First Lessons from College

I Thought We Were Supposed To Get Answers, by Cayusa @ FlickrLesson 1:  Pay Attention

Several weeks ago I went and got the study packets when I was finding out about returning to school.  The lady at the admissions desk was very kind, I was my usual charming self (not flirtatious, but charming in that Southern Way I’ve picked up over my adult life), exchanging pleasantries, blah blah, she gets the packets, writes a note at the top of the math packet, highlights some stuff up there, gives me the English packet, explains that I don’t need an appointment, take the exams by the 27th, blah blah, transcripts, blah.

Lesson 2: Read the Instructions

I bring the pile of papers home, set them on my desk, fetch all my old math texts, fold the cover page and the introductions over  to open the math packet to the first problems and start diving in.  First five pages is elementary school/ middle school math, no problems, then some very basic algebra, some geometry, nothing I don’t still master, ’bout page 20 I start seeing secants and quadratics and irrational numbers and radicals, and I start working and referencing, and looking up and trying to remember, and working sample problems.  I’ve been working at getting enough of a handle on enough of the material that even if parts of it escape me, I can come back to it over the summer and give it my full attention, and in the meantime still get enough questions right to pass the test.

Fast Forward to today.

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Happy Birthday, Lady

Lady at the GateIn a cosmic coincidence of large enough proportion to raise the eyebrows of friends and neighbors, today is Kevin’s birthday.  It’s also the birthday of  the Lady at the Gate, pictured here.

She’s somewhat sexier than Kevin (no hard feelings, mate), and a little curvier in all the right places.  She doesn’t blog, so I can’t give her any link love.

I thought I’d have a lot to say for this post, and have spent several weeks putting it together in the back of my head.  As it turns out, It’s all just gilding the lily, and I don’t want to share it.  (Some of it would have probably gotten me a divorce anyway, ’cause she’s somewhat more private than I tend to be.)

Happy Birthday, Lady.  I love you, and that is all that needs be said, in the end.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Lady at the Gate, and was taken my me at the gates of Windsor Castle, UK.  You can click it to embiggen it.

Change in Canine Strategy

Shakespeare CoolAt least he’s given up barking for attention. That drove me nuts for a while.

When he wants attention now, he’s big enough to just take it. Here I sit, minding my own damned business, probably writing some drivel or other, and suddenly my arm is ripped away from the keyboard.

Shakespeare.

He wriggles his nose up under my arm, pushing upwards. As soon as he sees daylight, he pushes through the hole like an NFL power running back through a Pop Warner defense until he’s got all 80 pounds of his golden haired body across my lap, keyboard drawer pushed unceremoniously out of the way, keyboard and mouse wherever they land, tail of destruction wagging frantically, smashing whatever is in the way.

“Scratch my back, or I’ll head-butt you and give you a wet willy,” he says with eyes looking up and back to me, smiling cockily.

I comply.

I’m no idiot, and I’m well trained. Plus, getting two gallons of dog slobber out of my ear takes like forever.

From whence came the art:

That cameraphone snapshot is of Shakespeare, and was taken by Little John.

The Wisdom of Little John

Little John Conquers the WorldSo I’m speaking to my wife, and the subject of her father comes up. It’s a little touchy, understandably, so I’m gently joking a bit.

I mentioned that I re-read Thanks for All the Squirrels yesterday, and I made myself cry a little. (Ok, I did have to wipe a few tears, to be perfectly honest.)

“I’m a big sissy,” I say.

John pipes up:

“Well just because you got a dick between your legs don’t mean you can’t cry.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Dad would have been proud, I think.

Happy Coffee Pots and Sad Connections

I made this cup of coffee and it danced for meI’m a coffee addict. I drink a couple pots a day, which probably isn’t terribly healthy. With that kind of (over)usage, I tend to go through coffee pots fairly quickly. Usually, I’m happy to get a year or two out of them, so I don’t bother spending a great deal of money on them.

Last year, on Mother’s Day, my $10 Sunbeam decided it had had enough, and just stared angrily at me, rather than make my damned coffee. Recalcitrant jerk. It was Sunday, it was Mother’s Day, it was 6 A Fracking M. How terribly rude and inconvenient. Fortunately, Wal-Mart is open, even on Sunday, even on Mother’s Day, even at 6 A Fracking M.

It took some time, and was somewhat later in the morning before I actually got out the door, but I came home with my very first Mother’s Day present (from myself). I decided I’d splurge, and see if I could get more life out of something more expensive. It was sleek, black, and had a cappuccino / espresso maker attached. It was awesome, and I looked forward to the occasional chokalokacappuccino mocha latte ramalamadingdong.

Sadly, by Father’s Day, the thing would take like an hour to brew a pot of coffee, and gurgled and wheezed and caused the windows to rattle and I got the occasional complaint from the neighbors. I could always tell when they had planned on sleeping late in the morning by the evil stares across the yard in the afternoon. I had brewed too early. Still, I was determined to get my fifty bucks worth, and I’ve put up with the rattling, groaning, overpriced piece of garbage for over a year now.

This morning, the neighbors are happy. They are asleep in their beds, contentedly dreaming of JanieBelle and Kate and Lilith and Lucifer, whilst I sit here writing nonsense, enjoying freshly and quietly brewed joe. Little John, his own father now a permanent resident of California, surprised me with a beautiful white cheapo coffee pot for Father’s Day, and I love it dearly already.

But this Father’s Day brings me strange and sad news already as well.

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Nobility, Honor, Honesty, Integrity

Fine words and fine sentiments. Goals for which we strive, and rightly so, I think.

I tend to see things in black and white. Sometimes I forget we are just humans, and humans are messy creatures. There is always the constant struggle between what we want and desire for ourselves and what is right for us and those around us. Life is not always right and wrong, but sometimes a sliding scale of amorphous choices, in which nobility and honor and honesty and integrity are a subjective judgement of actions or character, imposed by history in retrospect.

Who is more noble, Ashley Wilkes or Lancelot? Who had more honor, in the end? Which was more honest, and which had integrity? Can we fairly judge, not having been in either of their shoes exactly? Are we hypocrites all? Are these questions just philosophical masturbation?

Perhaps, just perhaps, they were both just human after all.

Or perhaps, you’re just reading the ravings of a sleep deprived mad man.

The one is as likely as the other, I think.

Our Kama Sutra

mistranslations

Click the pic to go read more xkcd. Great comic strip.

HT: Berlzebub