Because all experiences are valuable.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

5 Days till DragonCon!

Aren't Weekends for Rest?

Woo-hoo! definitely fall now. The first football game is a definite sign. Wish I could be blogging more than every other day, but doing the best I can. Friday went like the clockwork I had hopes it would with getting out of class, getting over to Reid's high school, feeding him, back to school, grab Guy and get to the game. Back up early for the Band car wash. Then rushed from that to the Class of '85 reunion picnic. Back home to make Guy a tunic shirt in two hours for an upcoming event. Upload about a hundred pictures to Facebook, now writing.

Sigh, it is only 12:40. I just want to put a few pics on here, then get to bed.

It was a friendly competition with the other Flash of Crimson band group doing a car wash across town. I haven't heard how it went yet.
Reid is the tenor drum player on the left, as seen from the stands.

I have been losing my voice off and on since last night. This happens to me with some regularity every fall. When I was working as Corporate Sales Mgr. at my local Borders, I lost it for a whole week. Not so good for my job. Then once during rehearsals for a theater show, I lost it for several days. Back by opening night, though. Sitting at the foggy football stadium as the dew point hit didn't help, but the band was so good. Really, they impressed me with their first show performance.
me and Connor being weird.
Reid and Guy being weird. Reid's kinda hot and sweaty after the show.
And the reunion picnic...

I look a little stoned... (I'm not)
And the awesome medieval tunic for Guy. I'm pretty proud of this, two hours work, and no pattern. Just cut out freehand then tailored to him a bit. The sleeves were originally like four inches too long...snip snip snip, hem.   

I will probably make him some simple linen or cotton drawstring trousers on Tuesday. Hopefully won't take too long. Homework must come first!  He needs to dirty that shirt up a bit if he really wants to look medieval...

But I am already off and running on another project, a cloak. Can't wait to show you all the whole costumes and blog from DragonCon!

Honestly not even sure what I will wear, or have time to do, but I love costuming others. It's a true avocation.    

 Seven yards of microsuede fabric! hahahah putty in my hands.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!                                   

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day late, Dollar Short

This post was supposed to go out yesterday, but I didn't get all the pictures added, so I saved it.

Sadly, the happy-go-lucky tone doesn't apply today...but I don't have anything happy to report today, so I'll just go ahead and post from yesterday. Try and pretend as you read it that it all applies...wan smile.

Wednesday! means 9-5:15 at school. The last thing of the day is a 2-5:15 Anatomy lab. It has been a long long, ok, really long time since I used a microscope. I printed the lab manual sheets the night before and then left them on the printer, so that was an inauspicious start. Another girl had printed an extra, which was very forward thinking of her, and she gave it to me. (Elizabeth) We all worked together for an hour or so on the lab stuff, going over the differences between x-rays, MRIs, CTs, etc...and differentiating between TEM, SEM, Light microscope pictures and lots more of that. Then the microscope work. A series of slides to identify, and specifically, which one was the epithelial tissue from the inner cheek. Ok, I will admit I was initially a total mess with my microscope. I really had trouble with the darn thing. So I was slow...one of the last to finish. But I noticed that most everyone out of a lab of about 24 people was picking slide B for the epithelial. I was convinced it was slide A. I have to stand on my own work, so I wrote slide A. Guess what? Yay! I was right. I may be slow, but I am thorough. Not to say others aren't, too, maybe just being older allows me to be less influenced by group dynamics.  Then we had an exit quiz, which we will have after every lab. I actually think that is a smart idea.

I wasn't really tired until I got home and Reid asked if I was tired. Suddenly, I was. But I really wanted to go back to Fry's and return the second incorrect RAM chip and get it off my credit card. Looking in my checkbook, I saw I had 96 dollars. But somehow, I felt like celebrating. So I hadn't yet made it through a whole first week of school...Friday will always be a football game for Reid and the Flash Of Crimson Marching Band, so no celebrating then. So I said, "Hey, Reid, feel like a nice steak or something?" (He did.)

Made Fry's return, got gas, and we decided on Bahama Breeze. No steaks, seafood. Reid got the jerk rubbed salmon with mashed potatoes and fried plantains. I got the almond crusted tilapia with haricot verts and cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes. It was all delicious. Here's half my dinner... I know food pics never look as good as real life. That's a plantain next to my fish. Looks like a tongue kinda, huh?

A few cell phone pictures, some really fun conversation, getting overly stuffed...it was good. A good Wednesday night. A splurge that left me with 32 dollars, but worth it. I'm careful and I know what is what and what is where financially, so, sometimes, you know...eat the good food and enjoy being together.

When we came out I took this picture of the sky.
Which reminded me of a favorite ELO song. One that means a
great deal to me. Happy Wednesday, everyone!
I know a couple of you will really appreciate the theme of the video, I sure did.

Keep smiling, and believing in yourself.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 ELO Mr Blue Sky
Uploaded by JimLad800. - Check out more gaming videos.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sometimes Quitting is the way to Win?

Well, it's Tuesday night. Lots has happened since Sunday night. First off, I love my classes. All of my professors seem knowledgeable, witty, approachable, articulate, and happy to be teaching. I can't ask for much more than that. I hear from other Chem students that I got the best Chem professor. He is so hilarious in a dry, older man kinda way. I'm not sure the 19 yr olds really got all his humor. I saw them looking at each other. But I was thoroughly entertained. And I discovered I think I like statistics. I had no idea I would find that interesting!

Currently, I am eating peach pie, sewing a buttonhole, doing this blog, drinking tea, doing laundry and texting. My house is a mess, so clearly I'm not doing enough. And I should go to bed soon, because Wed. is my longest day. At least Reid doesn't have a Tenor sectional at 7:30am tomorrow. Remind me to go by the bank and get some cash, okay?

So my Toshiba mini-laptop came, and the extra memory came. First off, the extra RAM that Amazon recommended wasn't the right one. I should have double checked. So that has to go back. Today, Guy and I treked down to Fry's electronics, an awesome electronics superstore. Guy was full of interesting stories and discussions from his World History and Sociology classes. That was cool. I was able to get the right RAM, a DDR3 instead of DDR2. But when I pop it into my new laptop, the hard drive becomes inaccessible, so the thing becomes an expensive brick. It won't boot up Windows 7 at all. Nada. Chip installs very easily, and I know I am putting it in correctly. The BIOS screen recognizes it and says 4G of RAM, but WIN7 won't operate. So more investigation to do tomorrow. I spent a lot of time removing Norton and installing McAfee (look, I know every security system has its lovers and detractors. I know tech guys use other stuff. But I have never had a problem with McAfee and have never had my computer infected with anything no matter what gutter I trolled in..LaS). I can say that the screen resolution and picture quality are just stunning. Wow. Seriously.
And the keyboard is really easy to type on. I'll post pictures and let you know more about it as I play with it. It is a very pretty machine, and the Fry's guys say they love Toshibas.

The other thing I have to report on is the book I'm reading. I'm still inching my way through "Living Successfully With Screwed Up People." I just continue to be surprised what a good book this is. Why? Because it doesn't look like a good book just looking at the cover. It comes from some off-brand publisher and is by Elizabeth B. Brown (ISBN 9780800732882). The publisher, Revell, a division of Baker Publishing is an Evangelical Christian Publisher. But so far, this book is just good common sense and shows a real understanding of difficult situations. I personally can't afford to see a therapist. With all I've been through, it would be nice, but I just can't. I need to find myself and Reid a chiropractor as the priority and that will be expensive enough. (Reid carries 60 lb tenor drums and has to lean slightly forward to play properly. He needs the adjustments. believe me.) I have been to therapists before, though, and even have one I can call twice a week for short sessions I found through an unusual program. Often, a therapist's advice is to remove oneself from situations that might be termed unhealthy, co-dependent, or the like.  I am not knocking that advice at all, but this author focuses on all the relationships you can't just leave or sever, or don't want to because maybe the person is family! I'm working so much , for example, on communicating with my college son. He lived on his own for five months, and he is different now, which makes the book really useful.

I'd like to quote some, because she says it much better than I could paraphrase.

She tells a story about her father in cancer treatment who decides not to quit the treatment, and ends up nearly comatose for a month, but keeps fighting. He wins that battle because he does not quit. But then she says that sometimes the only way to not quit, is to quit. Meaning what?? "My father was victorious in the fight for his life because he did not quit. He was victorious in his remaining four years because he did quit. He quit thinking about what he no longer had- good health. He quit comparing himself to what he had been- athletic and vigorous. He quit longing for what he wished were true- that he could do what he had done before and have what was gone. He quit thoughts that focused on the impossible. Sometimes quitting is the only way not to quit. (pg. 54-55)

On the next page, 56, she says in italics..."The single most dramatic difference between healthy and toxic relationships is the amount of freedom that exists for each person to express himself or herself as an individual." Not outside the relationship. Not off running around with "the boys" or "the girls." Not the right to impress my wants or opinions on my teenage sons. Not the right to tell my friends or sisters the "right" way to do things...just the ability to be oneself. It is like looking at my dream through the plate glass of a candy store window. I have a lot of relationships that I can't "quit." But what of my individuality am I giving up to maintain them? What of their individuality am I possibly somehow stepping on?

There are things that people in relationships, as individuals, cannot tolerate in a "partner." That can be parents, kids, bosses, friends, whatever. Those things have to be compromised upon, hopefully equally. But if you make a bargain, you have to "quit" longing for what you gave up. In this relationship "x", I have compromised on this topic "y", and I will quit dwelling on it!

So my real questions for myself, and this is an ongoing thought process...is, what am I willing to compromise on of my individuality, and what must I have as a compromise back toward my needs. When the bottom line becomes clear, and it will eventually- in all things- then it becomes plain whether a relationship is just difficult, or it is toxic. And that's a big part of my journey.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bibbers and Dinkles

Just a quick post tonight. Monday morning bright and early, I start school. Chemistry, Anatomy, Statistics, and Medical Terminology. I have to figure out a way to add human growth and development, possibly as an online course.

Busy day today getting things ready for school, grocery shopping, and also hemming and fitting Reid and Connor's band bibbers. They are like black ski bibs, but not puffy, that go under the band jacket. They come all one length, about 37", and fit like a bag. If "mom" can't alter them, then one has to pay someone. But this mom can, so I did Reid's and Connor's today for their first game next Friday night. From all accounts the band is doing incredibly well learning their show drill quickly. That is good news. Less getting yelled at, I'm sure.

They call the shoes "Dinkles" after the band director in the old comic Funky Winkerbean. This is the unhemmed pant on Reid. Not too ridiculously long on him 'cause he's so tall. (about 6'1.5")

Well, that is all for now. I'm sure I will have lots to tell tomorrow. Goodnight, or...Good Morning!
ha ha ha ha ha...from this angle he looks like a giant!

To Dine or Not to Dine, That is the Question.

Tonight I went to my friend Mary's birthday dinner. Happy Birthday, Mary! It was fun, there was a lot of laughter. Mary's kids are really funny and interesting. And her husband, Neil, is always gracious and smiling. You'd think I would have a lot of pictures to post, but I didn't take but a couple. Sometimes that is a sign of such a good time that you couldn't take any. I wasn't feeling terribly well, but the company was good. Sat at one end of a loooong table with Frank, Chris and Julie (Stewart) Spence, Mary's son Padraic, Mick and Tina (Allen) Keough, and a couple of Mary's college friends, Bobby and Ann. Also in attendance from the high school crowd were Charlie and Janine (Hasselman) Paulauskas. Got to meet some of Mary's new relatives from the Jarvis side at the other end of the table.
I think it was actually Tina's birthday today, whereas Mary's is actually Monday, I think...so Happy Birthday, Tina, as well!

I decided to blog a little about having pancreatitis, because I couldn't eat at the dinner. Well, I ate the broth part of a bowl of chicken soup and had half a tortilla. People don't know very much about pancreatitis. Honestly, I don't think the doctors do either. I mean, they know some things to do to help, but they don't really know why it happens, or why certain people get it. There isn't any cure or real treatment, all you can do is address they symptoms when they arise. I suffer from chronic pancreatitis, meaning it comes and goes- unpredictably in my case. People who suffer from acute pancreatitis have to go stay in the hospital on IV fluids and nutrition. That's the part people don't understand when I try to tell them.

When I get a flare-up, I call them "attacks", I have to stop eating. Completely. Even getting fluids in can be difficult. Believe me, there is zero desire to eat. The pain is excruciating. For those of you who have watched me go through this, you understand. Let's see if I can google up some good info on pancreatitis...maybe Wiki...as usual when I look this up, the information is kind of overwhelming, and the best, simplest info I find pertains to dogs. That may be because 80% of human pancreatitis cases occur in heavy drinkers. Since dogs don't drink alcohol, the information doesn't ever mention that, and maybe is more straight-forward.

"The pancreas performs two very important functions in the body. It makes enzymes that digest proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and it makes insulin, which helps the body absorb and use glucose (sugar). The pancreas makes at least nineteen different digestive enzymes that are secreted into the small intestine before and during a meal. The pancreas is stimulated to secrete digestive enzymes in three stages:
  • The sight, smell, and anticipation of food initiate pancreatic enzyme secretion.
  • When the stomach stretches as it fills with food, more enzyme secretion is stimulated.
  • When the duodenum stretches, the pancreas secretes more enzymes
As the stomach and small intestines empty and the meal ends, the secretion of pancreatic enzymes stops."

For a person with pancreatitis, though, sometimes, the production of the enzymes does not stop.

"Pancreatitis is defined as inflammation in the pancreas. It is a complex disease that is not well understood yet.
 After some, usually unknown, initiating event, pancreatic enzymes are released into the pancreas and surrounding tissue instead of into the small intestine. The reason for this is not well understood at this time. The enzymes start to digest the pancreas itself and cause severe inflammation where they are released into surrounding tissue. Severe inflammation and destruction of the pancreas can lead to shock, fluid loss into the abdomen, spontaneous bleeding, acute kidney failure, difficulty breathing, or death. Not all cases of pancreatitis become this bad."

The only way to try and get it under control is to stop all food, thereby hopefully stopping the production of enzymes, and take pain medication. I myself have a permanent prescription for Vicodin, which I use very sparingly and carefully. I really hope they do not take Vicodin off the market as they discussed earlier last year. 

I didn't want to make the post depressing, after such a lovely party. I just felt like providing a little information, because people don't really understand when I sit there and don't eat, or maybe sip the broth from a bowl of soup as I did tonight.  Sometimes people think I don't eat on purpose, or I have an eating disorder. I don't deny that my eating has become "disordered." You can't know what it is like to fear almost every mouthful of food you eat, unless you suffer from something similar. I never really know which bite of food, which choice will bring on an attack. If the doctors don't know, how can I? I do pretty well to manage it I think. I became a vegetarian for two years to try and manage it, but then my doctor told me I was starving for protein. Vegetable protein is too hard for me to digest to really get enough. Here is a picture of me in April, when I had three attacks nearly in a row.

I don't usually look like that. Generally I am much rounder. I admit I get to where sometimes I think that looks good. I have to fight that. I don't like looking tired or feeling tired from lack of food.

On another note, I feel bad that Mary didn't have a cake. If I had known, I would have baked some cupcakes for all. I'm sure she will have one on her actual birthday. 

It has been my longstanding belief that everyone deserves cake on their birthday. Maybe I will blog about all the special cakes I have baked some time. 

For now, I am hungry and kind of crabby, so thanks for listening. 

Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone!   (and sorry I had trouble with fonts in this post.)

Friday, August 20, 2010


Just a few updates, or whatnot. I have to get to bed here in a minute. Reid has been snoozy for a while already...

I got to share dinner with Drew, the adorable artist who made that caricature of me and follows my blog. He used to be Frank's next door neighbor in a former neighborhood, and now is his neighbor again in the new place. Purely coincidental. Drew is great fun and a delightful dinner companion. It's nice Frank has such cool friends, and now mine, too. Here are me and Drew:

A wee bit blurry, but still a fun picture. Drew and Frank had me laughing so much at Mad Italian, which was good because I could only eat some soup. Sadness, because I love their pizza. I had just said hey, isn't it great I haven't had an attack of pancreatitis all summer?? Yeah, spoke too soon. You know how they say don't make eye contact with a happy, self-absorbed baby if you ever want to get anything done (that's probably Mom wisdom)? I shouldn't make contact with my pancreas if it isn't thinking of me already. Sometimes it is annoying to tell people like nurses that I have it, because the number one cause is alcohol abuse. I barely drink, if at all, so that is not the reason. It just doesn't like to work properly. Kind of like the climate control system in my Jaguar. Grrr.

The mini-laptop is on its way!! No ipads for me. But I won't rule out the next gen or whatever they come up with next. I did order the Toshiba, but I found that the black version was 31.00 dollars less (often true with colors), and the 2G RAM chip, that would fill the open slot available, was only 40.00. So I ordered the black and the extra RAM. This tiny thing will have 4Gig of RAM! My laptop now only has 2. Sucker should be fast. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow afternoon. It probably has to be signed for. If I'm not here I may have to wait until Monday. Crud, I start class and won't be here then, either. Hmmm. I'll have to figure this out.

Okay, I'm off to read Christin's Blog about Air Force life, then to bed! Hugs to all!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Netbook Search, or Tech-tacular Tribulation

Fun title, eh? Here is my shopping/product search dilemma for the month. I've been searching for a netbook for over a month. Probably since I saw Ike's at his house. I think it is more than just a "want," because I will be in another town at school for full 9-5 days with only a 45 minute lunch break, three days a week. First, I want to be able to keep up with my blog posts. Second, My phone does all the internet stuff and I have unlimited data, but the screen is small, it is slow, and ATT can be way spotty on their service. There is free wifi on campus, so that is a better option. Plus there may be classes it would be handy for taking notes, etc. I have neck problems from previous injuries and car accidents, and I know that carrying around my Gateway laptop, while only about 6 pounds, would only aggravate stress on my neck when you consider I have to carry a lot of heavy books and etc. Plus, my laptop is my main and only computer so I would be exposing myself to loss, theft, damage...of basically my whole life. Better to leave that one at home.

The thing is, netbooks aren't that great. Limited by their general 1G of RAM, maybe 250G hard drive, and apparently crappy and annoying Windows 7 Starter OS (stripped down and fairly useless from reviews), plus a wildly fluctuating availability of battery life and other features I was interested in, like bluetooth...my search has been disappointing.

I settled a month ago on just getting something I liked, that was basic and fairly cheap and had good general reviews. Most of the tech specs were the same as listed above. I chose the bright sunny yellow Samsung N150 from Amazon. I try to shop Amazon because I have the Amazon Visa and I get triple points. Plus I have an free Amazon Prime Student account, so I get free two day shipping on everything. I am not promoting Amazon here, though I may let this post be linked so you can see the ones I looked at.  I just really love Amazon. I saved hundreds on my textbooks and Guy's.

Well, UPS lost my order. So no netbook. Actually, Amazon kinda messed up my reorder, so I just canceled
it. It was just as well, because I decided I really did want more in a netbook. I then thought maybe the Samsung N220. Loved the Green Pointillism pattern, and the extra features. It had the faster Atom processor the 455 I think, over the 450 in others. But then I noticed it still only had one gig of RAM. So no, not that one. People started suggesting I look at ASUS. Naturally, Frank said get an iPad. No, I refuse to be indoctrinated into the Apple cult. At least for now. The ASUS all look really good for the features, and readily available. ASUS made the first ever netbook on the market. I decided finally on the new version 1015PED-PU17.  They have a lot of versions. Impt. designation is the 1015 and PED part...that tells which one. Almost bought it...really close to clicking buy...but all the customer reviews on the web say one big drawback...that ASUS has virtually zero customer service. The machine gets great reviews, but if you have a problem...too bad. Well, that seems like a no go for me as well. The ASUS was almost 400 dollars, and I might need customer support.

Through my university, I can get decent HP discounts. So I went to their direct website and designed my own with everything I wanted and even a hugely discounted wireless printer, free shipping, etc. Yeah..right...total$$$? 800 dollars. As much as a decent new laptop. Sigh, never mind. OH, not to mention that my current HP wireless 4580 all in one printer has been a ticky, half-functioning nightmare since I unboxed it, and my customer service experience with them was awful.  Reid's laptop is an HP, and while he loves it, it has a super poor internal fan design and constantly overheats and shuts down. So, once again, I struck out.

I wasn't jazzed my the Gateway netbooks on Amazon, like the LT2318u, but I wandered over to the actual Gateway site today to see if they had a custom order system. They do not, but I discovered that they do make an 11.1" net book in one color only (velvet blue, pretty), the LT3201u, that had full Windows 7 home premium (yes! oh, please Unix people do not call me. Bill Gates has me brainwashed...try to forgive me.), 2G of Ram, I think a 350G hard drive (that's wrong... they go 250 and then 3? what), a dual core processor instead of the Atom, and a 1.3mp internal webcam vs. the usual .3 in netbooks. Plus a few other cool things. I think it even had bluetooth. I was really excited. Yes, it was 489.00, but it was close to perfect. GUESS WHAT?? Only RadioShack sells it, and they are out of stock. Called number...backordered and actually may be discontinued. SWELL!

Which lead me back to Amazon to search for other 11.1" mini-laptops with full Windows 7, etc. Which is how I found the Toshiba Satellite T215D-S1150RD Notebook PC. It is an 11.6" screen. Available for 489.99, no tax unless you live in New York and free shipping. Which is what I'm fairly sure I will buy. It has everything I wanted except bluetooth, is vastly more powerful and useful than a netbook, is still small and light, and is a Toshiba, which gets good marks for customer support and reliability. It is more than I originally wanted to spend, but after all this, I'm glad to be getting something I can get major use out of. I just haven't clicked the buy button just yet... wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mr. Sandman...Bring Me a Dream....

I'm not sure how much I have to say on this subject, although it is huge and varied in all its aspects. Sleep. But I only want to talk about one specific conversation that Reid and I had earlier.

Some time ago I read the book,  Power Sleep, and learned double what I had known before I read it- about human sleep, REM, dreams, and all such. I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Maas speak at a convention, but I went shopping instead- a really bad move, but it motivated me to read my free copy of the book! It revolutionized my thoughts, if not my actual actions, in relation to sleep. Sadly, I am still as I was apparently created, a night owl.

Reid was doing hours of homework after hours of drumline rehearsal after hours of school. He said, as he has said before, how much more productive the human organism would be if it did not require sleep at all, or very little. We have all heard stories of geniuses (geniusi? haha) like Albert Einstein who needed very little sleep. Heck, even Martha Stewart is famed for needing only about 4.5 hrs of sleep a night. I understand the idea he is postulating, and many others think the same way. Taking a minute to ruminate, though, I decided to oppose his thought process with one of my own.

I believe humanity and the entire planet we live on would be in an almost unquantifiably better situation if the human organism were designed to simply shut itself off for eight hours a day. I'm sure we would genetically adapt to different needs for scheduling, so I'm just focusing on why I think as I do.

First, I point out that sleep deprivation is damaging and expensive. How many accidents, errors, losses of goods and money and investments, could be avoided? How much less could we all spend on insurance and buying overpriced goods and services to make up for the losses due to simple tiredness. I want to make these statements sort of open-ended and let you add your own internal insights to each one.

Second, I bring up that Americans and most of the rest of the world following us, are fat. Overweight and exhausted. A huge reason people eat so continually during the day is because they need the constant input of energy. If everyone got eight hours of sleep a day or night, I would bet my life that obesity rates would plummet. So, add in all the billions of dollars spent on health-related issues from being overweight, complications, and the billions spent on the weight-loss industry. All those extra resources could go to finding cures for diseases like diabetes and hypothyroidism and things that cause people to suffer which they can't control. What a waste...for what simple sleep would vastly ameliorate for a large percentage of the population.

Third, a natural progression then is how much farther the food we produce would go if people ate less, due to less exhaustion, and also due to fewer hours available to be awake mindlessly eating. People eat when they are bored. More sleep=less boredom, more energy to do things, etc. Which would mean the incredible stress on our planet from massive industrial food conglomerate overproduction could cease or be lessened. We might even save the bees, who are all dying from stress and colony collapse disorder. You do realize life as we know it is going to change dramatically if we can't save the bees? And at this point- we don't really have a clue how to do this. You know what? They need sleep! And we don't let them have it, because...we are too busy being exhausted!

Fourth, how much less energy would we use as a whole in all those hours we were asleep, even without any major change in habits? Say we were all still bad and left our power bars on and everything plugged in on standby...still, we would be using so much less. Unimaginable the savings. How much less gas in the hours we weren't driving around...because we were asleep? How much less energy spent on the food growth, processing, and production in relation to all the above?

Fifth, I will add in...frankly, how many fewer children born because there are fewer hours for people to be having sex which might result in children? Maybe people would realize they could only handle enough children to make zero population growth, because there would be "fewer hours in the day."  So, therefore...fewer people using less energy and eating less food and requiring fewer resources. With no bizarre measures or quotas to control population growth...just simple sleep!

Sixth, how much depression and mental illness is brought on by lack of sleep, by our outrageous lifestyles wherein we literally starve our brains of what they simply MUST have. Sleep deprivation is one of the very top and most common forms of Torture! Sleep deprivation is against the laws of most countries and the Geneva Convention. We actually choose to torture ourselves. How much is spent by us on stimulants, energy drinks, etc. Meds for depression, SSRIs, therapy, mental hospitals on and on and on. What if we all just slept?? The there would be so may more resources available to treat the real problems people have. Sleep deprivation can bring out aggression. I wonder if fewer crimes, road rage, even rapes would occur...if no one were overly tired.

I think you get the picture I'm painting, and you can add your own thoughts. Please comment if you have any good ones I haven't even thought of here. I'm going to begin a concerted effort to sleep more. So, goodnight, lovely readers. Sweet dreams.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Across The Universe

It's Saturday night, and we are watching a movie, called Across the Universe. From 2007, this is a Beatles rock musical taking place in the Vietnam Era. So far it is pretty freaking awesome. I thought the main actress was Chloe Sevigny and I thought, "Wow, she looks amazing...she is like 20 pounds thinner on that Big Love show about the polygamists. (too thin)" Turns out she looks so good because "she" is someone else. She is Evan Rachel Wood, of "Thirteen" fame...a movie I would highly recommend to anyone who has a daughter age eleven or older.

Had lunch with Sherry yesterday, my dear high school friend of 30 years.  Let's see...this is Sherry (on the right), me, and Janine P. from our 20 year high school reunion. Sherry has a teenage daughter not too much younger than Reid. Sherry was telling me how aggressive the teen girls have gotten with the boys...I mean romantically, sexually, etc. Seriously, I would recommend the movie "Thirteen." It was largely written by Nikki Reed, who you will recognize from the Twilight series of movies, though hideously died blonde. I've never understood that choice.

I don't know, I'm just sort of babbling while watching this movie. I had another awkward public restroom in a fast food joint moment (see Next Time, Check First 7/23/10). No keys were lost in gross places this time. I had been sitting around Captain D's waiting for my car at the mechanic's. So, I went to pee, because that is generally why I go to the restroom. It was a "one-stall-er" with the sad wall mounted sink with exposed pipes. I was bored waiting for my car to be done, and I got a text, so I answered. Then another, and another. I just sat there giggling and texting. Finally I got up and went out to wash my hands...when I discovered that unbeknownst to me another woman had come in and was waiting, listening to me giggle and text. OMG...so embarrassing. I lamely held up my phone and said in my most self-deprecating, oh-what-a-dork-I-am manner, "Ha Ha I was texting, sorry..." She gave me a mildly withering look. Oy vey, sometimes I just lose touch with reality!

Okay, wow, now Bono is channeling INXS deceased lead singer Micheal Hutchence with an odd rhyming string o'words. Which is weird because he just came up yesterday in conversation. And....now Eddie Izzard is doing an acid-fueled song with um...large blue people and giraffes.

I would say this is a really good movie, unless you don't like the Beatles. These two characters are loosely based on Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix.

So, Sylace signing off. Peace, man.         (saunters off, singing Oh! Darlin...please believe me...)

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Chemistry Story

This semester all three of us are taking Chemistry. Meaning myself, Reid, and Guy. We had the thought that maybe we could all help each other. This should be good fodder for lots of posts. Hahahaha I'm laughing already. I should have been voted least likely to be trustworthy of chemicals. Firstly because I am incredibly sensitive to most chemicals, medicines, cleaners, etc. Secondly, because I seem to blithely forget that fact often. Today, yet another example lead to breathing difficulties and medical consultation. Officially brand me a nitwit. But maybe it was a little reminder to me that I need to be very careful in the lab.

Ok, my laptop screen is attracting flying insects. That is annoying. Shoo, Fly, don't bother me.

I'm finally finishing up my "Theater Wall" with show pictures, cast photos and publicity Lobby pictures from all the shows I was in, or Stage Managed, or Costumed. It is taking up two entire walls. I walk through that hall to get to my bedroom many times a day, and I see all my wonderful friends looking at me, and years of hard work and irreplaceable experiences. Who knew you could miss so many people so very much? Chemistry is a funny thing...you wouldn't think you could have such group chemistry with such a large and varied selection of folks. TV stars always seem to be bickering or talking snidely behind their castmates back. I just finished that bio of John Leguizamo I mentioned a few days ago, and I never knew how much he preferred theater to movies. Everything he said about the differences was so true. I would liken theater production to something like going though a battle together. You come out the other side changed, every time...and only your fellow participants understand.

Reid and I watched "Project X" on TV tonight. It was a movie made when Matthew Broderick and Helen Hunt were very young, in which an adorable chimpanzee trained by HH is mistakenly sent to a secret and deadly Air Force test program. We enjoyed seeing it together. It reminded me of a concept that Guy introduced me to, the Monkeysphere. The idea that the human brain is actually only able to have close and semi-close relationships with a limited number of people. We can only really conceptualize of a certain number of folks as individuals, and then the rest are just "others" unless we focus on them personally. (Google that if you are interested in learning more.) And it is that concept that leads me to surprise that I was able to be so close with such a large group at RLT (www.rogerslittletheater.org). Especially when we all took on so many different personalities for shows. Just kidding.

I will be having some biochemistry. I'm not sure the boys will. So maybe I will learn more about all this brain and interpersonal chemistry stuff. I have a lot of years left, and a lot of things to achieve, but I will always miss those people, and hope to see them again. My uber-talented monkeysphere. I think I'll close with a couple of pictures from the hardest show, as a whole, that I ever costumed and worked backstage. It was "A Christmas Story," and it was produced for the 50th anniversary of the Daisy Air Gun company, whose museum sits right next to RLT in downtown Rogers, AR. What an effort it was for all involved, during the Christmas season no less. But I'm going to think of that while I struggle (or breeze, maybe?) through Chemistry. Because there is no way Chem is harder than what I did on that show. And no one shot their eye out...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

White Stripe

In a moment of hesitation
we lay down and the kudzu grew over us.
I should have stopped sooner/short of the edge
smack up to the fiddlehead ferns and beckoning tentacles,
I mean...tendrils...

I should have a white streak in my hair
like JoBeth Williams had in Poltergeist.
She said she liked it, for she had earned it.
But I won't get one; it is all so middle-of-the road, and
the kudzu has me by the wrists and ankles.

This darn green stuff is so pretty.
I can see why they didn't think carefully before planting.

TSD 8/12/10

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Freshman, Sophomores, and Tyros

It is the second day of being a Sophomore for Reid. (Insert jokes using the word sophomoric here.) For some reason, that reminds me of looking at my dad's annual from Louisville Male High School from his Senior year, and reading the signatures and comments. I wish I still had that annual, but I think my mom got rid of it years and years ago. There were several comments that used the word tyro as a derogatory epithet against underclassmen.
I had to look that one up. I like to try and use new words as I find them so they become a natural part of my vocabulary. But lo, in all these thirty years, I have never found a proper occasion to refer to someone as a tyro.

Etymology: Medieval Latin, from Latin tiro young soldier, tyro. Date: 1587. : a beginner in learning : novice. synonyms see amateur ...

Somehow that is just a cool word. Makes me think of that Robin Williams movie, Dead Poets Society. Makes me realize, yet again, how woefully "today's youth" (OMG, could I possibly sound older and more crotchety?) are being educated. I know every generation says the same thing. I know these kids are whizzing along at literal light speed with technology, and maybe that is what is needed now, not fusty literature and language from the past (yes, I just used the word fusty...)

I am extremely thankful for this: that my sons will go to college. Did you see the new statistics on college attendance and graduation that came out the other day? They were woeful. The media announced that this will be the first generation less educated than their parents. I assume they mean...ever...in American history. Which would make sense. Know what else? Also the least healthy, most overweight, etc etc. Did you know reading quietly burns twice the calories of watching TV? You probably did, but the kids don't. At least in college, with a few exceptions, you are still required to read literature, write thoughtfully and creatively, study history, classical Greek and Roman civilization, and THINK for yourself. 

Today I go with Guy to register for his college classes. He is already into his Freshman year thanks to concurrent credits he took at NWACC. Currently he is an Art major, but is considering a change to Psychology major. He already has his "Psych 101" AP credit, so maybe some sociology this semester. And Art, too...
I hope someday he gets to take Greek Civ. Probably my favorite college class I ever took, with Roman Civ in the top five, as well. 

I worry so much about this country. And I don't spend my time obsessing over the Federal Reserve, or the unbelievable scandals and travesties on every corner that our corrupt government perpetrates against us. Because to me, the very worst thing that could ever be done is to rob our future- the kids- of the ability to reason, express themselves in a literate and articulate manner, and to appreciate the arts. There is literally no one to blame but ourselves. All the governmental acts in the world, all the failures of anyone at all, cannot stop one from overseeing the education of their own children. Other people in other countries seem to get this, and to the mortifying extreme of sadness, we don't.

For those of you who are supporting and genuinely educating your children, God Bless You a thousand times over. 'Cause they are all we've got for what is coming. 

I, myself, can say one thing, weird, silly, and outmoded as it is: I have not raised a couple of tyros!

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Servin' some Surimi

OMG! I did almost nothing today. I slept till noon, then made crab pasta salad. Then I spent hours on the internet and then took Reid to see "the Other Guys."

So...hmmm...here is what I am currently reading. John Leguizamo's autobiography, Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and my other Hollywood Friends. This is really very interesting. I always enjoy his acting. But it isn't as good as Sean Astin's autobiography, There and Back Again. I even got Reid to read that one.  I am also finishing up The Pathway, a self-help method to honoring one's own emotional needs and yet establishing healthy limits for oneself. An excellent book! Just started reading Living Successfully with Screwed Up People which seems very insightful at first perusal. And I have started reading Tarzan again for the probably fifteenth time. I did some research on Edgar Rice Burroughs. I want to do a post on him soon.

 So this is pasta salad. It isn't even made with real crab. It is a surimi fish product usually called imitation crab meat. I really enjoy surimi. It is made of all white fish, it is relatively cheap, it is tasty, and it is healthy. Sometimes I make this salad with a very high proportion of fish to pasta, and sometimes the other way around. Today I used whole wheat pasta spirals. Mini bowties are terribly cute, too. I use olive oil mayonnaise, and only about two tablespoons for the whole batch. I don't really like mayonnaise, but it is necessary for some things. I suppose it is only oil, vinegar and eggs. I'm just not a mayo fan.

Let's see. Also in there are one small bag of frozen corn, cooked, and one small bag of frozen peas, also cooked. As much or as little of the imitation crab as you like. I guess this batch had about a pound.  One half of a Vidalia onion, diced fine. If you have to use a white or Spanish onion, use a lot less. But Vidalia is the best! I usually use a whole red bell pepper diced, but I didn't have one today. Then the mayo, fresh ground black pepper, salt to taste, a tablespoon of lemon juice....Very important is this seasoning I use. Picture to the left. The main flavors are lemon, dill, and garlic, so I'm sure it could be approximated.

 Also very important are these two ingredients. Use a hot sauce that has a lot of flavor, but not a lot of heat. Spicy doesn't go with the seafood seasoning. And about 1.5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, white or regular.  Things you can add are a bit of coined baby carrots or diced zucchini. Do not add green bell pepper or cucumber, really, trust me. ;-)

Then I like to serve on croissants. I pull them open like a little shell, not cutting with a knife, and not really separating the halves, just making a shell. Looks cute with the seafood, eh?

Enjoy your Sunday! I'll let you know if anything interesting happens here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Now, even Bigger and more Improved!

What's this? Another post? Well, yes. Because we went to Sam's Club, which deserves a post.

My Sam's membership is expiring at the end of September. I don't think I will renew, because my nearest club is twenty minutes away. That doesn't make for big savings if one has to drive that far. But I'm going to do some stocking up on those bulk items before I wave farewell to Sam's and build a small homeless shelter out of the leftover bulk packaging. That is not my best joke, but hey it is 2:30 am, cut me some slack.

Reid and I had a hilarious time, as always. I am ready for the start of school on Monday, armed with lots of bread, lunchmeat, chips and bottled water. And, of course, there are so many giant sized items to entertain ourselves with.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring? You never can tell around here.

For example, it might bring tuna salad...hahahaha, a very large batch of tuna salad.

No, I didn't buy the girafffe.

But I gave it a Sam's Club sized hug!

Episode III- Revenge of the Ditz

Where on Earth have I been, you ask? You are asking that, right? It's okay if you aren't, because I have been thinking of you all anyway. I wish you could all tell me what you have been up to.

The sunglasses adventure continues! The tally is one pair of Coach temporarily broken, one pair of Kate Landry looking permanently misplaced, and one pair of Versace which walked off. Leaving me with one pair of Armani Emporium that are way too large on my now skinnier face, and a pair of Coach which I adore, but am now sort of afraid to wear. Those were a birthday gift from Reid's dad three years ago. My record isn't good lately. Before the last few weeks, I hadn't lost a pair of sunglasses in at least five years!  So I went to look for new ones. Reid helped me pick. The combined dollar total of the missing and out of commission sunglasses was $570. The combined total of the two new pair was $32.

 Pictures, you say? Well okay, but only a few small ones. This isn't a fashion show. ;-)
These are Jones New York. Orig. retail $42, sale $12.

These are Nine West. Orig. retail $49, sale $19.99.

Reid has pretty good taste. He was a definite no on a great many pair I liked. Handy to have him around!

On that note, I miss you Ali. You were a great connoisseur of sunglasses.
 So, what is this all about? I'm thinking about that.

At first I thought it was a sign that I needed to give up my last attachment to luxury goods. I am known for my incredibly cheap, bargain basement shopping habits. But I buy quality items at ridiculous clearance prices because, for example, I am willing to repair missing buttons, messed up zippers, etc. commonly found on clearance racks. Plus I have unusual taste, and see potential in items most everyone else rejected. Tricks of the costumer! But expensive sunglasses were really my vice. I have never smoked, rarely drink... if at all, hate gambling, don't overeat, watch my environmental impact...but wow a $300 dollar pair of sunglasses could really turn me on. In some defense, I wear contact lenses with a fairly strong prescription, have light eyes, and am so bothered by glare that I wear sunglasses even at twilight. Still, that is just a stinking lot of money for sunglasses. So, I thought, this is a lesson in reality and humility. Let these things go.

What is it that wisdom asks? Do you own your possessions, or do they own you? Exactly. Let them go if they walk off, or get lost. But...I whine...I hate the feel of plastic on my skin. I won't even drink out of a plastic cup. Expensive sunglasses are made of resin. Plus they have optical quality lenses. Hey, I forgot to tell you...I was an optician at Pearle Vision Center for a year, then worked for Corona Eye Optique and Southwestern Eyecare Medical Center. I used to make eyeglasses, fit contacts, and give visual field exams for spotting macular degeneration. I even did a TV commercial for Corona Eye Optique that played for a year in Southern Arizona. Wow, the memories come flooding back, and sorry this is so stream of remembrance. Eighteen years ago! But that is where I met the Gucci rep who told me all about how expensive handmade Italian frames are made. He gave me my first pair of Gucci frames. they were pale pink and I made the lenses myself in the lab! I had totally forgotten. I think I come by my luxury preference fair and square. I feel somewhat better about this strange indulgence.

I decided, after much thought, however, that the message was really not about giving up the possessions, but the message was to take off the shades from my eyes and be sure I am seeing all things clearly.  Life is so imperfect. That is what makes it surprising and delightful. I think I like life so much, I tend to see things and people a little better than they are. That's okay, because that is who I am. But here's the thing- I don't need these shades to protect me. I have the power to choose when I want to wear them. After all, who doesn't deserve to be viewed through a more forgiving lens?

Just this second on TV, an ad for transitions eyeglass lenses came on. It said they adapt to the changing light so they can follow you all day. That's it. The confirmational omen, you might say. I will adapt to the changing light, whatever it is. I will see clearly, but choose to see gently. It was a good lesson...and I like my new cheap glasses pretty well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Now I Understand!

A picture is worth a thousand words, is it? OH YEAH. 

Now it all makes sense! The Sleestacks took my sunglasses and gave them to their human liaison, POSH SPICE BECKHAM. I'm sure they have Guy's AP test scores as well. They want to steal his brain or something,or make him work for them on their dastardly plans. RESIST, Guy!

Life is so awesome!!!! You can't make this stuff up, and you don't have to! It's all on the internet. hahahahahahahahahahahah          Sylace out. I have to go shopping for sunglasses.

Land of the Lost

well yes, apparently the Slestacks finally succeeded in their quest to steal my cell phone. I don't have a land line...what is this the Dark Ages? (land line hahahahaha) Chris Spence told me I should call ATT tomorrow and see if they can turn on the ringer remotely. It is on vibrate. Usually Frank is the cell phone advice King. I guess he is off in euphoric iPhone4 land. Probably smoking a hookah on top of a mushroom or something. Isn't that what goes on in iPhone4 land? You have to drink a potion or something, pass through a tiny apple shaped door, and there is Steve Jobs, invisible except for a large set of grinning teeth? Right? Looks pretty fun in there...

My black Versace sunglasses have finally made their way into the time warp as well. I'm sure the roaming T-Rex is looking fine in them. My kids used to make fun of me because there was a time period of a couple of years when if I lost something I'd always think someone took it or moved it. I realized they were right and I sounded ridiculous, so I started assuming I'd lost everything. But my Versaces were in my Jaguar on top of the emergency brake in their case when I went into the Target, and were not there when I came out (one...eternity...later...). Yes, I left the passenger side door open. It's okay. I had them for five years. That's about forty dollars a year. and they were out of style anyway. However, they would come back in...never get rid of handmade italian sunglasses. They will last forever, going in and out of style randomly. I hope it makes up for your tiny, useless arms, Mr. Rex.

Managed to finally replace Guy's AP Psychology test scores, which were...lost. Somewhere some primordial jungle denizen has set up shop as a psychologist, using Guy's test scores to hang on his wall. It's okay, his patients can't read anyway.

I've lost some other things yesterday and today, mental things, philosophical things, eine kleine nachtmusik (did I spell that right? Reid will whack me if I didn't).

There is a disturbing point sometimes, where I'm not sure if I'm Scarlet, "Tomorrow is another day..." or if I am Rhett, "Frankly, my Dear, I don't give a damn." Tara is looking pretty threadbare for receiving guests, but there's probably a parsnip or two in the field. Too esoteric, I suppose...

I really really did laugh all through Dinner for Schmucks tonight. It is so well done. Steve Carell can pull off what just might have been awful if acted by someone else. He's kinda like the Jerry Lewis of our generation, but not annoying. Paul Rudd does a fabulous straight man, and that guy from the Conchords is perfect. Oh...and the smarmy boss who plays Ashley Judd's husband in Double Jeopardy who frames her for his murder. He is always a smarmy guy!!

talk at you tomorrow. "you'll find that life, is still worthwhile...if you'll just smile."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gingerbread Gangstas

So I was sitting down to write and Reid came up to tell me an exciting story. He really likes to be listened to immediately no matter what I happen to be doing. Hahaha this is so true. Currently he is talking about what crap proxy servers are. He likes to tell me about nine times a day, "You don't know me..." This is a joke mostly. He also likes to say, "You're not my real father..." He's a hilarious kid. I may not be his father but I probably need to break it to him that Princess Leia is his sister.

So he wanted to tell me a story about Connor singing a rap song in the car the other night, called Forever (Drake, Lil Wayne,Kanye West, and Eminem). I hadn't heard the song. I just youtubed it with the lyrics so I could catch all of them. I really liked it a lot. I've been a Kanye fan from way back, he has always been awesome to choreograph dances to. Apparently Connor, who has a great voice which I have heard several times- just killed this song and everyone was impressed. Hopefully I will get to hear him sing it!

This in the midst of watching the Bourne Ultimatum, and looking for dark gingerbread recipes. Remember like Grandma gingerbread from the old days? It was really dark and gingery and full of molasses and not really all that sugary, but it was dense and the top would be sticky? I think there was some kind of syrup that went over the top. I found this in my files from ages ago, but I never made it. I will make it soon and post pictures and let you know if it is a good recipe.


1 pkg. (14 oz.) gingerbread mix
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup Coca-Cola®
Combine all ingredients. Beat vigorously with spoon until very well blended, about 1
1/2 minutes. Pour into 8x8x2-inch greased and flour pan. Bake in moderate oven,
350°F, 30 to 35 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10
minutes; remove from pan and set on rack. Serve as a hot bread or as a desert with
whipped topping. Makes 6 servings (about 2x4 inches

I make Coca-Cola cake, the kind with the melted sugar frosting that cracks almost like fudge when you cut it. Everyone loves it. The Coca Cola adds more sugar, and a certain hard to identify taste that mimics caramel, but not quite. People who don't know that it is Coke cake are always curious.

So, a short post tonight...and a silly story about teenagers, gangstas, and gingerbread. It is a Christmas tradition at our house to decorate Gingerbread men. I have a cookie cutter that cuts out Frosty the Snowman with his hat and I like to use that one for Gingerbread Men. About three years ago, I made the cookies and set out the decorations and frosting, and let the boys do all of them. I knew I had to come watch when I heard the near hysterical laughter they were sharing. They were producing "pubescent boy gingerbread" and "gunshot victim gingerbread," among others. Two brothers, egging each other on, falling down with laughter and tears in their eyes, on a total sugar high...Comedy and imagination always reigned supreme at our house. Often inappropriate, but so unforgettable. I hope they cherish all the silly crap that went on in their childhoods. This is for you, Guy and Reid, don't drink too much juice...but if you do, be sure to save the remains for tasty fruit roll-ups. Wink.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Drum Corps International

This Saturday, July 31st was the DCI Southeastern Championship at the Georgia Dome.  It was an all day event, and well worth the time and investment. Most entertainment I've gotten on the dollar in a while, and of course, the kids from the FCHS Flash of Crimson Band are so hilarious, interesting, and full of life to say the least.

 This wasn't a competition for them, they are just starting to learn their show drill tomorrow, but how inspiring for all the groups of high school musicians that we saw at the Ga. Dome to be able to see these professional class shows right before starting their own fall marching seasons. I saw my first DCI show about fifteen years ago, and the skill level has only grown since then.

These kids are mostly college students, some just out of high school, some even still in high school, but the average age is 19.5. I read in the program that about a third are women. Several of the Corps are all male by long tradition. These incredibly talented "kids" perform 115 shows in the course of summer 2010.
Can you believe that? Atlanta was their 90th show date. They travel across the entire U.S., sleeping on school floors, practicing hours a day, unpaid, in fact, it costs around two thousand dollars to participate. Most raise the money or work for it all year.
Why do they do this? Because they are the most dedicated musicians anywhere. The experience is unmatched, both in musicianship gained and personal memories. The program said roughly 44% are new each year. It is grueling and expensive, so one can see why many who might like to perform each summer just can't commit the time or raise the funds.

It is pretty shocking what is being done to music education programs in the United States. I could blizzard you with facts and figures that prove, not imply, prove, that music education programs produce higher test scores across the board in all subjects, but especially in math. These kids are far less likely to get into trouble, to skip school, etc etc. Teachers know that band students are usually the best students, the most well-rounded and "delightful" that they have.

Seriously, you gotta love these kids.
These to the left are TJ and Connor. TJ plays snare drum, Connor plays drumset. I just love these guys.

Meanwhile, back at the rant, I didn't believe they could make the American education system much worse overall, but every year the government keeps managing. I heard they were going to repeal the mind-raping debacle that is No Child Left Behind. I pray that is true. I taught high school one year, 17 years ago. Yuma High School, Yuma, Arizona.

My mom taught 27 years at FCHS and other schools, my Dad over 20 years at the Citadel and other various colleges, my sister, Brynda, four years at South Forsyth Jr.High, and my sister Leigha, I think four years at Life Chiropractic college. Interestingly, we were all in the band one way or another. Most Americans just don't care how damn dumb we as a nation are becoming. They just don't, and I don't think you could convince me otherwise. If you tried, I'd wonder what segment of the population you fall into. How we can keep cutting art and music programs is beyond me. Why even science teachers can't get enough supplies...it makes me cringe. But no one is going without a football helmet. I'll just save my breath. I'm just so thrilled, so proud that there are still programs like DCI, and a lot of great college band and orchestra programs, too, still left out there. My boys attended University of Arkansas Summer Music Camp a combined six years I think. It was a real gift to be able to send them there.

Please support musical education whenever and wherever you can. Look at the above picture of the Blue Devils. Such imagination and artistry. It's everything still good about our country. Check this one out:

At the end, before awards, all the Drum Corps (which is percussion, brass, and color guard) stand together and play one song together. (oh, all the tickets are sold on one side of the field.) It was Glory, Glory Hallelujah this time. I wish you could have heard it.

Maybe sometime you will. But I can guarantee you these kids will be the ones we want taking care of us and running our country someday.