November 2003 Birch Pt. Beach Blog

October 03 | December 03

Sat. Nov. 1: The adventures of Blackthumb Banana! Armed with rake, trowel, leaf-blower & plastic sheet, Blackthumb schlepped massive piles of leaves out to the street. Along the way, a picker bush attacked her and two giant weeds nearly sent her backwards into the "pool" when she uprooted them.

Sun. Nov. 2: 6 GB to 160 GB. OS 9.? to OS X Panther. Now y'all can get your email, etc., w/out taking over my #$%& powerbook! :-)

Mon. Nov. 3: Raking leaves and water...

Tue. Nov. 4: Recycling 101, lesson 5.017d: Boxboard: that's the stuff that cereal comes in, it's usually grey on one side and brightly colored w/ ads on the other. Put it in a double grocery bag. Corrugated cardboard: it has two outer layers with ripply stuff between. Put it in a double grocery bag. DON'T mix it with boxboard! It's "legal" to put corrugated cardboard in the paper recycling bin but at this house it doesn't fit! Those covers for 30-year-old computer printouts feel like plastic, they'll prob'ly have to go into the *real* trash. Click here for complete recycle info, including what to do w/ scrap metal, I can never remember! Quiz next Monday. Thank you, Garbage Woman.

Wed. Nov. 5: I tried to give an ultimatum that if the house was not back in order by the Sunday before Thanksgiving, there would be NO TURKEY! The response was "okay, we'll have HAM!"

Thu. Nov. 6: YAG moment of the day: Elena & I on the phone cackling about the "Foxy Frenchmen"! Mouse, in her best stage-manager voice saying, "Go Talk About That Somewhere Else!" and Lila doing a similar thing @ Elena's house. Sheesh, the foxy frenchmen must all be about 55 by now -LOL!

Fri. Nov. 7: Raptor Strike! Hawk maybe? I am really not the birder of the family. But I was driving the Wrangler up Miller after the Commie High run and this bird dove down right in front of me, swooped off to the right and grabbed something off a nearby lawn. Couldn't tell what kind of aminal the victim was, had to drive.

Sat. Nov. 8: 20 degrees this morning. Too cold for polartech socks/sandals. Had to get out boots, which I haven't worn since last winter except for a little rodent control incident in August. Also had to add inner columbia jacket, scarf & ski band. Bring on the snow! We're ready!

Sun. Nov. 9: Overheard from the seats behind me during intermission at a PiHi Theatre Guild performance of Les Miz this afternoon:
Cute-perky-ditzy-blonde voice 1: "Do you have any deoderant?"
Cute-perky-ditzy-blonde voice 2: "Yes, I do!!"
Cute-perky-ditzy-blonde voice 1: [squealy giggle] "I'm putting deoderant on here in a theatre full of people!"
At the end of the show:
Grumpy Growler (who DIDN'T HEAR the above): "Smells like a locker room in here!"

Despite that, it was a good show! Bravo PiHi Theatre Guild! Bravo Goose, our stage manager daughter! Bravo Katie J, flautist extraordinaire! And, as Uncle Ben (who was also there) had to remind me, it was fun to sit in the audience and not worry about anything for once. I get to do it again next weekend at that Scottish play.

Mon. Nov. 10: I, who hate to shop, actually managed to outlast Mouse! Cost Plus, Pier 1, Linens/Things, Target, Ethnic Creations. Looking for stuff for her redecorated room. She didn't quite find what she was looking for (table and curtains) but there were elephants everywhere.

Tue. Nov. 11: Enough cemeteries for a while. Today is Veteran's Day, it's a government holiday and we needed a road trip. It being a chilly, gray, drizzly November day, kayaking and skiing were pretty much out and I wasn't up for xmas shopping after yesterday's mini-marathon w/ Mouse. So we eventually decided on Newburgh Cemetery as a general destination. It's an ancient cemetery where tons of Grandma Frances's relatives are buried.
    Trouble is, except for a vague 24-year-old memory of getting off I-96@Newburgh Rd., going south a *little*, then turning left and left, I "knew" where it was but I had NO IDEA where it was! But, so what! We are logical people who can read maps! But after several attempts at using maps and logic to find the place and ending up *miles* out of the way, the GG was starting to question my sanity -- i.e., had I *really* been to this place before? I finally just started driving around in the area I "knew" it was and suddenly there was a little old cemetery with about a million Lathers graves in it and one w/ Ralph & Emily MacMullan.
    After that, we headed south out of Megalopolis down to the Huron River & eventually west toward home. But the GG had gotten going on cemeteries by then, and by the time we got home, we had been to *five*!

Wed. Nov. 12: Mouse & I had a room-redecorating errand after school today so the plan was that I would pick her up from school. When I left the house, both the Wrangler and the Accord were out there and both were easily accessible so I flipped an imaginary coin to decide which to drive. The Wrangler won.
    Got down to Commie High & as usual there were buses and other vehicles haphazardly stationed in the lot waiting for kids to come out. So, I parked in one of the student spaces figuring if someone needed the space, I could always just pull out.
    And then... WHOMP!! Some kid driving a car w/ a fake leg sticking out of the trunk had tried to pull in to the empty space next to me too fast and hit me hard enough to push the front wheels of the jeep right over the barricade. No damage that *I* could determine, we'll see what the GG has to say. Sure am glad I didn't drive the Honda, it probably would have crumpled.

Thu. Nov. 13: SNOW!! Bring it on!!!

Fri. Nov. 14: Work day, virtual office/landfill tools: atm machine (deposited money :-), comet, debit card, dish pan, dish soap, dishwasher, dishwasher detergent, dryer, Excel, extension cord (l-o-o-onnng outdoor one), Fetch, garden gloves, grocery bags, Hotmail, Internet Explorer, jeep, kitchen shears, knives, laundry basket, laundry detergent, leaf blower, lysol, Mail, paper towels, pen, Photoshop, pots/pans, powerbook, printer, Quicken, rake, Safari, scanner, shopping cart, sponge, uscan, van, vegetable peeler, washing machine, Word, yard waste bags...

Sat. Nov. 15: Kzoo & back. With 5 YAGgies. To see Macbeth. Liz was stage manager. Jess was a witch. Colleen was visiting. Some of the YAGgies have acted in Macbeth. Almost everyone dies in Macbeth. Lots of blood and swords. Other than that, I don't know the story. I put on my theatre guild manager's hat just long enough to help one of the ushers tell some feeble-minded woman that photography wasn't allowed (i had *read* the program). Then I took it off again. No one put on deoderant during the show. At least not to my knowledge. Wish I'd gotten a picture of Liz & Jess but I didn't. Home after midnight. Mouse & friends actually slept in Mouse's "new" room.

Sun. Nov. 16: Rain, fog and drizzle all day.

Mon. Nov. 17: Trying to reclaim my living room & help finish up Mouse's room project... partial inventory of Mouse's & my stashes of pens, pencils and the like:

barrettes, beading pliers (flat nose), clothespin, compass (drawing), crochet hooks, glitter (5 tubes), jackknife, japanese silk embroidery ribbon (dark blue), medal (an ancient Haisley walkathon, maybe?), paintbrushes (4-5), palm pilot styluses (2), pencil sharpener, pencils (regular no. 2), pencils (chalk marking), pencils (colored), pencils (watercolor), penny (year 2000 in a plastic packet), pens (cheap ballpoint for auditions), pens (fine point), pens (gel), pens (magic marker), pens (sharpies), ponytail holders (a million), rubber bands (10-15), scissors (2, sewing), scissors (3, fingernail), screwdrivers (2), syringe (fake plastic), wire snips (beading tool)

I didn't feel masochistic enough to count the pens and pencils and things but there were millions. And I didn't include any of the old dead stuff that I threw out.

Tue. Nov. 18: I got *drenched* taking my early morning walk, two wet even for skunks. My polartech socks stayed wet ALL day. I FINALLY got smart and put a dry pair on, went out and got *drenched* again.

Wed. Nov. 19: I need a day job. Dramatic theatrical artists, mad scientists, 16-going-on-25-year-olds, with just a bit of octogenarian telephonic confuddlement thrown in to provide an excuse to test the Birch Point Telegraph system. I need to hang out with some fellow geeks!

Thu. Nov. 20: Music playing on the powerbook: Battlescars by Ozma, a band my kids listen to and have seen a couple times. Somehow this song reminds me of summer and kayaking at the beach. There, you can just get up out of bed, put your ratty old bathing suit on, walk down to the beach, drag a kayak down to the water, climb in and GO-O-O-O-O!!!! And if you're hot when you get back, you can just dunk yourself in Lake Superior! But usually, it's pretty cold on those early morning trips. I want to be sad and nostalgic & wallow in missing the beach & summer but Mouse is making me laugh so I can't :-) :-) :-)

Fri. Nov. 21: After a scattered morning of errands, ptso accounting chores & YAGbabe email, I *forced* myself into domestic drudgery and am now on the verge of taking back my house! Got half of the front living room cleared enough to vacuum and wash the windows and put crystal candleholders on the sills. Exchanged the fireplace candelabra for a grate, spiders were very busy in there over the summer. Took the old dead purple lights off the arbours and put up new blue ones with the GG's help on some problematical lucky-shucky. I am *determined* that this holiday season this house and my life will not be in a big schemozzle like last year!

Sat. Nov. 22: Today is the 100th football game between UM & OSU. Do I care? NO! "Every play" in this game is critical. Do I care? NO! The GG walked downtown for breakfast today. He said it smelled like beer down there by 10 AM. He has told me no less than 6 times how wild it was down there this morning. Do I care? NO! I DID want to see the fly-by but they didn't show it on TV. We could hear the jets from our backyard and we could see the blimp hanging out in our neighborhood out of the way of the jets. But we couldn't see the jets, darn it! On top of all that, the GG is jumping up and down every 2 seconds, scattering corn chip fragments everywhere and turning out the basement light every time I go down there -- to "save money", very Garth-like behavior.

Sun. Nov. 23: Conversation on the way into the Westgate Kroger this afternoon at about 12:30 (words not exact):

Mom (surveying the crowded parking lot): It's going to be crowded in there.
Mouse: It's always crowded.
Mom: Not at 8 in the morning, it's not.
Mouse: Who goes to the grocery store at 8 in the morning? Only a stupid person would go to the grocery store then.
Mom: Well, *I* do! So, I'm stupid, am I?
Mouse: Yes, you are!
Mom: So you must be stupid too, since you're my daughter?
Mouse: No, I'm not. It works by brains, not by genes.
Mom: Well, I *must* be stupid because I'm letting *you* use *my* debit card ;-)

And then, since they didn't have tapioca flour at Kroger, we tried to go to the new Whole Foods where there were NO parking places at all and we gave up! The food co-op had one box. (I'm not sure what she's doing with tapioca flour, something for multi-culti, I guess. I hope it doesn't hang around here for the next 5 years :-)

Mon. Nov. 24: No time to blog. Mired in a big mess of actors guild (okay, Mouse?) web updates since we have to hit the ground running after the holiday. And searching around for my Mom hat so I can feed my skinny little college girl over the Thanksgiving weekend. (Freshman 15? Try freshman -5.) Hope the hat still fits, Mouse doesn't need much in the way of Mom except for a car & a debit card so I'm quite out of practice.

Oh, yeah! The Peanut Gallery (i.e., the Grand Blanc Fins) responded hilariously to the GG's football game antics: Jim: baseball bats are good at modifiying behavior!! and Karen: if you like Ernie's crate enough, we can lend it to you for the GG ;-)

Tue. Nov. 25: What did I do today? What happened? I dunno! I can't remember! There was something about Elena not wanting to touch Lewis's shoes...

Wed. Nov. 26: Once upon a time back in the dark ages (1999), I bludgeoned my way thru basic html, made a website and dragged YAG onto it because in YAG things often don't get decided until the last nano-second or they change at the last nano-second. The telephone drives me absolutely crazy, NO WAY was I gonna call a whole bunch of people with the latest news! But back then, except for a few geeky teenage boys, hardly anyone could find the damn thing.
    Sometimes a geeky teenage boy would sidle up next to me, which was a little disconcerting to a tired old mom until their true intentions became clear, "Hey, if you ever need help with the web site, I'm available."
    Nowadays, people are constantly asking "Are you gonna put that out on the web site?" and if I don't get some new development out there SNAP! they want to know why the web site isn't up to date. Last I knew, we had 167 people in the YAG email group, and last month my site got 74000 hits!
    Boys (of all ages) still sometimes ask me if I need help with the web site (those that don't just assume the GG or some other male is doing it, that is) but what they're usually attracted to now is my powerbook!
    Here's what the old YAG web site looked like :-)

Thu. Nov. 27: Things from last Thanksgiving we can be thankful are NOT happening this year:

Fri. Nov. 28: The Master of the Universe has decreed that the day after Thanksgiving will be a day of art projects. For this year's project, we are going to use a post-hole digger to dig post-holes in random places all over the back yard. We will then erect posts in the holes, put an old dead computer, printer, or scanner on top of each post & paint it green.

Sat. Nov. 29: Grand Blanc Fins here today: Jim, Karen, Valdemort, Pengo Janetto, Sam, Ernie. Fun but confusing day, 9 people & 3 cars downtown for shopping & lunch. Attempts by Jim & the GG to get Elizaword to switch from theatre to engineering were totally unsuccessful. As a start, she and calc just do not get along. And then, I reminded Jim (the engineer) of when he was a college freshman and referred to calc as "c-a-l-c-u-l-u-s" and he reminded me of something I don't actually remember but I'm sure is true: that I refused to help him with algebra and told him to figure it out by himself. To which Val responded with something like, "oh, is that when you started putting little feet on the variables to move them to the other side of the equation?" Anyway, if you have religion, pray for Liz when she takes her calc final this week. I don't have religion, so I guess I'll just have to go howl at the moon or something. Sam & Ernie can join me. (Uh, Sam, the dog, not Sam, my friend, although she can certainly participate too, if she wants to. I'll supply the wine this time!)

Sun. Nov. 30: Raking leaves and writing html...