Archive for May, 2006

The DaVinci Code – Donna’s perspective

May 30, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Adams, Religion, Reviews

Well, I see we have a new category now – religion. I wonder how many posts will have THAT link. OK, I will try to keep the sarcasm to a minimum in this post…

Well, it has taken me almost a month to write this post. Primarily because I do not look forward to sitting down and writing about my religion. I actually wish more people kept it to themselves so that I would stop hearing about church services and listening to gospel music at work… but perhaps that is another post. I think that religion is a personal matter. It is a belief system because nothing can ever actually be PROVEN. I am, as Devon suggested, a logic-based thinker and not a faith-based believer. (A John Locke verse Jack Shephard reference for LOST fans).

I did not read the The DaVinci Code book. I did like the movie. The acting could have been better, but I enjoyed the treasure hunting. However, the movie did actually prove to be beneficial. It gave Devon and I a chance to bring up a topic that we both adamantly avoid. I enjoyed reading Devon’s views and agree with almost everything he had to say – a first for our religious “differences”. I especially enjoyed the following from his post:
“I said I am eager to agree with most of it [the movie] wholeheartedly, not because I want to debunk organized religion but because I am more inclined to tailor things to my own separate, unrehashed beliefs. I believe in God and I have faith, but I am also skeptical of organized religion and know that man has corrupted God.”

I’m pretty sure that I believe in a god, and I think that this is primarily due to our culture. Culture makes this a necessity; people make you feel worthless or EVIL for suggesting that a god does not exist. I do not have a name for my god/ superior being/ etc. It is not my duty to CHOOSE a name for something that I (a human) can NEVER fully understand. I agree with Devon that man has corrupted religion. Man is fallible and it is not possible to interpret a being that is perfect.

That being said, I do find it interesting to watch movies to see how other people interpret historical facts and the effect on religion.

The DaVinci Code – Devon’s perspective

May 24, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Religion, Reviews

Donna and I procured a baby sitter (i.e. roped a friend into spending the evening at our house) and went to see The DaVinci Code Monday night. Three years ago we went on a ski trip with my parents, and my mother had just received this book for Christmas. I picked it up after hearing about it and devoured it. I then read Angels & Demons immediately, which I loved -especially when the Pope died last year.

The movie was really good and I didn’t even mind Tom Hank’s hair at all. A few differences bugged me (like Tatou stepping onto the pond and making that horrid joke outside Rosslyn Chapel) but overall it energized my whole notion of religion. 

Donna and I have always agreed to disagree on the topic, as I am more religious than she is. But that’s partially her being a rational, pragmatic being and my not being one. Anyway, on the way home she asked what I thought of the ideology of the film and book. I said I am eager to agree with most of it wholeheartedly, not because I want to debunk organized religion but because I am more inclined to tailor things to my own separate, unrehashed beliefs. I believe in God and I have faith, but I am also skeptical of organized religion and know that man has corrupted God.

I believe the scared feminine (to steal Langdon’s term, or was it Brown’s?) was suppressed by the Church. I know that the Big JC could have a blood line. So what? Good for him. Wouldn’t you want that to happen? How can we ever move towards a second coming and no evolution and mutation of religion without some jumping off place. Religion is antiquated as it stands, and I can say that. I’ve been there. I’ve been zealous in my church going before and now I don’t go. My church lies in my heart and I don’t believe I am a heretic for saying so. I play the games because what I believe and what I feel is what works for me and my relationship with "God". And in someways, I think my wife and I have come to a closer conclusion than ever.

On another note, when my father saw this movie this weekend, he fell asleep. Later on the way home, he turned to my mum and said "I must’ve fallen asleep during the part where they traveled to Rome."

I know why I married her…

May 23, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Leisure

I finally realized why I married Donna. Sometimes in the evening I walk around leisurely and as I cooked, Donna told me to go put on some pants. I rolled my eyes and acquiesced. I then walked back into the kitchen, opened the oven that was set to over 400 degrees, and pulled the broiling pan from the oven. The boiling hot water/oil slushed back and forth and then splashed all over the front of my shorts. Had I not pulled them on, the entire front of my legs would’ve scalded by the searing hot fluid. Donna and I just stared at each other for a picosecond before she said "see I told you so."

torture release

May 23, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Leisure, Miscelany

Tommy used to work on the docks!

mental torture

May 22, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Adams, Leisure, Miscelany

When I was young, I would spend one or two weeks each summer at Camp Konokwee.  One time, as a rainy day activity, the counselors separated us in to groups to see who could come up with the most verses from songs with someone’s name in it.  Then we went around the room giving answers, one group at a time.  You could not duplicate a song.  A group would be eliminated when they ran out of answers.  I have no recollection of who won, but I remember the game all the time.

Last night was one of those times.  I was awake at 4:15 am, knowing the alarm would go off in 45 minutes, and hoping to fall back asleep.  My mind had other ideas.  I sat there, once again, trying to come up with a list of songs.  So, later this morning, I thought:  maybe if I make a list on our blog I will once and for all release the torture from my head.  Here goes:

Devon, Devon, Bo Bevan, Fe Fi Mo Mevon, Devon…
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmitt, his name is my name too
Happy Birthday dear Mom…
Amy, whacha’ gonna’ do?  I think I’m in love with you, for a while maybe longer if I do.
Beth, what can I do?
Oh Donna, Oh Donna.  I had a girl, and Donna was her name.
I met a girl named Nicki and they say she was …
If you don’t have Mozart Nixon, then your store could use some fixin’.
CC, pick up that guitar and talk to me!
Me and Bobby Megee.
Mariah, Mariah, they call the wind Mariah.
Michael, row your boat ashore.
Hey, Hey Paula … Hey, Hey Paul, I’m in love with you too…
…Judy’s wearing his ring…  It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to…

***I’m really tempted to google the topic right now for more ideas, but will refrain.***

Oh Mickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine, you blow my mind.
"Sylvia?"  "Yes Mickey". 
Mustang Sally

(OK, now it is bugging me because there is a Bon Jovi song that usually comes to mind right away when I am working on this list mentally, and now it is nowhere in my head to be found.  I’m also trying to figure out the names in the Summer of ’69 song).

Dan, Dan the Garbage Man …  (dittys count!)
Little ditty about Jack and Diane  (phew, was trying to think of this one for a while).

OK, I feel better.  Now it’s your turn to torture yourself.  Leave a comment!

25 lbs of Jasmine Rice under the AP Christmas tree

May 19, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Work

Last year was the first time I taught AP Language & Composition, and one of the books I chose to teach with Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild. This is a book a young man named Christopher McCandless who gave up everything he had, walked into the Alaskan wilderness, and died there in bus no. 42. I taught this book to my first group of 45 AP students, and they kept getting caught up on the whole idea that Chris carried only rice into the wilderness with him. I don’t know if the kids watched too much Survivor (I know we sure do!) or if they wanted to run away themselves. I actually had two kids in that course whose parents made that sojourn to bus No. 42 when they were younger.

The kids even made a sing song version of Twelve Days of Christmas called "The Twelve Days of AP".  I sure wish I got a copy of the lyrics last year. This year I had way more kids and less time to really discuss the intricacies of the rice, the bus, and Chris’s journey from Virginia to the Baja Peninsula and into Alaska. So at the end of this year a few days ago, we were sitting in class early one morning, and here came 6 of my former AP kids from last year. Six of the best, the brightest, smartest kids in their class walked into my room lugging a huge bag of Jasmine rice and thurt it towards me. It was mine. Mine mine mine. My rice, from them to me from Chris McCandless. We understood each other and thankyous both ways were unnecessary as they graduate next week.

Of course, I took that same 25 lb. bag of rice, lugged it onto my podium third hour, and explained the story. I finished my remarks with "this bag’ll last me a year. I should probably be finishing it up about the time you all prepare to graduate." I smiled, put the rice away, and began another class of AP.

Ring Ring Ring …

May 17, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire

Claire has this propensity to be completely obsessed with phones. Phones phones everywhere. So Claire is my little mountain climber now. She climbs up on the couch since I was in San Fran {inset link}, and now she has finally figured out how to pull herself with her arms up on the 22" coffee table. Remember that she’s only 34" tall. So she pulled herself up on the table as I watched her stomach muscles ripple. She then grabbed at the cordless house phone and the next thing we knew was "hello" "hello" squeaking through the miniscule speaker.

Donna grabbed at the phone and said "hullo", and on the other end was Babci ("grandma" for all you non-Polish people). So we had Claire say goodbye to Babci, who she called at almost midnight in PA. Claire and Babci said goodnight to one another as both went to bed, but not before Claire’s day-old-rotten-RedLobster-seafood-smelling diaper was changed by yours truly.

pretty eyes

May 16, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Claire

Claire_may13_2006_08For the past few days I have had this picture of Claire as the background on my work computer.  I keep minimizing my windows to look at her because her eyes are so captivating!  If you look closely, the flash of the camera is reflected in her pupils.  One time, I was staring so deeply that I swore she wiggled.  That is when I decided to go back to work.  However, I keep peeking back to make sure she is still there.

B.E.B.K.G.C. I

May 15, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Pets

George is our pet turtle that was found in the wilds of Pennsylvania.  A friend of my "rescued" him from the dangers lurking in a nearby creek and gave him to me to protect.  At the time he was only a little larger than a quarter.  I hid him in my dorm room and eventually moved him to my parent’s house and then to an apartment.  His original name was Baby Einstein; one because he was a baby turtle and two because I had an infatuation with Einstein at the time.  My parents became his keeper for the last part of college and when Devon and I moved to Phoenix he went with us.  My dad called him Buddy and taught him to do a few random turtle tricks that only turtle lovers can appreciate.  My brother then adopted him, named him Killer, and would use him to gain the attention of young women.  When Danny moved to Phoenix, he brought the turtle with him, and, once again, was living with me.  Devon and his brother, Jaime, call him George.

Having a random conversation with a friend one day, it was determined that cooter was another word for turtle.  Therefore, the turtle is now officially named Baby Einstein Buddy Killer George Cooter I.

Reasons why I love my baby:

May 12, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Claire

Claire learned to say "mama" when she was only a few months old.  At that age, people say it is a fluke and it is just a sound the baby is learning to make.  Well, Claire is now 13 months old and it is her favorite word.  She has said "dada" only about a dozen times and mostly within the last month.  She says "baba", "baby" and "mom", is starting to babble more and make new words which I can’t quite figure out.  I love when she shows her personality and says "mmoooomm" when she is frustrated with me or "maaaa-ma" when she wants to nurse or "mamamamama" when she is trying to get my attention.  It intrigues me that such a young mind can think so much.

This is also apparent in her physical development.  Claire was walking about, holding onto things, at seven months.  She took the plunge and walked on her own two days before her first birthday. Those few, cautious, steps are now steady and quick.  We walk everywhere and thankfully Claire is quite tall because I can hold her hand without bending over!  She now carries items with her and drags toys around the room.  She follows us around the house.  Two weeks ago, Claire even began standing up on her own, without holding on to anything to pull herself up.  She climbs up and down on the couch and tries to climb up on the coffee table – usually only succeeding when she can step on the dog.  So much activity in only one month.

P4290141The whole eating routine has gotten better.  Ever since the second hospital visit, we stopped giving Claire the iron medicine.  That means that we can now give her milk products at night.  This has changed a lot of things in our lives.  For starters, I stopped pumping at work.  (Woo-hoo!)  Now we are just nursing in the morning and at night.  Claire starting *trying* to drink whole milk since her birthday, but we are not succeeding.  We tried combinations and other recommendations, but now we are just hoping she’ll start to drink it.  To make sure she gets enough milk throughout the day, I have been giving her yogurt and fruit at night for dinner.  That is great since we couldn’t do that when she was on the iron medicine.  We have been giving Claire a lot more adult food and trying to incorporate different foods into her diet.  Here is a picture of Claire learning to bit a whole banana.  She also loves sausage on the weekends and at restaurants.  This girl sure can eat!

Another new thing since Claire’s birthday is that we now brush her teeth.  The doctor successfully guilt-tripped us by saying that if we brushed Claire’s teeth every day she would NEVER get a cavity.  Well, shit.  That is easy for them to say because, even if we only miss one day, they can hold it against us later.  So now Devon and I are torturing her daily and forcing a toothbrush to keep her pearlies white.   Luckily, it is easier to reach her teeth when she is crying.

One of the favorite things for Devon and me is when Claire laughs.  She has a great smile and a great laugh that just have a way of making you happy.  Sometimes she giggles at herself, sometimes she tries to make us laugh (like when imitating supergirl), sometimes we make her laugh by tickling her or playing with her.  Fun for the whole family.

People at work sometimes ask how old Claire is and those I don’t see often guess that she is about eight months old now.  I correct them and say she is thirteen months.  I can’t believe how much can happen in a year and, although it didn’t seem fast at the time, how quickly the time has gone. 

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