Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Live Chats (an experiment)

Long ago live chats on unschooling were cool. Lately other things have been better for unschooling information, but some people still miss live chats.

Today there was one announced in an immediate way and over 20 people came through over a three hour period. I'm going to do two more and maybe will decide to keep a regular schedule of chats.

Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at my house (I hope clicking this will give you the time at your own house) there will be a two hour chat on younger children. If you'd like to share good ideas of things to do with children who are two, three, four years old, please come here tomorrow and there will be a link to the open chatroom. I don't know how to reserve a chatroom for the future with a link yet. Sorry.

Friday at 6:00 at my house (try this if you're not in Mountain Standard Time) I would like to chat for two hours about how and where people learn about unschooling and what would make it better. Save this link and I'll have a link to the chat here when it's time.

I'm using an AIM chatroom. It's possible to read the chat without logging in. There's some sort of observation window possibility, and I don't think you even need an AIM ID for that. I could be wrong. If others went to today's chat and have suggestions or knowledge about what does and doesn't work, please post a note here. Thanks!

If these two go well, we can have lots more. If they're too lumpy and bumpy and more trouble than they're worth, I wasn't doing so much this week anyway.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Miss Holly Dodd's First Glasses

Holly was getting headaches and squinting, and so she asked us to take her to get her eyes checked. The byproduct of that was that Keith and I got our eyes checked too. She got a cute pair of artsy glasses. Keith and I have new, stronger old-people spectacles. But that's okay.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Today I am fifty-five and a half, 55.5 years old. Me. Wow. Half my life is over. Unless, y 'know, perhaps, half my life was over on April 24, 1980 or so, in which case I should wear clean underwear today for sure!!

Here I was just a minute ago in my *new* bifocals! It's a sign of age and infirmity wisdom. Cool!

Six more months until Learn Nothing Day!

Holly came to see how I took that photo. It was "Photobooth" on my new MacBook (Keith is so nice to me). So she asked if I could get the reflection of the monitor in my glasses—it would be like an endless mirror. Yeah. It didn't work.

And speaking of Holly, when she was helping me figure out half my life and telling me not to blog about death and we came up with 1980, she said "God, you're young, huh? I thought you were mad old in the 1980's. Well that was just the beginning of the 80's. I guess you were mad old when Marty was born." (Yeah. That was early in 1989. So in 2027, Holly is scheduled to be "mad old.")

The lyrics game word is snow, there's a new sound file of a talk I gave twelve years ago here and yesterday I discovered my new favorite drug which I might never need to use again but I would not mind: triazelam. It would've been NO GOOD for a mom of small children. Impossible. But with the youngest 17? La-la-land for me. Dentistry I don't even remember. I hear Keith had to dress me and walk me out to the car and all (I hardly remember a thing), and then Holly and Brett sat with me for hours, kept a fire lit, brought me water and yogurt, and when the novacaine wore off Brett went to Blake's and got me a milk shake and a barbecue sandwich. It was the coolest thing. I even watched a zombie movie happily, and I don't like zombie movies, but y'know what? Yesterday I liked EVERYthing. I was one with the zombies. I sat on that couch for ten hours straight and I was never restless or bored.

55.5. I'll write again when I'm 66.6, maybe, and probably sooner too.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Holly, Obama, Shrinky-Dinks

Click if you want enlargeability:

The timestamp on this is that President Obama was giving his acceptance speech. I was trying to photograph the Shrinky-Dink art that Holly and Brett have been doing. Holly's done most of it, but they've had a lot of fun. At first they worked from the book that came with it, and then Holly started branching out to make gifts for people. Several have been given away already.

Turns out it's very difficult to get a good photo of shrinky dink art. Not only is it little and requires light, but you miss the texture and whole stained-glassedness of it. So sorry. These are just rough suggestions of the glory of those Beatles shrinky dinks. And I like the John Cusack one, which started out the size of the printout and is for a friend of hers who likes his movies.

The third to the last one was on the scanner with the lid up. It didn't work very well. The second to the last one is on a light table. That also didn't work as well as I hoped it would. So I held one up to the sky. Good for scale, not good for focus. But look how nicely I arranged the trees around my hand! Nice, huh? (I didn't notice it until two days later, so I'm joking about taking credit for it. It was a fancy accident.)

Toys and Goofs

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy

Get your own Family Sticker Maker.

wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash">

Lava Lamp
Toys on the internet are some of the best things ever. They make life funnier and unschooling easier.

My "Thinking Sticks" blog
(This is where I keep my favorite randomness/strewing and links to unschoolers' blogs.)

Music toys and links
(Don't miss the Swedish horses. Early interactive flash classic.)

Art toys and stuff
(Trogdor and "Japanese cartoon" are broad and deep.)

History toys and things
(Toys in museums can be frustrating, sitting in their glass cases, but one museum has made little videos of the toys in motion, with sound. Good idea!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Marty's 20th Birthday


Marty Dodd is 20 years old today.

I moved this from the old Lyrics Game blog. The game was moved to Facebook, but that post and play had good photos I thought should be saved. I've backdated it to that same day, though I'm putting it here on Mother's Day, 2017.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Days flying by

I started to recover from the wonderful visit with the Sorooshians, and we went to dinner at Kevin and Beth Fuller's house, to hang out with Ben Lovejoy. That was total fun and lasted a couple of hours longer than I'd expected, which was fine with me if it was fine with Beth! I fell asleep as soon as we got home. I got up this morning and started reading the e-mail and forum I was already behind on, and my sister called and I spent the next nearly eight hours with her (and Holly was with us most of the time). I expected to see her about an hour in the afternoon. But it was a blast. So I'm tired and I have a headache and Marty's birthday party is tomorrow, here, and I need to sort/clean/stash lots of the things we got at Savers (my sister's primary Albuquerque destination), and we had coupons for big discounts and Keith and I were running out of jigsaw puzzles we hadn't done, and, and.. Here's what my sister Irene looks like. She's three years younger than I am:
Here's her car and my car (the one Holly usually drives; I'm without a personal car of my own since my mini-van ceased to function well and was donated to charity).
Click to enlarge

Here are the shoes we lined up, in the middle row. They were all the same size and some pairs hadn't been worn. They were all beaded and embroidered and sequined. We rearranged the shoes so they could sparkle all in a row.
I hope to catch up with e-mail.... Oh wait. Marty's party is tomorrow. Thursday, Kirby leaves. I hope to catch up with e-mail Friday, because Saturday night Dan and Jocelyn Vilter are passing through town and they're coming for dinner. Cool!!! After that I would love to have a week of absolutely nothing, but Monday I pay for some upcoming dental work, Tuesday Holly and I go for eye tests, and Friday I spend hours at the dentist. THEN, maybe, I hope I have a week of nowhere to go, no one to see, nothing to do. Odds are slim, but I can hope.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Good feedback, exhaustion

I felt guilty sleeping today, because Pam was driving to her house from mine, and I was sleeping. In the time I slept, she crossed Arizona. Good thing I slept! I woke up to this e-mail from my friend Kathy, who was there with me when Holly was born, who was one of my La Leche League leaders when Kirby and Marty were babies:
Lily and I were at the mall looking for ballet shoes (for her!) and went in to Zumiez. We asked for Holly Dodd, and the guy said she wasn't in. He had a big smile on his face and said "How do you know Holly?" I said "We are friends of hers." He said "She is AWESOME!" I said "I know."
Keith and Holly are sitting in the hot tub in the bright moonlight. I went out and talked to them a while. I might get in myself, but it makes me sleepy, and I've slept too much already today. Everyone else is out and about. Holly's going to watch SNL in the library and fall asleep up there, after the tub. Keith will sleep and go to fighter practice tomorrow. I won't be surprised if Kirby and Marty stay out all night with their respective friends, sleeping elsewhere. Last night there were fourteen people in the house at once--sixteen overall in a few hours' time. Tonight it's me inside, Keith and Holly outside, nearly silent. Here are some photos from the past few days.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Watching Ice Melt

Today we get many guests. Kirby is flying in at 5:00. Pam Sorooshian and her two younger daughters, Roxana and Rosie, are on their way here via I-40, so think lovely thoughts for them. There's snow in Flagstaff.

This week will be so busy I might not be back in here, so I wanted to leave some teeny videos I made yesterday. We have white plastic buckets (construction stuff) we use to collect rainwater. When the snow melted off the roof the other day, we collected it and it froze. Keith always enjoys turning these frozen blocks of ice out. They're hollow on one end, usually, and we've put those little battery-operated tealights in them sometimes to light the path if we're having a party.

Anyway, this time they were melting unusually and I wanted you to see. That solid looking end IS solid and heavy. So that very thin ice was holding up a LOT of weight.

The plans for this week are simple. We're going to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (recently renamed, I guess) to see the display on computers. I wrote a bit about that in September here. We're going to eat at Pars Restaurant, where Marty works. We'll go when Marty's not working, so he can eat too! The last name of the owners is Tafti, which means they're from the same area in Iran where Cyrus Sorooshian grew up. I don't think they're Bahá'í, though.

Otherwise, except for possible visits to Dion's and Blake's (local eateries), I don't think we have obligations, and that's cool too!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday, first and last first Friday of 2009

Today is the last day I can write on the first Friday of 2009. So momentous...

1. The world is my busy, happy home.

2. "Have fun!" was the last thing I said.

3. I wonder why cynicism appeals to some people.

4. Infinity clears its throat at the end of all things. (No one's cosmology has an end of all things, does it? It's just the beginning of the next thing.)

5. There's something to be said for breathing.

6. Contented and hopeful is where I want to be.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight this afternoon I'm looking forward to going with Holly to meet friends at St. James tearoom , organized by Kim (thanks! and the menu is below), tomorrow my plans include cleaning the hot tub, and putting 100 things away in the library because we have company coming on Monday! and Sunday, I want to discover something that will change the world for the better!

P.S. Photos of the tea

—a peekaboo thing Holly made of me. The best image from that set is here:
and others here

Today is the last day of the Christmas-tea menu, so I've brought it here as their website will change to the January menu soon.

Menu for December:
Victoria & Albert's Christmas Cheer
(subject to change without notice)

Breast of Duck, Port, Cherry & Red Currant Puff Pastry
Individual Beef Wellington
Duchess Potato
Stilton and Cranberries on Pear Barquette

Traditional Tea Sandwich:
Cucumber Pineapple Cream Star with Cinnamon Butter

Scones & Bread
Traditional Cream Scone
with Lemon Curd and Clotted Cream

Ginger, Fig, Cranberry & Walnut Fruitcake*
with Orange Hard Sauce

Almond and Cinnamon Meringue Star*
Royal Mincemeat Tart
Bittersweet Chocolate, White Chocolate and
Peppermint Truffle

*contains nuts

Due to the theme of this month's menu,  
many of the items are cooked with or include alcohol.

St. James Tearoom