HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

It's been a very eventful week here. Christmas was busy and fun, and then we went down to Virginia for two days because Dan's grandpa sadly passed away on Christmas eve. I'd like to write a lot of interesting and funny things, but unfortunately i'm starting a new job today, and i don't want to start the new year with massive procrastination.

litterly

I've been noticing more and more litter around here lately. Discounting the trash on our own lawn, for which I suppose we're in some degree responsible, it's just terrible! It seems like people are just throwing their beer cans and fast food bags everywhere, especially along the edge of the woods where we walk Rascal. I've been quoted before as saying anti-litter campaigns are the tools of capitalist running-dogs, which is to say they aren't environmentalism at all, crying Indians or no, but that doesn't mean that we wouldn't rather not have soggy Dunkin Donuts bags cluttering up the neighborhood. Or Miller Lite cans. At least make it a good beer! Everything outside is ugly enough already with this miderable hot rainy winter; the one day of snow we got a couple days ago only served to show us how pretty things should be at this time of year. Luckily, Leah took pictures: among the four hundred and thirty-five pictures she took of Rascal with her new Christmas camera were several in which he was outside.

And no, we didn't make a New Years resolution to do a better job of writing in the blog. You just got lucky.

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war of the resolutions

While I may not have made a New Years resolution to write in the blog more, I did make one to go to bed at a more reasonable hourólike, before 9:00. I remember it well, because I made it yesterday, after Leah and I stayed up til eleven watching two consecutive episodes of the hot new NBC hit Heroes. Well, I guess it's not so new anymore; the two episodes were being shown consecutively in order to drum up interest for the big January 22nd season two premier. But we've never seen it before, so, you know.

new look for winter

So it may be more of a wish for snow than an accurate representation of what's outside the window right now, but I wanted to at least reflect the spirit of the season. The Rascal picture is from last year, sadly, since he hasn't had more than 13 snowflakes on him as of yet this winter. Or should I say, "winter".

an alarming awakening

It's pretty quiet out here in the country, generally. Usually when something wakes us up in the morning it's birds (who, I have to report, have been chirping some latelyólittle guys must think it's spring) or the occasional construction noise across the street. This morning, though, we jerked from our restful slumber by the sound of a car alarm, an alarm which was then allowed to sound for ten minutes. 6:05 to 6:15. I'd say it sounded about twice as loud as our own alarm clock would if we ever set it any more; now that we're self-employed we can loaf around in the morning as much as we want. Although early morning sirens really get in the way of the loafing, we find.

Now i know why they call them CRACKerjacks!

Dan brought home a big tin of caramel-coated popcorn, courtesy of a friend who didn't want to eat them, and before that the boyscouts, and before that some sugar farmers in Brazil and some corn farmers in Kansas, and before that God. Let's just say we were hungry for the Lord today. Just one bite, and we couldn't stop eating till the tin was empty. Now i'm left feeling gross and slightly gooey. Happy New Year Diet Losers!

Fat bottom girls will be riding today

Because global warming has made all of us doomed-to-fiery-extinction humans extra cheery this week, i went for a bike ride today. Unfortunately, riding on the local bike path in this armageddonly good weather was like trying to bike through the mother f-ing mall after Thanksgiving. It was packed, with biking, walking and skating resolutionists crowding the path with their huge expanses of lard butts... If i had affixed a sign to the front of my bike reading "OUT OF THE WAY FATASSES!" there would have been no one unfairly instructed. Soon they're going to need to expand that bike path to fit the horizontal yardage of those waddlers. Hey, i have an idea: if you're so fat that a legitimately exercizing person cannot even pass you on a bike because you take up the WHOLE GODDAMN PATH, why don't you waddle on down to the clinic and get a f-ing gastric bypass surgery already. For christ sake.

Dan asked me recently why i hate fat people so much, and i don't have a good answer. Perhaps, like wolves, they provide the embodiment of all our common anger and fear. Or perhaps it's because they also embody ALL THE LEFTOVER SPACE ON OUR PUBLIC COMMONS.

this one's for Oona

I stayed up late watching the Seattle-Denver playoff game last night, since I had to help cheer on Oona's team. It was worth it anyways, though, because what an ending that game had! I only wished they could have reversed the order they played yesterday's two games, because the "early" game (a 4:45 start counts as early for us poor benighted folks on the east coast) was so boring I would have had no trouble leaving it to go to bed. Oh well. Congratulations Seahawks, and off to watch the home town squad!

Save the cheerleaders, save the wh-at the f- - - is happening in this show?

I'm upstairs, planning my awesome diet meals for tomorrow, and Dan yells from downstairs:
"A show is on... I think it's Heroes!"
then moments later:
"Yes, it is Heroes!"

Oh crap. And i wanted to go to sleep tonight.

I'm still not at all sure what's happening in this show, but i know that i am very very concerned about that guy who flies only when his brother is around. Like, what's up with his bangs? What if they flip into his eyes? Will the universe explode?

And who's that super skinny Audrey Tatau-looking chick? Is her power wicked not eating?

i see fat people. Walking around like regular people.

Dan's mom says she thinks she knows why i hate fat people.
"They represent everything in you that you don't like."

everything in me that i don't like? you mean like... fat? Well, i guess that's accurate.

My gym is having a weight loss contest this month, and every time i walk into the gym, which is like TWICE A DAY, all the people who work there are like, "ARE YOU GOING TO JOIN OUR WEIGHT LOSS CONTEST!!!????!!! YOU SHOULD JOIN OUR WEIGHT LOSS CONTEST!!!!!!111"
And i'm like, ow, wait, hold on, i think i just developed an eating disorder. Right now. Wait, infact, i DID develop an eating disorder THIS SECOND.

Thanks guys.

restrospective via spam

I cleaned out the old comments this evening, getting rid of all the ringtones spam that was cluttering up good handful of entries. Why ringtones? Maybe it was Leah salivating over the Sidekick last year that drew their attention. Still, the ringtones spam is better than the sex spam or the random letter spam, some of which was also represented. Anyways, it's all gone now, except for a few messages I left on Leah's Bobo post cause they're funny.

In the course of all that deleting, I read many of the old posts. We were pretty funny back then. What happened?! I fear we will never live up to our glory days of, um eight months ago or whatever. Thank you, dear readers, for sticking with us: we promise to take inspiration from the humorous posts of yesteryear and once again deliver you an enjoyable reading experience! At least, I do. Leah's posts are always pretty quality.

That promise applies especially to Oona, who, I find, has commented on about 7000% more of our posts than any other individual. In return for your kindness I promise to comment frequently and at length on your blog (that's Oonams' totally awesome blog to you search engines, if you're reading) if you ever post again. I still check at least once a week!

i thought this information was only "for us"

I got a new hair color today. I went from light brown with blond highlights to dark brown with copper highlights. As a born-again brunette, i can already feel people taking me more seriously. For example, in the hour since i came home from the salon, Rascal was definitely seeing me as more of an intellectual.

The color was such a startling change when first blown dry that the stylist at the salon said, "Your husband is going to have a whole new wife tonight!"

If by whole new wife, you mean a wife that actually has sex with her husband? Then yes, i hope he does. I sure hope he does.

The other day Dan and i were discussing the college kids we see on our respective campuses, the trials and travails they must go through in order to orchestrate intimate rendez-vouses in the midst of prison-style living conditions. I said, "Isnít it good that weíre married and can have sex any time that we want?î
ìAnd because we can,î he said, ìwe donít have to.î

a picture (sorry, that's all we got for now)

My new camera!!!!!!!1

Dan gave me this awesome camera for Christmas, which holds like three hundred pictures, and i proceeded to take 269 pictures of Rascal. Can you blame me?

a picture (sorry, that's all we got for now)

Oh i'm clever. Oh the cleverness of me.

Dan added a new feature to the blog today, a list of months on the bottom left of the page which lets you read every post that was posted in a certain month. To celebrate, i went back and read some of what this "Leah" girl has been writing the past few years, and BOY did she have some funny things to say! What a cutting wit! What passively-offensive insight! Dan rolled his eyes each time i kackled from the corner.
"Really, Leah. You wrote those things. Don't you remember them?"
"I just really like my own sense of humor!"

Christmas is over

Today I ate the last Christmas cookie and swept up the last of the pine needles off the tree, signifying the official end of the Christmas season in our household. Well, I didn't really get the last pine needles; that won't be done until June, or never. It may well be that some of the needles I picked up in my evening's cleaning were from last year. Not from two years ago, though!

Our Christmas organization was not ideal this year, mostly due to schooling. Many people, for example, didn't get cards, a failing for which I take full responsibility. And I didn't make as much cookies and candy as I'd planned to, although, given the fact that I've only just now finished the eating, perhaps that was for the best. In any case, we'll do better this year. A November start, for sure! You heard it here.

If I'm not talking about Christmas by the day after Thanksgiving next year, please contact me and remind me of this post.

the fashion police

I met my mother this morning at the nail salon.
"Hi mom."
"Hi Leah."
"Do you notice anything different about me?"
"Um, your hair is straight?"
"Yessss... It's often straight. Do you notice anything different about my hair color?"
"You put red in it?"
"Yes, there's some red in it. It went from completely blond with blonder highlights to completely brown with red highlights. You didn't notice?"
"Oh. I see. [examining pause] Why did you decide to do that?"
"I dunno. I guess i thought it wouldn't matter, since no one would notice."

my brother's on vacay

"How's Jake doing on his sailing vacation?"
"He's alive. I talked to him this morning. I told him that he has to call me every two days to let me know that he's alive. After two days i start thinking of sharks and pirates."
"Sharks and pirates? Mom, that's comedic gold! Not sharks OR pirates? But a fatal combination of sharks AND pirates??? Do you mind if i write that on the blog?"
"Whatever."

... only if i can drink from YOURS!

I gave Dan and myself a matching set of vintage coffee mugs for Christmas, each bearing our initials. This afternoon i accidentally pulled his mug out of the cupboard.
"Can i drink from your D cup?" i asked.
All of a sudden my brain woke up from its coma-like slumber.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute!" i said, "Forget i said anything!!!!!"

English winter

Many years ago, riding the bus on a miserable rainy winter day, I overheard someone say, "well, at least it isn't the stuff you have to shovel." What?!

I really can't understand why anyone would think something like that, and I also can't understand why anyone would want to live in England. This is because fiction and movies have taught me that the English winter is gray (or "grey") and rainy and cold and dampónot cold like we're supposed to have here in America, with everything freezing up solid, but a miserable wet cold that goes right into your bones. I felt kind of silly going out to walk the dogs today in all my winter gear, considering the temperature is technically above freezing, but I really needed those fleece-lined pants! It takes the rain longer to soak through them, for one thing. Happily, they tell us it will soon get properly cold and I'll be able to enjoy going outside again.

the eternal struggle

As I think about going to bed, it's not only thoughts of sinking into the warm and cozy embrace of the comforter that fill my head. No, there are more serious and troubling issues to contemplate: namely, the nightly battle to keep a small portion of the mattress for myself in the face of Rascal's ever-expanding zone of influence. I've written about his bed-hogging before, but now it's escalated to a new and more dangerous level; I've even had to take up yoga to counteract the deleterious effects contorting my body around him have had on my back! To say nothing of being awoken by cold feet and finding that my legs have been pushed off the bed entirely. His head gets pretty heavy on my knees all night too.

It's not only the discomfort that I mind, it's the stress of the whole thing. Even when he's not oppressing me in some way or another, I have to be constantly on the alert for any attempts to infiltrate my spaceóin other words, I have to sleep defensively to make sure I'm not leaving him with an opening. And there there are the times when he stands up, and I have a brief moment of exultation that he isn't smushing me any more... and then he plops down again, more on my legs than before, and all hope is dashed. It really preys on me, I have to say!

Clearly, something must be done. But what?! I'd suggest buying him a bed of his own (another one, that is), but I don't think he'd prefer it to his present circumstances. And how could I just kick him out?! He's so cute!!

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The mother of invention may be dumb luck

Dan uses a hand mirror to adjust the thermostat because the thermostat is hidden behind the armoire because there was simply nowhere else for the armoire to go.
"It was a stroke of genius, bringing down this hand mirror!" he declares.
"No," i say lovingly patting the golden locks on the top of his head, "This is a stroke of genius."
"What are you talking about?"
"What am i talking about, what?"
"What's your stroke of genius?"
"What's my stroke of genius? Petting you!"
"Why is that genius?"
"No, you're the genius! You know, I'm like stroking a genius? Petting you? Get it?"
"Ohhhhhh."
"Although, on second thought..."
"Waaaahhhhh!!! I'm not a genius because i didn't get your stupid joke!!! Waaaahhhh!!!"
"It's a good trick with the mirror, though."

ungodly spam

So we're all used, by now, to the sorts of spam that purport to be bounces of legitimate emails (I speak here of old-fashioned email spam, not the more recent scourge of blog spam). We no longer turn a head to receive an email from any of those demonic denizens of the internet that call themselves MAILER-DAEMONs or similar. Still, it's a bit startling to read a message referencing a being little bit higher up on the totem pole of pure evil; to whit, "And the people, are dead; Baal." That was the subject line. Good thing I have previously received a personal message from Jesus, or I might be worried!

i had a dinner date!

This evening i went out to dinner with my awesome friend Joanna, to a Tai restaurant that is embarassingly less than a minute away from my house. This was embarassing mostly because Joanna is a beautiful city socialite who lives in Cambridge and attends Harvard Law School, and she always look very sharp in a blouse and pants suit, and i took to dinner at a strip mall which also includes a liquor store and a Marshalls. On the way to the restaurant i appologized that we were going someplace so blatantly suburban, and she offered, "Well, as long as they have tables where we can sit." The fact that she is still my friend even as she suspects that i often take dinner while standing over the sink is proof that there is hope for me in heaven.

At the restaurant, the Tais played traditional music that featured the song by Whitney Huston from the body guard, and unfortunately i don't know what else featured on the mix because the CD got stuck at the end of the song and kept skipping back again and again, in a quiet way that no one noticed except us, so that throughout the hour no one bothered to hit the CD player and it was a constant background drone of: "And iiiiiiiiiii eeeeeee iiiiiiiiiiiiii eeeeeee iiiiiiiiiiiiii eeeeeeee iiiiiiiiiiii....."

Joanna had anouther party to attend after dinner, proving that she's so socially desirable that she has to organize her evenings to fit in as many friends as possible. That's because everywhere she goes everyone loves here. So much that they can't stop singing about it. eeeeeeeee iiiiiiiiiiii. eeeeeeeeeee iiiiiiiiiiiiiii.

Congratulations or whatever. I'm not offended.

I hear a rumor that a certain former bridesmaid of mine is getting married herself. A rumor, because i have been totally off her precious email list.

This is a woman who, two days before walking down the aisle in my wedding, told me, "You know, don't be offended if i don't invite you to my wedding. Whenever it happens, it's going to be like really intimate."

She also said: "You getting married like makes me really think about what it'll be like when I get married. It'll be so exciting!"

You know, her getting married now makes me really think about how awesome my marriage is. It's probobly due to the fact that Dan and i are not incredibly self-centered and irritating people. That's so exciting.

A school friend is complaining about a work group situation

"...and we have all these meetings that don't involve the project manager, that don't involve any content really, just this one guy who's always trying to manipulate the work that everyone else is doing."
"That's because this project is his baby," i offer. "He grew it in his womb and he pushed it through his genitals and now he loves it like a mother would love her little retarded child."
...pause...
"You know sometimes i can't believe the things that come out of your mouth."
"Neither can i."

spiritual resolutions

"We need to start a bible study with people who are sincere about religion, but cussy and cynical about everything else. You know, people like us."
"Do you know anyone else like us?"
"Um....no. Maybe that's why we don't have many friends at church."

intercontinental middle school

Yesterday Leah wrote a post in which she expressed in a humorous fashion her displeasure about having to hear about the impending nuptials of one of her bridesmaids second-hand. Humorous, that is, in Leah-fashion, which means the words "self-centered" and "irritating" may have played some part in the narrative. Regrettably, and also humorously in its way, the bridesmaid in question happens to be a reader of this blog. Who knew?! Hi Aurora! Leah, naturally, felt pretty bad, and I don't think it helped that I was laughing at her the whole time. "Are you sorry you wrote it, or just sorry she saw it?" was pretty much my line.

What amused me the most about the whole situation was how middle-school it was, despite the fact that all the participants live in different states or something. "Joanna told Leah, and then Leah wrote about it but Aurora saw it, so Leah had to call Oona and tell her about it and..."

What happened was that Aurora was using an outdated email address of Leah's, so even though she tried to let Leah know about the wedding, she was unable to do so. Our Leah, you see, doesn't tell people about her changes of email addressóor not systematically at any rate. So Leah is sorry, and wishes to apologize publicly. In her defense, however, the post in question was far from the most bitter and mean-spirited thing she's ever written in these pages!

And of course, congratulations to Aurora! We'll understand if we aren't invited to the wedding after all this.

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I am a bread MACHINE!!!

Oh wait, I didn't mean that like it came out. Er... what I mean to say is, I finally made a batch of wheat bread in which nothing went wrong. The products of my bread-making have been edible for some time, but not always pretty: among other difficulties, I always had trouble getting the loaves out of the pan in one piece. But now I've done it! Not content to use the scientific process to identify just what was going wrong I made a large number of adjustments to the procedure, so I can't say for sure if there was one particular change that made the difference. Sorry, other folks with the same problem, I'm afraid I can't help you. But there must be a baking blog out there somewhere whose author can offer some advice... mustn't there?

deploy aid to Christina Ricci

a picture (sorry, that's all we got for now) Has anyone noticed that Christina Ricci is, like, dying? I know this is not a exactly new trend in hollywood, but it's almost more disturbing that she had to go from looking like a normal person to looking like a painted skeleton in the time it took me to watch five minutes of access hollywood. In the preview of this movie Black Snake Moan, i was like, "Is that Christina Ricci? But it can't be, because it looks like a rat with a face-lift. Maybe they used Christina Ricci's voice and shot the whole thing with a body double, one of those twins that Access Hollywood is always doing stories on, not the Olsens, the ones who are DYING TO BE THIN AND ALSO THEY'RE LIKE TWINS YALL!!!!!"

rascal and peoples are tie-tie

Today was a very eventful day for both peoples and puppies. While Dan and I traveled to my school to buy books and avail ourselves of a free networking buffet, Rascal spent an afternoon at my parents house, in all its heated-to-ninety-degree glory, pleasantly forgetting that us sweater-wearing cheapskates were ever his parents. When we came over to pick him up he growled at us, GROWLED at us! But maybe that's just because my dad was watching Apocalypse Now at two million decibles and Rascal was having flashbacks. Of growling at noise on the tv. it could happen.

Dan visited my school and noted mostly that it looks businessy and everyone wears boiled wool pea coats. And i spent over four hundred dollars on books. Good thing i already own a pea coat!

aw

We're all very disappointed here. :( At least it was a good game, though!

my hips don't lie

A few days after January first, i and millions of other women around the country embarked on a new diet plan. As someone who has tried just about every diet plan that exists other than Atkins which is totally gross how can a diet plan include unlimited steak? i've become a bit of a diet snob. I've also gone the way of snooty personal trainers who can only do their OWN workout that THEY invent. For my wedding, i lost weight on a mix-mash plan i invented that involved counting calories up to 1600 each day for the first month, and then eating nothing but protein powder mixed with water for the second month. That and a colonic, and i walked down the aisle at a hundred and fifteen pounds. Fast forward to a year-and-a-half later, and despite many other diet techniques practiced half-heartedly since 2005, i managed to eat my way up twenty pounds from my wedding-dress size. Tired of logging calorie counts in spiral-bound notebooks, i decided to swallow my pride and join the unwashed masses. I joined Weight Watchers.

Ugh!!! How disgustingly quotidienne that sounds! I have forever made fun of Weight Watchers for being he social club of fat old women who can't control their cravings for an entire chocolate cake, while i can survive aetherially on water and vinegar. But WW offered an alternative to writing down calorie counts, which i have done every day for a like billion years, so swallowed my zero-calorie pride and gave in. The WW system uses a series of points, you see, that convert calories and fat and fiber to a number like 1, 2, or 12 (for that burrito and fries i ate at the fast-food place yesterday). The online portal is embarrassingly fun and easy, and the first week i lost 2.5 pounds. This morning marks the end of the second week, and another 2.5 pounds lost pushes me to the illustrious five-pound mark, of which there are only three more to go before i can recognize myself in the wedding pictures. All of this to say "yah me!" and also sort of yah for Weight Watchers, even though diet of the stars it is not.

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Nudity after the jump, y'all!!!!!!!

This weekend we got an exciting gift. You see, when we signed up with our wedding photographer, we were contractually entitled to every single digital image taken on our special day. The catch was that only a year after the wedding could we actually lay our hands on those precious images. That way, if we wanted to preempt the photographer by printing a million expensive blow-ups ourselves, weíd just have to wait long enough so that we couldnít give two shits about the wedding photos anymore. Enlargements? Who cares about enlargements?! That was, like, a billion years ago!

The six CDs of images, however, brought back the memory of a particularly amusing story, and it wasnít that of shoving our faces in the cake. The morning of the wedding, you see, the photographer was present in my bedroom with myself and my bridesmaids and my mother and the entire starting line-up of the New England Patriots at the moment that I changed into my wedding dress. There was a bit of nudity involved. But that was okay with me. I was about to lose my virginity, after all, and I didnít mind sharing the love with those present.*

Anyway, the week after the wedding I got an email from the photographer that most of the wedding pics were available on a password-protected website for my perusal. I was thrilled! I immediately emailed the URL and the password to everyone: my parents, Danís parents, my grandparent, the New England PatriotsÖ You know, everyone that mattered! A few minutes later Dan called me at work. ìAre you sure youíre okay with everyone seeing those pictures of your breasts?î WHAT??? EXCUSE ME????? I rushed to the site, and to my chagrin Dan was correct (not the last time in our marriage). The picture of my bridesmaids holding out my dress, me stepping into it, breasts hanging down like two weighty versions of Foucaultís pendulums, waving freely while blissfully secured to the top of the universe.

Needless to say, I was a bit perturbed. I phoned the photographer IMMEDIATELY and ordered him to remove image number sixty, innocently titled image number sixty, from his web album. ìPeople always get angry when I DONíT include all the photos,î he protested. Whatever buddy. I donít know what kind of Mormon weddings you shoot over there at the Tabernacle, but in my family we donít like to share like that.

Anyway, this weekend I got a chance to see the infamous photo close-up and in a heart-rate-secure environment. After reading way too much of thesuperficial.com, I simply could not resist the following treatment. I created the star-shaped pasties, and when Dan got home from doing ACTUAL WORK he did the pixelization. I have included the photo here so that all can note my rock-hard six-pack which I will never again see unless I stop eating altogether, and also my devil-may-care attitude regarding a million hands stretched towards my naked body. Nothing I havenít done before in this bedroom, Iím thinking.** Enjoy.

*j/k you guys! I donít want people thinking that I actually saved myself for marriage!!!
**j/k again!!! I may be a pre-marital sinner but Iím no swinger, folks!!!

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weighty scholarship

I had my first class of the new semester today. I headed off with high expectations, a spring in my step, and a light backpack. Obviously, all three of those tend to be less and less the case as the year progresses, but it was the third that changed the fastest. Between buying my books and having a half-hour to kill at the library, by the time I got to class I could barely lift my bag. Back to normal, then. When you're studying elementary education you have to carry alot of picture books around, and those things get heavy!

The book-buying process is a rite of passage for all university students, and one which I have described before. You get a catch in your breath when you locate your course number on the shelves, only to see that there are seven books to buy for the class. Happily, I did a little better this semester than last: of the seven books, five of them were priced at under ten dollars (another feature of elementary education; you're not likely to find required volumes at $5.00 when you're getting a degree in biology!).

I saw my friend Monica in class, and when she saw that we needed to buy Flat Stanley and Everybody Cooks Rice she got all excited, and said she couldn't wait to head over to buy them. And she wasn't just happy about the prices! We take our future positions as educators of young children very seriously.

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history nerds laid low

I failed my first test today. At least, I assume I failed it: we haven't got the grades back yet, but I'd be pleased with anything better than a 50%. Luckily it was only a demonstration, designed to show our Elementary Social Studies Methods teacher how much we already know about Colonial history. The answer, it's clear, is, "not a great deal." In our defense, though, she asked some really hard questions! I mean, could you tell us what industry Colonial Philadelphia was known for? Or how diverse a population inhabited the Middle Colonies? The funniest thing about it was how Monica, Tara, and Ióhistory nerds allóspent the entire walk from class to our cars going over the answers we put down. "How about the one about Jamestown?" "What did you say for the earliest settlement: Roanoke or St. Augustine?"

Though chastened, however, we are happily not at all discouraged in our love of history, and we're still excited about being able to study it again. It only remains to be seen what we think when we start taking tests for credit!

On the back of my text book (emphasis mine)

"The UNPARALLELED author team of Berry and Linoff are back with an INVALUABLE revised edition to their GROUNDBREAKING text!"

Wow you guys. That's pretty hard-core superlative for a Data-mining text book. How about: "You have to buy this for your class, suckas! It doesn't suck!"

Come on... UNPARALLELED??? Like there's never been an author team in the history of the printed word that achieved so much synergy? And really, how much more valuable is the revised edition as to make it INVALUABLE? Should i just go ahead and throw my signed first edition into the fire?

Way to go Berry and Linoff's editor. Way to go.

an ounce of prevention is worth alot of water

Gallons, in fact! I wonder how much cure that is?

There was some threat of cold last night, so my mother phoned and suggested that we keep the heat turned up and the taps running slightly, to make sure the pipes didn't freeze. So we did so. I was curious, as I drifted off to sleep, about how much water we were thus losing. I was less concerned about the gas, even though I usually am when I hear the furnace come onóhome ownership is a terrible burden!óbecause the weather lived up to its advance billing and I sure didn't mind the warmth. Plus, the pipes didn't freeze, so it was like a double bonus! The only thing plumbing related that did freeze, in fact, was the steam coming out of the exhaust vent all night: it made a structure of lumpy icicles that looked alot like candle wax.

The forecast high for today was 13°F, but I don't think it ever got that high. It was awful cold when we took the dogs for their morning walk, but I forgot to look at the temperature; in the afternoon it felt much warmer, because the temp was all the way up to 9°. They talk about this wind-chill thing too, but it wasn't really that bad (though Leah may beg to differ!). I am glad, however, that there were no photographers present. My scarf, hat and sweatshirt hood combo is not, I fear, the hight of fashion.

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winter means never having to say I'm sorry...

... for not changing my clothes. Really, that's the solution to cold weather! Leah says she's not such a fan of the cold because she doesn't particularly enjoy looking like a hobo, but I have no such objections; in fact, I find the layered look (as we prefer to call it) far superior to anything I can wear in warmer weather. Today I packed so many clothes on that I barely had to turn the heat on all day; between my long-sleeve t-shirt, fleece shirt, and heavy wool sweater and the heat from the day's bread-baking I was all set. Fleece-lined pants too, of course, and wool socks. Leah was at a conference all day learning about women in business, so I didn't have to worry about keeping her warm. Sadly, though, the real cold snap seems to be at an end, so I'll have to finally lay aside my warm garments after three consecutive days of wear. And I suppose I should probably dress up a little more for church, anyways.

gimme fever

Cabin fever, that is! I spent all day yesterday home by myself, and today I only managed to go to church in the morning; Leah has a real fever, or at least a real sickness of some sort, so we had to cancel our dinner plans. I tried to make up for it by going out to McDonalds for my dinner, but, you know, it just wasn't the same. Adding insult to injury, I come home to read this Unhappy Meals article that says fast food isn't good for me. Oh wait, I already knew that. We're doing our best here in the squibix household to eat delicious nutritions whole foods, and our best is going pretty well I believe. Certainly well enough to make a McDonalds cheeseburger taste pretty salty and fat to my poor sheltered palette. But it was out of the house, and only three dollars.

Tomorrow, happily, there are things I must do, so I'll be forced out into the world and into action!

old home places

Whole food? Well, I ate a whole turkey sub for dinner, does that count? I know, eating out two nights in a row, but I couldn't help it: I was over in our old neighborhood in Arlington and I couldn't pass by my favorite deli ever without stopping to pick up some deliciousness. And it wasn't only deli produce that I found myself missing as my errands led me to have to drive through Arlington Heights three times in a 45-minute period. The area is also home to both the best barbershop and the best hardware store I've ever had the pleasure of patronizing, as well as just some great residential streets for pleasant strolls. Those hills I mentioned, like. It was a delightful place to live and, you know, I kind of miss it. In fact, I kind of miss everywhere I ever lived. Santa Monica had it's charms too: the obvious ones were the beach and the farmers marketóohh, the farmers marketóbut even more than that, just the feel of the place: it was home for a little while, so naturally I look back with a little bit of regret at having to leave.

On the other hand, I never really managed to take full advantage of living in Santa Monica, or even of Arlington Heights, so I can't complain too much. Plus, where we are here is pretty nice too. No complaints about it from me, that's for sure! So what am I moaning about? Well, it may be on account of reading through this whole blog from beginning to end and recalling all that fun stuff we did. We missed a blogging anniversary here, our three-year celebration, so in a late observation of that I'm gathering some stats on how we've done so far. It's interesting stuff, I promise! Interesting!!

still awake

Well, it's still the 30th to me since I haven't gone to bed yet. The clock in the computer admits no such relativistic thinking, however, so my quest to fill up every little number on the January calender has failed. So close to completion, too! Oh well, there's always next month.