November 2002 Archives


Kati Voluntine

Cheese: B

Very tasty and spreadable. Miss Voluntine obviously inherited her cheese sophisitication from the classy, Kiwi side of the family, and not her gangbanger father. Still, one wonders, why the unnecessary shredded nuts on top of the otherwise-lovely cheese ball?

Wine: B-

The 2000 Amberhill Chardonnay was pleasantly drinkable, but we've seen stronger efforts from Miss Voluntine in the past. Admittedly, the wine may have been a victim of hype, after the freezer saga. And Miss Voluntine's underagedness gave this wine tasting a rebellious flavor, evoking memories of 1996, Mark Luna's house, and that one bum that lived under a bridge right by the DVC Safeway who bought us alcohol when we couldn't get Gene to hook us up. Gene's booze stash remained cloaked in irony outside the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints in Pleasant Hill.

Approval of meatloaf: A

Miss Voluntine deserves credit here not only for her effusive praise of the Keane-created meatloaf, but also for her bravery. Years after being traumatized by watching her mother violently kneading meatloaf ingredients in a bowl, she made a triumphant return to the 'loaf this evening, going so far as to have a second ketchup-covered helping. Welcome back to flavor country, Miss Voluntine.

Drawing of the Supercow: D

The so-called "Supercow" lacked any qualities which might readily identify it as one of the bovine species. Of particular concern to this observer were the cow's puppy-like ears, non-existent udders, and gravity-defying cape. If this is supposed to be the ubercow, then I'm switching to soy milk. If Nietzsche were a cow, he'd be spinning in his grave. And mooing.

Double-jointed thumb trick: A-

Really cool, especially the part where the thumb is bent way back so it looks like there's only a tiny little thumb nub there. Double bonus credit given for the smooth segue into stories about people with missing fingers, particularly the schoolteacher with mutant fingers who constantly kept her hand in motion. Downgraded from an A+ only because the thumb trick is still a little bit gross.

Funky half-cursive writing: C+

Half-cursive, sure, but funky? George Clinton might disagree with this characterization, one thinks.

In fairness, this critic originally thought Miss Voluntine had described her handwriting as "fakey half-cursive." It may have been difficult for even the most entertaining handwriting to live up to the brief fantastic imaginations such a phrase creates in some minds. This critic also notes that he will likely continue writing predominantly in capital letters, though not typing in said manner unless attempting to convey the impression of yelling.

Also, Miss Voluntine's umlaut was lovely.

Gene Wood

Overall: A-

Mr. Wood was superb. Charming, dashing, and proud to be an American. This may have been an "A+" had he not put A-1 Steak Sauce on his steamed broccoli. Aside from that, an all-around stellar effort. Huzzah and happy birthday to Mr. Wood.

upbeat bonus entry


I should not fail to mention that, along with the stressfulness recounted below, Wednesday also featured a moment of transcendent little-kid-cuteness. One of my new jobs at the museum is to read stories about elephants. After each story, I will talk more about elephants, and give the listeners a related activity or project to do. After The Wise Washerman, I hand out small paper elephants that kids can color, and make into necklaces.

After I had finished the story, kids came up and got their paper elephants and colored string. As I was putting away the storybooks, a four-year-old girl came up to the storytelling cart.

"Can I have...?" she began to ask.

"An elephant?" I asked. "A piece of string? A marker?"

She paused.

"Can I have...a hug?"

And my heart slowly melted.

Final totals: 3 elephant stories, 4 hugs.

Things are lousy all around, it seems. I have spent much of the last two days worrying about hospitals and medical procedures. Last week, my mom fell at work and shattered her left kneecap, the left knee being the same one that was replaced in early July of this year. So she had a procedure Wednesday night to repair it, using some newfangled screws, or pins, or maybe Krazy Glue. This being a Kaiser Permanente operation, her surgery was delayed many hours - my dad got home around 3 am. Also, the surgeon had his wallet stolen from the doctors' locker room as he was finishing up.

I came home to my parents' house Wednesday night, after finishing my afternoon of Elephant Storytelling and tangrams at the museum. Due to mutual technical incompetence, I wasn't able to reach my dad on his cell phone, and so I was in the dark about my mom's procedure. I had dinner, I took the dog for a walk, I did the dishes. Eventually, I found myself scrubbing the interior of the kitchen stove with SOS pads at 1 am. There's something about the combination of nervousness and helplessness that has recently begun to make me do housework compulsively; I also spent many innings of the Giants' playoff run sweeping, scrubbing, or doing dishes.

My mom has had a lot of operations on her legs in the past few years. I think there were two earlier knee surgeries before ther replacement done this summer, and before that, there was a foot operation. My sisters and I have responded with all of the warm-hearted sympathy one would expect from us, accusing her of faking the injuries to shirk her usual duties as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at her preschool's Winter Wonderland fund-raiser. Megan gave her a Get-Well" card consisting primarily of horrendous knee-related puns. Real funknee, Megan. This black humor doesn't go over well with people outside the family: I have received many dirty looks after snapping my fingers impatiently and shouting, "Get the lead out, Gimpy!" while my mother limps behind me.

So she's back home, ready to spend lots of time in her bed, in a bigass cast, and in an alcohol-and-Vicodin haze. Which, you know, isn't a huge difference from the norm, except that she can guilt people into doing more stuff for her. If anyone wants to sign her cast, or score some high-quality opium-derived painkillers, do stop by the house. Just keep Sharon's martini glass full, and remember to pet Cassidy*. And check out the stove. It really is sparkling clean.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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