March 31, 2009

Only In L.A.

I know I said I wasn't going to post again until I'd finished my taxes (done!), and my grandma's taxes (not done), completed the newsletter (not done), and cleaned and organized my house (yeah, right) but something happened the other day that I had to share.

So, you know about Earth Hour, right? Everyone was supposed to turn out the lights from 8:30 to 9:30 Saturday night. Warren and I had gone out with friends to see Bill Maher (which was fabulous!) and Jerry went to his friend Jackson's house with two other boys. Like good environmentalists, they turned out the lights and spent the time building with Kapla blocks, using flash lights to view their progress. (Dark house, flash lights, urban area--surely you see where this is headed...) Around 9:00 they heard the sound of a helicopter getting closer and closer until it sounded like it was hovering over the roof. A search light appeared, raking over every inch of the backyard from tree house to trampoline and three (yes, three!) cop cars appeared in front of the house. It turns out a concerned neighbor saw the dark house, the flashlights within, and assumed a robbery was taking place! Ha! On the one hand, it's nice to know the neighbor cared enough to call the police and then the police actually showed up. On the other hand, well it was Earth Hour for crying out loud!

Funny things happen when you live in an urban area. You see a dark house with flash lights inside and you assume it's being burglarized. You see someone running in street clothes rather than sweats--obviously they've just robbed someone. A kid comes up to you on the street and asks for money for the bus and even though you're visiting a small town in Iowa you assume the kid is an addict and tell him you don't have any change. You go away for the weekend and leave the dog door open so the cats can get in and out at will and assume that when you return your computer, television, and jewelry will be gone.

Ah, life in the big city.

March 25, 2009

Blogging Break

I'm taking a break from blogging to do my taxes, edit a newsletter, clean and organize my house and find a home exchange for July or August. I'll be back soon!!

March 19, 2009

Unschooling Article

Here's a link to a really nice article on unschooled teens:
Teenage Bohemia: Being self-taught in New York City
And the article mentions Idzies blog, I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write. Woo hoo! Congrats Idzie! :)

March 16, 2009

Um...

I would love to provide you, Dear Reader, with something clever, entertaining or thought-provoking to read today, but my brain isn't cooperating. You may have better luck here or here or here.

March 11, 2009

Foggy With Patches Of Sun

I'm ever so slowly coming out of the fog. It's a bit too slow for my taste but apparently grief has its own time-line. Since my grandma died I've been sleeping like a rock, which is highly unusual for me, but last night I actually laid awake for a good couple hours worrying about stuff, which might seem like a bad thing (and it really sucks when it's happening--especially if there's a very loud helicopter hovering right outside your bedroom window at the same time) but it's a very normal thing for me to do. In fact, sleeping all the way through the night is downright bizarre for me. So as I was laying there fretting, I couldn't decide if it was a good thing or a bad thing. I'll admit, it felt bad. But still, it's what I do, so in some weird way it was good.

What was I fretting about? TV. Jerry's watching too much. Would I say the same thing if he were reading instead of watching TV? Yes. I would. And I don't like the way he talks about himself. He says he does nothing but watch TV all day. Calls himself a "couch potato" and makes other disparaging remarks. It really bothers me. And, honestly, I think it bothers him. He's really self-conscious about his body now that he's put on some weight. I've actually thought about asking the doctor about it because he went up about four sizes in three months, but I know the doctor will ask about his level of activity and the truth is he's just not very active. So, I know it's not very unschooly of me, but I'm really considering an experimental ban on TV during "school" hours--from about 10 to 3--to see if that changes things. I'm just thinking about it for now. I haven't said anything yet. I find it's best to think about this kind of stuff before acting on it because it almost always works itself out. But the TV thing has been going on for a while. So, I don't know. I know I need to do what's best for Jerry and not get hung up on unschooling the "right" way. And he is a kid that needs a nudge now and then. He even seems to appreciate a nudge. So, we'll see.

In the meantime here are some pictures of Charlie in his favorite pot. We've been keeping it on the floor of Jerry's play room so he can snuggle up in it without wreaking havoc in our cupboards.But then we had to get a picture of him on the stove so we moved him. Kitty stew. Yum.By the way, this is exactly the kind of picture I love to look at on other people's blogs. I love all the background stuff--it gives you a look into how we live (sadly, this picture is a fairly accurate representation). Warren always accuses me of being a Peeping Tom because I like to look into people's windows when we go for walks. It's not like I'm tip-toeing into their yards peering over the window sill, though. I don't even stop to gawk. If the curtains are open I just look in and take stock as I walk by. How is decorated? Where's the couch? What are the window coverings like? Are there toys? Is it neat? What kind of people are they? And these are the same questions I love to answer when I look at photos on people's blogs. So ask away, Sherlock. Peer into the background and deduce what you will.

March 8, 2009

The Travel Bug

I was looking up home exchanges in Greece this morning. I'm thinking some time on one of the Greek islands would be really nice right about now--or any time, really. Four weeks would be perfect. Warren says four weeks is too long. It's true. He thinks it's possible to spend too much time in Greece! Can you possibly spend too much time on the sandy shores of the Mediterranean? I think not! Still, I suppose he's thinking money (someone's got to do it) and he may have a point. I'm going to continue planning, though, because planning doesn't cost a dime.

In the meantime I'm going to live vicariously through the Redpath family. They're friends from our homeschool group who are embarking on a whole year of travel this coming June. Yep, they're selling everything and hittin' the road. Or the skies--they're flying off to Serbia June 22nd. They've already started blogging about their preparations and they'll document the whole thing online. Meet the Redpaths:


And if anyone knows Oprah or Ellen, or has connections with the chewing gum company that paid Matt all that money to travel the world, maybe you could put in a good word for them.

In other news, the Lebowskifest is finally coming to Los Angeles on a weekend that Warren and I can attend! Woohoo! For the last few years it's been in San Francisco on the weekend of Jerry's birthday, so we haven't been able to go. But this year it's in May, right here in our hometown.

Tomorrow Jerry and I are going whale watching with the homeschool group and on Wednesday we're going to Shakespeariance. Plus, we finally opened up the chemistry kit that came in the mail a few weeks ago. So we've got to put in some "lab" time before the litmus solution we made goes bad. It's shaping up to be a very busy week. Looks like life is finally returning to normal.

March 5, 2009

Dear Reader

Rejoice!

I have finally grown tired of the sound of my own pathetic whining, so I promise* not to write anymore pathetic whiny blog posts.

I just wanted you to know.

Love, Colleen

*I reserve the right to renig on this promise at any time. Sorry.

March 3, 2009

In Loving Memory

I thought I'd post the memorial tribute Warren and I made for my grandma's funeral. It's kind of long for someone who doesn't know the family, so it might get boring. But I think it turned out so nicely I just wanted to share.

video

March 2, 2009

You Know You're In Trouble When...

you walk into a bookstore with the intention of buying a book because you are completely and utterly depressed and buying a book always makes you feel better--always. But nothing excites you. Nothing. You don't even feel like being there (which is unheard of). Not once in your entire visit do you pick up a paperback and caress its cover or inhale a whiff of the binding (pages open) when no one is looking. You leave the book store empty handed and you don't even care.

Then...you go to California Pizza Kitchen and order your favorite pizza (which for several months has been off the menu and was only recently reintroduced) and when the pizza arrives you don't even feel like eating it! And when you do eat half of what you would normally scarf down it doesn't even taste that good.

Then...you go home, where you have no less than six boxes of thin mints in the freezer, you reach for an open box of cookies, inhale the highly addictive, minty scent, and put the box down. You don't even take it out of the freezer. You don't feel like eating a thin mint! That's right. You read it right, people, I did not want a thin mint!!

Have you dialed 911 yet? Because this is serious!!

Sadly, I can't even blog about it because it all started with a blog post that inadvertently hurt the feelings of someone I love (the post has been removed so don't bother trying to figure out which one it was!). Now the one place where I used to be able to write freely and openly and honestly about my feelings is no longer safe. This sucks.

I know I don't need to blog about my feelings. I mean, really, how lame would that be? But it's fun. And it's nice to vent on a blog, as opposed to with speech, because when you vent with speech it sounds so much more like whining. And blogging allows me to make fun of myself, which is always good. Sure, I could make fun of myself in Microsoft Word or TextEdit and save it into my Documents file, but it's so much more satisfying to make fun of myself on my blog and to know other people are laughing at my mistakes and misfortunes--it makes the mishaps seem like they were good for something, after all. And then of course there are the comments and the support I get from my blogger friends. They really help!

So this pretty much sucks. I know my life is still great in the grand scheme of things but right now I feel sucky and miserable and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to pull myself out of it.

On a side note: My grandmother's funeral was beautiful. Warren and I made a memorial tribute DVD that was played at the service on Saturday and it was perfect. On Sunday we scattered my grandma's ashes at sea, just off the beach where her husband used to surf. We watched her ashes billow into the water like a ghostly cloud (something I wasn't quite expecting), then travel North with the tide, followed by a long, long trail of roses, stargazer lilies, snapdragons, and other flowers we had tossed into the sea after her. She would have loved to have been there. And I know, in a way, she was--just not the way I wanted her to be.