Recent Happenings



Our mornings come early these days. The alarm goes off at 5:30 and in an hour we’re all out the door (Matt to work, Elle and I to the bus). Because the weather has been so nice in the mornings, I have been taking the dogs for walks to the bus stop. One at a time, of course. By the time I get back home from my morning walk it’s barely 7 o’clock (which is what time I was waking up last year to get Elle ready for school).

6th grade is fantastic, so far. Elle is having none of the problems she experienced last year. Three very good reasons why:

  • She was more liked by her 5th grade classmates than she believed
  • Her middle school is a blending of five area elementary schools which, to me, means more kids to choose to be your friends
  • She has learned her lesson – guns, politics, and God are very touchy topics of discussion no matter which age group you belong to

Elle is finally confident enough in herself to wear black & white polka-dotted skinny jeans and blue streaks in her hair. She even shared with her teacher how badly she wants to be a medical examiner when she grows up. Her English teacher, whom we met last night, just loved how unique Elle’s career goals are. “You wouldn’t believe how every kid writes down the same thing!” When I asked Elle later what that same thing was, she replied, “Vet. Everybody writes down that they want to be a vet!” I had to laugh at this. I, as well as many of my childhood friends, wrote this down once as a career goal. I also once wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, a children’s book writer, and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife. But, alas…

Elle  is on her way to becoming the only person in our family who can play an instrument. She didn’t get assigned the instrument she thought she would like best (clarinet or the flute), but was instead assigned the trumpet. I was thrilled! She claims my excitement over this is because of the band Beirut. Probably. But Cake, Dave Matthews Band, and Paul Simon also use trumpets, so there. For the record, she’s pretty thrilled, too. The flute and clarinet were too difficult for her to get just right due to her braces so she’s eagerly awaiting the arrival of her 1963 King 602 cornet next week. That is on top of the basic school supplies and the fabric I have to purchase for her sewing assignment in Personal Development class…

Who knew middle school was so freakin’ expensive?

As far as my schooling goes, I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM ALMOST DONE. I’ve been in and out of colleges since 1994, but I only just got serious and hunkered down in 2008. The only things that stand between me and my bachelor’s degree are a Level II Spanish course and a 30-page thesis on the American narrative. It’s a topic of my own choosing and I am really enjoying it so far. The professor who was assigned to me to help guide me through this process is one I have had before. She taught a narrative writing course that I took over the summer and she really likes my writing style. I’m feeling pretty lucky when it comes to my thesis.

On the other hand, Spanish…I have no words. In English or in Spanish. Even the Spanish-speaking have difficulty speaking Spanish, as evidenced in the video below (which was provided to me by my Spanish-speaking friend from Puerto Rico). If you have ever tried to learn Spanish, you’ll get a laugh out of this.


In other news:

  • Winter is coming. The Farmer’s Almanac is threatening my region with being “unusually wet and frosty”. Today it will be 97 degrees. I’ve got some time and I want to enjoy it while I can.
  • Our tickets for the Gentlemen of the Road stopover arrived a few days ago. I’m looking forward to enjoying good music in the historic town of Guthrie. And it’s only 30 minutes away so I get to come home each night and sleep in my own bed!
  • Speaking of music, I shared a few of my favorite 80s rock videos with my daughter last night. Def Leppard, you rock my world. STILL.
  • I think I purchased the wrong kind of cucumber seedlings from the Farmer’s Market in the spring. A few have come around, but they taste like shit. Bitter, all rind, no meat.
  • Purple okra is less slimy than green okra, but it turns green when you grill it. I really wanted to eat purple okra, though. It’s my favorite color.
  • I don’t normally get nervous about political maneuvers, but this whole business with Syria makes me nervous. I recently watched a documentary from 2008 called The Listening Project. If you can’t watch the film, at least watch this trailer. It might make you think a little differently about the United States’ involvement in just about anything. The Tanzanian gentleman hits the nail on the head (around the 6:00 mark).


10 thoughts on “Recent Happenings

  1. Does Elle really understand what Medical Examiners DO? Yuck. As for your classes, I think I’d get everything else done and then tackle that Spanish in a semester all by itself.

    • Elle is part crime-fighter/part freak-anatomy enthusiast. One of the first books I bought her was a 3-D book on the human body. She might have been 3 or 4 years old? It may be due to all those cop shows she watched with my dad.

      As far as the Spanish, I had considered it. But that meant another 6-month delay in obtaining my bachelor’s degree. I’m ready for that baby to be in my hands already!

  2. An M.E. is a thankless and damn important job. Good for her to choose one that I respect.
    If she likes the sound of the trumpet have here start listening to some Ska-core from the early ’90’s. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones come to mind off the top of my head, but Ska in general.
    Or Reel Big Fish’s “Turn the Radio Off”. She’ll feel like a rock star when she plays the trumpet after that.
    I always thought Matt was Jon Bon Jovi… He just pulled his beard off and wore a wig for concerts.

  3. I hope you’ll post your thesis when it’s complete. I consider myself to be a lover of history so I think your paper would be right up my alley.

    If the coronet becomes an issue with the braces, get a Morgan Bumper! My brother had to use one when he played the coronet in 7th grade. It definitely helps ease the “captain crunch” cut up mouth syndrome.

    Hope all goes smoothly in your last courses…the light is at the end of the tunnel!

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