26 May 2009

stinky poopybrains

so we have a problem at the tsay house. our dearest darlingest 6-month-old kitten, fuzz, has decided her new favorite sleeping spot is next to the litter box. that's right, literally leaning up against it. fuzz gets covered in the pieces of litter tracked out by both cats when sleeping there. and the worst part: she walks around stinking. she's been a bit of a stinker since we brought her home, but this is litter-stink.

we've resorted to giving her 'baths' almost daily. we have 'waterless shampoo' and 'pet wipes'... but as soon as we get her clean, back she goes to her stinky sleep spot. hopefully it's a phase? meanwhile, our angsty 1-year-old cat millie wanders around the house meowing. we can't figure why: either fuzz really really smells even to her... or millie just needs a boyfriend.

in other news... :-P

20 May 2009

condoms and hope

i've never experienced a teenage boy so disappointed on account of me before today.

as i do on wednesdays as of late, i was teaching twelve 15-16 year old boys at a Birmingham juvenile detention center how to properly put a condom on an incredibly realistic looking fake penis. although somewhat humiliating, i go through the steps with incredible detail. "what do i do first?" i prod. "ms. sharon - tear it open with ya teeth!" ... i dodge a number of overly enthusiastic suggestions before i continue with the correct process. "that's right, push it to the side, tear it carefully, now pull it out." i've somehow managed not to turn 15 shades of red by now. we move on. eventually, every boy has to come to the front and demonstrate his ability to properly place a condom on the model.

after his turn, one of the boys was grinning at me. "you gonna give me your number, right?" i just stared at him. i'm his teacher. is he really trying this? he continued, "you're the kinda girl i ask santa claus for." i wanted to laugh. hysterically. i bit my lip to keep from howling.

and then he saw it. his face dropped as he eyed my left hand. he didn't acknowledge my wedding ring, but some gears must have finally started turning in his head because his next inquiry had an entirely different tone: "how OLD are you, anyways?" he embarassingly turned around and returned to his seat to the laughter of his peers.

i won't say that i felt bad, because i didn't. even so, it made me think. these boys have had difficult childhoods, no parental supervision or interest, and the opportunity to get into all sorts of trouble. on their own accord, they have done some terrible, terrible things to be where they are. some have killed siblings, raped friends, sold drugs... at such a young age. despite all that, here is this boy who is acting apart from his circumstances - in fact, ignoring his circumstances (he's in jail, he can't make phone calls, i'm the teacher) - to get what he wants. it won't always work - case in point. but ignoring your circumstances to achieve a goal is something so hard to teach someone. it's a tool for success. it's something these boys need to do when they are released back in their communities, back into their circumstances... it gave me hope. it really does sound dumb, but it gave me hope for them.

and - here's hoping this boy doesn't just use this denial of circumstances to pick up girls. but if he does... at least he now knows how to use a condom properly. :)

18 May 2009

post in pictures

henry took me to the beach this weekend for my birthday! it was beeeeeeautiful.

i snapped a picture right as a wave attacked him. nice.

we were lazy all weekend. it was awesome.

millie and fuzz are getting to be best pals.

i can't get over how cute they are together.

07 May 2009

cubicles and 'work'

i find it completely befuddling (is that a word?) how little work people do.

i started my research project this past monday, and i am stationed in a cubicle in an office building affiliated with children's hospital. the doctor with whom i work has her office there, so it makes good sense.

prior to working there, i understood 'in theory' the annoyance of a cubicle: no door, everyone can hear each others' phone conversations, less privacy, the wafting of smells... but i assumed these annoyances were minimal because everyone would be WORKING. little did i know that people don't work. ever. ok, that's unfair. they maybe work 10 minutes each hour. but that means that the other 50 minutes my ears are filled with stories of their children, somebody's new outfit, techniques for getting gum out of carpet, discussion of where to go for lunch, trading of beauty secrets, and bitching about the doctors they report to (oh, oops! the gal -me!- in the next cube is a med student. oh well, she can't hear us, right?).

although i know it's not their intention (they do seem like nice enough people) to completely discourage me about the 'American work ethic' (of which i hear so much on the news), they have done so with such fervor that it's hard to ignore. thank you, office employees, for confirming that the characters on the television program 'the office' do more work than office employees in the real world. cheers!

04 May 2009


coldplay will be giving away a live cd, LeftRightLeftRightLeft on may 15th, my glorious day of birth. they are one of my favorite bands, and i was already tickled pink to be seeing them live in concert in birmingham on may 18th... and now, a new FREE cd on my birthday? this is the cherry on top. yippee!