Saturday, December 03, 2005

Aloha, ohana, lei

That's the extent of my Hawaiian.

aloha = hello/goodbye

ohana = extended family

lei = a garland of flowers one wears

All three are much shorter and easier to remember than

Either of two triggerfishes, Rhinecanthus aculeatus or R. rectangulus, native to the outer reefs of Hawaii, the latter having a broad black band on the side and a black triangle at the beginning of the tail.
"humuhumunukunukuapuaa." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 03 Dec. 2005.

Hear someone say it by going here and clicking the speaker, which looks like .

I love listening to the Hawaiian language. It's very

1. Pleasing to the ear; melodious.
2. Having a soothing, agreeable quality.
3. Archaic. Sweet to the taste.
[Alteration (influenced by Latin dulcis) of Middle English doucet, from Old French, diminutive of douce, from Latin dulcis.]
"dulcet." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 03 Dec. 2005.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Parent Teacher Conference

I'm meeting with the oldest's teacher this morning, at my request, to discuss his handwriting. It's awful. He can make it neater, but he has to really labor over it, erasing and rewriting, erasing and rewriting. It's very frustrating to him. His teacher, too, has noticed it seems difficult for him.

I told him I was going to meet with her to see if she had any recommendations, and he put his hand on my arm, gave me a reassuring smile, and said, "Mom, it's OK. When I grow up, I'll just make sure I work where I have a computer."

Something worked out to explain, resolve, or provide a method for dealing with and settling a problem: answer, determination.
"solution." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 02 Dec. 2005.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Somewhere in the world tonight, a small child with a fear of the dark is sleeping in the dark.

Somewhere in the world tonight, a family is embracing a foster child fiercely and wholeheartedly.

Somewhere in the world tonight, a man who woke up married is going to bed a widower.

Somewhere in the world tonight, a woman is giving birth to a baby she knows she cannot keep.

Somewhere in the world tonight, a grandmother is learning how to read.

Somewhere in the world tonight, an ordinary person is holding a hand, keeping a stranger from dying alone.

See above.

Vive Clyde! Vive Clyde!

He's still alive, in spite of his recent trials, but appears to have permanently lost sight in the one eye. "Retrobulbar abscess" was the diagnosis, and he's on eye gunk and antibiotics.

Tomorrow, I am hauling him 45 minutes away to a veterinary ocular specialist to find out if the eye needs to come out, in what will be Clyde's fourth surgical procedure in the last six months, or if we can just sew the lid shut. Also, we will find out whether there may be a tumor behind the abscess. If there is a tumor, that would seal the deal for Clyde, whom my husband now addresses as Cha-ching.

sound effect
The noise traditional cash registers make when the CASH key is pushed, signifying that money is trading hands.

Note for Sports Fans: Clyde has now pulled ahead of Pinochet in the "expensive old pet of 2005" race.

go to dubya dubya dubya dot

Stuff on my Cat isn't so much humorous as

Difficult or impossible to explain or account for.
"inexplicable." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 30 Nov. 2005.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I vant to be left alone

There is an upscale neighborhood here in Winston-Salem named Coventry.

Now, Coventry is indeed named after the city by the same name in England, where Lady Godiva made her famous clothing-free horseback ride. In that sense, it's no different than a development named "London" or "Oxford".

But each time I see the name of the neighborhood as I'm passing the gates driving here or there, I am reminded of the phrase "to send (someone) to Coventry."

A state of ostracism or exile.
"Coventry." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 30 Nov. 2005.

A house in exile

(I covet the library, to be honest.)

But, I want it...

'Tis the season for some prime, USDA Grade A, "gub-ment" approved internet shopping! It's my most favorite. I don't have to do anything but browse and click to my heart's content. But you see, things aren't always so merry in the land of e-commerce.

I just went to one of my favorite sites and browsed a while. I was looking for an ornament for my best friend and I happened across the perfect one. I clicked the ornament happily, to get to the rest of the details--you know, the measurements, colors, etc. Well, when I went to add two to my shopping bag, the word next to the name of the ornament made my heart sink. I mean, if you don't have enough of something, why keep selling it? Why get my hopes up only to let me down?! FIDDLESTICKS!!!!!!! Ugh...

Backorder :

This is a business term and refers to the status of items on a purchase order in the event that some or all of the inventory required to fulfil the order is out of stock. This differs from a forward order where stock is available but delivery is postponed for other reasons.
Different computer systems will handle back orders in different ways. Typically received stock is allocated first to back orders. These orders are then available to be fulfilled in the normal way.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 28, 2005


The oldest did his math homework this afternoon. He's in first grade (ages 6-7 for those unfamiliar), and his teacher is introducing multiplication. So for part of his homework, he had a series of questions like How many ears do 6 elephants have? and How many feet would you find on 4 llamas? He was able to arrive at the answers without any help or direction from me.

Then came a more difficult directive: Tell how you know. My son furrowed his brow for a few seconds, then wrote fluidly.

Becuse I used my brane and my fingres.

1. Direct and without evasion; straightforward.
2. Archaic. Proceeding straight ahead.
"forthright." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 29 Nov. 2005.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Not that there's anything wrong with that

When the oldest was about two, I began to be concerned that his eyes seemed slightly misaligned. He had been monitored for the first year of his life for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) by a specialist, as he was born prematurely and had to be on a ventilator, and that doctor had mentioned something about alignment during his final appointment, too.

So now it was a year later, and we had moved and had new insurance that required a pediatrician's referral to see an eye specialist. We had just started being seen by a new pediatric practice, a large group one. I called in and told the scheduler I was concerned that my son's eyes seemed to not be aligned. I wasn't yet familiar with all the doctors, so accepted the first available appointment offered, which was with a pediatrician we had not yet met.

So in we go the day of the appointment. The nurse takes his vitals and asks what he's being seen for today, then tells us it will only be a few minutes until the doctor comes in.

I'm amusing the oldest by looking out the window and pointing down at the little cars in the parking lot far below when the doctor knocks once and quickly enters. She's looking down at his chart as she says, "So, you are concerned that his eyes don't appear aligned?"

I'm literally on the e sound of the word yes when she looks up and I see that one of her eyes is looking in a completely different direction than the other.

Characterized by embarrassment and discomfort: awkward, uncomfortable, uneasy.
"constrained." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 27 Nov. 2005.