March 2005 Birch Pt. Beach Blog

February 05 | April 05

Tue. March 1: Okay, that is just about the absolute end of this! Grandma? I am *not* a grandmother and I am *definitely* not the grandmother of a FROG!!! Give me back my computer. Give me back my crappy old minivan. Get *back* into your laundry basket. What was that? What about dirty socks? I am sorry but I do not *care* if Moley throws dirty socks at you! I am taking back my stoopid blawg once and for all! Sheesh, was that frog green color making anyone else seasick? Grok grok grok (woops)

Wed. March 2: So, I am walking around at the top of a very tall, rickety wooden staircase with no railing that leads directly down into a river. I am wearing a long skirt and it is summer and I am talking on the GG's cell phone (because I have lost mine and for some reason, we have to go thru all sorts of ridiculous complicated gyrations for me to get a new one and I do not have time to wrap my dangerously over-stuffed brain around the process). Anyway, I trip on the top step and almost fall off the steps but somehow catch myself but in the process, the phone (!) falls down to the 2nd to the last step. I scramble down the stairs and just before I can grab it, it teeters off into the water. Stress dream? Will someone PLEASE figure out how to jam about 5 more hours into each day. And, while you're at it, get YAG a permanent truck and truck driver. Ones that we can just stick in a box until we wave a magic wand. I am sorry but at this time, I do not want to add "truck driver" to my list of skills. And I am sorry I am such a damn klutz but I really do need a new phone.

Thu. March 3: "Where's Mom? Her computer is here (?)" Well, really. I have been known to take my computer to the grocery store but it is *not* an everyday occurrence. Anyway, those were apparently Liz's approximate words when she stopped in here to get keys or whatever a while ago and I wasn't here. Yes, of course, I was at the grocery store. Where else? Jackson Rd. Meijer today. After the banana pepper pizza fiasco last night, I have *got* to get real about the sorry state of the food situation around here. Anyway, with the safe arrival of Liz's boyfriend Ryan at 5:30 AM today following something like a 3(?)-day trip from Thailand (no, he was not in the tsunami), one more study abroad kid returns and this episode of that experience draws to a close.

So, did I miss her? I can't really say no, but when I got to the airport to pick her up last Saturday, I had this bizarre feeling as if between the time we dropped her off and picked her up, I had had about enough time to turn around maybe three times, to paraphrase something Bubs once said. What has happened? A lot! Good, bad, weird and ugly. Three A grades in the WCC web technology program and if I ever manage to sit myself down and *study* for all my tests next week, maybe 3 more this spring. It is a fun, wild time going to college at this age. An old, rickety, moldy (but much loved) cabin torn down and a new, big, beautiful one almost built. Mouse somehow managing to squeeze the college application process into her excruciatingly hectic schedule and being accepted to all three small private liberal arts colleges that met her criteria. The sudden loss of a friend, theatre colleague and email buddy during an already crummy, awful week in the darkest, wettest time of the year. If I could count the number of times during the last few months when someone has said, "What about this?" or "How do we do that?" and I have been forced to answer, "Paula knows that but..." Onward.

Fri. March 4: Sharing a vee-hickle, or vee-hickles might be more accurate, for the first time in about 30 years. More often than not, in recent years, I have been able to walk out the front door and say, "eeny-meeny-miny-mo, in which POC should I go?" Should I drive the vee-hickle with the big holes in both the doors and all the trash in the back? Poor Mouse keeps having to explain the toilet paper to unsuspecting friends. Should I drive the vee-hickle with the permanently lit AIR BAG light? That one sure isn't ever boring because you never know what is going to break down next (!) And, since I am one of those nuts who walks 6 miles a day minimum and would do 10-15 if I had the time (yes, I am an exercise addict although you wouldn't know it by looking at me!), I am constantly calculating how far it is from here to there and how long it'd take me to walk but do I really want to carry a laptop on my back for that distance, etc., etc. On the other hand, maybe we could finally buy that honda civic stick shift that I think I want and postpone the POC's demise in the Urine River until a little later in the spring. Then we'd have 4 more or less working automobiles for 4 drivers. Wishful thinking, I guess...

Sat. March 5: Boring. That was today. Homework. Study for mid-terms. Presentation on Wednesday, at least it's not with one-a them thar groups. I get to stand up there and make a fool of myself all alone. Play next weekend. Desktop publishing up the wazoo. Liz, Ryan, Jess, Colleen off to K College for "air band," whatever that is. Some sort of talent show, I guess. Fun to have 20-year-olds in town for a while even if I do have to share cars. Mouse/Goose off to TK's. Ultimate destination unknown. *Finally* I am back on the air at 734-417-7238. I dunno how I lost that phone. I won't lose this one. Think I'll name it "Muskellunge" like my old one was. Maybe "Volcano Mama" was a bad-luck name. New blinds in the bathroom. The ones that were in there were there when we bought the house. They were icky. Yeah, you are right, Sam (archaeologist, not dog). You know darn well I'm not particularly interested in picking out curtains, etc. :-) If people didn't occasionally walk thru the woods behind my house I wouldn't bother with having anything on the bathroom window at all. But they do walk there and sometimes they rap in the middle of hot summer nights and leave booze and gatorade bottles back there. And sometimes they even leave their glasses on trees back there (I won't mention any names). But I'm riffing off in some weird, unknown direction now so I guess I'll quit for the day. Like I said, boring.

Sun. March 6: Sedentary. Yuck. Studying for midterms. Doing homework. Desktop publishing. Reading, writing, replying to and forwarding email. Updating websites. And watching a little bemusedly while someone who is obviously bit too enamoured of the OSI model chases packets around the house. And what is your IP address, may I ask? Hitting the ground running tomorrow for a hellaciously double-scheduled week. Yeek. Or maybe yuck would be more appropriate here, too.

Mon. March 7: Hmmm, publishing from Scarlett Middle School... My cell phone never works in this fortress but I am on-line! Can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing

Sun. March 6: Sedentary. Yuck. Studying for midterms. Doing homework. Desktop publishing. !

Tue. March 8: Letter from Froggy, written on a napkin, year unknown:

Dear Mommy,

We somehow boarded the Delaware train and are at the ocean. We are very scared. We're staying at the campground Aunt [name I can't publicize] and Bill stayed at.

P.S. We are very scared. Squeaky almost drowned. Please help us. Quick.


Wed. March 9: Karen sez: Yikes - can always tell when Bananne is stretched to the max....

| Sun. March 6: Sedentary. Yuck. Studying for midterms. Doing homework. Desktop publishing. !
| Sun. March 6: Sedentary. Yuck. Studying for midterms. Doing homework. Desktop publishing. Reading,

Yep, we have had two Sundays this week ;-)

Thu. March 10: Where's your blog, you say? What blog? I have a blog? Oh, yeah. I vaguely remember that useless thing... Maybe tomorrow. Shoot. It almost *is* tomorrow.

Fri. March 11: I hate when I get up late. The best time to start out walking is between 6 and 6:15 AM. If it's still dark and the skies are clear, I can see the Big Dipper. In the fall, when it's dark and clear, I can See Orion. And the moon in all of its various phases. And one morning when I was walking by the woods in the dark, I had the distinct feeling I was being watched. And I was. By a tiny little owl, perched just above eye level about 10 feet away from me. But the best thing is that at that time of the morning, the people I have to deal with are predictable and don't require much gozinto to interact with. Bill and his two dogs. Charles and his two dogs. They're both just a quick "good morning." The two women who walk just about as religiously as I do, sometimes we say good morning, sometimes they are deep into their own conversation and I can just slide by them. The young Asian woman who jogs with her eyes almost shut. And when I get back by Haisley, the high school bus is usually there and I certainly don't have to talk to any of those kids because they're either sleepwalking or plugged in to something. But I got up just a little late today and I didn't see Bill and Charles was already done with his dogs and shoveling his walk. And one of the two women was just getting home and I didn't see the Asian girl. Instead, everybody and his mother was out there doing whatever and the middle school bus was at Haisley when I got there. But I did at least get to walk. And that was pretty good practice, I guess. Because now I have to make myself get focused and for the rest of the day it's just one foot in front of the other through the second to last day of this week of extreme stress. Keep on truckin'.

Sat. March 12: Somewhere over the rainbow. Bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow. Why then, oh why can't I?

And so ends the umpteen-millionth YAG production I've been involved in since I forget when exactly. Actually, the first one, I didn't really have anything to do with the show or the organization at all. YAG did The Phantom Tollbooth at Haisley Elementary, the school in my back yard. Lizard Breath was about in 5th grade there and she and I and her friend Chelsea and my friend Jane (Chelsea's mom) worked a bake sale during the show, proceeds to go to 5th grade field trips or some such rot. Liz and Chelsea got to sit in on the show for free. Jane and I, neither of us the type to sit quietly watching a show, spent the time talking, laughing, gossiping, whatever :-) Little did I know then that I would someday become intimately involved in YAG's ticket sales and all kinds of other aspects of the organization's operation! At that time, I guess we thought we were doing our part to support the show. How naive was I... I know better now. But, that time, I guess I was one of *those* parents, i.e., what can I get for free... Sheeesh!!!!!

But yet another strike is over. Or probably not quite over yet, thank you much to those who are helping schlep that stuff. Me, I just have a couple of lost/found items, some *small* blue boots and a Peter Pan watch. At least, I think that's what it is, it's kinda blue and a character that looks a lot like Tinkerbell is on it. Thank god I found the kid who left his poster behind. I'm not the best at lost and found...

P.S. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Sam and John for the Zola breakfast. At the time it seemed like so much to eat but since I haven't eaten anything else today except for a snack bag of M&M's, it was definitely the thing to do. Anyway(s;-), it is always great to see my best friend on earth and her wonderful and as a *bonus*, MacCrazy husband again.

And if you have somehow wandered over here from that other (YAG) site, this production was wonderful. Thank you to all of you parents who managed to fit some volunteer work for us into your busy schedule. We all hope to see you in the next episode.

Hey, kids! Is it chicken or lasagne tomorrow? I am actually cooking and I am not too bad when I put my terribly fragmented mind into it :-) :-)

Sun. March 13: So now that that's over, what do I get to do today? Lie around and read the Sunday paper? Cross-country ski? I wish. No, I get to sort out homework assignment 6 for my Coding 2 class and force it to work somewhat reasonably in Netscape 4.x. (None of y'all are *using* Netscape 4.x are you? If so, upgrade already!) Anyway, that rather monumental task will involve the use of the @import directive, a concept I understand in theory but do not always manage to execute elegantly in practice. And it'll also prob'ly involve a trip to the WCC library to use their PCs. On a Sunday. Rock on.

Mon. March 14: vroom vroom. Coffee at Barry's with Marci. Home to collect "stuff." Post office, bank, A2 Academy and on the road to porn row at the WCC Library... Brrrring! Oh shoot, I have a cell phone again... Should I answer it or not... I really am not quite coordinated enough to drive and use a phone at the same time, even when I'm driving an automatic like I am today. But it might be one of the kids, or Elena, or Jean, so I guess I will. But it isn't. Lunch!?! Lunch ?!? Um, did I marry you for lunch? What I need to do now is beat some uncooperative xhtml/css into shape and then hit the uscan and then do the assigned reading for tomorrow and then start the Photoshop homework due Wednesday that I am sure I shoulda started last week but didn't because it was Wizard of Oz tech week and do something about dinner and sort out some college stuff for an over-scheduled high school senior. Whew! I can't follow that last sentence and I wrote it. Once again, I married you for better or worse but *NOT* for lunch. An exception being Yvonne's Airport in Harrison which I like but I always feel like I have an "I'm from Ann Arbor" tattoo on my forehead. And trail/river lunches are okay too. Etc. But. Lunch? Sheesh.

Tue. March 15: Well, clearly, a better implementation procedure is needed here. The cabin pictures return (click here). The drywall is now up. This place better not get too fancy. I'm gonna miss the mold and rodents and things.

Wed. March 16: So here I am sitting in the WCC Library catching up on the reading for this afternoon that I am not quite finished with. I have my phone. I have my car keys. I have my computer. I have my computer power cord. I have the textbook I might need tonight but usually don't. I have two granola bars in case I starve before 9 PM. But do I have my cash, credit cards, Kroger card or driver's license? No. Why not? Because even though the outdoor temperatures are still ski jacket worthy, I decided *not* to wear that filthy old thing today. And that's where all that stuff is. In the right pocket. Along with my jump drive. Which I need to submit homework assignments later tonight. Why do people keep telling me how organized I am? I do not even know where my *head* is right now!!!

Thu. March 17: I guess my kids are prob'ly glad that the internet wasn't big stuff when they were babies. Check out this proud dad's site. I didn't have my first baby until I was 30. I thought I had invented babies. And baby poop, etc., etc. Actually, to tell the honest truth, I did not have anything to do with any baby's diaper until I had my first little Lizard Breath baby. And at first, the GG was the main diaper-changer and bath-giver. I believe he used to say something like, "I veel now perform zee cloning," in his German-mad-scientist accent, when he was about to give her a bath. Then there was the time she was about 3-4 months old and I came home from work and she had obviously *waited* for me to come home to poop so I would have the honor of diaper-changing. So, I got down to business and she started making this really *weird* noise that I eventually interpreted as laughter! Ha ha, I got you, Mom! But anyway, sheesh, poop was the main topic of conversation for quite some time there. And once, The Commander reported to me that Jim and Karen (kidless at that time) had said something like, "All they talk about is poop." And then they had their kids but that's their blog >:->> (not to mention the crappucino-machine dog incident, talk about poop). So, y'all are lucky blogs weren't invented at that time or you'd've prob'ly heard it all. Um, okay, my kids are gonna kill me, I know... Make it merciful, please.

Fri. March 18: "Mom, we're trying to make peanut butter sandwiches and there are papers on *top* of the toaster and there's water all over the floor." Yeah, I know, this place is, once again, a disaster area, not to mention a fire hazard, at least in the case of the toaster. We just finished one play and I'm still trying to pick myself up off the floor from that, another one is in rehearsal, a third is auditioning next week, the summer camp registration is underway and we won't talk about the bulk mailing that Jean and I are struggling to get together and I have all kinds of homework including a "creative" (yikes!) project in photoshop and another one-a them thar group presentations, all about copyright law. Roight! Not to mention bills to pay, etc. I got totally freaked out earlier this week when I couldn't find a tuition bill and couldn't remember when it was due and thought that I'd missed paying it on time. Not, thank god, because I think the K kids have just about exhausted anything interesting to do here in A2 during this grey, wet, ugly time of year when everybody else is at school. They seem to have recovered from study abroad and I think they're ready to get back to school. And Lizard and her friends somehow managed to snag a *suite* for the spring term, not an easy thing to do, so I'm sure they are looking forward to that. Not living with a messy old bag that spills water on the floor and puts papers on top of the toaster. Anyway, I guess cleaning and sorting out paperwork is in my near future. blick.

Sat. March 19: Home Alone on a Saturday. Woohoo! I can turn the thermostat down as low as I want to and shiver away. And I've got my blue lights on since it's such a cold, gray, ugly day. Usually I don't turn those on until evening at this time of year. Then when I wake up in the middle of the night and they are off, I know everybody's home. Theoretically. Anyway, I could've prob'ly gone to HL for the day. Lizard and the GG headed up to Fenton to hitch a ride there and back with Doug and Kathy. But I have too much homework. Or so I thought. After spending yesterday tearing my hair out over one little glitch in my latest coding project, I broke down and emailed the prof, who promptly got me back onto the right track. I think he's about 15 but he knows his stuff and it is a *hard* class but it is also *really* fun! Anyway, this was one time when thinking IN-side the box was the proper way to approach the problem and of course I had been aimlessly wandering around OUT-side it. But that assignment is in the bag (I *think*, coding can be sneaky ;-) and although I wish I could say I figured it out completely by myself, at least I still have that ugly mop on my head. But I do have plenty of other stuff to do and that is why I am wasting time writing a totally inane blog entry instead of doing it. Oh, and where's my *other* daughter, you might ask? Mouse is where she always is on Saturdays, at the Flying Sheep yarn shop. I was on my best behavior this morning and did *not* try to talk to her. And there are *no* chickens here! Or ducks or turkeys or owls or pheasants or any other kind of birds. :-P

Sun. March 20: Peep!! Peep!! Peep!! Peep!! Why do I have to keep saying there are no chickens here! We did have chickens for a week or so once. And we were supposed to only have 2 but somehow we got stuck with 4. That was enough! I'd be standing in line at the grocery store or somewhere wondering if I *smelled* like chickens or if the smell was just stuck in my nose. And there are no other birds around here either. Frogs? Yes, unfortunately we have one of those. Oops, Scree Scree is prob'ly around here somewhere. Maybe in one of those big garbage bags down in the basement where most of the aminals ended up during that crazy tornado warning when the GG went *outside* to take pictures of some moths. But Scree Scree is not a chicken. He is an eagle. He does not say Peep!! No chickens here. Sorry. Bagawk! oops...

Mon. March 21: Grrrowl, snarl, snap. Excuse me while I take a day to *seethe*. Y'all do not wanna know why. It more or less defies description. But I hate to be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misquoted. Those who have issues with something I have said should talk to *me* about it. Do not twist my words. Do not read innuendo where there is none intended. And do *not* bother to try stabbing me in the back. I will try to find a way for you to hang yourself (figuratively speaking) if that is at all possible. But this is kindergarten stuff. So let's play nice. Grrrowl, snarl, snap. Hey, I can spend a day seething once in a while.

Tue. March 22: I guess my cousin thinks I was a little over the top yesterday so she sent me a link to a bunch of fabric stashes to try to cheer me up. I don't think I'll submit my own shambling stash to that site but maybe I'll post it here someday. If I can ever bear to go down into that dungeon. Not only do Pooh and I have fabric stashes, we also have bead stashes. They take up a lot less room though. Anyway, I am over the thing that had me bugged yesterday. Done with it. Just isn't worth it. And I have a clean ski jacket and I don't smell like bacon any more and neither does my house. And I'm not particularly behind in my homework for once (knock on wood). And I don't have any tests this week. And the sun is actually out.

Wed. March 23: Will you guys please somehow limit yourselves to two pairs of shoes/boots/sandals/whatever by the front door. And I mean *in* the entry way, not overflowing onto the relatively-new-but-desperately-in-need-of-shampoo carpet. Please. I have my boots there. I have *one* pair of tevas. That's it. I am in compliance. And news guys/gals: will ya please get Terry Schiavo (spelling?) *off* the radio? Please? Gosh, I am getting sick of hearing about that. And, by "hearing", I *mean* "hearing." I won't even pretend that I can *begin* to *comprehend* all of the complicated issues surrounding the case. And neither can you. So, stop hashing it to death. I suppose the only good thing about the fact that this drivel is inundating the radio waves is that it's an indication that we're not bombing anybody. Or at least not anybody new. I guess we are probably still messing around with bombs in I-raq and Afghanistan. But I cannot keep up with those situations and therefore, I don't want to be bothered discussing that either. Well, today is my *long* day. Er, well, every day is a long day but this one requires me to actually be on my toes most of the time. So, I am out of here. Granola bars and powerbook in hand. And I'm wearing my tevas, so that's one less pair of footwear. Vamoose! (Er, wonder what I forgot...)

Thu. March 24: Obviously the RegenAxes of St. Louis are getting sick of reading my random rantings and ravings. So they have unearthed the Famous Exploding Bungee Cord Couch. Uh, actually, I always thought it was a chair but I guess I was not properly informed. Anyway, they have managed to unearth it from under a shambling mound in the artist's bedroom (btw, you guys, if y'all are finished with your own spring cleaning, this landfill could use some). We are also treated to a view of the latest in weapons of mass destruction. I guess the Marquis has finally taken down his Bush sign though, it is not in evidence >:->>

Fri. March 25: The GG: "will the weather *ever* get nice?" Me: "Whaddya mean, will the weather ever get nice?" The GG: "Well, the sun never comes out." Me: "I dunno, I kinda like this weather. Am I weird?" The GG: "Well, that goes without saying." :-/ (Well, ya know what you *could* do? You *could*.... "put another log on the fire, doo doo doo doo doo...)" Anywho, thanks for the blog, the randomness just warn't flowin' today.

Sat. March 26: Grok grok, I'm baaack. The old witch let me out for a few minutes. My owner is gone again. grok grok I wanted to go to college with my owner. I wanted to stow away grok in the back window of Ryan's car but the old witch wouldn't let me! grAWk! I am sad. I am stuck here with *her* (the old witch, grok grok) where I am the subject of a project, grok, for one of her classes. I love being in the back windows of vee-hickles. grok grok. I get a good view of whatever the heck grok everyone else is doing in their vee-hickles. grok. making funny faces. grok. picking their noses. grok. putting on panty-hose. grok grok. you name it. I've seen it all from the back window grok of the jeep and the old witch's other old crappy vee-hickles. And I can scare people and make them run off the road. Grok grok. But I will *not* grok hang out in the jeep right now because grok grok someone has inundated it with cologne! GROK grok grok. But I think I would fit into college dorm life just fine. I am the *king* of frog juice, and I know where to get it *cheep* (hic). And I could (hic) grok hang out in the shower. grok. It's nice and humid there. grok. Just right for an amphibian. Grok grok (hic). Like I did with my (hic) frog friends at the old Houghton Lake cabin. That was a loverly shower. Nice and wet and rusty. Grok grok. Uh oh, the old witch is coming after me (hic) to put me back (hic) in that blasted laundry basket. Grok grok grok hic hic. I'll be baaack (hic)! Grok grok hic.

Sun. March 27: Happy First Sunday after the First Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox! aka, Happy Easter! And a rather weird Easter it was. Well, we have never celebrated or observed or whatever the proper term is Easter in a religious way and I do not want to do religious blogs so that'll stay out of this (like, y'all maybe do not want to know ;-) But we did used to color eggs and it was fun watching/helping babies find them. And there was always all that candy. But they do grow up. And go away. And Easter is not a holiday that *every* college kid makes a trip home for, although I'm sure there are some. So, 2 years ago, I forget when Easter was exactly but it was *hot* out and we kayaked and I got *sun-burned*. And last year, I spent Easter with octogenarians and it was freezing cold with at least knee-deep snow on the beach but the *next* weekend, we kayaked here in A2 and I got sun-burned again (!) So, today... Well, Liz went back to school yesterday (come home for Easter? uh, I just left?) and kalamazoo college is prob'ly rocking because all the study-abroad juniors return and it's the start of K's spring quarter. Today I spent the morning working on a photoshop project for school that I might post after it's finished and turned in if I don't think it's too crazy. And then, I installed the web cam I received as a Christmas (2004) gift (sheesh, the GG has been salivating over that thing!) and video-chatted with my friend Sam (archaeologist, not dog) in Atlanta. Er, actually we were both cooking and having a glass of wine while we were talking. And flashing knives. Kitchen to kitchen. And then, I did my afternoon walk. And then we drove Mouse to Albion for an overnight and on the way into town, the GG identified the house that Bob and Gay once lived in along with the rum-runner house next to it. "You can see up and down the street." And we bumbled around finding Kellogg Center, where we were supposed to drop her off. And you weren't nervous, were you, Mouse? Naaahhh. (Find a merciful way to kill me please.) And I have tried a number of times to buy Easter candy for my hungry, skinny, little kids. But I am just not inspired by what's out there. So we don't have any. So there!

Oh, and Liz, the reason you have a sleeping bag is because I got it out for Mouse to take and then Jess came and the GG came out of his long winter nap for today and thought it was supposed to go to K. So... Fortunately, Mouse checked whether there was a sleeping bag in the car before we left for Albion, so she has one.

And some Celtic band is playing "We Will Rock You" or whatever the heck it is called, by Queen, on the bagpipes, etc. It is *very cool*! :-)

Mon. March 28: From the Marquis: "Hey blog lady how about a little school spirit?" Hmm, in the first place, Karen's doing that job for me. In the second place, I am not the slightest bit interested in basketball. But, this time, MooU basketball *is* actually on my radar screen. Reason? As Karen's blog says, Valdemort is currently hanging out in Kansas City with the Spartan Brass. So, Go Green! Okay? Is that enough?

Anyway, what this all reminds me of is when Mouse was in 3rd grade and Mr. Fred Klein, teacher extraordinaire and talented musician who pioneered the Multiplication Blues at Haisley, assigned the obligatory black history month project. Mouse came home and reported that they could do a project on anyone except this one "Magic" person. She didn't have any idea who this person was and she had no intention of doing a project on him anyway because she planned to do hers on Harriet Tubman, like she did every year. Well, of course, the "Magic" person was Ervin Johnson, former MooU basketball player and later on famous pro player. And I'm sure that the esteemed Mr. Klein made that particular stipulation so he didn't get 30 projects about Magic Johnson, i.e., kids, there are *other* famous black people in history and prob'ly some of them made greater contributions to the good of mankind than Magic did. As for me, I remember when a friend of mine worked at the Big Boy Restaurant in East Lansing and Magic, after being served free food there once, expected free food there forever after. I know, I know, he was just a kid then. But Bah Humbug anyway. Harriet Tubman, you go girl!

Tue. March 29: In which the Grumpy Growler, who apparently cannot find a sufficient number of constructive ways to occupy his time, hijacks a web cam that is not his property, installs it in a location that overlooks the dirty, grimy, cluttered, rodent-y Carbeck kitchen and its main inhabitant, programs it to continually upload photos to the World Wide Web and, in an attempt to obscure the fact that the cam is in an operational mode, covers the little green light on top of it with a fragment of corn chip. Sheesh, you sure do enjoy the ambiance of that dog house, don't you? Five week vacation anyone?

Wed. March 30: *Moving* dream! As in moving *house*. Blarg. 21 years ago we were somewhere in the beginning stages of the process of buying a house. I wasn't too enthused about either the process or any of the houses that fit into our budget or whatever you want to call it but I was just about fed up with upstairs apartments, not to mention landlords. I wanted to be able to walk outside and sit in a back yard without going downstairs and having a landlord was a little like having another mother. Believe me, one mother is enough, especially when that one is The Commander! We had looked at 2 houses and when I first walked in the front door of the 3rd one, I thought, wearily, "Oh another one of these." What I didn't realize was that this one had an extra room on the back and, more importantly, a WOODS behind it. It is just a small woods but, after seeing it, I didn't even really want to look at any other houses. This was my house. It is not a big house and it is definitely not a fancy house. Even on the house's most cleaned up, fixed up days, the decor is a ratty mixture of student ghetto and early in-law. And except that there are days I would like to light a *bomb* in what has got to be just about the ugliest kitchen on earth, I am pretty much apathetic. I just don't have time for improving, decorating, or even cleaning on most days. Move? One of the good things about living in the same small house for 21 years is that there is no mortgage and hasn't been for quite a while. There may have been times when I have wished one room or another were just a little bit bigger but I would not be caught dead in one of them thar ugly behemoths that they jam together chock-a-block in those awful developments. I gotta have trees! And why would I want an umpty-nine-thousand dollar mortgage at this point? On the flip side, it is all too easy to accumulate an absolute ton of junk, crap, clutter, crud, corruption and cosmic debris in 21 years. And that's what I was dreaming about. Hauling boxes and bags and stacks of loose papers and books and other odd-sized and shaped objects, etc., up and down staircases endlessly. Move? No thank you! What an utterly exhausting dream. Somebody wake me up quick. And now, back to trying to jam patent law into my poor, overworked, overstuffed, brain. I am not a lawyer and this stuff is not going down too easily.

Thu. March 31: I guess it is obvious that I am not very successful at getting that blasted frog to stay in his laundry basket. And yes, that *is* light 22 or whatever you call it.