Saturday, January 31, 2009

I don't know what to think...

... but, it seems to me that a much more established person in my field has decided to take the same theoretical basis as my dissertation.

This is odd because, to my recollection, this person hasn't been making this argument in the past -- although, I'll have to look carefully to be sure --

And -- this person has been on panels with me in the past -- when I've used this theoretical basis to make a different argument.

The thing is, this isn't a common thread to pull. Nobody's published stuff that really uses this theoretical construct since the 1970s....

And, when I walked into the presentation room -- the person looked a bit unsettled (maybe they were pre--presentation nervous??) -- and, during the presentation, they acknowledged that our papers overlap.... yea, at the theory level.

The thing is, I'm darned sure I didn't take this idea from him/his work.... attributed or not. He does cite one of the same basic references I do -- hmmmmm.

I've had this basic argument as part of my dissertation work for years -- ('cuz I'm slow and have a 5/5).

The paper I presented last year uses it explicitly -- and that took me at least a year to develop...

I'm trying to be happy that someone is establishing this framework -- and, frankly, that the way they do it has problems I didn't raise at his presentation ('cuz someone else ignored the word 'short' in 'we can take one more short question').

I'm trying not to feel like they stole my idea.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Final conference stuff...

  • During sessions a guy I think of as 'origami guy' sits in back and makes beautiful things out of folded paper. He's Australian and gave a pretty smart presentation. I'm not sure if this is common at Australian conferences, but I found it charming.
  • I'm happy not to be seeing the 'old nutty woman' -- who managed to derail Q & A sessions with her weird slant on things -- and her irrational hate of the government.
  • I wonder if 'we can take one short question' has a different definition in Canada -- as the last session today ended with a rambling non-question -- which was frustrating because I had a succinct and rather pressing question... grrr.
  • I also saw three different beaches today -- and saw the sunset over the Pacific. I go home tomorrow -- and that's ok, I've done it all.

To those of you with snow days...

... I'm trying hard to be jealous. You see, BNCC has only closed for snow once in the last 6 years... and that was a Friday I wasn't teaching. It doesn't matter if all the area K-12 schools are closed or if the students complain -- we kind of pride ourselves on being brave souls etc...

Of course, I suspect the real reason is that the administration thinks faculty have too many sick/personal days and want to make us either fake being sick or simply use a personal day in order to cancel class -- so they won't call a snow day.

Of course, the fact that I'm in San Diego and planning on having a beach afternoon, after the conference -- that it will be 77 and sunny tomorrow -- and that I'll be wearing shorts and sandals -- makes it more difficult for me to be jealous.

Also, the forecast is that - when I get home -- my sweet home state will actually be above freezing for the first time since before Christmas, so even then I'll be in a relative heat wave.

Really, y'all need to develop an interest in military ethics so you can have a reason to come to this conference next year --- the last weekend in January, San Diego -- you can write paper and come... right?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Conference update, 3

Today I was taught and I was the teacher...
  • A philosopher from a neighbor state presented a paper that revealed how much he didn't know about the American military. During the cocktail hour, we discussed his paper and I was able to show him that he was simply wrong about a few things... by the end of the discussion he was agreeing with me.
  • I got excellent feedback and suggestions for improvement on my paper. I take it as a compliment that the philosophers came to hear the paper -- and gave useful feedback.
  • The first after dinner speaker was a general in the Iraqi army. Wow -- I was blown away. To have someone with his level of experience say things like "thank you for your efforts in my country" -- amazing. Also, he made the same point I made earlier in my paper -- namely that seeking input from local folks in post-conflict situations is necessary. He also articulated my assessment that the US military was prepared to fight the war, but not to handle what happened after the 21 days of formal conflict. That reinforced a large point in my dissertation argument, namely that each stage of just war ethics necessitates planning for the coming steps.
Yea -- it was a good day. Tomorrow, more of the same --- I hope.

Conference update, 2

  • There are fewer "you don't do what I'm interested in, so you suck" kinds of questions at this conference.
  • There are probably more big egos at this conference -- but, maybe they should have big egos -- their work IS really life and death.
  • Why can't the campus food workers figure out how to run their own restaurant? Somehow, the workers didn't have a picture of what is supposed to happen between payment and me eating my lunch. As a result, they couldn't answer the question "so, you'll call me by name when it's ready?".
  • Undergrads are as obnoxious here as they are elsewhere. The fact that it's a private, religious school does nothing to change the attitude.... they just pay more tuition for the classes they talk about skipping.
  • There are several Generals from the Iraqi army here -- my goal is to talk with them, although as a woman I may not get to... sigh. I really hope they'll come to my talk, as it is about the duties of a victor after the war.
  • I think I finally know what I'm going to say -- good thing, as my talk is in about 2 hours....

Conference updates, 1

  • There is a huge advantage to going west for a conference -- my internal clock is still on Central time, so I'm wide awake at about 5AM... Thus, good parking spot and no traffic when I was lost on the way here.
  • This city is beautiful -- really.
  • While lost I was in some residential neighborhood -- and faced a downhill street so steep it scared me. I felt like I was driving on a rollercoaster. It's a good thing it never snows here, the folks at the top would crash down and if they lived at the top, it would be impossible for them to get home.
  • This conference has a lot of folks in uniform -- kind of odd.
  • There is a dude carrying around his dry cleaning. I'm sure it is his suit jacket, but -- really, take it out of the bag.
  • I hope I can make it back to the hotel in time for Hell's Kitchen -- as I don't know if my DVR is working or if I've set it to record.... and I'd hate to miss Ramsey giving it to a new group.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

As seen on South Park..

"I'm the 'don't do things that will irritate your inner ear' badger".

Ah..... I love this conference --

or, at least the location. San Diego is amazing -- every time.

This time I got a good deal on the AMEX webiste, and have a view of a corner of Mission Bay.

Travel was even pretty hassle-free today -- considering I had to fly and all...

Sooner or later I'll find some food, review my paper and go to sleep.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

cat folks, I need help with the Minion....

If you have experience settling territory disputes between cats, I need your help --- the Minion seems intent on peeing in our bed and it's getting old...

here's the story --

When hubby and I returned from our short vacation by the lake, we found that someone (i.e. either the Queen or the Minion) had peed on our bed.

We thought the problem might be that their box was a little stinky -- so we threw out our feather bed, washed the down comforter at the laundromat and blamed ourselves.

When I got home from Red State a couple of weeks ago, they hadn't been allowed in our bedroom while I was gone -- but, when I got home, someone hit the bed again.

I threw out the back-up feather bed, cleaned the box -- which wasn't bad, but could be better, and thought it was a box issue. I caught it before it hit the down comforter and considered myself lucky.

Last week, after the cleaning person was here, I caught the Minion peeing again. His box was clean, as I've been cleaning it twice a day since the last time. I washed the comforter in the washing machine here and went to Bed Bath and Beyond for a new bed covering.... I ended up with a light but warm king sized blanket and two inexpensive twin comforters. The reasoning being that I could easily wash it all at home...

It's a good thing I did -- because I accidentally left the door open this morning, and by the time I got home at 11:00ish, he'd peed again. The good news is that the blanket seems to be pee-proof, as it didn't soak down and instead seemed to pool so I could soak most of it up -- -of course, I'm washing both the blanket and the comforter he hit.... but, this is getting silly.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cold and yummy....

Once again it's cold in BNstate -- yea, so? I've decided that I'm not leaving the house until Monday.... we'll see how long that lasts. I've been home since about 1:30 yesterday. I've pretty much decided that I'm not going out (although, I may go see a movie Hubby doesn't want to see... so this resolve may not last). I've also decided that, since I'm home, I should cook.

I've had a hankering for chili. The problem is that chili often gives me the same "issues" as others. Also, I'd have to go out to get the rest of the things I'd need... so, I got creative.

I started with a pound of buffalo meat (because that's what I had in the freezer and had defrosted).
I added about 1/2 onion and browned it --- adding some garlic powder.
I then put in two cans of black beans, 1 can of tomato sauce, two cans of mushrooms and the spices for chili. I didn't drain any of the cans.... their juice is good :).

As that was cooking I cooked the rigatoni I found in the cupboard.

When the pasta was done and drained, I dumped the other pan into it and started stirring...

It didn't look saucy enough, so I added two cans of tomato paste (no water -- just the paste -- it worked GREAT!).

Then, I ate a bowl. It was a little hot, even with the cheese I threw on top.

So, I added a bunch of oregano and a couple of handfuls of brown sugar. The sample I ate was perfect!!

I'll eat it this weekend and will have lunches for Monday and Tuesday. If I get tired of it, I'll freeze it ---

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The bags are almost packed... well, not quite

I have all my conference travel arrangements finished for next week --

The paper is still at the 'nearly sucks' stage, but it will get better this weekend.

The bad news is that it's going to be rainy -- but, it won't be below zero.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fun class tonight...

My medical ethics class will keep me on my toes...

The best, of a few funny moments:

Me: (holding out my closed hand) what's in my hand?
Class: a penny
class: a rock
class: nothing
class: (what I hear) a penis
Me: did you say penis --
person who said it was laughing....
Me: that would be a pretty disappointing thing -- maybe even a disability if it fits in my closed fist... (secret message to red head -- you know what I'm thinking...)
class: laughs and makes some jokes...
student who I thought said 'penis': I said 'a peanut'...
Me: Peanut is good, but penis is better!

Question -- call for wild speculation....

Context: I'm at the coffee shop --- my wonderful, brilliant (honor society member, in fact), kind, compassionate and not to expensive house cleaner is working and I like to stay out of her way.

Every time I come to this coffee shop, I see the same dude. I think of him as Coffee Shop Dude (CSD from now on).

CSD is probably in his mid 50s with Longish gray hair and glasses. He always wears jeans and in the winter a black down coat. He uses a PC laptop and drinks Mountain Dew. He goes outside to smoke about every hour or two. When CSD speaks, everyone on our side of the coffee shop can hear him.

Once in a while he seems to tutor some other dude in physics. This has been going on for at least three semesters, if not more -- and some other dude doesn't seem to get it... or, finish the course for that matter.

When I arrived today (about 8ish AM) CSD seemed to be getting some kind of spiritual counseling. It ended when the counselor told CSD he was being manipulated -- it wasn't clear from the discussion whether the manipulator was human or the devil... but CSD went out for a smoke and the counselor packed up quickly and left before CSD came back.

So -- the big question is -- how the heck does CSD earn a living? He always seems to be at the coffee shop, and last I knew they don't pay people just to sit there and use the free internet access.

Please, entertain me with wild speculation in the comments -- today will be kind of a long day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Taught, went to the grocery store, got a port flush and then...

got home just in time to see Obama take the oath of office.

Dang, can he give a speech or what?

I still have shivers -- even after the so-so poetry.

Monday, January 19, 2009

grrrrr -- technology....

Really, I'm not a very techno-savvy person.

I can post to my blog (duh) do facebook and e-mail... but, something like downloading and installing Testgen -- and getting it to work is a pretty big deal for me.

Well -- I finally figured out Stuffit (with Hubby's phone help) -- and tried to open the Testgen file, only to have it tell me it was corrupted... I tried deleting the file and downloading it again, several times with the same result


Today, by the numbers -- a trip from Red state to BN state...

1: the number of tanks of gas I used.
2: the number of coffee drinks I had on the way home.
2: the number of potty breaks I had on the way home.
3: the number of towns in Corn State with the root "boon" -- "Boonville", "Boondocks" and "Boon".
9: the number of vehicles in the ditch.
6: the number of vehicles in the ditch, that were upside-down or sideways.
2: the number of cats who were, at least temporarily, happy to see me.
10: the number of minutes it took the Minion to get in trouble with me.
43: degrees difference here from when I left.
40: the high temp in Red State -- their snow has actually melted down there...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gran Torino -- see it!

Gran Torino was an excellent movie.

Clint Eastwood was brilliant and the Hmong actors did a darned good job.

The basic story is about Clint getting to know his Hmong neighbors -- and coming to be their protector / mentor / friend. Of course, there is much more to it -- but, it isn't a Dirty Harry kind of movie.

Hubby said it best, at dinner afterward he said "that movie could have been 45 minutes longer".

See it -- it's the kind of movie that sticks with you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Saturday morning debate...

I'm up -- it's 7:55 and I'm done with my e-mail etc..

The question is whether or not I should go back to bed.

The advantages of going back to bed are obvious -- warm, bed etc...

BUT -- If I were a really, really, really good wife, instead of going back to bed I'd go get bagels and coffee for my hubby.

Of course -- that means he'd have to wake up when I got back, which may be earlier than he'd like to wake up.... hmmmm.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Late adds --- am I being unreasonable?

I'm teaching two night classes this semester. They meet once a week.

Students can add the class to their schedule independently -- even after the first meeting. I don't like that, but there is nothing I can do about it. The open add period ended yesterday -- after both evening classes have met once... i.e. after we've had a full week of class.

Now I have students asking for my signature on an add slip. I've been telling them no.

In one class, they'll have a writing assignment due next week -- yep, it's quick and I did it on purpose because I don't like the late add thing... there are ways that mean missing it won't be fatal to their grade, but generally we need to hit the ground running.

In the other, they're missing class on Monday for MLK day -- and the following week they have something due.

For the ones who tell me that they either added the class late OR their dog ate their car keys and thus they couldn't make it to class -- I tell them where to get the class handouts. I'm guessing that maybe 1 of them, total, will do this on their own.

You know what, I don't feel bad about that at all. The handouts were available in class -- choosing not to come to class (especially the first one of the semester) is risky, eh?

Long distance relationship, thoughts...

(knock on wood) this is the first week of the last semester we'll be long-distance.

It will have been three years total -- which was my limit from the beginning.

There are a few things we did -- mostly accidentally -- that made it easier..
  • All of our phone numbers were in the same area code -- thanks to the wonders of vonnage. I never, once, thought about the time or expense of calling hubby --- I just called.
  • We still have one "home" -- BNstate. Hubby is housesitting -- which wasn't easy for him to adjust to, but made decisions about breaks and summer easier.
  • I kept my (tenured) job. Thank goodness :).
  • We were within a reasonable driving distance --- thus, no airline hassles etc.... just 400 or so miles of Corn.
  • We don't have kids -- so we could easily share the travel (except last semester, aka the chemo semester).
There are a few small things that made the whole experience a pain in the backside...
  • Generally, we miss talking to one another casually --- on the phone just isn't the same and I won't do the "Pam and Jim spend the day together" bit from the Office -- for one, it would be too confusing to try to teach while he's teaching too :).
  • We've missed just hanging out together -- and the spontaneous fun that creates.
  • We'll have to get back in the habit of being able to work when we're together.
  • We've got two of many things --- and a total of four printers.
  • We moved to a smaller place in BNCC -- and in May hubby's stuff will all come home..... including the tacky blanket he bought in Tijuana... (although, the blanket could be a useful bargaining point to get rid of an item yet to be named --- hmmmm... :) ).
  • I suppose one good thing is that all the clothes I brought down here three years ago will also come home -- i.e. instant wardrobe boost.
I think the experience was worthwhile -- we learned to be a lot more independent. Hubby had some valuable experiences at his uni--- and did some good teaching too :)!! That isn't to say that we'd do it again. Financially, it wasn't a good decision --- but, it seemed to make sense at the time.

Overall, I'll be happy to have him home in May. We'll spend a summer together working and playing before he starts law school in the fall. I'm also happy NOT to be moving to Red State. It would have been a worthwhile move for a good job -- but, the prospect of finding another job, a new place to live etc -- just made me tired. Really, it is worth having to postpone my sabbatical to have hubby home.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Balmy Red State

I think my Corolla's outside temp reading only goes to -19.... probably because the smart Japanese engineers didn't realize that there was civilization below that temp....

It was fun to watch the temp rise as I went south. I started with a full-tank of gas and decided that I wouldn't stop until it got a bit warmer....

by the middle of Corn State it was -9ish.... good thing too, as I was nearly out of gas :).

When I got to Red State the top reading was 4 degrees!! I got out of the car without freezing!!!

Hubby says it is supposed to be near 50 this weekend, so even if he's wrong -- y'all at home can be envious just at the potential...

It's officially cold....

We've moved from chilly to cold -- it's -20. -35 windchill.

You can tell that because:
  • I'm wearing the long coat, mittens, hat and a scarf.
  • I went out to get dinner before class so I could start my car -- because I was worried that the car wouldn't start.
  • I've turned the heat up in the apartment.
Today -- teach and run... to Red State :)!

Funny thing is that, in Red State they think it is cold, but the lowest temp is supposed to be -12... which is only chilly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today and Tomorrow...

Today -- pretty cold, --- -20 real temp tonight... I'll teach and do some administrivia, hoping the car will start at 9:00...

Tomorrow, teach early and drive to Red State.

It will be good to see Hubby -- AND, a new episode of The Office... i.e. my TV friends :).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


...worth of quarters from the change thing.

I'm taking them and the comforter to the laundromat this afternoon.

It takes FOREVER to get the comforter dry, so I'll be there for a while -- and I'll have time to do some errands and class prep while the thing dries.


Outside it is -13F. With 'windchill' it is about -31.

It may get up to -2 today.

It is cold enough that I actually turned up the heat -- (Hubby and mom are snickering right now... all summer I insisted that the AC be on HIGH!!!!! --).

I'd better get moving so I can get in the coffee drive=thru line.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I learned today...

... that chalk, when mixed with sweat, smells like urine.

I learned this from the IT guy.

I also don't think it works the same for everyone, but it does make me feel better about being stinky after teaching in the chalkboard room.... the one that the maintenence guys like to fling chalk around.

They tell me the whiteboard is on the way. I can't wait.

Class #1

... you know THAT kid.

The one with a variety of "issues" --- not the entitlement issues or other things, but legitimate learning "issues".

Nice enough -- in fact nice enough that the fact that they are annoying makes you feel guilty.

They're in my first class.... after taking another one of them.

It is going to be a long semester folks.

no... not ready.....

Spring semester sucks.

It is snowing and it's going to be pretty chilly up here this week --- windchill -25 or so, real temp -10-15.... and I teach a 7:45 class Tuesday/Thursday. Starting class when it's dark and cold sucks.

I also teach two evening classes, so I go out at night and get into a cold car --


plus, Hubby is heading back to Red State today for one more semester.... so, I'm grumpy.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It must mean something...

... that I got a SPAM message about fish.

As in, fish I should buy and eat -- not even for the fish tank.

What kind of weird mailing list must I be on?

I don't get many of the financial or phallic enhancement e-mails. I don't get too many of the 'buy your Ph.D.' ones...

but, fresh fish to buy?

A new semester...

.. and a new way to organize stuff.

It started with a new logic text, which comes in a three-ring binder style. That way me and my students only need to bring part of it to class...

So, I went shopping for 3-ring binders. Office Max had some cool ones, so I bought one per class I'm teaching.

I also bought calendars that will fit into the big binder so I can keep track of stuff, make notes etc.

My goal is to end the semester with a binder full of lecture/discussion/reading notes as well as hard copies of all assignments etc.

Since I broke my promise to myself not to use any new books until I have a finished dissertation -- this should help me in future semesters....

I'm officially recovered from Chemo...

... no, my hair didn't grow overnight, although it is getting better every day.

Rather, buffalo wings smelled good to me on Thursday -- and we're going out for them tonight.

I can't wait -- I haven't had them since sometime last spring.


Edited to add...

We went to a sports bar/restaurant place -- got an order of traditional wings and an order of boneless (i.e. tenders in sauce) and ate until we were stuffed.

My mouth and lips only got the usual amount of hot -- not the unbearable hot that even some catsup and pepper gave me only a few weeks ago!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

TV series...

I both love and hate that we can get seasons of TV series on DVD and itunes...

I love being able to see them all -- and hate that I've seen more than my share...

Before I go to campus for the big 'day o copies', I thought I'd list the series I've watched --
  • NCIS
  • Boston Legal
  • Weeds
  • Ugly Betty
  • Mad Men
  • The Office
When I list them out like that, they seem kind of innocuous -- but, had I been writing 0r doing something productive instead -- I'd have something to show for it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I wish I could give you the sound...

... of the waves crashing.

Our vacation place is right on the lake.

We got warm tonight and have opened the door --

We are still in BNstate, but it sounds like the ocean out there.

Tomorrow I'll post some photos, but tonight -- imagine a good sound machine with the waves crashing program --

Syllabi update...

3 done (well, the two logic ones are pretty similar... but, one being T/Th and the other M/W makes things complicated -- as BNCC has one more T/Th class than M/W class AND random holidays...grr).

The Ethics syllabus is pretty interesting -- I'm putting ethical theory and applied ethics topics together -- For example, when we talk about the death penalty, we also talk about social contract theory -- and when we talk about euthanasia we also talk about utilitarianism...

They'll be doing a pretty decent amount of writing, but no quizzes or exams. Rather, 6 3ish page papers, a bunch of smaller assignments and a 'researched opinion' paper of about 5-7 pages --- that includes a draft... it is pretty ambitious for a class of 50. I also suspect I won't have 50 by the end, as it is a night class and those folks often have more complications that prevent them from finishing.

Tomorrow -- Biomedical Ethics -- which should include a guest speaker -- my oncologist. He's agreed to do it -- so I hope we can coordinate my syllabus and his schedule :).

Oh, the hopefulness of syllabus writing...

Classes start a week from yesterday -- by this time next week Hubby will be on his way back to his last semester in Red State.

but -- for right now, I'm in that hopeful stage... you know, the one where you make plans for a course before you meet the little buggers face-to-face.

This is before you realize they won't do the work, they'll whine and then write bad papers.

This is before you remember that a 7:45 class, in January and February in BNState isn't a good idea -- and that attendance sucks.... or, they don't come on time.

For right now -- I'm in a pretty place, with a huge lake outside and the potential for a storm --- and I'm hopeful that most of them will do what I'm planning for them, and maybe learn something.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Quick updates..

  • The place in Funky Northwoods town is great. If we had The Queen and the Minion, we could move in and be happy forever... except, you know for the money problem...
  • Hubby is in the big and wonderful tub -- I suspect he won't be dry for too long until we leave on Thursday.
  • Super-Mom is doing great -- she got some ladder-work and lunch in town on her birthday.
  • My hair is growing back pretty well around the back of my head. The top is still pretty sparse -- but, generally I look more like the victim of an irritated barber than a chemo patient.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Going north...

Most (sane) people go south when it gets cold and snowy.

We're going north. Now that my paper is done -- for the moment -- I'm packing my syllabus stuff and we're going "up north".

I love the northern part of this state in the winter. It's snowy, quiet (except for the snowmobiles, and they'll go home tomorrow) and beautiful.

We'll spend a couple of nights with mom. Tomorrow is her birthday!!!!

Then we'll go to a funky little town up toward Canada for three nights in a really nice hotel/suite place. It's right on the water, has a fireplace, wifi and great decor. We'll spend the day hanging out and doing class prep.... mostly because we don't do winter (or summer) sports :). At night we'll have dinner in funky little places and drink hot chocolate by the fire.

By the end of it, I'll have syllabi for Logic, Ethics and Medical Ethics --- and the cats will be irritated.

sounds like fun, eh?

Friday, January 02, 2009


... my conference paper, that is.

It isn't half-bad... it is far from brilliant or discipline changing, but I'm not embarrassed by it either.

Not bad for a semester that included chemo and a 4/4.

and... 3.5 hours before the end of the day it's due.... or, as Hubby says, "4 hours before the e-mail notifying us of the extended deadline". Yep, I was the kid in class that was used as the example to deny extensions...

The Queen is clever!!

I just saw the Queen cat break into the office...

The office is separated from the living room by French doors. She held one door with her paw and put her head against the other one, bumping it until it opened... It took her less than a minute.

The Minion and the ipod...

The scene: a few minutes ago, Hubby and I in the office in various stages of avoiding work. The Queen is in full view.

Suddenly, we hear thumping from either outside or the next room.

Hubby goes to investigate... and finds the Minion standing on the ipod alarm clock/charger.

He's amazed, he's now discovered that he can make music (ABBA-- in this case) appear out of nowhere.

It's going to be an entertaining day.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

plans, blocked....

I have a few plans for today....

do the laundry (in progress)

Change the sheets -- blocked by the Queen who is greatly enjoying a Minion-free nap... on the bed.

Make white-chocolate dipped pretzels -- except, I can't make the chocolate melt to dipping consistency...

Maybe I'll just go read a book with the Queen -- and get on with my plans once she's done with her nap.

Later we'll watch season 5 of The Office (yep, we've watched seasons 1-4 since the start of Winter Break).