Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lord Waldemart

My parents owned a small town drug store when I was growing up, so I'll admit I have a bit of a bias against the big box stores. And, I'll further admit that I am not an expert on economic matters -- I realize the global economy is complex. However, having made those admissions... I'll still express my opinion that WalMart's practice of having thousands of teens work as unpaid baggers in their Mexican stores is stinky! (I just read that story today here.)

Newsweek reports that "19,000 youngsters between the ages of 14 and 16" work at WalMart stores in Mexico after school for tips only, and it's legal because the kids are said to be "volunteering" their services to WalMart. However, "some officials south of the U.S. border nonetheless view the practice as regrettable, if not downright exploitative." Amen to that. Geez, couldn't WalMart take a higher road?!

While I'm on my WalMart tirade, check out this cool and funny Harry Potter spoof on WalMart:
(Found it at Jane Ellen's blog.)

Monday, July 30, 2007

gotta love that steve

I've always liked Steve Martin. He fits my definition of renaissance man: comedian! author! musician! actor! philosophy major! art collector!

But mostly I like him because he cracks me up. He doesn't really even need to do much. He can move from point A to point B and I find it hilarious. (There's just something about his body language!)

I saw today where he married Anne Stringfield, writer for The New Yorker. It was a surprise wedding -- seems they had told their guests they were coming to a dinner party. They were married by Bob Kerrey, former U.S. senator from Nebraska, and fried green tomatoes were served. But by far the best part: Martin delivered his vows sporting the Inspector Clouseau mustache.

Yep, quintessential Steve.

Friday, July 27, 2007

barb & the bard...

Offspring #1 (far right) is on the tail end of summer quarter and gearing up for the start of the Skagit River Shakespeare Festival. Twelfth Night opens August 1st. I'm reaaallllly looking forward to seeing her in the role of Viola and enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. Who wants to come along? :)

They had a nice article in the Skagit Valley Herald today. You can read it here.

Credit: picture by Frank Varga

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

arthroscopic adventure

Tomorrow morning Offspring #2 has surgery to repair his shoulder. He has had recurrent dislocations -- the last one at the high school state tennis tournament (pictured above) which was a major bummer.

So we'd appreciate any and all well wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts directed his way! :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

in honor of potter...

Saw this Harry Potter quiz over at Jan's blog so thought I'd give it a go. Why am I not surprised I turned out to be the ├╝ber-student?! Here are my results: (Thanks goodness Voldemort ranks last for me!)

You scored as Hermione Granger, You're one intelligent witch, but you have a hard time believing it and require constant reassurance. You are a very supportive friend who would do anything and everything to help her friends out.

Hermione Granger


Sirius Black


Albus Dumbledore


Remus Lupin


Draco Malfoy


Harry Potter


Ron Weasley


Severus Snape


Ginny Weasley


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

inspirational quote of the day

"It never hurts to help!"
-- Eek! the Cat

(Of course this statement always preceded the cheery, thoughtful cat getting totally mangled while trying to 'do good', but we won't think about that...)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

poof! and proof

We had an inexplicable electric surge a couple of weeks ago (poof!) which fried our family room tv. This was not a major problem for me because I watch very little television, but Hubby and Offspring #2 were eager to replace it. (It was an older set and would have been spendy to fix it.) Offspring #2 made the excellent point that it would be nice to have a working tv when he recovers from shoulder surgery (happening July 25th). So last weekend Hubby, Offspring #2, and I trekked to Portland to get a new one. Since Offspring #1 was not available to help me balance "the boys", we ended up with a BIG one. It sort of looks like the old one on steroids.

But I'll admit the new set is great for watching movies, and last night Hubby and I watched Proof , one of those movies we never caught in theaters but have been meaning to see. The film, based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, centers on the question of authorship of a breakthrough mathematical proof. Gwyneth Paltrow gives a darn fine performance as Catherine, a math prodigy who has been caretaker of her mentally ill father Robert (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant and famous math professor. Dad has gone to that Big Calculus Room in the Sky, and Catherine now struggles with her own confusing state of mind -- which is made more confusing by the arrival of her shrill sister to help with funeral arrangements and Hal, one of Robert's last students who wants to comb through Robert's bazillion notebooks (which had been filled during his years of mental disturbance) in hopes of finding something of mathematical merit.

Hmmm.... They probably should have just left this one as a play. On stage, I'll bet it was compelling to explore both the human connections and the fine line between genius and insanity. But on the big screen I think you need a bit more of a plot. And the problem with this one is that the mystery is sort of ho-hum for me. Imagine math class and the question: "Was it Pythagoras or someone else from his School who was the first to discover the proof of the Pythagorean Theorem???" I'd say if that sort of question seems riveting, definitely go ahead and rent Proof. If not, I'd wait for a stage production.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

it's like this...

Yep -- too lazy to blog.
(Oh no! Could Marble's ennui be contagious?!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

geekometer check

Whew! That's a relief! I was bracing myself for the worst, but come to find out I'm only this much geek:

15% GeekMingle2

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Yesterday, Offspring #1 called as she was heading to KOMO-TV in Seattle to help tape a public service announcement for Shakespeare Northwest that would air on the program Northwest Afternoon. She found out that we could be in the studio audience of the show and wondered if I would and/or could join her on short notice. (It was around 11:00 and I needed to be in Seattle--130 miles away--by 2:00.)

My answer? About fifteen minutes later, I was heading up I-5 with my mom (who was also up for an impromptu road trip)! We all knew it might be a little tight to get there (not knowing about traffic, parking, etc.), but we didn't know the trip would take on somewhat "epic" proportions. For starters, there was a huge traffic tie-up near Olympia due to an overturned semi truck which ate up precious time. Then, when we finally got to Seattle I ended up parking SEVERAL blocks too far away from KOMO. (Mapquest failed me a bit!) So we ended up hoofing it (while asking for directions along the way)--aware that we were really playing "beat the clock" at this point. In any event, WE MADE IT at literally the last possible moment! (We got there at 2:20 which is when they close their doors.) Yeeha!

I ended up getting to sit next to Offspring #1 (her group had been seated before the rest of the audience due to their taping of the PSA) which was pure bonus! This particular NW Afternoon featured Dr. Oz (heart surgeon, author, and frequent Oprah guest). It was actually quite informative (you can see a segment here). The picture above catches our response to viewing a sample of an excessive amount of omentum (or 'blubber').

It was fun being in the studio audience -- I had never done that before. And I must say we were a brilliant audience -- always clapping an appropriate amount and right on cue. :) As a reward (heck, we would have gotten them anyway), we all received a free copy of Dr. Oz's latest book, "You on a Diet." (At first glance, it looks pretty good!)

After the show, Offspring #1 headed back up north and we headed back south... during Friday rush hour. But no complaints from me -- it was an awesome road trip!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"benevolent leader"

As mentioned on one of the Friday Fives, I do like taking personality tests! And, happily, I ran across a new one (well, new to me anyway!) It's called personal dna -- a little lengthy, but fun.

Turns out I am a "benevolent leader". Hmmm... I wonder if there are any small countries in need of my skills...

Monday, July 9, 2007


I really don't have much to say today, but I'm going to resist the temptation to blog about it! Although I'll make no promises for tomorrow!

Found the cartoon at gapingvoid.com when I was mindlessly surfing one day...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

bluesy saturday

They call it blues, but it makes you feel good. Since I have a penchant for paradox, it's no wonder I like that genre of music!

Hubby, Offspring #2, friend of Offspring #2, and I went to Portland today to the Waterfront Blues Festival -- which they bill as the "biggest blues festival west of the Mississippi". It runs for 5 days, and they've got 5 stages (including one on a small cruise boat) and lots of great performers.

It's also the biggest fundraiser of the year for Oregon Food Bank. (Admission was $8 and two cans of food.) So it was really one of those classic win-win situations: good music and a good cause. (And, they make a darn fine rootbeer float.)

Picture above is a very relaxed Offspring #2 enjoying the day.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Hasty Answers to the Friday Five: "Hasty Edition"

Reverendmother says:
Whoops! I have been in a family-induced haze these few days, with the July 4 holiday and taking time off while relatives are visiting. So I literally lost track of what day it was!

So rather than make you guys wait even one minute longer for the five, I'll dig up an oldie: Today, what are you:

1. Wearing
I am currently wearing mismatched pj's: A Winnie the Pooh top and a pair of Offspring #1's old shorts from her fast-pitch softball days. I look really...umm... good. Yeah.

2. Reading
I am currently reading Al Gore's The Assault on Reason: good thoughts, but dry style. If only he had asked me, I could have helped him make it more zippy.

3. Eating
A cinnamon roll brought over last night by one of Offspring #2's friends -- gooey deliciousness which is going well with a steaming hot cup of coffee.

4. Doing
At the moment, of course, I'm typing out my Friday Five... but later I have some clinic chart work to finish and a few errands to run. Rumor has it Offspring #2 and I may go to the movie Ratatouille.

5. Pondering
I'm pondering the implications of this statement: "Everything that every individual has ever done in all of human history and prehistory establishes the minimum boundary of the possible. The maximum, if any, is completely unknown." --John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, The Adapted Mind

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy 4th (er... 5th by now!)

Yikes! My last post was Saturday! I guess that's because I've been a roadie instead of a blogger... On the 4th I was up in Sedro-Woolley (don't you just love that name?!) in the morning to see their parade. Ah, there's nothing better than a small town parade on the 4th of July! (You can click on the above picture to enlarge it.) Offspring #1 was part of the Shakespeare Northwest entry, and it was lots of fun watching the actors in costume handing out their promotional bookmarks.

After pizza and ice cream, I headed back home mid-afternoon to catch our local fireworks display in the evening down at the lake. Yep, it was a great 4th. Hope everybody out in blogger land enjoyed theirs too!