Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ruth & Kathy Need A Hand--Or Several

My sister and her walk partner Kathy are raising funds for their walk in the Susan G. Koman for the Cure Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk.

They can earn a donation from Starlight this Monday (yes, tomorrow) if they can get a group of people to work as ticket-takers. If you'd like to lend a hand tomorrow night from 5:30 to 9:30 (but probably earlier than 9:30 by quite a bit), you can e-mail Ruth directly. Her e-mail address can be found by clicking here, then scrolling down to the bottom of the first page.

Also, they are working with Uno's Chicago Grill for a fundraiser on August 13 & 14. If you have friends and/or family who live in the KC area who might want to eat out one of those two days, please send them here to get the flier that would give part of their sale to Ruth & Kathy's 3-Day.

And, of course, if you just want to donate to their team, follow the links to each donation page (the links can be found here), and donate to the one needing more money!

For anyone interested, my next post will be my 200th!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Putting Patsy To Rest

Dane's surprise party was today. A good time was had by all. Dane was surprised, but admitted to thinking there was something hinky about this trip "back home", but figured the birthday party part was going to be after church tomorrow.

Instead, they're having a carry-in after church tomorrow for him.

After the party, we took Mom's ashes around to the sites she may or may not have designated. There's some debate, as she wasn't all let-me-write-this-down-y about it.

So she's behind the spot where the old Post Office was, she's at home on the old ball diamond, and she's by a tree at the old farm.

Five of the eight of her kids were able to make it. Two of her grandkids made it, (and her granddaughter was actually excited to get to spread ashes--which makes me think she might have a little bit of Patsy about her... I mean in her personality, not on her hands until she gives them a good washing.

A few months after Mom died, my aunt Lois died, and I talked about a picture we used to have of Mom and her siblings when they were kids. I finally found it. If you want to go back to January/February/...maybe March/April, even... of 2006, you can read what I actually said about this photo, re: the afterlife.

The two young girls in the front row, from left to right, are my aunt Lois and my aunt Rachel. The three in the back (also left to right) are my mom, Uncle Bud (pronounced "bood"), and my aunt Deana Mae. As I mentioned before, I never met Uncle Bud. He died at Iwo Jima when my mom was in high school.

I don't remember who the two folks in the background are. I may have been told more than once, but I can't remember the names. That tear in the fabric of space is probably a tear in the original photo that was scanned many moons ago when "come scan your picture at our store" technology first started crawling out of the primordial techno-ooze.

Anyway, there's the picture.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. I'm going to read for a while, then fall into a solid sleep and see what dreams this day inspires.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hurricane Bears Down On Coast

You may not have ever heard the story of the day--many many years ago... pre-Katrina--the title for this post was the big headline in the KC Star.

So I'll share:

I saw the paper, laughed, and then went from classroom to classroom, holding up the paper and saying, "There are Hurricane Bears down on the coast!" I would then allow enough time for confusion/thought/whatever, then ask, "What's a Hurricane Bear?"

Stupid joke, but I remember it fondly.

Anyway, I was put in mind of that day on this day.

I didn't notice the stuffed bears strewn around the room at the Mo. Math Academy when I got there this morning, but I should have. I did notice there was a Winnie on my table, and the stupidest part of my brain thought one of the ladies who sit at my table must have brought it.

Seriously, I thought this. Or the stupidest part of my brain did. The rest of my brain would like to point out that it was too busy thinking about getting to my seat, setting my stuff down, and turning over to the woman running MMA the wad of cash I'd found on the floor on my way in. Much too busy thinking about all that ("What should I say when I hand it to her? Make a reference to tipping her? I wonder how much money is in here, anyway... I know I saw a ten and a five. What did that stupid part of my brain just think about that Pooh doll? Never mind, maybe I should wait until nobody is around, in case someone is all dishonesty and stuff..." and so on...) to even make a "Oh-how-could-you-be-so-stupid" face at the stupidest part of my brain.

At any rate, I got my stuff settled, walked over to Chris, handed her the cash and made a stupid tip joke immediately followed by the actual facts and my theory as to who it might belong to, then returned to my seat, forgetting all about the bear--and still not noticing there was at least one other bear on every other table, and two kissing bears hanging from the overhead projector.

About ten minutes later, there was some planning on the part of the facilitators (or whatever the actual title is for the people running this thing) that registered in the extreme back of my brain as "they're getting ready for the first warm-up or team-builder, or whatever", and then Chris started talking to us about the plan for the day.

I had enough time to realize she was the only facilitator (or whatever) in the room, then turn my attention back to her, when all the facilitators (or whatevers) came running in from both main entrances, yelling "Let's go! Let's go!" and so on, as they grabbed the bears from the tables and the overhead projectors. They all ran back out with the stuffed bears, the last one saying, "We got eight!"

Chris then says, "Good, that puts us at negative eight bear attacks already this morning."

I laughed very loudly, and realized I was the only one in the room doing so, which made me realize nobody else had any idea what I was laughing about because they hadn't read my "Reflection" sheet from the end of the day yesterday.

All the facilitators (whatevers) had, but Chris was the only one in the room. She immediately knew I had to have been the one to write the comment that helped put this strange event into the planning stages, and she told the others as they came back in.

They all threw stuffed bears at me, while I was still laughing too loud to think straight.

Now, of course, you're sitting there all confused like the other 16 or so participants (non-whatevers) who were in the room, because I'm telling this story in what I think is the right order (but it's what I'm sure some might argue is in the wrong order... but I digress). I then told them the rest of the story... or the first part of the story.

So here's the rest of the story... or the first part of the story--that needed to be last so you'd feel like I (and everyone else) felt when several people came running into the room to remove teddy bears (and, I suppose, so you'd feel what everyone else felt when I started laughing like something very funny just happened, when--at best--it was just all very surreal):

At the end of each day, we've been filling out a "reflection sheet" (but not called that... I think the terminology has changed) that gives space for what stands out from the day (or what we thought was most helpful... or something like that), and space for what we think should be changed.

Well, math-teaching geek that I am, the first full day I had no idea of a suggestion of what to change. I loved it all. Well, what I didn't love didn't need to be changed, anyway.

Yesterday, I had nothing to put in that section either, but I didn't want to put, "I have nothing to write here," again. So I wrote,

"Fewer bear attacks. I realize we are currently at 0 bear attacks, but I'd feel better if that number was lowered to -1 or -2."

I liked it because it was random, nonsensical, and mathematical all at once. I hoped someone might get a chuckle out of it, and at most maybe they'd ask us who wrote it.

So for that group to come up with this goofy plan to sorta "get back" at me, it was like Christmas in July, baby!

I was laughing for a good ten minutes after it was all said and done. I actually am laughing almost as much now as I think about it.

I like people who make me laugh. They're funny!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Important News

Okay, not really, but Dane sent an e-mail to a bunch of us today, and I wanted to share:


Subject: An interesting fact

July 14 is the 196th day of 2008. 14 times 14 is guess what 196.

It happens only in leap years of course.


I don't know if he read it somewhere, or--more likely--he just figured it out. Ask me about Dane's number abilities sometime.

Anyway, I e-mailed him to see if he came up with it on his own, but he still hasn't replied.

I started Missouri Math Academy today. Today's half-day session leads me to believe this is going to get me all thinkin'-and-ready for the upcoming school year.

Also, I may have found a graduate school program as a result of going through this. Let's hope!

I'd say to scroll down and post some positive news on the appropriate post, but I think I lost a lot of readers during my "dark period" this late winter & entire spring...

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's A Library Thing, And You Wouldn't Understand...

Hey, check out librarything!

I just started building my library on there, and hope to get to meet people who read the stuff I read and like to discuss. Cross your fingers!

Remember, I'm wanting to hear good news in the comments section on the post two below this one!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Dream About A Blog

Hey, I still want GOOD NEWS comments on the post before this one... but I had to post this.

I'm spending a couple of nights here with the Hart family (it's the closest thing to a vacation I'm gonna have this summer, I think), and I always have strange dreams in their guest room.

Last night, I dreamt (among lots of other strange dreams) that MANY people read that last post, and they posted all kinds of strange good news. And the thing is, I didn't have any idea who those commenters were.

There was an edge of "it looks like some youth group was assigned the job of posting good news to this post" to it.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that my dreams are WAY out-doing you people.

But thanks for your good news, Tracy!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I'm Working On It...

Lots to report, but first I want to say that I promised Erin I'd have my photoblog caught up by... two Saturdays ago, and I've yet to do that.

The excuse-riddled version of reality is that I forgot I had a birthday party to attend that day, and that I'm having a slight technical difficulty moving the photos from where I had stored them (well, some of them) to my computer.

Anyway, I'm working on it.

Summer School turned out okay. It's amazing what having 12 students instead of over twice that many can do. Maybe I'll give a more detailed account some day, but don't count on it.

A week ago tomorrow I received an e-mail that a friend's daughter had passed away. She was born with a severe chromosome disorder. They believe she had a seizure in her sleep, and this was the cause of death.

She'd turn four on the 20th of this month.

I hadn't talked to my friend for a long time (one or two e-mails as the exception, I hadn't exchanged words with him in close to 20 years), but this still hit me in a bad way.

Then I just got an e-mail from Tricia that the only surviving member of Ben's "class" (as in "treatment of cancer class") passed away.

And the strange thing is how hard this hit me. I was about to call Ben to see how he was doing, then realized it's 10:15 (well, later than that now, I suppose).

I haven't suffered that kind of out-of-the-blue weeping (meaning a sudden outburst with no... uh... prelims) since some time after Mom died.

I remember attending a class with Tricia (since Ben had two very small girls at home at the time, I was Plan B for if one of the girls got sick and Ben couldn't stay at his house), and meeting this man's wife. They were expecting their first child, and she learned that he would not be able to help change diapers. It's just a thing that stuck in my head.

I'm not even sure I ever met this guy. I think I might have at the one survivor celebration I attended with Ben, now that I think about it.

His daughter turns 5 on her dad's funeral date.

And apparently his wife is in remission from breast cancer.

Anyway, it's apparently very upsetting (or, perhaps his passing along with the little-one's passing last week has just sent me over the weepy edge) and I wanted to share. I couldn't think of who I would feel comfortable calling at this hour to share my upset-ed-ness with, so I figured the whole world (or the handful of people who read this blog) will have to do.

So, if you'd like to post a comment and share something wonderful that's happened to you (or someone you know) lately, I could use the upbeat news.