Monday, September 29, 2008

Sanctus Real

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Re-evaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender...

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out

(lyrics of WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING by Sanctus Real)

PS Happy Birthday Dad! :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Evening Post (Part 1)

Today was major geek day for me and Anthony. We played in our first ever PRE-release Magic Tournament. This was for the Shards of Alara set. You can't even buy these cards yet. The release is scheduled for next Friday night. I finally had the inaugural wearing of my totally awesome geek-shirt birthday present (see above).Here we are - candy and dice nearby - decks built - ready to GO!!Clearly things are not going my way right now. I've mentally blocked out exactly what happened, but I see when I enlarge the picture that my life total was at 3, so I think he had just made the killing move. This guy is REALLY good, though, so it's respectable to be beaten by him. I won 2 of 4 rounds overall and felt pretty good about that for an old lady! (Do you notice any other women in any of these photos? No. I alone am upholding the honor of womanhood in the domain of Magic the Gathering!)
Here is Anthony in action. He totally "owned." He won 3 of 4 rounds, 2 of them 2-0, so he won prizes - 4 boosters of these cards you can't buy yet! He was jazzed! (I'm so proud!)
I played red, green, white - and pulled an Ajani (Plainswalker), which was also the promo card, so I got to play it - worked well for me. I also had a Battlegrace Angel, which was what won me my games - exalted, lifelink, and flying - hard to beat. Anthony played red, black, green - and had a nice combo: Hellkite Overlord and Dragon Herald, which can allow him to search for the first card.

Saturday Evening Post (Part 2)

CORRECTION OF ERROR: Caleb read this post and told me his team name is NOT "Cheetah Girls." Hmm . . . funny, because that's what he told me his team name was, so, this is what he gets for yanking his mom's chain! Weeks into the season they do not yet have a team name. While it is the case that one of the mothers suggested the name Cheetah Girls, and it is being considered(?), another name being considered is Barcelona. I hope they come up with a name before the end of the season, and I hope having had this up for all the world to see teaches my son not to mess with me!
Although geekdom has replaced the world of sports in MY life, we also have a win to celebrate in that other arena today. Caleb's soccer team, Cheetah Girls (?????), won 3-0.
Don't even ask me. I had no vote when it came to choosing the team name!It was a hot, hot day, and the game was at 2pm.
Caleb has come a LONG way in his 4 years of play. He has gone from standing back kicking gopher holes to playing really good defense with excellent footwork and a strong kick.

When did he get so grown up?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance

In terms of keeping up with the times, this church puts me to shame!! Holy Trinity Church in Coventry, England was established in the 12th century (even though its sign says it was built in the 14th). The first written record of it is from 1113. To put this in perspective, that means that this church was already 379 years old way back in 1492 when "Columbus sailed the ocean blue." The United States has not been a country for 379 years yet, and this church was already that old when Columbus sailed.
You can get a sense of the history when you look at the second picture here and see the wear on the stone steps from feet traversing them for centuries. Of course this is not entirely the same building that was there in 1113 - renovations have been done over the years, but still . . .I say this church puts me to shame; it does! I showed up in the 20th century, but I don't yet know how to text, and I don't have a MySpace or FaceBook page, but this church whose history goes back to at least 1113 has a WEBSITE!!! I guess I'd better get with it! Yes, I realize a lot of things have websites, but seeing the sign below just . . . . . . well was just such an experience of cognitive dissonance after coming around the corner from the other stately looking sign. Not only do they have a website, but they have this modern-looking sign out front ADVERTISING the website!

Monday, September 22, 2008

In Honor of Autumn

Today is the first day of autumn.
I love this season, and I love this poem.

The Leaf and the Tree

When will you learn, myself, to be
a dying leaf on a living tree?
Budding, swelling, growing strong,
Wearing green, but not for long,
Drawing sustenance from air,
That other leaves, and you not there,
May bud, and at the autumn's call
Wearing russet, ready to fall?
Has not this trunk a deed to do
Unguessed by small and tremulous you?
Shall not these branches in the end
To wisdom and the truth ascend?
And the great lightning plunging by
Look sidewise with a golden eye
To glimpse a tree so tall and proud
It sheds its leaves upon a cloud?

Here, I think, is the heart's grief:
The tree, no mightier than the leaf,
Makes firm its root and spreads it crown
And stands; but in the end comes down.
That airy top no boy could climb
Is trodden in a little time
By cattle on their way to drink.
The fluttering thoughts a leaf can think,
That hears the wind and waits its turn,
Have taught it all a tree can learn.
Time can make soft that iron wood.
The tallest trunk that ever stood,
In time, without a dream to keep,
Crawls in beside the root to sleep.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Posted in honor of autumn, but also of Martha Postma whose funeral I attended today, which made me think many "fluttering thoughts" such as those mentioned in this poem, as I too, leaf that I am, hear the wind and wait my turn.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Was There Ever Any Real Question?

On NPR's show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me this week, the question was asked:
"What is stronger than the human will?"
The answer:
"The Little Debbie Snack Cake."
An article in A Level Psychology Resources reported: "In an article in the September/October 2008 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Dutch researchers found that there is a substantial inconsistency between participants' good intentions to choose a healthy snack and their actual behaviour. Participants were asked about their intentions in choosing among four snacks: an apple, a banana, a candy bar and a molasses waffle. About half of the participants indicated they would choose the apple or banana—a "healthy" snack. But when presented, one week later, with the actual snacks, 27% switched to the candy bar or waffle. Over 90% of the unhealthy-choice participants stuck with their intentions and chose the unhealthy snack. The study included 585 participants who were office employees recruited in their worksite cafeterias. Although intentions are often tightly linked to what people really do, it doesn't always work that way. One explanation is that intentions are usually under cognitive control while actual choices are often made impulsively, even unconsciously."
They had to do RESEARCH to figure this out?! I could have told them that and saved them the time and effort! It was, however, funny as presented in Q&A form on NPR (Listen to the portion of the show that contains this piece (4min)).
photo by Micky on flickr

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Science with a View

from the novel Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1997):
And so he struggled on. As he did he saw it anew, as fresh as in his undergraduate days: the structure of science was so beautiful. It was surely one of the greatest achievements of the human spirit, a kind of stupendous parthenon of the mind, constantly a work in progress, like a symphonic epic poem of thousands of stanzas, being composed by them all in a giant ongoing collaboration. The language of the poem was mathematics, because this appeared to be the language of nature itself....[It was a] dialogic process in which thousands of minds had participated over the previous hundreds of years; so that figures like Newton or Einstein....were not the isolate giants of public perception, but the tallest peaks of a great mountain range....In truth the work of science was a communal thing, extending back even beyond the birth of modern science, back all the way into prehistory....Now of course it was highly structured, articulated beyond the ability of any single individual to fully grasp. But this was only because of the sheer quantity of it; the spectacular efflorescence of structure was not in any particular incomprehsible, one could still walk around anywhere inside the parthenon, so to speak, and thus comprehend at least the shape of the whole, and make choices as to where to study, where to learn the current surface, where to contribute.

Monday, September 15, 2008


By putting up a new post, I lost my favorite picture off of the bottom of this page: "I'm Telling You It's Not Straight!" by Seb Przd. (Click on the title to see it.) I love this artist's work, so I tried to create some like his. For my first attempt I chose to work with a picture of Cancun. Having been there, I figure if anything is going to be the center of the world, it should be. This technique is trickier than I had thought. If you'd like to see some really good examples, go to this link to see more of Seb Przd's excellent work.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Little Things

I love teaching at the college level - for many reasons, but I used to do child-care, and I student taught in a third-grade classroom. There are things I do miss about that (and a LOT of things I really don't miss about that!). I got a neat reminder today of what I do miss. One of my students had his young daughter with him in class today. While he was taking notes, she was drawing and came up to me after class to give me what she drew - ME! - teaching. This has been one crazy busy week, but that one little thing just made my whole week. I've been smiling all day!
PS I'm glad I dressed up for class today! I didn't know ahead of time I was going to have my portrait done and had considered a casual-dress Thursday! She even noticed my necklace - wow!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Glad and Young

you shall above all things be glad and young
For if you're young,whatever life you wear

it will become you;and if you are glad
whatever's living will yourself become
Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
i can entirely her only love

whose any mystery makes every man's
flesh put space on;and his mind take off time

that you should ever think,may god forbid
and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave
called progress,and negation's dead undoom.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

- e e cummings (1894-1962)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Never Grow Old

People like you and me never grow old. We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.

-Albert Einstein (in a letter to Otto Juliusburger, 1942)

Monday, September 01, 2008

As Promised

In my post for June 1 I promised a post for September 1, and that day has arrived. I was hoping to be able to put up a picture that looks somewhat more like the one above (taken during one of our recent trips to Monterery) than what it is I am going to post, but c'est la vie.
Yes, I am wearing more flattering clothing than in the June 1 pictures, but I'm quite sure I weigh the same. This summer I went down then back up. I had 3 weeks in the middle of the summer where I was home and there weren't special celebrations going on (yes, that's no excuse, I know, but I can't pass up birthday cake and other celebratory desserts - just wouldn't be right). During those 3 weeks I lost 10 pounds by exercising daily (45 min - swimming or elliptical and nautilaus) and altering my eating a bit. I am sure I have gained it all back - haven't gotten on a scale to check, so, although I'm not where I'd hoped to be I have found that it is possible, and that's the good thing that came from this experiment. I'm hoping that now that we're back into the school year and have a regular routine and I'm in my own home and can determine my own foods and meal times that I'll be able to take the summer "trial run" and make it more of a long-term pattern. The struggle right now that I'm back to work will be to find time to get to the gym. Perhaps I'll do a follow-up post on January 1.