Sunday, September 30, 2007

No Teetering

In my two years at MATC, I worked hard. It was fulfilling and occasionally frustrating. Last year, I worked less hard. I had to or my husband or I or both of us would likely not be alive right now. It was a little disappointing to put some slack in the rope, but life is more important than perfect grades and perfect newspapers.

I wrote this last year:

A quick word from Amy Knapp

“Kelsey wants you to say goodnight,” Eric said when I walked in the door.

“She’s still awake?” I asked. It was late.

I set my backpack on the kitchen floor and laid my coat on top of it.

“Welcome home, love.”

My husband held me a moment and sent me to our waiting 7-year-old. Her 12-year-old sister was already sleeping.

I made my way down the dark hall and slipped into my daughter’s room.

Sitting up in bed, she said, “Hi, Mom.”

“Hi, babe,” I answered. “How come you’re still awake?”

“Why did you get home so late?” she asked, blinking and wrapping her warm arms around my waist.

“I had a lot of work,” I said.

I took a deep breath, smelling her sleepy scent mingled with cheap shampoo.

She slid her hands into mine as I sat on the bed. “I wish you didn’t have to work so much,” she said, and I bowed my head in guilt. “I wish you were home like you used to be.”

I held her soft, sad face in my hands for a moment. She closed her eyes and reclined onto her pillow again.

“I know it’s hard,” I whispered. “I don’t like it, either, honey. But it won’t be like this for much longer.”

I kissed her forehead and rose from her bed.



“I love you.”

“I love you, too, babe.”

I looked at this little child who needed her mom to give her a kiss before she could fall asleep and silently pleaded with myself to honor the sacrifices my family was making so I could finish school.

“Goodnight, hon,” I said.

“Goodnight,” Kelsey answered.

Here’s to all the moms and dads and everyone else striving to balance a family and school and work. It’s hard, but it’s worth the effort, and so are you.

I will be damned if I go through that shit again. Today, despite having hard-working, intelligent classmates at the U, I spent my time kicking a soccer ball around the back yard, holding our dying rat, pointing out weeds to Kelsey (where aren't there weeds?), searching for a penny made the year I was born, and doing some homework. I did not spend the day doing homework, more homework, further homework, writing stories for the paper, researching facts for those stories for the paper, or attending a church service to write a pseudo-news story (free ad disguised as a news story--unless I did that research to turn it into news). When the thunder started, I was lying in bed, holding my sleepy child, who turned toward me and found my head just to be sure I was there, keeping her safe from the thunder. I wasn't just getting home.

I would have gone to the church service, but Eric was so frazzled, I didn't even bring it up. He did wonder why I was so nicely dressed, however.

And now, I'm about to be nicely undressed. Goodnight.

Stealing the stolen

The Rotten Correspondent stole this quiz from someone, so I'm stealing it from her now. What flavor ice cream are you?

You're as popular and relaxing as vanilla ice cream. You go with the flow and get along with all sorts of people. You appreciate peace and simplicity, so you sometimes find crowds and loud noises overwhelming. You are a chilled-out, calming influence on the people in your life, and your friends appreciate how supportive and flexible you are.

I'll have more to say later. I'm clearing brush from my yard and getting poked in the eye from twigs I haven't noticed and opening my mouth and closing my eyes so I may have a big surprise. You really have to watch out for those smiling 8-year-olds. It was a doughnut hole, by the way.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Scourge

I don't know about you, but cancer has got me a little scared.

Yet another person I know just died from cancer. She was 40. I worked with her at the book store when I was in college the first (second, third – depends on how you count) time. She was a pretty thing, smart, spoiled. I lost track of her after she moved to Milwaukee, but I saw her picture in Madison Magazine last year or so, as she was ever the mover and shaker.

It's quite a shocker. In my inferiority-complex way, I never think of the elite as being quite as normal and feeling and vulnerable to the mundane as the rest of my social circle. It's rude of me, really. But there she was, the trophy wife who couldn't buy or beautify herself out of her illness. I'm upset with myself, and feeling terrible for her and her family – she who will never see her daughter grow up or her husband grow old; her husband and daughter, mother and siblings, and the rest of her relatives and friends who watched her struggle with cancer for nine years.

I've thought about her over the years, wondering what she was up to, where or if she worked. Surely she was doing something glamorous; she had doors open to her simply by virtue of her birth, surname, and good looks. But fighting cancer is never glamorous.

It took us a while to like each other. But we did. I wish I'd seen her again before she died.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bias? I Stitch You Not

Yesterday I bumped into a very kind neighbor at Kayleigh's school open house. We like each other, but on matters of politics and religion, we diverge – a lot.

She said she was excited to see my byline on the lead story in the paper (thank you very much), but said she read it very carefully to look for any bias, any slant, any tiny hint of how I felt. She found nothing.

[Do a little dance, make a little love, gitdowndanight, gitdowndanight]

So I guess I'm doing OK. It was nice to hear. I get so frustrated sometimes. And I've certainly made mistakes. [shudder – And no, I won't give any details.]

Saturday, September 22, 2007

On Being ... Worried and Wishful

I've been watching this cool video series the Washington Post has on their Web site. It's called OnBeing. It's ordinary people talking about their lives. The pieces are neatly edited and the results are pretty amazing. Check it out. A couple have made me cry, but that's pretty easy these days.

I can't believe I've only been in school three weeks and I've already had a meltdown. I just remember last year when I was working so hard and my family was suffering so much. I'm afraid of reliving last year. Despite assurances from my husband, I can't help but worry. It was quite a smack.

I hate telling my kids "not now." And I'm mad that I'm stuck in my bedroom studying when it's so absolutely perfect outside. And I hate it that I have so much to do that I feel guilty if I do anything else, even though I know I need to do something else.

I want to wander through a corn maze with my kids and my man. I want to walk around Devil's Lake. I want to help my mom with her yard work and rub her sore, swollen feet. I want to make an apple pie. I want to go horseback riding.

And, hell, as long as I'm wishing, I'd like to be 30 pounds lighter and have thicker, curlier hair and a straighter face and more smiles and more patience and a clean house with no invisible holes that invite mice every fall (Gah!) and loads of money in the bank so I could travel all over Europe next summer, my last summer of freedom.

Oh, well. If wishes were horses, I'd probably get trampled in a stampede.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fantastic Feats on a Keyboard

Today was my first volunteer day in Kelsey's second-grade class. Last year, I worked with kids on reading in their groups or individually. This year, I wanted to do something that took less time, less commitment, and that didn't involve working directly with the kids. (Aren't I a bag?) So I volunteered to do publishing. Right up my alley.

I type the stories they write into Word. Today's stories were their autobiographies. They're so damn funny, I could hardly contain my laughter at times.

My name is XXX! I am in secint grade! I have 2 bruthers! I have a mom! I have a dad! My parents are divorst! I have a cat! My favorite TV show is Hana Montana! My other favorite TV show is High School Musical 1 and 2! I like to play with my freinds! I like to play soccer and singing!


Some kids wrote four pages. Kelsey, love, wrote about four sentences. I remember her coming home from school and complaining about having to write things about herself. She said she wanted to write real stories and that other kids were writing dumb things like what their favorite TV shows were. Having read the stories, it's an interesting perspective and retrospective.

Anyway, I sat there typing away. Their stories were in a pile on my little desk. I just read them and typed them in. Finally, one kid leaned over.

"You type really fast!" she said in a loud whisper.

"I do, don't I?" I am useless talking to people.

Another kid turned around and watched me. A look of astonished admiration lit his little face.

"How do you do that?" he asked me, watching my hands.

"I've had a lot of practice," I said.

"You're not even looking! How can you do that?" He stood up and moved his face from mine to my hands to the computer screen.

"Well, I--"

"You're not looking," he said again.

I smiled. There was a time when I couldn't do that. Ages ago. "I've been doing this a long time," I said.

He tired of me then and started pestering Kelsey instead. I told him to get back in his seat. He did. God, I'm powerful.

It was fun to be in the class. Kelsey wanted to sit in my lap. I like it that she will show affection in front of her classmates.

I only took typing in high school because I found out from my friend Heather that Jeff, the object of my obsession, was in it, and I would do anything, including completely screwing up my schedule to switch into typing, to be around him. I didn't exist to him, of course, but I got to be near him, for whatever that was worth, and I learned how to type.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tampon update

Last year, I wrote a little about a site that taught you how to make cool and disturbing things out of tampons. Those bloody heart earrings. Wow. Anyway, at the time, they didn't have a particular tampon craft I'd always wanted to make, the pan flute. I believe I mentioned it here. Well, someone must have been reading my blog because guess what's there now! Yes, indeed, complete with video. They still don't have a slide whistle, though.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nice Meme Cookie

First, I am delighted to say thanks to the Rotten Correspondent for bestowing upon me the Nice Matters Award. Isn’t it pretty?

I’m going to pass it on to Marcia and Sarah, a fabulous mother-daughter pair, and Kath, whom I can’t wait to see in only a couple of months. Marcia has been a wonderful support and ceaseless cheering section for many years. Thanks so much. Sarah followed in her footsteps. I’ve watched her grow from a girl to a woman. It wasn’t an easy path, but she always had smiles, hugs, and love for everyone around her. I love you both. Kath, you always have a kind word or a swift kick whenever anyone needs it. You’re thoughtful and practical and fun. Can’t wait to see you.


Laurie has meemed me.

List a character trait for each letter of your name. Any name you wish, as long as it’s yours. So, I might be Amy or Jean or Veggieburger or [censored]. What do you think? Amy is short, but with Veggieburger, I’d get to talk about myself a lot more, which is what memes and blogs are all about. I’m lazy – and I have no L for lazy in any of my names, so …

A: accidental. Yes, folks, fifteen years separate my closest sibling and me.
M: minty. I love mints in fun tins. My current box is Impeachmints, featuring our president on the cover. If only.
Y: yawning. I’m tired.

I’m meeming Kath, Sarah, Marcia, and SOTJ. If you've already been meemed, well, just ignore me.

A little story for you:

I’m a nosher. Today I’ve eaten probably 15 Tootsie Rolls as I’ve been reading textbooks and writing stories. Yesterday I had a similar number in addition to some Snickers snack-size and a few butter cookies.

Although I worry about my kids picking up my bad habits, I didn’t know I had to worry about my computer.

When I’ve gotten up from bed, where – as I’ve said before – I do my best work, I’ve noticed little wet spots. Odd. I mean, wet spots in bed are, well, you know. But I don’t get that excited from learning about formatting annual reports. (Does anyone?) So it really couldn’t be me.

Turns out, it’s my computer. And they’re not wet spots, they’re grease spots. Apparently I left a significant chunk of butter cookie on top of my backpack and set my computer on top of it. The cookie stuck. As I’ve shifted my computer from one spot to the next, I’ve left crumbly, greasy, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie behind.

My computer has no spam, but it does have cookies, and it’s time to clear them.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nothing exciting

Well. Day in, day out.

I had my first "quiz" yesterday. I got a 94. It was 50 questions. It took me an hour. Quiz. Here's looking forward to the midterm. I don't know which questions I got wrong. There was at least one I just plain didn't know. Others I wavered on. But I bet I can argue for more points. Even the AP style book waffled on one. The professor said not to keep track of your points. But I will. Numbers are easy. Just look at my nerd rating.

I bought a calendar/planner thingy when we were back-to-school shopping. I have never successfully used one before. It's just not been a way I can organize myself. But I have so many balls in the air right now that I thought I'd try again. Thank god, too, because I wrote down an assignment in lab the other day and then completely forgot it had ever been assigned. I was shocked when I saw it written there. Lesson learned: planner is organizational bible.

Kelsey's first soccer game is this morning. It's 40 degrees. If it weren't beautiful outside, I'd be moving south right now. Kayleigh has refused to come because she doesn't want to freeze. Can't blame her. It's rather early to be so chilly.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Youthful tunes

Looking through my CDs, I realized there's some music from my youth that I wish I had on CD. Not that I would listen to it often, but it would be nice to hear it once in a while. My taste in music is just plain weird. I had a Mickey Mouse Club record when I was little that I played for years. My brother even bought me a new one after I accidentally dropped it on its end and it broke. I don't really need Jimmy and Annette on CD, but some other stuff might be OK. Like:

"Sports" by Huey Lewis and the News. This album was the first cassette tape I ever bought. It was very exciting to graduate from records to tapes. My mom gave me a boom box when I was 12. I was so pleased. It even had a soft eject. Whoa. Or should I say, rad. Not that I ever said "rad" as a kid. I thought slang was base. I got over it--and myself. My favorites: "Walking on a Thin Line," "Finally Found A Home," and "If This Is It."

Homer and Jethro. I can't remember which albums my parents had, but I sure got a kick out of them. These guys and Spike Jones set me on the path of cracked recordings from the moment of my birth. My favorites: "Battle of Kookamunga," "Bill Bailey," "She Was Bitten on the Udder by an Adder."

AC/DC: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" I wasn't a metal head by any stretch. I hated the drug scene; I hated the hair; I hated the stupid lyrics shouted into the microphone, fuzz guitars, and tight pants. But "Big Balls" didn't even try to be serious. It was outrageous fun to play it in front of my mother and listen to her disgusted snorting. Other songs I didn't mind on the album: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "Problem Child," "Ride On." I find myself singing lots of songs from this album, actually. If you could call it singing.

As time has gone by, I've bought some music from my childhood. Some of it I've sold again. Like Madonna, Jefferson Airplane, and Journey. Others that I've kept: Yaz, Billy Joel, Elton John, Genesis.

Eric ushered me into CDs in 1990 with Elton John's "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy," my favorite album of all time. What a guy. I had it on vinyl, and it embodied perfection. It had that fantastic cover art, front and back. The jacket was designed as a double-record jacket and opened up. On the left were photos of The Captain and The Kid (Elton and Bernie); on the right was the whole group. It came with a lyric book--not a little flap like you get in CDs, but 8X10 size, also with awesome artwork--and a scrapbook of photos, notes, and a comic. There was also a poster that I kept on my wall above my bed. So not only was the music excellent, but the package was, too. Unfortunately, the album got terribly scratched when my mom babysat my nephew one day when I was 18. I was heartbroken. But I still have it.

There were one-hit wonders that I've completely forgotten but I bet I'd get a bang out of hearing again. If only I knew what they were.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I thought I'd avoid this subject today, but my niece brought it up on her blog. Where were you, she asked. Here's what I told her.

I was home with Kelsey, who was two. Kayleigh and Eric had left for school. I wasn't doing much of anything when my mom called. She didn't even say hello.

"Are you watching television?" she demanded.


"Well, turn it on," she said. I had no idea if it was something good or bad. You just can't tell with her.

So I turned it on, wondering what would make my mother call me and tell me to watch TV. I watched as the plane went into the Pentagon.

"Wha--what's going on? Is this real?" I asked. It was quite a moment to flick on the tube.

"It surely is. There's more. Keep watching. Bye, honey."

So I watched in shock, disbelief, belief. I thought of Ben in D.C. and hoped he'd be OK, knowing he was pretty close to all that, and wondering if the White House was next.

Then I called Eric. He hadn't heard yet, either.

Explaining it all to Kayleigh that night was hard. She just didn't get it and wasn't especially interested. She was seven at the time. I let her watch, though, if she wanted to. They had told the kids at school what happened. The teachers said later it was a very difficult day to be at work.

Things I remember: seeing someone fall out a window, legs flailing, body turning; thinking that the towers looked unstable and might collapse about a minute before the first one went down; seeing a gray, dust-covered face, just a face, amid the rubble--I've never seen video of that face again, but I'll never forget; wanting to go get Kayleigh from school and have Eric come home so we could just all be together.

Some time later I saw an episode of Mad TV that featured a send-up of that Jamaican call-in psychic. One of my favorite lines in sketch-comedy history: "Were you workin' September the tenth?"

Sometimes a cigar is just a, ah, um

Seriously. Funny. If only they'd taken the next step and made them cherry-flavored.

Get yours here.

Got any more complaints?

I'm not very happy today. It's just a bunch of little things that should be nothing but aren't. The rain yesterday left me listless.

My right side hurts from my lower back down to my ankle. When I sit in bed (my desk), then my back hurts, too. And my neck.

I'm the oldest person in my class.

Nothing I eat is satisfying. I don't know what I want. Something hot and salty – get your minds out of the gutter. Something cold and chocolaty. Something hot and chocolaty. Something cheesy. Something chewy. Something crunchy. The problem with all those descriptors is that they largely apply to hip-enhancing foods. And I don't want to cook. Nor do I want to go out. I want to sit in my bed and watch a sappy movie. But then my back would hurt again.

Kelsey stayed home sick today. Not that she was especially sick. She wasn't. At least, she isn't now. She made a spectacular recovery at about 1 p.m. The living room is now full of animal houses, which she assembled in her newfound health. We have the farm, the dogs' house, the penguins' house, the gorillas' house, the birds' house, the elephants' apartment, the bears' apartment, and the cat house. I mean, cats' house. They fortunately have some shops to serve their needs – a sporting goods store and a sunglasses shop. Because every elephant needs a skateboard and shades, no? Oh, I forgot the horses. How could I?

Right now she's making a zoo on my bed with live animals. I just changed the sheets, too.

It sucked that I couldn't come home from school and just chill a little. I had to go instantly into attentive-mom mode.

At least they canceled soccer practice.

Bored yet? Me, too. What a whiner. And none of it matters. I can see my dad stomping his foot at me, saying, "Aw, quitcherbitchin."

Want to piss and moan? Go ahead. Sully my blog instead of your own. Global therapy. Whatever.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


While we were at Noodles waiting for our food, we watched a woman cleaning and restocking the beverage cooler. She was wearing some khaki pants that I liked. The more I looked, the more I liked them. They had a seam down the back, a straight leg, and a slotted cuff with a useless drawstring. They fit her close at the waist and around her ample posterior, but hung more loosely past the thigh. When she bent over, they stayed against her body. I never saw her butt crack. She stood and kneeled and squatted and bent and stretched, and through it all, her pants stayed secure. They didn't rise up her waist, seeking her brassiere and making a fault line up her rear; they didn't fall down past her hips, seeking her ankles. I was transfixed. She wasn't wearing a belt, and there was no elastic obvious. The rise seemed normal--not '80s-waisted or Brazilian-shave mandatory. What were these pants? I should have asked her.

Speaking of pants and cracks...

Kayleigh deposited a rather nice pair of jeans onto my bed this morning. "I hate them," she said. "They fit, but the rise is so low that it shows off my butt crack." I'm glad she doesn't want to show off her butt crack.

Which reminds me...

Many Christmases ago (my dad's last, actually), as we were decorating the tree at my parents' house, my mom bent from her chair to reach an ornament on the floor. Kayleigh, still a tiny thing, stood behind her. As my mom's body went forward, the back of her pants went downward. With my mom's great crevice spread before Kayleigh's wondering eyes, Kayleigh slipped her hand between those soft cheeks.

My mom rose slightly, a look of terror on her face.

"That's Grandma's butt crack," I said.

"Butt cack," Kayleigh repeated, sliding her hand out of my mom's abyss.

"Oh!" said my mother, and she started laughing. Believe me, we all did.

Eric says he'll never forget the look on my mom's face.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Honey Nut

Kayleigh is growing up. Yes, you see it in the lovely lady lumps on her chest. You see it in the pimply bumps on her forehead. You smell it when she neglects to use deodorant. You hear it in her laughter at "French & Saunders" and "Honey Nut Shetbags."

And tonight you could hear it coming from her mouth. We were playing one of those BrainQuest trivia/knowledge games before bed. She forgot what an antonym was and said, "I don't know what the hell they're talking about."

What's a parent to do? Especially one as foul as I am? I've not been a pristine role model, cussing up a storm and showing her things like the aforementioned Honey Nut Shetbags.

She immediately started to explain it away. "Everyone around me talks like that, even at school. I hear it all the time." Uh-huh.

I'm watching one kid trot off to the bus herself and listening to the other one invoke the underworld.

Eric shouted from the living room, "Dollar!"

You see, every time Kayleigh catches me swearing, I owe her a dollar. It's been an incentive to turn my potty mouth 10,000 Flushes blue tablet clean.

I laughed, of course, which is not the best reaction--or the worst. Although laughter might be seen as acceptance, no teen wants her parents laughing at her. I asked her what we should do. She said she'd give me a dollar. Hmm....

I told Kelsey to go brush her teeth and Kayleigh to go take a shower and wash her mouth out while she was in there. Kayleigh changed the subject. She's been avoiding us ever since.

P.S. If you haven't seen Kelly's "Shoes," the video about her Hollywood meeting (the one I called "Honey Nut Shetbags") will be meaningless to you. They're weird. The more you watch Shoes, the funnier it gets, until it's not funny anymore.

Catching the bus, missing my girl

Kelsey wants to wait for the bus herself. I'm proud of her for being so independent and confident. I feel silly for worrying. But I wish I had a special scope and super-reach, kick-ass limbs to keep an eye on her and protect her.

I'm hoping she decides it's too lonely down there by herself. All the other kids who were at her stop last year are at different schools now and not taking the bus. They loved playing in the neighbor's yard, dodging doggy-do all the while. It's kind of sad, Kelsey all by herself. She said if we really, really, super-want to go with her we could. Sounds like an invitation to me. But today she went alone. I hope she hated it as much as I did.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Time Passes

Monday we celebrated Kelsey's birthday. Her real birthday was Tuesday, but Eric had to work that night. It was also the first day of school. So much happening at once.

Kelsey's party was pretty quiet. I was glad. In true Amy fashion, I invited the family with hardly a moment's notice. On a holiday weekend, people have other plans anyway.

She was pleased with her presents. Here she is hugging her sister, who gave her Pokemon Pearl for Nintendo DS. She got a lot of Star Wars stuff (three action figures and a light saber), a build-your-own skateboard kit, some Hannah Montana stuff, a recorder (she played it all night), and, oh, ah, a black iPod Nano. The Nano was a near-freebie when I bought my laptop.

We polished off all the cake and all the ice cream. Wow. What piggies.

On her real birthday, she had to get up and go to school. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

On the first day of school, we always take the kids' pictures by their birth trees. Here is Kayleigh on her way to 8th grade, and Kelsey on her way to 2nd.

Kayleigh HATES getting her picture taken. And her hair is wet, not greasy.

Tuesday morning also greeted me with the news that my advisor's mom had passed away. She went from thinking she was a perfectly healthy woman looking forward to a long and happy retirement to being told she had lung cancer and had six months to live. She lived only two months after diagnosis. I'm sure it's a terrible shock for the family. Doug (the advisor--former advisor, really), who does his best to keep his personal life to himself, seemed pretty upset when he told me she was ill. He said his dad was a wreck. I can only imagine. I'd really rather not.

Be good to yourselves and those you love. You just never know what the next day will bring.

Oh--my mom lost another tooth. I told her she could just sit outside on Halloween and scare the kids away. She was not amused.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A survey

This came in my email, but I thought I'd post it here for the halibut....

Now, Here Is What You Are Supposed To Do...
And Please Do Not Spoil The Fun!
Hit Forward, Delete My Answers And Type In Your Answers.
Then Send This To A Whole Bunch Of People You Know...And Send It Back To
Me So I Can See Your Answers,
The Theory Is That You Will Learn A Lot Of Little Known Facts About
Those You Know. Please Remember To Send It Back!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My middle name is my mom's first name.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I don't remember.



5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 2 little lovelies

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? If I were another person, I might be a total hag, so I don't know.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Unfortunately.


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I really don't think so. But I might under the right circumstances--can't imagine what they'd be.




13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM? Just about anything


15. RED OR PINK? Depends





20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A Tootsie Roll & a cup of tea

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? A squirrel chattering outside and the house fan blowing

22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOUR WOULD YOU BE? I really have no idea. Dandelion. Peach. Black. Grey. Tan. Depends on my mood, I guess.

23. FAVOURITE SMELLS? I have almost no sense of smell. I'm usually happy to smell anything, even nasty stuff.


25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yup, and I can't wait to see her in two months!


27. HAIR COLOUR? Mousy brown

28. EYE COLOUR? blue


30. FAVOURITE FOOD? Anything I haven't cooked myself


32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith

33. WHAT COLOUR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Black, but it's faded a bit



36. FAVOURITE DESSERT? Too many to name



39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Some text book on writing. Can't think of the name of it.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? All together now: optical mouse

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, but it was on DVD. If DVDs don't count, I didn't watch TV last night.

42. FAVOURITE SOUND? My kids laughing

44. WHAT IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Brisbane and the surrounding area. Can't wait to go back.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I don't think talent is the right word: I can stick my tongue up my nose.

46. WHAT IRRITATES YOU MOST? When I piss around instead of getting my work done.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Street people

OK, so no one besides Laurie and me wants to talk about death. Not exactly cheery. No fun in funerals. Ah, well. I hope that when my day comes, I will have few regrets.

Today Kayleigh and I went birthday shopping for Kelsey, who turns 8 on Tuesday. We live close to a bike path that goes around Lake Monona, so there is often a lot of bike and rollerblade traffic and a few walkers. It's about 12 miles around the lake, so even though the walk is pretty flat--only two hills I can think of--it's still a long way to walk. So, we were driving to the store, and a woman was sitting on the curb, crying. She was dressed in sporty clothes and holding a water bottle. There was no bike in sight, so she was either walking or lived nearby. I thought, hmm. Maybe she's tired and can't make it the rest of the way. I thought I should stop and see if she needs help, but I just went on.

But it bugged me, her sitting there all red and full of tears. Maybe someone ditched her. Maybe she got hurt. Maybe she went on a walk because she's working out some inner turmoil and the turmoil overcame her. Maybe she's a total fruitcake. I finally turned around. People should help each other.

I drove up to her, and she looked up.

"Do you need some help?" I asked.

"No, I'm fine," she said, and wiped her eyes.

"Are you sure?" Because we all sit on curbs and bawl in broad daylight. I know I had my sympathetic mom face on, and it surprised me. When did I turn into the Helping Hand lady?

She nodded and smiled and heaved a great sob. "Thanks, though," she said, and turned away, wiping her face with the palm of her hand.

I smiled at her and said, "OK. Take care." Then I gave her a "last chance" look, but she looked at her feet. So I drove away.

She wasn't there when we got back. I hope she's OK.

More cheerful: We got Kelsey some dyno presents. Woo-ha!