Things that Go BUMP in my Mind

Knitting, stitching, reading, gardening, cooking--I have no time for any of it.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Daily Health post

weight: 150.5
Exercise:  30 minutes on the treadmill.  Now that I've got my time up to 30 minutes, I can start increasing my speed.
Nutrition factoid of the day:  Fig Newtons really aren't much better for you than a candy bar.  I just got some from the vending machine--200 calories, 35 of them from fat and 22 grams of sugar.  If I'd had a Snickers I would at least have gotten some protein...

Quote for the day...

"Children rarely misquote their parents.  Quite the opposite, they repeat brilliantly word for word things their parents should never have said." (Anonymous)

I think one of the most surreal moments in parenting is hearing something you've said come out of your child's mouth--especially when it's something you say so often you don't really hear yourself saying it.  A few months ago, Andy was playing with my Dad and he (Andy) said, "Let's think about this"--which is something I say to him all the time.  It was so odd hearing such a grown-up statement coming out of his little kid's mouth.

Ah, but he's growing up every day.  We took him for his "interview" at the montessori school today, and he did just fine.  Now it's a question of waiting for a space to open up--could be next week, could be months from now.  I hope it's soon.  His curiosity astounds me, and he's started asking questions (like, "where do bubbles come from") that I don't really know how to answer (how do you explain the concept of surface tension to a four-year-old?).  Andy has an explorer's mind, by which I mean that his thoughts sometimes veer off into unexpected, but very interesting, directions.  I think Montessori will accommodate that tendency and help him learn to use it for his own benefit, whereas I think public school will try to beat it out of him.

I don't know when I got to be so negative about public schools.  Chuck and I are both products of good public schools, and before we had kids it never occurred to me that we would be sending them to private schools.  And, I don't think I'll have a problem with public schools for middle and high school.  But now, when Andy's mind is in its formative years and he is so open to so many things, I just can't see putting him in a room with desks in a tidy row. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Kir's daily health post

I've decided to start posting about my exercise and general health habits.  Read 'em if you want, skip 'em if you want, I'm posting it anyway.  I'm hoping that exposing my good and bad habits to the world at large will encourage me to make better choices.  I'll keep this up until it's no longer useful to me, which will hopefully be when I've reached my weight-loss goal, which is "pre-baby weight."

Today's stats:
Weight: 151
Exercise: yep--25 minute treadmill run (11.5 minute mile)
Food choices:  so far, so good, although it's the afternoons that get me, and we're going out to dinner tonight.  I'll update this one later.

"I haven't gotten to that yet."

I've been saying that a lot over the past two weeks, especially at work.  There is so much going on, and so many things happening simultaneously, that it has simply not been possible to keep up.  I was going to use a juggling allegory, but I've decided it's more like having several bonfires going at once--it's all I can do to keep each fire from burning out of control, that I don't actually have time to put any of them out.

Amazingly, I haven't found this to be a very stressful experience.  I'm working as hard and as efficiently as I can, so when I tell my boss that I haven't gotten to something, it's not because of forgetfulness or laziness.  It's because of a simple inability to do everything at once, and I simply can't bring myself to feel guilty about that.

But alas, one of the things that I "haven't gotten to" is this blog.  It's not that I lack for things to say, it's that I don't have much time to say them.  I don't want to just dash something off and post it without thinking it through, which means I've been posting less often that I'd like.

Have faith, fearless readers--I will put my bonfires out and begin pontificating soon,  I promise.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Whew!

What a week!  As the absence of blog entries indicates, I have been too busy at work to think deep thoughts about anything other than the sentencing guidelines.  No deep thoughts here, either--just an update on what's up with me.

I've actually been stitching lately, which is a switch for me.  I'm working on a Chatelaine mini-mystery (thanks to my secret stitcher) and a Chatelaine dragonfly freebie.  I'm hoping to have the latter finished by next week for the get-together in Atlanta.

Andy has been at "zoo camp" yesterday and today, and has been quite excited about it.  He "graduates" at 11:45, and then the four of us are going to have lunch together.  Amazing--I'm actually going to escape my office for a while!

Tomorrow night is date night for me and my beloved; we'll go out to dinner but we're not sure what's up after that. 

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Go Lance!

I'm currently listening to a live feed of the coverage of the current stage of the Tour de France.  Lance has the yellow jersey again, and barring disaster, I don't think he'll be letting it go.  Personally, I'm rooting for him to win number 6!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

The people at my church are sooo cool.

I took both kids (Andy, 4, and Owen, 20 months) to church today.  Now, this may seem like no big deal, but there are two things you need to know about Orthodox Christian services:  (1) the Divine Liturgy lasts for roughly two hours (some priests can get it done in an hour and a half, but Fr. Marcus takes his time and gets it done right, by golly), and (2) since Orthodox children are full members of the church from the moment of their baptism, there is no nursery.  Orthodoxy can therefore be quite ... challenging for those with young children.
 
Which brings me to my point about how much my fellow parishioners rock.  During the course of the service, Owen made a break for the altar twice and tried to scoot out the back door three times.  (This was in addition to the various other shenanigans he pulled that are simply too exhausting to enumerate.)  Each time, one of my fellow parishioners nabbed him and entertained him long enough for me to get there.  Even more amazingly, there were no frowns, no cleared throats, no sidelong glances.  Everyone accepts that having kids in church (and mine certainly aren't the only ones) means that the Liturgy is going to include a certain amount of "holy noise" from the kids.  But, for the most part, this is viewed less as a disruption of the service and more as a normal part of parish life.  Much like no one frowns as someone who sneezes during church, no one much minds if one of the kids fusses briefly, because sometimes, kids get fussy. 
 
Like I said, the people at my church rock.

Friday, July 16, 2004

You know you live in a warm climate when...

you walk out into an 80-Degree day and think, "wow, it's nice out here."  As of August 1, I wil have been in South Carolina for ten years, and this is the first summer I can truly say that the heat doesn't bother me.  I still stay inside on the hottest days, of course, but there was a time when I wouldn't have dreamed of venturing outside during July and August.  Now, 80 degrees seems like perfect gardening weather.
 
Ten years.... that's hard to wrap my brain around.  I'll pontificate more about that later.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

AAAAAARGH!!!

Normally, I love my job. Really, I do. But right now I have a couple of really major things that require my immediate and complete attention--and how do you give your immediate and complete attention to more than one thing at a time? (Cue the peanut gallery: It would help if you spent your time working instead of blogging). I have reached the stage of being paralyzed--I can't do everything, so I'm doing nothing. Not healthy for employer/employee relations, to say the least.

Breathe, Kirsten, breathe....

"The Supreme Court is whack"

So sayeth my friend Melissa, and she is ever so right. A couple of weeks ago, the Supremes decided a case called Blakely v. Washington, in which they ruled that the factual findings made in order to impose a sentence under the Washington State sentencing guidelines must be made not by the judge, but by a jury.

So what, you ask? Well, here's what: in 1987, Congress created the Federal Sentencing Commission, the job of which was to create a set of sentencing guidelines to ensure uniformity in federal sentencing. Under the guidelines, a federal judge imposing a sentence must make a series of factual determinations regarding a broad variety of questions. For example, if a defendant has been convicted of a robbery, the guidelines require the judge to consider, among other things: how much money was taken; were any weapons used; was anyone hurt; was the money taken to further another criminal enterprise; was the defendant the leader of the group; whether the defendant lied during his trial testimony; etc., etc., etc. If Blakely applies to the federal guidelines, all of these determinations will have to be made by a jury.

Again you ask, so what? And again, I'll tell you. If the guidelines are invalid, thousands and thousands of sentences imposed over the course of the last year or so are now invalid. And, until the applicability of Blakely to the guidelines is decided, thousands more cases (federal courts sentence roughly 75,000 defendants every year) are in limbo. As the Second Circuit so aptly noted in an order virtually begging the Supremes to do something, "chaos is imminent."

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping the Supreme Court will take action this summer. Even more, I'm hoping they will do the *right* thing.

Monday, July 12, 2004

I love rock & roll...

And that’s why I have a problem with Britney Spears and her ilk. This weekend my beloved and I were at the local pool hall. At one point, Britney’s cover of “I Love Rock & Roll” played on the TV set devoted to playing videos. Now, I am a child of the 80s, so Joan Jett’s version of that song is pretty much the standard for me. So naturally, I had to wonder if JJ has seen Britney’s version, and if she actually vomited while watching it. I mean, honestly, Britney wouldn’t know grit if it got between her perfect teeth. Her version is so synthetic, so utterly un-rocklike, that it’s hard to imagine why she bothered. Britney didn’t look tough writhing around on that motorcycle in the video. She just looked ... stupid.

A little while later, they played Christina Aguilera's "Dirty". I presume it was the editted version, because I couldn't really see what all the fuss was about--it seemed to be pretty standard MTV fare to me. What struck me, though, is that Christina has ten times the vocal talent that Britney has, and yet seems to be stuck in the popularity cellar. No accounting for taste, I suppose.

My inagural post

And I really haven't got anything brilliant to say at the moment. Y'all will just have to wait a bit. For now, I just want to see how this looks.