November 30, 2004

I'm Back


Posted by Ardith at 02:02 AM | TrackBack

November 26, 2004

Kids Are Funny

It can be difficult at times to successfully portray the atmosphere in a household of ten kids. But I'm going to try anyway. Because it's one of those one-of-a-kind things.

We'll begin in the computer room, where Jason (17), Sharon (19), Derek (13), and I are all discussing the current fashion trends in jeans. Precipitated by the fact that Sharon is wearing the 'boot-cut' variety.

Jason: "Those look like something from the 80's!"

Me, having just walked in: "What looks like something from the 80's!"

Jason: "Those jeans Sharon's wearing!"

Derek: "Yeah, they look weird!"

Me: "Hrm. I happen to be wearing some like those, too. See?"

*gasps of amazement*

Jason: "See what happens when people go to college? They start wearing weird clothes!"

Me: "Yeah, yeah, I know."


Cut to the living room, where the Nutcracker CD is playing. The Arabian Dance having just started, dancing ensues. And by dancing, I mean jumping up and down and running in circles around the room. Half the kids run into each other and fall down, laughing all the while.

Trevor (2) walks in to ask Melinda (12) if he can play games on her computer, since he doesn't have one of his own yet. Except that he doesn't say anything much besides 'no'. So Jason asks for him, Melinda says 'yes', and Trevor goes back to the computer room and begins playing Commander Keen almost as well as I do. Getting through the first two levels all by himself. When he plays, he stands on the chair and holds his face about 4 inches from the computer screen, and is completely oblivious to the rest of the world. I blame his older brother for this behavior.


Carolyn (10) and Ethan (8) are now currently making skates out of waffle blocks. Which involves Ethan doing something and Carolyn telling him that's the wrong way to do it.

Trevor has moved to a new game. Actually, it's not a game at all, it's the map editor for something called Happyland Adventures Xmas Edition. Which Jason found in some obscure spot on the internet. I don't know what Trevor plans on doing with it, but he can say 'map' now and point to the right icon on the desktop.


The skates being assembled in the hallway are now believed to be stilts, since they're getting rather tall.

Melinda has set up a blanket as a curtain in the living room and has tied a string to a stuffed animal. The stuffed animal is now providing interpretive dance to accompany The Nutcracker.

Half of them are now playing 'FBI'. I discovered this when I walked into the hallway and got a sword, acting as rifle, pointed at me.

"You have the right to remain silent..."


Oooh. They're going to disassemble the completed puzzle on the table.

Derek: "We will raise it ceremoniously."

Puzzle is raised.

But they lack the willpower; they carefully lower it again and press the pieces back into place.

Me: "Oh, just tear it apart and put it away."

I get a toy gun pointed at my head for all my helpful comments, these days.


Jason walks in, and stalks around like a vulture.

Me: "Why are you stalking like a vulture?"

Jason: "I'm thinking furiously about complicated things which you wouldn't understand."

Above accompanied by much hand-waving and a dastardly tone of voice.


Back in the living room, an orchestral version of Jingle Bells is playing. Ethan is directing, the interpretive dance is still in progress, and Nolan (5) is standing at attention with the sword and a blanket tied around his neck for a robe.

I have just been informed by the director that the interpretive dance is to be called "Comical puppet shows set to music."


Jason reenters. Still stalking around.

Me: "Why are you still stalking around?"

Jason: "I'm thinking."

Me: "What are you thinking about?"

Jason: "I can't tell you yet."

Random pieces are taken out of the puzzle and replaced. Blame for missing pieces is placed on the heads of younger children.

Derek: "What did you ask Jason?"

Me: "I asked him what he was thinking about. He wouldn't tell me."

Derek: "Oh, it must be about That Thing. Except he said it wasn't about That Thing. So it must be about That Other Thing."

Me: "I'm so confused."

*types into blog entry*

Derek: "Hey! Are you writing my words?"

Me: "Yup."

All in the space of an hour. XD

Posted by Ardith at 08:37 PM | TrackBack

November 25, 2004

Begotting New Traditions

Title is courtesy of my younger brother Derek, when trying to explain why we haven't heard of this new 'tradition' involving watching movies every night before bed.

So yes, I'm at home, finally. And very, very glad to be here. The kids are busily eating their Thanksgiving pie, before going to bed. I'm sure they'll have lovely exciting dreams tonight. As for me, I'm tired, but feeling quite happy and productive. Between Sharon and I, we pulled off the entire Thanksgiving dinner. From roast turkey to home-made whipped cream. I'm rather proud of myself. And proud of all the willing slaves that cut celery and made bread crumbs, and put marshmallows on the sweet potato casserole, of course. There are distinct advantages to cooking for a large family.

And I found out that I should get my luggage here tomorrow. Which got lost in Minneapolis. This is a very good thing, and maybe I can finally put The Flight In Which Everything Went Wrong behind me.

See, it all started when we got held up an hour longer than expected in Dallas traffic...

...and so I got to the airport only 25 minutes before my flight was supposed to leave. This being 6:30pm, there was only one guy manning the Northwest ticket counter. And before I even got up to the counter he was asking me:

"You weren't trying to go to Minneapolis, were you?"

Minneapolis, of course, being the connecting hub I was scheduled to go through. So clearly I was trying to go to Minneapolis, and just as clearly I was about to be disappointed. Which happened in due course, as he told me that they weren't taking any more passengers for that flight. Whether this meant I was merely too late or they overbooked my flight, I didn't determine. I was flustered enough as it was.

So, I got rebooked for a flight that would leave at 6:15 the next morning, called Heather's cell, got her to turn around and pick me up again, and we decided to go and get a hotel room rather than try to drive home and turn right around again to come back out to the airport.

And so we tried again the next morning. And I managed to leave my ID at the hotel room, and not notice it until we'd made our way through the check-in line. This was at 4:30am, so I'm going to claim Early-Morning Insanity. It's a documented condition. While I held my place in line, Heather went back and picked up my misplaced verification of self, and I finally checked in. At this time, it was about 5:00am.

About 15 minutes later, I noticed that I wasn't given my boarding passes. Only a receipt. This, of course, was after I made my way through most of the line for security.

5 minutes later, I finally had my boarding passes. 10 minutes later, I was through security, and this time I actually made it on the plane. Sinking into that seat was quite the nicest feeling in the world.

After dozing through one 2-hour flight and reading through the next 30-minute flight, I landed in Waterloo, IA. Except that my lone duffel bag didn't land with me. Nope, it had decided to wait around for the next flight of the day from Minneapolis to Waterloo. Which brings me to the point where I arrive home, get stormed by lots of kids, make Thanksgiving dinner, and get a call telling me that my bag should arrive tomorrow.

It's been a rather full day. And now I must go pick the rest of the turkey off the bones.

Posted by Ardith at 10:27 PM | TrackBack

November 24, 2004

A Final Note Before Leaving

I'll be home tonight, kiddos.

Don't burn the place down until I get there.

Posted by Ardith at 03:04 PM | TrackBack

November 23, 2004

This Makes Sense

*gets sucked into taking an online quiz*

You are water. You're not really organic; you're
neither acidic nor basic, yet you're an acid
and a base at the same time. You're strong
willed and opinionated, but relaxed and ready
to flow. So while you often seem worthless,
without you, everything would just not work.
People should definitely drink more of you
every day.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hah. And I'd like to point out that I find the last sentence extremely disturbing.

Thanks for tuning into Ardith's Distraction For The Day, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled Non-Posting Extravaganza.

Posted by Ardith at 06:47 PM | TrackBack

November 15, 2004

Nope, Not Dead Yet

Just unbelievably busy. I've done lots of things in the past week-and-a-half or so, the trick is just to remember what they all are. And thus:

Ardith's List Of Things She Has Recently Accomplished
--with notes as necessary

1) Replaced the windshield wipers on the car today. They needed it, desperately. And now when I turn them on, they actually wipe the windshield. A major improvement.

2) Walked down to the IT shop on a random errand, got Chris to look for my shirts for this year, as well as my nametag, and verified that he has neither. I now feel justified in my laziness in not checking for them earlier.

3) Confirmed that the reason the two monitors in LH-133 seem like they're not working is because they are, in fact...

...not working. I was quite proud of myself for that one.

4) Got registered for all my classes next semester. First time ever that I haven't had to jump through a gazillion hoops to accomplish this.

5) Finally read Ender's Game over the weekend. And it was really good. As I expected it to be. But then, I usually like things that Orson Scott Card writes.

6) Also went to see a play over the weekend. Wait Until Dark. It was fairly good, I suppose, considering that this is Longview. The actress playing the blind girl did quite a good job. And the guy in front of me who was "...not from Texas, I'm from South Carolina!" and who seemed to consider rock music the bestest thing since sliced bread spent most of the intermission trying and failing miserably to get me to talk. I was highly amused.

7) Played three soccer games last week, out of which we won two. We were missing half of our best players for that last one, though, so I wasn't too disappointed. Soccer is loads of fun. The only sport I actually enjoy playing, and that I'll put lots of effort into. I have no idea why this is. And I'm actually pretty good playing defense. I have no idea why this is either. But it's a fun way for Ardith to get excercise, and I'm all for that. I'm going to be sad when the season's over.

8) Look. I've posted in my blog. Considering my posting habits of late, I think this counts as an accomplishment.

That's about all I've done, besides classes, and homework, and random other things.

In Other News, I got my copy of the 7th Annual C.S. Lewis and the Inklings Conference papers CD. Which includes mine. So I'm now officially a published author.

And in Really Nice News, a bunch of people have got together to send me home for Thanksgiving. Girls from G1, guys from 2A, people from the crew, and I'm sure random other ones. I have no idea who you all are, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It really means a lot, and it's been great to know I have so many supporters thinking and praying about me and my family.

Posted by Ardith at 11:41 PM | TrackBack

November 08, 2004

So Far So Good

My dad's out of surgery, and eveything's gone well so far. They say the next 24 hours are critical, but the first step's over.

I think I'll go bounce off the walls for awhile now.


Posted by Ardith at 11:26 PM | TrackBack


Just read this.

I have no idea how I'm supposed to get anything done today...

Posted by Ardith at 10:11 AM | TrackBack

November 02, 2004


I'm feeling quite a bit better now, so I have made an executive decision to not do any homework, and to instead post, so as to keep the natives happy. See, if the natives are happy, they're less likely to commit hari-kari, thus staying around and providing me with continued amusement.

I sitll have no idea what I caught. I chalked it up the flu; told my professors that because it sounded vaguely dangerous enough to skip class for. I really don't know, though. All I know is that I got back Saturday evening from fixing a friend's mom's computer, realized that everything ached all of a sudden, took Tylenol and crashed in the bedroom. At 6:30pm. Which is hardly normal, to say the least. I pretty much watched TV all day on Sunday, missed all my classes today (Monday), and lost a whole lovely weekend.

Oh, well.

So anyway, Thursday was the Career Fair. I got all professional-looking (a monumentous event in itself), and wandered over with my resume in tow. I talked to people from Rockwell Collins and L-3 Communications, gave them both my resume, and went to lunch. It was a good day's work. Then on Friday, the guy from Rockwell Collins was interviewing people, including me. It took about forty-five minutes,

*takes short break to feed self cough syrup*

Ugh. Nasty stuff.

So, anyway, I think the interview went well. I always think it's a hopeful prospect when they say "you're the kind of person we're looking for." Couldn't promise anything, of course; it's far too early for that yet. But in a few weeks they're supposed to be flying people up for more extended interview. If I get in on that I'll be quite happy.

See, working for Rockwell Collins is the best possible situation, at this point. They're based in Cedar Rapids, only 2 hours from my house. I really, really want to be closer to home for at least the next couple of years. They also get to work with all kinds of great stuff. Integrated hardware and software for airplanes and communication, not to mention the DoD work.

So I'm rather happy about that so far.

And there they are, the promised further details. Now I must be off to bed. Sleep calls.

Posted by Ardith at 12:55 AM | TrackBack