Monthly Archives: October 2010

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten ways to earn my respect:

1.  Be thoughtful.  By this, I mean to literally think; I have a great deal of respect for people who aren’t afraid to dig in and wonder.

2.  Be considerate.  I admire people who are aware enough to realize that they are not the only people on the planet.

3.  Be loyal.  I have a particular affinity for people who are committed to their relationships, and especially for those who make it clear that their marriage (or the equivalent) is the most important thing in their lives.

4.  Be generous.  One doesn’t have to give THINGS to be generous; in fact, some of the most generous people I know are not the most well-off people I know.  Sometimes, it’s about the time or the energy one can give.

5.  Be attentive.  Little makes me feel better than having someone give me their full attention when I’m talking to them.  I love people who are willing to look me in the eye.

6.  Be thorough.  Follow-though is pretty important to me; I like it when people say they’re going to do something and then, you know, they DO it.

7.  Be compassionate.  This takes on so many different aspects that I have a hard time narrowing it down to a single idea.  I really love when people are paying enough attention to know what someone needs and how to give it to them.

8.  Be appropriate.  Of course, one is going to behave within one’s nature, but I am always drawn to people who know when to be serious and down-to-business and when it’s okay to cut a little loose and be a little silly.

9.  Be curious.  I can’t respect someone who is content to buy wholesale what someone else is selling without at least trying to read the fine print.

10.  Be kind.  I wonder if this isn’t the quality that garners most of my respect.  Kindness is so incredibly important, and I think far too many of us have lost sight of that.


Filed under Little Bits of Nothingness, ten things Tuesday

Monday Meme

I boosted Kwizgivers Saturday 9 meme:


1. What are you proud of? You want a list?!  I’m proud of my children (even when they make me crazy).  I’m proud of my students (some of them more than others, but that’s to be expected, I think).  I’m proud of my marriage; I think that Mr. Chili and I have it figured out (not that we have it figured out for everyone, mind, but for each other.  Did anyone see last week’s Private Practice?  “I’m not perfect, I’m just perfect for you.”  Yeah, that).  I’m proud of the commitments I make to my friendships.  I’m proud of my sister.

2. What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize? How did you win it? Ummm… I don’t win stuff very often.  OH!  I won a gift card to the Steamship Authority on the Cape by submitting a clever limerick using a vocabulary word.  It was a weekly contest a local weather guy used to run.  He doesn’t do it anymore, sadly.  If I remember correctly, it was this that won me the prize:

“Pulchritude” means something that’s pretty
like the snow when it falls in the city;
but the nature of streets
makes that “pretty” quite brief.
Feet and wheels fast turn snow grey and gritty.

3. Tell us about something you’ve done that in retrospect was a waste of time.   Ugh.  Fitness certifications.  Really?  They don’t prepare one for anything useful; they’re just ways for the certifying agencies to make money.

4. How old were you when life changed the most for you? How did it change? There are so many!  At 17,  I divorced my parents.  I was married to Mr. Chili when I was 27.  I had Punkin’ when I was 28 and Bean when I was 30 (guess how THOSE things changed me!).  I graduated college with my Master’s at 38 and got my favorite job at 40.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

5. Tell us about a place you that you’ve been that you considered to be very tranquil.  My mother’s back yard was a lovely spot; she had a patio and a koi pond back there.  I’m also pretty fond of the house Mr. Chili and I share; we had it built to our specifications in ’92 (and built on again in ’05) and even though it’s not always “tranquil,” it has always been a very happy (and safe) place for me to call home.

6. Who is your favorite news anchor/reporter? Why? I’m awfully fond of Robert Siegel.  I really like his voice, he has a lovely sense of humor, and he has been the giver of my news for so long that I associate news with him.  There are a number of other folks that come through my radio that I love, but if I had to put them in order, Robert would come out on top.  I also have a very strong affinity for Rachel Maddow.

7. If you were to have the opportunity to name a new town or city, what would you call it? Why? Blah.  I hate these questions; they’re lame.  How about what I would name another pet?  Or another child?  Since the pet is more likely to happen (in fact, another baby is never gonna happen), I will tell you that I will campaign to name a new pair of kittens Hans and Rosa, after two of my favorite characters from The Book Thief.  I bet Bean will side with me; she loves the book, too..

8. What is something about which you’ve always wondered but have not yet found a good answer? How is it that we can hurt ourselves in an instant, but we can’t heal that way (yet)?

9. When you can’t go to sleep, what is your personal remedy to help yourself drift into Lullabyland? I almost never have trouble falling asleep.  Lately, though, STAYING asleep has been a HUGE problem.  2:10 or so, and BING!  Chili’s up.  One of my yoga people told me today to “get used to it” and hinted that I may be pre-menopausal.  Whatever.  Sometimes I’ll do breathing stuff, sometimes I make sure it doesn’t happen at all by popping a sleepy Tylenol after I brush my teeth.  Sometimes, i just tough it out.

Happy Monday, Everyone!!


Filed under Little Bits of Nothingness, meme, my oh-so-exciting life

Old Lady

This is Te.

(well, this is Te this past summer, but you get the idea).

Te is, to use local parlance, wicked old.  We got her as a brandy-new kitten in 1992, which makes her right around 18 and a half years old.  I figured out not too long ago that 18 and a half in human works out to be about 89 years old (I know, *I* did math!  Can you believe it?!).

She’s deaf as a post.  We know this because, about a year or so ago, she developed a very strange habit of yelling at walls.  She’d walk to a wall, stand about 8 or 10 inches back, and yell as loudly as she could.  We laughed about it – it’s a weird thing for a cat to do (it’s a weird thing for anyone to do, really) – but I was glad she started doing it; I’m not sure I would have known she was losing her hearing otherwise.

We are noticing a lot of other things about her that has changed in the last year or so.  In addition to our having to stomp on the floor on our approach to her (so as not to startle the poor thing by appearing seemingly out of nowhere), we’ve had to switch out her dry food.  She started dropping a lot of weight a month or two ago, and Mr. Chili figured out that she wasn’t eating her kibble.  She’s spoiled rotten now in that she gets pureed wet food, but I’m heartened by the fact that she is still eating.

She doesn’t really want to go out much anymore, which is just fine with us (especially since she’s deaf).  Besides, it’s getting cold; we’re expecting it to hit critical Toeses temperature any day now (that is the temperature at which our other cat, Toeses, would rather be inside than outside.  He’s spent the last few nights in the house, but he’s wanted to go out right after breakfast and stays out until bedtime.  We have often judged the changing of the seasons by the travel habits of our cats).

Another thing we’ve noticed is that Te’s finally decided, after almost 19 years of living with us. that she actually kinda likes us.  None of our cats has ever been particularly affectionate; Mr. Chili and I think that they’re not enough generations away from feral to consent to be lap cats, so this is a pretty big deal.  Te’s always slept on our bed, but always down at the end; lately, she’s been fond of sleeping between Mr. Chili’s and my pillows (which, given that she’s eating wet food now, isn’t always as pleasant as one might think).  As I write this, she is curled up asleep between my shins at the bottom of the couch; before today, she literally never sat anywhere NEAR our laps, so this is a major behavior change.

The thing is, I don’t get the sense that she’s ready to leave us yet (and, sadly, I have an uncanny talent for predicting that sort of thing).  She’s old, but she’s still going pretty strong, all things considered.  She’s a good kitty, my Taters, and I’m really, really glad she’s stuck around as long as she has.


Filed under admiration, celebration, Home and Family, love notes, pets

Six Word Saturday

This was the conversation between the adults in the Chili car on the way home from Punkin’s recital at the old peoples’ home this afternoon:

Let’s retire on a cruise ship!!


Filed under funniness, My husband rocks!, my oh-so-exciting life

Ducking Out

I’m feeling overwhelmed, you guys.  I need to take a media break, I think.

The straw that broke this camel’s back was the 15 or so minutes I watched of Fox last night (I know, I know… bear with me for a second).  I was interested in the whole Juan Williams-NPR hoo-ha, so I tuned in to see what was going on at Fox after I had heard NPR’s side of the story (because, you know, I LIKE to hear two sides….).  15 minutes was all I could take.  Seriously; about a minute and a half in, the host of the show I was watching used the words “pinhead” and “stupid” several times already.  A minute and a half, People (Falcon, really?  We need to talk).

I have been feeling sickened by what I’ve seen and heard lately – the whole Fox thing was just the cherry on top of this shit sundae –  so I’m checking out for a bit.  I’m going to put a CD in my car’s stereo (I got a new audio course on sentence craft, and I’m eager to start that!).  I’m going to listen to iTunes at home, and I’m going to avoid all television news casts.  If something big happens, I’m sure someone will let me know; I can do without all the nutjobbery and whackadoodle-ness I’ve been poisoned with lately, thank you very much.  I need to get out before my faith in my countrymen is completely shredded.


Filed under concerns, dumbassery, frustrations, General Bitching, politics, social issues, strange but true, technical difficulties, television, this is NOT a drill, Worries and Anxieties, WTF?!

Love Thursday: Geeking Out

Last weekend, I went to visit O’Mama, and she let me flip through one of her magazines.  In it was an advertisement for a college-level course on sentence craft, available on either DVD or audio, and I was intrigued.  She photocopied the ad for me, I went home, called the company, and ordered the audio version.

The box came today (and confused me; I didn’t recognize the logo on the label and I was surprised by how quickly it came).  While I haven’t listened to any of the course yet (I ordered the CDs – guess what I’m going to be listening to in my car for the next, oh, month or two?), the catalogue completely GEEKED ME OUT!  There are courses on everything from history and philosophy to economics and literature.  If this lecture is as good as I’m hoping it will be, I bet a good portion of my professional development allowance is going to be spent with these people.

Really; go check ’em out.


Filed under art and culture, fun, learning, my oh-so-exciting life

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

This is me and some of my students (my kids were there, too, but they’re not in the picture), demonstrating for compassion and acceptance in the center of our little town.

I’m so proud of them.


Filed under GLBTQ/Ally issues