Thursday, December 27, 2007

oh how she loves having friends come over

Um, does it get any cuter than this? Christmas Day, 2007. All I had to say to her was, "your friends are coming over." She knows what this means and runs to each of the windows so she can watch for them. God, this dog kills me sometimes.
We had fun on Christmas. Cheryl and Brad joined us for a yummy turkey dinner with all the fixins, including cranberry sauce with lines. We played Scrabble, drank wine, played Scene It, and enjoyed each other's company. S. carved the turkey and did all the clean up after dinner. I tried to help but he wouldn't let me. For the record, he's a good one.
Today and tomorrow are writing days. Chop chop.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

stuffed with goodness

That's been my year. Here it is in the end-o'-year meme.

January: No big life-changing resolutions here, folks.

February: There's a difference between sleepy and tired, of course. I'm not the least bit sleepy. I'm just T.I.R.E.D.

March: [title: the tootin' of my own horn] That, I believe, is the only way to describe this entry.

April: Here's Belly in our front yard chomping on a Nylabone, happy as can be.

May: S. and I watched Little Children last night.

June: You know how there are certain friends that you can never seem to reach, and then when you do reach them, there's never enough time to catch up, so that eventually talking to them seems almost like too much work?

July: I wish I had a penchant for exaggeration because I don't know how words can possibly express how unbelievably exhausted and, well, made of rubber I felt last night after painting for two days at S.'s house.

August: Go Cubbies! Bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, one out, and the winning run scores by stealing.

September: It's official, folks.

October: Last night I watched our taped version of Grey's Anatomy, and Jesus H. on a popsicle stick, I almost turned it off halfway through.

November: S. and I were like old people last night.

December: Here's the girl in her brand new, superhuge Bagel Bed.

My favorites: August and November. So, so telling of the kind of year this has been. I became a die-hard Cubbies fan, and S. and I now live together comfortably like old people. Dang.


Friday, December 21, 2007

sunning themselves in winter: a series

The middle pic of Mulder and Belly is my favorite. Notice that Belly is in the same exact position in each one. Doesn't move her head, her ears, nothin'. Just takin' in the sun on a sunny winter afternoon. Mulder, on the other hand, is wondering if the camera is a strange kind of silver food.
I almost forgot: today's LTF's third birthday. Happy birthday to my blog. Three years, three different houses, three doggies. Three pics of two doggies.
(Scully wasn't interested in joining the sun-fest. She prefers dark caves in bedrooms.)


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

winter comfort

I made this bread bowl from a small round loaf of sourdough. Filled it with chili, topped it with cheese, and had a yummy winter meal. S. didn't get one. He has fears of soggy bread. This is also why he doesn't like stuffing on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love it. Yummers.

Proofing the book today. Tomorrow S. and I are headed up to Chicago to the Diamond Headache Clinic for the day. I haven't posted much about S.'s migraines because they're so upsetting and there's really not much to say except that he needs better help. His appointment's at 1:00, but the first appointment usually takes 3-4 hours. Wish us luck.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

black doggie in snow

The girl in action. It was much easier to film her while on the leash; when I tried to film her off-leash, she appeared as nothing more than a little black speck moving very fast.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

little S.

S. has told me this story a couple times, but when I asked him this weekend to tell it again, I found it just delectable.

S. is 16 years old. His family has gone to Myrtle Beach for vacation, and S. has brought a friend along. They're in a t-shirt store and his mom tells the boys they can each pick out one t-shirt and she'll buy them.

S. chooses one with the irresistible saying "The Ayatollah is a Ass-a-hola." I can't even write that without laughing. See, cuz that would be something I would imagine S. coming up with on his own, so when he saw it, he knew he had to have it.

But his mom wouldn't buy it.

Me: So what'd you get instead?

S.: Football players do it in the end zone.

Me: She let you get that but not the assahola?

His mom probably didn't get the innuendo. Anything but the assahola.

By the way, these t-shirts are currently categorized as "cult classics" and can be purchased many places on the internet. Not that I'm gonna get him one for Christmas or anything, cuz, well, it's so 1980.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Most of my readers know that I do not like clutter. I like to throw things away. Very much. It makes me feel so much better. Cleansed.

This morning I was in Cheryl's office using her small mirror to help me root around my head for white hairs to pluck. She watched as I plucked a little one up front.

C.: Don't pick it.

Me: I like to remove things from my person. I like to pick my skin off, pick scabs off, cut my toenails, pluck white hairs. Get them off of me. Throw them away.

C.: And yet you're fascinated by the personal essay.

At first I didn't see the connection, but Cheryl explained that she thinks of the personal essay as a place for collecting. Memories and details and experiences. Well, huh.

I do love collecting experiences in language. I do love the personal essay. It's a place to put things that doesn't add to clutter, that doesn't weigh much, that helps me organize my life.

I'm a nit-picker. I'm a gorilla grooming my mate, searching for nits. I'm always looking in Belly's ears to see if they need cleaning, I love brushing her, and I'm always picking boogies out of her eyes.

And S. Well, S. will never have ear hair as long as we're together.

Monday, December 10, 2007

the ice storm

It's magnificent. It's monstrous. It's dramatic and, yes, it has been deadly. Ice storm 2007.

On Saturday S. and I were at the grocery store and he was gonna pick up a couple more jugs of ice melt, but they were kinda pricey, so we decided to wait. Big mistake. This morning he got up early early and went to a couple stores before work. None. A rumor that one of the other grocery stores has some left. I go on my way into school. There are literally nine 10-pound bags left in the store--left in the two cities, that is. I bought two and felt like a selfish pig.

At about 4:45 this afternoon, while in my office collecting final papers, I happen to be online looking at the local newspaper's site and I see that the town of Normal has donated 6 tons of salt. They've dropped it at the Home Depot and people can bring their buckets and load up. I call S., who's already home from work.

Me: What're you doing?

He: Nothing. Having some alone time.

Me: There's free salt at the Home Depot. You just gotta bring your own bucket.

He: Can't you go on the way home?

Me: I don't have a bucket.

He whines.

Me: You've been home for an hour. That's plenty of alone time. Plus I don't have a bucket.

He whines some more.

Me: I've got to stop at Target on the way home to get tampons, so I'll be a while.

He: You could buy a bucket at Target.

I only wish I had said this, but I didn't think of it until after, but this is my blog, so I'll write it anyway: Buy a bucket to get the free salt?

He finally agrees to go. I stay at school till a little after 5, make my way to Target, pick out a few things in addition to the tampons, and am standing in line when I hear people talking about how all the salt at the Home Depot is already gone. 6 tons is already gone.

I call him once I get in the car. He's home already. His alone time was interrupted so that he could grab a bucket and go circle the Home Depot parking lot like an idiot.

Good thing I didn't buy a bucket. I'm just sayin'.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

I'm such a dork

I preface my request for a class photo with the disclaimer, "I'm a total dork." But I'm not, really, I just want to remember the best part about my job. Plus, they wanted a copy, too.

Morning class:

Afternoon class:

And if you think I'm a total dork, get a load of my office neighbor:

Doesn't she look good with the pears? Her coat matches so nicely. Heh.


Thursday, December 06, 2007


Last year at this time I learned that I did not win the University Teaching Initiative award that I'd been nominated for by the College. I was very upset. Heartbroken, in fact. I did win the College Teaching Initiative award, so that made me feel a little bit better. But I remember being just crushed the day I found out about the University award.

Today I learned that I did not win the University Research Initiative award that I've been nominated for by the College. And I honest-to-god immediately thought about how much fun I've been having in my classes and how the research award paled in comparison. It's hard to express this without sounding like I'm making use of a well-worn defense mechanism, but there it is.

At the end of my morning class today, one of my students came up to me and asked if it would be alright if she still came to talk to me next semester. About stuff.

And C., a student who put up quite a bit of resistance to the prospect of learning anything more about himself, just stopped by office hours to tell me that, for what it's worth, he's glad he took the course.

It's worth a lot. So much more than you'll ever know.


Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas are some warm socks.

Why can't I find warm socks in the stores? I went to two stores yesterday with the sole purpose (heh) of buying myself some warm socks--in black and in brown because all of the ones I currently own are thin, thin, thin, and don't keep my toesies warm.

I bought some black ones at Penney's, but this morning when I put them on, I realized they're not much better than the ones I was replacing. Macy's had a very pathetic selection. I could either get Christmas-themed socks or--and I'm not kidding here--cashmere blend socks. SOCKS! For $12 a pair. Uh, no thanks.

It's 10 degrees here this morning. We'll have a whopping high of 31, and my toes are chillers.

Also, Santa, today's the last day of class. And I'm sad about that. So bring me something to cheer me up.

Monday, December 03, 2007

add "Bagel Butt" to the list of names

Here's the girl in her brand new, superhuge Bagel Bed. Santa brought it for her a month early. We ordered an extra large because when we measured her old bed, we figured we should get one just a wee bit bigger so she could stretch out. Well, she can certainly stretch out in this one. Hell, she could have a friend over for a sleep over.

It's called a bagel bed because it's got the higher sides around the edges and a big sinkable, snuggable hole in the middle. Belly wouldn't pass muster for a catalog shot since she's not modeling her famous kitty cat pose.

Alternate names for the bagel bed: the raft or the boat, which makes Belly bugger a sailor girl.