Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wait . . . what??? It can't be!!

Hoping all my blogging buddies get a good start on 2014. With my academic pursuits at an end, I plan to devote more time & energy to my recreational writing here in the New Year, but I'll need to dust off my sense of humor, first. I know it's around here somewhere....

Anyway, here's one of my favorite renditions of Auld Lang Syne, performed by Salsa Celtica. Brass, congas, banjo, and bagpipe -- something to annoy for everyone!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday

 This Yule Dog is decked out for the holidays, and just in time! Now to start on baking those cookies for Santa Paws....

Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Even though my own holiday budget is in the negative figures, that hasn't stopped me from browsing the interwebs to seek out some great gift ideas. I hope you'll find someone on your own list who deserves one of these treats:
Get in the holiday spirit with
Trout Schnapps

Gives a whole new twist to the slogan "Taste the rainbow!" I am presuming that the schnapps itself is trout-flavored, and not intended for consumption by trout, because that would just be silly! (Then again, where did the expression "drinks like a fish" originate?) The Scandinavian in me wants to believe that Trout Schnapps would make a fine accompaniment to our holiday Smörgåsbord, the perfect thing to wash down Uncle Trygve's lutefisk. Apparently Gunnison Liquors in Colorado is the sole purveyor of this gustatory delight. It's not clear whether or not they'll ship, but it might be worth a trip out there to take advantage of the Senior Discount and Free Bag of Ice with $5 purchase.

When you've had your fill of Trout Schnapps, it's time to try out the
Power Nap Head Pillow

It's a good thing that this pillow conceals one's identity, because I sure wouldn't want to be seen in public wearing one! On the other hand, I'll probably be wishing I had this the next time I'm traveling by air, because nothing says "Leave me alone!" quite like dressing up as a human Obie Doll.  Anyway, the Power Nap Pillow is available from that purveyor of pricey and preposterous provisions, Hammacher Schlemmer. The online catalog touts the benefits of this pillow for creating the perfect "microenvironment ideal for achieving a deep, restful sleep whether stranded in a crowded airport or recharging between meetings at work." You apparently use the "ear pockets" to keep your hands from rolling off the desk when using the pillow thusly:

So I might like one of these for the office. It's a bit expensive, though, at $99.95. But getting enough rest? Priceless.

Is that drool running down your chin, or are your creative juices flowing after that rejuvenating nap? Then Crafting With Cat Hair

is the book for you! But beware -- apparently if you only have one cat and limited patience, you're pretty much stuck with making finger puppets. Smelly, itchy finger puppets. But if you're really ambitious, my trolling on Pinterest gives me to understand that there are entrepreneurial types who will sell their felines' fur -- enough, perhaps, to knit a coat for your Tabby, which might be much appreciated if your harvesting brushing was a bit overzealous.

That ought to get you started on your own holiday gift shopping. I'm pretty much going to be a cheapskate thrifty this year and will be re-gifting some unread books, too-small Tshirts, and that "Life of Jesus" VHS tape I got in the mail, but there just might be a special someone on my list who can use a dachshund hair pencil cozy --  so I'm going to go take a nap and wake up inspired!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Wraparound Edition

Japanese Exhibition Poster

Thanks to fellow Blue-Blogger-In-A-Red-State, Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein, for finding and sharing today's wienerdog art! It's a mobius strip in dachshund form, you might say.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, It's a Sign edition

Back from Beantown, where I spotted this doxie darling in a shop window while bopping around the North End. It's a sign. A sign that I am destined to take up residence in the City on a Hill, once I find work there. And with 100+ colleges and universities in the greater Boston area, it should be just a matter of time. Maybe a long time, but still . . . .

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Meh, words to live by edition

I've  been not giving a damn a lot lately, especially about those things that are beyond my control. I recommend this outlook. But I don't give a damn if you agree or not.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday meh . . .

Please stand by, friends . . . I've just submitted my comprehensive exam and have to catch up on some other stuff that's in need of attention before I head for a conference in Beantown on Wednesday. I'll be sure and do a little celebrating, though. 

Meanwhile, if you hear of any Program Director or Student Support openings at a college or university near you, please let me know! 

Back in a week,

Intelliwench, M.A. (almost)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Play Dead Edition

It's a little early to celebrate Día de Los Muertos, but this bit of Wienerdog art by Julie Ellison  is timely nonetheless. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday meh

I'm looking for a green sofa on wheels so I can dress as this painting for Halloween (I'll put pointy cat ears on Scooter Pie).

Woman sleeping with a black cat, by Polish artist 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Dachtoberfest Continued...

The Frankenmuth Brewery in Michigan has used wienerdogs in its advertising and on its labels throughout the company's150- year history. Scooter Pie is a bit of a bierhund herself. She watches alertly whenever intellikid or I enjoy a bottle of beer at home, and waits (not so patiently!) for her turn to get the last drops when we're done. Her favorite? Yuengling's Black and Tan, of course!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday (not so) meh . . .

. . . Unless you're a Detroit Tigers fan, or player. 
(Boston Globe photo from game 2 of the ALCS)

Admittedly, I am a fair weather fan when it comes to paying attention to sports, but it's hard not to get caught up in the championship excitement. Nevertheless, I wouldn't mind if the Red Sox wrapped up the World Series in 4 games straight like in '07.  

Any other Sox fans in the Sisterhood?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday

While browsing for this week's offering, I discovered the works of Polish artist Kacper Kiec, whose little dachshund here has its sights set skyward. 

See more of the artist's weird and wonderful collages here: http://kacper-kiec.tumblr.com

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Meh, Front Page Edition

My own Monday is going much better than that of a recently unemployed police officer here in Bubbaville, who made front page news in last week's edition of The Tomahawk. You have to read it to believe it, folks:

Officer Loses Job After Firing at Squirrel in Store

Yes this was really front-page news:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Since Ol' Buzzard Asked . . . .

Now you don't have to imagine a wienerdog dog sled:

You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Apfelhund Edition

Nothing like crisp autumn mornings, freshly picked apples, and happy wiener dogs on a sunny October day. 

(Artist, Cindi Lynch: http://www.etsy.com/listing/26896670/dachshund-apples-lynch-print-weiner-dog)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Meh, Coffee Me Edition

It's gonna be one of those Mondays. Meh.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Dachtoberfest Edition

It's Dachtoberfest! Grab a short-legged dog and a tall beer and celebrate with us.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Meh, Too Much of a Good Thing edition

I've always loved learning, being a student, and BOOKS! But here, in the last semester of my M.A. program, it's all a little too much. As long as everthing goes according to plan, though, I'll be DONE just before Thanksgiving.

Crap - that only gives me 2 months to read & write all I need to read & write!           

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Ooh-la-la edition

Animal lover, movie star, and iconic sex symbol Brigitte Bardot is pictured here with her wienerdog buddy. Let's wish Brigitte an early Happy Birthday - she'll turn 79 on Saturday. Woof!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday meh, Best Face Forward edition

This is my Monday face.  Especially on Mondays when I've been awake since 4:15.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's Only A Number

Not my bed.
What's my sleep number? I need a new bed. I've needed one for some time, actually, but I keep finding excuses not to spend the money, or the money disappears from my bank account altogether. Nevertheless, having spent last month's vacation sleeping on beds of much more recent vintage than my own, which was purchased during the Regan administration, I have to acknowledge that I can no longer attribute my morning aches and pains to "sleeping wrong"  or mere aging. For once, it's not me -- it's definitely the bed.

I did spend a recent couple of hours mattress-testing, but was overwhelmed by the myriad options and, of course, the price tags. Do I want a pillow top? Plush or plush-firm? Memory foam with -- or without -- the cooling gel option? How much sleep will I lose by plunking down a whole month's pay on a new mattress and box spring, no matter how heavenly it feels to lie down on such a bed in the showroom? And then there's the matter of size. I currently have a queen, but would it make more sense, economically, to downsize to a full set, or would the need to purchase new bedding cancel out any savings? 

Alas, my bed-mate, Scooter Pie, doesn't really care what sleeping surface she uses, as long as she gets her half, so no help there. And -- here's where it gets kind of sad -- I caught myself thinking, maybe one day I'll be sharing the bed with a bigger-than-dachshund-sized dog, so I'd best stick with the queen sized set. No, no --  it's not sad that I'm acknowledging Scooter Pie's certain demise one of these days. It's sad that I no longer entertain even the prospect of entertaining a human in my bed. 

Or it was sad, for a bit, until I realized that I really don't care anymore. I no longer peruse the profiles on Match.com, GreenSingles.com, or even that site for those of us aged 50-plus. I used to log on to the singles sites much the same way I would go shopping online, optimistic that I would find something that fit, and if I tried something that didn't work for me, I could always send it back. Any hopefulness I would experience has  been replaced with the realization that, no matter how far beyond my own zip code here in Bubbaville I look, I'm not going to find love on an online dating site. But that's okay -- I know that there's nothing for me at Victoria's Secret, too, so I'm not going to waste my time even looking either place.

As for stumbling across a prospective mate in real life, well, that hasn't yielded any better results. Sure, there's that separated guy in my building at work who said he missed me when I was on vacation, compliments my smile, and even brought me some chocolates the other day; but in my book, separated isn't single and, in spite of his decidedly attractive cerebral qualities, he's really not all that when it comes to his views on god and guns. Some things I just can't compromise on. And anyway, since my hormones have pretty much packed up and left, these days the only stirrings in my loins happen when I'm too far from a restroom after having a second cup of coffee in the morning.

Having realized that my sleep number is a one, though, doesn't make the prospect of mattress shopping any easier. Maybe I'll take Scooter Pie along next time.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Relativity Edition

Evidently the physics-defying properties of dachshunds captured ol' Albert Enstein's imagination. And speaking of relativity, resident wienerdog Miss Scooter Pie had her 14th birthday earlier this week. Long dogs have long lives, apparently!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday meh, Aaaaahhh-chooo! edition

I have a cold. Meh. Hope your Monday sees you feeling well. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday

It doesn't seem logical, but Leonard Nimoy is a dachshund lover, too!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday meh, WTF edition

I have no idea what's going on here -- but I'm okay with that.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Different Point of View

A number of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to exchange my rain-soaked view (see previous post) for something much better when friends in Canada welcomed me along on their vacation to picturesque Lake Chandos, a couple hours northeast of Toronto. I had been planning a couple days' "staycation" once my summer responsibilities for the Institute ended, but screw that -- I decided that everyone at home could fend for themselves while I vacated northward to relax and reboot. 

Back home now, I'm trying to hold on to some shreds of my vacation-induced zen while enduring the dysfunctionality and disaster that make up my work days, also getting through this final semester of study for my M.A. degree (which hopefully is the ticket out of the former!), and last but not least, balancing the appropriate measures of patience, supportiveness, and ass-kicking that my daughter requires to get her back on the path to becoming an independent adult. So far, so good, but it's only the second week of September. 

Here at home I may not have a lake just outside my door, but I do have a new perspective, I think, focused less on what I need to do for others, and more on what I want -- and, dare I say it, NEED -- to do for myself. Imagine that....

Now, if the dog would only realize that she doesn't need to have breakfast at 4:30 a.m....

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Through a Screen Damply

(or, "Special Weather Statement in Effect Until Further Notice)

This is the view out my bedroom window this morning. This has been the view out my bedroom most mornings during the month of July. Our region has been "blessed" with near-daily thundershowers -- total rainfalls are in the double-digits --  and so, flash floods and dampened spirits have been epidemic for what is beginning to seem like forever.

Long-time readers, all three of you, may remember that this is the time of year when the stress level at  my job switches from "easily forgotten with a glass of wine at dinner" to "please-please-please-don't-let-me-kill-any-body-this-week." It's the time when the summer institute I am in charge of goes live, and my colleagues and I play host to adult students from across the country for a month of (their) professional development. Since enrollment is less than half of its usual 40-some participants (a statistic that brings its own stressors), one might be tempted to believe that things would go fairly smoothly this time around. Alas, one would be rudely shaken from that belief when, a week in to the Institute, the phone rings just before noon on a Sunday with the news that a participant is in the local emergency room with what may be congestive heart failure. 

Luckily, that participant is back in class and doing well, her diet being closely watched by her classmates who won't let her within 50 yards of a salt shaker to avoid further fluid retention. 

A fairly uneventful week was then followed by the sight of a participant limping in to the classroom with a request to be taken to the infirmary. Crutches and  RICE therapy have gotten him almost fully mobile a week later. 

The phone message that was waiting for me this past Monday, though, informed me that another participant was in the hospital, this time with a possible TIA (aka, mini-stroke). After two days they discharged her with the okay to return to her already restricted "normal" activities (she suffers from a seizure disorder). 

By this time, I'm thinking that running a camp for 200 high school wrestlers would be a piece of cake compared to overseeing my 20 mostly-middle-aged educators, but that position's not vacant so I'm stuck here until August. 2.

I guess one bright spot is that the weather forced cancellation of that canoe trip thingy I always dread.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Meh

Trinity Church reflected in Hancock Building, Boston (Source: Corbis)
Many of you know that my daughter attends college in Boston -- thankfully she has been in touch and is safe on campus, far enough from the scene of the explosions that turned the Boston Marathon's finish line into a scene from a nightmare.  
My heart is breaking for the city and the people of Boston. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Walk on the Wild Side Edition

Thanks to alert guild member and Photo Sleuth extraordinaire Brett Payne, today we discover more celebrity wienerdogs. Brett's sleuthing turned up this photo of Lou Reed and friend:

Some sleuthing of my own revealed that Lou was owned by two dachshunds early in his career, The Baron and The Duke. Apparently they were camera shy. Or else Lou spilled something interesting on his pants and shirt. 

It may be that Lou got the idea to be a doxie proxy from Andy Warhol. Oh, those were crazy times....

This last is not one of Lou's doggies, just a fan:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Meh, MLK edition

The Problem We All Live With, Norman Rockwell

One of the most disheartening experiences for those who grew up in the years when Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall were alive is to visit public schools today that bear their names, or names of other honored leaders of the integration struggles that produced the temporary progress that took place in the three decades after Brown v. Board of Education, and to find out how many of these schools are bastions of contemporary segregation. It is even more disheartening when schools like these are not in deeply segregated inner-city neighborhoods but in racially mixed areas where the integration of a public school would seem to be most natural, and where, indeed, it takes a conscious effort on the part of parents or school officials in these districts to avoid the integration option that is often right at their front door.

Jonathan Kozol, "Still Separate, Still Unequal"

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Literary Edition

Read excerpts HERE

Just back from a hurried road trip to Boston and back. The drive North was made more entertaining by the audio version of The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs, recommended some time ago by Mr. Charleston but only last week finding its way into my CD player.  This is the second book in a trilogy, but even without having read the first (Portuguese Irregular Verbs), it required no background knowledge of the protagonist -- just the ability to stay focused on the road while laughing hysterically.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wienerdog Wednesday, Winter Edition

Nothing for a long dog to do on long winter afternoons but take a long snooze. 

We finally did something we said we'd never do and bought Scooter Pie a sweater this year - I think her ol' bones appreciate having the extra layer of warmth when there's not a lap to latch onto.