Mucous and Meds

Posted on 7/31/2008 07:36:00 AM
Being sick sucks.

Having a ten month old who is sick sucks worse.

Being sick while you have a ten month old who is also sick bites it big time.

Being the wellest (wellest??) person among your colleagues despite all that bites big hairy dog balls.

I've been back at work since Monday, but even last week, when I didn't go out of the house for 120 hours straight, I still was working fourteen hour days from home because as sick as I was, I was only run-of-the-mill sick and three quarters of the people I work with are out with crazy, random illnesses that are undiagnosable and weird complications that hardly ever go with the sickness they've got. Which means there's no one to pick up my slack if I'm out for a couple of days. Conversely, I need to pick up the slack of others. I guess I should feel grateful for that but I'm not sure I do.

Last Wednesday, I called up a colleague who had been out for a week and a half but sick on and off for a month before that and said, "You need to get tested for lyme disease, I think you have lyme disease. Also, tell them to test you for mononucleosis." She poo-pooed the idea because her physician had done a ton of blood work already and they had tested for everything they could think of. But lyme disease was not one of them. On Friday, she called back and told me, "Hey, you were right. Turns out I have lyme disease. And while I don't have mono now, my blood work shows markers that I did have it within the last month."

Just another tick in the long list of why Dr. Google and I should be your family physician rather than a person who has actually been to medical school.

I still have a miserable cough and sound like a distressed walrus when I break into one of my fifteen minute coughing spells, but I can take drugs that suppress it enough to get through short periods of time without breaking into a hacking, mucous-y fit. In fact, I played at a funeral pretty much high last night just so I could get through the event without causing a disturbance from the podium. I hate to admit it, but I think the drugs actually helped my piano playing - or at least they loosened me up enough to do the improvising necessary when you've thrown something together at the last minute and don't have a real arrangement for the song you've been asked to do. Or maybe the drugs just got me to the point where I didn't care if I made a mistake.

Fortunately, I just finished a very long, very tedious project editing a book and now I feel like I have the luxury of actually being sick when I'm sick... just when I'm starting to feel a bit better.

Ah, irony. How I've missed you. Or is that just a bummer? I'm never sure.

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Well That's Disturbing

Posted on 7/29/2008 02:28:00 PM
1,977,360How Many Germs Live On Your Keyboard?



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Last Lecture

Posted on 7/25/2008 03:54:00 PM
I was incredibly sad to hear that Randy Pausch died today. What an amazing life... too short though it was.
"I knew what I was doing that day," he wrote in the introduction of his best-selling book, also titled The Last Lecture. "Under the ruse of giving an academic lecture, I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children."
I know that millions of good wishes are going out to his wife and children. I guess I'd just like mine to be among them.

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Things That Happened Since We Last Spoke Coherently

Posted on 7/25/2008 08:54:00 AM
I'm going to the doctor today because The KingofHearts thinks I sound like I have pneumonia. I don't really think that's the case, but I really want to score some of that sweet, sweet cough medicine with codeine in it which The KoH refers to as laudanum... because some people want to hoard it all for themselves and took the free stash others donated to the cause with them last time they left town.

Last night The KoH had had it with me and my barking seal impersonation, so he bought a fifth of whiskey, made a homemade cough medicine, told me drink it and sent me to bed at six o'clock. I was too exhausted to argue. I slept straight through until three when I got up, fed the baby, and then went back to bed. It was the most sleep I've had in a night since The Caterpillar was born - ten months ago.

I feel marginally better -- still not recovered from this plague, or bird flu, or whatever it is -- but not so much like death warmed over. See what happens when you incorrectly blame your laryngitis on a Rush concert? The gods will get you... as they, apparently, are big Rush fans too.

*******

The Caterpillar said her first word. Well, maybe not so much a word, per se, more of a "mmmmam mam mam mam mam mammmmm" while she's crawling desperately toward me in an attempt to make me pick her up. But she doesn't say this to the KingofHearts so I'm counting this in the "she said mom before dad column" which I totally deserve... because The Dormouse? Her first word to me was cracker and I couldn't handle that kind of racial stereotyping* a second time.

*******

Aside, I've only just now noticed how close the word Momma is to mammeries. Coincidence? Maybe she's not trying to say momma after all.

*******

The Caterpillar has begun to stand unaided for short periods of time (like seconds, we're talking here -- so no clamoring for photos yet) and this morning took two unaided steps from the footstool to my arms. It wasn't so much walking as it was falling with style.

*******

I registered The Dormouse for kindergarten in the fall. She technically doesn't fit the age cutoff, but only missed it by a couple of weeks.** At the early entrance evaluation they found her ready to enter kindergarten - I think because she can spell better than many of the teachers in my county.

*******

In order to register The Dormouse for school, I had to prove that we lived in the county***. On the phone before hand, the person I spoke with told me to bring the deed to my house or a rental agreement, showing that we lived in the school district. So I went to the bank, pulled a copy of the deed out of the safe deposit box and brought it with me. Here's a snippet of the conversation I had with the registrar:

"OK - now we'll just need two pieces of mail addressed to you to prove you live in the county."

"Here's the DEED TO MY HOUSE."

"I'm sorry but that's not appropriate proof of residence anymore. We need two pieces of mail addressed to you at this address."

"You mean the DEED TO MY HOUSE isn't good enough?"

"Well, you could have property in other counties."

*pointing* "It says, 'primary residence' right here... on the DEED TO MY HOUSE."

"I'm still gonna need two pieces of mail."

"Isn't it easier to forge a piece of mail addressed to my name at a different address than a notarized DEED TO MY HOUSE?"

"Well, it's just the new rule. I guess they're worried about people trying to fake documents."

"So you get a lot of people trying to fake their way into this school district?"

"No."

*******

While going to Pennsylvania for the Independence Day holiday, we innocently stopped to get gas a few miles outside of our destination. Four miles down the road, my beloved station wagon (it's NotanSUV!) started to choke and sputter and the check engine light began flashing indiscriminately. Previously, it had been running fine. Cause and effect, anyone?

We made it into town and took it to a mechanic who determined that the fuel filter had been shredded - most likely due to the bad gas we had received at a major gas station chain. He took a sample of the gas from the tank and put it in a plastic bottle, where we watched sediment collect at the bottom. He put a new fuel filter in and told us there wasn't much we could do but run through this tank and hope the fuel injectors hadn't been damaged.
We managed to get home after the weekend, but new gas didn't correct the problem. So we took it to a mechanic at home when we got back and by that time the first cylinder had completely stopped working. It was now more economical to replace the entire engine than repair it. Three grand later, I have a working vehicle again. Anyone think I can recover the damages from this sham oil company fine institution?

Ha ha. That's what I thought too.


*******

I entered some photos in a local photo exhibit. I had them printed with a new online service I hadn't tried before and was quite unhappy with the results. I think it was my fault for choosing the cheap paper, but they came out looking more like posters than photographs. I didn't have time or money, see above, to reprint them so I just submitted them as was. Not only did my submission get chosen to be hung in the exhibit, but I won a judges' choice award... further exhibiting why my aesthetic impulses do not qualify me to do this for a living.

*******

Does anyone other than me see Miley Cyrus as the next brilliant young star on a collision course with rehab and a psychiatric diagnosis? Or have I just been watching too much daytime television this week?

*******



*I made this joke to the Director of The Dormouse's preschool (a black woman) one day when she was asking me to tell her about the kid's verbal development and her first words. She laughed for about .5 seconds, then grew nervous and serious and began hypothesizing that she might have heard the phrase "Polly Want a Cracker" on some television show and that was to what she was referring. Clearly, humor 101 isn't taking up a lot of space in the curriculum here.

** When she was born, she was actually within the cutoff date, but they've moved it back more than a month since we moved into the county. We asked to have her evaluated for early entrancce - a ridiculously long, involved process for which no living person can tell you the criteria they use to decide. I don't recommend it. Just plan to have your babies before September, trust me.

*** Some of the worst schools around are in our county.

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My Week in Haiku

Posted on 7/24/2008 01:45:00 PM

Sick

Coughing, sputtering,
Fever baths at two am.
Please just let me die.


(More later when I'm not so delirious.)

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Rushians

Posted on 7/20/2008 09:17:00 AM
Friday morning while nursing the baby, I turned on the DVR to watch a recording of an earlier night's Stephen Colbert and found that he had the members of RUSH on his program - for the first time on American television in over thirty years. First - let me explain that RUSH is one of my favorite bands ever. RUSH had already been around for awhile when I was just getting old enough to pay attention to popular music.

I remember them being quite the controversy because of that rumor going around that RUSH stood for "ruin under Satan's hand." Which, as we all know, is total crap. It was "
right under Satan's hand." (When the Deseret News debunks a juicy rumor like this, you know it was baseless.)

I really got into RUSH when I was in college. I was playing in a steel drum band and dating a percussionist who introduced me to the amazing talent that is Neil Peart. I can remember driving around with my friends in college, air drumming all the fills to the entire soundtrack of Moving Pictures. So they have a place in the history of my life, so to speak.


I am so out of the loop that I did not know they had a new album out, much less were touring. That's what happens to you when you have kids. No matter how young and hip you think you still can be, you would rather go to bed at 7:00 pm because by some Harmonic Convergence Of The Stars And All That Is Good And Holy In The World you got both kids to sleep and now's your time to catch up. There's not a lot of time left in between those rare occurrences to keep up to date on things like forty year old bands and what they're doing these days unless you find it on
Behind the Music at 2:00 in the morning.

Just after Stephen Colbert opened by asking the band members, Do you ever get tired of being so awesome and kicking so much ass?, I was showing the KingofHearts the part where they show a shot of Peart's ridiculously giant drum kit so big it had it's own weather system and Stephen asks him,
Do you think you might have a drum dependency? I remarked to KoH, "You know, I always wanted to see them and never got a chance. I didn't even know they were touring again." Then I went into the kitchen to make some breakfast.

A few minutes later, I turned around to find him on the computer looking up their tour and the cost of tickets. The website said they were in town tomorrow (tomorrow!), but that everything was sold out except for the North Carolina show. I facetiously suggested driving down to Charlotte for the concert - it wasn't that far after all. Then a minute later, I don't know how, he'd not only found available tickets to the D.C. show but was purchasing them at a completely unreasonable price. I was so stunned - I don't know if it was more the fact that they were available or that he paid a king's ransom for them - that I didn't have time to second think it.
So last night, we went to see RUSH at the Nissan Pavilion.

It was amazing, and I screamed myself hoarse... something I have never before done in my life. This morning, the only way I can communicate is blogging so here's my review of the concert that I no doubt would share with my friends, if I had friends, and if the friends I had cared about rock bands anymore and if I were a teenager getting up the morning after a teenage rite of passage such as a RUSH concert. These are some of the comments you could have heard if you had been around us last night:


  • KoH: "What time does the concert start?" Me: "I've heard they always start late because they don't have an opening band." KoH: "Well, they've been touring for over thirty years.. They should be able to start on time by now." Me: "I'm pretty sure if you go to a rock concert and complain about it not starting on time, you're too old to attend."
  • "Hey, we should do stuff like this more often. This is like the first time we've had a date in like... a year or more." "Our lives make me sad."
  • Twelve year old Waitress seating people at the table next to us at the restaurant before the show: "Oh, it's crowded in here because there's some kind of old peoples' concert.... Rush or something like that?"
  • Eleven year old waitress at Cold Stone Creamery referring to another eleven year old employee - "Oh he's just down there talking jibberish." KoH: "Well, he's an adolescent... They do that." Waitress: "Oh no he's not an adolescent. He's like eighteen!" Eye rolls from us.
  • "Seriously? People are going to stand up for three hours? We paid a lot for these seats. I want to use them."
  • "Damn.. Why did we forget to bring earplugs?"
  • "I think someone let his kid do their videos on his iMac with his new iVideo software. Seriously, these are perplexing."
  • "I wonder who designs the lighting for a show like this.. How many figures do you suppose that guy brings down per year?"
  • "Hey it's midnight... I can't remember the last time I was out of the house at midnight.... Ummm my life makes me sad."

Theme of the evening:
We're Old.

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Ships Passing

Posted on 7/19/2008 05:44:00 AM
Most every morning for the past several years I see her. It's always in the morning while I'm driving to work. She uniformly walks on the same side of the road, bent forward at a 30 degree angle, plodding along. It's a busy, noisy road, not really designed for pedestrians, not that it's illegal to walk there, there just aren't many who do.

She fascinates me. She's in her late 60s I'd guess, glasses, shortish gray hair. She wears the same thing every day: a nice blouse, a sensible skirt, tennis shoes, a heavy coat in winter time, a bikers' helmet, and a giant hiking backpack with a metal frame. The kind of backpack that twenty-somethings hiking their way across Europe on Mommy and Daddy's dime use. Or the kind of backpack that serious outdoors men who plan to stay in the mountain for a month use.

It's like some sort of uniform I've never understood. She's there winter through fall without fail and I pass her walking on the sidewalk in the elements while I'm driving in the air conditioned environment inside my car, listening to NPR or classic rock or some such station that's loud enough to keep me awake without waking up the sleeping baby in my back seat.

I want to stop one day and ask her so many questions.

Is she going to work? Won't it be incredibly hot walking home like that later? What does she do? Why not take the bus? Will she change shoes when she gets there? What's in the backpack? Is there a place to hang it when she gets there? And why the bike helmet?

But mostly, I just want to offer her a ride.

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Why She'll Never Go With Him on Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Posted on 7/15/2008 05:12:00 AM

"Daddy says all the people he works with run around in circles with their arms in the air yelling, 'The sky is falling, the sky is falling!'"

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It's So Hard to Find Good Nannies These Days

Posted on 7/14/2008 10:48:00 AM
Especially ones that can see over the stroller.


We spent the day this weekend with the Cootie Family and The Caterpillar learned about life the hard way... namely that bigger, more savvy kids will not only refuse to share their toys with you, but also will become incredibly upset when you have your own toy and seem to be happy. So they will then throw their own toy on the ground and yank your toy from your hand as well, making you cry. Also, that the two moms who are supposed to be refereeing this event will find this so funny that they will continually give you a the toy that was thrown on the ground every time the big girl takes the toy you are holding, knowing full well that the big girl will just take that new toy. You will cry and they will laugh even more when you forget what you were crying about, only to have the whole scene begin again. But this will steel and prepare you for high school when the head cheerleader continually steals your boyfriend(s). You'll thank your mother later.

Also, you should totally go to Moorenkos and get the LemonRaspBarryWonderMint ice cream because it's really good and if you do, please complain that they haven't put the full name of the flavor on their board, leaving off "Barry" part and the people who paid for this present should get a refund if they can't actually feature the featured ice cream chef.

That is all.

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Because I Really Want to Know

Posted on 7/14/2008 08:49:00 AM
We had a storm last night and a surge must have knocked out the internet connection in my office building and fried the battery power supply that the router was plugged into. I came in this morning to fix it, which basically required getting a new surge protector and restarting everything.

After everything was back up and running, I went into my email and found three messages from other colleagues - from their home accounts to my work account - from last night, telling me they couldn't get into their email. This happens Every. Time. The. Email. Goes. Down.

So what I want to know is this: If YOU knew the email was down at work, would YOU send an email to the responsible person at work telling them that the email is down? Because I wouldn't.

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More Reasons Why We're Married

Posted on 7/13/2008 11:45:00 AM In:
I'm sitting at the computer on the kitchen table answering an email from a friend with a snarky reply. The KoH is sitting next to me eating as I chuckle silently while hitting send.

Him: "What's so funny?"

Me: "Oh... nothing. I'm a bitch."

Him: "Uh humm... aaaand how did you demonstrate it this time?"

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Signs Your Four Year Old May Be Watching Too Much TV

Posted on 7/12/2008 06:03:00 AM
Heard from The Dormouse in the past week at random times that had nothing to do with the current subject matter of the conversation:
  • "Shamwow! is made in Germany."
  • "Are you following me, camera guy?"
  • *when someone spills a soda* "You could clean that up with Shamwow!"
  • "Shamwow! is only $19.95."
  • "You need something that absorbs twenty times it's weight in liquid."
  • "We have to call for it, it's not available in stores."
Or maybe that one commercial is just on waaaay too much.

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Vintage Cow

Posted on 7/11/2008 05:39:00 AM
This little calf was too cute and just watched us from wherever we were in the area. The photo wasn't all that spectacular, so I tried some of the Pioneer Woman's PhotoShop actions on it. Now it looks like she's just about to go prospecting with Humphrey Bogart.


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Jumpy

Posted on 7/10/2008 07:41:00 AM

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Arriving Ahead of the Hare

Posted on 7/09/2008 07:40:00 AM

This tortoise had just gotten in a fight with another tortoise when we saw him. If you look closely, you can see blood on his mouth beak lips just what do you call a tortoise's eating apparatus anyway? But you should have seen the other guy.

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Thieving Long-Necked Cow

Posted on 7/08/2008 05:42:00 AM

Yeah... that's $5 worth of feed he yanked out of our hands and ate in one fell swoop. Ship of the desert, my ass.


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Elk Ridge

Posted on 7/07/2008 07:37:00 AM

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Where the Buffalo Roam

Posted on 7/06/2008 07:35:00 AM In:
You never thought it was in Virginia, did you?


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Coming Late to the Party

Posted on 7/05/2008 07:38:00 AM
This ostrich saw our car drive up and came running from the other side of the hill. You snooze, you loose, dude!


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Red, White and Blue without the Red Part

Posted on 7/04/2008 05:39:00 AM
- or -
One Fine Day

Happy July 4th!

If you ask The Dormouse this week what the Fourth of July is for, you'll get this answer:

"The Fourth of July is Independence Day. A long, long time ago, before I was born or before The Caterpillar was born, and even before Mommy and Daddy were born. First there were nine bad guys. We were fighting them and after we were done fighting then we won. And my dad thinks there's like one more bad guy left."

And there you have it.

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Splits

Posted on 7/03/2008 06:36:00 AM
For some reason, this giraffe seems like a Jeffrey to me. But not Geoffrey... because Geoffrey the Giraffe just seems too corporate.

I can relate to Jeffrey because I felt the exact same way when I was eight months pregnant and trying to put on my shoes.


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Llama Llama Ding Dong

Posted on 7/02/2008 07:34:00 AM
Monica once told me about this guy in her home town who owned a llama and went around town selling "Llama-grams." As I understand it, this involved the guy showing up at some one's front door with a llama on a leash, delivering a birthday card for some pre-arranged fee, then wandering off with his llama before it spits on the birthday card recipient... leaving an awestruck celebrant standing at the door with mouth agape. Or at least that's how I imagine the scene. So when we went to the Safari Park last week, all I could think was "Look at all the Llama-grams! These people could be rich!"

Meet George. Or at least that's what we called him. He's the one pacing us in the video here. He followed us a good half mile, so we felt we knew him intimately.



I imagine this guy's name to be Pickles.


Both George and Pickles seem to be in need of a good dentist.

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A Somewhat Random Meme

Posted on 7/02/2008 06:30:00 AM In:
What is the weather like today where you live?
When I started this it was raining and 98% humidity. I felt like I was wearing a second skin that I could scratch off and roll into a ball like rubber cement. Today, however, it's much nicer.

On a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being highest, how career-minded are you?
About a 7 with my current career. But in the career I'd like to have, where a Sugar Daddy supports me in a manner I'm not accustomed to... just for sitting around the house and watching tv all day... and I don't have to put out for it... that's definitely a 10.

What type of window coverings do you have in your home?
Pretty much everything: Roman shades, homemade curtains, store bought curtains, horizontal blinds, moon shades, frosted glass, and nothing.

Name something that instantly cheers you up.
This:



Thanks for the link, Tewkesbury.

How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning?

Assuming I slept at all the night before: None. Assuming I didn't sleep the night before: Also none. I have a tiny alarm clock in my brain.


Play along, bloggers. Leave your link in the comments.

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Study in Black and White

Posted on 7/01/2008 11:29:00 AM
Years ago, I had a relative who raised horses and on his ranch, he had a zebra. He claimed it was the only zebra in the world that was tame enough to be ridden by humans. I don't know now if that was true but as a fourteen year old child in pre-internet years, I had no reason not to believe him. He had it making appearances all over the place, including a televised special of Doug Henning's magic. I remember when the show aired, feeling rather impressed with myself because I had helped to muck out the stall of a famous zebra!

It's been a very long time since I've been to that ranch -- and a divorce in the family has made that relative not a relative to me anymore. While visiting with my cousin a couple of months ago, I learned the famous zebra had died. So when I got to get up close and personal with this pack of zebras, I felt like we connected. And we poured out a little feed on the ground for our fallen homie.




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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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