Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year, Planet Earth

Happy New Year, Planet Earth
Originally uploaded by Terry_Lea.
Can't resist this lady's squirrel photoshops for the holidays. Especially since I don't have time to do any of my own, though of course I would love to.

Happy New Year!

Mini History

Thousands of years of Middle Eastern history in 90 seconds. The visual certainly makes it a lot easier to remember than any list. Neato!

(This guy found it first.)

Monday, December 25, 2006

1st Christmas

1st Christmas
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
Oooohhhh....crinkly paper!

Friday, December 22, 2006

I Can't Believe It's All Free!

It may surprise some of you library types, but I haven't voluntarily been to a library in years. Oh, I've been to plenty of libraries on my various campuses enough times, but it's invariably been because I was researching something.

(On the other hand, there are a lot of things I haven't voluntarily done in the past few years. No, wait, not a few years--many.)

A friend of mine mentioned that she and her fiance check out movies at the library. I wondered why the heck I hadn't thought of doing that. I've been to our local town library twice now, and they have a great collection of weird old movies. Maybe as good as mine. Lots of DVDs and also VHS tapes. Lucky for my husband I brought a VHS player to the marriage, huh?

I also checked out a bunch of cookbooks, a fiction book, and a book about hiring someone to clean your house, though I have barely had time to look at them and they're nearly due already. My book appetite is bigger than my time mouth, so to speak.

It's been great to get out of the house and go somewhere that is quite close, so it's not such a hassle as going into a "real" town. I also don't have to worry too much about my appearance, so I don't have a big getting-ready struggle. If I've had a shower at least the day before, then I feel okay about it. There's a changing table in the bathroom, and I bring apples and trail mix for myself. There are secret corners where I can furtively latch the baby on in his sling and then walk around nursing, with no one the wiser. Limelet usually just goes to sleep. However, sometimes he wants to stay awake and try to grab books off the shelf. Clearly his parents' son.

I plan to check out some books on CD for the road trip this weekend. There seems to be a larger selection of books on cassette tape, but the only auto tape player we have is in the "bad" car--the one we don't use as much (the baby's car seat seems too unsafe in it.)

Friday night we brought the computer to bed and watched my recent check-out, The Stepford Wives--the good one, not the remake. (Tsk.) We used headphones so as not to wake our co-sleeping Limelet, and had popcorn and cocoa. It was great fun (although we still got frustrated about the ending of the movie.) We both independently thought the experience reminiscent of reading under the covers with a flashlight as a kid.

The next day I was able to take a nice long shower, as someone was home watching the baby for me. I even had a chance to shave my legs! When I mentioned this to my husband, he replied, "Well, good--then I won't have to replace you with a robot." I pondered aloud what it might be like if both of us simultaneously replaced each other with robots.

Hilarity ensued.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why I'll Never Be Sainted

...Among other reasons.

Listening to Christmas music this season, I have a slightly different perspective than before. Little Drummer Boy, for example. I guess Mary was a lot more patient than I am.

If some kid showed up with a drum just after I had a baby, I'd be all, "You play with that outside! My new baby's trying to sleep! For Pete's sake, what are you thinking? And where is your mother, by the way?"

Also, that shepherd boy who suggests bringing silver and gold to the child who shivers in the cold. Not that silver and gold isn't useful, but come on. Use your head. You're a shepherd! The child's shivering in the cold! Bring a fleece. Bring some lanolin for the new nursing mother.

Well, to be fair, I guess at least they could use the silver and gold to buy some things like that, and maybe a fresh donkey*.

But I have a strong feeling those songs were written by people who never gave birth.

*Ugh--labor on a donkey. Triple ugh--postpartum on a donkey!

Monday, December 18, 2006

One Down...

...five to go!

Had my first interview today; this is one of the sites that only does phone interviews. It went quite well--certainly a bajillion times better than the phone interview I did last year. So, who knows? We might end up around Geistweg territory next year!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Jack the Pumpkin King - Finally

pumpkin king 2
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
I know it's long past Halloween, but here's the photo of Limelet in his Skellington outfit.

Third Time's the Charm, Right?

Busy with internship stuff during the few seconds I'm not busy with baby stuff.

I've got six interviews. Two of the sites offer only phone interviews so's not to disadvantage those who can't afford to go gallivanting around the country on all kinds of flights and whatnot. The other four I will probably be going to in person, so I will be booked up like crazy for January.

Don't even get me started about how we're going to do this with an exclusively breastfed baby who has just never taken a bottle well!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Magical Disappearing Images and Stuff

I've just downgraded my doctorlizardo site (and my teaching site) to a domain name only, as I'm currently not really using it for anything but hosting images and things.

Now that I can do most of that on Flick'r or even on Blogger itself, there's not much reason to pay $10 a month to Yahoo. That's $120 a year! (Or "ten bottles of wine" as my husband would point out, should I give him the chance.)

So there are probably a bunch of images that disappeared from my blog, especially the archives. And wherever I commented on your various and sundry sites, that avatar probably disappeared, too. (I have to remember to recheck that whole gravatar thing, too.)

The reason there is now a squirrel gif on my banner is that the rat wheel gif was one of the disappearing images. I thought I had a copy of that one in my picture files, but I can't find it. Probably on one of my backups from three years ago or something that I'll find in another three years, accidentally. Oh well.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Long Nights Moon

Is supposedly what today's full moon is called. Today was my actual birthday.

It may well be a long night--I spent the entire day doing nothing but getting. the. baby. to. sleep. Then he'd wake up 5 minutes later. After 15 or so hours of that, your brain is kind of fried. TheLimey is now taking a turn walking him. I don't know how I can possibly work on my dissertation this year, let alone get it done.

The analyses should only take a day of work--but that means an actual day of work. You know, a day with hours in it, not twelve 2-minute segments.

I've been trying to do the analyses for months now. I'm always all optimistic at the beginning of each day, then at about 8:30pm my mood crashes as I realize yet another day is gone and I've made absolutely no progress at all, despite my efforts. And even if he goes to sleep, at that point I'm so beat and frazzled that I wouldn't trust me to balance my checkbook, let alone do complex statistics and write about them.

Hey, I didn't say I was never going to write about this stuff--I'm keeping it to a minimum, believe me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Post Thanksgiving

Now we're in the thick of Autumn--nearly winter, really. Time to bake cookies, light candles, and watch old black-and-white movies. (If you know what that clip is from--without googling it--you win. I don't know what you win. My admiration or pity perhaps.) I was actually outside yesterday, and it was strangely mild weather. Maybe it's trying to make up for going directly from summer to winter while I was postpartum.

I may actually get some work done on my data analyses today, as Limelet is willing to actually sleep for a while. As long as he is in a sling, on me. This is fine because now I have figured out how to use a sarong (basically just a pretty, rectangular piece of fabric) to make one that is truly hands-free. No more one-handed typing! It is a big deal to be able to sit down without him fussing because I'm not walking around. I am able to type this, right now, with both hands. Yippee!

This upcoming weekend is both our birthdays--mine and TheLimey's. Hopefully we will be able to relax and do ... nothing much. But meanwhile, I must try to at least do my data screening.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mirror in the Bathroom

Mirror in the Bathroom
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
I promised I'd post a photo of Limelet in the onesie that Auntie Leslie gave him, now that he fills it out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bits for Thanksgiving Pondering

The thing to drink over the holidays is certainly pea. (There aren't many manufacturers who can lay claim to being the market leader in turkey-flavored beverages.)

And I guess this means the end of my dreams that Catdog could be real. (What could they/it do with a hydrant, anyway?)

I really wish these guys were a rockabilly band. It seems a waste otherwise of a really good rockabilly type name.

I also saw that C-sections in the U.S. hit an all-time high at over 30% of births. I think this will be one of those eras that history looks back on in a head-scratching manner, like we do now with cocaine-laced soft drinks.

Amazingly, people continue to find and comment on my entry regarding the Oxford Round Table or Roundtable, usually stating that they almost got suckered. And speaking of which, doesn't this charitable one look a lot more fun than that other stuffy one, anyway?

And finally, in other news, today I saw that someone had correctly written "with bated breath," instead of what people usually write.

If you don't already know, think nightcrawlers, or maybe cheese and mousetraps.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Originally uploaded by matatabby.
It certainly would scare me away.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ode on Baby-Dragging

I think people who haven't had kids have the idea that little babies are easily portable. I get this impression because of the number of people who have asked us when (or told us) we're bringing the baby over so they can see him. I know they mean well and just want to have a look at the cute little new baby, but in reality it's a huge PITA.

It's not that it's just inconvenient to put on his long pants and put him in the car seat and drive somewhere, so we can't be bothered. Oh no--there's a lot more to it. There is a definite reason (besides agoraphobia) that I pretty much just stay in the house these days.

For one thing, he's breastfed, not bottle-fed, which is what I think people may be used to seeing. Now, bottle-fed babies may well go 4 hours between feedings (and thus are easier to schedule activities with), basically because formula is a lot harder for them to digest. But breastfed babies often go a mere 1½-2 hours between feedings. If you then consider that a full nursing meal may take an hour, you can start to get an idea of how time-consuming this feeding business can be.

Now, this "typically" business is just an average--Limelet is one of the more-frequent feeders during the day (though blessedly he eats only a couple of times at night.) And just FYI, breastfed babies who are put on a schedule like bottle-fed babies, show delayed growth compared to on-demand nursers; bluntly put, they starve. So get that idea out of your head right now.

For example, this morning Limelet has been nursing for most of the time between 5:30 and 11:30. We had a lovely 1-hour break, during which he--amazingly--slept the entire hour (I had a real shower today with conditioner and everything! And answered a few urgent academic emails.) otherwise, pretty much, just...nursing...since 5:30am. If it weren't for the baby sling (in which I can nurse him), I'd have bedsores. I'm nursing him right now as I write this, though it's kind of hard to do.

Okay, so, say I have to go somewhere. To the university to pick something up, for example. This means I have to find the time to bathe both myself (it's usually been days, so I really should) and the baby, too. So I may have the time for a really quick shower if he's dozing for 10 minutes between nursing, but I have to leave out anything fancy, like shaving my legs, putting on any makeup at all, or drying my hair (not that I blow-dry it anyway).

Hygiene only--no time for grooming! If my husband is home he can potentially walk the baby around and around to stave off the hunger cries with exciting, repetitive songs (the Black Adder theme song features prominently, for some reason). This gives me time to also brush my teeth.

At least Limelet likes his bath, so it's only time-consuming, not torturous. But by the time I've had my shower and then bathed him, it's always time to eat again. Heaven forbid we set out on a car trip when he's already hungry, so we better time the bath accordingly. Did you notice there was no time I mentioned anything about myself eating? That's how it often works in real life, too. Just when I'm supposed to be eating like a horse (cow?) in order to produce milk, I have the least time to eat that I ever will in my entire life.

So we're bathed, dressed, he's fed, and I have an apple and a granola bar in my purse. Now we take him out to the car. If it's cold, which--come on, it's Michigan. It's cold. And windy. There is no convenient way to take an infant out in the cold, so I'm glad our car is only 20 feet from the door. Even so, the wind that gets under the blankets makes him gasp for breath repeatedly until he's frothing at the mouth. So now we buckle him into the car seat--it's not too comfortable for infants, as they slump down and can't breathe right (as I see it), and the straps have to be really tight in order to keep them properly and safely in. So he dislikes that aspect already, though he's a good sport about it most of the time.

We start out on our trip, usually about 2 hours after beginning to get ready. Now if I go on campus, there is a bit of a hike from the car to whatever building I'm going to, which means that my poor baby is blown into a crying, frothy, gasping little bundle by the time I get to the door. I hate this, and clearly he does, too, poor little thing.

Since we've been driving a while, it's time to nurse him again, so I hope that I get to--wherever--at least half an hour early. And then I have to find some place to nurse him, or at least some place to get him attached and get the cloth over his head to hide the hideous, lurid, obscene spectacle of a mother feeding her tiny innocent hungry baby. Who is also still upset from having to gasp and froth in the cold wind, dammit.

So far we've taken 2 hours to get ready, 45 minutes to drive, and half an hour to nurse. The "to" trip is so far therefore 3 hours, 15 minutes. This doesn't include any changing of his nappy/diaper --add in ten minutes. There; almost 3½ hours. And we haven't even done whatever we came out for yet!

The going home bit is somewhat shorter. Make it to the car with the re-blown and frothy upset baby, feed and change him in the car before leaving, stuff him into the disliked car seat again, 45 minutes. Drive drive drive, another 45 minutes. So maybe just an hour and a half. But add that to the above 3½ hours, and suddenly I realize it's been 5 frikkin' hours! Not including whatever activity we attended. (Okay, cut out half an hour if I didn't need to shower or dress for whatever it was.) We'll get home perhaps 6 hours after we started getting ready, if whatever we did took just an hour. And did you notice that all I've eaten so far all day is an apple and a granola bar? That's really not good for a nursing mother.

On top of all that, on days that I take him out, he's all fussy and riled up and doesn't sleep well that night. His schedule of constant eating and napping was interrupted! Takes forever to get to sleep (this means I may spend a back-ouching hour or so walking in circles in the dark kitchen, playing the lullabies of the world CD, while he's semi-awake in the sling) and he wakes up often in the night.

So, this is why we don't want to attend whatever happening event is happening. At least while he's still so young. It's not that we don't like people. It's not even that we're lazy (this time). It's just way too much, and way too stressful, for any but the most necessary things. So you're welcome to come over for a little visit instead. Just give us some lead time to wash the poopy nappies and maybe even ourselves. And feel free to bring dinner!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

2006 Application Cycle

Typing slowly with one hand while I hold baby, as usual, which leads to terse text.

This morning, I finally (via my poor overworked husband) sent off the last of my internship apps for this, my third, year.

As you may recall, I did actually get a really good spot last January, but nearly simultaneously discovered that we'd be having a baby about the same time the internship began.

After much finagling with [Organization]--who don't "officially" allow sites to "hold" internship slots--the site director basically agreed kindly to tear up our contract with no penalty to me. Thank goodness; because I can't imagine already being away from the Limelet at a 50-hour-a-week job, which I would have been now that he's over 6 weeks old.

Anyway, now that I've done with the @$*&% applications once again, I can spend my "spare" time turning my mind to other things.

Now when I'm sneaking work time alone at 3:30 am, I can work on my dissertation. Or when he's sleeping in his sling in the daytime, I can use my one free hand to (very slowly) tidy the kitchen.

I can make phone calls to straighten out (for the 6th year in a row) why the graduate school hasn't paid this semester's tuition again, and how I let my student malpractice insurance lapse on the day I was giving birth! (Though I won't be seeing clients again until next summer at least.) I might even get to the basket of wedding that it's been well over a year. Sheesh.

Heck, maybe I could eat breakfast and lunch!

But one thing at a time.

Until I have to start interviews again. Heaven knows how we're going to manage that this year...>sigh<

Saturday, November 04, 2006

National Drunk Writing

National Drunk Writing
Originally uploaded by geistweg.
For those of you out there who are allowed to drink (and to write), I fully endorse this event (as presented by a completely coincidental Flick'r member), if only for my own entertainment at the results.

Please use a computer or typewriter rather than handwriting so that we can at least read the individual letters of your output the next day, if not follow the sentences.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mr. Teddytoes

Mr. Teddytoes
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
He gets to wear more than one outfit for his first Halloween, right? After all, he can't have the candy yet.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween
Originally uploaded by Terry_Lea.
Ghost squirrel sez "Happy Halloween!"

(Good job there's someone doing seasonal squirrel Photoshops, because I sure don't have the time.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Off-Topic as Usual

I would post more comments on people's blogs if those blogs allowed it.

For example, without my having to close my browser and open a completely different browser. I'm just sayin'!

(Determinism has probably caused me to use the more-commercial browser, therefore I can't help it and thus can't be blamed. Also clearly influenced by my husband's usage, as he has all those licences and certifications and whatnot from the Evil Empire itself.)

Had to Be Posted

...albeit with one hand, as I'm NAK*.

Today's list:

The Top 5 Favorite Movies of Robots

5> My Dinner With Android

4> Eyes Wired Shut

3> Kill Bill Gates

2> Marie Androidette

and's Number 1 Favorite Movie of Robots...

1> Jackassimov

PS: I am so envious that I didn't come up with the name "Marie Androidette" on my own.

*Nursing At Keyboard

Friday, September 29, 2006

Babymoon Hiatus

As you may have noticed, I'm not online much these days. Too much going on to write about it. I barely even check my email every few days.

For now, laters.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Since You Asked...

Geez, what is this, a baby dating profile?

Anyhoo, he was 7 lbs 16, 21". And supposedly he has a smallish head, though it sure didn't feel like it to me.

With Loveybear

With Loveybear
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.


Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
One double chin deserves another.

Limelet & Daddy Day 1

Limelet & Daddy Day 1
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
I love this one!

Limelet 2

Limelet 2
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
Here he is...cuter than we deserved.

Good to know all those dang organic eggs I had to eat went into building this little critter!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It's Official

In classic sitcom style, several hours ago, my water broke in public. However, it was at a pumpkin and cider place, not the grocery store. However, I was determined to get my dang cider and donuts that I had been wanting all week, so I counted on people tending not to look at one's groinal area too closely and bought them anyway. (There was also the giant-belly camouflage factor.) However, it did pretty much look like I had just wet my pants terribly.

So, any further news is likely up to Argot, as I am going to go to the bedroom and work on getting this baby out.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pumpkinless Patch

Anyone familiar with pumpkin farming? Our fertile spell has extended to everything in the vicinity except the pumpkin vines.

We got tons of pumpkin blossoms. And clearly the insects were doing something right, as the corn, watermelons, and cantaloupes all are bearing fruit (not to mention the tomatoes and peppers). The pumpkin vines, however, remain unfruited after at least a month of flowering.

I guess I could--I don't know, look it up online or something.

Alright Already!

I admit it.

Now that I've had one "scare" and gotten all ready to go, I am getting a bit impatient. Mainly because I feel on hold now with everything. If there hadn't been the scare, then I'd probably just still be trundling along patiently. (I'm still not going to try to do things to "start" it, though.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Holding Pattern

Doesn't this look comfortable?!

Well, it all kinda petered out for Monday and Tuesday, though it came back last night and this morning. We'll see. Now that I have things mostly ready, I feel less panicked. It can take its time as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Shot of Whiskey?

My herbal childbearing book says that one way to slow or stall labor is to have a shot of whiskey. TheLimey believes that this is actually meant to be given to the husband.

Now, I don't know if it's anything yet, but I've been having a whole lot more of these pre-labor (as if there's a sharp dividing line!) contractions today than any time during the past week or so. My mantra has been "But It Could Still Be Another Week or Two." (That and, "But I'm Not Ready Yet!")

I'm posting this just so that Argot can have a post to which to reply and let people know the outcome, in case I do go in. I'm sure as heck not gonna be bloggin'. (I imagine.)

I have been trying to arrange for the traditional womenfolk relations to be around for some of this, as "the materials" say to have someone help the new mum out for three weeks. I don't know about three weeks, but maybe we can get two.

It looks like my stepmom may be able to come out for a few days, perhaps after TheLimey's week off runs out, or maybe with some overlap. Which means I can delay being alone for a while longer, which I really do want to do.

Also, I was initially thinking of having no one but the two of us for the actual birth (too crowded!)--unless Argot could get across country somehow, which she can't--but then I remembered that my aunt has had three natural births of her own. And since I have heard several women (including our birth instructor) say that there's something especially helpful about having a woman there who has gone through it herself, I am now trying to get her out here for the pre-birth segment, and maybe the birth. If it can wait until Tuesday.

Waiter! Where's my whiskey?!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Landwhale Weekend

Now, to try to catch up on our activities this past month. I actually wrote this entry offline over the weekend while we were watching a movie, as I am trying to multitask even recreational activities at this point. I have photos to add in, but Blogger is apparently in that mood again where it will claim to have uploaded my photo, but then it refuses to display it. [...Later: Ha! There it goes, finally.]


We scheduled various things in August to try to squeeze in everything we won’t be able to do forever (or for twenty years or so—whichever comes first). Of course at the time we planned it all, I naïvely assumed that I would be done with my diss work by now, or at least done enough to take some weekends off for that purpose. Oh well...

We spent our B&B weekend on the east coast of Michigan in a little tourist-y coastal-y sort of place. The east coast accommodations turned out to cost about half what west coast ones do, probably since there aren’t the thousands of Chicago residents fleeing to them every weekend in the summer. Our B&B was quintessential small-town America, featuring bird houses, cicadas, and a bunny that came up to us on the patio at breakfast (it was really waiting for us to leave so it could resume its munching on the flower bed.)

We stayed at the jauntily named Captain’s Quarters, which had an excellent sittin’ porch and was within walking distance of—well, everything. Beach, shops, café, downtown, DQ, old-school IGA grocery store, etc. As we wanted to do without the car the entire weekend, this was perfect. As it turned out, the entire town was a mini-twilight zone in that it was a pocket of non-reception for our phones, too, which was actually nice. I also noted that according to the guestbook in our room, the previous weekend the place had hosted Marshall Crenshaw and his co-musicians. So if it's good enough for them...

Basically, we lounged the entire time, and made very limited and flexible plans (specifically to ignore). I had just gotten to the point of being too bulky to move very fast or far, which dictated a lot of lassitude. It's possible that I scandalized the vacationing beachgoers by wearing my red bikini while hugely pregnant (at least my inner youthful punk-rock self hopes so), but no one looked terribly offended.

On Friday night I was again reading our well-used copy of a Dirk Gently novel (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul), which mentions a hosepipe at one juncture. This reminded me with a shock that as we were leaving the house I had turned on the hose in the garden to water the vegetables before we left…and I didn’t remember turning it back off. I agonized over it that night, and prepared myself for (at least) a swamp of drowned plants upon our return, but decided to not think about it while we were there. There was nothing we could do, anyway, so—might as well enjoy the weekend.

We visited all the little shops and finally settled on one (1) washable and floppy plush bear for the baby’s first “lovey.” We picnicked on fried chicken (from the IGA) at the park and got ice creams at the DQ. We sat outdoors at a café and read. We also did a lot of other reading (and in my case, napping). There was even a good squirrel-feeding stump down the block on the way to the beach, though it was the kind where you leave the peanuts and stand back. I also found the perfect doll for my "Hot Rock" sister at the dollar store...

Saturday night featured TheLimey’s 40-minute hiking quest for The Perfect Hot Dog. Or really any hot dog, once we were into it for 30 minutes. You wouldn’t think it, since the DQ was literally around the corner (visible from the B&B's back yard). Unfortunately, the lines that had formed there put him off. (Hmmm…curious, for all the times I’ve heard him brag about his superior British queuing ability.)

So we walked up the next block just to see what was there, and saw a place selling foods including hot dogs—but just a bit farther I could see there was an actual A&W. That was my suggestion, as A&W is of course the classic American hot dog. However, there had been a Blimpy’s downtown (in the complete opposite direction, naturally), that we had to check out first. (Keep in mind how slowly I had to walk, or trundle, during this entire quest.) So we turned around and headed there.

Unfortunately, when we finally got to the Blimpy's, it had been closed for hours. Therefore, we had to turn around again and head back the way we originally went. The DQ lines? Still too long. Though no doubt if we had waited initially instead of walking all over town we could have got through the lines about five or six times. But at this point, I absolutely insisted that we were going to get the dang hot dog, and he was going to eat it, and like it! So… A&W it was. To go. Sheesh.

Turns out that a Pinot is good for a hot dog eaten outdoors. (I only had a tiny bit of the Pinot, but it was nice.) While we sat out on the patio, there was a meteor that streaked overhead so closely it seemed to audibly sizzle over the trees.

Our visit also happened to coincide with the Perseid meteor showers, although we didn’t realize it at first. We saw one meteor on Friday night, and then Saturday night went out on the sea-wall to look at the Milky Way. This was a bonanza of unexpected and beautiful celestial phenomena: there was a fantastic moonrise over the lake as we approached; lots and lots of meteors; and we even saw the space station.

The drive home was--just as the drive there--pretty agonizing on my back, but I survived. And the great thing was that when we got home, the small stream we found flowing in the driveway was coming from next to the garden bed, not inside it: the stake I had used to prop up the hose sprayer head had apparently keeled over as soon as the ground had gotten wet, and the sprayer fell onto the pavement. I felt guilty about the water waste, of course, but at least the plants were undrowned.

The water source in the heat had attracted a very small and cute toad, which I removed to a more vegetative area of the yard. (For those of you who've never had another person living in your abdomen, here's a comparison: its little wigglings inside my hand felt just like the baby feels wiggling in my belly, only smaller, of course.)

Since a lot of B&Bs don't really cater to children (for some reason!), I think it was a pretty good job we did this again while we still could.

Monday, September 04, 2006

37 Weeks and Counting

I already put this on my pregger blog, but I figure it can go here, too. (That weird date is just something with the photographer's camera; it's not a previous secret child!)

In a few days it'll be considered full-term (38 weeks) and it could really be any time thereafter, though the average (non-induced) birth is at 41 weeks. I guess we'll see.

Anyway, that's most of what I've been doing, though I have a couple updates to add when I can spare some time from updating and entering my data.

I'm trying (trying) to get that all done this week, as this is really the 11th hour and 59th minute at this point...oh, except for that text entry stuff, which I now despair of ever getting done, let alone analyzed.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Silly Sausage

Speaking of recording:

I can't believe that this clip I posted in 2002 is still out there on the web. In fact, it's pretty high up the Google search for that particular sausage-related phrase. I once received an email from someone about how funny they thought it was.

It now appears to be on a completely different website than the one I originally uploaded it to--probably just site mutation over the past four years. Only five people have viewed it in four years?! Well, at least two of them gave it a high vote. (They were probably on drugs.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Recommend a Yourface-Off

After seeing Liddy's post about this peculiar genre of music and hearing a new example, I think it is the duty of the various musicians I know to add to it. Although I don't know that one could successfully top that example.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Now Get the Shirt

Blogger wouldn't let me post this as a reply below:

Now you can get the T-shirt to show it:

Friday, August 11, 2006

And Now for Something Completely Different

We're heading out of town for the weekend as a "summer vacation". Just a bit of time off, together, probably for the last time for at least 18 years. More than that, if we have more kids than this one.

No internet, no TV (at least not on purpose), no research, phones turned off, a small downtown in walking distance, the latest issue of Robot magazine and an obscure-ish Douglas Adams book ...what else does a person need to relax?

(And don't say "a cold beer", because I can't have one.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Good Going, Western World.

Nice wake-up this morning. Way to "make the world safe for democracy."

(Where's that sarcasm emoticon?)

Buttercup Says: wha?--survey #333 is finally done?!

That's right, Buttercup.

Last night I finally completed the scoring and coding of the final survey, #333, after beginning #1 back in...when the heck was that? April or May? I am now free to dismantle the couch-working setup.

Now, it's true that I still have to go back and froof around with a lot of them--for example, I have to score the general mental health instrument (BSI) on the first 80 or so that I did when I still didn't have the BSI manual; I need to check the way I was scoring some of those prejudice instruments on the first few batches I did before I became fluent (I guess that would be the first 200 if I'm honest with myself); and I have to acquire and check the 50 surveys done by the people helping me out. And score the BSIs on those 50 as well.

I also have to type in the handwritten answers to the final two open-ended questions. (At maybe 2 minutes a pop, that part alone will likely take 10 hours cumulatively.)

Nevertheless, the giant part of the data is done.

Now, I have probably four weeks left to do ALL the subsequent stuff (like showering and paying doctor bills, let alone analyzing my data and doing the write-up of my results) that I was going to take three months to do over the summer and before my life completely changes focus forever.

I best get started!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Web Clips Back!

Yay; the RSS feed function on my Gmail started working again, after months and months of being gone!

This means that now all-y'all's blog topics have begun appearing above my inbox, just like my Scientific American and Cookbooks Plus and NPR: Race topics, or what-the-heck-ever I've got in there.

So make 'em good.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Speaking of Werewolves...

Seeing as how it's the full moon early tomorrow morning, so that the moon has been persistently shining into our bedroom window as we go to bed, a perennial question has re-occurred to me. (Although I really have to get going. Just this one more post! Quickly now!)

An obvious question, really. What about werewolves and pregnancy?

Say I'm a werewolf, and I conceive while in human form. Then when I wolf out each month, does the fetus turn into a wolf-pup fetus? Or perhaps the analogy of the monthly change to menstruation applies, and there would be no monthly wolfing out until one gives birth. After that, presumably, the newborn baby would turn into a wolf pup each month as the mum does, and that would work out okay. (There would just be a larger number of potential breastfeeding positions that night.)

Okay, but what if I'm a werewolf, and I conceive while in wolf form? Would there be 6 or 7 fetuses, then--a litter? That would mean that I darn well better give birth in wolf form, not human form: an extraordinary feat of timing.

Then after the birth there's the difficulty with who gets to nurse at the inadequate human mammary lineup of two. (I picture Apu with the harness full of baby bottles.) Only once a month could all the pups--er, babies--nurse happily together. This is completely excluding all the other difficulties of raising septuplets, of course.

"I don't know... All I know," sighs TheLimey in sleepy response, "is that somewhere in this I get to play with puppies."

Wikipedia image

Getting Close

And I'm not even talking about the baby. I mean that I have around 20 or so surveys yet to code. I'm going to see if I can push them all through today. However, that may be extremely unrealistic considering we have a birth center orientation this evening. I am just so sick of having these hanging over my head. Of course, even after I finish these, I have a lot of parts to go back and re-check and fix, but that's like editing after you've finished your rough draft.

This is the real meat of research work, folks! Not the glamorous SPSS analysis of your figures, not the writing up of results, nor the defending of your work to your committee (that's only in grad school anyway), nor the submission of your papers to journals to reject repeatedly, nor the giving of interviews to avid reporters. (Ha!) No, most of it's this data crunching.

I continue to feel quite discouraged that I am at this point now in mid-August, 5-8 weeks before the baby, rather than at the beginning of June, when I would have had three months of summer to write up my results and begin the process of getting them to my committee. As planned. The part where I have to start those frickin' lengthy applications to internships all over again on top of all this is also bumming me out. Dammit.

Anyone who said they wanted to help, there is now a part that anyone who's an accurate typist could do. (And it's actually an interesting part.) It involves reading PDF documents that (anonymously) contain scans of people's handwritten responses to 2 short questions, and entering those answers word-for-word into--yes, my favorite--an online Google spreadsheet.

(Requires Gmail to access spreadsheet, which--if you don't have that by now, you should anyway, and I have plenty more Gmail invitations!)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Descending (A Ramble) or: US/UK Alliance V. C.H.U.D.

Note: I don't pretend to be any kind of real movie critic, or even to plan out my blog entries in a logical, well-ordered fashion, so this will probably have spoilers of some kind or another.

I took some time out of my busy and also ouchy baby-growing schedule to go to a very early matinee (10:55) of The Descent yesterday. I have a friend who is my scary-movie buddy. Other than us, there were two people in the entire theater. We both brought fleece blankets despite the stifling heat (outside at least), in order to have something to pull over our eyes. However, both our male partners pooped out of going at the last minute, as we kind of expected. They're just not as into horror movies as we are.

I actually want to go see this one again (or rent it). I generally prefer low-gore, high-suspense movies, so I guess that'd be psychological thrillers. This one was a lot more gory than either of us anticipated, but it was okay. It didn't rely on the gore to be the main scary part. I could look away during most of the flesh-gnawing scenes. There were plenty of scary and startling bits that didn't rely on the gross-out. And I had to use some deep breathing to overcome the claustrophobia. I would probably never go caving to begin with, but now I definitely won't. (Maybe that first chamber, with the sunlight and the water pouring in, but that's it!)

I didn't realize (the trailers don't make it very apparent) that most of the actors are Britishy*. The producers probably thought U.S. audiences would hear those accents and immediately pigeonhole it as another of those brainy yet dry type of mysteries that we see on PBS. (Personally I like those, but PBS isn't exactly a giant money-maker, you know?)

Therefore, the tragically-flawed character is naturally the American, who embodies the stereotypical tragic flaws of the US national character in the eyes of the rest of the world: highly skilled but show-offy, arrogant, impulsive, careless, selfish, rash, makes important decisions without consulting the others whom they affect, and so forth. So that was an interesting bit to mull over. (And a change from the way in which Hollywood flicks always, always cast the villain as the character with an English accent.)

(Did I mention I'm forever trying to find some excuse to get my husband to wear a redcoat uniform?)

Anyway, it really is scary immediately, even before the CHUDs come out. So, if you like being scared, then see it. But look away during the parts where the foley artists have to crush eggshells in Jell-O.

*Also, I haven't seen Dog Soldiers nor do I know anything about Neil Marshall, things which would likely have given me a clue in this department.

*OK, a couple of the cavers are Scandinavian, too. I guess that would make it more along the lines of "NATO V. CHUD".

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Proggin' Along

I realized today that I may have fewer of these surveys left to finish scoring than I thought; perhaps 35 or so instead of 85, which is a couple days work instead of another week. If the people who are helping me are able to get the ones they took done and not die from it, that is.

I did that "out of sight out of mind thing" when counting them, that is to say, I haven't been accounting for the ones they took when I've counted them daily. So...we'll see how it goes. There are still things I have to go back and re-do or re-check even when they're done, which may take another day, but still. There may be a light.

I was originally hoping to have this portion of my work done at the beginning of June, so I could spend June/July/August writing and editing the results. As well as working on my applications for internship, preparing for the baby's exit in a number of aspects, and so forth.

The principle of cognitive dissonance states that the harder you work for something (or the more you invest your time, money or emotions in it) the more you value it, regardless of all other factors, even if it's something inherently worthless*. Given that, I will likely believe that my study is the best research ever done by anyone, anywhere.

So anyway, back to it, I guess.

Note to self: must squeeze in a shower today! Before husband returns home, too.

*This principle also explains why the heck so many of us stay in crappy relationships and keep throwing good years after bad, by the way.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Originally uploaded by silnes60.
Good grief, these are cute babies (and mother).

I wonder if our squirrel mummy will bring her babies around. I think her nest is a little too far.

Mmmm...French ice cream...

Bizarre ice cream flavours
Originally uploaded by GlamourGeek.
I'll have a scoop each of vervaine and rosemary, please.

No, wait--make that bergamot and tomato.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In Case You Were Considering It

Another reason not to go base jumping. You don't have to read Norwegian to understand the picture.

PS: Don't worry; he was saved after three hours by a climbing team.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Now It's Gone Interspecies

How far will this headbutting trend extend? (Not that you can call two instances a "trend," but I will anyway.)

Personally, I'd like to see it in rock climbing, figure skating, and ski-shooting.


(This test was way too easy to jimmy.)

You May Be a Bit Schizotypal...
A bit odd and socially isolated.You couldn't care less of what others think.And some of your beliefs are a little weird.Like that time you thought you were Jesus.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Speaking of Margaritas

Wasted away in Margaritaville
Originally uploaded by Terry_Lea.
...and speaking of squirrel pictures...

This lady's photoshops always crack me up.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sort of Back

[Finally, Blogger is accepting photo uploads again!]

Our internet was out this whole past week, except for a few times during which it came on for, say, five or ten minutes. I have also been transportationless during this time as my car's in the car hospital having its transmission fixed or, more likely, replaced. Therefore I've got a lot of official catching up to do, though I'd sit around and blog given my druthers.

The other problem I've had is that my sacroiliac (where hips connect to spine) has a nice little trick it occasionally pulls, in which it goes out of joint and gets inflamed, making it impossible to sit or stand without a lot of pain that actually goes down to my knees. Sitting a lot (as in school work) tends to make this happen.

Also, pregnancy makes it worse. The additional several pounds of weight on my front (considering leverage) puts 50-70 pounds of strain on my lower back area, according to various uncredited sources. On top of that, my body is preparing for the birth by producing relaxin, which (logically enough) relaxes one's ligaments so the hip bones can open up enough to extrude someone's head. (Particularly that same sacroiliac area.)

What this means is that I can't sit anywhere for long. Sitting in the car is agonizing, and being at dinner at a nice restaurant this weekend was very difficult. Naturally, sitting to do my work is especially bad. I have had to arrange the sofa cushions to support me in a downward-facing position with my arms hanging over the end of the couch to do my dissertation work. While this hurts my neck and cuts off circulation in my arms, it's still better than sitting on my behind!

I do have a chiropractor, but she'd have to come to my house every day to keep this in line. And when I went to a standard physician for it, they gave me an anti-inflammatory and basically said to quit sitting for a while. This is going to be extremely hard advice to follow while I'm trying to finish my diss data! (Hence the new couch position working arrangement.)

Meanwhile, just writing this has meant sitting too long, so... so long for now.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Makin' Hay While the Sun Shines

I have heard that the third trimester sometimes brings a burst of energy for "nesting" purposes. I think that's what I experienced today. And since I had a prenatal appointment in the middle of the day, I planned to not get much done as far as coding my surveys, so I actually did some other things. As it turns out, a lot of other things.

I weeded the garden plot (in the morning before it got up to 97 degrees, that is) and was pleased to discover some little budding tomah-toes, a tiny sweet pepper, as well as jalapeño blossoms (and later, one little hidden green jalapeño!)

Then, as the culmination of a few days' worth of virtually re-arranging the bedroom (via that old $5 design application) to accommodate some baby furniture, I felt compelled to actually do the rearranging in real life. So compelled, in fact, that I couldn't do anything else until I had completed this.

Thanks to some furniture sliders more or less like these ones, it was actually possible for a 7-months pregnant person to move the giant behemoth of a bed that TheLimey has had since he moved into this place. (Which reminds me on a complete tangent, a bed larger than a twin was one of the signs that I was looking for in a man, as it indicates that he has outgrown the "guy" or "bloke" stage. A man with a small bed is generally not ready for a commitment. Just FYI.)

Aside from some general straightening and organizing, the other big thing I did was this: I called one of my credit card companies and negotiated vastly better terms.

This is an account that bore a usurious interest rate (23.99%) and also had an annual fee of $59. Now, I am one of those people who have a hard time asking for anything from anyone, and I also really dislike being on the phone, especially for business. (it's one of those tasks I'll procrastinate forever.) However, we are now on a budget and saving hard for next year when I'll be on internship and we'll have a baby, so getting a random $59 fee in the post for really no reason at all was a thorn in my poor husband's side. I guess my guilt trumps my phone-anxiety, so I called them up.

It went just as it was supposed to, according to financial advice columns. The first representative told me she couldn't do anything, the next one told me he could do only a small portion of what I wanted, and the third person offered me great rates (1.99% initially and then 11.99%) and best of all, the thing I wanted most: no annual fee. It pretty much went exactly as you'd read in any financial-advice column or magazine.

Rep #1: Good morning, how are you today? [pleasantries exchanged]
Me: I would like to see about getting the annual fee on my card waived, as I have several others with much better terms and interest rates and can afford to prune a few of them out.
Rep #1: Please hold while I review your account [files nails for 90 seconds]. I'm sorry, there are currently no offers like that for your account. Those are the terms you signed up for.
Me: (pleasantly) I would still like to see about getting the annual fee waived. Is there someone else I could speak with?
Rep #1: Let me transfer you laterally to someone I will pretend is my supervisor. [transfers]

Rep #2 in distant country: Good morning, how are you today? [pleasantries exchanged]
Me: I would like to see about getting the annual fee on my card waived, as I have several others with much better terms and interest rates and can afford to prune a few of them out.
Rep #2: Please hold while I review your account [refills teacup, adds milk]. There is an offer available for your account: we can reduce your interest rate.
Me: That would be great, but I'm still most interested in getting the annual fee waived.
Rep #2: I'm sorry, there are currently no offers like that for your account. Those are the terms you signed up for.
Me: That is true, but terms often change over the lifetime of an account. Is there someone else I could speak with?
Rep #2: Let me transfer you laterally to someone I will pretend is my supervisor. [transfers]

Rep #3 in US South: Good morning, how are you today? [pleasantries exchanged]
Me: I would like to see about getting the annual fee on my card waived, as I have several others with much better terms and interest rates and can afford to prune a few of them out.
Rep #3: Please hold while I review your account [takes brief nap]. There is an offer available for your account: we can give you an introductory rate of 1.99% for three months that will change to 11.99%, and there would be no annual fee.
Me: That sounds perfect. Thank you.
Rep #3: You should receive your paperwork in the mail in 7-10 business days.

After that success, I was bursting with pride for hours.

I will leave you with my escape plan should things get any worse, politically speaking.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Our Kid?

Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
I'm really curious to see who's in there after all this time.

Will s/he look like the fotomorph we did last year? (I think I may have blogged this before but it's worth a revisit under the circumstances.)

And what is going on with those EARS?!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Headbutt Heard 'Round the World

I guess this was inevitable.

I hope more are to come, à la the Star Wars Kid videos.

PS re comments: I think "Tron Javolta" has to be the greatest online name ever.

Friday, July 07, 2006

What I'm Missing

Since I moved away from Ypsi: all the events in the park at the end of the block, including this one.

Although this particular sign is from last year.

I bet they reused it for this year, too.

I wouldn't have minded strolling down to see the Orphan Car Show, which I always got to see before the paying attendees during my morning jog.

However, as fun as it was last year, this year the Beer Festival would likely be unbearable for me: unable to drink the beer, pregnant, sweltering outside in August, among a huge crowd of drunks. Greeaat!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Independence (or, "Ah, We Didn't Want This Stupid Country Anyway")

(That, of course, is a direct quote from my husband.)

This photo is basically how we spent the 4th.

We went to the state park that's near our place--the one where we had our wedding reception, in fact--and stayed the entire day. This was because I wanted to see the fireworks.

I've been trying--and failing--to "go see the fireworks" (at one location or another) since I started grad school.

Since the fireworks display at this park is always incredibly crowded to the tune of blocking up the highways for miles and hours, we thought it would be best to go early in the day and just stake out a homestead.
Even arriving at 9:30 am, it was already full of early picnic setter-uppers. Nevertheless, we found a nice spot under the trees and hauled out the things we had packed the night before.

We congratulated ourselves all day long at having chosen the site that was the nearest to the park general exit, since simply leaving the park after the fireworks often takes hours.

All we did all day was to lie around and read and nap, interspersed with such activities as strolling down to the beach for a little swim, cooking things over the little gas grill, buying an ice cream, and so forth. (It turns out that grilling corn on the cob is actually easier than boiling it, as well as tasting better.)

Probably the most fun part was making breakfast on the grill. Even the water for tea, which TheLimey was pleasantly surprised to discover boils quite well on the grill, just as I had predicted.

We also watched people vainly circle the lot all day looking for parking spots. Or even wander about the site looking for a picnic table. Ha! Good luck.

When evening fell, we packed our things into the car and walked down to the lakeside for the fireworks. TheLimey made the predictable jokes about how, having conquered one individual, he had done his bit in reclaiming the U.S. After the fireworks were over, we read in the car for a little while until the parking lot had cleared out a bit. And that was it--getting out and going home was relatively painless, for the 4th.

The only thing we forgot was to set up the VCR to record the Germay v. Italy game, which was said to be a great one as they go. But we all know how that turned out by now anyway.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

In the Spirit of Things

I'm sure this episode has lately come back to haunt others as well as me:

A man in a cowboy hat barbeques a soccer ball and thrusts it, skewered and flaming, at the camera, screaming, "Open wide for some soccer!" As the commercial continues, high-action footage of soccer matches accompany the announcer's voice.

TV Announcer: The Continental Soccer Association is coming to Springfield! It's all here--fast-kicking, low scoring, and ties? You bet!

Bart: Hey, Dad, how come you've never taken us to see a soccer game?

Homer: I...don't know.

TV Announcer: You'll see all your favorite soccer stars. Like Ariaga! Ariaga II! Bariaga! Aruglia! And Pizzoza!

Homer: Oh, I never heard of those people.

TV Announcer: And they'll all be signing autographs!

Homer: Woo-hoo!

TV Announcer: This match will determine once and for all which nation is the greatest on earth: Mexico or Portugal!

Now just go here to get your own genuine football name shirt, like wot I did..

Friday, June 30, 2006

Now If Only I Had Something to Sell or Buy

I admit I am finally feeling the first chill of 1984--only 22 years too late--with the advent of Google Checkout.

Feral Kitten

Feral Kitten
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
Yet another baby (cord still attached!).

This is a big long story, but suffice it to know that the happy ending was that Mother Cat finally came and got the last baby after we thought it was likely abandoned.

I hope she will be able to save it after all it went through! At least it has a better chance with the mother.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Speaking of Cats

...which I wasn't, at least not here.

And I don't have one. But if I did, I would definitely want these! I've always had a problem with declawing cats, but also with letting them roam around outside (unless you have barn cats for mousing and are prepared for them to have short lives.)

Tactical Warfare

Distracting the enemy, or? Maybe they're on to something more important than simply cross-bred video games...

Monday, June 26, 2006

There Goes June

And how'd that happen?

When I say I've been "mostly" working on my data, what I really mean is that I have been really struggling to get my "quota" done, every single day. I didn't even shower over the weekend (sorry, TMI, but there it is.) It's a bit discouraging, as every morning I enthusiastically think that I will not only get my 10 surveys scored but also one or two of the other five dozen things I need to get done over the summer... and then by sunset each day I'm still just desperately trying to crank out the last of the ten surveys. I have a lot of additional unrelated things I really have to also get done before the baby comes (including preparations for applying for internships yet a-freakin'-gain.)

So basically I'm back to grad-school mode in which everything else in my life has to drop by the wayside as I try to get the work done (surveys scored and entered). This is so I can start doing the analyses and write at least a draft of my results section before the baby comes and changes everything.

Oddly, this feeling of intense continuous pressure always makes me blog more. This is partly because I spend more time in the house near the computer, and partly because I just feel more stressed and need some kind of outlet. (For complaining no doubt.)

Since a big part of the thesis of my research regards how individuals' ages and the time they've spent in college affects their level of prejudice, I am going to scream (more) if I continue to encounter primarily surveys filled out by 18-year-old freshpersons who've been in school exactly two weeks. I think they comprise 98% of the surveys I've scored so far; no exaggeration.

This is okay for the process of getting my actual dissertation done, as far as that goes, since one has only to show correct form in research and not necessarily results. However, as far as furthering the field of prejudice research, this is nearly useless and I am frankly surprised to see even the few significant correlations that are appearing so far.

An analogy would be that it's like trying to examine the coping mechanisms of people using prosthetic limbs solely in a population of professional athletes. Sure, if you get enough respondents, there will be a couple of people that may show the characteristics you're looking for, but you're sure looking at an awfully skewed sample.

I didn't realize that all the classes taught by my colleagues last fall included nothing but brand-new first-years. I really hope as I get further into the pile, I will encounter some groups of classes that include more people from other years. But I've done 70 out of 330, so that's considerable already.

The other thing that's annoying about this is that the very young can be so damned prejudiced and dichotomous in their thinking, due to their developmental stage. ("I'm right, everyone else is wrong," variety of self-righteousness.)

So I end up seeing page after page (these are loooong surveys even though they're mostly multiple-choice) of people selecting answers resembling the following: "African-Americans are lower in intelligence than other races: AGREE;" "Two women are jogging in sports bras and shorts and two men appear and rape them. The women provoked the rape: AGREE;" "AIDS came into being to punish the homosexual lifestyle: AGREE;" "Asian-American business owners are greedy: AGREE;" and even (you won't believe this) "Hitler had some justification in persecuting the Jews" AGREE." !!!

--and then on the final page, where they get to write in what has influenced their perspectives on cultural diversity, they write things like "I am very open-minded and have learned not to judge others by their race" and so forth. In fact it may be one of my findings that the higher the prejudice scores, the more likely they are to write about how open-minded they are.

Prejudiced and hypocritical little jerks. It's quite depressing and exhausting to have my face rubbed in this for hours every single day and to think that society is even worse than I imagined. It's making me prejudiced against undergrads!

So anyway. I hope that I get into some more older students soon, and I hope that I see what I predicted: they've dropped in prejudice as they've been in school.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Lately the thing I've been doing most is scoring my surveys and entering them into my SPSS database. I have about 350 of them, and it's hard to maintain my 10-per-day quota. My best time for completing one is about 17 minutes, but in practice it comes to about 2 per hour. And it's that kind of laborious-for-your-back work that doesn't seem to go really well with pregnancy. I keep trying to get more done per day, but 10's about the limit. It seems to take at least 8 hours overall no matter how I try to arrange my time.

Last weekend, however, I did take the time to put in seedlings and seeds for a small but quite overstocked (considering the size) vegetable garden in our back patio area, which was fun. Seedlings are on sale as the normal planting season is over. I left some volunteer plants from last year (most notably tomatoes and herbs) and transplanted them to new areas. I also left some sunflowers that have sprung up underneath the birdfeeder in the window, as you can see in the photo.

My prize find was a lone, puny pot of leek seedlings. Leeks! They're hard to even find in the produce section, and of course they're TheLimey's favorite vegetable. So now we'll have our own. I also planted a modified Three Sisters Garden area with my seed packets for sweet corn, pumpkins, and beans. (By modified I mean that I didn't do the plantings of the different seeds a week apart as one is really supposed to. Nor in giant mounds.)

Other plants included several varieties of tomato (chosen for different bearing times so we won't have 500 tomatoes one week like last year), sweet and hot peppers, sage (left from last year), onions, three different kinds of basil (standard, Thai, and purple), dill (volunteered from last year's seeds), rosemary, watermelon, cantaloupe, and of course it's all interspersed with lots of marigolds for insect control. I later found some radish seeds to plant among the melons to repel cucumber beetles (which like melons), but haven't yet planted those.

I also got some catnip to plant in a far corner of the lot, since the condo-neighborhood cats have been pestering "my" critters (squirrels and birds). Or maybe I just think it'll be fun to plant catnip. Underneath the honeysuckle along the back fence we have chives and...what, oregano? And mint in a pot. I got a chocolate-mint plant to put in another pot, as well as a little bit of lavender.

We had a brace of baby bluejays among the flagstones for a few days, which I thought to place in a box just a bit higher on a tree branch to keep them out of reach of the cats, which were really excited by their presence. However, it turns out that baby bluejays are extremely loud and squawky when grabbed, however briefly, and that bluejay parents believe that I am as big a threat as any cat. I had to be careful just going outside for the rest of the day! I think that one lived but I'm not sure about the other (smaller) one. It didn't seem able to hop as high and fast (into the trees) as its sibling, so I fear the cats may have gotten it after all.

In other animal news, the nearest squirrel became bolder and started taking bluejay-peanuts from the chair by the sliding back door. Then a couple of days ago I got up from my nap and went to survey my garden as usual, and found that the unripe-but-getting there head of the sunflower was completely gone. !!! Based on the scraps left at the crime scene as well as the leaning quality of the stalk, I deduced that the squirrel had decided to snack on it. Little bugger!

What's even funnier is this: I keep a dish of peanuts next to the back door on a ladder-like shelf, about 4" off the floor. Later that day I found in the dish a number of gnawed and empty shells that looked suspiciously like the traces left after outside peanut feasts. And it looked like a hole in the screen door was newly bigger than it had been before. So unless my husband has changed his snacking habits entirely, the little bandit snuck into the actual kitchen while I was napping on the couch and feasted on peanuts! (Wish I had woken up and seen it.)

So, the peanuts are now going on the other side of the house entirely, before our corn starts to grow, although it may already be too late to change those habits. When I came home the other day and saw the squirrel standing at attention on the sidewalk, I noticed newly-prominent mammary glands. I guess a passel of new babies to nurse would explain her new bold voraciousness. (Not that I identify at all...oh no!)

Now, back to my data-crunching sofa, and the so-far-disappointing England v. Ecuador game that is being exclaimed over downstairs.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Now that I've seen the posts of Library Liddy and and Library Squirrel, it occurs to me that my own high school graduation was 20 years ago this month.

I don't think the school I graduated from was big enough for the class to develop the critical mass of people caring enough to do reunions.

Not to mention, I wasn't even in the country at graduation time. I was in Norway, wishing the year wouldn't end so I could stay there.

Now, If Only We Had Startrekian Ethics, Too

At least we seem to have begun developing tricorders.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day

Now we have two new holidays to celebrate, though one could legitimately say we're jumping the gun just a little bit by claiming the "Mother" and "Father" titles. Nevertheless, it's been fun doing so. I allowed--nay, insisted that TheLimey choose activities for yesterday, after we had coffee, donuts, and newspapers in bed.

Let's just say the activities included a lot of World Cup watching, unsurprisingly, which was not terribly different from what happened the day before except it was done at home. (Although we also went to a nearby state park for a hike...okay, for me it was a hike/lumber, for him it was a mere stroll.)

I also made an orange-chocolate ice cream cake, which was fun. I've never made one before. Alternating layers of chocolate cake, orange cake, chocolate ice cream, and orange-flavored vanilla ice cream. Frosted with orange-y mousse. (I should tell you that the chocolate sprinkle topping was actually Ovaltine crystals, which sprinkled beautifully and dissolved into a nice misty chocolatey effect.)

I should also mention that the weekend started out by my using my Mother's Day gift certificate to a day spa. It was very fant-see, but I managed to get over that. (Though my car is still suffering from low self-esteem and/or resentment after being parked amongst all those Escalades.)

I could spend an entire post describing what went on there, but I'll just say that they gave me a giant wrap-around potholder (with snaps) to wear, with a matching short robe. Hee. Also, all my nails are now an unnatural shade of pink. And they used what I think was a Dremel on my toenails, though I can't say for sure as they continuously covered my eyes with one thing or another the whole time I was there, or in some cases had the lights out almost entirely. If that's not luxury, I don't know what is.

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Snax

I didn't set out to make a big spread, but that's just how it turned out. At least we finally got to eat the giant whopping gobs of seven-layer dip that one is generally too embarrassed to take at a party, since it was just the two of us. There's half of the dish left, and another entire dish still left in the fridge!

1. Seven-layer dip, though who's counting the layers? I replaced the wads of iceberg lettuce with just a little tiny bit of fresh romaine. (In the future, no lettuce at all. Too soggy-seeming and makes the dip hard to scoop out.) I also added another layer--refried black beans--as well as a layer of guacamole. (How can you have seven-layer dip without guac?) Served with lime tortilla chips.

2. Deviled eggs. (I use the basic recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but use half mayo, half Miracle Whip. I also add to the plain yellow mustard an additional portion of Dijon mustard.)

3. Brat-kebabs. Johnsonville smoked brats cut in chunks, interspersed with chunks of red onion and red bell peppers. (All previously marinated in a can of beer and the juice from a can of sauerkraut.) Broil or grill. The important thing is to serve this with a dipping sauce comprised of creamy horseradish, dijon mustard, a dash of malt vinegar, and enough beer to make it dippy instead of spready. I made this whole ensemble up and am unduly proud of it.

4. Cornbread. I'm sure you have a favorite recipe. I used a mix.

5. Cold bottles of Red Stripe Jamaican Lager. (Mummy didn't get to drink it, but did use it in the cooking.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Google Spreadsheet

From June 8: bloggerdown day.


What the heck is going on with Blogger today?!

In more interesting news, this morning I signed up and got me one-a them fantsee new Google Spreadsheets. I have been vaguely wanting a multi-user spreadsheet for a long time now, but this comes at an especially convenient time. I am hoping to have one or more undergrad assistants help me with this coding of my surveys, and if they can enter data online, that would be fantastic. (Of course I would have backups in case someone spectacularly messes something up.)

We have discovered that the one game we can play with the baby pre-birth is inherited from its father, with whom I can play No Sleepy Limey, with apologies to Juice. (Though really, I try not to be so cruel as to do this unless he's actually trying not to fall asleep.)

We have determined that the current baby game is No Sleepy LimeyBaby. The entire game consists of rolling over to my other side when I'm in bed, which basically turns the "room" upside down for the poor critter, so that s/he wakes up and jumps and bumps for a little while.

This is coincidentally the baby's only pre-birth game to play with me, called Kick the Mummy, apparently a precursor to football.

Kinda like now when I'm sitting here at the desk. Owtch, Baby!

For Pete's Sake

It's sure a good thing that I didn't see the Anne Coulter comments before I went to get my blood pressure taken today.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


As I have been complaining since long before marriage, this business with waking up to NPR can be very disheartening.

For TheLimey it's a gradual and gentle coming to awareness in which he doesn't hear the actual content of the news. For me the content is immediately front and center as I'm trying to awake. (Hence that ancient post about Felicity Forthright, which Blogger is now telling me can't be found in a search of this blog. Lying double-crossing Blogger.) [Ha--here it is, though I had to use Google to find it.]

So anyway, the worst is hearing ol' GW first thing in the morning. At the best of times, hearing his voice makes me shout "shutup shutup SHUTUP!" out loud as I reach out to turn off the radio just long enough to not have to hear him. But first thing in the morning that is difficult, especially as the radio alarm is on the other side of the bed.

Therefore I am stuck hearing whatever he has to say, which is particularly crappy of late, now that the political war machine is gearing up for elections. This has begun literally giving me nightmares.

This morning I dreamed that the US was becoming a Nazi state, complete with snipers shooting at my curiously windowful and curtain-free home (which was also in a river subsidence area and subject to frequent 5-foot floods.)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Aquifer and Conifer...

...The two lovely terms from my undergrad science course that I have been saving for about ten years to use as names for girls... probably not going to use them after all. Darn.

That was a really great general science course. I remember things from it almost daily. The instructor was the hugest geek possible, so I think he really knew his stuff. I especially enjoyed playing Fish Banks and Strategem, games which I intend to find an excuse to purchase for my own classes someday--to illustrate economic principles, of course.

Anyway, I've been thinking about hydrogeology again today, as one does. The information about our shrinking aquifers really stuck with me all this time, and I think subliminally informs my ideas about where I want to live eventually. Not that there is any place really safe from our water-strip-mining, but some places are already a lot worse than others (>cough< Colorado River area >cough<).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Noooo, Not a Sandra Bullock Movie!

Sometimes (rarely) my fiction ideas pop out of my dreams, quite conveniently. A few months ago I had what I thought was a really cool dream that I might place in my idea bag and eventually write up as a story.

In the dream, TheLimey and I were just meeting each other again, but it turned out that we actually lived about 50 years apart and were in separate times. That is, I could see him, and he could see me, but we couldn't see each other's surroundings, and our acquaintances couldn't see the other person. (If you see what I mean.) So we could only meet in places that existed in both times, and so forth. We also couldn't physically touch each other.

When I woke up I began thinking of a lot of the ramifications of such a relationship, and how it could be made to work, and of course weird things like: what if whoever was born first was still alive (but old) when the other was born? If we had kids (it could work, with technology!) would they be able to see both of us, unlike others around us? And so forth.

I thought it would make a great sci-fi story of the kind that I like. And before you say Somewhere in Time, please note that we were not time-traveling, but remaining in our own times. Which is the plot difference that makes it sci-fi and not just another Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court with kissing (or trying, anyway.)

But that's all blown out of the water, as now I've seen the trailer for The Dumb Stupid Lake House Dammit. My story would just seem derivative! And worse, derivative of a Sandra Bullock movie. With, I might add, Keanu Reaves to boot. Good grief.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

@merican 1d0l

I hate that BS. And I am so sick of it being everywhere. I can't believe someone is spamming my blog about it, no less.

Did you hear that the number of people who voted for this dumb thing last night is nearly the same number that voted for each candidate in the last presidential election? (That should tell us something about the results of elections in general, too.)

Occasionally I have watched part of the initial program, in which they're in a mall (or whatever) and scads of random people come in to try to qualify. It's funny because of the really, really bad ones. But even those still make one cringe in embarrassment.

The Crazies

I had this one professor whose advice I always believed. Even the advice that I pooh-poohed at the time turned out to be right later, of course. So one thing that he always said worried me for a long time. He used to say something to the effect that "it's after marriage that The Crazies come out".

It doesn't matter how long you've been dating, or whether you live together, or whatever--making that commitment to make the person legally your family is the acid test of the relationship. And it usually happens right away!

This makes a lot of sense, as we've all seen those couples who've been together for seven years, get married, and are divorced within three months. There's just a different type of interaction when you're really viewing the person as family, with all those associations, good and bad.

You can often get a preview of what's ahead by viewing your own family of origin. I know every family has their thing, but my family certainly has its share of issues, I'll-tell-you-whut.

Therefore I was secretly worried for quite a while about exactly what kind of Crazies would come out if I got married. Would I suddenly turn dependent? Mean? Ravenously insecure? Depressed? Lose myself entirely? Be argumentative? Turn out to be lazy and selfish? (Okay, that one's not a big stretch.)

And this was just the potential for my side of the problem. Who knew what a completely other person would have lurking inside.

However, I have been waiting for the shoe to fall for ... oh, about nine months now, and I'm relieved to say that I really don't seem to have changed very much at all, and neither has my spouse. In fact, I would say that grad school changed me a lot more within nine months than marriage has.

Overall, so far the whole thing is a lot more easy and pleasant than you'd think, based on popular culture. I guess given my field I'm not very well-placed to see all the people who are doing just fine thanks, so I may have a skewed image from a personal viewpoint, as well.

But so far, it's really quite fun! Even just sitting around together. A lot of the time it's like having a constant sleepover. I mean, sure, we've had to work out agreements about money and so forth, but once you're in agreement about that, it doesn't seem like a big deal. Well, as long as you both follow through with the plans you make, of course. (I know that money is a big marriage-buster, if not the biggest, so that's one you really do have to hash out.)

Even after spending all this daily time together, we can still laugh ourselves sick over something silly. Oh, our kids are going to be so humiliated by us. (But they'll thank us for it later.)

Now, kids--that's another point where The Crazies come out. I guess we'll see soon enough...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I wrote a more or less proper post, but it hung when I tried to post it, so there it isn't.

I don't feel very bloggy lately anyway. Probably because I don't need an outlet for everything going on at once, for once.

Anyway, the image I was posting, in a nutshell:

background: captured from TV ad for allergy meds
image: added in (obviously) to show our future ideal living room

Monday, May 15, 2006

Library Versus Squirrel Librarian

Now this is just wrong (though it's somewhat old news).

(I hear that her previous infraction was caring for a baby bird on her breaks.)

Good Stuff

This is good to know:

Scientific American: Working Moms Healthier than Full-Time Homemakers

And this is just good to look at:

(If I already posted this pic before, then...I guess you're just lucky.)

The connection? Hmmm....

Well, I could make the point about the wire monkey mothers and the fur monkey mothers that this blogger has already made, but she's already made it pretty well.

The moral I get from it is, treat yourself well, thrive, and be a Fur Mummy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It Figures

That my superhero results'd turn out just like my sister's.

Your results:
You are Superman

Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz