Friday, January 28, 2005

pizzas and cream

per cecily's request, here it is: it ain't all pizzas and cream.

and as i am wont to do, taking another cue from cecily: beliefnet marks me a "spiritual straddler." and it tells me i should practice religions like these:

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (97%)
3. Liberal Quakers (88%)
4. New Age (82%)
5. Mahayana Buddhism (80%)
6. Reform Judaism (78%)
7. Hinduism (72%)
8. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (68%)
9. Sikhism (67%)
10. Theravada Buddhism (65%)
11. Jainism (64%)
12. Bahá'í Faith (63%)
13. Secular Humanism (63%)
14. New Thought (61%)
15. Scientology (54%)
16. Orthodox Judaism (48%)
17. Taoism (45%)
18. Orthodox Quaker (41%)
19. Islam (40%)
20. Nontheist (38%)
21. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (36%)
22. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (25%)
23. Seventh Day Adventist (21%)
24. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (19%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (17%)
26. Roman Catholic (17%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (14%)

and this disclaimer was on there. it's so good i'm going to add it to my disclaimer page tonight.

Warning: Belief-O-Maticâ„¢ assumes no legal liability for the ultimate fate of your soul.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

the best they could do

[first apologies for those who originally came here from wasted birth control because of my trackback only to find a missing post. i was writing this from school and it wasn't finished, but it was class time, so as i was moving around to save the post as a draft, i apparently hit enter and it saved as a live post. i quickly reclassed it as a draft and so you didn't get to see it, but the trackback on cecily was already sent. anyway, here it is.]

cecily said something that really really bugs me. i'll let you read the whole post, but in talking about some of her mother's deficient parenting mechanisms, cecily observed, "she did the best she could with the skills she had."

i hear this a lot in meetings, when people try to avoid playing the blame game with their parents. what it's intended to mean is that we all play the hand we're dealt, whether it's five aces or a shitload of nothing. and that our parents did just the same.

i have a severe problem with it, though.

i've gotten past the point of blaming my parents for the mess my life became in my teens and 20's (even well after i stopped drinking), and on how hard i'm having to work in my 30's to clean it up. i cheerfully say it, and will say it to their faces if they need it: two of my three parents were hopelessly fucked up and would have been better off using birth control. the third, a loving step-parent, really did do what she could to make the best of a terrible situation, and in retrospect while she had her own problems, she was the best parent i could have ever had.

my other two parents, however, remain at arm's length because their little whirling dirvishes continue to run amok, and while my mother's is considerably less violent than my father's, i still think some of her priorities are way, way fucked up, and i want nothing to do with them.

here's my problem with what cecily said: it's bullshit.

parents' behavior and coping skills affect, and can severely fuck up, their children. children are incapable of protecting themselves from it, and don't even know what's going on most of the time. (by the time i realized what was going on in my own family, i was already approaching miserable-piece-of-shit-ness and i couldn't have turned the ship around without lots of help and cooperation from my -- haha -- parents.)

it's parents' jobs to find the skills to be better, by whatever means necessary. "doing the best you can with what you've got" is a cop-out. it means that you're unwilling to learn something new and do even better. it means you're unwilling to stretch and grow and try and even fail sometimes.

"doing the best you can" means going on with your life the way you've always lived it, repeating the same mistakes your parents made.

one of my dad's criticisms of his parents was that they were always too busy for him, working in an army surplus store they owned that provided them a comfortable but not rich living. my dad said something along the lines of, when i have kids i will be around for them.

great goal. he even recognized part of the problem.

but he completely, utterly failed to follow through. daycare ended at six. it was common for me to be left there until eight or 8:30 pm, sitting there doing nothing, waiting for him to come get me. he was too fucking busy to make what i now know to be a 10 minute trip to come get me and take me home. what does that say to a child? it says you're not important enough for me to spend 20 fucking minutes to come get you in the afternoon.

when i had things i wanted to do outside the house, like weekend school activities or extracirriculars, i learned very quickly that if i wanted any prayer of arriving before the program ended, i needed to figure out how to get myself there and back without any intervention from him. if it required him to stand up and put on pants, it was too much bother to take him away from his business.

beyond even that, everything had a monetary value, and it was necessary to constantly remind me of that value, so that i would be properly appreciative. it wasn't a television. it was a $200 television. it wasn't a bed. it was a $20 bed he bought at a yard sale. it wasn't a set of braces for my teeth, or a visit to the doctor. it was a $5,000 set of braces or a $150 visit to the doctor.

the example i remember most vividly of being left out to dry in ways that made me feel worthless and secondary was for my bar mitzvah. for those of you who don't know, it's the jewish rite of passage, and for boys it happens at age 13 (for girls at 12). if you live long enough you get a second one, at 83.

for mine, i was point-blank promised an external floppy disk drive for my macintosh. at the time it was a significant purchase, something on the order of $300. he said if i found one for less than like $250 he'd get it for my bar mitzvah; i did, he didn't. he said when the check came in from so and so slow-pay client, he'd get it. it came, he didn't. i'm pushing 31 and i'm still waiting.

i got something on the order of $3,000 in cash and bond gifts from people for my bar mitzvah. we put most of that money away into a college savings fund, except for the bonds. the bonds are now lost, gone forever since you have to search by social security number, and since they were gifts, my ssn isn't on them. and he stole the college fund the monday after i moved out; it's totally gone forever. something on the order of $25,000. i could really use that money now.

this from a parent who swore he wouldn't be the parent he had.

every parent wants better for their kids than what they had. at least the ones who i would like to respect do.

but the ones i really respect are the ones who put some fucking effort into at least acting like it, not like mine who didn't bother to even put on a show. if all he had was a bullshit model, he needed to find another model and put some work into learning how to be a parent. he didn't; he just repeated what he said he hated, without even trying to do better.

the truth of "he did the best with the skills he had" is that it lets us act like we're being grateful and recognize our parents' human limitations, when really, all it does is let us overlook their failure to try to do better. when i'm still cleaning up the mess in my 30s, and being miserable while doing it, he doesn't deserve to get off the hook. yes, i am responsible for my part; but not everything i am today is the result of my choices; some of it is the result of my childhood.

still considering

still thinking about the geology major. the downside is the calculus. the upside is that i can combine it with an education license to teach earth sciences as a fallback employment position, and i can continue forward with law school with it.

why is it every time i mention it, doglady shouts at me about how stupid it is, when nobody else i talk to (except sue, who thinks i can get a job for $50k today) does?

Saturday, January 22, 2005

degree plans

i've been looking at degree plans -- majors.

this semester should be my last at harvard on the highway. thank the motherfucking lord, because this school is -so- backwards. anyway, that's a different rant.

i've been looking at three, all leading either to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science: my first choice some time ago, political science. my later interest, history. and my most recent interest, geology.

sue (my wife for the uninformed), however, has a different idea.

she wants me to finish my college career at least for the short term at harvard on the highway with their associate of arts, so that i can get out there and get a $50k job so she can stay home with the kids like she wants.

an admirable goal, you know, being a stay-at-home mom. my only problem with it is that it's not reality.

i've been going to school part time off and on for a decade. in the last two years i've renewed my interest and attitude toward it, and done remarkably well: i've earned a 2.68 gpa in those two years (and my overall is slightly higher, 2.74). yeah, that's about a c average, but considering that i failed every class i took in high school starting in my sophomore year, that's pretty amazing. and i managed to earn a 3.0 last semester.

i'd like to graduate with a bachelor's degree before i turn 40. i'm now 30. at the end of this semester, assuming i pass everything, i will have earned 59 credit hours. most bachelor's degrees require between 120 and 128 credit hours, of which at least 32 must be upper-division courses. so i'll be just short of half way to my goal, with most of my lower-division stuff done, and all my upper-division stuff to go (because community colleges do not offer upper-division courses, for the most part), no matter what major i choose.

if i went for, say, six hours a semester (the minimum needed to hold my student loans in place), i'd wind up having to go 10 or 11 more semesters -- another five to six years, while working full time on top.

right now, sue works full time and i go to school full time. she's got a bachelor's degree, and doesn't think she uses it, although it's gotten her a $50k/yr job that has a BA as a minimum requirement. so she doesn't teach english, but she needed to have it to even be interviewed for her job.

i, on the other hand, would have, at the end of this semester, even less than associates degree. "oh i have 60 hours of college" doesn't mean anything in an interview. neither, i've found, does an associates degree.

to support her in the manner to which she would like to become accustomed, i'd need to earn something on the order of $60k/yr. and the bottom-line truth is that, at least where i live, people with associates degrees don't make that unless they work lots of overtime at home depot.

her attitude really pisses me off because she fails to recognize the common realities of work today:

- companies have no loyalty to employees; any pronouncements that they do are bullshit.
- the ideal that you worked 20 or 30 years for your company and then retired to a nice pension is now bullshit. it doesn't happen.
- the ideal that if you do a good job you'll be rewarded for doing it is bullshit.

the truth is that companies today are loyal only to their bottom line. that's why, at sue's office, they're doing a round of layoffs of a full one third of the people at her level. so her chances are one in three of job having a job come march. will she even think about putting together a resume? ha.

and the experience at her office bears that out in other ways: sprint has closed most of their united states call centers, and is opening new ones in places like india, trinidad, and the phillipines. when layoffs happen and call centers close, there's little if any severance; no retraining; no opportunity to find other positions within the company. you're just thrown away, no matter your experience, position, or level of performance in your job. you're a commodity to be replaced with another interchangable part from anywhere where the accent isn't too thick.

the average employee changes jobs -- even careers -- many times over a lifetime now. that's certainly been the case with me. studies are also showing, if you bother to read the business news, that workers who have college degrees do far and away better than workers without them. workers without degrees will be stuck in dead-end, low-paying service sector jobs that do not have any opportunity for advancement, no long-term prospects of personal and professional growth, and no long-term prospects for sufficient wealth-generation to do any better than paycheck-to-paycheck.

in texas, we've gone from being a one-party democratic state (that votes republican for president) to being a one-party republican state (that votes republican for president). now that the republicans are in power, and even to a large extent when the democrats held sway here, we're seeing a not-so-gradual erosion of all systems of public assistance. health budgets are being cut (which winds up costing billions more over the long term in sickness and preventable disease in people who can't afford routine health care because their dead-end service-sector jobs don't provide meaningful health insurance).

the only way out of this situation is to get a reasonable education (which is also becoming more and more unobtainable as costs skyrocket and state support goes away).

what the republicans in texas and elsewhere fail to realize, with their mania for "getting government off our backs" and increasing costs to end-users of state services, is that there are many things that, in truth, are too expensive to be paid for only by the user, but that benefit society as a whole, so that the cost should be paid for by society as a whole, for the benefit of all.

therein lies a fundamental difference between me and the democrats i vote for, and the republicans now in austin cutting my access to health care and education: i believe that the purpose of government is to fund societal needs that benefit everyone but are too expensive for individuals to afford. the republicans seem to believe that the purpose of government is to promote business.

so sue fails to understand the fundamental reality: her dad retired after 25 years in the air force. she thinks that she'll be able to work for sprint for another 15 or 20 years and then retire comfortably. the reality is that it won't happen. she'll be laid off eventually if she doesn't find another job first, if not this time, then next time or the time after that or the time after that.

so sue's falling for that same old trap doesn't do our family any good long term. what will do us longer-term good is finishing school the way i plan, and moving on to the graduate school program i've chosen.

i wish i knew how to make her understand that. she simply refuses to look.

Friday, January 21, 2005

another julie

please welcome julie, author of "tales from the stirrups," to my link list. thanks, cecily. :)

w0rk

work. cecily asked where i work.

i work in academic classroom building d, room 1426. which doesn't say much.

i work at the center for academic success, which also doesn't say much.

it's more appropriate, i guess, to talk about what i do.

i'm a tutor. this semester, from 9-4 (with time off for lunch) on monday, wednesday, and friday, and 9-1 on saturday, i will be happy to tutor you in any mathematics course upto college algebra; in english composition 1; in macroeconomics; in your choice of texas or american government; in american history from discovery to 1877; in physical geology, or what in some colleges is called "earth processes."

students either walk in or sign up in advance for tutoring in the subjects they need help in, in one hour blocks. a student may have one hour of tutoring per week for each credit hour of the class, so since most classes are either 3 or 4 credit hours, most students are permitted 3 or 4 hours of tutoring. most only use one or two hours, but a few go whole hog each and every week.

i actually find the good students quite rewarding. by good students i mean the ones who sign up ahead of time; who come with their books; who come with their homework already attempted; who come on time, or who call ahead of time when they'll not show up; who ask questions rather than wait for me to teach them.

signing up ahead of time is important because it allows me to prepare a little better. it permits me the opportunity to think a little bit about where you are and what we're going to talk about.

bringing your book is critical. i can explain using your book to guide me. we can work exercises in the book together and we can check them in the back of the book. if i make problems up on the fly, we're going to get stupid answers that we have no easy way to check.

try your homework. you'll get some of them right. also, it'll help you to better understand where to ask questions, and we can spend our time talking about things you don't understand, rather than have me watch you work problems you do understand.

come on time. don't no-show. when you sign up and then no-show, i have nothing to do. that doesn't bother me, but it does mean that some other student who wants my time can't have it because i'm waiting on you. even if that other student doesn't have an appointment i can still take him on a walk-in basis if i know you're not coming. i gave you the phone number to the office at the very first session, so call it.

ask questions about what you don't understand. point out problems you tried and screwed up. i'll help you find the right answers. but i won't start at the beginning of the chapter and teach you. that's your teacher's job. i'm a tutor, not a teacher. i help you understand the concepts you've already put some effort into learning. if you don't put any effort in, why should i bother?

and then there are days like today, when i'm at work and there's nothing to do because officially tutoring hasn't started yet and i don't have any students and nobody's walking in looking for help and it's just me because none of the other tutors are working and there are no friday classes on this campus anyway, so i break out my laptop (a no-no) and get on the net (a no-no) and write on my blog (which is okay since there's no nudity on it right now).

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

sk00l

first day of school, and first day of work, is done.

return to school was as expected, but my statistics instructor apparently doesn't permit the use of scientific calculators in class. what the fuck is that about? the department chair may get a nastygram about that, and soon. the prof went on and on about "fairness to students who don't have one" ... so he'll hobble my progress and learning.

and work was as expected. i told a close friend there about this here blog, and about my latest adornment. blew her mind, i think, which is cool; she's a fun lady but everybody's mind needs blowing from time to time.

so tomorrow, back to school, and we'll see about whether or not i wind up at the dean's office for making an ass of myself to a department chair.

Monday, January 17, 2005

song of the day

kodachrome/maybellene
simon and garfunkel, central park, 1981

when i think back on all the crap i learned in high school
it's a wonder i can think at all
and though my lack of education hasn't hurt me none
i can read the writing on the wall

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama don't take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew when I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they'd never match my sweet imagination
Everything looks better in black and white

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama don't take my Kodachrome away
Mama don't take my Kodachrome away
Mama don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama don't take my Kodachrome
Mama don't take my Kodachrome
Mama don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama don't take my Kodachrome
Leave your boy so far from home
Mama don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama don't take my Kodachrome
Mama don't take my Kodachrome away

Oh, Maybellene, why can't you be true?
Oh, Maybellene, why can't you be true?
You've dun started back doing those things you used to do

As I was motivatin' over the hill
I saw Maybellene in a Coup de Ville
A Cadillac rollin' on the open road yeah
But nothing outrace my V-8 Ford
The Cadillac doin' 'bout ninety-five
Bumper to bumper and side by side

Maybellene, why can't you be true?
Oh, Maybellene, why can't you be true?
You've dun started back doing those things you used to do

Heat cooled down, the motor cooled down
That's when I heard that highway sound
The Cadillac sittin' like a ton of lead
about a Hundred and ten half a mile ahead
The Cadillac lookin' like it's standin' still
And I caught Maybellene at the top of the hill

Maybellene, why can't you be true?
Oh, Maybellene, why can't you be true?
You dun started back doing those things you used to do

Oh Maybellene, can't you be true?
Oh, Maybellene, why can't you be true?
You dun started back doing those things you used to do
You dun started back doing those things you used to do
You dun started back doing those things you used to do
---
performance copyright 1981
fucking righteous show, too
kodachrome is a trademark
all rights reserved

[unrelated note: as much as i love my ipod, and as much as i love the in-ear headphones i got for it, i can't keep the left one in my ear. most annoying.]

banana has arrived

banana aka hannah has arrived over at julia's. but this is just to spread the word: go read all the good news direct from grandma's hand.

shelba has asked those of us with blogs to please pass on the link to the shower.

no news re julia

we're all nervously hitting refresh on julia's and shelba's site waiting for word on julia and her daughter hannah.

for those who haven't been following her story, julia went into the hospital today for a c-section. she has increta, a condition where the placenta has inappropriately invaded the uterus and possibly the surrounding tissue as well. a c-section followed by a hysterectomy seemed likely; otherwise, she'd bleed out, obviously a not-nice outcome.

she was scheduled for surgery at noon-thirty central time (gmt-6 for those of you from elsewhere); as i write this it's seventeen-fifteen and no news is no news.

no matter what the outcome, please pray/think good/whatever for julia, hannah, and hub/dad and the rest of the family. even if they manage to save julia's uterus and everything turns out "happy," any family with a new arrival needs all the help they can get.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

new toys

we got a new toy: a samsung sc-d103 camcorder.

sue's wanted one to take videos of the kids. so i got her one.

i spent yesterday shooting movies and learning how to turn them into mpeg movies, and later we'll learn to burn dvds with them. the uncompressed quality is pretty good, for the tape.

it also has a memorystick capacity, to which you can record 20 second clips or take still shots, but both the still shots and the clip quality positively sucks.

even so, sue likes it. so we'll go with it. in time i may post some clips, once i learn to get some decent quality at a reasonable size.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

the twatlight zone

love to sanorah. added her link. thanks, cecily.

the dark tower

a couple weeks ago i posted a snippet of the dark tower series, from book six, by stephen king.

i've finally finished reading book seven. it's been 25 years since he started the series with short stories. the first book begins, rather famously, with a rather simple line.

"the man in black fled west across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

if you're not a fan of king's horror, stuff like dreamcatcher (which made me positively ill, something that's really hard to make happen with a book), worry thyself not. the dark tower is not that kind of series. it's vaguely a western.

as you read, remember that ka is a wheel.

i: the gunslinger
ii: the drawing of the three
iii: the wastelands
iv: wizard and glass
v: wolves of the calla
vi: song of susannah
vii: the dark tower

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

mail error

so the only problem with running your own mail server is that when you screw something up, there's nobody but yourself to complain to.

when i was using my old provider they dutifully dumped all my mail into one easy-to-find spot for me, and all i had to do was sort it. when i set up my own server, however, i had to do both the dumping and the sorting.

what i didn't recognize is that qmail rewrites email headers in a special way when you go through its virtual domains feature, and that, if you use its other control file and extension address functionality, you have to account for this rewriting in your extension address control files. basically, you have to tell it exactly what to do in every case, or it will royally fuck your mail.

now the standard suggestion is to have an "everything else gets delivered here" mailbox. what you're supposed to do is sort out the "known good" stuff and then look over the "everything else" to see if there isn't some you should have sorted out but didn't.

because i get spam bombing runs of 100,000+ pieces per week from brazil, i take the opposite approach: if it isn't sorted out as known good, or at least to a valid address, it's dumped into the garbage, silently. no logs, no traces, just gone. when i tried it the other way i beat my machine to death scanning all the spam, to the point where once csoft cut my account off over it.

the down side is that when i make a misconfiguration, usually there's no way for anybody to know because there are no logs, flgas or warnings. and if mail gets unceremoniously dumped into the great beyond, well, too bad. i just never see it. except you're not alerted either, and of course you can't fire off an email and say "why didn't you answer that last email, you stupid fuck?" because i never saw either the last one nor the new one, because qmail did exactly what i told it.

the only symptom had been that when i moved the blog from csoft to my home, i had expected some of wordpress's email-when-you-get-a-comment function to start working again, and it didn't. but it hadn't worked at csoft either because they'd turned it off, and i turn off comments after two weeks anyway, so the new comments show up when i look at the blog's front page.

anyway, if you emailed me and i didn't respond, i'm sorry. i won't say that you should resend, because nobody ever does, i don't think, but i've tested it and if you want to, email to r-a-i-n-b-o-w-at-m-y-p-r-i-v-a-t-e-s-p-a-c-e-dot-o-r-g should work again. de-spamify the address, sorry.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

assholes

i've talked before about stupid people. and about how much i fucking hate them. once upon a time i wrote an argumentative essay for an english comp class advocating euthenasia of stupid people.

so dealing with such an idiot first thing in my morning is not exactly what i like. since i believe that god didn't mean for humans to get up before the crack of noon, i'm loathe to make my mornings any harder than i strictly need to. (if god had meant for us to see the sunrise, it'd be later in the day.)

anyway, i made the mistake of showing this stupid person julie's shower boxes. i was treated to a 20 minute rant about why those of us kind enough to send julie something are stupid; about how you don't give shower gifts to people who aren't your friends; about how you don't accept shower gifts if you're not expecting to give your own gifts when the time comes. she likened the whole idea to simply posting a "send me shit" list on the net, a certain "gimmie gimmie gimmie."

so i did not tell her that i sent my own gift, to both julie and tertia. i didn't want to have to listen to her rant.

i'll point out that this particular stupid person neither has children of her own, nor will she ever; and she also never struggled with infertility like me and my wife and julie and julia and tertia and cecily and all the rest. so in a way her attitude doesn't surprise me.

but it still strikes me as asinine that she'd pass judgement on the blogging community's willingness to shell a few bucks for someone who's blog we heartily enjoy. what i sent didn't cost a lot, but it meant a lot to me to be part of the show. even as i'm only peripherally a part of the community, the being a part of, when i've been apart from for so long, is important to me.

and it's something the stupid bitch will never understand.

Friday, January 7, 2005

happy happy

tertia is no longer close. she has arrived ... and the next phase of her journey begins.

lotsa love to her, marko, and kate and adam.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

the birth of a baby

trackback to grrl because the joke is somehow appropriate.

mom goes into labor, goes to the hospital, and all goes well. the baby, a boy, is born in the more-or-less usual manner. everything goes fine, except ... he's hyper-intelligent. walking and talking just a few seconds old.

he walks up to mom and introduced himself. "i guess you're my mother. i'm really looking forward to learning from you and becoming a part of your family. thank you for all you've done, and in advance for all you will do."

he turns to the docs and nurses. "i want to thank yall for the fantastic medical care you've given me and my mother, and i'd just like to say that i'm really looking forward to continuing working with you."

he turns to another man in the room. "are you my dad?"

"yes," says dad.

"hey you," the baby screams.

he pokes dad in the middle of the forehead three times with an extended index finger. poke, poke, poke.

"that hurts!"

all things school-like

over the weekend i asked sue if she would please, this week, call the school where we want to enroll ian to find out the particulars: when he'd start, what it would cost, how to pay, that kind of stuff.

on monday she thought she'd call on tuesday, since monday, being the first work day of the year, would be totally insane for them and she would wait until tuesday or wednesday to actually call.

then she thought better of it, might as well just give them a ring to see if they were too busy to deal with her. so she dug out the number and called.

"oh, we're expecting him tomorrow."

good thing we called.

while this was going on, i made a visit to my local doctor's office to have my prince albert examined, because i suspected a minor infection. so i get in there and the aide says, "i used to work in a tattoo shop, and i know what this is all about, but i want to tell you, diane [the nurse practitioner] is gonna bust you for doing this." i laughed.

and sure enough, diane busted me for it. "what posessed you," she asked. i could tell by the look on her face that no answer i could possibly come up with could satisfy her disapproval. so i explained what had happened and she actually looked rather accepting.

so i'm standing at the pharmacy getting the antibiotic perscription filled (another adventure in and of itself) and sue calls. she asks where i am. "grocery store," i say.

"oh could you pick up some bread? ian starts tomorrow and we need to send lunch with him."

"no problem, do you want me to get some lunch meat too?"

now, if you're not jewish, this is an innocuous question. perfectly reasonable, in fact.

except that, as someone who went to 2nd grade in the very same room where ian's class now plays, i should have known better. the synagogue doesn't permit meat to be brought on the premises, except in very specific circumstances, and school children's lunches isn't one of them.

"it needs to be dairy," sue explained. "cheese, pb&j, tuna fish," she went on.

i know what dairy means. boy did i feel dumb.

so on tuesday morning we all piled in the van and went. we got him registered, got the school paid, and we left him there at 0900. he only cried when we left the play room in the center of the school to head for our classroom, and then again when we left for the day. i don't think he even noticed that mom and dad left in the morning.

so it was a success, and he goes back tomorrow (thursday). i think he'll really love it, and i hope it helps.

Saturday, January 1, 2005

onward through the fog

oat willie's, austin, texas.

so as i now usually do, i spent new year's eve at home, scratching myself. sue was at work (as usual), and now that we have kids, i can't go out without childcare. and that ain't happening. so instead i watched tv and messed with the computer (as usual).

in some ways i miss the socializing, but on the other hand i don't actually have any friends i'd really want to socialize with.

with any good luck, 2005 will hold some better employment prospects than 2004. but my luck being what it usually is, our house will be foreclosed on, i'll get shot at by the neighbors, and my cat will die.

so here we go.