Thursday, May 31, 2007

Did I Win??

 I entered an essay contest at MissCellania ( about stress in parenting (not that I have any stress at all in my life).  I didn't win a Brand New Car or anything like that, but MissC did put my little ole essay on her website as "one of the funniest".  Heh.  Some of the other ones made me ROFL.  MissCellania's blog is one of my daily routines ... she never fails to make me laugh.  Check it out (but fair warning, it's not always rated G!)

The Japanese voyagers are reaching the end of their trip.  Here are some of Colin's emails:

Heymom I made it and I am beat. 10 hour plane flight and not a bit of sleep... oh well good night`s rest tonight because school doesn`t start til 9:00. Ok well I`ll email you again tomorrow with more updates
2 days have gone by and i am enjoying my stay in Japan very much. The first day of school was very interesting. If I wasn`t that tired i`d write more but i am beat...
Ahh... third day and i am close to getting rid of all the jet-lag so i can give you most of the details now :) The first day at school was just an introduction to the school grounds with some basic classes. Today was a half day and then a trip to the Nanzan University Seito Campus, that was kind of boring but not all that bad. The family i am staying with is very nice, although i wish they would let me use my Japanese more... anyway they have a Wii and I got to use it today woo!! I also had real Japanese Ramen for lunch today. It was different from what I`m used to but i liked it anyway. So until i can write you tomorrow again... see you :)
(This one is in answer to questions I had).
1.  Where does your host family live?  House or apartment? 
a house 2 actually they`re connected by a little walkway
2.  How is it getting to school?  Bus/train?  Long ride?
we walk to the bus stop and then we ride the bus for about 10 min it`s not that bad
3.  What are you eating?
Well last night we had a big slab of teriyaki chicken so i am eating pretty well. I even had ramen for lunch one day
4.  Are you keeping up with your journal?
i dont think anyone is we are having too much fun
5.  Have you cracked "The Great Gatsby" open at all?
i have read the first couple of chapters
things are going great and i seriously want you to look into doing that gap year
see you soon!
Well the first week has gone by and i am looking forward to spending the weekend with my host family.  Im actually kind of disappointed that i have to leave on tuesday (Monday should be interesting because most of the students dont know that we are coming back). Anyway almost died of a heart attack when this huge spider showed up on the carport. It was about this big (                                                       ) no joke either. then i got another scare because Asami was still spooked and she screamed real loud when their dog ran in (interesting family no?) Still i am kind of disappointed that i have to leave on tuesday because the family is starting to grow on me. Even if i cant understand what theyre arguing about sometimes, they are still a very nice family (Yuika is a little shy though). Back to the point, tomorrow i will be able to attend Asami`s sports festival so that will be a real treat. Not many gaijin get to see them. Then, On Sunday, WE might be going to a nearby amusement park so that will be a lot of fun. To wrap up i am having a real fun time and I can wait to get home (I just love this country so much).
forgot to say something, Tonight we had a going away party type thing and i got to make Mochi (rice cakes) the traditional way (cool huh)
Well... the sports day thing yesterday was interesting... it started out simple with just a couple of footraces and a relay race before lunch. thats when things got... umm... wierd.  next thing i know they have finished this one event where the children bring in their parents to help out and they picked up this huge inflatable ball and tried passing it over the croud of pople. the rest i too pictures of so ill just show you when i get home. I also got a wicked sunburn n the back of my neck ouch... then we went bowling for some wierd reason and then we went out to eat at a Japanese/American steakhouse. The food was very good but the ketchup for the fries was a hassle. it was packaged with mustard and to get it open you had to squeeze both of them together which made the mustard side explode. anyway im still having a blast and can wait to get home. Cya then

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Colin Goes to Japan

Colin and the crew made it to Nagoya, Japan!  They arrived last night around 1 a.m., after an 11 hour flight.  He said he didn't get any sleep at all, but that he was planning on getting a good nights' rest.  According to emails we exchanged with the host family before Colin left, he will ride the bus with their daughter, Yuiko, to school .. where he'll go to classes in Japanese language and other cultural things like origami, flower arranging, the tea ceremony and Judo.  I'm dying to know the details of the trip, and will pass them along to you, my dear readers, as soon as I get them.  You can also read the group's blog at, where they'll be posting their photos as the trip goes along. 

As for the home front, Mom and Dad are here, partly to see Colin off at the airport Friday, and partly because my birthday is Tuesday.  Mom helped me landscape an empty spot in my front yard.  Yesterday we were at the mall, where I treated myself to a makeover and professional photo shoot (a deal that Estee Lauder had set up).  Wonder how goofy the pics will turn out.  I will share them here if they're not too evil looking!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Out of Witty Titles

My blog is public again; for some reason AOL won't let non AOL'ers be registered as readers, and 90% of my readers are non AOL'ers.  The reason I took it private is that recently I read a news article about Blog Stalkers.  People who have nothing better to do than surf the internet looking for people to creep out.  But then I realized that there is really nothing earth shattering on my blog, and any stalker who came across it would fall asleep from boredom before he could plan anything.  So ... here I am, back in the saddle again.

What's going on?  Let's see ... Colin is leaving for Japan in 6 days!  He is going with his Japanese teacher and 14 other kids from his school.  They will fly to Nagoya, where they will each stay with a family for a week, go to school with their kids and basically hang out and learn to live like the Japanese.  The next week they will go to Hiroshima, Kyoto and Osaka.  They'll be home on June 2.  He is really excited and I am completely jealous.  Several times over the last year I offered to go along as a chaperone but Mr. N. just laughed.  He didn't get it that I was serious.  I haven't been back to Japan since I was 15 (having lived there for 3 years in 1965-1968).  I've had to buy him a whole new wardrobe of plain t-shirts since most of the ones he has have some rock group logo on it or something.  I have to take him to get a hair cut (or should I say a bush hogging - I didn't realize afros were back in style).  At least his pants don't hang down around his knees and he has no body piercings that I know of - ha!  He's a very good, conscientious kid and thinks the "freak" are just plain stupid. 

Right now he's looking at colleges, as he'll be a senior next year.  We visited UNC-G over his spring break and he was completely pumped up about the whole thing.  Dorm rooms, etc.

Speaking of UNC-G ... Supposedly I am poised to go to grad school there this fall.  Imagine my shock when I got a letter from the dept. of Library Science saying that I still hadn't submitted some forms.  WHAT?  Apparently my transcripts from Trinity U. have been misplaced.  And I had sent them to UNC-G in January, and again in April.  I had stopped by the grad school while Colin and I were there and were told that the transcripts were missing, so requested them again.  A call to Trinity told me they had been mailed in January AND in April.  I placed an outraged phone call, and the Dept. Head called me yesterday to tell me it wasn't too late.  That he would try to track down the transcripts.  They were under my maiden name, so they're probably in someone's file trying to find their way to the proper place.  So I'm hoping I'm still on track.  I was told that if Charlotte-Meck schools found out I was in grad school they would hire me in a second.  Well, shh, don't tell them.  I'm not ready to work AND go to school.  YET.  And my goal is to work at SouthLake anyway.  In the future.

Quentin turned 15!!!  And my bad, I didn't do a special "Happy Birthday Quentin" post.  He is so grown up, just got contacts and will take drivers' ed in June.  His birth was the easiest of the three, but man oh man, he screamed like a banshee for 6 months.  But once he became mobile he was the funniest, laughing-est, cheerful-est baby on the planet.  And that sense of humor has remained, honed and sophisticated, to this day.  Poor guy had around 7 projects due this week, poor guy.  Talk about pressure.  This school is pretty challenging, and he's only a freshman.  (For another week!) [Woo!]* <--_Added by Quentin himself.  Why did we name him Quentin?  (Which he thinks is a totally cool name, thank goodness!) 

In college, I was a history/political science major.  I studied a lot of US foreign policy history, which included Theodore Roosevelt, the Panama Canal and  all that.  He and his second wife, Edith, had four sons: Teddy Jr., Archie, Kermit and Quentin (and a daughter).  Quentin was a mischievous imp -- one time his brother was ill and Quentin brought a pony up in the White House elevator to cheer the brother up.  He was also an aviator in WWI.  I just always liked the name.  And his personality really matches the first Quentin Roosevelt.  Go figure.

And to close out ... a bit of trivia.  One time when I was working for a law firm in Baton Rouge, we had a lawyer from New York come in on a case.  He was the grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  (Who was related to Teddy Roosevelt by marriage -- Eleanor was a cousin of Teddy's).  Anyway, I was assigned to drive Mr. Roosevelt to the airport at the end of his visit.  He was very tall and squeezed his long legs into my tiny Honda Civic.  I was all aquiver about being so close to my historical hero, even if only through a descendent.  He wasn't really that friendly though.  I asked him who his father was, (the youngest of FDR's four sons) but he wasn't really into talking much.  Oh well.  My ten minutes of a brush with fame.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Disney is for Grown Ups Too!

David and I celebrated our 20th anniversary with a trip to Disney World ... without the kids!  It was sooo much fun, I can't begin to express how much fun it was.  I had suggested it because back in the fall when we went I had a terrible time, was alone with Melanie the whole time, while all the others were having fun.  So I wanted to go and have a good time!  And man did we ever.  We were met at the door of the hotel (Grand Floridian) by our personal valet (shall I say valette - she was a lady) who guided us to the honeymoon floor (i.e. no kids running up & down the hall).  In our room we found a bottle of champagne chilling in an ice bucket and an autographed photo of our hosts (Mickey & Minnie).  Our balcony overlooked the lagoon.  There was a daily hors d'oeuvres buffet every afternoon on our floor, with various wine and beer selections.

That evening we ate dinner at "bluezoo" which is Todd English's restaurant at the Dolphin resort.  The next morning we headed over to the Animal Kingdom for a "behind the scenes" safari tour.  Then David got me on Expedition Everest, which is Disney's newest roller coaster.  It was too cool!!

That evening we had booked a couple's massage at the spa.  Was it coincidence that the lady who was massaging David was from New Orleans, and that the lady who was my masseuse was from the Philippines? 

Then ... dinner at Victoria & Albert at our hotel.  Exquisite ... delectable.  Over the top.  Any meal that includes Iranian caviar and chocolate mousse is just too ... too ... indescribable.  For a long time my favorite restaurant on the planet was Gabrielle's at the Richmond Hill Inn in Asheville, NC.  I think it's a definite second now.  We had duck ... we had lamb.  I had a filet of turbot (fish) with lemon caper sauce.  And a wine pairing .. different one with every course.

Saturday was a Segway tour of Epcot.  Quentin says we look like dorks in the picture.  You be the judge.  Sunday ... MGM Studios, where we went on Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster.  Too fun. 

Sigh... re-entry was hard.  Real life beckons ...