31 July 2007

Moody Monday: Lonely

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For Moody Monday: Lonely; a solitary dead leaf, appearing lonely in the fresh grass.


29 July 2007

This is WRONG!

This is racial profiling, loss of freedom of association and who knows how many other freedoms. I'm so astounded, I can't think straight. It reads like a police state novel--we think they look like gang members, so we have the right to stop them in the streets to question them in the hopes they might be doing something illegal? No specific warrant? I don't think so! Yes, their heart is in the right place, and I understand fully that gang violence is devastating--we see some of the effects of it here--but loss of freedom to one population means loss of freedom to us all. This is NOT right!

Cities Sue Gangs in Bid to Stop Gang Violence

28 July 2007

Shutterday: Train

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for Shutterday: Train

note: this photo was taken using the sepia option on my digital camera; no adjustments were made


6 years ago today. . .

Six years ago today, Stoney and I went over to the next county's courthouse and were second in line when the doors opened at 8 a.m. that Saturday morning. We filled out our papers, got a list of available County Commissioners and went back to the car.

Stoney spent a few minutes calling around, till he found a fella who could marry us at 11 am and then we went to the all-you-can-eat breakfast bar. We ate a boatload of bacon (I was a backslid vegetarian at that time), did a little shopping (I still have the paper doll page I picked up for the step-daughter) and drove one town over to meet the Commissioner.

He did a nice, very personal, quick ceremony--outside their little City Hall next to the bird feeder--took a few photos for us and we drove home.

We left voice mail messages for both sets of parents ("hi, it's me; just thought you'd like to know we got married today. Talk to you later; love you."), took a nap and later celebrated with a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 movie, a bottle of champagne and black beans and rice.

I was up all night with massive indigestion.

27 July 2007

Photo Friday: Loud

For Photo Friday: Loud; it was the Spring Fly-In that day, so there was lots of lovely vintage airplane noise.

for more photos from that day, click here


Spring Fly-In 2005

Photos from April, 2005. Yes, it's been a while, but I think they're still worth sharing. :)

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This is one of my all time favorite photos; I did not arrange the helmet, everything is as I found it.


Medbie 12:9

And Yay, I will smite me the hamster, for chewing on her cage, and waking her Momma.

Thursdsay Challenge: Food

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For the Thursday Challenge: Food, homemade jelly in the sunlight.


Lensday: Sunshine

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For Lensday: Sunshine


26 July 2007

The Things You Learn in School

Went to a super conference today. Had two short sessions and one long session, all of which were interesting and enlightening and mostly applicable to my classroom. Nice!

The one thing I learned, which is NOT applicable to my classroom, is too interesting not to share. It seems, according to the child neurologist/psychologist I was listening to, in a discussion about the importance of smell on the emotions (excuse the commas, but I promise, I am getting somewhere), that females responded in a "aroused fashion" to the scents of licorice and cucumber, while males respond in the same fashion to cinnamon. We learned this under the guise of warning for those teaching adolescences; do not have or wear these scents in the classrooms if you're in middle school or up he said--something those teachers need to know!

Wonder how many of us stopped at Wal Mart to buy cinnamon candles on the way home?

Mommy and Son

Just finished reading Son of a Witch. Must admit to great disappointment. Maguire left WAY too many loose ends, asked more questions in the last couple of chapters than he answered in the whole book and, quite frankly, appears to have set himself up for more in a series. Boo hiss, I say. Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West was a marvelous book, with a rich world and characters that I truly cared about. I was excited to read more about Liir and instead found it anticlimactic. If you've read Wicked, of course you'll ignore this and read Son of. .. how can you not--you cared about Elphaba so you've got to know. But, if you think like I do, I can almost guarantee you'll feel let down too.

On a completely different book aisle, I also just finished reading the book I got Stoney for Father's Day. Oh lordy. . . I love James Lileks. He is snarky, sarcastic and adorable and Mommy Knows Worst is no exception. It is filled with vintage clips of parenting advice coupled with his quips about it. Side-splittingly funny, sometimes painfully so. If you're not familiar with Lileks, read his blog where he shares about work, family and general life. Stoney and I love this man. He's like Garrison Keiler, just more sardonic.


24 July 2007

Just Curious; Do Tell.

As some of you know, I'm jealous of Lauren Bacall. Stoney's had a crush on her for years and years and years. Yes, he'd probably still leave me for Slim if she beckoned. Or told him to whistle. Sigh.

Now, Stoney is luckier. None of my near-heartthrobs are still alive, or even real for that matter. Severus Snape (NOT the actor, canon version only; and yes, he is a greasy git, it's part of his charm so get over it), John Lennon and Rudolph Valentino.

But now, what I'm itching do know is. . . do any of y'all have have favorite people like that? Not really a crush, because let's face it, we're most of us way too old, though I still worry about Stoney and Slim, but. . . Do you have a special place in your heart for someone like Snape or Slim? I'm curious. Do tell.

edit: interesting. . . over on Twitter Susan Victoria confessed up to "Sean Connery, Benjamin Netanyahu and *any* superior tenor. Also a number of Hispanics". If Stoney had a male crush, I'm betting it would be Connery. Of course, I dig him too, but he's just not my top three.

Moody Monday: Feline

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Czarina, for Moody Monday: Feline.


Alternate Take

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See post below for explanation.


Tuesday Challenge: Bottles

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I took this shot as I saw it, no posing of the bottle, the honeysuckle or the broken-down couch. For the Tuesday Challenge of "bottles".


23 July 2007

This Just In

I just got an email from my school principal, telling me my classroom assignment for the upcoming school year. I'm so happy, I've actually got tears. It may sound sappy to some, but God has given me my heart's desire. I will be in a class with nothing but 4 year old autistic children, the really hard cases, the ones that just can't go into a class with even the other special ed kids because of where they are on the spectrum.

The teacher is new, she came in at winter break and worked miracles last school year, so I'm super excited to work with her. I know and already love some of the kids and now and I'll be able to love them even more. There are no words to express just how blessed I feel right now.

And how humbled. And how honored. A grave responsibility rests on the shoulders of the teacher and TAs in that classroom, teaching life skills and social skills, giving love, showing an example; I get to be a part of that.


WoW Couples

Through our whole relationship, Stoney and I have always said, "the couple that games together, stays together". We've played many games together from Unreal Tournament to Dungeon Siege to World of Warcraft.

We've run into a few other married couples on World of Warcraft that are gaming together and now Stoney came across this wonderful article recommending that married/established couples make "date nights" on WoW. Stoney and I play WoW a lot together and follow a lot of those concepts (as I said in my comment on the article), but the idea of a date night is an awesome idea. Seeing as how Stoney thinks so too, we'll have to take her advice. :D

edit: for some reason, my lengthy and thought-out comment didn't post. . . ah well.


My favorite student from last year, J., spent the day with me Friday. Stoney was home, and J. thinks he's pretty cool and looks for him when he's not here. Matter of a fact, he shocked me one day by making a fairly good approximation of Stoney's name when we came in the door, asking for him.

We were sitting here at our huge desk, me and J. on one side and Stoney on the other and our HUGE Abbey Road poster on the wall beside us. Now, J. has about 18 words or so that he uses regularly; he will repeat just about anything you say, as he's at that stage cognitively, but that doesn't mean he'll understand it or ever use it again. For regular words he uses some names, some food names, has in the past few months started saying "yeah" appropriately in answer to some questions and JUST started saying "no". I was thrilled! Friday was the first time I had ever heard him say it. I nearly cried!

So, back to the desk. . . J. and I were looking at, I think, starfall.com which has awesome things for younger kids, when Stoney pointed to the posted and said "Beetles!". J. pointed and repeated, "Beebles!". We laughed and gave him lots of positive reinforcement. A few minutes later, Stoney pointed out each Beatles, saying "John, Paul, George, Ringo". J. made unintelligible imitations, ending with "Raingoh!" which was adorable so we laughed and gave him more positive reinforcement.

Five-ten minutes later, maybe more, out of the blue, J. pointed up to the poster and said, "BEEBLES!", so proud of himself, and as I hugged him and made a big dealof it , he pointed four times saying unintelligible jargon ending with "Raingoh!".

No matter how hard we tried, casually and directly, we never did get him to do it again quite as well as he did (probably due to the fact that we hid the video camera and had it running in hopes of catching him doing it spontaneously again), but it was one of those precious moments that we'll never forget--his proud little face and that adorable grin, looking at Stoney to make sure that Stoney was watching him. Too cute!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the BEEBLES!

22 July 2007

Yer a Witch, Medbie!

Here's the wizard hat I made Friday night, at Book's a Millon's Harry Potter celebration. It's my favorite colors, green and silver and black, with stars and crescent moons (the shiny thing that is hard to discern is a green crescent moon)and loads of glitter glue. It was only after making it and having Stoney ooh and aah over it too that I realized it's Slytherin colors, despite the fact that I'm proudly Hufflepuff (and have been LONG since before Cedric made it cool). Must've been having a Snape moment. . ..

Beautiful Article

Stoney directed me to a short but beautiful article that ties in the hope of the Harry Potter books with her relationship with a little boy. It's well worth reading--as is Stoney's excellent comment. :)

Deathly Hallows

Just finished it--Stoney and I stayed up all night reading. Excellent. I'm quite happy with how she did some of it and how she justified a favorite character. I shan't say more, since many haven't read it yet. Good book though, very enjoyable.

21 July 2007

Can't Blog. . . Reading. . .

We got our copies (one each for me and the husband) of HP and the Deathly Hallows at midnight tonight and have been reading since. My impressions, though not a review, will follow the completion of the reading sometime this weekend. :)

20 July 2007

Personal DNA

As my husband said, parts of this are "bang on"--adtually, to my surprise, quite a bit of it was.
You are an Analyst:
Your attention to detail, confidence, sense of order, and focus on functionality combine to make you an ANALYST.

You are very curious about how things work, delving into the mechanics behind things.

Along those lines, how well something works is usually more important to you than what it looks like.

You find beauty and wonder mainly in concrete, functional, earthly things.

You are very aware of your own abilities, and you believe that you will find the best way of doing things.

Accordingly, problems do not intimidate you, as you believe in yourself.

You trust yourself to find solutions within the boundaries of your knowledge.

You don't spend a lot of time imagining how things could be different—you're well-grounded in the here-and-now.

It is important for you to follow a routine, and you prefer the familiar to the unknown.

You're not one to force your positions on a group, and you tend to be fair in evaluating different options.

You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.

You much prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute. Your decisions are well thought out, and you're not the least bit impulsive.

Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

You are Generous:
Your awareness of those around you, along with your nuanced perceptions of the world at large, makes you the GENEROUS person that you are.

You value time to yourself and understand how rich your private world can be—you know that you don't have to go wild to have a good time.

You are excited and energized by ideas and often enjoy things more through observation than through experience.

This tendency gives you an appreciation for different perspectives and opinions about the world.

Being as aware of others as you are doesn't mean you find it easy to trust them immediately—this is something that happens more slowly for you.

Despite this, you are aware of the complexities of many situations and are reluctant to pass judgments on others.

Although you have fewer friendships than some people, those that you have are meaningful and are important to you.

You value spending time alone—it is while reflecting on the world around you that you often learn something new about yourself or begin to understand something that's been bothering you.

Saw this over at the deblog, so had to try it out myself.

19 July 2007

What Kind of World Do YOU Want?

Some of you know my passion for autism and my love for my autistic students, so humor me. :) Five For Fighting has some sort of a deal that is getting up to $0.49 donated to Autism Speaks when people watch this video, What Kind of World Do You Want, something to do with their advertisers I believe.

The video is incredible, whether any coins get donated or not. All the children pictured are autistic and the facts are right on target--and so is the sentiment. Go watch it, be enlightened to my world, my passion, what tugs at my heart strings. You can't really know me unless you know a little bit about autism. And if it does get some change donated to Autism Speaks, well, then consider your arm twisted. Please. . .

Because I DO want a world where my autistic children--and all the rest--will be able to make eye contact with their parents and say the words "I love you", without prompting, with understanding, and not as a one time thing.

More Last.fm

I'm SOOOO diggin' the widgety stuff on Last.fm!!

Last.fm Playlist

Here's another cool thing Last.fm can do! I made up a quick playlist, just a mix of some music I like plus that cool Janis Joplin I was raving about and, voila!, here it is! The T.Rex acoustic is another cool one I had never heard and fell in love with when I heard it on Last.fm on Monday. You can click on the song to play a 30 second preview or click on play to start the playlist. Once the the playlist starts, then you can fast forward through them and get to the one you really want to hear, as it shuffles for some unknown reason. Give the T.Rex and the Joplin a listen!

17 July 2007

More Green Hair!

The other green didn't stay long, so I turned to Manic Panic and now have Green Envy bedecking my hair. I should have went to them first! Awesome product, and I recognize one of their "Best of the Best" as a friend and former blogger (you go, girl!).

Stoney colored it for me; did a marvelous job, I might add! It only took half a jar, so I'm set for a redo whenever. Then, I'll have a pro re-bleach the highlights and maybe go with Bad Boy Blue or After Midnight Blue for the next go 'round.

I SO dig having colored hair! I'm just sorry I waited this long to do it! I can't wait till Stoney is no longer working for the Pigs and might let me talk him into using the temporary color on him. :D

1964: The Tribute

Stoney and I treated ourselves to a concert as an anniversary gift; we saw 1964: The Tribute, a Beatles tribute band (Rolling Stone calls them the best). They are the second I've seen and they really are good, lots of energy and fun. They've been doing this 24 years and though they may not really look like the guys, they have their body movements and personalities down pat so it was SUCH a fun time. Made me love the originals even more, if you can understand that. The only bad part was that the only went up to the Sgt. Pepper album. I love the drug influenced songs, they're my favorites, but we still got some good stuff. Plus, the whole thing was just plain fun. They had such energy and so obviously loved what they did. Stoney and I came away on a high from the experience.

Some of the audience were old fogies, who just sat there, but then there were a few of us there for a good time (like Stoney and me). The band wanted audience participation and boy did we give it. :P Sould've heard us filling in during the Yellow Submarine. Can't say we don't know that bit! Plus, I did the fan girl deal, screaming for m'man "John" to the top of my lungs and yelling for my second favorite, "George", during a lull while he was introducing a song--which I'm pleased to say caused the guitar trio to exchange an amused look and have to wait an extra beat. Go me!

Of course, had it been the REAL John and George, the folks around me wouldn't have been able to hear from my screams and sobs.

Back when we were still dating, we saw Rain: the Beatles Experience, which used a full orchestra and followed their whole career. Now, I can't say they were better than 1964, because 1964 had such energy, but Rain changed into three sets of costumes, used the orchestra and played my favorite pscyadelic tunes, so they were fabulous too. The bad thing was that, due to it being with our Symphany, no one had the freedom to play fan girl. *sigh*

Anyway, whole point being that I highly recommend either one of these bands to any Beatles Maniac like the hubbie and I. Seeing a tribute band, as Stoney says, makes us appreciate the originals even more while (if the band is good) promising a heckuva good time. :D


Fun stuff over there at Last.fm--aside from these snazzy little widgets (see below), I stumbled on a super cool version of Trouble in Mind by Janis Joplin that I had never heard before. It's one of my favorite Bessie Smith tunes and I was really awed by Joplin's version. Great sound!

Now you can keep up with what I'm listening too--you know you've been itchin' to know!

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My Most Played Artists: