Monday, March 28, 2011

Know tolerance four missteaks

Nothing bugs me more than typos. There are worse things for sure, but typos are a sign of laziness. Of not taking the time to make sure your words are correct. That lesson was drilled into me by a professor, who would automatically give you an F if your assignment had a typo. If it was particularly notable, she would read it out loud in class. And make you stand up while she did it.

I've committed my share of doozies. Like the time in a Powerpoint I used "pubic" when I meant "public." And once, in a newsletter for a school district, I listed a graduating student as "Brain" instead of "Brian." While they were sure their kid was smart, his parents were not so impressed with me. And neither was the school superintendent, who had to reprint and remail every copy of that list. Let's face it - we hold certain groups such as journalists, editors and educators to a higher typo standard . . . in the same way we would expect an accountant to get the math right.

So you'll understand my dismay when our schools send home materials written by teachers and administrators with obvious mistakes - like today's letter trying to "gage" interest in a Chinese language course. You'd think I'd be more understanding, but I'm not. It happens a lot. When it does, my red pen and yellow highlighter come out immediately. It takes incredible self control for me not to send it back with a red F, circled. Second eye people. Second eye.

(P.S. If you find a typo on The Daily Hoop-lah, blame Big Dog. I'm sure it's his fault.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ask a stupid question . . .

The Botox is for me. Not the elephant.

The elephant effect

Botox. Need I say more?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Do elephants know they have wrinkles?

We had lunch today at the Elephant Bar, which is a funky restaurant with a great menu and cool ceiling fans. I have another picture from five years ago of the Hoop-lahs in front of the same elephant. Somewhere. But that was in the days before I had a digital camera, so it is most likely in a shoebox. Unlabeled. But I will post it along the way if I'm able to find it.

We met up with some long-time friends of Big Dog's family. They looked just the same as the last time I saw them, which was five years ago for one, and 20+ years ago for the others. I wonder if they thought the same thing about us. It's interesting to me how people change, but they don't really change. In my mind's eye, I think I look pretty much the same as I did 20 years ago, maybe with a few more pounds and wrinkles, like this elephant. Of course I could be delusional. Probably a good thing actually.

The best part of the day, though, was the senior lady at the pool wearing a maroon bikini. I totally admire her spunk. My guess is that her mind's eye goes back a few years, too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

America the Beautiful

Our trip from the Grand Canyon led us through the Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona. These pictures are from that route. We stopped at several points along the road, following a stream that was next to impossible to keep the Hoop-lahs out of. We found a water station and drank some of the coolest, best tasting water. The last stop of the day was at the Wild Horse West, a cash-only bar located outside of Phoenix on a dirt road with the urban sprawl right over there. The sign on the door caught my attention. How long will it be until we see something similar at home?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hoop-lah All Wet 2011, Vol I.

Hoop-lah All Wet is back, this time from sunny Arizona where it is 85 wonderfully warm degrees. Everyone had a great time splashing and swimming at the pool, although the kids are a little miffed they can't get into the hot tub. The rules say they must be 18 and these seniors don't mess around! Carly was so happy to finally be able to put her head into the water after a six-month ban following her last ear surgery.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bringing home the hardware

Many times the stories behind kids' sports are negative. You know what I mean. Kids who think they're superstars, coaches that give coaching a bad name, parents who embarrass themselves, and on and on. Sometimes though, if you're lucky, you find a team like this.

These 10 boys are talented, hard working, good sportsmen, and some of the nicest kids I know. Their parents and grandparents cheer for everyone and - perhaps more importantly - don't scream at the officials or make negative comments about opposing players and coaches.

This team won the 7th Grade GRBA State Tournament this weekend against 21 of the best teams from across the state. They kept their cool and came from behind in more than one game to go undefeated. I can't even begin to describe how much fun they are to watch. I'm just thankful that we get to be part of it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where does the time go?

Yesterday was my sweet Carly's birthday. Riley and I sang "Happy Birthday" to her before she got out of bed, which she LOVED. Big Dog called before school and sang. She took sherbet cups to school, had McDonalds for lunch and Carlos for dinner, and a few presents in between. How can a day get any better?

Pulling out this picture gave me a pang or two of melancholy. I miss my babies, but not enough to recheck myself into the insane asylum of no sleep and uncontrolled crying. The babies were good. It was me that was a mess.

Borrowing an idea from my friend Tricia over at Three Men and a Lady, here are 10 things I love about Carly.

1. She is the queen of one-liners.

2. Her imagination is second to none. Just this week she built a coliseum in her room, complete with stuffed animal spectators and opponents dueling to the death.

3. Her memory is amazing. Don't ever let her challenge you to a Memory game.

4. Sometimes she answers you or the phone with "Meow?" She's part cat, you know. And part bunny. She won't do it for you, but trust me, watching her shake her bunny tail is priceless.

5. She draws the best pictures, full of color and originality.

6. She stands her ground and doesn't care at all if you don't like it.

7. She snuggles every night.

8. She watches action movies with Big Dog and crime shows with me.

9. She sings in the shower.
10. She gives me three kisses when I drop her off at school. Every time, no matter who is around.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My artist at work

I hope your Valentine's Day was as sweet as this.

I wonder if she had someone particular in mind.