Sunday, August 31, 2008

HOTT

So much for completing the many labor-intensive tasks on my to-do list this Labor Day weekend. Instead, I've spent much of the day drinking water and reading a novel...anything to avoid breaking a sweat. It's a balmy 76 degrees in the basement, which is where C and I plan to watch a movie later this evening. My optimism of this morning has been replaced with a defeatist attitude, as with little protest, I let C talk me into eating at CiCi's FeCe's Pizza for dinner. CiCi's FeCe's Pizza has been banned since 2002 or 2003, as I found a hair on my pizza when we ate there in Stillwater. Afterward, despite the welcome relief of AC, we both agreed that Val's has a better buffet, and thus, we will not be returning to CiCi's FeCe's Pizza any time soon (woo hoo!).

Broken AC

Our AC is broken. Since neither C nor me fashions ourselves experts in this arena, from the sounds we here (or rather, don't hear) and the fan blades we see not turning, we've diagnosed the problem to be with the outside unit. And, being far too cheap to schedule a repair over Labor Day weekend, we're sticking it out until Tuesday. Fortunately, there's a nice breeze blowing and the temperatures are expected to be in the high 80s/low 90s (optimism at its best!). It's been cool at night so we've slept well. Unfortunately, I'm less than motivated to clean house during the day, especially upstairs where it's almost 80 degrees. And yard work doesn't seem like much fun either when there's no cold reward at the end. However, it seems C might get his wish that I clean out "my" side of the basement, since that's the most comfortable room in the whole house! I'm trying to convince him that an afternoon jaunt to Super Target would be the best way to beat the heat!

All in all, we're managing just fine, and I'm reminded of my KAY Camp experiences (where the housing areas are un-air-conditioned) and the summer of 1998 when I lived in a Fire Trap in Manhattan (also un-air-conditioned; note to self: never agree to sublet a house or apartment sight unseen). Cold showers are always helpful, as are cold washcloths on the face. My personal favorite: wetting a towel, shoving it in the freezer, taking a cold shower, retrieving frozen towel, covering up with it at night, awaking the next morning to find the towel completely dry.

This is my punishment for wishing autumn would arrive sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Few More Thoughts on the Evening

Did you see Barack Obama kiss Jill Biden ON THE LIPS on stage at the convention? Did they go for the same cheek? Was it intentional? Definitely creepier than Joe Biden's nipple sweat from last Saturday's VP announcement. Joe gave a great speech. I'm curious to learn who John McCain will choose as his running mate.

I prefer red seedless grapes over green seedless grapes. And yet, I prefer white wine over red wine. Hmmm.

Fish

As I was mowing the grass earlier, a horrible awful terrible scent wafted in my general direction - dead fish. Our neighbors installed a stove/oven in their garage, and they cook with it frequently. God forbid they bake cookies or sweet bread; oh no, they saute fish with onions and garlic and ginger and unknown spices. If the wind is just right and our windows are open, the scent can quickly permeate our home. Barf-o.

I got to smell this crap for nearly an hour. Since I was mowing, my thoughts wandered, and then I thunk this:

When Jesus fed the masses from the few loaves of bread and fish, how did they prepare the fish? Says Matthew:

Matthew 14:16-21
Jesus said to them, "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves." But they said to him, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have here" Then he said, "Bring them here to me," and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over -- twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.

Noticeably absent is a description of how the fish were served and distributed to the crowd. Granted, I'm no biblical scholar, but that's a pretty big hole in the story. Was the fish cooked, or did they eat it sashimi style? If it was cooked, was it breaded and fried? Baked? If the Gospel had more thoroughly described the fish, would fish have a role in Communion?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ruby Red Slippers

Every girl needs a pair of red patent leather ballet flats.

There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

From the Porch Swing...

Good Gravy! Has it really been 2 weeks since my last post? I'm such a delinquent POS. My apologies. I will try to do better. Really. I will. REALLY.

C and I have enjoyed cooler weather (well, for August anyway) and have whiled away many hours this week swinging and chatting and laughing and admiring observing our neighborhood. We're not a particularly communal neighborhood, and except for one particular busy body, no one really talks to anyone else, and that's A-OK with me.

Unfortunately, one of our neighbors has absolutely terrible taste in landscaping. I've mentioned the babyshit-colored poodle homage before, but that's nothing compared to the home I have named "Crouching Tiger Hidden Lion." Perched on one side of the driveway near the garage is a white porcelain crouching tiger apparently ready to pounce on of the teensy-tiny yip-yip-yip dogs that lives there. On the other side of the garage door is a white porcelain lion very royally surveying the land. Near the entry way is what I think is supposed to be a water feature of sorts, although the "mountains" surrounding the "waterfall" are bright yellow. It reminds me of Peter Brady's explosive model volcano. These are the same neighbors who decorated for Christmas 2004 and left everything up until 70mph winds blew everything away this summer. CLASSY.

The other excitement we witnessed from the porch this evening involved a near death experience for one of the many bunny rabbits who roam our neighborhood. Our next-door neighbors have a cocker spaniel and 2-year old child, and the child was chasing the dog as the dog tried to eat the bunny rabbit. I silently commanded the dog to not eat the bunny rabbit in front of the baby, and yet, I could not look away. That's some serious drama. The bunny rabbit escaped, presumably unharmed, though likely covered in drool.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

KAY Leadership Camp

Thank you, loyal readers, for sticking with me after my brief hiatus. I have returned from KAY (Kansas Association for Youth) Leadership Camp. I am utterly exhausted and spiritually revitalized, and I am happy to report that I arrived home with only twenty-five chigger bites! The KAY program continues to be a positive influence in my life, and it is truly an honor to give back to an organization that has been so generous to me. A few highlights:

For the first time EVER, I won the coveted Ear of the Year. Not the runner-up salt and pepper shakers, my friends, but the mounted and bronzed ear of corn. THE EAR. For those of you shaking your head at my nonsense, a brief explanation might be helpful: staff members dress up for a theme dinner on the Sunday evening before the campers arrive, and those with the most creative attire are awarded the Ear of the Year. My team and I dressed as lobsters and butter. And yes, those ARE red plastic plates. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of us with the Ear, as I was too excited upon the announcement to take any photos. I expect to receive the Ear in the mail around Christmas, so I'll be sure the share it with you then. Behold my team, in all of our buttery and lobster-y glory:

Update: My friend Kelly just posted the following photo on her MySpace page. And yes, that's my unbridled glee face.

The campers arrived Monday morning - what a great group of student leaders! Their boundless energy, inquisitiveness, and creativity ceasees to amaze me! Every team (I served as a leader for the Red Team) creates a presentation using every team member to describe their color team's theme (Red stands for Character). Our team met during their free time to synthesize their ideas! In ten years (plus three as a camper), I have never seen a presentation come together so easily!

Campfire is traditionally held on Thursday night, and it NEVER rains for the KLC campfire. Never. Not once in over 60 years has it rained on the Thursday evening of Camp. This year was no exception. My peers on the staff graciously selected me to make a wish at the campfire on behalf of the staff - what an honor! It was a beautiful evening!

The camp staff is composed of some of my best friends, even if I don't see them but once a year (or even once every three years). Just like work or school, I have my favorites, but it's amazing to watch teamwork in action when everyone wants to be there.

I hope you all had a great week! I have lounged around most of the weekend, and I *get* to go back to work tomorrow. Camp reminds me to appreciate the many blessings in my life. We talked a lot about "choosing your attitude," and I will endeavor to choose positivity over negativity.