Month: July 2005

  • So, who wants a kitten?  Or two?  Even three?  Perhaps four?

    Charles is scheduled to finally leave Anson behind and return home on
    Monday, and he's been searching - as time permits considering the hours
    he's been working - for homes for a mother cat and her kittens,
    abandoned by the woman who had been living in the house he and the
    others have been staying in.

    He's found a home for one.  Therefore there are still four kittens and a grown cat available.

    [licking pencil]  How many kittens can I put you down for? would kittens work as shower game prizes? 

  • As I said in an earlier post, yesterday Dmitry and I were at Kirstin's, watching the kids while she ran a couple of errands:

    Remember they moved into a new house? Guess what kind of sofa they bought. Three guesses.  First two don't count. 

    His Gran thought this was an absolutely precious picture of darling
    Bryson. His hair is growing like crazy and Kirstin had planned upon
    taking him for his first haircut, but she and Matt are taking the kids
    to Disney World later on and she has been told they make A Big Deal out
    of first haircuts there.  He's going to be a shaggy dog indeed
    before too long, but it'll be fun for him to get his initial clip at
    the House of Mouse. 

    And Uncle Dmitry and I had no idea Bryson could pull him self up and
    take off walking by holding onto his favorite walking toy!  He
    really zips around using that thing.  He'll be walking solo before
    we know it. 

    P.S.  The odd colors on Bethie and Benjamin's faces are face
    paint, which they insisted upon leaving in place so Gran could see
    it.  ;^)

  • Dmitry is the oddest combination of thoughtfulness and scattershot belligerence. 

    On the way to Kirstin's house this afternoon - during rush hour traffic
    on I-35W - Dmitry was agitated by the numerous trucks, crowded
    conditions, and general discourteous driving which was clearly
    evident.  He spent the trip making dire threats towards all and
    sundry, mostly involving "blasting them to oblivion," interspersed with
    yearnings for grenades and bazookas (he's convinced if only our traffic
    police had tools like those at their disposal, our traffic problems would be a long way to being solved, and who's to say he's not onto something?).

    Dmitry does not suffer fools gladly, believe me when I tell you this. 

    OTOH, when driving home the subject of Meredith and Margaret's swim
    class graduation came up.  Possibly he'll have a change of heart
    by tomorrow afternoon but coming off an hour and a half of Bethie,
    Benjamin, and Bryson (much as he loves them, and he does), he was
    feeling a bit "toddlered" out, and wasn't especially eager to commit
    himself to attending it.

    After a couple of minutes he said, "Mom, I need to ask you something."  He was invited to proceed. 

    Basically it boiled down to his foreseeing his Aunt Elaine attending
    his high school graduation, and possibly another event or two of his,
    so he was worrying about his not attending her daughters' swim
    graduation. "Would that be disrespectful?" he asked.

    Assured him it wouldn't be disrespectful in the least and not to worry
    about it.  Not everyone gets a kick out of things like that, but I
    do, which is why I plan upon going.  If it's not his cup of tea,
    that's fine.  He looked relieved.

    I thought it rather dear of him to even think about it, personally. 

  • Comparing the positions where Dennis and Emily first reached category 2 hurricane strength, Emily could become a fierce storm:

  • Two things of interest in the news today:

    One, the Texas legislature is Taking Steps to insure the SCOTUS's lamebrained ruling on eminent domain doesn't have quite
    the deleterious effect it might otherwise have, by putting in place
    restrictions on its use.  As an aside, it's still a bit baffling
    to me that it's the Republicans - normally viewed as the champions of
    Big Business - who are howling with outrage against the expanded power
    of eminent domain, while the Democrats - normally viewed as the Friend
    of the Little Old Ladies -  are the ones willing to have said LOL be
    forcibly removed from their homes as a regrettable, but necessary,
    "unintended consequence" of progress.  It seemed backward to me
    that it was the liberal contingent of the SCOTUS that voted in favor of
    expanded eminent domain, but doggone if it isn't holding true in the
    Texas Senate as well.

    Two, when composing the Top Ten All-Time Great Movie Car Chases, the
    number one spot went to the classic chase scene in "Bullitt".

    Haven't seen that show in donkeys' years, and really ought to rent it. That IS a darn good chase scene.

    It's fascinating, isn't it, how some older films managed to, without
    the use of special effects, provide some of the most intense scenes
    ever to grace a celluloid strip?  The best car chase scene is
    found in a 37 year old movie.  The best, as in "most fraught with
    tension", murder scene is surely still the shower episode in
    "Psycho".  Apparently it's still taught in film classes. 
    Scares the beejeebies outta you without ever the knife visibly touching
    flesh, instead allowing the viewer to fill in the blanks.

  • My most abject and heartfelt apologies to Brad Pitt.

    Turns out he didn't have the flu after all . . . he had viral meningitis


  • I'm not sure I consider this to be an improvement.  This morning I
    took Jessica's girls with me to the library, and upon checking out our
    books discovered that in lieu of due-date cards in each book, library
    patrons now receive a "receipt", detailing which books they checked out
    and the due date for each.

    Considering my lamentable inability to hang on to receipts, this does
    not give me confidance.  If I lose this thing I'm in the soup.

  • What's up with essentially young men checking themselves into the hospital for a presumed case of the flu?

    Michael Jackson did it.  Brad Pitt's just done it.  There
    have been others in the past only I can't bring 'em to mind just now,
    but still . . . they're there.  IIRC female entertainers are also
    given to a hospital stay for what's ostensibly the flu.

    I've had the flu before, and been pretty darn sick, too, but didn't
    feel the need to go to the hospital.  Young 'uns and old 'uns,
    okay, but these are men in their 30's or thereabouts, for pity's


  • We signed Dmitry up for Eagle Academy, though it didn't work out precisely as we'd hoped.

    He has to repeat 8th grade.  The woman who conducted the interview
    asked if he'd been promoted to 9th by TCS and when it transpired he
    hadn't, that was the end of that.  He'll be in with the middle
    schoolers, not the high schoolers.  They try to keep them as
    separate as possible in a smallish facility.

    Dmitry was clearly disappointed, but agreed. 

    Since he'll be in with the middle schoolers, his school day lasts until
    3:00 p.m., not 1:30.  He again looked disappointed, but cheered
    himself up by observing it's still better than 3:30.

    This year they're going to institute a dress code. 

    Poor Dmitry!  Not only did he lose the eagerly-anticipated 1:30
    dismissal, but also the "no uniform" angle.  Fortunately, though,
    it's a 'dress code', not a uniform, with several options given for the
    colors of the pants, as well as shirts (though the latter must have a
    collar).  He can wear his beloved sandals, though, which helped a
    good bit.  Plus he can decorate his cubicle as he pleases (within
    the limits of suitability).

    And they've also changed from the work-at-your-own-pace-on-the-computer
    format, instead opting for subject packs with a syllabus saying what
    work has to be completed by what date.

    BION, the woman giving the interview said they discovered if kids are
    told they can work at their own pace, they mostly don't work at all.  So scratch that.

    Gee, who'da thunkit? 

  • Tell you what, a difficult word to define for someone not born here is "kitsch."

    Go ahead.  Have a crack at it.  Sans dictionary!  You'll find it's hard.

    Dmitry and I were talking while in the car about pink plastic yard
    flamingos, for which I have an inexplicable fondness, and he inquired
    as to why there aren't in in our yard.

    Because, I responded, your papa dislikes kitsch of all types.

    "Kitsch?  What's that?"

    Um.  Uh.  Well . . .

    It mostly tends to be defined by example:  the aforementioned
    flamingos;  garden gnomes;  those Felix-the-cat clocks with
    the eyes going back and forth; and the Kitsch Example Par Excellence . . . paintings on velvet (with extra points for the subject involving Elvis). 

    I wonder what Russian kitsch would be?  Perhaps matrushka dolls of the Beatles or something like that?

    Do other societies even have kitsch, or is it pretty much an American thing?