Sunday, January 30, 2011

Plotting his revenge

Let's just say he was less than impressed with me putting my camera in his face and disturbing his two o'clock nap. Not that he would have been any happier if I had disturbed his one o'clock or three o'clock nap, but the two o'clock one is his personal favorite.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Not what it seems

If this were a scene from a movie, we might infer that something terrible had happened to the child character and that his loyal dog was running for rescue.

This is not a movie. Instead, this is business as usual around here.

My child has thrown himself to the ground after suffering some horrific wound in a pretend battle against sith overlords or some other such evil doer and his "loyal" dog is skipping away in search of rocks to eat. She honestly does not seem to notice when Master J collapses in a pile in random locations, it's just that common.

On the plus side, I think it's a pretty good example of showing motion in photography, which works out nicely as that's my current assignment in my class.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Old age and youth are so closely related

So every Tuesday morning I drop off Master J at school and then head over to pick up my mom so we can go to our weekly meeting. Some days she's ready as soon as I show up and some days I wait inside for a few minutes while she finishes getting ready. This past Tuesday, she was set to go pretty much as soon as I got there so we headed out quickly. Apparently a little too quickly.

It's a pretty short drive over to the meeting and after finding a parking place we climbed out and started heading in. We had gotten about ten feet from the car when Mamoo stopped in her tracks and started laughing hysterically. I turned around to see what the heck was the hold up and she's pointing at her feet saying "I guess I worked with preschoolers for too long!" The woman had her shoes on the wrong feet. I am not even kidding.

Don't ever wonder where I get it from.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Photography Class: Project 1

I started taking a photography class over at the local community college so I could hopefully, eventually, figure out what all those buttons are on my camera. I've only had it for two years now, I guess it's time I took it off automatic. So far I've really enjoyed the class and I foresee it becoming more enjoyable the more I learn.

Last Thursday we were assigned our first project. A sort of introduction to your camera project. We were given a list of fifteen subjects or ideas that we needed to capture. They ranged from "order" to "chaos" and a bunch of things in between.

So far I've had some great opportunities to cross about 2/3 of the items off my list because in the last few days I've been all over the valley. I was previewing a house in an older, less desirable part of town and captured both old age and a street scene. And by the way, did you know that for just $2.99 a pound there is such a thing as "take out buffet"? I did not know that.

We went to Pueblo Grande, one of the few remaining sites of Hohokam ruins, and I took a picture of a petroglyph for "trace". I also took a picture of a spider but that was only because he was hanging on the door I was trying to go through and I wanted evidence of what bit me should he decide to attack.

Anyway, so we also had to take a picture of the light at sunrise and sunset. After much frustration I finally managed to get a picture of Izzy at sunrise. It took forever because every time I'd get lined up perfectly, she would pop a wheelie and try to hop over to me. Evidently she knew she wasn't supposed to be getting up and walking around and this seemed like a viable alternative.

For sunset, I decided to sit Master J down at the end of the day and see if I could do any better. Because I know that the class will be critiquing our "work", I have done a little pre-critique. I know that while the lighting in this shot is acceptable, I should have shot it in portrait and zoomed in closer. But I didn't, at least not the first shot.

However, in the time it took to snap the shot, look at to realize what I needed to change and implement the changes, the light changed. And I got this instead. Sigh.

Oh, and lest you think he's being overly compliant, here's a picture from a few days ago where he was apparently doing some sort of Elvis impersonation. I worry about the boy, I really do.

One more thing, I think I showed great restraint in NOT taking a picture of my child holding a sign saying "I am a 9 year old boy with ADHD and my Mom won't medicate me" for the example of chaos. A lot of restraint.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Probably won't have entitlement issues later

After I finished volunteering at Master J's school today, his teacher pulled me aside to tell me the following...

Mrs. S was talking about how great it is to be an American as part of a discussion for their social studies lesson. She was talking about freedom and the wonderful opportunities we have available to us.

Mrs. S: So all American children have the opportunity to have a free education provided to them from kindergarten all the way through high school.

MJ: Excuse me but there's nothing that's really free.

Mrs. S: Well, do your parents write a check every month so you can go to school?

MJ: No. But they pay taxes.

Mrs. S: Okay, that's true, they do pay taxes.

At this point the student teacher chimed in and said "Yeah, that was when I looked around the room and realized all the other kids were completely clueless about what taxes are!"

So, yeah, maybe there's hope for him yet. Evidently he can actually hear us when we talk.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What are they teaching kids these days?

I was out showing houses on Saturday morning for a few hours and then met Mister C, Master J and my in-laws at a local pizza joint for lunch. Because I was otherwise occupied, Mister C took Master J to his guitar lesson with Music Man. Since I arrived late, I hadn't heard any previous discussion of how it had gone and what he had learned. Hence, the following...

Mirth: Hey J, so what did you learn at your lesson?
MJ: I learned how to use my middle finger!
Mirth: (choking on pizza) Whaaa?
MJ: I learned how to use my middle finger!
Mirth: Awesome dude! Now you can get your driver's license!
MJ: What?
In-laws and Mister C are now laughing.
Mirth: Never mind dude, good job on learning to use your middle finger.

And yeah, I know I'm childish, welcome to my world.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tucson Shooting

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of all of the victims of today's violence in Tucson. For the six people that were killed, including a federal judge and a nine year old girl, my heart breaks. For the thirteen wounded, including Congresswoman Giffords, I pray you have a quick recovery.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No new job yet

So I got my "Hey thanks for trying but we'd rather not" note from the company I did a phone interview with last Wednesday. It doesn't really surprise me. I suspect it might have been the long pause after one particular question that did me in. What question you ask?

Interviewer: What intrigued you about the position to be a claims representative?
Mirth: ...........?????

Call it my Jan Brewer moment if you will. I just couldn't wrap my mind around her using that particular word in that sentence. It's not that I didn't understand the meaning of the word or anything like that. It's just that there are very few reasons to use that word in a job interview, at least not in a question. It would be more appropriate to use the word when asking the interviewee to clarify something on their resume.

For example...

"Mirth, I see here that you used to work as a shoeless, bar tending, speed reader in a Texas brothel. That sounds intriguing, tell me more about that."

Honestly though, the question caught me totally off guard. I was prepared for a lot of questions, but throwing the word "intrigued" in relationship to a job as a phone representative is a bit unfair. Mister C hates when I refer to jobs like this as glorified phone sex, but I think it's fairly accurate.

So the answer to the question is really, nothing. There's nothing about your claims representative job that intrigued me. There's nothing intriguing about spending ten hours a day hooked up to a phone system handling customer complaints. I applied for this job because your company has great benefits and decent pay and I'm fairly sure that even my little pea brain could handle the job itself.

The most intriguing thing about this whole situation was trying to figure out what genius came up with the idea to use totally inappropriate words during the interview process in order to throw off the applicants. Intrigued indeed.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New cat toy

On Friday, I had dinner with my friend A, her mom M and her nephew J. I should clarify that I was actually showing up to partake of M's fantabulous (it's a word) chicken Parmesan. No disappointment there, it was just as fantabulous as expected. In fact, earlier today I stopped by A's house to "feed the cats" but really it was just a great excuse to pick up the leftovers.

Anyway, when I got there I was given a gift for my herd of fur. Since they don't have thumbs, I got to open it up. A and M had given the herd the zhu zhu pet, Yama. For those not in the know, Yama is a member of the Kung Zhu clan. This clan is notorious for being very athletic, extremely agile, vocally superior and possessing ninja-like reflexes. Or, you know, they motivate crazily on the tile making noises. And the fur herd? Loved it.

From the first noise, their interest was piqued. With the exception of our oldest dog Nora, they were all very interested in it. Nora gave it a sniff, realized she couldn't eat it and wandered off. Izzy gave it a sniff, figured she probably could eat it and tried to walk off with it. She had to be repeatedly told to leave it alone so the cats could investigate it.

But the cats were awesome. The kitten (who fears absolutely nothing) was the first to check it out. He walked up like he owned it and started following it around. Then he knocked it onto it's side and when it started squealing in distress he dragged it closer and gave it a (rather aggressive) hug. It wasn't a hug filled with love or comfort. We alternated with me putting Yama back on it's wheels and starting it up and Tiberius following him around until he got tired and then knocking it over and holding it tightly.

The Antagonizer (who also has no fear and possesses an evil streak) sniffed it, followed it and looked perturbed when Tiberius held it too tightly. She really disliked the distress signal Yama made every time the kitten knocked it down. She finally sat back and watched from the sidelines, occasionally running over to sniff it.

The Hooligan (who is afraid of everything, as well as being mentally unstable and having questionable intelligence) was horrified and yet intrigued. He also seemed to have an excessively difficult time tracking which way Yama was going, even when it was simply spinning in place. He's never been the brightest in the bunch.

It was difficult to get decent photos of the chaos, mostly due to Izzy's brindled butt perpetually being between my camera and my subject. She has an innate ability to lift her head or fling up an ear at exactly the right moment to ruin a picture. It's a gift. In spite of her I managed to get a few pics.

This first picture is a perfect example of the personalities involved. In case you can't tell the difference between the two lardy silver tabbies, Tiberius is next to the dishwasher.

1. Tiberius is watching the toy that has gotten stuck in a maze of shoes. He's curious, but he's willing to wait and see what's going to happen.

2. The Antagonizer is trying to "help" Yama out of it's tight spot. A few pokes and it escaped.

3. The Hooligan appears to have no idea where Yama even is, even though it is at this point making a bunch of different barnyard like noises and struggling to escape.

And another situation...

1. Tiberius is again waiting patiently for what's next. While he's waiting he is strewing lego pieces around the floor from their former pile.

2. Izzy is licking her chops and hoping to be able to snag Yama at the first opportunity.

3. The Hooligan is carefully looking under the tray table for Yama. Unfortunately, Yama is almost two feet away, in another direction.

Tiberius holding Yama in place. This is what happens before it gets knocked around and "hugged".

So, long story short, I am unable to leave Yama on the floor unsupervised. He gets put up on the counter when I can't babysit. And when I can, all I have to do is push the button and within thirty seconds I have the fur herd running into the room.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Day

Must have been one helluva party...