Joe was grading statistics homework and quizzes last night. He's teaching a 10 day winter session course. These are usually students who excel mightily and just squeeze this in at the community college before heading back to their four-year colleges and universities, or ... people who just found out over Christmas that they failed stats in the fall and have to complete the course before spring semester begins.

The following story seems to be about one of the latter students.

Joe started ranting out of the blue. "150%? Seriously? Can she seriously mean 150%?" He faded off into a disgruntled mutter.

"150% of what?" I ventured.

"This student is saying there's a 150% chance of something happening! Seriously? I mean, even if you don't get the math, apply some logic!" he ranted on.

I tried to appeal to his imagination. "Well, maybe she's a sci-fi fan."


"Yeah, maybe this thing has such a huge percent chance of happening, that it's absolutely guaranteed to happen in our reality and it carries over to have a 50% chance of also happening in an alternate reality." I giggled.

He rapidly got on board, "Yeah, like I have a 100% chance of doing something and it's such a strong likelihood that it forces someone else to also have a 50% chance of being forced to do it to."

This went back and forth for an embarrassingly long time.

Never debate actual statistical realities with sci-fi fans.




Ricardo Montalban
November 25, 1920 - January 14, 2009


Weekend Filled!

We filled our wide open weekend by rather spontaneously jaunting up to the Poconos. The lure of the forecasted (and received) 6-10" of fresh snow was more than we (read: I and then Joe with some convincing by me) could resist.

We watched Doctor Who on DVD, we played board games, we watched the Eagles-Giants game (WHOOO!), and ... yeah ... played in the snow!

To quote my dear, dear friend, Jodi, "Superman has his yellow sun, and you have snow." Yes!

We're heading back up there on Friday for the 3-day weekend. I already can't wait. :)



Open Weekend and Weird Food

I'm actually staring straight ahead into a wide-open weekend. I know....I'm shocked, too.

I'll probably wind up painting canvases, etc for community theatre. Or maybe hunting for props. And, I can always manage to fill time at the Goodwill (I visited the Salvation Army near my mom's house three times in a 7-day visit. I was smitten ... they chromatically arrange all their clothes! Seriously ... nine feet of red turtlenecks on a rack, followed by the whole OYGBIV. Then long-sleeved shirts, then short-sleeved. Corduroys ... a rainbow of corduroys! How could I not?)


We're "supposed to" take down all our Christmas lights and outdoor decorations. But as our weekend forecast looks like a whole lots of Blech with some Eeeew thrown in, I don't see it happening. We'll likely wind up playing a lot of board games. Which is all good.

Maybe I'll make some ridiculously creative food that will take so long to prepare and plate that I won't then allow anyone to touch it, let alone consume it. (I'm especially unclear what's going on in this one, but it's definitely about to get unpleasant for someone involved. And does this have some hidden meaning that's eluding me?

I should dig up pics of my Spam sculpture of Duquense University theatre professor, John Lane. Maybe I could submit them for inclusion.

Looked just like him, honest.


PS. Also this Stories told in just Six Words intrigues me a lot. Some famous folks in there, too.


Wednesdays are a Bit of All Right

I have always kind of liked Wednesdays. I usually still have enough energy saved up from over the weekend, and I'm in the groove of working and I get stuff done.

But, this term Wednesdays are going to be by far the longest day of my week. Joe is in classes up at Drexel until 9p.m. Once he gets to the parking lot and drives home, it'll be well after 10. Ten o'clock is usually when i start thinking about wrapping up my evening and going to bed.

And as Joe is still asleep when i leave for work in the morning ... I'm gonna miss him.

So, although I always rather liked Wednesdays, now I'm feeling kind of conflicted about them. One thing's for sure ... after these long Wednesdays, Thursdays are going to draaa-a-a-aa--g.




Oldie but a Goodie!

Why Parents Drink

The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees was absent but had not phoned in sick one day. Needing to have an urgent problem with one of the main computers resolved, he dialed the employee’s home phone number and was greeted with a child’s whisper. "Hello ?"

"Is your daddy home?" he asked.

"Yes," whispered the small voice.

"May I talk with him?"

The child whispered, "No."

Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?"


"May I talk with her?"

Again the small voice whispered, "No."

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, "Is anybody else there"

"Yes,"whispered the child, "a policeman."

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman"

"No, he’s busy," whispered the child.

"Busy doing what?"

"Talking to Daddy and Mummy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.

Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, "What is that noise?"

"A helicopter," answered the whispering voice.

"What is going on there?" demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.

Again, whispering, the child answered, "The search team just landed a helicopter."

Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, "What are they searching for?"

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle…



ps. Go, Eagles!


Welcome to 2009!

I plan to do a lovely and fantastic photo-laden 2008 Highlights post (like Chris & Kristin did), but I don't have access to any of my photos right now. Or maybe I'll just pdf our Christmas letter and post it ... but again that has to wait until I get home.

Yeah, we're still in NW Pennsylvania. Until today. Going home today! (which is a good thing, despite it meaning we have to leave all this snow behind)

No, not looking back today. To me, the natural thing to do today is to look forward to 2009. Stuff I'm looking forward to, resolutions I'm making to myself, that sort of thing.

So, here goes...

--I will reach my Weight Watchers goal weight this year. And by "this year" I really mean this spring. It's not that much more, and at an easily-achievable 1-lb per week, I should be done more or less by my birthday.

--I will read the entire Bible. I've never really done this before, skipping huge hunks of it and going back to "the good parts" again and again. I even bought a special edition of the Bible to accommodate this goal. I really kinda want this goal to be that I read the Bible every day, but I'm not sure that's realistic as I look ahead to my year.

--Spending even more time with my friends. It's been a long time since I really had friends around me. People that I just adore hanging out with and talking to and never really want to leave. As much as I love my husband, children, home, job ... I have missed having friends. A lot.

--The opening of the Levoy Theatre. This is going to be such an exciting project to watch unfold. I so hope to be in one of the early performances when it reopens.

--Emily turning 10. Yeah....yay! ... and eek!

--My parents and grandparents also hitting birthday milestones (60 and 90). Wow!

--Spending 10-ish days in the Canadian wilderness this August. Living with no cans or bottles, out of two canoes and our backpacks. No phones, no lights, no motorcars...filtering our water, paddling lakes, rivers and streams until we reach a portage, and then carrying everything to the next body of water. Did trips like this twice when I was a kid, and really looking forward to sharing this with Joe and the kids.

--Working with the NJEA Congressional Contact committee to lobby Congress to pass laws in support of teachers, students and education. My first lobbying trip to DC is in early February. It's very exciting and terrifying.

--Achieveing tenure at my job. This will be such a big piece of mental security for me in dismal economic times. Should happen sometime next fall.

--Acting more. And better. And in juicier roles. I'm planning to audition for two shows this year (one comedy and one drama), and hopefully reprise our Christmas show, as well.

--The new Administration and Congress. I remain hopeful and optimistic, as always. But even more so now.

--Attending the NEA-RA in San Diego this July. It's not 100% that I'll be chosen to attend, but I hope I am. It's such a powerful thing to help make decisions that affect teachers and students (and therefore, pretty much everybody) nationwide.

There's more...plus, there's stuff with the kids and with Joe, fo course, but I wanted this to sort of my my own personal checklist and reminder.

Happy New Year, everyone!