Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Checking my list

I am steadily crossing things off my to-do list... But there are some things that are getting added. C'est la vie.
  1. make chocolate-covered pretzels for neighbors--DONE
  2. make cookies for church Christmas Eve reception--DONE
  3. meet/greet at church Christmas Eve pageant at 4 pm tomorrow--DONE
  4. clean house in preparation for pet/house sitter--Sorta DONE
  5. finish laundry--DONE
  6. find digital camera (?!)--DONE
  7. pack for myself and W--Sorta DONE
  8. celebrate Christmas with Mike and W tomorrow, as Mike has to work on Christmas Day--DONE
  9. attend neighbor's Christmas gathering on Thursday
  10. catch 6:36 am flight out of Newark on Friday
  11. Plan get-together with MS friends

Monday, December 22, 2008


We had a fantastic weekend. Friday was my 29th birthday. We got out of school early due to winter weather. It was snowy at the school, but as we traveled south toward home, the snow turned to slush. Thank goodness the salt trucks had been out. I can handle driving in snow okay, but the slush is really yuck. So we got home earlier than normal and W took his nap at home (which meant that I was able to have one too!). Of course Mike didn't get home until regular time (9:30), which meant we didn't really celebrate, but that was alright.
It was alright because the next night we had all our friends/neighbors and their kids over! I made a huge crock-pot of chili, and people brought other yummy treats and a cornucopia of beer and wine. It was definitely a feast that would make Bacchus proud! Folks started coming over around 5, so W got some good playing in with the other children. I don't know how he did it, but W went to sleep around 7 and managed to sleep through the rest of the evening's festivities. It wasn't an especially late night, as Mike and I had agreed to keep the toddler nursery at church for the following day...
We only had three kids in the nursery. One was a "crier" but I immediately intervened and worked some of my newly-attained Montessori "Toddler Whisperer" magic on her. She calmed down pretty quickly and joined the boys at the sand table without much ado. After church, we drove s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y home, as the roads were incredibly icy from all the slush. We ate leftover chili and took naps, which was heavenly. The afternoon included a trip to the library to get a Bob the Builder video for W. I don't know where he's picked up on BTB, but he really likes him. So we indulged that little desire. On the way home, we saw a beautiful desk chair out at the curb to be picked up by the garbage man. I said, "Stop! GO BACK!" We went back, Mike got out and checked it for major problems, and, seeing none, loaded it into the car. It actually is very similar to the one pictured above (middle chair), but it has wheels and is lighter in color. We're going to refinish it and use it at our computer desk in our den. It's quite lovely, and very comfortable.
It's been incredibly cold. It got down to 14 on Sunday night and only got up to around 22 yesterday. Today was a little warmer, getting up to around 30 and less windy. It's supposed to continue to warm between now and when we fly out for MS, so that's a good thing, as it means we are less likely to encounter delays.
I have quite a few things to cross of my to-do list between now and then...
  1. make chocolate-covered pretzels for neighbors
  2. make cookies for church Christmas Eve reception
  3. meet/greet at church Christmas Eve pageant at 4 pm tomorrow
  4. clean house in preparation for pet/house sitter
  5. finish laundry
  6. find digital camera (?!)
  7. pack for myself and W
  8. celebrate Christmas with Mike and W tomorrow, as Mike has to work on Christmas Day
  9. attend neighbor's Christmas gathering on Thursday
  10. catch 6 am flight out of Newark on Friday
And once we get back into town on January 2...
  1. write six 3-page papers for Montessori Philosophy class (due first week of January)
  2. sew placemats and napkins for toddler lunch group at school

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jeopardy! episode live blogging

This is Jeopardy! Please welcome today's contestants... There I am. Cheesy head nod. Oh, hi Stevie! Where are the truffles you promised to mail me? Oh, hi Alex. God, I am so nervous. Alex just said my name... TV Robots, right? That's when my stomach did a backflip. THat was it for me. I knew where this was going at that point. Knew that one about Rosie on the Jetsons. Am I even there? Haven't rung in yet... Lost in Space... Yeah, that was me at this point. Holy moly. Canterbury. Yes, got one. Battle of Hastings, right? Didn't ring in in time; either that or was too fast... Of course he gets the DD at this point. Knew the answer to the DD as well. Crapola. First break. I am feeling like bleh at this point on the show, because there were several I knew but couldn't get the hang of the buzzer. Now they're touching up our makeup and doing our "Hometown Howdies". Alex is having to re-record a clue from a previous episode. Yeah, you think he has perfect pronunciation, right? Wrong. They just re-record whatever he messes up. I wish they could've done that for me!! Now the stage assistants are making sure my buzzer is working. Yeah, it's working. I just can't work it. Here comes Alex, ready for the interview section. Milt: I've lived in all four of the US states that are actually Commonwealths. BO-RING. Yeah, tantalizing. Lame. I wonder how many times he practiced this bit. Oh, it's me, now. Yes, I cooked with Julia Child. Didn't blow that, thank goodness. Oh, and Stevie the Harpist. Very cool. He was sitting in a director's chair for the game; I'm not sure what the problem was, but he couldn't stand for long periods of time. Oh, here we go again. Got one! Oops, missed one. Rare Earth? Is that even a band?? I think I made that up. Thank goodness i got the one about dalmations- I had one as a kid. Here I am again, not able to get my buzzer timing right... Of course i get one right about a hair dryer. Oh, good save, Carrie, Radio Flyer. And grill, thank goodness I got that one, since Mike likes to grill so much. Plaitnum. Oh, tricky, Alex. Hello, Carrie, where are you? Of course I am going first in Double Jeopardy... Geez. Oh, the weather report pops on during the commercial--we're due for a winter storm overnight and tomorrow. Happy Birthday to me! I asked one of the stage people if anyone had ever barfed on the set (from nerves)... She said no, but that a couple of contestants had passed out. That tidbit of information was not especially helpful or encouraging. Thanks a bunch.
Oh, another Santa category... Remember this was taped in October. Oh, didn't understand the clue on that one, but I get it now. The second I hear these clues online, the answer pops right into my head. It's just so frustrating... Sweet, I knew this DD of course, about Sylvia Plath (fellow Smithie!!) I was telling Mike last night how I don't feel like I can even enjoy the show now. Let me explain... I don't know if it's like this for you or not, but for me, I used to watch the show, thinking, gosh, those people ought to know these answers, these questions aren't that hard, right? Well, it's one thing to know the answers when you're sitting in your living room, it's another thing to be sitting there with those bright lights, the audience, trying to get the damn buzzer to work! I never realized how difficult playing the game actually is! So... Okay, I don't think I answer any more after this point (the Santa category). Geez. Symphonies?! Are you kidding me? I think I was just thankful at this point that it was almost over. I think I might have even put my "signaling button" down by now... Holy cannoli. Oh, that's cute, the bows around/over me. Nice, guys. Another commercial. Come on, Alex, just tell us what the final category is gonna be. Quotations.
So I'm there just thinking, well, they have about the same amount, so they have to bet a lot of money. So what's my bet going to be? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zero. The stage crew comes by to check on our wagers... Mine solicits a "perfect wager" comment, bringing me to my highest point of the entire show. Basically, the two guys just have to get the answer wrong, and I become the champion with big $1200!! Oh, here's the clue. I knew it right off the bat. Let's see how confident I look. Yup, I'm done writing, and the guys are still writing. I really felt like I might cryBut alas, it's not to be. At least I got it right, though. It would have been really embarassing to miss a question about Jefferson Davis, being from Mississippi and all. Oh, there's the phone. It's our friend Nick. And beeping in is my co-worker Marcia (former Miss Peru, for real!). So that's it from me. Over and out, TV Land!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't forget... tune in to Jeopardy! tomorrow, December 18, to see me! Of course our VCR doesn't record... But I've found a kind soul at work who will tape it for me (I just have to remember to take the tape to her tomorrow!). Here's the clip they taped for the Jeopardy! website and for local promos.

So yeah, be sure to watch. And try not to notice how nervous I am!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gettin' old

I saw this piece on NPR today and it reminded me that I am getting old... And yes, Matthew Sweet is definitely showing his age a bit, but his voice is just as sweet appropriate, no?) as ever.
Matthew Sweet just makes me happy. I have no idea where my 100% Fun album is... I really need to track it down when I'm back in MS over Christmas... "Sick of Myself" is one of my all-time favorites.

I used to listen to that album, along with Juliana Hatfield's Become What You Are, constantly when I was 14... and be all ang-sty and crabby-teenager-y. Ah, sweet youth.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The proof

Here's proof of W's love for Kit-Kat's. What a happy little boy!
What do you think of the hat? Believe it or not, I made it MYSELF!He eats healthy food too, you know. His fave is bananas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What do you listen to...? the car, that is. These days, I often have toddler-appropriate music playing in the car. When I'm on my own, however, I am able to indulge in a little NPR-listening. I heard an interesting report tonight about teens and sex. The report focused on sexual content on TV shows. Now, this isn't anything new, but it was thought-provoking. Some people interviewed asserted that shows like Gossip Girl influence teens to engage in sexual behavior. I contend (and they did not touch on this point) that teens that watch shows that are risque (and I can't really say that Gossip Girl is risque, really, since I've never watched it, but for the sake of argument...) have less supervision and are therefore more likely to have opportunities to engage in sexual activities. I mean, my parents didn't let me watch 90210 when it first started in the early 90s (I really was too young for the show then--12 or 13), they were totally involved in my life, and I would have never dreamed of having sex anywhere within a million-mile radius of them. So maybe there's a connection somehow, but not in the way the researchers think... What do you think?
Also heard on NPR, the radio cartoon of the day. Listeners go online and look at the cartoon and come up with possible captions. Here's the cartoon (which I think is just absolutely hilarious), along with the cartoonist's caption--
Here's my favorite alternative caption from an NPR listener: "So, when did Mrs. Claus' interest in "reindeer games" begin to subside?"

Finally, I ran across this little gem on the NPR website as well. It made me think of my dearest friend, Rachel. So Rachel, as a little welcome back from the paradise of Jamaica, this cover of "Such Great Heights" by Ben Folds. This little treat definitely put a smile on my face.

Pater, part II

Here's a write-up about Pater from an

Harry King White
  • BORN: August 22, 1914
  • DIED: November 30, 2008
  • LOCATION: Little Rock, AR

Harry King White, age 94, a lifelong resident of Little Rock, loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 30th, in Conway, Arkansas. He was born August 22nd, 1914 in Little Rock. His wife of 66 years, Mildred Cockmon White, his mother: Nettie Schaer White, his father: John H. White and his brother: Jack W. White preceded him in death.
He is survived by his three daughters: Kay Quinn of North Little Rock, Lynn White Hotchkiss and her husband Robert of Long Beach, Mississippi, and Debra Ann White of Springhill, Kansas; grandchildren are Susie Brough and husband Mike of Tomball, Texas; Shawn Cervantes of Conway, Amanda Corker and husband Mike of Sherwood; Robert Lee Hotchkiss, Jr. and wife Sonjiala of San Diego, California; Jennifer Haar and husband Darren of Tokyo, Japan; and Michael Hotchkiss and wife Carrie of Lawrenceville, New Jersey; great-grandchildren are: Brandon, Joshua, and Kayla Brough, Eric and Dylan Cervantes, Christopher Corker, Evelyn and Isaac Haar, and Wilson Hotchkiss.
Mr. White was retired from the Western Electric Company, was a great lover of all kinds of music and the Arkansas Razorbacks, but his first love and focus was his family. He made friends with everyone he met and will be greatly missed.
Visitation will be from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at Griffin Leggett Healey and Roth, 5800 W. 12th St., Little Rock, AR 72204 ~ 501.661.9111. Funeral service will be Wednesday, 2:00 p.m., December 3rd at the funeral home officiated by Rev. Chris Allen with burial in Roselawn Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 200 S. Commerce St. Little Rock, Arkansas 72201; PO Box 15728, Little Rock, AR 72231 or other favorite charity.
What the obit doesn't mention was the period that Pater and Mater lived in Vegas. That is one of my favorite stories about them. They just decided that Little Rock wasn't exciting enough for them in their retirement so they packed up and went to Vegas back in the 80s and stayed there until the early-2000s. Also, Pater taught Mike how to play pool. You gotta love that in a grandpa.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Mike's 94-year-old grandfather died yesterday. Mike is flying to Little Rock tomorrow morning. The funeral will probably be on Wednesday; Mike will get home late Thursday night. Most airlines don't offer bereavement fares anymore. As far as bereavement "favors", the only thing they'll let you do is change or cancel your ticket with no penalty fee, which I suppose isn't a small thing, considering how much they generally charge for that. I wish that W and I could go with him, but with tickets over $400, it just wouldn't work out.
So it's going to be just me and W this week. Wish me luck.
I got my Christmas decorations up yesterday. The house looks festive. I can understand why some people leave Christmas lights up all year! Unfortunately, the cats think the tree is for chewing and swatting. Badness!