28 December 2007

My own pop culture vulture

Ethan is now 6 1/2 years old - time, I am realizing, that he is getting into things on his own, things I don't even know he knows about. Luckily, I'm not talking about anything bad, in fact, this past week has been one delightful revelation after another. It all began a few days ago, as we were driving in the car. I had one of the cooler radio station in the Bay Area, KFOG, on, and the opening riff of the Stray Cats' "Rock This Town" began to play. A small voice from the back seat popped up - "Mommy, I know this!" I thought to myself, Sure, he's probably heard it before a time or two. Then Brian Setzer - and Ethan - began to sing. The kid knew every single word - and even sang a bit of the guitar solo. I looked over my shoulder at one point to see him playing his air bass (he prefers to pluck strings a la Adam Clayton and Sting, instead of strumming, and on this song, who wouldn't?) and rocking out, as much as one can while confined by a seat belt. I asked where he learned it, and he said from one of his Cars games. Who knew? Need I tell you that E was thrilled to learn the band's name - he's always been a cat lover ;-)

Yesterday, Ethan and my mom were discussing Britney Spears and Martha Stewart. Martha was on the Today show demonstrating something when Ethan walked in and said, "Oh, that's the lady who got her kids taken away." My mom was puzzled, so she questioned him some more. Ethan went on to say, "You know, she's a really bad driver, so they took her kids away to keep them safe." "Do you mean Britney Spears?" my mom asked. "Oh yeah, I meant Britney Spears - that lady is Martha Stewart." I think this might possibly be the first time anyone, anywhere, has confused Martha and Brit. Oh how I'd love to see their faces if they knew this - I'm sure both would be horrified!

Finally, this AM Ethan showed mastery of more current pop music, too, singing along with Peter, Bjorn & John's "Young Folks."

I remember singing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," alongside my friend Penny Ehrles, when I was 6 1/2 - it's nice that E is developing some sense of pop music too. Now, I must devise a plan to transfer my absurd love for George Michael and Wham! to him - that may prove more difficult...

23 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

We're in full Christmas Mode here, and enjoyed going out to see the light this evening. Nothing is as cool as the lights here, run by a guy Mitch used to work with (before working with Mitch, he was a guitar player for Pink Floyd - somehow, given the Pink Floyd laser light show cliche, this all seems to fit, doesn't it?).

Check out his web site, and, if you're in he Bay Area, check out the show in person - the video from last year (below) doesn't do it justice!

Christmas Lights Timed To Music

06 December 2007

Total crap!

I'm attempting to grade students' outlines for their final papers, but am finding it more challenging that I'd like. Why, you may ask? Because I get crap like this:

English in America was the first language to speak by the British

This was followed by:

The language between English and the British are different in a way but, their minor


05 December 2007

03 December 2007

It was 20 years ago today...

I have an insane ability to remember the dates of all (major) concerts I've ever attended. This is why I sucked at chemistry in high school and upper-level Russian classes in college, cos this info is crowding out the other stuff.

Anyhoo, it occurred to me this morning that it was Dec 3, twenty years. to the day from my first grown-up-free rock concert. (Though looking back on it, I must use the term "rock" loosely.) My friend from 8th grade, Julie (who later went on to be my Maid of Honor) and I went to see none other than Richard Marx, at the Mabee Center in Tulsa. Oh how we looked forward to it! Within the year I was attending much "cooler" shows, like Bon Jovi (with Skid Row opening - remember them?), but nothing really compared to the months-long anticipation of that first-ever concert.

02 December 2007

Def. not in Kansas (or OK, or NC) anymore...

I've been loving the weather here in No Cal, but it only truly hit home for me how different it is from everywhere else we've ever lived this past Friday. I'd taken Ethan to school and no sooner had we entered the school yard (where all the kids play until the AM bell rings and they walk to their classes together), when the girl who sits next to him can running up saying "Ethan, Ethan! You've gotta come see - there's ICE on the PLAYGROUND!!!!" They both went running off to see the wondrous event. I walked ove and was greatly amused to see probably 50 kids crammed into about a 40 sq. ft section of the cork that lies below all the playground equipment "skating" on the "ice." From the looks of the excitement on their faces, it might have been the first time any of them had ever experienced "ice" before. Not a coat was in sight, I don't need to tell you. Was it ice? I'm not even sure - it seemed like a thin layer of frost to me, but it was enough that no one had to pick up their tennis shoes or sandals make the feet move.

After returning home form the ice event, I heard that the middle of the country was experiencing a blizzard. I think I'll take our icy cork flooring any day!

20 November 2007

Dance With Me Sesame

I wish I'd thought of this myself, but, as usual EW.com's PopWatch got it spot on. The resemblance is uncanny!

You, too, can be a Soccer Mom

Yes, it's true, apparently anyone can become a soccer mom. ll it takes is an excitable 6 yr old (I recommend boys, though I am sure a girl would work too), one pair of shin guards, and a registration fee.

Ethan has been proclaiming his love for soccer for about two years now, and today, he finally joined an official soccer group. He told me before we left today that he wanted to be the goalie, and was thrilled to get to be one for part of their game. I was pretty impressed, too, that he did so well - it was his first time out and he blocked four goals. His team btw, is the Carrots. they devastated the Blueberries this afternoon.

I'm also amazed that, in mid-late November, it was actually comfortable sitting on the ground for 45 minutes watching him. I'm not sure where my coat is, but it was fabulous not to need it or care! This NoCal weather can grow on a girl...

14 November 2007

A day late & a dollar (give or take) short

I was saddened, today, to learn that I'm too late in my quest to buy an Ethiopia-shaped island. I wonder what else might be left? Have a browse here.

13 November 2007

What happens in Dublin stays in Dublin

Ethan's school is having its annual gala fundraiser next March. Info went home to parents today - this year's theme will be Viva las Vegas, with the tag line "What happens in Dublin stays in Dublin." LOL There will be dinner, an auction, and gaming tables. Apparently last year they raised $45,000 in one night. Yikes! At least we don't have to endue endless bake sales, candy bar sales, wrapping paper sales, etc. This puts the $10 Baileywick cookbook from last year to shame.

09 November 2007

Hey dúid, don't be a dorc

Check out this sóúil article in the NY Times.

Random iPod inspection

EW's Popwatch (a column I love) does a random iPod inspection from time to time, and it's always fun to see what mine will reveal So fire up your iPod and see what the first 5 shuffled songs will be! (This pic is stolen from Popwatch too, it's nice to see them giving the Aussie blokes some love.)

My results today:

! All Because of You, U2
2 Rapper's Delight (Medley), from the Wedding Singer soundtrack
3 I Burn for You (Live), Sting
4 Elevation, U2 (Live from the Vertigo Tour, 2005)
5 Fast Cars, U2

Hmmm... I sense a pattern...

On a semi-related note, I bought a new desk calendar for 2008 today, the 1980s Book of Days, it looks gnarly!

07 November 2007

03 November 2007

Capt. Ethan

It's so great to be living in a place where there's cool, fun stuff to do EVERY weekend.

Today, Mitch & Ethan went to the Hiller Aviation Museum to check out the planes while my mom and I hung out at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. I can't wait to begin Christmas shopping... Note to all gift receivers reading this - update those Amazon wish lists ;-)

30 October 2007

It's official...

We're now Californians. We had our first (noticeable) earthquake this evening, a 5.6, according to prelim reports, with an epicenter just 20 miles southwestish of us. It was an interesting sensation!

12 October 2007

Finally all in CA - and back online!

Mitch sent me this today - a view from his office. Proof that even Oakland can be pretty sometimes.

Now that we are all out here and back online, the blog should resume as usual...

18 September 2007

A new one for my library

I've just found an ad on the SF Chronicle's web site for this book. I think I may need to buy... LOL

14 September 2007

What did you say?!?

Liz gave me the funniest thing ever for my bday (thanks, Liz!), Shakespearean Insult Gum.

Thy breath stinks with a cating of toasted cheese.

I've not eaten any yet, as I am currently working my way through another yummy thing she sent, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, but once I do, you'll be hearing from me!

12 September 2007

I should certainly hope so!

Given my profession, it is a relief to announce...

Your Vocabulary Score: A+

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

23 August 2007

Sorta Bionic

See What You're Made Of - Visit The Official Site

Not bad, given that I had the sound turned down on my computer when taking the aural section ;-)

22 August 2007

Bono's blog?

This is, I believe, the funniest fake blog I've come across in a long time.

20 August 2007

Road Trip, part I

Not much of note happened during the first half of the trip - NC, TN, AR, and OK all look pretty much the same each time one drives through them (with NC and TN being far more pleasant and interesting, imho). When e got to NM, however, we were in for some interesting sights. As we were driving through the desert east of Albuquerque, we could see a massive storm ahead - several miles wide, easily. We stopped and took a few cool pictures of the sky.

The next day we were on through Arizona and up to Las Vegas. Arizona's rock formations, as always, amaze me.

Before we reached Vegas, we drove over the Hoover Dam. Now, I've always heard of it, of course, and love the song by Sugar, but didn't really know what to expect when we got there. I was def. selling the thing short. And kudos to whoever it was that came up with the plan to make a feat of engineering a tourist attraction! I seriously want to go back when we have more time and spend a few hours looking at the displays and wandering around. (Note to self - do not try to drive a massive RV down the windy mountain road surrounding the dam, like someone we were stuck behind for a half hour.)

Mitch was Vegas earlier this summer, but neither Ethan nor I had been before, so we stopped off to take in the spectacle for a day. Like all good, non-corrupting parents, we let Ethan choose which casino hotel to stay at. We offered him a choice between the Luxor and the Excalibur (we were just there for a night, not looking for a place you'd want to stay for ages and ages). Ethan, being my child chose to stay in a castle over a pyramid, so the Excalibur it was. (I was secretly pleased, too, as Carrot Top is in residence at the Luxor, and the idea of encountering him and his scary torso is about enough to give me nightmares.)

I loved the water "show" at the Bellagio, sadly, though, we did not see George, Brad, or any of the other Oceans 11-13 people while we were there. We stayed out of Pacino's wonky casino as well. I think Ethan's faavorite thing was our visit to M&Ms World, where he could mix his own color combo of M&Ms. (He went for purple, hot pink, blue, and mixed colors, both regular and Mini M&M size, in plain and dark chocolate.)

After one night in Vegas, we were on to CA...

Long time, no blog

Gads, it's been positively AGES since I've blogged regularly! Where have I been? I suppose a better thing to say would be, where have I NOT been? As we prep more for the move to CA, we decided that we a) ended to get a car out to CA for Mitch to use all the time so his company won't have to keep renting him one and b) we needed a family vacation. It wasn't the most relaxing thing we've ever done, but it was fun. So, we set off - on a mere 24 hrs notice, for Road Trip 2007.

We did the drive (NC to CA) in about 5 days, without really pushing ourselves. We stopped in Knoxville, TN, Fort Smith, AR, Albuquerque, NM, and Las Vegas, NV along the way. I've not got much to report on the first half of the trip, but will be blogging about the more interesting parts of the trip, and the following 2 weeks that Ethan and I spent in CA with Mitch. (We're back in NC now, waiting for school to start and the move to get underway.)

How spam could be more effective

My "real" job's email account has been overloaded with spam for the past 2-3 weeks, and no one at the school seems to be interested in installing a spam filter to help the poor, beleaguered faculty escape it. Some came in yesterday with the obviously porny subject line "Me and my roommate . . ." I would be more inclined to open these if the subject lines were grammatically correct: "My roommate and I . . ." You know what writing teachers are like!

14 August 2007


I've been meaning to do this for a while now. I've been Simpsonized!

17 July 2007

What I need...

I SO need to be a contestant on The Singing Bee. Where else could I ever turn by knowledge of the lyrics to Electric Avenue into $50k?

16 June 2007

The Rusty Remains

They opened the car time capsule in Tulsa yesterday.

Her's an update before it was unveiled:

And, the final unveiling:

Here's a CNN article about it, too.

All told, I kninda wish Id been there!

15 June 2007

I have ALWAYS been cool

My mom and I have bee playing with our genealogy stuff this week, using Geni, a way-cool, free genealogy site. I've been scanning an uploading lots of family photos as well, which is how I happened to come across this pic of me at age two (which means this was taken in late 1976 or early 1977). if you look carefully, you can just make out that Winnie the Pooh is all over the dress.

10 June 2007

Tulsa, 50 Years later

This New York Times article is about a time capsule buried 50 years ago in Tulsa, OK. As you may or may not know, I grew up there, so when they open it up on Friday, I'll be looking forward to seeing how the things in it have held up.

05 June 2007

Scary, but true

Some of my classes had rough drafts of their final papers due last week. ONe student didn't submit hers, so I sent her a note reminding her it was due (something I am required to do, but really loathe). So, she wrote back with a list of "updated labor law poster kits" contents. Her paper is not on labor law.

What is this, Student? I asked.

I don't know, she replied.

WTF? Who submits something when they don't even know what it is?

And she wonders why she isn't passing my class.

04 June 2007

My pirate name

My pirate name is:

Captain Jenny Cash

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

27 May 2007

The pool is open!

We had Dale, jane, & Amanda here for Memorial Day weekend, and the kids got to open the neighborhood pool of the year. Luckily, ethan and Amanda are evenly matched in he water - neither is Greg Louganis or the Thorpedo, but they are both happy enough to paddle around and splash each other in the 3 ft area without feeling like they have to have an adult to grab onto at all times.

I think I know how my remaining NC afternoons will be spent once school is out...

26 May 2007

Let's go shopping!

My mom has a new shop up on Cafe Press - it's got her watercolors and a few pencil and colored pencil pieces up for sale. You can get cards, postcards, prints, posters, T-shirts, mugs, aprons, tiles, you name it, it's there. So, what are you waiting for? Visit her shop HERE!

But what about MY needs?

My friend, Gillian, turned me onto the needs meme in her blog, so now I must do it. All you do it go to Google and type your first name followed by "needs." Hi-jinx ensue! Here's what I've learned about myself this morning:

Nanci needs to calm the hell down. - Probably true...

Nanci needs to remember that we only get to be in college once. And thank God for that! ;-)

Nanci needs to score her rental skis before we leave. Nanci has had some experience skiing, and has chosen to stick with the sure thing rather than brave a new sport.

Nanci needs to find guys that have more honor. Nah, Mitch has plenty :-)

Nanci needs to send out minutes from special meeting of August 23rd for review by Directors and approval at next board meeting. Oh God, one more thing I've forgotten to do!

Nanci needs to come home and find out what is going on with Iran. So long as the Shrub is around, i shudder to find out what may be going on there soon.

Nanci needs us! Duh.

Whoever said Nanci needs a stronger guitarist should hear this guy play. No, really, Edge is just fine!

Nanci needs some help with pre-made scrapbook pages.

And last, but certainly not least: Nanci needs our prayers for financial blessing. So, get those checks, PayPal transfers, etc in the mail ASAP, OK?

21 May 2007

Drop dead gorgeous

What's the point of having kids if you can't brag about them now and then? Ethan's spring school pics just came back and I am SO pleased with them. He's a knockout (esp. in the closeup head shot), if I do say so myself :-) Now onder he's the Ladies Man (apols to Tim Meadows) of his kindergarten class!

19 May 2007

From scarf to shining sea

The need to have a dress code at schools is a national issue for what I had found is a very important issue in the different school of our nation, from coats to coast.

Yes, it's grading time again! Oy.

Where I've been

It's been forever since I've blogged - gads, I hate to look and see just how long, but I've been busy!

I've got a full load of classes (6), and only a few people managing to pass, so students are taking up loads of time. The "main" house is on the market, and we are almost ready to list the old one. God I'll be happy when this move is over.

In the past few days, though, I've been consumed with getting all my genealogy stuff entered on a way cool new site Mitch turned me onto, Geni. I've got 10 generations of my mom's family entered so far, and we are still all from freaking North America. This is maddening! The crest you see at the left is the Mx family shield (Mx referring to Mullennix, Molyneaux, Mullinax, etc), Here's some interesting info on the family's possible origins in the US.:

The Mullinax line has been traced back to three brothers, however if this is true then the migration of the father of the three brothers was very unusual. The eldest, Ammannuel was born in upcountry South Carolina at a time (1730) when that was still Indian country. It was 25 years before the area was first settled by Europeans (the area was ceded to the "whites" by the 1755 treaty and large scale settlement of Scotch-Irish and Germans began pouring into the piedmont from the Shenandoah valley between 1765 & 1770). Then, the middle child John was born “about” 1737 in Tidewater Virginia, and the youngest Matthew was born circa 1755 in Dublin, Ireland. While the age difference is unusual (albeit possible), what is particularly questionable was the direction of travel. From Indian country, SC to Coastal Virginia and then to Ireland? If it was the other way around it would be believable but this direction of travel makes me very suspicious.

It has been claimed that all 50-odd variations of the surname (collectively referred to as Mx) descend from branch's of the Molyneux noble family of Britain, and thus ultimately from Robert le Diable de Moulins, suspected bastard of the Spanish noble-descended priest Peter Abelard and a French nun Heloise (though other version's say Peter was from Normandy or Brittany and that the child of the affair was named Astrolabe). Robert's sons were captain's in William the Conqueror's army and the many descendants of the family hold titles in Lancastershire in England, in Ireland, and elsewhere, including the main branch which were Earls of Sefton until 1972. While there were many branches of this family in Ireland at the right time, and while many of this family did have to flee Britain at various times for various reasons (mostly choosing the losing side in wars or under prosecution for their Catholic faith) (--This sounds very much like the family members I have grown up hearing about - we never pick the winning sides of wars!) I have not seen this connection proven so I have very little faith in this story. Many a time I have seen similar claims disproved. Nonetheless, I include it here as a bit of interesting trivia.

(Taken from this site.)

How cool would it be to be descended from Heloise and Abelard? I will admit, I squealed like a little girl when I read that for the first time! :-)

09 May 2007

I'm in Newsweek!

I've been published in Newsweek! LOL You can see my contribution here, in the Perspectives column.

Those of you wanting an autographed copy should send your copy of the mag, along with a SASE and $5 to...

01 May 2007

Oh, the irony

Yesterday, I received a note from a student telling me she'd be unable to complete her (past-due) assignment for a while, as her computer had been confiscated by her state's Board of Probations and Paroles. Today, she has posted a very nice, albeit self-righteous, comment to our discussion of plagiarism, in which she says it all comes down to honesty. It's dishonest to plagiarize, and, because she is a very honest person, she never has to worry about plagiarism. The next thing you know, she'll tell us what a "good Christian" she is. Christians are fine, but we have to watch out for the "good" ones - it seems they are always the ones I catch doing something dishonest.

20 April 2007

B'way bound

I can't believe it, but I am going to have to see Spider-Man when it opens on Broadway. Most likely, i'll even need to be there opening night, when the librettist will presumably be in da house.

18 April 2007

What class are you?

In light of William and Kate's split and the snide comments about Mrs Meddleton ;-), The London Telegraph has devised this handy quiz to determine what class we all are. I came out in the third group, "You probably have a coat of arms." Not quite the Duke of Devonshire, but certainly not one of Onslow's lot, either. Whew!

16 April 2007

Finally! A "good" phone tree

Check this out - The Don Imus Helpline (Courtesy of NPR). This made the carpool line at Ethan's school a fun place to be today.

14 April 2007

13 April 2007

And for my next vacation...

I'm going to Dickens World!

Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo, NC

One of our favorite parts of the OBX trip was visiting The Elizabethan Gardens, at the site of the Lost Colony, in Manteo. Ethan, especially, enjoyed it, as he loves flowers and birds. I'm including a picture here of him with his activity sheet - a garden search game the ladies in the gift shop gave him. For someone visiting so early in the season, he managed to find quite a lot of the animals and plants on his "to find" list. We also enjoyed looking at the Elizabethan architecture (the ceiling photo is to die for - someday I must have a room with this ceiling!) and the views of Roanoke Sound from the gardens. The photo of the massive oak tree is one of my favorites - it is said that this very tree was living when the colonists first landed on Roanoke Island in 1588.