Friday, June 30, 2006

Nice cart!

I'd like to say at the outset that this is not meant to be a slight to all teenage boys. If you are one of the many intelligent guys I know, this probably doesn't apply. But honestly. Some of you are idiots.

I was at a golf course yesterday where my mother was doing a presentation. Since it was a beautiful evening, I spent most of it sitting outside in the car with the windows rolled down, reading. I just happened to be parked near the golf cart cleaning station, and this particular golf course appeared to be staffed almost entirely by guys between the ages of 16 and 23.

After about 10 minutes, I noticed that the path the carts were taking had changed, from running behind the car to running right in front of the car.... Then, the guys started really gunning the engines just as they got in front of me.... Then, they started squealing their tires. When they reached the station, they would climb out, swagger a little, and look over at me.

Yeah, they were really hot stuff. In their golf-carts.

I know I'm heartless and mean, but I just laughed at them.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm having anger issues this afternoon. The object of my frustration and ire? Ignorant people- racists in particular. Racism is one attitude I have never been able to understand, especially in today's world.

We have a neighbor who in most ways is a lovely person. When she discovered that we are considering moving to an urban neighborhood here in town, however, she was very concerned, and wondered if we really want to live there. What she meant is that there are non-whites in that area and we couldn't possibly want to live around anyone who isn't white. Give me a break.

We've also gotten this reaction from some extended family members. They make cryptic remarks about how "dark" the south side of Fort Wayne is. This is coming from otherwise intelligent, sophisticated people of whom one would expect more.

It's not just interracial-racism either. While Jesse Jackson and his ilk have certainly directed their vitriol against whites, they are also prime examples of how members of the same ethnic or "racial" group can propagate the very stereotypes they claim to rail against. Every time someone refers to a woman like Condoleeza Rice as a sell-out or traitor, they contribute to the idea that all real black people (and women in particular) are downtrodden, unsuccessful, and incapable of helping themselves without selling their souls. Apparently, if a black person wants to "make it" they need the help of their benevolent and caring government. I find the entire idea completely odious.

So that's my rant for the day (week, month, whatever.)

Sunday, June 25, 2006


We have wireless! After months and months of having a useless router sitting upstairs gathering dust, everything is connected. A HUGE thank you to Pastor Gehlbach who helped my father get things figured out.

Oh yeah, Gehlbachs are here today. They are on their way home from vacation and, on their way through, they came to visit and go to church at Redeemer this morning.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Because some happenings are too weird not to share

Have you ever heard of anyone being attacked by chipmunks? You know, the cute little furry things that run around parks, dig into flowerbeds, or sometimes raid birdfeeders? They're harmless....aren't they?

I was attacked by chipmunks.

I don't know why it happened. I was just outside yesterday evening, crouched in the garden, tending to my roses, when I heard a skittering-chirping sound rushing across the street and up the driveway. I looked over my shoulder just in time to see two chipmunks rocketing toward my bare feet. I was very startled, so I screamed, and started waving my skirts around at them. They must have decided I was too much for them to handle because, after charging my feet, they circled around and headed back across the street.

Andrew thought that this was the coolest thing he had ever heard, after being assured that I hadn't caught any diseases by being in close proximity to the little darlings.
I can't decide if being attacked by chipmunks qualifies as cool, weird, or just pathetic.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

This is probably my favorite photo that I have ever taken. The angelic-looking girlie is my little cousin Gabrielle. I snapped it this afternoon while at Jonathan's belated 13th birthday picnic at Mounds State Park.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Feeling USEFUL

(Be prepared- I've been shut away from all human companionship since 6:30 and as a result, I am feeling....chatty.)

I have been lamenting the paucity of tasteful sun-dresses this season. Despite the fact that they are supposed to be very "in," it is incredibly difficult to find a dress that is neither skanky nor frumpy. Anything I have found that looks cute initially tend to end up being waaaay too short/tight or just plain transparent.

In order to solve my problem I've resorted to desperate measures. I'm FINALLY teaching myself to sew. This is a skill I've been wishing for as long as I can remember, but never had the time or the patience or the plain ol' will to practice. So. On Monday I pulled the sewing machine out of the basement, dug the box of fabric out from its cob-webby dungeon, and took over the kitchen table. I started off just cutting up pieces of old fabric and sewing them back together. I probably did that for 3 hours that day, just trying to get the feel of the machine and getting closer and closer to perfectly straight seams.

My mother and I went out to the fabric store, where we picked up several patterns. One is a very simple, straight sleeveless dress. The other is slightly more complicated, and involves a full, swirly skirt. I had such a good time picking outfabrics (blue tropical print for one and brown/cream Eiffel Towers and Poodles for the other. ;o))

I've been too scared to cut into my lovely fabrics yet, so I spent most of yesterday and today making an apron which I started last November. I've been feeling a great sense of accomplishment ever since I finished it. It's a little large for anyone but Patrick (here seen modeling said apron) despite the fact that the pattern said "SMALL," but it is well-made and my seams are very neat and straight.

Sewing isn't all I did today. After getting home from my work-out with my mother, and before changing out of my grubby work-out clothes, I had a serious job to attend to.

We have 4 gorgeous rose bushes on the side of our house, one of which reverted to its pre-hybrid self and went wild this year.
It has been producing myriad brilliant pink blooms, and seems to want to climb up the side of our house. My (self-chosen) job has been taking care of the roses, pruning and dead-heading them whenever they need it. I was doing my rounds last night when I discovered that in the last week my darling roses had been taken over by a fungus, which was spreading black splotches across all the leaves, which would then fall off at the slightest touch.

Having diagnosed the problem with the help of my trusty garden manual, I turned into a rose-doctor this afternoon. I removed the diseased limbs ( I love saying that) and CLEANED the bed....literally. All the mulch, leaves, and old flowers left and the entire area, including the bushes themselves, got a soaking of anti-fungal Sol-U-Mel. My brothers were none to pleased with this process, as they were drafted into service and had to clean up after my ministrations. (This included picking little pieces of moldy, centipede-ridden mulch out of the grass. Sorry boys.)
My poor little rose bushes are considerably smaller now than they were when I set out this morning, but they should at least survive to bloom again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I FINALLY realized that there is an easy way to post pictures to my blog! That took long enough. Too bad I didn't discover it while I was on vacation!

Anyway, in lieu of a nice, interesting post, I'm sticking these photos up. I think I got spoiled by always having something interesting to share...suddenly I can't think of anything to write about that anyone might possibly be interested in.

I took these a few days ago, in our backyard. It was one of those perfect, warm, bright days where any excuse to be outside was welcome.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I seem to be well on my way to full recovery from my trip. I've gotten a few good nights of sleep, and have been outside enjoying the sunshine. Today we went out for lunch at Coney Island, and after that, to see a movie.

I admit...I'm not overly thrilled to be home. I'm incredibly gald to have my mother and father and brothers around, but I don't think I've ever been glad to be home after a trip. I'm sure that after a while I'll sink back into normal life here and everything will be comfortable again, but right now I'm feeling slightly disconnected.

I'm afraid I haven't stopped talking since I got home. (For all I know I've even been talking in my sleep.) Any time now my mother is going to get tired of hearing, "Oh, and Uncle Sean did..." and "Anne-Nicole said that..."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Home Again

My trip home was not nearly as pleasant as my trip over. Apart from the usual end-of-vacation let down, I had the sort of flight that makes people swear off air travel.

It started when, as I was getting situated in my seat on the plane, I saw a very hefty woman walking down the aisle. There were tons of seats left, so I figured the chances of her sitting anywhere near me were slim. Huh. Slim or not, she ended up having the seat right next to me. She also had a terrible cold and (I suspect) hadn't showered very recently.

I was ok for a while, but I realized the full extent of my problem when I tried to get to sleep. I wasn't able to get in more than an hour in the full 32 hours I was traveling.

When I FINALLY got to LAX, I wasn't able to find my tickets for my next flight. I spent 30 minutes sobbing to my mother over the phone before I discovered that the lining of my purse had split and my tickets were hiding inside. After that little mishap, the trip went very smoothly. I only sat by nice, well-groomed, relatively small people.

My whole family was waiting for me in Indianapolis when I got there, as well as my cousin Kate. My brothers charmed the other people waiting there by being exceedingly sweet and mobbing me as soon as I was through the gate. We drove all the way home, and were back in Fort Wayne by

Maybe when I'm feeling slightly more capable of abstract thought I'll say something about the trip as a whole. Right now, I just need coffee.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Saturday: LAST full day

We had another cold day today. This time, we took off up the coast north of Sydney. The surf was at 6 ft. (that means, in the water, you get a 12 ft. wall of water rushing at you) and we went out to the beaches to watched the idiot surfers get pounded. We sat in the car, all snug and warm and Uncle Sean gave a running commentary on the waves, and we oohed and ahhed over the size and power of them.

Eventually we had enough of the cold and wind of the coast, so we headed back down toward the city into Chatswood, the home of several malls and many many stores. We shopped for a little while and drank some coffee before heading back home. Anne-Nicole took a nap, Uncle Sean went for a swim (crazy man), and I finished packing.

Tonight, we went out for dinner with Uncle Sean and Aunt Anne's friends Graham and Janelle (sp?). First we went out for drinks at a pub, followed by dinner a Vietnamese place. Both were in Newtown, a rather coloful/seedy area of Sydney. (Colorful meaning even the old men had blue hair and nose rings.) Dinner was wonderful, and afterwards we went out for more coffee and dessert-Uncle Sean and I split a huge piece of heavenly chocolate cake.

After we got back from our night out we hada calm evening in the nice, warm family room. Uncle Sean broke down and watched P&P with us and wasn't even annoying! One thing I found very peculiar is that there is a different ending in the Australian version. It just doesn't include the last 10 minutes or so of the film. Very disturbing..... We found the REAL end eventually, in the bonus features menu.

I'm leaving tomorrow. I can't believe my 3 1/2 weeks are gone. I spent most of the day today trying not to think about it, but I couldn't help it. My brain was going about a million miles an hour, concocting all manner of dramatic scenarios and story lines about leaving, how the cats will miss me (yeah right ;o)), how empty my room here will be....just generally being quite silly. But them, that's me. Apart from the fact that I get to see my parents and brothers again-little thing that that is ;o) - the thing that is making everything much easier is that I'll get to see Uncle Sean and Aunt Anne in less than a month when they come over to Indiana. I already can't wait!

Now, I'm going to go to my room and get ready for bed, have a good cry, and get a good night's sleep so I'll be perky and cheerful tomorrow.....

Friday: Manly when it rains

Yesterday, I made the wonderful decision that, despite the low-hanging clouds and cutting wind, I was going to the beach! Brilliant, right? I figured that since it was my next-to-last full day here, I should see Manly one more time.

I took a ferry over to Circular Quay, and then caught the 11:00 Manly Ferry with abt. 100 other crazy people. The trip over was a little choppy, even in the harbor, but I spent the entire half an hour with my nose buried in my book, so I hardly noticed.

I got to the beach absolutely famished (those ferry rides can do that to you...;oP) so I quickly found a relatively cheap Indian restaurant where I was able to get a platter of nice, warm curry and rice. I ate outside with the seagulls who, oddly enough, were not the slightest bit interested in my food. Silly birds- I guess they just don't know what they're missing.

After lunch I walked down by the water for a little while, taking pictures and people watching. The beach and the ocean looked completely different this time around. The water, instead of glowing turquoise and shimmering, was a wonderful milky-looking blue, eventually changing to iron grey. The sand looked like suede- a light tan color and very soft.

After I felt that I had more than enough sand in my shoes, I went back up to the promenade and found a bench. Before too very long I was joined by an elderly man eating a slice of pizza. Or perhaps "eating" is an exaggeration. He took about 4 bites, and proceeded to feed the rest of the pizza to the pigeons. The seagulls wanted a piece of that action, but the man was determined that the seagulls wouldn't get anything from him. Any time they got close, he would swat them away. Everytime he gave a crumb to one of the legion of pigeons gathered around him, he would break out into a lovely, beatific smile.

When the pizza was gone, the old man left. His spot on the bench was soon filled by two punks who amused themselves by kicking at all the remaining pigeons, and cursing when they missed (which was very often....I was glad for the birds sake, but my ears weren't so happy.)

Eventually I just got too cold sitting out by the water, so I moved into the Corso, an open shopping area that stretches from the wharf on one side to the beach on the other. I found a bookshop filled with good browsing material (albeit a little out of my pricerange at the time) which was, above all else, WARM. When I came out of the store it was beginning to sprinkle, so I high-tailed it over to the bus station, where I immediately caught a bus back to Cremorne.

When I got off, it was pouring. Thank goodness I had had at least a little sense when I left the house, and there was an umbrella in my backpack. I stopped in at the bakery on my way home and picked up a lamington, by way of apology to myself for getting stuck in the rain. (So it's a terrible excuse. I just wanted a lamington.)

When I got back, Anne-Nicole was waiting for me with a cup of hot tea and the heaters cranked up.

The weather continued to be nasty the rest of the day, making us decide that maybe going out for dinner wasn't the best plan in the world. We ended up running to the newly opened Woolworths (grocery) and picking up some gourmet-type snacky foods (brie and soft bleu cheeses, french bread, smoked trout, pate.) We ate a lovely, light dinner by candlelight while watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Our other option was Pride and Prejudice, but I'm not sure I could take watching it with Uncle Sean. That's one movie I take waaaaay too seriously.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wednesday and Thursday

Yesterday was my lazy day. I basically sat on my rear all day and watched movies. I was very popular with Calvin and Hobbes (the cats) who think that people are just big cat warmers, and a stationary person is their favorite sort of person.

Today I didn't feel like doing much either, but Uncle Sean made me a cappucino and after that I at least had the energy to leave the house. It's amazing what a little coffee can do for a person.

I took the ferry into town for some shopping. I started off in The Rocks, which apart from being really neat to look at, houses some great shops. Not that I bought anything at those great shops. Louis Vuitton, Coach, and Gucci are all a little out of my price-range! I did find a really great little bookshop where I purchased a book of Australian children's stories and poems. I'm not sure exactly who it's going to yet. Some lucky kid.

I made my way from The Rocks, up George St. to the Queen Victoria Building, a gorgeous old Romanesque building, complete with a Grand Staircase and lovely stained glass windows. Apart from being absolutely spectacular in itself, it also houses some really great stores. Many of them were out of my price-range as well (Dolce and Gabbana, anyone?), but I found several really wonderful stores with just what I was looking for.

By the time I got out, it was growing dark, so I speed-walked my way back down to Circular Quay to catch a ferry back to Cremorne. The sun was setting when I reached the water, and the white "sails" of the Opera House were reflecting the sunset, and glowing a brilliant rose. The water's edge was lined with people, both tourists and locals, trying to catch a photo of it. I took a picture, but it didn't come anywhere close to capturing the radiance of the light.

Uncle Sean is going to be playing badminton tonight, so Anne-Nicole and I are going to watch a movie, whether at the cinema or here, we have yet to decide.