31 December 2008


I'm in love. My new love is British and quirky and fun and fast.
His name is Mick.
Seriously, my new car is so much fun. It's a zippy little thing to zoom around town in. I still like my old car--an Acura MDX. It's comfortable and roomy and easy to drive. But it's no fun, which is why I'm now practicing polygamy with Mick. Plus, despite its tiny size, the Mini actually has some bells and whistles the MDX lacks, like a secret storage compartment and mood lighting, the color of which can be changed on a whim (really!). And I can plug in my iPod. My X is an NPR sort of vehicle, but I listen to the Clash and the Sex Pistols and the Outcasts in Mick.
Also, I gotta say, I have never had a car dealership spend so much time on customer service after I've bought a car. Nothing obnoxious, just one follow-up call and then several friendly little emails with info on the car's features. Mini is really doing their marketing right.

30 December 2008


The Things are on vacation, and I'm trying to find ways of keeping them busy. Yesterday we made a giant gingerbread man:

Today they're sorting their bookshelves to weed out the outgrown books. I think we'll tackle their black holes closets tomorrow.
We had Chinese for dinner the other night. Here's my fortune:
Q. What is H20? A. Caring, 2 parts Hug and 1 part Open-mind.
Okay, first off? That's not a fortune. It's a--I'm not sure what the hell that is. And second, what on earth does it mean?? Who writes these things? The back of the paper was more helpful. It informs me that Chinese for beer is pi jiu. No clue how to pronounce it, though. And is that Mandarin or Cantonese?

20 December 2008

Meet Mick

Some of you have apparently known about this since early November and have done a really good job of keeping your mouths shut.

We went to Sacramento today to order my Mini. And look what was waiting for me:

Hubby ordered it 8 weeks ago and kept it a secret until today. My whole family knew. Everyone at Hubby's work knew. The entire Mini and BMW dealership staff in Sacramento knew. Hubby isn't usually a secrets guy and the last time he really floored me was when he proposed to me over 20 years ago. This was a doozy. :-)

He even decorated it:

And he drove the 100 miles home with the kids in my old car, and I had much quieter company, also supplied by Hubby:

Hubby had also planned ahead and brought an appropriate CD for me to listen to on the ride home: the Sex Pistols. And I listened to it twice because I couldn't figure out how to switch to the radio while I was driving on the freeway.
I think Hubby's a keeper. And Mick is way, way fun. Here it is in our driveway:

I have to say, it's a pretty good Hanukkah present. :-)

16 December 2008


Hubby, who likes to car shop (yes, he's crazy) promised me a new car back in March. Today he finally struck a deal he's happy with. So we'll go order my car this weekend, and it should arrive from England in 6 weeks or so.

I'm going to keep my SUV, but just use it mostly for longer trips when we have the whole family on board. My new car will be my daily commuter (not that I have much of a commute), and my taxiing the Things car.

Have you guessed what I'm getting? One of these in chili red with a black top and black bonnet stripes.


08 December 2008

Literary Efforts

I am trying to wade through 37 term papers on serial killers and mobsters. But the Things have graced me with much more interesting reading material. First, a story Thing2 wrote today at kindergarten, all by herself:


T2 is in bed now so I'll have to wait for the explanation of who Sparkles the Pony interrupted, or was interrupted by. T2 recently attended a birthday party that involved pony rides, so ponies have been much on her mind.

And here's a note that Thing1 left on our bed last night:

Dear Mom and Dad,
I want to go to camp again. I want to be surrounded by Jews, not
Christians! Sorry, ran out of ink [she changed from pink to red]. Anyway, what I
am saying is ever since first grade I have been the ONLY Jewish kid in the
class. And I am not sure about pre-school and kindergarten because I don't
remember. And I don't think anybody in school likes me because 3 reasons: #1
Nobody sits next to me on the bus. #2 Nobody ever pays attention to me. #3 I
can't think of number three. So I want to stay at camp for 3 weeks so you guys
can send letters to me.
Jewish [Thing1]
P.S. p.s. stands for post script.

Poor kid. We're not at all observant, but I guess it sucks when you're the only one not celebrating Christmas. Well, you and the Sikh kid or two in your class. As for the nobody liking her, this is a child who spent the entire weekend at her friend's house.

Okay, back to serial killers....

04 December 2008

December 4

The end of the semester joy continues. I have 37 twenty-page term papers sitting on my desk, and the damn grading fairies have not yet come to do their work!

So of course my mind is thinking ahead, to travel. I'll be off to Poland in just over a month. I may get a chance while I'm there to visit the town where my grandfather was born. That would be pretty cool. Well, and cool is probably the operant word here. I've got my scarves and boots and things all lined up, though.

02 December 2008

Memo to My Students

Memo to My Students

  1. If the syllabus says, in all-cap, bold, underlined letters that there will be no makeup tests, and if I said in class at least 3 times, beginning on the very first day, that there will be no make-up tests, you cannot take the final early so that you can go on vacation in Mexico.

  2. Remember that 20 page term paper? The one I've been nagging you to work on all semester? The one that's due today? If you emailed me questions at 11:34 last night about how to cite things or how long the second section is supposed to be, I didn't answer you.

  3. It's December. Even in California, it's December. Flip-flops with parkas or, alternately, uggs with shorts look stupid.

  4. I'm sorry your transmission died/you got pulled over by the cops/you had to drive your brother to the airport/you got called in to work/you had training to attend for work. No make-up tests. See Item 1.

  5. The paper is due today. If you'd tried printing it out at some point earlier than 5 minutes before class, it wouldn't have been such a tragedy when the printer broke/you ran out of printer credits/the computer ate your file.
  6. I advise over 80 students every semester. When you come to see me for advising, if you can't remember what classes you've taken/are taking this semester, don't expect me to know.
  7. I don't live in my office or on my computer. If you call on Saturday morning or email at 2am, don't expect an immediate response.
  8. I'm happy to write you a letter of recommendation. Please ask me more than 2 days before it's due.
  9. I know it's waaaay too much to ask that you actually proof-read and edit your own papers. But for goodness sake, please at least run a grammar and spell check.
  10. Grammar and spell check will not catch all your errors. For example, statues are rarely violated or unconstitutional, except in term papers.