What's On Laura's Mind Today?

Hooray, I am done with my bloody taxes finally. Yuck. I HATE doing taxes. Luckily I've found an inexpensive (and relatively idiot-proof) online way to do everything, and e-filed both my state and federal returns. No trip to the post office! Woot! Also, refund! WOOT!

Top Gear. Seriously. I would love to watch this show every week, but the only way to get it in the U.S. is to pay major ducats for turbo-cable with seven billion other channels. Which, I mean, I'm not gonna lie, I would totally love, but it's bordering on a hundred bucks a month. And I love Top Gear, but really.

My students are the BESTEST. I wish I had the time to go into detail about why each one of them is so precious to me, but I don't want to try your patience with that many words. As crazy-making as kids can sometimes be, not a day goes by when I don't laugh with total delight at something one of them does. I mean really. My eighth graders especially are just the joy of my life.

Passover! My community group had a great time doing a little Passover seder this past week. It was a blast -- everybody came over to my house and we rigged up as many spots as we could and did an extremely abbreviated version of a typical Messianic seder, since a normal one can last 3 or 4 hours! Good food, good company, and a cool insight into the last meal Jesus ate with his disciples.

Did you know that Deadliest Catch is Discovery's most popular show? If you've watched it, you probably understand WHY it is, and if you haven't, you're seriously missing out. It's got the perfect reality-show alchemy: honest-to-goodness peril + salty, interesting characters + million-dollar rewards. Crab fishing in the Bering Sea is truly one of the world's most dangerous jobs, and not a season goes by without the captains hearing the crushing news that one of their sister ships has gone down in a storm. The captains themselves are hilarious -- tough, smart, foul-mouthed, third and fourth generation fishermen. And the million-dollar payout isn't a prize sponsored by advertisers, but the actual earnings of the captains and crew. Watch it! It's seriously addictive.

Spring in Louisville is gorgeous when it actually shows up. Last year, we had the shortest spring EVER -- freezing cold followed by two weeks of nice weather followed by blazing hot summer. But this year... it's been rainy and fickle and crazy, with thunderstorms and cool weather. Great stuff! The dogwoods are starting to bloom right now too. Ahhh...


An Open Letter To My Aussie Friends

There are a few things you should know before Em and Gwyd get back to 'Straya in a few weeks' time. I thought it would be best if you had a bit of preparation for the stories, rumors, and inside jokes they'll be armed with upon their return.

Here's what you need to know:

1. Em and Gwyd are both pregnant with babies made (Mighty-Boosh-like) from barbecued ribs, Indian food, and Dr. Pepper. The appropriate response to this: jealousy.

2. They will definitely try to explain something called an "orc Elvis" or "orc Elvis impersonator." The explanation will probably involve snippets of Elvis tunes, snarling, and discussions of bouffant hairdos. The correct response to this is mildly-amused puzzlement.

3. They have perfected their imitations of American homeschool kids. The correct response to this is to ask them whether or not the Balrog has wings, if Hobbits can be found in Mammoth Cave, or if the economy can survive without the contribution of Wood Nymphs.

4. Speaking of Mammoth Cave, Gwyd has developed a theory about how Mammoth Cave was built. If you ask him about this, be sure he replies in his American homeschool kid voice.

5. The next time you are around them while they're eating, their "Mmm" noises in response to the tastiness of the food will likely turn into an "mmm"-punctuated laugh fest. They might wipe tears. The appropriate reaction to this is awkward silence. I'm sure you can manage it.

Also be sure to ask them about Andrew's reaction to seeing Androdgo, and who carried the food down to the tuberculosis patients in Mammoth Cave. You have a few weeks to prepare yourselves.


Kentucky Mountain Boys

Mammoth Boy

So we went to Mammoth Cave today. Em and I were there, despite photographic evidence to the contrary. Who do you think was taking all these great shots of the boys? In the grand Tassie tradition (ahem. Or something) of Mountain Boys photo shoots, and because of the amazing natural beauty of Mammoth Cave National Park... I give you, Kentucky Mountain Boys.

Waterfall Boy

Naughty Stars and Stripes Forever!

Jesse James

Rugged Pioneer Explorers!

Yeah! It was a very good day. Coming up: more food pics, Sojourn, and evidence of Em's presence in America.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

They're both doing quite well in America and enjoying themselves. But Gwyd's... found a few American foods he really likes. Yeah, let's go with that: