John and I are leaving for Europe on Wednesday.Â My computer is staying home.Â Look for new posts around Thanksgiving.
No, this isn’t about Crisco.Â It’s about pants that are too long.Â As usual before an event, such as going away on vacation, I’ve bought some new slacks and they are too long.Â Now I admit to being a statuesque five feet five and a half inches (when I’m not slouching) and, though I’ll never be a contestant on America’s Next Top Model (obviously the only reason), I’m not as short as an average American woman.
(In case you’re wondering according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average U.S. woman is 5′ 3.7″ and weighs 152 pounds – tall enough to be an astronaut (minimum height 4′ 10.5″) but shorter than the average Miss America (5′ 6.5″))
So for whom, I ask, are these pants made?Â I didn’t buy regular length which would have needed to be shortened at least 5 or so inches but petite, PETITE!Â And I still have to shorten them about an inch and a half.Â Why can’t women’s pants be sized the same way as men’s!?Â Waist size and inseam.Â It would be so much easier.
Last night we babysat for Nathan. He is getting to be so big! I guess when you are raising your own kids that time passes more slowly and you don’t notice the changes so much. But since we don’t see Nathan every day, he grows by leaps and bounds. He is his own little person with definite likes and dislikes. I want to think that he remembers who we are when we come over. At least he always smiles which is very gratifying. But he’s such a happy little person that he smiles a lot. Here he is looking at a book with John. His intense concentration reminds me of Jonathan when he was a baby.
On another note, as an aftermath of the “girl fall,” none of the parts that I fell on actually hurt but the side of myÂ back away from impact is very sore. Oh well, it could have been a lot worse.
Â Since today’s entry somewhat mirrorsÂ a previousÂ cautionary tale, I’ve reprinted the first version followed by the new fable.
Â THE HUSBAND AND THE CLAY COURT – A MODERN FABLE
Once upon a time there was a husband who was named John. John was tall and athletic. He liked to compete. By chance, two people asked John if he and his wife would like to play mixed doubles at the tennis courts at the YMCA.
â€œOh no,â€ his wife said. â€œI have a terrible serve and do not play well.â€
â€œNonsense,â€ he said.
So they went to play. Back and forth they hit the ball, John taking most of the shots because of his superior ability. They lost the first set even though he tried hard. They switched partners. This time John won because he was not playing with his wife. But there was unhappiness. Finally they played together again.
â€œWe will do better this time, now that we are warmed up,â€ John declared.
All over the court he sprinted taking as many shots as possible. Finally a ball came flying over and he went to retrieve it with his very showy running forehand. But his feet slipped.
â€œUh ohâ€, he said to himself, â€œI am falling. I must execute my famous tuck and roll which I learned as a young lad.â€
But alas, the tuck did not quite happen. What did happen was much blood and a broken bone.
THE MORALS OF THIS STORY
1) Hard things are no match for soft human tissues and bone.
2) It is better not to try too hard to do something than suffer the consequences.
3) Even though your brain still thinks you are young, sometimes your body just doesnâ€™t believe it.
THE WIFE AND THE HARD COURT- A MODERN FABLE REVISITED
Once upon a time there was aÂ wife who was named Mary.Â Mary wasÂ short and round. She liked to compete. By chance she was playing tennis with her husband one day.
“I must try very hard so that I can show John my great improvement,” she said.Â “I want to show that the lessons I have been taking have made a difference.”
All over the court sheÂ lumbered taking as many shots as possible. Finally a ball came flying over and she went to retrieve it with her patented emergency slice backhand.Â But she leaned over too far while running.
â€œUh ohâ€, she said to herself, â€œI am falling. I must execute my famous “girl fall” which I learned as a young lass.”
Alas, this is where our two tales part company because a “girl fall” is much different from a “tuck and roll.”
Now everyone knows when you are falling down that you have immeasureable time in which to consider all the parameters and consequences of the fall.
“First,” Mary thought, “I shall fall before I hit the stone wall because hitting the wall will do way more damage.Â Next I shall do what my mother taught me, put your hands out so you don’t fall on your face.”
Unfortunately only one hand was available, the left, because the right one was holding the tennis racket.Â
“Ah,” Mary thought, “if I fall on my left hand, even if I break it and my wrist, it will be on my non-dominant side.Â Plus I must be careful not to mess up my nails which I have just had done.”
So down she fell, taking almost all of her weight (considerable) on her left hand.Â
“Wow! that hurts” she thought while she laid on the ground.
“Oh no! The security guard is coming over to see if we need help.Â How embarrassing!”
“Do you need help?” the earnest young security guard said.
“Perhaps a crane to get me up,” thought Mary to herself.
“Oh, no, I’m fine,” Mary grimaced and sat up.
And what was the damage done?Â By using her famous “girl fall”Â Mary did not break her collarbone or any bone.Â There was a little scraping of her knee but hardly any blood.Â The major damage was a bruised left hand.
THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS
1) It is better not to try too hard to do something than suffer the consequences.
2) It is important to protect your face and your manicure.
3) If you are over 10 years old, never fall down in front of an audience.
We’ve been on the road again traveling back from Utah.Â As always, questions arise during the trip.Â Here’s a sampling.
On our journey we pass through Boron, California.Â How many other towns can youÂ recall that are named for elements?
Along the same lines, in Utah there is a town/city named Bountiful.Â Can you think of other towns that are adjectives?
There are many variations of this game, i.e. towns named for trees, towns named for animals etc.Â It really passes the time.
Other questions that arose this trip -Â What is the season for oranges?Â Â Who was General Beale and why is there a road named after him around Bakersfield?Â (To find out the answer to thisÂ question click through to http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/lb/main/crm/photoalbums/howittalbum/bealehouse.html)Â Â What is the big industrial complex on the northwest corner of Kramer Jct., CA?Â And did you know that there is a Fresno-Yosemite International Airport?Â Actually, IÂ looked this one up.Â Mexicana Air flies out of Fresno.
We also passed many campaign signs.Â One was for someone named Small.Â It got me thinking, Small and Little are last names but why no Tall or Large?Â
Now we are home for a couple of weeks and then we are off to Europe for an adventure in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.Â Can’t wait!!
MUSINGS FROM THEÂ WEE HOURSÂ
This week’s challenge by Will Shortz on NPR is to construct a sentence where the beginning two letters of a word are the last two letters of the word before it, i.e. Sam, amiable leper, erased destructive veins.
My entry will be – Their irrational albeit iterative veneer eradicated education.
Hah, and you thought I wasted my time while I’m awake in the middle of the night!
I have ten dollars.Â I take my ten dollars to Las Vegas and I lose it all in a slot machine.Â I’m out ten dollars.Â But there is more to my ten dollars than the fact that it no longer exists.Â It has lost its opportunity to do something else.Â Buy almost three gallons of gas.Â Perhaps some groceries.Â Maybe I might have used it to see a movie and buy some popcorn.Â Or pay a bill.Â Or give it to charity.Â Anytime you waste money, you also waste the opportunity to do something else with it.Â
On September 26,Â Dr. Anita Dancs, the research directorÂ for the National Priorities Project, testified before Congress.Â The mission of the National Priorities ProjectÂ is toÂ offer citizen and community groups tools and resources to shape federal budget and policy priorities which promote social and economic justice. NPP is a nonpartisan and nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization.Â In herÂ testimony she highlighted the opportunity cost of war.Â Â With the recent appropriation, the U.S.Â has spent nearly $320Â billion on the war.Â These dollars could have been spent meeting other needs.
According to Dr. Dancs “that amount of money could have provided health care coverage for all uninsured children for as long as the Iraq War has lasted; provided four-year scholarships (tuition and fees) to a public university for all of this yearâ€™s graduating seniors; built half a million affordable housing units; fully-funded the amount the Coast Guard estimated is needed for port security; tripled the energy conservation budget in the U.S. Department of Energy; and still enough would be left over to reduce this yearâ€™s budget deficit by one-third.”Â
But certainly we do not begrudge the money if it goes to making the country more secure, safer from terrorism.Â But even National Intelligence Director John Negroponte has acknowledged that the jihad in Iraq is shaping a new generation of terrorist operatives.Â So not only are we not safer, nor winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis but we’ve also lost opportunities to make our own country stronger, safer and more just.
We’ve been really busy being grandparents this week.Â Blog writing is not a grandparenting activity.Â After a wonderful week with Ryan, Jon and Nathan, we expect to get back to our normal humdrum lives tomorrow.Â Humdrum life includes blog writing.