Top Hodsden. Or not.


Okay, this pink theme is going to make me puke. It's lasted all of what? A week? Yeah, not a pink person. Maybe if no one's looking tomorrow, I can change the site to yellow, green or even blue. Not pink. Good lord, not pink.

So, my other site, the one that doesn't request search engines stay away currently lists me as the top Hodsden on Google and MSN, but, oddly enough not on Yahoo.

So, yes, those websites are honoring the robots.txt file, as are the other major search engines.

I was going to write that, as long as I'm at the top of the Hodsden list with the list of Hodsden geneology sites, I'd be content to hide behind my robots.txt and stay out of the public eye and the search engines. Do I really want a complete stranger to know about my dogs, garden, blog, ultimate games or neighbors? Not really.

But then I went to Mamma, the search engine that summarizes what other search engines list.


I'm not listed until 10 and that's after James (the doctor), Richard (a finance director), Carey (a pro golfer) and Hodsden's Upholstery shop in Knoxville (they have to be pissed I have all the good hodsden.* domains, and all the hodsen.* ones, too, for that matter).

Good lord, part of me is thinking, "But... but... I don't care about that!" and the other part is thinking, "No way. No freaking way am I going to let a bunch of men have the top Hodsden spot. Not gonna happen, boys." It's then I realize that the competitive streak is still there, and, well, yeah, maybe I can care about it a little bit. Crap, what has become of me?

I blame the pink.

The real question is, of course, can I beat out Knight Industries Two Thousand and Eartha for the top Kitt spot? That would be a real coup.

Uh, six months?


Mike was home with Liza yesterday, as she was seriously illin'. Having thrown up three times the night before, the first two times in her parents' bed, she stayed home from school and watched television, slept, lounged about the house and basically did nothing more than heal. Taking Maeryn to school, therefore, became a dilemma for Mike: how do you get one kid to school while not making the other kid worse?

Here I come to save the day! Mighty Mouse is on his, oh, wait.

I dashed over in the morning, then again in the evening, to "watch" Liza while Mike did the kid shuffle to the day-care. Little problem for me, as I just jumped on his 'net connection and kept working. BeeJ was understanding, and cleaned up when I left the first time, and just kept working on the video the second time.

Today, Mike wasn't so lucky. Instead of his kid throwing up all over his bed, he was throwing up all over his bed. On the last clean set of sheets.

Okay, maybe not, but he was sick and unable to take Maeryn into school in the morning. I had to dash to the airport to send BeeJ on his merry way with a video tape of the two of us (scary), a copy of my passport and a memory stick with several pictures he needed for the application. When I arrived home, I ran over to Mike's house, grabbed the kid, and took her to school. I didn't expect to pick her up from the school in the evening, but I managed to get the first pass of my work done at 5:20, so I would be able to get the little one from school.

I drove over, on a nominally empty tank, went in, found the classroom, and gathered up Maeryn's stuff. Just as I was buckling her in to go, a mom came in for another kid, Camilla (the kid who had just spent the last five minutes screaming at me as I gathered Maeryn up). I tried very hard to get out of the cramped hallway with baby, bottles, hat, car carrier, dirty clothes, tiny gift for Liza and my keys, when the mother cornered me.

"Oh, she's so cute!"

"Thanks!" I said, thinking, "Not my kid, lady. Mine would look like a toad."

The teacher said, "Tell Mike hello, and that we hope he feels better soon."

"Thank you. I will," picking up Maeryn.

"She's adorable. How old is she?"


"She's adorable? How old?"


I deperately started looking around for help.

What or who I was looking for, I have no idea.

"Uh... Um.... Six months?"

The mother looked at me shocked. What kind of mother doesn't know down to the minute (second?) how old her infant child is? What kind of monster was I?

The teacher, Carol, saved me.

"Five months. August, September, October, November, December."

The mother looked at the instructor, at me, back to the instructor, back to me, in confusion.

"Neighbor's kid."

He sits like I do!


Two days before his birthday, BJ came out to visit me. He came with a mission, and a task. There's a casting call for the tenth Amazing Race, and he wanted to apply for the show. Applying requires an application with enough information to completely steal an identity (including passport number and pictures), as well as a three minute personality video.

I have previously submitted an application (with Mark), and wasn't particularly looking forward to creating another video. I mean, if you can't get on the show by eating a raw egg (by which we mean eating the whole egg, including the shell, which Mark did), then I'm not sure what you need to do to get on that show.

We used a "BJ and the Bear" trucker theme for our video, complete with hayseed in the teeth, trucker hats and flannel shirts. We filmed together, but BJ did all the editing. I gave feedback, but for the most part, he did the work. It's pretty funny to me, though perhaps less so for him (or the show producers). We used Mike's camera, after buying a new firewire cable for it, so transferring the data to the laptop was incredibly easy. The editing took Beej a good five hours, so I'm glad I had him do it.

After the contestants are announced, if we don't make the next cut, we'll post the video online.


Yes, I have witnesses


Last night, Kris and I journeyed north to the City to have dinner with Cal and Elina. The two of them have been hot for Ariel's family's tortilla recipe ever since they were over for communal dinner a couple months ago. Not that I blame them, they're tasty little things.

We showed up, and Kris was immediately as mesmerized with the view as I was the first time I went. Not that I blame him, it's still impressive.

The evening was awesome, as Elina and I made the tortillas, and the four of us talked about this and that and other things. I failed to follow my number one rule about teaching, though, and that's to let the person learning do all the work. I think Elina had enough hands on experience to do fine the next time she makes them. The goodies inside the tortillas were amazingly delicious and I'm hoping she'll send me that recipe back.

During dinner I had asked about Elina's first term at school, so after dinner, I asked if she had any work she could show-off to us. She did, and showed them to us on her really amazingly cool, really big monitor (one of those nice 30" Apple monitors that you just want to lick). When I said to Kris, "I want," he responded, "If you clean out the office, I'll get you one."

I turned to Elina and Cal, and replied, "You're my witnesses."

Kris is fairly confident he has a long while before he has to shell out the moolah. I can't say he isn't right.

I crack myself up


Every since I had spent who-knows-how-long fighting with my original theme, I've been tempted to adjust my current theme regularly. I didn't until last month, and now I'm almost tempted to change them to match the upcoming holiday.

This one, for example, is so girly that I almost want to puke. Totally cracks me up! Ah, laughing about one's own website. The best!

Yay, CSS!

I'll probably leave this theme up until Valentine's Day, or until I actually do wretch from all the pink.

Pink! Mom tells me how, when I was a small person, I cried when she painted my room pink. I didn't want pink! Pink! PINK! PINK! The story cracks me up, because the first bedroom color I can be sure of is the white top, dark blue bottom colors of my room with the fan and the east facing window on Washington Street. Oooo! And the striped carpeting. And the Raggety Ann and Raggety Andy curtains!

I also slept in the front room at one point, but I can't tell you if the walls were green or grey or white or what.

Maybe if Mom logs in, she can tell me what colors those rooms were.

Another example of the absurdity of the American society


mike and I wandered into a car dealership this evening with the intention of buying a very specific truck. The car manufacturer is having a particularly good sale at the moment, and I have a credit card the generates incentives that lower the cost of the vehicle even further. As both of us had use of a truck, and neither of our spouses objected, we pulled the trigger and decided to buy.

So, we headed in, found the truck (not really, it's in transit, and they have no idea where it is, it's "somewhere"), and said we'd purchase.

We sat down and were immediately asked a ton of credit application questions: drivers license, social security number, employer information. The salesman initially asked me for the information, and I completely balked. We're paying cash, people, caaaaash.

Mike, being the hero he is, stepped up and put the vehicle in his name, filling out the credit application.

After a few moments, he started balking, too. Why do you need my social security number to buy a car IN CASH.

The only thing you should need to buy a car is the cash and a drivers license. This Patriot Act thing is a fucking piece of crap.

NTS on clothing sizes


Note to self on clothing sizes:

When the bathing suit retailer says 37" bust sizes should purchase a size 10, remember they're assuming a bigger rib cage (and not a 32" rib cage) and stick with the size 6 instead.

When the shirt retailer says 37" bust sizes should purchase a large shirt, listen to them.

The bathing suit will stretch over the breasts and look sexy. The shirt might stretch, but sexy?

Not so much.

Liza, you can shower at my house


Yesterday at work, Mike and I started comparing city utility bills. His house is just down the street from me and nearly the same. The builder used only one floor plan in the construction of the development phase our houses were built in, customizing the houses by mirroring the floor plan, varying the roof styles among four choices, changing the window styles among four other choices and adjusting the distance from the street to the front wall. Other than those four choices, all the houses on our street are exactly the same.

Mike's and my house are remarkably alike. We have the same floor plan (no mirroring), with differing roofs, making comparisons in utility and repair costs quite easy. Exceptions in the "exactly the same" include decor (their house has been painted and they have new furniture versus our "not quite done, half finished maybe" painting in half the rooms and "70 year old former owner" style in the other half), landscaping (their grass versus our dirt) and order (the mildly OCD with cleaning spouse versus the mildly OCD with license plates spouse), and lot size (their house was a show house, so they have an extra four feet in lot width). So, when one asks the other, "What's your water bill?" a reasonable comparison can be made.

Our water bills differ by $20 a bill, which is $10 a month. "So I shouldn't complain about how high my bill is?" Mike asked. Nope.

But then we tried to figure out why his bill would be higher than mine. I immediately suggested the yard. They have grass to water. We don't. Our water bill goes up during the spring and summer when I garden, but it's offset by the lower gas bills, and our utility bills stay constant.

Mike disagreed, and offered the extra person, Liza, in his household as the extra cost source. Liza takes a bath at least every other day, and they fill the bathtub up to 6-8" for her to splash. Certainly that was the source.

I promptly disagreed, countering that I take nice, long, hot showers, we have seriously fantastic water pressure, and certainly use that much water every day, instead of every other day. So, bathing water was a wash, and there must be another reason for the difference, laundry perhaps?

Mike completely didn't believe me. No way. It's this much water! Your showers aren't that long (um, Mike, how do you know how long my showers are?). Plug the tub and see how much water you use.

So, I did.

As I stood in the increasing amount of cooling water gathering around my feet in the tub this morning, I couldn't help but wonder if this shower was going to be shorter than my normal shower. Surely, observing the water rise would affect my behaviour: my feet were getting cold. Maybe I would stay in the shower longer to prove my point, that I consume more shower water.

And what I wouldn't give to have a Living Machine like they do at Islandwood, to recycle all of this water I use each day. I'd totally use it on my garden. I wondered if I should switch to biodegradable soap, so that I could use the water in my garden anyway.

As I stepped out of the shower and took a ruler to the amount of water in my tub (8.5"), and realized I had actually taken a shorter shower than normal, I remembered how much my mom hated my long showers. Looking at the amount of water in the tub, I could appreciate why. It wasn't the water consumption so much as the cost to heat that water that cooled so quickly. To this day, I much prefer long, hot showers to quick just-to-clean showers most people seem to have.

So that she doesn't miss out on this simple daily pleasure, or even feel the slightest bit guilty about it, I figured I say this:

When you're old enough to appreciate this, Liza, please know that you can take long, hot showers at our house any time.

Why, hello there!


Note to self: when waiting for the train, don't sit under the schedule posted on the wall over the bench.

Sure, you'll be guaranteed lots of visitors.

But they'll be greeting you with their crotches.

Vague enough to be boring

One of the great things about keeping a journal is that it provides a nice history of things important to me at a given time. I can look back through the various entries and be entertained, horrified, amused, or puzzled. All perfectly valid responses given the varied posts I make about the events in my life.

The theory goes if I keep this up, I'll have a nice chronology of my life, and will be able to laugh about most of this when I'm a crotchety old lady, sitting on the porch with my Crazy Cousin Kelly, cackling about something or other.

Assuming I'm sane enough to be able to read it.

Well, and that she's still game for that plan. Given she has a kid now, Gadi might think I'm just too crazy for her mom to hang out with. Or she might in 80 years.

The biggest problem with this plan, however, is that I don't write when I'm down. When things get rough, or I get overwhelmed, the first thing that gets chucked off the list is this, the writing, the purging of the thoughts, ideas, fears, feats, accomplishments, or events that humour me. Note the gap just last month, mid-October. I was writing a little bit, but wasn't finishing anything, and several people actually commented to me about it.

So, now, here I am in a similar place. Some of the issues I'm struggling with I'm surely not supposed to talk about, and sometimes I think I'm not supposed to have in the first place. But that reckons back to expectations, of which I have a huge long thought/post about.

Not talking about these issues is hard, because some of them deal directly with people, friends I'd desperately would like to talk to about the situation, but can't seem to do it. Not being able to solve a problem staring me in the face is incredibly frustrating. Not solving is isn't my style. Eh, people aren't my forte either, and those two are going hand-in-hand at the moment.

Ah, well. Vague enough to bore even myself, and accomplish little.