Saturday, February 25, 2006

Oh, my.

Do not click here unless you want to see Brokeback Mountain reenacted by Lego characters.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More assigned reading

Hmmm . . . I seem to be reading a lot of teacher blogs these days. You really need to go here, where a high-school (I presume) English teacher shares some noteworthy writing by one of his young charges. The assignment was to write about favorite songs. Here's one of my favorite parts:
Snoop also creates suspense in his song. For example, he inquires, "How many hoes in '94 will I be bangin'?" Now it is 2006, so he probably knows by now how many he has banged. But this still creates suspense. It leaves the listeners wondering just how many hoes will need to be banged by Snoop. They will want to listen longer so they can find out.

Tag, Suzie's it!

Several weeks ago, we had a frenzy of tagging for prom pictures, and my aunt was kind enough to provide me with a stunning photo of my mom in formal attire. Mom and I decided that Suzie should play, too, so I tagged Suzie with a request for photos of her all dressed up with someplace to go.

Here she is in a Junior Miss Pageant in 1965:

And here's a scrapbook page that provides before and after shots of her and my uncle, taken on the occasion of the 1969 Marine Corps Ball:

They clean up right purty, dontcha think? Thanks for playing, Suzie!

Assigned reading

Please go here to read a hilarious compare-and-contrast essay on the films Curious George and Brokeback Mountain, written in the voice of a Freshman Composition student. I just about wet my pants laughing. Thanks to my invisible friend Barbara for providing me with the link.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

With apologies to the neighbors across the street

All the windows in our house here in Kentucky had miniblinds hanging in them when we moved in, except for the ones in the master bathroom. Those windows have frosted glass, and the toilet is situated in such a way that one could sit on the throne and wave to passersby, if the window were open and if one were so inclined. When the kids and I got here from Florida and saw the house for the first time, I brought this to Fred's attention, and he said, "No, it's OK, nobody can see in because of the frosted glass." I took this to mean that he had TESTED this and found it to be true. This was in early October.

Fast forward to last Wednesday night. I'm walking home from my coffee down the street. Somebody has left the light on in our bathroom, and I can see--plain as day--my grubsuit hanging on the back of the open door, which is next to the window. I spent the rest of the week peeing in the dark and waiting for Fred to come home from DC. Turns out the person who walked Fred through the house when he took possession of it gave him that line in response to his query about the lack of blinds and he believed them!

There are blinds on the windows now, neighbors. You can return to whatever it is you were doing before the peep show moved in across the street.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A hitchhiker's guide to Fort Knox

I was running late this morning, on my way to Annabelle's parent-teacher conference. As I was driving down our street, I thought the car sounded a bit funny, but I was a woman with a mission, and I wasn't about to be stopped by some stupid sound. Until I saw the mailman jumping up and down, waving at me. This seemed a little more vigorous than his usual greeting, so I rolled down the window. "You have a flat tire," he informed me. A flat tire? You mean like this?

I stuck the car back into its parking space behind the house and rang my next-door neighbor's doorbell. Unfortunately, she wasn't there, and it was starting to look like I was going to have to walk. That wouldn't have been such a bad thing (nice and warm here today), but it's a good 20-minute walk, and I had 5 minutes to make it to the meeting. So as I trotted down the street, I decided to flag down the first car I saw and throw myself on the driver's mercy. I wound up catching a soldier in a pickup truck. I asked him if he would mind driving me to my daughter's school without raping me and leaving me for dead in a gutter somewhere. He was agreeable to my terms, so off we went. I made it to my meeting, unraped and undead (but not in a zombie way), with seconds to spare.

The meeting was pretty much what I had expected: "Wow, what a great kid! So smart and so polite! Truly a pleasure to have in class! A testament to your superior parenting." OK, maybe not that last part, but the rest is all verbatim.

I left the school and began my trudge towards home when . . . you guessed it . . . it started to rain. Lo and behold, a car pulled up beside me, and the driver (this time a woman a little younger than me) rolled down her window and offered me a ride. Today seems to be my day to depend on the kindness of strangers, so I gratefully accepted and arrived home just before the sky truly opened up.

This was my first time hitchhiking . . . since 1987. I had gone to London from Germany with my friend Sarah. Sarah was planning on heading north to Scotland, and I was eager to get back to the continent, where my Eurailpass would be valid. We were sitting in the lobby of the youth hostel, listening to this Danish guy named Klaus talk about his plans for hitchhiking back to Denmark the next day. I said, "Wow, that sounds like fun," and the next thing I knew, he was asking me to join him.

I was hesitant. After all, my mother always said I shouldn't hitchhike. But she never specifically said I shouldn't hitchhike from one country to another with a really cute guy I had known less than 24 hours, so I decided to go for it.

We set out bright and early the next morning. We bought tickets on the ferry from Dover and then stuck out our thumbs once we hit the other side. That first night we got picked up by 2 British soldiers on their way back to their base in Dortmund, Germany. They smuggled us onto the base and let us sleep on wooden cots in the brig. We spent the second night in sleeping bags under the stairs at the port, waiting for the ferry to Denmark. Once we made it to Denmark, we bought tickets on a local train to Copenhagen, because frankly we were exhausted, and hitching was starting to lose some of its appeal.

It was a marvelous adventure though! We met so many interesting people. Besides the British soldiers, I specifically recall getting picked up by what looked to me like punk rockers who were driving a funky car called a Duck. We also got picked up by a trucker and by an older German gentleman in a BMW sedan. I struggled along making conversation in my limited German. I asked him what he did for a living, but I had the hardest time figuring out his answer. Somehow in 2 years of college German I had never learned the phrase for "importer and exporter of bull semen."

I stayed in Denmark for a couple of days with Klaus (who was a perfect gentleman, so get yer minds out of the gutter) before taking the train home to Freiburg and onward to Switzerland. I went into my scrapbook a little while ago looking for pictures from my hitchhiking adventure, but all that I could find--besides a postcard featuring the top sights of Copenhagen--was a little strip of pictures that Klaus and I took in a photo booth in the train station:

Klaus . . . what a great Dane!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Accordion music and bellydancing for Valentine's Day

Fred and I don't usually go out on Valentine's Day. Restaurants are just too crazy on that night, so we stay away. This year though, one of the women in my international spouses coffee group was hosting a special Valentine's dinner at her Greek restaurant. I wanted to go to support her business and also because I was curious about the professional(!) bellydancer(!) from Louisville(!).

I hadn't realized there would be accordion music, too, but there was:

We dined on gryos and Greek salads and some really amazing baklava and enjoyed the bellydancing show:

We had to leave before the plate smashing, which disappointed me, but Fred had an early-morning plane to catch today, and I had a doctor's appointment anyway (OK, so my appointment was with TV doctor Greg House on FOX, but I am very loyal to my regular shows).

It's amazing to think that this time last year, we were coming up on the end of Fred's R&R.

In other Valentine's Day news, Willie Nelson chose yesterday to release his new song, "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)." When I heard this, I rushed right over to iTunes and downloaded it. Now Mike is irritated with me, not because I sullied his iTunes library with a gay cowboy song, but because I dared to put Willie Nelson there amongst Nine Inch Nails and Red Hot Chili Peppers. You can listen to a snippet here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

He's a funny guy

Mike's homework for social studies the other day was to create an editorial cartoon. Here it is:

For those of you unable to make out the text next to the smiling flower, it says:
This cartoon is not in any way meant to inflame violence, hatred, or the burning of Danish embassies. Please consult a doctor before reading this or other editorial cartoons. Do not read editorial cartoons while operating heavy machinery, while consuming alcohol, or while taking other medication. All editorial cartoons run the risk of dependency. Some rare but serious side-effects include nausea, headaches, abdominal pain, cramps in the knees and/or elbows, temporary blindness, and increased blood pressure. Paid for by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I'd like to say that I don't know where he gets his whacky sense of humor, but I'm afraid I do. I, after all, was the one who suggested in vain that he include "For erections lasting longer than 4 hours . . . " Apparently, the child has more decorum than his mother.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy birthday, Jenny!

My baby sister:

is 33 today!

Hope you have a great day, and wish I could be there to help you celebrate. I shall eat some chocolate in your honor.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Welcome to my cloud

The other day I found a link for making a word cloud on Heute hier, morgen dort, one of several blogs that I follow occasionally but haven't gotten around to adding to my list of links out of sheer laziness. Not having anything better to do (that I felt like doing), I made a cloud for my blog:

Kind of boring, but this blog hasn't been around for very long. Then I made another cloud, this one for my old blog. Much more interesting!

I had to fiddle with the words a bit to make it include the names of a lot of the places that we visited during our 2 years in Europe, but I thought it was kind of funny that the names of my friends Amy and Gretchyn popped up all on their own. They must have gotten a lot of coverage in the old blog!

Make your own cloud here!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mini-wave in celebration of my sister!

Jenny arrived at work this morning and found a card, a “Congratulations” banner, and streamers hanging around her desk. But why, you might be asking. After all, her birthday isn't until NEXT week.

Turns out the celebration is because as of today Jenny has gone 100 days without polluting her lungs with vile cigarette smoke.

Hooray for Jenny!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Weekend update

We wound up putting off our celebration plans for Sunday because of the weather on Saturday. We did go out long enough on Saturday to hit Walmart (hate that place!) for some necessities and to return movies to the PX. On the way to drop off the movies, I made Fred stop along the parade field so I could take these pictures:

Pretty, no?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Perfect day for a birthday

I'm twenty-nineteen today! No major plans to speak of--Fred's coming home from his conference in Nashville tonight, so we'll celebrate tomorrow with a family trip up to Louisville to (finally) see the latest Harry Potter movie, grab dinner out, and fill up an ice chest at Whole Foods. Today? Hmmm . . . there might be chocolate cupcakes in my very near future.

Here are some pictures of me from waaaaay back when. I'm thinking I must be around 2, 'cause I hardly ever hold my skirt up like that for photos these days:

Other cool people celebrating birthdays today: my cousin Ally and my friend Sibylle's son Konstantin. Happy birthday to us all!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Groundhog Day!

Today's a good day to put up some photos I've been sitting on since September. We have groundhogs here! That's one of my very favorite things about Kentucky. They're so darn cute:

Every time I see a groundhog, I am overcome by an urge to hug it. Sadly, the groundhogs do not seem to have much interest in being hugged.

Cousin It . . .

. . . is kind of a redhead in the right light:

A new month, a new cat

No, not a real cat! It's just that I realized today that with this being February and all, it's time for me to turn the page in my 2006 Gatti di Roma calendar that I bought in Rome last year. I'm going to miss these guys:

I am, however, looking forward to 4 blissful weeks of staring at this handsome fellow:

I miss Rome. :::sigh:::

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New word for the English language!

I saw 4 movies in 2005, and one of those was the same movie a second time only in German. I've been wanting to see Brokeback Mountain though and knew I could wait a really long time for it to come to a theater near me. Since I had a hair appointment in Louisville this morning at 9, I decided to make a day of it, just me, myself, and I.

I spent a nice, relaxing couple of hours at the salon and am now kind of a redhead if the light hits me juuuuuuust right. I had a couple of hours to kill before the movie, so I went to Target to get something to read over lunch. (I find People magazine to be the perfect dining companion--it's packed with short, interesting snippets that are easy to read between bites; it stays open on its own, unlike most books; and it's cheap, so if you get queso dip on it, who cares?)

My stylist had recommended I try Qdoba Mexican Grill, so I did. I was hoping that it would be a lot like my favorite lunch spot in San Antonio, Habaneros Grill. It was similar, but Habaneros remains number one in my heart. I munched on steak nachos while I learned how Jennifer Aniston is coping in the wake of that whole Brangelina thing.

After lunch I moseyed over to the theater and bought my ticket. This was only the second time I've gone to the movies alone, so it still feels vaguely naughty to me.

Loved, loved, LOVED Brokeback Mountain! I got teary several times and felt rather melancholy afterwards, but I'm so glad that I got to see it. (If you've seen it, email me, 'cause I've got questions! That's the worst part about watching a movie alone--nobody to share the debriefing on the drive home.)

But, Bonnie, you say, where is this new word? A ha! I was just getting to that. So this evening, I'm on the phone with my sister and I'm telling her about what a splendid time I had on my date with myself, and she says . . . "You masturdated." Eureka! Masturdation--to go on a date with one's self.

I even googled to see if maybe it was already a word. What I found is that there are a whole lot of people out there who can't spell masturbation. You know what's sad though? My sister will never know that I have blogged about her gift to the English language, because SHE ONLY LOOKS AT THE PICTURES ON MY BLOG.

  • My invisible friend Jilly found this really funny spoof of a preview for Brokeback Mountain that features footage from Top Gun.

  • My Republican friends (hey, I have more than you might think!) should probably avoid clicking here and here unless they want to see Brokeback Mountain posters featuring Bush and Cheney. Everybody else, feel free to click.