Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Word Box Dec. 28- Jan. 2 *New*

It's back and better than ever! The word box has been extended to stay open until about 10 a.m. Monday morning.
Happy Wording!

This blog post is brought to you by "Wordy Wednesdays"

Monday, December 26, 2005

Tadpole Visits Santa

Some of you may remember my friend Frog and her 2 1/2 year old daughter, Tadpole from this post.

Tadpole loves to dance, and usually when I visit we dance for hours at a time. She can dance to anything, although she prefers hip hop and oldies and is not a big fan of the slower music. She is very aware of the beat and often can start humming or even singing (as much as a 2 1/2 year old can) along to the music. She is quite musical. Tadpole comes up with dance moves, and her favorite is to shake her bottom while demanding that others join in and "shake it" too.

The other day, Frog took Tadpole to see Santa at their community center. Just when Tadpole sat on Santa's lap, someone started playing Christmas music. Upon hearing the music, Tadpole jumped off Santa's lap and started dancing - then she said to Santa "Shake it, Clausy - Shake it!" Frog was mortified, but I guess Santa thought he'd found a pretty good dance partner because he stood up and danced with her.

Kids are so cute.

10 More Things I Love

Mail/Packages from friends
They Might Be Giants' song "C is for Conifers"
Cinneman - to smell and to taste
Cooper, my IPOD
A sky that is cloudy, but clear enough so you can see the moon through the clouds
Lounging pants
Winter hats
Clean sheets

Today is a Wonderful Day!

Why is it so wonderful, you ask? Because I got to watch 7 episodes of Freaks and Geeks. God, I love that show. That is all.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are all having a pleasent day whether it's spent around the tree or at the movies. We are sitting around waiting for my brother and SiL to arrive so we can open presents and get in a round of 500. It's shaping up to be a wonderful day!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas, Earth!

The senate again blocked the drilling in the Artic National Wildlife reserve! Once drilling provision tacked on to the proposed defense bill was dropped, the defense bill passed unanimously. You can go here to read more about it, and you can go here to read how your senators voted.

This blog post brought to you by "Earth friendly Fridays"

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

In case you like polar bears

mama and cubs

cute cub

Freaks and Geeks

Finals are over and still the Freaks & Geeks DVD set sits untouched. How can this be? Panda is full of excuses and our DVD player is full of discs of another television show. How long does she expect me to wait? This cannot go on much longer - I can't live like this!
This blog post brought to you by "TV Tuesdays"

Monday, December 19, 2005

Thankyou, FishFrog and Nell

It is because of you that I can make this! No more chunky square-shaped snowflakes for me!

My trip to the eye doctor

Let's start with the good news. I went to my eye doctor today, and apparently my eyes have gotten a little better!! Who-hoo! This happend to my dad recently, and he no longer has to wear contacts at all (he also does not have to wear reading glasses as so many older people do). So, this news was good, and I can only hope that my eyes continue on their self-correcting course until I no longer have to wear glasses.

Now for the not so good news.... "does your family have a history of glaucoma?" my doctor asked. Well, my dad was just told to get tested for it. "Ahh, yes, your dad is a patient of mine..." So, he wants me to come back in to get my eyes dialted and run some "tests" so we can keep an eye on things (no pun intended). Apparently, my "pressure" is in the high range of normal, still normal, but something of which to keep track. He says I should not worry becuase I do not have glaucoma and hopefully will not get glaucoma. Still, I can't help but worry a little bit - it's moments like these I'm glad Panda inhearted most of the crazed worry-wart genes while I got the laid back devil-may-care set of genes.

So, my eyes are both getting better and getting worse at the same time. Fantastic!


My office is once again freezing! I am bundeled up, this time in my coat and cute green hat with matching scarf. I can only imagine how cold it is in here because the thermostate only goes down to 60 degrees, but my guess is that it's about 50-55 degrees in here. It's no wonder I've been sick for three weeks! This is total crap. Total crap!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Tip # 2

Use lemons as a bleach alternative - Put away that soft-scrub, and bring on the lemons!

Do your countertops or cutting boards ever get stained? To get rid of the stain, all you need to do is let lemon juice set on the stain for a few minutes, then add your trusty baking soda to the mess and scrub the area clean. It smells better than that nasty stuff under your sink, and you don’t have to Mr. Yuck sticker any of the ingredients!

The same can be done on white clothes – just put the lemon juice on the stains and let the sun dry the clothes. Viola -stains are bleached away!

Happy cleaning!
This blog post brought to you by "Earth Friendly Firdays"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It just irks me, plain and simple

Normally I used Wordy Wednesdays to highlight words I think are cool or idioms that I enjoy using. Today, I want to bring your attention to a word I hate.

Matriculate – to enroll as a member of a body and especially of a college or university

This word is over used and I don’t think half the people who used it even know what it means. Last night, I was at a school board meeting and the superintendent used this word 5 times in a 2 minute span of time. Ugh. It is like nails on a chalkboard. Stop using this word! You do not sound cool!

I dare you to use this word in a sentence and not sound like an idiot trying to sound like someone intelligent; it cannot be done. This word is a blight on the English Language.
This blog post brought to you by "Wordy Wednesdays"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

TV Time

As I'm always on the look out for more TV to watch, I want to know your favorite shows. These can be past shows, current shows, quality shows, guilty pleasure shows, or anything that is awesome.

What is your favorite TV show and why should I watch it?

This blog post brought to you by "TV Tuesdays"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Six Degrees of Separation

You all know the drill, and if you don't just go to this post for a review of the rules. Rule clarification: please only use actors (not producing, writing, or directing credits)

The one to connect in the fewest turns the fastest will win a small box of crayons. The game ends on Thursday, December 15, 2005.

Connect these actors: Gene Hackman and Susan Sarandon

This blog post brought to you by "Movie Mondays"

My Excite Fortune

My fortune today says:

Someone thinks you are very special and lets you know it.
This is a good fortune. Better still if it comes true!

Cool Website

One of my favorite websites is Found Magazine. I head about it on NPR a couple of years ago. People send in notes, postcard, letters, or anything that they find on the ground that seems interesting. The website is for the magazine that you can purchase, but they also have many found things on the website for you to view.

Some of the finds are funny, others are more thought provoking, and some are just sad. On the main page, they have their most recent finds, but you can also view more by typing something in the "search for finds" box.

They revamped the website & I don't find it as user friendly as it used to be. Still, it's updated regularly, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Indian Boarding Schools - Canada

While Indian Boarding Schools in the the US closed in the 1920s, the schools in Canada remained open much later. Although most closed by the 1970s, the last Indian Boarding (or Residental) School did not close until 1996! Much like in the US, students attended these schools not of their own free will, but were instead legally kidnapped from their families. Similarly, most students had no contact with their families and communities for up to 10 months at a time, due in large part to the fact the schools were deliberately located far away from native communities. These children, too, were prohibited from speaking their language and suffered corporal punishment if caught speaking it.

Surprise of surprises, evidence of wide-spread abuse – sexual, physical, and emotional- was brought to light in the late 1990s. Now, the Canadian government is giving survivors compensation in the form of $10,000 for their first year at the school, and $3,000 for each year spent after that. Some recipiants think it's too little, too late; others realize it won't erase the horrors of the past, but accept that it is compensation of some sort.

For my Canadian readership: Has this been in the news? Did you know about this issue prior to the decision to pay out this money? What are your thoughts?

For everyone: what are your thoughts on compensation? Do you think there should be a statue of limitations? Does it do any good, is it not enough, too much? All points of view are welcome.

If anyone would like more info on Indian Boarding Schools, I'd be happy to give it to you. If you are really interested, I reccommend reading Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience by D. Adams. It is extremely detailed and outlines the phenomenom really well.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Philosophy of Special Agent Dale Cooper

"Harry, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it, don't wait for it, just… let it happen."

This blog post brought to by "Thoughtful Thursdays"

Word of the Week Dec 2 - 7

The entries:
Amortization – the act or process of mortizing
Amortize – to provide for the gradual extinguishment of, usually by contribution to a sinking fund at the time of each periodic interest payment.
Acerbic – sour or bitter tasting; sharp or biting as in character or tone
Apropos – Being opportune and to the point; relevant; also as in by the way, or incidentally
Exiguous – Extremely scanty; meager

This week's word of week is:


Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I highly recommend you go to Matt's Blog and check out his Ice Fishing post and video link. Go now!

Clatch the door!

While at our maternal grandparents house for the summer in 1985 or 86, my sister, brother, and I coined a new word – clatch.

Clatch - to close the door, but not latch it.
One might say, "Could you clatch the door when you leave?" or "The door is clatched"

To give picture, a clatched door would like this: the latch bolt of the door would not go into the latch hole, but would rest on the door plate. Note: this is different from leaving the door cracked because while there may be a sliver of light that comes in, the door is all but shut.

This word comes in handy more than you might expect, and I hope you will all start using it.
This blog post brought to you by "Wordy Wednesdays"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Okay, Fortune, I will do as you ask

My fortune today said “Take a moment to remember 4th grade” so I am going to do just that.

My fourth grade homeroom and language arts teacher was Mrs. Allen. It was her first year as a teacher, and it showed. She wore tri-colored eye shadow that went up to her eyebrows – the three colors were way too dark and she looked like one of those jars made out of multiple colors of sand. In other words – she looked stupid. As you might have surmised, I did not like Mrs. Allen much. She never called on me to read aloud and I attribute my paralyzing fear of speaking up in class to be a direct result of this.

The thing I did like about Mrs. Allen was that she had a “writing workshop,” and we got write stories and books. She would bring in wallpaper samples of all different designs (that were slightly larger than a piece of paper) that we could pick from to make covers for our books. She would then bind them together. It was actually totally awesome. I still have two of my books, one of which was about Rugby, the collie that lived in my old neighborhood who I missed terribly at the time.

I also remember, my social studies teacher. We called him Mr. Z because his last name was really long and began with a Z. On the first day of school, this kid raised his hand and asked, “Can I go to the bathroom.” “Yes,” Mr. Z replied. When the kid got up to go, Mr. Z said, “Sit down.” This went on for a while until the kid finally asked “May I go to the bathroom.” Now, while I’m sure Mr. Z was trying to be funny while teaching proper word usage, all he succeeded in doing was making the whole class think he was an ass and probably prompted that kid to put Mr. Z on the top of a hit list of some sort.

My science teacher was Mrs. Bogosian and she was pretty awesome. I remember we all go certified in First Aid that year and that was exciting! I also went into my second year of violin where we progressed from playing Happy Hoedown to reading notes and playing Ode to Joy. We would continue to play Ode to Joy for many, many years.

My best friends were Jeannie and Mary Beth. Jeannie still lived across the street, and her parents were not yet divorced. We watched Days of our Lives, and her favorite movie was North and South. Our favorite thing to do at recess was sit in the “tunnels” because they were cool, while we waited for an opening on the swing-set. I had a birthday party and we served tacos for dinner.

All in all, I liked 4th grade.

This is a Story of Two Sisters

No, not Panda and Fuzzy - Jessica Tate and Mary Campbell!

I just finished watching season 2 of one of my all time favorite shows - Soap. Man, oh man, how I love this show. I loved it when I was 7 and I love it still when I'm 27. One of the funniest shows ever - man, I love it.
This blog post brought to you by "TV Tuesdays"

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

This morning I was having a ho-hum day. I was running late (as usual), but then I looked out the window and saw that wonderful white flaky goodness - Snow! If it’s going to be cold, then the least it can do is snow, and last night it did! Right now it is barely a dusting and most of has melted off the grass, but I hear we are in for more on Thursday. Yay!! I hope this means we’ll have a white Christmas.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this year St. Louis will see more snowfall than average. We’ll see snowstorms in late December, mid-January, and early March and can expect the heaviest snowfall to be in January.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Maybe it's Just Me

Does it bother anyone else that when you have 1 comment, it says “1 comments” at the bottom of your post?

A Life Less Ordinary

Today I recommend one of my favorite movies to you – A Life Less Ordinary. This movie stars Ewan McGregor (who I love), Cameron Diaz, Holly Hunter(who is totally awesome) and Delroy Lindo (who is also totally aweosme). This off-beat romantic comedy gets better ever time I watch it. For those of you who liked Transpotting – it was written by John Hodge and directed by Danny Boyle. For those of you who didn’t – don’t worry, there is no drug usage in this movie.

Ewan McGregor plays a good guy whose life is not going well; he ends up kidnapping his boss’s daughter (Diaz). It is soon clear that he has no idea what he’s doing, but Diaz (who has been kidnapped many times before) takes initiative and demands ransom from her father. Her father, unwilling to part himself with his money, hires two bounty hunters – Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo. These bounty hunters are actually two angels sent from heaven who have been given the assignment to get these two birds to fall in love – although they are a far cry from “Touched by an Angel”-style angels.

It’s hard for me to give a synopsis of a movie because I think its best if you don’t know much about a movie before seeing it, so you can just enjoy the ride. I fear I’ve told too much, but if I’d said any less, I can’t imagine why you’d be compelled to see the movie. Anyway – just go watch it! I have it if anyone wants to borrow it.
This blog post is brought to you by "Movie Mondays"

Friday, December 02, 2005

Word Box Dec 2 - 7

This word box will close around 10 a.m. on
Wednesday, December 7th.
I highly recommend you use your word in a sentance, but you don't have to.

Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Tip # 1

Use baking soda and vinegar to clean drains – not harsh chemicals like Drano.

Remember when you made a volcano for science class? You would put baking soda in a cone and pour vinegar to watch the "lava" explosion. Well, this works in drains as well. Pour about 1 cup of baking soda in your drain. Wait a few minutes, then pour cup of (for best results – warm) vinegar down after it. Wait awhile before flushing with (preferably boiling) water.

This will work for most, if not all, of your drain de-clogging needs and a plunger will probably take care of the rest. Most plumbers recommend flushing your drains weekly (even if only with boiling water) to keep clogs from happening in the first place. If the problem persists, go ahead and get the harsh chemical stuff, but try this first!

This blog post brought to you by "Earth Friendly Fridays"

Who ARE you??!

Anonymous, this is directed at you!

It is a day worthy of hats!

Today in History:

**Napoleon crowned emperor (1804)
**Monroe Doctrine declared (1823)
**James K. Polk (our 11th President) affirms the Monroe Doctrine (1845)
**McCarthy Condemned by Senate (1954)
**John Gotti now head of Gambino family (1985)

But most noteworthy….
Nell was Born!!
Happy Birthday, Nell. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Arapaho Language Revalization

It is my opinion that Culture is expressed through language. That is why I am such a huge proponent of American Sign Language and giving it the respect it has not had since the mid 1800s. Around the same time that the push for Oralism (no signing, only lip-reading and speech) came along, the United States also began to implement its greatest attack on American Indian Languages and Culture - The Off Reservation Boarding Schools (eluded to in a previous post).

Children at these schools were, among other things, secluded from other children who spoke the same language (so English would be their common language) and endured corporal punishment if caught speaking their native languages. In part, these actions lead to a new generation of speakers that would not speak their language or pass it on to their children. Now, most fluent speakers of native languages are aged 50 or older. Language cannot survive if it is locked away only to be brought out at ceremonies and other events and a culture cannot truly survive with out its language. Language is how we describe the world around us and make it our own.

In this article, my favorite professor, Dr. Stephen Greymorning says (and I agree), "Language shapes how people give meaning to the world, and often the only way to get an idea of cultural differences is through the language," he says. "A language does some very interesting things that can give people an idea of the logic and values that distinguish one culture from another."

For the past several years, Dr. Greymorning has been working on a project to revitalize the Arapaho language by creating immersion language classes for Arapaho children, and most recently by creating another program that fosters more parental involvement. He also had a big role in teaming up with Disney to make an Arapaho dubbed version of Bambi. You can read about his efforts here, here, and here.

Yay to Dr. Greymorning!

This post brought to you by "Thoughtful Thursdays"

Movie Quote Winner Nov. 28

Congratulations FishFrog! Way to go!

The movie - French Kiss

French Kiss is one of my favorite movies of all time and I often walk around quoting it.

Part 2: Word of the Week Nov 29- Dec 1

Part 2: The Word of the Week

As usual, we had some spectacular words this week. Some of them appeal to my love of lauguage or culture, while others to my love of doughnuts. The decision was made much more difficult by the fact that so many of you submitted your words as "anonymous" and I therefore could not just pick fishfrog's word. I don't even know if fishfrog submitted a word! What is this world coming to? But, I digress....
The word I picked this week is supercool and one that we should all incorporate into our daily vocabularies.

This week's Word of the Week is:
*To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill
*To teach others by frequent instruction or repetition; indoctrinate

Between the 1880s and 1920s, American Indian children were ripped from their homes and taken to Off Reservation Boarding Schools. The goal of these schools was to systematically inculcate feelings of shame in the children regarding their own cultures, families, and language in the hope to assimulate these children into the American mainstream. It was thought that adults were beyond hope - too set in their ways, but with children we could - in the words of Richard Pratt, founder of the first school of this kind - "Kill the Indian, Save the man." These schools have far reaching affects on Indian cultures even today and account for much of why so many native langugages are exctinct or facing extinction.

Part 1: The Words

Because this post is crazy long, I am going to break it up into two parts.

Part 1: The Words

This week’s entries:

adj - accompanying especially in a subordinate or incidental way
noun - something that accompanies or is collaterally connected with something else; existing or occuring at the same time

noun - the quality of being disingenuous and lacking candor
adj.-not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating
adj - pretending to be unaware or unsophisticated; faux-naïf.

*To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill
*To teach others by frequent instruction or repetition; indoctrinate

noun - an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.
tidbit- Comes from the Greek word “mimema” for something imitated
tidbit - Dawkins introduced this term in is 1976 publication The Selfish Gene. You can read about more here and here.
**Memes can be considered the unit of cultural evolution. Ideas can evolve similar to biological evolution. Some ideas survive better than others; ideas can mutate through, and two ideas can recombine toproduce a new idea involving elements of each parent idea.
**The term is often used in the phrase "meme complex" to mean a group of mutually supporting memes that form an organized belief system (religion). However, "meme"is often misused to mean "meme complex".

noun - something with refers to itself, esp. in self-parodying manner
adj - self-referential; referring to itself or its characteristics, esp. as a parody; about
prefix - one level of description higher w/ many applications, such as: later in time, at a later stage of development, change, alternation, more comprehensive, at a higher state of development, and/or derivative related to chemical substance.
noun - A river in northeast Colombia flowing partially along the boarder with Venezuela.
noun - A city in Missouri

noun - A meaningful linguistic unit consisting of a word, such as man, or a word element, such as -ed in walked , that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts

noun - Candadian bit-sized doughnut balls (or doughnut holes as they are called in the midwest or munchkins at Dunkin’ Donuts).
tidbit - They are sold at the Tim Hortons restaurant chain, and "Timbits" has become the generic name for doughnut balls sold all over Canda (like Kleenex for tissue).
tidbit -A Timbit is supposedly made from the part of a full doughnut that is cut out to make the doughnut's hole, but in fact they are made from separate balls of dough.
tidbit-introduced in 1976.