Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Address to a Haggis (Burns night!)

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Aboon them a' yet tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin was help to mend a mill
In time o'need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin', rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit! hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash, 
As feckles as wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro' blody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' hands will sned,
Like taps o' trissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
Gie her a haggis!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow demons!

The litany always starts early. The more hype the local weather idiots lay on, the sooner the calls start:
  • "Didja hear about the storm on its way?"
  • "Do you think we're going to get snow/ice/locusts/frogs?"
  • "Is it supposed to be really bad?"
For day classes, it takes a documented Act of God or a Decree from the Chair of Peter  to cancel classes. Better to have several hundred immature, over-sexed maniacs sitting in their classrooms, rather than bored (and therefore extra-imaginative when it comes to mayhem) in their dorms. The call to cancel classes -- wildly infrequent -- is made by 7:30 AM. Even so, many profs end up coming in, because they are on the road by the time notice is issued.

Night classes are a different story. Evening division is about 85% commuters -- mostly adults coming from full-time jobs -- and traffic/road conditions are always a factor. Even when classes are not canceled, if the weather is bad enough you'll have mostly empty classrooms. The call to cancel evening classes is always made between 3 and 4 PM -- and if off-site/off-campus classes are canceled, usually on-campus classes are canceled, as well. (Hooray for parity!)

The calls and e-mails increase (in frequency and hysteria) as the afternoon wears on. There's a ratio of storm hype to  length of class to amount of time before class. As the university never makes the call until the veeeeery last minute, generally I can expect my cell phone to explode between 3:55 PM and 4:02 PM.

The more ballsy among them will flat-out ask: "Are we having class? What are the penalties if I skip and claim bad weather as an excuse?" Annoying, but at least honest. The fact is, if there is a legitimate weather event, I can't do shit. The metric is common sense: "If you are worried for your safety, stay home."  This meas that i can make it in to class, and spend three hours sitting in an empty classroom because everyone was "worried about the roads." (This has happened more than once.)

In the last week, classes have been canceled once and delayed twice for weather. Looking at Accuweather, we have storms lined up for Thurs/Fri, and again Mon/Tues/Wed.

This semester is going to be a doozy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A case of the crab-ass

The Wee Ginger Beastie is in dreadful fettle today.

I'm convinced that a wandering hermit crab, disoriented from the cold, wandered in to my house, mistook her butt for a shell, crawled up her ass and set up housekeeping. Now it's pinching her tuchus and causing her to be an absolute Toddlesaurus.

Clothes? To Hell with clothes. She'd rather be naked and feral -- despite the fact that it's colder than Pelosi's box up here.

Food? There is no food oh Earth hat would satisfy her. Cereal, fruit, hot cocoa, milk, water, juice -- all have been summarily eye-rolled, though she will wander in to the kitchen and whine that she's hungry. Even peanut butter and nutella isn't the right thing.

Toys? "I don't have anything to plaaaaaay with." "I'm tirrrrred." "NO!" "NO!" "NO!"

We've bundled up and gone for a walk, and played hide and seek/chase-ass around the house.

Naps have been rejected out of hand.

Three temper tantrums in to the day, and I am praying for a wandering band of Gypsies.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Abandon all hope, ye who shop here.

I am convinced that when I finally arrive in Hell, Satan will chain me to a grocery cart with one broken, squeaky wheel, assign me three gibbering imps to corral, and sentence me to an eternity of grocery shopping in Gehenna's Wal*Mart.

Yesterday was the first day back to a "normal" schedule -- or as normal as it ever gets around here. Daughter and Son off to respective schools, Toddlesaurus off to preschool; five minutes to savor a cup of coffee and groove on the silence of the house was mine, all mine!

Of course, after a week a and half of kids home, there was laundry, vacuuming and re-stocking the pantry. As it's easier to make way through the Giant without kids in tow, off I went. Everyone else was doing the same fucking thing.

I hate grocery shopping. I tend to whip through the store at 50 MPH, knocking stuff in to my cart, only getting what we absolutely require. It's a race -- my personal best door-to-door time is fifteen minutes for $200 (or two weeks') worth of groceries. That INCLUDED check-out time.  ( I really, really hate shopping.) This means that I had to linger behind meandering carts, get caught in various traffic jams and wait at the deli counter for a good twenty minutes. The checkout line -- because why would you have more that two out of twelve open on a Monday morning? -- was ten people deep. By the time it was all done, I was at the store for an hour and a half, and was frazzled as Hell. (Have I mentioned how much I loathe shopping yet? I really do.)

When I got home, I had enough time to put everything away and go pick up Ginger Beastie. SO much for a relaxing morning!