Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The right stuff.

So why is it often so hard to do the right things for ones self? Admittedly, I have been in a bit of a funk lately. January is a funky month here. Like most Januaries, we have been having a lousy winter inversion. The skies are hazy, you can't see across the valley, the air stinks and is downright unhealthy . Over the weekend I was in a lousy mood, I didn't even feel like skiing on Sunday. Luckily for me, Matt convinced me to head up to the mountains with him. Of course when I got up there I had a wonderful time. It was sunny and beautiful and pretty warm. The total opposite of the Salt Lake Valley. The skiing was great and I feel really fortunate that my 17 year son still wants to ski with his old mom. Our skiing styles are different, I pretty much just cruise around and attempt the occasional mogul. He's always hitting the bumps and the jumps and catching air. He's "new school", I'm "old school" but we still have a great time together. Even though he's 17 he still likes to impress his mom. He sends me to the spot below the huge jumps so he can show off his tricks. This weeks tricks included some awesome 380's and 180 reversals. Of course as a mom I still have that moment where my heart flutters a bit as he comes off the jump; it's hard not to worry that this might be time he has a bad landing. Sometimes that "watch me mom" is a scary sentence! I'm so glad Matt forced me out of the house, it's good to have some one make me do the right thing when I'm not quite in the mood.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Finally, after 6 1/2 weeks, Sarah can quit using crutches. She has at least 3 more weeks in a "boot", but at least she's a little more ambulatory now. Because of the school days she she missed in December, we received our "1st Truancy Notification" in the mail the other day. Apparently it is a "Class B Misdemeanor" to fail to send your child to school. Now wouldn't you think that the fact that she's been on crutches for a month and a half, we've sent notes to school, both my husband I have been to the school to attempt to pick up her assignments would indicate that we don't exactly have a truancy problem going on here?!

I say attempt to get her assignments because I was shocked how downright uncooperative the school was. Bob went to the school and asked that a "runner" be sent around to Sarah's classes to pick up her assignments. The person in the counselors office told us that we should just check the web for assignments and that she won't send a runner until that is done. Of course, as it turns out, she had handouts and worksheets in nearly every class. So the next day I show up in the office, assignment list in hand, and ask for a runner. The office person was quite curt and huffy with me as well, and seemed rather put out that she actually had to send someone to pick up Sarah's work. You would think they could be a little more accommodating, especially considering the 3 story school has no elevator, making it really hard for someone to get around on crutches!

Wouldn't be nice if the school system were a little more concerned with educating are kids rather than harrassing well meaning parents about truancy?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sky View...

We had a really pretty sunset yesterday.... probably because of the crappy air quality we've had due to a winter inversion... but beautiful none the less!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Your own Backyard...

You know, how you never do things in your own back yard. I have lived in Salt Lake for over 20 years now, and one thing that I have never done is go to the Sundance Film Festival. I never pay attention to what's going on to remember to look into buying tickets ahead of time (December I think), and when the festivals rolls around and I think of the crowds and hassle and freezing temperatures I think "eh, maybe next year".

This year is no different, except that we've been skiing Deer Valley this year, which is out in Park City where the festival takes place. So on saturday, after skiing, I was foolish enough to say to Bob and Matt, "We're right here, let's go into town and check out the Sundance crowds". So we left Deer valley and took a backroad up to the top of Main Street. Park City is an old mining town, the main street through town in a narrow one that runs or a half a mile or so up a hill that eventually leads to an old mine. I never would have guessed it would have taken 45 minutes to drive down the hill. Cars were lined up bumper to bumper, and occasionaly one would stop to load or unload people or something. Others would just stop suddenly, in the middle of the road, just to gawk at the crowd. Stylish (according to my son who actually recognizes designer duds) people were everywhere, and they didn't think twice about just walking out in front of moving cars. Many photographers were roaming about, one ran right in front of are car to the other side of the street and started snapping shots of some presumably famous person we didn't recognize. Bob and Matt saw one "celebrity" - an actor from the movie American Pie. I missed him, since I was the one trying to make sure I didn't rear end the car in front of me or run over pedestrians, but I was assured he was a guy from the front of the DVD case. I'm sure there were many more celebrity seekers than celebrities on the street, although, one of the guys from work was there (on foot) an hour before we where and stood feet away from the crowd mobbing a fur clad Ashley Simpson. My friend was a bit apalled by her head to toe furriness.

This whole celebrity chasing thing seems kind of silly to me... I can honestly say I'm not sure I can think of any celeb I would especially want to meet, and if I did, what would I even say to them? I think it wouldbe really weird. Wait, here's one... William H. Macy...apparently he was at a party my friend's (the one who saw Ashley), friend went to... I know he makes wooden bowls for a hobby... I could talk to him about turning bowls on a lathe... that would be my kind of celebrity discussion!

Here is the thing I found the weirdest... one of the Main Street storefronts had been transformed(temporarily I presume) in to a big Botox store!
That's right, a whole store just for Botox.
I guess if that's not bringing Hollywood to Utah, nothing is.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Party Night

Geez, this was my entryway when I came home from work tonight. Teenageers! They are everywhere. About a dozen I think. They have been coming and going all night. They move so fast I can't count. Turns out today is the end of the term and for some reason (probably Sarah's immobility!)they all ended up here to celebrate. I like the kids, but it's 11 pm and there are at least 10 here still, and I have no idea how many are spending the night. What do you suppose the chance is that they will be quiet enough me to sleep tonight?

One nice thing, a bunch of the girls are my biggest bead fans, so having them here always garners me compliments, especially on a night like tonight where I'm cleaning beads. They are smarties - they know if they're nice I'm happy to give them beads. I'm sure they'd be nice anyway! So tonight I gave a bunch of beads away, but I was smart and said - if you want them, you can clean them and handed over my dremel tool... and they happily dremeled away. It is sweet how they are so thankful, even if they are taking ones that I wasn't quite happy with. It's fun to have my housefull of adoring fans! ...If they only let sleep tonight... I wish I had some earplugs!

...Midnight, I got a correct count... there are 12 teens here... and a fish (a beta) in a bowl on my kitchen counter... I can't remember who's that is...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thoughts on Martin Luther King Day...

....or Human Rights Day as it's known in Utah. I have been wondering if our country has begun to embrace a new type of acceptable prejudice? Prejudice against Hispanics. My daughter recently had a baby for the weekend... an electronic plastic baby, courtesy of her ninth grade teen living class. The exercise was designed to teach kids that they don't want to do do something foolish, like become teen parents. My daughter didn't feel like she learned much from the lesson because, as she said, "Duh Mom, I already knew it would be stupid to get pregnant at my age". She did end up learning something that made her unhappy about some of her classmates. About racism. You see, she chose the Hispanic plastic baby, and actually got numerous snide comments from her classmates about it. Not knowing she'd picked that baby, kids "felt bad" for her because she "got stuck" with the Hispanic baby. She has also told me that kids at her school frequently make racist comments towards Mexicans, and that they are also racist, to a lesser degree, against Asians. It is something that definitely upsets and disappoints her about her classmates.

I have to admit to hearing that racism runs rampant at her school surprising. We live in a good part of town, in fact many neighborhoods that feed her school are pretty affluent. When I think of affluent people I think of educated people. I think educated people *should* know better than to be racist. I thought we'd learned from history, from people like Martin Luther King. Or have we simply learned not to be prejudiced against blacks? With the all the controversy in recent years about illegal immigrants from Mexico have we somehow begun to sanction a new "acceptable" prejudice? Against Hispanics? I hope not, but I have begun to wonder.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow dog!

So what part of a dogs evolutionary history makes it like snow? We got about six inches of the white stuff today. I let Daisy out to play while I shoveled the driveway. She ran out the door, then looped through the yard. Leaping through the snow makes her happy. Does the snow make the wolves and coyotes happy? I picture canines in the wild hunkering down in their dens, waiting for storms to pass, hoping for better weather in which to go out and look for prey. I don’t picture them gleefully frolicking in the snow. And besides, who would be throwing them snowballs?

Daisy loves a good game of snowball. She stares at you intently, waiting for you to toss the ball. If you toss it off into the snow she leaps after it, then digs around looking for. I don’t think she understands why those snowballs are so darn hard to find. She’s happier if you throw it up in the air. She jumps and tries to catch in her mouth. Once again she is confused, she knows she caught the ball, but it disappears as she grabs it with her mouth. Then another one magically appears in her mammas hand and she forgets all about the first one. She never seems to tire of the snowball game!

Todays good news - snow removes little yellow birdy splat marks! Brushing the snow off of my car surrounded it in little piles of yellow snow...

Todays bad news - Poor Sarah has at least two more weeks on crutches. Not that it affects the outcome, but todays x-ray clearly showed that a third bone in her foot was indeed broken as the doc suspected.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


One good reason to get my butt going in the morning:


Parking sucks where I work. As a university staff person I have it better than the students, but it is still a hassle. I pay $216/year for a parking pass, which allows me to park, on a good day, relatively close to my building. I often judge my days as good or bad based on the parking space I score. School holidays? They are good days, even when I have to work because I know I can show up almost anytime and get a place to park. When school is in session you can just about tell time by the number of open parking spots in a lot. Today was a bad day. Since Sarah is on crutches, I have been taking her to school everyday, making my schedule run later than usual. Today was extra unusual because it is her birthday, and since it's her day she wanted me to stop at the store for a chocolate donut on the way to school. Being the sucker I am, I said yes, so I was running late. Even though I was running late I still stopped at my coffee shop to grab a cup of coffee (addictions you know!). So I pulled in to my parking lot of choice at 8:18, just in time to see another car get the last empty space. So I turned around and went to my second choice lot, which was also full, then got stuck waiting while another spot seeker did a 6 point turn in her big volvo to leave the spaceless lot. So I was stuck having to drive out of that area, through the stoplight, to a space across the road by the stadium. Practically in student parking. Oh well, I guess can use the exercise, I just hate waiting forever for the light to change so I can cross the street.

I now have a new parking lot benchmark...not just whether or not I get to work early enough to find a spot in the lot of my choice, but which particular spot to get. I usually park along the sidewalk, but the other day, because school is back in session I had to take a different spot. Under a tree I guess, because now my car is covered with zillions of bright fluoresent yellow green spots. Or should I say splats? Birdie turdy splats.

I guess I'll start trying to get to work in time to park in the bird free zone....and hope tomorrows snowstorm washes off my car. I wonder if splurging for the $1000+/year reserved parking pass guarantees splat free parking?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


It has been pointed out to me that I used the word "sushi" 13 times in my last post.
I guess too much sushi is a bad thing after all!

What is a good synonym for "sushi"?

(current sushi count = 3, oops, I guess it's 4 now!)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sushi Snacks!

It’s back! Sushi that is. For some reason I don’t understand, the student union quits serving sushi during winter and summer break. Today the students have returned, and after a more than 2 week hiatus, so has sushi. I wish I could say that I was a sushi aficionado. I’m not. My family isn’t fond of sushi, so we rarely eat at sushi places. But I have gotten in the habit of grabbing sushi at the union for lunch once or twice a week. So I really miss it when it’s gone. I suppose the fact that I eat student union sushi means I’m no connoisseur; but I enjoy it as reasonably healthy lunch. I have mixed feelings about the raw fish aspect of sushi. Although I often find it tasty, I have spent too much time at biology field stations when parasitology was being taught to want eat much raw fish. I do occasionally indulge and have raw fish if I’m somewhere where I trust the sushi chef knows how to pick clean, fresh, fish. Somehow I don’t have that level of confidence in the staff at the student union, so I usually stick with cooked fish varieties. So do "institutional" places just buy the "sushi kit in the box" and let whatever yahoo who happens to be working that day roll it up? It’s not like we’re in Japan where there the training of a sushi chef is a fine tradition. My lunch sushi might not be top notch, but I sure like it anyway. I’m glad it’s back. Yum!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Web Connections.

I have to say that I feel a little tickled that I got such nice mention form Lori Greenberg in her blog the other day. I’m never quite sure what I think about the whole blogging business. On one hand it feels very weird to put your thoughts out there in such a public way. Then there’s the “why do I bother doing this if nobody reads it anyway?” thought, and the “oh god, what if someone actually reads this?” thought. On the other hand, there is something kind of affirming about actually putting thoughts in writing that kind of feels good.

When it comes to reading blogs I have found that I mostly enjoy reading blogs of people I know, I like getting that little snapshot of the daily life of my friends far away, even if they are people I don’t really well. Or maybe the fact that I don’t know them really well is why I like their blog, it gives me a chance to get to them better.

I really enjoy seeing how the world all connects together. Part of what’s appealing about the “world wide web” it is a web of connections. Lori mentioned something interesting in her blog the other day; a link to a blog she occasionally reads. Imagine my surprise when I clicked the link and found it went to blogger in my town. An ex-mormon living here in Salt Lake. I don’t want to spend time talking about Utah and the “great divide” (mormons vs. non mormons) and how Utah is a bit of an odd place to live (it is), but it is an interesting subject to me. I imagine the dooce.com blog may have entries I‘ll find interesting.

I’ll file Lori’s posting of that link under what I call “weird cosmic coincidences”. It is always interesting to me to have these weird little connections pop up in my life.

Now I have to add…
Lori mentioned the kind of mother I am… I have to add that, like in so many facets of my life, I’m pretty schizophrenic in my skills as a mom. I try to be the good mom who wants to provide positive experiences and memories for my kids, and I’m also the bitchy mom who incessantly rants about the kid's messes or their chores being undone. I can do quite the good mom/bad mom thing. Like the other night when I got home from work and Sarah was there with her friend Neeka and 3 teenage guys I'd never met before. The first thing I did was yell about all the dishes in the sink, (bad mom- I’m not supposed to yell when she has friends over), then I thought about making dinner. With 5 teenagers in the house I figured I’d better make a big dinner and I remembered that we were about to have a critical toilet paper shortage, so ran to the store to get the makings for a big pot of spaghetti and meat sauce. When I returned Sarah and one of the boys was outside. Since she’s on crutches she couldn’t very well help carry in groceries, so I tossed my big 24 pack of toilet paper to the boy and told him to make himself useful. Of course this totally embarrasses my daughter, (bad mom) but then I cooked them all dinner (good mom). Totally schizophrenic right? I guess I hope that in the long run the “good mom” moments out weight the “bad mom” ones

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Fear of the torch...

One problem with the holiday season.. you get busy with all preparations and activities and next thing you know 3 weeks have passed and you haven't had a chance to light up the torch. Next comes the fear. The fear that any skill you may have had will have totally evaporated during the time away the torch. So even when free time emerges again, and your itching to start making things, it's easy to fear that you won't be able to make the glass behave like you use to, and therefore put off getting back up to the workbench. Over New Years weekend I finally, for the first time in weeks, made some beads. You'd think after a long break I'd have lots of creative energy, but in reality I had no idea where to start. So I decided to think towards the next holiday and make some hearts. The added bonus to making hearts is that because they are something I rarely do, I have no expectations for how they will come out. And, hearts are an inherently wonky shape so they'd be good for an potentially wonky day. Since I was already fearful that during my break I would have forgotten how to make anything decent, making something I'm not great anyway at seemed like a good first project. I'm not sure I have a future in the Valentines Day bead market. I don't think my hearts are quite "girlie" enough. Or maybe deep down I'm somewhat black hearted. Perhaps next time I make hearts I should break out my stash of pink Bullseye glass!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New looks for the new year

So am I bad mother? Would you let this guy lay a hand on your daughter? Well, I did. The thing Sarah really, really, wanted for Christmas was to get her nose pierced. It wasn't one of those spontaneous, teenage, peer pressure sort of desires; she has been asking to do this for over a year. I have to say I'm pretty ambivalent about nose piercing. Some people look cute with pierced noses, some look like total freakazoids. I think it just depends on how it's done, what jewelry is chosen, and what kind of look the person wishes to achieve. Since all of my research indicated that eventual removal of a nose ring leaves little or no scaring, and the "horror" stories seemed relatively few and far between, I decided to go ahead and give her a gift certificate to Koi, a local piercing salon as a Christmas gift.

I chose Koi because it has a reputation of being the best or at least one of the best piercing salons in town, and I certainly didn't want to risk getting her nose pierced by just anyone. I was happy that the shop was run very professionally, clean, autoclave trays and biohazard bags in plain site. The piercer actually spent a fair amount of time examining her nose to decide where to pierce it. I asked him to explain to me what he was looking for, and he gave me a pretty length explanation. Apparently you want the piercing situated just right in the crease in the nose, in a certain thin section of tissue, in the most aesthetically pleasing position. I was most pleased that he gave such a good explanation, and I felt that my daughter was in good hands and not just getting any old willy-nilly hole in her nose. After he gave me his detailed explanation he quipped "then I just guess". The actually piercing was really fast. He stuck this metal tube thing up her nose, than fast as lighting the big long piercing needle shot out her nostril. Sarah eyes were watering, mostly because she was laughing so hard because the swiftness of the piercing, which she watched in the mirror, was so darn startling. She's really happy with how it looks, and to be honest I think it looks cute too.