Monthly Archives: April 2009

Happy Birthday, Dudley!

Today is my friend’s birthday!  Since he doesn’t have a blog of his own, you’ll have to wish him happy here.

This man is awesome, and even though we live several hundred miles apart, he’s still an everyday part of our lives (especially during Final Four and baseball seasons!).  The fact that we only get to see him in person about once a year does nothing whatsoever to hamper our relationship.

He is my husband’s best friend (I’ll refer you here and here for examples), but that doesn’t keep me from loving him, too.  I can go to him whenever I’ve got a particularly tough question or problem, and he always drops everything to listen to me to give me his absolute best thinking, which always sheds new light for me.  Politically, we’re just different enough to challenge each other, but not so much that we piss each other off, and I dig that.  Our senses of humor are pretty much right in line, and I never see him without getting to laugh.

I treasure this man in my life, and I’m celebrating his latest trip around the sun.


Dudley and Beanie, circa autumn, 2000


Filed under admiration, celebration, compassion and connection, family matters, Friends, fun, holiday, Home and Family, love notes, politics

One of Life’s Unsolved Mysteries

Why is it that an ice cream cone created at home – with fabulous ice cream and good quality cones – is never quite as good as an ice cream cone bought at a stand?

The other day I wanted ice cream, but I had to leave immediately after dinner to tend to Mom.  “OH!” I thought, “I’ve got cones!”  I scooped myself a lovely ice cream cone with my most-favorite chocolate peanut butter ice cream and hit the road.

I was actually pretty disappointed.  Maybe it’s the temperature at which I keep my freezer that’s the problem; the ice cream didn’t “lick” properly.  That’s the only thing I can think of; the ice cream is really good-quality stuff, the cone was yummy, it just wasn’t “right.”  I want to figure this out, though; for what I pay for an ice cream cone at my local shack, I can buy enough ice cream at the market to feed the entire family a couple of cones…


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Filed under frustrations, Little Bits of Nothingness, my oh-so-exciting life, Questions, strange but true, technical difficulties, weirdness

A Big Day

My state senate is voting today on both gay marriage legislation and a transgendered rights bill.

I’ve called and emailed my senator to let her know, on no uncertain terms, that the Chili family is strongly in favor of the passage of these bills. If there were a free moment in my day, I’d pack myself up and drive to my capital and stand up in support of these bits of legislation. As it is, I’ll have to content myself with the voice mail message and the electronic letter and hope that the person I helped vote into her job really does represent me.

This matters.


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I’ll report back as soon as I hear the results of the vote.  Send good, compassionate, equality-minded energy to the Northeast today, wouldja, please?


Filed under compassion and connection, doing my duty, family matters, GLBTQ/Ally issues, Home and Family, politics, social issues

Ten Things Tuesday


1. Ten songs I walked home to this morning after escorting Beanie and my neighbor’s son (who, not for nothing, is nearly four years younger than Bean but is nearly as tall) to school:

I’m Outta Love by Anastasia
Angry by Matchbox Twenty
Limelight by Rush
Days Go By (remix) by Dirty Vegas
You Should be Dancing by the Bee Gees (shut up)
Where Are We Runnin’ by Lenny Kravitz
And She Was by the Talking Heads
Can’t Get You Out of My Head by Kylie Minogue
History Repeating by the Propellerheads
The Way You Move by Outkast and Sleepy Brown

All of these songs have a perfect beat; slow enough that I don’t have to jog, but fast enough that I work up a sweat.

2. I’m meeting a former student for lunch today, and I’m very excited to see her again. I’ve watched her really come into herself in the four or so years that I’ve known her, and I’m exceedingly proud of her. I’m looking forward to catching up on her over really good local pizza.

3. Sometime, it’s the little things that thrill me. Yesterday, I wrote a post about carrot cake and how we here in the Chili household kid ourselves into thinking it’s good for us (“it’s got THREE CUPS of carrots in the recipe!” we gleefully exclaim, not giving a thought to the two cups of sugar and cup and a half of vegetable oil that make the cake’s base, never mind all the sugar in the icing). Falcon, Goddess love him, commented that this sounded very much like the thinking behind Bill Cosby’s skit about giving the kids chocolate cake for breakfast (“what’s in cake? Eggs, milk, and wheat! It’s GOOD for you!”). I came THIS close to making that reference, but I wasn’t sure how many people wouldn’t get it. I adore that he did.

4. The forecast is for temperatures approaching 90° today. I love it.


Chance Thunderstorms Chance for Measurable Precipitation 30%
Hi 90 °F

5. My mother’s oncologist appointment is on Friday, and I’ve arranged for a sub for my yoga class so I can go. It’s potentially a big appointment; we’ll get the doctor’s prognosis then, I hope, and will get some useful information to help us make other, big decisions. I’ve already begun a few balls rolling on getting things settled, but there are a lot more conversations to have.

6. The little garden we started in the house is really taking off. We’ve got sprouts for nearly all the fruits and veggies (the peas and cucumbers, especially) and several of the larger flower seeds – the sunflowers, moonflowers, and morning glories, in particular – have taken off, though it seems the smaller seeds like forget-me-nots need a little more time. Mr. Chili said he’ll put the garden to rights this weekend, if the rain holds off.

7. You know it’s spring when your windshield looks like a war zone. Coming back from the Cape this weekend resulted in a mass-murder of insects, and I was slightly nauseated scraping all the bug guts off of my windshield on Sunday. The gas station I usually end up in (because of its convenience to the health club) hasn’t put their windshield washer thingies back out yet (they take them in in the winter because they very often freeze in their buckets), so I had to bring the car home and do the job with blue window-washer stuff and paper towels. I did a passable job, but I can see my efforts when I’m aimed at the sun. Maybe I’ll run my Puck through a car wash on my way to pizza with Jen this afternoon.

8. I don’t have many regrets in my life, but I really am sorry that I’m not doing more with the ASL training I took. I realized, as I watched a family signing in a restaurant the other day, how much I miss the language. I’m going to look in to getting an interpreter’s certificate at a community college in the next state over. It’s a drive, and it’ll mean a huge commitment from me (and my family), but I would like to be able to say that I really pursued this as far as I could.


9. Am I the only one who thinks the new Old Navy ad campaign is more than a little creepy?

10. Aren’t they CUTE?!


Happy Tuesday, Everyone!


Filed under compassion and connection, concerns, cooking, family matters, Friends, funniness, Home and Family, kid cuteness, Little Bits of Nothingness, randomness, ten things Tuesday

Quick Hit: Break Down

Remember when I told you that I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when?

Turns out, it was African drums that set me off.

Well, this time, anyway.

I went to see this man and his group perform tonight.  Just after the show, I had what I’m sure was a panic attack; I could barely breathe, I was shivering and sobbing uncontrollably.  I probably shouldn’t have driven home, but I needed to be with my husband.

I’m exhausted now.  I feel, quite literally, wrung out.


Filed under Home and Family, messages from the Universe, on death and dying, quick hit

Counting Chickens

I’m putting this post up at both The Blue Door and A Teacher’s Education, because I have the same story to tell, but I’m not sure that all of you cross over.

My interview ROCKED.  I left with the distinct impression that I’ll be offered the job, though I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.  I also have to admit that I’m not certain exactly where my hesitancy is coming from, either, so you may have to just put up with me while I write my way through it.

The gig is at a tiny public charter high school in my town (Wayfarer, I’m betting that their charter is similar to yours; it’s heavily rooted in the arts).  The director is interested in me primarily, I think, because she feels that her curriculum lacks a strong foundation in critical thinking and analysis – which are things that my own personal curriculum is stuffed full of.  She’s looking for someone who can integrate the curriculum standards for the state into a program that draws from several different disciplines (the math, history/social studies, English, and science teachers all work together – so if, say, the social studies teacher is working on a unit about the 30’s and 40’s, the science teacher would work on the inventions or discoveries of that time, the English teacher would read novels and plays either written in or set in that era and the math teacher… well, I’m not sure WHAT the math teacher would do, exactly, but it would tie in somehow).  She’s also looking for someone who can give the students a strong foundation in critical reading and analysis, and the writing skills to go with it.

She’s also interested in someone who can create her own curriculum.  Basically, she said that her hope was to print out the state standards, hand them over, and let me do the rest.  The school doesn’t have to teach to the NCLB tests, so there’s not that nonsense to worry about.  Assessments are based far more on performance and demonstration of mastery than tests (which I love, because I hate writing tests almost as much as the kids hate taking them).  She was delighted when I told her about this, and she said that’s exactly the kind of thing she’s looking for.

I can totally do all of that.

I think that my biggest concern is the full-time nature of the job, though, to be fair, the hours required are just about perfect with my priorities as my girls’ mother.  Beanie will be in middle school next year, so she’ll be leaving the house with Punkin’ at 7:00.  The job requires that I be in the building by 7:30, and said building is about 6 minutes away from the middle school, so I don’t see a conflict there.  The girls would likely beat me home, but literally only by a few minutes.  The job also requires that I teach something other than my discipline (in my case, I’d be teaching yoga for the health and wellness program, and may be teaching introductory ASL, but I’ll have to look in to that; my ASL is a bit lot rusty).

I sent an email to my boss at Local U. explaining what’s going on with me and asking him if he’d be willing to stick me with night courses.  His response was pretty favorable – he actually said “You did a good job last fall, and I do want to keep you with us.” – so I’m thinking that I’ll not have to sacrifice my beloved L.U. job to go on this new adventure.

So, the upshot is that now I wait to hear back about whether or not I get the nod.  Trust me; as soon as I know, you’ll know.


Filed under my oh-so-exciting life, strange but true, teaching


You know that feeling, when you’ve got a zillion things going on in your head but no one thing will hold still long enough for you to really get a good, strong grip on it?  Yeah; that’s me today.

There’s nothing monumentals, certainly, but I’ve got a ton of stuff whirling tornado-like in my head – mostly having to do with my mother and how I can best and most responsibly carry out her wishes as her personal representative (Oh!  That’s right, I haven’t told you; she named me as her power of attorney and executor of her estate last week.  We sign the papers sometime this coming week.  Anybody know anything about being a dying person’s representative?).  I’m also going for a job interview tomorrow morning, and I’m trying to keep up with all the other little things I’ve got going on.  The end result is that I’m not particularly articulate right now, so I’ve really got nothing for you today.  Check back tomorrow.  In the meantime, have a cookie:


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Filed under Little Bits of Nothingness