Interstellar Adventure
Adventure: the pursuit of life — Daniel Roy Wiarda

I love Sue

Friday, March 31, 2006

Canada's Doctor Ruth. This woman cracks me up! She's much more down-to-earth and laid back than Dr. Ruth, and much easier to understand. I catch her show on the Oxygen cable network. The other night, Nick and I were flippin' channels, and there she was. Stop there! I said. So we watched Sue. It's mostly a call-in show where viewers/listeners ask questions and get answers, advice and whatnot. And then she has product review segments and 'just for fun' suggestions. This particular show, my favorite calls were: God Bless Sue!

Ouch, That Smarts

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yeah, if you've never seen something painful, just watch this. This guy soooo needs to get over himself. I wonder where I can get my "NO T.O." t-shirt.

Viva La Raza

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

You've got to be kidding me. Watching the news last night, Nick and I stared, dumbfounded, at a mockery of a protest. Dallas ISD students were "protesting" the a Texas House and Senate resolution promoting support of an immigration bill under consideration in the US House and Senate. For two days now, Hispanic students in the DISD have walked out of school. They've marched on City Hall. Students walked from their schools and were hanging out of cars. Brilliant. An SUV full of teens joyriding driving in a vehicle to the protest were in an accident and a girl's hand was severed. The march itself isn't what I'm calling a mockery. It's their actions while there. News cameras showed them hoopin' and hollerin', running up and down the stairs in City Hall and wading and splashing in the fountain in front of City Hall. What started as a protest turned into a free-for-all day to skip school and play to the cameras. We are not criminals. I beg to differ. If you come to the United States illegally, you broke our law. If you came to the United States on a visa and then stayed past when you were allowed, you broke our law. If you bring your family with you and grandma doesn't have a visa, but you do, grandma broke our law. If you work without the proper documentation to work in this country, you broke our law. Breaking a law makes you a criminal. You, young lady, might not be a criminal, but those in this country illegally, working illegally, and using services they're not paying for, are criminals. If the Italians wanted to come, you'd welcome them with open arms. Actually, if millions of Italians were to come to the US illegally, I think I'd feel the same way. First of all, use an intelligent arguement. Second of all, I don't think you could present me with an arguement that could convince me that allowing anyone and everyone into my country with no thought to whether or not they should be there is a good thing. More than 11 million illegals (not just Hispanics mind you) being educated by my tax dollars, receiving medical treatment paid for with my tax dollars, living off my tax dollars...yeah, I'm good with that. Not. There is a legal method of entry into the US. Use it. If you get in, great. If you don't and you come anyway, I'm going to send you back home and I'm not going to let you come back.

I'll need to transfer you...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Act I Time: Last night Location: MegaPhoneCompany store Yes, I've ordered phone service online and I got this email saying you needed to confirm my identity. Hands over drivers license and credit card. Clerk looks up something on the computer and fills out a slip of paper with a phone number and a confirmation code. Call this number and give them this confirmation code. They'll give you a date when your service will be turned on. You'll probably have to call tomorrow because they're probably closed by now. Thank you. Exit. Act II Time: About 10:30 am Location: Office desk MegaPhoneCompany, Operator 1 speaking, how may I help you? Yes, I have ordered phone service and I have a confirmation code I need to provide so I can get a date when my service will be connected. OK, what is that order number? It should start with an I. I don't have an order number that starts with an I. I have a tracking number and the phone number. I ordered the service online. Oh, well then what's the phone number then? 555-1234 Thank you ma'am. What's that confirmation code? It should start with a P. Um, it starts with an F. FX12345Y Oh, they just left the P off, that's correct. OK. I see that you're in an area where your provided with MegaPhoneCompany's fiber-optic service. I'm going to have to transfer you to a fiber specialist. Hold please. Music plays in the background for around 5 minutes... Hello, this is Operator 2. How may I help you? Yes, I've ordered service and I'm trying to get a date for when that will be turned on. I gave my confirmation number to the girl before and she said I had to talk to a fiber specialist. Typing in the background. Um, yes ma'am. What's your account number? I don't have an account number. I have a tracking number and the phone number. I'm getting new service. Oh, yes ma'am. Let me verify that number. 555-1234 Yes ma'am. I do show an order for you. I'm going to need to transfer you to the orders department. Music plays in the background for awhile longer. Hello, this is Operator 3. May I have permission to access your account? Yes How may I help you today? I've ordered phone service and I need to get a date when my phone is going to be turned on. Yes please. What is your order number? I don't have an order number. I have a tracking number and the phone number. I ordered the service online. Oh, well what is that phone number? 555-1234 OK, yes ma'am. I see that your credit was approved and that your order has been cleared for activation. Let me transfer you to the orders department. Nearly falls out of chair thinking "I thought that's who you were! Music plays a while longer... Uh, yes ma'am. How can I help you today? I need to get a date for when my service will be turned on. Can I get your account number please? No, this is for new service Oh, well what's your order number please? I.Don't.Have.An.Order.Number. I have a phone number and I need to confirm when it will be turned on. 5 minutes later April 11 is the first available date the system is giving me. Um, that's not going to work for me. Isn't there something sooner? Well, let's see. Hmmm. OK, the system is giving me tomorrow at the earliest. That's much better, thank you. OK, while we're waiting for your order to clear, can I ask what you're using for your internet service. I'm not interested in switching my internet service. I just want my phone turned on. 5 minutes later after all the phone service features have been explained and new ones offered and free ones included. OK, your service is scheduled for intstallation tomorrow. Does anyone have to be present for the install? No ma'am, it's a service center activation so no one has to be present. OK, thank you. Thank you ma'am. Have a nice day.
I just hope I can get a dial tone!

Playin' Bas-ket-ball

Friday, March 24, 2006

At 4:15 yesterday Nick is frantically IMing me and calling me, trying to track me down. [16:15] supernick: URG!! Where are you? [16:27] interstellarlass: What up [16:27] supernick: Want to go to the Mavs game? [16:27] interstellarlass: when? [16:27] supernick: Tonight? [16:27] interstellarlass: who's going to watch the kids? [16:28] supernick: can we scrounge up a sitter? [16:28] interstellarlass: I don't know [16:28] supernick: what are the odds? [16:28] interstellarlass: let me call my grandparents [16:28] supernick: okay [16:32] interstellarlass: what time does the Mavs game start? [16:32] supernick: 7:30 [16:33] interstellarlass: yes we'll go [16:34] supernick: okay [16:35] supernick: I have the tickets and the parking pass in my hands. [16:35] supernick: We have Platinum parking [16:36] supernick: we're section 218, Row H seats 11 and 12 [16:38] interstellarlass: woo hoo The parking was great, the seats were great, the beer was expensive ($33 for 6 beers including bartender tip!), the turnovers were plentiful...at least from the Mavs. It was my first Mavs game of the season, and Nick's first NBA game period. We had soooo much fun! The Mavs Dancers did a routine to Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation. The Maniaacs were fun to watch too. And this guy Boogey Bob was a hoot! And when the drumline beat those drums, the AAC rocked! Dirk was almost perfect...had 51 points for the night...2 shy of his career record. I think he only missed 1 free throw all night long. But, in the end we lost at the buzzer. So sad. It was a tough game. Never more than 9 points apart no matter who was leading. And to lose on a buzzer shot! I did, however, get surprised with a green Mavs retro t-shirt with Diiiiirk's name on it. Thank you Nick-baby. I love you.

More DIY

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Nope, not a house project this time. I read a post over at Carnealian's blog that reminded me of something I need to do. Plan my own funeral! No, I'm not dying. At least that I know. But I've been thinking about it since my cousins' mom died back in February. She had the kind of funeral I don't want. And, to make sure I get what I want, I know I've got to plan it myself. So here's what I've got so far. First of all, I'm being cremated. There's no draining my blood and injecting me with chemicals. No thanks. I'll choose to be cremated instead. Then, I'll either have my ashes scattered somewhere or I'll turn myself into a gem. I think that's kind of cool. But then there's the "oops, I lost grandma" scenario when whoever loses the ring. Then, there's the party. Yeah. There will be no solemn, somber, sniveling, sad soiree for me. No solemn processional of cars with headlights on in the middle of the day. Nope! It'll be a hootin' hollerin' good time! Music! Fun! Food! Life! I think I'm going to call it the: "Interstellar Memorial "5K/10K - bake off - knit around - disco - fish fry - BBQ - square dance - karaoke - poker tournament - camp out - beer tasting" PartyFest. A little bit of everything. That's me. And you're all invited. There will be much festing and fun. And everyone has to share a memory of me. Not a made-up one. But a real one. Different people see different sides of me. Once I'm gone, it'll be time to share! What's one thing that you absolutely want or don't want to happen when you die?

Sneak Preview

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I had poker at my house Friday night. Couple of girlfriends, green beer and guacamole. I didn't start off too good, but my friend Judy and I ended up the last two in. We were tired, so we played Indian Poker to declare a final winner. One card on your forehead...
I spent the rest of the weekend on my bathroom. I don't think you can see it real well, but this is the 80's style wall paper that was in my bathroom to start.
Here's the Sneak Preview. The Bathroom. It's almost done now. Walls painted in Frost White, cabinets and trim painted in Beluga Black. Floor tile almost down. I'm a few pieces short, so I have to go pick some more up. Oh, and a new shower curtain too!
Update: Shame on me! I've gotta give some mad props to Nick! He picked up the old tiles off the floor and even had to use dangerous chemicals to get all the glue up. Poor thing almost burned his leg off with acetate, but he did an awesome job! Way to go baby!
Oh, and my lovely shawl is done too. I ended up using some chenille yarn that I already had for the trim. Still. Between the new knitting needles, the yarn and the time and labor, this is one expensive shawl!
I'm now working on crocheting this bag. I've already ripped it out twice. But I think I have the stitch down now. It helps when you start it right!

Rainy Days and Mondays

Monday, March 20, 2006

It rained. All.Weekend. Oh, except for Saturday morning. Elle's team won their soccer game despite damp conditions and cold winds. The rain is supposed to clear out. I wish Terrell Owens would. Vintage Jerry Jones. T.O. will end up being a bust. But I don't care. Gives me just another reason to root against the home team.

Learn to crochet

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Like I need another hobby! Last night I went to the first of three learn-to-crochet classes with my grandmother. My great-grandmother, Roma, was a fantastic chrochet-er. Sadly, she passed at 91 years young several years ago. She made beautiful afghans for my grandparents and my uncles. One of my uncles wants a new afghan in the copy of a pattern my great-grandmother did. He had one, but his ex-wife kept it after their divorce. Now one of my cousins has it, and my uncle doesn't want to take it from him. So, my uncle has asked my grandmother to make him one. Except he wants one that's 6' x 9'. He's a tall guy. 6'9". Soooo, since this is a difficult pattern, and the size of the afghan is so large, my grandmother has asked me to help her make it. I, of course, agreed. Last night we learned to create a foundation chain, the chain stitch, turning your work, and the single crochet stitch. I practiced when I got home and made a nice, even rectangle. Woo Hoo!

Painters cramp

Monday, March 13, 2006

Baseboards removed, wall spackled & sanded, cabinet doors removed, two coats of primer, texturizer mixed in the paint, two coats of paint on the walls, cabinets taped off, and one coat of paint on the cabinets. My legs ache, my back aches and I'm still not done. To make matters worse, we washed the shower curtain, which is the inspiration for the colors in the bathroom. Well, the pattern is now coming off the shower curtain. Now I've got to find another one just like it or similar. Sidenote: Zed is off to camp this week. Fifth grade goes to a 'science camp'. It's his first time away from home for an entire week without a family member. I'm worried. He's only been overnight with church before.

More Proof

Friday, March 10, 2006

Yes, more proof that my husband is the most fantastic man in the world! On one of our first dates, I mentioned a song that I'd heard on the radio and that I hadn't been able to find the CD in any of the stores. Well, the very next date, I had a copy of the song I'd been looking for. At Christmas, I ended up with the entire album the song was on. That's just the kind of thoughtful guy he is. Yesterday, that thoughtful guy struck again. On Wednesday night we were chatting at our wonderful dinner, and I started talking about this song I'd heard on the radio when I was a kid. We're talking late elementary, early junior high here. I thought it was a funny song, and I catch myself singing it every now and then. Problem is I could only remember a couple of lines and I could never find it anywhere. Last night I got home and Nick had gone off to his writing group. Sitting on the kitchen counter was a CD and a note:
Wife, Listen to this. Love, Husband
I put the CD in the CD player, and what comes out? Moose in My House. (Click the link, click Play Now, select settings.) HA HA HA! It made me laugh! OK, so maybe this shows what a doofus I am and the kind of stupid humor I enjoy. I hope you do too! As a bonus, check this out. I want to be this lady when I get old!

Why I didn't win the lottery last night

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Because, duh, I didn't buy a ticket! How the hell am I going to stop working and play all day if I don't win the lottery! On the other hand, I had a fantastic dinner with my husband. It's so nice to actually have conversation at dinner. And not just about stupid stuff. We talk about politics, religion, the future, the past, our feelings, our frustrations, our joys for the day. Talking to him feels so natural and always has since I met him. I made a damn good decision to marry him. So last night we enjoyed our pizza and beer and conversation. Then we stopped by Starbucks for a couple of lattes and some breakfast blend beans for in the morning. Even though we have a grinder at home we had them grind it. Just easier than messing with it in the morning, you know? And we watched Walk the Line. I really liked it. It made me cry because I thought it was such a sweet love story. I was really impressed with their singing, and in a couple of shots, Joaquin really looked like Johnny Cash.

Am I right or wrong?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Elle and Zed spent this last weekend with their dad. When they got home Sunday night, they unpacked their bags, putting dirty clothes away. I was watching the Academy Awards and knitting. Elle came out from her room and handed me a photo book. Evidently, her dad bought this photobook for her and gave her pictures to put in it. I was flipping through, looking at times my kids had spent with their dad and my ex-in-laws. Then, there she was. A smiling, happy photo of my daughter and his girlfriend. My heart sank and I wanted to cry. Why had he included that photo? Ditto in my son's photobook that he brought out. Now, I know that she is there when my kids are sometimes. She's there when I drop them off, or I hear her stupid yippy dog in the background when my kids call me about something. But why does there have to be a picture of her in my kids stuff? I wouldn't send a picture of the kids and Nick to their dad's house. My ex-father-in-law doesn't have pictures of his ex-wife at his house with his new wife. So, when I talked to their dad on Monday, reminding them of the school care location change during Spring Break, I told him I thought that was rather insensitive of him. He said the kids picked the pictures. I know she's probably going to end up being a permanent part of my ex's life and by extension my kids' life, just like Nick is part of ours now, but like I said, I'm not sending family photos of us with them when they go visit their dad. Am I being hyper-sensitive?
By overwhelming majority, it is evident that I am being a big baby. I figured as much, which is why I asked. I must now apologize for being a jealous mom and a big whiner. I can rarely admit when I'm wrong, and I will do so. I just don't like it that my babies are so happy to see her and I'm just a sidenote to them at this point. I make the rules and enforce the rules. I make them do chores and homework and this girl takes my daughter for manicures and pedicures. You would have been disappointed in me when I wanted to chew her out for changing my baby girl's earrings. Big deal! I know, but these are my babies. And no, I don't think their dad has the right to feel the same way about Nick...their dad made the choice to walk out on his kids. Ooops. There I go...petty again. So I'm not perfect...who knew?

Project Progress

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Nope, different project. I'm project ADD you know. I didn't get any knitting done, but I did get all the rest of the wallpaper in my bathroom stripped down. I'm taking down horrid 1980 called and it wants it's wallpaper back wallpaper. Stripping wallpaper is a pain in the butt. Especially behind the toilet. That's just not a fun job, ya know? Tonight I plan to put on a coat of primer. That's all I'll have time for after Elle's soccer practice. Tomorrow I'll start painting. I knew you were just dying to see pictures of my soon-to-be-shawl. I mean, how can I withhold such beauty from you until it's all done! I will make progress on this later though. What to do for an hour while Elle's running? Yes, this is my $29.00-a-skein yarn and my $20.00 bamboo knitting needles! I promise it's not a heart-shaped shawl. The circular needles keep the stitches all bunched up together, so that's what gives it that shape right now.

Why I sat on the couch all afternoon Sunday

Monday, March 06, 2006

Nick asked if I was going to blog about the Oscars. I said I didn't know. Here's all I have to say: Uma Thurman, Charlize Theron, Felicity Huffman, Reese Witherspoon, Keira Knightly, Michelle Williams, Jessica Alba -- Fabulous Dresses. Philip Seymour Hoffman...I love him. I didn't think Jon Stewart did that good of a job hosting, but he was OK for his first year I guess. There. On Saturday, I bought some yarn. Expensive yarn. I didn't mean to. It just kind of happened. It wasn't even the yarn I was looking for. I was wanting to make a cute shrug I found in a magazine, but out of the thousands of skeins of yarn in this yarn store, they didn't have the weight/color combination I was looking for. I was with my grandma. She was buying some yarn to finish a scarf for herself. Near the checkout was a gorgeous shawl made in a mohair/rayon boucle mix with a chenille fringe. I picked it up and knew I had to have one just like it. The lady at the counter told me it was a very easy shawl to make. The yarn basket was right next to the checkout. I picked the first color I saw in the basket and knew that was it. Poppies. Fourth row, fifth from left. The color in the sample isn't quite right online though. It's more of a rich scarlet jewel-tone red rather than a orangy-pinkish color. Once I get the shawl done, I have to go back to find the fringe. They didn't have quite the right color. But the fringe will be made from this, possibly the 3600 color. It only took two skeins of the La Boheme, but they were $29.00 each. Oh, and $20.00 for a pair of size 17, circular bamboo knitting needles. And I didn't even buy the skein of yarn for the fringe! I've never bought such expensive yarn! But it's knitting up beautifully! I'll post a picture when I'm done. I'm about half-way through in just a day. If you knit, this is sooo easy. On size 17 circular needles; CO 3 stitches; K1, YO, Knit to end. Repeat until you have approximately 4 yards of yarn remaining. Bind off knitwise. Then add fringe in the stiches created from the YO stitch. If you don't knit, and you end up falling in love with the finished product, I might be talked into knitting one for you if you pay for the yarn!

Setting the bar for cheap-o's everywhere

Friday, March 03, 2006

I heard a story recently. Someone was telling me how cheap their friend's boyfriend is. And he's not cheap out of neccessity. He makes plenty of money. How cheap is this guy? 1) He buys his clothes second-hand. Suits, shoes, jeans, everything. 2) He drives an old station wagon. You know, the kind with the wood panels on the side? Yep, that one. 3) He cuts his own hair. Huh? I mean how is that even possible? 4) He washes his hair with dog shampoo. Hey! At least he doesn't have fleas! Yes, I'm serious about the dog shampoo. This girl was at her boyfriend's house, was going to take a shower and finds dog shampoo. WTF?!?! Evidently, this guy's neighbors moved and gave him a box of stuff. Including dog shampoo. But they guy doesn't have a dog. He needs shampoo though, so he uses the dog shampoo! Am I just hoity-toity, or is this guy the King of Cheap?

It was marked down!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Nick and I went shopping last night. He needed some new jeans and shirts. We chose JC Penney as our store. Not knowing it, we walked into a sale! Woo Hoo! We located some jeans and a couple of shirts. The jeans we were looking at were Buy 1 Get 1 50% off. The shirts were on sale too. Almost 50% off. While Nick was in the dressing room, I wandered over to another area where they had shirts on sale for *gasp* $3.77! Holy crap! They were just like one of the shirts he was trying on, but I think they were 'fall colors' which is why they were on sale. But hell, for $3.77! So I took them to him. One of the pairs of jeans he tried on was too big, so I went to find another pair. Then I saw some jeans that were $14.99. Whoa! Bonus! After he decided on which jeans he wanted, we tried to find one pair in a smaller size. We didn't find the smaller size, but we found the same pair of jeans (normally priced $34.99) marked down to $6.77. HELL YEAH! It was the exact same pair of jeans, same color, same style, same everything...except one pair was marked down and the others weren't! We walked to the register with two pairs of jeans and four shirts. Shirt 1, regularly $36.00, on sale for $19.99. Shirt 2, regularly $46.00, on sale for $24.99. Shirts 3 & 4, regularly $34.00, on clearance for $3.77. Jean 1, regularly $30.00, on sale for $14.99. Jean 2, regularly $34.99, on clearance for $6.77! Total for 2 jeans and 4 shirts, $80.41. Getting a heck of a deal: Priceless!

One Moment

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

While I'm in the theme of posting things that I thought about awhile back, I figured I might as well respond to a question I saw. If you could step back in time and re-experience a moment in your life what would that experience be. You can't change it, just experience it. Why did you choose that moment? It's similar to Bone's Groundhog Day post. Except there's nothing I would or could change about this day. I picked this day because it's probably the most perfect day I can imagine.
A random summer day. Perhaps I'm 10 or 11 or 12. My mom, dad, sisters and brother have driven down to Friendswood to visit my great-grandparents. In the morning, the house is cool with the airconditioning running. My great-grandparents always kept the temperature pretty high when we weren't there so they'd have a lower electricity bill. I tiptoe out of the room so I don't wake my sister. The morning light is just beginning to filter in from behind the lace curtains. I sit down in the hallway, pulling my night shirt over my legs, and just listen to my great-grandfather work in the kitchen. I can smell the coffee. I listen to him crack the eggs in the bowl. I listen to him use a fork to mix the eggs, the metal clinking against the side of the colored Pyrex bowl. Bacon is sizzling in the cast-iron skillet on the gas stove. I hear the refridgerator open and close. My great-grandmother comes back in with the dogs. The dogs head back to the office, tags jingling on their collars, toenails clicking on the linoleum. My great-grandmother comes out into the living room and sees me sitting in the hall. Good morning! she sings. Come have a glass of juice. I follow her out into the breakfast room. She fills a tiny juice glass with orange juice and I sip on it. I ask my great-grandma if I can go outside and pick some morning glories for the breakfast table. I run out on the concrete drive in my bare feet, through the dew-soaked grass and pluck several blooms from the bush cascading over the fence. My sister and my mom trickle in. My great-grandfather finishes the hotcakes. Eat up! he said. I've got more on the griddle! My sister and I bet each other how many hotcakes we can eat. At least a dozen! I insist. With my pancakes, I drink the sweet-cream milk my great-grandfather purchased that morning. Eventually, we sit back, stuffed, eyes glazed. Was it good? asked my great-grandfather. Oh yes grandpa! we answered. The afternoon was slow. I rocked in the rocking chair. My sister and I went to play outside. The air was thick and humid. The grass in the front was a bit tall. The cicadas were singing in the trees. We played hide and seek. We plucked the seed pods off the tree from out front. We peeled the pods apart, seeing who could leave all the seeds in their little nooks. We'd scoop all the seeds together, and then grind them up. Later, we walked down to Mary's Crossing. We ran back and forth across the one-car wooden bridge that crossed Mary's Creek, listing to the way our feet thudded against the planks. We threw stones in the water, trying to skip the rocks across the top. Slowly, we wandered back to the house for lunch and maybe a nap. I read or colored or looked through the antique photo albums. I looked through the albums as if it were the first time I'd seen them. Daugerrotype photos of my great-great-grandparents...and their parents. Photos of my great-grandparents as kids. I studied the names listed so I wouldn't forget who they were and how I was related to them. We went out for dinner. My great-grandpa wanted to go to Luby's. Get the cripple sign out of our car Lass so your mom can park close at the mall. After dinner, my mom, great-grandmother and I played Scrabble. They wouldn't let me spell any two, three or four-letter words. All my words had to be five letters or more. Otherwise I couldn't play. I didn't win though. My great-grandma won. Before bed, I took a bath. Even though it was the summer, I made my great-grandpa light the gas-heater in the bathroom. I soaked in the tub, listening to gas in the heater burn. My sister knocked on the door and yelled at me to hurry up. It was her turn. I put on my night shirt and my mom brushed my hair. I laid in bed, under the cool, soft cotton sheets. My hair was still wet. I listened to the crickets chirping in the back yard. I could hear my great-grandma out in the kitchen doing dishes. I couldn't wait to wake up for biscuits the next morning.