Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"So who has the good seats now?!"

(so apparently a cool lazer light show doesn't show up on cheap camera video... just listen.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Slipsliding Away

This is what happens when you leave Theo alone with the bubbles.

My taping ended abruptly when Chris growled, "Less video, more safety!"

Now You're Talking

Somebody finally suggested something that got me excited to live in the Southeast. How exciting would this be?

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Chris!

Friday, April 23, 2010


I have a fondness for the Army base here, as I've already mentioned. It's green, peaceful, and everybody follows the rules. Everyone except me, that is. This morning after dropping Lucy off at school, I parked our little car beside the road next to one of the playgrounds and took Theo for a walk. We meandered through the streets of officer housing, looked at the jungle, petted a friendly cat. As we were walking back to the car, I saw flashing lights through the trees, and soon realized they were coming from the vicinity of my car. Yep- apparently an illegally parked, abandoned Nissan rental car with a pass that was supposed to belong to a green Suburu was enough to draw the attention of three military police units. Whoops!

I was as contrite as can be, and as the friendly cat wandered over to check out the commotion and Theo pointed excitedly at the police trucks, the whole scene started to seem a lot less sinister. The cat (which was one of those floppy ragdoll cats that uncle Dean has) flopped down in the middle of the road, and two of the police units left. I thought the whole thing was over, and was waiting patiently as my warning was being written. Suddenly, a shiny black sedan with government plates whipped around the corner and snapped to a stop behind the police car. A very high ranking Colonel stepped out, oozing trim military authority. "What's going on here?" he demanded.

I was stunned. I mean, yes I had made a Bad Parking Decision, but had EVERYBODY been notified? The police officer looked surprised and stood up very straight. Even the cat lifted his head...at which point The Colonel visibly relaxed, and pointed. "Oh", he said. "I thought you'd killed my cat."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Work Conversation

Once, after regaling Vivian with another story of a nutty coworker, Vivian said, "Claire- you are always working with crazies!"

I thought maybe I was just reading into the antics of my coworkers too much, and that they must be fairly average. But after a number of years, I now believe that they really are crazies, and I will work with them for the rest of my life.

I currently work with Lisa. She has a very interesting personal history. She also seems to have no sense of what is going on around her. She will forget people that work in our department five minutes after talking to them (Do I know you?). Say things about her coworkers that are not true, right in front of them (Claire always eats her daily cookie at 11:30 in the morning!). Does not remember conversations, even repeated ones, for more than....well, sometimes 2 minutes (People always expect me to know what they're talking about...)

So, today- a guy named Mark came into our office, went and glanced in my boss Angela's office, and came back to have this conversation with Lisa:

(Lisa's voice in bold)

Is Angela in today?
Looking for Adam?
Adam's not around.
Is Angela in?
I'm sorry, who?
Are you looking for Adam? Or Angela?
Is she in her office?
Then she's not in her office.
But she is in today.

It's exhausting to listen to, sometimes...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's Play Doctor

Chris is here in Puerto Rico working on dengue fever. What is dengue fever, you might ask? Well, it is a virus that is carried by mosquitos. Here is the textbook definition:

"Dengue starts with chills, headache, pain upon moving the eyes, and low backache. Patients may have nausea and vomiting. Painful aching in the legs and joints occurs during the first hours of illness. The temperature rises quickly as high as 104° F. The eyes become reddened. A flushing or pale pink rash comes over the face and then disappears. The glands (lymph nodes) in the neck and groin are often swollen."

Yesterday morning, Lucy woke up feeling sick. Pretty soon she threw up. Then she developed:

fever and chills to 104
sore eyes
aching legs
a pink tinge to her eyes

She's pretty much been in bed since yesterday morning. So, you make the call...does she have it?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Didn't Know Cat Stevens Was Southern...

Oh Georgia set me free
I have seen your face
And it's too much too much for me

I've drunk your wine
You have made your world mine
So won't you be fair
So won't you be fair

I don't want no more of you
So won't you be kind to me
Just let me go where
I'll have to go there

Oh Georgia can't you see
You have made me a wreck
Now won't you leave me in my misery?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

South Dakota Trips Tatistics

Places Visited:
-4 National Historic Landmarks: The Mammoth Site, Deadwood, Gordon Stockade, Center of the USA
-2 National Parks: Wind Cave, Badlands
-2 National Monuments: Crazy Horse, Jewel Cave
-1 National Forest: Black Hills
-1 National Memorial: Mt Rushmore
-1 State Park: Custer
-1 Experimental Forest: ?
-1 world's largest rocking chair
-2 of the world's longest caves (#2 and #4)
-3 old west graveyards
-10 historic tunnels and bridges
-30 abandoned old cabins

Wild animals seen:
-3 turkeys, 3 burro, 15 mountain goats, 40 antelope, 150 deer, 200 buffalo, and 20,000 prairie dogs
-Things we mistook for buffalo: rocks, roadsigns, cows
-Animal we're most afraid of, even though it's extinct: short-faced bear

Annoying thing about SD: the entire state shuts down Sept-May.
Cool thing about SD in March: you have the entire state to yourself.
-# of "closed for the season" signs: 90
-# of businesses open in the town of Keystone: 2? a hotel and maybe a store.
-# of evenings we did anything outside our hotel: 0
-# of books read: 4.5
-# of times we ate out: 1
-average # of people we interacted with each day: .85

Best Purchases: cowboy hat, sarsaparillas, a buffalo burger, a leotard, and a camera cord
-# of camera cords in all the stores of Custer: 1
-Grossest Purchase: microwaveable pork rinds

Other good moments:
-Meeting up in Denver airport for 30 minutes before getting on separate flights again
-Singing along to "Bad Romance", "Party in the USA", "Glory Bound" and the Glee soundtrack (which we found in the rental car) whenever we were driving
-Talking to an old cowboy that we asked for directions. He managed to use "gals" "shootin' iron" and "injun" all in one sentence.
-Eating lunch in a dilapidated old log cabin we discovered along a hiking trail
-Claire eavesdropping on 5 guys for 40 minutes trying to figure out if they're Mormon
-Taking videos of us squeezing through the spelunking test
-Claire getting stopped in the airport because of her liquor bottle filled with suspicious dirt

# of miles driven: 800

Sunday, April 4, 2010