Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rat Words

Maddy is reading "The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted" by Harry Harrison. It's one of my old paperbacks and it's still funny 20 years after it was written. She just came across a few unfamiliar words and asked me what they meant.

That's "residual" it means what is left over.

Not a real word.
Are you sure it's not a real word?
We went back and forth, she showed it to me in print.
It's a word that he made up, and from the context it means that he ate something.
But it says, "I didn't eat it so much as I insufflated it."
After that it says that he went back for more. The author could have said that he "inhaled it," or "ate it without tasting it," but he preferred to make up his own word.

and finally there was
Do you mean "cabal?"
She spelled it for me.
Oh, that's a cuss word that he made up.
What does it mean?

She was surprised at the last one, and also that I thought it should be pronounced with a long "A." Cagal," rhymes with "bagel."

Edit: INSUFFLATE is a real word! Darn you internet. But CAGAL is not. Not yet that is.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Maxina World

You have just experienced the Great Windstorm of ‘06. OK, I have have. Those of you who live outside of the Prisstopolis area were only able to watch it on TV. It started with some rainy weather earlier in the week. Wednesday was quiet as were the daylight hours of Thursday. My son got home at his usual time, then my daughter came home from school early, they had canceled extracurricular activities.

At 4PM the sky went dark except for lightning, which is a rare phenomenon around here. Looking out of the windows, I could see the 200 foot Douglas Firs bending back and forth. Every few minutes the lights would dim and then come back to full. I made dinner early, then checked out my usual internet interests. At 9:30, the power went down completely. I heard groans from the rec room, the PrissKids were going to miss tonight’s episode of My Name is Earl, they were desolated. Since I just find that show annoying, all I could do was laugh.

While the PrissKids kept themselves amused by dancing LED flashlight patterns on the walls to the beat of their MP3 players, I found that I was able to stay on the internet. The laptop was fully charged, and my telephone landline connection was solid. I finally shut it off after midnight with 20% battery reserve remaining. On Friday morning, Zbiggy turned the machine on, clicked on and found that classes were canceled. The district site had crashed.

Midday I took the car out in search of coffee and wi-fi, and a working electrical outlet. The Tulleys’ coffee isn’t very good, but they have free wi-fi, and we could always order cocoa, it’s hard to mess that up. But the outage was widespread. Most stores were closed, and the traffic lights were off.

After driving around and getting stuck in traffic, I stopped at a grocery store. They had partial power from a generator, and everyone was shopping in the dark. My check card scanned and debited without a problem. Infrastructure for separating people from their money has suddenly leapt forward. At home, I used the last of my firewood to warm up and make mocha java. That’s when I made my last post. We lit Holiday and Shabbat candles, watched the fire, and eventually went to bed early.

By Saturday morning, the house was getting cold. Letting the PrissKids sleep late, I was on the road by 8:30. My first objective was more Chanukah candles, then maybe some lappy power, and oh yes, firewood. Unlike Prissville, Seattle had power, so candle-shopping was no problem. Then I went to StarWars, but their wi-fi required me to sign up online for tmoblie. A conversation with someone who was actually drinking their coffee, led to trying another coffee spot, one with really good bagels, but their wi-fi was suffering from messed up settings. Plus, I didn’t want to stand in line.

Taking a different route home, I espied that elusive animal, the roadside stack of free wood. There were jagged one and two-foot sections of two by fours and one by fours in the corner of a construction site. Wet and muddy, but not green, I knew that they would burn. My next stop was ye olde peace vigil.

It was the usual the hour of waving at drivers and holding antiwar signs. I caught up on whose power was still off, and discussed the latest Jimmy Carter book. Across the parking lot, one of the peaceniks was loading a hand truck of freshly sawn logs into his pickup. I went over to investigate. Just out of sight, around the corner, another activist was chainsawing and splitting a windfall tree. I asked if some of it was available. He said that there would be plenty, but that I shouldn’t burn it yet.

Seeing that I had every intention of trying to burn it right away, he directed me to the smaller branches, and then offered to bring me some dried wood from home. This was seriously cool.

Back home with wood both scrounged and shared, things were cheery. The PrissKids lit candles for day two. I toasted turkey sandwiches and made an awesome fruit compote. Power came back in the early evening, we were out for 45 hours. Some neighborhoods within a few miles still haven’t been restored.

Friday, December 15, 2006

powah down

Brethers and Sisteren,

The power has been out since nine-ish last night. My imac battery is on death's door. Happily, toasted cheese sandwiches made in the fireplace taste much better than the microwaved kind.

Yours in this new post-industrial world,


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dancing in the trees

(Sing this to the tune of Dancing In The Streets by Martha And The Vandellas)

It’s reforrestation for your airport vacation
A chance to see a tree
They’ll be red lights blinking
And glasses clinking
And smatterrings of greenery

It doesn’t matter where you were born
Or where you are headed today
Just walk your feet in a vector
Through our metal detector
A tannenbaum will send you on your way

Everyone will be dancing, to celebrate the trees

It’s a fascination with conifloration
And a natural antifreeze
A medication for your irritation
As we check you through security

It doesn’t matter where you were born
Or where you are headed today
There’s a pine scent in the air
As we x-ray your hair
And a tannenbaum to see you on your way

All over the runway
Next to the coffee pot
Can’t forget the people mover
And the parking lot
Everyone will be dancing, to celebrate the trees

Everyone will be dancing, to celebrate the trees

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Flying in a Winter Wonderland

In a developing news story around these here parts, some frequently flying Rabbis found that the seasonal greenery decorating Seatac airport diminished their travel experience. One of them, a cheerful black-hatted beard-wearer, notified the Port Authority that unless a Menorah fitted with electric light bulbs were installed next to the Christmas tree, he would be forced to file suit.

The airport responded by removing the trees. This disappointed the Rabbi, he wanted equal interior decoration. It also infuriated airport workers. No longer would their bleak existences be brightened by a triangle of green above the door to the concourse. Today they are buttonholing travelers and asking them to militate for tree-instatement.

Taken to its extreme, fulfilling a request for equal representation in decoration would lead to ever expanding collages of religious symbols posted in our public places. In my book, that would make for an overly graven image laden environment.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Humor noir, humor GLOW IN THE DARK

News reporters are refusing to drop the story about the spy who was poisoned by radiation. "He must have done something to annoy the Russians!"

The way I see it, he got off easy.

If you irritate the the Mafia, they shoot you, and hack off any male anatomical characteristics and stuff them into your mouth.

Run afoul of the AMA and it's even worse. They cut off your tonsils, appendix, gallbladder and spleen, and then kill you slowly with chemo and radiation.

Monday, November 27, 2006


The PrissKids had four days off from school. Two days for Thanksgiving, followed by a weekend at home. It was Sunday night. The peanut butter supply was holding but the bread and turkey had been exhausted. A grocery run seemed in order, especially in view of the SIX INCHES OF SNOW on my car with more still falling. If school were canceled, snacks would be critical.

Normally my car would have been in a snow-free state, protected by the garage. But rain showers had dampened the heavy wooden door. The uneven distribution of weight caused one of its metal hinges to rip in half. So the PrissMobile had been parked outside for a few days. While the ground was only slushy, the car was caked with icing.

Enlisting some child labor, some brooms, and a spatula, we cleaned off the car. This had to be done twice, because more fell as we worked. Getting out of the driveway went fine, and the street was still navigable. As expected, only a few blocks away at a lower elevation, the roads weren't icy yet.

Returning with provisions was just slightly hazardous. Thick flakes were falling and there was a distinct lack of traction as I made the ascent. Following the example of neighbors with similarly steep driveways, I parked at the curb. Unlike them, I layered the windshield with newspaper. It keeps the ice from sticking.

School wasn't canceled, they went and came back. Now it's snowing again and the temperature is dropping. But there's nothing to worry about. If they have tomorrow off we can make cocoa and microwave popcorn and play outside. And there's always internet.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Limit of statutations

The argument against term limits is that they are undemocratic. They eliminate ability to elect those people who are experienced, and therefore effective, who you might choose to represent your State's interests.

In the 1990s, the Repubs advocated term limits as a method to get rid of senior Dems in Congress. They pretended it was a nonpartisan issue, its purpose was to infuse the government with fresh new non specified thinking. Rush Limberger et al. could be heard shouting: Throw the bums out.

Many States passed local term limits laws. Being represented by newbies put those States at a disadvantage in the committee system where Bills are formulated. In some cases (Nethercutt) a candidate pledged long and loudly to serve only one term and then "return to the private sector." Yet when asked to run again, if no law prevented it, they stayed on and became the new entrenched fogies.

We limit presidents to two terms because of our country's anti-monarchical origins, and some States limit Governors' terms as well. But don't be fooled, any seemingly innocent musing about term limits that you hear is purely partisan.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It’s a tropical rain forest out there

The one good thing about having to buy a battery for my car is that I distinctly felt scoped out by mechanics and by guys shopping for tires. I always notice that at car places. Does motor oil have testosterone enhancing properties?

Attempting to sooth my auto anxieties, I continued on in search of diet Pepsi in a bottle. This required a visit to Safeway, because the market I usually frequent has sold its soul to the merchants of Coke. I also got a full box of Satsuma oranges. Amazingly, considering my mood, I got out of there without succumbing to the lure of chocolate.

In literary news, Zbigniew is reading The Jungle as a school assignment. He asked me, “What country are these people in?” I said America. Then I asked if anyone had been cooked yet. I was referencing the part about the guy who “went out with the meat.” Zbig said, "They haven't even gone to the jungle yet, they are still in the city!”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Very quick post of Holidayness

There was some beautiful singing, a delightful discussion about goats, and no interpretive dancing whatsoever. The dancing comes tomorrow. Tonight's final hymn was described as: "actually it's a gospel song, it comes from a verse in Exodus."

The tune was clearly western and not at all southern. If we must be ecumenical, let us keep our semantics in order.

It was darn catchy too. I'm humming it as I type

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

Stone Fruit

Prufrock consider'd
a peach.Nectarines hadn't
been invented yet.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We welcome you (fa lalala lala la lala la lala)











Friday, July 21, 2006

Ringworld Theme Song

(Sing to the tune of The Love Boat)

with my homie crew
an adventure
for one louis wu

it’s a circle
around a star
you can tour it
in a hover-car

the ringworld
halo around a sun
the ringworld
technical treasures to be won

landscape molded
as for a model train
to a plan
formed by an ancient brain

the ringworld
one million miles from side to side
the ringworld
planets filletted and butterflied

(Hand-jive rap section)

to live forever would be nice
that’s why i use booster spice!

it has two heads and lives in fear
species peirson’s puppeteer

make sure you don’t buy the farm
take teela brown, your lucky charm



Monday, July 03, 2006

Creeping Soonerism

Happy 4th of July Day Eve. As I drove home, I saw wiley parade-gawkers placing their lawn chairs along the curb. They are doing this to reserve front row spaces for an event that won’t begin for another 14 hours.

I consider this practice to be impolitely unsportsmanlike.

It would serve em right if not all of the chairs survived the night.

Maybe if the sets each lost one.

How about just if the sets were scrambled up. Our fellow citizens who have smugly finagled the first-come, first-served principle beyond its intended use would find themselves with (oh horror of horrors!) an unmatched set.

Perhaps they are all colorblind and would not even notice.

But more likely:

They are forced to miss precious moments of synchronized stroller teams and pirates making noise with cap guns as they run around using their barganing skills to try to end up with a matched set once again.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

House (Theme Song)

Sing this to the tune of "Everyone Knows It's Windy"

You need a medical detective
When it feels like there's something wrong
If you're a fan of biting invective
He'll diagnose it before long

When you pet your Pekingese
Watch out for Bubonic fleas
You feel an itch at your knees
And vainly scratch
But they attach!

You cuddle with your main squeeze
Not thinking of STDs
But research with green monkeys
Led to a bite
And a parasite

That rash shaped like fleurs des lys
Might indicate leproses
Or maybe just allergies
It's hard to tell
But you're starting to swell

And nine-day-old porridge pease
Are fluent in Botulese
Which leads to paralyses
You can't take off
Can't even cough

Bacterial colonies
Or scary malignancies
An excess of manganese?
What e'er the spoor
He'll find the cure

You need a medical detective
When it feels like there's something wrong
If you're a fan of biting invective
He'll find the problem before long

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Little House on the Prairie Theme Song

At first I didn’t care for the Little House series
It seemed extremely preachy
No adaptation to screen can live up to a text for me
And this one seemed smarmy

But friends and family liked to watch it
So I had to too occasionally
I became familiar with its thefts from other sources, its retelling of the books’ story
Mostly with fidelity

The series had a catchy tune as a theme song. But it had never been fleshed out with words. It must have been written with a few lines about a little house, because the meter works perfectly. But wordy songs just weren’t in style. If they had written one, it might be remembered and loved as much as the Gilligan’s Island song. With this post I am correcting the historical oversight. I know that you will each be eternally grateful.

Little House on the Prairie TV Show Theme Song (Now with words!)

Little House on the Prairie
It isn’t big, no siree
The tale of the house
And the lives of the Ingalls family
Is here on your TV

Laura’s a girl with two sisters
Mary and baby Carrie
As the series grows old
An account will unfold of how Mary
Lost ability to see

They have some friends called the Olsens
With a daughter named Nellie
Mayhap there will be
A cat fight or three because Nellie
‘S Laura’s archenemy

Laura’s dad Charles plays the fiddle
He’s just as wise as can be
When he takes a break
From the hay and the rake he drinks coffee
Not historically accurate tea

Mom Caroline wears a bonnet
She cooks and sews expertly
You can tell that she’s pretty
Despite never a glimpse of knee
Because of modesty

Walnut Grove has a schoolhouse
Church steeple and granary
The migration west had cowboys
And farmers and townsfolk
Who were just like you and me

Of course a show this popular and with a song this good should be followed up by reality style spin-offs. How about:

West Eye for the East Guy

International interior decorating
Little House on the Prairie
A design to convey
A sense of Feung Shui you may copy
Rustic simplicity

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Deli Meat Monkey on Your Back

Hu Jintao



Who's in town?

Yeah, he landed in Everett.

Ok, there's this guy in town. And he's important in some way.


Well, what is he famous for?

He's the president of China.

Who is?


I didn't know that China had a president. But he's here in Washington right now huh.


What's his name?




So he landed in Everett. Is he going anywhere else?

He's going to Redmond to visit Gates and tour Microsoft.

Who is?


Where is his next stop?

It says that The Seattle Trade Development Alliance is hosting him for lunch. They will be serving traditional American deli foods like corned beef and tongue and dill pickles. There's a rumor that the party elite in his country regard those foods as aphrodisiacs and even shoot them up intravenously.

Husan Tung?

No, not the turn of the century emperor, the current president!



Thursday, April 13, 2006

Passover Song

(Sing this to the tune of: The Nanny Named Fran)

They were working in a brickyard mixing straw and clay
An uncompensated worker can't go on that way

Time to make a change
Time to rearrange
Make a plan to earn a peso

So across the path from Goshen to the palace court
Moses wanted an exit visa, or at least a passport

He had snakes
He had rods
He had God
That's how he confronted Pharaoh

Freedom wouldn't come to pass overnight
But it was a case of fight or flight

Now multitudes are leaving (Don't forget your nightshirt)
And the waters are receding (It's a dry desert)
It's the start of a trip that will lead to the promised land

It's the Exodus from Egypt
I'm sure you can understand

Copyright 2006 all rights reserved

Monday, April 10, 2006

Annual Passover Shopping Post

It shouldn’t surprise me but it always does. My local grocery stores order a minimum of Holiday supplies, and if they have anything left when the Holiday actually starts they send it back. I’d planned to shop today. But when I got out of class, I really didn’t feel like going. Then I looked up and saw the moon. Almost full, it was a reminder of the lunar calendar. So, off to Safeway, where I’d seen a seasonal display. But that was three weeks ago. I hadn’t been ready to stock up, and oh yeah, had not gotten my student loan farfel so far.

There’s a Yiddish proverb that I once read in translation: “There’s always money for matzah and shrouds.” It’s a powerful idea that in addition to the basics of biology, there are certain ritual objects that people can’t do without. And that even the underemployed, or the uncharitable, somehow scramble around to make things happen for themselves and their communities.

Even though the Holiday had not yet begun apparently they had already sent back everything. The display no longer existed. Nor had it been moved. I drove to another part of town. It was Ghettoization in action.

So now I have matzah, and I have fishcakes in a jar, and imported grape juice both with and without carbonation. I got the apples and walnuts and honey and butter, also some lettuce and parsley. I don’t have anything for a main course yet, but that should be easy.

For bitter herbs I am going to reconstitute some dried wasabi just like I did last year. That reminds me of another Yiddish proverb: “To a worm in wasabi, the wasabi is sweet.” It does have some sweetness along with the bitter.

Must hard boil some eggs….

Apple Sauce

This is the first entry from the new LAPPY-APPLE aka the standard student model ibook G4. All of this whiteness would be more suitable for a coffee pot or a toaster. Maybe it should be covered with stickers or original art. Not used to the keyboard, but it beats the Dells that I tested. The track pad is kind of irritating. Nice display, far better than I'd imagined.

The PrissMobile more than recovered. With better engine cooling, the air conditioner suddenly works better. I'm looking forward to non-sticky summer driving. It was very well-mannered of the PM to wait until I was no longer destitute before breaking down. Sometimes that corollary to Murphy's Law about things going wrong "at the worst possible moment" doesn't have time to kick in.

The new glasses are basically hell on earth. I innocently thought that "Progressive" was a harmless slightly socialistic political leaning. It turns out to also be a brand name for a high-tech optical torture device with hundreds of focal points and none of them just right for close-up work. They were great for driving. I could see the frost on the pine needles on the tops of mountains and the cars ahead of me were clear enough. Street signs were a shade blurry, because to look at off-center targets you not only have to chose the right vertical angle, but you are supposed to turn your head a precise fraction to avoid that off-center distortion. After two days I traded them in for a "traditional bifocal."

Dear loyal readers, while it would be nice to pretend to be 24 years old, and while I do sometimes still get carded, I did not pop out the PrissKids as a preteen. It might have been nice to get that out of the way early, grades 9 through 12 being a collossal waste of time, but my parents would never have understood. Besides, while I though that guys were cute, the conception process sounded kind of gross.

So here I am at that age where a single vision lense isn't quite doing the job for me. But the bifocals are so hard to adjust to. There seems to be some perfect distance and angle that works, and it is different for each book. Today I read 300 pages, most of it with the stupid spex pushed up headband style in frustration. You see, without correction, I have perfect focus at about 8 to 10 inches.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rod and Cones

The PrissMobile blew up today. OK, not really, there was no storm of shrapnel. And the fact that my right hand doesn't know what my left hand is doing is not due to a fragment of hood ornament severing my corpus collosum. What happened was that as I was parking, I observed a cloud of white steam emanating from the grill, and auscultated an accompanying hiss.

Seeing as how I had half an hour to slam out a one-page proclamation or delineation, or whatever this particular class calls the written stuff that we have to write, I locked the PM and walked to the computer lab. Typed, printed, turned in and sat through the session.

Facilities services said that their insurance company does not allow them to help or offer advice about car problems, but they could offer me the use of their telephone book. Surprisingly that did the trick. I found a shop that was not as far away as the one I'd used previously, and the mechanic was able to talk intelligibly. Not wanting to pay for a tow, and especially not wanting to spend hours waiting for one, I decided to brave driving there.

I dumped out what was left of my diet coke, and used the bottle to transfer some tap water to the reservoir. It may have helped, because I got almost all of the way there before the steam started again. The diagnosis is a cracked radiator. It should be replaced by noon tomorrow.

This pushes back picking up my new glasses by a day and means that much longer struggling with the small blurry letters in the Rawls book. Books should include a text zoom feature.

The new frames are very Helen Gurley Brown, very Sophia Loren. In other words, they are huge and nerdy, but somewhat glam.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Announcing the pr1ss How to Make Your Own Blues Song Blues

First you lay out the situation
Then you tell a little more
It was so devastating
I almost fell down on the floor

‘Cause I’ve got the blues
I’ve got the how to write your own blues song blues

Kurt Vonnegut and Phil J. Farmer
Both writers with some score
Found themselves preoccupied
with a Trout name of Kilgore

They had the blues
The protagonists taking-on-lives-of-their-own blues

Miss Muffet on her tuffet
Was timid and unsure
She'd not tolerate to communicate
With impure spider spoor

She had the blues
The arachnophobia luncheon on the lawn blues

I have a few more posted over at my livejournal Compose your own in the comments, or request nicely, and I'll attempt a custom stanza just for you!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The light at the end of the tunnel

I can finally see the first glimmer of graduation appearing on the horizon. If I take a full time schedule starting this spring, plus two classes in the summer, I'll be there in just over a year. Even if I don't manage that, a class or two the following summer will square things away. I have two minors, and I have my senior seminar selected. There's room for some tweaking, but it's really going to fall into place. I'm probably going to take an elective on report-writing. It's only one credit, and it applies to everything else. I'm going to shop for a laptop, because search-able notes would be good. Should really take another shot at finding a glasses prescription that I like. When you can't see well, reading takes on a divination quality, and there tend to be three or four books per class. Rapid skimming is important.

Last week I had fun singing my Passion song for a live audience. There was an impromptu band. They were great, but they kept waiting for me to break into a chorus. When I finished the verses, they rebelled; bursting into a lengthy refrain about “California Girls” even though the song is clearly about guys. The Puppets made an appearance as a kids' craft project. As usual, the horse was the most popular.

I took the PrissKids to a screening of Harry Potter 4 and Fun With Dick and Jane 2. Both films met my preferences of not too loud, not too stupid, and no suspense. I wonder if the shift from theater markets to home viewing has finally allowed movies to expand beyond an “action” genre. The visual effects in Potter were excellent, while understated. It was everything that the Star Wars movies are not. There was free pizza too. Rock.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ancient Prisstory

Here I am, dressed up for the season, just after my 7th Birthday. This was the best costume that my mom ever made. She was not happy that I wore the sash as a headscarf. It had been intended as a belt.
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Here are Felice and Belle, the Priss Sisters. They like fancy headdresses too.
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Little Brother Leo, AKA The Bratty little Brother, (making his full name LBL the BLB) wouldn't arrive for another 2 years. But thanks to the magic of armchair time travel, here he is completing the set.
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Friday, March 10, 2006

Sticks to the roof of your mouth

Yesterday I had to use a hot glue gun. I pretended that it was a woodchuck.

Try to say this out loud.

How much glue
could a glue gun glue
if a glue gun could glue glue?

How much glue
could a glue gun gun
if a glue gun could gun glue?

It'd gun so much glue
I'd say, “Merci beaucoup!”
That glue gun do glue glue.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Very Short Megillah

It’s the book of Esther in six quick images.

I drew them in ink.

Then I painted some larger, similar images in acrylics.

I scanned the original drawings and printed them out. These were hand-colored, cut out, and attached to Popsicle sticks to be used as puppets.

I colored these using ye olde MSPaint. (Click to see them full size)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The same thing that we do every night

Professor MacKay is plotting world domination.
Over the course of a quarter I take a lot of notes. And to stave off boredom I keep a dossier inside of the spiral notebook's back cover on personal information that the teacher advertently or in, drops into the lectures. For example, last quarter I noted that the classics guy was a Presbyterian. All that I had on Mackay was that he came from a small town in the eastern part of the state. But yesterday he had a chattier hour than usual. It was revealed that:

  1. He is fond of Hungarian goulash

  2. He would like everyone in the class to take 3 or 4 more classes from him to complete a minor in his specialty.

  3. We should attend the Grad program that he chairs in Governmental Analysis.

  4. And follow that up with law school

I could easily conclude that he intends for us to get jobs with think tanks, NGOs, run for office, and pretty much

RULE THE WORLD in his image.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Writer’s Art

Got 91% on the scary midterm of doom. Some of the people who I studied with did even better -- which is good right? I'm sure that exposure to their mad study skilz rubbed off on me. Two papers left to write and then the quarter is done. I'm not nervous about the writing, cranking out like a thousand words each, while not piece a’ cake, is highly do-able. I do have some anxiety about the research part.

In more fun writing, I submitted a few short stories about differently sized elephants to my school’s literary journal, and I may shoot them some verse as well. Won’t know for about a month if anything is accepted.

And Purim is coming up soon. Last year I wrote a skit and this year I'm considering a song. Of course I also have my famous stick puppets… If you guys are lucky, I will scan them. So check back in a few weeks for puppet goodness.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


The Cheney debacle is pretty close to

Murder Most Fowl
Of course it could remain a minor mishap with some amusing pockmarks as a souvenir.

Either way, it's a place in history that some good ol guy woulda never had otherwise

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Endangered species

Fascinating article in Salon today:
"As kids in New Orleans are turned away from filled schools, the city gambles its future on charter schools."

It's not how schools are funded that's important, it's whether they exist at all.


I saw an eagle today!

It was roosted in the bare branches of a deciduous tree just accross the bike path from the lake.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Anatidae have swum and also flewn

If you don’t know the tune to Jakers
And my paean to Potter you’d like to croon
Just scroll back a couple of day-kers
And sing it to the Brady Bunch tune

Just five days ‘til my birthday cakers
Candle-lighting will be at noon
Celebrate for goodness sakers
If you’re a pirate, bring me a doubloon

Then we’ll go to Washington Lakers
It’s close by, we’ll be there soon
Look at all those ducks and drakers
Swimming in a bird platoon

For breakfast I enjoy oat Quakers
Eaten with a runcible spoon
George Bush prefers to have corn flakers
Bugs Bunny would call him “a maroon”

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Harry Potter Song

(The sad violin music that accompanies the Harry Potter movies is really quite touching. But I prefer something with more pep. Sing the following words to the tune of the Jakers cartoon theme.)

This is the story of a young wizard
He lives with muggles, in conditions foul
But he knew he was destined for greatness
When his mother sent him an owl

Harry, Ronnie, and Hermione
Study magic at the academy
Incantations and Quidditch
But there's a mysterious enemy

If you'd like to learn levitation
And meet mythical beasts of old
There's a charm for every occasion
Some day we'll turn lead into gold

Dang'rous secrets are hidden in Hogworts
Don't believe everything that you see
This potion calls for frog hearts
We love the life of Wizardry

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The case is Brown v. Sanders, 04-980

John Roberts made his his first ruling on the Supreme Court. He voted to reinstate a death sentence that a California Appeals court had overturned.

It's compassionate conservatism in action.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Smokin’ In the Boys’ Room

I picked my son up from school this afternoon. He had to stay late and serve detention for a heinous crime: he loaded Firefox onto a school computer. At first he was afraid to tell me, because he was worried that I’d be angry. I was more amused, but I extended a caution that his school seems to have limits on how many times you can break various kinds of rules before they expel you.

The detention had already multiplied from one to two sessions because he had initially forgotten to attend it. Both times that he went, there were only 2 or 3 other inmates. One was in for eating a cookie; another had been busted for talking --not exactly a rough crowd. Staying later than the school bus made for discussion about rides: which other kids drive to school, of those, which live near us, and oh yeah, some of the possible drivers are girls. Testing limits leads to social opportunity. Hasn’t it always been that way?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


CTJ: Coat ‘till June. I prefer that the PrissKids wear coats while outdoors. It can be cold and rainy even in the month of May. CTJ is a directive, and has come to stand for the coat itself.

Maddy is getting ready to retire for the evening. She just bade me “GN” for good night. I responded in kind and then made up another: TTGTB (time to go to bed.)

Zbig chimed in with EOD for end of day. That could also be DO for Day Over.


Attention PrissKids:

“Fairy” and “Ferry” have different vowel sounds.
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Living in Seattle is no excuse for driving your car onto a little winged perso

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Tale of Three Neighbors

When I was 18, my 19-year-old boyfriend introduced me to his parents. Soon after, I mentioned to my dad that I was surprised at how old they were.

“Are they really old, or do they just look old?” I specified that they were both over 60.

They’d gotten married at age 30 or so, and had planned to have children, but it simply hadn’t happened for them. BF explained that they had been surprised at his advent 10 years later, because by then, doctors had determined that his mother was unable to conceive due to her fallopian tubes being formed in loops. (That’s as technical as the explanation got.)

On another visit I mentioned that I was fascinated by twins. I'm less fascinated now, remember, I was a teenager at the time. His mother responded with a pronouncement that “Multiple births are always a tragedy.” She followed with a story to justify this intonation.

Years ago, when the housing development was young, and before my BF made his appearance in the world, a couple that lived a few doors down had triplets; all girls. They were young and underemployed and felt completely overwhelmed. They considered giving up one or more of the daughters for adoption and my BF’s mom thought about adopting, but decided against it.

The couple that lived next-door, right in between the two families that have been mentioned so far, was also childless, and took them up on this offer. They adopted the smallest of the three. It might have been good or bad to have an adopted child living just across the driveway from her natural family, but they never had to face this, because the biological parents and their remaining 2 daughters moved to Florida with the aim of getting some support from extended family there. To Californians, Florida is like the old country, the other side of the world.

But six months later, the Floridians were back for a visit. The almost toddler was now much bigger and more active than the other two. She was cheerful and communicative. The Floridian parents felt horribly guilty about having given up their child. Plus, they must have wondered if they’d mistakenly missed out on the good one. The adoptive parents became afraid that the natural parents would kidnap the baby and vanish. So they hid her with my BF’s parents. She was there for almost a week.

I think about this story every time someone tells me about the joy of landing at the airport with their new Estonian, Chinese, Siberian child in their arms.