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February 07, 2007


Kathy K

Oh heavens Julie, I started laughing at your title and ended up laughing at the end...fabulous! And I'm looking forward to the shirt regardless. My daughters already cringe at most of my clothing choices! Great to give them another excuse...I *love* embarrassing them! ^.^

And I too, was great at algebra and *hated* geometry. I never could figure out why, 'cause I've got a good memory for memorization, but geometry? Yuck! I like your explanation.

New skills, huh? Well, for the last almost 23 years I've been working on the human relations dynamics engendered by having children ~ and man, anyone who says that kids are easy when they're little, either has no kids or has someone else to look after them. But that's another thing altogether.
Over the last 8 or 9 years I've taught myself all I know about HTML and various other website skills and scanning & uploading stuff, etc., etc., but that came about because of my collecting.
Overall, I've not had to *learn* many new skills, just refining the ones that I have, and I'm usually pretty loath to learn new stuff ~ I'm kinda lazy in that regard ~ unless it's related to something I like doing. [Does any of that make any sense?? LoL]
If I could learn anything new?
It'd have to do with learning a new language; something more about geology [to go along with my boxes of rocks in the basement ~ so I can figure out what I've got]; anthropology & archaeology [both long time interests]; and I'd like to learn more about computers and programming ~ all on a personal level not career oriented.
And someday, I'd like to start taking a couple of courses at college in any of the above fields, just for me. And I know that 'someday' never comes, that you've got to do it now, because it's all you're really sure of, but yeah, someday. When we've got more money and when I'm not babysitting 8 to 10 hours a day ~ LoL... kids can be exhausting when it's been a few years that you've had your own little ones.

As for potty training ~ yikes! My daughters were a breeze; basically they were ready for it and it happened. My son, ouch, that one hurts. He's my oldest and we got part of it mastered but not the other part and two more upset people you've never met. Until I decided that I was doing more harm than good and let it go until he decided that he was ready. Ya, it's probably the lazy way, but he was happier and I wasn't going all rank on him. Worked for me; but then everyone, parent and child, and even from child to child, is different. Often what works for one doesn't work for the next one...even in the same family. And I never really felt that it was worth it to get all wound up about...again that lazy factor I mentioned earlier. *grin*

Ah well, now that I've taken up a lot of your space, I'll go...I've got dishes to do and laundry to fold...hehehe



Yeah, I'm so completely unfashionable by European standards, having an "ugly" shirt won't really damage my image. When one comes from small town North America, one can never truly fit in with the savant European women.


PS. I learn new things every day, even when I don't want to. Germans are sneaky like that.

Julie Anne Long

You're cracking me up, Kathy!! Good, so you can wear that shirt proudly. Maybe i'll send a few to your daughters. LOL.

When you were talking about HTML, etc., it reminds me that I tend to default to things that come naturally to me when it comes to learning new things. We probably all do that, to some extent. I'm used to teaching *myself* new things, which means I can go at my own pace, etc., which is how I taught myself web design and guitar, etc., because I get impatient and want to whizz through things. But I'm guessing kickboxing wouldn't come naturally to me. LOL. And I'm wondering what it would be like to learn a new skill from scratch?? Would I learn something new about myself? Would I give it up quickly? I've been rock climbing a couple of times, and I actually liked it, but I never would have done it if a man hadn't been involved. LOL. And yeah, acquiring any new skill certainly requires time and discipline and practice. Maybe I need to reward myself with colorful stickers. Or Estee Lauder products. LOL. I think acquiring proficiency in a new language would be really exciting.

Geology -- how cool!!! Good idea. I love rocks, too!! I have a little collection. :) I have a couple of books on the subject. I did learn a bit about geology in school, but it was dryyyyy. We had a few teachers who leeched all excitement from courses that could have been fascinating, like psychology or history, simply because they weren't interested in their subjects.

In terms of child-rearing -- I am continually amazed and awestruck by the stories I hear from parents. You pretty much have to apply every skill you've ever learned, and then some. LOL. My next door neighbors tricked their little boy into using his training potty by putting it in a box -- he wanted to be a kitty. He loved kitties. They asked him where kitties go potty, and he told them, "in a box!" So he was very excited from that point on to use his potty in a box. LOL. Oh man. parents have to be creative.

I'll go check in with sis and see how the training is going. LOL.

Julie Anne Long

That's the spirit, Mear!! You made me laugh. Maybe you'll start a trend. So did you end up in Germany from somewhere else? Didn't you know something about Safeways in Canada, or am I dreaming that?? LOL. German is a slightly more challenging language, seems like, than the "romance languages." I know some French and Spanish. To this day, I can recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish (we learned it in our fifth grade class. LOL.) German might be kind of fun to tackle. Oh, and I know a very, very little Dutch. LOL.


I also enjoyed algebra in school, but like you, geometry was a foreign language for me. Sometimes I think about buying how-to books on geometry and trigonometry (another math subject with which I struggled) and trying to learn (and hopefully master) these subjects. Maybe without the pressure of exams and grades, this time around I'd be able to fully understand geometry and trig.

Hmm, do I like to learn new things? It depends on what it is. Kind of sad, but I can't remember the last new skill or area of expertise I voluntarily acquired. If I could learn how to do anything new today, I think I'd like to learn to cook. I enjoy eating, and it would be handy and great to be able to cook the things I enjoy consuming.


Well, my story is complicated. I grew up in northern BC (north-west coast), working at that Safeway. I went to university in New Brunswick (south-east coast) to learn modern languages (German, French, and Spanish). I graduated last June and promptly moved to Germany to teach English in a high school. I'm not a full-fledge teacher, I'm a TA.

So that's how I got from one side of the world to the other, and that's why my answers are all over the map.

Julie Anne Long

I kind of like your idea, DIana - taking a crack at Geometry and Trig today, when we're not required to take tests or facing the pressure of being graded. Who knows? Over the years, we might have learned something about...well, how we learn, or how we study, that would make it easier to digest them. Hmmm...where does a grownup buy a Geometry textbook??

I vote for learning to cook! LOL. I've been getting better and better at cooking, and there's a definite upside, and a funny downside. I love spending much less money to make things I love, for instance, like certain Thai dishes. But so far, when I've made them from scratch, they turn out soooooo much better than anything I've had in a restaurant around here, which kind of spoils you, in a way, and takes the magic out of restaurant food. LOL. Not all, but some. But it also takes a lot longer to make it at home. ANother downside is that sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get something right, and meanwhile you have to eat your mistakes. LOL.

Yours is a cool story, Mear! Since I live a whole hour or so away from where I grew up, I like hearing stories about people who graduated and promptly split for other countries. What's the latest in German slang?? LOL.


Well, I'm a physics major, although in between schools at present, and alas, math is involved, whether one likes it or not. . . LOL :)



T-shirts? There are t-shirts available? Does it have the phrase we discussed in Atlanta on it? (which by the way, will be ready for Dallas).

Julie Anne Long

A physics major, Lois?? Very cool!! Do you belong to the Cult of Feynman?? LOL. I have SUCH a retroactive crush on Richard Feynman, I can't begin to tell you. Are you any good at math? I want someone to pipe up and say, "yes, yes, i ROCKED at Geometry and Trig!"

Michelle, you can visit my Cafe Press store (http://www.cafepress.com/julieannelong) and pick up a "Free Thaddeus Morley" shirt (or a number of other fetching designs) with a (now color-corrected) JAL logo on the back. And I double-dog dare you to wear that IGTC t-shirt at the Literacy Signing in Dallas. ;)


I'm not sure where a grownup buys a geometry textbook, but I'll check around (probably Amazon.com) and get back to you if I come across anything.

Today I finally tried Swan Oyster Depot on Polk Street. I live only a few blocks from the place, but never paid it a visit because of the long lines. I ordered food to go (clam chowder, crab salad with louie sauce, and shrimp cocktail). Everything was delicious, especially the chowder. If you enjoy seafood, I recommend giving Swan Oyster Depot a try.

The rain totally sucks. I could never live in Seattle.

Julie Anne Long

If you find that book, Diana, I'll post a weekly geometry problem for all of us to solve. LOL. The first one who gets it right gets a prize!! That ought to keep our left brains nice and muscular and supple.

That restaurant sounds fabulous! Does it have regular fish, too, and not just shellfish?? YOu're making me hungry. I made chicken soup tonight, which was delish, in part because I used shallots and garlic and wine. I love shallots. Lovely little things.

We need the rain, though!! We're behind. But it seems to make me sniffly, for some reason. Just as long as it doesn't rain for 40-some-odd straight days like it did last year. :)


Well, today I learned (again) that I am a lightweight/two-can-sam/cheap drunk, and should not do more than two shots in a night.

I know, two! So lame. I can't keep up with 16-year-olds, and it's sad. (16 is the legal drinking age in Germany. But they don't let people drive until their 18, so the whole drinking and driving thing isn't such a big deal here).

German slang...
aber HALLO! - can be either "Hey, jerkface, I'm talking to you!" or "Well HELLO thar, sweet thing"

na toll - means "cool"

voll lecker/total lecker - "that was super delicious"

viel mehr besser als XYZ- "much MUCH better than XYZ"


Please excuse the misuse of the word "their", it should be "they're", and I'm going to blame it on my hangover.

Haven Rich

Julie, I know it's been awhile since I've posted a comment, but I promise you that I've been reading the topics and comments all along!

Anyhow, I wanted to give you a warm welcome and congrats to having your name up on the Avon Message Board! How exciting is that!! Ok maybe I'm just really excited but still.

And I'm curious, have you began shopping for your RWA dress? I'm so curious on what you'll decide to wear! I'm still shopping for roommates, and a dress hehe.

Love hearing from you!

Julie Anne Long

You're cracking me up, Mear! Man, I've learned it never pays to drink with Europeans -- they start early in life and take it VERY seriously. LOL. Actually, come to think of it, all the Canadians I know can really put it away, too. ;) Then again, I'm a total lightweight. The cheapest date imaginable.

That's a great German lesson, too!! LOL. So Diana, after her shellfish extravaganza, would say that it was voll lecker??

See what I'm doing here?? We'll have school here at the blog. Mear will run the language class, and Diana is in charge of Geometry. I'll be the school Principal. LOL.

Julie Anne Long

Hey Haven, thanks for the welcome to the Avon board!! I'm quite delighted to be an Avon lady. :) And though my Avon book won't be out until next year, time flies, and that'll be here before we know it. I'm working away on that puppy.

Nah, no dress shopping for the conference yet!! I prefer the last minute panic approach. LOL. Actually, I'm queen of the carry on, so that's my strategy -- everything I bring has to fit in a carry on. It worked out last year, with little tops and skirts and a few pairs of shoes. I'm going to see if I can work out something similar this year. :) Re your roommate hunt -- I think there are bulletin boards and stuff where you can find a roommate for the conference. I'm not sure, though. You should advertise on RI. :)


Swan Oyster Depot does have regular fish, but I think the only fish they actually serve there (instead of customers buying the fish and cooking it themselves at home) is the smoked salmon, which I've heard is good.

Michelle Rowen

>And I double-dog dare you to wear that
>IGTC t-shirt at the Literacy Signing in Dallas. ;)

Ha. You think I'm kidding? I've already enlisted two others who will also be wearing it. I'll just let you guess who they are. ;-)

It will happen. Of course the IGTC slogan (®) will be attributed to you in large print.


Julie, just want to say that the T-shirt arrived yesterday. Thanks so much! :)

Julie Anne Long

Yay, Diana! Glad you got the shirt! How does it look on you? I actually like how all the shirts are fitting me, but I can't wait to see the fixed logo. LOL. I've been working on the newsletter so I can tell the world about them. (well, the world of my mailing list, that is.)


I haven't tried it on yet. After it's washed, dried, and I've tried it on, I'll let you know. Thanks again. :)


Being in Texas and being a journalist, speaking Spanish would be a very useful skill. I took two years in high school and a year-and-a-half in college. But I can only say weird, random things. I hated taking it in college. The first semester wasn't too bad, I got a B, but the next two I got Cs and was happy to have passed. Liberal arts majors at my school had to have two years of a language to graduate, but midway through my third semester, I found out my major was an exception and I only needed one year, but it was too late to drop Spanish. So yeah. What kind of stinks about that is if I ever want to get a MFA, a lot of schools, at least here, seem to require two years of a language. And I cannot go back and take Spanish again. I just can't. Having to take the math portion of the GRE would be bad enough.

Anyway, I thought I might have to learn it because at one point I had a newspaper on the Texas/Mexico border interested in me, and they had a Spanish tutor at their paper. But that paper didn't work out, actually, I got a job at a nice-sized paper in Arkansas rather than Texas. I never thought I'd end up in Arkansas, since you know, there's all the jokes about it, but it's a pretty area and a good job at a good paper. I'm moving in uh, 10 days. Yipes. I have to find boxes. I have no idea where to find boxes. And talk to the vet about giving my cats Benadryl or something so they won't freak out on the six-hour car trip.

But yeah, I envy people who know another language. My best friend has a German mom, and he'll start speaking German when he's mad. It's so cute. He's not fluent in it, but he wants to be so he can eventually move back there. He's taking German for his language requirement, and of course, making As.

Also, I had dreams of playing the piano and being like Tori Amos or Fiona Apple. I even signed up for a class my first semester in college. Alas, even though it was beginning piano, almost everyone else in there was a music major or minor and knew what they were doing a lot more than I did. I got behind and had to drop it. Oh well. I did learn how to play Amazing Grace on the piano, at least, and if there were a piano just lying around my apartment I'd probably give it another go.

Julie Anne Long

Well, hey Lareign!! Congratulations on nabbing a job -- it's pretty exciting to be on the brink of a whole new phase in life! Here's wishing you wonderful luck with your move and happy travels to Arkansas, too -- in ten days, eh?? Moving is both challenging (to say the least) and totally thrilling, and your new landlady sounds like a peach (I read your comment in the blog below) -- and I always take those things as good omens. :) ESPECIALLY if she's kindly disposed to cats. :) Some cats are mellow in the car; others really need to be, um, slightly sedated. But they'll manage the six hours just fine. :) YOU might need a little sedation when you get there, however. :)

And being across from a library is pretty nice, too. Let us all know where we can see your byline!

Ah, the piano playing dream. I'm a competent guitar player, but only competent. I can play piano, but also only competently. Virtuosity is that magical thing, and that come with the drills, the scales, the practice, the theory, all that stuff. But man, to be able to make music!! Or write songs! That's simply a marvelous feeling. Maybe you're rediscover that stuff in Arkansas, who knows??

Let us know how it goes!!

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