August 31, 2005

On Assignment: Updated*

*I found favor in my professor eyes and received a 10/10.

A piece was required by my Advanced Grammar professor asking me to "think about my early experiences with reading and writing" and to then write a one page paper that explains or shows how my "past experiences with reading and writing affect your current attitudes about grammar."

My offering:

Proof of Life

I can still feel the ballpoint pen navigating the knolls of the textured wall, the wobbly, blue lines inscriptive of my existence. Having won the handwriting award out of 42 other competing first graders, I was disappointed that it did not look as neat, as crisp on the paint as it did on my papers. My mother was the first to find it. My gorgeous, young mother in overalls and halter, her milk chocolate hair falling down her shoulders, brought me into her bedroom and pointed, just above the baseboard.

“Did you do that?” she queried.

“No,” I replied, my voice flat. I recall wondering why she was insulting me with such a question. Of course I had done it; no one else had award-winning penmanship but me. Why had she given me the opportunity to lie? It was simply irresistible.

“So, you did not take a pen and write your name?” She was doing it again. I rubbed the side of my nose. My hands smelled of crayons, dirt, sweat, and orange peanut butter crackers. “I think I did.”

Muttering something about my being incorrigible, she left the room. I started to follow but was told to “stay right where I was.” She returned with a scrub brush and pail. The sickening institutional odor of pine cleaner filled the air. Stifling a retch, I plunged my hands into the water.

I scrubbed for hours I am sure, but the oil-base didn’t want to let go of my masterpiece. I mindlessly drew the bristles back and forth, occasionally stopping to examine the wrinkles on my hands, the chewed skin around my fingernails. Mother reappeared. She squatted to examine my progress. Still there, mocking us both, “(insert my name here)” persisted in all its glory.

Every night my mother and I read on her bed. She either hadn’t the patience for picture books or felt them beneath her, and so insisted on reading chapter books, sometimes a few pages at a time to keep my wandering mind corralled. She frequently told me that short sentences and big pictures produced shorter attention spans, small minds, limited vocabulary, and she was sure it altered ones genetics to be grammatically challenged. Some nights we took turns reading. Words that I stumbled over, she insisted that I sound out. Tonight we were reading from The Incredible Journey. The ritual was for me to repeat the author’s name before we commenced. I knew that the author was forever connected to her work, her words, by attaching her name to it. The way to immortalize oneself was to make sure that no one ever forgot that by which one was called, recognized, known.

“Sheila Burnford is the author,” I stated.

I saw her eyes flicker, looking back and forth into each of my own. In that moment, I knew she had forgiven me, for both writing my name in ink on the wall and lying about it. Somewhere beneath layers of latex lies proof of my existence, that I was once a child with perfect penmanship on her way to the refinement of syntax and grammar… and prevarication.

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August 29, 2005

Court Geekster

Doesn't "Day by Day" look so much better now that it can be fully seen?

Thanks to Jeremy for my geek tweek :D

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Just for Jed

How could I have missed posting this one of Jed and I? Right before I left, Jed came up to say good bye and Andy snapped this picture.

For Jed that he may no longer hold bated blog:
For Jed.jpg

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Rae at 04:13 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)
» FreedomSight links with: Why Is This Man Smiling?

August 28, 2005

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo

Rosalind Russell


You scored 14% grit, 42% wit, 33% flair, and 19% class!

You are one wise-cracking lady, always quick with a clever remark and easily able to keep up with the quips and puns that come along with the nutty situations you find yourself in. You're usually able to talk your way out of any jam, and even if you can't, you at least make it more interesting with your biting wit. You can match the smartest guy around line for line, and you've got an open mind that allows you to get what you want, even if you don't recognize it at first. Your leading men include Cary Grant and Clark Gable, men who can keep up with you.

Grabbed from the indomitable Margi :D

The Classic Dames Test

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August 26, 2005


Paul McCartney has been one of my favorite singer/songwriter/composers since I was a little girl. The first song I can recall consciously singing along to was "Let 'Em In." Faintly stored like a snapshot faded by time, I can see him singing it on some variety show, played late at night while I was supposed to be sleeping but instead lay in the door of my room watching down the hall the glow of the television in the dark.

Years later for my 22nd birthday a family friend came to visit R and I. She asked what I might want for a birthday gift. I immediately replied, "A Paul McCartney CD; greatest hits or something." Later in the week she came and she delivered. It remains one of my most played CD's and E claims Sir Paul composed the soundtrack of her earliest memories.

While listening to "Jet" I followed the lyrics. Feeling like a fool, I reached for the dictionary when I got to the second stanza. "Suffragette" wasn't one I recalled. Regardless if it carried intention or simply rhymed (and I think it was both), I realized that I either didn't know much or didn't pay much attention in high school, or did the bored, male coaches somehow skim women's suffrage?

At the time I was employed by an elderly couple to clean their home once a week. Mrs. Williamson hired me for $15, and paid me not only in three fives every Thursday, but in the education of a young woman in the history of her gender. She had never had children; and while we sometimes shared things of depth and connection that surpassed our age difference, without specifically asking me, I understood that there was still a level of respect to maintain, so I never asked why.

Mrs. Williamson had worked in a time when women didn't. She married late and to be very involved in the women's college in which she was employed. Eventually I learned that she had four sisters and that they were all somehow ahead of their time.

We would engage in conversation while I dusted the living room that hadn't, and never did have, dust. 1992 was an election year and I was surprised to learn that Mrs. Williamson was a staunch Democrat. Between sweeping the area rugs, and dust mopping the aging oak floors, we talked about Bill Clinton and George H. W. and Ross Perot. I learned over scrubbing her kitchen floor that she was of the Quaker persuasion but hadn't been raised with any specific religious catechises. As they didn't go upstairs anymore, I rarely had anything to clean, other than the bathroom, and occasionally when they were expecting a guest, the spare bedroom. Then Mrs. Williamson would step out of her wheelchair, determinedly climb the stairs one at a time and insist on helping me change the linens where our conversations would continue on other current events and she would slowly, through nouns and verbs and adjectives that passed the lips wrinkled by time, somehow connect the past to the very day in which we were standing.

I sensed she began to anticipate my arrival, and my hunger for her knowledge and gentle friendship. I once loaded her chair in my little station wagon and we went to see The Firm. She began to pass along paperbacks she had enjoyed, and one day, I found upon my arrival a new cassette player on the end table. Glen Miller moved me through the rooms while Mr. Williamson napped in his usual chair, and she typed on an old Underwood, her weekly correspondence.

When I found out I was pregnant, I shared the ultrasound photo with her. Through her myopic eyes, she made out the arms, the hands; "my goodness, look at the fingers." The revelation of the fetal age being 10 weeks, the average time a baby is aborted, Mrs. Williamson, a long time supporter of abortion, startled. I don't know if her mind ever changed, but I do know that in that moment of realization, that I was leaving her with something she didn't, in all her wisdom, know and now did.

That pregnancy, that baby, yielded A, who was named for both the only woman noted in the Bible for her wisdom and beauty, and another who, in the simple admonition in a letter to her husband to "remember the ladies" when he went off to construct the constitution of a newly free, rebel republic, became the initial champion of recognizing women as equal citizens. I learned of this woman's polite plea in one of my many talks with Mrs. Williamson.

On this date, in 1920, Congress finally heard and "remembered the ladies" in passing Amendment 19 to the United States Constitution granting women the right to vote.

Mrs. Williamson once shared a recipe for meat loaf typed on a 3x5 index card using her old manual. She never demanded Mr. Williamson cook dinner. She seemed content to prepare and cook the food they would eat together in the small kitchen just as she always had. I think she figured a meal or two or three thousand in her lifetime was manageable, but not having the right to vote, to work, to get an education, simply was not.

I think often of her and the weekly dialogue that passed between us. I hope to pass on a bit of that balance of life to my own girls, and maybe one day, to a young woman that comes to clean when I am no longer.

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Having a few afternoon errands to complete, I left C and K in E's charge. A accompanied me to pick-up prescriptions and to get a new muffler. We waited in the office and made small talk with the wives of the shop owners. A noted the quieter drive home.

As I approached my house, I saw a huge crowd of girls. They were all just hanging around talking, some on bikes, others on scooters, still more languishing on the porch. I got out of the van and was swarmed. They were desperate. They needed ideas for play. Now.

I reached into my own bag of childhood memories and pulled out a few suggestions: Red Rover, Red Rover; Red Light/Green Light; Four Square; Jump Rope; Kick Ball.

They decided on Red Light/Green Light. To settle the "I wanna be the light first" issue, I thought going from youngest to oldest would work well. They quickly determined the order of turns and so now the song of giggles is blowing through the open windows.

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August 25, 2005

Rocky Mountain Pictures: Not Ansel Adams

Jeff G. and moi.

Jed and ummm, some other guys.

Matt Moore and Beth.jpg
Matt Moore and Beth, his lovely and quite funny,wife.

Robin Roberts.

Walter in Denver.jpg
Walter in Denver and Mrs. Walter in Denver

Andy (and his cue).

Doug Sundseth, S.A.

Stephen (with his cue, also).

I wish I had thought to get a picture of the lights outside of Dazzle. They were neon pink against black. One of my favorite color combinations.

That's all folks :D

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August 22, 2005

Updated: Go over to Z's and find out the story. I had the pictures almost entirely uploaded and then had a problem with the computer, so those will have to be postponed. Am also awaiting for a bit of help with, ummm, allowing for some privacy by photoshopping from a friend.

So, I promise a report of the RMBB 4.5. Soon. Really.

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August 17, 2005


I anticipate tonight that I will drift just beneath sleep; that it will only cover me as a gossamer veil. Hearing every sound around me; its noise causing the bobbing of my weary mind, but that quieting plunge into peaceful, unmolested rest will elude my grasp as a hand trying to hold water.

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So, it's been a week since I last posted anything. Wow, a week goes by fast.

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August 12, 2005

The comforting smell of roasting chicken, peppers, shallots, and garlic; the thunder scoffing and grumbling; the rain tickling the windows; Susan Graham lulling us into a pre-dinner stupor; the children drawing, coloring, painting; the flow of random thoughts from E...these are the rich colors upon the canvas of my soul.

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August 11, 2005

Quien es?

Hmm, I wonder who, from Columbia, Missouri, using Socket as an ISP, Googled my name? And why, if they are a friend, they didn't comment on my blog?

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Load It Up

Meatball Pizza
Unusual and uncompromising. You're usually the first to discover a new trend. You appreciate a good meal and good company. You're an interesting blend of traditional and modern.
What's Your Pizza Personality?

Thanks to Ith, who has all the fun toys of Blogdom.

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August 09, 2005


When a girl is feeling blue, almost blue, Diana Krall sure can sing it for her.

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August 08, 2005

How do you spell relief?

I am a hand washer. You know, I don't touch the faucet, nor the towel dispenser or door handle in public restrooms. I actually am quite pleased when the door to the restroom opens out to get in-- this means that I don't have to touch it with my clean hands or contribute to even more decimation of trees by using an extra paper towel simply to exit.

On a trip back to Missouri last fall, the closer we got to our motherland, the more bathrooms we found lacking in cowboy hats. You know, those paper toilet seat covers provided for your protection by the management? Either the Midwest is less suspicious by nature, or more stupid. Perhaps the answer is that they are just cheaper and think that if a person doesn't want to sit, they don't have to, or they can just squat.

Squat. Not a pleasant sounding word, nor a pleasant experience. Back in the day, before Cowboy Hats were an option, squatting was the only way to go without touching the seat. Let me tell you, pregnant with two ounces of liquid threatening to explode out of you and having to squat to be sanitary is no thrill. It is at times necessary, but so is post-squat clean-up. See, one simply cannot maintain personal hygiene (squatting) without some accountability. Simply said: be thoughtful and give a swipe to the spray on the seat. Nothing is more disgusting than one of my little girls going into a stall, sitting, and then saying, "Ewwww, mommy, this seat is wet." I must collect myself, stifle my dry heaves, and come in and take care of your mess on my baby's backside.

And since we are on the subject of cleanliness, may I ask something of you mums of little boys? I understand taking your young son into the women's restroom. Really, I do. If I had a boy, he would've accompanied me into the ladies loo, too. However, make sure you take care of the drip from the hose? Know what I mean? Junior is helpless, and cute, but his dribble isn't.

There, I feel so relieved.

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Rae at 01:54 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack (1)
» The World Wide Rant - v3.0 links with: More Quick Links

In all seriousness

Katie, with much sobriety, after burying a beetle with no hind legs:

"We graved him."

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August 05, 2005


Wow, and all this time I've been reading Nietzsche, Descarte, Plato, Hume when all I really needed was to be studying this man.

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the Wit
(52% dark, 39% spontaneous, 22% vulgar)
your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

AND FINALLY -- after you rate my test with a sweet, sweet '5' -- you must take this test next: The Genghis Khan Genetic Fitness Test. It's not mine, but it rocks.

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 37% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 33% on spontaneous
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 20% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Thanks, Andy.

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August 02, 2005

Ring ring

A bottle of Zinfandel, a tub, and the soothing croon of Chiara Civello and Carla Bruni are calling to me.

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I have something in the frame shop :D

I purchased a piece art from Randy. That's a signed original with no prints made from it.


I can't wait to have it up in my home, Randy. And I do promise a picture of it framed, hanging, and me grinning in front of it :D

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