Because all experiences are valuable.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Lasagne

So, do you spell Lasagne with an "e", or with an "a"? I prefer the e. I also prefer to spell grey with an e.

To me, Grey is romantic and charming. Gray is dull, depressing and lifeless. Funny how one little letter can make that difference. Anyhow, the 15 pounds of lasagne were a success. I use a mix of beef and sweet Italian sausage, and a mix of ricotta and parmesan. But I do not add mozzarella cheese. And of course, I make my own sauce.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful and magical. Mine was lovely, with the snow falling all day in wet clumps and sugary sprinkles...

actually only one of three pots of sauce I made and used

the noodles always fall apart at the end, so I use the curly edges on top. It is cute.

Say Cheese! 
Lasagne...with an "e"...hahahaha

My adorable Reid

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Day

It seems that strange, potentially life altering events happen every day.  Is that different for others; is that something I attract? Or do I just notice when others do not?

Today is Christmas Eve Day. My packages are wrapped, dinner for tomorrow is planned. Christmas Lasagne.
There are seven pounds of beef and italian sausage in my fridge and four pounds of cheese. Reid and I just aren't big turkey or ham eaters. Besides, he gets a turkey or ham sandwich nearly every day for lunch.

I feel a little like I'm waiting...waiting for several things to happen. Waiting to see if I get my return credit on an item lost in the mail, waiting to see if Jason gets better from his infection- or if tests are needed, waiting to see how scheduling for tomorrow works out with two teenagers and two dads. Should be entertaining. Waiting to see if the hold on my tuition check clears at the bank in time to pay the tuition off my credit card so I don't pay interest on ten thousand dollars. If not, I will have to trundle to the bank on Monday and do some account scrambling. I am not paying interest on that! Waiting for my beloved sister Christin and her husband James to visit next week. Waiting to plan a get-together for my friends to meet her and sort of pre-New Years gathering. (I'm thinking of overnight express Portillo's Italian Beef from Chicago for the party). Waiting for Di and Ike to get back from Antarctica, so I can hear all about the penguins. Waiting to see Black Swan with Abby. Plus the annual Taco Mac gathering on Sunday, and getting together with my sister Leigha (the biological one) on Monday. There are more things, too!

But it is a happy waiting. A pleasant expectancy. I feel rather Jane Austen, writing to you of the things I am anticipating with pleasure. And that is a wonderful thing at Christmas.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve, everyone. Tomorrow is supposed to bring snow! And I may sit, Elizabeth Bennett style, and write some late Christmas cards with a candle and a cup of tea....

Friday, December 17, 2010


Today someone called me a catalyst, and it was not a compliment.
The person was saying that while I am not to blame for things that happen in this person's life, that I am a catalyst.

I wasn't at all sure how to take this, or how to interpret it for truth. Just having finished college chemistry and anatomy&physiology, I know well what a catalyst is. From two different directions....those being, biochemistry and inorganic chemistry. Life does not proceed without the presence of catalysts. There are a vast number of things that proceed at such an almost immeasurably slow pace without a catalyst, that essentially they don't happen at all.  Without catalysis, we all die, and quickly.

It is almost like the definition of catalyst has two parts, and people who use the word, only think of the one part, whereas in chemistry, the second part is absolutely paramount to the definition itself. Our chemistry professor challenged us at the end of class to come to the next class able to tell him what is the defining characteristic of a catalyst. Not that this was hard to find out...here is a definition:

cat·a·lyst  (ktl-st)n.
1. Chemistry A substance, usually used in small amounts relative to the reactants, that modifies and increases the rate of a reaction without being consumed in the process.
2. One that precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences.

Well there it is isn't it? Without being consumed in the process, and, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences.  I wonder if this person knew what they were saying. Entirely possible that they did, and equally possible that they did not.

Is that me? Hmmm. Yes, I have always been an agent of change, even in small quantities. I make things happen. I am a big do-er of things, and this rubs off sometimes. I think big thoughts I guess. I attract talented, gifted, special people. I encourage people. I definitely speed things up.

But, you know, this wasn't a compliment. Am I to blame for this person's crises? Do I speed them up?
I'm not sure, really. Maybe. I look at all that goes on in this person's life and I see a thousand catalysts, all operating in their own theatre...things and people that truly play a small role, then are gone on unchanged, as the definition requires. How can one point to just me...just me...and assign me as the ONE thing...?

I've been ruminating on this off and on all day when not busy with other things (like paying 2800 $$ to fix my damn Jaguar yet again FML on that one, 'scuse the language.) I think it is the second part of the definition that gets me...the essential part...because something can be an agent of change, but if it is also changed, then it is not a catalyst.It really is an accusation of just causing things willy-nilly, without a thought for the consequences.
 Because if one is unchanged, indeed even uninvolved in the results, why would one really care? Dr. Greene told us that platinum and palladium are very good catalysts. Being used a lot now for fuel cell purposes, etc.
Very expensive, not that easy for the average person to obtain....I don't know, just musing.

I was also told that I, my opinions, my reactions, my judgments are set in stone...that I am a rock. That word was used, a rock. Hmmm again. In my view of myself, nothing is further from the truth. In the opinions of others, as far as I know, no one thinks this of me. I consider myself extremely malleable (ha- a property of metals like platinum!). But I am aware that no one suspected Jeffrey Dahmer. All thought he was quiet and shy. Look how that turned out. What does it mean to be a rock? A lot of times that is a good thing. People certainly rely on me. I do what I say I will; I don't let others down. I don't go back on promises. I get things done on time and under budget. I am there for everyone in times of crisis, as much as I possibly can be. But do I fail? Sometimes I'm sure I do. I'd bet that I don't always perceive that someone needs or wants even more than I can give, and so I think I have helped fully, when I have only partially helped. Sometimes my schedule just won't permit things. Sometimes someone is so endlessly trapped in the same loop of tragedy that I just can't listen that day.  Sometimes I get exhausted and emotional myself, and am not much use to anyone. I wish I had a rock to lean on. I wish I had one person who I knew would always always have my back. (In fairness, I do have one, but she is young and a newlywed, too, and it would be a travesty for me to ask any more than the support and love she offers already.)

There isn't anyone asking me at the end, or the beginning, or the middle of every day- how I am doing, if I am ok, if I have anything I need to share or get off my chest. Or if anything hurt me today, or if anyone was unkind to me, or if I am disappointed in myself, or if I did anything I regretted, or if I dreamed any good dreams, or saw any good movies, or met anyone new, or read any good articles, or heard any good music, or wanted to throttle one of my children, or how my sandwich was at Schlotzky's that they make special for me even though it isn't on the menu any more. Or any of a hundred and one things that could be asked about someone's day. Just one or two questions and maybe a simple heartfelt goodnight each night. I have become one of the wandering lonely people doing what they can for others and loving their children and friends and looking forward to sleep so that the next day comes.

I had a husband who didn't do any of those good things, from the moment we married. He was very bad to me. It was a short marriage that produced a phenomenal son. I had a husband, then, that did do all of those things, and ask those questions and more...and then he stopped...and then in an effort to demand the love that used to pour from me freely, he became bad to me as well.  He became bad to himself. And not there for our other phenomenal son. I know the mechanics, but really- in a deep fashion, I don't know why. I had a boyfriend before either husband that I loved greatly, maybe unhealthily; again, I try to understand, but maybe a lot of that will remain a mystery as well. What do we really know of other people, even our dearest and most beloved mates? A lot...and nothing.
  I am going to be so bold to declare that I have given everything...everything I had to give. Not that there isn't yet much more, but that I have held nothing back.  I've been as utterly devoted as any person could, I believe...

I don't know. To me, this is not a rock. And this is not an unchanging, uninvolved catalyst. But heat and pressure does produce beautiful diamonds, just as it produces black coal- from the same substance. What am I in the end? Maybe this...platinum and diamonds...     

Maybe this...

Maybe something else entirely, a chimera, a dream, a phantom, a muse, a lover...
that once belonged to someone.

Monday, December 13, 2010

For This Life...

and this was the last
on a night
almost too cold to name,
a walk,
the dog,
the stars,
I knew in that moment that
He was always with me,
He had always been with me,
He had always known my name, my birth, my smile,
the very hour of my death and rebirth again,
and everything no one else ever noticed,
or wanted to see,
was recreated many times over,
as many as I chose,
and under his protection,
Whatever I call Him,
Her, the power love joy life energy,
thank you Jesus
for this life.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spanakopita and Kalamata

There are some things that just make me think of Greece instantly. You know that whole thing about how smell is the only sense not processed by the Thalamus- the "sensory switchboard" of the brain? Smell, if I recall correctly, goes right to the amygdala. You would think I would have just gone over that in Anatomy, but we talked about the cranial nerve that ennervates the olfactory sense, and the dendritic villae that pass through the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone...but we didn't actually discuss the amygdala. I think I remember that bit of knowledge from when Guy did this amazing pop-up book project for AP Psychology.

Anyway, the sense of smell has special access right into the memories. Which I didn't need to tell you, because even if you didn't know why, you knew that anyway. Everyone does. Just open a can of play-doh near them...

Tonight I made Reid dinner, and it was of a sort (I didn't really do any cooking, actually) that made Reid say all we needed to add was some wine and cheese and a couple of friends and we had a lovely party! So, in the vein of combining two topics, one is basically an ad for Target :-), and the other is a story from Greece.

I went shopping tonight at BJs Warehouse Club (I know, lol) and Target. I had gotten Havarti cheese and Stacy's Italian Herb Pita chips (new flavor!) at BJs. I had Red pepper hummus from Publix grocery, and at Target I got the grape tomatoes, the spanakopita and the chicken and kalamata olive pita triangles. They are in the freezer cases and are styled to be hors d'oeurves, but really they make a lovely dinner. The dinner was about 12.00, so easily less than a fast food dinner for two! Reid really enjoyed it. Now we are watching Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull on TV, which neither of us had ever seen. This plot is surprisingly reminiscent of the plot of the Phantom starring Billy Zane. Now it is just getting weird.

So, the smell of spanakopita (which is spinach and feta cheese in fillo dough) always brings back a memory from Delphi, Greece. One of my favorite places on the planet. The tour we were on included breakfast each morning at the hotels we stayed at. Athens was particularly delicious with a great many unusual choices, but things I grew to love quickly in Greece, like huge bowls of dried apricots in greek honey, and spinach everything!! Out in the country, and to the north of the country, the breakfasts were more spare, but still delicious. Everywhere there were always hard-boiled eggs. Which I adore, but am too lazy to make. Isn't  that pathetic? It may be that I used to always call my mother to remind me whether you put the eggs in the cold water and allow them to heat with the water, then plunge them in cold water as soon as they are cooked to stop the cooking inside so they don't turn green at the yolk. But I don't remember how long to cook them, and I can't ask her any longer...

The whole time we were there, the country (Socialist) was striking at random times, and there were major riots on Athens. Intrepid travelers, we journeyed on, largely not even inconvenienced. But in Delphi, the power "workers?" were on strike across the country. As it got dark, there was no dinner to be had, and shopkeepers were selling their wares to tourists by candlelight. It didn't deter us, either. But we were thrilled when the power was restored in time for the street side gyro grill to open. Mmmmmm. The next morning, I think we got to breakfast late, and they hadn't prepared much, thought the power was on. Somehow the kids didn't get anything to eat really. ( I was eating the boiled eggs and apricots again!). Let me digress to describe a family that we had been on the tour bus with  for days already. Father- about 50, as quiet and taciturn as you can imagine. Mom, about 32, pretty, but mousy in her cowed demeanor. Son, about age 4, bouncing around but very very well behaved and kept quiet by mom so as not to disturb dad, And, Grandma, about age 75, and silent as a sheet the whole way- not even a facial expression. Grandma and Dad spoke Greek to each other. It seemed to be a present for her, the trip I mean. So there we are at breakfast, a few minutes till the bus was to come for our exciting day at the actual Temple of Apollo at Delphi, and Jason says to the kids hey lets run to that bakery down the street and grab some food for you two. I said I wouldn't let the bus leave without them...

As it turned out the bus was late anyway. They came back with several hot, fresh pastries, and several crisp and ropy stuffed pretzel-like things full of spinach and feta. They literally were just out of the oven. We cut them into pieces, and still had a lot left after we each had some. The family was still in the dining room. I took the other pieces over and offered them to the family, because they hadn't eaten much, either. I was concerned they might be taken aback, I mean, they were sort of leftovers. The Grandma looked at me for a minute, and I showed her we had cut them first, not eaten off of them. Then she took them, and she smiled at me. The first facial expression I had really seen on her. They seemed to really enjoy them, they were so fresh. After that, the Dad smiled that day, and the little boy wasn't kept so silent, and Grandma talked more in English, and they "joined" the crowd a lot more as the tour progressed. It was truly magical. The power of shared food.

This holiday season, why not go get some food that brings a memory, or share some food that has a story. I can recommend Target's line of appetizers, and they are inexpensive, too. Make some new memories. I have some plans for a huuge batch of cookies I'm making this week....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I hear this song a lot on the radio. Every time it gets to me. It embodies so much that I am about that others often can't understand. We don't always live up perfectly to what we believe in, but generally... I am about only the sincere, and no secrets. Shame is pretty pointless.

Reid was just reading me part of his big history paper on world religions. Maybe it is for English, but that seems odd. Anyway, Buddhism...right thought, right occupation, right action- all that. You can't argue with that. Who could argue with that? Don't do things you can't stand behind. Then there is no need for secrets for the most part.

Then I saw the video. Gets to me more...

Here it is, Secrets, by One Republic.

Behind the Sacred Heart Lies the Door

Oh my, I have been absent a long time. I must say that my cell phone troubles have been vexing me. Two weeks ago I lost my phone. I believe I threw it in a dumpster while getting rid of some trash that was in my car. I had the phone in my hand most likely. Although Frank was around, and climbed in the dumpster to look for it, it was not to be found. (It was on silent). So a few phoneless days over a weekend and then the decision to spend the $$$ to upgrade to a smart phone.

It seems to me that the more elaborate these phones get, the more trouble they are. I mean, the features and upgrades are significant and delightful, but it comes at a price. So the first one of these mini wonders I was given (well, in exchange for 200$) was apparently a lemon. I thought maybe it was just me, but after a dreadful week with the thing, thinking hey, there is a learning curve here and Reid would say I am known for my operator error on those sorts of devices (seriously, I tried to scroll the screen on his ipod), I went back to the store. The customer service gentleman said mine was defective, It happens...they are technical things...so they gave me a new one and a new SIM card. Promptly and cheerfully at the At&T store. Now it seems to work like a dream, but I cannot tell you how much time I wasted on annoying mundane chores like putting in phone numbers, only to have to do it again. The SIM transfer only captured about 25% of the data.

I had some pictures I wanted to blog about on the old new phone. I had to text them to someone, who then emailed them to me, as the phone wouldn't do it. So, IDK, the inspiration was then somewhat dead, but I still think the pictures are amazing, and if any pictures speak for themselves and tell a thousand words, it is these...taken while doing some early Christmas shopping just before Thanksgiving...so I will just post them, and let you write your own bizarre story with them. That can be fun, too! You cannot, cannot make this stuff up.  This message is just so wrong...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today and yesterday (Sat and Sun) I spent over 10 hours working on statistics homework and a major statistics project, so...I'm just going to post a poem here that I also just posted on Facebook. I am tired and sickish, having one of my attacks of pancreatitis. So No food for me. Hopefully tomorrow's long day and anatomy lab won't overdo me. I can usualy sip coke to keep my sugar up. Isn't it funny coke doesn't bother me? You'd think it would be acidic, but I guess that's the thing, pancreatitis isn't because of acid.  

I made my first power point ever, with some assistance from Reid- the powerpoint master. It was easy and so fun to do, though it has its little quirks just like word, where you have to fool it into doing what you want. And I lost my phone as many of you know, so I had to get a new one, and these complicated new phones have a learning curve. But I like it so far. I just have lost all my phone numbers. This new one will sync, so that shouldn't happen again.   and without further ado...the poem...


there was a sonnet, a denouement, something french was said.
it was as if I believed breathed drew from within myself every word
after that the pasture was less green, the fence was longer
each time having to walk all the way around became a chore
of carrying two large wooden pails for water and no Jean Valjean in sight.

what is the point of making, crafting, forging, these breaths like bellows
a steam engine propelled by the whim of tiny vesicles
neurotransmitters whose names sound like an angry Scottish woman
sweeping her tired broom at the very corners of memory,
in this room I fast until I can eat again without pain,
in this play I sing all the songs until my epic death, Act III.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

So Many Give So Much

Today is Veteran's Day.

I'm proud to live in a town that still puts on a Veteran's Day presentation to honor our Veterans.

I never thought, after high school when I moved away from this town, that I would ever live here again. It seemed like that would be a failure. Every birdie leaves the nest. I never understood the desire to stay in the same place where you went to school, seeing the same people at the grocery store, going to football games at the same stadium. But now that everyone in my family is dead, except one sister, there is indeed a comfort to being here in the town where my mother and sister are buried, and so many friends remain. It has been a joy rediscovering them.

Today, Reid participated in a Veteran's Day Memorial Celebration. Our town has a permanent memorial park.

Now that marching season is over, Reid is playing in
the symphonic band, playing tympani.
In my opinion, tympani are really cool. So big and coppery colored. And you get to hit them really hard with big strokes. I guess he gets to do that on most drums anyway.

There he is, listening to the Mayor speak. There were a great many participants, from Boy Scouts, to patriotic homeschool choirs, from the VFW and American Legion, to Marine Colonels.

Such a large number of members of my family fought and died for our country.
I wish I had some good pictures of my father from his time in the military.
It was strange to realize, as the mayor spoke of the opening of the Veteran's Memorial in 1995, that I was there on that very day, listening to my mother sing with the Cumming Chorale.

At the founding of the park, town members could donate a flag pole, and their loved one's flag, and the name of the local veteran would be inscribed on the flag pole.

My sister had died just a few short years before, serving in Japan.

Naval Lt. Brynda C. Drane. My mom purchased a flag pole in memory of my sister. Shortly thereafter my grandfather died. He was my mother's stepfather, her own father, Lt Charles Steide, having been killed flying one of the last missions into Germany over Italian airspace. My grandpa Bob, also proudly served, losing most of his liver to schrapnel and jaundice that hospitalized him in Europe for almost a year.   

      The last person added to the flag pole was my Mother's uncle, John Smith. When my last Great Uncle dies, maybe I will have him added as well. There are now over 100 flagpoles in the park, and my sister's is number 10. Right next to her flagpole is another gentleman I knew and loved, former Police Chief Gabe Dukas. Who kept his big round policeman's eye on me all through high school as a favor to my mom, and he did it with good humor and love. I remember if he would see my car at Dairy Queen downtown, he would stop in and ask me if I was behaving...that was small town life then.

Reid didn't even know about any of this. After the ceremony, I asked his band director, the talented Mr Mashburn, if I could snap a picture of Reid next to my family's flagpole. He obliged me. Reid was like, what? I have family members represented here? When we took the picture, he asked me if it were okay to smile.

Yes, Reid, your Aunt, and your Grandfathers, and your Great Uncle would be proud to see you smile, and play the tympani, and stand tall and respectfully in your uniform, on this Veteran's Day, and remember them.
Smile big, because that's exactly the life they wanted you to have, and exactly why they chose to serve as they did.

Bless all Veterans on this and every day, Lord.       


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dollar Fifty in Late Charges

I kinda hate online classes. I feel like I am completely teaching myself. What is that quote from the movie Good Will Hunting?
"See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a f***in' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!"

That is kinda how online classes make me feel. I'm dropping a lot of money to educate myself. I see that this might work for some people, but for me, I'm paying 10K a semester for the expertise and teaching ability of the Professor!!! Anyway...I feel good I'm getting the hang of the online thing at least. It is Saturday, the online class week ends Tuesday, and I've done all my work for the week except take the weekly test. Sigh. One more thing finished.

Oh, my, the things to do never end, do they?  Time to go take my Halloween lights down and pack them all up. Then....time to get out the Christmas ones, before the cold sets in. Love to you all!! Come have hot chocolate with me?

Check these out!!!! I am so totally making these soon. Wonder what occasion would be appropriate?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

They Got Their Cool by Osmosis

I know I have neglected you all for a week. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and the fact that it landed on a Sunday...well, there went Sunday! It was lucky that Reid was out of school on Monday and Tuesday following Halloween, because it allowed him to actually enjoy running around like a teenage boy should with friends, sleep in, and still have time to catch up on his chemistry work, as he promised me he would (and did).

Saturday the 30th was the biggest Marching Band competition of the season, and now the season is blissfully over. I adored the show this year, Luna FX, but I just didn't have one more all day Saturday from crack of dawn to two am, competition trip in me. And I was getting behind in my studies as well. Big chem test again tomorrow. The semester is winding down though, only about four weeks left. Naturally, this means everything must speed up as we cram in everything we haven't gotten to yet. Funny, but true.

A hysterical Reid story for you from last night getting pizza. Yesterday was an insanely long day for me. Anatomy lab stretches on forever sometimes, then rushing to get Reid as the library had closed and he had to sit outside in the cold drizzle. He is waterproof, and sitting in the drizzle is nothing compared to the rigors of drumline...but no Mom wants to know their kid is waiting in the rain. So the entire time I was driving to back homeward to get him, I was tutoring a fellow Chemistry student by phone. About 40 mins of explaining what a polar molecule is, why a molecule can have polar bonds but not be polar. Why CH3 is nonpolar, but NH3 is polar, why NH4+ is an ion, etc etc. Now this was stuff from the last test that she just didn't really get, and needs to understand to build on for things like colligative properties such as osmosis. I was happy to help. I love to teach. But it was just again, never a second to spare. Grabbed Reid, still tutoring by phone, went to get pizza. Sent two long texts to friend still explaining about ammonia and ammonium, etc...

Reid was gracious and understanding. He usually likes to have my attention when I pick him up, but he is in chemistry in high school as well. (OH! Guy made a 90 on his latest chem test at Gainesville College, yay Guy!) (Guy also finally posted another blog post, another yay!) Reid entertained himself by sideways watching a really cute girl at a nearby table, who was also with her mom and entertaining herself by checking out Reid.

When it was time to go (after I entered a wad of sales receipts into my checkbook that were flotsam in my purse) he said he was disappointed she had already left.

Reid said, "I was going to write my cell number on a napkin and just drop it on her table." I laughed and said, "Reid, she was with her mom, that's not really appropriate."

With perfect comedic timing of a half a beat but no more he fired back, "She can have it, too."

I love that kid. He rendered me mirthfully comically speechless.

We love to repurpose costume parts. Guy's vest gets used a lot. I repurposed my Mad Hatter vest from DragonCon. Mask is from New Orleans. Vive La purple Joker coats, as a friend said.

I love Guy's flair. I really do.

Reid on the jumbotron screen at the Georgia Dome at the SuperRegional competition

Reid (right) and Connor.  Class AA Champions!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Greek to Me?

I'm sad today that so many of the blogs I follow don't post often, or at all. I was wondering if I should give mine up, but then I went and read some posts, and was disappointed there weren't more, so I will keep soldiering on with mine, even when I am pressed for time.

Everyone said medical terminology was an easy class. Maybe it will be, but I find that it is a lot of terms, suffixes and prefixes being thrown at me rapid fire. The worst thing is terms that are stuck in my head, some years old, that I have been off target on defining. It is so hard to replace old information with new, correct information. I think a lot of us have a general idea what surgical suffixes mean, but general isn't good enough in nursing. There is a big difference between the suffix that means to suture, to repair, and to fix in place. Those are three different terms. As with most languages, one single letter can change the whole meaning. Tracheotomy vs. tracheostomy for example. Arthrodesis vs. arthrodynia. I'm glad I had experience with Greek and Roman Civ (two of my favorite classes in college actually), feeling somewhat comfortable with the language helps. The best is I just know how to pluralize the Greek and Latin root words, probably from that 2 years of G/R Civ. That is one less thing to worry about.

I have my first exam today over three chapters of terms and suffixes. I might as well get to it. But first I think I'll add a couple of pictures from Greece. Boy, Reid sure was young. Reid had some good feedback today from his percussion instructor that really perked him up. We are both still fighting this damn cold. Cephalgia, be gone!!! If you have a blog, please keep writing! I'm still out here following along.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hocus Pocus Puppy

I'm sitting here watching Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler, just about my favorite Halloween movie, and listening to my former dog snuffle. My adorable pup, Sandy, went with Jason in the divorce, but the is here on business, so I get to keep her overnight. She is simply the cutest, and she was so excited to see me. That is always gratifying.

I think I'm getting somewhat less popular at school as of today. I got the results of that second chemistry exam. I scored a 114. I don't really know how very many other people did, but the results were pretty widely scattered. But several people told me just how gosh darn annoying I am.

I know they don't really mean it. I am more than happy to help anyone study. Another big anatomy test on Friday, and I started another class today, Medical terminology. I'm pretty tired, but I'm going to upload a few pictures to this blog of Reid and his fellow Drumline members from the Bands Of America Regional at Jacksonville State University, Alabama, two weekends ago. It was their best performance to date. Next stop is the SuperRegional at the Georgia Dome!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

On A Bridge Over Troubled Water

I had one of those unique experiences Wednesday, the kind this blog loves. Driving home from school, I reached the bridge on Hwy 306, and the traffic stopped dead. After a few minutes I had made it to about the center of the bridge, when police cars started to arrive. One state trooper turned around and raced back the other way. I realized later that he had gone to close down the road in the direction from which I had come. Two ambulances passed, then about ten minutes later, a fire truck and a fire rescue unit. It looked like I was going to be there for a while.

The cars behind me began making three point turns and heading back the other way, one by one. I had turned off my engine and started watching Dancing With the Stars on my phone, so I was somewhat startled when I discovered that I was alone on the bridge. Some cars in front of me had either turned around as well, or had inched up far enough to get off the bridge. You can see a few up ahead in the distance. I wondered if they knew something about the bridge that I didn't. Personally, I was enjoying the breeze across the lake and being suspended above it. Another half an hour crept by...

I got out of my car and wandered around, looking over both sides.

The ambulances and fire trucks came back by to get to the hospital in Gainesville. The firemen waved at me sitting on the bridge railing.
I thought maybe the cars would start moving, but they didn't, and no cars came from the other side.

Then I heard the lifeflight helicopter circling. It must have been a really terrible accident. It is a weird feeling to just be there and not know what is happening. I did some calm meditation for the poor people in the accident.

I took some pictures...

Then I noticed something odd approaching from the south on the lake. It looked like an entire dock had broken free and was floating toward me. As it neared, I could see that it was newly built and being pushed by a tug boat sort of thing.

It was speeding along rather quickly, considering its size.

As it got closer, I started having an interesting, if shouted, conversation with the man standing on top. They had seen the helicopter, as well, and of course, could see that I was the only one on the bridge.

It had been pretty cloudy, and rain was approaching, but just as they passed under the bridge, the sun came out. I mean literally the moment they appeared on the other side. It was neat.

And....off they went.

Another lifeflight helicopter arrived. Guy works at the Home Depot not far about twelve miles from the
bridge and he said even he saw the helicopters.

After another fifteen minutes, I decided to go ahead and turn around and go back. It had been an hour and fifteen minutes, it was starting to pour rain, and it would take me 45 minutes to get home if I had to go all the way back to Gainesville and down to Hwy 369.

So, I've thought about it a lot since Wednesday. I wasn't able to find any information about what happened. But I've thought about it in relation to my life. My tagline is all experiences are valuable, but it could have a corollary, I suppose, that most experiences happen just when they are supposed to, for us to learn something, or notice something. Is that a corollary? Am I using that correctly? So why did I spend an hour in the middle of a bridge all alone? No one else got out of their car, or walked on the bridge. What does the bridge represent, there above the flow of life and the lake...

I waited patiently to be able to move forward. I could see that there were roadblocks and sadness ahead in my way, and I was willing to wait in peace to make my way home. But the rain came and suddenly in the lightning, the bridge didn't seem safe anymore, and I had to turn and go back. Back from whence I came, to get home another way. Why the smiling Dock Delivery Man rafting underneath me and the attendant ray of sunshine? I know it means something. I can feel it from very far inside the medullary cavity of some long bone somewhere. (I'm doing well in anatomy.)

I don't know the answer yet, but I'm not going to forget the experience. I think it will all come clear to me sooner than I might expect. For the moment, I am thankful that there is more than one way to get home sometimes. I hope I always know where home is, in the days ahead of me. I hope you all do, too.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DragonCon : Minnie Me, Weird Al, Master Chief and the Winged Monkeys

Minnie Me and Weird Al
I want to catch up a bit again. I just caught up on Ali's blog, Key To My Wonderland. Fun stuff. I realize how far behind on adding pictures I am, although all my Facebook friends get to see my life in overwhelming detail, I'm sure, so I don't want to turn this into a photo show. But I did say I wanted to add more DragonCon pictures from a month ago. Wow! You know that phenomenon when you can't believe a month has gone by since an event, and yet it also seems like so much has happened that it must have been two months ago? There should be a name for that. If anyone has a suggestion, please add it!

So...DragonCon pics. The largest SciFi/Fantasy convention in the country by far, maybe in the whole world!
I worked this convention back when it was in its fifth and sixth year. It was raucous fun way back then, and I'm thrilled to see how it has not just grown, but exploded. You can't imagine all the different fan tracks, contests, panel discussions and parties. Something for everyone the least bit interested, and a huge parade down Peachtree Street. For the Costume Designer in me, this is The Event!

watching the LOTR costume contest

this guy's kilt was made of metal rings!

Predator VS. Wolverine

Mad Hatter Me and Andrew Green

The best Joker and Harley Quinn I saw, and I counted 22 Harley Quinns

another good one- Joker and his crew

PennyWise the clown from IT

Nice kids huh? One yawning, another licking a knife. Swell.