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27 February 2008

Please offer your prayers

I just talked to my dad. He went to the doctor today, and his PSA count is seriously elevated. They need to do a biopsy to see if it is prostate cancer. He can't get the biopsy until mid-March (He says the wait is long. What is that about?! This could be cancer!), and then we will know for sure. In the meantime, I would really appreciate your prayers for him. He's been pretty unhealthy in recent years, and, while I know that prostate cancer is non-aggressive and mild on the spectrum of cancers, I still worry about how his body will take it.

And I hate being here when I know he is sick. And I hate knowing that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to make it all good or to make time pass more quickly.

More pearls from Pearls

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Your Daily Pearls Before Swine

I love it!

26 February 2008

A moment of amusement for those who know ...

Alan sent me this email today. It is about one of my infamous athletes. It's fabulous. Those who know her, revel in the glory of her majesty. Those who don't know her, be thankful!

"The Setting: The stone bench on the third floor of the MHRA building.
The Players: Kristin and Jen , who was on her cell; a passing
blind woman and seeing-eye dog; your faithful correspondant
The Scene: KP looks up, sees the blind woman, and sighs "I wish I
could bring a dog to class." JR doesn't react. Yours truly nearly
falls down the stairs he's laughing so hard."

There are no words ... no words at all.

22 February 2008

As promised ...

Here it is!

1. Obama and the Koran
2. Religion in America ... its basis and future ...
3. My progressive dad
4. Katherine Hepburn
5. Garden Ridge
6. Hedgehogs and puppies (at the request of Kiki!)

In today's edition, I will address items 4-6. Items 1-3 go together and will require a lot more time and energy than I have at the moment. (My tummy is rather rumbly right now and I'm not sure why).

4. I absolutely adore Katherine Hepburn. If anyone were ever to play me in a movie, it would be her. I love her style and voice and personality. I just finished watching A Lion in Winter (which happens to be Anthony Hopkins' film debut and an award-winning performance from Hepburn), and she is just so fantastic. I originally fell in love with her in A Philadelphia Story. She is so salty and spunky and adventurous and modern. She was capable of being classy and elegant while maintaining her independence and grace. Why don't we have more actresses like her now?

5. I went to Garden Ridge the other day. It was scary. While they had a fantastic selection of garden pots (and I cannot wait to get my balcony planted for the summer!), the other amounts of massive crap that they had was overwhelming. I'm sure that there is some good stuff there, but you have to wade through mountains of crap to find it! Where do stores get all that crap? How do they keep it all straight? How do they even know what they have? Who comes up with the ideas for stores like this? I'm not sure that I will be returning anytime soon (although I do need to get some of those pots for my balcony).

6. Finally ... hedgehogs and puppies!! I am currently on the waiting list for a hedgehog. It is something that I have wanted to have for-EVER, and, after chatting with the Kikster about it recently, and I went ahead with it. The Beast is really gentle with little critters, and the little guy would be living in a cage or terrarium or something most of the time anyway. I requested a little albino one, and I definitely want a female. She should arrive in 3-5 months (according to the breeder). I'm pretty excited. Since The Boy doesn't want me to adopt a new Weim from the rescue (she is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo adorable!!! And she totally wants to come home with me! I can see it in her eyes in the picture!), I'm not taking "no" for an answer on this issue. Besides, it shouldn't affect him all that much. He is only around on weekends anyway, right? I'm pretty stoked about this little guy. I cannot wait to get her and take some pictures!! I wonder if you can litter train hedgehogs like you can bunnies? Hmmm .... I'll have to investigate that ...

I think I'm gonna throw up now.

21 February 2008

Not into right now, but will be soon

There's a lot that I want to blog about, but I have neither the time nor the energy at this moment. So, here is the preview of things to come...

1. Obama and the Koran
2. Religion in America ... its basis and future ...
3. My progressive dad
4. Katherine Hepburn
5. Garden Ridge

Later, s8er!


16 February 2008


Last night was the Wake Forest Black Law Student Association banquet. The Boy presented it as more of a gala than it was, but it was fun nonetheless. I wore my black Marilyn dress and my hair up. I looked hot. I won't lie.

The guest of honor was the first ever black man to serve on the North Carolina Supreme Court. He was pretty great. He lived through segregation and had some fascinating stories to tell about his struggle to become what he is now. It was the best part of the evening. The worst part was the food. I was disappointed. Because it was a Friday during Lent, we weren't permitted to eat meat. The main course, of course, was chicken. The Boy, in all his wisdom, had ordered the vegetaarian plate for us. When the waitress brought it out, two other girls at the table suddenly decided that they were vegetarian too and took the plates. When they realized that we had requested those dishes, they gave me one. The Boy had to wait almost another half an hour for his food. It was mushroom-filled ravioli with a cream sauce and asparagus. My plate had exactly 6 ravioli and six stalks of asparagus. This was the main course. It wasn't much, but it was tasty. When The Boy's food came, he had a whole mound of ravioli and asparagus AND potatoes. Of course, because it had taken so long, the ravioli were rubbery and cold. So, while he had more food, it was cold and poorly done. And, of course, desert was a giant slab of chocolate cake which I couldn't eat because of Lent. We were clearly only two of a very few Catholics in the room. The cash bar was $6 a glass ... no matter what you were drinking. Every place setting had a big 'ole glass of sweet tea next to the water glass. For $30 a plate, we were certainly overcharged.

Hopefully dinner at Undercurrent will be better tonight.

I did get to chat with some of The Boy's professors and friends and the dean of the law school. He was pretty awesome. The first black dean of the law school. Very charismatic and engaging. All in all a great guy.

It was a fun night but not as fantastic as I had hoped. But, all's well that ends well!

14 February 2008

Happy VD! (hehehe!)

It's Valentine's Day. Woo hooo, right? I'm not a huge VD (hehehe!) person, and this year is actually the first year that The Boy and I are celebrating. In the past we have just had dinner or something, but, since we bailed out on the Christmas gift exchange, we figured we do something special for today. Only, we aren't even celebrating until Saturday. It's funny that way.

My opposition to VD (hehehe!) lies in my opposition to many gift-giving holidays. They are totally commercialized and artificial. Instead of showing people you love them every day, we pick one day out to drown them in pink and red and lavender paraphernalia. What is up with that?How 'bout you do nice things for the people you love every day?

In related news, tomorrow is my parent's 31st anniversary. It is also my grandparent's 60th. And, if they were still with us, my great-grandparent's would be today as well. (There was a fourth generation of 2/15 marriages, but we won't discuss that!) In honor of my grandparents, my mom, the fruitcake, put up a billboard with their picture on it. Since Gram hates to have her picture taken, I was sure that she would kill my mother. But, she didn't. You can read about it below if you like.


So, in the spirit on my mom and dad and grandparents, HAPPY VD!!! (hehehe!)

13 February 2008

Out of the woods?

So, I think the Ebola may have passed out of my system. How do I know this? I came home this afternoon and cleaned like CRAZY! That is what usually happens after I get over an illness. I get all "nesty" and put things in their proper order. I didn't vacuum, but that is on the agenda for tomorrow night. I cleaned the bedroom, put away two weeks worth of laundry, cleaned the office, put away anything that resembled a Christmas decoration (I figure since it's almost V-Day, I'm safe), cleaned the kitchen, and tidied up in general. I even sorted through some old photos and started to plan a graduation present for a former student. I was rather productive. Go me!

And now it's snowing! Never while living in NY have I been excited for snow, but snow in NC is so much more fun! It means that there is a good chance that the entire state will shut down, and I may get a day off tomorrow. I'm not counting on it, but it would be pretty sweet! Plus, I have a fire going and the houses is nice and cozy! Bailey has spent most of the evening sleeping in front of the fire. It's friggin' adorable.

I met with Mr. Italian Comps man today. What a great meeting! We spent an hour talking about Eliot and Robert Lowell and William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens and Ezra Pound. Not being a huge fan of Modernism, I found the conversation WONDERFUL! I left the office feeling rather confident and reassured. It was really great. It made me far less apprehensive and annoyed about this whole comps process. He is going to send me some sample questions and wants me to write up some "free-write"esque responses. We'll talk about them in a few weeks. Kick me for saying this, but I'm actually pretty excited about this now.

A favorite student just called me. She's from Texas, and she's never really been in snow before. She's totally stoked. It was funny!

11 February 2008

Just call me Kiki, and other updates

I made cookies today. Not from scratch, but I decorated them from scratch! Just like The Kikster taught me! I'm so proud. They are Valentine's Day shapes (lots of hearts and "X" and "O" shapes), and I made pink frosting. Kiki flavors hers with almond extract, but, I figured that since they were pink, why not flavor them with raspberry. I must admit that they taste pretty fantastic, even with my jacked up sense of taste right now (due to the Ebola). I dipped some in white chocolate and added pink and white and red sprinkles and candy hearts and crystal sprinkles. They look pretty great. I'm excited about giving them away! The Boy will get most of them, but friends may get some as well. Yeah for cookies! Yeah for Kiki and her mad cookie-frosting skills!

On the Ebola front, things seem to be at a stale mate. I feel the same as I did yesterday. No better, no worse. My good ear (i.e. the one with no tubes in it) seems a bit under pressure right now, and that is a recent development. My nose is rather Rudolph-esque, and I can't breathe with my mouth shut. I'm hoping to get some good sleep tonight. I need it. Ugh. Being sick blows. It seems that ever person I know is sick right now. What is up with that? I really hope it is all gone before the ball on Friday night and our Valentine's Day celebration on Saturday night.

Peace out.

07 February 2008

Reflections on reading

I was reading The Cloister Walk last night before I went to bed, and I was deeply engaged in the chapter on St. Therese. She was a rather fascinating young woman and rather inspiring. After all, Mother Teresa took her name from this particular saint. Anyway, in the chapter, St. Therese states that:

"Perfection consists in being what God wants us to be."

Wow. In an age where perfection is measured in inches and dollars and inclinations and dye jobs, it is reassuring to read that statement. While my readers all already know this (because we are all enlightened and educated, right?!), you don't have to Paris-Hilton thin and Natalie-Portman funny and Scarlet-Johansen proportioned and Angelina-Jolie pretty to be perfect in this world. Perfection is found in being who you truly are and living in a way that inspires and comforts others. You can have the most beautiful smile and biggest breasts and most porcelain skin in the world, but, if you aren't a "good person," it all matters naught. In a world where the average women's size is a twelve, it amazes me that our ideal of perfection is literally so small. Why does perfection have anything to do with appearance anyway? What is that about? Granted, we all like to gaze upon attractive and pleasing things, but perfection? Really. Give me a break.

It feels good to think that we are all capable of achieving perfection. It rests within and the without is completely irrelevant. I don't think God every commanded anyone to be a supermodel. (I'll have to check on that last statement to be sure."

06 February 2008


I got some shoes today! I know my previous blog was about making larger monetary sacrifices to the Church and foregoing luxuries such as shoes, but I bought these last week!!

Before Lent even began. After that surprise money in the paycheck showed up, I bought four pair of shoes (flats ... I have none!) for vacations and the like. They are all super-cute, and they should all be here today. The first pair arrived with the mail and the others should arrive with the UPS dude.

The pair that just came are navy leather boat shoes from Timberland. They have a ballerina cut and a little leather bow. They are totally comfortable. I'll post pictures later after all of them come.


(By the way, lunch totally made me feel better! I had pasta, bread, cheese, and grapes. Oh. And some tea.)

Ash Wednesday

It's 11:30 and I am starving. I attended mass this morning, and, since it is a fast day, I have nothing to eat except a Diet Coke (which, because it has no calories, does not count as food). All the candy and chocolate that I keep in the office for the kiddies is KILLING me! When I get home, I'll get to "gorge" myself on some pasta. No meat, but maybe some cheese. Maybe I'll have some fruit as well. The Boy made me some amazing lunches this week, but I cannot eat them today and Friday since Friday's are abstinence days and today is a fast and abstinence day.
After mass, I went to confession. Appropriate. It is Lent, the season on repentance and penance to prepare for Easter, and reconciliation is especially important now. It was my first confession. I sat face-to-face with Fr. Fidel (you have the option of anonymous or face-to-face confessions now) and tried to sum up the last 28 years. It pretty much boiled down to two or three major vices that seem to repeat themselves over and over again. I served my penance and my sins were absolved. It felt good but odd. I'll most likely go back fairly often (every quarter or so so I have a nice stockpile of sins to report), but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Of course, I avoided many real specifics (partly because I can't remember!), but my general vices were highlighted.

After confession, I went to the office with the ashes on my forehead. Every student who came in the office mentioned that I had something on my head. To most I simply responded, " It is Ash Wednesday," and that was the end of the conversation. A few were like, "Huh?" Only one asked me what I gave up for Lent. I told him, "Chocolate, candy, and ice cream." He informed me that he gave up junk food and drinking (as in booze). I laughed.

The Boy and I were discussing Lent last night, and we decided that, rather than only focusing on the fasting part of Lent, we wanted to participate in the alms giving portion as well. He is going to volunteer walking pets at the local SPCA. I was rather impressed. I had already contacted the local Catholic school to volunteer my services as a tutor. Plus I will be volunteering with the youth group soon. I've also decided to amp up my donation to the collection plate. I figure that I can afford to give more and go without new shoes or new clothes or a night out. Plus I know that the money I give to the Church will go to some wonderful causes. I think I may also participate in Operation Rice Bowl (a program through the Church in which you donate the money saved as a result of your fasting and Lenten pledges).

I'm happy about all of this. I look forward to moving through the season of Lent and eagerly anticipate Easter. I really think that these sacrifices (which are HUGE for me if you know me at all) will prepare me for the Eucharist in March.

By the way, never in a million years did I ever think that a blog like this would come out of me.

04 February 2008

Wasted day

I bailed on the gym this morning. Too tired from the late night with the Superbowl.
I laid around and did nothing all morning. I watched the end of House of Mirth and finished A Cry in the Dark.
I worked with The Joe for a few hours.
I came home, ate dinner, and watched three episodes of Big Love: Season 2.
I didn't read or work on school stuff at all today.

Why did I even get out of bed?


Why is the North Carolina primary in MAY?!?!?! What good is that? By that point the candidates' futures will all be but decided! It's like taking away our say out of our hands. Ugh. I'm a bit frustrated by this.

In related news, I spoke to my parents this afternoon. They told me that they are most likely going to vote democrat! I was completely and totally blown away. We had a real political conversation that didn't revolve around bashing the Dems and praising the pres. It was nice. Their primary (NY) is tomorrow. I had to disappoint them by letting them know that they have to vote within their party (Republicans) because they are registered that way. Dad was like, "But I don't want to vote for any of the Republican candidates. They all suck." I laughed. I was rather proud of him. And Mom too.

Parents are so funny sometimes.

Wrapping up one week to begin a new one

Last week was semi-successful. A few gold stars and some good times with the people I love.

The weekend began with watching the best movie ever (I know who killed me starring a one-legged-stripper Lindsay Lohan). And, by the title best movie ever, I mean "hysterically-funny-trying-to-be-serious-and-scary-but-totally-missed-the-mark-with-bad-
acting-and-a-worse-yet-plot." It was fantastic. The Boy and I almost peed ourselves more than once. Especially when Lindsay's character Dakota/Aubrey (don't ask. just watch) turns to the camera and says "I know who killed me." It's a great line because of its idiocy and because it is actually delivered sincerely. The ONLY line delivered so. It was fantastic!

It turns out that the one-legged-stripper movie was a warm up for visiting Christie's Cabaret later that night with with The Boy and The Fox. It was fantastic, and I am happy to report that there were no amputee strippers there!! There was a cute little lady named Hailey who danced for Foxy and then me. She was amazing. She had this cute little sequined skirt thingy that bounced and sparkled when she walked. It wasn't really a skirt because it didn't cover anything. It was more like a dangly belt. I totally wanted one, but she got it out in Cali somewhere. And internet search proved fruitless. she also totally recognized my scent -- Gucci Rush -- when she danced for me. I was impressed. It was a great night!

Saturday involved working at AT and dinner with friends. The Fox, LL, and The Will came over for dinner. The Boy made an elaborately amazing dinner. We started with baked breaded eggplant with red sauce then had a pasta course with garlic and artichokes. After the pasta came the main dish. He made tuna steaks and filet mignon with a creamy dill and mushroom sauce. After the main course was field greens salad with a homemade balsamic reduction with walnuts and blackberries. Finally came my favorite! Homemade tiramisu with an amaretto aperitif. Mucho tasty! It was a great night!

Sunday was a leisurely day at home. The Fox came over for tea and to return The Boy's phone that somehow ended up in her purse after we left the club. She visited for a while and then went on her way to do her business for the day. In the evening, The Boy and I headed to Durham to watch the superbowl with friends. Afterwards, despite the loss, we smoked cigars on the porch and relaxed. We didn't get home until one am. I was beat.

Obviously, there was no gym action for me this morning. I need a bit more than four hours of sleep to function as a human being. When I awoke this morning, my back was killing me! I couldn't more my shoulder/shoulder blades, so I called in to work. I probably could have made it in, but I was tired and wanted a day off. I love getting a set stipend for work! It makes taking a day off far more easy!

This week looks like it shan't be too bad. I'll work this afternoon and all day tomorrow and then attend Ash Wednesday mass on Wednesday at 7am (see below for further info on that). After mass, I have a meeting with the youth ministries director at church so I can get started in working with the youth group. I'm pretty stoked about that. I basically work the rest of the week with no real change in the schedule and then the weekend begins again. I may go rock climbing at the wall with a former student on Thursday afternoon. We'll see. At least there are some minor breaks in the tedium.

Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season -

Many religions, whether they be Catholic or Protestant, make sacrifices for lent. I used to do it as a kid, but it was never anything very serious. Since I am entering the Church as of Easter, I think it appropriate to attempt to make some real sacrifices this year. First and foremost, I am going to receive ashes at mass on Ash Wednesday. This may not seem like a sacrifice, but I'm rather nervous about wearing the ashes on my forehead all day and going about my business. I know that I will encounter many people throughout the day that will look at me like I am some crazy person with a dirty forehead. Many of those people will be my students, and this makes me nervous. I'm going to do it (obviously) but I am still rather nervous about it.

As far as my real sacrifice goes, I have decided to give up the following things for Lent: ice cream, candy/chocolate, and gossip, especially of the celebrity kind. Most of you know how much I absolutely adore ice cream and chocolate so this will be a bit of a challenge. Especially since it is aways around me. The Boy bought gellato at the grocery store on Saturday. Does that count as ice cream? And my office is filled with chocolate and candy for the students. It should be a fun Lent. As far as the gossip goes, I realize that I spend too much of my time talking about other people and reading internet celebrity gossip. It's a waste of my time, and I need to stop participating in it. Besides, what good does it do me to read all that crap? Aren't there more important things going on in the world?


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