may have gotten the infection from a "dirty stick", by which I mean the injection site of the IV was not cleaned properly before they inserted the needle. Little guy is sending a "get well" card to his Papa. He made sure to enlose $1 since they do that for him when he is sick and it always makes him happy. I wasn't allowed to see the actual note - it was taped up into a small little package. If Papa can open it (it's a big if - there is about a roll of tape on this 2x2in square) he's sure to smile.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I know Mother's Day is this Sunday, but I want to blog about my dad. You see, he's in the hospital and it worries me. He helped my brother move about a week ago, and decided to stay with my sister for another week to help her around the house, to work on her "to-do" list (she's a single mom and does not have time to fix all the little things that go wrong in an old house). Well, while out visiting, he got sick with a sinus infection. Only he let it go and it turned into pneumonia. For most people, that would be bad but not too worrisome. For my dad, it can be a death sentence. He has emphysema.

Yes, he did get emphysema from smoking. He smoked for decades. No matter what we did, what we said, we couldn't get him to quit. Then he found out he was going to be a grandfather and a light went off in his head. He wanted to be around to see his grandson grow, to teach him all the bad habits that grandparents can since it's not their child. So he quit and hasn't smoked for almost 8 years.

When my son is around my dad or even just talking to him on the phone, the inevitable "silly Papa" will be spoken at least once, usually more often than that. Papa is the one who wears furniture arm protectors on his head like a hat; who plays tackle with his grandchildren; who insists that he is the young one, that Nana is the "old lady"; who willing walks through the woods to go "exploring" with his grandson. In fact, he has a list of things he's planning for when the little guy visits this summer.
I just hope he physically able to do everything he wants to do. My "fun" grandfather died when I was the same age as my son is now. To this day, I miss him. There are so many things in my life that I wish I could have shared with him. I don't want my son to have to go through that, not yet

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Have you ever wondered what a cow feels when he is branded? It doesn't look too painful; but then again, cows are not know to have very intelligent expressions. I bring this up not because I really care about cows, but because I think I know the answer: nothing at first, but then some serious "burning" pain.
I can say this since I managed to brand myself at work. "How?" you ask. Well, that new employee needed some help with our shrink wrap machine. For those of you who do not know what a shrinkwrap machine looks like, it basically has a role of plastic that sets on a stand. There is also a hairdryer like attachment which is used to "shrink" the plastic. The metal nozzle of this apparatus points outward. Remember that, it'll come up again later on.
My new employee, while she listens does not remember everything that she is told, which is understandable being that she is new on the job. She was standing in front of the shrinkwrap machine, standing there, and she asked me to show her once again how to do it. So, since I can't reach through her, I have to reach from the side. The side with the hairdryer attachment. The attachment that had not been used yet that day, or so I thought. I reach over and feel my upperarm press against it. Only, my new employee; well, she had attempted to use the machine. Several times. My arms flesh stuck to the hairdryer attachement. I took a deep breath in, said "excuse me, I need to go put some water on this" and walked away. After I came back from the ladies room, with my spanking new oval brand, she just kind of shrugged her shoulders and said something along the line of these things happen. Not a reaction I would expect when you've just injured your coworker. Most everyone else's reaction has been a little stronger from the "did you scream, I would have" to "that's going to scar".
It's growing on me. I always wanted a cool tatoo, a cool scar wouldn't be bad. It only hurts when my shirt rubs it, and it is shortsleeve weather here, so I'm good.

Friday, May 05, 2006

spring fever

It's finally May, school is almost out (last day May 24), and I have a "I don't give a ---- attitude" towards anything related to my son's school.
This year was the first year where I held a board position for the PTO. Today I received feedback that would have been helpful back in August, but is useless for me now. There has also developed "cattiness" towards the end, which I'm not comfortable with - I am a "settle your problem face-to-face" kind of gal. The migraines this has caused I am not willing to endure anymore. It has been more work than I thought it would be, and not something I am anxious to repeat. So, in two short weeks I get to hand off all the headaches to someone else. Yea!!
I love volunteering, but I don't want the responsibility anymore. So I will be uber-volunteer, but no more.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

job update

It looks like my co-worker will continue working with us (yay). Unfortunately, it was a rather bitter pill for her to swallow when she realized that the higher ups were questioning her integrity. As she put it, "I guess I won't be going very far in this company - they're will always be something in the back of their minds, questioning whether or not I am loyal". The sad thing is, she is incredibly loyal.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

work woes

Things are about to get heated up at my work. We are approaching one of the busiest times of the year for us, we just had someone quit with absolutely no notice, and now we have an "ethics" issue to face. My coworker happens to have a relative that just opened the same type of business as us but one block down the street. This coworker did tell my boss before the competitor opened that it was her brother and has tried to stay out of any business that we have dealing with this competitor, so as not to appear influenced or biased by the competitor.
Well, it seems my boss never passed this information on to the powers above him. Yesterday we received a call from our regional manager, asking what the heck was going on, that he had received a call from the college that we work with that there was a conflict of interest going on at the store. My poor coworker was in tears - she had done her job, had reported to her supervisor that there was a possible conflict, but my boss chose not to do anything. Now whether or not he did this because he knew the results would be if he did report it, I don't know. I don't know what his reasoning was, since he was out yesterday, golfing. So today I get to go and find out if we lost one most loyal employees or not.