Not death. Not taxes. Not even public speaking. (I actually kinda like to force large groups of people to listen to me.)
I am afraid to call people on the phone. It makes me sweat. It keeps my visiting teaching from getting done. It keeps me from going out to dinner with people. It even keeps me (gasp!) from eating pizza.
Christina was so good at the flute that it was legendary. They said she was completely unbeatable in a challenge and every time I heard her play, I agreed. I had never heard someone play an instrument so well in my life. (And she was so nice that you couldn't even hate her for it; all you could do was listen in awe.)
So when I started high school and knew I'd be in the same band as she was, I was completely intimidated. I had been first chair flute in junior high and thought I was pretty dang good. But I wasn't Christina good.
Which is why I decided to switch to the bassoon. Just couldn't handle the idea of trying to compete, I guess.
But I loved the bassoon.
It was unique and it was a challenge and the junior bassoon player named Tristan I sat next to was totally cute. I got into every honor band and the highest BYU audition bands without even trying. (My BYU audition? "Uh, what instrument do you play? Oh, the bassoon? Yeah, that was your audition. You're in.")
So thanks for that tiny little bit of joy in my life, Christina. Maybe the smallest good thing to come from your life, but nevertheless appreciated.
There were some flip flops on sale for fifty cents, so I bought them and then gave them to Lily along with a tube of paint. (Pink paint, of course. Lily thinks that pink is the ONLY color worth loving.)
Scene: We're all sitting around a picnic table in the woods. Lily is bored because there is no television in the forest and without a television, she can't watch Barney. So, she comes and sits on my lap (only EXTREME boredom could possibly drive her to seek physical contact) and watches me write people's names on a paper plate. After a bit, she starts suggesting people for me to write. Then she gets bored with me writing and grabs the pen out of my hand.
I figure she'll scribble for awhile, since that's what babies do. I start to engage in grown up conversation. Something very mature like who passes gas more often at night or who thinks that hiking naked is a super fun idea.
After a minute, though, I look down at the paper plate and see that Lily has written this:
Now, I'm not hallucinating, right? My itty-bitty can-hardly-talk 26-month-old baby did just create a readable likeness of her own name, right? Without me ever really teaching her how or drilling her with flashcards the way my parents did when I was a baby?!
Oh my goodness, the kid might just be able to make good on her plans for world domination!! Be AFRAID!
Been reading a truck load of YA books for my marketing research. One of the books that I identified as having sold more copies than it should have had the following (paraphrased) exchange:
kid-who-asks-dumb-questions-just-to-forward-plot: "Do you really think that the tale of Arthur is true?"
supposed-to-be-wise-old-man-but-is-really-just-a-pompous-a$$: "Well, I don't think *all* of the tales are true. I seriously doubt there was ever a lady of the lake, for example. But Excalibur? I believe in Excalibur."
Um... Because a magical woman is SO much more unlikely than a magical phallic symbol that gives magical power?!
"Well, when your life sucks so bad, the only thing you can really do is blow your brains out. But, since you're Murphy's daughter and all, the gun would probably mis-fire and then you'd just be ugly AND depressed."
They tell me it will be back in five business days. But they also told me they'd send me the box to send it to them in two days. It took them two *months.* So, we might be going caveman here for awhile. I might be able to use other people's computers occassionally. We'll see...
I said, "Uh... you know you're allowed to say 'no,' right?" (Because I actually didn't know that at her age.)
Over the years a lot of my students--all girls, actually; no boys yet--have told me about how afraid they are to get married.
Now, I've been married almost eight years now, and, y'know, it's not *that* scary. You'd think that the very idea of marriage shouldn't terrify my college students so much that they'd avoid the oppossite sex altogether.
Which made me wonder... If so many girls are afraid to get married... Is it *their* idea of marriage that needs to be changed, or *ours*?
And suddenly, you have the weirdest chance ever to learn about variations in the English language!
My favorite word from the night: "clucky." Adjective. It describes someone who is baby hungry. Like, "Every time Stewart comes over to my house, he gets all clucky when he plays with my two year old." (True quote from the evening!) Origin: referring to the relationship that a mother hen has with her chicks.
It's a common word in Australia, but not in England, Wales, or America. And less embarassing to misunderstand than say, "pants" or "napkins." (underwear and maxi pads in Britain)(cue hilarious memory of Steve making huge hand gestures to the London waitress five years ago and saying, "We're going to need NAPKINS. LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of NAPKINS!")
(Oh, and BTW, I didn't drink at the bar, if you were wondering. They all made fun of me, too, and kept competing to see who got to buy me lemonade. I finally let one of them buy me a diet coke. That's about as risque as I get.)
The town was supposedly settled by a (also fictional) crazy-a evangelical preacher named Jeremiah West during the religious revivals of the 19th century. (the town is in the mountains somewhere in Ameria; the specific mountains are flexible. Appalacia is fine. The West is fine. Wherever. But there do need to be mountains.)
Here are some of my (lame?)ideas:
Hallowed Peaks God's Hallowed Enoch's Landing Enoch City Grove Hallow New Hope New Enoch New Zion Zion's Chosen Rapture Hollow
You guys have any ideas? Like any of my ideas? I'm stumped so I'd love any ideas you have! (And if you're my student, I'll give you extra credit if you respond. ;-))
I didn't get it. I mean, when I did the math I saw it was right, but it didn't make *sense.*
So I obsessed. I obsessed and obsessed and obsessed. Weeks passed. It still didn't make sense.
Until yesterday. I was pouring some soap into the bathtub, and I suddenly *got* it.
It all came down to this (kinda dumb)joke my dad used to tell me. "If you have a man and a woman, and the woman travels half the distance to the man. And then the man travels half the distance to the woman, and so on, how long will it take for them to get to each other?"
The answer? "They'll never get to each other. But they'll get close enough for all practical purposes!"
Only engineers think this joke is funny.
Anyway, I realized that the distance the people are travelling a few steps in is a lot smaller than the distance they first travelled, even though each leg is 0.5 times the size of the last. So, even though the 0.5 is constant, the actual distance changes.
Then I realized that the gas mileage thing has a relationship to that kind of exponential problem and suddenly, it actually made sense.
So, thanks Dad. All these weeks later I can FINALLY stop friggin trying to figure it out!
So when she woke up kicking and screaming and crying and yelling and screeching, we had to think quick.
"Barney!" thinks Steve. Because Lily really likes to sing.
So, he turns Barney on. And it's working. Lily calms down a little, stares at the TV. She is still grimacing like a beast, but, yanno, she's *quiet.*
Then Barney starts to sing, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands."
Lily raises her hands as if to sing along. But then, midway up, she freezes. She grimaces even harder at the TV and growls, "Not. Happy." And instead of singing along, she just gives that dinosaur the nastiest look ever.
1) the vomitting 2) the peeing my pants that accompanies the vomitting because I have two children and my bladder control sux 3) the tripping over objects as I try to teach a class shortly after landing 4) the risk of electrocution that ensues after my tripping while teaching leads to the pulling of an electrical outlet directly out of the wall 5) the soaking wetness of clothing due to the fact that when you are holding your water bottle when you teach and you then trip the water is lible to splash all over the place 6) the showing of undergarments that unintentionally follows your attempt to dry off the soaking clothing that accompanies the throwing of water that accompanied the tripping over objects and the risk of electrocution due to the dislocated electrical outlet caused by the said tripping over of objects. 7) more vomitting 8) more peeing of pants 9) an eerie repeat of #6: but smellier due to the nature of the fluid 10) did I mention the vomitting?