Yes, There are Many Famous Violets

January 31st, 2008

Violet Baudelaire

Violet Beauregarde

Violet Parr

Violet Gray

Shy Violet

Violet Affleck

and who could forget the charming Violet, Texas

Orange Fame

January 30th, 2008

Yes, that is Linus on I Can Haz Cheezburger! Here is a funny pictures
moar funny pictures“>direct link.

Let the calls from agents begin.

A Great Intro to Traveling in Mex

January 25th, 2008

Also a nice opportunity to work on your Spanish skills or acquire some basic Spanish. Usually the group is made up of mostly teachers from Oregon, of all ages, and with some non-teachers, too. All are welcome. Really a fantastic deal and a great experience. If you’ve been thinking you want to explore Mexico at some point, I highly recommend it as an “intro course” in that. I have the application, so e-mail me if you want it. Click here to read blog entries or here to view photos from the summer before last, when I experienced this program for myself.




Location: Puebla, Mexico, with tours to various cities/sites
4 Week option: July 3-August 1
2 Week option: July 3-July 21

Presented by the
Oregon International Council
Graduate Credit Pending from Oregon State University

The OIC/ COFLT Spanish Seminar in Puebla, Mexico, plans its 14th year in 2008, offering a unique learning opportunity for language teachers, and for all others interested in expanding their linguistic and cultural horizons. Spanish language classes in small groups, instruction in proficiency-oriented teaching methods by a Master Teacher from Oregon, living with Mexican families, a variety of local field trips, and a three-day tour of Mexico City make this program a rich experience for all.

Instruction takes place at the English/Espanol Training Center (ETC), a private institution with long-time Oregon connec­tions. Puebla, Mexico ‘s 4th largest city, two hours from Mexico City , offers many examples of pre-Columbian culture as well as traditional and modern Mexico, moderate climate, and clean air off usual tourist routes. Accommodations are in Mexican homes. Weekend trips to other areas in Mexico are optional extras.

The four-week program provides 80 hours of language instruction and 20+ hours of teaching methodology, enhanced by living with Mexican families, while experiencing city life and many local field trips and in-town activities. The two-week option involves the same classes and activities for the first two weeks, totaling 40 hours of Spanish and 10+ in methodology.

Oral assessment interviews before and after the seminar have indicated significant progress in communicative proficiency by most participants. This program has been approved for ten graduate quarter credits by Oregon State University.

Recent participants have offered the following comments on the program:
“ opened doors for me to a whole new world.”
“..many of us anticipate returning to this program and plan to recommend it to our peers.”
“I can’t say enough about the program; it was wonderful!!”
“Rich culture immersion; wonderful & hospitable family; excellent upper-level teachers…”
On seminar leadership: “ Anne Mueller is absolutely superb…glues it all together into a perfect whole…Her attentiveness to participants .and.. details of the program make the difference between a seminar that is satisfactory and one that is outstanding.”

Language instruction is provided by native speakers of Spanish trained in language teaching methods, many with ad vanced degrees. Seminar Director Anne Mueller, who has led the program since its inception in 1995, is an experienced teacher of Spanish at all levels, elementary through college; many of her students have demonstrated remarkable performance in local and national assessments. She has taught language teaching methods in Oregon and in other states, at national and regional conferences, and internationally.

Basic fees: four weeks – $2,600; two weeks – $1,900: covering instruction, materials, pre- and post-seminar proficiency assessments; room and board (double occupancy), local field trips, and a 3-day Mexico City weekend. The credit fees are: 10 quarter credits – $600; 5 credits – $350; course designation – SPAN 508. Family members may accompany as space permits, at costs adjusted to specific program needs. Funding note: Participants have often been able to obtain financial assistance for this program through school or district Continuing Education or other funds.

Where I Talk About My Cats Like the Whole World Cares

January 23rd, 2008

Things are evening out with the cats. Mia is now leaving the bedroom on her own, for instance. You may recall that with Linus’ diabetes came an aggressive, murderous bent, which led to Mia requiring all services be provided in our bedroom. Now we no longer have to feed her there, and she is splitting her litter-box usage between the master-bathroom box and the old boxes. She is also back to another habit that was suspended with the onset of Linus’ desire to maim her: Ever since I got pregnant, she hadn’t let me out of her sight. While I was very sick, she followed me from room to room, chair to chair, and she’s back to being my little shadow. She is even willing to share the bed with me AND Linus in order to stay close. Unfortunately, this puts four of us in the bed at night. It’s a squeeze. We need more bassinets.

Linus is making up for lost time, for all the time he spent being fat. Maybe you remember my lamenting his inability to reach anything on his body besides his paws. (Oh, but they were immaculately groomed paws!) He required bathing and “other” maintenance. But now that he has slimmed down he is like Yoga Cat and grooms himself neurotically. Since his method of grooming involves a sucking-in-of-the-fur akin to a steam-carpet cleaner, there is the constant background sound of loud sucking and slurping. But man, is he clean! He is so soft and sweet-smelling. He is more active, too, and perky. He’s been chasing his tail every night. Now that he is so limber, he often catches it and gnaws on it for a second. We’re trying to get some video of this for you, but the beeping sound the video cam makes when you turn it on draws his curiosity away from the tail.

Anyway, they’re both here in the bed with me right now as an electrician and handyman we hired to do some nesting for us works downstairs. Any of you who have visited in the past two years may remember entering through the basement and being greeted by a stairwell light fixture dangling in pieces from the ceiling. Small thing, but that’s finally fixed, and we don’t need to feel like such home-improvement slackers now. And the surround-sound speakers are being mounted, with wires hidden and all, and other things are happening, too. Just a few improvements to make the place a little cozier.

Shower, Flower

January 18th, 2008

Sunday we attended a lovely event in honor of The Fetus: A beautiful shower thrown by two of our friends, Sarah-Architect and Sarah-Novelist, at one of our favorite restaurants. This was our second shower, the first occurring in Pennsylvania and attended via Webcam. Here are photos from the L.A. event (please note that the better ones were taken by Sarah-Novelist):

Shower Power!

During the shower, a game was played that involved attendees writing name ideas and suggestions on index cards—funny entries encouraged, of course. Among the entries I remember were Macintosh LaVietes, iLaVietes, and Rock-shelle. Stevel and I decided as the instructions were being introduced that, what the hell, if someone guessed the actual name, we would confirm, and TWO PEOPLE guessed it! So we are naming the kid Violet, middle name still TOP SECRET, give us SOMETHING to surprise you with!

So now we are gaining “gear” at an amazing rate. Shocking how much stuff is necessary to coddle and nurture something that weighs less than my leg. Still, no matter how many toys we get, what do you think will be her favorite thing in the toy basket, hm?

I am feeling somewhat better in terms of the stomach stuff. Still feel exhausted all the time, but I think the puking finally ended after 7 1/2 months or so. So I am eating very well now and growing at a rapid rate. I have come to the stage where I look at myself in the mirror and think, “I don’t see how this is going to work, but if you say so.” That’s very good. The fetus is just the right size, says the doctor, and could join us on the outside any day (although no later than Feb. 18, one week after the due date, at which time they will induce if she needs encouragement).

In other news, Linus is doing great. He really responded to the antibiotics the vet gave us a week and a half ago, and he is back to his old self—eating, sleeping, hanging out at the water bowl. Well, almost back to his old self. The six pounds he shed are staying off, and he is one svelt kitty. He still doesn’t mind the insulin shots, so it’s all good. Our expensive cats, we love them.

Fortune Cookie Fortunes

January 8th, 2008

These were Steve’s and my fortune cookie fortunes recently at a restaurant called “Little Hong Kong Cafe”:


Are they supposed to be THAT accurate???