New Jen's Horde

Friday, March 31, 2006

Just thinkin'

Today, New York City is releasing the contents of the 911 calls made from inside the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11.

In an interview, one father explains why he chose to listen to the call his son made.

"I thought I owed it to him," Joe Hanley said. "You gotta say, 'Hey, let me hear your last words."
I can understand that.

What would you do if you knew your child's words were out there somewhere? Would you want to hear them? What if you knew, like this situation, they were under stress when they made them, maybe scared or in pain? Would that change your answer?

I think I'd want to hear them. Just knowing myself like I do, even if the call transcription was horrifying, I'd be able to deal with that better than WONDERING what was in the call. And, it might be calming in a way.

That's just me, though. How do you see this?


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

And it makes me wonder....

Have you ever come across something in your life that you'd forgotten, and then when you're reminded of it every detail of the event plows right into the forefront of your brain like it'd been there all along? I had an experience like that tonight.

I heard this song originally on a rottenly cold night around a campfire at a local Rainbow Gathering, probably in 1989 or so. An older guy scooted up to the circle, alone, pulled out a guitar and started to play. He merely tuned the strings at first, then played some chords. After a while his strumming coalesced into a quiet and haunting version of the intro to Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven. We all sat silently, not wanting to interrupt.

In the dark of the moonless night, his music wove its way through the trees, calming our shivering. That is, until he started singing, and the words were "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale..." The entire assembled body of freezing, weary hippie-kids EXPLODED into laughter. I, for one, fell into silent, painful convulsions, punctuated occasionally by screeches and snorts. Yes, I am that attractive.

Being the products of television-run households, we all sang along. You can sing along, too! I don't remember what I was looking for, or how I wended my way through cyberspace to find this site, but but here it is: Stairway to Gilligan's Island. Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Construction workers cleaning toxic waste from a vacant skyscraper near the World Trade Center site have found more bone fragments and human remains, officials said Tuesday.
Will it ever be over?


The White House, The Pentagon, The Hoover Dam and now....


The home of the King of Rock 'n' Roll joined the homes of presidents past and present in becoming a National Historic Landmark Monday.
Seriously, I like Elvis as much as the next person. Whoa, I better stop there, because I'm sure that's not true. Even though I've written about it in this very blog, I don't believe Elvis is alive. Should it turn out I'm wrong and he is alive, I would never think to ask him to sign my toilet paper. And I certainly don't miss the experience enough to hire this choir. So, maybe I should shut up while I'm ahead and let The King's true fans enjoy this moment.



Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Memories: The Holocaust Museum


Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the United States Holocaust Museum?

It was in 1995, I was 22 weeks pregnant with Anya, and I flew to Quantico, VA to visit my dad and sister who were stationed there at the time, and their families. I was feeling pretty good, and excited to see everyone.

One of the things I really wanted to do while I was in the D.C. area, was to see the newly opened Holocaust Museum. we sat down and looked over everyone's schedules, and determined that the only day we could go would be on a Thursday, and that we'd need to take my 15 month old niece with us. I didn't understand why Dad was groaning at first, he was used to dealing with his granddaughter. I found out it had nothing to do with us babysitting, and everything to do with driving into D.C. and trying to park in the middle of the week...

So, we set off, got into the general Capitol area, and parked. I think we actually parked closer to Quantico than to the museum, or it seemed that way at least. We walked for a day or two, thankfully we were able to negotiate for provisions at hot dog stands along the way. When we finally arrived at the museum, we had to wait to get in. It was free to the public, but you had to get a ticket for the time you would enter. That was OK with me, because I needed to give my already overweight, 5 months pregnant, just pushed a too short stroller 40 miles through rough terrain legs a break.

To read more, click the .*.*. way below.

When our time came, we went through security tigher than any I've seen even in post-9/11 airports. We had to take off our shoes, and pass them and our bags through metal detectors. I had to collapse the stroller and pass it through the metal detector, then pass my niece to a pleasant, but vigilant, lady, who patted her down and made sure we hadn't retrofitted her into a conversion bomb. We were all wanded, even though the archway didn't beep, and then allowed to regroup. It was pretty unusual, but I do have to say that I felt pretty safe the rest of the time I was in the museum!

Then we entered an elevator with the rest of our group (the other people who had the same entry time we did) and went to the top of the building. (You didn't have to stay with your group the whole time, they just staggered the entries to break up the crowds a little.) At the top they had the exhibits relating to the beginning of the holocaust, and proceeded chronologically as you walked through the building, so you could get a "beginning to end" sort of experience.

There were photos of villages that were completely gone, where no one had made it. There were voice recordings of survivors telling their stories. There was art, and poetry, and the children, oh man, the children. (If you're interested, you can see a searchable database of the 6 million Jewish victims here. This site holds recordings of survivors.)

I am a pretty emotional person, and I was pregnant to boot, so I bet you think I was just bawling, right? Normally you'd be right. But, today I was completely panicking. My 15 month old niece wouldn't stop crying. I am pretty sure that other people were understanding, but there's only so much other people can take. If my precious cutesy-poo of a niece was bugging me, I was sure she wasn't adding to anyone else's ambience.

Even worse than the fact that she was crying, was that I had no idea why! Now that I have kids of my own, I know this was smack in the middle of nap time, we'd fed her nothing but soft pretzels all day, plus at one point we lost her pacifier (Dad ran back and found it, he never said how far it was. You have to give that man some credit for stoicism). To make matters worse, I couldn't find a diaper deck so I kept having to change her, rather inexpertly as it was, in an umbrella stroller that wouldn't fold down, so she was just DONE with all of this. Of course, this topic really wasn't at all interesting to her, either. So we ended up rushing quite a bit.

My dad, the King of the Understatement, said as we exited the building, "That was really interesting, but I didn't think it was going to be quite so DEPRESSING." Yeah, depressing, that's the word for it.

If you get a chance, go! It's truly amazing. Just wait for a time when you're not babysitting if you're clueless, you'll get more out of it and the other patrons will thank you.

Links to other Monday Memories
Auto Link yourself if you're doing the Monday Memory! Leave a comment, too, or I'll get all crabby! I turned off word verification so there shouldn't be any problems...

Click here for the Monday Memories code
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Saturday, March 25, 2006


This just says class doesn't it?

An inmate who was temporarily released from jail to be tested as a potential kidney donor for his ailing teenage son instead fled with his girlfriend to Mexico, prompting outrage on both sides of the border, officials said.


Friday, March 24, 2006

To Dye For

Here they are, letting their freak flags fly!

To Dye For

From left to right: Tiernan, I mean Superman, Anya, Maya and Sage.

They're not as smiley as they could be in this photo, we were up way too early and the sun was way too bright for us all...


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wow! Did you see this?

Woman Missing Since She Was 14 Is Found

I'm glad she's home, but it's scary to think that people like this are out there, and that he was working in the schools!


Thursday 13

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Jen

1. I dyed the kids' hair today.

2. It's that stuff that washes out in 8-10 shampoos.

3. Tiernan and Maya chose purple.

4. Anya and Sage chose red.

5. Tiernan doesn't realize he chose purple, he keeps getting mad and asking why his hair isn't green?

6. He also just took off for bed with my eyeshadow.

7. Sometimes I'm not convinced he's "right."

8. But, since he is Superman, I guess I should cut him some slack.

9. I'm a little concerned about Anya, my 10 year old, too. The other day the weather report wasn't correct and she went on a whole diatribe (where does she get that?) about how the government is wrong and how she just wants to go see the government and yell "In your face!" at them.

10. I explained to her that "the government" doesn't make the weather report, but she'll hear nothing of it.

11. Maybe we're watching too much X-Files?

12. Nah, there's no such thing as too much X-Files.

13. Well, yeah there is, after they jumped the shark at it was all Reyes and Doggett. I could have done without a lot of that, actually. Where are David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson these days anyway?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
You can make your own link here, thanks to auto linking! Leave a comment, too, though, or I'll get all crabby...

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I saw this word in a news article about the Dubai port situation, and I just thought it sounded way too whimsical to mean what it actually means.

kerfuffle-noun disorder, commotion

Doesn't it sound like it should be a frilly skirt worn over puffy pantaloons, or some sort of crested bird indigenous to the Mississippi River Delta? Maybe it's just me.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Grrrr, Blogger!

Has anyone else been having an inordinate amount of problems over the last couple of days? This time it would only display part of my page. Make me crazy. I need to get onto another system...


Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Things They Carry

Sorry I wasn't around, for a bit there Blogger told me I was forbidden to view my webpage! Apparently that's been cleared up for now, and I appreciate everyone's emails and patience, I feel so loved :-)

While I couldn't get in here, I found a neat photo essay showing what soldiers in Afghanistan are carrying for luck, and to ease their pain of being so far from home. Click here and when you're done with the article click just below the title where it says "Photo Essay." It's pretty moving.

I also appreciated that the author referred to The Things They Carried, which is one of the few books about Viet Nam that my dad actually recommends. He served 32 years in the beloved Corps (the Marines, for those of you who didn't grow up military or watch Full Metal Jacket 5 million times. ;-) ) and was in both Viet Nam and Desert Storm.

So, when I have questions about war movies or literature, I always ask him first. Partially because I've learned I can trust his answers on the subject, and partially because when you get him riled he's pretty hilarious. For instance, when asked if Apocalypse Now was a realistic telling, he responded with a groan and said, "Arrrrrrrrg, whoever wrote that should have had his drugs taken away...or his typewriter...or both." In other words, it may be an interesting movie, but it's not terribly realistic.

Anyway, go check the photo essay. It can be easy to forget that we have soldiers out there right now. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.


Thursday, March 16, 2006


Last night Maya and Sage dressed in the same outfit to go to dinner, and called themselves this.

I'm just putting this down so that later, when they're complaining that we treated them and dressed them alike, you'll know it wasn't us...


Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Bad Habits Jen Has

1. I'm a complete slob with my craft supplies. They're everywhere.

2. I bite my nails. A lot.

3. I tend to bounce checks.

4. I really, really, really like to sleep in, and would sleep all day if I could.

5. I'm sarcastic sometimes, which my family gets but I have to be careful with other people. I've hurt people's feelings without realizing it. :-(

6. I have no "editor" in my head. What I'm thinking tends to be what comes out. I'm working on it.

7. I am disorganized, in most every facet of my life.

8. When I don't feel well, I am obnoxiously whiney and crabby.

9. When other people don't feel well, I figure they should suck it up and not be so whiney and crabby. So, I guess that means I'm a hypocrite at times.

10. Now that the kids are bigger, I make them do things for me, like run upstairs and grab the Q-tips or whatever. Hey, I figure it's the natural order of things since I spent so much of my childhood changing channels for my parents.

11. I sing really loud in the car, even when people are with me. I hope my kids still have hearing when they grow up.

12. I hate to cook, and will do anything to get out of doing it.

13. In spite of all this, I still think I'm pretty cool, so I suppose that makes me arrogant. Apparently, when everyone was in therapy in the 80s to work on their self-esteem, I got toooooo much or something.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Rowan *~* Jon Tillman *~* Enigma *~* Lori (Check out her adoption day 13!) *~* Kimmy *~* Ardice *~* Amy the Black *~* Lisa *~* Lucky *~* Hong Blog Fooey *~* OceanLady *~* The Movie Monkey *~* Lindsey *~* Leslie *~* Lynda *~* Sheri *~* Audra

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Do you have change for a billion?


U.S. Customs agents in California said on Tuesday they had found 250 bogus billion dollar bills while investigating a man charged with currency smuggling...The counterfeit money looked good, but there was one flaw. There's no such thing as a one billion dollar bill.

"You would think the $1 billion denomination would be a giveaway that these notes are fake, but some people are still taken in," said James Todak, a secret services agent involved in the probe.
How do you even GET taken in by this? Even if you wanted to, could YOU break a billion dollar bill? How exactly does this scam work? Who's falling for this?


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's our anniversary!

Big 14!

I found an alternate listing that says that the gifts are:
Traditional Anniversary Gift: Ivory
Modern Anniversary Gift: Gold
Travel Anniversary Gift Ideas: Africa
Seriously, Africa? Did you realize there were travel anniversary gifts? According to this, we're way behind and should have been to New York, Paris and on a cruise, etc by now. Does anyone actually do this?

Well, I've got to go pack for a safari, I guess. I hope you all are having a wonderful March 14th!

I love you, Davin!


Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday Memories: Spending our Wedding Night with our Parents


Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about

Since tomorrow is our 14th Anniversary (apparently it's the "elephant killing" anniversary, the traditional gift is ivory. How long do you have to be married to something you can actually use?) I thought I'd tell you all about how we spent our wedding night.

As you may recall from an earlier post, we didn't have a lot of time to plan our wedding because we decided at the last minute to get married so we could get the financial aid. So, many things about our big day were not planned out well, or came together at the last minute, or we did without.

We were a happy-go-lucky couple, and the stress of wedding planning, even for a very small and modest service like ours, was really hard on us. A lot of things that might have been taken care of if we'd been better at planning, or had more a month or so to get it all together, just didn't get done at all. Everyone there had a pretty good idea of what we were like, so I don't think many people were surprised that we had literally NO IDEA where we were going to spend our wedding night. We had shelled out every penny we had for wedding essentials (which wasn't much) so we just put it out of our minds and figured we'd deal with it after the service.

I'm not sure who's idea it was, but quietly during the reception people circulated among our guests and took up a collection to get us a hotel room. So, when we did the cutting of the cake, a card was presented to us with a key inside. We must have looked pretty puzzled, because Davin's stepmom had to announce that they'd all gotten together and got us a place to stay for the evening. Then, my high school friend Vicki said, "You're going to the KOA Kampground, that's the key to the showers!" We were so out of it we thought, "OK, that's better than a bench on Pearl Street," and wouldn't have worried at all about that, but then we were informed that our parents had gotten us a room at the hotel where our dads were staying.

So, we left the reception and headed over to the hotel, fell into bed and asleep. Later that evening, we got a call that woke us up. It was Davin's dad, calling to tell us they'd brought the food over from the reception and did we want to come down and sit by the pool with them and eat? I called my dad, who was in the same hotel, and told him the plan, and we headed out. We lounged by the pool, ate from the deli tray, and just goofed off most of the night. It was GREAT! We spent the next day up in Central City, also with our parents. It was a blast, since we never gambled before, I'd never seen so many quarters in one place! I was playing quarter slots with my mom (and my mom's quarters), and I just kept thinking, "There goes another load of laundry...pull the lever...there goes another load of laundry."

I know it sounds weird, but it wasn't like we'd had anything ELSE planned, right? We had no time or money for a honeymoon, and as we've already established, we hadn't worked out what we were going to do at all after 12 noon, March 14th, 1992. And none of our parents lived in town, so we thought, "Well, we're going to see each other every day for the rest of our lives, but our families are going home soon," so we all just hung out together.

I'll have to tell you another time about the wedding itself, which I was late for, and the reception, where the food never showed up so Davin had to go find it, but today I thought I'd tell you how our marriage started out.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Links to other Monday Memories
Shelli *~* LibraGirl *~* KDubs *~* Rowan *~* Renee

(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below)

Click here for the Monday Memories code
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Saturday, March 11, 2006


After 2 years of piano, Maya and Sage have decided that it's really not their bag, and they'd like to try something else.

After going through all of the options available to kids in our area, they announced they'd like to try Taco Dough. It took some doing, but we finally realized they were referring to the venerated martial art. Get it?

Who knew we'd end up bilingual, we know both English and Twinspeak.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Bodyworlds is here!


We'll go in a couple of weeks when it's not quite so busy, but it's hard to wait! The kids have been scouring the article in the museum newsletter, and they're so excited.

I'm so glad that Denver was chosen to host this exhibit!

Editing to add:
This is the IM conversation Davin and I had when he saw my blog and asked when we should plan to go....

Jen: I don't know. It opens today and I think it might be better to go when there is a better body-on-display to live-people ratio.

Davin: Yes, but if the dead outnumber the living our odds in case of re-animation are worse. But you're probably right...I bet it's packed for weeks.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Oh Jeez, it's Thursday!

Duh! I haven't done the 13 and it doesn't look like I'll get to it this week. Where is my head?

Instead, I will leave you with a funny. Today, during a little class about Colorado history, the kids were asked, "What is the capitol of Colorado?" One boy thought about it a second and said, "C?"

There's a kid who thinks outside the box ;-)


Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Instead of cleaning, like I should be, I'm hanging out listening to Radio DavidByrne and surfing Wikipedia. Does that make me artistic/intellectual or just ineffective? No matter.

I found a neat article on retronyms, or words "coined for an old object or concept whose original name has become used for something else or is no longer unique."

For instance, we didn't call them "brick and mortar stores" until we needed to differentiate them from online stores. Likewise "World War I" and "snail mail."

I just thought that was kind of nifty, and worth passing on. And ANYTHING is better than housework, doncha know...


Monday, March 06, 2006

I no longer have a Tiernan

This is how conversations with my son go these days:

Me: Tiernan, can you...

Tiernan: I'm Superman.

Me: Superman, can you take your plate to the sink?

Tiernan: Ok, mom.

Superman is fine with me. It wasn't long ago that he wanted to be "Naughty Noo Noo," which was actually a little embarrassing to have to yell when you were trying to stop him from running in the the street. At least "Superman" makes him sound like he has some pride.

Truth, Justice, the American Way, using the potty and all that.



Saturday, March 04, 2006

Remember when Mel Gibson was attractive?

Now he sort of looks like he ought to be squatting in some survivalist bunker running a cult that's half political, half religious, with 6,000 children underfoot and some goats. Or maybe this is just a bad picture? Let's hope.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Memorial for a Homeschool Mom

Though I only knew her from the Five in a Row Message Boards, I am sad to report the death of Missey Gray. She passed March 1st, while giving birth to her fifth child. There was a problem during the caesarean section, and she never came out of surgery.

You can read and contribute to a memorial to her at homeschoolblogger, they also give information on where to send snail mail to her family, and financial help if you feel moved to do so.

I keep thinking about her family, and I pray that they are comforted in this time.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Geek 13 (#17)

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things that Prove JEN AND DAVIN are Total Geeks, you may already know some of these...

1. When Davin was moving the furniture around so that we could get the kitchen appliances in, he actually said, "I wish we had a bag of holding."

2. Tiernan's knickname is "Buki." You remember, right? When they re-released The Empire Strikes Back in theaters with the extra digitally remastered footage, there was that scene where Jabba the Hutt was talking to Han Solo in Huttese and he said, "Han, mi buki," which was subtitled as "Han, my boy." Surely you remember that!

3. Of course, you're all still saving up for when we renew our vows on the Enterprise, right?

4. When we were pregnant with the twins, we wouldn't tell the names we'd chosen until after they were born. Instead, when anyone asked we'd tell them we were planning to call them Mulder and Scully.

5. Part of our wedding involved a water-sharing ceremony we wrote based on sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, you grok?

6. We actually know what qagh is, although I could never cook it as we don't like to chase our food around before we eat it. We've been known to use the epithet "P'taq" and to accuse others of having "no honor." Also, we know the meaning of the phrase, "Shaka, when the walls fell."

7. The mere mention of "It's just a flesh wound" is bound to send us into fits of giggles, then wholesale quoting of vast parts of the movie.

8. We've actually spent a great deal of time discussing the Magic Bullet, the possibility of a shooter on the grassy knoll and the contents of the Zapruder film. We do think that we could have done without Kevin Costner droning "back and to the left" for 45 minutes, though.

9. Davin's a computer guy, and knows them inside and out. He's been using, programming and fixing them since screens were black and green and they had far less memory than today's cheapest cameras. While I have no real computer experience other than being a user, I can add to my own credentials that I attended several sci fi fan conventions, sometimes in costume, when I was younger and had money and time to burn.

10. We routinely discuss the finer points of zombie living.

11. Our children recognize the entire cast of several Star Trek series, but we found out recently they don't know the song "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Priorities, man!

12. And, of course, the response to "I'll try" is always, "Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try." Isn't that how it is at your house?

13. I must end by saying that we come by this honestly. My dad is the one who got me into Heinlein and the Dune series. Davin's dad actually contacted TV stations when none in his area were running Doctor Who, and his mom made Babylon 5 required watching, so that we could discuss it at family gatherings. There really was no hope, was there?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
Kimmy *~* Shelli *~* The Median Sib *~* Owlhaven *~* KDubs *~* Eric *~* Mar *~* flattenedfrog *~* libragirl *~* Denise *~* Frog Legs *~* Colleen *~* Trinity13 *~* Suzy *~* Surrender Dorothy *~* Better Safe than Sorry *~* Tutu Bent *~* Lyn *~* Lori *~* Sheri *~* Renee *~* HolyMama

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New appliances!

Thanks to the Uncle Sam Savings Program (ie tax returns), we were able to replace our stove and refrigerator. So, we've got the new ones in and the kitchen is all torn apart.

During this process, I've come to a very important conclusion about my family...we are filthy, disgusting people. You just don't notice all of the ick in your kitchen when you've got clutter on top of it. So, I'm off to clean...


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