Didn't Take Long for THAT to Backfire on Me

Posted on 3/28/2009 03:20:00 PM
The Dormouse: "Momma, Dad, we should get a minivan."

Both me and the The KingofHearts with shock and horror: "NOOOOoooooo!!!!

The KingofHearts: "That's a terrible idea."

DM: "But if we got a minivan, the door could slide open."

Me: "Ah, but a minivan has a lot of other bad things about it."

DM: "Like what?"

KoH: "Well, it sucks, for one."

Me: "And the seats are full of tacks so when you sit in them you poke your butt."

KoH: "And that's no fun."

Me: "And when you turn on the radio, all you get on any station is one guy going, 'AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.'"








My thoughts: 

Self-Deprecation 101

Posted on 3/27/2009 11:31:00 AM
My father's new favorite past time is reading my blog posts and then emailing me an appropriate embarrassing photo from my youth that I'd not only forgotten existed, but sometimes even blocked the entire experience from my mind. I guess that way, he ensures I never forget the fact that I was once a loser who grew up into an even bigger loser.

This was what was waiting in my email box this morning.

These aren't really prom pictures as I recalled yesterday. They're actually from two different Homecomings... I remember at least that much. I do not however, remember owning blue eyeshadow. That, I'm gonna call a camera trick.

I'll refrain from commenting on the boys or mentioning their names because I think at least one of them reads this blog occasionally. So if you're out there... sorry, dude!

Holy too much lip gloss, Batman!

I think I might have even made this dress myself. I can't think of a reason other than incompetence why I would have worn something that highlighted my freakishly long neck in such a manner and I seem to remember that it was home sewn. His tie, I believe, was a belt in another life.

When I was doing such things as going to homecoming dances, it was the biggest fad to make boutonnieres with a small rose bud in the middle of the carnation. We all thought it was the coolest thing since George Michael... and look how he turned out. Today I think this looks like a tumor is growing out of that carnation on his lapel... either that or some eerie foreshadowing scene from The Blob.

I post this as a cautionary tale to all you kids out there gearing up for prom in a couple of months. Sure you think you look cool in your get-up today... and you probably do. Just remember that coolness is fleeting and someday you'll be scrambling around on the interweb trying to take back every photo ever taken of you in those knickers and cloche hat. Or perhaps, like me, you'll be posting them on line yourself in a desperate cry for the psychotherapy you've always needed. Either way, it's not a pretty ending to your story.

My thoughts: 


Posted on 3/26/2009 05:10:00 AM In:
A folly of firsts:

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?
He was a percussionist friend of mine and we went to the prom just as friends because neither of us had another date. The next most significant thing I remember about him is he helped me pick up my car once - as in off the ground. But that's another story.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?
I have never been much of a drinker. I think someone let me try their bloody mary at some event when I was in college. I loved it. Which is why I probably shouldn't be a drinker.

4. What was your FIRST job?
Hawking sodas at a football game. Man, you have to have good knees for that.

5. What was your FIRST car?
Honda Civic. I believe I replaced the clutch on that car more often than I replaced the oil.

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
No one. I'm not so hip with the texting and the technology and and the twitscape and stuff.

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
Gordon B. Hinckley. Now follow me here: I played for a funeral on Saturday and the piece I played was a song with lyrics written by him. The tune has been stuck in my head now for days and every morning I wake up hearing it in my head.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
Mrs. Spade. What I remember about her was she was really, REALLY proud of her Irish heritage and she invented a leprechaun named Malcolm that was the classroom "mascot." She had this whole mythology and back story about him, where he lived, what he wore, his brother's name, how he came to America, etc. He was very small and shy which explained why he would never appear in person, but sometimes he would bring things to the classroom when we weren't there and leave them for it. And here's the thing: we kids believed in him like we believed in Santa Claus. We never saw him, but we were privy to his handiwork. For example, one day we'd come into the classroom and all the chairs would be on their sides. There'd be a letter from Malcolm on the board apologizing because he'd come in to leave treats for the class but his brother, the mischief maker, knocked all the chairs over. She had a station set up in the classroom where we could write notes to Malcolm and Mrs. Spade promised to deliver them - she was the only one he'd talk to you see. Then the next day, we'd get a note back from Malcolm. So... pretty much... my first pen pal was an invisible leprechaun. Now I realize it was all an elaborate ruse to get us kids to write. I've often thought of Mrs. Spade and how today she'd probably be fired for teaching the kids to believe her lies.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
I have no recollection of where we were going but I do remember parking for my first airplane ride and my grandmother prepping me by explaining what would happen on the plane: "They'll give you a little packet of peanuts to eat and a liiiiittttttle bit of Coke with a LOT of ice."

10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?
The first friend I remember having was a girl down the street named "Peanut." Ok, her real name wasn't Peanut, but that's what everyone called her. Was it Liz maybe? I definitely don't remember her last name. I'm afraid we no longer talk, mainly because it's hard to find some one on Facebook using the search terms "Peanut" and "used to live down the street from me."

11. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
No clue. But I do remember one sleep over where we made up choreography to the song from the Underoos commercial.

12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?
The Caterpillar. I believe what I said to her was, "Good morning, sweethe.... please don't put your hands in my mouth, you just had them in your diaper."

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
Could this be a friend when I was in college? I honestly can't remember anything before that. Apparently, some people are not always a bridesmaid.

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Let's see, how many euphemisms for urinate can I come up with? Piddle, widdle, tinkle, water the garden, strain the potatoes, drain the tank, Jimmy Riddle, pump ship, point Percy at the porcelain... had enough yet?

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
I have been to so many, I honestly don't know. I think it might have been a Shlomo Mintz recital. But I could be wrong.

16. FIRST tattoo?
This is it.

17. FIRST piercing?
This is my back.

18. FIRST foreign country you visited?
Gotta be Mexico. I remember very little about it though.

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing?
Breaking Away. I think this might explain the Dennis Quaid fetish I developed later in life.

20. When was your FIRST detention?
I have never been to detention. I was such a goody two shoes... and oh man, did I love that song.

21. What was the FIRST state you lived in?
Sate of confusion, state of denial, state of flux, state of denial... take your pick.

22. Who was your FIRST roommate?
This would be my freshman year in college. She lasted about three weeks and then ditched me for a better dorm so I had the room to myself for the rest of the year. Yay me!

23. If you had one wish. What would it be?
What's the old saying?

24. What is something you would learn if you had the chance?
How to

25. Who do you think will be the next person to post this?
Anybody's guess. Have at it fellow bloggers!

My thoughts: 


Posted on 3/25/2009 06:53:00 AM
The look on her face here as she meets a boy on the playground tells me I really should prepare a tower to lock her in when she turns sixteen.

My thoughts: 

On Love and Setting the Record Straight

Posted on 3/24/2009 12:05:00 PM
Lately, I've had more than one person accuse me of not appreciating my children very much. And I suppose those people are right to a certain extent. I do tend toward being a complainer. If you read just this blog alone and didn't know very much about me, I can see how that might be your impression of my experience.

So let me set the record straight here. The truth is that I am hopelessly in love with my family and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have these tiny hominids entrusted to my care. (I'm not always so sure they're lucky, but hey, that's the luck of the draw). Though it's not really my nature, I work very hard to make sure my children and husband know that they are loved. There's not a day that goes by that I don't tell them I love them. There's not a day that goes by that they don't experience physical affection from me. There's not a day that goes by that they don't hear some kind of praise or reinforcing statement from me about what they do or how they do something.

I'm quite aware that I could do a better job... tell them more often... be more sincere... find more moments. Particularly with The Dormouse, I have not been as good at catching her in the act of doing something good and pointing it out lately and there are days when I ache for not having done a better job of being her mother. Some of that has to do with not enough hours in the day; some of it is due to the fact that she's in school now; some of that is simply a failing of my own. But I am aware of it and trying to do better. I remember all too well what it was like before these little ankle-biters came to stay in my life and the pain I felt when I couldn't bring one of them home with me. While I really think I should have accomplished a lot more with my time before children - you know, traveled more, copyedited the great American novel, took in a few more Broadway plays, worked on a Nobel Prize project - those are all things I gladly give up to spend my days washing poop out of clothing and trying to get one of them to be quiet for just a second so my brain can stop humming. The benefits outweigh the expenses that much.

But here's one of the things I've learned about blogs in the past couple of years and mine is no different: what you read on the screen is not the sum total of a person's life. It's the thirty seconds of material that the author chose to share at that moment and what goes on for the other eighty-six thousand, three hundred and seventy seconds in his or her day is Real Life.

I certainly don't go around resenting my life for the majority of every day. If that were so, I would find a way to change it. I simply do not have the tolerance for putting up with a situation that doesn't work for me most of the time. We all make like decisions about our lives. Motherhood, much like my job, is filled with some really good things and some really bad things. What you generally do in life is weigh your options, decide whether the good things in a particular course of action outweigh the bad things and then follow the path of least resistance. I don't enjoy working every day, don't like some of the things I have to deal with at work, but I do like having a roof over my head, food, a reasonably flexible work schedule and bringing home that paycheck. The things you get from being a parent are so much more that I have to say that for me, yes, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

One of the reasons I started this blog and one of the things that I had to come to terms with when I became a Parent With A Child To Care For Everyday, was the idea that parenthood would be all candy candy yum yum, rainbow smile, river made of ice cream, and happy waif models dancing through the streets under a giant horse made of flowers. Parenthood, like my job, is work. And like I tell my husband, work is work. If it was always fun, they wouldn't have to pay someone to do it. All too often, the idea is perpetuated in the culture around me that once you bring that child home, you're done with your struggles and the rest of life will be a breeze; and that's just not so. I would much rather come into this parenting adventure knowing that fact and knowing that it's hard for everyone, not just me, than assuming I was doing something wrong because every moment wasn't filled with unicorns and happy endings to Disney movies. The fact that some very wise people on the Internet have been brave enough to speak the unspeakable and write about both the joys and perils of parenthood makes me feel a tiny bit less alone when I'm surrounded by the Outward Appearance of Perfect Mother everywhere I look.

For me, as long as I can keep my sense of humor about something, I can keep my head. Looking back over my life, the worst times were moments when I let go of trying to find The Funny in any given situation. Those were the moments where I was depressed and couldn't recover. Those were the moments when I feared for the future. And so, more for me than anyone else, that's what this blog does. It reminds me to find a different way to look at things... reminds me to keep my head and find the humor in the day-to-day grind... allows me to speak the unspeakable: that sometimes being a parent is a sucky job. This blog isn't mommyblog, or a parenting blog, or a WAH mom blog, or SAH mom blog... or anything really. It's just my experience doing all those things.

I'm sure that my coping methods aren't for everyone. Some people need to be positive and serious and pious and spiritual and that's fine. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for ya?" If you can answer in the affirmative, more power to you. That's just not me. There are times when I can be that, but most of the time, I have to be irreverent and flippant just to get through my day without throwing up my hands and yelling "Uncle."

The part of my life that I fail to write about on this weblog most often are the frequent times that I'm so overwhelmed with love for these little beings entrusted to my care that I feel my heart just might break with the effort of it all. The fact that I choose not to write about that is probably due to the fact that any attempt to describe in words the feelings I feel would most assuredly be less than what I feel. Those feelings would somehow seem cheapened by my inability to do them justice.

So... as to the criticism, I'll take it in stride. You're probably right. I do need to express my love for them more and I will make an effort to make that love more obvious. I do need to point out what a blessing they are. If there's one thing that I believe marks the failure of a parent, it's if a child were to grow up and not know he or she was loved. Let's call this my one and only New Year's Resolution... coming just a few months late for the new year.

So this morning, filled full of New Resolve, I picked up my Number Two Child, gave her a hug, told her how much I loved her and just sat with her for awhile... without the interference of television, computers or the phone. And she ever so slightly put her arms around my neck and hugged back and for a second we two just sat there enjoying this poignant moment... right before she put her hand down her throat and caused herself to throw up her scrambled eggs from breakfast all over my shirt.

My thoughts: 

Scenes from a Playground

Posted on 3/24/2009 10:04:00 AM
I'm ready for Spring this year, which is something you'll almost never hear me say my loyalties to Winter are seldom divided and because if Spring comes early that means Summer is coming early too and normally I'd prefer that that dead part of Winter where there's no sun, no snow and everything is brown last for more than half the year rather than deal with the thought of another day over a hundred degrees, which is also the reason I don't live in the Southwest anymore and oh my gosh this whole paragraph is one sentence.

Here's one of the reasons I'm ready for Spring.

My thoughts: 

Maybe Slightly Opinionated On This Subject

Posted on 3/23/2009 07:14:00 PM
Scene: I'm home alone with the girls and the doorbell rings. Ordinarily, I'm not weird about that type of thing, but lately, I've been a bit more careful about everything, so when I realize I do not know the guy standing there, I open the door, but immediately make a show of locking the screen door.

The man standing there has a clipboard and credentials from Comcast around his neck.

Him: I'm looking for Alice?

Me: Yes?

Him: Is that you?

Me: Yes.

Him: You used to have your television and internet service with us?

Me: Yes?

Him: You want it back?

Me: Oh! I see.... yeah. Absolutely not.

Him (looking hurt): Why?

Me: Because I wasn't happy with the service. That's why I switched.

Him: *chuckles in disbelief* Well why did you switch?

Me: Because in all my life from any company any where, tv service or otherwise, I've never experienced worse customer service than I did when I had Comcast.

Him: *looks at me like I'm the biggest bitch he's met all week*

Me: No, seriously... write that down. I've never had worse service than Comcast and while I'm happy with the service I have currently, even if I weren't, I still wouldn't switch back to Comcast.

Him: Well, you don't have to be like that about it.

Me: Dude, you asked.

My thoughts: 

Factory Acts

Posted on 3/23/2009 05:47:00 AM
We were in a store in the mall recently and The Dormouse managed to get the manager there to give her a job application, which she promptly filled out. Damn those child labor laws, because I'm thinking these days, it'd be nice to have the extra income.

My thoughts: 

Developing a Sense of Humor

Posted on 3/22/2009 06:38:00 AM
It's hard to do that orange-in-the-mouth-for-teeth joke when the orange is a third the size of your face, but she's trying.

My thoughts: 

Beware of Swedes Bearing Gifts

Posted on 3/21/2009 07:09:00 AM In:

We happened on this giant floral horse at the Swatch store in Times Square. I'm not sure what significance a Trojan horse made from flowers has for selling watches intended for everyone to own a bakers' dozen, but apparently it's a big deal and waif-like models will run happily under it's legs as it takes over the world.

My thoughts: 

Times Square

Posted on 3/20/2009 09:12:00 AM In:
Every time I'm in Times Square, I'm always struck by how little it impresses me. I guess when you've spent any length of time in Las Vegas, gawdy neon no longer holds it's hypnotic allure over you. I did love this building though.

My thoughts: 

If We Shadows Have Offended

Posted on 3/19/2009 09:12:00 AM In:
We accidentally happened by this building when we were walking through SoHo during our Sleepwalk Thru New York tour. I was thrilled to finally see it in person. Monica, clearly not as impressed, humored me and my geeky architecture loving nature and we crossed the street to take a picture even though it was about 6:00 and way too dark to get a really good photo. Almost every one I took was too blurry to use because of my refusal to lug a tripod around with me. Except this one, which I had to clean up in Photoshop quite a bit.

Now it looks like the sun was actually shining that day.

The Puck Building is one of the most iconic building images in New York. It probably ranks right up the next to the Flat Iron Building for sheer recognizability because whenever producers need a hip, yet classy, exterior shot for the building that the main character on the show works in, they use this. I've seen it on on television and in movies a hundred times but most recently as the building Grace had her studio in on the show Will & Grace.

I know it's been said before that New York is often an uncredited character in entertainment media. It's especially obvious in shows like Law and Order and CSI: NY. I like to think of the buildings of New York as the extras. Each one with it's own personality and history. I could live in this city a decade and never get tired of looking UP.

My thoughts: 

Number One Seems Most Plausible

Posted on 3/19/2009 06:59:00 AM In:
I loved the framing of the moon by this building when we were in New York a couple of weeks ago so I snapped a photo. Then later, I was curious so I consulted the interweb to find out what the building might be or might have been and what the letters "MSI" on the building stand for. Google helped me with a few possibilities:
  • Manhattan Staten Island
  • Materials Solutions, Inc.
  • Microsoft Installer
  • Marketing Science Institute
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • Magnetic Source Imaging
  • Minnesota Supercomputing Institute
  • Mindless Self Indulgence

And then I found this page and I threw in the towel.

My thoughts: 

My Secret Public Boyfriend

Posted on 3/18/2009 10:01:00 AM In:
I did it! I successfully coerced Mike Birbiglia into commenting on my blog! Maybe next, I'll use my powers to force those AIG executives to give back their bonus money.

I only wish I had actually written something funny or impressive for him to read about. It's kind of like finally getting your dad to finally go to your school play and then backstage you're told they've cut all your speaking parts and given you the part of a tree in the back of the forest. (What? That didn't happen to everyone?!?) At very least I could have managed to get video of my eighteen month old saying "Cracker, please." to include in the post, but... you know... she doesn't talk yet, and it'd probably lose it's inflection in sign language.

Seriously though Mike, we loved your show. You are hilarious and I'd have forgiven you for extending... eventually. Especially if it means I could manage to make time to get up there and see the show again. But with this, you've cemented yourself as one of my favorite comedians of all time. All the times I've mentioned Jon Stewart on this blog, he's NEVER ONCE commented.

To the rest of you reading, if you haven't checked out Mike's work, there are many hilarious clips on YouTube to whet your appetite... then you can all go out and buy What I Should Have Said Was Nothing because that's some damn funny stuff.

Jon who???

My thoughts: 

If You Don't Like the Weather in Washington...

Posted on 3/18/2009 08:54:00 AM In:
...just wait awhile, it'll change.

Two weeks ago


My thoughts: 

Remote Access

Posted on 3/17/2009 08:22:00 PM
The KoH bought me a new car stereo for Christmas. It has a remote control. I can reach my arm out and press each and every button on the stereo, but in case I find that too taxing, I now have a remote control to take care of that onerous process. The problem with that logic is that it actually takes me more effort and endangers more lives for me to rummage around in the car and find the remote control than if I'd just reach over and, you know.... push.

We finally replaced our computer... with a laptop computer which came yesterday. It came with a remote control. A device that is intended for me to use On. My. Lap. has a remote control as standard feature.

Just how lazy are Americans anyway?

My thoughts: 

I'm a Bear... et cetera

Posted on 3/17/2009 06:48:00 AM In:

A couple of years ago Monica and I went to see Jon Stewart when he came to Washington. Aside from getting rousted by security guards for hanging out outside Jon Stewart's dressing room door, we were also introduced to a new comedian (well, you know... new to us... I imagine he was doing stand-up for some time before he got that gig) named Mike Birbiglia and became fast fans. Full disclosure here: I happen to know that Mike googles himself on a regular basis so I'm going to see how many times I can mention his name in order to get him to comment on my blog.

Mike Birbiglia Mike Birbiglia Mike Birbiglia Mike Birbiglia Mike Birbiglia Mike Birbiglia

Are you ready to comment yet, Mike? I promise not to call you pudgy and awkward.

I'm not a big fan of stand-up comedy in general. I hate the idea of people standing there shooting out rapid fire jokes, one after another, which have no relation to one another. But every once in awhile a comedian manages to do stand-up in a way that makes it seem like what they're doing isn't really stand-up - it's more like a friend telling a funny story that totally fits within the conversation. Mike Birbiglia is one of those and since that fateful day when our loyalties to Jon Stewart became slightly divided, we've read Mike's Secret Public Journal faithfully, set aside time to watch his Comedy Central specials, rented those same specials on Netflix to watch the special features, and stalked him on line.

C'mon, you know you want to, Birbiglia. The comment form is at the bottom.

Okay, maybe that stalking comment put me over the top.

Anyway, Mike's had this one man show off Broadway in New York for several months now and we've been promising ourselves that we would go pretty much since it started. It was extended and we still didn't make it up there. We kind of wanted to wait until it was nicer weather so we could walk around the streets of NYC all night and not freeze to death. Finally, we heard the show was ending so we decided it was time or we'd never get to see it, so we gathered up the $1 bus tickets, made our husbands babysit, and got seats for the show.

I lost Monica straightaway, but this bear followed me up on the bus and then all over NYC.

Of course, the minute we bought tickets, we heard that the show had been extended again until June. So, thanks for nothing, Mike!

Bear enjoys pretending to maul Mike because he's covered with condiments and tastes delicious.

The tickets we got were for a show just a couple of days after our house was burglarized and I've always believed that when one is confronted with stress, one should always do the mature, adult thing and face one's troubles head on... so I ran away and went to New York. Because as we all know, I am neither mature nor adult.

One of the best things about New York City is you can walk into the Fashion Institute of Technology wearing a panda mask and no one even looks at you twice.

The show was hilarious and I didn't realize how much I'd laughed until after we came back on the bus with no heat (seriously, Megabus?!? I know you sell $1 tickets, but maybe you could charge $2 and you know... HAVE HEAT) at 3:30 in the blessed am and realized the next day that my sides hurt from laughing so much.

You see some of the craziest things on a billboard in New York City.

We walked our asses off because we were too busy looking around to realize we'd strolled over five miles by the time we got to Bleeker street and then after the show, headed back to the bus stop by way of times square - where a bear can do anything a bear wants to do.

My thoughts: 

This Bodes Well for My Father in Law's Ego

Posted on 3/16/2009 11:28:00 PM
The caterpillar, *pointing at a painting of Jesus on the wall*: "Uh?"

Me: "That's Jesus. Can you say 'Jesus'?"

Caterpillar: "Shuh shuh."

Me: "That's close. Say, *enunciating* 'Jesus'."

Caterpillar: "Da da."

My thoughts: 

I Should Get a Prize for Figuring it Out First

Posted on 3/14/2009 07:21:00 PM In:
Scene: Walking through the Smithsonian Museums looking for a couple of exhibits I wanted to see.

Dormouse: "When are we going to see the Adam's Apple?"

Me: "Huh?"

Dormouse: "I thought you said we were going to see Adam's Apple."

KingofHearts: "Huh?"

Dormouse: "You know, Aaaaaaaaaa-daaaaam's Appppppppppppppppp-le."
*because clearly, saying it slower and more deliberately will make us understand*

Adults look at each other, perplexed. Suddenly, dawn light breaks on marblehead.

Me: "Oh! You mean Ansel Adams."

Dormouse: "Yeah! When are we going to see that?"

My thoughts: 

What a Difference a Kid (or Two) Makes

Posted on 3/13/2009 06:53:00 AM In:
Can't let a Friday the Thirteenth go by without an issue of 13 Things...

Thirteen Things I Enjoyed Doing Before I Had Kids

  1. Putting food in my mouth without anyone demanding I take it out and give it to them
  2. Picking up the living room and having it stay that way for twelve hours (oh, wait, that hasn't happened since I got married)
  3. Sitting down for a period greater than than five minutes
  4. Cleaning up my own bodily fluids... and only my own
  5. Hearing out of my left ear - if I wasn't already seriously close to being deaf in that ear, my children would have made me that way by now
  6. Going to the store and Taking. My. Time. Not hurrying to get it all done before one of them knocks each and every thing off the shelves and the other gets lead poisoning or a bacterial infection from chewing on the antiquated cart that's been sitting out in the rain for months ...maybe even making a couple of unscheduled stops along the way
  7. Going to the bathroom without planning the event first. (Must give child something to do while in the bathroom, must wait until children are relatively calm before exiting room, must wait until children are looking other way to exit room unnoticed, must prepare to lock the bathroom door quickly lest child enters and occupies self with pulling the bathroom shelf down on head, must leave activities appropriate for the period of time I'll be in the bathroom within arm's reach of child but be careful not to announce that said activities are there lest children get wise and reject them out of hand, must prepare leg to kick back door for when one of them bursts through inferior lock on door and enters bathroom anyway... etc.)
  8. Watching a television show without either putting the closed captions on or constantly rewinding to hear the line of dialogue that guy just said that someone just talked over
  9. Going outside without a coat on because I know that I'll just be out for a minute
  10. Getting in the car, starting the car and driving off in under ten minutes
  11. Having a meal in a restaurant and leaving without kneeling down on the floor at the end of the table to pick up all the stuff my kids have dropped or thrown on the ground
  12. Staying up late at night because I know I won't have to possibly wake up at 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00 am and can sleep until *gasp* six
  13. Stopping to run in and mail a letter or something that takes equally little time without feeling like I'm going to be arrested if I don't schlep both my kids out of the car and into the place only to immediately turn around and schlep them back to the car

My thoughts: 

8 x 1.625 Random Things

Posted on 3/11/2009 12:25:00 PM In:
I've been having a little trouble with the writer's block lately. I'm blaming this entirely on The Incident, missing computers, formerly free time that is now taken up by dreaming of new and better ways to secure my house... (maaaybe... we could get a robot dog that barks at the basement door and bites the ankles of anyone who comes through... would the alarm company connect it to the alarm system? Do you think insurance will attach it to the claim form? What about a robot dog with a human brain?), and trying to figure out just what it is I owned so I can complete the stupid home owners' insurance claim forms (You know what else is missing? The PICASSO. And the STRADIVARIUS. And have you seen that bag of UNCUT DIAMONDS I had lying around? Better put that down on the form too.).

Sure I can get to a computer to post if I need to, but without one sitting there in front of me at fingertip access daily, it's hard to retain a thought long enough to turn it into a post when it's more convenient. I just got a new comptuer to use at home today, but it has Windows Vista on it and it looks like there's a steeper learning curve on that than I thought. Therefore, I'm just going to throw some crap against the blogoweb and see what sticks - or in other words: meme.

My variation on the Eight Random Things About Me meme.

Thirteen Things Random Things About Me I've Never Told Anyone

  1. I am at work listening to my iPod right now, which is set on shuffle. Michale Jackson's Thriller is playing. I'm embarrassed by this, but not embarrassed enough to reach over and click forward to the next random song. Also, chances are the next random song will be even more embarrassing than this one.
  2. I currently have a car with anti-lock breaks, but I've spent so many years driving cars without anti-lock breaks that I continually pump the breaks whenever I slide on the ice or have to stop quickly. One day, I'm sure it will cause me an accident, so I'm working on my lawsuit that claims I was addicted to pumping the breaks by irresponsible car companies who knew that their product would change but failed to do anything about it.
  3. I have an unnatural prejudice against corduroy. So much so that I hate those Don Freeman books, which is a shame because they are really cute.
  4. I cannot stand still while talking on the phone. It's annoying to others, but no more annoying than it is to me. Despite knowing this, I still cannot be stay in one place.
  5. When I post a blog entry at work, my browser there invariably changes the font from my standard Arial, to Verdana -- no matter how many times I specify that all of the font should be Arial. This bugs me to no end and I will often go home later and change the fonts on blog posts that have been up for days, once I notice this has happened. I'll probably do the same with this one.
  6. I've become an aunt for the first time (legitimately, not by marriage) and my brother and I recently exchanged several serious emails with the subject "Re: magic boobie cream." This kind of relationship is something I never would have guessed I'd have with my brother if you'd asked me when we were nine and twelve.
  7. I can type with one hand while rocking back and forth in a rocking chair, holding a squirming baby in the other. Don't believe me? Check out all the typos on this website over the past year.
  8. I have a brain tumor... which is not nearly as big a deal as it sounds. It's a pituitary adenoma that was accidentally discovered eight years ago. There's a much, much longer story to the "accidental discovery" part of that but you'd need a medical degree and a lawyer to hear the whole thing. Other than a handful of odd and unimportant sensory experiences, it doesn't really affect my life much.
  9. I don't really understand Technorati.
  10. Whenever I go up or down a flight of stairs, I obsessively count the steps. This is useful in perhaps my home, where it's helpful to know that there are thirteen steps to the basement when you're carrying a load of laundry and cannot see the floor, but it's probably not so important to know that there are ninety-eight steps on the Lincoln memorial.
  11. I have a latent fear about driving on bridges. Wait, let me qualify that. I'm okay driving across them, but when I'm in traffic and stopped on one, be it an overpass or an actual bridge, all I can think of is a hundred scenes from a hundred different movies where the bridge collapsed while all the cars were stopped on it like the Mothman Prophecies or the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Given that I drive across at least three bridges or overpasses on my daily commute, it gives me something to think about while going to work.
  12. I hate clowns. They don't scare me, but they do creep me out and not just because I read It by Stephen King. (Although that book certainly didn't help.)
  13. Looking over this list today, it seems obvious that I need to seek professional help. Good thing I work with a bunch of therapists.

My thoughts: 

My Own Little Twistian Waifchild

Posted on 3/07/2009 06:02:00 AM
Whenever The Caterpillar wants to ask for a snack these days, she goes and finds an empty bowl from the kitchen and then walks up to you, stands directly in front of your knees, and strikes this pose. And The KingofHearts and I look at each other and say in a faux British accent, "Please sir, may I have some more?" And then I have the soundtrack from Oliver! stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

My thoughts: 

Snowflakes That Stay on Her Nose and Eyelashes

Posted on 3/05/2009 05:32:00 AM

My thoughts: 

Posable Nature

Posted on 3/04/2009 05:15:00 AM
This little guy sat on that branch precisely as long as it took to get a good photo of him. When I finally got his head turned the way I wanted it so you could see his profile, he cocked his head over at me, chirped once and flew away. Would that my children were that photogenic.

this photo looks way better in a larger size than can be displayed here - click to embiggen

My thoughts: 

Geometrics in Snow

Posted on 3/03/2009 05:05:00 PM
We got a good bit of snow yesterday and while I'm almost always happy to take a day off with my girls to play in the white stuff, recent events had me wishing that school was in session so I could have a minute to myself to recharge and remove the knot that's been in my stomach for a week. You'd think the school system would take my needs into account when they make those decisions, wouldn't you? Still, I took a few nice photos.

click on the photos to embiggen for the best viewing pleasure

My thoughts: 

My Triumphant Return to Blogging

Posted on 3/02/2009 06:12:00 AM In:
...in the form of a 13 Things list.

Thirteen Things I've Learned in the Past Week

  1. If you have an alarm system in your house, for heaven's sakes, make sure it is really armed when you leave the house. Don't just push the button on your key chain and suppose that since you pushed the button to turn on the alarm, that the alarm actually turned on. Because if it doesn't, it's pretty much useless when someone kicks in your basement door and comes in your house to take all your stuff. In short: key fobs for alarm systems are a bad idea for many reasons.
  2. The crappy economy affects more than just the people who have lost their jobs as a result. If you think the government stimulus plan is ill-advised and the market should be left to correct itself because you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and you still have a job, consider this: it also creates a bigger workload for the police officers who have to investigate the increased crime rate that is also a consequence of the poor economy. As a street performer once said to me, "Your donations keep me out of two places: the poor house and your house."
  3. You have a lot better chance of remembering where you put something if you are not having a stress reaction breakdown while you are trying to find it. Forget about it for a second, go make some oatmeal for your kid and the answer might come to you. Also, prayer never hurts.
  4. When all your financial information is stolen, you can have some of the most absurd conversations:
    "Hello, lost and stolen credit cards department, how can I help you?"
    "I'd like to report my card stolen."
    "I'm sorry to hear that and I'll be happy to help you. Can you turn the card over and tell me the three digit security code on the back of the card?"
    "Ummm... I'm calling to report that my card was stolen."
    "Yes. And...?"
    "So I don't have the card anymore."
  5. If you have a computer, look on the back and write down the service tag, model number, serial number, whatever else is printed there and keep that information some place separate. This is not printed on any of the information that came with your computer. The police will not even attempt to investigate a stolen computer unless you have this information - even if the computer has your last three years' tax returns on it.
  6. Local police detectives simply are not Gil Grissom from CSI.
  7. If your husband makes the mistake of telling someone at church your house was burglarized, you will not only have to retell every detail of the story over and over again to every one you pass in the hallway, but you will also have to listen to every one else's story about how when they were ten someone stole their watch from the lunchroom in school and they've never gotten over it. Even if you're not antisocial like me and you enjoy sharing your life with others, you will weary of the constant single subject of discussion. So best keep things to yourself, husbands.
  8. The average burglar has little idea of the value of a hundred+ year old violin. Thank goodness.
  9. Not having one of those fancy new forty-six inch flat screen televisions can pay off because your crappy twenty-five-inch-er purchased in 1998 weighs more than your average burglar and isn't worth even trying to take.
  10. You should never keep a hundred year old family heirloom with the rest of your jewelry. Also do not delay putting it back in the safe deposit box because it's too much of a pain to bring your two kids with you when you go to the bank.
  11. Blogging is a lot harder without a computer.
  12. I can feel a lot better about someone breaking into my home and taking all my stuff if I imagine that that someone had "24601" tattooed on his chest and was stealing to get money to buy a loaf of bread for the waif child he feels responsible for protecting.
  13. At the end of the day, it's all just stuff and the real valuable possessions in my life are two noisy girls and a clumsy engineer who are all fine and still in my possession. However, I do plan to guard them a little closer now.

My thoughts: 

Me in 3 Seconds

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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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