Archives for November 2011

FreeWrite: I was afraid

I wrote this as a FreeWrite in my 2010 Creative Writing Class. It’s a true story

I didn’t know how much further I had to go. I stayed at the party too long and now I was in danger of missing the last train. My skirt was riding up again. I reached behind me to pull it down. The lonely street had old homes lining each side, mansions of a bygone era, with curtains of trees guarding them from unwelcome eyes. The right hand side of the street cut into a little hill, the sprawling lawns started at my hip. My feet hurt.

The sky was dark, its tiny pinpricks of light were overshadowed by ancient, anemic street lamps. To the left, a tidy pile of recyclables were crowded by a mountain of bulging black garbage bags. A rat perched on top of the mountain, surveying his kingdom. His nose moved swiftly down the pile, as if he were a dog searching for a bone, and suddenly, paydirt! He tore into the defenseless refuse and released a malodorous tidbit that made the gorge rise in my throat.

I kept walking. My feet clomped one in the front of the other. I heard a noise. Footsteps that were not mine. The rat? More footsteps. Louder. More human than rat. I snuck a glance behind me. A dark figure passed in front of a lamppost. A man in a long coat with the collar pulled up to his ears.

Maybe I was overreacting. I kept up my pace, and willed my feet to move faster and faster. I ran fight or flight scenarios in my head. It would have to be fight. I’m not a very good runner.

He was closer. I moved to the other side of the street, acting as if I knew what I was doing. He stayed where he was, which I took as a good sign. I made an attempt to look at him out of the side of my eye. He was too far behind, but he was closing fast. For a moment we were walking side by side, then he pulled ahead and kept walking forward. I let out the breath I was holding.

Ahead I could see a line of lights which heralded the T-station and a 24-hour convenience store. I felt a breeze and froze. I reached behind me to fix—Oh crap. My skirt was bunched around my waist. I forgot to make sure my skirt stayed up. How long was it like this? I must have looked like a loony. Walking down the street, showing my ass to Boston. And that man. What must he have thought.

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What do you think of when you think, I was afraid?

Not sure what to say

Not sure what to say

Here I am, at a loss for words. I’m sitting at my work desk, while realizing I haven’t blogged yet today. I’m eating free popcorn. I am tired, tired, tired. {Why am I tired? Reference: yesterday’s post and the day before and the day before that.}

There are things I want to talk about. I have plans. Bloggy things. Plans about bloggy things. And other plans too. Thingy plans. And whatnot.

But those bloggy plan things are not flying off my fingertips, instead they are hiding in my brain, dulled. Silenced. I could coax one of those things I want to talk about out of my brainy brain, but I don’t think that would be wise. No sirree. Tonight I need my synapses firing for a greater purpose, wait for it, HOMEWORK. Ahhhhhh!

Also, my brain hurts:
My Brain Hurts

So I’ll leave you with this picture of Lenny and Squiggy, peering out the bedroom window. They’re keeping me and Edmund safe from malfeasant pigeons.

Lenny & Squiggy keeping an eye on things

And whatnot.

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What do you think? Have you seen any malfeasant pigeons?

So Close – The life of a Non-Traditionally Aged Student

So Close – The life of a Non-Traditionally Aged Student

My Brain Hurts

As of today, I will have exactly two weeks left in school. At the end of the two weeks, on December 12th, I will have my Statistics Final and that will complete my undergraduate career. I’m 43 years old and I’ve been going to school part time and working full time since 2006. I can’t freaking wait.

This semester has been good and bad. I was able to get classes that met starting at 7:00 pm, which is good for work because I didn’t need to leave early or come in late, like I’ve had to in previous semesters. The workload at the beginning of the semester was very good, but I am definitely feeling the pinch here at the end of the semester, in no small part because of the 17-page take-home stats test I need to hand in tonight. Ugh.

I do homework every weekend, mostly on Sundays. Some Saturdays I spend doing something fun, or lazy, while feeling guilty for not doing homework. I have a tension all the time, as I write this even. I cannot wait for that to be over. Frankly, just having to work my full time job will feel like a vacation. I know, that’s how I’ve felt every Holiday season and summer I didn’t take classes. I don’t even know how someone with kids and a full time job does the school thing.

Having a supportive partner has been crucial for my success. I am so lucky I have a husband who will do the laundry or make me dinner or even grab me a beverage – and often he is the one asking ME if I need anything. When I write reports, Edmund is always my first reader. He has great comments and criticism, and I don’t want to admit it, but he is often right. [Don’t tell him I said that.]

What I look forward to is the following:

  • Guilt-free Weekends
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Going up north on a whim
  • Organizing my office (weird, but I am looking forward to it)
  • Blogging and Vlogging with abandon
  • Catching up on my novel reading, Stephen King books especially
  • And reading. Did I mention reading? Something that wasn’t a 300-page treatise on poverty or inequality
  • World domination plans coming to fruition (well, of course!)

That said, like I mentioned earlier, if you have plans to go back to school to get your undergrad degree, I totally recommend it. Part of my angst and frustration now is because I am only taking classes to fulfill my Math Minor – otherwise I would’ve gotten my sheepskin last June. [I only had one class to go, and I figured that I would regret it years later if I didn’t go ahead and finish the minor.] And the Senioritis – I have a huge case of it.

What did I learn in college? I learned about Sociology and Mathematics, I learned how to do research, both qualitative and quantitative, and I also learned how to better express what I think. What will be my next task? My next challenge? I’ll be living in the moment, baby. Living in the moment. And saying smart stuff. With my brain.

Stats Sunday – like Stats Saturday but with more panic

Stats Sunday – like Stats Saturday but with more panic

Have eraser, will erase

Yesterday I bought myself this eraser. Now when I erase my mistakes, the lead on my mechanical pencil will not automatically advance. It’s the little things.

More stats today. Panic is setting in, if only because I am on question 3 and page 4, and there are a total of 9 questions and 17 pages. Go me! So I’m going to eat my spinach and bacon soufflé and buckle down. Geometric probability distributions FTW!

Stats Saturday

Stats Saturday

Stats Saturday

Hey look, it’s a lame post of me telling you I’m doing homework today. But that’s not really true, what I am doing is a take-home test for my Statistics class. {This post, however, is still lame}

Regarding my Stats test, I just finished the first of the 17 pages. It took me 2 pages of work to do that. I’d show you, but I can’t since it is a test and there is a chance (albeit slim) one of my classmates is reading my blog. And that would be cheating. And whatnot.

So I am camped at the Westbrook Panera where there are tasty treats to help me throughout my stats testing ordeal. This afternoon I will take a break to do Laundry (oh joy!) and I can only hope my brother has come through with his promise to come back down to the WB this weekend so I have an excuse to go to the movies.

Of course, I will probably be posting on the Twitter and the Facebook. Because all work and no play makes Lanna something something.

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How are you spending your weekend?

Black Friday Funtimes

Black Friday Funtimes

I’m not a huge fan of shopping. I like stuff and getting stuff and such, so I do shop, but shopping is not my idea of a good time. I’d rather read a book, go out to eat, hang with friends, watch a movie, go dancing, or stare blankly at a television screen – almost anything else. Furthermore, for the most part, I have just about everything I need. However, my desktop computer died a few months ago and I recently bought a new one, [and this was because my laptop started doing weird things like booting to the blue screen of death.] My old monitor worked perfectly fine with it, it’s a little small, but it works.
Old Monitor

Then I got a new monitor at work. A 23″ gem that has really been awesome: now when I have code that runs across the screen I don’t have to scroll, I can compare 2 Word documents at 100%, I can see the cool designs people put on their Twitter profile pages. However, when I work remotely, the 1920 x 1080 resolution of the 23″ screen does not translate well to the 1024 x 768 resolution of my old monitor’s screen. When signed onto my work computer, I would either need to squint or scroll the screen, neither option being particularly optimal. So I decided I needed a 23″ monitor for home too. Since it was so close to Thanksgiving, and a 23″ monitor could run between $200-$300, I thought I’d give Black Friday a try.

My Black Friday aspirations to date have been modest. In the 1990’s I remember going to Wal-Mart with my Mom so I could get a portable CD player. It was selling for $20 or something, and I really wanted one. The funny thing, most everyone was waiting in line for a Furby, I probably could’ve sailed into the store a few hours later to get my CD player. Three or four years ago my parents, my in-laws and I went over to the Maine Mall to see what the midnight festivities were like. I didn’t want anything, really, we went because it seemed like it’d be fun. It was fun, but not fun enough for a repeat. However, this year my need for a monitor was enough to make me venture out to the Mall again, solo this time.

I didn’t mind waiting in line to get my monitor, but I didn’t want to seem too desperate. When I saw the line to Best Buy (one of the stores offering 23″ monitors in my price point) was around the corner, clear to the Sears store, I turned around and went home.

Plan B was Staples. [Well, Staples was the original Plan A, I figured the Mall area would be too much, yet Best Buy had advertised a monitor that was $10 cheaper than the one I saw for Staples. I was right.] I was going to choose between a $129.98 HP or a $139.99 Samsung monitor I found on the TGI Black Friday App. I didn’t look at a flyer.

I woke at 4:45, dressed, got in my car, purchased some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee for fuel, and drove to Staples, arriving there at 5:10. There were 3 people in line. Much more my speed. I waited in my car until I couldn’t stand it anymore, it was around 5:25 and there were around 20 people in line. Fortunately for all of us, Staples employees started walking through the line.

Here is where I explain that I don’t have any idea how Black Friday works. Apparently there are Door Busters and such, this is how they get people (like me) to arrive at their store at the ungodly (ungoddessly?)  hour of 6:00 am. How Staples handled these  was to have pre-printed “tickets” for the items they’d consider to be movers. When they got to me, I told them that I was in line for the 23″ monitor, and the Staples woman said “you’re here for the Acer monitor, that’s one of the door busters” and handed me a yellow (golden) ticket. She told me I had until noon to pick it up. Since I had no idea how much the Acer monitor cost, I asked them to check for me, it was going to be $99! Sweet. My new work monitor was an Acer too, so that worked for me. It was around 5:35 am. I didn’t want to go home and come back later, so I went back to my car and waited in comfort and warmth for Staples to open. But people kept arriving, and by 6:00 am, the line from Staples reached all the way to the Burlington Coat Factory. I waited until the line at the door went away, went into the store, and waited in the checkout line for about 20 minutes, handed the cashier my golden ticket and walked away with my new 23″ monitor for 99 bucks.
New 23" Monitor

Black Friday is consumerism at its best AND worst. My pal Shay at BlackGirlinMaine.com says that

…folks seem to lose their collective minds all in the name of a bargain.

and they do. Those who are crazy enough to wait in line, whether it’s by getting up at 4 or 5 o’clock on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving or by queuing up a couple of hours before midnight on Thanksgiving itself, are proving themselves “worthy” of getting a great deal, they’ve earned it. The atmosphere at Best Buy last night was fun. People were waiting in line with their friends because it was a little bit crazy, and maybe they really wanted that HDTV, but they were having fun too. I suppose if I had a bit more energy and was not as stressed out with school and work, I wouldn’t mind waiting in line, as long as I had some friends with me. Nowadays I am all about expending the least amount of effort I can. But as Shay says in her blog post, it isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes people get hurt.

I am conflicted about Black Friday. I think people get a bit wigged out by it and others behave badly, but on the other hand it is sure nice to get a bargain. I have friends who are totally against Black Friday and its commercialism, and I hear them. I even agree to a certain extent. I encourage them to continue to speak out about it, but with a request that they not judge us who choose to participate in the madness too harshly. We’re only humans who are distracted by the shiny.

Happy Thanksgiving

Here is my post today. I’m enjoying a nice day with my family and without the internet.

I am thankful for so many things, not the least is my dear husband Edmund, my parents, my brother, my in-laws and my kitties.

I ate too much, had a great nap, and soon we are going to see a movie.

How have you spent the day?

Having a Sucko The Clown Day

Having a Sucko The Clown Day

Bad Clown Day

Years ago I worked at The Ground Round Restaurant (in Bangor & South Portland, ME and Cambridge, MA) as Bingo the Clown. I’d work on the Penny a Pound nights (Tuesday and Thursday), & Fridays. On Saturday and Sunday I’d do birthday parties all day.

My work consisted of walking through the restaurant interacting with the kids and adults, making people laugh and feel-at-home. I’d do (simple) magic tricks, balloon animals, and I’d talk. All the birthday party kids got a 15-minute “show”, and I’d help them open their presents: “it’s a new car!” I’d say in a loud Bob Barker voice. For every gift. Or I’d say, “It’s a box!” with wonderment. I’d sing “Happy Birthday” at the top of my lungs. Every. Single. Time.

I once overheard a server tell someone, “she’s the best Bingo in the business.” I was pretty good. Let’s face it, as a clown, I ruled.

It got so I could walk onto the dining room floor and in a moment could assess who needed to be seen first and what needed to be done, and I would get to work. I could tell if kids were scared, and would let them come to me instead (and they usually did.) I’d make my way through all the tables spreading whatever it is that clowns spread in their wake. Hilarity. Joy. Fun. Whatever it is. I was on fire. I was cool.

And then I’d have a bad clown day. An Ugh day. A day where my joviality was forced and I didn’t want to do it. Just. Did. Not. Want. I was tired and would rather be in bed. Or reading. Or anything else. That’s when I’d tell my co-workers, “I’m Sucko the Clown today.”

Sucko the Clown just went through the motions. Sucko the Clown pretended. Sucko the Clown was kinda funny, and kinda not. Sucko the Clown sucked.

The funny thing about being Sucko The Clown, is that Sucko The Clown didn’t stick around for the whole day. After being there for 15 minutes, or an hour there would be a kid who loved Sucko The Clown. He or she would give her a hug, or say something adorable, and Sucko The Clown would vamoose, leaving Bingo in her wake.

I still have Sucko The Clown days. Where I go through the motions. And, there isn’t always a kid around to make me feel better. But I know that Sucko the Clown is fickle and doesn’t stick around. That’s a good thing.

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Do you have “Sucko The Clown Days”?

Freewrite: Mystery Men

Another Freewrite. The prompt for this one was “Solitude”.

Today I am alone but not alone. I sit in a semi-crowded restaurant and write and no one talks to me. Well, earlier some of my friends were here and they talked to me then, but now I am alone, friendless but not alone. Am I invisible? On the opposite corner is a gentleman, sans computer, who is writing or studying something on his table. He has a half-full beverage in front of him, it looks like an iced tea or lemonade, if only because of the lemons suspended in it. He looks in my direction now and again. I can tell that he sees me. I am not invisible to him. I do not know what he thinks about me, but I can tell that I interest him somehow. Is it because of my set up? My laptop has a sticker that says “meh.” on it. The table is strewn with a coffee mug, and large soda glass, and a powerstrip which provides power for my computer, phone and Kindle. My shirt has a ginormous peace symbol on it. He can’t see my shirt though, it is hidden by the screen of my laptop. He’s thinking again. Is he a writer, too? Or is he just a reader. He seems to be reading now. It’s a very active reading, with a furrowed brow and his hands on his bald, white forehead. He’s wearing a navy blue golf shirt. And thinking, there is a lot of thinking going on. Oh, there he goes with some writing. He could be writing a story, correcting papers, balancing his checkbook, editing a book, planning world domination. I don’t need to know what he is doing, I like a mystery. Sometimes the truth just isn’t as interesting as my fantasy.

For instance, I have a mystery man in my life. I work in Kennebunk, and whenever I am running early or late (but never when I am running right on time) I see him. He hangs out in front of the Kennebunk High School and directs traffic, to help the school busses make a left on Route 35 – otherwise they might have to wait forever. He wears a bright yellow vest, and is one of those force-of-nature-looking people. He is tall enough, with chocolate brown skin, and an easy smile. He has a bit of an attitude, in a good way. Once I saw him leave the intersection, but instead of walking toward the school, he started walking toward one of the houses on the opposite side of the street. Which set me to wondering, who is this guy? Why is he directing traffic in front of the school? Is he doing it as a favor? Was he hired by the town? Did he start doing it because he saw the traffic backing up, and as a concerned citizen he took it on himself to direct traffic? Is this his only job? If that’s the case, is he retired? He looks too young to be retired, is he a writer? This kind of job seems well-fit for a writer, 1-2 hours a day for directing traffic, enough to make some pin money. Is he a concerned parent who works a second or third shift and just directs traffic because it needs to be done? I just don’t know. And the thing is, I have the means to find out who he is. I could just ask Michelle at work and she’d probably know. But the thing is, then my Mystery Man would lose that mystery. And it’s always good to have a little mystery in one’s life.

My Panera mystery man has left the building. He packed up his phone and papers, he walked by me, either to refill his drink or go to the bathroom before he leaves. Or both. Leaving me alone but not alone again. In a room full of people who do not see me. A room of people to whom I’m invisible. People who, when they do notice me, let their eyes move to the left or the right, pretending they can’t or don’t notice me.

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What does “Solitude” say to you? 

Observation: Same Tree Four Days in a Row

Observation: Same Tree Four Days in a Row

An Observation exercise from my Summer 2010 creative writing class. The assignment: Same Tree 4 Days in a row.

Same Tree Four Days in a Row

Day 1 – Saturday, June 19

I am standing in the kitchen because I am too lazy to go outside. Also because I am still wearing my jammies. It is 8:30 pm and I haven’t left the house today. It is close to dusk, but still light enough to see the tree. It sits in a copse of trees lining the parking lot next to our house. We share this parking lot with the elderly residents of the Old High School and some municipal vehicles. Our landlord has three reserved spots of which we were assigned one. Our landlord has one car, but yet requires the second spot in case they have guests. (He is blind, his wife is the only one who drives, and as it follows they have only one car.)

The tree is dead. A dead oddball, nearly as tall as most of the other trees around it. The branches are bare and silvery compared to the dark green of the adjacent pines. Its branches look like silver fingertips. The bark is worn near the bottom of the tree. From the ground to at least 4 feet up.

Day 2 – Sunday, June 20

It’s father’s day. I am waiting in the car, with the AC blasting, waiting for my husband. I can see the tree in my rearview mirror. A woman with a halo of white hair is laying under it, looking in my direction. She is in the shade. My mirror constricts my view of the tree; I can only see the first 10 feet of it. From this angle I can see that the bark has fallen away from up further up on the tree. A little girl in pink, with white-blonde hair, just came to get the woman and they walked away, toward the buildings on the right side of foster street.

Sunday part 2

I am now sitting 10 feet from the tree in my ancient folding Shakespeare chair, the best chair of its kind that I’ve ever bought. It’s hard to get comfortable typing though. My arms don’t reach. The tree is even more apparently dead now. Looking up through the branches I can see that most of the bark has peeled off, leaving the yellow-white wood exposed. There is a bit of bark stretching about 4 feet from the bottom to the bottom of a fork in the tree. There is also some bark at the bottom. I wish I knew what kind of tree it was, my dad would know. I never learned how to type trees. Was never interested in learning how. I suspect it is an evergreen tree, most of the other trees around it are, at least the bigger ones. The tree next to it is ailing too, but it still has some tree needles fanning out on its branches. A little bird is chirping and hanging out on the neighbor tree, looking for food. He is so close, I can’t believe the clicking of my AlphaSmart 3000 didn’t scare him. He is white and blue and very small. I never learned to type birds either. The trees that line the drive and parking lot on Foster Street border a small baseball diamond. A few times a week kids play various levels of baseball on it. When they come, they all park in our parking lot. Where are the bleachers? There used to be a set of bleachers for the spectators to use. They’re gone now. Now that I look at the area, it looks like new fences were added in front of the player’s bleachers. I wonder if the bleachers will be replaced with a better model. To the right of the tree are two port-a-potties, green and blue. I assume they are there for the players. The air is full of sounds of birds chirping, I can see a small one flitting in the trees. Is it my friend from before? A woman, someone who lives in the Old High School, is sitting in her car and talking to someone else. On the phone? Or is someone else in the car. It would be rude to look, wouldn’t it? People walk by on the pathway that connects the Riverbank Park to downtown Westbrook. This small field my tree is perched on is called Foster Field. We should really hang out on it more often. Most people don’t have a field as a lawn.

I would say the tree is dead. It looks like a Y, with two small branches poking out from where the y-shape begins, like arms seeking supplication. Wow. A bird is perched high right above my head and making the most beautiful sounds. He moved, now he’s behind me. Which is good, because I was concerned for a minute that he’d be pooping on my head.

If I were a bird watcher, this’d be a great place to sit. My neighbors must think I’m nuts, typing on my AlphaSmart 3000 on my chest.

Day 3 – Monday June 21

I am precariously balanced on the top of the stairs. I am afraid I’ll fall, but I think this will be an interesting way to see the tree. A car drives across the parking lot. A jeep. It came from over by the Post Office, people often use our parking lot as a way to eventually turn left, the Post office parking lot only allows a right-hand turn on exiting. I can only make out the outline of the tree if I put my forehead right up to the screen in our stairs window. We leave this window open all the time in the summer so our kitty will have a place to perch when we’re gone for the day.

Edmund is listening to Johnny Cash in his office, in the distance I can hear cars driving on Main Street and the falls near the center of town. The street light near the trees leaves them in shadow. The light in the parking lot highlights Edmund’s car, but it is partly in shadows from the copse of trees. Dark is the great equalizer. I can’t tell if the tree is alive or dead. It is only with great effort I can tell it’s even there.

Day 4 – Tuesday June 22

This morning I took several pictures of the tree so I could “observe” it from work. I’d planned on maybe observing it this morning before work, but as I feared, I woke up too late, and resorted to plan B. I took pictures of both sides of the tree, facing and facing away from my house. I tried not go get too close so that I would not smell or step into the dog crap that I saw under the tree as I packed up from Sunday’s observation. But keeping with the spirit of the assignment, I took the pictures this morning, right before I got into my car and went to work.

Looking toward my house, the barkless state of most of tree is even more apparent. I think that is because instead of a lush green field, the tree faces a parking lot and mint green building, which cause the white and tan bare portions of the tree to stick out. This could also be due to the photograph. Beyond the tree is, of course, the parking lot. My car is to the right, obscured by a tree to the left of the dead tree. To the right of our tree (the dead tree) is the stop sign at the edge of the parking lot and Foster Street is beyond. The mint green house that borders the opposite side of the parking lot is my house. We live on the second floor. The front porch is on the left, we use that to get into the house. Our trash barrel, thoughtfully provided by the City of Westbrook, is in front of our door–we have no room for it otherwise. Our recycling bin is out of sight, just inside the door. There are 5 windows visible from this vantage point. Two of these windows are shaded, they belong to our landlords. The other three are open. From this distance they all look black. The dead tree’s lowest, stubby branch looks like it is pointing to the window at the bottom of the stairs.

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An abrupt ending, I know. If you were to observe a tree, where would you go? 

My Flipper: And the Dental Implant Saga – Part II

Me and my flipper. Our symbiotic relationship is over.
Me and my flipper. Our symbiotic relationship is over.

Checking out my Google Analytics and noticed that people found my website from searching about dental flippers and front tooth flippers and such. This is because I did have a dental flipper with my implant, back in 2009/2010. I wrote about it right after the procedure here with the intention of doing follow up posts. Everything went so smoothly, I didn’t think to do the follow up. That’s a good thing.

When I was planning my dental implant surgery, I googled it, and I googled flippers, most of the stuff I saw was fairly depressing and scary. There weren’t many happy stories. Maybe it’s because all of us who had a great experience didn’t find it necessary to write about it.

I got my implant on October 29, 2009. It went smoothly (and I wrote about it here). After the implant was installed, I put in a dental flipper, which made it so I wasn’t walking around with a big gaping hole in my mouth (so much bonus!)

Dental Implant and Flipper Fun

I wore the flipper until April 12, 2010, when my abutment and crown was attached to the implant.

I wore the flipper whenever I went out into public. On doctor’s orders, I did not wear the flipper when I slept. After the first few weeks, I stopped wearing it when I ate, unless I was eating in public. So for dinners at home and family, with friends or at my work desk, I’d take out the flipper and eat. If I were eating at a restaurant or with fancy friends, I’d keep it in when I ate, but afterwards would rinse it off in the bathroom because food would always get stuck underneath it. And eating with the flipper posed a problem because if I took too big of a bite of food, the flipper would fall right out of my mouth. Funtimes.

Wearing a flipper got to be a bit fun. The best is when I’d stand right next to someone and in the middle of a conversation, I’d let it fall out of my mouth. The looks on their faces == priceless. Especially if they did not know I had the flipper in the first place.

If I had any advice for people considering the implant procedure, I would encourage them to do it, the end result is definitely worth the risk. Of course, I had a very lucky experience with mine, my tooth came out easily, the implant set very well on the first try. But now I don’t have to worry about that tooth falling out any more. If I had the money, I’d consider getting my second front tooth done as well.

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Have you had any dental work done? How did that go? Or are you considering a flipper? 

Saturday is for Stats And Trish!

What I should be doing:

1. My brain just exploded. 2. Shoulda paid attention in Stats class.
Stats Homework

What I’m thinking about:

Me and Trish at Port City Musix
Hanging with Trish

Tonight Trish will be here, we will hang out and it will be fine. Superfine, even.

Tomorrow, Trish, me and a few other women will be meeting on Peaks Island to talk about TheMainetrix.com, a community of feisty and feminist Maine Women. We are just starting out, and will be discussing what we want to do and what our direction will be.

My goal in starting TheMainetrix is to create a Maine-based and supportive place to talk about issues that are important to me and to women, and to have that place be an online community. I want it to be diverse and most of all, I want it to be fun. I want it to be organic and grow from the group interaction, so tomorrow is an important first step, as it will hallmark the beginning of the collaborative process.

Now Back to Stats.

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What do you think? 

Friday Dinner

It’s Friday. On Fridays I have dinner with my parents. Ever since Edmund and I moved to Westbrook in 2005, I have spent almost every Friday at my parents house for dinner. This was great help for us when we first moved, because we didn’t get jobs right away, so a guaranteed meal once a week was helpful. Nowadays Edmund often works later on Fridays, and I go to dinner by myself.

What happens at a Friday dinner at the Maheux’s? First comes the call:

“You coming over?” says Dad

“Planning on it,” I say.

“Good. ’bout 5:30?” he asks.

“Yup, thereabouts,” I answer.

Sometimes I’m earlier or later, but I am usually there at 5:30. When we first moved here, Dad had Fridays off and he usually cook. When Mom was still working but Dad wasn’t, he’d always cook. Now that they are both retired, they take turns, well, mostly Mom cooks.

I am not told what we are having for dinner. Especially when Dad cooks. He likes to surprise us.

During nice weather we eat outside, Mom loves the sun.

If Edmund can’t make it, he gets a “to go” meal of whatever we’re having. Sometimes it’s enough to make him two meals. He works on Saturdays, so it’s usually very appreciated.

Dinna out
A rare dinner at a real restaurant.

We don’t always eat at my parent’s house. Sometimes we meet at the Mall and eat at the food court. Sometimes we eat at a restaurant. But most of the time we eat at their house in Westbrook. Sometimes we do something else.

Westbrook together days with Mom & Dad.
At Westbrook Together Days last June.

And this photo makes up for the dork photo I posted last week (sorry Mom!):

Mom and Dad

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Do you have any family rituals?

Written Kitten

OMG. This webpage, Written Kitten is fantastic!

It’s like you beg for a kitten and one magically appears. Here is what I wrote:

I need to see a kitten that is so awesome please show me some kittens right away i can’t wait to see some more kittens please let me wee some kitties I can’t really write much more would rather cut and paste, I suppose that would be cheating and I am not a cheater by any means hello everyone you are the best and I am the best and we are all the best the best and I want to see a kitty Please show me a kitty for the love of pete or george or one of the beatles.

I got to 100 words and a magical kitty appeared! Fantastic.

Observation: While he works

Another observation. This one was written for a creative writing class I took in the Summer of 2010 with the same professor I have now. This observation subject was “while he/she works.” I was not able to easily watch someone work, so I got Edmund to do something for me so I could observe him. He is such a good sport.

Edmund sits in one of our office chairs at the kitchen table. This particular chair was moved to the kitchen because if you tried to lean over too far in it, you’d tip right over. The small table is covered with detritus from us being away for a week, magazines, cereal boxes, papers, plates; he cleared out some space on the right side of the table. Edmund received some runes as a gift, and he is working to figure them out. He has photocopied instructions in front of him. He gathers the purple marbled shiny stones in his hands and shakes them. The stones make a tinkling cacophony in his cupped hands. He drops the runes directly on the table; they make a slapping sound as they hit the glass top.

Edmund reads aloud from the instructions. He wears one of his Phillies shirts, with some clean shorts; he changed his clothes since we got home, earlier he was wearing jeans that kept sliding down off, for want of a belt. He gets up from the table and walks into the other room, leaving the runes strewn over the table. He comes back with his brown notebook, which has notes from the Norse class he took over the weekend. The notebook is the size of a half sheet of paper, and is perfect bound, it has no spiral or wire binding it.

Edmund leans back in the rolling office chair, it creaks in protest. His arms on the handles, he thumbs through the notebook, mumbling to himself. His right leg is crossed over this left leg. He grabs his pen and holds it so his index finger is on the opposite side from the point and it is clasped at the point with his thumb and three other fingers. He scribbles. He is unshaven. He gets up again, and goes into the other room. This time his notebook is left open and face down on the table, lying on the photocopied instructions and stone runes. He calls out from the other room, asking me about batteries in the camping gear. I answer him, I don’t know if those batteries are good, and he comes back in the kitchen to “help the wife out.” Edmund sits down heavily in the chair, and compares his notebook with the photocopies, and bemoans his note taking.

He is scruffy from a week’s camping, his beard is filling in no shaving for the last week. He has a bug bite on his ankle; it’s a few days old, probably got it when we got there on Wednesday.  His arms are tan, and freckled. The papers make a crackling sound as he compares his notes to the photocopied instructions. He sighs, making a face, and says “Courage”. He scribbles notes, holding the pen between his thumb and pinky finger, onto the photocopies. He reads from his notes, so I will know what happened during his class. The cat comes in and meows for attention, the cat disappears behind my back. He closes the notebook and folds the photocopies back up. He picks up a rune and inspects it. He starts shaking the runes and throws them up in the air to fall on the table. They go further than he expected so he moves a plate so he can see the runes. He looks up the meaning of the runes that landed and slides them to one side of the table and gets up. It’s now time to put away the pizza.